Actions

Work Header

Insane

Chapter Text

Izuku Midoriya didn't have much going for him.

He was a young boy with a dream.

A dream to be just like his idol, All Might, someday.

But he had one problem.

He was quirkless.

Everyone he knew told him his dream was a difficult goal to achieve, considering his circumstances, but he didn't want to listen to them. Because he knew accepting that would be him also accepting the fact that he was useless.

He wasn't ready to crush his own heart yet, even if it was for the best.

 

It was at times like this when he wished he had a quirk, or at least some strength, as he was struggling in the suffocating grip of a slimy crook, in the middle of a empty, dark tunnel in the late afternoon.

Izuku didn't know when or how this stranger sneaked up on him, but he couldn't escape by himself. He was completely helpless; he couldn't even cry for assistance from a nearby hero, and it was becoming all too much.

The slime squeezed tighter, releasing the air from his lungs and blurring his vision.

This was it.

This was how he died.

 

 

 

Unless...

 

 

 

As Izuku was released from the dastardly villain, he used all his strength to open his eyes, revealing a blurry sight of some wide eyed, frail, pale man reaching out their hand as they ripped the slime to shreds.

He couldn't recognise them in time, because he hit the ground with a thud and blacked out.

 

"Hey, kid," he heard an irritable voice, feeling a light, but unnecessary slap to his cheek. "Wake up, damnit. How long do I have to wait for you little shit?"

Izuku furrowed his eyebrows when he felt another slap, this time slightly harder. He heard a grunt; whoever this was, they were definitely hovering above him.

"Come on, so you fell onto the floor? What are you, fucking weak? You're different to what I expected,"

Izuku frowned, bothered by the voice.

"Wake up!" The voice finally yelled, causing him to lift his head in shock, which was a bad idea since he knocked into something hard.

"Ow, shit, stupid.. fucking," Izuku looked over and saw a creepy man sat back, holding his nose in pain. His eyes shifted around, before landing on the small, frightened boy.

He looked like the kind of guy his mother always warned him about.

"I'm so sorry," he apologised profusely, voice shaking and throat dry, but only because this strange man was staring at him like he was about to pounce and kill him right there on the spot.

He seemed to twitch, looking away, still wide eyed, before he pulled his hand from his nose and started scratching his neck, drawing blood which made Izuku cringe and avert his eyes.

It was silent for a minute or two, and Izuku seriously considered grabbing his bag and running just to save the awkward encounter.

This guy looked like a serial killer, dressed in black, lips and skin cracked, neck covered in lines of dry blood, and eyes shooting around like a paranoid liar.

He looked at Izuku again with a murderous look, and Izuku's body froze. Suddenly the option of running didn't sound so good anymore.

"I don't mean any trouble," he whispered, but the man stared at him still, scratching harder. Izuku wondered if it hurt as much as it looked.

"Aren't you going to say thank you?"

Izuku was taken aback, truly confused by his response.

"I.. Uh, excuse me?"

"Didn't your mother teach you any manners? Spoiled brat — what do you say after a man saves your damn life?"

"Uh.. Thank you?"

"Good," the man smiled, but it honestly made Izuku feel sick. He just wanted to go home. "You could've been killed by that slimy creep, aren't you grateful that I am here?"

"Wait, you saved me?" Izuku asked as his heart dropped. He didn't miss any word this man said, the words I am here hitting somewhere deep in his heart.

The man's smile dropped.

"Why else do you think I'm here? You saw me, didn't you?"

"Honestly?" Izuku started, and the man turned to him in curiosity. His voice went quiet, almost inaudible with the whistle of the wind and the rush of cars in the distance. "I thought you were going to kill me."

The man looked annoyed, but he didn't try to deny it to make Izuku feel safer, which only proved his point.

"That can be arranged, if that's what you'd prefer," the man said without a moment of hesitation, and Izuku believed he was testing him, making him scared on purpose.

"No, no, please!" Izuku felt like crying as he watched the man roll his eyes, yet he didn't move an inch, which was a good sign.

"No fun," the guy sounded disappointed, almost as if he wanted Izuku to hear him clearly. "But I suppose I'm not in the mood to do that anyway. After all, you are just what I needed."

Izuku felt his soul leave his body; what is this creep talking about?

"Huh?" That was all Izuku could say to such a vague confession.

"I've read a lot about you, Izuku Midoriya,"

Izuku jumped at the mention of his name.

"H-How did you—"

"You don't need to know," the man brought out a notebook, which Izuku recognised to be his own. He flipped through the tinged, damp pages and smiled. "I heard about your books — all the notes you took — but this is the first time I've seen one. You're quite the stalker, aren't you?"

This guy.. He's a hypocrite.

"No, I swear, they're just observations," Izuku was shaking, close to crying for real.

"Sure, that's what they all say," the man chuckled, but it was chilling and sent shivers down Izuku's spine.

"Um.. How did you know I wrote this kind of stuff?"

"Didn't I say you don't need to know?" He suddenly hissed, the playfulness of his voice replaced by something more irritable.

"Well, yes, but it's a bit weird how much you know about me.. And then you come and save me? Why?"

The man looked up at him, glaring into his frightened eyes.

"I didn't save you because I wanted to make sure you were safe," he said honestly, but to be honest, the truth didn't hurt Izuku as much as it would coming from someone more.. normal. "I saved you because I wanted to see if you were as great as I've heard."

"G-Great?"

"Don't let it get to your head, kid," he warned. "No one likes a big headed prick. That's how heroes are made."

"What do you mean? Aren't you a hero?"

The man grumbled.

"Call me that again and I'll reconsider my offer to kill you," he looked down at the notebook casually as if he didn't just threaten to murder a child.

Of course. Izuku should've seen it coming, this guy is quite the opposite of a hero. But perhaps even for a moment, he tried to believe that a hero might've wanted to not only save him from near death, but also read his notes without calling him a nerd. It sucked that that person turned out to be a creep. Still, this strange man seemed interested in his note taking. He did know his name after all.

"You want to be a hero, don't you?"

Izuku was dragged out of his thoughts by that sudden question.

"Yes," he nodded, not saying another word.

"That's quite an ambitious dream for a quirkless little boy," he replied, without a care in the world. He still seemed to be reading through his notes.

Izuku looked down at the ground.

This man, whoever he was, only spoke the truth. Izuku knew already that his dream of being a hero was impossible, but hearing it come from someone else just didn't feel right, especially from a stranger that he didn't know anything about.

"I don't know why you'd want to  become a hero when you have so much potential."

Izuku looked up at him in shock, and noticed the man finally staring right back at him, awaiting a response.

He didn't understand. If he had so much potential, wouldn't that mean he could become a hero, not the complete opposite?

"Well, heroes are people who use their quirks to their advantage. Since you don't have one, you rely on your ability to observe and record information. It's a good tactic. But it's not a hero worthy talent, kid."

Izuku was horrified.

"No one warned me that you mumbled," he explained, and Izuku rubbed the back of his neck in embarrassment. "It's irritating. Stop it."

"Sorry," he rushed to say. "But.. Why do you think I have potential?"

"You use your brain and make rational decisions," the man looked at him, before correcting himself. "Most of the time."

"I guess so," he agreed. "Who even are you?"

The man didn't answer but he pulled out a pen and started writing in Izuku's notebook, making him want to cry. What was he doing? Crossing out notes? Adding more?

Izuku noticed he was writing in assumably large letters, across two pages.

Great. Use more space, this is only an important notebook, after all. Stupid creep.

"You're mumbling again," the guy said, still writing. Izuku's heart dropped; did he hear what he said about him? No, he'd kill him if he had. "Call me a creep all you'd like, it just means I can call you a stalker."

Izuku squeaked, before covering his mouth.

He really heard that? Without becoming angry?

Strange.

He finally stopped writing and closed the book, passing it over to him. Izuku stayed his distance until the man had moved back to his original position, sat oddly on his legs, his hand back to scratching his neck as he watched Izuku carefully pick up the book.

"Your notes are tidy, but your book is disgusting,"

Izuku looked across at the man, who wasn't paying him any attention.

He watched the blood from his neck stain his fingers, before looking back down at his book.

He let this stranger touch his book after doing revolting things like draw blood from his own neck and play with his broken skin.

He wanted to vomit.

He put the book down on the ground, thinking of ways to cleanse it without making it even more damp and unreadable than it already was.

"I have places to be," the man said, making Izuku look up at him curiosity.

"Wait! I have questions to ask you," Izuku called out, but the man was already standing up to leave. "P-Please! Just answer a few—"

"Shut up, you little shit," he hissed, putting up his hoodie to cast a shadow over his face. "If you're that eager, I can assure you we'll meet again. Just don't stop writing those notes."

Izuku didn't speak as the man smiled over his shoulder, before a purple portal like cloud appeared in front of him. He walked into it, and just as Izuku reached out a hand for him to come back, the cloud closed in on itself, leaving the young boy by himself, sat on the floor with so many thoughts racing through his mind.

"Wait," Izuku said quietly, words slightly delayed. He looked down at the notebook again and remembered how the man was writing something in it.

He flipped to where he last left off in the book and noticed the large black letters written rather messily over two pages.

He read the words, confused.

"Tomura Shigaraki," he repeated the words a few times under his breath. It looked like he was shaking whilst writing this, since the letters were wonky and uneven. "It's a name."

Izuku glanced up at where the man once stood, and he was met with just a row of bushes and a short brick wall.

Something hit him.

"It's his name," he felt stupid for taking this long to figure it out.

He stared at the name hysterically when he realised it must've been a signature.

This nobody really signed his notebook like big headed asshole, without him even asking.

Come to think of it, Izuku really didn't recognise him at all.

This Shigaraki guy claimed he wasn't a hero, so it made sense he hadn't seen him before, but it was such a random situation.

A stranger, who wasn't a hero, saved him, supposedly using his quirk.

Did he have a license? No, he's not a hero.

Or maybe..

Izuku gulped.

"A villain," he muttered, suddenly frightened of the signature below him.

The signs were all there, but like always, Izuku wished he could ignore them.

 

He heard his phone ring then, and he took it out to find it was his mother. He accepted immediately and put it up to his ear.

"Mom!"

"Izuku, are you almost home? You're taking quite a long time and dinner's almost ready."

Izuku bit his lower lip in thought. He didn't want to lie to his mother, but he also didn't want to confess what just happened to him.

Telling her he got caught by a villain was a mistake waiting to happen, and telling her he got saved by another villain would be the worst possible decision he could ever make. He'd sound insane, and his mother would worry like she always did.

If he said he got saved by a hero instead, she'd ask which one and get too excited for him, and he couldn't fake that experience.

"Izuku, are you okay?"

"Yes, sorry," he chuckled nervously, forgetting he was on a call for a moment. "My train was delayed, but I'm almost home now. I'll be there soon!"

"Okay! I don't want to hold you back, so I'll see you soon," she said cheerfully, and he smiled. "Love you, Izuku!"

"Love you too, Mom," he hung up after that and looked down at his notebook again.

He stuffed it into his bag, before heading off, already silently telling himself to remember what Tomura Shigaraki looked like so he could draw him later and do as much of a description as he could.

He was hard to forget really, with his dusty blue hair, his pale, damaged skin, and his wide red eyes shooting around like a maniac.

This would be the first villain he'd record in one of his notebooks, but he was intrigued by this strange, unfamiliar man named Tomura Shigaraki, and he was determined to find out more about him, no matter how long it took for them to meet again.

Chapter Text

Izuku sat in his room, staring at his notebook. He had a pencil in hand which he tapped against his chin as he thought silently to himself.

He was about to draw Tomura Shigaraki, the man he met only a few hours ago.

He remembered him well, but he didn't know where to start. He was no artist, after all.

Usually, he'd rush and draw the basics of a hero and their outfit, focusing on the placement of their quirks, but he had to focus on the entire body in this case.

Izuku had absolutely no idea what the stranger's quirk was since he didn't have the chance to ask, so he had to draw him fully to leave room for his quirk eventually. That, and he didn't see this guy often like he saw well known heroes, meaning he had to draw him before he forgot about him all together. He didn't have references to go from like the others in his notebook.

He started of with the face, debatably the most repulsive part of him, and he promised himself not to leave out the cracks and scars in his skin, making him visually unappealing.

He stopped for a moment just to think about whether he should write VILLAIN in big bold letters at the top of the page, but if anyone else were to see this, they'd wonder why he was so intrigued by someone supposedly evil.

He didn't forgot the paranoid look in his eyes, the face on the page staring up at him, giving him the same frightened feeling he got when he was actually with him.

Upon his neck, he drew a bony hand scratching until there was blood. It was graphic compared to his hero drawings, but it was necessary and accurate.

Perhaps a side effect of his quirk was a painfully itchy neck that he just couldn't stop scratching? It was a hilarious observation, but Izuku wrote it down nonetheless, in pencil of course, so he could easily erase it if he guessed wrong, which he had a feeling he probably did.

Maybe a habit that links to his clear paranoia, Izuku also wrote down underneath the other observation, before turning back to the drawing and adding the messy hair dropping across his forehead, seeming like it needed cutting.

Quirk that requires uncut hair? Izuku didn't write that down. The man's hair would've been down at his feet by now.

As he was shading the black hoodie hanging past his waist, he thought about his damaged skin and wondered whether the stranger just didn't take care of his complexion or if he looked like that for a reason.

"Broken skin quirk," he muttered jokingly, shamefully laughing at himself as he wrote that down lightly in pencil, the smallest he could make it. "Side effect maybe?"

Izuku was just guessing at this point, he felt like he was going overboard with this just because he really didn't know anything about this guy.

He finished off the drawing and moved to another spot on the page to describe his personality.

Impulsive. Unpredictable. Hypocritical. Shameless. Strange use of threats to get someone's attention. Likes killing people.

Izuku crossed that last part out, thinking it was too crude for his notebook. And to be fair, even if Tomura Shigaraki did mention murder multiple times, he never acted on it. He gave a reason why he didn't, but Izuku wanted to believe it was because he was just using it as a way of keeping him quiet.

He continued writing.

Easily offended. Childish.

It was crazy how much personality Izuku saw from just one meeting, and he wondered if Shigaraki had any other traits that stood out.

Now that he thought about it, all the traits he wrote down just then were bad. Izuku tried to think of something good he noticed to make him sound better, but he only recognised the horrible parts.

He closed his eyes and tried to remember their conversation.

"You want to be a hero, don't you?"

He had answered yes, and it was true. He wanted to do it for the sake of All Might.

"That's quite an ambitious dream for a quirkless little boy,"

Izuku furrowed his eyebrows as his throat became dry. He remembered how much it hurt for the man to tell him that. He was so..

