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"Shinsou!"

Hitoshi growled, grabbing his lunch tray and turning around to see a green haired boy half jogging up to him, a cheesy grin plastered onto his face. It was becoming some what of a regular occurrence at this point. Shinsou would go to the cafeteria to eat his lunch, minding his own business, when some random kid from the hero course would waltz right up to him and try to drag him to their table. Sometimes it was the loud, yellow haired boy with a black lightning bolt streaked through it, other times it was a redheaded boy with shark like teeth and a pink skinned girl with yellow horns and blacked out eyes with yellow irises, trying to drag him to the same table as lightning boy, occasionally it was narcissistic blond from class 1-B with the annoying laugh. Most of the time, though, it was Midoriya Izuku.

Shinsou hated Midoriya with a passion.

While he had to work his ass off to get anywhere in life, Midoriya had everything handed to him on a silver platter. A flashy quirk, a plethora of friends, a functioning household. He had everything that Shinsou didn't. During the Sports Festival, Shinsou's only chance of getting into class 1-A, the green haired boy somehow managed to break himself out of Shinsou's brainwash, like he was a shitty Shonen protagonist, and proceeded to humiliate him on live television. When he got home that night, he was ashamed to admit that he let a few tears shed. He'd have to wait a whole year before he could try again, which was a year that the hero course students would spend getting experience and getting stronger, ruining his chances further. He was just lucky that class 1-A's homeroom teacher, Eraserhead, had noticed his performance and seen some sort of potential in him, agreeing to train him after school. He worked day and night for the chance to be a hero, to fulfil his dream and Midoriya had the audacity to pretend to want to be friends? Disgusting.

Shinsou knew the drill and so did Midoriya, so he didn't know why he kept coming back, but he did. Sometimes he entertained the idea of accepting the offer, but he knew what would happen if he did. He'd go to their table, play along nicely, then someone would ask about his quirk, with an innocent smile on their face. Once they did that, it was game over. Hitoshi was just saving himself the heartbreak.

Before Shinsou could walk away, Midoriya was already by his side, smiling pleasantly.

"Hey Shinsou! We have a spare seat at our table if you want to join us."

Shinsou glanced over the boy's shoulder to see where a few other 1-A students were waving him over. The boy with engines in his legs (he vaguely remembered hearing that he was related to the hero Ingenium), a girl with bobbed brown hair and pink cheeks, a girl with a frog mutation, and the son of Endeavour. Same as usual.

"No," he tightened his grip on his tray, subconsciously expecting it to be slapped out of his hands, "And I don't get why you keep asking me. I don't want to sit with you or your hero course friends and I never will," he tried to ignore the way that Midoriya looked like a kicked puppy. He was a good actor, he'd give him that.

"I know I just- I just wanted you to know that the option's always there," he smiled sadly, to which Shinsou scoffed. 

"Really? You think I'm dumb enough to believe that?"

"Wha-"

"No. Midoriya," he practically spat the name out, to which the boy flinched slightly, "I know what you're trying to do and I'm not falling for it. You think you're so clever, don't you, but you're gonna have to try a little harder than that to fool me. Drop the act already. I'm not letting you get in the way of me or my goals, golden child."

Midoriya had the audacity to look upset at that, "Wh- golden child?! Why-" he didn't finish his sentence before his eyes glazed over and his arms when stiff.

Gotcha...

"Leave me alone," he ordered tiredly, half rolling his eyes as he watched the boy retreat back to his table before one of his friends, frog girl, slapped his arm lightly breaking Shinsou's control, and Midoriya doubled over gasping, as if he'd never been under Shinsou's brainwash before.

He felt kinda bad for using his quirk like that, as he watched his friends practically interrogate him, while Todoroki handed him a glass of water. They seemed nice enough, but Shinsou knew from growing up in foster care that looks could be deceiving. 

One of them, the girl with brown hair, met his eyes from across the hall and glared at him. It actually took Shinsou aback for a second. He didn't think he'd ever seen that look on her face before. The girl was always so bubbly and bright and seeing her with a look of disgust on her face made his spine chill slightly, but he kept his face carefully blank, showing no emotion or remorse. She growled something under her breath and went to stand up when the boy with glasses pulled her down again, sending Hitoshi his own glance of anger.

Good. Their true colours are finally showing.

He sat at a table off to the side, by himself. He didn't mind. He'd done this his whole life and he wasn't in this school to make friends. Friends would only get in his way. He was there to be the best hero he could be and prove everyone else wrong. Especially those 1-A heroes.

But for some reason the food tasted bland in his mouth. He felt a small twinge of guilt eating at his stomach and he reluctantly let his eyes fall on Midoriya's table. The green haired boy was sitting with an unreadable expression on his face, picking at his food while his friends fretted around him, some of them more obvious in their concern than others. He watched as the boy snapped something or other, silencing the other teens at the table, before going back to stabbing his katsudon with his chopsticks.

Maybe Shinsou's message was slowly getting through to him after all.

)()()(

He ended up only eating half of his meal. He tried to eat as much as possible, he really did, but the nausea in his stomach never went away, a feeling of foreboding nagged at his brain. He hoped that Aizawa wouldn't notice during training, but he had a feeling that it was futile. Eraserhead had eyes like a hawk. He'd notice if anything was wrong. He glanced at the clock.

