Izuku Midoriya was all too familiar with how unfair the world is. Like many others, he developed a quirk at four years old, but unlike others, he wasn't praised for his quirk. Izuku's quirk allowed him to put people to sleep with a scent he gave off. It started small with people saying they fell asleep in class because of Izuku's quirk, but it escalated as he got older. People accused him of stealing things after he put them to sleep, and once he became a teenager, girls accused him of putting them to sleep and doing things to them. It didn't help that his parents had died when he was a child due to a villain attack and left him an orphan. The only solace he found was in heroes. He loved them and obsessed over them, taking notes and analyzing how they fought. His dream was to become a hero, especially when he heard of Midnight and saw how her quirk was the same as his.
Izuku panted as he slipped away from the boys chasing him. They ran off in the wrong direction, and Izuku was thankful that Katsuki wasn't part of the group, or else he probably wouldn't have been able to give them the slip as easily as he did. It was the same as always. After school, someone accused him of knocking them out and doing something or other Izuku wasn't sure about the specifics he had stopped listening to what they actually said a long time ago. Some guys would then chase him down, and if he was fast enough or lucky enough, he would get away. If not, then he would get beat up and left to hobble back to the orphanage.
Izuku sat down and pulled out his hero notebook to look over the notes he took. He wasn't going to organize them now while in a back alley, but he needed to calm down and kill time till the bullies gave up the search and left.
Izuku was so deep in thought as he read what he wrote about Mt.Lady and Kamui Woods that he didn't notice the long, thin fingers reach over his shoulder and pluck the notebook from his hands as a woman spoke, "now what do we have here? Oh, notes on Mt.Lady? My oh my, what did a young boy like yourself write about a girl like her?"
Izuku panicked as he shot to his feet and tripped over his tongue, trying to tell whoever it was that he didn't write anything weird, but his brain stopped as he saw who had his notebook. The R-rated Hero Midnight stood there smirking as she read the notes on Mt.Lady "oh, a little too showy, and why did she set up in a city when her quirk would work so well out in the countryside."
The hero laughed as Izuku blushed and tried to formulate his thoughts. His favorite hero was in front of him. The person who showed that just because everyone said it was a villain's quirk doesn't mean it's true. He had the same quirk as Midnight, and she was a hero, so he could be one as well. Izuku noticed she was staring at him, and he hadn't actually said anything yet. His brain panicked "u-um y-yeah I uh wrote that this m-morning. I saw her fight and thought it was w-weird. I-I promise there's nothing... bad in there."
Midnight laughed and snapped the book shut "oh, I'm sure there isn't. You seem like a sweet kid, but I gotta ask why are you hiding back here? You didn't perhaps do something bad, did you?"
Izuku shook his head and waved his hands "n-n-no, I didn't; I just was..."
"Hm, let me guess." Midnight tapped her chin in rhythm with her foot "you're hiding from those three boys who were chasing you. I'm guessing bullies, right?"
Izuku clutched the hem of his shirt and nodded as he stared at the floor. "So what were they bullying you for? Was it this?" he looked up to see her wave the notebook back and forth.
"N-not this time... Kac- Bakugo usually bullies me about the notebook, but he wasn't with those guys."
Midnight sighed, seeing how shaken and meek this boy was. She never understood how schools could let bullies run rampant like they seem to do. "So then what were those particular mini villains after?"
The moment of truth. Izuku knew he shouldn't feel nervous. She had the same quirk as him, so she would understand, right? Right!? Even if she's a girl and he's a guy, that difference shouldn't be enough for her to not understand. "M-my quirk."
That piqued Midnight's interest. He didn't have any mutations; in fact, he was kind of plain-looking, so it wasn't that. Maybe it was a gross quirk, or perhaps it was similar to a recent villain's quirk. "What is your quirk?"
"I-it's like Somnambulist, but different. I-I have slight telepathic control over the cloud. I-it helps keep it close to me, and I-I've managed to co-condense it into a liquid before that's more potent than the gas. The doctor called it Narcolepsy." Izuku screwed his eyes shut and braced for the worst... but it never came, just a gentle hand patting his head.
