Chapter 34: Dawn

Lightning flashed and thunder rumbled as rain continued to pour over the half-destroyed city. Thousands of rescue heroes and first responders swarmed over what was left of Kamino ward. Most often than not, all they managed to pull from the rubble were the managed corpses of the people which used to live there. The rescue operation wasn't made easier by the sheer amount of damage that befell the city. Deep gorges had been carved, some of which had broken the gas and water pipelines that kept the city fed. Others were filled with lava, or even worse, they became pools where sewer water pooled, filling the surrounding area with an unbearable stench.

Amidst all of that, the black flames kept on burning, silent reminders of the might of those that had clashed here not a few hours prior.

What had been a clear and mournful dawn had quickly turned into a tragic day. On the outskirts of the city crowds of onlookers came against the police barricades. Some were fathers looking for their children, some were mothers clutching their remaining family, some were weary relatives awaiting anxiously for news of their kin's survival. Such devastation was rare in the modern world. Even most natural disasters were swiftly dealt with by the local heroes. To see an entire city destroyed and thousands of people dead and displaced was horrifying enough, but to know that all this was the aftermath of a battle between two people struck a chord within most citizens.

Quirks were not supposed to be this powerful. Individual people were not supposed to be this powerful, and yet here was undeniable proof that such monsters did, in fact exist. Faced with this revelation, murmurs began to spread as society itself slowly began its death spiral to what will eventually become known as the Second Age of Darkness.

-/-

Inside a building in Tokyo, Japan's heads of government, police force, military and public hero safety commission gathered. They stood there quietly around a U-shaped table as they listened to the damage report of what the media was now referring to as the Battle at Kamino. It was known by other names as well. All Might's final stand, the Duel For Japan, the clash of gods and monsters, were all apt descriptions. Unfortunately, they all presented a whitewashed version of the events that transpired there, and were far from the sheer scale that this event's aftermath would entail.

As soon as he finished the presentation, the unfortunate employee that was forced into being the bearer of bad news fled the room as quickly as possible.

They remained in silence for a few moments.

"Is there any further intel that must be discussed?" asked the prime minister

"Nothing much. The Nomu we managed to capture were all useless and the other villains have all had their brains fried" reported a member of the police commissioner's team

"So we're at a loss?"

"I wouldn't say so. We did manage to take out their boss and most of their forces"

"Don't be stupid" interrupted the police commissioner in a bored tone, but one that still held steel "We just lost All Might, the Symbol Of Peace and an entire city got destroyed, or did you not hear what was just said"

The unfortunate minister that happened to voice said opinion cringed back and shrunk in his seat

The commissioner continued.

"We might have captured most of the League's assets, but the League itself is still loose. Shigaraki has shown himself to be dangerous and has set a dangerous precedent. He has shown the underworld that you can raise hell with only a few thugs"

"That's all well and good, but we still need to address the elephant in the room, or was I the only one who noticed that a 15 year old boy managed to go toe to toe with the literal boogeyman of Japan and win?" said the army general

This gave way to a series of hushed whispers in the room

"Enough! Madam president, I would like to hear your thoughts on the matter" said the prime minister

The Hero Commission president gathered herself as she answered.

"Madara Midoriya is an outlier. From what we managed to gather, he was not interested in being a hero initially. In fact, it was his younger brother, Izuku Midoriya who wished to be a hero"

"I find that hard to believe, madam President. Do you mean to tell me that the one who is arguably the strongest person on earth now that All Might is gone, did not wish to be a hero initially?"

