Izuku knew life wasn't exactly fair. He learned this early on in a sterile doctor's office, with his mother crying next to him as the apathetic man let them know he was part of the 20% of the population that was quirkless. It seemed like it all went downhill from there. His dreams of being a hero that saved everyone with a smile seemed to crash and burn right in front of his eyes as his mother hugged him, apologizing over and over instead of telling him he could still do it, that he could still be a hero.
Kaachan didn't take the news as well as he had hoped. When he showed up to school the next day, his best friend was impatiently waiting for him so he could hear what the doctor said.
"What do you mean you're quirkless!? You can't be! We were suppose to be hero's together!" Kaachan had screamed at him, glare set on his face.
"We still can be! We can still be The Hero Duo!" he tried to explain, tears welling up. He was always a crybaby, it got him made fun of a lot but he couldn't help it. He hated making Kaachan upset, he was his best friend!
"Don't be stupid, you can't be a hero if you're quirkless! You're pretty much useless now! Stupid Deku!" the blonde pushed him, knocking him to the ground before turning and walking off. The greenette didn't understand, why was a quirk so important? He could still help people without one! Kaachan was probably just in shock, he would give him some space and things would go back to normal. Right?
Things did not go back to normal, they only got worse. Kaachan stopped letting Izuku play with him and his other friends, saying they didn't want a useless Deku tagging along with them and slowing them down. Every time Izuku tried to get close to the blonde, tried to be his friend, he only got bruises, scrapes and sometimes burns for his efforts. He just didn't understand what he did so wrong.
It was hard trying to hide the injuries from his mom, but she worked a lot so that worked out in the boy's favor. He was usually able to clean himself up and treat his cuts before she got home, and if she noticed a bruise or two he told her he fell while playing or the other boys just got a little too rough. He could tell she didn't fully believe him, but she let it go.
Things didn't get any better as Izuku got older. Kaachan and his gang got meaner every year it seemed. The teacher's didn't do anything. Every time he told one of them that another kid hurt him or made fun of him they would either brush him off, scoff at his claims or even worse pity him. They'd tell him that the other kids couldn't be held accountable because Izuku was more fragile than them. That they couldn't help it. Izuku knew they could, they laughed at him when he was hurt or crying so they had to know what they were doing.
He stopped telling them after a while.
He'd hoped middle school would be better, with no reccess and more class work to get them ready for high school. But as usual, it only got worse. Kaachan and the others decided to get serious for high school, and for that they needed to train their quirks. He bacame target practice if he couldn't get away fast enough. Today was just another one of those days.
"Get back here, Deku! You can't run forever!" Kaachan screamed from somewhere behind him. Like hell was he gonna listen though. His feet hit the pavement as he sprinted away from the trio of boys chasing him. He'd been a little too slow packing his books after the final bell, and that gave them enough time to catch up for a minute before he had gotten away. The burn on his forearm pulsed in time with his heartbeat, a reminder of what was going to happen if he let them catch up. He needed to lose them soon, Kaachan was right about him not running forever. His lungs were screaming at him and his legs felt like jelly from the full sprint he was forced into. He thought he would have better stamina after being chased for years, but aparently not.
He spied an alley that jutted off of the street he was running down and decided it was his best option. He pushed himself faster, putting a little more distance between him and the others before he cut into the alley, quickly finding a dumpster to hide behind. He crouched low, trying to even his breathing and calm his heart as he listened to the sounds of yelling and running footsteps getting closer. He hadnt even noticed his eyes were closed until the sound of a bottle rolling on the pavement made them shoot open and find the source.
It was another boy who seemed to be a few years older than him that was leaning on the wall a few feet away from him, staring at him with a blank look on his face. He had a head full of wavy blue hair that was mostly covered by the hood of his jacket, as well as red eyes that were surrounded by what appeared to be scars or wrinkles. His skin seemed to be really dry, his lips chapped and what he could see of his neck was covered in scratches. He was pretty intimidating overall, and not doing anything to calm Izuku's anxiety.
He was pulled from his unintentional staring contest with this stranger by the sound of Kaachan and his friends reaching the mouth of the alley. Izuku covered his mouth and hunched down further, just wanting the ground to swallow him up and let him disapear. He glanced back at the other boy to see he had moved on from staring at him and was now looking where Kaachan was probably standing. Would he tell them he was here? Would he ignore what was going on and leave? Izuku didn't know, and it was making his breath come faster, his heart hammering in his chest as he waited.
