Izuku dragged his feet. Today had been a roller coaster. He had reached high and low points, with the low points feeling like 90 degree drops after a slow rise. In the end he got off and had to face reality. He could never be a hero without a quirk.
Izuku jumped slightly, kaachan. Just what he needed.
"Don't think you're better than me, got it nerd?!" Katsuki growled.
Izuku smiled placatingly, "I know kaachan, "
The blonde boy was about to stomp away. But the air suddenly became chilly and a strange swirl opened behind Deku. Izuku gasped as he began to dissolve into the vortex.
"Kaachan!!" Izuku tried and failed to reach his stunned bully.
And with a pop, Izuku vanished, leaving only his yellow backpack behind.
Peter said his goodbyes to Ned and got into Happy's car. It was a typical weekend, in which he spent the rest of the weekend with Tony in his lab. After the Infinity War, things quickly settled down into a comfortable routine. It was good. The teen definitely needed the break, the cops could handle some of the crime when he couldn't. He needed to heal mentally and emotionally from the nightmare inducing memories before he could fight crime full time again.
When he reached the lab, Tony was already playing with the hologram schematics.
"Hey Mr. Stark!"
Tony grinned and turned to his apprentice. He wouldn't admit it out loud, but Peter was an important piece of Stark Industries. There was something about the spider boy that softened people's hearts and made them want to protect him. Stark, as much as he tried, stood no chance against the adorkable charm of Peter Parker. After homecoming, and the infinity fiasco, Tony made sure to make time for Peter. If only to make sure the kid was in one piece. Tony needed this as much as Peter did.
"Hey Pete ready to tinker? " Tony threw Peter a tablet, which the spider caught with ease, "I ordered Chinese for later, help yourself in the meantime, "
Peter sat in his station, pulling up the projection for a new web shooter design. One that could withstand more weight and electrocute opponents. As Spiderman, he was stronger than most, but not strong enough to take on people like Thanos. Peter shuddered at the thought of the purple alien and his brief encounter with death by dusting. Tony brought them back of course, but still Peter could not forget the sensation of pulling apart at the cellular level. Neither could half of the humanity. Peter didn't notice he started to hyperventilate.
"Kid, Peter?" Tony's voice alerted him to the present, "breathe kiddo, okay? In and out, "
Peter obeyed, his heart slowly came to a normal rhythm.
"Sorry Mr. Stark, "
"Not your fault, never apologize for that, okay Pete?"
"Boss, there's an anomaly in the area, " Friday said.
Both males looked confused before a figure materialized on the floor. A boy, with strange black hair that had green highlights. Pale and freckled with a terrified look in his eyes. The boy spoke fast, in a language that wasn't English. Japanese.
"Friday, translate, " Stark commanded.
"He is freaking out about what happened to him boss, "
"Hey," Tony called to the mumbling mess on the floor, "Can you slow down broccoli-boy?"
The boy went rigid and slowly looked at Tony and Peter with fear.
"Who are you? Where am I? Where's kacchan? Are you a villain-"
The kid was about to have another freakout-he was practically shaking-so Tony intervened. He was glad the kid spoke English though, saved him the headache of trying to figure this out.
"I'm Tony Stark and this Peter Parker, " Tony glanced at Peter briefly, "You are in upstate New York. I don't know who this Kacchan is, and no, we aren't bad guys, "
"EHhh?!" the broccoli exclaimed, getting to his feet.
"I swear to you I'm not lying damn it!!"
It had been 3 days since Deku disappeared. When he was officially declared missing, the police came to his doorstep and questioned him. He recounted the vortex and how Izuku just dusted. They left but soon came back to take him to the station. The inspector had been silent throughout the interrogation. There was also a skinny skeleton blonde there, but Bakugou could careless who was there. He just wanted out.
Bakugou was tired of the questions. All he wanted was to find Deku, or at least beat the crap out of the villain who took him. What kind of Hero would he be if he can't save even the useless Deku?
The police only nodded noncommittal and jotted stuff down. They looked skeptical, even though they lived surrounded by the impossible.
"You really expect us to believe that?" One said, playing the bad cop.
"Look Bakugou, you're the last person to see him according to you, " reasoned one of them, "You also seemed easily riled up-"
They suspected him. Shit.
"What, so you think I f%&% murdered him!?"
"Enough, let him go. While it may seem unbelievable to disappear out of nowhere, remember the world we live in, " Tsukauchi lectured, "he isn't lying,"
The officers stepped back. Tsukauchi sighed and ushered the blonde teen back to her mother who was in the other room.
