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Center of Attention

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It started off as just another day in the life of Midoriya Izuku. Wake up, get ready and take the five minute walk from Heights Alliance to the main UA academic building. He readjusted the straps of his backpack, smiling to himself as he thought about how pleased Iida-kun would be that he was arriving early for class. The poor class rep would probably be busy rushing about trying to wake up Kaminari-kun and Mineta-kun this very moment.

A perfectly normal day.

It was, till the bushes by the path began rustling violently.

Izuku jumped, raising his fists and letting One for All surge just beneath his skin. His eyes narrowed at the rustling shrubbery.

It could just be a cat. Or a villain.

It turned out to be neither when a young man in a worn suit stumbled out of the bushes. It didn't stop Izuku from shrieking and activating his Full cowl as he jumped back, dropping to a proper fighting stance and causing the man to take a hasty step back .

"Who-who are you?" It was a testament to Izuku's growing self-confidence that he did not bolt or immediately start apologising for activating his quirk.

The strange young man smiled sheepishly at him as he raised his hands placatingly. Izuku now noted that he looked barely out of high school, and that he wore a band on his arm showcasing the name of one of the popular regional news channels.

A reporter?

"Sorry, sorry! That must have scared you!" The man laughed waving his arms a little. "I'm just a reporter."

Izuku exhaled in relief, deactivating his quirk and dropping his arms .

"It's alright!" He bowed his head.

"Sorry for startling you ! And, um, excuse me for asking, but what were you doing there? Uh...no one is authorised to enter UA without a visiting pass."

The man's expression immediately turned disgruntled. "I know! I did try to apply for one! But man, UA sure puts on a lot of airs with their "exclusiveness and high security" ! I know it's logical after all the villain attacks, but still, I'm just one journalist looking for a ten minute interview... "

He perked up as he took a closer look at Izuku. "Hey! You're a first year, aren't you? That crazy finger-breaking guy from the sports festival! Lost to Endeavour's son...uh, what's your name...ah, right! Midoriya!"

Izuku winced. Crazy finger-breaking guy? Is that what people thought of him? Well...the finger-breaking was kinda true. He almost forgot to answer the reporter's question. "Uh... that's me."

"Sweet! Nice meeting ya! I'm Matsushida!" Izuku blinked as the man bound forward eagerly. "Hey, so do you think you could set me up for an interview with one of your teachers? All Might is still teaching, isn't he? It'll be real quick, I promise! I definitely won't disrupt the class or anything!"

"I'm sorry," Izuku stepped back as the excited man continued to breach his personal space. "But... I'm not in any position to do this sort of thing. I'd get in trouble. Maybe-maybe you could try to convince one of the staff?"

The man huffed. "They'd just kick me out! You know that! C'mon man, do me a solid here. I'll definitely make it up to you. I'll make sure you get a good spread in the newspaper too! 'Promising young talent at UA, Midoriya!'"

Izuku's nerves were starting to fray. "S-sorry, but I really shouldn't. B-besides, I really don't like being the center of attention. I'm sorry!"

With that, he bolted, ripping the sleeve of his blazer out of the man's grasp as he grabbed at his arm to try and stop him.

Matsushida huffed as he dusted the leaves off his second hand suit, watching the curly haired boy fleeing into the building. "What a bummer. These UA people are all just too uptight." He chuckled as he began making his way around to the very edge of the campus from where he had snuck in, his eyes falling on his hand as he uncurled the fingers. He sighed. "That kid really doesn't seem to like attention, huh? Too bad for him."

....

Izuku caught his breath as he dragged himself up to his class' floor . He kind of understand now why Aizawa-sensei liked avoiding the media. They were always so pushy. He wondered if he should report an unauthorized entry on campus to one of the teachers.

But Matsushida-san seemed harmless. Izuku would feel bad for having him thrown out. Either way, he would either have to give it up and leave by himself, or he would question other students and eventually get found. There was no need for Izuku to say anything.

He pushed open the door to the class and was about to step in when he heard brisk footsteps and a booming voice behind him, alerting him to his friends' arrival.

"Let's be quick, Uraraka-kun! We'll be late for the first bell!"

"It would be easier if you let me run, Iida-kun!"

"Absolutely not! One of the fundamental rules of conduct in a school is to never run in the hallways!"

Izuku smiled fondly as he turned to see his best friends speed walking towards him as they argued. "Good morning, you two!"

