So I had a oneshot Idea, about what if Kacchan had just...valued his friendship more than anything else? So it's kinda choppy because I just wanted to hop around and explore some of these scenes without doing a full fic for it. Hope you enjoy it anyway?
Midoriya Izumi was four when she learned that not everyone was created equal.
She still remembered that day, the day her mother took her to the doctor, and they pointed at her toes and said, 'she will never have a quirk'. She remembered the feeling in her heart then- how crushed she had been, how devastated.
Because all Izumi had ever wanted in her life was to be a hero, to help anyone that needed it. Ever since she had seen All Might's debut video, watched him climb over flames and wreckage and rubble, people in his arms and slung over his back and shoulders. She remembered sobbing so hard she was silent when her mother collapsed in front of her chair, and said "I'm so sorry Izumi' like somehow it was her fault that Izumi had presented without a quirk.
Izumi had been terrified to tell her classmates that she didn't have a quirk. She knew what children were like. Even then, so young herself, Izumi had always been smart, aware of people and their moods, aware of the world in a way her peers tended to not be.
Still- they all knew she was going to the doctor to find out about her quirk, and they would ask. Izumi wouldn't lie about it. She wouldn't be able to hide it- not when she really was quirkless and would be spending years in this area. They'd find out. It would be better just to be upfront about her lack of a quirk.
So, when Izumi goes back to school, and the teacher- who meant well- asked if she wanted to share what she found out with the class…? Izumi lifted her head, looked her classmates in the eye, and declared in a strong voice that didn't shake:
"The doctor said that I'm quirkless."
A gasp ran through the room, but all that Izumi could focus on was Kacchan's wide red eyes. Even as the children erupted into whispers, pointing and some even laughing at her, Izumi kept her eyes on her childhood friend.
And when she walked back to her seat, and the kids leaned away from her, as if she had a catchable disease, Izumi kept her head up anyway, and her stride even. She would not show weakness. She'd cried her tears in the nights before, in her room, and in that chair while her mother sobbed apologies. She wouldn't cry again. Not here.
They didn't deserve her tears.
Katsuki met her eyes, tracked her progress, and did not lean away from her.
That was all Izumi needed.
During recess, when the children were let out to play, Izumi waited.
None of the kids had been too bad about picking on her in eyesight of the teacher, but now...now they were free to 'play' and play rough if they wished. The field they were allowed to play in was large, and the teacher couldn't be everywhere.
Izumi braced herself as a group of kids- the class bullies- circled her. They all had quirks, and liked to feel like they were the best. They'd left her alone before, because she was Kacchan's best friend, and Kacchan had already beat all five of them at their own game, but now…
Now she was quirkless, the only one in the classroom. She had become an outcast. Different. Something lower than low, someone 'diseased' for all intents and purposes.
"What do you want Katsuo-kun?" Izumi kept her eyes flickering between the five boys, but addressed the leader of the group.
"You're quirkless, huh Izumi-chan?" The boy sounded smug, as he continued, "I always knew there was something wrong with you."
Izumi lifted her chin, meeting the kid's eyes, "There's nothing wrong with me!" she insisted, because there wasn't and she wouldn't let these boys say there was.
"Oh? Then where's your friend? 'Kacchan'? He's usually with you isn't he? Why did he leave you now? Do you think he knows there's something wrong with you too now?"
Izumi tried not to flinch at that one. Kacchan was late. Usually he'd come straight to her during recess, but he hadn't. Izumi refused to believe her childhood friend would abandon her because of a quirk or lack of one though. "Kacchan is better than that!" she told the boy, her voice ringing with conviction. "He won't leave me because I don't have a quirk! He's my best friend!"
(Later, Izumi would find out that Kacchan had been late because he got in a fight with some other kids who had been making fun of her for being quirkless.)
Katsuo laughed, tossing his head with it, and his 'friends' laughed with him.
Izumi frowned up at them, and when Katsuo saw her face he frowned back. "Don't look down on me!" the boy snapped, lifting his hands as if to fight. "You're quirkless," he sneered, like it somehow made her less, "you don't have the right to look at me like that!"
