Izuku flinches as their head hits the wall behind them.
They would try to run away, but currently the hand tightly gripping at their collar is also pinning them to the wall.
...Guess that means Bakugou hasn’t changed a bit, huh...? Izuku thinks with a grimace.
“What did I tell you about getting into UA, Deku?!” Bakugou growls, and the fist that isn’t gripping Izuku by the collar is pulled back, ready to punch. For a while, Izuku says nothing, staring straight down at the ground, but then Bakugou pushes them into the wall harder, explosions popping on his palms. “Answer me, you damn nerd!”
“You said that I shouldn’t even apply,” Izuku mumbles quietly.
“So, then, why is it that-”
“I’m not even in the Hero Course,” Izuku interrupts, with the same quiet tone. “Does it really matter so much to you?”
The fist flies forward, and Izuku has just enough time to think Shouldn’t have said that, before it hits. Their head bounces off the wall again, and now there’s a stinging pain in their cheek.
“You’re not supposed to be in UA at all!” Bakugou barks. “So, if you know what’s good for you, you’ll find somewhere else to go before school starts back up. You got that?!”
Without giving them a chance to respond, Bakugou shoves them into the wall again and storms off. Izuku stands there for a moment, watching him go. They don’t leave until Bakugou is completely out of sight.
The days fly by quickly, and before Izuku knows it, it’s suddenly a week later; the first day of UA.
It had been incredibly tempting to throw their “acceptance” into the Support Course out the window and apply to another school’s Hero Course, but they decided against it. Mostly because, as they thinks about it more, they see how valuable the Support Course could be for them. Admittedly, it would be nice to get their hands on some actual materials and see what they can make from that.
On a more depressing note, they figure they wouldn’t be able to simply apply to another Hero Course, because well. None of them would want a quirkless kid with them either.
Besides, if they just went somewhere else, then that would also mean caving in to Bakugou’s threats. And Izuku is just a little bit too full of spite to allow that.
So, Izuku stands in front of UA again, as a student of Class 1-H. It’s not Class 1-A or 1-B, but… for now, it’s good enough.
Now I just have to find the right classroom…
Then, from behind, they hear a cheerful voice. “Oh, hey! It’s you! Midoriya-kun, right?”
Izuku spins around to see the girl from the entrance exam- Uraraka. “Oh, yeah, hi.”
Uraraka smiles at them. “So you got in! That’s great! What class are you in?”
“Uhh…” Izuku thinks for a second, before looking away slightly and mumbling. “1-H.”
“1-H?” Uraraka frowns. “But the Hero Course classes are 1-A and 1-B…?”
Letting out a nervous laugh, Izuku rubs the back of their neck sheepishly, “Yeah, w-well, since I only passed the entrance exam using gadgets instead of a quirk, they decided to put me in the Support Course instead, so…”
“Oh. …Why didn’t you use your quirk though?” Uraraka asks, curiously.
For a moment, Izuku’s tongue freezes in their mouth. And then, quietly they admit, “I… I don’t have one. I’m quirkless.”
“Oh,” Uraraka says surprised. “Wow, you were able to save me like that even though you don’t have a quirk? You really are cool, Midoriya-kun!”
“Huh?” Izuku mumbles, dumbfounded. They don’t think they're ever going to get used to people treating normally even when knowing that they're quirkless (although, granted, there’s only two people who have so far, and it’s entirely possible that no one else will…)
“Maybe you’ll be able to transfer into the Hero Course sometime later.” Uraraka suggests.
“That’s… kind of what I’m hoping for.”
“Well, I’m rooting for you!” Uraraka cheerfully tells them. “And, I… I know I already said it before, and you said it was no big deal, but… really, thanks for helping me. During the exam.”
“I was happy to help,” Izuku says, because saying ‘it wasn’t a big deal’ would probably sound rude at this point.
“We should probably head to class now,” Uraraka steps away. “I’ll see you around, I guess? Good luck with the Support Course!”
“See you around. Good luck with the Hero Course- oh, and, congratulations for that, too.”
...Huh. Izuku thinks, watching Uraraka walk away. ...I hope that most Hero Course students are like her and not like Bakugou.
