It all began in China, in Qingqing City. There was news that a baby who gave off light had been born. After that, superpowers were quickly being discovered in various places and time passed without the cause being identified. Before anyone knew it, the supernatural became normal, and dreams became reality.The world has become a superhuman society, and about 80% of the world's population now has some kind of special trait. In this world swirling with chaos the profession that everyone once dreamed about and admired came into the limelight.
Izumi Midoriya had been awake for about two minutes when she heard a knock on the door. “Izumi, time to get up,” called a voice.
Izumi sighed, said “Coming, Mom!”, and dragged herself out of bed. She shuffled into the kitchen, wearing her pajamas, to find breakfast already prepared for her. “Thanks Mom,” she said, sitting down to eat.
Her mom, Inko Midoriya sat across from her, smiling. “Of course, dear,” said Inko. “Eat quickly though, we don’t want you to be late for school.”
“Yeah,” said Izumi drowsily, as she crammed eggs into her mouth as quickly as she could. Oversleeping was something she had a penchant for, so most of the time she relied on her mom or her alarm to wake her up early enough. A few minutes later, Izumi had finished her meal, and got up from the table, saying “I’ll be quick, so see you in a bit!”
Izumi rushed to the bathroom and began her morning routine with a very short shower. She got out and tried herself off, dripping water as she came before the mirror.
Izumi looked at her face and soaked hair as she dried herself off with a towel. She was a short girl, with vibrant green hair, eyes to match, and a smattering of freckles across her face; her features were delicate. She put on her makeup, which she did most mornings, in order to give a boost to her generally low self esteem. After that, she tossed her hair into a sloppy over shoulder braid, and got dressed in her school uniform. With thirty minutes before class, Izumi was out the door and running to Aldera Junior High.
Izumi was stopped by a fight occurring at a nearby train station, where a crowd had gathered to watch. A man with a transformation Quirk had stolen several purses, and when he was almost caught, he transformed and held up rush hour traffic. Kamui Woods, a young, popular hero was fighting him, and doing quite well. He was about to defeat the criminal, when a gigantic woman stole his thunder and made her debut as a hero. She popped out her butt, and the very first thing she said was “I’m Mt.Lady, pleased to make your assquaintance .” Izumi groaned at the bad pun, and overly sexual introduction, but began to write in her Hero Journal No.13 nonetheless.
Izumi desperately wanted to be a hero. The one she idolized most was the Number One Hero globally: All Might. There was just one problem. Izumi didn’t have a Quirk.
She was unfortunately part of the 20% of the population that never manifested one. Most people without Quirks were old. Plus, since the first Quirk ever manifested in China, Quirks were even more common in the Eastern hemisphere. Japan’s Quirkless population was actually lower than the global average, at 8 or 9%. It was exceptionally rare for someone of Izumi’s generation to be Quirkless, and very very few kids her age were in that position. Being Quirkless was possibly the quickest way to be ostracized, too. Izumi was bullied a lot. After Quirks came in, Izumi’s childhood friend, Kagami Bakugo (or Kacchan, as Izumi called the other girl), abandoned her. Shortly after that, she became Izumi’s most active, cruel bully instead of her closest friend. She gave Izumi the nickname Deku, which meant useless, and it stuck.
In spite of this, Izumi still pursued her dream. She wrote down everything she could about different heroes; their strengths, their weaknesses, their personalities. She worked out relatively often, to the point where she did well in gym class and was more fit than average. She studied hard. If she just worked hard enough, she thought, maybe she could be hero. Still, just about everyone told her she couldn’t.
“I’m supposed to give you these,” said Izumi’s teacher, holding a stack of papers. He tossed them aside, and exclaimed, “But you’re all pretty much planning on going into the hero course, right?”
The class cheered and played around with their flashy quirks, as Izumi sat awkwardly in her chair, left out as always.
“Yes, yes, you all have wonderful Quirks, but remember, you’re not allowed to use them in school.”
Izumi heard a familiar, slightly arrogant voice broadcast to the classroom “Hey! Don’t lump me in with the losers! I’m the genuine article! But these flunkies will be lucky to play side kick to some busted D-lister!
The class erupted into protests, and the teacher said, “You were planning on going to U.A, right Bakugo?”
Izumi slouched in her chair so that she was less noticeable. She was applying to U.A too, but didn’t want anyone to know it. Unfortunately, her teacher went on to say “Oh, that’s right, Midoriya, you wanted to apply there too?”
Izumi shrunk even further to hide herself as the classroom burst into derisive laughter.
“Midoriya? At U.A? You’ve gotta’ be kidding me! She doesn’t even have a Quirk!”
“Yeah, everyone knows you can’t get into U.A’s hero program without a Quirk!”
