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Bad Idea

Chapter Text

     Izuku Midoriya never expected he would actually meet Japan's number-one hero. Of course, he had daydreamed about it, but the actual moment froze him, like still water in winter-time.

     Underneath a thin layer of quiet ice, he was panicking and rushing around his mind. What do you say to your idol? Nothing, because the man you want to be like is standing (or squatting) in front of you, and your nerves go still, buzzing with an energy you haven't felt in years. He'd saved Izuku Midoriya from a villain, and did so as heroically as in the videos. 

     Not that Izuku had seen it go down- he was knocked out before he could. Still, Izuku was alright, and that's heroic enough.

     He had already thought of an autograph, but his open notebook with large lettering sprawled across it proved that the hero had thought of it for him.

     'Amazing!' Izuku thought, 'He's just as awe-inspiring- just as professional- as I thought!'

     The pro hero was squatting still, very obviously getting ready to jump into the air, away from the frazzled boy. He looked like a bunny, setting up a large hop across the city. Before his feet could leave the ground, Izuku sputtered out whatever he could.

     "Wait- wait, sir- ehm- All Might, please!" He yelled louder than he'd meant to. The pro's shadowed eyes glanced back at him, teeth glaring in the sun.

     "Yes, what is it?" He asked the boy, voice booming with power akin to another pro hero, Present Mic.

     "Oh, well," Izuku huffed out a breath, closing his eyes to think. Yes, it seemed he knew exactly what to ask, although how to ask it evaded him. He looked back at the hero, who was twitching to leave as soon as their conversation ended, "I was wondering. Do you think that I could become a hero?" He bit the side of his cheek, "Even if I don't have a quirk? Could I ever hope to be-" He looked at the hero's back, then to the asphalt, "Someone like you?"

     A page in his notebook fluttered a bit. It picked up on wind and barely moved, taunting him with flipping the signature away. It stayed down, though, and the autograph was bold as ever. Even with such little movement, the street had gone so quiet that it was the only and loudest noise.

     "This job," All Might turned to him with his ever-lasting grin, and Izuku looked up with hope in his eyes, "It isn't easy. Heroes are always risking their lives, and some villains might not be able to be beaten without powers. So- can you be a hero?" 

     Midoriya's heart plummeted, far into the sewer, where his earlier assailant had crawled from. He waited for All Might to finish, though, because a small part of him held desperately to what he might say, and not to what he'd been building to actually say.

     "I'm sorry kid, but it's too dangerous." His tone held finality to it, and his head tilted to the heartbroken expression written across Izuku's face. 

     "I see." Midoriya muttered, voice cracking more than usual. All Might sighed, still smiling, although at the moment it read a bit as a grimace, "Don't worry, young boy. There are still many ways to help people! Much like- becoming a police officer. They might get a bit of side-eye because heroes capture a lot of the villains, but it's a fine profession. Or, you could be a nurse! That's saving lives on the medical field, a hard task, and a prideful one."

     He looked at the boy for a moment, waiting for him to speak and dismiss the hero. Izuku's mouth had run dry, and the buzzing in his body had disintegrated to light, numb pricking, "Oh." He said, unhelpfully.

     "Yeah, no, of course. Of course." Water pooled in his eyes, but he looked down further so that his hair blocked the tears from the hero's eyesight, "Th-" He cursed himself for stuttering, "Thanks. I'll think about it."

     All Might laughed in the same way he had in all of his iconic interviews, "Yes, no problem, kid!" Izuku cringed to himself at the term, which made him feel immature and stupid. It was the same one his uncaring teachers had used to address him, but he couldn't pin the usage on All Might, he knew that wasn't fair. All Might crouched again, "I must be off, then!" He patted the bottles of sentient sludge at his sides, "I've got to bring this villain to the police!"

     The number-one hero paused, grinning harder if he could, "Oh, maybe I will bring villains to you in the future, as well!"

     'So he's decided this for me already.' Izuku's only clear thought barreled through his brain, like a train on rusty tracks. He shook his head not more than an inch to shake it from him, "Maybe." He repeated dully.

     With that, the pro hero lifted away.

     Izuku Midoriya stared at All Might as he jumped into the air, clutching his bag's strap to his heart. Looking over to his side, the boy finally let one tear trail across his cheek. His signed notebook looked daunting, now, instead of the heirloom he'd expected it to become. 

