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The Mystery of Student No.18

Chapter Text

“A vlog?” Sero grimaced.

“That’s just sad, Kaminari,” Jiro interjected.

“Oh, come on!” Kaminari exclaimed, leaping out of his seat, eager to give them his reasoning. “I think it would be awesome! Just think about it – in the future most of us are going to be pro heroes –”

“– or half-witted side-kicks,” Jiro smirked.

“– and maybe they’ll be super famous! Think about what it would be like, looking back and seeing what we got up to when we were at UA!” he finished, ignoring Jiro’s snarky comments. He hadn’t even involved her in the conversation to begin with! I mean, come on!

“Kaminari!” Iida exclaimed.

Oh boy, here we go…

“Publishing videos of life within UA walls would be unacceptable considering the privacy of our teachers and fellow pupils! It is important that our school remains dignified and further more that –”

“– Relax, Iida!” Mina interrupted, expertly swooping in to save Kaminari. “He doesn’t have to publish them online. We could store them up and release them when we’re pro heroes!”

“Hey, that actually sounds super cool!” Kirishima joined in. “Imagine what the reactions would be like? The famous class 1-A – before we became heroes.”

“You guys realise that we’re not actually heroes yet, right?” Sero pointed out.

“Don’t spoil my fun, Sero!” Kaminari exclaimed. “Anyway, we can delete them later on for whatever reason if we want.”

“So... what do ya say?!” Mina asked Iida excitably.

Iida contemplated this for a moment, the light shining off his glasses in a weirdly studious way as he thought. “Yes, I don’t see why not – it could be an excellent way of advertising our in-class dynamics and studious life style during our time at UA! Moreover, we could look back at the videos and learn from –”

“– oh, oh! We could do one video on each class member!” Uraraka suggested eagerly, bouncing up and down. “Wouldn’t that be cool?”

“As student numéro un, I would be honoured to be your rising star!” Aoyama grinned brilliantly.

“Well, if we’re going to do it that way, we might as well do it in number order to make it as fair as possible,” Yaoyorozu agreed.

Kaminari shot excitable glances between his classmates, not actually believing that they were agreeing with his idea!

“Ooh! What number does that make me?!” Hagakure asked eagerly. “Will my video be soon?!”

“Don’t you know your own student number?” Jiro responded, “You’re seat 16, so that must be your number too.”

16?! But that’s ages away!” the invisible girl moaned, the sleeves of her uniform flapping around in obvious irritation.

“Woohoo! That means I’m second!” Mina suddenly realised. Man, the girls really were into this idea!

“We’ll have to do them all more than once though,” Tokoyami acknowledged, who was perched on top of his desk and listening in from across the classroom. Iida had given up on telling him off from doing that. “We are likely to change as the years progress.”

“Yeah, but that makes it fun to, like, compare them and stuff – like what Iida said!” Uraraka pointed out.

“You don’t mind being number 20, do you Momo?” questioned Tsu.

“Not at all,” Yaoyorozu replied quickly. “By that time the process would be more proficient anyway.”

The conversation continued for some time, with most of the class swapping ideas and suggestions eagerly. That was until Tsu hopped into the centre of their circle to bring to their attention something very interesting.

“Momo, why are you number 20 if there are only 19 of us?”

There was a sudden silence as a joint confusion washed over the class.

“Oh yeah…” said Mina. “That is a little weird. Which number’s missing?”

“Well, the desk behind Bakugo’s empty – but I thought that was just because no one wanted to sit next to him,” Kaminari replied.

“WHAT DID YOU SAY, BASTARD?!” was the explosive retort.

They ignored him.

“Bakugo’s number 17 – which makes the missing guy number 18, right?” Kirishima concluded.

“Or girl,” said Jiro.

“Or girl,” Kirishima quickly agreed.

“But we haven't really been at school for very long yet. Perhaps it’s just a mistake, or someone hasn't been able to arrive yet, ribbit,” said Tsu.

“Maybe Mr Aizawa doesn’t like the number 18?” Hagakure suggested.

“I could imagine that being Midnight’s fault,” Mina giggled.

“Well then,” Kaminari interjected, pulling out his phone and turning on the front facing camera, “looks like we’ve got the topic of our first video…”

He clicked play and zoomed in on the back of Bakugo’s head, or maybe just the empty chair that was collecting dust behind him – it wasn’t very clear.

“The mystery of student number 18!”

Chapter Text

Midoriya can’t help but feel lucky.

He had a Quirk – and not just any Quirk – it’s All Might’s! The best hero out there! And now, he’s passed the UA entrance exam. Soon, he’ll be going to the greatest hero course in all of Japan! It just feels too good to be true!

Of course, there are some downsides to all this. Midoriya didn’t actually score a single attack point in the exam, getting in purely on the rescue points he got from that nice girl with the gravity Quirk. Then he really needed to get a grip on One for All – preventing the shattering bones thing would be nice.

Oh yeah, and now he has to face the fact that everyone in his current school things he’s Quirkless…

…and the exam results have just rolled in.

“Ok, ok, listen up,” the teacher started in his usual, dreary tone. No one started listening, but despite this, he carried on. “For those going to schools with entrance exams, I have the results back now.”

That managed to make most people shut up.

Midoriya felt himself sweating. He was scribbling in his notebook, trying to ignore the fact that his teacher was probably leaving the UA results until last for some sort of dramatic suspense. Of course, Kacchan wasn’t at all worried. The school already mailed the results to their homes, so he knew that he passed. Well, Midoriya didn’t know for sure, but it was pretty obvious at this point.

People kept glancing at Kacchan, eying up his confident snarl and the relaxed way that he tilted back on his chair, feet up on the desk. He knew the school wouldn’t touch him. It never had – he was their prized pupil. They wouldn’t give him detention for something as trivial as putting his dirty shoes on the desk or blatantly bullying someone or telling them to commit suicide or whatever.

Midoriya just let these bitter thoughts circle around his mind as he analysed a recent villain attack on his phone. He didn’t care if he got caught at this point, it’s not like anyone was paying him much attention. Anyway, this attack was very intriguing. The heroes seemed to have caught some sort of, well, it wasn’t very clear, a hideout? Somewhere in a rundown apartment block not far from school. They had the area barricaded off but a large crowd was gathering. The villains had the entire population of the building as their hostages in a kind of reflex move once they were caught. One had a fire Quirk and another seemed to be slowly destabilising the building. School would be finishing any minute now. As soon as it did, Midoriya had plans on running to the site to see the events unfold in person.

“And finally, UA has emailed us the results for Katsuki Bakugo and Izuku Midoriya.”

Oh no, here it comes

He could hear people around him start to snigger and point in his direction. The way Midoriya held his head down, obviously avoiding their stares, did seem to indicate that he wasn’t exactly happy with the results he’d already received.

Midoriya felt himself brace for an explosion – literally and metaphorically. Kacchan’s reaction was bound to be… well yeah, explosive.

“Congratulations, Bakugo, first place in the entrance exam,” the teacher said, obviously impressed but not too surprised.

The attention was drawn away from Midoriya for a moment as his classmates basked in the glory that was Kacchan – who held his head high, arms crossed and a proud smile etching across his face. They threw compliments at him and a couple of the girls even asked for his autograph for when he’s a pro hero.

“And then finally, we have Midoriya.”

And the attention’s back.

Quirkless Deku – useless, pointless – pitiful Deku.

The teacher paused, eyes narrowing and scrolling up and down on his computer frantically – like he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

“… Seventh place.”

The whispers stopped.

Midoriya didn’t look up. He focused on his phone and continued writing notes, but his hands were shaking, knees trembling.

Kacchan’s head turned slowly, red eyes meeting green.

That was when the bell rang for the last day of school.

Midoriya packed away his things as quick as lightning, shoved his phone in his pocket and ran out the door before another word could be said. He didn’t stop running until school was well out of sight. He had purposely headed in the opposite direction to home. He really didn’t feel like bumping into Kacchan anytime soon.

Wait, what was he so afraid of? He had a Quirk now! He could defend himself, right? He was going to UA – he would be a hero! And heroes don’t shrink in the presence of bullies, don’t tremble at the very thought of them – no – he had to be stronger, braver.

But… not right now.

Right now, there’s a villain attack up ahead of them, and things seemed to be escalating.

The villains were in chains, being hauled into police cars, but the building ahead of them was on fire – rescue heroes pulled people from windows and others treated those covered in burns or who had inhaled too much smoke. Moreover, the building itself seemed to be falling apart, disintegrating whilst these thoughts buzzed around Midoriya’s mind as he joined the back of the forming crowd. It wasn’t exactly a safe place to be. The police seemed to be trying to push people back and away from the danger.

Midoriya was standing on the pavement. He could feel the heat being radiated off the collapsing building. This wasn’t like any villain attack he’d ever witnessed – maybe this time it was best that he back off…

He was going to do just that when he heard a scream.

He looked up at the building beside him, next door to the raging fire. It looked almost completely evacuated – almost.

Through a window a few stories up, Midoriya spied a young girl, clutching a bear under one arm, tears streaming down her face. But her screams were drowned out by the sound of the apartment block next door cracking and splinting. Midoriya watched on in horror as the taller building began to tilt dangerously towards the one that this little girl probably called home.

His legs move before he had a chance to think.

One for All coursed through him as he leapt into the sky, not thinking of the consequences in store. The force of his jump sent him crashing through the window and rolling to the girl’s side, who stood frozen in shock.

Midoriya was about to pick her up, run towards the window and to safety, but the shooting pain in his legs told him otherwise.

As the walls began to buckle in towards them and the ceiling creaked and groaned, Midoriya could do nothing but wrap his arms around the girl and be her shield as the world came tumbling down.

 


 

“– I can’t thank you enough,” were the first words Midoriya heard.

“How could UA exclude someone who was put into this horrible situation because of a heroic act?” said a squeaky voice. Midoriya didn’t recognise it, but the shaking, emotion-filled voice of the first person was definitely familiar.

“And the money to keep the life-support on… Is there a way that I can repay you?” his mother continued.

“Mum?” Midoriya tried to say, but the words couldn’t come out of his mouth. He tried to open his eyes, to see her tired, sobbing face, but his eyelids felt so heavy… heavier than All Might sitting on top of a fridge – and he knew first hand how heavy that was.

“Now, now, Mrs Midoriya,” continued the squeaky voice. “Seeing your son awake and healthy would be more than enough.”

“But I am awake! Please, please don’t cry I’m right here!”

But his mother kept crying, big, hysterical sobs filled his ears. More than anything, Midoriya wanted to give her a big hug, but his arms wouldn’t move… nothing would.

Midoriya couldn’t flinch when he felt his mother’s warm hand on his own. It had surprised him, but it was kind and gentle. He wanted to cry. He didn’t understand where he was or how he got there or what he had done to make her so upset!

“I am a firm believer that Izuku can hear us,” said the other voice.

Yes, yes! I can!”

“Talk to him, tell him everything that happened. We have the best comatose doctors available. We’ll have him up and ready for school as soon as possible.”

“C-Comatose…?”

“Of course, thank you, thank you, principle Nedzu!” Inko sobbed.

Principle Nedzu? From UA?!”

He heard the door swing closed as his mother sniffled loudly, her hand clenching his own tightly.

“Hang in there, Izuku.”

Chapter Text

No one touched seat 18 – the other members of class 1-A would literally forbid it. Yet, sometimes, when no one was looking, the chair moved. Ever so slightly, barely noticeably, it creaked back enough to permit someone to sit in it. Iida, ever responsible, would always tuck it back under the empty desk, but it never stayed like that for long. Because, little did they know, but someone was sitting by that desk.

Student 18 had been attending UA all along.

 


 

Midoriya had been trapped in his body for only a few days after he woke up. Desperate to move, he tried to activate his Quirk. He knew it was dangerous, which was why he’d been delaying his attempt – he didn’t want to accidently damage the hospital in the process.

But, to his surprise, instead of forcing his body to move, One for All did something entirely different.

Midoriya remembers seeing a tunnel of brilliant lights. He remembers feeling hands reaching out for him, pushing him up from his seat and back towards reality, out of the darkness and into the light. When he opened his eyes, his body didn’t feel so heavy anymore. Everything felt so light, like he was made of cloud.

“Morning, Izuku!” It was his mum.

Midoriya tilted his head and broke into a brilliant smile, “Mum!” he exclaimed. He leapt off his bed and ran towards Inko, opening his arms to pull her into a tight embrace.

But Midoriya ran straight through her.

His smile faded. He looked down at his hands. They were almost transparent, tinted luminescent green. Midoriya turned and looked back at his mother.

She shivered like a draft of cold air had blown passed her. “Does it feel a little cold in here, Izuku? Should I asked someone to turn the heating up?”

Midoriya clasped his hands over his mouth. He hadn’t moved at all.

His body lay motionless on his hospital bed, covered in wires and an oxygen mask.

“Oh, never mind. It must have just been a little draft I brought in with me,” she said sadly, sitting down on the chair beside his bed.

Mum?” Midoriya called walking over to her and his body. “C-Can you hear me?”

“UA started yesterday,” she continued.

“I-It did?”

“Apparently Katsuki wouldn’t talk about it, but he seemed a little happier than usual – less grumpy perhaps.”

“But… that means – did I lose my place? No… no, Nedzu said he’d reserve it for me the other day! Maybe he knows about One for All – oh no, All Might! What am I going to do? I’ve let him down! He gave me his power but now… Now how am I ever going to be able to live up to it?!”

“When you wake up, I’m sure you’ll make plenty of friends! Wouldn’t that be nice?”

But I am awake!”

But no matter how hard Midoriya yelled, screamed, even, his mother wouldn’t hear him.

He glanced at the clock – school must have just started. Then, at the closed door to his room. He wandered over to it – practically floating, but his hand passed straight through the doorknob. Looking back at his mother and body one last time, Midoriya held his breath and walked straight through the door.

 


 

“Kaminari, I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“So, the one who makes Bakugo blow up the most gets the most points?” asked Sero.

“Yeah!” Kaminari replied, filming the entire discussion.

You’re just going to get yourselves killed! Not to be hypocritical - But do you have a death wish?!” Midoriya exclaimed, waving his arms about and disturbing the dust on desk 18. But, of course, no one could hear him.

“Do you have a death wish or something?” said Jiro.

Exactly! Thank you, Jiro.”

“Oh, come on, it’ll be hilarious!” Kaminari insisted.

“I have an important question!” Uraraka exclaimed, raising her hand eagerly. “What does the winner get?!”

I’m still against this.”

“Um, you said you liked mochi, right?” he suggested.

“YES! I will win this!”

“I like your enthusiasm!”

I don’t!”

In that moment, Kacchan stormed in, grinding his teeth and mumbling about something as he looked at his phone and threw his bag on his table.

He froze and narrowed his eyes when he saw everyone staring at him. “What do you extras want?”

Well, nice knowing you!”

“You look touchy this morning, Bakugo,” Mina pointed out.

“Huh?!”

This isn’t going to end well…”

“Alright, quite down, homeroom class is starting,” Mr Aizawa announced as he ambled into the room.

Thank goodness for that…”

“Today’s training will be a little different,” Aizawa began. He held out a blue card that read the words:

RESCUE

The students around Midoriya muttered excitably about what would be in store, and Midoriya could hear Iida wondering aloud about his new class representative responsibilities.

“This special training is at an off-campus facility, so we’ll be taking a bus to get there,” he explained. “That’s all, start getting ready.”

Fifteen minutes later, and all hell had already broken loose.

“STOP! Mr Aizawa – you’re fighting style isn’t suited for this!” Midoriya exclaimed. But no one could hear him.

No one could ever hear him.

“Thirteen – protect the students!”

Midoriya gritted his teeth and followed Mr Aizawa into battle. He knew he couldn’t do anything, but it wasn’t like he could get hurt…

…Unfortunately, Aizawa could.

All Midoriya could do was watch on in horror as his friends were scattered and fought desperately for their lives – as Mr Aizawa was crushed beneath the force that was Nomu.

All Might arrived just in time.

But Midoriya knew the truth – as he battled the Nomu, he could see the steam rising off his body. He had reached his limit. But of course, that wouldn’t stop him. He defeated the creature in an incredible display of power.

And all Midoriya could do was watch.

But when that disintegration guy charged at his mentor, who could barely lift his shaking fist.

He couldn’t just stand there and do nothing.

No one ever found the answer behind that great flash of green light that tossed the villain across the USJ – of that blurry figure that appeared out of nowhere.

Midoriya did not wake for days after that.

 


 

“Hello, Young Midoriya.”

“All Might! You’re ok!” Midoriya exclaimed, leaping out of his body as soon as he heard the voice. Granted, he probably shouldn’t have – all this jumping in and out of his body made his head hurt so much when he was forced to return to it.

“I’m sorry I haven’t had the time to visit you recently, but I’m sure your mother has already told you all about the events of the USJ.”

I wouldn’t know – I only just woke up! But, I mean I was there anyway, so it’s not like it matters.”

“I decreased my time limit again with that attack.”

“…No way.”

“I don’t know how much longer I have left as the world’s symbol of peace.”

“Don’t say that! You’re All Might! You can do it, I know you can!”

“I’m sure that you would be telling me to not beat myself down if you were here.”

I sure am!”

“It’s such a shame… The Sports Festival is about to begin, but you won’t be able to attend.”

I’m so sorry All Might… I really am – this is all my fault.”

Midoriya stared down at his frail, lifeless body, and at All Might’s skeletal form that leaned over it.

I’m trying, I really am – but I can’t move! At least One for All lets me leave… It’s super weird! I’ll tell you all about it when I can. I promise.”

He couldn’t bear to see him looking like that, so sad – so alone.

I will find a way to fix this, All Might – I promise.”

Chapter Text

Kaminari filmed as Uraraka helped float a new table and chair into class 1-A, setting it up at the back of the classroom as the other four tables in the row were rearranged to accommodate it.

“And here we witness the grand arrival of the purple pineapple,” Kaminari sniggered as he zoomed in on Shinsou’s emotionless face.

“Who are you again?” he asked.

Kaminari flinched, before quickly introducing himself, “Kaminari, at your service!”

“The guy with the electric Quirk who got owned in the Sports Festival,” Jiro explained.

“Hey! You didn’t even make it to the tournament round!”

“No arguing, everybody!” Iida exclaimed, “We have a new member of our group and give a good example to –”

“It’s a bit too late for that, Iida,” Uraraka interrupted. “Shinsou already knows us all from the Sports Festival!”

“You guys are missing something super important!” said Kaminari suddenly. “Shinsou is student number 21!”

“So…?” said Shinsou.

Gasp! You don’t know about the legend!” Mina replied, spinning around in her chair expertly.

“The… legend?”

“Of student number 18!” Kirishima explained, pointing at the empty desk behind Bakugo.

“Why… don’t I have that desk?” Shinsou questioned with a frown.

Exactly,” Kaminari smiled.

“I still think there’s another invisible person who doesn’t like talking!” Hagakure interjected, repeating her favourite theory once more.

“Yes, but then Mr Aizawa would put work on their desk at the very least,” Todoroki acknowledged. Was Todoroki actually interested in this stuff?! He publicly announced that he didn’t want to make friends with any of them at the Sports Festival, so what was with that?

“Ooo! It must be a real mystery if even Todoroki is intrigued!” Mina exclaimed.

“Hm,” he said as he turned back to his phone, not paying much attention to them anymore.

Shinsou still looked very confused. “So… did someone get expelled or –”

“Nope! They just never turned up for school!” Uraraka replied. She and Shinsou had been on the same team for the cavalry battle. He had brainwashed her at first, but when she accidently woke up, she started helping Shinsou to the best of her abilities, even though he forced her to be on his team in the first place. Consequently, she had become his only friend in his new class, and really all of UA. The students of 1-C didn’t really get along with him either.

“We have attempted talking to Mr Aizawa about the situation, but it is evident that it is a matter not concerning us,” Iida continued, karate-chopping the air as he spoke.

“Which is why we’re so curious!” Hagakaure interjected.

“Would you just leave it?” Bakugo snapped, “It doesn’t freaking matter anyway.”

“To you maybe,” Kaminari frowned. “Why do you get so worked up about it anyway? Do you know something we don’t?” he asked, turning his camera to the explosive teen.

“Shut up, Dunce Face.”

Shinsou smirked at the insult. “Do you even know your classmates’ real names?”

“Not really – he’s pretty self-centred,” Sero explained.

“SAY THAT AGAIN, ELBOWS – I DARE YOU!”

“You’re self-centred,” said Shinsou.

“ALL RIGHT YOU’RE –”

He froze, eyes blank and lifeless.

“Just put your head on the table and shut up,” Shinsou ordered.

And Bakugo did just that.

“That was awesome,” Kirishima smirked, but Shinsou saw his smile waver as he said it.

Shinsou ignored him as he sat down on his new seat, “Thank you, Uraraka.”

“No prob!” she exclaimed and skipped across the classroom to her own seat.

“Sit down, everyone! Homeroom class is about to begin!” Iida announced.

“Err, we’re all sitting,” Kaminari pointed out.

“Yeah, you’re the only one standing!” Kirishima added.

Kaminari smiled. Like most of his classmates, he had noticed something wasn’t quite right with Iida ever since he disappeared from the Sports Festival for some sort of family emergency, but at least he was starting to act like himself again.

“Shut up, all of you,” said Aizawa and he moped into the room, mug of coffee in hand. “Bakugo, what are you doing?”

Shinsou broke his hold of him immediately and Bakugo’s head snapped up, “– DEAD, EYEBAGS!”

Everyone stared at him.

“I’m just going to pretend that didn’t just happen,” Aizawa said tiredly. “On another note, I hope everyone’s welcomed Shinsou to the hero course.”

Shinsou nodded as the rest of the class turned their gaze on him.

“Good. Kaminari, put your phone away.”

“But sir, I have a question!” he retorted.

“Make it quick.”

“Uh, why didn’t Shinsou just take that seat?” Kaminari questioned, pointing at seat 18.

“Because that’s not his seat.”

“Then who’s is it?”

“Not his.”

“But –”

“– Put your phone away before I confiscate it.”

Kaminari sighed and turned off his phone grudgingly.

“Right, today we will be looking at the results of the Sports Festival and internships. Here are your offers…”

He clicked a button and the offers lit up on the board behind him.

They spent the rest of the lesson comparing results and talking about internships. But before they could leave and continue with their day, Aizawa held Iida back.

“Iida, there is a duty as class representative that I would like you to attend to this evening.”

“O-Of course. What is it may I ask?”

“I’ll tell you later. Meet me here after school.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Think it’s to do with student 18?” Kaminari asked eagerly as they left the classroom, shivering slightly in a draft of cold air.

“Will you shut up about that, you idiot?!” Bakugo exclaimed.

Little did they know, but for once, he was absolutely right.

Chapter Text

“Kaminari, put your phone away.”

“But sir, I have a question!” Kaminari exclaimed.

“Make it quick.”

“Uh, why didn’t Shinsou just take that seat?” Kaminari questioned. He pointed right at Midoriya, who just blinked and stared back.

“Because that’s not his seat.”

“Then who’s is it?”

“Not his.”

“But –”

“– Put your phone away before I confiscate it.”

Midoriya looked glumly at his feet as Kaminari stopped filming. Being a ghost could be so lonely sometimes – well, all the time really. Although, he could swear there were others. He saw them from time to time – they followed him but tried to stay out of sight. Midoriya didn’t understand why ghosts felt the need to feel shy, but respected their hesitancy anyway and left them alone, hoping that they would approach him on their own one day.

Midoriya didn’t really pay attention to that homeroom class. It was all about internships and, considering no one actually saw him take part in the Sports Festival, he very obviously had none.

“Iida, there is a duty as class representative that I would like you to attend to this evening.”

Midoriya perked up in interest, he couldn’t think of anything Mr Aizawa could want Iida to do off the top of his head…

“O-Of course. What is it may I ask?” Iida replied, voicing Midoriya’s questions.

“I’ll tell you later. Meet me here after school.”

“Yes, sir.”

Midoriya had half the mind of hovering around his teacher to see if he could find out what this mystery request would be, but then got distracted by Kaminari, who walked right through him, shivered, then said, “Think it’s to do with student 18?”

“Will you shut up about that, you idiot?!” Kacchan yelled back at him.

“Huh… Do you really think so? But why would Mr Aizawa want to talk to Iida about me? Maybe it’s to stop you from being so curious about it all…” Midoriya muttered, not bothering to keep his thoughts inside his head. It wasn’t like anyone could hear him anyway.

So, that afternoon, Midoriya followed Iida up the stairs and back into class 1-A, where Aizawa sat, face down on his desk. He lifted his head to the noise of Iida entering.

“Sir! I am here for your class representative duty that you mentioned this morning!” he announced eagerly, doing his chopping the air thing in the process.

“Yeah, I got it, sit down,” Mr Aizawa instructed.

Iida perched on the seat directly in front of the teacher’s desk and Midoriya floated by expectantly.

“What do you know of these videos Kaminari seems to be doing?” Aizawa questioned.

“Ah, you’re worried he’s posting them online after that USJ incident, aren’t you?” Midoriya realised.

“He is keeping a video diary of sorts of our class’s time at UA. I have already insisted that he does not post them online until a much later date!”

“Good,” Aizawa responded drearily.

“Is that all you wished to ask of me?”

“No, actually, he and the rest of the class also seem to be very interested in this, student 18.”

“Huh?! Wait, this is actually about me?!”

“Well, it is an intriguing mystery. It would be understandable if the student in question pulled out of UA for one reason or another, however Shinsou has now joined our number but has not taken the obviously empty desk.”

“Yeah, I get that it’s confusing.”

Are you going to tell him about me?! Please – please – come on I hate everyone being left in the dark like this!”

“Might I ask why they are absent?”

Aizawa sighed, “It would make more sense if I showed you. Do you have any plans after school?”

“…No, I do not.”

“Good. Come with me then and we’ll meet student 18.”

Really?!”

“Oh! But of course, I see now! Am I introducing myself on behalf of the rest of class 1-A?”

“Something like that.”

The trip to the hospital was… tense. Of course, Iida still had no idea what was going on. Midoriya didn’t know why Aizawa wouldn’t tell him the truth straight away. Maybe he just didn’t want him asking questions until they arrived, yeah, that actually makes a lot of sense.

The hospital wasn’t far from UA. Midoriya knew the way off by heart – with all the flying back and forth he’d done over the past few weeks. He would have sat in the car with Aizawa and Iida, but cars tended to slip right through him. Chairs did too actually, Midoriya was forced to just hover above them in the illusion that he was sitting down, but it felt more comfortable to kind-of-sit in class when everyone else was doing so too. And so, the ghost waited patiently at the hospital entrance for them to arrive, and then half-walked-half-hovered beside them as Aizawa checked them in and led his pupil through the winding corridors of the hospital, finally reaching a door labelled Izuku Midoriya.

Midoriya watched as Aizawa opened the door and Iida’s face fell. His eyes rested on the small broken body of his would-be classmate and he froze in shock.

“This is Midoriya,” Aizawa explained. “Your student 18.”

More silence followed.

Midoriya couldn’t bear to see that look on Iida’s face anymore, so he let himself slip back into his body and heard the conversation with his own ears – if that made any sense.

“W-What happened?” Iida questioned after a moment.

“He got caught up in a villain attack and was crushed by a falling building,” Mr Aizawa replied matter-of-factly. “He saved someone’s life – we can’t withdraw someone from the school for such a heroic act apparently.”

Apparently?” Midoriya thought. “What do you mean by apparently?!”

“So… he’s in a coma?”

“Yes. Has been for about a month or two.”

“I-I see…”

“Introduce yourself. The doctors reckon he can hear us.”

“Oh! Well, M-Midoriya, my name is –”

“– I’m just going to head back downstairs for a bit and pick up an update on Midoriya’s condition from the nurses. I’ll back in a minute or so.”

“O-Of course, Mr Aizawa.”

Midoriya heard the door swing closed and Iida pulling up a chair to his bedside.

“My name is Tenya Iida – the class representative of 1-A, in UA heroic’s course! I am student 4, I believe, and you are student 18!”

He cleared his throat and silence fell between them again.

I’m so sorry about this Iida… It must be a shock for you…” Midoriya tried to say, but the words never left his mind.

“You remind me of my brother.”

Midoriya almost jumped out of his body when he said that. He hadn’t said anything for ages. He must have really been thinking about it.

“My brother is – w-was – a wonderful hero. But he was attacked by the hero killer, Stain. I don’t suppose you know about him if you’ve been stuck here for so long.” He hesitated, but then continued with his story. It was as if, because Midoriya couldn’t move or speak back, Iida trusted him with his secrets so easily, even though, to him, they were complete strangers. “He targets heroes that he believes to be u-unworthy of such a title.” His voice hitched on those words. “He survived the encounter but… but he won’t be able to walk again. His career as a hero is over.”

“Iida… I had no idea – I’m so sorry…”

“And to think… Because of a villain, your path to becoming a hero has been halted too. It – it makes me so… so… I don’t know…”

All Midoriya wanted to do was give Iida a big hug, but his arms just wouldn’t move.

“… I was going to take an internship in Hosu – where my brother was injured. The hero killer is still there, I… I guess I thought that I could stop him myself – for my brother.”

“Iida… No – you can’t he’ll –”

“– But to think that you found yourself in this situation because of a heroic act? Well, how could I possibly hold a candle to such self-sacrifice? I-I don’t want to end up in a hospital bed like my brother… or like you. You’re here because of an act that was… regrettable, yet so incredibly inspiring. I –”

“– Sorry about that, Iida,” Mr Aizawa interrupted as the door swung open.

“N-Not at all!” Iida said in a shocked tone of voice that Mr Aizawa didn’t seem to pick up on.

“The nurses say that other than teachers from school and his mother, you’re the only visitor Midoriya has ever had.”

“…That’s a horrible thing to hear.”

Aizawa grunted in some sort of agreement. “If you could visit him occasionally, they would be very thankful. But only if you have the time. I could pass the responsibility onto Yaoyorozu if it’s too much.”

“Not at all!” Iida repeated. “If I find myself overwhelmed, I could always pass a different responsibility onto my deputy! But I would very much like to visit Midoriya from time to time if that’s possible.”

“Sure. I’ll meet you at the entrance in a moment to take you to the train station.”

“Oh – you don’t have to –”

“It’s fine. I’ve just got to pick up one more thing. Meet you there in two minutes.” With that, Midoriya heard the door swing closed once more and Iida sigh deeply.

“– I’ll go somewhere else. Revenge… is not an option for heroes. I’ll leave Stain to someone more experienced and find justice for my brother in living up to his name.”

It must have been hard for Iida to say that – but Midoriya was proud of him. It was like he just said all of his thoughts aloud, probably not thinking about Midoriya even hearing them. He was glad he could still contribute to UA somehow – if not indirectly.

“I’ll see you soon, Midoriya.”

“Yeah...See you soon, Iida.”


Chapter Text

Midoriya spent some time following each of his classmates during their internships.

He hovered on the sunny deck of a ship beside Asui.

He managed to blow the litter towards Kirishima and Tetsutesu to help with their clean-up act that Fourth-Kind had ordered them to do.

He laughed at Kacchan being forced into tight jeans and a side-parting hair cut with Best Jeanist.

He watched on with pride as Iida worked on his speed with a hero who managed villains on the highways.

He learnt martial arts with Uraraka – Followed Hawks around the city beside Tokoyami – Watched Jiro evacuate civilians from a hostage situation – led Todoroki away from the hero killer before his father arrived to arrest him.

But no one even knew he was there.

Midoriya was everywhere yet nowhere at all.

And it was becoming unbearable.

 


 

Whilst everyone was sitting around discussing their internships, Midoriya floated around the classroom in a way that could best be described as pacing back and forth, even though his feet never really touched the ground.

So, One for All must have somehow projected my… spirit? – out of my body. That doesn’t really make sense considering All Might never showed any skill related to that in any of his previous fights or to me in person. He definitely has no idea that I can do it or else he would have told me even though I’m in a coma! Then there’s that incident at the USJ… I was almost solid for a moment there! I’ve heard the others talking about it – they saw me – I managed to blow that hand villain away with a smash even without my body! Then I didn’t wake up again for ages. It was as though I used up some kind of energy store… I need to return to my body every night or I just get too exhausted, fall asleep and wake up there anyway. So, when I panicked and activated my Quirk to 100% back then, it must have sent me to sleep for enough time to allow me to recharge… Maybe? Ugh! One for All doesn’t make any sense! Why can’t I figure this out?! How long am I going to be able to stay like this? How long will they keep my space at UA open – how long will they keep life support on?!”

“DAMN IT – CLOSE THE WINDOW!” Kacchan yelled. He was still worked up over Kirishima and Sero making fun of his side-parting – although he’d gotten rid of it by this point.

“The window is closed,” said Mineta, who was sitting right next to it, mumbling about Mt. Lady.

“NO ONE ASKED YOU, GRAPE-HEAD!”

“He’s right though – it does feel strangely cold in here, ribbit,” Asui acknowledged.

Midoriya froze, ceasing the mumbling that Kacchan would already be complaining about if he could hear it. With all his pacing around, he’d been floating right through his classmates – so much so that they’d begun to notice him for once.

“It’s not you, is it Todoroki?” Mina questioned.

Todoroki looked up from his book for a moment, shook his head and then returned to it in silence.

Huh, does your Quirk allow you not to feel me?” Midoriya wondered. He tested that theory immediately by constantly putting his hand through his head. Midoriya laughed when he saw him start shaking uncontrollably and trying to use the fire Quirk that he’d been repressing to warm himself up. Of course, Midoriya knew why he did that, thanks to his accidental eavesdropping – but no one else did.

“It’s just a draft, pull yourselves together,” said Jiro.

Midoriya immediately skipped over to her and hopped straight through her, laughing uncontrollably when the shiver he sent down her spine caused her to jump and almost fall off her chair.

After a few moments of confusion, Kaminari pulled his phone out of his pocket and started filming.

“In the words of Jiro – it’s just a draft, pull yourselves together,” Kaminari repeated, smiling.

Midoriya wondered if he knew that would encourage him to do the same thing to Kaminari.

He almost dropped his phone in surprise.

“Ah ha!” Kaminari explained, “The draft is back!”

“Is a draft really something worth documenting?” asked Kirishima, raising an eyebrow.

I am more than a draft, thank you very much,” Midoriya retorted, and floated through Kirishima for the fun of it.

“Ok!” Kirishima exclaimed, “Who’s doing that?!”

“Todoroki! You’re the only one with a temperature-lowering Quirk!” Kaminari accused.

“It isn’t me,” he replied, not looking up from his book a second time.

Midoriya took the opportunity to fly around the classroom, laughing as he made everyone jump – one after the other – from the cold sensation he somehow produced.

“It’s a draft that somehow only affects one person at a time…” Uraraka realised.

“Oh yeah? I could put my hand through two people at once!” Midoriya smiled, and did just that to her and Asui, who were standing right next to each other.

“Or not…” they said simultaneously.

Kaminari gasped, “I got it! It’s a ghost!”

“YES!”

“That’s stupid,” Kacchan scowled.

Midoriya slapped him in the face – well, his hand went right through him, but the shiver was satisfactory enough. He never would have done it if he wasn’t a ghost, but the fact that he wouldn’t be on the receiving end of Kacchan’s explosions for once really gave him a bit of a confidence boost.

“You insulted the ghost!” Kaminari yelled.

That you did!”

“Why on Earth would there be a ghost at UA?” Sero questioned.

“Easy! A hero in training who suffered a terrible accident at school!”

That was so close to being right – I can’t believe this!”

“Ghosts don’t exist!” Mina retaliated.

Midoriya gave her his signature shiver too.

“Then explain that!” Kaminari exclaimed.

“Ok… this is super creepy!” said Uraraka. “Gasp – we should try to contact them!”

“Oh! No – I hate ghost stories!” Hagakure replied, the floating uniform jumping up and down.

“But you’re the closest real thing to a ghost here,” Mina pointed out.

“I have a theory!” Uraraka exclaimed, bouncing over to Kaminari’s camera. “What if the ghost is actually student 18?!”

Oh my God. I know you’re joking – but this is brilliant!”

“I have a theory too,” said Kacchan unexpectantly.

“Oh yeah? What’s that?” asked Kaminari.

“That you’re all BLITHERING IDIOTS!”

“They should have seen that coming.”

“There is no such thing as ghosts and even if there were, there’s no way one managed to get into the hero course,” Shinsou sighed, who had been watching inattentively from the back of the classroom this entire time.

“Yeah, I know – but wouldn’t it be cool?!” Uraraka replied.

No – it is not cool.”

“Everybody sit down,” Mr Aizawa said in his usual, monotone voice as he stumbled into view. “Homeroom class is beginning.”

No one liked getting on the wrong side of Mr Aizawa – not even Kaminari, so everyone sat down immediately – including Midoriya, and waited for him to begin.

“Don’t think that you can be slaking off just because you only recently came back from your internships,” Aizawa continued. “You have basic hero training next, so go get your costumes. You’ll be meeting with All Might at field gamma today.”

“Field gamma – what’s that?” Midoriya heard Kirishima wonder aloud as they went to collect their hero costumes.

Once more, he caught a glimpse of the final case that was left behind, covered in dust and marked with a large number 18 – his hero costume.

He had to find a way to get out of this coma.

Before it’s too late…

 

Chapter Text

Between internships, new friendships and even a need to attend to an old one, Uraraka hadn’t had much time to focus on studying for her exams. Of course, she simply had to pass if she wanted to go to the summer camp! Then again… Mineta’s enthusiasm almost put her off…

As for that friendship she had to attend to – she’d been particularly worried about Iida ever since the Sports Festival. He was putting on a brave face. She didn’t know quite what to do when she had learnt about his older brother. It didn’t look like he wanted her sympathy – so what was she supposed to do? Pretend it hadn’t happened at all?

So, when Iida came up to her and asked her to visit the hospital with him, she leapt at the chance. Of course, her first thought was that it was Tensei that they were visiting, but then she remembered he was already out of hospital – or, at the very least, he wouldn’t have been in this hospital.

“Um, I know you said you’d explain everything once we got there…. But…” Uraraka began, twiddling her thumbs as he signed them in on a visitor’s book.

“I do apologise!” Iida exclaimed suddenly. He seemed a little jumpy – like he was really worried about what Uraraka was thinking…

“No, no, no! It’s fine, really – I’m actually really honoured that you asked me to come with you! But… I’m just wondering why – or maybe who we’re visiting?” she questioned.

“I apologise profusely,” he repeated. “But I couldn’t say anything in front of our other classmates as per Mr Aizawa’s instructions!”

“About what…?” Uraraka asked as Iida began to lead her through the hospital, past crowded corridors and up many, many stairs.

“About his privacy and dignity, I would presume.”

“Who’s?!”

“Ah, yes,” he said, finally realising how much he’d left his friend in the dark. “Well, do you recall the entrance exam to UA?”

“Of course!”

“I was put into the same arena as you were. I remember seeing you there.”

“Oh, really? I don’t remember that at all! I guess I was a little preoccupied… But what does this have to do with the hospital?” she asked.

Suddenly, Iida stopped. He turned to face Uraraka, pushing his glasses further up his nose and putting his hand on the handle to a door. She glanced at the name plaque beside it: Izuku Midoriya. She didn’t know an Izuku Midoriya! What was going on?!

“Trust me, Uraraka, this will all make sense as soon as you see him – I hope.”

As a shiver went down her spine – probably in anticipation, Iida swung the door open and indicated Uraraka to walk inside ahead of him.

She gasped. Lying in a bed, under smooth, white sheets, was a green-haired boy who looked to be about their age. He was covered in freckles, but they were mostly hidden by the oxygen mask that was over his mouth and nose. Wires ran from his arms to machines that let out a steady, rhythmic beeping noise, and tubes to others. It didn’t take her long to realise he was on life-support, and not much longer to recognise his face.

