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What makes a hero? What makes a villain? Is it their quirk? Or is it a choice? How will Izuku and his friends move forward when it seems that there is so much against them?
Synopsis of Heroes by Choice

Heroes by Choice is a My Hero Academia fanfic by Titus621 (also author of I am [REDACTED] and What's in a Hoard?) in which the consequences of certain characters (namely, Izuku and Ochako) having different powers are explored, and they are not always good.

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As the son of Sekijirou Ken (the Pro Hero Vlad King) and Midoriya Inko, Izuku was expected to have a Quirk, but he had yet to show it when he turned four. Then, while trying to defend a kid from his former friend, Katsuki Bakugou, he suddenly manages to stop him from beating him, by freezing him in the air. He eventually finds out that he has the power to control blood, but not only his own, like his father, but anyone's. Then, he meets a girl named Ochako, who rapidly becomes his best friend.

Unfortunately, Ochako's time in Izuku's town was temporary, and eventually she has to leave, while Izuku stays behind - only to suffer from a premeditated campaign of bullying by Bakugou, who turns all the kids against him by claiming Izuku's Quirk is villainous. For the next decade, Izuku endures, his main light being the promise he made to Ochako to become a Pro Hero, and when the time comes he applies to U.A., the foremost Hero Academy in Japan.

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And then, when waiting to take the exams, he meets with Ochako, who turns out to have a Quirk that makes her similar to a Succubus, along with her other best friend, a girl called Himiko whose Quirk compels her to drink blood. And soon, the three become friends, and allies, in a quest to prove that their powers may be derided as villain-like, but they are Heroes to the core, by their own choice...

Heroes by Choice contains examples of the following Tropes:

  • Adapted Out: Manga Fukidashi never joins U.A., with Himiko Toga being his replacement.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul:
    • Izuku and Ochako first met before the Entrance Exam, but here they have known each other since they were four.
    • Himiko never met Izuku and Ochako until some time after the Hosu Arc (and was a villain trying to kill them), but here he knows the latter since middle school and Izuku before the Entrance Exam. She also met All Might once when she was a child.
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    • Kojiro Bondo and Nirengeki Shouda take Izuku's and Ochako's original places in Class 1-A.
    • Most of the U.A. teachers know Izuku since he was a kid, thanks to Vlad King bringing him to U.A. when he didn't have to go to school.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change:
  • Adults Are Useless: Downplayed with Vlad King. When he learned about Izuku being bullied, he initially thought Izuku would toughen up like he did, but he realized too late that Izuku was too different to change that way. He still tried to help him by trying to get him to another school or speaking to the school, but when Izuku rejected the idea he instead did his best to teach Izuku to fight and find the means to stay away from his bullies.
  • Ascended Extra: The Class 1-B students become supporting characters in Izuku's story when he is assigned to that class.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Izuku can control blood at a distance, Ochako is pretty much a Succubus and Himiko can drink blood to transform into the person whose blood she drinks. The three are good people who want to become heroes.
  • Birds of a Feather: One of the reasons Izuku, Ochako and Toga hit it off so well is that the three of them are damaged in different ways, but are still willing to follow their dreams to become heroes.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: The USJ Incident. While Midnight avoids Aizawa's fate, three students (Monoma, Izuku and Ochako) nearly die when the Noumu attacks them, the former by copying its regeneration Quirk just as he gets punched, and the latter two thanks to Ochako tanking most of the attack, although they are still heavily injured in the aftermath.
  • Boobs of Steel: Ochako. The girl's stacked and is one of the strongest students in U.A.
    • Toga. When Midnight gives her some blood and she transforms into her, the teacher notes that her bust shrinks in the process.
  • Children Are Cruel: Bakugou was even worse than his canon version, not only painting Izuku as a villain in training and then getting others to follow on through, but also making it so Izuku would believe him using his power hurt other people, making him subconciously fear his own power.
  • Commonality Connection: Part of the reason why Izuku hits it off with Himiko is that they have fangs and that their powers are blood-based and looked down by certain people.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Monoma, the condescending guy whose Quirk is copying other people's Quirks, survives a Megaton Punch from the Noumu by copying its regeneration Quirk in the instant the Noumu's fist hit him.
  • Demoted to Extra: As Izuku joins Class 1-B, the people in 1-A are only seen sporadically.
  • Dramatic Irony: When discussing "Kacchan", Ochako and Himiko agree it would be very unlikely for Izuku's bully to get into U.A. Unfortunately, they learn that he did.
  • Emergency Transformation: During the USJ attack, Himiko licks the blood All Might has left on her so she can temporarily turn into him and punch the daylights out of Shigaraki.
  • Erotic Dream: At the beginning of Chapter 12, Ochako has one with Deku and Toga.
  • Exact Words: Izuku can only use Blood Control on his own body and what he can see. As the Noumu's brain is exposed, Izuku can control the blood flow in it in order to force the monster to stop.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • U.A. is an university instead of a high school, and the students live in dormitories within.
    • Having a Quirk of his own (Blood Control) allows Izuku to fight in the Entrance Exam and earn his place without risking his health.
    • Midnight becomes 1-B's homeroom teacher, instead of Vlad King.
    • Classes 1-A and 1-B meet during the Heroes vs Villains class, playing against each other.
    • Himiko Toga becomes heroic because of a chance meeting with All Might.
    • During the USJ attack, Toga warns Thirteen about Kurogiri's Quirk, preventing the warp gate villain from turning Thirteen's Black Hole on the students.
  • Foreshadowing: Even though Ochako has brown hair, several characters mention her having blue or blonde hair and how they like that - setting up Ochako's reveal that her pheromones make people think she looks like their ideal woman.
  • Friendly Rival: Kirishima, true to his Nice Guy fame, has no problem with how Izuku used his Quirk on him during the Hero Battle Class, and in fact thinks that it was awesome.
  • Friendship Moment: Tetsutetsu declares that, if Ochako hadn't jumped in to grab Bakugou, he would have done the same - something that really touches Izuku.
  • Godzilla Threshold: When he, Ochako and Himiko are starting to suffer from having to hold back multiple enemies on their own, Izuku busts out his super-move, Blood Rush - which requires him to flay his back and pull out a lot of blood so he can use it as a large scale weapon. Considering that he does not have his father's ability to reabsorb the blood he emits, this naturally weakens him.
    • When the Noumu attempts to kill Awase, Izuku controls the blood in the Noumu's brain to force it to stop, and ends up popping said brain when it won't.
  • Hates Being Touched: Due to the bullying he suffered for almost fourteen years, Izuku has an instinctive fear of being touched by people he does not trust. The fact that he not only lets Ochako and Himiko touch him from the get go, but that it actually calms him down, is quite telling.
  • Heroic BSoD: Himiko has one when Kurogiri mentions her as "Giran's pet project". Again when she thinks that the Noumu has killed Izuku and Ochako.
  • Horror Hunger: When she was a kid, Himiko saw no problem in drinking other people's blood, but she was taught to repress the feeling because it was not "normal". Nowadays, though, she can control herself better, and Ochako (and later Izuku) are willing to give her blood when she needs it.
