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Izuku first discovered his Quirk when he's three years old. His father split his skin open by accident after returning home from work. Izuku, being the dumb little kid he was, kisses it to make the pain go away. Much to his delight, he's breathing fire just minutes later. Then the training began, with Izuku getting more and more Quirks from dear-old-dad, not even telling his mom as part of their daddy-son secret. Soon, Izuku was proudly showing off his new Quirks to the kids at school. Everything was perfect.

Until it wasn't.

When he's eight years old, Izuku discovers the horrifying truth. His father had been stealing Quirks from heroes he's killed to stockpile them for himself and give them to Izuku. Suddenly those gifts became shackles, as All For One definitely wasn't going to let his wife and son go. So when the villain is nearly killed by All Might, Japan's greatest hero, Inko and Izuku take whatever they can and never look back.

In the present, Izuku is still hoping to follow his dream of becoming a hero. He's kept his past under wraps for years and even topped the U.A. Entrance Exam. But he knows better than to let his guard down. His father is still alive, and nothing is going to stop him from dragging Izuku back into the muddy waters from which he came.

From Muddy Waters by HLine is a My Hero Academia Fanfic that takes the popular fan theory of All for One being Izuku Midoriya's father and asks what would happen if Izuku had his Quirk and wanted to be a hero regardless.

The answer seems to be a great deal of trauma, especially since All for One is a possessive bastard with no intention of letting his little boy or his wife go.

As of March 2021, the fic has been officially abandoned by the author. However, HLine did post the outline they had planned for the rest of the fic so that readers would not be completely left hanging, which can be read here.

From Muddy Waters provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: All for One, natch. He's been feeding Izuku Quirks since he was three years old and didn't stop even after Izuku figured out where the Quirks were coming from.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Izuku isn't Quirkless, but has to live with the guilt of getting all of his Quirks from the remains of heroes. His mother has also been taken captive by his father, the most powerful and feared villain in all of Japan and the Arch-Enemy of Izuku's idol, All Might. Izuku also lives in constant fear of being outed and ostracized because of his father's deeds.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • As much as he hates his Quirk, Izuku's version of All For One makes him undoubtedly more powerful and versatile than his canon counterpart. He also has extensive training with all of his Quirks, allowing him to utilize them to their full potential.
    • Mirio is made the ninth holder of One For All.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance:
    • Mirio appears far earlier in the fic compared to the manga.
    • Overhaul and Eri both make appearances shortly after the Sports Festival.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: As detailed below, Sir Nighteye and Gran Torino get this here, at least towards Izuku due to his connection to All For One.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • Izuku's surname wasn't originally Midoriya in this story and he changed it while trying to cover his tracks; it was Shimura. Furthermore, instead of Deku, he chooses Lotus as his Hero Name.
    • Sir Nighteye is given a different name as he didn't have one when the author gave him the name Enishi. That said, it does share a similarity to his canon name as Enishi can mean a "fate" or "destiny" that binds two people together, referring to Nighteye's Quirk, Foresight and his obsession with finding All Might a suitable successor.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Aizawa is noticeably more fatherly towards Izuku due to noticing the latter's discomfort with his own Quirk and wants to reprimand whoever failed to help him come to terms with it. Bakugou is also much kinder to Izuku, albeit not quite losing his trademark temper and abrasiveness.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Due to his Adaptational Angst Upgrade and constant fear of being discovered, Izuku is far less optimistic than his canon counterpart. He almost always assumes the worst and that everything that goes wrong is his fault because he's the son of All For One.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul:
    • In the original series, Bakugou is Izuku's bully and interpreted Izuku's concern for him as pity, leading to their relationship souring. Here, Bakugou genuinely respects Izuku for his power and looks out for him by bringing him food before class and keeping him calm when things go south. Even after years of separation, he still considers Izuku his best friend. What he does yell and scream about is how Izuku is holding back his various powers and Izuku's refusal to reveal the truth about his disappearance.
    • All Might is Izuku's closest mentor and pseudo-father figure in the original series as the previous and current holders of One For All. Here, they're complete strangers to each other at the start of the story. All Might is also severely on edge around Izuku due to the latter's resemblance to All For One. Izuku still admires All Might deeply, but he's also concerned that All Might and the rest of U.A.'s faculty would leave him out for the League of Villains to grab should the truth of Izuku's parentage ever come to light.
    • Tensei Iida, better known as Ingenium, is far more closely tied to U.A. in this story, having gone to school in the same year as Aizawa, Midnight, and Present Mic. He's close enough to them to have funny stories about Aizawa's first internship and is Midnight's boyfriend, calling her an affectionate "Nemuri-chan".
    • Todoroki initiates a friendship with Izuku starting at the beginning of their school year, due to recognizing the signs of abuse in him and seeking a kindred spirit.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: Aizawa and Hizashi are married in this fic.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Hisashi since he’s All For One in this story.
  • Adults Are Useless: Averted. Aizawa very quickly catches on that Izuku hates his own Quirk and is concerned, taking notes and trying to come up with a plan to address this. He later takes time to warn Izuku that Shinsou is transferring into the Hero Course and offers to have Momo handle the boy rather than Izuku, knowing that Shinsou managed to push his Trauma Button.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Izuku gets called Midori by the girls in his class once he gets to know them. Bakugou also tends to call Izuku "Deku", but with far less derision than in canon due to their Adaptation Relationship Overhaul.
