Chapter 1: Destination
A/N: Hello everybody, and welcome to my first fic! Now before you all begin, I'd like to state that this story is a crossover, but only in the most minor, technical of terms. Any clashing of universal shenanigans that does occur will be unobtrusive, and will mostly be focused around Izuku as a whole. In truth, this is a simple alt-power fic with a slight change of tone that leads to a whole cascade of changes. Anyhow, I hope you all enjoy!
"Careful everyone! The situation is especially dangerous today!" yelled the Battle Hero, Gunhead. The man was acting as crowd control for the current fight, ensuring that there weren't any civilians caught in the crossfire.
"Best Jeanist and Gang Orca have everything under control," Gunhead continued. "The villain seems to have some sort of spatial warping quirk, and it's giving them a bit of trouble. We aren't entirely sure of its capabilities as so far, and we wouldn't want anybody to get hurt now! So please, stand back!"
Indeed, the scene was rather dangerous for the common bystander. Debris went everywhere in multiple directions with all the fighting that was going on. Whether objects were being sucked in or shot out from the spatial holes, the villain's quirk sprouted destruction wherever it manifested.
Many were gaping in shock at the battle; others were watching in horror in the destruction. However, it was more likely than not that most of the gathered crowd was watching in awe as heroes engaged in their fight to protect the city against evil.
As it was, eight-year-old Izuku Midoriya belonged to the latter. It wasn't a surprise to find the boy right in the thick of the action, quietly observing and taking in every detail of both villain and hero alike. With little heed for his own safety, the green headed boy barely held himself behind the barriers that heroes had set up, eagerly watching the fight with earnest.
Back in the midst of the fight, it was obvious that the villain being fought was out on his first outing. He was sloppy, erratically attacking with wide sweeps and giant, energy inefficient attacks. The only reason he hadn't been captured yet was the lack of information on the villain, and such disadvantages showed as the heroes fought on.
Both Best Jeanist and Gang Orca weaved in and out from the villain's predicted range, barely avoiding the spatial blasts that appeared out of nowhere. The heroes were unwilling to test what would happen if the were to get too close to one of the villain's attacks, fearing for the worse. And so, the fight dragged on, punches thrown and rubble blasted to bits.
But the heroes still had more experience. With Gang Orca's sonic screeches and Best Jeanist threads inching their way closer and closer past the villain's defenses, the disturbance to the public's day was eventually subdued.
"Wow, so cool!" exclaimed Izuku. "But what exactly was that villain's quirk? Gunhead had said that it was spatial warping, but it has to be more than that. Objects were coming through every now and then. Perhaps some sort of portal creation? But then there were those sucking attacks, like a vacuum. Portals to space, then? No, no. That wouldn't explain the random junk, then."
Izuku quickly began writing down his observations of the battle into his notebook, his constant muttering going through all the details he saw of the battle. He was getting down to the bottom of the page when a sudden voice from behind addressed him.
"Hey kid, you all right?"
"Huh?" Izuku turned, taking a glance at a woman in a business suit. She had spoken out to him, somewhat concerned over his muttering. "Was I muttering again?"
The woman nodded.
"I, oh, uh… yeah. Sorry," Izuku said sheepishly. "I just get a little excited whenever I see a hero fight, is all. Nothing to worry about."
"Ah, I know what you mean kid." The woman smiled. "It's always a sight to see the heroes in action." The stranger then took a pause, considering Izuku's appearance. "But, on the other hand, I couldn't help but notice your uniform. Don't you have school or something? You'll be late if you don't hurry."
Izuku's eyes widened in realization. "Your right! Thanks miss! I've got to go!"
The woman laughed. "No problem kid. Now get going!"
Izuku started his way toward his school, departing from the scene of destruction left behind by the villain's quirk. However, unbeknownst to him, something was further amiss with the world. While Izuku had arrived to the fight by himself, he wasn't alone — not truly — when he left the scene for school. And he wouldn't be for a long while.
The day had been going great for the most part. The first sign that the day was going to be better than usual was with the fight with that strange villain in the morning. It wasn't so often that Izuku would stumble upon a fight in progress. He usually just ended up reading about them online, or hearing about them on the news. But physically being there broke all Izuku's extra expectations, and simply furthered his resolve to become a hero. It was an enlightening experience, giving Izuku a nice problem to solve given the villain's quirk; something to add later to his notebook, in fact, to think about for future reference.
