Tenya Iida never would have expected that the fifth rank hero would allow him to intern under her. If he were to be honest, he didn't even remember applying to be her apprentice! Just how did he end up striking an apprenticeship with Miruko?
Miruko was quite a lot of things- She was extremely powerful and her fighting style showcased every bit of her magnificent strength. Iida always prided himself on his powerful kicking maneuvers, and built most of his arsenal around such kicks but Miruko was something else. He had witnessed Miruko shatter buildings with her devastated kicks which was equal parts awe-inspiring and terrifying. That didn't even take account of her exemplary mobility. Miruko had the uncanny ability to leap several stories in the air to close the distance between her and her target in no time flat. It made Midoriya's parkouring look positively pedestrian.
Another fact about Miruko is that she was first and foremost a solitary hero. That is why Iida never even bothered to apply to an internship under her. It was also due to the fact that she didn't have any contact information!
Miruko never had a sidekick since the day she started being a pro hero. It was fact that she bragged about whenever the media managed to catch her. That was completely absurd to Iida. Just how did a hero get so far without any assistance whatsoever? The only other hero that did that was All Might himself and even he had a partner- Sir. Nighteye, who Midoriya was interning under.
He remembered his brother, Tensei employing numerous sidekicks to aid him on his heroic endeavors and how he always wanted to be like him one day- a great leader who always knew what to do to get the job done. He thought that all heroes required sidekicks to be effective but Miruko challenged his worldview. She was amazing and a lone wolf. In all fairness, using the term "lone wolf" in regards to a rabbit themed hero would be a bit insulting.
That was the crux of Miruko's popularity- she was mysterious and dangerous. Those types of heroes always had quite a bit of buzz concerning them. Miruko was no different. Her "rough and tumble" demeanor and erratic behavior made a meeting with her the holy grail for hero fanboys.
...It wasn't just her demeanor that attracted the attention. It was rather crude to admit but Miruko was an extremely attractive hero. Iida never felt right acknowledging such facts but it was the truth. Her hero costume did nothing to detract from her looks. Of course Iida knew that her outfit was like that as to not obstruct from her fighting style it was the same reason why Yaoyorozu dressed the way she did when she was doing hero work.
Oddly enough, Miruko never really got the attention that her fellow women heroes did when it came to that type of fan base. Heroes such as Mt. Lady and Ryuuko made more public appearances and had more endorsement deals than Miruko. Iida assumed it was due to her erratic public appearances but murmurings from the public opened his eyes to the real reason-
She was really muscular. Apparently that was seen as "unattractive" to most men. Iida never really thought about, well to be honest- he never really thought about romance at all but when even Mineta expressed a sort of disdain for Miruko's physique he actually investigated.
And by "investigate" he meant spend some time looking at any (official) pictures of her and trying to objectively analyze her beauty. The results were inconclusive. Miruko had a symmetrical face, perfect teeth, and barely any scars or blemishes; all of those traits were classic indicators of beauty but yet she still wasn't viewed the same way people looked at Mt. Lady or any of the Pussycats sans Tiger.
After trying to figure out any reason why anyone would find her unattractive Iida just gave up. His internship starts tomorrow and he needed the rest.
The hero office he was told to go to by the papers he received looked fairly innocuous from the outside. Inside however, the hero in training could tell it was tailor made. It was more of a large gym than an office. There were plenty of weights and machines and in hindsight it made sense that someone who relied on her natural strength would devote all this space to improve herself.
"Hey! You're here!"
He was shaken from his thoughts when Miruko graced him with her presence. She was dressed civilian attire- a simple shirt and leggings while he arrived in the suit of armour he called a hero costume.
"Good afternoon, Ms. Miruko! I would like to thank-" She cut him off
"You're Lida right?
"Oh...That's two i's? That makes sense…"Lida" is a pretty dumb name to be honest. So you're my intern, right?"
Iida raised his hand as if he were asking a teacher a question "My apologise, but I...never actually asked for you...Not that I don't admire you but because there is no way to contact you. The receptionist at the Federal Hero Coalition told me that I have been selected as your apprentice and that had never happened before."
