Chapter One: A Mother's Prayer
A young boy with a head of messy dark green hair and beady green eyes was sitting in front of a computer, while his mother stood behind him with a hand on his shoulder and an indulgent smile on her face. In and of itself, this was not an unusual scene. Indeed, any household with a child who was just old enough to use the computer might have such a scene.
What made this situation unique was two particular facts. Firstly, the boy was sitting stock-still in his seat, with his eyes as wide as he could make them, as though missing even a nanosecond of whatever he was watching would be intolerable. Secondly, his face was frozen in an expression of adoration so pure and absolute that it could only have come from a child.
"Everything is fine now. Why? Because I am here!"
A behemoth of a man was standing on a fallen building in front of a burning hellscape that had once been part of a city. No fewer than seven unconscious people were in his possession, with two under each arm and three easily fitting across his massive shoulders. There was blood trickling from his brow, and scuff marks and ash were visible all over his body.
Nevertheless, the man smiled.
He smiled and laughed as though he had not a care in the world. As though the pain of his injuries meant nothing to him. As though the burden of his charges was negligible at best. As though the toxic air, burning heat, and nearly one hundred souls he had retrieved thus far could not even put a dent in his seemingly endless reserves of stamina.
The Symbol of Peace: All Might.
The video froze on this last image, having reached the end of its runtime. It was at this point that the young Midoriya Izuku remembered to breathe.
Inko silently observed that if the video had been too much longer, then her son might have passed out or given himself brain damage with how often he asked to watch it. Even after all those times he still reacted exactly the same way. She couldn't blame him though; his reaction brought the same smile to her face every time too.
"One more time! Please Mommy?"
Right on cue. Inko sighed to herself. She really did need to put him to bed soon. He still had school tomorrow after all, and he had already gotten three "one more times" out of her…
…But she just couldn't help herself.
"Alright, Izuku. But just one more. This time I mean it, okay? You really need to go to bed and you still haven't brushed your teeth yet."
"Okay! Thank you!"
Izuku dragged the time slider all the way to the left and let it go, and the video started anew with the cameraman shouting about the situation. The destruction, desolation, and the one man who had somehow already rescued nearly one hundred people.
He wanted so badly to be a Hero. Even if he didn't talk about it all the time, his mother would still have known just from the way he looked at them. Just from the way his eyes lit up whenever they were brought up in conversation. It didn't even matter who the Hero was; he was just as enthused with the small-time Sidekicks as he was with the big-name Heroes.
But there was always one that excited him more than any other. One Hero who stood above all the others in Izuku's view as much as in the rest of the world: All Might.
The man who believed in helping those in need, no matter where or when. The man who would suffer any injury and bear any burden, if only it would lead to the salvation of another. The man who would brave the flames of hell again and again, as many times as it took to pull every last survivor from their grasp. The man who sought salvation even for those who opposed him with lethal intent.
The man who, more than any other, truly deserved to be called a Hero.
Yet Inko was worried. Really, it would be easier for one to count the days when Inko was not worried about something or other, usually revolving around her son. This particular topic of worry, however, was easily in the list of Top Ten Things That Midoriya Inko Worries About On A Daily Basis. Fairly close to the top, if she was honest with herself, especially these days.
Her son had yet to manifest a Quirk. His very own special trait that nearly eighty percent of the world took for granted, that she and his father both possessed, had yet to show itself in her boy.
It was not unheard of by any means for a Quirk to manifest a bit later on in childhood, but with each generation the average shifted to a bit younger than before. Indeed, almost every child in Izuku's kindergarten class had manifested their Quirks already. It was down to him and one or two others. Probability said that if one out of every five people will be Quirkless, then the odds of at least three or four out of a class of about twenty being left without was highly likely.
And Inko did not like what those odds were suggesting about her son. Oh, she would love him just the same regardless, of course. Perish the thought of anything ever happening that would make her love for her son anything less than unconditional and absolute. She was and would always be his number one advocate, his biggest fan, and his most steadfast supporter come hell or high water. Quirk or no, Hero or no, nothing in the world would ever, could ever change that…
…But she knew what being Quirkless would mean to her son. To hell with what it would mean for him, it was what it would do to him that truly made her lose sleep at night.