"That's exactly what I'm saying. He had a promising career as a child genius and some of the world's top university had already scouted him. By the time he was 10 he had a standing invitation to I-island. Do not make the mistake of thinking him politically inept, gentlemen. He managed to hide his powers from us for the better part of 11 years and once he was in UA, there was nothing that we could do to bring him under us" said the Hero Commission President

"This being said, are you confident in his loyalty to us? How do we know that he won't just defect the moment we fall on rough times or a better opportunity presents itself abroad. We all know that it was only by God's graces that we did not lose All Might to the Americans. The US is already powerful enough, we don't need to strengthen them further" said the General

"I wouldn't worry about that. We can keep the population pacified for the most part. All Might's already gone and did the heavy lifting for us and made himself a martyr. Now we just need to be careful and not let Shigaraki sink his teeth in the population even further" said the Police Commissioner

"You are making it sound so simple, when it all but simple. All of you forget that two 15-year-olds went and fought on a battlefield, which I might add, is illegal. Even if you make them up to be the successors of All Might himself, it won't change the fact that they're minors" said the HPSC president

"I don't think that you noticed, but All For One himself called them All Might's heir and successor, and that's without taking into account what he implied when he gave Izuku Midorya the hero name One For All" said the General

Silence fell over the gathering as they all processed what was said. They knew how media worked. In at most 24 hours, someone would peace it together and share it on social media. The question of why Izuku Midorya was named One For All was less important. What was important was the fact that it was connected to All For One and Izuku Midoriya had it, seemingly receiving it from All Might himself, going by how he called them Eight and Ninth respectively.

"We need to find out what One For All is" said the prime minister

"Oh, please, even you can't be this stupid" interrupted the general, which made the prime minister glare at him

"Really? Well, do enlighten us then"

"One For All is clearly a weapon, and seeing that I didn't see any device around those two we can safely assume that it is, in fact, a quirk" replied the general smugly

The room fell into silence

"A quirk?" asked the hero commission president incuriously

"It makes sense, in a way" began the police commissioner "One For All and All For One. They are brother quirks, or at least close enough"

"So you're saying that we have another quirk out there that can what? Pass itself on to another?" asked the prime minister incuriously

"That's exactly what I'm saying, and let's not forget that it is Izuku Midoriya that has this power. He was chosen by All Might himself and his brother managed to go toe to toe with the full power of All For One without this One For All power to aid him" said the general

"Well then, we can't let this power lie in the hands of a child. All Might should have handed it over to us" crowed up one of the ministers surrounding the prime minister

The general laughed. The police commissioner joined in with a small smile while the president of the hero commission stayed silent on the matter, though she did shake her head.

"Are you really that stupid? How can you even think of saying that you moron!" yelled the general as he regained himself from his laughing fit

The minister flinched at the harsh words

"And besides, what if he doesn't hand over that power to us, what then, huh? Do you have the power to make him? Does anyone? We can already infer that All For One is unable to steal this power, otherwise it wouldn't have lived this long and let's not forget that Izuku Midoriya is the only thing keeping his brother in check for now. What do you think he'll do when he finds out that you've accosted his little brother and tried to steal that which All Might himself has given them, what then?"

There was silence in the room as the general leaned back in his chair, sufficiently satisfied now that the upstart minister was put back in his place.

The others in the room had had similar thoughts on the matter. After all, having a power such as One For All in the hands of children was certainly dangerous, but then again, that very same line of people that possessed One For All through the ages had managed to defeat All for One once already. So no for now this line of discussion would be benched. There were other matters of greater importance to deal with than who gets control over One For All. The power was safe enough where it was.

-/-

For Izuku the past 24 hours had been a blur. Ever since All Might had given his life to defeat All For One, all Izuku could feel was numbness. That and sorrow.

Looking up from his hands as he sat in the only chair in the private hospital room, Izuku gazed at the steady rising and falling of his brother's chest. The only indication that he was alive. Izuku had refused to leave the room, nearly attacking the stupidly insistent nurse that thought to tell him what to do. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and one of the coworkers of the nurse grabbed her hand and pulled her away, all the while giving him a frightened look.

As soon as he retreated into the room the hospital staff stuffed his brother into, Izuku allowed himself to relax and attempt to reign in the chakra that was leaking off him. He knew that it was making people uncomfortable to be in his presence, but he just didn't care. He didn't want people to see him like this. Not now, not when the only thing that was keeping his face dry was that single thought that he must endure. For All Might, for his brother, for everyone who lost a loved one as in that fight… for his mother.

