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That Which Was and That Which Will Be

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Language is not static. What was once known as superpowers and meta-abilities are now known only as quirks. After all, they are how a person is unique, their own personal quirk, nothing super about that anymore, just a normal part of life. Super Heroes and Super Villains are now heroes and villains. This might not seem like much, but it shows how normal this has become. How these heroes are larger than life, but they are not super. All a person needs to be a hero is a quirk. Both are super so why use the word? With a quirk anyone can be a hero, can be the next number one. But without a quirk? Well they would be nothing right?

It took a glowing baby for this shift in language, shift in understanding, to start. The first obvious mutation present at birth, without some mad experiment gone wrong (or right). The Justice League and their villains were still seen as supers, but as the number of ‘quirked’ individuals grew and ‘quirkless’ dropped, names changed and heroes became a normal part of life. The barrier between their worlds chipping away with every new quirk. 

The Justice League was filled with gods among men, but now men are beginning to become gods. And the world had to adapt. Anyone can be a hero, not just those set apart from the rest. When all of men become gods what use are gods to men?
 
Midoriya Izuku was walking through a major street on his way home from school. This was perfectly normal, as was the villain fight that broke out in front of him. What was not normal was what happened during the fight. Izuku being who he was, was completely distracted by the display of quirks around him. Analyzing what they did and how they worked. He was so caught up he did not realize he was in the path of multiple quirks until he felt something impact him, he felt a pull in his gut, then the world seemed to fade away. Not though, before he made eye contact with another child who followed this street on their way home from school as well, his oldest friend, and worst bully. 

Bakugo Katsuki watched as Midoriya Izuku disappeared and there was nothing he could do except watch. 

Midoriya Izuku was eight when he disappeared walking home from school in Musutafu, Japan.


Blinking his eyes open Izuku heard happy, up-beat music, and the amazed gasps of entranced people around him. Confused, he looked up and saw several people flying through the sky without any obvious quirks to help them. Then the wires they propelled themselves with broke and the people fell leaving broken bodies on the floor. With a child screaming from the platform above. Memories Izuku did not remember making came to the front of his mind, as he remembered that he was in the main tent of Haly’s Circus watching the Flying Graysons perform. He remembered the few and far between memories of two year old Timothy Jackson Drake, he no longer was eight year old Midoriya Izuku. 

It took weeks for the boy to settle and come to terms with the situation he found himself in. Luckily, or perhaps unluckily, Timothy had an excellent memory and now he had the memories of an eight year old as well. Izuku did not worry if he would get home though. He was in a time, a world, where no one had quirks, he would not be excluded for not being like everyone else now. He was no longer the unevolved freak, he was normal. He could not be a hero because no one could be a hero. 

He would miss his mom even if she didn’t always pay attention to him, and Kacchan, but at least here he was like everyone else. 


Time passed as it always does and Tim, for he was Tim now not Midoriya Izuku, realized that even in a world without quirks he would not be treated equal. He was too smart for his age group. He was not perfect enough for his parents. He was too weird for his nannies. Even in a world without quirks he was not like everyone else. He still wasn’t enough.

He recorded everything Izuku could remember about his world, which in context of heroes and quirks was a surprising amount. It did not do much for him here, but he did not want to forget his roots. He did not want to forget what the world would become. Living in Gotham, Tim knew that a notebook filled with knowledge of the possible future was not something to leave around for anyone to find. So, with his knowledge of Japanese and English and basic ciphers he began to encode his notes of the future, burning all non-encoded notes when he finished transcribing them.

He had fun creating ciphers that were more complicated with each new iteration. As he learned more languages he incorporated them, and created shorthand terms for words that could be too repetitive. 

It wasn’t just his notebooks of the future that he kept like this though, everything that might possibly be dangerous in another's hands existed in some kind of code. He kept his notes of Batman and Robin the same way when he turned his focus to them.

Batman and Robin. The Dark Knight and his Squire. The pair are so humanly inhuman. The vigilantes that guarded Gotham, Tim’s mind latched onto the with great ferociousness. His memories made him used to hero’s that have few secrets, so why not learn theirs for himself. It was so easy for Izuku to find the names of heroes in the future, he didn’t see why he shouldn’t do the same here in Gotham. He did not understand the pain that comes from villains targeting the family of a hero.

This led to late nights on the roofs of Gotham. Watching as they flipped through the night, saving and protecting as they went. It led to film cameras and illicit pictures better than any media outlet, that proved the existence of the pair. It proved their humanity, that no matter the inhuman rumors that surrounded the two. They were just human. They were just quirkless. They were like Izuku.

The part of Tim that was still Izuku locked on to this knowledge, of the quirklessness of the Dynamic Duo, they were the proof that no matter what the children from Izuku’s life said, the quirkless could be heroes. That the quirk did not make the hero. When he was nine (for the first time, Tim was officially older than Izuku got the chance to be) he realized that Robin was Dick Grayson which meant that Bruce Wayne was Batman. Tim was glad for once that he was left alone and his parents were out of town as this realization made his brain shut down for around three days. After all, the Drake Mansion was next door to Wayne Manor, he lived. Next. Door. To. BATMAN. He lived next door to his heroes. 

Then, Dick Grayson left Gotham and Robin did not fly for several months. When Mr. Wayne announced a new child under his care, Tim returned to the streets with his camera and saw Robin flying across Gotham once more. Now under the mask, Jason Todd laughed across the rooftops of Gotham. Tim could not help the admiration that grew as he watched the new bird fly with the Bat for years. That was what Izuku wanted to be. That light in the dark, that comfort to the weary, that terror to the criminals. That hero that could be relied upon. 