  • Anger Born of Worry: After Izuku makes the news for helping take down Stain, Bakugou yells at him for fighting a serial killer the moment he takes his eyes off the boy.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Izuku tends to apologize after combat exercises because of how rough he can be in close combat and his concern for his classmates.
  • Apologizes a Lot:
    • Izuku tries his best not to offend anyone because of his fears of being ostracized, apologizing to Uraraka after he touched her chest while tying her up and used her as a springboard in the Heroes vs. Villains exercise.
      Izuku: [babbling and wringing his hands] Seriously, I’m super super sorry, I wasn’t even thinking when I was tying you up, all I could think was that I could move so much faster with your Quirk-
      Uraraka: [chuckling as takes off her helmet] Stop apologizing, would ya? I get what you were after - it was a smart move to win the match, not anything pervy!
      Izuku: [blushing bright red] Sorry-
    • When Hakuchou, the owner of the manga cafe, knocks on Izuku's cubicle, he instantly starts apologizing and babbling in a way that reminded Izuku of himself. Then Izuku starts apologizing and they fall into an endless loop of apologies until Nebosuke cuts in.
      Hakuchou: Ah! Sorry! Didn’t mean to disturb you — well, that’s not quite true — you were having a nightmare and it sounded really bad — [babbles and rambles on]
      Izuku: [annoyed before realizing what was going on] Ah, no! Hakuchou-san, I should be the one apologizing, I was the one disturbing you—
      Hakuchou: —no no no you’re a paying customer—
      Izuku: —so is everyone else here—
      Nebosuke: Oh my god, can you two please stop?
  • Archnemesis Dad: All for One again; Izuku is terrified of being caught by him and brought back under his control.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Izuku dishes one out to Todoroki at the Sports Festival. It shocks him enough that he ends up forfeiting the match.
    Izuku: Giving your father so much power over you — does it make you happy?
  • Ascended Extra: Tensei Iida, Tenya's brother and the Turbo Hero, Ingenium, gets some bonus screentime when he and Tenya invite Izuku to hang out when they see him crying in the park and take him home for dinner. He is also one of the Sports Festival's commentators, sparing him from his forced retirement at the hands of Stain.
  • Badass in Distress: Izuku nearly gets the life choked out of him by Noumu, who held him down while Shigaraki disintegrated Izuku's helmet. He's only saved after Shigaraki recognizes Izuku as well as the timely intervention of All Might.
  • Badass Teacher: Aizawa again; during the USJ incident, none of the minor villains in the main courtyard make it within ten feet of the stairs leading to the students while he's up. The Noumu, on the other hand, quickly gets up close and personal with the remaining students.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Izuku has the Quirk of the most powerful and feared villain in all of Japan, but wants to be a hero more than anything else.
  • Bait-and-Switch: At the Sports Festival, Todoroki and Izuku square off as they do in canon. But when Izuku asks Todoroki to use his Quirk's full power as it didn't belong to his father, the speech's understanding rather than angry tone shakes Todoroki enough for him to forfeit the match rather than use his fire.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • All For One invites his imprisoned wife Inko to watch the Sports Festival with him, watching her reaction closely to see if his belief that the heroes are aware of Izuku's true identity is correct. Not that he is successful with this particular gambit; Inko realizes what he's trying to figure out and plays along with it to give Izuku an extra layer of protection from his father's retrieval attempts.
    • During the Sports Festival, Izuku is pitted against Shiozaki, who specializes in binding others with the vines grown from her head. Izuku intentionally made a reckless charge at her in order to bait her into shooting a large wave of vines at him, only to bind them together with his jacket and use the vines as leverage to toss her out of the ring.
  • Betrayal by Inaction: In chapter 29, Mirio feels he betrayed Izuku's trust by thinking that merely reporting Sir Nighteye's actions to Yuuei meant he could "sit on his hands" while the boy was abused.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Izuku is a compassionate, caring, but demure person who is also concerned with the well-being of others. But when he's thoroughly pissed off, his normally quivering voice takes on a cold, calculated tone that scares Izuku himself. He's also armed with the same Quirk used by the most powerful villain in Japan and can punch with the same amount of force as All Might.
  • Blatant Lies: Izuku insists that he only has an enhancement Quirk, but Bakugou knows better due to growing up with Izuku as his only real peer. This leads Bakugou to angrily confront Izuku about it on multiple occasions, but Izuku's lips remain sealed out of fear of what Bakugou would think of him and what All For One would do to him.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: All for One doesn't seem to understand why his son is trying to stay away from him. When Izuku confronted him about murdering people for their Quirks after his eighth birthday, he seems to believe that Izuku didn't like the Quirk he was given as a present.
  • Body Horror: By piling on as many of his strength and enhancement Quirks as he can in one arm, Izuku causes it to become a bulbous mass of flesh as large as his entire body that can hit with the same force as one of All Might's punches. It's acknowledged as gross in-universe and Izuku hates the fact that he's stuffing his limbs with stolen Quirks, which brings down his self-esteem even more.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Vlad King argues against adding Shinsou to the Heroics Course, citing the boy's overreliance on his Quirk and being relatively physically unfit. Aizawa argues that Shinsou isn't much worse than some of the current students and likely would thrive with a proper teacher.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: What Aizawa originally believes Izuku to be during the Quirk Apprehension Test, as Izuku seemed to be half-assing every test given his performance during the Entrance Exam.