Falling boy…” she murmured.

Iida closed the door behind them and pulled up a couple of chairs to the boy’s bed side.

“I-I know this guy!” Uraraka continued. “I met him in the entrance exam – he took out the zero pointer with one punch! Oh my gosh, Present Mic said that he’d gotten in – when he wasn’t in our class I thought he went to class 1-B but I didn’t see him there either… He was here all along – w-what happened?!”

“I thought you would be full of questions,” Iida smiled. But it wasn’t his usual smile – this was… wrong – not forced, but… sad…

Uraraka sat down beside him, hands over her mouth and tears pricking her eyes. “I-Is he dying?”

“He is in a coma,” Iida explained. “He did pass the entrance exam, like you presumed. However, not long before school started, he jumped into a villain attack to save a young girl.”

Uraraka glanced at the numerous cards on the bedside table. They were handmade and looked as though they were drawn by a child. In most of them, a stick figure with a mess of green hair was depicted and surrounded by words like you’re my hero! and get well soon!

“They were crushed by a falling building,” continued Iida, “I believe he managed to shield the girl, but was hit by falling debris, and hasn’t awoken since.”

They sat in silence for a moment as Uraraka processed this. “Oh my God,” she finally uttered. She just couldn't believe that the boy who risked his life saving her in the entrance exam had done the same thing to help someone else - but was once again left with horrendous injuries, this time being far worse than the last.

“I have been visiting him periodically since the Sports Festival, when Mr Aizawa alerted me, as class president, of the situation. I suppose he was hoping that Midoriya wouldn’t remain in this state for so long.”

“T-This is… this is student 18, isn’t it?”

“Might I remind you that there is a good chance that Midoriya can hear us,” said Iida.

Whoops, she didn’t mean it in a bad way!

“O-Oh!” Uraraka exclaimed.

“Perhaps you should introduce yourself!”

“Yes, o-of course!” she stammered, before turning to the lifeless body of Izuku Midoriya, “I-I’m Ochaco Uraraka. Um, student 5! I think… We met in the entrance exam! I stopped you from tripping over, then, you took out that giant robot like – bam! Then I slapped you in the face – sorry about that – to stop you from falling again... Thanks to the rescue points I got from that, I was third place in the entrance exam overall! But that doesn’t really matter… So, um, yeah… thank you.”

“I’m sure he will appreciate that,” Iida replied. “Mr Aizawa said that he hasn’t had any other visitors beside us and his family. I’m sure he values our friendship!”

“Yeah…”

They sat in silence for a while after that. Iida seemed to be in deep thought whilst Uraraka desperately searched for conversation starters – it was awfully difficult to have a conversation with someone who couldn’t talk back.

“So…” she started after a while, making Iida flinch in surprise. “When he – you – wake up, M-Midoriya, are you coming back to UA?”

“I think he is,” Iida replied for him. “Mr Aizawa is keeping student 18’s place free after all.”

“Ah… I guess that makes sense… But, won’t you be really far behind everyone else with their studies?”

“Oh, yes, I hadn’t thought of that,” said Iida. “Midoriya certainly has a powerful Quirk, but he seemed to have trouble controlling it. Moreover, we have progressed quite quickly through our first-year syllabus…”

And we’ve got exams coming up soon,” Uraraka pointed out.

“Hm…”

Uraraka stared out the window for a moment, wondering how Midoriya would get past all those struggles, until her attention was drawn to a slightly charred, yellow backpack that lay by the comatose patient’s bedside. In curiosity, she picked it up and unzipped it.

“Uraraka!” Iida exclaimed, “We shouldn’t be rooting through Midoriya’s things like this!”

“But, look – his phone!” Uraraka replied, holding up the smart phone to her friend. Despite the situation, when she clicked the on button it quickly came to life with a decent amount of charge left. Perhaps someone had been charging it for him whilst he was asleep.

“What about it?”

She smiled at Midoriya’s phone background – a picture of All Might with his ever-undying smile. She knew enough about smart phones from her friends’ technologies to know how to unlock it and to navigate it. It wasn’t the newest model that Yaoyorozo had and was more similar to Tsu’s phone.

“Huh, he doesn’t have a passcode on it,” Uraraka realised as she unlocked it with ease.

“What are you doing?!” Iida hissed with a hushed voice, as if he was trying to hide what they were doing from Midoriya.

“I’m adding my phone number – you should add yours too!”

“… But why?”

“So, when he wakes up, he can contact us!”

“But…”

“He will wake up,” Uraraka insisted as she filled in her contact details, and then Iida’s from memory (she’d tried to call him so many times on her landline it was unreal). “Like you said, I’m sure he’ll value our friendship! He has barely any contacts other than us… Actually look, It’s just Mum, Mitsuki and All Might – ha! He called someone All Might, that’s cute.”

After taking an awkward picture of the three of them, Uraraka closed the phone and slid it back into the backpack before pulling her own bag onto her lap.

“What are we doing now?” Iida questioned. She hoped he wasn’t regretting taking her here.

“Well, you said Midori can still hear us, right?”

“Midori?”

“So, I figured, we could help him out with his studies!” she exclaimed, showing Iida the first textbook that she could reach from her bag.

He frowned for a moment, before breaking out into the widest smile she’d seen on him all day, “What a wonderful idea! We could study for our exams here, and with Midoriya able to overhear us, he will have the opportunity to catch up on his work!”

“Yeah! And I can catch up in the process as well!”

And so, with Iida as enthusiastic as ever, they promptly started their weekly study group.

Uraraka, trying not to shiver from the strange draft that filled the room, smiled sadly at motionless, green-haired boy. She couldn’t help but think about everything he had missed out on – what great friends they could have been. She never got to truly thank him for saving her from the zero pointer in the entrance exam. And to think he got into this situation from such a heroic act? How could she ever compare to that? Even unconscious, Midori was such an inspiration to her. This was the least she could do to return the favour.

What she didn’t know, was that Midoriya was hovering right next to her, stammering her thanks from such a kind gesture, even though he didn’t really need it.

But the muttering fell short of her ears. For it never truly left his lips.

 

Chapter Text

Alone.

That was how Midoriya felt.

He was in a coma – unable to move, to see, to talk. He hated it when the people around his body would speak about his condition as though he wasn’t there. But it wasn’t much better when they spoke to him, like they were trying to involve him in a conversation that he couldn’t add to, no matter how hard he tried. It made him feel so guilty – that he made them feel this way. Well, them being mainly his mum and All Might. Oh, and that little girl too – the one he saved. Her name was Kichi. He didn’t know her last name, because when her and her father visited that one time, he obviously only addressed his daughter by her first name. Although, he didn’t think she’d mind – he was just thinking about all this too much. That generally happens when you have nothing else to think about.

Being a ghost was almost worse – almost. Yes, he could move, see and talk. But no one could see him. He felt so helpless, standing by, unable to lend a hand that just wasn’t there. Midoriya felt like he was intruding in people’s lives. He considered most of his classmates as close friends, but of course, none of them, except maybe Kacchan, really knew him. It felt… wrong.

Then, Iida visited him.

It was the first time someone looked at him and didn’t just feel… pity. The doctors were always so kind. There was one who had some kind of muscle flexing Quirk, Dr Adachi. He always told Midoriya that he was so honoured to have him as a patient. To be able to care for and help an aspiring hero made him feel like a hero himself. Midoriya really liked that. He put so much effort into insuring Midoriya’s muscle mass didn’t completely disappear over the months that he lay motionless. Dr Adachi was quite young, and Midoriya seemed to be his very first coma patient, but he didn’t mind. His enthusiasm and bright smile, that he didn’t know Midoriya could see, reminded him of All Might. Yeah, not all heroes wore capes. But… nevertheless, Dr Adachi still seemed to apologise for the situation Midoriya had found himself in. Iida, however, after his first, emotional introduction, started to speak with Midoriya as a friend, confiding his secrets with him and trusting him more than he had ever thought was possible. Maybe that was just because he actually couldn’t speak to spill them, but Midoriya hoped that he had a trusting face or something.

Then, Uraraka joined their number. Her bouncy personality filled Midoriya with a hope that he could get out of this prison of a condition. That one day he could actually have a conversation with the people he considered to be his first true friends.

Suddenly, he wasn’t so alone anymore.

“What? Shinsou is like – awesome!” Uraraka exclaimed, accidently making her book float.

“I must admit, I do not know much about him. I hope I’m not being too quick to judge!” Iida replied.

“No, no – I do get it. I don’t think he’s the social type…”

“You could say that again. Have you seen the way he glares at people from across the classroom?” Midoriya laughed.

“But he’s always super nice to me! He tries talking to Ojiro sometimes too – because he hypnotised him into being on our team in the Calvary Battle too. But I don’t think he’s quite as forgiving as I am,” Uraraka acknowledged as she retrieved her floating things.

“I too would be hesitant if I were forced onto his team,” Iida admitted.

I’m not sure what I would have done. No… actually I think I would have helped Shinsou too. He didn’t feel like he had any other choice than to brainwash people into helping him, so showing him that he didn’t have to do that was probably the best option for everyone,” Midoriya explained, not that they could hear his contribution.

Iida sighed, “Anyway, I’m sure you will be able to have your own opinions on the matter once you officially join class 1-A!” he told Midoriya’s sleeping body.

Yeah, I look forward to talking to you both about it.”

“We have to head off now!” Uraraka explained, “But we’ll be back next week! All these study sessions are really helping my grades!”

Iida looked quite pleased with himself. “And I hope that you will be able to surprise Mr Aizawa with your knowledge when you return to us, Midoriya!”

And that I will, Iida!”

“See you soon, Midori!” Uraraka smiled and waved as the two of them finished packing up their things and left him alone in his hospital room. Midoriya didn’t follow them, he felt like he’d done enough for the day and had half the mind of returning to his body and sleeping until the morning, maybe after wandering around the hospital for a bit and checking up on the patients that didn’t know he even existed.

You know, I thought they’d never leave.”

Midoriya screamed and shot backwards through the wall, flying right through Uraraka as she skipped away, who shivered but thought nothing of it.

What was that? Who was that?

Hey, sorry about that, kiddo! Did I make you jump?” the voice continued.

To Midoriya’s surprise, through the wall in front of him, came a partly transparent, purple figure.

W-What?” Midoriya managed, “W-Who are y-you?”

The purple woman laughed, “I’m sorry – but you should see the look on your face right now! I thought ghosts weren’t allowed to get scared!”

Midoriya just stared, frozen in shock as random people walked through him.

Come on – let’s talk back in your room. You’re making people shiver.”

Without further explanation, she grabbed Midoriya’s arm and pulled him back through the wall and into his hospital room – she could touch him.

I-I – how are you – who are –”

“Hey, hey! Calm down for a moment, kid. You’re making your body freak out.”

Midoriya looked down at himself. He didn’t seem any different, but his heart rate was certainly up, as indicated by the repetitive beeping noise the machines around him were making.

S-sorry…”

No need to apologise,” she smiled, putting her hands on her hips.

Um… So, who are you?”

Oh, right! I forgot you didn’t know! The name’s Nana Shimura!”

N-Nice to meet you.”

“Nice to officially meet you too!”

“O-Officially?”

“Well, yeah. I’ve known you for months now!”

“You have?”

“Sure thing! Shame we have to meet like this though.”

Midoriya frowned. He still didn’t understand who this person was and why she knew him. She looked like a hero – dressed in a costume with a cape and everything. But Midoriya knew everything about heroes – and he didn’t recognise this one from anywhere. If she knew him, then she must be local but…

Oh, wait a second – she’s dead.

You’re a ghost too!” Midoriya realised.

Took you that long to figure it out? I thought you were supposed to be some sort of analysis wizard, kid.”

“Sorry…”

“No need to keep apologising!” she insisted, floating over to him and patting him harshly on the back, “You remind me of Toshinori!”

Who’s –”

“All Might – you dummy!”

“A-All Might?!” Midoriya yelled, almost jumping through the wall again.

“Yeah! I was the one who gave One for All to him.”

Midoriya’s eyes widened at the explanation, “Y-You’re the seventh user…”

And you’re the ninth,” she acknowledged. “But this isn’t a good state for the current user of One for All to be in, now is it?” Nana continued, indicating to Midoriya’s broken body.

Midoriya’s sudden euphoria quickly faded, “Yeah…”

“You acted without thinking – jumping into the building like that to help little Kichi was a reckless thing to do,” she said, pointing at the numerous cards the girl had made him.

“I’m sorry –”

“– But! It’s exactly what I would have done!”

Midoriya couldn’t help but smile.

You’re a good choice for the ninth user – Toshi did well!”

“T-Thank you!”

“But don’t do it again!” she scolded him, her temperament changing like lightning.

“I-I don’t know if I’ll even get the chance…”

“No!” she yelled, punching his arm almost playfully, “No thinking like that! You will get out of this coma – and we’re going to help you do it!”

“W-We?”

“One for All has been cultivating inside of us, passed from one generation to the next. Our bodies may be gone, but our spirits remain – in you,” she explained, pointing to Midoriya’s chest, and then that of his own body. “We managed to push you out into reality – so you can continue on your path of being a hero, despite your condition.”

Midoriya wanted to thank her, but he was so shocked and confused that he just couldn’t utter the words.

But you’re getting stronger. Back at the USJ, you managed to harness One for All to its full potential beyond your body! I didn’t think you would be able to do it, considering you’ve only had the power for a few months.”

“I-I became solid for a moment!” Midoriya remembered.

“Sure did. But it took a lot out of you,” Nana recalled.

“I couldn’t wake up for days…”

“No, and that’s the recoil. It’s dangerous, but not fatal if you’re careful.”

Midoriya gulped, “O-Ok, I’ll bare that in mind.”

“But you’re more powerful than us, kid. You still have a body. Something which you can return to and recharge, in a way.” She put her finger to her lip thoughtfully. After a moment, she added, “Next time you feel the need to do something like that, don’t use 100% of your power. One for All isn’t just a one trick pony! Look at All Might, for instance. He is using One for All constantly – but not 100%. Let the power course through you – not just focusing it in one spot and hoping for the best.”

Midoriya furrowed his brow as he considered this.

Hey, think of your egg in the microwave thing you told All Might about back along!” Nana remembered. “To keep it from exploding, all you need to do is turn down the wattage. Don’t turn One for All on like a switch, 100% all at once, or else the egg will explode, and your spirit will be sent flying back here.”

All Might had tried to tell him that back then too, Midoriya thought, but it made so much more sense through Nana’s words. He supposed that she did have some experience teaching a One for All user before. Then again, All Might didn’t have the problems Midoriya seemed to be facing.

Considering her words, Midoriya turned and hovered just above the ground by his bedside. In deep concentration, he closed his eyes and breathed deeply, imagining the power that he held within him rising to the surface – not surging out, but just bubbling there. Barely 5% of his power.

Yeah, yeah! That’s it, kid!” he heard Nana say encouragingly.

Really? What was he doing?

But then, all of a sudden, he wasn’t hovering anymore – he was standing, really standing. He looked down at his hands, which were still green and translucent, but they seemed so much more real now. Heart thumping in his chest, he reached down to his backpack, grasped the handle, and lifted it into the air.

It was such a trivial thing, but it felt like he’d just lifted a building.

Nana was whooping and soaring around the room, doing celebratory laps.

Suddenly, a shooting pain shot through his head. He dropped the backpack and lost control of One for All. The world went dark as he unintentionally fell back into his body.

He heard Nana’s echoing laughter. “Good job, kid. A little practise and you’ll be back in the game in no time! Try not to freak anyone out though. It’s probably best that you keep this a secret for now. Until then, I just want you to know that we’re always here for you – you’ll never be alone.”

Chapter Text

Midoriya heeded Nana’s warnings. Walking into class 1-A and unceremoniously announcing that student 18 actually was a ghost and had been there the entire time was more likely to give someone a heart attack than to do any good whatsoever. But that didn’t mean he couldn’t have some fun with it…

So, I think that I’ve been using a minutely small percentage of One for All to be a spirit. That would explain the shivering thing and how I can occasionally move some objects if I try really hard,” Midoriya explained to no one in particular. It wasn’t like anyone could hear him. He wasn’t sure if that was even possible yet. “But now, I’ve figured out how to control the output of One for All a little more, so I can increase how… intangible I am at a given point. I recon I’m a lot weaker than I would be in my body. 5% or so can allow me to easily touch and move small objects, but I think at 5% in my body, my strength would be vaguely enhanced or –”

“–So, who else is super pumped for the summer camp?!” Kirishima asked, throwing a fist in the air in excitement.

“You know it!” Kaminari replied, filming the conversation once again.

“But you’ve got to pass the exams first,” Jiro pointed out. She had a decent score on the midterms, if Midoriya remembered correctly. He thought he did pretty well too – not that he was actually able to write his answers down or hand his non-existent paper in…

“Ugh! I barely took any notes this semester!” Kaminari and Mina exclaimed simultaneously. Although, they seemed to have very different attitudes.

Don’t worry, guys, if you study hard, I’m sure you’ll push through!” Midoriya encouraged them. He kept forgetting no one could hear him.

“I can help catch you up to speed for more difficult topics if you want,” offered Yaoyorozu.

“You’re the best, Yaomomo!” they yelled cheerfully.

“But… when it comes to the practical I’m afraid I’m no help at all…” she added.

Kaminari was still filming.

Hm, maybe Midoriya could help take their minds of it all for a while…

Still sitting in seat 18, he waited for Kaminari’s phone to pan past him accidently. As soon as it did, Midoriya let his percentage of One for All increase just the tiniest bit, just enough for his green figure to flicker before them.

“Hey, did you guys see that?” asked Hagakure.

Ha, the Invisible girl saw me…” Midoriya muttered.

“See what?” Mina replied, distracted from Yaoyorozu’s bubbly personality as she planned their study group for a moment.

“Over there,” she continued, “by the empty desk – I swear I saw something…”

“Maybe it’s the ghost!” Uraraka suggested. Midoriya knew she was joking, but it held more truth than she realised.

“Wait, let me check my camera,” said Kaminari, stopping filming for a moment and playing back his most recent recording.

The class gathered around him as he skipped unimportant conversations he had filmed, right up until the moment Hagakure spoke up.

“There, there!” she yelled, pointing at the screen.

Kaminari frowned and skipped back a couple of seconds, pausing the video in the perfect moment, only to see –

“Oh my God it’s the ghost!” Uraraka exclaimed, jumping up and down.

“No way…” Jiro murmured.

Midoriya grinned. He held his hand in the air in mid-wave, sitting in his desk. It was the first time he saw what he looked like as a ghost. He couldn’t recognise himself – his entire silhouette was blurry and almost disfigured.

“Ok, no one can tell me that’s a camera glitch!” Kaminari yelled, holding his phone away from him like it was haunted.

“Seriously, that can’t even be a trick of the light – that’s just freaky,” Jiro added, curiously staring at the picture.

“It’s definitely a person,” acknowledged Asui. “Or maybe the result of someone’s Quirk? Ribbit.”

“But no one here can create illusions like that, right?” Sero questioned.

Well, I can,” said Midoriya.

He didn’t realise he still had enough of One for All activated to allow those words to finally leave his mouth.

Everyone screamed.

“SHUT UP!” Bakugo yelled, who had been talking to Kirishima about study sessions.

“OK, WHO SAID THAT?!” Kaminari screamed, starting to film once more.

“Whose voice was that?!” Uraraka exclaimed, “I didn’t recognise it!”

“Ah, whoops…” Midoriya muttered. They didn’t hear him that time. “I’m going to have a migraine tonight…”

“Everybody calm down!” Iida ordered, chopping the air with his hands. “We will end up disturbing class B next door!”

“AH HA!” yelled Kaminari, “Class B! I bet someone’s playing a trick on us.”

“Great, now I’m back to a trick of the light…”

“Does anyone there have a Quirk which could do something like this, though?” pondered Yaoyorozu, who had finished making a list of tea brands to offer people at her study group.

“Well, there’s that poltergeist girl…” Mina remembered. “Could she do something like this?”

“It sounded like a boy’s voice though, ribbit,” added Asui.

“I bet it’s Monoma!” Kirishima exclaimed, “He’s always had it out for us! He could just copy someone’s Quirk to do all this stuff – so not manly!”

“Now, let’s not make any unjust accusations!” Iida interjected. “Jumping to conclusions about our fellow hero course students would be unbecoming of –”

“Yeah, guys you’re just overthinking all this,” Shinsou sighed as he reached Uraraka’s side. “Just leave it and if something weird happens again then you could talk to class B. It’s not like I’ve been here long, so I don’t know what happened between your classes, but it seems like the best way to avoid a fight.”

Ojiro gave him a look that clearly stated that Shinsou wouldn’t know how to avoid a fight if the answer was staring him in the face.

I-I’m sorry guys! I didn’t mean to cause so much trouble!” Midoriya tried to explain, but he couldn’t figure out how to get his voice to work again.

One by one, his classmates settled down and eventually left to have lunch.

Midoriya thought about following them, but hesitated. He felt extraordinarily guilty, and desperately hoped that his class wouldn’t do anything reckless involving class B. They hated them enough as it was…

Sighing, he phased through the closed door and wandered through the hallways of UA. He tried floating above people’s heads to avoid making them shiver, but for some reason he felt so weighed down. Midoriya ended up standing in the middle of the corridor, letting students walk right through him as he sadly considered what he would do next.

But that decision was made for him when, in the blink of an eye, the world went dark and the familiar weight of his body pinned him to the stuffy, hospital bed.

“Wait… how did I get back here so quickly…?” he wondered.

“He doesn’t seem to be doing it again…” Midoriya heard a voice mutter by his ear.

“Could he be trying to wake up?” replied a gruff man to his right.

“Um, what’s going on?” He tried to leave his body again, but it was no use, he was completely trapped.

“His heart rate seems to be increasing,” acknowledged the kind voice of an elderly lady.

After a moment, the metaphorical chains holding him inside his shell of a body faded away, and slowly but surely, Midoriya carefully rose up and out of his body.

He blinked, looking down at the small crowd of people surrounding his bed.

Mr Aizawa was closing the cap of an eyedrop bottle. Beside him was a man dressed in a red and white suit, who Midoriya recognised as Vlad King, Class 1-B’s homeroom teacher. Beside them, was none other than Recovery Girl and Nedzu himself.

“Very peculiar,” said the principle, perching on one of the chairs beside his body. “Whether this was a coincidence or a deliberate action, it is apparent that Midoriya is not in a completely vegetative state, or else he would not be able to use his Quirk.”

I-I used my Quirk?” Midoriya mumbled, “Oh, but of course… I used earlier when Kaminari was filming… Could they have seen that? Did I use so much that some of One for All came out of my body as well? I thought I was only at 5%!”

“That doesn’t negate the fact that he’s been in a coma for four months,” Mr Aizawa reminded them. “The Nurses have told us that something like this has happened before on the same day as the USJ incident.”

“It seems like nothing has changed in his condition,” Vlad King sighed, arms folded as he gazed down at Midoriya’s body with an air of sadness in his eyes.

No, no, no!” Midoriya exclaimed. He thought of Nana’s advice and tried desperately to make himself visible – to be heard. “I’m right here, please – please! Come on, One for All, why isn’t this working?!”

“Maybe it’s time we concluded that he isn’t going to wake up,” Recovery Girl said, looking at the floor solemnly.

Please! I’m right here – I am awake!”

“He has missed four months of classwork,” Mr Aizawa told the principle. “We’ve all seen what he did in the entrance exam. His Quirk is powerful, but too self-destructive. He hasn’t had the practise the other first-years have experienced. Even if he does wake up, I don’t know if he will be able to catch up with the others.”

Why can’t you hear me?!” Midoriya sobbed, regretting the trick he had pulled earlier. It was as if he ran out of energy, and now, when he needed it more than ever, One for All was just beyond his grasp.

“I don’t want to give up on him quite yet,” said Nedzu, before turning to Midoriya’s body and addressing him directly. “Midoriya, I have faith in you. I believe that you will wake up one day. However, I cannot just dismiss Mr Aizawa’s warnings.”

He sighed deeply as Midoriya watched on, his heart pounding – something which was reflected by his ECG, which beeped furiously.

“Remain calm,” he told him. “I know you can hear me. The electrocardiogram reflects how panicked you must be feeling at the moment. I don’t want to expel you. We could never refuse a space to such a heroic person. But… I am afraid, that if you don’t wake up soon, then we will have to reconsider your future at UA.”

No… please – I’m trying, but I just can’t, I –”

“What is your verdict, Principle Nedzu?” questioned Recovery Girl, who just couldn’t look at Midoriya’s motionless body anymore.

“I will insure that this boy becomes a hero,” he insisted, to Midoriya’s relief and gratitude.

Of course, Nedzu knew about One for All, so no matter what, All Might would be teaching Midoriya heroics once he woke up – if he woke up. He was just glad that Nedzu would be lending a hand – paw – too.

“But,” Nedzu sighed. “If he doesn’t wake up by the beginning of next semester, then we will have to reconsider the path at which he gets there.”

 

Chapter Text

Kaminari’s constant filming was annoying as hell. Well, at least that was Bakugo’s undying opinion. That dunce face wondered why he kept bombing classes whilst he focused so much on some stupid videos that would never amount to anything worthwhile. The name dunce face was becoming more and more fitting as the semester went by.

What was even more frustrating, was all the nonsense that they babbled on about to do with this student 18. And it was freaking annoying.

Did he mention it was annoying?

Stupid Deku. He just had to go and throw himself into a collapsing building of all things. Seriously? That was how he decided to go? The Quirkless loser just couldn’t do anything right.

How did he even get in to UA? Bakugo wasn’t even able to beat the answer out of him because he went and got himself into a coma before he had the chance. He must have cheated – done something. How else could that worthless loser have gotten seventh place in the entrance exam?

Unless… he did have a Quirk.

The very thought made Bakugo’s blood boil.

Could Deku have really been holding out on him for all those years? He must have thought he was so much better than him – that he wasn’t even worth his Quirk!

Bakugo didn’t care what the answer was. Either way, if the nerd ever woke up, he was so dead.

Unfortunately, that didn’t seem like an option he will ever be faced with. He’d heard news from Inko when she occasionally dropped around for a visit. Bakugo’s mum insisted that she would be lonely without Deku around, and that she would appreciate the company. Whatever, at least Bakugo had Kirishima’s study sessions as an excuse to miss those visits.

Although, this time, he couldn’t escape it.

Not that he actually cared, but today was July the fifteenth. He didn’t need that old hag’s reminders, he knew it was Deku’s birthday. Not that he actually cared – the date was just ingrained into his mind. They’d known each other for too long.

He’d never visited Deku before. There was always an excuse waiting for him – a way out of having to lug himself into the hospital and stand over his pathetic body for a good ten minutes of his time, that could have been spent doing literally anything else. His visit wouldn’t make a difference anyway. It wasn’t like he’d just wake up because of it. But he would go anyway, because Auntie Inko wouldn’t have it any other way.

NOT THAT HE ACTUALLY CARED.

“Poor Izuku,” Katsuki’s mum muttered as they looked down at him, whilst arranging a selection of flowers in a vase beside his bed.

Bakugo wouldn’t look at him. He just stared at his phone and hoped one of those extras would give him a reasonable excuse to get the hell out of there.

“How do the doctors say he’s doing?” asked his dad.

“Hm… Nothing much has changed. They mentioned something happening a few weeks ago… But it wasn’t anything that hadn’t happened before. His condition is really the same as always…” Inko explained, stroking her son’s frail hand in the process.

“Did they say he could hear us?”

“Well, they insist that it’s probable… but…”

“I suppose that it’s hard to believe.”

Bakugo kept feeling this freaking annoying draft blowing past him. The window was closed, so he guessed it was coming from either the air vent or through that tiny gap under the door. It just made him feel even more uncomfortable.

“How is UA, Katsuki?” Inko questioned with a sudden brightness of her tone as she quickly changed the subject.

Bakugo didn’t reply immediately, so his mother hit him around the head. “FINE!” he yelled. “It’s fine.”

“How are your classmates getting along?” she continued.

“Fine.”

“Give her a better answer than that, Katsuki!” his mum exclaimed.

“Shut up!” he retorted but couldn’t think of a better response than that.

“I’ve met Iida and Uraraka,” Inko told them. “Such lovely kids. They seem so enthusiastic about school and around Izuku.”

Bakugo narrowed his eyes, when the hell did four-eyes and round face start visiting Deku? Ha, what a team those three would make. Three types of irritating rolled up into a neat package that he would more than happily mail to the sun than be associated with. If they knew that he knew Deku, he would never hear the end of it.

“Katsuki doesn’t mention any names at home,” Mitsuki replied. “I started to wonder if he had any friends at all – which wouldn’t be a surprise.”

“WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?!”

“– But then Kirishima came around to drag Katsuki out with a whole group of them to go to the arcade. Honestly, I don’t know why they put up with him.”

“YOU HAG! I’ll –”

“LOWER YOUR VOICE – THINK OF IZUKU!”

The freaking hypocrite!

To the Bakugos’ surprise, Inko suddenly burst into tears.

“Oh, Inko! I’m sorry – APOLOGISE!” the hypocrite yelled.

“N-No, d-don’t worry ab-bout me,” Inko stammered, trying to dry her eyes with her sleeve. “I-I just can’t help but t-think about everything I-Izuku’s missing o-out on,” she sobbed.

“Why don’t we head down to the hospital’s café and grab something to eat?” Masaru suggested.

“B-But what about –”

“– Katsuki will keep Izuku company in the meantime,” Mitsuki insisted.

“What?! No, I –”

His mother glared at him, daring him to oppose her. Katsuki just growled and turned back to his phone. At least he’d be left in some peace and quiet for a few minutes.

“Come on, Inko,” she said, helping her friend to her feet and escorting her to the door, flanked by her husband as they left Katsuki behind.

As soon as they were gone, Bakugo leaned back into his chair, tried to shake off that blithering draft and scrolled through hero news absentmindedly for a good while. He didn’t have anything better to do. But the beeping noise of all those machines Deku was attached to was starting to get on his nerves.

He glanced up at his motionless, frail body, resting his eyes on him for the first time in months.

Why the hell did he have to be so damn reckless? Bakugo had almost been looking forward to crushing that nerd at school – putting him back in his place. He’d gotten into UA, sure, but he didn’t think he’d be staying there long. They’d probably send him packing as soon as they realised how useless he really was. Not that it mattered much now anyway. There was no way they’d let him back in, even if he did wake up. He was too far behind. He might have been irritatingly smart in middle school, but that was only because he had nothing better to do than study. Besides, Bakugo often beat him anyway. Now he’d been unconscious for months and would probably even be beaten by dunce face in any exam he took.

Bakugo averted his eyes, only for them to meet the array of cards beside the flowers his mother had gotten him. A few of them were handmade, clearly by someone an awful lot younger than him, with crude drawings of stick figures and poor handwritten messages around them:

You’re my hero!

Tsk. The guy might have been half-dead, but at least he did something vaguely worthwhile. He could admit to that at the very least.

Because of the positioning of one of the cards, he could just see the writing inside it. He didn’t read the message but recognised the handwriting immediately – four-eyes.

“Did Aizawa make the class president visit you?” Bakugo said aloud, mainly because he didn’t think it would make a difference if he kept his thoughts in his head or not. “Must have dragged pink cheeks along with him too. I guess that answers why she stopped blabbering on about student 18 with the other imbeciles.”

He let silence fill the hospital room once more, a void filled only by that bloody beeping sound.

Bakugo turned his gaze back to Deku, and let his thoughts pour out into the open. “I don’t know how you got into UA,” he began. “Whether you have a Quirk or not – there’s something you didn’t tell me. So, when you wake up, you’re gonna give me all those answers, you get it, Deku? I don’t care if they let you back in, but you still owe me an explanation! I can’t believe you didn’t even make it into my class but they still talk about you and you manage to irritate me backhandedly nevertheless! Dunce face keeps going on about freaking student 18. Bet he would shut up if he knew you got yourself into a coma, of all things. I mean, come on. That’s just pathetic.”

No response – only the beeping filled his ears.

He couldn’t bring himself to say anything else for a while. Not that he was upset about that damned nerd – not that he actually cared.

Why should he?

“So, you’ve got to wake up, got it, Deku? Wake up so I can punch you in the face for being such a freaking idiot. ‘Cause I’d get in trouble if I did it whilst you’re in a coma. But that’s the only reason why I haven’t yet.”

His parents came back not long after, each practically supporting Inko as they walked through the door.

They didn’t stay for much longer.

All the while, Bakugo just couldn’t shake that freaking draft.

It was like it was hugging him, God damn it!

 

Chapter Text

Midoriya insured that he was there promptly as his classmates were loaded onto the bus. If he didn’t follow them to the location of their summer camp, how would he ever be able to find it? It was increasingly irritating that he couldn’t sit down. He had to focus intently every time the bus moved, making sure he was floating inside of it as it turned around every bend and corner of the road.

“You better be documenting this trip, Kaminari!” Mina yelled over the various conversations being batted back and forth across the bus.

Kaminari held his camera phone over the back of his seat and zoomed in on Ashido’s pink face in response. She pulled numerous silly faces in retaliation.

“Do you know how much further it is?” Mineta called out. He was fidgeting in his seat, clearly desperate for a toilet break.

“We’ll be stopping the bus for you to stretch your legs in a couple of minutes,” Mr Aizawa announced. “Class B will be driving ahead to a different pit-stop.”

Oh, thank goodness, I didn’t think it was possible for a bus to move so quickly through these lanes,” Midoriya sighed, struggling to keep up with the coach.

Midoriya’s ghost body was… strange. He couldn’t feel exhaustion like he had felt whilst he hauled rubbish off Dagobah Beach. His muscles didn’t ache and complain as he pushed himself. Instead, the only warning that he received suggesting that he was overdoing it was a strange sensation that almost seemed to pull him backwards. Like a tugging that was desperately trying to bring him back to his body. Midoriya could feel tiredness, something which came over him after a long day’s work, alerting him that it was time to return to his body for his brain to get some rest. However, it wasn’t like he was using any part of his body other than that in any kind of physical exercise! The only thing that substituted for that was Dr Adachi’s Quirk, which contracted the muscles of Midoriya’s comatose body to keep him as fit and healthy as possible. Despite all this, it was evident that keeping up with the bus was putting some kind of strain on his ghostly self. The pounding of a distant headache gave him the warning that he was reaching his limit.

That limit of Quirk usage was not something new, but it definitely wasn’t the same as it had been back at the USJ, where one hit of One for All rendered him unconscious for days. He was becoming stronger – at least, his spirit was. Whilst the other, much more alive and able UA students trained their abilities, Midoriya was left with another method of learning, something which mainly involved trail and error. He had the previous One for All users by his side at least. He’d met Nana several times, who seemed to enjoy their occasional conversations. Other than that, the others appeared more frequently as voices, jabbering on at him for overdoing it in the back of his mind, rather than appearing to him as a ghost like Nana had. They helped him learn the basics of One for All, mastering moving it around his ghostly apparition to make himself more or less tangible. His voice, however, well that was another problem entirely. He just couldn’t get it to work! No matter how hard he tried, he could never reach out to the people he so desperately wanted to contact, to tell them that it was ok, and that there was no need to shed more tears for him. But he just couldn’t get it right. It frightened him. He didn’t want to appear to his friends and family as nothing more than a literal ghost without being able to explain! The whole thing just made his head throb even more. He wanted to go to sleep. If only he had his body. He could just sit down and the bus journey could have been as easy as bus journeys should be!

He glanced enviously at Todoroki, who had managed to fall asleep, his head resting against the window even as the bus rattled along the rutted roads.

All of a sudden, the coach took a sharp, right-angled corner and Midoriya phased through both Iida, Shinsou and the wall of the bus.

Ah, shoot,” he sighed as he started to catch up with them again. He didn’t manage to get very far before class 1-B’s bus drove right through his ghostly apparition.

“Five members though, Kendo!” Monoma cried, “Five members – and they say they’re so much better than us!”

“It doesn’t matter who failed the exams or who didn’t,” Kendo retorted.

“Yeah, don’t be such a hypocrite, Monoma!” exclaimed a guy wearing a blue and white headband.

Whoops, sorry!” Midoriya apologised to no one in particular as he realised where he was.

“He’s right though,” interjected a guy with short green hair and pincers on his face. “Class A thinks they’re so freaking–”

“– Don’t you even start, Kamakiri!” their class president yelled back at him.

Midoriya felt extremely out of place. Despite not actually making it into class 1-A because of his accident, Midoriya always found himself hovering around the class he was meant to be in. Because of this, he hadn’t really spent much time around class 1-B. He knew several students, Monoma, for starters, then Kendo because of her friendly attitude towards the rest of class A, and then Tetsutetsu, because of his involvement in the Sports Festival with Kirishima. The only other face he could match a name to was Ibara Shiozaki, the girl with the vine hair who defeated Kaminari.

“Hey! Whoever just opened a window – close it!” exclaimed another student, with lots of long, brown hair and a pair of square glasses similar to Iida’s.

Midoriya was about to leave to catch up with class A again when another horrendously sharp corner caught him off guard.

“AAAAAHHHHHHHH!”

“Kinoko! What happened?!”

“There was this green light!” exclaimed the girl with a bob and a block fridge so long that it covered her eyes. “It was shaped like a person – I swear!”

Ah, whoops,” Midoriya muttered, rubbing his head as he got up and floated beside the girl. The bus had screeched to a halt with her sudden exclamation. “I must have activated my Quirk by accident…” Midoriya pondered. “I guess that explains why I hit the back of the bus instead of flying through it again…”

“Is everything ok there, Komori?” asked Vlad King as he turned to face his students from the front of the bus.

“Someone else is here, Mr Vlad!” the girl – Kinoko Komori, explained.

“What are you talking about?” asked a horned girl with a thick American accent.

“Shishida?” Vlad called out.

The guy with all the fur and glasses from earlier stood up and sniffed the air. “I can’t smell any stranger, Sir Vlad,” he replied. “But I must admit to feeling a strange presence for the last few minutes.

Oh no, a sensory Quirk?” Midoriya guessed. “I’m so sorry – I didn’t mean to cause any trouble!”

“No one here can make lights like that, right?” asked Kendo.

“Monoma, it better not be you!” Tetsutetsu yelled from across the bus.

“I can only copy another Quirk for five minutes – and I wouldn’t have been able to touch anyone other than the people on this bus for hours!” Monoma retorted, clearly angry about the accusation.

 “Are you sure you weren’t just seeing things?”

“Yeah, did you spore a weird mushroom or something?”

“Do you think it could have been someone from class A?”

“Nah, look, their bus turned off.”

“Wait, what?” Midoriya exclaimed, phasing through Shishida to look outside the bus. Sure enough, his coach had disappeared down some other narrow road. He’d lost them. He sighed and floated back into bus B. At least they were all going to the same location. He’d catch up with them all later.

“Something is amiss, Sir Vlad!” Shishida cried as Midoriya returned. Perhaps his sensory Quirk reacted a little differently to Midoriya touching him.

Mr Vlad simply grunted and turned back to the front of the bus. “If something happens again, let me know. We’re not far from the lodge now anyway.”

Midoriya gave a sigh of relief as the bus started to move.

“Maybe it is the ghost of class A?”

Midoriya stared. The girl who’d suggested the idea was very pale looking, like a ghost herself, with short, silvery hair, who held her arms in a strange position, even whilst sitting, with her elbows tucked in tight to her body, but her lower arms raised, kind of like a zombie.

“Ghost huh?” said one of the other girls with long, green-tinged hair. “Where’d you hear ‘bout that, Reiko?”

