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Fortune Favors the Bold

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When Midoriya Izuku woke up that morning, he had already known it was going to be a bad day. He could tell because when he glanced into his bathroom mirror, it promptly shattered into a cracked and distorted image of himself for no reason.

 

Almost absentmindedly, Izuku checked over himself while brushing his teeth. Not only was his quirk producing an unusually high amount of energy today –though it would be unfelt by anyone that wasn’t him– breaking the mirror caused it to increase even more. He would have to be careful while he let it trickle out of him, or he might seriously hurt himself. A quick check on his phone proved his suspicions as to why his quirk had been so active– the horoscope said that Cancers should watch out for bad luck.

 

Sometimes Izuku really hates that astrology wasn’t complete bullshit when it came to him. No one else gets their day ruined just because the horoscope said it would happen…

 

But there was still a smile on his face, as he looked into the broken mirror. Seeing it reminded him to keep his spirits up.

 

“Mom! I’m leaving for school now! And, uh– the mirror broke again. Sorry… ”

 

“It’s okay sweetie, that’s why we bought so many extras. Have a nice day!” His mother stopped in the middle of her morning prep to give him a quick kiss and soft smile. “I love you dear.”

 

Izuku smiled back at her brightly. “Love you too, Mom.”

 

Despite the earlier omen, it was just another day for Midoriya Izuku on his way to school.

 

The sun was shining. The birds were singing. The grass at the edge of the sidewalk was just so green, it almost made him want to stop and smell the flowers. The smile on his face was just as bright as his surroundings.

 

But then he just barely dodged out of the way of falling bird poop, gifted graciously to him by the aforementioned singing birds. And in his attempt he stepped on a wayward rock, which caused him to trip and hit his head on the concrete.

 

Sitting up from his fall with a groan, Izuku felt the back of his head. It didn’t seem to be bleeding, and he succeeded in missing the bird poop. So overall, he’d call this one a win. The smile returned to his face.

 

It was just another day for Izuku, but sometimes navigating through his life could get difficult. That’s just how it is when luck isn’t on your side.

 

Izuku had learned many lessons when his quirk first appeared. The first was that all men were not created equal. The second was that some people were born into this world lucky and others were born into it unlucky. Or as the more common saying went; some were born lucky, and some were just lucky to be born.

 

The third thing that Izuku had learnt was that he was born unlucky.

 

And that wasn’t him being dramatic, he was quite literally born unlucky. That’s what his quirk turned out to be. His quirk, Jinx, produced a constant amount of “bad luck” which he could either inflict on himself, specific targets, or just let permeate the area around him like he was a cursed charm.

 

He preferred to keep his quirk inflicted on himself, rather than accidently cause trouble for or hurt other people.

 

This led to him facing a constant stream of various but small misfortunes in his everyday life. Tripping, stepping in animal droppings, oversleeping, missing the train, broken mirrors, glasses, plates, electronics– the list was endless, so it was better if he just didn’t keep track of it all. Sometimes, he felt like his quirk might be affecting him even when he turned it off.

 

His mother swore up and down that he wasn’t the reason why Dad never came back, but he’s pretty sure that was a lie. No one wants a child that’s essentially cursed.

 

No one except Mom, that is. And it was only her existence that reminded Izuku that there was still fortune in his life, even with having a quirk like Jinx.

 

It’s not even the misfortune caused by his quirk that gets to him, it’s just everyone else’s reaction to his quirk that does. If everyone accepted it like his mom did, then he would be happy even with all the bad luck he had to deal with.

 

But even through all of this, he kept a smile on his face. Most of the time it didn’t feel like a real smile, but sometimes it was, like when he was with Mom. He didn’t let the misfortune, both from his quirk and his lack of positive social interaction as a consequence of it, cause his smile to fall.

 

–Because If he did, then he would simply never smile at all–

 

The thing he loved most about All Might was the way the hero could smile in even the most dire of situations. Izuku wanted to be a hero like that too. Though, everyone around him thought that it was impossible for him to be a hero.

 

“Sensei… When I took this test, I was next to Midoriya, you know we always do worse when we’re by him– Can I get some extra credit points to boost my score?”

 

From his seat in class, Izuku pretended to not hear the conversation. His teacher just sighed in annoyance, “And you know that Midoriya always turns his quirk off during tests so that his own scores don’t get affected. If you guess an answer wrong, it’s not because of his quirk.”

 

“But you don’t really know for sure if he’s keeping it off! What if it was on and that’s why I did bad?”

 

In the end, his classmate was given a small amount of extra credit in an attempt to compromise, just as most of the people who were by Izuku during tests got. The teachers didn’t believe it was worth the effort to put up with their needling in the name of Izuku’s honor when they could just put a stop to it by giving up a couple of points. It usually didn’t change their grades by much, but they still went through the motions just to get their boost. The only person that didn’t was his childhood friend that was no longer a friend, Kacchan, who seemed to think being placed next to Izuku was just an extra challenge for him to overcome. Maybe that was why Kacchan was always placed by him in seating arrangements...

 

With that out of the way, his teacher could finally begin homeroom. “You guys are third years now– it’s time to start thinking seriously about your futures! I would hand out these future career forms, but…” His teacher tossed the papers aside with a smiling shrug. A stray paper rode an air current across the room to slap Izuku in the face, blinding him with white for a moment.

 

“I assume you all want to be heroes!” The classroom broke out into cheers as people started to haphazardly show off their quirks. Izuku, of course, kept his reigned in to its normal amount of “slightly bad luck”.

 

“Yes, you all have wonderful quirks, but you know it’s against the rules to use them in school!”

 

“Sensei, don’t lump me in with these extras!” Izuku leaned away slightly when Kacchan, started yelling, “As if I have anything like their crappy quirks!”

 

“Ah, Bakugou– you’re applying for UA, of course,” the teacher commented in an impressed tone.

 

The muttering around Izuku continued, “Did you hear how high the cutoff is this year?! They barely except anyone…”

 

When Kacchan slammed his foot onto the desk, Izuku jolted in place. “Shut up all of you! I aced the mock exam, and I’m the only one that has what it takes to get into UA! I’m going to surpass All Might and become the top hero! Not to mention becoming rich at the same time!”

 

Well, it was only natural that Kacchan felt that he could accomplish all those things. After all, he was born lucky. What else can you say about a person that’s born with a flashy quirk perfect for being a hero, born to good, loving, and fairly well-off parents?

 

“Come to think of it, Midoriya’s also trying for UA.”

 

Kacchan froze as Izuku felt his stomach drop into the floor. The joyful atmosphere became tense, as his classmates stole looks at him only to quickly look away. There were no jeers or laughs, but he could hear them whisper amongst themselves.

 

Unlucky Izuku, trying to be a hero?

 

“Even more than that, trying to get into UA? You need luck to get into a school like that…”

 

“Who ever heard of a hero that’s bad luck? That’s a villain’s quirk…”

 

Ah– there it is. It always comes around to that eventual. Being a bringer of misfortune is a bad quirk, so it could only be a “villain’s quirk”. That’s how they all think.

 

Kacchan didn’t say anything, but Izuku knew it wouldn’t last for long. As soon as the day was over and the small protection the teacher provided was gone, he made his move. Izuku leaned back when Kacchan slammed his hand onto his desk. Only to go back too far and tip his chair over in a clatter of noise and pain.

 

Kacchan just scowled down at the pitiful sight of Izuku on the ground. “What the hell do you think you’re playing at, Deku! You’re cursed! You can’t possibly be a hero or make it into UA! Forget crappy quirks– Your quirk is a hindrance, even less than useless!”

 

Don’t let it get to you, don’t let it get to you. He just feels that way because he knows firsthand how people around you get hurt. Don’t let your smile fall–

 

As Izuku picked himself up, he gave Kacchan an awkward smile. “I know it’s unlikely, but there’s no harm in trying…”

 

No harm in trying, get a load of this guy! He says that like he doesn’t tip over in his chair once a day!” one of Kacchan’s friends chuckled to the others. They never tried to antagonize Izuku when it was just themselves, probably wary of being cursed by his quirk, but Kacchan always made them more arrogant.

 

Kacchan swipe Izuku’s notebook off his desk. “What do we have here? “For my future”? Be real, Deku! What are you gonna do– win fights by making the villains trip over themselves?!”

 

The notebook was fried to bits in the middle of Kacchan’s small palm explosions. Then, it was thrown out the window only to land in the water fountain. Izuku’s smile dropped a fair amount, but he managed to keep the ends of his mouth tensed up into an almost smile. The sight of it just made Kacchan scowl harder.

 

“That smile of yours is so fake, it makes me want to blast it off your face! Who the fuck do you think you’re fooling?! A creepy, miserable person like you can’t be like All Might, so just give it up! I’m a perfectionist– I want my hero origin story to be perfect!” Kacchan pointed to himself with his thumb. “I’m going to be the first and only hero from this crappy public middle school, so don’t even dare try getting into UA!”

 

Scoffing a bit, Kacchan’s sneer turning into a mean smirk. “Though, I shouldn’t say that you can’t show up in my story at all– If you end up being a villain I take down in the future, there’d be nothing wrong with that.”

 

Kacchan knew as well as Izuku that he would never turn to villainy, but he said that anyway because he knew it would hurt. Izuku felt himself flinch at the comment.

 

After seeing that Izuku didn’t plan on fighting back, Kacchan tsked and turned around to walk out the door of the classroom. Only to stop, and give Izuku one last smirking glance over his shoulder.

 

“Oh, but if you want to be a hero so badly, there’s a quick way to do it. Believe that you’ll be born with a good quirk in your next life and take a swan dive off the roof!”

 

Izuku flinched hard, but any words he could make died in his attempt to stuff his pain back into the box he kept inside himself. The smile fell off his face, causing him to bite at his lip.

 

–Don’t let it get to you, don’t let it get to you, don’t let it get to you, don’t

 

Kacchan and the others that hung out with him were gone for a fair while before Izuku started getting up to leave. Before he left the classroom to pick up his notebook and leave, he gave a long look at the classroom window next to him.

 

After a stretch of silence that wasn’t even filled by his usual muttering thoughts, he turned his back to it and left.

 

He thought that was the peak of it, that that was the worst his luck that day had to offer him. But it wasn’t.

 

His next string of misfortune was a double hit– just as he was about to go through a tunnel on his way home, he got a phone call from the Musutafu General Hospital, saying that his mother had been admitted due to an accident. As one of the people listed on her emergency contacts list, they called him as soon as she arrived.

 

However, as he started a panicked run through the tunnel to try and get to the hospital as fast as possible, a villain of all things appeared from the sewers. The villain, who had a slimy body that he was using to suffocate Izuku with, said something about how he wanted to use Izuku’s body to walk away free.

 

Izuku was about to be murdered, but he didn’t even think about that. All he could think about was the fact that Mom was hurt, and this villain was the only thing keeping him from getting to her.

 

He had never purposefully inflicted Jinx on anyone before, but it was easy enough for him to focus its energy on the villain. He couldn’t chance just its normal amount of emitted energy to be enough though. With a bit of a struggle, Izuku abandoned fruitlessly trying to clutch at the hold around his neck in order to free his right hand.

 

He snapped his fingers, and the sound echoed throughout the tunnel. It catalyzed the release of Jinx’s partially built up bad luck, inflicting the villain with a heavy curse instantaneously.

 

At that very same moment, one of the dim lights in the tunnel broke off from the ceiling with its wires still attached to land directly on the villain’s fluid mass. Its electric current wasn’t too potent, but was enough to make the both the slime villain and Izuku, who was still stuck in contact with him, shriek in pain.

 

The villain let go of Izuku to dissolve into an unconscious puddle, and Izuku blacked out.

 

When he woke up next he thought he must be dreaming, because there was no way that he’d ever be lucky enough to have All Might personally save him.

 

His hero went through the motions of making sure Izuku was alright and trying to ask about what had happened to the villain, when Izuku suddenly jolted with the memory of what he was doing before.

 

“Oh gosh, this– it’s really great to meet you, All Might-san, but I’ve gotta go!” Izuku quickly gathered his things and stood up as he was stuttering. He’d have time to freak out over how All Might had signed his notebook later. “M-My mom is in the hospital, and I have to go there right away– ”

 

“Oh dear, I’m sorry to hear that young man…” After a second where All Might glanced to the side to mull over his thoughts, he looked back to Izuku to give him a grin and thumbs up. “Since the villain was already taken care of by the time I got here, I’ve got a little extra time. If your mother is at the hospital in this area, then I can drop you off in no time before I drop off this guy to be arrested by the police!” All Might shook the bottle holding the still unconscious slime villain in demonstration.

 

Izuku’s mood instantly brightened up, a real smile lit up his face. “R-Really?! That’d mean so much to me, thank you so much!”

 

All Might simply laughed it off, before taking hold of Izuku. “It’s a hero’s duty to help people in need, no matter how big or small that need is! Now, I’m on the clock so there’s no time to waste!”

 

With that said, they bounded through the air. In only a minute or two, Izuku was placed down in front of the automatic doors of Musutafu General Hospital. And with one last bow, Izuku parted from his hero to check in with the receptionist.

