“Alright class! Settle down! I know this is your last year here, but we've got a new transfer student who was enrolled… last minute, like an hour ago…” The teacher sighed, shaking his head. "C’mon in kid.”
Walking into the classroom, currently inhabited by one such Bakugou Katsuki, Izuku Midoriya, as well as the rest of their juniour high class, was a thin-set boy, an eye-patch over his left eye, the other a blood-red, and framed by black, almost Opalescent hair, tied to the right side in a long ponytail by a red ribbon. Along with his slight frame, he wasn’t exactly intimidating in height either, standing, currently at 157 cm, but based on his medical reports, he seemed to have grown exponentially since being found… So, perhaps, that would change eventually.
“H-Hello. I am N-Naoki K-Kirahara. It’s a p-pleasure to meet you all. I hope-” Naoki could barely keep eye-contact, bowing respectfully to his new peers, but was interrupted, the one question he dreaded the first to be asked.
“What’s your Quirk?” “Yeah!” “Show us what you’ve got!”
Naoki inhaled deeply, letting it out calmly and slowly, the class waiting loudly in anticipation. "I-I actually… I don’t have a Quirk…” Naoki squeezed his eyes shut, awaiting what he worried would happen to him if he chose to hide his Quirk, but in all truth, he wasn’t lying, having enunciated a word of his reply… Because of his Quirk, he didn’t have just a Quirk.
“What!” “Great, another trashy reject.” “Nah, he’s worse, he’s as bad as Midoriya.”
“Hah! So, you’re as defenseless and worthless as Deku."
As he had no proof of his past, birth, and not really even a family name, or, frankly, any record of his own existence at all, he was able to hide his Quirk, and along with that, so much more. Although, perhaps, in part to not having the memories to begin with, it was far easier to hide these things so well. Like his doctor- since the beginning of his stay at the hospital- had told him.
Hajime Shinsou told him after recovering well enough to leave the ICU, ‘It’s impossible to lie about yourself when not even you know or remember anything in the first place. But, why do you want to hide your Quirk?’
An honest question, so, Naoki gave an honest answer. I just want people to find out who I am and what I am like without seeing me for my Quirk first. Besides, if I word it like I’m planning, I won’t even be lying to begin with, it’ll be dependent on whether or not they’re actually listening. I think it might help in building good relationships, in a weird way. I’m less likely to trust someone, and end up used or manipulated, if they see nothing worth using me for, reguarding my Quirk, I mean. I’m still… Not sure how to tell outright if someone is worth trusting, other than instantaneous instinctual reactions, and I also know, from just these few months, that I don’t trust easily in the first place. This may help me finding people who are trustable in their very nature… And, if they are able to spot the truth, or don’t automatically write me off at not having a Quirk, then I will be able to trust them a lot better. It will make opening up easier. If I make a friend from this, I’ll tell them about my Quirk right away, I promise, Hajime-san!
The doctor had a Quirk called ‘Insomnia’, and had been monitoring Naoki while recovering. But, as for what happened to him, he didn't really know himself. Naoki only knew what the tired doctor had recorded and reported… Or, basically, any medical procedure, test or documentation since being brought in by someone, who now looked after Naoki, Toshinori Yagi. Though, most of the public knew him as All Might, the Number 1 Pro Hero.
But, Naoki preferred not to dwell on the events before leaving the hospital the previous evening, even though- it was argued- he was far from healed enough to do so. Naoki had been in there, and seen nothing but the inside of that hospital for as many months as his memory had, which, to be fair, was only six, after coming to full consciousness. All Might, though, said it had been over a year by then, since he’d found Naoki- lost, alone, injured, and barely clinging to life- as he wandered through the woods. Additionally, he had been delirious, starving, dehydrated, and, disturbingly, none of his opened wounds, cuts, gashes, had healed much at all since he’d been brought in. However, unless he was way too reckless, they wouldn’t bleed. They tested, the past few days before his release, to see how much he and his body could handle before they’d bleed, and it was a fairly decent result. Additionally, they had found Naoki had almost no reaction whatsoever, to stimuli of pain. He wouldn’t even register most things under an 8 at all
As it was, he was lucky to be allowed to go to school, legitimately having begged the Hero to let him at least have one normal childhood experience before high school. Toshinori relented, but was still concerned about Naoki’s recovering injuries.
Naoki’s mind drew back to the present as he decided to try a small hand at talking out to the class.
“As I see it, I don’t need a Quirk. I am confident enough in my skills, so I ask you not to look down on me because of it." He said aloud as he narrowed his eyes. He’d been prepared, but he still wasn’t going to take things like this without putting up some kind of fight.
“Ah! Shut up! Quirkless Wannabe!” The same blonde from moments ago lashed out.
Naoki sighed, his left hand reaching to his neck, rubbing at the markings there. As with so many similar scars all over his body, he had no memory of how he’d gotten these, but he found himself rubbing his neck when he was nervous, stressed or upset. He continued what he’d been saying, now muttering, just loud enough to be heard, if there wasn’t so much rukus. "Besides, I am certain, even without memories, that I’ve lived through things none of you could survive, but I’d prefer to keep that hidden as well…”
“What the hell did you mutter? Huh? Got somethin’ to say?” The red-eyed blonde called back.
Naoki was already making his way to a seat, ignoring the remark, done with listening to this for now. His eye caught a green-haired boy in the class who hadn’t mocked him or really said anything, but still looked quite shaken and nervous himself as well. I’ll take one of the seats near him. He seems less hostile than the blonde, or any of the others… I didn’t even get to learn anyone’s name…
“What’s with that eyepatch anyway? Lame." Another student added as Naoki made for the seat he’d decided on.
Naoki found out the boy he’d sat next to was Izuku Midoriya, or, as some called him, Deku. He also learned this boy was, in fact, actually Quirkless. But, he was a good, kind and caring boy. Naoki felt like he could maybe, just maybe, open up to Midoriya a little, and eventually, trust him as much as he’d grown to trust Toshinori and Hajime.
“Now that everyone’s settled in, let’s begin class, shall we?” The sensei chimed in, having basically ignored the mocking just moments ago.