"Oi, you see a green haired nerd come by here!?" Kaachan's voice yelled, making Izuku flinch despite himself. He hated Kaachan's raised voice, it made the burn on his arm throb in memory of what an angry Kaachan was capable of.
The bluette scowled, his eyes narrowing in annoyace. He shifted from his place casually leaning on the wall to standing straight, and Izuku could see how tall he actually was. He would probably tower over Kaachan, let alone Izuku. He watched the boy carefully glance his way once more before looking back at the hotheaded blonde. Oh god, he was gonna tell him! He was so screwed, Kaachan was going to kill him for getting away before the blonde let him go. He hated when Izuku got away.
"Yeah, I've seen a green haired kid." The boy said, his voice raspy like he didn't use it very much. Izuku slumped, resigning himself to getting the crap beaten out of him after running for a full twenty minutes staright. "He passed by a few minutes go, he's probably pretty far ahead of you guys by now."
Izuku's eyes widened, staring at the stranger in shock. He couldn't believe it, he actually covered for him! "I would hurry if I were you, he seemed like he was in a hurry." the boy smirked, shoving his hands into the pocket of his hoodie and leaning back against the wall.
"Dammit! I'm gonna kill that nerd!" was the last thing Kaachan yelled before the sounds of retreating footsteps could be heard. Izuku didn't move, didn't dare breathe too loud until he couldn't hear them anymore. When he figured the coast was clear, he slumped and let out a sigh of relief. He would probably regret this tomorrow when he inevitably had to face Kaachan again, but for now he could be happy he got away mostly unscathed.
After he calmed his heart rate down to semi-normal, he suddenly remembered he wasn't alone. Standing up quickly, he turned to the other boy and nervously fidgetted with his hands for a moment before bowing quickly.
"T-Thank you so much! I'm so sorry you got caught up in that!" he stammered out, standing up straight again to find the other staring at him again. He looked amused for some reason Izuku didn't understand.
"It wasn't a big deal. Why were you running from those NPC's anyway?" he asked, puzzling the greenette. NPC's? Like video games? That was a weird way of speaking but who was Izuku to judge anyone when he could barely talk without a stutter?
"Oh, they just aren't very friendly sometimes. It's easier for me to just try to get away from them. Thank you again." he replied, giving the older boy a small smile. "Um..my name's Midoriya Izuku."
"Shigaraki Tomura." the boy, Shigaraki, said. Izuku smiled a little wider, happy to have the helpful stranger's name.
"Well Shigaraki-san, I really do appreciate you helping me out. Most people probably would've just sold me out and left. So thank you again." he really did appreciate the help, he shuttered thinking about what Kaachan and his friends would have done to him if they had found him. The other boy rolled his eyes, scowling at him.
"You're right, other people would have told them. You owe me one now, huh?" he chuckled, pushing off the wall to walk closer to him. He was correct earlier, Shigaraki did tower over him by at least a whole head, maybe more. He gulped and took a half step back, now a little nervous. He didn't know this guy, and now he really did owe him one. What would he want?
"W-What do you want then? I don't think I have anything you would want." he told him, and it was the truth. He didn't carry money on him, too afraid one of his bullies woul steal it, so all he had was his school stuff on him. Shigaraki tilted his head, narrowing his eyes like he was considering the question. Izuku just shifted nervously, waiting on the other boy to say something.
"Hmm, I don't know. I'll think of something, meet me at the park on Kakkou street tomorrow." he demanded before turning and walking out of the alley. Izuku was left standing there, utterly confused. He wanted to meet him again? He frowned, wondering if it was a good idea as he wandered out of the alley as well, keeping a lookout to make sure his classmates weren't still in the area.
As he walked home he contemplated the strange boy he had just met, trying to figure out if he should actually go to the park the next day. He didn't know Shigaraki at all, it could be a practical joke or worse, he could actually hurt him. He did save him from Kaachan though, so if he did that then he couldn't be too bad, right? He debated the pros and cons the whole walk home, and made a decision as he reached his front door. He would go tomorrow, and if it turned out badly then it wouldn't be the first time something went wrong for him anyway.