And he punched her.
Katsuo had a quirk that let spikes grow out of his knuckles, and he had used it. The spikes weren't very strong yet, not very hard, but they were enough to break skin.
Izumi was so surprised she didn't even dodge it. No one had ever hit her before. Much less used their quirk in a violent manner on her person. Her hand cradled her mouth, where two of the spikes on Katsuo's knuckles had split her bottom lip, while the lower two spikes had left long scratches underneath the lip itself.
Izumi tended to be a 'crybaby'. She got it from her mother. They were both emotional people, and they weren't afraid to show that. Izumi may have cried out when Katsuo punched her, but she didn't cry.
Instead she tossed her head, pulling her hand away from her mouth and ignoring the blood both on her hand and trailing from her lip, she ignored the swelling she could already feel starting. She met the bully's stare, the light of defiance and will in her eyes.
She didn't know this boy. He was just the classroom bully. His opinion didn't matter to Izumi. She was not useless, not less, and she would not let his opinion make her feel bad. Not even if he wanted to hit her for it.
She stood up and met his brown eyes head on.
"I am not less," she told him, her voice strong and unwavering. She'd expected this from the moment she found out she didn't have a quirk. She knew she'd be seen as different, treated different.
She hadn't expected violence, but she supposed she should have.
She frowned. "I am not less," she repeated firmly, "and I won't let you say that I am!"
Katsuo's face twisted into a furious scowl and he lunged forward, fist pulled back to hit Izumi a second time. Izumi brought her hands up, to protect her face, or stop his hands from reaching her, but the bully never even made contact with her.
"Hey! You extra! Don't touch Mi-chan!"
Izumi almost, almost, started crying then, as Katsuki flew at the boy from the left, slamming his whole body weight into the larger boy. He'd come to her defence.
She braced herself, and stood in the other kids' way as they went to attack Kacchan for protecting her. She wouldn't let them hurt her best friend.
Izuki rubbed the bruise on her cheek, as she turned to look at Kacchan. They both had bruises and cuts on their arms and faces from the other kids.
But they'd won.
"Kacchan? You okay?" her voice was soft, hesitant as she approached the blond.
"Yeah, I'm okay Mi-chan. You okay?" red eyes pinned green in place as he wiped the trail of blood away from his lip.
Both of their eyes watered, but they blinked the tears away as they both checked on each other.
"I…" Izumi frowned, the tears she had shaken off to check on Katsuki welling back up in her eyes as the boy asked that question. "...he called me quirkless, like I was a bug. Like I was useless, no good, because I didn't have a quirk. Kacchan…"
Katsuki scowled harshly. "I don't care that your quirkless! You're my best friend and you're better than that extra! I don't care what they say."
Izuku's tears fell, but the wide smile on her face showed they were out of happiness instead of sadness this time "...Thanks, Kacchan."
Izumi shook the dizzy feeling away, pushing herself up from where she had fallen.
Katsuki was already punching the kid who had been bullying her in the face. In the two years since they had discovered she was quirkless, it had become a well known fact that Bakugou Katsuki wouldn't let anyone bad mouth her in his his presence, and if he found out someone had tried while he wasn't there...well.
Katsuki came stomping back over to her, his arms crossed and fury in his eyes. "I'm sick of these extras looking down on you!" he exploded before Izumi could open her mouth. "I don't care that you're quirkless! You'd be a better hero than any of them!"
Izumi's breath caught, her eyes immediately welling with tears. When she spoke, her voice shook "Y-you mean it?"
Katsuki looked over at her, his head tilted in confusion.
"You really- you really think I could be a hero, even though I don't have a quirk Kacchan?"
His confusion cleared and her friend nodded firmly "Yeah!" he declared with all the faith in the world "You may not have a quirk, but you could be one of those really smart heroes!"
Izumi couldn't help but light up, and slam into Katsuki as she went to hug him. He was the first person to tell her she could be a hero since that day.
It meant more than she would ever be able to tell her childhood friend.
And so began Izumi's Hero Analysis For the Future.
Katsuki was right. She didn't have a quirk to back her up, so if she wanted to be a hero, she'd have to be smarter than everyone else.
