Actions

Work Header

The Emerald Phoenix

Chapter Text

Here I go again. I can never quite seem to help myself, can I?

So, this was one of three(four?) ideas I had for a My Hero Academia story. Basically, I’ve been wanting to write a story with this type of power for quite a while, and when the idea struck it was like a lightning bolt. I’ll describe the other ideas near the bottom. See if I can’t drum up some interest in them. If someone else feels like taking them as a challenge, I really would love that.

One thing I want to get a feel for before we begin; How do you guys feel about some modifications being made to a couple Quirks? I’m not talking about changing them entirely either. More like some… lateral modifications maybe? As an example, I’m thinking of changing one Quirk from a Mutant Type (always present) to the Transformation Type. They would amount more to Quality of Life adjustments and maybe offer some more combat potential. Another example would be learning how to use the Quirk in a new way, similar to how Tsuyu learned how to camouflage herself in the manga.

Not much more world-building to do in this one, so let’s get right into it.

-]|[-

 Chapter I: Rebirth

-]|[-

“If you truly wish to help people, becoming a doctor or a police officer are equally noble pursuits.” The words came from his sunken lips easily. The speaker was a gaunt, haggard looking man. He was skinny to the point of looking like skin and bones, and his lankiness and overly-long limbs made him look sickly. His dull, spikey yellow hair hung limply on his strangely angular head in a disheveled mess, with two long bangs coming down nearly to mid-chest. He would look every bit the homeless bum in his overly large clothes were it not for his eyes. The whites of his eyes were black, as if in perpetual shadow. His pupils though? They shone a brilliant, mesmerizing blue, hiding such power within them that it could steal a Villain’s breath away.

They were the only giveaway that this man was truly the Greatest Hero in the world.

All Might.

But that didn’t matter to would-be hero Izuku Midoriya. Not when his hero… his idol… had just told him he didn’t believe he could be a hero. His glassy, now-fake smile hung on his lips as he broke out into a heavy flop sweat. His pupils were trembling in their sockets, mere pinpricks now really. The young, dark-green-haired young boy had practically just had the rug pulled out from under his feet.

All Might let out a sigh, seeing how his words were sending his young fan’s world crashing all around him. Truly, this brought him no pleasure. No joy. Perhaps if the boy had any visible training, he could have said differently. But the boy clearly had naught but a dream in his head, and had never actually worked to accomplish it. At least not physically… or in terms of personality. The boy hadn’t even been able to look him in the eye when he asked if a Quirkless person could become a hero. Instead, he trembled and closed them.

Izuku probably knew what he would say long before All Might said it. The man sighed again, “Officers may be mocked… but they are still a vital force. My best friend is a police officer.” He didn’t know why he added that last bit, but something about the kid looking so despondent forced the words out of him. Anything to put even the tiniest bit of cheer back into his young fan. But the boy didn’t react. All Might closed his eyes for a moment, before he started walking away, “I’m sorry Midoriya-shonen. It’s great to dream… but you also need to be realistic.” He closed the door behind him and started walking downstairs, leaving the young boy who had so carelessly hitched a ride on his leg alone on the roof. “Sorry to just leave you like that, kid… but I need to get this guy-” He patted his pockets where he had left the slime villain he had captured inside a bottle, only to freeze. He looked down and felt his blood chill as he realized the bottles were gone.

Izuku didn’t cry. Perhaps he was beyond tears at the moment. For the barest moment, he looked at the edge of the roof in temptation, the words of his… once-friend Katsuki Bakugo filling his mind. For a moment, he wondered if a quick step off the side wouldn’t be for the best. No one cared about him but his mom. He had no friends… No ambitions…

Nothing but the dream his idol had just destroyed.

The moment passed and he made his way down to the streets, still utterly despondent. He was stuck in his own head. ‘It’s time to start thinking seriously about your future.’ The words rung hollow in his head, ‘Even the best of the best said it…’ A tear finally fell as he hugged his precious Hero Notebook Vol. XIII to his chest, ‘Don’t cry… you already knew. You always knew.’ Another fell. ‘But… I tried so hard!’ He began to grit his teeth, trying to keep more from falling. ‘So hard to ignore reality!

An explosion rang out, startling him so badly he almost dropped his notebook. He stopped stock still, ‘Even now… my feet just brought me here. Even when I already know…’ He closed his eyes, ‘I shouldn’t go… I’ll just make a fool of myself!’ His feet moved, and his eyes widened as he got closer. Dozens of onlookers were there, watching the events. Gawking.

Izuku forced his way in, and let out a gasp, ‘Oh no!’ It was the slime villain! The same slime villain that All Might had saved him from! The same slime villain… that All Might must have dropped when Izuku grabbed his leg. Shame and self-recrimination filled the young teen, ‘It’s all my fault! All Might! He can’t do anything right now! His time limit!’ He screamed in his own mind.

Off to the other side, All Might himself was clutching his incredibly wounded side screaming the same thing in his own mind, ‘I was too distracted by my time limit!’ His teeth were grinding as he could do nothing but watch, ‘Even after I admonished that young fan… pathetic. I’m PATHETIC!

One of the civilians asked, “Why aren’t the heroes doing anything?” It caught both of their attentions, for different reasons.

“The villain caught a kid.” Another responded, “Some junior-high student. It’s been like this for some time.”

No way!’ Izuku clapped a hand over his mouth, ‘I felt like I would die in seconds! How… how can they…?

Another civilian asked, “Wasn’t that the guy All Might was chasing earlier? Did he get away from even him?” A din rose, as the bystanders started talking, wondering why their Number One Hero wasn’t doing anything.

Izuku and All Might were both full of nothing but self-recrimination, one calling himself pathetic and the other begging for a hero to come to fix his terrible, foolish mistake before someone died.

And then Izuku saw who the student was.

His notebook clattered to the floor and he was rushing straight towards Kacchan’s terrified face before his mind even knew what his legs were doing. “No kid!” A pro hero yelled as he saw the little brat rushing in.

Page 25!’ But Izuku moved faster than he had ever moved before in his life, ripping his backpack off his shoulders and slinging it towards the monster’s eyes, the edge hitting it in the one spot that was a target. The sludge recoiled slightly and temporarily freed Katsuki’s mouth to allow him some air. Izuku grabbed onto to it and tried futilely to rip the sludge off his former friend. But the monster recovered swiftly and a slimy tentacle smacked him away from it.

He hit the ground and rolled over some flames, groaning in pain. The heroes panicked and made to rush forward, not willing to let another student get caught. All Might himself was trying to force himself back into his hero form to save the kid. But Izuku found strength he didn’t know he had and somehow got on all fours, “Give…” His green eyes started to shimmer weakly, “GIVE KACCHAN BACK!” He roared.

Later… long after it was all over… Izuku would swear up and down that he heard something similar to a violin string snapping inside his head. Nothing of the sort happened, but Izuku would attribute this as the moment it happened.

His whole body started glowing a brilliant emerald and his eyes began to shine the same way All Might’s eyes did. He reached a hand out to the incredulous-looking Katsuki and the green glow enveloped him.

And then Izuku yanked and Katsuki was ripped away from the villain as if his captor wasn’t even there. Katsuki rolled on the floor and coughed as he came to a stop near the boy, “Deku…” He rasped out as he lifted himself up, “What the fuck…” He growled out, “What the fuck is this?!” He yelled as Izuku stared at the fading glow on his hand as if it were the holy grail itself.

“YOU FUCKING LITTLE BRAT!” The slime roared and made to attack them.

Izuku – who had been desperately trying to hold onto the fading feeling inside of him – startled and started glowing again. He jabbed his palm forward and a visible blast of pure force rocketed out. It appeared to be compacting even the air in front of it as it sped towards the villain. When it impacted, the monster blew apart into medium-sized chunks.

As a bystander, All Might had been completely and utterly moved by the little Quirkless kid acting more like a hero than all of the heroes there put together. It was what had inspired him once more. What had unburied the spark of life left in him, after all of the bitterness of the past five years had ruthlessly tried to crush it as his body wasted away, ‘Did… did he lie?’ He had frozen mid transformation. He eyed the situation closely as it unfolded, ‘No… no… he looks completely and utterly flabbergasted. He’s even more shocked than I am.’ He started to grin and almost relaxed as he watched the boy blow the slime villain apart, and that proved to be a nearly fatal error.

