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What is One Life to the World? (But it was mine...)

Chapter Text

All for One was many things. A villain to the heroes first and foremost, but that was but a facet in a mess of personas.

Presently, All for One was irritated. Media baron he was, he kept a careful eye on what he was drip feeding to the public. A delicate balancing act between poking the lines of taboo topics and spewing out the minimum level of drivel.

But it was impossible to micromanage everything. He couldn’t be directly in control of what went into the magazines his company pumped out.

So, when there’s massive public backlash against an article discussing the finer points of how shady a beloved hero is, he feels entitled to get to the bottom of things himself.

Standing before the floor of reporters and writers he shuffles a stack of papers.

“Is Akatani Inko present today?” He asks. The floor briefly goes silent before a single woman stands and walks to him. She, like many others, has to look nearly straight up to make eye contact.

“I am she. Afternoon.” She greets. All for One can’t help but internally chuckle at how the name contradicts the woman's colors.

“As you may already know, your recent article on the pro hero Goliath has attracted a lot of negative attention.” He blandly informs.

She sharply inhales at the words. “I see.”

“Let’s take this to the office. This doesn’t need to be gossip on the floor after all.” He smiles, putting warmth into his voice. Akatani visibly relaxes upon hearing his tone.

“That would be very nice. Where to?” She questions.

“This way.”

He leads her to a dinky little office, little more than a cubicle with thicker walls. Papers and folders litter the room.

“Take a seat. Sorry to put you on the spot like that, but it’s impossible for me to find people on that floor.”

“Quite alright. Is Goliath taking action against what I wrote?” Akatani asks, sitting in the only clean chair. All for One gives a grunt of confirmation as he takes a stack of papers off his own seat. He braved a glance at the label on the folder.

He should really go through the paperwork for the medical company, but oh how he loathed the red tape bound to come with it.

“He is.” All for One confirmed. “But that isn’t really why we’re in here.”

She waits patiently for his next words.

“Fresh out of schooling, right?”

Those were not the words she was waiting for.

“Yes.”

“Dual major in journalism and law?”

“Correct.”

“Right then.”

All for One sighs and brings up the appropriate papers.

“You’ve written, and published, four stories under the company name.”

It’s not a question, but Akatani can see that All for One wants a response.

“I have.”

“Two of which have seen significant backlash, and a third of which has… greatly displeased Mighty Armor Co.”

“Ah. This is a discussion on how much trouble I’m causing?”

“There’s been quite a lot.”

“The truth is rarely trouble free.”

All for One paused, looking up from his paper flipping. The absolute conviction in her words…

“Be as that may, if this continues then the company will have a more concrete issue to take up with you.”

“I… see.” She says, deflating slightly.

“That’s it. You don’t need to stop entirely, though I’m certain the legal department would like you to. Just pace yourself.”

Akatani visibly perked up, a fire dancing in her eyes.

“Can do. What’s a little drivel to pushing out the truth?”

“Exactly.” All for One agreed.

“Seeing as that was it, you’re free to leave the office. I’ll be here for the rest of the day, probably.” All for One informed, side eyeing the medical paperwork.

“Thank you for keeping it brief…” Akatani paused, clearly searching for something to call All for One. “I don’t think we’ve been introduced.”

“Midoriya Hisashi at your service.” Hisashi smiles.

“Yes, thank you Midoriya-san.”

Akatani quickly excuses herself, giving a smile as she stepped outside the door.

Hisashi would’ve been content to work on the papers, but Akatani’s quiet shriek caught his attention. It wasn’t a challenge to listen in full, despite their whispering.

“Takahashi-san, you can’t just stand outside the office-”

“How’d your meeting with the CEO’s brat go?”

CEO’s brat, huh? A rumor was bound to happen, At least it’s a tame one, if nothing else.

“He’s… what?”

“Yeah! You see him around a lot, but unless you complain to management about him being into everything and then some you’ll never know what he actually does around here.”

“But that is his job, right? To be into everything?”

Yes, but by technicality.

“Probably.”

“Probably is not an answer Takahashi-san. Are you just listing off rumors?”

“They aren’t rumors when he doesn’t refute them.”

“It’s rude to spread rumors. Even if they’re true, I doubt he appreciates us gossiping about it.”

Correct.

“Oh, that’s no fun Akatani-san! What’s the point of socializing at work if you can’t hear all the juicy bits?”

“You’ve got me there. But let’s go, we’ve got work.” Akatani laughs.

The two women leave, and Hisashi sits alone with his paperwork.

Hisashi is many things, and intrigued by the new hire is one of them.

Akatani Inko may be someone to keep an eye on.

Chapter Text

Despite the insistence of the workers, Hisashi spent most of his time locked in the tiny office. Paperwork for all his businesses simply never ended, and after years of isolation he could only take so much of people.

His closest advisors had commented on how strange it was for Hisashi to focus on media, but Hisashi cared little for their opinions on his focus.

Media was, and would always be, the primary way the government and private interests controlled the public. A fine tuned machine built to pump out propaganda.

So Hisashi made his own to shed light on the dirt people so loved to kick under the rug. If it made him a gossip and drivel machine too, then so be it.

And thus, there he sat in his dinky little office, filing papers and checking emails for his many fronts and businesses tailored to cater to his more unsavory interests.

Scrolling through the unholy amount of business emails, he spied an email from an “Akatani Inko”. Anything to break up his day, truthfully.

“We discussed that I should play it safer? Well, perhaps this is safe enough for company tastes.”

“PS. At worst, it should be a break from paperwork.”

Hisashi had to read it thrice. What a bold woman, to be sending her work to the supposed CEO’s brat.

With a cautious glance to his paperwork, Hisashi decided he had time to read the article.

An amusing distraction.

Or it was supposed to be.

But oh, the flow in that sentence was odd. What was this pronoun referring too? That looked like it should have a source, or at least be explained better.

---

Inko didn’t expect much from sending her work to Midoriya. That’s what she had to tell herself, regretting the impulse decision.

As the day wore on, and Midoriya wasn’t seen around the building, she relaxed. Must be a busy day for him. Must be buried under business emails.

She typed away, slowly adding to the article in progress. There was the occasional gossip break with Takahashi where she’d scroll through the emails out of habit.

“Haven’t seen wonderboy today.” Takahashi started. Why Midoriya was wonderboy was beyond Inko.

“He’s probably busy. I think he gets stuck with the majority of the paperwork.” Inko responded, clicking to the email tab and reloading.

“Makes an awful lot of time to stalk the floors. How much paperwork can he have?”

“A lot. Trust me, that office is covered in folders and paper.”

Inko scrolled as Takahashi made her case about how Midoriya certainly couldn’t be that busy.

“Akatani-san? Earth to Akatani-san. Do you read?” Takahashi called, waving her hand in front of Inko.

But Inko was lost, because right in the list was a single email from Midoriya Hisashi.

“Knock knock, who’s there? Not Akatani-san, that’s for sure.”

Inko didn’t pay attention as she opened the email.

“What about that thing is more interesting than me!?”

It read “Dear Akatani-san, thank you for sharing your work! I noticed some flaws, and perhaps it is presumptuous of me, but in the enclosed file I have added notes containing suggestions and comments.”

“PS. Definitely better than paperwork.”

“Oh-ho~. Akatani-san got wonderboy to edit her paper.” Takahashi teased.

Inko turned to Takahashi, tears welling up.

“Wait, shit, no- ah, uh- please don’t start cryi-.”

Inko let out a quiet sob. The CEO’s brat messaged her back!? And he liked her work.

------

The floor’s workers quickly discovered that Inko had been the key to luring the CEO’s brat into actually interacting.

Seconds after they got him talking, they discovered two very important things:

One, Midoriya Hisashi was a huge gossip.

And two, Midoriya Hisashi knew more gossip than the human mind could comprehend. The only thing he’d said in response to that comment had been “The perks of blending in with the wallpaper.”

Midoriya would visit Inko to discuss the latest of the articles she’d sent to him, and he would be open to talking with the rest of the staff.

A man of power and intimidation had been unwittingly charmed by a writer who liked controversial topics and had a streak of bold actions.

It was a matter of time before that writer and her friends invited him along to something.

Takahashi had leaned towards him so innocently.

“Sato-san and I are taking the group drinking tonight. Care to tag along? It’ll do you good to get out of that office.”

“What are you celebrating?” Inko asked, almost on reflex. Hisashi’s face had gone blank.

“Our articles, good fortune, the air.” Takahashi smiled.

“Ah yes, can’t forget to toast the air.” Inko nodded sagely.

“Er… hello? Midoriya-san?” Sato questioned, waving his hand in an attempt to regain the mans focus.

“Ah, my apologies, you caught me off guard. I tend to avoid drinking, so-”

“Avoiding drinking? Are you sure you’re a businessman?” Takahashi asked, so seriously it took a moment for Hisashi to register it as a tease.

Hisashi only rolled his eyes. “Plenty of people decide not to drink.”

“Aw, loosen up a bit. You roam these floors like you’re a zombie, can’t hurt to go out with coworkers for once.” Sato pleaded, nudging Hisashi.

Hisashi could recognize a losing battle. “I’ve got a lot of work.” He mumbled.

“When don’t you?” Inko asked.

Hisashi stared down Japanese social standards, and decided a loss would at least be an entertaining distraction.

“Will you let it rest if I say yes?”

“Definitely. Just catch the bus with us after work.” Takahashi confirmed.

“It’s a party.”

~~~

Hisashi was able to determine within seconds that the (almost literal) hole in the wall bar he’d been dragged to was not his scene.

Perhaps it was foolish to expect anything else, but the bar had a distinctly party-like atmosphere to it. The neon decor, the vaguely pop-y song that was too low for most people to identify, the mass amount of young adults (and teenagers that shouldn’t be there).

But he couldn’t complain about the people he was pretending to be the same age as. Moreso wouldn’t, since that’d attract a little too much attention to his disconnect from the generation.

Akatani tugged him towards the bar, directing him onto a stool. Takahashi skipped up to the counter with glee while Sato and Ito quietly took their spots, all three ordering their drinks.

“And you?” The bartender questioned.

“Just soda to start.”

“You’re no fun! Su-chan, give him the special. ” Takahashi squealed.

“Please don’t.” Hisashi begged as Ito curtly interjected with “Let the man pace himself if that’s his choice.”

“Sorry Taka-chan, but until he orders it himself he won’t be getting it. Ito-kun’s right, if he wants to pace himself that’s his decision.”

Takahashi gave a pout as Hisashi was informed of the soda types the bar carried.

“Sorry about Taka-chan. She usually means well, but she forgets that other people aren’t always so invested in having fun be a priority.” Akatani chuckled.

Soon enough, Hisashi had strawberry soda in his hands and everyone around him was drinking.

Eventually he was left toying with an empty glass, his only company being his own thoughts.

He really shouldn’t have gone out here, in retrospect. He had so much work it wasn’t funny, and he was much too removed from current trends to simply slot in anymore. Perhaps if he’s quick and polite he could-

“You’re muttering.” Akatani noted.

“Sorry.” Hisashi mumbled. A habit he could never quite break.

“Nothing to be sorry for. Are you going to drink?”

“I.. umm… Well-”

“You don’t have to if you don’t want to.” Akatani assure. Hisashi relaxed a tad.

“The rest of us are having plenty of fun whether or not you join, so-”

It was likely the alcohol that let her say it, but Hisashi could feel his fingers twitch in response.

“Su-chan, I’ll have whatever the special is.” He shouted suddenly. He would be plenty fun.

Akatani laughed and shouted “Make it two!”

Plenty fun indeed.

~~~

In the haze of alcohol, Hisashi wondered if the sour look Tsubasa occasionally shot him when discussing his age had anything to do with the impulsive young adult body he was stuck with.

Damn age.

Where were they going? Was it the bus? It was probably the bus.

He was going to have a headache when he woke up the next day, he could tell.

Did the group stop? Were they waiting for the bus now? Hisashi didn’t know, but he did know that it was a chance to lean against the wall for support.

Minutes later, a tiny “mew” distracted him. A tuxedo patterned cat looked up at him, moving to rub against his leg.

This was simply too much for Hisashi.

“Look Akatani-san, it’s a kitty!” He shouted loudly. He quickly dropped to his knees to pet the cat.

Picking it up suddenly he tucked it close to his body. The cat meoweled loudly but didn’t fight.

“It’s a kitty.” He sniffed.

“Oh lord , he’s a crier.”

The tears were already coming down in streams.

“Is it a friendly kitty?” Akatani asked, tears forming as she watched Hisashi.

“Very friendly. Must’ve been socialized by people waiting for the bus.” Hisashi informed enthusiastically.

Akatani waved through jerky motions, and it was nothing short of a miracle that Hisashi recognized them as “Hand the cat over.”

Akatani hugged the cat close and began sobbing quietly, trying to subtly nuzzle against the cat.

“That cat looks like it’s suffering Aka-chan.” Ito informed.

“It’s purring. It’s happy.” Hisashi insisted. “Akatani-san, don’t hog the cat.”

“But he’s so pretty and friendly! I can’t give him up!”

“Other people want to pet the cat! You’ve had him for a while now.”

“Oh fine then.” Akatani muttered, sniffing and wiping the tears away. The cat was passed back to Hisashi, to be squished against a torso once more.

But that was the cats final straw, and with a loud yowl and some claws it escaped and darted away.

“No! Kitty, come back!” He shouted, tears beginning anew.

“The bus is here.” Takahashi informed.

“Kitty, please?!”

“Get on the damn bus.”

“Where’d it goooo??

“Someone help me lift him.”

And so began the task of getting a crying seven foot plus some man onto a bus.

“What, do you work out every waking moment you’re not at the facility?” Sato grunted, pulling Hisashi through the isle.

Akatani took her seat next to Hisashi, beginning to profusely apologize for the cat as everyone else rolled their eyes and took their seats.

“No no, it’s not your fault. The cat wanted to leave, so it left.” Hisashi responded, trying to sooth the crying woman. “Don’t feel bad Akatani-san.”

Akatani paused and looked at him with watery eyes, seeming to consider.

“You can call me Aka-chan like everyone else.”

“Oh no, no I couldn’t possibly-”

“Honestly with the time you spend around my desk it could be Inko-chan!”

Hisashi officially couldn’t process what was going on. Takahashi meanwhile was torn between shouting “Aka-chan no!” and whooping. They’d make a cute couple, right?

“I think I’ll just do Aka-chan. When we’re out of the facility of course, not in. Fucking rumors.”

Akatani nodded enthusiastically. “Of course! Whatever makes you comfortable.”

Hisashi was quickly left behind as the group began to joke amongst themselves, aided by the copious amounts of booze.

That was fine, since he was stuck on one thought.

“Inko chan?” He muttered, unnoticed.

~~~

If he ever drank that much again he would stab himself through the skull just to test if it would relieve the headache. At least Tsubasa didn’t seem inclined to comment on the stench of alcohol.

Chapter Text

“You seem distracted.” He comments. It’s a phone call about where to invest recent profits.

“I’m trying to multitask.” Hisashi grunts. To many people, multitask would mean the phone and some paperwork.

Not even close for Hisashi. He stayed away from the quirk Mental Boost since the headache would make most of his paperwork a fever dream for a couple days, but the office needed to be sorted.

Stacks of papers flew to and fro with telekinesis, drawers clicked open and shut as needed, and he’d thrown in doing paperwork with both hands for good measure since the next day would be a rest for him. Bless the time he spent learning to be ambidextrous.

It left him awkwardly pressing the phone to his head with the telekinesis quirk and frankly that was the most distracting part. Too much pressure would tip him over and take the chair with it.

Was it overkill? Probably. But ‘reasonable’ wasn’t in Hisashi’s vocabulary.

“Not to overstep, but perhaps you should reduce what you’re doing until we finish the discussion?”

“Sure.” He muttered, moving one of his hands off the pen and grabbing the phone. A cabinet drawer stuck a bit, but opened and closed as usual.

“As I was saying, I think it’d be an intelligent idea to... “

Hisashi listened to the man ramble, quietly filling out more paperwork. It just never ended.

“So let me get this straight… You want an entire new wing on the building to make a second analysis lab we don’t actually need?

“It’s been a long while since we’ve put a significant amount of money into the area, so I thought-”

“Then why not just refurbish the lab we have now? The building is still up to code and unless the staff and orders we process has mysteriously doubled while I wasn’t looking then we have enough space.”

Boring.

“In fact if we do that instead then depending on how we spread out the money we could also give staff bonuses. I can’t remember when we last did that.”

A drawer stuck entirely. “Hold on.” Hisashi sighed, scooting his chair to the offending cabinet.

“Alright, go.” He instructed, standing to reach the cabinet and properly jiggle it back into working. Perhaps it was time for a new cabinet.

No, then he’d have to sort that one too.

“But think of how much more we can achieve if-”

Several things happened in rapid succession.

The drawer suddenly released, knocking Hisashi back slightly. There was a brief knock at the door, which slightly panicked Hisashi. The click of the knob greatly panicked Hisashi.

He lost his focus on the telekinesis, making papers and folders explode everywhere. Panicked and already off balance, Hiashi turned towards the door rapidly and essentially tripped over his own feet, hitting his head on the desk corner as he fell.

The next thing he registered was a hand on his face. The next next thing was Akatani’s face backlit by the fluorescent lights.

“You ok?” She asked, tears welling up.

“Eventually.” He muttered.

Wait.

The phone .

She yelped as Hisashi bolted to his feet, scanning the ground, and scuttled backwards as Hisashi dive-bombed the floor for it.

“- sir? Are you there? … Should I just go, or-”

“Hi! I got startled, I’m back, hello!” Hisashi shouted, his voice much too high pitched.

“... Are you alright?”

“Perfectly fine.”

“Perhaps this should be continued when you’ve calmed down? It’ll give you time to think about our options.”

“There is no need to-”

“I’ll call you back sir.”

“FINE but if you make plans without my consent I will end you.

“... Understood.”

The phone gave the telltale beep of an ended call, and he was left with Akatani staring at him with absolute shock.

“Business call.” He informed.

And then the pain hit, from both the quirk and the fall.

As his senses came back he could feel himself being tugged along, though he couldn’t figure out why.

“Where are we going?” He questioned. When the hell did he stand up and start walking, actually?

“My desk.”

“Why would we go there…?”

“I’ve got rubbing alcohol and bandaids.”

He would’ve questioned more, but Takahashi decided it was time to make an entrance.

“Where you taking wonder boy to?”

“My desk, to get the band-aids.”

“What, for a nasty paper-cut?”

Hisashi watched his self-appointed helper give her friend a look.

“I managed to trip over my own feet and hit my desk.” He added, hoping to be helpful.

“Oh wow. And you busted skin open?”

“Unfortunately.”

“I did?” Hisashi questioned. It was ignored.

He was promptly shoved into a chair and made to sit still.

Takahashi took a sharp breath in as she realized where Hisashi had hit the desk. “Shit. Should we like, call someone?”

“I’ll be fine.” Hisashi insisted, flinching as an alcohol pad was pressed against his scalp. “It’s just blood.”

“And if you’ve got a concussion?”

“Then I will suffer.” He answered curtly.

“That’s not a smart idea, I’m afraid.” Akatani muttered.

“I never claimed to be intelligent.”

Takahashi gave a low whistle at the words.

“You really got yourself hard, didn’t you?”

“Not my best moment, admittedly.”

That elicited a snort form Akatani, and Hisashi watched as she dragged a band-aid pack towards her with telekinesis.

She yelped as he grabbed her hard.

“You’ve got telekinesis? How does it work?”

“Let go.” She responded curtly. Her tone and the dangerous look in her eye made him drop her hand, accepting that this woman would end him if he dared to continue.

“It’s called Pull. One way telekinesis I’m afraid, it’s really not that interesting.” She sighed, turning her attention to the bandaids.

“Do you even want a band-aid? I could put one on, but it’s not ideal to put it over hair.”

“I’ll be fine.”

“Office romance of the century.” Sato deadpanned, leaning over to make his quip.

“For romance there needs to be a date.” Hisashi flatly responded, poking at the side of his head.

He entirely missed Takahashi’s mischievous look.

“A topic change is in order. Has anyone heard what the hero Crawler has been up to?” Hisashi kindly suggested.

~~~

Getting woken up at two am when still in pain was a recipe for someone to get hurt by Hisashi’s hand.

“Tsubasa, unless this is important I will-”

“Embezzlement.”

“... What?”

“I go through the medical records, right? Well not really medical records so much as the records for the medical place-”

“Get on with it.”

“Funds. They’re being stolen. Siphoned. You’ve been bamboozled. Pick your phrase.”

“Who?”

“Thankfully, it’s a one man job. Easy clean up in the end.”

“Who. Is. It.”

“Goto-san. You know the one.”

Despite the common name, he did. Hisashi needed to make a decision.

“... Pull up his quirk file.”

“Consider it done.”

~

Thin needles, covered in toxins of the users selection. Some of which weren’t even poisonous, but could be considered a boost.

A lovely addition, sweetened by hearing the man scream that he hadn’t made any plans only to realize that Hisashi was there for much different reasons.

~~~

Naught but a week later, he was conned into going to a nice restaurant with all but Ito, who had said “I want nothing to do with their restaurant scheme.”

He was none the wiser until he was seated with Akatani at what was clearly a two person table. If they were meant to have four people, then the reservation would’ve said so and they would not have been placed there.

“We’ve been set up.” He whispered to no-one.

“Bring money.” He’d been told. “We’ll be splitting the bill, but it’s an expensive restaurant so bring a lot just in case.” They said. They would cough up the cash for this if it was the last thing they ever did.

“Do you want to leave, or…?”

“No. I’m going to eat a really expensive meal and then make them pay for it. Care to join me in my spite fueled adventure?”

She gave a chuckle and sat down at the table. “Why not.”

A waitress came to take their order, and was shooed away with a request for water.

“So… what say you to Takahashi-chan’s tendency to go overboard?”

“I’d say that Taka-chan went too far this time around, but we will get a free meal out of this so I’ll be content to let it slide.” She informed seriously.

Hisashi huffed and shook his head. “The people we keep as friends.”

“They’re not terrible people to have, all things considered. Some people wouldn’t even pay attention to what you do.”

The bitter tone spoke tales of what her life likely was, but it wasn’t the time to pry.

“I guess not.”

The silence was deafening to Hisashi, even though he recognized it as comfortable.

“I’m not sure what to talk about.” He admitted suddenly.

“What about yourself? I barely know anything about you.”

Himself? Time to lie.

“Fire away.”

“How old are you? It feels stupid that I don’t know, but you’ve never said anything about it.”

“Twenty five.” He informed pleasantly. He was twenty five last year, he’ll be twenty five ten years from now.

“Well, I’m twenty two.” She hummed.

“Alright, alright… new question… Oh, what was your major?”

“Business.”

He had too many to count by this point. His names had so many legitimate degrees that it was hard to keep track.

“Do you like cats?”

“You’ve watched me drunkenly cry over one, what do you think?”

They laughed, and it came easy. The night was unplanned, but pleasant.

They laughed even harder when they watched Takahashi pale at the receipt.

~

Oh, what was with his subordinates lately? Couldn’t turn away from a business without someone thinking it was a smart move to scam him.

More quirks for him, but bloodshed was starting to feel pointless. There would always be another stupid and corrupt subordinate.

~

Hisashi stayed in the building the longest, very consistently so.

So he was the only person who stayed long enough to roam the desks one last time and find the last employee crying at her desk.

His precious Aka-chan, stilling quietly with tears streaming down. Not unusual, aside form the silence.

Something was seriously wrong.

“I don’t mean to-” He started, and she jumped away from the noise.

“I. I uh…. Sorry, I’m just…” She apologized.

“No, no! It’s ok, you’re fine! Just… you’re still here, and crying in silence. Something’s wrong.”

“I always cry.”

“Not in silence.”

She smiled brightly, tears still going strong. “You don’t have to worry over me.”

“And if I want to?”

He surprised even himself.

Her slow blink indicated her own surprise. “It’s just… It’s really my own problem, partly my own stupidity.” She admitted, scoffing at herself.

“Well then, what happened?”

“I uh…”

She gave a giggle, out of nerves most likely. “I’m not stable enough to support myself yet, but my parents are greatly displeased with my choices.”

“What choices would invoke their ire?”

A secret party life that showcased irresponsibility? It’d be surprising for her specifically, but Hisashi had seen a lot.

“Being a journalist rather than a lawyer.”

“That is not something they should get an opinion in.”

His tone was harsh, but it was something he’d always had a strong opinion in. What their children do is not a parents choice.

“Their money, their choice. Even if it’s in my life.”

A rare sense of true compassion sparked in Hisashi. Granted his situation had been a result of being a freak in his own time, but he could still remember the feeling of every action being watched and met with displeasure.

But he really shouldn’t get heavily involved. He was a villain, and bar all other reasons he and Aka-chan just weren’t that close. Even a month later there had never been a second date, just jokes thrown around.

“If worst comes to worst...:”

He really shouldn’t.

“I do have an empty couch.”

But he liked this one too much.

Her smile soothed his nerves, even as she said he really shouldn’t feel the need to offer.

~~~

She’d entered his office, silently crying. Her parents weren’t stepping down. So he told her, “Get your stuff and move in. Get on your own feet in the meantime.”

Honestly, he was expecting more than just a suitcase of clothes.

She scanned the space.

“Is something wrong?”

“I was expecting something… grander, really. You’re just frugal through and through, aren’t you?”

“I’m afraid so. Why pay for space I won’t use?”

She gave a bright smile and chuckle. “Something a lot of people don’t seem to understand.”

Two bed, one bath, and a kitchenette. He could’ve stuck to one bed one bath, but he had a little too much stuff for that.

“I’m still clearing out the spare room. I was using it as a less focused office, so it was a mess.”

“Even more messy than your official one?”

“My official one doesn’t have any of my collections crammed into it.”

“Oh dear. Yes, that would do it.”

“Still, there’s enough space for a futon. At absolute worst, the couch is comfy. I can confirm this.”

“I think I should see the room before I decide to take the couch.”

“Of course. Right this way.” He gestured.

She raised her eyebrows as she walked in, scanning the things inside.

“There is a lot of stuff.” She agreed tentatively.

It was the epitome of “stuff” and “things”. A crate of sake and bowls of pins resting on top of it, a pile of all sorts of coats, and an entire hoard of different colognes embodied just how much and how unconnected the things were.

“I just hold onto things and… Well, here we are. You can look at anything but the papers.”

Collections tended to get quite large when you had a couple of centuries to build them.

She rummaged through the pins as Hisashi watched.

“Make yourself comfortable, we’ll order out tonight.”

She smiled in response.

~

“Do you… order out every night?” She questioned.

Hisashi blushed, and began muttering. He was just so busy, and he wasn’t exactly a great cook at heart.

Her eyes got a fire in their core, and he knew that whatever she was going to say would not be something he could argue against.

“Well, I think I could put that kitchen to good use then.”

~~

She tried chipping in for rent, but Hisashi shot her down.

“Consider your cooking payment enough.” He’d insisted.

She then tried to force him out of his position of dishwasher, but he would not be outworked in his own house.

~~

Tick tock, days to weeks, weeks to months.

“What’s your quirk?” She’d asked suddenly.

He nearly dropped the plate he was scrubbing.

“You’ve never mentioned anything about it, and we’ve lived together for a long time…”

“I, well uh… It’s a little-”

“Oh, oh uh… are you… Quirkless?” She asked.

“No.” He answered firmly.

“It’s just…” He trailed. He held up a finger in a clear sign. ‘Wait’.

What to use? It had to be volatile, or else there wasn’t really social justification to being secretive.

Maybe not volatile enough, but the quirk was close to his heart.

Smoke briefly plumed from his open mouth, quickly turning into flame.

He immediately shut it off and licked his lips. “It’s dangerous to use without reason.”

He got a wide eyed nod in response.

~~

Inko did not expect to be taken in by a handsome stranger at any point.

He was an enigma that never ended. Doubtlessly rich but exceedingly frugal. Powerful quirk but none of the cockiness that came with it. Such a blank slate despite bursting with personality under the surface.

The office/her room highlighted the contrast. There was history and interests in that room, while the rest of the apartment was meticulously clean and sterile.

She mentioned it once, that the apartment could almost be brand new and unlived in. Not the words she used, but it was the implication. She’d just said the place could use plants so it looked like someone lived there.

