Soul marks appeared as soon as the first quirk possessing kid was born.
It was a rarity, well more like a completely unheard of incident, it was a mind trap within a mind trap each involved in another. The fact that the child had a quirk, was a bit more tolerable and understandable, at least it affected only the kid himself, the marks on the other hand were much more widespread, everyone had them, and everyone had them in different spots and different sizes.
They came in a flash, an instant, no matter in what part of the world, some were awake and some were sleeping but everyone felt the slight burning sensation that came from the place that the mark had settled in. Regardless of age, size, nationality, religion, each and every person now had one.
Of Course this lead to widespread panic, people desperately trying to find answers in any way they could. First it was a race thing, since the child had been born in America it surely had to be that Americans, the majority white, had to be the superior race.
The problem came when the supporters of this claim found that the child was a daughter of two mexican immigrants, the claim ended completely demolished. Then it switched to religion, God must've been the one who sent these signs but once again, as with all religious issues, people were split and with no defining evidence that ran stale. It went on like this for almost every possible category from sexual orientation to hair and eye colour. Explanations were thrown everywhere, even those without an ounce of substance were believed by even a handful of people But these marks were not left undefined for long.
It wasn't long till people took from fiction that these had to be what they called “soul marks”. These were marks that, according to them, defined who was to be your soulmate, people that you were destined to be together romantically. Some argued that it wasn't necessarily about romantic feelings, it could also be platonic feelings; like those between a mother and son or daughter, any family relation. The reason why some were romantic and why some were platonic is still unknown. Soon after this theory gained momentum a number of tests and studies were performed to test the reliability of this explanation, with very minor differences, all tests came back with the same results.
First it was with couples, married, who had different marks, in all cases the mark was black with a weird texture. those couples, even if unmarried, with the same mark, was not only the same colour but also outlined with gold. An extended study found that those who had been with people with different marks who later dated or married the person with their same mark their mark went from the black textured one to the coloured gold outlined one.
The platonic testers mostly came from family members with the same marks or close friends the main difference was the silver outline that these pairs had rather than the gold the others did. This all took a year and the public silently waited as everything went on, in this time of silence silent questioning and wonder went on, but when released most of the public adopted this explanation, this didn't mean what followed was tranquility.
The disaster that followed was expected but not prepared for, lawmakers rushed to their own beliefs. A split among them whether to force people to be with their soulmates, at first glance it seemed fine. It should've been an easy way to happiness, being placed with the person who is supposed to be your happy ever after. And Why not? Aren't people soul mates for a reason? But a glance is deceiving, soon the problems came to a rise, the most basic was what if you fall in love with someone, the most impactful what about those families made up of mismatching marks? It was battled up to the Supreme court until it was denied with a vote of 5-2, all under the simple basis that it was a violation of basic human rights, an applaud amongst most. Freedom of choice was the most important.
This by no means meant that people didn't believe the law proposed should've passed. It wasn't uncommon to hear of a parent picking up and abandoning their family, in some rare occasions both parents would decide to break it up and would leave their child with a family member or friend out of fear that their significant others wouldn't want them with another person's child. Those who were left didn't understand but nothing could be done, families were broken and the effect of this could be felt in their lives later on. Now the most common practice with soul marks was to date whoever you want until you eventually found the one, not all of them followed this but it was the norm.
Izuku Midoriya was fifth generation, and everything should have been fine, all things considered he should've lucked out, all his family had amazing quirks, all of them had loving partners, he couldn't understand what he had done wrong. He came out broken, he became an outsider and no matter which way he saw it, no matter what angle he took, why he came out the way he did had no explanation. His parents had been lucky, his mother had a quirk that if she had pursued could've been incredibly powerful, levitation. An admirable quirk, but his mother wasn't the fighting type and she settled with her small scale quirk. Her father had an element quirk, fire, well fire breathing to be exact, the difference was that he happened to be the fighting type. He was powerful, at least from what he remembered, and he admired him like no one else mattered. he felt like a dishonor to them both.
His soul mark wasn't the problem, but his quirk was. It was non-existent, as if he belonged to the old world, nothing, and he didn't know what broke him more the fact that he had none or the constant reminder that he was less than everyone else. These thoughts were a product of his own observance but nothing helped more than a push from his peers, peers who had not so long ago been friends.
