Peter whistles at the size of U.A.'s campus. Right ahead of that gate, the aptly named "U.A. Barrier," is the main building. Off to the side and not too far away are the dorms, and over in the distance are other school facilities the size of...buildings definitely big enough to fit three F.E.A.S.T. shelters.
Yeah, he'll go with that.
Standing a few feet away, Gwen and Harry are chatting about the security level of the U.A. Barrier. Next to Peter, MJ is already snapping photos left and right and writing down notes in her journal, already in a tizzy over what she's going to write for the newspaper club back at Xavier.
"I wonder where Coach went..."
Ned gapes at Peter. "Seriously? We're standing in front of the top hero school in Japan, and the first thing you ask is where the Cap's at!?"
Peter shrugs. "I mean...I really don't know what else to say...? I've seen a lot of high tech in Mr. Stark's lab."
Ned stops. "Oh...Yeah, that makes sense."
"He went to go fetch the principal."
Peter's used to Natasha popping up out of nowhere. Ned, on the other hand, leaps into Peter's arms Scooby-Doo style while his voice cracks, "M—Miss Romanoff!" (Technically, it should be "Romanova," but...apparently, "Romanoff" is what people go with.)
"Should we go in?" Peter asks. "Or do we have to wait out here?"
"You won't have to wait very long." Natasha points up ahead at the main building's doors, where Steve, a scruffy man with white strips of fabric for a scarf, and a white mouse in a black business suit are approaching the crowd.
"Xavier students!" The white mouse's tone is friendly, but Peter can't help feeling a little wary. "Welcome to U.A. High School! You might be surprised to hear this, but I am the principal here, Nezu."
Flash squints. "Wait, this little—"
Gwen shoots web into his mouth before he finishes.
"As for why you haven't been allowed past the gate, yet..." Nezu digs into his bag. "The gate is designed to keep out anyone who isn't a student or staff member of our school." He pulls out a stack of several visitor IDs, exactly the same material as a legit ID instead of a crappy piece of sticky paper, and what looks like some kind of wireless earpieces, like Pepper's bluetooth. "We only have one copy of every ID for each of you present, so please take care not to lose these!"
How is the principal even speaking fluent English—wait, no, Japanese schools are required to teach English (as far as Peter was told) so it's a given Nezu can speak their language, even if he's Japanese.
"Along with your ID, you will be given a translator to allow you to interact with other Japanese-speakers."
Ah. That's what the earpieces are. (That's when Peter realizes, while putting on the translator, he doesn't have free hands because he's still carrying Ned.)
It only takes a few seconds to get the translators working, after which Steve takes over talking. "Once we get inside, each of you will partner up with someone from the hero course. Given your class's size, some of you may be in groups of three, and that's fine. I expect everybody here to be on your best behavior." He turns to the scruffy man. "Aizawa, I leave them to you."
"Right." Aizawa starts for the front doors. "Let's not waste any time. Follow me."
The inside of the main building looks even bigger than Peter ever expected. Too many times Harry had to pull him and Gwen along because they often tried to wander away on their own.
Peter murmurs to himself, "I wonder what kind of people they get to warrant these huge doors..." Seriously, the doors to the classrooms are just millimeters away from the ceiling!
The walls are also soundproof, so nobody is expecting the loud noise erupting from Class 1-A.
Peter flinches, shrinking into himself as his hands fly to his headphones around his neck.
Fortunately, he doesn't need to pull them on. Aizawa's eyes glow red and, somehow, his hair starts to whip around like there's wind. The stern glare in his expression is enough for the students to silence themselves and scramble into their seats, and honestly, Peter feels his spider-sense going off like crazy. He hears Cindy let out a small "Meep...!" and almost laughs when Kaine steps in front of him and Cindy protectively.
Aizawa's eyes turn back to normal, and Peter's spider-sense quiets enough for his nerves to relax. (Kaine, however, doesn't budge.) He sighs heavily, eyes narrowing at a boy with spiky red hair. "Kirishima, seriously? I told you guys to behave and you pull that." What was going on before Aizawa let them in, Peter has no clue.
Kirishima smiles sheepishly—gee whiz those teeth look like spearheads!—and scratches the back of his head. "Haha, sorry Sensei, I couldn't help myself—"
Everybody snaps to a boy with fluffy green hair and freckles. His eyes are wide enough that Peter worries they'll roll right out of their sockets. "Y—you're Peter Parker! R—right!?"
"Like, the Peter Parker!?"
"As in Spider-Man? The guy who took down the Sinister Six by himself last year!?"
