“Midoriya, I know gadgets are like. Your thing. But do you really have to be working on a gadget while we’re in the middle of eating lunch? ” Shinsou asks.
Midoriya looks up from the gadget they're working on for one second. “…Yes.” They return their attention back to the gadget.
Hikari doesn’t know whether she wants to laugh or sigh at that. “Why are you even so focused on it right now anyway? You were really busy during class earlier too.”
“The Sports Festival is only two weeks away,” Midoriya mutters in response, not looking up from the gadget.
“Oh yeah, that’s right.” Shinsou says.
“…I don’t get it.” Hikari says. “What’s so important about the Sports Festival? Isn’t that basically just for Hero Course students to show off?”
“On the contrary!” Hatsume cheerfully explains, “Everyone watches the Sports Festival! It’s the perfect opportunity to show off my babies!”
“And,” Shinsou adds, “It’s also how they decide who they can transfer into the Hero Course. If someone from a different class does well, they can get a chance to move up.”
Hikari nods in understanding. …That’s right. Midoriya wants to be in the Hero Course… She’d almost forgotten that. She’s so used to them being there in the Support Course by now. It would be hard to imagine them not being there…
“Don’t you already have enough gadgets that you could use though?” Hikari asks.
“I can’t use the ones that I use for vigilante stuff,” Midoriya says. “Someone could notice it and connect the dots. So I need an entirely different set of of gadgets. And even without needing to build a bunch of gadgets, I still have to redesign Uraraka-san’s hero costume.”
“I mean… you don’t really have to.”
“Oh trust me. It’s necessary,” Midoriya says, dead serious, staring ahead into nothingness.
“There’s no way it’s worse than Yaoyorozu’s costume,” Hikari sighs, thinking about it.
Midoriya looks up and glances at her. “Really? How bad is it?”
“Worse than skin-tight spandex?”
Hikari nods. “Worse. I’ll show you when we get back to class.”
“No offense, but I’m pretty sure I have the winner when it comes to impractical costumes,” Hatsume says.
“Oh really?” Hikari asks.
Hatsume nods. “Hagakure Toru. Her costume has gloves and boots.”
Midoriya and Hikari look at Hatsume for a second, confused. What’s so bad about that…?
“Only gloves and boots.” Hatsume clarifies. “Apparently her power is ‘invisibility’ but I mean. Still. ”
“Who the heck is ‘designing’ these costumes?” Midoriya groans. “Seriously, can’t they use an outfit that can turn invisible with her? It’s not that hard! I figured out how to turn things invisible when I was twelve !”
Hikari shrugs. “That stuff’s probably really expensive. Maybe UA doesn’t have it in the budget…?”
“They can afford giant fake cities and hundreds of robots made literally just to be destroyed.” Izuku mutters, “I feel like they should be able to afford to give their Hero Class students actual hero costumes. Especially if they’re being attacked by villains.”
“Yeah,” Hikari agrees. “If they take pretty much any hit, it could seriously injure them, since they hardly have any defense in their costumes.”
Hatsume sighs. “Y’know, I wanted to have a lot of work when I came to UA, but now it’s really starting to pile up! I have to create as many cool inventions as possible before the Sports Festival, and I have to do… something about Hagakure-chan’s costume.”
“Me too,” Midoriya mutters. “Except I also keep getting new ideas of what I should do with my vigilante stuff… and I don’t even know if I’ll need it after the Sports Festival.”
“Who knows,” Shinsou says. “Maybe if you get transferred into the Hero Course and I don’t, I’ll be bitter enough to take up vigilantism.”
Midoriya laughs. “Maybe you’d be less of a reckless idiot.”
“Just remember not to use your quirk!” Hatsume says cheerily.
The days blur together one after the other, and Izuku spends almost the entire time working on gadgets.
And now, the Sports Festival is here. It feels like it took too long, and at the same time, it feels like it came in too fast.
In their head as they walk to school, Izuku makes a mental inventory of the gadgets they have for the Sports Festival…
What was that? Izuku wonders, turning around. What they find is Garby, running up to them as fast as the little ferret can.