Flower vases, plant pots, and plants to fill them had appeared like magic, bringing color to their tiny world.

She quickly learned that her request was his command within reason.

She learned a lot, but it was mostly through observation.

Midoriya was an exceedingly formal person with little to no personal life. She’d never heard of any family, and doubted that she would. He occasionally woke up in the dead of night, left, and didn’t return until much later in the day (though he always left a note).

She got the impression that his job was more important than what even the most rumor filled employees had guessed.

But that wasn’t her business. None of it was.

She knew that, ultimately, she would always be a little paranoid. That she wasn’t really walking on a tightrope with him and his support, and that he wouldn’t rip it away if she asked the wrong questions or dared to do something he seemed to disapprove of but didn’t directly say no to.

Her knowledge didn’t mean she wasn’t wary of prying too much. He was a private person, and if he wanted to keep secrets, then it was not her concern.

~~

“Aka-chan, what movie do you want in tonight?” He asked.

“Surprise me.” She responded, frowning immediately afterwards.

“You know… You can start using Inko-chan. It’s not like we aren’t close enough.”

“A-Alright, Inko-chan. You can call me Hisashi-kun if you like…”

“Consider it done.”

They both smiled brightly.

~~

Hisashi stopped suddenly as he cut vegetables. He was helping Inko cook for once, and something about it made him notice.

Everything around him. The plants, the chair she saw and liked, making dinner together, and the noise of the movie they’d loaded up.

“What are we?” He asked.

“What?”

“What are we? This…” He gestured. “We’re obviously not coworkers at this point, but even friends feels a little flat. It’s very domestic, and that isn’t bad, but it raises the question.”

She pursed her lips, but didn’t think long.

“I don’t know, but I don’t think i mind not knowing.”

“I don’t think I mind either.”

~~

“Oh Aka-chan~” Takahashi called.

“I know that tone. Whatever scheme you’re planning, stop right there.”

“But someone’s birthday is coming up soon!”

“I’m pretty sure I’ve heard her say she didn’t want a party.” Hisashi interjected tartly.

“But it’s a celebration! Even if it’s just me, you, wonder boy, Sa-san, and Ito-san it’ll be fun! You deserve to be celebrated.”

Hisashi sincerely doubted that their celebration would leave the apartment intact, as it would almost certainly take place there if seen to fruition.

The apartment?” Takahashi demanded.

Damn muttering.

Sato and Ito watched carefully as Takahashi did her best to loom.

“We live together.” Inko deadpanned.

Takahashi’s shriek was heard by the entire building.

~~

Inko had been left a single cupcake with a candle (unlit, with a lighter nearby) on the day of her birthday, with a note saying “I’m out today, sorry. Happy birthday.”

Takahashi- thankfully- hadn’t won her fight for a party, so the cupcake was all the acknowledgment she’d get for the day.

Despite not wanting anything, it warmed her heart. He knew she’d hate making a show, so he just made a small gesture.

The days that Hisashi wasn’t at the apartment were lonely days, but a refreshing break. He was almost never overbearing, but it was just nice to have a day alone.

But the clock hit six, and he wasn’t back. Dinner was eaten alone and a portion stored in the fridge.

Seven, eight, nine, ten. Time ticked away.

She drifted away during a movie, only stirring when she heard the shower run. But it was too late to bother making a fuss, and the couch was far too comfy to leave.

Even as Hisashi nearly face planted onto the couch, unaware of her presence, she was far too tired to care much. She simply shifted some of her blankets onto him and fell back to sleep.

Hisashi- for all his years of life- never expected to wake up curled around anyone, let alone the tiny woman who’d wormed her way into his life.

“I think… I think we’re dating?” He’d said uncertainly after she’d woken up.

~~

They were dating, and that raised some very important concerns for Hisashi.

What was he going to tell her?

He was the CEO of the company, CEO of many companies overall, had too many quirks to count, and was a secret supervillain.

But he loved her. He’d told himself a century ago he just didn’t have the capacity for romantic love and moved on, but there they both were.

This would be a mess. But for her, anything.

~~

Hisashi was finally opening up to Inko, bit by bit.

He’d stopped and looked at her, and he’d asked “Do you know what I do in the company?”

“No. Nobody does.”

“Well, if I tell you, you have to promise not to doubt me.”

“I promise.”

“I’m the CEO.”

The silence dragged.

“You doubt me?”

“No, I’m just wondering what the CEO is doing stalking the floors.” She’d replied distantly.

“I… I hate it at the top. Boring meetings about nothing in particular. I like the floor, and my tiny office. I’m not some overlord there, I’m just that one odd guy who’s possibly related to the CEO but does legitimate work for the company. I get to act like a boss and talk to employees.”

Inko had nodded thoughtfully.

“Thank you for telling me.”

It was a large secret, but she could hear the loneliness in his voice as he explained.

Imagine her surprise when he admitted he owned a lot more companies than just the media outlet.

But she accepted it without fuss, because that lonely undertone pained her. He was wildly successful with nobody to share his life with, so he pretended he was nobody so he could have somebody. She understood that.

~~

“Will you ever introduce me to your family?” Inko asked. Hisashi stopped dead.

“It’s alright if you don’t. Heavens know that not all families are worth the effort, but… I got to wondering.”

“Well uh… I’m… the only one left alive. There isn’t a family to introduce you to.”

And Inko suddenly understood just how little Hisashi had to himself. She thought she understood before, but she’d seen a drop and had thought it to be the ocean.

~~

“Would you say we’re a serious couple?”

“I- ah… what?”

Hisashi took a deep breath in, a pitiful attempt to relax. “A serious couple. Stable, nothing’s going to change anytime soon?”

Inko paused, and nodded. “I would say so, yes.”

“I, well I…” Hisashi stopped to give a hollow laugh. “There’s not a good way to ask. How long do you think it’ll be this way?”

“... How long do you want this to last?” She asked. The conversation was uncomfortable for both of them. Discussing commitment would never be pleasant.

“I’m fine with forever. If this doesn’t end, I’ll be happy. But what do you want? This needs to be completely mutual.”

“Until the end is good with me.”

Inko didn’t know Hisashi could smile like the sun, but there they were. He could’ve lit the room.

“Perfect.”

~~

Inko was awake this time, when Hisashi stumbled back into the apartment. She’d quietly peered in to see him blood covered.

“Hisashi!”

His focus snapped to her, and perhaps she’d’ve thought his expression was a little too peaceful if she’d been paying attention to it, and said “Don’t worry, it’s not mine.”

He told her it had been a rare case of crime, and he’d fought like a trapped feral cat. I was fight for him when pressed into fight or flight, and he may have gone too far.

She insisted that everything be reported and so forth, and he readily agreed. He knew it was the legal thing to do, to support his story.

(He made sure the report never made it into real police hands, of course)

~~

Inko could always tell when Hisashi was distressed. It was in the set of his shoulders, the twitch of his fingers, and the quiet mutter he could never quell.

But pushing him to talk wasn’t worth it. He’d talk, certainly, but never about the core issue. And he always opened up eventually anyways, so it was better to wait.

“Do you remember when you asked about my quirk?”

“Yes, of course. Flamethrower.”

“Right… I lied, a little bit.” He admitted.

“A little bit? Actually, no, how does one cough up fire and lie that he did? Seems like a hard thing to pull off.”

“It’s more like I never told all of the truth.”

“Well alright then, what’s the full story?”

Hisashi gave a brief snort and leaned over the tiny island in the kitchenette, hands tugging at his hair.

“So I’m a massive medical mystery, I feel I should establish that.”

Oh, this would be interesting. Inko didn’t know if that was a good thing or a bad thing.

“The simplest story is that I have several quirks.”

“And what’s the complicated story?”

“Throughout my life I’ve developed new ones randomly.”

He got a baffled look in return.

“Medical mystery, just think medical mystery. I’ve got too many to list off at this point. I keep it hidden since it attracts all sorts of attention I don’t want.”

“Well… That’s certainly…”

“I get it, trust me. It’s not natural, I’ve been told that a lot, but it’s what I’ve got.”

He nearly jumped through the ceiling when Inko sauntered up and kissed his cheek.

”It’s ok. I… It’s not great that you’ve kept it secret for so long, but I understand why. I wish you would’ve told me sooner, but you must have a lot of walls built around it.”

Inko didn’t expect to be wrapped in a hug, but that’s what happened. And if Hisashi was crying, then it spoke tales of how hard it was for him to trust people.

~~~

Hisashi took his shower in silence, watching the red drain away. Really, how many more would need to die in this little rebellion before they understood that he wasn’t a force to be trifled with?

At least he didn’t wake Inko up. He was trying extra hard not to involve her, as repeated incidents with blood would lead to questions he couldn’t answer

~~~

Inko was stunned to learn that if anything, Hisashi wanted to show his quirks off. He was ecstatic to have an excuse.

There were many lights of fire shows and of floating water, nights of floating objects and electric sparks, of glowing light orbs and toxic needles pulled from his skin.

She learned he was essentially fire and electric proof and could potentially give All Might a run for his money in the strength enhancement section.

He was absolutely stunning. He was quite possibly the strongest man alive- physically or quirk wise- and was almost certainly one of the richest.

But she didn’t care about that, because what she saw was a man crying over a cat at a bus stop. A man who opened his scalp on a desk corner after being surprised, who broke almost an entire set of plates by dropping them on his feet, who was just happy to have someone beside him.

~~

This bar.

It was still almost a literal hole in the wall, but this’d be more symbolic than any fancy restaurant. Su-chan smiled at Hisashi, and greeted the group. They were regulars after all.

He was instantly given his usual strawberry soda, and the group settled on the stools almost immediately.

Takahashi slammed her drink instantly and turned to Hisashi. “I’m not the one with a scheme tonight, am I?”

Hisashi choked on his soda.

“You aren’t subtle.” Ito muttered.

“Oh dear, I was wondering if I’d be the only one to notice.” Inko chuckled.

“Alright, so obviously you’re up to something. Spill.” Sato demanded.

Oh, screw being romantic.

He gave a lopsided grin as he pulled out the tiny box.

“This wasn’t exactly the plan, but…”

He knelt and opened it.

“Akatani Inko. If you’ll be with me until the end-

He never got to finish. The bar was cheering, Takahashi was just short of screaming, and Inko had hugged him with such force he’d almost dropped the box.

Perfect.

Chapter Text

Married life wasn’t very different, truth be told. Aside from the rare experimental night, nothing changed. And that was perfect.

Inko still worked, of course. It was her dream to be writing articles that meticulously tore apart whatever she set her sights on. Aside from the drivel she produced in-between so Hisashi wouldn’t turn grey early, she was doing exactly what she wanted.

They were a very happy couple, the kind most people could only dream of. Hisashi credited it to the fact that the relationship had been built on friendship, trust, and kindness.

But after some time, a simple pregnancy test reduced them both to tears.

A happy couple would turn into a, hopefully, happy family.

~~

It was a very fast realization that the apartment would not be enough space, nor was it a particularly child friendly location.

The discussion ended with the agreement to start house hunting, or at least a better apartment.

Inko had chosen the location to start looking in. It’d keep the commute to work short, and was close to several good schools.

Hisashi, overachiever that he was, marked down every available location in the district and packed Inko into a car to go look at them before they started discussing with real-estate agents.

Everyone was surprised at the highschool reunion that happened as they’d stepped out of the car.

“Bakugo-san? It’s been a long time!” Inko had shouted, waving. Masaru Bakgo waved back, groceries swinging wildly.

“You know him?” Hisashi asked, muttering.

“High school, he was the grade above. Helped a lot of the lower classmen with their work.”

Masaru jogged towards them, grinning wildly.

“How have you been Akatani-san?”

“Great! We’re actually house hunting in the area. Do you live here?”

“Oh, yeah! You’ve missed a lot, I’ve gotten married.”

“Same here! We’re moving to accommodate… Well, a new little addition to the family.”

Masaru paused to process, and grinned a little wider.

“Personally we moved into the area because kids are in the plan eventually and we wanted to get established. And, well, we weren’t planning for it to be soon , but things happen.”

And on they chattered, until Masaru remembered that he had to get home before some of his groceries thawed entirely.

“I’m sorry, but I do have to go. Oh, but please visit! Do either of you have a pen and paper?”

Hisashi wordlessly pulled out a pen and pad.

“Thanks! Aaaand, here! Visit soon, though please call first. Number is on the paper.” Masaru promised, dashing away right after.

“I sense that we suddenly have plans to go over.” Hisashi dryly commented.

“Eventually, yes. You heard him, right? They’re having a kid too.”

Hisashi hesitated. He could sense logic behind Inko’s words, but he was not picking up on it.

Inko gave a heavy sigh. “Oh, it feels a little manipulative, but… What’s reconnecting with an old friend for possibly giving our child their own friend early on?”

Hisashi’s eyes widened, and he nodded. A smart plan indeed.

~~

“He’s not much of a talker, is he?” Mitsuki commented, nodding to Hisashi.

“He has a hard time opening up to new people.” Inko informed.

“I mean no insult.” Hisashi murmured.

“It’s fine, not everyone can be the life of the party. More tea?” Masaru asked, trying to be a calming force.

“Yes, please.”

“So ah… Hm. How about the Topaz agency scandal?” Masaru asked. Politics never failed to start a conversation, right?

Mitsuki shot him a tart look while Inko looked at him with a cross of shock and bemusement. He could hear Hisashi take a sharp breath in.

Frankly, he was not at all prepared to be out discussed my a man who’d said about three sentences worth of words in the time he knew him.

~~

The calm quiet of married life frightened Hisashi if he was honest. Here he was picking nursery colors with his wife in the house the Bakugo’s had suggested in the nearby vicinity.

It was so domestic, and he was anything but under the surface.

But it was a good discomfort. He liked this life, even if he wouldn’t give up his other either.

~~

Inko carefully passed the tiny, exceedingly fragile, bundle to Hisashi. Forest green eyes blinked at him curiously, and a tiny hand reached out to try grabbing whatever it could.

“Hello, Izuku.”

~~

The care schedule Hisashi and Inko had made wasn’t conventional by any means. If it was conventional, Inko would’ve become a stay at home mom.

Instead, they rotated days away from the office. Inko could readily work at home, and so could Hisashi. Once Izuku went to school, they could start working at the facility full time.

It left Hisashi alone with Izuku for long periods of time, and he wasn’t certain how to feel about that.

There’d been surprisingly little communication between him and Inko on how to handle Izuku while the other was away. What one could do with a baby in tow was limited, albeit expected.

It resulted in Hisashi being determined to tote Izuku around despite constraints and involve him to the best of his abilities. And also scheme ways to put Izuku ahead of other children on top of that, because why not.

“This, Izuku, is a potato.” Hisashi informed in english, holding one so Izuku could see.

“Bodaydoo.” Izuku replied.

Hisashi brought a second up to Izuku’s eye level. “Should I use the big potato, or the small potato in my cooking?” He asked, still speaking english. Inko had insisted that Hisashi make and eat proper lunches while she was away.

“Mall?”

“Excellent choice.” Hisashi complimented, putting the big potato away. He quickly got to work on cutting up the small potato.

~~

Hisashi entered the house, greeted by inko and the giggles of Izuku.

Izuku pressed his face against the confines of the baby pen before crawling away to hide.

“Found you, little one.” HIsashi informed, picking Izuku up. Izuku squealed and clapped.

“So, what’s on the menu tonight?” Hisashi questioned, sauntering over to pester Inko.

Izuku wasn’t focused on his parents banter though. No, his eye had been caught by the potatoes.

“Potato!” He exclaimed, pointing. Specifically, potato in english.

Inko chuckled at the sight. “He’s been calling them that the entire time I’ve been cooking. It’s quite cute.”

“It’s the english word.” Hisashi deadpanned.

Hisashi could see Inko struggle to comprehend.

“But how would he have learned that?”

“Small potato!” Izuku screeched gleefully.

“I set him up near me when I cook and explain what I’m doing in english. Apparently he knows the word for “small” too.”

“HisashI!”

“I taught him things. That is not a crime.”

“Potato.” Izuku informed aggressively, lightly smacking Hisashi. Hisashi quickly picked one up and presented it to Izuku.

“Potato?” Hisashi questioned, much to Inko’s exasperation.

“Yes, potato.” Izuku agreed, tapping the potato and smiling.

“Three words that he knows.” Hisashi informed.

Izuku was doing beyond well for being seven months old. Though it may have pleased Inko more if he’d first spoken in Japanese.

~~

Everything except walking had been hit exceedingly early. As such, it was determined that it would be appropriate to finally introduce Izuku to Katsuki.

The three month gap in age meant a lot in baby development, with Katsuki only beginning to shove himself to his own feet (and fall flat in his attempts to walk unaided) at a year old and Izuku technically ahead intellectually but well behind physically at nine months.

“Stand?” Izuku questioned, watching Katsuki try.

“He’s speaking pretty early, isn’t he?” Masaru noted.

“He’s been speaking for a couple of months now. He can’t do complex sentences, but not for a lack of trying.” Hisashi informed pleasantly.

Katsuki zoomed forward and fell flat.

“Ow.” Izuku commented empathetically.

Katsuki gave an aggressive burble and shoved himself up again.

“Block want?” Izuku offered, extending a plastic kanji block towards him.

Katsuki took the block, sat down, and promptly hit it against the floor as hard as he could.

Izuku looked to Hisashi for a cue, and got none in response. Hisashi didn’t know how to respond either.

“Block.” Izuku decided, copying Katsuki.

Hisashi got the feeling that little Katsuki would give Izuku some bad habits.

~~

Blissfully, they got away without much other than throwing food and some more energy in whatever Izuku attempted (food throwing included).

Hisashi quietly washed dishes, Izuku placed in a high chair and left to consume bits of cereal.

Hisashi watched out of the corner of his eye of course. Cereal bits hurt. But then, Izuku started rubbing his sippy cup.

“What’cha doin little one?” Hisashi asked, still in english (he refused to stop teaching it).

“Washing dishes.” Izuku informed pleasantly.

“You’re copying me?”

“What”

“Imitating?”

“What”

“You’re doing what I’m doing?”

“Yes.”

“Good job. Make it sparkle, son.” Hisashi encouraged very seriously. Izuku gave him a bright smile and continued to ‘wash’ his cup.

Hisashi considered a lot of things while continuing to wash the dishes. Mainly how fast Izuku progressed. No doubt it was from his insistence on making sure he exposed Izuku to as much english as possible (and Inko’s retaliation for Japanese), yet it still impressed him.

He cast a thought for the future and made a few decisions, but he still had concerns. After a year, quirk manifesting increased drastically. Still slightly rare, but it meant there was a very real possibility Izuku would develop…

Well, Hisashi didn’t know what. All for One? Pull? A mix? One of the many other quirks Hisashi had, possibly laying forgotten?

Any quirk Izuku developed would need to be trained regardless, if only for safety's sake. And if he had something volatile…

What was the nearest quirk gym?

He needed to look into that.

~~

The answer was that there were none in a reasonable radius, and to Hisashi that just meant he needed to make one.

Seriously, there were no safe spaces to administer controlled practice?

But making one would need to wait. Izuku couldn’t be left alone yet, but Hisashi needed to attend a meeting for his medical company. And he didn’t want to bother Inko.

So with some finesse and electronics, Hisashi set himself up on a video call in his home office.

His board probably wasn’t expecting a mini Hisashi to join them on the call, judging by their expressions.

“Keep your comments to a minimum please.” Hisashi requested dryly. “This doesn’t need to get out either.”

“Secret.” Izuku agreed sagely. He listened intently through the whole meeting, fascinated by the words and terms he didn’t understand.

~~

Hisashi quietly scrubbed blood off of himself, Inko distracted on the other side of the house. She wasn’t even aware he was back yet.

But a learning to walk child, enabled by a slightly ajar door and a distracted mother, was what found him this time.

Izuku gave an absolutely baffled look, waiting for an answer.

Hisashi gave a calm smile and raised a finger to his lips.

“Secret.” He informed pleasantly. Oh how glad he was he’d taught Izuku that, even if it originated because Hisashi broke a vase.

“Secret!” Izuku agreed. He was too young to remember the event in the long term.

~~

Takahashi had burst into his official office and demanded information on Hisashi’s “baby brother”, having heard rumors that the CEO had a new brat.

“Takahashi, you may want to sit down for this one.” Hisashi sighed wearily.

“Nothing you say anymore will surprise me.”

“I”m the CEO. You already know plenty about Izuku.”

The office most certainly heard that particular screech.

~~

With the quirk gym on its way, Hisashi crouched before Izuku with the utmost severity.

“This is cat.” He informed, pointing to the hiragana.

“Cat?” Izuku repeated, but in english.

“Switch.” Hisashi grunted, and got Izuku to speak the proper language. Hisashi quickly walked him through the pronunciation of each symbol.

This is cat.” Hisashi informed in english, presenting the flash card to Izuku.

“But where’s cat?”

“The symbols mean cat.”

“Symbols?”

“Patterns.”

Izuku nodded in understanding. Inko may want to stab him for teaching reading at eighteen months, but he was willing to take that risk.

Quickly, he explained the English pronunciation. Hopefully he wouldn’t have to reteach the alphabets at any point, and hopefully adding the pronunciation of the characters each time would help make the alphabets less abstract for Izuku overall.

Kanji would be hell though.

~~

His hopes were thoroughly met, but Inko looked ready to stab him a few months later when they took a trip to the aquarium with the Bakugos and Izuku read the signs for them all.

He remained insistent that teaching Izuku things was not a crime.

~~

The dreaded business trip. Both business and “business” needed to be dealt with overseas.

But he’d come back if it was the last thing he ever did. Izuku, two years old, waved goodbye. Inko had taken time off to take care of him in the meantime.

~~

He kept a surprisingly straight face as he viewed Izuku’s All Might onesie. The bastard was in America, and yet he still had power in Japan?

“I watched the news with Izuku in the evenings. He likes heroes.” Inko informed brightly.

Shit.

“What kid doesn’t?” Hisashi asked rhetorically, keeping his tone pleasant.

“True, true. It’s just nice to see him take an interest in something that you didn’t teach him.”

“Teaching is not a crime.”

Inko laughed at him, and continued cutting vegetables as Izuku toodled around the room, making “nyoom” noises with a hero toy in hand.

~~

Time moved so fast. Two and a half, three, three and a half years old. The dreaded four would be soon. It was time to start watching Izuku closely for signs of a quirk.

The fated day came when Inko called him during work. Izuku was complaining about a weird feeling in his hands, and could spread it to Inko.

He was there almost instantly, plucking Izuku off the ground with glee.

“I hear there’s a strange feeling in your hands?” Hisashi asked very seriously.

Izuku nodded. “It’s weird. Grabby.” He informed.

Hisashi was quietly thrilled.

“Why don’t you put your hand against me and we’ll see what happens.” Hisashi murmured.

He was already searching through the mess of quirks within him, trying to find the perfect one to offer up. Something obvious but relatively harmless.

With a little effort, Hisashi kept the quirk right on the surface without passing it off. And as Izuku touched Hisashi with his hand, Izuku’s own copy of All for One did the rest.

Izuku paused, trying to comprehend what happened.

With a sudden sneeze, electric sparks flew off of Izuku.

“He has Random Manifestation.” Hisashi informed Inko.

“You’re certain?”

“I’d bet my life on it.”

“Don’t bet your life.” Izuku ordered gravely. “Never bet.”

“It’s a metaphor.” Hisashi reassured.

“Well… what next?” Inko asked.

“For his own sake, as well as others, he’ll have to be trained as they pop up. It may be a wise idea to pick one for him to claim as his own to use in public and keep the rest hushed, but that’s not a concern yet.” Hisashi informed severely.

“Who do we get to train him?”

“Me. I had to have largely the same treatment, meaning I know a large variety of quirks inside and out. I’ve been teaching him almost everything else, so while it’ll be a jump it’s not strictly an ill-advised one.”

Inko had to pause and consider. “Well, it’s a good thing he has someone so well versed in quirks to teach him.”

She would’ve scooted closer to kiss Hisashi, but the sparks Izuku was still throwing made her think better of it.

Izuku’s development would be an interesting one, for all of them.

Chapter Text

The assessment with Tsubasa went off without complication, giving Hisashi precious information on how Izuku’s quirk worked as opposed to his own.

But it was but a small victory in the face of getting Izuku’s quirk registered as Random Manifestation.

Izuku wasn’t the problem. With some persuasion and an explanation, Izuku would readily agree to anything Hisashi told him.

The first part of the problem was that Tsubasa managed to put himself in a hotspot and get taken out of practice for the time being.

It was a long and complex story involving several parents irate over Tsubasa’s blunt nature when dealing with their children and a claim of “emotional trauma”. But it would ultimately pass.

The second part was that he couldn’t dissuade Inko from getting Izuku registered as soon as possible. If he didn’t make the appointment himself and go to it, she would’ve.

So there he was, before an utter buffoon.

“That’s impossible.” The doctor said flatly.

“Considering my own life and experience with the quirk, I have to disagree.” Hisashi replied, equally as flat.

“I got telekinesis recently!” Izuku informed.

“Mhm. And what else do you have?” The quirkologist asked, in the typical tone of polite disregard to what children were actually saying.

“Sparks and ice!”

“Can you show me them?”

Hisashi quickly tossed his watch into the air before Izuku, and it never made it to the ground. Simultaneously, sparks flew off of Izuku.

“Do you have a glass of water I can freeze?” Izuku asked politely.

“Yeah, just give me a minute.” The quirkologist replied, slightly distant. It was rapidly proved that Izuku could indeed freeze a glass of water.

“This is-”

“Medically impossible. I’ve heard that infinite times before and I’ll hear it infinite times more. Fujita, was it? Well Fujita-san, perhaps I know what I’m talking about?” Hisashi questioned, his tone like acid.

“This needs further research.” Fujita decided. It took every ounce of his willpower to not grind his teeth in frustration. It’d be a chore to worm out of this one.

“It should be simple. I get new ones randomly, and we record them for legal purposes.” Izuku frowned. At least someone shared Hisashi’s thoughts on it.

~~

Fujita was being a pain in the ass, but that was a problem for later.

Right there and then, Hisashi was in the quirk gym with Izuku, sitting across from a piano. He’d made certain to have one of the private lockable rooms.

That was the nice thing about running the place. He could get really weird equipment and do weird things in general for training and nobody could tell him no.

“Are you ready to train the new telekinesis?” Hisashi asked. For training purposes, Izuku had been given a much stronger version.

“Yeah! But why is there a piano? And aren’t we supposed to sit close to the piano?”

“Not for quirk use. See little one, we’re going to learn how to play it using telekinesis.”

“Shouldn’t I learn normally first?”

“I’ve got a plan.” Hisashi assured. “See, that telekinesis is much stronger than your other one. And you’re going to learn how to gently apply it.”

“Should be easy.”

“You’d think, but sometimes it isn’t like that. Are you ready to try pressing a key?”

“Yeah!” Izuku chirped, turning to the piano.

The piano broke immediately, and Izuku gave a heavy sob upon the sight.

“Don’t worry, watch.” Hisashi muttered, the piano floating up and reassembling. Sometimes highly specific quirks were highly useful. It was nice to be able to pull out some of the stranger ones at least.

“Try again.” Hisashi commanded.

The stifling time limit of three minutes since breaking was the only real concern with the quirk. It made it useless for most conceivable purposes, but it was perfect for practicing with a highly destructive child.

Hopefully Izuku would be relatively safe by the time they’d agreed to let Katsuki around again. The Bakugo’s were very understanding about the unusually long grace period.

~~

Hisashi fumed silently as Izuku showed Kastsuki his quirks, the blond himself offering up sparks from his palms.

Fujita had exceeded “pain in the ass” status and was fixing to be on a kill list if he didn’t stop.

The man was pushing for extensive medical examinations, though just that would’ve let the man sit comfortably at “pain in the ass”. But no, he wanted everything published too. Possibly a great medical advancement he’d tried claiming. And he. Would. Not. Stop.

He couldn’t let Izuku get published like that. Not with so many lies already. A spotlight would burn them all away, and Izuku would have a villains quirk.

Hisashi knew what society was, and they’d never let Izuku rest if they knew that. It’d be Hisashi’s own childhood on repeat, just for slightly different reasons.