All eyes turn on him.
Peter's about to reach for his headphones again from the sudden clamor when Aizawa's eyes glow red again.
Unfortunately, Peter's heart is still pounding in a frenzy.
"What is wrong with you guys today...?" Aizawa tiredly drags a hand over his face.
Seriously? Peter squints as the man pulls out a yellow sleeping bag.
"Iida, Yaoyorozu. I'll leave the pair-ups to you."
SERIOUSLY!? Peter is no less bamboozled than his classmates, watching Aizawa climb into the sleeping bag and lay down on the floor. He steals a glance at Harry, who only offers an equally confused look and shrugs.
A girl with black hair in a spiky ponytail waves casually. "He gets like that all the time."
MJ immediately leaps out of the crowd. "Hey! You're Momo Yaoyorozu, right!?"
The girl with the ponytail blinks in surprise. "Y—yes...?"
MJ snatches her hand, shaking it eagerly. "Mary Jane Watson! I'm writing articles for the newspaper club at my school, and I'd like to get an interview with you about yourself and your Quirk!"
Of course she'll go for the Creation girl. Peter chuckles as the two girls chatter excitedly.
Harry approaches Iida with a curious tilt of his head. "You're...Tenya Iida, right? Harry Osborn. I watched your matches in the Sports Festival. If you don't mind too much, could I ask about your Quirk?"
Like MJ, Iida snatches Harry's hand and shakes it so fast it's a miracle both hands didn't pop off. "Yes! Of course! Ask however many questions you have and I'll be happy to answer!"
One rich boy to another. It's good to see Harry coming out of his shell after that "incident" with his dad.
Peter watches Gwen join MJ in 20 Questions with Yaoyorozu. No doubt Gwen was thinking the same thing when MJ first reached out to 1-A's vice president. I feel like they would be great shopping buddies.
Kaine and Laura seem to gravitate towards a boy with red hair on his left side, and white hair on his right. Todoroki, huh? I have a feeling those three will get along really well.
Jessica's already making small talk with a frog-like girl, which Peter finds impressive. It's really hard to get Jessica's attention in any way.
Cindy must have felt some kind connection to Kirishima. The two are already jumping from one topic to another and sharing playlists on their phones.
Nico and Wanda have found a kinship with Uraraka. Tiny objects float in the air, some with a red aura, others just naturally floating. I guess making things float makes people gravitate towards each other. Oh man, Michelle would kill me for that one.
Pietro has wandered over to where Harry and Iida are still chatting away. He's probably thinking about comparing their Quirks. Not surprising, since they're both really fast.
The rest of Peter's class seems to have found their designated buddy (or buddies, in some cases). Mimi's with the Earphone Jack girl, Felicia's with a guy with a tail, Tandy's somehow found an invisible girl...
Peter glances around. So...who do I buddy with...? He zeroes in on a plain-faced guy talking to Anya. Isn't that Sero? He's the guy with tape coming from his elbows, right? If he doesn't mind an extra person, I guess I can hang with him... Michelle would definitely kill me for that one.
A tap on his shoulder makes him turn around, and he comes face to face with the green-haired boy from earlier. "Um, h—hi..." He rubs his neck, and Peter can tell he's nervous. "Just...wanted to say sorry about earlier...you know, for—...getting you ID'ed in front of everyone...You probably didn't like that at all."
Peter does a double-take. "Huh...? O—oh! D—don't worry about it! I'm still getting used to the attention, th—that's all."
He knows he's famous. It's expected, considering his battle against the six villains currently in the Raft was televised. He didn't even know it the media was watching him until he woke up in the hospital and saw the news. (Happy was also guarding his room from the reporters.) Would he brag about it? Certainly not. Almost landing in front of the pearly gates doesn't warrant that at all.
The green-haired boy holds out his hand. "I'm Izuku Midoriya."
Midoriya...? Hey, wait a minute!
"You're the guy who fought Todoroki in the Sports Fest!"
Izuku raises his eyebrows. "Y—you were watching?"
"Heck yeah!" Peter is practically buzzing with excitement. "You were awesome out there! Especially how you punched right through the concrete walls Cementoss put up! It's like they weren't even there!" He tilts his head. "It kind of reminds me of All Might's Quirk."
Izuku stutters and stammers, face bright red as his hands fly up in a frantic attempt to hide his face. (That's kind of adorable!) "O—o—oh, um, w—well...you know...super strength...gotta love super strength! Haha—"
"You got a problem, bitch?"
"I could ask the same thing to you."
Peter's spider-sense is at full bars.
