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The Roundabout Way of Fate

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The late afternoon glow of the sweltering sun beats down on the city in the waning months of summer, painting the sky with hues of reds and oranges as it dips down towards the horizon. Weaving through the streets below, a young Izuku Midoriya sits in the back seat of his mother’s car, watching the city pass by in a blur. His mother is speaking, talking to Auntie Mitsuki on the phone, but her voice is muffled, a mere background noise idly brushing his ears. 

Mothers always talk a lot, and he has far more important things to be paying attention to- like deciding whether that cloud looks more like All Might or Endeavor! The biased, fanboy side of Izuku wants to say All Might, but the way the light of the sun is hitting the cloud is turning it orange, making it look like Endeavor’s Hellflame. Izuku is still gazing at the strangely-shaped cloud in contemplation when a delightful laugh slices through his thoughts, drawing his attention to the background noise that is no longer muffled. He glances away from the window at Inko.

Mothers always talk a lot, but he never minds when Inko talks to Auntie Mitsuki, because Auntie Mitsuki always makes her laugh more than anyone. A part of him thinks that Auntie Mitsuki probably does it because she likes to hear Inko’s laugh as much as he does. Sweet and soft, and somehow has a way of making you feel just a little bit happier to be alive, even if you’re already having the best day. Izuku’s glad that she has a best friend so eager to bring out that beautiful laugh, and it’s even better that said friend is the mother of his own best friend. 

They’re talking about him now. Gossiping, as mothers do, about their children right in front of them, as if Izuku can’t hear. 

“... I was just getting a little worried you know?” Inko is saying, “Well, you do know, you know how anxious I get, I-” She cuts off, and Auntie Mitsuki must’ve made a comment because she lets out a little snort before continuing, “Anyway, so I took him to the doctor today, just to be sure he, well, would be manifesting a quirk, and Doctor Tsubasa reassured me that everything was fine. He took some x-rays of his feet and found that he didn’t have an extra joint on his little toe. Apparently that’s some indicator of quirklessness… I know right? I didn’t even realize people could have a joint there.” 

She laughs, airy and cheerful, and it instantly brings a smile to Izuku’s face. He looks down at his feet and wiggles his toes inside his shoes before going back to staring out the window. 

Still, he idly listens to his mother as she continues to talk to Auntie Mitsuki. “So he basically told me that Izuku is just a late bloomer. It’s not often kids turn five without manifesting their quirks, so he says that Izuku will get his any day now.” 

Izuku can hear a muffled voice from the phone, but despite how loud his best friend’s mother is, he can’t make out what she is saying. However, a moment later, Inko answers his silent wonderings when she calls back to her son in a light voice, “Hey, Izuku, Mitsuki-san wants to know what quirk you’re hoping you’ll get.”

Izuku blinks. Of course, that’s something he’s thought about a lot. His eyes are drawn back to the cloud, which he has to admit, is an Endeavor-cloud. Perhaps the winds high above have shifted, but parts of the cloud are now streaking slightly, making it look even more flame-like in the light of the sun. The Endeavor-cloud stands strong and proud against the crimson sky, but Izuku feels nothing but apprehension curling in his stomach.

A couple of years ago, he might’ve wanted to be a fire-breather, like his father. It would no doubt be a cool quirk to have, and maybe he could even become a hero with it. He used to watch a bunch of videos about flame heroes like Endeavor since he was so convinced he’d inherit his father’s quirk. Now, however… Izuku’s not as inclined towards it as before. For as long as he can remember, it’s always been him and his mother. His father just… hasn’t been in the picture, so Izuku thinks it would be… odd, to get his quirk. It would be like getting a stranger’s quirk. Inko always seems a bit sad whenever he asks about him and making his mother sad is the last thing he wants to do, so perhaps it would be better for him to inherit her quirk. It might not be very strong, but that’s because Inko never wanted to become a hero. Izuku’s sure that if he got her quirk and he trained it hard it would become strong enough to help him become a great hero- like All Might! 

Turning his gaze away from the fiery cloud, Izuku grins brightly at his mother and chirps, “I wanna get mama’s quirk!” 

Inko smiles in response and it makes Izuku’s heart flutter happily. “Did you hear that?” She asks Auntie Mitsuki and then laughs at her response, “Oh, don’t be so dramatic, you know Katsuki-kun adores you too. He just doesn’t want to look like such a mama’s boy.” 

Izuku giggles, already having a pretty good idea of what Auntie Mitsuki said about her son, and turns back to the window. He looks away from the clouds and turns his attention to the sky dyed with crimson. Despite the ominous color, he doesn’t feel any sort of unease. Instead, he finds himself reminded of a certain red-eyed boy.

“Can I go hang out with Kacchan when we get home?” He asks abruptly. 

“Let me ask Mitsuki-san, dear,” Inko replies before doing just so. She must get an enthusiastic response, because she lets out another giggle that tickles Izuku’s ears like jingling bells before saying, “Alright, just give us a few minutes to change and we’ll be there soon.”

The two women bid goodbye and a minute later the Midoriyas are pulling into their driveway. Izuku immediately jumps out and starts towards Kacchan’s house, but Inko is quick to snatch him and shoo him into their own house to get changed. Once the two are ready, Izuku takes his mother’s hand and eagerly begins leading the way down the street towards the Bakugous’ residence. 

Their neighborhood is small and has only a handful of kids, including Tsubasa and Inaba, who both live a bit farther from Izuku than Kacchan does. But Izuku doesn’t mind the small size, and the lack of a large friend group has never bothered him. Why would he ever need anyone other than Kacchan? 

Speaking of…

The sky has darkened now, but Izuku finds the same shade from earlier in the pair of eyes that pop out from behind the window as they approach the Bakugous’ house. 

“Oi, Zuku!” Kacchan’s shout is muffled. “Hurry up, slow-poke!” 

“Kacchan, you little- get down from there!” 

“Go away, old hag!” 

Kacchan disappears from the window and shouting erupts from within the house. Izuku giggles and Inko lets out a fond sigh as they approach the door, no doubt steeling herself for a very loud night. She knocks and the door swings open, revealing Kacchan and a very irritated-looking Auntie Mitsuki behind him. Her expression smoothes out the second she sees Inko and she spreads her arms welcomingly. “Inko-san, come in, come in! Hey there, little Izukun!” 

