At fifteen years old, Izuku Midoriya was dead. It was the last day of his first year at UA High, the place he had dreamed of going to for a long time. Despite the many things that had gone wrong, Izuku would call it a successful year. He was so much stronger, smarter, and faster, not to mention his quirk.
He had inherited something that wasn't flashy but still had the chance to be a lifesaver. He could push and pull small objects to or away from himself, an extension of his mother's quirk, who could only bring objects toward herself. After one year, the size of objects he could move had multiplied - he went from a rock the size of his foot to his homeroom teacher.
He was on his way home, the sound of his footsteps hitting concrete becoming rhythmic. It was the only thing he really focused on. He didn't notice the presence of another behind him or the feeling of eyes boring into his back. It was a face he should have recognized, with the honey-blonde space buns acting as enough of a clue themselves. If his current self knew of his past mistake, he would have punched himself in the face with a rock.
It was that situation that lead him to where he is.
His death was mourned nationwide, of course. As a UA student and strong competitor in the sports festival, he was bound to get some form of attention. He completely disappeared. No trace of DNA, no strand of hair, no fleck of skin could be found that could lead the world to Izuku.
So, just like any rational human would, the police force proclaimed him dead. A funeral was held, and an empty casket was buried. Everyone cried meaningless tears.
But, there was always some form of uncertainty. No body was found, did they really have to believe Izuku was dead?
Yes, they did. The person himself was not dead, his heart was still beating. However, the Izuku they knew was long gone. He no longer knew himself as Izuku Midoriya, son of Inko Midoriya and an absent father. He knew himself as Ichida Matsuoka, successor of All for One and All Might's fated murderer. He no longer wore the same bright smile as the past version of himself. Instead, it felt colder and more sadistic. After all, Izuku - or rather, Ichida - didn't know that he was doing something wrong. He thought that the old bar was all he had ever known. Kurogiri told him that emotions made him weak. Dabi told him that friendships were useless and a risk. Toga told him that killing was nothing more than stripping life from those unworthy of living it.
That was all he knew. How was he supposed to know that he had been living a lie?
"Ichida," came a cold voice. Kurogiri was scolding him for his latest adventure. After all, he should have expected it. He knew he wasn't allowed outside, yet he still snuck out. What was he thinking?
"Yes, Kurogiri?" Ichida responded, trying to keep his voice from shaking.
"Were you out there trying to mess with the heroes-in-training?" The smooth tone of the bartender made it sound like the topic at hand was not a serious one. He handed a drink to Dabi, the ice clinking loudly in the glass. He turned to put his full attention on Ichida. "I thought Sensei and I made it clear that you were to stay away from UA."
Ichida couldn't think of an excuse or a way to defend himself. He was too absorbed in the flashback that had just smacked him in the face.
"Upon enrolling at this school, you will become heroes in training." Droned a tired voice. The person behind that had long black hair that was pinned up behind their head. A pair of yellow goggles were nestled behind a long gray scarf around their neck. The voice felt oddly familiar. There were more words. The person up in the front of - wherever they were - kept talking.
He, Ichida guessed, was doing something like a roll call. The words were hard to make out, but there was one that was strikingly clear.
His mid-flashback line of vision changed as if he was looking up. Another voice rang out... it was his own.
"Here," said the voice. His voice.
"...chida? I... da? Ichida!" That was Spinner's voice. Ichida came to, recognizing Toga, Spinner, Dabi, and Kurogiri in front of him. He stared at each one individually, thoughts spinning around in his head.
"Come on, Ichi-chan, say something!" Toga whined. She tugged gently on Ichida's sleeve, a common occurrence.
No matter what way he thought of it, nothing made sense. And when something didn't make sense, he did what anyone else would.
"Who... who is Izuku Midoriya?"