So Iida was looking for a job. For the last couple of years, he had been filling in as a double for his brother as Ingenium as the latter recuperate with his injuries. But now that his older brother had started to manage on his own, it was really time for Iida to seek another field work as a replacement. After all, as a sixth year student of U.A., he was obligated to do pro hero related work outside of school as a curriculum.
Imagine his surprise when he found out the first person to offer him a job happened to be the Pro Hero most younger heroes look up to; All Might.
“If only I’m able to stay around, I would look after this person myself – but I cannot. Young Iida, I have chosen you for a reason and you are the only one I deem suitable for this work,” was how the video message All Might sent him started. Iida listened from the mini screen inside his hero-car. Despite being only 17, his provisional hero license allowed him to drive cars made for pro heroes. Lucky for him, his family provided him one of the latest type; with all the high specs and the best communication unit, the ability to camouflage into commoner’s car, and to fly for a short distance.
“Your task will be a difficult one, considering how complicated this person’s circumstances are,” The All Might from the video continued, to which Iida paused mid sip of his take out coffee. The car was moving on automatic pilot, and Iida wondered why, among everyone else in U.A., All Might chose him.
“I am offering you a job as a bodyguard to a high profile individual. This job will require you to stay with the client 24/7. I have sent a coordinate of where to pick up the client and a picture. You should hurry there right after you listen to this message and keep a close eye on them until a later time when I could contact you once again”.
Iida almost choked on his coffee. He put the paper cup down onto it’s holder and hurriedly activate the computer on his windshield. The digital map exposed itself on the glass surface. Iida opened the coordinate All Might had sent along and directed the car’s intelligent system to drive there. The car made a sudden U-turn in the middle of the road; enough to get another car behind him honk loudly.
“I’m sorry,” Iida muttered, more to himself than the people outside his car.
“There are three major rules in this job for you, Young Iida. First and foremost, protecting the secrecy of the client’s identity is a priority”.
Iida hummed to himself as he watched the road.
“Second, protect the client at all cost; no matter the challenge, his life is also a priority in this mission”.
Obviously, Iida noted.
“And third,” the All Might on the screen paused, “Make sure you dont kiss the client. Ever”.
Iida actually gaped at the screen. “What?”
“Lets see how long you’d last before breaking those three rules, Young Iida!”
“I am sorry I cannot offer you more details regarding this mission, Young iida; that calls for a better place and time. As pro heroes, we are expected to be able to work under limited instructions; and that, I also expect of you. For now, do note that the client’s safety is important to the world of pro hero as a whole. I trust you with this individual, Young Iida”.
That was how All Might ended his message. While there were many elements of surprise in the instructions, there was no surprise greater than the one Iida found once arriving on the pick up spot.
“Isn’t this...,” Iida watched the gate to a high school from inside his car, “The High School for the Quirkless?”
He checked the car’s computer again for the coordinate All Might had sent. True, this was exactly the spot All Might intended. “But he said this individual is a high profile client,” Iida tapped onto his mini screen again. The pay for this job was exceedingly high. Not only that, All Might even said the client’s safety is important for them; for pro heroes.
But would anyone of such importance mingle in this place where no hero ever born?
One might argue that All Might wanted Iida to pick up a teacher; most teachers here have quirks despite what the school name entails. But the picture All Might sent Iida was of a boy around his own age – and there would be no way he could be a teacher. Iida’s brows met in confusion – could this be a funny prank? No. There’s no way someone as professional as All Might would joke with something like this. “Keep it professional, Tenya,” The teen said to himself. He fixed his collar and paid attenton to the school gate.
The students started pouring out from the school yard. It didn’t take long for Iida to notice the boy in the picture walking out of the gate. Messy dark greenish hair and freckled cheeks were the main signature of his features. He was quite scrawny compared to the rest of the students; especially so compared to Iida. The boy stopped by the main gate and looked around as if waiting for someone. Iida hesitated at first, but slowly approached the boy with his car.
The boy seemed to notice the car somehow. He actually made a move toward the passenger side window and waited for Iida to slid it down. “Midoriya Izuku?” Iida asked once the window was lowered enough for them to see eye to eye. The boy smiled.
“Ah, you’re the guy he asked to pick me up!” Midoriya chimed happily – voice boyish and full of spirit. Without further question, the boy opened the door to the passenger seat and invited himself inside. Iida wondered briefly if All Might was the one that had informed the boy beforehand for the latter to be this relaxed while getting a ride from a stranger. As if noticing Iida’s stare, the boy suddenly turned to Iida in the middle of tightening his seatbelt.
