When Izuku was small, he would invite all of his kindergarten friends to his house for his birthday. It would never be a large party. His apartment was far too small for that and he was a kindergartener after all. Yet, his friends would accept his invitation and come over for games and fun. The balloons and streamers would be the same colours as All Might’s hero suit; red, blue and a golden yellow. Pictures of different heroes would be plastered against every wall by Izuku himself as the green haired boy insisted on a hero themed party every year.
Moreover, if Izuku’s birthdays didn’t make him so happy, then maybe all the screaming and chaos would’ve caused Inko to stress. But seeing Izuku smile so wide to the point where his cheeks hurt made it all worth it.
His favourite part, however, was the cake. He would ask for an All Might inspired cake and Katsuki would always stand on his right side as his friends all wished him a happy birthday.
Izuku loved celebrating his birthday even after his dad left. Nothing made it more special than spending it with his mom and friends.
But that was before he failed to manifest a quirk.
The people around him found out; his friends, classmates and teachers. The teachers would try to cheer him up, though their words were hollow and empty, already giving up on the small boy who lacked the same potential that his classmates held. His classmates would gossip about it out in the open. They talked about how unnatural and rare it was to be quirkless. The parents would stare with eyes of pity as they whispered about the quirkless boy who still yearned to be a hero. His friends no longer stayed his friends. In fact, they were the ones who spoke the worst of Izuku. They followed Katsuki closer than ever who, ironically, developed an immensely strong and flashy quirk that everyone fawned over. He led the group to bully and belittle Izuku every day.
Yet, for the first time being known as quirkless, Izuku still invited all of his previous friends over for his upcoming birthday. Even as a child, he didn’t think many would show up this time around. But he was sure Katsuki would.
Being told he could never be a hero because he is quirkless was the worst heartache Izuku had to bear. However, waiting patiently for your friends to arrive on your birthday, only for them to not show, made a young Izuku feel so alone and so insignificant in a world full of people and quirks.
After that, Izuku would stop having parties for his birthday. When his sixth birthday rolled around, he wanted to just mention it to his classmates in hopes that a few would want to come over. He wanted to gush about the awesome All Might cake that his mom would get. But no one bothered to listen to the boastings of a quirkless boy.
Inko was determined to see her son smile wide on his birthdays with a twinkle in his eye. Every year, she would try to take him to the aquarium, the zoo, the ice rink and on tours of different hero agencies. But as the years carried on, it didn’t take long for Izuku to dismiss his birthday as just another day. He stopped wanting to celebrate his birthday as the day became almost insignificant to him. Nowadays he merely has a tradition of having a big meal with his mom, always giving her a small grateful smile that Inko knew hid a strong loneliness.
Besides spending time with his mom, the one gesture he had on his birthday was after his training on the beach during his days before UA. The number one hero discovered Izuku’s birthday after skimming his UA application and didn’t want the day to just pass by. All Might treated Izuku to ice cream on the evening of his birthday and the young boy was so happy he thanked his mentor many times with a watery smile.
But that didn’t change Izuku’s opinion on his birthday.
Maybe that’s why when he started attending UA, he never told anyone of his actual birth date. Not that it mattered anyway, he was much too focused on his hero training.
So, on his first birthday in the UA dorms, Izuku barely registered what day it was as he kicked his bed sheets off of him.
Groggily reaching for his nightstand, he squinted at his phone’s harsh light as he scrolled through all the hero news he missed while he was asleep. He received birthday texts from his mom and All Might. Izuku smiled through his drowsiness at the simple thought that All Might remembered his birthday.
He wanted to take Izuku out for ice cream again, but got caught up in the investigations of one of Tsukauchi’s ongoing cases. He had apologized profusely, promising to make it up to his young successor the next day. But Izuku understood. A simple ‘happy birthday’ was all he needed.
Finally getting himself out of bed, Izuku got himself ready for the day before joining Ochako and Iida in the common area’s kitchen for some coffee.
He entered with a big yawn.
“Good morning, Midoriya,” Iida greeted.
“G’Morning,” Izuku mumbled, stretching his arms out in front of him. He groaned as his sore muscles ached when he twisted his arm too much to the right.
“Did you train too much again last night?” Ochako asked through a mouthful of toast.