 

Considering his turn of luck in meeting All Might, Izuku had been hopeful about his mother’s condition.

 

He shouldn’t have been

 

He was still born unlucky– One fortunate thing happening didn’t make that go away…

 

After a long couple of hours waiting, the doctor treating his mom brought him to a private room. She looked down at him with guilt heavy in her eyes. Izuku’s dread increased ten-fold.

 

“What happened to your mother was a random incident –a drunk driver swerved into the road on a red light when she was in the middle of crossing. Midoriya Inko was still alive when she was brought in, but her condition was bad. We did everything we could, but… the extent of our techniques and quirks can only go so far; whether a patient makes it through or not sometimes depends on luck. And in this case, luck wasn’t with us today…”

 

The doctor placed a gentle hand on Izuku’s shoulder, and she quietly said, “I’m very sorry for your loss.”

 

Izuku wasn’t smiling at the time, but he still felt his smile shatter into a thousand pieces. Just like the mirror from that morning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Shinsou Hitoshi woke up one morning, it had started out as a normal day for him. The foster family that he lived with –which consisted of three other foster kids and the foster parents, the Harukas, who decided to open their home for fostering due to lacking their own children– made friendly but wary small talk with Hitoshi during breakfast. Then he and the rest of the kids walked to school, with the two kids around his age and headed to the same middle school as he was. They walked ahead of him in their own separate group of friends while he walked alone.

 

This pattern of partial social inclusion where people would superficially interact with him without being interested in risking further contact continued throughout the day.

 

It was hard for people to want to talk to him. They had the mental barrier of being constantly aware that any amount of conversation could potentially lead to him brainwashing them, despite the fact that he’d never use his quirk for bad reasons like that. He’s already accepted that that was just how people reacted to his quirk, though.

 

But then things changed up a bit when Hitoshi returned to the household, and the Harukas brought all the kids together for a discussion.

 

“We’re going to be accepting another foster child soon, as we’re the closest family available to where he’s going to school. However, there are some… details about him you should be aware of,” Haruka Nori explained hesitantly, before glancing at her husband to cue him in.

 

Natsume, who was in the same grade but not the same class as him, eyed the two suspiciously. “That’s almost exactly what you said when Shinsou joined. Is this another kid with a villain quirk?”

 

Hitoshi perked up at that, even as the other two children –a boy who was a year younger than him, Fuyuki, and an elementary school girl, Aki– became visibly nervous.

 

“Ah– Natsume-chan, you shouldn’t say stuff like that– ” –in front of Shinsou, Hitoshi mentally finished for Haruka Naru when the man took a quick glance at him. He cleared his throat and continued where his wife left off, “Midoriya Izuku was only just recently put up for fostering, he’s been going through a lot lately so you shouldn’t be rude to him. It’s just that he may bring some additional difficulties due to his quirk. It’s called Jinx, and it makes bad luck.”

 

“There’s actually a quirk that makes bad luck?! Man, that’s… unlucky?” Fuyuki looked apprehensive at his own accidental pun.

 

Haruka Nori picked up the conversation again, “It’s unfortunate for Midoriya-kun, certainly. But what’s important here is that all of you are aware that accidents may be more prone around him. And if what happened to his mother is any indication, these accidents may become quite dangerous if we don’t approach this cautiously.”

 

Hitoshi thought about the warning carefully, until he understood what they were implying. Midoriya used to have a mother, but very obviously did not now, or he wouldn’t have been put up for fostering.

 

Outrage broiled in his gut.

 

Eyes sharpening into a glare, he shouted, “You can’t seriously be blaming this kid and his quirk for– for whatever happened to his mom!” He couldn’t even speak aloud about the chance that a kid would be the cause of their own parent’s death just because they had a “villain quirk”, let alone consider it as a legitimate possibility like these two were.

 

“We’re not saying it was his quirk, there’s no proof of that!” Haruka Naru held his hand out as though in surrender, trying to appease Hitoshi. “But the fact of the matter is that his quirk causes accidents, and what happened to his mother was a major accident –a car accident is an awful lot of bad luck. If it was his quirk, it certainly wasn’t intentional on his part. But regardless if it’s just a coincidence or not, we want you kids to be safe around him.”

 

“Why would you accept someone with a quirk like that in the first place then?!” Natsume complained while crossing her arms.

 

“Because someone has to take him. In the end, he’s just another child in need like the rest of you.” Haruka Nori tried to give them a kind smile. “We’ll work around his quirk just like Shinsou’s, things will be fine.”

 

Hitoshi couldn’t handle it anymore, he abruptly stood up from his seat in one of the dining room chairs to slink back to his room. Little Aki shied away from him in her own seat at the sight of his simmering anger. He muttered to himself while leaving, “There’s no way things will be fine if you’re talking shit like this behind his back…

 

About a week later, Midoriya Izuku was brought to the family.

 

He had fluffy green curls that matched eyes, and wore a bright smile on his lightly freckled face as he cheerfully introduced himself. Even though they must’ve met Midoriya a couple of days ago at the very least, the Harukas still seemed relieved at the positive demeanor Midoriya carried himself with. Especially when compared to Hitoshi’s personality. The rest of the kids seemed to look over him with new considerations in their minds, wondering how a boy like this could have a “bad” quirk.

 

Hitoshi himself hadn’t wanted to get his hopes up that Midoriya might actually want to hang out with him unlike everyone else in the family, but they still formed in his mind anyway. At first the positive attitude had disappointed him, since he assumed it was a sign he was more of a “normal” person than a “villain quirk” person. But when Midoriya jumped into an enthusiastic conversation on Hitoshi’s quirk as soon as it was mentioned to him, those hopes returned. Midoriya didn’t even seem to hesitate when it came to both mentioning Hitoshi’s quirk and talking to Hitoshi, like everyone else usually does.

 

He didn’t even mind that he had to share his room with someone now due to the limited number of bedrooms, since it was with someone like Midoriya. Midoriya decorated his side of the room with a few different pieces of All Might merchandise and numerous books and notebooks, but other than that it was fairly plain. Hitoshi’s side had more character surprisingly, being covered in random cat items combined with Eraserhead merchandise. Overall, it seemed like Midoriya was just another average boy.

 

Then the household got to see Midoriya’s quirk in action, and the mood towards him soured.

 

It started with the lights in their room going out. Midoriya just glanced at it, then pulled a handheld flashlight out of nowhere with practiced ease

 

“T-That was probably me, sorry. I know how to fix the wiring, so you can just stay here, Shinsou-kun…”

 

“It’s no problem,” he replied casually. It was nothing more than an inconvenience, really.

 

Then there was the first dinner that featured the crash of a plate breaking on the ground. Midoriya winced while pulling out a dustpan and brush to sweep it up. After failing to recognize the set, Hitoshi realized that it was Midoriya’s pan and brush instead of the Harukas’.

 

“Ah! I-I’m so sorry! I try to use plastic plates instead occasionally, because of that…”

 

Haruka Nori frowned at the broken shards, giving Midoriya an apprehensive glance. Hitoshi could tell she was displeased, but she didn’t mention it. “It’s fine, just– be more careful next time, Midoriya-kun.”

 

Then Natsume did poorly on her homework, and honestly there was no way that was Midoriya’s fault, but she yelled at him for it anyway.

 

“I-I’m sorry, but I really make sure to avoid you guys when you’re doing school stuff, so that wasn’t me– ”

 

“Bullshit! I’ve never done this bad on an assignment in my life! !t has to be you!”

 

“It– It really wasn’t…”

 

Hitoshi put himself between the two of them before the girl could go on any further. “Lay off him, Natsume! It’s not his fault you suck at algebra!”

 

“Don’t talk to me like that, creep– ” Natsume cut herself off and stared aimlessly in Hitoshi’s direction when Brainwash kicked in.

 

He forcefully pointed towards the hallway that connected the living room to the bedrooms. “Go back to your and Aki’s room.”

 

Natsume did an about-face and followed his instructions.

 

“Woah…” Hitoshi turned his head back to see Midoriya looking up at him with shining eyes and a grin. “Your quirk is so great, Shinsou-kun! It’d be super useful for a hero to have– you would be able to resolve conflicts without any physical confrontation! In a time where collateral damage is such a major cause of concern for the industry, that’s a huge advantage– ”

 

“What did you say…” Hitoshi could hardly hear the rest of Midoriya’s rambling, he was too focused on how he must’ve heard that wrong

 

“Uh… You mean what I said about the hero industry? Resolving conflicts? How your quirk is great and suited to hero work– ”

 

That– ” Hitoshi cut Midoriya off without even knowing what he wanted to say. All he could do was avert his eyes from Midoriya’s. “No one else thinks that way about it…”

 

“Oh… I understand that.”

 

A hand reached forward to gently hold Hitoshi’s. “But really, your quirk does have great potential for good, Shinsou-kun. It’s not a hindrance like mine is…”

 

When Hitoshi turned his eyes back to Midoriya, he was still smiling, but it wasn’t like it was just a moment ago. It was a smile that didn’t match the dulled, empty look in his once bright green eyes.

 

It was the smile he wore when Natsume yelled at him, or when he dropped his plate, or when the lights went out. It was the same smile he wore on his face every day, even that first day when he first joined the house. The only time he had seen the smile that Midoriya had been wearing previously was when they had that first conversation about Hitoshi’s quirk.

 

Oh… It’s not that he’s actually happy, it’s that he’s lying. Hitoshi was only able to notice after seeing what Midoriya looked like when his smile was honest.

 

Things continued like that with minor bad luck for a few weeks. Then one morning, Midoriya looked into their bathroom mirror.

 

The mirror completely shattered for no reason.

 

Midoriya’s smile changed as he looked into his distorted image. It looked so strained, that a person with a knife stuck in their gut might have given a better effort.

 

Haruka Naru came running at the sound of the mirror breaking. “What was– Midoriya!” After seeing no obvious injuries and assessing what happened, the man glared at the still frozen Midoriya. “Do you know how much those mirrors cost?! Even if you can’t help the other stuff, at least try not to do this much damage to our house– ”

 

Haruka halted his rant when Hitoshi roughly lugged the man out of the bathroom by his arm. When he looked at Hitoshi in surprise, Hitoshi quietly hissed at him, “Does it look like he’s in the right state of mind to be getting screamed at right now?

 

The man glanced back to Midoriya, who was still just staring into the mirror without any sign of noticing that someone had been shouting at him, and winced. “I… I suppose not.”

 

“I’ll take care of him, so just leave.”

 

“ …Okay, Shinsou-kun. You’re the one that knows him best.”

 

Hitoshi hadn’t thought about it like that, he just wanted to get the man out of the way before he could upset Midoriya any further. He hadn’t the faintest idea on what to actually do to help him now.

 

When Haruka left, Hitoshi hung in the doorway of the bathroom and called out to Midoriya. When the other didn’t acknowledge him, Hitoshi crept into the room to stand beside him and carefully tapped his arm. Midoriya jolted in place and whipped his head to the side to stare at Hitoshi. He dropped his smile and started nervously stuttering, “I– I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to break it, I know it’s expensive– ”

 

“It’s fine, Midoriya. I’m more worried about how you were acting weirdly just now.”

 

“That’s– It’s just that…” Midoriya trailed off as he glanced back at the broken mirror. “Breaking mirrors causing bad luck… when it comes to my quirk, it’s more than just a superstition. It’s a bad omen. The last time it happened was when– it was the day that Mom…”

 

Hitoshi caught on. Sympathy welled inside him as he involuntarily winced.

 

He gently wrapped his hand around Midoriya’s wrist before Midoriya forced himself to say more. “It’s okay. You don’t need to explain the rest.”

 

Midoriya stared at him with a still strained expression, before leaving to head back to their room. Hitoshi followed and got there just in time to see Midoriya rummage through a large black box that had been hidden under his bed, and pull out an artificial-looking, fuzzy, light purple ornament of some sort that was attached to the chain of a necklace.

 

He presented it to Hitoshi with a fake smile. “Can you wear this for the day, Shinsou-kun?”

 

Hitoshi accepted the strange necklace, turning it over in his hand as he figured out what it was. “ …Is this a lucky rabbit’s foot?”

 

“Yes! They actually do work. Or at least, they help mitigate the misfortune from my quirk a bit.”

 

“The last time it happened was when– it was the day that Mom…”

 

His chest constricted at what hadn’t been said. He grabbed onto Midoriya’s upper arms as though to shake sense into him. “Midoriya, you didn’t– I don’t need this! Nothing’s gonna happen to me! Your quirk won’t– ”

 

You don’t know what’s going to happen so don’t say that!” Midoriya immediately shut him down with a scream.

 

It was the first time Hitoshi had ever heard him raise his voice or express anger. He looked like he was about to cry.

 

But soon, Midoriya visibly collected himself once again, and Hitoshi couldn’t look away from his dull, dull eyes and fake smile. “There’s no way to know, that’s just how it is with things like luck and chance. So… just in case, can you wear that for me, please?”