But no matter what Hisashi did, Fujita just wouldn’t take the hints.

If Fujita continued…

~~

“Tsubasa, pull up the quirk file on him.”

“One moment sir.”

~~

It took a bit of agonizing, but Hisashi decided on a couple of quirks for Izuku’s fifth birthday. One of them wouldn’t be a fun one, but Hisashi sure as hell got satisfaction out of it.

He’d taken it a while ago, and it simply didn’t serve a purpose to him. He had a functionally exact clone.

“What will this one do?” Izuku asked.

“I’ll tell you when you’re a bit older so you can understand it better. Understand that it’s a passive quirk though.”

“Passive?”

“It won’t seem to affect anything, but it’s doing its job in the background.”

“... Alright?”

“Just take it, and I’ll give you your second one.” Hisashi promised.

Fujita didn’t need his quirk anymore afterall, so why shouldn’t it go to the boy he would’ve relentlessly hassled- and possibly destroyed?

~~

Izuku had stopped one day, thinking hard.

“Is it really ok to lie to even mom?”

Hisashi had given him a tight smile that Izuku knew to be slightly pained. “Sometimes to lie is the kinder thing to do.”

“And when I go to school it’ll be kinder to tell them I only have telekinesis?”

“To yourself, yes. It will be.”

Izuku didn’t understand yet, but he would eventually. And that’s what Hisashi had to stick to.

~~

Ah, the most challenging of debates.

Ones that involved a six year old’s logic.

“Alright then Katsuki-kun. Explain to me why you think it shouldn’t be a problem to tell the other students about Izuku’s quirk?”

“It’s his and there’s nothing wrong with it! If he needs to hide it then other people are stupid .”

“Other people are stupid Katsuki-kun. They’ll isolate him. They may even be mean to him.”

“Then I’ll protect him!”

“Why not protect him by never telling to begin with? Then, you will never have a problem.”

Katsuki took this quietly, and despite his clear frustration he agreed to stay silent. He would protect Izuku from the meanies when school started however he could, lying included.

~~

“Are you excited to start school tomorrow?” Hisashi asked as Izuku formed water into various shapes.

“Scared.”

“Well, that’s alright too. Once you start going the fear will wear off. Besides, you’ll have Katsuki-kun in the same class.”

“Kacchan is scared too, but he won’t say he is.”

“Then you can find strength in each other.”

“... What’s that mean?”

“You can encourage each other.”

“... I suppose.”

“Relax a little. The future is bright right now, and even if it wasn’t- well, fearing what’s to come isn’t really a life.”

Izuku didn’t understand, but he assumed he would later in life and didn’t ask.

Chapter Text

Izuku noticed a lot more than what most adults would give him credit for. His father had been kind but firm in lessons that had to do with understanding everything he could about his surroundings.

Izuku noticed more than what he said, essentially. He noticed how the teachers favored kids with flashy or powerful quirks, like him and Kacchan. He noticed how they didn’t like the kid who could briefly paralyze people with a touch.

He noticed his father didn’t like heroes, especially All Might, and he noticed how his father wouldn’t ever say it. He noticed that his mother never noticed.

A lot of what he noticed confused him. He didn’t know why his father didn’t like heroes but would then tease him with the possibility of becoming one during training. Was it motivation?

He didn’t quite get how his mother never fully worked out his father’s ticks while lying, though Izuku wasn’t sure he’d found all of them himself. He did know the truth could be a little wordy, but lies almost never dragged on unless he was called out. And how his father would idly tug at his watch when he was thinking fast to cover his tracks.

He didn’t understand the dichotomy between favored quirks and unfavored quirks, and hadn’t been able to pierce the subject with his eager mind. 

But like father had taught, he put those subjects away in their own little files, locked away in imaginary cabinets to mull over when he didn’t have to focus on something else.

~~

“Kacchan, stop.” Izuku commanded. He’d seen something was wrong from the start and had abstained from playing this time, but holy cow.

“Aw come on, we’re defeating the villain.” Young Tsubasa called.

“You’re hurting her.”

“She agreed to play.” Katsuki reasoned. But Izuku knew that was because she’d been lonely and isolated. The ”good kids” inviting her? It could’ve been her chance for friends.

“She played. And now we’re done. Only villains go too far. She’s down, and won’t get back up. Right?” Izuku asked, directing his voice to the girl behind him.

“Y-yeah! I’m down. I’m a captured villain.” She agreed quickly.

“But you never know. She could be lying.” Fingers insisted. Izuku hadn’t learned his name yet, as he was a recent addition to the gang.

“She’s not.”

“What’s it matter?” Katsuki questioned. He could see the utter confusion in Izuku’s face.

“She’s got a villains quirk anyways, so who cares?”

Disgust. Katsuki didn’t quite know the word yet, but there was the intuitive sense that told him what it was as he watched Izuku’s face contorted.

“There are no villain quirks. Just villain people.”

“I dunno. You ever hear the adults talk?” Tsubasa asked.

Yes, Izuku had heard plenty. He’d stopped intentionally listening, as it was all trash.

“Well, how about this. Since villains never lose, if me and Ishii-san win text round then you all shut up and admit you’re wrong.”

“You’d side with a villain?” Fingers asked.

“We’re only villains if we lose. And when we win, you’ll be the villains, not us.”

“Fine then! Stick to that, see how much it helps you.” Katsuki scoffed. But he wasn’t certain at all. Something was wrong with Izuku. He’d never seen this… rage in Izuku.

“A couple minutes for a break, and then we start the fight. Sound good?” Izuku asked. It was too polite Katsuki thought. He was throwing down the gauntlet but sounded like he was asking what tea flavor Katsuki wanted.

“Sure, not that it’ll help you.” He boasted.

Katsuki watched as Izuku pulled Ishii up and murmured to her, and Ishii nodded back. The asswipes had a plan!

Well, it would be no match for the team.

“Alright. Are we all ready?” Izuku asked, still pleasant.

“Bring it.”

“In three… two… one… go!” Izuku chirped. Small rocks were pelted at them, too small and slow to do anything more than stun them all for a few moments.

But then Ishii rapidly tapped them all in those brief moments, paralyzing them.

“We win.” Izuku said, his acid tone too old for him. “You’re the villains, and we’re the heroes. But it’s not because we win, it’s because we didn’t keep going.”

~~

Hisashi knew that Izuku knew exactly what he was doing when he took all three boys down with Ishii. But Hisashi wouldn’t pry while right in front of the teachers.

“Sounds to me like the teachers weren’t doing their jobs. Both he and Ishii-san, and even Izuku’s friends, said Izuku claimed he was stepping in due to them going too far with the girl. She said she was down and they were still going.”

“There’s still the problem that-”

“If the problem is that they shouldn’t have been using their quirks, then it is also a failure on the school’s part. Such a fight would have been obvious from any point in the school yard.”

The school didn’t know how to deal with him and he liked that.

“Frankly, given how often Ishii-san deals with other kids terrorizing her, her parents would have enough evidence and testimony to take legal action. I do know some good lawyers I could recommend to them now that I think about it.” Hisashi flatly threatened.

“Will it be Kondo-san? I think he helped take down Mighty Armor Co, right?” Izuku added, extremely helpful to Hisashi’s intimidation tactics.

The adult before him paled as Hisashi confirmed Izuku’s second question. They nervously shuffled papers, quickly reciending any talk of punishment. Both Izuku and Ishii would be sent home early and nothing more due to how questionaby all parties acted, the school claimed.

It left Izuku alone in the car with Hisashi as they drove home. 

“Why’d you do it?” Hisashi quietly asked.

“They wouldn’t stop, and yet called themselves heroes. It was sickening. So I sided with her and made them stop.”

“Do you think they’ll stop forever because of this?”

Hisashi wasn’t mocking Izuku. He really wanted to know if Izuku thought that far ahead.

“To them, heroes don’t lose. But I don’t know if that’s what they’ll take from it.”

“You’re too good for them, you know that?”

“What? I was just defending her, ‘cause nobody deserves to be called a villain just for their quirk.”

Hisashi had suspected that, but it was the first time it’d been directly said.

“I take it back. You’re too good for the world Izuku.”

“Then the world isn’t good to begin with.”

Hisashi didn’t know what to say to that.

~~

It wasn’t an isolated incident, but the teachers were too terrified of his dad to do much more than send Izuku home.

Izuku was just glad Kacchan stayed out of the bullying now. He’d washed his hands of what Tsubasa and Endo did to other people and everyone just refused to acknowledge it while they were all playing nice.

But it did make some of the others get snide. He and Kacchan weren’t too good for everybody, and they didn’t act it (or at minimum Izuku didn’t), but everyone seemed to think so.

Izuku cared, but would never admit it. He filed the feeling away and locked the cabinet. And he was rewarded, because the kids he saved would always like him.

They were the ones whose opinions were really valuable. They were nice people, all trying to thank him for being the only line between them and the kids who could get away with anything.

Ishii made sure to leave an origami flower on his desk every day, because she thought Izuku deserved something pretty for being so valiant. Ota would always insist on sharing a dumpling from his home packed meals, because he thought it was the least he could give.

The list went on. Kacchan watched, and refused to comment, but Izuku could feel his envy radiate every time he saw it happen.

“If you hate watching them adore me so much, then become someone who can be adored. Be a hero to them too.” Izuku instructed him tartly after Ishii darted away one day.

Tsubasa had been witness.

“Where do you get off telling him that?” Tsubasa defended.

Izuku held the flower up as an example. “Would I be getting these if I hadn’t done something right to her? To any of them? I’m their hero, while you and others make yourselves the villains.”

And Izuku immediately knew the stance Tsubasa took. His dad had only barely started with their mock wrestling, but Izuku could see how Tsubasa coiled.

“Don’t defend me. You aren’t protected, they’ll punish you.” Izuku had spoken as fast as he could, tackled to the ground by Tsubasa.

Izuku itched to launch the boy off by any and all means. But that could kill him. And Izuku didn’t know if he could control himself enough to not hurt Tsubasa, period.

So Izuku took it, and couldn’t help but have an off sense of pride. He was better.

Izuku let the teachers watch in abject horror as Tsubasa wailed on a kid unwilling to defend himself.

Katsuki stayed out of it, because Izuku was always right. There hadn’t been a time Izuku was wrong, and no matter how much the smug prick had bothered him just prior there would always be one truth; Izuku was always right.

Katsuki readily took the yelling from his parents and only grunted out what Izuku had told him. He’d been met with painned and uncertain looks that he didn’t understand. But whatever, he didn’t need pity. Not in the slightest, even knowing he couldn’t protect his friend. None.

Meanwhile, when Hisashi asked Izuku why he didn’t fight back, Izuku told him. It was all so very blunt and concise, like it was the most obvious thing in the world.

Hisashi didn’t say it that time, but he couldn’t escape the feeling that Izuku really was a step above the rest. It made him wonder how he of all people created this child.

~~

The elder Tsubasa was just grateful the car accident happened before All for One could properly wind up to bring whatever hell he’d planned. Young Tsubasa would be transferred elsewhere, and the elder could only hope it’d be enough once All for One could refocus.

But that would be the future, and he had to focus on the now.

Pensively, he put away the new information on the mini’s version of All for One. “They want to be used” Izuku had murmured, in reference to the quirks.

Tsubasa was certain the quirks weren’t literally begging to be used, thank god. But the fact that All for One could get under stimulated was important.

With a sigh, he turned to his database. A regeneration quirk for the mini was in order.

~~

Izuku had a lot of time to think, after the car had hit him. Too much time.

He was eight now, and now that he had the time to think about it all he had questions.

His question persisted until and strengthened when his father came to him with a regeneration quirk.

“Where do the quirks come from?” He’d asked quietly. His father stopped to tug at his watch.

“Never mind that Izuku.” His father calmly instructed. There was something so… wrong? Right? Izuku didn’t know, but there was something with that voice.

“Just take the regeneration quirk. Such questions are best saved for later.”

It sounded right, Izuku decided. What a silly question, anyhow. Izuku smiled, nodded, and took the quirk without fuss.

Izuku never got to ask that question, ever.

~~

Katsuki wasn’t certain how to act around Izuku now.

Izuku was fragile. The smile could break and become fake, and his bones could snap like they did under the force of that car. 

Izuku would always smile, he’d smiled on that hospital bed even as he looked like he wanted to curl up and die, and he’ll smile like All Might when they become heroes together.

But did Izuku know that even as Tsubasa had held him down, he’d smiled? Katsuki didn’t know how to describe that smile, other than it was Izuku knowing he’d won.

Katsuki didn’t want to see that smile ever again. Not when it came because he couldn’t protect Izuku.

~~

Hisashi had taught Izuku so much with calm and care that it was almost unnerving. There they were in the same room as always, weights spinning around frantically as Izuku pushed the weight limit.

But so much else lay around the room. Multiple books on self defense, practice locks for lock-picking, and the beloved piano was tucked away in the corner. There was more of course, and there would always be more.

But that didn’t matter right then, as Hisashi called for a fight with little warning and wrestled with his son.

It was easy to win, but Izuku was learning. And at ten years old, Hisashi didn’t expect perfection. Just that Izuku was still learning day by day.

It made him smile, and think of simpler days. Days when he wasn’t a villain, when he and his brother had practised self defense to protect themselves from bigots- and hopefully help other people.

Izuku took him down in his distraction, but Hisashi got the last laugh as he pinned Izuku with his weight alone (until he was lifted off of course).

It made him wonder if it was time for a strength enhancement quirk, but the thought brought back times of when he’d given his brother one and it made his heart hurt.

It was a topic and soul search for another day, though. Hisashi had to live in the present.

~~

Fucking All Might.

There’d been no questions asked, no attempt at discussion, no regard for the space around them.

Even if All Might assumed connection with his prior villain that day, there was just no reason but rage for All Might to have snapped.

This was the business trip he should’ve passed on. He should’ve known better than to keep tempting fate with America.

All for One fought with everything he had, and the sight of All Might- entrails spilling out- and looming over him would haunt him for the rest of his (potentially short) life.

“Say your last words.” All Might warned, rearing up for a final blow.

“I just wish I could say goodbye to my wife and son.” All for One informed, his tone slightly mocking. Not what he was going for.

All Might’s eyes visibly widened underneath the mess that would no doubt scar, making a precious delay on when his fist would come down.

Hisashi didn’t quite have to play dead until later when he’d regained enough of himself to know that he was being scrapped off the pavement by his own corrupt men. It wouldn’t do to signal to everyone else that he was still kicking.

Even with only one eye left, and ultimately a fourth of his head missing until they reconstructed most of it, life wouldn’t have been bad.

But the fight had done a lot more internal damage than external. Things that simply couldn’t be handwaved with a quirk. Not unless he was taking protection from Izuku.

And even then, it would have to be in aid of extreme reconstruction surgeries. 

Ultimately, he’d be hospital bound for a very long time.

~~

The Midoriya’s took some time off from everything to process what happened. To wait anxiously for news. Izuku got his homework through Mitsuki and Masaru as he took the emotional downtime his mother insisted on. Katsuki was oddly distant.

Eventually, they were invited to where his father was being kept. And oh, what a sight to remember.

What a horrible sight.

Tubes and wires and machines, and only one eye looking out at them.

All of Izuku’s questions died. The ones he’d wanted to know since he thought of them were quickly locked away. The alone time his father had promised would not be the time to ask.

His mom sobbed and sobbed and then sobbed some more, cursing the chainsaw villain attack. Izuku wondered, but locked away the questions. He was crying too, afterall.

She quietly left after some time, to let Izuku talk with his father.

“I’m sorry izuku. This shouldn’t have happened.”

Izuku wanted to ask “To you, or to us?” but bit his tongue and locked the question down.

“You’re only human.” He choked out between sobs.

“Come here.” His father instructed. He gave the slightest of smiles as he put his hands on Izuku’s face.

“I can’t keep these. They’re dangerous to have in a hospital, and I’m certainly not going anywhere where I’d need them.”

As the quirks were given, Izuku had to marvel at just how many there were. Why did his dad need so many of any of these? Why even half? And worse yet, he knew this wasn’t all of them.

Hisashi himself was pleased with the handful he’d selected to give Izuku. True, he was limiting his own offensive capabilities somewhat, but Izuku would have to train much more independently now. He’d need some proper tools for that.

“And this one, well, it’s a little special. Take good care of it, it’s the first I had.” He informed seriously. It was almost painful to hand it over, but it was actually dangerous to have around the oxygen tanks.

Izuku could feel his throat burn, and puffed out a bit of flame and smoke. “Flamethrower” He whispered.

His dad smiled and nodded.

“Me and your mother will have to talk briefly. Wait outside?”

Izuku quietly complied

~~ 

This was bullshit and everybody involved knew it.

Mitsuki knew it, Masaru knew it, his mother knew it. Kacchan must know, even as he stood firm in his fortress of silence.

Even as Izuku knocked and knocked and knocked on that door, even as he begged and pleaded and cried for an answer. Any answer.

But Kacchan wouldn’t talk to him

Even as Izuku pestered him publicly at school, he was stoic and quiet.

It came to its sad conclusion as Izuku stood outside that door once more, finally breaking.

“I think that’s enough for today.” Mitsuki had informed quietly. Even as Izuku reared his fist, she didn’t expect much more than a frustrated bang.

But Izuku now had the weakest of strength enhancements still requiring activation known to man and he already had a very good idea of how to use it.

Izuku made sure his fist was just fast enough to punch through and aimed near the handle. If it was going to be a game of aggression, then fine .

With quick movements Izuku unlocked the door himself and opened it.

“Are you happy, sitting there? I hope you’re happy, because I'm not coming back now.” Izuku informed, slamming it shut. It wasn’t in time to block the absolutely terrified expression he saw.

But Izuku wasn’t going to care about Katsuki any more. His old friend made a choice- whether or not he'd intended to- leaving him high and dry for whatever inane reason when Izuku’s father had been hospitalized for the foreseeable future.

Izuku would later be horrified at his own actions, but right then and there he was done with all the bullshit.

With as much calm as he could muster, Izuku moved to leave. He could taste the smoke from flamethrower- a sign that he wasn’t as calm as he wanted- and simply swallowed it down and kept walking.

Mitsuki watched in a mix of awe and fear- and a smidgen of respect- as Izuku left to go home and sulk.

Chapter Text

“Midoriya-san, Bakugo-san, you two are applying for UA right?”

Izuku didn’t need to look to know that Bakugo refused to look at him as he spared a glance at all the ‘extras’ during his boast.

“Yeah, I am. I’m also applying to some other schools, just in case.” Izuku informed after Bakguo wrapped his speech up.

“Don’t worry Midori-kun, you’ll get in!” Ishii encouraged.

“I was never worried.” Izuku reassured. Many kids gave him either encouraging looks or jealous ones.

“Settle down.” The teacher warned the noisier students “And you two, remember to keep your acts clean. UA doesn’t take delinquents. A stupid mistake you and your friends made can cost you a lot.” 

Izuku shot the teacher an acid look, and he visibly winced. Bakugo chose to keep his mouth shut, the choice having less to do with fear of authority and everything to do with the comment being specifically aimed at Izuku.

Class moved on, crawling its way to the last bell. Everyone sans three moved to leave the class almost instantly.

Izuku smiled wide as Ishii handed him a kusudama diamond flower, and he didn’t need to look to know Bakugo had a sour look on his face.

Izuku sent a smile Bakugo’s way, a challenge in its own right. Bakugo would either have to walk up to him and speak, throw a punch, or sulk away. 

Bakugo huffed, and walked away.

“I don’t get him.” Ishii admitted, an annoyed tone seeping into her words.

“I don’t either.” Izuku said, examining the origami. 

“You could probably knock him on his ass in one hit.” 

“I probably could, but we’re not seven anymore. School yard fights aren’t exactly appropriate.”

“That’s never stopped him.” Ishii muttered sourly.

“I need to be better than that.” Izuku whispered, mostly to himself.

“You already are. But… I know what you mean…” Ishii attempted.

Izuku shot her another bright smile. “Thank you! I should go though, too much of a delay and mom will want to know what I was doing. I’m still trying to convince her there’s nothing to tease over.”

Ishii laughed. “See you around.” She waved. Izuku spared a last smile and a wave before darting away.

Once outside Izuku carefully stored the paper flower in his bag, making sure it wouldn’t get crushed while he walked.

It would go up with his seven year long collection of origami she’d given him once he got home. Entire gardens of tulips, cherry blossoms, roses, and whatever else Ishii had found instructions for.

Izuku turned into the familiar alley, pausing at the stench. Something wasn’t right. Did a cat die or-

“Hehe… what a nice puppet. You don’t mind me hiding, right?” A voice asked, slime manifesting through a grate. “Not that you get an opinion. I need to get away, fast.”

Electricity sparked off Izuku, but it didn’t matter to the sludge as it grabbed his leg. Non conductive?

“Ooh, nice quirk too. You’ll be a great puppet.”

It was already near his head, creeping towards his mouth.

Was the villain water based? Izuku got his answer as he reached for hydrokinesis, lifting the villain straight into the air and compressing him into a ball.

“Never fear, for I am-” All Might shouted, busting into the alley. “... Here?” he questioned, seeing the villain floating.

“Do you have something to contain him with?” Izuku asked, not looking away from the sludge villain. 

“Y-yes, I’ve got these soda bottles.” All Might answered uncertainty. This would easily slide as a case of self defense on the child’s part, but what the hell?

“Perfect.” Izuku mumbled, finally turning to look.

“W-wait, All Might?” He shrieked.

Great eye kid. Detective of the century.” The sludge villain hissed. He was ignored.

“Yes! It is i! Please direct the villain into these bottles.” All Might instructed. It was done almost instantly, leaving All Might fumbling with the caps.

The bottles were clipped onto his belt, and he turned to the child before him to see Izuku fumbling with a notebook and a pen.

“Ah! You would like an autograph? Hand it over, quickly though!” All Might boomed. He could taste the copper already, time was wasting.

He nearly shoved the book back into Izuku’s hands. “Alright, goodbye now!”

“Wait!” Izuku shrieked. And suddenly, All Might had a tag-along to his flight.

“Hold on tight, and put your head down!” All Might shouted. Izuku nodded and held a little tighter.

With the grace of an acrobat, All Might landed on a building one-legged and promptly shook Izuku off his leg.

“Young man, what were you thinking?!” 

“I wasn’t!”

“Well, as it currently stands, I must get this villain to the proper authorities. So, I-”

All Might was far from mad, just exasperated and panicked. Izuku could tell, but he didn’t know why the symbol of peace was panicking. He didn’t panic even in the most grueling of fights. 

“Wait!” Izuku shouted. All Might paused, and met Izuku with a level gaze.

And what could Izuku say? “Sorry sir, but you seem scared”? No, that wouldn’t get him anywhere. So he fell onto an old question he’d had.

“Could someone with- with a-...”

But he wasn’t brave enough for that either. How could he ask if a villains quirk could make it in the hero industry if he didn’t even legally have it?

“N-nevermind, I know-”

Smoke billowed around All Might’s form, leaving a skeleton in his place.

“Uh… Sir, are you…?”

“I’m fine, young man. Just old wounds. You don’t seem too surprised, though.”

“Well uh- you looked panicked when you were saving me and… I figured there was a reason? This is probably it.”

All Might paused, trying to think of what to say. Did his persona slip, or was this child one of the rare few to see things other than the smile?

Suddenly, there was blood, and frankly All Might was too worn out to do anything more than let it run as it desired.

Izuku yelped, watching it splatter. “Th-That must be a lot of internal damage. Are you sure you’re fit to be working?”

“I’m certain, young man. I had an incident with a villain years ago and haven’t been quite right since.”

“Uhm… Was it Toxic Chainsaw? After that fight you stopped patrolling nearly as much, and there was your unusually long recovery period...”

“I- there were other things that day, and it all totaled up.” All Might lied.

How should he handle this? He didn’t think there was a good answer. He watched the kid nod and eye his left side, the side where he was injured. What could this kid figure out?

“Listen, I kn-”

“Your secret is safe with me All Might. I just… This is a lot to take in.”

This kid was really something else. 

“Thank you. Well… Your question? You had one, right? After that, I need to go.”

“I was covering because… You don’t ask the pillar of our society why he looks terrified. Besides, I know my answer.”

“Well, then I’ll take my leave. Stay safe kid.”

“Don’t worry.”

Izuku was left to stare at his hands idly. He could probably make it as a hero as long as he got through the exam, but if the truth was known… He’d be hated, at best.

All Might descended the stairs like a normal person, idly checking his belt for the soda bottles.

And they were… n’t… oh no. No.

~~

Katsuki ignored his idiot lackies, fuming. Where did Midoriya get off, being such a waffle brain about how he was liked by Paralysis Bitch?

Screw that, where did Izuku get off interfering with his life everyday? Standing so smug, playing referee to every fight he could. Standing before other kids like he wasn’t certain how he got there but wasn’t included to leave, arms stretched wide to protect whoever was behind him.

Katsuki hated that look.

He turned at his usual place, giving a grunt to the group in place of a goodbye.

And quietly, he made his way home. He didn’t need that idiot. Midoriya could stand on his own, without help.

“Oh finally, a new puppet. Be a dear and hold still, I can’t afford to be caught again.” A voice spoke.

And then hell. What the fuck was this goop and why was it on him? He lit off sparks, but they did nothing to the slime monster.

“Another good quirk. But It sure is drawing attention…”

Katsuki couldn’t breathe. And when he opened his mouth that disgusting slime would creep in and block him anyways. Slime crept up his nose regardless.

Katsuki kept lighting explosions, because that was all he could do. He could vaguely see heroes any time he dared to open his eyes, but they all stood there. Watching.

He lurched forward for seemingly no reason.

And suddenly, he could see Midoriya running towards him. Launching the backpack forward like he didn’t have all the power in the world.

Slime cleared away from his mouth. 

“What the hell are you doing?!”

“You looked like you needed help!” The bastard shouted, dragging Katsuki out with telekinesis.

“Do not fear, for I am here!” All Might shouted. Katsuki should be excited, but there Midoriya stood, checking for wounds before even the paramedics could make it over.

He watched as Midoriya weaseled away without a single word, avoiding the irritated heroes.

“Leave him alone! He did more than you fuckers.” Katsuki shouted. A few had the decency to look ashamed.

All Might was gone by the time they left Katsuki alone.

~~

“Ass-waffle!” Bakugo shouted. Oh god…

“Yes?” Izuku answered sweetly.

“Why’d you do that?!”

“You needed help!”

“You couldn’t have just dragged me out of that?!” 

“I tried! But unless I wanted to launch you out at breakneck speeds you were too stuck. I had to make an opening first.”

“So lift the bastard and divide him up until I drop out.”

“First off, no dropping. Fuck no. Second, that takes too much time and focus, you could’ve suffocated by then. The heroes could’ve stopped me by then.”

“Then-”

“Piss off! I saved your life, and if all you’re going to do is berate me for it then I’ll leave you to die next time.”

Bakugo starred, horror flashing deep in his eyes. It quickly turned to anger, and he huffed and stomped away.

Izuku watched, stock still. He didn’t even jump as All Might spoke.

“That didn’t seem pleasant.”

“It wasn’t.”

“Do you know what you were thinking when you ran out to save him?”

“I wasn’t. I just moved.”

All Might nodded knowingly. “That’s how some of the best heroes start. Are you planning to be one?”

“I’m going to apply to UA, and a couple other hero schools.”

“That’s great. What’s your name young man?”

“Midoriya Izuku.”

“Well, young Midoriya. Today, you inspired me into action when I thought I had nothing left to give. Thank you.”

“There’s really nothing to thank me for. I just-”

“You saved someone while I and others stood by. You’re already a better hero than some licensed ones I know.”

Izuku paused to toy with his bag straps. 

“Doesn’t really feel like it. I’m just a kid who thought fast on his feet.”

“Don’t put yourself down like that.” All Might advised, his tone heavy. “Even if it wasn’t advisable, you did a very good thing today by doing something as simple as throwing a backpack and using your quirk a bit.”

All Might took a deep breath in to steel himself. Maybe it was bad to rush, but this already felt right. Midoriya had a heart of gold and the planning skills to match.

“I’d like to help you become a hero.”

“... What?”

“It will be challenging! But if you’ll accept, I’d like to help you before the exams. If you’ll agree to it, we’ll set up a time and location to meet!”

