Izuku arrives and his breath catches in his throat.
The barrel of the gun is pointed at Eri. At Mirio. Overhaul is pulling the trigger.
Izuku barrels forward and lunges.
(As long as he can move, he will save people.)
The bullet embeds itself in his shoulder and Izuku’s side jerks back from the momentum. Izuku doesn’t flinch or cry, kneeling on the floor having fallen from the momentum of a sudden stop.
(This pain is nothing. He’s lived through worse.)
(He briefly clings to the hope that not having a quirk factor would allow the quirk- not his quirk, not yet- to not be erased. That would bring up a whole other slew of issues, but he could deal with those later. This is now.)
Overhauls blinks. And then he starts laughing, something unhinged like a hyena.
“How does it feel to have lost your precious quirk, hero ?” The word ‘hero’ falls from his lips like a curse.
“Even better, you’re never getting it back. That bullet was permanent. You’re useless ,” he taunts.
(And Izuku- Izuku who believes he just lost a destiny, a legacy - for the first time in years, let’s himself feel angry. Angry for what Overhaul’s done to Eri in the name of pseudoscience and his hypocritical, backwards beliefs. Angry for being seen as nothing without a quirk. Angry for the disappointment he’s become.)
Something inside of him snaps and unfurls, a gaping hole in his chest.
(Izuku, for the first time in his life, wants to take away someone’s quirk. Izuku, for the first time in his life, has a quirk of his own blossom and awaken.)
He gets to his feet, his hair turning a stark white.
He looks at Overhaul blankly.
(He feels calm as the fury washes over him. A fury so cold, he’s calm. His father has the same fury.)
He starts floating, black tendrils growing out of his back, rigid and tense. The sting of the bullet doubles and washes away, like an ocean crashing against the shore before retreating, quickly and smoothly. He sways gently with the wind. Lightning crackles around him, One for All still thrumming beneath his skin.
(Izuku’s relieved, but he’s still furious. It’s a broken dam and Overhaul is standing before the flood of wrath. There is no lifeboat, no ark to save him.)
Overhaul looks on in horror.
“That- that was a quirk-erasing bullet! That’s- that’s not possible!”
Izuku feels laughter bubble and well-up inside him. It’s not nice laughter.
“How did you do it?” Overhaul’s eyes are crazed and Izuku merely smiles, a snarl and baring of teeth more than a show of good tidings.
“I am a Deku,” he replies.
(A quirk so old, so disconnected from his quirk factor that it will not be impacted. A quirk so new, so suppressed, it awakens and unfurls beneath his skin, it’s maw consuming. He doesn’t notice his hair, white like freshly fallen snow nor does he notice how his eyes glow like a predator under the shadows of the cavern the fallen rubble has created.)
He flickers out of sight, the wind rushing around him as he charges at Overhaul.
His fist makes contact with the bastard’s face, the mask flying clean off.
(Satisfaction floods his veins and his fingers pull greedily.)
Somewhere, the universe weeps as the tangled threads of fate move on their own.
Sasaki Mirai is running.
Mirio’s alone against Overhaul.
(The boy, his protege, his all-but-in-name son is out there without backup. Even if Midoriya got there on time, he’s still a boy. He can’t trust that child with a legacy, much rather to take down Overhaul alone, especially with him being only a first year.)
He runs faster to where the noise is coming from.
Suddenly a gunshot and everything falls quiet behind the roaring in his ears.
(Mirai’s heart stops in his chest, a cold stone dropping in his stomach. What does it mean? Is it over? Is Mirio-)
He runs, faster than he’s ever ran before, his mind flying.
And when he arrives his mind goes blank.
There’s Overhaul and- and-
Mirai doesn’t take his eyes off him .
(Something primal, terrified, claws at his chest. The monster in front of Overhaul is smiling, something wild.)
(People aren’t meant for more than one quirk. They’ve seen it in the Nomu. All for One, turns to him and grins, something welcoming and disarming. Mirai flinches. People aren’t meant for more than one quirk. The worst monsters know how to hide behind a smile.)
“Sir! It’s all over.”
