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Izuku Eats His Problems

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Not all humans are created equal. Izuku learned that at the age of four, when his mother finally told him what they were. See, he wasn’t human. Not entirely, at least. A Flerken, she whispered, as if fearing someone would hear. The terrible beasts of legend that could devour entire cities and escape under an animal disguise. Izuku thought they sounded cool. His mother and father thought otherwise. 

His mother had a good reason for wanting to stay hidden. Izuku’s father died when he was three. The sole casualty of a villain attack. All because he was believed to be a villain too when he tried to use his powers to defend himself. The hero didn’t bother saving him from the real attacker. Only focused on the bigger villain and arresting them.

So from ages four to twelve he never used his other powers. He never tried to, knowing it would make his mother panic. He wanted to. So, so badly he wanted to see what he was capable of. His mother never used her powers to do anything but transform. With his father dead, and knowing of no other creatures like him, he had no one to show him what they could do. 

Logically, he knew he could eat big things from what all the stories said, but not how. Not how much or how big or just how . Was his mouth like a shrink ray? Was it like a blackhole? Why didn’t it work when he ate normal food? Could he spit things back out if he used his powers? Every question and more swirled around his head, even as a small child. The number just grew as he got older. 

He learned how to transform into a cat when he was four and a half. A cute, little, green kitten with curly fur. His mom was excited that he figured out how to transform. Izuku’s new favorite thing was making cat noises and purring. 

Kacchan wasn’t as excited. He called Izuku useless, a Deku. A weak little kitty can’t become a hero, he sneered. His lackeys copied him, and the rest of the class soon followed. 

But they forgot that all cats have claws, even if it takes a while for them to learn how to use them.

~~~~~

See, in their world, nearly everyone has a type of magic or power, usually called a Quirk. There were different variants, all of which were interesting to Izuku. First were the normal people that had magic. They had a designated type and couldn’t perform it outside of that, but everyone was amazing and exceedingly cool. Second were the people who had mutations because of their magic, mostly to use it properly. Third, and final, were the creatures. Beings that held a resemblance to humans and were either full or part creature of some sort. Some of them had magic too, but that was rarer. 

Izuku was the third type.

~~~~~

Izuku was twelve now. Going into middle school, and registered as a simple cat morph like his mother. Kacchan had gone from a friend to a bully. Everyone followed his example, as they always had. Things hadn’t changed over the years. 

The two of them still wanted to be heroes. Izuku knew he could never be a normal one though. Not without using his other powers, which he still didn’t know what they were. Research hadn’t yielded many results other than the fact he apparently had pockets of universes in his mouth. He couldn’t find any when he looked in the mirror, maybe he was a defective Flerken. He was better suited for being an underground hero anyway. Like Eraserhead, one of his favorite heroes. Or Murkrow, another underground hero that could transform into a raven. They were cool.

Izuku still wanted to go to UA though. No matter what anyone else said, he knew he could do it if he tried. If people could handle it before Quirks, then he could while being a cat. Cats were stealthy and sneaky, and he was going to be a good hero whether he was flashy or not. It didn’t matter what Kacchan and Mom said. He would prove them wrong. He would prove them all wrong. 

So he worked towards his dreams. Improving his analysis and physical fitness so he could compete with everyone else. He was on analysis notebook number nine right now, and was almost done with it. He could run really far now without getting too winded. Izuku used the forest he had played in when he was small to work out. There were still scorch marks from a tiny Kacchan. 

The place wasn’t too far from his house, but he had to be careful going back when it got dark. They lived in a decently populated area, but everywhere was more dangerous once the sun went down. It was hardly sunset when he decided to go back that day. 

It was this that lead to what Izuku considered a catalyst in his life. Though at the time it definitely did not seem like that. 

Izuku stopped at a store on his way home. His mom and him just needed a few things for dinner that she had forgotten. A quick and easy stop, maybe ten minutes max. 

That flew out the window when a knife was held to his throat. One second he was walking to the checkout line, humming a song he had heard on Present Mic’s radio, and the next a robber was behind him with a knife on his neck. Izuku flat out froze where he was, his breathing shallow. 

“Don’t try anything funny, kid,” someone growled in his ear. 

Izuku felt his Quirk writhe under his skin, attempting to half-shift. For him, he could either full-shift or half-shift. Full was a cat, albeit a green curly one, with everything a cat could do. Half was claw-like nails, cat ears (improved hearing), paw pads, extra hair, and fangs. It depended on how much stress he was under for how obvious some of it was. That had been a surprise to his mother, since most Flerkens couldn’t do half-shifts apparently, minor as the changes were. He had only discovered he could do it a couple months ago. On top of everything else, he had naturally slitted cat-like eyes and vocal cords like one too.

Izuku’s brain was both blank and running in overdrive. Like static that was still speaking. He was pure panic and instincts at this point. Not really a stellar thing, seeing as the part of him that was a cat wanted to either bolt or claw the guy’s arm to shreds. 

“Now be a good little hostage and walk.”

Izuku numbly complied. What else was he supposed to do? He was a middle schooler being held at knifepoint in a store. And all he could do was turn into a cat . Actually…that might help for once. 

They were approaching the front of the store. Izuku noticed two others at the registers, holding the cashiers there at gunpoint. The other patrons (there were only two, he noted) saw Izuku, and promptly stopped any moves to resist. He wanted to yell, to scream at them to stop the villains even if he was being held with a knife. Nothing would come out. He was too paralyzed with fear to do much other than shuffle forward and try not to go home with another scar. 

Izuku took that moment to change into a cat. He could run out of the store and get a hero. Cats were too small to be hostages. Yeah, they would all be ok. No one would get hurt. It’d be ok, it’ll be ok. 

But nothing happened. No familiar changing. Not even claws or a bit of fur. Absolutely nothing. And that, that terrified him. 

“So you are a transformation type,” the villain sneered. Izuku felt a chill run down his spine. “Now you’re going to hold still until the police get here, and when we get what we want, I'll let my Null go. Got it?

He was panicking, not shifting an inch or making a sound. Nothing was working. His mind was just running in circles and repeating the same thing. The villain moved closer. The knife got closer. Sharp. Pointy. Bad, bad, bad

Izuku’s instincts were screeching in his mind for something, but he didn’t know what. It was deafening. The villain was getting closer. The nearer he and the knife were, the louder Izuku’s head was. 

He was scared. So, so scared. Everything tunneled and faded into the background. His heartbeat was too loud. The metal against his neck was too cold. Everything was too dull it was missing something what was missing? 

Izuku suddenly snapped away from himself, no longer in full control. Nothing transformed, but…something shifted in him. They were close to the other two criminals now. Izuku didn’t know what that meant, but he knew it was important right now. 

He didn’t really think, only moved. His slitted eyes zeroed in on the threats. Before he knew what he was doing, Izuku opened his mouth wide. 

And tentacles shot out, along with more mouths. All lined with jagged teeth. Quick as a viper, they lashed out. Growing in size and obscuring Izuku’s vision. He didn’t know what happened. 

Izuku was panicking for a whole new reason now. He couldn’t stop…whatever those things were. He took a step to the side, and the things reacted. A whole row of shelves were sent crashing down. He yelped at the noise, but that only made him bite whatever was coming out of his mouth. 

He swung himself around, trying to stop whatever he was doing. More shelves were knocked to the ground, some dented and bend. Izuku didn’t know what was happening. Where had the villains gone? What were those things? Why was no one doing anything?

A chunk of the wall was gone when he turned back around. And he tasted it . Plaster was disgusting, he decided. 

People were screaming. They were running out of the store now. Where had the villains gone? 

Izuku felt exhaustion start to pull at him. Like using a muscle he hadn’t before. He felt heavy. There was a tingling at the back of his head. He was still scared. 

A sound finally broke through the din. A voice. Izuku didn’t recognize it, but it calmed him. Enough to hear the words at least. 

“Kid! Kid, can you hear me!”

Izuku stopped moving around, listening. He couldn’t talk, so he nodded. The things followed his movement. 

“Ok. Ok, so you can hear me now. Kid, you need to stop these.”

Izuku let out a high-pitched whine. He wanted to listen. He wanted to stop and go home , but he didn’t know how .

“It’s ok, kid. Just…try breathing. Calm down a bit. Count with me, ok? 1, 2, 3…”

Izuku closed his eyes and counted along with the voice. His breathing evened out after a few minutes. The things coming out of his mouth didn’t lash out or destroy anything else. The pull of gravity seemed to increase and drag on his bones. 

“Ok kid, can you try…uh, sucking them back in?”

Izuku kept his eyes closed, but hummed to let the person know he heard. All he had to do was get the things to go away. Maybe…maybe it was like another tongue or something? Yeah, he’d just have to go with that for now. 

The jaws and tentacles retracted back into his mouth without much trouble. Izuku opened his eyes, though his eyelids felt heavy. The…the store was a wreck. Half the shelves were knocked over with their contents on the ground. There was a massive chunk taken out of a side wall, though it didn’t go all the way through. Plaster dust sprinkled the ground around it like snow. 

And the villains, the villains were gone. All three of them. One of their guns was one the ground. There was no blood, no scraps of clothing. Nothing left to even suggest they had been there. Everyone else had already evacuated the store. 

Had he done this? 

Something made a noise off to his left, where the store entrance was. He whipped around, a snarl already on his face with sharpened fangs. The Null, whatever that was, had worn off now. He felt his power, cat morph one this time, come out without him trying. Nails hardened into claws, green fur grew around his hands, and cat ears were flattened against his head. Sounds were louder now, but it let him hear whoever it was approach. 

The expression melted like wax when when he saw who it was. He recognized them, the pro hero Eraserhead. Capture weapon on his neck and goggles over his eyes. If he wasn’t so panicked and out of it he would be fanboying. As it was, he was more cat than human right now. Or…Flerken? Was that what that had been? 

“Hey kid, you alright now?” Eraserhead asked softly, edging closer. 

“Hurt. Tried to hurt me,” Izuku growled, eyeing the approaching man. It wasn’t him speaking, not really. 

“I saw what happened, was that your Quirk?”

“Don’t know. Never tried. Only turn into cat, not more. Mom said not more. Listen to Mom.”

“Ok then, questions for later. You sound out of it, kid. Do you need to calm down for a minute?”

Izuku closed his mouth and nodded. Eraserhead came closer, and his ear flicked to listen to the hero. But Izuku trusted him, Eraserhead was his second favorite hero for a reason. He was a good person. 

It took a few minutes, but Izuku eventually regained his bearings. The instincts screeching in his head stopped, and he turned back to full human. Eraserhead finally came within arms reach of him. Up close, Izuku could see just how cool his capture weapon was. Though it was funny the man wore it during the day. He was an underground hero, they worked at night, so why was he here?

“You good now kid?”

“I-I’m ok now.”

“Good. Now, can you tell me what that was?”

“I, I don’t know, Sir,” Izuku whispered, shrinking in on himself. “I didn’t mean to, to destroy the s-store.”

“I know you didn’t, kid. No one expects you to keep your head when a weapon’s pointed at you. Come on now, let’s get out of the rubble.”

Izuku nodded and followed Eraserhead out of the ruined store. Once out on the street he saw that there were police cars parked nearby. Oh nononono, they were going to arrest him. He too young to go to jail!

He stayed close behind Eraserhead as they neared the cluster of police. There were a few other heroes there too, Izuku noticed. If he didn’t think he was in danger of getting arrested he would ask for their autograph. 

Eraserhead seemed to relax when one of the cops came over. He was dressed in a tan trench-coat and a fedora, which Izuku found funny for someone in the police force. The man walked over, obviously familiar with Eraserhead. 

“Eraserhead, nice to see you,” the man greeted. “Do you know what happened here?”

