You’re all a bunch of masochists, that’s what you are.
Midoriya Toshinori is a skinny little twelve-year-old when he learns that the world is a cruel, cruel place.
His parents are on their way home from dinner one night, when a drunk driver crashes into their car, and kills them both.
Suddenly left all alone in the world, Toshinori and his little seven-year-old brother are passed around from relative to relative, no one wanting to keep the orphans for more than a few months at a time.
No one wants to keep the quirkless Toshinori.
Everyone is completely charmed by sweet little Hisashi, who inherited their mother’s fire-breathing quirk.
But Hisashi absolutely adores his older brother; looks at him like he hung the stars in the sky and built the sun in his tool shed, and if Toshinori isn’t welcome anywhere, Hisashi won’t stay there either.
And Toshinori, who promised himself he’d look after his brother, and do whatever he could to make sure he was happy, decides that the only way Hisashi can do that, is if Toshinori is gone. Because if Hisashi thinks Toshinori doesn’t want him anymore, he’ll cry for a while, but eventually he’ll forget, and more importantly, he’ll let one of their aunts or uncles adopt him. And he’ll grow up happy and loved, and with a stable home and new parents who care for him as one of their own.
So even though it kills him inside to abandon his baby brother, Toshinori runs far, far away.
He lives on the streets for a while until he’s taken in by Gran Torino, and ends up taking his last name, Yagi. He meets his Master, and she sees the hero he can become, and the rest is history.
He dyes his black hair to blond, and buffs up.
And when All Might finally debuts several years later, Midoriya Hisashi doesn’t even recognize the brother he used to adore so much (the brother whose face has grown blurred in his memories, but whose kind laughter and gentle touches are burned into Hisashi’s heart).
Hisashi never stops looking for him.
Sure, he’s bitter at first, and hurt, and he hates his big brother for abandoning him. But even at eight years old, Hisashi is a smart child, and he knows that whatever Toshinori did, he did it with him in mind.
Hisashi eventually forgives his brother. He grows up in a house with a kind auntie who bakes him cookies and an uncle who teaches him maths and a little baby cousin who follows him everywhere.
And everywhere he goes, Hisashi looks. He looks for a tall, gangly boy with messy black curls, and an easy smile. His friends sometimes tease him about the way he cranes his neck to watch a stranger pass on the streets, or how he’ll stop dead in his tracks when he hears a booming laugh.
He never does find Toshinori.
He grows up and gets married and has a beautiful baby boy.
And when that beautiful baby boy turns out to be quirkless, Hisashi holds him close and tells him about the man who hung the stars in the sky and built the sun in his tool shed; the man who is Hisashi’s number 1 hero no matter what anyone says - despite being quirkless.
Izuku is seven years old the first time he comes running home from playing with friends in the park, and starts telling his parents excitedly about how he met All Might. His parents smile indulgently at him, thinking he’s been playing make believe.
Izuku keeps seeing All Might occasionally, sometimes it’s a flash of blond out of the corner of his eye while he’s out with his parents, or sometimes they sit and talk in the park, and Izuku is too young yet to wonder why a top hero suddenly seems to care about him so much (Izuku doesn’t know that All Might has been watching his family since before he’s been born, protecting silently from the shadows, not wanting to drag them into his dangerous life, but unable to stop himself from at least seeing them sometimes).
Izuku tells him about being quirkless, and how he won’t let it stop him, because his uncle Toshi was also quirkless, and he was one of the most amazing people ever. He was a hero.
(All Might suddenly finds it difficult to breathe)
In return, All Might tells Izuku stories of his baby brother, and Izuku drinks them up with the same enthusiasm as he gives to everything else.
And then Izuku turns ten, and he doesn’t see All Might for a long, long time.
A year passes, and he begins to think that maybe All Might grew bored of him, but then one day, a sickly-looking blond man walks up to Izuku, and he has blazing blue eyes and a familiar smile, and somehow, somehow, Izuku recognizes him.
All Might explains what happened, and Izuku cries for him.
Things go back to normal for them after that, for a few weeks.
And then, one day, he hears on the news that there was a horrible car accident with four casualties, and several people sent to hospital.
They show a picture of the scene of the accident, and All Might feels his heart stop.
Because he recognizes that wrecked blue car, off in the corner of the screen, and he’s in denial because NO. This can’t happen to him again.
He rushes to the hospital, and Izuku’s there, and he runs into his arms, sobbing, and All Might’s worst fears are confirmed.
When the doctors and nurses see Izuku clinging to him, they assume he must be a relative, and they let him in to see Hisashi.
And All Might, seeing his baby brother up close for the first time in decades, breaks down crying, because this was not how it was supposed to be. The whole reason he became a hero was so he could help make the world a safer place for his baby brother.
And he failed.
And he’s just so ashamed. Because he’s such a horrible big brother.
Then, he feels a hand on his, and he looks up.
And Hisashi’s eyes are open just the slightest bit, and he’s looking at All Might wonderingly, like a blind man seeing the sun for the first time.
Because the hero All Might is a stranger, bigger than life and stronger than anything in the world, but this All Might is deathly thin, and his black roots are starting to grow out, and he’s so vulnerable in a way that tugs at Hisashi’s mind.
“Aniki…” he breathes, disbelieving.
“Hisashi,” sobs Toshinori, gripping his hands desperately.
Hisashi smiles, because finally, after all these years of searching, he’s found his big brother. And he can finally say the words he’s carried with him, at the back of his throat, on the tip of his tongue.
“Aniki…I love you…I’m sorry you felt you had to run away…”
And then, he closes his eyes.