Honest, he wrote down.

Was that a good trait to have? Probably not with the given context; he sounded more like an asshole, even if he was just pointing out the truth.

He squeezed his pencil harder and chewed on his lip as he struggled to remember more of their little chat.

"I don't know why you'd want to be a hero when you have so much potential."

Izuku still found that an incredibly odd thing to say.

But at the same time, it made his heart flutter.

No one had ever told him he had potential, even if it was meant in a different way to what he wished for.

Understanding, Izuku wrote without a moment of hesitation, before staring at the adjective like he just wrote a curse word.

To say that guy was understanding felt wrong to him, and he almost erased it, but at the same time, he could see why he wrote it in the first place.

Tomura Shigaraki appreciated his notes, whatever the purpose of him wanting to read them was, and he clearly thought Izuku was worthy of doing something. It may not have been what he wanted to hear (as in he could become a hero), but it was more than he'd ever heard from anyone else. Even his mother couldn't stomach to tell him he could do something great.

Shigaraki was well aware of his uselessness in society as a quirkless nobody who could do nothing but watch from the sidelines, but he still spoke to him like he was more than just a lost child. He made him feel like he had a purpose.

Even if he hadn't said it explicitly, Shigaraki was intrigued by his note taking and clearly wanted more. He wasn't disgusted by it and he didn't laugh out of spite like others did, he actually seemed to read and take in every note he ever made, and didn't miss a single one.

Izuku just had to know more about this stranger, so one day he could have a whole spread dedicated to the man who told him he was capable of many great things. Even with bad intentions, it lit some hope in Izuku's heart, and he needed more praise before he was crushed again.

 

 

 

Focusing during school was a difficult task for Izuku. Every time the teacher would talk to the class about something important, he would start dosing off into a day dream, and begin mumbling under his breath.

His teachers would scold him, and he'd get a lot of weird looks, especially from Katsuki, who would always stare at him with a nasty snarl.

Izuku was too deep in his thoughts to care though, and he would just continue doing it throughout the day.

After he finished his last class, he took some belongings out of his locker and started his journey home, still distracted by his thoughts.

Which of course, made him bump into someone he really didn't want to start bothering.

"Watch where you're going, asshole," it was Katsuki, hissing at first, until he realised it was Izuku who bumped into him. His face contorted into some familiar kind of anger, and Izuku felt him sink back in fear. "Deku! You did that on purpose, didn't you?"

"No, I swear it was an accident," he said, shaking from head to toe. If there was anyone who made him absolutely scared for his life, it had to be Katsuki.

"Don't lie, shitty nerd! You've been acting weird all day. Were you planning to start a fight with me?"

Katsuki was preparing his open palms to create unnecessary explosions.

"No, why would I—?" Izuku shook his head. "I'm sorry, Kaachan, but I have to go home. Please just spare me my life this one time. I'll be more careful next time."

Just as it looked like Katsuki was about to yell at him again, he averted his eyes and stuffed his hands in his pockets, a frustrated pout on his face.

"You better," he muttered, before walking off.

Izuku heaved a sigh of relief. He was incredibly lucky to get away this time. Perhaps Katsuki wasn't in the mood to blast the hairs from his head today.

He restarted his journey home with a distant mind, unable to clear one thing from his mind.

That stranger from yesterday.

 

 

 

"Who is he?" Izuku mumbled, staring at the ground as he stumbled down the street. "That man.. he's so strange."

 

 

 

"Do you ever stay quiet? I could hear your mumbling from across the street,"

Izuku looked up in shock and saw a familiar man, leaning against a brick wall a few feet away from him.

"Ah," Izuku squeaked as he fell backwards.

"Get off your ass, will you? It's rude to scream at people you don't know,"

"It's you!"

"Right. I have a name, you know," the man rolled his eyes.

"Oh. I'm sorry. Tomura Shigaraki," he said sincerely, before getting up on his feet, brushing the dirt from his clothing. "How did you find me?"

"I followed you here," Shigaraki muttered like it was nothing, and Izuku felt scared.

"You— What?!"

"I'm kidding," Shigaraki added, but he didn't look like he was joking at all. He started walking towards Izuku, who froze. "I said we'd meet again, didn't I?"

"I didn't think it'd be this soon," Izuku said honestly.

"Well, I never said when," Shigaraki turned to look at the path ahead of them. "Let's go for a walk."

"I— Uh," Izuku stuttered, noticing the bothered look in Shigaraki's eyes, before he paused to sort his emotions out. "My house is just around the corner from here."

"Oh, of course, you go on ahead," Shigaraki turned away from him, but didn't move. "I guess you don't want to ask me anything important then, so I'll leave you to it."

Just as he was about to advance forward, Izuku gripped his sleeve and squeaked again.

"Wait! No, I'll walk with you," he rushed to say, and Shigaraki smiled, his back still turned to him. "I have a lot of things I want to ask you."

"I know," Shigaraki started walking, and Izuku followed shortly after. "Do you have your notebook?"

 

 

Izuku fumbled round in his bag, before pulling it out and handing it to Shigaraki in a hurry.

"It's only been a day, so I'm sure there's not much that you've added— huh?"

Shigaraki stared at the book in surprise, and Izuku flushed red. He forgot; he drew and wrote about this guy already, and he was brutal with it to.

Shigaraki seemed to scan over the double page spread, eyes wide and lips twitching. Izuku couldn't tell what he was thinking.

"Childish..?"

Izuku noticed how the one finger that Shigaraki had hovering in the air was tapping irritably against the spine of his notebook as he continued to read.

"Understanding," Shigaraki's hard expression softened only for him to look at Izuku in confusion. "What the fuck are you talking about? I don't understand you at all."

"To be honest, I don't even know why I wrote that," he watched as Shigaraki glanced back at the book. "But when you told me I had potential.. I don't know — I guess it was the first time anyone had ever told me that."

"That's because people are too caring to give you hope. They don't want to break your heart when you realise you have no chance of being a hero,"

"But that's not true! Quirkless heroes are being accepted in many schools nowadays. I could be the first—"

"It wouldn't be anything like you'd imagine it to be, Izuku," he tensed at how he said his name. "Even heroes with quirks have trouble defeating villains. Think about it, you're smart. How are you gonna fight off a powerful villain without a quirk?"

Izuku never thought about it like that. It was true; only 20% of the population were quirkless, the rest being incredibly amazing individuals. He had no chance up against someone with how he is now. It was practically impossible.

"Don't you get it, kid? The only thing you're good for right now is taking notes. You're a genius. But it's not enough for a society of big heroes."

Izuku didn't know what to say. He was completely right. Too right to even argue with.

"Now, how about you start with those questions?" Shigaraki changed the subject, bringing Izuku out of his despair as he passed his notebook back to him.

And as Izuku opened his mouth to speak, Shigaraki had a feeling this was going to be a very long walk.

Chapter Text

"Okay, first of all, this is something I've been dying to know," Izuku took a pen from his pocket and prepared himself to write some notes. "What is your quirk?"

"Have a guess. It's something to do with my hands," Shigaraki waved his fingers in the air and Izuku watched them carefully. "And it's not a very nice one."

"Super strength? No, you're too skinny. You can stretch your fingers? No, that's not bad. Oh, oh! You can make incredible shadow puppets! No, that's not it," Izuku was mumbling by now, and Shigaraki wished he had just told him instead of asking him to guess. "Is it some kind of choking thing? You can choke other people in seconds."

Shigaraki stared ahead of him for a moment, starting to wonder if this was a great idea at all.

"That's.. fucking dark. I could do that, but no you're wrong," he sighed. "My quirk is decay."

Izuku wrote that down without hesitation, before looking back up at him in confusion.

"Elaborate, please," he said, stumbling over his feet since he wasn't looking where he was going.

"Anything I touch with all of my fingers on one hand will disintegrate immediately. It has to be my entire hand though."

"Wow," Izuku was impressed, eyes shining. He may have been geeking out a bit too much now, considering that he was talking to a villain. "Is that really your quirk?"

"What, you think I'm lying?" Shigaraki turned to him with a hysterical look in his eyes, fingers twitching as he spoke. "Here, give me your hand, I'll fucking prove it to you."

Izuku stepped backwards, distancing himself from Shigaraki, out of pure fear, but he wrote the functions of the quirk down nonetheless.

"Sorry, I was just intrigued,"

"Great," Shigaraki rolled his eyes.

He watched the young boy scribble furiously into his notebook, shaking with a mix of fear and excitement. He looked at the pen he was holding, and suddenly got an idea.

"Give me your pen," Shigaraki said sternly, and when Izuku looked up slowly to see his daring smile, he hesitated a little.

"Okay," he passed it to him, and swore he saw a playful glint in the blue haired boy's eyes.

Shigaraki inspected the pen.

"I suspect you have more of these in your bag," he glanced at Izuku, who nodded silently, eyes wide with curiosity. "And this is just a boring old pen, right?"

"Yeah. I have an All Might pen in my bag, if you wanna see—"

Izuku froze when he noticed Shigaraki put his last finger on the pen, and he watched it disintegrate before his eyes.

"I— you— What did you do?"

"Used my quirk. I thought you might've wanted a close up example," he turned to see how Izuku's eyes were glazed over. "Don't you dare start fucking crying or I'll disintegrate your stupid head next."

Izuku gulped, lips quivering, but he didn't let a single tear drop and just got another pen from his bag.

"Pussy.. What's the next question?"

"Oh right. Do you have a costume?"

"A what now?"

"A costume, kinda like a hero," Izuku's heart raced when Shigaraki glared at him from the corner of his eye. "I mean like a villain! Surely you wear something to hide your identity."

"Well, yeah, I guess I do have one of those," Shigaraki shrugged.

"Really? What does it look like?"

Shigaraki looked at him, before sighing.

"Are you any good at drawing hands?"

"Uh, I'm not an artist, but I try to be as accurate as I can," Izuku smiled, not bothering to question him, even though he was confused as hell.

"Well, my costume has hands all over my body," he said like it was nothing, but when he saw Izuku's horrified face, he rolled his eyes. "I'm not gonna describe it to you right now, kid. You'll see it soon, don't worry."

"Fine.. I have another question," he paused, unsure how to continue. "How do you know so much about me?"

For a moment, it looked like Shigaraki wasn't even going to answer. Izuku thought maybe he didn't hear, but he was walking right next to him on an empty road. Of course he heard him.

But then Shigaraki sighed, stuffing his hands in his pockets.

"I've been trying to find a smart kid for months, and you happened to just show up," he shrugged.

"That's not creepy at all," Izuku mumbled sarcastically under his breath.

"Shut your fucking mouth. I do not mean it in a weird way," he hissed back. "Your intelligence impressed me, and that's pretty difficult to do. Although, you've said some pretty stupid things to me already, so I'm beginning to doubt myself."

"But why? Anyone can be smart and have a quirk, but you'd rather know someone like me? You're supposed to think I'm useless."

"You don't seem to understand, kid," Shigaraki scratched his neck, but not hard enough to draw blood. "I don't want someone who relies on their quirk. I want someone who can get shit done without hassle."

"I don't understand. What is it that you want from me exactly?"

"I'm going to make you an offer," he said simply. "If you join me, I can make you understand that struggling to be a hero is not your only option in life."

"You're not making sense. How can I accept an offer that I don't understand?"

"Think about it, Izuku."

"Do you want me to become a villain just like you? Is that it?"

"Just about, yes."

"That's crazy. I already told you I want to be a hero," Izuku said, but Shigaraki didn't argue.

"I suppose someone has given you that false hope, huh?"

Izuku looked down sadly.

"Actually, no," he muttered. "No one has told me I can become a hero."

"Then what's making you so optimistic?"

"I don't know. I guess I'm just waiting for confirmation,"

"And several people telling you it's not possible is not enough for you to finally understand?"

"No," Izuku said without hesitation. "Why should that stop me?"

"You're only going to spiral down into a pit of despair," Shigaraki said with brutal honesty. "I mean, who are you waiting to tell you something that other people already have?"

"I don't know," he shrugged, putting away his notebook. He needed to change the subject. "Where are we going?"

"Wherever the road takes us. Don't worry, you'll find your way home," Shigaraki glanced at him to see the nervous look in his eyes as he held his arms close to his own body. "How old are you, kid?"

"You don't know already?" he sighed. "I'm 15."

"You look younger," Shigaraki hummed. "Maybe it's because you're a scrawny, jumpy, little baby faced boy."

"Oh," Izuku didn't know what to say to that.

"Who's your favourite hero?"

Izuku looked up at Shigaraki, who was staring straight ahead of him with an unreadable expression on his face.

"All Might," Izuku replied.

"Of course," he sounded somewhat irritated by this. "Why?"

"Because he's the number one hero. I've looked up to him all my life. I'd love to ask him some questions some day."

"You know there's a saying; never meet your heroes."

Izuku raised an eyebrow in confusion.

"Being in the eye of the public for a while can really change a person. They may act differently than when they're being watched. It's a common thing, so it's better to just stay a fanboy than get any closer than you need to."

"But he seems like such a nice guy—"

"If you were a big hero with a fragile reputation, wouldn't you act nice too?"

"Well, yeah, but there are heroes that aren't particularly nice, like Endeavour."

"Don't bring other heroes into this, nerd, it's pissing me off," Shigaraki grunted. "Endeavour is the second best hero for a reason, and not because he's less powerful that All Might."

Izuku didn't have to time to think about that properly because Shigaraki had already moved on.

"All I'm saying is when you look up to someone, you tend to idolise them and strip them of all their flaws. Once you find out they're more disappointing than you imagined, you start to wonder what you saw in them in the first place."

"But—"

"I'm not going to talk about this anymore. Just let my advice sink in before you start defending an asshole."

Izuku didn't understand; All Might couldn't be anything like Shigaraki was suggesting he might be. He didn't know him anymore than Izuku did, so who gives him the right to put him in the bad light?

 

 

 

As they walked down the road, they noticed a crowd hovering in the distance.

Izuku squinted his eyes to get a more accurate look. Perhaps some hero was putting on a show, or maybe there was a street parade of some sorts.

"I wonder what's going on over there," Izuku muttered, then realising how comfortably he was speaking to a man he only just met yesterday, not to mention he happened to be a villain.

"Who gives a fuck? I've got nothing to do with it," Shigaraki replied. "Someone's probably in danger."

"You think? If there's that many people there, then I guess you could be right. I hope they're okay if that's the case," the small boy frowned, walking on his tippy toes as they grew closer to the crowd, since he was getting a bit too short to see amongst all these fully grown adults.

"You don't even know who it is. Why do you care?"

"Because it could be an innocent person."

