Shouta looked down at the child he’d been left in charge of. Under a dark green mess of curls, the child’s matching dark green eyes stared into nothingness, a look of disbelief on his round freckled face. His eyes were glassy, tears ready to spill over.
Shouta had no experience in these kinds of situations. He just started teaching at UA, and his students were much older and dealt with normal everyday teenager problems. That, he could deal with. A 6-year-old kid who had just lost his mom though? He made a mental note to add a lesson on how to help civilians in grief; he shouldn’t have been surprised that this would happen someday.
“So….” Shouta felt stupid. What was he supposed to say?
“What’s your name, kid?”
“M… Midoriya Izuku,” the child responded in a soft, shaky voice.
“Midoriya Izuku. Okay. My name’s Aizawa Shouta. It’s nice to meet you.” There was no point in giving him his hero name. The kid didn’t need a reminder of the situation he was in.
“What do you want to be when you grow up, Midoriya?” Shouta asked, trying his best to distract the child from the circling thoughts and feelings he must be experiencing.
“I… I want to be a hero.”
That was something Shouta could work with. “That’s a great goal. What’s your quirk?” he asked.
Midoriya looked down at his bright red shoes. He said nothing for a long while, and Shouta almost thought he didn’t hear him correctly before the boy finally spoke up.
“I don’t have one,” he said in the tiniest whisper, curling in on himself.
Quirklessness wasn’t impossible, but in this generation it was very, very rare. Where quirks used to be an anomaly, now almost everyone had one.
The boy remained silent while Shouta thought about what the hell he was supposed to do. The kid needed to keep talking before he got lost in the despair of having his mom ripped away from him.
He really needed to look into how to approach these situations in the future. A hero’s job wasn’t just rescuing people and fighting villains; helping calm victims and bystanders was just as important. Despite still being a young hero, helping a child who had just become an orphan should be something he knew how to do. His job as a hero was to prevent this situation from occurring in the first place, but these situations were sometimes inevitable.
Shouta tried again, “So, who’s your favourite hero then? There must be someone who inspired you to become a hero.” No need to point out that a quirkless child had virtually no chance of going pro in the current hero system. The kid didn’t need to hear that right now.
Midoriya looked up at him for the first time. His green eyes lit up a little at the question. “All Might,” he responded. Shouta noticed an undertone of excitement in his voice.
Shouta pushed away his disdain for the number one hero. Now was not the time. “All Might is a really… uh… strong hero. What do you like about him?”
Nothing could have prepared Shouta for what would happen next.
“All Might is the coolest hero ever ! He’s super strong and super fast and he saves everyone! Did you see his debut video where he saves tons of people?! That one’s my favourite because even though he must be so tired and hot from the fires he’s still smiling and saying, ‘I am here!’, and he doesn’t even look tired at all! He’s the strongest hero ever ! Did you know that he even-“
Oh dear lord, why did I have to get stuck with an All Might fanboy. The kid’s mouth was moving so fast that it was almost a blur. Well, at least he’s talking.
Shouta was snapped out of his thoughts by a small tug on his sleeve. Oh, he finally stopped.
“What is it, kid?”
“Umm… you’re a pro hero, right?”
“Yeah, I am.”
“What’s your hero name?”
The kid appeared to think to himself for a moment. “I haven’t heard of you before,” he said with a frown. “What’s your quirk?” he asked, hesitantly.
“It’s called Erasure. Basically, I can erase someone’s quirk by looking at them.”
“That’s really cool! How many people’s quirks can you erase at once? And what if it’s a mutation type quirk? Can you erase those? How long does your quirk last? You must be really good in hostage situations; you can just erase the villain’s quirk while the hostages get free! That’s such a good quirk for hero work!”