     Izuku stooped down to pick it up, thumb holding the page open. The capital letters yelled at him, and he soon snapped it shut to let his eyes rest. He stuffed it in his bag and sat on the pavement for longer than he should have.

     He buried his head into his knees after little more than thirty minutes, sniffling, though his face had dried up of tears five minutes earlier.

     "It's okay." He told himself, "I knew this already." Izuku assured. 'Of course I had,' he reasoned, 'Everybody has been saying it since I was five.'

     But even with this, it only shattered his insides more. He bit harshly into his lip, "Oh, my hero." He rasped, "Even All Might said it. I really," He paused, "I really can't be a hero."

Chapter Text

     The apartment building was quiet when Izuku arrived. He tossed his bag next to the shoes, lined to attention by the door. He sulked off to his room, but not without checking that his mom wasn't home.

     The door opened with the same creak it always had, and a bright yellow, blue, and red room overwhelmed him.

     On all ends of the bedroom was All Might merchandise. The posters, the desk, the clothing he'd haphazardly thrown at his wall, the bedsheets, and the pillows. Midoriya's head panged with a dull realization. He slowly looked down to the socks he was wearing, and the number-one hero's face stared, distorted, back at him.

     "This is horrifying." Izuku groaned, eyes sweeping his surroundings again. He gently picked up a nearby figurine. It must have cost them plenty, as he remembered begging his mom for it for months.

     He tensed, feeling All Might's grin all around him in the form of quiet disdain, "How do I wake up to this every morning?" He asked himself. Izuku caught on his own words, shocking himself at the amount of disgust in them.

     Shaking his head, Izuku rationalized his thoughts, "Okay," He whispered, "Just because he shot me down doesn't mean he's horrible." Midoriya set the figurine down and stepped into the middle of the room.

     "But," He hesitated, before picking up the edges of his bright blanket, "That doesn't mean I can't grow out of this obsession. I could just redecorate." He decided. He didn't feel like he grew up, but he did feel empty. His dreams had covered most of his personality, most of his heart, so he didn't doubt that he had a right to be a bit upset. After all, his idol crushed his life's motive with a sentence.

     "So, then, I won't hate him," He said later, as he continued to pull down his merchandise, "I'll simply stop worshipping him." Izuku remembered, vaguely, all of the many times Kacchan chastised him for it- with that wording. He'd never considered it 'worshipping,' but maybe his childhood friend was right to use that term.

     'Of course,' Izuku thought, pausing halfway through removing a poster, 'Kacchan.'

His mind trailed far into the hours before he met All Might. It felt like days ago, now, but only because of the events. He could hear his classmate, loud and clear, as he told him to take a swan dive off of the building. Hope for better luck in superpowers the next time around.

     But there would be no 'next time.' Meeting All Might, he had hoped, would be like a second chance. But he found himself weak and powerless, slowly marching through his room to unravel the web of fan-boy.

     "I'm sure Kacchan will be glad." Izuku smiled to himself through a veil of weakly held tears. He breathed out to level himself, "He always wanted me to give up on heroism. Maybe, now, he'll ignore me, instead." A surge of phantom pain covered his shoulder in the shape of a palm. He hissed and touched it over his shirt, although he knew it wouldn't soothe at all.

     He laid the last poster on top of the others and stood back to take in his work. The room felt empty, but at least it wasn't consuming. There was a line-up of a few other heroes. Thirteen, Present Mic, Kamui Woods, and Endeavor took up the back of his desk with odd spaces between them from where many All Mights had been. He took them and placed them together in the corner before taking up his All Might merch and dragging it away.

     He opened an old hall closet, surveying it before quickly throwing everything inside. He took off his socks, as well, and tossed them on top of the bedsheets.

     He knew his mom never touched the closet because she never needed to, so he felt assured it wouldn't shock her before he got the chance to explain.

     And so, he went back to his room and pulled out his textbooks, consuming his mind with math and science instead of the hurricane of a day he'd had.

     When his mom came home, she stared at his room in shock. Her hands shook with worry before landing together in front of her blue scrubs.

     "Sweetie?" She called to her son, who was in the living room. Midoriya perked up, nerves clanging when he remembered the state of his room.

     She had been going to use the computer, and as she cautiously walked to it, she looked at the bare walls around her. Izuku slid into the room on blank socks, "Mom- uh- yes?" He lets her ask him first.