“What-?” Izuku stutters, “What are you doing here?”
Garby doesn’t respond verbally (of course he can't) but the screen on his forehead blinks a few different signs to convey the message:
“I… I know, I miss hanging out with you too… but, Garby, you can’t come with me,” Izuku says. "Go back.”
Garby does not go back the way he came from. Instead, he runs up to Izuku and climbs up them like a tree. The ferret perches on their shoulder, as happy as can be.
Izuku sighs heavily. “What am I going to do with you.”
Garby continues to smile.
Well… it’s too far for me to be able to take him back without ending up late…
“Come on then,” Izuku mutters, “I just hope you don’t get me into trouble.”
If Garby could smile any brighter, he probably would have.
Izuku continues walking, but it’s not much later when they hear someone calling them from behind.
Izuku turns around to see Sora running up. Sora beams at them for a second, and then he glances at Garby and his expressions turns confused. “Why is Garby with you…?”
Izuku responds with a shrug. “Garby does what Garby wants. And apparently Garby wants to come to the Sports Festival.”
“…Y’know, sometimes I wonder if it’s you that’s Garby’s pet and not Garby that’s your pet.” Sora mumbles.
Izuku rolls their eyes, but can't help the smile that grows on their face.
Mei is so excited for the Sports Festival. She has so many cool babies to show off, it’s going to be great, she can’t wait-!
She paces around the room again, excitedly. She has so much excitement, it feels like she could burst. Why can’t they just start already?
Mei hears the door open, and she glances at it for a second, before going back to pacing. It’s just Sora, Midoriya, and Garby entering.
Mei looks back to see that yes, in fact, Garby is sitting on Midoriya’s shoulder looking happy as can be.
“Garby!” Mei shouts, and practically runs over.
Midoriya jumps in surprise at first and then says, “Good morning, Hatsume-san.”
“Good morning Midoriya-kun!” Mei greets quickly before turning her attention to petting Garby. “So, not that I’m complaining, but what’s Garby doing here?”
“He followed me,” Midoriya says, “And it would have taken too much time to take him back to the beach.”
“What are you going to do with him when you’re participating in the festival though?” Natsuki asks.
“Oh hey Natsuki-chan!” Mei says. “Sorry, I didn’t notice you till just now!”
“It’s all right, I only just walked in,” Natsuki says.
“Well…” Midoriya mumbles, going back to answer Natsuki's question, “I mean, if you’re not all that invested in the Sports Festival, could you maybe watch Garby for me?”
Natsuki pauses for a moment. “…Yeah. I can do that.” She agrees.
Midoriya beams at her. “Thanks Natsuki!” They pick Garby up and off from their shoulder and hand him to Natsuki.
Natsuki holds Garby gently. “It’s no problem.”
Mei turns towards Natsuki so that she can keep petting Garby.
“I’m almost tempted to ask you to watch Garby, Hatsume-san,” Midoriya says with a small laugh. “Since you seem so enamored with him and all.”
“And I’m almost tempted to accept,” Mei jokes. “But I have to show off all my babies.”
“You know,” Sora sighs, “I think you two are the only ones crazy enough to actually try to succeed in the Sports Festival against the strongest hero students in the country.”
“False,” Midoriya corrects, “There’s also Shinsou-kun.”
“Shinsou-kun?” Sora asks.
“Oh that’s right, I haven’t introduced you to him yet,” Midoriya realizes. “He’s in General Studies. Wants to be in the Hero Course. First person who found out about the whole… ah…” Midoriya lowers their voice and whispers, “vigilante thing.”
“Wait, Sora-kun knows now too?” Mei asks.
“Ah, yeah,” Midoriya says. “Apparently I’m just really bad at keeping a secret identity from people I know.”
“Well, to be fair, it wasn’t really your fault that I found out,” Sora protests. “I found out because that one time after the press broke in, when you went to investigate, I had a camera set up there and it had a quirk sensor on it, and… well, I don’t think there’s many quirkless people who would care about investigating a broken gate.”
Midoriya sighs. “Well. There are worse people who could have found out.”