Miruko looked him for a moment before giving him a daring smirk "You're damn right about that! I don't let any little punk be my apprentice! I'm the one who decides who's good enough and lucky for you, I saw something in you!"
Iida became flustered at her praise. He was happy that he was wearing his armour at this moment. "T-Thank you so much for the kind words-"
"I'm gonna stop you there, man. I said that you have potential and that doesn't mean shit until I whip you into shape!"
Iida became more rigid "Right! I understand completely!"
Iida gasped "W-What?"
Miruko chuckled at his disbelief "I'm just screwing with ya! Take off the armour so I can see what kind of muscles you're packing. Unless you're not wearing anything underneath all that metal."
Iida nodded before dutifully taking off the parts of his hero costume that obstructed his muscles. He was a tad nervous since Miruko was walking around him while observing him.
When he finished, Miruko grunted "That's good. I feared since your quirk is based off your legs that the rest of your body would be kinda scrawny. I'm happy to see that's not the case."
"Indeed, I had to rigorously train the rest of my body to keep up with my legs."
Miruko gave him another smirk and flex her arms "Got the same story as you do Iida. It's weird how the resume you gave the Hero Coalition had a massive screw-up. Judging from your appearance I figured that you wouldn't have any…"
Iida's eyes widened in surprise "Mistakes? What mistakes did you observe?"
"You wrote that you were a first year student at UA."
"I...am a first year student? My second year will start soon but since that hasn't started-"
Miruko cut him off again "Wait, how old are you?!"
"I'm currently sixteen; my birthday is in August so-"
"Shit I didn't know you were that young…" Miruko gawked at him for a moment before shrugging. "Eh, I'm only in my twenties so I shouldn't be too shocked."
"You climbed the ranks quite rapidly…"
"Guess I did...Well, brown nosing me won't get you anywhere! Right now, we're gonna train until I mold you into a real hero! You ready!?"
"Indeed I am!"
Iida was not ready for the grueling training regimen that Miruko forced him to do.
The first thing the duo had done was spar without using quirks. Iida though he was a pretty decent fighter with or without his quirks but Miruko quickly proved to him just how powerful a top ten ranked hero was. He found himself with her legs around his throat, choking him out on more than one occasion. There was this one time he thought he had her with a well-placed kick but after he elicited a pained gasp, she simply grinned and then suplexed him onto the wrestling mat.
"Not half bad kid...still need some work"
The next thing they did was race each other. Iida thought he had this competition in the bag since speed is what he excelled at but once again he found himself completely outclassed. He was fast, sure but this woman was on a completely different level. Iida believed that even spamming Recipro Burst (which he couldn't do) wouldn't be able to take her.
Right after they finished their third race Miruko took the opportunity to criticize his form
"What's with the hideous running posture?!"
"My sincerest apologise Ms. Miruko, I cannot run like you because I do not have the necessary anatomy that you possess."
Miruko eyed him suspiciously "You saying my ass is big or something? And drop the "Ms." got it?"
Iida blushed "I am saying that your rabbit like traits give you a different form than my own and I cannot replicate it."
Miruko shrugged once again "You got a good point kid. What was thing you did to get ahead of me a couple of time?"
"That was my Recipro Burst technique"
"I noticed that after you did that you slowed down afterwards. Why is that?"
"My engines stall afterwards for about ten seconds...I developed my Recipro Extend technique and added cooling elements to my gear to alleviate such problems but they can only help so much…"
"Then we're just going to have to practice some more until you don't stall after you speed up!"
After some running the duo stimulated their other muscles by lifting weights. Iida was flabbergasted when she started curling 136 kilogram dumbbells, one for each arm. He then looked down at the measly 45 kilogram dumbbells he was currently curling and felt a twinge of inadequacy.
Miruko seemed to catch on his feelings and re-assured him that he shouldn't feel that bad. "My quirk doesn't just affect my legs, kid. My whole body is a lot stronger than most heroes let alone high-schoolers like you. Don't beat yourself up too much." she put down her dumbbells "Tell you what, let's hit the sauna!"