     "What happened to you All Might stuff?" She finally looked at her son in confusion. Just the other day, he'd been ranting and raving about the hero. Midoriya debated his answer in his head.

     "Well..." He sighed, leaning against the wall, "I met him." He whispered, but Inko didn't hear him. She leaned forward, "Sorry, hon, I didn't hear you."

     Biting his lip, he spoke up, "I said- I met him." Izuku had planned to tell her he'd grown out of it, but he was going back on that. His resolve melted away at the sight of her. She was tired from work, but even so, she held him so high with her eyes. He couldn't lie to her- at least, not very well.

     Inko grinned, "Aw- that's great, sweety!" Her smile melted, and she looked around again, "Oh, wait, no- I'm confused."

     Izuku let out a small laugh, "Yeah, no, it didn't go well." He suppressed a frown. His mom's shoulders dropped, and she came closer to him. Laying a hand on his shoulder, she furrowed her brows. Izuku had to physically hold himself back from moving away, as it landed perfectly where Kacchan's had.

     "What happened?"

     Midoriya put his head back, "Um, well, there was a villain." His mom's hand flew to her face in concern, "Don't worry, I'm alright." He assured, "All Might saved me. The villain was made of sludge- and- ehm-" He gently put a hand over his throat, suddenly unable to recount how he couldn't breathe. How he almost gave up. How he nearly listened to Kacchan in the heat of the moment.

     "But I'm fine." Izuku decided to skip over that part, "He saved me."

     Inko's eyes went through multiple stages of grief before stopping to confusion, "That's good, Izu. You're safe." She looked him over for injury but saw nothing of concern.

     "I'm safe." He repeated, "And I asked him, after, if I could be a hero without a quirk."

     His mom motioned for him to continue, although she had a feeling she knew, "What did he say?"

     "He said no." Izuku muttered, numbly crossing his arms, "He said no, and that I should try being a police officer, or a nurse. That being a hero would be too dangerous."

     Inko's face dropped incredibly, conflicted emotions and sentiments crossing her.

     Midoriya hadn't meant any distaste, but he realized his mom's work uniform and visible upset, feeling incredible guilt flood him, "Sorry, sorry, mom, not that I don't want to be a nurse, I just-"

     "You just want to be a hero." She smiled at him finally, "Izu, baby, I'm not upset you don't want to be a nurse. I already knew you had other ideas in mind."

     Izuku let out a relieved breath, then bit his tongue, "Yeah, I wanted to be a hero."

     His mom tilted her head, "Do you not want to? You always said you did- no matter what anyone said, you were always so..." She searched her mind, "Dedicated."

     "All Might is the symbol of peace." Izuku reminded her, "If he says it, it has to be true, doesn't it?"

     For a moment, he thought he saw fire behind her calm exterior, a reddening tint to her face before it extinguished of her own accord. She shook her head, "Hon, everyone's human. You can't put him on this pedestal." Her hand moved from his shoulder to his cheek, "You are just as capable as anyone with a quirk."

     'It's not enough to be normal,' Izuku thought to himself in a pessimistic way he hadn't before, 'To be a hero, I'd have to be above and beyond the expectation. I would have to be so much more than capable. The hero society wouldn't take in someone who can't lift a mountain, or breathe out the heat of a volcano. They won't listen to someone who can't levitate rubble, or produce a forcefield.'

     But he didn't let his mom know his thoughts. He just leaned into her hand and smiled at her, "It's okay, mom. I'm not even sure I'd want to be a hero anymore, it was such a childish dream job. Maybe I will be a nurse. I've never really thought about it before."

     Inko didn't look as if she believed him, but she nodded anyway, "I'll support you through whatever you decide to do, Izu. Hero, nurse, police officer, I'll be with you, every step of the way."

     "And what if I wanted to be a villain? Or a criminal?" Izuku smiled jokingly. Inko put a finger to her mouth, "Then I guess I'd have to be your alibi- but let's just hope it doesn't come to that."

     She patted his head, ruffling the curls and making them pounce back into more of a mess, "Although, if you really did want to be a nurse, I've got quite a few expensive textbooks that didn't get used enough to justify the cost."

     Izuku laughed and hugged her, momentarily forgetting just how horrific the day had been. He still felt empty, like he wasn't sure where he would go next, but holding his mom and knowing she was behind him- made him feel safer.

