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Story [BNHA] "Before Your Idols" | NSWFF Prompt Thread Response | Inko & Izuku, Vignette

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by Mira_Jade , Apr 19, 2019.

  1. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Title: “before your idols”
    Fandom: My Hero Academia (Boku no Hero Academia)
    Author: Mira_Jade

    Genre: Drama, Family
    Rating: PG
    Time Frame: Pre-Canon
    Characters: Inko Midoriya & Izuku Midoriya (Katsuki "Kacchan" Bakugo, All Might, Endeavor)

    Summary: Boys will be boys, of course, and yet, this was something else entirely.

    In which Inko Midoriya has a thing or two to say about bullies, and Izuku Midoriya decides what kind of a hero he wants to be when he grows up.

    Author's Notes: Hello, dear readers! Originally, this piece was supposed to be a ficlet for my odds and ends collection, “That Would Be Enough”, but then it grew long enough to stand as a vignette all on its own. Apparently, my muse had quite a bit to say on this particular subject . . . again. :oops: Because, as much as I adore this fandom and the story it has to tell, I do have a few comments for the way bullying is presented within the narrative. (And, as a foil and a parallel for Bakugo, I couldn't resist the opportunity to roast Endeavor. Just a little bit. No pun intended. [face_mischief] [face_whistling]) Towards that end, the NSWFF Prompt Laughter Among Friends was my initial inspiration, even if taken a bit ironically. :p

    That said, I thank you all for reading, and hope that you enjoy! [face_love] [:D]

    Disclaimer: Nothing is mine, but for the words. :)

    “before your idols”
    by Mira_Jade

    This wasn’t the first time her six year old son had come home with cuts and scrapes, and, pragmatically, Midoriya Inko knew it wouldn’t be the last. Boys would be boys, after all, and there was certainly mischief enough for the children to get into when roughhousing on the playground. Yet . . .

    Boys would be boys? No. This was something else entirely.

    Izuku’s injuries couldn’t be blamed on a rough game of tag or a tumble by the creek, not this time. The scuffed knees, and the abrasions on his hands from where he’d caught himself when falling? Sure, she could attribute that to the antics of youth and rest well at night. Yet, the singed edges around the gaping hole in her son’s t-shirt told a more somber story. There were burn marks on the abused skin of his back, painfully red and blistering and ominously shaped like a handprint. The signs were clear, and Inko had to clench her jaw to contain her fury when she turned to toss the ruined garment into the rubbish bin.

    Boys will be boys, Mitsuki would only laugh to brush her concerns aside, but this . . .

    . . . this is not the work of a little boy at play, Inko thought darkly. Oh, she had other words in mind for Bakugo Katsuki, but none of them were kind. Delicately, as befit the dignified adult she was, she would keep her thoughts to herself.

    “It’s really okay, Mom – I’m fine, honest,” Izuku continued to babble. He was clearly anxious as she tended him – not for his own injuries, Inko was dismayed to understand, but for the possibility that she’d warn him to stay away from Katsuki again. She had before, only for Izuku to gravitate back towards the other boy like a moon finding its orbit time and time again. The same as always, this was the result: her son's eyes were red from crying, and his skin was bruised and burned. He was hurt, and not only in ways that bore a tangible mark.

    Katsuki was usually more careful with using his actual Quirk, however; he must have been truly incensed this time around. Inko was almost finished putting an antibacterial salve on her son's back, and she had gauze waiting to cover the burns so that Izuku could put on a new shirt without aggravating his injuries. Then, there would be nothing left to do but wait and let him heal. At least, in the amazingly resilient way of children, he’d mend quickly. In a few weeks there wouldn’t even be a scar to show for the encounter. Yet, every time Izuku flinched and shied away from her touch, no matter how gingerly she applied ointment around the blisters so as not to break them, Inko found a new spike of anger stabbing up through her chest. Then and there, she felt as if she had fangs to flash in defense of her child. It was all she could do to keep her expression calm and her hands steady so as to not further distress Izuku. Her anger was not what he needed, not then. Yet, her rage was almost all she could concentrate on as it rose to clog her throat with a thick red heat.

    “Kacchan didn’t mean to hurt me,” Izuku stubbornly continued to insist. Her grip about the jar of ointment tightened, no matter how she tried to find her center. “His Quirk is just so amazing, you know? He just doesn’t know what to do with his power sometimes. Accidents happen; this was just an accident.”

    An accident? Yes, that was what Mitsuki would say – just as she had before, and the teachers, too. No one saw her concerns as Inko saw them, and the callused blind eye that was being turned towards her son’s torment made her want to scream. Mrs. Midoriya, last year the kindergarten teacher had condescendingly tried to placate her, your son is Quirkless. Wouldn't it be disadvantageous for us to intervene when this is a struggle he’s going to have throughout his life? Izuku will have to learn to live – and protect himself – in a world where most of the population is stronger than him. Besides, something like this would impede young Bakugo’s chances of attending the more elite Pro Hero prep courses in the future – and that would be depriving the world of a force for good, all because of misguided youthful energy, wouldn’t you say?

