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Cobalt Star

Chapter Text

It started in China, when a child was born shining like the sun. After that, Quirks began manifesting, both mutative and supernatural in ability. However, no one could miss the fact that, while physical mutation Quirks seemed to be universal, the ones classified as supernatural only manifested in women. Men could sprout horns and tails, but only women could control fire and similar abilities. As such, all men were deemed effectively Quirkless.

Not long later, women slowly began to grow taller and stronger than men. At first there was only a few inches difference, but that difference grew as time passed. Within a hundred years of Quirks manifesting, the average woman was over ten feet tall, while men remained completely unchanged.

It was only after this was the last major change to Humanity discovered. As women grew and Quirks became more prevalent in society, there was a slow decline in the male population. Bit by bit, fewer and fewer men were born. When the decline finally stabilized, men only made up twenty percent of the world population.

Between the manifestation of Quirks, the sudden growth of women and the diminished male population, it seemed like Evolution was intent on leaving men behind...

***

"Kacchan!" a young boy with curly green hair hollered as he ran towards an equally young boy with spiky blond hair. "Are you going today too?"

"You bet, Izuku!" the blond boy grinned. "I bet we'll be the first boys in history to get Quirks!"

"That would be awesome!" the green-haired boy, Izuku, cheered with stars in his eyes. "Then we could be heroes, just like Lady Might!" The two young boys cheered and danced at the idea until Izuku suddenly began floating up above his friend. "Kacchan! I can fly!" His friend only laughed while a large pair of arms wrapped around Izuku.

"It was just me, honey," Izuku's mother, Inko, smiled as she hugged her diminutive son close. "It's about time to get you checked out." Izuku beamed and hugged his mom back.

"See you later, Kacchan!" Izuku waved as his friend as his mom carried him away. "Mama, do you think I could have a quirk?"

"We'll see," she smiled. "Even if you don't, you're still more special than you think, honey." Giving him a quick kiss on the cheek, she carried her son to the car, to receive his quirk evaluation.

***

Later that night, Izuku was depressed. He didn't have a quirk, after all. Katsuki might have had a quirk for all he knew, but Izuku was Quirkless, just like every other man on the planet. He just wanted to be a hero with his best friend, but it was looking like that couldn't be a thing.

His mom tried his best to cheer him up, but even after dessert that night he was barely any better. With a heavy heart, young Izuku slowly walked to his bedroom. He was not looking forward to tomorrow morning. Turning off the lights, he slowly crawled into his bed and got comfy.

And that was when he saw the armored man.

Izuku's eyes locked onto them the instant he laid in bed. The person, if they were such a thing, was wearing a complete suit of smooth, dark blue armor, looking like something from a video game. Inside its' helmet, however, there was no face. There were two small flames floating where the eyes should have been. These small flames illuminated the inside of the helmet, showing there was no head inside. With how short they were, they must have been a man. The person stood in front of Izuku's dresser, dead silent, looking right at him.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!"

The man did not react to Izuku's scream of terror, still staring in dead silence. However, his mother did hear him, and in mere seconds he felt the reverberation of her massive footfalls as she ran to his room. She slammed the door open, and yet even at this the man did not react.

"Izuku, what's wrong?" Inko asked with a worried tone as she turned the lights on.

"Th-there's a man standing there, mama!" Izuku cried as he pointed at the still-silent figure. Inko looked in the man's direction for a few seconds before looking back at Izuku.

"Izuku, sweetie, there's no one there."

"Wha...? B-but mama..." Izuku cried again. The man was right there, how could she not see him? Inko looked for a bit longer before her eyes fell on the top of the dresser.

"Hold on," she said as she flipped the lights on and off a few times before turning them back on, giving a soft giggle. "Sweetie, it's just your toys here." She walked to the dresser, passing through the armored man, and moved the Lady Might figures around a bit. "The way they're arranged, the shadow looks like a person."

Izuku was silent as this occurred. His mom couldn't see the man. She couldn't touch the man. The man in question just stood still, looking right at Izuku. Inko gave Izuku a smile, a kiss on the head, and bade him goodnight before quietly walking back out. Izuku was again alone with the man.

"H-hello?" he asked the man.

There was no response.

"A-are you a ghost?"

Still nothing. The man didn't say a thing, didn't react at all. He just stood there,silent and unmoving. With a sigh, Izuku rolled over to go to sleep. Maybe he was just seeing things.

---

When Izuku woke up, the armored man was not by the dresser. Instead, he was standing by the bed, but not looking at Izuku. He was standing as though he were guarding Izuku, arms folded and watching the door. Izuku again tried talking to him, but was again met with silence. Sighing, he got up and got dressed. To his surprise, the man quietly followed him out of the bedroom. As he walked to the dining room, he noticed the man walked around the chairs.

'Maybe he can touch them?' Izuku thought to himself. 'He can touch things, but things can't touch him...' After a quick breakfast with Inko, he dashed out to meet up with Bakugou. It was Saturday, and they agreed to meet at the park next to the apartments to talk about their quirk assessment exams. He didn't have a quirk, but knowing Bakugou's luck he would. How would Bakugou react to hearing he didn't have a quirk? Izuku could only hope he wouldn't get mad.

"Izu!" he heard Bakugou shout. "Over here!" Izuku turned, still followed by the armored man, and took a few steps before stopping.

Bakugou was running toward him, but he wasn't alone. Running next to him was something...like a dog? It was big, furry and had four legs, but the head was weird. It kinda looked like a dog head, but had four glowing red eyes, and its' teeth looked like chipped stone. Its' fur was black with glowing red underneath, almost like a burning coal. The tail was long and hairy, with a small flame at the end of it. Was it a dog with a fire quirk?

"Hey, Izu," Bakugou smiled. "You doing okay? Do ya got a quirk? Turns out I don't, which sucks."

"M-me either," Izuku said, glancing at the dog from time to time. It just stood there, looking at Izuku.

"So," Bakugou asked, "who's the metal guy next to you? He a babysitter?" Izuku froze.

"Y...You can see him?"

At this question, Bakugou stared in silence for a few moments before pointing at the dog.

"Can you see him?"

Chapter Text

"Do you have your phone, sweetie?" Inko asked as she finished prepping Izuku's lunch.

"Yes mom," Izuku responded, waving his phone around before stuffing it in his pocket.

"And your charge-pack?"

"Yes, and it's mostly charged."

"Atta boy." Inko knelt and gave her son a quick kiss on the head. "Have a good day." Izuku nodded and hopped out the door. He waited for the door to close behind him before turning to look over his shoulder.

"Shall we?" he bluntly addressed the silent armored man who stood behind his shoulder, much as he'd done since that night when Izuku was four. He was fourteen now. Ten years Izuku had seen this spirit-person-thing. Ten years that said entity had said nothing, and done nothing but follow Izuku around. If Izuku thought about it, the man would disappear but he would always come out a bit later, presumably through some subconscious thought. Izuku had looked through all sorts of quirk history books and occult forums, but it seemed no one else on the entire planet had a similar thing going on.

"Oi, Dekiru!"

Well, except for one other person.

Izuku grinned as he turned to watch his lifelong friend dash up to him. Bakugou caught up quickly, flanked by his own ever-present spirit-thing. The hellhound-thing simply trotted up as Bakugou lightly smacked Izuku's shoulder.

"Yo! Excited for today?" the spiky blond grinned.

"There's nothing fancy going on today, is there?" Izuku asked. "Don't remember any festivals or special events..."

"No way, ya numbskull!" Bakugou gave Izuku a quick noogie as they started walking to school. "Today's the day we get to choose which high school to try for, remember?"

"Oh, that," Izuku chuckled. "No, I didn't forget. We're gonna try out for UA, right?"

"Damn straight!" Bakugou cheered. "Hero Course or bust, shrimpy!"

"But wouldn't we need quirks for that? I mean, we'd need to be able to do something extraordinary, and I'm not sure how useful our spirit-things would be." At this, Bakugou gave a wide sneer.

"Oh don't worry, I managed to get Ember Fang to do something last night. Woulda texted ya, but you woulda been asleep when it happened." Izuku turned to the hellhound in surprise.

"He did? And Ember Fang? Finally settled on a name for it?" He remembered how, anytime Bakugou tried to think of a name for this invisible dog thing, he would retract it later, saying it didn't feel right.

"Not me! Once he did the thing, I just heard the name! I think he named himself. I bet yours will too, once it does something." Izuku opened his mouth to ask for more information, but he was interrupted by a loud bang down the road. Both boys turned and saw a giant sharkwoman standing next to an elevated train track, fighting someone else. Both boys' eyes widened. 

"A villain fight!" Izuku yelled as he dashed towards the battle. "Let's get a closer look!" Bakugou didn't even respond, just chasing after Izuku, their respective spirits flanking them. As they got closer, they mixed into the crowd of other onlookers, struggling to get past the horde of ten-foot women to actually see the fighting. Reaching the front of the crowd, Izuku's eyes widened. 

"KANNA WOODS!" he cheered. "It's Kanna Woods fighting that villain!" He and Bakugou cheered as the fight ensued. As the fight drew to a close, however, things took a twist as a blond woman who was significantly taller than the shark villain appeared from out of nowhere and dropkicked the shark through the air, knocking them unconscious. Most of the crowd was silent for a few moments before cheering for the debut of the new giant hero, but Izuku and Bakugou just stared in silence.

"...Your cousin did say she would be making her debut soon, right?" Izuku asked.

"Damn hag stole Kanna's thunder," Bakugou grumbled as he pulled out his phone and started texting something. "Come on, time to bounce." As the two walked through the crowd, Izuku was already at work writing in his analysis notebook.

"Titantransformation,apopularquirkbutcapableofimmensecollateraldamageespeciallywithasizelikeherwhichhastoexceed100feeteasilyand-"

"Mumbling," Bakugou stated, pulling Izuku out of his analysis. 

"S-sorry," Izuku nervously chuckled. "A-anyway, you said your hellhound spirit-thing could do something?"

"Oh yeah!" Bakugou grinned. "Watch this." He slowly waved his hand. When he did so, the hellhound opened its mouth a bit before snapping it shut. Rather than sounding like teeth clacking, however, it sounded more like a lighter clicking, followed by a small explosion in the air radiating from its mouth.

"I-it made an explosion!" Izuku gasped. "Its teeth must be made of flint, or something like it, and snapping its jaws causes ignition. I assume opening its mouth wider and shutting it fast would make a larger explosion?"

"Dunno, haven't tried that yet," Bakugou shrugged. "Anyway, after it did that the first time last night, I just heard the words 'Ember Fang' in my head, so that's gotta be what this thing is called." Izuku nodded and looked at his own spirit. The blue knight stayed silent as it followed the boys. What was its name? Did it have a power too? Just what were these things?

The rest of the walk to school was quiet as Izuku thought about his silent follower and Bakugou was in a text-argument with his cousin that apparently involved the inappropriate use of a brick.

***

"Okay," the teacher shouted to the class, "you're all third years now! In other words, it's now or never to decide your future!" 

Izuku and Bakugou listened to the teacher as she went on about handing out the career documents, but didn't get excited like the rest of the class. Izuku was too busy writing in his notebook, and Bakugou was staring out the window. They sat by the windows, in heightened chairs that were probably older than the school itself. When they got their forms, Izuku and Bakugou just smiled at each other and filled them out. They knew exactly where they wanted to go.

"Well well," a harsh female tone came from above Izuku as his paper was yanked from his desk, "what do we have here?" Izuku didn't bother looking up, he knew exactly who this was; long brown hair, blue eyes, and a smile so cold it could give anyone hypothermia. Sanada Reika, a sadistic bully with a Whip Quirk to match. "Trying to get into UA? Really?"

"Leave us alone, bitch." Bakugou scolded as he finished filling out his form. 

"Why are you even trying for UA?" Reika continued, a sneer on her face. "They only accept people with quirks, and midgets like you clearly don't qualify. Do yourselves a favor and try someplace else."

"W-why shouldn't we try?" Izuku asked, trying to be defiant. "I mean, I-I heard they accept quirkless people, so-"

"Shut up, runt." Reika interjected as she slammed her hand on his desk. "Even IF that was true, there's no way they'd accept someone as small and weak and pathetic as you. Pick a different school before you make me do something you'll regret."

"You do realize how stupid you just sounded, right?" Bakugou pointed out. "Your sentence was full of grammar errors." Reika turned and glared at Bakugou as a long white cord slowly emerged from her wrist.

"You'd better shut your trap before-" 

She never got to finish her sentence. Bakugou interrupted her by deftly picking up his (rather heavy) pencil box and hurling it at her face, hitting her between the eyes.

"Sorry," he laughed, "I can't hear you over the sound of my pencils hitting your smug bitch face."

"BAKUGOU KATSUKI!" the teacher hollered. "Lunch Detention for you, young man!"

"What!?" Bakugou glared. "She was bullying Izuku!"

"I didn't see that," the teacher said in a matter-of-fact tone, "all I saw was you attacking Sanada. You get detention." Bakugou grumbled and sat back down as Sanada gave Izuku one last glare before returning to her own seat. Izuku was a bit worried now. Bakugou had always been there to help make sure he could actually get through his lunches without being bullied by any of the girls. Now that he had detention, Izuku was fairly certain his lunch was gonna be fairly unpleasant...

***

Izuku hated when he was right. 

Especially when being right amounted to fleeing down a hallway trying to escape from bullies.

Which is what was happening right now. 

The very instant the lunchbell rang, Izuku dashed out ahead of Sanada and her friends. He was hoping to grab some food from the cafeteria and head out to a secluded spot to avoid her, but that idea was quickly ruined. He was lucky he could eat pork buns on the go, because he had spent the better part of the past 20 minutes running for his life. If he could just survive 'til the end of lunch period, he'd be in the clear.

Sadly, his luck ran out with the pork buns.

With a shout of surprise, Izuku was wrapped in an all-too-familiar long white cord and yanked backwards. Sanada had finally decided to use her whip to catch him. She gave a sinister smile as she dragged him back and pulled him off the ground.

"Finally have you, little brat," she sneered.

"Y-you do know it's illegal to use your quirk like-" Izuku started before being slapped into silence.

"I don't wanna hear your words," Sanada growled. "I want you to shut up and listen, worm. You are NOT going to UA, period. Trash like you doesn't get to go to a place like that. In fact..." She peered over to some nearby recycle cans. "Tell me, girls, think this brat qualifies as paper, or plastic?" Sanada's friends laughed as she dragged Izuku towards said cans. Izuku looked around with tears in his eyes, pleading for help. Sadly, no one around was willing to step in. The girls stared in silence, and the few other boys were just as powerless as Izuku. No one helped him, same as they'd done for for years. Looking at his spirit, the silent man in armor, Izuku could only say one word.

"Help."

Then, something truly unexpected happened. 

The spirit dashed forward and seized Sanada's wrist with one hand, bringing her to a sudden stop. Sanada looked back in confusion and tried to pull her wrist free, but was caught fast. Izuku stared in surprise as the spirit used his free hand to grab the whip close to Sanada's wrist and snapped it like a cornstalk. The bully gave a scream of shock and pain as Izuku wriggled himself free. The spirit, not yet done with the surprises, spun around, yanking Sanada off her feet, and hurled her down the hall. She flew with sufficient speed that she bounced a few times when she hit the floor. In complete shock, Izuku looked up at his spirit, which had returned to his silent vigil next to him. It was at that point Izuku heard two words spoken with conviction.

Cobalt Star.

Sanada groaned and got back to her feet, regrowing her severed whip with ease. Izuku looked at her and, despite being over fifty feet away, he could feel the absolute bloodlust emanating from her. He may have gotten free, but he could tell he was also veritably screwed.

"YOU!" she shrieked as she stomped towards him. "I'M GONNA KILL YOU! I DUNNO HOW YOU DID THAT, BUT YOU'RE DEAD MEAT YOU-"

"DIE, YOU FUCKWITCH!!"

Sanada turned back around to the source of the shout behind her. Time seemed to slow down as she and everyone in the hallway saw Bakugou flying at her. Literally. Somehow, against all reason, Bakugou was ten feet above the ground and flying right for her face, poised to deliver a masterful dropkick. She was too in shock at this sight to dodge, and both of Bakugou's feet collided with her face, sending her flat on her back. Bakugou was not done yet. Landing on top of her, he sat on her chest and unleashed a vicious beatdown on her face in more ways than one.

"NEVER TOUCH MY FRIEND, YOU SNOBBY STIFF-NECKED GOAT-HUMPING MUSTACHIOED BINT!" he roared as his fists collided with her face over and over. "THINK IT'S FUN BULLYING PEOPLE HALF YOUR SIZE, HUH!? WELL HOW DOES IT FEEL BEING BEATEN BY A HALF-PINT LIKE ME YOU CROOKED-NOSED WART-FACED SAGGY-TITTY NO-NIPPLES BITCHNUGGET!?"

"Oooh!" one of the present boys exclaimed at the roast. "He said she ain't got no nipples!"

None of Sanada's friends stepped in, also in shock from everything that had occurred. First, some unseen force sent Sanada flying down the hall, then Bakugou had somehow flew through the air and dropkicked her, and now he was puching away like nobody's business. At this point, they might not have been surprised if Lady Might herself stepped into the hallway wearing a kilt. Fortunately, at that point reality seemed to correct itself, as instead a teacher came around the corner.

"WHAT THE HELL IS THIS!?" the teacher roared as she stormed over and yanked Bakugou off Sanada. The boy was glaring longswords at Sanada while the girl in question was almost unconscious from the beating, fresh bruises forming on her face. Utterly appalled by this, the teacher pulled Bakugou up by his arm and glared.

"You're going right to the principal, brat," she hissed. "Your parents will be called and they WILL hear about this." Turning to Sanada's friends, the teacher continued, "you two help her to the nurse's office." With no other words, and lunch almost ended, everyone went their separate ways, Izuku making a beeline for the classroom. This lunch period was way more exciting than he had hoped. 

***

The rest of the schoolday seemed to pass like a blur after that. Neither Bakugou nor Sanada were present for the rest of the day, and the other students were content to leave Izuku alone. A few of them were present to see Sanada go flying, but none of them attributed that feat to Izuku. After all, he didn't touch her and everyone knew he was Quirkless. 

As class ended, Izuku got a text from Bakugou, saying he was gonna be there late, and to head home alone. Izuku sighed and began the long walk. He really hoped Bakugou wouldn't be expelled for this, but also knew the teachers would likely be against him, like they always had. Although, he did have to admit one good thing came out of today. Looking at his silent follower, than man in blue armor, he gave a small smile.

"So, Cobalt Star, huh?" The spirit was silent at this question, and Izuku smiled bigger. "I'm glad I know your name." He continued the walk home in silence, soon passing through an underpass. He was so deep in thought he didn't hear the whispering coming from behind him.

"Hmm, a bit too small for a host, but definitely good enough for bait..."

Chapter Text

"We thank you for coming on such short notice," the principal of Alderra Junior High nodded as Mistuki Bakugou sat in the available chair. Next to her was Katsuki, and sitting off to the side was the teacher who brought him in.

"It's not a problem," Mistuki smiled as she rubbed Katsuki's head. "I know my son can be a bit of a troublemaker. So, what happened this time?"

"What he did," the teacher glared, "was commit assault on a fellow student. I didn't see how it started, but I came in time to see him sitting on her and beating her face in while his friend, Izuku, was close by."

"Who was the student?" Mitsuki asked. 

"It was the same girl who-" Katsuki started.

"BAKUGOU!" the principal yelled, making Katsuki quiet. "Sorry about that. The student he was attacking was Sanada Reika, a classmate of his."

"Reika?" Mitsuki gave a tight-lipped smile. "I've heard quite a lot about that girl." She gave a sidelong glance to her son. "Quite a lot..."

"I see," the principal acknowledged. "So you see, he's gonna have to be suspended for this, and it'll go on his record and possibly affect what high schools he'll be accepted to."

"I see," she gave a wry smile to the principal. "And is this the part where you ask me if I wish to press charges against Reika?" The principal and teacher blanched as Mitsuki continued "And should I ask Midoriya Inko if she wishes to do the same?"

"M-Missus Bakugou," the principal stammered, "y-you're missing the point."

"Oh, I believe I'm seeing the point just fine," Mitsuki growled. She was no longer smiling, having dropped all pretense of politeness. "I know about Sanada Reika. I know how she's been bullying my son and his friend for years. I've seen the bruises they've come home with. Did you honestly think I couldn't tell what was going on?"

"Th-those are from PE class," the teacher feebly responded.

"Yeah right," Mitsuki spat. "I know the truth, and I know you've been letting it slide just because my son and his friend are both quirkless boys. You know, when I first heard that your school accepted male students, I was initially elated, but now I'm beginning to think I should have home-schooled my son if you're willing to tolerate him being bullied like this."

"P-policies aside," the principal tried to regain control of the situation, "your son performed an unwarranted attack another student and needs to be punished."

"No, I'm pretty sure my son came to the defense of his best friend, who was likely being bullied at that moment as well."

"Your son is a menace and deserves to be suspended!" the principal screamed. There were a few moments of silence as everyone took in what just happened before Mitsuki spoke again in a low, angry voice.

"If you try to do anything to my son and his friend...I will make sure you regret it."

The principal scoffed. "And how will you do that, precisely?" Mitsuki's response was the sort of feral smile the principal had only seen on Katsuki when he knew he had the upper hand.

"Because I have a close friend who works as an editor for the Binary Sunset. You know, the biggest newspaper company in the city?" The principal turned pale as Mitsuki continued, "Now, try to consider that I have access to two witnesses-slash-victims of bullying from this school, combined with photos showing the results of that bullying...along with testimony that you and your staff have done NOTHING to stop it. Can you imagine the absolute shitshow you and your teachers will go through if I gave this information to my friend? I can see the headlines now, 'Local Junior High Promotes Bullying of Boys.' I imagine that would not go very well for you."

Katsuki stared at his mom in utter amazement. He already knew his mom was awesome, but he never knew she was so cunning. And honestly kinda scary. He looked back at the principal and teacher, both of whom were white as a sheet.

"Y-You wouldn't...would you?" the teacher stammered. Mitsuki went back to giving a nice calm smile.

"I most certainly would. However, I'm feeling nice today. Don't punish my son for what happened today, and actually try to do something about the bullying problem, and my lips will be sealed." She then stood up, picking up her son as well. "Now, as school is over, my son and I bid you a good day, unless there's anything else you wanna say?" The principal only shook her head, to which Mitsuki gave a bigger smile, nodded in reply, and walked out, still carrying Katsuki. She carried him all the way to the car, as he was still too stunned at what just happened to form the cohesive thoughts necessary to ask to be set down. It wasn't until she set him inside the car and climbed in herself that she broke the silence.

"Proud of you, Katsuki," she said in a soft, motherly tone. "I always taught you to protect others, and I know that's what happened today. If that bint or the principal try anything else, just let me know, ok?" Katuski nodded again, and then Mitsuki gave a bigger smile. "So, did you dropkick that girl?"

"Both feet, in the face."

"Atta boy. Let's go get you ice cream."

***

Izuku continued heading home, flanked by Cobalt Star. He was deep in thought concerning his spirit; He knew his silent knight possessed strength in a similar manner to Lady Might, but he doubted it was in the same caliber. Could that possibly mean he possessed similar speed, too? Izuku would have to conduct tests later to determine the limits of Cobalt's capabilities.

As he began to ponder what sort of tests to perform, Izuku suddenly found himself immobile. Looking down, he was caught in some translucent blue ooze. He struggled to get free, but only found himself pulled deeper into the mass behind him. As he tried to break free, he heard a giggle above him.

"I love it when they fight," a sickeningly sweet voice stated. "Won't do you any good, kid. I need some bait for a good host, and a weak boy like you is perfect."

A villain! He was caught by a villain! He renewed his struggling, but found himself completely pulled into the slimy body. He could feel her shake around him, most likely giggling at his feeble efforts. As a last ditch attempt, he slowly turned his head to look at Cobalt Star, who stood idly by. It was time to test one of his theories.

'Cobalt Star!' he thought, directing his will toward the spirit. 'Free me!'

In an instant, Cobalt Star moved to action. First he gave a single strong punch into her chest, surprising the slime villain. Unhindered by the slime, he pulled his fist back while delivering another punch with his other hand. Then another, faster than before. In mere seconds, Cobalt Star was delivering blows at blinding speed. While the villain was confused at being punched by seemingly nothing, Izuku was fascinated. Not only was Cobalt Star strong, but also fast? He was more like Lady Might than anything now. In moments, the shocks from the punches pushed the slime back, not yet freeing Izuku's body but getting his face out in the open.

Taking a deep breath, he quickly looked around. There were no people in the area and Cobalt Star was still pounding away, not making any further progress in freeing Izuku but making sure he could breathe. Most of his body was still caught in the slime, and a quick attempt at pulling revealed he could move, but it was like trying to swim in concrete. He was still trapped. His arms, his legs, his backpack...wait, his backpack!

As Cobalt Star continued his relentless assault, Izuku began the arduous process of moving his arm toward the strap of his backpack. He carried a charge-pack, like most of humanity. Being completely engulfed, there was no doubt this villain's slime had filled in the holes of the power outlets on said pack. If he remembered science class right, slime was mostly composed of water, which conducted electricity. With any luck...

Izuku slowly pulled the cord on his bag, current surging through every outlet on his bag. The villain screamed in agony as electricity coursed from the outlets into her body. Izuku was electrocuted as well, but he remained conscious, powering through the pain. After ten seconds of excruciating pain, the villain spat Izuku out before collapsing. Traumatized from both being engulfed in slime and having to electrocute himself to escape said slime, Izuku was too dazed to notice his retaliation had almost rendered the villain unconscious. He most certainly passed out before a massive woman slammed into the ground between him and the villain.

***

Izuku gave a deep gasp when he woke up, followed by groans of pain as his limbs involuntarily twitched. His entire body hurt, still feeling the effects of being electrocuted. As he groaned, he felt a large hand on his forehead. 

"Take it easy, young man," a familiar feminine voice quietly soothed. "You've had a rough few minutes, but it's over." Still breathing shakily, Izuku turned his head to look at the woman. His vision was blurry at first, but as it cleared the first thing he saw were twin blonde ahoge going down to a smiling face. A very familiar smiling face. A smiling face connected to a particularly large woman wearing a plain white t-shirt and cargo pants. Izuku's eyes widened, pain forgotten, as it finally occurred to him just who he was looking at.

"L-L-LADY MIGHT!" he screamed as he bolted upright. 

"My my," she laughed, "such a lively reaction! I'm glad to see you're alright, kid!"

Izuku was in complete shock. Lady Might, his idol, the greatest heroine ever, was right there and looking at him and OH MY GOD SHE TOUCHED MY HEAD TODAY IS A BLESSED DAY.

"O-oh my gosh," Izuku managed to stutter. "I-I am such a big fan, Lady Might! Th-thank you for saving me!"

"Saving you?" Lady Might laughed, holding up a large bottle that, upon closer inspection, contained the slime villain. "Young man, you just about had it handled by the time I got here! Impressive idea to use your charge-pack like that! Now if you'll excuse me, it is getting late, so I'd better get this villain to the police! Take care!" She turned and leaped away. As she went through the air, however, she noticed her leg seemed a bit heavier than usual. Looking down, she saw Izuku was clinging to her leg for dear life. "YOUNG MAN, WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?"

"S-s-sorry for this!" Izuku cried as he hung on. "I-I just had two questions I wanted to ask you if it's not an inconvenience!" Lady Might wasn't sure if this kid was brave or just crazy, but she opted for brave as she landed on the roof of a skyscraper. Before she could say anything, Izuku let go of her leg, scrambled through the inside of his backpack (thank god the inside was waterproofed), and pulled out a notebook & marker. "F-first, may I have your autograph!?" Lady Might stared for a few seconds before giving a hearty laugh and taking the notebook. 

"Sure, young man! I guess I was a bit hasty in leaving if this was what you wanted, huh? My apologies, pup!" She pulled the cap off the marker and quickly wrote her signature across two pages, including a little emoji of herself on the side. She handed back the notebook, and Izuku stared at it like he had been given a billion yen. Lady Might could tell he would treasure this forever. "Now, I believe you had two questions?" At this reminder, the shine left Izuku's eyes and he nervously looked around before asking with a quiet voice.

"D-do you think a boy like me could become a pro hero someday?"

This surprised Lady Might. She was expecting any of the hundreds of questions other fans had asked in the past, but this boy had asked her something completely different. Everyone knew that women were the primary heroes in this world, but it was clear this boy wanted to do more. She knew he wasn't asking out of a desire for fame or wealth, either. The look in his eyes before...yes, this boy wanted to help people. Lady Might knelt down, still towering over Izuku, and gave her answer.

"Young man, I see no reason why you can't become a hero someday."

Izuku's eyes lit up at this. Good gosh, this kid was too adorable. She still had time, so Lady Might decided to continue.

"You clearly have a noble and brave heart, and an overwhelming desire to help people despite lacking a quirk. That by itself is a good mindset already, but you've demonstrated you're also clever and resourceful. Earlier with that villain? I've seen a few male heroes use similar techniques when fighting villains susceptible to electrical attacks, but you're the first I've seen to use their charge-pack like that. However, it won't be easy by any stretch of the imagination. You'll have to do better than your best, and you might decide to settle with being a police officer or a doctor, but so long as you keep this sharp," she tapped his head, "and keep determined, I can easily see you becoming one of the few male heroes. I look forward to the day you can stand up with a smile and tell the world 'I'M HERE!' just like me." It was clear Izuku had paid rapt attention to everything she said, and the contemplative look in his eyes was enough to say he was thinking seriously on her words. With a bigger smile than before, she ruffled his hair and got to her feet. "What's your name, young man?"

"M-Midoriya Izuku, ma'am!"

"Midoriya," Lady Might smiled, "I'll be rooting for you. Take care!" With those parting words, Lady Might took another leap, soaring through the air and leaving the awestruck lad behind. She knew that building, and knew he would have no trouble getting down on his own. She reached down to pat the bottle the villain was in, knowing she had to hurry to-

The bottle was gone.

Oh crap.

Chapter Text

Izuku was literally skipping for joy down the road, flanked by his taciturn and superstrong spirit.

He could be a hero. He could be a hero. LADY MIGHT HERSELF SAID HE COULD BE A HERO! Today was a glorious day! He couldn't wait to tell everyone!

His elation dimmed a bit when he heard a loud metal crunching down a side street, along with seeing a lot of people running away. Another villain attack? Thrice in one day? That was unusual, even for Musutafu. Well, it provided another opportunity to watch heroes work, at least. Still giddy from before, he turned and ran down the street towards the attack. Weaving between the legs of everyone who ran past him (and being careful not to accidentally look up any skirts), Izuku quickly approached the scene when a familiar voice rang out.

"THAT BITCH HAS MY BABY! TELL HER TO SPIT HIM OUT BEFORE I KICK HER ASS!"

Izuku stopped. No way, that couldn't be...

He turned towards the voice and saw a couple of pro heroes pulling Mitsuki Bakugou away from the scene (and she was not making it easy for them). Kacchan's mom was here? Wait, did she say...oh no. All previous joy dissipated, and Izuku ran faster towards the scene of the attack. Squeezing between two other heroes, Izuku gasped at what he saw. It was the ooze villain who attacked him before. In hindsight, he never got a good look at her before, but as she was right now she was vaguely humanoid, though it was hard seeing details with how she kept shifting. Her eyes were the only solid part about her, the rest was a translucent blue similar to some special-edition action figures.

It was this factor that let Izuku see Katsuki struggling inside her. 

The instant he saw his best friend, without even thinking, he squeezed between the heroes that were keeping civilians away and rushed towards the villain. As he got closer, Izuku could see Katsuki's spirit, Ember Fang, writhing on the ground as though it were in agony. If only Kacchan could...wait, he can!

"Cobalt!" Izuku shouted to his spirit as he threw his arm out. "Free my friend!" In an instant, his armored spirit flew forward and shoved their arm into the ooze to grab Katsuki. Katsuki, while struggling for breath, watched in amazement as the knight began the slow process of extracting him. The ooze villain remembered this feeling and looked at Izuku, glaring in recognition.

"YOU!" she roared as she reached out to grab him, only for Izuku to jump out of the way. With that distraction, Cobalt Star was able to pull out Katsuki's upper half, giving him a much-needed breath of fresh air. As he gasped, Ember Fang got to its' feet, instantly recovering from its' prior state. Izuku sighed with relief before dodging another slime wave. There had to be something else that could be done. Some way for Katsuki's dog to help. Looking over the villain one more time, he again noticed how their eyes looked normal. Which meant...

"KACCHAN!" Izuku shouted. "USE EMBER FANG! HER EYES MUST BE HER WEAK POINT!"

