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A Shadow Among Us

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The voice was a constant static in his head. A constant sound that lulled in the back of his mind, whispers in a language he couldn’t understand. A language so far removed from anything any human could have possibly hoped to come up with, and yet… He understood. Maybe not in what they were actually saying, but the intention behind the words. Malice, contempt, bitterness, anger, regret … He could feel the voice’s emotions flooding through him, seeping into his veins and pumping through his blood.

He could hear it, taunting him, whispering what he assumed to be sweet nothings, tempting him to allow their wishes to be fulfilled through him. No matter how desperately he tries to ignore it, the whispers will be there, a constant reminder of the horror that is his “quirk”. No, this isn’t a quirk… this is a curse. Something that wasn’t meant to fall upon humanity. Something that should have been sealed in the deepest of catacombs, never to see the light of day ever again.

Yet, here he was; alive and possessing something that no human mind could even begin to comprehend, hearing a voice speak a language that is indecipherable to whoever was unfortunate enough to hear it… If they lived long enough to even notice. The only way for him to bear the constant chattering of the voice was to listen to music, which is why he always had headphones with him. It didn’t put it out completely, but made it quiet enough to be bearable. He was an anomaly, a being that used to be human until his fourth birthday, when he was given this curse others called a “quirk”... When he became the الاموات السائرون .

That is what his “quirk” was called… الاموات السائرون , or better known as “Death Walker”. He was no longer human, no longer a being born and made on Earth, but an enigma of darkness. A being that no longer feared dying or had any use of basic human necessities; a being that left a path of death and destruction in its wake. That is what he was… what he desperately wished he wasn’t…


His name is Midoriya Izuku, and he wished with all of the heart he knew he no longer had… That he could die.

Chapter Text

Pain.

 

Pain. Pain. Pain. Pa in. Pain. Pain. Pain. PaIn. pAiN. PAIN. PAIN.




P̴͘͞ ͏҉A̵̸̡͟͡ ͟I̸̵͘̕ ̨͠N̸̸̛.̸̨



Izuku woke with a start. He glanced down at the water surrounding him, the one clear coloring now an inky black. He grimaced, the liquid now sticky and thick, a single thought in his mind as he pulled himself up; he failed once again. As he stepped out of the tub, glancing at the wrists he knew he’d cut, seeing now even a single scar from the multiple attempts, he couldn’t help but feel disappointed. Attempting to end his own life had become a daily occurence, and each time they ended the same way; he would always be brought back.

However, he couldn’t stop; it was like a drug addicted trying to quit their addiction. No matter what they did or how long they stayed away, that itch would persist and they would inevitably revert back. For Izuku, that itch was much more prominent. While a drug addict might have a slim chance of removing themselves from such a self-destructive system, Izuku’s only got worse. He knew he couldn’t die, that his body wouldn’t let him, but he tried daily on the small hope that it might be different that day.

Of course, he was bound to be disappointed each try, as he was forcibly brought back into this immortal body, the voices whispers taunts and jeers at him… Izuku knew it would only end in pain with him, not to his physical body, but to his mind and spirit. No matter what wound he received, it’d heal within seconds, leaving nothing behind, as if it had never even happened in the first place. Though he didn’t start with a pain-nullified body, after so many attempts at killing himself in so many different ways, his body seemingly shut down his ability to feel pain, though Izuku felt that to only worsen his mood.

The pain had helped him feel alive, helped him feel human. Now he was only more of a monster than before. Though it didn’t stop him from trying. In fact, it only strengthened his will to die. And he has. So, so, so many times has he died. The feeling of his soul slipping from his body, removing itself from the abomination of a vessel… It was freeing, exhilarating even. He felt as if he were floating, waiting to free himself of his shackles… Of course, after a few seconds of being free, his soul was seared with a burning pain before being dragged back into his body.

It hurt. It hurt, it hurt, it hurt, it hurt, it hurt , i͡͝t̶̨͜͢͝ ̷̢͘͟h̵̴̕u͘͏̴̧r̵̵͜͞t̶͠. But, he couldn’t stop. He was no masochist; he just wanted to be free. Izuku dried himself off, letting out a small sigh at his latest failed attempt, staring at the inky substance that had replaced his blood all those years ago and simply left. It would disappear soon, anyway. He entered his room, grabbed some clothes without even bothering to look at them, and threw the towel into a basket.

The voices in his head were screaming, yelling at him, as they always did after dying, their sound amplified to the max, as if punishing him for his stupidity. He grabbed his headphones, threw them on his head, and turned the volume all the way up, the music and voices mingling together in an incomprehensible mess. Izuku frowned, glad he was unable to get a headache, but also a bit saddened, because that would also be a pain he’d welcome; because it would make him more ‘human’.

