The situation was bleak, and the prospects of the rescue weren’t too encouraging with the possibility of the League of Villains entering the picture and joining forces with the Eightfold Precepts of Death. Worry lines creased Shouta’s forehead as they headed out of the conference room. Sir Nighteye’s refusal to use his quirk to look into the future was definitely frustrating. Shia respected his decision, and it was undoubtedly born from a painful previous experience, but that didn’t make it any less frustrating.
They stood in the corridor in silence, Shouta scratching at his stubbly chin while Shia rested her back against the wall, arms crossed in front of her chest. She could guess what he was thinking then. The school had allowed first-year students to attend hero internship, but that never sat well with him. To think that his students would participate in such a mission, which of course had the added danger of the involvement of the League of Villains, while still being in their first year was just too much.
Shouta had always taken his duties as a teacher seriously, but with class 1A’s constant magnetism for danger, he was, understandably, extra protective of them. The reason behind that might’ve been simply because he had taken a liking to them, or it could be because of a deep-seated guilt he had toward them. He was a man that lived by logical thinking, but like any other human, he was prone to having his logic twisted by his emotions. He might think he was thinking logically, but the truth was that his emotion were the ones taking the reins, not his logic. Underneath all his layers of logical bluntness, Shouta had a soft heart.
The dilemma he was probably facing though, was that Shouta knew if he were to tell his students to stay out of the rescue, to forget about it and go home, he was sure to find them jump out in the thick of things again. Just as they’d done when Bakugou was kidnapped, they would find a way to ‘help out’, so sending them home was futile. He was cornered in a battle he could not win.
Shouta moved in the direction of the elevator; his gait was that of someone who had come to a decision, his face resolved. Shia followed him in the elevator, and they took it to the first floor. There, they found his students sitting with U.A.’s Big Three. Midoriya and Tougata’s heads were bowed, eyes downcast.
“Are you guys holding a wake or something?” Shouta said as he sauntered toward them.
“Sensei!” Asui cried.
“Ah, just call me Eraserhead outside of class, please. Oh, However…” He stopped in front of the table they all sat at. “I had originally planned to suspend all of your internships today…”
A general outburst of surprise and displeasure erupted.
“What?! Why now of all times?” Kirishima shot up, pushing his chair back in the process.
Tougata knitted his brows.
“You all heard that there’s a possibility that the League is involved. That changes things.”
Midoriya’s face scrunched up in dread of what’s to come.
“But you know… Midoriya…You still haven’t restored my trust in you yet,” he said as he rubbed the back of his neck. “And you got in that fight,” he mumbled as if he was saying it to himself.
Midoriya’s eyes widened, opening his mouth to say something, but Shouta beat him to it as he crouched down so their heads were leveled with each other, muttering “All righty..”
“Unfortunately, I have every reason to believe that if I were to stop you right now…you’d just jump out in the midst of things again. I’m watching you. If you act again, we’ll go by the formal procedures this time around, Midoriya.” He fist-bumped Midoriya’s chest as he continued, “Got it, problem child?”
Midoriya was speechless and looked like he was on the brink of sobbing. It was by no means an easy solution for Shouta, but it was one that he had reached by keeping his students in mind.
“Mirio…” Amajiki began, “Could you lift up your head, please?” His voice was thick with emotion as he entreated his friend.
“Hey, hey, Tougata, you know what? Even if you’re feeling regret and getting down over it, there’s nothing you can do about it. You know that, right?!” Hadou gently reminded him.
“…Yeah.” Tougata said, resolve evident in his features, ready to shake the shackles of regret and frustration away.
“Let me tell you something… That hand of yours that just barely missed rescuing her… I’ll bet she felt something other than despair.” Shouta continued from where he was still crouched in front of Midoriya. “So keep looking forward and go on.” He finished as he stood up.
“Yes, sir,” Midoriya cried as he stood up as well, all fired up.
Shia couldn’t help the little smile that spread across her face.
“I’ll…I’ll follow you forever, Eraserhead!” Kirishima shouted not containing his emotions anymore.
“No, not forever, please.” Exasperated, Shouta rubbed his temple as he walked back to where Shia had stood back giving him space.
“Kirishima! Your voice is too loud..!” Shouta scolded.
Shia laughed at his students’ enthusiasm, and her heart swelled at her lover’s interaction with them. Shouta wasn’t just a natural-born teacher, but he was also a natural born dad. That conclusion filled Shia’s insides with a fuzzy warmth.
“Softie.” Shia grinned, when they were in the elevator and safely out of earshot.
“Shuddup,” Shouta shot back as he rolled his eyes and ducked his head in his capture scarf.
She had been with him when he saw on T.V. his students jump amidst a battlefield to save their classmate. She had also been there to see fury and relief merge into one on his face. She had heard what could only be hurt in his voice as he talked about how his students had betrayed U.A’s trust by using their quirks outside of school. How they had betrayed his trust by not going to him when they had a mad plan like that in mind.
Shouta must’ve realized that he wouldn’t be able to stop them even if wanted to. To stop them, was to stop the very instinct inside them that made heroes what they were. Shouta’s duty was to protect them, but it wasn’t just that. His duty as a teacher was to support his students, to reprimand them if need be, but most of all, his duty was to guide them to follow their hero instincts through the proper channels.