The phone was ringing. Still ringing. Please answer, please answer . The line clicked at last, an automated voice speaking to him.
" The mailbox is full. Please hang up and try again later."
All Might kept the phone at his ear, his hand trembling. "Please… please give him back. Give him back to me. Give him back."
He slowly crumbled, the phone slipping away and landing on the couch. How many days had it been? Too many, far too many. He'd called every morning, every night, every chance he had. No answer, not even any messages anymore. Was he still alive? That painful question never left him. He had to know, he had to find out the damage that he'd done.
So he kept calling, every day. It was all he could do. He wasn't going to give up, he had to stay hopeful that he would see those bright green eyes and that happy smile again. But every time his call was returned, he got something else instead. Something so painful, it made him not want to answer or even call again. But he kept calling. He had to.
All Might reached for the phone again, hands shaking. One more time, he had to try again. He had to keep trying.
All for One wasn’t normally one to gloat, but he couldn’t resist. After all the pain and suffering that All Might had caused him, he was finally able to sleep peacefully knowing that he had returned the favor. How could he not use this chance to rub salt into his nemesis’s wounds? It was what he deserved. He’d let his guard down and given All for One the chance to take the thing that was most precious to him.
Even though he could see with the use of his Quirks in the dark, All for One flipped on the light when he entered the room. The bulb was dull and noisy, flickering now and again. It made the small figure on the table flinch, a sign that he was still alive. Good, he wasn’t allowed to die just yet. No, All for One had grand plans for how that would happen.
“Good morning, Deku.” He smiled at the way his voice made the figure shudder. He stood over Izuku, hands in his pockets. “No one came to save you today either, did they? I would love to wait a bit longer, but… let’s get right to work, shall we?”
Izuku let out a faint whimper. He was still able to feel fear, one of the few emotions he had left besides pain. It was only a matter of time before he lost those as well, just as he’d lost everything else. All for One missed the boy’s old defiance and courage. It had taken a long time to strip those away. Day after day, week after week, chipping away until he couldn’t keep his brave face anymore. All for One had enjoyed every delicious moment of Izuku’s downward spiral. Starting with his stubborn and heroic pride, hiding his pain and refusing to beg for mercy. Once that was gone, all he’d done was beg and cry. Now, after a few more weeks, he’d given up begging, only cried and suffered and waited for it to be over. He was already crying now, shaking in anticipation of what he knew was coming.
“Are you crying already?” All for One chuckled. “It won’t hurt, Deku, you don’t need to be afraid.”
A clear lie, they both knew. Izuku looked away, staring at the dirty wall. All for One waited to see if Izuku would surprise him again with some of his old spite and hatred, as he’d done in the past. Shouting some heroic phrase or another. But today Izuku wasn’t taking his bait. No, he wanted to believe him. Wanted to hope that he wouldn’t have to suffer anymore. Hope that he knew was wasted.
“Today is a special day.” All for One told him, hoping to catch his attention again. “Do you know why? We get to call All Might today.”
Izuku didn’t stir at All Might’s name. He was likely blocking out everything that he was saying, just like he tried to block out the pain. Someday he would stop feeling the pain, and when that happened, All for One would introduce him to a new kind of suffering. After all, the more he suffered, the more All Might suffered.
All for One walked across the room to where Izuku’s phone was sitting on the table, charging. The screen was cracked, displaying several thousand unanswered calls and messages. “I’m sure he’s worried about you. It’s been quite some time since we last checked in on him, hasn’t it? We’ve been having too much fun together.”
Returning to the bed, All for One set the phone down next to Izuku. “I wish you wouldn’t ignore me when I’m talking, Deku. After everything I’ve done for you, the least you could do is pay attention. Or maybe you’re the one who needs some attention, hmm? Are you sad that I ignored you for so long? All right, I’ll give you some attention first and then we’ll call All Might later.”
Izuku was shaking, his breathing getting faster. He was doing his best to keep his eyes on the wall, away from his tormentor. All for One felt a surge of excitement. He did still have a bit of fight left in him. He grinned ear to ear. Today would be very enjoyable. For him at least. All Might and his successor wouldn't be so lucky.
"Are you listening to me?" All for One asked again. He placed a hand down on Izuku's arm, using one of his special Quirks to trigger a burning sensation. Izuku immediately screamed, attempting to jerk his arm away. "That's better." All for One sighed, stroking his finger along Izuku's arm, tracking his scars. "Hold still, or it will hurt more."