“Three villains, two with guns, one with a knife. Took a hostage in a robbery. Come here, kid.” Izuku cautiously edged closer, coming to stand besides Eraserhead. “A new part of his Quirk emerged, causing the damage. He didn’t know it existed.”

“Ok then, and the villains?”

“That’s…where it gets complicated. His new powers…ate them.”

Tsukauchi blinked at the two of them. “He…ate them.”

“I didn’t mean to!” Izuku blurted. “He, he was h-holding a knife to, to my neck and, and I th-thought I was going to, going to die and I didn’t want to die . I don’t know what happened but then things came out of my mouth and the villains were gone and the store was a mess and I’m so sorry .”

“Hey, hey kid, it’s ok. We know you didn’t mean to,” Eraserhead said quietly, putting a hand on Izuku’s shoulder. 

“What’s your name?” Tsukauchi asked.

“I-Izuku Midoriya.”

“Ah, that explains it.” Izuku looked up, and saw the detective looking at him in understanding. “You’re a Flerken, aren’t you?”

Izuku reeled backwards and away from the detective. Hardly anyone knew what Flerkens were anymore. If they did they either knew one personally or they thought they were monsters. He had no way of telling which one this man was.  

“A what? Kid, it’s ok. Calm down.” Eraserhead sounded worried. Why was he worried? 

The detective put his hands up in surrender. Izuku was tense, ready to run. He couldn’t outrace police cars, but a man with no visible Quirk was feasible. Maybe not Eraserhead though. 

“It’s ok, Midoriya. I…I was familiar your father.” 

Izuku froze, staring at the man who had his hat in his hands. His…his dad. This man knew his dad. His dad who died before Izuku could even transform. His Flerken dad. 

“You, you knew him?”

“I knew him from where he worked, and the villain attack when he died. I was the one who dealt with the hero’s punishment.”

“Oh,” was all Izuku said. 

“Mind filling me in,” Eraserhead asked, looking a bit confused. 

“Sorry, Eraserhead. Midoriya’s father was a man I knew who died in a villain attack due to creature discrimination.” The man looked to Izuku for a moment, asking a silent question. Izuku nodded, staring at the floor. “They’re Flerkens.”

 

Chapter Text

“They’re Flerkens.”

Izuku flinched, but stayed where he was. Tensely waiting for what Eraserhead thought of him. There was a reason his mother insisted he acted as a cat morph and nothing more. 

“That…explains a lot.”

Izuku’s head shot up at the complete lack of malice in Eraserhead’s voice. Just understanding. 

“Don’t look so shocked kid, I deal with blackmarkets. I’m also a hero, it’s our duty to know about these things.” Eraserhead shrugged, like he hadn’t just splintered Izuku’s worldview. 

For most of his life, Izuku believed that telling anyone he was a Flerken was essentially a death sentence. That anyone who heard would chase him away, or at the very least pretend he didn’t exist. It had happened a few times when he was little, before he knew any better, and the memories weren’t pleasant. One woman had literally whacked him with a broom to make him leave her store. He had been seven, and that was the last time he told anyone what he was. 

Now Eraserhead, one of his favorite heroes, was telling him it was ok. That he wasn’t going to hurt him for being a Flerken. He had even seen others apparently. 

“Midoriya,” Detective Tsukauchi’s voice brought Izuku back to the present. “Eraserhead said you ate the criminals, correct?” Izuku nodded. “Do you think you can spit them back out?”

Izuku stared at the man blankly. Spit them out? How was he even supposed to do that? Didn’t he just say he ate them ?

“Ah, ok. You don’t know much about your powers, do you?”

“No. Mom…Mom said to never use th-them. I didn’t even know I could, I could do that.

“Alright then,” Tsukauchi sighed. “Do you have, I don’t know, a metaphor or something that could help you visualize it?”

Izuku blinked, his mind kicking back on. He dissolved into muttering, missing the curious looks the two adults sent him. Eventually, he looked back up at them with an idea, and a smile to match.

“It’s like a hairball!”

Izuku watched as Eraserhead choked on air and Detective Tsukauchi covered his mouth with a hand. He tilted his head curiously. 

“Sorry, sorry Midoriya. You were saying?” Tsukauchi said.

“Um, y-yeah. It’s sort of like a hairball. I can, can almost…feel what I ate, I guess. It’s there, but I don’t know where or how to get to it. So I kinda just have to, to cough it up?”

“Odd metaphor, but it’s worth a shot,” Eraserhead commented, shrugging. “Go ahead kid.”

Izuku nodded and took a few steps back. He had seen what the aftermath of the store looked like, and he really didn’t want to unleash that near people again. Ever. 

The less said about Izuku’s hairball memories the better. They weren’t pleasant when he was a kitten and they certainly weren’t pleasant now. 

After some coughing and hacking, Izuku was surprised when the things came out of his mouth again. Not explosively like last time either. They spat out the three soggy criminals out on the floor, and then disappeared just as fast. Izuku stood there coughing for another few minutes before he could properly breath again. When he looked up the three villains were in handcuffs and Eraserhead was standing nearby. 

“You good, kid?”

“I’m, I’m fine now,” he answered, eyes trailing back to the villains. The very much alive and in one piece villains. “They’re ok?”

“Right, you don’t know about your own powers,” Eraserhead sighed. “Flerkens can either eat things like normal, or hold them in pocket spaces. As long as you don’t bite things in half then they’ll be fine. Might come out covered in spit, but otherwise unharmed. Goes for humans too apparently.”

Izuku nodded along. He was learning more about his Flerken powers in these few minutes than he had in eight years. From one of his favorite heroes of all things. 

It was then that one of the villains, being locked in a police car, spotted Izuku. His two buddies were already in the vehicle. The police officer didn’t see what he was looking at.

“HEY!” He screamed, catching the attention of every person on the street. “Why isn’t he being arrested! He’s the one that destroyed the store!”

In an instant Izuku’s hope sunk to the crust of the earth. Dozens, if not hundreds, of eyes turned to him. Some more hostile than others. He felt so small. So exposed in the open street. He had to get away. Had to get to safety. 

Without really realizing it, Izuku had stumbled away from Eraserhead, who was trying to talk to him again. It didn’t reach his ears. There were so many people. So many glares.

Izuku shifted into a cat, and sprinted away. Weaving between the legs of people before they could even react. Shouts followed him, but he didn’t hear the words. He didn’t stop running until he was safely tucked in an alleyway where no one could see him. The noisy streets were muffled there. Izuku didn’t know how far he had run, but he was tired now. Maybe, maybe a small nap wouldn’t hurt. Then he could return home and pretend this never happened.

 

Except he couldn’t. Even after he got home and reassured his mom he was alright (he told her about the villains, of course he did, it just...might not of been the full truth), he couldn’t stop thinking about it. He hadn’t even been meaning to, but he had caused a lot of destruction. What if it happened again? He had no idea how to control his newfound powers. At least now he knew what they were.

Another part of him whispered about how good it could be for hero work. A hero who could transport criminals without anyone being even remotely in danger. A hero that could get rid of rubble easily, if only temporarily. A hero that could do both stealth and power. A hero that could save people with a smile and make them feel safe

It wouldn’t leave him alone, and he knew he couldn’t go and practice. Even Quirk based gyms wouldn’t allow him in. Not if he was trying to wrangle power that had destroyed a store and eaten people. Not if he was a Flerken

So all he could do was theorize or try to ignore it. The latter wasn’t working whatsoever , so the former it was. He filled half a notebook on theory and questions alone. That notebook was one he kept hidden from Mom. 

Maybe if he got into UA they could help him. It was still years away, but better late than never. His new powers could still be used to be a hero. All he had to do was pass the exam and…tell a teacher he was a Flerken. Oh. Problem. Big problem. Problem so big it could squish him. Just because two people, one of which was the Eraserhead , knew he was a Flerken didn’t mean everyone would be ok with it. 

The constant questions, theories, and trying to work around his problem battered his mind for a week. 

A week that ended with a knock on their door.



Chapter Text

Izuku paused what he was doing when he heard the knock on their door. He knew Mom wasn’t planning on having anyone over this weekend, and solicitors hardly ever went into apartment buildings. For a moment he panicked, thinking it was a police officer or someone finally coming to arrest him for what he did to the store. They never charged him for it or anything.

Then he heard the person speak, and immediately panicked for a whole new reason. Izuku tripped over his chair trying to get out of his room. He burst into the hall and stared out their open door. 

Because standing in the hall was Eraserhead . The Eraserhead . He didn’t have his yellow goggles on, but Izuku saw them tucked in his capture weapon. The hero looked past his mom to him. Izuku would later deny that he squeaked. 

“Izuku, do you know who this man is?” Mom asked politely. Izuku saw the underlying nervousness in her words.

“Y-yeah, it’s ok Mom. He’s, he’s Eraserhead.”

“Oh! Th-then come in. You said you had something to, to speak to us about?” 

Mom held open the door for their guest. Izuku lead the way to the living room, trying not to show how scared he was. That seemed to be happening a lot lately. Eraserhead followed him almost silently. 

The three of them sat around the coffee table. Two way more nervous than the other one. 

“First, I would like to tell you that the store is not pressing charges for the destruction caused,” Eraserhead started. Izuku felt himself relax a bit, but then tensed again when he realized Mom had no idea what he had done. “The damage was covered under their insurance for newly discovered Quirk, but that’s not why I’m here.”

“Izuku, what’s he talking about?”

Crap crap crap crap. Mission abort. Mission abort. Oh no oh no oh no. Why did he think this was going to turn out ok?! Oh maybe because he didn’t think Eraserhead would track down his house

“Um, I might not of, might not have told you… all of what happened last week. When I got caught in that robbery. You see, I um, when the villain h-had me hostage, I u-used my, my…IusedmyFlerkenpowersandmighthavedestroyedthestore.”

Mom sat there for a minute, not saying anything, just processing. Izuku locked his gaze on the ground and didn’t look up.

“Ma’am, your son had no control over his powers. No one got hurt, but that might not be true in the future if he doesn’t learn how to control it,” Eraserhead stated. Izuku still didn’t look up. “Which is why I came with an offer.”

Izuku’s head shot up at that. He saw his mother do the same. Eraserhead was carefully blank at their incredulous stares.

“Let me explain. Having someone with a powerful Quirk out of control is extremely dangerous, especially considering what his powers are. I mentioned it to my boss, and he,” Eraserhead sighed, looking at the ceiling for a moment, “He offered to train Izuku.”

Izuku glanced over at his mom. She was…blank. Just staring at her hands that rested in her lap. Suddenly, Izuku wanted to go and hide under something. 

“Izuku, we’ve talked about this.”

“I didn’t mean to use it, Mom. But…but I still want to be a hero, and that means I need to use my Quirk. All of my Quirk.”

Izuku was determined. He had worked towards his goal for years. Now that he actually knew what the other half of his Quirk did he wasn’t about to let this opportunity slip through the cracks. It didn’t matter who Eraserhead’s boss was, if they could train him then he wanted to do it. He needed to do it. So he set his jaw and prepared to tell his mom why.

“You know how dangerous it is,” Mom said quietly. “You know what happened to your father.”

“Exactly! Dad died from a hero that didn’t like Flerkens! If I become a hero I can change that !”

“And what happens when that doesn’t work? People aren’t kind, Izuku. They’ll never see you as a hero.”

“I don’t care!” He cried, flying out of his chair. “I don’t care what people say about us! I want to save people and doing this can help! I, I know people don’t like Flerkens. I know they see us as villains, but Mom I just want to save people . I don’t care if I’m underground or not. If I can save more people by using my full Quirk then I’ll do it.”

The room was quiet, Mom not saying a thing. Izuku knew he shouldn’t’ve yelled. What he said was the truth though. He didn’t care if he was in the hero rankings or not, he just wanted to save people. 

“You want to be an underground hero, kid?” Eraserhead asked, finally breaking the silence.