 

Scowling, Hitoshi relented after a long moment of silence, pulling the chain up and around his neck to tuck the rabbit foot charm under his school shirt. “Fine. But only for your peace of mind, not because I need it.”

 

Midoriya’s wilted expression livened up a bit at that. “Thanks, Shinsou-kun! I just don’t want to take the risk.”

 

But then, as Midoriya turned away from Hitoshi to walk out of their room and head towards his middle school, Hitoshi heard him mutter under his breath, “Still, it’s fitting that that happened today of all days, since I already decided that it was going to be a bad day for me…

 

Those words rang through Hitoshi’s mind the entire day.

 

–What the hell does that mean? Why is he planning on something bad happening?

 

They gave him such an awful feeling, it put him on edge thinking that tragedy was just around the corner.

 

As soon as the last bell rang, Hitoshi rushed out his classroom and out of the school. But instead of heading towards the Haruka house, he pulled out his phone to look up directions for Midoriya’s school and headed straight there. He was so on edge that he felt like he just had to see Midoriya for himself as soon as possible. Waiting at the house wouldn’t cut it.

 

By the time he got to Orudera Middle School, it seemed like everyone had left already. There were no straggling kids or teachers leaving from the front doors that Hitoshi could see as he went passed the front gate.

 

Then as he got closer, he was able to see a figure on the roof top. It leaned over the edge with one leg already passed the safety barrier.

 

It was impossible to see any features, but Hitoshi could see the color green on them.

 

As soon as he realized what he was witnessing, Hitoshi felt shock cut like a knife through his gut. That was Midoriya, Midoriya was going to jump, he’d never make it up there in time

 

With a gasping breath, Hitoshi cupped his hands around his mouth, turned his quirk on, and screamed at the top of his lungs.

 

MIDORIYA!

 

He’s not going to answer. They always hesitate, they’re always aware of what his quirk can do, he won’t–

 

Hitoshi was too far away to hear any response, but his quirk clicked into place with the feeling of a successful brainwashing.

 

The relief that Hitoshi felt was so immense his legs almost gave out. Now that the do-or-die moment had passed, he could feel himself trembling and heaving from shock.

 

But it wasn’t over yet, Midoriya was waiting for him.

 

Making sure to keep his quirk in place, Hitoshi sprinted into the building and up flights of stairs that he didn’t bother to count. By the time he reached the roof, he was heaving from exhaustion more than he was shock, but that didn’t matter. The sight of Midoriya still in the same position halfway over the roof barrier pushed him to continue his sprint onto the rooftop.

 

“Get away from the ledge right now! Stand in the middle of the roof!”

 

Midoriya moved to comply. Lifting his leg back over and walking with steady steps to the center of the roof where Hitoshi met him. It was only after Hitoshi grabbed onto both of Midoriya’s wrists –he didn’t know if the boy would try to make a run for it over the edge with Hitoshi right there, but he sure as fuck wasn’t risking it– that he released Brainwashing’s hold over him.

 

Midoriya flinched back in surprise once he was in control of himself. After a few seconds spent staring with his mouth agape at Hitoshi, glancing back at where he had been about to hop off the roof then glancing back at Hitoshi, Midoriya’s face screwed up into a somber grimace and he kept his eyes averted.

 

“How did you know…?”

 

“I didn’t. What you said just gave me a bad feeling.” Hitoshi glanced down at where the necklace Midoriya had given him was still hidden under his shirt. "I guess that thing really is lucky; I got here just in time.”

 

“Or I’m still just unlucky,” Midoriya deadpanned, grimace twisting up into a sardonic, unhappy smile.

 

Hitoshi’s frown deepened. “Midoriya… I don’t even know what to ask. Just– Why?

 

Midoriya still wouldn’t look at Hitoshi, dead green eyes and empty grin focused squarely on the bleak ground beneath them, even as he eventually answered, “ …The day that my mom died, one of my classmates, Katsuki, said that if I wanted a good quirk, I should “take a swan dive off the roof and hope for a better one in the next life”.”

 

Outrage couldn’t even describe the mix of fury and disgust that erupted in Hitoshi upon hearing that, but Midoriya didn’t give him a moment to think through it before continuing, “I had no intention of killing myself when he actually said it, but after I got to the hospital and they told me what happened to her… That it was an accident, and that she needed luck she didn’t have to survive– ” Midoriya broke down even further, unable to keep even a smile of sarcasm as his face visibly fell into despair. Tears began pricking at the corner of his eyes. “I knew it was my fault, my quirk’s fault!”

 

“It wasn’t your fault!” Hitoshi immediate replied, “You weren’t with her, right?! Does your quirk even let you affect things when you’re not there?!”

 

“It doesn’t, but she’s lived with me her my whole life– I must’ve surely cursed her!”

 

“That doesn’t make any sense! You’re just assuming the worst because that’s what people have told you!”

 

Midoriya finally glanced up from the ground, only to give Hitoshi a watery glare. “You think it was just a coincidence that a horrible accident happened to the mother of a child who literally brings misfortune everywhere he goes?! That she just happened to be at that specific intersection, where that specific drunk driver was going through?!”

 

“That’s how it’s like for every other person whose parent died like that. I heard Aki’s parents died in a car accident also, do you think that’s not a coincidence? That someone cursed them?”

 

The sudden revelation threw off Midoriya. After processing what he was told, Midoriya’s anger died down to be replaced with sympathy. “N-No, of course not. But, in this case my quirk– ”

 

Is completely irrelevant! You weren’t there, so your quirk couldn’t have affected anything. End of story! Shit like that just happens!”

 

“But that’s the thing– my entire life is just shit like that happening! Because of my quirk!

 

Midoriya’s voice broke, and the dam holding back his tears broke with it. The wrist Hitoshi was still holding trembled violently.

 

Midoriya’s next sentences came out more like sobs, “It’s just one bad thing after the next! It gets in my and everyone else’s way! No one wants to sit next to me during tests, no one wants me on their team during contests or competitions– everyone knows I’ll just sabotage them if they interact with me! Even Katsuki didn’t want anything to do with me after he got hurt in an accident caused by my quirk! And the only person that wanted to be with me –the only person that loved me– died in an accident that was probably caused by my quirk! I don’t think I’ll be reborn and get a different quirk if I jump, I just can’t handle it anymore! It’s too hard!

 

Watching the sobbing and grieving boy in front of him break into pieces, just like the mirror from that morning, Hitoshi’s heart echoed Midoriya’s pain.

 

He wasn’t a touchy-feely person, but pulling Midoriya closer into a firm hug came naturally. Face pressed into Hitoshi’s shoulder, Midoriya shook in his arms

 

Hitoshi couldn’t stand seeing him like this, he needed to do something to help. But how do you give back someone’s will to live? That kind of thing just can’t be given

 

“I’m sorry for everything, Midoriya…” Hitoshi tried to find something, anything, that Midoriya could latch onto. “Isn’t there anything you want to do with your life though? Any dream you have? And don’t discount stuff people say you can’t do.”

 

A cracking hiccup answered him, “ …I– I wanted to be a hero, if I just use Jinx on villains instead of myself then it’d be fine. But I– I can’t even save myself! I can’t be a hero and save other people! And even more than that– It’s just not enough anymore…” Midoriya’s fingers grasped hard at Hitoshi’s back. “Being a hero was everything I ever wanted, but that’s not enough. A fleeting hope isn’t worth this; it can’t fill the loneliness or the hole where Mom used to be. I can’t use that as a reason to want to stay…”

 

He can’t find his own reason, fine. Hitoshi will have to give him one for now, so that he can be sure Midoriya won’t try to off himself as soon as he looks away. Midoriya finding his own reason can come after that.

 

But what is there for Hitoshi to give him? He doesn’t have anything to give in the first place.

 

…Other than himself

 

It’s probably not a healthy solution, but it’s the only thing Hitoshi had to offer at the moment.

 

“ …I always wanted to be a hero too. That’s why I’m applying to UA, even though a person with a quirk like mine becoming a hero is such a long shot. It’s gonna be a hard road for me– outnumbered by hero-in-training kids with flashy, good quirks, having to prove myself twice as much as them… You said before that you think my quirk would be a good quirk for a hero, do you think that I could be a good hero? Do you want me to be a hero?”

 

Those questions, seemingly unrelated to Midoriya’s mental state, helped to calm him down. Midoriya only had a slight sniffle when he answered, “Of course! I think you would be a great hero, so I would want you to be a hero if that’s also what you wanted.”

 

Hitoshi pulled away slightly, so that Midoriya was forced to look up at his hard stare. “Then if you really don’t have anything else to do with your life other than give up on it, if you don’t have a good enough reason to stay– why don’t you just dedicate it to me instead?

 

Midoriya furrowed his brows in confusion. “H-Huh? What do you mean?”

 

“I mean that, with all the problems I’m going to have to deal with trying to be a hero, I’d be nice to have someone by my side to help me out. You can be a hero, so even if you can’t believe in your own dream anymore… This wouldn’t be just about that, you’d be helping me reach my dream if we both helped each other out trying to become heroes together. And if we’re together facing similar prejudice, then you won’t be alone anymore either. Let me be your reason.”

 

In the end it didn’t matter what exactly Midoriya stuck around for. As long he was alive, he could eventually live for himself as he should. But Hitoshi almost couldn’t believe what he was saying.

 

He’s never been confident about his chances for becoming a hero, he hasn’t been worth much to anyone since his dad died, and yet here he is claiming that helping him become a hero is worth something. That even if Midoriya didn’t value his own life, Hitoshi’s was something he should value enough to live for– How much more conceited could you get?

 

He’s never asked this much from anyone before, he’s never been so bold before, and yet here he is. All because he didn’t have anything better to give Midoriya.

 

“You…” Midoriya’s still watery eyes started to shine. “You would really promise so much to me? Commit to staying with me, when you could just hand me off to be put on suicide watch instead?”

 

Hitoshi gained a slight but dark scowl. “I don’t trust any of the authority figures we usually have to deal with to actually inspire you to want to live, rather than just physically keeping you from dying. Society doesn’t deal well with people who have the kind of quirks we do. I don’t know how much of a better job I can do, but surely I’d do better than that.”

 

“But– you really don’t need to do any of this at all! You barely know me, so why would you go so far for me?!”

 

“I think whether or not you know a person is irrelevant when you’re trying to save someone. And I… I don’t like that you want to die. You understand me and actually talk to me, I’d miss you if you were gone,” it was embarrassing to speak so honestly, but it needed to be said.

 

Midoriya needed to know that there was at least one person who’d mourn for him. That wanted him to stay.

 

Midoriya stared at him with something close to bewilderment. Then after a long, nervous moment of silence, he smeared away his tear streaks and gave a wobbly, “ …Okay.”

 

“Okay?”

 

“Okay as in, I’ll– I won’t try again. And I’ll help you become a hero,” the last sentence was declared with pride. Midoriya stood up a little straighter, earnest determination filling him. “If it’s for someone else’s sake, then– then I think I can do it, Shinsou-kun!”

 

Hitoshi sighed in relief, “That’s good… Also, you can call me Hitoshi.” If an extremely personal situation like this isn’t enough to elevate someone to a first-name status, then nothing is.

 

“Then you can call me I-Izuku!” Midoriya– Izuku glanced away before looking back awkwardly. “ …Does this mean we’re friends now?”

“ …I was under the assumption that we were already friends.”

 

“ …Oh my god– I’m so sorry! I think of us as being friends too, I– I just didn’t want to assume– ”  

 

“Calm down, it’s fine. I get what you mean. Not a lot of people want to be my friend either.”

 

“Then they’re missing out on a lot…”

 

Izuku almost seemed to pout at that, turning his nose up at the theoretical people in question. The corner of Hitoshi’s mouth quirked up at the warm feeling those words gave him. “They’re missing out on a lot with you, too…”

 

Despite the dour circumstances, by all appearances it was just another day. The sun was shining. The birds in the distant trees were singing. The leaves of the treetops that could be seen from their spot on the bland roof were so green, it would make some people stop just to appreciate them longer.

 

–Maybe the reason why Hitoshi had been able to get here in time was because Izuku had done just that

 

In any case, the brightness of their surroundings didn’t match their moods. Izuku may have been stopped, and may have agreed to not try again, but that didn’t mean he still didn’t feel suicidal. It didn’t mean he felt any better or didn’t blame himself for things that weren’t his fault. It didn’t mean that any of this was over. On the contrary, it was really just the beginning.

 

But even though Izuku wasn’t smiling anymore, the more natural, neutral expression he now had made his face seem brighter than it had been before.

Chapter Text

Things were awkward and tense after Izuku’s failed attempt. He begged Hitoshi not to tell the Haruka family about it, so all they could do once they got back to the house was pretend like it didn’t happen. 

 

Izuku went back to his default smile, which Hitoshi seemed displeased with. The two of them were painfully silent at dinner, and Hitoshi almost started a fight when Natsume tried to approach Izuku about something. They only began talking to one another again after reaching the relative privacy of their room.

 

Hitoshi looked like he wanted to say something, so Izuku waited patiently for him to figure out how he wanted to start.

 

“You remember how I told you about all the details of my quirk when you first got here?”