The special Quirks were the ones that were reserved to deal with the people he hated most- the holders of One for All. They were made to cause pain, a collection that he had carefully curated over the years. They had other uses as well, as they had helped him keep in power for so long, but he didn't need them for that these days. That's what Tomura was for.
Izuku was long past the point where physical torture was effective. All for One had enjoyed using those old fashioned methods for a long while, but anymore Izuku only cried and then quickly lost consciousness. Disappointing, but it made room for a higher method: Sensory Manipulation. A Quirk that he'd spent years tracking down. It's original user had been one of the early heroes, using it to help numb pain and calm down victims. All for One found that using it the opposite way was far more effective.
Just a touch was all it took to force the feeling of pain anywhere in Izuku's body. Burning, melting, breaking, cutting- all without any physical damage. Unfortunately for Izuku, the pain itself was very real.
Izuku's body jerked against the shackles that chained him to the bed. His wrists and ankles were black with bruising from his past efforts to escape. All for One closed his eyes and enjoyed the screams as he held Izuku's arm down. After a few minutes, when Izuku was about to pass out, he lifted his hand away, giving the boy a moment to gasp for breath between his sobs. He rubbed the skin where his hand had been, not using any Quirks, but making Izuku writhe with discomfort all the same. He continued rubbing the spot, using his Quirk in small bursts to reward himself with short yelps of pain and louder sobs. Whatever fight Izuku had in him before was already smothered out.
All for One picked up Izuku's phone again and scrolled through his contacts until he found All Might's name. The phone only rang once before the other line picked up. "Aren't you going to say hello?" All for One smirked, talking over Izuku's broken sobs. "That isn't very polite, All Might."
All Might was silent for a moment before All for One heard his empty voice. “Why do you keep calling?”
“I’ll stop calling when you stop answering.” All for On replied, moving his hand to stroke Izuku’s face instead. “But you can’t do that, can you? No, a hero like you could never abandon his precious little student. That's why you always answer, and why you won't hang up either. You'll sit there and listen, just like you do every time."
All Might was quiet again. He couldn't argue. All for One felt smug, but he couldn't let All Might get away with the silence. He sent a shock of pain into Izuku and received a delicious sound- somewhere between a choking scream and a pitiful wail.
"Please." All Might's voice broke.
"Please what?" All for One chuckled, sending pulses of pain into Izuku. "If you don't keep me entertained, I'll have to have little Izuku do it instead."
"Leave him alone. Please, don't hurt him anymore."
"And why should I do that?" He loved the feeling of power, being able to make All Might grovel and beg. All Might knew as well as he did that no matter what he said, All for One wouldn't listen. Still, he was a hero and he wouldn’t stand by without trying hopelessly to save his successor. He would take the bait every time.
“Stop this, I’m begging you. He’s just a child, he’s done nothing wrong.” The desperation in All Might’s voice sent a shiver up All for One’s spine.
“But he has your Quirk.” All for One replied. “You wanted him to fight against me, like you used to. It’s a shame he has to be punished for your sins when he had such a bright future ahead of him. Now look at him, the poor thing. So broken…”
“You don’t have to do this.” All Might begged. “It’s me you want, leave him out of this. I’ll give you anything. You can have me instead, let me take his place.”
“I already have everything I want right in front of me.” All for One paused to savor an especially tortured scream from Izuku. “And I don’t intend to give that up.”
He set the phone down again, leaving All Might on the line, and turned his full attention to Izuku. None of the other holders of One for All had given him close to this much pleasure. Of course, none of them had lasted this long either and he hadn’t had any reason to keep them alive. Once he got bored, he could finish them off and begin tracking down the next holder. Izuku was different. If he began to bore of torturing him or All Might, he could simply walk away and return the next day. It was becoming more and more of a habit. Izuku’s screams and sobs were therapeutic, clearing his mind and giving him a chance to meditate on his plans and projects.
Izuku’s screams stopped. All for One looked down, annoyed. What was wrong with him now? He realized that he’d lost track of time again- nearly two hours had already passed. Izuku had gone fully numb, not feeling anything anymore. His eyes were barely open, swollen with tears. His voice was all but gone, letting out faint sobs and short gasps for breath. He was spent for the day, completely worn out. It was a shame he had only lasted such a short time, especially with All Might as their guest. All Might was still on the line, of course, though Izuku’s phone was close to dying.
Even though he was disappointed that his fun with Izuku was over for the day, All for One smiled at the thought of what All Might must be like now. Completely broken, no doubt, perhaps with his phone sitting next to him, or perhaps it was across the room. He was too weak to end the call. He would make himself listen to Izuku’s torture from start to finish, unable to do anything to stop it, blaming himself the entire time. A shattered and useless Symbol of Peace.
