Midoriya Izuku is an interesting boy; he’s kind, friendly, and mentally brilliant, being able to form complex plans at a moments notice, and break down just about any situation or thing. He also loves heroes. All in all, he has all the qualities needed to be a great hero, bar one.
Midoriya Izuku is quirkless
That didn’t stop him from trying anyways.
Neither did the bullying.
Nor the ostracization he faced from everyone in his class.
Nor did every adult he’d ever met not believing in him.
It did, however, hurt him.
The bullying hurt his body.
The ostracization hurt his mind.
The lack of belief hurt his soul.
And yet, he endured. He always endured. The closest he ever came to breaking was shortly before his ninth birthday.
It was the worst day of his life.
It was the best day of one Bakugo Katsuki’s life.
It’s also where this story begins.
“S-stop, Kacchan, you’ve hurt her.” Midoriya’s voice was as filled with, admittedly false, confidence than it had been in months, not that Bakugo, nor his followers, cared.
“Heh, look at Deku, trying to tell Bakugo what to do!”
“What an idiot! What’s some weak loser like him gonna d-” The goon was cut off by the loud crack of an explosion.
“What are you gonna do, you damn quirkless bastard!” Bakugo punctuated this particular point with another explosion, and the greenette flinched.
“I’ll stop y-” the words died in his throat as an explosive enhanced fist crashed upwards into it, and suddenly, Midoriya felt weird. He sat up, and the light around him was blinding, and he felt dizzy. He was vaguely aware of a warm liquid filling his mouth. He thought it tasted funny; metallic, maybe iron with a hint of copper. He could feel that same warmth oozing from the back of his head. The light was really pretty, wasn’t it? Every few seconds, he felt like something was missing from his life, but couldn’t… what’s the word? Couldn’t remember! That’s it! He felt light, lighter than he should be, like he was going to float away. Then sound cut back in, but everything seemed to be underwater, and he would later recall a fragmented laugh from around a corner, and then, the number 1 hero arriving and getting… angry? A scowl didn’t fit his face. At the time, the lucid part of him was delighted, as Kacchan would finally face retribution. But something changed, and the goons were nodding, and Kacchan was smirking andwhyishelookingatmelikethatandwhatishesayingwhatishesayingwahatishesayingwhycan’tiunderstandwhatdidIdiwhatdidIdoIdidn’tdoanythingwrongSirwhatdidIdowhyisn’tKacchanintrouble…
Midoriya, concussed and overwhelmed, tried to ask questions, tried to understand what was going on, but all that came was an incomprehensible slurred mess of half mutterings and questioning. And tears. Lots of tears.
Before the world faded to black, Midoriya saw All Might giving Kacchan a piece of card, saying something along the lines of “I’ll be in touch, young Bakugo.” The hero then turned to him and said something else, and for the first time since his head hit the ground, he was struck with perfect clarity:
“Change your ways, boy, before you become too much of a villain to save. Your kind may not have future prospects, but that doesn’t excuse bullying. Nothing does.” He sounded disgusted over something Midoriya hasn’t done.
Then, having picked up the girl (who was Midoriya’s significantly less injured former classmate, in case you were curious), the hero disappeared in the blink of an eye and a shockwave of wind, before Midoriya could even process his words, never mind attempt to plead his case (not that he would have achieved much, but that’s besides the point).
The very last thing Midoriya remembered was Bakugo crouching in front of him, and saying something? He only caught parts of it as his injuries started to strip away his conciousness.
“Hear tha... ...astard? Ev… ...ight thinks… ...ive up!”
Midoriya, for his part, then began growing coughing violently, as the liquid in his mouth, his blood, began to seep down his throat. Some of it got on Bakugo’s shirt.
Darkness claimed him shortly after, to the tune of Bakugo’s screams of rage, right after a brilliant symphony of orange and yellow hues filled his vision.
Nobody called an ambulance until over half an hour later, when a jogger found Midoriya. He was laying in a worryingly large puddle of his own blood, pale as a ghost, breathing rapidly, with his pulse fast and weak.
He didn’t wake up for another 2 weeks.
The reason? Well, there was quite a few; by the time he arrived at the hospital, it was found, through one of the paramedics quirks, that he had cracked the back of head open, was in stage 3 hypovolemic shock, had a grade 3 concussion, anemia due to blood loss, a bitten through bottom lip, a plethora of burns, old and new, all over his body, multiple improperly healed fractures, and damage to his right eye, the extent of which was unknown.
Then his wounds got infected.
