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Tearjerker / Yesterday Upon The Stair

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Izuku Midoriya already caused a lot of Tearjerkers in canon. Giving him the power to see ghosts and deal with his bullying by Bakugou being played straight makes it all the sadder.


  • At the very start, Izuku's power is established by him helping Mrs. Yamamoto go back to her apartment and find her cat, Mika. Mika tries rubbing her owner's legs, but can't touch her, as Yamamoto was killed three days prior when a building collapsed. Izuku helps her move on by promising to take care of her kitty, unaware that he'll end up adopting her.
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  • In a Flashback to when his doctor diagnosed him as functionally Quirkless, Inko brings up how Izuku once mentioned his father tucking him in when he was three. Which is significant due to Hisashi's Death by Adaptation — in this world, his dad died shortly after he was born.
  • The first Poltergeist to appear, other than Rei, is a young woman who wants to find her engagement ring. She lost it, and she knows her fiance will be furious for it, but believes if she finds it, everything will be okay. Izuku finds, and she remembers that yes, her fiance was mad. He cut her brakes, and the accident killed her. She thanks Izuku for helping her, and by the time he's blinked away his tears, she's gone.
  • The Near-Death Experience Aizawa suffers during the USJ Arc. Their mounting confusion and frustration only worsen upon getting a glimpse of his own body, still pinned by the Noumu.
    • Izuku is doing his best to stay calm and comfort them despite his dismay. He's barely keeping it together when refusing to explain just how he's able to see them because they should forget once they wake up, so explaining everything would only serve a purpose if they really were dead for good.
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  • Okumura, the poltergeist following Endeavor, died because Endeavor got impatient during a standoff. Okumura and the other crooks had been ready to stand down, but Endeavor sent everything to hell, and Okumura died in the shootout.
  • On the train after the Sports Festival, Izuku notices that none of the other passengers refer to Todoroki by name, always calling him Endeavor's son or the like. It's a bitter reminder how no matter who Todoroki is, in the public consciousness, he's his father's son.
  • Iida Tensei dies fighting Stain. It was bad enough having to see Tenya distraught over his brother being crippled, here, it's taken Up to Eleven.
    • The first day he returns to class, Tenya is mystified by how Izuku seems to see right through his cheerful facade, approaching him for a much-needed hug. He's blissfully unaware that Izuku saw his brother's ghost beside him, and is staring right into Tensei's Blank White Eyes as they embrace.
    • During the inevitable confrontation, Stain declares that he didn't actually mean to kill Tensei. He left him alive, expecting him to be found so he could spread more rumors about him, but nobody arrived in time. Tensei bled out slowly, Dying Alone in an alleyway, and Stain scoffs that he must have been another Glory Hound who got what he deserved.
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    • The sheer helpless desperation of Tensei watching his little brother go after his murderer.
    • Izuku's Armor-Piercing Response to Tenya's pleas:
    Izuku: "If you don't want me rescuing you, then you can come over and stop me whenever you like."
  • Nana finally reveals who she was to Midoriya. He finally sees her in full Jacob Marley Apparel and realizes she probably died alone and in agony.
  • When Class 1-A finds out Midoriya and Todoroki are sparringnote  outside class, they immediately invite themselves. While it isn't so bad with Ochako and Iida, who asked to come, Midoriya is quietly upset that he's lost the time he got to spend alone with his friend.
    • Made all the worse when Bakugou shows up. The first time, Bakugou tries to goad Izuku into fighting him, but Izuku shrugs him off. The second time, he can't get out of it. They go wild on each other, culminating in Izuku biting Bakugou before going limp, and the others have to restrain Bakugou before he does anything else. Before the others can do anything, Izuku runs off, lying about Inko needing him, and holes up inside his room as messages come to him all night, not reading a single one.
    • It's almost just as bad for Kirishima. After hearing about what happened in the 2nd group (he couldn't go that time), then seeing just how much Bakugou messed up Izuku in general, he can't stop blaming himself. Made worse when he tried to get Izuku to go in an elevator with the others, not knowing about Izuku's claustrophobia and causing Izuku to run off, leading to the meeting with Shigaraki. Kirishima ultimately wants to help but feels he's making it worse.