Slowly he looked up to see Midnight giving him a sad smile. "It must be hard. I'm sure people have made plenty of assumptions about you and what you do with your quirk. I dealt with similar things while I was in school." she removed her hand from his head, and he felt a tug of sadness at the missing contact. "Tell me... well, first I suppose you should tell me your name, then tell me what you want to do with this quirk you have."
Izuku took a deep breath and stood up a little straighter "I-i'm Izuku Midoriya, and I want to be a hero! I've always loved heroes then when I saw you and how you have a quirk like mine. I took that as proof that I could be a hero and help people with my quirk. You're my favorite hero because of that."
Midnight smiled and laughed. "I have to say Midoriya, that's quite the reason to have me as your favorite hero. Not one that most people have."
The hero chuckled as the boy's face turned red, and he sputtered. "Calm down now. Here you should have this back." she returned his notebook to him "how about I make sure you get home without running into any more bullies, and you promise to go to UA when you're headed off to college."
Izuku took the notebook and nodded. "I've always wanted to go to UA, so that's easy, but um... before we go, can I get an autograph?"
Midnight laughed again and signed his notebook before leading the boy out of the alley he had hidden away in. as they got to the street, she looked at him, "so which way, kid?"
"U-um this way." Izuku stuttered as he started walking. Midnight smiled and followed shortly behind.
This was weird. He felt like everyone was staring at him as he walked, but he guessed they would since Midnight of all heroes was right next to him, just smiling and commenting on shops or restaurants she enjoyed visiting while in the area. It didn't take long till they were standing outside the orphanage that Izuku called home. "U-um well thank-"
"Izuku!" a feminine voice yelled before someone barreled into Izuku, pulling him into a hug "oh my god, there you are. You butt you didn't answer a single text or phone call I sent."
Midnight held back laughter as a woman taller than herself picked up Izuku, who was fumbling for his phone. Her bright green hair went down her shoulders on one side but was buzzed on the left. Midnight saw that despite calling him a butt and the reason she's going to develop a heart condition, the women's teal eyes were full of nothing but kindness and worry for the boy.
The woman noticed Midnight and promptly dropped Izuku "holy shi-... uh crap. Yep holy crap it's uh Midnight." the woman looked at Izuku "yo Izu. Why do you have our favorite lady hero following you home?
Midnight smiled and chuckled at the question "yes, it is. It's nice to meet another fan. I ran into Midoriya on patrol. He was hiding from bullies."
Iuzku shrank back as the woman's eyes darkened "those fu- stupid brats. Were they picking on you because of your quirk again?"
Izuku nodded "y-yeah, I um slipped away before they caught me, and that's when I-I ran into Midnight."
The woman's face softened "good, you didn't get hurt." she turned and bowed to Midnight "thank you for getting him home safe. I'm Yasuda Azuki. I mainly look after the older kids... which well is just Izuku."
"It's quite alright, Azuki. I was simply doing my job as a hero. Now, if you'll excuse me, I should get going. I've got a pratol to finish and projects back at UA to grade."
As Midnight left, she heard Yasuda squeal and give Izuku a high five when she saw he got Midnight's autograph. The hero chuckled before picking up the pace to make sure no villains were acting up.
Izuku quickly sat down on his bed as Yasuda sat in his desk chair and grinned at him "so Izu, let's talk about how you had freaking Midnight walking you home."
Izuku sighed and looked around his barren room. Across from the door to his room was a window that looked out onto the garden behind the orphanage, and to the right of the door was a bookshelf with his various journals and books on heros. Next to the bookshelf was the desk he used for school work. Just another old piece of furniture that had been here since the orphanage started. Across from his desk was the bed with its dark green sheets that he was currently sitting on.
If Izuku could afford to, there would have been hero merch covering every inch of his relatively small room, but alas, the orphanage didn't have the funds to give him enough allowance to afford that stuff. He kept his money for when he wanted a treat, or clothes that weren't hand-me-downs, or when he wanted to get something for the younger kids. They looked up to him since he was the oldest kid, so he treated them to little things that would make their faces light up with joy.
Yasuda snapped her fingers "come on, boy, I got laundry to get to, but I wanna hear details first because oh my god, she's so much hotter in person than tv, and her hero merch does not do her justice."
