Izuku was waiting in front of the doors, hidden in the crowd of candidates, and he could barely contain the nervous energy inside him. He was in UA. He was about to try to pass the entrance exam in order to become a hero. It didn’t feel real.
His mom was at home right now and she had no idea of what he was doing. She would freak out as soon as she learned about it.
He shifted his weight from one foot to another, trying to evacuate some of his restlessness. He just needed a distraction, but though he had recognized some fellow students from his middle school, none of them was in sight now, and it wasn’t as if he was friend with any of them. Izuku wasn’t close to anyone.
So he took a deep breath and focused on the only thing that could calm it when doubts and worries threaten to overwhelm him : his quirk. A discreet presence inside him, and like every time he reached Inside himself, fear receded for a time.
You are trained. You know your quirk.
''AND... BEGIN !
You can do this.
''WHAT'S WRONG ? THE TEST'S STARTED ! RUN ! RUN ! THE DIE IS CAST !''
Izuku took a deep breath while everyone started running. He didn't hurry and he took a second to clear his mind, before focusing on his favorite quirks, the one he kept close.
Speed. Cooldown. Strength. Jump. Endurance. Resistance. Inertia. And his favorite, Air pressure.
He dashed towards the entrance.
Toshinori was waiting for a sign. In a perfect world, finding a successor would have been a matter of instinct. He would have met someone wanting to be a hero and thought ‘’This one. This one will be my successor.’’ There would be no doubt, it would be as clear as a ray of light touching the chosen one, or as the collective voice of every past One for All users whispering to him : ‘’Yes, they shall be worthy of One for All.’’
Reality had methodically trampled on those hopeful aspirations but no one could prevent him from dreaming.
He didn’t think he would find a candidate among the first years, not when they never had the chance to correctly train their quirk. But watching them was interesting. He barely remembered being so young. So unsure and full of passion at the same time.
Some of them would become his future students. Heroes' eggs.
He couldn't help a smile at this idea. The new generation, and he would have a role in shaping it.
He focused back on the giant screens and his colleagues' comments.
Izuku sprinted towards a two-pointer, slamming his palm on the hot metal. He activated Breakdown, and left a second after his quirk started acting, the robot crumbling down in his wake. Back when he had taken this quirk, he had never expected to use it. A sweet old lady had problems controlling it, and after breaking countless TVs, cellphones, and in one occasion a bus, she had asked for help.
The teenager had taken it because the poor woman was sick of it, but right now, surrounded by robots and in need of something non flashy, he was starting to love this quirk. It worked only on mechanical things, and every time he touched a robot, it started to dismantle under his fingers.
He was careful, of course. The damage was from the inside to the outside, and could be mistaken for coming from a physical quirk.
How many points did he need to pass ? There were many candidates, fewer and fewer robots, and he had no idea of how many students would be taken. About forty, but there were always the recommended ones. Also, there was no guaranty UA would take the same number on each arenas.
You should fail this test because if you pass, you would probably get kicked out before your first year is over.
A shadow loomed over the whole arena, cutting his strategy making, and Izuku had a moment where his mind went blank as everyone around him was running for their lives. He looked up and kept looking up as something huge was approaching, obviously not interested in details like turning corners to avoid buildings.
It was so huge that it was obscuring the sky.
And it looked like the drawing of the zero pointer.
''Def... Definitely not at scale,'' Izuku stuttered, his eyes wides.
And as he looked at the wreckage it was creating, he saw a colorful form of the ground, moving -no- trapped near the zero pointer. It would stop in time, right ?
Are you sure about that ?
He was already moving anyway.
His feet were barely touching the ground, a handful of Speed quirks spreading through him.
At this moment, the world was clear. It didn't matter that he had a 'bad' quirk. That caution dictated him to stay low, to not draw attention. He just knew someone was in danger and that he had the means to help.
He was feeling at peace for the first time in months.
He didn't have the time to stop. Even if he did manage to help the nice girl, the pause would probably be enough for the robot to catch up to them. So Izuku jumped, using the wall of a nearby building as a launching pad.
The concrete under his feet disintegrated upon the impact, and Izuku went airborne, wind screaming in his ears. He abandoned Jump and Speed to focus on all his Strength quirks, on Air pressure, and on Resistance.
He screamed as the energy of a dozen of quirks passed through him, and punched as hard as he could. The robot rocked back in a deafening noise of distorted metal and pieces started raining, away from the candidates and more importantly, away from the one who was trapped.
Then he realized how high he had jumped and how far away was the ground.
Gravity swallowed him whole.
He called all his Resistance quirks to him, knowing that it wouldn't be enough. He had to break the impact. How many Strength quirks ? How long did he have ? How not to break his neck because of the momentum ?
His saving grace came in the form a a building absurdly high. He saw a wall and hanged on for dear life, his feet and palms hitting to the side of a building at the same moment and he used Air pressure like it was originally used to.
Izuku stuck to the beautiful solid and safe matter as if he was a tin man on a giant magnet.
Air pressure was at first given to him as a way to slide and glide. The repellent force akin to air which allowed him to inject more power to his movements could be become an attracting one allowing him to stick to anything like a suction cup.
He sled down the building, gradually decelerating because if he stopped abruptly, his wrists and ankles wouldn't be able to bear it.
He let go at the last moment and the rest of his fall was cancelled by a dumpster he absolutely didn't aim for. The plastic groaned, the plastic container felt under his weight and he finished his course on the sidewalk. Unhurt.
A good landing is a landing you survive to. But his stomach didn't seem to agree.
Izuku decided to stay on the ground for a while. It was nice, not life-threatening, and his legs didn't seem to want to work. Hell, if he was quiet enough, maybe no one would see him and he would be able to sleep here.
Luck wasn't on his side because someone was running towards him. Weirdly. A moment late, he recognized the nice girl, who shouldn't be walking if her foot was injured.
''Are you OK ?'' she asked with so much worry on her face that Izuku froze, words suddenly fleeing him.
This only seemed to worry her more. And she seemed greener by the second.
''How are you ? Please, say something ?''
Izuku finally remembered how to talk but not how to actually think about what he was saying.
''I saw my whole life flashing before my eyes,'' he managed to explain. ''I think I need a minute.''
They looked at each other and simultaneously sighed, relieved and gleeful to be alright despite the threat of giant robots, gravity, and the collateral damages which came with education.
And then, Izuku ducked as the girl threw up where his shoes had been a moment earlier.