Orphan All Might HEADCANNONS?? May I have them??? OOOO LORD IM EXCITED!!
Oooh yes you may dear anon 😈
I’ll put this under a read more as it became longer than expected. Feels to follow! 😈
Toshinori was found in a dark alleyway in the rain. A good citizen had miraculously heard the child’s cries over the rumbles of thunder, and hesitantly followed the sounds. Deep in backstreets where most avoided traveling alone, the stranger came upon a small cardboard box next to the dumpster. The top of the box had been folded closed, but still allowed the rain water to drip between the flaps. Opening the box revealed a tiny newborn baby wrapped in a deep blue blanket. The blanket was soaked through, and the child shivered from the cold. After carefully lifting the small infant out of the box, the citizen noticed that the baby was still attached to the afterbirth, and not fully cleaned—he’d just been born a few hours ago at most. He must have been unwanted, a mistake born from an affair with an American judging by his light blonde hair. Keeping the secret meant getting rid of the child. The only form of identification was written in golden stitches along the blanket, “Yagi Toshinori.”
The baby was brought to the hospital, where he was treated for hypothermia and malnutrition. His mother hadn’t taken much care during pregnancy. The baby was premature, severely underweight, and was found to have an enlarged heart, or cardiomyopathy, possibly inherited or caused from the mother’s lack of prenatal care. It was highly likely he would die, and the doctors didn’t have much hope. He spent weeks in the hospital on a respirator and feeding tubes. But to everyone’s surprise, he continued to grow stronger, and longer. Eventually he was strong enough to leave the hospital, but had no one to take him home.
The baby known as Toshinori, or “Little Yagi” as the doctors had affectionately named him, had no where to go. His names had been run through multiple databases, and no matches had been found. With no known family, he was sent to an orphanage. He was an easy baby to care for, a happy one at that. Or at least quiet. He very rarely cried, and even in the middle of the night, alone, he would stare up at the ceiling and the glowing stars, and just exist until he either fell back asleep, or the morning came.
Toshinori was always tall. He grew quicker than most, but at as a result he had little to no muscle mass. The boy was awkward, quiet, but friendly to a fault. He didn’t have friends, but he would still stick his neck out to help one of the other children, sometimes being blamed for things he didn’t do as a result. Punishment became a norm, even as the adults suspected his innocence at times. Asthma was another issue that had come to complicate things. Getting too stressed or worked up would trigger an attack, and he had to carry an inhaler everywhere.
No one knew what to expect for his quirk, and he apprehensively waited for it to appear. Other children around his age in the orphanage had already developed theirs. The months passed after his fourth birthday, and still nothing had changed. “Quirkless” the adults had called it. It wasn’t unheard of, but still not the norm for most of civilization. Toshinori accepted it as he did most things concerning his young life. He had no choice not to. Though watching the other children use their other quirks during play or even in day to day life, Toshinori did feel the pain of jealously. Sometimes a kid would ask him what his quirk was, and he had to explain he didn’t have one. The looks he received back from the kids and adults were almost more painful.
His wild hair would tangle easily, especially on windy days. Once, it became so wrapped around and twisted (courtesy of one unkind child that liked to pick on Toshinori for everything he did), that the adult in charge at the time became fed up trying to untangle it day in and day out. It was decided to simply shave it off, leaving only his short bangs that were too short to be tangled. Toshinori had cried quietly as the clumps of his hair fell to the ground around him, but he made no sound nor tried to escape. And he never spoke of the child or his followers that thrived off of Toshinori’s expense. He had quite the hack job: near bald on the majority of his head except for the two strands in front that came to his eyes in length. His bangs grew longer than the rest of his hair consequently, and by the time it had grown a few inches, Toshinori had become accustomed to the look. (Even now he rarely gets a haircut, worried he may be shaved bald again.)
The instances involving this unkind boy and his gang of followers were too numerous to name. It mainly occurred in his younger years when the older children could easily overpower him. Most involved verbal abuse over anything and everything: his hair, his bright blue eyes, his thin and weak form, how “delicate” his heart could be if he overstressed himself. Pitying looks and words carved at his very being. Every year his health became better as his body grew into his oversized heart, but that didn’t mean he didn’t have any side effects now and then. Popping pills when told and sitting out of games was a common topic to harass him over. Being pushed in the mud, taking his food, trying and usually achieving copying his homework--he was too smart not to share, they had said. He studied at levels far exceeding those of his age. The blanket Toshinori had been found in was very dear to him. It was the only object connecting him to his birth mother (even if she threw him away) and he would sleep with it every night, imagining what life could have been like had he been wanted. One particularly scarring moment was when he was dragged from bed in the dead of night and into the woods surrounding the backyard. One of the boys had managed to make a fire, and they forced Toshinori to watch as they tore his “precious baby blanket” into pieces, and then threw them in the fire. He had been too emotionally distraught to follow them back, and when he finally managed to make it back, the door had been locked. The night was cold, and out in the open exposed him to the cruel wind. His tiny feet were scuffed and bleeding in places from being dragged, but he forced himself back into the woods. He found a sheltered area under a tree, and curled up to stay warm, body trembling. Toshinori fell asleep counting the stars and watching the tree branches move in the moonlight.
