How does it feel?
To take one step forward and a million steps back.
To not have anyone else to blame but yourself.
To grab for something, you have always wanted but let go after one thought pops into your mind.
To yearn for a change in life
Lights flash bright, and people scream in excitement as he walks by. They surround him and ask him for a picture, ask for an autograph, they ask him to smile. Reporters overwhelm him and ask him how he’s feeling and what it’s like being the number one hero. They ask and ask and ask but he’s so so tired.
He wants to leave, wants to go home and sleep. He doesn’t want to think about the pressure of being the number one hero, and more than anything at the moment, he wants to revert back into just Midoriya Izuku.
“Deku, over here sir!”
“Deku! A word, please!”
A tidal wave of emotion crashes onto him and he drowns. He’s screaming, screaming, screaming on the inside for everything to stop, he needs the world to stop for a moment, a second but that isn’t the way the world works. So he plasters a smile onto his face, wide and bright, and fake.
He’s so so tired.
He somehow finds himself seated on the ledge of the building where his apartment is. He looks at the lights flashing below and on the buildings and he thinks about the flashing camera lights and the screaming of excited fans which bled into the screams of the people he couldn’t save.
A sea of stars litter across the sky, and the sun has yet to rise. Izuku’s not sure what time it is or how long he’s been sitting on the ledge of the building looking down, but his hands are shaking and his cheeks are bright red from the biting cold.
“As expected of the number one hero! Perfect as always!’
Izuku hates this feeling, whatever it is. He hates the way his lungs tightens and his heart feels heavy, the way his mind races a million thoughts per minute and never seems to stop. It’s not always like this, but on days that they are, he drowns and suffocates.
Izuku bites down on his lips as his thoughts come in a tidal wave and flood his mind, overwhelming him, you didn’t see them die, you didn’t see the life drain from their eyes, it’s my fault my fault myfaultmyfaultmyfaultwhatsthepointwhatsthepointwhatsthepoint
He can feel his throat tighten up, and his body trembles, his hand come up to his throat, clawing for air, and he’s drowning deeper and deeper and —
Izuku’s head snaps up and turns. He sees the angry blonde, “Hi, Kacchan.” Izuku tries to smile, but he thinks it looks more like a cringe than anything else.
Katsuki eyes the other carefully, eyes running up and down the slightly trembling body, “What are you doing here?” Katsuki says, and Izuku sighs. Katsuki knew, he always knew.
Were you going to jump? The unsaid question hangs in the air.
“I’m just — I don’t know really.” Izuku says before looking out into the city once again, “I’m just here I guess. I’m thinking.”
“What’s going on, nerd?”
Izuku sucks in a sharp breath and then lets it out, “Neh, Kacchan. Are you happy?”
“What kinda fucking question is that, ya’ shitty nerd?” Katsuki says, taking a seat beside Izuku.
“Just — Just humour me.”
“I mean. I’m not…” Katsuki trails off in search of the right word, “I’m content at the very least.”
“Why?” Izuku says, “This is your dream, isn’t it?”
“Well, growing up, no one exactly tells you the reality of being a hero. People sugar coat this shit and make it sound like something out of a fairytale but the truth is it’s an endless loop of struggle and pain. It’s not all that but, it isn’t all people say it to be.”
Izuku lets out a sardonic laugh, “You’re right.”
Izuku and Katsuki sit together side by side on the ledge, silence embracing the both of them until Izuku speaks up again.
“I’m tired. I’m tired of all this expectations, of feeling too much and then on another day feeling normal only for the next day to be numb and dull. I’m tired of just everyone wanting me to be something but I’m just me in the end. I’m not this perfect hero that everyone claims I am! I’m not! I’m so so so tired of it.” Izuku says softly, his shoulders sagging and his eyes looking tired and weary, “I feel pathetic.”
Katsuki looks at Izuku and his heart pangs for the other boy, “What happened?”
“I don’t know either,” Izuku smiles sadly, “Everything was going so well in the beginning, but then I guess after that, being All Might’s successor and then the number one hero, expectations began to build up and more than that, it’s just as you said, we began to realize that this hero system isn’t as perfect as everyone says it to be. You’re judged and berated for the small things that people don’t agree with and when things go just right, it’s never enough. The media doesn’t show the real horrors of what we heroes do and they definitely don’t show anyone anything beyond what they deem to be the image of the ‘perfect heroes’. And no one tells you about what happens behind the cameras.”
Katsuki thinks about the past few months and he wonders how he didn’t notice the signs.
Izuku pauses before softly saying, “We can’t save everyone and sometimes, we can’t save ourselves.”
“And the thing is, I’m just me, and I’m never going to change. And on the more… bad days, I just find myself thinking, it’s easier to just end it now, this feeling isn’t going to stop, everyone will get over it, maybe if I weren’t me they would still be alive. It’s pathetic and I hate it. I hate this, being like this but the thoughts and feelings don’t stop.”
“It doesn’t stop.” Izuku says and tears well up in his eyes as he stares straight ahead, afraid of how Katsuki would react to everything he’s said, “What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with me?” Izuku whispers.
Katsuki says nothing and looks at Izuku. He looked to fragile right now, like the simplest touch would cause him to shatter. He feels another pang go through his heart for the other boy, the one that smiled despite the demon inside. And so Katsuki grabs the back of his head and pulls it towards his chest and he murmurs, “You and I are partners, Izuku. Don’t keep this all to yourself, alright? You’re going to be okay, you have no fucking choice. So just let it out.”
Izuku can feel the tears flow freely down his face, “I-I-I hate this so much. Everyday, I go to sleep wondering if the next will be the same as the other, wondering if when I wake up, I’ll be overwhelmed with whatever this feeling is, or will I wake up feeling like nothing is worth it? I want it to stop, I want to be okay again.”
“You don’t have to be alright now, but you will be. So, let me do the smiling for us for now, yeah? It'll all be alright in time.”
Izuku’s nods and then softly says, “You’re not exactly all smiles and giggles now are you, Kacchan?” Izuku teases and Katsuki snorts,
Izuku justs leans into his chest and says, “Thank you, Katsuki.”