 

“Of course, I kept notes of everything.” 

 

That had been an exciting day. Izuku had been fascinated about the mechanics behind Brainwashing. Hitoshi explained how his quirk required the target to give a verbal response –which Izuku had done on the roof, when he exclaimed Hitoshi’s name in shock upon hearing him. He also needed to concentrate on a person when brainwashing them, so while he could brainwash multiple people he could only do so one at a time. The brainwashing went away either when he willed it away or when a physical jolt of some sort took them out of it. Izuku thought it was a very effective quirk as long as Hitoshi had the element of surprise.

 

Hitoshi glanced away in almost a nervous manner, before he steeled himself up and gave Izuku a serious stare. “Well… I was thinking that maybe I should learn more about your quirk too.”

 

He tensed at Hitoshi’s suggestion. The only people that had ever really tried to learn about Jinx had been his mother and the quirk counselor that had been assigned to him when his quirk first appeared. 

 

“I never brought it up because it seemed like a sore topic, but having a second opinion might help you with using it.” Hitoshi scowled a bit as he moved on to complain, “I know “problem” quirks like ours usually have to be evaluated by a quirk counselor to advise us on how to use it in the future, but my counselor only really said to just never use it in the first place. That’s not going to cut it for us.”

 

Apprehensive, Izuku tried to keep a smile on his face as he slowly questioned, “Do… Do I really need to use my quirk?”

 

“You said yourself that you can use it on villains, so I don’t see why you shouldn’t use it.”

 

“It’s just that sometimes the effects can be– random, I guess you’d say. If I don’t have an effect in mind when using it, it just does what it wants.” Izuku looked down at his shirt while fiddling with its hem, and began his nervous muttering, “My quirk produces a constant amount of energy which takes the form of “bad luck”, so I can’t stop producing it. I can withhold expelling it, but it builds up over time. This is a disadvantage if I don’t want it to cause luck that’s too bad.”

 

“About that, what exactly does it mean to have “bad luck” from your quirk? Like, luck isn’t supposed to be a physical thing, but you’re describing it as energy.”

 

It had been a while since Izuku got to think about his quirk in a technical way. Mom had already known everything, so his musings were mostly confined to notebooks. It made him a bit more willing to speak about it. 

 

“Jinx produces energy that increases the probability of a “bad” event occurring, with what’s considered “bad” being defined by the target if the target has sentience. For example…” Izuku searched his mind before raising a single finger. “Scenario 1: If I were to just mindlessly direct the energy towards a villain running away, any number of small misfortunes that already had the possibility of happening might occur; such as the villain tripping and thus slowing down, the villain dropping what they’re trying to steal, etc.”

 

Izuku raised a second finger. “Scenario 2: If I directed energy towards the same villain, but specifically wanted them to trip, then they would trip instead of any of the other possibilities happening. However, this won’t work if the event I’m trying to make happen would be considered a “good” thing by the villain, like if I was trying to trip a hero going after the villain without switching targets to said hero, or if the event is too unlikely for the amount of energy I’m using. If I’m using a small amount of energy, Jinx wouldn’t be able to affect things enough to pull off something like the police arriving a full thirty minutes earlier than they would have.”

 

“The tricky part when it comes to regulating my quirk’s output is that it will automatically take the energy it needs for what I have in mind, so I could end up using a ton of energy at once by accident.” He finished off while scratching at his cheek.

 

Hitoshi glanced away in thought for a moment, before focusing back on Izuku to state for clarification, “But you would be able to get around those things if you used your quirk on the hero instead, or if you had more energy avalible.”

 

“Yes to both. But the police arriving early is an event that would actually require a lot of things to happen; stuff like the traffic towards the incident lightening up by a lot, the traffic lights not turning red on them a lot so they don’t have to slow down to force their way through an intersection, maybe even a hero that can assist them in going faster showing up. Therefore, it’s an event that would require a lot of energy to make happen. I can build up more energy by not using my quirk, but if it's simply impossible no matter what happens for the police to make it that early then it can’t happen either way. Additionally, the energy seems to have its own destructive properties, so events where objects break or malfunction have lower energy requirements.”

 

“Huh… your quirk actually has a scientific basis then, it’s not as supernatural as it sounds.”

 

The corner of Izuku’s mouth quirked up into half a real smile, and waved his hand in a so-so manner. “It has a logical foundation if you know how it works, but it’s not completely scientific I’d say. There should be no reason for things involved with superstition to affect it if that were the case, but those things do have an effect.”

 

“Right, how does that work then?” Hitoshi asked while fiddling with the rabbit’s foot charm, he had yet to take it off.

 

“Basically things that are thought to be lucky make it harder for a bad event to occur, so more energy would be required for the same event if my target had a luck inducing item. If I wear the lucky item then my quirk produces less energy than normal. Things that are thought to be unlucky will amplify the bad luck, so if I’m wearing something like that my quirk will produce more energy, or if my target is wearing it then less energy would be required for the same event to occur. Also, these objects usually carry their own residual “bad luck” that I can sense, but I can’t sense any opposing energy that can be called “good luck”.”

 

“This applies to actions that are thought to cause good or bad luck as well, such as… breaking a mirror,” Izuku stumbled over that particular omen. The half-smile on his face dropped. “They have an accumulative effect too, so the more unlucky items I have or actions I’m performing, the more energy I accumulate.”

 

“You have a very thorough understanding for someone who dislikes their quirk…”

 

“Well… I’ve had to work around it my whole life, so I just picked up all of this and took note of it.”

 

Fidgeting in embarrassment, Izuku unconsciously glanced at his bed away from Hitoshi and admitted, “I– I also find the superstitious aspect to be sort of fascinating, so I studied it and experimented with it a bit. I guess you could say I’m a bit of an enthusiast for both the blessed and the cursed.”

 

After his quirk developed when he was younger, he had a blast learning “cursed” things. When he had first read up on pagan and satanic symbols, his Mom –bless her soul– had taken one look at his bright eyes when he mumbled through a five-year-old’s explanation of the significance of a pentagram, and bought him his first pentagram medallion the next day despite it boosting his quirk. She had told him that misfortune was a small price to pay for his happiness.

 

And look at where that got her

 

He knew they were supposed to be “bad” and “strange”, but he felt a certain attraction to it. He was just the kind of person that when looking at a skull and crossbones picture, instead of making the mental socially taught connection to “Danger!” he would first think ”Wow, that’s neat!”.

 

It had been disconcerting to realize that most people didn’t feel the same way he did about “cursed” things, that occult was supposed to only be for the fringe of society. Some would either chose to followed the order of society and ignore it, or rebel against the institution and embrace it. Alternatively, his interest in blessed religious objects was usually received positively.

 

But he supposed by its very nature, that was just what it was meant to be. If superstitions were universally believed, then they wouldn’t be “superstition” anymore– they’d be declared either “science” or “religion”. Like how Wicca is supposed to be a religion, but it’s considered as more of an occult interest because it isn’t widely accepted.

 

However, that was a debate best left to inconsequential internet forums…

 

To Izuku’s delight, Hitoshi affirmed his feelings by responding, “I guess that makes sense, yeah. There’s a lot of stuff that would go into it since that’s decided by culture. How does that even work?” Hitoshi furrowed his brows in confusion. “Do superstitions from other places apply…?”

 

“That’s a great question!” Izuku beamed at his friend’s –Gosh, he has a friend now, that he can talk about his interests to! It’s so surreal– “It seems like superstitions from all over have an effect! It gets particularly confusing when they conflict with each other, like how Japan and various other countries believe black cats are good luck, but for various western countries they’re bad luck.”

 

“So what are they for your quirk– good or bad luck?”

 

“I… think it depends on the personality?”

 

“ ...The personality?

 

“Of the cat,” Izuku clarified, “The ones that are nice to me are bad luck, and the ones that avoid me are good luck. So maybe it’s more how they view me is a result of their luck rather than it being personality based. In that case I have no idea how it’s decided.”

 

 Hitoshi rose his eyebrows in incredulous disbelief. “What the hell? That’s just confusing...”

 

“I know! I used to search out different black cats to try and see if more were bad luck versus good luck, and it was literally a 50/50 split.” 

 

Izuku walked up to the small bookshelf on his side of the room and picked out one of the many notebooks he stored there, a medium-sized black one that he used for Jinx related investigation. He flipped through it to point at a page to Hitoshi. “I found 66 cats, and 34 had “bad luck” energy and came up to me to let me pet them, and 32 hissed at me when I got close and ran away. As a control, cats with a tortoise shell coated are always lucky so they always ran away, and normal cats varied but were mostly neutral towards me.”

 

Hitoshi took the notebook to glance over the page. Then, he started to leaf through the other pages in curiosity. “You’ve got a lot of notes here…” He trailed off once he closed the notebook to look at the cover, and pointed at the red ink marring the black with a raised eyebrow. “Is that a pentagram?

 

Izuku flushed a bit at the drawing, and cleared his throat before saying, “Ah, well– pagan symbols are often associated with witchcraft and some are bad luck. In the context of Wicca, pentagrams are more of a neutral force with different interpretations, but because society associates witchcraft with being “bad” this makes it slightly unlucky. An upside-down or “inverted” pentagram as it’s called is considered a satanic symbol, and those are all major bad luck according to my quirk for the same reason. Horseshoes and Christian crosses are like that too, actually; right side up it’s good luck, but if they’re inverted it’s bad luck. For horseshoes it’s said that the “luck” will fall out that way, and an inverted cross is also a satanic symbol.”

 

“Wait, so if I hold it like this– ” Izuku watched as Hitoshi turned the notebook upside down, causing the amount of energy he could feel coming off it to increase. “ –then it’s even more unlucky?”

 

“Yes, exactly!”

 

“ ...That’s kinda weird. But it’s also kinda cool.”

 

Izuku’s breath caught in his throat at that. No one had ever called his quirk “cool” before…

 

“Do you have more of this kind of stuff?” Hitoshi glanced down at where Izuku’s black box was hidden under his bed. With great hesitation, Izuku bent down to take it out and reveal its contents.

 

It was a plain looking box, but the inside was anything but– all sorts of random occult-related or spiritual talismans were inside, from good omens to bad. Among the most prevalent were his dreamcatcher, bags of salt. horseshoes, crosses, omikuji New Year fortunes, omamori protective amulets, western wiccan talismans, satanic charms, and of course, fake rabbit’s feet.

 

Izuku fidgeted in place slightly. “I– I usually put some of this stuff around my room, to help ward off my own bad luck, but it’s sort of a weird thing to do, so…”

 

“Izuku…” Hitoshi placed a hand on his shoulder, causing him to flinch a little, and gave him a serious look. “I couldn’t care less about how you decorate your side of the room. You could literally put a picture of Satan up and I wouldn’t care. Go for it.”

 

Once Izuku realized Hitoshi was being genuine, a true smile bloomed on his face.

 

The two of them worked together to hang up a horseshoe right side up so that it was in a U shape on the wall next to Izuku’s bookcase, along with a large cross and a “great blessing” omikuji. Izuku had to stop for a moment to look at it fondly. The black painted kanji on stark white paper was familiar.

 

“I can never manage to pick out these fortunes, I barely get the smaller blessings even when I turn my quirk off. This is one Mom gave to me. She’d get them more than just New Years time though, so I think she was just making them herself…”

 

Catching a glimpse of Hitoshi frowning at him, Izuku realized he wasn’t smiling anymore, and forced a smile back on his face. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to bring down the mood.”

 

“Izuku... it’s okay to be sad. Thank you for telling me about your mom.”

 

Hitoshi placed a hand on his shoulder. But when Izuku looked at him, his gaze was averted.

 

“I know I haven’t said anything about how I ended up here, but you could probably guess. I only had my dad cause my mom didn’t want anything to do with me, and he left before his time when he got sick. That kind of pain… it’s not something you can ignore.”

 

“ …Thank you, Hitoshi-kun.”

 

“It’s okay to be sad”, he had never thought about it like that before.

 

It was all about staying strong, keeping a smile on and your spirits up even when things get rough. That’s how All Might did it, at least, and Izuku had always wanted to be like All Might.

 

–But isn’t it pointless to try to emulate All Might when Izuku was the furthest thing from him, outside of outright being a villain?–

 

Izuku dealt with this internal problem the way he dealt with all his internal problems, by pretending it wasn’t there. 

 

He had Hitoshi move on to helping him put up a dreamcatcher made with delicate string and artificial light green feathers and beads over his bed, explaining Jinx would sometimes give him bad dreams if he didn’t stop it from releasing energy before he fell asleep. Often he purposefully kept it running though, as bad dreams were a safer outlet for the bad luck than having to let out more in the morning because it built up. He promised that he would make one for Hitoshi, too.

 

“There’s no need for that. Also, you should probably get used to building it up on purpose now. It will help a lot in hero training if you have more to use, right?”

 

That made Izuku pause. He glanced at Hitoshi’s earnest purple eyes before looking down at his All Might covers. The fake All Might’s face was in a wide smile as always.

 

“H-Hitoshi-kun, are… are you really sure I should try to become a hero? Especially by trying to get into UA?”