“If, if it’s what lets me be a hero. I don’t really care about the rankings as long as I can do something good.”

“Huh, that's the first time I’ve heard that from a kid your age.”

“It is?” Mom questioned, sounding a bit skeptical. 

“Yes, most children his age only care about being a popular hero. You’re in what, middle school?”

Izuku nodded, pointedly avoiding Mom’s stare. 

“With thinking like that, you have the potential to be a great hero, kid.”

Izuku beamed at the hero. It took him a second, but he realized this was the first time he had heard that. His hero believed in him. He actually believed he could be a good hero . That just left one person to convince. 

“Please Mom, at least listen to what he has to say?”

Mom held his gaze for a second, then sighed. “Fine.”

Izuku sat back down again, watching Eraserhead intently. The man shifted in his seat, but took the as his queue to talk again.

“As I said, my boss offered to train your son, Mrs. Midoriya. His Quirk is dangerous if left untouched, even if he didn’t intend to be a hero. If another situation like the one last week happened, then it’s very likely people would get injured.”

“And just who is your boss?”

“Nedzu.”

Izuku almost fell out of his chair. Nedzu. The Nedzu! The smartest creature on the planet! And he wanted to teach him! 

Wait, Nedzu was the principal of UA. He was Eraserhead’s boss. Did that mean…

“You teach at UA?!” Izuku exclaimed.

“Yes, I do,” Eraserhead sighed again. “While I would offer to teach you myself, my Quirk doesn’t work against mutations. When I tried to erase your tentacles nothing happened, so I can only assume they’re not transformation type magic.”

“And why does this Nedzu want to teach Izuku?” Mom asked. 

“I’m going to be honest Mrs. Midoriya, your son is a danger right now, both to himself and others. Flerkens powers have the potential for a lot of destruction if it can’t be controlled, but he also has a lot of potential to be a hero. Both Nedzu and I saw that, and we made the logical conclusion. Even if he gets into a hero school your son would have maybe two years compared to their ten. If Nedzu trains him then he would have a better chance.”

Izuku was too busy freaking out to see how his mom reacted. Nedzu wanted to teach him how to use his powers. Nedzu wanted to teach him . Not many people knew who Nedzu was, at least not specifically. Most people knew him as UA’s principal and maybe the hero that helped plan some raids. Izuku, however, knew a bit more. Nedzu was possibly the smartest being on Earth, was contacted for help whenever there was a major attack (villain or hero raid), acted as an international consultant for heroes, and had ties to at least a third of all heroes in Japan. He was powerful, and smart. And he wanted to teach Izuku.

He didn’t really know what to make of that. 

“Izuku,” Mom started, breaking him from his reverie. “You know I only want to keep you safe. Ever since you were a kit you wanted to be a hero, even after what happened to your father. You’ve kept that dream all these years, despite what everyone has said to you, me included.”

“Mom…”

“No, Izuku, I need to say this. When you were little and I made you hide your other powers, I said I was sorry. I felt like I was the reason you were in danger for being a Flerken.” She took a shaky breath, Izuku hardly breathed. “But I was wrong to say that. You shouldn't have to hide who you are. So…so if you think you can change how the world thinks by being a hero, then…then I’ll support you.”

Izuku didn’t really register he was crying until he tried to talk, and all that came out was a sob. That had been what he wanted Mom to say, all those years ago. Just that she would support him in what he did. It didn’t matter if she approved of him being a hero. He dove forward to give her a hug through the tears. 

The tears eventually stopped. Izuku backed up again. Only then did he remember Eraserhead was still there. The man looked extremely unsure of what to do. 

“S-sorry, Mr. Eraserhead sir,” Izuku stuttered. “You were, you were saying?”

“I was saying the decision to accept is up to you, but either way you need training, kid. Uncontrollable Quirks as powerful as yours are dangerous.”

“If I agree, then what exactly would he be doing?” Mom questioned. Izuku was mentally buzzing at the implication she would say yes.

“Nedzu will probably work on him getting control for both sides of his Quirk, among lessons on other subjects. To be honest I don’t know what he wants to do, but he’s a good teacher.”

“Was he your teacher?” Izuku asked excitedly. 

“No, he was already principal. He liked to pop in on classes and give advice, still does. Terrifies the teachers that aren’t used to it yet.”

Izuku stifled his giggling, though not very well. He saw Eraserhead crack a small smile too. Mom looked a bit confused, but smiled nonetheless. Honestly, Izuku was just happy no one was crying or yelling anymore.

“Thank you for your time.” Eraserhead stood up, bowing to his mother. “The principal’s number is on the UA website, so contact him with a decision. Try not to eat anyone else, kid.”

Izuku squawked, while Eraserhead chuckled. 

Izuku went to sleep that night with a few more questions added to his ever-growing list. Despite that, he slept well. Maybe his dream was finally coming true.

Chapter Text

Izuku might have only gotten four total hours of sleep last night, but that wasn’t about to stop him from being on time. Mom had agreed to at least let him go meet with Nedzu, which involved him going to UA. The school he had dreamed of going to since he was a kit. It was surreal in all honesty.

The train ride was easy. He had gotten to the station on time and snagged a good seat without anything going wrong. The whole situation still didn’t feel quite real yet. The journey passed in a flash. 

He stopped at the gates, just staring up at UA in awe. His dream school. The place he had only fantasized about going to, and now he was standing at the gates. The very, very big gates that he knew could chop him in half if he didn’t have permission to enter. 

Izuku took a deep breath, and rang the buzzer. He waited a few seconds before another buzz rang out. Taking it as a queue to enter, Izuku stepped onto the campus of UA. The gates didn’t try and eat him thankfully. 

The path was clearly marked, not that it was a massive problem seeing as the main building was at least ten stories tall. There were a ton of paths that splintered off the main one though. All of those had signs, which Izuku figured made it easier for students to not get lost. There were also a lot of trees. The school was even better than he had imagined it would be. 

There was a hero standing at the entrance to the building. More specifically, Eraserhead. Eraserhead was standing there and waiting for him. The whole situation suddenly became a bit more real for Izuku. 

“There you are, kid. Come on, Nedzu’s waiting.”

Izuku stiffly walked to Eraserhead’s side as they entered. He took in anything and everything he could see. The inside of the building was so cool! High ceilings, probably for things that were taller than a normal person, and there were s o many windows . It was the weekend, so there weren’t any students in the halls. It was eerily quiet for a school. 

“You can stop stressing, kid, all Nedzu’s going to do is talk.”

Izuku squeaked, but kept walking. “I- I know. It’s just, what if he can’t do anything? What if no one else will help train me? I can’t be a hero if I don’t have at least a bit of control over my Quirk. Especially since it eats people .”

“Kid, you’re fine. Nedzu wouldn’t have called you here if he didn’t think he could do anything. So take a deep breath and get through it, you’ll be fine.”

“Th-thank Mr. Eraserhead sir. You’re, you’re good at this.”

“I’m a teacher, I have to be.”

“No, you don’t,” Izuku whispered, mostly to himself. He didn’t look up from the floor to see if Eraserhead had heard. 

The rest of the walk to the principal's office was quiet. Izuku would say silent, if not for the screaming and banging they heard around the fifth floor. Eraserhead just sighed and rubbed his temples. Izuku was confused, but went with it. Probably better to not ask if that had indeed been Present Mic he had heard screeching “That’s my bagel, you overcooked piece of tofu.”

Eraserhead knocked on Nedzu’s door, and waited. A cheery voice told them to come in. The door was pushed open to reveal a relatively normal looking office. Izuku more or less hid behind the hero as they entered. 

Nedzu was sitting on one of the couches in his office, pouring a cup of tea. He looked up with a smile, one Izuku didn’t know if he should believe or not. 

“Hello! What am I? A mouse, a dog, a bear? Who knows! I’m the principal of UA! You must be Izuku Midoriya. Take a seat,” the principal said, beckoning them over. “I heard a bit about you, Mr. Midoriya. You are a Flerken, correct?”

Izuku gingerly sat on the couch opposite Nedzu. He nodded in response, accepting the offered tea. Eraserhead sat besides him. 

“Hm, and you have no control over your Quirk?”

“I can- I can shift easily. It’s the…tentacles, that I can’t control. When I, I used them it felt like, like I wasn’t the one controlling them.”

“Ah, I see. You did not know about the second part before then, yes?”

“Y-yes, sir.”

Nedzu hummed, and sipped his tea. Izuku followed his example, having nothing else to do. It was good tea. 

“I have been granted access to your school transcript and have looked it over, Mr. Midoriya. You have high grades in all classes, though you are registered as a cat morph. Care to explain that?”

“Um, m-my dad died when I was, I was really little, because he was a Flerken. My, my mom wanted to pro-protect me, so we were registered as cat morphs in-instead.”

“Ah, I see. That is also the reason she did not tell you about the second part of your Quirk, yes?”

“Ye-yeah.”

“And you have no family members to teach you?” Eraserhead asked.

“O-one, but she lives far away, and, and is really busy. I think her powers are, are weaker too. I never heard of, of her being able to wreck any-anything.”

Nedzu took another sip of his tea. Eraserhead nodded, looking like he was thinking about something. Izuku more-or-less just wanted to sink into the floor right now. 

“Midoriya, would you mind if I gave you a test?” Nedzu asked cheerfully. 

Izuku blinked. “Um, sure. On, on what subject?”

“All of them.”

Izuku blanched. A test on all subjects? Did Nedzu mean the ones in school or ones for adults too? Did it include physical fitness tests? He was so confused, and his stress spiked.

“Don’t terrify the child, Nedzu. He means school subjects with a bit more added in, kid, not every subject he knows.”

Izuku let out a sigh of relief, nodding. He could handle school subjects. Studying and notes were what he was good at. With no friends and bullies living nearby he didn’t exactly have many options. Hero forums only had so many posts and napping only worked if he was tired. The result was high grades and going on searching tangents when he had nothing else to do. On a related note, he now knows Tasmanian Devils scream when they find food and that bats fly through the power of jazz hands. 

Nedzu left to get something, probably the test. Izuku took the time to finish his tea and mentally go over what they had learned that year in class. He also recalled some of what he had learned in his own time, just in case. Honestly, he was a bit confused on why he was taking a test. It was written by Nedzu though, so it would undoubtedly have high standards. 

A thick stack of paper was dropped onto the table. Izuku managed to swallow his tea before he spit it out. Nedzu gleefully handed him a pencil.

“You have as long as you need to answer as many as you believe yourself capable. Eraser and myself will leave you to the test.”

With that the two heroes left. Izuku glanced between the packet and the door for a second. He steeled himself, and got to work.

Surprisingly, most of the questions were up for interpretation. A lot of them had him explain his answer or thought process. A good portion of them were actual multiple choice questions on subjects he knew though. Even if most of those were things Izuku only knew because he was curious and not from learning them in class. 

He finished the test, or at least most of it, in a little under two hours. Another ten minutes for skimming over his answers too. When he was done, Izuku cautiously stuck his head out the door. There was no one there. 

Oh well, at least he knew where the teachers’ lounge was. They had passed it on the way up. Izuku made his way down the hall and to the elevators, going down to the fifth floor. Once there he just followed the sounds of people. In an empty school, it wasn’t exactly hard. 

The door was propped open, so Izuku pushed it in. There were only a few people inside, none of which noticed him enter. He stood there for a second, just taking all the people. Eraserhead and Nedzu were there, he expected that. What he had not been expecting were Present Mic, Midnight, Cementoss, Snipe, and Vlad King to be somewhere around the room either sitting calmly or yelling. 

“If you think pancakes are better than waffles, you can fight me, Nemuri!” Present Mic screeched.

“Bring it on you oversized cockatoo!” Midnight fired back. 

“Can I please get a waffle?” Cementoss said, surprisingly calm despite the chaos surrounding him. Izuku was mildly impressed. 

