Hurray for October. I already have This is Halloween stuck in my head. A slew of birthdays and anniversaries still awaits me, which means... Meeting with family. The whole set. I can do this, right? Anyway, the whole shitshow last week was a nightmare, so I'm glad to be back on track with posting. Big things going down this chapter. I guess I'll go for guest reviews. Ah. There was only one.
You might get your wish sooner than you think.
That does it for guest reviews. I love to hear your thoughts and hope to hear many more. Also.
I OWN NOTHING! I'M BUT A HOBO THAT SNEAKS INTO THE LIBRARY AND WASTES TIME WRITING THIS INSTEAD OF WATCHING PORN!
"Hey there!" -regular dialogue
"Who is this guy again?" -inner thoughts
"I AM HERE!" -All Might muscle form
"Time limit is nearing!" -All Might muscle form inner thoughts
This chapter was beta read by Marethyu. Thank you for your awesome work!
A dark sparkling sky danced with waves of azure, imitating a candle dancing in the wind. Green trees spanned below him, giving him the feeling of flight. An orange flower sprouted from the sea of green, and everything suddenly shook, like an earthquake. Suddenly from the stars fell a comet, rushing right towards him! He tried running, but could not move, he tried to call upon his quirk, not thing happened, he was trapped!
Before the comet could hit him though, a blur emerged! A bright green shield, that stopped the comment in its tracks, before turning into a flowing ribbon, weaving, and dancing across the comet, never letting itself be touched. But the beautiful dance came to an end when a ribbon flew over the fallen comment. The comet seemed to move again, right towards him! But behind it, he could see the ribbon spiral and shift into a drill sword, before spinning rapidly, and piercing the comment right through! Shouldn't he be happy? Wasn't he saved? Slowly the edges of his vision started bleeding bright crimson red, and a wet feeling climbed over his body. It leaked out of the comet as well, and the bright green of the sword could not be seen beneath it.
He tried to run away, to close his eyes, anything to stop the red liquid from consuming him, but slowly but surely it took away the forest and the sparkling sky until all he could see was the reD OF BLOO-
Kota woke up in his soaked bed, his quirk unconsciously activating from his nightmare. He sat up, trying his hardest to not let the tears spill. Hugging his knees to his chest, he closed his eyes, which despite all the effort, started tearing up.
"Go away! Go away… someone, please... save me…"
That was how Mandalay found him, as she entered his room to help prepare him for the day. She paid no mind to the still damp sheets or the tear stains on Kota's cheeks. She just gave him a hug, a gentle one, so as to not make him feel trapped.
Kota slowly moved to collect the clothes he was gonna wear. He noticed his horned hat sitting in the corner. His RED horned hat. The hat that the villain wanted to take, along with his life. He quickly looked away, before carefully picking out a pair of blue socks, some brown pants, and a purple shirt. He was just glad he didn't have too many red clothes.
He and his aunt ate breakfast before she drove him to the same place he visited every day for a week already. The waiting room was full of pictures drawn by other kids. While waiting for his aunt to finish talking to the psychologist, he took up some crayons, carefully picking around the red ones.
He felt he was simply doodling, but suddenly before him was the sparkling sky of his dreams, along with the azure waves, and the orange flower. Before he could think of throwing it away, the door opened, and his aunt stepped through, along with the doctor. The older woman had a kind smile on her face.
"It's your turn now, Kota. You can bring the drawing with you if you want."
He took it with him. And as he and the doctor settled in their bean bag chair, he laid in on the table next to him.
"Now, your aunt told me you had another nightmare this morning. Would you like to talk about it?"
She still asked him that. Every time he visited. He was just about to shake his head when he looked at the drawing again. And he gingerly pushed it forward.
"That is a very pretty drawing. Are you saying this is what your nightmare was about? I'll try to guess what it is, you can just nod or shake your head, alright?"
The woman gazed into the drawing for a full minute before she spoke again.
"I can see a night sky, speckled with stars." A nod from Kota kept her going.
"I see an azure sea below. And an orange flower. I never heard of a flower growing from the ocean."
A mumble stopped her guessing. She looked at the kid, who seemed just a bit upset.
"Could you repeat that, Kota?"
"It's fire. Not an ocean."
"I see. Is the flower also fire?" Kota nodded his head. The therapist took a few moments to think, before grabbing from a drawer a fresh pack of crayons, and also making a few color copies of his drawing.
"Is there anything you would like to add?" She presented him with the copy and the crayons.
