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So, your quirk is haunted...

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This, they think, is not what we expected.

 

They knew that the time of the Eighth was coming to a close— could feel the coursing of their power through his veins gradually becoming weaker and weaker as that injury tacked onto him by monster-cruel-brother-evil-murderer sapped away more at more at his strength. But this. This is… odd. 

 

No more odd than a quirk that stockpiles fragments of long-dead souls, but odd nonetheless.

 

Midoriya Izuku is far from the perfect vessel for them and for their power. Having no eyes and no connection to the world beyond their current vessel, there is no way to actually experience the boy until the transference of One-for-All, but the memories that filter through Eighth’s subconscious at the end of each day are telling enough.

 

Midoriya Izuku. They aren’t sure what to think of him— or, more accurately, Fourth and Second are doubtful. Seventh and Fifth see strength hidden behind too-intelligent eyes. First edges toward the side of hesitance, but First was the first to face evil-brother-killer, and First was made weary too young.

 

Their prospective Ninth wielder is an enigma. He is… he is delicate. Too restless, too willing to fight. Too willing to throw everything away for another. An unsuitable, fragile vessel.

 

He… has potential.

 

But how much?

 

Not enough. Brother will tear him apart— he’s not strong enough.

 

Not yet.

 

He won’t make it.

 

Have a little faith. Toshinori wouldn’t make a bad choice for us.

 

Eighth may not be the brightest of individuals to hold this quirk of theirs, but he is frighteningly perceptive when it comes to people. One has to be, to maintain such power and presence for so long. Seventh insists that Eighth’s choice will prove to hold true as time passes, and as they lack a body and influence, they can only hope that Seventh is right.

 

Through the jumbled thoughts and memories from Eighth that slip through to them, they understand this: Midoriya Izuku is an attentive, cunning boy. He understands quirks at an advanced level— not as advanced as Brother, though, but nobody else has lived as long as that man, so that is to be expected. 

 

Most of all, he is selfless.

 

As far as they, a disembodied bundle of consciousnesses— a collection of vestiges carried in this sleeper car of a quirk— can see, Midoriya Izuku is just that: selfless, almost to a fault. If there were seats in the not-afterlife, they would surely have been sitting at the edges of theirs as, through flashes of light and colour and sound and pain, their newfound-Ninth swings a punch at some truly monstrous, hulking behemoth, and virtually levels it in a single hit.

 

What did I tell you?

 

He… he can’t control it at all. One-for-All has grown too strong. He’ll wreck his body if he keeps emulating Eighth.

 

I get that he was on a time-crunch, but your successor is a moron, Seventh.

 

Shut it, Fifth. Toshinori’s heart is in the right place.  

 

As the boy blacks out— they know he’s unconscious because their quirk, held tight like a lifeline, relaxes as he slips into it— they remain hushed. And then-

 

He isn’t hopeless.






They watch, from there on out. As much as they can from within the confines of their quirk. Silent and careful observation has lent itself best to them in their lifetimes, and now is no different— and Ninth, seemingly meek, is somewhat unhinged. Instead of utilising their quirk carefully because it shatters his bones, he simply pushes through the agony in what they hope won’t become a trend.

 

Breaking just a finger is better than the whole arm. It’s an improvement.

 

You’re entirely too fond of him, Seventh.

 

Is that such a bad thing? Ninth reminds her of Toshinori as a child, anyway.

 

And then the attack on the USJ happens, and they have to reevaluate a few things. Midoriya Izuku is more than meets the eye— and while he doesn’t look like a hero from a single glance, they think he might be slightly better, an odd mix of traits belonging to heroes and villains both. After all, being underestimated is possibly the biggest advantage their vessel can utilise, at his current level. 

 

He’s… cunning. Like him. He watches quirks and plans.

 

In anyone else, that trait would be a threat to their existence. Instead, it’s their vessel who is capable of taking a glance at a quirk and understanding it in the following moment. It makes the boy dangerous.

 

Are you foolish? The boy is still weak. He’s a glass cannon.

 

He’s growing, though. Come on, look, he couldn’t even use our quirk a month ago. Now look at him.

 

But he can’t hear us. He can’t see us.

 

And none of us could see the others until we died. He has potential. Be patient. 

 

I think… First begins, then stops. They come to a pause, waiting— after all, it’s rare for the original One-for-All user to speak up without being spoken to first. An unpleasant trait lingering from his time in captivity under that man’s orders.

 

Brother is certainly alive. Even if Eighth can’t feel it, I can. But Ninth… something is different about him.

