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"There are always going to be constants in the world, but even those change with time. Don't ever be afraid to take a chance to be one of those changes."
The Elderly Man to Midoriya Izuku


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Izuku has always had secrets. The first one he ever kept was of his mother's training sessions after the doctor's visit. Being quirkless was never a willing choice he got to make in more ways than one. The second secret he ever kept you ask? His quirk.

Or: Izuku grew up facing more than just discrimination.


Apertum Mortem is a My Hero Academia fanfic by Emï (so_dont_let_in_the_light) and Døc(Noted_Tuxedo_Dipshit) that can be read here

Apertum Mortem is the first part of the Dum Spiro Spero series. The second part of the series, Memento Mori, can be read here.


Note: Proceed with caution as there are major spoilers under the clickable parts. There are also very triggering topics covered in the fic, so tread carefully.


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Tropes in this fic include:

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     Tropes A to F 

  • …And That Little Girl Was Me: Izuku has many of these moments throughout the fic, usually depersonalizing the story that it's implied to be him which sometimes is revealed later to be about himself.

  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Izuku's analysis skills are at a genius level, having been honed through his experience as a former vigilante. It's so good that for a time, the heroes believed Izuku's birth quirk had to do with analysis because he correctly guessed Shigaraki's quirk during the UA breaking, as well as figures out the villains' quirks during USJ within seconds of observing them.

  • Badass Bookworm: Izuku comes off as a pretty harmless nerd who likes jokes and pranks. That is, until he is placed in a situation that requires him to engage in offense, especially when lives are at stake. He's also incredibly Street Smart due to his experience as a former vigilante.

  • Bad Powers, Good People: Both Izuku and Shinso have birth quirks that are seen as villainous in theory according to society, even though Izuku's quirk is unclear concerning it's true nature and capabilities.

  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Starts to trust Class 1-A and UA staff due to this, but trust issues constantly get in the way of Izuku receiving help for various issues. Fiercely protective of his class and teachers.

  • Bittersweet Ending: Many of the secrets and problems of the fic concerning Izuku and the other characters remain unresolved. This includes things like: an in-depth explanation of Izuku's quirk, Shinso and Izuku's friendship ending in tatters, Iida Tenya's family dealing with Iida Tensei's condition caused by Stain, and Todoroki Rei not having been released from the hospital as of yet. The series, Dum Spiro Spero, for which Apertum Mortem is the first part, continues where it left off in Memento Mori.

  • Break the Cutie: A consistent theme of the fic.

  • Brick Joke: During the Cards Against Humanity game played at Aizawa and Yamada's apartment, Aizawa plays a card that ties together two unrelated mental jokes that Izuku makes during USJ concerning Shigaraki.

  • Bully Brutality: Bullies are particularly aggressive to Izuku in the fic. Violent beatings are regular and bathrooms are cursed.

  • Corrupt Bureaucrat: The Hero Public Safety Commission is incredibly corrupt, doing stuff like covering up Endeavor burning Todoroki Touya to death, as well as hiding Endeavor's abusive tendencies in both his crime fighting work as a Pro Hero, and with his treatment to his family.

  • Crapsaccharine World: Starts out very similar to how canon does, but becomes very apparent very quickly that Quirk and Quirkless discrimination are devastatingly rampant in society. Parental figures have pretty exteriors hiding vile monsters within.

  • Daddy's Little Villain: Midoriya Inko reveals to the heroes during a police interrogation to be the daughter of the infamous supervillain All for One, of whom had only done so as a way to mess with All Might. This means that Izuku is All for One's grandson, as well as the grandnephew to the first One for All user.

  • Dark and Troubled Past: Izuku has undergone major quirk discrimination from various sources over the course of his childhood, which still follows him into UA. A major contributor to his traumatic past is both the death of his father, Midoriya Hisashi, when he was three as well as his mother's abuse and later abandonment after said death. Seen as an outcast in society, Izuku struggles with many mental health issues such as panic attacks, PTSD flashbacks, nightmares, touch aversion (sometimes even to friends and/or loved ones), and fits of anger when control on a situation is lost. He is also very prone to lying to avoid uncomfortable circumstances due to major trust issues.

  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Midoriya Hisashi, Izuku's father, was killed in a villain attack when he was three. It's such a shame given that parent was considered to be one of the Good Parents.

  • Demoted to Extra: Mineta is transferred to General Studies after showing quirkist behaviors and views.

  • Driven to Suicide: For various reasons in Izuku's past, he was driven to suicide, only for his quirk to bring him back. One of the more prominent attempts happens while staying in the Aizawa-Yamada household. This suicide in particular causes Izuku immense Mid-Suicide Regret, leading to a Happily Failed Suicide when he talks to Shinso and Aizawa later that night.

  • Duet Bonding: Shinso and Izuku bond over scaring away bullies by singing a song together.