He gingerly picked up the yellow one, drawing the comet. Then the dark green, and drawing a shield.
"Can I ask, were you seeing the dreams yourself, or like on the screen?"
"The first one."
"So, the comet was falling towards you, and the shield protected you?"
Kota nodded and shivered as his mind flashed to the crazed smile. The doctor saw he was uncomfortable and moved on.
"Was that all?"
Kota grabbed another copy, and drew the comet this time bigger, and with what vaguely resembled arms and, perhaps, a head? He also drew the shield, but smaller, and from it a green spiral surrounding the comet.
"So the comet is being trapped by this spiral?"
"So the green protects you in the dreams?" Kota said nothing, he just looked to the ground. The green did protect him, but…
Another copy of the first picture was there, and he drew the comet again. But this time, the green spiral wasn't trapping the comet. It was drilling through it.
Kota put down the green crayon, and then looked towards the box. In the corner sat the red crayon. He thought to reach for it, but then he was assaulted by a red fist protruding from the chest, the blood drops on his leg, the red arm reaching for him, behind it a concerned face, surrounded by green hair. And then, like a distant echo, the last words his protector said.
"Run, kiddo. Run!"
His heart went crazy, his whole body started shaking. Cold sweat soaked his back he needed to go, he needed to run, HE NEEDED TO-
He was hugged tightly in the arms of Mandalay, while she used her quirk to whisper soothing words to him. Slowly he stopped shaking and his heart settled down. His shirt was wet, but it didn't matter.
"Kota. We still have some time. Do you want to continue, or should we stop a little early today?"
He looked at the crayon box. The red crayon was missing, and he could see the tip of it in the therapist's hands.
"If you want I can draw it for you?" she gently asked, holding the crayon. "What part of the drawing was red?"
Kota remembered the dreams. And then he spoke softly.
"First the green. Then the yellow. Then all of it."
They sat in silence as the doctor covered the whole picture in red. Kota watched it from the corner of his eye. When she was done she asked if there was anything else, but he shook his head. He woke up after the red.
Mandalay looked at her ward with worry as they strolled through the mall. The therapist figured Kota developed a fear for the color red, erythrophobia. It could also be closely connected to hemophobia, fear of blood.
She also asked her if she knew what the comet and the green meant. She explained the incident. How Kota was attacked by the same man who killed his parents. How he was protected by a student, and how due to a slipup, the student had accidentally killed the villain.
The therapist jotted down some notes on what to focus on in the next session. Due to significant progress made, they would only have them visit once a week from now. This brought relief to both Mandalay and Kota.
After the session, and once confirming Kota was feeling well enough, Mandalay decided they should go shoe shopping. She also bought ice cream for both of them, raising their spirits. She was just about to enter the store they usually shopped at, but she felt a pull on her sleeve.
"Auntie, could we maybe go to another store?"
Mandalay was about to ask why, when a flash of color caught her attention. There, right in the center of the exhibit window sat a pair of red sneakers. On a closer look, they were the exact same snickers, worn by a certain green-haired student.
Mandalay gave her nephew a sad smile, before gently taking his hand in her own, and leading him away. There were other stores in this mall.
Inko timidly entered the courtroom. She was asked to come in about an hour earlier than the hearing and was surprised that a lawyer waited for her. He would not be entering with her, since there were no charges yet, and Hisashi himself had no lawyer, so just giving her some basic advice should have been good enough.
When she entered, she found five people there. There was the chief of the police precinct, two foreigners, a Japanese woman, and…
Her husband seemed to have put on some weight. She remembered him saying fatty foods helped fuel his fire longer. He also had some wrinkles around his eyes and mouth, and his hands were less calloused. He must have been working less than he did in Japan, before he-
Hisashi turned around and looked at his wife. Emotions passed through his eyes, but Inko was not in the right state of mind to comprehend any of them. She felt her heart quicken when he looked her in the eyes. She always said there was a fire burning in them, one that made her flush when they were both still young. Now that fire barely had some embers, but even that was enough to make her remember.
Before she could get lost in those eyes, the woman in the room grabbed her gently by the arm and led her to a set of chairs on the other side of the table. She was sitting opposite of one of the two foreigners, and one chair away from the chief who sat at the head.
"We will now begin. Both parties have agreed to no lawyers. This hearing will be recorded. Everyone, please state their name and purpose, for the record. Tsurugame Kenji, the questioner."
"Fujimura Taiga, translator."