     "Now, where did you put all of that stuff? It cost me quite a bit, and I'd be a bit upset if I couldn't resell any of it and you didn't want to keep it."

Chapter Text

     A week-and-a-half had passed since Izuku's encounter with his idol. The weather shifted with his emptiness like it was blowing a hole in his perceived reality.

 

     A tree shifted in a strong wind, leaves rustling away. Izuku moved closer to the line of buildings in a weak attempt to hide from the breeze. His nose was pink, and his hands had been inside of his coat, but he kept walking, anyway. 

 

     Other students, also on their way to school, crossed different roads. Like the back of his hand, Izuku could see their uniform and tell you which way they were going. Izuku stood on a crosswalk surrounded by members of a local high school, but he stopped walking before he got to the edge. An astray bar of metal caught his eye from a crevis between buildings. Cautiously, Izuku checked the crossing sign. It showed no move to change, so he slipped out of the group and walked to the alley.

 

     The shadows over it made it hard to see, but once Midoriya got closer, he could tell what it was. It was a metal rod, roughly two feet long, with a grip on the end. Izuku recognized it, though, when he saw the handle that stuck out of the side, just above the grip.

 

     'A police baton,' Izuku moved it around to see if it had a badge number printed across it. After finding nothing, he sighed, 'I should probably drop this by the station on my way to school.'

 

     He leaned back to check the crosswalk, but the lack of students shocked him. With a squeak, he stumbled out of the alley with the baton in hand.

 

     The wind hit him again, and he fumbled his hood over his head, zipping his coat up with much trouble, as one hand was full. He ran across the road as soon as he could, barreling down the sidewalk. At one point, he ran past the very high schoolers he'd seen earlier.

 

     Maybe he was running late for school, or, possibly, it was him trying to outrun a very loud thought. The idea that the baton was a message. A sign sent to tell him that he should, in fact, become a police officer. 

 

    He got quite a distance before he had to rest. He crouched slightly, hands on his knees, and breathed heavy puffs of grey into the sky. He shook his head to purge the idea from him.

 

     Finally breathing normally, he straightened up, adjusting his bag and the baton. He almost took off again- when two screams stopped him.

 

     Izuku spun around to look at a clothing store. He had shopped there often, and now he recognized one of the screams as the shop owner.

 

     Shattered glass lay across the edge of the pavement. The door was blown open, hinges unattached. Inside were three people. One was the store owner, hands up behind the register. The other one with their hands up was a woman with a basket of clothes she'd probably been meaning to check out.

 

     The last person in the shop was holding a knife at the two. His other hand was pointed at the bystanders outside as if it were just as dangerous. Izuku's brain fired into a thundering cloud of thoughts and panic.

 

     Twelve of his own ideas collided, and the only one he heard wasn't- 'run away,' or, 'comply.'

 

     Instead, all he thought was, 'I have a weapon and I know a back entrance.'

 

     He shrugged off his bright yellow bag, pulling the hoodie strings tighter around his face. He cut behind the high-schoolers, ducking so that he wasn't visible to the armed man.

 

     Izuku's hand clasped around the outward handle of the baton, and he ran to the edge of the shop. He glanced at the high-schoolers again before slipping between buildings. A metal door, rusting at the sides, lead into the shop. He carefully turned the cold handle and pushed into the shop.

 

     The door, instead of the quiet snap he'd wanted, slammed closed. In front of him, the armed man whipped his head around to him. Keeping his knife trained on the two others in the shop, his hand turned on Midoriya.

 

     In the corner of his eye, he saw one of the teenagers fumble for a phone.

 

     Izuku tensed up at the pointed hand, unsure what kind of quirk this man may have- or the activation requirements. His nails dug against the baton, waiting to see if anyone else would move.

 

     Surely enough, the man snarled through one of the holes in his mask, lunging to Midoriya. Izuku jumped to the side, instinctively grabbing a discarded slip of wood and holding it like a shield.

 

     The aggressing hand landed on the wood, splitting it perfectly along the jointed grooves.

 

     Izuku's analytic mind dashed across his notebooks, and he understood what this entailed. The hand hadn't angled at a certain point. The man was aiming for Midoriya in general

 

     He looked at the hinges on the floor, now noticing how perfectly disassembled they were. 