Katsuki whipped towards the villain's face and nodded. Waving his hand toward the villain's head, Ember Fang leaped up and, with a clenched fist from Katsuki, opened their mouth wide before biting down on the villain's head. Just as Izuku had seen that morning, the hounds' bite caused an explosion, albeit bigger than before. The ooze villain screamed in agony as her head jerked to the side, her eyes burned from the close-range explosion. 

"EAT FIRE BITCH!" Katsuki shouted as Cobalt finished pulling him free from the ooze. At the same time, Izuku felt a familiar tremor as Lady Might landed next to him and delivered the blow that rendered the ooze villain unconscious. Katsuki landed on his feet as Cobalt returned to his spot next to Izuku. He turned to look at the villain, then back to Izuku, who himself came running up and grabbed Katsuki's shoulders.

"Are you alright!?" Izuku hollered, tears in his eyes. "How bad are you hurt? How did she get you?" He would have continued had Katsuki not grabbed his head and stared with starstruck eyes.

"Dude," Katsuki smiled, "your spirit is fuckin' AWESOME!"

Before they could say anything else, the other pro heroes came up and separated the boys to be checked over by EMT's. Katsuki was, thankfully, mostly unharmed with a handful of bruises from his struggles. Izuku was completely untouched aside from minor burns on his hands and achy muscles from his earlier electrocution. After being checked over, Katsuki found himself in the arms of his dead-worried mother while other pro-heroes made sure he really was alright. Izuku, meanwhile, was being admonished for his recklessness, then the heroes fussed over the burns on his hands. 

"You were brave, but small boys like you can't take on things like that!" one hero exclaimed. Izuku had to admit it was mildly reckless, but only because they couldn't see the man in blue armor that floated behind him. In the midst of the crowds, he spotted Lady Might staring at him. He was immediately nervous, afraid she was gonna try to take back what she had told him earlier. Instead, she gave a smaller smile and a thumbs up before disappearing into the crowd. Izuku gave a sigh of relief. 

"SHUT UP YOU BUTTWIPES!"

Izuku jerked up and turned to Katsuki, the source of the shout. The fiery blond was leaning out from his mothers' grasp, glaring daggers at the heroes who were scolding Izuku.

"What the fuck are you doing underestimating him!?" he roared. "That "small boy" is the only reason I ain't dead! Or did you forget that kind-of-essential fact, you hotheaded fucktards!?"

"K-Kacchan," Izuku pointed out,"y-you're the one being hotheaded..." Before Katsuki could continue his tirade, however, Mitsuki pulled him back and covered his mouth (or rather, his entire face).

"Simmer down, pup," Mitsuki chuckled.

The admonishment of Izuku gradually died down after that. Soon, Inko was brought in by the police, immediately pulling her son into a worried hug. With the villain hauled away and the heroes heading out, the two mothers decided to have dinner together at the Bakugou residence with their kids in tow. The dinner was a small one, with the parents chatting away the fear they felt earlier, while Izuku and Katsuki were left to their own devices.

"Your guy's named Cobalt Star?" Katsuki smiled. "That is so cool, dude."

"Yeah," Izuku nodded. After a few moments of silence, he turned back to his friend. "Kacchan?"

"Hm?"

"I think we need to practice and experiment with our spirits."

"No duh," Katsuki scoffed. "We're gonna use 'em to enter UA, right?"

"Yeah," Izuku acknowledged, "but I mean, I think we need to figure out their limits. Do tests and stuff to get better control, and see just what else they can do."

"You make it sound nerdy, but you ain't wrong," Katsuki shrugged. "Got any ideas?"

"...I need to call my dad."

***

The following school day went by surprisingly fast for Izuku. It was also surprisingly calm, all things considered. Neither Izuku nor Katsuki were bullied by anyone the entire day (with Reika being absent). Instead, a lot of the girls seemed worried about their physical condition, while the other boys of the school seemed to geek out about Katsuki's near-death experience. Even the teachers seemed to be a bit nicer. Izuku was confused by all this, but especially confused at how Katsuki wore a knowing grin for most of the day. 

The trip home was thankfully quiet, and Izuku was determined to get home soon as possible. After quickly finishing his homework, Izuku grabbed his phone. He couldn't do it last night due to time constraints, but now he had plenty of time to talk to his father. Sitting alone in his room, he quietly sent a single text to the number his father had given him prior to calling, just to know if it was safe to call and to let him know it wasn't an emergency. After three rings, the phone clicked.

"Hey, son," a halcyon voice said over the phone.

"Hey Dad," Izuku smiled. 

"I know you said it wasn't an emergency, but is everything okay over there?"

"Y-yeah, everything's good. Better than good, actually. Th-that's part of why I called you."

"Is it?" his dad asked, his tone displaying piqued interest.

"Yeah. You remember those spirit things Katsuki and I told you and mom about?"

"The ones in the crayon drawings covering the fridges both over there and over here?"

"Well..."

Izuku explained everything that happened the previous day. Katsuki showing off what Ember Fang could do. His own spirit, Cobalt Star, saving him during lunch. Cobalt doing it again after school when he was attacked. His run-in with Lady Might, though he rambled excitedly on this part for a bit longer before getting to the second villain attack, when they both used their spirits to beat the villain. The entire time, Hisashi Midoriya listened quietly. After the account was finished, Hisashi remained silent for a bit longer.

"That is...quite the development," he finally stated. 

"Y-yeah," Izuku chuckled. "Anyway, the reason I called you is because Katsuki and I need to think of ways to test our spirits' limits, and was wondering if you had any pointers? I mean, I know you don't have a spirit, but maybe you'd have ideas on how we could figure this out?"

There was mostly silence from the other end. For a minute or so Izuku could only hear the quiet shuffling of papers, maybe some whispering in the background. He was glad for the pause. This meant his father was putting some serious thought into this. 

"Son," Hisashi finally said, "I know you got your analytical side from me. I know you can figure this whole thing out yourself, but I can also see you need a slight push to get the ball rolling. Now, remember what I always told you about doing experiments of any kind?"

"If it explodes, write it down?"

"No, Izuku, the other thing."

"...Always play it safe?"

"Attaboy," Hisashi replied. "I've never heard about anything like your spirits before. That means that there could be a lot of people who would be quite interested in that power if they heard about it. If that happened before you were ready, you and Katsuki could be in trouble. The best thing to do is find a place that's hidden to do your tests. I don't know how you could secretly test your friends' explosions, but if you can find a place with heavy things lying around you could use those to test your 'Cobalt Star' and their strength limit. You know any places like that?" Izuku thought for a moment.

"Yeah," the boy nodded. "I think I know a place."

"Good," Hisashi replied. "Go there, play it safe, try not to attract attention, okay? I'll ask around my job, see if anyone else can add any ideas. Sound good?"

"Definitely," Izuku smiled. "Thanks, dad."

"Always nice hearing from you." Izuku suddenly heard a loud voice from across the line, though he couldn't catch any of the words. "Crap, looks like I gotta get to to work. Tell your mom I love her okay?" With an affirmation from Izuku, Hisashi bade farewell and hung up. Izuku took a breath. He knew a place that could work. They could do this.

***

"Hey, Kacchan, think you could use Ember to clear some of the sand here? Cobalt can't dig his fingers that deep."

"Yeah yeah, lemme clear it for your wimpy knight."

Katsuki directed his hellhound to clear some sand via a string of small explosions, no larger than cherry bombs, from under a rusted fridge. As he did this, Izuku looked around at their surroundings. They were at Dagobah Beach, a place that was once a popular and beautiful spot but was now an unofficial junkyard. Covered in ruined appliances, destroyed electronics and even one or two cars, it was not the sort of place one would expect to find two boys. However, it was actually the perfect place for these two boys in particular.

The tall junk piles hid the boys from view from the road, and mostly from the ocean as well. Much of the junk was heavy, which was perfect for testing Cobalts' strength. While the knight couldn't dig more than a few centimeters down, Katsuki was slowly becoming more skilled in directing Ember to create pinpoint explosions on a small scale. On top of that, the boys had made an arrangement with someone who also had an interest in clearing the beach, in that they would fill a trailer with junk to be taken to a scrapyard, and would receive a portion of the payment. In clearing the beach, the two aspiring heroes were also doing community service. 

After Katsuki finished clearing away the sand, Izuku directed Cobalt to carefully lift the fridge off the ground to be carried to the trailer. Izuku could feel a slight push in the back of his mind any time Cobalt lifted something heavy, but it never felt worse than like someone rubbing the back of his head. He definitely needed to figure out how else to test Cobalts' strength. In the meantime, both boys were just thankful their spot was hidden from everyone.

"GREETINGS, YOUNG MEN!"

Chapter Text

"I thank everyone for coming today," Principal Nedzu greeted the heroes seated around him. The group was mostly UA staff (such as Power Loader and Madam Mic), along with a handful of independent pro-heroes, Lady Might and Kanna Woods among them. Nedzu, being a little under three feet tall, stood on the table rather than sitting on a chair. On the wall behind him was a large television. He clearly had something to show everyone. 

"It is not a problem," Lady Might nodded, "but may I inquire into the reason for such a sudden meeting?"

"This is about the villain attack a few days ago," Nedzu explained as he pulled out a remote and turned on the television. "The one that involved two boys. A Bakugou Katsuki and Midoriya Izuku." With another button press, it began playing footage from the ooze villain attack. "I had to call in a few favors, but as you can see, this footage is from a different angle than what played on the news. Also, this uncut version has some extra scenes you might find interesting." The video played out like they remembered, with some of the heroes being a bit confused.

"It's interesting," Midnight admitted, "and the green boy is adorable, but what are we supposed to be seeing?" 

"Watch this part closely," Nedzu pointed. It was the moment when Izuku first rushed forward. They watched him push his arm forward, just before Katsuki started moving out of the ooze villains' body. "Notice something right there?"

"The boy in the villain started climbing out?" Power Loader asked. "Nothing special about that."

"Pay close attention to the green boy's body movements, followed by the blond's movements," Nedzu instructed before replaying the scene again. This time, a few heroes gasped in surprise.

"H-He's being pulled out?" Kanna watched in disbelief. Observing Izuku's movements, Kanna asked, "I-is it possibly...?"

"Quite possibly," Nedzu nodded. "Now pay attention to this scene." He played the next part, after Katsuki was pulled partway out. This time, the heroes were more attentive and watched as Katsuki moved his arm, followed by a sudden explosion. 

"I don't understand," Lady Might stated. "The official reports say the explosion was caused by a nearby propane tank, but that almost looked like..."

"Like it was a midair explosion, disconnected from anything else," Nedzu nodded. "And yet, so perfectly synced to young Bakugou's own movements."

"Principal Nedzu," one of the other heroes asked, "are you inferring what I think you are?"

"This is the only bit of evidence at the moment," the mouse/bear? replied, "but it is enough to note the possibility."

"Men with quirks..." Madam Mic said in amazement.

"Of course," Nedzu said as he turned the television off, "this is currently just speculation. Nothing else has been reported about them, so I believe they are hiding what they can do, if they can indeed do things."

"Do you have something planned?" Madam Mic asked.

"These two boys," Nedzu smiled, "applied to UA, specifically to the Hero Course. If they really are quirk holders, I would be remiss to let that opportunity slip. If any of you happen to see these boys during your patrols, keep an eye on them. See if they do anything else unusual."

***

That meeting was four days ago. Four days Lady Might had been keeping an eye out, but hadn't seen anything. She was tempted to visit the boy's homes directly, but what if that scared them? Or worse, what if the boys weren't the cause of those events? That would be horribly awkward. As is, she hadn't seen the boys anywhere since that day. They didn't seem to be part of any clubs, so where were they going that made them just disappear? 

It was pure chance she was walking by Dagobah Beach that afternoon. She had expended most of her time for the day, so she was her wilted powerless Toshinori Yayoi self. Even in that form, however, she could hear the sudden small explosion from the junk piles. She stopped and waited, listening closely. After a minute, there was another small explosion. Was it a villain? Maybe some punks messing around? Either way, as a hero, it was Lady Might's job to investigate.

Walking down the steps, she skulked into the junk piles, squeezing between a few piles towards where she thought the noise came from. After a few minutes of advancing she started hearing voices talking. Familiar voices. 

"Could it be...?"

She sped up a little bit, sneaking around a few more piles before coming to a stop. Peering around a corner, she gave a quiet gasp. There they were! Midoriya Izuku and Bakugou Katsuki, the boys from the attack! They didn't seem to know she was there, something else distracting them. So, Lady Might stayed and watched. It seemed like they were cleaning the beach. She gave a smile at this. Even at this age, they were doing community service. They would no doubt be upstanding members of society, no matter the path they chose. 

"Hey, Kacchan," the green one, Izuku, asked, "think you could use Ember to clear some of the sand here? Cobalt can't dig his fingers that deep." This caught her attention. Ember? Cobalt? What were they talking about?

"Yeah yeah, lemme clear it for your wimpy knight."

Lady Might watched in shock as the blond one, Bakugou, stepped towards a rusted fridge and slowly moved his hand over it. As he did so, small explosions erupted from the sand at its' base, scattering the sand away. She watched in amazement as he spent a minute or two clearing away enough sand to expose the edge of the fridge. She almost coughed up blood when she saw Midoriya step close to the fridge and slowly raise his arms before the fridge floated up. He wasn't even touching it. Lady Might covered her mouth. It was true...these boys had honest-to-goodness quirks! 

She swung back around the corner and took a breath. No point in delaying things further. She still had some big time, so she quickly grew to her Lady Might self and stepped back around the corner. 

"GREETINGS, YOUNG MEN!"

Both boys gave a shout of surprise and the fridge fell unceremoniously to the ground. Lady Might internally giggled at their shocked expressions, feeling like a mom who found her sons' hands in the cookie jar. The boys looked at each other for a brief moment before turning back to her.

"H-hello, Lady Might," Izuku stuttered. "W-w-what brings you here?" Lady Might gave a big smile, not realizing just how hard Izuku was working to keep from geeking out.

"I HEARD A STRANGE NOISE AND CAME TO INVESTIGATE," Lady Might laughed, "AND HERE I AM! I MUST SAY, IT IS GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN AFTER THAT VILLAIN ATTACK A WEEK AGO!"

"Y-yeah," Katsuki replied, still trying to process everything.

"I MUST ASK, THOUGH, WHAT WERE YOU TWO DOING JUST NOW? WERE YOU MAKING THAT FRIDGE FLOAT?" Izuku and Katsuki quickly looked at each other in shock.

"Ummmm," Izuku started, "i-it's kinda complicated."

"Yeah," Katsuki added, "cuz it's not really us, kinda?" This confused Lady Might. What did that mean? Was there someone else pulling the strings? Seeing the confusion on her face, Izuku slowly stepped forward.

"H-hold out your hand please," he requested. "Like you're going to shake someone's hand." Still confused, Lady Might complied and held out her hand. Izuku then pointed at her hand, and Lady Might was shocked to suddenly feel a distinctly smaller hand shaking her own. The sudden surprise was enough to make her cough blood and yank her hand away. As she wiped her chin, Lady Might froze. She was wiping blood. She never did that unless-oh crap.

The shock from what happened (combined with her diminished timer) made her revert to her real form. She slowly looked at the two boys, who were staring at her with even more intense shocked expressions than before. Lady Might was mostly thankful they weren't screaming. One of them, Izuku slowly stepped forward, pointing at Yayoi while slightly shaking. She closed her eyes, bracing for the upcoming freakout moment.

"Lady Might...d-do you have Marfan Syndrome?"

......wat.

Yayoi opened her eyes and saw Izuku quickly walking around her and looking at her limbs, occasionally poking her arms and speaking a mile a minute.

"YoudefinitelyhavethelonglimbsindicitiveofitalongwithwhatappearstobeArachnodactylyhowwelldoyourjointsbendwhenlikethisdoyouhaveanyissueswithyouraortatocausethat-"

"Dekiru, you're mumbling," Katsuki stated, still staring at Lady Might and breaking Izuku's tangent.

"S-sorry," Izuku bowed as he stepped back. Now the boy looked more nervous than shocked.

"You...you're not freaked out?" Lady Might asked.

"Oh no," Izuku admitted, "I am really freaking out. I'm just not as freaked out because I figured you had an alternate form to hide your real identity similar to Fatgum and-" At this point Katsuki just bonked Izuku in the head comically to get him to stop talking.

"Hush, shrimpy," Katsuki ordered before turning back to Lady Might. "The point we were trying to make earlier is, well, our 'quirks' aren't like other people and we would really like it if you could keep it to yourself. We both promise not to tell anyone about your...skinny side, since I'm fairly certain you didn't want us seeing it in the first place."

"Oh my gosh, Kacchan," Izuku whistled, "that was really well-worded for you."

"Well, boys," Lady Might interjected, "truth is I've been looking for you two. Please don't freak out, it's nothing scary. You see, Principal Nedzu of UA wants to speak with you concerning your...talents." Both boys froze at this and Lady Might continued "Don't worry, it's nothing dangerous. He saw your applications and simply wishes to talk to you. That's all." The boys looked at each other hesitantly before turning around and whispering to each other. 

"W-would it be possible for the Principal to keep our talents secret?" Izuku turned to ask. "W-we don't want too many people to learn about it yet."

"Far as I know," Yayoi smiled, "it'd just be Nedzu and maybe a few members of the UA staff." After this, the boys whispered to each other a bit longer before turning around.

"Where and when does he wanna meet us?" Katsuki asked.

***

Outwardly, Principal Nedzu was as calm and composed as anyone had known him to be. Inwardly, however, he was feeling rather giddy. He was currently standing in one of UA's indoor training facilities with Midnight, Aizawa aka Eraserhead and Cementess awaiting the arrival of Lady Might and the boys from the slime villain incident. Lady Might had found them a couple days ago and convinced them and their moms to meet here to talk about their quirks. They were a mystery he was eager to solve.

A few minutes past noon, the doors opened and the aforementioned group walked in. Lady Might strode in, beaming, in her full hero glory. Behind her were two women Nedzu assumed were the mothers, and behind them were the boys in question. Katsuki was walking upright and confident as usual. Meanwhile, Izuku was hunched a bit and hiding his face under a red baseball cap. That was unusual. Where was that dauntless kid from earlier? Perhaps it was a spur of the moment thing. Nedzu smiled and darted towards the kids while Midnight gave a slight squeal at how adorable they were; Eraserhead and Cementess seemed indifferent to the boys.

"It is so good to finally meet you!" Nedzu proclaimed. "I am Principal Nedzu of UA! Now, I am sure you are wondering if I am a mouse, a dog, or perhaps a small bear. The answer...doesn't matter!"

"I thought you looked more like a rat," Katsuki deadpanned. 

"S-so, what would you like to know?" Izuku meekly asked, still keeping his head down.

"I would like to know everything," Nedzu grinned. "Your quirks, how you came to discover them, and the limits of what you can do."

"Oh, they're not really quirks, I don't think," Izuku stated, his slowly rising fanboy mindset overcoming his meek stutter. "They're semi-tangible entities that only Kacchan and I can see, and recently became able to command." 

There was silence for a good thirty seconds.

"...Pardon?" Nedzu asked. 

"Just like with Lady Might," Izuku continued, "it'll be easier if we show you. Might be awkward to shake hands again, so...sorry in advance." Izuku then pointed at Nedzu and slowly raised his hands. As he did so, Nedzu slowly rose into the air, lifted like a cat. At first Nedzu was stunned, then he started laughing as he orbited Lady Might's head a few times before being gently set back down.

"Amazing!" the Principal laughed. "I had assumed it was telekinesis, but I could clearly feel hands under my armpits lifting me up. Five fingers each, no less. Now, before you explain it in detail, may we see young Bakugou's demonstration?"

"YES!" Katsuki cheered as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a wooden rod, like a piece of a curtain rod. "Someone take this and stand, like, ten meters that way. Hold it out, too." A bit confused, Eraserhead accepted, taking the chunk of wood and standing off a ways. As she did so, Katsuki took a stance like he was ready to draw a pistol. With an evil smile, he screamed "DRAW!" and whipped his hand out, pointing at the rod which quickly exploded, sending shards and flames away from Aizawa's head. Despite the loud explosion, she seemed unfazed, just staring at Katsuki with slightly glowing eyes.

"Magnificent!" Nedzu clapped."Truly remarkable! I assume your 'entity' is a humanoid who shoots fire or something similar?"

After that question, Izuku pulled out his notebooks and explained what he and Katsuki had been able to discern about their spirits in detail. Sketches, height comparisons, and more recently what they were capable of. All the teachers, including Nedzu, were amazed at the level of detail in the notes. His and Katsuki's mothers would occasionally pitch in to give their view on things, as there had been times when the spirits had accidentally bumped into them, which helped solidify their sons' testimonies. Izuku even went on to explain what happened when Cobalt Star first obeyed a command, surprising the rest when they heard that the slime villain was actually the first day the spirits did more than float mysteriously. 

"Anyway," Izuku finished, "we're still not quite sure of their limits. I mean, I haven't found anything Cobalt couldn't lift, and we can't really test how big an explosion Ember could make without drawing attention."

"I see," Nedzu smiled. "Sounds like you need a place that's well hidden and capable of holding things heavier than refrigerators." He gave a comical look-around before exclaiming, "Wait, we're in such a place! Let's use our current setting to figure out your upper limits, shall we? Young Bakugou can go first, since it will take some time for Cementess to make the varying constructs needed to test the weight limit." 

With that, Katsuki stepped forward, willing Ember Fang to go out a bit further. He raised his hand and gestured to a spot of open air. Ember Fang leaped up and opened their mouth further than a dog should be able to before biting down. The ensuing explosion sent Katsuki flying back into his mom's arms. Izuku was immediately by his side, noticing Katsuki was grimacing and holding his arm.

"Someone go retrieve Recovery Girl," Nedzu ordered as he dashed to Katsuki as well. "I should have had her here too. How does your arm feel?"

"Like someone fucking stabbed it," Katsuki hissed. "Doesn't feel broken or swollen, though." 

"It was recoil," Izuku stated. "Looks like you're still susceptible to the shock wave of the explosions, and maybe the size of the explosion also affects you similar to how lifting heavy objects affects me."

"What do you mean?" Aizawa asked bluntly.

"Erm, sometimes if I use Cobalt to lift something heavier, like a car, I feel this slight pull in the back of my head. B-but it's never felt any worse than someone like patting the back of my head." As Aizawa and Nedzu took this in, Midnight returned carrying Recovery Girl on her back. Setting her down, the elderly woman (who was still taller than Izuku) hobbled over and inspected Katsuki's arm as Nedzu explained what was going on.

"Nothing broken, thankfully," she said as she kissed his arm. "Would have been sprained, but it's fixed now. Don't use this arm for anything strenuous for the rest of the day." Shoving a gummy bear into Katsuki's mouth, she turned to the rest and stated, "I'm sticking around in case you idiots try anything else."

"We'll be careful," Cementess replied, having finished making multiple concrete blocks for Izuku to lift. "We just need young Midoriya to test the upper strength limit of his 'spirit' and we'll be done. Do be careful, Midoriya." Izuku nodded and stepped forward. He started with the smallest block, which was lifted easily. Then he moved to the next size up, then the one following that. In a few minutes, he had stacked the cement blocks on top of each other and was floating them around easily.

"I-I think Cobalt could lift even more than this," Izuku stated. "The pull is more prevalent, but still not a problem."

"I MAY HAVE A SOLUTION!" Lady Might beamed. "MAKE YOUR SPIRIT STRIKE ME WITH EVERYTHING YOU GOT!" Izuku visibly blanched at this.

"B-but what if I hurt my arm too?"

"THAT'S WHY RECOVERY GIRL IS HERE!" Lady Might replied before a gummy bear hit her face.

"Don't go being reckless just because I'm here!" the nurse glared.

"Be lenient this one time, Recovery Girl," Nedzu requested. "With progress comes risk, and we risk injury here to determine the upper limits of young Midoriya's current potential. Once we see how far he can go, then we can figure out how to safely increase said limit." Recovery Girl huffed at this, but didn't refute it. Nedzu turned back to Izuku and said "Give it your best shot, young man!" Izuku gave a nervous nod and stepped forward. 

"You got this!" Katsuki cheered.

"Be careful!" Inko warned.

Izuku took a breath and pulled his fist back, despite being ten feet away from Lady Might. The hero smiled and raised her arms, ready to block whatever incoming attack was coming. He gave a scream and punched forward. Only Katsuki could see the armorclad spirit deliver the punch, but everyone heard the sound of impact and felt the shock wave from said punch. Immediately after that, however, everyone heard Izuku scream as he fell to his knees. Inko was immediately by his side, as was Recovery Girl. His arm was dark purple and was bleeding in a few spots. Recovery Girl quickly went to work healing what she could and bandaging the rest. 

"This is why I wanted you to be careful!" Recovery Girl screamed. "His arm is practically shattered!"

"Like his gauntlet..." Katsuki muttered, looking to the side.

"Pardon?" Nedzu asked the explosive teen.

"Um," Katsuki clarified, "when Cobalt Star punched Lady Might, I saw his gauntlet fracture and break, like it hit a hard wall."

"Hurt the spirit," Izuku grimaced in pain, "hurt the owner. I-I think that's how it works. I mean, when Katsuki was caught by that villain and suffocating, his spirit was hurting too. S-so it makes sense the opposite is true." After this, Nedzu spent some time in silent contemplation while the others (sans Eraserhead) fussed over Izuku's injury to make sure it wouldn't get worse. Once they were done, Nedzu stepped forward.

"I do believe I have figured something out," he announced. "Some women with particularly powerful quirks develop them later, right? Perhaps these 'spirits' are a similar thing in that regard. You both have noticed what happens when you exert their full strength, so perhaps you could not command them until recently as a means of making sure you were physically developed enough to use their minimal strength without injury. This means you just need to hone your physicality, and your spirit's upper limits should follow! Ten months' time should be enough for you to expand your abilities."

"Ten months?" Izuku asked as Recovery Girl finished wrapping his arm in bandages. "D-does that mean-"

"It's exactly what you think it means!" Nedzu laughed. "I've seen your applications, I've seen your grades, and now that I've seen your hidden talents there's no way I'm letting you two go so easily. Unfortunately the two recommendation slots have already been filled with a Miss Yaoyorozu Momo and Miss Todoroki Shouko, but if you can prove you got better control and endurance by the time of the entrance exams it should be little work to convince the board to make a pair of slots for...'Special Observation' if you will. If you two can succeed in that," he had a twinkle in his eye, "you boys will certainly make it into the Hero Course." There was a brief silence before the two boys cheered and screamed with joy as their moms hugged them tight. Most of the other teachers were also happy for the boys, the cheer being infectious.

Only most.

Aizawa stared at the boys. Her gaze was dull and tired, but internally she was having a minor freakout. Her quirk let her nullify other quirks. She just had to stare at them and they were powerless. Not only that, but it also gave her a bit of perception in seeing a persons' quirk factor, to see how strong or weak their quirk could be. She had used her quirk on these boys during their demonstrations, and had seen their quirk factor was like a faint candle glow; they had no greater quirk factor than any other man on the planet. 

This flimsy factor and Aizawa's nullification did nothing to stop Katsuki from exploding a wooden rod in her hands. It certainly didn't stop Izuku from floating Nedzu around Lady Might's head like a tiny fuzzy moon. Her quirk, her great equalizer, was powerless against these two boys. If these two were villains, they'd be unstoppable. Never before had she been so glad to hear that two boys had dreams of becoming heroes. 

Chapter Text

It had been a week since the initial examination. Lady Might was helping Izuku's and Katsuki's moms supervise the boy's latest exercise in one of UA's gymnasiums. Despite all she had seen recently, Lady Might was still impressed at how nimble the boys were, seemingly flying between Cementess-built pillars and obstacles despite their diminutive stature.

"Faster!" Mistuki called out. "You were two seconds slower on that last loop, kids!"

"Stuff it, hag!" Katsuki shouted as he sped up. Mitsuki and Inko just laughed at this.

"They're getting better, actually," Lady Might beamed. "Last time they did this exercise they kept tripping up at that third pillar."

"That's our boys for you," Inko smiled back. "Always working to prove themselves. Just like their fathers."

"Fathers?" Lady Might looked at Inko. "You didn't use donated sperm?"

"Hell no!" Mitsuki laughed. "We're among the lucky few to find actual husbands. No sperm banks for us." This surprised Lady Might even further. These days most women who wanted children either visited a sperm bank or hunted down one of the few people who had fertility-inducing quirks to help out. It seemed these two families just kept being full of surprises. 

"May I ask where their fathers are? I have not the chance to meet them."

"Masaru-san is the head designer for his company, so he doesn't get many days off," Inko replied. "As for my Hisashi, well, he works in America."

"America?" Lady Might smiled. "I spent some time there in the past. Is he a pro hero too?" Inko giggled and-

"Greetings, everyone!" yelled a chipper voice before Inko could reply. The adults turned to see Nedzu trotting up with a couple papers in his hands/paws while slowly dragging a tea cart with his tail. "After careful study of the boys' diets and current physiology, I have devised a regimen for them to follow during their ten months of training!" 

"Mitsuki, please go grab the boys," Inko requested as she knelt down to accept the papers from Nedzu. Mitsuki dashed out to grab the boys while Inko stayed kneeling and read the papers. Nedzu quietly sipped some tea and noted her face seemed to show some displeasure at a few points. This was proven accurate as Inko read off "Parts 3 and 4 would be detrimental to them at their current age, and would make parts 9 and 10 more difficult for them. I am aware you're a bit of a sadistic chimera, but you should take their health into account."

"Now, Missus Midoriya," Lady Might started, "I am cer-"

"...Pardon?" Nedzu crisply interjected. Lady Might turned to the principal in interest. Something here was...off. His eyes seemed fully open for once, and the edges of his smile were twitching. Was there something wrong with the tea?

"Oh, how rude of me! I do apologize," Inko smiled. Inko calmly turned away, re-reading the papers as Mitsuki returned with the boys slung under each arm, and Nedzu contemplated what she heard. She had referred to him as a chimera...which was the truth. How could she have known that? Only a few people knew the truth, and most of them were-

Green hair like a deep forest, eyes like polished emeralds, hands and feet soaked in-

Nedzu gasped as it hit him, almost making him drop his teacup. That's how she knew. It had been twenty years, but Nedzu still felt ashamed of himself for failing to recognize her sooner. Taking a breath to recover himself, Nedzu grinned as he watched Inko use her quirk to make her son float at eye level.

The Midoriyas were indeed full of surprises.

***

The following ten months were what the boys would describe as mildly hellish, but only mildly. The working out was intense, but was made bearable by Inko joining in from time to time ("Even I need some exercise sometimes."). School had improved, as well. Reika had returned to school and tried to continue her bullying when no teachers were around, but with their new workout the boys had been able to evade her. Alongside school, the boys continued clearing the beach using their spirits, though they noted it seemed like someone else had been helping as well. 

Almost before they knew it, it was the morning before the entrance exam. The two boys were relaxing and playing a co-op game at Katsuki's house to relax before the big event. Their spirits were close by, Cobalt Star standing at the ready while Ember was flopped on the ground next to Katsuki. It was amazing how much his spirit's behavior fit its appearance.

"Got some heavy ammo over here," Katsuki pointed. "Your Grattler is rigged with Radiation, right?"

"Yup," Izuku nodded. "So, nervous about today?"

"Course not," the explosive teen smirked. "We're tough, we got spirits, and we'll blow those judges out of the water." Izuku laughed at that remark. 

"Just so long as we don't blow ourselves up too." 

"Hey, you blew yourself up last time, I just sprained my wrist. Don't pin that on me, you midget."

"I'm not that short."

"Whatever, you green chihuahua."

The rest of their morning was spent along these lines before they grabbed their bags and hustled to school. They left early enough that they could jog to UA rather than taking the train. The cool morning air was a pleasant feeling, and the jog was thankfully calm and devoid of ooze villains. In less than an hour, they were at the gates of UA. They had been coming on and off for almost a year to practice with their spirits, but it still felt weird knowing that in another month or two they'd be attending as students. Taking a breath and giving each other a reassuring smile, the two boys stepped into the gates...only for both to randomly trip on their own feet.

'Real smooth,' Izuku thought to himself as he closed his eyes. Rather than impacting his face, however, Izuku felt something wrap around his chest and pull him back up.

"Are you two alright?" a worried voice asked from above. Opening his eyes and looking up, he beheld a girl with soft brown eyes and brown hair in a bob cut. She was wearing the school uniform with a miniskirt and pantyhose, which Izuku was thankful for as he had forgotten his red cap at home. Glancing over at Katsuki, he saw the girl had caught him too, and even Katsuki had a slight blush on his face as he nodded his reply at her question. She gave a sigh and smile as she released them and continued, "That's good. You guys are taking the entrance exam too, right? Good luck!" She then jogged ahead, leaving the two flustered boys standing at the gate.

"...Kacchan..." Izuku voiced. "...we talked to a cute girl."