It’s the first day, and Hatsume Mei couldn’t be any more excited than she is in this moment. Class hasn’t started yet, but she eagerly glances around the room at all of the other Support Course students. They’re all chatting with each other, but Mei is content with just watching.
I wonder if I’ll finally get to have a rival, She thinks, giddy.
UA is the best of the best. That means that the people in this class must be the best of the best when it comes to building things. So, surely, someone here would be able to keep up with how fast she wants to make more things. Or, maybe even surpass her.
That thought makes her smile even wider.
The teacher (assumedly) steps up to the front of the room. “Hello class. You may know me as the pro hero Power Loader, but feel free to refer to me as Maijima-sensei.”
The class echoes back a collected, “Hello, Maijima-sensei…”
“Since it’s the first day, I want everyone to introduce themselves to the class, briefly explain your quirk, and why you wanted to be in the Support Course.”
Mei feels ecstatic. What could be a more perfect way to find a suitable rival?
…She wants to stay optimistic. She does. But all of the people who have gone so far are so, so incredibly boring. They’re all, “it’s a family business” this, or “it would be an honor to help heroes by making gear for them” that.
There are a few outliers that make things a bit interesting though.
First, there’s Natsuki Hikari.
“Um,” Natsuki mumbles, as she stands at the front of the room, twiddling her thumbs as she talks. Her hair is luminescent green, which Mei finds vaguely interesting, but what’s more interesting are the goggle-like glasses over her eyes. “My quirk lets me absorb light from anywhere, as long as it’s not in direct sunlight. But, because of this, I, um… I can only see when it’s dark. Like, a reverse from what everyone else would see. Because of this, when my quirk developed, I was basically blind. To counteract it, though, a Support Company made these glasses that let me see even when I don’t have my quirk activated. So, I wanted to be in the Support Course, not to make gear for heroes necessarily, but to make gear to help people with quirks that would interfere with their daily life.”
It’s an interesting story, Mei thinks as Natsuki finishes.
…But it’s not ‘rival material’.
Mei shrugs to herself. I guess we could still just be friends. Considering how everything else has gone so far, I guess that’s good enough.
Then, another outlier student is Sora Kenji.
When he first steps up, Mei hears the student behind her make a strange noise. She glances back, just in time to see them glance away nervously.
Do they know each other…? She wonders.
“Hi everyone!” Sora greets, cheerily. “So, my quirk is that I can sense other people’s quirks. And I’m in this class because I like inventing things! I, um, didn’t really have a concrete plan for the future until a little while ago, and I decided that since I like making and building things, I would go for the Support Course. I’m kinda surprised I actually made it in to UA, ahaha!”
Well, at least he says he likes inventing things, Mei hums to herself. That could be closer to an actual proper rival…
Before she knows it, it’s her turn to go up and introduce herself. Excitedly, she bounces her way to the front of the room.
“I’m Hatsume Mei! Hi!!” She starts, pointing to herself with a sense of pride. “I’m here, because I want to be the greatest inventor ever! I’m gonna be number one! Oh, and, my quirk is that I can see things that are far away, I guess, but that’s not important. I look forward to working with you and seeing what we can all come up with!”
With that, she returns to her seat, and then it’s time for the kid who sits behind her to take their turn. They walk to the front of the room with an anxious air, bright green eyes glancing around at everyone nervously.
“Um… I’m Midoriya Izuku,” They introduces themself. “I, uh… well…” They stammer, “I’ve been making gadgets for a while, but I, uh, I wasn’t really… trying to get into the Support Course, I guess? I tried to take the Hero Course entrance exam, but because I passed using my gadgets instead of a quirk, I got put into the Support Course instead.” Midoriya glances away. “And, um. I don’t have a quirk. I’m quirkless.”
After they're finished speaking, they practically run back to their seat. Mei doesn’t even pay attention to the next person who steps up, because she’s busy thinking about Midoriya.
They got into the Support Course without even trying? They just make gadgets for fun? Not only do they make gadgets because they want to, but they also must be practical, considering they were actually able to pass the Hero Course exam like that…!
Mei smiles to herself, excitedly, and maybe a little deviously. Sounds to me like I’ve just found the perfect rival.
It’s lunch time now, on the first day of UA, and, well. Hitoshi is suddenly coming to the realization that he never did ask Midoriya where they ended up going to, since they had apparently not gotten into a Hero Course.