Katsuki didn't help with that feeling of inferiority. Every day he found a new insult, a new way to make him feel worse. A new way to add to that already existing inner hatred. He respected him, despite everything, he was still his friend, even if Kachan wished he was dead, and there was no denying that he was powerful and power always demands fear and respect. Both things that he felt towards the other. Both things that he envied, he didn't need anyone to remind him that Katsuki had everything he wished he had just an ounce of.
But then even his soul mark became a problem, considering who he was he should've expected it. He used to be open about his mark, that wasn't to say that he went around flashing it to anybody but he had no intention, and no real reason of hiding it. For in his opinion there was nothing to hide, it was his and if he wanted to show it then he should and would but when it came to light that he was quirkless that all changed.
The endless bullying and harassment that he had to suffer from his peers forced him into hiding it. He rationalized that doing so would result in it being better off not only for himself but whoever had to deal with being partners with a quirkless soulmate. It wasn't by his own judgement that he thought this. Slowly but surely his peers had begun suggesting that his partner would kill themselves or forcibly remove their mark after finding out about his "condition". And he simply accepted it. He slowly became more reserved, more kept to himself and while he still had passions that he held close, like his journaling, all if it began to become a process.
Hide it and stay remotely safe or show it and become a bigger target.
It wasn't like he had a choice either way, either he did the “right” thing or Katsuki would force him into doing the “right” thing.
Things change though, everything and everyone does it just happened that he changed in a more dramatic and drastic way, that even he still couldn't explain. When he was passed One for all By all might he didn't really know what he was getting into, he didn't know what it meant to have a quirk much less such a powerful one. He didn't know how to control it and he didn't know the physical preparations hr would need to go through to simply prepare his body to take it, The only thing he did know was that it was going to require a lot of work, much more than the average person, and that was something that he was already used to.
Despite this he was happy, happy that he would be able to accomplish his childhood dream and happy that just maybe he could finally honor his parents, especially his father. But truth be told it was more bittersweet than he'd care to admit, during those months of preparation he had kept it hidden from his mother and despite not being a lie, she never asked any questions, it still felt wrong and the guilt still settled deep. But the need to finally feel like he was someone worthy of anything and knowing that he'd finally be a useful part of society helped outweigh any other negative thoughts. Soon enough he'd tell his mother and she'd understand why he had to do what he did, after all, not that long ago he was a pitiful quirkless kid, and now he had done a full 360.
His meeting with All Might had been the catalyst to a world of change and showed him that even some of the behaviors he had were held by people he really admired, like Shouto Todroki.
It started with admiration, as most things do, his first day at UA was rough and the only two things that really kept him going was the constant support he received from Uraraka and Iida and the look of absolute pride his mother had when he had been admitted. Between trying to dodge Katsuki and barely surviving the obstacles Mr.Aizawa seemed to make to specifically test him. All that along with his training with All Might forced him to go some time without noticing anyone outside his immediate group. While Todoroki was always there, he didn't notice him until a week into the semester and that was only because of the Power Demonstration activity Mr.Aizawa had set up.
He knew that his powers were not yet developed and that in order to plan everything out carefully, he'd have to view everyone else during the activity and see when it'd be convenient to use his power. This would also help him start learning the weaknesses of his classmates and how to try using them to his advantage. It was here that he was forced to see just how powerful Todoroki was, he excelled in every way, with no noticeable weaknesses, he was in every way perfect. After the power demonstration Midoriya had never tried talking to him, despite desperately wanting to. Something drew him in, he believed it was because he had the same type of energy as Katsuki, only calmer, more controlled and more approachable. He was powerful but he didnt know how to rank him, it didn't matter, he just hoped it'd never be used against him.
Regardless of this fear he continued to admire him from afar, and at least for that time, that was all it was, simple and pure admiration. This admiration soon turned into genuine respect for the other and within that respect he was able to find a level of confidence in his choices. Todoroki also hid his mark, and if someone as powerful and respectable like that could do it and get no slack than it was reasonable that he shouldn't feel guilty for doing it either. With this came curiosity. He knew why he hid his mark, but why did Todoroki?
All the answers he managed to come up with seemed so unreasonable. Maybe he doesn't like his mark? Todoroki wouldn't care, he wasn't the type to let people's opinions get to him. Maybe he didn't have one? He did, besides the half and half appearance the second most notable thing about him was how he wore only one fingerless glove on his left hand(Which made Midiroya wonder if his mark was on his palm or above his wrist). Perhaps he already had his partner and didn't want to be bothered with it? Also completely unrealistic, he was completely antisocial and from what he had gathered the only people he really ever was seen with were his siblings. He had no friends and it was hard to believe that he could even have a significant other.
