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You Don't Have To Live Alone

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All Might has a kid.

Toshinori Yagi has a kid. He… he can't quite comprehend that. And yet he can. Because the kid is right in front of him . Well, he's actually hiding behind his mother. Inko. Toshi's childhood sweetheart from UA. Sure, they had been dating during their second and third year, and they might have had a quick thing before he officially debuted as All Might upon returning from America, but…

He hadn't exactly expected this!

Inko doesn't look all too certain about being here. Her eyes are downcasts, looking off to the side as she twiddles her fingers and oh crap her blush is adorable. Her- their - son clings onto her leg, looking up at Toshinori expectantly. He looks like he's around nine, ten years old? He's got a baby face from the looks of it, big doe eyes, adorable freckles… ( didn't he have freckles as a kid ).

But what makes it all the more impactful is that it's so obvious that the kid is his.

His right side is completely Inko; his eyes and hair color are the same as her own. But upon looking down the middle, the green curls start to mix with a golden blonde. Looking on his left, his curly hair is entirely encapsulated in the golden hue, and his eye is the same piercing shade of sky blue as Toshinori. To make matters worse, the kid is currently wearing an All Might hoodie of all things.

"Mama?" the boy finally speaks, voice hesitant but nonetheless soothing, "Who's that?"

Ah, the boy doesn't know who he is. As his father, obviously, but also as a hero. Inko looks back to her son, who slowly walks away from his hiding spot. She kneels beside the child, a reassuring smile on her face. "Izuku," she begins, voice firm but with something only Toshi could recognize, "This is your father." Izuku blinks, turning his head back to face Toshinori.

Toshi feels something clench in his chest.

"You're tall," the boy… Izuku , tells him. Toshi can't say much to that except a slightly distant "Yeah…" Was it odd that he found the way Izuku literally looking up to him endearing. The two of them continue to stare at one another in a sort of comforting silence. Eventually, Izuku breaks eye contact, and rushes forward, grabbing Toshi's leg. The man blinks. "Skinny…" Izuku mutters, "But it feels nice." He looks back up to Toshinori, his eyes glimmering like emeralds and sapphires. Toshi's heart squeezes a bit more. "Do you like All Might?" he asks, flashing a toothy grin.

"Y-yeah…" Toshinori replies, his eyes watering; if only Izuku knew...

It's about a month or two when Toshi notices Izuku's right arm.

Integration into his new family (God, he'd missed the feeling) had been a bit rocky at first. Being the Number One Hero with a slightly severe disability made it difficult, but ultimately, Toshi made it work. It had started with two visits a week, and was quickly growing to four, with some nights even being spent at the Midoriyas' apartment. Inko was still as radiant as ever, a small layer of fat hugging her formerly slim figure. That was fine with Toshi.

After all, in Izuku's words, "Mama gives the best hugs!"

Speaking of his son ( Don't spit out blood, Toshi! Don't!! ), he was practically a mini me. He had Toshinori's infectious energy, his unbounding enthusiasm… he also figured out how to do an All Might sometime after Toshinori met them. He couldn't hold in the blood that time, which led to a very long and uncomfortable discussion about Toshi's health issues (Inko had learned a few weeks earlier, so she made sure to hide the more… pressing details). What was most interesting about Izuku was his quirk.

When Toshinori saw it, he almost fainted.

It had been a simple Saturday morning. Inko had invited over the next door neighbors, the Kosetsus, and currently she and Rei Kosetsu were preparing a big breakfast. Toshinori clutched his stomach; he missed being able to eat food. Once the morning meal was ready, Inko called everyone into the kitchen, passing Toshi her notorious banana smoothie (God he loved that woman). Surely enough, the other Kosetsus filed into the kitchen; the eldest, Touya, the responsible one, Fuyumi, the jokester, Natsuo, and the baby of the family, Shoto.

And then Izuku came barreling down the halls, coated in green lightning.

Toshi froze when he saw Izuku bouncing off the walls with incredible speed before leaping into his chair with astounding precision, a gigantic grin on his face. The secret Number One Hero blinked as his son continued radiating his Quirk's power… he knew that power. It was unmistakably One for All, but why did his son have it? And more importantly, why hadn't Toshi lost it? According to Inko, Izuku got his quirk just like everyone else should, at the age of four. Toshi would have lost One for All ages ago, unless…

"Izuku! What did we talk about Zip-Zipping in the house?" "Sorry Mama!"

