Green flames were dancing on his father's fingers.
It was late at night but the TV was on, though the sound was low. His dad was often up late, and when he saw Izuku, a hot chocolate usually wasn't far. But this time, Izuku was half hidden behind the door, hypnotized by the quirk. He didn't want his father to realize he was here because there was a good chance he would immediately stop what he was doing.
But fathers always knew and he turned towards Izuku. For a second, his face was almost scary, so cold and his eyes were steel-like, then it was the same fond smile and warmth reached his eyes once again.
Izuku tried to hide five good seconds too late.
''Aren't you supposed to be in bed, young man ?''
He was, but Izuku preferred to elude the question and joined his father on the couch. To his delight, the flames didn't vanish.
''Do you like it ?'' his dad asked.
Izuku nodded. It was late and he didn't want to wake up his mom. As she said, he had 'volume issues' when he was excited.
''Well, it was supposed to be a surprise, but I thought this would make a good official quirk.''
''For me ?''
He couldn't believe it.
''Who else? I immediately thought about you.''
This wasn't like the three quirks his dad had given him until now. Jump, Resistance, and Medium Regeneration were far more discreet. This quirk was hero worthy. Like Kacchan's.
Izuku reached out to the emerald flames.
Fast as a hawk, his father grabbed his hand in a blink.
''You might want a temperature resistance quirk with that, Izuku.''
Izuku woke up groaning as he realized why Kacchan had remembered his quirk. He had desperately wanted something 'cool' when he was younger, at least until he realized that bright green flames weren't as funny to use as he thought. He couldn't use them in public places without a teacher running to him and he couldn't use it in games either because most children weren't fire proofed.
He was almost certain he had exchanged it for a metal bending quirk when he had moved out. Yes, definitely metal. He had made paperclips fly for a month.
Izuku wasn't the kind to dream about the past. He didn't even think about it. What was the point ? But meeting Kacchan had reminded him of a time which didn't exist anymore.
He passed a hand through his hair. Well, on his hair. Curls didn't like being combed, not even by fingers.
''Izuku, why are you wailing ?'' his mother asked from somewhere in the apartment, with some bite in her voice, which meant she didn''t have her first cup of coffee yet.
''Mornings,'' Izuku answered.
''This explanation is enough for me.''
Izuku checked his phone. It was time to get up and prepare for school, but he could sleep ten more minutes if he hurried.
Twenty five minutes later, Izuku bolted from his room, sprinted to the kitchen, drank an unholy amount of coffee that constituted an acceptable breakfast in the Midoriya's household, and jumped in the shower. He wasn't completely dry when he put on his uniform but when he was that late, he wasn't a man of details.
His mother was looking at him from the kitchen, her eyes warm with suppressed laughter. It seemed that watching him run around searching for his shoes was deeply entertaining.
He found the red sneakers, grabbed his bag, and made another turn of the apartment searching for his keys. This time, his mother was actually suppressing a giggling.
''You too,'' he said as he was halfway through the door.
Izuku stopped, one foot on the air.
''I'm proud of you. You're going to do great,'' she declared, a determined look on her face.
His mother had never wanted him in any hero school. She hadn't said anything about that, but she had also never encouraged it. She simply didn't oppose it, neither when he passed the entrance exam, neither when he had received the admission letter.
Until a week ago, when she had told him she believed in him.
Even though she was scared.
He wanted to tell her that whatever they had fled, it was in America and the risks here were minimal. That he would be careful. That he was so grateful she supported him to make him happy.
''I will do my best,'' he said instead, a smile he couldn't and didn't want to suppress on his face.
Despite such good omens, fate was not on his side this morning. He missed his train, almost got hit by a driver who didn't believe in crosswalks, and just as he was about to summon some quirks and to parkour to UA, an armada of police officers appeared.