 

There was silence, then Hitoshi gently took his hand. Izuku looked up in surprise as Hitoshi lead him to his side of the room, and guided him into sitting down on Hitoshi’s cat-paw covered bed. Hitoshi sat down beside him, and only then released his hand and asked, “Why are you asking that?”

 

“Well… Not only am I still uneasy about using Jinx, but… UA is a very competitive school, you know!” Izuku empathetically gestured his hand towards his friend. “If I try to get a spot in the heroics program, that just means there’s one less spot for you! I want to help you become a hero, not be a– a hindrance.”

 

Hitoshi looked up at the ceiling, sighing quietly, before turning his purple eyes back to Izuku. “I think that later in life… you’re going to regret not trying, so I want you to go for your best chance at it while you can. And I’m going to be real with you, Izuku. The chance of me getting into the hero program by passing the entrance exam is probably very low.”

 

“Huh? Why do you think so? Other than, uh– basic probability.”

 

“UA keeps quiet about the actual contents of the practical exam, but one thing that’s general knowledge is that it’s combat-based, and that flashy, physical quirks have the greatest advantage. Eraserhead is on their staff, and one of the only things that’s known by the media about him is that he’s against the set-up of the exam because of this. Eraserhead himself wasn’t able to get into the heroics department until later because of that.”

 

“Oh… I do remember reading about that online, actually. So you don’t think Brainwashing will do you any good for the exam because of that…” Izuku scowled down at his lap. When it came to other people’s misfortune, he never tried faking a smile. He glimpsed at Hitoshi’s face out of the corner of his eye. His friend looked unhappy with what they were talking about, his eyebrows furrowed with frustration.

 

It made Izuku mutter out loud, “It’s ridiculous though. Your quirk is great at anti-personnel conflict and dealing with villains is a major job for heroes. Just because you aren’t– aren’t blowing stuff up doesn’t mean it’s not an effective hero quirk.”

 

Hitoshi stared at him for a second, stunned the same way he had been when Izuku had mentioned this previously, before his face relaxed and the corners of his mouth came up in a small smile. The sight of it made Izuku feel a little warmer, happy that he was able to help Hitoshi be happier.

 

“I… I know that, and you know that, we just have to show them. I’ve already accepted that I’ll have to get into the program after being accepted, though I’ll still apply for it just in case. Leave that part to me.” The knuckles of Hitoshi’s right hand knocked against Izuku’s thigh and he nodded his head to the side towards Izuku. “Where you come in is that I suspect your quirk might have a better chance at the exam.”

 

“R-Really?! But it’s not…”

 

“It’s not what people would call a “hero’s quirk”, but it has an actual physical effect on stuff. The only way my quirk helps me is if I’m against a person, you don’t have that limitation.”

 

Face screwing up, Izuku mumbled, “Yeah, but that’s only because it destroys stuff...”

 

“And there are plenty of heroes whose quirks destroy stuff! Just look at All Might– ” Hitoshi pointed at Izuku’s own All Might poster. “ –his quirk can literally demolish buildings, and he’s Number One. Regardless of the bad image associated with “bad luck” making it a “villain” quirk, your quirk still has the advantage that destructive quirks are usually favored for combat.”

 

“ ...I never thought about it like that. But all that means is that I might get into the program while you don’t.”

 

“But that’s a good thing if I don’t get in,” Hitoshi explained, “That means that you can learn at the pace of the rest of the heroics students and help me catch up with the material I’m missing. Since UA is such a tough program there’ll probably at least one student in our year that gets dropped. Just make sure that it’s not you and we’ll be good.” 

 

“Oh… Oh, I get it now! That’s actually a pretty good idea!” Izuku cupped his chin as he turned the plan over in his mind.

 

And while he didn’t mention it, Hitoshi’s mention of Izuku not getting dropped made him realize that he could do that on purpose.

 

If it looks like no one’s getting booted and Hitoshi caught the teachers’ eyes enough to get transferred, Izuku could just bow out and transfer to general education. It was the perfect way to clear a spot for Hitoshi.

 

Of course, Hitoshi wouldn’t accept that plan, so Izuku couldn’t talk about it with him. But in his eyes it was a definite option. It also would only work if Izuku got accepted through the entrance exam.

 

Izuku smiled at the boy next to him. “In that case, I’ll definitely try to get in so I can help you, Hitoshi-kun.”

 

To his confusion, instead of smiling back, Hitoshi frowned at him.

 

“Listen– clearly, smiling is supposed to be your thing, but when you’re with me I only want you to smile when you actually mean it. I don’t like it when you– you feel like you need to pretend to be happy. Just be honest with me, I can take it.”

 

“Oh… I– ” Izuku let his smile drop. His expression twisted to match the dissatisfaction he felt for himself. “Okay. I don’t know how well I’ll be able to do that, though. That’s just what I always do…”

 

“That’s fine. Just do your best to break the habit, that’s all I need.” Hitoshi patted his knee, and his face relaxed into a more neutral expression. Hitoshi seemed pleased to see it.

 

“So while we’re still sharing, are there any more boxes hidden under your bed full of unusual objects or anything like that?” Hitoshi joked with him, but it just made Izuku’s face flush with embarrassment.

 

“Uh, actually… It’s not anything like that, but...”

 

Hitoshi raised his eyebrows. “Oh, come on now. Don’t just leave it at that.”

 

With stiff movements, Izuku walked over to his good-sized clothing dresser with Hitoshi following in curiosity. He opened a drawer on the right side, it was filled with colorful clothing and T-shirts that were labeled with the names of other shirts.

 

“I’ve seen you wear those plenty of times, yeah.”

 

“Yes, well… This are my clothes for when I’m trying hard to put up a strong front, you know? And these– ”

 

Izuku opened a drawer on the left side. The only discernible feature that could be seen was black. “ –are for when I’m feeling honest with myself.” Which is never nowadays, he didn’t add on.

 

“…Huh, Well, black’s a good color on a lot of people. But you’re very… compartmentalized about this...” Hitoshi gave Izuku a once over out of the corner of his eye, probably thinking about how Izuku’s coping mechanisms weren’t very good.

 

–That was already obvious though, or he wouldn’t have had to stop Izuku from jumping off a building–

 

Hitoshi hummed a bit, then shrugged. “Well, if you wear black when you’re being honest, then wear more black when we hang out.”

 

Izuku’s head swerved to the side to give Hitoshi a surprised look. “You– you want to hang out with me?!”

 

“ ...Yeah? I thought we already covered this with the “friend” thing?”

 

“R-Right. Uh… the last time I hung out with someone was when I was in daycare though. What do people do when they hang out?”

 

Hitoshi shrugged, but from the way his mouth pinched and his shoulders became hunched Izuku though he might be a little embarrassed. “Fuck if I know. I haven’t hung out with anyone since I got my quirk…”

 

“ ...The two of us are really well-suited for each other.”

 

With a chuckle that was more like a snort, Hitoshi smirked and drawled, “That’s certainly one way to put it, yeah. Both of us can be hopeless together now.”

 

Izuku gave his own chuckle at that, and he found the corner of his mouth curling up into a slight but real smile.

 

They talked for a while after that about everything and nothing. Until they suddenly remembered that just because Izuku had almost died that day didn’t mean they no longer had homework, then they switched to rushing through their worksheets and books at their designated desks. It was sort of sad, but Izuku appreciated the distraction.

 

While Izuku had often noticed that the Harukas had a hard time interacting with him and Hitoshi, they didn’t skimp on providing them with everything a child going through school would need, and they didn’t punish Izuku whenever he accidentally broke something with his quirk. When Izuku had first realized he was being put up for fostering, he had assumed that he would end up in a much worse situation. So that combined with being able to meet Hitoshi made this whole experience a pleasant surprise.

 

But he still wished that he could go back in time to have his mom back.

 

Going back to school the next day was horrible. He might as well have stitched a smile into his face for how stiff and forced it felt.

 

He hadn’t been able to look Katsuki in the eye ever since that day when Izuku had first decided to go through with his “suggestion”, and he hadn’t been able to think of him as Kacchan anymore. There was just something about this whole scenario that made Izuku feel more emotionally distant form his old friend that his outright bullying hadn’t been able to achieve previously. Even when Katsuki had hurt him with his quirk before, Izuku hadn’t taken his animosity to heart.

 

It was only after Katsuki told him to kill himself without even caring what effect his words might have, it was only after realizing that he does want to die and what Katsuki’s words had done to Izuku’s self-worth, that Izuku took it to heart.

 

While Katsuki probably noticed his increased avoidance, Izuku reminded himself to call him Kacchan every time they spoke –or rather, every time that Katsuki growled at him to complain about what Izuku was doing– so he didn’t think Katsuki realized that something had gone horribly wrong with Izuku’s life. The only people at school who knew about what happened to his mom were the teachers, who had all become more sympathetic with him. His homeroom teacher had even pulled him over in the beginning to say that they would all be more forgiving about missed assignments and such, though Izuku hadn’t taken them up on that so far. 

 

Deep inside of him, he hated the way that pity seemed to roll off them in waves around him. Whereas Izuku’s classmates had always been disdainful of his quirk, the adults were more likely to react with pity. Before it had been slight enough to ignore, but now it was almost unbearable.

 

His days seemed to cycle back and forth from being in heaven and hell; where he would have to endure his lonely, suffocating hours at school to reach the end of the day and get to go back to Hitoshi, only to have the start the whole thing all over again the next day. It was better than when it had just been “hell”, but he couldn’t help but question if the “heaven” was really worth it.

 

He still feels like before, even with Hitoshi there. The thought of “Wouldn’t things be much easier if I just didn’t have to deal with it at all?” crossed his mind whenever he stared out his classroom window too long.

 

But then a few hours later he’d get to see Hitoshi again, and he would remember how good it felt to be with him. He would remember that he had a reason to try now.

 

With Hitoshi’s input, Izuku planned a UA preparation regime for the both of them. While their quirks may not be exactly what UA was looking for, that didn’t mean they couldn’t be physically prepared to handle the program. It wasn’t too much, just some basic exercises like running and weight training to build strength and endurance, but hopefully it would keep them from being total embarrassments at least.

 

So the days passed by with the two of them training both their brains and bodies for the entrance exam, and with Izuku trying his best to focus on his studies at school and block everything else –everyone else– out.

 

Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, which turned into whole seasons. And soon, the day of UA’s entrance exam was upon them.

 

Of course, Hitoshi had them apply to other schools as well, as UA was notoriously hard to get into to. Izuku wasn’t as concerned about planning for his potential future –since he was still getting used to the idea of attempting to have a future in the first place– so he was thankful that Hitoshi was practical enough for both of them on that front.

 

That being said, UA was still what they had been working for, and Izuku knew that if Hitoshi didn’t get into either heroics or general education then his friend would be very disappointed. He also knew being friends with a walking bad luck charm would also hurt his chances, though Hitoshi always denied it when Izuku brought it up. Izuku was glad that Hitoshi had taken a liking to the rabbit’s foot he gifted him though, as he always wore it around. That made Izuku feel a little less worried about his quirk causing Hitoshi an accident.

 

However, for a full two week before the exam, Izuku had been storing all of the energy Jinx produced to build it up for the exam day. By the time the exam was upon them, the malevolent, cursed energy seemed to swirl around beneath his skin, unseen but felt in the goosebumps and standing hair on the back of his neck. It made him more of a nervous wreck than usual, and forced the masking smile on his face to become more strained with each day that passed. He was worried about what would happen once he let it out, even though he knew as long as he was careful with how he directed it that things should be alright. He was nervous about unintentionally sabotaging his friend. 

 

He was nervous about unintentionally killing his friend

 

But he knew that Hitoshi wouldn’t want to hear that, so he didn’t mention it.

 

As it turned out, there was one thing that he hadn’t even thought to be worried of that in hindsight he really should of been, because it was a thing that actually had a high probability of happening due to Izuku’s luck. And it did happen.

 

“What the hell are you doing here Deku?! Didn’t I tell you not to bother with trying for UA?!”

 

A smile was instantly etched into his face, but he kept his eyes demurely on Katsuki’s approaching feet. “A-Ah, Kacchan– ”

 

“Do you have a problem with us, bastard?” Hitoshi’s voice, deepened further than usual with anger, cut into the conversation with deadly precision. It made Izuku think of an executioner preparing his guillotine’s blade. 

 

Izuku found the nerve to glance up, and caught sight of the equaling piercing glare Hitoshi was giving Katsuki.

 

“Who the fuck are you?! Stay out of this– ” Katsuki’s shouting suddenly cutoff as Brainwashing took hold of his mind.

 

Hitoshi pointed at UA’s shiny, window-covered and weirdly shaped building, where countless examinees were filing into. “Go get ready for the exam and leave us alone.”

 

Much like Natsume had that one day, Katsuki walked past them and towards the entrance without a word. Izuku noticed that Hitoshi continued to glare at Katsuki as he watched the other walk away.

 

His friend took a deep breath, gave a long exhale, then asked Izuku without looking away from Katsuki, “Is that the guy you were talking about?”