"Cricket Fursby, translator."
"Stich Bush, representative of Hero Organisation of the United States."
"Midoriya Hisashi, the guilty party."
"M-midoriya Inko, t-the damaged party."
"Alright. We will start with Mr. Midoriya. I will ask questions. You will answer with yes, or no." Hisashi nodded calmly. He had prepared for this and was ready to execute his plan.
The questions were at first basic, to confirm his identity, quirk, marital status, parental status. But then came the hard-hitting one.
"Were you offered U.S citizenship when your daughter was born?"
"Were you offered U.S citizenship again after her quirk had properly awakened?"
"Did you accept the offer of citizenship, with all the benefits and add ons?"
"Did you plan to move your whole family there?"
"Did you delay the move because of your wife's pregnancy?"
So on it went. Hisashi confirmed that he had Izuku tested days after birth for his quirk. That he knew his son was quirkless. That he kept in contact with them until his son was officially diagnosed. And he denied any knowledge of his son and wife after.
Then it was Stich's turn, and while the translatory dutifully translated everything, it felt a bit redundant, since even if her knowledge of English was nonexistent, she could have figured out the meaning of 'yes' and 'no' after ten questions.
She did learn a bit about Tatsu's training program, so most of the answers were not surprising, but she did not know her daughter assaulted her father, nor that she technically came to Japan almost 12 hours earlier. Her daughter deserved a scolding, then a big hug.
"Did you ever try establishing contact with your husband?"
"Did you ever try establishing contact with your daughter?"
It made her feel bad, but it was the truth. Hisashi never responded, and she stopped trying after two or three years. She tried focusing her all on Izuku, to protect him from the world that would try its hardest to beat him down. And she had failed at that too.
"Did you make use of the money your husband sent to you during his absence?"
"No." She saved it all for Izuku.
"Alright. That was everything. Information will be compiled, and along with the transcripts sent to your respective attorneys. Whether to go to court or not is entirely up to both of you.
Hisashi looked at her. And she folded. She could not take him to court. She could never put her family through all of that. It seemed her husband knew that as well, and in his eyes, she saw… disappointment?
The translators and the chief all walked out, and Mr. Stich excused himself, citing the need to make a phone call. She waited for the lawyer to escort her out, and so she could tell them she wanted no court case made out of this.
"I knew this would happen, you know?" The voice of her husband snapped her out of the daze.
"I mean, I'm surprised you even showed up. I fully expected you to just sit at home, too scared to move."
Her lawyer stepped into the room, and she hoped that would be enough to quiet her husband. She thought wrong.
"I shall leave this country with a huge weight off my shoulder. Finally, I can forget about you, about Tatsu, and about Izuku. None of you can hold me back anymore. Honestly, I can't wait to return to the states, so I can file for divorce. I'll never have to listen to you cry and laugh at the same time, or Tatsu whine about being overworked. And... I'll never have to see that failure of a son."
It was like being stabbed with a knife. Again. And again. Was that what he really thought of them? Was this him speaking the truth? Inko could feel herself breaking down. Tears wanted to enter her eyes. Then he called her son, the only family she had for the last 10 years, a failure. She remembered her boy crying when she let him down. So many times… She did not support his dreams. She never spoke to him about bullying. Upon revealing his strength, her first thought went to Hisashi, not Izuku. Then she remembered the apology. He made it in a spur of the moment. He was not ready yet to trust her, to rely on her, to let her be the mother he needs. But he tried. It's about time she started trying as well.
Hisashi was running out of steam. He could only keep insulting them for so long. He tried stabbing the weak points, but it seemed that his wife would only break down before fighting back. So he decided to go for the throat. His son. Izuku. A failure. Then he fell silent. Those words, he could believe them himself. He had no right to mention his son. But maybe those would be enough. Maybe he could at least hurt her right. He'd done so before after all, hadn't he?
The lawyer glared at him, not realizing his client might go into an emotional breakdown. But then Inko raised her head, tears nowhere to be seen. And she spoke with a voice as clear as possible, and no trance of stutter.
"Hisashi. I want a divorce."
He held back a smile. He gave a nod of acknowledgment, then turned to her lawyer.
"I am fully prepared to pay alimony and child support. I had an estimate made of my possessions and finances. You will find them in the envelope. Determine a fair amount, and get back to my lawyer in the states."
He passed over a thick envelope and a business card. He then turned towards his now very confused wife. He planned to say something, but words got stuck in his throat. He settled for a sad smile and turned to leave. But… he had to say this one thing.