This curiosity catches Toshinori's attention for the next few days. Officially, the quirk is registered as "Super-Power" (Toshi has long since given up counting the number of coincidences). There haven't been any incidents where Izuku ever broke his limbs using his quirk, which Toshi finds odd. Even if he was unusually masterful with One for All, the next person to wield it would almost definitely have a hard time controlling its reprocussions.

Perhaps it was a subconscious limiter?

In any case, Toshi is about to call it a night, heading to his new bedroom in the apartment (formerly a guest room) when he notices Izuku. He's getting a cup of milk, flipping through one of his notebooks. Likely about to do one of his late night Quirk Analysis binges before bed, but that's not what catches Toshi's attention. He doesn't know how he didn't notice before, but there's a thin layer of bandages covering his right arm.

They make eye contact; Izuku flinches.

"H-hey dad…" Izuku greets, "D-didn't see you there." Toshinori still can't get over how precious his son is when he calls him dad- wait, no, bad Toshinoro, focus ! "It's alright, Izuku," the man assures; he probably looked creepy in the shadows of the apartment. "Although I hate to be a bother, I must ask," Toshi continued, heading towards the couch, "What ever happened to your arm?"

Izuku blinks, looking at his left arm before he notices his right; he sighs.

He puts down his notebook, finishing what's left of his milk in one swig. He starts pressing his pointer fingers together, his gaze on his All Might slippers. "It… it was an accident. I… don't think I want to talk about it." Toshi doesn't know what to think about that; he'd seen his son during some of their walks around the city. He was a friendly soul, and even with his quirk, he was oddly reserved most of the time. And the way he spoke about his arm…

He couldn't imagine his son as the intimidating type.

"It's okay, Midoriya." Toshi and his son turn their heads towards the voice. It's Shoto, his familiar mop of pure white hair atop his head, his heterochromatic eyes staring directly at Izuku. He joins the others on the couch. "I trust your dad, Midoriya," Shoto continues, his usual monotone tinted with something else, "You can tell him what happened." There's a beat as Izuku stares at his friend, before the tears start forming in his eyes. "Sh-Shoto…" he whimpers.

After his dad and his friend manage to calm him down, Izuku begins telling him the story.

…Five Years Ago...

Izuku stands in the middle of the common room, fire in his eyes and blood trickling down his face.

He'd known that something was wrong when he met Shoto and the rest of his family that fateful day in the park. Izuku had a knack for this sort of thing, even before his Quirk manifested. Even with that said, what he was doing was incredibly stupid. He might have been slightly more intelligent than was normal for his age, but for crying out loud, he was a five year old! If there was something wrong, surely a hero would take care of it, right!?

Fortunately, Izuku was terrible at lying to himself.

At first, he felt bad for stopping by the Todoroki household every now and then when he should have been heading home from school, or the park. He often told himself that maybe he was looking too much into things. Surely Shoto and his siblings were fine. His mom seemed like a nice lady, maybe they were all just naturally flinchy like him. His hopes are dashed when he hears a loud * THUD * echo from within the fortress of a house. Izuku quickly bolted up to the nearest window.

What he saw shook him to his very core.

It was the Number Two Hero, Endeavor. He was out of his hero costume at the moment, but Izuku could recognize that flame stubble anywhere. Izuku had noted that Endeavor's fire quirk was strong, strong enough to take out several high level villains with a single attack. And he was currently towering over Shoto, his rage palpable enough to the point where Izuku could feel it from where he stood. "Get up, Shoto," the man warned, walking towards his son, "Stop screwing around. You have a duty to uphold." When Shoto doesn't get up, still curled in the fetal position, Endeavor kicks him.

Izuku's stomach drops as he hears the boy puke his guts out.

This continues for a few weeks. Izuku wants it to stop sooner, but he's stopped by the fact that a) he's a kid, and b) he doesn't have a phone. Plus, even if he convinced his mother to lend him hers (highly unlikely), he had a feeling Endeavor wasn't above burning evidence to a crisp. Thus, he was left with the option of continuous observation. He hated every minute of it, but he kept telling himself that someone would notice. Whenever he saw Shoto and the rest of his family, he'd do whatever he could to make them smile. And it would work… until they had to head back home.