She also talked her mom into letting her sign up for martial arts. If she couldn't use a quirk all that was left was her body, and her strength. Her mind would only do her so much good, no matter how smart she was.
Katsuki was right beside her.
He was there as she threw herself into training her mind and body. He was there as she pushed herself to be better than the day before. He was beside her as she put herself through gymnastics and obstacle training, as she pushed herself as hard as she could as often as she could. He was there as she practiced mind games, and strategy and tactics.
He was her pillar in a world that told her 'no way, not ever'.
He was there when, as the approached graduation of middle school, she told him "I want to join UA."
And he was there when, eleven months before they'd go into highschool, All Might himself offered her his quirk.
(She had never been so glad she'd been training her body since she was small. It gave her a small advantage when it came to the quirk All Might was passing down.
She was far enough along with her own work out regime that- added to the one All Might made for her- she could use a percentage of One for All without wrecking her body entirely. It still hurt, and ached, but she didn't have broken bones so long as she stuck to her percent cap.)
Katsuki stood beside his childhood friend, a girl who might as well have been his little sister at this point, and was so very proud.
She'd made it.
She had saved him, and been saved by All Might in turn, had been offered a once in a lifetime chance. If anyone deserved it, it was Mi-chan. It was the girl who- despite what everyone had told her all these years- wanted to be a hero. It was the girl who Katsuki believed, even now, if she had not been given All Might's quirk, would have become the very first quirkless hero.
That she didn't have to was a bonus, but Katsuki was sure she could have done it anyway.
He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye. "You ready?"
She looked back, a wide bright smile on her face and answered as he knew she would. "Yeah!"
They stepped forward together.
Izumi cursed under her breath.
Actual, real life, 'will kill you without blinking' villains.
And one of them had a warp quirk. Because life couldn't be easy.
Not to mention whatever the thing with the exposed brain was. They said it could take on All Might though, and that thought was...terrifying.
She hoped Iida-kun got to help soon.
The only blessing in this mess was that the villains obviously had no idea what the students' quirks were.
She eyed Aizawa-sensei.
The needed to get closer- help him somehow. He'd charged in to protect them, but this was the exact opposite of his ideal fighting conditions- and that Noumu- it had-
Izumi breathed. She- they- needed to get him away from the Noumu. Or get the Noumu away from him. She wasn't stupid. They stood no chance whatsoever against the beast, but they'd definitely be dead if Aizawa-sensei died. Thirteen was already down, having used their own quirk on their body via warpgate.
Aizawa was their only hope right now. She'd tried to stay out of his way, and keep the other students out of his way, so they wouldn't be used as hostages or cause extra trouble by being in the way, but…
But desperate times called for desperate measures.
Izumi turned her eyes to the grey haired male with all the hands on his body.
His quirk was dangerous and terrifying, but- but he was the one to give the Noumu commands. If she took him out...maybe the warp-villain would take over, maybe not, but-
Izumi couldn't stand by while her teacher died. She had to do something, and they were the only people close enough right now. The only hope Aizawa-sensei had.
She took a deep breath.
Kacchan was going to be so mad when he found out about this.
Aizawa-sensei was the best and no one would ever convince her otherwise.
He'd saved them, even while his face was being smashed into the ground by the creature. Even bleeding everywhere, his arm partially disintegrated, with too many bones to count broken, and probably most of the way to unconscious.
And then All Might came, and they were all alive, but it wasn't over.
Izumi knew All Might had used everything he had.
She clenched her fists.
She would just get in the way here, but-
She couldn't leave well enough alone. Not like this- not here. Not even if she got into trouble for it. She'd stay out of the way, but she'd stay close anyway.
Kacchan was totally mad at her for charging the Noumu head on. And the guy who could dissolve her face with a touch.
She didn't even care right then though.
They were alive and that's all Izumi cared for the moment. She could handle Kacchan's anger. She couldn't handle the idea of a dead classmate or teacher. She'd made the choice she could live with.
And even if he was angry about it, Kacchan knew her well enough to understand that.