So far, everybody's getting along.
Well, everybody save for...
A guy with spiky, ashen blond hair glares into Flash's eyes. Peter instantly recognizes him as Katsuki Bakugou, the explosive guy—figuratively and literally—who won first place in the Sports Festival (and brutally blasted Uraraka out of the ranks earlier in the first round).
Peter slowly turns to Izuku, who is sharing the same frightened look in his already wide eyes. "I—is he...?"
"He always gets like that...W—what about the other...?"
"Flash?" Peter shrugs. "H—he's...not so bad now, but...s—still...pretty um...aggressive."
I really hope nothing happens...
"Seriously, how can rice taste so good!? Isn't it usually bland?"
"Hehe, that's Lunch Rush's Quirk for ya~!"
"This is sooooo much better than the lunches back in the US! It's actually better than Xavier's school lunches..."
"Yeah! Xavier's alright. But everywhere else? They're absolute crap."
Peter's eyes don't leave his laptop screen.
"Hey speaking of food, why'd you get so much for them?"
"Peter and the other spider kids have a higher-than-average metabolism."
"Their bodies burn through whatever's in their stomachs and systems a lot faster."
"Peter. Come on."
His fingers tap away on the keyboard.
"Damn, that is some serious concentration right there..."
"I wonder what he's working on?"
"Probably something for Mr. Stark."
"He works for Tony Stark!?"
"Yeah. He's an intern. As a scientist and mechanic, not a hero-in-training."
"Peter come on take a bite, will you!?"
He hears MJ sigh, and a mouthwatering smell wafts under his nose. He opens his mouth, and something that tastes like the katsudon Ned made weeks before touches his tongue as he bites down.
His eyes still don't leave the screen.
"Ha— Haha— Oh my god!"
"Classic Peter Parker, Exhibit A."
"This isn't the first time!?"
"He always gets like this when he's focused on something."
"When the bae is too busy with work and you gotta feed him."
Suddenly, his laptop is gone.
Peter snaps his head to where Harry is tucking it away in his bag. "H—hey! I'm still working—"
Harry frowns instead, and jabs a finger at the tray in front of Peter. "You can work later. Now eat."
MJ and the other girls giggle when Peter huffs like a child. Momo, on the other hand, shakes a her head. "Working hard the way you do is great, but it's important to remember to take care of yourself."
Peter slumps a little, accepting the vanilla milk bottle MJ hands him. "You sound a lot like Pepper when you say that..."
"She's right though." Tenya adjusts his glasses. "It's important to eat in order to have energy for the day, especially with your high metabolism. Now, who is this Pepper...?"
Peter automatically answers, "The current CEO of Stark Industries."
"Wait, you mean, Virginia Potts?"
Tooru pipes up. "Oh yeah! She's Stark's fiancée!"
Mina grins wide. "Hey, if he gives you the invite, share the wedding pics will ya?"
Denki tilts his head. "Why is she called 'Pepper' though?"
Peter snickers. "Her Quirk is Pepper Breath and, basically, she can breathe and blow out pepper spray. A long time before she got personal with Mr. Stark, there was this guy harassing her in the workplace and—"
"Ohhhhhhhhhh snap!" Sero covers his grin with his hand.
Momo sighs heavily, picking at her food. "That's a useful Quirk to have." Peter follows her glare to a tiny little dude with grape-like hair...
...who is trying to look up Ibara's skirt.
Peter scrunches his face up in disgust, aiming a hand in the guy's direction and—
—he's all webbed up.
The vine-haired girl's quickly turns around, and the poor girl looks scandalized as she pieces together what the guy—Mineta, Izuku said—was trying to do. Wanda finishes the job by pointing at him, making him levitate, a red aura surrounding him as he floats over to a trash can, and drops him. Peter doesn't feel bad at all as he watches the grape dude wail and flail around helplessly in the garbage.
Off to the side, Itsuka flashes them a thumbs-up.
Flash glances at Kyoka. He doesn't look amused at all, either. "Is that grape guy—?"
One by one, the U.A. students show their disdain.
"We deal with him on a daily basis."
"So not a fan."
When Clint pulls Peter and Wanda aside to ask why they attacked another student, specifically one from U.A., Wanda flashes the unpleasant image into their teacher's mind.
Clint is all too willing to let them off the hook.
"You can just call me Peter."
"Peter." Izuku tilts his head. "You...don't seem to have much of a reaction with U.A."
Peter blinks. "Don't get me wrong, I think this place is pretty cool." He scratches his head and smiles sheepishly. "I just...I've seen a lot of high-class stuff with Harry and Mr. Stark, so...I'm pretty used it. I guess you could say I got kind of spoiled on it."