TW: Talk of sexual molestation of a minor.
I also have thoughts that he may have been molested by an older kid. Thankfully it didn’t get too far before an adult found them, but the experience left Toshinnori even more withdrawn. He had always been nervous with physical touch (not used to it--at least in a kind way), but this had only amplified it. Even as an adult, he never had physical relations with anyone, much less gave himself time to truly know another person on that level. Toshinori still jumps at surprise physical touch (if he sees someone reach for him, he’ll do his best not to flinch away. But if someone comes up behind him, he’ll jump and may prepare to throw a punch by hero instinct depending on how out of it mentally he had been in the moment).
When potential adopters would come to the orphanage, Toshinori was often overlooked. His blonde hair and blue eyes stuck out, not necessarily in a good way. His quirklessness wasn’t desirable, and with his health complications and medications, he was deemed too much of an investment. He would receive sympathetic glances and “hopes” that he would find a home. Instead of waiting for what he was certain would never come, Toshinori would help suggest different children to the adopters, all with a polite tone and barely concealing smile, and help the adults find their way. He’d been there the longest by that point, and knew his way around all too well.
Toshinori at 8 years old still wasn’t the oldest kid in the orphanage, there were other kids whose parents had died recently, and had come when they had no where else. But most of his bullies had either found homes or had become old enough to leave. The boys would play games and chase each other, running around the yard. Toshinori sometimes would try to be included if he felt up to it. He’s fast, his long legs were good for something, but he fatigued quickly from his heart and ultimately would be left in the dust, reaching for his inhaler. The more he grew, the stronger his heart became, the less he needed his inhaler, and the less medicine he needed for his heart. But more and more he would decide to sit in the sun and read instead of pretending the other kids liked him. They found him strange: he looked different, he used words they didn’t understand, he took medicine and sometimes would be scolded if he pushed himself too far. Sure he was nice, a great guy to talk to if you needed help with homework despite not letting you copy his with his bullies gone, but he just didn’t seem normal. Toshinori didn’t know what “normal” was, just that he apparently wasn’t. Those large eyes would watch everything carefully, taking in every detail of anything and everything. “Creepy” he’d been called by adults, “scary” by kids when his gaze directed to you with that calculating look. Toshinori didn’t mean to stare, but as his brain fired neurons at a rate rivaling someone years older than him, he often found himself doing so. He was a dreamer, a head in the clouds type guy, always thinking and working ahead. Often found laying in the woods and watching the sky instead with those huge and unblinking eyes of his--it brought him peace he’d said.
Toshinori would listen to the adults conversing through the walls when he couldn’t sleep at night. He didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but his ability to hear was something to be envied. The adults were often melancholy, never surprised when things went wrong in the world. They would converse about recent incidents involving villains attacking civilians. About how people had died from accidents like a mass car crash or bridge collapse. That even on a walk to the store they expected a villain to hold them at gunpoint and take their money. Toshinori quickly learned that most adults had no hope and only expected negative phenomenon. Only once, did he hear the word “hero”. And how such people were a mockery to society.
At age 10 and accompanying a few younger children to the store to pick up groceries, a villain had pulled the small group into an alley. The demand was money, unsurprisingly. Toshinori had gathered the smaller kids behind him, keeping his body between them and the villain. This, unfortunately, wasn’t Toshinori’s first encounter with a villain. He was tall, and usually mistaken for older than he actually was. He would get pulled aside demanding money, having a gun or knife waved in his face. He would stutter and explain that he was only a student with no money on him, even going through his bookbag to show the villain. Once or twice an expensive book was taken, which Toshinori would have to work the cost off, and he would earn a scrape, bruise or scar as the villain left. This instance was the only time he’d been caught with money in his pocket. For groceries. For the other children of the orphanage. He tried to play the student card, but the villain was more crafty than the previous ones. In the end, with Toshinori beaten and bloodied, and another child at knife point, Toshinori handed the money over in exchange for their freedom. He had been thoroughly scolded when they returned empty handed, but the children had thanked him. For jumping in to take the hits for them. For trying to keep the villain’s attention only on himself. For saving them. Even as they went on their way to play without him, Toshinori felt something deep within himself spark with those grateful smiles and displays of gratitude. Though he still had no friends, those children, and soon others, gravitated towards him when frightened in the following years, as if knowing he would protect them.
Toshinori, above all, was lonely. He’d been abandoned, an “unwanted, illegitimate” baby that “probably wasn’t supposed to survive”, as he’d overheard. Abandonment issues were something he didn’t even realized he had until he was much older. Even as he naturally kept to himself, more of a loner or outcast he found himself craving companionship. At age 14 he found himself walking alone from school, as the norm. There were other children from the orphanage at the same school, but none wanted to walk with him. A large snowflake settled on his nose, and interrupted his thoughts. Looking up, he let his mind wander as he studied the sky, like he often did. It was then he heard a voice call out to him, and met a muscular woman dressed in a hero suit with a smile on her face.
