Chapter One: Ignite
Izuku Midoriya sighed as he made his way back home, feeling rather depressed despite just meeting his childhood hero. Encountering All Might had been total dumb luck on his part, (not to mention the man saved him from a villain) and yet the conversation that arose from that encounter was disheartening to say the least.
All Might had told him that if he was Quirkless, it just wasn't possible for him to be a hero.
Izuku turned his gaze towards the darkening sky, reflecting on the revelations All Might had given him. He was still shell-shocked that the greatest hero was crippled, not unlike Izuku himself in a way. He knew full well what it was like to have to deal with a weak body and Izuku respected All Might even more for continuing to do hero work despite his disability.
But it still stung when All Might told him that he couldn't become a hero without a Quirk.
He closed his eyes, forcing the frustration he felt down. That was fine. Izuku had planned for this if and when it ever came to pass. He was a smart kid- he made good grades and even if he couldn't become a hero, that didn't necessarily mean he couldn't be involved with them in some way. He could look into the Support Class of U.A if he was admitted despite his Quirkless state. Yes, that was a possibility. Not to mention Katsuki would be pissed if he didn't make it into U.A with him.
His lips quirked up in a small smile at the thought of his friend. Katsuki was rough around the edges and well…okay, he was actually a complete asshole, but they'd known each other since they were three and he was the only friend Izuku had. The guy was honestly like an angry mother hen, if angry mother hens could make big explosions and screamed at everyone for annoying them.
Suddenly, an uproar from a nearby street grabbed his attention. He blinked and approached the crowd, trying to figure out what was going on. He spotted several heroes keeping the crowd back, away from a huge fire and a writhing mass that looked disturbingly similar to-
Izuku stared in horrified disbelief. It was the Sludge villain that had tried to possess his body earlier! The one All Might had captured!
He must have escaped somehow when I was nagging All Might, Izuku realized. Guilt swelled up in him until he almost felt sick. This is my fault!
"Everyone stay back!" That was Kamui Woods, shouting at the crowd. "The villain has taken a hostage! Please back away and remain calm!"
That must've been why the heroes weren't fighting the villain, Izuku realized as he worked his way to the front of the crowd to see better. From what he could see, none of the heroes had a Quirk that would work well against this particular villain. Some were doing their best to put out the flames raging in the street, but they couldn't approach the villain himself. He found himself silently praying that All Might was nearby and would do something about this-
The villain suddenly turned so that Izuku had clear line of sight to the hostage's face. It was Katsuki. His eyes were wide in terror.
Before he even realized what he was doing, Izuku bolted past the heroes and straight towards the villain.
"Wha- HEY!" Kamui Woods roared after him. "Get back here! Are you insane?!"
Izuku ignored him. He had the Sludge villain's attention now, and he certainly recognized Izuku from before if the flash of anger in his shifty eyes said anything. The villain forced Katsuki's body to move, causing several of the boy's explosions to burst out in Izuku's general direction. They missed him, but the blasts destroyed a car and made the fire around them rage further out of control.
He hurled his backpack at the villain, smacking the villain in the eye and causing him to recoil briefly in annoyance. Izuku started to scrabble desperately at the sludge imprisoning Katsuki, trying to free him with everything he had.
"Deku!" Katsuki managed to gasp out, glaring in bewildered fury at his classmate. "Beat it! What are you doing here?!"
"I came to save you!" Izuku screamed.
"Get lost!" Katsuki roared back. "You'll get yourself killed!"
"You little brat!" The villain snarled, forming a huge fist of sludge to pulverize him with. To make matters worse, the villain had gathered up bits of sharp metal from nearby debris. If that hit Izuku head on, it would make a mess of his already frail body. "Die already!"
In the crowd behind them, All Might lunged forward in his muscle form. He couldn't ignore what Izuku had just said. He was already kicking himself for letting the villain escape and now this boy- this Quirkless boy- had taken it upon himself to act when no one else- including himself- had done a thing. He felt so ashamed of himself that his deteriorating condition flew to the back of his mind so that he could save the two boys before him.