He was just worried. And pissed he'd been separated from her during a fight like this. They worked best together after all. Could read each other like the childhood friends they were. They'd practiced together for years. Even if they had to adjust for Izumi's new quirk, the concepts and ability to read and react to each other was still the same.
Izumi wouldn't lie- she could definitely used his help there.
Still- lesson learned.
People made her so angry sometimes. Shinsou Hitoshi had so much potential to be a hero, and just because of his quirk…
Izumi hated how much of society's vision of a person rode on that person's quirk.
Izumi resolved to help the boy.
And then there was Todoroki. Todoroki Shouto was an absolute train wreck, and Izumi wanted to punt Endeavor into the sun.
Kacchan would be her alibi.
Kirishima might help too. He'd become a good friend, being so close to Kacchan. Not to mention Ochako-chan and Iida-kun.
First things first though- she needed to snap Todoroki out of this whole repressing of his quirk thing. Not only was it hurting him, but if he wanted to be the best hero he could be, he needed to be training all of his quirk.
And if she had to fight him to prove that...well fine. She'd fight him. She didn't care about winning a tournament when one of her classmates needed her help. It would be nice, yes, but she had two more years in UA, and Todoroki needed her help now. Making it here, now, was pretty impressive anyway.
Izumi spotted Endeavor in the crowd and sneered.
Izumi was going to punch Iida in the face after this.
Charging head first after the Hero Killer! He was smarter than this!
She firmed her stance in front of Iida and Native, even as the Hero Killer stood and rubbed his jaw. "Oh?" the man tilted his head "What's a little rabbit like you doing standing in my way? Move aside."
Izumi took a deep breath. She was so tired of meeting killers head on before she'd even had one year of hero training.
"No! What kind of hero would I be if I just stood aside while you killed them? It's a hero's job to stick their nose into business that doesn't concern them, even if the odds are stacked against them!"
Izumi didn't care what he thought of her, how 'different' he thought she was. She wouldn't let him kill anyone while she was still standing.
Still- when she ended up pinned by his quirk, Izumi was eternally grateful for Todoroki's timing.
Now if Kacchan would only stop texting her. She could feel her phone going off every couple of seconds, and he was the only one who knew her well enough to know what her location message meant right off the bat, even if he was too far to help her.
Though it looked like Todoroki had put it all together pretty quickly too.
When it was all over, and her heart had slowed down from being snagged by a Noumu, and Stain's last stand, she pulled her cellphone out in the hospital.
She had about 50 unread messages, all from Kacchan, which all boiled down to 'what's happening and where are you'. She was surprised to see about 20 from Kirishima that got progressively more worried as he tried to figure out where she was and what was wrong.
Me: Hey Kacchan. I'm alive.
Kacchan: IZUMI YOU BITCH. WTF, WHAT HAPPENED
Me: So I maybe sort of kinda got caught up in the Hosu situation?
Me:Yeah. I'm alright. In the hospital, but nothing that won't heal in a bit.
Kacchan: TEH HOSITAL
Izumi smiled at the spelling errors. Kacchan was usually really good about that, he must have tried typing faster than his phone could keep up with. She jumped slightly when her phone started ringing, but rolled her eyes and answered. She should have known.
One explanation and long winded rant from her best friend later, Izumi messaged Kirishima.
Me: Hey Kirishima-kun. Sorry I didn't get to you sooner
Kirishima: OH MY GOD MIDORIYA
I WAS SO WORRIED
WHERE ARE YOU
Me: Hosu. I got caught up in the mess- I'm okay though!
I mean, stuff happened, and I got hurt, but I'm alive and will recover?
Kirishima: YOU ARE NOT HELPING MY CALM
I'M CALLING YOU.
Izumi blinked in surprise at her phone as it began to ring shortly after that.
She began to smile even as she rolled her eyes. The boys in her life were ridiculous. Figured Kacchan would find another male who was just as protective as him.
So maybe, it was possible, that the protective attitudes Kacchan, Kirishima, All Might, and Aizawa, and Todoroki and basically everyone that spent any length of time in her presence had for her were justified.
She'd never tell them.