He was ten minutes late and Aizawa was in his first class. If he tried to expel him for being late, Izuku would use Slide and Glide to stick to the floor. He was in UA, and aside from a natural disaster, no one would drag him out of this high school, and certainly not Eraserhead.
He was so focused on quirks application and ninja teachers that when he saw something far more interesting, his voice acted on his own.
''ALL MIGHT !''
All Might, in his scrawny form and in a suit too big for him, jumped, maybe because of the volume, maybe because he couldn't believe someone had actually screamed his name while he was obviously in cognito.
Izuku was hoping he had avoiding the worse, but a few seconds later, he heard activity in the building nearby and voices. He looked up to see students trying to see what was happening by the windows.
''All Might is here ? Where is he ?''
All Might looked like he wanted to flee like there was no tomorrow. A a terrible idea.
''If we don't move, they won't notice us,'' Izuku warned. ''Running catches the eye.''
All Might's eyes widened and Izuku realized how presumptuous he sounded. He immediately bowed.
''I'm sorry, I didn't expect to see you here. It's for an investigation ?''
For all he knew, All Might worked solo but he was also friendly with every pro heroes, so he might be here to ask for intel.
All Might smiled, obviously amused by Izuku's antics.
''Actually, I teach here.''
Izuku's head tilted as his brain tried to analyse what he's just heard. Then he realized he didn't care anymore about what Aizawa could do to him anymore. The teacher would need an army to kick him out of this school now that he knew the number 1 hero was teaching here.
All Might saw the danger coming.
''Please, don't scream again.''
It would be difficult without any breath.
Since when ? Is that UA's most guarded secret ? Is that AM's ''civilian'' activity ? This would be amazing.
''Also, aren't you extremely late ?''
Izuku checked his phone.
''No, just about to be.''
All Might chased him off and Izuku started fleeing, right until All Might called him out.
''I would appreciate if this could stay between us. At least until this afternoon.''
Izuku got extremely lucky as Aizawa arrived at the same time as he did, and Izuku managed to enter the class just before him. He dashed to his desk and wondered on how he would manage to hide how excited he was. He was so cheerful it was ridiculous.
Until he realized on who his hero costume was based.
''I AM HERE !'' All Migh announced right on the afternoon as he entered their classes.
A grin spread on Midoriya's face. He knew about it and couldn't help the giddiness. But at least, the warning had allowed him to prepare himself while All Might's arrival just created a tide of awe through the whole class.
But when All Might announced the training would be about combat, he had a moment of hesitation.
Izuku loved using his quirks. He loved the rush of power, this feeling that nothing was impossible when he was threading on the limits. It grounded him, brought him peace.
However, using his quirks on people was a problem, for people were notoriously fragile when they were hit by more than two Strength quirks. It's been ages since I actually fought while using my quirks. And he had accumulated more and more through the years.
What if I really hurt someone ?
But All Might would be teaching. Their quirks were similar, he knew how strong Izuku was since he had admitted having watched the video of the entrance exam, so as long as Izuku followed his lead, everything should be fine.
Aizawa had been breathing down his neck as soon as he hadn't given him one hundred per cent. No doubt that All Might would be even more vigilant.
His cheerful mood turned into teary, tough not sad, as he entered the locker room, holding his hero attire.
The costume was green, courtesy of his mother who had offered him a jumpsuit and Izuku didn't only cherish it because this was a gift from the person he loved the most but also because it was also when her mother had told him she approved his decision of joining UA. Where she had told him that he could and that she would always be with him, no matter what.
Izuku blinked quickly and put on his costume before he cried on it.
Hero costumes were complicated because they weren't designed just to look cool but also to help with the user's quirk. Izuku was then at a disavantage because his fashion's sense was enough to freeze Nagisa in her tracks, and his quirk was ever changing. He had settled on something with enough protection to keep him in one piece, copying the armor of a biker attire, gloved included. He needed bare skin to activate his quirk, and he couldn't allow himself to accidentally grab a quirk in a moment of panic.