But he wasn't going to make it! All Might reached out desperately as the villain's fist came down on Izuku.
Izuku stared at the incoming blow with terrified eyes, but greater than his fear was the desperation he felt to save Katsuki. He felt it all bubble up inside of him as his friend's eyes rolled into the back of his head from unconsciousness, pushing him over the edge. "Let him go!"
There was a blinding flash of emerald light, momentarily stunning All Might in his rush, but when his eyes recovered they widened in shock. That's…!
Wild, emerald fire blazed around Izuku's body, wrapping around him in a protective shield and causing two locks of hair on his head to rise up like flowing horns. The flames surrounding them intensified and flared, causing the villain to flinch away from the boy.
"What?!" The villain screeched. "Why do you have that?! You monster!"
Izuku looked up at him, desperate anger in his eyes. He brought his right hand back, drawing in the fire around them and changing it into more emerald flames. With an almost feral cry, he thrust his hand forward and sent a torrent of flame at the villain.
The surge of green fire smote the villain and tore him from Katsuki's body, setting the sludge alight until it was boiling from the heat. He screamed in agony as Katsuki collapsed, now free of his captor, but exposed to the fire as well.
All Might acted in that instant, creating a blast of air with a single, overwhelming blow towards the ground. "Detroit Smash!"
The explosion of air pressure blew all the flames away and though it knocked Izuku off his feet, it managed to save Katsuki (and to a lesser extent the Sludge villain) from being burned to death. All Might blinked as the emerald fire around the boy vanished instantly and what few flames remained around them fizzled out.
His experienced eyes surveyed the aftermath of the boy's unexpected attack. Thankfully, the majority of the blaze had been concentrated on the villain and had left everything else relatively unscathed, allowing All Might to wonder about Izuku for a moment. He approached the boy and knelt to inspect him, but he was obviously unconscious.
Can I become a hero even though I don't have a Quirk? I want to be able to save people with a smile on my face, just like you do!
All Might's eyes narrowed, perplexed. That's what he said, but those flames were definitely his doing. Was he just lying?
He dismissed that thought almost as soon as it came to mind. No…he wasn't lying. There's no faking that kind of honest desperation.
The kid was an enigma, a curious one at that. All Might found himself legitimately interested in what was going on with the boy.
Izuku was quiet on his way back to the apartment. Following a quick medical checkup to make sure he was alright and a brief chewing out from some of the heroes, he was dismissed and allowed to go home. None of that really bothered him since Katsuki had ended up being alright as well— that was obvious enough when the boy yelled at Izuku for being stupid and jumping into a dangerous situation without a Quirk.
Or rather, jumping into danger without a Quirk that he could use.
He tilted his head back so he was looking at the sky with a despondent expression. "I did it again…"
"I AM HERE!"
Izuku nearly jumped out of his skin as All Might came racing from out of nowhere and ended up standing on the street in front of him. "A-All Might?! What are you doing here?!"
"Just wanted to chat- HACK!" All Might spat up blood as he reverted from his muscle form into his skinny true form. He wiped the blood from his chin and looked at Izuku with a raised eyebrow. "What's up with the long face?"
"Ah- oh, it's nothing," Izuku said a little too quickly, waving his hands back and forth.
"I see," the man grunted. He studied Izuku for a moment. "That was some Quirk back there."
The grip Izuku had on his backpack strap tightened. "I guess…"
"You told me earlier that you were Quirkless," All Might went on, his eyes boring into the nervous child. "Why tell me that if you had a Quirk?"