  • Broken Ace: Even while holding back the majority of his Quirks, Izuku's use of his version of All For One allows him to overwhelm the likes of Todoroki, who has been trained all of his life to become a hero, during the Heroes vs. Villains exercise. He's also an excellent strategist, naturally charismatic, and incredibly selfless to the point that All Might holds him up as a shining example of what a hero should be. But Izuku suffers from constant paranoia due to his fear of letting his parentage come to light. His self-esteem is in the pits because of the source of his abilities and he blames himself for every little thing that goes wrong.
  • Broken Pedestal: Sir Nighteye's abuse of Izuku is destroying Mirio's previously stellar opinion of the man. In chapter 29, he ends his internship at Nighteye's agency, effectively ending their mentor/student relationship, and gets All Might to revoke his teaching license all together.
  • Cannibalism Superpower: Izuku can acquire new Quirks by consuming a source of DNA from the original user, such as blood or hair. He received many of these Quirks from All For One, who simply pricked his thumb and let Izuku lick it.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: At several points in the story Izuku is on the verge of telling someone that he's effectively homeless and has the archvillain of Japan after him; every time, something comes up to interrupt him or he chickens out at the very last second.
    They were being so kind. So kind, because he was afraid. Because they didn’t know — He should tell them now. He had to tell them now, before they were too kind to him. The words were welling up in his throat, pressing up against the back of his teeth—
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome:
    • Deconstructed with Toshinari whose inability to ignore a crime means he uses up all of his time on his commute. Toshinari later criticizes himself for doing so when there are plenty of other heroes around as it led to him forcing his body to ignore his time limit to save students from the Noumu.
    • Izuku still moves without thinking when it comes to saving others. He rushes in to take down the zero point robot when it was about to crush Uraraka, intercepting an attack from the Noumu meant for Yaoyorozu, and helping Todoroki after the latter hit his head in the midst of the Sports Festival. He berates himself over this, as he feels that it brings him closer and closer to getting caught when he makes use of his more grotesque and powerful abilities, but he still can't help himself.
    Izuku: Sorry, Recovery Girl. I was just worried that me and Todoroki would lose our chance for this year because of an accident.
    Recovery Girl: [whacks his hands with her cane] Enough of that. It’s done, and the years of my life that stunt took off aren’t coming back. You just keep in mind in the future that no matter what your teacher says, this is just a school sports festival, you hear me? There’s no reason for you to go about risking your lives for a medal and some attention. [kisses Todoroki to heal him] We have medics standing by for situations like Todoroki-kun’s here. You didn’t need to stop.
    Todoroki: But isn’t that what a hero should do? Stop and help someone that’s injured?
  • Clark Kent Outfit: Izuku takes off the shirt of his gym uniform at the ball throw to make sure he doesn't tear it to bits with his Quirks. His classmates are surprised to find that he's ripped.
  • Class Representative: Like in canon, Izuku gets elected to this position after the Heroes vs. Villains exercise. Unlike in canon, the promotion sticks.
  • Close-Range Combatant: Izuku fights entirely in hand-to-hand combat due to his extensive use of his enhancement Quirks, but he doesn't shy away from a Shockwave Clap when he needs a ranged attack.
  • Combo Platter Powers: Izuku boasts a wide variety of Quirks, including numerous Super-Strength Quirks, short-range Teleportation, gravity inversion, and inertia manipulation through his father's machinations. He refuses to use most of them out of fear of blowing his cover.
  • Commonality Connection: Todoroki sees Izuku as a kindred spirit due to their similarly troubled home lives and abusive dads, try to befriend Izuku in a desperate bid for understanding. While he appreciates the sentiment, Izuku feels like a fraud because All For One never beat or physically abused him, only forcibly feeding him Quirks since he was three years old.
  • Composite Character: Hisashi Midorya and All For One are the same person.
  • Cover-Blowing Superpower: Izuku avoids openly using any of his Quirks other than his physical Quirks to keep others from suspecting that his Quirk is anything other than one that enhances his body. In order to save Iida from Stain, he breaks out his teleportation, something Nejire witnesses.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Izuku is the son of All For One, the most powerful villain in Japan and All Might's Arch-Enemy. He's terrified of letting this come to light, as he got his Quirks by being fed food made with bits of the remains of heroes that All For One has killed.
  • Dark Lord on Life Support: Like in canon, All for One did not get out of his fight with All Might unscathed. Unlike in canon, he uses Eri's Quirk to undo the damage.
  • Dark Secret: Izuku is desperate to keep his parentage and home life a secret, lest he draw the ire of others for not only being the son of a villain, but for being the son of the worst villain in all of Japan. He's frequently reduced to sobbing when people are kind to him because he doesn't feel like he deserves it. All Might initially puts two-and-two together after watching Izuku at the U.A. Entrance Exam, but he feels that Izuku is far too different from All For One for the two to be related and believes in his potential to become a hero. Sir Nighteye and Gran Torino also pick up on Izuku's resemblance to All For One and intend on investigating and potentially exposing him.
  • Day in the Limelight: The third-person narration shifts entirely to Todoroki's point of view in Chapter 18, recapping all of his experiences in the story from his perspective. It also covers his fight with Izuku and his strategy for beating him.