The reason he’s coming to this realization, is that they just ran into each other.
“Oh- I’m so sorry, I-” Midoriya stammers quickly, before looking up and meeting Hitoshi’s eyes. “It’s you.”
“It’s you.” Hitoshi replies, with an equal amount of surprise. “…I thought you said you weren’t in a Hero Course?”
Midoriya frowns a little. “They put me into the Support Course. Because I passed the exam, but only by using gadgets I made, so…”
“You mean, you passed the exam , and they still didn’t let you into the Hero Course?”
“Dude, that’s messed up.”
“I know!” Midoriya groans. “…Just, come on. Let’s go get food and find a place to sit.”
Hitoshi hesitates for a second. “Wait, you mean… you want to sit with me?”
In response, Midoriya flinches back, “Well-er-I mean- you don’t have to! I just- I thought- you might want to, and I- um, it’s not like I have anyone else to sit with-”
“Yeah, sure.” Hitoshi says once he’s found his voice, interrupting Midoriya’s stammering. “I… yeah. Sitting with you would be nice.”
It’s weird, he thinks. Usually people don’t like him- granted, he hasn’t told Midoriya his quirk yet, but there are still some times when people don’t like him even before he tells them his quirk.
…They seem almost too trusting. That might give them trouble when they go and do their vigilante thing.
…It might be a bit worrying, how easily he’s taking this whole ‘vigilante’ thing.
They’ve just found a table, when-
“Hey! You! You’re Midoriya-kun, right?”
Midoriya jumps in their seat and turns. Hitoshi stares at the newcomer curiously.
“Um, yeah… you’re Hatsume-san, right?”
Hatsume’s eyes light up. “That’s right! And we’re going to be best friends!”
Hitoshi is about to say, “I thought you said you didn’t have anyone to sit with,” when Midoriya turns to him with a completely lost and confused expression that makes Hitoshi snort a laugh.
Hatsume slides into the seat next to Midoriya, smiling brightly, while Midoriya continues to make an expression that can only be described as completely and utterly lost beyond belief.
“You passed the entrance exam using gear you created! And you didn’t even have a quirk that would help you make things! How did you do it?!”
“Um…well…I…Uh…” Midoriya stammers, and they glance to Hitoshi with a new expression that reads Please help me, I have no idea what I’m doing.
This time, when Midoriya looks to him, Hatsume looks at him too. “Oh, hi!” She greets with a bright smile. “I’m Hatsume Mei, from Class 1-H! And you are…?”
“Shinsou Hitoshi,” He introduces himself slowly. “Class 1-C.”
“General Education,” She hums, and Hitoshi doesn’t miss the slight disappointment in her eyes. He doesn’t think it’s because he’s not in the Hero Course, though, it’s more like it’s because he’s not in the the Support Course. She turns back to Midoriya. “So, what materials did you use to make your support gear that you used to pass the exam?!”
“Um- well- about that- uh-” Midoriya mumbles.
“Well?!” Hatsume pushes, excitedly.
“I, uh, I found the materials, um, on the garbage beach.”
Hatsume blinks. “What?”
“The materials I use to make gadgets. I found them on the garbage beach.”
“Is… is that some kind of code, or do you mean it literally-”
“Oh, they mean it literally.” Hitoshi nods. “I’ve been to their workshop-thing there.”
Hatsume blinks again. And then,
“Oh my god, that’s amazing. You’re like, the best rival ever!”
“Rival?” Midoriya echoes, nervously.
“Rival!!” Hatsume shouts, pumping a fist in the air.
Midoriya sighs in defeat. “Okay…”
Hatsume perks up suddenly. “Oh, hey! I noticed earlier, and I’ve been meaning to ask- do you know Sora-kun?”
In response, Midoriya chokes on the food they're eating, which is as good an answer as any, really.
“So you do!”
“Who’s ‘Sora’?” Hitoshi asks.
“He’s in the Support Course with us,” Midoriya answers first, then mumbles, “Yeah, I knew him a while ago; he used to go to the same school as me a few years ago but then he moved away and we kinda… fell out of touch. He helped me a bit with making things back when we knew each other though- Actually, Shinsou-kun, remember that quirk sensor I showed you? He helped me build that because that’s how his quirk works.”