He looked around, in time to see one of his classmates in a sleeveless shirt slap his fists together, the harden skin on his fingers making a clicking noise. He wasn't the only one having fun with his quirk.
If there was one place where to grab a quirk.
Yes, the gloves were an excellent idea. He wouldn't steal a quirk but he didn't need to be distracted by the idea.
Izuku grabbed his helmet and saw something scary in the reflection of his visor. One quick glance behind him revealed Kacchan glaring murderously at him.
Izuku tilted his head.
''Your costume sucks,'' the guy with an explosive quirk and a grenade theme outfit answered to his silent question.
Izuku wasn't someone willing to worry for such obvious lies. His mother had helped him pick his costume, hence it was perfect.
He wasn't as sure of himself when All Might explained the exercise and Izuku realized he would have to fight Bakugou.
Bakugou and Iida.
Iida wasn't a problem. Well, he was, because he obviously knew how to use his quirk and was one of the only person to wear an actual armor, which meant he was more pragmatic than half the class. But Iida wasn't the one who knew Izuku since he was little, and Iida didn't remember a different quirk either.
He had to fight him. At this point, any strategy of hiding would catch Kacchan's attention and make things worse. Now, he had to think about a way to neutralize Explosion and Speed.
''Deku ?'' Uraraka asked.
It brought Izuku back to reality, making him realize they had stop and they could now talk about their plan to pass the test, but Uraraka also reached out to touch his shoulder. Her eyes widened when Izuku swiftly moved out of the way.
A wave of guilt passed through him. Ignoring Uraraka was incredibly rude.
''Sorry, I was thinking... Did you just call me Deku ?'' he realized.
''Isn't that your name ?''
He needed a second for that one.
'''… No, that's an insult. It means useless.''
After unneeded apologizes, Izuku freaking out because Uraraka was sorry, and an explanation on the term ''Dekiru'' who meant ''You can do it.'', and a lot of apologizes from Izuku, they finally went back to the subject at hand.
''Are you able to take care of him? I think I can deal with Iida. And secure the bomb.''
He was also certain than Bakugou was more trained at combat but Izuku was better with his quirk.
''Let me think about it,'' Izuku smiled.
''Wow. You're not shy anymore when you're about to fight someone.''
Glasses was walking around, talking about bullshit but at least he was guarding the ''bomb'' and he looked like he could be good enough not to be a drag.
Well, if the fuckers ever decided to show up.
''Where the fuck are they ?'' Katsuki asked, his patience running thin.
They were wasting time and there was no way they would unless they were complete morons or had a very good reasons.
''I don't know. This delay is strange, but there is only one door here. The safest course of action is to wait for them...''
He kept talking anyway, but Katsuki just ignored him.
Katsuki had known Deku since he was two. Back, then, he had called him Izu-chan or something, Always following Katsuki, extremely shy and prone to hide behind him, though he could get mean when it was time to play All Might vs the villain.
When Katsuki had developed his quirk, greatness had followed. This was a hero quirk, everyone could see it, and Deku had been no exception. He had acted like it was the coolest thing ever. He kept asking him to see it, his eye wide and smiling as if it was the most beautiful thing ever.
Deku had been late to manifest. That he remembered. Every time he had been asked about his quirk, he had this distinct expression of worry, frustration, and awkwardness. Until he ran at Katsuki one day, overjoyed.
After that, there relationship has started changing drastically.
Deku had started to become at him at everything, and by bound. Each time Katsuki proved superior to him, Deku arrived the next day with better skills. No matter how hard Katsuki was working, Deku was never far, and didn't show any sign of effort.
It had been maddening.
Adults had been praising Katsuki for his hard work and his chance, for how great he was, while Izuku beat him while rarely using his quirk. His friend had become something inevitable without any explanation.
Then Deku had moved out, his rival was gone, but Katsuki had never forgotten about it. He had trained tirelessly to become the best.
Only for damn Deku to reappear and to obtain a higher score than him.
