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The Worst Things (get better)

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Aizawa didn’t know how he ended up in this situation. 

He wasn’t the one who had agreed to a spontaneous mall trip. No. That had been All Might saying that the kids needed a breath of fresh air and some light hearted fun where they didn’t have to worry about hero work for a second. Aizawa supposed he was right, but that didn’t make it any better when he was forced to tag along as well. At least one teacher or staff member of UA was required to accompany every group of 10 students leaving campus in case of villain attacks. Since the entirety of class 1A wanted to go, 2 teachers were required, hence Aizawa being roped into it. 

Only, there’d been a quirk incident. 

It hadn’t even been a villain who’d caused it; just a seven year old kid who didn’t have control of his quirk yet. He’d seen the group of UA students and immediately recognized several of them from the Sports Festival. For whatever reason, he seemed the most excited to see Shinsou. When he tried to run up to them, however, his mom pulled him back and hissed at him to keep going and not talk to strangers.

Aizawa saw where this was going but didn’t think it important enough to intervene. It was just some kid and he knew his apprentice’s thoughts on fans and media were the same as his own. Staying away from the spotlight would make him out to be a great underground hero in the future anyway. 

Just as Aizawa expected, the kid burst out into tears. As he did, a powerful wave of energy emitted from him, hitting everyone in the class and making them stumble slightly. When the kid realized what happened he started crying harder and the mom looked downright furious. 

It wasn’t uncommon for kids of that age to lose control of their quirk, especially at times of heightened emotion such as this. While Aizawa didn’t actually feel anything different, the reaction of both the kid and the mother concerned him a bit, so he decided to walk over and see what they were just hit with. 

“I am so sorry for my son, sir, he’s still learning to control his quirk and when I told him he couldn’t talk to some of the kids he recognized from the Sports Festival, it went off,” the mom explained, looking apologetic.

“It’s fine, ma’am. I’m their teacher and they are hero students so I will need to know what they were hit with and any possible side effects,” Aizawa stated calmly. 

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to, I’m sorry,” the kid kept chanting, keeping a firm grip on his mother’s pant leg.

“Hey, little dude, it’s alright! We’re totally fine, see?” Kirishima said brightly, crouching down to look at the kid better. “Nothin’ to worry about!”

The kid just shook his head, continuing to look frantic. 

The mom sighed exasperatedly. “His quirk makes it so that anyone affected will have their worst memory broadcasted to those around them.”

That got some grimaces and worried looks from the students. So this is why the kid looked so excited to meet Shinsou, he must’ve loved seeing someone with a quirk that messes with people’s minds do so well against hero students. 

“The first one should be starting any se–”

It was then that a large screen appeared above Ashido, who had been standing closest to the kid at the time. Her eyes went milky white and she stared ahead of her as though in a trance as the image above her began to play. 

All Might took immediate action, having been listening in to the conversation. He led the students into the nearest near-empty shop, evacuating the few customers and employees inside saying it was an emergency and privacy was necessary.

“Again, I’m so sorry, the effects should pass through everyone quickly, though it’s never affected this many people before. Once someone’s taken their turn, the quirk wears off and there are no other side-effects that we know of.”

Aizawa let her and her son go after getting her contact info, realizing there wasn’t much point in keeping them around. Then he joined his students in the shop, locking the doors behind him. It would be best to wait out the effects of the quirk before going back to the dorms so as to avoid anything sensitive being shown to the public. 

Aizawa was worried. Since the beginning of the year, his students had experienced several traumatic incidents involving life or death. Aizawa would be surprised and much more concerned if those weren’t the memories shown for most of them. 

Ashido’s memory, perhaps not so surprisingly given her quirk, actually showed her as a kid burning her mother’s arm with her acid so badly you could see bone. 

Ashido was taking hitched breaths and tears marred her face as she watched it unfold as though it were happening again right in front of her. Then the screen disappeared and she fell to her knees, openly sobbing. Jirou came to her side quickly and started running soothing circles into her back. 

“As we get further into this, let’s all be respectful and considerate of what we’re all about to see. Keep in mind that some of the things shown may be things those people didn’t want others to know about,” Aizawa stated clearly, getting nods of understanding in response. 

