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The Very Best of Us

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“Nighteye was right after all. I made a mistake choosing a Quirkless middle schooler as my successor. If I had chosen young Mirio, he would’ve stopped Overhaul that day in the alley. Nighteye would still be alive too, Instead, Mirio is now the Quirkless one, and Nighteye is gone. All because you weren’t strong enough. Who else will fall due to your ineptitude? Your mother? Young Bakugo or Uraraka perhaps?”

“Some Hero you turned out to be, you damn nerd. Couldn’t even save a kid by yourself. Pathetic.”

“A real Hero would’ve been able to save my nephew without destroying his own body!”

“What good are you if you can still only throw a single punch before breaking? I never should have allowed you to stay in my class.”

“Kota, Eri, how many more children will suffer because of you?”

What happens next time, when there isn’t a child to do your job for you, Hero?”

“You promised me you’d look after Mirio, and now look at him: Quirkless!”

“This is why I never encouraged you, sweetie. A mother knows the limits of her child. You were never cut out for Hero work. Maybe if you were, your father might’ve stuck around after you were diagnosed Quirkless.”

“I was wrong, you aren’t the Deku that can do anything, you’re useless. Just like Bakugo always said. I don’t know what I was thinking, becoming your friend. What kind of Hero name is Deku anyway?”

“AHHHHHHHHH!”

Gasping for air, with tears and sweat running down his face, Izuku Midoriya woke from his third nightmare in as many days. It took a moment for him to realize where he was; In his dorm room at U.A. Surrounded by his endless supply of All Might memorabilia, his friends sleeping soundly in their own rooms, safe. He’d just had another nightmare is all. They've been getting more and more frequent since All Might’s retirement, and everything that happened with Overhaul hadn’t helped one bit. That’s all they were though. nightmares, nothing more. His friends would never say that about him. 

Then why were his nightmares getting worse?

He hadn’t expected to see Muscular in a nightmare again, not when there was so much new nightmare fuel in his life. But maybe everything with Overhaul and Eri jumbled him up again. A child in danger. Lives at stake. Kota and Eri. They’d lived such different lives, but had both gone through so much hardship, thinking about what those monsters did to the two kids made his blood boil.

Izuku was so glad he was able to help them, but he also knew he couldn’t have done it without their help. Kota had distracted Muscular. Eri’s quirk let him use Full Cowl at 100%. His nightmares had a point; How many times could he count on children helping him? What if Kota never distracted Muscular? He surely never would’ve made it off of that cliffside, and the same would be true for Kota himself. Kota and Eri. Mirio and Nighteye. He’d almost failed the first two and completely failed the latter. 

‘I’ve got Nighteye’s Foresight on my side, remember? I’ll be fine, so smile already!’ But Izuku couldn’t smile, no matter how hard he tried. Mirio rejected One for All because he believed Sir Nighteye when he foresaw that he’d be a great Hero one day. What if Nighteye was wrong? Izuku was proof that his foresight wasn’t infallible. That was his last attempt at keeping his promise to Amajiki, to look after Mirio, but he’d failed again. 

In the days leading up to and following the raid, Izuku had been more conflicted than he’d ever felt before. But during the raid, he was Deku again. The 9th bearer of One for All, a Hero. Why could he never keep Deku’s confidence? In the battle, he was so sure of himself. He would save Eri, no matter what the future held, and he had. But he’d failed in so many other ways. Now, he couldn’t even get a good night's sleep. It was as if there was a weight pressing down on his chest, crushing his every thought.

Maybe he was still being crushed by Muscular on that cliffside.

He couldn’t bother anyone with this, this was his burden and his burden alone. Uraraka was already pulling away from him, despite his efforts to get things back to the way they were before the Provisional Licensing exam. He wasn’t sure what had changed, but something had. Did she figure out he had feelings for her and decide to pull away before he said anything? He couldn’t believe he’d been so stupid, letting his feelings get in the way, ruining the best thing that’d ever happened to him.

Before he could further jump down the rabbit hole of his supposed slip-ups in his relationship with Uraraka, he was shaken from his thoughts by a knock on his door. 

“Midoriya? Is everything alright in there?” Still not fully awake, it took Izuku a second to place the voice.

“M-Mineta? I’m so sorry, did I wake you?”

“Indeed, you did mon Cherie, but that is not the important thing right now, Are you alright?” 

The appearance of a second voice got him out of bed and stumbling towards the door, opening it quietly as to not awaken anymore of his classmates, standing on the other side were Aoyama and Mineta, clad in sleepwear, the two were the people closest to his dorm room. “H-hey guys, sorry I woke you up. I just had a bad dream is all, I’m fine. Really!” He made sure to put on the best smile he could, the last thing he wanted was to burden his friends with his stupid problems.

“Do you... want to talk about it? It sounded pretty bad Midoriya.”

“Or perhaps you’d feel more comfortable talking to a certain mademoiselle, eh?” said Aoyama with the usual twinkle in his eye. 

Izuku, now blushing up a storm hurried to reply, “N-no there’s no need to wake anyone else up. I’m sorry I bothered you guys, I’ll just get a glass of water from downstairs, and I’ll be fine, I swear.”

Aoyama and Mineta shared a look, it was clear they weren’t fully buying his story of being fine, but hopefully, they wouldn’t press it.

“If you don’t want to talk about it, it's okay Midoriya, we’re just worried about you is all. We know this isn’t the first time.”

“I-it's just been a stressful few days is all...” that sounded weak, even to him.

“Try and get some beauty sleep mon ami; you can’t be a Hero on so little sleep.