Izuku blushes as she ruffles his hair and Kacchan groans in annoyance. The blond brushes past his mother and grabs him by the arm before beginning to drag him towards his room. Auntie Mistuki scowls at her son as they pass. 

“Oi, dinner’s gonna be ready in 20 minutes, you hear?” She snaps, “Don’t start making a mess!” 

“We won’t!” Izuku reassures her as he gets pulled along, but Auntie Mitsuki just smiles sweetly at him.

“Oh, Izukun, you know I don’t mean you.”

She sends a pointed glare at Kacchan, who just rolls his eyes. “Yeah, yeah, fine. C’mon, Zuku.”

He takes the smaller boy to his room and shuts the door loudly. Turning to him, the blond demands, “Well? Tsubasa-kun said Auntie was taking you to see his grandpa about your quirk. What’d he say?”

Izuku ponders. The doctor visit this afternoon was a bit boring. Doctor Tsubasa said a lot of stuff and spoke more to his mother than to him, but Izuku dutifully recounts the gist of what he understood of the events that transpired, and when he’s finished Kacchan huffs and folds his arms. “Well, what’s taking so long?” He asks impatiently. 

Izuku gives a small, clueless shrug. “I dunno- but he said it’s gonna come any day now! I’m excited!” He clenches his fists and beams at his friend. “I can’t wait to be a hero like All Might!” 

Kacchan scowls. “Nuh uh, I’m gonna be like All Might!” He opens his palms and lets out a couple of explosions as if to prove his point. “I’m gonna be the best hero ever! Better than All Might, even!”

Izuku’s eyes widen. “Better than All Might?” He asks in awe, “No way!”

“Yes way! Just you wait!” Kacchan brushes past Izuku to a basket of toys leaning against his wall. “Once I get bigger, I’m gonna beat up all the villains in the world! No one will beat me! You’ll see!” 

Izuku gazes after his friend fondly. Kacchan is loud and abrasive, just like his quirk, but he’s also the most determined person Izuku knows. Nothing ever seems to scare him or make his confidence waver. He’s just amazing- even before his quirk manifested he was always amazing. His quirk just made him even cooler.

Not cooler than All Might, though.

Kacchan, his back still turned to Izuku, proceeds to turn the basket over and dump all of his toys on the ground. Izuku frowns. 

“Erm, Kacchan, your mom said not to make a mess,” he says uneasily. 

Kacchan scoffs. “Who cares what that old hag says? C’mon, I wanna play heroes!” He takes out an All Might action figure and pushes an Endeavor figure towards Izuku. “Here, you can be my sidekick.” 

A bit disgruntled but used to it by now- (the few times he’s insisted on being the main hero Kacchan had been irritated the entire time)- Izuku takes the toy and settles down next to him. Kacchan quickly starts setting up a narrative, using dramatic voices and his quirk for effects. As they play, their mothers’ muffled chatting coming from the kitchen, Izuku thinks back to their earlier discussion.

“I wonder what quirk I’ll get?” He ponders aloud. Kacchan stops swooping the All Might action figure through the air and gives him a look. “I hope I get mama’s quirk. Or maybe a mix of hers and dad’s, although I don’t know if that can happen…”

Kacchan stares at him for a few moments, then turns away with a dismissive snort. “Well, no matter what quirk you end up with, you’ll never be able to beat me!” 

As soon as he says that, Auntie Mitsuki’s voice calls from the kitchen, telling them that dinner is ready. Kacchan quickly scrambles to his feet and runs out the room. Izuku doesn’t follow for a few moments, instead sitting back and listening as the mother and son start snapping at each other. 

Kacchan’s words… leave an odd feeling in his chest. He wouldn’t say they hurt, because he knows better than to put so much personal offense behind the boy’s words. Kacchan is always rude and often speaks without thinking- that’s just the way he is, and he should be used to it by now. But still…

“Oi, nerd! Get over here, we’re eating sukiyaki!” 

Ignoring the odd ache in his heart, Izuku gets to his feet and dashes over to the kitchen

“Coming!” 


Now that they know with certainty that Izuku will be getting a quirk, all that is left to do is wait. 

And so they do. 

Every morning, Izuku wakes up, expecting to feel different, expecting for this to be the day his quirk will manifest. Every morning, he attempts to telekinetically pull objects towards himself or to breathe fire. And every morning, nothing seems to change. Nothing seems… different. 

At first, he doesn’t worry about it too much. One week since seeing Doctor Tsubasa goes by and life goes on as normal. But then one week turns into two, then into three, then into a month. By the end of October, just over two months since he turned five, Izuku still has yet to manifest his quirk and he’s beginning to get impatient.

Kacchan is too. Not only that, but he seems to also be getting… disappointed. Bored with Izuku. The greenette can see it in his eyes after each time he asks if his quirk manifested that day, after each time he replies negatively. He can see the… disinterest, the way he turns and chooses to spend more and more time with Tsubasa and Inaba, both of whom have already manifested their quirks. It leaves an unsettling feeling in his gut. 

He doesn’t understand. Why won’t his quirk come? It will come… won’t it? The doctor said it would, but people whisper things around him now. His teachers give him concerned, pitying glances when they think he’s not looking. His classmates are confused and mutter to each other behind his back.

Then one day, Inaba says it. 

“Maybe he just doesn’t have a quirk.”

Izuku freezes.

He, Kacchan, Tsubasa, and Izuku are exploring a nearby forest after school, one they’ve been to a few times before. The three boys still let Izuku tag along on their adventures, but lately he can tell it’s with some reluctance, so he hangs back. Still, despite being a few feet behind the trio, he hears Inaba’s suggestion loud and clear.

“That’s stupid, how could he not have a quirk?” Kacchan snaps, and a part of Izuku is relieved that his best friend is defending him, despite having disappointed him. 

But then Tsubasa pipes up, “My dad says it’s called being quirkless.”

And that word, that word. The one people have been whispering around him, acting like he can’t hear. Quirkless. As in, without a quirk? Him? No, it’s- it’s impossible! Sure he’s a little later than normal, but the doctor… the doctor...

