Izuku reeled his head back, heart thundering in his chest as soon as Nighteye had spoken. The panic filled him faster than the realization he was in a room of three heroes; Two of which were at UA and knew him personally, Aizawa being the one to fucking teach him.
I fucked up- I really fucked up-
His heart hammered in his chest, and he barely had the chance to rip himself backward before the familiar capture weapon of his mentor had wrapped around him expertly; Grabbing his limbs and restraining him before he could even process the change of pace- The world starting to spin as anxiety bubbled its way into his mind.
He should have realized messing up so early on would lead to a flaw within the timeline, and yet, he had assumed that killing himself to reverse the damages wouldn’t show up in his future?
Was he stupid?
The vigilante didn’t dwell on his idiocy, biting his tongue harshly and trying to weave his arm away and out of the already tight fabric that had started to permanently restrict him. He wasn’t fast enough- Fuck.
Almost immediately, he backtracked from the plan of ripping away, strangling his anxiety and shoving it into a metaphorical tin box. It wasn’t a good plan to let fear control him or make him act, even if it was easier than keeping a level head in a situation that would possibly get him killed.
And it wouldn’t even be because he had to reset!
It’d genuinely be from the upbringing of his identity, and therefore link his future to his quirk and status as a vigilante and everything else that might go hazy without predictions. Hazy and blurry and undetermined and unknown because Izuku couldn’t just choose to stay in one path of choices- No, he had to fix every small mistake.
Now he paid the price of risking never being able to fix things for as long as he lived- All because of a single misstep. A single misstep that he needed to fix and reset and restart so he wouldn’t keep this as a permanent event-
He clenched his jaw, feeling a sense of dread pool in his stomach the world going dark and shadowy around him. He heard voices, but the hammering in his chest was enough to block out the words and nearly panicked sentences being spoken by Nighteye and his teacher; As well as Mirio.
Without missing a beat, he thrusted his arms outwards and flicked his wrist; Expecting a knife to fling out in a similar precaution to his hero suit. There was a momentary pause in his mind, a stumble in his plan of escape, and then he realized he didn’t have a fucking knife.
He froze right on the spot, eyes wide under his goggles as he stared directly where a knife should have appeared from, a weapon that would grant him a chance to reset and fix the mess he was in.
“Oh fuck.” His words came strangled.
The room went silent; And he felt eyes burn holes through his tensed frame. It didn’t take long before his mind spiraled, and he realized that this situation might become a permanent event- He might actually fall down today, because he forgot to slip a knife into his forearm’s sheath.
If I fall, if I get caught- His mind was racing, heart beating and anxiety starting to heighten and increase with each second that went by. He didn’t have a knife- He didn’t have a knife to cut his teacher’s weapon.
The vigilante should have been prepared to flee as soon as he was aware of Aizawa following him, he should have politely declined and tried to slip away rather than go off on some adventure to talk to a pro-hero who could get him found out and captured per the laws of Japan. He should have just stayed home this weekend.
Izuku might actually got caught today, and have to risk more than just his sanity and secrets to get out of it- He might not even be able to get out of it-
There were a few beats of silence, before Izuku yanked himself out of the seat and clattered backwards; The cloth immediately tightening around his body uncomfortably. He would have screamed at the sudden construction, the sudden lack of air from his unpredicted movement, but he was already panicking and muttering curses to have the time to dwell on the fact he couldn’t breathe anymore.
His voice cracked as he scrambled off to the side, legs pushing himself into a roll and letting him put distance between the three other people in the room. “Oh fuck. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck-”
The scarf cut into his circulation, tight around his limbs and unwilling to give him much leverage. He could hear Aizawa swiftly retract the scarf a bit, having caught on far too quickly as to what Izuku had started doing. Suffocation; He was trying to make it too hard to breathe- To make his body lose its will to function due to the sudden cut off of air.
“Ace.” He heard a voice rapidly get closer- Concerned and thick with sudden fear.