Izuku chuckled and thought about how much he wished his room could look like Yasuda's apartment. She had shown him pictures of all the merch she got for all her favorite heroes. She claimed to be the one who set him down the path of being a huge nerd when it came to heroes. He had quickly caught up to her and surpassed her in some aspects of hero knowledge, much to her joy. All the staff were wonderful, but his bond with Yasuda was special in a way no one else had managed, so he told her about what happened and how he ended up meeting Midnight.
Yasuda bit her tongue and tried not to curse. She was finding it hard to not let a storm out about how shit his school was and how she wished they could send him to a different one, but the government was clear on how the orphanage had to operate and where they could send their kids so that they kept getting funding.
This green-haired bean sprout of a boy had been here since before she started working, but they quickly got along, especially with how he would help around the orphanage doing chores and keeping the younger kids occupied. They knew he wouldn't get adopted. He was fourteen already, so the chances new parents would take the risk of raising a teenager who's lived in the system was slim to none. Yasuda would consider it, except she didn't make enough money, and she also didn't think she would be a good mom. She was much better as an older sister who annoyed and checked in on him.
Yasuda laughed as he nerded out and started muttering about Midnight and her quirk. She let him go on for a bit before snapping him back to reality and telling him to go check on the other kids while she finished the laundry.
Izuku smiled brightly as his woes were temporarily forgotten, and he rushed to go find the younglings who were probably terrorizing one of Yasuda's coworkers.
A week went by, and Midnight still found her thoughts drifting back to a plain-looking middle school boy who looked too sad and fragile for someone his age. He had a fire in his eyes when he said he wanted to be a hero, but it was like that flame was constantly being attacked from all sides, threatening to go out at any moment. She knew what it was like to be bullied for your quirk. She had dealt with it growing up as well. Despite the changes, quirks brought some things stayed the same, like how cruel people could be towards something that made them uncomfortable or feel vulnerable, and what does that better than a person who could put you to sleep at any moment.
She shook her head and looked over the city from the rooftop she was perched on. It was a slow day. Apparently, All Might had passed through while she was in UA teaching and rounded up a lot of villains so she could expect a few quiet days until word spread that he had moved on.
A clattering of metal hitting concrete got Midnight's attention. She looked down and saw a familiar mop of green hair tumbling over as three boys descended on him. Midnight frowned and made her way down to the group who had grabbed Izuku and were trying to get him to stop struggling enough to start beating him. Midnight landed with a soft thud and took a deep breath before speaking, "Hey! What do you think you three are doing?!"
The three boys trying to pin Izuku down stopped and looked back in shock at Midnight's stern face. They scrambled off Izuku, who moved away from them. Midnight huffed, "you three best explain what's going on."
The boys started stammering over each other, trying to explain how Izuku was getting punished because some girls said they caught him trying to knock them out with his quirk. Midnight's eye twitched, and she snapped her whip, shutting them up. "Midoriya, right?"
Izuku nodded frantically, and Midnight continued, "is it true what they said?"
"N-no i-it's not! I-I didn't do anything like that. I was just trying to go home!" Izuku stuttered out.
A stern glare from Midnight kept the other boys from speaking. "How about next time you go talk to a teacher instead of trying to take matters into your own hands. You three run along now, and don't let me catch you trying this again."
Once the boys ran off, Midnight sighed and looked at Izuku, who was still sitting on the ground "getting bullied for your quirk again?"
The boy nodded and flinched as she held her hand out for him. "Come on, let's get you home."
Izuku took her hand and was yanked up to his feet. Midnight shook her head "you know you're kinda scrawny for a boy trying to be a hero."
"I-i uh was hoping to get a job during high school and maybe save money for weights or something."
"You should go on a jog in the morning or something. Start doing pushups and stuff. It'll be better the sooner you start." Midnight smiled "also if you start getting stronger, you can beat those punks up if I'm not around to save you."
As the two got onto the main street, Izuku stammered, "Sh-should a hero really be telling me to get strong, so I can beat people up?"
Midnight waved her finger "no, no, no I'm not telling you that. I'm saying get strong, so you can defend yourself without your quirk. That way, it's self-defense, and you don't break any quirk laws."
"O-oh. I guess I could start exercising more... though maybe I get enough running in as it is." he thought his attempt at making light of his bully situation was going to fall through, but Midnight chuckled before quickly catching herself.