“Some people just are just born without them,” Tsuabasa continues, oblivious to Izuku’s inner turmoil, “My great aunt doesn’t have one-” 

“I’m gonna have a quirk!” Izuku insists, interrupting him. The three glance over their shoulders at him and he falters. “I… I don’t have an extra toe joint,” he explains hesitantly, “Doctor Tsubasa-san said that all quirkless people have an extra toe joint but I don’t, so… so I’m just a late bloomer.” 

The trio share dubious glances before Kacchan tosses his head and scoffs, “Well, then hurry up already, Zuku! We’ve been waiting forever.”

Izuku smiles nervously and trots after them as they continue their exploration of the forest. 

He’ll get his quirk. Doctors are smart people, Inko says to listen to them. He just needs to be patient.

Soon enough, his presence fades into the background once again as Kacchan decides to start showing off his quirk now that there are no adults around. Tsubasa and Inaba encourage him to make bigger explosions, whooping with excitement each time they grow in size. Kacchan preens under all the attention, gloating over the power of his quirk as he braces himself for another explosion.

“Get ready, guys, this one is gonna be the biggest!” He hollers, holding his palms out.

Izuku smartly decides to take a step back and watches as his friend tenses up before unleashing an impressive explosion. His awe is short-lived, interrupted by a pained yelp from Kacchan.

“Kacchan!” He cries out, rushing to the blond who is clutching his wrists with gritted teeth. Tsubasa and Inaba are closer to him, but somehow Izuku reaches his side first. “What happened?” 

He takes Kacchan’s wrists in his hands and frowns at the sight of slightly burned skin on his wrists and palms. Kacchan pushes his discomfort away and glances at Tsubasa and Inaba. “Quit worrying, it’s nothing, guys!” He scoffs dismissively, “Just happens sometimes when I overuse my quirk.”

As he talks, Izuku keeps staring down at the boy’s injuries. The skin feels hot beneath his fingers, but there’s something else to it too. Something strange. Like there’s an odd… substance? Or perhaps a presence. He isn’t quite sure how to name it, but he can feel it lingering right underneath Kacchan’s skin. Without his awareness, he finds his eyes fluttering shut. As he focuses on that strange heat, he’s surprised to discover something similar swirling within him. He doesn’t even notice it until he feels it flowing out of him, through his hands and into Kacchan’s skin. It all happens so quickly and ends abruptly when Kacchan notices Izuku still holding onto him and yanks his wrists out of his hands. 

“Oi, what are you doing, idiot, I said I’m-” 

The blond stops mid-sentence, glancing down at his hands in surprise. His eyes widen. 

“It… it feels better…” He murmurs in shock. His head snaps up to Izuku, glaring. “What did you do?” 

Izuku is confused until he notices that the burns on Kacchan’s hands are completely gone, the skin unmarred. 

“Eh? What happened?” Inaba asks, stepping closer to observe Kacchan’s wrists, “Hey, your burns are gone!”

“Yeah, no shit, but how?!” Kacchan snaps, still glaring at Izuku. The other two boys turn to look at him.

“Did you do this, Midoriya-kun?” Tsubasa asks, tilting his head curiously. 

Izuku anxiously shifts his feet under the attention and wrings his hands. “Um, I- I don’t know,” he squeaks, “It- erm, I don’t know, it felt weird. I… I don’t know what happened…” 

Inaba blinks and his eyes widen. “Hey, maybe this is your quirk? Try it again!” 

Izuku turns to Kacchan, who is still glaring, and holds out his hands. Kacchan huffs and begrudgingly lets Izuku hold his wrists. Izuku tries to find that strange warm sensation again, but it seems to have vanished alongside Kacchan’s burns. He frowns.

“I don’t think I can do it now,” he says, “The feeling is gone. I don’t know how to get it back.”

“Well, what did it feel like?” Inaba asks, surprisingly patient, “Describe what happened.”

Izuku presses his lips together and tries to find the right words. “It was like… warm? Kacchan’s burns, I mean, but not his skin- it was like something underneath his skin. It wasn’t like regular warm either- erm, I don’t know how to describe it, but I could just feel it. Um… um, and then I felt the same thing in me? Except it was leaving. It was like flowing out of me into Kacchan and then his burns were gone…”

He trails off uncertainly. The feeling was so strange and alien that it kind of scares him, especially not knowing what it is.

They all turn when Tsubasa suddenly spreads his wings. “Hold on, I’ve got an idea,” he says before disappearing up into the trees. There’s a moment of silence, then the sound of leaves rustling and branches snapping. A bird shrieks, making Izuku flinch, before Tsubasa reappears. 

“Here,” he says, landing in front of them. He pushes a small bird into Izuku’s hands and says, “I broke its wing. See if that weird feeling comes back.”

“What?!” Izuku exclaims, “Tsubasa-kun, that’s so mean! Poor bird!” 

Tsubasa rolls his eyes but Izuku doesn’t notice, too busy focusing on the bird in his palms that is frozen in fear. As soon as his fingers brush over the bird’s wing, he feels the strange warmth again. This time, though, he can feel it swirling around the bird’s wing joint. The word ‘dislocated’ comes to mind- he sees it happening to heroes’ arms sometimes in movies. Closing his eyes, he tries to summon the warmth within him that he felt earlier, only to discover that it’s already flowing out of him. Now that it’s not as shocking anymore, he takes the time to really focus on the feeling and try to decipher what it is. 

“Ow!” He yelps, dropping the bird. It unfurls its wings and takes flight, fleeing back up into the trees. He frowns down at his finger where the bird pecked him, but there’s no blood. 

“Hey, it worked!” Inaba exclaims, “You healed it! You have a healing quirk!”

“Cool!” Tsubasa grins.

“What?” Kacchan barks, scowling, “That’s not possible, his parents don’t have healing quirks!” 

Inaba shrugs cluelessly. “I dunno, man, maybe it skipped a generation or two.”

“That’s really cool, though, Midoriya-kun!” Tsubasa says, “I’ve never seen one like that before! How does it work? What does it feel like?”