"Are you arresting him?" Snapped Baku-mom.
"No, your kid is telling the truth, " replied Tsukauchi, "something else is going on, "
Izuku was on his guard. Just because these people said they weren't villains, didn't mean they were truthful. Even so, he couldn't help but feel intimidated by them. Especially Stark who asked him his background. Peter only gave him an apologetic smile.
"Tell us your Name, age and date of birth, "
"Midoriya Izuku, 14 years old, b-born in the year 2294-"
"Wait? Are you for real?" Peter exclaimed, "you're from the future! Mr. Stark, he's from the future!"
"The future!!?" Izuku's heart jumped. There was no way!!
"Okay, let's all calm down before we all have a heart attack, " Tony said, "Friday, can you run a DNA scan on brocoli-boy?"
"Sure thing Boss-man,"
"What?" broccoli stammered
"Hey don't worry, Mr. Stark just wants to make sure you're 100% human. It's nothing personal, we had a recent run in with Aliens-"
"Aliens!?" Deku's hair stood up.
"Pete please don't scare plant-boy, " Tony shook his head, amused by Izuku's antics. It reminded him of Peter somewhat. Only less self-assured.
"Boss, it seems the boy is human, I also searched his name, there is no record of a Midoriya surname in any of Japan's databases, "
"Thanks Fri, " Tony set his gaze back on Izuku.
"What does this mean?" Izuku asked, "am I really back in time or is this another dimension? But inter-dimensional travel is still in the realm of science fiction. It could be a nightmare caused by exhaustion…"
Peter and Tony watched Izuku mumble and start to pace.
"Uh dude-" Peter attempted to stop Deku, but it seemed he boy was lost.
"Maybe I'm in the hospital with Kaachan, maybe-"
"Hey kid-" Tony tried next.
"Or maybe this is a villain's quirk-"
"MIDORIYA!" Tony and Peter bellowed.
"I'm sorry, " Izuku couldn't believe he had done that in front of strangers.
"Right. The most likely explanation is that you came from an alternate world. Or the very distant future. I'll have to contact Strange about this, " Tony grumbled, "I was hoping I didn't have to see his smug face again, "
"Aw he isn't that bad, " Peter chuckled.
"You're too pure kid, " Tony replied rolling his eyes, amused, "Midoriya, tell us about your world, the more info the better,"
"Uh Right!" Izuku cooparated, he recounted the incident in China and the emergence of superpowers. About how Heroism, became the main law enforcement profession that stopped quirk users from abusing their abilities. He spoke about the 20 percent quirkless population and the prejudice surrounding the lack of any abnormal power.
"So it's basically the reverse of here huh Mr. Stark?" Peter surmised, "it's kinda sad…"
Tony nodded waiting for Izuku to finish. It seemed surreal to him. After all, heroes in Izuku's world were government workers. They were paid and respected for their labor. They were kept in check by rules and people couldn't use their quirks for crime fighting without a license.
On the other hand racism still existed. Toward non-mutant people no less. It was almost laughable.
"I wanted more than anything to become a hero, like All Might. But I can't do that without a quirk, " Izuku exhaled, "I'm useless-"
"I'm gonna stop you right there, " Tony said, "You aren't useless. They're just idiots who haven't seen anyone be a hero without powers. Granted, I understand not wanting people to hurt themselves. But people have the right to make that career choice, "
"Yeah. Though being a hero isn't easy, " Peter said softly, "You'll get into life or death situations sometimes. But if you really want to help you have the right to help. It's like if you wanna be a cop, you can be a cop, "
Izuku smiled gently at that. The example was a bit outdated, but he knew what Peter meant. He had read about the police before the Hero era. Before Heroes, the police risked their lives to protect people from criminals. Which was why some officers resented the current system. Heroes had effectively turned the force into janitors that picked up the trash heroes collected.
"Also keep in mind that heroes aren't just the people who beat up villains all the time, " Tony said, "doctors, are heroes too. Being a hero isn't about having a cool super power kid, "
"We just met, so our word might not matter but we have hero experience. Mr. Stark here doesn't have powers. He's still a great hero!"
Tony huffed, as if dismissing Peter's adulation. He was secretly touched Spidey still saw good in him. Even when the rest of the world didn't.
"You don't have powers?" Izuku looked like what Peter told him came out of a fairytale.
"Nope. I do have a suit of armor with power, " Tony boasted, "come on, I'll show you,"