It grounded him briefly, grabbed his attention from the whirling mind he called his own. But it was only for a few seconds; A few precious moments of awareness before he returned to choking on his own saliva and trying not to struggle against the way his lungs begged for him to breathe. He couldn’t risk staying alive too long, couldn’t take the risk of letting this turn into a real event.
It already felt too real for his likings.
“I should have brought a-another knife-” His words were coming out too fast and he rolled back onto his feet, crouching with his torso entrapped with his teacher’s cloth, fear pounding in his head as the world around him moved and flickered at his lack of oxygen and high levels of stress.
You’d think he’d be able to focus better, having dealt with the Gekkeiju’s torturous methods of interrogation and Fury’s quirk nearly every weekend and every time he was expected to report back to that hell hole. The only purpose of him going was to see Mouse; Was to stay and try and talk to Mouse at every chance he got because that was the only reason he was even allowing himself to go back.
“Ace, breathe,” Someone was besides him, and he recognized the voice to be Aizawa’s. It stung a bit more, for his teacher to be the one to always have to deal with him, as Izuku Midoriya or as Ace.
He wished he was alone in darkness again; Somewhere safer than the place he was in. He wished he was in a place of warmth and understanding, a sickly sweet empathy that would rest heavily on the person’s shoulders who bore such a pain like his own.
No one knew what it was like to die and come back from the tug of death; Nonone knew why he was so addicted to the scent of copper in the air, or water turned sour and metallic with red hues. Cobalt shades covered his skin and littered his body, red leaking out from the tint of pills that weren’t made for overdosage and high consumption.
If he had just gone home instead of patrolling for as long as he did, he would t have to deal with the mistake he was currently struggling to get out of now. He would be back at home, back asleep, back eating something to soothe the hunger in his body and shakiness of his limbs.
Fuck; He could be home reading sometjing online while his mother watched TV besides him on the couch, like alwyas. Izuku could have done anything but go with Aizawa to meet Nighteye, and now, because his quirk wasn’t actually ‘Mulligan’ or any future-seeing quirk, he had to face the desperation and sickness that plagued him like every other mission when he lived through it for the first time.
“I should have been more c-careful,” He choked, eyes wide and unfocused under his goggles. He wasn’t sure if he was talking to the heroes in the room or himself, but at least he was still trying to do something. Panic was an excellent motivator, especially if it meant risking your freedom and already questionable will to live. “I’m sorry, I-I’m sorry,”
He didn’t mean to let his words slip, or let his voice crack or freak out or lose his composure; But trust weighed deeply upon him and he had no idea as to how he was supposed to let go of all of those complicated emotions because one person said they gave a damn about him.
“Ace, I need you to breathe.” Aizawa’s voice caught his attention, and distantly Izuku wondered if he was muttering out loud all of his worries and personal matters. If he was, that would only add onto the burden of the world he lived in.
Sharp anger pierced through him, and he groaned inwardly, screwing his eyes shut under his goggles and feeling the tears spill from his eyes. He wished he had the guts to take his visor off to glare at the people in the room; But he had no such thing in his current state.
So he forced himself to reply as best he could.
“A-And I need to reset,” He snapped back, voice wavering. His hands were clenched into fists as a form of coping. The vigilante needed to reset, and needed to get them to let him go. As such, that type of wish was very literally impossible to ever get- So he had to do things the hard and frustrating way.
“What can I do to help?” A question was asked, but everything was buzzing and Izuku could hear his blood rush in his ears. It was violent and washed over him like a thick downpour of rain; Tarnishing what little compatibility the vigilante had left in his system.
He couldn’t get the noise to stop or cancel out; And he couldn’t feel the circulation in his hands anymore. Maybe they lost feeling and went numb, maybe Izuku was truly on the border of snapping and losing all empathy and humanity that people should possess.
Either answer sounded plausible.
“Nothing.” The teenager replied again, trying to match his breathing to the hero’s. If he could take it all back in favor of risking his bond with the pro-hero, he would, because at least then he wouldn’t be on the border of sobbing in a hero-agency over something that he should have been able to reset from.