“I will, thanks, guys. Goodnight.” He quickly passed them in the hallway on his way down to the kitchen. Izuku was touched they were worried about him, but would they still be so concerned if they found out how useless he’s been? Even though his friends had tried to get him to open up, and were quite literally right behind him, Izuku hadn’t felt so alone in a long time.

Deep down, he knew why the nightmares kept coming; There was an inkling of truth in all dreams, even nightmares. Quirkless, Mirio had protected Eri. Quirkless, Mirio was still Lemillion, A better Hero than Izuku could ever hope to be. Thinking back to his own Quirkless days, he couldn’t help but compare himself to Mirio. His whole life he had floundered around, chasing what seemed like an impossible dream, and here was Mirio, fighting Overhaul and Chrono to a standstill while Quirkless. Izuku couldn’t even be Quirkless right. The weight in his chest grew heavier still.

Despite how well Mirio seemed to be handling everything, Izuku knew he must be devastated on the inside. After all, he knew what it was like to be Quirkless. To be useless.

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“Aoyama, this can’t go on. We need to do something; otherwise, Midoriya is gonna lose it.”

“For once, we are in agreement, my perverted companion. If he won’t talk to us, perhaps he will to a certain brunette.”

“Perverted- Hey! I was a total bro back there; give me some credit. Wait, what brunette? Uraraka? Did they get together, and I DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT IT? HOW COULD HE DO THIS TO ME?”

“There, there mon ami. There, there.” said Aoyama, as he led a crying Mineta back to his room.

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KNOCK-KNOCK-KNOCK

KNOCK-KNOCK-KNOCK

The poor man stuck with the job of delivering a package to the Hero known as Eraser Head considered knocking a third time, but ultimately- and wisely- decided against it. As he stood there in the dim light of early morning, pondering all the bad life choices that led up to this moment, he musters up all the courage he has and speaks, “Uhm... Mr. Aizawa, sir? Package for you.” For a moment he hears no reply and worries he may have to knock again after all, when finally, 

“Do you have any idea how early in the morning it is?”, the door opens, revealing the ever droopy-eyed homeroom teacher of Class 1.A; Shoto Aizawa, “I finally fell asleep, too”. Grabbing an eyedropper out of a pocket he drops the drop on one eye, and then another. “Couldn’t this have waited until later?”, he turned his gaze towards the delivery man for the first time, catching him staring. 

“Sorry, Mr. Aizawa but n-no. It’s marked urgent, to be delivered immediately.” 

“Hand it over.” As Aizawa grabs the package and slams the door in the ‘glad-this-is-over' mailman’s face, he starts inspecting the parcel. Being roughly the size and shape of a holodisk, he doesn’t think it could be anything else. On the back, written in a handwriting he hasn’t seen in a while, it just says WATCH IMMEDIATELY.

Dear Aizawa, 

In all the chaos after the attack at the Forest Training Camp, some things fell through the cracks when the Police began their investigation. This is one of them. Watch it as soon as you can, and call me when you do, I know you’ll have questions.

Shino,

Whatever this video was, for Mandalay to insist so strongly on Aizawa watching it, he knew it must be pretty important, and potentially very bad news. Thinking it must be footage of Villains from the Training Camp discussing their plans, or worse, footage of one doing something horrible to one of his students, he pressed on.

“I have a feeling I’m not going to like this.” Removing the Holodisk from the envelope, he sets it down on his desk and starts watching.

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 Aizawa now realizes two things; He’s never hated his deductive reasoning as much as he does right now, and he never should've answered the door for the mailman. What he should’ve done is ignored it and gotten some well-needed shut-eye. He just had to do the logical thing and answer the door. 

It was a short video, just about 5 minutes in length. Blinking as if to try and focus on the monitor again, Aizawa sat there for a few minutes trying to process what he had just seen. It wasn’t working. Maybe watching it again would help? 

Watching it again, in fact, did not help. At all. 

It was at times like this where Aizawa found it all too easy to forget he was still just a kid. 15 years old, and already he’s gone through 3 separate Villain attacks and broken his body countless times. Hero-in-training or not, it was insane. On top of all that, to do this? Risk everything to save a kid who’d punched him in the balls the day before? He had half a mind to shut him in detention for the rest of his time at UA if he weren’t so damn proud of him. From the day they’d first met, the problem child in question had surpassed his expectations on numerous occasions, not that Aizawa would ever say it to his face. The last thing he needs is the kid getting complacent, with all the trouble that he gets into.

Letting out a sigh of “This kid...”, he pulled out his phone and searched for Shino’s number and dialed, leaning back into his chair and closing his eyes in anticipation of the oncoming headache.

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“I don’t care if he’s a problem child, or whether or not he had your explicit permission to fight back. In this house, Izuku Midoriya is a Hero, and he always will be.”

“Hmpf. Well, I won’t argue with you about that one.”

Aizawa and Shino spoke about Midoriya and the video at great length. But now it was time for the Staff meeting, and Aizawa had to decide whether or not he should be showing it to the rest of the teachers. Despite his misgivings, he had no intention of punishing the boy at all. If his performance in class these past few weeks is any indication, he’s been punishing himself already. The video cemented what he already knew to be true about Midoriya. He’s the real deal, a true Hero, just like Mandalay said. He’d seen it with his own eyes when he took down Overhaul. This was just icing on the cake.

But what if the others didn’t see it that way? He knew All Might would never push to punish the kid, despite what he said, it was obvious he had a soft spot for Midoriya. It was everyone else he was worried about. But he’d never know unless he’d show them. Aizawa could really go for a nice, long, nap right about now.