With a few grumbles of reply, he began, officially.
“So, as third year students, it's time to start thinking seriously about your futures and what you want to do with your lives. I could pass out some career aptitude tests, but why bother. Ha! I know you all want to go to the Hero track." The entire classroom, aside from Izuku, who was holding his hand up, patiently, Naoki, who was focusing on the textbooks in front of him, and Katsuki, who was acting like his smug and arrogant self, cheered loudly. "Yes yes. You’ve got some very impressive Quirks, but no power usage allowed in school. Get ahold of yourselves."
“Hey teach. Don’t lump me in with this bunch of losers. I’m the real deal but these guys will be lucky to end up as sidekicks to some busted D-lister."
“You think you’re better than us Katsuki!”
“Let’s go! I’ll take you all on!” Bakugou responded to the challenge.
“Huh. You’ve got impressive test results. Maybe you- Oh… Looks like you’re not the only one with good scores." He looked to Naoki, who was studying the book in front of him, completely oblivious to the teacher’s gaze. "But, Kirahara-kun’s are from a different… Grade-level… Hey! Kirahara! Put that book away. What are you so engrossed in that you feel the urge to skip my speech?”
Naoki looked up. "Ad- Uh… Just science stuff… Sorry, sir. I was… Um…” He reached up and rubbed his neck, with his right hand this time. "I was trying to see if I can answer the questions in the first chapter by the end… Of Lunch period…”
“What are you? A geek? That’s almost worse than Izuku!” “Ha! That’s ridiculous!” “Study all ya like, ya still can’t be a Hero with just brains alone…”
Naoki just shrugged, shutting the book and properly focusing on the teacher.
“My apologies, sir. If I upset you, please let me know. I’m still not used to being around others yet, sir." Naoki looked down, bowing his head as he spoke.
“I’ve been informed, albeit very briefly- and poorly explained- of your circumstances, Kirahara, but only so much out-of-line behaviour will be tolerated. Please stay focused and do what you are supposed to. Any more slips today and I’ll be giving your guardian a call."
Naoki nodded. "Yes, sir. Sorry."
This, naturally, left the class confused, but the teacher continued, “Now, back to what I was saying, Bakugou, you’ve got impressive results… Maybe you will get into U.A. High."
“He’s gonna try for the national school?” “That school only has a .2% acceptance rate.” “It’s impossible to get in to.”
“That’s exactly why it's the only place worthy of me!” Katsuki retorted, jumping up onto his desk as he continued. Naoki stared at him, wondering just why this kid was so arrogant and self-assured, and finding out why as the blonde continued to speak. "I aced all of the mock tests. I’m the only one at this school who stands a chance at getting in. I’ll end up more popular than All Might himself! And be the richest Hero of all time!! People from all over the world will know who I am! And it all starts with U.A. High!” Bakugou bragged.
The teacher spoke once more, “Oh yeah, Midoriya… Don’t you wanna go to U.A. too? And… Kirahara… Your file says the same too…” This made Bakugou bleach in shock, as the rest of the class turned to eye the two Quirkless students.
Izuku hid himself at Bakugou’s coming rage, while Naoki eyed the blonde, waiting to speak up and interfere if things got too rough. He’d long since gotten tired of how the class treated the green-eyed boy, and it was only the first day... They all broke out in laughter. "There’s no way you’ll get into the Hero course without a Quirk!”
“Actually, they got rid of that rule. I could be the first one!” Izuku tried to defend himself as Bakugou turned, growling in rage and overconfidence as he aimed an exploding fist toward Izuku, smashing his desk. Naoki narrowed his eyes, disliking the entire situation, but all too aware that he was still pretty badly injured.
“Listen up, Deku! You’re even worse than the rest of these damn rejects, you Quirkless wannabe! You really think they’d let someone like you in when they could have me!” Bakugou shouted.
“Huh?! No! Wait! You’ve got it all wrong! Really! I’m not trying to compete against you!” Izuku had frantically backed himself up, bonking into the wall behind him as Bakugou encroached. "You’ve gotta believe me! It’s just that I’ve wanted to be a Hero since I was little. I may not have a Quirk… But I can still try my hardest, can’t I?”
“You’d never be able to hang with the best of the best! You’d die in the exams! Defenseless Izuku! This school’s already crappy! You really wanna embarrass it more by failing so hard!?” Bakugou taunted Izuku, while the teacher did nothing, and the other students watched and enjoyed it. Naoki was sickened. He had no idea what he would do, but he knew what his adoptive dad would do, so, that is what he intended to do, or at least try.
As Naoki stood up, kneeling down and offering his hand to Izuku, Bakugou lashed out at him too, as if just now remembering he was ‘Quirkless’ as well.
“Same to you Eyepatch Freak!” Bakugou challenged, and Naoki took the chance to make Bakugou’s attention shift as he pulled Izuku up.
“I aced the mock tests as well." He began, his left hand reaching to his neck while his right hand cracked a knuckle, both subconscious habits, and all the ones he knew of, meant slightly different things, but hinted at his emotions. "And, to be frank, even a ‘Quirkless wannabe’ acts more Hero-like than you."
“What was that!? You don’t even have parents who wanted you enough to keep you! They probably threw you out when they found out you were worthless!”
“K-Kaachan, that’s not-” Izuku began. Naoki held up his hand.
“If it makes you feel better about some discrepancy in your past, to pick on others without as much power as you, then what makes you think you’d be able to become a Hero? Here’s a thought- Why don’t you take a lesson from actual Heroes who have actually graduated, and made something of themselves. A Hero wouldn’t treat others the way you do! All Might wouldn’t! He’d stand up for them and treat them the same as he’d treat everyone else! Even without my Quirk, I can be a decent person even to people harassed by egotistical jerks who abuse their power. So, you, with a Quirk, there’s no reason you can’t, and no excuse not to. Besides… If you want to be a Hero sooo bad, than maybe act like a Hero would! Now leave him alone!”