"You have a personal sauna?"
"I got to spend money somehow…" she pointed forwards "It's down the hall and to the left. Go now, I'm gonna put everything back where it was"
"Do you need a helping hand?"
"I can handle a couple of weights kid, just go."
Iida nodded before following her orders.
Being in the sauna felt amazingly good for his sore muscles. All the grueling workouts they had done left Iida's body in a state of despair. Even though he offered to help her clean up, deep down Iida was thankful that she told him to go on ahead because if he had done much else he probably would have collapsed right then and there.
Iida was shaken from his steam induced stupor when the door opened and Miruko arrived, clad only in a towel around her waist and another slung across her shoulders.
Iida instinctively averted his eyes before speaking "Would you like for me to leave?"
Miruko scrunched her face in confusion "why would I want you to leave and why would you want to leave? You seem pretty comfortable here." She paused and looked down at herself before giving him a knowing smirk "oh, I get it now. I'm impressed that a teenage boy like you is such a gentleman!"
Iida was still looking away from her "My mother taught me to be respectful…"
"How cute!" Miruko cooed before taking the towel slung around her shoulders and wrapping it across her chest, making herself a bit more presentable.
"Alright kid, you can look now. Sorry for not doing this earlier, not used to having guests…"
Iida thanked her profusely for making herself more decent "I understand...you don't really need separate areas for men and women considering it's mostly just you here"
Miruko sat down "Yeah...I could use a little company…"
Iida smiled at her "Well I hope I could provide you some company!"
Miruko shot him a smirk "I actually have some questions to ask you…"
"Don't hesitate to ask!"
"What happened when you and your two friends fought The Hero Killer?"
In an instant, Iida's affable demeanor collapsed and his smile turned into a frown.
"Stain attacked Todoroki, Midoriya, and I and Endeavor saved us and beat him"
"That's bullshit" Miruko sneered "what really happened?"
Iida's frown grew "I told you what happened-"
"You don't to get my rank being stupid, kid. I did a lot of research before I picked you. The amount of wounds on your body after that fight and the lack of wounds on Endeavor tells me something else went on and you can't talk about it!"
"You're right...I cannot speak about the actual details of my encounter. I would be in massive trouble"
"You could tell me ya' know...I'm not gonna tell anyone."
Iida sighed "The Hero Killer...he crippled my brother…"
For the first time since they met, Miruko dropped her usual boisterous personality "I'm...sorry to hear that…"
"When I learned about what had happened to him...I stopped thinking clearly. I took an internship in Hosu city, where he attacked my brother just so I could find him."
"What does that mean-" Miruko's eyes widened in realization "What the hell were you trying to do?!"
"I wasn't thinking right...I wanted to brutalize Stain for what he had done. To this day I still can't believe that I acted so irrationally. It was only because my two friends came to assist me that I am here right now…" Iida lifted his left arm "These scars served as a constant reminder of just how foolish I was back then"
"So...you three beat the Hero Killer?"
Iida nodded "Yes...but since we weren't accompanied by any licensed heroes we had to give Endeavour the credit or risked being charged with vigilantism."
Miruko didn't say a word after Iida told her the truth.
"I understand that you don't want to have an apprentice as foolhardy as myself. If you would like, I can leave right now-"
"Whoa! Cool your jets, kid! I'm actually kinda impressed that you did all that. Sure you did some really stupid things that if you ever try again I'm gonna kick your ass but you learned from your mistakes. You're better than a lot of losers who call themselves pros nowadays…"
Iida's smile returned and he bowed "Thank you for the praise!"
"Your brother...he was a hero right?"
Iida nodded "Yes, he was called Ingenium...that was as the hero name that had been passed down for generations in my family. The mantle was passed down to me but...I still like it's tainted"
"I bet he's really proud of you...The rest of your family should be too. If they ain't, tell them the fifth ranked hero told you that you kick major ass!"