“Uraraka, it is rude to speak with food in your mouth.” Iida scolded though Ochako merely shrugged.
Izuku dragged his feet to the coffee maker and turned it on. “Maybe a little.” He admitted.
Shouto joined them next, entering the kitchen with sleepy eyes and a messy bedhead where red and white seemed to mix in the middle.
“Good morning, Todoroki,” Iida said.
“Morning.” Shouto mumbled through his tiredness, slumping in a seat next to Ochako.
“Oh!” Ochako said, chugging her lukewarm coffee before continuing. “How about we all go to the mall today?” She suggested. “We can invite Tsuyu and Shinsou too.”
Iida nodded enthusiastically, “As long as all our homework is done, I think that’s a great idea!”
“Well I do have Endeavor’s credit card on me...” Shouto added.
Izuku poured himself a cup of coffee before sliding a cup of tea towards Shouto who smiled in appreciation.
“Actually, I’m supposed to meet my mom today.” He admitted. “But you guys can go without me.”
“Are you sure?” Ochako asked.
“Yeah. I don’t really need anything anyway.” Izuku glanced at his phone. “I should be heading out now. I’ll see you guys later.” He took his coffee to go before leaving and his friends waved him goodbye.
Izuku took the train to his mom’s apartment. She greeted him with a huge hug and a breakfast feast that she may have spent a little too much time on.
“Mom, this is too much.” Izuku said as he gazed upon the table that was covered in breakfast foods, still warm to the touch. “I told you I didn’t want to make a big deal out of today.”
“Are you eating enough at the dorms? You put yourself through intense training,” Inko reminded him. “You need the food. Plus you’re still a growing boy.”
Izuku smiled at his mother as he sat down basking in the comfort of being in his childhood home. It was always quiet and peaceful here which tended to put his mind at ease.
Inko sat across from him and handed him a plate. “Now tell me more about your life at the dorms.”
They sat in the kitchen and ate all of what Inko had cooked for them. They drank their fair share of coffee as the two laughed at Izuku’s stories of his friends while living at the dorms.
“You have to bring your friends around more often, Izuku!” She laughed as Izuku had just finished telling her of the time he and Ochako had stolen a few pairs of Iida’s glasses and pretended to be a superior version of him all day. Shouto was confused at first, until he, too, joined in on their antics. Iida was annoyed at first, but soon found their impersonations to be funny.
“Especially your Todoroki friend. He seems like a sweet boy and I’d love to meet him.” She continued.
Izuku could feel his cheeks turn red as Inko smiled innocently at him. “Y-Yeah. I’ll bring him over some time.”
Unfortunately, hours passed and Izuku had to depart from Inko. He bid her goodbye before heading back to UA for another round of training.
On his way back, however, he realized that he had received some strange texts from his friends while he was busy catching up with his mother.
‘What time are you coming back??’ - Uraraka
‘Why do you hate us?’ - Shinsou
‘I thought we were better friends than this’ - Shouto
Izuku was very confused to say the least. Were his friends mad at him? Why? What did he do wrong?
The poor boy replied to each of their messages, but didn’t get a response back.
He put a hand to his chin and started mumbling to himself, trying to figure out why his friends were so upset. As a result, other passengers were giving him odd looks.
When Izuku stepped foot onto campus he immediately started making his way to the dorms. Originally, he wanted to train his quirk some more, but on the way back his theories began to spiral out of control and he could barely control his leg from bouncing in nervousness. What if his friends were really mad at him? Did he say something that overstepped? Did he forget something important? What if he accidentally hurt them? Did Katsuki have something to do with it?
Izuku nearly ran through the dorms entrance and into the common room. He came to a stop, however, when something hit him right in the face. It didn’t hurt, but he threw his arms up on reflex and closed his eyes tight as he felt something spray his face.
I really messed up, didn’t I? He thought.
“Kaminari, that was too much!” Sero scolded.
“W-What’s going on?” He asked frantically.
“Happy birthday, Midoriya!” His classmates all but shouted at the top of their lungs.
Confused, Izuku lowered his arms and opened his eyes. It was then he realized that he was hit with a bomb of confetti as pieces fluttered from his mass of hair with every move he made.