It wasn’t time to talk about One for All. All Might still had the slightest of misgivings, and wanted to know who he was selecting first. The top of the building was still fresh in his mind, as was finding young Midoriya with the sludge villain already incapacitated. 

“I- Of course, of course, just let me give you my phone number!” He shrieked, fumbling with his bag.

“The flower.” Izuku realized suddenly, completely forgetting about getting a pen and paper from his bag.

“The… flower?”

“An origami flower.” Izuku briefly explained, reaching in. He pulled it out and found it to be squished, but ultimately fine.

“Seems a little complex to make.”

“I think it’s mostly just a time sink.” Izuku muttered. He twitched as he remembered his original intent, and almost immediately All Might had a slip with a number in his hands.

“I’ve gotta go, my mom will be worried by now!” Izuku shouted, already running away.

All Might reflected as he memorized the number. What a strange child.

~~

Izuku placed the flower ball amongst the origami rabbits and picked up his ringing phone.

“Izuku.” His father greeted.

“Hi dad.” He replied quietly.

“You’re on the news.”

‘I… ah… I reacted before I thought.”

“Clearly. I’m proud of you though, you were the only one there to take action.”

“I couldn’t let Bakugo-san just die. I do wish the slime villain was caught afterwards, he could be out terrorizing more people like he did with Bakugo-san and-”

Shit.

“And…?”

“Me. He got to me first on my way home from school, though I picked him up with hydrokinesis and a hero attempted to contain him in some bottles.” Izuku forced himself to mutter. “Must not have been very well secured.”

“... Clearly. Thank you for telling me. I have to go though, I’ll call you soon.” His dad promised, hanging up.

Izuku got the feeling that there was no place on earth for the slime villain to hide now, and he wasn’t sure how he felt about that.

Chapter Text

“So… we’re here because…?”

“You are going to train by picking up trash. Community service is an important part of heroism afterall!.”

Izuku carefully eyed the beach. “And where am I to be putting this trash?”

“In my truck! Whenever it is full, I will take it to the proper location to be disposed of.”

With a sigh, Izuku turned towards the nearest heap. He wanted it picked up? It’ll be picked up.

Trash floated to the truck instantly, and he watched All Might’s expression fall as the bed was completely filled.

“I… meant for you to physically pick it up.”

“... Ever heard of tinnitus?”

All Might looked extremely embarrassed. “Here I… I think this would be best explained by letting you view the plan I made for a routine.”

Izuku was handed a wad paper, opened to reveal the supposed plan.

“This absolutely does not take into account what my body type is actually suited for. Who let you be a trainer?” He questioned, flipping through the packet.

“You did, my boy.”

“... Touche.” 

“Be that as it may, you’re going to have to be strong to make it through UA!”

“... No? I mean it’s great to have a bit of physical strength, but that isn’t the point of UA in the slightest.”

All Might could feel the blood drain from his face. Did he admit to One for All now, or did he lie?

“I- I have a plan, do not worry!”

“Not a good one. Besides, if it’s strength you’re worried about…”

Izuku walked over to a mostly intact refrigerator and prepared.

In several swift motions (and the only enhancement quirk he had) he lifted it overhead and marched to the truck.

He shouldn’t have done that, if his body was correct in its tellings. But it was very satisfying to see All Might watch in amazement.

“Were it not for my concern for your health I would’ve hit you with it for suggesting this be my training regimine.” Izuku informed with the utmost of deadpan.

“You say that, but there you were, doing the routine.”

“To prove a point. I’m already strong, and having a gross amount of excess strength is not needed or even helpful for UA. So unless you have something to tell me that justifies your training plan, I have no intention of following that.”

All Might hesitated.

“But… I am open to actually, y’know, sitting down and talking with you about a plan, preferably one that happens in a gym. Cleaning the beach could be quirk training.”

All Might would have to take it if he wanted Midoriya to see this through to the end.

~~

All Might felt that he did not get nearly enough strength focus on that plan, but he did have to admit it was a lot more than what his potential protegee would’ve had otherwise.

And he had to admit, Midoriya was a lot stronger than he looked. There were no truly impressive feats aside from the fridge, but All Might watched everyday as Midoriya physically shifted trash on occasion so that lifting with telekinesis wouldn’t cause the collapse of a pile.

It seemed to be on the paranoid side, but Midoriya insisted that a falling mountain of trash would be bad news for anyone’s health, and All Might couldn’t dis agree.

All Might watched how Midoriya did a lot of things. Midoriya knew where almost everything was located at all times, he knew what All Might was doing at all times, and every day Midoriya would check his bag to make sure the origami hadn’t been crushed in the meantime.

There was a lot else to focus on, obviously, but the origami seemed to mean something. It stuck in All Might’s mind and wouldn’t leave him alone.

It was usually a flower of some sort, but sometimes it was an animal. All sorts of different colors and patterns of paper would appear, all well selected to compliment what had been made.

Midoriya had implied that it wasn’t him making it, but then who was? Why did he have a new one every day, sometimes two?

“Everyday, you have a new origami.” All Might finally mentioned. Midoriya turned to him, wide-eyed.

“Yeah, and?”

“I’m a little curious! You’ve mentioned that someone gives them to you, but who?”

Why. Why was what he was asking, and he knew Midoriya was intelligent enough to pick up on that.

“A girl in my class does. I… There’s nothing to tease over, but we are very good friends.” Midoriya informed firmly.

“That seems a little-”

“I’m aware. She’s just… grateful, I guess.”

“For what, my boy?”

Midoriya looked visibly conflicted.

“When we were six, almost seven, some friends of mine invited her to play. Something was wrong with the entire situation, and I didn’t participate. I was right, they’d baited her and were going to give her hell for having what they called a “villains quirk”. So I sided with her and made them stop.”

Midoriya looked… disappointed. Was he disappointed in his classmates?

“The school wasn’t pleased, but I did what was right. It was the first time but not the last time I ran bullies off, and ever since the second time she’s given me origami in thanks.”

“It seems you already have a fan of your work then!”

Midoriya smiled. It wasn’t bright like usual, but filled to the brim with something genuine that All Might couldn’t quite place.

“I suppose I do.”

~~

The training was nice enough, in Izuku’s opinion. 

Sure, All Might was a little too insistent on muscle training, but otherwise he did have a good grasp of what was required for regiments to work.

But what would always interest Izuku was the quirk training. Permission to lift things around on a large scale as much as he wanted? It was a blessing for his struggle to keep up with his body's demands.

It was never horrible when it started, but he’d turned into an anxious mess more than once because he’d had to quit training to focus on other things.

A small ache in his chest would always turn to an intense crushing feeling, a twitch in his hands would turn into subtle shakes, and once- in his most extreme example- he’d gotten exceedingly paranoid about every flickering shadow as it went on.

Izuku did not do well with doing nothing, and he couldn’t even claim it was how he was raised.

Heroism would be the perfect job for him. He’d have a license to save people and use his quirk, his two most favorite things.

Izuku reflected as he shifted the latest trash heap around. Should he get a hobby?

Well, he had one. Watching heroes and breaking them down in his notebooks. He’d been doing that since after his father got hospitalized, in part to fill the time. But it might be a good idea to take up something like knitting, something that wasn’t related to being a hero or training.

 Maybe he could use telekinesis on the needles and- no, that’d make it training related.

Oh well. He’d think about it later.

~~

“Careful young Midoriya!” All Might shouted on reflex as Izuku went to shift garbage.

“Don’t worry!” He called back, a habit now.

If he picked much up off of this pile then the whole thing would tip over, but how would he stabilize it?

The tower was tall and had a lot of space inside, meaning there was a little room for error and a lot of trash to fall on top of him if he fucked up. Izuku pushed away the fear and got to work.

Maybe if he moved that microwave a bit to the left, and the mixer back about a centimeter-

The pile groaned, and began listing towards Izuku. 

Shit, fuck, fridge forward and dresser to the right-

It was time to run like hell five seconds ago. But still he tried, there was nothing to prove by being crushed by trash- besides his idiocy.

All All Might heard was a crash and a strangled yelp.

But he saw an entire trash plie blast away, back into the ocean, at speeds well over two hundred kilometers per hour. In the epicenter was Izuku, laying on the ground.

“Young man, are you-”

“I’m alright, I’m alright! Just give me time, I nearly had a fridge crush me. Time, just some time.” Izuku babbled.

He had a fridge crush him.

Izuku didn’t even want to look down. He knew the fridge was gone but he didn’t want to look. Regeneration would work, he just needed time .

“Young Midoriya, are you all right?”

No, and he didn’t want to look down.

“P-peachy. Just give me time.”

All Might could see Izuku breathing heavily, he could see tears running like a faucet, the thousand mile stare Izuku was slipping into.

“I don’t think you are.”

No, no, no, this is not what he needed.

“Physically I am, it’s just…”

What was a good lie?

“When I was small I got hit by a car, and right now… well, fridge, car, what’s the difference? Big hunk of metal zooming towards me either way.”

“Oh. I uh… All right. Take your time and breathe.”

Izuku could tell his bones weren’t in great shape. It hadn’t happened often, but he knew what broken bones felt like. He did not want to know what an x-ray of his pelvis would look like.

He knew the pain would fade, so he made himself ignore it. The sky was very nice right then.

It felt like an eternity, and it must’ve been for All Might to ask “How are you holding up?”

“Better.”

That was the truth. Izuku could probably walk now, though not without pain.

“I’d make the comment that I should be over it by now, but that’s not how trama works.” Izuku added, hoping to make the act more believable.

“Certainly.”

“For what it’s worth, I’m not actually scared of cars. Or fridges. But it hit a little too well on unpleasant memories.”

Izuku really wished that he was telling the truth. He didn’t even remember the accident. But if he’d been brought to a hospital, a doctor would’ve noticed something abnormal. 

What that doctor noticed was the concern. if was the lack of damage caused by a falling fridge, he would’ve walked away fine. But how fast Izuku healed from broken bones would raise way too many questions, and he wouldn’t take the risk if he could help it.

“I know the feeling.” All Might finally agreed.

“I think… I think I’m done for today.” Izuku decided. All Might readily agreed.

Chapter Text

There were some days where Izuku would wake up and he would know something was going to happen. It was a sixth sense of his.

He’d woken up feeling it the day the call about his dad came in, the day Bakugo stopped talking to him, and the day the fridge fell on him. He’d learned to trust his feelings after the fridge.

Bakugo got bullets stared into him, and Izuku received bullets in equal measure. Bakugo seemed exceedingly displeased at the idea of Izuku working harder than him to get into UA, but he hadn’t said anything. Maybe today was the day Bakugo’s temper would boil over.

But it wasn’t, and he gave Ishii his brightest smile when she gave him the origami for the day.

So maybe the equipment would malfunction at the gym. Izuku watched everything with the intensity of a supernova. Nothing escaped his notice.

“You seem off today, young man.”

“Something’s going to happen.”

“Er… What?”

“Call it a sixth sense. Sometimes I just wake up knowing something is going to go wrong, big time. Happened the day of the fridge, too.”

“That…”

“Trust me or don’t, make your choice.”

“I trust you.”

“I- wait, what?”

All Might beamed at him, the other members barely paying attention to the skeleton man.

“You learn to trust your instincts as a hero. How about we finish the day and skip the beach?”

Izuku had to pause and think, and decided to give All Might a lopsided grin and a tilt of the head. “What if sending me home early allows it to happen?”

He could tell he just greatly upset All Might.

“I’m joking, mind you. I think that sounds good.” Izuku reassured. 

So they ended early, and parted ways. Izuku was left staring down the street, mapping out the fastest route home. He didn’t usually leave from the gym.

Slowly but steadily, he made his way. And the feeling peaked.

Izuku scanned the street but found nothing. No wild cars, no drunk idiots, no shouting from afar. Nothing, the street was essentially empty.

Right up until an arm snaked around his torso and pulled him into the shadowy alley. “You look rich.” A man purred.

And that man didn’t get to do anything else. Izuku immediately threw a punch, and down the man went.

But that didn’t mean he was down for good, and with a snarl a knife whipped out and Izuku was lunged at.

Briefly pinned, Izuku grabbed the first piece of solid rubbish he could and cracked the man in the head, He didn’t give the man the chance to gain his bearings.

There weren’t a lot of hits, but Izuku could feel a new problem from within. All of his quirks were acting up from the adrenaline. Everything .

If he didn’t get out now, there would be fire and ice and electricity and god knows what else would come out to play.

But even as he began to scuttle away the man shifted, and without thinking Izuku gave a harsh slap and bolted to the best of his abilities.

He ran, and ran, and then ran a bit more, tucking his hands to where they couldn’t accidentally touch anyone- or even move, period. All he could hear was the thundering of his own footsteps.

 And suddenly he was in his living room, tears running down his face and smoke billowing out his mouth, with no idea where to go from there.

His mom had mentioned staying at the office late today to work more on her newest article, so he was all alone.

All alone with blood covered hands and a familiar hum going through him. He needed to wash up, now.

Izuku watched the red drain away as the water drummed against his hands. The shock of it all made the water seem deafening.

But he had a bigger problem than the noise or even the blood.

The hum- he knew that hum. It was the one he’d gotten from Sparks, from Telekinesis, from Flamethrower. It wasn’t a sound, but a feeling. The slight vibration in his body of All for One adjusting to a new quirk.

He could still taste Flamethrower’s smoke. It liked to act up when he was too shaken for his own good, but from what Izuku could tell his dad hadn’t dealt with that.

There was really only one person to call.

“Izuku? Please tell me this isn’t an emergency.”

“I fucked up.”

“Shit. Breathe, and-”

“He’s alive, the mugger, probably. But I took it, I got too shaken and-”

“Breathe. It’s not your fault.” His dad commanded, his voice smooth as silk. Izuku knew that voice, it was the one that didn’t let him ask where his father got the quirks.

And even though he hated it, it was what he needed to hear. Some of the stress faded away.

“That voice. Stop it. Even if it’s true that’s not the problem here.” Izuku commanded, fighting the calming effect. His dad coughed awkwardly.

Izuku’s free hand was shaking under the water. He should turn that off.

“I’m covered in blood and I took someone’s quirk, I’m-”

“What, is he going to say he was mugging a kid and suddenly it doesn’t work anymore? Even if he does, you need to breathe .”

His voice wasn’t laced with that damned quirk at least.

“He can lie pretty easily, and-”

“Stop. Breathe. I want thirty seconds before you talk again.”

Alright, fine. Izuku aggressively turned the water off in the pause, left with only silence.

“Are you better?”

It startled him. Noises were still being too loud.

“No.” Izuku informed flatly. 

“Alright then, let’s start making it better. First up; Cold water helps remove blood from clothing. Get the blue bucket from the hallway closet and fill it, stick whatever’s covered in. Get new clothes.”

“Alright.”

“You’re getting the bucket?”

“I’ve got it.”

“Fill it.”

“Mhm.” Izuku voiced, turning the water on.

“Now, while it fills, access yourself quick. What’s blood covered?”

There was just some on his shirt, and he told his father that. 

“Alright. Put it in, turn the water off. Make sure it’s submerged and then get a new shirt.”

“And in the meantime?”

“You’re not hurt?”

“No.”

“Check.”

“Even if I was, it would’ve healed by now.”

“Check. Affirm to yourself that you are physically intact.”

And even though it felt slightly silly, Izuku followed the instruction. He was one hundred percent intact.

“Alright, that’s done. I am defacto intacto.” Izuku informed, switching to english just for the joke.

It elicited a loud snort from his dad.

“Alright Izuku, now we figure out what you took.”

Izuku was still shaking slightly, and everything was still too loud.

“Eugh, might’ve helped if I’d seen him use it at all. But.. it feels really passive? Don’t ask how I can tell.”

It was in how fast the hum was dying down. It was in the lack of a new sense at the back of his mind.

“Passive? Are you noticing anything different about the world right now?”

“No? Everything sounds the same, feels the same, and looks the same.”

“Go through everything since you took the unknown quirk. Make certain.”

“Fine, and lower your volume a bit. You’re going to deafen me.”

He paused and took deep breaths, preparing to relive the past however long.

Wait.

“Before I start reflecting, please tell me I didn’t just tell you to quiet down when you were perfectly normal.”

“You did.”

“That… It could be stress, but everything has been loud.”

“It could be stress. Perhaps you’ll be able to tell better once you’ve calmed down?”

“Probably.” Izuku admitted.

His dad only hummed in response.

“I… It’s going to be awhile before I’m calm. I should hang up and stuff the shirt in the washer. Thank you.”

“No problem, Izuku. You’re only human, and needed help to deal with it properly.”

Izuku heard a different message. He heard “This was bound to happen and I’m the only one who you can turn to.”

“Goodbye.” Izuku whispered.

“Goodbye.” His father hummed pleasantly, hanging up on his own accord.

Did Izuku put a shirt on? No. He should fix that. But first…

 

Midoriya Izuku: So I got mugged on the way home.

All Might: Oh no… You’re alright, I take it?

Midoriya: Physically, yes. Just a bit shaken up.

All Might: To be expected. Are you with police?

 

Shit .

 

Midoriya Izuku: They’re releasing me soon. Nothing was taken and no quirks were used, and the guy’s long gone, so it’s pretty open and shut.

All Might: Take it easy for today. Do something you find relaxing.

Midoriya Izuku: Don’t worry.

All Might: I will regardless. You seem to be a magnet for trouble.

 

Izuku had to snort.

 

Midoriya Izuku: You sound like my parents.

All Might: Eat your vegetables and brush your teeth young man, and make sure to go to bed at a reasonable time.

All Might: Also, wash behind your ears.

 

Izuku couldn’t laugh yet, but he was smiling pretty hard.

 

Midoriya: Thanks, I needed that. I should go though, my mom will be here soon.

 

He needed to get the rest of the blood off of his fingers too.

 

All Might: Take care.

 

Izuku didn’t reply, but instead texted someone else.

 

Midoriya Izuku: Any idea where mom would keep the hydrogen peroxide? The blood is staying caked near my fingernails.

Midoriya Hisashi: Check under the bathroom sink, then try the cabinet. It should be in there somewhere.

~~

The next day All Might had an announcement to make, and Izuku wished he’d be slightly more quiet.

But what would he say? Parading the headache card around constantly would just raise health concerns.

“Are you ready young man?”

“You’re killing me, here.”

All Might laughed from atop his trash pile, muscle form activated. Four months and half the beach in, there was still a lot to go.

“Well, today I am going to tell you something very important!”

“Yeah, I figured that out pretty quickly.”

“Tone the snark down.” All Might instructed flatly.

“Yessir.” 

“So, I’m sure you’ve wondered why we’re doing all of this! What master plan do I have laying just beyond the guise of cleaning and exercise?”

“I have nothing nice to say, so just go on.”

“Well, young Midoriya, I have selected you for something.”

Izuku couldn’t help the quiet “No shit” that slipped out.

“The public has long since wondered about my quirk, correct?”

“Indeed. There are many theory pieces about it, and it’s progressed to a point where things questioning your quirk aren’t necessarily there to legitimately do so, and rather they’re think pieces on the nature of quirks and how unreliable our categorizations can be. They also tend to talk about other heroes now in order to address how little we often know about the real mechanics behind what they use, even if it’s so no villains can devise a counter.”

All Might didn’t know what to say. Did he even breathe during that?

“I err… Correct! Long since contested!” All Might boomed, trying to cover his bafflement.

All Might took a breath in to steel himself.

“The truth behind my quirk is that it’s most akin to a torch passed between generations. It started as a simple pool of energy from one man that could be passed, and fused to the quirks of whoever held it. The pool has grown immensely since then.”

“And this has to do with me because?”

Not the reaction All Might expected, but it was the perfect set up to drop the big bomb.

“You would be the perfect hero, young Midoriya! I am-”

Poof, skeletal form.

Clearly not in top form anymore, and have been searching for a while. I found you with the slime villain and you quickly proved how selfless you were, but I decided to spend more time with you before I made such a life changing decision.”

All Might quickly put the muscle form back up. He liked his theatrics.

Realization was starting to show on his face, Izuku could feel it.

“You are selfless and kind, and even your classmate thinks so! I would be happy to impart One for All onto you.”

“I-I… what… how does-”

“There is a slight catch.” All Might sighed, sliding down from the heap. “One for All is so powerful that it requires a baseline strength in order to not destroy its user. It’s why I was so insistent on strength conditioning.”

“And when were you planning to hand this over, before I thoroughly ruined that training?”

Izuku could taste smoke, but he needed to breathe . His father’s words echoed back to him. Breathe, breathe, breath, he would be fine .

“Once you cleared the beach!”

“And just how fast did you think I’d clear this place?”

“You should’ve had just enough time to receive it before the exams, by my estimate.”

He could feel the smoke curl from his lips. He really hoped All Might wouldn’t notice it, that’d be even worse.

“So let me get this straight… You were going to give a, by your understanding, highly untrained teenager a quirk that had the power to tear him limb from limb just before a high stress physical exam with little to no training?”

“Er…”

“Hey, how sturdy are you in that form?”

“Very! But that shouldn’t be rele-”

All Might got nailed with a flying microwave.

Dumbass . Consider that your reckoning.” 

“Young man… Perhaps-”

Izuku knew smoke was still curling around his lips, and it was starting to push itself out his nose. He needed to go, now.

“I just.. This is a lot and- and I need to think. It’s a big responsibility and-”

He was backing away, trying to escape. He needed to go.

“And I’m just a kid, and-”

“Young Midoriya, please-”

“I’m sorry.”

Izuku could feel the tears drip down as he backed away like a caged animal.

And he was running again, for the second day in a row. Maybe All Might thought it would be a boost after yesterday, but the man knew so little .

Izuku could feel his hands buzz and he ran faster. He knew a lot of people were giving him tart looks as he zoomed by but Izuku just tucked his hands close to his body and ran faster.

His mom could already be home, so the house wasn’t a good place to run to.

The desk assistant didn’t even look up as he ran past, and Izuku was already pulling out the keys to the room he needed.

With the force of all his panic he opened and shut his training room in record time, slamming his back against the door and sliding down.

With a half hearted hack he spat up a few embers, letting them lay on the fire proof flooring.

He needed to breathe.

He could call-

No. Nope. Not again, he didn’t want to call his dad.

But who was left? Who could he turn to?

He was on the verge of hyperventilating and yet he couldn’t bring himself to call for help.

Pathetic.

Time ticked away, and Izuku slowly pushed the fear away. Or was it down? It didn’t matter right then. The fear was leaving.

Izuku was left with some clarity once most of it was gone. He knew All Might didn’t mean to panic him, and he knew that this was technically a great honor.

But he could still hear everything at a volume he shouldn’t, and it wasn’t going to be that simple for him.

Would it ever be simple for him?

~~

All Might sat outside the gym, drinking hot chocolate. 

Would Midoriya show up today? He’d seemed so shaken when told the truth, and then he’d run.

But the only thing All Might could do was wait for Midoriya to contact him. Midoriya was late to the gym already, and probably wasn’t going to show up.

Maybe he should’ve been honest from the start.

But no, he couldn’t sit there and wish for different. What happened, happened. 

“H-hi.” A voice called softly. He knew that voice.

“Young man, you-”

“Yeah, I’m... “

Midoriya took a deep breath in, and seemed to lose it.

“I am absolutely terrified out of my goddamn mind, and you are a terrible trainer.” Midoriya informed flatly.

“I.. I’m sorry, I didn’t think…”

“I could guess that, oddly enough.”

His tone was as dry as it was acidic. 

“Are you sure you want me to be the one? I’m… me.”

All Might couldn’t comprehend the implications.

“Exactly. You’re you. You’re kind and brave. If you don’t believe me , then take the origami out of your bag.”

Midoriya gave him an odd look, like All Might was missing something obvious that would change his opinion.

“I…”

Midoriya gave a click of his tongue and seemed to force himself to relax.

“Let’s go do some strength training.”

All Might couldn’t help the smile that spread across his face. 

~~

He was a coward of the highest caliber, Izuku concluded.

He couldn’t say it. He couldn’t say “My quirk is Random Manifestation” when standing in front of All Might, let alone say that it was All for One.

Izuku wanted to give even the semblance of truth they’d made up for legal paperwork. But the fear ran too deep.

It took years of cumulative realizations, but Izuku had long since understood why his father had trained him to lie. 

People were simultaneously dumber and smarter than what others gave them credit for. They’d notice something wrong but promise themselves that it was nothing. But if one mentioned something, then another would agree, and then possibly another, and another…

Izuku would be forced into questions that he couldn’t give answers for. There were a lot of holes with Random Manifestation that anyone half educated in quirks could pick at.

 It was better to have the first lie so that when it peeled back he could give them an ‘answer’. Once people got the feeling of “knowing” what it was, they’d probably leave him alone.

But what good was his answer when he couldn’t tell it to anyone?

And yet there was a better question he hid behind those worries: why he was going along with the number one’s plan for him at all? 

If he could manage to ask without dying halfway through, he could probably ask his father for a much stronger strength enhancement than what he presently had. 

Maybe if he had more common sense he’d be able to come to terms with every reason it was a bad idea to go along with All Might. Every agonizing reason that was the root of most of his problems to begin with.

But maybe he wanted to pay All Might back for all the time and effort already spent on him. 

Maybe it was because All Might was the first person, who wasn’t obligated nor owed him anything, who’d deigned to spend such time on him.

Maybe he just wanted to believe just like All Might did- irregardless of what All Might actually knew- that he could make it as a hero, that he was a good person.

Chapter Text

Izuku had a plan.

It was the most inconsequential of plans. It meant absolutely nothing long term and was not necessary in any capacity.

But he wanted to do it. Even as he meticulously shifted his origami collection around to showcase everything equally, he was determined. Cheap disposable camera in hand, he kept at it.

Even as he looked up tutorials for bracelets designs, trying to find one that’d finally fit what he wanted, he kept at it.

Even as he held a fucking soldering iron and asked his dad for a loan on a specific quirk he kept at it.

He kind of just had to buy a book for the last one though. There wasn’t much special he could do for that.

It was all for his friends. Sure, they were at arms length most of the time, but he owed them a good send-off for being so nice to him.

Nobody else would give them one, not with the grab bag of “villains quirks” and bad reputations for lack of control over quirks.

~~

It was the school’s last official day before it let out. Everyone around him was moaning about having to do the highschool exams. Bakugo still refused to acknowledge him.

But that didn’t really concern Izuku right then. Sure, the UA exam was in a few days, but his plan was essentially done. There was just one last thing.

But as he opened his locker, origami fell out. So much of it, origami of all different flowers and animals spilling onto the floor. Ishii had her own plans it seemed.

Izuku carefully gathered it all up. Nobody would care if he kept it around his desk, right? He was already strange by their standards, closing the year by being a walking origami pile wouldn’t change anything.

But no, he’d simply exacerbated a problem. For his desk was already covered in origami, and he was presently about to add his locker’s worth of it to the already massive pile.

He’d claim it was a forest due to the variety, if it wasn’t for the fact it was just a straight up pile . He moved scores of flowers to sort of make way for the plie that’d been in his locker.

Sort of. There was too much origami to clear the desk. At all. The pile essentially didn’t even leave a seat for him to sit on. Hell, it pretty much took over the adjacent desks.

Izuku settled on levitating up all the origami and sitting at his desk like he most certainly wasn’t sitting in a sea of floating origami.

The teacher shot him a dirty look upon entering. 

“And just why exactly do you have all that?” The teacher questioned sourly.

“Found it.”

“You found all that origami?”

“Yes.”

The teacher seemed to evaluate the hassle of telling Izuku to do something with the origami that wasn’t levitating it near the ceiling or in a tight square around himself, and decided that it was too much work for the last day of school.

“Make sure you don’t bother anyone.” He was told with an incredibly sour look.

Izuku assured the teacher that he would never do such a thing, and the day proceeded normally. The only acknowledgement was the sour looks sent to Ishii by the teacher, given wherever she giggled at the swarm around Izuku.

What could she say? Izuku sitting stoically in a colorful array of origami was a sight to see.

And right as the bell for lunch rang she bounced right up to him, the origami parting to make way just for her. Both of them pointedly ignored the equally pointed look the teacher was giving them.

“LIke your surprise? I’ve been working on it for a while now.”

“I can see that! How much is in here?! You must’ve made a thousand!”

