It’s been about a month since All for One fought All Might. Izuku has settled back into the swing of things for the most part, but he’s noticed how his classmates seem unsure of how to interact with him.
Izuku wasn’t expecting his class to welcome him back the way they did. He thought they’d be angry with him, and cast him aside, much like his father did. Although, it seemed his classmates enjoyed throwing him a curve ball, because when Aizawa brought him back to the dorms, they welcomed him with open arms.
It’s a typical Friday for class 1-A. Yaomomo leads a small study group in the kitchen, notebooks and textbooks spread out on the tables. Kaminari loudly complains about a problem he doesn’t understand while Jirou mocks him. Satou is making sweets in the kitchen while Iida and Kirishima help Tsuyu prepare dinner.
A small group is in the common room, watching the television while others are seated on the couch. The only ones really paying attention to the show that’s on are Uraraka, Todoroki, Ashido, Hagakure, and Kouda.
Izuku can hear how loud his class is even before stepping out of the elevator. As he steps out, it takes a few seconds, but the noise level slowly drops. When he notices, he looks around in confusion, but finds everyone concentrating on whatever they’re doing.
‘It’s alright guys, I understand.’ Deciding to ignore it for now, Izuku heads to the couch, a book in hand. As Izuku sits down on the couch, Bakugou comes down from the stairs and pauses as he enters the room. He looks around and his eyebrows furrow. “Idiots.” He grumbles, heading to the couch. Bakugou looks at Izuku, “Scoot over nerd.” He says with his usual attitude, but Izuku knows there’s no real bite to it. He nods his head at Bakugou, subtly thanking him. Izuku scoots over and Bakugou sits down beside him. He pulls out his phone, loading up a video game. Izuku glances over at him every once in a while, watching him complete challenges or beat a level.
Iida pokes his head out from the kitchen, exclaiming, “Everyone, dinner will be ready soon!” He looks around the room and his eyes land on Izuku. “Oh, Midoriya, are you staying for dinner? I know you’re heading to your mother’s soon.” He asks.
The question surprises Izuku, as it does the rest of the class. For the first time that day, the entire class is silent as if holding their breath, awaiting Izuku’s response.
“Of course the nerd is eating with us, four eyes. He’s part of the class.” Izuku’s eyes dart to Bakugou, taken back by not just his answer, but how he seemed quicker to answer the simple question than Izuku did.
“Man, dude, I thought by now you’re attitude would’ve improved.” Kaminari mutters.
“WHAT THE HELL DID YOU JUST SAY TO ME?!” Bakugou explodes, “WHEN I FINISH THIS DAMN GAME I’M GONNA BEAT YOU WITH IT! DAMN PIKACHU!” He shouts, and with that, the class has returned to it’s normal volume.
Izuku’s eyes flicker between the two, and at one point he glances past Iida. He looks at the class rep, seeing an unreadable emotion flicker across his face before Iida returns to the kitchen.
Shrugging it off to Iida being concerned about dinner, Izuku’s eyes wander to the t.v. screen, glancing at the show his friends (part of Izuku still feels giddy whenever he uses that word because now, he finally means it) are watching. At one point, his eyes drift over to Todoroki, and the two make eye contact. Izuku gives him a small, tender smile. He sees the way Todoroki’s eyes light up, and it makes Izuku’s heart do weird things.
Ever since that night, they haven’t spoken about what they discussed. Slowly, he’s been confronting his demons (All Might and him have gotten a lot closer in the last few weeks, and he’s been working on creating a familial tie with his mother), but he still isn’t sure about himself. He has habits he has to unlearn, and imprints from his father he has to wipe away.
It’s a bit of a work in progress.
Izuku sees Uraraka give him a sideways glance of concern. He nods at her, signaling that he’s alright. After everything went down, he sat with her, Iida, and Tsuyu, and told them everything. He felt bad for keeping them in the dark for so long, and told them the story. Which then led to Uraraka asking him about Todoroki, and him admitting he liked him. It was...an emotional conversation, but he was a lot closer with his friends.