Aizawa hesitated with his words, shooting a glance that could mean a thousand different things to Nighteye and Mirio. Fuck. His teacher was talking again, but the words felt hazy in his ears. “Is resetting going to help you? How can we help?”
Without missing a beat, he shook his head and tried to force himself to stop shaking. He had one goal in mind, and if he couldn’t complete it, he was thoroughly screwed. I’m already screwed. Izuku thought distantly, a pained laugh enabling the depths of his mind and spinning around in his head for several moments. It was dark and it hurt to hear from his own head, but he couldn’t get away.
Izuku sucked in a shuddering breath, trying so hard to not break down and just scream at them to let him die. If he did that, he doubted it’d help him in any form. It’d make things so much worse; And as such, he couldn’t risk that choice. He had too many things he was risking already.
His chest was heaving and he felt sick; Dizzy and out of place. It felt like his body wasn’t his own anymore, that his body was barely connected to reality and he was about to pass out. I can’t pass out if it’s not the tug of my quirk, He decided faintly, not a ring if he had muttered it out loud. Inside his head it was a light and nearly rueful tone, weak and soft as if it was a hand caressing another’s face without any fear.
For a brief moment, he wondered if he’d be forced to get placed under suicide watch after this, if he couldn’t get away somehow and drive a knife into his arteries like some twisted game.
This is a game. The teenager whispered inwardly. And I’m losing.
The world felt heavy around him, and he knew he had lowered himself downwards onto his knees so his body wouldn’t shake and fall over; But now his legs had buckled under him and he was still uncomfortably restrained as his hair fell into his face, and he could hear his own shaking- As if his shaking even produced a noise. Maybe it did, and he’d just never realized because his mind was too busy occupied with sobbing.
For a brief moment, the world slipped away and his vision blackened. It darkened and stretched and his gaze under his goggles went blurry and turned into a void of endless senses that collided with whatever nerves that remained intact and functional.
Then it came back, and he felt a gentle hand on his back. It made his body freeze, muscles tench and wind up like metal coiling in a ball-point pen, and he prepared for a quirk. He prepared for the fiery heat that left bruises and his mind in scatters, waited for the burning of his system that came in sharp and rabid stings and psychotic laughs that spewed out of Fury’s mouth.
But it didn’t come; And he was left with empty anticipation and a gentle touch that stayed on his back, grounding him away from unconsciousness. It wasn’t his quirk, sadly, meaning he had just been teetering over the edge of passing out from a meltdown that he couldn’t even vocally express.
The hand on his back was supposed to keep him aware and awake; Which was both understandable and nearly sweet, but it was cruel irony. Maybe Izuku would have rather wanted to pass the fuck out instead of staying awake and facing off against whatever hells were yet to come.
It wouldn’t be as bad as Fury’s quirk, or something choking him, or the drowsy feeling of sickness that came with pills and medication that wasn’t meant for high doses- Like the time Neito had come into his room and found him, nearly dead. But he wasn’t ‘normal’, and had developed a pretty alarming pain tolerance; Developed a resistance to pain that caused him to black out as the agony swept over him.
He tried to clear his vision, but the tears had already fallen and he couldn’t get them to stop once they started. They'd pool in the edges of his goggles and leak out soon enough, but it still hurt to try and explain his own desires. The tears didn’t help, either. In fact, they made everything about five times worse than it already was. “Knife. I need a f-fuckin’ knife, Eraserhead.”
“I can’t give you a knife, Ace.” Aizawa said again, voice careful and unnervingly calm. Or maybe it was just unnerving because Izuku wanted to be drowning in his own blood right now and choking on his saliva, and instead of that his teacher was there trying to comfort him rather than letting him die.
That was a probable option at this point.
“What can we do to help? Is there something that can help you?” His teacher casted another look to Mirio and Nighteye, the two having been ready in the call to do whatever the underground hero was to ask of them. “You’re not in any trouble, and no one will hurt you. Breathe with me, Ace.”
