Actions

Work Header

Scared To Be Lonely

Chapter Text

 


In which words turn the world on its hinges and where sometimes, all you need is one person to reach out to you.

Even if it may be the wrong one. 


Izuku is never alone, and yet, always alone.

Such a state of contradiction moulds his constitution to be both fragile and strong. Ever since his once best friend, Bakugou Katsuki, gained his Quirk and he remained without one, Izuku is constantly surrounded by people he had called friends at one point for all the wrong reasons. Constant jeers, taunts, and insults are flung into his despairing, desperate face and swirling inside his head, tearing down his determination slowly.

A year into the change in their relationship, tears well up in his eyes, one bruised, blue and purple, and his nose dripping with a slow trickle of bright red blood. Bakugou keeps yelling cruel words and throwing blows accentuated with small explosions from his palms.

“Fucking useless Deku!  Maybe you had some shitty hope of being a stupid ass late bloomer, but one whole fucking year is really too fucking long, don't you think?”

“Bakugou, absolutely right! As usual!” One of his lackeys shouts, cheering on the boy with a powerful Quirk on. The accompanying child with the extendable fingers makes a sound of agreement.

“And as if it wasn't enough you’re a weak-ass Quirkless bitch, but you still have the fucking guts to say you're still going to be a hero? What the fuck can you do without a fucking Quirk? Give up your stupid dream of becoming a hero already.” The blonde male picks up Izuku’s fallen notebook that was designated Hero Analysis for the Future No. 13 with a certain amount of disgust and aversion.

“I-I…” Izuku stutters, his gaze meeting anywhere but his former childhood friend's. “I can still try, right?”

“What? Are you fucking kidding me? You want to ‘try?’ That’s a fucking laugh.” Bakugou snarls, another miniature explosion erupting from one of his palms, making the notebook he is holding to burst into flames. Izuku's eyes trail the ashen remains of his precious notes scattering in the breeze, still bright with dying embers.

“N-not my hero n-notes…” Izuku mumbles, salty rivers flowing down his face at the sight. His hands reach out in an attempt to catch the charred paper scraps. Bakugou gives him another condescending look and slams what was left of the notebook that he hadn’t already destroyed on the ground, causing the surrounding papers to flutter.

“Tch, fucking pathetic.  What the fuck did you think you were going to use them for anyway? There's no fucking way you'd ever be a hero without a Quirk, you stupid Deku!” Bakugou’s eyes widen as a thought crosses his mind. “I know… why don't you just fucking throw yourself off a shitty roof and pray to some fucking god that you'll be reborn with a Quirk in the next fucking life?”

A wave of shock courses through the green-haired boy’s frame, his eyes enlarging and pupils contracting so small, they are mere specks in his irises.   Kill himself… and reborn with a Quirk..?

Izuku trembles, previously clenched fists slackening in despair. The other boy’s malicious taunts echo within him. By the time he finishes processing his former best friend's words, the other boy is long gone, tired of looking at the freckled boy’s despondent face.

Kacchan’s words, although harsh as they were, aren’t wrong.  What hope is there to dream of developing a Quirk now?  How can he be a hero when everyone keeps telling him he can't without a decent Quirk?

The doctor had said no.  His mom too.  And Kacchan.  Too many people to count had told him no.  Tears continue streaming down his cheeks, and he closes his eyes, feeling whatever resolve dissipate.

“Was that your friend?” An unfamiliar voice speaks up from in front of him, startling him out of his train of thought.  Izuku belatedly realizes that there is a pair of sneakers in his gaze and that he is kneeling on the ground, arms hanging by his side as useless as he felt emotionally.  Glancing up, he sees a man, a teenager really, with a black hoodie covering his ashen hair and severely chapped lips.  The older male’s eyes condescendingly stare down at him, but they are somewhat kind and understanding as well.

“A-ah, I g-guess?  I mean… w-we used t-to be really c-close, b-but ever since he got h-his Quirk--” Izuku starts muttering.

The one with chapped lips gives a light snort at the long-winded explanation for a yes or no question and interrupts the kid’s speech, “Shitty friend.  Where do people get off treating others like that..?”

Izuku doesn't reply.  The teenager is about to walk away, but his eyes catch sight of the remains of Izuku's Hero Analysis notes and picks up one of the pages that had mostly been spared the same fate as the rest.  He quickly eyes them, grasping them with only four fingers before speaking again, “Hm, you have a pretty good eye for detail.”

The green-haired boy's head snaps up at this statement and his eyes wander around the other’s face, looking for signs of sarcasm or cruelty, but finding none.

His heart burst with hope with the next words.

“I think I can find you useful.  What do you say to paving your own path as a 'hero?’”


Shouto is never alone, and yet, always alone.

His “loving” father, the No. 2 Hero, Endeavor, is constantly dragging him in multiple directions.  From Quirk training (more like intense rage relieving sessions and beatings, really) to additional academic studies outside of regular school, Shouto is hounded by responsibilities and insane expectations.  He can't help but feel like he is slowly losing pieces of himself, crumbling underneath the pressure and stress.  His only escape had been the calming presence of his mother, but that no longer is an option after the incident.  Absently, his hand traces the rough, dead skin of his scar on his left side of his face.

His father is the reason his mother had acted up that day--she too had felt the overwhelming strain and had lashed out.  She is right, his left side is atrocious, especially because Shouto inherited it from his father… no, that man, because that man isn't anything close to being a father to him.

He is the reason why this so-called family is cold and distant and scared.   He is the reason his mother was forced into a loveless marriage and forced to give up her livelihood as an independent woman and hero.   He is the reason Shouto can't see any bright prospects in his future.  And he is the reason that Shouto will never use the fire half of his Quirk.

After a particular gruelling training session, Shouto is given reprieve from that awful man, who had run off to the scene of a villain attack.  He can't stand being in this house for any longer than necessary and takes to wandering outside.  Shouto isn't looking where he is going; he just wants to get away from all the negative feelings that house pushes on him.  He never notices a pair of yellow glowing eyes tracking his movement.

The red and white-haired boy grows angry and he punches a nearby wall, ice coats his fist in an attempt to soften the blow slightly, but his knuckles still come off bloody and red.

“Oh dear, boy.  You shouldn't have hit that wall so hard… what did it ever do to you?” An amused tone can be heard from behind him, and Shouto whips around, ready to fight just in case. “I'm sorry for startling you, but please let me at least tend to that hand of yours.”

Shouto warily eyes the man made of black mist and well-tailored clothes, still tense despite the placating words. “Who are you?”

“My name is Kurogiri.  I am a doctor who runs a small clinic in the area.” He shows the boy his medical license and business card briefly, to which the boy gradually lowers his guard.  The man doesn't seem to want to cause him any harm. “I was just passing by and couldn't help but notice your aggression towards to wall.”

Suddenly feeling a bit sheepish, Shouto rubs the back of his hand distractedly.  A smoky arm reaches out, asking to see the boy's injured limb.

“It doesn't seem like you fractured anything, but come with me so I can bandage this up and prevent infections, alright?” The man is compassionate and understands his initial apprehension, slowly coaxing him to trust him.

And so Shouto follows the man to the clinic, feeling oddly comfortable to talk vaguely about his situation at home with the neighbourhood doctor, once they arrive at an examination room.

“I see… Your father seems to have a great deal of expectations for you.  I can see why you'd feel distressed.  You said he is a Pro Hero?”

Shouto nods.

“Well, isn't that utterly ironic?  A Pro Hero that inflicts grievances upon his own blood.  Disgusting.” Shouto can’t see the man’s expression, but he imagines the other’s features are twisted into a nasty sneer. “If you ever need someone to complain to or to tend to your injuries, feel free to stop by anytime, Shouto.”

And Shouto seeks solace every time that man gets too rough or too difficult for him to bear.