“Oh, sorry; you are?” He questioned with a tilt of the head.
Iida didnt want to seem impolite, but he couldnt helpt but stare at the boy’s uniform up and down. That was exactly the uniform for the highschool of the quirkless. “Iida,” he answered shortly, “Call me Iida.”
“Okay Iida-san. I suppose you know the way to go?” the boy dropped his backpack – a red and blue themed backpack that strangely reminded Iida of All Might’s hero costume – to the car’s floor.
“Yes,” Iida answered; again, very briefly. Iida normally regarded himself as friendly. Yet this time he had no idea how much he should share with this person. This was actually his first time exchanging word with a quirkless for professional reasons. He wasnt saying he had never seen one; surely he had passed by more than one on a daily basis. But in a world where being quirkless is less common, getting close and personal to one make the experience even more peculiar. And he didnt know how much someone who aimed to be a pro hero like himself should say to a quirkless person considering how little a quirkless person may know of their world.
But Midoriya managed to surprise Iida in his next sentence.
“Ah, Toshinori-san has prepared everything then”.
Iida, who was about to move his car, paused. Toshinori-san he said. To Iida’s knowledge, no one outside of U.A. ever said that name. Iida hurriedly turned to the boy again as if to challenge the boy to repeat what he said. Midoriya was in the middle of typing into his mobile. He actually noticed Iida’s strange behavior and hummed a questioning, “Hm?” as a response.
“Nothing,” Iida said. He returned his eyes to the road and started moving the car. Of course, it wasnt his business if this kid – a quirkless one he might add – called All Might by his real name. Iida might be one of All Might’s student, but that didn’t mean he had the right to poke his nose into All Might’s personal life. If All Might somehow had a relationship with this guy, however strange that idea is, so be it.
Keep it professional, Tenya.
The GPS showed their destination is located in a rather elite neighborhood. In the middle of their journey, Iida wondered if the kid was rich or a socialite. Iida wanted to steal a look toward the guy sitting next to him and judge him once again; but the guy had been staring weirdly at Iida from the time they departed from that school.
Their car stopped at the traffic light. Iida swallowed and braced himself to return the boy’s gaze. When he did, the boy straighten up but forced out a trembly smile. Iida took a breath, “Yes?”
“U-um! S-sorry, I didn’t mean to stare!” Midoriya faced the road; but it didn’t take long for his eyes to dart toward Iida again, in which Iida’s own sideway stare greeted his. Midoriya almost jumped from his seat.
“Something the matter?” Iida said finally.
“U-um sorry, I w-was just -!” Midorya sputtered, but then took a long deep breath and said in a calmer manner, “I w-was wondering what Ingenium is d-doing here in Japan?”
“Shouldn’t you be in Russia for a conference?”
Iida robotically turned his head to Midoriya’s way. Disbelief colored his face, “What?”
“I-I-I w-was just wondering because, you know, this morning news said you were in Russia but then here you are and and and...,” Midoriya stuttered. The more he went on, the harder the the facial lines of Iida’s face became. “I-I-I mean -!”
“Who told you about Ingenium?” Iida’s voice turned uncharacteristically low and cold. There were only a few who knew of his role as Ingenium. And the one connection he shared with Midoriya who’d knew of this classified information would be the man behind their meeting today. But could he be spouting this information to Midoriya? All Might had always been professional; he’s the prime example of professionalism in the Pro Hero industry.
Midoriya started flailing his arms everywhere as he shook his head, “N-n-n-no one t-told me!! I w-was just shooting f-for a random g-guess because y-you mo-moved your thumb b-before holding i-into the steering wheel like In-Ingenium does”.
Iida just stared at the guy in disbelief before flicking a look at his own thumb. He never realized that.
“A-and I w-was just entertaining a random theory on the internet although I m-might have participated in that bandwagon by posting my own Ingenium-Body-Double T-Theory b-but I ha-have done nothing more but m-maybe compiling p-pictures o-online of w-why I think I-Ingenium has a b-body double. And and and I c-cant believe I have h-him sitting t-there right b-beside me so I-I t-think I’d t-try shooting the q-question - !!!”.
This time Iida grabbed the boy’s collar, and with a harsher voice he asked, “How do you know that!!?”
“I-I-I-!!!” The boy then proceeded to spout a whole bucket of word vomit, and the further Midoriya went, the more bewildered Iida became. The boy started from explaining how he compared two separate instances where Ingenium acted differently, or how he compared two voice samples from Ingenium. The boy passably managed to read a whole eassy in one breath, and ended it with; “S-s-so I t-thought that m-maybe there are t-two persons b-behind Ingenium. O-o-one of them wis d-definitely i-i-injured, and the o-other is m-more physically fit but he – but he might be le-less experienced”.