And so it went. Next was Kaminari whose memory involved the Summer Training Camp as one of the people unable to help, having to stay inside with the other people who didn’t pass exams. Tokoyami’s was also the Summer Training camp being right in the middle of the action. As was Shoji’s, Ojiro’s, and Koda’s. 

Asui’s memory was the USJ. Aizawa couldn’t help but flinch as he watched Shigaraki’s hand make full contact with Asui’s face, even though he knew that he had erased Shigaraki’s quirk himself just before he could use it, though that wasn’t shown. 

Shinsou’s was about what Aizawa had expected, just from knowing the boy, though that didn’t make it any less heartbreaking as he watched the boy he thought of as a son slit his own wrists in the bathtub of his foster home, a muzzle strapped tightly– too tightly–to his face. He was 9 years old the first time he attempted. He’d told Aizawa about it not too long ago and had since started going to therapy, something Aizawa thought would be a good idea to offer all of his students. 

The screen showed as he slid the blade across his fragile skin, blood dripping steadily onto the white porcelain of the tub. Aizawa pushed his way forward so that he could be there for the kid when the memory ended. As it did, Shinsou wasn’t crying, but he was shaking and scratching at his face where thin scars could still be seen from the muzzle. 

Aizawa put a grounding hand on Shinsou’s shoulder. “Breathe, kid, it’s in the past.”

Unsurprisingly, Midoriya came up as well to comfort the purple haired boy, taking his hand and rubbing circles into his back. With their combined effort, Shinsou was able to calm down and bring his hands away from his face, nodding gratefully as Todoroki’s memory began. 

Todoroki’s was more surprising. The image showed a woman, Todoroki’s mother, on the phone. She was talking about how she couldn’t stand to look at his left side as it reminded her of his father, Endeavor. Then she turned around and saw him peeking in from the doorway, nothing more than a young child from the height difference. She picked up the tea kettle she’d been boiling water in and threw its contents in his face. Outside of the memory, Todoroki screamed and clutched his face, experiencing the pain as though it were happening again in real time. 

It seemed Aizawa wasn’t the only one to make the connection between the memory and the scar on Todoroki’s face as there were many students who held looks of realization. 

It was Midoriya who ran to his side to comfort him through the pain which seemed to make the fire and ice user calm down quickly after he came out of the memory. 

Iida’s memory started immediately after, starting out with him at the Sports Festival getting a call telling him about his brother. Then it changed to a dark alleyway showing a man everyone recognized as the Hero Killer Stain. 

“Ingenium. You’re brothers, huh? In order to let news of me spread, I let him live.”

He kicked a spiked boot into Iida’s shoulder hard before forcing him down face first into the pavement, making their Iida grimace in real time. 

You’re weak.”

The Hero Killer brought out his sword and brought it down, stabbing it deeply into Iida’s upper arm making him cry out in pain. 

“You and your brother are both weak. Because you’re fakes.”

“Shut up, villain,” Iida grunted out. “He’s paralyzed from the waist down due to spinal cord damage! He can’t work as a hero anymore! Tensei is an excellent hero who saved many people and led them until now. There’s no reason for you to crush him. He was an excellent hero who gave me a dream! I won’t forgive you… I’ll kill you!”

“Save that guy first.” Stain gestures behind him to the pro hero Native sitting paralyzed against a wall. “ Reflect on yourself and save others. Don’t use your power for yourself. Being taken in by the hatred before you and trying to fulfill your own desires… That is the furthest from what a hero should be. That’s why you’ll die.” Stain brought his blade to his lips and slid his tongue across it. Iida suddenly became stiffer than he was before as the Hero Killer positioned his sword to give a lethal blow. “ Goodbye. You’re an offering to a more just world.”

The screen vanished and Iida fell to his knees in tears. Both Midoriya and Todoroki were the ones to comfort him. Both had been there that day when Endeavor was allegedly the one to take the Hero Killer down but according to what they just saw, the truth about what happened that night had been pretty greatly stretched. 

“What the heck, Iida, ” Aizawa heard Kaminari mutter in disbelief. A lot of the class was staring at him in surprised awe, though he didn’t seem to notice, still recovering from the experience of reliving it.