Against his efforts, a single tear slipped down his cheek. It was tainted red, as if to signify the taint he now carried. He knew better, though. Ever since All Might had disintegrated into the wind, Izuku felt an ever-present burning sensation in the back of his eyes. Izuku's grip on the chair's armrest tightened dangerously and the plastic creaked in his hand, a testament to his strength. Whatever it was, One For All itself was fighting against it. Izuku was not willing to fight One For All to discover what it was, but he had an idea.

Suddenly the door opened and inside walked Gran Torino, Nighteye and Tsukauchi. Izuku didn't even look up to greet them.

"Midoriya…" began Tsukauchi. He soon fell silent. After all, what was there left to say?

"Is this what you saw in your vision?" asked Izuku as he turned and looked straight into Nighteye's eyes

Nighteye shook his head. He then did something completely unexpected and fell to his knees before Izuku, pressing his forehead to the ground in utmost reverence

"Please forgive me" he said in a tone thick with emotion and fresh tears "I once thought that the future couldn't be changed, that whatever prophecies I give and whatever I see will forever come to pass. What I saw back then was All Might's death at the hands of an unspeakable evil. A death so gruesome that it left scars on the minds of those who witnessed it's aftermath. I saw All Might die as a broken man, not as a symbol. I was wrong to doubt you, and I was wrong to withdraw my support from his side. Please, I seek atonement. Let me help you as I failed to help All Might"

Izuku looked on at the man prostrate before him. He could be petty. He could reject the man and let him suffer, but he wouldn't. After all, Izuku Midoriya was a hero, and what kind of a hero would he be if he turned down a request for aid.

Izuku rose from his chair, the slightly tattered green haori swaying around him as he approached Nighteye. The man dared to look up and one could see his shining eyes full of tears.

Izuku crouched in front of him and grabbed his hand.

"All Might had already forgiven you and I have nothing to forgive"

"But I-"

"But nothing" cut him off Izuku "You did what you thought was best, and that's all I can ever ask of you. That's all anyone can ask of you. If you are willing, I will gladly accept your help"

-/-

UA soon returned in session, though this time it was brevet of students. Only the teachers were here and almost all of them were on high alert. For Nezu, this was to be expected. The school had just failed it's sacred task, it allowed one of it's students to be kidnapped and the entire heroic first year had been attacked. It would have been a disaster of epic proportions for any other institution, but fortunately UA was not just any institution.

"Sir, what are you doing?" asked a somewhat annoyed Aizawa

"Nothing much, though I did notice that Madara tends to do this wen he is deep in thought" said Nezu, not yet turning from where he was watching through the floor to ceiling windows the grounds of UA where construction was happening in full.

Aizawa didn't dare ask how he found our Madara's secret proclivities for supervillain behavior

"We need to discuss the dorm system" said Aizawa

"You mean we need to discuss young Izuku's placement in this system"

Aizawa didn't speak, but his silence was telling, so Nezu decided to play along. He from the widow and looked Aizawa in the eye.

"He needs to be with others his own age" said Aizawa

"He shall be with them" agreed Nezu

"As something more than a glorified watchdog. The kid hasn't formed true bonds with his classmates since the year began. They're simply too far apart in terms of skills" said Aizawa

"So what do you propose, that I move him up a year or two?" asked Nezu

Aizawa mentally grimaced. He knew that Izuku was already good enough that the top student of the third years, Mirio Togata posed no threat to him, but he hoped that by introducing his number one overpowered problem child to other strong people, that he would make deeper friendships than what he had in his own class.

"To be honest, I don't see any problems with his current position as a member of class 1-A" said Nezu

"You wouldn't, but the others don't see Izuku Midoriya as a peer. He's so far above them that it's not even funny, and it's not like the kid will have any desire to indulge in his more childish side from now on. I worry that it will negatively impact his growth not only as a hero, but as a person as well" said Aizawa

Nezu sipped his tea. He was well aware of the distance between the Ninth and his class. Despite what Aizawa said, he knew how loneliness can affect a person, but he was also aware of the growing frustration Izuku faced with his classmates. So, no, forcing them together would be pretty bad, especially now.

