Izuku, as a child, understood that he was different. He knew he was quirkless and he was upset- it seemed as if his dreams had just been shattered in front of him. But even then, he hadn’t realized just how much of an impact that would have on him.
He lost his best friend slowly, from teasing and mocking and cruel nicknames- those usually left a deep sadness that slowly began to fester over time.
Then it developed to shoving, pushing, hitting- and then punching. The first time Kacchan hit him was when it finally set in that life was never going to be the same.
The words got crueler, the hits got harder, and through the pain, humiliation and self doubt there had always been one constant: the feeling of anger that was slowly accumulating over time to form something dangerous that even he didn’t know was there.
But he understood that it simmered deep in his muscles, making his muscles clench together in preparation to strike back but never actually fighting-
And the bubbles that were slowly beginning to form would pop and burst but it never overflowed, they just danced and tripped over itself and only got hotter the more he tried to swallow it down from rising.
So Izuku continued on with his days, never letting go of his dream even if just to spite him- and woah, he got in!
...Only with the help of a quirk, of course. Who knows what would have happened if he didn’t have it! Probably nothing good, and he swallows down the hysterics that so desperately wish to leak from his eyes and burn with the intensity of a thousand rashes- but he won’t let them.
So his days continues, he finally makes friends, his confidence begins to rise but the simmering is slowly turning into boiling with every day Aizawa sees the unrighteous anger Kacchan has towards him-
And someday soon it’ll overflow, but that day isn’t today so he bottles it up yet another day with the thought that if I just press it down far enough it’ll go away completely unaware of the fact that will only spread it out-
And then it’s the final exam. He’s partnered up with Kacchan because- of course he is! Teach Kacchan how to work together with the person he hates the most because if he can work with him that means he can work with everyone else-
And the water is slowly boiling but he pushes it down because it isn’t important right now. There’s no way for him to let go of the anger, he doesn’t know how- so he smiles and acts as if he isn’t on the brink of socking Bakugo in the jaw because he has to be the bigger person-
But then Bakugo punches him in the face with a sneer and a growl of, ”I don’t need your help, Deku,” so Izuku obliges. He’ll let him fight All Might alone, and his body feels so heavy and hot for reasons he can’t explain- but he clenches his fists, walks away and hides behind buildings.
All might is yelling, “Come help your partner, Young Midoriya! Don’t you want to be a hero!?” And yes, he’s always wanted to be a hero- and he’s always been laughed at for it. Constantly put down over his dreams because he was quirkless and it wasn’t possible, and he doesn’t dare help Bakugo because-
“Eyes on me! I’m the hero here!” and how Izuku wants to laugh. He feels the chuckles building, feels the burning behind his eyelids because of how wrong that sentence is. How twisted it sounds, spilling from Bakugos lips tainted with the rage of an abusive asshole but no one except him knows this-
And if the teachers had just looked into Bakugo’s aggressive behavior they would realize this. But they never do, because Bakugo is the special little king that people bow down to, lick his boots and kiss his ass because he had a powerful quirk then they would know just how much of an assole he really was.
Kirishima would argue that it’s just part of his personality- and Izuku feels the rage and anger of decades of bullying with just the thought of Kirishima having the audacity to even say that- but it’s just his thoughts talking to him so he tries to swallow down the rage and ignores just how bitter it tastes on his tongue.
There are explosions, the clanking of metal on metal and screeching against concrete- but Izuku’s only thought is to run. Run away from this, run away from Bakugo and away from All Might’s disappointment- so he does.
He hides in the shadows of buildings, keeping his quirk just weak enough that the lightning is only crackles against his skin- and the exit is right there, so close-
And All Might is behind him, Bakugo screaming to let him go but All Might has him in his grasp and Izuku almost turns around to help him-
Almost. But he doesn’t, he ignores the jibes that All Might sends his way; “Your partner is in danger, aren’t you gong to save him?” and instead he increases the amount of One For All he’s using and leaps for the exit-
The buzzer sounds and there’s a blissful for moments of silence before Bakugo lets out a scream of rage and an explosion- and Izuku doesn’t bother to turn around to face the inevitable look of disappointment on All Might’s face because he knows instead of concern on why he acted the way he did it would always be rewarded with anger, misunderstanding and disappointment because he was supposed to be better.