"Oh! Good morning, Deku-kun!"

"A very good morning to you, Midoriya-kun! I am glad to see that at least one of my classmates knows the importance of punctuality!"

"Hey! I come early too, you know!" Uraraka pouted at Iida as they stepped past Izuku, but abruptly stopped in her tracks, nearly causing Izuku to bump into her as he tried to follow her in.

"Uraraka-san?"

"Uhh...Hm?" Uraraka turned her head to look back at Izuku, her eyes wide as she tilted her head side to side, her nose scrunching.

"Um...is something wrong?" Maybe Izuku smelled? Did he forget to shower? No, no he definitely did shower. And brushed his teeth. Fighting off a wave off embarrassment, he lightly touched her shoulder.

And nearly fell back out of the doorway as she shivered from head to toe as if she had been doused in cold water.

"Uraraka-san?!" By this point, Iida had noticed her strange behaviour too.

"Uraraka-kun, are you unwell? Your face is flushed!"

The brunette finally managed to speak, tearing her eyes away from Izuku. "O-oh, don't worry about me, Iida-kun! Sorry to worry you two, I'm fine! Just...spaced out for a second there." She tugged on the strap of her backpack and breezed past Iida to her desk before he could protest.

Iida and Izuku exchanged looks.

What just happened?

They didn't have much time to ponder or question Uraraka further, however, as the rest of their classmates began filing in as the first bell rang.

"Hey, guys, morning!" Ashido bounced in with the perenially twinkling Aoyama behind her.

"Good morning!" The three present chorused as Ashido threw her bag into her chair and flitted over to chat with Uraraka.

Izuku returned his attention to moving to his desk and taking out his things in preparation for their first class when he suddenly felt someone breathing down his neck.

"GYAAH!" Izuku jumped and spun around, clutching his chest as he came face to face with Aoyama. "Aoyama-kun! P-please don't do that! You scared me!"

"My apologies," he said smoothly, equally smoothly pulling out a circle of cheese from his pocket to flourish in Izuku's face. "But I have here an absolutely exquisite sample of Roquefort cheese that you simply must try."

"Can't... can't it wait till lunch break? N-not to be rude, I would love to try it....but homeroom is going to start in a few-mf!"

"Nonsense," Aoyama took the opportunity to shove the cheese into Izuku's open mouth. "Fine cheese must be savoured in the present. It cannot wait! Tell me, it is exquisite, is it not?"

Izuku swallowed the cheese and gaped at Aoyama.

He was pretty....strange usually, but this was....a little too much? He jumped back, knocking his lower back into his desk as Aoyama produced another piece of cheese, shaking his head rapidly since he was afraid to open his mouth and have more cheese shoved into it.

"You didn't tell me if you liked-" Aoyama was interrupted by a chair being kicked into the side of his legs, causing him to fall back onto Sero's desk.

"Get away from my place, glitter freak."

Izuku was sure he had never been so grateful for his childhood friend as Bakugou glared at Aoyama before spinning his own chair around and dropping into it, feet immediately being propped up on the desk.

Though that was a rather mean thing to think in the circumstances.

I'm so sorry, Aoyama-kun. Izuku gave the sparkly boy an apologetic look as Aizawa-sensei walked in, yawning and dragging his sleeping bag behind him and asking everyone tiredly to settle down, which worked more effectively than the yelling and robotic chopping Iida had been doing for the past couple of minutes.

....

Izuku couldn't shake the feeling he was being watched. In between classes, he tried his best to ignore the feeling, keeping his eyes glued to Kacchan's back.

Which, was, sadly, not the best way to distract himself, he found when the explosive blonde whipped his head around and caught him staring.

"What're ya lookin' at, Deku? Haah?!"

Izuku's cheeks flushed in embarrassment as he quickly looked away, raising his hands to hide his red face from the blonde. "N-nothing, Kacchan! I was j-just thinking!"

"Thinking about what?"

Kacchan had twisted around in his seat, and was now leaning towards Izuku with an arm on his desk, blood red eyes narrowed.

Izuku tried to keep himself from hyperventilating as his inner Izuku squealed at the proximity and the smell of Kacchan's musky cologne filling his nostrils.

There was really something wrong with that reaction, wasn't there?

He had just finished mentally kicking his masochistic inner self into orbit when Kacchan visibly tensed.