  • The End of Term Exam turns out to be, as Izuku aptly describes it, a true "nightmare scenario," resolved by Izuku making the painful call of running for the exit while All Might's busy beating the tar out of Bakugou. All Might realizes the scope of how badly he screwed up when he sees the bloody mess Bakugou made of Izuku's face, and hears his pupil calmly explain himself while teetering on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
    Midoriya: "I'd have to do something you wouldn't expect. And you'd never expect me to do anything to disappoint you, right?"
    • Making this worse is All Might's opening line: "It seems you've missed the point of this test." He didn't get it. If not for Izuku's Armor-Piercing Response, he might well have given Izuku a "The Reason You Suck" Speech — one that not only would have been completely unwarranted but done horrific amounts of damage to his already shot self-esteem. Izuku was already beating himself up for what he'd just done; the last thing he needed was his idol rubbing more salt into the wound.
    • Followed by Izuku breaking down into tears when Shouto comments on how he's surprised by Bakugou being more injured when he's used to things being the other way round.
  • Hindsight can be a harsh mistress, as Aizawa reflects in the following chapter how he could have prevented this whole mess with just one change: switching Midoriya and Todoroki's positions in the exams so that the former was working with Yaoyorozu and the latter with Bakugou.
    • Especially in light of how Momo had approached him with her concerns beforehand, with Shouto backing her up. That would have been the perfect opportunity to act, but he dismissed them. Talk about twisting the knife.
  • It's bittersweetly heartwarming as well, but Izuku's sheer disbelief when Aizawa finally intervenes and shuts Bakugou's bullying down cold, followed by his panic attack and the pleading look he gives Tensei and Nana when All Might arrive to offer the comfort and apologies he feels he doesn't deserve.
  • One of the ghosts inhabiting the Midoriya household suffers an episode and relives his gruesome death. Inko is forced to call Izuku home since he's smashing things and she can't calm him down. "You're dead," should never be comforting.
  • Izuku's trademark "baby-eating smile" only comes out when he is under extreme stress. It's come out both times that he's met with Shigaraki.
  • While making their way up to the training camp, Izuku, Ochako, and Shouto take a break, with Shouto using his powers to melt chunks of ice into handfuls of water. He offhandedly mentions teaching himself this trick when he was six, and Izuku silently reflects on the most likely reason he needed to learn that.
    • Upon making it to the top and learning that Aizawa and the Pussycats had told them yet another Motivational Lie, Ochako comments that it's hardly surprising, as "I'm pretty sure starving us would be both counterproductive and illegal." While Shouto doesn't verbally respond to that, his reaction further reinforces just how crappy his home life has been.
  • Chapter 32 opens with Aizawa expelling Mineta for his complete lack of remorse over Kouta getting injured due to his peeping. With this coming so soon on the heels of the incident during the End of Term Exams, his exhaustion comes through all the clearer, and he's none too thrilled to hear Sekijirou taking it lightly, commenting on how his coworkers were betting on whether or not all of his students would make it through their first year.
  • Todoroki and Izuku have become extremely close by the time the kidnapping arc comes around, and then Izuku is kidnapped right in front of Todoroki.
  • Mika doesn't take Izuku's disappearance well, spending most of the chapter after it wailing.
  • Tenya confronting the nascent rescue squad leads to a vicious argument erupting between him and Shouto — and Shouto, taking a cue from his match with Izuku, goes for a series of low blows, culminating in:
    Iida: "Do you think he'd want you running back into danger after you barely escaped with your life before?"
    Todoroki: "He would do the same for any one of us. And you know that, because he already had to."
  • Izuku being Forced to Watch as Ragdoll's Quirk is stripped away. On top of this, his subsequent realization that despite the pain, Ragdoll keeps her wits about her enough to subtly signal to him where All For One's physical weaknesses are.
  • Chapter 38 starts with a nasty little Internal Reveal, as Nana learns the fate of her family.
  • The bitter argument that erupts between Izuku and Bakugou when the latter refuses to use his Quirk to hurt Izuku as part of a Deliberate Injury Gambit. Izuku snaps at the bitter, bitter irony of how the one time he wants his bully to hurt him, he suddenly isn't willing, when nothing was stopping him all those other times.