Iida’s jaw went slack. Was he that obvious to outsiders? No! Iida had checked numerous the internet numerous and most forums considered the double body theory as a joke. Yet here was Midoriya. The stuff this boy is mumbling about was so close to the truth, if not the truth itself, that its no longer funny.
A couple of car horns could be heard from behind them. Midoriya pointed nevously to the road, “T-the light’s green, Iida-san!”
As though being slapped by his own unprofessionalism, Iida instantly let go of Midoriya’s collar . He quickly returned his attention to the road and drove away. Most cars ahead of him had cleared out of the traffic already, and the cars behind him were honking non-stop.
They took a turn to the right and Iida told himself to say nothing else. He should have kept his cool. The possibilities of getting your hero identity unmasked by strangers are always there. A pro hero should have been able to handle that situation and put on a poker face. Iida had known that; but the fact that someone so unexpected was the one to point out Ingenium’s secret might be why Iida lost his calm.
“So is it true?”
“That you are Ingenium?”
Iida cleared his throat. Say nothing, say nothing –
But he did say something, “Not anymore”.
He shouldnt have said anything; “Because my brother has recuperated and we -,” Iida quickly clamped his mouth shut. What was wrong with him today? That was classified information!
“I see! So it’s true right? Ingenium does have a double!” Midoriya exclaimed enthusiastically. The teen then put a thoughtful look to his face, “Hmm, then the original Ingenium is injured and thats when you came along. The injured theory is true too then. Ah, even though I started believing in the inheritance theory too. Maybe I should have paid attention to –“ Midoriya rambled on.
Iida paid attention to the side profile of this teen. He needed to steer Midoriya’s train of thought away from Ingenium. “I plan to debut as my own hero persona after I graduate”.
“Ah! You’re in a hero school, Iida-san?” Midoriya perked up.
“U.A. Academy, sixth year,” Iida said again. He was waiting for a respond, but was rather surprised Midoriya said nothing. When Iida turned to him to check, the boy looked pale.
“S-sixth year huh?” Midoriya’s smile was trembly. The boy faced the road once again, this time while fiddling with his own fingers, “I-I see. You have two m-more years to go then”.
That’s odd, Iida thought. He was expecting Midoriya to ramble about U.A. Nonetheless it was better than the boy spouting more stuff on Ingenium.
The neighborhood they were going to was on the outskirt part of town. There was still a long way to go. To fill in the sudden silence, Iida turned on the visual radio on his screen. The news was airing. What he didnt expect was for Midoriya to start mumbling non-stop once again on every mention of Pro Hero or Villain on the news.
What is this guy? Iida wondered as he eyed the boy in slight horror, is this his quirk? Does he have a reading quirk? The analyst type?
Iida shook his head. No, schools for the quirkless are very careful of people with quirks nowadays. It was common knowledge that combining students with quirks and students with no quirks could increase the number of bullying. Nowadays they make sure to diagnose students periodically so that no student with quirks could be enrolled in schools for the quirkless. And diagnostic method nowadays are much more advanced that there’s no way a person like this could be in a high school for the quirkless if he does have a quirk.
Midoriya was in the middle of a rant about Mt. Lady – even mentioning her real name a couple of times despite it still being a secret – when Iida finally had enough. The bigger teen changed the channel. Thank God, the next channel seemed to be innocent enough. It was a gossip show. And what do we have? They actually had the clip running in the background of Todoroki and Bakugou speaking on a podium for an award show running. Two girls, the hosts, fawned upon it.
Okay, this should be harmless, Iida thought. Midoriya turned all silent as he pay close attention to the screen.
“Oooh, the King and Prince!!!! They should really get married already!!” Squealed one host. The other host seemed to agree.
“It’s been a while since we last saw King Explosion and Shoto together right??” Said the other host. Well they both did have different gigs, Iida thought. U.A. students started taking on pro hero related field work under supervision in fourth year. Until the seventh year, they would keep on taking jobs while taking less class in U.A. These two had an established career as teen pro hero since before that, and so they both easily scored the most gigs in fourth year until today. Bakugou was mostly sent abroad; Todoroki stayed in Japan most of the time because he had just been crowned the head of Japan’s Youth Hero Organization – in fact, Todoroki is the youngest leader of JYHO in history!
