Midoriya Izuku was good at keeping secrets.
Every time his mother asked where he got all those bruises when he got home from school, he would tell her it was an accident, that he had stumbled across a wall, or that he fell down the stairs, or tripped with his shoe laces. She didn't need to know it was always the bullies who did all of that.
Every time he went to train with All Might to Dogobah Beach, and he asked about where he had gotten all those fighting skills, he would just brush it off as a school thing, that he had gotten used to dodging trees and rocks while climbing the mountain that led to his classroom. He didn't need to know he was part of a state secret operation.
Every time someone from the main campus—normally Asano and his friends—asked him how he kept his grades up when he was in the End Class, he would just say he studied a lot at home. They didn't need to know it was because of Korosensei, and his own photographic memory.
Every time someone he didn't know asked him what his quirk was, before he met All Might, he would say he had an analysis quirk. Nobody needed to know he was quirkless.
Few people knew something about him, something that wasn't what he showed to everyone every day. In fact, he could count them with one hand.
When he got a call from Nedzu, Yuuei's principal, Izuku got worried. Why would he called Izuku? Turns out, Nedzu wanted to recommend him for the recommended students entrance exam. When Izuku asked why, he wasn't expecting to find out the rat-bear knew everything.
"Well you see, Midoriya-kun, I know you are part of the Assassination Classroom Project, and that you want to apply to Yuuei. I also know you are going to be All Might's sucesor when you are ready to take his power. So I wanted to know if you would like to take the recommendations exam." Izuku had been if too much willing to comply.
Even though Aizawa Shouta didn't know everything about him, he was damn close. As an underground hero, he alongside Nedzu had been the only heroes informed of the Assassination Classroom Project, ACP for short, when the case was still open. He also knew he had a special relationship with All Might, though Izuku was sure he had no idea about One for All.
All Might knew a lot too, but not everything. When Izuku asked Karasuma-sensei about it, he told him All Might wasn't allowed into the case, so Izuku couldn't tell him about the ACP. He would do it in the future, when things calmed down. But Izuku would need to wait for that.
The other two people who knew were his best friends, Karma and Nagisa. He had gotten permission from All Might to tell them about One for All, with the promise that they wouldn't tell anyone. The hero had been a bit reluctant at first, but Izuku needed to tell his best friends. The assassins trio kept no secrets between them.
But now, with all his classmates, who he had grown quite fond of, looking at him with a mix of disbelieve, betrayal, anger, and sadness, Izuku suddenly felt unprotected. The thick layers of lies and deceiving were falling, cracking to pieces, revealing te real him.
An assassin who was training to become a hero. A liar that had been caught in the lie.
It had all started like everyday did.
Izuku had woken up that morning feeling uncharacteristically happy. Most didn't know this, but Izuku was not a morning person by choice. He would be full of energy at ungodly hours, and yeah, maybe he would have a huge smile plastered on his face when nobody else would, but it wasn't because he liked it, not particularly. A year of training with All Might had changed his whole sleeping schedule, and Karasuma-sensei's regime had made him unable to fall asleep when he had already woken up. So yeah, that smile was a method to hide the annoyed sigh that pleaded to escape his lips. But that wouldn't do with his cinnamon roll persona, so Izuku just smiled and waved, pushing his tiredness to the back of his head.
So when he woke up without feeling the need to smash his useless clock—because why did he bother to set up an alarm anyway? He always woke up before it went off—, Izuku felt like that would be a great day.
Oh boy, he was wrong.
Izuku got up for once not missing his comfortable bed, and put on a pair of sweep pants and a loose tank top, what he usually used when he went on a run in the mornings. He was always the first one up, so he procured to be silent as to not wake up his classmates. Izuku normally left for an hour and a half jog, usually accompanied by All Might, or Toshinori, as the retired hero had asked Izuku to call him from now on. When he got back to the dorms, he would make breakfast for everyone, or at least start with it. Sometimes Kaachan would get up before he was done, and if that was the case the both of them would finish preparing everything together, the explosion boy cursing like a madman as always, but not hitting him with the fry pan anymore.
Improvement? Hell yeah.
That day was no exception. When he got to the common area, he saw that it was still dark outside, as usual, and that there was nobody around. Izuku was actually glad about that, he didn't want to have any mentally disturbed classmates. Mineta had been enough for the whole class.
'Besides, after last year, I'm sure I got more about mentally disturbed than I need for a whole life.'
His jogging session with Toshinori was great, as always. Now that the man had retired from the hero life, he was slowly starting to heal, and Izuku could see it when he noticed how every time they jogged the blond could hold the rhythm for longer than before. The green haired boy was glad his mentor was doing better. After his last fight with All for One, Izuku hadn't moved from Toshinori's bedside until the man woke up, and even then Shouto had to take him away, because there was no way Izuku was leaving his mentor, his hero. What if he got hurt? What if some of his wounds reopened and Izuku wasn't there to help him? What if it happened again, and Toshinori almost dies because Izuku wasn't with him?
After that, both One for All users had gotten closer. Izuku was still trying to convince Karasuma-sensei to let him tell his mentor, but his former teacher always said it was still too soon. Izuku didn't lose hope, though. He would tell him some day.
"Izuku-shounen, how are you?" another thing that Izuku was glad for was Toshinori's smiles. Now they were real, instead of a facade to conceal his fear. In a way, Izuku thought, they were both similar. Izuku knew a little too much about forcing a smile on his face, about hiding his true feelings.
'But he isn't a killer, isn't he?' Izuku politely told his brain to shut the fuck up.
Hum... maybe he was spending too much time with Kaachan after all. But Kirishima didn't need to know he was right.
"M'fine, Toshinori. Don't know why, but I'm feeling great today." he told his mentor as they both resumed their jogging.
"Well, that is always a good thing, my boy! Maybe it means you'll have a wonderful day." he said, and without his hero persona to get in the way, he sounded a lot less flamboyant. Not that Izuku minded, let me tell you.
"I hope so. I've got a math test in five hours." he joked, and the conversation flowed from there. In the end, they scheduled to have lunch together that day, so they could talk a little bit more about Izuku's control with One for All, and they bid their goodbyes when their paths parted.
Izuku got to the dorms with a little more than two hours and a half to get going to class. He got a quick shower, thanking about having hot water everyday—which was like, the one pro of waking up at four thirty in the morning—and then went downstairs, already dressed for school, to make breakfast.
Cereal for Ojiro, Koda and Tokoyami, Koda's with some milk. Kirishima, Mina and Sero drank that weird protein thingy on top of breakfast, so Izuku took some bottles out of the fridge and placed them in the counter. He then started the coffee machine, and boiled some water. They had an electric kettle, getting rid of the traditional one after Shouto had a panic attack when he saw it the first time he entered the kitchen.
No ones asked why when they saw Izuku's protective glare, but they all got the general picture.
It was Friday that day, so that meant Izuku would do pancakes. Fortunately for him, someone had looked ahead and gotten everything he needed from the store the day before, probably Sato. He was the only one who knew how to make pancakes besides Izuku, surprisingly—one would think that, out of twenty people, not only two would know how to cook something as simple as pancakes. The green bean took care of breakfast, while all the other sugary stuff were baked by Sato.