“They had divulged me of a wistful figure who appears to shadow the members of their class. One who rarely appears in a visible form, although they presume it to be a constant presence within school hours,” she replied. “With our rooms being situated side by side, they had initially concluded that the green figure was a trick being played on them by one of us. Having encountered me in the Sports Festival. One member of our sister class questioned whether I was responsible, with my Quirk being named poltergeist after all.”

“Yeah, but it’s got nothing to do with actual ghosts appearing, right?”

Reiko shook her head timidly.

Theories about Midoriya were thrown back and forth for the rest of their journey, even whilst they stopped for a toilet break, the conversations didn’t sway from the matter. Midoriya was absolutely relieved when the lodge finally came into view. Although, other than Mr Aizawa, class A was nowhere to be seen.

“Where’s your class, Eraserhead?” questioned Vlad King, echoing Midoriya’s thoughts as the rest of class B listened in intently.

“Training,” he answered bluntly.

Already?” said Midoriya.

“They’ll be finished in the next few hours. Go ahead and let your class set up and have food.”

Vlad King seemed a little confused but didn’t question it.

Midoriya, however, had already been distracted by something else.

The heroes that were holding the summer camp were a famous four-person team that specialised in mountain rescues – the Wild, Wild Pussycats. After gushing about them to himself for a good few minutes, his attention was caught by yet another surprise, a young boy with shaggy, black hair and a red hat with little golden horns. He looked positively repulsed by the class B students who were happily pulling their luggage out of their coach.

“How pathetic – to want to be hero,” he snarled to himself as he followed one of the Wild, Wild Pussycats, Mandalay, back into the lodge.

Midoriya wondered what he’d think of him – who had already practically killed himself for the cause…

And so, the ghost took it upon himself to follow the boy around, partly because of how lonely he looked, partly because he wanted to get away from class B, but mostly because his curiosity had gotten the better of him.

Midoriya just couldn’t understand why someone wouldn’t want to be, or at least respect heroes! Something must have happened to him. It was the only explanation.

Class A trudged across the threshold of the summer lodge as the sun began to set. They looked exhausted. Midoriya was glad he’d decided to treat the camp as his own version of training – seeing how long he could remain away from his body and hoping his teleportation trick worked to get all the way back once he ran out of time. If he hadn’t he wouldn’t have been able to laugh at the sheer joy that spread across Kaminari’s and Kirishima’s faces once they were told that they were still getting food.

As they ate, Midoriya kept an eye on little Kota. But not long after, he saw the boy sneak away from the group and wander into the forest. Midoriya, having literally nothing better to do than watch his friends eat the food that he so desperately wanted to try himself, ended up following him across the valley and up a well-trodden trail up the mountainside.

Kota had no idea that someone was there, listening as he ranted to himself about heroes and villains killing each other for no reason. About how they cared so much about Quirks and waving in front of the cameras…

How if his parents weren’t heroes, they would still be there for him.

And as Midoriya succumbed to the darkness and his spirit was pulled back to his body, all he could think of were the people he had left behind – leaving them as all but dead, trapped like his own body was a prison. But somehow, as he fell asleep, rather than putting him off his dream, it simply fuelled his determination.

He would find a way out of this coma, so he could chase away worries with a smile – so he could save lives – and so no one would have to leave their loved ones behind.

Chapter Text

Midoriya was very proud of himself.

You see, whilst the rest of his classmates struggled through the torture that was Quirk training, he was by no means slacking off.

First of all, Midoriya discovered that, since he didn’t really have a body, the laws of physics didn’t seem to apply to him. He could be wherever he so wished, as long as he could picture himself in the place in question, he could teleport to and fro. Moreover, Midoriya had extended the maximum time limit away from his body to over ten hours, a period of time which included the occasionally upping of this power usage. He spent time in the woods, away from everyone else, who were far too focused on training to notice the distant flicker of green lightning anyway, doing his own version of a training regime. He finally managed to pin point how much power he needed to make his voice heard and how much he needed to be visible. Then how much he required to become tangible. The higher the percentage of One for All he used, the more solid his ghostly apparition became, and the bigger the headache he received when he finally let himself snap back to his real body. He could resist that pull, but at the mercy of his health. Dr Adachi was very worried about him. Midoriya overheard conversations between him and the other nurses about Midoriya’s deteriorating condition. He was overdoing it. However, he found it extremely interesting how much his body responded to his training. It made Midoriya shiver (do ghosts shiver?) at the thought of All Might’s warnings of his arms and legs blowing off if he used to much power before he was ready for it. But… maybe, just maybe, he could use this…

And finally wake up.

But he knew that it would come with time. Before, he had been so impatient, desperate to lift his head and feel again, to be free of the cage of his motionless self. But as the months went by, he became more accustomed to his new way of life, if it was even life at all. He had learnt so much about his Quirk, things that even All Might couldn’t have known. He had met new people, seen such incredible things! And Midoriya was scared – scared about what would happen when he finally woke up. He’d have to build all these relationships from scratch. Would he tell everyone about his ghostly self? What would they think? Would they be mad that he hadn’t tried harder to contact them? Would they –

– No, he couldn’t think like that. One step at a time. He was patient. He had until the end of the summer break to wake up. He planned to use that time to its fullest. Perhaps, at the end of the summer camp, he would finally talk to his classmates, and explain what had happened to him. How student 18 had been there the entire time…

“Bellies are filled, and plates are clean!” Pixie Bob exclaimed, “Now it’s time for…”

“The totally awesome test of courage!” Ashido interjected excitably, bunching the air.

“Sorry to break it to you,” said Mr Aizawa expertly wrapping his capture tape around five of his students, “Remedial group, you’ve got your extra lessons with me now.”

“YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!”

Midoriya chuckled as he watched on. He’d been taking it lightly that day. It was the third day of training, and for once he considered the feelings of poor Dr Adachi. He didn’t know exactly what he’d been doing to his body unintentionally, but it was really frightening the hospital staff. He thought taking a day off occasionally would be better for everyone. He felt quite bad missing a day of training, but perhaps this test of courage would serve as the perfect opportunity for his ghost to have some fun whilst testing his palpability.

Jiro!” Kaminari called as he was literally dragged away. “Document it for meeeeee!”

“Why am I the backup vlogger?” Jiro moaned, pulling out her phone anyway. “I hate scary things…”

“GREAT!” Shinsou exclaimed, “I drew the short straw – someone switch with me!”

“We’ve got an odd number, so someone had to be alone,” Uraraka replied.

“EYEBAGS, switch with me!” Bakugo yelled, pointing at Todoroki.

“NO SWITCHING!” Ragdoll contradicted.

“GET READY TO HAVE YOUR PANTS SCARED OFF, CLASS A!” Tetsutetsu yelled as his class started to make their way into the forest to take their positions.

Midoriya saw this as the perfect opportunity to make him eat his words.

About half of class B screamed and one girl legitimately lost her head.

“WHAT WAS THAT?!” one exclaimed.

“Oh my God, Setsuna, are you ok?” asked the boy with the blue and white headband.

“The ghost is back!” said Setsuna as she reattached her head.

“Woah, wait, ghost?!” Uraraka exclaimed.

“Yeah! Your ghost follows us now!” Pony replied, her hand on her heart.

Midoriya laughed, he’d only just made himself visible for a few precious moments. Looks like he could easily win this competition for class A.

“JIRO!” Hagakure yelled excitably, “Were you filming?!”

“Come on, guys!” said Ragdoll. “Save the scaring for when the competition begins! Now, get into the forest so we can start!”

Class B were a whole lot less confident venturing into the forest after that.

Midoriya, who was more eager to be a scarer than to be unintentionally frightened by class B, quickly followed them down the dirt path and into the shadow-shrouded forest.

Under any other circumstance, Midoriya would be as terrified of the screams filling the forest as the people letting those screams out of their mouths. However, as a ghost, it wasn’t like anything could hurt him… so…

Actually – who is that?

There was a girl there, wandering through the trees. She was someone Midoriya didn’t recognise, definitely not from class A or class B. She was dressed in a middle-school outfit and wearing some kind of black mask, which she was pulling at in obvious discomfort, or perhaps just distaste. And she was carrying a knife.

Smoke filled the air. It mingled with a grey gas which couldn’t have been natural. It seeped through the forest as the girl almost skipped along in a gleeful fashion.

Midoriya’s mind raced.

Villains.

That had to be the answer.

Suddenly the yells filling the woodland brought with them an unsettling truth. They were under attack. The students were scattered across the forest because of the test of courage. But through the panic, Midoriya could only see one course of action.

Because Kota was alone.

And Midoriya was the only one who knew where he could be.

 


 

Kota stood, sweat pouring down his face as he watched the blue flames burn across the forest. He was alone, shaking, terrified.

He heard Mandalay’s telepathy call to him, telling him to run home. But he was so scared, that his feet just wouldn’t move.

“I just came up here for the view, and what do I find? A face that wasn’t on the list.”

Kota turned in shock, only to come face to face with a towering man in a black clock and a grey mask covered in holes.

Kota ran as the villain complained loudly about the mask, which he quickly tossed to the ground.

As the recognition of the man registered in his brain, Kota continued to run, and run, but the familiar villain didn’t follow. Still frightened, Kota slowed to a halt and gazed over his shoulder.

There, holding back Muscular, was a figure, coloured neon green, with electricity buzzing around him.

“What, the?!” Muscular yelled.

So surprised by the encounter, the villain was pushed back. But as soon as he realised that one of those hero students must have come to a timely rescue, he leered and applied his power.

The green boy cried out in shock and was quickly overcome.

He disappeared in a second flash of light.

Muscular toppled over and fell to the ground. “Where’d you go, kid?! I’m not finished with you yet!”

Kota wasn’t sure if he was talking to him or the strange person who had come to his rescue, but nevertheless, the exclamation only added to the fear building up in his chest, sending tears streaming down his face.

Run, Kota!” a voice cried.

Kota didn’t know where it had come from. It wasn’t Mandalay’s, but he didn’t hesitate to trust it. Stumbling over the rocks, Kota ran down the mountain side and towards the flaming trees. They seemed more inviting than what was behind him.

 


 

Kota!”

Kota stopped, panting, his throat dry. He was alone in the forest, no one in sight. It wasn’t Mandalay’s voice, that was –

Kota, where are you?!”

– That was the green boy, from earlier! He’s alive? D-Did he defeat Muscular?

“I-I’m over h-here!” he replied, shaking, worried that it was another villain.

Instead of his saviour running from the trees, he appeared before him in a clash of green lightning. His figure flickered like a glitch on a TV screen. His voice sounded… wrong – distant and, in a strange way, almost robotic. Kota didn’t recognise him. Partly because his figure was blurry; hard to see, and partly because… well, Kota was sure that this guy was never at the training camp to begin with.

“A-Are you o-ok?” Kota stammered. He didn’t look ok. He was almost transparent. He could just see the trees through his glowing, green self. His feet didn’t even touch the ground – who was this?!

Don’t worry about me,” he replied. It was hard to make out the words. They were barely more than a whisper. “Let me help you get back to the lodge.”

Kota nodded uncertainly.

When he held out his hand for Kota to take it, he hesitated and took a step back.

“Who are you?” he questioned. “W-Why did you save me? You don’t even k-know me!”

Because that’s what it means to be a hero.”

Through his tears, Kota gaped up at the flickering man – his hero.

A little more surely, he reached forward and grasped his hand. It was cold, lacking any comfort of body heat, like he was grasping nothing but the night air. His hand seemed more solid than the rest of him. As he pulled Kota through the trees, his figure seemed to glitch more and more. He slowed and his floating form started to sink closer and closer to the ground.

“Y-You’re not ok!” Kota exclaimed as the lodge came into view. “You’re hurt!”

Don’t worry,” he replied. His voice was even more distant now, like he was fading away.

“Mr Aizawa!”

Kota turned towards the clearing just outside the house. Eraserhead was there, pinning down a villain covered in scars. Arriving at the same time as him, were four students that he did recognise.

The exclamation from the boy with glasses surprised the teacher, and the villain pulled away from his grip.

He melted into nothing more than a pile of mud with a menacing smile, “See ya later…” he laughed as he crumbled away.

“Mr Aizawa, what was that?!” cried the short boy with purple hair.

“Get inside, I’ll be back soon,” Eraserhead began. He turned, about to run into the forest when he saw Kota beside the green man.

He froze, “Kota get away!”

To Kota’s surprise, Eraserhead’s scarf was thrown across the clearing and wrapped itself around the body of his hero.

“W-Wait! It’s ok!” Kota tried to tell them.

But suddenly, the green figure disappeared, and the scarf fell to the floor.

“A-Another villain?” stammered the student with the tail.

“Get inside!” Eraserhead ordered once more.

They didn’t hesitate that time.

 


 

Midoriya, kid – what the hell do you think you’re doing?!” a familiar voice cried.

Midoriya stopped in his tracks as a purple figure faded into view – Nana.

“I have to help them,” Midoriya began. “The villains can’t hurt me! I can –”

“You’ve done enough!” the fallen hero insisted. “Don’t you feel the tug back to your body?!”

He couldn’t deny it. It was stronger than anything – a blinding pain that pulsed through his ghostly apparition, like a rope tied around his waist, trying to pull him back to the hospital so far away. His head pounded. The pain actually transmitted to his spirit. That couldn’t be good.

You’re giving yourself seizures!” she cried. “You could kill yourself!”

Just a little longer, I need to –”

“Ugh! You’re being too reckless – just like Toshi. Where on Earth did he find you?!”

“I-I –”

“The last time you used One for All to that extent was at the USJ – you didn’t wake up for days!”

“I’ve been training!”

“I know – you’ve done well! But the amount of power you used to defeat Muscular wasn’t natural! You’re using up your own life-force now! Kid, don’t you see? You could never wake up after this!”

Midoriya hesitated. He could hear the pain in her voice; feel the blinding pain that begged him to return to his body. He didn’t want to die. He couldn’t bare to leave his family – his friends – behind. But if he left now, would he be able to live with himself if something went wrong?

One more thing. There’s one more thing I have to do, then I’ll go – I swear!”

“WHAT?!”

“Kacchan – they’re after Kacchan! Muscular must have thought I was a student and tried to interrogate his location out of me! I have to warn him!”

Nana pulled at her hair. “Ok, FINE! But HURRY!”

Midoriya didn’t hesitate. He turned off most of One for All to become intangible and soared through the trees.

It took longer than it should have been to find him.

 


 

“What did I say? I’m your worst possible match-up!” Bakugo snarled as dark shadow retreated back into Tokoyami.

“… Thank you, I’m saved,” he muttered, his voice sore from his screaming.

“We were struggling just to survive against that guy,” Todoroki acknowledged. “But in an instant, you…”

KACCHAN!”

“What was that?!” Shoji exclaimed, almost dropping an unconscious Tsuburaba as he was transferred from Todoroki’s back to the much stronger Shoji.

Bakugo froze. He couldn’t have heard that right…

Kacchan!” the voice yelled again.

“Is that another villain?” questioned Tokoyami, clambering to his feet to ready himself for another fight.

“Must be, I don’t recognise that voice,” Todoroki replied, forgetting his distaste for using his flames as he thawed the ice forming over his left side.

The group yelled out in fright as a green flash of light illuminated the path they were standing on.

“What is that?” said Shoji as the light quickly reformed into the shape of a person.

Kacchan – the villains, they’re after you!” the new figure exclaimed.

“What the hell –” Bakugo started.

Todoroki gazed, open mouthed “Is that the –”

“– ghost?” Shoji finished.

I don’t know why,” the ghost continued, “But you’re in danger! You have to get back to camp as quickly as possible!”

His voice was distorted; his figure blurry and facial features almost unrecognisable. But that name – Bakugo knew that nickname. There was only one person on Earth who still called him that. And he was as good as dead, so how –

There’s no time! I have to go,” the ghost continued. “My Quirk has reached its limit. Please, I wish I could help you more, but let’s just hope –”

“…Deku?”

“– that I’ll be seeing you all again soon!”

Chapter Text

“What the hell?” Todoroki breathed after a moment’s stunned silence.

“Bakugo, do you know –” Shoji began.

“SHUT IT!” Bakugo retorted immediately, he tried to shout but his voice was barely a whisper. A hiss that could have been lost to the crackling of the distant flames.

“It – he – said the villains were after you,” that damned Half-n’-Half continued. “We should move.”

“I said CAN IT!” he yelled, forgetting how much of a bad idea shouting was in the middle of the villains’ raid. “We’ll figure out what the hell that was after we’ve gotten this freaking extra back to camp!” He said, pointing at Tsuburaba on Shoji’s back before turning on his heel and marching back through the forest, almost tripping on the ice that Todoroki had left lying around. It was so annoying that he wouldn’t use his fire to melt it. It was just a freaking hinderance on everyone. “Don’t get in my way. If any villains decide to jump in, I’ll blow ‘em to bits!”

The others started trying to get some more information out of the explosive-boy as they walked, desperate for answers about the strange apparition that was there one second, gone the next. But Bakugo wasn’t listening, too engulfed in his thoughts. He should have been focusing more on the shadows slinking through the trees, leaping across the canopy, but he was distracted. For in that moment, a memory flashed across his mind’s eye…

 


 

 

Five Months Ago

 

“Stupid freaking nerd,” Bakugo muttered aloud as he kicked the pebbles down the street, hands in his pockets and a snarl etched upon his expression. “How the hell did he get into UA? There’s something going on here. Ever since the sludge villain he’s been… different. What changed? What the hell made him worthy of freaking SEVENTH PLACE FOR THE UA EXAMS?!” he yelled, picking up the stone he’d been dribbling and tossing it into the sky with an explosion of anger. And, well, an actual explosion.

He gritted his teeth, grinding them, hands clutched into fists, a vein popping out on his wrists as he marched furiously down the road. Passers-by swerved around him as he walked, seeing the obvious signs of someone who was not in a good mood and avoiding him as much as possible.

He’d spent all his life with Deku trailing behind him, like a… no, not a puppy. Puppies can be trained – they have potential. Deku was nothing more than a bug. Something that he could squash if he wanted to. But like all blithering cockroaches, he just couldn’t shake him off. And NOW that good-for-nothing Deku was following him all the way to UA! The bastard. He’d ruined his plans. Bakugo was going to be the only one from his crappy middle school to do anything worthwhile. Now his name was going to be tainted beside Deku’s in their stupid hall of fame forever. Great. Just GREAT!

Where was he anyway? Deku scampered off like a freaking rat as soon as the bell rang, before Bakugo had the chance to teach him a lesson. Despite that, he’d had been sure that he’d reach Deku before he had the chance to get home and block Bakugo out of his life until UA started. Maybe he’d taking a detour to avoid him on purpose. Yeah, that sounded like something Deku would do. The coward.

It didn’t matter. It wasn’t like he cared anyway. As soon as he joined UA, Bakugo would get the answers out of him. If the nerd lasted long at the school that was, which seemed unlikely. He didn’t have a Quirk! How could a Quirkless loser like him get into UA? Yeah, something was up. And all the theories buzzing around his brain were driving him up the wall.

He went to bed restless that night, staring at the ceiling in the darkness.

It was in the morning that he received the news.

Deku had been involved in another villain attack – and he’d been unconscious ever since he was pulled from the rubble.

But alongside thoughts such as: the reckless danger-seeking idiot had it coming and what the actual hell was he thinking? something nestled in the back of Bakugo’s mind: was it his fault? His fault that Deku was there in the first place? It seemed irrational, unreasonable. But no matter what he did, he couldn’t shake the guilt. And although he couldn’t bring himself to visit Deku’s motionless self as the months went by, that thought buried itself deeper and deeper into his skin. If only the idiot would wake up! Then it would all finally leave him alone. But he didn’t. Time went on, and most started to lose hope.

But Deku was stubborn. He would never leave Bakugo alone, no matter how hard he tried to shake him off, he was always there. His classmates even unknowingly muttered about him! It was like he could feel his presence in class 1-A, sitting there in the empty seat behind him. It made the hairs on the back of his head stand on end.

Wake up. Just WAKE UP!

But still, Deku remained silent.

Until the summer camp, when his voice filled Bakugo’s ears once more.

 


 

Impossible. There’s no way. It had to be some kind of Quirk – tricking him. Trying to get into his head. But even Bakugo could admit that it was freaking WORKING!

“Bakugo, answer us,” Todoroki insisted in that irritatingly dead-pan voice of his. “Who is Deku?”

“Someone who should not be here!” Bakugo yelled back. “And for the last time, shut the hell up and focus on the damn task at hand!”

“This is serious,” said Tokoyami. “He isn’t a student, so one would assume that he is either a villain or a vigilante.”

“I wouldn’t say villain,” Shoji replied. “He seemed like he was trying to help us.”

“That green appearance reminds me of the ghost that Kaminari and the others have been so interested in,” Todoroki reminded them. “Perhaps he’s been around us for a while, but only now decided to show himself.”

“JUST SHUT UP!” Bakugo yelled, letting his fire-power burst from his aching palms. “DEKU SHOULD BE DEAD! He already practically is! He has been for months now!”

“So, he really is a ghost?” asked Shoji.

“I DON’T FREAKING KNOW!”

“Revelry in the dark…” muttered Tokoyami.

Suddenly, Todoroki stopped in his tracks, “Hey, is that Uraraka?”

They stopped shouting at each other immediately and turned towards the path they were intercepting. Round face had somehow pinned what looked like a school-girl to the ground, who had stuck some kind of needle into the gravity-girl’s leg.

“Uraraka!” Shoji exclaimed.

His voice surprised her and the villain slipped away from her grasp, disappearing into the woods whilst mumbling about not wanting to die that day.

Todoroki and Shoji ran ahead to help Uraraka to her feet, and assess the frog-girl, who Bakugo hadn’t acknowledged previously.

He gritted his teeth. The girls were bleeding. That freaking villain. Bakugo didn’t care what she looked like. She was so dead.

Bird-Head must have realised what he was thinking, because he reached forward to hold him back, “Wait, we don’t know –”

Bakugo tried to bat his hand away, but it never reached his arm.

Frowning at how quickly his classmate’s sentence had been cut short, he turned to face him – but he was gone.

“Hey, where –”

And in the blink of an eye, so was Bakugo.

 


 

Bakugo remembers nothing until he was released from his marble prison. He had hated being so powerless; reliant on the others to save his skin.

But they had failed.

As Tokoyami fell to Shoji’s side, Todoroki fell by Bakugo’s feet, eyes wide with fear.

Stay back,” he warned, feeling the scared villain’s hot hand grip tighter around his neck as he was pulled back into the swirling portal.

And then the darkness welcomed him once more.

 

Chapter Text

Kaminari held Jiro’s phone in his hand. One of the other girls knew the password and had typed it in for him. As sirens blared around them, Kaminari had his earplugs in, listening to the videos that she had taken as the ordeal unfolded. They didn’t last long. Jiro passed out form the gas quite early into the attack. However, her phone continued to film for a while after, whilst she remained unconscious on the forest floor. The camera was angled so it could see her face, hand vaguely obstructing it as she breathed in the toxic fumes unwillingly. Hagakure could be seen in the background, also motionless on the floor. Kaminari just sat there, listening to the screams echoing through the forest through the video.

“How are you holding up, man?” It was Kirishima, who had spent the entire time by Kaminari’s side in the remedial class.

Kaminari had half the mind of not replying and continuing to watch the flames creep closer towards his unconscious friends, but the video cut out from lack of memory soon after.

“I could ask you the same question,” said Kaminari, pulling out his earplugs.

He sighed, angling his head away from him slightly, watching planes put out the flames that stubbornly endured. “I just feel… so useless. You know? Whilst our friends were out there fighting for their lives, we just… sat in the classroom and waited.”

Kaminari didn’t know how to reply, mainly because he completely agreed. Despite being incredibly grateful that not only was his life spared, but he was able to avoid the fight all together, he still felt strangely guilty for not being there for his classmates. He’d made close friends with Bakugo over the past few months, well, as close as you could really get to Bakugo without being Kirishima. Now, with his presence completely erased from their company, Kaminari felt an emptiness inside. A budding sorrow and pessimism. Would he ever see his face again? And if he did, would things ever be the same?

After a moment’s thought, Kaminari scrolled back to the earlier video Jiro had taken, after he had delivered instructions to be his back-up vlogger, as she called it. He handed his left earplug to Kirishima, who took it without hesitation, rubbing tears from his eyes as Kaminari clicked play.

They watched those videos, and many taken days before, for the next who-knows-how-long. He was surprised how easily they made him laugh, despite all that had happened.

It didn’t take long for his other classmates to gather around, and for Kirishima to remove the earplugs all together to allow them to listen in.

Ha, thought Kaminari, I guess these videos are good for something after all…

 


 

Eventually, those who needed it were transported to the nearest hospital, and the remainder of class A and B were sent home to distort parents, who welcomed them with open arms and plenty of tears after they heard the news.

Over the next few days, Kaminari was stuck in his house. It didn’t take long for the events of UA’s summer camp to reach the news. It was all the media would talk about. But all Kaminari wanted was some space from it all. He didn’t want to talk to detectives – he knew he had nothing worthwhile to say, except hand over Jiro’s phone as evidence. All he wanted was to see his friends again. To see Jiro and Hagakure awake and happy – To see Bakugo.

Preferably alive.

So, when the class received news that Yaoyorozu had finally woken up, he jumped at the chance to visit, alongside the rest of the class (excluding Mineta, who was apparently talking with Mr Aizawa about his adverse behaviour at the summer camp towards the girls…).

“Hey, Yaomomo,” said Mina. She wasn’t acting at all like her usual, bubbly self. “How’s the head?”

Yaoyorozu touched the bandage wrapped around her skull briefly. “Much better, thank you,” she answered.

“We thought that we’d visit now that you’re awake,” explained Todoroki. “Kirishima and I saw you earlier, but you were talking with All Might and the detective, so we decided it was best not to intervene.”

She nodded in understanding. “Is all of class A here?”

“No…” Iida replied hesitantly. “Jiro and Hagakure are still unconscious, ever since being knocked out by that gas.”

“All sixteen of us came,” added Uraraka.

“Of course, Bakugo’s not here,” interjected Shinsou.

The class fell silent. Kaminari couldn’t even meet Yaoyorozu’s eyes. Of course, she had only recently woken up, and he wasn’t sure how much she had heard about this. He knew first hand how hard it was to process.

“I-I’ve been looking through all those videos we’ve been taking over the semester,” Kaminari began, bringing the conversation away from such a sombre subject. “I thought I could, um, montage some of the best clips together. It might be a nice distraction from it all for us.”

“… Thank you, Kaminari,” Yaoyorozu replied. “That sounds lovely.”

“I’ll put it in the group chat as soon as it’s done,” he continued. “I thought I could do a separate one on all our student 18 and ghost theories though.”

Silence fell over them again. Kaminari was worried that his change of subject hadn’t really worked. Everyone just seemed as upset as before, thinking back to all of their once happy memories of missing or unconscious friends.

“That’s right… the ghost,” murmured Shoji.

“Huh?” frowned Uraraka.

“Todoroki, Tokoyami,” his many-armed classmate continued. “Do you remember in the forest, just before we encountered Uraraka and Tsuyu, we saw –”

“– the green figure,” Todoroki finished, his eyes widening.

“What are you talking about?” questioned Sero.

“Yes, of course, how could I have forgotten,” said Tokoyami. “Before being briefly detained by the masked magician, our group, which included Bakugo and an unconscious Tsuburaba, saw a strange being who floated in the air and was tinted luminescent green.”

“What the hell?” Shinsou frowned.

“Just like the ghost…” Uraraka realised.

Iida suddenly gasped, “We had a similar experience before joining you all in the classroom!”

“Oh, right, that weird guy who saved Kota, right?” Ojiro remembered.

“What on Earth did we miss out on?” questioned Sato.

“Wait, wait, wait,” Kaminari interjected. “Are you saying there was actually a ghost?!”

“That doesn’t make any sense…” Yaoyorozo gaped.

“Did he talk to you too?” asked Todoroki.

“He talked?!” Kaminari explained, taking out his phone and beginning to film the conversation.

“He warned us that the villains were after Bakugo,” he explained. “Although, he called him by a strange name.”

“What was it? I cannot remember,” replied Tokoyami.

“I think it was Deku,” said Shoji.

“No, that was what Bakugo called the ghost,” Todoroki recalled.

“Wait, Bakugo knew the ghost?” Kaminari interrogated.

“Kaminari, this is not the time to be filming!” Iida insisted.

Kaminari elected to ignore him.

“When Mr Aizawa attacked the… ghost, when he took Kota back from the forest, his capture weapon went right through him and he disappeared,” Ojiro told them. “That was the only time we saw him, but Kota insisted that he had saved him from Muscular!”

“That villain that the police found on the mountainside?” asked Sato. “Could a ghost seriously render a guy like that unconscious?”

“Are we sure this was really a ghost?” pondered Asui, tapping her chin with her finger. “Perhaps it was just some person with a strange Quirk.”

“That seems like the most plausible explanation,” Todoroki agreed. “But that would mean that he has been with us since…”

“… the USJ,” Yaoyorozo remembered. “That green figure who protected All Might from the villain with the disintegration Quirk. What if it was the same person?”

“You don’t think it actually is student 18, do you?” wondered Mina.

“No,” said Uraraka and Iida simultaneously. Which was just a little suspicious.

“If that was so, then Mr Aizawa would have alerted us,” Iida finished.

Uraraka nodded in confirmation.

“Could we, like, talk to the ghost again? Um, Deku, if that was his name?” Mina suggested eagerly.

“… A séance?” Shinsou grinned.

“I thought we said he wasn’t actually a ghost?” Kaminari retorted.

“I was kidding.”

“GASP! Shinsou can joke?!” Mina exclaimed.

Kaminari gazed around at his friends as smiles crept across their faces. Whether this was an actual lead or not didn’t matter. It was taking his friends’ minds off the horrible situation at hand and that was all he cared about.

But little did they know as they plotted ways to contact their mysterious apparition, only a few rooms over, his body lay as still and as silent as it had always been.

 

Chapter Text

Kid, that was reckless and beyond stupid!”

Midoriya groaned, blinking and rubbing his eyes as his ghost rose from his body once more. Nana yanked him off his bed and glared at him with a deadly stare.

W-What did I do?” he moaned.

What did you do?” she repeated with a hint of sarcasm. “What did you do?! You almost killed yourself, you lunatic!”

“I-I what?” he said, eyes widening.

“You could have died!” she yelled with seemingly enough volume to wake the dead – I mean living – um, comatose… people? “And don’t even start with that ‘I’ve been training’ excuse! You were not ready to use that amount of power!”

“Wait – what happened?” Midoriya questioned.

The purple ghost sighed exasperatedly, rubbing her temples to relieve the apparent stress. “You ran in without thinking – sure, you saved the little squirt, which was awesome, by the way.”

Midoriya grinned.

Uh, no! I’m supposed to be scolding you here – stop smiling!”

He only smiled wider.

Nana sighed once more, reached out, and pulled Midoriya into a hug. “Just don’t hurt yourself like that again, ok?”

He nodded.

“For your sake and ours, do you understand?”

“Of course, I’m sorry.”

They floated by his hospital bed in silence for a minute longer, both in deep thought of the events that had passed as they remained in the comfort of each other’s arms.

Want to do something else reckless and stupid?” asked Nana.

You read my mind.”

Nana grinned. “But seriously, don’t push yourself like that again. You don’t want to give yourself fits so bad that they pull life support!”

“Oh, right…”

“Yeah, that would be bad. Plus, you’ve got to get out of this coma, Sleeping Beauty! You’ve not got long left before the next semester begins!”

“I-I know! I’m trying but I-I don’t know what to do!”

“Oh, I don’t know, how about actually talking to your teachers?!”

“Oh…”

“Yeah, oh.”

“Wait, that’s not that reckless – what were you talking about earlier then?”

“Ah… You couldn’t hear when they were talking about that to you, were you?”

“About what?”

“Um…”

Midoriya pushed away from the hug abruptly, “What happened, Nana?!”

She hesitated. “Your friend… the explosion boy…”

“K-Kacchan?!” he gasped. “T-The villains… please, don’t tell me –”

“He’s alive!” she said quickly. “But, well, he was kidnapped, Midoriya.”

Midoriya stared at her. He sunk to the floor, head in his hands.

No… no, no, no! I shouldn’t have left! I should have helped, I –”

“No, kid, listen to me,” Nana ordered, crouching down beside him. “You did everything you could, and a little more besides that. Anyway, it’s not over yet…”

He looked up at her, pausing as he rubbed non-existent tears from his ghost’s eyes. “B-But what could I possibly do now to h-help him?”

The fallen hero smirked. “Float through the wall. Just a few rooms over. I leave you to decide what to do. If you need me, just call my name.”

And with that, she was gone.

Midoriya didn’t hesitate that time.

As soon as the purple had faded completely, Midoriya rushed across his hospital room and leapt through the wall, leaving his body behind. He didn’t even see the tears rolling down his cheeks.

 


 

“Are you asking me… to make another signal device for you?” Yaoyorozo questioned.

Kirishima and Todoroki hesitated, but then nodded in confirmation.

“No. It’s just as All Might said. We ought to leave this matter to the pros! It’s not our place to interfere, you fools!” Iida yelled at his classmates. The others flinched at his sudden outcry.

“You think I don’t know that?!” Kirishima retorted. “But still! I couldn’t do anything!!”

Iida gritted his teeth, staring at him with narrowed eyes.

“My buddy is gone! And all I did was sit in that classroom and hoped for the best! If I don’t act now… forget being a hero, I’m not even a man!”

“Calm down, Kirishima,” Kaminari warned, finger over his lips, urging him to be quiet. His phone was tucked deep into his pocket in this occasion. “We get that you’re a Hothead, but in this case…”

“Iida is correct,” Asui finished.

“I know he’s right! You all are but…!!”

Maybe I can help.”

Everyone fell silent. It wasn’t as tense as it had been, simply surprised and very confused.

“…Who was that?” questioned Kirishima, his fists still clenched from the heated debate.

Oh, wow – hey this is actually working for once!”

Kirishima looked around the room frantically. It wasn’t anyone he recognised – he was sure he’d never heard the voice in his life. But there was clearly no one else other than his classmates in the room.

Even Todoroki looked spooked – more than many of the others, come to think of it…

“Who’s there?” Yaoyorozu asked hesitantly.

This isn’t how I thought it would go…”

Kirishima turned on his hardening and raised his right arm, ready to fight the intruder. However, something told him that whoever this was wasn’t a threat.

Koda actually screamed when, right beside him, a figure of green light formed seemingly out of nowhere.

Then, the figure himself yelled in surprise and vanished as quickly as he had appeared.

“No, wait!” Kirishima called out, lowering his guard immediately and cautiously approaching the now empty space beside Koda, who was quaking in fear. “Come back!”

“Was that…” Shoji muttered.

Todoroki turned and nodded covertly. “Deku, that’s your name, right?”

A moment of silence hung in the air, until, eventually, another flash of light filled Kirishima’s vision, revealing the strange being once more.

I-I,” he stammered. “Yeah, I guess… That’s what K-Kacchan used to call me when we were younger.”

“Y-You’re the ghost!" Uraraka exclaimed in realisation.

Um… Well, yes. Sorry…”

“Oh… my God,” Mina muttered, hands covering her mouth in shock.

When Kaminari started to pull his phone out of his pocket, the green ghost suddenly lurched forward, zoomed straight through Kirishima and pushed the blond’s hand back down to stop him from filming.

Kirishima shivered like he’d just been frozen by Todoroki, whilst Kaminari quivered with a mixture of fear and the same feeling of icy-cold that the ghost seemed to radiate. He lacked the warmth of a real person – like he was nothing but solid air, well, solid when he wanted to be.

Kirishima turned slowly to face the green figure once more.

It was hard to pick out the details of him. He couldn’t describe his clothing, but it was obvious he was wearing something, from the way the edges of his silhouette were made out. His hair looked messy, unkept, and was probably the same length as his own. He could see clear indications of his eyes, and the basic shape of a nose and mouth, but the actual features of his face was blurred and almost flickered in the light. He floated a good few feet off the ground. Kirishima wondered if he could actually touch the ground, but he had managed to touch Kaminari… so… Then, there was his voice. Even if he had met this person before, his voice sounded so distorted and, almost electric, that he probably wouldn’t have been able to recognise him.

I’m sorry. I really am – f-for everything,” the ghost – Deku, began.

“Who are you?” questioned Tokoyami immediately, not waiting for an explanation of what he might have been sorry for.

I-I’m… Wow… this is really strange,” he said, rubbing his head. “I’ve known all of you for so long, but you still have no idea who I am.”

Kirishima’s mouth fell open. “You were at the USJ – the draft – the figure class 1-B’s been talking about! You’ve been here all along!”

Deku blinked at him. “Yes, yes!” he said suddenly, clearly excited that Kirishima had caught on so quickly. “T-That was me! It was all me – but I didn’t have enough control over my Quirk – I-I couldn’t –”

“You tried to warn Bakugo about the villains,” Todoroki recalled.

The ghost floated back over to Todoroki keenly, “Yes, I –”

“Are you one of them?” he asked bluntly.

W-What? No! No, I swear. I fought one of the villains – they thought I was a student and asked me were Kacchan could be.”

“Kacchan?” Kirishima frowned, still a little taken aback by the whole scenario. “Who’s –”

I mean B-Bakugo,” he said quickly. “Sorry.”

“You apologise a lot, don’t you?” Yaoyorozu acknowledged.

S-Sorry,” he repeated without thinking. “You’re all a lot calmer than I thought you would be.”

“This is your Quirk, correct?” asked Iida, who had calmed down drastically from his argument with Kirishima.

Um… Well, it seems to be a weird application of it,” he laughed nervously.

“Wait, so you’re not actually a ghost?” asked Kaminari.

Obviously not, you Dunce, is what Bakugo would have said, supposed Kirishima. He almost smiled at the thought.

“He’s not dead,” said Asui, holding her finger to her chin.

I’m… almost dead,” Deku replied. “I don’t know how much longer I have left.”

The ghost flickered as the rest of the class stood there, brewing a whole host of emotions, from lingering shock and fear, to sorrowful pity for the stranger.

My Quirk has a time limit,” he continued. “The more power I use, the less time I have in this form. I ran out of time at the summer camp; that’s why I couldn’t help you any more than I already did. I’m so sorry.”

“You singlehandedly took down a dangerous villain, escorted Kota back to camp and warned our classmate of their potential kidnapping and you’re apologising to us?!” Kirishima cried in disbelief.

The ghost flinched. “I should have done more…”

“Whilst I was stuck in the classroom, you actually did something. If that’s not heroic, I don’t know what is, man!”

Deku looked like he was ready to hug Kirishima with enough force to break his bones, but thankfully restrained himself, because Kirishima really didn’t like the feeling of him passing through his body.

“You said you could help us,” Todoroki reminded him.

Oh, right!” Deku exclaimed. “If you’re going to try to get Kacchan back, then I’ll be there to help you! I can’t get hurt like you can. There’s no danger to me coming.”

Kirishima somehow knew that was a lie, but he was so desperate to get to Bakugo, that he was willing to let it slide. If letting a half-dead-ghost-guy tag along on the rescue mission meant it could go ahead, then Kirishima wouldn’t hesitate to agree.

No one is going anywhere,” Iida said menacingly.

Think about it,” the ghost continued. “I will be here tonight, outside the hospital. I know this is hurting you. All of you.” He glanced around a room, a sudden calmness was about him, something very different to his previous, nervous, stuttering self. “I will be going to find Kacchan, with or without you.” He turned back to Yaoyorozu, “But I won’t be able to go far without your help. So please –”

The door to Yaoyorozu’s hospital room swung open. “Sorry to interrupt,” said the doctor.

Kirishima turned to Deku, eyes wide in fright, but he was nowhere to be seen.

“It’s time for Yaoyorozu’s examination.”

They stood in a shocked silence, exchanging glances around a bewildered doctor.