Midnight cleared her throat and tried to look serious "bullying is not a laughing matter, kid. Do your teachers not do anything about it? Or have you not told them?"
She watched him tense up and started taking an interest in the sidewalk "w-well, I-I told them, but they don't seem to c-care."
Midnight growled 'quirk discrimination most likely. Those stuck up fucks. How are there still people like that around nowadays?!' she took a breath to calm down before speaking "what about Azuki? It seems like she knows all about it."
Izuku nodded "she wants me to go to a different school, but Aldera is the only middle school the orphanage can send kids to due to regulations. If they try to send them somewhere else, we could lose our government funding."
Midnight scoffed at what seemed like a ridiculous requirement for an orphanage. She noticed Izuku chewing his lip, so she set aside her complaints, "what's on your mind, Midoriya?"
Izuku jumped a bit "u-um, well, I was just thinking... you're not acting like you usually do on the news and stuff."
Midnight grinned "oh are you saying you want me to be flirty with you? Honestly, some boys these days are too bold for their own good."
She laughed as Izuku blushed and sputtered. After a moment, she patted his head. "Midnight is just a persona I use while being a hero." Midnight explained as they got closer to the orphanage. "It's a way to bring some comedy and a little fun to the aftermath, and it's surprising how much flirting with a villain can throw them off in a fight." she chuckled, seeing Izuku's eyes light up at the reason. "I use it when I need to, but sometimes it's better to drop the act and be more like myself. Like with you. I can tell you'd probably be too much of a mess if I spoke to you like Midnight."
Izuku nodded still with a blush on his face "y-yeah probably. I-I see the use for a persona, but... I always thought heroes were just themselves."
"You'd be surprised, kid. Personas are actually really common in the hero community. It just helps us manage the stress of the job. Now run home and tell Azuki what happened, and don't let the bullies dampen your spirit. I'm sure you'll be a good hero, y'know once you get some muscle on you."
Izuku's smile made Midnight smile as he ran off home to speak to Yasuda about today.
After his talk with Midnight and then talking to Yasuda, Izuku started going on jobs before school and watching videos on Yesudas' phone to learn how to do some exercises at home. It was hard work to keep himself motivated and on track, but it got easier as he dedicated a notebook to tracking his progress. His muscles ached and burned the day after his workouts, but he found himself sleeping better, and he focused better in school. The new motivation and energy that came with his workouts lead to him pouring himself into his hero analysis and his studies, and he rose in the ranks at school.
Sadly the bullying didn't let up. People had new accusations every week, and Izuku found himself running more and more to escape his tormentors. Thanks to his workouts, though, more times than not, he would get away. Unknown to him a certain hero smiled proudly every time she crossed paths and saw him escape.
Midnight felt like she should do more, but she wasn't sure. She had some contacts with the police, but she would need more proof to get them to act. She could go to Nezu; he specialized in systematically dismantling organizations that weren't up to snuff. That was part of why she hesitated to bring him in. He was terrifying, and if he got involved, who knows where he'd stop. He could end up targeting the entire Japanese school system, or when he found out Izuku was in an orphanage, the rat may target that system for reform. The more she thought about it, the more it sounded kinda like a good idea. Maybe she would run it by Shota and the others first.
Shota groaned as he laid in the corner of the teacher's lounge. He could hear the click of heels getting closer. He knew any second now- The door swung open, and Nemuri smiled "what's up fuckers! I got a situation I need your advice on."
Thirteen set down their tea, and Nemuri took in the rare sight of her fellow teacher. Thirteen was seldom seen without their costume on, but whenever they were, Nemuri made sure to memorize the heroes' features. Soft silver eyes like stars and a face framed by deep blue hair kept short, so they wouldn't struggle with their helmet.
Shaking herself free of the staring contest, she accidentally entered with the space hero. She saw Hizashi nudging Shota to make sure he paid attention. The voice hero spoke, "so what's the deal, Nemuri?"
Nemuri sat on the couch and sighed, "well, it started a few weeks ago." She explained how she met Izuku and the couple run-ins they had.
Thirteen nodded. "I can see why you're hesitant to bring Nezu in on this. He does get pretty intense."
Hizashi snapped his fingers "oh, I got it. Just do what Shota did and adopt the kid. Then you can move him somewhere safer."