Aside from the pancakes, Izuku put some bread in the toaster, because there was always someone who asked for bread when there wasn't any. He took out a few more things from the fridge, like orange juice, butter, cheese and jam, and made himself a cup of coffee, because Kami knew he needed one.
'Maybe I should bring Aizawa-sensei one as well? He was on patrol last night...' yeah, and maybe Izuku could put some sugar and cream in it, if to make his teacher look a little less dead than usual. 'I'm sure I heard Mic-sensei say he liked sweet beverages.'
When he was done, Izuku noted he still had half an hour before having to head off to class, so he ate his own breakfast and brushed his teeth. Soon, Kaachan would get down to the common area, probably alongside Iida and Yaomomo. Shinsou would go down then, going straight to the coffee pot to drink all of it directly from the pot. Then Izuku would go to make some more because Shinsou-kun, you can't just drink all the coffee, there's more people who want some, you know?
And he was right, as always. Soon, the room started to fill with his dorm mates, all of them thanking him for the food before eating like there was no tomorrow. So, like, how they always were.
Breakfast was the only meal of the day that wasn't served at the dinner table. Instead, they were all in a hurry to get ready, so Izuku just leaved everything on the counter and everyone grabbed their things before storming back to their rooms to get ready.
Izuku just waited on the couch, looking at his phone. That was the time he had to text with his middle school friends, as the rest of his day was as busy as ever, and hero work kept him away of his phone most of the time.
'Huh. Funny how I talk to my assassin friends about my hero work. Figures.' he thought ironically. Everyone around him thought he was nothing more than a cinnamon roll, with no darkness inside of him. If only they knew about his demons, about the lies... but they didn't.
And they never would.
Things started to go south in the middle of English class. Mic-sensei had given them a few exercises for them to work on their pronunciation, and they were taking turns to read the sentences out loud.
Izuku was lost in thought, so when he looked at the pro hero, his blond hair and his words in the foreign language triggered something inside of him.
'Bitch-sensei?!' he thought, bewildered, until Izuku remembered that no, he wasn't at the 3-E campus anymore, and Bitch-sensei wasn't his English teacher anymore.
As always, the thought made him sad. Sure, his old classroom was always hectic, they were taught by assassins and Ministry agents, and were tasked with killing their homeroom teacher, the best fucking teacher ever, by the way. Maybe the past year had been troublesome, with all the kidnappings and deadly situations, and yeah, maybe things could have ended better, without their teacher dying after all they did to save him. But it was his Assassination Classroom, the assassins were his teachers, and those deadly situations had only helped him grow. So no, Izuku wouldn't have changed it for anything in the world, not even a quirk.
"Midoriya, you're up." Mic-sensei's voice brought him back to the present, and Izuku read his sentence.
Well, that sure was nothing like 'You're incredible in bed'. But then again, this wasn't Bitch-sensei.
"The sun was shining brightly when I woke up." he said, and Izuku mentally patted himself in the back when he noticed his pronunciation was getting better. Apparently, he wasn't the only one to notice.
"Wow, Midoriya-kun! That was really good!"
"I've never heard someone talk that fluently in English besides the teachers!"
"Yeah, where did you learn to talk like that?" that last one caught everyone's attention, as they were all now asking where had he learned.
"Well, last year I had a really good English teacher, and she taught us a lot about pronunciation." they didn't need to know it was so they could held a conversation while undercover, or that she used sentences any of them would blush hearing.
"Huh? You learned at school?"
"Now that I think about it, you've never told us which middle school you went to, Deku-kun."
"You're right, Uraraka!"
"Tell us, Midoriya-kun!" and the choruses of 'tell us' ended up getting into Izuku's nerves.
"OK, OK, I'll tell you guys! Gee..." Izuku sighed, rolling his eyes. It wasn't that much of an interesting thing to know where he studied before Yuuei. "I went to Kunugigaoka Junior High. You happy now?"
Of course, that was the wrong thing to say. Ugh, Izuku hadn't agreed to any of this when he was tasked with killing Korosensei...
"You went to Kunugigaoka?!"
"Like, the Kunugigaoka?!"
“Man, isn't it like, super hard to get in?" asked Kaminari, tilting his head.
"You say it like Midoriya isn't smart enough to pass the entrance exam." scoffed Sero, raising an eyebrow.
"Oh, right. Sometimes I forget he got top marks in the recommendation entrance exams... and that he still does." muttered the blond with the electric quirk.
"Yeah. I mean, one would think the one that got top marks in both the physical and the written exam from Yuuei would be more..."
"Tall?" suggested Shinsou, with a shit-eating grin that would rival Izuku's if the green haired boy hand't trained it with Karma and Korosensei.
"Intimidating?" said Mina, adding up, a thoughtful expression on her face.
"Not a cinnamon roll?" everyone turned around to see Tokoyami with an annoyed face, while Dark Shadow laughed at their expressions.
"You guys know I can hear everything you're saying, right?" Izuku said with a blank expression, unimpressed.
'If only they knew how useful being an apparently harmless midget could be for an assassin...'
Shinsou opened his mouth again—probably with a snarky comment already rolling away from his tong—, but Mic-sensei took that chance to cut his class.
"Come on now, you can question Midoriya-kun's ninja abilities when you're done with this." he said, a small smile on his face as they all grunted a response. When he looked at Midoriya himself, though, Hizashi couldn't make anything out of him, just...
Relief? Of what? They were only asking about which middle school he had attended to, it was nothing spec...
Kunugigaoka. Of fucking course. How could Hizashi not had realise it sooner? Now that he thought about it, it made total sense.
He needed to talk with Shouta.
After that fateful English class, Izuku thought he had made it out unscathed. Nobody seemed to connect the name Kunugigaoka with the monster that blew up the moon. Izuku thought his secret was safe still.
He should have known better.
It happened while they were chilling out in the common area, waiting for Sero and Kaachan to finish making dinner. Most of the class was doing homework, but Izuku was writing on his Analysis Book, number 14.2. He had made sure nobody went through that specific notebook, as it contained all his notes on the 3-E and their quirks, as well as information about Korosensei, Karasuma-sensei, Bitch-sensei, and Lovro-san. It was his Assassination Analysis Book, not that he would ever call it that out loud.
"Whatcha doing, Midoriya-kun?" Izuku didn't jump three inches only because of his assassination training, but he still had to resist the urge to reach for one of his knifes, which were always strapped safely against both his legs, or his gun.
'This isn't like with the Shinigami, or Yanagisawa. This isn't Takaoka. It's just Kirishima, he won't do anything to you.' Izuku breathed slowly, and his heart rate once more became even.
"Midoriya-kun?" asked again Kirishima, sounded a bit worried. Izuku made sure to stop that.
"Don't worry, Kirishima-kun! You startled me, that's all." he smiled, and fortunately Kirishima did too. "I'm writing some things about a friend of mine. He discovered something new about his quirk yesterday, and he texted me about it cause he knows I like to analyse quirks." he explained, and fortunately, that wasn't a lie. He hated to lie.