“Can’t you give me one more pretty scream?” All for One asked Izuku. He pushed another sharp pain into the boy’s mind. Izuku choked and coughed out a pitiful sob, his stiff body giving a small spasm. All for One smiled. “I suppose that’s close enough… Now why don’t you say goodbye to All Might? He’s worried about you.”
All for One held Izuku’s phone up to the boy’s ear. He knew that Izuku was too far in shock to understand anything that was being said or done around him. All Might likely did as well, but the hero still managed to gather himself together enough to try and speak to his apprentice. Another apology, another confession of his weakness, another tender expression of love and encouragement. Izuku’s sobs faded into faint whimpers. Perhaps, even through his broken mind, All Might’s voice still brought him some sense of comfort. His swollen eyelids closed, granting him an escape at last, but his sleep wouldn’t be restful.
All for One patted Izuku's head the way he would a wounded animal. There was no blood this time, just buckets and sweat and tears and spit covering the small, shaking body. In his sleep, Izuku gave a small whimper and turned away from the touch. He pulled weakly at his chains, likely trying to curl himself up into a ball. If All for One still had the ability to pity, he might have thought about using it on Izuku. Instead, a twisted smile crossed his face again. After patting Izuku a few more times, he turned and left the room, clicking off the light behind him. He left the phone by Izuku to die with All Might crumbling on the other side. His steps felt light as he walked up the stairs, humming to himself. Izuku's screams were replaying through his mind, fresh and delicious. He already couldn't wait for the next time he came to visit.
Izuku was already crying when All for One clicked the light on. He wasn't fully awake, just feverish and somewhere between dreams and nightmares. All for One stood over him, watching for a few minutes. The fever wasn't good, he couldn't have the boy getting too sick and dying on him. Keeping him alive was going to be more difficult from here. It wasn't the first fever he'd had, but the frequency and intensity had been increasing. Perhaps it was about time to say goodbye to his little toy and finally move on to the next part of his revenge.
A public broadcast should do the trick. Hacking into all the phones and televisions in the country should be easy enough, and making Izuku bleed and scream in front of thousands of people made him giddy with excitement. Watching him kill Izuku would destroy all of the heroes, not just All Might. It would shake the very foundation of Hero Society. It would open the way for Tomura and his villains to rip them apart.
All for One placed a hand on Izuku's head and began using his Sensory Manipulation to lessen the fever. He absentmindedly began rubbing small circles into Izuku's scalp, humming to himself while he made a mental list of the things that needed to be prepared. He still had to decide the best way to deal with Izuku's body. Send it price by piece to All Might? Turn him into a nomu? So many options…
To All for One's surprise, Izuku whined and turned into his hand. Normally the boy unconsciously jerked away at any touch. This was a new development. Of course, right now his hand was providing relief instead of pain so perhaps that was why. Letting Izuku have a small bit of comfort might be good, since it would likely make his next session of torture more painful. All for One continued stroking Izuku's hair, amused by the way he strained for the contact.
After a few minutes, Izuku's lashes fluttered and his eyes fully opened. His eyes were dark and dull from lack of sunlight. No emotion could be seen there- no hurt or anger or fear like he once had. If anything, he looked a little confused when he saw All for One. His mouth cracked open. "Dad…?"
All for One's heart jumped. Izuku hadn't spoken in months. His voice was sore and rusty, barely a whisper. Perhaps he could get some begging from Izuku today. He hadn't realized how much he missed the way he used to plead with him to stop the pain. All for One didn't answer, continuing to strike his head and reduce his fever.
"Dad, why are you here?" Izuku asked. He clearly had to strain himself to put the words together. "You should be overseas."
The words were a little slurred and hard to understand, but All for One quickly put them together. The boy was hallucinating, thinking that he was his father. It was probably a result of the fever.
Izuku pulled against the chains on his wrists, trying to shift himself closer to All for One. "I called you on my birthday… Why didn't you answer?"
"I was busy." All for One wasn't sure why he answered. Maybe he just wanted to hear more of Izuku's desperate, broken voice.
"Y-you didn't call back." Hot tears brimmed Izuku's eyes, a new kind of tear that he'd never shown All for One before. It was from the kind of hurt that could only be made by years of neglect, a sadness that no physical pain could bring. Izuku was heartbroken, disappointed, questioning his own worth in the eyes of someone he loved.