Chapter Text


In which discussions about this wretched society ensue and important introductions are made.


Tomura and Izuku bump into each other quite a number of times following their initial meeting.  Tomura even takes to observing the younger male during his daily life and the interactions of the ones in closest proximity to him.  A week later, the teen with ash-coloured hair calls out to the young boy when he is trailing behind Bakugou.  Izuku waits until Bakugou turns the corner before he acknowledges the older male, who gestures that he wants to talk to Izuku about something.  The two enter the playground and sit on the swings side-by-side.

“Don’t you think the way this society works is messed up, Izuku?  People decide who is worthy of being a hero or a villain based on one’s Quirk.  That kid’s Quirk is considered powerful, is it not?  But his behaviour is the complete opposite of what a hero’s should be.  Yet, he is constantly praised and forgiven at every turn.  It makes you think of how warped this society is.  Everyone turns a blind eye to your abuse, the insults, and the bruises.  No one has even asked how you are or how you got injured.  The reason?  They already know the answer.”

Izuku starts crying as he realizes that his newfound friend speaks nothing but the cold, harsh truth.

But Tomura isn’t finished, “And where are the heroes in all of this?  They’re nowhere to be found, of course.  There is no glory or money from cases like yours or mine.  This society is disgusting, revolting!  They do absolutely nothing to help those who are truly in need of someone to simply reach out.  Izuku, don’t you wish to change the way the world works?  Don’t you wish that there will never be victims like us in the future?”

The freckled boy sobs and makes a grab for Tomura’s arm; he can feel the pain the older male had endured up to this point and it only magnifies what he is feeling tenfold.


“Shouto-kun, are you sure you should continue living in such a toxic environment?  It mustn’t be good for a developing young boy.  Considering everything that you have confided in me up until this point… and the severity and amount of wounds I have to treat every time you visit…” Kurogiri gently broaches the topic of concern, all while placing yet another gauze on a burnt patch of skin.

Shouto is silent for a couple moments, contemplating and choosing his next words carefully.

“I don’t really have any other place to go.  Most people recognize my name and face, so they would just send me right back to where I am and that man would be even more displeased and enraged that he would take it out during a lesson.” The young child finally replies, wearily rubbing the bridge of his nose.  The foggy form of the man in front of him lets out a soft puff of air, finding the boy’s argument sound.

“You are admired by many people for your Quirk and lineage, but no one knows--cares? --what happens behind closed doors, do they?  Even though the masses agree that Endeavor is an unpleasant man, no one bothers to look past and see that such behaviour may extend to his family!  What he did to your mother and what he is doing to you… It is this kind of bias and hypocrisy that must be stopped.”

Shouto can’t find it in him to argue against Kurogiri, not that he would have wanted to.  Kurogiri offers a smoky hand as an offering, “What do you say to that?  Become a key player to said change?”

And the half-cold, half-hot Quirk user takes the proffered hand without hesitation or any semblance of regrets.

He never looks back.


“Izuku, this is Kurogiri.  He's basically our transportation to anywhere.” Tomura introduces the green-haired boy standing next to him.  The freckled child scrambles to bow and stutters out a “nice to meet you, Kurogiri-san.”

The older man is enamoured with the boy's mild and sweet mannerisms, telling the child so.  Tomura gives a hefty look to the black mist Quirk user and says, “I want him to meet Sensei.”

If Kurogiri had visible eyebrows, they would surely be raised in surprise.  This definitely comes as a side to the man made of black mist.  Considering that this is the first that he has heard of the boy and that Tomura has taken such a liking to the boy is odd indeed.  Kurogiri doesn't address the matter immediately, but observes the short boy in front of him.  It's not that he doesn't trust Tomura’s judgement (although it is questionable), but meeting with Sensei is a whole different level from introducing him to Kurogiri, not to mention within a single day.  Still, he doesn’t refute Tomura’s request and powers up the laptop that sits behind the bar counter.

It is an eventful day, to say the least.

“It is certainly curious that you would contact me out of the blue, Kurogiri.” A raspy voice can be heard through the speakers of the portable computer.  The video portion finally connects and Izuku is greeted by the sight of what appears to be an extremely disfigured man.  His upper face does not consist of any eyes and there is barely a nose present, only two slits that must be where his nostrils had been at one point.  The man doesn’t have an upper lip either, his teeth bare to the world.  There are various tubes connecting to his neck and face, the largest of which seems to be a breathing mechanism for the older man.

Izuku jolts in shock and he can’t help but stare.

The man, Sensei, doesn’t have eyes but somehow he can sense that there is another, unfamiliar presence in the bar. “I see you have brought someone of interest, Tomura.”

“Yes, Sensei.  I believe he can be good for our cause.” The teen with chapped lips is all business when he speaks to his caretaker and mentor.  He knows he is usually hard to deal with, especially with his gaming analogies and childish behaviour (even for his age).

“Well, this is an interesting development.  And pray tell me, what can you do, boy?” The heavily scarred man’s voice rumbles, leaving Izuku trembling slightly.  He can tell this man is very dangerous.

“U-uh, um,” The green-haired boy glances at Tomura for guidance, but his focus is solely on the laptop screen. “I-I guess I enjoy Hero watching..?”

Sensei is silent and Izuku takes this as a cue to continue stumbling through his words.

“I'm a really big fan of watching fights and I also like taking notes on each person's Quirks, like limitations or Quirks that would work well against theirs in a battle.  The other day I witnessed Endeavor of all people--the number 2 Hero--fending off a couple of bank robbers whose Quirks were Mild Persuasion and Hawk Eyes.  I really thought he was at a disadvantage because--” He's rambling excessively again.   It's a nervous habit of his, Izuku knows this well; Bakugou often got pissed off due to this and he had the scars to prove it.  Tomura clears his throat as politely as possible, a gentle reminder for the boy to stop digging a bigger hole.  Although interesting as Izuku's observations may be, this is neither the time nor the place for it.

A wide smile slowly spreads over Sensei's lips.  The other members of the League can tell that their leader wants to invest time and resources in this young boy, wants to draw out his potential even more.

“And how exactly did you end up here?” He inquires subsequently.  To prevent further long-winded answers, Tomura takes over at this point.

“Izuku is Quirkless and has been relentlessly bullied and abused by his peers for his Quirk status.” The grey-haired male explains briefly.  If it is possible, he thinks he sees Sensei's grin grow in size.

“This is honestly quite perfect.  What a lovely coincidence.  Some would say it is fate at work here.  Welcome to the League of Villains, Izuku.”

 

Chapter Text


In which new bonds are forged and powers are granted.


A couple of weeks down the road, Kurogiri finally deems it time to call a meeting.

“Izukun,” Tomura addresses the freckled boy by his newly christened nickname, “Welcome to your first official meeting.”

The group gathered isn’t really all that much to be in awe of.  There’s only Tomura, Kurogiri, Izuku, and a taller boy than Izuku of similar age.  Izuku eyes the white and red-haired boy, hair colour split perfectly down the middle, and he can’t put his finger on it, but the other looks oddly familiar.  It isn’t until Kurogiri speaks up to introduce the child that he realizes who he is.

“This is Todoroki Shouto.” Kurogiri briefly says.

“Todoroki?” Izuku echoes, looking baffled at the revelation, “Like the same Todoroki as Endeavor?”

Shouto can’t help the sneer that crosses his face at the mere mention of his father’s Hero name.  The timid boy cowers slightly and retreats on himself.  Observant mismatched eyes notice his reaction and his expression softens. “My apologies.  I do not have… the best relationship with that man.”

The tenseness in Izuku’s shoulders fades slightly and he releases an audible, but soft exhale of relief. “I guess that’s why you’re here, isn’t it?  My name is Midoriya Izuku, by the way.”