“L-Let’s get going,” Sero stammered eventually, glancing between the newcomer and the empty space where Deku had been only moments before. “I’m worried about Jiro and Hagakure too…”

Slowly, the class began to file out of the room, but Kirishima lagged back with Yaoyorozu.

“If we’re going, it has to be tonight,” he warned her. “I’ll be there too, outside the hospital. Just… think about it.”

She nodded timidly as Kirishima followed the others out of the room.

He didn’t notice Iida eavesdropping on his final conversation. Because ghost or no ghost, Iida wasn’t about to let another one of his friends end up in a hospital bed.

 

Chapter Text

Todoroki stood alone in the surprising warmth of the night air outside the hospital that evening, deep in thought. He had a lot to think about. From the disappearance of Bakugo to the reappearance of Deku… The two seemed to know each other. Deku had addressed Bakugo as an old friend, one whom he had known since a young age. Bakugo, on the other hand, did not seem so pleased with their encounter. He did not recognise the ghost until the name Kacchan was uttered. Yes, the voice of the apparition was very distinct, so one would presume that Bakugo would recognise it immediately, being familiar with the Quirk of someone he had known longer than Todoroki initially supposed. However, the recognition was only held within that child-like name, to which Bakugo responded by calling the figure by a name which Todoroki would guess was also a nickname. Deku didn’t seem like any recognisable surname, nor given name, and was likely a derivative of such. What confused him, was that Bakugo didn’t remember Deku’s Quirk. Surely, as soon as he saw the crackle of green lightning, he would have remembered him – it was a very distinct power. Yet, it was obvious that Bakugo had never seen anything like this before…

“Who is he?”

“Someone who should not be here!”

That was what Bakugo had eventually told him after their encounter in the woods. Was that something to do with Deku being ‘almost dead’? What did that imply anyway? Was he sick? Terminally ill?

Maybe in a coma?

Todoroki pushed these thoughts aside when Kirishima appeared, hands in the pockets of his shorts and with an expression on his face that could only be described as sheer determination.

“I left Yaoyorozu to think about it…” he explained after a moment’s silence between them.

“Well…” Todoroki replied. “No matter how fired up we are, we’re not going anywhere without her help…”

“Ah!” the red-head exclaimed suddenly. “She’s here.”

She came to a halt in front of them. She was dressed up like she was going out – leaving the hospital at the very least, but no so much like she was about to embark on a rescue mission…

“Whaddya say, Yaoyorozu?” Kirishima questioned quickly.

She gulped. “I…”

“– Wait.” The three turned to see Iida marching up the street towards them, hands clenched in obvious anger. “This is foolish,” he rumbled. “You should know better! We’re still under protection. And UA’s already facing hard times as it is. Who do you think will take responsibility for your actions?!”

Iida, listen.”

The group flinched as a flash of light appeared beside Iida, seemingly out of nowhere. It quickly formed into the silhouette of a person. The figure appeared clearer than it had been the past few times, thought Todoroki. At the summer camp, he flickered and glitched like he was struggling to maintain his form. Earlier that day, he was still blurry and difficult to make out. But now, although his facial features were still anything but distinct, his entire body seemed clearer and far more solid.

“Who the hell are you?!” Iida lashed out, turning on his heel to look the ghost in the eye. “You turn up out of nowhere to convince my classmates to do something so reckless… Don’t you care that, even though you can’t be hurt, that maybe they can?!”

I-It’s not like that!” he stammered, raising his arms in surrender. “I just want to help, not cause more trouble!”

“Well, you’re doing a fine job of that!”

“Guys, let’s not do this, please!” Kirishima interjected.

“We don’t know you,” Iida continued, ignoring Kirishima’s attempted intervention. “I should report you to the police – not that we haven’t mentioned your appearance at the summer camp before! You are a vigilante!”

“No, I’m not, I swear –”

“You are using your Quirk against the authorities to perform heroic acts! If that isn’t vigilantism, I don’t know what is!”

“Iida I am dying!” Deku yelled, his body flickering in his emotion. “I didn’t even know that I could do this – become…” he gestured to his apparition, “this… until – until it happened. I’m using my Quirk against the authorities, yes, but if I don’t, then I am nothing.”

Todoroki stared at him, trying to make sense of his words. They seemed encrypted, like he was trying not to enclose certain vital pieces of information to them.

I see nothing… I can’t move – can’t breathe on my own. I try to fight against it, but it’s useless, I just can’t break free.”

Iida’s stern exterior started to melt away. His brow furrowed into lines of worry and sympathy, mirroring that of Kirishima. Yaoyorozu stood still with her hand over her mouth, whilst Todoroki simply stared at the luminescent green figure as he told them his story.

I want to be a hero – I have my entire life. So, I joined your class only a day after you started UA. I’ve been there the entire time, sitting in that empty desk.”

“That seat was not meant for you!” Iida interrupted, anger quickly returning to his expression.

“Iida, come on, man,” said Kirishima, stepping forward to Deku’s side. “Give him a chance to explain.”

The ghost sighed, “No, Iida is right not to trust me. I don’t have many more excuses for my actions. Those… I guess I’ll have to tell you another time. But not now. If I – when I can, I will talk to you all, face to face, and give a proper explanation for it all. I swear. But right now, we need to focus on Kacchan.”

“Don’t you understand?!” Iida thundered. “What happens when your vigilantism exploits takes you and my friends somewhere there’s no coming back from?! My brother is paralysed from a villain attack! I have a friend in a coma for jumping in to save a little girl and getting hurt in the process!”

Iida…”

“I don’t know who you are!” he repeated. “I don’t know how you ended up like… like this. But don’t you have someone who misses you?! You told us that you’re not dead yet! Isn’t there someone, anyone out there who cares about you?! Who would want to stop you from doing this?”

The ghost stared at him. His flickering had gotten far worse during Iida’s emotional outcry. It seemed to be getting to him. He hung his head in shame, “I… I suppose I do… B-But, whilst you know what it’s like to watch friends become hospital r-ridden, I know what it’s like to be that f-friend,” Deku explained, his voice hitching like he was trying not to cry – could ghosts cry? “And I can’t stand by and let someone else end up like me – not when I-I can help them.”

“So, you would break the law to let your mind be at ease?” Iida said, glaring at him furiously. “Don’t you care?!”

“Iida!” Todoroki interjected, sensing his classmate’s growing fury. “You don’t seriously think we’re planning to smash down the door, guns blazing, do you?”

Iida frowned, turning to his friends in apparent confusion.

“We’ll get Bakugo back without fighting,” Kirishima explained, a small smile creeping across his lips. “It’s gonna be a covert mission! That’s how we heroes in training can fight on the right side of the law!”

“I trust you, Todoroki,” Yaoyorozu added. “But worse comes to worst, I should be there as backup… which is why I’m coming too.”

“Yaoyorozu!” the others cried with varying excitement.

I’m not here to encourage you, or to hold you back,” Deku continued. “I knew you’d be going after him, so I’ll be by your side when you do. That way I can make a difference. I couldn’t live with myself if something terrible happened and I didn’t even raise a finger to stop it. I need to save him!”

Silence rang out amongst the unlikely group once more, eventually broken by Iida’s exasperated sigh. “There’s no swaying you…” he realised. “In that case… take me with you.”

A-Are you sure, Iida?”

“I wouldn’t be saying this unless I was absolutely certain,” he confirmed. “If I think for even a second that it’s going to devolve into a fight, I’ll pull us out of there in a hurry! I am your class president – I am responsible for you. I won’t stand by and let you do this, and if I can’t stop you, then I won’t let you do it alone.”

Kirishima’s smile grew wider, “Thanks, I guess!”

“But you,” he snarled, turning back to Deku. “You are not my responsibility. Do as you wish. But don’t blame us if anything goes wrong. And if it does, just know that I won’t hesitate to blame you.”

“Iida, he’s technically our classmate too,” Todoroki acknowledged.

Iida gave him a look that clearly stated that he did not believe that. “I don’t trust you,” he admitted, glaring at the ghost once more.

I understand,” Deku replied. “But I hope that you will, one day.”

“Then prove to me that you deserve it.”

The ghost nodded without a moment’s hesitation.

“Right then,” Yaoyorozu interjected. She dug her hand into her pocket and pulled forth a small, hand-held device that looked similar to an old-fashioned mobile phone – the signal receiver. “The coordinates on the tracker point specifically to Kamino Ward,” she explained. “It should be about a two-hour trip, so we’ll arrive at about 10 pm. But remember, I am siding with Iida in this situation. This is a job for the pros, not for students like us… or vigilantes, whoever we may be. Watching from the side-lines without interfering is what we should be doing. But I understand how you feel, so this is a good compromise, don’t forget that.”

The group nodded in confirmation.

“Follow me, like Yaoyorozu said, we’ll take the bullet train. I don’t mind paying,” Todoroki offered as they set off.

The ghost groaned audibly, “I hate moving vehicles…”


Chapter Text

They ended up buying a ticket on the train for Deku. People gave the semi-transparent ghost some strange looks, but in a world of Quirks, it wasn’t the strangest things many of them had ever seen. Trying to fly alongside the bullet train would have been torturous for him. So, instead, he sat down next to Kirishima and opposite Todoroki whilst they munched happily on the food the latter had ordered for them.

“So… can you not eat?” Kirishima questioned after about an hour of silence between them.

Huh? Oh, food? Um… no, not in this form,” Deku replied. He had been staring out of the window at the passing cities and fields, clearly lost in his own mind for a while.

“You’re not always a ghost then?” asked Todoroki.

No…” he answered. “I can’t do anything when I’m not though.”

“Because of how sick you are?”

“…Yeah.”

“So, wait, let me get this straight,” Kirishima interjected, swallowing his mouthful and putting down his chopsticks. “You’re terminally sick and can’t move your body. So, you use your Quirk to eject your spirit and decided to go to UA without anyone knowing about it?”

“Well, the whole ‘ejecting my spirit’ thing was a bit of an accident really. But then…”

“– You thought you’d just roll with it?”

I guess?”

“I don’t understand, how does your Quirk work?” Todoroki interrogated.

Deku sighed, “I’m struggling to understand that one too,” he admitted. “I didn’t develop it until very late on in my life. I think it’s because my body j-just wasn’t ready to handle it until I started training to take the UA entrance exam? It’s an enhancer Quirk, basically. I’ve had a long time to think about it, and I think it’s best explained like this: I have an energy that constantly flows through me. I can direct this energy towards my muscles to make me stronger or faster, or I can release it to direct a blast of it – kind of. Then, when I got sick, this energy strengthened my… spirit instead? I think?”

“Ah, ok,” Kirishima nodded. “That weirdly makes sense.”

“It does?” replied Todoroki.

The ghost sighed, “I’m sorry. As I said – I don’t really understand it either.”

“What else can you do?”

They spent the remainder of journey quizzing Deku about his powers – why he couldn’t talk to them before, what percentage of his Quirk he could use, problems with his backlash, etc. With Yaoyorozu next to Todoroki, and Iida vaguely listening in from across the aisle of the train, the entire group was in good spirits when the train finally came to a stop. Listening to Deku retelling stories about pranking Kaminari with his videos, and sometimes doing it accidently, even made Iida smile, no matter how hard he tried not to.

 


 

Were the disguises really necessary?” Deku asked. He had made himself visible again after the group started to weave their way through the abandoned back alleys of Kamino Ward.

Kirishima jumped in suprise, “Jesus! I forgot you were there.”

Sorry…” the ghost muttered.

“Is there any way you could turn off that glow?” Iida hissed at Deku, “You’re like a homing beacon!”

“S-Sorry,” he stammered, and quickly became invisible once more.

“Don’t be so harsh on him, Iida!” said Kirishima. He had become quite fond of his new ghost friend during their two-hour train ride to Kamino.

“I still don’t understand why you never showed yourself to us before all this,” Todoroki murmured.

Honestly, I-I didn’t know how to…”

 “That is not important at the moment,” Iida interjected harshly.

The ghost fell silent again. It was unnerving. Kirishima knew he was there, but he couldn’t see or hear him… It was like a more frightening version of Hagakure.

“Ok, the tracker points to this location,” Yaoyorozu interrupted.

“So… this is their hideout? I’d buy that,” said Kirishima.

“We can’t be sure, but I’ve been checking, and the villains haven’t moved from here all day,” added Yaoyorozu. “Just because the villains are here doesn’t necessarily mean Bakugo is too. I need you all to realise there we’re standing here now based on very limited information. And none of us are suited to stealth missions like Jiro and Hagakure. However, that is where I believe you can come in, Deku.”

You can count on me,” his voice whispered in the wind.

Kirishima and Todoroki glanced around the corner, gazing at the entrance to the building. “No lights on,” Kirishima acknowledged. “Doesn’t feel like anyone’s home. Hide a tree in a forest, right? They’ve made it look like an abandoned warehouse.”

Hm, look at the door,” Deku muttered. “There are weeds sprouting there, meaning it hasn’t been used for a while or at least not frequently. Perhaps I should phase through and take a look inside…”

After that, the group was quickly displaced by a couple of men paying a little too much attention to Yaoyorozu. Eventually, Deku was able to lead them around the back of the building, where no one could spot them and they could negotiate in peace.

“Now what?” Todoroki questioned.

“Hey, Deku, you said you could phase through?” whispered Kirishima, who was unsure of where to look whilst addressing the invisible being.

Oh, right!” he replied.

A shift of the wind let them know that the ghost had completed the deed.

However, only a few seconds later, and a flash of green light alerted them to Deku's reappearance. His figure crumpled to the floor beside Todoroki in shock.

“What is it?!” Kirishima hissed in panic.

Nomu!”

“What?” Iida hissed.

There are loads of them – just sitting there in tanks! And I think I saw –”

He wasn’t able to utter a word more, because, all of a sudden, a giant figure loomed above the warehouse, and crushed the building with nothing more than her foot.

Todoroki’s wig was blown away as they ducked behind the wall at the back of the building, which somehow remained untouched.

“W-What happened… exactly?” questioned Iida, rubbing his head and clambering back to his feet.

I-I’ll go look!” Deku offered, and the green ghost disappeared without a moment’s hesitation.

The heroes are here!” he exclaimed excitably, his voice filling their ears to let them know that he had returned. “Mt. Lady, Gang Orca, Best Jeanist – even Tiger from the Wild-Wild-Pussycats – h-he’s with Ragdoll… I was right, I did see her back there…”

“See? The pro-heroes were able to take the necessary action faster than we could!” Iida realised with a sigh of relief, “We should leave now. There’s nothing left for us to do!”

“They mentioned ‘All Might’s team’ – that must be where Kacchan is…” Deku added.

“If All Might’s here, then we really have nothing to worry about!” Yaoyorozu interjected, “So let’s hurry and –”

Her line of thought was interrupted by the words of an unknown figure, who calmly wandered from the shadows of the destroyed warehouse.

In less than a second, every pro hero and officer on the scene were knocked to the ground. Whatever power that man had used had rendered every single one of them incapacitated in an instant. But that was more than enough time to fill even a ghost with an utter fear of death.

 


 

G-Guys – I have an idea!”

The five of them had been standing there, behind the dilapidated wall as the battle progressed behind them – as Kacchan appeared and whilst All Might begun his fight against this ‘All for One’.

“No, we can’t, Deku –” Iida begun, eyes still fixed on the air in front of him, beads of sweat trickling down his forehead.

Yes, we can!”

“Did you not listen to a word I said?” he hissed. “We’re not like you! We can’t engage in battle!”

But there’s a way to rescue Kacchan and get away at the same time! Without fighting!”

“Go on,” Todoroki insisted.

And for once in Midoriya’s life – they listened.

 


 

 “TAKE MY HAND!” Kirishima cried as they soared across the battle field.

Midoriya hung tight onto Kirishima and Iida, lending his power to propel them through the air. He wondered if All Might saw any recognition in the neon green figure that flew over his head.

With a burst of firepower, Kacchan leapt from the ground and somehow grasped his friend’s hand with such confidence that Midoriya wondered if he had practised flying at such velocity before.

“You idiots!” he grinned, eyes drifting over Midoriya – missing him completely in the heat of the moment.

As they escaped the war zone, aided by Mt. Lady’s counterattack against the final attempt of the villains to keep Kacchan within their grasp, the group quickly lost altitude.

“Bakugo, on my mark –” Iida began.

“Don’t tell me what to do!” Bakugo retorted, but somehow followed Iida’s intended instructions anyway, despite the fact that he never let them leave his mouth.

Finally, they reached the ground – escaping with nothing more than a few cuts and bruises.

“YEAH!” exclaimed Kirishima, punching the air in exhilaration after the success of their daring plan. “You alright, man?!”

“Of course I am, you idiot!” Bakugo replied. He seemed so happy to see them that he couldn’t even think of a better insult.

Iida had his hands on his knees – hot air being blown from his exhausts as he panted from the tiring effort the plan required of him.

“It worked! Deku, you’re a genius!” Kirishima continued.

Oh no…

Bakugo’s bright smile quickly faded, he turned but his eyes met nothing but emptiness.

“Hey… you still there?” asked Kirishima.

Midoriya sighed and allowed himself to become visible once more. He could feel the tug of his body now. The power he had used was already starting to take its toll. But he owed this to Kacchan…

Yeah,” he replied. Midoriya knew his figure was flickering – it did that when he was nervous. He could see the reflection of his light in Kacchan’s eyes, and in the shadows it cast on the floor of the road they had crash-landed in.

After a prolonged moment of stunned silence, whilst the cogs turned in Kacchan’s mind, his expression morphed from that of surprise to a frightening sneer.

“So, it is you – Deku,” he decided to say.

U-Uh… hey, K-Kacchan…” Midoriya stammered.

“So… you two know each other somehow, right?” Kirishima recalled. “…How long has it been since you last saw each other?”

“When he was alive or dead?” Kacchan snarled.

Um, could we not talk about this right now?”

“No! You’re going to tell me right now what the hell is going on, Deku!” Kacchan yelled.

I-It’s my Quirk!”

“You don’t have a Quirk!”

H-How else c-can I explain t-this?!”

Kacchan hesitated, looking the ghostly apparition up and down for a moment. “I’ve had the last few days to think about this – but I still can’t make any freaking sense out of it!”

Please, I-I promise that I’ll explain everything to you – all of you. But just for now, we need to make sure Todoroki and Yaoyorozu are ok!”

“What the hell?!” Kacchan exclaimed, “How many of you imbeciles came here?!”

“That’s all of us!” Kirishima explained happily. “And thanks to that – the rescue was a success!”

“Hey! You didn’t rescue me! You idiots just happened to be my best escape route!”

“You’re welcome!”

“You two, go on ahead.”

Kacchan and Kirishima looked to Iida, “Huh?” Kirishima replied. “What about you?”

“I have Yaoyorozu’s contact details, so I’ll call her to ensure that they got out safely. In the meantime, Bakugo, you should head to the police,” Iida explained.

“Tsk…” he muttered in response.

Kacchan didn’t look like he wanted to hang around. Midoriya briefly considered if it was because he was worried the villains would come after them. But then he acknowledged the way his old friend glared at him. There were such conflicting emotions in his eyes. It seemed like he had been thinking long and hard about Midoriya’s appearance in the summer camp. He wanted so desperately to go with them – but he hated the idea of leaving Iida alone in such a dangerous time… Come to think of it, why was Iida hanging back? It didn’t make any sense…

They heard a crash echo in the distance. News helicopters soared overhead, the resonating sound of their blades cutting through the air added to the panicked sounds of the city surrounding them. All Might was fighting All for One. Midoriya didn’t know who this was, but it was clear the two had history. And Midoriya knew everything about All Might! Could this have been… No, was this the villain from five years ago? The one who left that gaping hole in his hero’s stomach?!

I have to go back,” Midoriya decided.

“Wait, where?” Kirishima questioned.

To the fight. I can’t be hurt – and I have to help, in any way that I can!” he reasoned.

“You can’t be hurt, huh?” Kacchan repeated.

Midoriya frowned at him.

“So… that flash at the USJ, the one that blew the hands-guy away from All Might – that was you wasn’t it?” realised Kacchan.

He nodded hesitantly.

“That’s the same day you had that seizure.”

The other two stared at the ghost. Midoriya felt his apparition flicker more and more.

“Don’t be a freaking reckless idiot!” Kacchan cried. “That’s how you got in this mess to begin with! It’s freaking All Might; he doesn’t need your help! Get your head out of the clouds and back in your body – if you can even do that!”

K-Kacchan, I –”

“Come on, Kirishima.”

“Huh?”

“I said, we’re going!” Kacchan exclaimed, grasping his friend’s wrist and practically dragging him down the street, towards the gathering crowds.

Midoriya sighed, letting them wander away from him. He understood why Kacchan would be angry, but he hadn’t expected him to realise that he had such a backlash, or even care about it. It was almost like a compliment from him… Or, at least, as close to one as he would hope to venture.

“Is that true?”

Midoriya would have jumped out of his skin if he had any at that point in time. He had completely forgotten Iida was still there.

E-Err…. Well, I-I don’t know about a seizure, but I do have some b-backlash to using so much of my Quirk…” he admitted.

“Y-You…” Iida started, but the words seemed to get lost on the way from his brain to his mouth. It took a moment for him to rethink them. “You lied to us.”

“N-No! I swear, I –”

“Just because you don’t feel long-lasting pain, doesn’t mean you aren’t hurt!”

Midoriya hesitated. That wasn’t the excuse he was going to make, but it resonated with him, nonetheless.

“Why are you sacrificing so much for us?” Iida questioned. He showed little emotion on his face. His shock seemed to devoid him of such.

I’m not sacrificing anything!” Midoriya insisted. “I’m just trying to help.”

Iida didn’t know what to say.

Midoriya could hear the blows All Might was taking and receiving in the background. He so desperately wanted to go to at least witness the battle, but he couldn’t leave Iida like this.

“You…” Iida murmured after another long minute’s silence. “You really are a hero.”

He could practically feel his heart back at the hospital skip a beat.

“As a member of class A, you were given permission to fight by Mr Aizawa. According to Todoroki, you left before that permission was renounced. Therefore, everything you have done, was not against the rules. You aren’t a vigilante, nor a villain, and I deeply apologise for addressing you as such,” Iida said, bowing his head before him.

Midoriya smiled softly, “Iida, it’s –”

“I’m sorry for not trusting you!”

He hesitated. He could see the tears rolling down Iida’s face.

Hey, you don’t have to apologise –”

“Yes, I do!” Iida insisted, looking Midoriya in the eye once more. “You acted like a true hero, both at the training camp, and now – the USJ too! Far more than I did. I-I just... as soon as I knew what had happened to you and why you are like this, all I could think of were the acts of my brother and my friend, both incapacitated for self-sacrifice parallel to your own. I didn’t want anyone else to be succumbed to that pain! I felt that I couldn’t trust you – someone who just by-passed all of that with your Quirk! And who didn’t truly appreciate what heroism was all about. But I see now, that I overlooked you and your true motivations. Deku, I-I am truly sorry,” he finished, bowing deeply for a second time as he rubbed the tears from his face, taking the fake moustache along with them.

Midoriya didn’t know what to say. For a while longer, he floated before Iida as more tears poured down his face. Midoriya doubted that they were all for him – likely pent up emotion and guilt dating back since not long after his brother’s accident.

Iida…” Midoriya begun, reaching out and placing his hand gingerly on his tall friend’s shoulder. He shivered slightly, looking upright at the floating figure, having to squint slightly without his glasses. “I’m sorry too – for not telling you the truth.”

He pulled the slightly cracked lenses of his wired glasses from his pocket and put them on in an attempt to see the blurred figure a little clearer, not that it would have helped. “W-What about?” he questioned eventually.

…My name isn’t Deku,” he continued. “’Deku’ is a play on the kanji of my given name. That was Kacchan’s doing… Sometimes I wonder if he can even remember my real name…”

“T-Then what is your name?”

I-It’s… Izuku.”

Iida stared at him, unintentionally holding his breath. “I-Izuku… Midoriya?”

…Yeah.”

Midoriya felt Iida’s gaze on him for a while longer as he stubbornly fixed his eyes on his friend’s shoes. What was he going to say – what was he going to do?! Would he run? Would he shout at him?! Would he –

Iida stepped forward, grasping Midoriya’s solid hand, and pulled the apparition into a tight embrace.

Midoriya was so shocked that he became fully solid. Iida could feel nothing but cold air, but the warmth of his gesture was enough to fill the gap.

I’m so sorry…” Iida repeated for the third – fourth – time. “I’m sorry we had to meet like this.”

Ghosts can’t cry.

But the hospital staff could see the tears streaming down their comatose patient’s face instead.

 

Chapter Text

They would have hugged for longer if Midoriya hadn’t been so distracted by the sound of the blows being dealt in the background of the panicked city.

No,” Iida croaked. “Don’t go to them.”

He tried to keep a hold of Midoriya’s arm, but his hand slipped right through him as he let his tangibility fade once more.

I have to help, Iida,” Midoriya insisted.

“Don’t try to fool me again,” he retorted, his eyes tight shut, but tears were still streaming from them. “We heard what Bakugo said. Every time that you use your power, you give yourself seizures!”

Not every time! I swear, it’s only if I overdo it!”

“And are you seriously trying to say that forcing your physicality all the way here on the train, then helping us save Bakugo, isn’t overdoing it?!”

I-I…” Midoriya stammered. Iida was right, even then, Midoriya could feel the tug of his body. He was sure that it wasn’t a dramatic response back at the hospital yet – but going to All Might definitely wasn’t going to help matters.

Then when has that ever stopped him?

It doesn’t matter what happens to me. I’m as good as dead – but I can still make sure that the people out there, in the rubble, don’t end up being crushed by falling buildings!”

Iida stared at him in shock. He didn’t realise how passionately Midoriya felt about this. He thought he was just a martyr, but it was far more than that. Midoriya knew first-hand what it was like to be on the receiving end of a villain’s rampage. It wasn’t even like he was supposed to be the victim! He jumped in and took that place for someone else! Midoriya had an undying, irrevocable instinct to rescue others. He moved without thinking, often at his own peril. But he didn’t care. Because how could he carry on, knowing that he could have done something to change how things turned out, if he didn’t put his best foot forward and try his very hardest?

Remember to call Yaoyorozu and Todoroki,” Midoriya murmured after a moment of silence.

“I can’t stop you, can I?” Iida realised.

…I’m sorry, Iida. But I have to do this. I don’t know how much I can do to help, but I still can’t stay idly by whilst someone’s in trouble.”

Iida nodded hesitantly in respect. But as Midoriya turned to leave his friend behind, he asked him one last question, “Where you there? When I spoke to you about my brother – when I brought Uraraka with me – when –”

“– Iida,” Midoriya interrupted.

He looked him in the eye, steam building up on his glasses.

I’ve always been there.”

 


 

“Show the world how pitiful you really look, oh Symbol of Peace.”

All for One had paused his fight as he stared All Might down. The blows he was landing now were to his mentality now. Physically, he was through. All Might knew in that moment, that One for All wasn’t going to last much longer in his frail body. The last of its great flame was about to blow out, snuffed from existence by the very man who originally forged it. Yet, unbeknown to the villain, that fire still glowed. It burned within a young man, who lay in a hospital bed, far away from where All Might stood.

As Toshinori screamed in his anguish, the pain of the past flooding his mind, he thoughts were consumed by the three faces which haunted him – Nana Shimura, Tomura Shigaraki…

Izuku Midoriya.

“Don’t give up…” called a feeble voice, that of the young lady trapped in the rubble behind him. “All Might, please… save me…”

It was those words which reinstated the drive within him – which lifted his fist one last time to finish the fight that he started. As the heroes joined the fight, lifting the injured from the wreckage of the city, hope weeded its way back into his mind, and pushed past the lingering thoughts of those three people.

But not for long.

“Although…” All for One continued. “There is still one thing that puzzles me, All Might.” He rose off the ground, stored Quirks building up in his arm in a way that mirrored the hero’s distorted form. “You are clearly weaker, but that is not simply due to our last duel. One for All has left you, hasn’t it?”

Izuku Midoriya.

“Strange… I watched the Sports Festival intently, as you might expect. You were there, in the stands of the first-year event, meaning that you did not take a successor from any other year. I am no fool, I know that you returned to that city to find someone worthy of your power within that school, yet, not a single first year possesses anything like your Quirk. I would know, I am the one who spawned it. So, where are they, All Might?”

Izuku Midoriya.

“Have you failed them already? Or… did they fail you?”

 


 

NANA!” Midoriya yelled, standing on a rooftop overlooking the battle. All Might had raised his fist, but it was wavering – what was All for One telling him?!

The hero appeared in a flash of purple light. She didn’t face Midoriya, and instead gazed upon her successor, hands on her hips and her cape blowing majestically behind her. “I can’t do anything to help him, kid.”

W-What?!” Midoriya stammered in surprise.

I would if I could,” she sighed. “But I’m not like you – I truly am gone. I only exist within One for All – in you. I can’t become tangible or speak to anyone like you can.”

“I-I… What do I do? I have to help him! Somehow…”

“Tell him.”

Midoriya turned – it was not Nana who spoke.

A third figure appeared beside them, one glowing in an iridescent silver. His hair was long and covered most of his face. Like the other ghosts, his figure was blurred and face distorted, but Midoriya recognised him. This was one of the ghosts which used to trail him around – before he first spoke to Nana!

T-Tell him what?” Midoriya questioned.

What we told you – you are not alone.”

 


 

All Might swung his fist to counter that of All for One, but with his impact reversal Quirk, the broken, blooded and bruised man was pushed back, further and further. He couldn’t do this… this would be the end.

I’m so sorry, young Midoriya.

Don’t give up yet, Toshinori!”

All Might’s eyes widened. There, right beside the deformed face of All for One, was a purple figure, whose expression was somehow equally disfigured, and yet so familiar –

Nana Shimura.

“Remember your origin remember why you are here!”

All Might wasn’t sure if he was hallucinating or if this was the last act of his peculiar Quirk. Nonetheless, the statement brought back memories of that cold, winter’s day when he first met his predecessor – the image of her smiling face brought tears to his eyes.

“I… am a symbol,” All Might groaned as he was overcome by the power of his enemy. He couldn’t be defeated – as a symbol of peace and justice, he had to stand strong – just for this last time. His final job.

But… he just couldn’t. Because all he could think of was –

Come on, All Might!” cried another voice.

Wait… he knew that voice too – no, that couldn’t be…

There, on the other side of All for One, was an apparition of neon green. He was far clearer than Nana – like the crystal waters of a lagoon. And he was… smiling.

All for One had no eyes to see the ghosts. All Might didn’t know if he would be able to see them even if he did. But he had a strong feeling that this was due to his connection to One for All.

Win this!” his successor cried. “I’m still here, All Might – I always have been! I’m going to get out of this coma – I swear to you! But you have to be there when I do!”

Tears blurred the hero’s eyes.

He didn’t care if this was real or not anymore. His successor gave him a force of determination – a ray of hope that his future symbol of peace should supply!

“He did not fail me!” All Might exclaimed, feeling One for All course through him again as he pushed back against the villain. “And I will not fail him!”

“I see…” All for One murmured calmly as the fight continued. “How unseemly…”

“I CANNOT ALLOW MYSELF TO DIE!” All Might yelled as he swung his fist.

He used it as a decoy, and in the last moment, transferred his power to his other hand. But would it work? All Might didn’t know if he had enough strength left in him.

You are not alone, All Might!” the figure of Midoriya cried.

A flash of green lightning enveloped his arm, strengthening his muscles – lending him enough power to deal his final blow…

“UNITED STATES OF SMASH!!”

 


 

“…Rescue efforts undertaken by heroes during All Might’s battle continue apace. But the number of casualties is estimated to be very high!” the reporter announced to her camera in a desperate voice. “The villain who caused all this devastation is… ah, there he is! They’re putting him in a maiden! Watched under a state of high alert, courtesy of All Might and company!”

Her speech was cut short as the broken hero lifted his shaking hand and pointed at the camera.

“Wake up…

 

…You’re next.”

 


 

To most, the simple words were seen as a message to all the yet unseen criminals out there, that the heroes would prevail, no matter what, and that it was time for them to wake up and see that fact, or else they would be next to be marched in cuffs towards a short life behind bars.

But to someone else – someone who could not hear those words, it would have been interpreted very differently.

Iida had caught up with Todoroki and Yaoyorozu, who pushed through the crowd in search for the other two. But as they did so, they couldn’t help but gaze up at the news screens and watch the battle progress.

Very few knew the true meaning behind that green power that added to All Might’s last attack. But Iida did.

As the rest of the city cried out in celebration of the villain’s defeat, something about those words resonated with Iida. He couldn’t have known they were truly meant for Midoriya, but… nonetheless… only one desperate wish remained in his mind:

Wake up.

Please

 

Chapter Text

Bakugo was eerily quiet once he was handed over to the police. The rescue team had managed to regroup after the panic started to die down. With the operation over, they ditched their disguises and went their separate ways.

All the while, many questions circled Iida’s head like vultures. Yes, they had succeeded in their mission to bring Bakugo back safely, but meanwhile, something which they should have attended to long ago had finally had light shed upon it.

The mystery of student 18 – and UA’s ghost. They were one in the same. Midoriya Izuku, the enigma of which Iida had felt as though he became close friends with, despite the chance that the comatose boy couldn’t even hear the heartfelt words that Iida had said. But now… Now everything had changed. He had heard him! All the while, Midoriya had been right there, silently beside him wherever he went. And the same went for Uraraka, and all his other classmates – their silent protector.

Their rescue mission took most of the night. Iida returned to his home and forced himself to get some rest, which was torturously difficult. Of course, his family had no idea what he had really gone out to do whilst All Might’s final frontier was reached, but that didn’t stop them worrying. With their knowledge of the coma boy that Tenya visited from time to time, they had assumed that he had remained at the hospital all day, being with him and the other girls who had been hurt after the attack on the summer camp. That meant that they would be increasingly suspicious if Iida set out immediately to the hospital once he had showered and rested. He decided to respectfully leave the visit for a day or so in light of this assumption. However, when he reached the hospital the following afternoon, he regretted not being there sooner.

“I’m afraid Izuku Midoriya is not open for visitors this afternoon,” said the nurse respectfully. He knew Iida face well, due to his frequent visits. He wondered if not having Uraraka by his side raised any eyebrows.

“W-Why not?” Iida stammered.

The nurse opened his mouth to reply after a slight hesitation but was halted by the appearance of someone new.

“Mrs Midoriya!” Iida exclaimed once he turned to see her. His glad expression due to her arrival quickly faded once he saw her tear-stricken face. “Mrs Midoriya, what happened?!”

“I am here to see my son,” she managed in a surprisingly calm voice despite her appearance. “And Iida w-will come with me.”

The nurse sighed, but didn’t seem to have the heart to say no. He wrote their names down on the visitors’ book and nodded with understanding as Mrs Midoriya led Iida down the hospital’s familiar corridors towards Izuku’s room.

Iida was incredibly worried for his friend. But he didn’t press Mrs Midoriya for information, deciding to wait humbly until they reached his bedside.

She opened the door and then closed it behind him. The two sat down on the chairs that Iida and Uraraka often took during their visits and gazed upon Midoriya’s motionless self.

Iida immediately knew something was horribly wrong.

Midoriya’s breath hitched with every inhalation. The electrocardiogram, which monitored his heart beat, seemed to show its rate to be abnormal, not with the familiar intervals that Iida had become accustomed to between its rhythmic beats. There were heavy purple bags under the comatose boy’s eyes, like he was heavily deprived of sleep despite his condition. Moreover, he seemed to be sweating like he had just come back from a run in the summer’s heat, regardless of not moving from that bed in little under five months.

“H-His condition’s g-gotten a-a lot worse, I-Iida,” Inko barely managed, gulping between waves of tears.

“B-But why?” Iida questioned, lines of worry etching themselves seemingly permanently onto his forehead as he glanced between Inko and Izuku.

“The d-doctors don’t under-understand,” she stammered. Iida handed her a handkerchief from his pocket, which she accepted gratefully and dabbed her eyes with. “They thought h-he was getting b-better! But t-then they said he s-started crying all of a s-sudden.”

“When was this?”

“During All Might’s f-fight yesterday. I-I haven’t told him a-about that yet. He was always s-such a huge f-fan.”

Iida’s eyes widened and his heart plummeted. Had Midoriya started crying whilst they were talking? Was this his fault? Those bags under his eyes… the redness of his skin – it was like he’d been crying uncontrollably. Was that even possible for a coma patient? Then again, Midoriya was in no ordinary coma, as Iida had recently discovered. It seemed so strange, seeing him lying there after all that had happened, and everything that he’d said.

 “T-Then it happened again.”

“What did?” Iida asked, the panic clearly interpretable from his tone of voice.

“He had another s-seizure…” she sobbed before blowing her nose audibly.

If Iida was connected to that electrocardiogram, he wouldn’t have been surprised if it recorded his heart stopping with an ear-piercing sound. The panic overriding his mind seemed to play that hypothetical noise over and over again, although it fell short of the ears of anyone else in the vicinity.

“H-He lashed out like he was having a bad dream… Kicking a-and fidgeting… They d-don’t have any way t-to stop him, so all they can do is s-stand by and watch u-until it’s run it’s c-course,” she explained, staring at Midoriya. She placed a hand on his forehead. The act covered up most of his face. The remainder was covered by his oxygen mask. It really emphasised to Iida how small and fragile he seemed, despite knowing that he’d singlehandedly taken down Muscular at the training camp and helped All Might defeat All for One.

It was incredible to think about how much power was stored up in such a sick, little body. How much heart that body – or perhaps soul – contained. He was so willing to sacrifice himself for the good of others, no matter the cause or the cost. Alongside his brother, Iida saw Midoriya as one of his greatest inspirations for heroics. It pained him to think of what had happened to the two of them for following their dreams. What felt worse was what he remembered he had said to the ghost, so oblivious to who he really was and what he had done for them.

“He used his Quirk u-unintentionally too,” Mrs Midoriya added, breaking Iida’s train of thought. “T-They thought at first that the seizures were him trying to get o-out of his coma. But that c-can’t be right. T-Then he started crying a-and, well I don’t know w-what to think anymore.”

“But surely tears show an emotional response to something!” Iida acknowledged. “Wouldn’t that suggest that he’s improving? Even if it’s a reflex for pain – then at the very least, it’s a reflex! That implies brain activity, and that he’s still here!”

Inko sniffed loudly, and crumpled Iida’s handkerchief up into a ball in her fist. “T-Thank you, Iida.”

They sat in silence for a while longer. The sound of the ticking clock mingled with the noise of the electrocardiogram. It became almost painful to hear. Iida tried to diverge his attention elsewhere. He could hear the activity of the hospital beyond that room. The sound of people hurrying from place to place, oblivious to the situation behind the closed door, their panicked footfalls and the squeaking sound of wheeled stretchers hurrying past. Even in the intensive care unit, the hospital was a hive of activity. But still it could not compare to the whirring of Iida’s mind. Nothing was working; nothing could distract him.

It was so hard to believe that, only one day ago, Midoriya was right theretalking to him. He was a ghost, half-dead, yet still desperate to lend a hand in any way that he could. In Midoriya’s current condition, Iida doubted that he was even partially conscious. Iida remembered Midoriya explaining that his Quirk had a time limit, during their talk on the train to Kamino. That meant that he couldn’t stay away from his body forever, and always had to return to it eventually. Iida wondered if he had been able to leave his body at all since the incidence. Again, it was obvious that was the truth. He didn’t even believe that Midoriya was aware of his and his mother’s presence. He was closer to death than he had ever been.

Iida shouldn’t have let him leave! He should have stopped him – somehow. There had to have been a way. The guilt started to eat away him. He knew it was futile; that there was nothing that he could have realistically done to stop an incorporeal being. He knew this feeling did nothing good for anyone. Yet for some reason, he just couldn’t shake it.