No , you cannot- oh! Kitty boy!” Present Mic exclaimed.

Izuku jumped. All of the attention was suddenly on him. The heroes (teachers?) looked curious.

“Ah, Midoriya, did you have a question on your test?”

“No sir, I finished.”

Izuku walked over and handed the thick packet to Nedzu. The principal didn’t say anything, but eagerly took it and began reading it over. Izuku suddenly became aware the room was silent.

“Kid, how long did that test take you?” Eraserhead asked from one of the couches.

“Uh, around an hour and a half, maybe closer to two hours? Why?”

“Hold sh- crap!” Present Mic yelled, staring at Izuku. “You finished Nedzu’s Hell Test in nearly two hours?!”

“Um, yes?”

“Wait, as in the Hell Test we had to take?” Midnight asked. 

“Altered for a middle schooler, but in essence, yes,” Nedzu answered, not looking up from the papers.

Various astonished curses were echoed around the room. Present Mic apparently the only one not shocked enough to sensor his expletives. Izuku still had no idea what was going on. 

“Holy crap kid, what Quirk do you have?! Some sort of super-intelligence?” Present Mic asked, more like yelled but all the same. 

Aizawa and Nedzu had matching smiles. The rest of UA’s teachers felt a sudden wave of suffocating fear. Nedzu’s teeth were too sharp to be human, and Aizawa just reminded them of Totoro. 

“I, um, I don’t have s-super-intelligence,” Izuku stuttered out. “I have, have transformation magic and, and a mutation type.”

“So you’re sayin’ you’re just that smart by ya’self?” Snipe questioned. Izuku did his best to tamp down on his fanboying. 

“Y-yeah. I l-like to study?”

“Holy shit, he’s adorable too,” he heard Midnight whisper. Izuku’s face started to heat up.

“Wait,” Cementoss spoke up. “Isn’t this the kid you decided to teach how to use his Quirk?”

“Why yes, yes he is,” Nedzu answered.

“So then why did he have to take the Hell Test?”

“Oh, that’s simple. I needed a benchmark for his knowledge, and also to see if he was worth taking on as my personal student.”

Izuku blanched. Personal student?! Of Nedzu?! Was he, was he really worth that? All he wanted was to learn how to control his Quirk so he didn’t hurt anyone. Now Nedzu, the smartest being he knew of, was proposing Izuku be his student? There was no way. That was for people like Kacchan, not him.

When he spoke up, his voice was small, yet everyone in the room stopped to listen. “Why?”

“Why what, Midoriya?”

“Why, why would you choose me? I’m just someone with an, an out of control Quirk. There are, are plenty of people with, with intelligence Quirks out there, so why choose the, the one kid who can only turn into a cat . Just because I’m a, a Flerken doesn’t, doesn’t mean I’m the one you should, you should choose as a student.”

“And why do you believe that?’ Nedzu asked, tilting his head slightly. 

“Because, because there’s so many people with amazing Quirks. People that could, could do amazing things if you taught th-them. I, I’m just, just-“

“Kid, all of us had to take that test. You finished in less than two hours, right?”

“Y-yes?”

“You know how smart Mic is?” Izuku nodded, not knowing where Eraserhead was going with this. “He finished that test in two hours and fifteen minutes.”

Izuku stood there silently, processing what he had just heard. His first reaction was to deny it. The test had been altered anyway. But…Eraserhead had no reason to lie to him. Izuku turned to Present Mic. The hero nodded in confirmation, smiling brightly at him. 

“The decision is ultimately up to you, Midoriya,” Nedzu said, drawing his attention. “What I’ve seen is more than enough for me to agree to help you master your Quirk, in the very least. I will contact your mother with details. You may leave now, if you wish. Aizawa can guide you out.”

Eraserhead groaned, but got to his feet anyway. The rest of the teachers said goodbye or waved while Izuku backed out of the room. His mind was still reeling from…everything. 

The two walked back down the hall towards the entrance. Izuku zoned out most of the way. Eraserhead had his hands in his packets as they went. 

Then Izuku heard a thunk. He stopped in the middle of the hall, paying attention to his surroundings again. The sound went off again. Izuku whipped around, scanning the area for what could be making the sound. 

He zeroed in on the vent grate to his left. Whatever it was made the sound again, louder this time. Izuku felt himself subconsciously half-shift. His new cat ears pricked and pointed towards the movement he could see past the grate. 

Eraserhead had stopped too, he noticed vaguely. The man was watching him, but not doing much. Izuku didn’t look away to glance at the man, too worried about losing his prey. 

Izuku carefully stepped closer on silent feet. He stopped a bit away from the grate, pressed up against the wall. The metal creaked. Izuku crouched down, narrowed eyes never leaving the vent. 

Something purple poked out of the now open grate. A face followed it, then the body. The person didn’t notice Izuku. He shifted his stance as the human wiggled their way completely out of the vent. 

“Hey Dad,” they said. “Thought you were showing the new kid to the exit?”

“I am.”

“Then where is he?”

Eraserhead glanced at Izuku. The person, a teen like him, followed his gaze. That was when Izuku pounced on cat-powered legs. 

“FU-“

Izuku collided with the person, sending both tumbling to the ground. He rolled and came up crouched on the person’s back, claws pricking his prey’s shoulders. The person was surprisingly still with his face pressed into the hard floor. It was quiet for a minute. 

“Dad, what the fuck.”

“Hitoshi, meet Izuku Midoriya. Midoriya, that’s my kid you were hunting.”

Hunting?!

Eraserhead’s eyes flashed red, and Izuku came back to himself. The ears, claws, and everything else cat disappeared, along with his instincts. He almost immediately turned bright red and scrambled off of the person beneath him. 

“I am so sorry ! You were banging around in the vents and my cat instincts were telling me you were prey and I listened without thinking and that happens sometimes when I’m overwhelmed and I am right now and I’m so sorry !”

“Cat…instincts?” 

“Er,” Izuku turned to Eraserhead. 

“Your choice to tell him, kid. Both of you get off the floor first.”

Izuku leapt to his feet, offering a hand to Hitoshi, though he guessed that was his given name so he wasn’t about to call him that. The teen took it, rubbing at his shoulders for a second.

“Um, so, I’m a Flerken, and-“

“Holy crap, you’re a Flerken?!” Hitoshi exclaimed. Izuku flinched, expecting the usual reaction. Why did he think this was a good idea? “That’s so cool!”

Wait what? “C-cool?”

“Yeah! I went through a phase of liking any and everything cat, so figuring out there was something besides a cat morph was extremely cool to little kid me.”

“What phase?” Eraserhead deadpanned, getting a shove from his son. Izuku admitted that they did look like each other.

“Can it, you know what I mean,” Hitoshi grumbled good-naturedly. “Is that what he meant by hunting?”

“Y-yeah. I, I have these sorta instincts that, that make me act like a, a cat. They t-take over sometimes if I’m not paying, paying attention or when I’m, I’m overwhelmed. I thought you were, were a mouse or something in the vents.”

“Huh.” Was all Hitoshi said. 

“A-anyway, sorry about jumping at you.”

“Eh, it’s fine. Hey Dad, what were Aunt Nemuri and Pop shrieking about?”

“Midoriya finished Nedzu’s Hell test in under two hours.”

Hitoshi silently turned a wide-eyed look to Izuku. He shrunk back a bit under the gaze. Hitoshi very quietly said a few more curse words. 

“Now if you’ll excuse us Hitoshi, Midoriya has to get home,” Eraserhead said, guiding Izuku out of the building again. 

It was only when they were outside again that Izuku spoke. Eraserhead stopped at the entrance to UA. 

“Th-thank you, Mr. Eraserhead. Your son seems nice.”

He snorted, but smiled. “He’s a troublemaker, but he means well. Nedzu should get back to your mother about the test soon. And kid?”

“Yes sir?”

“You can call me Aizawa instead of Eraserhead when I’m out of uniform. Hope to see you back here, kid. Don’t eat any more people.”

Izuku squeaked, but nodded anyway. He turned away and went home. This time, he was smiling.

Chapter Text

Izuku’s lessons start today, right after normal school. He was practically buzzing in his seat the whole time. He was also pretty sure it was annoying Kacchan, but he wasn’t about to focus on that right now. Nothing was going to ruin this day for him. Not Kacchan nor another bully was going to dampen his spirits for this. 

He escaped the classroom as fast as his legs could take him. Kacchan couldn’t have time to threaten him if he was out the door right as the bell rang. Izuku didn’t care if he ran most of the way to the train station, there was absolutely no way he was going to be late for this. 

Izuku was almost sure he was bothering the whole train car with his fidgeting. He couldn’t help it.

No matter what anyone said, he did not sprint to the gates of UA. He also definitely did not nearly fling his entrance pass across the street trying to get it out of his backpack. Nope, absolutely not. 

There was no hero waiting at the doors of UA this time, but that was ok. Izuku was told to wait outside the doors for Nedzu, and maybe Aizawa, so they could go to one of the gyms. It was nerve wracking though, since there were still UA students hanging around. Most of them gave him an odd look, but none of them did anything. 

He was lead to a gym made of concrete once his teachers showed up. It was absolutely massive, and Cementoss was there too! Izuku didn’t care if he had already seen the hero before, he was still really cool. 

“Now Midoriya, I was told you successfully spit out the criminals you ate, but do you know how to summon the tentacles in the first place?” Nedzu questioned once they were at the gym. 

“No, sir. It was, it was easier spitting them out. I sort of…felt them, I guess. There’s nothing there n-now.” Izuku paused, thinking for a moment. “Actually, there is something, but I don’t, don’t know what it is. It’s like…I know one of my muscles is there, but I don’t, don’t know how to use it.”

“Good analysis, Midoriya,” Nedzu hummed. “Could you possibly think of anything that could help you use this ‘muscle?’”

Izuku started muttering, looking at the floor. Nedzu watched with interest. Aizawa, having heard Izuku on a muttering spree before, flopped against the gym wall in his sleeping bag. 

It took a few minutes, but Izuku eventually stopped muttering. He smiled brightly at his two teachers, before going to explain.

“If spitting things out of like a hairball, then maybe the tentacles by themselves is just like another tongue? Not my normal one, obviously, but sort of like a frog tongue?”

“And can you use that to harness your Quirk?”

“Um, c-can I test it?”

Nedzu nodded, retreating to the other end of the room. Aizawa relocated his napping spot, ready to intervene if he needed too. Cementoss joined him in diligently watching. Once everyone was a safe distance away, Izuku closed his eyes. He hoped his analogy could help him at least summon the tentacle things. 

It did. Except he didn’t account for the fact that he wouldn’t be able to control them. 

The tentacles and teeth came into existence like they had last time: explosively and out of control. Izuku’s eyes snapped open. Instinctively, he tried to move. That did not go well. 

Izuku recoiled as his…mouths(?) slammed full force into a wall of cement. Not a pleasant feeling. He flinched, retracting the things in the process. 

The wall now had a sizable hole in it.

“Ooooooow.”

“You ok, kid?” Aizawa said, coming closer now. 

“‘M fine.” Izuku rubbed at his jaw, wondering how his Quirk even worked. He could feel that the things hurt, but it felt like it was in his cheeks instead of his throat or something. 

“Do you want to try again, Midoriya?” Nedzu asked.

“Yeah. Yeah, I wanna try again.” 

Nedzu smiled at him. Aizawa moved back, and Izuku tried again. He wasn’t going to give up. He still had something to prove. 

 

Training went…well. It didn’t go bad, necessarily, Izuku was just hoping for more progress to be made. He could reliably summon the things, but not control them. His mouth was sore and probably bruised now. Cement hurt

He came back a few days later for lesson number two. It yielded the same results. He was getting better at making the tentacles go away, at the very least. 