"We didn't say a word, dumbass," Katsuki pointed out, still watching the brunette head for the main building. The two boys stood there for a bit longer before a teacher, Cementess, came up and directed them to their own testing area. It was time to see if they'd advanced enough to enter UA.

***

Yayoi's phone buzzed as she sat in the observation booth, waiting for the practical portion of the entrance exam to begin. Reading the text, she smiled at the news that the boys had finished their own written exam and were moving on to their demonstrations. 

"No phones in the booth," Aizawa deadpanned from next to her. "I know the practical hasn't begun yet, but still. Keep the rules, Lady Might."

Lady Might chuckled her acknowledgement and put her phone away. She would love to watch the boys show off what they could do. Sadly, she had a prior obligation. She had to watch this practical exam and make sure things went smoothly.

After all, her successor was going to be out there rather soon.

***

The boys' demonstrations were thankfully shorter and less painful than the normal students' practical exam. Izuku had to demonstrate he could use Cobalt to punch at a certain strength without shattering his arm, while Katsuki showed off a bigger explosion than ten months ago. True, the recoil still got him a bit, but he certainly didn't go flying and his feral smile showed no hints of pain. Both of these feats were shown to the UA board of directors, some of whom were pro heroes while others were quirkless men who handled things such as finances and publicity. Honestly, Izuku was surprised just how many of the board members were men, and wondered how tall their chairs had to be to see over their desks.

"And there you have it!" Nedzu announced as Katsuki finished his demonstrations. "As you can see, these two boys are capable of incredible things, and it would be quite unfeasible to have them relegated to a different course or, even worse, a different school. So I propose we let them fill two of the slots in Class A Heroics under 'Special Observation' so that they might be able to further their talents under our careful supervision. True, we would have to work to keep their powers secret from the public and any entities outside of UA, for their own safety, but that should pose little difficulty. Does anyone have any objections they would like to declare before the vote is cast?"

"No objections from me!" one of the men laughed. "Those two boys have something 20% of humanity could only dream of getting. I look forward to seeing how far they can go."

"I'm afraid I must object," a pro hero in red raised her hand. "They might have quirks or 'spirits' or whatever, but they are still boys. The path of heroics is a dangerous one, and little boys like them could-"

"I'd rather you not finish that sentence," another hero with eyeglasses over her six eyes interrupted. "There is no rule barring men from the Hero Course. Indeed, throughout UA's 70-year history there have been close to 60 men who graduated from the Heroics Course, and none of them had the abilities these two do. I see no reason to stop these two from trying." At this, the other hero sighed and leaned back, not giving any further objections.

"Anyone else?" Nedzu asked. After a few moments silence, he smiled and declared, "Time for the vote, then! All who are for permitting these two to enter UA under Special Observation please raise your hands!" Nedzu raised his hand along with the majority of the UA Board. When Nedzu called for the opposed to vote, only two of them (one of whom was the red hero) voted against. Izuku gave a sigh of relief while Katsuki returned with his usual feral smile. Nedzu turned to the boys with his own happy smile.

"Congratulations, you two! Welcome to UA High School!"

***

Yayoi was in the booth, watching the practical exam. It was close to the finish, and Madam Mic was preparing to release the Zero-Pointer. Lady Might had spotted her successor earlier, rushing around to earn combat points. She was mildly disappointed at how few rescue points they had earned, but they still had enough to make it into the hero course. 

"Lady Might!" The heroes in the booth turned and saw Izuku & Katsuki running up. Both had excited smiles as they hopped onto the nearby chair.

"Greetings, young lads," Lady Might smiled. "I take it the demonstrations went well?"

"Keep it down," Eraserhead groaned, keeping her attention on the field outside.

"Like there was any doubt!" Katsuki cackled. "Sure, there were two hags that didn't want us in, but we'll just prove them wrong later." He turned and looked out the window. "That what kids normally gotta go through?"

"Yes," Aizawa nodded as the two boys hopped back down from the chair and leaned against the window for a better look. "I and much of the staff find it grossly unfair to entrants with non-combative quirks, but we have yet to change it."

"Good god," Izuku winced as he saw one student take a hard hit from a robot. "No wonder not many men make it into the Hero Course."

"That's just fucking unfair," Katsuki hissed. Suddenly his eyes widened as the Zero-Pointer appeared. "Dafuq is that!?"

"The Zero-Pointer," Yayoi explained. "More designed to serve as a distraction than any-"

"KACCHAN LOOK!" Izuku screamed and pointed out the window. Aizawa told him to stop yelling but neither Lady Might nor Katsuki payed attention, instead looking to where Izuku was pointing. One of the students was trapped under some debris right in the path of the Zero-Pointer. Surely it would stop before it harmed her, right?

"It's the girl from earlier!" Izuku continued. "She's trapped!"

"Then she'd better get free," Aizawa bluntly replied. Lady Might was about to object before she noticed Eraserhead was holding a small device with a single red button on it. Was that the control for the robot? She sure hoped so. Turning back to the boys, she saw them whispering to each other close to the window. Lady Might couldn't tell what they were saying, but after a few moments they both pushed their hands against the window and just stared out. If Lady Might had been paying more attention to outside the window, she would have noticed a swift breeze kicking up dust heading towards the pinned girl. 

"I think they're both barely in range," Lady Might heard Izuku whisper. 

"Grab her, I'll go high," Katsuki responded. This confused Lady Might for a brief moment before realization dawned on her features. At the same instant that Aizawa stood up with her device, an explosion erupted in front of the Zero-Pointer's head. Both pro heroes watched as a series of explosions slowly pushed the robot back while an unseen force gently pulled the girl out from under the rubble. Katsuki tensed up and whispered a curse as a massive explosion blew off one of the Zero-Pointer's legs, tipping it over sideways. Both boys sighed with relief and lowered their hands as the girl got to her feet and ran, pulling up another student no one else had seen earlier. It was close, but she was safe.

"She's safe," Izuku breathed.

"Fuck, we rock," Katsuki snickered.

"Did you two do something?" Aizawa glared at the small boys. Izuku and Katsuki looked at each other, gave large smiles and turned to Aizawa.

"Maybe," Katsuki teased. Aizawa stared for a few moments before sighing and facepalming.

"You're not even in UA yet and you're already giving me a migraine."

"What can I say?" Katsuki shrugged. "We're good at fucking shit up." Both boys laughed at the joke and Aizawa just facepalmed again.

After a few seconds, the test outside was concluded and the applicants slowly made their way back towards the gate. Aizawa escorted the boys out while Lady Might stayed behind, watching the boys go. In a more perfect world, she would have made one of them the next bearer of One For All. Sadly, as her own predecessor explained, One For All could not be given to men. It had been attempted multiple times and all had failed. So she instead chose someone who was just as upright and noble as young Midoriya. Looking out into the field, Yayoi searched for her apprentice. To her surprise, her successor was one of the last ones to return to the gates. Yayoi couldn't help but smile as her successor moved step-by-step towards the gate, making sure the wounded applicant she was carrying wasn't jostled too much. She gave a chuckle.

"Well done, young Iida."

Chapter Text

Lady Might stood on the hill overlooking Dagobah Beach in her withered form. Dawn just broke for the upcoming school year while she was waiting for her successor. As she waited, she smiled at the clean beach. It had been ages since the beach was in its prime, and it brought a tear to her eye seeing it again.

"Miss Toshinori Yayoi!" 

The shout snapped her out of her reminiscing, and Yayoi turned to meet its source. Jogging up was a towering, for her age, prim & proper girl in a pristine UA uniform with shorts under her skirt. Her hair was indigo and cut short. She had scarlet eyes behind thin, square-framed glasses. The most unusual thing about her appearance were the exhaust ports poking out from her calves. 

"Ah, young Iida Tenten," Yayoi greeted. "I am glad you could make it."

"Sensei, it would be improper to miss a meeting with you!" Iida stopped a few feet from Yayoi. "However, I must ask, why did you request to meet me out here when we could have met at school?"

"Just a quick thing," Lady Might explained, "and easier to iterate here." She gestured to the beach, which glittered in the morning sun. "Do you see the beach, young Iida? How pristine it is?"

"I do!" Tenten acknowledged. "I admit, I still feel a bit sore from moving everything."

"Not quite everything," Yayoi chuckled. "Were you aware that two young boys were also cleaning this beach?" Iida stared at Lady Might in disbelief as she continued, "They actually started around two weeks before you did, and worked at it almost every day. By themselves, it would have been impossible to get this beach clean. Similarly, if it was you by yourself, you would have failed just the same. Even if neither of you were aware of each other beforehand, you worked together and made this place beautiful again." 

"Sensei?" Tenten asked. 

"The point I am trying to make," Lady Might stated, "is that you're not alone. You will become the next pillar of peace in society, but you don't have to bear that weight alone. Your classmates at UA, any pro hero you meet, everyone is working to build a better future. Do not be afraid to ask for aid, no matter how small or great the trial may be. We're all in this together." The beach was silent for a few minutes as Iida processed what she had been told. After a bit, Iida gave her predecessor a nod.

"I swear," the student announced, "I will not forget those words. I will work together with everyone for the betterment of humanity."

"Good, good."

"But I must ask, sensei, who were the boys you mentioned earlier? I would like to meet them."

"Ah," Yayoi chuckled, "they are Midoriya Izuku and Bakugou Katsuki. Do not worry, you'll be meeting them soon enough."

"Truly?" Tenten asked as Yayoi turned and began walking away.

"You'll recognize such boys when you see them. After all, they're enrolled in Class 1-A." 

"....Wait, WHAT!?"


***

In spite of their speed, a luxury at his size, Izuku disliked traveling by public train. Additional conveniences, such as stellar air conditioning, were trivialized as Izuku tended to stay close to the doors, roasting in the summers and shivering in the winters as a result; along with an occasional squish via displaced women. On those days he was grateful for the red baseball cap his dad bought him a few years back. Thankfully, his first day to UA graced him with a fairly empty train, allowing him to stand next to one of the bracing bars instead of the door and giving him ample opportunity to have a text-conversation with his dad while Cobalt floated nearby.

Dad
And now you know why Tin Man is banned from seven different Italian restaurants.

Me
Are you sure that entire story didn't fall under "classified information?"

Dad
Compared to what Dorothy and Toto did last week?
Yes.

Me
You know you gotta share that one next Christmas.
DVIWEBIUIOUSOEROIUEUSDB

Dad
What happened?

Me
IT'S HORRIBLE DAD!
LEGS!
BEAUTIFUL LEGS!

Izuku had been so drawn into his conversation with his dad that he didn't notice the train had a couple new passengers. Female passengers. Who were standing right next to him. Izuku had just glanced to his left by chance and was met with a smooth, plush thigh. He didn't dare look up, so he looked down at her feet instead. Judging from her socks and shoes, she must have been a fellow UA student. On her other side was another student. Based off of their conversation, they probably didn't even notice he was there. 

Izuku hated being short. 

Turning back to his phone, he saw his dad just left a response of "good luck" before disconnecting. Thanks, dad.

The train screeched to a sudden halt, yanking everyone in the car forward. This yank pressed Izuku further into the pole he was occupying. Just when Izuku thought he lucked out, he heard a squeak from above and got squished into the pole by the leg from earlier. The warm, smooth mass pushing on his face was enough to make him blush and freeze. 

"We apologize for the sudden stop," the PA system blared. "A villain attack half a kilometer down the Kessel Line has temporarily suspended service. We are working to resolve this issue and apologize for this inconvenience." Most of the train's occupants groaned.

"Just dandy," Legs' companion sighed. "You alright Momo?"

"I am fine, Jirou." the Legs girl nodded, still pressing against Izuku. "This pole help...OH MY GOD I'M SO SORRY!" Izuku took a relieved breath as the leg was pulled away and the girl knelt down next to him. "I didn't see you there, are you unharmed?"

"F-fine..." Izuku nodded as he slowly turned towards the voice. He was met with a soft, worried face that bore eyes like polished onyx. Her hair was equally black as her eyes, and up in a ponytail. Izuku was so focused on her face he didn't even notice her generous bust, but soon blushed bright and looked back down. "I-I'm fine, really."

"If you're sure," the leg girl, Momo, sighed. "Oh, you're wearing a UA uniform! I heard there were going to be some male students this year! Congratulations on getting in!"

"Yeah! Congrats, dude!" Momo's companion cheered. "Maybe we'll see you around! Though you are a bit hard to spot..."

"Th-thank you," Izuku nodded, blushing and ignoring the playful jab. He gave the girl a quick glance and saw her give a smile before getting back up. The train quickly started back up, and Izuku grabbed the pole again. This ride had been more exciting than he wanted. 

When the train next stopped, he disembarked with the two girls. With longer strides, they overtook him with ease. The one he knew as 'Momo' looked back and gave him a wave (making him blush again) before walking away with her friend. The rest of the walk to UA was thankfully calm, and Izuku was able to get rid of his blush by the time he reached the gates. Just in time too, Katsuki was waiting for him, Ember Fang sitting at attention.


"You're late. Why?" Katsuki arched an eyebrow.


"Blame a villain on the tracks," Izuku bluntly replied.

"Whatever." Katsuki slung his arm around Izuku's shoulder and said, "Nedzu called. Hurry up."

***

"You two are prohibited from using your spirits today."

Silence echoed through Nedzu's office for a few moments, giving the mouse/bear? ample opportunity to sip some tea. He waited for a bit, somewhat reveling in the boy's surprised expressions, before continuing. "You see, today your class will likely be quite energetic at both making it into Heroics, and to see three boys make it into Heroics. If you were to reveal your spirits at this point, they would likely hype about it to everyone they know. By waiting until the hero trial tomorrow, it will give them time to mellow out. Plus, it's simply more dramatic if you wait until tomorrow. I know how you kids love such timing."

"O-okay," Izuku stuttered, "but what do you mean three boys? Did someone else make it in?"

"Yes!" the principal smiled. "An Ojiro Mashirao passed the test with his skills. He doesn't have a spirit like you two, far as I know. I just wished to tell you that, now you'd best hurry to class." With a bow, the two boys exited the room and hustled down the halls. Katsuki waited until he was out of earshot from the office before growling his displeasure.

"Can't believe it," he grumbled. "I was SO looking forward to showing how awesome we are."

"We'll still be able to," Izuku shrugged. "It's not like we can't do things without our spirits." 

"I know that you midget. I just wanted to push the point home."

"What point?" a third voice added, startling the boys out of their conversation. In front of them was another boy with short yellow hair and a rather large tail standing next to Shouka Aizawa outside of Class 1-A. Everyone could hear the voices from inside the class. Izuku and Katsuki looked at the door upon hearing the voices...then slowly craned their heads back. The door had to be at least twenty feet tall. 

"How the hell are we supposed to open that?" Katsuki muttered.

"Are you Ojiro?" Izuku asked the tailed kid, who smiled and nodded.

"Nice to see other boys made it into heroics." Izuku and Katsuki nodded back in reply while looking around. They didn't see any spirits besides their own. Unfortunate.

"You boys wait here for a moment, out of view," Aizawa said as she quietly opened the door. "I'll tell you when." She quietly walked into the room, apparently unnoticed by the class. After a few seconds, she cleared her throat and announced "If you're here to socialize, go somewhere else." The class quickly quieted down as Aizawa looked at everyone. With their attention, she said "In a few minutes you're gonna grab your gym clothes and head to the field. But first-"

"Orientation?" an energetic voice asked.

"Don't interrupt." Shouka turned to the boys and nodded. "Enter." The three boys filed into Class 1-A, eliciting gasps from some of the girls. Mashirao stood casually, Katsuki stood regally, and Izuku stood with his head kinda bowed down to hide behind his hat. He managed to see a few of the girls in class, such as one with pink skin and a smile like she'd seen a cryptid and someone with white-and-red hair who had the gaze of a dead fish and OH MY GOD IT'S THE LEG GIRL OH GOD WHY AM I SO CURSED. Izuku saw her gasp before leaning to whisper to the girl behind her. He couldn't hear her, but he had no doubt she was talking about him.

"These three boys," Aizawa explained, "made it into the Heroics Course through their own skill and talents. They are going to receive hero training, just like you." Her gaze hardened. "As such, you will treat them with dignity and respect like any other student. They are not to be coddled, nor discriminated against. If I catch wind of ANYONE trying to sabotage them or singling them out due to their gender, I will expel you immediately. Understood?" The class nodded (while the pink girl kept smiling) before Aizawa said "Good. Grab your clothes, we're heading to the field."

***

Once everyone was outside, Aizawa had everyone stand in a line (with the boys in front of everyone else) before explaining, "In your old schools you were prohibited from using quirks in physical assessments in an effort to make things 'even' for everyone. However, this is a hero school, and as such you will need to know the limits of your quirks."

"What about the boys?" a girl with spiky red hair asked. "They don't have quirks. Would it be fair to test them this way?"

"The world ain't fair, dumbass!" Katsuki yelled before Aizawa could say anything. "If we can't keep up here, we couldn't become heroes! So we'll blow all you chicks out of the water and show we're just as good as you are even with everything stacked against us!" There was a brief silence before Aizawa cleared her throat.

"Continuing, your performance here will be evaluated not just on how well you do, but how skillfully you use your quirk. In the boy's case, they'll be graded on different criteria due to their quirklessness. Also, you all had better take this assessment seriously, because the person who ranks last is being expelled." Shouka let that last tidbit sink in and gave a sinister smile at the growing dread among the students. "Let's begin."

***

Iida Tenten was surprised when Lady Might told her there would be two boys in her class. She was more surprised to see there were actually three boys, even if they looked fairly plain. She could understand how Mashirao, the boy with the tail, got into the Hero Course. That appendage looked long and strong enough to be an extra arm. But what about the other two? She knew that they had helped clean the beach, but how did they get in? She suspected there was some unknown factor, and felt this assessment was the perfect opportunity to discover it.

The first event was a 50-meter dash. Even without using One For All, she won this one easily. She watched her fellow students perform the task as well, some performing clever quirk usage. She honestly did not expect the girl with the gravity quirk to negate her own gravity and fly across the track, while the classmate with red-and-white hair created ice and slid quickly. Then came the boy's turn, with all three on the track. Iida honestly didn't think they'd do too good comparatively speaking. Because of this, she was as surprised as the rest of the class when all three boys made the dash in less time than half the class before them. How did they manage that?

The following tests were just as surprising. True, for some of them the boys were really disadvantaged (such as the grip strength), but Katsuki and Izuku were beating a fair few students in the other tests. Other students were impressed by this and whispering amongst themselves. Was this why they were admitted in the hero class? Did they possess some hidden strength that most men didn't? Perhaps they would explain in detail afterwards.

One of the students they were constantly beating was a short girl, barely taller than the boys, who had hair that almost looked like plums on grape vines. It was clear she was doing her best, but she also seemed focused on ogling the other students, trying her best to either get a sneaky touch on one of the taller girl's butts or get close to the boys. Iida resolved to have a talk with this girl later.

"One more test," Aizawa announced as she moved into a chalk circle on the ground. "You all know what sumo is? This is similar. Stay in the circle long as you can. If I pin you or if you fall out, the test ends. No quirks, either. This is to test your physical prowess." She pointed at Katsuki. "You first." The boy sneered as he stepped into the circle. It almost looked comedic, a spiky-haired boy giving a feral grin to someone over twice his size. "Let's see what you've got. Begin!" Aizawa barely finished her sentence before a blond blur shot up at her face. Iida gasped when she realized that Katsuki had somehow leaped ten feet through the air to try drop-kicking Aizawa in the face. His foot was caught, but the boy just grinned and kicked with his other foot. He broke free and fell to-no, he just grabbed Aizawa's extended arm to pull himself up and go for another kick.

"NEVER SAID WE COULDN'T FIGHT BACK!" the boy roared with laughter. This was true, Iida noted. Aizawa had only told them to stay in the circle. Everyone watched in awe as Katsuki fought at eye-level with Aizawa, not touching the ground at all. He twisted and kicked and grabbed anything he could to stay elevated. Even Aizawa herself was smiling at Katsuki's attempts before she quickly grabbed him by the back of his collar like a rowdy puppy and slammed him into the ground. 

"DAMMIT!"

"You did really good," the teacher complimented. "Almost 20 seconds. Clearly you have experience fighting people taller than you. However, that style is likely exhausting. If you can't ground your target within ten seconds, land and catch your breath before trying again." She released the boy, who walked back to his friend muttering expletives, and stood up. "Next."

The following fights were not nearly as exciting. Most of the other students were down or out in less than ten seconds. Even Mashirao, who had explained he had karate training in the past, was out quicker than the angry boy. Iida, the icy girl and, oddly enough, gravity girl were among the only ones to make it past that. She knew Aizawa was going easy, but it was still jarring just how fast she was going. In a matter of minutes all the other students were out except one.

"Midoriya," Aizawa called. The small boy in the red cap nodded in reply. Giving his red baseball cap to his friend, Midoriya walked into the circle calmly.

"Show 'er what your daddy taught ya!" Katsuki yelled while trying (and failing) to put the cap on his own spiky hair.

"Daddy?" the pink student with the acid quirk asked from behind Katsuki.

"Yeah, his daddy," Katsuki replied as he looked up at the girl. "You know, his father? Male parental figure?" There was a brief silence before his eyes narrowed. "You were thinking of a different kind of daddy, weren't you pinky?"

"Nothing!" the girl shouted while looking away. Iida sighed and pushed up her glasses. It was disgraceful to come to such conclusions. Back with Izuku and Aizawa, the diminutive boy entered the ring, took a breath and...slowly folded his arms behind his back? What was he planning?

The answer came swift as Aizawa's kick, going right for Izuku's head. Without even taking a step, the boy simply leaned out of the way. Aizawa continued with another kick, this time met with the boy jumping past the leg. When Aizawa tried punching, Izuku spun around her fist. Another kick, and he flipped over her leg. When Aizawa sped up, so did he. He dodged every attack sent his away, every grab was met with empty air, and his arms were behind his back the entire time. Izuku didn't even block or push anything, he just dodged. Anyone who saw his face noted his intense stare was focused on Aizawa's limbs as he muttered something to himself. Looking over to Katsuki, Iida noticed he was grinning wide. Curiosity eventually overtook her, and Iida walked over and knelt next to him.

"Has your friend had formal training?" she asked, startling Katsuki a bit.

"Don't sneak up on me like that, four-eyes," Katsuki growled. "And yes, Dekiru there's had some training from his pops."

"Dekiru?" gravity girl asked from above. "I thought his name was-"

"It's a nickname," Katsuki interrupted. "Some girls back in middle school tried to call him 'deku" cuz of the kanji in his name and because they were fucking assholes who thought quirks were the only thing that mattered. Tried to do the same to me, but didn't work as well. Since it was getting to him, I took that insult and turned it into 'dekiru' for 'you can do it' ya know? Cuz he can do it." Turning back to the fight, Katsuki gave an excited grin. "Here it comes."

The two girls looked back at the fight and saw Aizawa give a sweeping karate chop at Izuku. The boy retaliated by flipping over her arm, but grabbing it when he was partway over and using it to propel himself forward, delivering a kick right into Aizawa's cheek. Half the class gasped at that, it being the first hit any of the students landed on Aizawa. True, the kick wasn't hard enough to push her back, but the sudden hit stopped Aizawa for a half second, plenty long enough for Izuku to follow up by lunging forward and landing three punches on Aizawa's face before she grabbed his leg and threw him into the crowd of students. He was caught by the icy girl with multicolored hair, who gave a brief pause before simply set him down.

"Th-thanks," Izuku stuttered before walking back to Katsuki.

"55 seconds," Aizawa smiled. "Certainly full of surprises, boys." The two gave a knowing laugh as Aizawa continued, "That concludes the assessment. Get back to class. Since today's just a half-day, you can spend the rest of the time socializing before heading home. Heroes need to get to know each other, after all."

"Ma'am," Iida stepped forward, "you did say one of us would be expelled after this. Who is the student?"

"I lied," Aizawa deadpanned. After a few seconds, she continued, "It was a logical ruse to get the best out of you all. Now get going before I DO decide to expel someone." The collective sigh of relief from the class as they turned to leave put a bit of a smirk on her face. As she followed them, she read from the tablet she had been using to record the results. This class had done better than last year's by a good margin. The boys had done good, too. All three had narrowly made it into the top ten. Better than half the class. 

"And this was without their spirits..."

Chapter Text

Exhausted, Class 1-A staggered back into their classroom. After taking a headcount, Aizawa directed the boys to their seats, which were curiously next to the windows and looked newer than the other desks. The boys climbed onto their desks to sit, thankful the day was almost over. The other students chose to lounge around to socialize in small groups as Aizawa stepped out for a few minutes.

"God, that was sooo scary!" the gravity girl exclaimed. "I thought one of us was gonna get expelled for sure!"

"We should have expected a ruse like that," Momo the Leg Girl replied from her seat next to Izuku. "I doubt our instructor would really expel someone on the first day." 

"You never know, kero," a frog girl piped up from next to gravity girl. "Though I'm more surprised at another thing." As she said this, she turned her gaze towards the boys by the window, and more students followed suit. Mashirao was a bit nervous at the attention, Izuku was too engrossed in writing about everyone in his notebook to notice, and Katsuki glared back.

"What'cha want?" the fiery blond growled. 

"YOU GUYS WERE AWESOME!" the spiky redhead from earlier yelled as she practically flew over to Katsuki's desk. "I mean, like, how did you do so many pushups!?"

"Not to mention your speed," the pink acid girl smiled. "You're pretty fast for such lil fellas. I'm Ashido Mina, by the way." 

"I'm Uraraka Ochako!" Gravity girl smiled as she held out her hand to Katsuki before her eyes flickered with recognition. "What a minute, I remember you! We met before the Entrance Exam!"

"Oh yeah, I remember you!" Katsuki shook her hand. "Thanks for the catch, by the way. I woulda been fine, but my friend back there woulda..."

"-hasincrediblespeedlikelyduetotheenginesinherlegswonderwhatfueltheyuseandyetalsoseemingtohaveincrediblestrengthsideeffectofenginesmaybeorsomeunknownfactor..." Izuku mumbled as he wrote at high speed. The class went silent as they heard him and let out a collective sigh. Except for Ochako, who slowly leaned down to whisper to Katsuki.

"Is he always like this?"

"Only when analyzing," Katsuki replied before turning all the way around and throwing his eraser, hitting Izuku square in the face. He squeaked and flailed from the impact, dropping his pencil in the process. 

"K-Kacchan, what the-"

"Stop mumbling, you're scaring our classmates." Izuku was about to protest before he noticed almost everyone else in class was staring at him. Suddenly feeling very nervous, the boy curled up and apologized. During this whole exchange, Iida slowly made her way over to Izuku's desk. 

"What exactly are you writing, anyway?" she asked as she peered over Izuku's shoulder to his notebook. "...Is this me?" Before Izuku could do anything else, Iida whisked the notebook of his desk. Izuku buried his face in embarrassment as Iida read what was written. "...This is...quite impressive." Suddenly a blond blur shot through the air, yanked the notebook out of her hands and landed on the desk behind Momo.

"You don't just TAKE things, four-eyes!" Katsuki hollered, gripping Izuku's notebook to his chest. "God, didn't they ever teach you manners in your old school?" Thankfully, Tenten caught on and began apologizing profusely as Katsuki jumped back to Izuku's desk and returned the book. "Before anyone else feels like being an asshole and taking things that don't belong to them, Dekiru's hobby is analyzing quirks. It's a nerdy obsession, but he's damn good at it."

"And you're writing about everyone in class?" the redhead from earlier asked. "Am I in there?"

"N-not yet," Izuku stuttered as he reached for his pencil, only to remember he dropped it...off his desk. "Oh, it's down there." Before he could begin the climb down to get it, Momo tapped his shoulder. Turning to look at her, Leg Girl smiled and held out her hand. In a few seconds, there was a slight glow as a new man-sized pencil appeared in her hand. Izuku was wide-eyed with wonder as he took the Lady Might-themed pencil.

"Amazing!" the viridian-haired boy beamed. "I saw you made some tools during the assessment, but to fabricate something so small in such fine detail is a peerless display of skill and control! Your quirk has to be one of the most amazing ones I've ever seen!" Izuku was too busy looking over the pencil he had received to notice the blush forming on Momo's face. He didn't notice anything out of the ordinary until he heard the tinkling of dozens of small green pencils falling out of Momo to the floor. "A-are you alright?"

"Yes!" she exclaimed as she turned to sit properly in her chair with only a few more pencils raining down. "Perfectly fine!" Izuku was concerned, but had to turn his attention back to the front of the class, where Aizawa spent the rest of the school day explaining a few rules, class layout and the basics for attending UA. With everyone else paying attention to the teacher, no one noticed the plum girl glancing at the boys with a lusty smile. Nor did anyone notice the icy girl giving the boys a flat stare.

***

Later that night, Nedzu was in his office, at his greatly-elevated desk, reviewing the reports from the teachers concerning their students. It seemed like they had a promising batch of first years across the courses, with a grand total of 13 boys joining the school. Of even greater surprise, however, was the fact Aizawa had not sent anyone home. Nedzu couldn't remember the last time that had happened. It was honestly impressive. Reading her reports on the class, the principal smiled at how the three boys of Class 1-A performed for their assessment. Even without using their spirits, the boys had done stellar. He was honestly looking forward to tomorrow.

The sound of heavy footsteps, more like stomping, derailed Nedzu's train of thought. He wasn't expecting any visitors tonight. The mouse/bear? looked up at the door in time to see it slam open with enough force to almost crack it. Thank goodness it didn't, that door was expensive. 

Standing in the doorway was a particularly tall woman, almost tall as Lady Might. She was dressed in durable spandex styled to look similar to a slim kimono with a firebird motif. She was wearing some small amount of makeup, but the most striking feature of the arrival was her hair, or rather her quirk. Her fire quirk manifested through her hair, being waist length hair, strikingly similar to feathers. She might have been rather pretty by normal standards if her face was not currently twisted in an angry scowl.

"Ah, Endeavor!" Nedzu greeted. "To what do I owe this pleasure?" The massive woman flinched a bit.

"I am Madame Phoenix." she growled.

"Not until the official name change goes through!" Nedzu pointed out. "Which does make me wonder why you chose that name in the first place, Endeavor." Another flinch. Oh, he did so enjoy messing with her. "But I digress, I feel that your name is not the reason you've come."

"My daughter, Shouko," Endeavor/Madame Phoenix explained, "has informed me there are three boys in her class."

"Indeed there are! All three boys made it into the hero course under their own merit! They are all quite impressive!" He took a quick sip of tea.

"Expel them." 

"Expel them?" Nedzu laughed after doing a spit-take at the hero's words. "On what grounds, Endeavor?"

"It should be obvious," the flame hero loomed over the principal. "They are boys. They are small. They are frail. They are weak. Boys could never become heroes, and you know it. Better to get rid of them before they bring the rest of their class down, or end up hurting themselves and costing you a lawsuit."

"I should have you know," Nedzu smiled, "that I am on first-name basis with over a dozen male heroes who would disagree with you sentiment. Several of whom actually have contingency plans in the event you turn to villainy, and none of them were a detriment to their classes. Why would these boys be any different?"

"I want them gone," Endeavor hissed. Nedzu's smile dropped.

"What you want," Nedzu calmly replied, "is not the concern of this school. As you are not a part of UA staff, you have no authority to demand the expulsion of any student without reasonable cause. So unless you have a reason other than 'they're boys,' they're staying." The chimera's smile returned. "Is there anything else?" Endeavor glared at him for a few more moments before standing up straight again.

"You're making a mistake." Not even waiting for a response, Endeavor stormed out the door. Nedzu gave a small sigh. As cliche as that parting line was, he knew Endeavor would likely try some other way of getting what she wanted. Well, too bad for her she couldn't do anything at the moment. 

"She may be the Number Two Hero," Nedzu told himeself, "but in the halls of UA she's powerless. This means she may try using some outside influence to screw things up." He took a calming sip of tea while glancing to one of the drawers in his desk. "Might need to actually dust that old thing off..."

***

The second day of the school year dawned bright and clear. Izuku and Katsuki were able to ride together this time, and took an earlier train to avoid any more incidents like what happened the previous day (which Izuku would never tell Katsuki no matter how much he asked). The two were currently on the final jog to the school gates, both in high spirits. 

"We finally get to show off today!" Katsuki cheered. "Oh man, I can't wait to see the looks on everyone's faces when they see what we can do. Oh wait, they can't see it."

"Not out here, Kacchan," Izuku warned. "Don't wanna give anyone an idea of anything."

"What anyone?" Katsuki smirked back at his friend. "We're the only ones on this stretch. Not like anyone can-" He looked back, past Izuku and scoffed. "Well, scratch that last sentence." Confused, Izuku looked back and saw three girls coming up the sidewalk behind them. He recognized two of them as their classmates Kyoka Jirou and Yaoyorozu Momo, but he didn't recognize the redhead walking next to them. All three were chatting among themselves.