I’LL KILL YOU!” The villain roared to the heavens as it forced itself back together. Izuku’s untrained blast had been unfocused and had lost power as it travelled. It hadn’t had enough force when it impacted to blow the villain into small enough pieces to knock him out the way All Might had done earlier.

“Shit!” All Might coughed up a bit of blood and started forcing himself to transform as the villain formed a spear-tip-like tentacle and drove it straight towards Izuku before anyone could react.

Well, almost anyone.

Katsuki forced his rage and shock down and kicked Izuku out of the way. The spear tentacle pierced his left shoulder rather than his chest. It still forced the boy back and into the ground with an agonized cry. The slime stayed in his body even as it separated from the main tentacle and All Might saw red. He forced himself into hero form and his fingers dug right into the steel lamppost and nearly ripped right through it. Another cry from Izuku distracted him for a very short moment. He almost stopped what he was doing as he saw a brilliant blue flame erupt in the boy’s injury, but refused to allow himself yet another mistake. He rushed forward and intercepted the villain, whose eyes widened in terror.

All Might… the greatest hero who always wore a smile as he saved people…

He was snarling in rage. “DETROIT… SMASH!” The villain was ended with a single swing of his fist. Mt. Lady was forced to use her arms and body to shield the pedestrians as even the very air moved out of the way from All Might’s punch. A whirlwind erupted around them, extinguishing the fires even the water hero Backdraft hadn’t been able to put out.

And then it was over, and All Might wasted no time getting to Izuku’s side. “Are you all right, mid- young one?” He cut himself off at the last minute. Better not let out that they knew each other, ‘What the hell is that blue fire? How the hell did he awaken not one but two quirks?’ Just as he was about to speak again, the fire vanished and left behind unmarred skin. ‘Regeneration?!’ He watched Izuku pat his former wound in wonder as everyone who had been watching erupted in cheers, “Even though I admonished you…” a small bit of blood flew from his lips, which he quickly wiped away to keep anyone from seeing except for Izuku, “I wasn’t putting what I said into practice. I’m truly pathetic…

“All Might…” Izuku whispered.

“Kid… what the hell were you thinking?” Death Arms stomped over, “Just what were you thinking, you reckless little kid? You could have gotten yourself killed even with that amazing Quirk!” No one saw Katsuki’s fists clench.

Izuku didn’t know what possessed him, but he spoke again, “But… but… I don’t have a Quirk….”

Ah, denial. He’s probably in shock.’ The analytical portion of All Might’s mind brought up the explanation.

“Pull the other one.” Kamui Woods threw in his two cents.

Izuku laughed a little hysterically, “I’ve never… I’ve never had a quirk.”

“And you still threw yourself into that!?” Mt. Lady walked over and began to add to the admonishment as she heard this. She could tell the kid wasn’t lying and also recognized the astonishment the boy was feeling, and that just frustrated her beyond belief. To think a little formerly-Quirkless kid was a bigger hero than her. “You could have gotten yourself killed! You’re lucky your Quirk suddenly manifested! What the HELL was going through your fool head?! I’ve never seen such recklessness in-”

Years of resentment and mistreatment had built up to this moment, and the idea that he had a Quirk was starting to put a high in him that no drug could have, “None of you were doing a damn thing!” He spat out uncharacteristically, rage tinting his tone. The heroes recoiled. Even now, even now that he had a Quirk… even now they thought him useless! “The only one of you that did your job was Backdraft! ‘Wait for a suitable quirk!?’ What kind of heroes are you!” The pro heroes started to get angry, and All Might started to get worried. This… this was a lot of resentment he hadn’t sensed earlier. Perhaps he’d been a fool not to. Even if things were better now, he well remembered bygone days before he became who he was today. Back when he had been just Toshinori Yagi. Back when he had been just like this boy. “You want to know why I ran in?” Izuku trembled, “I don’t know why!” Everything stopped, “My legs moved before my mind even realized what was going on!” Everyone’s breath was stolen from them. All Might began to grin even wider. Even with the resentment in him… this boy had the greatest potential for heroism he’d seen in decades.

But before he could say another word, the day seemed to catch up to the young boy. Izuku passed out, and it was only All Might’s reflexes that kept him from smashing the back of his head on the ground. “This kid…” It was a good thing All Might always smiled, because he could pass off his shit-eating grin. Even the heroes who had been so angry at his recklessness couldn’t help but smile in admiration. “Sorry, but no interviews today… I’ll be bringing him home.” All Might declared and started to walk away with Izuku in his arms. He stopped and then turned somewhat sheepishly, “Err… does anyone know where he lives?” Practically everyone face-faulted.

Katsuki glared at the boy in All Might’s arms in fury… but there was nothing he could do right now. But Deku would get what was coming to him soon, “Musutafu.” He spat out as he gathered his things and stalked away, “Big building next to two others. There’s a number 2 on it.”

Thank you, young one.” All Might stared after the light-blonde for a moment, seeing the resentment in him, though he didn’t know why. Katsuki snarled at someone coming to talk to him and just walked away and into the streets. All Might turned and started jogging away, stopping for a brief moment when he saw Izuku’s discarded notebook on the floor. He picked it up and then leapt away in one bound.

-]|[-

Inko Midoriya was fretting as she wondered where her son was. The dark-green haired, slightly dumpy woman was pacing back and forth, trying to avoid hyperventilating. Her son was almost never this late, and every single time he was, he’d come home with one bruise or another. It was enough to drive even a mother with a stronger constitution spare. But Izuku was truly her son, and she was fighting panic. A strong knock on the door almost had her jumping out of her skin. She raced to the door, and had to fight to stay conscious as All Might himself was revealed with her Izuku PASSED OUT IN HIS ARMS. “IZUKU!” She screamed shrilly, “Izuku, honey!”

I assume you are Izuku-shonen’s mother?” Inko nodded rapidly to All Might’s question, “May I come in? Your son has had… quite a day.” He chuckled to himself as the woman practically tried to haul him inside. He quirked an eyebrow at the All Might door-sign with ‘Izuku’ written on it, but that was nothing compared to when he stepped into the room, “Grk!” He choked. His form was literally everywhere in the room. Everything from action figures to the floor rug were All Might. “…This is a bit much…” he chuckled as he laid the boy on his mattress. He stepped out of the room and had to fight to keep from wobbling. He had long since passed his limit. He was starting to let off little wisps of steam.

Inko’s eyes widened when she saw what was happening, “All… All Might?” The man in his hero form was a giant, absolutely covered in muscles and his two long bangs stood straight like horns. Generally, he wasn’t known for steaming though.

Crap…” He sighed as the steam practically exploded from his form. Inko’s eyes widened and she backed away in apprehension, “That’s two Midoriya about to see my true self today…” Her eyes widened to epic proportions as the hero’s voice changed, and almost fainted away entirely as his true form was revealed.

“Wha-what?!” She stammered, eyeing the man so like her son’s hero and yet nothing like him at all. She started to hyperventilate.

The man reached out to steady her, “Calm yourself, Midoriya-san. Deep breaths.” Even now, he couldn’t help but help people. He helped her into a chair and had to excuse himself as he poured her a glass of water. He chuckled when she finally calmed down, “I can’t tell if Izuku-shonen gets his skittishness from you or if you get it from him.” He tried to joke.

She laughed a little strangely, “S-sorry. You…”

“Shocked you?” Toshinori sighed, “It’s an unfortunate fact of life… I’m getting old… and I suffered an injury years ago. What you see now… I’m a shell of my former self and am down to three hours a day in my hero form.” He admitted sadly.

“I… I see…” Inko knew what this meant. At some point… some time soon… the Symbol of Peace would retire. Izuku would be devastated, “D-does Izuku know?” She wasn’t sure why he would, but there had to be a reason for All Might to bring him home personally, right?

“He does.” Toshinori confirmed, “I saved him from a Villain today… and my time limit ran out. He was… quite shocked.” He chuckled dryly as the woman managed a deadpan stare. He turned and looked over towards the room, “You have quite the son, Midoriya-san. He impressed me quite a bit today.”

She looked down, “Ever since he could understand what he saw, you were his hero. Since he realized heroes existed, he wanted nothing more than to be one. To follow in your footsteps. Meeting you must have been a dream come true for him.” Toshinori’s grin widened, “H-how did he impress you?” She fidgeted as she blurted out the question, “I love him more than anything but… but…”

“He’s Quirkless?” Toshinori asked dryly. She nodded helplessly, “And yet, he was more of a hero today than some professionals.” She gasped at his words, “Midoriya-san-”

“Inko.” She interrupted, and then blushed at doing so.