All for One licked his lips. He wanted more. He wanted all of Izuku's pain, no matter what he had to do to get it. He put on a sweet smile, brushing the tears away with his thumb. "I'm here now, son."
Izuku nuzzled his hand, sniffling. "I missed you, Dad."
"Don't cry, Deku, everything is all right." He hushed him.
"Please don't go away again." Izuku begged. "D-Don't leave me."
"Shhh… I'm not going to leave you." All for One started stroking his hair again, smoothing his dirty curls down against the side of his head. Izuku closed his eyes and stopped struggling. He relaxed into All for One's touch, almost immediately falling asleep. He looked peaceful, almost calm. Strange, and even stranger how relaxing it was. All for One stayed until Izuku's fever was gone, then left him sleeping soundly.
For the rest of the day, he couldn't stop thinking about the way Izuku had cried and begged him to stay. It was because of the fever, he likely wouldn't get to see that kind of display again, which made him want it all the more. What a shame… he could have gotten used to seeing that kind of suffering.
All for One lifted his hand away from Izuku's chest where he'd been forcing the sensation of ripping the skin away. If he wasn't careful, Izuku would scream too much and lose his voice. Then it would be several days before he could hear them again and he rarely had patience for that anymore. With the stressful preparations he was making, torturing Izuku had become his escape. He was getting addicted- he wasn't sure what he was going to do after the time finally came to say goodbye to his toy.
Izuku sobbed weakly, too exhausted to pull away when All for One used his knuckle to stroke his cheek, waiting for him to recover enough to continue. After a short minute, he opened his eyes. "Dad?"
All for One paused, lifting his hand away. It had been a week since Izuku's fever, was he hallucinating again? Izuku didn't seem to be feverish, but there was something different about his eyes. A strange, dreamlike cloud hung over them. Not from any type of Quirk, not a physical type of cloud, but something was there covering the emptiness that he was used to seeing.
"Dad, I've been having bad dreams." Izuku sniffed.
"Bad dreams?" All for One repeated, slowly returning his hand to stroke Izuku's face.
Izuku gave a small nod, the most he could manage. "It hurts and you're always there… but you don't stop them."
"Those are just dreams, Izuku. Your daddy would never let anyone hurt you."
"Then why does it hurt still?" Izuku cried, squirming.
All for One chuckled, giving Izuku's cheek a small pinch. "That's because you're still dreaming. I'll wake you up when it's over."
Izuku closed his eyes and squoze them shut. "I want to wake up now." He whined. "Daddy, please wake me up."
"Were aren't finished yet, Izuku." All for One moved his hand back to Izuku's chest and began again, starting with a violent ripping sensation. Izuku screamed, nearly losing his voice already. All for One smiled to himself. He was getting carried away. After only twenty minutes, Izuku was unconscious and unresponsive.
All for One dried his hand off, pausing just before he left. He bent down over Izuku and whispered, "Time to wake up, Deku. The bad dream is all over now."
Izuku stirred slightly, but didn't wake up. All for One laughed and straightened himself. He was excited to see what would happen the next time he came to visit.
Izuku's hallucinations were getting stronger, to the point that All for One wasn't sure they were hallucinations anymore. The poor child seemed to actually believe that he was his absent father, even after watching him torture him for hours each day. He was desperate to escape, so desperate that his mind had formulated an alternate reality for him to hide in.
Each time All for One arrived Izuku's state of reality was altered a bit more from the last. It was as though he recieved a new set of memories after every torture session. The longer it went on, the further removed they were from reality. He stopped asking why his father was there first, then stopped asking about his mother. He stopped asking where he was or how he came to be there. He forgot that he had attended U.A. or that he even had a Quirk. Anything that caused him distress to think about, his mind cut out.
"Dad, do you like heroes?" He asked one day.
"I like to kill heroes." All for One answered with a grin.
Izuku frowned, confused and straining to understand. "Are you… a villain?"
"What do you think, Deku?" All for One ran a gentle finger down his face and Izuku didn't answer. He laughed and ruffled Izuku's hair.
The next time he came to visit, Izuku had forgotten about the existence of heroes and villains. He lived moment to moment, forgetting everything except what was happening right then. By that point, All for some had made up his mind- he wasn't going to kill Izuku in front of All Might. Not yet. He had a much better plan for revenge.
"Dad, what are you doing?" Izuku asked as All for One removed the shackles from his wrists and ankles.
"I'm taking you upstairs to brainwash you." He picked Izuku up. "It's all part of my revenge on All Might."
Izuku blinked, but nodded. It didn't matter what All for One said to him, he never argued or questioned it. He simply went along with anything he was told like an infant.