He boards the bus, blasts music on his phone and ignores all attempts at conversation with any of them. Bakugo silently seethes in his seat, hands gripping the seat he’s sitting on so tight that he wouldn’t be surprised if it broke in half-
But Izuku doesn’t feel apologetic, instead the water boils and slowly rises but he bites it back with his teeth and ignores the taste of blood that forms on his tongue.
And the boiling water bubbles, popping and bursting but the shell of his teeth keep it from biting and then they arrive at the examining room-
And the angry look Aizawa sends him makes the boiling water rise slowly, and he swallows to try and ease the fire in his veins because he’s supposed to be good because if he wasn’t good before than he was nothing at all-
“Why did you think it was acceptable to leave your partner to work alone, Midoriya.” His voice is demanding, his eyes glaring red with such a familiar rage that he can feel in his core 10x stronger than he sees in Aizawa but he still bites it back because he can’t talk back-
“I tried to work with him, Aizawa Sensei.” His voice sounds strained as if it had been scraping against his throat and Aizawa levels him with a look.
“You should have tried harder.”
And that’s all it is, isn’t it?
Put him at fault because he was always the one who had to put in the effort because making poor strong Bakugo get his hands dirty would ruin his pride- so instead they kept him high on the pedestal that he was born on.
Izuku feels tears build up behind his eyes and he blinks them away, he won’t show weakness here even as his skin feels as if it’s boiling alive-
“He didn’t want to work with me.”
Aizawa raises an eyebrow, “So you just left him to die? Because if this was real life that is exactly what would have happened.”
Izuku feels the boiling water inch towards the opening, just on the edge of spilling over and his eyes burn, his vision blurs and his tongue aches.
Because this wasn’t real life. And if it had been, Bakugo would have been detrimental to everyone else, a liability but they see him as the liability for not being able to force Bakugo to do something he didn’t want to-
And then as Aizawa opens his mouth to tell him just how much he failed the pot spills, the water burns him and makes him want to scream but all he does is heave in angry breaths and try to not let the tears fall-
And he raises his eyes towards Aizawa and tries to speak but all that comes out is a choked sob because through the rage tearing through him he can’t say anything coherent, only cry his tears and damn the world for making Bakugo the one with all the power.
And Aizawa doesn’t back down, instead all he does is stare and that makes it worse because-
“Why is it always me?” It comes out choked with rage and from the tears clogged in his throat, his fists clench and his fingers bleed- and he could distantly hear the concern of his friends but through the rage he can’t focus on anything other than what’s in front of him.
“Why do I have to be the change? Why can’t you guys make Bakugo put in some effort.” His breaths come out in ragged gasps, burning his throat and makes him feel as if he’s swallow ashes-
And Aizawa looks at the tears in his eyes, the anguish and rage- and he says, “Bakugo was the one who fought All Might today while you ran away.”
And the rage is so powerful that all he can do is scream, fist his hands in the ground so he doesn’t set the building on fire because he absolutely would at this moment. No one understands, no one will listen. They all take one look at this and go He’s just faking, this broken man is nothing but a fraud- and the angry tears fall faster, his breathing burns-
And he just wants someone to understand.
”Why do you look at Bakugo and think what he does is perfectly okay?” And though he is absolutely seething the words sound broken, fragile and as if they’re shards of glass- “Why is everyone allowed to hurt me but never him?”
And the room is silent except for the whisper of “Deku…” the passes from Uraraka’s lips, and Todoroki understands.
“How long has Bakugo been hurting you?” It’s Todoroki who speaks this time, and Izuku wants to cry- because he knows Todoroki will protect him, he won’t let him be hurt again and he can’t respond because the tears are too busy choking him.
Bakugo is silent, only watching on with uneasiness- but not concern because Bakugo would never be worried about him, he wasn’t worth his time and he never had been once he had been deemed quirkless -worthless- because in their society quirks were the rulers and he happened to be the slave.
Aizawa no longer looks angry, instead there’s an expression he can’t quite read and that’s terrifying because he doesn’t know what he’s going to do- yell at him, hit him, tell him he’s a liar- and his breath hitches.
“What does Todoroki mean by that, Midoriya?”
Izuku stands up slowly, “He means nothing, sensei.”
Todoroki takes a step forward, and Izuku sends him a dead look. He knows they won’t do anything about it, he’ll just take the blame once again. There’s no point of making it an even bigger deal. Still, the burn from the punch is starting to blister, so he turns around.
“I’m going to go to Recovery Girl,” he calls, and as he steps out the door he misses the concerned hand reaching out to grab him.