 

     'So he has a breaking- no- a disassembling quirk that requires touch to activate. His clothes are in-tact, so it must just be to his choosing. Or maybe it's just his hands.' Izuku glanced at the knife in his other hand, 'No- his knife is fine, which means he can turn it on and off. He was aiming for me, and that probably means it affects people, too.' 

 

     A knife swung at him, and he backed away enough to dodge it. His heart filled with adrenaline at the danger, and he almost let out a nervous laugh. 

 

     'But a knife and a hand aren't as long at the baton. I could get to him when he couldn't reach me.' He stumbled, luckily landing out of the way of another flying hand and pulled back the baton.

 

     He shut his eyes and felt the baton land hard against something. Izuku opened his eyes, afraid he might see another knife or hand. Instead, on the floor, the robber was out cold.

 

     Izuku stared at him for a second too long, only looking away when he heard the distant sounds of teens cheering. He tensed up, noticing one of them holding a phone up to the scene, obviously recording.

 

     'Oh, oh no. What did I just do?'

 

     In a mad sense of panic- thinking that he may get in trouble, mostly- Izuku bit his tongue and ran out of the back, hiding in the alleyway behind the dumpster.

 

     He held the baton close, inspecting it closely. There wasn't anything horrible on it- no blood, but probably lots of fingerprints. All of them belonged to Izuku Midoriya. Izuku had wanted to give the police their weapon back, but now he was terrified of what would come of it.

 

     Two sets of shoes stumbled into the alley, the teens looking for the hooded person.

 

     "Ah- where did they go?" One of them stopped in front of the dumpster, but she went no further. The other teen groaned, "Aw, man! I totally wanted to talk to 'em." They huffed in very little real annoyance.

 

     "For real! I didn't recognize them, do you think it was an underground hero?"

 

     "I doubt it, underground heroes don't run after, do they? Jacket just kind of left the robber there."

 

     Izuku immediately felt guilty. He should have stuck around for a witness statement, but showing up now would look guilty. Hopefully, they would get enough from the other people to put the armed man in jail.

 

     "Jacket? Is that what you're calling them, now?" She snorted at them.

 

     "Well, yeah, it's not like they stopped and told me their name, dick'ead."

 

     Midoriya smiled, loosening his grip on the baton. There was some shuffling as they went to leave the alley, "Did you call the police yet?"

 

     "Ah, shit, no."

 

     "You should probably do that."



     Midoriya left the alley tactfully. By tactfully, he means by hiding behind the dumpster until everyone had left, then running out, grabbing his bag, and darting to school late.

 

     He hid the police baton in the bag, weighing him down all day. By the end of the six hours, he was tired and ready to pass out.

 

     However, when he opened his hero forum app, one of the top stories was about a video, the article wondering who the possible underground hero (or vigilante) could be.

 

     Midoriya must have read the article three times before he understood any of it. A warm sensation filled his heart at suggestions that he could have been an underground hero.

 

     'They wouldn't say that if they knew I was quirkless.' A voice tickled the back of his head, teasing him for his pride. He frowned, 'Well, I wasn't planning on telling them.'

 

     He flipped over in his bed, now wide awake. He went to the comments, seeing multiple profiles he recognized from his years on the forum. 


'Doesn't look like Jacket person had any training. Kind of just lucky that they dodged. Makes it braver of them, though, to do that without any training.'


'Dude- super manly. Bro didn't even hesitate when that guy saw them.'


'Wonder why they ran away?'


'I'm thinking underground hero. If not, that's one hell of a brave vigilante lmao. I say let Jacket roam free if they're stopping crime.'

 

     Izuku grinned in the light of his screen. He giggled to the empty apartment, "Are they actually calling me 'Jacket?'" He held the screen above his face, "It is the only defining feature. Better than 'Baton,' I guess." He muttered as he kept scrolling.


'Liscense or not, Jacket saved people. That makes them a hero imo.'

 

     His heart lurched at the comment, choking on nothing. A smaller burst of adrenaline flowed through him. He bit the inside of his cheek, wondering what exactly that was supposed to mean.

 

     A small part of him felt disgusted at the pleasant feeling that came with being called a hero, knowing (and remembering) well what All Might had said.

 

     The other part of him, though, laughed and laughed. It encouraged the sentiment, replaying the words over and over again.

 

     "License or not." Midoriya whispered. All Might could, realistically, prevent him from enrolling into any hero schools, if any hero schools would ever dare to accept him. What All Might couldn't stop him from was helping without a license.