Before their conversation can continue, a voice comes in over the loudspeaker. “The Sports Festival will begin in just a few minutes. Participants, start making your way out to the field now.”
“Well, time for you guys to go do your thing,” Natsuki says. “Good luck out there.”
“Right,” Midoriya nods.
Mei laughs. “I won’t need the luck, but thanks anyways.” She grabs all her babies and practically runs for the door.
Yeah… it’s my time to shine!
They’re all gathered in the center of the field now for the opening ceremony. They’re sectioned off by class; well, mostly. For the Hero Course classes, the Sports Festival is a requirement, but for every other class it’s optional, so the Gen Ed, Support Course, and Business Course are all gathered in the same section.
Izuku finds themself standing next to Shinsou and Hatsume, which definitely feels better than standing next to a stranger. They have so much anxiety over this that they think they might just burst. Hatsume standing next to them looks like she’s ready to explode too, but in her case, it’s probably out of excitement. Shinsou, on the other hand, looks almost bored, but otherwise completely focused and ready.
Present Mic steps up to the stage at the front. “Hello everyone, and welcome to this year’s Sports Festival!” He announces in an upbeat voice. “Today is the competition for the first year students. Normally, we would have the student who placed first in the entrance exam give the opening speech, but unfortunately, this year there were certain complications.”
Izuku has half a mind to march on to the stage right now, and say, “I’m right here,” but the size of the crowd watching makes them stay put. Instead, they mutter to Shinsou and Hatsume, “Gee, I wonder what those complications were.” Next to them, Shinsou huffs out a small laugh.
“So instead,” Present Mic continues, “We’ll be having the student who placed second give the opening speech! Bakugou Katsuki.”
Well, there’s a second reason to not announce to the world ‘hey I got first’. Because Bakugou would definitely try to pulverize them on sight, laws against murder be damned. On the other hand, there’s something just a little satisfying about the fact that Bakugou knows someone got a better score than him, and that he’s only there because of a complication. It must be driving him insane.
…Maybe those thoughts are a little petty, but Izuku could think worse things.
Bakugou steps up to the stage and turns to face the crowd. He’s not facing the crowd of students, but Izuku is almost sure he has a glare on his face.
“I just wanna say,” Bakugou says, “that it doesn’t matter that I only got second in the entrance exam. There’s a reason that the idiot who got first isn’t here. But this time, I’m going to get an indisputable first place.” There’s a pause. “That’s all.”
He steps off of the stage, and the student crowd erupts into booing.
Present Mic starts talking again, “Well, that… wasn’t what I was expecting. But, it certainly was memorable!” Everyone gets quiet again so that he can continue announcing. “Now then, to decide the first round!”
The first round is an obstacle course.
And honestly? For Izuku, it’s just going by in a blur. They don’t want to stop and take in what’s happening, they just want to make it through as fast as possible.
At some point along the way (probably along the robot section, they think) they ended up picking up a large metal panel. They're not sure what they plans on using it for, but it isn’t too heavy to carry, so they decide it’s worth keeping around anyway.
Then, they reach the final obstacle.
Izuku doesn’t know what place they're in, but the amount of people in front of them makes them nervous. They need to do something.
Over the loudspeakers, they hear Present Mic announce something about Bakugou and Todoroki being tied for first.
Of course Bakugou’s close to first, Izuku thinks, his explosion quirk would help him rocket over every… thing…
Explosions. Rocket over. Land mines.
This is exactly the kind of thing that earned me the title of “reckless vigilante idiot,” Izuku thinks.
And they do it anyway.
“So… ah… what’cha doin’?” Izuku hears Shinsou ask from behind them.
Izuku looks back at Shinsou, then glances to the pile of land mines they've been building up, then back to Shinsou. “…Stuff.”
Shinsou stares at the pile of land mines for a long moment. Then, he sighs, “You know what? You do you. Have fun. Just don’t die doing it.”
“I won’t!” Izuku agrees, going back to digging up the land mines. Shinsou shakes his head as he runs through the area, not worried about the land mines because they’ve all been dug up and put in a pile.