  • Exhausted Eye Bags: Izuku has frequent bad dreams in the form of a Past Experience Nightmare as well as general sleeping problems due to his past traumas.

  • Evil Matriarch: Midoriya Inko, who is also considered to be one of the Abusive Parents, leading Izuku to be a child who Hates Their Parent.

  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Midoriya Inko, who did not put on the weight that she did in canon. She is also one of the main antagonists of the fic. When she loses control of a situation, she also becomes a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.

  • Failed a Spot Check: When researching more about Todoroki's family to save his friend, Izuku considers the fact that Endeavor might have killed Todoroki Touya, but ultimately dismissed it. Later, he learns that it was indeed the truth.

  • False Friend: Downplayed with Izuku.

  • Fan Boy: Midoriya Izuku, obviously.

  • Fantastic Racism: Izuku is constantly the center of bullying and prejudice concerning his quirkless status. Even after it has been proven that he's not quirkless, he still undergoes the same treatment as if he was. A Rant-Inducing Slight also occurs that leads Izuku to educating his fellow classmates about the struggles of the quirkless even when it isn't his responsibility to do so.

  • Fatal Flaw: Izuku has serious trust issues with others due to his past. This issue is incredibly lethal- enough that Izuku will endure unspeakable pain, die repeatedly, and compromise his own safety to keep his secrets to himself.

  • First-Name Basis: As Izuku starts to collect friends and parental figures, he not only gains an Affectionate Nickname from them, but he also reciprocates the gesture.

  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Two OC characters have a conversation where one of them tells the other that smoking is going to end up killing them. After a moment, the other man lights his cigarette, effectively blowing up the gas filled apartment, killing both of them. This Dramatic Irony is also foreshadowed in the previous chapter.

  • Friends Are Chosen, Family Aren't: Izuku surrounds himself with friends to fill the family void. When Midoriya Inko shows back up in his life, the bad side of Izuku gets revealed to his friends.

  • From Bad to Worse: A consistent theme of the fic, especially when Izuku is involved.

     Tropes G to M 

  • Gas Lighting: Midoriya Inko is the queen of this tactic, especially against Izuku and the heroes.

  • Hidden Depths: Both Izuku and All Might have talents that aren't apparent at first glance. For Izuku, it's his skill with hacking and building tools to help him or others. For All Might, it's his college education as he made sure not only to focus on heroics, but also to help others emotionally and psychologically. He went so far to achieve this goal that he has the qualifications to be a registered therapist, which he eventually does become at UA.

  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Izuku starts out with having no friends in the fic due to quirkless discrimination, but he begins to collect friends, for better or worse.

  • Impossible Genius: Izuku is a jack-of-all trades genius. He is a seasoned hacker as well as a costume and tool designer that designs his own gear and for others due to both his father, Midoriya Hisashi, being a Support Designer who owned a Support Company named Kibou Studios as well as his time as a former vigilante. Nedzu recognizes his exceptional intelligence, leading to Nedzu offering mentorship to Izuku during his free period.

  • In Spite of a Nail: The death of Izuku's father when he was three led to the eventual manifestation of his birth quirk, setting in motion the events of the fic.

  • Like a Son to Me: All Might considers Izuku to be his son despite Izuku's villainous familial relations. Aizawa Shouta and Yamada Hizashi also fall into this category.

  • Loophole Abuse: Izuku excels at finding loop holes in many situations. Examples of this is shown during the entrance exam where he hacked into a UA server to gain more knowledge about said exam and during the Hero vs. Villain training when he uses the Heroes' own tools to win the match.

  • Love Makes You Evil: Midoriya Inko only started abusing Izuku after Midoriya Hisashi, her husband, died. With the realization that Izuku was also vulnerable to death and his quirkless nature, she tried to force a quirk to manifest for Izuku through various tactics like brutal training sessions, even going so far as hiring someone to perform actual torture on him as a child. When she reappears after USJ and Izuku lies to her that he's still quirkless, she reverts once again to try and fix him under the guise she's trying to help him. This descent into madness also led to her various criminal activities ever since her husband's death, including killing people that got in her way of 'protecting' or 'preserving' her family.

  • Major Injury Underreaction: Izuku is incredibly guilty of this, much more so than his canon counterpart. He is unfazed by severe injury such as during the Sports Festival when he is impaled by ice. He is also similarly unfazed by dying as well, seemingly bouncing back as if nothing actually happened.

  • Mama Bear: Tsuki-chan, a quirked cat, is incredibly protective of Izuku, seeing him as if she was her own child, literally calling him her Moon Child.

  • Mic Drop: Izuku drops the mic after scaring away the bullies who surrounded Class 1-A before the Sports Festival with a duet with Shinso. In typical Izuku fashion, he panics when he realizes he might have damaged the mic after dropping it.