He clenched his teeth and balled his fists, lowering his head as he tried to hold back the tears pricking at his eyes, the lump rising steadily in his throat.

“They’ve told me to consider turning off life support.”

 

 

 

“…What?

 

 

“No… no, you can’t…”

 

 

“I don’t know what to do!” Inko sobbed, taking big gulps of air between her renewed river of tears. “I-I know you’re his friend, Iida. But he doesn’t have anyone else. No one else has visited him, just you and that nice girl Uraraka. An old f-friend from our street came once too, but h-he’s not like you two. You’ve been so kind and selfless and optimistic about everything. I can’t thank you enough but… but I don’t know how much longer I can cope with this. I don’t know how much longer he can c-cope. I-If he doesn’t wake up in the next few weeks, then U-UA has no choice but to expel him.”

The sounds of the hospital blurred into white noise. A static filled Iida’s mind. All he could see now was Midoriya’s broken body. Getting weaker and weaker.

He should tell his mother about his ghost but… But Iida wasn’t sure why Midoriya hadn’t told her already. He didn’t want to take that away from him – it was his choice, not Iida’s. But could Midoriya even leave his body anymore? Did he overdo it that much? What if –

 

A twitch.

 

“Mrs Midoriya!” Iida exclaimed suddenly.

 

There it was again.

 

“I-Izuku?!” she cried, lunging forward to grasp the hand that had flinched.

The movement repeated. A clenching and releasing of his muscles.

The white noise faded, grounding Iida back into reality – a brilliant ray of hope penetrating Iida’s darkest thoughts as his friend began to stir.

“Izuku?” Inko repeated.

Wait, no, something’s wrong here.

The contractions of his muscles became rapid, uncoordinated, panicked…

…unnatural.

Iida fumbled with the button to call the doctor. As he pressed it repeatably, he became painfully aware of the increasingly frequent intervals between the sound that the electrocardiogram emitted.

All Iida could do was watch and hold Mrs Midoriya back as Izuku’s movements became more erratic and frightening.

The doctor arrived with startling efficiency.

Iida didn’t break his gaze from Midoriya as the medical team arrived. He didn’t hear them stammer questions about why they were even allowed in. The static filled his mind once more as he was pushed gingerly from the room by a nurse with a pitiful expression. Her words drifted in from one ear and out the other. They were words of compassion, he was sure, but they meant nothing to him. All he managed to register as the door closed and his fitting friend was blocked from view was:

“Everything’s going to be ok.”

 

 

Was it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He dreamt of rhythmic beeping that night.

Beeping… beeping.

Until it stopped.

 

And he woke up.

 

Chapter Text

It’s not until you are the one connected to a heart monitor, that you come to truly appreciate how calming that rhythmic beeping can be. For someone in as dire a situation as Midoriya, it was a constant, gentle reminder that, yes, he was still alive and his heart was still beating. If it weren’t for that sound, Midoriya would have seriously doubted he had survived at all. Then again, if he were dead, he wouldn’t have been able to feel all this pain.

The semi-consciousness of his coma that he had grown so accustomed to flooded back to him a few days after the incident with All for One. It seeped down through his muscles. Every one of them ached and throbbed unnaturally. Every breath was sharp and painful. He was thankful for the oxygen flowing through his mask. He didn’t know what he would do without it.

Midoriya couldn’t remember it ever being like this before. He tried to leave his body, but it was no use. The pain seemed to tie him down in shackles and chains to his bed and his useless body. In the months prior, the pain associated with overdoing it in his ghostly apparition usually was limited to a torturous headache and being trapped within his body for a while longer than he would have liked. He had felt disconnected with himself, like someone had flipped a switch off in his brain, halting his movements and numbing his nerves, to the extent where even the gentle, kind touch of his mother’s hand was hard to acknowledge at times. Never before had he been so aware of the blackness of his vision, or the stiffness of his legs.

He lay there for a while. The silence around him, filled only with the sound of the whirring and beeping machines told him that the hospital was not busy, which was unusual, unless of course, it was the middle of the night – yes, that would make sense.

The pain didn’t edge away – but his head didn’t hurt anymore. He took that as a sign that his body was ok for him to leave once more. He had half the mind of wandering the hospital and checking to see if Jiro and Hagakure were still there. He hoped they weren’t.

He tried to sit up, but a sharp, aching pain shot through him, pinning him down against the pristine sheets of his hospital bed. Midoriya groaned. Even the vibration of his throat brought pain. What was going on? His limbs felt so heavy, much unlike the lightness of his ghost that he was so used to now.

Wait a second.

Wait, wait, wait…

Was he in his body… or was he a ghost still?

Slowly but surely, he opened his eyes –

– his eyes

The world was dark. It was kind to his eyes, which had been out of use for so long. A calm, orange light seeped into the room from the window. It mingled with the neon green of the monitors around him in a stark contrast. It took longer than it should have for his vision to clear and for the world to stop spinning. Once it had, realisation dawned on Midoriya faster than the sun rose outside his window.

Oh my God, I’m awake – I’m awake – I’m awake –

He could see the lights of the electrocardiogram flicker faster and faster. He could feel his heart beat quicker and his chest rise and fall. He could taste the dryness of his mouth as panic ensued. Smell the sterile nature of the hospital that unknowingly held him prisoner. He could hear that beeping become more and more erratic.

Ok, ok, calm down – deep breaths, a voice inside his head instructed. It sounded suspiciously like Nana, although Midoriya doubted it was really her.

His breaths were raspy and painful, but he pushed through, almost shaking in a toxic mix of panic and excitement until the heart monitor alerted him that he had returned to his resting state once more, or, at least, as resting as he was going to get in that moment.

He lay there for a while. His mind was blank as he just stared at the ceiling, savouring every voluntary blink and breath of air. Midoriya was almost too frightened to close his eyes, the fear of not being able to open them again consumed him for at least an hour. But after a while, his eyelids became heavy, and his aching body slipped under the ocean of unconsciousness once more.

 


 

“Good morning, Midoriya,” said a familiar voice.

Midoriya was pulled from his slumber with a start. His breath hitched but he made no movement with his painful muscles. He felt somewhat heavier than before; somehow more sore and stiff than he’d ever been.

“Your mother is at work today,” Dr Adachi informed him. “I’m afraid that we’re still not permitting anyone other than immediate family to visit you until your condition is more stable. I hope you understand.”

His presence was always so calming and reassuring. He was a hero in his own right; always so kind and keen to help Midoriya, despite the glaringly obvious possibility that he may never be able to thank him. However, that possibility suddenly seemed far less improbable, unbeknownst to the young doctor.

Every morning, Midoriya’s favourite doctor was there to check his vitals and test the comatose patient’s reflexes. His Quirk allowed him to contract any muscle of Midoriya’s usually immovable body. He didn’t need to help him, but he did anyway. With Dr Adachi’s help, Midoriya didn’t loose quite as much muscle mass as he perhaps should have.

“Strange, your heart rate was up quite high early this morning,” the doctor acknowledged.

Dr Adachi didn’t see Midoriya’s hand twitch on the other side of his body.

He flexed the muscles in his hand, relishing in his ability to curl is fingers and form a fist. He was so distracted by his newfound freedom, that he didn’t register Dr Adachi warning him that he would be testing his reflexes, until he pulled open his right eye and shone a light in it.

The doctor didn’t have any need to record how much his patient’s pupil changed in size when Midoriya snapped his eye shut in surprise, pulling a face at the sudden light as it left that purple spot dancing across his vision.

“Midoriya?” the doctor called, resting his hand on Midoriya shoulder and shaking him gingerly. “Midoriya are you –”

He groaned and slowly opened his eyes once more, squinting up at Dr Adachi, who was haloed by the light of day.

The doctor crouched down by his bedside, his mouth open as his clipboard fell to the floor alongside the little torch he had shone in Midoriya’s eye seconds before, which rolled under his bed with a clatter. “Midoriya?” he repeated, “Can you hear me?”

As Midoriya’s eyes became adjusted to the light, he let them open wider, and for the first time, rested them upon his doctor’s face. He opened his mouth and tried to reply, but nothing recognisable fell from his lips.

“It’s ok, it’s ok,” Dr Adachi insisted, putting his hand on Midoriya’s shoulder once more. “You don’t have to say anything. Can you give me a nod? Is that too difficult for you?”

Midoriya shook his head, but then panicked and nodded instead.

The doctor laughed. Midoriya could see the excitement sparkling in his eyes. “Y-You’re awake,” he realised, smiling from ear to ear, showing the dimples in his cheeks and the pearly white smile worthy of a doctor.

Midoriya nodded, before smiling himself, realising that tears were rolling down his cheeks.

After a moment, Dr Adachi leapt to his feet and pressed the ‘call nurse’ button near Midoriya’s head. Midoriya remembered the expression on each and every one of their faces, as people filed in and out of his room. Their beaming smiles and relieved tears were more beautiful to Midoriya than the new flowers on his bedside table.

He was asked question after question – all yes or no in pity of his lost voice. They tested the reflex in his knees, the one where they hit a little hammer and his leg unwillingly kicked out. Every little success was met by a small cheer and Midoriya, who was more than a little overwhelmed, just smiled and let the relief of his awakening wash over him as well.

But it wasn’t until a few hours later that Midoriya truly appreciated being alive again.

That was when the door to his hospital room swung open once more, and revealed a short, plump lady, holding a handkerchief in her trembling hands, who took small steps forward, tears streaming silently down her face as she inched closer. “I-Izuku?” Inko stammered, her big green eyes gazing down at the matching ones of her son.

Mom…”

She leapt forward with a painful cry and pulled Midoriya into a warm embrace.

And slowly but surely, Midoriya wrapped his own arms around her, burying his face into her shoulder and leaving the sodden marks of his tears behind.

Thank you,” he murmured quietly in her ear, his voice raw and painful from disuse, but he knew that he had to say this, nonetheless.

“F-For w-what?” she sobbed as she pulled away from their hug, cupping his face in her hands and gazing at it lovingly despite the oxygen mask that still covered a majority of it.

“For not giving up on me.”

 

Chapter Text

Toshinori was excused from hospital in a surprisingly short space of time. After a conversation with the detective and Gran Torino about Shigaraki’s supposed relation to Nana Shimura, the first thing All Might did was return to the empty halls of UA. He spent the night there, deep in thought, wandering those familiar corridors, filled with so many memories, both good and bad, from the days he spent there as a student, as well as a teacher.

The Symbol of Peace may be no more – But All Might’s still around.”

Those words of his old mentor resonated in his mind. And it drove his thoughts once again towards the feeble face of his successor.

He retired as a hero not long after, bowing his head before the flashing cameras of the press at the billboard ceremony as he stepped down from his position as the number one hero. He knew that this day was coming, but for it to arrive so suddenly was a shock to the system – and not just to his own.

Then, still grudgingly covered in a thin layer of bandages, and his arm in a sling, he followed Eraserhead from home to home, convincing students and their parents to attend UA next semester in the newly instated dorms. It went far better than he could have possibly hoped.

As they pulled out of the neighbourhood after visiting the Bakugos, something once again wrenched at his heart strings – this was where Young Midoriya lived.

He swallowed the lump in his throat and continued with the task at hand. However, as soon as it was complete, he requested that the taxi would take him back to the hospital.

Fortunately, the world was not quite yet used to All Might’s new, skeletal appearance, and so few passers-by recognised his sullen face. The hospital also didn’t put two and two together, despite him being held there not long beforehand for treatment of his extensive injuries. All the receptionists saw when he arrived to visit his successor, was the face of the kind man who often spent long afternoons with the young coma patient out of the kindness of his heart.

“You must be here to see Izuku Midoriya, Mr Yagi,” the nurse presumed, smiling at him warmly as she jotted down his name in the visitors’ book.

“That I am,” he replied, thankful that she took no notice of his bandages and bruises, although, perhaps her time at the hospital had taught her not to pry into the lives of patients or otherwise. Maybe she even recognised him but was caring enough not to bring attention to the matter. Nevertheless, her smile never wavered, in fact, it was brighter than ever.

“I’m sure he’ll be delighted to see you!” she added.

All Might gave her a weak smile. He knew she was just trying to cheer him up. It had been a long time since Midoriya had been able to truly see him.

“Thank you,” he said, not sure what other reply would be suited to the matter. With a slight bow, he turned and began to walk towards the elevator, hoping to avoid walking up most of the stairs on his way to the intensive care unit.

“Oh, Sir!” the nurse called after him.

Toshinori hesitated. “Yes?”

She hurried out from behind her desk, a piece of paper in hand. “He’s been transferred to a different room as of yesterday.”

He frowned, “I see… where is he now?”

She handed the piece of paper over, which appeared to be a hastily drawn map. “I would take you there myself, but I’m the only one on duty today. There’s a bit of a bug going around and some of my colleges called in sick. Say hi to Midoriya from me!”

“Oh, yes, of course,” All Might replied, still quite perplexed.

The makeshift map led him to a corridor not far from where Young Midoriya was originally in. It was still in the intensive care unit, in the ward designated for terminally ill, young people. However, as he passed his old room, All Might realised that the boy was no longer isolated from the other patients, separated out in a sterile and quiet environment. The map, although he was certain he took a wrong turn at some point, took him past the rooms where even Jiro and Hagakure spent some time in, and through the hustle and bustle of the main area for the young people’s ward. It seemed like a strangely happy place, despite the situation that many of these people had found themselves in. All Might was glad that the hospital were taking steps to make Midoriya feel far less excluded from the outside world, although, it had taken five months for them to achieve this, and All Might couldn’t help but feel sceptical.

A spark of hope lit inside him. He tried to dim it down, but it just grew lighter and lighter the closer he got to Midoriya’s new room. He was almost running by the time he reached the door labelled Izuku Midoriya. There was no window on it this time. He stopped, hand hovering above the door handle; his heart beating furiously even whilst he held his breath.

Slowly but surely, he grasped the handle and let the door creak open.

Like always, towering vases of blooming flowers covered his bedside table, next to the few cards that he had collected over the past few months, and beside that, was the boy’s phone, which was on charge, and the lead was forced to weave its way through all these items, and trail down behind the table to a plug, hidden from view. The sheets of his bed weren’t perfect, like they’d been pulled over a dead body, but were creased and untucked. There was a pillow on the floor, obviously tossed out of bed, likely accidently, which lay beside an open bag of books. Toshinori couldn’t see an oxygen machine, or hundreds of wires and tubes, holding the boy down like chains. The room seemed light, and strangely empty.

All Might’s eyes registered every tiny detail of the room, like he was trying to find an answer to the burning question of his successor’s wellbeing, to confirm his suspicion before actually having to lay eyes on his comatose body and be crushed by a depressing truth.

The lack of the beating heart monitor disturbed him. If it were connected to himself, he was sure it would be making enough noise to wake up any patient in a coma from there to Detroit.

But, one foot in front of the other, Toshinori made his way across the room.

Until, eventually, he was standing right beside the bed. His line of sight no longer obscured by the flowers, that lump in his throat that he was trying to hold back overcame him, and tears pricked at the corners of his eyes.

“All Might?”

It was him – Midoriya, sitting on top of his covers with a book on hero law in his hands. His big, green eyes were wide open, and welling with tears as fast as All Might’s own.

Midoriya.”

The book fell from his hands as he pushed himself forward and into Toshinori’s arms. They didn’t need to utter a word between them. Each other’s presence was more than enough.

“You’re awake,” All Might muttered after a while, pulling away from their embrace to look him in the eyes. “H-How long –”

“A few days now,” Midoriya interrupted, rubbing his eyes free of tears. They were replenished rather quickly. “I-It wasn’t long after your fight with A-All for One.”

Toshinori hesitated, unsure of what to say.

“I-I’m so, so s-sorry, All Might,” Midoriya sobbed.

“There’s nothing you need to be sorry for,” he insisted, pulling up a chair to his bedside and sitting down so they were of equal height.

“B-But I l-left everybody – I-I’ve… I’ve let you down.”

All Might rested a bandaged arm on his successor’s shoulder once again, gripping his hospital gown gently. “You risked your life and succeeded in saving a young girl. My boy, you are her hero.”

If it were even possible, the river of tears gushing down his face became even stronger.

“You are an inspiration to your friends, Iida and Uraraka. They have been asking after you.”

“T-They have?” he stammered.

A thought struck Toshinori. If Midoriya had been in a coma this entire time, did he even know what they looked like?

“I will personally make sure that they are allowed to come and visit you as soon as they have settled into the dorms.”

“The d-dorms?”

“Ah, yes!” All Might exclaimed, realising that, of course, Midoriya couldn’t have known about the new dorm system at UA. “After the various villain attacks on UA, it has been changed into a boarding school!”

“A-Am I… Am I going to be allowed to go back to UA after all this?”

Toshinori’s smile faded, he hadn’t even thought of that possibility, but Midoriya hadn’t been able to attend school for five months…

“B-Because, I remember, whilst I was asleep, Principle Nedzu said that I wouldn’t be allowed to return if I didn’t wake up before the second semester started – B-But I’m awake now! And the second semester hasn’t started yet, right?”

“Yes, of course,” All Might replied. He was sure that Nedzu wouldn’t be expelling Midoriya, especially since he had managed to hold onto his student 18 position for so long. Although, Eraserhead was an entirely different story – with a different set of rules. Anyway, now wasn’t the time to be worrying him about such details.

“So, you could hear us, whilst you were in your coma?” questioned Toshinori as the tears finally faded from his eyes and he could see Midoriya clearly again. That only made him want to cry more.

The boy looked sick – incredibly so. He had heavy bags under his eyes that outlined them in a dark purple. He just seemed so… tired, which was strange considering how long he was asleep for. He looked like he could keel over and pass out at any second. The redness of his face, that his tears had provoked, didn’t help matters.

Midoriya nodded feverishly. “O-Of course! Not all the time. I wasn’t always there.”

All Might frowned, “What do you mean?”

He hesitated, like he was thinking carefully about what he would say next, and partially like he regretted the phrasing of his last sentence.

“W-Well… I think it’s something to do with One for All,” he tilted his head to double check that the door was closed.

All Might leant forward in his chair, “What about it?”

“Um, well, I’ve been thinking – I’ve had a lot of time to think, a-and, I’ve decided that One for All is like an enhancer Quirk. I-I can easily let it enhance my muscles, and my speed, and I-I can project it out of me to create air pressure – just like you. Well, I haven’t had too much practice… But, anyway, um, I… I think – I know I can use it to kind of enhance my spirit as well.”

“Your spirit?” he repeated. “I don’t understand, my boy.”

He sighed, put on a determined face, and blurted out what he really meant. “Whilst I was in the coma, something happened with One for All – the power kind of projected me out of my body! I could float around the place a-and walk through walls and stuff. But no one could see or hear me! I was literally… a ghost.”

“You… were a ghost?”

“I-I know it sounds crazy! But I swear, it’s true! It took a lot of practise, but eventually I was able to use more of One for All in that form, and I could make myself visible and…” he trailed off as he looked at All Might’s confused expression.

“Were you there, Midoriya?” Toshinori raised the courage to ask him. “During my fight, were you there?”

Midoriya hesitated, and then broke into a wide smile, “Yes – yes, I was. I-I thought you forgot.”

“Tell me what happened; what you said to me,” All Might requested, almost holding his breath as he waited for an answer.

“I-I… I told you that I had always been there; that you’re not alone,” he smiled. “And I promised you that I would get out of my coma, but you had to be there when I did.”

Toshinori’s mouth fell open in shock. He had engrained those words into his mind. He hadn’t told anyone what he had saw and heard, but his successor had repeated them to him, echoing what his iridescent figure had yelled at him over the battle field as he dealt his final blow.

“A-And Nana was there too!” Midoriya added. “I don’t think she can appear to me anymore, now that I’m not in my coma. But you s-saw her too, right?”

“…Yes, yes I did.”

His smile grew wider. “I’ve been going to UA this entire time – but no one knew I was there. I was at the USJ – I watched the Sports Festival – Attended every single internship at least once! I even went to the summer camp…”

“You… you were the one who saved Young Kouta.”

“Yes…” Midoriya admitted, but he hung his head. “I overdid it. I gave my body seizures,” he said, twiddling his thumbs nervously. “But I couldn’t do enough. Kacchan was still kidnapped.”

All Might would have questioned the name Kacchan, but he could vaguely remember Midoriya mentioning that name before. And, of course, Young Bakugo had been the one who had been taken, so it wasn’t hard to put two and two together.

“You have done more than I ever thought you could,” All Might couldn’t help but smile. “You’ve saved lives – you saved my life. I couldn’t be prouder.”

He started crying again.

All Might laughed, and pulled the frail boy back into a hug, hiding his own face from view as he stifled his tears, “I thought we talked about the waterworks!”

 

Chapter Text

When UA reopened for the new semester, class 1-A was one member down. Mr Aizawa was an infamous teacher in terms of expulsion, so it didn’t come as too much of a surprise when Mineta was turned away from the heroic school after his attitude towards the girls at the summer camp. Kouta could have been seriously hurt if Iida hadn’t managed to catch him in time after he fell from the wall separating the girls and boys at the hot springs. Granted the subsequent events overshadowed his acts considerably.

It was strange being back down to a class of nineteen again, like it had been before Shinsou joined their number. As they moved into the new dorms, it felt to many of them like a presence was missing from among them, and that wasn’t due to Mineta’s absence. It was only Uraraka, and Iida, even more so, who knew the truth behind this missing piece.

“Hey, Iida,” Uraraka said softly that evening, as the class gathered in the new common room area after refurbishing each of their rooms.

“Evening, Uraraka!” Iida replied energetically. “How are you finding our new residence?”

“Oh, great!” she answered with a big smile, although, Iida could sense that something wasn’t quite right about his usually bubbly friend.

“Is something else the matter?” he questioned.

Her smile wavered, “Um, well… the thing is… Whilst Jiro and Hagakure were in hospital, I went to go and see Midori, but I wasn’t allowed in.”

Iida’s happy expression fell at a similar speed to Uraraka’s. “Yes… He hasn’t been doing well ever since our summer camp finished.”

“I’m sorry…” she sighed. “Just… seeing everyone together like this reminded me of him, and everything he’s missing out on.”

Iida gazed around at his classmate’s joyful faces as they shared around Sato’s cake and petted Koda’s animals. He wondered what Midoriya would be doing if he was with them.

“… I was faced with a similar predicament not long ago, a couple of nights after All Might’s last stand,” Iida admitted.

“Oh?” Uraraka said as she sat down on the sofa next to him.

“However, I bumped into Midoriya’s mother, and she managed to get me permission to go with her to visit her son. But… Uraraka, he had a seizure – whilst we were there.”

Her mouth fell open, “I-Is he ok?”

“I don’t know,” Iida admitted. “I haven’t heard word since. What was worse was that it happened just after Mrs Midoriya said she had been told to consider taking off life support.”

Uraraka gasped and covered her open mouth with her hands. “T-They can’t d-do that!”

“His condition has been drastically deteriorating,” Iida explained, taking off his glasses and rubbing the mist clear with the corner of his shirt, before putting them back on with shaking hands. “They don’t know if he’ll ever recover…”

The two sat in silence for a while longer, each deep in their own thoughts, although, they all revolved heavily around their sick friend.

“W-Why don’t we try to go and see him after school tomorrow?” Uraraka suggested after composing herself a little more. The two of them didn’t want to look so peculiarly saddened as to not worry their classmates.

“We might not be able to see him,” Iida warned, “But we can certainly try.”

 


 

“Iida stay behind after class,” Mr Aizawa requested whilst the rest of the class continued to develop their hero moves. He had just come back with Uraraka from talking to Mr Powerloader about developing the radiator in his costume.

Nonetheless, he did as his teacher had told him, and met him back inside classroom 1-A.

“Is something the matter, Sir?” Iida questioned, after Uraraka and Shinsou had finished putting away their hero costumes.

Mr Aizawa hesitated, like he had forgotten what he was going to say, or perhaps was wondering how he should phrase the following information. “Ah, there was an update on Midoriya’s situation.”

Iida’s eyes widened and pulse quickened. “Has he gotten any better?!” he questioned optimistically in a slight panic.

“You could say that,” his teacher answered. “The hospital has alerted me that he can accept visitors again now, so I thought I would pass it on to you.”

Iida broke into a breaming smile. Mr Aizawa looked away briefly as if it blinded him. “Could we visit him this afternoon?!”

“We?”

“M-Me and Uraraka?”

“Right,” he sighed. “I suppose you could, but someone would have to escort you. I don’t think I’m busy… so I guess I could take you –”

“T-Thank you, Sir! I will alert Uraraka immediately!” and with that, he hurried from the classroom before Mr Aizawa could change his mind.

“Uraraka!” Iida called as he caught up with her and Shinsou.

“You tell me off all the time for running in the halls, and now you go and do it in front of me?” Shinsou acknowledged with a raised eyebrow.

“We’re allowed to visit Midoriya!” Iida explained, blatantly ignoring Shinsou.

“Oh my gosh!” Uraraka squealed, jumping up and down. “Does that mean he’s feeling better?!”

“He must have stopped having his seizures!” Iida smiled, chopping the air with his hands in excitement.

“Woah, wait, who’s having seizures?” Shinsou questioned wide eyed.

“When can we go?!” asked Uraraka, jumping up and down.

“After classes today!”

“Um… hello?” Shinsou insisted, waving his hand in front of Uraraka’s face.

“Oh, sorry, Shinsou! It’s just about our coma friend!”

“Your coma friend?”

“Yeah! Maybe you should visit him sometime! I’m sure he’ll appreciate it!”

“Perhaps not today though, I have only been granted permission for the two of us,” Iida interjected.

“Right, not today then,” Uraraka nodded enthusiastically.

“Uhh… Surely some guy in a coma isn’t going to even realise I’m there?” Shinsou pointed out.

“Well, he can hear us,” Uraraka replied like it was obvious.

“How do you know that?”

She hesitated, smile faltering.

“He can hear us,” Iida insisted after a moment.

Shinsou nodded, but he didn’t look convinced. Neither did Uraraka.

But Iida wasn’t deterred. Because, unlike the others, he knew Midoriya could hear them. If his comatose body was getting better, perhaps he could leave it again! Iida had been waiting too long to talk to his friend.

“I’ll text him to let him know we’re coming,” Uraraka informed them, pulling out her flip phone and doing just that.

“Ok, the hearing thing was a little different, but he definitely isn’t going to be able to read your text message,” Shinsou scoffed.

“It’s our tradition to text him when we go to visit,” Uraraka pouted in reply as she closed her phone. It was a shame that she did it so quickly. If she hadn’t, she would have had a very different response to Shinsou’s comment…

 

Your UA Buddies!

{This chat includes Urarakaka, President Iida and Midori/ya}

 

[12:47] Urarakaka: We’re allowed to come and see you again this afternoon! See you then!

                                [12:48] – Read by Midori/ya

 


 

 

The class froze in their tracks as Mr Aizawa appeared in the common room that afternoon.

“What did we do?” Mina hissed to Kaminari, who happened to be standing next to her. He impulsively pulled out his phone to start recording.

“How much storage do you even have on that thing?” Sero questioned rhetorically.

Kaminari opened his mouth to reply anyway but was cut short by Mr Aizawa.

“Iida? Uraraka? Are you ready to go or not?” he called.

“We’re here!” Uraraka exclaimed as she and Iida hurried into view. They hadn’t changed out of their uniforms yet, unlike the rest of them, and Uraraka even had a full rucksack slung over her shoulder still.

“Where are you going?” questioned Mina curiously.

“They’re going to see their coma friend,” Shinsou replied unexpectantly from his seat in the far corner of the room.

Coma friend?!” Mina repeated. “You never told us about this!”

“Oh, well maybe we could take a few more people to visit him next time!” Uraraka suggested, glancing between her classmates and Mr Aizawa, who didn’t show any inclination for or against the matter.

“We need to get going if we’re going to miss rush hour,” their teacher insisted, before turning and leading the two of them out of the dorms without another word.

The rest of them stood, bewildered, behind them, all mulling over this new information.

“Ok, since when have they been off visiting some guy in a coma?” Kaminari asked no one in particular.

With no satisfactory answer, he grudgingly turned off his phone and pocketed it before returning to what he was doing before the interruption.

Meanwhile, Bakugo glanced out of the window at Iida and Uraraka as they left UA behind Mr Aizawa. He narrowed his eyes as he remembered the acts of the glowing green figure back in Kamino.

Deku

 


 

“Oh, he’s changed rooms by the way,” the nurse informed them as they signed in on the visitors’ book.

“He has?” Uraraka replied. “Why’s that? He hasn’t left that room in five months!”

“Well, they don’t need all of that equipment for him anymore, so he was moved somewhere else to make room for anyone else who might need it,” he explained.

“Wait, why –” Iida began.

“– Come on,” Mr Aizawa. “There’s no point asking all these questions if you’re about to go and find out for yourself anyway.”

Uraraka and Iida exchanged confused glances, before following their teacher down the familiar corridors of the hospital. They hesitated by Midori’s old door. The name plate had been removed, leaving a patch on the door where the dust hadn’t had time to settle. Glancing in through the window, it seemed so bare without the comatose patient’s constant presence. They passed the rooms Jiro, Hagakure and Yaoyorozu had stayed in not long beforehand, and wandered into the main area of the young people’s ward. Despite visiting the hospital so frequently, Iida and Uraraka had never actually ventured that far into the intensive care ward. It seemed to be a strangely happy place, despite the ominous feeling of sickness and fragility that hung in the air.

“Look, it’s UA!” a young boy in a wheelchair exclaimed as they walked past. One of the nurses told him it was rude to point as he gazed in awe at Iida and Uraraka, recognising their uniforms with clarity.

They waved at the young patients with a smile plastered on each of their faces. “I wonder how many people are here because of villain attacks,” Iida muttered to Uraraka.

Her face fell, glancing around at those smiling people with a different perspective. Determination filled her. She would be a hero – a hero that stopped this from happening to everyone and anyone she could. It wasn’t just about the money anymore. That was how it started for her, stemming from a wish to bring smiles to her parents’ faces. But ever since she had met Midori, it had grown into something much more. He was an inspiration to her, but he had never been able to utter a word to her. He didn’t even know what she looked like…

As those depressing thoughts weighed down her heart, something began to lighten it again.

“Iida, why have they moved him over here?” she questioned, her heart beating faster all of a sudden.

“To make room for other patients?” he suggested.

“But his old room’s empty now,” Uraraka pointed out. “You don’t think…”

“…What?”

“That maybe he –”

Mr Aizawa came to a stop outside a white door, plastered with the new label, Izuku Midoriya. He opened the door slightly and peered inside, before closing it again, not letting his students catch a glimpse. He didn’t say a word to them as he put his hands in his pockets and wandered down the hall.

“…Maybe what?” Iida repeated as their teacher continued to walk away. His expression didn’t seem so clueless anymore, like perhaps he had come to the same conclusion as her but was asking for confirmation.

She didn’t reply, and instead jogged to keep up with Mr Aizawa, who had just disappeared around the corner. Iida didn’t even tell off for running in the halls and followed suit instead.

Not long after, their teacher opened another door and walked inside, leaving it swinging open on its hinges for the other two to approach cautiously.

“Afternoon, Dr Adachi,” Uraraka heard Mr Aizawa say.

“Ah, Eraserhead, nice to see you again,” the doctor replied.

“I have a couple of visitors for Midoriya.”

“Oh, is that Iida and Uraraka?” said Dr Adachi excitably. He appeared in the doorway a moment later. “It is! Wonderful to see the two of you again! It’s been a while.”

“A-And to you, Dr Adachi,” Iida responded, as bewildered as Uraraka was.

“Come in, come in!” he insisted, stepping aside and opening the door wider. “Midoriya! You have visitors!”

“I have?!”

Uraraka’s heart skipped a beat, she turned to Iida, who stared back at her, eyes wide and sparkling with hope.

The two of them hurried past the doctor and into the new room.

It was large; designed similarly to a gym, with exercise equipment in the far corner and large mirrors covering the wall opposite the windows. But there, in the very middle, grasping tightly onto a set of metal bars like his life depended on it, was someone who was very much awake.

“M-Midori?!”

Chapter Text

Midoriya!” Iida cried as he and Uraraka ran across the room towards Midoriya.

He duked under the metal walking bar he had been holding onto. Midoriya only took one step before his legs gave out and he collapsed into their arms.

You’re awake,” Uraraka sobbed. Iida felt her tears drip onto his side, as well as that of Midoriya. The pale green shirt that the hospital had supplied for him, already seemed tarnished with his own tears, matched the fabric of his equally stiff-looking trousers, standing out as a stark contrast against his bright red shoes.

Iida gripped tightly onto his friend. The feeling of Midoriya’s arms around him and Uraraka just brought more tears to his eyes. He could move – he could see – he could speak.

The trio sunk to the floor in a teary embrace. Iida had been all too aware of the amount of his weight that Midoriya had been resting on him. He ignored the dozens of questions flying through his brain as he pulled away from the hug and let his eyes rest upon his friend’s face. This was the first time he had ever truly met him – the first time Midoriya had been whole and alive for five months. However, he didn’t look much better than he had been whilst he was asleep. Those stubborn marks under his eyes had sunk deeper into his complexion, lined by a redness left behind by his tears. He just seemed so… tired, like he was more than ready to drift back into his coma for the next few months. He had just managed to break the surface of that ocean of sleep, free of the anchor which had dragged him under for so long, but it was unclear how much longer he could remain afloat, before he sunk back down beneath the waves and be lost to the world for good. Iida hoped he and Uraraka could serve as his lifeboat.

“I’m s-so sorry…” were the first words Iida ever heard Midoriya mutter. His voice was so much lighter and kinder than he had expected. Before, when he was just a ghost, it was distorted and fragmented; easily lost to the wind. But now that strange static that marred him was lost. His figure was solid and his voice clearer than the day.

“W-Why are you s-sorry?!” Uraraka cried, throwing herself in for a second hug.

“For n-not being t-there,” he said, rubbing his swollen eyes over Uraraka’s shoulder.

“You didn’t have to be,” Iida replied, joining Uraraka for one last hug before finally releasing Midoriya. “But it seems that you were anyway, far more than you think.”

Midoriya smiled, brushing a final tear from his cheek. “F-Far more than everyone t-thinks.”

Iida’s smile grew wider, whilst Uraraka completely missed the context of his words. For Midoriya had never truly left their sides – his ghost had followed their every pursuit, less like a haunting, and more like class 1-A’s own guardian angel. Iida supposed Midoriya was only apologising for getting into a coma in the first place. Despite not knowing his personality too well, Iida knew that was exactly the kind of thing Midoriya would do.

“S-So… um, hi?” he stammered.

They laughed, “Hi!” Uraraka replied with a little wave.

“It’s nice to o-officially meet you,” Midoriya added. “I-I know you both really w-well – but you don’t know m-me at all… I’m sorry…”

“There’s no need to apologise!” Iida insisted.

“S-Sorry – ah, wait!”

They laughed again through the remainder of their tears.

“I got your message,” Midoriya remembered, glancing at his phone, which seemed to be sitting on an empty chair in the far corner of the room. “But I wasn’t sure how to reply and then I got distracted and then honestly I forgot you were coming at all and –”

“Woah!” Uraraka exclaimed, “You don’t utter a word for five months and then you start talking at one hundred and one miles per hour!” she laughed.

“I-I’m making up for it.”

“So… when did you wake up, Midoriya?” Iida questioned keenly.

“Oh, um, about a week ago now… I think. I’m not actually sure. I kept slipping in and out of consciousness for a while. I slept for a whole day once and the doctors were worried I went back into my coma but I think I was just really, really tired…”

“You look tired,” Uraraka responded, “No offense.”

“None taken,” he replied, waving the comment off with no trouble at all. “I know I don’t look too great.”

“Don’t worry!” she exclaimed, leaping to her feet energetically. “It won’t be long before you’re back in business and coming to UA with us!”

“W-Well, I think I should focus on walking first,” Midoriya stammered.

Iida got to his feet as well and held out a hand to help Midoriya up. “How is it going?”

Midoriya didn’t reply immediately, his legs shook as he struggled to regain his balance and stand upright. He barely managed a couple of seconds on his own before he fell backwards and gripped onto the bar for support. “It could be worse,” he said through gritted teeth.

“So, wait, how does this work?” Uraraka questioned, “Do you need to build the muscles back up in your legs or something?”

“Um, I suppose,” he replied. “Dr Adachi’s Quirk is muscle contraction, so he made sure that I didn’t loose too much muscle mass while I couldn’t move, so I’m more or less in a similar condition to what I was before… well, before. But, um, I still need to retrain myself to walk properly, and coordinate all my muscles, and um, yeah, some of my muscle groups are definitely weaker than others.”

“Ah, that makes sense,” Iida pondered as Midoriya managed to clamber under the bar so he was in between the two metal structures again, with one hand on either side to improve his support. “So, once you’ve finished physical therapy and cleared from the hospital, are you permitted to return to UA?” asked Iida.

“Well…” Midoriya sighed. “I’ve already spoken to Nedzu, and he’s confirmed that my place is still available. All I need to do is to prove that I can catch up,” he explained, starting to swing back and forth on the bars. His arms seemed to be significantly stronger than his legs. Perhaps it was something to do with what muscle groups Dr Adachi was able to train whilst he was unconscious. “He said that he’ll be giving me a series of tests that he’ll be giving to you guys as well – don’t… tell him I told you that,” he added, glancing at Mr Aizawa in the far corner of the room, who was sipping a cup of coffee whilst conversing with the doctor. “But um, as long as I get a better score than at least one person from your class on every test, I’ll get my spot back.”

“That seems a little harsh,” Uraraka huffed, putting her hands on her hips. “Then again… some of our classmates aren’t exactly… um…”

“Well, it doesn’t matter anyway,” Midoriya interjected. “With all those amazing study sessions I’ve been having, there’s no way I can be too far behind!”

Uraraka started to tear up again. Iida put his hand on his heart and tried to pretend that he wasn’t doing the same. Midoriya laughed.

“After that, all I need to do is to prove to Eraserhead that I’m worthy of being in his class…”

“Ah, yes, that may serve as more of a challenge,” Iida realised, rubbing his eyes under his glasses.

“We’ll just have to wait and see!” Uraraka exclaimed, punching the air in excitement.

“A-And if I do get expelled from the heroics course, Nedzu said that there’s a space available in general studies, so I can always take that. It must be left from when Shinsou moved up.”

“Oh my gosh, I keep forgetting how much you know about us all already!” Uraraka added.

“It will certainly be a surprise to everyone once you re-join our number,” Iida nodded in agreement.

“Yeah… I’m not sure how much I’m looking forward to the whole student 18 returns thing…”

Uraraka gasped, “I almost forgot! I’ve got something for you – wait here!”

“I-It’s not like I can go very far...”

She ignored that last comment and rushed across the room to her backpack, which she had tossed aside earlier and left by the door.

Once they were alone, Iida turned to Midoriya and opened his mouth.

“No, you weren’t hallucinating,” Midoriya interrupted. “I actually was a ghost…”

Iida smiled brightly, “What do you remember?”

“Everything?” he replied uncertainly. “Um, I remember talking with you before I went to All Might during his big fight, and um, well, then I woke up.”

“Immediately after?”

“No, no… only in my perspective. I think it was a few days actually.”

“Do you… remember the seizure?”

Midoriya frowned, “No…”

“Never mind,” Iida said quickly. He didn’t want to worry Midoriya about his frightening fits. “The doctors just informed us that you had several seizures after and during that fight.”

“Ah, yeah, that…” He glanced over at Uraraka, who was starting to pull books out of her bag in a failing effort to locate that something she mentioned earlier.

“How are you finding, err, being awake?” Iida asked, unsure of how to phrase his question correctly.