All for One walked Izuku upstairs. He nearly forgot that he was holding him, the boy was weightless and carried no presence. He only went up one flight of stairs to reach his destination: A large vault door set into the concrete.
"Look Deku, what do you think? Nice and safe, isn't it?"
Izuku didn't answer. He didn't have his own opinions anymore.
"I used to keep my brother here, back in the day." All for One explained as he unlocked the large door. It opened slowly on stiff hinges, scratching loudly. Izuku covered his ears and turned into All for One's chest with a shudder.
"Oh dear." All for One chuckled. "You didn't like that? We'll have to fix it up a bit. It's been over a hundred years since I used it last."
It was musty inside, but Izuku wouldn't complain. The lights had burned out long ago but All for One's Quirk allowed him to see in vivid detail what the room looked like. Empty except for cobwebs and his brother's desperate scratches in the wall.
He set Izuku down on the floor. Izuku blinked up at him, quiet and complacent as a baby deer. "Should we tell All Might the good news?" All for One asked, receiving a slight head tilt in reply. He fished Izuku's phone out of his pocket and called All Might. It had been weeks since he'd last called to taunt his nemesis, longer than he'd ever gone before, so it was no surprise that he received an immediate answer.
"Where is he?" All Might asked.
"Are you asking about his body?" All for One smirked. "I was planning to send it to you, but I changed my mind." He laughed over All Might's grief stricken silence.
Izuku reached over and lightly tugged on All for One's pant leg. He wasn't sure if the boy was curious or just that he couldn't stand being ignored. "Who are you talking to?"
"It's All Might." All for One crouched in front of Izuku and placed a hand on his cheek. Izuku closed his eyes and nuzzled against it, blissfully ignorant and content. "Do you want to talk to him?"
Izuku opened his eyes again, a small frown on his face. He didn't know who All Might was, though his subconscious would know that he should. Slowly, he bit his lip and shook his head.
"No?" All for One rubbed his thumb over Izuku's cheek. "That's a shame… I'm sure he would love to know that you're alive."
"What have you done to him?" All for One savored the sound of All Might's voice. Angry, confused, desperate.
"I didn't, he did it all on his own." All for One chuckled. "I did play along, I suppose, but your little Deku is very happy now."
"Let him go, please."
"Deku, do you want to leave?" All for One asked and Izuku looked terrified. He quickly shook his head and grabbed onto All for One's hand as if this could stop him from going anywhere. "Say it out loud, darling."
"N-no. I want to stay." Izuku squoze the hand as he said it.
"Good boy." All for One purred, taking his hand away to rub the top of Izuku's head. "You see All Might? He's perfectly fine. And when I do kill him, you'll know. Everyone will know. I would look forward to it if I were you." He hung up before a reply could be made, giving Izuku his full attention once more.
"You're such a good boy, Deku." He praised. "Tell me, do you love it here with me?"
"And if you ever get sent away, you'll come back to me, won't you?"
"Do I have to go away, dad?" Izuku asked nervously.
"When you go, you'll come back to me, won't you?" All for One repeated slowly, using his Quirk to send a warm feeling through Izuku's body. Izuku melted, closing his eyes and nodding. "Good, very good. This is going to be a lot of fun."
Training Izuku was easy. Even without the reinforcements of his Quirk, Izuku was desperate to please him. He still full heartedly believed that All for One was his father, ignoring him when he was tortured, clinging to him the second it was over. He told Izuku what to think and how to feel and Izuku nodded and believed him.
"I've done quite a bit of damage to you, haven't I?" All for One remarked, sitting back and allowing Izuku to snuggle into his chest. He was starved for human contact, desperate for love and attention. His voice was gone from screaming for the last several hours. He was a quivering mess, crying all over All for One's suit.
"You poor thing." All for One relented at last and lifted a hand to stroke Izuku's hair. "No one would ever believe that you used to be the future Symbol of Peace. You don't even remember your name anymore, do you? I should kill you and put you out of your misery… but I have something better planned. How would you like to help me get revenge? Would you do that for me?" He knew that Izuku wasn't listening. Even if he could, he wouldn't understand. "It will destroy them to see what I've done to you, to try and put you back together. I'll let them try, watch them suffer and they fail. They'll never get you back."
Izuku whimpered softly, snuggling in farther. All for One smiled and wrapped his free arm around Izuku, pulling him in tight. Izuku relaxed at last, breathing a sigh of relief and falling asleep in his arms.