As he got used to using the things, he realized something. It sort of acted like another limb, which was weird since it came from his mouth. But the more he used it the more familiar he becomes with how it worked. Maybe he could use that. 

 

It was two weeks later that he finally did it. When he summoned the things, they didn’t lash out. They stayed in place for a moment. Izuku…didn’t really know what to do. He wanted to jump around and celebrate and yell about his success, which was sort of impossible with his current predicament. 

Cementoss created a small, thin pillar a few yards in front of him. Izuku made a mental note to thank the hero, again, after this lesson. 

Izuku focused, and moved the tentacles and extra mouths towards the cement pillar. It felt like he was physically fighting for control. They moved slowly, but listened to him nonetheless.

The pillar was promptly pulled from the ground and eaten. Izuku coughed as the things disappeared again. Cement did not taste good, he decided. Like play-dough mixed with rocks. 

“Midoriya, are you alright?” Nedzu asked, coming up besides him.

Izuku looked at his teacher, and grinned. “Other than eating concrete, I’m ok. I finally did it, Nedzu-sensei.”

“That you did, Midoriya. Do you want to try spitting the cement out?”

Izuku nodded hastily. The cement felt weird wherever it was being held. Another thing to add to his ‘how does my Quirk even work’ list. 

It came back up relatively easily. Covered in spit, but otherwise unharmed. The things went away again, hurting more than ever this time. Looks like control won’t be painless, Izuku thought. 

The training and lessons continued. Slowly, Izuku gained more and more control over his Quirk. It was still tenuous at best, but it was progress. 

  His classmates seemed to notice too. Izuku never showed off anything in class. Ever. That was a rule of his that wasn’t going to change anytime soon. Especially in seventh grade, where gossip ran wild either way. It was better they believe he was just a cat morph. But his class seemed to notice that he was gaining more confidence. Not just because of getting better, but because he finally had people that believed in him. 

Kacchan wasn’t happy about that. Izuku felt his glare on the back of his head for nearly the whole day. It was a lesson day. All he had to do was get through middle school classes and then he could go to UA. He could keep improving without Kacchan breathing down his neck.

It didn’t go like that. Of course it didn’t. The school day ended, Izuku packed up quickly, just like he always did. 

He didn’t make it far. A sparking hand slammed itself onto his desk, making Izuku jump. He looked up and saw Kacchan standing there with a sneer on his face. He had Izuku’s analysis journal in his hand.

“Ka-Kacchan.”

Deku, ” he growled, reminding Izuku of a feral dog. “Want to explain where you’ve been disappearing to? Hope it’s not to fill your stupid fucking ‘analysis' books.”

Maybe Izuku had gained more confidence, or maybe knowing what he could possibly do was delaying his fear. Either way, what he did next was extremely stupid

“Give it back, Kacchan. It’s none of your business.”

Kacchan raised an eyebrow. Izuku realized that while he had stood up to Kacchan for other people, he had never done it for himself. Until now, that is. 

“Or what , Deku?”

A single spark lit Kacchan’s hand, and Izuku hesitated. Kacchan’s smirk returned. “Not so brave now, huh. You better not still be trying to be a hero with your weak ass Quirk, Cat .”

Izuku…Izuku felt something break. Not snap or shatter, no. More like something held together by tape finally giving way. All at once it was just…gone. 

“I’m not weak.”

“What was that, Cat ?”

“I’m. Not. Weak ,” Izuku hissed, standing to his full height, even if it wasn’t much. “And you can’t stop me.”

Kacchan did not like that. His smirk twisted into a snarl. Izuku took that as his cue to grab his notebook and leave. 

If only he was so lucky.

Izuku dove for his notebook, managing to grab it before Kacchan exploded it. His arm wasn’t so lucky. 

Izuku reeled backwards, one hand holding the notebook and the other covering his new burn. Another scar to the tapestry. Kacchan was smiling. 

“How could you ever think you’re strong when one little burn makes you cower!”

Izuku backed up a step, going over his options. Those were either fight Kacchan (nope nope nope nopeity nope) or try and run. Considering he already had a hurt arm, fighting was definitely not an option. Not unless Izuku wanted to risk eating Kacchan, which he wasn’t.

Escape then. He had to escape. The door was open, but Kacchan was blocking it. It looked like no one else was in the halls now, so no one to intervene. His backpack was still open too. If he could put his journal in there then he’d have a few less problems. 

There was no way Kacchan would let him get to the door though. Not without more burns. Izuku was already going to have to explain the one he had to Nedzu and Aizawa-sensei, he didn’t need more. 

Then he saw the open window, and his adrenaline addled mind gave him an idea. An idea that could very well fail extremely badly, but an idea nonetheless. All he had to do was put his notebook in the bag and dodge to the side before Kacchan could get him. Simple. Probably. Hopefully. 

God, this was going to go so bad. 

Izuku slowly edged backwards, towards his bag. His notebook was held behind him. Kacchan didn’t move, but watched him sharply, waiting for quick movement. Sort of like an animal. Ironic, considering he was the one with normal magic and Izuku was part cat. 

His notebook slipped into his bag with hardly a sound. Kacchan’s eyes didn’t leave Izuku’s. He hoped Kacchan didn’t noticed what he did. Now, the hard part. Izuku grabbed one strap of his bag, and tensed to run. 

In one motion he half-zipped his bag and darted to his left. Kacchan screamed something incomprehensible. Izuku didn’t dare look to see if Kacchan was aiming an explosion for him. He needed his eyes, thank you very much. 

Izuku half-shifted, focusing on his claws. Nedzu and him had been working on his shifting abilities a bit. It hadn’t been too long since he discovered he could half-shift, after all. His fingertips lengthened and hardened into sharp points. Heat hit Izuku’s back. 

Izuku dove over Kacchan’s outstretched hand, and out the window. 

His claws caught the wall once he twisted around, slowing his fall. His shoes helped slow it even more. It nearly pulled his arms out of their sockets, but it worked. Kacchan wasn’t following him. His bag was safe too. 

Izuku would have turned into a cat, since they almost always land on their feet. If not for the fact that his backpack would have either been left to fall with him or get left behind. Neither were an option. Kacchan would have destroyed anything in his bag if he left it, and falling with a bag in his teeth would have unbalanced him. Not to mention the koi pond was almost directly under the window. Sliding down the wall like the vigilante Crawler was by far the best option. 

It took all of a minute for Izuku to fully zip his bag and sprint off. Kacchan would be storming down the halls right now, and Izuku didn’t want to be there when the tempest exploded. 

He also didn’t want to be late.

Chapter Text

Nedzu was surprised, but very happy, with how his student was doing. He hadn’t originally intended to take Midoriya as a student, simply teach him to use his Quirk. It was dangerous if left untouched. And if Nedzu wanted to help out a fellow creature that was discriminated against, then no one was going to say anything anyway. 

Then Aizawa had told him about the boy’s conviction. Unusually strong and selfless for a middle schooler. The boy appeared smart too. Nedzu just had to test him, so he took the approval test for UA teachers and altered it slightly. Nothing big, just taking out some of the more mature questions and ones only a licensed pro would know. Overall, it was still an extremely hard test.

After Midoriya finished the test faster than Present Mic, Nedzu made a decision. He would offer to take on Midoriya as a personal student alongside helping him with his Quirk. Two to three times a week the boy would come to UA to practice and be taught lessons on various subjects. Nedzu knew the boy’s middle school would teach him the basic subjects, but Midoriya needed something more. Perhaps it would help him become a better hero too.

Midoriya’s analysis abilities were something Nedzu hadn’t seen in a while. This middle schooler with no formal training was already on par with a few professionals. It would need to be cultivated, Nedzu decided, otherwise it would be an opportunity wasted for the boy. 

His student kept surprising him too. He showed Nedzu he could half-shift, something he hadn’t know Flerkens could do. The boy had cat ears, claws, and paw pads while still looking mainly human. Possibly teeth and other things were there as well. His eyes were already that of a normal cat, minus being colorblind. Nedzu was curious, very curious. It had been a long time since he had seen such an interesting child. 

Nedzu admitted he was growing fond of the boy. Seeing him leap around in excitement after finally exhibiting a bit of control over his powers made him smile. Not like he didn’t see Aizawa and Yamada watching the boy fondly too. 

Then Midoriya came in with an injury. Not exactly something out of the ordinary, so Nedzu brushed it off. That was a mistake. 

They began as usual. Midoriya on one end of the gym and Nedzu at the other. Sometimes another hero joined them, but today it was just Nedzu and Cementoss. The others were still grading and answering students’ questions. Cementoss already finished his, and was there as a precaution. 

He set up the pillars they used in Midoriya’s practice. The boy in question standing in one spot. 

“Are you ready, Midoriya?”

“Y-yes, sir. Same thing as, as last time?”

Odd, Midoriya’s stutter had mostly gone away after the near three weeks of training at UA. Nedzu shrugged, maybe something had come up at his school. “Yes, same as last time.”

Midoriya nodded, getting into the stance Nedzu recognized as him bracing himself to use his Quirk. The telltale tentacles started to appear. 

Things went wrong almost immediately. The tentacles burst out into the open, waving wildly and hitting the cement posts. Nedzu could see Midoriya flinch. 

Then the tentacles turned around. They wrapped themselves around Midoriya, making him disappeared. Nedzu jolted forward, Cementoss already moving the ground to try and extract his student. 

Nedzu’s steps stuttered to a stop when Midoriya just…disappeared. Not a trace of his student nor his Quirk left. Nothing. The cement receded back into the floor, leaving two stunned pro heroes and a missing student. 

A thousand scenarios ran through Nedzu’s head. He cautiously walked closer, keeping his senses alert for any danger. There was nothing there . Where had his student gone

“Uh, Nedzu-sensei?”

Nedzu’s head whipped around. His ears swiveling to pinpoint where the sound had come from. 

There, another noise. But…it was above him?

Nedzu looked up to the ceiling. Lo and behold, there was his student. Midoriya was sitting in the rafters, clinging to one of the beams. He looked just as confused as Nedzu felt. 

“Nedzu-sensei, are you and Cementoss ok?” Midoriya called down.

“We’re fine, Midoriya. How did you get up there?”

“I have no idea! I was just trying to control my Quirk and then it tried to eat me ! I was thinking I just wanted to be away from it, and the next thing I knew I was up here!”

“Can you get down?” Cementoss yelled up.

“Yeah, just- just give me a minute.”

Nedzu hummed, and relaxed. His student was smart, and he was ok. Midoriya would probably get over to the wall and use his claws to slide down. They hadn’t practiced that yet, but Midoriya had been able to shift stronger claws already. 

Nedzu proceeded to nearly choke on air as his student shifted into a green cat, and leapt off the rafters into the open air. Cementoss was a bit too shocked to move and catch Midoriya. Not that it would have been extremely useful, since cement is in no way a soft landing. 

He was mildly surprised when Midoriya flipped midair, righting himself, and landed with hardly a sound. He shook out his fur before turning back into a human. There wasn’t a sign of trauma from a hard landing. 

“Midoriya, was that necessary?” Cementoss signed in exasperation, one hand over his heart. 

“What? I got down, and I really didn’t want to, to dislocate my shoulders sliding down the wall. It’s also metal, so I didn’t, didn’t want to hurt your ears.”

“Thoughtful,” Nedzu hummed, “but please give more warning the next time you jump from two stories up, Midoriya. Even if cats do land on their feet.”

“S-sorry, Sensei.”

“It’s alright, you didn’t get hurt. Now, do you have any idea as to why you did…whatever that was?”

“I, I think I teleported? I guess my Quirk activated since…”

Midoriya trailed off, not meeting either hero’s eyes. Well, that wasn’t good. 

“Since you’re what, Midoriya?”

“M-my arm. I, I hurt my, my arm earlier.”

“Ah, that explain it then. Your Quirk must have acted on the assumption that there was a danger that hurt you, thus getting you away from it.”