After digging up a handful more mines, Izuku stands back and surveys the pile. Well… it looks just about right…
They lift up the metal panel that they got from the robot.
And they run at the pile.
There’s a large explosion, and suddenly they're flying high through the air. Soaring over the land mine section, Izuku has a strange desire to laugh and scream at the same time.
“And woah, what’s this!” Present Mic announces. “Support Course student Midoriya Izuku from class 1-H is shooting above the competition, in hot pursuit of first place!! Who could have seen this coming?!”
Izuku feels a small smile grow on their face. They're still going quite fast, but they manage to catch Bakugou’s and Todoroki’s expressions as they fly past the two hero students. And they’re expressions are absolutely priceless.
“Midoriya is in first place now! Woah!! And they're still flying fast!”
This seems to shake Bakugou and Todoroki out of their shock, and they both run forward, now completely ignoring each other.
And then, Izuku starts to slow down. Which would be a problem… if they didn’t have any gadgets with them.
They let go of the metal panel, using it as a point to push off from, and then they activate their jetpack which shoots them forward again. A cloud of steam gathers behind them.
Izuku glances back. A moment later, Bakugou and Todoroki burst through the steam, running forward… but not fast enough to catch them before they’ll reach the finish line.
“Hey, Bakugou!” Izuku calls, “How’s it feel to taste my dust?”
“I’M GONNA KILL YOU!!”
Izuku passes the finish line.
“The winner of this round is Midoriya Izuku, from Support Class 1-H!! What a twist ending!” Present Mic announces, and the crowd goes wild.
Trying to catch their breath, Izuku looks up at the crowd in awe. They definitely don’t like being in front of large crowds of people, but at the same time, the fact that they're all cheer for them… for them…
“Second place is Todoroki Shoto, followed closely with Bakugou Katsuki in third!”
They have one second to process the thought that Bakugou has passed the finish line, and then they're quickly dodging as Bakugou tries to tackle them.
“You can’t kill me in front of an audience-” Izuku protests, dodging.
“Like hell I can’t!” Bakugou shouts.
“Bakugou-” Todoroki says, trying to approach.
“You stay back too!” Bakugou turns around to face Todoroki in a fury, almost outwardly steaming. Todoroki looks like he couldn't care less. “I’ll kill you too!”
“Fourth place is Iida Tenya!”
A moment later, Iida is running up to them. “Bakugou! Attacking fellow competitors is unsportsmanlike!”
“I don’t give a shit!” Bakugou yells, but he doesn’t try lunging at anyone again.
Izuku lets out a shaky breath. Okay, I probably shouldn’t have tempted him.
“Are you all right, Midoriya-kun?” Iida asks, approaching them.
“Ah, yeah,” Izuku mumbles, “I’m okay.”
More people are pouring through the gates now, but then Izuku makes out a, “Seventh place is Uraraka Ochako!”
Izuku turns to the gate, to see Uraraka run in, out of breath. She doesn’t stop right away, and stumbles her way over to them first. “That was amazing, Midoriya-kun!” She cheers brightly, even though she’s outwardly very exhausted.
“A-ah, thanks,” Izuku stammers nervously. The exhilaration from the race is wearing off now and they're getting anxious again. “You did really good too!”
“Midoriya-kun,” Iida says at first to grab their attention, and once Izuku turns to face him, Iida continues, “I didn’t know that you came in first in the entrance exam.”
“Well, I mean, I didn’t really know for sure until today either- it wasn't something they ever really mentioned…” Izuku mumbles, then asks, “Wait, how did you know?”
“Well, first from the fact that I see no other reasons for the top score of entrance exam being complicated… after you came in first in the race, and then considering your circumstances, I could make a fairly educated guess,” Iida explains.
“Wait, wait, hey!” Another kid says, running up to them. His hair is bright red, and stands up in spikes. “You came in first in the entrance exam?”
After a small moment of surprise, Izuku mumbles, “Um, yeah,”
“Woah, that’s so cool!” He holds out a hand excitedly. “I’m Kirishima Eijirou! Hero Course Class 1-A!”