The child shoots his fellow kindred spirit a small smile of amusement and Izuku returns it slowly.

“It's a pleasure to meet you, Midoriya.”

“Um, please call me Izuku… if that's alright with you.” Shouto already feels captivated at the sight of the other's shy blush tickling his speckled cheeks, but nods regardless of his thoughts and asks Izuku to do the same.  Shouto can't stand his family name.

Kurogiri admires the sense of camaraderie that has already been established.  It is hard to believe that these two boys are only the tender age of 6, and have been made to suffer so much.  The man allows the two to soak in the mutual feelings of solidarity for a second before moving on to the next topic of discussion. “Our main focus at this point is to recruit more members.”

Shouto raises his hand up slightly to politely interrupt the older man, “Kurogiri-san, I must ask though… You told me that the League wants to change the way this society works, but how do you plan on doing so?”

Tomura takes this chance to cut in, “The foremost cause for the way the world works is because All Might paved the way for such revolting ‘heroes’ to rise in popularity.  As such, it is our priority to take him down.”

Izuku looks startled at the revelation; after all, he has spent the majority of his short life admiring the No. 1 Hero.  Shouto seems to be sitting in shock as well.  He does not know the Hero well, but he knows that the man is beloved by the people of Japan.

“You do not know the horrors that All Might has caused many people during his career as a Hero.” The grey-haired teenager mumbles, but sees the need to expand since neither of the newest recruits look convinced, “Let me tell you what happened to my grandmother and my parents.”

Tomura gives a detailed explanation and insight into why he has turned out the way he has.  He also describes how the mastermind behind the League of Villains, a man called Sensei, took him in as a little child and raised him as his own.  He is the man who saved him.  The teen mentions that All Might is the cause for Sensei’s disfigurement as well.

A look of dawning spreads across both of the 6-year-old boys’ faces, before settling down to disgust, although slightly muted on Shouto’s face; he has not met Sensei before, but the description of the old injury of an ally is gruesome.  The two do not have any words of comfort nor anything else to say.

“Moving forward,” Kurogiri starts again, “We will need to recruit more members as I stated before, that will be my focus from now on.  As for what to do with the two of you, I believe we should keep you as our secret members.  There is much potential for what you would be able to do, given your age.  For now, keep a low profile and don’t give any indication that your allegiances have changed.”

It needs not be stated that the children had originally aspired to become Heroes before they had stumbled across the League.  After a few more ideas are thrown around, the meeting concludes.


 

Several days later, Kurogiri catches wind of some interesting and promising information.  All Might is planning on teaching at U.A. High at some point in the future.  He relays this tidbit of information to the League’s leader, who cackles in delight.

“This is perfect, Kurogiri.  It seems Lady Luck is on our side these days.  This is an excellent opportunity for our newest recruits to go undercover at U.A, what do you say?”

“Most fortuitous indeed.  Izuku does not have a Quirk though, how do you intend on helping him pass the Entrance Exam?”

“I’m surprised you have to ask.” The man made of mist laughs and shakes his head at himself; he momentarily forgot about Sensei’s ability to give Quirks. “Inform the boys I wish to meet with them.”

Kurogiri nods in consent and takes his leave.


 

Izuku shifts his weight from side to side, out of anxiety.  Shouto is a warm presence beside him and provides him with a sense of familiarity, although they have not known each other for long.  This is the first time the two children are to meet with the League’s leader in person and not over video chat.

Nothing prepares Shouto for the sight of the man’s lack of facial features, but he does not show any visible signs of shock.

“Shouto, Izuku, it is a pleasure to finally meet the two of you face to face… or rather, my lack of face.  I apologize for any discomfort, Shouto.” Sensei addresses the boys.   Shouto quirks an eyebrow in questioning, it wasn’t possible for the man to know, but he does. “Neither of you have been informed, I suppose, but my Quirk is rather unusual.  I am able to transfer others’ Quirks to myself and pass them onto others as I see fit; it is called All For One.  So, yes, your thoughts are broadcasted quite clearly to me.”

Oh.  A telepathic Quirk.  A Quirk that allows you to hold multiple Quirks.  Izuku is fascinated at the presentation of a new Quirk and itches to take notes or ask more detailed questions, but he refrains.

“Why have you called us here today, Sensei?” Shouto asks, straight to the point.  He is trembling slightly in awe at the power of the disfigured man before him.

“I have some very important news for the two of you.  Today marks the first day that you begin a mission for the League.” Sensei is slowly provoking their interest, baiting them and they are on the edge of their proverbial seats. “All Might will be teaching at U.A. High in the future.  We believe he is looking for a successor for his mantle as the Symbol of Peace.  This is a favourable chance for the both of you to go undercover as U.A. students and get inside information.”

Izuku vibrates with excitement at the prospect of going to his once dream school, even if he doesn’t plan (or rather he can’t) on becoming a Hero after the occurrences of the past weeks.  Shouto isn’t any better, but he knows that Endeavor will send him to U.A. on recommendation.  The half-cold, half-hot Quirk user is glad he won’t have to worry about the Entrance Exam.

“However, I believe it is of utmost importance to mention your Quirkless status, Izuku.” Sensei blatantly states, reminding Izuku, who is frozen in place.  The scarred man pauses to let the words settle in, before continuing, “And that you will be granted an appropriate Quirk.  Pray tell me, what types of Quirks do your parents possess?”

An audible sigh of relief exits the green-haired boy’s mouth, afraid to be placed back in a position where he is useless and lacking hope, “My mom can pull small objects towards her and my dad was able to breathe fire.”

Shouto and Sensei both carefully note the use of past tense when the smallest of them mentions his father, but do not outwardly acknowledge it.

“Hm… Yes, I do believe I have the right Quirk for you without it seeming too far from traditional inheritance.  Come closer, Izuku.” The boy does as told, shaking.  Truth be told, Izuku isn’t sure whether he’s nervous or exhilarated.  Sensei places a warm palm over his forehead and he feels a spark, a tingle, and then the aching as if a hammer is pounding directly on his skull.  Izuku’s hands come to clutch his head in pain, he whimpers and grits his teeth hard, but Sensei doesn’t remove his hand.  After a few moments, the pain has passed, fading away to a tolerable throb; he doesn’t feel any different, but it’s hard to tell. “Do give it some time to settle in.  Your brain is adaptable since you have remained Quirkless your entire life.  Any other person with a Quirk would not be as flexible as you, since their brains have developed and molded to a specific Quirk, did you know that?”

Green eyes glimmer and shine, being Quirkless has a perk for once.  The white and red-haired child is standing off to the side, silently watching.  He is undoubtedly curious as to what Quirk was just given to the previously Quirkless male.  A grin stretches over barren and warped lips, and he knows that he knows what he is thinking.

“It’s quite a simple Quirk, albeit fairly powerful.  It’s a form of pyrokinesis, fitting for a child of a firebreather and an object-attracting pair, don’t you think, Shouto?  Trust me, Izuku, there is much I will teach and train you in using this power.  Of course, the same goes for you, my boy.” He is staring, undeterred by his lack of eyes, directly in Shouto’s direction.  Both of their fists clench in anticipation.

They are dismissed and told to return in two days’ time, which gives Izuku time to adjust to and experiment with his newly granted Quirk.  As they walk out the door of the bar that doubles as the League’s hideout, Izuku turns deep emerald eyes to the taller boy accompanying him. “U-um, Shouto-k-kun, I was w-wondering, if you’d like to hang out for a bit?  J-just to get to know each other a bit more, since we’ll be working together from now on.  Oh and I guess we’ll be training as well--”

Shouto interrupts the other as smoothly as he can, “I’d like that, Izuku.” His heart tightens at the bright smile directed at him.

