"Oh come now, Kacchan," the voice was a dark twisted mimicry of everything Katsuki remembered, for all that it sounded friendly, "you always said I'd never be a hero didn't you?"
A soft laugh, "You were the only one who ever saw this coming really. The others- they told me I could never be a hero too, of course...but you...oh, you Kacchan...you told me to take a dive off a roof too, didn't you? It was because you saw this end result right?"
Katsuki breathed through the painful twist in his chest, through the stifling regret, through the desire to burst into tears, as he stared at his old friend.
Deku- Midoriya Izuku- looked so different now. He was clad in a form fitting suit, black slacks, shined shoes to match, red suspenders over a blood colored dress shirt, sleeves rolled back to the elbows, and a black skinny tie looped perfectly in place. His hair was spiked back, away from his face and leather half gloves covered his palms, fingers and knuckles, but left the back of his hand open to air.
The most striking difference though- the one that hurt Katsuki to look at- were his eyes. They were the same green that had always been, but they were cold. They were narrowed, intent on pain. They were not filled with a spark of passion and joy, with the determination to stand, and keep on standing, no matter what or who came at him.
Katsuki swallowed the blood in his mouth, ignoring the sting of his split lip as he rasped "What happened to you, Deku?"
Izuku paused, blinking as if in surprised, before he threw his head back, and laughed. When he looked at Katsuki, his face was soft, as if they were children again, best friends, and he was about to share a secret.
"I had my eyes opened Kacchan. This world….it's a mess. Heroes save people for money, they commercialized the idea of helping people. Quirks are regulated so strongly, it's like they don't want anyone to have them at all, really. No public quirk use? Why? It's who we are now, a natural step in evolution. People can't help what they're born with- or without- and outlawing a quirk use is like outlawing black hair. It's not going to stop people from having black hair, it just makes them go out of their way to buy dye. And the quirkless? Don't even get me started on the quirkless, Kacchan. You saw what they treated me like. What they did- what you did- what they allowed you and every other bully in the school to do, just because you had such a 'heroic' quirk, and I didn't. Like my lack of quirk made me completely expendable."
Izuku scoffed, shaking his head and taking a step back "I only had the obvious pointed out to me- and I want you to see it too, Kacchan."
His entire face softened for an instant, a gloved hand extended out towards Katsuki "You're too good for them Kacchan. You've always wanted to be a hero right? Can't you see? What I'm doing- it's to help, to save society from itself. They'll call me a villain of course, but I'll be a hero that never sees the light of day, the sort that does the dark and dirty things that need doing, a real hero, and isn't that what you want to be? Won't you help me, Kacchan?"
Katsuki looked up at his friend with horror in his heart.
He...he was serious.
He really meant it. He saw what he did as something that would save the world. He was…he was the kind of villain that believed in what he did. The most dangerous sort.
Katsuki's stomach turned, bile crawling up his throat. All of this- everything that had happened to his friend- it was his fault.
Katsuki had driven him to this- had been the one to shove him over the edge. He could remember the day he told Deku to take a leap of faith. He'd regretted it as soon as it came out of his mouth. Had even gone looking for Izuku, to apologize, or yell, or just- something. He'd gone after him.
But he had disappeared. Katsuki had been unable to find his old friend, and the first sinking feeling of fear had touched him.
(-take a leap of faith off the roof-)
Deku wouldn't. He was stronger than that. He'd stood up to everyone who ever said he couldn't. Looked down his nose at those naysayers. He'd always picked himself up, and kept going. Kept promising 'I'll be a hero like All Might!'
(-there's one thing you can do-)
(-pray in the next life-)
He'd been absolutely sure.
And then he had walked into class the next morning, and Deku's desk was empty.
But the thing that had caught him off guard, the thing that sent his heart to his feet, and acid up his throat, the thing that made him dizzy with denial and horror-
There were white chrysanthemums sitting on top of his desk.
If you really want a quirk, there's one thing you can do! Go to the roof, and take a leap of faith! Pray you'll get your quirk in the next life!
His own words had echoed in his head like a death knell. He'd staggered backwards, out of the room, bile and acid clawing up his throat as he ranranran from his mistake. He hadn't stopped for anyone- friends, teachers, it didn't matter. All Katsuki could think of, all that he could hear was his vile, horrid words echoingechoingechoing in his own mind.
-take a leap-
-there's one thing-
-in the next life-
Katsuki had screamed.
He'd found out later that it was a joke from one of the kids who overheard the comment Katsuki had made.
(Katsuki had beat the shit out of him for it later.)
But that didn't stop the fact that Deku had gone missing, that Katsuki had said those words to him. That Katsuki had never gotten to apologize.
...Here he was.
A villain who praised him for seeing it coming, offered him a hand and spoke of making the world better.
Katsuki couldn't help but shake his head in denial. Of the offer, the situation, at everything that was happening.
Deku's face twisted into a look of sadness twined with anger.
"That's okay Kacchan. You don't understand yet." the other boy's voice was soft, almost caring. "I didn't understand either, not at first, but Sensei...he made me see. And I'll make you see too.