“P-probably.”

“However, you should not have attended training if you were injured, Midoriya. We’re going to visit Recovery Girl before we resume.”

“Th-that’s really not necessary!” 

Nedzu stopped, tilting his head. That was the voice of someone with something to hide. Children were not usually adept at lying, Midoriya seemed to be no exception. He wondered what he had to lie about though. An injury was an injury that needed to be healed, simple as that. 

“I don’t, I don’t want to bother her,” Midoriya said, quieter this time. “I’m not even a, a real student here. I can keep going, Nedzu-sensei, it’s ok.”

“I insist Midoriya, Recovery Girl has been wanting to meet you anyway. I wouldn’t be a very good teacher if I made you continue while injured, now would I.”

Midoriya hesitated, but nodded. He shuffled towards the doors alongside Nedzu without further protesting. The principal found it odd that he tried to cover himself with the lie, but brushed it off. His student hadn’t showed he was in any danger before. It would be fine. 

~~~~~

Izuku was resigned to the inevitable. Recovery Girl would see the burn and tell Nedzu. The principal would probably…actually, Izuku had no idea what the principal would do. He wouldn’t exactly bully him too, since he himself was a creature people discriminated against. Didn’t stop Izuku’s mind from spitting out reason after reason why he would refuse to keep teaching Izuku. 

The walk to Recovery Girl’s office was a relatively short one. It was on the first floor, since it was mostly hero students that got hurt and had to be carted to her. There were always the occasional support student that blew themselves up or business student that got into another fistfight over marketing, but hero students were the most common. For obvious reasons. 

They knocked before coming in. Izuku had to try really hard not to squeal and fanboy the instant he saw the heroine. She was just so cool . Healing Quirks were incredibly rare, though less so than warp Quirks. 

“Hello there, deary, you must be Midoriya.”

Izuku nodded feverishly. Recovery Girl chuckled, getting up from her desk to come closer to them. 

“And what’s the problem with this one, Nedzu?”

“He has an injured arm, ma’am. His Quirk acted out because of it.”

“Ah, yes, that would definitely be a problem. Let me see it, sonny.”

Izuku hesitated, but let Recovery Girl grab his arm. He bit back a yelp when her hand grazed the angry red burn. She mumbled something to herself, then kissed his wrist. The pain instantly faded, and his skin returned to normal. The imprint of a hand gone from his arm when he looked down at it. Of all the burns he had gotten, this one had been minor in comparison to begin with. 

The adults, however, didn’t see it that way. Recovery Girl looked worried as she shooed them out of her office. Nedzu hadn’t said anything, but Izuku knew he saw the burn. It wasn’t hard to miss when his arm was on display. Now it was just a matter of what the principal was going to do. 

Nedzu wordlessly lead Izuku back outside. He sat himself on the stairs, staring out at the UA grounds. Izuku followed his lead, pulling his knees to his chest. Why did it feel like his blood had turned to molasses? 

“Does the human bullying you know you’re a Flerken?”

Izuku jolted. Of everything, that hadn’t been the question he was expecting. 

“N-no, sir. He, he doesn’t.”

“Then I assume it is because of you being an alleged cat morph? They are not renowned for being the strongest.”

Izuku nodded silently. Kacchan had his reasons. Izuku was as good as a cat morph anyway. He wasn’t strong, couldn’t do more than walk quietly. It wasn’t even before a few months ago he learned he could half-shift. Kacchan was still insistent he couldn’t be a hero. Not while being a worthless, useless cat .

He was crying, Izuku realized belatedly. He scrubbed at his face, knowing it was too late to hide it from Nedzu. Maybe he really wasn’t meant to be a hero if he still cried so easily. 

“Which student was it.” 

Izuku looked up sharply. In the time he had known Nedzu, he had never had that much steel in his voice. His teacher had always been calm and collected. This was the first time Izuku was hearing him angry. 

“M-more than, than one,” Izuku said softly. After all this time, he still wasn’t willing to take any revenge on Kacchan and his other bullies. “They, they didn’t, they don’t deserve to, to-“

“Midoriya, they hurt you for being presumed weaker. If they wish to be heroes, then they must learn first.”

“That’s why, why they should be, be allowed to go, go where they want. Schools are for, for learning, right?”

“…Yes, they are, but that does not make it right. You are aware I could just look at the school security tapes, correct?”

“I know, but then you’d have to explain why you did it. I don’t think you’d want to go through the effort of doing that.”

He knew he guessed right when Nedzu started chuckling. It was nice, knowing he was actually good at something. Even if that thing was convincing his teacher not to “accidentally” get his bullies blacklisted from all hero schools. 

“Well then, would you like to continue practicing, Midoriya? I’m curious about that teleportation.”

Izuku got to his feet, grinning once again. He raced off back to the gym, his teacher following at a walking pace. He was still a kid, after all. He was excited to discover something new. And since that thing was being able to teleport ? Heck yeah!

~~~~~

Bzz Bzz

Inko picked up her phone with one hand, pulling a bag of flour closer with the other. Izuku was in his room doing homework, so the apartment was quiet. 

“Hello?”

Ah, good evening Mrs. Midoriya ,” Nedzu’s voice chirped through the phone. Inko set aside her cooking for a moment. 

“Good evening, Mr. Nedzu. May I ask why you’re calling?”

I will get straight to the point, Mrs. Midoriya. I wish to take young Izuku as my personal student.

Inko nearly dropped the phone. “You want to, what?”

Teach young Izuku. It’s come to my attention that he isn’t getting sufficient tutelage in his current school. If you would allow it, I would like to take over his studies instead.

“May I…may I ask why this is coming up now?”

He came to lessons with a burn, Mrs. Midoriya. One in the shape of a handprint. ” Inko felt like all the air had disappeared from her lungs. Only one person she knew could do that. But…but why? Why would little Katsuki do such a thing to Izuku? They had been such good friends, once upon a time. Inko herself was still friends with Mitsuki. “ Your son is exceedingly smart, Mrs. Midoriya. I want to assure that he has that encouraged.

“I, I know he’s intelligent. He never, he never told me anything past that he was having minor problems at school.”

“I t’s not my place to tell you everything, Mrs. Midoriya, but please consider what I have said.

“Y-yes, I will. Thank you, Nedzu.”

Have a good evening, Mrs. Midoriya.”

Inko set her phone on the counter. 

Izuku was bullied. By little Katsuki nonetheless. There were so many questions she had. Why hadn’t her son told her anything? Why was he bullied? He didn’t tell people he was a Flerken, she knew that. So why?

Either way, she had an offer to consider. But if it would help keep her son safe, then the decision was already made.

Chapter Text

Izuku learned he was being taught solely by Nedzu the morning after the principal called his mom. It was…a lot to take in. He wasn’t going to normal school anymore? No more bullies? No more Kacchan ?

It was a lot. Especially since that meant he was technically going to UA now. Nedzu would undoubtedly be an amazing teacher, he already was. That didn’t mean Izuku wasn’t nervous walking into UA on Monday. He looked really out of place, not having a uniform and all.

The halls weren’t especially crowded, not since Izuku got there after normal classes started. He was suddenly thankful Nedzu had insisted he start an hour later than the high schoolers. Of the three people he saw, none stopped him, just looked at him weird. That in itself still made him want to curl into a ball and hide. He didn’t, but he was close. On a related note, UA had some nice sunbeams that came through the windows. 

Nedzu’s office was on the top floor. It was a pretty big room, having its own sitting area and stove to make tea. Nedzu’s desk, and chairs opposite it, sitting towards the back of the room. The entire back wall was made of windows too. Knowing Nedzu, there were probably parachutes hidden somewhere. Being on the top floor made a good vantage point as well as an escape route. Along with another reason, but Izuku didn’t want to dive down that rabbit hole. 

The principal himself was sitting at his desk. Papers scattered with no obvious rhyme or reason. Izuku figured the principal would be the only one to know if there was a pattern or not. 

“Ah, there you are, Midoriya. Right on time. Are you ready for our first lesson?”

“Yes, Nedzu-sensei!”

 

“Have you read this book before, Midoriya?”

“No sir.”

“Alright then, reading it will be your homework for this week. We will discuss what you read next Monday.”

“I assume you’ve learned a bit of chemistry?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Good. Now, we’re going to learn how to make chlorine gas with cleaning products.”

 

“Is it really ok to set this on fire?”

“Of course. Just keep the gloves on.”

 

“And what happened in 2019?”

“The Area 51 rebellion in the US.”

“Correct. And remember, they did not in fact find aliens, but nuclear weaponry.”

 

“Is this how I solve it?”

“Yes, very well done, Midoriya. That math problem was giving even the second years trouble.”

~~~~~

Tsume liked UA. It was the best hero school in the country, how could they not? The teachers were all pros, they learned how to control their Quirks even better than before, and injuries were never a problem since Recovery Girl worked there. It helped that most of the people in their class, 1-B, were friendly. 

Heroics class was their favorite though, for obvious reasons. The teacher was an old hero who was going to retire soon. His hero name was Gengar, and he could become a shadow. Not like darkness, but he could literally become someone’s shadow to follow them. He was underground, so not a lot of people had heard of him. Tsume thought he was cool though. Good at teaching them to fight too. 

Gengar-sensei also liked to send kids on errands. Nothing big, usually just messages to Nedzu or something. Tsume was chosen for one such adventure today. All they had to do was deliver a note to Nedzu in his office. Meh, at least they weren’t getting tossed across the training yard again. 

The walk to Nedzu’s office was quiet. Everyone was in class, so of course it was. Tsume thanked whoever had designed UA that they there were elevators. Climbing ten flights of stairs did not sound pleasant. 

Tsume knocked on the door once they reached it. The talking from inside stopped, replaced with Nedzu saying they could come in. Tsume very carefully opened the door.

Inside was Nedzu and a little green-haired kid standing over a table. There were beakers of various colors in a neat line, and a Bunsen Burner. There was also a stack of empty cleaning supplies bottles? The two were wearing gloves and safety goggles at least.

“Uh, I have a note, Nedzu-sensei.”

“Ah, from Gengar I presume,” Nedzu hummed, stepping around the table. “I’ll go ahead and take that.”

Tsume nodded, handing over the note. One of the liquids started to spark. The green kid blinked down at it curiously. 

“Nedzu-sensei, is it supposed to do that?” The green kid asked. 

“Hm? Oh, that means it’s going to explode. Put the blast shield over it please.”

Nedzu said everything very calmly. Tsume stood there staring as the kid that was probably a middle schooler, put a thick glass dome over the sparking liquid. A moment later it exploded, but silently from inside the dome. 

“Huh, didn’t know that would happen. Can we try it again?”

“Of course, Midoriya. You may go back to class, Ms. Yubi.”

Tsume nodded numbly, and retreated from the room as fast as socially acceptable. Once down the hall they sprinted . The faster they got away from the kid and principal blowing things up the better. 

What was going on in this school?!

~~~~~

So far, Izuku liked being taught by Nedzu. He was learning a lot more than he had in his former middle school. Quite a bit of it was more useful for being a hero, and adult in general, than the other stuff he had been learning. Nedzu had even showed him how to hot-wire a car!

It was the end of Friday, right after he finished his last lesson of the week. Honestly, it had been one of the best weeks of his life. He got to learn from one of the smartest beings on Earth, and no one bullied him. Izuku also left late enough to avoid Kacchan. 

None of the UA students had confronted him either. Some gave him weird looks, but that was the extent of it. Maybe Nedzu had warned the classes or something, but either way Izuku was grateful. 

The hallways of the school were once again silent. The normal students had left already, and the teachers were doing whatever they needed to finish before going home. Izuku had seen Aizawa around the halls a few times, but hadn’t gotten to speak with him much. 