Izuku glances out the window, eyeing the U.A. Barrier. "Is that why the front gate interests you more?"
Peter chuckles. "Yeah. It's kind of similar to the A.I.'s at the compound I work in, but without the talking."
The green-haired boy whips around, eyes widening again. "Your A.I.s talk!?"
The brunet nods, reaching for his wristwatch. "I actually have one with me right now. You wanna—"
Izuku flashes an embarrassed smile. "Ah, s—sorry. Um, please?"
Peter laughs. "Yeah. Gimme a sec..."
He presses the button on the side, and watches the screen light up with the familiar red spider logo.
"Hey Karen. There's someone who wants to meet ya." Peter holds his hand out.
Izuku stutters and stammers. "Uh— H—hel—hello, um—"
"Hello, Mr. Midoriya. I'm Karen, the A.I. Mr. Stark assigned to Peter."
Izuku pauses. "Assigned...?"
"Yes," Karen continues. "Ms. Romanova and Mr. Rogers have similar watches on their person."
Izuku immediately fires off a multitude of questions, some about the other A.I.'s, some over details of Peter and the other spider heroes' specific abilities (Peter never considered sensitivity to cold temperatures as a potential weakness—that's something to keep in mind) and others more silly, like if the Xavier students and staff ever use their Quirks for mundane purposes.
"So Peter's headphones are for...?"
"Yes. Peter's heightened senses are a side-effect of his Quirk. Unfortunately, he has difficulty 'dialing it down' as you might say, so often times he may require the headphones to prevent sensory overload. The same goes for Ms. Watson, Mr. Morales, and so on, though Ms. Stacy's A.I. was created by Mr. Osborn. As you may have noticed earlier, Ms. Stacy, Ms. Watson and a few others also have headphones."
Peter chimes in. "Miles Morales. We live in the same apartment complex back in New York."
"Oh." Izuku nods, but then frowns. "Wait, you said you needed your headphones sometimes? Do they also go along with your hero costume?"
Karen answers for him, "The technology required to reign in his senses are also built into his suit."
The questions continue until Izuku asks how much Karen knows about the U.A. Barrier.
Peter listens attentively. Up until this year, nobody was able to break into the school's campus. The only way someone got past the front gate's security system was with a disintegration Quirk...Shigaraki.
He shudders as the name pops up. He can clearly recall someone else who had a Quirk like that...and that person actually killed Peter once with a similar—same?—Quirk. He can't remember all the details, but Tony, Captain Marvel and probably a few others helped bring him back somehow, along with the Pro Heroes who fell victim.
At least that...bastard is gone now...
He jerks out of his thoughts. Izuku is staring at him worriedly. "Are you okay? You're pretty pale."
Peter swallows hard and tries for a smile. "Y—yeah...I just...remembered something, that's all."
Izuku doesn't stop though. "...Do you want to talk about it?"
"Huh?" Peter stares at him dumbly. This is the first day they have met, but this guy is already willing to lend an ear. "Um...I..." Peter shifts his foot awkwardly. "I...don't think I'm ready to talk yet..."
It's probably better if he doesn't know.
"Oh. Okay then." Izuku nods, giving a small smile that shows he understands. "If uh...if you need to talk, I'm here—"
Ochaco comes out of nowhere (actually she stampeded down the hall from Peter's left) and gets all up in Izuku's face.
The poor guy yelps and stumbles back, face quickly flushing redder than MJ's hair. "U—Uraraka-san!"
Peter chuckles as the scene plays out. Izuku being startled is understandable—Ochaco doesn't seem to understand "personal space"—but his reaction is still pretty strange...
Even after the initial shock, Izuku is still flustered.
Peter steals a glance at Ochaco, who, after realizing within the next few seconds, becomes flustered herself.
He glances at Mina, who smirks playfully and winks.
Natasha is going to love this one.
"Wait, so...we're not staying in a hotel?"
Peter glances up from his laptop at Cindy. "Yeah? You didn't read the memo?"
Cindy tilts her head. "But, if we're not staying in a hotel, where are we gonna sleep?"
He stops typing.
...He didn't think about that.
Before he can call Steve, Natasha walks into the classroom. "Okay kiddos, grab your stuff. We're heading for the dorms."
Dorms? "Um," Peter gives his Russian teacher a funny look. "Dorms?"
"Yup," Natasha replies, "With everything going on, Nezu didn't have time to have guest buildings built. The dorms for the U.A. students have some empty rooms, so you'll have a sleepover with them."