All for One waves, his teeth stretching into a deceptive smile, his green eyes-
Mirai watches in some sort of muted horror as the white hair turns darker and greener.
“Good job, Midoriya!” Mirio calls behind the rushing ocean in Mirai’s head.
“Midoriya?” he asks weakly, barely above a whisper.
He sways on his feet.
(No. No . Midoriya is-)
The world goes black.
“Where the fuck were you two? You were supposed to be here an hour ago!” Tomura yells at them.
Toga jumps up and down, clutching her phone close to her chest like a lifeline, a giddy smile and furious blush on her face. Twice, meanwhile, stands next to her, looking like he had looked death in the eyes.
“What happened?” he demands.
“Izuchan was so cute! Look, look!”
She shoves her phone in his face, waving it back and forth quickly. Tomura looks over to Twice who normally would have added his own perspective by now.
Twice looks up, his eyes still haunted.
“The kid got hit by a permanent quirk erasing bullet.”
Tomura’s eyes widen.
“The green-haired brat?”
Twice barely nods before Tomura turns to Toga and holds out his hand. Toga hands the phone over, still flushing crimson, cooing about ‘her Izuchan’.
Tomura glances at the phone and clicks play. The audio is clearly distant, but still comes through legibly enough. He has a clear view of some blond idiot hero standing in front of Overhaul, some child behind him. There’s rubble all around and Tomura’s fingers reach up to scratch absentmindedly.
A shot rings out and a green blur runs forward. Tomura’s eyes stay glued to the screen as the brat- that hero brat, Midoriya- falls to his knees while Overhaul stills and blinks, clearly confused.
And then something clicks and Overhaul starts laughing and taunting the hero brat.
Tomura scratches deeper.
(Midoriya is his opponent, his rival. Not some nobody’s.)
The brat starts getting up, swaying on his feet unsteadily, until Overhaul calls him useless.
And then he changes .
(Tomura watches in fascination as the boy stands up firmly, his chin raising. There’s this look swirling in his eyes, dark and broken. He’s a bit envious that Overwhore gets this kind of reaction and decides another attack on U.A. is in order. Soon. Maybe. To be honest, Midoriya looking like that is a little freaky. Just a little. Barely.)
Something crackles once. Then again.
And then Tomura watches and pales as the brat transforms into something much more sinister and oh so familiar .
His tongue feels heavy in his mouth.
(Midoriya is… is…)
His last finger presses down and phone crumples to dust.
Toga blinks and pulls out another phone.
“You’re lucky I sent the video to all my devices.”
Tomura swallows, his tongue still heavy in his mouth as his mind races and calculates when Sensei could have… well, that .
“Sorry. I don’t know what came over me.”
Toga grins, her sharp teeth on display. Tomura feels a vague sense of foreboding wash over him.
“Don’t worry. Seeing my Izuchan like that gets me excited too.”
“Oh, fuck no! Ew!”
Mirio stares at Midoriya who is currently getting checked up next to him.
(They’re not hurt, but being in a battle against Overhaul who could rearrange their organs didn’t inspire confidence in their state of well-being. So, here they are, sitting awkwardly on the hospital beds as Mirio tries to figure out what to say without sounding… insensitive. Despite how varied the courses were at U.A., there weren’t any courses on confronting others about possible villain relations.)
He turns to Midoriya.
“I can’t stay cooped up here any longer. I’m going to get a snack. Walk with me?”
Midoriya brightens, pushing himself off the bed, floating an inch or so off the ground.
Midoriya glances down and goes completely red, before dropping to the floor like a rock.
“I’m sorry,” he squeaks out.
“No, no, I don’t mind. It’s just… different to see.”
(Well, ‘different’ is putting it mildly. The feeling that washes over Mirio when he sees it is more akin to a muted horror that one gets when they realize they are nothing in the presence of something grand and apathetic that looms over them without a care. But Mirio is a nice and polite boy and Midoriya shouldn’t have to hide his quirk away just because Mirio is, for lack of a better word to describe the deep existential horror he feels, uncomfortable.)
Nevertheless, Midoriya lands on the ground.
“Alright. Let’s go.”