They decide to grab a drink and a light snack, talking for quite some time.  It is nice for the two of them to experience tranquility and solidarity.  People their age hold nothing but scorn for them and it is exhausting to deal with constantly.  Here, there is no judgment, no hate, no jealousy, nothing but the faint threads of a bond being woven together.

Chapter Text


In which plans are put into action and certain encounters occur...


 

The League of Villains spends the next several years scoping out fellow Villains and pulling them to their cause.  Some have been wronged by society, but most just want to create mayhem; that’s alright because the League doesn’t discriminate between the two motivations.  The majority will remain low-ranked pawns and used as cannon fodder later (not that they informed them of this).  The few that are of interest for larger roles in the organization are often still on the fence about joining, so they are placed on the backburner for the meantime.

Meanwhile, Izuku and Shouto maintain a strict training regime under Sensei, who teaches them many unconventional methods of thinking.  He has too many years of experience under his belt and is very willing to indulge their curiosity.  Shouto’s main problem is his adamant refusal to use his left side because it reminds him too much of the man that has brought nothing but pain and suffering to his entire family.  On the other hand, Izuku barely has any stamina and often overexerts himself, vomiting up gastric juices from his empty stomach, and yet, he still doesn’t lose spirit.  Izuku has gained a boost in confidence, but his habit of rambling doesn't show any signs of resolution.  The green-haired boy knows he needs to improve drastically in order to have a chance of competing at U.A.’s Entrance Exam.

On an overcast afternoon, clouds dark and heavy with preeminent rain, the two 8-year-olds are put up against each other in a spar as directed by Sensei.  They are gathered in an abandoned warehouse, rust crawling up the sides of the metal walls and metal scraps littering the floor.  Izuku wears a simple white T-shirt, sleeves almost too long for his still spindly arms, a pair of navy shorts, and his trademark red sneakers.  The freckled child is sweating profusely, not only from the physical strain, but also from the heat of his flames.  Shouto is garbed in a fitted grey shirt with long sleeves that have been rolled up for comfort and convenience, khaki-coloured pants, and white laced-up runners.  The heterochromatic boy shows signs of exhaustion in his breathing, but nowhere near the level that Izuku is at.

Izuku’s control over his Quirk is slow-coming, while his partner’s is beautifully refined with his ice half.  The emerald-eyed boy grows more frustrated with each blow exchanged between the two.  He knows the red and white-haired individual isn’t holding back on purpose and he understands the reasoning behind why Shouto won’t use the other half of his Quirk, but here he is spitting up stomach acid, sweating, and giving more than one-hundred percent.  Sensei puts up a hand to halt the spar midway, after he notices the growing furrow in Midoriya’s brow and how the boy’s parries become fiercer.  The two teens put distance between each other and stand patiently waiting for their teacher to speak.

“Izuku, you appear vexed over something.  What seems to be the problem?” The inquiry is soft-spoken, but his voice carries throughout the vast room.  The green-haired child shakes his head, but despite the lack of physical eyes, Sensei’s stare is penetrating and insistent.

“Shouto has two halves to his Quirk, right? But all I ever see is his ice powers!” Izuku exclaims, a little louder than intended.

Shouto looks slightly affronted at Izuku's sudden declaration, but he won't back down from this discussion without a fight.  His voice is soft, but strong when he speaks, “You know why I don't like using the fire half.”

Midoriya whips around to glare at Todoroki directly in the eye, his fists are clenched so tight that they are white, “Of course I know why!  I didn't just forget suddenly that you hate your father and that part of your Quirk comes from that ass!  I just don’t understand how you think you would be able to defeat a strong opponent without using the full extent of your Quirk--both sides!”

The boy with red and white hair feels accosted by his friend’s hostility over the matter. “I will surpass my father’s power without ever using fire.  I swear.”

“But it’s your Quirk and your power; it doesn’t belong to him and it never has.” The green-eyed male is adamant and Shouto can feel cracks forming along the wall around his heart.  Izuku’s belief isn’t enough to change anything immediately, but his resolve weakens partially at the sight of the other’s eyes glimmering with tears.  Todoroki quietens down and Sensei views this as an appropriate time to resume their training session.  The rest of the day passes in solemn silence and contemplation on both sides.

 


 

The awkwardness has passed a long time ago, Izuku nor Shouto breach the topic of using Shouto’s flames openly again, but the heterochromatic boy does attempt to minimally incorporate his fire powers into spars.  The boys still spend time together outside of practice and become closer as the days go by.  Izuku finally manages to get the hang of having a Quirk after a year of practice and gains a fair amount of lean muscle in the process.  Midoriya tells his mother that he spends his days exercising when he is done school; Inko is thrilled to see her son invested in something other than trailing Bakugou around like a lost puppy or attending Hero fights and readily encourages his past time activities.  Todoroki had a particularly bad falling out with Endeavor (not that their relationship was good at any point) and the dual-toned hair teen is left to his own devices, after a nasty snarl from the man who said, ‘You'll see, boy, you'll be back soon enough.  Come back when you want to become the Number 1 Hero.’  Too bad for Endeavor because Shouto has no ambitions to become a Hero at all anymore.  The bi-colour haired teen frequently retreats to his room to study, which technically isn’t a lie, but he doesn’t actually stay in his house.  Kurogiri had given him a burner phone so he would be able to send a message when the coast is clear to have a warp gate opened up for him.  Sometimes he disappears from training in order to give the appearance that he is still within the premises of the Todoroki estate, like grabbing sustenance or going to the bathroom.  As far as Shouto can tell, everyone is none the wiser to his extracurricular activities.

A couple of years down the road, Midoriya is walking home from training after having parted ways with Shouto.  As he enters the shade of the underpass, he hears the sound of metal clanking and rumbling from below and as he looks down he gets startled by the sudden appearance of what appears to be green slime emerging from the manhole underneath him.

“Hmmm, what an opportune moment, a medium-sized meat suit…” A low, raspy voice echoes off the concrete walls of the bridge.  Izuku isn’t able to react in time, before the slime is encompassing his entire body and attempting to shove down his throat.  As a reflex, the green-haired boy grasps at the slime invading his oral cavity without luck; his fingers slip through the material. “Stop struggling, boy, I only need to borrow your body for a little while, yeah?  It’ll only hurt for a bit, then the pain will disappear.”

The man with the slime Quirk continues rambling on, but Izuku isn’t paying attention any longer, he has more important things to consider.  Izuku thinks he might end up asphyxiating if this keeps up, but before his train of thoughts run any further, a huge gust of wind pressure sweeps his attacker off and out of him.

“Do not fear, for I am here!  Texas Smash!!”

The small teen falls to his knees, exhausted and greedily sucks in much needed oxygen.  He wipes his sweaty palms on the front of his forest green track pants, glancing around for whatever or whomever is responsible for getting that disgusting speaking slime off him.  To his utter surprise, there stands the No. 1 Hero in all his glory, All Might.  Izuku must have missed what happened after he collapsed because the next thing he knows is the slimey offender is encapsulated within a soda bottle and the Hero with distinctive yellow hair is smiling down upon him.

“Hello, kid!  You seem to be doing alright and this is of utmost importance!  My apologies, I seem to have gotten you involved in my capture of this Villain.  It has been a long time since I have made such a rookie mistake, but perhaps I have let myself go in this strange land!” All Might sticks out his muscular arm and proudly presents the soda bottle with the Villain’s form contained inside, both eyes visibly straining against the material of the container in an attempt to get free.  He laughs solidly and Izuku suddenly misses the days where he once admired the man.  The young boy puts up a front that he is starstruck by the presence of such a well-known Hero and fumbles for one of his notebooks in his backpack.

“O-oh wow!  All Might in the flesh!  T-this is such an honour, sir!  Um, would you m-mind signing--” The green-haired teen’s words stumble out with unperceivable ease and before he can even finish his sentence, the much taller and bigger male is fishing out a permanent marker and grabbing the notebook from his hands.