Shouta stared in disbelief at Midoriya, who blushed after realizing he had let himself ramble. I am too goddamn tired for this. Truthfully, he was somewhat impressed. Most people who learned about Shouta’s quirk underestimated him. Compared to the flashy ‘hero-like’ quirks out there, Shouta was essentially seen as quirkless. He’d been making his way into the underground hero community and had gained some respect there, but otherwise people saw his quirk as useless. Needless to say, Shouta was shocked that a 6-year-old kid had so easily analyzed the pros and cons of his quirk.
Before he got a chance to formulate a response, one of the nearby police officers beckoned the pair over. Shouta gently interrupted Midoriya’s rambling and brought him over to two waiting officers.
“Midoriya, we have some questions for you, if that’s okay?” asked the officer. Midoriya nodded in confirmation, staying close to Shouta.
“Do you have any family members we can contact that can take care of you? Maybe a grandparent, or an aunt or uncle?”
Midoriya was silent for a moment, gazing blankly downward, then hesitantly spoke up, “N-no. I never met my dad, and my m-mom… doesn’t have any siblings. A-and her parents are gone.”
“Okay. Do you have any close friends that live nearby?”
Midoriya thought to himself, evidently torn about something. Shouta noticed him absentmindedly rubbing a spot on his shoulder. Then, coming to a decision, he shook his head, still looking at his feet.
One of the officers led Shouta away while the other stayed with Midoriya. After collecting Shouta’s statement and completing the necessary paperwork, Shouta asked, “So what’s going to happen to the kid?”
The officer gave Shouta a regretful look. “Unfortunately, he’s going to have to stay overnight at the police station. With no family to take care of him, he’ll be placed in foster care temporarily, and hopefully we find a family that is looking to adopt. He’s a little older than what most families are looking for, but he’s still young enough that he has a chance to be adopted.”
“Wait, back up a second. Are you saying this kid, who just went through a villain attack and lost his mom is going to be staying overnight in a police station ?” Shouta snapped venomously, his quirk activating momentarily.
Once his hair floated back down and his eyes returned to their natural colour, the officer continued. “Well, yes, unfortunately. Social services will be able to help him out in the morning, but in the meantime there isn’t anywhere else for him to go. This is fairly standard procedure for this kind of situation. We don’t like it, but we don’t really have any other options.”
Another thing in this fucked up hero system that I need to look into fixing. Shouta was unimpressed, but not surprised. Everyone was still trying to adapt to a society with quirks, and that included an increase in disasters and villain attacks. Yes, All Might’s rise to fame resulted in a decline in overall villain activity, but the fact of the matter remained: more people were dying than in the pre-quirk era, and that meant more kids were becoming orphans.
With nothing Shouta could do, he was dismissed and was ready to head home. Maybe I’ll have enough time to get some sleep tonight . However before he could leave, the other officer returned with Midoriya in tow.
“Uh, I’m sorry to bother you Eraserhead, I’m sure you’re tired and ready to head home for the night,” Is the officer’s quirk mind-reading? “Midoriya said he wanted to ask you a question before you go. I’m really sorry, I told him it could wait but he insisted; said it was important,” the officer said with a helpless shrug.
“What is it, kid?” Shouta said, trying his hardest not to let his exhaustion show.
Midoriya mumbled something unintelligible.
“You’re going to have to speak a little louder,” Shouta said, not unkindly.
After a pause, Midoriya looked Shouta in the eye for the first time that night, a determined look on his face. “What would happen if you used your quirk on yourself in the mirror?”
Shouta was at a loss for words. Where the hell did this kid come from? Shouta looked at young Midoriya, so full of determination and interest in Shouta’s quirk. No one was ever interested in Shouta’s quirk, especially not kids. Shouta could already tell this kid had a knack for quirk analysis. Hell, he was probably better at it than Shouta’s entire first year class combined. I mean, this year does have a lot of idiots.
Shouta looked down into those innocent, determined, green eyes. Shouta thought about the situation Midoriya was in, having just lost his parents, and now having to stay overnight at a police station.
After some discussion with the police officers on scene, Shouta finally left for home. Midoriya Izuku followed behind him.
Guess I’ll be sleeping on the couch tonight.