 

“W-What?”

 

“The guy that told you to kill yourself. Katsuki– Kacchan,” he spat the name out like it curdled in his mouth. Izuku flinched back at both his tone and the question.

 

After a full minute of silence, Hitoshi turned his eyes back to Izuku. Something he found in Izuku’s face made him soften and relent, “I won’t do anything about him if you don’t want me to, I just wanna know.”

 

Izuku hesitated, then nodded wordlessly. 

 

Hitoshi’s eyes darkened, and his jaw visibly clenched. “Do you think he’s gonna get in?”

 

“ …Without a doubt.” 

 

Fuck. Well… If he gets to be too much of a problem, I’m dealing with him one way or another,” while Izuku knew Hitoshi didn’t mean it like that, he sounded remarkably like a villain planning murder with that statement.

 

“I don’t want to ruin his future– ”

 

Hitoshi cut him off, “In my eyes he ruined his own future. But as long as you’re not in danger I won’t mention anything to the teachers. They may be heroes, but the only one I’d really trust not to just take his side by default is Eraserhead.”

 

“I– I think UA’s staff are all of a higher caliber, and All Might’s teaching this year too, you know…”

 

“So you want me to tell them?” At Izuku’s flinch and grimace, Hitoshi sighed, “Yeah, that’s what I thought… You still hadn’t taken that fake smile off your face though, so at least that’s gone now.”

 

“Oh, really? I… I hadn’t actually noticed…”

 

“That’s fine. We’ll get there eventually.” Hitoshi patted Izuku on the shoulder, then guided Izuku into walking forward again. When he stumbled a bit into what would’ve turned into one of his usual face-plants, Hitoshi’s hand kept him steady. 

 

It was only then that he realized that Hitoshi said “we’ll get there”, as in he would be working together with Izuku on it. He had also used “us” when talking to Katsuki, implying that any problem Katsuki had with Izuku would have to include Hitoshi.

 

Even though they had spent all this time working together and Izuku’s new goal was helping Hitoshi become a hero, it was only now that he fully realized that the two of them were in this together. Concerning both UA and life. Hitoshi had devoted himself to Izuku, just as Izuku had promised to do for him.

 

Thinking about that gave him such a wonderful feeling…

 

–It also reinforced Izuku’s desire to get into the hero program, just so that he could give his spot to Hitoshi later–

 

Hitoshi’s hunch about the practical was proved correct. In the huge auditorium, Present Mic announced they would be fighting “villain” robots for points, a task that was actually perfect for Jinx, no human endangerment required. But Izuku couldn’t feel lucky about it as Brainwashing would be worthless against them, and Hitoshi’s misfortune was Izuku’s misfortune.

 

Hitoshi still had a soured expression even after Present Mic’s explanation was already over that pained Izuku’s chest. But after a deep breath, he seemed to momentarily let go of his bitterness to give Izuku a reassuring expression. With a pat on Izuku’s shoulder –something that he noticed was becoming a trend– Hitoshi nodded and said, “Give those robots hell for me.”

 

After a moment of hesitation, Izuku nervously brought his own hand up to squeeze Hitoshi’s. “I’ll– I’ll do my best!”

 

They were sent to separate miniature cities that would act as their exam area. Anxiety twisted up his insides and the bad luck within them at seeing just how many competitors he would be sharing the field with, even when it was only a seventh of his competition.

 

To think that among these hundreds, maybe thousands, of kids only 40 would get the honor of UA’s heroics program... Even with his quirk being suited for this task, Izuku couldn’t deny that all his classmates had been right to say you need luck to get in… 

 

“AND BEGIN! …What’s wrong? The test already started! You don’t get countdowns in real life!” Present Mic shouted through the speakers.

 

Chaos erupted as the mass of examinees ran into the city all at once. Izuku’s hesitation cost him, the rush of people forcing themselves past him made him stumble and lag behind the crowd. But once he was in things were fairly simple.

 

Upon encountering his first villain bot, Izuku just snapped his fingers with the wish for it to break. A good chuck of bad luck, but still a small portion compared to well of misfortune inside him, was used up as the tire on the robot popped with a hole. It promptly tripped over its own wheel. It was a small one –probably a one pointer– but was still a big enough size that it fell hard. Its facsimile of a head snapped right off when the neck made contact with the hard concrete.

 

“What are you gonna do– win fights by making the villains trip over themselves?!”

 

Well… at least one thing Katsuki said to him was a good idea

 

He ran through the city like that– snapping his fingers whenever a robot entered his field of vision. Everyone was scurrying around like ants looking for carcasses to scavenge. All Izuku needed was to see a robot and snap his fingers so he should be one of the fastest there in terms of taking out robots, but there were just so many competitors taking their own points left and right that it was difficult to just find a free robot in and of itself, especially since his quirk couldn't help him get around faster. It made him doubt that he'd take out enough within the span of only ten minutes.

 

He wasn’t specific about how his luck should break them unless there was another person nearby the robot that could get hurt or act as a possible choice for “breaking” the robot. This increased the amount of options that could occur and therefore increased the probability of the event occurring, thus use less energy from his quirk. It also led to some rather random ways of robot destruction.

 

Most often was a simple short fuse that led to the robot powering down, or the robot tripping and breaking. Then there were robots that exploded, presumably by some internal malfunction that Izuku had no idea of. Some of them faced their death by the debris made my other robots crushing them. 

 

The ground outright collapsed under one robot –probably his fourth robot, as the bad luck associated with the number of “death” would help boost his bad luck– that Izuku presumed got destroyed upon landing, but couldn’t confirm due to how deep the hole was. How did that even form?

 

In comparison, his “lucky” seventh snap was much weaker than average. A non-essential part of the robot broke. Ironically the increase in luck was unlucky for him, as the robot was already upon him. He froze up at the thought of how much it will hurt to get hit by it- 

 

But then the robot started float into the air, only to crash down to Earth unceremoniously. 

 

"Release!" panted a girl with short brown had, she had been behind the villain bot. She rushed up to him and ask, "Are you alright?"

 

Izuku stared at her stupidly. "Y-Yeah... Thank you."

 

"It's no problem, be more careful okay?" 

 

With that said, she rushed off. He had to force himself to move on to searching for his next target- there was just no time to contemplate how someone had actually paused in the middle of an important exam to help him like that. Though she did benefit from it by destroying the villain bot...

 

Come to think of it, these robots are probably supposed to be really sturdy. You would expect more situations like snap number seven to happen. Jinx must be causing them to hit their more delicate parts or something…

 

The most memorable robot death was when he was stuck between two bullet-shooting villain bots, and used his snap to curse both at once. He tripped on a crack at the same time they both shot at him, causing them to fire on each other instead. 

 

But one thing that had caught Izuku’s attention throughout this– was there was an inexplicable change in weather that contradicted the weather report’s predictions.

 

Upon his sixth snap –the “devil’s” number, also unlucky– dark clouds moved in overhead, and they seemed to get darker with each snap. Upon his tenth snap, they started to crackle with thunder.

 

Was… Was that him?!

 

He had never used so much bad luck at once before admittedly, but to think the effect on his surrounding area would be strong enough to affect the weather of the immediate surrounding area… He hadn’t even finished using it all up yet!

 

At this point, he had defeated around 12 villain bots, but the whole experience was so disorienting that he couldn’t keep track of how many points each had been worth. The clouds above them boomed with thunder ominously, though thankfully it hadn’t started raining. One more and it’ll be unlucky thirteen, this one will probably have a strong effect…

 

So of course it was at this point that a hulking giant robot appeared from within the city, the zero pointer Present Mic had dismissed as a “gimmick”. All the examinees in the area fled at the sight of it, and Izuku had turned around to do just the same thing, until he heard a voice call out between the rumbles of thunder.

 

“Ow…”

 

Izuku glanced over to see the same girl that had helped him was caught under some rubble. She was right in the path of the robot’s massive tread, closer to the robot than to Izuku. 

 

Immediately Izuku switched mental gears; running was no longer an option.

 

She’s too far, he won’t make it to her in time. The robot’s tread looks very stable, and it’s too big to trip safely, it might just hit both the girl and other people running away. Could he force an internal error like those other robots? This isn't a simple light bulb, he has no idea what kinds of fail-safes UA would've put in place to keep them running. Can he still cause it to malfunction if he's that vague about what the effect is supposed to be? What can he do? What can he do?

 

“What the hell do you think you’re playing at, Deku! You’re cursed! You can’t possibly be a hero or make it into UA! Forget crappy quirks– Your quirk is a hindrance, even less than useless!”

 

He’s just a curse anyway, so how could it even be possible for him to save a person– 

 

Above him, Izuku caught sight of a flash of lightning within the clouds, followed by loud thunder. The sight of the bad omen derailed his self-deprecation.

 

The probability of being struck by lightning is higher for tall, metal objects that can act as a rod, and it is very unfortunate

 

Izuku took a deep breath that reached for what was now about a week’s worth energy inside him, held out his right hand, and snapped the whole well away, cursing the zero pointer.

 

His only thought was lightning–

 

As though it was an act of the gods, a lightning bolt came down from the dark heavens to electrify the giant villain bot. It lit up like a tree on Christmas.

 

But Izuku knew this wasn’t due to any gods or fate, it was just bad luck.

 

Izuku and probably everyone else was forced to look away from its painful brightness. However, the moment was over as fast as lightning usually is. Thunder roared through the area less than a second later as everyone stopped to stare at the now charred robot. Izuku waited with bated breath to see if it would continue moving. 

 

It didn’t. 

 

“ ...What– WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!” Present Mic exclaimed into the speakers, maybe accidentally, before a buzzer sounded. “Uh, oh– Time’s up kiddos! Test’s over! Ignore the bizarre weather and proceed off the field, unless you’re hurt enough that you need to stay put! Our very own Recovery Girl will be out to treat you momentarily!”

 

Izuku ran over to the girl, who was still staring at the robot behind her in shock. “Are you okay? Y-You didn’t feel any of the lightning, right?”

 

After pushing the rock off her leg, Izuku helped pull the girl up. She stared at him with wide eyes and a gaping mouth. “Thanks, but was– Was that because of you?

 

“Y-Yeah. You were too far away and I wanted to make sure you were safe, so…”

 

“Oh my god! That’s the coolest quirk I’ve ever seen!” Her face split into an excited smile, and she shook Izuku’s hand vigorously. “What quirk do you have, weather manipulation?! I– Oh no…”

 

Facing turning a bit pale, the girl just barely turned to the side in time to puke on the ground and not Izuku’s shoes. He thought that that was the best proof he could get that he had really used up all of his bad luck with that one shot.

 

He ended up being ushered out of the city before he could continue talking to the girl, who stayed behind to get her leg healed by Recovery Girl. Right outside UA’s entrance at their designated meeting place, he met back up with Hitoshi. His friend examined him with raised eyebrows.

 

“Okay, maybe I’m jumping to conclusions because bad weather is a bad omen, but– Was that weather and random lightning on the other field you?! Even the people in the other testing areas could see it!”

 

“Y-Yeah. The weather just built up on its own, probably because I was letting out too much bad luck in the same region, and for the lightning my target was a giant robot, so… It worked out better than expected.”

 

Hitoshi stared at him in stunned silence for a moment, before he gave a growing, smiling chuckle. 

 

“ ...Your quirk really is something else, Izuku. And in a good way, don’t worry about what those assholes like Katsuki think.”  Hitoshi slung an arm around Izuku’s shoulder, and looked down at him with a widening smile.

 

“Way to out flash the flashy “hero” quirk examinees. Good job! UA would have to be absolute morons to not want to make a hero out of you now, I’ll bet you’re a shoo-in for the heroics department! We should celebrate!”

 

Izuku blinked in surprise, before a smile bloomed on his own face. “It’s bad luck to celebrate early. And the robot I hit with the lightning wasn’t even worth any points!”

 

Hitoshi rolled his eyes, but his tone was still light-hearted, “Yeah, yeah. We’ll wait ‘til your letter comes then.”

 

As Izuku and Hitoshi walked back to their house, Izuku realized he was feeling lighter than he’s felt in a long time.

Chapter Text

“Did the Jinx kid really just summon a frickin’ lightning bolt? That’s sorta extreme for just “bad luck” ain’t it?!” Snipe questioned incredulously to the other teachers. They made various noises of vague agreement, but Toshinori just watched the freckled boy shown on the monitors in contemplation.

 

He remembered him, of course. The poor child that had been caught up with a villain when he needed to get to the hospital to see his mother. Toshinori hadn’t been sure that he’d make it in time before his quirk failed him– he was lucky that it hadn’t.

 

Toshinori had been busy this year, with his body becoming a ticking timer he had to find a successor. After some careful thought, he decided to meet the suggestion that his ex-sidekick had sent his way via Nedzu, Togata Mirio. 

 

The boy had exactly the kind of positive, strong-willed spirit that Toshinori was looking for, and he was also very skilled due to Nighteye’s training. So a little before this very exam, Toshinori had offered One for All to him. Togata had accepted it with a beaming smile. This also came with the side-benefit that he and Nighteye were now on speaking terms once again.