12:58

Shoving his hands in his pockets, he decided to just wander the halls for a while, maybe stop by the support department and see how their were doing with his version of Eraserhead's capture weapon. Then he looked outside. It looked like it was going to rain soon, so any students that were out were slowly filing back in. He nodded to himself before shoving himself through the doors and out the building, where the last of the remaining stragglers were reluctantly following their friends inside. He usually spent his lunchtimes brooding somewhere quiet and he didn't mind the rain, so he found a nice tree with decent shade and was about to sit down when he heard the distant sound of the door opening.

He tried not to audibly groan when a familiar teen approached him.

"Shinsou," Midoriya's brows were furrowed tightly, a determined gleam in his eye. Shinsou rolled his eyes, preparing to shoo him away.

"What do you want?" he asked tiredly, "Don't you have anywhere better to be?"

“Why do you hate me so much?”

The question caught Shinsou off guard slightly. Before he could respond, however, Midoriya continued.

“I get it. I can be annoying and forget to respect boundaries and talk too much. I know that you probably want nothing to do with me but wh… why do you hate me so much?” the look in Midoriya’s eyes was desperate now, flickering across Shinsou’s face as if looking for an answer, “I’m just trying make you feel welcome but you've shoved me away every time I’ve tried. I know I'm not very likable, but I just want to help you Shinsou and I can't do that if you don't give me anything to work with.”

The purple haired boy stuttered, "Y-you- What?" he scoffed, "You're really taking this act and running with it, huh? Not gonna give up now that I've called your bluff?"

"Called my- Shinsou, what do you think I'm trying to do?" he tilted his head slightly, a look of pity in his eyes. Shinsou hated it.

"Don't give me that look. I don't need your help."

"What do you think I'm trying to do?" he repeated, his eyes narrowing.

"Isn't it obvious? You're inviting me to sit with you so you can get more information on my quirk, make fun of me and then toss me aside at the last second. I know the drill. Your plan might have worked too, if I was any more naïve, I mean, why would class 1-A's own Midoriya Izuku want to sit with a villainous freak like me," he seethed, the last part coming out slightly more self loathing than he intended. Midoriya's eyes softened.

"Shinsou... that's... that's not my plan at all. I know you have talent and I know Aizawa-sensei's been training you, so you're probably gonna end up in the hero course eventually. I just want you to feel welcome when you do," Shinsou's eye twitched, "I know you probably haven't had it easy. Having a quirk like yours, lots of people probably bullied you right? Told you that you were villain? In class 1-A, they aren't like that. They're kind, kinder than I ever hoped they'd be," he smiled sadly, "I know they'll accept you with open arms, I just want you to know that I have your back and that I'll be there."

Shinsou laughed bitterly. He felt a small raindrop hit his skin.

"Of course they were nice to you. You have a powerful, flashy quirk that'll basically pave the way for you to become a hero," he glared, harder than he'd glared in a long time, "You don't have to work for anything, you don't have try at all because you were born with everything you could ever need, right in front of you," Midoriya's jaw clenched, "You don't have any idea what it was like for me, so don't pretend to be all kind an considerate. You couldn't even imagine half the shit I went through," he jabbed an accusatory finger at Midoriya's chest, who flinched back, "You. Don't. Know. Me."

Midoriya gaped at him for a moment before bowing his head and clenching his fists, which were shaking slightly.

"Oh? You getting angry now? Good," Shinsou sneered, "I don't want your fucking pity."

More water hit his face, and he held his hand up slightly. Rain. So much for quiet time outside. Deciding he'd be better off somewhere inside, he picked his bag up off the ground and started to leave when Midoriya spoke.

"When I was four, I was diagnosed as quirkless."

Shinsou stopped dead in his tracks. He turned around slowly, where Midoriya's head was still trained on the floor, not daring to look up and meet his eyes. The rain became heavier.

"...what?"

"My father left not a week after, saying he didn't want a worthless child. My mom had to raise me by herself." Midoriya raised his head. His lips were quivering, as if only just holding back a wave of tears, "I was always told I would never amount to anything because of that diagnosis. That I was useless. Just a useless Deku."

"You were... no," Shinsou growled, "You're lying. You can't- That's not-"

"I made my first friend in eleven years on the day of the entrance exam. Uraraka. She saved me from tripping over and falling flat on my face. I nearly cried because I'd never been shown selfless kindness like that before, no matter how small. Not from someone my age. Before then, no one even bothered to give me the time of day, "The green haired boy took a long step forward, "If people in shops recognised me as quirkless, they'd up the prices," another step, "Every lunch, someone would slap my tray out of my hands or steal my food and the teachers wouldn't allow me another meal," Midoriya kept striding forward, but this time Hitoshi stepped back, "Sometimes I would find red spider lilies on my desk. I knew the teachers were the ones providing the vases. I knew that no one wanted me there. Anyone that I cared about hated me."

Midoriya was right up close by then and Shinsou couldn't tell if he was crying, or if it was the pouring rain.

