Izuku Midoriya is quirkless. Therefore he is useless, weak, fragile, and could never ever become a hero. Izuku hated people telling him that. Who cares if he was quirkless? He could still become a hero, nothing would stop him from being one.
Izuku’s number one fan, and only fan so far, was Hisashi Midoriya. His dad always loved how determined he was, and even when Izuku was diagnosed quirkless (Izuku hated that term, it makes it sounds like being quirkless is a disability) he still said he believed in Izuku. Hisashi always agreed to play hero games with his son, even though Inko said it wasn’t going to be good for Izuku to have that false hope.
Izuku didn’t get any more false hope from his father after he turned five because Hisashi Midoriya was declared dead, and there was absolutely nothing Izuku was able to do about it. A hero was supposed to be able to save everyone right? What kind of hero was Izuku if he couldn’t even save his dad?
When Izuku was six, a blond man showed up at the Midoriya’s doorstep. He said his name was Kosuke Shibuya and he was a friend and business associate of Hisashi and was here to give them both letters. After grilling the man about Hisashi, Inko finally concluded that he was safe and let him inside. Izuku liked Kosuke, he was a nice guy and he offered to teach Izuku some mechanics, which was what his father had done as a job. Izuku was all for the idea, and his mother was just happy he was showing interest in being something other than a hero. Turned out Inko was wrong to assume it wasn’t something about heroes. Kosuke Shibuya was an (illegal) support item creator and started to teach Izuku about how to make good support items, he would need them if he wanted to be a hero since he was quirkless. Izuku was ecstatic and poured himself into becoming the best support item making hero ever!
Kosuke noticed that Izuku was quite good at making support items. He was always coming up with new ideas that would help him with being a hero. “If I put air jets in my shoes it’ll make me move better! What if I didn’t have to hold a grappling hook? What if I make something that can make me breathe fire!” Kosuke discouraged that last one, he didn’t want his workshop to burn down.
But despite all the good things that he and Kosuke did, Izuku hated school. It wasn’t that he was bad at it, but when your childhood best friend makes everyone gang up on you and call you a quirkless loser that's bound to do some damage. And damage as in physical damage, lots of physical damage. Izuku was pushed down stairs, rammed into walls, had doors slammed on his face, but Izuku never said anything about the bullying to anyone else. The teachers didn’t care enough to say anything either. So his mom was blissfully unaware that the entire school was out to get poor Izuku, she thought the bruises were careless accidents on his part. Not malicious wounds.
Kosuke on the other hand definitely suspected something was up at school, and that was one of the reasons he started training Izuku on how to fight. He hoped that maybe one day the small boy would be brave enough to stand up for himself and punch a bully in the face.
But then Izuku turned twelve and everything started to fall apart. He was tired, he was tired of everyone telling him what he couldn’t be. He was tired of looking at hero schools just to see that they had a “no quirkless” policy. He was tired of his mom discouraging him from being a hero, he was tired of Kacchan telling him he was too weak to ever become one. He was tired of it all. So Izuku announced to Kosuke he was becoming a vigilante. He reacted about as bad as Izuku thought he would.
“Come on Izuku! You’ll land yourself in jail, or dead.”
“No! I want to help people and I want to prove to everyone I’m strong! You said you believed in me Suke…”
Kosuke sighed, “listen kid, you’re young. Wait a few years, by then I’m sure all this quirkless discrimination will have died down and you can be that hero you always wanted to be.”
Izuku frowned, “I don’t want to be just another hero… I actually want to do something! A-and if you won’t help me… I’ll do it by myself.”
“Izuku. You’re smarter than this.”
“Stop!” Izuku yelped, “I don’t care! I-I… this is the only way Kosuke. I’m gonna save everyone, no matter what it takes.”
“You’re just a kid… you’re quirkless…”
Izuku scowled and kicked open the door, “you’re just like everyone else.” And with that stormed out the door.
Kosuke had a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach after that.
Izuku was now glad he had never told Kosuke about the warehouse his father had told him about in the letter. Or maybe Kosuke already knew about it, it didn’t matter either way. Izuku was really mad at Kosuke and if he tried to come in Izuku would scare him away. Izuku could be really scary.
Izuku hadn’t really been in the warehouse much before, he went in it once, but it was on the really sketchy side of town. He had just stepped in and walked right back out, Izuku wasn’t planning on getting mugged in a dark building. But Izuku was back now, and he was ready to claim the warehouse as his! It wasn’t that hard really, and Izuku even found the basement his dad mentioned in his note and it soon became Izuku’s secret hideaway for his hero activities.
Working on support items by yourself was a lot harder than having someone that could help you. Izuku had quickly realized this as he repeatedly failed on making the prototypes work. It was really annoying, but eventually Izuku worked through all the kinks (and there were a lot) and finally made the first working version of his vigilante costume. Izuku was ready but was the world ready for him?