Izuku accepts the handshake, and Kirishima shakes their hand rapidly. Izuku stutters, “Ah, I-I’m Midoriya Izuku. Support Course Class 1-H.”
Kirishima’s eyes seem to widen in realization. “Oh yeah! Uraraka’s mentioned you a few times!”
Glancing at her, Izuku asks, “She… has?”
“Yeah!” Kirishima beams. “You passed the entrance exam, even though you’re quirkless! That’s, like, wicked cool! ”
“Y-you think so?”
“Totally!” Kirishima cheers. “Heck, you even got first apparently! You’re an inspiration!!”
“I…” Izuku isn’t quite sure how to take this. They're just a bit in shock. “Er- thanks!”
“Wait-wait-” Kirishima says quickly, “Stay right here, I’ll be back! You should meet Orenji!”
Before Izuku can say anything else, Kirishima runs off. Orenji… Izuku feels a little more nervous now, recognizing her name from the USJ. They can only pray that she won't somehow recognize them.
Iida and Uraraka have wandered off to talk to some of their other classmates now, and Izuku is almost tempted to follow them, but Kirishima had asked for them to stay there-
“Midoriya-kuuuun!!” Izuku hears Hatsume yell a split second before she runs into them with a crushing hug. “Holy hell, dude!” She releases the hug so that they’re facing each other now. Hatsume has a wide grin on her face. “Look at you go!! Superstar extraordinaire!”
Shinsou walks up to them then. “I don’t understand how all of your reckless plans actually work. ” He mumbles.
Hardly a moment later, Kirishima is back, dragging Orenji behind him by the hand.
“Orenji, this is Midoriya!” Kirishima introduces excitedly, “Midoriya, this is Orenji!”
“Ah, hi,” Izuku greets nervously.
“H-hi!” Orenji says back, and she almost seems as nervous as Izuku feels. “You… you really passed first in the entrance exam even though you’re quirkless?”
“I…” Orenji starts before hesitating. After a moment she continues, “I used to think I was quirkless too. My quirk came in really late so…” She trails off, but moves on, “I just think you’re really cool! I know how people can be about reacting to quirkless people so just… I really admire you.”
Izuku can’t help but stare. They don’t really know what to say for a moment, because they have about a million questions running through their head. Eventually, they settle with, “So… what is your quirk?” … That probably wasn’t the most important thing to ask…
“Ah,” Orenji mumbles nervously, and then she holds up her wrist. There’s a strange sort of hole on the inside of it. After a moment, a small stream of blood shoots out of it and swirls around in the air, before going back into her wrist. “I can manipulate my blood.” There’s a small awkward pause. “Yeah, it’s… probably not the most heroic sounding quirk…”
“It doesn’t matter if a quirk sounds heroic or not,” Shinsou adds, and there’s something in his voice that Izuku can’t quite place. “What matters is what you do with it.”
Orenji looks over to him and smiles. “That’s a nice way to put it. And, um, sorry this might seem a bit rude, but who are you…?”
“Shinsou Hitoshi. General Studies.”
“And I’m Hatsume Mei!!” Hatsume introduces herself. “I’m in the same class as Midoriya-kun!”
“Nice to meet you,” Orenji smiles at them.
“Yeah!” Kirishima agrees. “You guys are cool!”
“Thanks!” Hatsume cheers.
“Okay!” Present Mic announces, interrupting them, “Now that everyone has passed the first round, it’s time to announce the second round!”
Almost instantly, everyone turns their attention towards Present Mic on the stage. Next to him is a large circular board with possible options written across it. He spins it, and it settles on…
“The Cavalry Battle!” Present Mic reads. “Allow me to explain the rules; everyone will get into groups from the size of two to four members. One person will sit on the shoulders of the others, and the other member or members operate from the ground! The person on top will have a headband that’s worth points; the goal is to steal headbands from other teams and score as many points as you can! How is the point value of the headbands decided though? Well…
“Based on where you placed in the obstacle course, you will have an assigned point number! The forty-third place will have five points, forty-second will have ten, and so on so forth. However! First place is worth… Ten-million points!!!”