'Then how is it that you're so good at it?' Izuku had nothing to counterattack that.
"A friend? Which one? You don't really mention anyone from middle school." of course, Mina had to get involved, as she always did. It was just her personality. It sometimes reminded Izuku of Kurahashi, with her bright, bubbly self.
"Oh, you don't know him. His name's Akabane Karma, I met him in my first year of middle school. He's actually one of my best friends." Izuku said, smiling as he thought of a way out of the situation. He knew that if he didn't do anything, they would end up asking more questions, and he really wasn't having that today. Or any day, if Izuku could help it.
"Akabane as in Akabane & Co.?" and there it was. Of course Yaomomo would know.
"I... yeah. He's their son. But he doesn't like to be known as that, so if you ever cross paths with him, don't mention it, Yaomomo." the heiress looked at him a moment, and then nodded. She understood what that felt.
"But wait a minute. How did you know Akabane if he's from a filthy rich family? Shouldn't he go to a private school or something?" asked Hagakure, sounding confused.
"Well, when Karma enrolled at Kunugigaoka, they didn't really mind. I mean, it is kind of a prestigious school, I guess." the moment the words left his mouth, Izuku knew he had fucked up.
'Why did I say the name again?! Now they're never forgetting it...'
"You said Kunugigaoka?" Izuku closed his eyes, immediately reaching for the familiarity of his blades for comfort. They were actually part of his hero's support items, along with a gun, both very real. Izuku had never used them, as he didn't feel the need to do so, and he honestly wasn't sure how his classmates would react.
"Y-yeah. That's the name of the middle school I attended to. Why?" said Izuku, answering Ojiro's question. He was screwed now, he just knew it.
"I don't know... it sounds familiar, but I can't really point a finger to it." he said, and Izuku almost passed out from relief. It was in moments like this that Izuku was grateful Karasuma-sensei kept everything as hush-hush as he could, even if it meant everyone would view Korosensei as a monster that had kidnapped them and brainwashed them for a whole year.
"W-well, it does get mentioned a lot because of its teaching policies, i-it may be that." suggested Izuku, trying to shrug it off. Ojiro didn't look that convinced, but it would have to do for the time being.
"Yeah... maybe your right. Still..." then the teen with a tail wandered off, and Izuku knew there was no way for him to stop Ojiro. If he found out, if he remembered, Izuku wouldn't be able to do anything.
For a couple of weeks things kept quiet. They became so quiet, Izuku started to think nothing would happen. Because it wasn't just about his secrets anymore, it was about everything. No surprise quizzes, no logical russes from Aizawa-sensei, Toshinori's wound wasn't having any complications, and even Nedzu was quiet. Though, maybe that wasn't such a good thing, if Izuku thought about it.
So of course, something had to disrupt the peace.
Karasuma-sensei: Our team found a facility. It was full of antimatter research and experiments.
That was all it took to break him to pieces.
Fortunately he was in his room when he saw the text, so no one saw him breaking down. Immediately after he read it he dropped his phone, making a small thud when it collided with the floor. Izuku himself followed suit not long after, falling on his knees. Tears didn't come out, he was too shocked for them to appear.
Why? Why, after all this time, after he thought they would finally forget about it?
Why would anyone want to mess with antimatter again?
'Korosensei... I'm sorry.' after he told them what had happened, they had all promised to never let it happen again. There would never be any more Itonas, Kayanos, Shinigamis, or Korosenseis. And when he died—when they killed him—Izuku thought it was finally over, that that was it.
And now... now he found out that it was not true. They had failed Korosensei on their promise. Izuku had failed him.
That's how Shouto found him when he came to his room looking for a textbook he had forgotten, Izuku's phone still showing the text he had gotten from Karasuma-sensei. Izuku himself was on the floor, trembling, his whole body shaking. His mind was going miles per hour, trying to come up with a solution, but his face stayed still, eyes wide and at the verge of tears, but not spilling any. His whole expression was contorted with shock, like he still couldn't believe it.
"Izuku?" the boy didn't react at Shouto's words, just a mere flick on his eyes. "Izuku, what's wrong? Come on, you're scaring me." the dual quirk user kneeled beside him, not daring to touch him in case it would trigger something.
Something passed through his eyes, like recognition, but he didn't say anything. Shouto them noticed the phone on the floor, and picked it up to see if something had happened.
Antimatter? What was that? And more importantly, why had the text affected Izuku as much as it did?
But that didn't matter right now. No, he had to focus on Izuku first.
'Come on, Shouto, think. What can you do to help him?' Shouto slowly raised a hand, touching Izuku's shoulder lightly. That seemed to shake him off of whatever he was in, as the green haired boy sucked air with a shaky breath, and his eyes focused once more.
"Sh-Shouto?" Shouto's heart broke when he heard the broken voice, helplessly cracking when Izuku spoke.
"It's me, Izuku. You're safe, there's nothing wrong. Don't worry." he whispered reassuringly, in an attempt to calm his friend down. But Izuku wasn't listening, he knew Shouto's words weren't true. Everything was wrong, someone was experimenting with antimatter again! How could things be alright if someone was trying to create a new Korosensei?
They weren't able to do anything last time. Izuku wasn't able to do anything.
'But I won't give up. Now I'll finish it.' and this time, it would be for real.
Izuku told Aizawa-sensei and Nedzu he would be off for a while, that the Ministry had called. He asked them to tell his classmates that he had a family emergency. He also asked them to tell Toshinori the truth, because he deserved to know, but Izuku wasn't sure he would be able to do it himself.
Then, he took off. Karasuma-sensei had asked for his help, and he was not going to refuse anytime soon.
Izuku, alongside some other 3-E members, were called to form a special task team. So now Karma, Nagisa, Hayami, Chiba, Isogai, Maehara, Itona, Kayano and himself were inside one of those meeting rooms, inside the depths of the Ministry of Defense. Of course, the area they were at was strictly restricted, only authorized personnel could go in. After all, they were still a state secret, that wasn't changing.
Leading the meeting there was Karasuma-sensei, with Bitch-sensei tagging along.
"As you already know, we found the one we think is the last antimatter research facility." everyone in the room looked gloomier at that, because there shouldn't have been any facilities left in the first place. "We called all of the class, but only you accepted."
Izuku could understand that. While everyone in the 3-E loved Korosensei and everything that they had gone through the past year, many wanted to put it behind them, to try and live a normal life. That was the reason why Izuku was the only one applying to a hero course. The possibility of becoming a hero just became less attractive once they found out what that meant, and how much it could hurt.
"Karasuma-sensei, just tell us what to do." said Nagisa, fists curled up in balls. Korosensei was still a sour spot for the blue haired boy, just like it still was for Izuku. The two of them were after all, the ones that stabbed him that night.
"Yeah, Mister K, we'll follow through no matter what. You know how we work." Isogai smiled, and something inside Izuku felt better, as it happened every time Isogai was there to comfort them.
