The first time he woke up—if you could truly call it that—Izuku couldn't open his eyes. He was only dimly aware he was awake, and alive.
He slipped back under.
The second time he awoke, Izuku felt like he was underwater, his head was fuzzy, his eyes were blurry, and his hearing was muffled. He couldn't feel his body. Vaguely, he thought he heard the sound of his mother's voice.
He slipped back under.
The third time he woke up, his eyes were able to focus on the forms of his teachers, in what he noted was a hospital room. A nurse leaned over him and tried to talk to him. Izuku couldn't make out much of what she was saying, especially not over the indistinct yelling coming from the pro heroes in the room. Something about a prison breakout? Izuku hoped that wasn't what he heard.
He slipped back under.
When he awoke next, he was alone in the room. Or so he assumed, considering no one immediately ran over to him upon his awakening. He felt exhausted, but his mind was more clear, if a bit slow. It was eerily silent in the hospital, aside from the expected beeping of machines.
Where was everyone?
Izuku twitched, glad to find his sense of feeling was coming back. He curled his toes, thumped his leg, and attempted to sit up—but he couldn't. His proportions felt wrong for some reason, and his muscles weak. Izuku cleared his throat to call for help, but his voice came out cracked and quiet, his throat sore and parched.
Turning his head, he spied a cup of water sitting on a tray next to his hospital bed, and he stretched his arm out for it—
With monumental effort fuelled by adrenaline, Izuku sat up. And looked down in blank horror at where his arm was.
Not even a stub. Large swathes of bandages were secured around his shoulder, where his arm was completely missing. Instinctively, he moved to grasp the area, but nothing happened.
Izuku felt like time slowed down as he turned to his other side, a knot sitting tight in his chest as he looked down—
To more bandages. Secured in the same fashion around his other shoulder.
Both arms were gone.
Izuku felt his breathing pick up, eyes going unfocused as his drug-addled brain tried to fully comprehend his situation. It didn't settle in until the click of the door disturbed the strange stillness that had come over the room.
Izuku bent over and screamed wretchedly, blank with overwhelming panic.
A hand touched the back of his neck, and he thrashed, kicking his legs on the hospital bed blindly. It didn't stop the touch, rather, two strong arms folded around him, under him, scooping him off the bed and against a broad chest.
"Shh, shh, no, Izuku, don't cry baby," a man's deep voice rumbled gently above him, clear concern in its tone. "No, no, shh, it's ok, it's ok baby. Daddy's going to fix this, I promise."
The voice spoke soothingly as Izuku broke down in its hold, wailing too hard to breath properly, tears streaming down his face.
"Shhh, there's no need to be scared, this won't be permanent, I promise. Daddy will make it all better, just trust me, Izuku. Take deep breaths now, ok? In and out, slowly."
The voice was comforting and familiar, and the scent of the cologne wafting into Izuku's nose was somehow nostalgic. With coaxing, he was able to stop hyperventilating, and he slumped against the man's chest, weeping softly.
The door to the room clicked open again, a second person bursting in with an angry growl.
The hands that had been caressing Izuku soothingly shifted him to the crook of one muscular arm, holding him securely under his legs. "Is there a reason you're disturbing us right now?" The voice asked acerbically.
"Get your bloody hands off of him," the newcomer snarled.
...All Might? Izuku turned to look, recognizing the voice of his mentor straight away. But another large hand pressed against the back of his head, pushing his face into the neck of the person holding him.
"And hand him back over to you after what you've done to him? Not likely," the voice snapped back.
"Young Midoriya," All Might addressed him now, "just stay calm, help is on the way. We'll have this building surrounded soon, just don't freak out."
"Freak out? About me?" The voice laughed humourlessly. "He's lost his arms is why he's freaking out!" Izuku whimpered pathetically at the reminder, the voice lowering to shush him in his ear, the hand on his head massaging gentle circles through his hair.
"Let him go!" All Might demanded once more, Izuku hearing him step forward.
"No. You've had him long enough, and look what you've done to him! Trying to make soldiers out of children."
"He knew what was at stake—"
"He's a child!" The voice screamed angrily. "You threw him out there like canon fodder!"
All Might sputtered, "The students were supposed to stay back as rescue support! They weren't meant to go into the battle."
"What was meant doesn't matter. You sent my baby boy to the front lines!"
"YOURS?!" All Might's voice pitched up in shock.
"Yes, he's mine. Are you truly that dense to not have noticed the glaring similarities in our appearances? Our mannerisms? He's my baby, and I'm taking him back now. I've put up with UA's pathetic teaching and bad decisions long enough. As much as I hate to do it to him, this was the last straw. I am pulling Izuku from UA henceforth, and I will be taking legal action against you."
The surprise that statement caused was enough to stop the tears dripping out of his eyes. The voice...he knew this person had seemed familiar...it was...
And he was—he was going to take Izuku out of school? Izuku attempted to pull away, wanting to see the man's face, but the hand on the back of his head kept him firmly (but gently) in place.
All Might hadn't spoken for a while, his shocked wheezing audible throughout the room. When Izuku heard him again, he sounded strangled, upset and confused and astonished. "You knew?! This whole time and yet—yet you still let him attend...I-I, I just...I—what? Your son wants to be a hero!"
"I know." Izuku got the impression his father was looking down his nose at All Might. "You think I don't keep close tabs on my precious family? I didn't approve, but what kind of father would ruin his child's dreams? Even after you gave him that damned quirk, and poisoned him against me, I was willing to allow him to achieve his ambitions. But this?" His father's tone grew darker, dripping with anger. "My son has lost his arms, All Might. I was a fool to let him run so loose, to chase after a dream so dangerous. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go undo the damage you did."
"No, you can't, young Midoriya's mother—"
"Is already waiting for him," his father cut the hero off. "She didn't want him to be a hero either, if you'll remember."
"You can't!" All Might protested desperately. Izuku squirmed, worried about his mentor with how anxious All Might sounded. But without arms he had no leverage, and the grip on him was too solid to even turn his head.
"Oh I can. Quite legally too, I might add. This isn't a kidnapping, All Might, so call your little hero team off. I'm going to go get my baby his arms back," his father hissed. "Kurogiri? I'm ready to go."
...Kurogiri? Izuku frowned in confusion.
"No! You can't! All for One!" All Might called just as the near silent 'swoosh' of a portal being opened entered Izuku's ears.
ALL FOR ONE?
With a great wrench of his head, Izuku managed to pull back enough to catch a glimpse of the man holding him. Sharp, red eyes and a familiar face greeted him from under curly, white hair. It was, without a doubt, the man Izuku remembered as his father. But, but he was also...?
As Izuku was carried into the portal, he locked eyes with his mentor over All for One's shoulder. All Might looked haggard and terrified, eyes wide and mouth open as he reached for Izuku.
And everything went black as the portal closed around him.