Taken aback by the sudden positive attention, Izuku flounders for a moment. “Uh… uh, erm, it felt like…” He wracks his brain, trying to find the right word to describe the feeling. “It felt like… energy! Yeah, like energy or something! It’s like I pushed my energy into the injury and it got better! Oh, oh, and I could also kind of tell what the injury was? Like… like I could feel Kacchan’s energy swirling around his burns and the bird’s around it’s wing, but with the bird I could tell that its wing wasn’t broken but dislocated. ‘Cause, um… it was like the energy was more focused around the joint? Like it was trying to fix it…”

It sounds confusing even to him, and one look at his friends’ faces tells him they think so too. But his confusion is being pushed aside by his excitement. This is his quirk! He finally got his quirk! 

“Oh my gosh, I have a quirk now!” He exclaims, jumping up and down, “I have a quirk, I have a quirk!” 

Inaba laughs, “Well, c’mon! Let’s see if you can heal more stuff!” With a mischievous grin, he reels his fist back and punches Tsubasa’s shoulder. 

“Ow! Jerk!” Tsubasa growls. Before he can pouce on Inaba, however, Izuku latches onto his arm and wow, he doesn’t even have to try to use his quirk, it just activates automatically as soon as he feels an injury!

“Whoa!” Tsubasa breathes, flexing his arm, “The pain went away so fast! Thanks, Midoriya-kun!” 

The praise has Izuku’s heart fluttering and he can’t help the grin that breaks out on his face. 

“Hey, I wanna try!” Inaba whines, “Punch me, punch me!” 

“Hey…” Kacchan says, but he gets ignored.

Tsubasa snickers and is more than happy to sock Inaba in the arm. The boy hisses but soon smiles when Izuku eagerly uses his quirk on him. 

“Man, you’re so lucky!” Inaba says, “That’s gonna be such a useful quirk!”

“Hey,” Kacchan repeats.

“Let’s go see what else you can heal,” Tsubasa says.

“Hey, idiots!” Kacchan finally snaps, “We’re not doing that!” Tsubasa and Inaba turn to him and whine but he merely snarls back at them. “I’m taking Zuku back to Auntie! This is weird shit and we’ve gotta figure out what’s going on before he gets hurt!”

“Eh, hurt? How would he get hurt?” Inaba tilts his head.

Kacchan gives him a ‘are you stupid?’ look. “All quirks have drawbacks, especially when they’re overused,” he says, flexing his wrists. Inaba opens his mouth to argue, then closes it and frowns thoughtfully.

Izuku’s a bit disappointed- he just got his quirk and now Kacchan wants him to stop using it?- but then notices something. He’s a bit tired, not terribly so, but more than he usually is at this time of the day. Perhaps the whole energy transfer thing drains his own energy? 

“I- I guess I am feeling a bit tired,” he admits. 

Kacchan arches his brow at Inaba as if to say ‘see?’ and the other boy just rolls his eyes. 

“Aw, fine, we’ll play with it more tomorrow,” Inaba says. 

“Yeah, you gotta show the class!” Tsubasa says. 

Izuku smiles. “I can’t wait!” Kacchan decides that it’s time to go and grabs him by the arm, dragging him back towards the street. “Thanks for helping me figure out my quirk, guys!” He calls back. 

“Yeah, no problem!” 

“Congrats!” 

Still beaming, Izuku turns back around and lets himself be dragged by Kacchan. He still can’t believe this is happening. He’s never been so confused and happy in his life! 

“Isn’t this great, Kacchan?” He says, “I finally have a quirk!”

Kacchan doesn’t look at him as he replies, “Yeah. Great.” His tone is low and he doesn’t sound too happy. Izuku’s enthusiasm wanes. 

“What’s wrong?” He asks, confused.

“Nothing!” Kacchan retorts, “Let’s just… get you to Auntie. She’ll figure out what’s going on.” 

Izuku pouts. Thankfully, the walk back home is short so soon he’s swinging the front door open and crying out, “Mama, mama! I got my quirk!” 

“What?” Inko exclaims, rushing over from the kitchen, “Oh, sweetie, that’s wonderful!” She scoops Izuku up and presses numerous kisses onto his cheeks. He whines and tries to squirm away. Kacchan fidgets impatiently by the door. “Oh, my baby, I’m so happy for you!”

Finally managing to push her face away, Izuku says, “And you’ll never guess what it is!”

“Oh?” Inko asks, feigning confusion, “What is it?” 

“Healing,” Kacchan interrupts. She turns to the blond in surprise and he stares back up at her sullenly. “It’s some sort of healing quirk.”

“Huh?” Now Inko’s confusion is real. 

Izuku nudges her repeatedly and whines, “Mama, you never told me we had healing quirks in our family!” 

Inko is still glancing between the two boys, her mind clearly whirling. “We… don’t,” she says softly, his brow furrowing, “Honey, are you sure?”

“Yeah!” Izuku says enthusiastically. Inko blinks and glances at Kacchan, who is gazing at her with an unusually serious expression. 

“Katsuki-kun?” She questions with an uncertain tone. 

Sensing her hesitance, Kacchan huffs and stomps into the kitchen. He pulls out a small knife from the drawer, alarming Inko, but before she can stop him he purposefully slices the edge of his palm. 

“Katsuki-kun! What on earth are you doing?!”

“Zuku,” Kacchan says, holding his palm up to the smaller boy who is squirming out of his mother’s grasp, “Show her.” 

Izuku takes Kacchan’s hand in his and his quirk immediately flows.

“Now hold on, you can’t just- oh!” 

Inko’s eyes widen comically as the cut vanishes within seconds. For a few moments she just stares, even when Izuku beams up at her proudly. “See?”

She blinks slowly, a soft ‘oh’ escaping her lips. “Uh… um… o-okay…” She speaks haltingly, as if she’s still trying to wrap her brain around the situation. “Okay… okay! Uh, let’s… let’s…” She straightens up and looks down at Izuku, plastering on a nervous smile. “Why don’t we visit Doctor Tsubasa-san again, honey, okay?”

“Okay!” Izuku agrees cheerfully, bouncing from foot to foot. Kacchan is still frowning.

“Kacchan-kun, why don’t you head home? And… and maybe have you mother check out your hand?”