"Alright, then. This is what you'll do." and he explained them everything.
They were the special task team, as that was their speciality. The team was meant to sneak inside the facility in the middle of the night, when nobody but the essential security would be around, to do reckon and plant the bombs. That was going to be their leverage to make the researchers turn themselves in.
Well, that was what they hoped would happen. The possibility of them setting all the experiments free was always there, but chances of that happening were really slim.
When the meeting was over, the former classmates looked at each other, and even when it had been more than half a year since they had last worked together in a special operation like a reckon mission—that being when they planned their break in into the mountain after the Ministry told them to leave things as they were—, they all knew nothing had changed between them.
'The only difference... is our target.'
They all knew that, and Izuku knew they thought about it too. It was strange, to think that they no longer were trying to kill their teacher—they had done that already.
Just like it happened every time he thought about that, a part of Izuku's heart ached painfully. 'I'm sorry, sensei. I'll fix this. I'll make this right.'
When Aizawa-sensei told them the next day that Izuku had to take care of a family matter, Shouto knew something weird was going on. He had seen that text, and it said nothing about family.
'But it did say something about antimatter... whatever the hell that is.' with that in mind, Shouto went to work. He would find out what was going on with Izuku. Shouto was worried, that look in his eyes... that look was the one of a broken man, a hopeless one. Shouto didn't want that for Izuku.
He wasn't the best when it came to technological stuff, but he could manage. So Shouto turned on Izuku's borrowed laptop—it wasn't as it the green haired boy would miss it that much if he didn't take it with him when he left—and started his investigation on antimatter.
Apparently, it was exactly what Shouto though it was: complete nonsense. It literally went against everything Shouto had been taught about physics and chemical reactions.
Antimatter was defined as a material composed of the antiparticles (or "partners") of the corresponding particles of ordinary matter. This was proved with Paul Dirac's equation, that combined quantum physics and special relativity: x2 = 4. That meant that 'x' had two possible solutions: 2 and -2. The positive one corresponded to matter, while the negative one to antimatter. Shouto supposed that made sense.
Theoretically, following Dirac's line of thought, a particle and its anti-particle, like a proton and an antiproton, had the same mass, but opposite electric charge and other differences in quantum numbers Shouto failed to really understand. He did get though, that while a proton had positive charge, an antiproton has negative charge instead.
Minuscule numbers of antiparticles were generated daily at particle accelerators—though total production had been only a few nanograms—and in natural processes like cosmic ray collisions and some types of radioactive decay. But only a small part of these trials had successfully been bound together in experiments to form anti-atoms. It was also extremely expensive to produce and handle, so no macroscopic amount of antimatter had ever been recorded as assembled.
A collision between any particle and its anti-particle partner leaded to their mutual annihilation—apparently, disappearing with a flash of light counted as annihilation with particles and antiparticles—giving rise to various proportions of intense photons (gamma rays), neutrinos, and sometimes less-massive particle-antiparticle pairs. The amount of the released energy was usually proportional to the total mass of the collided matter and antimatter, in accordance with the mass–energy equivalence equation, E=mc2.
Shouto didn't understand that either, but he kinda got the general idea: mixing matter with antimatter was dangerous, and taking into consideration the Big Bang Theory, if you were close when it happened, you could probably die, even if CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) said it was harmless.
Yeah, Shouto had a harder time believing that.
Antimatter particles bounded with each other to form antimatter, just as ordinary particles bounded to form normal matter. For example, an electron charged with positive energy, which was called a positron, plus an proton charged with negative energy, an antiproton, could form an antihydrogen atom, which basically was an antimatter atom. Physical principles also indicated that complex antimatter atomic nuclei were possible, as well as anti-atoms corresponding to the known chemical elements, but Shouto decided to stay way from that or his brain would overload with information.
According to his research, antimatter could almost only been recreated artificially because of containment issues, but there were theories about antimatter existing before the creation of the universe—again, the Big Bang Theory. Though, the question of why there was no equivalence amount antimatter and matter after that was still unanswered. Shouto was glad about that particular bit. If not because of that, the universe wouldn't exist, as matter and antimatter would have annihilated each other.
(If the reason he was happy because of that because he had got to meet Izuku... well, nobody needed to know that).
With that knowledge, the text he had seen in Izuku's phone made sense. That facility they were talking about was for sure researching about antimatter.
But what Shouto still couldn't understand was why Izuku was so affected by that? He thought about it a lot, but the only real conclusion he could get to was... that somehow Izuku had interacted with some form of antimatter. It sounded crazy at first, but the more Shouto thought about it... well, it was the most logical explanation, even if it was supposedly impossible. After all, where could Izuku had had an encounter with antimatter?
Some other studies Shouto saw talked about experimenting antimatter with animals, like rats or bunnies, but most of it were theories. The ones that contained information about actual experiments were always was cryptic and general, nothing Shouto could really use.
But then again, he was looking at the public side, the one that was allowed for everyone to see. It was expected that there would be little to no information on living test subjects if there actually existed. If you asked Shouto's opinion though, he would say that antimatter massive production could very much be actively functioning.
That's why Shouto was talking with Yaoyorozu Momo right now. His parents both had a high place on the Government, and were usually allowed to know about restricted information. If someone could help him with this, it was Momo.
"I get what you mean, but if you don't mind me asking, why do you need to know?" asked one of the only human beings Shouto had got to know during his childhood, and the dual quirk user took little time to tell her.
"I... I saw this text message in Izuku's phone the other day, while he was still here, and it talked about antimatter. I wouldn't be concerned about it, but Izuku was really shaken up when I found him, and I have a feeling it was because of that text." if it were any other person, Shouto would have probably just shut his mouth, but he could hardly keep any secrets from Momo. Not only she could read him like an open book with doodles included for better understanding, but he also trusted her with his life.
The black haired girl looked at him with a conflicted expression. She obviously wanted to help him, she cared a lot about Izuku too, but it would mean betraying her parents.
"Please. I need to know." he didn't say why, but Shouto didn't need to. Momo already knew.
With a defeated sigh, she nodded. "Alright, I'll help you. But we need to tell the others. If this is what I think it is... then this may be more dangerous than it appears to be." Shouto doubted a moment before accepting. If the rest of the class needed to know, then they would. Everything it took for him to get his hands on the information he needed.
Izuku could only be glad there were no human test subjects. It was probably because of Korosensei, but he didn't think he would be able to stab another human being to death after that, having said human beings been injected with antimatter or not. Animas, while it pained him to think about it, were easier to deal with.
'Just look at you, a cold blooded, heartless assassin. Dealing with living beings.' Izuku grimaced at his own thoughts. They weren't wrong though. Every time he stabbed a rat, or a bunny, or a mouse, all he felt was numbness.
Maybe he was a heartless assassin after all. That was what the Ministry had wanted them to be. They thought it hadn't work, seeing how the class reacted to Korosensei, but right now... right now Izuku couldn't help but to think they had achieved their goal perfectly.
What would Toshinori think about him if he heard his thoughts? What would his mother think? His friends? Shouto?
