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A Silent Kind of Strength

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If Izuku could be happy about anything in this situation it would be the fact that he is a fast learner. That and the plus side of having no friends being that he has endless free time to devote to practicing whatever he chooses.

 

As he walked into the small apartment he shared with his mother he took out his bulky hearing aids and sighed at the instant relief from the high-pitched squeal that was being broadcast into his ears. Kachan had once again set off an explosion to his shoulder. So now he had to clean up burns to himself and his gakuran. As well as try and see about fixing the cheap pieces of shit he has to use to have any semblance of hearing.

 

The fact that he was legally deaf was also Kachan's fault. But he didn't have time to get pissed about that right now. He threw his scorched back pack into his room on the way to the bathroom and the extensive first aid kit his mother kept under the sink.

 

Within twenty minutes his shoulder was cleaned and under a large patch of gauze. And he iwas heading back to his room trying to figure out how to patch his jacket. He was getting really good at blending the patches in by this point. After hiding the bullying from his mom for years he has had a lot of practice. Even after the incident last year that left him deaf in the first place, Inko had no idea that it wasn't some sort of playground accident.

 

It's probably a good thing that his mom works so much though, if she ever caught him before he had time to patch himself up she might have more questions than he had answers.

 

With a glance at his phone he sighed once again and tossed his tattered gakuran onto his bed to deal with later. His hearing aids went on his desk with the three other pairs that were beyond hope. He quickly got dressed in some black joggers and a ripped up tye dye shirt he had rescued from his mom's to be tossed pile. It was loose and breathable and as long he wore one of his long sleeved undershirts no one could see the patchwork of scars scattered across his skin.

 

He trudged back across the apartment to pull on his beat up sneakers. If he wanted to go on his regular jog before his self defense class he needed to leave. Mirokuma sensei did not like tardiness. And since Izuku was 80% sure he was only allowed into the class due to pity in the first place he really didn't want to piss him off and give him a reason to toss him out.

 

He still wasn't sure how a hard ass like his sensei ended up with a sweet girl like Kuma-chan for his daughter. She was one of the reasons Izuku had begged to be let into their classes. She knew sign language and even though he was quirkless she didn't seem to mind taking the extra time to help him learn as well. It had been seven months since he started learning at their dojo, going every day after school, and he was already almost fluent. Which would be more helpful if any of his teachers or classmates, or even his mom, cared to learn as well.

 

Whatever. It was a skill he needed to learn. Just like self defense. Not that using that particular skill at school was a good idea either. He didn't even want to know what kind of bull shit his teachers would put him through if he actually fought back and one of their precious favorites got a boo boo. Quirkist bastards.

 

With yet another sigh he locked up and started down the stairs. It was a twenty minute jog down his usual route to the dojo where his defense classes were held. But he decided at the last second to take a lesser used route. It was quicker so he was less likely to be late. Maybe get some extra time to practice JSL with Kuma-chan.

 

He didn't care for this little short cut very much, it went down by the canal and he always ended up with that weird musty water scent on his clothes afterwards, but he decided that with the shitty day he has already had, a little smell wouldn't be that bad, and anyways he was just going to end up all sweaty and stinky after a good work out anyways. 

 

As he paced himself along the edge of the water he tried not to think about burns and hearing aids. He tried not to think about disabilities and quirkism. He tried not to think about Kachan and his poisonous words. 

 

Why don't you pray for a Quirk in your next life and take a swan dive off the roof?!

 

Damn it.

 

He passed into the shade under a roadway, thoroughly distracted and pissed off at the echoes in his traitorous thoughts. He didn't want to think about it. He struggled to pay attention to his surroundings. Sinking more into his head with every pounding step. He sensed a presence behind him and his heart lept into his throat even as he tried to spin around. He was instantly engulfed in something that was both a liquid and gelatinous. And then he felt vibrations. The cadence of talking.

 

Whatever had him was talking. It was a person.

 

No. 

 

A villain.

 

The sludge was in his mouth and nose now. He did his best to thrash, to get free, but how do you fight something that didn't have a solid form?

 

His vision was darkening around the edges. He knew he didn't have much time left. He yanked his arm upwards as much as he could and his hand came into contact with something that wasn't sludge. He instinctively grabbed hold and pulled as hard as he could with his poor footing.

 

There was a slight sensation of suction and then Izuku was able to take a breath. His green eyes rolled wildly as he continued to struggle. Managing to toss the object he had grabbed.

 

An eyeball. That was an eyeball. Gross.

 

It smacked harshly against the concrete and he felt more vibrations, a cry of pain? Cursing? Whatever the villain was saying he was definitely distracted and Izuku was immensely thankful for the chance to drag air into his aching lungs even as he continued to fight to free the rest of himself.

 

Suddenly a great gust of wind swept past them and he was sent staggering and falling to his knees as he was freed from his disgusting captor. He took the opportunity granted to attempt to hack up the sludgey remnants he could feel in his throat and lungs. It took several minutes before he felt like his airways were clear enough that he could focus on looking around. 

 

Oh. All Might. 

 

Wait. All Might!

 

He sprung to his feet, ignoring how unsteady he was and watched as his favorite hero scooped the last of his attacker off of the pavement and into a bottle of some sort. Izuku hoped the villain wasn't as smart as an octopus and wouldn't figure his way out of that. "A-all Might!" Izuku tried, praying his voice didn't sound weird. He should have just suffered through wearing his damaged hearing aids.