“Damn near! There’s eighty kinds of origami in there, and ten of each!”

Shii-chan.

“Midori-kun!” Ishii chirped back, hugging Izuku.

The poor idiot didn’t know how to react, and Ishii just knew he was already tearing up, possibly crying. 

“Hurry up! There’s food to be eating!” Miura shouted, popping her head into the classroom. It was essentially empty at that point, just Ishii, Izuku, the very ignored teacher, and their intruder.

“Yeah yeah, none of your are going to outdo me though!”

What the fuck do you people have planed?

“We’ve decided to do it after school, since otherwise you’ll have ours plus Shii-chan’s to drag around.”

“The HELL are you people giving me?”

“Wait and see!” Ishii shouted, dragging Izuku to lunch.

Izuku made certain to inform everyone that he was well aware that they had a plan, to which they all laughed and told him to wait.

Ishii watched Izuku throughout the rest of their classes. Not in a creepy way, but still a tick above general observation.

Izuku was already twitchy and paranoid at the prospect of the end of the day, but when wasn’t he paranoid anymore?

Even before the strange training he’d started doing over the last ten months, Izuku was a mess.

A very together mess, but Ishii wouldn’t call Izuku completely stable. He could lie through his teeth like nobody else, he was always such a help but took none himself, and he never spoke about himself. 

For years, Ishii could see the way Izuku would tug at his sleeves and claim everything was alright, even as his fingers twitched and scanned the room for the nth time. He wouldn’t talk about telekinesis much despite its power, nor speak of his mother or father, and when he got particularly twitchy for no seeming reason it’d only make it worse to bring it up.

She wondered sometimes if he knew they knew something wasn’t fully right. Afterall, it’d take someone who had empathy for them- not just sympathy- to go to the lengths he did to make their little group feel like people.

That, or he was an angel sent to protect people like them.

As the bell rang, Ishii shoved those thoughts away. Today would be happy. Everyone was going to go their separate ways after today, so the last day needed to be nice.

“Ready?” Ishii asked, already dragging Izuku.

“No.”

“Well too bad.”

To the school yard. Nobody would yell at them for hanging around it on their last day.

Ota grinned as he spotted Izuku and pulled a party popper as soon as Izuku was in full view.

“What, you don’t have the rest of them in on that?”

“Nah. They didn’t want to risk the trouble from the school. But we’re not their students anymore, so screw that noise.”

“I’m sure they could punish you if they wanted to.” Miura sighed, taking a slightly sour tone.

“Don’t be like that, O-chan just wants to make the last day special.” Wada insisted.

“We’re making it special already. Everyone got what they worked on?” Ishii asked.

“Wait-”

“Yes, and never. O-chan, get the tie out.” Miura commanded.

“The what?

“A tie! The tackiest tie in existence, but a tie!” Ota chirped, bringing it out. A mail tie was bought out. Not mail as in a letter, but mail as in chanimail. An altered kind of chainmail, but the small and tightly placed diamonds of metal shifting on whatever base they’d used was unmistakable to Izuku.

“That is- oh my- you guys?? Mi-chan??”

“Correct! Ota helped me with attaching the metal to the cloth so they’d never fall off, so it’s both our gifts.”

Miura could control metal, but had gotten a bad reputation she couldn’t live down because getting upset tended to make (metal) things explode. Violently. Izuku himself had picked slivers of metal out of his skin before and could confirm that it wasn’t pleasant.

“It’s clip on, because you cannot tie a tie to save your life. Also, tying metal wouldn’t work.” Ota added helpfully.

“Where would I wear this though?” 

“At UA! They can’t be that much of hardasses about the dress code. Not when they let their girls pick… well, those costumes.” Miura responded.

“Guys, I-”

“Don’t forget about me! I have something!” Wada shouted. 

“Alright, alright. What are you going to stop my heart with?”

“I’m not that drastic! I just got you a psychology book, because that seems right up your alley. That, and I can’t control metal, am not satantically determined to make thing period, and am not one textbook away from a degree in chemical engineering.” 

“Study more and you might.” Ota retorted.

“Doubt it.” Wada laughed, handing the book to Izuku.

“Guys, I-”

“And you already have my gift! The origami!” Ishii shouted.

“Guys I… This is awkward, because I planned something for each of you too.”

Everyone started shouting.

“Calm down! I’m giving you guys your things whether you like it or not.” Izuku huffed.

“Mi-chan.” Izuku called, digging a bracelet from his pocket.

“Certainly not up to par with what you can make, but it’s in return for all the odds and ends you’ve made for me. It’s cloth.”

“So you can’t destroy it if you get upset.” Was unspoken. It wouldn’t be, and Miura appreciated that.

“You goddamn sap.”

“You’re the one who made a tie for me. You and Ota.”

“Shush. You’re a sap.”

“Speaking of Ota…” Izuku grinned.

Ota, a boy with functionally the same quirk as Present Mic, but with no training but for what Izuku gave him in control and a tendency to give people ringing in their ears for days if he got too emotional. Mocked about it from a safe distance as well.

“A modulator, similar to what Present Mic himself would wear. Right down to how it stops sudden volume spikes without being invasive.” Izuku informed, holding it before Ota.

“Midori-kun, how the fuck -”

“Made it with some designs online. It works, I promise.”

“That just raises more questions!”

“Don’t ask them. Wa-kun, come here before O-chan can ask.”

Wada shuffled forward, mildly terrified by Izuku’s ability to find highly specialized restrictor item blueprints online. Izuku pulled out his gift, holding it tight.

“You have a book. I really sat down and thought about which to get if it makes you feel better.”

“Famous murderers?” Wada asked, eyeing the book. 

“You know it. It’s even got some of the most notable ones from America and Europe.”

Nothing could’ve stopped Wada from ripping that book away, not from the moment Izuku told him it had other countries murderers. Friendly Wada, who was mocked for having a transformative quirk worthy of making Izuku twitch the first time he saw it. The jaw unhinging on top of the serrated teeth was a little much for anyone.

“We are most certainly even then, ‘cause of the psych book.”

“I dare say Izuku did better.” Ishii snorted.

“And last but not least, Shii-chan.” Izuku hummed, pulling out… photos?

“In seven years, you have managed to give me over two thousand six hundred and seventy three origami-”

Izuku looked towards the swarm he was still dragging around.

“Three thousand four hundred and seventy three origami, which even before today’s addition was little more than one for every day in a seven year period. I organized them up so I could show you just how much work you’ve done, and can do, even if it doesn’t always feel like you’re making progress.”

The photos were stunning, to Ishii at least. Izuku had put time and effort into this? Making sure every piece of origami she’d made was showcased in these three pictures?

Izuku sat in the center of one photo, covered in animal origami. He looked happy, for once. Actually happy, with that stupid small smile he gave whenever he remembered he was a good person too.

“Oh, and uhm… Something a little more physical you can carry around.” Izuku coughed, lifting up a stainless steel chain and charm.

The charm wasn’t anything more than a hollow blue tinted metal diamond, but it meant the world to Ishii as she hugged Izuku for the second time that day.

She was most certainly crying as she gripped him tight.

“I- I ah… Also, I have the camera leftover from yours and… honestly if someone wants it, take it. It’s got a lot of space left, since I just took the origami photos and some as I was spectating fights.” Izuku whispered, nodding to his backpack.

MIura took immediate interest, though not because she wanted the camera.

“You’re so stupid .” Ishii sobbed.

“Oh, and why’s that?”

“Because you had to turn the last day on us when we were supposed to be paying you back.”

“None of you ever needed to pay me for anything. And you, you’ve been trying for the last seven years. I’ll miss your origami, but you don’t have to-”

“Nuh-uh, now you’ve earned yourself more. Now once a month until we all go to uni I’m going to show up on your doorstep with thirty origami.” Ishii promised.

“Shii-chan that’s stalker behavior.” Wada chided.

“No it’s not, and I don’t care.” Ishii denied vehemently. 

“You. Fucker. You have no right to be this good at photography.” Miura accused.

“Ok, now I have to see these.” Ota laughed. His face fell as the camera was handed to him. “Shit, dude. You could sell these to news outlets.”

“Eh?” Wada noised, leaning over. “Dude.”

“They aren’t that great. It’s a disposable camera, and they’re photos taken as I’m running from debris half the time.”

“Then they are awesome photos from a disposable camera and while- wait. Wait a minute.” Wada said, his tone turning accusatory.

“You’re about five years too late to critique me on what I do in my free time.” Izuku chuckled, gently prying Ishii off.

Ishii sniffed. “Now I need to see these too.”

Izuku could recognize when they were about to heap praise on him and he wasn’t sure what to do. It’s not that he didn’t like it, but it always felt like they were praising who he presented himself as and not him .

“I- Midori-kun these are great, what are you- No, you need to keep this camera. Keep it. If heroism doesn’t work out you have a brilliant career in photography.” Ishii squealed, shoving the camera into Izuku’s hands.

“You needed a hobby anyways.” Miura deadpanned.

“I have a hobby, thanks for asking.”

“One that doesn’t risk your life.”

“I-” 

How did he explain that at worst he would become the danger in fights?

“Fair enough.” He decided on. Everyone jumped as Ota screamed.

“I wanted to test if this thing worked. And we needed to stop that before it started.” Ota deadpanned, holding the repressor near his throat.

“You’re lucky we’re not deaf!” Wada shouted. Not that Izuku could hear it through the ringing in his ears.

“You don’t trust Midori-kun’s craftsmanship?”

“That is NOT the point.”

“You’re all terrible.” Miura muttered, staring at her new bracelet.

“Hey, Midori-kun.” She called, deciding.

“Yeah?” He asked, finally gaining some of his hearing back.

“Why did you care so much about us? You could’ve been one of them. Never questioned by the teachers, never mocked for being so soft on villains.”

The entire group went silent. They’d all thought it, but to ask…

“I couldn’t leave you all to suffer?” Izuku answered, tugging at his uniform sleeve.

“Don’t cover your ass, not now of all times.” Miura snapped.

Izuku’s eyes widened, and suddenly the tears were on and wouldn’t stop.

“I- I don’t… I can’t…”

Tears and tears and tears, all silent. 

“H-Hi. I’m…I’m Midoriya Izuku, and my quirk is... My. Quirk. Is. Random Manifestation.” Izuku admitted, just short of having to physically claw the words out of his throat.

Wada raised an eyebrow, Ota looked confused, Ishii seemed contemplative.

“Every so often I will… Just get a new quirk and… And I’ve spent my life listening to ignorant adults wondering when I could develop something that could kill us all. Asking if something so unstable would make me an unstable person, or even a power hungry murderer.”

Nobody spoke still. Izuku wished he was lying about what people said about just Random Manifestation.

“I’ve got a lot of quirks that wouldn’t have passed for ‘heroic’ had I told anyone. Needles with potent poison would scare anyone, and I’ll admit that! But they never would’ve let me live things like that down.”

Izuku gave the brightest smile he could as he continued forward.

“I was never one of them, not really. I’d lie every day to people who didn’t actually care about me, just how flashy levitation is and- oh, I should show you some of the rest, I guess.”

In absolute silence, Izuku let out a small stream of flame and let off electric sparks. With a straight face he pulled out a needle, coated in one of the few non-toxic coatings he could produce.

He quickly shut them off. “S-so, in a sense, that’s why. It didn’t start like that but- Well, as I got older, I knew why my parents said it wouldn’t be a good idea to show them off. I followed their advice for go and I just- I’ve never- Just telekinesis.”

Ishii came forward to crush Izuku in a hug the rest shuffled towards him, hands reaching to him and resting on his head and shoulders..

“Listen here. Listen, ‘cause I’m not saying it twice. You’re going to be better than everyone else, and it’s not ‘cause you’re strong, but it’s because you’re kinder than them. You’re gonna look the world in the eye and fight for us all, ok?”

Izuku could barely hear Ishii, even with enhanced hearing. Her words were almost lost his shock and confusion.

“I promise.”

Chapter Text

Izuku still wasn’t over what happened with his friends, but it was time to stitch himself together. He was going to walk into that hospital room, and he would smile .

“Hello Izuku.”

“Hello dad.”

“Exams are coming up?”

“They are.”

“You’re still aiming for UA?”

“I am.” Izuku smiled.

Despite being unreadable, Izuku just knew his father was displeased.

“Come here, I have a gift.” His father whispered. Izuku leaned close, and a hand was put to his face.

“... Speed?” Izuku guessed as the feeling washed over him.

“Correct. You need to be fast in order to rescue people efficiently, yes?”

“I do. Oh, but before I forget, I need to give Voice Boost back.” Izuku murmured, reaching forward.

His hand was caught and gently put down.

“Keep it. I’m sure it can come in handy in some way, instead of sitting unused with me. Make sure to train some before you use either though. We don’t need you careening into walls or shattering glass on accident.”

His father was smiling, and oh how genuine it was, but Izuku couldn’t help but wonder who the quirks came from as he smiled back.

~~

“Now young man, in order to gain my power… Eat this.”

“Couldn’t I just- get down from there, it stopped being epic the moment I realized you were giving me this the day before exams. Is there actually no other method or-”

All Might slid down from his perch, grimacing at the question. Midoriya grabbed All Might to steady him, and All Might could feel a tug in his chest.

“Unless you want to drink a vial of blood, it’s going to be hair eating my boy.”

Midoriya’s focused look shifted to a sour one.

“Might actually prefer that, truth be told. I could down it like a shot. But hand over the hair, I guess.” He sighed.

All Might watched as Midoriya coiled it around his finger, pulled out a water bottle, removed it (still coiled) from his finger, and as fast as lightning he stuffed it in his mouth and swallowed as much water from the bottle as humanly possible.

“There, done. Quirk transferred.” Midoriya muttered, grimacing.

And from the way Midoriya stared at his fists, expecting something to happen, Midoriya thought that the effect would be immediate. All Might could just tell.

“It’ll take a while. Digestion and all that.” All Might informed. Midoriya’s expression twitched before going blank.

“I see.”

“Once it manifests I will be spending more time with you to ensure you don’t hurt yourself.”

“How exactly is that going to work actually? I… hadn’t thought about that, but now I'll be busy with high-school.”

“Worry not, for this year… I’m a UA teacher!” All Might boomed.

All Might could swear there was a twitch of fear before Midoriya congratulated him.

~~

Oh how fucked Izuku was. He’d wanted to die for days after he’d told his closest friends, and now he’d dug a different grave to lie in. Though, this one was entirely his own fault.

~~

Katsuki was a boy of many regrets.

He regretted abandoning Izuku because he got territorial and didn’t know what to do letting that smug self satisfied asshole act like he was better than Katsuki, like Katsuki had never been there for him.

He regretted turning his anger to other people and feeding it until it was all he could do never beating that look out of Midoriya before they even made it to the UA exams.

He regretted a lot more, but those would have to be the top two.

“Perhaps they’re keeping us apart since we’re from the same school?” Midoriya suggested.

“LIke we’d work together.” Katsuki snorted. He hated how that sick smile spread across Midoriya’s expression, the expression that reminded him he was a villainous bug in Izuku’s path said Midoriya was counting his sins

counting the burn marks Katsuki left in his wake

counting each and every time he stood between Katsuki and another student

better than him.

“You’re right, we wouldn’t work together.”

~~

Ochako was already immensely grateful to the green kid, and the practical test hadn’t even started.

Some short kid with purple balls for hair hand stuck his hands up a girl's skirt, and no questions asked was hit extremely hard. Not a knockout, but Ochako would be impressed if the kid didn’t have a concussion. It’d be hard to do the test with a concussion, but otherwise nothing was stopping him.

The purple kid had sulked away to his own corner and refused to move from there since they were all “Assholes.”

And as Mic screamed “Go!” she was out, roaming the field for robots to slay.

But every so often she’d see him run past, and somehow the robots would be slammed to pieces as he went by. But he always left robots behind, a team player while still caring for himself.

She watched from up high as the short purple kid screeched at a tall purple kid for stealing a kill, wobbling unsteadily as he did so. The short one threw one of his balls, and suddenly the green kid was between them and the purple ball had been launched back.

The green kid dragged the tall one away, into an area he’d left a lot of damaged but not incapacitated bots and left without even a half hearted swipe at the points around them.

“He’s helping the others.” She’d muttered to herself.

But she couldn’t focus on that. She needed to keep getting points for herself. Even as her stomach churned, she needed to keep going. Even as she spat a bit of bile out, she needed to keep going.

She had too much of her future riding on this to stop.

~~

Did the green fucker even care?

Did he care that he was handing Hitoshi his future on a silver platter? Did he care that he’d been the only wall between a demise by another contestant?

Hitoshi was too jaded, he knew that, but he couldn’t help it. The world had thrown its worst at him already and he was tired .

Hitoshi chased the green boy around, because the green boy seemed hellbent on leaving easy points behind for others to pick up. 

And as he chased, he saw the green boy pull more people out of sticky situations. But Hitoshi couldn’t comprehend why. This was about points.

And yet, Hitoshi couldn’t spend time on his questions. He needed to keep fighting. He needed to be the underdog who could, and he reminded himself of that with every cut he got from twisted metal as he ripped robots apart to the best of his abilities.

Would the green boy be so apt to help him if he knew Hitoshi could brainwash people with only a few words?

Probably not.

But there were robots to rip apart still.

And only the grinding noise of the zero pointer stopped him. He needed to run, but suddenly the green boy was blurring past him.

Suddenly that green boy was in the air.

And Hitoshi watched as that boy punched a hole through the robot, and fell to the ground. He could see the unnatural bending of the arms and legs.

It wasn’t often that Hitoshi was moved by anything other than spite, but holy shit . He ran towards the boy, not even certain what he intended to do.

There was a girl there too, trying not to puke. Telling him that the green boy had done it to protect her since she was trapped.

“I’m fine.” The boy promised weakly. “I just need some time.”

“You powderized your arm.” Hitoshi informed dryly.

“Yeah, I can feel that.” The boy smirked, equally as dry.

“You’re terrible. I don’t even know you, and you’re terrible.” The girl insisted. She paled and turned away to finally empty her stomach.

And there they all were until everything was called, and Recovery Girl rushed out to treat people.

HItoshi watched as the green boy was taken away by a stretcher, insisting that he was fine and just needed time, arm and legs frozen in place.

“I hope he’s one of the ones who gets in. He tried so hard to help everyone.” The girl whispered, distant.

Hitoshi remained silent, but there was a small part of him that agreed. Even with an ego complex to rival god, you don’t pull a stunt like that if you don’t care.

~~

“This is impossible.” Recovery Girl muttered.

“Yeah yeah.” Izuku sighed. He nearly got whacked with a cane.

“There is no way there’s this little damage. You should have complex crush damage, and these are just hairline fractures.”

“Check the x-rays again, then, and confirm it.”

Izuku reflexively flinched as she raised the cane, as he could already see she was working very hard not to grind her teeth in frustration.

“Alright then. This is today, I guess.” She sighed under her breath.

“My quirk is-”

“Heal. A little uncreative in the name area, but you can progress the healing process of patients with a kiss. This uses the energy of the patient, and should you go too far you can potentially drain the patients energy and kill them.”

“You’re… very well researched, to know about an old lady who’s just support.”

It was a little odd, to say the least. Everyone focused on the hero’s like Midnight or Present Mic, not her.

“If nobody was there to support the fighters, then we would not have any living fighters.”

Recovery Girl didn’t have anything to say to that, and so gave a grunt and leaned in to kiss her patient.

Midoriya Izuku was a very strange child.

~~

Ochako carefully opened the letter from UA.

With the utmost of caution, she turned on the little machine they’d packed.

“Hello future UA student!” Midnight shouted, cracking her whip.

What-

“In the practical test you scored thirty two vilain points. An excellent job! And yet-”

A punctuating whip crack.

“There was more than what met the eye in that test. A secondary point system, called rescue points, was hidden in order to accurately judge students selflessness.”

Wait-

“The council was moved by your plea to ensure another students entry- oh the romance!”

Whip crack. Ochako could feel her cheeks warm.

“Though we could not and ultimately would not carry your request out, your plea combined with your attempt to stop him from splatting onto the pavement has earned you forty five rescue points, giving you a total of seventy seven points, tying you for second place in the practical!”

She was in?

“Welcome to your hero academia!”

She was in!

Oh, but what would happen to the green boy?

Ochako couldn’t focus on that. She was in. She was going to go to UA.

~~

Hitoshi could barely bring himself to open that damn packet, but he told himself it was best to rip the band-aid off.

“Hello prospective student.” A very tired man greeted.

This guy looked like he’d just crawled out of bed. Hitoshi couldn’t quite believe this was a hero.

“You earned ten villain points. This would not be enough to put you through.”

He knew it.

“But, there was a secondary system in place, called rescue points. Part of being a hero is being selfless and helping others without being asked. It’s the job description really. The concern you showed over a fellow student after his severe injury, as well as a scattered handful of other actions not done for your own interest, has earned you fifteen rescue points.”

So… wait…

“With a total of twenty five points you placed thirty seventh. There are four recommended students, meaning there are thirty six free seats.”

… Ah.

“But you’re in luck. A student who placed above you was disqualified for inappropriate behavior and attempted sabotage of another students test. In fact, it was against you specifically. This has resulted in you functionally placing at thirty six.”

Wait.

“Shinsou Hitoshi, welcome to your hero academia.”

Wait.

~~

Izuku was waiting, and that’s not what bothered him.

So much had gone wrong during the exam he couldn’t even laugh at himself. Maybe it wasn’t as terrible as he was making it in his head, but he broke three limbs and magically healed.

But all he could do was wait. Chase a hero fight or two, take pictures with the camera, break everything down in his notebooks.

His mother swarmed around him, a bundle of nerves compared to how Izuku acted. But he smiled and promised her that there wasn’t anything to be worried about.

And when the letter from UA came, he opened it right there in the living room. His mom wasn’t home yet.

“-ake two? I am here! As a hologram!” All Might shouted. Of course there was a second take.

“Young Midoriya Izuku, you scored sixty eight villain points! But, there was a hidden point system, kept secret in order to judge if young heroes were really acting out of the kindness of their hearts.”

… So was he in?

“These points were called… Rescue points! Earned for helping other students out of tough situations. Your actions moved another student so much, she offered her points to ensure you got in.”

And the clip was played, the bubbly girl bowing her head and offering the points, hoping someone so selfless got in.

“Her points were not necessary- Yes I know I can’t say anything else about her-, and you earned sixty rescue points for both your extravagant rescue of her and your kindness to other students throughout the exam! This brings you to a total of one hundred and twenty eight points, giving you the highest score in UA history!”

Oh.

Oh he was in.

He was in?

He had to be.

“Though, as I am obligated to mention, there were questions concerning your treatment of Mineta Minoru.”

… Who?

“It was determined your actions were justified and not extreme, seeing as his actions while waiting for the test to start could be considered sexual assault, and his attempt to sabotage another student in rage eliminated him regardless.”

Oh, him.

Good.

“So, in conclusion, welcome! This is your hero academia!”

And Izuku spiraled right back into disbelief.

Chapter Text

“Mom, please, I need to go to school now.”

“Oh, oh- but my baby- you’re going to UA! So much can happen there and I just-”

“Mom, my tie is tied, my lunch is packed, my train pass is bought. We can’t do more unless I’m going to show up wrapped in bubble wrap.”

She smiled and sniffed. “We could try. Might prevent a bruise. And don’t say that thing is tied, it’s a clip on.”

Izuku tugged at his metal tie. “Yes, and?”

“Oh, just go. Else I’ll find something new to sob over.”

Izuku smiled and turned to leave. “Goodbye!”

“Goodbye! I’ll see you when you get home.” 

Izuku pretended not to hear her say “Now if only your father could’ve been here too.” after he’d closed the door.

~~

Aizawa Shouta, despite what others would think, was actually perfectly fine with children.

But as he crept through the hallway, he had to acknowledge once more that the class entrusted to him could not be coddled. If these children were going to be the future, then they needed to be ready for it, or else they would die.

There- those must be three of his students. They stood, discussing the practical test.

Oh, those three. Nezu would pay, somehow, for giving him all three of them.

The green one turned to look him in the eye as the other two chattered away.

Him. But he was hidden, the kid shouldn’t-

The kid waved slightly, and it was the most unsettling thing Shouta had encountered in a very long time.

Shouta was almost entirely dependent on the element of surprise, and as such his stealth was critical. For a first year child to see him…

“You shouldn’t be in the halls talking. Get going, or you’ll be late to class.” He grunted, making the girl shriek.

They all ran off ahead of him, rushing to class. The disturbing kid- the green one- looked back and sent another smile. But Shouta had already attempted to blend back in, and the kid shouldn’t have been able to see him.

He’ll have to keep an eye on that one.

~~

Izuku frowned as he walked in, Bakugo making a fuss like always. But then the engines kid realized he was there.

“Ah, I owe you an apology! You had seen what I had not, and determined the true nature of the exam.” He shouted, chopping the air.

“Not really? I didn’t know anything about rescue points, I was just making sure nobody got hurt by that zero pointer.”

Something seemed to break in the engine boy’s mind, but Izuku was slightly distracted by the man from before squirming quietly into the room. Eye contact only earned him the same tense and baffled look.

“Then you are truly the type of person who should be in this class!” Engines decided, chopping the air some more.

Izuku had to give a surprised blink. “Thanks.”

“Sit down.” The caterpillar man barked. Everyone scrambled to make it into their seats.

“Eight seconds. Unacceptable. If I was a villain you’d all be dead.”

Nobody spoke.

Izuku found the entire thing to be slightly odd as the man told them that they were going to take a test right out the gate, to get moving. 

It wasn’t the test that was odd, it was a hero school afterall. No, the man seemed worried.

There was no one thing to put his finger on. But even as his classmates focused on the lack of an orientation and bucked their teacher on the necessity of it, Izuku had zeroed into how concerned the teacher seemed to him- albeit hidden underneath the annoyance that nobody had really moved from their spots.

“Well, this should be fun at least. We’re starting the path to heroism!” Uraraka attempted, meandering towards the door.

“Fun? This shouldn’t be fun .”

There, the worry spiked.

“Try this for fun; Last place gets expelled.”

Suddenly, the stars aligned in Izuku’s head. Their teacher was looking at a bunch of children who would be trained for a job they could die in. 

But now there was something else bugging Izuku, having sorted that out. Who was this man? All the teachers would be heroes, and Izuku should know this man, but it wasn’t coming to him. Certainly an underground hero if Izuku couldn’t name him from a glance.

Izuku lingered as everyone filed out of the room, giving his teacher a curious glance.

“You got something to say, kid?” He asked flatly.

It clicked, again. Not his proudest fight hunting session, but Izuku knew that voice.

“Eraserhead, right? I think I still have my notes on y-”

Izuku was already pulling his notebook out to be able to flip through it, but Aizawa only huffed out a “Get to the lockers and change.”

Izuku nodded and ran off to do as told.

 

Shouta let out a heavy sigh once he was certain the child wouldn’t hear him.

He owed Nemuri five thousand yen now, having lost the long running bet of never being recognized.

But that wasn’t really what was getting to him. Something wasn’t right with the Midoriya kid, he decided as he headed for the training area.

Not even the genuine childlike glee Midoriya had gotten upon recognizing Shouta could erase that children fresh into hero school shouldn’t be that observant.

But Midoriya’s absolute lack of shame implied that Midoriya was not aware of that.

Bar that, Shouta felt like he should recognize the kid. Maybe Shouta rescued the kid once and that explained why Midoriya knew him? Memory wasn’t perfect, and faces blended after enough time. Select few rescues would stick with him until the grave, untouched by memory loss.

But now, it was time to test the children. Maybe this year he wouldn’t expel anyone just because of what he saw out there.

The students filed in. Time for a demonstration.

“You.” He selected, pointing to the angry blond. “You tied for second, correct?”

He could see the blond’s eye twitch as he said “second”.

“Yeah, I did.”

“In the middle school ball throw, what was your highest score?”

The utter pride that radiated from the blond as he informed Shouta was slightly concerning.

Oh, he was really in for it for the next three years, wasn’t he?

The blond proudly showed off what he could do with his quirk, crowing with delight.

Shouta discreetly checked his attendance sheet for the name.

“Well done Bakugo-san. As you’ve clearly demonstrated, the use of ones quirk can greatly increase one’s ability to perform.”