But all good things come to an end and Jason died. Robin died. Jason died and Batman became more violent, the memories of Izuku rose again. Batman needed a Robin, Batman was foundational to Gotham. Batman was the dark of the shadows, the pains of the broken, the vengeance of the dead and the lost. He needed a light, he needed someone to hold him back. He needed someone to keep him human. He needed a Robin. 

Izuku had always wanted to be a hero Izuku was only eight, and this is a world where heroes are not defined by their quirks but by their actions. It was not easy, and it took a disaster, but Robin flew again. This time with Tim under the mask, he did not laugh across Gotham though. The days of a laughing Robin had officially died with the bird in Ethiopia. Instead the light kept the darkness in check, but was never far from it. Gotham knew the Child Spirit had been broken, and they mourned the laughing bird even while growing to love the watchful one. 

Tim was thirteen when Robin returned to Gotham. 

Life continued on and Tim learned, grew, and was eventually adopted as a member of the Wayne family in the eyes of the law, not just in heart and spirit. He had been emotionally adopted long before the law became involved in the equation. That after all, had taken the violent murder of his parents of Jack and Janet Drake. He also went out and made friends among other teenage heroes. Connections and lines of information are important after all, and Izuku remembered the might of the Justice League and its affiliates. They did not interfere in Japan, but Izuku loved research and they were the oldest hero agency in the world.

Jason came back to life, and tried to kill Tim as some form of revenge at Bruce for letting him die. Tim did not know how to feel, Jason had been His Robin, His hero, who now wanted him dead for wearing the colors and name of the laughing bird. 

They were not sure how Jason had come back though, as it seems that he had somewhat healed and crawled his way out of his grave on his own before Talia found him and bathed him in the Waters of the Lazarus. They did not test for a meta-gene though. There were no metas in Gotham and they would not tempt fate. Jason eventually began to work with the family again (there were many a shouting match and fist fight to reach that point). It took years more for all the damage to be healed, but it did. 

Then, when Tim was seventeen the unspeakable happened. Batman died. Barely a week after Talia had delivered the son she had hidden from Bruce to the manor, he died. In grief, Dick put down the mantle of Nightwing that he had worn since he left Robin in Gotham, and became Batman. Gotham needs a Batman, and Batman needs a Robin. He took Robin from Tim and gifted it to their new, murderous brother Damian. 

Tim took up the place as CEO of Wayne Enterprises with ‘Brucie’ now indisposed. There were already too many coincidences between the Bats and the Waynes, they could not have another death happen too close together. Tim took the role, but left Gotham. He did his work for the company as he traveled the world trying to prove that Bruce was not dead, just. Lost. Lost in the time stream. Tim had determined years ago, through what he could remember of Izuku (who was only eight) that this was the past of his dimension, his timeline, which means that time travel was real. His circumstance might be through quirk, but who is to say that there are no other ways to force it. He was friends with Bart, he knew dimension travel was real, he knew time travel was possible. There was precedence, Bruce could be alive. 

No one believed him. How could they not believe him? They all knew the Flashes and witnessed their relationships with time and death. Why couldn’t Bruce be alive too?

It took almost a year and the loss of his spleen, but Tim found Bruce. Despite bringing Bruce home, Tim kept control of Wayne Enterprises (he liked running the company, it was a fun challenge), and began laying the groundwork for a new branch of the company that might never exist. If his present will truly be Izuku’s past then the company would need to survive a quirked world, why not make a hero support department? In this process Tim was reminded that all good things come to an end. He found an old notebook written in his oldest code, the one written with Izuku’s memories and knowledge of the world, as well as his hypotheses on how Izuku who was only eight became Tim. He put the key to this notebook into the Bat Computer that way if something happened to him, his family would know this about him. Prepare for every eventuality. Izuku came to an early end. It would be poetic if Tim did too. 

And the world seems to love its poetry and its pain. Especially when Tim is concerned. 


Time passed and the ‘Batfamily’ as they were known in the cape community continued to fight as vigilantes in the Night of Gotham. They grew closer and truly were a family to one another, all murder attempts were done in jest and for pranks. Then, early one morning after patrol Tim was in his room preparing for bed when he felt something that only Izuku had felt. It was the feeling that had come right before he woke up in that circus tent so long ago. Tim, knowing that he had little time, moved as fast as he could, grabbing his oldest notebook (the one that spoke of Izuku who became Tim and the possibilities therein) and the one filled with every contingency he had planned for, and managed to get them onto the floor before he was completely gone, lost to nothingness. The only sign, the disturbed notebooks lying on the floor. 

Timothy Jackson Drake-Wayne was twenty-four when he disappeared from his bedroom in Gotham, Gotham County, New Jersey, in the United States of America. 


Tim opened his eyes at a much shorter height than he was used to. It was still night as he looked around himself, the predawn light gone, and he was in Japan if the signs around him were any indication. Patting his pockets he found a phone. It looked vaguely familiar, but not his normal phone, turning it on he felt his entire body freeze. Staring at him from the screen with smile in place was All Might. All Might who was the number one hero of Izuku’s childhood. Looking closer at the phone Tim recognized it. It was Midoriya Izuku’s phone. Needing one last confirmation he turned on the camera and looked at the face that stared back. He was only eight. 

Midoriya Izuku was only eight years old when he reappeared on the streets of Musutafu, Japan.