Life is funny.
For no reason whatsoever as far as anyone can ever tell, things are always happening, things that lead to tragedies, things that lead to amazing advancements, things that lead to terror, or things that lead to love.
Things that only happen because a few key events happen in a certain order. Yet, that order is so rarely predetermined, instead just a simple course of fate. It's fascinating.
And sometimes, if you're very lucky, if everything lines up just right, maybe you'll find what you're looking for in life without ever having to venture farther than your home.
Of the many, amazing, mundane, curious and random events in the universe, there is one a certain black haired girl in the days of the future would forever consider to be the best one of these random occurrences.
The girl? Yui Kodai.
The event? The day her parents had to move house.
Yui was not a particularly vocal girl. There were a great many reasons that could be attributed to why that was and over the years many would certainly come up with a lot of theories.
She simply lacked the energy, she was unable to think of how to respond to most scenarios, her facial muscles were underdeveloped or outright missing due to a mutation in her family. Perhaps all of them could have some degree of truth, yet none ever hit the underlying cause.
Yui Kodai was shy. Incredibly so, anxious even. No matter what situation she wondered into, for as long as she could remember, she was afraid of messing up, of doing the wrong things, saying the wrong words, making people mad at her.
Her very first memory was of her simply speaking, of saying nothing more than what was on her mind to another toddler in daycare, pointing out how they looked. She wasn't prepared for the kid she called fat to burst out into tears but it made her feel bad.
She didn't want to make other people cry. So she stayed quiet. If she spoke her mind, she would hurt others. That was the scary thought always pervading her mind.
Her parents were always worried about her silence, but she was never sure how to respond to that worry. So she just remained quiet, never uttering out more than a dull "I'm fine" to them when she had to.
Then one day, Yui had her first fateful run in with one of the most destructive and erratic forms of weather. Lightning.
She was only five years old, entertaining herself with drawing during a storm when a bolt of lightning had ended up striking the side of her parent's house, a wooden cabin near the edge of Shimane prefecture.
It didn't survive the flames.
Yui fortunately had little to lose other than some drawings she didn't much care for, the only plush toy she really cared about was tucked safely in her arms as her parents had picked her up in her blanket and ran out to safety with her as she watched the blazes from her father's arms in confusion. The one thing she did cry about losing was a hero autograph and a few posters of All Might. She loved her hero merch and it hurt losing it, after begging so much for it in the first place.
Heroes and firefighters had arrived but they'd been too late to save the house, only able to put out the flames before they spread. Their home was still gone. It took Yui a few weeks to register and understand she was never going to see her old home again.
Fortunately, unlike most, the Kodai's were not yet out of a home. Though it was only luck, her father's brother had inherited an apartment their mother had used to live in and though the two brothers didn't talk much, Yui's uncle wasn't going to let his family sleep in the streets, giving them the key.
Those were the fateful series of events that lead to Yui and her family moving into an apartment complex in the not so pleasant city of Musutafu. It was hardly the worst city in Japan… but it wasn't the best, having one of the higher crime rates in the country as well as being one of the only three cities in Japan to still have prominent criminal gangs waiting in the shadows.
In the future, Yui would be certain if her parents had had any choice, they would never have taken the apartment in Musutafu but she was so glad they did. Because it wasn't too long after they moved in that one last event would occur, that unbeknownst to her at the time, would define her next seven years.
It was a more or less normal day in her new home, her parents were finally settling in enough to start decorating and her father was going to be going in for a job interview that day. Her mom had found a school willing to accept her in, this late into the school year and she was working up enough courage to explore outside the apartment despite her shyness.
She never wandered far, at first not even really leaving the building as much as just wandering around it but she still tried to explore. It was in the midst of this exploring, on the second day, she finally saw him.
The first time she ever set her eyes on Izuku Midoriya.
She'd been playing in the hallway when she'd heard a door open, hearing two people approaching and ended up hiding away, too shy to want to run into two strangers. It was also the moment she realized if she kept doing this she'd never make many friends, and she didn't want to upset her parents who always wanted her to be more social. Before she could think on it more, she saw a pretty looking lady with long green hair holding a small boy's hand who had messy green hair of his own.
He was slightly smaller than her at the time, as she was a bit of a tall child compared to others though only by a few inches. He seemed restrained yet still excited as he hopped around his mother, wildly rambling about quirks his classmates had. Yet he seemed… hesitant. He reminded Yui of herself a bit, though she wasn't sure why.
"Yes yes, I get it Izuku. Super speed quirks are very cool. Now come on, we're going to be late and we don't have super speed to change that!"