    No, Inko would not say, and she still failed to agree with the teacher – and the principal too when she’d pressed the matter further. All that she took away from her fruitless warring was this: in their unparalleled age of heroes, her son wasn’t viewed as worth protecting because of the Quirk he lacked while Katsuki was praised for the awesome potential of his power. The bully was placed up on a pedestal for the cape he would someday don, while his victim was told to endure and find strength in persevering through adversity. Yes, what a wonderful lesson they were teaching their heroes of tomorrow. Youthful energy? Boys will be boys? No. Inko couldn’t be convinced otherwise: Katsuki knew exactly what he was doing. Nothing about this burn, she seethed, was an accident borne by exuberance. If anything, Katsuki already had amazing control over his Quirk for his age. If this burn had gone any deeper – or worse, if his calculated explosions had damaged Izuku’s spine or the organs beneath his rib cage, he could have -

    - in and out, Inko, she reminded herself to breathe. In and out.

    “It's okay,” Izuku continued, looking back over his shoulder with a wobbling smile, “because Kacchan is my friend. He wouldn’t burn me on purpose, right? It’s not his fault he’s so strong. I just got in his way. This was my fault.”

    And yet, no matter how hard she tried, that was all it took to tip her over the edge. With those awful words, Inko reached her limit.

    “That boy,” she snapped, no matter how she first told herself that she wouldn’t lose her temper – Izuku needed her to be calm and so she would be calm, heaven help her, “is not your friend, Izuku.”

    For hearing her words, Izuku went very, very still underneath her hands. He flinched, and she watched as his small shoulders began to shake. Yet, she wouldn't take back her words. Instead, knowing that they were about to embark on a difficult conversation, she put the salve down and moved so that she was facing her son rather than sitting behind him. His huge green eyes were watering, and she could feel a tell-tale burning prickling behind her own eyes in answer. But no, she was determined to be the strong one; her own grief could wait.

    “Friends, real friends, don’t treat each other like this,” she continued, trying her best to soften her voice and lessen the blow of her words. Yet, as much as she didn’t want to distress Izuku, she didn’t want him to keep any illusions about the likes of Bakugo Katsuki, either, and she certainly didn’t want him to carry such an imbalanced view of power on into adulthood. Might, after all, did not make right – it never would, it never should.

    . . . even if that simplemost truth was something their society tended to forget at times, all too often.

    “Katsuki held you down, right?” Inko continued, feeling sick to her stomach as she pressed on with her awful point. But she persevered, regardless. “He wouldn’t let you up. That’s when he burned you, when you struggled?”

    But Izuku didn't confirm her suspicions, not at first. He couldn’t bring himself to look up, not even when she hooked her fingers underneath his chin to gently tilt his face towards her. Her other hand she rested on his shoulder, trying her best to comfort him. “Izuku?” she prodded as softly as she could. “Talk to me, honey.”

    It took a moment, a long moment, but she was patient. In the end, Izuku was too respectful of a son to ignore her a second time. “Yeah,” he finally muttered. “I . . . I told him that I still want to be a hero, even without a Quirk. I said that we could be pros together, and asked if he wanted to try and work at the same agency with me – at All Might’s agency, even! – and he . . . well, he started laughing. Kacchan started laughing and then all the others joined in laughing too. I made him mad when I stood up for myself, and then . . . then the rest happened,” Izuku finished, summarizing their confrontation in a quick exhalation of breath without repeating Katsuki’s exact words. Inko merely nodded, able to fill in the blanks well enough for herself. On top of everything else, the boy had already inherited Mitsuki’s sailor mouth. Mitsuki may have been an old friend, but Inko did not, for the life of her, understand or agree with her habits as a mother. She couldn't.

    Then, that Izuku made Katsuki mad was an understatement, Inko privately continued to reflect. How her son’s innocent, cheerful words could have incensed the other boy so – all by implying that his unholy, prodigious talent could be grouped into the likes of her son’s Quirklessness, was disquieting in the extreme to consider. Such arrogance, her teeth ground together to conclude, such conceit, and nothing was being done by anyone to temper his foul habits as he grew. Inko was flummoxed; she couldn’t even begin to wrap her head around the matter, it made no sense.

    “But, Mama . . . if Kacchan isn’t my friend,” Izuku sniffed miserably through his wet nose, “then, who is?”

    And for that, Inko’s heart shattered.