“Why the hell would I listen to a worthless, defenseless, Quirkless wannabe loser like you? Huh!?” Bakugou shouted in a rageful attempt at a retort. Naoki’s right hand cracked another time, this time, Bakugou seemed to notice, taking it as a challenge. "You think that intimidates me! You’re both Quirkless losers, but at least Deku knows when to grovel! You think you’re tough shit! It pisses me off! I can demolish you both with a single hit!” Bakugou yelled, issuing what Naoki could deem a challenge.
With a soft expression and eyes downcast, Naoki began, “Maybe I don’t stand down easily,” He paused, his eyes flashing up to meet Bakugou’s, one hidden beneath his ever present eyepatch, as his expression changed entirely as well, “But I know how to pick my battles well. I trust my instincts when I cannot trust the world around me, and I survive. So… I dare you. Come at me. You won’t land a harmful hit, Quirk or not." He wasn’t lying. He could barely trust the world he was in. He found two people whom he trusted, three if Izuku was included, but that was it. And, if anything, his instincts had yet to let him down. Plus, considering his injuries, his scars, the damage visible on him, he did just that. He did survive, and that was proof enough that his instincts were reliable. So, Naoki instigated his own challenge back at Bakugou, fully aware that everyone else in the classroom was watching.
On the other hand, though… Naoki knew this was stupid. Fighting in class, when he refused to use his Quirk, could end badly, but if he was going to prove anything to anyone, himself included, standing up to Bakugou was a good start. He had recently adopted a rule, one he’d imposed upon himself, after seeing All Might act incredibly recklessly, and with more idiocy than normal, so often in such a short time, that, until he could rely upon himself better, he would only allow a single stupid action or choice a day, and would not only see it through, but would deal with the consequences without complaint. This was his allowance for the day.
“Oh yeah!? I’ll make you eat those words! You’re gonna regret this!” Bakugou rose a fist, crackling his Quirk with a sputter of tiny blasts as he made to charge at Naoki. With a yell of rage, he went for the first attack.
Naoki dodged the attempt, ending with a growl from Bakugou as he lunged again and again. Naoki effectively played cat and mouse in the enclosed space, dodging every attack with no visible effort, almost instinctual to the onlookers, as he still evaded attacks when his eyes were closed briefly. The whole class, as expected, were wide-eyed at seeing a ‘Quirkless Loser’ going toe-to-toe, keeping up with the powerful Quirk the blonde loved to show off.
However, Bakugou effectively gained the upper hand when he obliterated a desk right beside Izuku, distracting Naoki when he focused Ricochet- a small part of his Quirk- to keep any debris from striking Izuku, and there would have been a number of impacts, he could tell.
Bakugou saw this lapse without understanding what had caused Naoki’s lapse in attention, and launched a barrage of fists, aimed toward Naoki’s abdomen.
Despite his skilled actions and movements, Naoki had only just been released recently, and early at that. So, when a rather lengthy, and dangerously deep gash on the lower left portion of his back tore through it's stitches, the sudden, surprising feeling registered… As pain, an odd and rather foreign feeling to Naoki.
Reaching for the wound, and his face contorting in pain for the briefest of seconds, a hiss sounded from Naoki, standing out very little amongst the other noises in the air. Bakugou kept approaching and striking, and, Naoki had only just barely been dodging them. He was certain he was already bleeding through the bandage at this point, and if this went on much longer, he’d be in trouble. So, as the blonde came at his this time, Naoki decided on a calculated risk, and took it. Naoki figured that if Bakugou hit the injury with his Quirk, it might be hot enough to stop the bleeding, by cauterising the wound, a solid plan, since his own Quirk was ineffective at helping the injuries he had, just as most any other Quirks had been thus far.
“I’ve got you now!” Bakugou yelled in triumph as Naoki rotated at the last possible second, making Bakugou’s explosive fist connect right with the gaping wound on Naoki’s lower back, directing the blonde’s fist there with a manipulation of Ricochet. As the blow hit, Naoki found it surprisingly painful, more pain than he had felt since awakening, but kept the displays of pain marginally lower than what he was actually feeling. A small grimace and click of his tongue was all the reaction discernable by Bakugou.
“Hah! Serves you right! And here you said-” Bakugou froze when he saw the blood coating his fist, then, catching the small splatters here and there since Naoki’s attention had originally lapsed, and finally, his eyes turned to Naoki, who was panting and out of breath. Naoki’s uniform, though, was now exposing a rather sizable portion of Naoki’s back and side, showing the slightest amounts, mere traces of the scars, burns, and open wounds that littered his flesh.
As his breath seemed to keep vanishing, Naoki was curled toward his left, now holding the singed wound. As the last few wisps of smoke left the cooling wound, Naoki spoke up again. "Thanks… For that… They haven’t healed… Worth a shit… In almost… A year…” Naoki continued panting, his breath refusing to return properly as his eyepatch fluttered to the ground after the force of the blast knocked it loose, showing his formerly covered left eye glowing dangerously, a cold, ice blue, starkly contrasted to the blood red his right always was.
“The hell are those from?” Bakugou looked at Naoki, trying to remain tough, but worry obvious in his gaze.
Naoki had leaned back against the wall in the back of the classroom, collapsing against it and sliding to the ground, similar to how Izuku had been before, still finding his breathing difficult, even if he was seated, but he was able to speak better. "I was only released from ICU about two weeks ago, and from the hospital last night. These open wounds are nothing compared to the rest of my scars. It doesn’t matter if someone has or doesn’t have a Quirk. If I can survive things like this, a little explosion, a little bullying, those are nothing. I had to beg my-”Naoki coughed a bit, his breath suddenly a lot easier coming after the cough subsided. "Adoptive dad to even allow me to go to school. I’ve only seen the insides of a hospital room for the last six months." He paused, having to breathe again. He was exhausted a bit, but definitely not enough to warrant a trip to the night-terror infested place called sleep. "I was in a coma for seven months before waking up. But before that… Nothing… ”
After a few minutes of shocked silence, Naoki used the chalkboard ledge to hoist himself up, and made for the exit of the classroom, aiming for the bathroom to take a much needed few minutes of alone time. He fished in his pants pocket for the small paper envelope of pills Hajime-san had given him. These were just a few of them, three doses. The rest were at home.