"Right. And what if it's a serial killer?" Shigaraki asked seriously, standing nearer to Izuku once they finally reached the crowd.

"Should you be standing here? You could get noticed," Izuku whispered, not even listening to what Shigaraki had asked him because he was too interested in what was going on.

"Oh, come on. Don't you ever use your brain? Everyone's too busy watching somebody getting attacked."

"Getting attacked? What—?"

Izuku turned to see a massive green villain surrounded by heaps of heroes trying to get involved.

"It's the slime villain from yesterday," he said, jaw dropped as he glanced at the taller man beside him. "Didn't you defeat him?"

"Defeat him? I just told him to fuck off and fought him away, I didn't lock him up or beat him to death — although that would've been fun—"

"You let him go?!"

"Uh.. Yes? You're getting the wrong impression from me, kid. You didn't seriously believe I would get rid of him completely, did you? I couldn't care less what he did, I just needed you."

Izuku wanted to ask him what he would've done if he didn't need him, but he felt like he already knew the answer. Instead, he looked back at the villain making a scene in the middle of the city, and noticed someone struggling in his grip.

He could only see his face, and the terror in his eyes, but that was all he needed to recognise him straight away.

"K—Kaachan," he breathed out, heart stopping.

This was not happening.

He moved through the crowd to get a better look, and behind him, Shigaraki seemed startled and rushed to follow him. If he let him out of his sight, he'd lost him completely. He was quite short, after all.

"Kid, wait up," he found Izuku, who had finally stopped, a frightened look on his face as he watched the heroes fighting with all their strength, despite them failing miserably. Shigaraki put an arm around his shoulder so that he wouldn't move again, but he tensed up at the simple touch. Probably because he knew of his quirk now and was scared he might disintegrate his shoulder. "You know the boy that's been caught?"

Izuku couldn't answer, he was too overwhelmed by shock, his body was stiff in fear.

"Who is he, Izuku?"

"It's not important right now. He'll die like this if I don't—"

"If you don't what, huh? Save him? With what — your inexperienced quirkless body? That's ridiculous," he pointed to the heroes. "See them? They aren't doing anything to help and they've been training longer than you've been alive.. So what makes you think you'd make a difference?"

Just like that, all confidence left Izuku's system. He couldn't watch and stare, but he also couldn't save his friend in the state he was in now.

"Can't you help?" Izuku looked at Shigaraki with a helpless look in his eyes, lips trembling as if he was about to break down.

"You're joking, right? That snotty slime ball has grown twice as large since we encountered him yesterday. He's hardly gonna cower in fear if I step in," he tapped the boy's shoulder blade irritably.

"And I'm not making a move like that with everybody else watching me. They'll think it's my debut as a hero. I'm not digging myself down into a hole I'll never escape from; the moment someone snaps a body shot of me, I'll be recognised anywhere, and for reasons that I don't want to be known for."

Izuku looked down, suddenly feeling like the guiltiest person alive. Katsuki was struggling to breathe as he exploded his palms in an attempt to free himself from the villain, and all he could do was stand there, feet glued to the floor.

This wasn't right.

How could he just stand there and do nothing?

Whether he agreed or not, Katsuki was his friend, and as Izuku looked back up at him, the look in his eyes were screaming for him to be freed. Katsuki would never admit to something like that, but Izuku could see right through him.

"I can't watch," he said suddenly, shrugging away Shigaraki's arm "I'm sorry. He's my friend."

And before Shigaraki could process why he was apologising, Izuku ran towards the slime villain with a desperate expression on his face.

"Izuku!" Shigaraki reached out a hand, eyes wide in shock, but the boy was too fast. He clenched his fist, before muttering to himself. "Stupid kid. You'll get yourself killed."

 

 

 

The slime villain saw him straight away — since Izuku was yelling for Katsuki — and there was a familiar look in his eyes. He must've recognised him from yesterday.

"Kaachan!"

Katsuki was barely conscious, but he wasn't about to let himself die so easily. Not like this.

He noticed Izuku running towards him and immediately thought of him as a dumb nuisance, throwing his life on the line for no reason.

Izuku saw the danger of running like this as he got closer, but his feet wouldn't stop. He couldn't back down now after making it so far.

He shook his bag of his shoulders and threw it at the villain, luckily hitting him in the eye, making him loosen his death grip on Katsuki, who could finally breath. But instead of taking time to do that, he resorted to screaming at the crying Izuku who was now grabbing at the slime as best as he could, fingers sifting through each time.

"What the hell do you think you're doing, Deku?"

Katsuki was wrongly furious, exploding his palms into the slime, but not doing a single bit of damage.

"I'm sorry, Kaachan," he cried like a baby. "You looked like you were asking for help!"

Katsuki gave him that same hysterical look that Izuku knew all too well. It wasn't that different to the look Shigaraki had on his face when he told him he wanted to become a hero. It made him upset.

Heroes were yelling at Izuku for getting involved, but he didn't listen to any of their warnings and instead focused on helping Katsuki.

He knew this was a bad idea, he knew from the moment he started running.

But he couldn't give up now.

Katsuki was in trouble, and he had to know that he tried his best to help him instead of watching from afar.

 

 

 

It was getting to the point where Izuku was about to lose hope, as his fingers were going numb and his eyes were clouding with tears. Katsuki was screaming and cursing at both him and the villain.

Except there happened to be a light in the darkness — as Izuku peeked over his shoulder when Katsuki was caught off guard by something else, his body froze in shock once he took in the sight from behind him.

Shiny blond hair glided swiftly through the air as muscles flexed larger; the silhouette of a grinning hero advancing towards the scene made Izuku's heart race.

"Stay back, young boy! It's alright now," the figure yelled, but Izuku was practically glued to the ground. "Because I am here!"

All Might.

Izuku was so overwhelmed with excitement and admiration, he didn't even notice how one of the other heroes swept him up from the disastrous situation and carry him to stay aside somewhere else.

He reached his hand out, smiling wide as he saw All Might lift his fist up into the air and scream about some sort of smash move; honestly Izuku wasn't listening because he was too focused on keeping his eyes wide open.

It seemed to go in slow motion, Katsuki braced himself for impact as All Might punched the suddenly very alarmed slime villain and blasting it to smithereens, never to be seem again.

Katsuki fell back onto the ground with a slight crash, completely blacked out from the punch. He was quickly attended to by the other heroes and some nearby doctors.

Izuku watched as All Might turned to the crowd as they cheered, a daring grin on his face as he posed for the media and the fansites.

Meanwhile, Izuku was shaking with glee. He'd never met All Might before, and now he had just yelled at him to get out of the way.

Now that's a hero.

 

 

Izuku waited almost an hour for All Might to stop giving out autographs so that he could talk to him alone. During that time, Katsuki had woken up, and he didn't say a word to Izuku, he didn't even spare him a quick glance.

To be honest, he looked rather vacant, embarrassed even, and Izuku was sure it because he had been watched by an entire city at a time where he was absolutely helpless.

He didn't want to say anything to him in case he erupted and shouted more abuse towards him, so he kept quiet and stayed back.

He felt weird for keeping an eye on All Might for such a long period of time, but he was part of the disaster, so he had a perfect excuse for staying and waiting for the number one hero.

And once he was finally let go, freed from the shrieking fans and the controversy-seeking media, Izuku hopped onto him before he could leave too soon.

He didn't want to be named a stalker, but he was so hesitant to make a move that he ended up following him into an empty lane and calling out to him as if he didn't just stalk home for five minutes.

"Um.. All Might," Izuku was almost stuttering, and when the hero turned to look back at him, he felt his breath get caught in his throat. He looked so much cooler in real life.

"Oh, hello, young boy," All Might was grinning, but when did he ever frown? "What can I do for you?"

"I, uh," Izuku fumbled around in his bag for a moment or two before pulling out his notebook and pen. "Can you sign this for me?"

All Might stared at the book silently, eyebrows slightly raised, probably wondering why it was so dirty and damp.

"Of course," he flipped through the book, and Izuku's teeth started chattering. All Might seemed skeptical for a second before he turned the page and wrote down his name.

Izuku stopped.

He must've seen the spread about Tomura Shigaraki, and his name written in big bold letters on the previous page, and it probably concerned him — if he knew who he was anyway.

He didn't seem to ask questions though, and although Izuku knew for sure he had seen the other pages on the different heroes, he never said a word about it.

Izuku felt a little disheartened by his silence. He would never compare his favourite hero to a villain, but Tomura Shigaraki actually liked his notes.

Maybe All Might was just letting him have some privacy.

Izuku took back the notebook and watched All Might begin to stretch a little.

"I should be off now. It's nice to meet you, young boy," All Might put his thumbs up, and Izuku almost dropped his notebook trying to stop him from leaving so quickly. "Hm?"

"Wait, can I—? Sorry, uh, All Might," Izuku paused to focus on his breathing, before he rushed to speak since All Might looked torn between going and staying. "Can I ask you something?"

"Yes," he nodded, waiting patiently for the freaked out boy to reply with his question.

"Well, I uh," Izuku couldn't believe himself right now.

What was he doing?

He was seriously about to ask All Might about becoming a hero as if he didnt already know the answer.

Katsuki.. Shigaraki.. Even his mother; they all told him he had no chance.

But then he remembered — Shigaraki had asked him who he needed confirmation from to get him to stop dreaming of impossible outcomes.

What if All Might was the particular person he needed to ask such a question?

Izuku felt his heart pick up the pace just at the thought of being able to finally confirm whether or not he could become a hero the way he is now.

He wanted to know.

"Young boy?"

Izuku snapped out of his trance once he realised he wasn't alone with his thoughts, and his voice cracked.

"Perhaps another time," All Might suggested, before waving him off and beginning to walk away again.

"Wait—" Izuku reached out a hand, but something was holding him back.

You might as well give up now,

he remembered this was what the doctor from his past had told him after he found out he was probably quirkless.

I'm so sorry, Izuku! I'm sorry,

his mother had cried to him that day, but even now, he believed that wasn't at all what he wanted her to say.

He had to find out now.

Was his dream as pointless and impossible as everyone else had told him?

He really needed to know.

 

 

 

"Even if I don't have a quirk, can I become a hero?" Izuku finally asked, closing his eyes, not noticing the surprised look on All Might's face.

It was quiet, and it hurt to not get an answer straight away. He swore he was going to collapse from his heart beating so fast in anticipation.

"Can even someone without a quirk be like you?" He asked again, tears already seeping through his tightly shut eyelids, heart aching for a response.

"You don't have a quirk," All Might began, voice unusually calm and quiet. "But you want to be a hero?"

Izuku wanted to say yes, but he knew if he'd try to speak now, he'd completely break down into tears and frighten the hero away.

"I'm sorry, kid," he said suddenly, and it caught Izuku off guard, making him open his eyes to express his confusion.

"Huh?"

All Might stared down at him for a moment, his smile faded into something more sympathetic.

"Heroes are always risking their lives, and it's hard work. Some villains just can't be beaten without powers. So can you be a hero? Not without a quirk," All Might admitted, and Izuku felt his heart shatter even more.

Izuku stood there dumbfounded for a moment, shocked even if he had warned himself not to become too hopeful. It was a difficult fact to take in, and he couldn't bring himself to look into All Might's dark eyes.

"I see," he said flatly, eyes glazed over. He honestly felt sick.

"If you wanna help people, there are plenty of other ways to do it," All Might added, voice sincere as he turned around. "Become a police officer. It's a fine profession and it'll do the job."

Izuku didn't want that though.

That wasn't what he wanted to hear at all.

"I'm sorry. It's not bad to have a dream, young man. Just make sure they're attainable," All Might rubbed a hand across his mouth, before coughing slightly. "I apologise, kid, but I have to go now. I'm sure somebody is waiting for you to get home too."

Izuku only listened silently, too broken to talk.

"I just had to be honest," he said. "Don't worry about it too much. Get home safely, young boy."

And this time, as All Might started walking away, Izuku didn't dare to stop him. He couldn't even watch; suddenly the thought of All Might made him incredibly upset.

And even as All Might was out of sight, Izuku still stood there five minutes later, with fists clenched around the straps of his backpack and his head low in disappointment.

 

 

It was a loud growling voice that brought him back to reality though.

"Deku," he knew it was Katsuki, but he just couldn't turn to look at him right now, after what had just happened.

"I would never ask for a weakling like you to help me, so don't you dare look down on me, you got that? I was fine by myself! You're just a quirkless bastard. You didn't help me — you did nothing. I don't owe you anything!"

As Katsuki was screaming at him and rambling on about some nonsense, Izuku once again found his legs moving all by themselves.

He was walking away, far from Katsuki, and although the blond boy was yelling his name and calling for him to come back so he could rant more, Izuku just wasn't up to listen to him anymore.

He just kept walking, and never turned back.

He'll remember what All Might had said, for all eternity — it'll be forever scratched into his memories.

He just wished it wasn't true

Chapter Text

That night, Izuku cried.

He hid under the covers and cried until there were no more tears. His bedsheets were wet, but it didn't matter. He had considered getting rid of them since he came home just now.

They were All Might themed, and after the events of today, he didn't feel like being surrounded by heaps of All Might figurines and posters and collectables; it was too much for his heart to take.

He usually found the smile on All Might's face inspiring, but now it was as if he was mocking him for not being able to become a hero.

So can you be a hero? Not without a quirk, the words kept ringing in his head.

He should've seen it coming, especially after the encounter with Tomura Shigaraki, and how he implied the exact same thing. Yet Izuku wasn't one to believe strangers, or at least he tried not to.

But as soon as his very own idol said it to his face, his hopes and dreams were crushed in an instant.

He was only a child; of course he wouldn't know how to cope with being told the opposite of what he wanted to hear. He was far too optimistic for a quirkless teenager, even his mother had started to warn him recently by telling him to focus on more realistic goals.

Izuku wished he didn't understand that being told he couldn't become a hero was always going to be inevitable; if he was just ten years old again, and completely clueless about the real world and not the fake shit he saw on television, maybe he wouldn't be crying right now, and instead chose to keep moving on.

He's only crying because he knows that both All Might and Tomura Shigaraki were right. He had held back the tears when even Katsuki told him the same thing countless times, but this time was different. Three people who weren't connected in any way were three people too many, and Izuku wished they were all wrong.

"Why?" He screamed into his pillow, tears streaming down his face, fingers clawing at the sheets in frustration.

Right, he wasn't upset. He knew this was coming.

He was just angry.

Kinda like when Katsuki comes across as angry all the time, except for Izuku, it was a lot different. Katsuki had an anger held by pride, and he didn't dare to let a single tear slip from his eyes, whereas, Izuku had an anger that had built up for too long, and was only seeming to prove his weakness.