He had seen the text, hadn't he? Of course he had, Izuku hadn't had the mental strength and stability to stop him when he entered in the middle of his panic attack. Kami, he didn't really want for Shouto to find out. To see him like he really was.
"Deadly Cinnamon Roll Mutter, we found the last one, go plant the bombs. We'll meet you at the exit in fifteen." Izuku made an affirmative sound, already looking through his bag for the explosives. As a hero in training, and Kaachan's neighbor, Izuku knew all the safety procedures with explosives and detonators. That's why Karasuma-sensei had trusted him with the bombs.
After the team entered the facility, it had only taken ten minutes for them to immobilize all the security, and hack the cameras was a piece of cake with Ritsu and Itona by their side. Once inside, they had divided into pairs to do reckon, plus Izuku by himself. When they found out the only test subjects were animals, Karasuma-sensei had given them green light. They could kill them.
"Alright, Gender, I'm just done with my side. Meet you in fifteen." said Izuku, also using Nagisa's code name (for safety reasons, one could never know who was listening) and then set to work. He needed to plant the explosives in all the labs, the containment cells, the antimatter locked safe, the Antiproton Decelerator room, and the research rooms. That was a total of thirteen rooms.
'Yeah, I can be done in fifteen minutes. Maybe a little less, if the rooms are close enough to each other.'
He was going through the last lab when Karasuma-sensei contacted him by their private line.
"I want you to pick up every inch of information you can find that seems useful, and burn it." the green haired boy couldn't disobey a direct order like that, not like he would want to. Izuku wanted that thing gone as much or more than Karasuma-sensei did.
"Consider it done." and Izuku finished to plant the bomb. He needed to get back to the research chambers. He then talked through the common line. "I'll be a little bit late. Mister K asked me to do something. Be there in ten minutes." he said before setting to work. There were tons of papers, but that Izuku could just take it and leave. What he needed to do was to erase everything from the computers.
For that, Ritsu was also very helpful. Between the both of them, it was easy to go through the three research chambers. Izuku would grab every piece of paper he laid his eyes on, while Ritsu hacked into the computers and erased everything in the HDDs.
When he finally got back to his friends, Izuku just gave them a nod, and they all left the building just the way they entered. Along their way to the Ministry, they stopped and Izuku burned a pile of papers with gasoline and a match. No one felt the slight bit bad about it.
Class 1-A was currently in the common area, surrounding Momo and Shouto. When they first told them about the text message, and Momo's suspicions, the class couldn't believe it. Midoriya, as in the class cinnamon roll Midoriya, messing with antimatter? Impossible.
Well, they were about to find out if that was true or if their resident sunshine hid more secrets that what he let on.
Momo entered the Government's database using her father's account. Technically she shouldn't know about it, but well... she was very curious, and when she was little one of her favorite games was finding out his father's password, until it had become an habit.
"Now... what are we looking for?" asked Jirou, who was looking at the screen with her chin resting on Momo's shoulder. Of course, she understood what their purpose was, but Jirou still didn't know exactly what they were looking for.
"Anything on antimatter is useful. We'll use that for first reference, but we may need to narrow that down if we don't find anything." she said, already typing the key words for their search.
There were a lot of projects involving antimatter, more than they thought there would be. Apparently, the Japanese government like to keep tabs on the issue. But when Momo was scrolling down the end of the list, something caught Shouto's eye.
"That." he said, pointing towards a file labeled 'ACP: Assassination Classroom Project'. "What is that?"
"I know what that is!" Ojiro jumped, eyes snapping wide open as realization came down to him. "Oh my... Jesus, I was right. I was fucking right!"
"Care to enlighten us?" Shouto raised an eyebrow.
"It happened last year. Apparently, the Ministry of Defense did everything they could to keep it quiet, and everyone at the scene went through a mind whipping process. It doesn't erase the memories from your head, it just makes it extremely difficult for you to remember. I was passing there while jogging when it happened. Just... click on the file, I'm sure it has things clearer than I could explain it."
When Momo clicked on the file, immediately a description of the Project appeared, followed by subcategories, like 'Main Subject', 'Assassins', 'Procedures', and more. One of them was labelled 'Participants'.
"I'm going to read the description." said Momo, and quickly read it out loud. "Project name: Assassination Classroom Project. Main Subject: Korosensei (super creature made out of antimatter). Mission: Kill the Main Subject. Status: Complete. The rest of the case should be more detailed on the sub categories."
Momo clicked on the 'Participants' one. The information they needed to know had to be there.
Thirty names were listed, one of them was the agent in charge, another an external link. Most of them didn't ring any bells to anyone, but Akabane Karma was at the top of the list, so they had to be sure.
And then... there, in the middle of the list, a name stood out from all the others. Midoriya Izuku.
After bidding their goodbyes, the group went their separate ways. Izuku ride the remaining of the trip back to the dorms alone. He didn't mind though. He needed to come up with a good excuse for his classmates for when he get back.
'Aizawa-sensei told them I was gone for family matters. Maybe I could tell them my mom got really sick? A high fever should be enough, they know it's just mom and I...' he spent the rest of the trip like that, planning, and planning, and planning some more. He also needed to catch up on his classwork, or he would fail. Maybe he would ask Iida for his notes, Izuku knew how responsible the boy was, and unless he was dying, he would have those notes—well, maybe that wasn't accurate. Izuku wouldn't put it past Iida to take notes even on the verge of death.
The green haired boy had already rehearsed his excuse by the time he had to get off the train. The walk from the train station to Yuuei was short, five minutes tops, and then it would take another five to get to the dorms, seven if he walked slowly.
Spoiler Alert: he did. He also may have taken his time to text Aizawa-sensei, letting him know he was back.
When the familiar building of the 1-A dorms came in sight, Izuku took a deep breath. He could do this. Just a little lie, nothing like the ones he was already keeping. If he could lie to his classmates—his friends—about assassination, then this shouldn't be nothing but a little trouble.
With that in mind, Izuku put on his smile and opened the door with his keys, closing it behind of him. At first he didn't hear anything, which was quite worrisome, if he was being honest. Usually the dorms were always loud if it wasn't the middle of the night. There was always that one person yelling—usually Kaachan—, or the TV roaring loudly, or the stereo blasting music. If not, it would be someone panicking because holly shit Kaminari overcharged the toaster again, it's on fire, call Aizawa-sensei!
That was more or less what Izuku was expecting when he entered the dorms. So when he was met with silence, the green haired boy got worried. Had something happened while he was gone? No, it couldn't be, someone would have told him. But classes were already done for the day, and they hadn't planned any outings for the day, not that he knew off.
Then he heard it. A soft muttering, almost low enough for him not to catch it. It came from the common area, so Izuku put on his smile again, and prepared to greet everyone. He couldn't have them suspecting anything. What had happened the night before was probably on the news already, and Izuku would do everything in his power to stay detached to it.
"Hey, I heard someone talking from the hall..." Izuku stopped talking, the sight of all his classmates kneeling close to Momo and Shouto quite surprising.
But no, they weren't kneeling close to Momo and Shouto. They were looking at the laptop Momo had resting on her lap.