"It was a-a mistake," Izuku replied, looking away from him. "I didn't mean to flare up, I…I don't ever want to use that Quirk. It scares people…"
All Might had a hunch about what was going on here. The more he looked at this kid, the more he felt like he was looking at someone else. Someone he'd encountered back in his prime over a decade ago. Plus the way his flames had looked back there…the way they coiled around the boy's body and formed those fiery horns on his head…
"You're Heat Viper's kid," All Might said at last. The way the boy's face grew pale and his fists clenched was answer enough for the hero.
"He's not my dad!" Izuku answered vehemently, surprising All Might with his intensity. The boy was starting to sweat and he looked like he was on the verge of having a panic attack. "That guy isn't my dad! Yeah, he's my parent, but he's not my dad! I don't even know him! I'm nothing like him! I-"
"Breathe," All Might stepped forward and interrupted him with a hand on his shoulder. Izuku almost flinched away, but All Might's grasp was firm. It kept him steady. The hero's voice lowered to a gentle tone. "I don't think you're like him, either."
Izuku choked, his body going boneless from those words and fell forward. All Might kind of expected that, so he held the boy up and just let him cry for a moment. The hero quietly sighed now that his suspicions were confirmed.
His Quirk is so similar to Viper's that I actually stopped in my tracks back there, All Might thought to himself. And I'm a pro. If any normal person saw that and knew who Viper was…sheesh, no wonder the kid said he's Quirkless. He probably tells everyone that so they don't freak out.
"Are you gonna be okay?"
Izuku sniffed and stepped back, pulling out a handkerchief from his pocket to wipe his eyes and nose. "Y-yeah. Sorry. I'm just stressed…I haven't used that Quirk since I was seven, so I'm a bit overwhelmed…"
All Might hacked up more blood in disbelief. "Seven?! Wait, how old are you again?!"
"…you haven't used your Quirk in seven years?" All Might was stunned.
The boy nodded meekly. "I…I accidentally flared up in the second grade once and my teacher had an actual heart attack just from seeing it. Her husband was a…victim…"
All Might's eyes cleared in understanding. "And you found out about Viper right after that?"
"Mmhm. I didn't want to hurt or scare anyone because of that Quirk again, so…I just never used it again. I-I thought if I worked hard enough on my own, I could become a hero without a Quirk, but…I guess I can't. I'm still gonna shoot for the Support Class in U.A though. I think I can do that."
All Might was silent for a long while as he studied the boy's face. Izuku looked tired and scared, but there was a fiery determination in his eyes that reminded him of…well, himself.
A boy with no Quirk (well, sort of) that had the drive to become a hero through his own effort so he could help people. The way he'd moved to save his friend from the Sludge villain had amazed All Might. He hadn't moved from willpower or any mental drive. He'd just moved instinctively. Without thinking. Without hesitating. When even All Might had stopped and hoped that another hero might come by.
Well, he'd be damned if he just sat back and watched this kid jump into the Support Class in U.A. Not that there was anything wrong with that, but this boy needed to become a hero.
"Izuku," All Might said suddenly. "You can become a hero."
Izuku froze and stared at him, wide-eyed. "Huh? But you said-"
"I was mistaken," he interrupted. "Back there, despite having no Quirk to fight with, you jumped in to save your friend when no one else would. Myself included. You were more heroic than anyone else in that moment. I say it again. You can become a hero."
The boy looked torn between shock and joy, but they were quickly overwhelmed by uncertainty. "But…I don't have a Quirk I can use…"
"I have a solution to that," All Might told him. "But I offer it to you on one strict condition; I want you to learn how to use your Quirk."
Izuku sucked in a sharp breath. "No—"
"Let me finish, dammit," the hero chuckled. He pat the boy's shoulder. "I want you to learn how to use it for your own good. You flared up today because you don't have any control over it. That's not something you want happening in a dire situation. As a hero, you absolutely cannot risk losing control of a Quirk as powerful as that. Do you understand?"