"We should scoot to the side," Izuku stated. "They might not see us and-"

"Screw that," Katsuki kept walking. "If they stumble and trip on us, that's their fault." Fortunately, the girls didn't close enough to trip on the boys before spotting them and waving. Izuku waved back as the girls sauntered up.

"Nice meeting you out here," Jirou smirked. "Better than yesterday, huh, Midoriya?"

"Please don't remind me," Izuku blushed.

"Well, you can remind me," Katsuki turned toward Jirou. "What exactly happened?"

"Oh you haven't heard?" the redhead gave a snarky smile. 

"Kendou, please don't." a flustered Momo begged as she tried and failed to cover the redhead's mouth. Izuku was about to intervene but was stopped when Jirou stepped in front of him, almost hitting the side of his head with the chargepack she wore on her leg. He was about to ask her to move before she raised her hand, gesturing for his silence while the other girls and Katsuki wrestled behind her. For some reason, Jirou had a nervous expression on her face. Taking a breath, she slowly knelt in front of Izuku. She was still taller, but only barely.

"I, uh..." she started. "...I know I made a bit of a jab at your height yesterday. I meant it in good humor, but...I'm sorry if I offended you at all." It took a moment for Izuku to remember what she was talking about, and when he did he simply smiled and waved it off.

"Don't worry about it," he replied. "I knew you were just messing around. No harm done." There was a sudden guffaw from Katsuki behind them, and Izuku winced. "He's never gonna let me live it down now..."

After that, the group continued to school. The redhead introduced herself as Itsuka Kendou, of Class 1-B Hero Course and member of the Yaoyorozu-Jirou-Kendou communal family. Izuku was fascinated by her hand-enlarging quirk, but noted that Katsuki seemed somewhat interested in the communal family concept, considering the sheer number of questions he had been asking the taller girls. In return, the girls seemed confused why both boys were solo-children, considering they both also had fathers. Their conversation continued along these lines until they were just at the last corner before the UA gates. They noticed a handful of other students, including a few of their own classmates (Mina, Ochako and Tsuyu), huddled together just before the corner.

"What's going on?" Jirou asked. No one said anything, but Ochako just pointed around the corner. Izuku quietly walked past the girls (a few of whom went "ooh" when they saw him) and slowly peered around the corner.

"The gate is swarming with reporters. Looks like they managed to corner some students." He leaned forward a bit. "Think they're asking about us boys, but I can't tell."

"Well, crap," one of the other students grimaced. "If they see you runts they'll tear you apart. Don't suppose you can turn invisible?"

"We're quirkless, dingbat," Katsuki hissed. Izuku, meanwhile, was looking at the wall around campus, then to Ochako for a few seconds before turning to Itsuka. 

"Kendou, how large can you make your hands?"

***

"Please tell us," a journalist grilled the two students she had against the wall, "what is it like having boys for classmates?"

"I-I dunno," one of the students replied, "w-we don't have any in our class." At that admission, the journalists moved on to aggressively interview other students. They were so focused on the closest students they almost didn't see the group of girls trying to quietly reach the gate.

Almost.

One journalist saw them first, then the others descended like a pack of jackals, trying to get the students to say anything. The students, to their credit, were overall tight-lipped, especially the one holding their really big hands over her head. The questions were initially about the new male students, but eventually the journalists tried other things.

"What is it like being a student of UA?"

"What sort of subjects do the pro heroes teach?"

"How many of you are hero course students?"

"What's it like with boys being in the hero course for the first time in over five years?"

"We've heard there's over a dozen boys among the first-years. What do you think caused the drastic spike in boy admittance?"

These questions and more were still met by either silence or calm requests for passage. Most of the journalists pressed on, but one of them saw Kendou's large hands and got to thinking. Pushing past the others, the reporter held a microphone in front of Itsuka's face.

"What are you hiding in your hands?"

"Pardon?" Itsuka replied before flinching. She didn't mean to speak.

"Are you hiding something in your hands?"

"No, of course not!" Itsuka tried to push past to the gate, but the other journalists caught on and tried cornering the hero student.

"You have boys in there, don't you? Open your hands!"

"Ma'am, I assure you I don't!" Itsuka yelled as she and the other students tried pushing past the reporters. The scuffle lasted a few minutes, with a few reporters trying to physically pry her hands open. Just when it looked like they were about to succeed, there was a loud shout that stopped everyone. Both students and reporters slowly turned to the noise and saw Pro Hero Madam Mic standing inside the gates with the principal perched on her shoulder. The Principal cleared his throat.

"I am aware you all have questions, but I should remind you that it is quite illegal to physically accost my students the way you are. So unless you would like to lose your jobs, then-" He didn't finish his sentence before the reporters all scooted back, letting the students rush into the gate. One of the reporters tried to follow them in only for the gate to slam shut in front of her. The teachers and students could hear the scream of frustration from outside, and sighed with relief they were finally inside.

"Miss Kendou," Nedzu said as he climbed down Mics' leg, "could you please open your hands now?" The student nodded and lowered her hands before slowly opening them. Inside her grasp, to Nedzu's surprise, was Tsuyu. The frog student was curled in a fetal position and looking at the principal.

"Sorry, sir, crowds make me nervous," she flatly admitted, like she was reading from a script. Nedzu looked at her in confusion for a brief moment before turning around and looking further into campus...a smile gradually forming.

"Cunning kids."

***

Ochako

There was a collective sigh of relief from Izuku, Katsuki, and Ochako. The tall girl had a boy under each arm, carrying them like duffel bags as she hopped down from the tree they had landed in. She quickly set them down as she took a breath to stave off the oncoming nausea.

"Shit, that was close," Katsuki groaned.

"We are SO lucky the reporters seem to have the same problem as Hylian guards from Zelda," Izuku nodded before smiling up to Ochako. "Thanks for helping us out there."

"Not a problem," she gave a queasy smile.

Izuku's plan had been fairly simple. Ochako would negate her own gravity along with his and Katsuki's and wait for the other girls to get the reporter's attention. Kendou would make it look like she was holding the boys and, with all focus on her, Ochako would give a jump and fly over the school gates. She then negated her quirk while they were in a tree so that they wouldn't fall too far when gravity took over again. 

"Seriously, though," Katsuki groaned more, "why were they so obsessed? We're just guys."

"You heard that one with the fish tail," Izuku replied while giving Ochako a small water bottle. "Apparently us and Mashirao are the first boys to make it into the hero course in a long time. On top of that, it seems a lot more boys got into UA this year than usual. Some folks think that's interesting."

"No, Lady Might being a teacher would be interesting," Katsuki pointed. "Us getting into school shouldn't be as big of a deal. I mean-"

Seclusion

Katsuki stopped and looked away, towards one of the gym buildings. Izuku noticed his sudden cut and turned to ask what that was about.

Isolation

Now Izuku turned towards the gym. He stared for a bit. He didn't see anything over there, but...

"Izuku?" Ochako asked, confused at the boy's sudden silence.

"You felt that, right?" Katsuki asked. 

"Yeah," Izuku affirmed. "Ochako, you go on ahead, there's something Kacchan and I need to check out." Neither boy waited for Ochako's response, instead jogging off towards the gym building. Towards the random feeling they both got. They were on school grounds, so they didn't feel the need for worry. There were other students scattered around, but none of them paid attention to the two boys. The spirits kept pace with the boys, moving as silent as they always had. As they neared the gym building, that random feeling got stronger. It was a chilly feeling, like stepping outside in autumn with a thin coat, but it itched the back of their heads at the same time. Neither boy could recall feeling this before.

"Think it's something to do with a quirk?" Katsuki asked as they reached the building.

"Possibly," Izuku responded. "...Wait...behind the building." Katsuki nodded and the two quickly walked around to the other side of the gym. As they turned the last corner, they were met with another unexpected sight, but one more pleasant than a horde of reporters. Seated at the base of a tree, reading from a small book, was a boy with messy purple hair. He hadn't noticed their arrival. 

"I don't recognize him," Katsuki stated.

"Must be in a different course," Izuku stated before moving closer. "Hello there! How are you? My name's Mido...ri..." he stopped speaking a few meters from the new kid. He and Katsuki were dead silent as they stared at him. They didn't look directly at him, though. If they did, they would have noticed this boy wasn't quite looking at them, either.

Their focus was completely on the muscular, bird-headed man that floated by the boy's shoulder.

Chapter Text

"HOLY FUCK YOU HAVE ONE TOO!?" Katsuki screamed while pointing at the new boy's spirit.

"I never thought we'd see another one!" Izuku hollered as he whipped out his notebook. "Would it be okay if we asked you a few questions?"

"Who are you and why do you have those things too?" the other boy asked incredulously. There was a brief silence before the two boys started laughing. 

"Sorry about that," Izuku started. "We just didn't expect to, well, see another spirit here. I'm Midoriya Izuku, he's Kacha-er-Bakugou Katsuki. What's your name? And your spirit's name?"

"Hitoshi Shinsou," the new kid replied before gesturing to his spirit. "This is Ivory Quill." His spirit stood still as Izuku made a quick sketch of it. 

Hitoshi's spirit was pretty tall, taller than Cobalt Star, and really muscular. It was shirtless, but wore baggy white pants similar to most depictions of a djinni. Even with crossed arms Izuku could see the gold or bronze bangles around its wrists. Coming from its back was a pair of simple white wings, no fancy coloring patterns anywhere. Izuku, however, wasn't sure which was weirder, the fact this spirit had the head of a rooster or that said rooster head had long silky gold hair. It honestly reminded him of those shirtless men from those weird romance novels Kacchan and his moms would read on occasion. 

"Fascinating," Izuku beamed. "My spirit is Cobalt Star. He's got super strength, like Lady Might."

"And mine's Ember Fang," Katsuki nodded. "He makes things explode. Can yours do anything?"

"Nuh uh," Hitoshi pointed, "I've been answering your questions this whole time, now answer one of mine. How the heck do you have those? I thought I was the only one."

"We..." Katsuki started, "...we dunno. They just kinda appeared when we were four." Hitoshi kept pointing for a few moments before sighing and lowering his hand.

"Figures," he drooped. "First time I see other guys with ghosts like mine, and you don't know where they came from either. Least you aren't freaking out about my guy with his bird head."

"You kidding?" Katsuki grinned. "I've got a literal hellhound the size of a horse following me and Dekiru here's got a suit of Phantom Armor followin' him around. Why on Earth would we be weirded out by your Six-Pack Chicken McSchwarzenegger?" 

There was about five seconds of silence before Izuku turned to Katsuki and asked "How long did it take you to think up that joke?"

"One minute, tops." Before anyone could say anything else, the loud booming of the school bell hit their ears. "FUCK, WE'RE GONNA BE LATE!"

"You're right!" Izuku whined before turning back to Hitoshi. "Um, would it be okay if we talked more after school? I got SO many more questions!"

"...Sure?"

"Awesome!" the green-haired boy cheered. "We'll meet by the gates! See you later, Shinsou!" With that, the two Hero Course boys ran back towards the main building, leaving Hitoshi alone with his spirit.

"...This school is weird, Ivory."

***

Katsuki gave a sigh of relief as he climbed up his desk. "Thought we were gonna be late."

"No kidding," Izuku groaned, laying on his desk. "I'm pretty sure we just beat a few Olympic records."

"How were you almost late if you got on school grounds before the rest of us did?" Momo asked.

"We were investigating something," he mumbled. That was as much as he willing to say at the moment, and was thankful when Aizawa came in to go over their class schedule. It was fairly short, only which teachers would teach which subjects, though she left out who would be teaching their Heroics class that afternoon. When she finished, she gave the students some free time until the next class. As the students talked among themselves, Aizawa pulled out her phone to read something. Izuku, still winded from his earlier run, watched Aizawa with interest. What was on her phone that made her look so-

His vision turned milky, like a dream sequence from a movie. After a few moments it cleared enough for him to see he was suddenly looking over Aizawa's shoulder. Wait. When did he get here? How was he standing so high off the ground? He couldn't look around, his vision squarely on Aizawa's phone. It seemed to be a message from Nedzu.

'Be sure to have Bakugou and Midoriya paired together for the hero exercise, and pay attention to their actions. It is likely they have developed individual techniques using their-'

"Dekiru," Katsuki said as he shook Izuku's shoulders. Izuku looked around. He was back at his desk, and Cobalt was by his side. "What the hell was that? You just kinda got stiff and...your guy hovered by Aizawa's shoulder for a minute." Izuku slowly looked at Katsuki with a look of bewilderment.

"I...I don't know..." he finally muttered in reply. "I just...kinda...I was looking over Aizawa's shoulder..."

"But you didn't move," Katsuki kept whispering. 

"I think..." Izuku hypothesized, "...I think I was looking through Cobalt's eyes. Or rather, their version of eyes. I read part of the message on her phone. Something about pairing us up for the exercise this afternoon."

"...Dude..." Katsuki almost looked like he had stars in his eyes. "If that's true, your spirit is even cooler than before. Most I've learned is how to ride Ember...kinda..."

"Still cool," Izuku whispered. Honestly, between meeting Hitoshi and somehow doing something new with Cobalt, Izuku felt like this day couldn't get any better.

***
Iida Tenten was conflicted. She knew that if she waited long enough, she would learn how Midoriya and Bakugou made it into the Hero Course. She'd waited it out on longer matters before. After all, some of her former classmates in Somei had joked that 'patience' was her personal virtue.

However, this enigma was slowly eroding said virtue.

She had been watching Midoriya Izuku and Bakugou Katsuki the entire day, eager to figure out their secret. She watched them in Cementess' Literature class, noting Katsuki had some issues with dating older books. She was mildly impressed with their grasp of English in Madam Mic's class, but only mildly. They were above average in Ectoplasm's math class, but only by a small margin. Tenten was a bit worried about how Midnight would react to them in Art History, but was surprised to see that somehow Midnight knew them on a personal level. Other than that, their performance was barely better than mediocre. So how did they make it into the Heroics Course? Tenten was not one to accuse people of dishonesty, but she was beginning to think they must have done something illicit to get in.

As soon as she thought this, however, she took a breath to calm down. She was Iida Tenten, Ninth Bearer of One For All, and it is not heroic to believe one's classmates were being deceitful. She needed to simmer down and think of other possibilities. Perhaps lunch would calm her nerves.

She entered the cafeteria with the rest of her class, eager for lunch after the morning lessons. There was also quite a bit of excitement, as they knew they would have their first actual Heroics class afterwards. She could also hear Midoriya's excitement from seeing Lunch Rush. Honestly, his fanboy nature was, dare she say it, somewhat cute. As she purchased her food, a thought occurred to Iida, and she mentally kicked herself for not thinking it sooner. Why not just ask the boys?

"Excuse me," she caught Izuku's attention, "would I be permitted to sit with you?"

"Oh, sure," Izuku smiled (gods that was a cute smile) as he and Katsuki walked to a nearby table. Iida noticed that a few other classmates, namely Uraraka and Yaoyorozu, had also joined them. As they took their seats, Iida turned to ask her question, but stopped when she saw both boys and Uraraka were staring straight ahead. All three had their chopsticks in their mouths and stars in their eyes.

Lunch

"Is something the matter?" Tenten asked. 

"Kacchan," Izuku turned to his bestie, "...i-is this...?" Katsuki took another bite of his food, his eyes only widening as he looked down at his dish.

"Th-this food is natural," Ochako gasped. "I-I don't taste any synthetic stuff."

Ah, that made sense. Iida remembered hearing about how, due to the sudden growth spurt of women, natural foods became a bit of a luxury. While it was fortunate that scientists worldwide had figured out a way to make produce grow bigger and more abundantly, the majority of modern society subsisted off food grown in "meat labs" which, while still nutritious, had a different taste compared to natural foods. In that way, Iida considered herself fortunate to have had natural foods periodically while growing up. Seeing the looks on their three faces as they dug into their meals made it clear they didn't have that luxury. Meanwhile, a sidelong glance to Yaoyorozu (with her look of confusion) made Tenten wonder if her fellow classmate had ever had synthetic food. 

Tenten waited for the boys to finish their meal before clearing her throat. "Midoriya, Bakugou, may I ask a bit of a personal question?"

"Depends on the question," Bakugou responded.

"I apologize if I sound rude," Tenten stated, "but how exactly did you two make it into the Hero Course? Did you use some trick to beat the entrance exam?" Ochako and Momo gasped the bluntness of her question, but Izuku and Katsuki responded with a big smile.

"You'll see later today," Izuku beamed. Feeling like she was on the receiving end of a cop-out, Tenten opened her mouth to inquire further before another voice cut into their conversation.

"Pardon me," a voice that oozed with condescension stated from behind Tenten, "did I hear you say something about boys in the Hero Course?" Everyone turned to look at the source of the voice. It came from a girl with short yellow hair and a sneer so pretentious everyone who saw it had to hold back the urge to punch it. 

"Yup," Izuku nodded. "My friend and I are in Class 1-A. Who might you be?"

"Class 1-A? Really?" The snotty person laughed. "Wow, the standards of Class 1-A must be abysmal if they let boys into it. What, are you boys mascots or something?" The snotty person just kept laughing after this, not noticing that Kendou was coming up behind her, her enlarged hand at the ready. Before she could karate-chop the cackling blonde a small explosion erupted point-blank in front of her face. It wasn't large, but it had enough force to send the jerk backwards, like someone punched her in the face. She hit the ground with enough force to lose consciousness, leaving everyone in that part of the cafeteria staring in shock.

"...W-what was that?" Kendou asked as her hand shrunk back to normal.

"It looked like a midair explosion," Tenten pointed out.

"I dunno what happened," Katsuki casually stated as he looked around the room. "Somebody's throwin' stuff." Most everyone slowly returned to eating after that, though the question of what happened hung in the air. Some other girls, identifying themselves as members from Class 1-B, came and hauled the singed blonde away. A few of them giggled at the sight of the boys, but otherwise left them alone. Izuku watched as the girls hauled their jerk of a classmate away and chatted among themsel-

Suddenly Izuku's vision shot forward and hovered behind one of the girls. He wasn't quite over their shoulder, but he was close enough to hear what they were saying to their companions.

"Why is Class A so lucky? They got two cuties in their class!"

"Three," another one pointed out. "That boy with the tail you were ogling at earlier? He's there too."

"Three boys! Three in Class A, and more in the other courses!" The first girl groaned as she asked "What did we do to get cursed with Monoma instead of-"

There was a snap in the back of Izuku's mind as he came back. Looking around the room and seeing Cobalt hovering back to their position next to Izuku, he was now certain that he was somehow using Cobalt to eavesdrop. This put a whole new twist on what he could do. Maybe if he actually tried focusing he could do more, and for longer? He definitely needed to practice this.

During this, however, Ochako seemed fixated on the spot of open air the explosion from earlier occurred.

***

Class 1-A was abuzz with excitement. Fresh from lunch, they had returned to their homeroom ready for their first actual Hero class. They had no idea what they were gonna be doing, but as Aizawa said when they returned from lunch, none of them had to fear expulsion unless they did something really stupid.

"I wonder who our teacher is gonna be?" Sato brought up. "I heard an upperclassman say the previous Heroics teacher retired and we got a new one this year."

"I'm hoping it's Hero Thirteen," Uraraka replied. 

"No way," Jiro smirked, "I bet it'll be someone like the Rabbit Hero, Miruko."

"I'm hoping it'll be Mt Lady," Mineta Shinobu drooled.

"Oh gods, I hope not," Katsuki growled. "I really don't want my cousin for a fucking teacher."

"WAIT, YOUR WHAT!?" half the class exclaimed.

"Settle down," Aizawa groaned from her sleeping bag. "Your teacher is running a little late, but they'll be here soon."

"I AM..."

The instant those two words were heard, everyone in class gaped at the door.

"COMING THROUGH THE DOOR LIKE A NORMAL PERSON!" Lady Might announced as she leaned through the doorway.

"Oh my god, it's Lady Might!" Kirishima cheered. 

"Is that her Silver Age outfit?" Kaminari asked. "So retro!" Everyone in the class was cheering and excited over this reveal, except for Izuku and Ochako, who both turned to look at the dumbfounded Katsuki.

"So, Kacchan," Izuku stated, "about that thing you said this morning..." 

"Shut it," Katsuki growled while looking out the window. "I didn't know." Ignoring the boy's muttered conversation, Lady Might smiled at the class.

"IT IS GOOD TO SEE THE NEXT GENERATION OF HEROES IS SO EXCITABLE," she laughed. "BEFORE WE BEGIN, THOUGH, YOUR HERO COSTUMES ARE READY FOR PICKUP! GRAB THEM, GET CHANGED AND MEET ME AT GROUND BETA FOR YOUR FIRST HERO TRIAL!" As the students all rushed out to grab their hero suits, Aizawa got up and stood next to Lady Might.

"You got the message from Nedzu about those two boys, right?"

"OF COURSE. I WILL MAKE SURE THEY ARE ON THE SAME TEAM. I AM QUITE EAGER TO SEE HOW THEY'VE IMPROVED."

***
In a matter of minutes, everyone had grabbed their outfits and changed before heading to Ground Beta. The three boys of Class 1-A were surprised to see a dedicated changing room for men, and even more surprised to see it was spotlessly clean. Izuku kind of wondered if they had to hire male custodians to clean it.

Izuku's outfit was clearly inspired by Cobalt Star, being a suit of green and blue armor made from ceramic plates. Unlike a traditional suit of armor, however, his greaves and gauntlets had small boosters in them that increased mobility and striking power. It also had a dark blue cape that could block blades and was fire resistant. Instead of a helmet, he wore a blue cap with a gold buckle on it. 

Katsuki's outfit also took inspiration from his spirit, but from a clearly different angle than Izuku. He wore a spiky black and red jumpsuit, also with a cape connected to polished shoulder pauldrons. He didn't have anything in the way of headgear beyond a black and orange domino mask. Overall, his outfit had a very hellish appearance.

"Ooh!" Ochako looked down at Izuku and Katsuki with starry eyes. "You two have amazing costumes!" Izuku gave a nervous chuckle while Katsuki gave his signature toothy grin.

"Yours ain't too shabby either, Round Face!"

Ochako gave a giggle as she gave a cutesy pose. Her hero outfit had a clear space theme to it. Her torso, shins and forearms were clad in thick white components that looked like an astronaut suit while her arms and legs were in dark blue and covered with a stars-n-galaxies pattern. Her helmet was similar to an astronaut helmet as well, with a vague blue tint. Unlike the boys, however, she didn't wear a cape.

"You like it?" she asked. "This was actually my backup idea. My first idea was a bit simpler, but when the Support Course made it for me, they made it skintight and it was sooo embarrassing. I'm glad I took a friend's advice and had two ideas in mind." 

"SIMMER DOWN, EVERYONE!" Lady Might called out from her position in front of a large screen, and between two large boxes marked 'hero' and 'villain.' "TODAY, YOU WILL BE PRACTICING INDOOR COMBAT TRAINING! WHILE A LOT OF VILLAIN CLEANUP IS OUT IN THE OPEN, SOME OF THE SMARTEST VILLAINS WORK INDOORS WHERE BIGGER FLASHIER QUIRKS MIGHT BE AT A DISADVANTAGE! KIDNAPPINGS, BREAK-INS, THE BLACK MARKET POMERANIAN TRADE, ALL THESE AND MORE OCCUR IN THE SHADOWS! AS SUCH, YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO PRACTICE INDOOR COMBAT JUST AS MUCH AS OUTDOOR!"

"Will this be a solo exercise?" Momo asked.

"How do we determine the victor?" Tenten asked while chopping the air with her arm.

"Will there be a penalty for collateral damage?" Sato queried.

"Doesn't my cape look fabulous~?" Aoyama asked as she twirled through the air behind everyone.

Lady Might just laughed. "PLEASE, PLEASE, ALL YOUR QUESTIONS WILL BE ANSWERED!" She rummaged through a pack on her hip for a few moments before pulling out a sheet of paper, which Izuku and Katsuki realized was a script. "AHEM. FOR TODAY'S TRAINING, A PAIR OF VILLAINS HAVE A NUCLEAR DEVICE SOMEWHERE IN THIS BUILDING! A PAIR OF HEROES WILL THEN HAVE TO INFILTRATE THE STRUCTURE AND STOP THEIR NEFARIOUS PLANS BEFORE TIME EXPIRES! THEY CAN ACCOMPLISH THIS BY EITHER DETAINING BOTH VILLAINS, OR DEFUSING THE BOMB BY MAKING PHYSICAL CONTACT! THE VILLAIN TEAM WILL BE VICTORIOUS IF THEY KEEP THE HEROES AWAY FROM THE BOMB UNTIL TIME EXPIRES, OR IF THEY MANAGE TO CAPTURE THE HEROES! THE MATCH WILL BE CALLED A DRAW IF THE BOMB RECEIVES DAMAGE! EACH SESSION WILL LAST UP TO FIFTEEN MINUTES, AND USE A DIFFERENT STRUCTURE EACH TIME IN EVENT OF COLLATERAL DAMAGE! AS FOR YOUR TEAMS, THEY HAVE BEEN CHOSEN AHEAD OF TIME BY RANDOM LOTTERY!"

"Random lottery?" Tenten seemed shocked. "Would it not be better to have us paired up by compatibility?"

"It's difficult to prepare for unexpected situations," Izuku pointed out. "and be it due to travel or circumstances, pro heroes do have to create makeshift teams on the spot a lot. It's not unusual for us to practice a similar thing."

"Ah," Tenten looked down at Izuku with a slightly embarrassed look, "my apologies."

"1000 yen says Dekiru and I are paired up," Katsuki grinned before squealing from being prodded by Jirou's earlobe. "Gah, you bitch!"

"No gambling," she deadpanned. After Jirou said this, the screen behind Lady Might lit up, showing everyone's teams.

A - Yaoyorozu Momo & Uraraka Ochako
B - Todoroki Shouko & Shoji Maya
C - Midoriya Izuku & Bakugou Katsuki
D - Sato Kiki & Mineta Shinobu
E - Kirishima Fujiko & Tokoyami Fumikage
F - Sero Hinata & Aoyama Yuna
G - Ojiro Mashirao & Hagakure Tooru
H - Kaminari Genkai & Koda Komi
I - Iida Tenten & Asui Tsuyu
J - Kyoka Jirou & Ashido Mina

Everyone read the board in silence. Some of them were glad with the people they were paired with, and all were glad they didn't take up Katsuki's bet. Katsuki grumbled at his lost opportunity, and Izuku noted the other teams intensely. Any one of them would be his opponent, so he and Katsuki had to be ready.

"NOW THAT YOU KNOW YOUR TEAMS," Lady Might said as she thrust her hands into the boxes to her sides, "IT IS NOW TIME TO DETERMINE WHO WILL BE THE VILLAINS AND WHO WILL BE THE HEROES! EACH GROUP WILL HAVE FIVE MINUTES OF PREP TIME, SO SPEND IT WISELY! AND REMEMBER, THIS IS A LIFE OR DEATH SITUATION! WORK YOUR HARDEST, AND USE YOUR ABILITIES TO THE FULLEST!" Izuku and Katsuki caught the hidden meaning behind this last phrase, and gave Lady Might a knowing nod. Lady Might yanked her hands out of the boxes, holding a ball in each one.

"THESE ARE THE FIRST TEAMS TO COMPETE!"

Chapter Text

Everyone looked at the balls in Lady Might's hands. In her right hand, from the 'hero' box, was a green bball ox with a big 'B' on it. In her other hand, from the 'villain' box, was a white ball emblazoned with the letter "G." 

"THESE ARE THE FIRST TEAMS TO COMPETE!" Lady Might announced. "TEAM B, TODOROKI AND SHOJI WILL BE THE HEROES! TEAM G, OJIRO AND HAGAKURE WILL BE THE VILLAINS! GO GET READY, YOU HAVE FIVE MINUTES TO PLAN AND PREPARE! EVERYONE ELSE, TO THE OBSERVATION ROOM!" Everyone except the aforementioned teams followed the pro hero, chatting among themselves.

"Bit of a rough matchup, huh?" Sato asked Sero.

"Todoroki's got ice," Sero replied, "but Hagakure's invisible. Kinda hard to freeze what can't be seen, right?"

"She's invisible, not intangible," Izuku piped up. 

Lady Might smiled as the students talked together. It was only the second day, but she could see the buds of camaraderie growing among them. She was glad to be among those to help them along.

***

Mashirao and Tooru stood in the room with the bomb. Tooru was removing her gloves and boots while Mashirao looked at the huge bomb in the corner. He gave it a few taps and chuckled.

"Paper-mache," he stated. "Could almost lift this thing myself."

"Almost," Tooru teased as she pat his head. "I'll scout out the heroes and try to hold em off. You stay here and protect the bomb." Mashirao turned to reply, but stopped and blushed a bit.

"Hagakure," he asked, "y-you're wearing one of those Invisi-suits the Support Course spoke about, right?"

"Maaaybe~," the tall girl giggled. "You can touch me and find out~." This caused Mashirao to blush even more, eliciting some laughter from Tooru as she ran off. "Stay safe, Oji-chan!"

"Th-that nickname hasn't been funny since elementary school!" Mashirao called to his companion. Not getting a response, he sighed and hopped on top of the bomb. He and his companion made their plan. Now he could only wait.

"STUDENTS!" Lady Might called over the PA, "LET THE TEST COMMENCE!"

***

Shouko Todoroki and Shoji Maya stepped into the building. Shoji immediately unfurled her tendrils and reshaped the tips into ears. Todoroki waited as Shoji listened for a few moments before reshaping a tendril into a mouth and whispered to Todoroki.

"One of them is one floor above us and moving quietly in our direction. I hear the other one on the third floor, remaining stationary. Highly likely the bomb's there."

"Right," Shouko stepped forward. "Let me handle this." With another step, she sent out a sheet of ice through the hallway...and up the walls. Shoji watched in awe as Todoroki seemed to encase the building in ice, save for where Shoji stood. 

"I will capture the bomb. You wait here." Shouko then walked into the building, leaving her companion in stunned silence. She walked calmly, not in any real hurry. Ascending to the second floor, she continued her walk until she came upon a spot in the ice with two out-of-place holes. "Hagakure?"

"Th-th-that's ch-ch-cheating," the invisible girl whined, shivering in place. Shouko simply shrugged in response and continued past Hagakure. Going up one more floor, she saw the bomb from down the hall. The door was wide enough she could see most of the room from the stairs, but couldn't see Mashirao anywhere. Either he moved, or was caught in a corner. 

"It was a bad match up," Shouko sighed as she approached the room. "I don't like fighting boys. They're too-"

WHAM!

The moment Shouko stepped into the room, Mashirao appeared right next to her head and batted her away with his tail. She stumbled back from both shock and physical contact, giving Ojiro time to land and leap back up, smacking Todoroki again with his tail. This time Shouko recovered enough to send some ice at Ojiro. Instead of being trapped, however, the small boy rode the ice back into the room. He jumped as the ice finished moving, and the resulting slide was the only thing that kept Ojiro's face away from Shouko's foot. Before he even stopped sliding, Mashirao slammed his tail down and ricocheted at Todoroki's face again. 

***

"Y-you're all seeing this, right?" Sero asked. "This isn't some weird hallucination?"

"Ojiro is kicking Todoroki's butt!" Kirishima exclaimed. "How is that even possible!?"

"YOU SHOULD NOT DOUBT NOR UNDERESTIMATE ANYONE!" Lady Might replied with a big smile. "YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN THEY MIGHT HAVE HIDDEN TRICKS!" 

Izuku and the class continued watching the fight, seeing Ojiro repeatedly leap through the air to strike Shouko. Despite his comparatively-small stature, the force of his blows kept pushing his opponent back. It looked like Shouko could barely counter him, only landing the occasional blow. Anytime she tried summoning ice she barely managed more than a small handful before being struck again. Izuku gasped when he made the realization.

"It's her ice!" he yelled. "Todoroki's ice needs room to grow, and she doesn't have the time nor space she needs with Ojiro attacking her much as he is!"

"But he's getting tired," Katsuki grimaced. "Look, he's slowing down." Class A looked and noticed that, indeed, Ojiro was slowing down. His face was sweating and twisted into an exhausted scowl. "It's like Aizawa said. Jumping and fighting like that can tire you out, but Ojiro can't catch his breath or else the icy bitch'll freeze him. He needs to finish this soon."

"He just might," Momo pointed at the screen. "Look!"

***

Shouko gave a quiet grunt of pain as she fell to her knee. Before she could recover, Ojiro gave an uppercut with his tail, sending her sprawling on her back. Mashirao's beatdown did a number on her. She honestly felt like she had been sparring with a small Endeavor, minus the fire. Lifting her head, she saw Ojiro push his arm into a nearby box. He pulled out a roll of capture tape, but staggered from the weight of it. The two seconds he stumbled gave Todoroki the time she needed. 