That by no way was this to say he was unpleasant because he wasn't, even if he tried presenting himself in that way, he was just reserved. Quiet even when you could tell he had something to say. It wasn't much, all things considered, he wasn't a talkative person, but when he had something to say he made sure it was blunt, precise. But it was still like an urge Deku had noticed he needed to speak with such urgency, he needed to, as if he had been silenced long enough. Knowing this he knew there was no way he could get information directly from the source.
It was all a dead end and he didn't know what else to do.
And things stayed stagnant like that for a while. Considering how horrible he was at basic human interactions, and that Shouto was no better this was to be expected and it only angered Deku more. While he desperately wanted to get closer to him he had absolutely no courage to do so, until May 23. Even this wasn't by his own doing, it was more a result of his toxic need to constantly push himself, but it helped kick start the friendship that he desperately wanted (and needed) with Shouto.
Things had started piling up all the month of May and while he had initially thought that it would be better as the school year transitioned into a new month it only seemed to get worse. Between trying to train for the Sports Festival, keeping up with his regular classwork, and his separate trainings with All Might his capability and overall energy was running dangerously thin, it was only a matter of time before he snapped. And that's exactly what happened on May 23rd. To be fair it was mostly to blame on Deku, he knew his limits more than anyone and even though pushing them to a certain extent was reasonable that day he took it to far.
It was his usual schedule, he woke up at 5am for his morning run, usually catching Shouji when he got back to the dormitories , 6am to 8 he met with All Might at the gym to workout, 8:30 to 4 was all class time, 4:30 to 7 was once again training with All Might, he was about to head to his room when Iida ran up to him from his dormitory.
“Midoriya where are you going?” he had said as he quickly made his way next to him. Deku hadn't thought much of it perhaps he wanted to hang for a bit but he was so tired and he still had an assignment to finish for both Math and english not to mention a science project due at the end of the week that he hadn't even thought of, not to mention that he needs to eat and shower.
“Back to my dorm.” He responded blatantly hoping that Iida would catch the hint.
“That's fine, freshen up if you need to, remember that Uraraka and I will be waiting in front of the main entrance at exactly 7:30, try to be punctual.” And with that he made a sharp turn and headed back to the common area leaving Deku hating himself just a bit more.
It's not like he didn't know he had a lot on his plate, he knew that, but the constant insistence on both of his friends parts was enough to make anyone cave in, not to mention that they were pressuring him much more since Tokoyami had refused their offer due to some concern regarding his quirk, opun hearing this all of Class 1-A became incredibly interested. It didn't take a genius to see that Tokoyami had begun to feel uneasy but surprisingly it was Shouji to break up the crowd and help him back to his room, he'd have to ask about it later. To be honest, he had thought that he wouldn't be this tired but all might had been incredibly focused on testing his cardio and stamina today in specific and that had left him far more worn than he expected.
Regardless he had promised that he would go with them, and feeling like he would disappoint his friends if he said no, he went to his room quickly jumped in the shower and went to meet them outside.
The were supposed to get back at 10 the latest but somehow they had managed to come and hour and a half later, while both Iida and Uraraka made their way rapidly into the dormitory building Deku stayed behind barely making it up a flight of stairs to the front door. He still had yet to eat, again he only had himself to blame, he was in such a rush that he had forgotten his wallet and when they offered to buy him something he felt bad taking his money so he silently played it that he wasn't starving. It wasn't the first time he did this but it was the most painful.
He barely made it through the front door before he collapsed.
He never made it to the floor though.
Shouto had a habit of waking up every time he had a nightmare, if this wasn't enough of a pain he also couldn't go back to sleep so he opted to go out for a walk or to watch tv, anything to distract him. That day he had chosen to go for a walk, his usual route, that day for whatever reason, rather than go out the back door he chose to go through the front. It was just as he rounded the corner that he saw what looked like Deku very difficulty making his way up the stairs and he was only two feet from it when he opened it, and as if on command, collapsed.
Having caught him was only a part of the issue, the following were exactly he would put him, he felt as though it was a bit of a breach of privacy to search him for his room key, then again he wasn't sure if Midoriya would be okay with Shouto taking him to his room. He could always leave him at one of his friends room but it was around 12:05 and he doubted anyone would appreciate being woken up at that hour. For now the only decent solution was to take him to his room and explain it to him when he woke up. Getting to his room was a bigger challenge than he had expected, between avoiding some people who were up for god knows what reason and trying to avoid certain room, Mineta and Tokoyami, one for fear of unleashing a quirk and the other 0out of fear of hearing anything ungodly, but eventually he made it.