So yeah. To be honest, it’s a miracle that Midoriya recovered at all, but then again, he’s quirkless in his generation; he already defies the odds, from a medical standpoint, so why not go against them a bit more?
That’s not to say the hospital didn’t help; throughout his nap, Midoriya was repaired via a variety of healing quirks that meant he’d be perfectly fine mentally and physically. He was still scarred though.
The scar on the back of his head was hidden by his hair, and the scar on his lip was almost unnoticeable, but his eye? That technically wasn’t a scar, but it was sure as hell noticeable; due to a combination of the injury itself and the healing quirks used, the iris in his right eye had lost some of its colour, becoming noticeably paler, closer to lime than it’s original emerald.
The burns had scarred too, but he was used to burn scars.
His mother, however, wasn’t.
When he first woke up, he just barely managed to open his eyes, but when he did, he was met with his mother, who, at the time, was a mess of disheveled clothes, dried tear tracks, and dark eye bags. She was passed out in the chair next to him, head slumped forwards. She clearly hadn’t slept much while he was there.
That lead to his next question; the question of where he was.
Normally, he would have panicked in his situation, but he was dead tired, and didn’t have the energy to.
He saw the clean white, heard the rhythmic beeping, and decided he was probably safe. He also saw pitch dark windows, and figured it was night, before drifting back to sleep.
This time, he woke in the morning, in a cold sweat. He’d dreamt that he’d met All Might. That All Might has taken Kac- Bakugo’s side. The name Kacchan made him want to throw up for some reason, as did the name Katsuki. He dreamt that he’d been hurt, and that All Might hadn’t cared. But that was just a dream. Right?
A few days later, when he was discharged from the hospital, he heard that the Bakugo family had moved, and that Katsuki was getting private tutoring. Apparently, the number one hero had expressed interest in Bakugo’s future.
Midoriya realised he hadn’t dreamt up his nightmares.
Yagi Toshinori has been having a difficult week.
It had started when he'd lost more internal organs than he would have liked, to a villain he wished had died centuries ago. Then, he spent a few days being saved by more healing quirks than he cared to name. Now, he was on his first patrol since his injury, but he was restricted to low risk routes in the general vicinity of UA.
And he despised it.
It was very dull, as nothing happe-
He heard a small explosion, and both his gut, and the chorus of whispers he would sometimes hear (he figured it was something to do with his subconscious, since it pointed out things he’d perceived but not registered, like a villains weak point, or a civilians location) both told him to investigate.
He arrived, and was met with a peculiar sight; a group of what? 10 year olds? Seemingly having gotten in a fight. His gut told him to investigate. The whispers agreed.
He questioned one of the boys, the leader of a trio from the looks of things, who’s palms were smoking.
The boy introduced himself and explained what had happened, albeit with more profanity than he would have preferred.
Turns out, the boy, Bakugo, is something of a hero; the boy on the ground, Deku, is a major local bully, lashing out at people and using his quirklessness as a get out of jail free card. Apparently, he will go ahead and beat the crap out of anyone with a quirk because they’re looking down on him, like they’re better than him, which they are, but that’s besides the point. Bakugo and his friends had been heading to the arcade, when they found him burning the girl on the ground with lighter fluid, and had moved to protect her, which lead to now. Bakugo’s friends told him that Bakugo has to do this a lot, almost daily, in fact, but Deku never learns his lesson.
The girl said nothing, just sat there. Apparently her quirk rendered her mute, and nobody there knew sign language (in actuality, Midoriya did, he learned it so he’d be able to communicate with her, as she was one of the only people he knew that didn’t care that he was quirkless (partially as a consequence of her own quirk coming with a disability), but he was too far out of it to translate, not that anybody present would have believed him anyways).
As for the bully, Deku, he seemed shocked that he’d been caught, and just tripped over his words before breaking down crying. To be honest, he found the boys behaviour disgusting, and so gave him a piece of his mind.
Then there was the whispering in the back of his mind, and the screaming in his gut to deal with. The problem? They were in a disagreement, to a degree. Both agreed that his potential successor was before him, that much he could almost feel in his bones. His gut told him it was young Bakugo, and his head and heart agreed; he’d shown himself to be heroic and brave, standing up to this bully every day, not caring what happened to him; he’d shown himself to have a powerful quirk that would work brilliantly with One For All, as his powerful explosions combined with the quirk’s reservoir of power would be nearly unstoppable; he was fit, and would be able to receive the quirk soon; he seemed to be a perfect successor, beyond his brash exterior, but that could be worked on.