As they walk, Midoriya begins rambling about some new hero and their quirk. Mirio ends up working overtime to keep his expression open and relaxed and to suppress the shudder that threatens to run through him. Reminding himself that Midoriya has proven himself to be a good person, a hero even, helps.
(Still, his quirks… it’s too similar to that villain at Kamino. It had been terrifying, watching the broadcast with Sir Nighteye, powerless to do anything as Sir had looked on, catatonic. It had been more alarming seeing Sir turn to him with silent tears streaming down his face when All Might had emerged victorious for the last time and tell him, “He lived. All for One didn’t kill him.”)
They reach the vending machines.
“So… new quirks huh?”
Midoriya glances at him.
Mirio feels a nervous laugh bubble up.
“Those were new quirks right?”
“No?” Midoriya’s voice trails off. He’s sort of hunched in on himself, watching Mirio closely, gauging his reaction.
Mirio waves his hands.
“No! Like it’s fine if it’s more than one quirk! Plenty of good people have more than one quirk!” he says because apparently he likes sticking his foot in his mouth.
Midoriya watches him, confused.
“Uh… scratch that! I mean don’t! I mean- you’re a good person!”
“Nothing like your father,” Mirio concludes definitively.
“Like my… father?”
Mirio’s voice drops to a whisper.
“You know… All for One?”
Midoriya jerks back.
“What? He’s not my- I mean- it’s not- where did you hear that name?”
Mirio grasps his shoulder in a brotherly-like manner that has Todoroki looking up from reading his book with a vague feeling that one of his theories was being validated.
“It’s okay. I’m not judging you. We have no choice over who our parents are or what they do.”
Midoriya just gapes at him like a fish, his mouth moving up and down without sound coming out before he finally speaks.
“Is there something in the school water?”
Mirio tilts his head, much like a confused golden retriever.
Midoriya searches his face, almost desperately, before sighing and pinching the bridge of his nose.
“Okay. Listen. I’m not All for One’s secret love child.” Mirio mouths the sentence confused. Midoriya forges on, grabbing Mirio’s shoulders and staring him dead in the eye.
“I’m not All Might’s secret love child. I’m not Miruko’s secret love child. I’m not Aizawa’s secret love child. I’m not Miss Joke’s secret love child. I’m not Endeavour’s secret love child. I’m not Sir Nighteye’s secret love child. I’m not anyone’s secret love child. My parents are Inko Midoriya and Hisashi Midoriya. My mom can pull small objects and lives at home and my dad breathes fire and lives abroad. He sends us money regularly. He is a salary businessman and not a hired actor.”
“But your quirk-”
“Is weird. I don’t know. This is all new to me. Do you understand?”
Midoriya let’s go and smiles.
Midoriya turns to the vending machine.
“Snacks are on me.”
Izuku takes a deep breath before pressing call.
“Young Midoriya! Don’t worry! I’m on my way to the hospital now!”
“There’s no need!”
“Nonsense, my boy! I know about One for All’s past quirks manifesting! It’s incredible!”
Izuku drops the phone onto the bed before scrambling to get it.
“You know? How?”
“Aizawa informed me! He said something about how I might as well know since I’m practically your fath- uh, since I’m your mentor.”
Izuku turns red. Et tu Aizawa-sensei? Et tu?
“And Mirai might have, uh, called me as well in near hysterics.”
Izuku winces as All Might continues.
“He was saying something about All for One?”
Izuku takes a breath. Now’s as good of a moment as ever, he supposes.
“I have his quirk. All for One.”
Silence. Complete and utter silence.
“Or, um, not his quirk? It’s ranged, I think? But maybe his quirk was one of the other quirks in One for All? A mutated, ranged version? Maybe, I mean-”
Izuku’s jaw swings shut.
“Could you send me a photo of your father?”
Izuku nods absentmindedly before realizing that he has to answer verbally.
“Yes!” he squeaks. “Yeah, I mean, yeah,” he adds intelligently before deciding to shut up and just send the picture.
There’s a tense silence as he sends the picture and waits.
“I’m going to have to call you back, my boy.”
The call ends.
The door to All for One’s jail cell swings open.
“He’s your son?!”
“Well, hello to you too. I’m doing well, thanks for asking.”