Laying him on his bed he could finally see just how exhausted he truly was, deep and dark bags dominated his under eye area his eyes which were usually wide seemed to almost drop down in this state, and despite being asleep he held this expression of complete exhaustion, Shouto didn't like it. Truth be told Shouto admired Deku more than he'd ever care to admit outloud, and perhaps even more than just a friendly level, but the way he could make a whole group join together and do it all with a level of positivity and overall support deserved admiration.
He wasn't experienced with feelings on any degree so he had resorted to his older sister for advice, which in hindsight was a horrible idea, regardless it had helped.
He had been standing outside his sisters room for almost thirty minutes all of which were spent contemplating if he should go ask them for help, it was eight oclock, he knew that she was probably just reading and wouldn't necessarily be interrupted if he went in but if he wanted to was a completely different train of thought.
“Shouto? Do you need anything?” he had heard his sisters voice coming through the door, slightly shocking him.
“How did you know i was here?”
“It's just pure instinct, also I can see your shadow through the door,’ of course she had, he truthfully didn't know why he hadn't thought of that, but to be fair he had almost believed her,”You can come in if you want.” he almost just dashed into his own room but he figured that he had come this far.
“Hey Yumi, i need help with something.” he didn't know how else to say it, did he need to say like feelings or lie and put his situation into a movie or something,he opted for the blunt route.
“Look the thing is, there's this guy in my class, and I don't know.” wow what a great sentence, so descriptive.
“Oh Sho that's not very descriptive but i think i get it,’ She took a minute break before suddenly blurting out,” You like him don't you?” Fucking unbelievable.
“I dont know thats why i came to you.” he was frustrated just a bit, and Yumi laughing at him now wasn't helping.
“Okay sorry, but you have to tell me more.” What a mindfuck now she made a full 360 into caring mode.
“ he's different i don't even know how to explain it, he cares, that's how he got into the U.A because he cared and saved a classmate's life. He's always trying, it doesn't matter who doubts him or who physically puts him down, that's who he is. It's admirable in every way and he doesn't get the recognition he deserves.” he admitted it all with a very clear blush on his face but he would admit that it felt good to finally be able to get it off his chest and put it into words.
“Oh Sho,'' She said as she moved closer to him,” You like him, and I only say that because saying love would be a little premature, but you genuinely care about him Sho and im happy for you.’ She said as she pulled him into a hug, he was still confused but he understood even if it was just a bit more.
Of Course at the time he thought that it was incredibly sweet for his sister to be that helpful, but he should've known that sisters have a bad reputation for a reason. Soon enough it was constantly teasing and little nabs, which made him incredibly glad that he had never mentioned Midoriya's name. Then came that questions: Have you talked to him? Have you even tried? Have you learned anything about him? His life? Friends? Family? Quirk? Likes? Dislikes? Are you gonna ask him out? He wouldn't, he knew he had no shot and even if he did he wasnt what Deku needed and he doubted he was what he wanted.
He knew his place, he always did, always will.
Seeing the way that Uraraka and him interacted, all the secret little blushes, and the overall obliviousness seemed to signal to their friendship moving into the next stage. So he did nothing, per usual, he had the feeling that they were meant for something more. He had seen Urarakas mark, it wasn't outlined yet meaning that it wasn't platonic and that she had yet to date her other. He was sure it would happen soon, he was almost completely confident that Deku and her shared marks, the problem was he'd never seen his, it was always hidden by that glove.
The curiosity was killing him, and the horrible idea of taking the glove off for assurance slithered into his mind. He wouldn't, he couldn't, he had fought so much to not be a monster his father wanted, someone who took advantage of others for personal gain and using force if they resisted, he had come so far to let it go to waste like this. Of course he was still curious but the curiosity could wait, for now the only thing that mattered was Deku's well being. He lay next to him ready to sleep, his bed was big enough that they wouldn't touch, he made sure to set his alarm fifteen minutes earlier, and planned to explain the situation to Mr.Aizawa himself. He would tell Iida and Uraraka the situation as well, it seemed fitting.
Whether or not Midoriya liked it or not he wouldn't allow him to go to school tomorrow, he needed the rest, and he wouldn't let him leave unless it was to his room. He was responsible for him now, no matter what.