“Inko then.” Toshinori smiled again, “I won’t mince words, Inko. Your son did quite a reckless thing today. A villain escaped from me because I was too concerned with my time limit. He captured a young student with an explosion quirk-”

“Katsuki!” Inko clapped her hands to her mouth.

“Yes, that does sound similar to what Izuku-shonen called him.” Toshinori mused for a moment, “Right… Katsuki-san was captured and the villain – being made of slime – proved quite difficult to capture as none of the pro heroes could do any damage to him. All the while… I could only stand on the sidelines and watch, feeling helpless.” His grin split his face, “Your Quirkless son rushed out where all the heroes were standing still and managed to buy young Katsuki some much needed air.” Inko looked faint, “Like every true hero… his legs moved before his brain caught up.”

“Izuku…” Inko was about to cry, hearing her son’s idol speak so well of him.

“His actions inspired me to move and I forced myself through the pain and back into my hero form.” He leaned back in his chair, “Only before I could do anything…” His grin was blinding, “Your son awoke his Quirk…” Inko could handle no more. She fainted dead away. His grin became a little strained, “I hope… this isn’t going to become a thing.”

-]|[-

Izuku jerked awake suddenly, springing up in his bed and gasping, He was trembling and sweating heavily… almost feverishly. His… his dream…

It had felt so real. So, so real! Slowly, his breath calmed and he flopped back down, grimacing slightly when he realized they’d probably need to do laundry now. He clenched his fists. For a moment… for one fleeting moment… he’d been normal. He’d been just like everybody else. He’d even met his idol on top of it!

And now he was back in the waking world. Still Quirkless… still worthless…

Still Deku.

He eyed his All Might posters and figurines, before turning his head towards his desk. He knew what lay on it. An innocent little paper that would determine his whole life ahead of him. His school ranking list. And only one name was on it despite the many, many available slots. U.A. High.

The dream… had been much too real. Even now, dream All Might’s words rang in his head. ‘You need to be realistic.’ He ground his teeth and got up with a groan, marching over to the table. He grabbed a pen and hovered it over the page, ready to cross out his dream school…

But he couldn’t do it. Even with All Might’s admonishment… he just couldn’t do it. With another groan, he slammed the pen down and left his fanboy’s-wet-dream room. Even if it had felt so real… even if he was still Quirkless little Deku… he still wanted nothing more than to be a hero. Just like, “ALL MIGHT!” He gasped in shock as he entered his dining room and saw the man sitting at his table.

“Yo!” Toshinori waved with a grin, “Decided to finally rejoin the living, Midoriya-shonen?”

Izuku trembled. All Might was sitting in his dining room. All Might was in his gaunt, skinny, powerless form in his dining room. The gaunt, skinny, powerless form he’d created in his dream that couldn’t possibly be real. “All… All Might! Then…”

“My name is Toshinori Yagi, Midoriya-shonen. And no, it wasn’t a dream.” His gaunt grin widened to amazing proportions.

“Izuku!” his mom practically knocked him over in a flying hug-tackle. “Oh, honey! I’m so proud of you! What was your quirk? What was it?!” She had such a happy, energetic grin on her face even as some tears streamed from her eyes. Izuku hadn’t seen his mother look this excited…this blindingly happy… for anything… in … almost ten years… Ever since she had been able to do nothing but cry on his shoulder, when he’d been declared Quirkless.

“It…” His eyes started to water, “It… it was real?” His lips started to quiver.  “B-but how? I… I was diagnosed! I have an extra joint on my toe! I’m Quirkless!”

“So do I.” The words froze the two of them, “Our circumstances are different, shonen, but the results are the same.” Wasn’t that an understatement of things? But even if his true form was revealed to Inko, he wasn’t planning on spilling his other secret to her so soon. “I don’t know why your Quirk lay dormant for so long. But it appeared! As for the toe…? Not a clue. I’m not a doctor.” Toshinori could definitely see the resemblance, as the mother and son tightly embraced one another and opened up the waterworks. His giant grin turned into a tender smile as he witnessed the moment, “Indeed… it was very real young man. You developed quite a splendid Quirk during that battle.” His grin dropped as the two remembered he was there, “In fact, if it weren’t for the look of shock, joy, and wonder on your face as it happened, I would have assumed you had been lying to me about being Quirkless!”

“I would never!” Izuku jumped and waved his arms, as if trying to ward off the not-accusation.

Toshinori let out a chuckle, “Relax. You could never have faked that look on your face. I had… much the same look on mine the first time I used my Quirk.”

“Izukuuuu!” Inko whined, “What was your Quirk? Toshinori-san wouldn’t tell me!”

“I’m… I’m not sure.” Izuku admitted sheepishly.

“To be honest, I’m not either. The only thing I can say for certain is that it is likely an Emitter type.” Toshinori told them. “You displayed three abilities… though really two of them may just be connected.” He raised his hand, one finger pointing, “You enveloped Katsuki Bakugo with a green aura like the one over your own body and easily pulled him out of the slime.”

“Ah!” Inko let out a happy squeak, “That’s like a better version of my quirk! I can do the same, but I need multiple motions and can only use it on smaller objects.” She looked utterly ecstatic.

Toshinori let another grin out, and continued with a second finger raised, “Two, you were able to project a force blast… similar to one of my punches. Weaker… much weaker… but similar.”

“You even changed the weather…” Izuku still sounded completely awed at that fact.

Toshinori grinned, “And three…” He suppressed a wince as he glanced momentarily at Inko, “When you were injured, your wound was enveloped in a blue flame and completely healed!”

“Injured!” Inko shrieked, and started needling her son overprotectively, “Where were you hurt Izuku? Does it hurt? How many fingers am I holding up?”

All Might deadpanned at that last question. The resemblance between these two was almost hilarious. Almost.

“Mom, I’m fine! I’m fine! Look!” He pulled his shirt down slightly, “See? there aren’t even any marks. I feel fine.”

Inko let out a breath, “Please be more careful baby. I couldn’t bare…” She started to sniffle.

Izuku pulled her into a hug. “No, no, no, please don’t cry mom. I’m okay!”

A whistle went off, “Ahh, the tea!” Inko hurried back into the kitchen and came back with a kettle and some cups. She poured them all some, “I hope you enjoy, Toshinori-san.”

“This looks like one of my favorites. Excellent taste, Inko-san.” Toshinori grinned as he took a sniff. “Now…” He brought the serious air back, “I have an idea I would like to test.” He looked around for something small, and placed a simple salt shaker on the table in front of Izuku, “Lift this.”

“W-with my quirk?” Izuku started to stammer, “But this is too sudden? How do I even do that? I never had a quirk before.” Mumblemumblemumblemumblemumble

“He’s doing it again.” Inko declared sheepishly as one of Toshinori’s eyebrows twitched, “Sorry about that. He can get really… intense when he’s in this mode. Doesn’t really pay attention to his surroundings.” She sighed sadly, “When he was diagnosed, his brain was the only thing he could really work out. He dedicated himself quite heavily to learning everything he could about other people’s Quirks as well as their habits.”

Mumblemumblemumblemumblemumble

“I saw a little bit of his notebook. It was… quite impressive actually. He even came up with several scenarios to beat a couple villains that I could see working out. He certainly has a brain on him.” Toshinori praised the young lad, who was still in his own world. He grinned a little wider and turned into All Might, “Midoriya-shonen!” He boomed, making Inko squeak and Izuku to spaz out a little, “You must feel it! You can’t brute force your quirk into submission!” He cut out the transformation with a puff of smoke, “Feel it out inside you, shonen. Remember what you felt during the incident. Remember what would have happened to your friend had you not intervened. Pull that feeling out and embrace your future! Prove you deserve a place at U.A.!”

With his hero and his mother cheering him on, how could he do anything but?

His eyes and body began glowing green, which mirrored on the salt shaker. And then it shot up like a rocket, straight through the roof, the floor above them, that roof, and into the stratosphere. They all looked up at the hole in the ceiling, one deadpanned, one shaking, and one sweating bullets. “That’s going to be… expensive.” Inko whimpered. Izuku started sweating actual bullets.

