In A Sky Of A Million Stars (Who Cares If One More Light Goes Out?) is a My Hero Academia Fanfic by Stringlish on Archive of Our Own. It's a For Want of a Nail fic where Izuku attempted to commit suicide after being told he couldn't become a hero by All Might. The story delves into the aftermath of the attempt, and how it affects his friends and family — specifically on Bakugou Katsuki.
He could never forgive himself.
It was his fault.
Hed planted the idea like a seed hed never known would grow.
(Or: What if Izuku jumped?)
(OR: The one where Izuku jumps and lives and Katsuki visits him every day and Class 1-A not-so-secretly finds it adorable that their designated angry pomeranian brings flowers to his comatose childhood friend.🌻)
- Adult Fear:
- Learning that your child tried to commit suicide, and only barely managed to survive. Or, in the case of the Bakugous, learning the son of your friend tried to commit suicide, and that your own son saw it firsthand and had to perform CPR on them to save their life.
- Seeing your son wasting away at his comatose friend's side due to his Guilt Complex.
- The USJ incident. According to Izuku, Mitsuki broke several traffic laws trying to get to the site of the attack after learning about it.
- Adults Are Useless:
- Played straight at Aldera Junior High, where the environment is toxic and bullying runs rampant. Only the vice-principal shows any concern for the students; the teachers are ineffectual, apathetic and/or, in the worst cases, complicit. The principal is too concerned with keeping his hands clean of the mess and would rather throw his students under the bus than help them, much to Toshinori's disgust.
- Very much averted at U.A., whose teachers all care for their students and want them to fulfill their full potential and beyond. Aizawa in particular beats himself up for not being able to protect his students better during the USJ incident, even though no one blames him for it, because they know he did everything he could.
- Arranged Marriage: The Todorokis. Unlike in canon, where it's implied Enji deliberately sought Rei out, here the marriage was arranged by their respective families without either of their consents. They tried to make it work at first, wanting their children to have happier childhoods and lives than they did, but Enji's obsession with beating All Might consumed him and destroyed the family dynamic.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Izuku's true love has always been quirks. Anyone who's read his Quirk Analysis Notebooks outright call him a genius for how good he is at breaking down quirks and their potential applications. He's so brilliant at it that it's enough for Aizawa to give him an opportunity to join his class.
- Awful Truth: One day at Aldera Junior High is enough for Katsuki to face his own: Izuku was his Only Friend. Considering the situation, it's not surprising that he developed a Guilt Complex.
- The Atoner:
- Katsuki blames himself for the attempt and devotes himself to making it up to Izuku anyway he can, including repairing their friendship. It also affects his behavior at school, where he is much softer (though still a Jerk with a Heart of Gold) than he is in canon.
- All Might is of a similar mindset. After Izuku wakes up and is moved to U.A.'s care facility, he starts building a friendship with him under his civilian persona of Toshinori Yagi.
- Blood-Splattered Innocents: In the first chapter, Katsuki is covered in Izuku's blood due to performing CPR on him in an attempt to save his life. He stays that way for several hours while waiting for news from the doctors while in the hospital, and it's only at the insistence of the nursing staff that he exchanges his middle school uniform for a clean pair of scrubs.
- Broken Pedestal:
- Katsuki's previous Hero Worship of All Might takes a sharp downturn after he learns about Toshinori's role in Izuku's suicide attempt. While he does eventually come to respect and even like All Might again, he clearly doesn't idolize him as much as he used to. Izuku later comments on this, noting that Katsuki treats All Might less like the idol they worshiped and more like an obstacle to overcome.
- Izuku's own idolization of All Might takes a massive hit after he learns the complete truth of the accident. Though, he later admits, part of that is because All Might wasn't upfront and honest about who he was from the beginning.
- Childhood Friend Romance: The main pairing is Katsuki/Izuku. Izuku developed a crush on Katsuki back when they were young children that never really faded, and Inko believes that Katsuki had his own burgeoning crush on Izuku prior to the attempt, but was having issues expressing it healthily.
- Combat Medic: After Izuku's suicide attempt, Katsuki dedicated himself to learning more battlefield first aid in preparation for similar incidents he will no doubt face as a hero. It was him who stabilized Aizawa during the USJ incident with Tsuyu's help.
- Correspondence Course:
- After his disastrous day at Aldera Junior High, Katsuki foregoes going to school altogether. His therapist later convinces him to enroll in their online courses instead to avoid going back and so he can keep up his grades to go to U.A., which proves to be a sufficient solution.
- When Izuku wakes up and far enough in his recovery, he follows in his best friend's footsteps so he can finally graduate and go to U.A. himself.
