A/N: So I couldn't get this idea out of my head and I decided to experiment with a different writing style/voice. It's a little more narrative than normal, but I hope you still like it.
Shintaro Kisaragi is dead. Literally this time, it's not some sort of exaggeration. He would've liked to live until he was maybe at least forty and experience a midlife crisis, but-
Well. He lived past the whole Kagerou Daze incident, which is fine by him.
At least he didn't die in August. Or even in summer. That would just be embarrassing.
He dies in November. Ayano's birthday month. To be honest, he's not sure if that's much better.
It was sudden. And painful, but really, it was over in an instant, so the pain doesn't really matter. He was at a bar and a drunk guy smashed his face in with a bottle. He probably could've avoided it, but hey, he was also drunk. Takane had always said that drinking would be the death of him.
Marry and Momo would probably cry. Even after the incident, they had kept in touch. Takane and Haruka would at least attend his funeral. He's not sure about the others. They had drifted apart, over time, and gone their separate ways. He couldn't really remember their faces anymore, but he still remembered how they made him feel. How lively they were.
He kind of missed them.
It's dark, and slightly tinted red. He doesn't like it. It reminds him too much of blood. Even after several years, he still remembers those days vividly. It's why he turned to alcohol in the first place, even though he totally knew better. Voices swim out of reach, garbled and distorted.
It's dark, and then it's not. There's a light. Blinding. He squints and tries to open his eyes. The voices are louder now, piercing. There's a keen beeping in the background. His throat is clogged uncomfortably.
He doesn't like it. He wants it out. He wants, he wants-
Screams split the air. They turn into blubbered cries and- are his eyes wet?
Someone holds him close. He lashes out. He was dead and now he has no idea where he is and some stranger is holding him-
"Shouta," a voice whispers. "Your name is Shouta Aizawa."
Oh hell no.
He's read enough poorly written fanfiction to know where this goes. He's been reborn. In another world no less, judging by the absolutely insane things televised daily. Quirks. Villains. Heroes.
It's all a mess.
He gets his genetically-inherited superpower when he's four. On August 15, actually. It's an instinctive thing, when he's feeling panicked or irritated, to tug just beneath his eyes-
The bully's Quirk fizzles out.
He's later told that his eyes turn red when he uses his Quirk.
He finds it fitting.
He has half a mind to register his Quirk as Erasing Eyes, but, well, no one ever calls their Quirk that, and it gave away too much. Hacking was still a thing, even if no one ever thought of it anymore.
He's on the cusp of middle school when a new hero debuts. All Might. Symbol of Peace. The hero quickly skyrockets the charts and single-handedly brings crime rates down. Everyone is in awe. There's a video captured of his debut, and kids talk of rewatching it all the time.
He's only watched it twice.
Once to see what the big deal was. The second to confirm his suspicion.
All Might's smile inspired hope, but it wasn't Ayano's.
In middle school he begins training.
He gets in U.A. General Education, at first. His Quirk wasn't flashy or inherently destructive like so many other applicants. But his scores were top-notch. And he worked hard. He was never physically fit in his past life, nor knowledgeable in combat, but he recognized the advantage. He needed that advantage. Anything, to get an edge over the flashy, egotistical, favored Quirk-users.
If they became pro-heroes, they would only cause destruction in their wake. He knew from experience. His own experience.
He showed them at the Sports Festival. He showed everyone at the Sports Festival. He took their Quirks, their pride, their ideology, and crushed them.
He didn't outright display his Quirk. Not until the finals. His opponent- blond, rowdy, loud- practically forced him to. He's good. Very good. But there's a reason why he hid his Quirk, and not just to prep for the far future.
The element of surprise was not something to be underestimated.
"You're good," he tells him when the match is over. "You actually put in the effort to train for this, unlike the others."
The answering smile, subdued but still challenging, reminds him of Ene.
Hizashi Yamada is loud. Absurdly loud. Annoyingly absurdly loud.
It fit with his Quirk. Voice, the ability to amplify the volume of his voice. It was one of those flashy Quirks that made him well-suited for heroism. But what got him to the finals of the Sports Festival was his control and ingenuity.
Shouta thought he would avoid him, when he transferred into Heroics. But they were seated next to each other in homeroom. And Hizashi would keep interacting with him. And then they began sparring together. Again. And again.
It reminded him of Ene. So much so that he called him a virus. Never out loud, though. It wouldn't make sense to others and he risked being suspicious. So he kept it close to heart, only ever calling him that in his mind.
He meets Nemuri soon after he… starts to tolerate- befriend- tolerate Hizashi. She's a force to be reckoned with, and an absolute terror. Her Quirk is Somnambulist, the ability to put people to sleep through a gas she emits through her skin. It isn't quite flashy like Hizashi's, but she wields it well.
It isn't long before he also starts calling her a virus. Like Hizashi, she just grew on him. Though, seriously, why is it always him who is surrounded by these fierce, loud, outgoing people? They always seem to just come to him.
It's… pleasant, though. It's pleasant in a way he hadn't felt in a long time.
"I don't want to be on the news, so I don't care what name I have."
"Okay…! Then, you'll be Eraserhead!"
"I'll go with that, then."
What he didn't say was that he didn't know what name he wanted, or even what kind of hero he wanted to be. He's lucky to know someone so passionate… and simple minded.
His fortieth (cumulative) birthday was spent alone and celebrated in silence.
His fiftieth (cumulative) birthday is spent with two rowdy friends and celebrated with a rambunctious get-together at a restaurant.
He's still waiting on experiencing that midlife crisis, but hey, you can't get everything.
It takes Hizashi and Nemuri- Present Mic and Midnight- two and a half years after graduation before they're noticed by the masses. Subsequently, they're actively hunted by the press.
He laughs at them the first time they make a quick getaway. There's a reason he decided to go underground.
When Present Mic launches his radio show, he's hit with a wave of nostalgia and deja vu.
He'd already known it was happening, of course. He had helped in the prepping stages, and had heard one too many worried frenzies about public approval. But now that it was public-
Hizashi would be fine. He was a star. An idol, like she was. There was nothing for him to worry about.
He and Nemuri disagreed on a lot of things. Sometimes, they were petty things. Attire, food, animals, and many more. Sometimes they were more serious. Methods, ideals, worldviews.
Teaching was one of them. He didn't know why he got so invested arguing about it with her. He just did. Maybe it was because he didn't have anyone to properly guide him through the mess that was the incident, so many years ago. Maybe it was because he wanted to make sure what happened with Ayano didn't happen to anyone else.
Regardless, Nemuri thinks he'll actually be a decent teacher, and recommends him to the principal of U.A. Somehow, he's hired. Joy.
He makes it through a full two months of teaching before he turns to alcohol. Again.
He wakes with a killer hangover on a Wednesday morning.
He totally knows better, he swears.
Hizashi and Nemuri only laugh. Some of the staff exchange money with defeated looks on their faces.
He's racked up a bit of a reputation now. Hizashi and Nemuri tease him about it sometimes, when they're alone in the staff room of U.A. He doesn't react to it much. He knows he's doing the right thing, expelling those with no potential or squandering it. It's far crueler to let an unprepared hopeful charge onward than to crush their dreams immediately. It's also more damaging to the people around them. People will always get caught in the crossfire, but he tries to minimize that risk as much as possible.
God forbid there's another Hibiya and Hiyori- God forbid there's another Ayano-
It's illogical to let them continue. That's all there is to it.
Even so, he spends the end of his sixtieth (cumulative) birthday burning paper cranes. One for each of the kids caught up in the Kagerou Daze incident.
After a moment's hesitation, he makes two more for his friends. Red, the color of heroes.
It's another school year. And already, he can tell that this 1-A homeroom class is going to have issues.
He starts things with a Quirk Apprehension test, as usual. There's a few standouts, but for the most part, everyone is about even. Everyone, except for a plain-looking green haired boy.
His scores are moderate. But being moderate among aspiring heroes won't cut it. He'll be left behind. Not to mention the stunt he pulled with his Quirk- breaking his own body to save another-
It would be better to expel him. He would only cause pain to the people around him.
It's the ball throw test now. The boy's stance changes. His arm begins to crackle with red.
It's an instinctive thing, to tug just beneath his eyes.
The ball flops to the ground. The boy gapes. His eyes trail over to him. "Those goggles… You're the Erasure hero: Eraserhead!"
"Do you intend to become incapacitated again and have someone save you?" He forces his voice to go cold. It's much better than for him to inject all his rage, all his frustration, and risk being suspicious. "That's what those around you will be forced to do. You'll just become useless after saving one person." He closes his eyes and releases his power. "Let's get this over with."
The boy's trembling. He clenches the ball and rears his hand back.
Zero potential, he thinks to himself.
The ball blasts through the air and soars.
705.3 meters, his phone reads.
The boy- Izuku Midoriya- cradles a broken finger and smiles. "Aizawa-sensei… I can still move!"
He grins. This kid… It reminds him of the Kagerou Daze incident. Of how they never gave up. Of their will to defy their fate.
He decides not to expel him after all.
It's completely by accident. But, one day after class is over, he sees Midoriya give a blinding smile to his two friends.
He's frozen. He knows there's a connection between him and All Might. And yet, that's not who that smile reminds him of.
That smile reminds him of Ayano.
Finally, a voice whispers. Finally. That's the smile I was looking for.
He knows what was missing from All Might's smile now. It was bright and blinding, but it wasn't warm. Not like Midoriya's.
Not like Ayano's.
He'll say it again. USJ sucked.
The day started with All Might using up all his time and not being able to make it. People would think that being the Number One hero would make him more responsible. Nope. That was certainly not the case.
His mood plummeted even more when he saw the black mist forming above the fountain. And then villains streamed out and filed into the center.
He allowed himself one glance back at the students. They were all confused and surprised, like the kids they were. They didn't realize the severity of the situation. Not yet.
They were all about to be thrown into an encounter with real Villains.
His gut clenched. It was too much like the Kagerou Daze incident. Just a group of kids thrown into something far too big for them.
He couldn't let another tragedy happen. Never again.
So he slid on his goggles and leaped into battle. The horde was larger than what he was used to, but he knew better than anyone to not grow complacent. He wasn't a one-trick pony. Not anymore. But the thugs were. It was all too easy to trip them up and knock them out.
When most of them were out, he lunged for the hand-man. From his stance and position, he was the head. Cut off the head of the snake, and the battle would be won. The earlier, the less people hurt.
Then his elbow was caught, and it started disintegrating.
He yanked himself away from the man. He slipped up. The man was dangerous, far more dangerous than he seemed, and it cost him.
"Noumu," he hissed.
Wind rushed past him. He turned. A bird-like creature with an exposed brain loomed above him.
It raised its fist.
Everything went red.
After everything's said and done, he ends up in the hospital. It's a good thing he has Recovery Girl, or he wouldn't have been able to teach class the day after.
He gets the longest and sternest scolding of both his lifetimes, and he's wrapped in so many bandages he looks like a revived mummy. But it's worth it. It's worth it to see the concerned gazes of his students. Students who are able to be worried.
Thank God they're all alive.
Shouta Aizawa is met at the gate by Hizashi and Nemuri. They flank his sides like guard dogs and march him out of U.A. Easy banter is tossed between them and he's fussed over, like good friends do.
He's lucky that the bandages cover his mouth, or they would see the smile on his lips.