The moment they heard him, all eyes turned towards him. Izuku expected some loud greetings, they were effusive like that, but instead he was faced with surprised stares.
"Guys? Did something happen? Why... why are you looking at me like that? Come on, you're scaring me." he said, a nervous laugh coming out of his mouth.
They didn't say anything until Shouto talked.
"Is it true?" he didn't elaborate, and Izuku honestly had no idea what he was talking about.
"What are you talking about? Shouto, I don't understand, why...?" Shouto's next words cut him mid sentence.
"You were a part of that? Of that... that Assassination Classroom?" the moment the words 'Assassination Classroom' came out of his mouth, Izuku's felt like he couldn't breath. A knot formed on his throat, and he tried hard to swallow it. "Answer me. It says here that you were a part of that project. Is. It. True?" Shouto, as well as everyone else in the room, looked expectant, wanting him to say that no, that it was a lie, that what it said there was wrong.
But Izuku couldn't do it. He couldn't say it. He couldn't...
"I'm sorry..." was everything he could say, everything he managed to get out. But it was enough.
Immediately, what Izuku had feared since the start of the school year happened. All those faces contorting with anger, with betrayal...
Izuku ran. He didn't stop when his friends called for him, he didn't stop when he fell on the ground. He just stud up again and kept running.
Everything he left behind was a trail of lies and deceiving, his armor finally cracked on the floor.
When Aizawa called him, Toshinori didn't think it would be to tell him that his student, his successor, the boy he considered his son, had been a part of that project. Of course Toshinori knew about the project, all pro heroes had been informed once the secret came out. But he was never told who participated in the project.
Turns out, there was a reason why his successor had developed a body fit for One for All before scheduled. Turns out, he had been trained in stealth and combat by a professional. Turns out, Izuku was trained to kill his teacher.
Toshinori had cried.
He cried because he should have noticed that. He should have noticed the change on his student behavior, how he did things differently after that summer break, and that he started to act way more paranoid than usual a few weeks after that. That time when he disappeared for two days, when that spaceship was launched. He should have noticed that there was a reason why he was so depressed when the school year ended, and not just sorrow because he wouldn't be seeing his classmates as much as before.
And not even that. All those bruises he got, they weren't because he was clumsy. He was sparring with his classmates, or jumping from building to building, from tree to tree. And if not, it was the bullies.
Kami, he felt so stupid. How hadn't he noticed it before?
"Why are you telling me this now?" he had finally said, keeping the tears in the corner of his eyes at bay.
"Midoriya wanted me to tell you. His supervisor didn't agree, but he said you needed to know. He was called by the Ministry to help with an antimatter facility, so he'll be gone for a few days. You both can talk when he comes back." and then Aizawa had left, leaving Toshinori by himself with his thoughts.
He was sure everyone could tell something was off with him the next two days. The other teachers would look at him with worry, but kept away after Aizawa told them he needed time. His students were worried about him too, but they didn't say anything either. They probably thought it had something to do with his retirement. Class 1-A suspected it was because of their resident cinnamon roll absence, but they didn't question him about it. They knew he and Izuku had a special relationship.
It had been four days since Izuku had left when he got the call from Aizawa.
"Problem Child ran away from the dorms." that was all it took for him to get up and run.
Toshinori passed by a lot of people, many of which who called him when they saw him running in such a hurry, but he didn't stop to talk to anyone. No, he needed to find him. He needed to find Izuku before he did something reckless, or something happened to him.
Toshinori wouldn't watch from the sidelines. Not anymore.
And so he ran. He ran, and ran, and ran, looking for that green hair in every place he could think of. Toshinori checked the classroom, the lockers, the teachers lounge, their special lunch room, which only they knew about. He looked at the training rooms, at the pool, and the special training centers. Toshinori looked everywhere.
Tired, but not yet defeated, Toshinori started his search on the gardens. That would certainly take a while, given how big Yuuei's grounds were, but he would not give up. Not on Izuku.
Toshinori knew Izuku's classmates were looking for him too, and for that he was grateful. But even though he was, indeed, glad for their help, a part of himself couldn't help but to blame them. It was their fault Izuku had ran away, after all. Weren't for them, Izuku would probably be safe, inside the dorms, laughing and enjoying himself. Being a child.
Because Midoriya Izuku could be a lot of things, but there was something that had been denied to him for a long time, and that was being able to enjoy his childhood.
Yuuei, while intended to help its students become great heroes, was never meant to put them in danger, specially not that soon. It hadn't been a year and Izuku had already have to deal with more powerful villains a lot of pro heroes would never encounter in their whole career. That had also landed him a spot in said villains to-kill list, and that wasn't even taking into consideration all his injuries, both mental and physical. If he was not careful, the boy could lose the mobility on his arms, and it was all because the heroes, the ones meant to protect him and his classmates, weren't capable of doing their job correctly.
And before even entering Yuuei, he had to train to become an assassin and kill his teacher, who planned on destroying the Earth. He had to face psychos, professional assassins, mad mans, and constant danger for something he didn't even had the choice to sign up to. Just thinking about what could have happened to him formed a knot in Toshinori's throat.
But that wasn't all. No, this was something that Izuku had been dragging since a lot more earlier than his last year of middle school. Toshinori knew about his history with bullying, Izuku had told him about it in pieces. The fact that the child didn't mind too much always made Toshinori worry. The retired hero knew his successor had little to no self preservation, and that he had been depressed not so long ago. He also knew that the boy had a hard time loving himself, valuing himself. Toshinori did everything he could to fix that, but it was a slow process, and every time he heard Izuku call himself a useless Deku, he couldn't help but to want to destroy a wall and harm whoever made his boy think so little of himself.
'And now this children made him take a huge step backwards.'
And he knew, he knew it was wrong to blame them. It wasn't their fault, they didn't know. Izuku wasn't one to really let people in that easily. He preferred to keep things for himself. Kami knew how much it took Toshinori for Izuku to finally talk to him. But that part of himself that wanted to put the blame on them just wouldn't go away. That part could only think of how much it would take for him, Aizawa, Nedzu, Karma shounen, and Nagisa shounen to take Izuku to where he had been just hours before.
No, Toshinori didn't have to think like that. He would find Izuku, and he would talk to him. He would make him go back to the dorms, and if there was something else to be done, then Toshinori would go to hell and back to do it if it was necessary.
With that on his mind, he resumed his search.
Izuku didn't know how much time had passed since he had gotten to where he was. It was somewhere on Yuuei's grounds, that he was sure of, and he wasn't inside of any of the buildings, so he supposed he was on the gardens. But then again, Yuuei's gardens were huge.
What Izuku did know though, was that he couldn't go back. Not now that they knew.
Kami, what was he thinking when he thought it would be a good idea to apply to Yuuei's hero course in the first place? Maybe in another time line, one where he wasn't an assassin, it could have worked.
But Izuku should have known better than to think it would work out to train alongside heroes, and that they wouldn't hate him when they found out the truth.