They were meant as emergency anti-anxiety medicine, to help him calm down. Hajime and Toshinori had discussed what they addressed as “Anti-Nao”, with Naoki, and these tiny tablets were supposed to help Naoki regain a calmer, less paranoid, panicked and frantic state of mind when he worked himself up, or wound himself up too high. And, as it was, he could tell he was getting way too overwhelmed by what was going on, already feeling some of those behaviours sneaking forward.
Once he reached the restroom, he downed the tablet, using his Quirk to get enough to drink. He didn’t care right then if anyone saw it. He was far too worked up to care.
After that, he splashed several normal handfuls on his face, then turned to his side to repeat the splashing with the new burn from Bakugou. After that, he returned to drinking out of the faucet normally for a few minutes.
Out of nowhere, the door slammed open, and Naoki ignored it, continuing until something was harshly thrown at him, hitting his face, and getting wet from the faucet, but incapable of hurting. Naoki was surprised to see a black jacket from the uniforms for the school.
“Here. I blasted yours to shreds and you can’t go around school with half your back and side showing. The teachers will get mad. Just give it back tomorrow." Bakugou said.
“Thanks- Uh… Um… Yeah, I don’t really know what to call you… Midoriya-san seems to call you Kaachan, but that could be like how you call him Deku… Only between you two… So… Um... " Naoki stuttered, still uncomfortable with the blonde. "I am sorry for taking it that far." Naoki finished, Bakugou seeming to look at the raven’s eyes, namely his left, seeing a soft seafoam green, rather than the glowing, icy blue he could have sworn had been there before.
“J-Just call me whatever, idiot." He made to leave, then paused and turned back, checking the eye colour again, disguised by his last comment. "Naoki, right? I’ve never met someone who could handle themselves so well without a Quirk, let alone all busted to shit. D-Don’t think that means shit, okay! You’re still a Quirkless wannabe! I’m heading back!” He stormed out after his attempt at an… Apology? Naoki wasn’t sure what that was…
And, while Naoki thought that maybe Bakugou had changed just a bit, he’d find out that he was ‘okay’ to Bakugou, not both he and Izuku.
For now, he was clear, anyway.
So, near the end of the last period of the day, Naoki was called to the office, being told there was a phone call awaiting him. After packing his things, so they’d be easier to gather later, he made his way to the office, to get the call. Toshinori informed him he would be unable to pick Naoki up from school as had been the plan, simply stating that ‘duty called’, making Naoki lecture the No. 1 to be careful and not be a reckless oaf. After this, Naoki returned to class as the final bell rang, already seeing Bakugou and his two trolls back at it again.
“I don’t know what you think you’re doin’, Deku, but we’re not done.” He yanked the notebook from Izuku’s hands.
“What’cha got? His diary?” One of the other classmates asked.
Bakugou showed it to them.
“Huh? Don’t tell me you’re taking notes on how to be a Hero.” “That’s so pathetic!” They both mocked him, laughing as they continued. "He’s delusional!”
Izuku stood up, “Yeah. Real funny guys! Just give it back.”
Bakugou blasted it with his Quirk, Izuku freaking out, “That’s so mean.” He then went further panicked when Bakugou threw the notebook out the window. Since Naoki didn't know the area well enough, getting it from his current location wasn’t an option right now.
Remaining where he stood, Naoki waited to see if Bakugou would get violent with Izuku, and prepared to step in, but, for now, due to his injuries, and a personal theory he was working on, remained out of the confrontation for the time being.
“Most first-string Heroes show potential early on. People look at them and just know they’re destined for greatness. When I’m the only student from this garbage juniour high to get into U.A., people’re gonna start talking about me like that. They’ll realise I’m legit, the next big thing. That’s not ego talking, I just know I’m good.”
One of his ‘friends’ turned around, an eye roll present as he responded, hidden, to Bakugou’s comment, and his eyes landed on Naoki, standing and watching, and saw when a smirk flashed Naoki’s face, as he vanished from sight, making the other doubletake, and then rub his eyes, wondering if he’d really seen that, while Bakugou actually got a little physical with Izuku.
Naoki, though, was literally a half-foot from the blonde, monitoring, and hand outstretched in preparation to stop, act, or block anything that may happen.
Bakugou gripped Izuku’s shoulder, singing his jacket, and making Izuku go wide-eyed in fear. “Here’s a little advice, for you and the Eyepatch Freak. Don’t even think about applying, Either of you nerds… Or else.” Then, with that, the three made for the door.
Naoki made for the exit of the classroom. Once outside, he released Ricochet’s effects on himself, and waited. He wanted a good, private and silent word with Bakugou when he left the room, and his emotions, he was sure, had his eye back to the icy blue that they had seen earlier, although, Bakugou had, since, seen his relaxed colour, the pastel seafoam green.
“That’s just sad. I thought you at least had some fight in you.” “He finally gets it. He’ll never be a Hero. Better to find out now, instead of later, I guess.” The two groupies mocked.
Bakugou paused in his steps, “You know, if you really wanna be a Hero that badly, there actually might be another way.” As he paused, Naoki’s ears perked. Could he… Know about Toshi-oto? He was curious, but hesitant and cautious as he continued to listen. "Just pray that you’ll be born with a Quirk in your next life, and take a swan dive off the roof of the building.”
That’s it… I’m going to kick his ass. I know it’ll be stupid and reckless, but… You can’t just do that! Naoki was enraged.
He heard Izuku get upset, followed by his submission as Bakugou cracked his Quirk intimidatingly, making Izuku back down. Naoki made for the entrance to the school, standing at the door.
When the three made it to the exit of the school building, just before they actually left, Naoki shoved the lent jacket back into Bakugou’s arms with force he knew he could attribute, in its smallest fractions, to Ricochet. He’d set his own rage aside for another time, sticking only to giving Bakugou the glare he wore as the blonde passed. Even he had no idea what colour his eye was displaying now. He’d never been so… So bloody pissed off. He didn’t miss the surprise Bakugou showed when Naoki returned the jacket with such forceful aggression, or the shock of what Naoki could assume was the different eye colour Bakugou would see in Naoki’s left eye.