 

The brightly shining hero straightened up and sent the greenette his signature smile. Izuku tried his best to read his lips. It was yet another skill he had been picking up to deal with his little issue and honestly he was getting pretty good at it. That's most likely because he got to practice this skill at school as well. Every time one of the other kids damaged his hearing aids it was the only way to try and figure out what the teachers were saying, and how to respond when they inevitably choose to pick him for something to try and trip him up. The teachers love making the weak, quirkless, deaf kid look dumb on top of it all.

 

But all that practice meant he was pretty sure he got most of what All Might said. Something along the lines of 'Thank goodness I made it in time. I'm glad you were able to hold out long enough for me to catch him. Something something citizen.' Oh he's leaving.

 

"Wait! Izuku stretches out his hand and grabs the back of All Might's white t-shirt. "Please, can I become a hero too? I'm deaf. And quirkless. But I really want to save people! Is it possible?" 

 

He felt the rumble of All Might's voice but the only thing he caught as the hero turned back to face him, dislodging his hand as he went, was the word no. Mouthed so clearly he could almost hear it in his head. And with that the hero jumped. Out of Izuku's life. Taking his hopes and dreams with him.

 

The small teen slumps to his knees. He couldn't help but let a few tears escape. His hero had just crushed the only dream that had kept him going all of these years. Now what?

 

After a few minutes he stood and started walking, Not really paying attention as to where. He's so deep in his head he doesn't realize he had continued on his path to the dojo until he was opening the door and suddenly faced with a very concerned Kuma-chan. She placed her hands on his shoulders and yelled something back towards her dad who already had his phone out and was making a call.

 

A few minutes passed where he was once again not really paying attention and the next thing he knows Kuma-chan is in front of him signing questions slowly, obviously trying to get him to reply. He managed a quick explanation of a villain attack. Then apologized for being late. This seemed to set Mirokuma sensei off. His bear-like ears twitching and his brown eyes blazing and he growls out something to his daughter who translates like always. 

 

"Midori-kun. You don't have to apologize for being late after an attack like this!" She furiously signs. " Father wants to know why you didn't go to a hospital instead. You're obviously not ok. He called for an ambulance but since you're not in immediate danger they might take a minute." 

 

Izuku shook his head. " I'm fine. I don't need a doctor. Don't bother anyone with this please. The villain was captured. No one needs to worry." For some reason the older girl's frown only deepened at his words. And he caught a flash of fangs as she worried her bottom lip.

 

" Midori-kun at least let the paramedics look you over when they get here? Please? Father probably won't let you say no. As much of a hard ass as he is, he does care about his students. Ok? For our peace of mind?" Izuku saw the honest stress in the set of her shoulders and immediately felt bad. He should have gone home. Why the hell did he come here and bother them? After this little episode he wouldn't be surprised if he lost two more of the very small number of people who tolerated his existence. That's what he deserves for being an idiot. 

 

With a sigh he noded. Giving in to the check up. While they waited for the paramedics to show up kuma-chan goes to restart the rest of the class that had apparently been watching the whole episode. Lovely. The older kids had already started comforting the fidgety younger ones who kept casting nervous glances at the obviously worse for wear Izuku. That wouldn't do. He shouldn't be distracting the little ones from their class. 

 

As she started them doing simple drills in an effort to distract them, the greenette did his best to manage a small smile when one of them catches eyes with him. He isn't sure it helps much. He startled when a bowl of water and a towel are held out in front of him. Mirokuma sensei raised a pointed eyebrow and gestured from the bowl, to Izuku, then made a hand motion like he was wiping off his face. The small teen smiled gratefully. This smile a little more real than the ones he had been giving the other kids. And took the towel, wet it and started to try and scrub some of the drying slime off of his exposed skin. 

 

It was really stubborn, almost like it was using the water to just make more of itself. After a second he just switched to trying to scrape off the worst of it with a dry part of the towel.

 

It was about fifteen minutes before the ambulance pulled up outside and Izuku was escorted to the paramedics by his sensei.

 

He watched their lips and caught most of what they were asking. After making sure he had no obvious wounds (he didn't bother telling them about the burns or scratches from his bullies), they asked him about his lungs. When he answers that yes he did end up coughing up nasty stuff they frowned. After moments of discussion between themselves they explained to him that one of them had a quirk that had to do with minor air control and that they wanted to make sure his lungs were cleared. He agreed, eager to see such a cool quirk at work.

 

He was less enthused after twenty straight minutes of hacking up disgusting slime.

 

By the time the medics deemed him safe enough to leave, with strict instructions to go to hospital if he started feeling sick or out of breath, the class had ended and most of the other kids had gone home. 

 

Izuku decided to do the same. He wondered if he would be able to get the sludge out of his hair with a long enough shower. He gave a brief thank you to his sensei and assured Kuma-chan that he was fine enough to get home alone. 

 

The walk took forever and no time at all. His head was so messed up. This had been the worst day of his life and he wanted nothing more than to go to bed and end it. But first he spends an hour scrubbing in the shower trying to get the disgusting residues of his attacker off of his skin. His clothes go through three cycles in the wash.

 

Finally he plopped face down in his bed and knew no more.