Izuku didn’t want to breathe, he wanted to suffocate and die due to his lack of oxygen and functionality. If he could do that, he’d be granted a mercy that no one else could ever give him, “Strangle me- Let me reset.”
His words were dark and pleading; Gruesome and alarming to anyone with a singular brain cell. Or, well, anyone with proper mental health. For the few people who didn’t want to live, similar to him in his current predicament, they’d probably agree that strangulation wasn’t a horrible way to die. “That will kill you- Ace, that will kill you.”
That’s the point.
“Resetting- I n-need to reset,” The teenager repeated, wishing he had a knife to drive deep into his throat like he had originally planned. If he could reset, he could fix this mess. If he had a chance to start over, he wouldn’t have to deal with this in a future timeline; Which would prevent the domino effect he currently feared from even happening.
“You’re safe.” His teacher said again. Maybe it would have helped if Izuku wasn’t on the verge of a mental breakdown, maybe it would have made him cry and let tears spill freely if he wasn’t currently trying to prevent this even from being permanent.
“No,” He choked out again, waving his tied arms outwards in front of him frantically. He didn’t know if he hated the contact on his back, or if he felt better knowing he wasn’t drifting off into his own head. The pressure was enough to keep him responsive. “This is not s-safe. This is the exact opposite of safe-”
Aizawa’s words were calming and gentle; A mock understanding that people were trained with to de-escalate situations in a similar concept to the one that was currently happening with the vigainte’s poor mental health. “I need you to breathe, Ace. Slowly. You'll be okay.”
“I can’t let this be permanent.” He repeated, mindlessly as he forced his body to heave the breaths that people needed to survive. The air didn’t enter his body, and he refused to make any struggle against the exhaustion slowly wrapping around his vision.
“What is permanent?” He asked, once again not understanding whatever the vigilante was implying. And if he did understand, he wasn’t letting it show- Probably to get a direct answer from Izuku, for the best understanding. “What can we do to help?”
“I said-.. I said I need-d to reset, and- and I need to.” Izuku couldn’t get his head straight, body shaking and heart slamming into his rib cage. His ears were filled with the static noise of dread, the self-hate and pity that made him want to cry.
Perhaps he was already crying and just didn’t know it yet.
He needed to die right this second, not get slowly pulled out of his state of panic and forced to talk and get ‘help’ from a bunch of heroes who would prevent him from ever using his quirk ever again. He could save so many people if he used his quirk, no matter the consequence of his own mental and physical state. “You need to let me die- I have to start o-over, right now.”
His mind was frantic, I need to die right now.
“No one is letting you die, Ace.” Nighteye said, and although the voice wasn’t a s concerned as his teacher’s, it was softened around the ‘edges’ in a reassuring way. How odd coming from a pro-hero such as him. “You’ll be okay, you just need to calm down. No one will let you get hurt.”
But I need to get hurt.
“Eraserhead,” Izuku hissed out, using his tied up hands and jabbing to the left, a weak attempt to thwack his teacher in frustration. Aizawa looked back at him steadily, gently pushing the vigilante’s arms back; Carefully and without any aggression. A sign of neutrality, or maybe a contract for peace. Fuck. “I need to reset- Right now. You need to let m-me.”
“You aren’t in any trouble; No one is mad, and you won’t get hurt.” He shook his head, voice calm despite the arcing in Izuku’s pulse. Everything felt like it was burning, and yet it wasn’t in the familiar agony of Fury’s quirk. It was frustrating and pent up anxiety; Fear that he would get exposed and not end up dying to take the things that happened back. “I can't let you die.”
“It’s not permanent-” Izuku sputtered, heaving his breaths again. He wished they’d shut up and let him die, that they would just give him a knife so he could reset and fix the mess he had made. He should have refused the usage of Nighteye’s quirk, to come up with a bullshit excuse that his quirk would collide horribly with the hero’s.
Maybe then that would have saved him.
“Death is permanent, you’re delirious right now.” His teacher’s voice was by him, echoing in his head. It wasn’t a bad feeling, but it didn’t exactly help either. Why didn’t it help? “It’s okay.”