  • My God, What Have I Done?: With the threat of Izuku's mother hurting his chosen family and the discovery of his connection with All Might with a few people that shouldn't have eavesdropped, he snaps at his friends due to the stress. This leads to Shinso and Izuku's friendship being in bad shape, leaving them at odds with one another and Izuku regretting his actions.

     Tropes N to S 

  • Only Smart People May Pass: Nedzu has high standards for his students.

  • Parental Abandonment: Played straight with Izuku, with his mom abandoning him when he was seven.

  • Playful Hacker: Izuku is a genius at hacking technology to his own benefit. He uses this skill to do stuff like hack into the UA system to view the security cams, play music, and learn more about the entrance exam.

  • Promotion to Parent: Aizawa Shouta and Yamada Hizashi become legal parents to Shinso after he becomes Happily Adopted. Izuku also considers the two as well as All Might to be his dads, but they aren't his official guardians. The three of them could also be considered a type of Parental Substitute, but the bond is much stronger than that. He instead gets adopted into the Bakugo family, but still refers to them as his Auntie and Uncle.

  • Resurrective Immortality: One part of Izuku's quirk is that everytime he dies, his body heals the specific injured portion of his body that ended up killing him and nothing else. While Death Is Cheap concerning how many times Izuku dies in the fic, to Izuku himself, it is a Fate Worse than Death, especially if someone finds out about his ability only to abuse it maliciously. A major fear of his is being endlessly tortured or experimented on due to his quirk.

  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: During the Sports Festival, Todoroki tries to forfeit the final match due to the fact that Izuku was the winner of their fight, believing that Izuku deserves to be the one fighting in the finals. When the teachers deny his request due to the fact that Izuku retroactively lost due to being incapacitated for any future matches, he ends up forfeiting the match in the ring against their wishes. Afterwards, he gives Izuku the second place medal since he was the true second place winner.

  • Shout-Out: To The Dark Below by DarthPeezy

  • Song Fic: Each chapter title is dedicated to a song that fits the theme of the chapter in question. There are also multiple points in the fic where Izuku or other characters actually sing.

  • Sucky School: Aldera Junior High student body and its teachers perpetuates the violence and bullying directed towards Izuku. For a short time, UA follows suit except that it is only the student body perpetuating the bullying. Nedzu puts a stop to the obvious forms of bullying with harsh punishments, but the more subtle bullying and discrimination still persists.

  • Switching P.O.V.: Switches between different characters even though Izuku is the main character. It is important to note that all characters are considered to be an Unreliable Narrator when it's currently their POV, including Izuku himself.

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     Tropes T to Z 

  • Talking Animal: Tsuki-chan is a cat with a quirk resembling telepathy that is saved by Izuku during a training exercise, leading her to become both a Loyal Animal Companion and an Empathy Pet for him, even though Izuku doesn't consider her to be his pet.

  • The Mentor: Yagi Toshinori becomes not only a mentor figure for Bakugo Katsuki, but also becomes his therapist to help him with his journey towards becoming Reformed, but Not Tamed. This comes about due to Bakugo and Izuku's shared past as bully and victim.

  • Unaccustomed as I Am to Public Speaking...: Izuku's opening speech at the Sports Festival is sprung on him as no one remembered to tell him he had to do said speech until Uraraka mentioned it. As the nervous bean he is, he informs the crowd of his unpreparedness. His speech also doubles as a sort of Heroism Motive Speech.

  • Vigilante Man: When Izuku was ten, he spent a year as the vigilante Switch to take down a quirkless human trafficking ring who tried to kidnap him. He hung up the hoodie after UA allowed quirkless students to attend.

  • Warrior Therapist: All Might not only studied heroics during his college days, but also specializes in psychology. As Yagi Toshinori, he becomes a registered UA therapist alongside Hound Dog. He helps Bakugo Katsuki with his mental health issues as his therapist.

  • What the Hell, Hero?: During the Sports Festival, Midnight makes a mistake by chaining and muzzling Bakugo after he refuses to accept his medal, disregarding the fact that he has a potential trigger with having his mouth covered due to the sludge villain. This eventually leads to Izuku saving Bakugo and chewing out the heroes due to their negligence.

  • Worth Living For: Throughout the fic, Izuku severely downplays his inherent worth and right to life. It's only when Izuku and Aizawa Shouta have a conversation about his suicide attempt that he starts to open up to begin his journey into realizing he matters and has something to live for, namely his friends, family, and saving people as a hero. He still struggles with it at the end of the fic, but is getting better.

  • You Are Not Alone: A major theme in the fic is surrounded dealing with mental health and working through it. There is no single solution given nor is anyone's mental health magically gone after recieving help. Instead, options are presented to characters, like therapy and support systems to let them know they aren't alone in their struggle.

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