Being a sixth year student himself, Iida had also seen less and less of everyone in his class. The last time he even talked to one of those two boys was on Bakugou’s birthday – and the guy did complain about missing Todoroki on the phone call with Iida.
“We could all agree these two are Japan’s favorite pro hero power couple,” one of the hosts added.
“What are you saying? They are the world’s favorite – King Explosion has that international charm, you know? He goes to America often!”
“I heard those two have been dating since the start of their time in U.A.!”
“Oh, that’s a serious allegation! They were only 11 back then!!” Both hosts exploded in laughter. Iida couldnt help but roll his eyes. Contrary to popular belief both Bakugou (King Explosion) and Todoroki (Shoto) started their relationship on a rough note; both being equally powerful and popular in their first year. Then again, everyone were only eleven back then and had just been scouted from all over Japan to U.A. Aggression and immaturity was kind of to be expected. Until second year, you would see Bakugou and Todoroki sparring together often to the point of fighting in anger and the teachers had to separate them. Iida had gotten between lots of those fights because he was their class rep after all.
Third year was the time Iida was finally able to relax. Around that time, you’d start seeing Bakugou and Todoroki counseling one another in secrecy. And when they do this, no one, not even Bakugou’s best buddy, Kirishima, could get in between them. Coming to the second half of their first semester, Bakugou and Todoroki would be seen walking hand in hand somewhere – it didnt happen often, but it happened too naturally that everyone, despite knowing how they fought a lot in the past, just accepted it.
The second semester of third year was when everyone started questioning – not to the boys’ face, but enough to get everyone in the classroom speculating. Bakugou and Todoroki would start doing sleepovers at eachothers’ room in the dorm and the sight of them cuddling was becoming more often. At the end of their schoolyear, everyone could casually address this new habbit in front of the boys or hinted at the possibility of them dating, and the two would respond accordingly as though the knowledge of their relationship was natural and common.
The rest of the class have referred to the other boy with the term ‘boyfriend’ when talking to one (“Yo, Bakugou, where’s your boyfriend?”) – yet the news of them officially announcing their relationship to the public still surprised their classmates. Probably because everyone was expecting the two to tell the class before telling anyone else. Not that both boys seem to be the most socially adept to consider telling the class officially when everyone in U.A. had already referred to them as a couple.
Iida unconsciously gave out a loud sigh. He then turned to Midoriya. The latter was acting uncharacteristically silent. And here Iida thought Midoriya would start a theory regarding Bakugou and Todoroki’s relationship; those two were extremely famous.
As if noticing Iida’s train of thought, Midoriya turned to Iida. “Yes?” The boy asked goodnaturedly. Iida was caught a little off guard.
“Nothing,” he said. Midoriya turned to the visual radio again.
“Those two looks really good together, dont you think, Iida-san?” Midoriya muttered suddenly.
“Well... yeah, I suppose,” Iida replied while steering the wheel to the left.
“Do you know them?” Midoriya questioned. Iida thought of the right way to answer, but decided it would be harmless to answer honestly.
“We’re in the same class,” he admitted.
“O-oh”. There was a look on Midoriya’s face – a nervous one.
“So this clip is from Asia’s Hero Award right?” one of the hosts said again.
“Yes, the event took place last night in Singapore. King Explosion and Shoto shared the award for Top Youth Inspiration. Their relationship is very inspiring isnt it?”
“Aah, but arent there words of Shoto having a long phone call backstage? Rumor has it he was calling the person endearing names”.
“Really? Is the Third Person Rumor true all along??”
“But this is Shoto, you know? He doesnt strike as someone who’d cheat!”
“If there’s someone who’d cheat, wouldn’t King Explosion be the main suspect?”
“Oh!! He might have a mistress in America!!”
The speculation was going wilder and wilder. Iida could feel the frown on his face growing. It was a rumor; but half of the world seemed to believe that the teen Pro Hero power couple from Japan has a third person between them. No matter that a definitive proof of it everexisted; some people were still covinced either Bakugou or Todoroki cheated; or it was a consentual threesome. Iida himself couldnt see those two as someone who’d cheat. When you’re as busy as they are, it would be hard to keep one relationship going, let alone two.
Then again, it wasn’t like anyone from their class would know for sure either. They have spent their time learning in U.A. since they were mostly 11 and had grown together to be teenagers under the watch and teachings of the best hero in the nation. Iida knew for sure everyone in their class have great relationship with one another. He, for example, was quite close with Todoroki. Yet because of the private and ambitious nature of Bakugou and Todoroki, the relationship between those two stayed somewhat a mystery – an enigma of some sort.