“Quirk.” He managed to bite out, tears blurring his vision. He needed that knife, needed something to kill hismself with this very fucking moment, because he was not going to play around with any more risks in the next eight hours of his life- He wasn’t willing to risk his identity.
He couldn’t risk it.
“Your quirk is Mulligan, Ace.” Nighteye said, across the room from where he was, careful to stay a distance away so as to not upset the vigilante. His words were logical, borderline comforting, but only for any other situation where Izuku might have been seeking that confrontation that no one else knew about his real quirk. In this situation, it was almost as bad as Neito seeing him in a state of self-destruction.
Aizawa took his chances, rubbing a circle on the teenaher’s back. It was soothing, but he didn’t want it to be; He wanted the comfort to disappear so death could grip his neck and prevent him from staying alive any longer. “No one else has a ‘death’ quirk. Can you breathe with me?”
Izuku felt his body go rigid, understanding creeping up his spine. He had to lie through his teeth- Had to actually lie about the multitude of falsehoods he had already said. By lying about his intentions; He had to be truthful about his quirk. Izuku actually had to come clean just so he could get out of this situation with minimum injuries. Fuck. “I lied- I l-lied.”
“About your quirk?” Mirio asked across the room, as if his question would help ease Izuku into a better mindset if he was engaged with another person. Maybe it did, the freckled teenager had no idea.
He shook his head, hair falling into his face and hood slipping further over his head, goggles reflecting the lights of the room. I actually have to be honest just so I can lie again? Really? The vigilante choked down a frustrated groan, voice raggedy. “It’s a play of words- A play of words. Let me die n-now, I can’t let this be real.”
Aizawa didn’t like the way he worded such a response, carefully stating another thing as Izuku quivered with gritted teeth as thoughts raced through his hard and jabbed him in all the wrong places. His teacher frowned, “I don’t understand.”
“No one does,” He said bitterly, letting the conversation flow as he struggled to get his head out of the dunes and back up into the sky where he could ride against the wind and feel euphoric pain. Oxygen wasn’t entering his system anymore, and no one knew. He’d reset in a few minutes if he stayed awake and responsive, forced himself to act panicked and normal. “No one at all.”
“Mortal danger- Myself, that’s t-the danger.” He choked out, hoping his mind would shatter apart and he would come down with it, like a house of cards blown away in the wind. “It’ll go back and it won’t be known- I just have to live t-through it first.”
The world went quiet for a brief moment, like a sound of a gunshot hushing an entire sea of people being held hostage within a building. Heavy surveillance, heavy angst that flooded through your mind and washing over you in thick condensation that drowned you- Pulled you under and never let you get a breath of air.
Nighteye’s voice reached his head through the metaphorical water in his ears, “You live through it?”
He was drowning in grief and self-pity, bubbles made of panic clogging his throat and leaving him to scramble at whatever safety he could get his hands on. Where was safety, though? The world spun in his head, and he felt like he was choking at how harshly he started to bite his tongue. He didn’t choke, though, and couldn’t register the taste of copper in his mouth, so he forced two words out of his mouth. “Time loop.”
Repeat the cycle. Repeat the cycle.
“You go through life.. And then you die, and come back before a specific event happens?” Aizawa’s words were slow and deliberate, and they bounced around in Izuku’s skull. His teacher’s eyes were flickering in mild surprise, connecting dots that had yet to be spoken. “Resetting- You just.. Go back and relive things with the knowledge you learned before?”
“It’s a..” He managed to stutter, a sad laugh getting stuck in the back of his throat. Perhaps if more people remembered what he did in each ‘life’ of his, maybe then he wouldn’t be this distraught over something like this always happening to him. “A t-time loop- No one remembers.”
No one remembers at all, because he made sure no one would pull strings and blackmail him in the possible futures that he could exist in. The limbo between life and death was something that yielded no end, sitting besides him in class or on his desk as he slept in his dormitory.
As long as he ignored the urge to die, waited it out until he needed to feel the relief and remove himself from the addiction that pooled in his gut every few days if he went too long without resetting, he’d be okay.