  • Death by Adaptation: In the original plans for the fic before it was dropped, Hawks would have been killed by All For One during an attempt to rescue Izuku from him, having his chest blown open while trying to protect Mirko.
  • Domestic Abuse: All for One choked Inko when she told him she planned on leaving him.
  • Doting Parent: All for One, oddly enough. When Izuku was growing up he would spend a great deal of time with him, and would bring him Quirks as gifts after his so-called business trips. Inko is also extremely loving towards her son and her only concern after being captured is his safety.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: During Aizawa's first exam, Izuku tries to score in the middle of the pack to avoid getting expelled without sticking out too much. Unfortunately for him, Aizawa picks up on this and demands him to go all-out or face expulsion.
  • The Dreaded: All For One is the most powerful and dreaded villain in all of Japan. He's the one who gave All Might his Game-Breaking Injury, can steal the Quirks of others, and pass them out to those who swear loyalty to him. As shown in the original series, his powers are utterly titanic in scale in comparison to normal heroes and villains, easily flattening entire city blocks with a single attack and matching All Might blow for blow.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Strangely, All for One seemed genuinely fond of Inko and Izuku while they were still living together, coming across as a gentle, doting father and husband. He seems genuinely worried when he finds out that Izuku is at Yuuei and after abducting Inko he keeps her in a comfortable if locked and guarded apartment.
  • Emotional Bruiser: Izuku's gratuitous use of strength Quirks makes him a match for even Todoroki, the undisputed strongest member of Class 1-A in canon. But Izuku is still something of a crybaby. Lampshaded by Midnight during his introduction at the Sports Festival.
    Midnight: Iiinnn one corner, a member of the famous Hero Course class 1-A, the chivalrous if teary MIDORIYA IZUKU!
    Izuku: [winces and blushes in embarrassment as he remembers the puddle of tears he left behind]
  • Evil is Petty: It’s not enough that All for One killed Nana Shimura; he also ends up courting and marrying her daughter. Though his exact motives for doing so aren’t clear, it’s at least partially this trope.
  • Eye Scream: The upper half of All For One's face is completely covered in scar tissue and he lost both of his eyes during his last battle with All Might. He uses Eri's Rewind Quirk to remedy this.
  • Famed In-Story: Izuku's powerful "strength Quirk", his actions at USJ, and top score at the U.A. Entrance Exam all make him well-known among his peers and the police. When confronted about this, he initially panics when he believes that people are onto him before blushing in embarrassment when he realizes that Naomasa is referring to his reputation as a student.
    Naomasa: So you’re the famous Midoriya, then.
    Izuku: F-famous? [shoulders hunch as he leans back] I—I’m—
  • Flower Motif: Inko compares Izuku to a lotus flower, a plant that rises above the muddy waters it grew in to reveal its beautiful, pure white bloom. Come chapter 22, Izuku makes "Lotus" his hero name.
  • Forced into Evil: What Izuku fears will happen if his father gets his hands on him again.
  • Foreshadowing: Bakugou, upon reuniting with Izuku at U.A., criticizes him for having disappeared and changing his surname to “Midoriya” from “Shimura.”
  • For Want Of A Nail:
    • Izuku's father is All For One and he's been in hiding for years until the events of the story. This naturally causes some radical changes to Izuku's interactions with others and his general mental state.
      • Izuku is homeless after his first day at school because his mother is taken by All For One, forcing him to live out of a manga cafe.
      • Izuku is constantly worrying about being discovered by his father and the U.A. faculty. Because of this, he's not forthcoming with his teachers and is quieter and more secretive.
    • Mineta places last in the Quirk Apprehension Test and is expelled by Aizawa who makes good on his promise to expel the student who gets the lowest score in said test.
    • Ingenium is one of the commentators for the Sports Festival, sparing him from his canon fate of being paralyzed and forced to retire after being attacked by Stain.
    • Todoroki sees Izuku is a kindred spirit after noticing how similar their relationship with their Quirks are. He cals Izuku as his first friend and tries to get close to him in a desperate bid for understanding. At the Sports Festival, he's so shaken when Izuku calls out Endeavor and tells Todoroki to use the full power of his Quirk that he forfeits the match rather than using his fire.
  • Growing Muscles Sequence: Izuku primarily uses strength enhancement Quirks that make his muscles bulge to incredible sizes. He thinks it looks disgusting, but his classmates say that it looks cool.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Subverted. Izuku wears a thick helmet with a tinted visor as part of his costume in order to protect his identity. Unfortunately, it's shattered and disintegrated by Noumu and Shigaraki at USJ, revealing his location to All For One.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Due to his guilt over the source of his Quirks and shame at being the son of All For One, Izuku is constantly putting himself down and blaming himself for whatever goes wrong. He also calls himself a Dirty Coward for not confessing his identity after USJ and using U.A. as a Human Shield against his father, despite thing his best to protect his classmates from the League of Villains. He displays complete and utter disgust for his powers, which were stolen from other people, and feels that his use of them makes him a terrible person.
  • Homeless Hero: Izuku is forced to live out of a manga cafe while hiding from All For One, eating nothing but cheap breakfast meals he buys from the corner store or whatever food other people are kind enough to give him. Eventually, the cafe owner catches onto this and offers him a spare room upstairs out of sympathy. After some coaxing, Izuku accepts and he's instantly grateful for the feeling of normalcy it provides.
  • Honorary Uncle: Tomura considers Inko his "auntie". Turns out, it's not just honorary.
