A young man sits on a bench with eleven others. Unlike his companions, he isn't handcuffed or restrained in any fashion. But then again, why would he be? Shikinori isn't a criminal. Far from it: he's the son of Japan's Number One Pro Hero, Deku.
So then why is he applying to a research study that aims to permanently remove the Quirks of its participants?
That's the Driving Question behind Origin of a Non-Hero, a one-shot by Phantomrose96. If he wants any chance to be considered for the study, Shikinori will have to pull back the layers of his complicated relationship with his father and explain just why he wants it removed.
This fanfic provides examples of:
- Aesop Amnesia: Despite Shiki making it quite clear that he doesn't want to become a Pro Hero, and Izuku appearing to accept that at the time, he appears to forget himself after Shiki returns from college. And if not then, then definitely when he thinks Shiki got rid of his Quirk.
- All for Nothing: Shiki pours out his heart and soul to the evaluators, only to get rejected from participating in the study. When he tells his father otherwise, claiming that he already went through with it, Izuku's reaction makes clear that he STILL doesn't understand his son, as his plan to 'set things right' would only make things significantly WORSE if he went through with it.
- Bittersweet Ending: Ultimately, Shikinori isn't approved to participate in the study. He tells his father otherwise, and after being dissuaded from giving him One For All to 'fix it', Izuku breaks down in his mentor's arms... but the next day, goes back to smiling for the cameras while his son continues searching for a job, and Inko remains alone.
- Brutal Honesty: Toshinori employs this when Izuku seeks his opinion, bluntly informing him that no, he doesn't approve of his plan, and questioning why he thinks it will fix anything in the first place.
- Claustrophobia: A largely symbolic case; Shiki fears being trapped by the weight of everyone's expectations, and he frequently compares it to being like a fly in a jar.Being unyielding to gravity is no help when the walls close on every side.
- Deconstruction Fic: Provides a bleak look at a potential future for our heroes, wherein Izuku's determination to uphold Toshinori's legacy while also trying to build a family doesn't work out.
- Dramatically Missing the Point: After Shikinori informs him that he had his Quirk removed, Izuku's first instinct is to try and fix it by planning to give him One For All instead... despite knowing how Shiki wants nothing to do with Pro Heroism.
- Dramatic Irony:
- Izuku longed to be a hero, but was convinced that he'd never be able to make it without a Quirk — good thing he had somebody willing and able to pass theirs on to him! His son, on the other hand, wants absolutely nothing to do with that world, and feels that the only way to convince his parents to stop pressuring him to follow their lead is to get his Quirk stripped away.
- After how hard he fought to help Shouto break away from his father's stifling expectations, Izuku unintentionally foists his own unhealthy assumptions onto his son, assuming that he'll want to join him in Pro Heroism because really, why wouldn't he?
- Family Versus Career: Toshinori warned Izuku that he couldn't serve as the Symbol of Peace while also raising a family. Izuku and Ochaco attempted to prove him wrong. They fail. Izuku's workaholic tendencies leave Ochaco alone at nights with only Shiki there to comfort her. They end up divorcing before Shiki is even a teenager, and while they try to remain Amicable Exes, Izuku is so wrapped up in hero duties they still barely interact anymore. What's worse, because he's one of the most popular heroes out there, Ochaco is slammed with bad publicity for "breaking his heart".
- Follow in My Footsteps: Izuku naturally expects that Shikinori will want to follow his parents into the field of Pro Heroics.
- Happily Adopted: Red Riot and Ground Zero have adopted a son together, and have turned out to be Good Parents. Shikinori cops to being a bit jealous of their relationship.
- Hope Spot:
- When Shiki is fourteen, the Midoriyas get family counseling, and make real progress towards understanding each other and spending more time together... until Deku slips down to #8, dropping in rank for the first time.
- College is a good time for Shikinori, right up until he graduates. Unable to find a job despite all his efforts, he's forced to move back home.
- How We Got Here: The Framing Device for the bulk of the story is Shikinori explaining to the evaluators just why he wants to have his Quirk removed.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Shikinori's ultimate goal: to have a normal life despite being the son of two Pro Heroes.
- I Warned You: When Izuku turns to his old mentor for comfort after learning that Shiki supposedly got his Quirk removed, Toshinori somberly reminds him of how he warned him that there was no way he could balance having a family with being the Symbol of Peace.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Izuku has a breakdown when he learns through therapy just how much he's unintentionally hurt his family. Followed by another one years later when he thinks that Shiki got his Quirk removed.
- No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: In-Universe: When Ochaco returns to active service, she gets absolutely reamed by the tabloids, while Deku's 'fans' slammed her with filthy labels. She endures this because it helps get her name out there, even in such an ugly fashion.
- Parents as People: For all his complaints, Shikinori doesn't lack sympathy or understanding as to why his parents prioritize their jobs over him. Especially after they got counseling together, and he is able to see that his father legitimately regretted how he'd hurt him.
- Poor Communication Kills: A running theme. The Midoriyas' relationships with each other dramatically improve when their therapist encourages them to open up and share their feelings with each other, and Shikinori's relationship with his father takes its biggest blow when Izuku jokes about how easily he could become a receptionist at his agency if he doesn't want to crunch numbers... despite Mathematics being his son's favorite subject.
- Secretly Selfish: Deep down, Shikinori fears that his desire for a healthier, stronger relationship with his parents is this.Shikinori: "Is that too much, Grandma? Is it selfish of me to want that... and to want Mom and Dad to still love me, too? Is it too selfish to just want them to be proud of me?"
- When You Coming Home, Dad?: Shiki's relationship with his father... and later with both of his parents.