“You have a quirk sensor? You- you built a quirk sensor?!” Hatsume asks excitedly.
“Yeah, yeah,” Midoriya waves it off like it’s no big deal, “I can show you later if you want, I guess.” At that, Hatsume squeals in delight. “…It’s weird though. I never would have expected Sora-kun to go to UA.”
“Hm? Why not?” Hatsume asks.
“Well, you heard him.” Midoriya shrugs. “He just likes building things, and he never really had any concrete future plans. UA is like, a big deal though. And I mean, sure, he likes building things, but working for a Support Company doesn’t really sound like him either. I mean, he always joked that he wanted to be a secret agent or something when he grew up…”
A secret agent, and a vigilante. Hitoshi muses. Well, I guess Midoriya wouldn’t have said back then that they wanted to be a vigilante, specifically…
“So, what’s our plan for today?” Shinsou asks Izuku.
It’s after school time now and the two of them had decided beforehand to meet at Izuku’s ‘base’ (it still feels a bit weird to refer to it as a base, but essentially, that’s what it is ).
“Well, uh,” Izuku mumbles after a second, “The other day you said that I should work on organization, and. You’re not exactly wrong so…”
“So we’re organizing everything?” Shinsou asks. Izuku replies with a nod, and Shinsou sighs and says, “Thank god. ”
“Oh, come on, it’s not that bad- ”
“No offense, but we’re literally in the middle of a garbage dump right now.” Shinsou frowns. “I think you could use as much organization as possible.”
For a second, Izuku wants to debate it, but, well… “I mean, you’re not wrong… C’mon let’s just get started organizing, all right?”
They start by finding a large shelf in the surrounding area, and while it’s a bit busted up, they take a bit of time to fix it up and it's good… well, not good as new, but definitely good enough. Izuku and Shinsou move the shelf into the shed, carefully.
Then, it’s just a matter of putting things on the shelf.
Izuku starts by looking through the pile of working gadgets first. They tell Shinsou what each of the gadgets is, and then Shinsou takes the gadgets and puts them on the shelf, with a label this time.
There are a few gadgets that Izuku doesn’t recognize on sight, when they start to get to the bottom of the pile. They're careful about activating those- outside of the shed, definitely outside - and there’s a handful of them that don’t even work anymore, leaving them only guessing at what their originally intended function was.
When they’re done with that pile, they take a small break.
“Do we really have to sort the other piles too? I mean, you could probably get better parts now that you’re in the Support Course at UA…” Shinsou says.
Izuku frowns. “It would be a bit suspicious if I was using gadgets with materials from UA while doing vigilante stuff, wouldn’t it?”
“Well how would anyone else even know where you got your materials from in the first place?” Shinsou counters.
“…That’s fair.” Izuku mumbles. “It’s just- I don’t know. It took a while to get all of these parts and materials together, and throwing them away feels like a waste.”
“They already were thrown away. We’re in a garbage dump.”
Izuku and Shinsou compromise and move the pile of materials and half-working gadgets out of the shed, but keep it all together in a pile near it anyways.
“…Are we gonna do something about those cans littering your work table too, or-”
“I’ll get to them eventually.”
“Once again, we are literally in a garbage dump, you could just move them outside.”
“We recycle cans, not throw them away, thank you very much!”
It’s the second day in the UA Support Course, and the task at hand is simple; working in pairs, the students have to see the best thing that they can come up with in the time that they have.
Natsuki Hikari isn’t quite sure what to think of the other people in her class yet. There are a few names that stick out; Sora, who’s absurdly relaxed, Hatsume, who’s easily excitable, and well. Then there’s Midoriya, the student she’s currently paired to work with.
She almost wants to be jealous of how they got in to the Support Course without even trying, after all the work that she’s put in but… the anxious air around them tells her that they aren’t happy with the situation either. They hadn’t wanted to be in this spot, UA had put them here; if anyone is to blame, it’s the people who made that decision.
“Uh, h-hey, Natsuki-san!” Midoriya greets as they walks up next to her.
…Also, something tells her that she wouldn’t be able to stand giving them the cold shoulder if she tried.
“You don’t have to call me Natsuki-san, just Natsuki is fine.”
“Okay Natsuki-sa-- er, Natsuki!”
“So, Midoriya, do you have any ideas in mind?” Hikari asks.