“But his hand’s fine, see?” Izuku says, “I healed it!” 

“I know, honey, but just in case,” Inko says, quickly grabbing her purse and keys and herding the kids to the door. “Come on, then.” 

Izuku bids Kacchan goodbye and Inko watches the boy until he has disappeared down the street before she puts her son into the car and drives off.


Doctor Tsubasa looks stunned when Inko tells him about Izuku’s strange new quirk, but he doesn’t look disbelieving. Instead, he calmly retrieves a scalpel and scrapes off a small amount of skin on his wrist before asking Izuku to demonstrate his ability. The boy happily obliges and the doctor watches with fascination as his own skin heals right before his eyes.

“Well!” He huffs good-naturedly, “That’s a healing quirk alright!” 

Inko’s eyes widen as Izuku squeals in excitement. “Really?” He asks, eyes sparkling.

“Yes, and a pretty powerful one if I’m not mistaken,” Doctor Tsubasa replies, much to the delight of the young boy. 

A healing quirk! He really has a healing quirk! And a powerful one! 

“But Tsubasa-san,” Inko says, smiling hesitantly at her son’s happiness, “I don’t understand. No one in my family or my husband’s family has a healing quirk, at least, none that we knew of…”

“And I wouldn’t expect them to,” Doctor Tsubasa explains, notably looking at both Inko and Izuku as he does so as opposed to only the former like he did during their earlier visit, “You see, healing quirks are exceptionally rare and one of the reasons for that is because they’re not hereditary, meaning that they aren’t passed down through genetics. Only a small amount of quirks spontaneously manifest in people without a prior genetic inclination for that quirk, and an even smaller amount of that small amount are healing quirks.” He smiles at Inko. “Your son has something truly special here, Midoriya-san.”

Inko inhales sharply and smiles again, this time more warmly. “Oh,” she breathes, tucking her son closer to her side, “That’s good then.” 

“Very good,” the doctor says, “In all my years as a medical professional, I’ve never seen a quirk like his before. Healing quirks usually work by manipulating some aspect of the patient’s body to help them heal faster. I’m sure you’ve heard of the Youthful Heroine Recovery Girl?” Both Inko and Izuku nod, the latter more vigorously. “Well, her quirk speeds up a person’s natural healing ability by drawing from their stamina. An old colleague of mine could manipulate blood, which was helpful in stopping bleeding. I’ve also heard of a handful of people with pain-stopping quirks. But this ‘energy transfer’ that your son has described… well, I’ve never seen anything like it. And the speed that his quirk healed at…!” He laughs incredulously and shakes his head. “It’s truly amazing. I’m envious even. Most doctors and nurses either have diagnosis-like quirks or more minor healing quirks. People with stronger healing quirks are so rare they’re usually snatched up by hero agencies as soon as possible.” 

Izuku gasps at the words ‘hero agencies’ and clutches his mother’s arm excitedly. Inko brushes her hand through his hair but her smile wavers slightly. 

“So… Izuku’s quirk,” she starts, “Everything’s alright, then? It-It’s so unfamiliar and rare that I can’t help but worry…”

“Oh, yes, of course,” Doctor Tsubasa says, “All quirks have drawbacks, as I’m sure you know. From what Izuku has told me and from what I’ve seen, it seems like his quirk relies on him passing his own energy to someone else. He mentioned being tired after using it a lot, so I assume that limited amount of energy to give and if he overuses his quirk he’ll exhaust himself. So-” He turns to fix Izuku with a kind but firm look, “Let’s not use your quirk to heal every single scrape and bruise your friends might get, okay?”

Izuku smiles and nods. “Okay!” 

“Good.” Doctor Tsubasa nods and pats his head. “Well, aside from that, you should have no worries.” He smiles when he says that, but for some reason his smile seems to falter after a moment. Izuku doesn’t notice, already getting up as the doctor’s tone of voice suggests the appointment is about to finish, but Inko notices it immediately. 

She stands up when the doctor does and begins walking with her son to the door. Before she leaves, however, Doctor Tsubasa stops her with his arm. He hesitates, then smiles down at Izuku.

“Hey, Midoriya-kun, why don’t you play with the toys in the waiting room for a little bit?” He suggests, his voice light, “I just need to talk to your mother about some paperwork for a few minutes.”

Izuku simply shrugs. “Okay!” 

They wait for him to leave, then shut the door behind him. He skips down the hall into the waiting room, humming in contemplation. Doctor Tsubasa said a lot of things with a lot of big words, but Izuku thinks he understood most of it. Excitement bubbles in his chest. His quirk is super rare and he can help people with it! Can this day get any better? 

When he re-enters the waiting room, he spies a basket of toys in the far corner. There are already a couple of kids playing, but he figures he can join them. Before he might have hesitated, but he has a quirk now- why should he? The two kids smile at him and let him join their game, and when the topic of quirks inevitably comes up he cheerfully proclaims that he has a healing quirk. Their eyes widen and they ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’, causing pride to fill his chest. Having a quirk to be proud of is something new and amazing for him. God, he’s so happy his quirk manifested!

They play for a few minutes while talking about their powers- Oki-kun can make plants grow when she spits on dirt and Yamabe-kun can turn hard objects soft. Then they both get called in for their appointments and Izuku is only alone for a minute before his mother returns. 

He beams at her, but for some reason she looks troubled. “Mama?” He questions, but she merely plasters on a fake smile and tells him that it’s time to go. The anxious look on her face doesn’t disappear on the drive home and when he tries to distract her with conversation her replies are short and tense. 

Izuku doesn’t understand. The doctor just told them great news and his quirk is even better than he expected- why isn’t she happy?

She also takes them straight to Kacchan’s house instead of their own home. Uncle Masaru is surprised when he answers the door but welcomes them in anyways. 

“Zuku!” Kacchan shouts as a greeting. He stomps over and demands, “What did the doctor say?” 

Auntie Mitsuki ruffles her son’s hair and ignores his indignant squawking. “The little brat told us what happened today.” She props her hand on her hip. “So is it true? Does Izukun have a healing quirk?”