"I can see your point, but I will still insist to allow Izuku Midoriya the freedom to come and go from the premise as he pleases"

Aizawa looked shocked and angry at the declaration

"May I ask why are you playing favorites?" he asked through gritted teeth

"Certainly" replied Nezu with a smile "Right now, we can't cage Izuku, not after he lost his mother and All Might. Furthermore, his brother is in a coma. Trying to strong-arm him into anything right now pointless, if not downright idiotic. Like it or not, Aizawa those two boys hold the weight of All Might's legacy on their shoulders. They need to be seen, not hidden away behind a wall. That and I'm certain that Izuku Midoriya will push for an early graduation, something that the HPSC will undoubtedly support"

Aizawa was silent for a moment. He then turned around and stormed out of his office. Nezu sighed.

One problem at a time.

-/-

For the rest of the students in class 1-A, returning to school was not the joyful reunion they had expected. After the battle at Kamino, they all had time to think and despite their parents' reluctance, they convinced them to allow their return to UA and their stay in the dorm rooms. However, whatever excitement they had first felt when they reunited soon turned sour as they couldn't help but notice a hole in their ranks. Now, instead of the twenty they had once been, now they were only 18.

Aizawa looked on at the mass of students arrayed before him. He couldn't deny that their feelings were understandable.

"Good, now that we're all here" que a flinch from some of the class "we have to go over the rules of this dorm. However first we must address something else. Todoroki, Yayorozou, Kirishima and Iida step forward"

Like doomed convicts the four stepped forward with their heads bowed and awaiting their sentence

"Now, normally for what you have done, I would have expelled you, but given the state of the world right now, I can't afford to do that. Therefore you will not be permitted to take the provisional license exam in two weeks and you will have to hand in each a ten page report on why it is a bad idea for civilians and hero students without a license to try and do hero work as well as tying what you find with your own experience at the Battle of Kamino. This being said, you are not excused from the intensive training the others have to go though"

Iida stepped forward and bowed "We understand. Thank you for being lenient with us"

Aizawa mentally snorted 'You'd wish for expulsion after I'm done with you'

"Good, as for the rest of you the rules are simple. You can't leave the premises without approval from a teacher and without a hero escort. Everything you wish to buy will be brought to you, though fair warning, we will not be your maids. You will be expected to keep the dorms in order, wash your own clothes and iron them as well as do your own dishes. There are separate bathrooms for boys and girls and each several others for those of you with specific requirements" Aizawa sighed as he his mouth in his scarf "Any other rules are in the binder on the table in the common room. Your curfew is at 11 pm. Don't break it. Any questions?"

Kaminari raised his hand "Where are Bakugou and Midoriya?"

This seemed to spark a wave of chatter through the students. Aizawa sighed again. Why was it that the universe was conspiring against him?

-/-

It had been a long time since Izuku had stepped through the door of the Bakugou household. For all that their mothers had been friends, it would be hard to call Izuku and Katsuki's relationship as such. Still, there was a sort of camaraderie between them, even if it was buried underneath a decade of resentment and unresolved feelings that had been left to fester. And it seemed that those feelings have come back with a vengeance.

It was hard to believe when Izuku had gotten that phone call from Aizawa that the Katsuki Bakugou, someone who had lived for the life of a hero ever since he was born was now quitting the UA hero course. As much as he hated to admit it, a part of Izuku had wanted to tell him to go screw himself, to leave Katsuki be and then later laugh in his face as the once pride of his middle school. A boy whom everyone thought would become great ended up as just another overworked salary man.

Izuku squashed those thoughts. He had thought that he would remove that darkness within himself if he denounced his ties with Katsuki, if he severed those bonds. Now, that very same stubborn bond was all that was keeping him sane, well him and Melissa, but she was still several days away from landing in Japan. Moreover, her father was still under tight surveillance after he tried to pull the wool over the heads of I-island with his quirk boosting device. It was a marvelous invention, but the fact that it turns those who wear it into cripples made it more of a torture device than a support tool.

Izuku knocked at the door before he could change his mind. It did not take long for Aunt Mitsuki to open the door.