 

     The phone slipped from his hands, crashing onto his nose. Izuku yelped, holding a hand to his nose.

 

     "Oh, shoot." He said into his palm, squeezing his eyes shut through the pain. Soon, he went to the edge of his bed, flipping down to look underneath. Shelved in darkness, he saw the police's weapon shoved next to the wall.

 

     "How ironic would it be to use the very weapon he expected me to have," He reached across, grasping the metal in his fingers. He pulled it out and to his chest, "For one of the jobs he said I couldn't do?"

Chapter Text

     Izuku Midoriya was stumped. He had been going through ideas in his mind, constantly wondering if he should be doing this at all, when he realized he had no idea where to get anything he needed. Things like bulletproof vests and protective face-wear would be hard to get.

     All he had, as of that moment, was a police baton that he had practically stolen. He knew that people could buy the vest, but that and the face-wear might look suspicious. Plus, he didn’t have enough money for both. So, he ordered the face-wear on it’s own and tried to find another way to get the other form of protection.

     Absent-mindedly, his hands wandered the baton, flipping it around. The end caught on his desk, causing a thump and a dent. He jumped back, pulling the police baton far from the desk. He laughed airily, “Maybe some training, too.”



     The police station stood tall in front of him. A hood was pulled over his hair, the same one from the other day, and he grimaced behind a black medical mask. The face-covering had yet to arrive, and this was the best he could do.

     He swallowed, every part of his right mind telling him to turn tail and stop.

     ‘This is so stupid.’

     ‘Crime. I’m committing a crime.’

     ‘Oh, god, I’m going to juvie.’

     ‘Good luck being a vigilante from jail.’

     But the clearest part of his mind was the same part that convinced him to stop the man with the dismantling quirk.

     ‘I have to do this. I have to prove I'm more than they constantly tell me I am. Plus, they won’t miss one vest. What’s a small felony versus another crime-fighter on the streets.’

     So, he sucked in a breath, ducking into the backside of the parking lot. Most cars had cleared out, only a fraction of the police staying on night shift. He’d read up on it before coming, and there seemed to be a lull in officers around the switch-off. Six-to-six-fifteen had the least amount of people on-duty.

     Currently, it was six-o’-one. That left him fourteen minutes to get in and out undetected. His main problem was the passcode lock on the backdoor. He’d spotted a blind spot in the security cameras, so if he walked just beside the building, he would stay off-screen. He waited for thirty more seconds before an officer came up to the door.

     He fumbled with his car keys before he tiredly went to punch in the pin. From his spot behind a bush nearby, Midoriya could barely make out the numbers.

     6-7-3-8-2.

     Midoriya sighed thankfully. He waited a few moments after the officer had disappeared inside to make his way to the edge of the building. He stuck carefully against the brick, edging to the door. He quickly put in the same sequence of numbers, the door clicking to signify it opening.

     His heart raced, and he had to swallow his incredible fear as he went into the department.

     The hallway was cleared of people, but doors leading off with mumbling behind them made him weary. He dashed on tip-toes past the doors. He ducked as to not be seen through the glass slits, reading the plaques beside each wooden doorway.

     Most of them were people’s offices. Some were detectives, one the chief of police. Finally he came across one with no windows showing out to the hallway. He stalled, gripping his hood to make sure his face was still covered.

     ‘Lockers’ He read. Izuku bit on his tongue, opening the heavy door as quickly as he could.

     There were no officers in the front of the room, but he could hear two people talking from behind a line of lockers. He edged as far from the noise as he could, finding himself in an empty isle of locks. He observed them, noticing that they were unlocked by key and not by code.

     He reached into his hoodie pocket, pulling out a safety pin. Reaching into his hood, he pulled away one of the bobby pins holding his hair from the sight of outsiders.

     Izuku held one of the locks, trying to remember the practice he’d done just before he left his apartment.

     He got to work, listening as the officers on the other end of the locker room laughed, seemingly done. Midoriya went to listen in, but the lock clicked open, distracting him.

     Swinging open on it’s hinges, Izuku studied the inside of the locker. He grabbed it as soon as he saw it.

     A black bulletproof vest with ‘Police’ written in bold across it. It was heavy, but manageable. He almost decided that was it, but Midoriya also took notice of a belt. It was adjustable, just like the vest, and it had a sort of holster.

     A holster the exact size of his baton.