“Y-yeah, apparently,” Inko replies, rubbing the back of her neck, “It’s super rare but healing quirks just manifest spontaneously, so they’re not passed down from the parents. Izuku can kind of… pass his energy to other people? And I guess that heals them…” 

“Wow,” Auntie Mitsuki says, flashing a grin at Izuku, “Nice one, kiddo!”

“Yeah,” Uncle Masaru agrees, but then trails off when he looks at Inko. He must see something in her expression because he turns to the two young boys and says, “Hey, how ‘bout you guys go play in Katsuki’s room?”

“Hm?” Izuku looks up. “Oh, okay.”

Kacchan scoffs and starts pulling him towards his room, but instead of going inside he stops at the end of the hallway. Turning to Izuku, he presses a finger to his lips and crouches down. 

“Kacchan?” Izuku whispers, “What are we doing?”

“Shh!” Kacchan hisses back, “Idiot! They sent us away because they wanna talk about stuff behind our backs!”

Izuku blinks and then tilts his head in confusion. “Then… shouldn’t we leave?”

Kacchan scowls and covers the other boy’s mouth with his hand, leaning closer to the entrance of the hallway so he can hear better. 

“Inko-san?” Uncle Masaru asks quietly, “Is everything okay?” 

There’s a few moments of silence, then a soft sniffle. 

“Inko-san!” Auntie Mitsuki cries out a little too loudly, causing her husband to shush her, “What’s wrong?” 

“Nothing, nothing!” Inko replies hastily, but her voice breaks, “I mean, nothing’s wrong with Izuku. I… I’m happy for him, really. It’s just…” Her voice trails off and she sniffles a couple more times, trying not to hiccup. 

Hearing his mother struggle not to cry makes Izuku want to go out and comfort her, but Kacchan holds him still. 

Uncle Masaru’s voice speaks up, “Why don’t we sit down and you can tell us what happened?” 

Inko must nod because there’s the sound of footsteps and then chairs scraping against the floor. Izuku hears his mother inhale shakily before beginning to speak.

“It’s just… something the doctor wanted to warn me about before we left…”


“I don’t mean to scare you with what I’m about to tell you, Midoriya-san,” Doctor Tsubasa says as he closes the door behind him, “But considering the situation, I just feel I have to give you a heads up. Please, take a seat.” 

Inko does, and the doctor sits in a stool across from her. 

Clasping his hands in front of him, he says, “I just need to… emphasize how rare your son’s quirk is. And how powerful it could potentially become. He’s only five years old and yet he was able to completely heal a dislocated bird’s wing. I have no doubt his quirk will only strengthen with age, but…” He trails off for a moment, then asks, “How much do you know about Recovery Girl?”

Inko blinks in surprise, then admits, “Not much really. I just know she works at UA.”

Doctor Tsubasa nods. “She is also considered to have one of the most powerful healing quirks in Japan, if not the most powerful. She doesn’t do this as often anymore, but she used to travel all across Japan and sometimes the world to heal people with her quirk. She’s also the only reason UA can train their students the way they do- without her I’m sure the school would have to face numerous lawsuits from parents whose children come home from school injured everyday. And since healing quirks are so rare, hero agencies never seem to have enough healers and they often travel between agencies to help out where they are needed…” He pauses, opens his mouth, then closes it. Finally, he settles on, “Basically what I’m trying to say is… Izuku will be highly sought after once people become more aware of his quirk.” 

“Oh!” Inko says, “That’s… that’s wonderful! Izuku has always loved heroes- he wants to be one too, although I suppose with his new quirk things might happen a bit differently… But I’m sure he’d be thrilled to work with them!” She smiles, but it fades away quickly at the look on the doctor’s face. “What is it?” 

“It’s just…” He sighs, then meets her gaze head on and says, “Healers are not only sought after by heroes. It’s not unheard of for villains to seek out healers and try to kidnap them, especially organized crime groups. See, they can’t go to the hospital if they get hurt in a fight, so healers are valuable to them too. Hero agencies usually keep their healers close and protected at all costs, especially in the most recent decade, but… Well, I’m sure you heard of the incident with the healer at Endeavor’s agency, yes?”

“Huh? No, I haven’t,” Inko replies, clutching her purse anxiously. 

“Oh, well I suppose it’s been a while. Probably only a couple of years before Izuku was born, actually. Well, there was a bit of drama going on with Endeavor’s hero agency because his healer was stolen by villains. Endeavor managed to rescue him a couple of days later, of course, but it was quite the scandal. People criticized Endeavor rather harshly, but it ended up with hero agencies significantly increasing the protection around their healers, so overall there was a good outcome.”

Inko nods and looks down at her shoes, biting her lip as her anxiety rises. Doctor Tsubasa notices and places his hand over hers.

“I’m sorry, I really don’t mean to scare you with this, I just need you to be aware,” he says soothingly, “Izuku’s quirk is wonderful, but you just need to keep a close eye on him. Right now he’s at his most vulnerable because he’s young and cannot defend himself. Maybe just make sure he always has a friend with him when he walks home from school.”

At this point, Inko is fighting off tears. “Oh, God,” she hiccups, “I don’t- I don’t know, I- I never thought about this- I never even considered…” She sniffles and lets out a wavering sigh. “Izuku loves heroes and I’m sure he’ll want to use his quirk to help them, but… Should I not let him? Should I just-”

“No, no actually,” Doctor Tsubasa interrupts, “His love for heroes is a good thing! If he wants to become a hero healer then he absolutely should!”

“But you just said-”

“His quirk will get attention no matter where he goes,” he says, “But if he ends up working with heroes then he’ll have their protection. That’s why I said most doctors and nurses have minor healing quirks- because people with powerful ones often catch the attention of heroes, who will in turn protect them from any villains who also have their eye on them.”

“Oh! Okay,” Inko says, nodding rapidly. She takes a deep breath and nods once more, her mind racing. “Okay… this… this is a lot, but…” She exhales sharply and laughs shakily, “Heh, and I was worried he’d breathe fire…”

The doctor chuckles sympathetically before sobering up. He pats her hand and smiles at her reassuringly. 

“Don’t ever forget- Izuku’s quirk is a good thing. He just needs to be a bit more careful than most children.” 