“It is always a pleasure to meet an eager fan!  I shall gladly sign this!” If it is possible, the blonde's smile reaches even further across his face as he does so.

Izuku no longer has aspirations to pursue Heroics as a career, but he can't help but ask, “All Might, can I ask you a question?”

“Of course, my boy, but please make it quick.  I need to turn this Villain into the police for processing.”

The newly minted Villain twiddles his thumbs and shyly peeks up, “You always say that anyone can be a Hero, does that apply to people with bad personalities or those without Quirks?”

The first few words that come out of All Might’s mouth don’t give Izuku much optimism for the rest of his answer, “Well, you see, my boy… Unfortunately, the world of Heroes and Villains is quite complicated and dangerous.  A Quirkless person wouldn’t stand much of a chance out there against all the odds.  As for temperaments and the like, that’s hard to say.  I have not come across a Pro Hero that has a terrible disposition!”

Izuku thinks that the Hero standing in front of him must be a terrible judge of character because quite frankly, no one appreciates Endeavor’s surliness and even the media has covered it many times.

“I see…”

“It is high time I turn this Villain in!  Please do try to stay out of shady areas like this, since many Villains enjoy lurking in the shadows, even during the day!” Without further ado, the blonde muscular man shoots off into the sky and is gone with the blink of an eye.

The freckled male evens out his face, “That cleared up a lot.  For all he says, he’s just like the rest of these fake Heroes.”

As Izuku’s mind wanders, his feet take him towards an ongoing battle out of habit with several Pro Heroes lined up, cautioning civilians away from the affected area.  From what he can see, none of them are doing anything of use.  They shout about waiting for another Hero with a more appropriate Quirk to arrive, causing Midoriya to scoff out of disdain.

“Typical.  They can’t even be bothered to buy time for someone else to come.” Out of the corner of his green eyes, he catches a glimpse of ash blonde hair entrapped within the slime Villain that he had been captured by just an hour earlier.  He idly remembers the feeling of being suffocated and recognizes the person being held hostage--it’s Bakugou.

He walks away.


 

Izuku hears about the Villain incident later on the news channel while eating dinner with his mother.  Apparently, All Might had shown up (didn’t he already capture the Villain when he left the scene with Izuku?) and blown the enemy away, saving Bakugou.  The Pro Heroes that had been interviewed claimed how brave the boy was.  The footage of the event only shows Bakugou struggling in vain against the slime and exploding the area around him, flames shooting up in every direction.  Of course he would be praised for creating more danger for nearby people.  The former Quirkless child acknowledges something his mom says, before turning the television off and continuing with his life.

Chapter Text


In which the time that everyone has been waiting for arrives: Izuku takes the U.A. Entrance Exam.


Finally, the time for the Entrance Exam has arrived and as expected, Shouto is admitted upon recommendation from Endeavor.  It is the morning of February 26th and Izuku receives a message from his training partner and friend wishing him all the best on the exam.  Sensei has filled him in about the specifics: there are two parts, the first being a written portion and the second is the practical part.  The grading scheme that is publicly announced to the examinees is that there is a point system for taking out villain robots, but what is kept under the radar is that there is a hidden marking method, which is solely about rescuing.  Izuku is glad that his mentor had given him a viable fighting Quirk, so he can excel at both portions, since he knows what to look out for.

As the green-haired boy, wearing his middle school uniform, walks through the entrance of U.A., he can’t help but be in awe of his surroundings.  Everything is humongous and sparkling new.  In all his stupor, he fails to notice the raised crack in the walkway and trips not-so-gracefully.  He closes his emerald orbs and waits for the impact of his face smashing into the concrete, but a couple of seconds pass by and he still doesn’t feel any pain.  Blearily opening one eye, he realizes that he is floating mid air and freaks out more than had he actually impacted.

“Phew!  Glad I touched you in time!  It wouldn’t be good luck to trip before the exam, right?” There is a sweet-looking girl with a brown bob and flushed cheekbones smiling broadly at him.  Izuku can’t help but become flustered at the sight--she really is too cute, especially with her black tights, skirt, and thick jacket.

“A-ah, thank y-you!  I can’t believe I almost tripped, hahaha!” The boy with freckles has spent most of his time around older males and Shouto, so he still gets nervous around individuals of the other gender, especially when they’re adorable (he has a huge soft spot for cute things--that probably won’t ever change).

“My name is Uraraka Ochako!  Nice to meet you!” The newly introduced teen pushes her fingers together and Izuku can feel himself gradually lower, so he can place both of his feet on solid ground again.  He is slightly nauseous, but he doesn’t mention it to the girl. “I’m so nervous for the exam, bet you are too!  Anyway, good luck, see you around.”

Midoriya flounders for a bit, not given a chance to speak again, but he rolls with it.  He moves to follow Uraraka inside the towering U.A. building in front of him.

Izuku grabs the number for his assigned seat and heads towards his place, muttering apologies for stepping over and across the multitude of people between him and his seat.  Despite his allegiance with the League of Villains, his politeness was reinforced by Kurogiri, who is the very definition of a “gentleman.”  He smiles fondly at the thought of his friends--they truly are kind people, even if the world has something nasty to say about them.

He manages to grab his seat just in time because the lights dim down around the room, focusing on the person standing in front of the huge projector screen.  He does a quick intake of the room and feels somewhat overwhelmed at the sheer number of applicants sitting in the room.  He knows his former childhood friend is seated somewhere in the auditorium, but he doesn’t spot him in the masses.  Regardless, the green-haired boy vibrates lightly in his chair as he realizes exactly who is doing the briefing--Present Mic.  No one has been able to get rid of his fanboy characteristic, although it has been toned down and the boy doesn’t care for Heroes anymore, but it works out for the League since Midoriya’s observation skills are unparalleled.  He is mostly excited at the prospect of gaining more information about people. 

Present Mic stands behind a podium on a huge stage and begins yelling, “HEY EVERYBODYYY!  WELCOME TO MY LIVE SHOW!  EVERYBODY SAY ‘HEY!!!’”

The Hero’s amplified voice echoes throughout the auditorium and continues within the dead silence.  All the examinees are serious and quiet like a funeral, potentially from nerves.  Present Mic surprisingly doesn’t get deterred and continues, “I’ve got shivers tingling down my spine too, listeners! Alright, examinees, I’m gonna give you the short intro, are you ready?  Yeahhhh!”

Once again, the room is enveloped in quiet, so much that a falling pin could make enough noise to carry throughout.

“So, this is the voice-type Hero, Present Mic, I used to listen to him on the radio as a child and wow, people aren’t kidding when they say that U.A. pulls all the stops out to get top-of-the-line teachers.  I wonder who else teaches here?  What are their teaching styles like?  There’s so much I need to know…” Izuku mumbles rapidly, causing more than a couple of eyes and heads to turn to him in confusion and irritation.  No one mentions it to the boy just yet, as everyone returns their attention to the Pro Hero at the front.

“Now pay close attention!  We’ll be testing you in our state of the art city district replica!  The exam will last only ten minutes and you can take whatever you like!” The blonde-haired Hero holds up a few fingers for drama and strikes a pose, “Everyone gathers at their designated meeting area after the show, you hear?  We’ll be sprinkling numerous ‘villains’ over the battlefield and there are three types with point values assigned according to difficulty!  Using each of your individual Quirks, dispose of as many ‘villains’ to earn points and get a high score!  Don’t even think about attacking other candidates or some other nasty anti-Hero stuff, yeah?  We’ll be watching after all!”

A long arm shoots straight up into the air and a firm voice follows, “Excuse me, may I ask a question?” The teen has dark blue hair and a cleanly pressed uniform.  He holds up the handout that was given to every attendee earlier and points furiously at it.