Regarding Bakugou, their conversation had been different. He had already figured out the story since he had been there and heard everything All for One said. The fight they had beforehand was the first step in working out some of their issues, and while things aren’t perfect, they’re getting there. There isn’t any tension between them anymore, and Izuku can actually tease Bakugou without being worried about potentially getting into a fight.
“Everyone, come eat!” Iida exclaims, cutting through Izuku’s thoughts. Uraraka pauses the t.v. and she and the others get up. Izuku closes his book, and he glances over to Bakugou as his classmates head into the kitchen. Bakugou is still furiously tapping away at his screen.
“Kacchan,” Izuku says, trying to get his attention.
“What?” Bakugou gruffly replies, still tapping away.
“Dinner. You can pick up the game later.” Izuku explains, standing up from the couch.
“Can’t, I won’t beat this damn game until I beat Pikachu over the head with it.” Bakugou grumbles and Izuku chuckles as he imagines Bakugou chopping Kaminari over the head with his phone before heading to the kitchen. He sits down between Uraraka and Todoroki and the food gets passed around the table. He watches as Ashido and Kaminari fight over one of the plates, and Iida immediately gets up, hand chopping through the air as he scolds them. Izuku smiles a bit at their antics, shaking his head.
“Deku!” Uraraka calls, and Izuku looks over at her. “What are you and your mom doing tomorrow?” She asks. Most of the class quiets down to listen. Within the last few weeks, they started talking about the days Izuku gets to spend with his mother. At first, it all started because Izuku came to nearly everyone and asked them for good ideas for activities to do with family, seeing as he doesn’t have much experience. It also happened to be when everyone was eating together. Now, one of his classmates ask him every Friday before he leaves. Izuku thinks it’s starting to become apart of their routine.
“I um...I’m not too sure.” Izuku admits. “I think I might show her the beach I cleared when my quirk first developed…” He mumbles, putting a hand on the back of his head.
Everyone hears a loud explosion from the couch and turns to see what happened. They watch as Bakugou stands up, dropping his now smoldering phone.
“What the- Bakugou what happened?!” Kirishima exclaims.
“Nothing. I’m going to the damn store for a new phone.” Bakugou grumbles. He looks over at Kaminari. “And you can bet it’s gonna be a bigger phone.”
Iida coughs into his hand, bringing the attention back to him. “Going to the beach sounds like a great idea Midoriya! You two should spend the day there and walk around!”
“Why don’t you guys go see a movie this weekend?” Kirishima offers.
Yaomomo hums softly, “Have you two tried baking together yet? I can get you a few easy recipes to try.”
Izuku listens as his friends offer him ideas with a small smile. Dinner continues like this, until the conversations move away from Izuku and his mother to other topics like school and upcoming plans.
Ashido gasps suddenly, slamming her hands down. “Guys! I just remembered!” She exclaims, “Our provisional license exam is coming up!”
Everyone goes very quiet.
The test was originally scheduled for last month, but thanks to All for One and All Might’s fight, it was pushed back. Apparently, it had gotten pushed back because the ones who run the license exam had to rethink the tests for the students. U.A. also needed time to do some cleanup and put things back in order. Since it was pushed back, they all had gotten more time to train.
“I’m sure it’ll be fine!” Uraraka exclaims. “We’re 1-A! All of us can pass, and we’ll do it together!” Her positivity causes Izuku to smile. Everyone begins to talk again except Iida, who looks lost in thought and Izuku, who is just listening.
After dinner, Izuku says a few goodbyes before All Might and Aizawa come collect him from the dorms. Izuku notices a few things about his two teachers the minute he sees them. The first thing is for once, they aren’t dressed in their hero costumes, and All Might’s bandages have finally come off. He’s wearing clothes that properly fit his thin frame but he’s still wearing a happy smile.