Even if the relationship between the two boys was strained, both Izuku and Katsuki would call one another's parents as their aunts and uncles.

As the door was opened, Izuku was shocked by what he saw.

She had been crying. Aunt Mitsuki had never been a crier. She was much like Katsuki in that regard. Tears for her were something rarely shed, and here she stood looking like she had been crying for the last two days.

"Izuku?" she asked

Izuku couldn't help but swallow roughly as he became all too aware of what he was wearing. He still hadn't changed from his MJOLNIR suit, and while he had cleaned it, it was nowhere near the pristine looking suit it had looked like only 48 hours ago. If one looked close enough, one could see the scuffs and scratched on the metal plates, the marks of a weathered suit of armor, one that did it's job and protected the wearer from harm. Still, he looked too much like the warrior that went up against All For One and not enough like the son that lost his mother. The only good thing about his attire was the jet black trench coat hat and sunglasses let him move through the city mostly unimpeded. That, and they covered up most of the armor. He couldn't let Aunt Mitsuki see him like this, like this armored demon that knew only vengeance.

"Hey, aunt Mitsuki…" words died in his mouth, not that it was unexpected.

After all, what do you say to the woman that your mother considered to be her sister after your twin brother shoved a hand through said mother's chest, willingly or not.

"Katsuki, he-" Mitsuki devolved into crying as she was gently pulled away from the door by her husband

"Izuku, I'm glad you could make it. Please, come in"

Masaru lead him inside as Mitsuki went off to another room. Izuku looked after her, if only to assure himself that she was still all right.

"You can sit, Izuku. We have some things to discuss" said Masaru

Izuku nodded and toot the hat and sunglasses off his face. He couldn't but notice how Masaru's eyes scanned his metal clad hands and deduced that he was still in his armor. It was strange, his uncle always took a backseat in their family dynamic. To see him take charge now…

"Is it that bad out there?" he asked as he flicked his eyes in a meaningful gesture to his armor

"I don't really know. I haven't been outside the hospital before now. Nii-san… He still hasn't woken up" admitted Izuku

Masaru frowned a bit as he took his place on the couch in front of Izuku

"That's unfortunate" he muttered

"What… What happened with Katsuki?" asked Izuku

Masaru put the tea he was pouring down. He looked lost in thought.

"I don't know. After he came back, he's locked himself in his room all day and wouldn't see us. The only time he even spoke more than two words with us was when he told your teacher, Aizawa that he was quitting UA and the hero course"

Izuku swallowed hard. It was confirmation of everything he had feared.

"Can I talk to him?" asked Izuku

Masaru blinked at the request

"Be my guest. I hope that you have more success than we had" said Masaru

A new wave of crying was heard throughout the house

"Excuse me" said Masaru as he quickly ran to his wife's side, leaving Izuku alone on the couch.

-/-

Was it strange to be afraid of a room? Probably, but then again, he hadn't been inside Katsuki's room in over 10 years. Standing here, like this… it seemed wrong. Still, he must do what needs to be done. He won't let Katsuki's dream end like this.

He knocked

There was no answer. No screaming, or threatening or anything like that, just silence.

He didn't know what was more damming, the silence or that gut feeling he had that told him that something was wrong.

He couldn't give up like this, he couldn't chicken out now of all times.

"Kacchan, it's me Deku"

Using those old nicknames stirred up his feelings something crazy, but he couldn't back down now

After a few moments of silence, still nothing

"Kacchan? Katsuki, are you in there?"

This was begging to get worrying, so Izuku did was he always did when checking for people on the other side of a locked door, he stretched out his chakra and found nothing.

Panic surged through his body and without even thinking, Izuku ripped the lock off the door with One For All and rushed inside, only to find the room empty, the windows opened and two neatly tucked letters on a desk

"Shit"

-/-

Izuku,

I'm not normally this sappy, but I want to say that I'm sorry. I shouldn't have hurt you all those years. I don't know why I'm even writing this, you made it perfectly clear what you think of me.

By the time you read this, I'll be gone. There is someone who can help me. Don't come after me. Don't try to find me, I'm not worth it.