And then there was school. Kaachan had seemed more subdued than most days; he didn't even bother to cause any trouble with anyone during recess or lunch. Izuku was intrigued with the uncharacteristic change, but not enough so to ask Bakugou directly. That was never a good idea. Not ever since Bakugou had changed.
Izuku was willing to think the world had finally decided to give him a break, but he knew that that was just wishful thinking.
It wasn't until after school when Bakugou had spotted a girl sitting on some steps, twirling a piece of paper up in the air with her quirk — which Izuku presumed to be a sort of aerokinesis. She was unfortunate enough to have accidentally blasted the paper into Bakugo's direction, having it to run right into his face.
Bakugo reverted back to his usual self then. He went up to the girl and began talking down to her, denouncing her as inferior to him. And of course, Izuku couldn't stand to have something like this happen again, so he intervened.
"And what of it Deku!? What are you gonna do about it, huh? You don't even have a quirk!" yelled the sandy haired boy. The other two at his side, a boy with wings and another with extendable fingers, voiced their agreement. The two always followed the explosion boy around, blindly following his orders as if they were simple drones unable to think for themselves.
"But Kaachan, it's wrong! Hurting other people is bad!" Izuku responded. He was standing in front of the girl, another victim of Bakugou's sudden craving for violence. She was sobbing, the piece of paper she had been playing with burnt to a crisp. Izuku had stood tall, having rushed in to prevent another attempt of his friend releasing an explosion onto the girl.
Bakugou continued to glare at him. Hhe didn't show any hints that he was going to back away for once, and so Izuku decided to further his words with his friend. "Don't you want to be a hero?" Izuku continued. "You can't be one if you randomly attack people!"
Bakugou's eye twitched. "Shut up! You useless, quirkless Deku! What right do you have in telling me what to do?! I—" He stopped, a grin appearing on his face. "In fact," he raised his hand up, lights and small trembles emitting from his palm, "since your so interested in blocking her from my blast, why don't you take it instead?" Bakugou suddenly charged up another of his explosions in his palm and unleashed it point blank in Izuku's face. Izuku stumbled to the ground. The girl, seeing the opportunity for escape, ran away with no care for her savior. The two accomplices of Bakugou laughed up a storm.
"Not so tough now, are you Deku? Why don't you just crawl on home now, huh? You'd do the world a favor." Bakugou and the other two walked away, leaving a stunned Izuku upon the ground.
Izuku laid there for a while, staring up at the sky, watching the clouds roll by while listening to the vivid ambiance of the cityscape around him. The experience was almost serene, and perhaps, was the only thing preventing Izuku from tearing up right at that very moment.
He didn't know how long it had been, but he eventually got up from his position on the ground. He stumbled forward a bit, tripping and falling to his knees, somewhat disoriented from his quick action to stand. When he opened his eyes, he was staring right at the ripples of a nearby puddle. His breath hitched as he looked at his reflection, a slight tear coming upon his eye. It was a reminder of what had just happened - of what had been happening for quite some time now. A tear dropped into the puddle, the splash distorting the image of his face.
Not… not yet. I just need to get home first. Then I can…
Izuku felt at his face. It wasn't too bad. It stung like the stings of a dozen hornets for sure, and it was a bit red from what he had seen, but he'd received worse. If anything, Kaachan had been more mild in his aggression than most days. Izuku picked up his backpack — the same All Might one he had had since he started school — and headed off towards home.
He thought about a lot of other things during his walk. The way the wind blew on his face, the sound of water as it flowed, or the endless sounds of the people that passed him without a care in the world. Even the savory taste of the katsudon that Mom made. Anything to take his mind off of the present.
Before long, he found himself at the doorstep to his apartment. He opened the door and called out, "Mom?"
There wasn't an answer.
She must still be at work, then. Of course, considering how things were going. Mom has been having trouble for a while now. It doesn't help that... dad has never been around, but we're getting by, I suppose.
Izuku trudged through the living room, eventually finding himself in his room, a darkened place littered with All Might paraphernalia and other hero merchandise. The place acted as a refuge from the reality of the world; a reminder of things that could be, that things could get better.
He walked over to his bed, and collapsed atop its surface with all the effort of a puppet cut from its strings. He laid there for a moment, the soft surface of his bed swallowing him up whole. It wasn't long before the sobs rang true. The proverbial dam that hid his emotions for so long allowed itself to open, pain and hurt all hurdling out and slamming in full force.