Pushing her hand to the floor, Shouko sent a wave of ice as fast as she could at Ojiro. Unlike before when he rode the ice, the boy couldn't jump in time and was caught in it. The ice wrapped around him and lifted him off the ground, almost eye-level with Shouko's standing height. He struggled, but Mashirao was caught fast. He was beaten. 

"Todoroki," Shouko heard Shoji through her earpiece, "are you alright? You've been gone a while."

"I am fine," Shouko sighed as she got to her feet. "It took a bit longer than anticipated, but I have succeeded. Stay down there." Shouko rubbed her head and calmly walked past Ojiro to the bomb. Looking it over to make sure it wasn't damaged, she raised her hand and gently touched the bomb.

"TODOROKI SHOUKO HAS SECURED THE BOMB!" Lady Might's voice boomed over the PA. "HERO TEAM WINS!" As the declaration finished, Shouko turned and walked to the still-frozen Ojiro. She looked down at him calmly, he looked up at her with chattering teeth.

"Are you damaged?" Shouko asked with a hint of concern in her voice. Rather than voice his reply, Ojiro just shook his head and Shouko gave a quiet sigh. "That is good. Be still." She held her left hand to the ice next to Ojiro. The ice slowly melted around her hand, making a small hole next to Ojiro. The boy watched in awe as Shouko pushed her arm around his back, then gradually expanded the heat. As the ice melted, Shouko slowly and delicately lowered Ojiro to the ground. After pulling her arm from under him, Shouko set her palm to the floor and melted the rest of the ice throughout the building. Ojiro was in shock at the sudden change of temperature. 

"You did fair," Shouko admitted as she stood back up, "but next time stay with your partner. She will keep you safe." Then she turned and left the room. 

***

Everyone in the Observation room stared in awe. They were less surprised at the result, and more surprised at how Shouko dealt with the ice. Other than Lady Might, none of them knew Todoroki could control fire too. Izuku had a quick mumble moment as he recorded this in his notebook. After a minute, the students from the trial came back in.

"GOOD JOB STUDENTS!" Lady Might cheered. "YOU ALL DID VERY WELL THERE! NOW, WHO HERE CAN TELL ME WHO THE MVP WAS FOR THAT TRIAL!?"

"Clearly Todoroki," Momo piped up. "Her initial freeze was a good way to capture any villains in the building, and minimized collateral damage. She may have had some trouble with Ojiro, but she was able to outlast him."

"I disagree," Izuku raised his hand. "I think Ojiro was the MVP for this fight. And before anyone interrupts," he turned to the few students who raised their hands to speak up, "I'm not just saying this because I'm a boy."

"You see," he continued, "I say Ojiro was the MVP because he almost won. He dodged the initial trap and managed to keep Todoroki away from the bomb. He may not have known it, but Todoroki must not have been trained in using her ice for close combat and could barely keep up with Ojiro's attacks. Meanwhile, Ojiro had the disadvantage of fighting someone literally twice his size, and had to resort to using a very jumpy fighting style. At the end there he actually had her on the floor and was about to win. However, it was clear he was exhausted from the fight and had trouble with the weight of the capture tape. That moment of struggling might have been all Todoroki needed to turn the fight around at that point, but if it didn't happen she would have lost. Overall, he had a laundry list of disadvantages, and still only lost due to exhaustion."

Everyone was paying rapt attention to the diminutive green-head as Izuku continued, "On the other hand, I feel Todoroki's initial freeze was reckless. She might have known which floor the bomb was on, and which room, but not necessarily the placement of the bomb. If the bomb had been any closer to the door, her ice would have caught it too. If this were a real situation and the bomb was rigged with a temperature sensor, a sudden cold snap like that could have detonated it. Secondly, Todoroki went in alone. In a real bomb situation, you do not go in alone, no matter how strong you think you are. While Shoji is partially to blame by not going in on their own, Todoroki also could have called for help when Ojiro stalled her. Lastly, it looks like Todoroki can control both ice and heat, possibly to the point of summoning fire. Due to the nature of fire, I believe she would have won that fight had she used it, and in not using it she demonstrated she was not taking this trial seriously. To quote my best friend here, 'you can't half-ass hero work,' and it really seemed like that was exactly what Todoroki was doing." 

The entire class stared in silence at his words, some of them absolutely slack-jawed. Todoroki herself was just giving Izuku a glare just as cold as her quirk. Izuku noticed their stares, got self-conscious and was about to mutter an apology before Lady Might gave a raucous laugh.

"AN AMAZING OBSERVATION!" she declared. "I NEVER WOULD HAVE LOOKED AT THEIR PERFORMANCE THAT WAY WITHOUT YOUR INPUT! I MUST SAY I AGREE WITH YOUR WORDS MIDORIYA! BRAVO!" The other students (sans Todoroki) stated their agreement after this, a few patting Izuku on the head. Katsuki just smiled next to his friend, never doubting his insight even once. After a minute, Lady Might cleared her throat.

"NOW WE MUST MOVE ON TO THE NEXT TRIAL!"

***

The following trials were a bit calmer compared to the first one, but no less interesting and full of clever quirk displays. The second trial had Kirishima and Tokoyami play heroes against the villain team of Sero and Aoyama. Izuku was amazed by Sero's clever use of laying tape traps to funnel both heroes into a single hall and thus vulnerable to Aoyama's navel laser. To everyone's surprise, Kirishima tanked the blast, and Tokoyami sent her quirk (which really reminded the boys of their spirits) out to strike both villains and send them falling into one of Sero's own traps. The MVP for that match was harder to decide, with Momo and Izuku comparing viewpoints until they both agreed that Kirishima's durability won the vote. After this it was agreed that it would be these two who would help decide the MVP of each match.

The match after that had Mina and Jirou infiltrate the building while Sato and Mineta defended the bomb. Mineta had cleverly laid her sticky spheres at random points throughout the building, but these were easily thwarted by Mina's acid. It looked like they had the advantage until Sato's super strength was added in. Between Sato's quirk and Mineta's balls, the hero team failed to secure the bomb within the time limit. Despite their loss, both Momo and Izuku agreed that Mina was the MVP due to her effectively neutralizing Mineta's greatest strength.

The fourth match had Momo and Ochako on the villain team while Kaminari and Koda were the heroes. Momo's plan had most of the doors barricaded with metal plates, funneling the heroes into a single hallway similar to the second match. Unlike the second match, however, the villain team waited for the heroes to enter the bomb room through the only open door before Ochako negated her quirk, dropping a heavy rubber cage on Kaminari. While the electric-quirk user disabled herself trying to shoot electricity out the cage, Ochako dashed forward and patted Koda's arm, negating her gravity and pushing her to the ceiling. When it came time to determine the MVP, Momo had to sit out due to her involvement in the trial, and was treated to seeing Midoriya and Bakugou debating who the MVP should be. Izuku believed it should have been Momo due to her barricading the doors and creating the cage that disabled Kaminari, while Bakugou argued it was Uraraka due to their entire plan hinging on her quirk. In the end, Lady Might declared that the MVP was Uraraka, agreeing with Bakugou's words. 

***

"SIMMER DOWN, SIMMER DOWN!" Lady Might laughed as Katsuki cheered and whooped at beating Izuku at something. "NOW, IT'S TIME FOR THE FINAL MATCH, AND-"

"Excuse me!" Izuku raised his hand. "Before you continue, I have to ask. Why was this trial rigged for Kacchan and I to go last?" Everyone turned to Izuku with shocked expressions. Where did that accusation come from? Even Lady Might seemed caught off-guard by that sudden question.

"ERR, WHAT DO YOU MEAN, YOUNG MAN?"

"These trials," Izuku explained. "I know the lineup was mostly randomized due to the balls in the boxes, but I've noticed a distinct difference in sounds between the two boxes. With the previous trial, even with you taking your time shuffling the balls around for dramatic effect, it's pretty obvious that the Hero box had only one ball left in it while the Villain box had two. And since that remaining Hero ball was for Kaminari's team, that clearly meant that this trial was rigged to make sure that Kacchan and I would be last, and on the Hero team. Why is that?" Lady Might hesitated in answering, and during that pause the other students whispered among themselves. None of them had noticed the difference Izuku was referencing, but Lady Might's reaction could only mean he was right. What was going on here?

"If you were really that smart, you'd know the reason by now." 

Everyone, even Lady Might, was surprised to see Aizawa in the doorway to the Observation room. She looked as tired as she did the day before, complete with the juice box in her hand. Met with silence from the class, she drained said box before tossing into the nearby recycle can before walking to stand next to Lady Might.

"The reason it was set up this way," she finally explained, "is because of what you two can do. If you had your trials any earlier, the students following you wouldn't be able to focus on their own tests. By placing you last, we made sure everyone did their best before likely freaking out over what you can do."

"What can they do?" Iida asked, hooked on the information she had just been given. "The way you're speaking seems to infer they-" Aizawa interrupted Iida with her creepy smile.

"You'll just have to fight them and find out, Iida." Turning to the rest of the class, she stated, "Before anyone else asks, what you are about to see must be kept within these walls. Orders from the Principal. You'll be told more at the conclusion of the trial. Asui and Iida are the villains here. Go get ready."

***

Izuku and Katsuki stood outside the four-story building, flanked by their spirits. The outside looked plain, and the windows seemed to lack any sort of glass. The entrance was a set of double-doors that looked like solid and heavy wood. Katsuki scoffed.

"It'd take ten minutes just to find the bomb. How are we supposed to find and secure it within fifteen?"

"I dunno," Izuku sighed. "I believe the bomb is on the top floor, since that's the floor that'd be the hardest for us to reach quickly."

"Wish we could make sure before going in," Katsuki sighed. He turned to Izuku to say something else before seeing the look of realization on his face. "What?"

"We can!" Izuku exclaimed. "Kacchan, please be quiet a minute, I'm gonna try something." Taking a breath, Izuku lowered his head and covered his eyes with his hand. Watching Izuku take slow deep breaths, Katsuki was a bit confused until he remembered what his friend had said earlier. After a few seconds, he saw Cobalt Star run towards the building before hovering up to the fourth floor then moving to the side. It appeared to be looking through each window as it flew by. Katsuki lost sight of it as it went around the corner, then after a minute Izuku gave a loud exhale and lowered his hand.

"The bomb is on the top floor," he gasped. "Far corner room. Iida is by herself, so I assume Asui is patrolling the inside of the building." Katsuki just gaped at his friend.

"You...you learned that using Cobalt?"

"My head hurts a bit," Izuku explained as he took off his hat and scratched his head, "but I managed to repeat what happened earlier today. Now I know I can use my spirit to do reconnaissance. Might not be a good idea to do it too long so soon, though."

"...Dude..." Katsuki said with a massive smile, "...that is fucking AWESOME! Those girls won't know what hit 'em! So, think Cobalt could carry us up to that floor?" His smile dropped when Izuku shook his head.

"Cobalt can't hover while carrying me. He could throw us, but I really haven't practiced that so I dunno how our landing would go. What about you and Ember? Earlier you said you could ride him?"

"I said I could kinda ride him," Katsuki reminded. "He keeps phasing out from under me, and I'd rather not have that happen while we're above the ground." He gave a miffed sigh. "Guess there's no magical solution to getting up there quickly, huh?" 

"Magical..." Izuku muttered. He looked at the windows, at the space between floors, before gasping and grabbing Katsuki's shoulder. "Kacchan, that's it! Black Magic! The scene with the robots in the trees!" Katsuki stared for a moment before giving his signature sneer. 

***

Everyone else in the Observation room watched the two teams prepare for their trial. The students were watching both teams, trying to think what they could be planning, while both teachers were mainly focused on the boys. They noticed how Izuku covered his eyes earlier before pointing up at the top floor. Having access to the comms for both teams, the teachers heard everything Izuku had said. Aizawa hid her surprise at what Izuku had accomplished, and thought back to over a dozen cases where something like Izuku's spirit would have been useful. However, both she and Lady Might wondered what he meant by "Black Magic." Just what were these kids referencing?

"STUDENTS," Lady Might called through the intercom, "THE TRIAL BEGINS...NOW!"

Everyone watched as the boys ran for the building the instant the declaration was made. Instead of going for the doors, however, the boys ran for the wall. Aizawa heard one student ask what the boys were doing, but was stunned into silence with everyone else as the two boys gave a jump and started running up the wall. They watched as the boys ran all the way to the second floor window before they had to start using their hands. The boys climbed up more, with Katsuki going up a bit faster than Izuku. When Katsuki reached the third floor window, however, he stopped moving. Even Aizawa was confused to see the explosive blond just hang from the window with one leg sticking out while the other was braced against the wall. Any questions she was mentally asking were answered when Izuku gave a bit of a jump and grabbed Katsuki's leg. With a grunt of effort, Katsuki swiveled his entire body clockwise, catapulting Izuku up like a bottle rocket. Moments later, Izuku reached the fourth floor window and clambered in while Bakugou resumed climbing. After a moment he reappeared in the window and held out both hands, grabbing Katsuki when he got close and pulled him in. At that point Aizawa checked her watch.

"It's been a little more than a minute and those boys are already on the top floor. They clearly have experience climbing, and complete trust in each other to try a maneuver like that."

"That was awesome!" Kirishima roared. "I wanna try next!"

"That was a good show of upper body strength," Momo could be heard whispering to herself, "but overall nothing unusual. What is it that they can do?"

Aizawa gave a smirk. These kids ain't seen nothing yet.

Chapter Text

Iida was uncomfortable with this situation. She was training to be a hero. She was here at UA to do good in the world. But here she was, with a false bomb to her back in the role of a villain. She knew it was pretend, but-

"You look uncomfy, kero," Asui mysteriously appeared next to her. Iida actually started a bit at her sudden presence. "What's up?"

"...I am just not sure how to get into the mindset of a villain," Iida admitted. 

"Oh, that's easy," the frog girl smiled. "Everything you've been told and taught? Do the opposite. Say mean things. Copy the villains on TV." Her smile disappeared. "Do not go easy on the boys, either." If Iida were not in her armor, Asui would have seen her turn pale at this.

"D-don't go easy on them? B-but they're boys! If I delivered a kick at full strength, I could cave in their rib cages!" 

"Perhaps, kero," Asui admitted. "But think about what our teachers said. These two can do something that made them fit to enter the Hero Course. For all we know, they could handle a kick or two." Iida tactfully decided not to point out that if she used One For All, the boys would have a lot worse than broken ribs. "Besides, they might get offended if we go easy on them. This is the Hero Course, kero, and it shouldn't be easy for anyone." She turned away. "I'm gonna be on patrol. You protect the bomb, in case any of the boys get past me." Then she hopped out the door, leaving Iida alone in her thoughts. She didn't enjoy the idea of using any measure of force on those two, but maybe Asui had a point. Maybe she could use, like, half-a-percent on them? Maybe that would suffice. 

Suddenly the hairs on the back of her neck shot up, and she turned to the nearby window. Nothing was there. Perhaps it was just a gust of wind? No matter. Taking a breath, Iida worked to get into a villain mindset. She would just copy what she'd seen on TV and heard from Tenmei. It was just an act. Just an act.

A minute later, Lady Might announced the beginning of the trial. Everyone else had shown their mettle. Now it was her turn.

***

Izuku and Katsuki stumbled into the window on the fourth floor. The room they fell into looked like a hotel room, with two ruined beds against the wall and a slightly-open door. The two boys, each flanked by their spirit, slowly and quietly approached the door before slipping through. To their chagrin, this building was indeed built like a hotel. The floor before them, and presumably the three beneath them, consisted of a walkway around a large opening down to the ground floor. 

"Stick to the wall," Izuku whispered as he and Katsuki crept to the barrier around the hole. "The room with the bomb is practically opposite of us. Was almost tempted to make Cobalt throw us across, but that big hole in the middle gives Asui the perfect-" Both boys stiffened and went silent as the frog girl in question literally landed on the railing above their heads. Fortunately for them, she didn't look down, instead turning around to look down at the lower floors.

"Come, little insects, it's alright to come on up~," Asui sang quietly. "I'm just a frog who wants to gulpy-gulpy-gulp~."

'The fuck kinda song is she singing?' Katsuki grimaced. He looked forward to Izuku, and stared when he saw Izuku looking down covering his face. A few moments later there was a loud crash from a lower floor. This instantly caught Tsuyu's attention, and she leaped down to investigate. The moment she left the railing, Izuku grabbed Katsuki and pulled him as he ran to a room at the other end of the walkway. Dashing in and closing the door most of the way, Izuku leaned against the wall and slid down to the floor taking deep breaths.

"Was scared that wouldn't work," he gasped. 

"You're getting really good at that," Katsuki gave a thumbs up as he kept an eye out the door. "Don't do it too much, though. Your nose is bleeding." 

Izuku wiped his nose as he continued, "Guess there's a limit to that one. How do we keep her off us 'til we can reach the bomb room? " At this remark, Katsuki gave a smile that was positively feral.

***

"They're going slow," Aizawa stated. "I know they got time, but if they don't hurry-"

"THEY'LL GET THERE," Lady Might interrupted. "I SUPERVISED THEIR TRAINING WITH THEIR MOTHERS. MIDORIYA IS A TURTLE, IN THAT HE IS SLOW YET CONSISTENT. ONCE HE FULLY ANALYZES A SITUATION HE'LL RUSH IN. BAKUGOU IS ALSO QUITE INTELLIGENT, BUT A BIT MORE EXPLOSIVE THAN MIDORIYA." She gave a big smile. "I DOUBT ANYONE HERE COULD STOP THIS PAIR."

"Nice, but could you please tell us how they'd be unstoppable?" Sero asked from behind the two teachers. "I mean, yeah them climbing the wall like that was pretty cool, but they are still boys. They don't even have any mutations to help out."

"YOU'LL SEE!" Lady Might laughed. "THE BOYS WILL SHOW THEIR CAPABILITIES IN A BIT, TRUST ME!"

"Wait," Ochako pointed at the screen, "they're doing something already!" Everyone looked up at the screen, watching the two boys work. Without audio they had no idea just WHAT they had planned, but...

***

Izuku ran fast as he could towards the bomb room. The floor wasn't carpeted, so his footfalls were rather loud, adding to the noise his armor made. In hindsight he should have requested it have some padding or something to silence the plates. That would be something to ask the Support Course about after-his thoughts were interrupted by the loud thud of Tusyu landing in front of him. Izuku skid to a stop, the boosters in his armor helping with that. Tsuyu crouched in front of him, more like a feline than a frog, and gave the second-scariest smile Izuku had ever seen.

"Hello, little insect~." the frog girl greeted. "Wanna give up before I make you bleed?" She jumped at him, intending to pin him down, but missed as he jumped backwards himself. Tsuyu huffed and jumped again, and again she missed and landed next to one of the doors. "This little game won't-"

"DIE!!"

Bakugou came screaming out from the adjacent room, delivering one his signature flying dropkicks. He sneered as his feet impacted her face, right on her cheek. Before he could land or even react, Tsuyu reached up with her hand, grabbed his leg, and threw him into the ground. This caught both boys by surprise, as Tsuyu hardly looked affected by the sort of dropkick that sent other girls literally flying. She glanced down at Bakugou (who groaned as he stood up) before turning back to Izuku, her tongue slowly worming out of her mouth.

"Wanna try again, little-"

This time her words were cut off by Bakugou jumping up and grabbing her tongue. He gave a laugh as he dropped down, using his body weight to pull her head forward. Again, instead of toppling over she simply swung her head around and catapulted Bakugou into the room he originally jumped from. Izuku winced and gave a silent apology as he used this distraction to boost past the giant frog. Tsuyu saw this and moved to intervene before receiving another dropkick from Bakugou. Her head barely jerked from the impact, and Katsuki landed before she could grab him again. By this point Izuku was out of tongue range. She gave a sigh and tapped her earpiece.

"One of the boys, Midoriya, is heading your way. I'll take care of the other one and meet back up with you shortly, kero." Receiving an affirmation from her partner, Tsuyu turned back to Bakugou, who was crouched and ready to fight. "I guess I'll squish you first, little flea."

***

Iida took a breath. One of the boys, Midoriya, had slipped past Tsuyu and was heading her way. She didn't want to fight either boy, but of the two Midoriya was definitely the one she'd wanted to fight even less. Bakugou at least had the demeanor and visible physicality of a fighter. Izuku was fast and nimble, but his technique displayed that Izuku was a lightweight among lightweights. Wasn't there a word for that? In any case, one good hit from her and she would undoubtedly break a bone or two, even without using One For All. 

She shook her head and flexed her fingers. She could hear him coming; he wasn't far away now. She would not use One For All on him. Not even a half-percent. No, she would simply use her speed quirk to keep him away. There would be no need to injure him. Maybe she could even use the wind generated from her speed to tip him over and simply pin him. Yes, that would work. Any further thoughts were cut off as the small green boy appeared in the doorway. Iida put her hands on her hips and tried to laugh.

"I applaud you for getting this far, but you will not succeed, you green featherweight!"

Oh yeah, that was the word.

***

"MIDORIYA HAS MADE IT TO THE BOMB," Lady Might pointed. 

"Why did he abandon his partner?" Momo asked as everyone watched the 'fight' between Asui and Bakugou. "Shouldn't he have stayed behind to help?" 

"Maybe it's to keep from being ambushed," Kirishima replied. "I mean, if they each focus on one person-"

"Doesn't matter," Todoroki finally spoke up from her spot against the wall. "Even if it was four on one, the boys would lose."

"Well, gee," Jirou huffed, "nice to learn your quirk isn't the only thing that's cold." Todoroki only shrugged in reply. Ochako gave a sharp gasp as she watched Bakugou take another hit from Asui. Meanwhile, Aizawa only watched in silent expectation. When would they use them?

***

Katsuki screamed in agony as he bounced off the wall for the third time. Before he hit the ground, Asui delivered another kick that sent him flying across the room. He didn't hit the wall, but he bounced once or thrice before rolling to a stop. He coughed and struggled to get to his knees before hearing Tsuyu give a tired sigh.

"That's enough, little man," she ordered as she walked towards him. "You won't win."

"Try me, bitch."

"I have been." Her eyes narrowed. "I am not impressed, kero." As she got close Bakugou lunged for her head, but she caught him midair and threw him down again. Before he could get back up, Tsuyu practically sat on him while grabbing his chest and lifting so he could see her glower. 

Mad Tsuyu 02 by MadNimrod

"Did you really think you're cut out for Hero work? I'm not even trying and I'm beating you bloody. This is why useless boys like you should stay out of our way, kero. Once we're done here, do yourself a favor and withdraw from the Course. It'll be better for everyone." Katsuki started coughing as she finished. Tsuyu was marginally worried she'd broken something, only to hear his coughing turn into cackling. He was laughing at her. "What's so funny, kero?"

"You know, Frogger," Katsuki laughed, "girls like you need new material. You ain't said a single fucking thing I ain't heard my entire life. You're just as arrogant as those bitches from middle school, just as condescending...and just as stupid." Tsuyu glared and slammed Katsuki into the ground. 

"How am I the stupid one here?"

"You think you're winning?" the boy sneered. "All you've done is give my buddy time to analyze your partner's strengths and weaknesses, and given me a good reason to vent some fucking frustration on your smug bitch face."

"And how do you plan to do that?"

"I'll answer your question with a question." Katsuki gave the same feral smile as earlier. "Wanna know what fire tastes like?" This question confused Tsuyu, but that confusion was derailed when a sudden midair explosion erupted in front of her mouth. The force of the explosion pushed her off Katsuki and slammed him into the floor again. Before she could recover, another sudden explosion sent her rolling back. She caught herself after rolling once or twice, staring in shock as Katsuki got to his feet. What was going on?

"You think men are weak?" Katsuki sneered. "You think we're useless? Come in here thinking you'd teach us a lesson? Well, here's a lesson in humility for you, fucktard!" He waved his hand and another explosion threw Tsuyu back. 

***

"...Wha..." Kaminari verbalized after a minute of stunned silence. "Y-you girls are seeing this, right?" The whole of Class 1-A stared in shock at the sudden change. One minute Tsuyu had Katsuki pinned, the next she was thrown around by explosions that seemed to come from nowhere. She tried to counter using her tongue, but was constantly repelled. Katsuki, meanwhile, only advanced with a bestial smile.

"Midair explosions," Momo replied. "A-and it appears that Bakugou is the one making them."

"Wait, does that mean he made that explosion during lunch?" Jirou asked.

"How is he even making explosions!?" Mineta squealed and pointed at the screen. "Boys are supposed to be small and cute and QUIRKLESS!"

"We can have mutations, you know," Ojiro glared and waved his tail.

"Enough," Aizawa told the class. "Quiet down and keep watching." 

"Wait a minute!" Ochako yelled. "If Bakugou can do something, does that mean..." Many of the students turned to the monitor displaying Midoriya and Iida.

***

"HOLD STILL!" Iida demanded as Izuku ducked beneath her kick for the umpteenth time. 

"WHY WOULD I!?" Was Izuku's response.

The fight between Tenten and Izuku was significantly less exciting than Bakugou's. Initially Iida had attempted to blow Izuku over using the wind generated by her speed, but the boosters in Izuku's armor kept him upright. Then she tried grappling him, only for the diminutive boy to slip away with ease. After that, she finally gave up and started trying to honestly hit him only to hit empty air.

And Izuku was accomplishing this with both arms folded behind his back.

"If you will not surrender, will you at least take this seriously!?" she yelled.

"What makes you think I'm not!?" Izuku grit his teeth as he hopped over her leg. "Did you not watch my fight against Aizawa yesterday?" Tenten responded with another attempted grab. She remembered perfectly how that fight went. How Izuku lasted the longest out of all of them. How Izuku was the only one to land a blow on Aizawa, multiple blows in fact. How he kept his arms folded until-

Whatever Tenten's next thought was gonna be, it was erased when Izuku's fist collided with her face. Under normal circumstances it might not have done more make a loud noise against her helmet, but with the added force from the boosters in his gauntlets it legitimately dented said helmet. Driven either by reflex or anger, Iida charged up 1% of One For All and swung at Izuku. Her punch missed, but the resulting wind sent him back more than his boosters could counter. Tenten watched as Izuku gave a shout of surprise and flew across the room, and gave a quick sigh of relief as Izuku slowed his flight before deftly landing on his feet. Iida would have to hunt down the person who added those boosters to Midoriya's armor and thank them personally. First, though, she had a classmate to restrain. Pulling out a roll of capture tape, Tenten rushed Izuku in hopes of catching him before he recovered. She rushed him so fast she barely noticed him ducking his head and grabbing his hat by the bill.

"SAY CHEESE!"

The moment he said this, the buckle on Izuku's hat snapped open with a loud bang. Iida gave a shout as her vision was filled with intense light. His hat had a flashbang built into it!? Who would even think of that? Before her vision returned, Iida heard Izuku give a yell and suddenly felt a strong impact on her breastplate. To her continued surprise, the impact was hard enough that it sent her flying away. She landed on her feet and could hear the sound of small feet rushing to the side. Izuku was making for the bomb. Still blinded (but recovering), Tenten rushed toward the noise and was rewarded with a squeak of surprise as she ran right into the smaller boy. It was almost comedic how she tripped and fell on him. Her vision returned in time to see Izuku right under her, and see him with a determined look on his face as he swung his fist at her. It missed, and yet she was again launched away from him. As she landed this time, she looked down at her breastplate and froze. 

What she was seeing should have been impossible. What she saw stunned her so much she hardly noticed Izuku run and tap the bomb. Only Lady Might's voice from the PA broke her from the stupor, and even then she just kept staring at her chest.

Her breastplate was horribly dented, and in the middle of that dent was the distinct imprint of a fist.

A man-sized fist.

***

The walk back to the Observation room was fairly awkward. Izuku was nervous at having actually used Cobalt on someone, even if it was just a mock battle. Bakugou still looked angry and was covered in bruises. Iida was carefully carrying a beaten Asui on her back. The frog girl had taken quite a beating from Katsuki after he let loose, and her outfit was covered in burns. Tenten wanted to ask what happened, but wasn't sure that was the best idea at that moment. No one said a word the entire walk. That silence was broken the instant the boys stepped into the Observation room.

"WHAT WAS THAT!?" Several of the girls shouted. Izuku gave a shy shout and ducked behind Katsuki as the girls (and Ojiro) descended on them.

"What did you do in there!?"

"Do you guys have non-mutation quirks!?"

"Did you make that explosion during lunch, Bakugou?"

"How did you send Iida flying like that!?"

"Enough," Aizawa's voice cut through the questions. Everyone turned towards the teacher as she held up some papers. "You all have a lot of questions, and you'll get your answers soon. Before we do that, however, you need to sign these." Each student took a paper and began reading over them. "These are written agreements to never speak about this outside of class. Not to your friends, not to any social media, not even in any dream journals you might have. If we learn that any of you leaks this information, that is grounds for the immediate administering of amnestics, followed by equally-immediate expulsion. We don't know how these boys have manifested these powers, and far as we know they're the only ones with them."

"And this is why they're in the Hero Course," Iida stated, finally getting her answer as everyone signed their agreements. "So you can observe them as their...quirks develop."

"EXACTLY," Lady Might nodded as Aizawa took back the signed papers. "BEFORE WE CONTINUE, HOWEVER, THERE IS ONE THING THAT MUST BE SETTLED. FOR THAT LAST MATCH, WHO DO YOU BELIEVE WAS THE-"

"Teacher," Izuku finally stepped out from behind Katsuki. "W-with everything that just got revealed, and everything else that's about to be revealed, I-I don't think anyone's worried about the MVP." There was a brief moment of silence as everyone gave thought to his words before nodding and stating their agreement. Lady Might looked for a moment before chuckling.

"ALRIGHT, WE'LL SKIP THAT PART. BEFORE YOU LEAVE, HOWEVER, THERE IS SOMETHING I MUST TELL ALL OF YOU." Once she was sure everyone was paying attention, Lady Might continued, "I WANT YOU ALL TO KNOW YOU'VE DONE WELL TODAY. WIN OR LOSE, YOU ALL DID YOUR BEST. HOWEVER, DO NOT THINK THIS IS THE BEST YOU'LL EVER DO. THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, YOU WILL IMPROVE AND PROGRESS. I'D WAGER IF WE RE-DID THESE TESTS AT THE END OF THE YEAR SOME OF THE RESULTS WOULD BE DRASTICALLY DIFFERENT. BY YEAR'S END, ALL OF YOU WILL BE SO MUCH BETTER THAN YOU ARE NOW, AND I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING IT. DISMISSED!" All the students nodded before everyone began the trek back to the classroom. As they walked, Aizawa kept pace with Lady Might.

"You're too easy on them," Aizawa whispered. "They won't get any better if you treat them like this."

"THIS IS ALSO ONLY THE SECOND DAY," Lady Might pointed out. "YOU CAN'T EXPECT THEM TO BE PERFECT SO QUICKLY."

"I don't. Just don't be this soft on them all the time." Lady Might simply nodded and the walk resumed in silence.

***

Chiyo sat in her office, waiting for the inevitable stream of Hero Course students to pour in after their first battle trial. Every year there'd be around half the class coming in with anything from burns to punctures. One particularly exciting year involved goats. With all this in mind, Recovery Girl was surprised to see that the only students who needed healing were Asui and Bakugou. The frog girl was practically covered in burns and bruises while Bakugou...

"I don't even know how you're still moving, young man!" the elderly heroine scolded as she tapped his head with her cane. "You got a couple cracked ribs and a hairline fracture in your leg!"

"And why the fuck are you hitting me when Frogger's the one who did this?" the fiery boy tried pushing her cane away, not noticing how Tsuyu looked down and to the side at that statement.

"Because you're the one who decided to keep going! Why didn't you surrender after-"

"I couldn't," Bakugou replied. "Granny, this trial was the first actual chance I had to show-"

"To show off?"

"To show I'm not useless." That got Recovery Girl to quiet down. "To show that my friend and I aren't just novelties to be treated with kiddy gloves. Real pros take injuries worse than this everyday. If we can't handle this, then..." After a few moments, Recovery Girl sighed.

"Let me get a few things and patch you up. Go sit next to your classmate." At this order, Bakugou climbed onto the bed and sat next to Tsuyu while Chiyo hobbled to the next room. 

"Um," Tsuyu said after a few moments, "I-I wanted you to know I don't really think you're useless, kero." Bakugou glared up at her as she continued, "I was just saying those sorta things to make you mad, hoping you'd slip up. I had no idea it affected you as much as it did." After another few seconds of silence, Bakugou just scoffed and looked away.

"Whatever. Just don't do it again." Bakugou didn't see the small smile she gave, but Tsuyu certainly noticed how her smaller classmate appeared to relax.

***

It had been an hour since the end of Class 1-A's hero trial, and school was over for the day. The horde of students shuffled out the gates, chatting and relaxing. Shinsou stood just inside the gates, only his spirit keeping him company. Despite his outward glower, he was actually glad everyone was leaving him alone. Being the only boy in Class 1-C, he had been the center of attention for the past couple days, and he dreaded the idea of continued attention. Especially from that one girl who everyone else had agreed was "too friendly." This morning was not a fun experience.