Izuku was quiet as he looked towards his feet. All Might went on. "I'm not saying this to give you a hard time. I'm saying this because you need to hear it. That power might remind people of Viper, but it's your power. You don't have to use it in public if you really don't want to, but I want you to learn how, anyways. There are people who fear that fire, but there are also people who probably need it."
"Need it?" Izuku asked, disbelieving. "Who would need a Quirk like this?"
"Who knows? Perhaps someone who is cold or in need of a light," All Might laughed again. "I certainly can't flare up to warm someone or make a dark room brighter with my Quirk. Start out with little things like that if you need to. But my point is, I want to see you make that power into something that people find comforting."
The boy swallowed hard. "But what if it scares people?"
"It will scare some," the hero said. "I will admit that at first, your Quirk will probably bring up some bad memories from older folks. But power is neither good nor bad, just how its wielder makes it so. If I were a villain, Super Strength Quirks would probably be feared all over the world."
All Might looked into Izuku's eyes steadily. "It's up to you to make your power into something that people seek out instead of something they run from. But to do that, you have to stop running from your power first."
"Which brings me back to my main point," All Might jabbed a finger towards Izuku. "I've deemed you worthy of inheriting my power."
"I'm talking about my Quirk. Listen up and listen close, kiddo," All Might spread his arms out to either side of him in a grand gesture. "My Quirk was passed on to me like a sacred torch that is given from bearer to the next!"
"You heard me. And I've tagged you as my inheritor."
"W-w-w-w-wait, wh-what?!" Izuku yelped, going into full-on stutter mode. He began to mutter furiously to himself as he processed that. "It's true that your Quirk is hotly debated by everyone and no one really knows what it is, but I've never heard of such a thing and it's not even among the craziest theories I've seen and I've seen some really crazy theories but there's never been a record of a Quirk that could do that since everyone has their own inborn traits that make up their quirk and lets them establish themselves and that's why they're considered unique so a Quirk that could be passed on to others could never happen because-"
"Holy shit, hit the brakes there, motor mouth," All Might snapped, cutting Izuku off. "I keep a lot of things to myself, but I don't lie. The power I was granted was the Quirk that transfers power— it's called One for All. One person cultivates the power then passes it on to another, who then cultivates it further and passes it on yet again. As time goes on and it builds, that strength grows and allows those inheritors to save people. I've been searching for a successor for ages, ever since I was wounded so badly. You're the first person I've ever thought I'd be okay with passing this power on to."
Izuku was honestly still trying to process everything, but he felt beyond honored that All Might considered him- him of all people- worthy of such an amazing gift. But he still had doubts. "But…is that okay? I…I have that Quirk…"
"It doesn't matter to me," All Might told him gently. "If you want to just rely on One for All and put your own Quirk to the side, that's up to you, but I still want you to learn to use it for the reasons I stated earlier. Or you can use both One for All and your Quirk together. Actually, I would've offered this to you even if you were truly Quirkless. This has nothing to do with whether or not you have a Quirk, kiddo. This is because I can see you becoming a great hero."
The hero laughed as Izuku lifted his hand to wipe his eyes again. "Of course, it's up to you! If you trained enough, you could become a hero with just your Quirk or you could join the Support Class at U.A."
Izuku shook his head. As if there was a choice here.
He cleared his face of tears and gave All Might the strongest look he could. "I'll do it!"
All Might grinned. "An answer without hesitation. I figured as much. All right, kid. Then I hope you're ready for the road ahead, because I won't go easy on you!"
A/N: Welp, I've wanted to do a fic for this series for a long time, but haven't had any ideas for it until recently! I'm currently struggling with writer's block for several of my stories at the moment, so my solution is to just keep writing by making yet another story! Ehehe...but in all seriousness, this is a series I'd really like to make a long fic for, so please tell me your thoughts on it! This chapter is kind of vague since it's literally a rough draft, but next chapter will have more information about Izuku's Quirk! It'll probably be up sooner than later since I'm in the mood to write this fic right now. Anyway, please review and thanks for reading!