He made his way out of his apartment, glancing around to make sure no one had seen him, pulling up his hood to cover his face as he made his way down the stairs. He would have taken the elevator, but electronics seemed to go awry and malfunction when he was too close, his phone only working after countless months of getting his ‘quirk’ to accept it and under control. Once he reached the ground below, he picked up his pace to a light jog, no destination in mind as he wandered the streets.

All he knew as that he didn’t want to be in his apartment right now. It would only bring up his most recent failure. Such a thing had become a sort of schedule for him; he would attempt suicide at one place and then avoid it for hours or even months, as he didn’t want to be reminded that he couldn’t accomplish his goal. It was as if it were taunting him, jeering at him at the seemingly scenic atmosphere, as if nothing happened, as if his attempts and worries didn’t matter .

Izuku knew he was being unreasonable, that his mind was playing tricks on him, that the location of area couldn’t actually mock him. But that didn’t stop a part of him to believe it, to believe that even the Earth itself was relishing in his pain. He bit his lip, feeling a surge of dark and unhealthy emotions swirl in his stomach. His expression remained blank, as if all emotion had been removed from his being, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Izuku could definitely still feel emotions… His body had just been reprogrammed into never showing them.

He pushed down those thoughts, not wanting to think so negatively at the moment, ơ͠r̢͜͏ ̵͜҉̵m̧͟a̶͟҉͟y͘͜b̸̕͟͡e҉̷̕ ̷̕͝͏e̢̨͠v̵e̴̷̴n̸̕͝ ͏̶͡n̛e̵͝͝v̡̨̛e̸̵ŗ̵͞ ̵͟͟͡͠ą͝t̴̵ ̵̨͜a͢͜l̷͝l͜͜ . Izuku turned a corner, and ran into someone, knocking the other person down. He glanced down at them, only to get a panicked expression snapping up back at him. Wide red eyes filled with tears stared up at him, or, at least, one of them did, as the other was closed and blood seeped from the open wound. Straight black hair was caked in blood and dirt, as well as his skin.

The two stared at one another for a moment before the sounds of shouting caught their attention. The other, which Izuku assumed to be a boy around his own age, hurriedly got back up, panic clear in his voice as he nearly shouted in hysterics, “Q-Quick, we need to run!”

Izuku stared at him blankly, glancing behind the other to see a group of men running up to them, a want for murder clear in their eyes. Glancing at the other boy, he sighed through his nose, pushing past him and standing between the older men and him. The black-haired boy seemed shocked, flipping around and grabbing his arm, attempting to pull him away, but was unsuccessful.

“Let’s go! Those guys are villains!” He pleaded, his voice falling on deaf ears.

Izuku stared at the trio that stopped in front of him, all of them buff and generally unpleasant to look at. What he presumed to be the leader stepped forward, a grin on his lips as he spoke haughtily, “Oh, what’s this? Another bitch wants to die today, too?” The preteen said nothing, his hoodie covering his entire face, which only pissed the man off more. “Answer me when I talk to you, motherfucker!”

He launched himself at Izuku only to be severed, all his limbs practically flying off his body, each one in separate directions, his head rolling to the ground and stopping at Izuku’s feet. Everyone stared at the unseeming boy, mouths agape at the absolutely unexpected result. He hadn’t even moved! The other two men slowly backed away, staring at the small boy with wide eyes before sprinting away, screaming, “Monster!”

Izuku let them go a few feet before giving them the same treatment, blood coloring the walls and ground around them. He stared at them for a moment, raising his arm slightly, pulling their souls towards him. He grabbed a hold of the first one, internally grimacing at the slimy look and feeling of it, before opening his mouth, his jaw unhinging and popping to fit the unholy thing into his mouth, sharpened teeth tearing into it, the chewing loud and rough before swallowing it. He did the same with the other two, hating the taste of them but able to fill his stomach at the same time.

All the while he had forgotten about his companion, who stared at him in wide-eyed horror as his mouth was able to be seen for that short amount of time. The black-haired boy spoke up after he was finished, voice small and full of worry, “A-Are you alright? That looked like it hurt!”

Izuku glanced at him, surprised that that was the first thing to come out of the other’s mouth. Didn’t he think he was a monster? While he couldn’t see his face, it seems that the other caught on to what Izuku was thinking anyway and rubbed his neck hesitantly, “I-I’m sure the shock of everything is what’s making me so calm right now… I’m actually trying not to look at those bodies…”

He didn’t say anything and instead gestured to where the ‘bodies’ lay. The other followed his movements and practically became bug-eyed when he saw that nothing was there. No body parts, no blood, no sign that multiple murders had just happened.

“Wha- But- How-” He stuttered, glancing between Izuku and the vacant area in front of them.