The room went quiet as Shota glared at Hizashi. "I hate you so much."
The voice hero laughed, "no, you don't."
Nemuri waved her hands "hold up, Shota, you have a kid now? Like you actually adopted a kid? You didn't just like kidnap them, did you?"
Shota scoffed and sank into his sleeping bag "no, I didn't. I was on patrol and heard a ruckus. I found a kid Shinso Hitoshi getting abused by his parents because of his quirk, so I saved him and then... yeah, kept him around. He's got potential, and he needs a good place, so I gave him one."
Nemuri felt like her worldview was shifting. Grumpy ol Shota was a dad now, and he hadn't told anyone except Hizashi, which made sense; those two were basically joined at the hip no matter how much Shota claimed he didn't like it. "wow, how long ago did this happen?"
The erasure hero grumbled, "three months ago."
Nemuri gasped, "three months! How could you keep such a sweet story from me for so long?"
"Because I know how you get. Now let me sleep. I have a class to teach in a few hours." Shota said, curling up in his sleeping bag and closing his eyes, effectively ending the conversion.
Thirteen asked, "So any idea on what you're gonna do?"
Nemuri shook her head. "I'm not sure. I don't think adopting the kid would be a good idea. I mean," she gestured to herself, "unlike Shota, I'm a spotlight hero, and y'know how the media loved to find any reason to dig into me. If I got a kid... I don't know; it feels like that would just be bad for both of us."
Thirteen shrugged as Nemuri started to leave. "I'll figure something out, I'm sure of it. I'm as smart as I am sexy."
Nemuri tried not to blush as she was pretty sure she wasn't supposed to hear Thirteen mutter, "Yeah, you are."
Several days after her talk with the others, Midnight sat on a rooftop and saw Izuku come running down the alley. This time his pursuer was a single boy with ash blonde hair. He looked extra angry compared to the usual bullies. Part of her nagged that as a hero she should step in every time Izuku showed up with bullies on his tail, but the more logical side, as Eraserhead would put it, said he needed the experience of slipping away from others and that if she saved him every time he wouldn't be prepared for when she wasn't there. Not that she let them beat Izuku up, she just wouldn't interfere unless he was caught, then she would jump in and save him.
It was looking like it would be one of those days. The ash-blonde boy was catching up, and Midnight stood up, ready to make her way down until she heard an explosion. Her eyes shot down to confirm that yes, the boy had just used his quirk on Izuku and was standing over the green-haired boy with his palms setting off tiny explosions.
Midnight descended quickly. It was one thing to try and beat someone up with your fist, but to use your quirk? Either he was several ignorant of quirk laws, or he thought he could get away with it. Both were concerning options. As she got down to the ground and rushed around the corner, she could hear the boy shouting, "You stupid fucking Deku! I told you to stop with those creepy fucking notebooks, and what's with you, huh? You're still a scrawny fuck but don't think I don't see you putting on muscle! What you think some useless villain fuck like you could ever be a hero?!"
Midnight was already tearing her sleeve as another explosion rang out when Izuku tried to stammer a response. Both boys looked confused as her quirk washed over them. Much to Midnight's surprise, Izuku didn't pass out. He simply seemed half asleep as his head bobbed slightly. "M-Midnight?"
Midnight smiled "hey, kid. Having trouble?"
Izuku's head lolled back for a moment before going forward again. "Y-yeah. Bakugo... saw my notebook. He doesn't like tat I'm tryin to be a hero."
Midnight pulled Katsuki off Izuku and pulled out her restraints. She made sure his palms were pressed against his back as she restrained him and pulled her phone out.
Izuku was regaining his senses and asked, "w-what are you doing?"
Midnight blinked, "calling the police to bring a car over. This kid just used his quirk to assault you. He's going to get in trouble for this."
She saw the pensive look on his face and worried that he was going to be against it. She'd seen it plenty with victims. They would try to protect their abusers out of fear of what could happen if it didn't work. Izuku surprised her, though, as he nodded. "I- I wish it didn't happen, but... y-yeah, I know he has to."
"Good. now come on, they'll need your statement."
Izuku scrambled to his feet, grabbing his backpack and following Midnight as she dragged a still out cold Katsuki.