Welcome, welcome one and all! I won't bore you with too many details other than to simply thank you for even clicking this fic open and that I sincerely hope you enjoy what you find here. This fic was inspired by fics like Daymare by IntrospectiveInquisitor, and Leviathan by rest_in_rip, so if you enjoy this than goooo check those two out as well.
Anyways, quick warning here, while this fic will contain nothing lemony or sexual in any sense, this opening may disturb or distress some people.
Thank you again for giving this fic a try and I hope you enjoy it!
Soft tears dripped from the freckle-spotted cheeks of the young Izuku Midoriya as he walked alone down the winding neighborhood road. The dusk was growing long and shadows grew along with it. There was a chill on the air, the threat of rain perhaps, yet there were no clouds however, the sun being allowed to set in peace, rather than be hidden behind cover.
The tiny young boy shivered just a little in the growing cold and looked over his shoulder in a quick movement, expecting nothing and being suitably rewarded. Petite and scrawny even for his age Izuku seemed almost half-forgotten in the fading light. He had been abandoned by his friends, or so-called friends at least. Seto and Haruno had always been more like Katsuki's friends than Izuku's.
It had been Katsuki to run off first, however. Something had changed in his childhood friend within the past few months and Izuku knew where it had started. Ever since he began making the little pops of fire from his palms Katsuki had grown ever more confident, ever more cocky. He had always thought they were the best of friends, but what kind of friend abandoned him like this? Not only that but lately he had slapped him with a new nickname, Deku, and as if to rub salt in the wound the damnable name was actually sticking.
Yet despite all of this he was sure that things would get better once his quirk finally showed up.
Only five years old and already Izuku was feeling the crushing weight of peer pressure. He was the last of his class to develop any kind of quirk, though his mother continually assured him that he was a just a late bloomer and that his quirk would come in time. Still, everyone in his class had such amazing quirks and he was just… left out. The kid who had to sit to one side while everyone else had fun playing with their cool new abilities. Katsuki had been his only real friend and now, thanks to his lack of quirk, even that was drifting away.
No. His head whipped up and he wiped the gross mixture of snot and tears away on his sleeve. All Might never cried and never complained, and if Izuku was going to be a great hero one day then he had to be just as big and brave as All Might! As if to force the courage into his young heart Izuku laughed loudly in three, short, All Might-esk bursts.
"Hey there little guy."
The boy stopped dead in his tracks and turned his head. From a dim, murky looking alleyway to his left stepped a man and almost immediately the smell washed over him. A mix of unwashed sweat, rotting meat and something else just as musky that made him gag a little. The man's slightly greenish, flabby skin was poxed, even yellowing in some places and his eyes were disguised by a pair of thick-framed glasses with his brown hair in a badly cut bowl about his head. His clothes, dirty jeans and a black t-shirt, seemed greasy and unwashed on his fat form.
"Do you need a lift home? Kids your age shouldn't be out so late."
Izuku's hands came up to his chest in a childishly defensive posture, "I-I'm fine, s-sir." Something in his stomach was tying in knots and telling him to leave. Too young to recognize instinct, however, Izuku stayed where he was, hoping the man would simply accept his answer.
To his growing horror, the man began walking towards him.
Izuku immediately backed away, his short legs taking him barely a quarter of the stride of the man. The stinking adult spoke but already the words were becoming nothing but noise to the background of Izuku's fear. "Don't worry, I know your father, we'll be home in no time."
"N-No!" Izuku staggered and finally his legs began to move properly, turning and rushing from the predator approaching him.
He was far too late. Terror had locked him in place and inexperience had strangled his thoughts. The child felt a hand grab around his arm, then another snatched him up by the waist. The overwhelming stench of rotting flesh reached him and immediately his stomach violently reacted, spewing whatever had been inside him onto the man's fat arms. He could feel the overwhelming strength of the predator, the firm, horrid grasp he had on his body and a panic that no child should ever know flooded his heart.
"Agh! You disgusting little shit!" A hand wrapped around his mouth as he was dragged further into the alleyway, "You'll pay for that! Children like you should be punished!"
Izuku couldn't breathe. His heart hammered in his chest as his lungs burned, trying to get any air he could. He was abruptly turned and his eyes widened further as he saw what the man was carrying him towards. A filthy, slightly rusted looking black van. The back was open. There was a stained mattress waiting there.