His classmates were all huddled around the common area, with Katsuki standing further to the back looking rather uninterested in comparison to the many excited emotions that flickered over the faces of the rest of 1-A. Colourful balloons and streamers were placed all over the common area, most of which were the colours of his hero costume. Some of the decorations were put up elegantly, while others were barely being held together by clumps of Sero’s tape. To the side was a table piled high with snacks and drinks. There was also a giant All Might poster plastered to the wall behind the TV. The confetti, he noticed, were in All Might’s colours; red, blue and a golden yellow.
The set up wasn’t the prettiest. In fact, it was messy and a little overwhelming, clearly indicating that it was all put together hastily. But still, Izuku took a moment to process the state of the entire room, then locked eyes with his classmates who all gazed at him with bright smiles.
Izuku could feel his heart surge and his throat tighten. He stood still for several more moments, neither moving nor speaking. It didn’t take long for his friends to begin worrying.
“Deku? What’s wrong?” Ochako asked on the verge of panic.
“Oh no, did we mess up the decorations?” Kirishima asked looking around the room.
“Kaminari! I told you to get salt and vinegar!” Jirou scolded.
“I’m sorry, but Midoriya seems more like a doritos man than a salt and vinegar kind of guy.” Kaminari defended his decision.
“I knew we should have added more glitter.” Aoyama said, doing a twirl underneath a sea of streamers.
“Did we not have enough All Might posters?” Tsuyu asked.
Mina facepalmed. “I knew we should have gotten more!”
“Well, what were we gonna do? Take them from his room?” Sero asked.
“We could’ve taken some from Bakugou’s!” Kirishima said and Bakugou growled.
Iida was the first to notice Izuku’s distressed state.
“Guys!” He shouted over the noise and the room fell silent.
Everyone stopped trying to talk over one another to look at Izuku. His nose was red and he clutched the ends of his shirt as if that could hold back the tears from filling his eyes.
“Midoriya...?” Shouto spoke his name softly.
“I...” Izuku tried to speak, but couldn’t find the words. Warm liquid spilled across his cheeks and he lowered his head in a vain attempt to hide it. “How... How did you know?” He asked.
“Bakugou told us.” Iida said as he and a few others approached the smaller boy.
Shouto began rubbing Izuku’s back as he tried wiping his face on his sleeve.
“How come you never told us when your birthday is?” Ochako asked accusingly, pinching Izuku’s cheek ever so slightly.
“I...” He hiccupped. “I didn’t think it mattered. It’s just another day.”
Shinsou scoffed. “Are you serious? You never let us forget our birthdays. Now it’s our turn.” He gave a small smile. “Plus, celebrating your birth is gonna be the one day our depression doesn’t get to us.” He said, gesturing between himself and Shouto.
“We’re sorry we couldn’t get this place ready in time.” Momo said.
“If we had known today is your birthday we would have been way more prepared!” Ochako said. “But I guess we panicked when we found out it’s today.”
Izuku shook his head. “This is perfect.” He said, giving his friends a big watery smile. “Thank you guys.”
“Ok! Time to party!”
Jirou started the music and the party began. There was a lot of dancing and games. No one knew that Shoji and Hagakure could dance so well, but there they were, showing up Aoyama’s twirls and Iida’s impersonation of the robot. Izuku almost passed out when he saw the corner of gifts left for him by his friends. A lot of ‘happy birthdays’ were thrown his way and to be honest, he was almost overwhelmed by all the attention.
To say Izuku wasn’t used to this was an understatement. It had been years since he had attended a birthday party, much less his own. So at one point during the party, Izuku found himself standing off to the side, trying to embed every detail of this moment into his brain: all of his friends in one room, the sound of their contagious laughter, the flashy colourful lights, all of it.
However, a familiar scoff caused Izuku to turn his head away from the energetic scene.
“I told them not to go overboard.” Bakugou said, leaning against the wall beside Izuku with a plastic cup in hand.
“Hey, Kacchan. Why did you tell them that today is my birthday?” He asked.
Katsuki paused. “I know you don’t do shit on your birthday. If I have to put up with their shit on my birthday, then you’re going to as well.”
A fond look glistened in Izuku’s emerald eyes as his gaze returned to the party. “I forgot what a party felt like.” He said softly.
“Well I guess you’re gonna make up for all these past years.” Katsuki said, taking an angry sip of his drink.