Things came to a head when the weeks turned into a month.

This sparing session had been particularly brutal. Shoto was on the ground again, a common sight. Mrs. Todoroki was there, too, trying desperately to defend her son; another common occurrence. Izuku was panicking; Mrs. Todoroki just got swatted aside, and Endeavor kicked his son in the stomach agai- there's blood. Shoto's spitting out blood, and Mrs. Todoroki just jumped on Endeavor. Dear God, she's gonna get thrown-!

Stop him!

B-but I can't! I'm just a kid!

So? You're friend is getting hurt! Don't you want to help him!?

I-I do, b-but… what can I do? I'm not a hero!

Don't you want to be one, though? Don't you want to be like All Might?

But All Might's different! He could handle this no problem! He's untouchable-

He's HUMAN, Izuku! And so are you! The only difference is that All Might jumps in when he has to!

B-but I can't! Endeavor will kill me!

Endeavor's gonna kill his family if you doN'T DO SOMETHING!!!

That last one does it; with fear and determination coursing through every fiber of his being, Izuku flips on his hood, activates his quirk… and breaks down the walls.

When he comes to, the last few moments are a blur. He's currently hunched over, his arm extended like he just threw a serious punch. Why were there big holes in the wall? Why was Endeavor in a heap several rooms over? Why did his arm look mangled beyond belief… oh dang it was sore…!

No, he could worry about himself later; the Todorokis needed help first.

When Izuku is finished, Toshi has no idea what exactly to think.

The horror and rage in his mind are currently battling it out in his head, canceling out his feelings and rendering him unable to speak. The very thought of Endeavor fills Toshi with sadness; how could a man fall so far from grace. At the same time though, All Might recalled that Endeavor had developed a mysterious bruise around the same time, though he refused to disclose its origin to anyone.

Now Toshi knew.

He feels himself moving before he can think, wrapping his arms around the two boys. He can feel the tears flowing freely from his eyes, and he’s pretty sure the boys are crying, too. “I-I’m so sorry,” Toshi sobs, completely overcome, “You… both of you shouldn’t have had to go through that…” He feels an arm wrap around his own. “S’okay, dad,” Izuku manages, the sniffles started going down, “It all worked out, after all.” They break the hug; Shoto looks relieved. “I asked myself: what would All Might do? ” Izuku recalls, looking at Toshi with something akin to hesitation. “Do you… do you think he’d be proud of me?”

Toshinori can help but full on beam at that; “My boy, I know he’d be proud.”

Toshinori never understood the phrase “Looks like you’ve seen a ghost” until that day.

It was the summer before Izuku’s third year at middle school. Toshi’s son and his best friend Shoto had been on a video game binge as of late. It was usually hero-centric games (what was that one game called? One’s Justice or something?), but he had recently been branching out into more tactical RPGs. This is where they met one of their online friends: a well known player in the local Successor’s Tactics community who went by the alias “Sebun.”

As it turned out, he was Izuku’s age, and he lived a few cities over.

Toshi didn’t know any of this at the time because he was busy with Hero work, and getting into contact with UA in hopes of becoming a teacher there. He had also managed to try reaching out to his old sidekick. Nighteye had been… less than friendly at their first reunion. It must of been just as awkward for the bystanders; watching the skeleton of a man discuss with an eccentric-looking salaryman in a coffee shop. Needless to say, the entire affair was a bit uncomfortable.

“I don’t agree with the way you handle things,” Nighteye had stated, “But… I’m glad you’re willing to start trying to take care of yourself.”

It was a start. The weight wasn’t entirely off of Toshinori’s shoulders, but it was lighter. That was enough. His head held up high, he made the leisurely walk back to Inko’s apartment. He would have moved in, but being the Number One Hero didn’t exactly come with the guarantee that the paparazzi wouldn’t find you if you stayed in one location. Although from the outside, the scenario was admittedly hilarious.

With that half-whimsical thought, Toshi knocked on the apartment door.

He was greeted by his wife, who looked especially radiant today. “Oh, Toshi!” she exclaimed, “I didn’t expect you to be here!” “I figured I’d drop by,” Toshinori explained, “It’s been a good day.” He leaned down, kissing his wife on her forehead; Inko laughed. “Glad to hear it,” she agreed, “That makes you another guest on the list!” “Eh?” Guests? Who else is here? He followed Inko into the living room, where he saw his son, the Kosetsus, and…

...some kid he hadn’t seen before.