 

The modified monster Ninth and Eighth faced is a guarantee that All for One lives. They may have been dead for many years, but no other quirk in existence is capable of producing so twisted a monster of another human being, dead or alive.

 

After spending so long waiting for their battle to end and going beyond death to give what strength they have left to their future wielders, waiting for Midoriya Izuku to defy their expectations again is far easier. 






They remain dormant for several days more before the next bizarre instance reaches them— and instead of experiencing secondhand memories, they’re dragged out from the blackness into a vast, open plain as little more than inky-black shadows.

 

There’s grey. Clouds everywhere, and a haze as thick as smoke from a forest fire swathing the plain from all directions. But, through it all, they see him— and he sees them.

 

Green eyes widen, confused and scared and awestruck all at once. It’s humbling, they think. So they reach to him, more like wisps of smoke than souls with any distinct form, and it’s enough— One-for-All sparks to life all over again, coursing through his veins, and it’s enough to shake off the muddying mental hold the Brainwasher had over their vessel. 

 

He wins his battle easily, after that, sweeping through the fight like a storm. Even when the tournament comes to a close with their Ninth being knocked unconscious— he’s too reckless, First’s weary voice rises above the vibrations of their mutual curiosity, and there is room for improvement in the boy, but isn’t that exactly what he is doing?

 

Imagine what he could do once he hears us, Seventh murmurs, and for a moment, their Quirk runs hushed with the prospect. They had all seen shadows of the ghosts haunting their quirk at some point when they were alive.

 

Never before had they been able to exert any influence on their current vessel, though.

 

He’s different. First is firmer this time. If they were more than vaguely interacting consciousnesses, he would be smiling, they think. He won’t be like us.

 

The sentiment ripples among them even if Third and Second remain silent, watching on wordlessly.






For the longest while, nothing more of significance happens— but the flashes of consciousness from Ninth grow stronger and more frequent the more he settles into their quirk. Enough so that when Eighth passes Midoriya Izuku to his mentor for training, they’re thinly able to gather real information.

 

This guy scares Eighth…?

 

Leave Sorahiko alone, Daigoro. He’s much more than he looks like.

 

When Ninth is firmly beaten into the floor, they simmer down and observe, as they’ve spent so long doing in the past. He has much to learn, but he has the drive to rise to the challenge. He is… refreshing. Not hopeless or wary or hostile, like some of them, but warm in a way not even Eighth has been so far. 

 

By the end of the training, Ninth is so much stronger. One-for-All is much more receptive to his new technique— his Full Cowl, as he calls it— and it takes their vessel from dangerous to threat. They can only imagine how the boy will grow with time, if a mere handful of days of training can elevate him into a position of taking down a criminal most would have struggled against. 






In the end, it boils down to this: they aren’t expecting it, either. 

 

There are a lot of unexpected things about their vessel— like how, with the assistance of the quirk that feels like spun gold and endless energy and such kindness, Ninth can utilise their full, raw power. Not their separate quirks, not yet. He isn’t at that level yet. But he was a sight to behold with One-for-All setting his form aglow with ozone and lightning, and they’d felt it then: a spark, preparing to bloom into a roaring wildfire. 

 

It’s him, First told them then. It will be him. For once, something other than mellow consideration flickered through his voice— something akin to desperation, to a kind of burning belief that felt painful to them. 

 

And then, months after then, it happens.

 

When the boy slips into their realm, half-asleep and only possessing parts of his body— how odd, they think, and the thrill runs through One-for-All like a lightning strike— he stares at them. He sees them, and while he cannot speak, they can. 

 

So First steps forward, a pale ghost of a boy with a too-soft voice, and shows him why. Why they fight, their very origins in bloodshed between brother and brother. Ninth watches on, enraptured, his lone fist clenching absently against the fog. He’s raging— for them, feeling so much for them, and— and they think First might be right.

 

“You’re not alone,” First says, and when he makes contact with Ninth’s hand, One-for-All— reacts. It sparks and explodes, and their vessel wakes up wide-eyed and panting for breath.

 

It’s the first time sensation has reached them beyond reliving simple memories. One-for-All is waking up now, and they aren’t sure what it means— just that everything about this boy is different and right, and their first thoughts of him had been hilariously far off what this boy truly is.

 

Maybe this time… 






The next day, Daigoro’s quirk explodes out of the fray without any warning at all. 

 

All they feel is the raw, unadulterated terror from Ninth slipping through their fog so clearly that they can’t help but startle into being, and Daigoro’s presence is giddy among them, despite the fact that their vessel is currently waging a losing battle against his own quirk. They’ve resided within his One-for-All long enough now to know that the guilt would tear him apart if he were to accidentally harm one of his friends.