Midoriya raised his hand.

“Yes?”

“I don’t mean to insult your method, as using our quirks to aid our natural skills is a big part of heroism, but what about the kids who have quirks that wouldn’t aid in physical situations?”

Midoriya’s eyes meaningfully flicked towards the invisible student- Hagakure.

“Then they will have to be extra creative to achieve the highest score possible.” Shouta informed flatly.

It was hard to read Hagakure, but she seemed to wilt somewhat. Shinsou looked miserable from his place at the back.

“We’ll start the testing with the fifty meter dash. Two at a time, Tokoyami and Sero will be first to run.”

Shouta made sure to listen to his students as they prepped for running, since their attitude before testing was as critical as the results.

“I just don’t know. Everyone’s got something to help them, even if it’s pretty obscure, and I’m just… Invisible.” Hakagure complained.

“I don’t have anything either. Not that it helps to know, but you’re not alone here.” Shinsou offered.

“What do you have?” Midoriya asked, frowning.

Shinsou gave a quiet and contemplative look before muttering “I can brainwash people.”

“Neat. It’d be good in rescue situations and the like, though I can see why you’re going to have trouble with the tests.” Midoriya replied without skipping a beat as those around him shifted away.

… Huh. Shinsou seemed equally surprised by that.

Midoriya shook his head. “Interesting quirk aside, the only thing you can do for your physical performance is your best in this test and taking up some sort of physical training in the near future. Don’t let it end here, basically, just because you’re not well suited for a task.”

“Y-yeah! Plus ultra, right?” Hagakure tried, lifting a gloved hand.

“Plus ultra.” Shinsou agreed quietly.

Shouta turned to Tokoyami and Sero, who were waiting to start.

~~

Midoriya was barely even trying, and that infuriated Shouta.

Shouta didn’t even know what happened on the fifty meter, but there Midoriya was at the end of the track, blank faced.

The grip strength meter had been crushed by telekinesis without a second thought (didn’t the kid have Strength?).

He’d floated out of the sand box in the long jump, as stoic as ever.

Shouta refused to get mad about the floating side-steps, but that just took any challenge right out of it didn’t it?

Midoriya stepped up to the ball throw, and suddenly Shouta understood what was about to happen.

The kid had two quirks and was about to destroy himself again with strength, a token effort to look like he was trying. Midoriya wound up, and

The ball fell to the ground, as did Midoriya.

Shit, fuck, no-

He deactivated Erasure and Midoriya quickly stirred. That didn’t stop Shouta from leaning over the boys form.

Suddenly Midoriya shot back up. “I’m ok!” He shouted, motioning to the concerned students.

He turned to look at Shouta and gave a reassuring smile.

“Sorry about that. Telekinesis exerts a light force on everything around me, and since I can feel what I put pressure against it acts as like a radar. Once it went down, I lost balance.”

Something wasn’t right with that excuse.

“Do you know why I took it down to begin with?”

“No sir.”

“You were going to destroy yourself with strength.”

Midoriya gave a surprised blink as he rose up, and suddenly Shouta’s senses spiked as a small, predatory, smile spread across Midoriya’s face.

“What happened in the practical test was a rare occurrence, I assure you. The unusually high stress and adrenaline caused me to lose control, and gain the hairline fractures we had to treat in the medical room.”

Limbs flopping like noodles were most certainly not hairline fractures.

“You call that hairline fractures?”

“Check the medical report.” Midoriya ordered flatly.

“Rest assured I will. For now, pick the ball back up. Even if you could stand to put in more effort, don’t destroy your limbs for a test.”

Midoriya smiled and nodded.

“Fucker.” Bakugo growled as Midoriya gave a glance. Interesting.

Soon, Midoriya was standing stock still, looking meaningfully at the ball.

With a sigh he halfheartedly tossed it forward, and it floated away.

And away.

And away.

Midoriya paled as it continued going. Finally, some effort. Shouta wasn’t even looking at the tracking device.

And going.

Maybe too much effort.

And going.

Midoriya collapsed into a kneel, and seconds later the tracker gave a brief flash- signalling the ball had most certainly stopped.

“Two and a half kilometers, roughly.” Shouta called, giving a small smile.

He got a big smile and a heart attack in return. Blood, streaming down from Midoriya’s nose, beginning to drip onto the ground.

“This is new.” Midoriya sniffed, wiping away some of the stream. The idle glance at his now blood covered hand spoke tales about how little Midoriya was concerned about his safety, at least to Aizawa.

“Go to Recovery Girl.” Shouta commanded, finally regaining control of his mouth.

“Nah, it already stopped. Watch.” Midoriya hummed, pulling out a handkerchief from somewhere with sleight of hand.

With a quick swipe, Midoriya confirmed it. Despite still being covered underneath his bottom lip, the clean patch under his nose was not getting re-covered.

It was exceedingly rare to be able to outright break Shouta’s thought process. But this kid…

“You’re absolutely certain that you’re good to continue?”

“Positive.”

Shouta already regretted that. He should send Midoriya to Recovery Girl anyways.

But now wasn’t the time to make a scene. Midoriya was already worming his was back to his friends to keep talking with them, and there were more students to test.

“Todoroki-san, to the circle.” Aizawa called.

“What was that?” Uraraka whispered to Midoriya.

“The limit. Odd, how that never came up in training.”

Suddenly, everything made sense. And Shouta didn’t like that explanation.

~~

“So how’d your first day go?” Nemuri questioned, walking into the staff break room. Shouta only gave a grunt as he nursed his coffee.

“You’re coming back from teaching my class, right?”

“Yeah. Break period for me now, get to sit and breathe.” Midnight informed, opening the staff fridge.

“Don’t touch my gel packs. What do you think of Midoriya-san?”

“Midoriya-san… tacky tie?” She questioned, eyeing the pitcher of tea.

“Tacky tie.”

“He seemed… familiar, for a reason I couldn’t place. But other than that, he was as quiet as a mouse. Liked to write in that extra notebook of his.” She hummed, picking up the pitcher.

“Either get a cup or put it back . None of us need you dumping the tea on yourself, again, because you tried to fountain it.” Shouta commanded. She shot him a sour look, but obeyed the command.

“He’s the reason I owe you your five thousand yen now.” He informed. It took a few seconds for it to sink in.

“Oh, oh my- cough it up. I finally won, cough the money up. No longer must I grade those asinine essays you make your homeroom do.”

“Eventually. Check in on wednesday. Be as that may, keep an eye on him.”

“Alright, but I’ll need to know why.”

“Same reason we’re going to watch Todoroki-san.”

Midnight paled slightly.

“I see. Do we have any hard evidence, or are we going to have two unwinnable cases?”

“Nothing yet, but don’t call either of them unwinnable. And keep in mind, this is just a hunch and a few off sounding remarks. It may be nothing, for both of them.”

“I don’t think you believe that.”

Shouta didn’t grace her with an answer. He just kept pouring over the film from the tests.

He didn’t have to do it, but the teachers would greatly appreciate him breaking down students current skill levels.

But Midoriya kept bugging him. Shouta simply had to reason that he would do extensive research on him later, though the attitudes help was limited.

Midnight eventually left. Everyone came and went at some point.

And suddenly the bell was ringing. Maybe he could catch Midoriya?

But he’d need a reason to talk to Midoriya.

It wasn’t exceedingly difficult. Just ask about whatever Midoriya was reaching for when they were first talking.

Midoriya was already heading out at a brisk pace when Shouta found him, and Shouta quickly caterpillar-ed his way over.

“Hey kid.” He greeted.

“Yes, sensei?”

“What were you going to show me when you figured out my hero name? You said something about notes.”

“Oh! I wasn’t going to show you, just pull out my notes on heroes. I like to have my references on hand. Do you really want to see it though? Oh, but uh, I should warn, they’re really in depth and ask a lot of questions that not everyone might think about.”

“I think I’m good for now.” Shouta sighed, smiling from underneath the cloth. Midoriya couldn’t be too damaged if he was excitedly showing his interests.

Midoriya gave a smaller, but kinder in Shouta’s opinion, smile.

“Alright. I’ve got to go, my mom will need me at home.”

“Have a safe trip.” Shouta huffed, already moving away.

Chapter Text

Izuku hummed aimlessly as he washed the dishes. They needed to be done, and it wouldn’t hurt to get started on the rest of what he’d be doing tonight, right?

Couldn’t hurt to avoid notebook writing for a bit. Even though he itched to ask Shinsou more questions on Brainwash’s functionality, he had other information to compile that he didn’t exactly want to acknowledge.

Izuku couldn’t help by huff as his phone buzzed.

“Texas crematorium, you kill ‘em we grill ‘em this is eight ball speaking.”

“Midori-kun you know I don’t understand English that well. What about killing?” Ishii asked, snickering.

“Oh its uh… I use it to scare away solicitors. I was trying to be funny because I thought it was my dad calling.”

“Ah, the mystery man himself.” Ishii intoned.

“Mystery man?”

“You don’t really talk about him. Not since you were like… nine? Nine sounds right. But anyways, so what day do you want me to show up with the origami?”

“You were serious?”

“Absolutely. I have this lovely cat origami just waiting for its new home. And some frogs. And oh, how about some roses to keep them company-”

“Shii-chan, you don't have to.”

“I want to! So take it, because it’s polite! Or whatever your philosophy is.”

“Philosophy? I’m just nice. No philosopher bullshit here. And you absolutely do not have to keep devoting time to thanking me.”

“You’re terrible. Absolutely terrible. So now I’m just going to show up randomly and without warning.”

“If it turns out that you show up on a day I’m not even home I call rights to laugh.”

“Granted! I- oh, damn, I need to go. Talk to you soon!” Ishii sighed, hanging up.

His phone rang again.

“Texas crematorium you kill ‘em we grill ‘em this is eight ball speaking.”

He heard a loud hack/snort from the line.

“And pray tell, where did you learn that?” His father asked.

“Internet.”

“I’m not even sure what to tell you, little one. I’d say to keep off things you shouldn’t be on, but I’m also the one who taught you exactly how to get into things you shouldn’t get into.”

“Which officially means that only mom can lecture me on where I should and shouldn’t be online.”

“I think your mother would prefer nowhere, since everywhere is a bit of a gamble.”

“Can’t deny it.”

“Oh, but we’re distracted from why I called. How was your first day?”

“Interesting.”

“Interesting?”

“Interesting. Our homeroom teacher decided to test where we already were with our quirks. He said he’d expel the lowest scoring, but halfway through he decided that he was bluffing.”

“And you were first place I take it?”

“Yeah, though I think I frustrated him with how little effort I had to put in overall. I did push the limits on telekinesis and nearly give him an early demise though.”

“Do tell.”

“One limitation of the gym is that it’s not the greatest place for pushing distance. Not on our scale of it, at least. Had to make a baseball go as far away as I could and decided that if I was going to do it, I was going to do it . It’s like he’d never seen a nosebleed before.”

“You do grasp-”

“Yeah, I know, most people aren’t dedicated to learning quirks like we are and so quirk exhaustion is rarely seen except in heroes and young children. But it’s a hero school, and he told us to go beyond to get the highest score we could. I’m not gonna pull my punches just because it’ll shatter their standards.”

His father was silent for a bit.

“I can respect that.” He admitted quietly.

“Though, there is something I should mention before mom gets home with groceries.” Izuku added.

“Topic changer. Alright, go on.”

Izuku’s voice went incredibly low as he began speaking “It’s a little convoluted as to why it happened so I’ll skip over it, but the teacher- Eraserhead- used erasure on me and… well, I found out something new about All for One.”

“And you’re alright?”

His father most certainly got louder that time.

“Yeah, obviously… why?”

“Most people can’t take a great number of quirks, please do not ask, and it can and will mentally and physically destroy them.”

“I think our resistance can be officially qualified as a physical mutation then.” Izuku informed dryly.

“Yours, at least. Anyways… go on.”

“All for one acts like a really subtle radar. I actually never thought of its effects myself because they’re so ingrained into me. I’m about to do the test, and then boom , where the fuck is everyone? Why can’t I feel them?”

Not that it was the full story. When one has a veritable army of powers in them, some actually affecting the senses, the sudden lack thereof is incredibly jarring and frightening.

The radar was only noticed once he was back up and lying through his teeth.

“That’s… very interesting. Can you distinguish people by the quirk they carry, or is it a bland ‘there is someone with a quirk behind you, this way a bit’ situation?”

“I’m not sure. It’ll require quite a bit of testing, but I’m wary of doing so because no matter what I do it’s going to require other people around me.”

His father hummed in acknowledgement.

“I’m sure we’ll figure something out. Is there anything else you’d like to say?”

Well, Izuku could mention that he dropped when it happened and why, but he didn’t want an extensive health conversation.

“Nah, not much else happened. Already started making friends, but we’ll see how that goes.” Izuku hummed.

“Good to hear your first day went well. Goodbye little one.”

“Goodbye.”

Izuku was left to wash his dishes in silence, which was quickly done.

“I’m home!” His mother shouted, clomping in with groceries in hand.

“Welcome back! Dad called while you were out to ask about my first day.” Izuku shouted back, putting the last of the dishes on the rack.

“Well, how did it go? I got caught up in preparations and work.” Inko questioned.

“We took a test to test what we already knew about handling our own quirks and I met up with some of the kids from the entrance exam. Good people.” Izuku informed pleasantly.

“Making friends already?”

“Hopefully. And, uh… One of them might need a friend anyways.” Izuku muttered.

“And how do you figure that?”

“His quirk is called Brainwash. I didn’t get a chance to find out anything else, but… you know how they’re treated, when they’ve got a quirk like that.”

There was a bit of silence before Inko coughed out an “I see.”

Izuku could recognize when his mother didn’t want to address a topic.

“What did you do at work today?”

“Oh, it was a slow day. Quietly and slowly edited an article on support equipment while Taka-chan sent emails yelling about a recent scandal.”

“The uh.. Hm. Was it Gold Eye?”

“Correct, and oh is there ever a mess to clean up. It’s almost a shame. Not all heroes can be paragons but Gold Eye seemed to… Well, I don’t know really. It wasn’t exactly subtle he was in it for money, but he seemed to give something of shit.“

“Maybe he really did care, if only to make himself feel better.”

Inko hummed in thought.

“You may be right, Izuku. If I get to write about it I’ll be sure to talk about the possibility.”

She would get to write about it, for his father owned the company and would not tell her no. Even if the legal department wants to cry every time his mother gets her way with the articles.

Izuku only let out a quiet “mm” and let silence wash over the room.

“I might go out later. Nowhere specific, probably the nearby park.”

Fight hunting and spectating he meant, but his mother didn’t need to know he regularly put himself in the line of fire for information.

“Remember to call if you go anywhere else, or get involved in something you shouldn’t be.”

“I will.”

He won’t.

“I’m going to go to my room for a bit though, I’ll be working on my hero notes. Call me out when food is ready.” 

“Such a stranger.”

“No I’m not! I just want to get everything sorted before I forget something important.”

Inko only laughed and shook her head, and Izuku darted away. He did have to write about All for One afterall, and he had to update the Random Manifestation paperwork to include everything he’d been getting.

~~

Some days of heroism were better than others.

Midnight was certain that this shift would work out to be one of the “others” by the end.

Even if everything went fine from that point on, she was still chasing after a woman who’d freaked out once her minor crime was caught. This had no need to turn into a chase, let alone hero work period.

And then, apparently, she’s the only hero on shift that was close by. She wasn’t even annoyed that it couldn’t fit into her eighteen plus style, she just wanted to know if there had been literally nobody else better suited to dealing with a woman on foot in an open and windy area.

So Midnight kept the chase up, because even as she passed other heroes they were all content to let it be her problem. And hot damn could her target run .

Finally, blissfully, the target turned into an alley. Dead end.

The ground rumbled and suddenly shot up in spikes, the only thing the woman had shown herself capable of. With a calculated rip of the cloth, Midnight was spewing sleeping gas into the alley.

“Please.” The woman rasped, backing away from the pink smoke.

Midnight didn’t say anything back, and kept hopping around the slowing spires of rock and dirt.

The woman slowly breathed the smoke in, visibly drooping soon after. It took nearly three times as long for her to drop than if she’d been a he.

The fight over, Midnight spared a glance at the surroundings. Nothing interesting popped out to her in the ally, just trash and- was there someone on the goddamn rooftop?

The shadow backed away quickly. Midnight spared a glance to the unconscious woman, and another to the police men waiting outside the alley for the smoke to dissipate. She could follow.

But fucking hell, did scaling a building ever wear on her joints. Even the best of medical attention hadn’t stopped them from degrading somewhat over the long years as an active hero.

She could almost hear Shouta asking if her age was finally showing.

Oh-ho, the shadow was really running now. Not that she got a good look at it, just its direction.

“Halt!” She shouted, not that she expected anything from it. She was already running after it, watching as it leapt from one roof to another.

This went on for a while, and she had to begrudgingly admit that the shadow was eerily good in its attempts to be lost. But she was too used to having a chase just so she could get close enough for her gas, and its attempts ultimately failed.

And then, her lucky break! It slipped on a building edge and crashed into the alley below with a very loud smack and an english swear of ”Fuck!”

She dropped into the alley, ready for a fight.

“Uh.. hello… Midnight-sensei…” It called.

Midnight twitched, and crept closer. This was a student? Or perhaps a very good lie...

Well, they were very flexible, having not moved from falling face first with their heels dangling over their head. It was really quite fascinating.

Finally their head- or rather their hair- came into her view. The obnoxious red shoes should’ve given it away first, but she didn’t exactly make a point of examining students shoes.

“Midoriya...?”

“So uh… Hero spectating is a hobby of mine.”

Midnight nearly shrieked as she remembered . This was the kid who haunted every public pro hero at least once in their career if they were active in the last five years. And then some underground ones.

“Oh for the love of- kid, do you know that you have a reputation for this?”

Midoriya finally lowered his body with a thwump

“I do?” He asked, still face first on the ground.

“I don’t think there’s a pro-hero in Mufasuto that doesn’t know you by your hair and freckles. Stunning really, how none of the teachers recognized you.”

“I’m surprised Aizawa-sensei didn’t. He nearly got me with his capture scarf once.” Midoriya muttered, finally shoving himself to his feet.

“You…”

What the fuck was this child?

It dawned on her that every persona she kept up was down. She wasn’t the R-rated hero at the moment, nor the M-rated teacher she was supposed to be to Midoriya.

“Well, as… dashing we’ll call it- as dashing as your determination and bravery is, you can get seriously hurt by specating. Fights are no place for civilians.”

She expected him to look at least a little embarrassed, or even irritated.

Instead, all she got was a pleasant smile and nod. 

“I know.”

“Then why do you chase fights young man?”

“I find them interesting, and I take notes on the heroes and villains I see. More recently I’ve taken photos of the fights too.”

“You courage and passion are things people strive for- and yet I’m left in a position where I need to drive it through your thick skull that fights are not a place for children to be.”

“Hasn’t stopped me before.”

“Young man-”

“I need to get home before dark, sorry. It was nice seeing you in action!”

And then he was gone, out like a green blur.

Midnight needed to pick her move carefully.

She reached for her phone.

“This better be important.” Shouta moaned.

“Drop the pissy act.” She ordered. There was a brief moment of silence.

“Well?”

“Young Midoriya is apparently an avid spectator to fights. One that watches from building rooftops and can give me a run for my money in the chase department. He mentioned that you’d nearly caught him once too.”

Shouta inhaled sharply.

“He’s that kid?”

“Exactly. I caught up to him, with no small amount of luck, and he seemed extraordinarily unbothered by both getting caught and my attempt to lecture him on the danger of spectating.”

“I’ve seen this kid dodge debris as big as him, he’s unbothered by everything.” Shouta grumbled.

“Well, what do we do? For the record, he slipped off saying something about home, and I can recognize a lost cause when I see it.”

“I think I’m going to go pester Nezu for every file we can dig up on this kid. I’m not sure about abuse anymore, but something’s off here.”

Midnight couldn’t help but agree.

Chapter Text

Izuku ignored his teachers off stares as the day went on. He had things to be anxious about that weren’t carefully guarded stares.

It would be their first day with hero studies, taught by All Might himself! And he needed to tell All Might. Something, anything, but he needed to be told.

He just had to focus on the exercise for now. He’d even put off training just to see what he could replace in his regular schedule, figuring the sense of under stimulation to be a valuable measuring stick.

“I AM HERE!” All Might shouted. “Coming through the door, like a normal person!”

Izuku had to hide a smile. All Might just couldn’t resist showmanship, even for a class.

“And I will be teaching heroics! We will begin soon, but first- this!” He shouted, pressing a button.

Immediately, cases containing their hero suits appeared. Izuku shot a pained look to his bag, holding the one his mom had made, but home craftsmanship with needle and thread wouldn’t measure to what he’d need for combat.

He’d spent a lot of time thinking about what his costume would be, and came to the conclusion that there wouldn’t be any way to compliment even half of the quirks he held.

So it was effectively a jumpsuit that was proofed against a large variety of things, including but not limited to: fire, water, a lot of temperature bullshit in general, and while it wasn’t bulletproof there was a significant attempt made to make it resistant to general blunt trauma. It also had a utility belt, but besides a flashlight and three smoke bombs so he could bail in a pinch he was sorely lacking things to put on the belt.

They were sent to the locker rooms with a brief explanation on where to go after, likely for theatrical suspense purposes.

Izuku staunchly ignored the chatter around him and slowly put everything on. Last but not least of his outfit was a pair of gloves.

To most, they would mean absolutely nothing. Just some protection for his hands from whatever he may deal with in the future.

Though to him, they were there to protect everyone else when he got too wound up. The thick material was insurance and a reassurance to him, telling him he couldn’t accidentally touch someone and take their quirk.

It didn’t erase everything though.

What if-

No, he couldn’t start that. It was time to hear what they were doing.

“Alright class, are we all present?”

Yeses ran through the class.

“Wonderful! Today, we will be doing battle simulations!”

Everyone waited for him to continue.

“The battles people see are primarily outside in open air, but the large majority of fights with villains take place indoors.”

Silence. All Might was starting to feel the pressure of being the teacher of a class.

“As such, today we will pull lots for teams and the battles they will participate in. Each fight will have a hero team and a villain team.”

“Why are we pulling lots for teams?” Someone asked.

Izuku was barely paying attention to his words as he answered for All Might.

“Because it’s very rare for heroes to pick who they’re working with. Sure, being part of an agency makes certain people more likely, but you don’t know who’ll show up on site to help.”

“Precisely young Midoriya! Are there any more questions before I begin explaining the win conditions and draw the lots?”

Nobody asked anything.

“Wonderful! Please stand by and listen for your name.”

Izuku spared a glance towards Shinsou as they were called. Brainwash could be incredibly useful, but it depended on how it worked.

The goals were laid out clearly, and Izuku had no qualms with what they would be doing. It’d be a good exercise for everyone.

“It’s obvious what kind of practice the hero team gets out of this, but what about the villains? They’ll be… villains.” Shinsou asked, losing his words somewhat.

“It’s not just villains who’ll guard things in their career you know. Besides, the teams that get the role will be forced to think of creative ways to defend from heroes, and knowing how an enemy would reasonably think in that situation is a valuable thing to have.” Izuku explained before All Might could even come up with something.

Shinsou deflated somewhat, and All Might looked… embarrassed? Did he not think of that while making the exercise?

“First battle… Team D as heroes against… Team A!” All Might declared quickly.

He and Shinsou were team A, but who was team D?

IIda and… Oh, Bakugo.

This would be interesting.

All Might informed that those not in the battle would watch from the cameras, and that there was a small grace period for both teams to plan.

Izuku was already scheming as they went down to their end of the field. The bomb was already placed down, but nobody had said they couldn’t move it.

Shinsou remained quiet, but Izuku abruptly remembered that he was not alone in this exercise.

“What’s the trigger for brainwash to work?”

“What do you- I mean…”

Shinsou went silent, looking like he was making an extreme effort not to look incredibly offended. It wasn’t working.

So it was a little touch and go with details, Izuku could work with that. Kind of.

“We’re doing this exercise together. I need to know, and we need some sort of a plan."

“When people respond to me, I have the opportunity to take control. It’s not very extensive control and can be easily lifted by some pain or a really good jostle.”

“Do you need a vocal response or just a response?”

“You’re asking questions like you already know what to ask. What do you think?” Shinsou replied tartly.

Izuku frowned.

“I’m just really good at observation, Shinsou-san. But if I had to venture a guess, I’d say you need a vocal response. I’d also say you’ve never tested if you need to speak in order to get your opportunity or if you can simply take control when they’re responding period. Though I find the chances of it being true to be rather low.” Izuku informed, pleasant yet incredibly dry.

Shinsou visibly twitched. “And how do you propose I test that, mister observation?”

“Simple. Do something really annoying to get them to yell at you and see if you can take them over. In fact, if it turns out to be true it would be a smart idea to test if your own action requires intent to take them over to allow activation, but that might be better tested in a safe environment with a willing volunteer.”

“Oh, and who am I to get to willing be brainwashed ?”

“Me, if you really like. But we need to plan now, if you don’t mind.”

Shinsou gave a baffled blink, and overall was so thrown off his rhythm that he defaulted to focusing on what was actually at hand. 

“What do you have in mind?”

Izuku gave his best mischievous smile as he began explaining.

~~

Izuku floated along in absolute silence as the exercise began. He was damn near prone on the ceiling in an attempt to hide. So few people looked up in a fight, admittedly because it was very rare to have a threat from that angle. Thank god for high vaulted ceilings, though the doorways were a problem.

One of two things would happen in this fight, as Bakugo was unpredictable at the best of times. Either Bakugo would gun for Izuku and entirely ignore the bomb, making it a one on one fight after Izuku took out Iida, or Bakugo would gun for the bomb and be prompted into brainwashing- then caught- by Shinsou.

“I’M NOT WAITING FOR YOUR SHITTY ASS TO FOLLOW ME.” Rang through the building. That didn’t clear anything up, but the explosion sounds started up and got progressively closer. Izuku grimaced at the noise. Sensitive hearing wasn’t fun, as he perpetually continued to out.

“Show yourself you fucking coward! I know you’re here!” Bakugo screamed, flying underneath Izuku in an attempt to search for him.

Izuku just kept carefully floating, listening for Iida.

The plan, as it was, was to try exceedingly hard to end things quickly and without much show or fuss. Izuku was tempted to use something other than telekinesis, but it would make later even less pleasant.

Finally, after some wandering, he heard the engines faint rumble and a shout of “Bakugo-san, this is not how heroes behave! We must work together!”

Iida didn’t even hear him drop down. Izuku had to give points for good instincts, as Iida attempted to zoom away last second, but the tape was already wrapping around him.

“Iida has been captured by the villains!” All Might declared over the speakers.

Iida shot Izuku a slightly pained look.

“How did you get behind me? I was certain there would be no way for one of you to do so.”

Izuku smiled and floated towards the ceiling. Telekinesis was awesome.

“I… didn’t know you could do that.” Iida admitted.

“It’s not easy, if it makes you feel any better. I have to carefully manage every point of pressure, since it’s a little too easy to launch myself through the air like this.”

Iida nodded, a glimmer of respect deep in his eyes.

“Midoriya-san! The closer Bakugo-san gets the less certain of this I am, he sounds ruthless .” Shinsou shouted, causing Izuku to slam himself into the ceiling with surprise.

“... What was that?”

“My own idiocy.” Izuku wheezed. He took a deep breath in and began moving again. “Relax a little, I’m going after Bakugo now. Remember, he is extraordinarily reactive. It won’t be difficult to get him to respond.”

“That won’t make me feel better when he launches himself at me with the fury of a volcano.”

“Yeah, that’s… That’s fair. Do your best though, I’m on my way.”

Izuku could hear Bakugo’s screaming get louder, and after some careful positioning in the hallways he could tell that Bakugo was nearly a straight shot from him.

They were awful close to the bomb room, but this would be the best opportunity for an instant takedown he’d get.

Izuku dropped closer to the floor, and propelled himself through the doorway. And the next, adjusting when he saw Bakugo to slam into him. The capture tape was ready.

“YOU-”

Bakugo didn’t get to finish. He was on the floor, but that wasn’t the end. The tape was blasted away, slightly burning as it went.

“Damnit!” Izuku screeched, diving for it. Even with it back in his hands, he had a new problem.