Aizawa, meanwhile, is wearing all black (Izuku actually mistook it for his hero costume at first, and he had to do a double take). His hair is up in a bun and he has a bored look on his face, which is not out of the ordinary for him.
Izuku grabs his bag for the weekend and the three of them head to the car out front. Izuku sits in the back while his teachers sit in the front. Aizawa has the window rolled down and his arm is hanging across the window ledge. He looks as if he’s daring a villain to attack them. All Might drives, the smile never leaving his face. Izuku just stares out of the window, the atmosphere in the car awkward as usual.
After a twenty minute drive they pull up to an apartment complex where his mother lives. Both teachers look the area over. Izuku watches as they interact, having a silent conversation with one another. It’s as if they’re telling each other what to do, and how to proceed. They step out of the car and they have that silent conversation once more. All Might opens the door for Izuku while Aizawa continues to scan the area.
‘I wonder if I’ll ever be like that, living with the constant comfortable uneasy feelings that come with being a hero.’ Izuku wonders.
All Might gives Izuku a big hug, almost squeezing the air out of him. He doesn’t mind it though, as All Might’s hugs are always full of warmth and next to heroes, one of his favorite things. Unlike All Might, Aizawa is more restrained and limits himself to just a pat on the head, which unlike his father’s who’s pats always felt cold and distant, Aizawa’s felt warm and inviting. “Don’t get into trouble, problem child.” He says.
All Might turns to him, “Enjoy your weekend, young Izuku!” giving him a smile and a thumbs up as he and Aizawa get into the car. Waving goodbye to them, Izuku can’t help but smile.
Turning towards the apartment complex and staring at the many floors and connecting stairwells between him and his mother’s apartment, the joyful feelings and warmth that had enveloped him mere moments before suddenly seem surreal. Izuku starts to count how many stairwells he’ll pass before he gets to his mother’s. At first glance, the complex looks cold, and unapproachable. However, the longer Izuku looks, the more personal touches he begins to notice, such as a flower pot here and there, and colorful curtains that show through the windows. The walls of the apartment are painted a warm orange and the walkway is lined with beautiful flowers. The grass looks well kept and there are some people out walking their dogs. He sees people sitting out on their porches, reading and enjoying what’s left of the sunlight. On a second glance, the complex feels warm and welcoming.
It’s such a different feeling than his father’s cold, lonely, house that Izuku isn’t sure what to make of it.
Izuku heads to the stairwell that leads to the floor his mother’s apartment is on. A few people wave to him as he passes by. He waves back nervously. ‘It’s been a month...why am I still feeling like this?’ He thinks as he begins to feel the unease. He feels out of place here, like he doesn’t belong. He feels as if he’s invading his mom’s sanctuary. Does he deserve the privilege to do that? After all, this apartment complex is a place left untouched by his father. Visiting his mother like this is only a reminder of what happened, surely she doesn’t want to be reminded of her pain.
Izuku shakes his head. It’s selfish of him, to make such a choice for her.
Izuku briefly wonders if this is how Todoroki felt when he started visiting his mother. Did he feel intimidated by the new environment? Did he ever want to turn back and run?
Many times, Izuku’s found himself wondering if his mother is as happy as Todoroki’s mom is whenever he visits her. But does he deserve to visit her?
In the past month he’s walked these steps by himself, but how many times has his mother walked these steps, yearning for the son she thought lost? With the weight of more than just a bag on his back, Izuku makes his way up to his mother’s apartment. Every step he takes reminds him of the struggles he’s faced to get to this moment, to spending time with his mother. Every step is just a reminder of the pain both he and his mother faced at the hands of a villain. Every step is another foot forward, moving past the awkward pauses and the obstacle of missed time. He takes out his house key which is something he got recently from her.
She gave it to him as a way of telling him that her home is his home as well, and compared to his father’s home, her apartment is like heaven .