“For this.” Izuku said, gesturing to the scene in front of them.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Katsuki said, crumpling his plastic cup then throwing it into the trash basketball style.
Izuku knew better than to argue with his childhood friend. But still, no one else could’ve known about the details of his hero themed parties as a kid.
“Happy birthday nerd.” Katsuku grumbled, ruffling Izuku’s hair roughly before stalking off.
Izuku was about to rejoin the party himself when he felt a tap on his shoulder.
“Hey.” He said, hands hidden behind his back.
“Thanks for putting all of this together for me.”
“It was a team effort.” Shouto replied. Then paused. “I... Um...”
Izuku waited patiently for Shouto to speak as heterochromia eyes glanced off to the side.
“I didn’t know what All Might merch you didn’t have so I got you something else.” He pulled out a poorly wrapped present from behind his back. “I hope you like it.”
“You didn’t have to get me anything.” Izuku said, but he took the present anyway.
After tearing the wrapping paper off, Izuku held up a notebook, similar to the ones he used for his hero notes and analyses.
“Open it.” Shouto said.
Izuku flipped open to the first page and was instantly greeted with a hero analysis of... himself. He turned a page, then another. The notebook was filled with analyses on Izuku’s hero costume and its evolution, his progress in becoming a hero and the many fights he’s had along the way as well as how it’s changed him as a hero. Shouto even added his own commentary, making sure Izuku knew just how much his hard work pays off when it really counts. Every word and every detail made Izuku sound like a pro hero in the contents of this notebook.
“I hope I managed the format that you use for your hero notebooks. You’re always so observant with us, I thought maybe you should see yourself in the same light that you see us.” Shouto explained.
“Todoroki, I...” Izuku was at a loss for words.
“This part is my favourite.” Shouto flipped through the notebook until he landed on the sports festival portion. More specifically, on the page that highlights his fight against Izuku.
There was a brief pencil drawing of their fight, but what caught Izuku’s attention was a specific section of Shouto’s commentary.
‘ Midoriya fought with everything he had and broke too many bones. He chose to significantly decrease his chances of winning just because he didn’t want to see me suffer. I will always be grateful for that fight and for my first friend .’
Izuku did not want to cry again and it took all of his strength not to. Though his hands still shook and his throat still clenched.
“There’s no way you pulled this together in a few hours.” He said.
“I’ve been working on it for a while as a Christmas gift, but I thought now would be a good time to give it to you... Do you like it?” Shouto asked nervously.
“I love it.” Then, Izuku wrapped his arms around Shouto in a hug. The action took Shouto by surprise, but he soon melted into the embrace.
“Cake time!” Ochako yelled over the music and everyone’s chatter, effectively breaking up Izuku and Shouto’s hug.
Jirou halted the music and Ojiro stopped his failed attempt at trying to breakdance using his tail.
Izuku was ushered towards the head of the kitchen table where Katsuki was forced to stand on his right side. Though despite the blond’s reluctance, he made no effort to move. Iida placed a familiar All Might themed cake in front of him and Izuku gave Katsuki a sappy smile, who turned his head the other way as a response.
“Happy fetus eviction day, man.” Kaminari said.
They sang happy birthday and shared cake. Afterwards Izuku opened his gifts, making the easy assumption that his friends did go the mall after all. Nevertheless, he was ecstatic opening every one of his presents.
Afterwards, Tsuyu tugged on his arm and led Izuku to an empty hallway where Shouto, Ochako, Iida and Shinsou stood waiting for them.
“So...” Ochako began. “We have one final gift for you.”
“Another one?” Izuku asked. “You guys really didn’t have to. Today has been more than enough and I really appreciate—”
Shinsou handed Izuku another wrapped gift. “It was kind of last minute, but we hope it turned out alright.”
As if looking for confirmation, Izuku found himself glancing at Shouto, who smiled and gave him a nod to open it.
Izuku tore off the wrapping paper to reveal a medium sized canvas. It was painted teal, the exact shade of his hero costume. Across the canvas in bold white letters were the words, ‘We Love You 3000 (and then some!)’ . The border of the canvas was signed by each of their first names in black ink.
Izuku couldn’t speak. After all the events that played out today, he was left completely speechless. But through his teary vision was a twinkle in his eyes and a watery smile that was wider and brighter than any star.
“I love you all, too.”