“On the handout, there are clearly four kinds of villains listed!  Such an error would be the height of embarrassment for a top-class national academy of U.A.’s calibre!  The reason we are here today is because we seek the guidance on the path to becoming model Heroes!  Morever…” Suddenly, the stern boy turns to make eye contact with Midoriya and rudely directs his finger at him, “What’s with you?  Yes, you with the curly hair!”

Izuku freaks out at the attention being brought to him; he has never been good with crowded areas, much less when he is granted undivided attention of several hundred people.  His gaze travels downward, tucking his chin, almost like a turtle retreating into his shell.

The standing blue-haired teenager glares at him and continues scolding, “Can’t you sit still for a moment until this presentation is over?  You are very distracting to the rest of us!  If you think that U.A. is some sort of leisure trip, then please leave this place at once!”

The freckled male hunches his shoulders to hide and mutters out an apology, which makes some snicker at his misfortune for being called out.

“Okay, ooookay, thanks for the tangent, examinee 7111!  The fourth type of villain you’ll encounter is worth zero points!  You heard me, ZERO POINTS!  Let’s call them ‘Arena Traps’ or large obstacles and they’ll rampage throughout an area when its crowded!”

The prim and proper student bows at a ninety-degree angle and states, “Thank you very much!  Please excuse my interruption!” He says something under his breath about this exam resembling a video game.

“Well, that’s enough from me!  I’ll leave you all with a presentation of the school’s principle!  As a certain Hero by the name of Napoleon Bonaparte once said, ‘A true Hero never stops overcoming the misfortunes of life!’  NOW, LET’S MOVE ONTO THE MAIN EVENT!  PLUS ULTRA!!  May you suffer with smiles on your faces in the trials to come!”

The room suddenly comes alive with energy as everyone hustles around to get to their assigned city district. 


 

The applicants get a chance to change clothes and gather their necessary belongings prior to gathering at their designated replica city district area.  Others are chatting about trivial things regarding the exam, but the Villain-in-the-making ignores them.  Midoriya shifts his weight from foot to foot and fiddles with the sleeve of his light green tracksuit.  He must focus on the task at hand.  Izuku feels the warmth from his Quirk become more intense as he gets more anxious and excited to begin the exam.  His emerald eyes dart back and forth, taking in as much information as he can about his competition.  He notices the girl, Uraraka, who had stopped him from face planting on the concrete outside U.A., and makes a move to walk towards her, if only to thank her for before.  She was patting her cheeks hard, possibly to get her head out of a negative state, but before the short green-haired boy can walk forward, a blue-haired teenager with rectangular-framed glasses steps in front of him, blocking both his sight and his path.

“Can’t you see that girl is trying to concentrate on preparing for the exam?  You shouldn’t burden her with your presence.” It’s the one who stood up to ask Present Mic about the fourth type of “villain” robot and he has an impressive scowl on his face, which is directed at Midoriya.  Izuku doesn’t cower at the sight, but this close, he recognizes the similarities between this male and the Pro Hero, Ingenium.  He is reminded about how much he hates the current society of Heroes and their so-called ‘ideals.’  The boy places a strong palm on Midoriya’s shoulder and the shorter male tenses up out of reflex—he doesn’t like when people touch him without his explicit permission. “Who exactly are you?  You didn’t come her to obstruct your fellow candidates, did you?”

“No!  I just wanted to--” Izuku tries to explain and honestly, he doesn’t know why, before he’s cut off by Present Mic’s voice over the speakers, interrupting the awkward moment.

“AAAND START!”

The examinees look on in confusion, no one moving a muscle, except for Izuku who is trained not to hesitate, “What’s the matter?  There’s no such thing as a countdown in a real battle!  Go!  GOOOO!!”

Midoriya is several steps ahead of the gaggle of people as they spring into action.  He mentally scoffs and his vision narrows on the first “villain” that comes into view.  He can sense the electricity running through the robot and the heat emitting from its circuits.  The green-haired boy closes his eyes to concentrate and expands the heat within the makeshift villain, causing it to explode outwards.  The young boy cheers inwardly—this exam would be easy.

As he is running around the fake city district, he gets points snatched away from him by other competitors, but he doesn’t let that phase him and he tallies the number of points he has so far.  He’s got a solid twenty points and maybe he’s a bit slower than others that have better physical manifestations of their Quirk, but it’s a good enough score to remain in the middle of the pack.  Sensei told him not to garner too much interest from the admittance committee.  Izuku knows his written exam got an excellent score because academic knowledge is where he excels.

At one point, there are about fifteen prospective students gathered in one area, and that’s when the ground begins rumbling violently.  A couple buildings at an intersection start crumbling and collapsing as a twenty-story machine appears.  Someone starts screaming at the sight and that starts the cascade of terror.  Students begin scrambling away from the scene, pushing and shoving their fellow examinees out of his or her way.  Midoriya freeze momentarily and spots Uraraka being elbowed in the side of her stomach, causing her to lose balance and fall.  As the huge villain approaches their general vicinity, rubble drops down, pinning the girl’s legs under it and rendering her immobile.  The brunette struggles to move the large piece of concrete trapping her with no luck.  She starts to sweat and panic as she sees the robot looming over her and Izuku doesn’t even get a chance to blink before his body moves in her direction.

The stern boy who had chastised him twice stops to stare at him briefly, opening his mouth to ask, “Wait, where do you think you’re going?” It’s almost hilarious and ironic that the only one jumping into action is the person who is supposed to be the farthest from being a Hero.

Izuku quickly finds the heat source originating from the machine and tugs on it to move in the opposite way.  The villain’s robotic joints creak and groan, and the freckled teen grunts in exertion from using his Quirk outside of his current limits.  He forces the heat up in temperature, giving the villain an orange-red hue, but he keeps making the temperature higher and higher, until the metal’s melting point.  The machine parts slowly slather down like hot butter and the formerly towering robot finally topples backwards.

The jade-eyed boy flops on the ground and breathes a sigh of relief and exhaustion, which is echoed by Uraraka, who had been watching the robot with fear.  Her face plants on to the floor, smearing dirt and dust all over her round cheeks, but she is too far to care at this point.  Izuku wobbly gets to his feet, trembling slightly as he stands and he walks over to the still trapped girl.  He knows he is stronger than a couple of years ago, but his strength is not enough to move the boulder on top of her.

Over the speakers littered throughout the area, he hears, “TIME’S UP!  THE TEST IS OVER!!” The looks on everyone’s faces are either of relief from not having to face the monstrous zero-point enemy or of frustration from not getting enough points.  The green-haired teen can hear muttering around him as his fellow students gossip about him taking down the robot.  Izuku snaps at a couple of people to enlist their help, so that they can free the Gravity-type Quirk user.  The girl immediately latches onto Izuku with a surprisingly firm hug, thanking him profusely, tears bubbling at the corners of her eyes.

“Oh my, oh my, I seriously thought I was a goner!  My life literally flashed before my eyes.  Thank you so much, oh my god.” She blabbers on and on, causing Izuku’s cheeks to redden out of embarrassment and his hand reaches behind his head to scratch it out of habit.  She is very expressive with her body language and her hands are gesturing every which way possible.  The other just stands there and attempts to take the praise with grace, but his face insists on flushing further.

The glass-wearing adolescent wears a pensive look on his face, as those around him express their awe about the seemingly one-sided fight between the muttering boy and the zero-pointer.  Are you all blind?  That kid leapt in to battle to save that girl!  He had a decent amount of points, but still to put yourself in harm’s way for a stranger… Well, if I wasn’t in the middle of taking such an important exam, I, surely, would have done the same!  But wait… Maybe that was part of the test?!