"I won't pretend to know what it was like for you. Everyone's situation is different, but I know, better than most, how it feels to be knocked down again and again and again. When you join the hero course, and I mean when, I won't let any of them even think about making fun of you because of your quirk because Hitoshi Shinsou," he stared hard into his eyes and Shinsou stiffened, "Villainous quirk or not, you can be a hero."

The rain was pouring down at that point and both the boys were practically drenched, but neither made any moves to return inside, no matter how the cold began to seep into their bones and settle there.

"...Midoriya... but... you have a quirk. How could you be diagnosed as quirkless?" 

"I have a double toe joint, which was a pretty big indicator that I wouldn't develop a quirk," he smiled sadly.

"When," Shinsou's brows furrowed, "When did it manifest?"

"The... uh... day of the entrance exam?" Midoriya grinned sheepishly.

Shinsou's eye twitched, "So... when I fought you at the Sports Festival you'd had your quirk for-"

"...three weeks."

"Jesus Christ," Shinsou laughed nervously, running a hand through his wet hair, "No wonder you seemed so inexperienced. You'd hardly used your quirk before," he pinched the bridge of his nose, "Is that even possible? Manifesting your quirk so late?"

"My quirk releases high amounts of energy through my body," his arm crackled with electricity as an example, "but there was so much of it, if it had manifested any earlier, it would have torn my body apart."

Shinsou didn't know what to say to that, so he just said and awkward, "Yikes."

"It's not so bad now. As my body's developed, I've learnt to control it better so now I don't break my bones every time I use it. Yay," he cheer weakly.

"Midoriya," the boy in question met Shinsou's eyes, "When I first encountered you, I thought you were just like the rest. You seemed to have everything that I didn't and..." he rubbed the back of his neck, "I hate to admit it but I was jealous. And angry. I thought you ruined my chances of being a hero after you beat me in the Sports Festival and you trying to be my friend only rubbed salt in the wound," Midoriya grimaced, "Though I guess I shouldn't have treated you so harshly. I made too many assumptions about you, and for that I apologise."

"It's fine, Shinsou," Midoriya placated, "I wasn't expecting you to want to be my best friend, I just wanted you to know that I'm in your corner, whenever you need me."

Hitoshi stared at him for a moment before breathing deeply, "...you said earlier that some kids put... red spider lilies on your desk?"

"Yeah?"

"Did you ever... consider it?"

Midoriya froze up, his shoulders suddenly more tense than Shinsou had ever seen them and the boy gained a sad, far-away look in his eye.

"Once."

Before Shinsou could ask anything else, the door to the building opened with a bang, and both boys flinched at the noise. The sound of stomping boots approached and the purple haired boy supressed a wince when he saw the scruffy looking man approaching them.

"Oh fuck," "Oh no," both boys said at the same time.

"What do you two think you're doing? Get inside," Eraserhead growled, somehow looking even more intimidating in the rain.

Neither boys hesitated to book it indoors, Shinsou muttering small curses under his breath and Midoriya looking far more pale than before. At least they could both agree that Aizawa Shouta was the scariest man on alive. Only when they got inside, did they realise how soggy they were, their blazers were soaked through and their hair was sticking to their faces. Midoriya couldn't help but chuckled at how Shinsou looked like an angry wet cat.

"That probably wasn't our smartest idea," Midoriya sighed, wringing the water out of his tie. 

Shinsou snorted, picking at the purple hair that now hung low on his face, "Yeah, maybe we should discuss our tragic backstories somewhere else next time."

Midoriya's face split into a grin as he struggled to supress his laughter, before cutting off abruptly, "... wait, next time?"

"Yeah, you mind if I take up that offer of yours?" he smirked. Shinsou didn't think it was physically possible for a smile to light up a room, yet here he was, wishing he brought shades that day.

"I'd love that! I'll go tell the others, they'll be so pumped to hear that!"

"Not so fast, problem children," both boys froze when they heard the scratchy voice of their mentor in the doorway, "You're both soaking. Get changed into something suitable before you go trekking water through the school."

"Yes Aizawa-sensei!" Midoriya yelped, before scurrying off to get his gym uniform, "Bye Shinsou! See you at lunch tomorrow!"

Shinsou and Aizawa watched him go, almost tripping over his own feet as he went. Honestly, if someone told 10-year-old Hitoshi that he would one day be eating lunch with a bunch of hero course students, he would have laughed in their face, but here he was. Eraserhead broke the silence.

"So, Midoriya huh? I thought you weren't here to make friends," Aizawa deadpanned, but Shinsou recognised the underlying tone. Was he teasing him? He narrowed his eyes and matched the teacher's expression.

"I'm not."

"That's what they all say," the man mumbled quietly into his capture weapon.

"What was that?"

"Nothing, problem child. Now, off with you, lunch is ending soon."

Shinsou rolled his eyes but didn't comment, ruffling his hand through his wet hair was he went. His teacher nodded a goodbye before stalking off to intimidate whatever poor soul got in his way next. Hitoshi supressed a loud snort as he caught sight of the man shaking the water out of his hair like a cat. 

He'd later notice that the stirring feeling in his stomach was gone.