Bakugou, however, blew it off, leaving as if he hadn’t witnessed any of it, after the initial show of shock passed with added haste. Naoki went towards the exit, same as they were, but with a different route. He was hoping to get to wherever the notebook had landed around the same time as Izuku, and that he succeeded on.
Naoki saw as Izuku made toward the pond with his notebook, and ran over to him.
Izuku reached for the notebook, “That’s enough. Give it back.”
Naoki beat him to it, getting the notebook, and handing it back to Izuku. Izuku barely noticed him as he held the notebook to inspect it. He had an upset, angry look as he stared at the book.
“M-Mi-Midoriya-san? I… Here.” Naoki brushed his hand in front of Izuku’s eyes, between him and the book.
“EH!? You… How is it… It’s not damaged at all!? Just a few sec-” He looked to Naoki with wide eyes. "Thank you, Kirahara-san!” Izuku gushed before thanking Naoki.
“I- Um, actually I don’t know what my real last name is, just the initial. I just use ‘Kirahara’ as a placeholder. Only reason I know my name is the necklace I have…” He pulled the necklace from under his semi-destroyed uniform. It was a simple ball-chain necklace with a ring on it, Naoki K. engraved on it, in English. But if one looked closely at the ring, it had his first name in Kanji as well, but looked like it was permanently burned into the ring’s surface. "That’s why I said Kirahara is just a placeholder. Obviously, someone gave me this, going through the trouble of having it made, or doing it themselves, so, it must be someone who knew me… And, when I find them, I’ll get my name back.”
“That’s so unique!” Izuku inspected the ring closely. “It looks like it was maybe done with a Quirk, but its still so well done!”
“So, at any rate, Midoriya-san… Just… Naoki is fine.” Naoki finished, tucking the necklace back once Izuku was done with it.
“Eh… Um… Midoriya-san is unnecessary. I’m not… Just…”
“Oh… Sorry… Bakugou calls you Deku, but I don’t feel comfortable calling others things that can be offensive… Well, except calling my dad an oaf, but he really can be one…” Naoki chuckled, holding his right hand to his chin. "So, what would you prefer I call you? Oh! What about Izumi? It combined the first part of your first and last names… I know its a little…”
“No- Its fine! I like it… Well, we… We better get going. Is your dad planning to come and get you? It is your first day…”
“Uh… Oh, no… He was, but… He had something come up with work, so he can’t make it today. I’m just going to walk around and get to know the area better until he calls to let me know. Luckily he already gave me a phone, but he was supposed to give me the house key when he came to get me…” Naoki sighed. "What about you, Izumi?”
“Oh… I’m just… Going to go home like I normally do.” Izuku looked a little down.
“Do you want to accompany me? I-I saw that notebook is No. 13, which means you probably know a lot about Heroes here. I could learn a lot from you on that, and since you are more familiar with the area, I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind showing me around…”
“Oh! That’s a good idea. I need to stop at my house first, then we can definitely do that!” Izuku brightened.
“Alright! I’ll wait here for you then. I need to go back and get my things from inside.” Naoki pointed back to the school.
“Alright. I’ll return as fast as I can, Naoki-kun.” Izuku turned and prepared to leave, then stopped, looking back to Naoki. “OH! But… How did you do that? I mean it had to have been you who-” Izuku stopped when Naoki interrupted him.
“Go on, Hero. I’ll tell you when we meet up later. Do me a favour, though, and don’t let that jerk get to you. You have to believe in yourself, no matter what anyone else says or thinks. I feel like that’s something you would have made yourself swear to, so… I’m just gonna remind you…” Naoki interrupted, offering a smile to Izuku. Izuku zoned out as he began walking again, his mind elsewhere.
“And, I’ll keep smiling, just…” Izuku was out of earshot after that, and Naoki went back to get his things.
When over an hour had passed, Naoki sighed, and began to walk home. He really didn’t think Izuku would have forgotten, but something else could have come up, and it wasn’t like Naoki had given his own number. He called his dad, and after no answer, looked at the news, facepalming when he saw the situation.
Naoki tapped a foot on the ground, propelling himself using Ricochet, to get to Tatooine Station. Hiding his presence as he landed soft as though he’d just stepped down from another stair, Naoki made for the area where the Villain was, aiming to help in any way he could.
He jumped again, landing on the outskirts of the carnage, seeing his dad there, out of breath and struggling with his own weakened body.
Naoki released Ricochet’s masking, going up to his dad. “Nori-to… Here.” He activated a secondary Quirk, aiming to at least stop the internal bleeding he could tell the No. 1 was experiencing.
“Naoki… You don’t-”
“Quiet!” Naoki uttered, loud enough to state his point, but still only within earshot of his intended target, and anyone within a few feet. "Let me do this, then you can go help, like you want to do, yeah? You wonder why I call you an oaf, Oto-san…” After he began, he looked through the crowd, where his eyes caught the same thing as Izuku’s, at the same time… Bakugou was the hostage. Without any sign of reason, Izuku charged, making the Heroes and the crowd panic.
“Take this!” Izuku launched his book bag, hitting the Villain in the eye. “Kaachan!!”
“What the hell! Why are you here?!” Bakugou yelled.
“I don’t know! My legs! They just started... Moving!” Izuku tore at the Villain, frantically, trying anything he could to help, even if it was futile to others.
“Kaachan… I couldn’t just stand there and watch you die.” Izuku smiled, tears in his eyes, catching Naoki and Toshinori’s attention.
“Get the Hell OFF ME!” Bakugou yelled.
Naoki could feel All Might trying to force his power back, and so he sped up his healing, going further than he knew he was capable of before then.
“Just a little bit longer, kid. And I’m done playing with you!” The Sludge Villain aimed an attack at Izuku.
“Save the boy! This thing’ll kill him!”
Naoki finished healing his dad, and made to go after, when All Might’s hand stopped him, clasping his shoulder, going in himself.