“They really have no idea of the people they’re talking about,” Iida mumbled under his breath.
Midoriya turned to him in an instant, “What did you say, Iida-san?”
Iida somewhat regretted he didnt keep his mouth shut, “Ah, no. It’s nothing”. Silence. “I just think if they really were inspired by these two, they should stop trying to ruin their relationship”. He shouldnt have spoken any of that.
Midoriya looked down at his lap, but lifted his head again. “S-so you dont believe in the rumors, Iida-san”.
Iida took a moment before answering, “I know those two. No third wheel could get in between them”. Iida knew he shouldnt, but he felt glad he had said it. Midoriya swallowed loudly.
“I-I see,” the teen mumbled.
Iida’s car closed in to the gated community where Midoriya lived. Midoriya helped getting them pass the security. The whole neighborhood was located by a valley. Most houses were located a distance away from one another, allowing a wide lawn of grass as their yard. Each house has a strong minimalist modern touch; yet they all somewhat looked humble and homey. Midoriya directed them to one of the houses by the ravine facing the city.
They parked the car right outside the garage. Iida got out of the car first and opened the passenger side door for Midoriya. “Thank you,” the boy said. The shorter teen led them over the green lawn and straight to the front door. He stopped by the stairs and turned to Iida who had been trailing shortly behind.
“Umm, I suppose this is where we separate ways, Iida-san”.
Iida’s brows met as he tilted his head to the right, “Actually, I would like to speak with you first Midoriya-san”. Midoriya looked more fidgety that usual though. Was he trying to hide something?
“U-um, then I’m all ears,” Midoriya didnt move from where he’s standing though. Iida peeked at the door standing behind Midoriya and raised an eyebrow.
“I’d rather have this conversation inside. In case there hearing ears,” Iida said. Not trying to complain, but he didnt strike Midoriya as the type of a person who’d ask a guest to.leave after leading them right into their doorstep.
“I s-see,” Midoriya stuttered. At this point, it was obvious. Midoriya hesitated to invite Iida inside. Iida doesnt like to intrude on one’s privacy, however All.Might’s orders is of more importance. It was critical for Iida to address that to Midoriya as soon as possible.
Midoriya fumbled to find his key inside his bag. Once he did, he turned to the door, inserted the key to the lock and tapped a set of password into keypad next to the door. A small beep greeted them before the door opened. “Come on inside, Iida-san”.
Midoriya went in first in a hurry. He actually switch his footwear to indoor slippers in mere seconds before leaving the foyer and turned to Iida only to say, “Oh, please close the door behind you Iida-san!”
Iida watched the guy dumbly from the spot to take off his shoes. Midoriya was acting weird. “Okay,” he answered, unsure if Midoriya even bothered to wait for it. The door closed with a click and locked itself automatically. Iida then proceeded to take off his shoes at a normal pace.
Once he had the indoor slippers on, Iida stepped onto the sleek wooden floor of the house and walked further into it. Pass the foyer, he could finally see the open space of the whole house. The ground floor was like a studio home, with spaces being divided by artistic partitions or shelves. A short distance to his right was a round shaped line of seats by a vast glass paneled wall facing the city. Iida stopped in his track; fascinated.
“I-Iida-san!” Midoriya appeared out of nowhere, without his school bag, “Um we should... We should talk there!” The boy suggested hurriedly and pushed Iida to another direction. They went to the left , where a short set of stairs lead them to another large seating area by an electronic fire place. Midoriya practically pushed Iida to a spot on the huge L shaped couch.
“S-so what would you like to drink Iida-san? Tea? Coffee? Juice?” Midoriya seemed even more fidgety. Iida fixed his glasses.
“Tea is okay”.
“O-okay! Please wait here – dont go anywhere!” Midoriya smiled and went behind the bookshelf that acted as a partition. Something smelled really fishy, but Iida’s gut instinct told him Midoriya is harmless. Something else told him he should be wary of the house though; not because its dangerous, but because Midoriya was desperately trying to hide something from him.
Iida stood from the couch and walked around the room. He could hear the sound of plattery clinking not far ahead. The open kitchen was close to this space it seemed. “Midoriya-san,” he tried calling while opening a hero magazine laying on the coffee table.
True enough, Midoriya’s response came shortly and loud enough for it to be nearby. “Yes?”
“Do you live with your parents?”
“Um, no,” a pause as another clanking sound could be heard. Iida stopped by the bookshelf and noted the hero themed literature collection. His eyes darted to an All Might figurine standing on one corner of the shelf. He reckoned even near the foyer there was a line of vintage pictures of All Might and a couple of other to pro heroes on the wall. What is this kid? A hero enthusiast? It was rather ironic considering his quirkless status.