The nerd had been good at sport after he had manifested his quirk, which leaned towards enhancer, but Katsuki could have sworn there was fire involved. Though he didn't remember Deku actually using it. Just showing it, the same way he had showed this air thing the day before.
Could I be wrong ?
Well, only one way to find out.
''I am going after them. Protect this thing.''
''You can't just leave !''
''Watch me !''
Izuku and Uraraka arrived on the roof in a matter of seconds, though a little nauseous. Uraraka had used her quirk to make them lighter, had grabbed him, and Izuku had used Air Pressure to adhere to the wall before sliding upwards without being seen. Thankfully, there was no lock so they didn’t have to break any door to access the building, and they sneaked in until they reached the floor just above the ‘’villains’’.
Then, they quietly waited for Kacchan to lose patience. Of course, maybe he had become a model of patience during the time Izuku hadn't seen him, but since he had tried to throw an explosion at Izuku the day before, he was willing to risk it. Uraraka had agreed with his idea.
Kacchan had lasted three minutes.
Iida seemed very surprised when Uraraka and Izuku appeared at the door without any sign of Bakugou.
One second of surprise. Largely enough for Izuku to intervene.
The acceleration surprised even Uraraka who had seen him in action, and it startled Iida, leaving time for Izuku to be in reach before he activated his quirk. Izuku feinted on the right, Iida moved fast, and Izuku kicked him on the left.
Behind him, Uraraka was running at full speed.
The hit wasn't strong enough. Between the armor and Iida's physic, he had seriously underestimated how much strength he needed. Iida almost fell, then immediately kicked him back.
Iida seemed very surprised when he realized Izuku had dodged. His leg was still in the air, ready to kick someone who was gone, and when Izuku punched him in the stomach, with much more Strength, he went stumbling down.
Uraraka appeared from nowhere behind Iida and slapped his back like it has personally offended her. Iida tried to turn and to hit her, but Izuku grabbed his waist and gave him a push. Poor Iida screamed as he suddenly went flying.
Uraraka grinned at him, for maybe half a second seconds.
''BAKUGOU ! THEY ARE HERE !'' Iida yelled.
A scream of rage was suddenly heard by everyone who had a pair of half functioning ears in a ten kilometers radius. Either a tiger has found its way into Ground Beta or Kacchan was royally pissed.
''Secure the bomb,'' Izuku ordered. ''I will take care of him.''
Of course, if she could secure it before he arrived…
Sadly, Kacchan seemed to have found a way to rocket his way up here and barged into the large room like Asura reincarnated. He saw something green, blasted, and Izuku who didn’t have his jacket anymore summoned Air Pressure before punching the air.
Kacchan was ejected out of the room, but not before Izuku had the time to see his offended look.
Distance was his friend when Kacchan was involved. His explosions started from his palms and unless he wanted to blow up the whole room, he was limited to hand to hand combat.
He couldn't help a grin behind his helmet. Not because of Kacchan,but because of the sudden peace which came with using his quirks. There was no doubt, no fear, and no anxiety. He knew exactly what he had to do, every action bringing a reaction, and during those perfect moments, every thing was limpid.
Izuku tried to get away from the door, wanting more room to use Air Presure, but the wall exploded as Kacchan passed through it. Chunks and fragments of plaster were flying all around him, but the helmet protected Izuku's eyes.
Izuku's palm pushed the air with a pressure blast. Bakugou countered it with a medium explosion then used the recoil of another to jump through the air, touching something on his gauntlet.
Acceleration. Izuku got out of here and punched the air in the same breath. Strength x2. Air Pressure.
Once in mid air, even the strongest hero couldn't do much to avoid attacks, and Bakugou was no exception. The air blast not only returned the explosion on Bakugou, but it made him flew though the room and he crashed on the floor.
Ice cold fear stabbed at Izuku.