He blocked the attack, Naoki using Ricochet to launch All Might with enough speed to get there in time, dropping to a knee from the force he’d exerted as he smiled.
“I really am pathetic.” All Might stated.
“All Might… But-” Izuku began, surprised.
“I told you what it takes to make a great champion, but I see now I wasn’t living up to my own ideals! Pros are always risking their lives! That’s the true test of a Hero!”
“Damn you All Might!” The Sludge Villain went in for another attack.
“DETROIT SMAASSSHHHH!” All Might threw the final blow, blasting the Villain to kingdom come, enough windforce to trouble Mount Lady, and leave both Izuku and Bakugou out of it.
Within a few seconds, it began raining, but Naoki didn’t miss the steam from his dad, nor how he wiped his mouth of the blood.
The crowd went ballistic. "All Might saved the day again! He’s amazing!”
Naoki smiled, making his way, slowly, through the crowd to be even a little closer to not only his friend, and a possible friend, but, to his own Hero, the person who had made the biggest difference to Naoki since he first opened his eyes so many months ago.
I’m still gonna lecture that oaf… Probably Izumi too… He smiled, almost able to suppress his own chuckle, but not quite. I knew Izumi would have what it takes to be a Hero, Quirk or not, he showed those Heroes, in his own way…
Naoki froze when All Might staggered, well hidden, giving his signature thumbs up to the awaiting crowd, which erupted in cheers. Yep, I’m really going to lecture him, then try to heal him again, whether he wants me to or not…
Naoki watched as the Heroes chewed Izuku out, and praised Bakugou. Naoki, though, stood a ways back, arms crossed and smiling as he leaned against a light pole, waiting for All Might to tuck and run, as he was sure the No. 1 would eventually. He’d since, also pulled out his sketchbook, continuing on a drawing he’d begun while still in the hospital, way before he’d been released. He saw as Izuku left for home, a little down looking, and Bakugou followed shortly after.
It wasn’t too long after that, when All Might pulled out in a rush as well, grabbing Naoki’s arm as he ran by, almost making the far smaller boy stumble as he ran along. Once he was released, after only a few steps, Naoki was able to keep up quite well, as they ran. To where? Naoki had no clue, except that it may be toward Izuku. All Might sped up, intending to get the drop on Izuku.
“I AM HERE!” All Might yelled as he ran forward, cutting off Izuku’s path.
“WAAHH! All Might! Why are you here? How did you get rid of all those reporters?”
“Hahahaha! I stand for justice, not soundbites!” He made to do a fancy, over-the-top flex, “Because I- I am All Mi-” Blood splurted from the No. 1’s mouth as his inflated form poofed, leaving behind his scraggly, weakened form, and making Izuku yell out again. Toshinori coughed, seeing Naoki waiting patiently around the corner so he could finish what he wanted to tell Izuku.
“Young man, I came here to thank you, and also to discuss your question from earlier. If you hadn’t told me about your life, if you hadn’t run into that fight, I would have been a worthless bystander watching from the crowd. So thanks.”
“Oh! NO! It was my fault he was there to begin with. I got in the way of your hard work. I wasted your energy, and not to mention your time.” Izuku answered.
“I’m not done. You told me you didn’t have a power. So when I saw this timid, Quirkless boy try to save a life, it inspired me to act too.” Toshinori paused, Izuku’s attention now fully on the older man. “There are stories about every Hero, how they became great. Most have one thing in common. Their bodies moved before they had a chance to think, almost on their own.” Izuku’s eyes welled with tears, years of emotion coming to the surface. "And today, that’s what happened to you.” Izuku fell to his knees as Toshinori finished. “Young man, you too can become a Hero.”
After allowing this to settle with the green themed boy, Toshinori began again. “I deem you worthy of my power. My Quirk is yours to inherit.”
Izuku looked confused, shocked and surprised. “Wait… What do you mean inherit. Inherit what?”
“Hahahah! You should see your face right now! Don’t worry. I’m not gonna force this thing on you. Listen well young man! This is your choice! Do you wanna accept my awesome power or not?” Izuku looked even more perplexed as Toshinori continued.
“There are a couple of things you should know about my abilities. Journalists always guess my Quirk is ‘Super Strength’ or some kind of invulnerability. When people ask in interviews, I always make a joke and dodge the question. That’s because the world needs to believe that their symbol of peace is just a natural born Hero, like any of them. But I’m not. There’s nothing natural about my ability. I wasn’t born with this power. It's a sacred torch that was passed onto me from someone else.”
“Someone gave you this Quirk? No way…” Izuku was obviously stunned.
“Yes way. And you’re next. I can give you my abilities.”
“Wait… Hold on… This is a lot to process… It's true that there’s a lot of debate as to what your Quirk actually is, nobody’s ever figured it out. It's one of the world’s greatest mysteries. People are constantly talking about it online. But the idea of passing on a Quirk or inheriting it is just doesn’t make sense to me…” Izuku mumbled, the storm of nerdiness proving too much for Toshinori.
“Uh- Sounds like you’re overthinking this whole inheriting thing…” Toshinori tried, “Stop nerdin’ out!”
“Huh!?” Izuku snapped to attention again.
“You’ll have to adjust your reality and accept this new truth. I can transfer my Quirk to someone else. And that’s just one facet of my secret abilities.” Toshinori held out his hand before him, showing the representation of said ‘torch’. "The true name of my power is ‘One For All’.”
“One For All…” Izuku repeated back, mesmerised by his Hero.
“Yes! One person who brews the power, then hands it off to another person. It continues to grow as it is passed along. It is this cultivated power that allows me to save those who are in need of a Hero. The truth behind my strength.”
“But why would you choose to give me a gift like that? What if I can’t live up to it?” Izuku questioned.
“I was on a long hunt for a worthy successor, and then, I watched you jump into action as the rest of us stood idly by. You may just be a Quirkless fanboy, but you tried to save that kid. You acted like a Hero.” Izuku broke out the tears again, “Seriously! You gotta stop crying so much if you want my Quirk! C’mon kid.”
Izuku scrubbed the tears away, replacing them with a determined look as he stood, “Okay! I’ll do it! Yes!”