     Contemplating his options, Izuku finally grabbed it, closing the locker again. A few other holsters for other weapons dawned the belt, but he’d have to mess with it later.

     A nearby clang rang through the room, and he jumped out of his skin. It sounded like the police were just around the corner, and he was stuck at a dead end. They had stopped to talk, but they were clearly headed his way. Izuku’s breathing increased in speed, and he looked around for a hasty exit.

     All he could find, though, was the gaps above the lockers. Midoriya sucked in a breath, hugging the vest and belt to him as he stood on the bench. He shut his eyes when he jumped, smashing onto the top of the lockers. The officers stopped talking, and Izuku was sure he stopped breathing.

     “What was that?” One of them asked. The other one grumbled something like ‘Is anyone there?’ but both of them came into the area Midoriya had just gotten out of. He watched them march further into the lockers, heads on a swivel and apprehensive.

     They looked at the last lockers, and he jumped onto the other side of the lockers separating them and the rest of the room. They immediately tried to run to him, but Izuku was already at the door before they could see him.

     He dashed through the hall, past one very confused teen in handcuffs. He didn’t pay them any mind, though, as he was more concerned with getting away. Izuku pushed himself out of the last door, running into the parking lot and onto the sidewalk. He heard yelling behind him, a pop, a bang, and then he was too far away.

     Midoriya ran at full speed for a long time, finally stopping in an alley. He leaned against a fire escape, silently yelling in his mind.

     “Oh-my-hero.” He wheezed out, “I just stole from the police.” He thought about the baton, sighing, “I guess- again?”


 

     Izuku Midoriya hadn’t gone near the police station for a while after. He took a completely different route to school, as a safety measure- despite them having not seen his face. The next two days passed, and he painted over the bold ‘Police’ on the vest, putting a gray ‘Jacket’ (in a poor imitation of the font) on instead, laughing about it to himself.

     He cut the gun holster off of the belt, stealing an old pepper spray bottle from the storage closet that his mom (thankfully) never had to use. She had a new one, anyway. He took an old, kiddie sewing kit, too, sloppily sewing the taser holder on the belt to fit the pepper spray.

     The day after, his mom, confused, brought him a package that had arrived for him. Inside was a metal facemask, covering his entire face with glass circles for the eyes. The padding on the inside was comfortable enough, but it made no adjustments for speaking.

    So, he looked at his old ‘Learning sign language’ books. He’d learned, originally, when Kacchan first got his quirk. His mother, Izuku’s ‘Auntie’ Mitsuki, was worried about her son losing his hearing because of the loud and explosive quirk. It was a rightful fear, too, because Mitsuki herself needed hearing aids from being around it, now.

     Though Kacchan hadn’t needed them yet, Izuku loosely kept up with the language as a just-in-case.

     ‘Not that Kacchan would want to talk to me if he ever needed to use sign language.’

     Izuku re-read a few of the pages, but soon realized he hadn’t really forgotten anything. He patted himself on the back, and hoped anyone he needed to communicate with knew some sign. It wasn’t an uncommon language to learn, especially in the line of heroics or hero-adjacent career paths.

     With quirks becoming a majority, a lot of people have drawbacks that go to their everyday lives. Many people with animal-mutation quirks don’t have the same vocal cords as most people, so they usually speak in sign language. That meant a lot of communicative jobs required it as a known language. So he felt fairly safe in the language.

 


     Every day for the next two months, Midoriya watched video after video on how to wield batons, glad to be getting a hang on it. He practiced relentlessly, always wearing his gear to get used to it, often on a makeshift dummy of pillows. He wasn’t amazing, he knew that, and he also knew he would need a lot more time to train before he could tackle actual criminals, but he was glad to be making progress.

     The third month, Izuku pulled on his hoodie, then the vest. He clicked on the belt, throwing the pepper spray and the police baton into their respective holsters. He pushed his bushy hair back, using quite a few of his mom’s bobby pins to keep it up. He strapped on the face covering, and finally pulled his hood up.

     Shoving his feet into some somewhat unused hiking boots and hands into discarded working gloves, he smiled behind the mask.

     “Sorry, All Might.” He mumbled into the padded mask. He reminded himself not to speak as he pulled his legs through his window. He looked back, into his dull room, as soon as his hands were free.

     ‘But mom was right. Your word isn’t gospel.’ He signed, dipping fully out of the window.