'I need to get out of here. I can go to Karma's while things calm down, his parents are never home. Then I can sneak back here during the night to grab my things and go. It'll be better that way.' he started think of the best way to get out of campus without being noticed. If he used one of the emergency exits he should be able to go quietly, but he would need to tell Nedzu about it so he wouldn't sent anyone. 'Oh, that's right. I need to tell him I'm transferring... that will be a conversation.' Izuku just hoped he and Aizawa-sensei would forgive him.
And Toshinori... he needed to take care of that too. If Aizawa-sensei did as he promised, then his mentor knew. Izuku would need to tie some strings about that before going.
But he couldn't face him, not in real life. Maybe a letter? Yeah, that would be better, and he could ad...
Something moved next to him, and in a split-second he was tense as a rock, already reaching for his knife out of habit.
'Yeah, you really are hero material, huh?' chuckled the voice inside his head, messing with him as always. But Izuku didn't say anything. How could he when all the voice was saying was the truth?
"Izuku?" even when it didn't had its usual shounen when he called his name, Izuku would always recognize his mentor's voice.
"To-Toshinori? Wha-what are you doing here?" the green haired boy grimaced when he heard the crack in his own voice. So weak...
"I came here looking for you. When Aizawa said you had gone missing I... I was so worried. Are you ok? You don't have any injuries, right?" he quickly turned into a mother hen, kneeling closer to check him for anything out of order.
"I-I'm fine. Why-why are you here?" that was the question he really wanted to know. Why looking for him? He was an assassin, a liar. A useless Deku. He wasn't worth the trouble.
Toshinori then looked at him, truly looking at his boy. He was curled up in a ball, his fluffy green hair tangled and messy. His face had clear traces of tears, and his eyes were puffy too—Toshinori has to restrain himself to not go punch someone. His boy needed him right now. His whole body was shaking, and Toshinori noticed it was because of the cold. Of course, in his hurry he surely forgot to grab something to keep him warm.
Immediately the retired hero took off his coat, wrapping Izuku with it. When his successor sighed with contempt, Toshinori smiled. His boy was alright. He would be alright.
"I came here because I was worried, I already told you. If something had happened to you..."
"I know. I'm sorry. I'll... I'll give it back to you now, if you want." at first, Toshinori had no idea what he was talking about, but when Izuku pulled a hair off his skull, the blond actually felt sick.
He really thought Toshinori was only worried because of One for All? He really thought all that search had been for the quirk?
'My boy... I'm so sorry you think that way.'
He didn't take Izuku's hair when he offered it to him. Instead, he closed the distance that kept them apart and embraced him in a hug, that he knew his boy needed.
"I don't want it. It's yours now, Izuku, nothing will change that, ok?" he whispered, trying hard not to let the crack on his voice get noticed.
"But... but I don't understand...? Did Aizawa-sensei tell you?" Izuku was seriously doubting that at the moment, because how else would Toshinori not want it back? There sure was a better vessel for the quirk than an assassin.
"He did. And I'm sorry you had to go through that, I'm sorry you couldn't come to me for help. But I'll never be sorry for giving you One for All." and Toshinori meant it. There were a lot of things he regretted—distancing himself from Nighteye, not caring so much for his health while there was still time to heal better, and not doing more for Nana—, but meeting his successor, making him the ninth holder of One for All? That he would never regret.
"Why? W-why would you let me keep it? I'm a liar, a killer, I don..." he was cut by his mentor.
"Don't you ever say that again, you hear me? You lied because you had to. You killed because you had to. Would you have done it if you had had a choice?" when Izuku didn't say anything, he kept going. "The path of a hero is full of lies and killings, most of it not on purpose. You will always have to keep information to yourself when you're investigating an open case. And sometimes, maybe you'll miscalculate the force of a punch, or when and where you aimed your weapons, and a wound could be fatal. What matters, is that you don't do it on purpose. You are still a hero, Izuku. You saved the Earth last year, and you keep risking your life to save others, more than I would like you to. You are still Midoriya Izuku, my successor, the ninth holder of One for All." when Toshinori stopped talking, Izuku's tears were falling like waterfalls, showing his crybaby tendencies. But the retired hero didn't say anything this time. He needed to let everything go, and if he needed to cry in order to do so, then who was Toshinori to stop him? Let him cry as he pleases.
Shouto was pretty sure he was panicking. When he confronted Izuku, he wasn't expecting him to ran off. If he had know what would happen, he wouldn't have done it like that.
'And now Izuku's gone... I'm such an idiot.' it was all his fault. If Shouto hadn't pressed that hard, if he had just looked at Izuku's face for one fucking second... maybe he would still be there.
He knew his friends were worried about not only Izuku, but him too. After their search was proven fruitless, Aizawa-sensei had ordered them to go back to the dorms, and they had to reluctantly comply. But that didn't mean that Shouto wasn't panicking, pacing across the room with fast steps, ranting about what could have happened to Izuku and how it was all his fault, and how he was an idiot. You know, just the truth.
"Todoroki-kun... you need to calm down." tried Uraraka, looking worried at her friend.
"Yeah, Todoroki-kun! Aizawa-sensei said he and the other teachers were looking for him, they'll find him!" Kirishima, trying to cheer other people on, was a ray of sunshine.
"They shouldn't need to do it though. This is all my fault." any other time Shouto would have cringed at how dejected his voice sounded, but right now he couldn't get himself to care. "I shouldn't have pressured him, I should have leaved things as they were. Now Izuku's missing and..." the words wouldn't come out, as much as Shouto tried.
So focused on trying to find the words to speak again, he failed to heard the dorms front door opening, revealing two known figures. One was tall and lanky, though that didn't mean every student in the dorms didn't respect him. The other one was small and lean, a handsome boy with a nervous stance.
Eighteen pair of eyes landed on them. A second of silence and then:
"Deku-kun you're alright!"
"You scared the hell outta us, Midoriya, don't do that again!"
"If you ever run like that again, shitty Deku, I'll end you!" that one last was enough to get Izuku into his senses again, as he paralyzed the moment his classmates started to blast him with their words.
"Oh, uh... I'm so-sorry." he didn't say anything else. He couldn't bring himself to do it. He didn't want to explain himself, he didn't deserve that chance. His friends—were they even his friends anymore?—had all the right to blame him. Not only he had lied to them, he had also made them worry.
'Stupid Deku... that all you can do. Lie and worry others... you don't deserve any of them.' once again, he agreed with the voice in his head. 'I know...'
But the small part of his brain that hadn't been swallowed by those dark thoughts absently noticed no one was looking at him with anger. They weren't mad at him?
"It's ok, Midoriya. Just don't do that again." Shinsou sent him a small smile, but considering Shinsou's track record, it was a total accomplishment.
"When you ran away we realized we were wrong in questioning you the way we did. We shouldn't have done that. It is your life, and if you want to share it with us, that should be your choice to make." Iida looked seconds from kneeling down for how much sorry he looked, like he had just murdered someone.
'You got experience with that, don't you?' Izuku shoved the thought to the back of his mind. He could deal with that later.