All Might looked down, staring at the boy with his face expressionless, “Shonen… I said pick it up… not send it into low orbit.” Despite his face, he was struggling to contain both his glee and his amusement. “My apologies Inko-san. I’ll pay for that.” He just barely held back a chuckle as Izuku started stammering out apologies and repeatedly bowing to him.

-]|[-

Izuku let out a heavy yawn as he made his way into the dump that was the Dagobah Municipal Park Beach. Oceanic dumping, oceanic currents, and utter assholes had turned what was once a beautiful beach into a literal junkyard. Everything from refrigerators to cars and trucks littered the sand. “Excellent! You made it on time, shonen!” It was six AM. The sun was barely rising. It was a little chilly due to the ocean breeze.

And Izuku was pretty exhausted meeting All Might. Especially since he had no idea what this was about. “H-hello! All Might!” He sat on a car that was undercarriage to sand, the wheels missing. “Why did you have me meet you here?” He eyed the man standing tall on a fridge.

Two reasons!” The great hero stuck out two fingers, “First, your quirk needs training! We still have to experiment and see what you can do! Cleaning this dilapidated beach will serve well and aid you in your quest to reach U.A.! Many pro heroes and hero hopefuls have forgotten that to be a hero means accepting unglamorous jobs too! There are too many people in it for only fame and glory!” he hopped down and with a single movement of his arm, he pressed the refrigerator down into a tin can, revealing the rising sun behind him, “Your first step in your heroic career… will be the restoration of this beach!” Izuku was immediately wide awake and focused on his idol. “Secondly…” He felt it was a bit more personal to be in his true form, so he reverted, “Shonen, you impressed me far more than I let on yesterday. To see a kid with no Quirk racing to certain doom to save someone from their doom…” He sat in the sand with a side, “It made me feel like an utter hypocrite. Even after I scolded you and told you to pursue a more realistic dream… you were far more heroic than even me! Meddling where you’re not needed… not able… or maybe even not wanted… is the essence of heroism! You bought that child enough time to breathe and gave me the kick in the pants I’ve needed for the past five years! A hero must always be ready to risk their life to save others! You can not only be a hero… you may one day even surpass me!”

“All Might…” Izuku was all teary eyed and nearly sobbing in joy.

“That is why… I wish to make you my successor!” Izuku stopped breathing, “Shonen… no… Izuku! Will you accept my power and become the next Symbol of Peace?”

“Of course!” Given a mission by All Might himself… how could Izuku say anything but yes? And then the first part of the question penetrated, “E-eh?” He blinked, “T-take your power? What do you mean?”

Toshinori stared at him calmly and despite his currently weak body, he stood proudly, “Exactly as I said… I believe you’re worthy of inheriting my power!”

“…Huh?” Izuku looked completely bewildered.

“What’s with that face?” Toshinori yelled, spitting a little blood, “This concerns my Quirk! You may have noticed, but every time someone asks me what my Quirk is, I always play it off or deflect by telling a joke. The tabloids heavily suspect its ‘super strength’ or a boosting Quirk. But it’s neither of those things.” Izuku’s eyes were widening as Toshinori spoke, “My Quirk… is One For All.” He held his hand out and a rainbow of colors seemed to envelop his palm. Izuku gasped, “I always deflect the question because All Might must be a natural born hero… but One For All… is a Sacred Torch! My master passed it on to me! I was Quirkless…just like you, shonen!” Izuku simply could not breathe. All Might… Quirkless? That… that was impossible, “One For All is the ability to store and transfer power. The first person built it up and then passed it on, giving the second one greatly enhanced abilities and strength. They then cultivated it, grew it, and passed it on again. Each time, it grows to make the next wielder stronger than the last! And you, shonen! You are next!” He clenched his fist, “What say you?”

“I…!” Izuku stopped, “Is… is that even… fair?” Toshinori started in surprise, having expected his fanboy to immediately agree, “Or right? If I… If I had still been Quirkless, I would have agreed immediately of course… but now…” He stopped speaking for a moment, “Would that be fair to the others? And… how am I supposed to learn my own Quirk? It’s completely different from One For All.”

Toshinori grinned, “You’re not exactly dissuading me, kid. That kind of selfless attitude… you’re a perfect successor.” He held out a hand and pointed at the boy, “Worry not, shonen! Your own Quirk awakening makes things easier on us. You see… even if you’re a perfect successor in terms of your sense of justice… your limp-noodle body leaves much to be desired. One For All would rip you apart at the seams if you accepted it now.” Izuku had a slightly terrified look on his face, “You would have had to perform hardcore physical training over the next ten months to even have a chance of accepting it in time to enroll at U.A. With your quirk awakening we’re not in as much of a hurry on that front. We can dedicate the first few months more towards your own Quirk and then start in on the physical training.” He rubbed his head sheepishly, “Truth be told, this is a bit of a relief. You would have had little to no time with One For All prior to the entrance exam. You probably would have broken your arms or legs trying to use it because we would have been in too much of a hurry turning you into the proper vessel. We can get you there properly now, rather than rushing like madmen.”

He grinned again and turned back into All Might, “So…what do you say, kid?

“I’ll do it!” Izuku affirmed, “All Might… I’ll be your successor!”

EXCELLENT!” All Might’s perpetual grin got even wider, “Let’s begin first by determining… just what the hell your Quirk actually is! Because one of your abilities has nothing to do with the other!

“The fire, right?” Izuku asked, “I haven’t… really been able to use it since. I tried just a little at home.”

Dangerous, shonen.” All Might admonished him, “Try to save training with that side of your Quirk for outdoors.” Izuku nodded, looking sheepish, “Now, can you describe your parent’s Quirks for me again?

“Well, mom already mentioned it to you, but she can pull things about as big as her purse to her. It takes multiple motions though.” Izuku reminded him, “My dad…” He looked a little down, “I’ve never seen it…” He started to mumble, his volume decreasing, “Or him really… not that I can remember…” He shook himself, though All Might made a note of it. It was definitely something he would work with the boy on. Truth be told, it even gave him a sense of kinship. His parents… he never really knew them either, “But he can breathe fire from what mom told me.”

Hmmm…” All Might started to muse, “Well, it makes sense for the quirks you displayed… or maybe just a singular quirk as a combination. Near as I can tell, yours is a mutated version of your parent’s Quirks. Usually Quirks will either be inherited singularly or combined. Rarely, a child will be born with a Quirk completely unrelated to their parents. Yours seems to be a bit of a combination of those two concepts. He let out a bit of a sigh, “Despite my intelligence, this isn’t really my area of expertise.” He suddenly had a light bulb pop up over his head, and his grin widened, “With that in mind, let’s start figuring out just what you’re capable of, shonen, and worry about specifics later. You can manipulate objects in any direction and project force blasts. That seems to be some pretty strong telekinesis. Or an overpowered version of your mother’s Quirk. Let’s start from there. We know you can lift small items and we know you can lift at least an average junior high student… so let’s see what your limits are!” He pointed off to the side, “Do you see that, shonen?

Izuku turned around and looked over in the direction his teacher was pointing. He scanned the piles until he realized exactly what he was staring at, “IS THAT AN EIGHTEEN-WHEELER CAB?!?!? HOW DID THAT GET THERE?!” Indeed, the old big rig was practically buried about cabin deep in the junk, with its wheels sticking out at about a 30-degree angle.

All Might’s boisterous laugh sounded from behind him, “Yes, this beach is truly a shadow of its former self. Had we been strength training for One For All, that would have either been your graduation test or I would have been forced to move it myself.” He clapped a hand on Izuku’s shoulder, “With your Telekinesis though… maybe it’ll be a cinch! Go for it! You can do it!

Izuku took a couple deep breaths before clapping his face. All Might believed in him, so he couldn’t fail here! He closed his eyes and dug deep for his power. When he opened them again, his irises were blazing emeralds. The green glow enveloped the rusting behemoth and Izuku tried to lift straight up. There was a groaning noise as some junk shifted and slid off the pile. The sound of straining metal filled the air. Izuku had already started sweating and his form was trembling. With a grimace, he threw his arm out as the green glow around him intensified. His arm was quivering like a leaf in a hurricane and he was letting out pained grunts. The big rig truck slowly lifted up, but Izuku seemed to lose the ability to breathe. Every muscle in his body was trembling and his face had turned bright red. With a gasp, Izuku let go, collapsing to the sand. The truck groaned and flexed dangerously as it settled back into its heap. He’d been able to lift it about two feet which wasn’t enough to separate it from the rest of the trash. It was honestly more than All Might had expected. But he’d certainly been unable to hold it in midair or move it at all.

