Those words echoed through my mind as the gravity of the situation came crashing down on me. The exact words kept playing in my mind long after everything had happened.
After the police safely took Kacchan into custody I sighed a breath of relief. He was safe. We made it out of a critically dangerous situation without being harmed, which was honestly a first. As we waited for the trains to be up and running I couldn't help but think of the Symbol of Peace and how much of a toll the battle had taken on him.
My mind kept going back to All Might. He looked bad, is he really going to be alright? I needed to know. Thinking about his injuries kept me awake. He was my teacher and mentor, and he's important to me, to all of us; the world, my classmates, everyone. My worry about his condition kept me awake, the anxiety gnawing at my mind more and more.
It was foolish and selfish, but I had finally found where All Might was being treated. But I overlooked a major fact. I was neither certified hero nor a police officer.
How was I so foolish? I stood at the hospital check-in, twiddling my thumbs and feeling my heart race. I wan't anything important to him, or at least not to the rest of the world's knowledge. Honestly... sometimes I feel I might not be all that important to him anyways; he was the world's symbol and I was nothing but his successor. Maybe I had really gotten in over my head. It’s a foolish thought I’m sure. Here I’m just a...stranger, but sometimes I wish i was... family.
“Now wait one second!" a gruff voice rasped in a familiarly harsh tone.
I turned to see... Gran Torino? Flinching at his voice, I expected to get chewed out as per usual.
But it was the nurse his fury was directed towards. She bowed deeply at the retired hero as he continued to chew her out, my ears not quite picking up exactly what had made him so irate. I stood there stunned. Honestly, I feel I'm not worth such a scene. I can't really understand what was happening. Torino spouting cusses at this poor lady; this entire situation doesn’t feel real. She was just doing her job. I'm not impotant enough to see the Symbol of Peace, and I know this. But why... then why? Why would he be talking to this Lady like she made a grave error? These past few moments feel like a nightmare come true; I stood there hiding my face in my hands, flushing in embarassment as a crowd starts to gather. Whispers about the situation fill my ears, but nothing feels real anymore.
A hand landed on my shoulder, giving a comforting squeeze. I felt myself brought back into reality, looking up at the familiar face of Detective Tsukauchi. He smiled, warm and comforting.
“My, my. He’s really going at it,” he smiled, tone casual and soft, ”He must care a lot about you to get this upset.”
I spun around in shock, adverting my eyes and clenching my chest.
”W-wait, hold on a second. I shouldn’t be the...the reason to-to make such a fuss over. R-really! I just asked to see All Might, but I know he needs to rest. I’ll just get in the way. Even though...” my voice quiets as my muttering habit consumes me.
In the midst of my downward spiral, a gruff voice broke through. I heard it, clear enough to hear in the midst of a storm.
“You said civilians can’t be let in unless they're family? Can’t you see,” a pause as I turn to see what he’s saying, our eyes meeting, “Can’t you see they are his family!”
I muttered the word under my breath, tears burning my eyes with those... impossible and kind words.
With a defeated sigh and an embarassed smile, the nurse led me to All Might’s room. I followed, still stunned by Torino's words.
“All Might? Your son is here,” they said softly as they knocked on his door. My face turned a shade of scarlet. This couldn't be happening! The thought of people thinking I'm... All Might's son?
After the nurse left, hoarse laughter rang in my direction. Confused and wide eyed, I turned fully to see him.
“You never listen, do you?”, he chuckled calmly, “You always get hurt, and you are as stubborn as I am, young Midoriya.”
He pulled me down into a tight and one-armed embrace. I could no longer hold my tears. I let it all out as All Might’s hand gripped my shirt a little tighter. "Don't worry Midoriya, my boy. I AM here..." I will deny it to anyone who asked, but I may have acted like I didn’t notice the wet spots on my back.
Relief, sadness, fear- those feelings poured out until we both could only hold on to each other.
He broke the hug and chuckled. “I’m sorry this old man has worried you so much.”
“You’re not that old,” I muttered, finally releasing my grip on my mentor. He looked me in the eyes, a smile ghosting his lips.
“I...can no longer use One for All…” His smile turned slightly sad before he beamed widley at me.
“I don’t care, because everything will be alright now. Why? Because you-”
“No, because You,” his voice gentle as he looked at me with his piercing gaze, ”are right here, my boy”
His hand on my shoulder tugged and i fell into his arms. It was awkward and clumsy. My head fell on his chest, his arm pinning me.
In that moment, everything was all right.