“No reluctance. That’s exactly how I figured you’d respond.” Toshinori responded.
Out of nowhere, Naoki came running as well, “Sorry! Nori-to-san, I left my bag back there! Really didn’t want to lose those books…” Naoki’s hands rested on his knees as he caught his breath.
“Ah, Naoki my boy! I was wondering where you’d run off to just now. Back that quickly?” Toshinori asked, as Izuku’s mouth hung open in shock.
“Heh… Yeah… I didn’t want to miss any of this!” He walked to Izuku, holding out his hand. “See, Izumi! You’ll be a Hero, just like you dreamed!” A smile crossed his face. “Oh! I forgot… Izumi, this is m-my…” He grew embarrassed all of the sudden, then pushed it away with a sigh. “This is my adoptive dad. He’s the one who found me over a year ago, so, he’s also my Hero too!”
“HAAAHHHHHH!!!!” Izuku was shocked out of words. “Wait! You mean this whole time…!!!! That’s so… COOL!!! I never would have guessed!!! So… Then… That’s how you fixed my notebook earlier? You have…”
“Stop right there for just a second. As much as I know it can be called a lie, it technically wasn’t. Because I don’t have a Quirk… My Quirk allows me to borrow other’s, after they’ve been used on me. For example…” Naoki mimicked Bakugou’s Explosion Quirk. “Our classmate used this on me today. But, I have a few I woke up with that I don’t know well enough to feel safe using them too much. I have explored and experimented with them a lot, but I am still frightened of their potential, so going ‘Quirkless’ at school, just seemed like a better option… And, unless they caught my dramatically over-enunciated way of saying it, they won’t have a clue. So, back to what is happening here. Nori-to-san… What are we doing now?”
They reconvened at the beach, or, what should be a beach. It was littered with garbage, refuse and debris. All Might instructed them each in their training tasks. Izuku was in charge of clearing the beach for his training, having it explained rather bluntly by the No. 1.
Meanwhile, after a small discussion with All Might while they were away from Izuku, it was decided that Naoki focus, primarily, on getting proficient with Ricochet for now. Once he was, they’d work on the other known ones. He could already use one of those two relatively safely, so Ricochet was both his biggest weakness, but also his most diversely useful Quirk.
Naoki asked if he could have Izuku’s help with them all, by analysing them same as he did with other Heroes and their Quirks, and All Might said it was his choice.
So, for the time being, Naoki was to focus on trying to find a way to keep debris from coming back to the shore, and until then, help Izuku without his Quirk, building up his own body in much the same way as Izuku was. Needless to say, even though Izuku was small for his age, Naoki was that, and far physically weaker, but more flexible and dextrous. He had almost tougher a time with it, but the other task was something he could focus his mind on when he was distracted, or needing to mentally distract himself, such as at school.
After this day, Naoki continued in school, becoming close friends with Izuku, and trying to avoid accidentally irritating Bakugou, while also evading the harassment and verbal abuse from the other class members.
Izuku knew, and Naoki was certain Bakugou had an inkling, that the classes Naoki actually took weren’t for their grade level, but all of the previous ones he needed to catch up on. As such, he was proving to those who knew, and to himself, that he was a fast learner. By the end of their first semester, Naoki had finished all of the previous years, up to what would be the first year of Juniour High. By the end of the second semester, he was caught up, fully and completely on even that year’s work thus far, so, slowed his pace to focus more on his Quirks, staying even and level with the top student, who was infuriated at the knowledge of Naoki now having second-spot in every previous test of that year, when he wasn’t listed at the time of the test.
But, Naoki could see as Izuku was falling hard and fast, meaning he wasn’t following All Might’s plan. But, he’d let the Pro handle it. He had his own troubles brewing, in the form of an ever increasing level of jealousy in the normally agro-blonde, who had, for a while, been abnormally docile. But, with his prowess and rank, atop his power, being encroached upon, it was only a matter of time, Naoki feared, before things went up in smoke.
That led to a confrontation when Naoki left the school building at the end of second semester. Izuku was already gone, having left to meet up with All Might, and Naoki staying after class for a few moments to speak with the principal about the homework, wanting to know if there were any higher-leveled classes he could take, or any extra curricular assignments, anything, to take home over the coming break. He was granted what he’d asked for. Workbooks and textbooks on studying Oceanic currents, as well as physics-related books to help with his assignment from All Might. He had an idea, and a risky one, but, feasible, nonetheless.
“Look who it is! The geeky Quirkless wannabe loser. Getting more cheat sheets from someone, huh?” One of the usual two who hung around Bakugou asked, the blonde leaned against the wall, eyes closed while the longer-haired ‘minion’ challenged.
The other usual one was less upfront, still having nagging suspicions after the first day, having seen Naoki vanish right in front of him, but with enough confidence, Naoki knew he’d lash out too.
Naoki ignored the verbal jab and made for the place he was due to meet All Might and Izuku. A hand grasped his shoulder, the fingers too long, hinting at who it was.
“Leaving so soon? Not going to go write the answers on your desk or somethin’?”
With a sigh, realising this wouldn’t end easily, Naoki turned to the other, his eyepatch still in place, as it normally was, and had been every day, even after falling off the first day of class.
“Despite what you may believe, not everyone needs to cheat to get good grades. The only reason I wasn’t accounted for at the original test reveals was from having to catch up on all of the schooling everyone else in our class has had since entering school. I only began this actual years classes three weeks into this semester. So, I apologise if you can’t comprehend that not everyone is as well off, privileged, or unintelligent as you show people. I’d bet you are actually capable of getting better scores, but, maybe dumb yourself down to… I don’t know…. Look cooler, not outshine someone you respect… Who knows. But, that also doesn’t mean I am in any way cheating. I don’t need to. As someone with an inkling of comprehension could possibly see, I just learn fast. And, for your information. They aren’t ‘cheat codes’. I asked for some more material to work on over break so I don’t get bored. As a ‘Quirkless’ loser, I don’t have many better ways to spend my time. Here! Do you want to see? I’d bet you have a lower IQ than a sleep-deprived cabbage." Naoki held out the book on Advanced Physics, then the one on Oceanic currents, showing his smirk as he was proven correct. The face on the kid was priceless.