Izuku didn’t grace him with an answer, instead turning around and walking away. The other boy seemed to notice his intentions and hurried to grab a hold of him, calling out, “Wait! I never even got your-” his hand grabbed nothing, the boy disappeared from sight, leaving no trace that he was ever even there, “name…”

 

All the while, Izuku never noticed that the voices had been eerily quiet upon meeting the other boy.

Chapter Text

المشي الميت بيننا

(The dead walk among us)

 

بالنسبة لأولئك الذين لم يتم العثور عليهم …

(For those not found…)

 

لنفوس انتهت منذ فترة طويلة …

(For souls long gone…)

 

تبقى فقط الظلال

(Only the shadows remain)






Izuku woke with a start, sweat staining his skin and dampening his clothes, breaths sucked in and released erratically. He glanced around in a panic, the voices in his head whispering cryptic messages, as if warning him. Izuku hurriedly got up and took a show, wanting to wash away not only the stick of sweat, but the feeling of vile crawling across his skin. He scrubbed his skin raw, not stopping even when small patches slowly began to bleed, the inky black substance not registering in his frantic mind.

No matter for how long, no matter how hard, Izuku couldn’t wash away the feeling that something was crawling on his skin, making him sick, making him filthy . FIlthy, filthy, filthy, fi lthy, f ilthy, filthy, fil thy, filthy, f҉ ̡i͜͝ ̨͜l̷̵͜ ̷̸̵̴͠t̡͘͏̴͡ ̴̶̷̛h͢͏҉̢͢ ̢y̴̵̢̕.̸̸͘̕

He had to scrub it off, be clean. Clean, clean, clean, clean, clean . Wash it away, wash away the filth, be clean, be sane, be human . Time seemed to drag on, and Izuku was unaware of how long he spent in the shower, but finally, reluctantly left after what felt like years. The feeling of grime still clung to him, but he knew he wouldn’t be getting rid of that feeling any time soon.

Dull eyes glanced at the clock on the wall, the time frozen on 3:15, as it had for the past ten years since then . He couldn’t change it, though. It was a constant reminder of his fate, of his own insidious existence. A constant reminder that he was a m̵̢ ̶̡͝͠o͏̨̡͝ ̕͟n͡҉ ̶̧̛͜҉s̷͟ ͏̴҉t̸̨͠͡ ̷̛ę ͏͡҉ŗ͟͞.̴̢͜͡

Izuku quickly shook those thoughts from his head, hurriedly changing into new clothes and running out of the apartment, not wanting to stay there much longer. His previous panic attack had overridden his prior experience with his bathroom just the day before. That wasn’t important, anyways. Just like him. Unimportant. Unwanted. Unneeded. Insignificant.

The voices in his head increased their volume, his self-deprecating thoughts fueling their jeers and jests, but their words still held a hint of warning, as subtle as it may be. However, Izuku has had the unfortunate pleasure of living with these voices for most of his life. He knew how to pick out any useful information they might be giving, and how to pick out if something was said in any sort of helpfulness or not.

Most of their words consisted of nothing but negativity, whispers of nothing but cruel and horrible fates they laid out for him and his potential future. Izuku tried his best to ignore those, but he felt his resistance cracking more and more. More than once have they suggested that, if Izuku truly wished to die, he could simply allow his soul to be consumed by the curse called his ‘quirk’.

To allow himself to join them and thus live without being feared as a monster. After all, they weren’t the ones who were alive, the ones who were being shown off by being alive in the world with their own bodies, subjected to rejection, scorn, and hate. That is the only way for you to truly die, they seemed to say, give up your soul and join us in bliss in ‘death’.

Izuku continued to refuse, knowing that, if he accepted, someone else would be subjected to this horrible fate, and he didn’t wish to inflict such a curse on anyone. He was going to be a hero, so he just had to deal with it himself!

A hero? The voices sneered. What kind of hero is unable to feel pain? What kind of hero is able to kill without a single ounce of remorse? What kind of hero is a monster in human’s clothing ?

You’re wrong! He wasn’t a monster! He was just… just…

Deny it all you wish, but you know the truth. Sooner or later, you will be exposed for your lies, and you will be dragged down to the pit of despair. Who wants to be saved by something that even the most immoral of beasts fear?

Izuku so badly wanted to rebuke their claims, to insist that he would be a hero, and not a monster. However, the more he listened, the more he realized they were right . He was a simple poser, nothing more than a wolf in sheep’s clothing. No matter what he did, he would always be a liar, a freak, a monster.

Izuku continued to run, completely forgetting that he had left his headphones back at his apartment, which only allowed the voices more access to his thoughts, to influence even more than they already did. Just as he rounded the corner, bright lights momentarily blinded him and a loud honk penetrated his ears as he barely registered a shout at him to look out before the truck in front of him barreled into him and he was enveloped by darkness.