It's my fault that All Might and Aunty Inko died. It's my fault that Madara was forced to do what he did. I'm not a hero anymore, Izuku. I'm not worthy to go to UA. You know, funny thing is, until I saw All For One, until I saw you fight against the shits called the League of Villains, I couldn't for the life of me figure out what made you someone that All Might dotted on, but then again, I never knew or had what it takes to be a hero.

Save everyone, One For All, successor of All Might

Katsuki

Izuku balled his fists in fury, nearly ripping the paper those words were written on

'That bastard! Does he really think that a simple letter lets him off the hook?'

Folding the letter back, Izuku took the other letter and marched out of the room. Coming downstairs, he handed the piece of paper wordlessly to Masaru and stormed out.

As soon as he was outside, he shrugged off his trench coat and with a burst of One For All and Chakra he launched himself into the sky.

Katsuki was smart. He was probably already out of his detection range and Izuku would admit that he wasn't the best of sensors, but he would be dammed if he wouldn't find the fucker and beat him black and blue for what he pulled.

-/-

Katsuki watched impassively as Izuku blasted off his parent's front porch and disappeared in the distance. He probably had an hour to get to where he was going before this whole area would be swarming with police.

Katsuki took care to word his letter to his parents so that it could be considered a suicide note. Izuku's letter was a last-minute addition. He felt like he had to leave at least some thing for him. Any other path felt wrong.

He couldn't falter now, he burned his boats, now he must move forward on this new path that he had chosen.

It wasn't long before he found that old monastery. The old man was waiting for him outside

"I'm ready"

The heavy wooden doors opened, and he stepped through. Once they closed, the whole compound seemed to disappear and in it's place all that remained was a large meadow.

-/-

A high-tech plane made it's landing approach at one of the nearby airports. Once it landed, the ground crew went to work on it.

The door opened to reveal a staircase. A single woman exited. She wore a black shirt and pants that accentuated her physique. To the trained eye obvious muscles could be seen on her form and a skilled practitioner of the art of combat would instantly notice the otherworldly grace she moved with that denoted many years of hard practice to hone one's body to perfection. All this seemed to be in contrast with the friendly face she put on.

Melissa Shield had arrived

A/N: CHAPTER DONE!

It's been a while, hasn't it? Well, not to worry, I'm back! This is, as you noticed, the beginning of Part 2. First things first, before you all go ahead and blow your collective gaskets. Yes, Katsuki pulled a Sasuke. This is effectively me writing him out of the story for some time. Class 1-A will also fall to the wayside a bit. I fully admit that I have no idea what to do with this many characters, so I'll just put them in UA and forget about them, for the most part. You'll see Katsuki again, later. Don't worry, I haven't taken him out of the story completely. As for the note and the backlash for that, I'm sorry for anyone that felt ill at the thought and no Katsuki never had nay suicidal tendencies. Think of this as a staged death.

Onto point number 2. Melissa.

Yes, this is a ship, and no you can't object. To be honest, I'm not planning to keep Melisa's original personality too much in all of this, so she'll be OOC. Next chapter will be neat 3k backstory of Izuku and Melissa's childhood together as well as a bit of exposition on how this Izuku's backstory differs from cannon! Izuku. After that, all this gets shoved into the background, until later. For those asking, yes Melissa will eventually get Chakra, but seeing as Izuku isn't using OFA to jumpstart her system like his was, she will have a meager amount. I mean think Sakura of the bell test levels of powers. Good against a thug or two, but not much else. She'll be the one playing support to Izuku and Madara, but mainly Izuku.

Since I said I was going to do it, I finally did it. I uploaded the first part of Rikudou to AO3. It's not done, since I'm using this as a way of polishing the early chapters, so it's kinda a rewrite, but also not. You need not worry; the continuation of this story is what I'm focusing on right now. I'll upload to AO3 when I feel like it. Once it's done, I'll post an update here for you to go check it out.

As always, leave a review with any thoughts questions or suggestions you might have, I enjoy reading the feedback on this story

Next Chapter: Izuku and Melissa: Origin