His narrowed eyes widened, becoming hazy for a moment before clearing.

"K-Kacchan?" Izuku asked hesitantly, afraid to ask if he was alright. He didn't want to set him off.

Kacchan pulled back, shaking his head as if to clear it of something before turning again to face the blackboard. Weird.

....

Lunch break came around and Izuku was on edge. He had seen Uraraka-san and Aoyama-kun watching him with strangely intense expressions for most of the morning.

He considered asking them about it during break, but thought the ensuing conversation might take longer than ten minutes, so he kept quiet and in his seat till lunch, watching the rest of his classmates slowly move out to the cafeteria.

Before he could head over to them, he was intercepted by Todoroki.

"Midoriya."

Izuku froze when the hand that fell on his shoulder froze as well. Literally.

He turned to see Todoroki take a shaky breath, an unsettled expression on his normally passive face as he stared at Izuku's face, then at the hand frosting over on Izuku's shoulder. He pulled back quickly, muttering an apology.

"It's okay, Todoroki-kun." Izuku fidgeted as Todoroki let his left hand hover over Izuku's shoulder, thawing the thin layer of ice on his shirt.

"Um...are you okay, though? It's unusual for you to lose control of your quirk like that..."

"I'm fine," Todoroki looked up and Izuku almost started at the unexpected soft smile on his face. His hand fell to Izuku's shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze. "Thanks for asking."

No sooner had the blush crept up Izuku's cheeks that the hairs on the back of his neck stood up.

Eleven years of experience with this told him that the one who was approaching was angry and was-

"What are you doing to him, Half an' Half?"

Izuku nearly shrieked when he felt a warm, thick skinned palm wrap around his wrist and jerk him back and away from Todoroki's grasp.

Izuku stood on his tiptoes to look over Kacchan's shoulder to see Todoroki-kun's stormy expression.

"Stand aside, Bakugou. No one asked you to butt in."

Izuku could practically see Kacchan's upper lip curling to bare his teeth aggressively.

"Don't tell me what to do, bastard. You keep your paws off Deku, you hear?"

"How strange, we finally found something in common. I don't like being ordered around either."

What. What in tarnation is going on here?

Izuku gaped as the two entered a staredown, Todoroki's icy glare matching the intensity of Bakugou's fiery one.

"Um, guys...?"

They paid him no heed, stares unwavering. Todoroki's eyebrows furrowed and his mouth pulled into an ugly scowl while Bakugou outright snarled at him like a savage dog.

"Stop this unbecoming behaviour at once! Todoroki-kun, I expected better of you!" Thank god for Iida-kun.

The tall boy pushed in between the glaring duo, breaking the staredown as he turned to Kacchan, agitatedly chopping at the air.

"Bakugou-kun, why must you always go out of your way to antagonise your classmates?! It is not befitting of a hero to-"

"Shut up, four-eyes! Before you start lecturing me, tell that half an' half fucker to keep his hands off my Deku!"

....... My Deku?

Okay, Izuku.exe has stopped working.

The curly top stared slack jawed at the fuming blonde, who was screaming and shouting now at Iida as usual, as if he had not just staked claim on the kid he used to bully for almost their entire childhood. It took a few seconds for the conversation to actually start filtering through again.

"Bakugou-kun, I insist you stop using such crass language-"

"I don't give a shit! All of you extras need to just do as I say and stay away from Deku! "

"K-Ka-"

"You have no right to decide anything for him, Bakugou."

"Todor-"

"Grr! Say that again, Todoroki, I fucking dare you!"

"BAKUGOU-KUN!"

"SHUT UP!"

All three of them fell silent, staring at the red-faced Izuku, fists clenched and eyes misty. "All of you just be quiet! What is wrong with everyone today!" he howled, whipping around to face Uraraka and Aoyama, who had not yet left and were watching with equally stunned expressions. "You two have been staring at me since morning like you're plotting my murder!"

He glared at Todoroki and Iida. "You two are arguing over me like I'm not even here! I can stand up for myself, so stop coddling me!"

"And you..." His watery eyes met Bakugou's astounded red ones. "I don't even know what's wrong with you! Why're you being so possessive?! Don't want your favourite punching bag taken away from you, huh?"

"Idiot, that's not-!" Whatever Bakugou was going to say, Izuku didn't hear it. He grabbed his bag and ran out of the classroom.