The boy's vision was swimming and somewhere in the background he could hear the man spewing filth from chapped lips. The horrific taste of the man's hands flushed through Izuku's senses, toxic and almost poisonous. Spots were forming before his eyes as the van drew closer, the door open and waiting like the mouth of a pit he would never climb out from.
This was when the hero was supposed to show up. This was when All Might should be sweeping down to stop this horrible man and rescue him. But there was no one. A world of heroes and not one could come to his aid.
He had to save himself. The thought somehow eked its way into his fear drowned mind. All Might would fight back, therefore, he had to fight back.
Squeezing his eyes shut against the coming darkness he kicked and fought like a furious cat in the arms of the man, hitting with tiny fists and kicking with tiny feet. His mouth suddenly broke away from the man's hand as he desperately screamed out, "NO! NO! LET GO OF ME, NO!"
"SHUT UP!" The predator roared back, suddenly wrestling with the tiny child in his arms.
Izuku could feel something inside him. Something rising, something boiling, something he couldn't control. Something rushing through his arms and legs and head and brain and heart.
"STOP FIGHTING YOU LITTLE FUCKING-"
The heat was rising faster and faster inside him, burning through his skin, screaming to be unleashed. A fury like nothing he'd ever felt, a power that couldn't be stopped, a darkness which consumed him. Izuku's eyes opened and he looked up at the stinking, rotting man.
The murderous expression on the man's face became one of undiluted horror. "Oh no-"
Then there was only fire and blood.
Izuku didn't drift into wakefulness. He never drifted into wakefulness. His slumber was always broken by sudden, sharp jerks of consciousness that caused the already jittery young man to jolt in bed, grab the sheets and pant while staring with wide-eyed at his ceiling. He sat up quicker than anyone on a Monday morning should sit up and looked around.
There was nothing. There was always nothing. Just his room, coated as it was in All Might memorabilia that only a lifetime could collect. Everything was fine, everything was normal.
Izuku ran a hand through sweat-soaked hair and then slowly curled into a ball on his bed, suppressing the urge to scream at himself. Slowly the teenager got himself together and climbed up and out, moving to his bathroom with soft shuffles.
He turned on the bathroom light without a second thought and took a sudden, sharp breath when he saw the snake with horns hissing at him from the sink. He closed his eyes tightly, a hand shooting to the door frame in a firm grip. Breathe out, breathe in, breathe out. Slowly he opened his eyes again. There was no snake. There was never any snake. There had never been any snake.
It was all in his head. As usual.
He gulped his tension down and he moved on. His morning routine was indeed a routine, timed almost down to the second. It was vital that it was, otherwise he may not have been able to get out of bed in the mornings. Have shower. Brush hair. Put on clothes. Brush teeth. As he spat out his mouthwash into the sink he looked up to his mirror and paused.
Pale skin was dotted by thick freckles, heavy bags hung under tired, weary eyes and black hair that seemed somehow tipped with green hung wildly around his head. Long, unpleasant, ugly lines of burned skin ran across his face, crossing between his eyes and then down his cheeks where they continued to line his body like a railroad. His arms, legs, even fingers and toes. There wasn't a single part of him that hadn't somehow been marred by the terrible, jagged burn lines that ran interconnected over his skinny form.
A gift from the thing.
He looked sick. He looked like he needed to spill his emotions out to the shoulder of a good friend. He looked like a mental breakdown waiting to happen.
He almost smirked at himself. 'A mental breakdown, that'd be a nice change'.
The rest of the morning went like almost every other morning in Izuku's life as he moved to the kitchen table where he ate whatever breakfast his mother had prepared for him. The moment he finished she immediately presented him with a small, orange pill bottle, which he took with a tired smile. One pill, taken with food, every morning. For the rest of his life.
Another wonderful gift from the thing.
Once the medication was taken Izuku got up, drifted to the front door, said his robotic goodbyes to his mother and stepped out. The moment he was outside he equipped his earphones and started up a podcast for the journey to school.