"I'm leaving tomorrow at 10 am, from Mustafu airport, hangar 7. I… Goodbye Inko."
Hisashi Midoriya walked out of the office, never looking back. He had done many bad things in his life, but he hoped this would at least make up for some of it. His burden still weighed heavily on his heart. But at least after today, he might be able to walk with his head raised again.
Inko refused any form of alimony. She never used any money her hus- Hisashi sent her before, she wouldn't start now. She didn't want any property or possessions either. But she did plan to request the highest amount possible for child support. Hisashi hurt Izuku in ways no child should be hurt. He owed him at least that much.
She came home exhausted and confused. She looked at herself in the bathroom mirror. She tried to wipe the tears that weren't there. And then she noticed her ring. The ring she wore for over two decades. She tried to pull it off, but it would not slide past the knuckle.
For a second she thought to try again, pull harder, and harder until the ring came off, no matter if she injured herself! But… She was done hurting herself for Hisashi. She did the smart thing, using some soap, to eventually slide it off. She did not bat an eye when it slid between her slick fingers and rattled down the drain.
She had no tears to shed. No feelings to feel. There was nothing more in her for Hisashi. She was now Inko Midorya, soon no longer a married woman. At least Mitsuki would be proud of her. That thought brought a small smile to her face.
"Mom? Are you okay?"
Tatsumaki stared at her, concerned. Inko could not resist the impulse and hugged her daughter tightly.
"Yea. I'm fine. You can go back to babysitting Izuku."
Her daughter had the decency to blush. But she did not deny it. Ever since they were reunited, there was seldom a moment where Tatsu wasn't near Izuku. Inko saw no harm in it. But with the clarity, she now possessed, maybe she should say something…
"Tatsu, I know you mean well, but… Izuku is very independent. He has not caught on yet, but he might be suspecting something. If he finds out why you're doing this… It might drive him away."
The younger Midoriya saw the point her mother was trying to make. She saw her brother's strength first hand. But… Her brother should not have to be strong. She was supposed to be there to protect him. She NEEDS to protect him! She had not been there for so long, she had to make up for it now that she knew about him! No one would dare harm Izuku ever again.
She thought long and hard about the test they wanted Izuku to take. Since there were no physical things that could harm him, they would try going for the mental trauma. His first kill, his estranged family, things she did not know about but they might… She had yet to find a suitable training facility, but the rat assured her U.A would be adequate. She'll grow stronger. Her powers had not yet peaked, she could break through the ceiling in her own way. Even if the monster from Kamino was to go after Izuku, she would be enough to stop it, no dragons or rabbits needing to assist her!
"I'll try to be less obvious. Enough about me, how did it go with dad?"
"Well enough. Things will be settled out of court, and he's leaving tomorrow. I'll… I'll see him off. If only to get closure. I want to finally be done."
Izuku woke up to someone shaking him. He had planned to sleep in today since he would be moving to the dorms soon, and the new bed there would not be the same as his old one. He opened one eye annoyingly, and there Tatsumaki stood, arms crossed, and looking stern.
"Get dressed, we're going to see dad off at the airport."
Izuku stared at her hard.
"You're not the one who can kill with a look, brother. Mom is going to see him off, and I need to make sure she doesn't have a relapse."
That was a paper-thin excuse, and Izuku saw right through it. He was not good with people, but even he saw his mother was different after coming home. He just refused to ask her about it, since he wanted nothing to do with Hisashi, ever.
"Go then. Why would you need me there?"
"I'm not leaving you alone here. Plus seeing him fly away forever might give you some closure, not to mention the slightest possibility that his plane explodes on take off.
Izuku just turned away from her and tried to pretend she wasn't there. The keyword 'tried'. He was yanked out of his bed by his Gang Orca pajamas, while socks were being pulled on his feet. Next, he was yanked out of the pajama top, and stuffed into a Cementos t-shirt.
"Want me to keep going?"
The look in her eyes told him she was fully ready to strip his pants and put him into his limited edition 'TIME TO SMASH' All Might boxers.
"You made your point."
She left him to get dressed by himself, only to jump him again, the second he stepped out of his room. A slice of toast was shoved in his mouth, and he was dragged swiftly out of the apartment.
"At least this could not get any worse." Universe heard Izuku. And laughed.
"Oh, Izuku! Tatsumaki! Why are you running? Is there a fire? Izuku, why do you have a piece of toast in your mouth? Is it Anime Cliche day already? Oh, maybe-"
"Can't talk now, must see our father off to get closure."