- Darwinist Desire: This is startlingly more common than people think. While outright quirk marriages like the Todorokis are not the norm, there is a trend where couples separate because the offspring didn't have optimal quirks. It's for this reason that Hisashi left Inko and Izuku — because Izuku, being quirkless, was weak and therefore couldn't bring honor to the family name.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Katsuki's attitude towards himself after he punches out All Might, who, as he puts it, is a national icon.
- Downer Beginning: The first chapter shows the direct aftermath of Izuku's suicide attempt through Katsuki's POV. It isn't pretty, to say the least.
- Everyone Can See It: Izuku and Katsuki's feelings for each other are blatantly obvious. It gets worse when Izuku finally starts attending U.A.; you can see everyone around them begging them to kiss already.
- Fair Weather Friend: All of Katsuki's lackeys at Aldera prove to be this, as he was at the center of Izuku's suicide attempt due to being both Izuku's primary bully, and the person who witnessed said attempt and tried to save Izuku's life via CPR. When he comes back to Aldera, they all avoid him and instead join in on the growing rumor mill. Unsurprisingly, it isn't very hard for Katsuki to forego Aldera altogether in favor of homeschooling via their online program.
- Fantastic Racism: Discrimination against the quirkless and those with weak quirks is portrayed as this. Hisashi abandoned his family because his son was quirkless, and while Izuku doesn't particularly care for his father anymore, his mother's reaction to the situation (trying to convince Izuku he didn't need a quirk, neglecting her own quirk) had a negative effect on him, because he thought she was punishing herself because of him.
- For Want of a Nail:
- Because Izuku is still in the midst of his recovery and hasn't actually graduated from middle school yet, he's not a member of class 1-A — Shinsou takes his seat instead.
- Thanks to that, he also isn't present during the USJ incident, only showing up after it's over. Katsuki, however, took inspiration from him and proves to be a huge thorn in Tomura's side during the attack, enough that Tomura develops a grudge on him in addition to the one he has against All Might.
- Flower Motifs: Flowers become a recurring theme after Izuku is transferred to U.A.'s onsite care facility. Katsuki brings him flowers every time he visits him, essentially making a garden out of Izuku's previously plain room. The author later added flower emojis to the chapter titles to reflect that.
- Happily Failed Suicide: After it becomes clear that Izuku will survive and even make a (mostly) full recovery, everyone's goal is to make the suicide attempt this. They succeed, though part of it is because Izuku doesn't even remember the event (and the year leading up to it).
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Inko and Mitsuki, to the point of being Honorary Aunts to each other's sons.
- Insecure Love Interest: Katsuki knows that Izuku is too good for him, but ultimately uses this as motivation to become a better person overall so he can feel worthy of his best friend's affections.
- It's All My Fault: Katsuki has this attitude for the first few chapters, thinking his bullying, particularly his careless Suicide Dare, is what caused Izuku to jump. Despite being furious with him, Inko knows that this isn't actually the case — Katsuki may have been Izuku's primary bully, but he was hardly the only one, and the bullying in itself was just one reason in the multitude Izuku had for his choice. This attitude dies down after he learns about All Might's role in the situation.
- It's Personal: Tomura goes from being interested in Katsuki to outright hating him in quick fashion after Katsuki foils all his attempts to actually kill someone during the USJ incident.
- Like Parent, Like Spouse: It's noted by Katsuki that Izuku is a lot like his father, Masaru. Considering that Katsuki is basically a younger, immature, male version of his mother...
- Living Emotional Crutch: Izuku is this to Katsuki. After the attempt, Katsuki's guilt over the situation causes him to revolve his life around Izuku, even when Izuku was outright comatose and unable to interact at all with him. It serves as a deconstruction, as this causes him to neglect everything in his life in favor of just staying by Izuku's side. Eventually, his parents enlist a therapist to help him work through his grief so he can have a normal routine again, and when Izuku wakes up and becomes aware of the situation, he tries to convince Katsuki to make friends outside of him so they don't become codependent on each other.
- Locked Out of the Loop: After Izuku wakes up, it becomes clear he doesn't remember the attempt. His friends and family are in no rush to tell him, even though they know it's only a matter of time before it comes out — and it does after he figures out that Toshinori is All Might.
- Loving Bully: Katsuki is implied to have become this before the attempt, towards Izuku. This is deconstructed; Izuku reciprocated his feelings, but didn't know they were mutual, so having the primary object of his affections treat him so terribly did a lot of damage to his psyche.
- Lying to Protect Your Feelings: Whenever Izuku's family and friends talk about the attempt within his earshot, they simply call it an "accident". This is because Izuku doesn't actually remember the attempt, and they know telling him would devastate him. Sure enough, when he finds out, he flees U.A. and runs to Dagobah Municipal Beach to sort out his feelings.