Now he was just waiting for those two boys from this morning. The excitable green boy and the one who called his birdman a "Chicken McSchwarzenegger." He had never met anyone else who had things like he did, and they were on his mind the entire day. Not only did he have a lot of questions, but-

"There he is! Hey, Shinsou!"

The violet-haired boy looked up to see Midoriya and Bakugou running his direction, their own spirits following close behind. Oh good, they hadn't forgotten him. Getting up from where he leaned against the wall, Shinsou walked up to the other boys. Midoriya was already pulling out a notebook and was jabbering a mile a minute before Katsuki bonked him on the head.

"Stop scaring the new kid."

"Wasn't scared," Hitoshi deadpanned. "Before we do anything, do your moms know about your...things?"

"Of course," Izuku nodded. "Our parents were the first we told. We all get together weekly for funsies."

"Really?" With a nod from the other two boys, Shinsou gave a bit of a chuckle. "That might make things easier, then."

"What'chu talkin about, newbie?" the blond firebrand asked.

"Well, after this morning, I kinda called my mom to tell her about what I learned, and...she wants to meet you."

"...Oh."

***

Several towns away, there sat a bar. It was a small establishment, rarely getting more than a few customers a day due to being located on a backstreet. Those who did visit would recall it was cozy, but mostly unremarkable. Most were unlikely to visit more than once, and those who did usually had less-than-legal thoughts in mind.

The bartender, a woman who appeared to be comprised of black mist with gold spots for eyes, simply polished some glasses while her sole guest sat nearby. She casually glanced at said guest and took in every detail, from the slight impatience of their twitching leg to the perfect stitch-work of their UA uniform. In front of the guest was an untouched glass of orange juice. Even among high-class villains, there would be no alcohol given to minors in HER bar.

"How long do I have to sit here?" the guest asked as they glared at a nearby television that had a camera attached to the top. "I got places to be tonight."

"Just a bit longer," the bartender set the final glass down. As if on cue, the television turned on. Though the image was a bit static-y, both people could see the individual on the other side. A person whose word once moved armies, whose smile could still be the difference between life and a painful death. 

"You have an update?" the individual started, bringing a sneer to the guest's face.

"I can get you the intel you want," they replied. "You'll get it by tomorrow afternoon."

"You sound certain, child. Are you sure you can get the information we need without being discovered?"

"Oh don't worry," the child spy laughed. "I'd just need a distraction to slip the info to your apprentice, but a little thing happened this morning that gave me the perfect idea..."

Chapter Text

It was nighttime at the Bakugou residence, the agreed-upon meeting place with the Shinsou's. Inko was chatting with Mitsuki and Masaru in the living room while Izuku sat staring at the front door. His eyes were wide and focused as he gripped his Spirit Notebook. 

"Good god, Dekiru," Katsuki walked up, "just relax. You're not this anxious waiting for pizza."

"The pizza doesn't come with a spirit."

"It does if you're of drinking age." Izuku responded by batting his friend with the notebook. 

"This is serious, Kacchan. Shinsou is the first other person we've met with a spirit. Aren't you excited too?"

"Yeah, but you're overreac-" There was a knock at the door. Izuku gasped in anticipation as Katsuki rushed over and pulled the door open. The fiery blond looked up for a moment before turning back to the house as Hitoshi stepped in. "They're here!" 

"Welcome, welcome!" Izuku beamed as he dashed forward and shook Shinsou's hand vigorously as everyone's parents came over. "I'm so glad you could...could..." His gaze fell on Hitoshi's parents and his voice fell silent.

The first parent through the door was, to everyone's surprise, a father. He was average-build with brown hair with a small ahoge from the top of his head. His eyes were a pale green, and held a light almost as cheerful as the smile on his face. His suit was a darker green, clearly well-made. Masaru stepped forward and greeted him while Izuku stared in shock at Hitoshi's mother.

The woman was tall, and that was saying something considering the average female. She had long lavender hair with a single braid going down one side and large canine ears on top. Her skin was pale, despite the lack of makeup. She wore an austere black outfit with matching gloves. Her eyes were a deep violet, and clearly scrutinizing everyone in the room.

"Hello!" Hitoshi's father beamed. "It's nice to meet you all. I'm Shinsou Mako, and this is-"

"OH MY GOD YOU'RE SHINSOU KIYOKO!" Izuku shouted, pointing at Hitoshi's mother. "YOU'RE THE PRO HERO ROYAL FOX, AND ONE OF THE TOP FIVE GREATEST DETECTIVES IN ALL JAPAN! YOU HAVE A HUNDRED-PERCENT CASE RECORD! YOU FOUND THE MISSING TSAR'S SAPPHIRE DURING THE TUNGUSKA TRIO'S CRIME SPREE! YOU HELPED UNCOVER THE PRESENCE OF THE BLACK MARKET POMERANIAN TRADE IN TOKYO! AND YOUR QUIRK-" Izuku found his fanboying cut short when Hitoshi's mother quickly knelt down and covered his mouth with two fingers.

"If you know my quirk," she softly stated, "it would be best if you didn't announce it so loudly." To his credit, Izuku calmed down and nodded in agreement before Kiyoko removed her hand. With a small smile, she patted her son's shoulder. "You were right, Hito. He is excitable."

"Any of us coulda told ya that," Katsuki grinned. "Mind if we steal your son for a bit?" Without even waiting for a response, Izuku grabbed Shinsou and pulled him away, eager to get started. Mako gave a laugh as Katsuki pursued his friend.

"Your sons are very energetic. They might help our boy get out of his shell."

"Would be nice," Kiyoko said as she pulled her gloves off and offered her hand to Mitsuki. "It's a pleasure meeting with you."

"Same here," Mitsuki said as she took her hand. "If I knew we'd have a celebrity under our roof, I'd have actually cleaned up a bit." After they pulled their hands apart, Mitsuki wiggled her fingers. "Ooh, bit cold, huh?"

"Now you know why I wear gloves," Kiyoko giggled before offering her hand to Inko. "A pleasure meeting you." Izuku's mom gave a warm smile as she took Kiyoko's hand. The detective's eyes widened as she gasped in shock the instant they made contact. Inko kept a calm smile while Kiyoko had a face of terror.

"Bit of a shocker, huh?" Inko laughed. Seeing the confusion on the Bakugou's faces, Inko turned and calmly explained, "Missus Shinsou here has a quirk that lets her browse a person's memories if she makes contact with her bare hands. Speaking of which, did you see something interesting, Kiyoko?"

"I-I see..." Kiyoko replied before slowly pulling her hand away. "I see that my son is indeed safe around you. I am sorry for the...invasion of privacy."

"Not a problem," Inko continued smiling despite the lingering fear in Kiyoko's eyes. "Come sit down, I'm eager to learn more about you."

***

Shinsou Hitoshi didn't know what to expect as the two boys dragged him to Katsuki's bedroom, all flanked by their invisible spirits. From what he knew of the fiery blond, he expected to see a roughed-up and messy room. Instead, the room they pulled him into was neat and organized with multiple bookcases filled to the brim. In one corner was a large television hooked to a charge-pack and in turn had multiple game systems hooked to it, including...

"Holy crap, is that an actual Gamecube?"

"You bet!" Katsuki grinned as Ember sat down next to the aforementioned machine. "Got a lot of games for it, too. You don't wanna know how long that took."

"We can play it later," Izuku said as he let go of Hitoshi to open his notebook. "For now, could you please tell me everything you know about your spirit?"

"You're really excited about this, huh?" Izuku just replied by staring with gleaming eyes before Shinsou sighed and sat in a nearby chair. "Alright, my...spirit is called Ivory Quill. He first appeared when I was four, a few days before I was taken to the doc for quirk testing. I thought he was my quirk at first, until all the tests showed I had pretty much no quirk factor, like every other man on Earth. My parents believed me when I told them he was there, but only because my mom could see him through my memories. No one else could see or touch him, and when I was younger I kinda tried to see if anyone else could, so everyone picked on me for having an imaginary friend."

"Sounds very similar to our own experiences," Izuku responded as he wrote in his notebook. "Kacchan and I got our spirits the night after our exams. Are you able to control Ivory at all? Does he have any special trick?"

"I've, uh, been able to command him since I was eight, but only for simple orders like grabbing objects from across the room. He can't fight, though. Any time I've tried to order him to do something combative or violent he's not responded."

"Dude, you could control him since you were eight?" Katsuki asked. "Dammit, our spirits really only started obeying us a bit more than a year ago."

"Sucks to be you," Hitoshi smirked. Katsuki gave a short laugh as the violet-haired boy continued, "Anyway, I only recently learned about his 'special trick' as you called it. If I say something to someone and they verbally respond to what I said, Ivory here kinda flies into their open mouths and can control them for a bit." At that sentence, Izuku dropped his pencil.

"H-he can take control of people?" the greenette asked with wide eyes.

"I discovered it by accident about six months ago, when my dad answered a question. Haven't really tried doing it beyond figuring how to do it, though."

"Can you use it on me?" Izuku asked. "I wanna see what it feels like."

"Izuku, don't be stupid."

"It won't feel like anything," Shinsou replied with a disturbed face. "My dad's told me he doesn't remember anything while he's under."

"I still wanna know! Pleeeeeease?" Izuku eyes sparkled and seemed to tear up a bit.

"Oh my god, he's doing the bunny eyes," Katsuki facepalmed. There was a few seconds of silence before Shinsou sighed.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I-" Suddenly, Ivory Quill turned into a small whirlwind of feathers and flew into Izuku's open mouth. Izuku stopped speaking immediately, standing silent like a doll. He couldn't move his limbs, his head, even his eyes. He could see Bakugou off to the side and he was saying something, but he couldn't tell what. Shinsou turned in response, but again Izuku couldn't make out the words. The edges of his vision were blurry, like a cheesy dream sequence. After Shinsou finished talking to Bakugou, he turned back to Izuku. 

"Clap your hands three times."

Izuku immediately clapped his hands three times, despite doing his best to resist. Bakugou laughed and said something else. Shinsou made a weird face in response, so Izuku guessed it was a dumb idea. Speaking of which, he had a dumb idea too. He couldn't look at Cobalt the way he was right now, but since his mind was randomly still under control, he willed Cobalt to go over and smack Katsuki upside his head for whatever dumb idea he suggested. This action surprised both boys, and Shinsou said something before another whirlwind of feathers appeared, and Izuku had control again.

"How did you do that?" Katsuki growled, rubbing his head where Cobalt smacked him.

"I could see things!" Izuku exclaimed. "You made me clap three times, then Kacchan said something I assume was stupid cause I couldn't quite hear him, so I made Cobalt smack him."

"Y-you could see things?" Shinsou asked as Izuku grabbed his notebook and started writing.

"It was kinda blurry, but I could see things," Izuku affirmed. "The only things I could hear clearly were your orders, though. Ivory's power seems to not be brainwashing, but rather physical domination. Could explain why your dad couldn't remember what happened. Our spirits are mental things, so maybe having them lets us experience what happens when we're under your control and even control them." 

"But imagine the things he could do with that power," Bakugou grinned. "Suicides, hostage-taking, robberies, so many things you could stop with a few words. Damn, you belong in Hero Course." 

Hitoshi just stared as the other two boys jabbered about the possible applications for his power. Ever since he accidentally controlled his dad half a year ago, he gained a small resentment of his spirit. He knew any quirk that had to do with mind control was seen as 'villainous' and he wanted no part of that. It was bad enough some people disliked him for simply being a boy. And now here he was, being told his power was downright heroic. It honestly almost brought him to tears hearing it. People outside his family thought he could be a hero someday.

But dammit, this means he actually had to try now.

***

Meanwhile, at the Todoroki residence, the atmosphere was significantly less pleasant.

"Those boys fought your classmates and won?" Endeavor glared. "Is your class that weak?"

"No, mother," Shouko responded from across the dinner table, wishing Fuyumi wasn't at a night class. "Those boys only fought two of us, but one of the students they fought was the frog girl, Asui. I've told you about her skill yesterday, and today she lost."

"And how is she strong if she lost to someone who's not even supposed to be in Hero Course?"

"...I'm not allowed to answer that." Shouko didn't even flinch when Endeavor slammed her hands on the table.

"What do you mean 'not allowed to answer that!?' I am your mother, and a pro hero!"

"And I had to sign a waiver that declared I was not allowed to discuss the boy's skills outside of class. A waiver enforced by the principal, Eraserhead, and Lady Might." Shouko gave a slight smirk at how quickly that shut her mom up. Said hero sighed in consternation and sat back down. "I admit, mother, I am not too happy about it either. Those boys need to be-"

"Kept in their place," Endeavor finished. "I know, Shouko. I know." Shouko's eye twitched, but she remained quiet.

The rest of the meal was silent, neither party having anything else to say. Shouko might disagree with the sentiment, but she couldn't say she disagreed with what her mom said. Men were weak, and as such needed to be protected. They couldn't handle being heroes because of that. That was something she was both taught and learned over the years. This afternoon put those thoughts into question, however. She bore witness to Bakugou literally being beaten black and blue, yet he still won. She couldn't help but wonder how things would have gone if it were the smaller Midoriya being beaten by Asui. Seeing that small green boy beaten and bleeding...

'Don't worry, sweetie, it doesn't hurt that much. I'll be fine.'

Shouko set her utensils down. She didn't want to remember that. Didn't want to remember everything the monster in front of her did to her father. Didn't want to think of what Endeavor would do to those boys if she got her hands on them.

She was decided now. Shouko would do what she could to protect those boys. From her mother, and from their own poor decision.

***

THE NEXT MORNING...

***

"Kacchan, no." Izuku flatly denied as he and Katsuki walked up the last stretch to UA.

"Come on, Dekiru, it's a valid question."

"The only valid question I'm hearing here is asking what dark recesses of the internet you dug this up from."

"Dude, you're the biggest Lady Might fanboy in existence, you gotta have some-"

"No, Kacchan, I have no idea how hard Lady Might would have to slap a frozen chicken to cook it, and even then it's probably such an incredible amount of power the chicken would only be cooked for like half a nanosecond before being vaporized from the sheer force of the impact."

"Which means that for half a nanosecond we'd have our cooked chicken, so the question remains of how hard-oh hey girls." Katuski and Izuku walked upon a group of girls huddled behind a corner. The boys recognized many of them from the previous morning, including Momo, Ochako and Jirou, the latter of whom had her earlobes stretched around the corner. Izuku decided to take the opportunity to look around the corner.

"Reporters again?" Izuku asked. "Deja vu."

"This time they're asking about Lady Might," Jirou affirmed. "Someone leaked that she's a teacher."

"Does that mean we can just sneak by this time?" Katsuki asked. "I don't wanna float again."

"Maybe?" Ochako replied. "I mean, if someone with long hair carries you on their backs and-"

"Hold on," Izuku gasped. "The mass has moved away from the gates. If we run we can make it." At his words, all the girls (and the two boys) immediately rushed for the safety of the school grounds. All their previous training was paying off, as both boys kept up with the girls easily. The reporters had been so focused on their quarry they didn't notice the hoard of students until they passed the barrier, the sudden change of attention also freeing the three girls they had cornered. The reporters tried to give chase, but this time stopped just outside the barrier. One of them gave another scream of frustration. The students laughed and Katuski gave an obscene gesture before they continued to the buildings. Before they reached the school, however, Ochako gently grabbed both boy's shoulders. 

"Can I talk to you real quick?" she asked. "In private?" The two boys looked at each other, checked their watches, then nodded to Ochako. With a small smile, she led them around the corner, away from the doors. When she was sure no one was listening, Ochako turned to the boys. 

"You two were the ones who saved me, weren't you?" Ochako asked. "Back during the Entrance Exam, from the Zero-Pointer." 

"Err," Izuku nervously nodded, "Y-yeah, that was us."

"We couldn't just leave you there," Katsuki declared. "It was gonna squish ya." Ochako smiled down at the boys, before kneeling and pulling the boys into a sudden hug. Both boys froze and blushed in the sudden affection.

OchaHug by MadNimrod

"Thank you," she whispered. "Thank you so much." The three stayed in the embrace for a few moments longer before Ochako set the boys back down. "We should get to class." Getting to her feet, Ochako walked back to the doors, leaving the flustered boys behind.

"...Kacchan?"

"Yeah?"

"...We were just hugged by a girl."

It took all their willpower to avoid fainting.

***

Homeroom started not long after the boys reached their desks. Aizawa stood up without leaving her sleeping bag to address the class. Izuku noticed some of the students glancing at him and Katsuki. Just yesterday they learned about the boy's spirits, and it was likely some of them were still in shock about it. He could see Kaminari glancing around the room, likely trying to see something she couldn't see anyways.

"...and that covers the official announcements," Aizawa finished. "Before I let you go, however, there's one more matter to be discussed." She went silent for a few seconds, secretly relishing the looks on everyone's faces, before declaring, "You need to choose a class president."

"THAT'S SO NORMAL!" most of the class exclaimed in relief.

"I don't care how you choose," Aizawa said, "just make your decision before homeroom ends." With that, Aizawa flopped over and slithered to her corner with a juice box hanging from her mouth.

"...Anyone else wonder how she can carry those by the straw?" Izuku asked as the rest of class exploded with excitement, trying to nominate themselves.

"One of life's many mysteries," Katsuki replied, "...just like the mystery of how hard-" Izuku cut him off by throwing a large eraser at the back of his head. After this, the class settled on casting votes for who should be the Class President. After a few minutes, the votes were in...and Izuku hated his life.

"W-why me!?" he shouted as he started at his name on the chalkboard, with two votes more than Momo, who had more than everyone else. "Wouldn't Iida be a safer option?"

"Cuz you and Momo did all the brainy stuff yesterday," Jirou pointed out. 

"As much as I was hoping for the position," Iida chopped the air, "the class has decided you and Momo are the better candidates."

"We'd better go up front to address the class," Momo stated as she got to her feet. Izuku sighed, slid off his chair to the floor, and followed Momo to the front of the class. When he reached the front, he spun around and came face-to-face with Ashido's desk. After staring a few moments, he drooped his head and gave an exasperated sigh.

"Momo, could you..." he asked while gesturing to the podium. It took Momo a few seconds to realize what he meant, then she giggled and carefully picked Izuku up and set him on the podium. The boy sat down with his legs hanging off the front, making a cute scene with Momo standing next to him. "I-I promise to do my best," Izuku stuttered, his nervousness finally hitting him. He looked across the classroom to all the students. Mina had her irrepressible smile, as usual. Shouko was also staring, though her gaze wasn't as dead-fisheyed as before. Katsuki and Ochako were grinning and giving thumbs-up. "A-and to do w-what's best for the c-class, and..."

"Stop stuttering," Aizawa sighed. "It's not actually that hard being class president. It's more like the class spokesperson than anything. Now that you're done, homeroom's over, get to class."

Throughout much of the day, Izuku was in a daze. Momo was nice enough to inform him of what exactly the class president does, and while it was all stuff he could handle he still couldn't wrap his head around the fact that he was it. This little detail stressed him enough he had trouble focusing on his work. Something even more confusing was Todoroki's sudden change in behavior. Rather than disdainful, she was quite supportive. When she saw Izuku struggling to keep focus, she had actually approached him and offered to help. He was confused where this sudden support came from, but decided maybe she was finally opening up. 

***

"Did these benches get higher?" Bakugou asked as he and Izuku sat at the lunch table. "Cuz it feels higher." 

"I highly doubt it," Momo said as she, Ochako and Tsuyu sat down across from them. 

"Maybe you just got shorter, kero," Tsuyu laughed.

"ONLY THING SHORTER IS MY FUSE, FROGGER!"

"Calm down, Kacchan!" Izuku laughed as he pulled Bakugou off the table. "Just sit down and eat. You can explode at Asui after lunch." Katsuki groaned and sat back down. With a glare, he grabbed his glass of milk and took a sip...before spitting it out, almost spraying Izuku.

"Kacchan, what the-"

"WHAT THE HELL!?" the blond roared as he slammed his glass down. "THE FUCK KINDA SHIT IS THIS!?"

"W-what do you mean?" Momo asked as she picked up his glass and sniffed. "Smells fine to me."

"No," Katsuki growled as he hopped off the seat. "No no no, I dunno what kinda swill that is, but it ain't milk. I'm gonna give Lunch Rush a piece of my mind. Probably gave me sour milk cuz I'm a guy, that grumble grumble..." The group of friends watched Katsuki storm off.

"He is really taking this personally, isn't he?" Tsuyu asked.

"Milk is his favorite drink," Izuku explained. "When he was younger, he heard about how milk can help people grow. Even after learning the truth, he still drinks it religiously. If he says there's something wrong with it, there's something wrong."

"Mind if I sit here?" a new voice spoke up. Izuku turned and gave a wide smile. 

"Shinsou! Sure, come on up!" The newcomer climbed into Bakugou's seat as Izuku turned to the girls. "This is Shinsou, Class 1-C. He looks like he hasn't slept in days, but he's an awesome guy."

"Pleasure," Shinsou sipped from his own glass of milk. "So, who's who? I think I recognize the brunette from the Exam, but...okay, gotta ask, who's the peppermint?" Everyone turned in surprise to see Todoroki had decided to sit down on Izuku's other side. 

"Todoroki? When did you get here?"

"Just now," the heterochromatic girl replied. "So, about that-"

Todoroki's words were lost as alarms started blaring through the cafeteria. At first everyone was just frozen in surprise before someone screamed and plunged the cafeteria into chaos. All the students began screaming and running around the room, slamming into the tables and each other. Before Izuku could do anything, Shouko shot to her feet and leaned over him and Shinsou, protecting them from the rushing crowds. Shinsou looked around in confusion, trying to figure out what happened. Izuku looked around, trying to find Katsuki, and his gaze fell on the windows. 

"Momo," Izuku turned to his classmate, "I need you to make me a megaphone my size, and a small rope. Tie it around my waist, I have an idea to calm everyone down." Momo was confused, but nodded and got to work fabricating what he needed with her legs as Izuku turned to Ochako. "Once Momo ties that rope to me, I need you to float me up above the crowd." Ochako nodded, figuring out what had in mind. Once Momo finished the rope and tied it to Izuku, Ochako high-fived him and gently hoisted him into the air. Armed with the Momo-brand megaphone, Izuku took a deep breath.

"SHUT UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUP!" 

Izuku's shout was louder than the tumult of the room, and the fact it came from a guy was enough to make the entire room quiet down and turn. Amid the silence Izuku could hear Katsuki give a muffled "get the hell of me" from the far corner, proving he was alright. Now that he had everyone's attention, Izuku pointed at the window.

"Look, it's just the media! Somehow they got past the gates and triggered the alarms! Now calm down and follow protocol in an orderly fashion! We're a hero school, so act like it!" 

Everyone remained quiet after that. No one in the room had expected someone so small and adorable to be capable of shouting like that. The shock from this seemed to reset their brains, as everyone was calm and quiet and slowly exited the cafeteria. Izuku gave a sigh of relief that it worked as Ochako slowly pulled him back down before negating her quirk. Katsuki came back to the table and was surprised to see Shinsou and Todoroki there.

"Where'd you come from?" he asked.

"Even without the megaphone," Shinsou admitted while ignoring Bakugou, "that had to be the loudest I have ever heard you speak." 

"I-I have my moments," Izuku nervously laughed.

***

At the same time the cafeteria was calming down, a woman in a shaggy jacket waited behind a shed not far from the gate. She glared at the present heroes, scoffing at their words and efforts to repel the reporters. She was tempted to kill one or two of them, and probably would have tried if she didn't hear footsteps coming behind her.

"Hey," the spy greeted. 

"You're late," the woman in the jacket hissed.

"No, you're early," the spy pointed out before holding out a sandwich bag with a USB drive inside. "Here's the schedule for the next week of classes. I took a look myself and I'd say this Thursday is a good day, but it's up to you." The woman in the jacket took the bag, careful to hold it with only four fingers, before stuffing it in her pocket.

"And no one noticed you?"

"You kidding?" the spy laughed. "Once you broke the gates, I just had to give a wimpy scream and those sheep fell into chaos. It was too easy. Now get going before you're spotted." 

"Don't order me around," the jacket woman scoffed before turning and rushing out the gates. No one even noticed her leave. The spy smirked at this, knowing the plan would go off smoothly. Which meant she would get what she wanted, what she was entitled to. 

All according to plan.

Chapter Text

It had been a few days since the media break-in. The gate had thankfully been repaired and, even more thankfully, news crews had been banned from even approaching said gates. This meant the past few mornings had been incredibly calm compared to the previous days. Their classes had also been calm, yet challenging. Overall, the past few days had been as normal as a hero high school could get. Most importantly, though...

"The milk actually tastes good this time," Bakugou noted during lunch. He had grabbed a girl's-size glass of milk, and chugged half of it before the group even reached the table. 

"Please don't do the gallon challenge before hero class," Izuku sighed as he sat down between Bakugou and Ochako.

"Gallon challenge?" Momo asked, sitting across from Izuku.

"Long story." Looking across the cafeteria, Izuku waved his arm. "Shinshou! Over here!" The purple-haired boy heard him and walked over to the table, sitting across from Bakugou. "How's your day been, Shinsou?"

"I did my presentation today," Shinsou smiled. "Nedzu and and the board were impressed. They said if I make it to the last round of the Sports Festival this year, I have a good chance of being transferred to Hero Course. Dunno which class, though." 

"That's awesome!" Bakugou cheered. "You'd better be in our class, though. Got no boys in Class B, so they'd probably smother you to death."

"My class already does that," Shinsou chuckled. It was weird, the purple boy had found himself smiling more these past few days than he could really remember. Even weirder was how he didn't mind it at all. Still smiling, he glanced to the side. "Peppermint incoming." Everyone turned and saw Todoroki was indeed heading their way. 

"Did ya need something, Todoroki-kun?" Izuku asked curiously.

"Just wanted to talk to you about the movie we watched in Midnight's class," the heterochromatic girl said as she sat next to Bakugou. "The one with the male movie actors?"

"An interesting documentary," Izuku acknowledged. "And nice to see there's some industries that don't prejudice against men these days."

"Indeed. Certainly a good profession for men to aspire for. I bet you could do it quite well, Midoriya." Midoriya froze. Everyone at the table froze, in fact. 

"That has to be the nicest thing we've ever heard you say," Izuku almost whispered.

"Who are you and what have you done with Todoroki?" Bakugou asked, recovering enough to chug some of his milk. Todoroki actually looked offended at this.

"I can be nice," Shouko stated with furrowed eyebrows. There was a brief silence before the two boys from Class 1-A started laughing, joined shortly by the other girls at the table. Shouko was confused at their laughter, but assumed it wasn't for a bad reason. Shinsou looked just as confused, but this was mostly due to him not knowing much about Todoroki. 

After their laughter died down, their conversation went back to said documentary. Shouko again stated her opinion of it being a good profession for men, and was somewhat supported when Izuku mentioned a good number of heroes who did acting in their spare time. Shouko was impressed by his knowledge of what seemed anything heroic, the others were amazed by how expressive she had become these past few days. Perhaps the boys showing what they could do had opened her up? Partway through lunch, the PA system dinged on.

"ALL CLASS 1-A STUDENTS, PLEASE MAKE YOUR WAY TO THE BUSES. CLASS WILL BEGIN SHORTLY." 

"Dammit, forgot we had that trip today," Bakugou groaned as he stuffed what remained of his lunch into his mouth.

"We'll see you later, Shinsou!" Izuku shot to his feet. "I'll take pictures!" He dashed off with the rest of Class 1-A, leaving Shinsou at the table. Said boy was giving a sidelong glare at Todoroki as she left.

***

Class 1-A had been on the bus close to 15 minutes. Most of the class was jabbering excitedly over what was happening, and Aizawa had opted to spend the trip sleeping. Izuku was writing in his notebook, trying to distract himself from his current circumstance. Since he was the class president, he was required to sit in the front of the bus with vice-president Momo. She was engrossed in a book of her own, so she didn't see Izuku's blushing. He had been talking to her on and off during the week, but sitting next to her like this reminded him of his first day at UA, when he got mooshed between a train bar and her thigh. 

What a memory. 

He was shaken from his thoughts when the bus hit a bump, making him drop his notebook. Izuku reached out to catch it before it hit the floor, but stopped when Momo caught it instead. She moved faster than Izuku had ever seen her move before. She gave a warm smile as she handed the notebook back to the awestruck boy.

"Got a section on me yet?" she asked. This startled Izuku a bit, eliciting a nervous chuckle.

"N-not really," he admitted. "I-I got the basics down, but I've been...distracted." He neglected to mention that he was distracted by just how pretty she was. The last time he tried taking notes on her he would end up "accidentally" filling three pages with sketches of her in various poses he had seen and one page of a detailed portrait shot. It was kind of embarrassing, and he was super glad Bakugou didn't find out. 

"Understandable," Momo smiled, closing her book completely. "You can ask me now, if you want. We have time." The instant she finished her words, both teenagers heard the growl of her stomach. There was a brief silence before Momo closed her eyes. "Sorry, I wasn't able to completely fill up during lunch." Both teens gave nervous chuckles before Izuku's eyes widened. Before Momo could ask anything, the small boy pulled his bag over and rifled through it. Momo tried to get a glance inside his bag, but had to pull her head back (and Izuku calmly leaned his head to one side) as a spring-loaded snake toy shot out of the bag and over the back of the seat. Ignoring the scream of surprise from Sero and Sato, Izuku pulled out a sandwich bag that was filled with what looked like chocolate-topped protein bars.

"Spirit Bars," Izuku smiled as he opened the bag and pulled one out. "Kacchan and I came up with these while we were training for UA. High-calorie energy bars, good for exercising. We make them entirely from synthetic ingredients, so they're cheap to make. Try one." He handed one to Momo, who eyed it curiously. True to Iida's speculation a few days prior, Momo had never eaten anything synthetic in her life. She wasn't leery about it, she was just taking in the details. It smelled good, at least. Giving a quick glance to Izuku, she ate the finger-length bar. Her eyes widened at the results.

Most people didn't know, but Momo had an accelerated digestive system due to her quirk, along with a mental "gauge" that let her know how many lipids she had available for use. When she came onto the bus that gauge was about half-full. She had eaten one bar, one bar, and now that gauge was almost topped off. There seemed to be more calories in one of these bars than there were in the half-meal she ate during lunch. Momo sat in silence with wide eyes for several moments, long enough to make Izuku worry. Before he could say anything, though, she turned to him with her shocked expression.

"Midoriya," she stated, "I humbly request the recipe for these 'Spirit Bars' of yours. They are perfect for my quirk." Izuku gave a sigh of relief and handed her the bag.

"I'll write it down after school. You can have the rest of these. Just, uh, don't eat more than one or two outside of quirk practice. Kacchan and I made the mistake of eating two of them prior to lunch a few months back, and we weren't hungry until the following morning." This elicited a laugh from Momo and another blush from Izuku as the bus pulled to a stop.

"Everyone off," Aizawa said as she got to her feet. "We're here."

***

The spy walked down the hall towards her classroom. If things went according to plan, in mere minutes Class 1-A would be swarmed by dozens of actual villains. She smirked at the thought. UA's reputation would tank once the casualty report was released. She might not have really enjoyed the idea of killing her female classmates, but such hero hopefuls were too far gone to be taught the right way to live. She didn't care about the boys. Their time had passed.

She was shaken from her thoughts as one such boy, a smaller one with silver hair and cat ears, bumped into her legs. He quickly apologized and dashed off before she could admonish him. Stupid runt didn't even belong here. Or maybe he did, being UA and all. No matter. Things would change, that was certain. Things would change, and she would be among the leaders like she deserved and the so-called heroines would be thrown down from their proud pedestals. 

She stepped into her classroom with a smile. Her classmates had no idea what she really was. With any luck, they wouldn't learn until it was too late. She had some minor hope she could convert them, slowly and subtly, but wouldn't be too broken up if none of them could be saved. Still, her superior did want her to try, so that's the least she could do. Even if none of them would change, that simply meant she would get more rewards in the end. Hmm, speaking of rewards, she thought back to that runt from a few minutes ago, and remembered she always wanted a pet cat...

***

Class 1-A was inside the USJ listening to Pro Hero Thirteen's opening speech on the dangers of quirk misuse. Izuku stood between Bakugou and Ochako and was paying rapt attention. Judging from how Ember Fang was laying curled up next to Bakugou, Izuku assumed his friend wasn't quite listening. Simultaneously, he heard Mineta give a bored yawn behind him. Hopefully there wouldn't be a quiz at the end of this. 

Suddenly Ember Fang shot to their feet and started growling at...at something in the main plaza of the facility. Katsuki also perked up and stared out, his face a mix of fear and confusion. Before Izuku could ask anything, Cobalt shot in front of him and took up a fighting stance. At the same moment, Izuku started feeling something. It was different from when he felt Shinsou's spirit, but he could feel there was something bad down there.

