A/N: Before anyone squawks!

This is a oneshot; someone challenged me to make this in less than a thousand words. Good luck trying to change my mind! So here we are. This is also my first foray into My Hero Academia, so please, be nice. Because...well, I saw HIS past...then the request came through.

So in lieu of a long-winded rand/explanation, here we go!

As ever, I own no references, quotes, themes or memes!

"At that time...if someone had reached a hand out to me..

If just one person had done something...anything...

...maybe things would have changed."


Just a Shinobi

"You alright there, kiddo?"

Tenko Shimura blinked.

Once. Twice. Thrice.

He blinked up at the shadow that had fallen over him. What else could he do? He was just a boy, after all. He So many people had walked by him on the street. Not a single one had stopped to ask if he needed help. One after the other. No one had reached out a hand to him; if anything they went out of their way to avoid him. Pretending he wasn't there. Acting like he didn't exist.

All the while Tenko kept scratching, scratching, scratching. Until now.

Now, as the owner of that voice crouched down before him on the sidewalk, a tiny ray of sunlight pierced the hollow expanse of his mind. Someone had noticed him. Even as the crowds parted on either side of them, his attention didn't waver. Bright blue eyes remained fixed upon his, sapphire piercing scarlet.

"Hey." they tilted their head. "Are you alright? Did something happen?"

He found himself looking upon a strange man, more a teenager really, clad in strange orange-and black clothes. Bright blue eyes crinkled in a small smile, framed by whiskered cheeks and mess blond hair. He looked even worse than Tenko felt right now. As if he'd just fell out of the sky and hit every building on the way down. Maybe he had. His body was covered in dirt and grime, his attire weathered and torn to reveal a mesh undershirt beneath. There was a strange sun-like mark on his right hand. A tattoo or something?

Yet for all that his injuries, the young man smiled.

"Here, lemme see your hands...

Dread reared its ugly head in Tenko's heart. A flash of agonizing memory caught him in its teeth. His hands. Breaking! Cracking! Death! Killing!

"N-No!" he recoiled with a yelp! "Wait!"

"Its fine." strong palms closed around his, as an older brother might toward a younger sibling. "Nothing's go to happen."

Even as cracks spread across his fingers, they healed thrice as fast. Gentle golden light bubbled up and the damage inflicted by his quirk was immediately undone by...what was that, exactly? Regeneration? No, this went beyond that. Almost like something deep inside the blond scoffed at the injury and erased it.

"Its going to be alright, now." the stranger smiled, cheeks dimpling. "I'm here. Are you lost? Where are you parents?"

Those words. Those blasted words.

Faced with such a sight, with genuine human kindness for the first time in so long, Tenko did what any child in his situation would.

He broke.

"I'm lost." Tenko warbled once and hiccuped. "I don't have anything, anymore..."

A tan hand came down on his head, tousling his pale hair.

"That's alright." his savior laughed. "I'm kinda lost, too. No idea where this place is, and really, I've never seen buildings this big before." a weary blue eye looked around, scowling at the crowds that even now ignored the two of them. "Don't mind those idiots. We can be lost together." in a quiet aside, he added to himself, "Once I figure out where here is...

"Who are you?" Tenko's voice faltered a little. "Are you one of those heroes...?"

"Hero? Me? The blond man smiled. "Nah. I'm Naruto. Just a shinobi."

Three little words. Yet they changed his fate. Not a hero. Not a villain; something else altogether. A hero hadn't come to help him. A villain certainly hadn't. He had. Looking back, Tenko would remember this moment; the very instant. One tiny action, a singular ripple in a world gone cold...changed everything.

A palm planted itself between his shoulders, guiding him onward.

"C'mon. Lets get you something to eat...

Just a shinobi, indeed.

A/N: If it isn't obvious, yes, that's Naruto from the end of Shippuden flung from hi world...with both arms intact.

Once again! This was very much a oneshot! It'll take a lot to sway my on that.

Well? Whaddya think? Wanted to keep it simple. I await your feedback.

So in the Immortal Words of Atlas...

...Review, Would You Kindly?

And because its a habit!



"What's that? Give him up? Hell no! I've got no idea how to be a dad, but I'm gonna try, damnit!"

"What's a ninja?"

"Hrmm..." Naruto scratched his cheek. "Maybe it would be better if I just showed you...and really, your bloodine's pretty harmless so long as you wear gloves...