  • Improperly Paranoid:
    • All Might instantly realizes who Izuku is after seeing the footage of Izuku punching out the zero-point robot, but this is subverted in that his understandable paranoia that Izuku is spying for All For One is unfounded.
    • Izuku's paranoia gets the better of him after USJ. He considers constantly moving around and drives himself to the brink of emotional and physical collapse in trying to hide his movements from his father.
  • In a Single Bound: One of Izuku's Quirks allows him to cover incredible distances in a single leap. He combines this with a skin hardening and magnification Quirk in order to shoot himself through a zero-pointer robot at the Sports Festival. Another one of his Quirks allows him to easily Wall Jump and use Combat Parkour.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Shinsou's use of his Brainwashing Quirk on Izuku causes the boy to hallucinate his father's victims from whom he got his Quirks. Izuku snaps out if his trance and thrashes Shinsou before promptly throwing up in the first toilet he can find.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Stain decides Tenya only cares about saving his brother's life because Tensei is "his meal ticket", rather than because Tensei is his older brother. Izuku calls Stain out on hating "false heroes" who don't focus exclusively on saving people while trying to kill two heroes who could easily save hundreds of people while the city's under attack.
  • Insult Backfire: Shinsou marches into Class 1-A and accuses them of being arrogant assholes who are being paraded around on high horses after the USJ attack. Izuku is so pissed, exhausted, and anxious that he walks up to Shinsou and gives him a scathing "The Reason You Suck" Speech that stuns everyone present, including Izuku himself.
    Shinsou: Considering how you’ve been acting, though, I doubt that anyone here would be content with just slipping into an empty slot. Rather, I think we’d all prefer to drag as many of you off of your high horses as possible.
    Izuku: [voice low and full of menace before Shinsou can speak anymore] Our high horses? Our high horses? Arrogant? You’re acting as if we wanted those villains to ambush us. Like we’re marching around, bragging about nearly being murdered during our first week of classes. [Shinsou's face pales as Izuku walks closer] Thirteen-sensei got thrown around and then tortured to try and get two of my classmates to give up. Aizawa-sensei nearly got beaten to death by one of the villains in front of us.

    [steps so close that their chests are almost touching] Then that villain grabbed me, and pinned me down by my neck until I couldn’t breathe while another started disintegrating my helmet. [leans forward until they can feel each other's breath] I’m only alive because of that helmet. If it hadn’t been there, I would have been — stolen — dead before All Might could have arrived. Do you know what that’s like? Knowing that you came within less of a second from dying, and then having to come to school like nothing happened?

    [hissing] Before you start calling people arrogant, maybe you should check the mirror.
  • Internal Reveal: In chapter 21, Izuku tells Bakugou the whole story about All for One and his family.
  • Irony:
    • In the original series, Izuku chastises Todoroki for not going all out at the Sports Festival and that his Quirk was his own, not Endeavor's. Here, Izuku is disgusted with himself for having a villain's Quirk and for using the Quirks stolen from others.
    • Izuku has the polar opposite of One For All in this story, but his muscle enhancement Quirks deactivate the same way All Might's powers do, releasing steam as his body slims down.
    • Bakugou bullied Izuku as children in the original series. In this story they never stopped being friends, but Todoroki confuses Bakugou's demands for answers as bullying.
  • It's All About Me: Bakugou, Bakugou, Bakugou. Your childhood friend reappears years after disappearing with a different name and pretending that he has an entirely different Quirk than the one you remember? Obviously, it's him screwing around and looking down on you!
  • It's All My Fault: Izuku repeatedly blames himself for the assault on USJ, even when his father had no idea that he was there in the first place.
  • It's Quiet… Too Quiet: When Shouto goes to tell Ragdoll it's almost time for dinner, he wonders for several seconds why he feels so jumpy, noting he can't see or hear anything unusual, before realizing he can't hear anything at all. Ragdoll always hums or sings while working, but Shouto can't hear anything while standing in her office.
  • Jumped at the Call: Subverted. Mirio is honored to have been selected as a possible successor for One For All, but asks All Might to watch the Sports Festival first to see if he is truly worthy or if someone else is even more worthy.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: On Aizawa's advice, Izuku forfeits his match against Bakugou, still traumatized by what he saw while under the influence of Shinsou's Quirk.
  • Lack of Empathy: When Izuku attempts to resist All For One's attempts to force-feed him Quirks, All For One tells him to his face that their original owners are already dead and that refusing the Quirks won't save them. He then proceeds to force his son's mouth open before stuffing the food into it. This happened in a nightmare, but it's likely a reflection of the cold logic All for One used to coerce Izuku into accepting the quirks.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Gran Torino's actual name, Sorahiko, was originally revealed as part of the manga chapter released with the movie, My Hero Academia: Two Heroes, but it isn't kept a mystery at all when he's finally introduced.
  • Lightning Bruiser: When Izuku is going all out, his movements are a blur to cameras and he can replicate the same punch that his father used to grievously injure All Might.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: All For One runs a criminal enterprise spanning generations and has no qualms with murder or sabotage to expand his already pervasive reach on Japan's underworld. He's confident, pragmatic, and sadistic to his foes but displays Blue-and-Orange Morality otherwise. Izuku wants to be a hero like All Might and has a very clear sense of right and wrong. He's easily startled, fettered, and severely lacking in self-esteem due to his parentage. Their personalities are so different that All Might begins to insist that Izuku and All For One are unrelated after USJ, defending Izuku from Nighteye's and Gran Torino's accusations.