"We're having a sleepover!?" Mina jumps up and down excitedly. "Guys! Guys WE'RE HAVING A SLUMBER PARTY!"
Peter ducks his head down, reaching for his headphones once the happy hollering starts.
"Wanda! Nico!" Ochaco lunges for the other brunette. "The two rooms next to mine are empty! You can use them if you want!"
"Momo!" Gwen and MJ are already at Momo's desk. "What floor are you on?" They demand. Gwen says something about the molecular structure for the latest neuro-tech, and MJ mentions something about doing each other's hair. Satou goes up to them and mentions the room next to his is empty, and he's willing to bake some treats if they want. (No fair!)
Jessica calls dibs on rooming next to Asui. Tyrone accepted an offer over the room across from Tokoyami's. Harry's pretty happy when Tenya asks him to take the one across his so they can talk more about Harry's pet projects at Oscorp. Pietro jumps at the chance when Denki tells him the room across his is empty, and he's on the same floor as Tenya. Kaine takes the room across from Mineta's, in case the latter tries anything funny with the girls'.
Only three empty rooms are left in Class 1-A's dorms.
Nobody is willing to take the one next to Bakugou's.
Except Flash, who also wants to make sure Mineta doesn't do...whatever. It seems he and Bakugou agree on something. ("You do you, I'll do me, and we won't do each other...Probably." "...What the fuck you dumbass?" "...Yeah, that came out completely wrong.")
Cindy glances around at the rest of her and Peter's class. "There's, like, what. More than twenty five of us?"
"1-B's dorm also has empty rooms," Momo offers. "You can ask them if they're willing to lend them. They're right next door."
Izuku taps on Peter's shoulder. "If you want, you can take the room across mine." He twiddles his thumbs. "I actually still have a lot of questions..."
Peter grins. "Sure! I'm game."
"NO ONE WANTS TO ROOM WITH ME!?" Aoyama, the blond French dude, seems to be in distress.
Cindy eagerly raises her hand. "I'll take it!" It makes sense. Peter and Kaine are on the same floor, and the three of them are like peas in a pod.
"MERCI BEAUCOUP!" Aoyama grabs hold of her hands, sparkling tears splashing out of his eyes. (Peter has the feeling the poor fella doesn't have a lot of friends...)
"Hey, if you're done planning your sleepover, we gotta get moving."
Peter snorts in amusement. While everyone was caught up with who is going to be on which floor, they completely forgot about Natasha.
The dorms aren't too far away, being roughly a five-minute walk from the main building. Ned and the rest of Peter's class split away and head for 1-B's dorms, while the girls pull each other ahead of the group and race to their designated building.
Once they're inside and in their rooms, Peter stays in his room on Izuku's floor. As much as he would love to join the others in their antics downstairs, he's a little more interested in finishing his checklist for his and Tony's pet project. The man scrambled to put it together once he came up with the idea of putting Karen and MJ's A.I. in vibranium robot spiders to act as tiny drones, perfect for crawling into spaces where Peter and MJ can't.
And, for some reason, Peter also feels like forgetting something. He figures it has to do with another project, although with his Parker luck, it's probably something more important...
He's reviewing the blueprints and typing feedback when there's a knock at his door. "Peter?" It's Momo. "Dinner's ready."
He types away for another thirty minutes before there's another knock. "Parker?" Eijirou. "Come on down, man! Time to eat!"
"I'll be there in a minute."
Another five minutes pass.
"Peter?" Ochaco. "It's almost been more than thirty minutes. Are you okay?"
"I'm great. Just working on something right now. Give me another minute."
Another fifteen minutes pass.
Harry barges in without warning, picks up Peter by the waist and tosses him over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes.
"Waitwaitwaitwaitwait—!" Peter shoots a web strand out of his wrist to the far wall. "I'MNOTDONEYET—!"
Kaine comes in a split second later, and cuts the web strand with scissors.
Peter jolts himself awake, accidentally knocking the neuroscience textbook off his bed. His hands scramble for his phone.
He stuffs his feet in his shoes, not bothering with socks or changing out of his t-shirt and sweatpants, and snatches his hoodie off his chair.
Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!
He brings up his watch. "Karen! Call Steve!"
"Calling Mr. Rogers."
He doesn't care about the frigid air surrounding him as soon as he opens the door and races for the main building. Not when he realized who was missing in their group last night. It doesn't matter if the guy was awful to the girls. Leaving him like that is not! Nice!
They left Mineta behind!
In the garbage can!