Izuku dug his fingers into the palms of his hands and cried some more, until he finally tired himself out and fell asleep.

 

 

The next day, Izuku felt weaker than he'd even been before. He had no more tears left to cry, he just physically couldn't bring himself to do it.

His mother asked him what was wrong, so he lied and told her he just couldn't sleep last night and was incredibly tired. He hated to deceive her, but he didn't want to worry her either. How else could he explain that his only idol and role model had told him that he could not become a hero because he was unlucky enough to be born without a quirk? He didn't want his mother to blame it on herself, since she probably would do that.

He headed off to school before his mother could ask any other questions. He scrolled through the news on his phone whilst on the train, but some articles made him feel sick.

They were about All Might.

It was weird, he couldn't even feel excited to see his name any more, and he felt even worse seeing the smile on his face.

How could he smile after he crushed Izuku's only dream?

Izuku wondered to himself then, gripping his phone tightly as he thought for a moment.

Did All Might even remember his name or what he looked like? Did he cross his mind at all?

Did All Might care about his feelings?

His throat tightened suddenly, and he turned his phone off to put it back in his pocket. He shouldn't be so hung up on this, but it only happened yesterday, and the fact that everywhere he went, All Might's face was bound to be advertised somewhere, kinda hurt him.

When he got to school, he recognised a group of boys stood at the gates; a certain blond kid wowing the others with his exploding sweat.

Izuku could feel his body become tense as he passed them, trying not to be seen, but his attempt to blend in failed as the blond boy turned to him.

"Oi, Deku," he started, but Izuku didn't want to respond. "You look like shit."

"Yeah, where's your little stalker book, huh? Have you realised how weird it is to take notes on other people yet?" One of the other boys teased, but Izuku just kept walking, keeping his head low.

"I do the speaking, idiot," the blond yelled. "Hey, Deku, don't ignore me, you little shit! I know you can hear me!"

Izuku tried walking faster, but they were following close behind.

"Sh-Shouldn't you be recovering from yesterday?" Izuku said quietly.

"Say that again, shitty nerd!"

"Kaachan, please leave me alone," Izuku pleaded, but it only made Katsuki cling to his presence more.

"If you want me to leave, then fight me, bastard! Don't run away, pussy!"

"Get the hell away from me!" Izuku turned around, yelling through his tears, and Katsuki seemed taken aback. "I am not in the mood to deal with you right now, Kaachan! Why do you feel the need to tease me all the time? You say you're done with me, but you keep chasing after me! Why? You know I'm not as strong as you, so don't be an asshole and leave me alone!"

And with that, Izuku ran to the entrance of his school, not even glancing back to see if Katsuki had taken the hint and stayed where he was.

It was the first time he ever shouted at Katsuki, and usually he was too frightened to even imagine doing such a thing, but Katsuki was pushing the boundaries and made him rage. He had enough with all the bullying and just wanted to move on.

He hoped Katsuki received the message, but he knew he'll just come asking for more trouble at any given chance he has.

 

 

When Izuku got home, his mother wasn't there. Perhaps she was working overtime; money was short for them recently.

He saw his kitchen ahead of him, but entered his room instead. Usually, he'd go straight to the fridge to feed his empty stomach, but he couldn't even bring himself to eat.

But maybe he should've went to the kitchen after all, because when he opened his bedroom door, he was met with four walls covered in All Might merchandise.

He deadpanned, eyes dark with despair as he walked straight to his computer, ignoring every poster and figurine that was staring down at him.

He watched his blank computer screen for a good minute or two, until he turned it on and grimaced at his All Might background.

He didn't know why it hurt so much to be rejected by his idol, but it was worse than he ever expected it to be. Especially when he had a feeling it was inevitable.

 

He opened a browser and clicked on his favourites page, bringing him to a certain video.

It was the video of All Might saving so many people at once, with the biggest grin on his face. Most of the views on there were probably due to Izuku watching it non-stop, and now he was about to watch it again.

Although instead of becoming excited because of how amazing All Might was, he just felt an unusual feeling of emptiness in his heart, and as he watched it to the end, he didn't even notice a tear rolling down his cheek.

All Might was right. He couldn't become a hero; not like he is now. It was just far too ambitious, and like he said, he should make sure his dreams are attainable for his own sake.

But he was a dreamer.

That's just how he is. After all, there's nothing else he'd rather do than be a hero.

Except now that wasn't an option anymore, so he was stuck with feeling hopeless, thinking what else in life could he possibly want.

He closed the browser, not wanting to see anymore, and opened up a different one.

He typed something in subconsciously.

"Tomura Shigaraki," he searched, not even realising what he was doing. "Who the hell are you?"

The results were pretty bare. No social media accounts, no news reports. For a villain, he was quite secretive.

Izuku expected to see some kind of crime that he might've committed being broadcasted, but there was absolutely nothing. There weren't even images of the man.

To be fair, he didn't even recognise him when they first met the other day, so maybe he was new to the whole villain thing.

Izuku looked further, deeper into the internet, but there really was nothing to be found.

He rubbed his eyes and leaned against the desk, finally giving up on searching for him and falling into a deep sleep.

 

 

 

When Izuku woke up startled by a tapping noise, he didn't expect to be met with complete darkness. He checked his watch, 03:21 it said.

He must've slept all afternoon, but his mother probably didn't want to wake him up because of how he exclaimed he was exhausted this morning.

That meant he missed dinner, unless his mother thought he had some already.

He looked forward at his blank computer screen, before shaking his mouse to wake it up.

The first thing he noticed was Tomura Shigaraki in his search bar, with heaps of unrelated results below it.

He sighed, closing the browser, only to be met once again with a background of All Might. Out of frustration, he changed it to some default wallpaper of a starry night sky, and turned the computer off completely.

He left his desk to migrate over to his bed, when he heard the same tapping noise that had woken him up. He stood like a deer in headlights, realising it was coming from his window.

Izuku walked over to it, seeing a slight crack in the glass; it bothered him but he was more intrigued by what could've caused it.

Hesitantly, he twisted the handle and pushed the window wide
open, allowing a slight breeze to hit his tired face. It was a silent night, apart from the vibration of cars in the distance and the sound of leaves overlapping in the wind.

He looked around to see nothing suspicious, until he head a whistle from below. He peeked his head out and looked down, surprised by what he saw.

"Tomura Shigaraki," he stepped back in shock, adrenaline rushing through his entire body. He clasped his hand over his mouth, hoping his mother didn't hear him then.

"Izuku," he heard a faint voice, and he knew it was Shigaraki. It had to be.

After a moment of calming down from his genuine shock, he peered back down at the creepy man, who was watching him expectantly.

Shigaraki gestured for him to come down, and Izuku wanted to yell at him for so many reasons, but he didn't want to get into trouble either. He was about to turn and walk away, not wanting to get involved with the man, but then he was met with the many faces of All Might scattered around his room.

His heart stung a little bit, and he turned back to the window in a hurry, trying to hold back his tears.

Shigaraki was still waiting for him, and Izuku felt like giving up.

It didn't matter what he did anymore, his life was practically over. If he decided to talk to a stranger at 3am by himself, then he'll do it without a single care in the world.

"Wait," Izuku mouthed to him, before closing his window.

As he tiptoed out of his room and put his shoes on at the front door, he started to feel a little bit frightened.

Shigaraki wasn't an ordinary man; he was scary, but not perverted, old freak scary; it was more of an eerie, serial killer type of scary.

That would make walking alone with him in the middle of the night without telling anyone a huge risk for him to take, but he honestly couldn't care less. If he was going to get brutally murdered, so be it.

Izuku shook that thought away; he was being far too pessimistic now. He only got rejected by his idol. He can get over it — right?

When he left his home and his mother all alone, he had thoughts running through his mind.

He had even more questions to ask Shigaraki than he did before, he just didn't know where to start.

 

 

"This is the third night in a row," Izuku said when Shigaraki was finally in his line of sight, and the man turned to him in surprise. "How did you know I live here?"

"I'm going to answer the same way every time, kid," Shigaraki rolled his eyes, and Izuku noticed a small paper bag in his hand. "I followed you here."

"But I've been home since like 5pm," Izuku argued, and Shigaraki didn't have anything to fight back with. "Have you been stalking me?"

"Stalking is a strong accusation," Shigaraki chuckled sinisterly, scrunching the paper bag behind his back, making Izuku look up into his dark eyes. "It's more following you from a distance without your permission."

"I don't like it, Mr. Shigaraki,"

He seemed to tense up at how he addressed him then.

"I know you're interested in scouting me as some kind of child villain, but at least give me a little bit of privacy."

"Of course," Shigaraki nodded, but he was smiling teasingly, like he was mocking Izuku. "I just thought maybe you would like someone to talk to."

"You think I'd want to talk to a creep like you right now? I was sleeping, not sat in my room, waiting for you to crawl through my window."

"I didn't do that— just, ugh, I want to talk about what you did during the slime villain attack."

Izuku's body stiffened at the mere mention of that event, the whole day felt surreal to him even now.

"First, take this," Shigaraki brought him out of his thoughts and handed him the paper bag he was looking at earlier.

"What is it?" Izuku asked in great confusion, but took the bag anyway and opened it up. He was surprised to see a half eaten burger in there.

"I can tell you haven't eaten all evening and night, so eat up,"

"How can you tell?"

"Look at you — your cheeks are stained with tears and your eyes are blood shot — I've never seen someone so depressed. You seem like the type to starve yourself when you're upset."

Izuku lowered his face in shame and stared at the burger once again.

"Why is there only half of it?"

"I have to eat too, as surprising as it might be," Shigaraki answered sarcastically, and it made Izuku embarrassed. "Now I have to ask you something."

"I have questions too," Izuku interrupted, taking a small bite from the burger.

"Let me speak, kid," Shigaraki muttered. "That slime villain that caught your friend. Why did you try to fight him even when I told you the heroes were failing?"

"I don't know," Izuku said sadly, mouth full with food. Shigaraki looked away in disgust.

"Close your fucking mouth, you dirty bastard,"

Izuku didn't say a word, but he gave him a look, as if to say 'you're one to speak'.

"As I was saying.. How can you not know? It was you who did it."

"I just acted without thinking," Izuku shrugged awkwardly, only after swallowing his food. "Kaachan is my friend — even if he is rather mean to me. I couldn't let him suffer without even trying to help him a little bit."

"You barely made a dent, in fact you just angered the villain more," Shigaraki started walking away from the building, and for a moment Izuku was hesitant on whether he should follow this guy right now.

He followed in a hurry nonetheless, finishing the last bite of his food as he stuffed the paper bag into his back pocket.

"I left just after you ran towards it. I thought you must've been dead after attempting something like that — the boy too — but then I saw the articles about that bastard hero saving the day."

Izuku didn't say anything; he knew he was talking about All Might, but he couldn't even defend the hero.

"I'm surprised. I thought you would've been crying about how good he is by now," Shigaraki scoffed, and Izuku's eyes glazed over. "Did something happen yesterday, Izuku?"

Izuku looked at him quietly, he had such a smug look on his face, as if he knew what was wrong. Izuku felt a tear slip down his cheek, but he quickly wiped it away.

"It's not important," he lied, but the tears falling beyond his control.

Shigaraki stopped suddenly, confusion clear in his face now. Perhaps he didn't know what happened after all.

"Fucking crybaby," Shigaraki complained as Izuku stopped and turned his head to face the other way. He tried to wipe them away, but it was like a flood that he could not control. "Are you really going to cry about me calling All Might a bastard?"

"No," Izuku muttered, sniffling slightly. "I don't care what you call him."

"Then why the hell are you upset? What is this, puberty? I thought it was just girls with these kind of emotions," Shigaraki mocked him.

"That's not why I'm crying," Izuku argued, sort of offended by what he had said. "I met All Might yesterday."

"Well, I fucking guessed that. You were both at the disaster scene."

"No, I followed him afterwards,"
Izuku cried as he stumbled on his words, but Shigaraki just looked hysterical.

"Fucking stalker," he rolled his eyes.

"Will you shut up?!" Izuku pleaded through his tears, and Shigaraki seemed taken aback as he crossed his arms and grunted.

"You're not so nice when you cry,"

"I followed him because I needed to know the truth — if it really is impossible for me to become a hero."

The creepy stopped pouting moodily, only to pester Izuku about it with a curious glint in his eyes.

"Well..?"

"He said exactly what everyone else does," Izuku lowered his head in shame when he saw the delighted expression that Shigaraki had. "It's never going to happen. I can't become a hero."

"That must be disappointing," he muttered, but he was smiling. "I did warn you not to meet your heroes."

"You think I'd listen to a stranger?"

"I suppose I could've been wrong," he shrugged, and began walking again, alongside Izuku, whose tears were less dramatic. "Then again, I'm glad you didn't listen to me."

Izuku didn't think much about that last comment, to be honest he was trying to ignore him completely. He was far too upset for this.

All Might disappointed him, as hard as it was to admit that, and it was difficult to get over it. It didn't happen that long ago, but he shouldn't be so affected by it.

Except he couldn't help how he felt. He was still a child — an emotionally unstable one, too. Taking rejection from his idol wasn't something that he ever thought he'd have to experience.

"I know how it feels to be an outcast in a society of heroes," Shigaraki spoke up after a minute or two of them walking in silence. Izuku had eventually stopped sulking and was now staring at the older man in curiosity. "Life can be so.. disappointing."

Izuku raised an eyebrow, and although he was looking forward, Shigaraki took his silence as a signal to continue.

"Heroes just aren't worth it, kid. They were never there for me, not a single one of them. It was all thanks to sensei," Shigaraki trailed off as soon as he mentioned the word sensei, and Izuku was incredibly confused.

"Sensei?"

Shigaraki didn't answer to his query, he seemed to act as if he didn't hear at all.

"When your friend was captured with no escape, how many heroes did you see try to save him?"

Izuku thought he was asking this to explain who sensei was, but it soon sunk in that Shigaraki had just changed the topic on purpose. He didn't question it anymore though, and instead considered what he was asking.

"Too many to count. There were more in one place than I've ever seen," he admitted, fingers tapping his chin in thought.

"And that was including All Might," Shigaraki added, making Izuku gulp.

"Right. But he was necessary,"

"Tell me, Izuku," Shigaraki side eyed him, his fingers digging into his neck when he noticed Izuku wasn't catching on to what he was suggesting. "The day before, when you were captured by the same villain, and close to death.. How many heroes came to save you?"

Izuku felt his heart drop when he finally realised what he was talking about, but it bothered him that Shigaraki would even bring it up.

"It was different. Kaachan was caught in a busy city—"

"It makes no difference to people who are trained to be prepared for violence everywhere," Shigaraki interrupted him, already drawing blood in frustration. "Don't be dumb.. How many heroes?"