“Well, I have a few… b-but, if you have ideas too, then I’d love to hear them!”
“It’s all right, Midoriya, I asked you for your ideas because I don’t have any. Given that the point is to build something within the class time, we shouldn’t spend too much time deciding on what to do, or we’ll run out of the time to do it.”
“R-right!” Midoriya squeaks and takes a deep breath. “Well, the best possible plan would be making something that’s simple, but useful. It needs to be simple enough that it would be easy to make, but we still need it to be something that’s useful, otherwise there’s no point.”
“I was thinking we could build something like- like- well, I’m not quite sure what to call it, but something that could be used to grab things that are far away? Like, the base would be a retractable pole, and then on the end would be, um, a robotic hand, sort of, that could grab things.”
They're not the best at explaining things, but Hikari gets a mental image of what they're trying to say. “That’s really practical,” She comments, as she’s envisioning it in her head. “And, I don’t think it would be too difficult to pull off. All right then, let’s go with that.”
Without much talking, the two spend their time building. Even so, Hikari notices a few things about Midoriya.
Like how despite the fact that they had been so nervous before, they seem to gain more confidence as they focus on working.
Or how Midoriya knows quite a bit about building things and how they should go together, but at the same time, it seems like they don’t know the more technical terms for things.
It’s intriguing, to say the least. It makes Hikari want to know more about them-
“LOOK OUT!!” A voice suddenly shouts from across the room. Hikari looks up, startled, just in time to see something flying at her-
Whatever it is, it hits her in the face, knocking off her glasses and suddenly everything turns bright white.
“Natsuki, are you all right?” A different voice asks- Midoriya, that’s Midoriya’s voice.
“I-I’m fine.” Hikari mumbles, “I just- I need to find my glasses…”
For a second, she considers using her quirk to find them, but- no. She couldn’t do that. If she did that, then no one else would be able to see, and that would just be rude.
“Ah, here,” Midoriya says, and Hikari feels the glasses as they hand them to her.
“Oh, thank you, you didn’t have to-”
“It’s no problem. You said that because of your quirk, you can’t see at all without your glasses, right? It probably would have been hard to find them yourself, so…”
…They're really nice.
“…Thank you, Midoriya.”
Carefully, Hikari puts the glasses back on her face, and once the bright light fades she sees Midoriya smiling at her.
“I’m so sorry!!” Hatsume apologizes, running up. “I didn’t mean to do that!! It kinda just went flying, and…”
“It’s- It’s all right. It’s not a big deal.” Hikari tells her. At that, Hatsume gives her a nervous grin, then skips back to her work table with Sora.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” Midoriya asks again.
For a moment, Hikari doesn’t reply. But eventually, she says, “Yeah. I’m okay.”
…I couldn’t give them the cold shoulder if I tried.
“So, do you have any leads yet?” Nedzu asks patiently, sipping his tea.
In response, he shifts from foot to foot. “No, not yet. Are… are you sure that someone in the school is a traitor? I just… I don’t know. I can’t imagine what kind of a high school student would go around informing villains about what’s going on in UA. Or why they would either…”
“I wouldn’t say that it’s a one hundred percent certainty,” Nedzu hums, “But something definitely feels amiss. The student files- they’re almost perfect, but on closer examination, there’s something… wrong going on there.”
“…” He hesitates for a second, before muttering, “Are you sure that’s not just because of what you did with Midoriya’s situation?”
“It’s not,” Nedzu says easily, waving it off. Then, he narrows his eyes. “How would you know about that though?”
“…You asked me to look into the files too. It was certainly something I noticed.” He answers. It’s not exactly a lie; he had noticed it before, but he hadn’t really known what it was that had happened until Midoriya had said it themself.
“Ah. Of course.” Nedzu nods, stirring the tea absentmindedly. He sighs. “Listen, Midoriya’s situation is not the main concern here. It would be best for you to focus on figuring out who our traitor is, all right?”
He’s tempted to debate it for a second, but he refrains. “Of course, sir. If… if there really is a traitor, I doubt they would stay quiet for too long.”
“Good!” Nedzu says, with a smile. “That’ll be all for today. Just remember to report back here as soon as you find out anything, though.”
With that, he turns and walks out of Nedzu’s office.