"That's right, Deku." All for One twisted a curl around his finger. "You belong to me. We'll destroy All Might and the heroes together." He pressed a kiss into the top of Izuku's head and smiled again. Everything was going exactly how he planned.
They found Izuku wandering alone, wearing the remains of the clothes he had disappeared in. No shoes, feet bleeding from walking over glass that he couldn't seem to feel. His hair was overgrown, roughly cut short in several places. He was barely skin and bones, covered in horrific scars and bruises. He was seconds away from collapsing and never waking up again.
His treatment was intense, beginning with a long hospital stay. Doctors and heroes were called in from around the world with Quirks to heal him. His physical recovery went much smoother than his mental recovery did.
All for One relished in the look on their faces when they realized that Izuku wasn't under the influence of a Quirk. He carefully monitored each of All Might and the other hero's breakdowns over the situation. Izuku's classmates were especially entertaining to watch. If only they knew that they were being watched, that they were his personal form of entertainment. And Izuku, as always, brought him nothing but delight.
Izuku had thousands of triggers. He didn’t like to be touched, he didn’t like to be talked to. He hated having someone in the room with him, he hated being left alone. He panicked every time the light was turned on or off. He couldn’t stand new places or people, even if they were ones he was familiar with. He hated everyone around him, especially himself. He was plagued with nightmares, constantly confused as he tried to figure out what was real- everything around him or the world he had built for himself to escape from All for One.
All for One often heard Izuku crying for his father, but not his real father. He would always be confused when that man showed up, wanting to believe that he was the person he wanted, but untrusting. All for One smiled and reached out to touch the screen. “Don’t worry, little Deku, I’ll bring you back when I’m ready. When you’ve finished your job.”
Slowly but surely, with the help of constant therapy and support from his friends and family, Izuku returned to something that resembled who he once was. It was a shallow comparison, one he constantly had to focus on to keep from slipping. All for One found Izuku’s forced smile and laugh amusing, even more amusing was the way that everyone around him pretended not to notice how fake it was. On the outside, he seemed normal, but All for One could see the truth.
At night Izuku would curl up next to the wall, using his finger to trace patterns into it. Just like when he’d been in the vault, running his fingers over the faded scratches. When he was upset, usually at the slightest sensation of pain, they couldn’t calm him down without sitting him down and stroking his hair in a dark room for several hours. With no warning at all, Izuku would return to the state they’d found him in- unresponsive, closed off to any pain or emotion, pliant and simple minded. He would stay like that for days until something finally caught his attention enough to draw him out.
All Might was at his home every day, taking care of the boy and his mother. The boy’s father, Hisashi, had returned from overseas and was struggling to keep up. Izuku’s mother was as much a mess as he was, barely holding herself together in front of her son. All for One did feel some sympathy for her out of all of them. She was the only innocent one among them. Perhaps when this was over he would find a way to remove Izuku from her memory.
Izuku finally reached a point where he stopped progressing. Nothing they tried for weeks brought about any change to his behavior, that was until he unexpectedly contracted a severe fever. When he woke up the next day, the fever was gone, as were all of his memories of his time with All for One. It wasn't a complete recovery. He was still deeply depressed and confused, still triggered into violent flashbacks, but he was Izuku again.
The smiles he gave weren't always forced. Sometimes he laughed or asked them questions. He was getting stronger. His heroic spirit, once thoroughly crushed and stripped away, was returning to him. All for One had known that it would. It had all been a part of his plan. Soon it would be time for the next step. He touched the screen again, stroking Izuku’s face. Izuku was smiling, just a faint smile, listening to All Might as he was talking. All Might was smiling as well, a relieved smile. They were happy together… how sweet.
All for One turned away from the screen. He’d laid quietly all this time, letting them put Izuku back together piece by piece. Now, at last, it was time to remind them why the boy had become that way in the first place. It was time to let them know that Izuku had never left his reach.
It started with letters shoved under the door, all addressed to Izuku. His family got to them long before he did, making sure the boy never saw them. The letters were simple, all with a single line written inside. “Time to come home.”
He started sending flowers to All Might, funeral arrangements with frightening and vague notes attached. “Sorry for your loss”, “You’ll be needing these soon”, “Enjoy it while it lasts.”
The phone would ring at odd hours of the day and night and when answered, no one would reply. If Izuku was nearby, they simply told him that it was a prank call.
Shadows began to linger around the Midoriya residence. In response, more heroes were stationed nearby. Villain attacks became more frequent in other areas of the city, drawing them away just long enough for the shadows to pass over the doors and windows of the home before they vanished.