Izuku knew what he was doing, but it was was unfortunately working far too well. He was not dumb, like Shigaraki suggested; he was just vulnerable. He didn't want to break so easily, but it hurt so much and he didn't want him to pry anymore.

"None," Izuku breathed out, defeated. He couldn't avoid the truth, it was only a day apart, yet there were more heroes for Katsuki than he thought possible, and for Izuku — an impulsive, selfish bastard.

Izuku tried not to think about it, but he couldn't stop linking it to how Katsuki was a boy with a powerful quirk, and had great strength that was needed to succeed as a hero, whilst Izuku was a boy with nothing, who wasn't worth being saved if he had nothing to offer in return to the community.

He shouldn't think like that, but he was at the point where those kind of thoughts invading his mind was inevitable.

"If it weren't for me, you'd be dead right now," Shigaraki reminded him, but he was somewhat harsh about it. "No heroes were going to save you if I hadn't shown up."

"But All Might—"

"That bastard was not fucking there for you," Shigaraki yelled at him, his loud, irritated voice being the only sound in the eerie darkness of the night. "And even if he was, that wouldn't change the fact that he admitted you'll never be a fucking hero!"

Shigaraki was beyond pissed, screaming at Izuku like he had just done something so unspeakable.

"Get it into your thick skull! Everybody is right about you — you can never become a hero! You hear me? Never!"

It fell silent after that.

Izuku couldn't even say a word of defence, he wouldn't know where to begin even if he tried because he knew the heart breaking reality was that Shigaraki was completely right.

He was so scared, so terrified, both because of the same old news being told to him, and also because of the spine chilling man stood in front of him, with eyes burning into his skull and pulling his insecurities apart.

He was frozen in place, expression blank and heart pounding against his chest.

The ridiculously fast pace of his beating heart was actually all he could hear for a bit, until Shigaraki turned from him with a deep, irritable sigh.

"I'm only doing you a favour, kid," he muttered, barely audible as his mind drifted somewhere else. "If you keep putting your heart through this pain, you'll only get worse. Your world is crumbling around you — so don't make it harder for yourself."

Izuku didn't move an inch, he couldn't even take in anything when Shigaraki looked back at him then, expression softened just a bit.

"If you stopped idolising All Might and every other hero you looked up to, you'd be so much stronger," he told him, unusually calm. "You've got yourself stuck in a loop."

Izuku focused on him then as he seemed promisingly hopeful.

"If you let me, I could help you with that," Shigaraki said quietly, voice raspy from shouting. "I know I'm no hero.. but I want to make sure you realise how great you are."

Izuku had no response for that, instead he brought himself out of his silent trance and lowered his head to hide how exhausted he was.

"I'm going home," he said simply, and Shigaraki watched him with slight disappointment. "Please don't follow me."

Without another word, Izuku walked away, overwhelmed by everything, and this time, Shigaraki let him go, understanding for once that he wouldn't be able to get any point across with Izuku still recovering from a huge form of rejection.

"You're a tough one, kid," he whispered, before disappearing too.

Chapter Text

When Izuku woke up, he didn't expect to find himself on the sofa in his living room, knees close to his chest, his throat feeling raw and scratchy.

He rubbed his eyes, before sitting up straight and taking in his surroundings.

"Izuku,"

The confused boy jumped at the mention of his name, and turned to see his mother staring down at him from behind the kitchen counter. She put down the spoon that was stirring the hot liquid in her mug and raised her eyebrows in concern.

"Are you alright? You look exhausted," she said, holding a hand up to her mouth, and Izuku attempted to cover his dark eyes with his hand. "It seems to me that you've been a little upset recently."

"I'm fine," he lied, turning to stare straight ahead of him instead.

The room filled with an awkward, heavy sense of silence, and Izuku heard the sound of her mother stirring her hot drink again, before she continued.

"Is it because of what happened with you and Katsuki during the slime villain attack? I saw it on the news yesterday — you should've told me, I was so worried. I wanted to talk to you about it but I figured it would've been insensitive of me to bring it up so soon. That, and I didn't see you much yesterday," she reminded him. "I came home, and you were sleeping at your desk. I didn't want to disturb you, but then this morning, I found you sleeping there on the sofa. I'm worried—"

"Mom, I'm fine," he repeated, turning to look at her again, this time with a stern expression. She was rambling, and although Izuku understood how she felt, he wasn't up for explaining anything now.

"Okay," she replied quietly, lowering her head to hide her motherly concern.

Izuku didn't want to stand up, and even when his mother finished stirring and chose to sit beside him, he didn't move an inch.

"If you woke up at your desk," she started cautiously, and Izuku tried to focus on her instead of his muddled thoughts. "Then why didn't you go to sleep in your bed instead?"

"Hm?" He turned to her after realising he wasn't processing her words.

"Why did you go through the hassle of getting up and sleeping here? It couldn't have been comfortable for you last night."

"I don't know," the memories of last night came flooding back to him, and he stopped to stare blankly at the wall behind his mother just to think about the conversation that he had with Tomura, before he shook himself out of his thoughts. "I was having trouble sleeping, so I came out here to watch TV, but was too lazy to go back to my bed afterwards."

That wasn't a full lie. He had trouble sleeping for sure, but only because he didn't want to face the horrid reminder of his encounter with All Might by seeing him all over his bedsheets and walls. He remembered walking straight past his bedroom door after he got back from his walk with Tomura, and collapsing straight down onto the sofa.

"You couldn't sleep the night before either," his mother chewed her lip nervously, and Izuku remembered telling her that. "If that continues, we might have to bring you to a doctor or something."

"Yeah," he agreed, too out of it to even argue otherwise.

"Hey, if you want to go back to sleep, you can. It's Saturday, after all," she smiled at him, and he felt a bit relaxed by her presence. "Also, I hope you don't mind, but I was afraid your bed might've been the cause of you not wanting to sleep there, so I changed the bedsheets. They're not All Might themed unfortunately, but I can change them back once the other one is washed."

Izuku looked up with an unreadable expression, even he didn't know how he was feeling.

"Thank you," he said absentmindedly, before deciding he definitely needed more rest. He was hardly thinking properly in his current state, so he knew he had to give himself time before he accidentally made any more irrational decisions. "I guess I'll go sleep some more, then."

He kissed his mother's forehead, and she smiled back warmly as he wandered back to his dreaded bedroom.

 

 

His room didn't feel any different as it did yesterday. He felt locked down; his safe place was no longer somewhere for him to find comfort.

He looked towards the bed, the only good thing about this room now. His mother really did change it into a plain white duvet, and although it was nothing special, it was definitely a great alternative to the usual All Might bedsheets that he had.

But even as he sat in his bed and took in the sight of his room around him, he felt almost humiliated.

"Don't smile at me," he mumbled at nothing in particular, just the hundreds of faces of All Might staring down at him.

They were laughing, mocking, and most of all, bothering Izuku to the point where he felt like ripping the posters to shreds and burning the figurines out of pure anger.

He was pissed off.

That old man dared to turn him down like Izuku's feelings didn't matter.

Izuku dug his fingers into the duvet underneath him, teeth gnawing at his cheeks, before he pushed himself up onto his feet and grabbed some blank paper from his desk, along with some sellotape.

 

 

Five minutes passed and he finally stood, breathing heavily in exasperation as he stared at his room. All the posters were now blocked by sheets of paper, hiding the mockingly joyful grins of All Might, and even his broad, proud posture and aura. It looked very strange having paper all over the walls, but he was only holding himself back from tearing the posters down out of frustration.

"Darling, are you okay? I heard pacing—"

Izuku turned to the door, and saw his mother stood there, holding a bowl of hot, steaming soup with an unsure, but surprised look on her face as she scanned the room.

"Ah, what is all this?"

She seemed to laugh nervously when her eyes landed on the still very exhausted Izuku, and held back the urge to look at him like he was going crazy. He could sense her concern though, and just sighed as he collapsed back onto his bed and rubbed his eyes.

"I'm just growing out of this All Might phase," he said, and in a way, it was true. He expected her to look glad, but she only seemed  more worried. "His face was driving me crazy. I just needed something fresh."

"But the paper," Inko trailed off, before she looked down at the bowl in her hands. "I brought you soup — I hoped it would cheer you up."

Izuku could tell she was attempting to change the subject, and he was thankful, especially when Inko placed the soup on his desk. He walked over and sat down, immediately drinking it, silently enjoying the warm feeling tickling his throat.

Just after he thanked his mother, and thought she was about to leave, Izuku heard her speak up again.

"If you want to take down your posters, you can, instead of just covering them up," she started, and he stilled. "They could be sold."

Izuku thought to himself quietly for a few moments, before he shrugged. He would never miss these posters now, even if a few days ago, he would've never let them go.

"Okay, yeah, we can sell them," he replied casually, and noticed Inko tense up in the corner of his eye.

"Wait— don't just agree to it because I suggested it. You can keep them — I know how much you love them and—"

"Mom," he turned to her and frowned. "We can sell them online. The figurines, too — and the bedsheets."

"But—"

"I have tons of collectibles and limited edition items. They'll bid quite high, we'll get a lot of money for it."

Inko didn't even try to argue anymore, her son had never even thought about selling one item, let alone all of them, but now he was going to do it without hesitation.

"Izuku," she whispered calmly. "You know, you can tell me anything. I'm your mom."

His heart dropped at this; it was just motherly senses, he should've seen it coming, but he didn't want to upset his mother with his problems. He was better off keeping it all to himself.

"I know," he said after a minute of silence, and turned to give his mother a big smile. "Thank you for the soup, mom! It was delicious!"

She seemed taken aback by his sudden bright attitude, but smiled back nonetheless, eyes heavy with concern.

And when she finally left with the empty bowl, Izuku heaved a sigh and rested his head on the desk, feeling nothing but loneliness.

 

 

He really didn't know what to do at this point. To himself, he was at a dead end.

If he couldn't become a hero, what else was left for him?

He didn't want to do a basic job like be a policeman or a doctor; they weren't really that noticed in a world full of heroes taking the credit.

There wasn't anything else that peaked his interest as much as being a hero did, and now that All Might had crushed his dreams, he didn't even want to think about working for him in any way.

 

He just hoped this wasn't it for him.

Chapter Text

Izuku looked down at the cardboard boxes his mother had set down in front of him the moment she got home.

Use these to store all the things you don't want anymore, she had told him, and now he was stood in the centre of his room, wondering where the hell to begin.

"Maybe we could start with the figurines," his mother appeared by the door, a somewhat anxious look in her eyes. "If you want to."

"Okay," he nodded, tugging at his lower lip as he turned to the figurines cluttered along the top his desk and drawers. "I'll take one box, you take the other, and I guess we'll just.. throw in whatever we can."

"Oh, sure," Inko rushed over to stand beside him, watching from the corner of her eyes as Izuku put a figurine in his box.

 

 

 

"How is Katsuki? I felt like calling Mitsuki after I heard what happened, but I haven't talked to her in years," she turned to Izuku, who was placing figurines into his cardboard box without inspecting a single one.

"I haven't really talked to him much. I think he's a little bit annoyed that I tried to help him," Izuku refrained from saying save, and his mother seemed deep in thought.

"Poor kid. He must have been so scared," she frowned. "Imagine if you had been taken by that villain,"

Izuku froze at this.

"I don't know what I would've done if that happened. Aw, my baby, I'm glad it wasn't you,"

Inko continued expressing her concern for Katsuki, but Izuku stopped listening after a while.

It was ironic, really. He did get captured by that same villain. He just forgot that nobody knew except Shigaraki.

He knew exactly what it felt to be in that situation, he didn't need to imagine it.

To be fair, his experience might've been much scarier. Not because it was him who had experienced it, but because he was in a secluded area and not a single hero knew about it.

He shouldn't be so hung up about it; no one could worry if they didn't know it even happened, but at the same time, he was annoyed that nobody had bothered to wonder.

"On second thought, I should probably call Mitsuki," Inko bit her lip, and Izuku snapped back into reality. "Give me a moment, would you?"

"Go ahead," Izuku smiled, watching as she left in a hurry.

Once he was alone, he found himself deep in thought again. Even his own mother was worried about Katsuki, someone she stopped liking after the way he treated her son.

Izuku knew Katsuki well though. If anything, he would probably be more irritated about the unwanted attention in the most random of places, whilst others would think he was still recovering from being caught.

It's how people react that would really set someone like Katsuki off, not the actual problem itself.

"Oh, yes, I'll definitely be there," Inko chuckled joyfully as she wandered back into the room. Izuku noticed the phone pressed against her ear and remembered she was talking to Mitsuki. "Okay, I'll see you in just a moment! Bye!"

And as she hung up the call, Izuku raised an eyebrow in curiosity.

"How was she?" He asked.

"She's great — Katsuki gave her a bit of a scare, but she knows he's a tough little boy," she looked up at him with a big grin, but when she realised that Izuku was still putting things into the boxes, her smiled dropped. "I forgot.. Mitsuki just invited me over for dinner. I said yes, without remembering that I'm supposed to be helping you."

She focused on her phone again, looking a little upset.

"I'll call her back and tell her I can't make it—"

"Mom, don't worry about me, just go," Izuku interrupted her in a hurry, and she halted. "You can't just refuse her offer now. You seemed so happy to be able to see her again, so go on ahead."

"Really?"

"Yes,"

"Do you want to come too? I think Katsuki will be there,"

"I think I'll stay," Izuku responded without hesitation, just the thought of Katsuki being there to scream profanities at him was enough to put him off. "I've gotten into a routine of packing all this stuff away now. Besides, isn't it supposed to be some kind of motherly catch up?"

"I guess," she looked down awkwardly. "If you're really okay with being home alone for a bit—"

"I'm old enough. Don't let me ruin your fun, mom, I'll be fine, okay?"

Inko looked up again, surprised by Izuku's stern look, yet reassuring smile. It was as if their roles were reversed.

"Okay, honey. I won't be too long," she promised, reaching over to hug her son warmly. "Love you, Izuku."

"I love you too, mom," he chuckled, patting her back. "Now go, your friend is waiting for you. I'll see you later."

"Bye," she beamed, before leaving, shutting his bedroom door behind her.

 

 

Izuku had finished around two boxes about an hour later, before he decided it was time for a break.

He sat down on his bed, taking in his half empty room. He never really noticed how much shit he had in his room until now; it really took him far too long just to get rid of a quarter of what he owned, and he grimaced at the thought of continuing the horrid process.

He shut his eyes, rolling his head to release the tension in his neck, but as he tried to imagine a state of relaxation, all he could think about was the pain and hatred he was trying to suppress.