Inko sniffles and wipes her watery eyes. Uncle Masaru hands her a tissue that she gratefully accepts and dries off her tears. 

“Wow,” Auntie Mitsuki says, her voice unusually soft, “... long day, huh?”

Inko lets out a wet laugh.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry I probably look like such a mess,” she apologizes profusely, “It’s just… the thought of some villain snatching up my poor baby…”

“Hey, hey, that’s not gonna happen,” Auntie Mitsuki reassures, “We’re not gonna let that happen. I’ll make sure our little brat stays by his side at all times.”

“Huh?” Inko says, “Oh, no, I don’t want to impose-”

“Nonsense!” Auntie Mitsuki insists, “They’re already best friends, it wouldn’t be any trouble.”

“And perhaps,” Uncle Masaru suggests, “When Izukun is a bit older he can take some self-defense classes.” 

“Oh!” Inko perks up a bit. “That’s-That’s a good idea. Maybe he…”

As the parents continue to discuss things quietly, Izuku and Kacchan listen from the hallway. 

Izuku is struggling to understand what’s going on. His mother sounded so sad that he kept wanting to run to her side and comfort her, but Kacchan kept grabbing him and holding him back. They tried to keep their tussing as quiet as possible, but Izuku still missed some of what was said. He kept hearing the words ‘healer’, ‘Izuku’s quirk’, ‘danger’, and ‘heroes’, and combining that with what little else he heard, his mind comes to the realization that he’s been wondering about ever since his quirk manifested. 

“I can become a hero!” He says to Kacchan excitedly. Unfortunately, he also said it a bit too loudly and conversation in the other room stops.

“Shh!” Kacchan hisses, but it’s too late.

“Boys!” Auntie Mitsuki barks, “Come out here!”

Glaring at Izuku, Kacchan huffs and begrudgingly walks out of the hallway, the smaller boy on his heels. Auntie Mitsuki frowns at them as they approach the table where the adults are sitting. 

“You shouldn’t eavesdrop,” she scolds.

“Sorry, ma’am,” Izuku begins to say, only to be interrupted by Kacchan.

“What’s going on here?” He snaps, “Why would someone wanna take Zuku? His quirk isn’t that cool.”

“What? Yeah it is!” Izuku protests, but shrinks away when his friend glares at him. “I… I can be a hero with it.” 

Kacchan snorts, “What? No way! You’re just gonna become a doctor or some shit.” 

“Oi! Don’t say shit like that, brat!” Auntie Mitsuki snaps but her son merely rolls his eyes.

Dismayed, Izuku glances from Kacchan to the adults and cries, “But I don’t wanna be a doctor, I wanna be a hero!” 

“And you can be a hero,” Inko says, causing Izuku to beam, “Well, sort of. I was just talking about it with Doctor Tsubasa-san. You can be a hero healer.”

The children share the same confused expression and both tilt their heads nearly simultaneously. 

“A what?”

“Haah?”

“A hero healer,” Uncle Masaru explains, “All hero agencies have them. They’re people with really good healing quirks that heal heroes when they get hurt while fighting villains.”

“Oh.” Izuku blinks thoughtfully. He’d never really thought about something like that before. Of course heroes need healers, it makes sense that they would. They don’t just magically get better after all. But him? A healer? He isn’t sure…

Kacchan sniffs and tosses his head. “Well, when I’m a hero I won’t need one!” He says braggingly, “I’ll be so strong I’ll never get hurt!” He flashes his quirk to prove his point, but shrieks furiously when Auntie Mitsuki gives him a little slap on the back of the head. 

“Of course you’re gonna get hurt, you little shit!” She snaps, “All heroes get hurt one way or another! Didn’t you just say Izukun healed you when you overused your quirk?” 

Kacchan grumbles angrily and looks like he wants to argue back, but Uncle Masaru eases the tension by saying, “Even All Might’s agency has healers.” Kacchan and Izuku perk up at this, so the man smiles and adds, “Every hero needs a healer and, according to Doctor Tsubasa-san, they’re apparently in high demand.”

“Yeah, so you better keep little Izukun close or another hero will snatch him up!” Auntie Mitsuki teases. 

Kacchan’s eyes widen and dart from his mother to his friend before they narrow. “What the hell? No way!” He growls, “If you’re gonna be anyone’s healer, you’re gonna be mine!” He grabs onto Izuku’s arm and the smaller boy giggles.

Everyone has been looking at him with bright and hopeful eyes ever since he manifested his quirk just a few hours ago. Tsubasa and Inaba were actually pretty nice to him- usually they either ignore him or tease him as they follow Kacchan around. And Doctor Tsubasa… he seemed really impressed with his quirk. And Auntie Mitsuki, Uncle Masaru, and Inko are all really enthusiastic about this whole healer thing, but…

But…

“But I won’t really be a hero, will I?” He asks, his voice downtrodden. The adults turn to him in surprise. “I… I thought maybe if I got mama or papa’s quirk I could, but…” He looks down at his hands. He can still remember the feeling of his energy being passed to the bird’s wing. He clenches them. Looking up at his mother, he struggles to keep the tears out of his eyes as he says, “I can’t beat up villains with a quirk like this! I can’t protect people, so… so how could I really be a hero?” 

Kacchan is gazing at him with an odd expression, like he can’t quite decide how he feels about the situation. Izuku sniffles and rubs his nose with the back of his hand as Auntie Mitsuki kneels down in front of him.

“Hey, healers are important too, you know!” She says, knocking his forehead lightly with her knuckle, “Don’t dismiss yourself so easily! Yeah, it’s a bit of a change of plans for you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be a hero. Hell, you’re literally gonna be the hero of heroes. So chin up, kiddo!”  

Izuku blinks at her with wide eyes. The hero of heroes? That… does sound kind of cool...

“And,” Inko says, joining Auntie Mitsuki, “You won’t be giving your poor mother anxiety about you putting yourself in danger everyday.”

Auntie Mitsuki barks out a laugh and Uncle Masaru smiles. 

“Then why’d you sound so upset?” Kacchan asks, bringing attention back to him, “We heard Auntie crying!”

The three adults share glances between them, obviously silently communicating. It clearly frustrates Kacchan, but soon his father sighs softly and explains.