And even with just that, Izuku was panting like he’d been in a triathlon. With cinderblocks attached to his feet. ‘What an… amazing Quirk…’ All Might stared in surprise, ‘I truly hadn’t believed he’d be able to even budge it. He’s had his Quirk for a day… Just what kind of potential does it have?’ He slowly grinned even wider than his Symbol of Peace grin, “That… that was quite a show, shonen.

“I couldn’t do it…” Izuku moaned, and clutched at his head, “And I have a headache now.” He looked down, “Sorry for disappointing you, All Might…” He mumbled sadly…

Disappointed?” All Might’s head snapped to him in shock, ‘Just what has this poor boy gone through to give him self-esteem issues this bad?’ He ground his teeth, “Shonen, I’m as far from disappointed as I could possibly be. I intended for that to be an impossible task… a goal for you to work towards if your Quirk was the type to grow in strength. There are some with harder limits that can’t be overcome. That was supposed to be your motivation and instead you blew me out of the water!” He smiled at the stunned boy and ruffled his hair, “I now have to wonder… were you unable to lift it fully because you believed that it was too heavy … or were you unable to lift it because your Quirk is still in its untrained, fledgling state?” He let out a rueful chuckle, “Either answer to that question is… a little scary.” He gave the boy a kind look, “Quite frankly, if it weren’t for the fact that I already know you don’t have a villainous bone in your body, I would be terrified of your potential.

“…” Izuku was mute, blushing madly at the praise. His breathing had returned to normal though his heart was still hammering. His head was still a bit achy too.

All Might allowed himself to revert, “Truly, it was a sight to see. Now, let’s keep at it. Clearly a couple tons of eighteen-wheeler is too much right now. Let’s try some lighter things and try to see if you can do multiple objects at a time.”

“Yes sir!” Izuku yelled in determination.

-]|[-

Roughly two months had passed since that fateful day. Izuku still hadn’t managed to lift the truck cab with the same ease that he could lift something smaller, but he could now hold it above the rest of the trash for couple seconds before the mental strain got to him. Toshinori had forbidden him from moving it off the beach unless he could do it in one motion. In fact, he’d been told that if it touched any part of the beach, another trash heap, or fell, he would personally move it right back.

Izuku hadn’t made much progress actually cleaning the beach yet. Mostly he’d been able to move smaller items like chairs and tires with his powers easily. Items like fridges still tired him out after about an hour at best. In addition, All Might had finally started his strength training. He alternated, training physically one day and with his Quirk the next. They still had no success with any fire, making them almost think the incident had been a fluke.

Izuku walked out of his house at about five AM to get to the beach for his training, only to jerk to a stop as he realized Toshinori was already outside and waiting for him. In a car. A very fancy car, “Hop in, shonen!” He grinned, “Today we’re taking a trip. It took a while to set up around this time of the year, so I had to wait a bit longer than I wished.”

“Where are we going?” Izuku asked as he buckled in, “And for some reason I didn’t think All Might would like fancy cars…” he mumbled out loud.

“Bahaha!” Toshinori laughed, “Even if saving people is its own reward, the money does help occasionally. I normally don’t drive at all, but as my health declined I’ve ended up doing it more often.” He grinned wickedly, “As for where we’re going… secret! You can nap if you like. Were the final exams for the semester stressful?”

“Yesss…” Izuku hissed out, recalling how the semester had ended. He stayed silent for a moment, “All Might… was I… right to just ignore the other kids? To confront Kacchan?” He asked timidly, as his mind drifted to the next time he had school after the incident as well as the days following it.

Izuku couldn’t help but shiver slightly, though he couldn’t fathom why. The day had proceeded… fairly routinely actually. He hadn’t said a word about his new Quirk, and clearly the news hadn’t caught his face or actions since no one had brought it up. As far as anyone knew, he was still just worthless little Deku. Even Kacchan hadn’t said anything. Actually, he hadn’t so much as acknowledged Izuku’s existence. Hadn’t even glanced in his direction, at all since the incident.

Maybe that was what was giving him this bad feeling. That was far too unlike Kacchan. He was much more… typical of his Quirk. Explosive. Loud. Confrontational. He hadn’t even raised his hand to answer a question today. When called – by either one of his hanger-on’s or the teacher – he had been even nastier than usual. No mean feat when his default seemed to be set to absolute cockiness.

The bell rang and Izuku hurried from the classroom, eager to get back to Dagobah and continue his cleaning and training. All Might would be joining him later in the day of course, though if that was as All Might or Toshinori seemed to be a bit of a wash. The man just couldn’t help himself, often using up his time in hero mode on petty crimes. Izuku couldn’t exactly fault him for it though. That was why he was All Might, the Number One Hero.

Only his plan hit a little snag. Or maybe the snag hit him. “DEKU!!!”

He cringed as Katsuki’s voice rang up behind him. He eyed his peers, some grinning maliciously, eager to see him get another beatdown. Others just regarded him with pity in their eyes and turned away. He didn’t even have time to say a word, as when he turned around Kacchan had already grabbed him by the lapels and slammed him into a locker. He let out a surprised grunt, though he wasn’t yet in pain.

“You little bastard…” Kacchan hissed, a dark look in his eyes, “What the fuck was that last Friday, Deku?”

“K-k-k-k-k-Kacchan!” Izuku stammered, sweating profusely, “I-I-I don’t kno-”

“CUT THE SHIT, BASTARD!” He roared in his face, spraying him with spit. At this point, the rest of the onlookers had realized this wasn’t just standard Katsuki. No, something had happened. Something which utterly infuriated the ash-blonde. “Has it been fun huh, you little shit? Making a fucking FOOL out of me?!”

“Kacchan, what are you talking about!” Izuku yelled back, utterly confused. Just what was the boy getting at?

“YOU KNOW DAMN WELL!” Katsuki howled, “Quirks don’t develop past four you bastard! You’ve been hiding it for years, haven’t you?!” Everyone in the hall gasped or started murmuring, “Has it been fun, you fucker? Has it been fun making me the butt of your joke for years?!”

“J-j-j” The verdette seemed stuck on that one letter, first confusion, then astonishment, and finally actual anger playing on his face, “Just what kind of TROLL LOGIC ARE YOU OPERATING ON, KACCHAN?” He yelled back at his former friend. He shoved the boy back and Katsuki stumbled, a look of utter shock on his face at Izuku growing a spine. The murmurs around increased in volume, “I thought you’d be happy for me, but you’re just like always!” Izuku’s notorious crybaby nature was threatening to rear its ugly head, “You think I liked getting bullied by you!” All Might’s ideals, his belief in his student, and all of the past torment was coming to a head, “By all of you?! Having my dreams stomped on and crushed? That I was just pretending and having a good laugh out of sight behind your back?!” Anger was starting to literally waft off the boy. The rest of the students gasped as his hair started to wave and his signature green glow was starting to show.

“DEKU!” Katsuki bellowed, rearing an arm back as explosions ignited it, “How else do you explain it huh?! Quirks don’t just magically appear, you bastard!” Izuku froze as he heard Katsuki’s voice, even though his next words weren’t spoken at all, ‘You were a pebble! Just a pebble in my path! A nobody! I’m the fucking greatest! I’m better than everyone else!

‘Pebble?’ Izuku thought to himself, ignoring his Quirk showing another facet to it for the moment, ‘Is that really all you saw me as?’ His sadness grew as he came to terms with the fact that his former friend really had changed completely for the worse. Nothing remained about the cheerful if somewhat mean boy Izuku had befriended so long ago. And apparently all the praise heaped on him since early childhood had made him develop a full-blown superiority complex on top of all his other issues! ‘You need a wakeup call, Kacchan… and I’m not afraid of you anymore! I’ll save you, even if it’s you I need to save you from!’ He manned up and yelled back, “Well mine did!” He took a step forward, “And I’m going to use it to get into U.A. same as you! I’m going to become the greatest hero in the world!”

“Deku… STOP LOOKING DOWN ON ME!” Katsuki had no inside-voice whatsoever.

“I’M NOT LOOKING DOWN ON ANYONE!” Izuku yelled back, “I’M NOT THE ONE WHO THINKS HE’S THE MAIN CHARACTER!”

“DEKU!”

“KACCHAN!”