Izumi blushed and refuted this. “They-they got r-rid of that rule! You can get in without a Quirk, it’s just that no one's done it yet!”
Bakugo came up to Izumi’s desk and leaned over it with a sneer. “Deku. Sweetheart,” she said condescendingly. “You’re worse than the rejects. I mean, you’re nothing but a Quirkless wannabe! Why would they ever let trash like you in, when they could have me?”
Izumi could smell the faint yet sweet scent of nitroglycerin that emanated from Bakugo because of her Quirk. She couldn't help but think,“She smells so good...and she looks so good.” She'd never admit it aloud, but Izumi had once nursed a small crush on her bully. Although, that had slowly faded over time because of Bakugo's cruel behavior. Still, Izumi did have to acknowledge that the blonde was very attractive.
Speaking so quietly that she was almost inaudible, Izumi said, “No, Kacchan, I swear, it’s nothing like that. I’m not trying to compete with you or anything. But I won’t know unless I try, right?”
Bakugo frowned and scoffed, exclaiming “Look, just stay out of my way, and in your fucking lane, alright?! I’m stronger than you, I’m smarter than you, and I’m prettier than you! Don’t fucking forget it!”
Izumi blushed a brighter red at Bakugo. She could usually deal with the girl's insults and attacks, but in front of all her other peers, it was a lot more embarrassing.
Near the end of class, she was looking at the news on her phone, and the incident she saw on the way to school was all over the news. She wanted to head straight home and write down more about it. However, she couldn’t, because after class, Bakugo and her little entourage stayed behind to torment Izumi more.
“We’re not done talking yet, Deku,” said Bakugo menacingly as she approached Izumi's desk.“What’s that?” she continued, having picked up Izumi’s notebook. “‘Hero Analysis for the Future’ huh? ‘Hero Analysis for the Future’? Seriously?”
“I-It's fine, isn’t it? Give it back! Don’t be mean!” said Izumi, trying to get the item back.
Bakugo used her Quirk on the notebook, and tossed it out the window.
“Wait no please!” protested Izumi. “I put so much time into that...” she thought, disconsolately.
Bakugo scoffed, got very close to Izumi's face, and quietly said, “You know, most top heroes have stories about them from their school days.” Her voice was full of menace. "I want the shine of being the only student to make it into U.A from this mediocre city junior high school. After all, I'm a perfectionist,” she concluded, tossing back her hair with a snide smirk.
“She’s so petty,” thought Izumi, annoyed and a little scared too. Bakugo had never used her Quirk forcefully or directly enough to leave lasting marks on Izumi, but she’d used it at a distance to leave minor injuries relatively often; ones that Izumi could explain away to her mom. And it looked like this might be headed in that direction.
“So anyway please don't apply to U.A,” the blonde finished. The manners she exhibited weren't sincere.
“Come on, you could at least say something back,” said one of Bakugo’s two friends as the small group began to leave the room.
“Don't say that. She's pathetic. She still can't face reality,” said the other friend.
Just before the three were gone, Bakugo turned her head back, and said, “Hey Deku! If you really want to be a hero that badly, there's a quick way to do it. Believe that you'll be born with a Quirk in your next life and slit your wrists!”
She slammed the door as she strutted out.
Izumi retrieved her damaged notebook, and contemplated what Bakugo had said for the whole way home.
“What if I really did kill myself? Would anyone care? Would she even get in trouble for instigating a suicide? Maybe she's right..." thought Izumi miserably.
But when she went underneath an overpass and was attacked by a villain made of slime, Izumi realized that no matter what Bakugo said, she wanted to live.
The villain had captured her and was trying to force itself onto her, in order to take over her body.
"Stop struggling!” said the villain. “It’ll only hurt for forty five seconds or so.”
Just when Izumi was about to pass out from lack of air, and she felt the horrible sensation of drowning intensify, something changed.
All Might had saved her. With one punch, he’d blown away the villain. He woke Izumi up by shaking her body a little.
“Young lady! Young lady! Are you alright?” he said, as Izumi woke up.
“Huh?” asked Izumi when she gently stirred. She slowly opened her eyes, blinked for a moment, and after a couple seconds, realized her hero was standing before her. Izumi could have done a backflip out of sheer excitement. She went for her notebook so she could ask All Might to sign it, but he already had.
“Well, young lady, have a nice day,” said All Might, and he got ready to fly off, but before he could, Izumi stopped him.
“W-wait! I have a question! It’s really important!”
“I’m sorry, miss, but I have to get this villain to the police station,” said All Might, holding up a bottle full of sludge that Izumi presumed was containing the slime villain.
He took off, but Izumi was clinging to his leg.
“Miss! I need you to let go! I love my fans but this is too much!”
“I can’t!” exclaimed Izumi. “If I let go, I’ll die!”