Drifting was an apt description for how Izuku conducted most of his waking hours. However, it was better than the alternative and he knew it. Without the medication that dulled his senses to an almost static hush he would be nothing more than a terrified wreck of a human, cowing at the things which-
No, no point dwelling on it now. He had high school to suffer through.
Izuku walked alone to school. Hands on the straps of his backpack, his head tipped naturally downward to the pavement. Every now and then he would receive a bump at his shoulder as someone walked past him, some hitting him by accent, others on purpose.
As he walked into his classroom he regretfully put away his earphones and looked to his desk. There was a new note there today, this one reading 'Freak Go Home'. Izuku smiled wearily, almost ten years of this and they had yet to come up with something even mildly original.
The teenager took his usual window seat and began writing hero notes in his notepad. He used to sit closer to the door, to better escape Katsuki at the end of the day, however, the light above him stopped working and so he asked to move. Soon enough, that light stopped working too but at least he could still take notes in the natural sunlight.
As other students filtered in Izuku hunched down and tried to make himself as unassuming and as unnoticeable as possible. The students talked, the teacher taught, but it was all static and haze to the young teenager. All ash drifting past his medication clouded brain.
Another typical day it seemed.
Tuning the world out, however, was not always for the best. While the thing kept quiet it meant that most of what went on around him was ignored. That included when he was left alone in the classroom with only three other people. Three people who Izuku would usually be fleeing from.
He had been taking notes within one of his many notebooks, this one number thirteen, on an interview he had been listening to during lunch between one of his favorite podcasters and the up and coming dancing hero Boreal.
"Hey, wakey-wakey FREAK." The hand slammed down on his desk so fast that Izuku had no time to even react, which was probably for the best. The thing didn't like sudden movements. When he looked up with tired eyes he met the cold, cruel gaze of Katsuki who looked particularly pissed about something and Izuku had a horrible feeling as to exactly why.
"What the fuck do you think you're doing, Deku?" Katsuki's cold words hit him like a hammer to the stomach.
"I-I don't know what you're talking about! I-I'm just-"
"YOU MOTHER FUCKER," Katsuki barked at him, raising a hand up like he was ready to howitzer Izuku into the next room, "I heard the teachers talking. You're applying for U.A., aren't you?"
"I-I-" There was a sudden twist to his stomach, but worse, the many scars across his body began to warm up and he resisted the urge to punch himself in the arm.
Katsuki leaned down further. "You do realize only I can go to U.A., right?"
"W-W-Well, there's nothing saying I can't apply, I mean, two people can-"
"Wrong. Answer." Katsuki stated like a judge before holding his hand out and blasting apart Izuku's desk like it was made of paper, instantly throwing him out his desk chair. Izuku collapsed onto the classroom floor like a particularly ungraceful sack of potatoes and came to a stop by the feet of Katsuki's two minions, Seto and Haruno, both of whom snickered down at the quivering young man.
They were like Katsuki's personal attack dogs, listening to his every word, obeying his every command, chuckling at all his stupid jokes. Izuku didn't hate them, he wasn't sure he could truly hate anyone except himself, but he certainly didn't like them. Seto, fat and unshapely with a pair of leathery wings and Haruno, always with the backwards cap that wasn't cool, always with the shit-eating grin, always with the long, wriggling fingers at his side.
Katsuki's shadow fell over him and Izuku scrambled back up to the wall, wishing that they would just leave before the thing got any angrier. "P-Please, Kaachan I-"
"You're fucking NOTHING, Deku! Do you even think you're gonna get close enough to lick U.A.'s fucking gate?" Katsuki's fist smashed into his open palm, creating more sparks, more smoke. "You have a useless quirk that does nothing but burn you and ruin lightbulbs. Fucking fantastic."
Izuku felt it ripple inside him. The colors around him seemed to sharpen, contrasts of light and dark flickering. Heat like a slow flame crawled along his scars. His fist curled and he desperately fought back for control, smothering the thing with everything he had.
Unfortunately, this meant that he didn't reply to Katsuki and as such, Katsuki got mad. A swift foot landed on Izuku's stomach and the air went out of him in a second. "HEY! CREEP! I'm talking to you!"
Izuku struggled to take a proper breath before suddenly the blonde released him. There was a merciful moment were he gulped a tight breath of air into aching lungs before Katsuki's hand grabbed his shirt and lifted him up, slamming him against a wall where his hand rested on his shoulder.