“You and me, one on one! And none of your pansy ass BULLSHIT , I want you at full force!” Bakugo screamed, flying towards him.

“I’d kill you. You would be nothing more than a smear on the ground.”

“Then do it, you fucking waffle !” Bakgo yelled, screaming ‘waffle’ in english. He threw himself forward with a right hook, and Izuku laughed as Bakugo flew. Oh how glad he was to have taught Bakugo incorrect english swear words.

All Might was vaguely confused in the camera room. Were waffles supposed to be terrible or something?

“Excuse what little english I know, but did he just call you a waffle?” Shinsou asked over the coms.

“Yeah, I taught him that. Funniest thing I’ve ever done.” Izuku muttered, dodging Bakugo with ease.

“He’s going to kill you when he finds that out and you won’t have the school to save you.”

“It’s been his favorite swear word for years. It means I’ve done something really special to piss him off this time.”

“We’re not going to have a body, are we?”

“I mean- I’d like to see him try, but assuming he does get ahold of me and then wins, no.

”Quit blabbing and fucking fight me!”

Izuku lifted Bakugo into the air with telekinesis. “Nah.”

And oh boy was it more difficult than Izuku would’ve guessed. The explosions really fucked with the force he had to exert and it was just a mess, with Bakugo jerking around in the air like it was his life goal to see how many backflips he could do consecutively.

“Goddamn- waffles, waffles all around! Put me the waffle down you fucking waffle.”

All “waffle”s in english of course.

All Might was increasingly confused and concerned.

With a frustrated scream, Bakugo stopped squirming mid-air. Izuku could sense that this wasn’t going to be good.

“Screw this. See these gauntlets?” Bakugo prompted, allowing himself to be held while motioning to his arms.

Izuku’s mind whirred at full force, and unfortunately he knew those gauntlets. He just hadn’t realized it since it’d been years since they played Design and got everyone to vote on the better outfit.

“You’ll kill me if you’re not careful with those.”

“You’re sturdier than that you dipshit, and you know it. And I know the limits of Telekinesis, you can’t get large objects too far away before you lose control- and loss of sight on target isn’t something you can't risk with me in the air . Either stand there and take it, or put me down and dodge.”

It was a rather simple choice as Bakugo moved to pull the pin and All Might shouted to stop whatever was going on. Izuku could feel the heat as he darted away, Bakugo dropping to the floor unceremoniously.

“Hey, asshole!” Shinsou shouted. Ah, Izuku’s hero.

“You wanna fucking g-”

“Stand still and be quiet.”

Bakugo went limp and unfocused, letting Izuku wrap capture tape around him.

“Bakugo has been captured by the villains! Both members of the hero team are incapacitated, villain team wins!”

“Keep him under for now, he’ll kill you when you let him out!” Izuku shrieked. Shinsou gave him a grim look and obeyed, instructing Bakugo into the camera room as they went.

“Release your classmate.” All Might ordered flatly. Shinsou shrugged and everyone discovered that Izuku was absolutely correct.

“The fuck was that you shitty-” Bakugo began, holding Shinsou by the collar before anyone could even blink.

“What? Going to call him a villain? Mock him for staying within the rules and using what he had?” Izuku taunted. 

The class didn’t understand why Bakugo froze and let Shinsou go before turning to Izuku.

“And what if I was?”

“I’d call you a fucking hypocrite. I’m sturdy? Fine, you’ve got your shitty technicality, I’ll even make you a trophy for it if you like! But you were still one hundred percent willing to give another classmate severe second degree burns because they held you in the air. I’d call that pretty evil, especially for being on the hero team.”

Bakugo only ground his teeth.

“Well uh, as confused as I am to your histories with each other, Midoriya is correct young Bakugo. That was unacceptable by every measure and will be brought up to the school. There will be no punishment this time, as nothing did come of it, but consider this a warning.” All Might informed. Izuku could tell that he was making shit up on the spot.

“Moving on to a lighter subject, would anyone like to tell me the MVP?”

“I think that would be Midoriya-san.” Yaoyorozu quickly answered, not allowing for anything else to happen.

“And why is that?” All Might prompted.

“We heard everything” Yaoyorozu began for the participants benefit “and it was clear by how they talked that Midoriya-san had planned near everything. He took Iida out with ease and made a strong attempt to do so with Bakugo-san, and despite almost no show of true power he held off Bakugo-san by holding him in the air.” She explained.

“Not to undercut what everyone else did though. Iida-san did remarkably well with an uncooperative teammate and Shinsou-san is why the battle ended the way it did.” Yaoyorozu added quickly.

“Wonderful! You have left me with almost nothing to add, as you have given a thorough and fair assessment.” All Might praised.

“Though, we must continue with our matches now. Settle down, and the next teams- you know who you are- head down to the battlefield. I will inform you of when I start the timer.”

“Also, and this is mostly irrelevant, young Bakugo- what do you think “waffle” means?”

Izuku quietly floated to the ceiling in order to hide.

~~

One extremely pissed Bakugo later they were watching Uraraka and Todoroki’s fight against Sato and Yaoyorozu. They were still preparing, but it was interesting and intense nonetheless.

Until Izuku was tapped on the shoulder, and he turned to see Shinsou.

“Yeah?”

“Were you serious about helping me train Brainwash?”

“Why would I lie?”

Shinsou gave him an off look. 

“Most people aren’t so willing to lose control of their body.”

Izuku gave a shrug and said “I’m not most people. It’s a quirk and you’re in the hero course for a reason. What are you going to do, throw me out a window for your bemusement?”

Something darkened in Shinsou at those words.

“Ah- sorry. My humor is pretty dry, and often dark. Wasn’t really thinking about how you’d react to the implications.” Izuku apologized quickly.

“Battle, begin!” All Might commanded.

And then the entire building was encased in ice.

All Might quickly looked at every screen he could.

“Young Todoroki, what do you intend-”

“We’re the villains right? So extreme force isn’t frowned upon. It’s not like they’re going to go anywhere anytime soon, since every door in the complex should be blocked.”

All Might didn’t have much to say to that.

To Yaoyorozu’s credit, a flame thrower was an unsurprisingly effective tool to use to make doors. But with Todoroki refreshing the ice they were soon locked into a cycle of making the barest of educated guesses to where they were supposed to be going before their way back was blocked off.

“Villain team wins, having run out the clock! Please return to the camera room.” All Might shouted as the buzzer rang out.

And so the matches went. It was fascinating, seeing how his classmates applied themselves. He wrote his notes as the matches dragged, eliciting a single odd look from Shinsou once he finally noticed.

Izuku found himself quietly wishing that he was in the field with the teams, for picture reasons. Drawings could be even better than the photos in showing how things worked, but he was finding that nothing quite matched the perfect shot of a hero fight taped into his notebook.

And suddenly everything was done. It was time to get out of the suits and into normal clothes, and the true end of the school day drew ever closer.

And suddenly it was there, with the last bell ringing and select few people flocking to talk with him.

“You did awesome with your battle!” Uraraka cheered. Shinsou jumped while Izuku smiled and nodded.

“You did good too. Sure, Todoroki-san did a lot of the work, but there’s nothing wrong with taking the backseat sometimes.” Izuku said, attempting to reassure her.

“Y-yeah. He’s pretty powerful.” Uraraka said, attempting to grin. So Izuku was right, she was a little ashamed she couldn’t do anything.

“Truly! If he is that powerful with his ice, I wonder what he can achieve with his fire too!” Iida shouted.

“You’re loud.” Shinsou commented flatly.

Iida paused. “Sorry. I often forget my volume is not appropriate for indoor settings.”

“It happens. Iida-san, you did pretty good for having Bakugo-san absolutely ditch you.” Izuku praised.

“I- I can’t really agree. I feel as though I should’ve been able to get through to him.” Iida sighed.

“Don’t blame yourself. Afterall, he was fully ready to throw down with Shinsou-san even after the fight ended and we released him. Nobody can get through to him unless he lets them.”

“Speaking of.. What was that?” Uraraka asked.

“What?”

“That.” Shinsou reiterated for Uraraka. “What you said didn’t seem like it should’ve stopped him dead, and yet…”

“Oh. We know each other pretty well, and I don’t take his bullshit. There’s… There’s more to that, but I don’t wanna give my life story out- it’s long, and we should be going anyways.”

Izuku spared a glance as he turned and suddenly remembered a promise of his.

“Wait, training. Hold on, let me write it out.”

“Write what out?” Shinsou asked, baffled.

“My number. You’ll need to contact me so we can set it up.”

“Now what’s this about training?” Uraraka asked.

“Err.. no offense, but shouldn’t you also have a train or a bus to catch? Or are you within walking distance?” Izuku questioned, penning the number into an empty page. Izuku wasn't trying to be mean, though he was trying to get her to leave. Training with Shinsou, assuming it would happen, would not be any of her business.

“Eugh, the rent would be stupid high if I were… But I can always catch a different bus, waiting fifteen minutes for the next isn’t the end of the world. Training?”

“Quirk training. Shinsou kind of needs a volunteer to do anything with his, and I usually have time to kill anyways. I know the perfect quirk gym to do it too, it’s got lockable units.”

Izuku ripped out the page and moved to hand it to Shinsou.

“Perhaps I could join you! Training with others is beneficial, and we can all share ideas!” Iida shouted, waving his hands excitedly.

Izuku gave a slightly panicked look to Shinsou, who sent one back. What were they going to do?

“Y’know, that actually sounds kinda fun. And I could stand to practice my quirk too. Would the gym have heavy weights? Actually, no, better question would be if it costs anything to use.” Uraraka questioned.

“There’s a public portion that doesn’t require membership- and it does have weights- but I have a membership and my own weights because of telekinesis.” Izuku responded automatically.

“It seems it’s settled! I will take a copy of your number to contact you later, so we can set up a date.” Iida demanded.

“That’s… uh. Sure?” Izuku murmured, ripping the paper into three. “This is happening, I guess.”

Izuku was confused, to say the least. Sure, he’d offered to train Shinsou because he didn’t mind as long as he got information out of it, but other classmates inserting themselves into it?

Even Wada, lost puppy he could be, stayed out of it when Izuku insisted that Ishii should practice Paralysis.

Uraraka and Iida eyed the number he handed to them, putting it into their phones.

“Listen, I have to go, like, now. I’ve got plans. See you guys tomorrow, try texting me tonight so we can start planning.” Izuku instructed, slipping away before they could lure him into more conversation.

All Might, in his deflated form, waited just around the corner. Izuku gave a tight smile as they rushed away to a quiet room.

“You needed to talk to me?” All Might asked the moment the door closed.

“Y-yeah I- wait, do you have something to say?”

Izuku was distracting the topic, he knew that, but it really did seem like All Might had something to say!

“Can’t get past you it seems. Just some discussion over how we’re going to train you with One for All, it can wait.”

“R-right… so you know when you don’t say something because- at least at the start- it’s not their business to know?”

“Yes, there are many details like that.”

“And then you get closer and the point where you should’ve admitted it slides past without notice, forgotten until you realize you’re effectively lying by that point?”

“... Yes, I do. What are you… Go on.”

Izuku could feel the smoke rise up, and tears drip down a bit.

“R-right. So my.. I have…”

“Take your time.”

“My quirk… is not telekinesis. Not really.”

All Might gave a quiet and searching stare.

“Then what is it, my boy? Surely it must be something similar, or else I’d find it hard to fake such a thing.”

“W-well that’s sort of the problem. I have telekinesis, but I have a lot of other things too.”

All Might gave a surprised blink, and nodded. 

“Two quirks are rare, but I understand they’re becoming more common in your and later generations.”

“More.”

“More what? Oh, no no, so it’s three. I see.”

“More.”

Izuku didn’t swallow the smoke this time, and simply exhaled the white-grey cloud as All Might’s expression changed for the worse.

“It, as a whole, is called Random Manifestation. I guess… Well, there’s not really another way to explain it- they just show up and stay.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“Exactly what I said. They show up without rhyme or reason, and whenever they do it’s another to add to the ever growing list. Another to practice with.”

Ah, there it went. The point where anxiety gave to a zen like state of wanting to puke as his mind began to just not process fear. Izuku straightened up and gave All Might a level look.

“I don’t tell people because it attracts attention I don’t want. Just think- I’m powerful, more powerful than most people could dream of being. I get it, I really do- I lied and that’s not right. And I get that it kind of was your business from go when we were training telekinesis, but I didn’t expect you to stay or… any of what happened, really.”

“Young Midoriya…” All Might breathed.

And as Izuku lowered his gaze to the floor, suddenly there was a hand ruffling his hair.

“I’m… shocked. But I understand, at least in part. Somethings are simply great burdens. I wish you’d said something from the beginning, as this changes a lot about how you’ll have to train, but you’re not in trouble.” All Might reassured.

Izuku didn’t need to look up to know that All Might was deeply troubled by the confession, and that his reassurance was little more than a mask for Izuku’s sake.

“Is this why you took the offer for One for All so badly?”

“... Yes.” Izuku confirmed.

“... Will you show me some of what you have? We’ll need to incorporate them into your regiments.”

Izuku was relieved to have something else to do, calmly showing All Might a handful of his quirks. 



Toshinori was still reeling from the reveal, theories and questions bouncing in his head.

But the quiet, calm, and appreciative way Midoriya showed and explained the quirks did a lot to soothe his nerves. Midoriya was a good kid, no matter what.

Chapter Text

There is something to be said for the days when one wakes up and feels like they’re in a mist from moment one. 

Nothing positive, though Izuku would be hard pressed to say he hated the days. He just didn’t like them.

And sadly, it was nice enough to simply stay in his own head and not care. To ignore the anxieties trying to drag him down and stand quietly as the train rattled away.

But there stood the media in front of the gates, harassing people as they went in. He could catch bits and pieces of the reporters questions, and found it faintly amusing they’d yet to tag a kid actually involved in the heroics course.

Time ticked away without him noticing as he watched from within a shadow. Good thing he got to school early anyways.

His father’s words echoed in his head as he considered how to deal with them.

“Sometimes you’ll come to a situation where you can’t do anything but sit and take it. Don’t let yourself lose ground, but keep your head up and pick your fights. Walk away if you have to.”

Admittedly not intended for annoying press, but given his mental state that morning it was just good he got something out of his mental meanderings.

With his head up and shoulders squared, he walked straight through the gaggle of reporters.

“Are you in the heroics class?” One asked.

“What’s All Might like as a teacher?” Another quizzed, not caring to check like the previous reporter.

Ultimately, just noise to him. 

“Jeez kid, you’re just a brick wall, aren't you?” A woman sighed, shoving a microphone even closer as he finally reached the card reader.

“Sorry, but I don’t have anything to say to any of you. Maybe if it was just one person and perhaps a camera person too I’d be kinder, but a flock of reporters is a red flag.” He informed, keeping his tone pleasant.

“Yeah, figures the baron’s brat would know better.” Someone muttered.

Izuku refused to look back as he walked into the school, even as his breath hitched and reality finally came into focus.

He just kept walking to class, quietly taking his seat as he eyed his classmates.

He caught Aizawa’s eye as the man wiggled into the room, earning the same off-put look as always.

The class was quickly put in order as Aizawa unzipped his bag and stood.

“Today, we have a special activity.”

Everyone around Izuku tensed.

“You must select your class president. I don’t care how, just do it by the end of homeroom.”

“That’s so normal!” Someone exclaimed, before the room burst into arguments over how they would proceed. Aizawa himself simply tucked himself away behind the desk and presumably went to sleep.

“How about we put it to a vote?” Iida questioned.

Nobody could really argue against the logic Iida presented, and so the class got out slips of paper and began voting.

Izuku’s choice was as straightforward as it got. Iida, while socially stiff, had the head and heart to actually lead.

And as Izuku heard the results, he couldn’t stop the errant eye twitch. Why did four people vote for him?

“I do not mean to be rude, but I must decline the position. While I’m sure my voters have perfectly justified reasons, I doubt I would be a good leader.”

Yaoyorozu seemed briefly conflicted before straightening up and saying “I beg to differ. During the battle trials you showed extraordinary skill in guiding your fellow classmate.”

“Yeah, but that’s like… battle strategy. Not board meetings. Those are two different things.”

Yaoyorozu deflated slightly, and seemed to grit her teeth. 

“Then who do you suggest take your place?”

“Iida. Just move you to president and Iida to vice, and it’ll be solved.”

“I beg to differ! I truly believe you would be well suited for the job, Midoriya-san! It’s why I voted for you.”

“I’m really not trying to be rude, but I’ve got a life.” Izuku informed tartly. Wincing at his own tone he forced himself to give an apologetic smile. “I just don’t know if I could make it to meetings and the like, I already do so much…”

Yeah, so much training and fight hunting. But they really didn’t know that was what he did.

“I’m certain the rest of the board would attempt to work with you so that you could attend most meetings.” Yaoyorozu informed at roughly the same time as Iida.

“I… hold on. Let me think.” izuku hissed.

“What if we did a second round of voting? Me, you, Iida-san, and Todoroki-san seeing as he got two votes himself- and that’s who everyone votes on.”

“But Iida got only one vote! If we’re gonna do it like that-” Kaminari piped up.

“I voted for him, and bar all else he has shown qualities ideal for formal leading.” Izuku informed acidly.

Izuku could hear Ashido mutter under her breath “He’s actually kind of terrifying.”

Izuku got the sense that it wasn’t about Iida.

“Are there any more objections?” Izuku asked.

“Are you certain you would like me in the running?” Iida questioned, baffled.

“Yeah. You’d be better at it than me, I think.”

“Then… no, I do not have objections. The class should get out new slips of paper in that case.”

“I think those in running should abstain from voting this time. We’ve already established that the class wants us, and letting entirely outside perspectives decide should help give a clearer picture of who should lead.” Izuku suggested.

“I concur.” Yaoyorozu agreed, solemn. Izuku gave her a knowing grin.

Yeah, it was to prevent self voting in the round- or the class believed so- but Izuku just took two of his original voters away from the choice to vote for him again.

This didn’t seem to dawn on Yaoyorozu until about halfway through Izuku’s walk to the front, and he got a respectfully sour look for it.

Voting was done within minutes, and all that was left was to count the votes.

~~

“Congratulations on your landslide win!” Iida shouted once they got to lunch, the first opportunity he’d gotten since Aizawa stepped in after the count.

“Thanks.” Izuku sighed, resigning to muttering in English.

“Eight votes, eight god damn votes- I wouldn’t trust myself with a pet rock.”

“I’m certain you’re more responsible than that! You have shown extreme care in your actions so far. ” Iida chipperly encouraged.

“What are we talking about?” Uraraka asked.

“Iida-san, how much english do you know?” Izuku asked, stunned.

“I am exceedingly fluent, as expected from someone of my background!”

“And what background would that be?” Shinsou questioned, manifesting from nowhere. What was it that drew people to Izuku??

“The Iida’s are a respectable hero family. At present, Iida’s older brother is known as Ingenium.” Yaoyorozu informed, being markedly less sneaky than Shinsou.

“I do not intend to offend, but what brings you to the group Yayorozu-san? Izuku asked politely, before Iida could start talking about his family.

“I will do myself no favors by leaving our socializing to the meeting rooms. We will work together quite often, and as such I decided to at least say hello outside of formal context.” Yaoyorozu explained.

“Ah. Well, hello! I think we should get our food and sit, yes? At least, it’ll be more favorable than standing in the sea of students.” izuku hummed, swinging from slightly sour to totally pleasant.

He could admit to inconsistency, but nobody could call him a bad actor.

Yaoyorozu didn’t emote beyond a nod, waiting as her classmates got settled in for lunch.

“Does anyone have a topic they wish to discuss?” Iida asked immediately after everyone took their seat, commandeering the conversation.

Nobody offered anything.

“Then, I would like to explain my background! I could see Shinsou-san was still curious.”

Shinsou froze when the attention turned to him, and Iida took it as a cue to go on.

“Yaoyorozu-san was correct! My brother and I are the third generation to attend UA and proceed into hero work! A lofty task, but I hope to do my family proud!”

“I’m sure you’ll do great.” Izuku encouraged absently, prodding his food to look like he was doing something.

“I appreciate your belief, though I hold no illusion that the path will be easy!” Iida shouted.

“When you think about it, there are a lot of big names in class 1-A this year.” Yaoyorozu mused.

“Really? Who?” Uraraka asked, leaning forward to listen. Shinsou scooted away, unused to large groups.

“I myself would be one of them. The Yaoyorozus are a very influential family, though admittedly not a hero family. Todoroki-san is the son of Endeavor. And…” 

Yaoyorozu hesitated.

“Well, I’m not certain on the last one, so I’d prefer not to name them. But it’s not a common family name.”

“They can’t be from a hero family then, I’d know the name.” Izuku frowned, thinking about the rest of the students.

“... No, they aren’t.” Yaoyorozu admitted, giving Izuku an odd look.

“Anybody think of joining a club? I know we’ll be busy with the hero course, but UA has to have clubs, right?” Uraraka asked, steering the conversation away from impending silence.

Iida launched into a speech about the importance of clubs, captivating Uraraka and Shinsou.

Yaoyorozu motioned for Izuku’s attention and leaned across the table.

“Yeah, need something?” Izuku hummed.

“Midoriya isn’t a very common family name.”

“... No, it’s not.”

“I-”

And then the sirens went off. Screaming and wailing, warning that something dangerous was here. But oh god, the volume.

Izuku bit back his shriek and covered his ears. Students surged around him, running in a panic. If he got up he could be trampled by the sheer amount of people.

But there was Uraraka, dragging him to his feet and pulling him into the crowd. The crowd, an unforgiving sea. Each student was both a wave to push him forward and a rock to crash against. His hands buzzed with his panic and he tucked his arms in the best he could.

The sirens were still going, and he couldn’t hear. The students surged again and slammed him against a table, and without hesitation he crawled on top of it. The students paid him no mind, for what was one drop to the ocean?

He shakily stood, still deafened, still pinning his hands under his arms. Could Healing cover hearing loss? Maybe.

But there, out the window-

Reporters.

He wanted to laugh. He probably did, not that he could hear himself.

The students swarmed around the table, still scared and panicked. He needed to fix this, somehow.

He didn’t even think, just reached inside himself. A tingle spread in his throat, and it wasn’t flamethrower.

“Attention all students. It is just the reporters that have been lurking at the gates, they found a way in. We are not under attack.”

Voice Boost helped balance the noise from outside his head by making noise inside his head. Not that he could hear any better, but everything got markedly less painful.

“Please exit calmly, respectfully, and quietly . You are not in danger.”

The shouting and screaming stopped almost instantly. The siren was still going but half of his problem had been solved.

But he couldn’t tell anyone when he managed to get off the table, or get back into classes. Izuku wasn’t with the world anymore.

Even as everyone complimented his quick action, he only smiled and nodded. He was the talk of the class, he may have heard a few -sama’s tossed around on top of it all.

And all he could do was quietly stare at his hands.

~~

“... We’ve already recorded it, Izuku.”

“I know, but I can’t do that again. I can’t do anything like that again, anywhere. If I’m in the middle of a battlefield and can’t deal with the noise I can’t just leave. I’ll be in the middle of a fight just trying to stay with reality.”

“I… I see. We’ll take Enhanced Hearing off the records, I promise. Can you get to the hospital before your mom makes it home? We can do this now.”

“Yes, thank you dad.”

Izuku didn’t want to know what would happen with the quirk after he gave it to his dad. That was not his concern.

His concern was being able to make it through the day without small panic attacks from extremely loud noises. The false attack was just the cherry flavored icing on the top of the cake for why he didn’t want the quirk.

Even as he could feel it pass to his father, he was relieved. As his father’s voice came out slightly too quiet, he was relieved. As he could feel the missing space in the swirling mess of power within him, he was relieved.

He needed to get home though. He shouldn’t have been at the hospital, and his mom would be home soon. She could be niave- and a little too trusting- but she wasn’t dumb. If he wasn’t there when she was, she would have a fit and get answers whether he liked it or not.

After he got home, he would need to calm down and relax before something bad happened. Tomorrow would be better.

Chapter Text

“Alright everyone, please get into the bus- and be at least vaguely ordered about it. No pushing or shoving, let’s keep shouting to a minimum.” Izuku directed, waving everyone on.

Yaoyorozu stood quietly, watching for violations of the bare minimum rules.

“Everyone’s on, we’re good? Ok then, to the USJ we go. Plus Ultra!” Izuku chanted, raising a fist in the air.

“Plus Ultra!” Everyone shouted back, the bus exploding into noise. Izuku wedged himself next to Asui, hoping to go unnoticed.

“Kero, hello Midoriya-sama.” Asui greeted. Izuku gave the same undignified squeak as the last three times someone addressed him with -sama. 

“Hello Asui-san.” He mumbled.

“Call me Tsuyu.” She croaked.

Izuku knew she picked up on his uncomfortable twitch. Straight first name? That was… Hm.

“I’ll call you Tsuyu if you drop the sama.”

“Got a nickname?” She asked. Her expression was unreadable, not that it was ever particularly expressive.

“Everyone called me Midori-kun.”

“Hello Midori-chan.”

“Hello Tsuyu.”

Izuku could feel everyone stare slightly.

“Do you need anything Tsuyu?”

“I think your quirk is very interesting. Telekinesis is common enough, but yours is very strong. I haven’t seen your strength quirk yet.”

Izuku only chuckled. “It only gets more interesting the further in you get, I assure you. Frog is pretty neat too.”

“You think so?” Tsuyu asked over Bakugo’s loud hacking noise.

“He thinks all quirks are neat.” Shinsou added.

“Guilty as charged. But still, Frog is pretty cool too!”

“Thank you. It’s rare to hear that, since it’s not flashy.”

“Oh, same! I mean, hardening is great ‘cause it makes me real tough, but it just doesn’t have that flair, y’know?” Kirishima added.

“I mean- popular appeal is good, but I think not dying and saving people are higher on the list. You’ll do great as a hero.” Izuku assured.

“Popular appeal is still a big part of the hero job, no? After all, getting your name out there is how you get the big jobs. Personally, I think naval laser is perfect! Strong and flashy, just how the public likes.” Aoyama bragged.

“If you wanna talk about strong and flashy, Bakugo-san and Todoroki-san have really cool quirks too!” Uraraka cheered, waving to those in question as she spoke.

“Bakugo is too unhinged to ever be popular.” Tsuyu noted.

“The fuck did you say Frog-face?!”

“My point exactly.”

“Yeah man, I mean- well- not everyone’s gonna be sunshine and rainbows, but you’ve made it abundantly clear that your personality is about as pleasant as a swim in the sewers.” Kaminari added.

“Oh yeah?! How about you put your own attitude where your mouth is and I’ll pound you, one on one, right FUCKING here!”

“Naaah, I’ll pass. Best to save the pounding for those dastardly obstacles in rescue training.”

Izuku knew nothing about Kaminari other than he liked his wit, and frankly that was enough in that moment.

Bakugo launched into a new rant, inadvertently becoming the bus’s source of amusement. Only Iida and Yaoyorozu seemed displeased by his stream of filth, with Todoroki remaining neutral.

Bakugo deflated as the mood of the others caught up to him, briefly looking like he was about to get even angrier. But then the bus lurched to a stop, and whatever fire remained in his lungs was snuffed out as Aizawa called for them to exit the bus.

“Oh, it’s Thirteen!” Uraraka quietly squealed upon exit. Indeed, the hero was standing patiently some distance away.

“You like them?” Izuku asked absently, scanning the area.

“They’re a great rescue hero! Their quirk takes a lot of skill to use effectively, but they’re fantastic for getting large pieces of rubble out of the way.”

“Sounds like yours.”

“Heh, flatterer! But I’m not nearly as skilled as them.”

“You just need practice and a good sit down to come up with other practical applications. You’ll be fantastic, but the results won’t fall from the sky. You’ll have to work for it, like all heros do- Thirteen included.”

Izuku could tell he’d pleased Uraraka with his down to earth encouragement, but he was stuck scanning the environment endlessly.

That stupid feeling. He’d say he hated it, but could he really hate forewarning? 

Thirteen and Aizawa were still talking as Uraraka brought him to reality with a good tap.

“Hellooo? I was asking if you think we could touch on stuff like that tomorrow when we go and train.”