Katsuki charged forward, his arm igniting in mini explosions building up in a crescendo. Izuku’s green glow engulfed him, his eyes turning into pools of shimmering emerald and his hair whipping about. Katsuki was picked up and thrown back into the lockers. He hit the metal and crushed it, a shockwave crumpling other lockers beside his impact zone. Even the tiles on the floor were cracked and broken. Katsuki also lost control of his Quirk for a moment in his astonishment, and a massive explosion turned yet more lockers and even the wall behind him into rubble.

“WHAT’S GOING ON HERE!” Their homeroom teacher was hurrying forward and pushing the other astonished kids aside. He skid to a halt and gaped at Izuku, who dropped his Quirk and reverted to stammering old Izuku, sweating up a storm. The teacher gaped at him in shock, “Was that a Quirk?! At your age?!”

“Err…” Izuku poked his fingers together, “Maybe?” He squeaked, the adrenaline leaving him cold.

“That’s amazing!” The teacher gasped, before shaking himself and resuming his forced air of authority as he saw the damage, “Bakugo! Midoriya! Principal’s office! NOW!”

Izuku hurried after the man as Katsuki stood, somewhat scuffed up but not really harmed. He was… a very durable young man. Even that hadn’t really hurt him, though any other teen there would have had a couple broken bones at least. His face was expressionless as he followed them, though if anyone else had been asked they would have claimed his face looked thunderous. Deku hadn’t just stood up to him… Hadn’t finally grown a pair and fought back…

He’d drawn first blood.

The days following that – well, when they both returned from their week-long suspension at any rate – had been… confusing. Strange. Irritating.

Kacchan hadn’t said a word since then – quite the opposite, the boy had been ignoring him entirely except for nasty glares. The other kids though… they hadn’t exactly been sweet and innocent either. The ones who had bullied him their entire lives… had immediately started trying to cozy up to him. Acting like they were friends. Praising his quirk… never him. Acting like… all the bullying had never happened. Those who had just stood aside and let him get bullied were no better.

Really, hadn’t he always wanted friends of his own? Hadn’t he dreamed of a day where he would have a Quirk and would finally be accepted?

And yet when he finally had it… he first got claustrophobic and then he got angry. How fake could they all possibly be? Not ONE of them had ever even apologized for all the snide remarks and insults. If he were Kacchan he would most definitely have told them all to fuck right off and told them exactly where they could shove their ‘friendship.’

But he wasn’t Kacchan. He was Izuku. And he’d not accepted a single invite to hang out. Hadn’t joined any groups… He kept them at arm’s length at best. Shrugged off any friendly gestures. Spoke politely at some points, stuttered like normal at others…

Nothing had really changed, and this time it was because of him. And of course, his rejection had offended the little bastards, and it was right back to sneers and loneliness.

Years of mistreatment doesn’t just go away, shonen.’ Toshinori thought to himself as they drove, “Can I say you were right? No I can’t. No one can say that except for you, Izuku. What I can say is what those kids did to you wasn’t right. And personally, I’m glad you didn’t buy into their ‘friendship.’ People can be incredibly fake and the fact that not one of them apologized to you exemplifies that.” He put a hand on Izuku’s head and ruffled his hair, “UA will be a new beginning for you, shonen. I’m sure you’ll make plenty of friends once you make it in. Ones who like you for you and aren’t just trying to be seen next to the ‘next big Quirk.’ You don’t need any of those kids by your side.”

Izuku smiled and his eyes got a little watery, “Thanks… Toshi.”

Toshinori smirked, “Any time, shonen.”

-]|[-

Izuku had a hilarious look on his face as he looked on at the pearly gates in front of him, “U-U-U-U-U-U-U-U”

“Are you a young man or a bad record?” Toshinori teased with a grin.

“U.A.! YOU BROUGHT ME TO UA?! DID WE DIE?! AM I IN HEAVEN?!” Izuku was practically starting to hyperventilate.

“Cut it out.” Toshinori laughed, “You’ll be seeing those gates plenty of times in eight months.” He gave Izuku a badge, “Stick that in your pocket. You’ll need it for the security system to let you in.”

“Why are we here?” Izuku asked as he did as requested.

“We’re meeting two people… far more capable than me in terms of Quirk Diagnosis. If they can’t figure out your Quirk, no one can.” They made their way through the campus and stopped at a fairly normal looking gymnasium building. “This… is Gym Gamma… otherwise known as the Training Kitchen Land.” They opened the doors and went in, “And this…”

“Am I a mouse? A dog? A bear? All you need to know is that I’m… the principal!” A tiny creature standing on two legs and wearing fancy dress clothes – and very un-matching shoes that looked just like Izuku’s own sneakers – greeted them. He had a mouse-like body, dog-like paws, and a bear-like face with a scar over his right eye.

“Your coat looks so luxurious today, principal!” Toshinori complimented him.

“The secret is keratin! Humans can’t get color like this!” The animal responded cheekily.

“Nice to meet you sir!” Izuku bowed to the animal, trying to keep from freaking out. He was meeting the PRINCIPAL?

“And this is Recovery Girl!” Toshinori pointed out to short old woman with her gray hair in a bun. She had a cane shaped like a syringe in her hand. Her name was Chiyo Shuzenji and she was practically what kept UA running. They could never do the things they did without her healing quirk.

“How are you doing today, Midoriya-chan?” She held a hand out, “Here, some haribo candies.”

“Th-thank you, Recovery Girl.” Izuku responded.

“Has All Might told you why you’re here today, Midoriya?” Nezu asked him.

“Just a little.” Izuku admitted shyly, “We’re here to test out my Quirk, right?”

“That’s right.” Nezu confirmed, “Hopefully by the end of the day you’ll even have a name for it.” The short little creature grinned cheerily at him. “Now, please describe everything you’ve been able to do with your Quirk as of now, as well as your parent’s Quirks.”

“Well…” Izuku hummed, “My main ability seems to be telekinesis. The heaviest thing All Might has had me try lifting was the cab of an eighteen-wheeler. I can get it up for a couple seconds at best. So far, I seem to be able to only lift a couple objects at the same time, regardless of weight. If I really strain myself, my head starts to hurt and I feel really tired afterwards. I can also do force blasts like All Might’s punches… if he used maybe a finger.” Izuku told them, and Toshinori snorted at his description, “The day I first used it, I actually had another completely different ability trigger. I got injured by a villain. I think he speared me right through the shoulder. My wound erupted into this blue fire that healed and completely purged the wound of that nasty stuff. I haven’t been able to do anything like it since.” He also spent about a minute covering his parent’s Quirks. And finally, he remembered back to that day at school again, “Oh, I actually just remembered something! I think I was also able to read someone’s mind!”

Toshinori coughed out some blood, “Pfff You never said a thing about that to me, shonen!”

Izuku poked his fingers together shyly, “I… kinda forgot… It was the day that thing with Kacchan happened.”

“Ahh…” that stopped Toshinori short, “I suppose you did have plenty of other things on your mind that day.” He replied softly.

“Hmmm… very fascinating. That’s quite a Quirk you’ve got.” Nezu smiled at him cheerily, “How many years have you been using it? A couple of years?”

Izuku started and turned to Toshinori, “You…you didn’t tell them?” He asked in disbelief.

Toshinori grinned cheekily back at him, “Don’t ruin my fun, shonen.”

“Until two months ago… I thought I was Quirkless.” He admitted sheepishly, and watched as both of the elders he was meeting with blanched. He hurried to explain, “N-n-no matter how much I wished for it to appear, it never did. I… I had all but given up on that day.” He poked his fingers together, head turned downward. “I went to the doctors when I was four… they said I should just give up. That it would never happen.”

“Two months?” Nezu breathed, eyes wide in shock, “Just two months?”

Recovery Girl had an entirely different reaction. Her eyes narrowed, “They diagnosed you as Quirkless? So the gene tests came back negative? The MRI scans did as well?”

Izuku looked at her for a few seconds, before tilting his head to the side, “Huh?” Off to the side, Toshinori was looking equally confused.

“Your gene tests.” Recovery Girl replied impatiently, “I’d like to see them at some point.”

“…” Izuku eyed her in confusion, “…What gene tests?” He asked a little helplessly. The two of them snapped shocked gazes to him, “They just showed us the x-ray of my toe.”