“If that will suffice, I’m going. Feel free to ask the teacher for my number if you want a tutor for Entrance Exams. I already took U.A.’s mock Exams, and aced them. I think I’ll actually try to apply. Who knows, maybe there will be more than just Bakugou who gets in. He’s got the Quirk, brains, and character to do so, but what does that spell for you?” Naoki chided, knowing it would probably bring Bakugou into the matter, but, Naoki’s wounds had finally all healed, so he was more than willing for a rematch.
The blonde barely cracked an eyelid, but clicked his tongue as Naoki left.
Finally, the night before the U.A. Entrance Exams, Naoki did it. He’d managed to slowly manipulate the ocean’s currents, and, now, all of the debris would wash up, still, but, where Naoki had made neat little shop, having spoken to an old man whose family owned it previously, and who had a Quirk similar to Naoki’s Time Manipulation. The old man, along with his son and grandson, all had a variant of this Quirk. They would fix and repair the debris, or break it down, progressing it's time forward, until they could safely dispose of it, or repurpose it. Naoki helped there whenever he could. They sold the items for so little, since it had all been previously just waste. They wanted people with shortened budgets, or limited funds to be able to have the advantage from their work, and they did just that.
With Naoki finishing the current’s last little shift, he sat back, watching as Izuku continued. He was going far outside what All Might had asked, clearing the entire beach, and Naoki was inspired, going to help him while his own energy was still enough to do so. Naoki had progressed his Blood Tempter Quirk helping at low-income clinics, providing his help for free, and also at veterinary clinics, animal shelters, and the like. He had helped orphanages and homeless shelters with his Time Manipulation Quirk, as well as at the shop, so, he was confident in their abilities now.
As dawn arose, Naoki awoke to Izuku’s yell of triumph, his cry of victory. He’d rested part way through the night, just collapsing on the shore, near the water’s edge, wishing to be semi-well rested for the upcoming exam, but he found himself covered by Izuku’s shirt, resting on a bench, near where Izuku was.
He and Izuku had built up their bodies, and done it well. Izuku was built, his every muscle defined, glistening with sweat as he stood, proud, atop the pile of remaining refuse.
“Hey. Hey. Holy crap, kids. You even cleaned up outside the area I told you to. Seriously! There’s not one speck of trash left on this beach, or looking to come in. Only a few minutes to spare, but you both exceeded my expectations! Holy… Stinking…” He shifted to All Might. "SUPER CRAP!” He lunged to catch Izuku, who had taken an exhausted swan dive from his perch.
“Excellent work! Both of you!” Naoki remained quiet, nothing but a small smile on his face at having his father’s approval, and his own, at that.
Izuku looked up to All Might, tired green eyes asking for approval as Naoki made toward the two. "I finished everything… All Might… I did it… Do you think I’m ready now?”
“Yeah! You did good, kid. Both of you. I’m impressed. I knew you boys had it in you, but this is beyond!” He’d set Izuku down, getting his phone and showing a picture to Izuku. "Look at this!”
“Um…?” Izuku asked, clearly exhausted.
“It’s you crying, 10 months ago! And, Naoki! Here!”
Naoki could barely stifle his own chuckles at the photo. He’d always be a little embarrassed about that little fit. The picture showed him exasperatedly throwing his hands to the ocean, a look of disbelief and denial on his face, as he had yelled to the No. 1. "It’s the OCEAN!!!! How do you expect me to change something like THAT ! Its bloody impossible!!!” He was so thin back then, his hand still bandaged, his wounds still open. No muscle visible, though, he barely had any meat on him at all back then. At least, now, he had… More of the muscle, every part of him toned and lean, still thinset and barely any fat, but, as far as he knew, he may always have been this way. Hajime-san mentioned it could be due, in part to either high-metabolism, and, or, the starvation he’d lived through.
“Look how far you’ve both come! Such improvement! There’s still a long road ahead of you, Midoriya, before you can inherit my full powerset. But it's starting to look like you can do it!”
Izuku looked down, clenching a fist. "All Might… Do I deserve this? Are you sure? You put so much time and energy into helping me. How did I end up so lucky?”
All Might looked taken aback for a second, “Ha Ha ha! It was your hard work that did this, not mine. Now, for your reward, Izuku Midoriya!”
“Yes Sir!” Izuku stood ready.
All Might reached up, plucking a hair, “Someone told me this once. There’s a difference between being lucky and deserving. One’s an accident, the other, a reward. Never get the two confused. Take that to heart, young man. This gift, you earned it with your own valiant efforts."
With determination, Izuku made to accept his reward, shock taking over when All Might continued. "Eat this!” He offered the hair to Izuku.
“Huh?” Izuku was mortified. Naoki barely stifled his own chuckles.
“To inherit my power, you’ve got to swallow some of my DNA. That’s how it works!” All Might explained.
“This isn’t exactly how I imagined it…” Izuku panicked.
“C’mon! We’ve got no time! You'll both be late for the exam! Eat! EAT! EAATTT!!!!”
By the time the hair was swallowed, Naoki was bent over laughing, but straightened when All Might turned to him. "Naoki, don’t think I’ve forgotten you. I know how hard you worked. You even practised your other two Quirks, in sync with this assignment I had designed to test you. You redirected the Ocean. You did, as you claimed in your own words, the impossible! Not only that, but you found a way to help other people while doing it! A way to solve the issue, and the outcome of your own resolution! Now, I hope you accepted your own reward already, Naoki. I am proud of you, as a mentor, as a Hero, and as your father, so, what do you say! How do you feel?”
Naoki smiled shyly, rubbing his neck with his left hand, All Might smiling, as it wasn't his right. "I’m… I am getting there. If I can make it into U.A. without recommendation, but on my own, I will be a lot closer to it, but… This made that impossible dream a lot more achievable. So… Thank you, Nori, Izumi!” He hugged them both, briefly.
“Good, now off you two go!”