  • Limited Move Arsenal: Although he can draw upon any of his Quirks at will, Izuku can only "equip" three different Quirks at any given time, which he explicitly compares to inventory slots in a video game. He can get around this by stacking multiple of the same Quirk at once to greatly increase that Quirk's effectiveness, making it seem as though he has an exceptionally powerful and versatile muscle enhancement Quirk.
  • Luminescent Blush: Izuku reddens when people start heaping praise on him, partially because he never feels like he deserves it.
  • Meaningful Rename: In the original plans for the fic before its abandonment, the fic would end with Izuku and Inko taking on Nana's name "Shimura" instead of "Midoriya", representing how they no longer have to run and are finally free from All For One.
  • Megaton Punch: By stuffing one of his arms with as many strength, magnification, and enhancement Quirks as he can manage, Izuku can throw a punch as powerful as one of All Might's, instantly leveling the zero-point robot.
  • Momma's Boy: Like in canon, Izuku loves his mother very much and greatly values her opinion. She also helps him design his hero costume.
  • Morton's Fork: After Shinsou joins the Hero Course, Izuku is left with the choice of either letting him continue to be ostracized or revealing his own issues that caused him to react so negatively to Shinsou.
  • Mugging the Monster: Izuku was so wary of using his Quirks in middle school that he was initially mistaken for being Quirkless, which led some of his classmates to try to bully him. He quickly shuts them up with a strength Quirk so he can have some peace and quiet.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Seeing how abusive Sir Nighteye and Gran Torino are to Izuku makes Mirio deeply regret having talked up Sir Nighteye's agency so much.
  • My Greatest Failure: Inko admits that her greatest regret is that she didn't take Shigaraki with them when she and Izuku fled.
  • My Suit Is Also Super: Izuku's hero costume is armored and padded to absorb shock and protect him from injury. It also seems to be able to accommodate his larger frame while using enhancement Quirks, matching his normal build as well as when his arms have grown significantly.
  • Nice Guy: Izuku, as usual, tries his best not to let his villainous background affect how he treats others. He is almost embarrassingly polite and sweet unless he's angered, tends to be an Apologetic Attacker, and tries his best not to impose on others.
  • Nervous Wreck: Izuku is even more nervous and jittery than canon due to his constant and pervasive fear of being found out as well as his shame at keeping his past a secret.
  • No Social Skills: Endeavor pulled Todoroki out of school as soon as his Quirk developed and strictly regulated his use of electronics. Because of this, Todoroki is horribly awkward is social situations and a poor conversationalist, making it difficult for him to try to connect to Izuku, who he believes is a kindred spirit.
  • Notorious Parent: Izuku Midoriya's father, All For One, is a supervillain most wanted and most feared.
  • Ocular Gushers: Izuku sobs uncontrollably in relief after the end of the cavalry battle portion of the Sports Festival when he learns that Tsuyu managed to snatch the ten-million point headband at the very last second. He leaves a small puddle full of his own tears on the field by the time he finally calms down enough to leave.
  • Oh, Crap!: All Might is paralyzed when he sees Izuku punch out the zero-point robot, as the boy's arm was eerily similar to the same arm used by All For One. Izuku also tends to have this response whenever he feels that someone is getting close to discovering his identity.
  • One-Way Visor: Izuku's costume includes a helmet that has one, protecting his identity from the League of Villains and hiding his expressions of fear, anguish, and exhaustion. Unfortunately, it's all for naught when Noumu and Shigaraki destroy it.
  • Only Friend: Todoroki sees Izuku as this, but is so bad at expressing it that the latter doesn't realize it until the Sports Festival.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Izuku makes a point of only using Quirks that he could pass off as part of a versatile enhancement Quirk. When he realizes Iida is in trouble while Hosu is under attack, Izuku starts teleporting towards his location.
  • Parental Substitute: Hakucho and Nebosuke, the owner and another resident of the manga cafe Izuku lives out of, end up becoming this for Izuku after Inko is abducted by All For One near the beginning of the story. After Nebosuke reveals that her father is a villain too, they offer Izuku a guest room upstairs so he doesn't have to sleep in a cubicle and feed him after he spent several weeks eating nothing but corner store food for breakfast. They even help him rehearse his speech for the Sports Festival and give him constant encouragement to follow his dream while dissuading him from potentially self-destructive decisions like exposing himself to U.A.'s faculty.
  • Power Parasite: Like his father, Izuku can take the Quirks of others for himself, but refuses to do so. But by that point, Izuku had already acquired dozens of Quirks directly from All For One.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: All for One calls out Overhaul for torturing Eri to get her blood and cells needed for his Quirk-erasing bullets and abusing her in general, citing a more practical way to get her genetic material as well as pointing out that someone with a Quirk as powerful as Eri's should be trained to use it more efficiently.
  • Properly Paranoid: Izuku is terrified of being outed as the son of a villain and the minute he thinks of confessing to U.A.'s faculty in hopes of getting help, he comes across a pair of people who mock the integrity someone who is the child of a villain. He is also reminded of how he'd be treated when he let slip that his father is a villain to a homeless shelter director as a child, who proceeded to kick both Izuku and his mother out.