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!” The explosion for the tiny old lady almost blew them all backwards, “The x-ray? That was what they used to crush a young child’s dreams? I’ll have their practices! I’ll have their medical licenses!” The kindly old lady was quite literally stewing in complete and utter rage. Izuku was almost hiding behind Toshinori. Slowly, she cooled herself down, “Izuku-chan, that exam is merely supposed to be the first thing we look for. It IS generally accepted as a tell of Quirklessness, but it is NOT the end of the road. About three percent of the population with the extra joint still have a Quirk. They’re just very late bloomers because their Quirks are normally harder to control. Six, seven, and eight is pushing it. Conversely, about one percent of the population without the joint never develop a Quirk. That is an ancient examination! Nowadays we test directly for the Quirk Factor!”

Izuku slowly lost feeling in his legs and slid to the floor. All this time… all this time, he’d been mistreated, ridiculed, and all but spat on by his peers… on laziness? On medical malpractice? He clenched a fist, feeling frustration well up inside of him.

“I’m so sorry, kid.” Toshinori said sadly, putting a hand on the boy’s shoulder, “I never knew about this either. Back in my day the x-ray was all we had.”

“Who was your doctor? Where does he work?” Chiyo asked him gently.

Izuku let out a sigh, “He’s dead…” If he closed his eyes he could still see his and Kacchan’s old ‘friend’s’ red wings holding him aloft in the air, “He and his grandson went missing years ago.” That brought to mood down to somber, before the principal intervened.

Nezu coughed, “I’m sure you’re frustrated Midoriya, but we truly don’t have much time here today. We have plenty to do to prepare for the next semester here as well as get the summer events in order. I feel for you as well, but we need to move a little quicker.” He clapped his hands as Izuku gave him a determined nod. He was sure that this wouldn’t be forgotten any time soon, but for now the boy would be able to ignore it. “Now, first thing is first… we must figure out how to use your second ability. You say the only time you were able to use it was when you were injured, correct?” He got a sharp nod from the boy, and released a sigh in response, “Then as distasteful as it is, injured you must be. Unless you can get a feel for the ability, you’ll never be able to call it up again. After all, much of learning your Quirk is feeling it out.”

Recovery Girl still had a heavy scowl on her face, which only deepened at the principal’s words, “Unfortunate, but accurate. I will be here to aid you if you can’t get the ability to trigger again.” Izuku swallowed in a fair bit of apprehension, but nodded anyway. Recovery Girl took out a scalpel from her doctor’s coat, “Finger please.”

Izuku held out a shaky hand, and the old woman grumbled for a moment about oaths before making a small incision. Izuku winced but kept from crying out as a little blood started leaking through. Yet as the seconds went by, it was clear it wasn’t activating. “I…” Izuku winced, “Don’t think that worked.”

“Quirks aren’t normally one-time things.” Nezu said and looked a little morose, “If that didn’t work, then perhaps there is a threshold of pain or injury itself needed to activate unconsciously.”

“We are not going to put a young child through pain like that!” Recovery Girl snapped, “Just this is bad enough!”

Izuku stared at his finger. The small cut was already clotting, and he clenched his fist. “All Might.” He turned to stare at his mentor in determination as he rolled up his sleeve and held out his arm, “Hit me.”

“Midoriya-shonen…” Toshinori’s protest died on his lips as he stared at Izuku’s determined gaze.

“We can figure this out another way!” Recovery Girl’s protests went unheeded.

“We tried small.” Izuku said, a minor tremor in his tone betraying his fear, “We’re not going to get anywhere without some risk, right?”

Toshinori stared at him sadly, “You… you’re far too brave Midoriya-shonen. Maybe even for your own good.” He bulked up, turning into his hero form. He held a finger over his student’s arm and pulled it back with his other hand. He allowed the finger to slip, and Izuku had to bite back a scream as even that tiny action ruptured tiny blood vessels in his arm and put a hairline fracture in his Ulna.

A bruise formed immediately as Izuku slowly went to his knees, cradling his inured arm. Chiyo bit her lip and forced herself to stay still, fighting her very nature which wanted only to help the child. And then Izuku’s arm was enveloped in flame. They all recoiled, mentally preparing to be hit by the heat, only to be surprised when nothing happened. Izuku was watching the flame with shiny eyes, a peaceful smile on his face. “It… it’s cool.”

All Might slowly put a hand over it, “It is. I don’t feel any heat at all.” The giant of a man said in surprise.

“Fascinating!” Nezu exclaimed, “How is your arm, Midoriya-san?”

“Healed!” Izuku chirped with a grin, “It only took a second or two for the pain to go away, but I wanted to get a feel for it.”

“Excellent. Shut it off and try to bring it back.” Nezu told him and they stepped away from the boy. Even if the fire hadn’t felt hot, they were sure if that was actually the case.

Izuku walked to the center of Gym Gamma and closed his eyes. His powers… they felt different now that he was aware of them. His telekinetic energy felt calm, powerful, and steady. Unwavering. His fire was… different. It was energetic. It made him feel excited. And happy. Like the sun was shining on him. He embraced that feeling and his right arm was once again engulfed in bright blue flames. He grinned as he stared into its depths, “I did it!”

Excellent work, shonen!” All Might called at him as they started walking forward again.

“Wait!” Izuku held up a hand to stop them, “I want to try something!” He dispersed the flame and this time tried to reach for both powers at once. This time the fire that arose was decidedly not cool and tingly. No, this was a primal, burning fire looking to consume all in its path. He squeaked in fear as the glowing emerald flames enveloped him in a firestorm. They quickly grew out of control and started to spread. It was only a second later that Izuku started to scream.

“Fire Emergency!” Nezu roared, all traces of his jovial nature gone at the sound of a child and future student howling in agony. The fire suppression systems activated, dumping a deluge of water from the ceiling. They all had to shield themselves from the heat, and almost started to panic as the water literally evaporated before it could do anything.

All Might had enough listening to his student cry. “Austin Smash!” He bellowed and thrust his palm forward. The extreme wind did what the water had not. The fire dispersed, leaving a wobbly, buck-ass-nude Midoriya Izuku in the middle of the gym. His blue flames covered him and were healing some pretty savage looking burns. They had just discovered that he was decidedly not fireproof even to his own fire. It was only his healing ability – which did not in fact turn off his sense of pain and in fact made things worse by regenerating his nerves only for them to get seared again – that kept him alive.

Izuku shakily turned to them, “Let’s… shelve that for now, shall we?” He said in a squeaky voice, before keeling over and crashing to the floor.

“…” They all stared at the unconscious boy, “What in the world is that Quirk?”

-]|[-

It took Izuku another four hours to wake up again, and by then they didn’t have long left at UA. “I’m sorry!” Izuku apologized for the nth time. He was now dressed in a UA gym uniform and was practically fangirling over the fact that he would – by necessity if nothing else – be keeping it. He would treasure it forever.

“It’s quite alright young man.” Nezu sighed, lamenting the lost day, “This just means you’ll have to do a bit less experimenting until you come here as a student.” He gave him an icy glare, “You will NOT be experimenting with that green fire outside of here, understand? It’s far too dangerous without direct supervision and adequate training facilities. You’ll probably not be able to use it at all for the next eight months.”

“Yes sir!” Izuku responded quickly. Truth be told, that fire had terrified him. He’d felt like he’d been cooking alive in there. Because he was. What nasty fire. He wasn’t in any hurry to use it again.

“Good. Now, unfortunately we’re out of time today, but you’ll still have Toshinori to train you as well as your own healing abilities. I give you two permissions to experiment with your other abilities in your normal training grounds.” Nezu said, and finally smiled cheerily again, “To be honest, I’m rather beside myself with eagerness to see what you’ll make of yourself, Midoriya-san. Your Quirk is amazing, and if my suspicions are right, you may only be scratching the surface! Telekinesis and Pyrokinesis and – if you can figure out how to do it again – Telepathy are all subsets of Psychic powers, so perhaps you should pick up a couple of those really old comics and manga from the turn of the millennium and the last millennium. You may find some amazing ideas in them that you’re able to replicate.”

Izuku almost started to drool over the idea of finding himself some centuries-old stories to read. “I will! Thank you for the advice, principal!”

Nezu nodded, “You’re a good kid Midoriya-san. I can see what Toshinori saw in you. You have great potential!” He turned to the man in question as Izuku went scarlet, “You intend to pass One For All to him, don’t you?”