"Oh, you mean the dad that made Izuku disgusted with bacon for life?"
"One and only."
Izuku could barely process the conversation between trying not to stumble and trying not to choke on the toast in his mouth. It was not helped in the slightest when the group made it outside and took to the skies. Now that he didn't have to use the other hand for balance, Izuku finally got to pull out the bread.
"ARE YOU INSANE?!"
"YOU NEED THIS IZUKU! YOU NEED TO SEE DAD GO TO GET CLOSURE!"
"I NEED NO SUCH THING!"
"WHY ARE WE YELLING?!" Izuku completely forgot about Nejire and strained his neck to see her keeping up with them. And she looked right at him. She understood what was happening, and why this was hard for Izuku. She gave him a nod. She was there for him. She will hold him back.
Izuku relaxed slightly and waited for Tatsu to fly them both to wherever they needed to go. They approached the airport, but then traveled on foot, so they would not trigger every sensor/radar or give a pilot a heart attack.
They saw Inko standing there, and reached her just as a car drove to the hangar. Izuku stood stone still, as Hisashi Midoriya stepped out. He walked towards the plane, and by sheer chance, he looked aside and saw his family standing there, And a blue-haired girl he did not know. But the man only had eyes for his family, greedily burning their image into his brain, knowing this was the last time he'll ever see them.
His wife, his daughter, and… His son. He did not get a good look at him on TV. But here he was, standing tall, tallest of the bunch, actually. He wore a hero shirt, he always did when he was younger, he wanted hero-themed everything. the green hair, like his mother. But messy and frazzled… like his own.
Hisashi unknowingly took a step towards them. Towards his son. When the blue-haired girl suddenly flew forward and wound her hand back.
The man's head turned violently sideways and almost make him fall to the ground. He managed to catch himself, and with his cheek, and his mouth burning, each from a different cause, he turned to face the girl, whose eyes were hard as stone, matching the voice she spoke with.
"You should go. And fast."
The girl looked serious. And Hisashi decided to follow her advice. There was nothing to say. He had no right to say a single word to his family, let alone his son. Hisashi almost ran on the way to the plane, never once looking back. Once inside he took a seat away from the window and buried his face in his hands. It was time he left their lives, never to return again. His business in Japan was over.
Nejire was relieved. She stood right next to Izuku when the man stepped out of the car. She noticed the similarities, but her friend would not appreciate it if she brought them up. The man walked as if not seeing them. But when he did see them, he almost stumbled.
Nejire never saw anyone look at something with so much desire or regret. But even if Izuku saw the regret, he did not care for it. Slowly his killer aura expanded, and she saw his hands start shaking. This meeting was a disaster waiting to happen.
When the man was about to step towards them, she saw Izuku twitch fiercely, so before she could even think things through, she was flying towards that man and slapped him in the face. She also warned him of his impending death, but it seemed just a slap was enough as he seemed to understand what a mistake he almost made.
When she turned back towards the Midoriya family, she saw Tatsumaki give her a thumbs up, Inko holding her hands over her mouth to hide shock or a smile, she couldn't tell. And Izuku… he seemed grateful, tired, and… She wasn't sure. There was something unreadable in his eyes, but he was definitely not angry with her.
When she walked back to him he gave her a hug, and she hugged him back, just as tight. And she knew he was thanking her for stopping him. But what she did not know was the thought that had just taken over a large portion of Izuku's head.
"I love Nejire."
And so it begins. Some very fun possibilities open up now. Hisashi is now OUT OF THE STORY! FOREVER! Now to clarify, Hisashi is not evil. He is a guy, who, when put under pressure, made the wrong choices. You can mock him for it, sympathize with him, or not care at all, since he's gone forever now. Why care for a shitty father, when there's Nejire! The poll for favorite arc of OPD is still open, dunno when I'm gonna close it. Currently in the lead is the Internship arc and I can hardly blame you guys for it. I also got fanart, which is dope. Can be found on Syber Space discord, and it's Nejire and izuku cuddled in bed at Ryukyu's agency. It is now my most precious virtual possession. READ. REVIEW. Let me know what YOU think, and we'll read each other next time. NPGamer out.
Discord: Syber Space, disc ord . gg / QpnCqgf
Ko-fi: ko - fi / npgamer11
The next chapter of One Punch Deku MIGHT come out on the 15th of November (with a mustache!)