"You feeling it?" Katsuki whispered.

"Sensei!" Izuku shot his hand up. When everyone looked at him, Izuku pointed to the main plaza. "Sensei, Kacchan and I can feel there's something bad down there!" Aizawa turned down the stairs, ready to refute their claim, but saw a bank of black mist begin to form. Everyone watched as the bank expanded to almost completely fill the plaza. Several students gasped in fear as a multitude of people came sauntering out from the mist. None of them looked friendly.

"Is this part of the exercise?" Hagakure asked.

"No," Izuku blanched, his bad feeling reaching a crescendo when a woman who appeared to be covered in hands (some of which were too small to belong to women) stepped out of the mist. "VILLAINS!"

"Thirteen, call for help!" Aizawa shouted as she unwrapped her capture ribbons. "All students, back to the bus, now!" Most of the students began shuffling back towards the doors, but Bakugou rushed forward with Aizawa.

"I can help!" he hollered. "They won't see me coming!" Aizawa grabbed the back of his collar and pulled him back.

"You're still a student!" Aizawa scolded. "Leave this to the adults!" Bakugou was about to yell back, but Aizawa dashed down the steps and rushed the horde before he could. Bakugou was about to join her anyway, but Izuku grabbed his shoulder.

"Come on, we can at least keep the others safe." Bakugou growled but couldn't deny his friends' words, so he turned and rejoined the class as they dashed for the doors. Before they reached the doors, however, another bank of black mist formed in front of them. To everyone's surprise, this one was wearing a nice suit and had glowing eyes. Oh wait, it was an actual person. 

"I'm sorry," the misty woman insincerely apologized, "but I'm afraid I can't let any of you-" A sudden explosion right by her head caught her by surprise. 

"DIE!" Bakugou screamed as he flew right at her head, aiming to deliver another Bakugou-Dropkick. Before he reached her, however, another small fogbank appeared in midair in front of him. Everyone watched as he disappeared into the mist. At the same time, a very large bank appeared under everyone's feet. Several students, including Izuku, screamed as they began to fall in. Turning, Izuku saw Iida was barely on the edge. If she could take one more step she'd have avoided the mist. Well now, there was something he could help with.

"IIDA!" Izuku shouted as he willed Cobalt Star in her direction. "GO GET HELP!" Before his classmate could say anything, Cobalt Star grabbed her arm, pulled her free of the mist and hurled her out the door. Mist woman turned with wide eyes and raised her hand, undoubtedly to summon more mist, but was stopped when Cobalt rushed over and slammed both his fists down on her head. Dazed from the impact, she was unable to do anything as Cobalt grabbed Izuku and Momo and threw them to the safety of a bush above the walkway. Unfortunately, everyone else, including Hero Thirteen, got sucked down into the mist. The fog disappeared soon after, leaving the unconscious mist villain on the ground and Izuku & Momo in a bush. 

"W-where do you think everyone else was taken?" Momo whispered, still scared from what happened.

"Hopefully nowhere we can't rescue them from," Izuku said as he exited the bush. Looking out the still-open doors, Izuku could see a faint dust cloud in the distance. "Looks like Iida got away." Then he looked back down towards the plaza, where Aizawa was still fighting the horde of villains. She appeared to be doing fine, but Izuku noticed the hand villain from earlier and an outright massive black-skinned villain with an exposed brain had not engaged her. They must be waiting for her to get tired.

"I'm gonna go help Aizawa-sensei. You wait here." He took a step but was stopped when Momo grabbed his shoulder.

"Don't," she whispered with a fearful tone. "A-Aizawa was right, Midoriya. We're still students, we should stay out of the-"

"We may not have that luxury," Izuku hissed. "If someone finds us they could use us as hostages. You can go outside and make a radio to call UA, I'm gonna help Aizawa." He gave her a pleading look, knowing he was capable of helping. Momo stared, then gave a sigh as she let him go.

"Don't die, Midoriya." Her classmate nodded and, flanked by his invisible knight, charged the villains.

***

Iida was running fast as she could back to UA. She had to alert the staff to the attack. She had to get help. Her task was one of utmost importance. She utilized both quirks best she could to increase her speed, but soon had to stop. Heaving for breath like she had run a marathon, she leaned against a tree and slowly slid down to the ground. As she sat there, taking deep breaths, she couldn't help but feel shame.

She was the Ninth Bearer of One For All. She was Lady Might's chosen successor, and she was running away. She should have been there, she should have stayed and fought. After all, that mist woman said something that Iida was assuming was gonna be about not letting them leave, which hopefully meant everyone was still in the USJ. They were all fighting. She wasn't. She was out here, sitting against a tree kilometers away catching her breath. It was disgraceful. Her sister would have been disappointed at her cowardice. Lady Might would have been disappointed.

"Retreat is not always cowardice."

Iida stopped. While dwelling on her depressing thoughts, her mind wandered over to a point in time when she had been cleaning that beach. She remembered one sunset where Lady Might had been regaling her on some her lesser-known triumphs. It was also that evening when Iida had learned something she never thought possible about Japan's greatest heroine.

"Retreat is not always cowardice. Sometimes you'll find yourself facing someone who outmatches you in a manner you are unprepared for. Sometimes you'll be there just to buy time for allies to do the greater work. In such events, there is no shame in running away. No shame in pulling back and letting your allies take over when you cannot." Lady Might sighed and rubbed her waist. "Sadly, that was a lesson I had forgotten and remembered the hard way."

"But Lady Might," Iida had asked, "Surely there had never been a time before where you had to retreat? You're the number one hero!"

"Ah," Lady Might had laughed, "but I was not always such! I did not automatically become such when I got my license. Indeed, when I first got my pro hero license I was still unraveling some of the secrets of One For All. And during those early years, there were many times where I had to pull back. Do I remember those times as shameful or disappointing? Indeed not. Every time I did, it was for the sake of others. So remember, Young Iida. Just as there is always a time for fighting, sometimes there is a time for retreat..."

Remembering this, Iida took a breath and shot to her feet. What was she thinking? Even if she turned back now, she'd be too exhausted to fight! The only thing she could do now was keep going! Keep running! All the way to UA, to get help! And every moment she dallied her classmates, her friends, were closer to great harm! She could waste no more time! Taking a breath and revving her engines, Iida recharged One For All in her legs and ran again. Her mission was not to fight, but to get help. And nothing would stop her now.

***

Aizawa was starting to get tired. There were a lot of villains here. Oh, and her eyes were hurting. Fantastic. She was reminded of this when she glared at a villain with electrified hands. Her expression was priceless when said electricity just sorta fizzled out. Aizawa smirked and threw her tool in their direction. As she did, she saw a woman with spikes through the corner of her eye. She was coming too fast for Aizawa to swing her weapon around. She turned to punch this woman, but stopped when the woman was sent flying through the air. 

She wasn't the only one, either. As Aizawa's weapon wrapped around the electric villain, she saw random villains around the plaza go flying, impacted by an unseen force. Aizawa was confused for a brief moment before she remembered who her students were. She quickly glanced around, looking for a particular...there! She could just barely see him with all the green, but she saw Izuku hiding in a bush. She could see him lean his head and dart his eyes around, clearly using mental commands on his spirit. No one knew what was going on. Part of her was angry that he disobeyed her, but she was also happy that he was staying out of the way. Technically speaking.

That happiness stopped when the large brain villain she noticed earlier moved to attack. She dodged this massive villain's first punch, but not their second one. She coughed up some blood as she flew back. Definitely broke a few ribs. She slowly pushed herself up and saw the beast coming right for her. It roared and raised it's fist to smash Aizawa into the floor. 

She couldn't move as it swung down.

***

Ochako stumbled out of the wildfire zone, supported by Hero Thirteen and Kirishima. When she fell from the warp gate, she had landed on some rocks at a bad angle. This combined with the villains they three had to contend with resulted in a nasty sprain. It wasn't anything Recovery Girl couldn't fix, but she wasn't there.

"Set her down here," Thirteen instructed. Ochako groaned as she sat down, eager to get some pressure off her feet.

"You think the rest of us are doing alright?" Ochako asked.

"Without a doubt," Kirishima smiled. "These villains are scary-looking, but they're complete pushovers. I'm not saying this to be discriminant, but I bet even the boys could handle these mooks by themselves."

"You know," a new voice piped up, "it sounded exactly like that when you started your sentence with that phrase." The three turned and gave a sigh of relief when they saw Ojiro walking up with Sero and Sato. 

"Glad to see you," Thirteen greeted. "Did you have any trouble when you landed?"

"Not really," Sato patted Ojiro's head. "This guy here took 'em all out by himself before Sero and I could even organize. Oh hey, have you met anyone else yet?"

"We just got out of the wildfire area" Ochako rubbed her leg. "No one else in there. What about you?"

"We spotted Todoroki heading for the landslide zone," Sero gave a thumbs-up. "Saw Tsuyu and Mineta in the lake, but they kinda jumped to safety. Also saw Bakugou, but he looked pissed."

"When does he not?" Kirishima laughed. "Was he doing okay?"

"Better than okay," Ojiro chuckled. "He was running back to the main plaza. Well, I say running, but..."

***

There was utter silence in the plaza. Even the groaning of the villains Aizawa had incapacitated earlier was nonexistent. Aizawa and any conscious villains just stared in silence at the hulking beast, with it's fist extended...but stopped mere feet from the hero's face. Standing between that fist and Aizawa, with their own arms extended, was Midoriya Izuku.

He was sweating a flood as Cobalt stopped the behemoth from striking Aizawa. He knew this impact from this beast that just screamed bad would mess with him a bit. He knew it was idiotic to reveal himself like this, but something he and Katsuki had learned was that, for reasons unknown, making gestures like this seemed to strengthen their spirits capabilities. Ember Fang could make bigger explosions if Katsuki swung his hand, and Cobalt Star could perform greater feats of strength if Izuku mirrored the action. Plus, doing gestures also tended to help reveal more of what exactly they could do.

This was Izuku's sole explanation for why Cobalt Star suddenly had a shield.

It wasn't a large shield, looking more like a kite-shaped buckler. Upon closer inspection, Izuku noticed the shield looked like it unfolded from Cobalt's gauntlet. Was it always there? Were there more gadgets like that hidden across Cobalt's armor? That was definitely something he would need to investigate later. For now, he had to see if Cobalt could do anything against the behemoth villain. With a groan, he made Cobalt swing his arm to the side, pushing the monster's arm away and making an opening. It was at that point, when Izuku willed Cobalt to attack, he learned something else new about his spirit. Honestly, he was expecting Cobalt to conjure a sword or something equally knightly. Instead, Cobalt Star unveiled a different weapon.

Their gauntlets had claws.

In that moment of vulnerability, Cobalt Star raked it's hand across it's face, eliciting a roar when two of the claws sliced right through it's eye. It staggered back from the strike, but more from the wounds than the force of the impact. Then, to Izuku's horror, the wounds Cobalt inflicted healed right before his eyes. The eye took a bit longer to regrow, and was something Izuku honestly wished he didn't see. The monster roared and raised it's fist to attack again, and Izuku was poised to-

"STOP!"

The monster froze. Izuku froze. Aizawa was barely conscious and unable to move anyways. Izuku turned and saw the hand-villain, the one who screamed a different sort of bad from the monster but also felt worse, walking towards him and giving Izuku a chance to get a good look at her. She was really lanky (maybe another case of Marfan Syndrome?) with short blue hair that looked like it hadn't been washed in days. She had two red eyes that were unhindered by the man-sized hand covering part of her face. Those same eyes were solely focused on Izuku.

"Hello, there," she rasped. "I heard this hero class had boys in it, but it's different actually seeing you with my own eyes. It's like finding a shiny pokemon in the wild! But how did you stop my Nomu? Do you have a tool or something?" Rather than respond, Izuku stared and processed what she said. Her Nomu? Those two words alone gave Izuku a multitude of questions, along with one answer he needed.

This thing takes orders from her.

With a glare and a jerk of his head, Izuku directed Cobalt Star to deck Ms. Hand Fetish in the face, sending her flying to the side. As expected, the "Nomu" didn't react to this. This meant it would act to defend itself and respond to orders, but otherwise would not respond to outside stimuli. Like a golem from that super-old Dragon Age game, only the control rod was a woman with way too many hands that weren't part of a quirk. Oh crap, the woman was getting back up.

"Was that you?" she hissed. "You did that, didn't you? Men aren't supposed to have quirks, though! Either you're faking it or..." Suddenly her eyes widened and she gave a big and scary smile. "You're a glitch! Like a shiny Missingno! Nomu! Capture him!" Bigger crap, the beast was moving.

It roared and swung at Izuku, who deftly dodged the hulking beast. Another swing, another miss. Izuku was scared beyond belief at what Ms. Hand Fetish was wanting, but his muscle memory thankfully had no fear, and kept him moving and dodging the Nomu's hands. While dodging another blow, Izuku willed Cobalt to punch the Nomu in the face. To his shock, the thing barely budged from a punch that was known to level walls. Izuku dodged another attempted grab and sent another punch, this time gesturing for it. Again, the Nomu barely budged. Just how hard was this thing?

"Nomu, stop playing around and grab him already!" the hand villain roared. The beast roared in reply and started moving faster in attempts to grab Izuku. This was bad. He was starting to get tired. He could try punching the other villain again, but that might not stop the monster. He couldn't try fleeing, either, cause that would leave Aizawa vulnerable. So long as their focus was on him, Aizawa was safe. What else could he do, though?

"HEY, FUCKFACE!"

Izuku and Hand Fetish both turned to the voice, Izuku smiling when he heard it. Even from across the plaza he could tell was Bakugou, and he looked pissed. What surprised Izuku, though, was how Bakugou was coming. He knew Bakugou had mentioned it before, but this was Izuku's first time seeing his friend riding his spirit. It was quite a sight seeing Bakugou sitting on Ember Fang's back and holding onto the small spines that grew from his shoulders. 

"HOW THE FUCK ARE YOU FLYING!?" Hand Fetish screamed. "ARE YOU ANOTHER SHINY MISSINGNO!?" Oh right, normal people wouldn't be able to see Ember, so it would look like Bakugou was just flying. That was kinda funn-oh crap, the Nomu almost got him that time. Would it keep trying to grab him until it was told to stop? That was not fun.

"STAY AWAY FROM MY FRIEND, YOU SELF-FINGERING FROG-HUMPING FRUIT BASKET FROM HELL!" After his current creative use of expletives, Bakugou stood up on Ember's back and jumped off, letting the momentum carry him as Ember raced forward and unleashed a large explosion on the Nomu. The sudden attack didn't push the Nomu away at all, but the heat scorched it's skin, which was apparently enough to make it stop. Finally Izuku could catch his breath, but not before making Cobalt punch Hand Fetish again. As Bakugou ran up the rest of the way, Izuku glanced back at Aizawa. Their teacher had pulled herself up to a sitting position, and had her eyes closed. He could see her chest moving, but her breathing sounded ragged. She wasn't in too much danger it seemed, but they still had to get her out of there.

"Bakugou, can you get Aizawa to someplace safe?" Izuku asked as he made Cobalt punch Hand Fetish again.

"I did not fight my way back here just to leave again," Bakugou growled as Ember Fang stood by his side.

"Just get her far enough away to be safe," Izuku stated. "We can't fight at full strength if we have to keep her safe, too. Look, Momo's just up the stairs, take Aizawa up there and see if she can patch her up."

"That sounds reasonable," Bakugou nodded. "Gimme a minute." As Bakugou dashed off to accomplish the task, Izuku made Cobalt punch Hand Fetish a fourth time. It seemed this villain wasn't used to direct combat, and any time she was recovering from a blow was time she couldn't use to make the Nomu attack. Plus, Izuku had a feeling he didn't wanna be on the receiving end of her quirk. After another minute, Bakugou came back with Ember.

"Here's what I know," Izuku quickly whispered. "Big thing here has regeneration and some sort of shock absorption, based on how Cobalt can't seem to send him flying. It also only acts on orders from Ms. Hand Fetish, and if it gets hurt it will defend itself. Dunno what Ms Hand Fetish's quirk is, either. Ideas?"

"Shock absorption is a problem," Bakugou nodded, "but only for sharp impacts, and if the target is grounded. Can you make Cobalt throw it upwards?" Izuku looked back at Cobalt, who was still decking Ms. Hand Fetish periodically to prevent her from giving any orders.

"We'll have to go fast. Ready?"

"Born ready, muthafucka!" Bakugou knocked his fists together, getting a few pops from Ember. 

Izuku had Cobalt give Ms Hand Fetish one more punch to send her flying away before willing it back to the still-unmoving Nomu. It felt kind of unfair attacking an unmoving target, but Izuku remembered what this thing tried to do to Aizawa. With gritted teeth, Izuku made Cobalt grab the Nomu with the intention of tossing it up in the air. Surprisingly, the Nomu was lifted rather easily. Couldn't have weighed more than the cars he had lifted on the beach back when they were training. With a grunt, he gave the mental order and Cobalt threw it upwards.

"We'll hit it at the same time!" Bakugou roared. "Combo it into the sky!" He willed Ember to jump at the same time Izuku made Cobalt hover up to meet the now-falling Nomu. Izuku mentally charged the strongest punch he could muster while Ember Fang's mouth opened up far as it could, then extended down his neck, creating a mouth that stretched all the way to his shoulders. It was kinda freaky, but currently unimportant. With a roar from both boys, their spirits both impacted the Nomu with fists and explosions.

Shock absorption was actually a pretty tricky quirk. It could diminish the force of hard impacts, making even strong punches be like the slap of a baby. However, this hinged on being able to brace for the impact. In the air, with nothing to brace against, the Nomu felt the impact in a different manner than it had been designed to handle. The attack itself didn't really hurt the Nomu (beyond the burns from the explosions), but the force sent it flying up and away like a leaf caught in a fiery windstorm. Both boys watched as the Nomu flew through one of the glass panes covering the USJ and disappeared into the distance. 

Any joy the boys felt from this victory was short-lived. First, the amount of force they put into that final hit was the hardest they could muster, which meant both boys were now kneeling with bruising and aching arms. Secondly, Hand Fetish had finally managed to recover enough to stand up. She looked pissed, too.

"YOU!" she screamed. "YOU DEFEATED MY NOMU!? YOU'RE JUST MEN! WEAKLINGS! THAT THING WAS BUILT TO KILL LADY MIGHT! YOU'RE DEAD!" She rushed at them, hands extended to do whatever her quirk did. Thankfully, Izuku had just enough left in him to make Cobalt trip the crazy woman, then hoist her aloft. He didn't throw her, but rather held her above the ground, facing upwards so she couldn't grab anything to throw. The woman screamed and whined as she flailed in attempts to get free. They thought they had her, until a bank of black mist formed around the hand lady.

"The Mist Lady!" Izuku gasped. "Cobalt, bring her down!" His knight lowered his hands, only to find them empty as the mist disappeared. As that happened, the bad feeling Izuku had since they arrived finally disappeared. The woman had gotten away. The two boys, tired from their exertion, just fell to their knees and caught their breath as their various scattered classmates finally made it back to the main plaza.

Lady Might arrived on the scene mere moments after the entire incident had officially ended.

***

"DAMMIT!" the woman with the hands screamed as she slammed her fist on a nearby table. Mist Lady was standing nearby with the television-and-camera. Said device was turned on, and the person on the other side was listening to Shigaraki's tirade. "THOSE BASTARDS CHEATED! THEY SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DO THAT!"

"Calm down, Shigaraki," the person on the TV stated. "Kurogiri, what happened over there?"

"We encountered something impossible," Kurogiri the Mist Lady explained. "That Hero class had boys in it, like our intel stated. However, two of those boys had quirks." Other than the wailing and gnashing of teeth from Shigaraki, there was silence in the bar for a few moments.

"...Pardon?" the TV person asked.

"Two boys had quirks," Kurogiri repeated. "One of them has a strong telekinetic quirk that they were able to use to send their classmate flying out the door before knocking me unconscious with it. I came back to my senses in time to see him and the second boy send the Nomu up in the air before unleashing a massive explosion that sent it flying away. I was unsure just how long I had been unconscious, but with the combination of an escaped student and the loss of the Nomu, I felt our best option at that point was to retreat." 

At this point, Shigaraki's whines had diminished to simple whimpering while the TV person pondered over what they had learned. After a few minutes, the TV person spoke up again. Their tone was calm and reassuring, like they were trying to calm a wild animal.

"Shigaraki, we may have failed to kill Lady Might, but we have learned something new. I would like you to rebuild the League, focusing on quality over quantity. Kurogiri, I want you to learn everything you can about the boys in question. Names, habits, everything. They might be receiving hero training, but with how society is these days, there may yet be a chance we could bring them to our side. We have a full plate, ladies. Let's get to it."

***

It had been a few hours since the attack ended. All the students had been treated for any injuries and questioned by the police. Izuku and Katsuki had been questioned by a detective named Tsukauchi Nanae. She was apparently a friend of Lady Might with a lie detection quirk, but Izuku couldn't help but notice how she twitched every time he or Bakugou answered a question. Was that part of her quirk, too? He was curious, but too tired to really ask about it. 

Once Tsukauchi was done, the boys had been released with the rest of the class. They were on the bus headed back for UA to grab their things before heading home. Everyone was tired and aching, but overall in good spirits. Izuku was leaning back in his seat while Katsuki had apparently outright fallen asleep against Ashido (earning a happy squeal from the acid girl). During the ride, Izuku noticed Yaoyorozu looked...uneasy. He couldn't blame her; There was no doubt she wasn't the only one feeling uneasy. 

Aizawa had also been treated for her injuries, which were thankfully fairly light compared to what they could have been. She was sitting in the front of the bus, looking at all her students. She was more perceptive than Midoriya, and could see that pretty much everyone on the bus was still tense. They had all faced villains today. That was something that shouldn't have happened for another year or two. They were caught by surprise. Looking at her students, seeing how close some of them actually came to dying, she vowed right then and there not to let that happen again. She would make sure they were ready for the future. 

That they'd be ready to be heroes.

Chapter Text

"Good morning, everyone," Nedzu greeted the UA teachers as they took their respective seats in the conference room in front of the display screen. Seated next to Lady Might was Tsukauchi Nanae, the short-haired detective from earlier. "It's been a couple days since the attack, and the police have finished what investigations they could. Tsukauchi, if you would?" The detective nodded and got to her feet.

"We've interrogated the captured villains from the USJ Incident," she explained. "Most of them are small-fry, this being their first and only job for the 'League of Villains.' There were a few bigger players who had apparently been with the League for longer, but they didn't tell us too much. According to those individuals, the two supposed leaders of the League are named Kurogiri and Shigaraki." As she said this, the display screen behind Nedzu showed images of the two in question. "Neither of those names appear in any of our public databases, so we can only assume they're aliases. Kurogiri is stated to be more level-headed and with a subservient personality towards Shigaraki. She displayed her quirk during the attack, which allows her to create wormholes to teleport people at will. We don't know the full capabilities, but we do know it supposedly works anywhere. 

"Shigaraki, on the other hand, has been described as immature and snappy, prone to yelling and inflicting harm on herself or those around her. According to student testimony, she didn't use her quirk during the attack, and we at the department feel this was fortunate. Some of the villains we interrogated identified her quirk as something akin to disintegration. Anything she touches with all five fingers crumbles to dust in a matter of seconds. She had apparently attempted to use her quirk on a couple students, but was stopped each time." 

"Which means," Aizawa stated, "she was most likely the one who destroyed the gate a few days prior to the attack."

"The bigger villains stated they had intelligence on the hero classes," Tsukauchi continued. "It is likely she broke into UA to get this information, and used the media as a distraction to slip by unnoticed. Lastly, the big villain, the one Midoriya Izuku identified as 'Nomu' was captured several kilometers from the USJ, but has been completely unresponsive. Midoriya explained that this villain was obedient towards Shigaraki and would defend itself when attacked, but otherwise was completely unresponsive to outside stimuli. Our doctors also confirmed the student's assessment, it does indeed have multiple quirks."

There was silence for a good minute or two as the heroes processed what they heard. Most were focused on the ringleaders, but a few, namely Lady Might, instead focused on the Nomu. A subservient creature with multiple quirks...that was something that would take a fair bit of work to create. From what she had seen and heard of the two ringleaders, neither of them appeared to have the skill to create such an abomination. That left only one option, only one villain, but that was impossible. They were dead. Lady Might killed them herself. There was no way they were alive...right?

"We thank you for this valuable information," Nedzu bowed to the ten-foot detective. "Over the weekend we have undergone quite a few improvements to ensure the safety of our students, and upgraded our system security. It is highly unlikely the villains can do a second attack like this on UA campus."

"Now if I may ask a question," Tsukauchi turned to the principal, "what exactly is going on with Bakugou Katsuki and Midoriya Izuku?" This startled the teachers a bit. Wasn't she told of their circumstances?

"What do you mean?" Nedzu asked with feigned innocence. "Please, elaborate."

"When I questioned the boys, they told me they were using support gear to fight the villains, but my quirk detected this to be a lie. On top of that, whenever they answered a question, my quirk got all fuzzy and twitchy, like I was using my quirk on multiple people at once. I tried asking Lady Might about it that same day, but she didn't really elaborate."

"Thanks for putting me in the spotlight," the number one heroine coughed into her hand.

"A fair question!" Nedzu exclaimed. "However, it is not something I can answer." The tall detective looked down incredulously at Nedzu as the mammal continued, "You see, if you were told the specifics about those boys, you would undoubtedly file such information into an official report. However, for the sake of those boys, their circumstances cannot be recorded in any official documentation. They wish to be heroes, and if the government got word of their circumstances, they would likely do quite a few...experiments on the boys, and that is something we wish to avoid." Tsukauchi furrowed her brows, but remained silent. "Was there anything else, detective?"

"...No," she replied. "I...I'll be heading back to the precinct now." The detective bade farewell to the heroes and left. There was something big they were hiding, and she could only hope they would tell her someday.

***

The students of UA had all been given a three-day weekend to help de-stress from the villain attack, and came into class with mostly good spirits. Speaking of spirits, though...

"Can you believe that!?" Katsuki groaned as he and Izuku stepped into the class, flanked by their spirits. "We gotta fight that guy at least 4 times, spending our Zealot Codes mind you, and all we get for it is a lousy squishy boomerang!"

"Least it's better than the Kraken," Izuku laughed. He waved at his classmates as he walked to his desk. Climbing into his seat, he waved at Momo, who only gave a halfhearted nod. There was no cheer in her expression whatsoever. Was she sick? Before Izuku could ask, though, the door opened and Shoka Aizawa stepped into the class.

"Glad to see you all actually in your seats, for once," the teacher droned. "I'm sure some of you are still stressed about what happened last week, but rest assured, security on and around campus has been upgraded with your safety in mind. More importantly...the Sports Festival is in two weeks." The class erupted at this announcement. Some were excited, some were nervous. It took Aizawa using her quirk to get the class to quiet down. "As I stated before, we are taking every precaution to ensure the safety of the students. We've actually requested multiple heroes from across Japan help provide security. As for anyone who might be worried about their fellow classmates during the Festival," she glanced at the three boys in her class as she said this, "I have been informed that the events taking place will make the competition as fair as possible. That being said, though, you three boys will need to come with me to the Support Course workshops after lunch. I'll explain what's going on when we get there." After that, homeroom wrapped up pretty quickly, and as the students got up to head to their next class Izuku tapped Momo's leg to get her attention.

"Are you alright?" the boy asked. "You've been pretty quiet this morning." The tall girl didn't respond immediately, giving a slight glance to the side before addressing her classmate.

"I-I'm fine, Midoriya. Do not mind me." She walked away without another word. Confused, Izuku turned to Jirou and pointed at Momo. Jirou, who heard the exchange, only gave a shrug of her own before heading out. 

***

Musutafu City was a large enough city that it had five different Radelix Diners. They were all in middle-class areas and usually staffed by college students, meaning their front-end employees rarely stuck around more than half a year before moving on. Each diner also had a Table Six, which was situated square in the middle of the diner, away from any possible hiding spots for wiretapping and undercover heroes. It was these two reasons that Itsuwari Homura, the one-eyed leader of the Kittery Renaissance, chose these places for any meetings.

Plus, to be honest, the food prepared by their mostly-male cooks really wasn't that bad.

Itsuwari sat in silence, having already ordered her food and simply watching the other customers. Her deep blue organic eye glanced left and right like a normal person, while the red prosthetic eye that was mostly hidden behind her long vermilion hair took in everyone and ran them through her private facial recognition database. So far the only faces her eye recognized were the rest of her people, scattered around and acting the part of innocent customer. She and her little group were all wanted villains, even if their faces had never been identified, and she didn't want to get caught in a sting disguised as a job offer.

Thankfully, the client she was told to watch out for arrived at exactly the time she was told. The client was a fairly tall man, a little under two meters, and dressed in a fine suit carrying a briefcase. There was no deviation to his gait as he walked directly to the table and climbed into the seat opposite of Itsuwara.

"You're T.E.?" Itsuwari asked. "You sounded like a woman over the phone."

"She is a woman," the man replied as he hoisted his case onto the table. "My employer is the one who contacted you for this meeting, but she employs me to handle affairs that could be considered less-than legal."

"Is she a hero?" 

"I am afraid that is not pertinent information," the man replied formally. Opening the case, he pulled out a small (comparatively-speaking) folder and set it on the table. Itsuwari took the folder and read the contents as the man continued, "There are three targets that my employer wishes to be dealt with. She is prepared to pay half up front, and the other half once the job is completed."

"These are children," the villain glared. "My people do not kill kids."

"We are not asking for their demise," the man raised his hands in submission. "My employer only wishes they be removed from their current position, and to be permanently unable to re-attain them. However you do that is up to you, my employer trusts you will succeed." The four-meter-tall villain read through the file a few more times while contemplating the offer.

"It won't be cheap," she finally stated. "Making people disappear can be quite pricey."

"Money is of no issue," the man said, pulling a blank check from his jacket. "My employer is quite wealthy, hence why she wanted to get people of quality to do this job. By your statement, I assume you'll take the job?" The man extended his hand, and Itsuwari gingerly shook it.

"Consider them vanished."
 
***

It was afternoon, and the three boys were following Aizawa down the halls towards the Support Course. None of the boys had been anywhere near there before, not even to get their hero suits. They weren't nervous at all, but simply curious. Katsuki tried asking what was going on, only for Aizawa to respond with silence. After a few minutes, the heavy metal doors to the workshop were in sight. 

Then the hairs on Izuku's neck shot up.

There was a loud boom as the doors literally exploded off their hinges and the hallway filled with smoke. One of the doors flew at an angle and embedded itself in a wall. The other door flew right for the group of hero students. Aizawa immediately leaped out of the way and was about to use her capture scarf to pull the boys away only to see Bakugou had apparently hopped on his spirit like a steed and pulled Ojiro up with him before leaping away. Midoriya, meanwhile, gave a shout and waved his hand. In response, Cobalt flew ahead and slammed the door away, creating a large dent as it hit the wall. 

"WAAAAAA!"

Moosh!

At the same time the doors were blown from their hinges, something else came flying from the smoke towards the boys. After Izuku knocked the door away, he failed to react in time and the smoking mass hit him. Everyone else in the hallway covered their mouths as the automated windows finally opened and the smoke began to dissipate. 

"Whoever's alive, sound off," Aizawa groaned.

"I'm here," Bakugou raised his hand.

"What am I sitting on?" Ojiro asked, holding onto Bakugou while sitting on empty air.

"I'm alive!" a new female voice coughed from the floor. The smoke finally cleared, and everyone saw the new voice belonged to a girl with short pink hair lying facedown on the floor. She wore stained and charred cargo pants with a striped black tanktop that held a rather generous bosom. She gave a cough as she raised her head, pulling away the goggles that covered her yellow eyes. 

"Wait," Bakugou asked, "where's Dekiru?" As if to answer his question, everyone in the hallway heard muffled screaming. Everyone looked around, trying to find the source of the noise before the pink-haired girl looked down.

"Found him!" the girl exclaimed. Everyone looked down to see that the girl had landed right on the smaller boy. They could see his arms flailing while the upper half of his body was pinned right under her chest.

"Well, get off him, you strawberry bint!" Bakugou yelled as he slid off Ember Fang, which caused Ojiro to give a shout of surprise as he fell through the spirit hellhound.

"Hehe, it tickles," the girl said before rising to her knees. The moment she did, Izuku sat up and took a deep breath.

"You okay, dude?" Bakugou asked as he held out a hand to help Izuku to his feet.

"I thought I was gonna die, man!" the green youth cried with wide eyes. This got a laugh from the girl as she stood up. Looking up at her, the boys noticed that she had several charge-packs stuck to her arms and legs. There were even a few adhered to her chest.

"You're the boys from the Hero Course, right?" she asked. "Dang, you guys are so small I almost gotta use my quirk to see ya!"