“I do!” Toshinori grinned, “He’s the perfect candidate! When I first offered it to him, he didn’t even hesitate to think of others first. He wondered if it would be fair to others if he took it now that he had his Quirk. That kind of selfless nature, his bravery, and his sense of justice are hard to come by. Even before he had his quirk he didn’t even hesitate to try to save someone from a villain.”

“I agree.” Nezu said, “And that is why – even though I feel he really has the potential to succeed you as the Symbol of Peace – it pains me to say that he can NOT become the next holder of One For All.”

The mood in the room immediately dropped like a stone, and both Izuku and Toshinori stared agog at him. “B-but why?” Izuku felt like a chunk of lead had landed in his stomach. He felt cold.

Nezu let out a hard sigh and crossed his paws, “Let us perform a scenario analysis on what would happen if Izuku were to accept One For All.” He spoke with deadly seriousness, “Scenario one: Izuku accepts the Quirk and now he has two of them. With the potential he’s shown us with only two months of training, they may even end up being equally powerful. He now has to divide all his time in training two Quirks that have nothing to do with one another. One For All is not a Quirk you just have. He will break himself without dedicating his body to training it. He would have to leave his original Quirk by the wayside, and I can see in his face that he clearly is not interested in that.”

Izuku looked down, “No… I’m not. I… I finally have a Quirk. Something to make me unique. Something that is all me…”

“Exactly.” Nezu eyed Toshinori as the man grew increasingly disappointed, “Izuku would become a jack of all trades, master of none. He would be hurting his own potential by stretching himself too thin.” His voice was grave and he looked solemn, “And that is the better scenario. The worst-case scenario is that One For All merges with his original Quirk. All of the stockpiled power stored in your Quirk, now powering his.”

“He would far surpass me.” Toshinori breathed in awe and then began to protest, “He could be the greatest symbol this world has ever seen! Greater than me!”

“Yes… if he could control it.” Nezu admonished the Greatest Hero, “He would be breaking things with even the slightest touch of his Quirk. Crushing full trucks into soda cans. Picking people up to rescue them and putting them on the moon! How could he possibly learn control when even the lightest touch could be enough to send something he struggles with now straight into orbit? He could never use his Quirk again. He’d be back where he started! For all intents and purposes… Quirkless.” All Might was looking even more deflated than usual.

Chiyo spoke up, sounding as solemn as Nezu, “And the doomsday scenario… The Quirk immediately overwhelms him the first time he uses it and he rips himself apart, just as an untrained One For All user would.”

“No.” Toshinori sagged, “You’re both right. It would be beyond foolishness for me to ignore your insight. You’re far more intelligent than me, principal.”

“I’m sorry Toshinori.” Nezu said mournfully, “I know how extremely happy you were to have found your successor.”

Izuku had stayed silent as the spoke, and he now stood up and for once, it was him putting his hand on All Might’s shoulder, “I’m sorry All Might.” He smiled weakly, “Looks like I messed things up already.”

Toshinori bulked up, “This changes nothing, shonen. I promised to train you as my successor until the entrance exam and train you I shall. You’re still my student and my successor, even if I can’t give you One For All!” He stood and put on a brave face. “We’ll make you the greatest hero in the world yet, Midoriya-shonen!” He started laughing a little boisterously, “I guess this does mean we can cut the physical training out of our schedule though.

“And here’s my promise to you, All Might.” Izuku held out a fist to his mentor, “I’ll search high and low if I have to! We’ll find your successor to One For All!” He then surprised All Might with his next statement, “And we should still keep it in. A hero shouldn’t be a one-trick-pony, right?”

All Might smiled, once more seeing the potential of his successor. Even if things weren’t going to go the way he wished, he could rest easy knowing someone like Izuku Midoriya was part of the next generation. He bumped his fist against his student’s, sealing the promise. “I don’t think your Quirk counts as just one trick, but it is up to you.

Finally, Chiyo and Nezu smiled again, and she spoke up, “On a much happier note, I think I may have thought up a name for your Quirk, Midoriya-chan.”

“Really?” Izuku grinned happily, blushing more than a little, “What is it?”

She looked up at him and smiled, “‘Hope rises like a phoenix from the ashes of shattered dreams.’” It was an old quote, and she didn’t quite remember where she had read it. While Izuku had been unconscious, she’d heard from All Might about Izuku’s life prior to that fateful day. The words most certainly applied. Had his quirk not awakened or All Might not been around to offer up One For All, she wasn’t sure where this poor boy would be now, “Your life before your Quirk awakened and your life from now on will be completely different. With the abilities you’ve displayed, your new quirk shall be named…” She stopped, and literally had Izuku at the edge of his seat. She waited just a moment more, and said just two words,

Phoenix Force.

-]|[-

So, here it is. Now first things first…

This is NOT actually the Phoenix Force from Marvel. THAT is a cosmic sized bag of worms I have NO intention of opening, lmao. It is however, partially based ON the Phoenix Force. I took influences from Marvel, One Punch Man, and Mob Psycho 100, and a tiny smidgeon from One Piece creating his power and character design. Since I took a couple of the really OP abilities away and drastically toned it down (Since, you know, I don’t think MHA needs the ability to blow PLANETS AWAY AND FUCKING EAT STARS), I kinda added different ones back on. The Blue Flame is Marco The Phoenix’s Flames of Regeneration from One Piece. It can’t burn anything and only heals. The healing is also weaker if used on someone else. He’ll have some straight weaknesses too, though those will be revealed later.

With that out of the way, I hope you all enjoyed! It was pretty fun to write except for All Might’s goddamn hero name. Immediate fucking grammar issues every time I had to use it.

Additionally, we’ve already got a pretty big divergence. Izuku WILL NOT acquire One For All. And that means someone else has to get it, and I have a few candidates that already feel pretty fun in my own head. Mirio is obviously the obvious choice if you’re caught up with the manga, which is why I’m tempted NOT to go with him. I haven’t made my choice yet, but I’ve narrowed it down and I’m going to have some FUN if I go with the one I’m leaning towards.

-------------

This was actually one of… a couple MHA ideas I had. This was the one I chose to write, but I’ll list down the other ideas here as well and see if they get any interest.

Idea One actually sprung up from Stain, Aizawa, and kinda One For All. Stain and Aizawa have pretty incredible physical capabilities that have nothing to do with their Quirks, and even if One For All is a stockpiling Quirk, if it wasn’t already possible to exceed human limits then there is literally no way that JUST eight Peak Human’s strength stockpiled into Toshinori would allow him to fucking change the weather with a punch. Even without strength enhancing Quirks, breaking human limits kinda HAS to be possible in this universe, if for no other reason than Aizawa and Stain’s fighting prowess. With that in mind, Izuku is determined to be a hero and fuck everyone who doesn’t believe in him. He enters the UA Sports Festival from General Ed (since he has no Quirk he wasn’t allowed to even try the heroics exam) and completely slays it. His childhood training basically came from manga and comics since in this world, martial arts is kinda out of style what with quirks. Yeah, you know where I’m going with this. Rokushiki (among others perhaps) and Haki. At this point, you can either continue and make Izuku the first Quirkless hero, moving him into 1A from General Ed, or you can have All Might salivating over in the stands and immediately offer up One For All.

Idea Two is a bit more… me. This one would just be me having way too much fun for my own good. Basically, it follows the principle of Convergent Evolution. Izuku develops a slightly altered All For One. Basically, he can copy or steal a Quirk. The appearance of him using it is little strands of what looks like DNA helices come out of him, much like the blade-ish things All for One used in canon. While he'll eventually learn that he can steal Quirks outright to keep them away from villains, at first he'll only know he's able to copy them. When he copies a quirk, he's either able to use it himself or put it back into the original person and basically strengthen their quirk, though it'll only work once like that or else they start going into Nomu-like mental damage. The warning sign for that will be that the first time he does it, the person will experience headaches and nausea for a few days. So, they decide it's too dangerous to try a second time. And if he transfers it back, then he can't copy that person's quirk again.

The only Quirk I know for sure I would have him copying/stealing is Kurogiri’s at the moment, though I have others I’m considering.

Idea Three was… more of a cracky H-fic than anything. Not fleshed out in the slightest. “ I mean his mom can bring stuff close to her and his dad can breathe fire, so I guess Deku's secret quirk is that he draws in hot girls.”

Concept Four was less of a story idea and more of a power idea; basically, he’d be able to manipulate spirit power ala Yu Yu Hakusho and Bleach.