 

In retrospect, their excitement definitely didn’t help their vessel come down from his panic.

 

At least it wasn’t Float? Seventh mutters, and their relief that their vessel didn’t go hurtling into the stratosphere is cut short when the misty plains they now reside in shutter to darkness. A swift review of the last things that filtered through Midoriya Izuku’s mind reveal to them that the Brainwasher had made his return, and Ninth is hurtling into their realm once more.

 

He’s confused, this time. They are all shadows but Fifth is no longer shackled into the mist, fully corporeal and staring at his own hands with something akin to wonder in his eyes. It’s been far too long since they’ve had any body at all. Their vessel cannot see them, not yet, and Daigoro peers into the shadows with a widening grin on his face.

 

Tone it down, Daigoro. They warn. Their vessel is frightened, after all, and Daigoro is a man who can be… a little much, all at once. Their Fifth rolls his eyes, and strolls beyond their shadows into the light of the plains where Midoriya Izuku waits, shackled by the inky tendrils that they recognise as the Blackwhips quirk.

 

It seems so long ago now that they’d settled into their vessel, and had been so doubtful— and they’d been so wrong about their boy then, because now he was managing what none of them ever had alone, shouldering the burden of their quirks and the memories associated with them. 

 

You are not alone, First had told their boy. No matter what comes their way from here on out, that will remain true so long as their vessel continues to fight on.

 

 




Their vessel is a natural when it comes to analysing their quirks. Through Ninth’s eyes, they have seen Eighth as he struggled to dig up all and any information on their quirks, their pasts— the faintest scraps of information that might prove useful to Ninth as he comes to receive all of their abilities. The stockpiler, the sleeper car, the black-whips, float, the danger sense— they only regret that Ninth isn’t quite able to meet them willingly yet. If he were, they could tell him their stories directly. 

 

Control is still a struggle for him though. It will come, in time. They have faith in Ninth and in his abilities.






There is more to the mission their vessel has been sent on that meets the eye. It is no mere trip for a work study. Discontent rolls through them like an ocean tide, vast and churning, because even without a name and without any true manifestation of their Fourth’s quirk, Danger Sense echoes within their tangled vestiges.

 

This is a suicide mission, even if nobody can sense it yet. Years of stockpiled strength and experience in handling that man’s foul aura are all that keep them ahead of the destruction that will fall upon the city their vessel is evacuating— they know, they know, they know and they’re sending him here regardless-?— and unless they give some kind of warning, their vessel will die.

 

They are not strong yet, but for their Ninth, they will be. 

 

He’s coming, First warns, ghostly voice cracking in its urgency. This presence feels like that man’s but so different all the same, ice-cold like frostbite, breaking apart and reforming and pressing against their awareness with a stifling pressure. Stop him.

 

He’s not ready yet, he’s still too young for this, he’s younger than any of us were when we faced him-

 

-tell him to retreat, this isn’t the time for him to face that bastard-

 

We can’t do anything.

 

We have to, we can’t just- leave him to his mercy, it’s not just him or us anymore, it’s-




 

In the midst of the bloodshed and rapidly unfurling war, the people they recognise as friends and allies fall far too rapidly. Panic blooms through Ninth's heart like a wildfire, prickling at the edges of their consciousness— and the monster that man made of Seventh's grandson tears through mentors and teachers as if they'd never been there in the first place. 

 

Sorahiko-


Seventh’s grief swells and the shackles restraining her strength shatter under the weight of it— and unlike last time, there is no Brainwasher here to allow for them to meet their vessel and explain the quirk, neither is there time for such frivolous things. They have to hold tight to their trust in Ninth’s abilities and let him handle this in any way he can.

 

And so unlike last time, Ninth is ready for the onslaught of their stored power. 

 

He leaps, and he lets Float course through him, and within the grasp of Blackwhips he holds his allies and friends while staring down the boy warped into a monster by that man and a fractured society.

 

Three of them at once? Sixth, ever collected, is distinctly stunned by this and they’ve never been so proud of their host, even though they’re staring down what could very well kill them all. Decay truly is a terrifying quirk to face off against, especially now that Erasure is unable to hold off the tidal waves of destruction.

 

This is all him.

 

Their vessel, so far from the weedy and hesitant boy they’d first been passed onto, does what dozens of much older, much more experienced heroes cannot— he brutally engages the not-quite All for One before them into a deadly battle high in the soft blue sky, and around the dread prickling through them as Fourth’s Danger Sense slips through the cracks left by the sudden emergence of Seventh’s Float, there is nothing but pride in them.