He didn't want to let himself go like that, but he also knew that holding back his emotions was only putting a cage around his heart.

He really couldn't express any forms of sadness in front of his mother, since she would only panic about his wellbeing and make matters worse. He understood her wish to look after him, but sometimes he just needed to sort things out by himself.

Maybe for a situation like this, he should talk to her about it, but doing that was difficult. He knew whatever she would have to say, although it would all mean well, she would not make him heal any faster.

This was a personal problem; he just had to figure out the right way go about it.

 

 

Mid thoughts, Izuku heard a knock at his front door.

His eyes opened wide, making him adjust to the brightness of the room for a few moments, before he sat up straight, keeping himself silent to make sure he wasn't just imagining things.

And sure enough, he definitely wasn't, since there was another knock at his door, in fact louder this time, but that might've been because he was looking out for it.

He hurried out of his room and towards his door, ready to open it, but he suddenly stopped.

This wasn't his mother. She had a key, and even if she left it someplace else, she would've called Izuku once he didn't answer the first time.

Besides, she was having dinner with Katsuki's mother; she had only been gone an hour, that was nowhere near enough time for her to finish and come back.

Izuku was stumped when trying to think about who else it could possibly be, but then he was drawn back to another very harsh knock to his door.

It was not subtle this time, it sounded like whoever wanted to be let in was ready to bust down the door.

Izuku was startled now; what if it was a serial killer, about to choose him as their latest victim?

He didn't want that to be the case, so cautiously, he lifted up the cover of the small peephole in the door and leaned in to peek at the other side.

But whoever was hovering by his door brought a great shock to Izuku.

Dusty blue hair drooping over bothered, deep red eyes, and teeth grinding behind pale, cracked lips — this was not an unfamiliar face.

Tomura Shigaraki.

To be honest, it didn't even cross his mind that he would be behind the door, knocking impatiently, but he felt stupid for not even considering him as an option.

And for a second, he wanted to forget the fact that Shigaraki knew exactly where he lived. He thought calling to him from outside his window was too much, but arriving at his door without request was crossing the line.

Izuku knew it was too late to pretend like he wasn't home, he had made far too much noise just moving down his hallway, and the light in his bedroom was probably enough to alarm Shigaraki if he happened to pass by his window earlier.

But he tried nonetheless to seem like he wasn't there, and backed away as quietly as possible, already heading back to his room.

Shigaraki was still knocking like a mad man, probably getting more and more agitated the more Izuku disregarded his existence.

He tiptoed down the hallway, his heart jumping to his throat, fingers guiding himself across the wall and into his room.

He expected another knock, but nothing came.

Was it true? Did he think he was absent and finally left?

Izuku released a heavy sigh, like he had been holding his breath for ages, but his heart was still going crazy, beating louder than his own thoughts.

He stumbled along his floor, body trembling in fear. He hadn't seen Shigaraki in a few days; he thought maybe he was going to leave him forever after his outburst the other night.

He was stupid enough to believe that Shigaraki was going to give up on his villainous plans. He should've known better.

 

Minutes passed, and Izuku was starting to wonder if Shigaraki really did leave after all. He hadn't been knocking anymore and he hadn't tried kicking his door down.

Until he heard a quiet tapping sound.

His eyes scanned his bedroom in fear, but there was nothing in sight.

Perhaps he was imagining things.

Izuku was prepared to accept that suggestion, but then he heard it again.

He turned to look at his window, a feeling of uneasiness in his stomach, making him feel sick. He slowly walked towards the window without cautious eyes.

"Hello?" He called out. Izuku stayed about an inch away from his wide open window, considering pulling it shut.

"Hello," a voice replied, their tone very familiar, and Izuku felt his soul leave his body.

"I hope this isn't who I think it is," he whispered, and the voice scoffed.

"I'm sure you'd prefer it to be me than anybody else," they said in amusement, and before Izuku could react, they jumped up, appearing in front of the window, making him fall back to the ground in surprise.

Sure enough, it was Shigaraki, who seemed to already be pushing himself through the open window, leaving him no privacy at all.

"Wh-what are you doing in here?"

Izuku stood up onto his feet and stumbled backwards in fear, watching the man climb into his room and stand up, dusting himself off.

"You didn't answer to me knocking on your door. You know it's rude to ignore visitors," Shigaraki leaned against the window and stared at Izuku.

"What if my mom was here? She would go wild if she knew—"

"I saw your mother leave about an hour ago. She's not coming back for a while — you know that."

Izuku's heart raced. He must've been lingering outside of his house for a long time for him to have seen his mother leave earlier, and recognise her.

"Have you— Ugh. You're breaching a limit of privacy," Izuku argued, standing on the other side of the room. "You're still a stranger to me! So go away!"

"That's mean," Shigaraki huffed, walking towards him slowly.

Izuku panicked at the sudden movement, and threw the thing nearest to him, from the top of one of his boxes.

It hit Shigaraki, who was taken aback, holding his face in pain.

"Ouch, you fucking," he looked down to see what it was, and scowled at the sight. He picked it up, one finger hovering in the air, and inspected it. "An All Might figurine."

He scoffed, almost laughing, but not in a good way. He sounded annoyed, pissed off even, and it made Izuku press against the wall, ready to escape through his closed door at any moment.

"You fucking hit me," he laughed more, eyes wide as he looked back up at the cowardly Izuku. "With a fucking All Might figurine."

"I'm sorry," Izuku tried to say, but was cut off when Shigaraki put his last finger on the figurine, letting it turn to dust.

"Throw another one, I dare you," Shigaraki encouraged, and he sounded playful, like he enjoyed disintegrating the All Might merchandise.

Izuku was frozen still, unable to move as he noticed Shigaraki's daring smile.

Shigaraki rolled his eyes at the lack of response and turned to the wall.

"What the fuck are you doing with all this paper?" He asked pulling at a sheet of paper, and peeking underneath.

Shigaraki halted at the sight of what was under it, and turned to Izuku with an admirable, yet hysteric look in his eyes.

"Well.. That's one way to block that bastard out of your life," he touched the All Might poster, and before Izuku could process what he was doing, Shigaraki disintegrated the poster without a single care in the world.

"You," Izuku started, expecting himself to become angry, but all he felt was ecstasy. He didn't finish, but Shigaraki seemed to notice his shameful delight and moved onto the next hidden poster, staring at Izuku with slight curiosity as he disintegrated it, the dust falling to the carpet below.

"Mr. Shigaraki," he whispered.

"If you wanted me to stop, you would've said it by now," Shigaraki seemed a little too smug as he watched the next poster decay between his fingertips.

"I was going to sell those,"

"Oh, for what — just a bit of cash? Sure, it's money, but it's not worth it if you're just going to give it away to someone else. These posters are bad memories, Izuku," Shigaraki decayed another one, slowly nearing Izuku along the way. "You clearly want them gone. So why not.. let them disappear forever?"

"I can't do that," he said shakily.

Shigaraki stopped in front of him, standing so close that Izuku could see every scar and scratch on his face, and even the trails of stained blood on his neck from how hard he would dig his nails into his skin.

"Really? You don't even have the urge to destroy just one?"

Shigaraki leaned down so he was at eye-level with the repulsed boy. Izuku noticed the daring look in his crimson red eyes and felt his adrenaline pumping. Shigaraki titled his head with a slight smirk, waiting for a response.

"You've already decayed almost all of my posters," Izuku answered weakly, not sure how else to defend himself. "What will my mom say when she sees all the residue on the carpet?"

Concern was very evident in Izuku's expression now, and Shigaraki glanced back at the dirty floor.

"You worry too much," he turned back to Izuku, who looked pale and absolutely petrified of just about everything. "We can clean that up later. She won't notice anything's wrong with all this other shit you're getting rid off,"

"We? You're planning on staying?" Izuku watched him, lips trembling.

"Well, I'm not here to just hit and run—"

"Why are you here?"

Shigaraki seemed bothered by how he was interrupted, but not enough to set him off.

"I came to see my favourite person," he smiled, but it wasn't genuine, almost like he was teasing Izuku. "I thought you might've liked it if I had knocked on your door like a civilised person."

"I don't want you here," Izuku admitted, making Shigaraki's smile drop immediately.

"You bastard—"

"I'm just being honest with you,"

"Listen here, kid," he hissed angrily. "We're getting a little off topic, so I'm going to compromise with you here."

"How could you possibly—?"

"You want to sell all the shit in these boxes, right?"

Shigaraki straightened up, moving to one of the boxes just to trace his fingers on the edge and glare at the heaps of figurines.

"Yeah, and more," Izuku nodded.

"Well you can't sell without a price. You could always put them up for bidding, but that's not clever if you really need the money," Shigaraki was speaking with actual sense, although he still sounded frustrated. "A lot of these are in good condition. I say, judging by the appearance and the relevance of All Might, you'll be fucking loaded by the time this is all finally gone."

"You think so?"

"Of course. Use your brain. You haven't proven your intelligence to me much, but I know for sure you're not dumb. Surely you've realised how much you spent over the years on all this. All Might isn't some busted lowlife wannabe, his merchandise is going to be worth a lot of money. If you really are going to sell it all, there's no point if you're not making a profit. So put the prices higher than you paid for. If anyone tries to negotiate for a lower price, tell them to get lost and wait for somebody else to pay the full price."

"You really know your stuff," Izuku said in awe. Shigaraki was a messed up guy, but he did know how to impress Izuku without even meaning to.

Shigaraki shrugged in response, turning to look around the room.

"What was your idea for a compromised deal, anyway?"

"As I was saying, you need to know the prices," he said. "If I help you set the prices for each figurine, you have to destroy at least a few of them — even if they are just the cheap ones."

Izuku wasn't completely against that suggestion.

"And why would I want to do that?"

"Because you need to," Shigaraki looked him in the eyes. "Trust me, Izuku, all you need is a little push in the right direction. That's what I'm here for after all."

Izuku watched him for a moment, unable to even refuse. If he did, it might just anger Shigaraki more.

And to be honest, he could use the help anyway.

"Okay," he whispered after moments of silence, and another smile grew on Shigaraki's face.

"Great. Then we're gonna need a table and a vacuum," he chuckled as he already dove his hands back into the box, making sure not to destroy any yet.

The small boy was taken aback by his enthusiasm, but obliged nonetheless, moving to search underneath his bed, where he had a short, foldable table.

He began setting it up, and as he did, everything that just happened hit him like a brick.

He just let this crazy man crawl in through his window and even allowed him to stay and help with such a normal thing.

He sat on the carpet, legs crossed under the unfolded table, watching as Shigaraki placed a box beside them and sat opposite him.

"Well? We gonna get started or not?"

Izuku realised how he was staring at Shigaraki with a feeling of uncertainty, and instead just nodded and went through his box.

 

 

 

"Mr Shigaraki," Izuku started, and Shigaraki gave him a weird look, probably still not used to the politeness.

They had put prices on a few figurines now, the highest being just over ¥6400. Shigaraki had decayed a figurine without even asking if he could, and Izuku warned him to tell him before doing it again, but he acted as if he didn't hear.

"Lose the mister, kid. I'm either Tomura or Shigaraki, just don't call me something stupid."

Izuku thought to himself for a second, debating which one to use.

"Okay, Tomura it is," Izuku shrugged, and Shigaraki was already looking away, getting ready to disintegrate the next figurine. "Wait, don't decay it just yet."

"Fuck sake, what is it now?" Shigaraki whined like a child, sounding really annoyed by the fact that he was even listening to the boy's orders.

Izuku leaned back slightly, the words not coming out, and Shigaraki rolled his eyes.

"Spit it out," he demanded.

"Give me that figurine,"

"You're not keeping it," Shigaraki said immediately, but handed it over nonetheless.

"Now give me your hand," Izuku noticed the bothered look in his eyes. "Please."

"I'm not fucking holding your hand," he argued, and Izuku turned red from embarrassment, and almost disgust.

"Mr— I mean, Tomura," he sighed. "Just put your hand out for me. I want to try something."

"What?"

"I can't tell you,"

"That doesn't sound good at all," Shigaraki seemed a little bit on edge at the uncertainty of what he wanted from him, and his eyes were beginning to shoot around in a disturbing sort of way.

"Tomura, what am I gonna do that is considered bad? It's okay," Izuku gestured towards him. "You can trust me."

The red eyed male looked down at him finally, face showing a mix of emotions as he gave in.

"Fuck you," he hissed, but put his hand forward anyway, tensing as Izuku studied it for a bit.

"I'm not gonna hurt you," he tried to say, but Shigaraki just scoffed in response.

"You should be worried about yourself getting hurt. Don't be a dick — remember my quirk."

"Of course," he nodded, but he seemed more intrigued than scared. "It's quite an interesting quirk, you know."

"Right," Shigaraki said flatly, mind elsewhere.

Izuku cautiously put his own hand over the back of Shigaraki's hand, making his fingers stiff and awkward. He didn't dare to move, even as Izuku brought his hand towards the figurine, fingers gently holding his damaged skin.

It was silent then as Shigaraki's fingers met the figurine, and Izuku squeezed his hand slightly just to make his quirk work with ease.

The figurine turned to a heap of dust that sat on top of the table, now completely lacking in colour and shape.

Izuku finally let go of him, and Shigaraki looked back to see the satisfaction on his face.

"You wanted to try it for yourself," he said smugly. "If you had just said so in the first place, it would've made this a lot easier, you know."

"I wish I could've done it from my own hand," Izuku said, but stopped when he realised how his mood changed the moment he got rid of the figurine. "I guess I just envy you."

Izuku meant by how he had a quirk, but Shigaraki took it in a different way, and lowered his head as he squeezed his fingers together.

"Yeah, well, don't be too fucking wishful."

"I try not to be," Izuku sighed into his hand, and Shigaraki looked back up at him with an unreadable expression on his face. "It's just that I'm stuck with the inability to do anything great. At this point, I'd take any quirk, whether it's hero worthy or not."

Shigaraki raised an eyebrow at him, inspecting the vacant look in his eyes, before he let out a response.

"Is that so?"

"It would be a miracle, but yes."

It went quiet for a moment then, and Izuku watched as Shigaraki took another figurine, inspecting it with narrowed eyes. It looked older than the rest, the paint looked dark and rusty, and seemed to show one of All Might's former outfits. It might have sold well before, but judging by the state it was in now, the price had probably dropped immensely.

"You should know about sensei," Shigaraki said without a word of warning, and Izuku realised he had been lost in thought, not trying to figure out the price. "He'll like you."

"Sensei. Oh, you mentioned him before," Izuku nodded, the last comment Shigaraki made meant nothing to him since he had no idea who he was talking about. "May I ask who he is?"