She saw the door they were leaving was quite literally next door to her parents, meaning the boy was her neighbour. Maybe… Maybe they could be friends? If she could work up the courage to approach him, maybe they could actually play together?
He was even talking about heroes a lot! Yui loved heroes, so maybe they'd like each other if they both liked heroes?
While it was never intended, her head was filled with thoughts like this throughout the entire day, and the idea of maybe having a friend soon even managed to make her a tad more confident, resulting in her venturing down the stairs and out into the park area nearby.
It was nice and calm… for a while.
"If you don't stop uh, I'll uh, I'll stop you myself!"
"You don't stand a chance without a quirk, Deku!"
The sounds of small explosions were what got Yui running. What she found made her stomach drop. Three boys, all equally mean looking were walking away. A fat boy with large wings, a skinny one with weird fingers laughing and both were being led by the one that set Yui on edge the most, a boy with spiky blonde hair and a skull shirt. They all looked way too amused and they barely spared a glance at her on the way past.
She ran into the park area and saw a normal looking boy with ginger hair holding his arm and calming down from crying. On the floor… Izuku laid there, battered, bruised and charred. Making Yui let out a tiny horrified gasp, more emotion than she was usually able to show, her shock coming through.
"What happened?" She asked quietly, as the other boy stood up. Then he let out a small snarl as he glared at Izuku.
"I was fine on my own! I didn't need some stupid quirkless Deku making me look like an idiot!" The ginger said angrily as he went to kick Izuku, only for Yui to see and grab the foot pulling him to the ground.
Then, almost as if she was acting on instinct instead of though, her arms shot up as she shielded Izuku.
"Get away from him! He tried to help you!"
The kid just growled at her, not picking a fight with his injured arm, turning and walking off. Yui frowned, turning back around to see the child was unconscious. She leaned down, putting a hand to his head to make sure everything was okay.
"I…Izuku? That's your name right, can you hear me? I'm your neighbour… Can you hear me? I want to help you…"
Nothing. He just stayed with his eyes closed, body very lightly twitching. With a frown, she realized he didn't seem likely to wake up soon. She looked to the retreating ginger and even saw the mean kids about to disappear in the distance.
Did they attack him because he had no quirk? She frowned. She hated people like that. Her quirk hadn't even come in yet but she was fine, she was a normal person.
It just made her blood boil under the surface, he seemed like a nice kid, why did they have to hurt him? It was this frustration she was channelling when her hand landed on a toy abandoned by one of the kids.
A little toy car with a convertible roof. All five fingers touched it and suddenly, it began growing. Her eyes went wide and she quickly grabbed Izuku, struggling to pull him away just in time as the car became the size of something more akin to the small cars she'd seen kids playing in before in toy stores.
A part of her was excited that her quirk had come in but now was hardly the time to think about that, as she walked up to it and gave it a light shove, watching it move easily like it was made of something far lighter.
Her quirk was new, weak, it couldn't change weight yet. It was still as light as when it was a small toy, but it was perfect. With all her strength, she lifted Izuku into one of the seats and began pushing it away, back towards the building. It had an elevator.
She got him back to her house, where her parents had screamed. There was a whirlwind of activity, but all Yui registered was watching Izuku not wake up, until his mother came and took him, while thanking her before leaving.
He was back to school by the next week and he still had no idea she was even involved. What she didn't know at the time was that was what would be normal for them going forward for a long time.
She wanted to approach him, to make sure he was alright, to tell him she hoped he was okay.
But that lovely little habit of hers, that shyness, that anxiety, it all came piling up to the surface to beat her over the head with so many doubts and fears.
'What if you accidentally insult him, what if you scare him, what if you make him think you will hurt him, what if he doesn't like you, what if he thinks you're mocking him because you got your quirk from a moment he got hurt in, what if he just doesn't want friends, what if what if what if-'
She didn't approach him in the end. She thought she could just wait until a bit later. Bring it up next time. Yet the longer she waited, the more things spiralled out of control, as she continued to watch him, not sure what else to do.
She saw him enjoy heroes, be kind, help others, watch heroes in action, she saw him be adorable with his mother, be bullied by his peers, hurt by his 'friends' all while a quirk never came in, even as she secretly rooted for him all the while. She even found out they wanted to go to the same high school, U.A. High, where All Might himself had gone before.
She saw him be amazing in his own way, yet never seem to realize it.
Yui loved heroes. Loved them enough she had an entire section of her room dedicated to them (though certainly still not as much dedication as Izuku had to All Might), she knew the best heroes, she knew the worst and she knew… she knew next door was already one of the greatest heroes in the world, just waiting to be unleashed.
And she could never work up the courage to approach him.