Izuku was actually smiling after the school-week for once. He never realized how often he went home with new bruises until they weren’t from bullies. Any bruises he had now were from trying to control his Quirk. There had been progress, but not much.

He stopped when he heard a noise. A weird scraping sound. In a very silent hall, it stuck out like teal on a gray background. Izuku looked up and down the hall, but didn’t see anything. 

Izuku shrugged, and kept walking. It was probably just something from the support department that echoed. At any rate, Izuku needed to get to the train station before it got too late. He pulled out his phone to make sure his mom didn’t text before he left.

“Hey Midoriya!”

Izuku looked up from his phone. There…wasn’t anyone in the hall.

He yelped as a heavy weight crashed onto him from above. Izuku was standing one second, and the next he was tasting the floor. He thrashed under whatever was sitting on him.

Something alive, apparently, since it laughed and rolled off of him. Izuku grumbled, but rolled over so he could see.

Hitoshi was sitting on the ground a few feet from Izuku. Aizawa’s son, Izuku remembered. Who had just jumped at him from…somewhere. 

“Ha! Finally got you.” Hitoshi smirked, getting back to his feet. He offered Izuku a hand. “You’re not hurt, right?”

Izuku took the hand and stood too. “I’m ok. Where did you even come from?”

“The ceiling.”

Izuku stopped, glancing up at Hitoshi. He was pointing above their heads with his smirk still in place. Sure enough, there was an open vent grate above their heads. Huh.

“And why did you jump me from the ceiling?”

“Payback.” Hitoshi shrugged, like it was the simplest thing in the world. “I haven’t been able to catch you before now anyway.”

“I said I was sorry,” Izuku whined, hiding his face in his hands. 

“Yeah, yeah, I know. You have to get to the station, right? Mind if I walk with you?”

Izuku’s brain more-or-less short-circuited. He had never had people offer that. Well, he did once upon a time, but that had ended with him getting blown up on multiple occasions. Hitoshi didn’t seem to have an ulterior motive, but that didn’t mean a thing. Not when he’d been hurt so much before. 

Hitoshi must have noticed, because he spoke up again. “Hey, I’m just offering. If you don’t want me to I’ll stay here.”

“N-no, it’s ok. I just, just don’t h-have very good experiences with, with being offered th-that.”

“Oh.” Hitoshi’s face twisted for a second, but smoothed out the next. “Well then you don’t have good friends.”

“Try none,” Izuku muttered. 

“Guess we have more in common than I thought. So, want to walk to the station?”

“S-sure, but won’t your dad w-worry?”

“Nah, he knows what I’m doing.”

Izuku nodded, leading the way out of UA. Hitoshi followed quietly, just looking around at everything. They reached the gates and began walking down the sidewalk.

“What did, did you mean, when you said we had more in common than, than you thought?” Izuku asked, not liking the silence between them. 

“I don’t have friends either. They’re too scared of what I might do to them.”

Izuku glanced at Hitoshi curiously. He sort of just looked like a tired purple panda, why would anyone be scared of him?

He became aware he said that out loud when Hitoshi barked a laugh. Whoops. Izuku buried his red face in his hands. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s ok.” Hitoshi fell quiet for a moment, looking like he was thinking over something. “I’m a Siren.”

Izuku lit up. Hitoshi almost stumbled when he turned to look at him. 

“Really?! That’s so cool! What type of Siren? Is that why your eyes are purple? What can you do? Do you want to be a hero too? You’d make a cool one. Are you related to Present Mic? Can you sing really good? Can-”

Hitoshi covered Izuku’s mouth with his hand, effectively stopping his rambling. Izuku glanced over, and his face was red. Good, they were even now. He uncovered Izuku’s mouth after a second. 

“You think…you think I could be a hero?”

“Yeah, why wouldn’t you be? Definitely a better one than me, anyway.”

“I will cover your mouth again, don’t tempt me. You’ll be an amazing hero and if you bad mouth yourself again I will drag my Pop over here to lecture you about self-worth.”

They held eye contact for a moment, before bursting into laughter on the sidewalk. Izuku was smiling so much more lately. It was nice. 

“Seriously though, what can you do? Siren’s have a big range of Quirks.”

“I can…I can control people if they respond to a question.”

Izuku clapped a hand over his mouth before he went on another muttering spree. There were so many questions he wanted to ask, but not enough time. He could already see the station up ahead. 

Hitoshi’s expression dropped. Izuku very quickly realized his mistake, and might have gone a bit overboard trying to fix it.

“I’m not scared of your Quirk, don’t worry! I just have so many questions and I don’t want to annoy you and there isn’t enough time and you’re Quirk just sounds so cool and oh no I’m rambling again.” Izuku took a deep breath, not missing the shocked expression on Hitoshi’s face. “Sorry. Y-you already know I’m a, a Flerken, so if anyone’s going to, to be scared of your Quirk it’s not me.”

“O-oh…ok.”

“Anyway, I have to go. Do you want to exchange numbers so we can talk?”

Hitoshi handed over his phone without saying anything. Izuku put in his number, before cheerfully waving goodbye. He watched his new friend (?) wave back, then turn back to UA. 

It wasn’t until halfway home that Izuku realized he just made a friend. And that he still didn’t know Hitoshi’s actual name.

Chapter Text

The end of the school year was approaching quickly, and Izuku had improved so much in that time. He still didn’t have as much control over his Quirk like normal kids his age, but it was a far cry from where he had started. 

They had…a few mishaps, in that time. Mostly when people had decided scaring Izuku was a good idea. That either ended in them having to hit the deck to avoid claws, or they got eaten. Izuku always spit them out quickly and apologized. 

The most memorable was when Midnight snuck up on him. She had apparently wanted to give him a hug, but Izuku hadn’t known that. The instant she touched him he spun around, and accidentally ate the hero. When he spit her back out a cloud of her Quirk came with her. It tasted weird. Not that he had very long to think that, since he was knocked out a second later. 

Hitoshi and him were good friends now too. He did in fact learn his name. It was Shinsou, and was Aizawa and Present Mic (Hizashi Yamada, he learned, and proceeded to freak out over knowing the hero’s real name) adopted son. 

Shinsou taught him how to hide in the vents. There were blankets and food stashes if you went far enough. It was no wonder he hid in there a lot. As long as he didn’t accidentally fall to the next floor, he was good. Izuku didn’t have that problem. He could turn into a cat and fall safely. It also meant space wasn’t a problem. Shinsou complained about it not being fair, since he had to crawl on his stomach to get around the vents. 

Nedzu had also been an amazing teacher. Izuku already knew everything he was required to, on top of skills he could use in the real world. Like how to make good tea and how to create acid from common cleaning supplies. The standardized tests were a breeze, especially compared to Nedzu’s Hell Test.

Izuku was excited for whatever the next year would bring. Mostly because Aizawa promised to start teaching him to fight. Izuku wasn’t scrawny, but he wasn’t exactly muscular either. Hopefully that could change soon. Shinsou was still going to a different school, but he would join them to spar sometimes. It sounded exciting in Izuku’s opinion. 

For now, he was still trying to get full control of his Quirk. It didn’t usually lash out anymore, which was really good. Sometimes it listened and other times Izuku’s Quirk seemed to have a mind of its own. Nedzu proposed that it was because of the circumstances it appeared and how long he repressed it. Both entirely plausible. Unfortunately, they couldn’t exactly ask the Quirk. 

His shifting has gotten even better too. Izuku could focus on certain aspects and improve them even further. He could hear even better than Nedzu if he enhanced his ears. That had resulted in him accidentally hunting Shinsou again, but they both laughed it off this time. Aizawa-sensei got yet another video of it. Izuku would be embarrassed if he didn’t know his mom had a dozen videos just like that. At least they hadn’t used a laser pointer like Mom did when he was a kit. 

Either way, in another week, he would be done with his first year of middle school. Over the break he would dedicate time to controlling his Quirk more. His goal was complete control, or at least close, by the time of UA’s entrance exam. Izuku was curious how that was even going to work. He knew it was robots, so would he just eat them? Would the points count if he just spat them out again once the exam was done? It sounded ridiculously easy for physical Quirks in his opinion. If he hadn’t learned the other half of his Quirk then he would’ve been going in there with only shifting. As good as his claws were, they couldn’t destroy metal robots. 

Nedzu had given him homework for the weekend. It wasn’t especially hard stuff, but Mom probably wouldn’t appreciate him hijacking their dish soap for an experiment. A stop to the store before going home then, he decided. Not the same one he had gotten held at knifepoint. It was in the opposite direction and one he’d been to a lot in elementary school. 

Izuku popped in his headphones along the way, turning on Present Mic’s radio. It was a bit weird knowing the man, and being friends with his son, but the station was still his favorite. He hummed along as he walked down the sidewalk. 

Call it honed senses, instincts, whatever you want, but Izuku knew something was coming. Something dangerous. It was like something was crawling up his back and setting all his hair on end. Izuku didn’t even know what was setting him off, but everything looked normal. All he was doing was walking towards the store that was hardly fifty feet away. There weren't even many other people on the street. 

He did his best to shake the feeling off. It might mean something, but he needed supplies. That was it. Nothing much could go wrong in the five minutes it would take in that store.

Izuku pushed through it and got what he needed. Nothing out of the ordinary happened inside. There was an old lady shopping and another teenager working the register. No villains, no knives, and certainly no destruction. It was…normal. 

So why did he feel like bolting home?

Izuku took his bags and headed towards home once he finished. There still weren’t many people on the streets, but that wasn’t unusual. Especially since it had been maybe ten minutes since he was last out. 

Bag in hand, he speed-walked down the street. Even if it really was nothing, that didn’t stop his adrenaline from thinking it was a threat. Izuku found himself unconsciously readying his Quirk. 

“Hey, Deku .”

Izuku froze, his slitted eyes widening in fear. The bag in his hand crinkled with how tight he was suddenly gripping it.  He hardly dared to breathe as footsteps echoed from the alley at his back, coming closer. 

“Thought you could hide from me, huh ?”

Izuku remembered the last time they had talked. He had thrown himself out a window, then never came back to school. Kacchan hadn’t been able to find him until now. Izuku had foolishly hoped he never would.

He finally figured out to make his mouth move again. “I, I wasn’t h-hiding.”

“Then where’ve you been, Cat ?” Kacchan spat.

“Th-that’s none of, of your b-business K-Kacchan.”

Izuku flinched as Kacchan’s palms crackled. He finally turned around, facing his…his bully. That’s what he was. He wasn’t a hero, not really. Not yet. 

“Do we need to have a talk , Deku?”

“Th-there’s other, other people here, K-Kacchan. They’ll call the, the police.”

Izuku met Kacchan’s eyes, seeing how they burned with hatred. It was so much like his Quirk, crackling and fiery. He didn’t flinch away though. Izuku stood his ground, hoping he wouldn’t get another burn scar today. 

“And what’ll they do? I’m just a concerned hero-to-be making sure a civilian stays safe,” Kacchan said, but it sounded more like a threat to Izuku. He didn’t believe it for a moment.

“L-leave me alone, Kacchan.”

“Then tell me where the fuck you’ve been, Cat, or I won’t hesitate to remind you where your place is.”

Izuku didn’t like this. He wanted to go home and talk with Shinsou and eat dinner with his mom. Not try and defuse the bomb that was Katsuki Bakugou. He just wanted to do his homework and wonder what Nedzu and Aizawa-sensei had planned for him next year. Why did he have to be stuck here?

He remembered that last day at his old school. It almost felt like something in him crumbled. Not shattered, not suddenly broken, just crumbled away. Something a longtime coming finally disappearing. Only now did he realize it was his respect for Kacchan. Well, no, he still respected him, to an extent. It was more his idolization of his former friend that was gone. 

Kacchan was a bully. Plain and simple. Izuku didn’t like bullies, but he had following Kacchan for so long. Too long. 

“Why do you want to be a hero?”