He’d be just fine if he have into the desires that should have killed him on the first try; Should have ended his existence and prevented him from ever inhaling another breath.
“I’m going to be sick.” Someone spoke, voice choked up in a similar fashion to Izuku’s own. He didn’t know who said it, he just knew he felt bad about it. Guilt washed over him, the small amount of dignity he possessed turning into a heavy burden.
“I’m sorry.” The vigilante apologized, feeling disdain at the clear and unnerving emotions of whoever had spoken. He knew there wasn’t much he could do to console whoever had voiced their emotions, voiced how ill they had become at the truth behind Izuku’s abilities, but he wished there was something he had in his possession to reassure them that he’d be fine.
As long as he could get out of this, alive or through a reset, he wouldn’t mind.
“Don’t- Don’t apologize.” His teacher’s response was sharp, unintentionally harsh. It sounded strained, a type of doubt that Izuku rarely heard in Aizwa’s voice. It sounded wrong in every way possible. “Ace, fuck- Fuck, why didn’t you tell the truth?”
He swallowed, possibilities running through his head and tripping over his more coherent and safely paced thoughts. Memories and falsehoods of what lies beyond each grave he dug for himself appeared in his head. It spun around, battling the logic that he often presented himself with on bad nights, writhing but refusing to die against all odds. “You would have stopped me.”
“What?” Aizawa sounded baffled.
Izuku swallows his fear and frustration, forcing the words past his gritted teeth. He was on the border of hyperventilating again, adrenaline rushing through his system as he remembered all of the other possible outcomes; Except he hadn’t gone through any of them. He didn’t need to see the future to understand what would have happened if he said anything, although there had been plenty of close calls to him revealing the truth of his quirk. “I lived through it before.”
“Oh.” Mirio’s voice made its way into Izuku’s head, and the greenette shot an apologetic look to the hero-in-training. It wasn’t his intention to curse this type of thing onto another student- Even if that student was his upperclassmen.
“You would have stopped me.” Izuku tried to reason, voice choking up on several letters and tripping over words like tree roots dug up from the forest floor of his childhood park. “I-I can’t go through with that, so I had to erase it.. And come back, and start anew. It can't be permanent- And neither c-can this.”
“How many times?” Aizawa asked, such a question Izuku had expected far earlier. What was he supposed to say to that? Oh, I don’t know, maybe a little over sixty times in the past four months- No biggie!
He swallowed instead, hoping his mind and shaking shoulders wouldn’t betray him to the truths of his situation. The pain he suffered through was one thing, but the endless fatigue and betrayal he’d feel if he was stuck at UA in a world of being monitored was far, far, far worse. “How many.. How many t-times have I died?”
“No- Ace. You-..” His teacher couldn’t speak so quickly, words getting strangled together as if someone was holding a knife to The adult’s throat. Izuku knew he was in a world of emotional hurt, learning that he, a vigilante who was a teeanger, had faced death and allowed it to suck him away so many times that he couldn’t even say out loud. “You’re just a kid; You shouldn’t be dying-”
“It’s a quirk.” He stated, limply. It was an ability that Izuku hadn’t known he possessed until he had snapped and actually tried to die, falling downwind only to wake up again and see the world from the perspective of a kid who had come back from the dead and had a chance to live again. “I utilized it. So what?”
“You’re dying.” Nighteye said, voice oddly calm.
“I know. I know-” He said, shakily. His voice was always shaky, wasn’t it? Always strained from the fear and hesitance that plagued him, “And it hurts, Eraserhead. It hurts because I c-can’t stop it now, I have to finish it again and-d.. And I can’t let go.”
If he let this be permanent, there were too many things that would go wrong. Too many things that would set back his plan to save Mouse and Avenging Angel, meaning he’d have to wait and try and draw out their survival in favor of pleasing a bunch of heroes who would breathe down his neck every three seconds.
“Ace-” Mirio couldn’t even get a full sentence out, and Izuku felt a pang of pity go through him and fester under his skin, bubbling in his nerves and begging him to say something other than what he had been saying.
