One For All
"You, too, can be a hero."
Those words were all I needed. They were all I wanted to help me believe it myself. I was born without a quirk. In a world overrun by these talents, it's almost impossible to imagine someone becoming a hero without one. But it was my dream. I wanted to help people. I wanted to be just like All Might. He was amazing! He saved people every day and always had the biggest smile on his face. No matter the danger, All Might could smile through it all and win! It was hard when I first found out that I'd never have a quirk. My family all had quirks and I was just that rare genetic anomaly. A dumb little joint in my toe was the thing holding me back from my dreams... I wanted to believe in myself that I could still be a hero. Nobody else believed it. But I had to. I would be the world's greatest hero, no matter what anyone thought.
Those words that gave me the fire I needed came from the one person I never expected to hear it from. All Might himself said those words to me. It wasn't even a passing word of inspiration from a hero. It wasn't just something someone said to a random fan. I know, because I found out who All Might really was. He was this scrawny, sickly guy with dark, sunken eyes. His voice was deep, but somber. Maybe tired was a better word? All Might wasn't always this brawny symbol of justice. That was only a few hours a day. Then, his powers ran out and he transformed into this small shadow of All Might. It was all because of an injury he'd suffered in the past in a fight that nobody had ever heard of. I only found this out because he saved me. I couldn't just let that be it, though, so I grabbed onto him. Because of me, he ran out of time and people got put in danger from the threat he saved me from in the first place. All Might told me no. He told me that he didn't think that anyone could become a hero without a power. It was better to just... have a realistic dream.
On my way back home, I'd been drawn to a scene of action with heroes struggling to stop a villain. It was the one I'd been in danger from. The one All Might saved me from. In my dumb rush to not let the opportunity to talk to All Might slip by, I put people in danger. And All Might didn't have enough power to rush in! It was all my fault. Then... Then I saw who the villain had. It was Kacchan. It was Bakugou. Bakugou got put in danger, because of me... Before I even knew what I was doing, I'd sprinted through the crowd and was rushing headlong into the burning street. Everyone was screaming for me to stop but my legs just wouldn't stop! All I could see was the look that Kacchan had had on his face as that monster wrestled with him. I did my best to try and pull him free... but it wasn't me who saved him. All Might appeared. He pushed through his limit in order to save us. He... said later that I inspired him. He said that the mark of a true hero was to risk it all to save others. And me, with no quirk whatsoever or even any ability to speak of... I ran in because I just knew that I had to try. And that was when he told me.
"You, too, can become a hero."
Someone... believed in me... That simple fact brought me to my knees. All Might himself thought that I could be a hero. That would've been good enough for me, but All Might had different plans. He told me the truth about his power. I tried to tell him that I didn't feel worthy to know after how many people tried so hard to learn, but he shrugged me off. He had One For All. It was a quirk that was passed down between generations. Each new generation compounded their powers and shifted One For All into an ever changing beast. It was a power that evolved with each user and... All Might wanted to give it to me. Me! My reckless act of "heroism"... my dumb legs moving on their own... That was enough to inherit the power of All Might? He told me it wouldn't be easy. I knew that. It'd never been easy. It would be even harder going forward. Even if I got his quirk, to become a hero wasn't simple. You had to go to a great school and get scouted by agencies. You had to start as a sidekick and work towards becoming the hero the public cried for. Other kids my age had their whole lives to practice their quirks into a fine edge to use in their path to become a hero. I barely had my land legs. I trained and fought and screamed until I was ready. All Might gave me a piece of his hair and told me to eat it. And that was the day everything changed. The day I got into UA and the day that my journey as a hero really began.
"What'cha writing, Deku?" Uraraka's voice made Izuku jump right out of his seat, clutching the notebook tightly to his chest. She giggled, covering her mouth before flashing an apologetic smile. "Woops! Didn't mean to scare you. Guess you were concentrating super hard. But what're you writing, huh? Didn't look like your normal hero analysis stuff!"
Midoriya tried to laugh it off, but it was every bit as awkward and flustered as he felt. "I-It was nothing! Just a... journal of sorts!" She didn't look too shocked or anything... Whew. He was really glad that she didn't look too closely at it before saying anything. All Might's power was a secret and it was definitely a secret that All Might had passed on the power to Izuku.
Uraraka tilted her head and shrugged. "A journal, huh? I didn't take you for the diary type, Deku!" His face became very red which made her laugh a little more. "Oh come on, I'm just teasing you!"
"Heh, yeah, I know. I was just thinking about my story." He watched Uraraka hop onto the desk in front of him, tapping her chin.
"Your story? Whaddaya mean?"
Midoriya opened the journal again, glancing inside. "Heroes have a whole journey before they even become heroes. Their origin story, y'know? It's important. And, as we become more known, people will be asking all kinds of questions. Where are we from? What were we like in school? What were important fights for us? Maybe it's nice to look back at what's important. Getting into UA, meeting you all, becoming Deku, fighting those villains in the Disaster Response area, the games, Stain... I don't wanna forget any of it." His grip tightened on the notebook and he smiled more as he stared at the pages. "I don't want the details to be glossed over and to just be a footnote. We've done amazing things and there's more amazing things to be done! I can't wait to see who Deku becomes as a hero!" He glanced up from the journal with a gentle smile... and immediately yelped, fumbling and hiding behind the journal. Uraraka was not alone anymore. Apparently during his little moment there, half the class had been listening.
Iida smiled. "Exemplary work, Midoriya! Learning from the past will be key in allowing us to plan for the future!"
Mineta rolled his eyes. "Sounds kinda mushy. Where's the part that gets you the babes, Midoriya?!"
Uraraka nudged Iida with a smile. "Well, I think it's cool either way!"
Izuku gave a nervous smile, tucking the journal away. "Uh, thanks guys." Everyone cleared off back towards their desks because class was starting. There was plenty more to add, but his journals weren't going anywhere. He had time. He could write about the games, Stain, the exams... He could talk more about All Might, his mom, his friends... But he had time. For now, Izawa was about to start class and there was no way he wasn't listening to every bit of what he said.
"You, too, can become a hero."