The whispers in his mind, however, weren’t making the slightest lick of sense; calling the boy a liar, questioning everything he had said, and trying to pick holes in his explanation at every turn, even going so far as to call this Deku a victim, when the only problem he seemed to have was that he’d been caught out. They were claiming that the boy would make a better successor than young Bakugo! Iit was utterly ridiculous. He did note, however, this was the most the whispers had ever said, and that there was more of them than he’d ever heard at once, or individually; there were six distinct voices, but only two had helped him previously (albeit, one of those two helped significantly more than the other; a female voice who reminded him an awful lot of his predecessor, but he figured that was him imagining things). Then a seventh spoke, and the others fell to silence. It was a male voice, and he seemed to command respect, as if he were at the top of the pecking order. He also seemed to hold the greatest strength, as though it was… older than the others, somehow. He didn’t give Yagi pleas or arguments, instead, he delivered what seemed like a threat:
“You hold a sacred power. If you give it away in such haste that you fail to see the kind of person who shall receive it, then we shall help you no longer. Choose your successor wisely, or we shall not speak again.”
That was the last time he heard the voices, as he handed over his personal phone number to the boy he chose to succeed him, gave that Deku one last piece of his mind, and took the girl to be looked at.
In the future, people would notice many things; His punches would grow weaker; he wouldn’t see civilians as he lead rescue efforts, and they would die; he would grow slower, taking multiple seconds to cover distances that used to take him one; he appeared less, at first for three hours a day, then two, before only appearing for less than one; he would also grow more brutal, and prioritise beating the villain over saving lives (although, that was more to do with his successor rubbing off on him).
Then, two years later, when he’d fallen to the number three spot due to waning popularity due to falling success rates, the truth came out. His hero form failed him, and his emancipated state became known to the world. From then on, he didn’t inflate more than a limb at a time, allowing him to be a hero to his heart's content. Needless to say, society was shaken from the reveal.
But that hasn’t happened yet. For now, All Might, the number one hero, was speaking over the phone with one Tsukauchi Naomasa, asking him to look into a generally overlooked school in the Musutafu area, or more specifically, a student there named Deku.
It's just a shame that he had now way of knowing the scale of the rift that would cause between them.
Back with Midoriya in the present, well, his life was pretty crap. A new bully took Bakugo’s place at the top of the food chain, and he was still the number one target. On the plus side though, the lackeys who witnessed the beating that put him in a coma were leaving him alone. Apparently, they could feel guilty. He’d also made an actual friend! It was the girl he’d protected from Bakugo, whose name he remembered was Ishibashi Tomoko.
She was nice; a social outcast like himself, but not to the same extent; she wasn’t usually a target of bullies. Her quirk, comprehend, allowed her to understand the meaning of whatever she heard, no matter what language, but had a significant drawback; it meant she was born without vocal chords, and had to rely on sign language to communicate.
It was nice having a friend, and over the years, it would do wonders for his confidence. She, like Midoriya, wanted to go to UA, but as a business course student. She didn’t bash his dream in spite of his quirklessness, and he didn’t question hers, despite her muteness. It was a good relationship, or was just a shame that she had moved school the previous year, and as a result didn’t have much time to hang out.
In other news, Midoriya’s encounter with All Might had lit a fire beneath him, leading him to take up a smorgasbord of different extracurricular activities; taking up a decent spread of martial arts, freerunning, gymnastics, swimming, and for some reason known only to him, the saxophone. Needless to say, once you factor in school and the homework and studying associated with it, he didn’t have any free time at all, so, after a surprisingly easy conversation with his mum, he started online schooling.
It was after about a month out of hospital that things got weird; first, a detective came knocking, and after a short conversation concerning dear old Bakugo, left fuming at somebody who Midoriya didn’t know, muttering something along the lines of “Toshi-fucking-dumbass-nori, you’ve just ruined a legacy, you impulsive idiot…”
Then, that night, something particularly weird happened; Midoriya fell asleep as usual, but woke up in a pitch black… something, with seven figures looking at him, grinning, discussing him, it seemed;
“Did we reach the right one?”
“Yep.”/“Looks like it.”/“Seems so.”
“That took far longer than it should have.”
“Should have? We’ve never even tried something like this before!”
“Yeah, I’m with Five, it’s a miracle that it worked at all,”
Midoriya, for his part, was in desperate need of answers, and as a result, quietly asked a question.
“E-excuse me, but, erm… what the fuck?”