Izuku freezes. T…ten million points…? It’s almost like they can physically feel everyone looking at them like a target already.
“You have fifteen minutes to decide teams!” Present Mic finishes cheerfully.
Izuku whirls around to face Hatsume and Shinsou. “Please team up with me.”
“Of course I’ll team with you!!” Hatsume cheers immediately. “I mean, even if you weren’t my best friend, more people are going to be watching you because you’re first place! Everyone will get to see my precious babies…!”
Izuku turns. “Shinsou-kun?”
There’s a small moment of silence, and then Shinsou sighs, “Well, someone has to stop you from getting yourself into trouble.”
Izuku beams at him. “Now we just need a third team member…”
As if on cue, Uraraka runs up to them. “Hey! Midoriya-kun!” She shouts. “Let’s team up!”
“Ah, sure!” Izuku agrees. “That was… easy.” After a moment, he glances at Uraraka. “You’re… you’re sure you want to team with me though?”
“Yeah!” Uraraka cheers. “It’s better to team up with people you like, and I want to hang out with you more, since I can right now!”
“Great! That’s four!” Izuku says. “Now we just need to plan…”
“You’re in the Hero Course?” Hatsume asks Uraraka, curious.
“Oh, yeah! Sorry, I haven’t introduced myself to you guys: I’m Uraraka Ochako! I met Midoriya-kun during the entrance exam; they saved me from the big zero point robot!”
“What’s your quirk?” Hatsume asks.
“Ooh, that’s cool!” Hatsume whistles. “I’m Hatsume Mei! Support Course Class 1-H!”
“Shinsou Hitoshi,” Shinsou mutters, “General Education.”
“Nice to meet you!” Uraraka cheerfully says.
After a moment of thinking, Izuku asks, “Hey, Hatsume-san, what’s your quirk again?”
“I can see things that are far away.” Hatsume explains. “Not really useful for this, but hey, you get my babies!!”
“B-babies…?” Uraraka asks.
“She means her gadgets,” Izuku explains. “And, Shinsou-kun, what’s your quirk?”
For a moment Shinsou doesn’t answer. A long moment. Izuku turns to look at him, and Shinsou has an expression Izuku can’t quite read.
“…Shinsou-kun?” Izuku asks softly.
"…Shinsou-kun?" Midoriya asks softly.
And Hitoshi just hates how frozen up he gets at the question, be it just the sheer unexpectedness of it, or… or…
Distantly, voices from the past, voices whispering about his quirk, echo through his head.
Really though, he's not even sure how he's managed to go this long without anyone ever trying to bring it up. It really was just something they never talked about…
Actually, now that he thinks about it, it's one of the things he likes best about this group of friends that's started to build up here at UA. They don't care about quirks, to be honest. It's not something they judge each other off of, which, compared to most other people, is like a breath of fresh air.
And so… and so Hitoshi trusts them. He feels like he can trust them with this.
Slowly, Hitoshi looks up to meet Midoriya's eyes. Even though his mind is made up, it's still a bit hard to admit, but eventually he murmurs…
"…Mind control. My quirk is mind control."
Midoriya blinks at him in surprise.
Hitoshi looks away, and for a moment he can't help but start to uncharacteristically ramble on, saying, “I just- usually people tell me it’s a… it’s a villains quirk. But I trust you. So I’m okay with telling you.”
And then, Midoriya smiles at him. “Well, it’s like you told Orenji. What matters is what you do with your quirk. And I think you’re a pretty good hero.”
“Totally!” Hatsume cheers.
That's… that's right. I did kinda just say that earlier, didn't I?
“I haven’t known you for very long at all…” The Class A student (Uraraka, she had said? Right?) softly adds, “But if Midoriya-kun trusts you, then I do to.”
Hitoshi is at a loss for words for a second. He… well, he hadn't expected anything different from them, but such quick acceptance compared to the attention they usually get… “I… thanks.” He eventually says.
“Now then,” Midoriya says, grinning eagerly, “Time to plan, so we can win this thing.”