It didn’t take long for Izuku to notice that something was wrong. He tried to keep smiling and pretend that he didn’t notice, but he was too far recovered to let it slide. All for One smiled as he watched Izuku probe his family for information. They would quietly change the subject and steer him to a safer topic. Izuku never spoke about his “other” father anymore. All for One knew just how to fix that.
Hisashi was at work, All Might was helping Inko in another room. The phone was ringing in the hallway and, despite Inko warning Izuku not to answer, the boy picked up the phone. “Hello?” He sounded curious, much like a small child answering the phone for the first time. “Why do you keep calling and not saying anything?”
All for One chuckled. “Because the right person wasn’t answering. Hello Deku, are you ready to come home now?”
Izuku’s legs gave out and he collapsed to the floor, still holding the phone to his ear. “Y-You!”
“That’s right.” All for One purred, loving the fear in Izuku’s voice. “Did you miss me?”
All Might and Inko came running down the hallway. All Might snatched the phone away from Izuku’s stunned figure. “Stop calling!” He shouted angrily.
“Is that a threat?” All for One laughed.
All Might slammed the phone back down onto the receiver and joined Inko in trying to comfort Izuku. When the phone started ringing again, he ripped the cord out of the wall. Even unplugged, the phone rang until Hisashi, just getting home to find several dozen letters piled on the doormat, threw it out the window.
Izuku screamed and cried for hours. He was violent one moment, trying to push them away from him, then desperate for them to hold and love him the next. It took them hours to get him to sleep, sitting with him as he cried through the night.
All for One didn’t have such problems. He slept better than he had in months, kissing the screen before he went to bed. “How I’ve missed your pretty screams, Deku. Time for you to fall apart for me again… I can’t wait.”
Soon every phone near Izuku would ring. Letters appeared not just under the door, but in the windows and vents as well. Time to come home . Izuku grew weaker and weaker with each one he saw.
"I don't want to go back." He sobbed in his parents' arms all day. "Make him stop. I don't want it to hurt anymore."
The Heroes searched everywhere, chasing the hundreds of false leads that All for One laid out for them to find him. All the while All for One sat back and waited for Izuku to answer his call again. It only took a few weeks.
They had taken all of the phones out of the house, all the phones they knew about at least. It was late at night. Izuku's parents had fallen asleep, but their son was tossing and turning in his bed. At last, he sat up and slowly, fearfully, pulled a box out from under his bed. Buried inside was an old flip phone of Hisashi's, one that Izuku had kept and played with as a child. With shaking hands, Izuku plugged the phone in and waited for it to turn on. The screen lit up, bright in the dark room. Izuku was only holding his breath for a moment before an incoming call was announced. He let it ring several times before he answered at last.
"Please stop calling me."
"But you seemed like you wanted to talk to me." All for One smiled.
"I wanted to tell you to stop." Izuku was shaking. "Don't call me anymore, I don't want to see you or talk to you ever again."
"And why is that?"
"Because I hate you! I know what you did to me. Why can't you leave me alone?"
"I just wanted to hear from you again."
"Why do you care?" Izuku snapped, tightening his grip on the phone.
All for One chuckled softly. "I spent so long taking care of you, of course I want to make sure you're doing all right."
"You're lying." Izuku was angry. "You tortured me, you hate me, you were going to kill me."
"Deku." All for One said softly and Izuku quickly closed his mouth. "You can't sleep, can you? That's why you wanted to talk to me."
Izuku was quiet except for his short, shaking breaths. Of course he was upset that he was right.
"Lay back down." All for One instructed. Izuku bit his lip, hesitating before he did add he was told. "Are you comfortable?"
"Please don't take me away again." Izuku whimpered, snuggling into his bed.
"No, it isn't time for that yet. You'll know when it's time for you to come back."
"I won't! I'm not going." Izuku insisted.
"You will. You promised, remember? Now close your eyes, that's a good boy. Go to sleep, Deku. Have sweet dreams."
Izuku fell asleep almost as soon as he closed his eyes. The phone slipped from his fingers and landed on the pillow next to him. Ask for One smirked to himself. Izuku was too easy to handle. A few more talks like this and he would be back in All for One's palm again. Not that he'd ever truly left.
"Good night, Deku." He whispered into the receiver. "I'll see you soon."
More secret calls between Izuku and All for One took place over the next few weeks. All for One drew Izuku closer and closer each time, pulling his mind back into the darkness he thought he was escaping. Izuku didn’t realize it, neither did any of his family, but when the time came, he had no choice but to answer.