Ka—Kaachan hurt me again. He… He didn't even hesitate. He—Why did it hurt so much? Weren't we friends before? Why? Why? Why? Why? What changed? Did I do something? Did I— I just… I just wish that we could— It… it was all too much. Why—
A jolt of darkness.
Two massive beings, swirling in an endless void. Shrinking ever so slightly, shards and pieces falling off one by one. Each piece jettisoned in its own way to-and-fro. One had set its course for its destination below. Years passed. The environment changed. Its objective complete. It emerged from its refuge similar, yet changed. It traveled, aiming again to begin the endless cycle of its existence, but something came in its way. A bridge was gapped, a connection formed, but just as quickly sealed, closed off. But that was enough. The being had gone through. It seemed hesitant, confused, observing its new surroundings. But it made its decision, darting away into the unknown. It reached out, moved, aiming for a new destination, landing, implanting itself, just above—
Things. Millions of things. Millions and millions of things. Beneath the ground. In the sky. Within the walls. Sight, sound, taste, smell, feel. It was too much. Too much. Handle. Too handle . Too—And then again came darkness.
Izuku bolted up from his bed; hard, heavy breaths filled the eerie stillness of the room. He looked over to the window. It was dark, the moon was out, the stars twinkling up above.
I fell asleep? A nightmare? But it felt so re—
The cat two blocks away pounced onto a mouse, ending the rodent's life. The scene changed, two apartments above him. A man and a woman argued, yelled, while their child hid away in her room. Another switch, a darkness enveloped, clumps of dirt and detritus littering the subterranean landscape. And then he saw himself, but from the corner of the room. A blurred, distorted shape Izuku recognized as himself, looking back at each other.
What? That's not right. How can—
A buzzing sound found itself emerging from the back of his mind. A gradual buildup of static, scratches, chitters, and the like. It was… He could… he could feel them. Feel them all. Their many legs dragging their bodies, eyes swirling the world to a strange kaleidoscope, hardened exteriors bumping and interfering with their surroundings. The buzzing was begging for a release; a function jammed from its task. Almost as if a response to his current state.
He let it be. And released.
And he screamed. They were everywhere. Ants, bees, hornets, spiders. They covered the walls, arriving in through the vents and the window held ajar. Making their way from the farthest reaches of the darkness towards his person. Converging like an army in unison.
Then he heard something else. A yell in the distance. "Izuku! Don't worry, I'm coming, baby!"
He reeled in panic.
Mom. She was home. Of course. Of course she was home. She couldn't see this, see him like this. The insects, the bugs, she would—what would she think? He closed his eyes, looking for a way out. For something that could get him out of this horror.
Please, he begged, please, go away! Go!
"Izuku!" The door slammed open.
"Mom! Wait! Don't—"
But he had felt it, and they had responded long before the door had opened. When he opened his eyes, when he had found his mom at his door, he found that the various creepy crawlies had retreated back into the depths. The had disappeared back into the shadows and the outside, leaving no evidence of the presence behind. There was nothing left that would hint of anything being wrong or unusual. Izuku stayed there at his bed at the sight, upright and with wide, unblinking eyes.
"Izuku, honey? Are you okay?" She walked up to his bed and hugged him.
He turned his head toward her. "I…" I can't tell her. The insects, the bugs... All over the walls, all over the sheets, crawling all ove— "I… yeah, mom. It was… Just…nightmares."
"Oh honey," she cooed as she rubbed his back in slow, gentle circles. "I'm so sorry. But you don't need to worry now. I'm here."
Yes, everything was fine, now. All fine. Mom was here, and the insects were all gone. For now, he'd forget all about it. For now, he'd sleep.
A/N: There we go everyone. My first fic, up and running. This little idea came up in my head and I decided "eh, why not," and well, here we are. And in case you aren't aware, I've taken inspiration from a rather spectacular web serial called Worm. Actual factors from that universe won't necessarily be taking up the big stage, but rather are going to be influencing events in more... subtle ways, you could say. Anywho, I'm open to all thoughts and opinions, and would like to know what you all think!
And as per request by the great Wildbow himself, I'd like to mention that the characters, setting, and ideas of Worm are of no possession of mine, but belong to the wondrous John C. McCrae.
Thank you all for reading. 'Til next time!