  • Chapter 39 puts Rei and Izuku through a ringer. We learn that Rei was a test subject for the Noumu project, and she refuses to acknowledge it or even her old name because they bring her nothing but agony. Izuku on the other hand accidentally causes the death of his childhood doctor, and doing so causes him to go into a Heroic BSoD and required Hino to bring him out of it.
    • The fact that Hitomi was the 777th test subject. That Tsubasa — the doctor's own grandson — was sacrificed as well. So many lives ruined, and the one Izuku confronts over this lied smoothly about it all. When finally cornered, the Doctor doesn't seem to know which excuse he should use — Just Following Orders, following his leader's vision, claiming it was never done with malice... as if that makes a lick of difference.
  • Following the Internal Reveal in Chapter 41, it's clear that Tenya really wants to ask Izuku about his brother, but doesn't know how to breach the subject. And neither does Izuku.
  • Izuku decides to confide in Shouto. Not just about the true nature of his Quirk, but about what happened between him and Kacchan when he was seven: There was a haunted closet at their elementary school. Katsuki noticed that Izuku avoided walking by it whenever possible, and asked him why. Izuku told him the truth, and Katsuki not only didn't believe him, he decided it'd be funny for him and his 'friends' to shove him in there, and he was stuck for three hours before the janitor found him, scratched up and traumatized. It took eight months for him to start speaking again.
  • After 45 chapters, Izuku finally tells All Might about his Quirk, and the fact that Shimura Nana is a ghost. Though this would be a tearjerking scene usually, the scene is from Toshinori's perspective, and he spends a lot of time in denial.
    Toshinori: “I understand that you’re afraid for me, after everything you’ve been through, but this is cruel. It’s a cruel thing to claim. You understand why, don’t you?”
  • Shouto does not have a good time during the Provincial License Exam, as Inasa figures out his Berserk Button and starts stomping on it, following him around during the main test and comparing him to his father. Then it turns out that Toga ambushed and replaced Inasa, and she was the one harassing him the whole time. Making matters worse, she got samples of both his and Bakugou's blood.
    • In the aftermath of the above, Izuku blames himself for not realizing what was going on sooner, to the point of suffering a minor breakdown while apologizing to Shouto.
  • Izuku and Katsuki finally talk. It doesn't go well, and Izuku brokenly admits that he used to daydream about Katsuki honestly apologizing for how he's treated him. Katsuki attacks him mere minutes later, and the only thing that prevents an all-out brawl is Rei manifesting and tackling him.
    • This whole exchange:
    Izuku: "Do you even... do you even remember what happened when I told you? Do you even remember what I told you at all?"
    Katsuki: "It... it was back in second grade, right? Fuck, it was that fucking long ago, you can't expect me to just—"
    Izuku: "Yes, I can. Because I remember it. I've tried to forget... I try every day to forget. But I can't, because that day—it changed everything for me. It changed me, and because of that, I can’t... I don’t know how to not lie anymore. And that’s why I’m afraid of you, Bakugou. That’s why—that's why I don't see you the way you want to be seen. Because you want to be a hero, and yet you can hurt someone like that. You can hurt them so bad that they still think about it and the scars still itch and it's shaped the person they are, and not even remember. It was the worst day of my life, Bakugou. But it was just another Wednesday for you, wasn't it?"
  • Izuku's internship with Sir Nighteye gets off to a poor start and only becomes worse once Nighteye learns about his original Quirk. Not just because he thinks he's unworthy of One For All, but because he convinces himself that Midoriya's Ghost Sense makes him completely indifferent to death. After all, if someone like Toshinori dies, Izuku wouldn't really lose him, would he? Not like Nighteye would.
    • When Izuku finally learns this — due to Nighteye telling him outright that he 'wouldn't lose anything' if All-Might passed — the poor kid's naturally furious and disappointed, ranting about precisely what kind of sorrow and anguish creates ghosts in the first place before revealing his real reason for wanting this internship:
    Izuku: "I didn't come because of One For All, or because of All-Might. I came because I see things I wish I could forget, and I know things nobody else should know, and I can't make it go away because they're people and they need my help and no one knows about them but me, because no one else has to see the things I see and— And I'm here because I thought— I thought maybe you'd understand."
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