The phone rang under Izuku’s pillow in the middle of the night. There was no battery in the phone, Izuku’s only way of controlling when their conversations took place. All for One didn’t need the battery to make his call. The phone was just the easiest way for his Quirks to reach Izuku.
“S-Stop it.” Izuku mumbled when he answered, mostly asleep still. “I don’t wanna talk to you.”
“Deku, it’s time for you to come back.”
Izuku sat up, suddenly wide awake. “No! I’m not- I won’t go!”
“Put your shoes and jacket on. I don’t want to be waitin for you out here in the cold forever.”
“You can’t make me!” Izuku shook his head. “I’m staying here. I told you I don’t ever- I never want to see you. Leave me alone!”
“I’m not coming in to get you, so hurry up.” All for One told him.
Izuku was trembling. “Please, just a bit longer. I don’t want to go, I want to stay here.”
“I’ve given you long enough.”
“C-Can’t I say goodbye?” Izuku was crying.
“Shoes. Jacket. Outside.” All for One repeated firmly.
Izuku shuddered and stepped out of bed. “Please?” He begged as he picked his jacket up off the floor. “Please don’t make me go.”
“I’m waiting, Deku.”
Izuku pulled his jacket on and tiptoed to the front door, crying as he slipped his red shoes on. He stepped outside and shuddered at the cold air, looking around with the phone still pressed up to his ear.
All for One stepped out of the shadows. “You don’t need that anymore.” He took it from Izuku’s stiff hands and dropped it by the door. The tall man bent down and smiled at Izuku’s mortified face. “Did you miss me?”
“No, no don’t make me go.” Izuku whimpered, shrinking back.
“I’m not making you do anything.” All for One held his hand out. “Come along now.”
Izuku stared at the hand, shaking from head to toe. Slowly, he lifted his hand and placed it in All for One’s palm. “Is it going to hurt?”
All for One ruffled Izuku’s bed-swept curls. “Maybe a little. I like to hear your pretty screams.”
Izuku let out a small sob, looking up at the man with watering eyes. “Why do you want to hurt me so bad?”
All for One pulled Izuku closer and rubbed the side of his face. Without thinking, Izuku turned into his hand, still crying. “Not you, someone else. You’re helping me get revenge on All Might, remember?”
Izuku started to pull his hand back. “I’m not helping you! You aren’t really my dad, you just made that up.”
“No, Deku, you made that up.” All for One corrected and Izuku froze. “I’ll admit that I played along, but it was all your idea. It looks like you do remember… so let’s not waste anymore time pretending that you didn’t willingly come when I called.”
Izuku sobbed again, sounding more angry this time. Angry with himself. He pulled away from All for One’s hand, earning a small frown from the man. “Haven’t you done enough?”
“Perhaps.” All for One grabbed Izuku’s face again. “But perhaps I got attached to you along the way.”
Izuku glared through his tears. All for One got chills. How he’d missed that defiant look. “You’re such a liar.”
“I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.” All for One used his Sensory Manipulation to send a warm feeling into Izuku’s body.
Izuku quickly pulled away. “No! Don’t do that!”
“I just thought you might be getting cold.” All for One held his hand out again. “Let’s get you inside, shall we?”
“Wh-Where?” Izuku held his hands close to his chest.
“Back to your favorite place.” All for One’s smile returned. “Deku, you said you would come back to me.”
Izuku jerked. The tone of voice, reinforced with affection and comfort, was one he’d been trained to respond to. His chest began quickly rising and falling as his inward struggle began. All for One waited patiently, hand outstretched and waiting. When Izuku seemed to be ready to shut down, he called for him again.
“Come here, Deku.”
Izuku flinched again, his legs moving on their own. He stepped past All for One’s hand and leaned into his chest, sobbing and covering his ears. “Stop it, please! You’re scaring me! Stop calling for me. No more, please. I just want to go home.”
“Let’s go home then.” All for One held Izuku’s head to his chest, grinning from ear to ear. “No need to be scared, Deku. I’ll take good care of you, just like I did before.”
He looked forward to watching the pain that Izuku’s second disappearance would cause All Might. The time and patience he’d invested had been worth it in the end. All that was left of his revenge was to kill Izuku and set in motion the end of Hero Society. But before that, he was going to enjoy having Izuku in his vault again. Listening to him scream, watching him fall apart, hearing him cry all night. It was what he looked forward to more than watching All Might suffer. He wondered how long it would take this time before Izuku lost all control and called him Dad again. Strangely enough, he hoped that it was sooner rather than later.