“Overwhelming,” Midoriya replied immediately. “But it’s a relief at the same time. Although… It’s hard getting used to being not a ghost. I keep forgetting I can’t walk through walls.”

Iida snorted and stifled a laugh as Uraraka pranced back over to them, her hands behind her back.

“So…” she began, “before we went on our disaster of a summer camp – hey, wait, do you know about that?”

“Oh, yeah, I’ve been filled in on just about everything now,” Midoriya nodded, choosing to not explain the ghost situation just yet. Iida hoped that he would eventually.

“Well, before that, the whole class went to the mall – and I was looking for some new clothes and stuff with the other girls. But anyway, long story short, I found something and immediately thought of you. I was going to wrap it, but I couldn’t find any paper which didn’t say happy birthday all over it. Then, I never got the chance to give it to you! But anyway… here! I hope it’s the right size!”

Midoriya’s mouth fell open, and his expression quickly morphed into a smile as wide as Uraraka’s.

It was a simple, grey t-shirt, perhaps a little big for Midoriya, but Iida doubted he would mind. But the reason why Uraraka had bought it was obvious, because on the front, written in bold, green writing, was the number 18.

They laughed loudly.

“Can you imagine the look on Kaminari’s face if you walked into the dorms wearing this?!” Uraraka sniggered.

“Oh, I am definitely doing that,” Midoriya laughed.

“I’m looking forward to it!” Uraraka exclaimed, “I’ll just go and put it over by your phone,” she smiled and skipped away to do just that.

“Are you going to tell her about your ghost?” Iida questioned as soon as she was gone.

“Not right now…” he replied quietly. “I will have to eventually though. People will start to connect the dots together as soon as Kacchan recognises me as Deku.”

“Ah, of course. I didn’t think of that.”

“I’m back!” Uraraka announced, cutting Iida’s and Midoriya’s conversation short. “So, anyway, did we interrupt your physical therapy thingy?”

“Oh, yeah, don’t worry,” Midoriya replied. “I’ve been here for a while and there isn’t really much else for me to do.”

“Have you not been permitted to leave the hospital yet?” asked Iida.

Midoriya shook his head, “I’m not allowed until I’m a little more secure with walking,” he explained.

“Other than walking,” Uraraka interjected, “what else did you miss whilst you were asleep?”

“Well, moving in general – and talking. I really missed that. And being able to see everybody and… yeah… everything really,” he replied. Midoriya started to shuffle along the bars, gritting his teeth as he put weight on certain parts of his legs. Iida wondered if it hurt him much.

“Oh my gosh, I just couldn’t imagine…” continued Uraraka. “It must have been so horrible.”

“Yeah…”

“Now, Uraraka,” Iida interrupted. “We shouldn’t be reminding Midoriya of his hardships!”

“Oh, I’m so sorry, Midori!”

“Don’t be,” he said, smiling at the nickname. “I really don’t –” mind, is the last word Iida supposed he would have said if, in that moment, he hadn’t tried putting too much weight on his legs and crumpled to the ground dramatically.

Ouch…” he murmured, sitting up and rubbing his head.

“Are you ok?!” Uraraka and Iida exclaimed simultaneously.

“I’m fine…” Midoriya sighed, clearly used to this scenario by now.

“Here, let me help you!” Uraraka insisted, ducking under the bar and activating her Quirk on him. Immediately, he floated off the ground and was able to get to his feet with no trouble at all.

“Thank you,” he said as Uraraka returned gravity to its usual order. “Sorry, that happens more often than I would care to admit. Sometimes my legs just give out with next to no warning… It’s starting to wear a little thin on me…”

“Can’t Dr Adachi help?” Iida questioned.

“Not more than he already has,” Midoriya moaned. “I just have to keep practising and hopefully things will eventually get back to normal and I can come to UA.”

“What about your own Quirk?” suggested Iida, thinking back to the way Midoriya had explained his Quirk on the train to Kamino. He had said it was an enhancer Quirk that had strengthen his spirit to the extent where he became an apparition. But he also explained that, before he got sick, he could strengthen his muscles and speed too.

“You mean… could it help me walk?” asked Midoriya.

Iida nodded, “You could use it to strengthen the muscles in your legs.”

“No way, that couldn’t work!” Uraraka retorted. “Did you see the way he took out that giant robot in the entrance exam? There would be way too much power!”

Midoriya frowned, clearly thinking hard about Iida’s suggestion. “I suppose… if I could dial it down to an extremely low percentage… it could have some kind of effect… But I haven’t used my Quirk since I woke up. Last time I did was either in my coma, or before that, when I jumped into that building or in the entrance exam. I broke both my legs on both occasions. Actually… I wonder if that’s part of the problem…”

“I would say that it couldn’t hurt to try…” said Uraraka, “But… maybe it would…”

“How low can that percentage of your power go?” asked Iida.

“Well, um, I really haven’t had that much practise… Then again, Mr Aizawa is just over there…”

“Perhaps it isn’t such a good idea at this stage in your healing process,” Iida realised, pushing his glasses back up his nose.

But he wasn’t sure if Midoriya actually heard him. He was staring at his feet, clearly concentrating hard on something. All of a sudden, a familiar flicker of green electricity buzzed around him. Iida and Uraraka took a step back as the lightning started to die down, until it was barely visible.

“How much of your Quirk is that?” asked Uraraka, staring at him with wide eyes.

“About one or two percent,” he muttered. Then, without any warning, he pushed off the bar and stood upright by himself, holding his hands out like he was worried he’d lose balance.

“Are you ok there, Midoriya?” It was Dr Adachi, who was wandering over with a worried look on his face beside Mr Aizawa.

“I’m trying to use my Quirk to help me walk,” Midoriya admitted, dialling down his Quirk a little more so Iida could only see that flicker of neon green if he looked very closely.

“I’m not sure if that’s such a good idea right now, Midoriya,” the doctor frowned.

Midoriya smiled, then vaulted over the bar and landed confidently in front of them. “I don’t see why it’s a bad one!”

“Huh…”

“Settle down, kid,” Mr Aizawa interjected. His hair raised above his head and his eyes flashed red

The green lightning disappeared altogether and Midoriya wobbled until he fell back and grasped back onto the bar from support, whilst Iida held onto his arm, just in case he fell again.

“Don’t do anything too stupid and you might still have a shot of becoming a hero after all,” he added, turning off his Quirk so his long, black hair fell over his eyes once more “Whether you’ll be able to take the provisional hero licence exam in the coming months is another story. But we’ll have to wait and see how you do in class first. I would like all of my students to take the exam now instead of waiting until next year.” He hesitated, pulling a small bottle of eyedrops out of his pocket and slowly dripping them into his sore eyes. “If I don’t think you’re ready, then by definition, you are not ready for the hero course at all.”

Midoriya gulped.

“First things first, though,” Dr Adachi continued, looking warily at Mr Aizawa before turning back to Midoriya. “Over the next week we’ll continue your physical therapy and see how we go. You’ve already shown an incredible improvement since we started a couple of days ago. But once you’re able to walk happily on your own –”

“– without using your Quirk,” Mr Aizawa interjected.

“Right, without your Quirk,” Dr Adachi agreed, “Then the hospital will be happy to discharge you, and Recovery Girl can monitor you at UA from then on.”

Providing I let you stay,” Mr Aizawa warned.

“Um, yes, providing… that,” the doctor confirmed.

“Get your things together, you two,” Mr Aizawa told Iida and Uraraka. “I have to pick up Midoriya’s report from the front desk and I’ll meet you at the entrance.”

With that, him and Dr Adachi left the three students in a stunned silence, alone in the physical therapy room.

“Well…” Uraraka started. “That was kind of scary!”

Midoriya nodded wordlessly, still staring at the door.

“Don’t worry, Midoriya!” Iida insisted, chopping the air with his hands, “If you work hard, I’m sure you will succeed!”

“I-I hope so…” he murmured.

“Anyway,” Uraraka smiled, “Mr Aizawa’s a big softy at heart. I bet that was just another logical ruse to make you work harder.”

“You think so?” Midoriya questioned.

“Yes, that seems like the likely reason behind that,” Iida nodded. “Besides, Mr Aizawa seemed quite fond of you! Afterall, he was the one that suggested that I came here in the first place!”

Midoriya’s smile returned, “I guess you’re right.”

Uraraka hurried across the hall to pack her various books away again before rushing back to Midoriya one last time.

“Text us lots about everything!” said Uraraka, holding up her flip phone eagerly. “We’ll see you soon! And we promise to do mediocre on those tests you mentioned.”

“Mediocre – not purposely fail,” Midoriya insisted.

“But of course!” Iida replied, “As UA students, we should always strive to do our best!”

“Yeah!” Uraraka exclaimed, punching the air again. “Until next time, student 18!”

Midoriya activated his Quirk far more easily this time, standing upright and pulling the two of them into a final hug, “Thank you – for everything.”

“No, thank you,” Iida responded.

With that, the two of them waved goodbye and left the hospital with a new spring in their step. For they knew that this wasn’t the last time that they saw student 18. No, this was the beginning of a whole new chapter. And it started, rather unexpectantly, only a few days later…

 

Chapter Text

The staff at the hospital weren’t the only ones surprised by Midoriya’s incredible progress with his physical therapy – even Midoriya was. In fact, he was so much better that he didn’t even really need the crutches that Dr Adachi insisted he used.

It was only a few days after Iida’s and Uraraka’s visit that he was finally allowed to take his first step outside the hospital for five months. The last time Midoriya saw the outside world felt like a lifetime ago for him. But, in a way, that wasn’t too far from the truth.

The patients in the young people’s ward gave him strange looks as he hobbled past on his crutches. Midoriya wondered if they recognised him as the coma boy. Of course, he knew most of them. He spent many hours by their sides during his time as a ghost. But he doubted a majority of them even knew his name.

Midoriya clambered into the elevator at the end of the long hallway and leant on its wall as he pulled his phone out of his pocket.

 

Your UA Buddies!

{This chat includes Urarakaka, President Iida and Midori/ya}

 

[14:11] Midori/ya: Freedom is mine!

[14:11] Urarakaka: Wait, what?

[14:11] Midori/ya: I have exactly 49 minutes to spend outside of the hospital.

[14:11] Urarakaka: Oh my gosh! Yayayayayya!

[14:12] Midori/ya: I’m just going to go to the park though. The mall’s nearby, but I don’t exactly have any money on me.

[14:12] Urarakaka: Oh well, the park sounds nice. We have a day off today, but I haven’t left the dorms. It’s a shame you don’t have any more time, we could have gone and done something together with Iida! Maybe we could come and say hi later?

[14:12] Midori/ya: It would be great to see you two again, but don’t get in trouble with Mr Aizawa – if you can’t come, we can just video call or something.

Midoriya was surprised by how many stops the elevator made on its way down to the hospital’s entrance. When he was a ghost, he would just phase straight through the walls and fly out towards UA, rather than go the long way around and navigate the twisting corridors of the hospital. So, despite the amount of times he’d been to and thro from the place, he didn’t really know his way around. It was much bigger than he had thought it was.

Midoriya glanced back down at his phone as he finally stepped out of the elevator, holding his crutches in his other hand and getting from weird looks from everyone else. Why have crutches if you don’t even use them?

[14:12] Urarakaka: Well, my phone can’t do video chats, but Iida’s probably can! I think he’s studying at the moment, but just message before you do and I’ll wrestle it off him! See you then!

[14:12] Midori/ya: See you!

Midoriya sighed happily, pocketing his phone once more and arranging his crutches to take some of the weight off his legs. Yes, he was much better with walking and running and everything in between, but that didn’t mean that he had remastered it all. His legs still began to ache after a while and wobbled if he put too much strain on them. The crutches were there as a precautionary measure really. After a while, he got a little more comfortable with them and was less reluctant to carry them around – useful or not.

He smiled at the nurses at the front desk as he passed them by. They waved back enthusiastically, one of them even whistled in celebration. Midoriya had gotten to know many of the staff at the hospital since he woke up. Word must have spread around the place that the hero student coma boy woke up and they had all been eager to meet him. Midoriya, meanwhile, was more than happy to have visitors. He didn’t realise how lonely being trapped in his body again could be but being able to talk and move and eat was definitely worth it.

Midoriya hurried up to the big, automatic doors of the hospital and smiled as they opened for him, letting in a warm summer’s breeze and the sound of the city around him. He didn’t realise how much he had missed such little things up until that moment. Then, with far more thought than was necessary, he took his first step back into the real world.

He stood there for a good minute, just smiling and watching people pass by. He got more strange looks, just standing there, smiling, on a pair of crutches was bound to attract some attention. At least he wasn’t wearing his hospital clothes anymore. He had taken the opportunity to wear the number 18 shirt that Uraraka had gotten him.

“Go on, Midoriya!” one of the nurses from the front desk called out to him, waving encouragingly again.

“Yeah, try not to nearly kill yourself this time!” the other one yelled.

The first punched him in the arm and Midoriya laughed feebly. With that, he turned his back to the hospital, and wandered down the street.

He could see the park from the window of his new room in the hospital. The old one only overlooked a car park, but it wasn’t like he could actually see the view anyway. Besides, the point is that the park wasn’t very far from the hospital and offered some sanctuary in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city. It was just what Midoriya needed.

It was a perfect day. The sun was shining; there wasn’t a cloud in sight. Children played happily in the park, tossing frisbees to dogs and lounging out in the grass. Joggers passed Midoriya by. He caught a few of their eyes, which would usually just make him feel awkward, but it instead reminded him that he wasn’t a ghost and people could see him. It made him feel warmer inside than even a summer’s day could.

He wandered aimlessly through the park for the next ten minutes, not caring that he didn’t have a destination in mind or anything to do. Just being there and free to do what he pleased was more than enough. Everything was just so peaceful and calm and –

– and then a ball smacked him in the face.

He was knocked to the ground in surprise. His crutches went flying and the ball, which had bouncing off his face and ricocheted into a tree, then rolled neatly to his side.

Midoriya heard rustling nearby. The culprit was probably clambering through the bush to find their ball.

Well great, thanks a lot, Midoriya thought angrily, way to ruin my –

“OH MY GOD, I AM SO SORRY!”

“It’s fine…” Midoriya moaned as he sat up and rubbed his head.

“Here, let me help you!”

A hand was thrust in Midoriya face eagerly. He looked up and his mouth fell open.

“Oh, man, that was silly of me – you’re gonna need your crutches before you get up!” Kirishima exclaimed, crouching down and collecting Midoriya’s crutches before shoving his hand in his direction again.

At this point, Midoriya was screaming internally, oh my God, it’s Kirishima – how – why – why fate? What do I do – does he recognise me? What if he realises I’m the ghost – what if –

“Come on, I’m not just gonna leave you here on the floor!” he smiled a toothy grin.

Midoriya realised he still hadn’t taken his hand, so he did so quickly as to not be rude, and he was hauled to his feet.

“Are you alright?” he asked.

“Oh, yeah – f-fine, really. I-It was just an accident,” Midoriya stammered.

“Ah, that’s rotten luck!” Kirishima exclaimed, retrieving his ball once he was happy Midoriya was standing upright on his own. “You’re the only one around and it must have hit you square in the face!”

“Um, yeah…”

“I’m so sorry!” he repeated.

“Really, it doesn’t matter. I don’t have terribly good luck anyway,” Midoriya grimaced. Take this meeting, for example.

“Is that why you’re on crutches?” Kirishima questioned, still smiling widely.

“Oh, um, yeah, I don’t really need these anymore,” Midoriya explained, lifting up his crutches to prove that he could stand on his own two feet without them. “They’re just to help…”

“Ah, ok… So, did you just come out of the hospital or something?” he guessed, glancing over at the tall building just visible across the park.

“Yes – this is my first time out in a while actually…”

And we manage to hit you in the face – you really do have bad luck.”

“Um, we?”

“Yeah, me and my friends just decided to come here and mess around for a bit before heading back. We go to a boarding school you see, and this is our first day off in a while. We were supposed to have an escort or something if we wanted to leave the grounds, but that seemed a bit excessive so we kind of snuck out,” he admitted guiltily. “We went to the mall and then my friend bought this ball and we found this park and… yeah – then this happened.”

“Ah… well, don’t let me get in your way.”

“Hey! If anything, we got in your way! Are you heading back to the hospital now?”

“I… think so?”

“Well, do you want to come hang out with us for a bit before you go back? If it’s your first time out of the hospital for such a long time, then you might as well make the most of it! How long has it been?”

“Err… five months?!”

“FIVE MONTHS?! Seriously?! Oh my God what the hell did you do to yourself?!”

“Um… it’s a long story…”

“I’ll take your word for it. So, are you coming – oh shoot, I didn’t catch your name! I’m Kirishima!”

Yeah, I know, “Oh, I’m M-Midoriya.” Wait, will he recognise that name? Did Iida or Uraraka mention me? Did Kacchan –

“Nice to meet you, Midoriya!” he said, holding out his hand for Midoriya to shake it, which he did after a slight hesitation.

Oh, thank God.

WAIT A SECOND WHAT IF KACCHAN’S HERE?!

“Come on, follow me!” he exclaimed, gripping onto Midoriya’s wrist eagerly and dragging him off the path, around the bush he had clambered through earlier and down a rather steep hill. Midoriya was surprised he didn’t fall over.

“KAMINARI, YOU IDIOT – YOU KNOCKED THIS GUY OVER!” Kirishima yelled as he ran ahead.

Midoriya was almost too scared to look up and see who else was there. With a sigh of relief, he realised that they hadn’t managed to drag Kacchan out of the dorms to take him on their little expedition. Perhaps UA was keeping a closer eye on him than most of the other students. He was the one who was kidnapped after all.

Kaminari caught sight of Midoriya’s crutches as he came into view and ran over to them at full speed. “Oh my God, I’m so sorry!” he cried, repeating word for word what Kirishima had said. Midoriya guessed that Kaminari had been the one who kicked the ball in Midoriya’s direction in the first place. “Please forgive me!” he added in exasperation.

“H-Honestly, it’s ok,” Midoriya replied. He couldn’t believe this was how he was meeting them.

“Wow, way to go, Kaminari!” Mina exclaimed. “You ok?”

“I-I’m fine, really.”

Midoriya glanced around at the group. It involved mainly Kacchan’s friends, excluding Kacchan himself for one reason or another. Kirishima, Kaminari and Mina were there of course, but other than that, he spotted Sero, and a little more surprisingly, even Jiro.

“This is Midoriya – it was Midoriya, right?” Kirishima questioned.

“Y-Yeah,” he confirmed.

“Great – this is Kaminari, the jerk who kicked the ball in your face,” Kirishima introduced.

Kaminari waved, “Wait, that hit you in the face?!”

Midoriya smiled feebly and rubbed his head again.

“I gotta say, that’s pretty impressive,” said Jiro. She was holding Kaminari’s phone and filming the whole encounter – brilliant.

“This is Jiro,” Kirishima continued. He pointed to each of them in turn. “The guy with the elbows is Sero, and Pinky over here is Ashido.”

“Call me Mina!” she said excitably.

“U-Uh… hi,” Midoriya stammered. “N-Nice to meet you all.”

“Out of all the people in the park you could of hit, you choose the guy on crutches,” Jiro acknowledged.

“Hey! I wasn’t aiming!” Kaminari retorted. “Again, I’m really sorry.”

“Honestly, I’m fine,” Midoriya insisted. “A-And don’t worry about the crutches, I don’t really need them anymore.”

“Then why have you got them?” Mina interrogated, her hands on her hips.

“Hey, be nice to him,” Kirishima swooped in for the rescue. “Midoriya says this is his first time out of the hospital for five months.”

“Holy shoot – five months?!” Sero repeated.

“Seriously? What the hell happened?!” Mina added.

“U-Um…” Midoriya said, more than a little overwhelmed. “I-I got involved in a villain attack.” He glanced at Jiro, who grimaced once he revealed that information. Why was she still filming?!

“Oh, sorry,” Jiro said, turning off the camera phone and tossing it back to Kaminari, who juggled it for a bit before managing to catch it. “We’ll delete that if you want. It’s just a habit – we film nearly everything. Or, at least, Kaminari does and makes us be his back up camera-men and women.”

“It’s ok,” Midoriya quickly replied. “You can keep it. I don’t mind.”

“Sorry for ruining your first day out,” Sero apologised. Wow, they’re just full of apologises, aren’t they?

“You haven’t ruined it at all,” Midoriya contradicted. “It was nice meeting you all.”

“Awwww!” Mina exclaimed. “That’s so sweet of you! Well, It’s lovely meeting you too, Eighteen!”

“Eighteen?!” Midoriya repeated. Then, in horror, he looked down at this top, and the green number 18 stared back at him.

Holy shoot – I’M WEARING THE 18 T-SHIRT!

Jiro stifled a laugh, “Eighteen…” she murmured.

“Oh my God, have we got a story to tell you!” Kaminari exclaimed, handing his phone back to Jiro, who sighed dejectedly and started filming again, before glancing at Midoriya for a moment to see if he would mind. He smiled to let her know it was ok. “We need to hear an outsider’s opinion on this!” Kaminari continued.

“Ok, so,” Kirishima interrupted eagerly. “You know I said we all go a boarding school?”

“Y-Yes?”

“Well, there are nineteen of us in our class and the school gives us all student numbers, get it?”

“Yeah…”

“Wait no, aren’t there twenty of us?” Sero interjected.

“Nah, Mr Aizawa expelled Mineta, remember?”

Midoriya frowned when he heard this but changed his expression quickly before any of them noticed, although, he supposed it was caught on camera anyway.

“Anyway,” Kaminari said, continuing the story instead of Kirishima, “that seems pretty normal, until we realised we’re numbered 1 to 20, but there’s no student number 18!”

“...How weird.”

“I know right!” Mina exclaimed. “Then, this new guy joined, and he became number 21 instead of 18! And then Mineta left and Shinsou – the new guy I mentioned – was bumped down to be student number 19 to replace Mineta. But WHAT HAPPENED TO 18?!”

“That is… a bit of a mystery…” Midoriya said with wide eyes.

“What’s even stranger is that our teacher insists that there is a student number 18,” Sero added. “But whenever we ask him about it, he just changes the subject.”

“That is strange…”

“These guys are obsessed,” Jiro sighed. “It’s really not that big of a deal.”

“Oh, shut up, Jiro!” Kaminari retorted. “Midoriya agrees that it’s weird! Don’t you, Midoriya?!”

“Y-Yeah…”

Exactly.”

“Guys, we all know what’s really going on,” Mina said with a mischievous grin.

“W-We do?” Midoriya questioned nervously.

“Yeah! You’re student 18! It’s written all over you!” she laughed.

“Ha, ha… Yeah…”

“Sorry about them,” Jiro side-tracked. “They’re already starved of human contact outside of school and it’s barely been a week.”

“I-It’s alright,” Midoriya said for the one hundredth time. “I haven’t really spoken to anyone in months.”

“It’s ok, Midoriya!” Mina cried, “We’ll be your new friends!”

“Anyway,” said Kirishima, who started to mess around with their ball, bouncing it between his feet. “I invited Midoriya down here to play around with us. If you want to, that is,”

“Oh, um, well I wouldn’t be much help… but I could film and go in goal to make your teams even if you really want…” he offered.

“That would be great!” said Mina, punching the air, “Now Jiro can play too!”

Jiro sighed, “Fun.”

“It’s alright, you can be in the other goal if you want, Jiro,” said Kirishima.

“What?!” Sero exclaimed, “I want to be in goal!”

“No Quirks allowed, Sero!” Mina yelled as she stole the ball off Kirishima and ran to the middle of the field.

“Yeah, you can’t just tape up the goal!” Kaminari yelled as they all ran after Mina.

Midoriya glanced at Jiro uncertainly as she handed him Kaminari’s phone.

“Honestly, you can just back out, they can be quite boisterous at times,” Jiro admitted. “I don’t even know why I’m here. Mina dragged me out to go to the mall and I ended up filming their stupidity from a distance.”

Midoriya laughed, “It’s ok, really.”

“You like saying that, don’t you?”

“Ok!” Kirishima yelled back at them, “Kaminari and Midoriya are on my team and Mina, Sero and Jiro are on the other! Get to your goals, men!”

Midoriya hurried over to the goal Kirishima pointed at and dropped his crutches just off the pitch. He could see Mina’s determined face just across the pitch and already started to fear for his life.

“Ok, three, two, one, go!” Kaminari announced, and the game began.

Midoriya was pretty certain multiple rules of this game were being broken. He thought they were playing English football or soccer of whatever it was called, but then Kaminari picked the ball up and threw it at Jiro’s head and they didn’t even tell him off. It was all very confusing.

It wasn’t long before Mina took control of the ball and kicked it right across the pitch, running towards Midoriya.

“I’m coming your way, Eighteen!” Mina cried as she ran towards him.

Midoriya sighed, “This is all your fault, Uraraka,” he muttered as he quickly went and propped Kaminari’s phone up against his crutches and repositioned himself in front of goal.

When Mina kicked the ball in his direction, Midoriya panicked and ended up activating his Quirk. He did a flying kick, which expertly (and slightly by accident) knocked the ball away from his goal in a flash of green lightning, sending it flying across the pitch and right over Jiro’s head, landing perfectly in the opposite goal.

Midoriya fell to the ground as the others stared at him, open mouthed. Panicked thoughts rushed through his mind. Oh no – I just broke their rules! What if they get mad at me – what if they recognised my Quirk?! It was that green lightning like I showed them as a ghost! What if –

“THAT WAS FREAKING AWESOME!” Mina yelled, throwing her hands in the air.

“WAS THAT YOUR QUIRK?! THAT LOOKED AMAZING!” Kirishima cried as they all ran across the pitch towards Midoriya, who was still sitting on the ground in shock.

“T-That was an accident,” he admitted nervously.

“WHO CARES?!” Kaminari exclaimed as he arrived, holding out his hand to help Midoriya up. “Oh my God – you deserve that goal – did you get it on camera?! That was so cool!”

“Is that like a speed Quirk?” Jiro asked as she arrived, panting, at Midoriya’s goal.

“Um, kind of…”

“You’d make a super cool hero with that Quirk!” said Mina, bouncing up and down.

“Y-You really think so?”

“Definitely!”

“Hey, we haven’t been completely honest with you,” Kirishima interjected. “The boarding school we go to is actually UA – we’re hero course students.”

“…No way.”

“Yes way!” Mina cried. “Oh my God – I’m going to add you to our group chat! You can be our replacement student number 18!”

“Um… really, it’s ok.”

“You don’t have a choice!” she exclaimed, “What’s your number?”

Midoriya nervously pulled out his own phone and read off his number to her.

“Our class president will probably kick you out after a couple of hours,” Sero warned him as he handed Kirishima the ball.

“Oh… it’s fine – you don’t have to add me, really.”

“Too late!” Mina announced. “I have dubbed you Student no.18!”

“Thanks…”

"Honestly, I thought you recognised us from the Sports Festival," said Kirishima. "Then again, I did just appear out of a bush, so the surprise was probably mainly because of that."

"Oh, yeah - I haven't gotten around to watching the Sports Festival yet. You're first-years, right?"

"Yeah! The legendary class 1-A!" Kaminari exclaimed.

"Don't get so full of yourself," Jiro sighed, "If he's been in the hospital for so long, he probably doesn't know what that means."

"U-Um..." Midoriya stammered.

“Oh my gosh, look at the time – it’s almost three o’clock!” Mina realised as she handed Midoriya’s phone back to him.

“It is?” he asked, glancing at the clock on his phone himself, “I-I have to head back to the hospital. I promised I would be back by three!”

“Yeah, we should probably get going too, before Mr Aizawa has another reason to expel us,” Sero realised with wide eyes.

“Good idea,” Jiro replied. “I haven’t been threatened yet and I would like it to stay that way.”

“We should all meet up some time!” Mina suggested. “You free next week, Eighteen?”

“Um… I’ll see…” He was planning on going back to UA by the following week.

“Well, text us and we’ll organise something,” Kaminari added, retrieving his phone, which was still filming, and he handed Midoriya’s crutches back to him.

“Ok! See you next week then, Midoriya!” said Kirishima, waving as the group started to walk away.

“See soon, student 18!” Mina laughed, waving too as they all said their goodbyes.

“Yeah… see you... soon,” Midoriya smiled.

Oh, the next week was going to be an interesting one for sure.

 

Chapter Text

That evening, the common room was packed. Their day off was coming to an end, but it seemed like many of Uraraka’s classmates had plans on taking full advantage, considering the fact that they were gearing up to spending most of the night together in the common room. It wasn’t an unusual sight. Bakugo’s group of friends often spent way too much time on video games and could barely stand upright during class the next day. Bakugo himself, however, was prone to going to bed extremely early, which definitely wasn’t what Uraraka had expected of him when she moved into the dorms. She thought Iida would be the one who hit the hay the earliest. Although, Todoroki was a close second to Bakugo, but that, for some reason, didn’t come as so much of a surprise.

Yaoyorozu was handing out cups of tea. Uraraka had no idea what type it was but took it anyway. By the end of her time at UA, she was sure that she would know the brand of tea just by smelling it, judging by the way Yaoyorozu was dishing it out to everyone – a new flavour every evening, if that was the right term to use for tea. It was actually quite relaxing.

Shinsou, however, did not share in the delights of Yaoyorozu’s tea. He refused it every time, sticking to his favourite brand of instant, black coffee. Uraraka could have sworn he didn’t even water it down. And really? Coffee? Now?

“How are you going to get to sleep with that much coffee in you?” Uraraka questioned, sipping her tea.

He looked at her blankly. “Sleep?”

“Ok guys!” Mina yelled, disrupting Uraraka’s conversation. It didn’t seem to be reaching any kind of conclusion anyway. “We have come up with a brilliant idea!”

“What might that be?” Tsuyu questioned, tapping the side of her chin with her finger.

“Ok, so,” she began. She was standing on a table at this point. If Iida had been there, he probably would have had a fit. “We have decided that every week, Kaminari will edit together all the videos we’ve taken from across the last seven days, and then we all watch them together on Sunday evenings!”

“It’s actually a really good idea,” said Jiro. “That way Kaminari’s not storing up tonnes of random, unnecessary clips all the time.”

“Seriously, man,” Kirishima added, “how much storage do you have?”

“Anyway,” Kaminari interrupted. “I thought we’d look at the stuff from before the summer break at a later date. There’s too much of it and apparently I need to focus on studying rather than editing videos.” He glared pointedly at Jiro, who just took a sip of her tea and ignored him.

“That would be a wise decision,” Yaoyorozu agreed as she sat down beside Uraraka and Shinsou. They seemed to be forming a little circle around Kaminari at this point, who was sitting beside the TV with Jiro.

Kaminari rolled his eyes. “Besides, some of the clips we took during the summer camp… aren’t exactly something I want to look back on.”

Some of the group shuffled uncomfortably and Uraraka became silently glad Bakugo wasn’t there in that moment.

“Do you guys want to see what we got up to today anyway? For our first little cinema session?” Mina questioned eagerly, bouncing off the table peering over Jiro’s shoulder as she connected Kaminari’s phone to the TV.

“Do we have a choice?” asked Shinsou.

They ignored him.

“Didn’t you guys just go to the mall today?” asked Sato.

“Not just to the mall,” Kaminari replied. “All sorts happened!”

“Yeah!” Mina added. “Our train got delayed for a villain attack, then we watched Kamui Woods kick –”

“Hey!” Kirishima interrupted. “Don’t spoil it!”

“Oh yeah, right.”

Kaminari’s editing skills were actually pretty good. The group watched as Kaminari, Kirishima, Sero and Mina tried and failed to drag Bakugo out of the dorms. They enlisted Jiro as inside help to get past Aizawa and Hound Dog, so she ended up being dragged into the whole expedition unwillingly.

Uraraka’s attention was slowly lost from the video montage. Not that they weren’t interesting, but she suddenly became aware that she hadn’t checked her phone in a while. She had turned it on silent to conserve some battery, but then forgot to turn it off after she finished charging it up. Their visit to the mall reminded her of Midori. He said that he would text her to do a video call at some point – and she had completely forgot! She felt so bad. With her phone in one hand and her cup of tea in the other, she managed to navigate her old flip phone, and first clicked on the class 1-A group chat, which seemed to be full of unread notifications.

Iida had created the chat as one of his first acts as class president. It had gone just about as well as expected. There had been plenty of rules initially set by the moderators of the chat, Iida and Yaoyorozu, but only two were actually followed. The first was that you weren’t allowed to swear, but that was only kept to because Iida had figured out how to censor any profanities. The second rule was only instated recently. That was that you had to have either your name, hero alias, or your student number in your nickname, because they had gotten so obscure that no one could tell who was who anymore. Although, it still wasn’t particularly clear. A lot of the names were just puns using numbers by this point.

 

Mr Aizawa Hasn't Expelled Us - Yet

{This chat includes Iida 4 President, Queen Yaoyorozu the 20th, Number 1 In Your Heart and sixteen others}

 

2 Good For You has added Student no.18 to the chat

 

[14:54] 2 Good For You: My work here is done.

[15:06] Student no.18: I thought you were joking.

[15:10] 2 Good For You: This is no joking matter Mr Replacement.

[15:10] I’m 16 so Not Dead or a Ghost: What’s going on?

[15:10] Student no.18: I don’t understand these nicknames.

[15:11] I 8n’t afraid of no ghost: No one does.

[15:16] Froppy is 3!!!: Who is that?

[15:16] Student no.18: Oh, hi! Sorry, I know I’m not supposed to be here. I’ll leave if you want.

[15:16] Iida 4 President: Ashido, no one should be in this chat except for UA students!

[15:16] 2 Good For You: What are you talking about? This is clearly the actual student 18.

[15:16] Iida 4 President: This is very disrespectful to the real student 18. I highly recommend that this person is removed immediately.

[15:17] I 8n’t afraid of no ghost: Seriously, Iida. This guy is super nice. He just got out of hospital and we’re meeting up again next week. We needed a way to contact him so Mina came up with this idea.

[15:23] If 7 8 9 Then Technically I Ate Koda: I’m judging by the radio silence that it’s ok?

[15:24] I 8n’t afraid of no ghost: Kaminari we really need to talk about these nicknames.

[15:24] 2 Good for You: Kirishima they’re beautiful. You’re just jealous that mine’s better than yours.

 

And that was where the notifications ended.

Uraraka frowned. Not only did that not make any sense whatsoever, but Iida had just left the case alone for some reason. It seemed very unlike him.

A bout of laughter broke out amongst the group. Uraraka looked up before checking the notifications on her other group chat. They seemed to be laughing about the fact that Mina had just kicked a ball at Kaminari, and she ended up scoring by knocking both Kaminari and the ball backwards and into the goal.

Briefly distracted by the videos, Uraraka put her phone down and continued to watch, sipping her tea as she joined in on seeing their adventures of the day.

“I bet you can’t get it into Kirishima’s goal from all the way over here,” Jiro said smugly. She was doing the filming and refereeing. Kaminari had a free kick at this point and his team mate Sero (who had been banned from goal at this point) was quite far down the pitch.

“Ha!” Kaminari exclaimed, “Watch and learn.” With that, he booted the ball as hard as he could and it went flying through the air, a long way over Kirishima’s head and into the bush just up the hill.

“Way to go, Kaminari!” Mina yelled.

Kaminari, meanwhile, was bouncing up and down, clutching his foot, because he seemed to have hit the ball with his toes, which he had only realised was a mistake afterwards.

I’ll get it!” Kirishima offered, and he ran off to retrieve the ball without another word.

Uraraka was becoming increasingly distracted by her phone. She pulled it out to read the rest of her messages, but was stopped by Mina all of a sudden, who stole her phone from her.

“Watch, Ochaco!” Mina insisted. “This is the good part!”

Uraraka frowned but didn’t try to take her phone back. Looking back up at the screen, she narrowed her eyes as the camera zoomed in on Kirishima running back down the hill moments later, the ball in one hand, and in the other was –

KAMINARI, YOU IDIOT – YOU KNOCKED THIS GUY OVER!”

Uraraka spat out her tea.

THAT’S MIDORI!

“Is he on crutches?” Sato exclaimed.

“Seriously, Kaminari?!” added Hagakure.

“I said I was sorry!” Kaminari insisted as his counterpart on the television screen did just that.

“Are you ok, Uraraka?” Shinsou questioned, looking at her strangely.

Somehow, no one had noticed her surprise, probably because she had managed to hide her face behind her tea cup, and perhaps everyone thought she was just surprised that Kaminari had knocked the poor guy over.

“Uh huh…” she replied wordlessly.

 “This is Midoriya – it was Midoriya, right?” Kirishima questioned in the video.

“Y-Yeah,” he nodded.

Oh my God, Midori! How the hell do you get yourself into these situations?! Uraraka thought, pretending to sip her non-existent drink as Shinsou raised an eyebrow at her.

“Great – this is Kaminari, the jerk who kicked the ball in your face.”

"Wait, that hit you in the face?!”

The class booed at Kaminari.

“Don’t be mean!” he retorted. Kirishima patted him on the back as he pretended to cry.

Uraraka was still lost for words.

“Midoriya says this is his first time out of the hospital for five months.”

Holy shoot – five months?!”

“Wow, out of all the people in the park, you guys just had to ruin this guy’s day, didn’t you?” said Hagakure as Yaoyorozu poured her more tea.

“What? We made his day,” Mina insisted. “This is the guy we added to the group chat – look, it’s student number 18!”

The class laughed as they realised what his shirt said.

Uraraka did not.

“You know what…” Uraraka said, putting down her cup of tea on the table. “I’m just going to go… um… check on Iida! Yeah, I’ll go do that!”

She snatched her phone back off Mina and vaulted over the back of the soda, skidding around the corner and running up the stairs to Iida’s room. As she did so, she opened her phone and finally clicked on her unread notifications.

 

Your UA Buddies!

{This chat includes Urarakaka, President Iida and Midori/ya}

 

[15:06] Midori/ya: You will not believe the day I’ve just had.

[15:10] Midori/ya: GUYS HELP ME

[15:10] Midori/ya: URARAKA THAT TOP WAS A TERRIBLE MISTAKE

[15:16] Midori/ya: WHAT HAVE I DONE??!!

[15:16] President Iida: Is something wrong, Midoriya?

[15:16] Midori/ya: You could say that, yeah.

[15:16] President Iida: One of our classmates has just added someone to our group chat in place of you. How despicable.

[15:16] Midori/ya: Iida, that’s me.

[15:17] President Iida: Pardon?

[15:17] Midori/ya: THAT’S ME I’M ACTUALLY STUDENT 18

[15:17] President Iida: Yes, exactly my point. They think that it’s funny to add someone in your place.

[15:17] Midori/ya: No, Iida, you don’t understand. They added THE REAL STUDENT 18 TO THEIR CHAT BUT THEY DON’T REALISE IT HELP

[15:17] President Iida: …How did this happen?

[15:17] Midori/ya: I DON’T KNOOOWWWWWWW

[15:17] President Iida: Kirishima just said that you’re meeting up with them next week?

[15:17] Midori/ya: YES THEY DON’T REALISE THAT IT’LL BE AT UA YET

[15:18] President Iida: Ok. I will leave you on the group chat and then we’ll video call this evening to discuss our plans going forward.

[15:18] Midori/ya: THANK YOU!

 

Uraraka threw open Iida’s door.

“Uraraka, would you please reframe from opening my door in such a manner?!” Iida exclaimed. “You will knock my spare glasses off their shelves!”

“Sorry!” she exclaimed, “But this is urgent!”

“Has Kacchan blown someone up or something?”

Uraraka peered over Iida’s shoulder to see Midoriya on his phone.

“Midori!” she cried, snatching Iida’s phone off him. “WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO?!”