"Thank you again...but please do not tell any official I told you this!"
Miruko simply made a "zipping" motion across her mouth
"Why don't we kick some villainous ass?"
Battling criminals with Miruko was actually really fun. Iida never expected to ever feel this much joy from fighting but Miruko's aggressive and riotous energy rubbed off on him. He found himself mirroring her devious grin when they caught criminals unawares with their attacks. After their battles Miruko tended to pump her fist in the air and shout that the criminals that they beat "were nowhere near her level" and after their fifth or so battle, Iida found himself doing the same thing.
Then they got a call for backup. Endeavour and Hawks were battling this modified Noumu and it had spawned its lesser brethren into the battle. Right after she received the call, Miruko attempted to dissuade Iida from joining the battle.
"You're my apprentice and I know you're pretty badass but if you want to sit this one out I don't blame you-"
"My apologies Miruko, but innocent people are in danger and I cannot sit idly by when they need someone to help."
Miruko sighed "I knew you would say something like that…"
The Noumus they fought were extremely disgusting but they weren't that powerful, thankfully. Apparently the superior one that Endeavour and Hawks battled was even stronger than the ones class 1A faced in USJ incident. Iida hoped that wasn't the case because the juggernaut they had fought was nearly unstoppable.
The aftermath of Endeavour's battle was a sight to see. The number one hero was viciously wounded in multiple areas including his face. Iida inwardly huffed at Endeavour's new facial scar...perhaps it was some sort of karma for what he had done to Todoroki?
Still...Iida was glad he was still alive and he had assumed that Todoroki was too. Miruko was a fair distance away and she looked like she was yelling at Hawks.
The media arrived soon afterwards. Iida turned towards Miruko "Well, it's time to answer some questions."
Miruko just scoffed "Nah, I don't do stuff like that. Meet me at my office!" She took off afterwards, leaving Iida to answer questions alone.
Miruko's ears twitched when she heard the door open and heavy metal footsteps thump in the room
"What took you so long kid? You should have been here like half an hour ago!"
"My apologies, I made a stop at a convenience store for some refreshments. I bought a can of orange juice for myself. I also bought a can of carrot juice for you if you would like."
"Hell yeah! Thank you so much! Toss it over here!"
Iida threw her the drink and took off his armour before lounging on the couch next to her. He took a long sip of his juice before speaking.
"Why were you so adamant in escaping the media?"
"Because they suck! You know what it's like being a hero that happens to be a woman, especially one that is in the top ten?"
"I can't say I have, and I won't pretend to understand what you're going through…"
"While guys like Hawks and Kamui Woods get questions about their quirks and special moves I get asked about any boyfriends I might have, what sort of makeup I wear, or how I do my hair. People like Mt. Lady and Uwabami might be able to take that shit but not me! How can they take not being treated seriously like the guys?
"And then I hear shit about my physique. Like how I'm "too muscular" to be a role model for young girls and that I should act more "proper". Why the fuck should anyone care about my muscles! It's completely ridiculous!"
"Some of my female colleagues echoed such sentiments. I am deeply sorry that you must deal with that sort of treatment on a daily basis…"
Miruko sighed "Thanks for that...I actually didn't think you would understand considering you're a guy but you've been surprising me all day! Listen, when you get out of school you can be my sidekick anytime! You spoiled me and I won't accept anyone else!"
The day Iida returned to school he was bombarded with questions from his friends.
"I saw you on the news and you said you were working with Miruko! Is that true?"
"Yes, Uraraka. She chose me to be her apprentice. Truth be told- I didn't apply to her! She just picked me!"
Yaoyorozu congratulated him "She must have seen something great in you...What was it like working with her?"
"She was a fine teacher. I actually developed a new exercise routine with her help that will hopefully reduce the drawbacks of my recipro burst technique."
"That's amazing! Both you and Tokoyami interned with two of the top ten heroes!"
After answering more questions from his friends, Iida went to bed. His time with Miruko while fun, was extremely exhausting. Despite all of the grueling training and fighting, he hoped that he would be able to work with her again.