- Malicious Slander: Aldera's rumor mill, due to only the faculty and Katsuki knowing the exact specifics of Izuku's suicide attempt. Understandably, one day back is enough for Katsuki to swear off the school entirely and stick with homeschooling.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Mitsuki deliberately invokes this when going about getting Katsuki therapy. She knows that the change in method will convince him about the seriousness of the issue.
- Only Friend: Izuku was ultimately this to Katsuki prior to the attempt and vice versa. Despite the poor state of their relationship, Izuku was the one constant in Katsuki's life and the only person outside of his family who cared about him as a person. Despite treating him like shit, Katsuki was the only person to care about Izuku in return, as seen when he's the only one in their entire school who was bothering to try and make any amends with him at all after what happened. This becomes blatantly obvious during Katsuki's first (and last) day at Aldera Junior High after the attempt; all the kids (including his lackeys) avoid him and gossip about the situation, uncaring of the fact that he can hear them. Katsuki barely lasted until lunch before blowing up the cafeteria in a rage. They do start developing friendships with other people after the attempt, but these friendships are with adults — as Izuku is stuck in a care facility for a good chunk of the story, he instead urges Katsuki to make friends with his U.A. classmates.
- Rage Breaking Point: Katsuki attends Aldera one last time after the attempt at the urge of his parents, Inko, and the hospital staff. This proves to be a fatal mistake, as the rumor mill runs completely wild — Katsuki only lasts a couple of hours before he literally blows up and destroys the cafeteria.
- Reality Ensues:
- It takes months of rehabilitation and therapy for Izuku to recover from the attempt — even a year after it happened, he can barely walk without crutches and he has a speech impediment that may stick with him for the rest of his life.
- Despite their relationship being much better than before, Katsuki and Izuku's bad history remains an Elephant in the Living Room that they have trouble working through. It's because of that (and their feelings for each other) that Izuku has a hard time confiding to Katsuki about certain things and confides in Shouto instead.
- Sitting in the pouring rain for an extended amount of time gives Izuku and Katsuki fevers, forcing them to skip school for two days.
- Self-Harm: Izuku used to cut himself, and only stopped after a particular bad cut near the femoral artery.
- Shipper on Deck:
- Played with in regards to the Inko and the Bakugous. While they were aware about their children's feelings for each other, none of them supported it because of how unstable their relationship was. With this no longer being the case, they fully support the idea now and make active attempts to push Izuku and Katsuki together.
- The vast majority of Class 1-A start shipping Katsuki with Izuku after seeing them interact with each other. Mina even calls their more intimate moments "romantic".
- Signed Language: Due to his speech impediment, Izuku has difficulty speaking and learned JSL to compensate. Katsuki learns it as well (with the unfortunate consequence of teaching Izuku many curse words), as does Toshinori, which is how Izuku figures out he's All Might. Present Mic also knows JSL, which is why Izuku is placed in his homeroom when he finally enters U.A.'s student body.
- Single-Target Sexuality:
- Downplayed in the case of Izuku. He's had several crushes on many boys and girls over the years, but the only one that ever stuck was the one he had on Katsuki.
- Played straight in the case of Katsuki, who's only ever had eyes for Izuku.
- So Proud of You: During his recovery after the USJ incident, Aizawa is shown to be simultaneously regretful that he wasn't strong enough to protect his students and proud that they managed to handle themselves just fine regardless. He is especially proud for Katsuki for taking charge of the situation and formulating a plan to hold off the villains long enough for help to finally get there.
- Spotting the Thread: Izuku figures out Toshinori is All Might by comparing how they sign. As he puts it, no one person signs the exact same way, each having their own tells. Toshinori and All Might, however, have the same tells, meaning that they can only be the same person.
- Starts with a Suicide: Played with. The actual attempt itself isn't shown, just the direct aftermath.
- Sucky School: Aldera Junior High. While Izuku's suicide attempt is the most prolific screw-up they've had, it's far from the only one. Izuku himself admits he has no idea how the place is still operational.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: After Izuku becomes fully cognitive again, he and Katsuki are as inseparable as they can be considering the circumstances. By the time Izuku attends U.A., they're practically glued at the hip and extremely affectionate with each other. They make any possible excuse to touch each other (until they just stop making excuses and touch each other whenever), hold hands during passing periods, and all-in-all drown in one another's affections.
- Vitriolic Best Buds:
- Izuku and Katsuki have no issues snarking at each other anymore, but there's no doubt they're the closest of friends.
- Katsuki and Shouto are a lesser example. Despite supposedly disliking each other heavily, the two do form something of a bond and work well together when the chips are down. Shouto served as The Lancer to Katsuki during the USJ incident, helping him keep his head on straight when they were confronting Tomura and his main lackeys, and was the person Katsuki relied on most after himself when it was time to put their plan in action. Shouto is also one of the few people Katsuki trusts with Izuku, even going as far as telling him about the suicide attempt.