I don’t know!” he whined. He was still wearing the number 18 shirt, lying on his hospital bed whilst his phone was propped up on his bedside table, filming him as he talked. “It was an accident!” he said with his head in his hands.

“Midoriya says that he accidently bumped into Kirishima, Kaminari –” Iida began.

“I know!” Uraraka exclaimed. “They’re showing videos of you down in the common room right now!”

Midoriya turned to face the camera, eyes wide. “Is Kacchan there?!”

“Who’s Kacchan?” Uraraka questioned. She vaguely recognised the name, but she couldn’t quite remember where she had heard it.

O-Oh,” Midoriya stammered, “Don’t worry about it.”

Uraraka decided not to question it – for now.

“They filmed you without your permission?” Iida frowned.

Well, it all kind of just happened,” Midoriya replied. “I told them that I didn’t mind them filming… but I’m starting to regret that now…”

Uraraka handed Iida’s phone back to him and sat on the bed beside him. “Ok, ok,” she began. “We need to think up a plan here.”

A plan?” Midoriya repeated. “For what?”

“For what you do when you turn up at UA of course!”

“Perhaps we should just tell them the truth,” Iida suggested.

“No!” Uraraka exclaimed. “This is too perfect! We can’t just waste this golden opportunity!”

There was a knock at Iida’s door.

“I wonder who that could be,” Iida frowned, getting up to answer it.

“Midori, I’m hiding you – shhhhh…” Uraraka said as she slid Iida’s phone into her pocket.

“Hey, Iida, is Uraraka here?”

“Shinsou?” she frowned as she hurried over to him. “What’s going on?”

“Mina’s after you,” he sighed.

“…I’m afraid to ask why?”

“They recon that the guy in their videos said your name and now everyone wants to know if you know him,” he said, sipping his coffee in disinterest.

Uraraka and Iida exchanged glances.

“Wait just one second,” said Uraraka, before slamming the door in Shinsou’s face.

“Uraraka!” Iida protested.

“Shh!” she retorted, pulling his phone out of her pocket again. “Did you hear that, Midori?”

He groaned, “Whoops…”

“I feel like we should employ Shinsou into this mess,” Uraraka suggested with narrowed eyes.

“I don’t think employ was the right word,” Iida acknowledged.

“Shush up, I know what I’m saying – so, what do you think, Midori?”

I don’t mind,” he shrugged. “I’d quite like to meet Shinsou though!”

“Then it’s settled!”

Uraraka threw open the door again to see Shinsou still standing there, blinking at her in surprise. “What –” he began.

Uraraka peered out and glanced up and down the corridor, before yanking Shinsou inside and shutting the door behind her.

“Midori! Meet Shinsou – Shinsou, Midori,” Uraraka exclaimed, thrusting the phone in Shinsou’s face.

Hi, Shinsou,” said Midoriya from the other side of the phone.

“Hey…” Shinsou replied, taking the phone and frowning at Midoriya. “Aren’t you that guy the others met in the park?”

That would be me, yes.”

“So you do know him?” Shinsou asked Uraraka.

Uraraka and Iida both nodded. “And it gets worse.”

Oh, it gets so much worse,” Midoriya confirmed.

Shinsou looked down at the phone again. “… Are you the coma friend?”

“Um, I guess…?”

“Oh, ok,” Shinsou replied. “I don’t see how this is that bad…?”

“No, Shinsou, you don’t understand – this is student 18,” Uraraka explained, pointing at Midori.

“Yeah, because of the top?” he smirked.

No, I am actually your student 18 – as in, I’m meant to be in your class and sit in the desk in front of you – THAT student 18.”

Shinsou hesitated, “Wait, seriously?”

…Yeah.”

“Woah, woah, woah – hold up a second here. Let me get this straight,” Shinsou said, taking a final swig of his coffee and putting the mug down on Iida’s study table. “You bumped into those guys in the park and they decided, because of your top, that you’re student 18 – as a joke – but they were actually right?!”

…Pretty much.”

“Oh my God – that’s amazing.”

It is not!”

Shinsou sat down on Iida’s bed and the three of them continued to talk to Midoriya. “Are you coming back to UA soon?” Shinsou questioned.

Hopefully.”

“You know all those weird tests that Mr Aizawa’s been giving us?” Uraraka asked.

“Yeah?”

“Well, Midori’s been getting the same ones.”

“If Midoriya can beat at least one of our classmates on every test, then he is allowed to return to UA,” Iida finished.

“I just thought Aizawa was giving those to us because he wanted to see us suffer. But at least that won’t be too hard for you,” Shinsou pointed out.

I don’t know…” Midoriya replied.

“Trust me,” Shinsou insisted. “It won’t.”

Ok…”

“So, when are you coming back?”

Next week at the latest.”

“Oh, that’s just perfect.”

“I know, right?!” Uraraka exclaimed.

“This has got to be a dramatic reveal,” Shinsou insisted.

Um, it doesn’t really –”

“You don’t have a choice.”

O-Ok…”

“You can’t just stage something like this either – it’s too perfect of an opportunity to pass.”

Exactly!” Uraraka cried.

“I don’t know,” Iida interjected. “Keeping this information form our classmates would be dishonest and would put a lot of pressure on Midoriya!”

Well… I don’t mind…” Midoriya replied. “I guess it would be kind of funny.”

“Yes!” Uraraka bounced up and down on Iida’s bed. “Let’s do this!”

Midoriya slammed his face into a pillow, and with a muffled voice, he said, “I have a bad feeling about this.”

Uraraka and Shinsou exchanged wicked looks.

“Trust us,” Shinsou grinned, ignoring Midoriya’s and Iida’s worried expressions, “This, is going to make Kaminari’s vlogs worthwhile.”

“Oh my gosh, we should film our side of the story!” Uraraka suggested.

“Come on,” Shinsou said, getting to his feet, “we need to go and convince Mina that Midoriya doesn’t know you.” He glanced down at Iida’s phone. “Nice meeting you, Midoriya. Don’t worry about those tests. If you think you’re going to fail I will brainwash Mr Aizawa into letting you in.”

Um… I don’t think it’ll have to come to that…” Midoriya replied as Iida retrieved his phone from Shinsou.

“See you soon, Midori!” Uraraka called as she and Shinsou walked away. “Oh, and do not tell them!”

Ok…”

The door slammed shut.

 


 

 

There was a moment of silence as Iida looked at Midoriya and he looked at him.

When they realise I was the ghost I think Uraraka might float me into the sun.”

“Agreed.”

 

Chapter Text

After class later that week, Iida was held back by Mr Aizawa again. Uraraka seemed to stall leaving the classroom, packing her English books away very slowly. Shinsou must have somehow noticed this from across the room, because he soon followed her example. By the time everyone else had left, Mr Aizawa sighed deeply at the sight of Uraraka and Shinsou as Present Mic was out of earshot.

“Uraraka can stay if she wants,” he grumbled. “This is a private matter, Shinsou.”

“Oh, Shinsou knows,” Iida informed Mr Aizawa.

He narrowed his eyes and Iida suddenly wondered if telling him that was a good idea. Although, something inside Iida was convinced that their teacher was only trying to hide all these matters surrounding Midoriya for two reasons. One, he would literally have a riot on his hands if he said anything at this point and that would be a little overwhelming for Midoriya, who had only just been released from hospital after five long months. Second, Iida had a feeling that Mr Aizawa was enjoying deceiving his students just as much as Shinsou was.

“Very well,” he said, slumping into his usual chair as the three of them walked to the front of the room and stood by him. “Midoriya will be arriving here this evening.”

“WHAT?!” Uraraka exclaimed.

Aizawa flinched at the noise. Iida supposed he had only just woken up by the tired expression on his face. “Yes,” he confirmed. “Remember those tests I’ve been giving you? Well, I have been giving them to Midoriya as well. Principle Nedzu was to let him back into UA on the condition that he beat at least one of class 1-A on each of them. Not only did he beat all three of you on more than one test, but he came in the top five of the class overall.”

Their mouths fell open. “Seriously?” Shinsou gaped, “But he’s been in a coma for months. How the hell did he manage that?”

“Believe me, I asked the same question. It appears that Midoriya’s brain is a little more active than I thought it would be. But whatever, just because he’s being let back into my class doesn’t mean he’ll be staying permanently. He’s proved he’s smart enough, but his physical strength and intellect on the battle field will be another matter entirely. Only once I’ve seen what he can do with his Quirk will I confirm his place here, in this class. If he fails to do that, then he’ll be moved to class 1-C, and take your old place, Shinsou.”

The three of them nodded in understanding. Uraraka and Shinsou looked a little worried, but Iida had far more confidence in Midoriya’s abilities. Unbeknown to them, but Midoriya had been practising his Quirk for months. Iida wouldn’t have been surprised if he was to be ranked amongst the best of his classmates in the weeks to come. But that was a task for another day.

“First things first though,” Mr Aizawa continued. “His belongings were moved up to his room earlier today, and some basic redesigning was done for him. However, he might want some help unpacking.”

“We would be honoured to be of assistance!” Iida replied eagerly. He hadn’t seen his friend in a while now – and this would be the first time they met out of the hospital properly.

“Yeah!” Uraraka added excitably, punching the air. “It’s going to be so great to see him!”

“Good. Meet him by the front gates in a few hours then,” he instructed. “Oh, and one more thing. I don’t want anyone freaking out of this, please,” Mr Aizawa said in a vaguely threatening tone. “I don’t care how you do it, but just… integrate him carefully to the group.”

Shinsou gave him a frightening smile that would rival Aizawa’s own. “Oh, don’t worry about that. We’ve got it under control.”

Mr Aizawa sighed in a way that clearly stated that he did not believe this was going to end well.

Iida silently agreed.

 


 

Midoriya stepped out of the taxi, the great entrance to UA looming over him. He couldn’t believe it he was finally here – like, physically here!

It had only taken nearly half a year longer than expected.

He only had a backpack with him, filled with the last things from his home that he hadn’t already sent ahead in boxes. It included mainly books, a couple more bits and pieces of All Might merchandise, and some food given to him by his mum after a tearful goodbye – something he had been planning on passing onto his new classmates.

It was getting late, the sun was starting to set, throwing orange light at the glistening walls of the main building, reflected by the glass so the entire complex shone with a heavenly glow. Midoriya smiled.

He patted his pockets down, double checking that he had his new student ID pass on him and then, after five long months, Midoriya Izuku stepped through the gates to UA.

Only to be immediately attacked be Uraraka.

“HE’S ALIVE!” she yelled pulling him into a hug.

“Would you be quiet?!” Shinsou exclaimed, hurrying into view, “We’re going to get caught!”

“Wait, what?” was the first thing Midoriya said.

“Midoriya! It’s so good to finally see you here!” Iida interjected, driving the conversation back to normality as he pulled him in for a hug which Midoriya gladly accepted.

“It’s good to be here,” he affirmed, smiling up at his tall friend.

“Oh my gosh, Midori!” Uraraka squealed, “You’re looking so much better – it’s almost strange to see you like this!”

Midoriya blinked at her. Of course, they had never seen Midoriya without heavy bags under his eyes and that general air of death and sickness about him. The first time they met him was whilst he was in a coma. Iida knew him as a ghost – but it wasn’t like he had many defining features as his apparition – he was too blurry and distorted. Then, after he woke up, he struggled to stay conscious for much more than a couple of hours at a time. But now, with his physical therapy finally over, and his stay at the hospital drawn to a close, he was better than ever. Dare he even think it, he felt better than he had before his coma. Now, he had real friends; a real chance at a future he could look forward to. All he had to do now, was prove that he deserved it.

“Thanks,” Midoriya muttered in reply, messing with his hair.

“Well, I still have no idea what happened,” Shinsou added. He was standing to the side of the group hug, which quickly dispersed.

“Does Shinsou want a hug?” Uraraka grinned, holding out her arms expectantly.

“No.”

She laughed.

“It’s nice to officially meet you, Shinsou,” Midoriya smiled, holding out his hand for him to shake it. Shinsou seemed a lot more comfortable with that gesture.

“You too, Eighteen.”

Midoriya glanced down at his shirt and sighed. “I didn’t think that through.”

“What are you talking about?!” Uraraka interjected, her hands on her hips, “I’m glad you like it so much!”

“I don’t really have a great taste in clothing,” Midoriya admitted. “Most of my tops are either hero merchandise or stuff which just says ‘T-shirt’ or ‘Pyjama Top’ on it.”

She laughed, although Midoriya didn’t know if she thought he was joking or not. He was not.

“What he meant, Uraraka,” Iida explained for Midoriya, “is that by wearing a top labelled with the number 18, he will be attracting more attention to himself than necessary.”

“We aren’t planning on attracting any attention at all,” Shinsou insisted.

Midoriya frowed, “What do you mean?”

“I noticed some moving about in the dorms this morning,” he continued, ignoring Midoriya’s confusion, “I glanced next door and realised that Midoriya’s going to be my new neighbour.”

“You’re on the floor with Tokoyami and Aoyama, right?” Uraraka confirmed.

Shinsou nodded.

“Ok it shouldn’t be too hard to sneak past them…”

“Wait, am I missing something here?” Midoriya questioned. “Why are we sneaking past people?”

“Because tonight is not the night for your dramatic reveal,” Shinsou explained like it was obvious.

“W-Why do I need a dramatic reveal?”

“Because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity!” Uraraka exclaimed. Midoriya became suddenly aware that she was filming the interaction using Shinsou’s phone.

“But –”

“No buts!” she interrupted. “And no wasting this golden opportunity!”

“On another note,” said Iida, swiftly changing the subject. “While we’re here, I must inform you that I shall be taking you a quick tour of the school tomorrow morning. We have hero training as our first lesson. Since you never ended up submitting a hero costume form, you will have to wear a simple PE kit, I hope you don’t mind.”

“Oh, not at all!”

Anyway,” Uraraka interrupted, a slight irritation made clear in her tone of voice, “we must focus on the matter at hand!” she said, slamming a fist into an open palm.

“The dorms are usually quite quiet at this time of day,” explained Shinsou. “It’s after dinner and people are either in their rooms or messing around in the common rooms.”

“Yeah! And since your room’s only on the second floor, it shouldn’t be too hard to sneak you up there!” Uraraka added.

“But I still don’t see why I have to –”

Shhh!” Uraraka cut Midoriya short. “Get it into your head – you have no choice in this matter. Repeat after me – I have no choice in this matter.”

“I-I have no choice in this matter?”

“Exactly.”

“Come on, coma kid,” Shinsou sighed, “We’ll help you get unpacked.”

Uraraka grabbed Midoriya’s arm and started to drag him down the path towards Heights Alliance, whilst Shinsou, who had taken his phone back by this point, continued to film by her side.

Midoriya looked back at Iida, who hesitated with a slightly shocked expression on his face. “Help me!” he mouthed.

Iida just smiled sympathetically and was no help whatsoever.

 


 

“Well, all I can say is that I’m relieved that we’re taking a break from super moves tomorrow morning,” Kaminari sighed, sinking into the sofa. The others were either messing around, playing video games, or, in the case of Sato, baking in the kitchen. He had the appliances to bake in his room, but sometimes preferred to spend time in the common room whilst cooking. The others were very thankful for this, as it meant they got first pick at whatever delicacies came out of the oven.

“Yeah, no kidding,” said Sero, eyes transfixed on the television as he played a game against Mina. “My elbows are sore just thinking about super moves,” he groaned.

“At least you’re not trying to make yourself into a literal battering ram,” smirked Kirishima, who leant on the side of the sofa casually as he spoke.

“Hey, what happened to Lord Explosion Murder?” questioned Mina.

“Oh, he went up to his room.”

“Going to sleep already?” Kaminari gaped.

“I don’t know,” he replied thoughtfully. “It is almost eight o’clock. He usually doesn’t go to sleep until at least half past.”

“He probably just got bored of us,” Mina suggested. “Something like, this is so freaking stupid – I don’t wanna hang with you losers, I’m going to bed,” she said in the worst Bakugo impression Kaminari could have thought of.

Jiro sniggered.

“You did not just film that, Jiro!” Mina cried. “No! Delete it – he’ll kill me!” She tossed her controller onto the floor and started to chase Jiro around the common room.

“It’s not like he’ll ever watch it, Mina,” said Sero, who immediately started to take opportunity of Mina’s absence in their game.

“Sero!” exclaimed Mina, realising what he was doing and dropping the chase of Jiro to get back to the game.

“Hey, Sato!” called Hagakure, who was sitting with Tsuyu and Yaoyorozu in the other corner of the room, where Jiro had flopped to hide from Mina and catch her breath. “How long until the cookies are ready?!”

“Not long now.”

She punched the air in excitement and started to chant cookies.

“Uraraka!” Tsuyu exclaimed.

Kaminari looked over to see Uraraka by the entrance to the common room. She had probably just come down from her room, although her smile looked strangely forced.

“What are you doing, ribbit?”

“Oh, um,” she started, looking like she was coming up with a suitable response. “I was just looking for Iida to… help with my English homework, yeah!”

“I can help if you want,” Yaoyorozu offered as she sipped her tea.

“Oh, it’s ok!” she replied quickly. “I’ve found him now, but thanks for the offer!” With that, she quickly whizzed around the corner and out of view.

“Well, that was weird,” Kirishima acknowledged, turning back to Kaminari.

“Yeah…” he replied. “You know what else is weird?”

“What?”

“I went up to go and get some of the books I’d forgotten for class today during lunch, and I swear I saw someone moving stuff around to the room below mine.”

Kirishima frowned, “Who’s underneath you?”

“No one! That’s the thing! The room beneath mine is that empty one between Aoyama and Shinsou.”

Kaminari saw something out of the corner of his eye. He whipped his head around to the entrance to the common room, but no one was there.

He saw Mina’s eyes widen. “Oh my God, guys.”

“What?”

“What if it’s the ghost?!”

Kaminari gasped, “Yes! You’re right!”

“I don’t know,” Kirishima replied. “We haven’t seen Deku for a while now. I didn’t think he was ever going to come back.”

“He’s just waiting for the right time to reveal himself, that’s all!” said Mina, standing up to do a celebratory dance as she managed to beat Sero in her game, despite his obvious cheating.

“How?!” he exclaimed, throwing his controller onto the floor and pretending to pull out his hair.

“I swear I just saw someone run past,” Kaminari acknowledged.

“Well, if it is Deku, we should leave him be,” Kirishima said. “When we went to go and rescue Bakugo, we all talked for a while on the train. He was a really nice guy. I’d hate to freak him out too much.”

“Freak him out?” Mina repeated. “He’s the ghost!”

“So, wait, are we going to investigate or not?” Sero questioned.

They all looked to Kaminari, as if they thought that, if they were going to do something stupid, then they wanted him at the helm.

“Cookies are done, guys!” Sato exclaimed.

Everyone cheered and got to their feet to crowd around the kitchen.

“Maybe not right now,” Kaminari answered as he joined the movement.

“Careful, they’re hot!”

 


 

Midoriya collapsed onto his new bed as the group finally made it to his room.

“That was a close one,” Uraraka laughed, closing the door behind her.

“Do I really have to hide from everyone?” Midoriya questioned, his voice muffled by his pillow.

“Your big reveal is going to be during hero training tomorrow, we’ve decided,” Shinsou announced.

“And what do you know about your input in this situation?” Uraraka questioned, her arms crossed.

“That I have no choice in this matter.”

“Good job.”

“Now, come on everybody!” Iida interrupted. “We’re here to help Midoriya unpack, not to hide him from everyone else!”

“But Iida, this is like, hero training practise!” Uraraka protested.

He frowned, “It is? And how is that?”

“Espionage,” Shinsou answered.

Iida hesitated, “I suppose you’re right.”

Midoriya groaned.

“Anyway, are you ok with us helping out, or would you rather we don’t?” Uraraka asked Midoriya.

“I don’t mind,” he replied, sitting up and reaching for the closest box. “Oh, and just a prewarning, I have a lot of hero merchandise.”

Shinsou tilted his box towards them to show it full to the brim with All Might posters. “Seriously?”

“I admire him, that’s all!” Midoriya protested, blushing furiously.

“Well, he’s a teacher here, so you shall be able to meet him soon,” Iida acknowledged.

“Oh, I’ve already met him actually.”

The three of them frowned at him, “Really?” said Uraraka, “When?”

“Oh… you know… a few times during my coma… a couple after. I actually met him before all of… this happened.”

“Don’t worry,” Shinsou sighed. “If there was this much Eraserhead merchandise available out there, my room would be as decked as yours is about to be.”

They laughed together as they continued to help Midoriya set up his room, exchanging stories and comparing heroes.

Yeah, Midoriya could tell that he was going to like UA.

If he could survive his big reveal, that is.

 

Chapter Text

Ok, something’s definitely going on here.

At least, that was what Kaminari was thinking that morning.

It was Shinsou, Uraraka and Iida who were raising the most eyebrows – if that made any sense at all. Anyway, getting back on track, what Kaminari meant was that the three of them had been acting… off – ever since the evening beforehand. Especially Shinsou.

Now, Kaminari thought he got along quite well with Shinsou. He was quite a straight forward kind of guy. His life revolved around coffee, he was plagued with insomnia more than anyone else in the dorms, and was often up, wandering about in the middle of the night. Even getting up a couple of hours earlier than everyone else to have breakfast wasn’t out of the norm for Shinsou. But another thing about this guy, was that he was not a social being. He spent most of his time locked up in his room, only emerging now and again to get a drink, because he hadn’t gotten a coffee machine in his room yet. The only other rare occasion would occur if he was forced to leave for some reason. That reason was usually Uraraka, who was his closest friend, or even Iida, who he somehow got along with quite well actually. Even Kaminari struggled to get him to contribute to anything worth filming.

So, when the guy started hurrying around the dorms, filming – well, it was clear something was up.

Uraraka and Iida, well, everyone was used to the two of them randomly disappearing and reappearing with no warning whatsoever. Shinsou was actually the one who solved that particular mystery. It turned out that the two of them had a friend who was in a coma in the hospital not far from the mall. Come to think of it, that must have been where Midoriya literally lived for the last five months.

Screw her excuse! She had to have met him at least once if that was the case! Even if it was just a passing glance in each other’s direction.

Oh well, if she didn’t want to say, then he wouldn’t pursue answers any further.

That was Mina’s job.

He’d passed this information on to his friends, and they too, concluded that something was off about the three of them. What’s more, was that Tokoyami insisted that there was some strange movement about Shinsou’s room that night.

“Uraraka, Iida and someone else, I believe,” he finished.

“Who?” questioned Hagakure.

He just shrugged. “I didn’t pry.”

“Boo!” Mina exclaimed. “I want details! Drama! Come on guys! Something’s going on and I want to know what it is!”

“Are you sure it’s not Deku?” asked Todoroki. He was only ever interested in the weirdness of UA if the ghost was involved. But he hadn’t been for quite a while.

“Nah,” Kirishima replied. “He would have made himself known if it was him.”

Kaminari didn’t notice the way that Bakugo flinched at the name.

“Why don’t we just ask the three of them when they turn up for homeroom?” Jiro yawned.

“Yeah, where are they?” realised Mina. “I don’t think I’ve ever got to homeroom before Iida.”

“I’m not sure if anyone ever has, ribbit,” Tsuyu replied.

Kaminari glanced at the clock and started filming. “Iida’s late for homeroom! The world is ending – grab your things – the apocalypse has begun!” he said dramatically.

Mina screamed for added effect.

The door was thrown open. “Alright, shut up,” growled Mr Aizawa.

Kaminari didn’t stop filming, mainly because he wanted to capture Iida’s expression when he charged in and realised that he was actually late for something for once in his life.

Their homeroom teacher slammed the door closed once more and collapsed into his chair.

Shinsou and Uraraka walked in only a couple of seconds later, as Mr Aizawa begun to take the register. Uraraka managed that incredible feat when you walk in as your name is called out. She smirked at the camera when that happened and a few people sniggered from around the room.

Kaminari caught a glimpse of Shinsou’s face. He looked happy. Well, happy in a Shinsou-y kind of way – but still.

“Right,” their teacher sighed as he finished the register. He didn’t even hesitate over Iida’s name when it was called out. Ah, perhaps he was sent on another one of those class president duties again, thought Kaminari, who was silently glad he didn’t get the job after all. “Today we’ll be taking a one lesson break from our special move training,” Mr Aizawa announced. Of course, everyone already knew this, but it didn’t make them any less excited. “Class B will be taking the gym for themselves all morning, so don’t drop in unannounced; they won’t be happy to see you,” he warned.

He glanced down at a piece of paper in front of him. “Oh, and I have your results for those tests you completed over the last week.”

Kaminari groaned audibly, turning off his camera. Nothing else interesting seemed to be happening and he wasn’t particularly keen on having his pathetic scores permanently plastered over his videos every time he looked back at them. He knew he hadn’t done well. But it wasn’t like Mr Aizawa had given them any chance to revise! He must have just enjoyed their suffering or something.

He clicked a button and their scores were projected onto the board behind Mr Aizawa for the entire class to see. “This is your overall ranking. Don’t ask what the pass mark was. In my opinion, everybody below a ranking of four failed.”

Kaminari frowned. Four? Why four? What was so special about the number –

  1. Student 20 – Momo Yaoyorozu
  2. Student 4 – Tenya Iida
  3. Student 15 – Shouto Todoroki
  4. Student 18 – Izuku…

Mr Aizawa turned off the projection without another thought.

“WAIT!” Kaminari yelled.

Mr Aizawa glared at him. “If this is about your score, I would be worried too.”

Kaminari gulped, “No… but you wrote student 18 up there!”

He blinked at him. “Ah, yes. You have a new student joining you today.”

Gasps rippled across the classroom.

“Who?!” Kirishima exclaimed before Kaminari could.

“Is it student 18? Are we finally going to be able to meet them?!” asked Mina.

If both Shinsou and Uraraka didn’t sit behind Kaminari, he would have had yet another reason to confirm his suspicions.

“Enough, you’re giving me a headache,” Mr Aizawa sighed. “Get your stuff. We’re heading off to Ground Gamma.”

He got up, about to hurry away before his students asked any more questions but wasn’t quite quick enough.

“Sir, is this Mineta’s replacement?” Yaoyorozu asked. Surely he’d give a straight answer to the class’ vice president?

“No,” is all he said. With that, he disappeared, sleeping bag in tow.

The rest of the class moved to collect their hero costumes from the back of the room, all too used to their teacher’s blunt retorts. A buzz of excitement hung in their air around them as they collected their things. However, this was quickly dampened by Jiro’s quick observations.

“It can’t be student 18,” she realised. “Look, their hero costume’s still here.”

The class hesitated, and their eyes all zoned in on the untouched, dust covered case, marked in large, bold letters with the number 18.

“Oh yeah, you’re right,” Sero moped. “Oh well,” he grabbed his own case, which was in the row directly in front of 18’s.

“Do you think the new student will be given the student number 21 or 18?” pondered Asui, tapping her chain thoughtfully as she wandered out of the room beside Hagakure and Yaoyorozu.

“21 for sure!” the invisible girl replied. “That’s what happened with Shinsou, remember?”

“Yeah, but you forgot – there was a student 18 listed on Aizawa’s test rankings earlier,” Jiro pointed out as they all walked down towards the changing rooms together.

“Was there a name listed, ribbit?” said Asui.

“All I saw was… I think it was Izuku something-or-another,” Kaminari interjected.

“Izuku, huh?” Kirishima repeated.

“That’s a guy’s name, isn’t it?” Jiro sighed. “I was hoping we’d actually get a new girl. You lot out number us.”

“It doesn’t matter, I’m just super pumped to meet him!” Mina exclaimed, punching the air. “What do you think, Uraraka?”

She looked around and Kaminari followed her gaze. “Huh, where’d she go?”

“Shinsou’s disappeared as well,” Kaminari realised. “Honestly, I know I keep saying it, but something’s up with them.”

“Yeah, and where’s Iida?” asked Hagakure.

“Whatever, it doesn’t freaking matter what they’re up to,” Bakugo grumbled, pushing past them. “I just want this day to end already.”

“Woah, someone got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning,” Kaminari muttered.

What was even stranger, was that the explosive boy didn’t even shout at him for saying that. He did nothing but give him one of his signature death glares and march off.

“Yeah! What’s got your –” Mina started.

“Oh, shut up!” Bakugo yelled – that’s more like it. “Mind your own freaking business! You lot are going to be freaking insufferable today, I can already tell!” With that, he stormed off to the boy’s changing rooms, pushing past Todoroki in the process.

“Huh…” was all Mina could say to that.

“Such peculiar mysteries,” Tokoyami sighed as he followed the others to the changing rooms.

“Guess we’ll find out what that was all about later then,” Mina shrugged, and led the girls ahead to their side.

Kaminari hesitated as the class parted ways.

Yeah…

…he had a strange feeling about all this.

Whether it was a good or a bad one, well, he supposed he’d have to find that out the hard way.

 


 

“… and our class today will be at Field Gamma rather than Gym Gamma,” Iida explained.

“So, you’ve been doing special move training?” asked Midoriya. He sighed exasperatingly, “I’m so behind…”

“Unfortunately, it is to be expected, Midoriya,” his friend answered as they wandered down the road towards Field Gamma.

“I suppose,” he moped.

They walked in silence for a moment more, before the questions and worries that Midoriya had been circulating around his mind all burst out at once.

“What if I get expelled, Iida – then what?!” he suddenly exclaimed.

Iida had already changed into his hero costume, but Midoriya could still see his surprised expression through the mask. “Mr Aizawa seems to be one to make empty threats,” he acknowledged.

“They’re not as empty as you might think,” Midoriya sighed. “He’s expelled an entire class before!”

“They wouldn’t be giving you this opportunity if they didn’t believe that you could succeed,” Iida insisted, patting his shorter friend on the back gingerly.

“I’m a charity case, Iida. The rest of you have shown what you can do in the Sports Festival; had months of practise – you’ve even fought real villains!”

“Might I remind you that you have too?”

“…It’s not the same.”

“Well… no, I do see your point. However, you can’t deny that you’ve shown as much, if not more, acts of heroism than our entire class combined! You are an admirable person, Midoriya, I hope that one day I can be half the hero you are.”

“W-What?! S-Seriously Iida! I’m not a h-hero!”

“Not a licenced one, I suppose.”

“I-I’m not a vigilante!”

“That was not what I meant. You have never broken any Quirk usage laws… at least, none that you can’t make valid excuses for. Even your saving of that girl all those months ago was perfectly within the law. You never harmed anyone. Vigillantes are only classified as such as soon as one causes physical harm to another. Then, in the case of Muscular, you had permission from Mr Aizawa to do so… strictly speaking.”

Midoriya didn’t know how to reply to Iida’s praises. It was more than a little overwhelming. Speaking of overwhelming…

“But Iida… How am I ever going to explain any of that to anyone? It was hard enough telling you. The only other person who knows is All Might –”

“You told All Might?”

“Oh, yeah – he came to visit me, um, before you did actually; after I woke up. I thought… that at least one adult should know…”

“What about Mr Aizawa?”

“Um… well, I think making sure I’m not expelled should be my first course of action,” he laughed nervously.

They turned a corner and Field Gamma loomed into sight – a massive labyrinth of fake machines and factories that Midoriya had never seen before, even as a ghost.

“What do you think they’ll say?” Midoriya asked Iida, hesitating before they took a step closer to the training field.

“You mean our classmates?” he replied.

Our.

“Yeah… It’s all going to happen at once – isn’t it?”

Iida frowned and Midoriya put his head in his hands.

“They’ll freak out because student 18’s here – then they’ll realise I’m me – and then Kacchan’s probably going to punch me in the face and then, oh my gosh, he’ll demand answers about my Quirk and where I’ve been and what happened – then he’ll ask about my ghost and the summer camp and the kidnapping and he’ll call me Deku and then Kirishima and Todoroki and Yaoyorozu and then what will Uraraka think? I should have told her earlier – she’ll feel like I don’t trust her – that I don’t trust any of them! What if they don’t trust me? You didn’t trust me when I was a ghost! What do I do if –”

“Ok, Midoriya – stop,” Iida ordered, resting his hands on Midoriya’s shoulders.

Midoriya hesitated. “I said too much of that out loud, didn’t I?”

Iida smiled under his mask.

“I’m sorry…” he mumbled. “I guess I’m just not used to people being about to hear me…”

“Midoriya, I promise you that no one will be punching anyone outside of training.”

Oh my God – training.”

“Midoriya! It’s going to be ok.”

He took a deep breath and forced a smile on his face. “O-Ok,” he stuttered. “Oh, Uraraka – Shinsou – why did you make me do a dramatic reveal?” Midoriya groaned.

Iida laughed. “Come on, I’ll race you to the meeting place!”

“There’s no way I’ll beat you!”

“There’s no harm in trying! I’ve never had someone with a speed Quirk to practise against before!”

“I don’t have a speed Quirk! Honestly! I’m not as fast as you!”

“Five, four…”

“Iida!”

“Three…”

Midoriya couldn’t help but smile. All of a sudden, his worries and panic faded to grey and a bubble of laughter rose in his throat. He never imagined he’d have a friend as good as Iida – and now, who knows? Maybe he was about to make a few more.

“–Two-one-go!”

And he shot off in a burst of green energy.

Iida didn’t even protest about his slight act of cheating, and simply laughed as he sped after his friend, all the way to finally meet class 1-A.

 


 

“Alright,” Mr Aizawa sighed as his students arrived. “I’ve got half of your student numbers here in the white box and the other half are in the black one.” He held out two boxes of balls, each labelled with a number from 1 to 20.

The class gathered around as their teacher pulled out the first ball from the white box. “Alright, number 16, come forward and get a ball from the second box.”

Mina watched as Hagakure excitably bounded forward and did just that.

“Read it out loud,” Mr Aizawa insisted.

“Number 1!” she exclaimed.

“That would be moi!” Aoyama replied with equal enthusiasm.

“Your team will be facing…” Mr Aizawa pulled another number. The whole situation kind of reminded Mina of lottery draws. “Student 14.”

“Great,” Tokoyami muttered as he walked forward to discover his teammate. “Number 11.”

Shoji raised his hand confidently.

“TEAM SPARKLES SHALL DEFEAT YOOUUU!” Hagakure yelled.

Mina silently agreed with her. Hagakure’s new special move blinded her opponents with a flash of light, and Aoyama’s laser was naturally bright. It was a bad match up against Tokoyami, so he would have to rely on Shoji in this fight. Hey, look at that! Just call her Mina the Analyst!

Mr Aizawa slowly but surely put all of Mina’s classmates into teams, then, eventually, he revealed her own number.

“Student 2,” he said.

“Yes!” Mina exclaimed. She hurried forwards and thrust her hand into the other box, feeling around the remaining numbers until she grasped one and pulled it out. “Who’s student 15?!”

Her eyes widened when the one to raise his hand was Todoroki. Oh yeah, we’re winning this!

“Your team will be against…”

Please don’t be Bakugo – Please don’t be Bakugo!

“19.”

Shinsou groaned. He reluctantly wandered to the front to discover who else Mina would be facing.

“…Student 18.”

Mina couldn’t help but feel sorry for Shinsou. The number 18 was always put into the boxes when teams were revealed in training exercises. The unlucky one to draw it always had to go on a team by themselves. Mina was happy to say she’d never found herself in that situation.

“Rough luck, buddy,” Kaminari smirked as Shinsou slumped over to Uraraka. She had already been paired up with Ojiro, who were bound to be martial arts maniacs against Koda and Asui.

But Mina could see that Shinsou wasn’t actually looking that disappointed. The last time he drew student 18 was not his day. But… maybe he knew something everyone else didn’t.

“For the final match we have student 7,” Mr Aizawa announced.

Kaminari jogged forwards. The only ones who were left were Jiro, Kirishima and Bakugo. That was bound to be interesting, no matter who Kaminari picked.

“Student 8!”

Kirishima ran forwards and gave Kaminari a high five.

Mr Aizawa, meanwhile, didn’t bother letting the remaining two come forward. He simply announced that student 17 would be paired with student 12 and that was that.

“Ok, for this training exercise, each team must view the other as the villains.”

Mina gave Shinsou a mockingly menacing look, but the one he shot in return was far more frightening.

“It’s just the usual shtick. At either end of the field, there are two ‘jails’ for each team. Your task is to trap both members of your opposition in your own jail. Once you’re inside, you are not allowed to escape or help your remaining team member in anyway. You won’t be given any radios in this training exercise, and you are not allowed to move the jail. We’ll be watching from outside. Get the villains in custody as quickly and efficiently as possible. That’s all the rules I have to say. Other than leaving the field, you can do whatever you want to complete your mission – but try not to kill each other,” he smirked.

He definitely didn’t glance at Bakugo when he said that.

“Ok, we’ll go in reverse order then. Bakugo, Jiro, Kirishima and Kaminari, that makes you the first match,” Aizawa finished.

“Good luck, guys!” Mina called out as the four of them parted ways and entered the field. Kirishima waved goodbye gleefully. Kaminari looked like he was walking to his death whilst Bakugo and Jiro looked strangely confident. Mina didn’t see how Jiro would be a good match with Bakugo, but she guessed she would just have to wait and see.

“That means we’re second, Todoroki!” Mina realised, turning to her partner. “Want to strategize?”

“We’ll be fine,” he replied bluntly.

Shinsou glared at him from across group.

And so, Mina ended up sitting with Yaoyorozu, Asui and Hagakure. Yaoyorozu had been paired up with Sero, to battle against Iida and Sato. She said that it would be unfair to strategize when Iida wasn’t there yet, so Sero just shrugged and stood with Sato as he waited for their class president to turn up. As for Hagakure, well, she insisted that, because she was the last match, they didn’t have to think up a plan just yet. Then, in Asui’s case, Kota didn’t seem like he was very in to talking a plan through anyway. Actually, the only group who were planning anything at all were Shoji and Tokoyami, who seemed very immersed in it all.

The first match began and the group watched on with vague interest as Bakugo and Jiro immediately charged across the field towards Kaminari and Kirishima, who just stood still next to their prison. Kirishima just stood there and punched the wall, making a hell of a racket so Jiro would come straight to them and they would battle head on.

Mina wondered if that was the best idea.

“Mr Aizawa’s not even watching,” Tsuyu acknowledged moments later, peering over at their teacher.

He was standing at the top of the steps to the viewing area, seemingly waiting for someone.

“Waiting for Iida?” Yaoyorozu said before the same words could leave Mina’s mouth.

“Probably,” Hagakure agreed.

“Hey, wait, isn’t Iida showing around that new guy?!” Mina remembered.

“Oh yeah…” said Sero, eavesdropping on their conversation. “Got your phone?”

“No!” Mina exclaimed in frustration.

“Don’t worry, Shinsou has his, ribbit,” realised Tsuyu.

Mina glanced over to see Uraraka and Shinsou looking down at his phone, both grinning from ear to ear as they discussed something that Mina immediately wanted to know about too.

Then, with no warning at all other than Mr Aizawa taking a step to the side, Iida appeared in a cloud of dust. He must have run most of the way there!

“Greatest apologies, Mr Aizawa, sir!” he exclaimed, chopping the air with his hand. “Field Gamma is much further than I remember it being!”

“It doesn’t matter,” their teacher mumbled. “You’re paired with Sato against Sero and Yaoyorozu. You have this time to plan your move or watch the ongoing match. Sato will fill you in on the details.”

“Thank you, sir!”

“Where is Problem Child?”

Iida blinked at him. “Oh, he was just behind me.”

Mr Aizawa glanced back over the verge of the steps, “Ah, there he is, finally.”

The rest of the class perked up in interest as a peculiar sound filled their ears. Then, all of a sudden, a massive burst of green lightning filled the skies and a figure grinded to a halt in front of them.

Mina’s first thought was – oh my God it’s the ghost.

Which wasn’t wrong.

But she didn’t know that.

– Yet.

“Sorry I’m late, Mr Aizawa!”