He was currently talking to Izuku and Shoto, so he didn’t notice Toshinori as he walked in. He looked a bit scruffy with some scratchy patches of his skin. Despite that, he also looked nervous, his red eyes giving off a more curious hue than a dangerous one. His black hair is littered with strands of white, and a black hoodie with a white abstract video game control hangs loosely on his shoulders. Finally, Izuku turns around, noticing his father.

“Oh, Dad!” his boy greets with a smile on his face, “This is Sebun! He’s a friend of ours!”

Feeling a bit awkward now that he realized he was standing in the corner of the room for so long, Toshinor hobbled over to introduce himself. Sebun looked at him with caution as Toshinori extended his hand. “Nice to meet you, Sebun,” he greeted, a small smile on his face, “I hope you’ve been treating my son well.” A bit of tension leaves Sebun’s shoulders, and he reaches out to return the handshake; Toshinori makes note of the one fingered gloves covering his hands.

“I have been sir,” the young man replies, “Real name’s Tenko Shimura. Nice to meet you as well.”

Toshinori freezes. Did… did he just say-? “Ah, Toshi!” Inko calls, interrupting his train of thought, “I see you’ve officially met Tenko.” Toshinori turns to face his wife and nods; he can worry about the last name later. “Great!” the woman cheers, clapping her hands together, “The boys have been having such good times together! Have you met Tenko’s grandma yet? She’s such a sweetheart! Ms. Shimura, get over here already!” she calls down the hall.

“Inko… I appreciate your enthusiasm, but try to understand my old bones don’t work like they used to.”

The voice that responds leaves Toshinori speechless, essentially freezing him up as the woman hobbles into the common room. The familiarity and nostalgia crashes into Toshi full force once he can see her fully. She’s wearing a big black sweater with a beige skirt and black leggings. Her face is an all too familiar and oddly comforting sight, differing only in the wrinkles it has gained since he last saw her. Her hair had grown mostly white, though a few strands of ebony still persisted.

He’s pretty sure his heart completely stops when Nana’s gaze meets his own.

Her soft smile brings back memories he never thought he’d be able to remember again without a mental breakdown. The swift feeling of comfort is gone as fast as it’s gained when Nana perks up in surprise. Then dark velvet colored cane she carries in her hands straightens. Her mouth parts ever so slightly. Toshi’s pretty sure he’s stopped breathing. Finally, she speaks. “...Toshi?”

It’s days like this that remind Toshinori why his son often cries for everything and anything.

Once the floodgates open, they’re hard to stop. Toshinori wastes no time dashing across the room, wrapping his arms around the one person he thought was long dead. He wasn’t even entirely sure about whether or not she was real up to that point, but now, feeling her, hugging her, he knew. She wasn’t dead. This was real . “...s-sensei…” Toshinori whimpers, fully caught up in his emotions, “Senseiiii….!”

Nana wraps an arm around her former student, a somber smile on her face; “I missed you too, Toshi…”

Toshinori should have known that this day was coming.

Things had been pretty good when the time for UA drew near. Nana and Tenko moved in to another nearby apartment, to Toshinori and virtually everyone else’s delight. All Might had gotten accepted into UA as a teacher, and had finally settled on a successor: Mirio Togata. He finally managed to mend the bonds that had been severed with Nighteye, although that was mostly thanks to Izuku in retrospect ( “You have a son!?” “Yes, and this son is asking you to make up with my dad!” ). Of course, Izuku hadn’t learned the true nature of their relationship. He only knew that Nighteye was a colleague…

...not that Toshinori was the acting Symbol of Peace.

The UA Exams came and went, and Izuku passed with flying colors. He got 1st place, although Toshinori couldn’t tell him about that. Shoto and Tenko had taken the exam as well, although Shoto somehow managed to be wrangled into the Recommendations Exam (Rei had said her boy was intelligent…). All three of the boys ended up in Class 1-A, alongside another slew of hero candidates. Toshinori may have chosen Mirio as his successor, but Izuku was still his son; he could compromise. And for the first few weeks, everything was fine.

And then the USJ happened.