He unlocks the door and heads inside, “Hey mom!”
His mother pokes her head out from the kitchen and smiles at him. “Itsuki!” She exclaims with a smile. She puts down whatever she’s working on, and makes her way to Izuku. He drops his bag as she pulls him into a hug and he quickly reciprocates, hugging her back. “Welcome home honey.” She says softly and Izuku smiles.
He wishes this hug could last forever. Really, he’s been wishing for that since he started visiting her. The warmth of her hug is familiar, though he doesn’t have any memories of where such a feeling could come from. The only hint he had was his dream, but that’s it. However, because he doesn’t want to be selfish, he slowly let’s go.
Inko may not know her son very well just yet, but she’s noticed a few ticks about him. When he first started visiting her, he’d tense up in her arms, as if unsure of what to do with himself. Slowly, he started to return her hugs, hugging her longer for a few short seconds each time he visited.
It makes her wonder what Hisashi did to her little boy.
Even though he’s been visiting his mother like this for weeks, he can never get tired of this. He can never get tired of this routine they’ve set for themselves. It’s a semblance of normality, and Izuku’s grateful for it.
The two pull apart and Inko leads Izuku inside. He puts his bag in his room, one that’s plastered in All Might memorabilia. His room is a lot more lively than the one he had with his father, and Izuku loves it. He loves his mom for it.
‘But do you deserve it? After everything you’ve done?’
Izuku frowns, shaking his head. He can’t let himself think like that, not now at least.
‘I don’t think you do. You don’t deserve any of this.’
Staring down at the ground, he clenches his fists tightly. Izuku can’t let these thoughts distract him right now.
‘Come on, you know I’m not wrong. You’ve done nothing to earn it.’
Izuku shakes his head again, as if the motion would quiet his demons. If anything, it just makes them louder.
“Itsuki?” His mother calls. Izuku head snaps up as he hears her walking to his room. “Are you alright honey?” She asks, standing in the doorway. Izuku looks at her, mouth gaping open like a fish. She must see the look on his face because she softens and goes over to him. She pulls him into another hug, and runs her hand through his hair. “It’s alright sweetheart, I know you’re still struggling with some things, it’s alright. You don’t have to accept everything just yet.”
Just like that, his mother quells the loud voices. Izuku melts into her embrace, nuzzling his head into her shoulder. They stand like that for a few more seconds, Inko running her fingers through Izuku’s hair. She hates seeing him like this, it makes her curse Hisashi’s very existence. It makes her angry at herself too, thinking she could’ve done more to protect her son. She feels as if she failed him somehow.
“How did you know to do that?” Izuku questions as he pulls away.
“Do what?” She asks.
“How’d you know to comfort me like that?” He elaborates.
Inko smiles softly, “I just knew.” She answers, and he just nods in response. She hates the fact that she missed out on so much of his life. She missed his first day of school, and so many important birthdays. Inko wonders how many of those birthdays he had to spend alone. The thought makes her unbelievably angry at Hisashi. She shouldn’t be focusing on all of this right now. After all, she has her son to take care of. She has to become his pillar, and Inko was determined to become just that.
She pulls away from the hug with a smile. “How about we watch some movies and eat ice cream?” She sees Izuku grin at the suggestion and Inko is so thankful to see that harrowed look in his eyes gone, replaced with a bright light.
They end the night watching movies together, and Inko learns a little bit more about her son.
Shouta lets out a quiet sigh as he leans back in his chair. The provisional license exam is coming up, and he’s determined to get the kids set up with everything before he leaves.
He only has a few students left to go.
“Aizawa?” A voice asks, and the underground hero turns to see who it is.
“All Might,” Shouta mumbles as his greeting.
“What are you doing here so late? It’s nearly twelve.” All Might says, as he walks over to his desk.
Shouta quirks a brow, “I could ask the same of you.” He replies.