It was then Iida noticed a pen holder right next to the figurine. The pen holder was particularly old fashioned in design but very high in quality. Next to the figurine, the object seemed very out of place. Yet now that Iida thought about it, the house, despite basically being a modern western design, had lots of Japanese touches in it. This seating area for example contained a lot of that wooden texture the Japanese are fond of. A couple of contemporary Japanese art were also hanged on the wall in this area – next to a carricature of All Might.
That was rather a weird combination of hobbies.
What kind of a kid could afford living in such a place? Iida pondered as he eyed the vase in the middle of the coffee table. Looked handmade – with such talented hands in pottery too. It seemed somewhat out of place to have that in a house owned by a fifteen year old though.
The only other teen who keep this kind of stuff around would be Iida’s own friend. “Todoroki,” Iida muttered his name with a soft chuckle. Iida then bent slightly to check what was hidden inside the lower shelf of the coffee table. There seemed to be a couple of magazines. Curious, Iida sank his hand inside. He suddenly paused, before slowly pulling out what his hand had grabbed onto.
It was a baseball. And it looked burnt and ripped from one side. “Huh?” Iida mumbled in bewilderment. He put the ball back inside and accidentally pushed something out of the lower shelf of the coffee table. It was a rugby ball – ot what looked like half of it. Again it was burnt and seemed to be ripoed apart violently like someone had explode it.
There was a person he knew in class who would do the same to every sport gear.
Iida quickly stood to his full height, “Ah, sorry, I was looking at your stuff”.
Midoriya had a tray with two mugs of something warm. “Oh, no no! It’s okay. You could check out the comics and magazines we have in there – oh,” Midoriya went silent once he noticed the ripped rugby ball.
“Sorry, I accidentally moved it from its place”.
“Its okay, Iida-san! I even forgot it was there in the first place,” Midoriya put the mugs on top of the coffee table. He then lowered himself next to the desk and took the burnt skin of the rugby ball, “This ball was my... uh, friend’s. Uhm he is very prone to breaking stuff”.
“Yeah, I have a couple of friends coming over sometimes. Oh, but no worries. They wont be around for a while and they’re not around that often,” There’s a wistful look on his face, “We should have thrown this away”.
Though saying that, Midoriya actually returned the burnt rugby ball back inside the lower shelf.
Once seated on the couch and they both had a cup of tea in each hands, it was then their conversation started.
“So something you want to tell me, Iida-san?”
Iida took a sip of his tea then lowered the cup to his lap. The two boys were sitting casually on the couch, with Midoriya sitting crosslegged on it. “Actually, Midoriya-san, I’m not sure if he has informed you, but All Might asked me to act as your bodyguard until an undetermined time”.
Midoriya looked slightly stunned. He then bent down his head as if in thought before looking up at Iida again. “So he did huh. That’s just like Toshinori-san. Geez, why does he never consult me first before making these decisions? All he said was he’s sending someone with your car plate to pick me from school!” The boy groaned, “I apologize, Iida-san but I have to decline your service. I know a lot of people find it necessary to shadow my back, but apparently I can handle looking after myself”.
Iida listened patiently. He didnt fully grasp what Midoriya meant by having someone watching over him constantly – was he really that heavily guarded before? If so what happened now that Iida was finally brought up into this situation?
“I’m sorry Midoriya-san. I cannot follow your request. I am under strict orders from All Might to watch over you”. In fact All Might had sent a huge sum of payment in advance to Iida’s account. And it was rather a high fee for a guard duty.
Midoriya sighed heavily, “Just when I thought I’ll be free on my own too,” he mumbled. Iida eyed the boy intently. Up until this point, he still couldnt figure out what part of Midoriya All Might think is valued enough to be protected. Is Midoriya in a witness protection program? Or is he an important figure? Maybe Midoriya can make something, a drug, a tool, the government might find to be important? Is he maybe the secret love child of someone?
Iida gasped. Could he be -?
“Midoriya-san, All Might has yet to explain much to me the nature of the relationship between you two. Indeed, he seemed very thoughtful of you,” Iida fixed his glasses, “Do you mind telling me what your relationship with All Might is?”
Midoriya blanched visibly, “Uh I-I-I, W-we uhh,” he sputtered but then took a deep breath, “I-its uh, o-our relationship is-is... it’s purely professional”.
Iida kept a straight face meanwhile thinking the boy seemed too close to All Might for it to be professional. No professionalism would allow anyone to call All Might casually by his real name.