It was bad enough that Class 1-A had been attacked when they should have been doing rescue training. It was bad enough that Eraserhead had been injured, while the leader of the so-called League of Villains , a multi-armed manchild by the name of Akunote Daitaian, unleashed the monstrous terror called the Nomu. It was bad enough that All Might nearly died by that creature’s hand.

No, the worst part was when he ran out of fumes, in front of his own son.

He saw the way Izuku’s eyes widened as he looked up towards him. Toshi had noticed that his right side was starting to feel lighter than usual. He then realized with horror that he had completely expended himself past his limits. Cementoss covered for him before another student could see, but the damage had been done. Toshinori had kept this secret from his son for his own protection; now he was in the fold.

Which led to his current predicament at Inko’s apartment.

The atmosphere had been tense. Toshinori only had Inko and Nana to rely on for support, but his own hesitance hindered him further. Izuku hadn’t been alone either. Shoto was looking critically at the blonde skeleton, as if he was trying to figure him out. Tenko had looked at the man with a degree of concern and… also admiration? Regardless, it had already been fifteen minutes, and nobody spoke a word.

“...did you ever plan to tell me?”

Izuku decided to be brave and broke the ice. Toshinori couldn’t blame him; like father like son, in the case of impulsivity. The man sighed; “I’ll be honest with you Izuku, I… I wasn’t entirely sure if I would ever tell you. Maybe after you became a hero? Or perhaps once I retired? I didn’t know. I just… wanted to keep you safe.” Izuku is silent at that. Then… “Did mom know?” Inko nods; “I’m so sorry, Izuku. But, your father and I… we figured it’d be best if you didn’t know, at least for now.”

Izuku looks understanding, but still a bit despondent.

“...I get it,” Izuku finally relents, “I don’t like it, but I get it. You just wanted to keep me out of harm’s way. It just… I don’t know. It just feels like I’ve been betrayed or something…” “And you have every right to feel that way, Izuku,” Nana joined in, “Sometimes, people make sacrifices to protect what they love, but… it doesn’t always work out.” Something darkened in Nana’s eyes, but they quickly brightened up again. “Even though this entire thing is… less than ideal, it’s probably for the best that you know now. Toshi?” All Might looks towards his former teacher; there’s something serious on her face. “Are you ready to tell him?”

“...Izuku, my boy, there’s something you need to know about your quirk… and mine.”

He wakes up in a white room.

As his vision begins to clear, he notices the monitors, the IV drip he’s hooked up to. Oh , he thinks, I fought All for One . Toshi had seen this coming, ever since Nighteye had predicted it all those years ago, and it only recently came to mind with the evidence gathered from the USJ. Somehow, of all the people Toshinori didn’t think he’d see again, All for One had to be one of them. Even if he did give it his all at the start of the fight (and then proceeded to run out of time), a part of him thought, this is it. I’m sorry, everyone. Thank you for remembering me.

But then… Izuku was there.

Toshinori’s reckless son had dove into the fray to rescue Katsuki, whom All for One had probably hoped to recruit. With the help of his other classmates, Izuku and his friends had maneuvered above the battlefield, providing a safety route for Katsuki to escape to. Once Toshinori ran out of fumes, All for One began to taunt him, trying to further decrease his morale. He made the mistake of bringing up Izuku. How the Symbol of Peace’s pride and joy would be slaughtered in an instant.

His boy had risked life and limb to be here; Toshinori would gladly do the same.

That was the last push he needed for the final clash. Using the last of One for All’s embers, he defeated All for One once more. And now, he was here. One for All was gone now, at least for himself. Toshinori would have to retire. His era of peace had come to  an end. In spite of this, Toshinori hadn’t felt as… torn, as he thought he would. There was an odd feeling of ease, content… Perhaps Mirio would be prepared when his time came.

Mirio… and Izuku.

It’s at this point that Toshinori realizes he’s not alone in his hospital room. The doctor is currently out, but Inko is lying in the chair next to his bedside. Shoto and Tenko are sleeping against one another in the corner. Nana is sleeping on another chair. And Izuku… Izuku’s face is resting on Toshi’s lap. He snores lightly… Toshinori can feel the tears forming already. He runs a hand through his son’s curly hair. He takes one final good look at the room, before drifting back off to sleep.

They had all lived for him… now he would live for them.