“Oh yeah, good point.”
When they had landed on a nearby rooftop, All Might said, “Not a very smart move. Not smart at all. Now, if you bang on the door for a while, someone’ll be sure to let you in.”
About a second later, All Might deflated like a balloon.
Izumi learned over the course of the next few minutes or so that All Might had suffered a severe injury five years ago. He could only do hero work for three hours a day, and when he wasn’t using his Quirk, his form was skeletal.
Taking advantage of this, Izumi asked her question.
“I want to know...can I be a hero even without a Quirk?”
All Might raised his eyebrows, and then his expression fell. He gave her a sad look, and said, “I’m sorry, but no. I can’t simply say ‘you can become a hero even without power’. Pros are constantly risking their lives. You need the strength to do that...but if you really want to help others, maybe you could be a police officer or a doctor. People tease police officers because criminals are often brought directly to them, but it’s a fine profession. I’m sorry, young lady. It’s okay to dream. But you have to be realistic.”
All Might reactivated his Quirk, and left.
“So it’s true,” thought Izumi. “I can’t be a hero. All Might said so. The number one hero in the world said it. Without a Quirk, I -I can’t do it…”
Someone eventually let Izumi in, and she started to walk back home.
Off in the distance, there were several explosions. Izumi saw them, and pondered “Explosions? Maybe if I go there now, I’ll see a hero at the scene, I think Kamui Woods was —” Izumi cut herself off. “Don’t be stupid, ” she thought. “Doing that now would only make me feel worse. It’s like All Might said. I can’t be a hero. Not without a Quirk. ”
But before she’d even realized it, Izumi had already gone to where the explosions were coming from. It was out of habit.
There was a girl struggling against the slime villain who’d attacked Izumi earlier. With a jolt of panic, she realized she must have made All Might drop the bottle holding him. But she was impressed that the other girl was still holding out. She’d felt like she was dying after just seconds, and this kid had been stuck for five minutes at least.
None of the heroes could get past to save her, and the villain had taken control of her powerful Quirk, involving explosions.
Explosions. Izumi looked a little more closely and realized it was Bakugo. And suddenly, Izumi was running towards her bully, to save her. Izumi didn’t know what she could do. But she couldn’t just let Bakugo suffer and die.
She threw her heavy backpack at the villain, and it gave Bakugo a moment to breathe.
When she saw it was Izumi, Bakugo shouted, “Why are you here?!”
“My legs moved on their own! I don’t know why!”
In hindsight, Izumi thought there were probably several factors. But in the moment, it boiled down to one thing.
Tears of compassion welling up in her eyes, she said “You looked like you were asking for help…”
All Might was watching from the sidelines, but Izumi’s words, and what she had done, spurred him into action. He rushed forward, and blocked the attack that was heading toward Izumi.
He looked at Izumi, with a smile on his face, and said, “I really am pathetic.”
She gasped in disbelief. For the second time that day, he’d saved her.
“Even though I admonished you, I wasn't putting what I said into practice! Pros are always risking their lives! Detroit Smash !” As All Might’s fist collided with the slime villain and blew him away, an updraft developed, and it began to rain.
Izumi continued to walk home after the paramedics made sure she wasn’t injured, and the heroes scolded her for acting so recklessly, while Bakugo was praised.
She was almost back at her house when she heard Bakugo’s voice.
“Deku! I never asked for your help! And you didn’t help me! I was fine on my own! Got it you Quirkless bitch?! You’re playing without a full deck! So don’t look down on me!”
Izumi thought to herself that Bakugo was right. She hadn’t really done anything. But at least now she could start looking at a more realistic future.
Izumi continued to slowly meander home, thinking about what she might want to do besides heroics. She'd had her heart set on that since she was four. But if she was being realistic...it was a lot more difficult to choose.
To her surprise, as Izumi passed a house, and turned down a street leading to her apartment complex, All Might appeared before her again.
“A-Al-All Might?! What are you doing here?!”
“Young lady, I come with an apology, a correction, and a suggestion. If you hadn't been there, and if you hadn't told me about your life, today, I would've turned into a guy in a bodysuit who was all talk. Thank you,” said All Might
“That can't be!” refuted Izumi. “It was my fault in the first place. I got in the way of your work and I said all those pointless things even though I'm Quirkless.”
“That's right. It was because it was none other than the timid, Quirkless you at the scene that I was able to act. Top heroes have stories about them from their school days. Most of their stories have one thing in common.Their bodies moved before they had a chance to think. That was true for you, wasn’t it?”
Izumi began to cry, and exclaimed, “Yes!” as she fell to her knees.
All Might said the words she’d wanted to hear for her whole life. “You can become a hero. You are worthy to inherit my Quirk.”
Images for this chapter: