I would like to preface this short story with the warning that this will include references to suicide, self-harm, and later to recovery. Please do check in with yourself right now and gauge if you are capable of reading such themes. With that, please enjoy.
Under better circumstances it may have been a nice view. The cars below cast a gentle, rushed glow onto the streets. Small, delicate flakes of snow dance in the lamplights and white turns into rainbow as it floats past the neon signs of surrounding businesses.
However, Izuku could hardly see that. He could hardly see anything. His eyes were swollen and red and his vision blurred. The wind whipped his curly hair into a tangled mess. The snow melted when it touched his feverish skin. The weather felt harsher up on top of the building, or perhaps he was just hypersensitive to the world around him yet again.
His feet dangled limply against the concrete of the building. His back was pressed flush against a cold, metal railing. Traces of his own skin remained on it, having been ripped off by the combination of tears on his hands and the icy pole.
His hand hardly bled, but boy did it ever sting.
He clawed his nails into his palm. How worthless could a boy be, to have been given a happy and loving mother and such wonderful friends in his middle school and yet – still wanting to jump to the street below.
Perhaps the only thing stopping him was the fear of hitting someone walking below.
An hour passed, then two. The roar of rush hour slowly drew to a hush. It would appear no one saw him on top of the building. The snow must have turned him into a blur to the average person, he thought to himself.
Izuku was numb. His tears long dried up and his hands stopped bleeding. His skin was cold from the wind chill and his emotions had long passed him. He felt functionally nothing aside from the cold of the world around him.
He inched forward and looked toward the ground. It seemed to warp and come at him rapidly, but he had a grip on the metal behind him. Perhaps he wouldn't survive, he thought to himself, if he died. Perhaps he would fail at this like he had his father, and like he had Kacchan, as well as himself, for failing to garner a quirk.
He closed his eyes and removed his hand from the pole. If he failed to do this now he would have to return to school with the bandages on his arm peeking out from underneath his uniform. He would have to deal with the jeers once more, and more than anything he wished to avoid them.
He removed his hand from the concrete, propped himself up on one foot, and pushed himself off with a shaky leg.
Shit. Shit shit shit.
The moment his foot left the roof of the building he could feel the dread set in. He felt the wind rushing past him and he felt the disappointment of all those who knew him. He felt the panic the scream of a lady below as he rushed toward the concrete. But most of all, he felt the answers come to him: and this was far from it.
He jerked to a stop far too soon and felt his ankle pop under the pressure. His head swung downward rapidly, and he nearly broke his nose into the wall. Fabric tightened around his ankle like a nose as he was pulled back upwards onto a balcony, upon which a man with bright yellow goggles wielded the scarf which wrapped around his legs.
As much as he would have loved to be star-struck by such a hero's presence, all he felt was dread. His hair flopped downward and he removed the goggles, reviling eyes with the dark circled baggage that comes with missing lives.
Izuku tried to stand up from the position where he was, face down, however his ankle screamed as he attempted to do so, and he landed on his behind.
"You're Eraser-Head," he said quietly, pulling his coat closer to his body. The cold was beginning to sink deep into his bones, he felt as if he would never warm up.
"And you're a suicidal child. Do you mind telling me why you were falling from a building?"
Izuku bowed his head solemnly as Eraser-Head sighed. He adjusted his scarf and keeled down to look Izuku in his eyes.
"Listen kid, I can't begin to imagine the pain you are in. I don't know what caused you to jump, but what I can tell you is that was not the right answer. Okay?"
Izuku nodded, following along. He couldn't bring himself to look up. His head felt so heavy and he could hardly keep his arms wrapped around himself. His shivering made him look like a cornered rabbit. His eyes had a distant look to them.
"Are you alright? Physically?" Eraser-Head asked as he gently took one of his hands. He too seemed jumpy. As if he would have to grab him again at any moment.
Izuku failed to answer, it seemed as if he checked out of the conversation in entirely. The young boy was in emotional shock and was exhausted.
Eraser-Head examined his hands, making note of the open wound. It was shallow, but he would treat it anyway. He gently rolled up the sleeves, knowing very well what was under the bandages which wrapped his forearm up. To be sure, he lifted the end of them. A thin red line, less than a day old, was underneath.
"Do you have any actively bleeding wounds?" he asked. He was going to check anyway, he was mainly just attempting to get the child to talk.
"Can you tell me your name?"
There was a pause before he answered, his voice was swept away by the wind, but he had replied.
"I'm going to bring you into a doctor's office. Do you understand?"
He nodded, too tired to fight back as he was gathered into Eraser-Head's arms and wrapped in a scarf.
"Good evening Doctor Kimi. As much as I wish this was a leisure visit, I have someone you should look at."
"Victim of an attack?" a petite lady asked softly, walked out from behind the nurse's station where she was helping with paperwork.
"Suicide attempt. His name is Izuku, he's thirteen. He's been outside for at least two hours and I think he may have either dislocated or broke his right ankle. He also has cut marks along his left wrist. I know it's not my place, but could we give him a psych evaluation?"
"Alright," she muttered, getting down on a knee. Her scrubs hung loosely on her and she looked incredibly unintimidating to the average person. However, Izuku did not leave from his place hiding behind Eraser-Head.
"Hey kiddo, let's get you checked out, okay? Do you have anyone you would like me to call?" she asked, reaching out her hand and gently taking Izuku's. He followed blindly, trusting her. He glanced behind, expecting Eraser-Head to leave. However, he stuck around, and seemed to be talking to a nurse.
"My mother," he said quietly as he leaned into her like a crunch, "Her name is Inko Midoriya. Her phone number is eight one three, seven four seven, seven eight nine two."
"That's quite a memory you got there, Izuku. Can you tell me about yourself?"
He did not talk as he was put onto an exam table. He let the woman take off his coat and check his blood pressure. He let her unwrap the bandages. He did not fuss when she removed his shoes to check the ankle, which was merely sprained. Her voice was calming and sweet as she talked about how brave Izuku was to let her help. He felt his eyes close as he leaned back, and he promptly fell asleep.
What felt like moments later he was awoken by Eraser-Head. "Hey, kiddo, you have a visitor. It's your mother, would you like to see her?" he yawned, and nodded. He took in the sights around him as his chest ached violently.
"Hey, sweetheart," she said softly. Her eyes were as red as her cheeks and her skin felt like ice against his own as she hugged him. "I'm so happy you're okay."
"I'm sorry I failed you,"
"Shh you've done nothing like that. I failed you, baby, I should have been there to help you. Is there anything I can do? I love you. Please never do that again."
Eraser watched from the doorway, leaning against it with his shoulder. He seemed oddly protective of the boy covered heel to toe in scars.
"Are you feeling any better," he asked. His goggles were against his chest. "Is there uh, anything else I can do to help?"
"Thank you, sir, for saving my son," Inko said, turning around to shake his hand.
"Thank you, Eraser-Head…" he muttered quietly, flexing his hand around the bandage.
The nurse came in to talk about the potential options for further treatment, as well as to take a formal report about what happened.
It's two months later and Izuku is on proper anti-depressant medication. He's regaining energy and confidence with the assistance of therapy and the support of his mother. The weapons have since been locked away and he could have sworn he has seen Eraser-Head bounce over his head a few times since the incident.
All in all, he was improving. He no longer had bandages around his wrist and the weight in his head had eased. Everything was calmer, more content. Of course, it was calm.
Then he met All-Might on accident. Though ecstatic to have met his hero, he was then immediately thrown back into a life-threatening ordeal. Kacchan was suffocating at the hands of a slime villain and it seemed like no one was helping him. Perhaps the medication made him over-confident, or he was straight up idiotic, but he ran into there without thinking.
And again, nearly got himself killed.
He did not expect to meet All-Might again as he went home that night. He did not expect to be taken under his wing. Everything appeared to be looking up. He took up exercising, and it seemed like his mental state was healthier. However, none the less, he was terrified of the moment All-Might would see his scars. He knew, after he knew, that it would be over, and he no longer would associate with Izuku.
Izuku and All-Might were at the beach when it happened. He was instructed to go swim laps, and All-Might would not let him leave with his shirt on. He stated he needed to gain confidence about his body, that he was a strapping and incredibly handsome young man. And, even though Izuku knew he shouldn't take it off, he did so.
"What happened to your arms, Young Midoriya?"
"They're old scars, All-Might. They're ugly but they're not harmful."
"Give me your hand."
All-Might took his hand and turned it over. Even if Izuku had the confidence to try to pry his hand away he would not have been able to. All-Might was strong and he, by comparison even now, was weak.
"Young Midoriya are these self-harm scars?"
Izuku tried to change the topic, mentioning that he was supposed to be swimming. In return All-Might straightened his back and looked down at him with a sigh.
"Kiddo, you can't hide things like this from me, okay?"
"But… I'm weak."
"No, Young Midoriya, you are strong." He said loudly, pulling on his hand and getting down to his level. "You fought a villain inside of your head, and you won. You Detroit smashed the demon. You're recovering. How old are these scars, two years?" His eyes were looking into Izuku's with a level of trust and passion one could have only seen in a beloved family dog.
"Two months," Izuku corrected quietly. He bowed his head.
"Izuku look at me, you're not in trouble. Okay?" his voice softened again, and his grip released his wrist. Izuku rubbed his arm.
"You're a survivor, and many heroes have mental health issues. Many great heros have them, and you are no different."
"Red Riot had ADHD," Izuku said quietly.
"And Eraser-Head has depression as well."
"Eraser-head saved my life," Izuku said, slowly recapping the night two months ago. All-Might sat there, in the sand, and listened.
"If you ever need me, young Midoriya, I am here for you. You're like a son to me."
Getting into UA was difficult. It was hard fighting those robots and being around so much noise. People were loud and nosy, and people were better than him. Everyone seemed to be better at this than him.
His confidence faltered, and he tripped on his way inside.
"Sorry for using my quirk on you," a cheery voice pipped up from his side. "I'm Ochako!"
Izuku stuttered a greeting in return. He didn't expect someone to be so nice to him in a place that was built for competition. By all means, letting him get injured would have been a perk to her and the other students as it would have lessened his ability to fight in the exam.
"Well, I'll see you around!"
What he didn't expect was to see her an hour later, trapped under rubble. He had no points, but he was going against the largest robot in an attempt to prevent the young girl from getting crushed. Once more, he acted on impulse. "Stupid, Stupid, Stupid," he thought to himself. He channeled All-Might and shattered his arm but killed the robot.
And then he started falling, again. The panic set in. The wind flew by his fast just as fast as it did months ago. He could see the concrete below him. He could hear All-Might screaming. He could feel his failures and his mother's tears. He wasn't going to survive this, he thought. Eraser-Head won't save me again. I'm fruitless.
And then, right as he was about to hit the ground, he stopped.
The buzzer sounded immediately after, and Izuku collapsed to the ground. He had gained no points. He had not gotten into UA. He failed. He failed everyone.
His knees pressed against his chest and his eyes buried into them. Tears leaked out.
"We need medical girl."
Footsteps crowded around him. His arm pulsed with each heartbeat, and each heartbeat brought him pain. His chest felt tight and he could hardly feel his own presence. A gentle old lady tapped him.
"Young man can you tell me your name?"
"Do you know where you are?"
"UA. Also, on the ground."
"I'm going to heal you up; can you look at me."
Izuku looked up and was slammed with a kiss to his forehead. His arm rolled back into place as a soft glow emitted. Onlookers seemed surprised. How could someone's who's quirk is so poorly controlled get in here?
"I would like to be alone now, if that is okay," he stated, communicating clearly as he was taught by his therapist.
His phone buzzed the morning he was to start school.
"Welcome to UA, young Midoriya. You've made me proud."