Izuku’s voice was barely there. Small and quiet, but enough to be heard on the silent street. 

“What kinda stupid question is that.”

Izuku sighed, loosening his grip on the bag in his hand. “Why do you want to be a hero, if all you’ve ever done is act like a villain?”

Izuku saw Kacchan’s eyes blow wide, sparks dancing in his palms. He took a single step backwards. Sparks meant fire and fire meant pain, so Izuku got farther away from it. 

“I’M NO VILLAIN! THE FUCK ARE YOU BLABBERING ABOUT!”

“Heroes don’t beat others down. Heroes save people.” Izuku paused, mulling over the words bouncing around his head. “You’re no hero, Kacchan.”

“I AM A HERO! I’M GOING TO BE THE BEST DAMN HERO THE WORLD HAS SEEN! I’LL BEAT ALL MIGHT AND BE NUMBER ONE. YOU’RE JUST A STUPID CAT THAT DOESN’T KNOW ANYTHING!”

“Then why are you trying to hard to justify yourself?”

“I’M NOT! I SHOULD-“

“Should what, Kacchan? Blow me up? Make me bloody and bruised like you’ve done for years? Bully me like you have since we were five ?”

“I, I’m-“

“Before you’re a hero, try being a better person, Kacchan. What I do is none of your business, it never was.”

“Deku-“

Izuku turned away. He still had to get home, after all. 

Izuku paused. He was going to say ‘goodbye, Kacchan,’ but this wasn’t really his Kacchan anymore, not really. His Kacchan had been the little kid that played in the park with him before they got their Quirks. He was the hero that Izuku had idolized most of his life. 

This was the person that had bullied Izuku for almost ten years. The person who had given him starburst scars on his skin and more bruises than he could count. This wasn’t his friend.

When he spoke again, it was with a note of finality. 

“Goodbye, Katsuki.”

Izuku walked away, and didn’t look back.

Chapter Text

Izuku didn’t see Katsuki again after that day. Neither wanted to see the other anyway. Not even they knew what would happen if they crossed paths again. Probably a lot of explosions and possibly someone getting eaten. 

He dedicated himself to his training. Not that he hadn’t before, but now he wasn’t worried about what Kacchan Katsuki would do at school. Izuku was finally realizing how strong he was, and not just physically. 

True to his word, Aizawa-sensei began teaching him to fight in his second year of middle school. Shinsou joined them sometimes, and those sparring matches could go either way. Aizawa was a good teacher though. He told them what they did wrong and helped them do it correctly without sounding nit-picky or degrading. Izuku loved having him as a teacher.

Izuku was already pretty strong, but learning to fight improved his strength even farther. He watched as his friend bulked up too, though both of them could still fit in the vents. Shinsou and him found it fun to scare some of the normal students if they were both there during a school day. More than once, Izuku had been in the middle of a lesson with Nedzu when a student ran in to ask if the school was haunted. He thought he did a good job of hiding his giggling. 

Luckily, Nedzu found it funny too. He even gave them advice on what to do. Izuku and Shinsou just shrugged and went with it. Almost no one could tell why the principal did what he did anyway. 

It was during that year that he finally gained control over his Quirk. It had gotten easier and easier for him to make it not lash out, and he could move it where he wanted to now. There was still so much to work on, but he wasn’t a danger anymore. Izuku wasn’t going to hurt anyone now. Although tentacles still tried to escape when someone scared him. That usually just resulted in it looking like he ate an octopus though. 

Nedzu-sensei said he was proud of him. Izuku thought he might combust on the spot. 

Instead he ended up teleporting to the gym roof.

Over the rest of the day, every hero that worked there popped into Nedzu’s office to congratulate him. Izuku swore his face was never going to be it’s normal color again. Especially when Aizawa came in, patted him on the head, and told him he did a good job. He teleported to UA’s roof on accident, again , when he did that. 

Teleporting had to be worked on, evidently. Izuku still wanted to test his storing limits too. Could he carry a certain weight in his pocket dimension thing before he had to stop? Theoretically, could he eat an entire building if it was skinny enough? 

Also, what happened to people he ate? They were obviously still conscious, but was there air? Midnight said she had been a bit too freaked out to check last time, and Izuku wasn’t too keen on eating any more people on purpose.

They still had so much to work on, but Izuku was happy. He focused on honing his skills and adding new ones, hand to hand combat being one of those. Aizawa-sensei and Shinsou were more than happy to help him with it. 

Although Shinsou probably just liked tackling him onto the mats. 

“Last round of today,” Aizawa-sensei’s voice rang out over the gym. “3, 2, 1, begin!”

Izuku darted forward, using his small height as an advantage. Shinsou braced where he was, guard up. They mostly knew how the other worked by now.

Izuku feinted to the side, scoring a punch. Shinsou hissed, but swung his own arm out. Izuku ducked, trying for a kick at his friend’s legs. 

Shinsou didn’t bother to dodge. He jumped and dove for Izuku, who yelped in surprise as the two went tumbling. Neither saw much as they rolled over each other on the floor. It was more playful wrestling instead of sparring now. 

“Alright, that’s enough.”

Izuku and Shinsou flopped onto the floor at Aizawa’s words. Both had smiles on their faces. So far, it had been a good day. What’s more therapeutic than getting to wrestle with your friend inside a hero school?

“We’re done for today,” Aizawa said, leaning over them. 

“Hey Dad, can Midoriya and I go get ice cream?” Shinsou asked from the floor. 

Aizawa nodded, fishing for something in his many pockets. He pulled out string, buttons, and keys, with increasing annoyance, before he finally found his wallet. The two boys watched and tried not to laugh. 

“Here,” said Aizawa, handing money to Shinsou. “Just be back before the time we usually leave.”

“Cool. Thanks Dad.”

Shinsou hauled Izuku off the floor. Not exactly hard, considering how small he was. Something he was going to be bitter about until he got taller. 

They chattered away on their route into the city, UA growing smaller in the distance as they went. Izuku knew a good place for ice cream somewhere nearby, so he led the way. The topic turned to their favorite flavors as the door chimed their entrance. 

“I can’t believe you actually like that stuff.”

“Well excuse me for being cultured,” Shinsou scoffed, playfully shoving Izuku’s shoulder. 

“It’s not cultured if it’s disgusting.”

“Australians have something so disgusting that people eat it as a challenge. I think a little pistachio ice cream is fine.”

“But it’s green !”

“So is your hair, you dork. All Might themed ice cream isn’t much better.”

“I was right, you are uncultured.”

Shinsou squawked in fake indignation. Izuku just laughed, moving to the counter to grab their ice cream. His friend joined in on their way outside. There were tables, and it was nice out anyway. 

“I’m just saying, Present Mic would be a very effective dog whistle if he could change his frequency.”

“Oh believe me, Pop tried. He broke every window on the street. Pretty sure Dad was answering annoyed dog owners for a week after that.”

Izuku’s head hit the table as he cackled. The mental image of Present Mic, one of his favorite heroes, and a hero he knew personally now, acting as a very loud and high pitched car alarm was utterly hilarious to him.  

“I can’t- I can’t believe-

“Princess also scratched Pop when he tried it.”

Their ice cream was forgotten in favor of laughing at funny stories they knew. Izuku told one of when he had accidentally turned into a kitten in the middle of class. He had been in second grade, and the little girls had claimed him as the class pet. The boys were jealous, despite all of them being seven. 

Shinsou told Izuku about the time Aizawa strung Yamada up from the gym rafters when they were still students. Also how that was because his parents weren’t especially good at the whole feelings thing. 

It was fun. Izuku loved having a friend he could laugh and joke around with. He loved having an actual friend instead of a false idol he followed after. 

“Well, well, well, what do we have here?”

Izuku went rigid. No no no no no. He knew that voice. He knew it. He didn’t want to know it. 

“A villain, sitting amongst the sheep,” they drawled. 

Izuku heard them stepping closer, but he couldn’t see them. They were at his back. Bad, his mind screamed. Never turn your back. Never let them out of sight. Never never never. 

He glanced up, seeing Shinsou flinch. Anyone else might not have noticed it, but Izuku did. That was the moment he realized the bully wasn’t here for him, but Shinsou. They had never called Izuku a villain. Plenty of other insults, but never villain.

“You know, when my cousin told me he had a villain in his class, I wasn’t expecting to see them around town. Wonder if I should call a hero. Save us all the trouble.”

Shinsou didn’t move. He didn’t look up from the table either. Izuku saw him tense as the footsteps came closer. 

“So, ya gonna say something, villain ?”

Suddenly, Izuku’s fear disappeared. Because he could be bullied all day, but the minute his friend was threatened, he’d fight back. No one deserved what he had gone through. Especially Shinsou. 

“Leave him alone, Hidoi,” Izuku said quietly. 

“Wait wait wait, Deku ? Are you serious?!” Hidoi burst out laughing where he stood. 

Izuku got to his feet, and turned to face the bully. 

“Oh ya know what? You two are perfect for each other! One a villain and one useless and weak! A match made in heaven .”

“He’s n-“

“Ah ah ah. One word villain and I can call a hero here.” Hidoi smirked. Shinsou growled, but didn’t say anything more. “Seriously can’t believe my luck. After all this, I finally found our favorite punching bag.”

“Leave, Hidoi, before I make you.”

“And whatcha gonna do, cat boy? Meow me to death?”

Izuku wanted to show him. He wanted to let everything loose and show his bullies once and for all that he wasn’t weak. Even if it was technically illegal to use his Quirk on the street, he wanted to show that he wasn’t a punching bag or something to toy with. He was strong now. He had power and control. 

Mostly, he just wanted to protect his friend. Shinsou didn’t deserve any of this. He was strong and kind and liked to watch cat videos at midnight. Hidoi was annoying and knew how to play with words. His Quirk wasn’t especially powerful, and neither was he. All it would take is one punch. One swung and he’d run with his tail between his legs. 

“Midoriya, it’s not worth it,” Shinsou whispered sharply. Izuku didn’t look back at him.

“Yeah, run away, Cat . Just a scared little kitty.”

Izuku growled at Hidoi, the noise akin to a car engine. The boy obviously hadn’t been expecting it, judging by the way he took a step back. It wasn’t worth getting in trouble, Shinsou was right, but he couldn’t walk away unpunished. 

Izuku let himself half-shift. His ears immediately went back, his hands turned to claws, and he grew fangs. He made sure to show them when he smiled at Hidoi. 

“Maybe I am a cat, but you know what, Hidoi?” Izuku cooed, edging closer. He knew his green eyes were narrowed to slits. “Lions and tigers are cats too.”

Izuku hissed, and the bully yelped. Hidoi turned tail and ran right then and there. Izuku didn’t stop glaring until he was out of sight. As soon as he was, he let himself go back to normal and breathe a sigh of relief. 

“Midoriya, you ok?”

“I’m fine. I- he- I knew h-him. From my, my old school.”

“He called you Deku.”

“Nickname from my, my childhood…friend. It’s another way of, of reading my name.”

“It also means useless though, doesn’t it? What friend would call you that.”

“He’s not, he’s not my friend anymore. We’ve been avoiding each other for, for almost a, a year now. And Nedzu teaches me, so I, I don’t have to, to worry about bullies.”

“But you used to.”

“You do too.” Izuku stared unflinching at Shinsou. “Do they hurt you?”

Shinsou sighed, knowing Izuku wouldn’t drop it. “No. Everyone mostly just ignores me. They don’t know how my Quirk works, so better safe than sorry, I guess.”

Izuku paused for a moment, before walking around the table to the other side. He sat down and leaned against his friend without a word. A silent comfort. 

They left that place knowing not everything was better yet, but it would be one day. They had each other as friends, so they weren’t alone anymore. One day, they’d be heroes. They’d show people they were strong and trustworthy. 

And Izuku couldn’t wait for that day.