Training with Nana was hard, and he had to do so while keeping up with his homework. There were several times in the beginning he struggled to keep up, wheezing and coughing as he would reach for his inhaler. Gran Torino criticized him, “affectionately” calling him “String Bean”. The older man would often question Nana, even in front of Toshinori, how she expected him to become her successor. “He’s too thin,” “No muscle,” “You’ve seen the way he is,” “The kid’s got problems,” “how do you expect him to fight?!” Nana was aware that her young ward was struggling more than most to keep up. She knew he most likely had physical complications making it harder for him. And yet, whenever Toshinori would fall, collapse from lack of oxygen or exhaustion, waver in his confidence, Nana never told him to take it easy. She encouraged him to keep going, told him she believed he could do it, that she’d be right here beside him, and that alone made Toshinori work even harder. He’d never been given encouragement, never told he could reach the finish line as he struggled to keep going, never had someone not tell him to rest because of his health complications. He appreciated her so much.
In truth, Nana was very concerned for him, and did her best to hide her worry and pity when the boy heaved for air and trembled like a newborn giraffe on his long legs. She shared such thoughts with Gran Torino one night in the kitchen, next door to the living room where Toshinori had collapsed and promptly passed out on the couch. “Of course I worry I’m pushing too hard. The last thing I want is to break him and the little hope that he has. But that boy has a light to him that I’ve never seen before. I truly believe he could be a great hero, maybe even the greatest.” Gran Torino had been skeptical, but even he had seen the glow that the boy seemed to radiate. And when that kid smiled, the light grew to near blinding levels. He agreed to help Nana, but circumstances needed to change first. Nana tucked Toshinori in that night with a blanket, ruffling his sweaty hair. She smiled down at his sleeping form, trying to picture him as the hero she knew he could be. A kiss to his forehead was left as she retired to bed for the night.
After being punished majorly for not returning that night, the decision was made that Toshinori couldn’t thrive properly while conforming to the orphanage’s strict rules. Nana was quick to solve the issue, and signed guardianship to herself. Toshinori was unusually quiet on the way home with his small bag of personal belongings. It had taken some time to get him out of his shell, but typically the boy would talk her ear off. She asked him if he was alright as they walked back to her place, in which he nodded wordlessly, not meeting her eyes. They walked in silence for a while, Nana accepting that he just needed time, when she noticed she could only hear her own footsteps. Looking behind her, the boy stood motionless, looking at his feet. At the sound of his name he flinched, dropping his bag to the ground. She took slow steps to him, asking what the matter was. His voice shook as he asked if she truly wanted the burden of his health care, of paying for another mouth to feed and clothe, for his schooling, and making time to train him every day instead of the few times a week the orphanage would let him go. And then more questions; was he truly the right choice for One For All, did she really believe he could become a hero or was she just giving a lost child false hope, surely there’s a better choice out there, one stronger and braver and healthier. Why him? Does she honestly want him? Nana struggled to find words. She didn’t know much of his history, but these questions alone answered enough for her. She walked until she was directly in front of him, and kneeled to look at his face. Toshinori’s face was scrunched in a defeated and hopeless expression as he glared at his own shoes, large eyes watering. Nana tipped his chin up to look him in the eye. The pain in those bright blues made her heart clench, and it was a fight not to lose her own emotions. “Why not you?” He wasn’t giving himself enough credit, and she really needed to explain to him the reasons why she chose him. But at that moment the words stuck in her throat as the boy’s eyes widened and rivers of unshed tears escaped them.
Toshinori seemed to adjust well. It took some convincing for him to eat until he was content. He usually let the younger children eat first, and was used to going hungry. When he found he could really eat, Nana and Gran Torino couldn’t put food on the table fast enough. Just from proper nutrition alone, he started to bulk up, training became easier, and the more the boy shined. He had to learn about having his own room, more than a few pairs of clothes, about new shoes when the ones he’d had for years, repaired himself and wore many blisters from, could no longer be used. So many things Nana took for granted, this boy found amazing and incredibly grateful for. Already, he had a large amount of strength, and he towered over her as he grew and grew. He exceled at UA, and, with coaching from her, even began to make a few friends. Toshinori was well liked in fact with the student body as well as the faculty. His life had changed so dramatically, he could never thank Nana enough (despite trying). The greatest gift she could give him, One For All, did even more to his benefit. His health had already improved dramatically in the time he’d spent with her, but the quirk seemed to quell most of his health conditions to near nonexistent when in use. Life for Toshinori seemed too good to be true. And it was.
Toshinori had heard of All For One, of course, but he never imagined how powerful the man could be. He hadn’t fully mastered One For All yet, and unfortunately relied too heavily on his mentor. But he was ready to die alongside her if it meant ending this villain and keeping people safe. This was a fact Nana knew, which is why she directed a look to Gran Torino, who seemed taken aback and hesitant. Eventually he nodded in understanding, and when Toshinori tried to follow Nana, she pushed him away. The pain of being pushed away was not unknown to Toshinori, but he never expected to feel it from Nana. Even as he tried to reach for her, like there must have been some mistake, Gran Torino had caught him and rushed away from the scene. Toshinori was near hysterical as he was taken from the only person to ever show him kindness, from the woman he thought of as his mother.
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