His earpiece crackled with All Might's voice : ''Young Midoriya...'' but was cut down as Bakugou jumped back on his feet. He stumbled a second, shook his head, and stared at Izuku.
There was no fear and no rage on his face, just utter calm. It was as if all anger had been exorcised from Bakugou. And Izuku recognized that, from extremely rare occurrences when he was younger.
He ran, away from Uraraka's general direction as a horrible scream echoed behind him.
Kacchan didn't get calm. He just accumulated rage in a spectacular way.
Izuku's feet hit the floor so hard he had to use Resistance, and the only thing that allowed him to keep Bakugou out of reach was too many Speed quirks and Air pressure as a way to take brutal turns. Bakugou could use the recoil to propell himself but that also meant he couldn't take sharp turns.
And as Bakugou was completely focused on him, he didn't even seem to notice Iida falling down as Uraraka released her quirk.
Izuku felt the exact the moment she canceled the gravity of the bomb.
''Team 1 wins,'' All Might declared in their earpieces.
Except Kacchan didn’t stop.
Izuku was so focused on his victory that he stopped paying attention to Kacchan for one terrifying moment. He had won, until he felt the quirk activate, and heat incoming.
For half a second, he could perfectly predict what was about to happen, how the explosion would come at him from the side, how he had no protection whatsoever, and that from the way he was standing, because of his moment of inattention, he wouldn’t have the time to avoid all of it. How he just had get rid of a lot of armor.
And how he could cancel it by using Air Pressure and Strength.
Kacchan was right behind the blast.
The impact would break him.
He activated five quirks and jumped out of the way but it wasn’t enough.
The blast sent him flying like a ping pong ball and he crashed into something that also crashed, but into the ground, and someone yelled. Resistance and Durability allowed him to withstand the impact but they did nothing for the light burn on his bare skin.
Izuku slowly moved, checking that everything was still at their rightful places. He had a Healing quirk, Medium Regeneration, one of his firsts, but it wasn't a strong one. The quirk healed deeply, until there was no trace of the trauma, but not quickly. So if he broke an arm, he wouldn't have sequels, but with a broken spine, he would either die or he would have to wait twenty years to start walking again.
Nothing hurt too much. He would feel it tomorrow but he wasn't injured.
Down there, Bakugou was looking at him, aghast. Iida was right in front of him, yelling about ''not being too involved in the role.''
He slowly realized he had actually crashed on the 'bomb' and was now sitting on it like the world's most dangerous couch. In a real situation, it would have killed them all.
Uraraka was climbing towards him, her eyes wide. He got on his feet and gave her a hand even though she didn't need it.
''Midoriya, are you hurt ?'' she asked on the tone of someone who already knew the answer to their question.
''No, just more shook than hurt.''
It didn't seem to convince her.
''Your helmet,'' she simply said.
Izuku removed it to see what was troubling her, and winced when he saw the state of the new material. The green paint of the helmet had been scrapped off on the right side, which was more impressive than actually dangerous. But still, he did touched the side of his head to check for any pain.
Durability was one hell of a quirk.
The yawn couldn't be contained and Izuku stopped just before reentering Ground Beta. He felt exhausted and sluggish since Recovery Girl had treated him, and not even the excitement of a new incredible quirk managed to keep him one hundred per cent awake.
After being copiously scolded about perfectly about risks, being careful, and how he was lucky it wasn't grave, Recovery Girl had answered all his questions about her quirk and gave him gummy bears.
He wasn't seriously injured. Izuku was reasonably sure he would have been sent to the hospital without Durability. Instead, even though his shirt had bee, scorched here and there, and he had been covered in dirt, it was no more than a sunburn and he would have been fine with ointment and a few days avoiding heat sources.
Like Kacchan's next blast.
Though Izuku didn't think he would try that again. First, he probably didn't meant for attacking when Izuku was distracted. Second, Kacchan had been convinced Izuku had a fire quirk and the resistance which came with it.