A childish sounding voice carries to all the candidates’ ears in the vicinity, “Go home, lads, I’ll take it from here~ Here, enjoy some gummies.  Don’t be shy now.”

An elderly lady with a visor and cane walks around dishing out a couple of candies to everyone.  The boy with the Navel Laser Quirk explains to the surrounding people that this lady is Recovery Girl, the nuances of her Quirk, and her role at U.A. as the backbone.

“Are there any more injured to take care of?” Recovery Girl’s sweet voice inquires, but the examinees simply shake their heads.  The tall boy with arrow-shaped eyebrows just determines the true meaning of the test and he grinds his teeth as he realizes that this green-haired kid had figured it out way before him.  His fists clench and he storms off, irritation plain as day on his face. 


 

Izuku isn’t nervous about not getting in, but it does come as a surprise, when he opens up his acceptance letter and it says he ranked second in the overall standings of the practical test: fifty points total.  He mildly curses underneath his breath—this isn’t what the League had planned for; he wasn’t supposed to attract anyone’s attention this early on in the game.  The small teenager sighs and rubs the bridge of his nose.  He drops on his bed wearing pajamas and read for bed, scrunching up the neat sheets.  He reaches for his burner phone, reserved for any League communications, and dials the number of the bar.  Kurogiri picks up and Midoriya vaguely babbles about the results, but the man with the Mist Quirk assures him that Sensei will not be angry with the results, despite the deviation from their original strategy.  Comforted, the green-haired boy hangs up and sends a short text to Todoroki.  He receives an almost instantaneous response, congratulating him on his admittance to U.A. (even though it was expected).

The new school year starts the following week and he couldn’t wait to see Shouto more regularly and without the secrecy associated with their normal meetings.  He tucks his second phone away in a hidden compartment in his bed and falls asleep with ease, a smile adorning his face.

Chapter Text


In which Shouto and Izuku meet for the ‘first’ time and Izuku is confronted by a former friend.


Shouto wakes up to a surprisingly quiet house.  Endeavor isn’t knocking down his door for early morning training and instead, he hears the quiet shuffling of his older sister, Fuyumi.  He rolls out of bed, grabs his phone to send a quick text to his best friend and heads down to eat breakfast with his sibling. Today is the first day of the new school year and the first time they won’t have to sneak around in order to see each other.  Of course, they’re not supposed to know each other, but Shouto is happy to be within the vicinity of the green-haired boy.

Fuyumi greets him softly and gestures to the already set table with hot food sitting on the placemat.  The heterochromatic teen thanks her and they eat in silence. Soon Shouto is heading out the door to his new high school.


Izuku has a restful night’s sleep and blearily opens his eyes, slowly coming to full consciousness.  He takes a glance at the clock on his nightstand: 5:12 AM , it reads.  It’s enough time for him to get his daily morning workout in and head out for U.A.  His phone beeps shortly, indicating an incoming message. The green-haired boy knows it can only be one person this early in the day.

He opens up the message:

 

Shouto: Good morning.  Just wanted to say that I’m excited that we will get to see each other more often.

Midoriya can’t help the smile that creeps onto his face after reading it and he sends a text filled with emojis in reply, echoing the same feelings.  He doesn’t think he could be any happier to have such a good friend, especially since the two of them had come from such unfortunate circumstances. He goes about the rest of his morning routine and begins his trek towards the nationally accredited Hero academy.

Before he steps out the door, his mom gives him the biggest smile with teary eyes and congratulates him, “Izuku!  I’m so proud of you, son.”

Inko had been told that Izuku simply came unto his Quirk late in the game, not unheard of, but certainly quite rare.  She had seen him evolve into a person with confidence and optimism, and although she isn’t sure what had caused the change, Inko is glad either way.  That’s more than enough for any mother.


The freckled adolescent arrives fairly early to school, so he can find his way around campus without the pressure of being late.  He is assigned to section 1-A and apparently, there are 36 students total that passed the exam. He hopes that neither Bakugou or that stern blue-haired boy are in his class, but knowing his luck, they probably are.  These thoughts are pushed aside when he discovers the correct classroom and sees the half-white, half-red haired student sitting at a desk at the front of the room.

“Shouto!” Izuku exclaims cheerfully.  The other makes eye contact with him and his face changes from blank expression to one of happiness.  The green-haired boy’s grin is contagious. Endeavor’s son can’t help but notice the crooked and hastily done tie around his friend’s neck. “It’s so good to see you.  We haven’t had a chance to meet up since I was busy with preparing for the Entrance Exam.”

Out of habit, Shouto loosens the red tie of the uniform for the green-eyed teen and expertly knots it, before realizing he hadn’t asked for permission to fix said tie.  He grows embarrassed and Midoriya thinks he sees a small flame appear above his friend’s brow, but it flickers out of existence quickly. “Yes, it has been a while. You look well, Izuku.”

The teens scramble apart as they hear someone approaching the classroom and luckily for them, the door does slide open to reveal the same boy who had scolded Midoriya during the Entrance Exam.  The male looks shocked to see the green-eyed boy sitting down at a desk so early. He makes a beeline towards Izuku and bows deeply, his navy hair covering view of half of his face.

“I must apologize for my unwarranted behaviour the other day!  You are extremely intelligent to have discovered the true meaning behind the Entrance Exam!  I… was blind to it and I completely misread you. I hate to admit it, but you were the better man!” The other adolescent is stiff in his position and doesn’t rise until he hears Midoriya stutter out something incoherent, his face slightly red at the praise.  The taller male sticks out a rigid arm, at which the green-haired boy simply stares at it in confusion. “My name is Iida Tenya! I am pleased to make your acquaintance.”

“U-uh, I’m M-Midoriya Izuku.  Nice to meet you.” Izuku reluctantly takes Iida’s hand, which shakes his vigorously.  Iida picks the seat to his left and begins unpacking his school supplies onto the surface.  Before their small talk can go further, the door slams open and in walks Bakugou. His red eyes sweep across the room and land on Izuku.  Izuku can feel his nerves acting up and he hasn’t had much interaction with the sandy-haired male since the Slime Villain incident, mainly because he had been too wrapped up in his training with Shouto and Sensei.  His face scrunches up in unbridled rage.

“YOU USELESS PIECE OF SHIT!” Bakugou storms up to the freckled boy, grabbing him by the red tie of his uniform.  Across the room, Todoroki looks like he wants to intervene, but he knows he can’t. “What the fuck are you doing here?”

Before Izuku can say anything in return, a palm resembling a robot forcibly breaks Katsuki’s grip--it’s Iida. “Please refrain from physical altercations with classmates.  Don’t be disrespectful to other students and U.A.’s name!”

“And who the fuck are you?  Get outta my way, you four-eyed extra!” The crimson-eyed teenager scowls, gritting his teeth.

“Ahem, I am Iida Tenya from Soumei Junior High School--” Iida begins as if that wasn’t a rhetorical question and is interrupted by rowdy laughter erupting from the light-haired male.

“HAHA, no wonder you’ve got a stick up your ass!  An elite , all the more reason to end you!”

“What nerve!  You want to be a Hero with that attitude?” The navy-haired boy seems offended enough to physically recoil at the other’s retort.  Bakugou doesn’t see a purpose in continuing the conversation any further and heads over to his seat, kicking his feet up on the desk.  The occupants of the classroom witness a vein pulsing out of irritation on the glass-wearing adolescent, who moves to lecture him, but is stopped by a hand on his shoulder.

“It’s okay, Iida-kun, just leave Bakugou alone.  He won’t change.” Izuku confesses, a wobbly smile on his face.  The dark-haired male frowns, his glasses glinting dangerously, at his classmate’s dismissal because Iida is definitely not the type of person to let such disrespectful behaviour continue.  However, if that’s what the other wishes, then so be it.