"Yeah, we're sorry, bro." Kirishima looked ashamed too, and Izuku had to stop for a moment and process what was going on.
They were forgiving him? No, most important, they thought it was their fault?
"A-ah, I'm s-sorry I ran, g-guys. I wa-as a b-bit surprised th-that's al-all. It wasn't y-your fault." Izuku managed to stutter out, smiling a bit. He still didn't understand why they were being so understanding, but Izuku wouldn't question it right now.
There was still someone who hadn't say anything.
Shouto had finally caught up on what was going on, sitting on one of the sofas. But he wasn't moving, not making any attempt to get closer.
Toshinori, sensing his successor needed some time alone with the dual quirk user, decided to step in.
"Why don't we better go and tell Aizawa we found Izuku shounen? I'm sure he'll be glad to hear the news." instantly the students got the look on their teacher's face, and with one glance at the two boys a silent agreement was held: we'll let those idiots get their issues solved alone.
Well, that was what most of them did, anyways.
"Huh? But why do we all of us need to go? It's not like Aizawa-sensei needs all of..." Jirou rolled her eyes and knocked Kaminari out, thinking how much fried his brain must have been.
Besides that little incident, everyone else followed without complaining, leaving Shouto and Izuku alone.
Shouto didn't move, nor did he speak, and Izuku sighed dejectedly. Of course, Izuku was just being childish in his hope that Shouto would forgive him so easily. He was right, Izuku still didn't know why the others had even talked to him in the first place. Why would anyone listen to an assassin, to a liar?
'You should just do as Kaachan told you all those moths ago. You would make this world a huge favour.' but Izuku ignored that thought, because, wouldn't that be taking the easy route? Izuku didn't want the easy route, he didn't deserve it.
"Why?" Izuku actually jolted up when Shouto talked, focused as he was on his thoughts.
"Why didn't you tell me, Izuku?" 'why didn't you trust me?' was what he really wanted to say.
At first, Izuku didn't say anything, still standing near the door. Slowly, he got closer to Shouto, but not much. They were still more than ten feet apart.
"I'm an assassin, a killer." Shouto shot him a confused look, ready to speak again. But Izuku kept going before he could. "I was trained for a whole year on how to kill, my job was to kill my teacher. I was really good at it. I still am." the green haired boy kneeled down, and rolled up the bottom half of his sweep pants. Strapped to both his legs were a pair of steel, real knives. Then he opened his jacket, and drew out a gun, with very real bullets too. "I carry this with myself all the time. It's a familiar weight by now, if a bit heavier than the rubber ones they gave us to kill Korosensei last year. You know, he could only be killed with that anti-sensei material. But when I got accepted into Yuuei, I requested this to be a part of my hero costume. Haven't had the time to use them yet, I think you can guess why." while he talked, Izuku could heard how detached his voice sounded, so much it rounded the cynical stance. But as much as he tried to stop it, his mouth kept talking.
"Last year was a total chaos. They asked us to kill him, then we almost got killed ourselves because those damn Ministry people just couldn't do their jobs right to protect us, and then when we had finally found a way to save him, they told us to back off because 'they had it covered'." a sobbed chuckle came out of Izuku's mouth, who was just to riled up to care anymore. "Of course we wouldn't listen, because how could we have? So we snuck up inside the mountain, we outsmarted those idiots they put to guard the place, and we got to the classroom. A student almost died." Izuku closed his eyes shut when he remembered how close Korosensei was to loose her, trying not to cry. "And then we had to kill him. After that year of experiences and happy moments, after what had been the best damn year of my whole fucking life, we had to kill him. I was one of the two people that stabbed him. And then... then he just disappeared." and just like that, all of Izuku's anger just dissipated, leaving its former holder looking tired, and sad, and lost.
"I'm sorry." Shouto was at a loss of words. He saw how fast Izuku changed from an anger beast to a sad, lonely kid, who only wanted to heal the wounds that had stayed open for far too long.
"For what? It wasn't your fault. You didn't know." he didn't know. That was something that, even as broken as he was, Izuku could be happy for. Shouto didn't need any more darkness and injustice in his life.
"So what? It wasn't my place to pry. Kami knows how much I value my privacy, so it's really hypocritical of me to demand anything from you. And I'm sorry you think that way about yourself, because you're an incredible person who shouldn't think so little of himself. You may have been trained as an assassin, but now you are trying to become a hero, Izuku."
"That doesn't mean I should, Shouto." the words came out before Izuku could stop them.
"Why do you say that?"
"Do you remember the text I got the other day? Don't worry, I'm not mad. You were only trying to help." the green bean smiled a bit, and Shouto sighed in relief. "There was no family emergency, but I guess you already figured out that much. I got called by the Ministry to help them dismantle the facility. Turns out, it was full of antimatter experiments, animals, and they asked us to take care of them. And when I had to do it... I didn't feel anything. I tried, I really did, but I just couldn't. Feel. Anything." broken sobs filled the room shortly after.
Shouto stood up, closing the distance between the two of them, and after a moment of doubt, he kneeled next to the crying boy and hugged him tightly, letting him rest his head on Shouto's shoulder. The boy didn't say anything about it, just kept crying his soul out. He would say a few words here and there, most of it unintelligible mumbles. But sometimes Shouto would hear the 'I'm sorry's and 'It was all my fault's, at which Shouto would always come to calm him down immediately, whispering the most comforting things he could manage to think of.
"Don't be sorry. I know it's not your fault." said Shouto, and Izuku lifted his head from its place on Shouto's shoulder, looking confused and so lost, it broke Shouto's heart.
"How are you so sure?"
"Because I know you, and I love you with all my heart and soul." and days ago, those words would have destroy him, because how could he confess to Izuku, out of all the people he knew? But now... now it just felt right to say it, to scream it from the top of his lungs. He loved that boy with green hair, and a happy smile that wasn't always a fake, and that only wanted to help people. Shouto loved him so much it could hurt, to see him doubt himself, to see Izuku dismiss himself so easily.
'But I'll help him. He'll get better.' and that was a promise he had no intention to break. Not now, not ever.
"You... I..." for a moment Izuku didn't know what to answer, because that was something that Izuku hadn't expected. Wished for it, dreamed about it, yes. How could he not? It was Shouto they were talking about. But Izuku never actually thought he would get something like a chance.
He knew he was starting to overthink everything, something he always did when he was nervous, but he couldn't help it. It was Todoroki Shouto, for Kami's sake, not just anyone! How did you confessed you feelings back to Todoroki Shouto?
But then a calming breeze washed over his worry, and he smiled softly. "I love you too." the words left his mouth peacefully, the first thing that had since a very long time. He suddenly felt so light, so free. Like he could do anything just by thinking about it.
There were no more words. They didn't need them. All they needed right now was each other.
And yeah, maybe not everything was alright. Maybe Izuku's self confidence and self esteem would need to be rebuilt again. Maybe he would need counselling, and to see a specialist to make sure he wasn't having a relapse in his depression. Maybe there was a long road ahead both of them. Maybe the ghosts from their past would still haunt them. But it didn't matter. Right now, what they had was enough.