All Might lets out a quiet sigh, beginning to go through a stack of papers. “I have some lesson plans I need to finish for the students.” He explains. “And you?”
“Making sure everything is in order for their license exam.”
The office is silent for a while, both teachers working on their tasks. Neither know what to say, and are preoccupied with their work.
Shouta gets closer to completing his task, finishing the final touches for Bakugou before going on to Midoriya. He skins through papers and information, until his eyes land on a name.
The name makes Shouta frown. It raises questions in Shouta’s mind, ones that he’s been wondering since they all learned about Midoriya’s situation. “All Might,” He suddenly calls.
“Before...before we visited Midoriya’s father, All for One, did you ever have a gut feeling there was something...off about the kid?” He asks. “You and him clearly have a closer mentor mentee relationship than the other students.”
All Might coughs into his hand in surprise. Shouta lets him collect his thoughts, but he watches with a frown. “I...suppose I had a feeling that there was more to young Izuku than what met the eye.” He begins. “Offer him a pat on the head, and he stares at you as if you had just spoken in a different language. He always seemed to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders, but I never looked that deeply into it. I always assumed it’s because he believed since he was becoming a hero, he thought he had to carry that weight.” He explains.
Shouta hums. They sit in silence. Shouta knows All Might has more to say, so he waits.
“There was…” The retired hero begins, hesitant. Should he tell Aizawa this? Toshinori frowns, but he knows he should. He trusts Aizawa with this, with Izuku. “There was a phone call I received from Izuku one night, a few days before the training camp, the day we had final exams.” Shouta nods to show he’s listening. “It was a...distressing call, to say the least. Young Izuku called me, inconsolably crying. He kept apologizing for failing me, for letting me down. When I tried to convince him otherwise, he just told me that he had made a mistake, one he couldn’t fix.”
Shouta gets a picture in his head. It’s one he doesn’t like. It’s a picture of a sobbing Midoriya, his phone pressed against his ear. He’s locked in his room, knees curled into his chest. Similarly, he pictures All Might, most likely feeling helpless as he listens to Midoriya cry.
The image sparks anger in his chest.
“He was always too eager.” Shouta mumbles, startling both All Might and himself. “Too eager to please. Too eager to throw himself into danger. During class there was this...distracted look in his eyes, especially after the camp. He always looked like he battling himself.”
All Might’s frown deepens.
“Nothing had confirmed my suspicions until we visited his father. That house was…” Shouta frowns as he envisions the too perfect house. It was a house that could have swallowed him whole and made it look like it was just decorations.
“Do you think I’m a bad mentor for realizing too late?” All Might questions, eyes downcast. “I mean, all of the signs were there. I just never picked up on them, not early enough anyways. Maybe if I had, he wouldn’t have had to go through all of that.”
“If you think you’re a bad teacher for not noticing, then what does that make me?” Shouta asks with narrowed eyes.
“A-Aizawa, I didn’t mean to im-imply that!—“
“Relax. I’m saying this to make a point.” Shouta cuts him off, shaking his head. “What I’m saying is this, there are going to be times where some things slip under the radar. We aren’t perfect, All Might. We aren’t going to pick up on every detail, every sign. Focusing on the what-ifs and maybes isn’t going to get you anywhere. What matters right now is that we support Midoriya, and help him move past this. Understand?”
All Might stares at him in shock, but nods. “Thank you, Aizawa.” He eventually says, and Shouta turns back to his work.
He doesn’t reply as he stares at ‘Hisashi Midoriya’ where the name is listed under primary guardian. He changes the name to ‘Inko Midoriya’. The anger he feels lightens up some. After finishing Midoriya’s information, he stands from his chair and grabs his coat. He mumbles about his problem child under his breath.
“Aizawa?” All Might questions.
“Grabbing a drink.” Is all Shouta says as he stands at the doorway, as if he were waiting.
All Might takes the hint and grabs his coat as well. With that, the two exit the school, hands in pockets.