It would destroy him. He would learn in the most direct, brutal way imaginable that the world did not care about him or his dreams, that fate was at times little more than luck of the draw, and that there were some things that a person just could not change, no matter how hard they tried. It was a lesson that every child must learn eventually, yes, but to have it thrust upon one so young and so full of potential…
…It broke Inko's heart, it truly did, but all the more because it was her own boy. She knew it might make her a terrible person, but at that moment she had a thought.
'If the other children in my son's class end up being Quirkless, then so be it, but if anyone or anything out there can hear me…then please, let my son find his gift. Let him follow his dreams. Give him the tools he needs to be the best that he can be, and let him live a life without regrets.'
The video was almost over, Inko realized. She had lost herself in thought to the point that she had almost missed the entire thing, and the accompanying reason that she indulged her son the way she did when it came to such things.
"Everything is fine now. Why? Because I am *fzzt*"
It was at that moment that every light and electronic device in the Midoriya apartment, as well as the entire building and the area surrounding it, went dead.
"Aww! Where'd All Might go? That was the best part!" Izuku was visibly upset that the video had stopped prematurely, to the point that he didn't even seem to realize that the lights had all gone out as well. Where in the world did that boy get his one-track mind from? Should she be worried about that?
"Izuku, the storm outside must have knocked over a power line or something. Be a good boy and stay put while Mommy gets the candles, okay? I'll be right back."
"Okay, I will."
Activating the flashlight on her phone, Inko quickly made her way to the pantry and took out a trio of small, scentless candles that were there for just such an emergency. She took a long lighter from a nearby drawer and clicked it a few times before a small flame lit at the end. Lighting the first of the candles carefully, Inko deactivated her flashlight and put her phone back in her pocket, wanting to conserve the battery in case the power outage lasted longer than usual. She took the candle in one hand and the lighter in the other and made her way back to her son.
"Darling, hold this for Mommy and follow me so I can light the other candles please."
"Okay!" Excited at the prospect of being able to help, the young Midoriya hopped out of the computer chair and held out his hands for the candle. It was as his mother was about to hand it to him that she noticed that part of the candle was already on its way towards him.
Specifically, the flame.
"Izuku, what in the world?!" Inko was so surprised that she dropped the candle, which was now thankfully unlit and bounced harmlessly off the carpeted floor. There, suspended in the air and moving ever closer to her mesmerized son's outstretched hands, was the tiny candle flame.
"Ouch!" The flame had momentarily come in contact with Izuku's palm before suddenly dissipating. His exclamation of pain was more than enough to snap Inko out of her state of surprise ten times over. It didn't matter what had happened, her baby was hurt!
"Izuku!" She fumbled in the dark before using her Quirk to attract the candle back to her hand and lighting it once more. She quickly knelt down in front of her boy and looked at his hand. Indeed there was a small burn mark there but it was what she saw behind that hand that made the reality of the situation kick in.
Tears. Tears and the single biggest smile Inko had ever seen.
"M-Mommy! I-I've got a Q-Quirk! I've g-got a Quirk, and it's j-just like yours!"
It was at that moment that the trademark hyperactive tear glands of the Midoriya household kicked into full gear and Inko wrapped her son in her arms, thankful beyond words that her prayers had been answered.
Her son wasn't Quirkless. He wouldn't be ostracized from the rest of the children. He could follow his dream.
He could be a Hero.
I've been lurking around this site for about ten years at this point, and I finally worked up the nerve to post something.
I've got the first couple chapters figured out already, so those might come sooner rather than later, but for now I intend to keep to a schedule of at least one chapter every two weeks. If inspiration strikes me or I just can't stop my fingers then I might post more than that every so often, but most likely that will just take the form of longer chapters.
I need to give a shout-out to two stories and authors in particular that inspired me to finally man the hell up and pull the trigger on this: Awkward Energy - MinaDeku by QuirkQuartz and Cubicity by crazyman185. These stories and the authors that write them are incredibly awesome and I urge anyone that hasn't given them a look to do so.
I know there's not much here yet, but any and all reviews will be read and appreciated.
And hey, thanks. I appreciate you taking the time to look at this.