 

Ninth has come far. Witnessing his growth from meek boy to terrifying opponent has been fulfilling. And as he is their hope, they will be his salvation— because they will not let him fall in this battle.

 

Ultimately, they don’t need to. Ninth’s friend takes a blow that may well have killed their vessel, had it struck true— he falls, falls, falls, and-

 

Ninth’s anger truly burns so much more fiercely when there is love for the flames to feed upon. 

 

 




They weren’t expecting to ever meet him in their domain. Nor his successor.

 

Regardless, when they are all awoken from the shroud that had taken over Ninth’s vision, their plains have expanded and connected to what feels distinctly ancient, rotten to the core. It is repulsive and vile and undoubtedly that man, so they rise up because they have fallen to him far too many times by now to risk it happening a ninth and final time.

 

He has not changed. He proclaims that their power has been wasted, yet he lies attached like a parasite to his vessel, sapping away at strength unwillingly given. He is pathetic and weak and clinging to the scraps of his power, and they know in that instant as the All-for-One successor struggles— the combined strength of both All for Ones will not be enough to defeat their One-for-All. Not this time. 

 

Conferring this power to someone so worthless was a mistake!

 

Ninth wilts at those words, and they are long since dead but they rage for him, just as he did, has and will continue to do so for them. 

 

Their rolling voices run over and through each other like static, and they are all there, even if only Seventh and First have the strength to regain their true forms in the face of that man and his chosen successor.

 

Imperfect though he is, he is ours.

 

Our power is his, and we shall follow him.

 

Their momentary battle ends as soon as it had begun— with an explosion of light and colour as Ninth is harshly cast back into consciousness, plummeting down through the sky. Their strength is spent, the edges of their realm blurring from emptiness and mist into shapes, forms— a room with nine chairs, and worlds made of their fractured glass shards hiding just beyond the windows. 

 

They cannot protect him now, but his allies can. Their relief is unanimous, rippling through their exhausted quirk, so they fall back into their host’s unconsciousness calm, knowing that— with his body’s battered state and his allies lining up to shield him— Ninth will be protected while they regain their lost strength.

 

 




That was far too close.

 

He isn’t regaining consciousness…

 

He’s lucky to be alive at all. Let him rest.

 

But they can still hear, bizarrely, noise trickling through the fog like rain. Sparse sounds that paint the picture of a hospital. That, at least, is not beyond them right now. They are ineffectual and weak at this moment in time, but their connection to the world beyond their vessel is not severed completely.

 

Fourth’s quirk is what keeps them safe— it thrums through them and their slumbering Ninth. If anything were to happen, they would do everything in their power to protect him. Not just out of obligation to protect their vessel, not anymore— because it seems the boy is so reluctant to protect himself when there may be others in need of their power, and that is the very essence of their continuing existence.

 

Our power is his, they had said, and they mean it. So long as Ninth lives on, they’ll protect him. With the target their quirk has painted onto his back, it seems the least they can do now. But as they rest and recover from the battle that tore a city asunder and near-annihilated them, all they can do is wait for him.

 

His presence is stronger among them now than it has been in the past— not just Eighth, but Ninth also. Ninth rests beyond their reach, tangled among the threads of exhaustion and battle injuries; he is unlikely to join them to confer any time soon. But Eighth… the embers of One-for-All residing within Eighth flicker just beyond their vessel. 

 

This must be hell for Toshi, Seventh sighs, and— they must agree. Perhaps they were fortunate to have passed on before they could ever see their successor barely survive an encounter with All for One. They may rest within Ninth, able to sense the aches and damage across his body, but they cannot see him. 

 

Perhaps that is for the best. They may be long dead, but it wouldn’t do for their rage to disturb One-for-All, and Ninth’s slumber in kind. He must recover. This isn’t over. Not yet. 

 

They have faith in him, though. 

 

He’s coming, First whispers. There is no dread this time— only muted curiosity; pride. They sit a little straighter in their seats at the crumbling throne-room of their quirk, and they look into the abyss beyond where the floor has eroded away into nothingness. Lingering scars from the attempt made by that man’s successor on their very being. 

 

True to First’s words, there is a stirring in their quirk, like it is on the precipice of awakening. Eighth’s shadow lingers among them— without true form, but rippling like sunlight. The fog is shifting, and they know that their current holder will emerge from it, once he is ready.

 

We’ve long since passed the point of singularity, they had once uttered. Those words stand true. He is ours, they think. Our Ninth. The strongest and kindest of them yet. The best of them, the last of them.

 

They have faith he will be more than enough. He is Midoriya Izuku, and they know there is no better individual alive to wield One-for-All than him.