    “Oh, sweetie,” she sighed, and leaned forward so that she could wrap her son in a hug as best she could. It was awkward, with her having to avoid the burns on his back, but he was able to cling to her as tightly as he wanted, at least. His small body shook, shuddering like a leaf on a gale of storm-wind. The front of her sweater was turning damp, but it didn’t matter. She closed her eyes against his messy mop of hair, finally unable to stop her own tears – just a few of them. The Midoriya waterworks, ladies and gentlemen, she tried to calm herself with a wry thought, there you have it.

    “Everything would be so much better,” Izuku managed to choke out after the worst of his tears subsided, “if I just had a Quirk. Kacchan would really be my friend, then. He wouldn't be so mean.”

    Oh, no. Inko would have none of that; not even a word of such erroneous thinking! She pursed her mouth, gathering herself, before she pulled away from her son and fixed what an encouraging expression she could again.

    “Midoriya Izuku: you were made perfect, exactly how you are – I want you to remember that,” she said lowly, firmly. If she failed as his mother in every other way, Inko vowed, she would succeed in this. “There’s more to being a good human being – or even a hero – than just strength alone, no matter what Katsuki would like to think.”

    Izuku only blinked at her, clearly disbelieving. But he was a respectful boy, and didn’t disagree with her outright.

    Yet, Inko was determined to make her point. “What makes All Might a hero?” she searched for a way to reason out such an abstract, mature concept to her child. She found her inspiration in the – one of many – posters that lined the walls of Izuku’s bedroom. She looked up, and took courage from the beaming grin and intense blue eyes blazing out from the glossy print splashed across the paper. Just then, she needed a Texas Smash! like no other.

    For her question, a more familiar light returned to her son’s eyes. He never needed coaxing to talk about his favourite hero. “He’s so strong!” Izuku pumped his little fist to say. “He’s the strongest!”

    “Yes, he is,” Inko patiently agreed. Yet, this wasn’t about the ability to leap buildings or pummel villains when all else failed. No, the idea of a hero was something more, and she’d have her son understand the value of true heroism above all else. “But there are many strong heroes in the world, and villains too. Say – Endeavor,” she picked the first one who came to mind, and privately apologized for how she was about to slander someone who was most likely just a taciturn man who stoically did his duty before returning home to better be himself around his family . . . well, hopefully, at least. “He’s the Number Two Pro Hero, he’s almost just as strong as All Might. But, why isn’t he your favourite?”

    That, she was pleased to see, drew Izuku short. He paused, and really thought about her question before giving an answer. “He’s scary, even though he’s a hero,” Izuku finally whispered, reaching his own conclusion. “He never smiles.”

    There was a reason, after all, that Inko had encouraged her son to look up to certain heroes, but not others. She couldn’t put her finger on what it was about Endeavor, but she’d never bought the flaming hero's action figures or comics for Izuku. There were other role-models to be had, she'd long ago decided, better role-models. That, after all, was part and parcel of being a hero. Someday, she could only hope that Bakugo Katsuki would come to understand that truth.

    “Exactly, he always looks like this, doesn’t he?” to punctuate her words, Inko fixed her face into an exaggeratedly stormy expression. She glowered at Izuku, who gave a tinkling laugh for the silly picture she no doubt presented. Good, her heart lightened, she was getting somewhere. “Now, what about All Might? Why is he your favourite?” she asked again.

    It didn’t take Izuku but a second to reach the conclusion she was guiding him towards. “He always smiles, no matter how bad things are! He makes you feel safe, just by saying: ‘I am here!’ You know that everything is going to be okay, even before he starts smashing the badguys!”

    Well, true. Inko would allow that last bit to slide; Izuku was still just a six year old boy. “He saves hearts first, right?” she was pleased when Izuku nodded in agreement. “People who need saving are having the worst, most scariest day of their lives. A hero – a true hero – will save victims in every way, not just from physical danger. And, when things are really scary, it’s that love – that desire to help and serve – that will push you on, even when you reach the limits of how strong your Quirk may be.”

    Izuku made a face, his wide, awe-struck grin only faltering for a second. “I can’t see Kacchan smiling,” he admitted, his voice very small, “or saying 'I am here!' He’d be a hero more like Endeavor.”

    Exactly, she thought, vindicated.

    Yet: “There’s still time for Katsuki to grow,” Inko replied neutrally, not wanting to completely condemn the child. And that was true, at least. She wanted the best for Mitsuki’s boy, she honestly did – but, not at the cost of her own son’s health and happiness. “Yet, in the meantime, I would really appreciate it if you tried to find other friends, okay?”

    “But . . . no one wants to be my friend,” Izuku’s face fell, just slightly. “I’m the Quirkless weirdo, everyone says so. They all agree with Kacchan.”