Turned out Izuku wasn’t ready and the world was very much prepared. Electric rods don’t work as well as you think when you don’t know how to use them. But Izuku powered through (quite literally, he used his shoes as boosters to run through the people blocking his escape) and even electrocuted a few on the way out. Then, once he was safely watching from atop a building he called the police, and they managed to safely round up all the men who were intent on murdering Izuku a few minutes before. It wasn’t the most flashy or heroic way, but he had gotten the job done. Izuku was going to prove them all wrong, they’d see.
As time passed Izuku got better at the whole “vigilante-hero” thing he had going on. He was getting good at gauging his abilities and telling what kind of people he’d be able to handle and who he wouldn’t be able to. Izuku’s favorite nights were when he saved people. Sometimes he rescued them from a mugger on the street, sometimes he helped prevent a murder, but no matter what he did it always made him proud. Soon Izuku had garnered a name as a small-time vigilante who roamed the streets in his hometown and would always help someone in trouble. But he never made the news or anything, and Izuku was definitely okay with that. He was happy, but it was short-lived.
That happiness all went up into flames (literally) a few months into his vigilante career. Izuku was about to head back to the warehouse to put his stuff up and make the trek back home when he noticed smoke coming from the direction of his apartments. Izuku decided to go investigate, and he really wished he hadn’t, because what he found made him stumble back a few steps. His apartment building was up in flames. Izuku wanted to scream, he wanted to know if his mom was okay, but his legs were locked in place as he took in the horror of the situation. Izuku’s body started to move for him at some point because suddenly Izuku found himself in his smoke-filled bedroom. But his mind could only focus on one thing.
“MOM!” He screamed into the flames, “WHERE ARE YOU?” There was no response. Maybe she was out… maybe she was safe. Izuku ventured further into the house with the flames curling around his fire-resistant suit mockingly. Izuku could almost hear it daring him to walk farther in. So he did. The filter Izuku had installed over the voice distorter was doing an alright job of keeping the smoke out, but Izuku could feel his throat getting sorer and sorer as he called for his mom.
“Mom…?” Izuku stopped in the kitchen door, “mom… no... No. Nonono.” His mom, his only family member he had left, was in a chair at the kitchen table. At least what was left of her was. Izuku could tell that it was Inko and he really, really wished he couldn’t. The scene was gruesome at best and it was something Izuku never wanted to see. Izuku screamed and ran out of the room, he screamed and sobbed and prayed to whatever god was up there that this was all just a dream.
Just as Izuku was about to jump out of the window and grapple away a burnt picture floated past his face. It was almost as if fate was teasing him because the picture was of his dad, his mom, and him and they were all at a fire station. Izuku grabbed the picture before he left, and as he was swinging away the shock wore off and he felt his entire world crashing down around him.
An accident is what they called it. An accidental fire Endeavour had started while fighting a villain. An accidental fire that killed over twenty people. Endeavour didn’t even seem to regret it when he made his statement on TV.
“I send my sincere condolences to anyone who has been affected by this fire. This is a tragic event and it’s terrible to see all these innocent lives lost.”
If looks could kill, Endeavour would be burning in hell. Izuku hated the man. He hated how the bastard had the nerve to act like none of this was his doing. He hated him for not apologizing. He hated the public for not even being mad. But most of all he hated Endeavour for killing his mom and his fake concern for all of the grieving family members.
And since fate seemed to hate Izuku, Kosuke was arrested for illegal production and distribution of illegal weapons a few days after the fire “accident”. Izuku wanted to scream, he wanted to cry, he wanted to punch something. But Izuku couldn’t do anything. His eyes stayed glued to the screen as he saw Kosuke be dragged out in handcuffs and put in the back of a police car. Izuku looked down at his hands, he really didn’t have anyone left that cared about him, huh?
Izuku couldn’t sleep because every time he closed his eyes he saw his mom's charred corpse staring back at him. He couldn’t eat because he had finally run out of expired microwave ramen. And he couldn’t think because he needed to get outside. So Izuku ventured outside.
He walked over to a more busy part of town and stared longingly at the food carts that were lined up in the street for the festival that was going on. But Izuku had no money, it had burned up along with his hope. So instead Izuku decided that taking people's leftovers from the trash was better than starving. It really wasn’t much better though, the food tasted like literal garbage. But apparently someone was concerned enough about the twelve year old kid that was going through the trash that they pointed a cop over to him.
The officer wrangled the boy into his car and drove him to the station, and with a bit of research, the police discovered the kid’s name was Izuku Midoriya and he was presumed dead because of an apartment fire.
And so that's why Izuku spent his thirteenth birthday surrounded by police officers and social workers. Thirteen really was an unlucky number.