“Oh, yeah, totally. We could- hey wait, what stuff? Stuff is really vague. Could be any stuff. Could be oreo stuff for all I know.”

Uraraka began laughing, though they were interrupted by Aizawa calling for their attention.

Thirteen put their hands together pleasantly, likely smiling underneath the helmet.

“Welcome to the unforeseen simulation joint! I apologize that All Might isn’t here to teach with me, as he seems to have run into some trouble.”

Izuku frowned. Did All Might run out of time, or…? There was a news story during the morning about some fights All Might meddled with on his way to work.

“But! We will continue regardless. Today's lesson is how to apply one’s quirk to rescue without harming yourself, the surroundings, or innocents.” Thirteen explained. 

Izuku could sense a swell in his classmates discomfort, which was alarming in of itself. Did (almost) nobody consider that rescue would be necessary? 

“I’m sure all your quirks are lovely in their own rights-”

Shinsou snorted from somewhere behind Izuku.

“- but consider the danger you can pose to innocents in a heated fight. Using myself as an example, what if I were to accidentally place one of my black holes too close to a civilian? Or a person at all really, as innocence has little to do with the harm you can cause.”

Nobody dared answer. Izuku gave a glance at his covered hands in the slight pause.

“In Aizawa’s exam you learned about your potential. In All Might’s battle simulation, well, I think you got the sense of how it feels to use your power against others.”

“Today we’ll learn how to use our powers for others. Hopefully this will be a fresh start, new groundwork for how to think of your quirks in the context of heroism.”

Thirteen paused, the helmet shifting to imply they were looking at all the students.

“Thank you for listening so intently and quietly. We can now prepare for our activities.” Thirteen hummed, clearly pleased.

“Alright, first things first.” Aizawa began, sounding extremely bored.

Izuku would call the moments after that the point where all hell broke loose, with black mist congealing and opening like a gate straight to hell.

“Huddle together and don’t move!”

“Is this a training exercise?” Kirishima asked, eyeing the people pouring out of the mist.

“Don’t move! Those are villains!”

With one sentence, and really it was just one word, Izuku was ready to throw down.

“Stay! Back!” Aizawa barked, seeing Izuku shift.

Hand Man stepped out from behind other villains and seemed to survey the area.

“Hm. Seems our information from yesterday wasn’t right. It said All Might was supposed to be here too.” He sighed.

“I knew that wasn’t just the reporters.”

“Well, where is he? Don’t tell my you made a change of plans once you got suspicious…”

Aizawa didn’t respond.

“I wonder what he’ll do if we start killing. Will he come running?” Hand Man asked, eyeing Aizawa.

“Isn’t there an alarm system?” Yaoyorozu asked, slightly panicked.

“Of course, but-”

“If this is the only part of the campus they’ve infiltrated they might not have gone off. It’s not impossible to have a quirk that counters them anyways.” Todoroki added.

“They have to some objective. We’re isolated in a building far away from the rest of the campus, and other classes are running. This has to be well planned.” Thirteen continued, mostly theorizing to themself.

“Thirteen, activate evacuation procedure! See if you can call the school, they probably have someone who can interfere with signals but I’ll be damned if we don’t try!” Eraserhead shouted, moving forward.

“Wait, sensei- are you going to fight them all ?!” Izuku shrieked.

Erasure was powerful no doubt but there were so many at once, and Eraserhead couldn’t keep them all down permanently. 

Eraserhead would lose, if not outright die trying.

“Don’t mark me down for the count before I’ve even started.” He grunted, launching forward.

Izuku had to give credit where it was due. The odds didn’t seem to be in their favors, but Eraserhead took it like the professional he was and wove through combat with ease.

“This isn’t the time to analyze kid! We need to evacuate!” Thirteen shouted, Izuku already having notebook in hand and muttering in english.

“I’m afraid I can’t let you leave.” A voice sounded, the mist forming into a human shape.

“We are the villain alliance.” It greeted, scanning the people before it. The yellow eyes lingered on Izuku before flicking back to watching Thirteen.

“Hopefully we are not too presumptuous, but we had made our way here in order to battle “The Symbol of Peace” as he may be called. Though, perhaps young master was right and UA did alter the schedule after the break in. That aside-”

And then the shiftfest squared itself, with Bakugo and Kirishima launching forward to take out the villain.

But the villain was mist, and even as they crowed the mist opened up black pits around them.

“That was a dangerous move. Though, you are the golden eggs of the upcoming heroes- I should not have taken my eyes off you.” The mist noted sourly.

“Run!” Thirteen shouted. But even if Izuku had tried to move, he would just wiggled in the mist swallowing him.

“You will be divided and detained. Count your blessings- for you are not the targets. Further resistance will not be treated kindly.”

‘Warping’ Izuku thought. ‘It’s warping, where are we-’

The world blinked away for a brief moment and Izuku fell towards water. The flood zone?

A villain grinned through the bubbles, his face falling as they cleared.

“Aw, no fun.” The villain grumbled through the water. “Well, nothing personal, but-”

Tsuyu, absolute savior she was, kicked the villain at full speed and leapt out of the water, taking Izuku with her.

With great speed Tsuyu dragged Izuku and a dazed Shinsou to the massive boat.

“Thank you Tsuyu.” Izuku wheezed, spitting out water.

“Don’t mention it. Seriously, we’ve got bigger issues.” Tsuyu croaked.

“Definitely. There’s no way yesterday wasn’t part of this master plan of theirs, and they seem to be quite the opportunists with when they popped in.” Izuku muttered, forcing himself to his feet. Perhaps a bit too soon, but there was no time to lose.

“Wait though, their goal is to kill All Might. I’m not exactly an optimist, but these guys are insane if they think he’s just going to go down like that .” Shinsou interjected, rising to his feet.

“They have to have a plan though, otherwise all of this effort is a massive and absurd waste that will only land them in jail.” Tsuyu argued. Izuku peered over the railing as she spoke, eyeing their mounting problem.

“We’ve got bigger issues still, guys. I’m not sure the other villains got the memo that we’re not targets.” 

A villain grinned from a distance, seeming to revel in their shocked stares as he and his partners in crime began circling.

“Well great. Either mist man was lying or their own underlings are going rogue.” Shinsou gripped.

“I did kick a lot of them. I think that classifies as resistance.” Tsuyu admitted.

“Resistance it may be but if they really intended to only corral us then it’d take more than a kick and a mad dash to make them abandon that plan.” Izuku muttered.

Izuku looked back to the villains, who seemed to be content with circling ominously for now. But how long would that last?

“We’ll have to fight. I don’t think we can get around that.”

“No offense Mr. Strategy, but what the hell are we going to do when we’re outnumbered three to one, minimum? We’ve had one battle session with All Might for fucks sake, we’ll be better off trying to hold out!” Shinsou screeched.

Izuku could only frown at that. 

“For what help? Aizawa-sensei even said communication was probably down.”

The blood drained from Shinsou’s face as it finally hit him.

“They’re clearly suited for underwater combat. They planned very well.” Tsuyu noted.

“Yeah, but there’s something odd- namely that you’re here. You’re frog-like, water’s your element, right?”

Tsuyu nodded.

“So even with the break in there’s no way they’ve got our quirks. We can use that.”

“Well then.” Tsuyu croaked. “I can jump really high and extend my tongue for about twenty meters. I can also expel and inflate my stomach, which has a mild poison- though I stress mild. All it really does is irritate and itch.”

“What- wait, no, you’re still insane. What exactly are we going to do here? We’re three kids in the middle of nowhere.” Shinsou huffed as they turned to him.

“Well hopefully we’re going to win before they decide it’s not worth waiting us out, but to do that with any sort of success we all need to know what we’re working with.” Izuku hissed, jerking his head towards the antsy villains and giving a meaningful flick towards Tsuyu.

“I can brainwash people if they respond to my voice.” Shinsou admitted after a couple seconds.

Tsuyu only gave a croak in response, nodding thoughtfully. Izuku turned to the villains, who were inching ever closer, and tried thinking of what exactly would be useful.

“You could yell at them and see how many we can get off the bat.” Tsuyu suggested.

“It’s not as complete of control as you’re thinking. If they get jolted or even lightly nicked, I won’t have them under control anymore.”

“Then it’ll buy us time where we have less villains to deal with.” Izuku informed flatly.

“Midori-chan, you haven’t clarified your quirk yet. Work with us.” Tsuyu demanded. Izuku knew she wasn’t being and wouldn’t be mean or suspicious (probably), but fear curled around his throat.

“R-right. So obviously, I’ve got telekinesis. I know I’ve floated people before but I don’t know if I can do that for three at once- though weight isn’t the problem. If it’s weight we need I can do up to three metric tons. Even if it would work though, one ranged weapons or quirk down there and we’re sitting ducks.”

Tsuyu remained quiet, while Shinsou shifted uncomfortably.

“And then there’s… uh… fuck, there’s strength and-”

“Fuck this, get ’em boys.” A villain shouted.

Before Izuku could respond there was an almighty crash, the boat tilting severely after shaking enough to make Izuku dizzy.

“We’re not straightening out, they have to have pierced the hull.” Izuku noted dimly.

“Hey, fuckwits! Is that all you got? Cause goddamn, my grandma could do better than that, and all she could do was control her voices pitch!” Shinsou shouted, gripping the railing for dear life.

There was one lone shout among the villains, the idiot’s expression almost immediately going slack.

“Good time to test if it’s just your will they respond to or if they actually need to hear you.” Izuku informed, trying to think.

What could he do, what could he do, what could he do??

There was nothing obvious unless he was going to cannonball into the water and pump Electricity up to full. But the ship was metal and now it was taking on water, so it was super extra not safe to do that.

Flame thrower was worthless with the distance, and even if he got up close he was surrounded by water. People severely underestimated how much raw power it takes to so much as simmer large amounts of water.

Hydrokinesis? Too much water. Way too much. Most of the villains wouldn’t drown, so unless he was going to make some vicious currents to extend their time and let Tsuyu or Shinsou handle them it wasn’t helpful.

“It’s not working, they need to hear me.”

“Um, right- ok. I have one of two plans. First is super duper not safe but we’ll win near instantly, but you need to find a way to stay off the ship while I do it. Also you’re not allowed to ask about what I do until after we make it out alive.”

“Alright, and what’s your second plan?” Tsuyu asked, waiting expectantly.

“I can severely mess with the water, making currents and fuck with their mobility- but that’s all I’ll be able to do- and that means you’ll have to take them out since Shinsou-san doesn’t have options for distance or an advantage in water.”

“The currents will make it so I can’t do anything either. I can jump high and take Shinsou with me.” Tsuyu decided.

“Right, on go.”

Oh god he was doing this.

“Ready, start counting, kero.”

This was really really dangerous to people who weren’t him.

“One. Jump a second after go, because it won’t be immediate but I won’t be able to say anything.”

He would get so many questions for this.

“Two.” was spoken at the same time “Got it.” was uttered.

What if the villains themselves drowned?

“Three.”

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck-

“Go!” Izuku shouted, jumping off the boat deck. He didn’t see if Tsuyu jumped at all, just heard shouting before everything was blocked by the water.

He didn’t even open his eyes as he let the electricity run out of him like the world's most violent generator.

It was nice. A knot in his chest quietly began untying itself at the release of energy. And Izuku couldn’t feel the electricity himself, so he was just floating as he unleashed all hell.

Reality ebbed back in as the instinct to breathe began to press. Was Tusyu still in the air with Shinsou? How long had he been going?

He stopped the electricity as abruptly as he’d started it, swimming like hell for the surface.

Tsuyu cannonballed next to him the moment he hit air, grabbing him by what little loose fabric she could get.

“Everyone’s either knocked out or not moving anytime soon. We need to go.” She shouted, tugging Izuku along.

Telekinesis helped reduce his weight, letting him sort of float as Tsuyu swam.

Izuku twisted in her grip all the while, trying to look at the villains.

Tsuyu was right, of course, but he had to check. Had to see for himself.

With a spin, he focused on the slowly approaching land. Way too slowly.

“Hey, Tsuyu?”

“Yeah?”

“Hold on for dear life, because while this is significantly less dumb it’d be pretty shit to lose you.”

He rose higher as her grip tightened, eventually lifting all three of them out of the water.

“Anyone wanna say something before I see how fast I can move us by just floating me?”

“Uh, yeah, firstly you’re insane. Secondly, what’s next here? Where can we go? There’s gotta be villains everywhere.” Shinsou hissed, trying not to let his teeth chatter.

The concept of shock dimly registered in the back of Izuku’s mind.

“We should check up on Aizawa-sensei at the plaza. Who knows how long he can hold out?” Tsuyu suggested.

“Sounds like we could do worse at the moment. Again, hold on tight.”

Izuku didn’t give them the chance to say or do anything, shooting himself forward.

The wrecked ships zoomed past, not that Izuku paid them any mind. He just needed to get to the land.

As soon as they were over it he lowered himself as gently as possible, letting Tsuyu let go (still carrying Shinsou) before moving a few feet further and letting himself drop like a rock.

“Oh I can already feel the bruises forming.” Izuku mumbled, staring upwards. 

His shoulders and neck were especially sore. The pressure from telekinesis could only alleviate so much weight, which left the rest of it to dangle off those joints.

“Then you should have let yourself fall you dip. Why couldn’t you float all of us if you can do that?” Shinsou snipped, staring intensely at the sand.

“Telekinesis has a minimum power requirement. Putting that much pressure all over the body would make us rocket away with almost no control. Using points of pressure help but it’s a lot to focus on, even with just one body to move around.” He mumbled.

At least, the telekinesis that was strong enough to lift so much weight had a minimum requirement.

Izuku found it really interesting, actually. It was one thing to create new pressure points continuously on a piano, striving to keep the pressure low enough to not break anything- but using it on himself continuously was-

“We need to keep going, kero. We need to see if we can help Sensei.” Tsuyu reminded, walking towards the plaza.

“Right, right, I’m getting up.” Izuku sighed. Shinsou cautiously stretched out a hand, helping Izuku up once it was taken.

“What was-”

“No questions.” Izuku snapped, his hands-

No no no no no no now Shinsou-

Gloves. The buzz in his hands only increased, but the gloves remained right where they were meant to be.

Izuku quickly let go, backing away.

“Uh… are you-”

“No, but we need to keep going. Sensei could die.”

Without so much as a huff, Izuku turned away and began marching forth. Tsuyu was stopped just a bt ahead, likely waiting for them.

At least, in Izuku’s head it was the likely option.

But really, all it took was the brief adjustment in location and there was a clear view into the plaza.

Eraserhead was pinned to the ground, held by something.

Something was the only word Izuku could bring to mind. It clearly existed, no shit, but…

Just what the hell was it?

“Holy shit.” Shinsou breathed.

Izuku had to agree.

The mist congealed into a vague form near Hand Man.

“Shigaraki.” It greeted.

“You’re back, so Thirteen must be dead.” Shigaraki concluded instantly.

“The students who escaped my mist ensured that at most I could incapacitate them. I had also spotted one student running to the campus, but another student was fighting against me. I couldn’t open a portal on him.”

Shigaraki was silent, and Izuku turned his attention back to the creature and Eraserhead.

The creature was standing over their teacher, gormless. It was unsettling at best, even if it was good that it had stopped.

“Game over, then. We need to go, we can’t beat dozens of pros.” Shigaraki sighed.

“So it’s over now?” Shinsou questioned.

“I guess, but something about this is unnerving.” Tsuyu murmured.

“Right. They’ve accomplished almost nothing, and now they’re turning tail?” Izuku murmured back.

“Y’know, it’s almost against my code. Just not my style.” Shigaraki started. What?

“But iI can’t leave with nothing. So let’s hurt the symbols pride some!” He screeched, launching himself towards the little group.

So much had already happened. Izuku was numb and frozen as  Shigaraki’s hand reached Tsuyu’s face.

Nothing happened.

“Y’know Eraserhead, I can actually kinda respect your sheer determination.” Shigaraki huffed, clearly annoyed.

Eraserhead only glared from the ground.

“Nomu.” Shigaraki sighed, moving his hand from Tsuyu.

The nomu took it as an order, somehow, and decided it should pick up and slam Aizawa back into the ground.

“Hey, handy man!” Shinsou shouted.

“Brat, what do you-”

“Right. So, now… uhm… just stand there, I guess.” Shinsou ordered. The mist man almost immediately swarmed Shigaraki, and Shinsou was held back by Tsuyu,

Izuku meanwhile was watching the nomu, rearing up to slam Aizawa again. Aizawa could already be dead, but if he wasn’t then-

He was moving, suddenly. Like with Bakugo, there just wasn’t ever a choice about sitting still.

He didn’t know what he was doing until flames spilled forward, washing over the Nomu.

It let out an ungodly screech and turned to Izuku, Aizawa dropped and forgotten.

Izuku felt something grab him, and without hesitation turned to blast the new assailant.

Shigaraki ducked just in time to not lose most of his facial features (or creepy hand accessories).

Izuku had to breathe eventually, so why not then when everyone was at something of a stalemate?

Gasping for breath he pressed his hands to his arms, almost jumping out of his skin when he felt his arm without the barrier of the suit.

There was just a big patch of dusty nothing left over his left upper arm.

“You.” Shigaraki breathed, leaning forward. 

He looked excited.

Izuku didn’t want to find out why.

The nomu would’ve kindly interrupted and harmed Izuku, but a long pink tongue batted him out of the way.

There was nothing more than a heartbeat of silence before Shigarki started screeching orders at the nomu.

And salvation finally came, bursting in like he belonged there.

“It’s alright now, for I am here!” All Might shouted.

“Finally! We’ve been waiting for you, oh great hero.” Shigaraki shouted, distracted from Izuku.

“Or should I call you trash, for holding up a corrupt system?” Shigaraki laughed.

All Might had little concern for the musings of a villain though, dashing towards Eraserhead.

Izuku couldn’t see if Eraserhead was breathing anymore, and All Might’s grim look didn’t give any hints as he leaned down and picked him up.

Suddenly All Might was there between Izuku’s group and the villains.

“Head to the exit. I’m going to have to leave Aizawa with you, for I’ll need everything I have to defeat this evil.” He ordered solemnly. Izuku quietly cradled his teacher.

He looked like he was a stone's throw away from death's door.

“Faster than the eye can track, and yet… Not as fast as one would think for the greatest hero of all. You’re weakening.” Shigaraki stated bluntly, adjusting the hand on his face.

“All Might, don’t just jump into this one! Whatever that thing is, I’ve torched it and it doesn’t even seem phased!” Izuku shouted.

“Noted. But don’t worry, young Midoriya. It’ll be alright.”

Izuku could see a brief moment where All Might tensed, and then he was gone.

With a shout and a fast as sound fist, absolutely nothing happened to the nomu.

“Amazing isn’t it? Shock absorption will stop just about anything.” Shigaraki praised, smiling.

“Oh, fantastic! Now I know I can beat this thing!” All Might beamed, suplexing it straight into the ground.

It was like a solar flare went off right in the ground. A plume of sheer power and dirt.

“Holy hell, I knew why he was number one, but to see it-” Shinou praised under his breath.

“Something’s not right here.” Was Izuku’s response. Shgiaraki didn’t seem bothered in the slightest, but the biggest threat was just pile drived into its own grave.

“Midoriya-san! Asui-san, Shinsou-san! You’re all ok!” Uraraka squealed in the distance, bouncing towards them. Yaoyorozu waved in the far distance, with Jiro and Kaminari in tow.

“All Might has this handled now!” Ashido cheered.

The dust was settling some, and in the middle stood their worst nightmare holding All Might just as he held it.

“Attempting to seal him away? Good thought, wouldn’t work. He’s got the same power as you All Might.” Shigaraki bragged. He seemed like he was basking in the glory of the moment, in the pride of the nomu coming out on top.

“It was nomu’s job to incapacitate you long enough for me to do my job. Terribly sorry, but it’s time for your evisceration.” The mist man sighed, pulling All Might into a pool of mist.

“Tsuyu, take Aizawa-sensei.” Izuku commanded, quickly handing Aizawa off to her.

“A-alright, kero, but what are you-”

“Make sure to support his head.”

Izuku barreled towards the fight, smoke billowing out of his mouth and nose. 

All Might meant too much to too many people for him to go out like that.

All Might still had to teach the next generation.

And suddenly, maniacal laughter bellowed through.

“Out of the way, don’t be a fuckin’ Deku!” Bakugo cackled, flying towards the mist man, pinning what little solid bits there were to the ground.

Had he flown an inch closer they would’ve taken each other out.

“Damn it, I almost had him!” Kirisima shouted.

“What a bunch of clowns.” Todoroki sighed, thrusting his right hand forward.

Ice burst forth, freezing the nomu. Almost Immediately All Might squirmed out of its grasp, trying not to look like he was gasping for air.

“Dammit, he’s our escape route! This is gonna be a real pain.” Shigaraki hissed.

“One wrong move and you’re gonna eat explosions, fucker.” Bakugo threatened quietly.

“Bro, you really need to work on sounding more heroic.”

“Shut it! This ass-waffle needs to know where he stands.”

Bakugo kept the waffle insult?

Not the time.

“This is actually kinda humiliating. Our exits out and almost all of you are unscathed.” Shigaraki tsked.

“Well, can’t throw in the towel now. Nomu, do what you can.”

Frozen and cut near in half, it lumbered onto its good foot.

“Holy shit that is some hardcore regeneration.” Izuku whispered, watching the muscle fibers burst out and reform. The crawling sensation on his hands spiked, making them twitch in discomfort.

“Like it? It’s amazing to watch!” Shigaraki giggled .

Shigaraki seemed to refocus, wiping his face of the pure glee and returning to a more neutral expression.

“Nomu here is essentially a sandbag created to withstand you at your best. Tell me, hero, how are you going to stand up to it when all your tricks are worthless?”

All Might ground his teeth, and then faster than sight (again) the nomu and All Might leapt across the field.

“Attacking children, have you no mercy?” All Might questioned, Bakugo looking at him with fear and wonder.

“Well, I meant for it to go after you, but no- not really. Afterall, it freed our exit.”

Izuku was once again left behind, left out of the fight. Maybe it was for the better though.

Shigaraki seemed bemused by All Mights resistance, overall, stalking forward theatrical.

“Alright, listen here All Might- you hold up a system of violence as a solution. Society spits on those fighting for their lives and praises those beating them down. Symbol of peace my ass-  when we’re done killing you the entire thing will be thrown off balance without its pillar.”

“You’re insane. And be honest, you just want chaos.” All Might spat.

“Well, I won’t deny that chaos is a bonus. Maybe something better will rise out of it- something I won’t want to destroy.”

Izuku could see wisps of mist curl off of All Might as he glared. 

Time was running out.

With grim determination, All Might punched the Nomu.

“It’s got shock absorption. You can’t hurt it.” Shigaraki reinformed irritably.

“Every quirk has its limit! If it can take my one hundred percent, then I’ll just have to go beyond!” All Might boomed, continuing to punch it.

Izuku couldn’t sit and watch that. There could be a theoretical limit, but it would be so absurdly high that all All Might would do in the end was hurt himself for no reason.

Izuku knew this wasn’t the brightest move.

“Young man!?” All Might squeaked, alarmed as he floated away from the wretched creature.

But it made more sense than hitting it into submission.

Izuku was already running to the nomu, and with a sharp inhale everything in front of him was fire.

He could hear it scream, again. They didn’t plan for someone with fire to give it hell, clearly. The nomu tried backing away, but that was to be expected. It wasn’t hard to follow it.

“How long can he go for?!” Someone screamed.

“Not forever. So let’s give him help!” Someone cheered.

It must’ve been Ashido, as she materialized into Izuku’s peripheral and began throwing acid. 

A laser burst into the nomu’s side from a location Izuku couldn’t see, adding to the damage. 

Random typically-deadly objects got thrown from a distance, including but not limited to: Tranquilizer darts, nitric acid, and a knife through the skull.

On and on and on it went, but Ashido was right that Izuku couldn’t go forever, and with a final pitiful puff of fire he nearly tipped over heaving.

The nomu wasn’t regenerating fast enough to repair the damage, but it was still alive. And once everyone was tired out, it would regenerate anyways. Really, they were just pushing a different limit that wouldn’t hurt All Might in the process.

With acid being poured and a laser being fired everyone’s attention was squarely on the screaming and writhing nomu. Izuku crept towards the source of random deadly objects.

“Yaoyorozu-san.” Izuku hissed.

She nearly jumped out of her skin.

“Midoriya-san, what-”

“I need a blowgun.”

Her reaction was like he’d tried explaining how to do all of calculus in those few words.

“You need a what ?”

“Blowgun. It’s either going to work or it’s not going to work but regeneration doesn’t cover shit like what I’m about to pull. Make it work for something needle sized.”

Almost in a daze Yaoyorozu pulled the tube out from her midriff, handing it to Izuku without a word.

Izuku did not know much about blowguns, outside of put needle in tube and blow with all your might.

Oh, and maybe be very accurate if that needle has enough poison to paralyze an adult man.

In the beat of reflection he allowed himself as he pulled said needle from his skin, he wondered if it would really be enough.

But preparing for poison when expecting melee would be beyond paranoid, and almost no regeneration worked on a fine enough scale to do much more than make the recovery period easier and faster.

And it can’t have a recovery period if it’s dead.

With a quick breath, careful aim, and a puff of air, the needle hit the flesh still intact on the nomu’s arm.

Izuku pulled out another needle and repeated the process.

It’d die to overdose eventually, right?

He hit the leg, he hit the head, he hit the other arm, he hit the torso, he hit a lot of places.

With almost a cough , it simply fell over.

There was a second of silence. Was that really it?

“I’d call cheats if it wasn’t such a brilliant bending of the rules!” Shigaraki laughed.

Izuku didn’t like how glad Shigaraki seemed. 

“It’s dead now- what’s your plan?” Izuku barked. 

“Oh, we’ve hit game over. There’s nothing left but to retreat- we can’t kill him without our weapon.” Shigaraki sighed. “Black mist.”

“As you command.”

Izuku would’ve darted forward again, but there was a hand holding him into the air suddenly. He didn’t really fight against All Might, running after them had been impulsive afterall, but he gave a spastic flail as All Might lifted him.

“Rest assured oh Symbol of Peace, we’ll be better prepared next time.” Shigaraki promised, turning to the opening portal.

All Might was unreadable as Shigaraki and some of his entourage disappeared through the mist.

The rest of the heroes arriving just seconds later really only rubbed the entire situation in everyone’s face.

It only took a few seconds for everyone to be corralled off to be checked for injuries and interrogated.

In a daze Izuku ended up sitting next to Tsuyu, somehow. Both wrapped in shock blankets, and Tsuyu staring into the distance vacantly.

“How are you holding up?”

Perhaps Izuku should’ve left them both in silence, but something wouldn’t let him.

“I’m not sure, kero.”

“No pressure to know. That was… batshit.” Izuku tried.

“I feel that you had the more batshit end of the deal.” Tsuyu mused.

“I mean- probably. But don’t undersell what happened just because you weren’t in all the action.”

“You went toe to toe with that thing, and I-... I…”

There it was.

“You protected Aizawa-sensei.”

“Kero, did I? Did I really? Everyone went up and helped you and-”

“Aoyama-san had a ranged quirk, Ashido-san threw acid, and Yaoyorozu-san was really creative with what she did to make it ranged. That’s hardly everyone. You stayed with Aizawa-sensei and made sure he was still breathing and protected with Shinsou-san.”

“I was so fixated on the fight-”

“We’re going to go in circles.” Izuku decided. “You did nothing wrong. If anything, you did everything right. Everything you could do was done, and nobody would’ve asked you to do more.”

Tsuyu sat quietly, silent for so long that Izuku thought she just didn’t have an answer.

“Thank you, I think.” She whispered, gripping the blanket tighter.

He longed to give her more assurance, but more would just ring hollow. They almost died, afterall. Waxing poetically about everyone’s contribution and how no contribution was ‘too little’ would fall flat at best.

Maybe it wasn’t ideal, but Izuku would take this. Everyone was alive and breathing, at least.

The police would be  with them soon, with medical help like Recovery Girl biting at their heels. Izuku was certain they’d be asked questions he didn’t want to answer, but even if it would be soon it was not right then.

Right then, all Izuku would be doing was leaning back and closing his eyes, purposefully not thinking about what just happened.