Izuku woke up cold, he hadn’t meant to fall asleep and had no way of knowing how long he was out as the sky was still dark. The seven year old been running all night and the day before. His legs were sore and his shirt reeked. He felt like a coward; after all, he couldn’t even face his problems. The rational part of him insisted that it wasn’t cowardly to stay safe but maybe if he wasn’t so weak, she’d still be here. Maybe he could’ve protected her.
Even now, her last words stayed ever-present, ringing in his ears like a chant, “Hide, I can’t let you get hurt.” She was strong and had been able to put him above her own condition. The image of the dark figure standing over her while Izuku couldn’t move was burned into his retinas. The fear, so strong he couldn’t even use his quirk, lingered in his gut like a stomach ache.
Izuku’s mom was dead and he might be next.
Every footstep he heard outside his alley shook him to his core, but it was the pauses that were most painful. They made his gut clench, his fingernails dig into his palms in anticipation, and his whole body shake. His mind was only full of anger and fear yet the fear was ever present. He was terrified that he would be found, by anyone and was scared of his da- the killer. There was no where he knew that could be safe for him.
Despite his rushing thoughts, he noticed a pair -maybe two- of footsteps that halted outside his alley. Could the killer be here? It was all too much of a possibility that he had been found. Izuku continued to be held down by his fear and didn’t move. His breathing slowed and he pulled himself closer to the wall. He truly felt like the weakest of the weak.
At least he wasn’t crying anymore, his tears had been streaming for as long as he’d been hiding, though they weren’t constant and came in bursts, they were impossible to control and frequent. He must’ve run out because the feeling hadn’t gone away but his face was dry. He didn’t think the feeling would ever go away.
Izuku’s ears perked up when the stopped footsteps seemed to shuffle closer to the entrance of the alleyway. A voice spoke up and Izuku wanted to run, “Hizashi, hold this for a second,” there was a small rustling sound -a plastic bag, maybe- and then a silhouette in the entry of the alley way. But Izuku’s mind was too flooded with emotions to think clearly. Hizashi, that name was far to close to his da- the killer’s to be a coincidence. Izuku’s blood ran cold as he feared what would happen.
“What, is there a cat or something?” Called a loud voice, it seemed familiar but Izuku couldn’t place it.
The young boy tried shuffling to the side, to the dark, but it just drew more attention to him and the silhouette turned its head very sharply to make eye contact. Bright red eyes burned into his own and it was too much. Red eyes had haunted him all his life through Kacchan and now there was another pair in front of him, they could only mean something bad, “Stay back!” Izuku cried at the strange figure.
They didn’t do what the Izuku asked and instead came closer, the boy stood up -he’d been spotted so there was no point in cowering- and let flame engulf his body. He could deal with the fear now and let his quirk run free, “Please don’t come closer!”
Then, like the man had blown out a birthday candle, his fire was gone and he was left with a sense of cold within. He felt empty and frozen. He was truly powerless this time. The feeling that had been haunting him for the past day suddenly intensified and he instantly burst into tears (guess he still had some left after all). Even though the fire hadn’t kept the person away, this action seemed to be more successful. Then, the figure kneeled down despite still being quite a distance away.
Izuku looked the man in the eyes and felt his nerves ease and settle throughout his body, “You won’t hurt me, right?”
“You don’t have anything to worry about, I’m a hero,” he tried to assure the boy. Luckily, at this, the tears seemed to slow down.
“Really?” The boy asked him with a watery smile, to which he got a nod in response.
“How about I take you to your home? Do you know how to get there?”
The young boy just shook his head violently, what if he was waiting for him? If Izuku was too predictable then they’d hunt him down and his mommy wanted him to be safe. He couldn’t be safe if the killer could find him.
The older man looked down at his watch. It must have been very late because he seemed to relent to a kind of inner set of principles and sighed, “I guess Hizashi and I can take you home for tonight, would that be okay?” Izuku did his best to not flinch at the name and weighed his choices, the hero probably wouldn’t let him stay in this alley, and he definitely couldn’t go home, but he’d be safe at a hero’s house and no one would think he’s there.
Subdued, but still crying, he took the hand that the man offered him and he let himself be led out of the alley. Once he got out he was greeted by, “Present Mic?” Was he Hizashi? Izuku’s head was swimming with thoughts.
“Oh my, little listener, you aren’t a cat,” he cooed. The familiar voice seemed to put the boy at ease. The man with red eyes -which he was now beginning to see as nice rather than scary- said in hushed tones something involving ‘abuse’ and ‘terrified’. Izuku took in what he could and while he was glad he wouldn’t have to explain himself to the two heroes, he wanted to scream that his mommy would have never treated him bad, but knew it would lead to further questions so he kept his mouth closed and said nothing.
The two men took them into an apartment after a few minutes of walking. It was cozy but disorienting as the decorations were a mix of darkness and bright colors. Izuku guess it was showing the differences between the two men even as they were all put together. They showed him to a nice room that didn’t have either of their ‘personal touches’ on it and was instead a nice collage of blues. They tucked him into the bed and promised he would be safe no matter what. The man with red eyes even let Izuku wrap his tiny fingers around his larger ones and stayed with the boy till he fell asleep. Izuku’s sore body finally relaxed into the mattress and he let his guard down to sink into a dreamless sleep.
Seven years later, after what Izuku still refused to refer to as anything but ‘the incident,’ Izuku placed in the hero course of U.A. with the help of his two dads, he was entered under recommendation. He had been training for all the time he had been with his dads and was confident in himself and his abilities; clearly, they were too. He still had the urge to protect others and it drove him to do his best. He wanted to assure that the travesty that had happened to him never happened to anyone else.
“Izu~ We’re going to school early to help with preparations, make sure you’re on time for your first day,” Hizashi called to his son one fateful day. Aizawa just let out an unhelpful grunt, it was far too early for him.
“Kay, see you at school Dads!”
Once he heard the front door close, he immediately started packing his bag and throwing on his uniform. Usually he’d take his time with getting ready for school -most of the time he took too much time and was late- but even though there was still an hour till school, he had things he wanted to do, like meeting up with his friend Todoroki Shouto. They’d met through their respective fathers’ careers and Izuku’s contagious cheery nature helped the other boy open up. They’d become (relatively) fast friends and promised to meet up on the first day of U.A. for hot chocolate.
Once he had his things together, he was out the door, running as fast as he could. He was always late but he’d promised his friend he’d make it on time. They were sort of opposites in their timing. While Shou-chan was always early, Izuku was constantly lagging behind. Though it had become a joke that whenever there was danger, Izuku was always right in the middle of it -maybe that would carry out into his hero work.
Unfortunately, Izuku tripped on a rock on the road in his haste and fell. However he didn’t land on his face, or really, he didn’t land at all. He was falling for way too long, but once he stopped falling he made contact on the ground with his feet -with no noise or anything. Izuku shrugged it off as the work of a nearby quirk and he was running again; he didn’t think to question the odd feeling in his stomach