What the hell was wrong with her luck? Work Experience week was supposed to mostly be learning the ropes of paperwork and patrolling with some field experience tossed in.
It was not supposed to be like this. It hadn't even been that long. She and Mirio had been out and about for a four days out of the eight they had, and they had already run into three different gangs, two gang wars, one trafficking incident they had to pass up the ladder, ten muggings, three robberies, and now this.
Whatever this was.
But that girl- Eri- she needed help. Izumi was entirely certain of that if nothing else.
Just her luck it turned out to be some sort of insane Yakuza Boss backed by an entire Crime Empire.
...her boys were never going to let her out of their sight again.
Katsuki knew his protective instincts were...intense. Especially when it came to Mi-chan. He couldn't count the number of fights he got into defending her- even though she didn't need it. He'd defended her verbally too, when it came to some of the adults in their life.
He knows the moment he sees her after the internships that something went horribly wrong. It wasn't that Izumi was overly obvious about it- Mi-chan had always had the bad habit of bottling the important stuff away, despite being an overly emotional person. Aunty Inko was like that too.
But Katsuki had been her best friend since diapers. He knew Izumi better than that.
It was in how straight her spine was, how steady her hands were, the subtle tenseness in her shoulders and face. But most of all, it was in her eyes.
"Mi-chan, what happened?"
Izumi jolted subtly before turning to meet his stare. Her lips pulled up at the corners, but the smile didn't reach her eyes even as she insisted "I'm alright, Kacchan. It was just-" her voice cracked for a moment "-intense."
Katsuki frowned deeper stepping forward and gripping Izumi's shoulders. He pulled her into his chest, frowning violently over her head "That...was true, but very obviously avoiding the subject Mi-chan."
There was stillness and silence as she remained tense in his hold for a moment before she went boneless against him, making a low wheezing pained noise that had Katsuki's hackles up immediately.
She wrapped herself around him, and buried her face into his chest as his arms closed tightly around her, as if he could shield her from whatever was wrong. "Kaaachaaaan" she sobbed against him, burrowing closer.
The feeling of her tears soaking his shirt made Katsuki want to blow things up.
"I've got you," he promised instead, supporting her weight as she leaned heavier against his side "I'm here."
"He died Kacchan. I-" a choked and agonized noise "I was right there, but I couldn't save him."
Katsuki hadn't expected that to be the issue. His eyes were wide as he stared over the shorter girl's shoulder, but his arms remained around her, and his hand absently rubbed at her back.
"He-" a moan. "He was- he shouldn't have- I was right there and still he-"
Izumi couldn't seem to speak through her closing through and tears.
Katsuki didn't try to make her, didn't say 'everything is okay' because it wasn't. It was not okay that she had seen someone die so soon. That she kept getting into these situations.
Instead he steeled his voice, and gave her a promise he could keep- that he would always keep- instead. "I'm here Izumi." he swore "I'm here- and it will get better."
Eijirou wondered absently how much Bakugou would murder him when he found out. Not even his Hardening Quirk was going to save him from that explosion when the blond found out. Kirishima wasn't stupid. The greenette was basically Bakugou's little sister.
But it was a sort of….distant worry over his sudden realization.
Midoriya Izumi was one of the manliest people Eijirou knew, gender aside.
He'd thought so ever since the day he'd met her. Watching her reactions over all the craziness 1-A got into, how she took control, and always managed to come up with a plan, how she had saved Bakugou during the Kamino Ward incident…everything she did.
She was sort of up and coming hero people strived to be like. She didn't let her fear rule her actions, even when she was just as terrified as Eijirou, she always extended a hand out to everyone, always had a smile for everyone and…
...And Eijirou, maybe, possibly, kind of, sort of….had a crush on her.
Like, was planning how to ask her out, because again- Eijirou wasn't stupid. Midoriya Izumi was amazing, and gorgeous, and determined, and everything that other people were going to figure out eventually. Eijirou wouldn't let his fear rule him on this.
She was amazing and deserved the world, and by Kami was Eijirou going to try and give it to her, even if he had to face Bakugou Katsuki to do it!