'What if it's too late? What if something changes when you do? What if you waited too long and now he'd hate you if you tried now? What if he thinks you're a liar because you waited so long? What if he thinks you're a creep because you've been watching him? What if he-'
Every year, it got harder and harder.
Every year, Yui got quieter and more reserved.
Every year, Izuku proved his worth. Proved he was amazing and made Yui want to be his friend more.
Every year, Yui's anxiety got worse and every time, she had more need to approach him and yet it became more likely she wouldn't. It was a depressing cycle.
And it was all compounded by one point. When she was eight, when she had just watched Izuku disappear inside his home, when she wished she wasn't such a damn social coward and could just knock on his door and ask him to play, she instead sat at the TV as her parents talked.
A romantic comedy was playing as her parents talked and she couldn't remember how or why, but her parents began talking about old crushes. She continued watching the TV, as her mind stayed on Izuku.
She watched how the couple on screen acted, not even realizing when she slipped into her own little fantasy of it being her and Izuku. Then finally her curiosity got the better of her as her parents' conversation continued to interrupt her.
"Mom, what's a crush?" She asked with a blank expression and a monotone. She never had any inflection nowadays, always just seeming to have the one expression, the one feeling. It took someone perceptive to see how she really felt at any given moment.
"Well sweetie, a crush is someone you always find yourself thinking about, someone you really like and who makes you feel special, in a way other people don't. Someone you'd be happy to spend all your time with. Does that help?"
"…Mm." She nodded, turning her attention back to the TV as her mind went into shock as she came to a simple realization that made her difficult situation even more complicated.
She had a crush on Izuku Midoriya. She had a crush… on someone who didn't even know she existed.
She wasn't able to avoid crying herself to sleep that night.
That was the unfortunate tale of Izuku and Yui's first seven years as neighbours. She eventually even joined his middle school to help try to talk to him yet never ended up in his classes and even when he was bullied, the best she could do was slide food or bandages his way when he wasn't looking and disappeared.
A quirkless boy, bullied by everyone when all he wanted to do was help, forever unaware of the one girl who liked him, who wanted to help him, always trying to help him and encourage him from the shadows, too shy and scared to approach him.
Then one day, when they were twelve years old, when only three years remained until they went to high school, it finally happened.
The incident that changed everything with a bolt of green lightning.
Yui was tired. Enough you could probably even see it on her ever stoic face, bags under her bored eyes as her usual frown seemed slightly deeper than normal.
Teachers had not gone easy on her class that day. Bombarded with Maths tests, English tests, Japanese tests and even a full two hours of Physical Education, the black haired teen was about ready to collapse in the street.
None of this was helped by the fact she had had yet another chance to approach Izuku when her physical education class had been merged with his and she'd been just a seat away from him. She'd had to smack two bitches laughing at him to get them to shut up before she went to try and talk to him, trying to just do it while she could, brain running on adrenaline…
Before the gym teacher then decided to call her out again, then Izuku after. In fact, as far as she could tell, any time she made any move towards trying to talk with Izuku, the one time she finally felt like she might have a chance as the exhaustion was getting in the way of the usual anxiety, her teacher seemed to have a knack for screwing her over.
With a frustrated sigh she readjusted her bag and kept walking alone. She had no friends to walk home with, she didn't want any. None of them were Izuku, and they all seemed to get a kick out of mocking or outright hurting him. She'd never be friends with them after that.
She could only wonder what Izuku would be doing now, as she rarely saw him on the way home despite both attending the same school now. He always had other stuff to do before coming straight home usually.
Though today was a little different. Today, there were dark clouds overhead, rain pelting down rapidly into the streets and thunder rumbling above. It was dark and dreary and honestly Yui just wanted home where she could get out of the appalling weather.
She was only half way home however when she'd gotten a text from her parents, asking her to bring in some groceries. Not a lot, but enough for dinner that night.
At the time, she'd simply kept her blank face while annoyance bubbled underneath the surface, wishing she wasn't being delayed but she'd later come to be thankful for them telling her to.
It only took her twenty minutes in total to get all the groceries she thought her parents could need that she had money for, and another ten minutes to be done with paying for it all, leaving the store and continuing on her walk.
She was considering using the spare change to grab a taxi home, heading in the direction she knew a taxi rank to be, only for all her thoughts to stop, all her frustration to disappear and only pure, unadulterated worry to take over.
Because, bruised, burned and bleeding in the streets, laying in a puddle was a very unconscious, almost dead looking Izuku.
"IZUKU!" She shouted out as her eyes went wide, her face finally shifting from seeming boredom to horror as she ran to his side, dropping down beside him and quickly checking his pulse, letting out a sigh of relief as she saw he was still alive.