“We’re just worried about people… taking advantage of Izukun,” he says, “Do you know what that means?”

Izuku frowns. “Um…”

“I heard Auntie say that bad people wanna take Zuku!” Kacchan declares.

Auntie Mitsuki huffs, grumbling something about eavesdropping under her breath. Uncle Masaru puts a hand on her shoulder, but the next moment she straightens up and fixes Kacchan with a hard look.

“Well, you won’t let that happen, now will you?” She snaps. 

Kacchan scowls. “Hah?”

“If some fucker comes along and decides to snatch Izukun because he wants to force him to use his quirk, what are you gonna do?” Auntie Mitsuki asks. Uncle Masaru tries to warn her not to be so blatant about it so to not scare the kids, but her fiery question gets the reaction she wanted

“I’ll beat ‘em up, of course!” Kacchan jumps up, flaring his quirk, “I’ll beat up any fucker who tries to take him!”

“That’s right!” Auntie Mitsuki nods approvingly, then roughly ruffles her son’s hair.

Kacchan grumpily shoves her hand away and scoffs, “Pshh! That’s what you were so worried about?” His gaze lands on Inko, who is looking at him with watery eyes and a smile, and he blushes. He glances away with a huff and grabs onto Izuku’s arm again. “Yeah, I’ll keep him safe,” he grunts, feigning nonchalance. 

The adults seem pleased, but Izuku tilts his head in thought. “I would’ve healed them if they asked,” he says innocently. 

Inko shakes her head and takes his hands into hers. “No. No, baby, I’m sorry, but you can’t just use your quirk on anyone who asks you to, especially not strangers. There are some bad people out there that might want to take you so they can use your quirk.”

Izuku doesn’t look like he quite understands- ‘But wouldn’t they not take him if he just heals them?’- but Kacchan scowls and bares his teeth. His grip on Izuku’s arm tightens.

“I won’t let that happen!”

“Good!” Auntie Mitsuki gives a single, satisfied nod.

“Thank you, Katsuki-kun,” Inko says much more gently. She smiles at him and lightly scratches his hair, but he doesn’t push her hand away. Instead, he merely blushes and averts his gaze, pulling Izuku back towards his room.

“C’mon, Zuku, let’s go play video games or something,” he grumbles, “You’re staying for dinner, right?”

Inko startles, suddenly noticing how late it is, and jumps to her feet. “Oh my goodness, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to stay so long, I don’t mean to impose, I-”

Auntie Mitsuki laughs and wraps an arm around her shoulders. “Oh, shut up! You know you’re always welcome!”

“Oh, well at least let me help with dinner!”

“Nope! You’re gonna sit down and drink a big glass of wine and get this tension out of your shoulders!”

As Inko continues to babble, Uncle Masaru follows the two women into the kitchen, shaking his head with a soft smile on his face. Kacchan rolls his eyes and pushes Izuku into his room.

“Ugh, grown-ups.” 


Katsuki isn’t really sure how to feel about all this. Zuku’s new quirk is weird. It’s weird it manifested so late, it’s weird that it’s so different from his parents’ quirks, and it’s weird that it’s a healing quirk of all things. Katsuki doesn’t like surprises, and he most certainly did not appreciate this one either. He thought Zuku would get one of his parents’ quirks like everyone else- he thought he’d manifest his mother’s weak-ass telekinetic quirk or maybe his father’s fire-breathing quirk. Something weak compared to his explosion quirk, but something that could at least provide some entertainment for them. Playing with a healing quirk might be a bit hard though, and it doesn’t seem like it’d be very fun anyway. 

The grown-ups are being so weird about Zuku’s quirk too, making it seem like it’s so special, and that annoys Katsuki- but it seems to scare Auntie Inko. Even as a five year-old, Katsuki could see the genuine fear in her eyes as she told her son why he couldn’t use his quirk on strangers. 

Katsuki likes Auntie Inko. She’s pretty and kind, all smooth curves and round softness, so different from his own mother’s roughness and harsh edges. Her hugs are the only ones’ that Katsuki never pushes away because they feel like being wrapped in a warm blanket fresh from the laundry, and she has doe-like eyes that crinkle when she smiles. 

Zuku has those eyes too, along with all of his mother’s softness. He’s timid and gentle and cries easily and so unlike Katsuki in so many ways- but maybe that’s what makes him the best playmate, not that he would ever admit it. He’s always the first one to run up to a dog in the street and pet it, and he’s always the first to run away from something fun and dangerous instead of towards it. He’s small and weak- and so Katsuki supposes, if he thinks about it, that perhaps this new quirk is actually quite fitting for him then. It’s not flashy or strong, and neither is he. Honestly, Katsuki can’t even imagine someone as meek as Zuku with anything better than some lame healing quirk. Figures he’d need someone as strong as Katsuki to keep him safe. It makes sense. 

A feeling of importance fills Katsuki’s chest, and his gaze roams over Zuku as the smaller boy kneels beside their hero toys scattered on the ground. 

Even though Zuku’s new quirk isn’t nearly as cool as his, Katsuki can at least see its usefulness. Overusing his quirk always makes his wrists ache terribly, but Zuku made the pain go away almost as soon as he touched him. And even though he still stands by what he said earlier- he’ll be so strong, he’ll never get hurt- he sure as hell isn’t going to let some other hero snatch up Zuku! His mother said that every hero needs a healer, and Katsuki was Zuku’s friend first, so Zuku is his healer! He’ll beat up anyone- hero or bad guy- that tries to take him for his quirk! 

“Kacchan, are we going to play?” Zuku turns and asks, blinking at him with his large, innocent eyes. 

Katsuki jerks out of his thoughts. “Of course we are, nerd!” He snaps roughly, making Zuku startle. He steps over to him.

Maybe this won’t be such a bad thing, Zuku’s new quirk. Being Zuku’s protector. It’ll make Auntie Inko happy, he’ll get to have Zuku as his healer, and he gets to be the hero in all this. 

As he plops down next to Zuku, the smaller boy wordlessly hands him the All Might toy with a bright smile. Katsuki feels something in his chest stir and he takes it. 

Yeah, he’ll protect him alright.