 

Toshinori teaching at UA now was part of this plan; he wanted to be close at hand while his successor learned throughout his final year to help him integrate One for All with his original quirk, and since he could no longer work more than three hours a day with his full “All Might” form, regular hero work wasn’t as practical an option compared to teaching the next generation.

 

But even with all this going on, he had wondered on occasion how that boy had been able to handle the villain before he arrived, as well as how his mother was fairing. When Toshinori arrived at his first viewing of the UA heroics practical entrance exam, he hadn’t been expecting that he would get an answer to one of those questions. 

 

Seeing the blackened, immobile zero pointer left no doubt that the young man’s quirk dealt with the slime villain, though the method it used to do this was up in the air. Toshinori had been watching him throughout the exam as well and noted that it had the capability to deal with the robots in a variety of ways.

 

“Midoriya Izuku. Quirk: Jinx– it produces energy that increases the probability of unfortunate events occurring,” the Principal reviewed young Midoriya’s profile summary, his intrigued glee vibrating through his voice. “What potential a quirk like this has! Probability manipulation, the possibilities that comes with something like that– but it all depends on what defines an event as “unfortunate”? What is this “energy”? How is it made? What is the range of events that it can affect? Reading his full quirk description is a must– ”

 

“You’ve really taken an interest in this Midoriya, Principal! It’s rare for you to get this stirred up over someone’s entrance exam performance,” Midnight canted her tone slightly when she reached her innuendo, making Toshinori wince, but her interest in Nedzu’s answer was genuine. Toshinori also wanted to hear it.

 

Principal Nedzu nodded his head towards Midnight. “My apologies, but quirks like his are some of the most captivating to learn about. They take concepts that we only have an ideological understanding of, such as “luck”, and bring it into the realm of physical definition. Not only that, but he makes for a promising student and hero.”

 

“Logically he does, yes, but a quirk like his will be looked at poorly by the general public. Like how black cats are sometimes killed by people that think they’re unlucky,” Eraserhead spoke up for the first time since the viewing had started. His voice was a gruff but composed thing, matching how he had been sitting in his seat with horrible posture. However, his eyes had never once lost focus on what was going on during the exam.

 

“Then that will be a hurdle we have to prepare him for. It’s not like “villainous” heroes can’t be successful, they even made a ranking for heroes that look more like villains! Ectoplasm is on that list, and he’s a wonderful example of a hero.” The Principal nodded his head towards Ectoplasm in recognition, who nodded back. He then steepled his paws as a slightly mischievous chuckle rose out of his small body. “And Midoriya Izuku’s already passed his first hurdle, hasn’t he? I’m certain you’ll watch over him carefully, Eraserhead.”

 

Toshinori caught the implication that the boy would be assigned to Eraserhead’s class, as he was sure Eraserhead himself did. The man stared at Principal Nedzu with dark eyes narrowed in suspicion. 

 

From Toshinori’s understanding, students were usually assigned to either class A or class B at random. Higher scoring students tended to lean towards class A assignment, but UA does mix it up so that the top 20 examinees aren’t all in class A. Singling out a student to be given to a particular class was unusual.

 

Was the Principal just taking into account how guidance for Midoriya’s quirk would be better suited for someone with Eraserhead’s background? Or was there something else he was seeing from this set up that Toshinori was missing?

 

But either way… it seems like young Midoriya has the kind of caring mindset that All Might looks for in heroes. He looks forward to meeting the boy again. 

 

 

 

 

 

With the end of the exam came a carefree time for Izuku. He rid the slight high that came with knowing that his quirk was capable of saving people.

 

After the exam, Izuku walked through the city with Hitoshi on an outing –both of them having figured out that this was an acceptable “hanging out” activity. And in the middle of explaining his unusual idea of getting ear piercings –in order to wear cross-shaped earrings that would help either mitigate or enhance his luck depending on their orientation– they started browsing through a kick-knack shop. 

 

Izuku absolutely loved those shops that sold random but charming decorations, as there was almost always something there that doubled as a good or bad luck charm. It was there that Izuku found the perfect talisman to gift Hitoshi.

 

As soon they got home, Izuku presented bag holding the item that he had clandestinely purchased and hid in his backpack. “Here you go, Hitoshi-kun! I got this for you as a congratulations for your hard work!”

 

Hitoshi blinked at it, before accepting the bag. 

 

“You really didn’t have to…” as he took out the item, Hitoshi trailed off. He looked at the cute cartoony beckoning cat figure in his palm. It was just the right size to be held in a single hand.

 

“You can put that on your side of the room to ward off the bad luck, and it’ll still match your cat-theme,” Izuku explained needlessly.

 

Hitoshi stared at it for a long while, to the point that Izuku got worried. “Do you… do you not like it? I can get you something that’s not luck-related if you want…”

 

The other quickly shook his head. “No, no! It’s just…” Placing the cat down, Hitoshi pulled an identical looking bag out of his backpack, and Izuku immediately saw where this was going.

 

Hitoshi awkwardly presented the bag to Izuku, who took it from him gently. 

 

“I was going to wait until after you got your letter to give this to you, but now feels like a better time.” Izuku peaked into the bag. 

 

It was the same exact beckoning cat he had gotten Hitoshi.

 

He burst out in laughter at the sight, “Haha! Looks like we’ve found the perfect combination of both our interests!”

 

“Looks like it, yeah,” Hitsohi chuckled back.

 

A residual smile was still on Izuku’s face as they both placed their cats on their bedside tables. With one side of the room being that of a subtle cat enthusiast’s and the other just looking like a mishmash derived from a paranoid superstitious person. Anyone else would think that the two looked horrible side by side, but Izuku thought it had character.

 

The short reprieve ended the next day though, since unfortunately life was made up by more than just Hitoshi and cat figurines.

 

Deku!

 

Izuku froze in place, his already plastered smile straining a bit, but turned around to face Katsuki. For all the trouble he went through to act polite, Katsuki just grabbed him by the collar of his school uniform anyway. “K-Kacchan– ”

 

“Who the fuck was that dead-eyed asshole that was with you and what did he do to me?!”

 

“That– That was Shinsou Hitoshi, we met a while ago. He just u-used his quirk to make you go away…”

 

“You tellin’ me he mind controls people?” Katsuki gained a pensive scowl, before pushing Izuku back out of his hold and scoffing. Stumbling back, Izuku predictably fell right down right on his bottom. “Well, I guess it doesn’t matter. If he can’t pass the practical then he’s not a threat.”

 

As he was slowly picking himself up, Izuku had to suppress his own scowl from replacing his smile. “Even if he can’t pass the practical, he could still get into heroics later. The Sports Festival especially is a way students from other departments can get noticed and transferred.”

 

“And if that happens, he’ll be another extra competing against me just like everyone else! I’ll show him his trick won’t work on me a second time!”

 

Then, Katsuki gained a suspicious look on his face, as though he had just thought of something.
“How do you know that guy anyway?”

 

Izuku paused, thinking over his answer carefully. Up until now he had been content to let Katsuki stay ignorant about what happened; it was an emotional mess he would rather not deal with so the less of his peers that knew the better. But now that there was a good opportunity to tell him, Izuku felt somewhat obligated.

 

Kacchan had liked his mother when they had still been friends… He actually knew her, so Izuku should tell him, right? 

 

–But would he even care?–

 

He took too long to answer. Katsuki ended up losing his patience, crossing his arms while growling, “Fine! If you’re going to take this long to answer a simple question then don’t tell me! I don’t even give a shit!”

 

“A-Ah, sorry, Kacchan– ”

 

“There’s something more important that I wanted to ask you about anyway. Do you think you passed?” Katsuki narrowed his eyes at Izuku.

 

His muscles tensed up again. “You… you mean the practical?”

 

“Yes, I mean the practical! What else would I fucking mean?! A nerd like you will pass the test portion easily!”

 

“ ...You– You’re actually considering the chance that I passed?

 

“All you really had to do for the exam was break shit, and your quirk is strong when it comes to that at least.”

 

Katsuki answered with ease, as though this whole time he hadn’t been telling Izuku his quirk was less than useless. However, Izuku supposed it made sense. He also had that mentality of knowing that while his quirk could be “strong” it was still a curse, like a “great curse” omikuji. He’d be bad luck for villains, but he’s also bad luck for himself.

 

Izuku glanced down at his fidgeting hands. “Well… How I did compared to the other testers is anyone’s guess, but I don’t think I did poorly…”

 

He wasn’t looking at Katsuki, but Izuku could feel the glare on him shimmering with anger. He heard Katsuki turn his back abruptly to storm away as he called out, “Don’t think this puts you on equal ground with me! I’ll make sure to show you that I’m the best! Always! Your quirk won’t beat me!”

 

Izuku watched his old friend’s back disappear as he walked on to leave Izuku behind, just as always. He just stood there for a moment, thinking over what he said. 

 

This was the first time Katsuki’s ever given any indication that he felt threatened by Izuku’s quirk. 

 

So much of his behavior makes more sense in hindsight if that’s always been the case. But even knowing this, there’s nothing that Izuku can do to change anything. There were times when he’s had a particularly nasty fall, the kind that made him wonder if he needed to go to the hospital, that he’s felt Jinx is a threat to himself.

 

Katsuki has also experienced that, so it was no wonder he’d feel the same…

 

And with what happened to Mom, maybe they were both right to think that way

 

Later that same week, their UA letters finally arrived. Izuku and Hitoshi both sequestered themselves in their room to look at them together, sitting on Izuku’s bed. He had put on some torn pants and a striking black T-shirt that had the Eye of Horus inked out in white on the front. Dressing in the dark colors helped mentally prep himself for being honest about his feelings for whatever came out of his envelope, but in this case it also had an additional benefit. The Eye of Horus was a protective symbol, so it was considered “lucky” by his quirk, and Izuku had wanted some luck in this moment.

 

The two of them examined the outside of their letters for a second, and immediately noticed a difference.

 

“Your envelope has something else in it, look at how it’s bulkier than mine.” Without any fanfare, Hitoshi tore open his own envelope to pull out a piece of paper. His eyes only glanced over it for half a minute before he stated, “Got into general education.”

 

For a second Izuku was confused about whether he should console Hitoshi for not getting into the hero course, before coming to the conclusion that this was still matching Hitoshi’s expectations. And just getting into UA on its own was something to celebrate, anyway. “Good job Hitoshi-kun!”

 

The corner of Hitoshi’s mouth curved up in a slight smile, and he waved towards Izuku’s envelope. “Thanks, but don’t keep us in suspense. Let’s see what your mystery prize it.”

 

He took a minute to take a breath, then reached for the top of his letter. He opened it with hands trembling from nerves, causing whatever was inside to fall out and drop onto the floor. Izuku was only just able to see it was some sort of metal device before it turned on.

 

Izuku’s heart skipped a beat when a projection of All Might himself lit up in front of them.  

 

He wore a pinstriped yellow suit instead of his iconic hero costume, but his strong face and broad body was unmistakable. The hero’s grin was wide and intense, with his head held high and a thumbs up, he declared, “I am here! –to tell you your results!”

 

“Oh my god…” Izuku found himself clutching Hitoshi shirt with both hands to pull him close in excitement, his eyes never straying from his hero brought to life. He shook his friend back and forth. “Oh my god! Hitoshi-kun, it’s All Might! I mean, I met him before that one time, but I was preoccupied and it was a rough day, so– ”

 

“You’ve met All Might before?!”

 

“Young Midoriya, you passed the written exam with flying colors! Good job! And throughout the course of the practical exam you earned yourself 28 villain points! Unfortunately, this amount on its own isn’t high enough to earn you a spot in our heroics course– ”

 

Izuku was overcome with a brief sensation of crushing disappointment –thinking that he had not only failed to be accepted into UA’s heroics department like he had used to dream of before despite never believing he could do it, he had also failed Hitoshi, and that was even worse– but it was interrupted when All Might pointed a finger at them to continue, “However! Villain points aren’t the only thing UA takes into account when scoring…”

 

The screen that had stayed unnoticed behind All Might’s looming figure turned on. Izuku first recognized the scene it played as being of the fake city testing area, indicating this was probably footage of the exam. 

 

He was proven right when his own image appeared on the screen. The Izuku he was watching snapped, only for the robot to recover and still be mobile. What he hadn’t seen previously that the camera focused on, though, was the brown-haired girl’s face of surprise at the sight of the robot about to attack Izuku. And subsequently, her coming from behind to touch it with her hand, sending it floating into the air. She brought the fingertips of her two hands together to send it crashing to the pavement.

 

All Might started up again as the scene of the girl asking Izuku if he was alright played out. “Along with taking note of how many villain bots you destroyed, UA also looked at how many of your fellow examinees you helped or saved! In a cut-throat test like this, taking the time to assist one of your competitors without knowing that there’s benefit in doing so acts as a test of character. UA doesn’t just want good fighters, they want good heroes.” 