Coupled with how Kacchan had aimed next to him the day before, Izuku was reasonably sure Kacchan didn't want to actually hurt him, just to prove a point.
I still need a heat resistance quirk. Or even several. I have what is needed to survive the blast of an explosion, but the heat is what would get to me, even with Air Pressure deflecting it.
Izuku intended to sneak inside but half the class seemed to be waiting for him.
''Midori, that was amazing !''
He was about to thank her, or stutter, but didn't have the time.
''You just took this explosion and shrug it off, that was so manly !''
''He avoided it, you didn't see ? He jumped so fast he became blurry !''
''Even manlier !''
Izuku just stood there awkwardly, happy.
The rest of the hour got even better as the rest passed their tests, showing all their quirks. He didn't have his notebook, so he was obsessively focusing on the screens and he was mesmerized when Todoroki froze a whole building.
Control and power.
It wasn't only the quirk that was incredible, but the level of control Todoroki had on it.
How should I fight against it ?
Shatter it with brute strength was a way but he couldn't get too close or the cold would get to him. If he stayed at distance with Air Pressure, there was a good chance Todoroki could protect himself with ice.
Every quirk had a weakness. Todoroki had power but did he have enough stamina to keep throwing attacks ?
He was distracted from his reflection by Kacchan. He seemed to be silently fuming.
When he saw Izuku was watching him, he glared at him, but just for a second, Izuku had seen something else than anger.
Izuku shouldn't have followed him after the class. Or ran after him without any idea of what he wanted to tell him.
It was just that... he looked like he was in pain.
He grunted back at him, which Izuku took as a permission to ask his question.
''Are you... OK ?''
Kacchan slowly turned towards him.
''I know what you're hiding,'' he growled. ''What you're hiding from everyone.''
Izuku prepared himself to deny until his dying breath he had more than one quirk.
''You pretend you're fucking weak so you can have the advantage. You're still a scheming bastard, aren't you ?''
'''You were supposed to be an irregularity. But now... The ice guy is stronger than me. And this girl is so much smarter. And you....''
Kacchan's voice broke.
Izuku recognized the feeling as this familiar cold which was regularly clutching his heart until he could barely breathe. You should be better than this. The thought was a familiar companion which visited at night when he made the mistake of going to bed without being thoroughly exhausted.
He wanted to tell Kacchan he was strong enough. That the only reason why Izuku was good with his quirk was because he had been trained while Kacchan was self-taught. That his quirk was powerful because activating several quirks at once heightened them exponentially, while Kacchan's quirk came from his parents and, though incredible from the beginning, had been honed.
For one crazy moment, Izuku almost wanted to tell him.
But it was emotion talking.
Izuku couldn't trust Kacchan. He didn't trust anyone with his secrets, and Kacchan least of all. It wasn't because they had been friends one upon a time that he wouldn't rat him out to UA. In a moment of anger, without thinking about it, or even to hurt him, it wouldn't matter.
UA would know and doors would start to close. Izuku wouldn't be expelled without a good reason, but opportunities will get harder and harder to find. Disturbing heroes were boycotted.
''SHUT UP ! I don't care about what you have to say. I will beat you. One day, I will come at you and you will regret ever holding back. I will become the best student of this high school !''
If Kacchan was still prideful, he would be alright...
Some instinct chimed inside him as he felt an incredibly powerful and familiar quirk.
''YOUNG BAKUGOU !''
The sudden wind brought by All Might's light speed arrival almost make Izuku swirl. To his horror, he realized the symbol of peace was trying to hug Bakugou.
Does he realize he can explode ?
''Let me tell you, this pride is important. You've got without any doubts the making of a pro...''
''Get off of me, All Might. I can't walk,'' Bakugou cut in but he sounded calmer than a moment earlier. ''Just so you wait. I will surpass you too.''
It sounded oddly like a threat, even though he was wiping the tears in his eyes.
Izuku decided Kacchan would be fine.