"I can't explain it without putting you in great danger, however I can easily say that I look up to him," Shigaraki wasn't very helpful, and Izuku wondered if there was any point in even bringing him up. "He's greater than any hero."

"Does he have a name? Or is it just sensei?"

The blue haired man scoffed, stroking his last finger across the figurine irritably. If he decayed this particular one, he wouldn't just destroy a memory and an inanimate object, but also heaps and heaps of cash.

"All For One," he finally replied, yet it didn't ring a bell to Izuku.

"And his quirk?"

"Ah, where do I begin? He has many," Shigaraki shrugged, holding back a smirk when Izuku's face went pale. "I couldn't name them all. Perhaps you'd have to ask him yourself."

"He has more than one? That's unusual," he muttered, but his heart was racing with excitement. "So is he your teacher or something?"

"Uh," Shigaraki scratched his neck, unsure how to respond. "I suppose he is. He's an incredible guy — truly powerful."

Izuku squeezed his hands together in his lap and chewed his lip nervously. He was actually really interested.

"Would I ever be able to meet him?"

Shigaraki looked at him in surprise, not replying at first.

"I'm intrigued by this multiple quirk thing he has going on," Izuku pulled his legs close to his chest and rested his head on top of his knees. He looked into Shigaraki's wide eyes that seemed to be showing an emotion that Izuku wasn't familiar with yet. "Plus, he's your sensei. It's like how I used to look up to All Might, except he sounds like he treats you as an equal. I didn't think you would look up to anyone, so now I kinda wanna know who he really is."

"I don't know if you're ready to meet him just yet," Shigaraki said, and Izuku raised a curious eyebrow. "I don't trust you."

Izuku was taken aback by this.

"Well, I don't trust you either," he tried to argue back. "You're some unknown creep who crawled through my window, knowing I was home alone."

"Maybe if you had fucking answered the door— I could hear you running away, you know?! I'm not dumb, you tried to make it seem like you weren't here."

"That's only because you're not a very nice man,"

"How would you know that?"

"You've threatened to kill me several times! That's not going to make me trust you," Izuku frowned.

"It made you fucking listen though," Shigaraki hissed, putting down the figurine. "I can't fake being someone else just to please you. I want you to join me — that means I have to be as honest as I can be. Otherwise you'd realise I was lying and drop out at the last minute. Of course by then, I would've killed you."

"Oh," Izuku nodded, gulping down his fear. "You really do want me to become a villain, huh?"

"You're the first and only person I've tracked down personally. I don't just do this for anybody. You're a fucking genius, although you lack strength," Shigaraki admitted, and Izuku was once again shocked by his compliment, if it even counted as one.

 

 

"Listen.. I can take you to sensei," he continued. "But only after you start wanting to be a villain rather than a hero."

"You can't make me change my mind like that,"

Izuku looked annoyed that Shigaraki believed he could persuade him like that, but judging by Shigaraki's smug smile, he clearly thought strongly of it.

"We'll see,"

Chapter Text

"I have to go," Shigaraki announced after about an hour of concentrated work in silence. He stood up before Izuku could even say anything in response, but the short boy was already panicking by his sudden urge to leave.

"Wait, where are you going?"

"It's a secret," Shigaraki shrugged, pulling his phone out of his pocket to type something, probably a text message.

"Oh," Izuku hesitated for a moment as he watched the taller male slouch over his phone, still typing, one hand reaching up to scratch his neck. "Can I come with you?"

Shigaraki looked over his shoulder in surprise, and somewhat confusion.

"What?"

"C-Can I come with you..?" Izuku seemed more unsure of himself now, his voice less confident than before. "Please?"

"What part of it's a secret do you not understand?" Shigaraki turned to face him again, his eyebrows furrowed.

"I understand very well, but I really would like to join you."

"That's a first," Shigaraki looked smug now, as he crossed his arms and straightened his posture. "Since when do you enjoy my presence?"

"I never said that," Izuku said awkwardly, averting his eyes. "I just don't want to be alone right now. And I think you and I have a lot to discuss."

Shigaraki was taken aback by this, but he didn't seem to disagree. Although he didn't voice his agreement either, but it was normal for him to not want to be wrong.

"If your mother comes back, she'll be shocked to find an empty house," he was probably trying to come up with good excuses now.

"She won't come back until very late," Izuku shrugged. "And if she does — well, she'll call me and I'll say I went to get some food or something."

"Alright," Shigaraki sighed, tapping his fingers on his arms. "But I'm not responsible for anything that happens to you whilst we're gone."

"That's fine," Izuku nodded, but he felt a bit worried now he realised he was actually going to follow this creep to a place he didn't even know the name of. "Shall we get going then? I'd rather not waste any more time."

Shigaraki pursed his lips, before taking out his phone again, eyes moving in a smooth direction as he presumably read a message that he had just received.

"Our transportation will arrive soon, so make sure you have everything you need."

Izuku made sure he had his phone. It was the only thing he thought was essential, or at least he hoped there wasn't anything else he would need to bring. He unlocked it just to check the news to save time, but as soon as he did, he didn't expect to see a purple cloud appear in front of them both, making him look up in shock.

"What is that thing?"

Izuku stumbled backwards, and beside him, Shigaraki looked bothered by his jumpy behaviour.

"That thing is Kurogiri," he pointed out, noticing how Izuku's face turned red in embarrassment. "He creates warp gates. You've seen me go through one before."

"Oh," Izuku chuckled awkwardly, and stared into the purple abyss. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Kurogiri. My name is Iz—"

"No, he can't actually," Shigaraki sighed and stopped himself from becoming too angry. Izuku was really dense at times. "Never mind. Just get in."

Before Izuku could even process what he was ordering him to do, Shigaraki pushed him in and followed straight after.

They both appeared on the other side; Izuku had an awed expression due to the interactive quirk, but there was no surprise there. The warp closed, and Shigaraki knocked into his shoulder as he passed by, just to awake him from his daydream.

"Wow," he said simply, before looking around. "Uh.. Where are we?"

They were in a dim, empty bar, the only light source coming from behind the stacks of alcohol.

When Izuku realised he wasn't going to get an answer, he sighed and instead tried to familiarise the area.

"I need a drink," he heard Shigaraki grunt, and turned to see him sat at the bar, holding his head down like he was done with everything.

"Tough day?"

That's when Izuku realised the presence of someone else. He didn't notice the stranger standing behind the bar, already pouring a drink for the blue haired male. Izuku suddenly felt awkward standing across the bar.

"I'm not gonna vent about it as if I'm a working husband who just came home to their wife," Shigaraki hissed, but Kurogiri seemed almost amused. Even Izuku wanted to chuckle. "I'm just too sober to deal with this kid's bullshit."

That's when Izuku remembered where he was. Shigaraki had now brought attention to him, and Kurogiri looked in his direction.

"You didn't tell me you were going to bring a child here," Kurogiri said. "I would've cleaned up."

"Don't say that like I do it often — you'll frighten the bastard away," Shigaraki looked at the small boy, who was frozen in place. "Well don't just stand there like a lemon. I thought even you'd have the right manners when meeting someone new. Just because we're not some preppy fucking heroes, doesn't mean we don't have feelings. Come here."

Izuku was scared, but still went and sat beside Shigaraki (by that, he means a seat or two away from him) and turned to the stranger in front of him with a polite smile.

"You must be Kurogiri! It was a pleasure to use your warp gate just now," Izuku bowed as much as he could from where he sat, and Shigaraki stared up at Kurogiri with a half apologetic, half hysteric look in his eyes. "I'm Izuku Midoriya."

"I know," Kurogiri replied, and Izuku was taken aback by his short reply.

"Oh, right," he nodded awkwardly.

Of course he knew his name already, Shigaraki probably told him everything about him already.

"I'm amazed by your quirk. It's such an efficient use of transportation," Izuku beamed, trying to ease the awkwardness a bit. "I wanna know how it works!"

"He's more sprightly than I expected," Kurogiri said to Shigaraki as if Izuku wasn't there at all, and the boy's smile dropped. "Are you certain you didn't bring the wrong boy?"

"What — you think I have hundreds of kids that I plan on bringing here just for your unwanted approval?" Shigaraki scoffed, and Izuku felt awkward again. "Izuku is a polite kid, I can't really change that. But he's a smart little nerd — aren't you?"

Izuku looked up, now realising he was finally being included in the discussion about himself.

"Yeah," he nodded, not sure what else to say. He noticed Kurogiri's glowing yellow eyes on him, squinting as if he was trying to figure what his deal was.

"I'm not sure if a child like him is suitable for this kind of environment," Kurogiri admitted calmly.

"Well, it's a good thing I don't give a fuck what you think," Shigaraki replied without a single care, and turned to Izuku. "So what do you drink, Izuku? Water? Coke? Vodka?"

"Just water please," Izuku said politely towards Shigaraki.

"It's better if you tell the bartender, maybe then you'd get what you asked for," he turned to Kurogiri, who still looked unsure. "Well? You heard the boy, get him a glass of fucking water."

"Please," Izuku added quietly, and Shigaraki glared at him for a moment.

And as Kurogiri poured both of their drinks into glasses, Izuku stared at Shigaraki with curious eyes.

"Is something bothering you, Tomura?"

"No," he muttered, not even looking back at the younger boy when Kurogiri finally passed him his alcoholic drink.

"You seem annoyed, and more than usual," Izuku frowned, but thanked Kurogiri quietly when he was given a tall glass of water. "Is it because of me?"

"No, but it fucking will be if you keep pestering me about it," Shigaraki hissed back, and Izuku flinched.

"If you were the problem, you wouldn't be sat here right now," Kurogiri told him, and Izuku was surprised to have him finally acknowledge his presence. "This kind of thing happens all the time, it's natural for him."

"I see," Izuku nodded to show he understood.

"Do you have to talk about me whilst I am right here? It's pissing me off," Shigaraki muttered, less angry and more distant, like his mind was drifting away.

They both stayed quiet about it then to avoid bothering him any longer.

"Excuse me, Kurogiri," Izuku looked up awkwardly. "But where am I?"

"I can't say exactly," Kurogiri replied honestly; he was the opposite to Shigaraki, who seemed completely disconnected from the conversation now. "That's just for your own safety, young boy."

"Oh.. I just wanted to know if I was far away from home. I wouldn't know where to go from here in that case."

"I can create another warp gate for you when the time comes, Midoriya," Kurogiri said calmly, not wanting the small boy to panic. "How old are you?"

"15," he answered.

"I don't know much about you. Only Shigaraki does, to be honest," he pointed out, and Izuku was kind of relieved. "Just your name and the fact that you're not a villain. That's all."

"Tomura kept me on the down low then?" Izuku turned to Shigaraki, who wasn't even aware that he was being spoken about, as he scratched his neck slowly.

"Well, of course. He may know you from an outsider's point of view, but he doesn't know how to make you trust him, or if he can trust you."

"I'm aware of that.."

"He brought you here for a reason though. I was surprised to see you, actually — he told me things weren't going well. But if you're here, then clearly he's doing something right—"

"Shut the fuck up," Shigaraki interrupted, and they both turned in surprise.

"Sorry," Izuku whispered sincerely, but Kurogiri gave Shigaraki a hard glare.

"It's hard to believe you've made this young boy willingly follow you here — especially with you acting like this," Kurogiri said sternly. "Are you sure you didn't force him?"

"Funnily enough, no. Izuku came of his own accord."

"That's right," Izuku nodded, yet Kurogiri still seemed uncertain. "Although, Tomura did kinda just let himself into my own home without my permission. And he's been stalking me for days—"

"Weeks," Shigaraki corrected.

"Right. Weeks," Izuku gulped, face turning pale as his stomach twisted, making him feel sick. "But he's helped me out with some problems recently, so I'm not completely repulsed by his presence."

Kurogiri seemed to pause to think about it for a moment, before he turned to Shigaraki.

"Still, you could have some common sense, Shigaraki. No one is going to trust a man who is a compulsive liar and a threatening stalker."

"Wow — thanks for really selling that image of me. I'm sure that's made this situation ten times worse," Shigaraki buried his head in his arms.

"Midoriya doesn't seem stupid. It's probably very likely that he already saw these traits in you. You're not very good at hiding it."

Izuku resisted the urge to chuckle when Shigaraki whined into his sleeves.

"I've been meaning to ask; why are you here, young boy?"

Izuku snapped his head up to look at Kurogiri, who waited patiently for a response.

"Tomura and I were just in my bedroom," he started, missing the frightened look Shigaraki had in his eyes. "He was helping me get rid of my figurines when he suddenly brought up All For One."

"All For One," Kurogiri muttered, surprised by the news. "Shigaraki, don't you understand the consequences of telling Midoriya about Sensei?"

"It's not my problem," Shigaraki shrugged, but Kurogiri believed otherwise. "Nothing bad will come from this. Izuku was actually quite eager to meet him."

"You're really going to introduce him to Sensei?"

"Yes," Shigaraki said like it was nothing, and Kurogiri leaned over the bar, turning his voice to a bare whisper; Izuku was close enough to hear it all though.

"As he is now? The boy's hardly going to impress All For One."

Izuku lowered his head sadly, trying to tune out of the conversation.

"That boy can hear every word you fucking say," Shigaraki hissed back. "And he's got a lot to offer. I know he looks like a little twerp, but even I've yet to see what he can do."

Shigaraki turned to the shorter boy, grabbing his shoulder to bring him back into reality, pinky finger hovering in the air. Izuku glanced over at him, eyes wide with curiosity.

"You'll behave when you meet Sensei, won't you?"

"Well, I'm no villain," Izuku joked, and Shigaraki looked as if he was either holding back a smile or a snarl. Whatever it was, he never showed it. "Of course I will."

"You have to be honest with him. He doesn't appreciate liars or people that waste his time," he warned, releasing his hand from Izuku's tense shoulder, before putting it down at his side. "I trust you won't answer back to him. He's a lot different than I am — I threaten people, and he acts without warning."

"He sounds like quite an interesting guy," Izuku smiled, unsure what else to say.

"Are you really going to meet All For One now?"

"Oh I—"

"Not right now," Shigaraki interrupted Izuku, who stayed quiet. "The real reason he's here is because he wanted to get out of the house. I don't blame him — you gotta see his fucking room, Kurogiri, it's my living nightmare."

"Are your parents home, Midoriya?" Kurogiri asked out of curiosity.

Izuku lowered his head slightly. Shigaraki wondered if it was out of shame or because of the use of the word parents.

"My mom is out. I don't think she would allow someone like Tomura to hang out in my room, even if she was there," he tensed up when he felt Shigaraki's cold eyes on him. "No offence."