"I DARE YOU TO COME DOWN HERE AND SAY THAT TO MY FACE!" 

"Hatsume!" Power Loader could be heard from inside the workshop. "If the boys are here, bring em in!" The girl giggled before Power Loader added "AND I MEAN ESCORT!" 

"Spoilsport," Hatsume pouted before gesturing for everyone to follow her. The boys were a bit hesitant to follow the girl into the room that just tried to kill them, but a push of Aizawa got their feet moving. As they stepped through the doorway and were greeted by Power Loader, their prior hesitance was replaced with awe. 

The workshop was HUGE, with walls lined with shelves of materials and racks of tools. Mixed in were over two dozen bays, all filled with different students and different projects. Some were working on outfits, others were working on support gear. To the students' surprise, there were even a pair of identical-looking boys working on a large robot of some kind. None of the students even spared them a glance, all too engrossed in their work. 

"Here we are!" Power Loader pointed as she escorted the hero kids and Aizawa to the very back of the workshop. The three students almost stopped when they saw what Power Loader and the Hatsume girl had for them. Standing in the last bay were what looked like endoskeletons for the sort of mechsuit they had seen some American heroes using. There were three of them, and they were man-sized.

"These are for you three," Power Loader pointed. "The last event of any Sports Festival is something akin to a fighting tournament, so we had these shipped in from I-Island for you to wear during that phase. They're just the skeletons right now, and that's why you're here. We need to get your measurements so we can make sure they fit, and add whatever sorta gimmick you feel like you'd want on em for that phase."

"Can I decline?" Ojiro raised his hand. "My fighting style relies on my tail and agility. Not sure how I could make it work in that suit." Other than a faint slapping sound, there was silence as Power Loader thought for a bit before shrugging.

"I'll talk to Nedzu about it later. In the meantime, Hatsume, can you get measurements for Midoriya while I focus on Bakugou?" Hatsume opened her mouth to reply, only to notice that slapping from earlier had intensified. She turned to the side and gave an exasperated groan as she saw the two boys who were working on a robot had stopped working and were now in a sissy-slap fight.

"Sensei," she pointed, "the twins are fighting again." 

"WE'RE NOT TWINS!" Both the identical boys screamed with identical voices before continuing their fight. Power Loader sighed and went to stop the two boys while Hatsume knelt down in front of Izuku with a tape measure.

"Hey, uh," she said as she measured Izuku's arm, "no hard feeling about the whole...squish, right?" Izuku blushed and shook his head. 

"Gave me blackmail material," Katsuki smirked, eliciting a face palm from Ojiro and Aizawa. 

"Anyway," Aizawa spoke up, "once you boys are done here, head for the Beta training field. Your hero exercise will be out there." All the boys nodded as Aizawa turned to leave the workshop. There were a few things she had to do before the exercise began.

Chapter Text

At the same time the three boys were being measured for their power suits, Lady Might sat in the Teacher's Lounge. She was anxious, her leg twitching in place while her head hung low. This wasn't a conversation she ever wanted to have, but with what happened at the USJ, she decided it would be better to play it safe. She lifted her head as the door opened, and Iida Tenten stepped into the room.

"What did you need, Sensei?" the speedy girl asked as she stood across from Lady Might. The heroine simply gestured to the nearby chair. The student took the seat, and Lady Might took a breath.

"There's something I have to tell you," Lady Might stated. "It concerns the villains that attacked your class a few days ago." That grabbed Iida's attention completely. "You've heard about the two villains who led the attack, yes?"

"Midoriya told me about them," Iida nodded. "A misty one who could create portals, and one who commanded that big brute the police captured."

"Indeed. However, they weren't the real leaders." There was a brief pause as Yayoi let that news sink in before continuing. "Remember how I showed you my grievous injury when we first met?"

"Yes, ma'am. You told me you got it from the only villain you ever had to-"

"I was wrong." Lady Might sighed. "They're still alive, and they're the real leader of the League of Villains. There is no mistaking it." The pro heroine looked out the window. "Their name is All For One. They are a monster as old as quirks themselves, and a master manipulator in every sense of the word. And before you ask, yes I use the term 'monster' appropriately here. All For One has the power to steal quirks from people, which they can either give to others, or hoard for themselves. I had hoped they had died when we last fought, hoped that you would never have to face them, but the existence of that Noumu, a beast with multiple quirks, proves they're still alive. 

"They are the very antithesis of One For All, our line of heroes. But that's not the worst part. You've entered into a cursed legacy, my protege. I had hoped you would be free of the shadow hanging over One For All. But that curse has come back, and its going to fall to you to overcome the mistake of my past. They are someone you will face, and soon. I'm so sorry."

The silence was palpable. The look on Iida's face displayed their unease and shock. It is one thing to be chosen for the next Symbol of Peace, it is another thing entirely to be told you'll have to fight a supervillain. Iida clenched her fist and looked Lady Might in the eye.

"Please tell me everything you know about them," Iida requested. "If I am to fight this 'All For One' someday, I would like to know what I am up against."

"Of course," Lady Might nodded, "but a word of warning. When you face them, you'll discover one thing about them, one possible and blatant weakness. Despite this, do not underestimate them even for an instant."

"What weakness?"

"...Without utilizing any of their quirks, they're about half your height."

***

It had been almost an hour since Iida's meeting with Lady Might. Class 1-A and their teacher were assembled in one of the fields behind the school. To everyone's surprise, the field had been turned into a large hill. It wasn't too high and there were several paths leading to the top, but there was some modicum of steepness to it, mingled with boulders and shallow holes. There were even a few trees. At the very top was a pole with a display screen on it.

Everyone knew what this was, but what stumped them was how this was going to apply to hero work. Didn't villains usually hold a position from all comers? That's what the bomb drill taught them. But if it was all them and just the one hill, that made them even more confused. "Hey Kaa-chan, you don't think they're going to make us do a free for all," Deku asked Bakugo with rising horror. Bakugo smiled wide. "If it is, then we've got home team advantage shrimp!" 

This was usually when Tenten would come in about the exercise not being that simple. Half the class were already expecting it, looking to Tenten, but she was staring into the distance, lost in her thoughts. "Hey Ilda? UA to Ilda?" Jiro started, waving her hand in front of the super-motor girl's face. It took a couple of seconds for the motion to register.

"...Hm? Oh! Sorry Jiro! I was just thinking...about the best way to tackle this activity. I have to get creative about standing still when my quirk's all about movement, a true challenge befitting UA." She sheepishly smiled, chastising herself for getting caught in her wandering thoughts. "Sorry for getting distracted!"

Meanwhile, Todoroki was pursing her lips looking at the hill, then the boys, then the hill again. If she was thinking right, it was going to be a stampede out there, and those boys were going right into the thick of it. She couldn't outright ask them to be excused either. "If I swing this just right though, I can keep them safe and stay on objective. I hope I can- no, I have to." She clenched her right fist and took a slow deep breath. Before she could form more of a plan, the display above flickered to life.

"A good hero can go out and handle any villain they face," Aizawa droned. "However, great heroes can also keep villains away from targets, such as VIP's or important objects. This exercise is gonna be along the lines of a 'queen of the hill' game. Everyone has to get to the top of the hill and keep everyone else away. The pole up there is keyed to everyone's school ID's. It'll record how long each of you can hold the top. The exercise lasts fifteen minutes." Aizawa let the students process that information for a few moments before adding "Oh yeah. To help you feel better after the USJ, the winner gets a coupon for a free ice cream cone from the Naboo Creamery." That got the student's attention, and a few even started drooling. Aizawa gave a smirk and blew her whistle, prompting the students to make a mad dash up the hill.

Iida seemed like a shoe-in to reach the top first due to her speed quirk, but was just as surprised as everyone else when Izuku and Katsuki literally flew past her. Bakugou was clearly riding Ember Fang while it looked like Izuku just had Cobalt Star throw him up the hill. Both boys reached the top a few seconds before anyone else. Rather than do their usual teamwork, Izuku surprised Bakugou by having Cobalt grab him and hurl him back down the hill. The volatile blond grunted in frustration as he bowled into Mineta, who just smiled and hugged Bakugou tight before receiving an explosion to her face.

"No touching, you pervy prune!" Bakugou yelled as he grabbed onto Ember Fang to run back up, only to get frozen in place by Todoroki. "Gah, you bitch!"

Todoroki was running up the hill fast as she could, freezing anyone else who got too close. She didn't actually want the ice cream, but this was still a hero exercise so she would use her ice as best she could. She threw out a wall of ice to her right to stop some of her classmates, but that fell through when Iida literally smashed through it. This startled her. Shouko knew her classmate was fast, but strong as well? Maybe she just used her momentum to increase her strength? Before Shouko could think any further, she found herself being pushed back down the hill by an unseen force. Looking up, she noticed Izuku looking in her direction before turning to someone else who was getting close. The pressure on her ceased, but Kirishima gave a shout of surprise as she was pushed back. He was using his spirit, but even with the boon of an invisible servant, Izuku was still surprised when Tokoyami's very visible servant grabbed him and pulled him down the hill.

It appeared this exercise was more than initially presented.

***

In a hotel not far from the UA campus, Itsuwari Homura and two other members of the Kittery Renaissance waited for the rest of their group. They were all dressed in their casual outfits, with Itsuwari in her usual red suit while the two were dressed as traditional "high school delinquents." She would have dressed the same, but she was too tall to pass as a high school student, even if she wore a mask like the rest. While the other two were busy using their quirks to repair some of their equipment or poking around online, Itsuwari was busy flipping through the three folders she had received earlier. Three folders giving a handful of details about their latest targets.

"Ojiro Mashirao," she muttered to herself. "Bakugou Katsuki. Midoriya Izuku. The first boys to enter UA's hero course in almost twenty years. Other than the boy with the tail, quirkless. Currently in Class 1-A...wait, wasn't that the class that was attacked by villains last week?" She pulled out her phone and scrolled through last week's news pages, and sure enough it was 1-A that was involved in the now-infamous USJ Incident. These boys weren't just students, they were survivors. Now she felt kind of bad to make them disappear. 

Only kind of.

The door to the hotel room opened as two more of her people stepped in, dressed like high school delinquents with dyed hair and carrying heavy bags. Itsuwari sat up straight on the couch, giving her subordinates a comfy place to sit. Said ladies groaned with relief as they dropped their bags and plopped onto the couch.

"How does it look?" Itsuwari asked.

"Grabbing from the school's a no-go," one of them sighed. "After the media break-in last week, all news crews are prohibited from getting within 100 meters of the gates, and after the villain attack security is ramped up tighter than that one castle in Europe, and that place had frikkin' laser guns. Maybe if we borrowed that one plane from the British museum and dove straight down from max altitude..."

"After school seems like our immediate best bet," the other one raised her hand. "We've left Saffron and Catalina to watch which direction they head, so that we can think of a means of ambushing them."

"Good idea," Itsuwari nodded before looking at the woman who was browsing the internet. "Beryl, find anything of note on the boys?"

"I'd say I found a way to grab them," the woman smiled. 

This grabbed everyone's attention, as they all got up from their respective spots to huddle around the laptop. There was only a smidgen of information on the boys scattered across individual sites, but all put together made for quite the interesting picture. She found news articles detailing how Bakugou and Midoriya were attacked by a villain a year prior. How Ojiro was among the finalists for a handful of different martial arts competitions, even winning a few. A few photos showing Izuku and Bakugou at video game contests. A couple shots of Ojiro and Hagakure posing for pictures on social media. The most telling shots, though, were older shots of Bakugou and Izuku taking part in a cosplay contest a few years ago, along with Ojiro doing the same at a different convention.

"The boys are nerds," Itsuwari chuckled. "Girls, get intel on upcoming conventions. I have an idea."

***

"HAHAHA!" Ashido laughed. "I'm queen of the castle!" This statement was accurate, as she stood tall on top of the hill. She had held her spot for several minutes, much to the chagrin of everyone else. Any time someone got close, Ashido would throw acid at their feet. This resulted in a loss of footing and usually the individual stumbling back down. Even the boys, with aid from their spirits, couldn't get close.

Aizawa was genuinely impressed by this (though she'd never openly admit it). She knew Ashido had displayed less-than-optimal capabilities in the past, but using her quirk like this was a stroke of genius. There was hope for her yet. Checking her watch, Aizawa gave a loud whistle, stopping everyone in their tracks.

"Good job everyone," the teacher nodded as she walked up the hill. "You've all shown a knack for strategy, and a few of you even displayed a good amount of teamwork." Walking past Ashido to the pole, Aizawa tapped a few buttons on the monitor, making it show everyone's times on top. To the surprise of no one, Ashido was number one, holding the hill for close to six minutes. No one else even came close. The pink girl whooped with joy, everyone else just laughed with her enthusiasm.

"Queen of the castle!" Ashido danced. "That ice cream is mine!"

"What ice cream?" Aizawa asked. That question made everyone freeze and look at Aizawa with incredulous stares. "That was a logical ruse aimed to make you all work your hardest, similar to the skill assessment at the start of the year."

"Not cool!" the acidic girl whined. "You can't just hang stuff like that-"

"And why not?" their teacher glared. "You're training to be heroes. Heroes do their job for the sake of society, often without reward nor gratitude. If you're in here intending to become a hero for the sake of rewards, go join Management." She checked her watch before continuing. "And that's all we have time for. Go change and go home." The students gave a less-than-energetic acknowledgement before heading down the hill. Aizawa stayed on top to watch them go.

"Excuse me," Aizawa heard from behind her. Turning around, she saw Lady Might trudging up the hill in her withered form. "I couldn't help but overhear you something about a logical ruse involving ice cream?"

"What about it?" the underground heroine narrowed her eyes. 

"Didn't Nedzu actually give you a coupon for this exercise?" Lady Might asked. "Specifically to help cheer them up?"

"They're training to be heroes," Aizawa bluntly replied, indirectly answering the No. 1's question. "They need to learn what it takes to really be a hero."

"And they will," Lady Might solemnly nodded, "but right now they're still children. They like having fun, and still think with their stomachs."

"Then now's as good a time as any for them to learn," Aizawa tersely replied before walking down the hill, ending the conversation. Yayoi watched the hero leave, sighing in dismay. Her fellow hero had changed since the USJ, and she wasn't sure it was for the better. Lady Might could only hope it wouldn't hurt her kids too much. In the meantime, she had an idea. She still had some Big Time, she was gonna use it. With a smile, she bulked up and jumped from the hilltop and landed next to Class 1-A, startling most of them.

"L-Lady Might!" Iida announced. "What is-"

"I heard what Eraserhead did," the heroine stated. "In my opinion, tricking you like that was...quite unbecoming of a hero. Therefore, I've decided to make up for it." She gave her trademark smile. "I sure hope none of you have places to be after school, because I will treat everyone here to some ice cream from Naboo Creamery!" The students stood gobsmacked at this declaration. Getting treated to ice cream by the number one heroine? None of them ever thought such a thing would happen. They were shaken from their thoughts as Lady Might cleared her throat. "Now, who won today's exercise? Young Ashido? As congratulations for a job well done, you get two scoops!"

"WHAT!?" Ashido screamed in disbelief. "But the Creamery never lets people get two scoops on their cones!"

"And I'm Lady Might!" Yayoi stated. "You think they'd tell me no?" She started laughing, soon joined by everyone else. Ashido managed to give the heroine a surprise hug as well. It was a very heartwarming scene, and Lady Might could only think of a few times she felt better.

Unbeknownst to Lady Might and Class 1-A, Itsuwari and her group of criminals were preparing to make their move...

Chapter Text

It had been an hour since school ended, and Class 1-A was all sitting in the Naboo Creamery. True to her word, Lady Might had purchased ice cream for the entirety of the class with Ashido getting the promised two scoops. The class took up most of the seats in the dessert shop, chatting away happily. Lady Might had left a few minutes prior, narrowly escaping the rather-invasive press. Said news crews then tried to interrogate the class, but found themselves locked out. The Creamery staff respected the privacy of their customers.

The three boys of the class sat close to the corner of the shop (away from the oddly-twitchy Mineta) with their properly-sized ice cream cones. Izuku and Bakugou were hogging a window while Ojiro sat on Hagakure's lap, making the tailed boy blush and everyone else laugh. It was after one such good laugh that Izuku noticed something. Everyone was sitting in their own friend group through the Creamery, but Momo was sitting by herself. From the looks of it, she had barely touched her ice cream. Seeing everyone else in their own conversation, Izuku slipped down under the table and walked over to Momo's table. She didn't even seem to notice him climbing into the chair opposite hers.

Ice Cream by MadNimrod

"What's wrong, Yaoyorozu?" the small greenette asked, snapping Momo from her stupor.

"O-oh, Midoriya," the taller girl greeted. "I-I'm fine, really." 

"...I don't believe you," Izuku deadpanned. "Yaoyorozu, you've been distracted all day, there is something wrong. Please, you can tell me what it is. I won't judge you." The two stared at each other in silence, Izuku's eyes pleading while Momo's gaze was closed. With a small sigh, Momo finally relented.

"Back at the USJ," she explained, "you were down there fighting villains with Aizawa-sensei. Everyone else was out fighting villains...and I just sat in a bush by the entrance." She buried her face in her hands. "What sort of hero student am I, when I didn't even try to help?" She was almost crying for a few moments before hearing a tap on the table. Looking up, she saw Izuku's hand extended out as he looked at her.

"...I was trying to grab your hand in reassurance," he explained, "but my arm is too small. Anyway, Yaoyorozu, something else you should remember is that we're all students. We shouldn't have had to deal with what happened for another few years. I also heard you made First-Aid gear to patch up sensei once Kacchan brought her up to you. Even if you didn't fight, you still did good out there. Don't lose confidence for surviving." Momo stared for a bit, clearly ruminating over his words, before Izuku gave a chuckle. "Plus, Aizawa-sensei did tell us not to get involved. If anything, you're the only one who actually obeyed the teacher." This last statement got a small giggle out of Momo. She smiled and reached over, placing her hand over Izuku's.

"Thank you," she nodded. "I really did need to hear that." She removed her hand after another few seconds, enjoying the innocent smile the boy before her was giving. Unfortunately, it was at that point she realized her ice cream was quite melted, and rushed to finish it. Izuku chuckled and finished his own ice cream. Neither of the two noticed a few of their friends had watched the entire exchange.

***

The League spy was, for lack of a better term, pissed.

All her hard work getting that intel on the class, all that work getting everything right for the USJ invasion...and all of it wasted because of two boys and a horde of incompetence! She was supposed to be relaxing right now, enjoying a good drink and contemplating her spot in her boss's new world. Instead, she was sneaking around like a grunt spying on Midoriya and Bakugou, the two boys that ruined everything. Her boss wanted to know things about them that weren't on official documents (such as what the hell they could do), which meant she had to keep an eye on them.

She growled as she hunched behind a light pole, watching the pair of wretches jabber on their walk home from the ice cream shop. With how careless they were being, she could almost felt she could just slit their throats and be done with it. If it weren't for their weird power, she would have done just that. Worse yet, they had spent the entire walk either talking about some "Yaoi-something" or video games. Say something important, you insignificant footstools!

"Oh my gosh!" a new voice suddenly shouted. "It's them!" The spy ducked behind a convenient trash can as the two boys found themselves almost ambushed by a pair of older women. The two women were in...unusual outfits. Maybe the one in white robes could get away dressed like that, but there is no excuse for a woman to be dressed in a schoolgirl uniform.

"Whoa," she heard the green boy say. "Um, you're dressed as Tomoyo from Clannad, right?"

"YES!" the one dressed like a schoolgirl excitedly replied as she hopped up and down. "And you two! You're the runners-up from the Musutafu Snow-Con cosplay contest a couple years back! Your outfits were so good!" The two women gushed over the boys for a bit, making them both a bit flustered. Even the prickly Baku-whatsit was nervously chuckling from all the praise. The two women even asked for a selfie with the boys. The spy almost felt like gagging if it wouldn't reveal her presence.

"Oh, also!" the one in white robes exclaimed. "Tomorrow afternoon around 6th Street we'll be holding a small contest. Winners will be getting tickets for this year's AnimeJapan convention! They'll be allowed to bring up to two guests with them!" The boy's eyes widened at this and they both promised to be there to give it a shot. The women cheered and patted their heads before dashing away, leaving the boys continue their walk home, albeit more excited than before. The spy continued following, keeping hidden best she could.

After another half hour, the two boys reached their residences and parted ways. With a disgruntled sigh, the spy turned around and started walking towards the rendezvous point with the League. She may not have learned anything about the boy's weird powers, but that contest seemed interesting. After all, it could serve as an opportunity to get the boys out in the open...and maybe get rid of them entirely. She gave a chuckle. Maybe this would work.

***

The Next Day...

***

"...and that's it for class!" Midnight smiled as she closed her books. "Pack your bags and head to lunch, kids." She stepped out, letting her students socialize as they packed. The class was in high spirits, full of smiles and eager energy. Even Momo, who had been down in the dumps previously, was laughing like nothing had happened. This last tidbit made Izuku feel better about things. With a smile, he hopped from his seat and walked to the door. Upon opening it, though, he was met with a forest...except the trees were multiple colors...and had knees...

Legs.

He was looking at a forest of legs.

With a bit of an incredulous face, he took a step back before looking up at the horde of girls standing in front of the door. Most of them were looking down at him like he was a puppy, but several others had contemplative, almost scrutinizing, gazes. Especially the blond one in the front of the group, whom Izuku remembered as the jerk from last week. The girls he eavesdropped on called her Monoma, he remembered.

"Erm," Izuku spoke up as several other classmates converged behind him, "can we help you?"

"We're scoping out the competition," Monoma sneered. "I figured the class who survived being attacked by villains would look impressive, but I guess Class 1-A can't be too strong if it has boys like you in it."

"You saw us last week," Izuku deadpanned. "Did you forget about us that quickly?"

"Well," the jerk shrugged, "with how insignificant boys are, I just-" Suddenly a large explosion erupted right in front of Monoma, knocking her back and causing her to bounce off a few people before stumbling to her knees.

"Looks like somebody threw stuff again," Bakugou snickered as he walked up. Walking past Izuku, he stood as close to the girls as he could and glared up at them. "You see us? Yes, we survived a damn villain attack. All of us. Gender and quirks ain't got fuck-all to do with that. We're all strong enough to be here, so when you come after us..." He gave a feral smile. "Don't hold back." There was silence from the people outside (save for the groans of pain from Monoma). 

"...So manly..." one of them whispered. 

"Doesn't matter," Monoma slowly got back to her feet. "They're boys. They don't even deserve to be in UA, let alone-" This time, Kendou finally showed up and karate-chopped Monoma's neck.

"Sorry about her," Kendou chuckled. "She's...she's crazy." With that, she dragged the unconscious Monoma away.

"Excuse me," another voice chimed in. Said voice repeated themselves a few times as the other girls looked down and stepped aside, giving Shinsou enough space to reach the door. "Hey guys."

"Shinsou!" Izuku smiled as he stepped forward to shake his friend's hand. "You come to check your future class?"

"Came to rescue you from my classmates," the purple-haired boy responded, gesturing to the unfamiliar group over his shoulder. "But checking everything out sounds good, too."

"Future class?" Kirishima asked.

"Oh yeah," Izuku smiled. "When Shinsou does a good job in the Festival, he's gonna get transferred to Hero Course!"

"You say that like it's guaranteed," Iida narrowed her eyes. Izuku just laughed in reply and grabbed his two guy friends before heading out the door. Most of the rest of the class followed, along with the horde of students outside. 

Todoroki lingered longer than the rest. She was in shock at what she heard. Another boy was trying to transfer to the Hero Course? Another boy was trying to enter a line of work that was just too dangerous? Midoriya and Bakugou must have told him something to make him think that was a good idea. She sighed and followed her classmates out.

Just another boy to save from their own foolishness.

***

Growing up with a top detective for a mother gave one the means to notice certain details. Shinsou knew he was in the minority. Not only was he a man in a world of 80% women, he was also a plain man with no mutations to speak of. He was also followed by a shirtless bald man (though he never told anyone outside his family about that). As such, he knew that, upon entering UA, he'd either be coddled or ignored. 

Which is why his current spot, sitting among Hero students for lunch, was rather surprising.

To his left sat Midoriya, muttering away while writing in his notebook. Across from Midoriya was Momo, who was informing Izuku of her quirk. He could see a faint blush on both their faces. Did they have a thing going on? He'd have to ask later, though he felt Izuku might not give a straight answer.

To his right was Bakugou, jabbering loudly with a spiky redhead and a girl with pink skin, while across from him was a green girl with a long tongue. Most of them had some semblance of red to them. Maybe that was Bakugou's favorite color.

Directly across from Shinsou himself was the peppermint girl, Todoroki. She wasn't really talking to anyone at the moment. Instead, she seemed to be scrutinizing the three boys in front of her. Shinsou wasn't really getting a 'hostile' feel from her, but he could tell she wasn't too happy. Maybe he'd ask later.

Overall, Shinsou found it weird just how comfortable things were. No one was really talking to him, but they weren't really ignoring him either. They were treating him like a fellow classmate. It was...nice. 

"Is the Hero Course really this casual?" Shinsou asked Izuku after Momo got up to grab something.

"In my experience," Izuku smiled, "Yup. I mean, I dunno what the other class is like, but our class is pretty cool. I think it helps that our teacher threatened to punish anyone who treated us boys differently."

"That would do it," Shinsou chuckled. 

"What about your class?" the greenette asked back. "Your classmates giving you trouble?"

"Nothing I haven't dealt with before," Shinsou sighed. "Mostly acting like I'm fragile, or giving impromptu hugs when they think I'm depressed."

"With your constant glower, I assume that happens a lot?"

"You have no idea."

"You're a boy," Todoroki spoke up for the first time since sitting down. "Compared to your classmates, you are fragile."

"I'm not a vase," the Gen Ed student glared back.

"Didn't say you were," Todoroki shrugged before sipping her drink. 

"You shouldn't imply things like that regardless," Izuku interjected. "Shinsou here is a tough cookie. I can attest to that." Todoroki didn't respond, simply shrugging. Yeah, she was gonna be a hard one to deal with.

The rest of lunch passed comfortably, with no harassment or alarms. Shinsou bade goodbye and went back to his class, feeling a bit better than he did before.

***

"The fuck was that even about?" Bakugou groaned as he and Izuku walked down the road after school. "Do you know how that qualified as 'hero training' or are you just as clueless as I am?"

"At least she didn't pull another 'logical ruse' on us," Midoriya sighed. 

"But why so many fucking spoons!?"

"Something about attention to detail." Bakugou just groaned at Izuku's response and kept walking. They were on their way to 6th street, to check out that contest they heard about yesterday. Hopefully that would put him in a better mood. As they turned the corner to 6th street, they bumped into a pair of familiar faces.

"Oh hey guys," Ojiro Mashirao waved from next to Hagakure as Bakugou and Izuku rounded the corner. "You here for the contest, too?"

"Yeah," Izuku nodded. "We were told about it by some cosplayers yesterday."

"Same," Hagakure cheerfully waved her arms. "Didn't know you guys woulda been interested. Would have brought you with us otherwise." Izuku waved his own arm, reassuring her that it was alright, as the group walked down 6th street towards the crowd of people that were undoubtedly there for the contest.

Said crowd was fairly big, maybe a few dozen people, all assembled in front of a tent. Between the crowd and the tent was a table. Seated at the table was a group of five women, including the two Izuku and Katsuki saw earlier. They were all dressed in cosplay like before, and were handing envelopes to anyone who walked up to the table. Maybe they were entry tickets?

"Hey it's you guys!" the Clannad-cosplayer from yesterday cheered when she saw Izuku and Bakugou. Another lady, one dressed in a suit of armor, geeked out seeing Ojiro and Hagakure. She must have been the ones who told them about this. With big smiles, the ladies each handed the boys and Hagakure their envelopes and directed them to stand back a bit. Izuku was tempted to open his, but noticed no one else seemed to open theirs yet. With this in mind, all three boys and Hagakure waited with everyone else. Thankfully the wait wasn't long before a tall red-haired women with her bangs covering one eye and dressed like...someone Izuku honestly didn't recognize stepped forward.

"Hello, anime fans!" the woman yelled. "Sorry for the wait, had to get some last-minute things ready! Now, we know you were told this was a contest, but it's closer to a raffle. You all got envelopes? In your envelope is the prize you'll win for participating! A handful of you will win the tickets for the con, but don't worry if you don't get them! Everyone present will be getting something worth your time! If you got a gold card, you get the con tickets! Open them....now!"

Everyone shuffled to get their envelopes opened. Izuku heard the groans from the multitude of people. Evidently none of them got the gold. Hagakure herself gave a sigh as she looked at the blue card in her hands. Taking a breath, Izuku slowly opened his envelope. His eyes widened as he withdrew a gleaming gold card from it.

"FUCK YEAH!" Bakugou laughed as he did the same. 

"Awesome!" Ojiro's eyes widened as his card shined in the afternoon sun. 

"Would the winners of the gold cards please raise em high?" the redhead from earlier called out. The three boys moved forward and held their cards high, trying to make them visible among the sea of women. Thankfully the redhead saw them and pointed them out. "And there they are! What a funny turn of events, all the winners are boys! Would you please come on up?" As the boys made their way through the crowd, the redhead continued, "Like I said, even if you didn't win the con tickets, everyone here still won a prize! Take your tickets to the hobby shop downtown and our people there will sort you out! The winners will be getting some pictures taken among a few other things, so see you all later!" 

The crowd dispersed, with many eyeing the boys jealously. The four UA students stayed behind, feeling a bit giddy at their win. The cosplaying women smiled as they directed the boys to the tent behind them.

"Camera's in there, hon!" the Clannad lady gestured. "Just pose next to the backdrop and make a fun pose!

"Hey uh," Ojiro raised his hand, "since my friend here is gonna be my Guest for these tickets, could she pose with us?" The redhead thought for a bit before smiling and nodding. Hagakure gave a cheerful whoop at this, and the four kids were ushered into the tent. There was indeed a cartoony-looking backdrop for them all, and across from it was an automated camera.

"Pose for the camera, kiddies!" the redhead winked before stepping out of the tent. The four students moved in front of the backdrop and each took a different pose as they waited for the camera to click. And waited. And waited.

"How long we gotta do this?" Bakugou asked through clenched teeth, not wanting to ruin his feral smile. Izuku shrugged...then heard hissing. His head turned to the edges of the tent, and gasped when he saw small tubes poking through under the flaps.

"TRAP!" Izuku screamed. With that word, both boys with Spirits brought them to bear and rushed to the entrance of the tent. To their shock, the flaps wouldn't budge. Just as Izuku was about to direct Cobalt to claw it open, a thick vapor poured from the tubes and filled the tent with an opaque green gas. Being closest to the tubes, Izuku and Bakugou went down quickly. Having stayed in the middle of the tent, the gas didn't quite reach Ojiro and Hagakure before the invisible girl scooped her friend up and covered his face with her hand.
 
"Hold your breath," she whispered while falling to her knees. "Sleeping...gas..." She fell forward, covering Ojiro, who had gone limp in her grasp. A minute or two after the kids passed out, the gas dissipated and the flaps opened, letting the women who organized the event inside.

"That was way too easy," the redhead, Itsuwari, stated. "Kids these days are too gullible."

"Maybe they didn't expect another villain attack so quickly," the Clannad lady shrugged. "We'll get everything taken down here, boss. What should we do with the girl, though?"

"...Bring her, too," Itsuwari directed. "No witnesses." She said this, unaware there was indeed one witness.

As the Kittery Renaissance ladies took down the tent and hauled the unconscious students away, the League Spy watched from across the street and behind a convenient trash can. This was a turn of events she was not expecting in the least. She was here to give Kurogiri the signal to grab the two boys, but it looked like other villains beat them to it. Sensei would need to be told about this. With the Kittery villains distracted, the spy sneaked away. This could prove advantageous...or disastrous. 

***

Inko was getting worried. Izuku said he wouldn't be too late, but school had been out almost an hour and a half by this point. She looked down at her phone as she chopped veggies for dinner that night. He hadn't made any calls or texts that he'd be late. After chopping her current cucumber, she grabbed her phone and sent a quick text to Izuku asking where he was. To her surprise, it was a minute or two before she got a response.

Izu
I'm fine, mom! Just checking something out with Bakugou, won't be too much longer before I'm home!

That just made Inko even more suspicious. Bakugou? Izuku always called him 'Kacchan.' She waited a minute before sending out a very particular text.

Me
Alright, sweetie. Just remember to get some eggs before you come home, alright? I'm making your favorite tonight.

Izu
Sure thing, Mom! Love you lots!

With that response, Inko practically stabbed her knife into the cutting board. That wasn't her son on the other end. Someone else had her son's phone, and likely her son. Now she was mad. Grabbing her phone, she dialed a quick number and held the phone to her ear.

"...Gretal, it's me. Someone has my son."