Pain began leaking into his skin as Katsuki's very touch burned him. He almost thought he would be immune to the feeling by now, but regardless, it hurt every time. The blonde wore a grin like a shark as he announced. "I'm in a good mood today, so I'm going to let you off lightly. As long as you promise not to apply for U.A., I'll only give you a light ass kicking."
Izuku was many things but a quitter was not one of them. Not when it came to his dream. His gaze hardened despite his vision sharpening like a badly tuned T.V. and he gritted his teeth, knowing in a second he was going to be in a literal world of hurt. "Never."
Obviously, this was not the answer Katsuki had been looking for, or maybe it had been, it was hard to guess just what Katsuki was going for when he asked such leading questions.
The fist hit Izuku square in the stomach and the air was again knocked from him. Izuku crumpled in a mix of pain and desperate attempts to stifle the thing moving through him. The darkness teasing his heart, threatening to flood his brain, the heat that growled along his arms, his legs, his chest. Always the same pathways, always the same burning wounds, always the same white-hot pain.
Then he heard it, the first voice of the day. A subtle whisper that sounded like a thousand voices, screaming, crying, moaning, begging, all sent goosebumps of terror along his skin.
Tears welled in his eyes. He hated himself so much.
"What a fucking pathetic sack of shit you are, Deku." Katsuki squatted beside him as Izuku's forehead touched the floor. Perhaps Katsuki thought he was in too much agony and if so good, it was a helpful mask for the fact he was digging his own nails into his palm to stop the thing inside him from simply exploding through his body.
"You make even kicking your ass boring. Here's a piece of advice. Go up the stairs to the rooftop and throw yourself off because guess what," And he leaned forward to angrily hiss into Izuku's ear. "I'm the only worthwhile thing this school has ever produced. You're literally nothing. Die and come back as someone useful."
"Sinner. Filthy sinner."
"S-Stop!" Izuku squeezed his own eyes tighter, curled further into his ball and prayed to whatever God was listening to just let it end.
Katsuki snorted and stood up. "Come on you dickheads, let's go."
"You're not gonna set his hair on fire? That was funny, remember that-"
"Fatass shut your stupid mouth." Katsuki barked as he slammed the door open. "I'm hungry." And with that, they were gone.
Slowly, painfully, the boy gathered himself back together. Heavy breaths calmed the thing, his scars stopped burning and he found himself falling to the floor, curling up and sobbing as he wished over and over again that he was born different. Even if he glowed orange or had bug eyes or something, anything, even being quirkless would be preferable to this.
There was no more whispering. They only happened when the thing was awoken, or sometimes, rarely, late at night or first thing in the morning before he had taken his medicine. Quietly, alone in the classroom, Izuku gathered himself to his feet, drifted to his scattered belongings and thanked his God-forsaken luck that they hadn't stolen his things this time.
The school grounds were empty by the time he walked out, alone as always. He didn't take his usual route, this time deciding that he flat-out didn't want to see anyone and as such diverted down a quieter, lonelier pathway.
Less chance of seeing Katsuki and his lapdogs. Less chance of seeing anyone. That way maybe if he screamed in agony no one would hear him.
It was better this way.
As long as the thing didn't come crawling out of his skin no one would have to be hurt. It was better he suffer, that was the right thing to do, the heroic thing to do. When he got into U.A. he could fix all of this, learn how to use it properly under the guidance of experienced teachers and become a hero who could inspire confidence and fearlessness in others. Until then, he just had to endure the blows, the insults, the isolation. That's what he told himself as he walked, repeating over and over the same old lie.
It was better this way.
He was halfway into the underpass, consumed by self-defeating thoughts of how sucky his life was when a voice rose up behind him, piercing through the low chatter of the podcast coming through his earphones.
"Pretty scrawny, but he'll do."
He turned his head just in time to see a wall of green slime rising out of a sewer cover. Weirdly enough, only a single sentence crossed his lips as death leapt onto him like a gelatinous tidal wave. "God must really hate me."
Poor Izuku. Considering my plans for this fic, honestly, yeah God might just hate him a tiiiiiny bit.
Anyway thank you for reading and I hope you all tune in next time!