“You have to let me reset.” The teeanger said, hoping his voice wasn’t as shaky as it was a few minutes ago. That wouldn’t be convincing enough, even with the devotion seeping into his tone. “This will be messy in the future; And I don’t even-.. I don’t e-even see the future until I live through it. I can’t let it get m-messy so soon.”
Nighteye responded, almost immediately. His opinion on the subject was unwavering, a close similarity to the erasure-hero’s; Who looked like he was on the verge of hitting his head against a wall to try and stifle the headache that was no doubt forming. “We can’t let you die.”
“But I’d be back.” Izuku said again, as if it would make more sense if he repeated the substance enough times. As if it’d clear his name from the pain that bloomed in his head the aching in his chest over the fact he couldn’t get help yet. He wasn’t allowed to. “It resets. Like a game.”
Aizawa looked like a combination between horrified and mutually shocked, although both emotions kind of went hand-in-hand. Of course they did, it was the same thing but amplified and twisted into two compelling emotions. “Is that what life is to you?”
“I can’t die, Eraserhead.” Izuku replied, evenly. Despite such a show of emotions, the way his hands were clenching rhythmically, he knew underneath it all his eyes were wide and shocked. He knew he was shocked, waiting out the effects to try and ward off the desperation that was clawing at his throat. “I have to suffer through everything a-anyways, and I’ll end up back here as soon as I do-.. And that’s okay.”
It wasn’t okay, not in a long shot.
He was so close to getting help, it was right there in his reach, he could grab it and hold it close and soothe the hunger for assistance and mercy- But he resisted. He resisted the urge to let go and hold onto what little security getting help would offer him.
“No one will remember this conversation.” Aizawa’s voice shook slightly, and the student wanted to curl away and hide, all because he was causing such an imbalance of emotional priority in his teacher’s life.
“I could tell you in the next timeline.” He offered, lightly. It was a last ditch attempt to try and show that he meant well, that he meant every word he said; That he couldn’t let this be permanent, no matter what acceptance and assistance it’d bring him as Ace or his civilian self.
“You can’t keep your promise, because we won’t remember.” Nighteye said, slowly. His voice was unwavering, but even the freckled teenager could understand that the hero was severely against what Izuku was implying.
Anyone with half a functioning brain would be.
“Depends..” Izuku mumbled, after a few minutes of staring at the ground. The tears had long stopped flowing from his eyes, leaving him with an empty and indescribable feeling. “I don’t control who does or doesn’t. Haha.. I just know some people r-remember, and it gets harder with each person who k-knows.”
Because with each person that knows, I feel worse. The teenager’s mind was spinning, slowing down and slowly coming to a crucial halt. It was like the world pulled the brakes on him, and he finally had enough logic and common sense to discover a way out of his predicament. He swallowed thickly, feeling hot tears burn as they rolled down his cheeks.
Aizawa was speaking quietly, voice no longer upholding any hints that he had been so much as surprised by the reveal of Izuku’s true quirk and nature. “We can’t let you die, Ace.”
“I know.” The teenager said after several long moments. He smiled sadly under his mask, tipping his head back to look at the ceiling briefly. The lights flickered back at him, and he didn’t mind the way it momentarily blinded him. He wasn’t willing to let this be a permanent timeline, he wouldn’t be able to handle the aftermath. “You don’t have to let me die. I can do it myself.”
He shoved himself away from the comforting hand of his teacher, scraping the heels of his feet on the ground and inhaling sharply; His mind going fuzzy as all of his regrets came to mind from the past ten minutes.
If I don’t die from this, what happens then?
The rough crack that followed after snapping his head backwards was enough of an answer; His mind going fuzzy and breaking apart before he could even make a coherent thought with his remaining sanity. Life was gone, and Izuku had reset yet again; Leaving his quirk to do the reading work so he could replay his story like some online video game children obsessed over.
Now he just had to act through the scene as if nothing had happened.
He just had to reset, and go again.