  • Hunk: Izuku.
  • I Shall Taunt You: After Midnight tells her that Izuku and Ochako are still alive, Himiko decides to call Shigaraki a failure so he will try to attack her just as she transforms into All Might.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • Even though he has an obvious Quirk, Izuku is still nicknamed "Deku" by Bakugou. And he still lets Ochako call him that way.
    • Although he never encounters Bakugou before the Entrance Exam, Izuku still trips and gets saved by Ochako.
  • Jerkass: Bakugou, by spades, and even worse than his canon counterpart. He is introduced bullying a kid and being willing to beat someone who was his friend until recently just because he is there, and in the aftermath of their encounter turns all the kids against him on the basis of Izuku's Quirk being "villainous".
  • Kids Are Cruel: It takes quite some cruelty to tell a kid they are going to be a villain just for something they cannot control (though it is canonical - Shinsou encountered the same from his mind control quirk).
  • Laughing Mad: Himiko during the USJ attack, as she becomes overwhelmed by the multiple shocks she gets in just a few minutes.
  • Milholland Relationship Moment: Ochako tells Izuku that the pheromones she emits make people think she looks like their ideal woman. When Izuku asks how she really looks like, Himiko shows him a photo - and Izuku asks if they are playing a joke on him, because he cannot see the difference.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Izuku. Ochako and Himiko note that, somehow, he is both a Hunk and cute.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Ochako, by virtue of her Quirk making her into a Succubus-like girl. The pheromones she emits make it even more intense, as they warp people's perception of her so she looks like that person's idealized version of a woman until someone shows them what she really looks like.
  • My Eyes Are Up Here: Averted. Ochako could tell that Izuku checked her out for a second, but when not looking away he stared at her face.
  • Nightmare Face: When furious, Ochaco's usually beatiful face morphs into something terrifying.
  • Noodle Incident: Izuku mentions that, twice in his past, he was saved by a villain, one of them being Stain.
    • During the USJ attack, Toga recognizes Kurogiri.
  • Oh, Crap!: Shigaraki when Toga uses her Quirk to turn into All Might while he's charging her.
  • Polyamory: The fic tags indicate Izuku, Ochako and Himiko will be in a relationship.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Ochako learns that "Kacchan" not only never let up in his bullying after she left, he stepped it up. So, when she finds out that "Kacchan" is actually Bakugou, she grabs him and does an Angry Collar Grab with a fury that takes everyone by surprise.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Being bullied for more than a decade and socially isolated from others is not something one can bounce back from easily. Unlike his canon counterpart, here Izuku is a Nervous Wreck who Hates Being Touched, is surprised whenever someone treats him nicely and expects the other shoe to drop down if anything goes well for him.
    • Also, years of not using his Quirk on people because he instinctively fears he's hurting them makes it harder to use it later when he really needs it.
    • Ochako knows that she's attractive - and that makes her fearful that any potential male friend may just be trying to get into her pants.
      • Also, knowing of the effect her pheromones have, she fears that she may have subconciously affected any friends she has made into becoming so.
    • During the Hero Battle Class, Hagakure tries to make good use of her Invisible Streaker power - but she's then unable to get through Ibara's thorny vines without getting seriously cut or captured.
    • In the aftermath of USJ, Izuku and Ochako have to be put in a coma because their injuries are too extensive to be easily healed, and several of the other students need psychological support.
    • After being for a week in a coma, Izuku and Ochako are too weakened to do sustained exercise, which keeps them both out of the Sports Festival since they wouldn't be able to recover in time.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Vlad King is Izuku's father.
  • Shapeshifter: Himiko's Quirk, which allows her to transform into people whose blood she drinks. During the Hero Battle Class, she uses Sato's blood to get through Momo and Kaminari's defenses and captures them. Then, at the USJ, she uses All Might's blood so he can pummel Shigaraki.
  • She Is All Grown Up: When they meet at U.A., Izuku is shocked at how much Ochako has changed in the past fourteen years.
  • Sleep Cute: After the practical Entrance Exam, Ochako is so tired that she falls asleep on Izuku's shoulder.
  • Smells Sexy: Ochako's Quirk makes her emit pheromones that make her even more attractive to other people.
  • Supreme Chef: Izuku. Himiko claims he is better than Lunch Rush.
  • Taking the Bullet: Ochako tanks the Noumu's Megaton Punch when it attacks Izuku. Both of them are sent flying away, but fortunately they survive.
  • Tender Tears: Izuku breaks down crying in Ochako's arms when he realizes that his biggest fear about his Quirk - that it would hurt people when he used it - was not real.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Bakugou. When Izuku saves him from the sludge villain, Bakugou not only doesn't even thank him, he even accuses Izuku of working with the villain to make himself look good.
  • Villainous Rescue: Izuku has been saved twice by villains, one of them being Stain. Unfortunately, this only gave Bakugou more fuel to make his classmates think Izuku was a villain as well.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: They are still only friends, but Himiko and Ochako have no problem with getting violent if it comes down to helping Izuku.
  • Wham Shot: Himiko managing to copy One for All when she transforms into All Might.
  • Wingding Eyes: Ochako's pupils can take the form of hearts when she's particularly happy or excited.
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: Ochako is really beautiful, and the pheromones she emits make people think she is their version of this.
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