She looked up, ignoring the rain hitting her eyes and flinching at the sound of thunder, followed by a crack of lightning. She couldn't leave him out here, not that she planned to but she needed him inside as quickly as possible.
Looking around for anywhere she could take him, she let out a sigh of relief at spotting an open garage not too far from them, the sound of a drill alerting her to the fact someone was inside.
She put her arms under Izuku and unlike when they were kids, Yui this time was easily able to lift the teen into her arms, the boy being far too skinny and light for her liking. She gritted her teeth.
No doubt it was due to bullying and if the charred arms were any indication, even the way she'd found him was due to that bastard Bakugou. She swore in that moment if she saw him again, there would be a reckoning.
For the moment though, she focused on running to the garage, making multiple puddles splash as she tried not to agitate Izuku's unconscious form too much, reaching the garage and putting him down, looking up.
There was a clattering sound and a man with black hair and blue overalls came around the corner, pulling up a pair of safety glasses. His eyes went wide as he saw the boy and he quickly rushed over.
"I don't know! I just found him bleeding in a puddle outside!" She quickly explained, fumbling around for her phone.
"Alright stay here! I'll go get a first aid kit, you call an ambulance kid!" The man told her and she nodded as she watched Izuku with worried eyes, gently squeezing his hand.
Then something impossible happened. Something that would change everything.
There was another rumbling and Yui's attention was drawn outside to see the clouds lighting up. This time though… they turned blue, then red, then orange, then white…. Before suddenly a green bolt of lightning ripped away from the cloud, rapidly approaching the ground, only to change its direction in mid-air right before it would impact.
Yui barely had time for her eyes to go wide in horror before the bolt came through the garage door and hit Izuku in the chest, sending his unconscious form flying backwards and hitting a yellow drum, causing a clear liquid to come spilling out as he landed.
"AH!" The man from before shouted as he saw the child, having walked back in just in time to see him be hit, running and grabbing him. "Not good! Kid get away from that!"
Yui did as she was told, getting as far away from the liquid as she could and paling as she saw the label on it while running past, seeing it was labelled 'Nitrous Oxide.'
Both child and stranger watched the liquid for a moment in worry, prepared for a blaze to begin.
While both were distracted with that, they both failed to notice a new development.
A small crackle of green lightning was jumping between Izuku's fingertips.
With quicken breathes, as her worry began creeping up more and more on her, Yui took her phone back out as she dropped down beside Izuku, squeezing his hand and whispering quiet assurances as she punched in the number for the emergency services and waited until she could get an ambulance on the line.
While she did that, the stranger set to work doing first aid on him to the best of his abilities, struggling with the teen as Yui gave the address to the operator and told them to hurry. Once that was done, other than holding Izuku's hand in the vague hope it was helping him somehow, she wasn't sure what to do now.
She gritted her teeth and spotted a part of Izuku's shirt, charred and sat on the floor. She wasn't exactly sure what she was thinking when she picked it up but it made her feel a tiny bit better as she held it in her hands, so she didn't let go.
The world felt like it was moving so slow, yet it was barely five minutes later that the sirens of the ambulance could be heard, another minute and there were paramedics putting Izuku onto a stretcher, pulling him to the ambulance.
Yui didn't let go, even as they tried to pull her away. She refused to leave his side again.
"Miss, you have to step aside-"
"I'm family dammit!" She shouted in the man's face. It may have been a lie but she refused to be separated from Izuku now.
"Uh… Shigeki?" The other paramedic, a woman with blonde hair spoke up, getting Yui and the paramedic she was arguing with attention. "Look at the kid!"
Both did and were surprised to see his burns were starting to fade, way faster than normal. His scars were disappearing and his wounds were closing, stitching disappearing.
He was healing rapidly.
"That… that doesn't make any sense. He's quirkless." Yui said quietly, getting the paramedic beside her to look at her oddly. He hesitated for just a moment before groaning.
"Fine, get in the back already. " He told her, as he pulled Izuku in. "Just don't get in the way."
She nodded and clambered in the back, watching Izuku with a worried gaze.
"Please… be alright." She begged quietly, worried about what was going to happen to him. "I'll be here no matter what, I promise."
There was a brief crackle of lightning in his palm she missed again, causing the lights on the ambulance to flicker. Her breathing hitched as her worry grew.
She didn't lie with her promise but her anxiety was reaching an all-time high, only one thought present on her mind.
Just what was happening to Izuku?
Even then, she could feel it, she could tell… whatever it was…
Nothing would ever be the same after.