“Professional,” Iida repeated.
Iida closed his eyes: fine. The way this was going, Iida noted that he couldnt achieve the information he needed regarding All Might’s intent through this person. “I understand”.
“Y-you do? That’s great!” Midoriya smiled – too trustful for his own good. The green haired teen then stood up from his seat; one foot on the floor and a knee on still on the couch, “I suppose I cant exactly say no when it comes to Toshinori-san’s wishes. It’s only for seven days anyway”.
“... as I said, Midoriya-san, the end date for my work has yet to be determined”.
“Toshinari-san is away to Singapore for the award event until the weekend, isnt it? That means he’ll be here by the end of the week,” Midoriya scratched the back of his head. Casually he said, “If he’s here, he’d watch over me himself by then”.
To be this confident to have All Might wanting to guard you full time would be something. Midoriya forced a smile, “Then I take it that we’ll be seeing each other every morning from tomorrow”.
If Midoriya was implying Iida would spend the night somewhere else, he’d be wrong. “Actually, Midoriya-san, I am inclined to believe it’s expected of me to spend the night here,” Iida notified calmly. Midoriya’s eyes went comically wide.
“H-huh? Y-you?” A finger was pointed at Iida robotically before Midoriya pointed down as though pointing at the house, “H-HERE?”
“SPEND THE NIGHT??”
Iida stared at Midoriya for a moment before answering, “Yes”.
“H-How about your clothes???”
“That,” Iida started, “I’m always on alert for a sudden mission or unexpected situations. So I’ve had spare clothes prepared in my car just in case”.
“I-I-I -!!!” Midoriya flailed his arms crazily before his voice sank into another low mumbling episodd. This time his voice was far too low and the words poured out too fast for Iida to understand a single word he’s saying. At one point Iida could hear , “B-but h-h-h-he’s going to be s-s-so maddd and-and-and he’s going to kill me and-and throw me into the d-deep ocean –“
“Midoriya-san, I dont mind sleeping on the couch,” Iida stated rather monotonously. Midoriya stopped whatever ramble he was doing and gaped at Iida.
“Nononono Iida-san!! You should... Ah! I know! You should sleep in my room instead!” Midoriya looked happy at his own idea, “I can sleep in one of the other rooms! Yes, that’s a brilliant idea!”
Midoriya left the couch and put down his mug onto the coffee table, “But you should wait here for a moment. I have to tidy up before hand,” Midoriya looked nervously toward the second floor, “Yeah, I’ll tidy up my room first. You stay here”. The boy left in an instant, but nort before turning toward Iida one last time, “Dont go anywhere”.
Iida’s brows furrowed.
Something strange is up.
Iida had just finished his second magazine while waiting for Midoriya and he had found plenty of small notes on pages of them. The thing was, Iida had noted how the handwritings changed from time to time. Sometimes Midoriya writes in huge, bold aggressive letters that would criticize an article with foul words. Some notes were very factual yet intricate, with tiny yet packed letters as if he was trying hard to write everything he knew into the small space. And in rarer time, he writes in precise, swift, and elegant letters – and it somehow reminded Iida of his close friend Todoroki.
But Iida was done making mental notes about every single unnecessary details. Midoriya sure had taken his time. It was almost dark outside, and Iida thought it was rather rude of him to not only intrude upon Midoriya’s life but also let the guy clean up for Iida on his own.
So Iida left the couch and trailed toward wherever Midoriya maybe. In no time at all he arrived in the hallway upstairs. He reckoned by the rectangular shaped spots on the wall that there were wall decorations just being taken down. In fact, some framed pictures were turned around so that the picture was facing the wall. At this point, Iida couldnt understand Midoriya’s way of thinking. Maybe the boy was the ultimate hero otaku and he was too ashamed to show some of his collections to a future pro hero.
But really after the display of All Might’s pictures allover the foyer, wasn’t it far too late to hide anything?
“Midoriya-san?” Iida called out as he scoured further into the hallway. There were three doors leading to another room. The door closest to him was slightly opened and Iida peeked inside to see if Midoriya was there, “Midoriya-san, let me help you tidy up –“
The room was quite large; with huge glass panels facing the balcony. The whole architecture was that of a modern Japanese aesthetic; large low bed, shoji screens, and wooden ceiling. A pile of picture frames was laid on top of the dark blue satin sheet of the bed. It took no genius to figure out those were the pictures that had been taken from the walls. Iida wondered if Midoriya was here, trying to hide his geeky stash.