 

“Uraraka Ochako here protected you from the villain bot. Though it may have been to her mutual benefit of getting the three pointer, the judges still granted her 10 rescue points for it! And as for you…” All Might pointed at the screen as the scene changed. It now showed the too-bright lightning striking down on the zero pointer. The camera then switched to focus on the girl, Uraraka, who after squinting her eyes away from the light, turned back to look up at the burnt-out towering robot in awe.

 

“With your successful rescue against such a large threat, without the benefit of points and for the sake of one kind competitor, you received 60 rescue points! This brings your total up to 88 points, the highest score of the exam! Congratulations, young Midoriya, you’re not only admitted into the heroics department, you are also now the student representative of your year!” All Might’s smile gleamed as he stuck out a thumbs-up towards him. “That’s what I call Plus Ultra!” 

 

...What

 

“Holy crap,” Hitoshi reacted before Izuku could fully process what was said. He started gently patting Izuku on the cheek, but Izuku just continued to stare blankly into space. “Earth to Izuku, you still with me? How many fingers am I holding up?”

 

“That’s not– this can’t be right.”

 

Hitoshi snapped his fingers in Izuku face until he was forced to turn and look at his friend. Now that he had his attention, Hitoshi raised his eyebrows at him. “I’m pretty damn sure that UA wouldn’t be wrong about your test score.”

 

Izuku protested, “But I’m not– I can’t– I’m not first place material! How is it even possible for me to be the number one examinee?!”

 

“In this case I’d say you are first place material, since it’s like All Might said– UA is looking for good heroes. And you’d be a good hero, because you look out for people.” Hitoshi stuck his thumb at the now powered off projector. “What kind of hero school wouldn’t value a student that saved someone?”

 

“But– But even if that’s the case, who ever heard of a hero that’s bad luck?!

 

“Who fucking cares!” Hitoshi finally yelled out. He glared down at Izuku in frustration. “You didn’t need luck to get admitted!”

 

Izuku scowled down at his lap, before looking back up to set the look upon his friend. “But… luck is important for being a hero. There’s more behind that then just superstition or prejudice. It doesn’t matter how good a hero is, all it takes is one unlucky moment and they could be killed or get seriously injured, or even worse, get other people killed instead. Even if my quirk could be used for heroics, it’s not logical to invest in someone with increased risk.”

 

All of the fight seemed to leak out of Hitoshi in a sigh. His eyebrows screwed together as though Izuku’s words had glued them into a lasting expression of discontentment. 

 

After leaning back to plop onto Izuku’s covers and stare at the ceiling, Hitoshi muttered, “Even if that’s what some people think… you’re hardly the only person in the world that has unlucky days. And people thinking that your presence will curse them is illogical in itself– it’s not like you don’t know how to properly direct it or withhold it. They’re just scared of what they aren’t comfortable with, and they’ve gotten you to think the same way about yourself.”

 

Izuku felt his breath catch in his throat when Hitoshi glanced up at him, and he was caught in a purple gaze that was both exhausted and unyielding.

 

“You deserve this. You getting into UA was all a product of your own effort, strategy, talent, and character. That’s way better than just being lucky or having a “good” quirk.”

 

“Hitoshi…” Izuku didn’t even know what to say to that.

 

He couldn’t even name the feeling that was building inside, he could only recognize the crushing pressure in his chest that came from it. He ended up asking questions without processing that he wanted answers, “Why… Why are trying so hard with me? Why do you care so much?”

 

Hitoshi stared at him for a long moment before admitting, “I don’t know. I think it’s just… I hate that what everyone has told you has made you hate yourself, because I feel like about myself sometimes too. It pisses me off.”

 

“W-What? But… But your quirk isn’t bad. Villains have given it a bad image, but you know you aren’t like those people.”

 

“I know, but it’s easy to forget when everyone else tells you otherwise. Just like how it is with you.”

 

Izuku had to look away from the intense gaze, and stared down at his carefully still but clenched fists. The tenseness in his muscles told him that if his automatic response to stress hadn’t been to repress it, his hands would probably be trembling. And the sting in his eyes told him that they wanted to leak tears, but he wouldn’t let them. 

 

He used to be such a crybaby as a child, but over the years he had repressed that response as well. It’s not that he’s gotten strong enough to not feel the need to cry at what many would consider trivial problems or emotions, but that he’s now skilled enough to not respond physically to that need. While that day on the rooftop with Hitoshi had been the breaking of a dam built up over the course of those years, crying still didn’t come easy. 

 

Izuku was stuck in that familiar limbo of knowing that he was at the point of tears without being able to experience the cathartic release of them. He’d read somewhere before, a random article on the internet, that crying was a natural function of the body that needed to occur to help it settle itself, and from his experience he could fully believe that. 

 

–It was no wonder that his mental state had gotten so out-of-turn that he tried to kill himself–

 

Why is it that people say you shouldn’t cry? That you should aim to be “strong enough” that you won’t cry? Don’t they realize that that will only make things worse? 

 

What’s the point of seeming strong on the outside, when on the inside you’re a wreck...

 

“You deserved to get in too, Hitoshi,” Izuku found himself saying, “You’ve already saved a person for real, and you look out for people, and yet you weren’t accepted with me. That’s not right… ”

 

“ ...They had no way of knowing what I’ve done or who I am outside of my application and what I showed them at the practical, so they made the right call technically. And I’m not like this with most people, Izuku, I’m actually stand-offish usually. I just can’t ignore you, when I personally know some of the pain you’re feeling. It’s a bias.”

 

“That doesn’t matter, you still saved someone. You saved me. I’m sorry you didn’t get in.”

 

Before uttering those words, Izuku hadn’t thought about the situation that way.

 

Hitoshi had stopped him from killing himself, but that was something he wanted –maybe even wants– to do. The thing that he thought he gained from the experience was Hitoshi’s attention, Hitoshi’s care, Hitoshi saying he would miss him if he was gone. Not that Hitoshi saved his life.

 

But when Izuku removed his own feelings from the situation, when he ignored the pain that he didn’t get to end and thought about it impersonally, like it happened to someone else– he can say without a doubt that Hitoshi saved “that person” he stopped from jumping off a roof. That Hitoshi saved him.

 

“You saved me… that means something,” Izuku repeated listlessly. His eyes unconsciously wandered down and to the side back to Hitoshi, who was still staring at him.

 

Slowly, Hitoshi’s eyes fluttered shut, and he sighed, “I know. Of course it means something –you’re still here, after all. That alone makes it mean something. I don’t need anything else to come out of it.”

 

Izuku didn’t smile at that. But if the sense of fulfillment and elation that he felt from Hitoshi saying that his life was inherently valuable hadn’t been so melancholy, he might’ve.

 

 

 

 

 

“I got into UA’s gen ed.”

 

“Wow! That’s amazing Shinsou-kun, congratulations!” Haruka Nori trilled. She patted Hitoshi’s shoulder with a smile.

 

Haruka Naru nodded in agreement, a slight smile on his own face. “That’s a tough school to get into– the heroics kids get all the attention, but their normal education is nothing to scoff at. You’re on a great path.”

 

They didn’t think to console Hitoshi about not getting into heroics instead, because they didn’t know that’s what he was aiming for. Neither Izuku nor Hitoshi had told them they were taking the practical exam; both because it would be less embarrassing if they didn’t get in, and because they wouldn’t have to skirt around the Harukas’ lack of belief they would be accepted.

 

That also meant the Harukas weren’t prepared when Haruka Nori asked, “What about you, Midoriya-kun?”

 

“ ...I– ” Izuku glanced away, before looking back and holding out the piece of paper that came along with the mailed projector; his official acceptance letter. Hitoshi noticed that he never let the smile on his face drop, though Hitoshi could tell it was stiff. “I got into the heroics department.”

 

Haruka Nori opened her mouth to give her congratulations, then paused in the middle of the motion when she processed what Izuku said. Haruka Naru looked away from the mug of water he had been in the middle of bringing up to his mouth to stare at Izuku incomprehensibly.

 

His wife recovered before he did. She glanced over the letter in confirmation, and almost jumped to exclaim, “R-Really? That’s– That’s amazing, Midoriya-kun!”

 

Izuku rubbed the back of his head, and Hitoshi thought he was trying to make his grin look sheepish. “Y-Yeah. I couldn’t believe it, especially when they said I would be this year’s class representative too!”

 

The mug in Haruka Naru’s hand fell from his hand to clatter onto the table and spill water over a good half of the surface, as well as his lap. Hitoshi had to fight hard to keep a smirk off his face when he saw the man just stupidly staring at Izuku with his hand still in the same position as it had been with the mug. His wife didn’t even glance in his direction. 

 

It was an understandable reaction to have, honestly. UA on its own was hard to get into, and UA’s heroics department was even harder. Most people in Japan would put in on par with winning the lottery. So to not only get in but be the “Number One” of the year? That was beyond winning the lottery. Not to mention unheard of for someone with Izuku’s kind of quirk, they were called “villain quirks” for a reason.

 

The reaction was understandable, but Hitoshi still got a gleeful, almost sadistic sense of spiteful pride out of it. And it wasn’t even him that accomplished it.

 

This time, someone else beat Haruka Nori to the chase. 

 

“What?! For real?!” Both Hitoshi and Izuku glanced over to the living room to see Fuyuki staring at them over the couch with wide eyes. “That’s seriously awesome, Midoriya! Like– Once you’re in the Sports Festival you’re gonna be famous! And you’re gonna be a hero too?!”

 

Aki was sitting next to him, the top half of her head  just peeking out over the back of the couch. She didn’t say anything, but her eyes were sparkling with awe. Unfortunately, Natsume didn’t show as good of a reaction as those two. She yelled in confusion over at her spot by the hallway entrance where she had been passing through, “Huh?! But why would they even accept someone like– ”

 

“Dinner! We should have a celebration dinner for both Shinsou and Midoriya! What would you boys like?” Haruka Nori suddenly shouted. She clapped her hands together and smiled at Izuku.

 

“Izuku can pick,” Hitoshi instantly replied.

 

“But, Hitoshi-kun– ”

 

“It’s fine. I don’t care what we have, so you get to pick.”

 

Izuku glanced down at the ground in thought, before looking back at Haruka Nori. His smile was more strained as he stated, “Katsudon is my favorite.” 

 

“Katsudon it is, then!” she declared. Only then did she glance at her husband, and winced at the sight of the mess he’d made and his continued lack of reaction. “While I get on that, why don’t you start cleaning up, dear.”

 

Haruka Naru startled back to life at his wife’s cue. He opened his mouth, closed it, and opened it again to say, “Congratulations!” Then immediately shot out of his seat to go to the kitchen. They all stared at him as he fled.

 

The remaining Haruka whispered, “Ah… Sorry about him. That was just– very unexpected. He just needs some time to process it.”

 

“Didn’t think someone with a bad quirk could do something like that, huh?” Hitoshi snarked bitterly. And Haruka winced a second time, but didn’t respond.

 

Maybe it would’ve been the more socially acceptable option to just let it go, but when he was feeling spiteful, god was he spiteful.

 

Apparently Haruka Nori didn’t know what to say to that, so she just moved on from the topic, “W-Well… is there anything you’ll be needing for your hero classes, Midoriya-kun? I’m not sure what sort of supplies they might ask of us along with the usual school things.”

 

“I don’t think we’ll need anything like that, the letter said only the usual list of materials that they have for all departments was needed.” Izuku paused for a moment, then glanced to the side as he continued with, “This… will probably seem like a concerning request, but I had this idea for my hero costume that I submitted to them along with my application. Where– where I describe how earrings can be a useful and unique addition to my costume. But I don’t even have any piercings, so I was wondering… ”

 

Haruka thought to herself for a few seconds, before giving Izuku a worried smile. “Usually I would say something like that isn’t appropriate for a boy your age, and especially to wear to school, people will think you’re a delinquent! But if UA is okay with it and you need it for your costume… then I don’t see why not.”

 

Izuku’s face brightened up a bit at her answer. To Hitoshi, his smile still didn’t seem genuine, but at least his now excited green eyes suited it more.

 

Hitoshi hadn’t taken Izuku to be the kind of guy that would get his ears pierced. Even with his “villain quirk” and superstitions, he still maintained this air of being a studious goody-two shoes that made him deceptively average when he really wasn’t. It made the idea a bit of a surprise when he had first mentioned it.

 

It made Hitoshi think of the dark shirt and pants that Izuku had worn back in their room –which for some reason he had to change out of to something more average before coming out here with a pasted smile, Hitoshi was spot on when he had described it as Izuku compartmentalizing– and overlay that with the image of Izuku wearing earrings. Just a little more edgy jewelry and accessories, which he could probably just find in that box of his, maybe add some black hair-dye, and he’d turn into a punk. Or maybe a goth? Hitoshi didn’t know anything about those trends.

 

Izuku had mentioned that designed his hero costume with the mind of embracing superstition, but not much else besides the “cross-shaped earrings” thing. It made Hitoshi suspicious as to what kind of aesthetic he was going to use. He just had to convince Izuku to take a picture of himself with it on. Who knows when he’ll get the chance to see him wear it in person?

 

Well it wouldn’t be a bad look for him. Actually, he’d be hot with earrings.

 

 

…Wait

 

What?