  • Put on a Bus to Hell: Mineta gets expelled on the first day of school as per Aizawa's threat to kick out the lowest scoring student on the Quirk Apprehension Test.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Izuku and All For One aren't father and son in the original series.
    • And his real surname is Shimura.
  • Required Secondary Powers:
    • While piling on strength enhancement Quirks during the ball throw, Izuku also has to make sure to use a reinforcement Quirk to strengthen his skin, muscles, and bones to ensure that he doesn't destroy them with his own power.
    • When Monoma attempts to copy Izuku's abilities during the Sports Festival, it refuses to work because the specific power he gained was All For One, a Quirk that lacks any inherent physical capabilities other than taking other people's quirks.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Many characters come to the wrong conclusions about Izuku's life.
    • Todoroki thinks Izuku was also trained harshly and raised as a Tyke Bomb due to his quirk, just as he was. Izuku feels like a fraud when Todoroki tells him, as All for One relied on psychological and emotional abuse rather than physical, had a consensual relationship with Inko, and wanted Izuku to be a villain.
      • On a lesser scale, Todoroki also mistakes Bakugou confronting Izuku about his lies as Bakugou bullying him.
    • Aizawa figures out that Izuku has a history of abuse that's no longer occurring, but he thinks the reason it stopped is because Izuku's father is dead (which is what his fake papers say).
    • Toshinori realizes that Izuku is a good, well-meaning child after seeing what he thinks is the aftermath of Izuku putting his life on the line to keep Shigaraki at bay. Izuku was selflessly putting himself in danger for others, but he was so freaked out because he was risking his freedom.
  • Running Gag: Izuku is frequently mistaken for a Chick Magnet by his peers due to quickly getting along with Uraraka, Ashido, Yaoyorozu, and Tsuyu. He quickly breaks out into a Luminescent Blush whenever this is brought up and insists that they're Just Friends.
  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: Todoroki was pulled out of school as soon as his Quirk developed and was kept away from any sort of social media. His brutal, regimented training under his father easily makes him one of the strongest members of 1-A, but his social skills are horribly stunted as a result.
  • Saying Too Much: When Izuku and Inko first escaped All For One, they tried to take refuge in a homeless shelter. But at some point, Izuku accidentally revealed that his father is a villain, causing them to be thrown back out onto the street. This lends to his fear of what would happen to him if his father's identity is ever discovered.
  • Shared Family Quirks: Both Izuku and All For One tug on their lower lip while thinking deeply.
  • Shockwave Clap: Izuku frequently uses this to apply his strength Quirks non-lethally and shatter obstacles ahead of him. It can also function as a Recoil Boost, creating distance between himself and his target when used in mid-air. During the Sports Festival, he uses it to slow his descent after he and Todoroki launched themselves back into the stadium during the obstacle course portion.
  • Sins of the Father: The derision against the children of villains, no matter their intentions, actions, or otherwise clean history, is a recurring theme in the story. Izuku and Inko were once kicked out of a homeless shelter after Izuku accidentally revealed that his father is a villain and people frequently mock the integrity of the children of villains in dialogue.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Izuku is surprised to learn that Midnight, the sultry Dressed Like a Dominatrix R-18+ hero, is actually a skilled detective given the almost flaky image she cultivates in public.
  • Socially Awkward Hero: Years spent hiding out of fear of being discovered have made Izuku socially awkward, stuttering frequently and always having trouble interacting with new people.
    • Todoroki's not much better.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: In the original My Hero Academia, Ingenium is forced to retire after being cut down and paralyzed by Stain in the midst of the Sports Festival. Here he's one of the Sports Festival's commentators, saving him from this fate.
  • Spit Take: Gran Torino nearly chokes on his taiyaki after he watches a reel of videos Sir Nighteye sent him about Izuku.
  • Spotting the Thread: During a teacher conference, Aizawa makes note that Izuku might have a history of familial abuse from his noticeable lack of confidence despite having an impressive quirk (including his remarks of how "disgusting" his quirk is) as well as some context clues from his negative reaction to Shinsou's Brainwashing quirk. Nemuri also makes similar observations towards Shoto with his antisocial behavior and contempt in using his fire abilities, the idea that his father is abusive being something everyone can get behind due to Endeavor's very public Unscrupulous Hero tactics.
  • Stern Teacher: Aizawa, natch.
  • Strong and Skilled: Izuku was trained by his father in the usage of his Quirks since he was a child through various "games" they used to play together. This shows up in his first combat exercise, where he seamlessly switches between different muscle Quirks in order to give himself an advantage. He also digs his fingers into an ice wall Todoroki was using as a shield to swing around and kick him in the face. This level of dexterity is what piques Todoroki's interest in Izuku as he comes to see him as a kindred spirit.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: All Might is unnerved by how much Izuku looks like All For One. Gran Torino calls him a downright clone of All For One with the exception of hair color.
  • Superpower Lottery: Izuku has the ability to acquire other Quirks by consuming a source of DNA (i.e. blood or hair) of the original owners. He can stack multiple Quirks to combine their effects and make himself as powerful as All Might by stockpiling power in one arm. But he's constantly withholding the majority of his Combo Platter Powers to keep others from drawing the connection between him and All For One.
  • Super-Strength: Izuku primarily uses All For One by loading up his body with strength enhancement, reinforcement, and magnification Quirks to give him impressive amounts of superhuman strength, easily smashing Todoroki's ice constructs with a Shockwave Clap. Should he pile every Quirk he can into one arm, he can punch with the same amount of force as All Might. Even with a smaller number of Quirks, he can throw a ball over 800 m away and cause powerful sonic booms that shatter all of the windows in the vicinity.
  • Superweapon Surprise: During the fight between All Might and All for One, Izuku jumps in and uses the one Quirk All For One doesn't know he has: Overhaul.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: Inko realizes All For One thinks that the heroes are aware of Izuku's true identity and plays along with it to give Izuku another layer of safety.
  • Team Mom: Inko used to act as a mother for several of All For One's men, including making them cupcakes on their birthday and giving relationship advice.
  • Tears of Fear: Izuku is sobbing as he's being choked to death and having his helmet disintegrated by Shigaraki as well as the realization that they now know exactly where he is. He has them again not long afterward when he's wrought with fear and guilt after Hakuchou and Nebosuke offer him to help him.
    Izuku: [curled up in a Troubled Fetal Position] I can’t I can’t I can’t he’ll find me and take me back he’s got so many men and he knows I’m at Yuuei and he’ll hurt everyone and I couldn’t say anything because I’m a coward— [tears streaming down his face] I’m so s-s-scared, I know what he can do, and the longer I d-don’t tell anyone the worse it is, the more people he’ll hurt—
  • Thinking Tic: Izuku mumbles his thoughts aloud when he's thinking hard and tends to tug on his lower lip. He shares the latter trait with his father.
  • This Is Reality: Hisashi remarks that they're not in a shonen manga and it'd take more than a single fight for Todoroki to overcome his deep seated trauma.
  • Title Drop: In Chapter 11, Izuku remembers asking his mom if he's a bad person for receiving Quirks from his father. She denies this, telling Izuku that he'll rise above the "muddy water" his father created like a lotus flower in bloom.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Since Mirio gained One For All, he's stronger and faster than before, but it's also supercharging his Quirk, allowing him to phase others as well as himself.
  • Tranquil Fury: After Izuku is forced to spar Mirio despite being in terrible physical condition, Mirio confronts Sir Nighteye and Gran Torino with a face and voice that are described as "too even to be anything but furious".
  • Trapped in Villainy: The fate of those who are publicly known to be related to villains. Most of society believes that "villains raise villains" and therefore are prejudiced against them. Yuuei's rules mean that the school won't accept any students with ties to known villains. Nebosuke is one of the lucky few to even get a higher education, studying psychology; though she's forced to live in a manga cafe run by her childhood friend Hakucho since no one will rent an apartment to her.
  • Trauma Button: Shinsou becomes one for Izuku due to his Quirk forcing Izuku to see the ghosts of people his father killed to give him their Quirks.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Izuku is incredibly troubled by his past and what could happen if it ever comes to light. But he's also adorable in how sweet he is and his various attempts to fit in.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Izuku curls up into a ball after Hakuchou and Nebosuke offer to help him, breaking down in tears as he wrestles with his anxiety, paranoia, and fear that they'll get hurt because of him.
  • Villain Has a Point: Hisashi rightfully points out the corruption in the Hero Association in how they cover up Endeavor's physical and emotional abuse of his family. Likewise, he criticizes the fact that Shinsou is shunted to General Education despite his incredible Quirk, simply because it's not something flashy that's useful for smashing robots in the entrance exam.
  • Villainous Rescue: All for One saves Eri from the Shie Hassaikai.
  • Wham Line: In chapter 30, Bakugo reveals to Mirio what Izuku's original name was.
    Bakugo: Shimura. Izuku and Inko Shimura.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • All Might gives one to Sir Nighteye and Gran Torino for beating a child just because he resembles All For One.
    • In the notes about the planned future events (before the fic became cancelled), this happens three times:
      • Bakugo calls out the teachers for not saying anything in defense of Izuku (who is being accused of being a villain by other heroes on TV), because it doesn't matter if they are planning to rescue Izuku, staying silent is as good as saying they agree with the accusations.
      • When All Might and Gran Torino learn that Inko is Nana Shimura's daughter, they react quite quickly. Inko acidly replies that they sure changed their tune after finding out she is related to a former hero.
      • After learning how much of a Jerkass Sir Nighteye was to Izuku, Inko proceeded to give the Hero a slap that forces him to sit down from the pain.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer…: Subverted. After losing to Izuku during the Heroes vs. Villain exercise, Todoroki takes Izuku by surprise by making him slip and entering hand-to-hand combat at the Sports Festival.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Before he was severely crippled in his fight with All Might, All for One had a full head of curly white hair. He gets it back after Eri uses her Quirk to heal his injuries.
  • Willfully Weak: Izuku doesn't use the majority of his Quirks because he doesn't want people catching on to his unusual Quirk. He also tries to limit the number of Quirks he's using at any given time to avoid sticking out, which gets him into hot water with Aizawa when the latter came to the conclusion that Izuku was being too arrogant to bother giving it his all.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Mirio reassures Izuku that he'll be a magnificent hero after learning the broad strokes of why Izuku has multiple Quirks.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: Sir Nighteye realizes exactly how furious Toshinori is when he refers to the man by his last name only.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: After Inko is found and captured by All For One, she texts Izuku to make sure he doesn't come home, lest he get captured as well.
  • Youthful Freckles: Izuku still has his freckles, but he apparently got these from his father.