“Midoriya-san?” He called again, this time stepping inside. No answer. Iida almost hit a low display cabinet as he walked inside and that cabinet instantly stole his attention. On the display cabinet was a few thropies and medals. One particular trophy looked like a famous one in Japan. It seemed to be the replica of the JYHO’s Best Newcomer Award trophy. Iida took it in his hands and weighed it. “Wow,” he huffed. It was quite heavy, seemed to be a high quality replica. He had seen the real one when Todoroki became an awardee last year. It was very resemblant to this one. In fact, on the display cabinet was also the second place medal for U.A. Sport Festival. They were even signed with the years Todoroki was given these awards.
Huh, seemed like Midoriya was also a huge Shoto fan.
Iida fixed his glasses and approached the bed. Honestly, Midoriya was beyond help at this point, not that Iida have any say about it. Whether you want to obsess over pro heroes to the point of being creepy or you are simply apathetic toward them; it was your right to do so. Still, Iida wondered how All Might felt having a fan like this as an associate.
All picture frames on top of the bed were laid facing down. Iida absently took one frame and checked which pro hero’s picture was in it. It was then his whole figure froze.
It was a picture of Midoriya with someone holding him from behind in what seemed like an intimate manner. The thing was, Iida knew the person behind Midoriya too well.
From the hair to the rare show of a smile; there was no mistaking it; it was Todoroki.
A million thoughts struck the back of Iida’s head. Chills ran through Iida’s spine and he suddenly felt the urgency to quickly leave the room. When he was about to turn toward the exit, he caught the sight of a walk-in closet behind a shoji sliding screen. There, a costume – a hero costume – was put on display on a mannequin. It was Shoto’s initial costume before it reached its current design the public had known and loved now. And no one outside of U.A. should have known what this costume looked like.
Iida gulped. What’s this costume doing here? Is this the work of a crazed super fan or –
Iida glanced nervously at the line of trophies he just saw.
- Or the owner of said costume himself?
Iida told himself it was crucial to leave the room. True enough, he could hear someone trying to open the door of a neighboring room; maybe Midoriya. In a flash, Iida hurried to the corridor and feigned walking from the stairs. So when Midoriya finally got out from the door at the end of the hallway, it seemed as though Iida had just arrived.
“Iida-san!” Midoriya exclaimed – clearly surprised.
“Midoriya-san. I was checking if I can help you with anything”.
“No worries! I had just finished tidying up my room. You can use it right now!” Midoriya said. Iida turned awkwardly toward the other two doors on his right in the hallway.
“And these two ...”
“Those!” Midoriya hurried toward Iida’s side, as if to guard the two doors from Iida, “My friends, they... have sleepovers sometimes and these are where they usually sleep in. But these rooms are under reconstructions, you see? They are off-limits, I’m sorry”.
Iida hummed, “It would be rude for a guest like myself to stay in the better room while the home owner sleep in the ones under reconstruction”.
“Ah n-no! Its totally okay! I’m okay with it. S’not just that, I’m used to sleeping in one of these rooms anyway, so it’s fine!” Midoriya insisted jumpily.
“I see,” Iida replied silently. He then turned to Midoriya and bowed, “Thank you for your assistance. I’ll be in your care from now on!”
“P-please dont bow I-Iida-san! M-me too!” Midoriya himself quickly posed a bow himself, “I-I’ll be in your care too!”
After bowing numerous times, Midoriya finally told Iida to freely used his room and to use the free space in his closet. He also apologized beforehand for any possible discomfort his room may cause in the future. Honestly those were the least of Iida’s worries. In fact, he wasnt even blinded by the overly yellow hue that came from numerous All Might figurines and posters inside Midoriya's room. Once he closed the door behind him, Iida slid to the floor in disbelief.
From the old-fashioned Japanese furniture to the room to the trophies and to the picture; there was no denying it. Todoroki had been here; maybe numerous times. “Shit!” Iida rarely cursed, but when he did it was for such urgency, “What have you been doing Todoroki? Bakugou will absolutely kill you for this!”
The gossip show from the radio earlier that day kept playing inside Iida’s head – especially on the topic of the teen pro hero Shoto being caught having long phone calls backstage. From the rumors of a third person in his relationship with Bakugou, to the allegation of cheating; Iida wondered if this was why Midoriya needed to be protected. Bakugou Katsuki would kill for anyone who dared to steal Todoroki from him.
Because Midoriya... Midoriya might be.
The person Todoroki Shoto had an affair with.
Just in case you missed it, yes, Iida misunderstood. So do not worry. This whole story will be all about Iida misunderstanding stuff.