"None taken," Shigaraki said, but judging by how he proceeded to slam his glass on the bar counter and glare at Kurogiri as a sign for more, he was probably a little bit annoyed.

"Should you really be drinking more in the presence of a child, Shigaraki?"

"You ask that so confidently — what a stupid fucking question," Shigaraki rolled his eyes, hand reaching out for another glass. "Izuku's not a little boy. He can handle watching me drown my insides out with vodka — can't you?"

Izuku looked at him awkwardly, just shrugging in response. Honestly, he didn't want to disagree with him in this situation now.

"Midoriya," Kurogiri dragged Izuku out of his timid state by looking down at him with relaxing, calm glowing eyes. "If you don't mind me being nosy.. What is your quirk?"

"Oh, uh," Izuku chuckled slightly, scratching the back of his neck as he looked away. "I don't have one."

Kurogiri's eyes narrowed then, and suddenly the room turned silent. Shigaraki was staring at his empty glass, which had still not been refilled, and Izuku was now playing with his thumbs, feeling a little lost.

No response came, Kurogiri just glanced between the short boy and Shigaraki, and he didn't even know where to start with this newfound information.

"Excuse me," Izuku whispered when the silence became too much, and both men looked at him. "Where is the bathroom?"

Kurogiri still seemed to be in disbelief, so Shigaraki believed it was his turn to speak.

"Through the door over there," Shigaraki gestured towards a door on the left side of the bar, not so far away from where he sat.

"I won't be too long," Izuku added, before hurrying away to lock himself in the bathroom.

 

 

"He's quirkless," Kurogiri said out the blue once Izuku was no longer sat with them, and Shigaraki knew this conversation was coming.

"So?" He avoided the obvious, not wanting Kurogiri to continue.

"And you're taking him to meet Sensei?"

"Not just yet," Shigaraki reminded him as he rolled his eyes at the fact he had to repeat what had already been made very clear. "What are you getting at, Kurogiri?"

"You're taking a young, quirkless boy to meet All For One," Kurogiri had a hint of shame in his bright eyes, but Shigaraki couldn't feel any empathy. "So you can give him a quirk, right?"

"Is there a problem with that?"

Kurogiri sighed, looking towards the bathroom door with a partially guilty expression.

"You should know that somebody who is not used to having a quirk is bound to have trouble adjusting to one they received from someone else — especially at Midoriya's age. Maybe 10 years ago, this would work, but his body has become accustomed to the no quirk lifestyle."

"It's not a fixed plan, don't be so hasty to think I'd ruin this kid with some random quirk," he shrugged. "Of course I would, but I could change my mind. He could prove to me that he's better off without one, yet I don't see that ever happening."

"Does he know about this at all?"

"I think it's Sensei's right to enlighten him when the time comes. For now, I've got to make sure he keeps this whole anti-hero thought process he has going on at the moment."

"You're brainwashing this poor child," Kurogiri said in disbelief, more to himself rather than to the other male.

"I'm doing him a favour," Shigaraki shook his head, tapping his fingers on the counter. "If that boy becomes a hero, we'd be fucked."

"But he's quirkless—"

"That doesn't matter. He's got guts and intelligence — he's like some kind of unstoppable force once he gets going, even if he does fail. I've seen it with my own eyes."

"So he could be a hero if he tried?"

"Of course he could. He was born to be a hero, even I can tell that," Shigaraki said like it was not a big deal, but Kurogiri failed to understand his logic.

"Then why are you recruiting him?"

"Because I know how to change his mind," Shigaraki replied simply, lips curling into a smirk. "He's not easily persuaded, so it might take a while, but I'll get to him in the end."

"That's a very dangerous—" Kurogiri stopped mid-sentence when the bathroom door clicked open.

They both turned their attention to other matters besides each other, and Izuku watched awkwardly from where he stood.

Only footsteps could be heard as Izuku walked cautiously back over to his seat, this time right next to Shigaraki, stomach twisting from nerves. He cleared his throat to bring attention to himself.

"I'm sorry — did I interrupt something?"

"Of course not," Shigaraki reached out and pressed a four-fingered hand on Izuku's back for reassurance, but it only made him tense up. "We were just not expecting you to be so fast, were we, Kurogiri?"

Shigaraki looked up at Kurogiri, who nodded to avoid suspicion from Izuku.

"I did keep my word," Izuku chuckled nervously, and Shigaraki released his arm from his shoulders.

It was quiet then until Izuku's phone started ringing from his pocket. He pulled it out, face turning pale at the sight.

"It's my mom," he whispered, but they didn't seem as worried as he did.

"Well answer it," Shigaraki encouraged him. "She might be wondering where you are. You were the one that wanted to follow me here, after all. You chose to deal with the consequences."

Izuku felt sick, but he knew Shigaraki was only telling the truth.

"Okay," he nodded. "Just don't make any sounds."

 

 

"Hi, mom," Izuku said the moment he pressed accept on her call.

"Izuku, baby, where are you?"

"Are you home?" Izuku asked anxiously.

"Only just — but you aren't here. Where did you go? You left the door unlocked."

"Oh, sorry, I forgot to bring my keys," he made up an excuse. "I was really hungry so I went to go get food. Guess I was so hungry that I completely forgot to lock the door on the way out."

"That's fine, honey. Are you on your way home?"

"I haven't got to the store yet," Izuku pretended to breathe a little faster to create the idea that he was still walking.

"Oh — could you get us some milk then? We're about to run out, and since you're already going," she trailed off awkwardly, and he chewed his lip.

"Sure," he said simply, but knew he made a mistake. He didn't have any money, but he just couldn't stop lying.

"Thank you! I won't keep you any longer," she said cheerfully. "Come home safely, Izuku."

"I will. See you later, mom," he ended the call and felt his heart drop at the realisation of what he just did.

"See? That wasn't so hard after all," Shigaraki said smugly, but Izuku didn't agree at all.

"I shouldn't have lied. She just asked me to get milk," he bites his nails nervously. "Milk!"

"Okay, calm down, kid," Shigaraki finished the last of his drink, before standing up. "Whole milk, right?"

"Skim," Izuku muttered, distracted by his own fear, not even noticing the judgmental look on Shigaraki's face.

"Fine. Skim," he made a face of mockery, and gestured something towards Kurogiri, making Izuku look up in confusion.

"Where are you going?"

"Do you like chocolate, Izuku? I bet you do. All kids like chocolate."

"I do," Izuku said distantly. "But not everyone—"

"I hope you're not too picky," a warp gate appeared from behind Shigaraki, the purple cloud casting shadows over his face as he stared down at Izuku. "I'm going to the store."

"Oh, I don't have money—"

"Which is why I'm going," Shigaraki said.

"Can't I come with you?"

"No," he was quick to interrupt, his eyebrows furrowing in frustration. "Never bring hungry children to a grocery store; they just beg for food from every aisle, and when they don't get what they want, they throw a tantrum. It's an ongoing thing, and I'd rather not take any longer than I would need to."

"I'm not like that, Tomura. You're more likely to throw fits in public than I am."

Shigaraki glared down at Izuku, and behind the bar, Kurogiri fought the urge to snicker or agree.

"Midoriya, if I may," Kurogiri cleared his throat to break the awkwardness in the air. "You're safer here with me than if you followed Shigaraki."

Izuku looked at him questionably, then back at Shigaraki, who looked bothered as he scratched his neck, but he didn't attempt to deny it.

"Really?"

"Yes," Shigaraki rolled his eyes. "The more you question it, the longer it will take for me to get what is needed, and the more it will concern your mother."

"You're right, I suppose," Izuku shrugged, although he wished Shigaraki never had his moments of truthfulness. A liar is more easy to reject, after all. His shoulders slumped as he gave up. "Fine. I'll stay here. Just please don't take too long, my mom tends to worry a lot."

"Eh, you can count on me," Shigaraki muttered, before he walked through the warp gate, leaving Izuku with a stranger.

The warp gate closed, and an awkward silence filled the room. Izuku tapped the counter as he turned to face forward, watching as Kurogiri began cleaning the glass that Shigaraki had just used.

"So you're a villain just like Tomura?"

"Yes," Kurogiri answered without stopping what he was doing. "I wouldn't be here otherwise."

"Right — stupid question, I apologise," Izuku chuckled as he scratched the back of his neck. "It's just that, well, you're a little calmer than Tomura. It's kind of a new, refreshing view of the villain culture."

Kurogiri stared at Izuku with glowing eyes, looking at him as if Izuku was crazy.

"How did you meet Shigaraki?"

Izuku was taken aback by the sudden change in subject, but thought it was better to just answer as much as he could in order to stay on Kurogiri's good side, in case he was actually a threat.

"Actually, we didn't exactly meet. As I said, he had been stalking me for weeks. It was only when he saved me from another villain that I first encountered him though. That wasn't that long ago."

"I apologise on his behalf for his lack of manners," Kurogiri sighed. "I know stalking is never a good thing, but he only did it because he was intrigued to find out who you are."

"I see," Izuku rubbed his arm nervously. "I just wonder how he knew about me in the first place. I'm no one special — how on earth did he hear about me?"

Kurogiri watched the counter quietly for a few moments, before he began cleaning Izuku's now empty glass. He had a somewhat distant look in his eyes, but Izuku didn't really know how to figure out his emotions anyway.

"I don't know," Kurogiri said after a while, and Izuku had almost forgot he had even asked something. "Have you always been quirkless, Midoriya?"

"Uh, yeah," Izuku nodded awkwardly as he averted his eyes out of shame. "It's not really something I can help."

"Maybe not," Kurogiri said flatly. "How much do you know about us?"

Izuku made a face of pure confusion. Kurogiri was moving on far too quickly for him to keep up.

"I don't understand what you're asking me,"

"The League of Villains. What do you know about us?"

"Oh," Izuku said. "I didn't know there was a name for it. You're a whole league? How many are there of you?"

"I asked you a question, Midoriya," Kurogiri replied without a word of hesitance, and Izuku felt like a little school boy being told off by his teacher.

"Right," Izuku nodded furiously. "Well, I only know about Tomura, and I guess you now. And All For One, but I don't know as much as you guys probably know about me."

"Are you worried about how much Shigaraki knows about you?"

"Just a little bit," Izuku said quietly, lowering his head to hide the slight fear in his eyes. "I'd rather have him ask anything he needs to know, instead of him getting it from somewhere else. He won't even tell me where's he getting all this information from. Don't I have the right to know?"

"I suppose you do," Kurogiri seemed conflicted. "But Shigaraki is not spreading your information to anyone else, just so you know. If anyone, it would be me, and since I don't know anything.."

Kurogiri then trailed off, feeling that he did not need to finish his sentence because it was basically self explanatory.

Shigaraki didn’t speak much about Izuku to anyone else, and he was okay with that. Of course he’d rather Shigaraki knew nothing himself, but at least there wasn’t wide spread information about him.

 

 

 

When Shigaraki came back, he had a plastic bag in his hand, one finger hovering in the air, and the other hand was stuffed inside his pocket. He beckoned Izuku to follow him through another warp gate, and they bid Kurogiri a quick goodbye, before appearing just outside Izuku’s front door.

"You were fast—"

"Because I was by myself, not getting held up by some kid," Shigaraki took something out of the bag and handed it to Izuku, who stared in shock. He rolled his eyes. "What? You said you liked chocolate."

"I did say that," he took the chocolate bar from Shigaraki's hand and inspected it, half grateful, half skeptical.

"It's straight from the store, Izuku. I'm not here to poison you, if that's what you're worried about," Shigaraki said, and Izuku jumped at how forward he was.

"I wasn't thinking that at all," he muttered, but sounded a little unsure. "It's just — well, I never asked for it. I only needed milk."

Shigaraki stared so hard into Izuku's confused eyes that it felt like he was staring into soul, judging his every word.

"You're fucking dumb. I'm so close to actually wiping you off the face of the earth," he replied, making Izuku put his free hand up in defence. "Your mom thinks you're out to get yourself food. The milk was just something she asked for. If you come home with just a carton of milk and your little guilty looking ass, your mom is gonna think you've been elsewhere."

"Oh, right," Izuku nodded shamefully. "It's hard to keep track of what isn't true."

"Give it some time — soon, what's real and what's a lie will start merging into one," Shigaraki added as he gave Izuku the bag with the carton of milk in it. "This is for you mother."

Izuku seemed hesitant to take it.

"You bought it.. Right?"

"I knew you'd say some shit like that," Shigaraki mumbled frustratedly as he reached out to his back pocket. "Here's the receipt. I may be a villain, but there are some things I just don't need to do."

"I guess I misjudged you," Izuku said guiltily as he read the receipt and took the bag. "Thanks for this, Tomura. You're a life saver—"

That would be a compliment to anyone else, but judging by Shigaraki's angered expression, he should have never even thought to say such a thing to him.

"I— I mean, you're a life destroyer," Izuku said in a panicked tone, but Shigaraki didn't seem as delighted as Izuku thought he would've been. "I didn't mean that— I— you're just—"

"I'm nothing to you, Izuku," Shigaraki interrupted in a stern voice, eyes burning into his, as if to warn him not to say another word. "All I did was do you a favour. It only means you owe me one in the future."

Izuku would've been alarmed by the idea of Shigaraki even being in his future at all, but something else was bothering him,

"Sorry, I don't follow," he shook his head. "Why do I owe you a favour? I did not ask you to go to the store for me — you were prepared to do that the moment I finished that call with my mom!"

"Hey — you should be grateful."

"That's not how favours work, Tomura!"

"It is, in my book," Shigaraki looked at his phone for the time. "I don't have time to argue about this, kid, and neither do you. Shouldn't you be home to your mother now? Won't she be worried?"

Izuku didn't reply, because he knew the answer was yes, and that would only be him agreeing with Shigaraki. That's why Shigaraki said it in the first place; to make himself right.

"Ah, right, before I go — you have school tomorrow, don't you?"

Izuku forgot: it's Monday tomorrow, another day in hell with Katsuki.

"Yeah.. Why?"

"I'll pick you up after your classes end — assuming you're one of those kids who don't like ditching class."

"Why are you going to do that — where are we going?"

"We're not going anywhere in particular. I just think it's probably best if we don't stray too far away from each other. We still have much to talk about."

That reminded Izuku of how he didn't really get the chance to ask Shigaraki anything important. Probably because Kurogiri was there, and he lost track of why he had followed Shigaraki there in the first place.

"Okay, fine. I guess we can do that. I'll have to tell my mother I'm studying or something."

"Great," Shigaraki smiled smugly. "I must go now. Let me know how the milk was tomorrow, will you?"

Izuku was confused, but agreed nonetheless.

Shigaraki was certainly a strange man.