A somewhat tense silence ensues and Izuku would be a fool to believe that his encounter with Bakugou simply ends here and now.  Their classmates trickle in, one by one; some of them are old friends from elementary or middle school and the chattering in the room increases as more filter in.  The girl with flushed high cheekbones strides through the door and her gaze is drawn towards Midoriya, a smile spreading across her lips as she bounces over.

“Oh, you made it in and we’re in the same class; how lucky!” Uraraka cheers, once again getting too close for comfort to the green-haired boy, causing his face to flare up, “U.A. is so sneaky with their hidden grading criterion on the exam!”

The girl’s face morphs into a pout at the thought.  Everyone in the room fails to notice the bedraggled man cocooned in a bright yellow sleeping bag, lying on the floor just behind the open door that Uraraka just walked through.

“Why are you all standing around chatting people up?  This is the department of Heroics!” A quiet voice drawls, matching an equally unimpressed face.  The man has wavy black hair falling just past his shoulders and accentuated dark circles hanging under his equally dark eyes.  He shuffles into the room like a worm. Eventually, he has to leave the comfort of his sleeping bag to reveal a thick, long scarf looped around his neck and shoulders several times, along with generally dark coloured clothes.  Everyone present freezes and unanimously asks mentally, ‘Who the hell is this guy?!’

The bearded man, who apparently is their homeroom teacher, starts speaking again once a hush falls over them, “Hm, it took you about eight seconds to quiet down.  Life is short, kids, and all of you are lacking common sense.”

Midoriya’s eyes widen as he realizes who this man is, definitely not a well-known Pro Hero: Eraserhead.  True to his thinking, Eraserhead then begins to introduce himself, “I’ll be your homeroom teacher for the year, Aizawa Shouta.  It’s a pleasure.”

His words don’t match his tone nor his facial expressions.  The scruffy teacher reaches into his flaxen sleeping bag and pulls out some sort of uniform, coloured a deep blue, white, and red.  He tosses one at every student, tells them to change into it immediately, and meet at the field outside the school.


Once they’re all donning their new P.E. outfits and assemble in the open courtyard, Aizawa announces that there is a Quirk apprehension test.

Uraraka seems visibly confused and upset as she says, “What about the welcoming ceremony or the guidance counselor meeting?”

The deadpan stare she gets in return is enough to stop her from asking any other questions, but Aizawa states, “This is a Hero Course, we don't have time for frivolities like that.”

The girl deflates at the thought of not receiving the traditional opening week of high school and instead, she is anxious about what the contents of this test will contain.

“You all know of U.A.’s reputation for freedom on campus… well, the same applies to us teachers as well!” Aizawa reaches into his pocket, pulls out a ball, and tosses it up in the air a couple of times before continuing to speak, “Softball pitch, standing long jump, fifty metre dash, endurance training, grip strength, sustained sideways jumps, upper body exercises, and seated toe-touches; these are all activities you are familiar with from middle school.”

Everyone stands in pregnant silence, apprehension plain on their faces and stiff as corpses.

“But you weren’t allowed to use your Quirks to augment your results on those tests.  The country still hasn’t gotten around to standardizing those types of records of keeping track of average performance levels.  That’s negligence on the part of the Ministry.” There is a lull in their sensei’s speech. Dry black eyes make contact with Bakugou, who is standing at the front of the group. “Bakugou, how far could you pitch a softball in middle school?”

The sandy blonde doesn’t hesitate with his answer because he knows off the top of his head all his results, “67 metres.”

A minuscule smirk spreads across the bearded man’s face and he gestures for his student to stand in the white chalk circle on the field, “Try using your Quirk now.  Anything goes, as long as you don’t leave this area. Don’t hold back.”

Bakugou doesn’t need to be told more than once and stretches his arms in preparation.  His auburn eyes narrow and he grips the ball in his hand. This is the moment he has been waiting for his entire life, the time where he can finally prove to the world that he is meant to be at the top.  His muscular arm winds back and just prior to releasing the ball into the air, a big explosion erupts from his palm, propelling it much further than his original record of 67 metres.

“DIIIIIEEE!!”

The rest of the class has their hair blown back from the force of the shockwave and they blink in surprise at Bakugou’s exclamation when he threw the ball.  Class 1-A’s teacher hears the beeping from the tracker, signaling that the softball had landed. The red-eyed teen looks outwardly pleased at the sight of where the softball had landed, a proud smirk gracing his features.

“Before anything else, one must know what they’re capable of.  This is a rational metric that will build the foundation of your future ‘Hero’ self.” Aizawa shares the screen with the rest of the class, showcasing an impressive 705.2 metres.

Kirishima gets excited, his eyes widening and his teeth visible through the big grin on his face, and yells, “AWESOME!  That looks so fun!”

“705 metres?  Unbelievable!” Another classmate chimes in.

“We can really use our Quirks now?  This is what U.A. is all about!”

The disheveled teacher decides to bring everyone’s moods down a couple of notches with his next words, “It looks fun, huh?  So you were planning on spending your three years here having a jolly good time? What happened to becoming Heroes? Alright then, new rule: the student who ranks dead last in total points will be deemed ‘hopeless’ and instantly expelled.”

Aizawa ominously pushes his bangs back to reveal the full sight of his eyes with heavy dark circles under them, “Our ‘freedom’ means we dispense with students as we please!  Welcome to U.A.’s Department of Heroics!”

Izuku can’t help but feel slightly nervous and he’s not the only one in that boat.  His Quirk is strong, but it isn’t built for these kind of tests, which favour those who have physically enhancing Quirks.  Todoroki shoots him a glance and vaguely shakes his head--they’ve spent so much time together that the green-haired boy knows that it’s his friend’s way of telling him not to worry.  That’s right.  He’s been training his body with Sensei for the past several years, there’s no reason for him to be afraid; he may not place last, but he won’t excel. True to his beliefs, he finishes in fourteenth place out of twenty students, while first place is taken by Yaoyorozu Momo.  From what Shouto informed him yesterday, she’s the other person who got into U.A. on recommendation.  Fortunately, for the student ranked last, Aizawa's threat of expulsion was a logical ruse and Class 1-A retains all twenty members.


After the test is completed and the students of 1-A are let out for the day, Bakugou sees Izuku leaving the school grounds and reaches out to grab his backpack, pulling the other boy back.  His face is furious and fierce, eyebrows scrunching up in overwhelming anger. The freckled teen lets out a quiet yelp of surprise at the sudden movement.

“You fucking brat… You had a Quirk this entire time and you never used it?!  Were you looking down on me that much?” The sandy blonde snarls, baring his teeth.  Izuku’s demeanor is completely different from what Bakugou remembers, even from earlier the same day, and that throws him off momentarily.

“No, I got my Quirk later than most people would.” The adolescent doesn’t stutter and speaks with utmost clarity.  His eyes never waver at Bakugou’s intense stare, meeting crimson orbs directly. “I just stopped following you around like you wanted.”

He paraphrases, but he remembers the harsh words directed towards him that day in the park.  He knows that Bakugou would never recall such inconsequential things said years ago. The constantly moody blonde doesn’t find his answer acceptable and his fist rears back, aiming for Izuku’s face and sparks crackling inside it.  The green-haired boy takes this chance to break the other’s grip by using his elbow to jab into Bakugou’s. His free hand then spreads out to seemingly catch the fist. His opponent preemptively opens his palm to reveal the full force of his explosive Quirk, but instead, the explosion is met head on by an invisible wall emitting from Izuku’s hand.  The blonde jerks back, the blast extinguishing almost immediately.

Izuku’s emerald eyes darken, nearly imperceptible.

“Don’t think you can get away with that anymore.” There is nothing else left to say, so he walks away from his former childhood friend again, just like the last time Izuku saw him in the grips of the Slime Villain.

Bakugou lets him.