    And she would not let herself frown for hearing that, she would not. Just as it wasn't Izuku's fault that their world was so slanted towards those with power, there was nothing that she could do to fix their imbalanced society with just a few words of encouragement. This, she knew, would be Izuku's lifelong battle to fight; she could only help guide him as best she could. “Then you have yet to find anyone worthy of being your friend,” Inko responded simply. “Don’t worry – they’ll come. You’re an amazing little boy just the way you are, Izuku, and someday you’ll find true friends who see that like I do."

    Izuku didn't much look like he believed her . . . but, he wanted to. "Promise?" he whispered, his voice small and wobbling.

    Inko closed her eyes, feeling as her chest constricted. “I promise," she vowed, silently praying for the heavens not to prove her words false. "But: in the meantime, you’re my best friend," she grinned down at him. "I'm glad you're you, just the way you are."

    For that, Izuku made a face. He rolled his eyes in a childish expression, as if she'd completely missed the point. “But you’re my mom," he exclaimed, "you can’t always be my best friend! That's just weird."

    “No, why can’t I?" Inko kissed her son's cheek with an exaggerated loud noise, and Izuku squirmed away from her grasp as she tried to tickle his sides. She let him go without too much playful fuss, mindful of the burns still spanning across his back.

    "Because you just can't!" Izuku laughed, even so, and for the sound Inko felt the edge of her burdens lift. Everything, she felt in that moment, would be okay. Her son was too strong for a petty bully to keep down for too long.

    “Alright, whatever you say," she huffed out in defeat. Yet, she still wanted to capitalize on that feeling of lightness as best she could. "What do you say to me finishing this up, and then we go out for ice-cream?" she suggested. "How does that sound?"

    Inko may have been too 'uncool' to be her son's best friend forever, but she was declared to be the best mom ever! for her idea. She'd take what she could get. As Izuku happily tried to decide on his favourite combination of flavors and toppings, Inko carefully finished wrapping up her son's burns, and that was that.

    When she was done, she left Izuku to put on a new shirt and went to grab her purse and shoes. Yet, when she passed her son's room again, she heard: “Don’t worry, All Might – I will work hard to be just as strong as Kacchan." She peeked inside to see Izuku beaming up at one of the posters on the wall in adoration, as if his idol could talk back to him. "But I will save people with a smile, too, just like you! Wait and see - I'll make both you and Mama proud!”

    For his words, Inko felt her heart drop, just slightly. But, she squared her jaw to reflect, there would be a better time to address such impossibilities in the future. Instead, for the time being, she’d continue to let her son dream.


    End Notes: Because I will never, for the life of me, understand how so much of Bakugo's awful behavior is just ignored within the narrative and written off with barely a slap on the wrist, while his physical strength is praised time and again - by Izuku's bewildering ability to forgive and forget, and especially by the teachers at U.A.. He's just not a character I find entertaining, and the fandom's love for him baffles me. I also thought that his parallels to Endeavor were obvious from the get-go, but apparently that's an unpopular opinion. They're both dumpster-fires. :p I will, however, admit that Bakugo has room to grow, and I'm interested to see his character progress in the future. I look forward to his temper being used as a force for good. But, in the meantime, just . . . no.

    But, as a happier side note: All Might's 'I Am Here!' catch-phrase is encouraging and soothing in Japanese in a way you can't properly translate into English. (And I'm trying to regurgitate a fun-fact that was told to me as someone who only speaks English, so I apologize for any errors in my understanding!) The personal pronoun All Might uses, 'watashi,' is a feminine form that immediately conveys humility and subservience. Men tend to use this pronoun only with social superiors, or when trying to make positive first impressions in formal settings like the workplace. There are two stronger, masculine forms, 'ore' and 'boku,' which he'd be well within his social rights to use instead. For this seven foot tall, epic powerhouse of a man to instead choose to gentle himself, even in such a small way, and always with a smile, is just another reason to love this dork. I can't see Endeavor - or even Bakugo - doing that . . . ever. And there's the salt!

    Of course, on that note, there's really nothing more to say. ;) [face_love]

    ~MJ @};-
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
    Kahara and earlybird-obi-wan like this.
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 31, 2004
    Lovely and warm talk. Izuku is adorable and very much in character for a youngling awestruck with "strong" role models and Inko wisely helps him reason out what makes a "true" hero. Izuku finds and keeps a true hero and eventually finds loyal, caring friends. :) Inko's patience and love truly shines here. =D=
    Kahara and Mira_Jade like this.
  3. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    I've only ever watched one episode of this (liked it, but it's one on the to-watch list :p) and even based on that -- this just brought up All the Feels. Poor kiddo -- being different in any way is hard enough, but when the difference is that everyone else has superpowers that's especially rough! And his optimistic, hopeful nature is kind of protecting him in some ways -- except for when it's really not. Inko is such a wise, caring mom, and definitely the hero of the day here. [face_love]
    Mira_Jade likes this.