However, Mina did recognise that mess of green hair.

The class fell silent as the new student turned around to face them, a big grin plastered across his sweet, freckled face as the lightning faded but the glistening in his eyes only grew brighter.

“Good morning, everyone!” Student 18 exclaimed happily, “It’s s-super nice to meet you!”

No one said anything, and they just stared open mouthed.

Until Mina and Sero exchanged glances and she pointed dramatically at the newcomer. “YOU ABSOLUTE TRAITOR!”

Shinsou and Uraraka were stifling their laughter in the background, filming every precious moment.

“Care to explain why you’re five months late, Midoriya?” Mr Aizawa sighed, rubbing his temples to relieve the stress of it all.

“Um…” He glanced around at the crowd. His eyes rested apologetically on Mina and Sero for a moment but seemed obviously relieved when he spotted who was on the screens behind them, completely oblivious to the situation unravelling in the world outside their training exercise.

“Well?!” Mina yelled a little more aggressively than what was really necessary. “Where’ve you been? You double crossing – absolute – H-How the actual HELL did you keep a straight face back in the park?! Oh, FUNNY TOP – Mr I’M-ACTUALLY-STUDENT-EIGHTEEN and I decided to just stand there and nod and go, oh yeah, that story about the missing student in your class – SUPER WEIRD, I WONDER WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM?!”

Uraraka buckled over laughing at this point. Mina chose to ignore her.

“WELL?!” she repeated.

“Where have you been?” Sero finished.

Midoriya sported a contagious grin, “I um… slept through my alarm…”

 

Chapter Text

“You slept through your alarm?” Shinsou repeated, raising his eyebrow at Midoriya. “Seriously? That’s how you introduce yourself?”

He slept through his alarm!” Uraraka cried, falling to the floor laughing.

“Too soon, Midoriya.”

“WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?!” Mina yelled, pulling at her horns.

“I-I’ve been in a coma,” Midoriya muttered nervously, fiddling with his thumbs and kicking at the ground.

“A coma?!” Mina exclaimed.

The class gathered around Midoriya curiously, excluding Jiro, Kirishima, Kaminari and Bakugo, of course, who were still immersed in their training exercise on the other side of Field Gamma.

“Is that why you were in the hospital for so long?” Sero questioned.

Midoriya nodded nervously.

“WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL US?!” Mina grabbed Midoriya by his shoulders and started to shake him frantically. Midoriya was too overwhelmed to stop her. “You just went to the park and decided to play along when you met us?! Actually, wait, did you know who we were?”

“Y-Yeah… I’d um… already seen the Sports Festival – yeah – and Uraraka and Iida had already told me about you all,” he explained backing away from Mina a little.

Oh,” Asui realised, “you’re the coma friend.”

“Err… Yes?”

“How dare you two keep this information from us!” Mina exclaimed, pointing accusingly at Uraraka and Iida.

Uraraka was in no fit state to answer that.

“Mr Aizawa was adamant that we caused no unwanted panic amongst our class and did not draw too much attention to Midoriya, whilst he was in his debilitating condition and throughout his recovery,” Iida explained, chopping the air as he spoke.

“Well, it’s nice to officially meet you, Midoriya,” said Yaoyorozu, holding out her hand.

He smiled and shook it gingerly.

Mina was still standing beside student 18, hands on her hips with her eyes narrowed, assessing him with intense curiosity. So, this was the guy who had caused so much trouble in their class – without even knowing it! Oh, Kaminari’s going to be a difficult one to handle once he realises what happened.

“Hey, why aren’t you wearing a hero costume?” asked Sato.

“I’m sure it won’t be as gorgeous as mine!” Aoyama exclaimed, doing a pose in his lavish outfit.

“Oh, I don’t have one yet,” Midoriya explained. He was wearing one of UA’s blue and white regulation PE uniforms instead. “But all your costumes are amazing!”

The guy didn’t even linger on Yaoyorozu’s costume for more than half a second – what is he? A saint? Nice change from Mineta though.

“And you were all incredible in the Sports Festival! I’ve seen it twice now,” he added.

“Yeah, not all of us,” Sero sighed dramatically, glancing at Todoroki, who either pretended not to realise what he was talking about, or just wasn’t listening.

“Looking forward to the training exercise, Midori?!” Uraraka exclaimed, bouncing over now that she’d stopped dying.

“Oh, what am I doing?” he questioned.

Midori?” Mina repeated.

They ignored her.

“You’re paired up with me, 18,” Shinsou replied, chucking the ball marked 18 at Midoriya’s head. He caught it with surprisingly good reflexes.

“Oh my gosh,” Mina started, eyes widening, “You’re against me and Todoroki!” she yelled punching the air in excitement.

“Yeah, good luck,” Sero said pitifully.

“You should all be watching the training exercise,” Mr Aizawa droned.

The group turned back to the screens videoing the unfolding events. They weren’t really sure what had happened, but it seemed like Kirishima’s and Kaminari’s plan of defeating Jiro and Bakugo once they turned up didn’t turn out quite as expected. There were four screens, one on each person. Kirishima was running through the terrane, probably trying to evade Bakugo, who seemed to be searching for him. Jiro, meanwhile, was dragging Kaminari back to their prison. He had already used his Quirk up and wasn’t making any effort to run off. They all seemed a little scorched, whether that was because of Bakugo’s or Kaminari’s Quirk, well, it wasn’t very clear.

“We’ve still got to reveal you to those four!” Uraraka realised. “Oh, this is going to be brilliant! You better wear your 18 shirt this evening!”

“So, it was you!” Mina realised. “You did know him, you liar!”

“Guilty!” she laughed. “You gotta admit it though, that shirt was the best decision ever!”

“It really wasn’t,” Midoriya sighed.

“Oh, shush!” she retorted. “You should have seen you face on those videos – priceless!”

“She spat out her tea when she saw you,” Shinsou smirked.

“OH MY GOD – I added the real student 18 to the group chat without realising it!” said Mina, sinking to the ground in horror.

“I had to persuade Iida not to kick me out,” Midoriya laughed.

“Oh, Kaminari just electrocuted Jiro,” Tsuyu pointed out, looking up at the screens in interest as Jiro fell to the floor right by the jail.

“Did he recover from using his Quirk too much already?!” Sato exclaimed.

“I don’t think that was the best idea,” Midoriya winced.

“Why not?” Mina frowned, “He’s electrocuted Jiro to stop her from putting him in the jail, and immobilised her in the process, so why –”

Her thought process was cut short when Kaminari literally walked right into the jail.

“Because using his Quirk again would just short-circuit his brain,” Midoriya smiled as the others laughed at Kaminari’s mistake. “It would be better to take Jiro by surprise and buy himself some time to, um, recharge, before taking her out with a milder shock. Besides, he could have just thrown her into the jail instead.”

“That’s Jiro’s and Bakugo’s prison,” explained Shoji, “Only Kaminari and Kirishima can be caught in there.”

“Oh, ok – s-sorry, I didn’t know the rules,” he muttered in apology.

“Don’t worry!” Iida exclaimed. “I had no idea you were this good at analysing such situations!”

“Yeah! Especially since you don’t know everyone’s Quirks that well!” Uraraka acknowledged.

Midoriya opened his mouth to say something in reply, but was quickly interrupted by Hagakure, “What’s your Quirk then, 18?!”

“Oh, um… err, it’s –”

“Didn’t you see him arrive?!” Mina interjected. “He’s got a super awesome speed Quirk like Iida’s!”

“Err, well… I’m nowhere near as fast as Iida,” Midoriya retorted.

“What do you think is going to happen next?” asked Tsuyu, who was far more interested in the ongoing match than anything else.

Meanwhile, Jiro had woken up and managed to shut the door behind Kaminari so he wouldn’t wander out again without realising he’d been caught. On the other side of the field, Kirishima and Bakugo were about to meet once again.

“Yeah, who do you think’s going to throw the first punch?! Kirishima or Bakugo?” asked Hagakure.

“Ka–B-Bakugo,” Midoriya stammered.

“Oh yeah? Sounds like something Bakugo would do – a big explosion to start it off,” Sero smirked.

“Oh, no, he’ll just throw a big right hook before anything else,” he quickly explained.

The others frowned at him. “At Kirishima?” Shinsou acknowledged, “the guy with the hardening Quirk?”

“Everyone’s fighting style shows patterns,” Midoriya continued. He seemed a lot calmer now he was in the middle of an analysis rather than when he was just talking to the group about himself. “I’m surprised you haven’t noticed it yet – you could see it in the Sports Festival too. K-Bakugo starts every single one of his fights with a punch. Kirishima will block, and then he will use an explosion.”

Mina could see Mr Aizawa staring at him curiously from the other side of the viewing area. She went back to the screens, just in time to see the fight begin to unfold…

Exactly how Midoriya had predicted.

“Holy shoot – he did use a punch!” Mina exclaimed.

She didn’t see the smile that crept across her teacher’s face as the others gushed over Midoriya’s awesome observation skills; asking if he saw any patterns in their fighting.

Whelp, time for Mina to give up that analyst title she gave herself earlier.

 


 

Meanwhile…

 

Jiro clambered to her feet and glanced around, expecting to be back at Kaminari’s base, within their jail – but no, she hadn’t moved an inch from where he had electrocuted her.

She looked around, and her mouth fell open when she saw the dunce had actually walked into her jail. Idiot.

Without hesitation, she slammed the prison door shut with her foot. Kaminari just said, “Whey!” and stared at her – like an idiot.

She sighed, rubbing her frazzled head, before digging her earphone jacks into the ground and listening in for the location of her boisterous teammate.

It would have been a lot easier if she couldn’t hear her friends’ constant jabbering from the viewing area!

She groaned when that interference was overwhelmed by the booming sound of Bakugo’s explosions – not too far away. Jiro got up and ran towards the site of the ongoing battle between Kirishima and Bakugo. All that distant talk of analysis and fight strategies was giving her even more of a headache.

Perhaps if she wasn’t so dazed from Kaminari’s attack, she would have realised that one of those voices was a little less familiar than the others…

 

Chapter Text

In the end, it was Bakugo and Jiro who came out victorious in their training match. However, the margin of their victory was much slimmer than Midoriya had initially anticipated. Kirishima had obviously improved since the Sports Festival, and Bakugo was left far more battered and bruised than he probably would have liked. All four of the participants of the exercise were carted off to Recovery Girl immediately, and for that, Midoriya was silently grateful. Now he could wait that little bit longer before confronting Kaminari, and, even worse… confronting Kacchan

As soon as he gets called Deku

…all hell would break loose.

He shook his head. Now wasn’t the time to be thinking about such things. He might not even make it that far… if Mr Aizawa decided to expel him before the day was up.

“Alright then, Mr Strategist,” Shinsou begun as he fiddled with his bulky mask. “Do you have a plan?”

“U-Um…” Midoriya stammered. “I-I was sort of f-focusing on surviving my reveal…”

He let out a small laugh. “Well, do you know everyone’s Quirks?”

“Ashido’s is acid… Todoroki can use fire and ice but tends to avoid using his fire – and you can use brainwashing! Honestly – that’s such a cool Quirk! Just imagine all the possibilities! Hostage situations are going to be a cinch for you!”

Shinsou blinked at Midoriya, obviously not used to the praise. “Thanks… Err, what about you?”

“Me?”

“Your Quirk.”

“Oh – right.”

“Ashido said it was super speed. Was that right?”

“Um, no. I just… didn’t think now was the time to correct her?”

Midoriya could tell Shinsou was smiling under his mask. “Agreed.”

The siren blared over field gamma, signalling the start of the training exercise. Midoriya and Shinsou were already standing by their prison, whilst their opponents, Ashido and Todoroki, were far across the urban labyrinth.

“So, what is it really?” he questioned curiously.

“I-It’s kind of difficult to explain… Well, I guess you could say it’s an enhancer Quirk,” he said, relaying back to the explanation he had used for Iida. “I can enhance my strength and speed… or release all my power at once and kind of make an explosion of air pressure? If that makes sense? It can be rather destructive… I haven’t had much practise…”

“Must have been nice for the entrance exam,” Shinsou huffed. Midoriya could hear the tinge of jealousy in his voice. It was something all too familiar for Midoriya – back when he was Quirkless… he felt the same way. Some people were just born lucky; with unfathomable power and abilities. Unbeknownst to Shinsou, Midoriya had to work for his power. Just like Shinsou had to work for his place in the hero course.

“Not really…” Midoriya admitted. “I… um… didn’t know what my Quirk could do. I discovered that – if I use too high a percentage of my power, it has a terrible backlash… I broke so many bones…”

Shinsou stared at him. “Please don’t break any bones today.”

“I’ll try,” Midoriya smiled.

“That’s not at all encouraging, but ok.”

“Um… shouldn’t we try to think up a plan? They could already be coming this way!”

“You’re the strategist.”

Midoriya hesitated. “Um… well. I think it might be best if we considered what Ashido and Todoroki are planning…”

“Which would be…?”

“Well, they think my Quirk is speed. They will probably anticipate us to split up. I shows everyone that I was quite in to analysis of their fight styles – so maybe they’ll expect me to rush in and attack by surprise. Then maybe they’ll think you’ll come in from behind and try to trick them into being brainwashed.”

“So, they’ll be on their toes. What good is that for us?”

“Um… I don’t know – let me think… Todoroki will want to freeze me in place if he thinks I have a speed Quirk. He won’t be worrying about throwing his ice around because Ashido can just melt herself free if she gets trapped. It’s likely he’ll want to go after me and will instruct Ashido to go after you. That would make the most sense – she could melt your scarf if she tried hard enough.”

“Yeah, she’s managed that before.”

Midoriya already knew that – he was there. “Yes, but to produce an acid potent enough to do that, she could accidently melt her hero costume. So, if you bound her so the scarf wasn’t touching her bare skin, there wouldn’t be much she could do without melting off all of her clothes…”

“…Good point, I guess.”

“For now, I think we should hang around here. The most logical think for them to do is to wait by their prison for us to attack. With my speed Quirk, they’ll think I’ll arrive there soon. If we wait long enough, they’ll worry about time and start to come our way.”

“Which gives us more time to plan.”

“Exactly.”

“So, what do we do when the get here?”

“Well, if we meet them – not right here, but close enough, we should try to separate them. Todoroki’s not very talkative. If I fought him, and made a big enough mess to make it look like he’s in trouble – whether he actually is enough, well that’s another question, but we’ll get there – hopefully Mina will start calling out for Todoroki and rushing to help him – which is when you can brainwash her by mimicking Todoroki’s voice and then –”

“–Wait, how did you know I could do that?” Shinsou interrupted his mumbling with a frown.

Midoriya hesitated, because I saw you develop your voice changer on your internship with Mr Aizawa? “Um… isn’t that mask a voice changer?”

“Yes, but how –”

“–Lucky guess!”

“…Yeah. So… I get Mina into the prison and then come to help you with Todoroki? Mimic her call for help and trap him too?”

“If that works!”

“Are you sure you can hold your own against him? You’ve seen the Sports Festival, right?”

“Oh, yeah – the speed part about my Quirk isn’t a lie… I can just dodge and evade and ware him out… hopefully.”

“Right. So, should we get going?”

“Ok! Let’s stick together, and when we see them, part ways.”

“Right. Good luck.”

“You too!”

And with that, he leapt from the ground in a burst of green lightning, and hopped away as Shinsou swung beside him, using his scarf to manoeuvre himself expertly. He wondered how closely Mr Aizawa was watching them…

 


 

“Where are they?” Mina pondered as she and Todoroki wandered through the maze of metal and concrete.

Todoroki turned to her, double checking that it was her who spoke, and not Shinsou. “They won’t be far,” he answered.

“I thought they’d run at us real quick!”

He didn’t answer. Todoroki had been watching this new student carefully. He had a keen eye, it seemed. In Bakugo’s match, rushing in against his opponent had resulted in his win, so why didn’t 18 follow the same tactic? He must have had something planned. Perhaps he didn’t believe they stood a chance against him and Ashido so close to their jail… and were waiting for them to get closer to their own territory.

CLANG!

The two of them spun on the spot, staring wide eyed around them as they looked for the origin of the noise.

“Are they here?” Ashido whispered.

Todoroki narrowed his eyes. He gazed around at the intricate puzzle of the factory setting around him. Then – his gaze caught something – a blur of purple, high up amongst the pipes.

“I think I saw Shinsou!” Ashido said confidently, her voice still wisely lowered.

He hesitated. Where he had spotted the figure did not match the noise he had heard. “Go after Shinsou,” he instructed. “I’ll deal with 18.”

Ashido nodded uncertainly.

“Remember not to answer to anything I say unless you see my mouth move,” he ordered as she ran off to pursue the brainwasher.

Todoroki turned to head in the opposite direction. But then he hesitated – wait. “Ashido!” he called back – but the pink-skinned girl had already vanished. She wouldn’t answer to him – not now he was out of sight.

Damn it.

That was exactly what they wanted them to do.

18 had split them up.

Todoroki gritted his teeth and ran to hunt down Midoriya, nonetheless. There wasn’t much else he could do.

It was time to see what this student 18 was made of.

 


 

Aizawa watched on with narrowed eyes as his two newer students made their move. There was no sound for him to listen in on their planning, but it was clear that Midoriya had something thought out. What it was, well… he would just have to wait and see.

The rest of his students held far more enthusiasm in watching this match than they did for the last. The arrival of the infamous student 18 had definitely caused a commotion. But that was to be expected.

Aizawa was always one for surprises. He enjoyed the expressions on his students’ faces. He wasn’t about to deny it. His ‘logical ruses’ were one of his favourite activities. Although, more often than not, they weren’t empty threats.

He wondered if Midoriya saw passed his little logical ruse of expulsion.

At first, Aizawa hid the situation behind their student 18 because he really couldn’t be bothered to deal with the drama associated with it. He left that responsibility in Iida’s hands, and he had kept quiet, only choosing to let Uraraka in on the secret of the mysterious, comatose patient. Then, he can admit, it got a little out of hand. The others picked up on the missing person of their class and made a big deal over it. Aizawa figured that it would become even worse once he told Kaminari that their little mystery surrounded that of Midoriya Izuku, who was still trapped in the seemingly infinite void of his coma. So, he just let the problem fester. He honestly didn’t think Midoriya would ever wake up – but the boy defied his expectations, something which he seemed to be planning on making a habit of.

Aizawa would be lying if he said that he didn’t silently enjoy that little reveal of Midoriya’s.

He turned back to his students. They were trying their best at their own analysis of how the exercise would end. Most were clear in their decision that Todoroki and Ashido would come out on top.

Aizawa was not so hasty to agree.

He’d watched Shinsou’s progress carefully over the past few months. Dare he say it, but he had become rather invested in his newer student’s growth. He reminded him of himself, in more ways than one. He would become a great underground hero one day, Aizawa was to make sure of it.

Midoriya, however, was more a wild card. He saw his actions in the entrance exam. The boy was reckless and seemingly unsure of his abilities. He didn’t think he would go far with that power. But then he fell into that coma and became a charity case for UA. How could they refuse someone who was injured for such a heroic act? Well, UA could let him in, but Aizawa wasn’t about to let him into his class without real proof that this boy had the talent to back up his heroic nature.

Then he managed to utilise his Quirk to let him walk.

Then he proved he had analysis skills that surpassed that of his own, far more experienced hero students.

Even before that, he showed that he’d found yet another way to channel his power – a speed that could one day rival even Iida’s.

Aizawa smirked. Perhaps this problem child held more promise than he initially thought…

However, it would be his fight against Todoroki which really showcased his power. Aizawa hoped that the two of them would force each other to surpass their limits. Plus ultra!.. and all that.

But what he saw next… well his students took those high expectations – and smashed them into a million pieces.

 

Shame Midoriya did the same to some of his bones.

 

Chapter Text

Todoroki walked slowly through the maze that was Field Gamma. He couldn’t hear Ashido anymore. The creaking of pipes around him was all that indicated towards 18’s presence. What was he doing? Was he planning his move? Stalling for time? Waiting for the prefect moment to –

– a flash of green lightning shot out from above him, and a figure threw themselves towards him at astonishing speed.

Todoroki ducked and rolled expertly, avoiding 18’s attack by inches. He spun around, standing up in the process, angling his body so that his right side faced his attacker. Only, he was nowhere to be seen.

That buzz of electricity rung in his left ear. Todoroki turned on his heel and slammed his right foot on the ground. A familiar chill ran down his spine and a glacier of ice appeared from nowhere. But he had missed.

Once again, the newbie’s quick reflexes were proven to be something not to be taken lightly. Midoriya sprung from a pipe and leapt towards Todoroki once more, arm outstretched, ready to throw a punch. Todoroki would have caught it, iced up his opponent’s arm and slowed his movements, but the power flickering around him made him doubt. Instead, he simply dodged, unsure of what 18 was capable of.

A thought flickered across his mind – perhaps Midoriya hadn’t been entirely truthful in the explanation of his Quirk. Well, he didn’t lie; simply didn’t share key information. It was just another tactic. Student 18 may not have had the experience that him and the rest of his classmates had endured, but something about Midoriya told him that, despite this, he was not one to be trifled with. His intelligence was a great asset to him – not so much to Todoroki.

Midoriya leapt forwards once again. Todoroki was far from comfortable with his proximity to him. But now 18 had finally made a mistake. He was on Todoroki’s right side – he could use his ice.

18 threw a punch – it didn’t seem as powerful as before. Perhaps he was afraid of injuring Todoroki too much. He was new to this style of training after all. Todoroki could forgive him for going easy on him – but he would come to regret that decision, for he would not be giving him the same mercy.

But then Midoriya did something entirely unexpected. As Todoroki raised his arm to freeze his opponent, Midoriya grasped his wrist, twisted it behind Todoroki’s back and managed to do something to Todoroki’s feet to throw him off balance. Suddenly, he was on the floor, arm pinned behind his back.

He moved just like Uraraka.

 


 

“DID YOU SEE THAT?! DID. YOU. SEE. THAT?!” Uraraka yelled at a volume that would impress Present Mic, pointing at Midoriya’s screen in excitement.

“Holy shoot,” Sero murmured, staring with wide eyes. “I thought he’d been in a coma for the last five months?!”

“HE HAS BEEN!” Uraraka exclaimed. “Oh my God – that was just like Gun Head Martial Arts! Ahhh! I’ve got to ask some tips – that was so awesome!”

Iida smirked. Of course, little did they know, but Midoriya really had learnt those moves from Gun Head – alongside Uraraka. They just couldn’t see him. But for him to be able to pull them off so fluidly, as his first time using them in his body – well, it was more than a little impressive. Glancing at Mr Aizawa, Iida could tell Midoriya was doing well. He hadn’t seen him smile that smile since Shinsou first defeated Bakugo without using his Quirk.

Unfortunately, his victory didn’t last long. Midoriya had pinned Todoroki down using his right wrist. Ice crept up his bare skin. It didn’t take much to loosen his grip and for Todoroki to free himself.

Slowed by the ice covering his arm, Midoriya stumbled backwards. It gave Todoroki just enough time to distance himself and slam his right foot down on the already frost smothered ground – sending a torrent of ice Midoriya’s way.

“Ah, well,” Sero sighed. “Nice try.”

“At least he did better than you did,” Asui pointed out bluntly, reminiscing on Sero’s and Todoroki’s fight from the Sports Festival.

“Hey!”

Iida watched Midoriya’s movements intently. What would he do next? Would he be able to dodge and evade once again, even with that ice slugging his movements? Would Todoroki fall for Midoriya’s tricks a second time?

But then he saw his friend dig his foot into the ground, as if bracing himself. He watched the tower of ice rush towards him, and then, in the last second, he held his hand forward, winced, gritted his teeth, and flicked his fingers.

Everyone’s mouths fell open as an explosion of air pressure ripped through the ice, sending fragments flying through the air in a blast of icy wind. They could see the crystals that remained waft high above Field Gamma, and trickle gently down across the entire training ground like summer snow.

“What was that?!” Sato yelled, voicing everyone’s thoughts in that moment as Midoriya stood strong before Todoroki, his fists clenched and eyes narrowed.

“That was the move he used in the entrance exam – remember, Iida?!” Uraraka remembered.

“Yes, of course, when he destroyed the zero pointer,” Iida recalled.

“This is the one who blew up the zero pointer? – Mon Dieu!” Aoyama exclaimed.

“Wait, look at his hand,” Yaoyorozu frowned.

The class’ attention was drawn back into the match. There, on Midoriya’s screen, it was clear that his thumb and forefinger were badly damaged – broken, bruised and blooded.

“Did he break his own fingers?!” Hagakure gaped.

“Look – it’s like he’s barely noticed,” Shoji pointed out.

Midoriya’s mouth started moving. It was a shame they couldn’t hear what they were talking about.

“Such madness and resolve in his eyes,” Tokoyami murmured.

Iida couldn’t help but silently agree. Midoriya seemed so determined to prove himself – that he was willing to sacrifice his own health and wellbeing to do so. Iida admired his spirit – but was equally horrified that he was going this far.

That horror was reflected onto Todoroki’s face. It made Iida think. If Midoriya was willing to go this far beyond his limits – just how far would Todoroki go in response?

 


 

The ice was shattered in an instant. Todoroki stared; eyes wide – no one had ever done that before. Not even Bakugo had blown away his biggest attack like it was nothing.

The plume of dust and crystals of ice faded, revealing 18’s surprisingly menacing figure before him – unscathed by the assault. The injuries that had befallen him were of his own doing – that was for sure. His finger, curled into a shaking fist, was purple and crooked. Blood oozed from it, trickling down his hand and dripping to the ground.

“That’s not going to work on me,” Midoriya warned, his voice wavering as he obviously tried to ignore his pain.

“At the expense of your fingers?” Todoroki realised.

“I have ten,” he pointed out. “Well, no, eight if you don’t count the thumbs. Seven now. That leaves seven more recoils. Can you make seven more moves so big that I need to counter them with that much power?”

Todoroki shivered. He wasn’t sure if the reflex was due to his opponent’s frightening resolve, or to the backlash of his own Quirk. The frost that was creeping across his skin was more extensive than what was left on Midoriya. It stiffened the cloth of his hero costume. It was so cold that not even the cleverly designed fabric could withstand it.

All of a sudden, 18 lunged forwards. Todoroki sidestepped once more and threw up a barrier of ice between them. Briefly thrown off course, Midoriya ran around the icicles to attack again from behind. It wasn’t hard to see it coming, so Todoroki quickly summoned yet another barricade, but this time, Midoriya broke right through it with a well-aimed kick – likely to preserve his arms and damaged hand. He flipped clumsily around him – in a way that almost implied that he wasn’t used to how gravity pulled him down. But he managed to stick the landing.

Midoriya threw another punch at him. It was in this moment that Todoroki realised that he had broken the bones on his left hand in order to preserve his right – just how far had he thought ahead? How many of his movements had he predicted? Could this new student actually beat him?

Todoroki grasped his outstretched arm again, freezing as much of it as he could before Midoriya leapt backwards. But it only took a small burst of power to shake that frost free and for him to lurch forwards once more.

“The frost – it’s starting to cover you,” Midoriya acknowledged as Todoroki dodged his attack – his movements were getting slower, but so were his own.

Then, he said something totally unexpected.

“Use your fire.”

The two parted. Midoriya flew backwards and skidded to a halt. He stood upright, panting heavily. “Use your fire!” he repeated.

Todoroki stared, hesitating as he stood amongst his circle of ice and metal. In that brief moment, he glanced around him. The blast that had destroyed his torrent of ice thrown in Midoriya’s direction had simultaneously wrecked their surroundings. They were equally matched – in fact, no, Midoriya was stronger than him. The new kid – the one who had only just started his training – was more than a match to him?

If this was his level zero – then what would he become?

Todoroki couldn’t beat him with just his ice.

It was like his fight against Bakugo in the Sports Festival. There were moments in that match where he knew – everyone knew – the outcome could have been different if only he had raised his left hand rather than his right. But he couldn’t – he wouldn’t. It was too painful.

 

His scar – it itched in memory.

 


 

Midoriya was frustrated.

Unbeknownst to Todoroki, he knew the truth behind his reluctance to use his left side. But that didn’t mean he was going to show him any pity. He didn’t know the full story – only bits and pieces – things he had overheard as a ghost, hovering around the Sports Festival. He had made his own conclusions, and he seriously doubted they were wrong.

Todoroki hated his father with a burning passion. He refused to use his power – he was determined to reach the top without using it. The ice – it came from his mother. His mother gave him that scar – but the fault wasn’t hers.

And he hated him for it.

But to completely disregard half his power, just to spite his father… it just wasn’t the way to go about it.

Midoriya knew the others were watching. Mr Aizawa was watching. But despite that, he couldn’t help backing off from the fight against Todoroki – risking his victory. Because Midoriya saw someone who needed saving – and he just couldn’t help but jump in.

It was his nature.

“I am here to prove myself!” Midoriya cried. He clenched his injured fist tightly, blind to the pain. He hadn’t expected the backlash. He had made the movement before his thought process had finished – of course, he was so much stronger in his body. He had almost forgotten about the backlash when he didn’t have the tell-tale pull of his body, warning him of his approaching limit and the migraines and seizures to come. He hadn’t decided if broken bones were better or not yet.

“But you – you fight me with only half your power!” he continued. He wasn’t sure if this was a newfound confidence speaking – or simply a disregard of the fact that people could actually hear him now he wasn’t a ghost. “Am I that useless to you?”

Just a useless Deku.

“You can’t toss me aside like I’m nothing! I can beat you – and I will! So, why don’t you use the full extent of your abilities – at least try to deny me of that? I’m trying to prove myself to you! Can’t you show me the same curtesy?!”

“You don’t understand,” Todoroki replied bitterly. “Don’t meddle in matters that are not your own.”

“No, you don’t understand! Meddling when you don’t need to, is the essence of being a hero!”

Todoroki hesitated; taking a slight step back, he glanced down at his frostbitten side. “You know nothing about me. No matter how much of an analyst you claim to be – you cannot understand me and my quarrels with the world.”

Midoriya narrowed his eyes. He didn’t think admitting to accidental eavesdropping would be the best course of action here – mainly because that would mean explaining that he had been a ghost for the last five months, and he really didn’t have time for that in that moment. But that didn’t mean he couldn’t hint that he knew what was going on.

“I think you’re neglecting your fire power to spite your father.”

Todoroki’s eyes widened.

“And I think all this revolves around that scar.”

Midoriya bit his lip – that came out a little ruder than he had intended.

“Forgive me if I’m wrong, but… have you ever heard of… Quirk marriages?”

Todoroki tossed a second barrage of ice in his direction. In panic, Midoriya flicked another one of his left fingers. The ice shattered in a similar way to his bones.

When the dust cleared, and Midoriya could see his opponent’s face again, he could tell that his brain was whirring at one hundred miles an hour. It was as if there were a million things he wanted to yell at him, but none of them quite made it to his mouth.

Midoriya knew how that felt.

“You can’t just ignore half of who you are!” he protested.

“Watch me,” Todoroki retorted. A third bombardment was sent his way. The ice was far less powerful this time. He had aimed it lower as well, more concentrated in Midoriya’s direction. It was far easier to dodge. Midoriya leapt off the wall to his right and landed on top of the ice. He was very impressed with himself when he didn’t slip.

“I will become the number one hero without using his damned power,” he snarled.

“And then what?!” Midoriya yelled.

Todoroki hesitated, furrowing his brow in confusion.

“What happens when you're half covered in ice, facing a villain that you’re not going to be able to defeat?!” he questioned, indicating towards their current situation shamelessly. “What happens when people's lives are on the line? Will you still refuse to use your fire then?! Will you just stand by and let them die?!”

“Of course not!”

“Then what?! You use your fire? What then?! You’ll have no control! You could end up making it worse!”

Midoriya leapt down from the ice and ran towards him. “I want to be a hero! One who gives it their all! Everyone here, at UA – they’re doing the same! You can’t seriously expect to top them all, only giving it half your effort!”

Todoroki didn’t even dodge when Midoriya kicked him in the stomach. He flew across their destroyed circle of ice and rock. He watched as Todoroki stared blankly at the sky as he fell. Midoriya wondered what he was thinking about.

“You’re not a prisoner of your father! Forget about him! Be a hero for yourself!”

Todoroki stumbled as he got to his feet, his right side heavy with a thick coating of ice.

“It’s your life! Your story – your Quirk!”

 


 

“IT’S YOUR QUIRK – NOT HIS!”

Todoroki didn’t know why, but in that moment, he remembered his mother’s words:

You want to be a hero, right? That’s fine, you’re not bound by his blood.”

A new feeling ran down his back. It cancelled out the numbness of his skin with a tingling sensation – something that was merely a distant memory to him –

– It was the feeling of his fire.

It burst from his cage – finally free, wrapping itself around him like a phoenix, rising from the ashes of the past. Slabs of ice were vaporised in an instant. What remained around him melted into pools at his feet.

His flames – they licked the wounds of his past – not just his scar – but something in his very mind. And somehow, they began to heal.

Eyes wide from the rush of his forgotten power, he couldn’t help the smile that was brought upon his face.

It was something that mirrored Midoriya’s.

“Why are you smiling?” he questioned, heart beating so fast he thought it could rupture. “You just helped your enemy.”

“You’re not my enemy.”

You’re my friend.

Todoroki wondered if those unspoken words were really there. He wondered why they echoed in his mind.

Friend, huh?

Todoroki raised his hand. He could feel the air expanding in the heat – he didn’t know what he could do – this power was all too new to him.

Little did he know, but Midoriya had exactly the same predicament.

He leapt forward, green lightning crackling around him, mingling with the fragility of the air.

Thank you.”

As the two clashed, power reverberated around them. The mark of a new beginning.

Student 18.

And student 15.

 


 

Mina yelped as an explosion rippled through the air. She put her hands over her ears in surprise.

A couple of moments later, she stood upright once more, and turned on her heel. Where did that bang come from? Todoroki can’t do that?! Was that Midoriya? What secret powers had he decided not to tell them about?!

She started to run in the direction of the noise, leaping from pipe to pipe, using her acid to make footholds as she went. Mina didn’t know how far they were but judging from the apparent lack of noise following that climax, it was clear someone had emerged victorious.

“Ashido!” she heard Todoroki yell from around the corner. He sounded like he was in trouble.

“I’m coming!” Mina replied in panic. She turned the corner and –

There was Shinsou.

She felt her body grin to a halt. Her mind became fuzzy – all she could see was static.

Aw, man!

 


 

Shinsou breathed a sigh of relief – he’d finally got Ashido.

“Follow me, careful – don’t hit your head,” he instructed.

He walked slowly through Field Gamma, towards the site of the explosion, with Ashido’s stumbling, blank-faced form wandering along behind him.

They walked for much longer than Shinsou would have liked – just how far had they all drifted apart?

Then, he stumbled across a small lump of ice – he must be close.

He passed another pillar and – there they were.

His mouth fell open.

The damage they had caused was incredible. Most of the ice had disappeared – leaving only the occasional chunk towards the side of the flattened arena they had formed. The ground was torn up and scorch marks marred it further. On either side were two figures.

Both were unconscious.

Shinsou didn’t know what to say. Todoroki’s fallen form was closer than Midoriya’s. His hero costume was still somehow intact, but its left side was covered in a layer of black soot.

Had he… had he actually used his fire?

“Ashido, pick up Todoroki and take him to my prison. Go inside and shut yourself in,” he ordered.

The pink girl had passed by Shinsou’s jail more than once on her mission to find him, she he was confident she’d go the right way.

As she haphazardly started to carry poor Todoroki away, Shinsou rushed towards Midoriya. He winced when he came into view.

He looked worse for ware than Todoroki did, mainly because of the state of his hands. Two of the fingers on his left looked completely shattered – as for his right – well his entire fist looked like it twisted the wrong way.

Ashido and Todoroki have been apprehended! The winners are Shinsou and Midoriya!” announced an automatic voice over the speakers rigged around the arena.

Shinsou, take Midoriya to your prison. Him and Todoroki will be taken to Recovery Girl from there,” he heard Mr Aizawa’s monotone voice add to the announcement.

Shinsou nodded at the nearest working camera he could spot (he assumed a surprising number of them had been completely obliterated) and hoisted Midoriya’s left arm over his shoulder. Careful not to damage his hands further, Shinsou hurried after Ashido and quickly found their prison. It was a lot closer than he thought it was – which was a little unnerving.

The little robots with stretchers told Shinsou, with their annoying voices, to put Todoroki and Midoriya on them so they could be taken away. As he did so for Midoriya, he released his hold on Ashido.

She stumbled and blinked. “Seriously?!” she exclaimed as soon as she realised she was in the prison. “What happened – oh my God – is Todoroki unconscious?!”

“Pick him up and put him on the stretcher, would you?” Shinsou asked – not commanded.

Ashido pouted at him but did as she was told. Shinsou hoped she hadn’t injured him further in the act of carrying him over there.

As the robots hurried away, Ashido and Shinsou exchanged glances.

“What the hell was that?” Mina questioned.

“I haven’t the slightest idea.”

“Did… Did Todoroki actually use his fire?” she wondered aloud.

“It looks like it,” Shinsou replied as he started to walk away towards the exit, where the rest of his classmates were.

“Wow… do you think that makes Midoriya stronger than Bakugo?”

“I don’t know…” Shinsou said uncertainly. “Bakugo still beat Todoroki in the Sports Festival. For Todoroki to use his fire… Midoriya must have convinced him somehow.”

“But why would he convince him to use his fire? That would be a disadvantage!” Ashido protested.

Shinsou shrugged. “We’ll have to ask him ourselves.”

They walked in silence for the rest of their walk. That silence was immediately broken by the bombardment of questions was their peers as they came into view.

“DID YOU SEE THAT?!” Uraraka yelled at them.

“No…” Shinsou replied uncertainly.

“They were across the field, remember Ochako?” Asui pointed out.

“It was incredible!” Hagakure added. “18 was so good!”

“And Todoroki actually used his fire,” Shoji acknowledged.

“We’ll discuss the outcomes of our matches later,” Mr Aizawa droned. “We don’t have time to repair Field Gamma, so you’ll just have to take into account the destruction Midoriya and Todoroki caused during your own matches.”

“Wait, who caused the explosion?!” Mina exclaimed.

“Oh, that was Todoroki we think,” Sero replied with a frightened look on his face. “Something about him using his fire when it was already so cold around him.”

“I wonder what Midori said to make him use it?” Uraraka pondered.

“The next match is Yaoyorozu and Sero verses Iida and Sato,” Mr Aizawa continued. “Get to your starting positions and try not to blow up more of the arena,” he sighed.

The four of them hesitantly did as they were told. But the entire class knew that whatever was coming next would be no comparison to what had already occurred.

 

Chapter Text

Aizawa wouldn’t admit to not quite paying as much attention to the following matches as to the events that had just passed. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t true.

His thoughts were distracted. He didn’t think he was alone in that department. As he glanced around the remainder of his class, at those who weren’t with Recovery Girl or who weren’t in the current training exercise, he could tell their attention wasn’t fully devoted to the screens.

The green haired boy showed more promise than any of his students had in their first day of school. In fact, Aizawa wouldn’t be too surprised if he fell in the rankings of his top students, despite his lack of experience and guidance. The kid’s test scores were consistently high – never beating Yaoyorozu, but occasionally besting even Iida in subjects such as Quirk studies. In fact, the lowest ranking he ever got was seventh in art history. But Aizawa knew there had to be a factor that even Midoriya couldn’t excel at.

There was no way that a kid who had spent the last five months in a coma – who didn’t score a single attack point in the entrance exam – could possibly best a single one of his students in a one on one fight without a good dose of luck.

Especially one of his top students.

Todoroki even used his fire. He’d never used his fire for anything more than melting his ice.

Aizawa had been watching their encounter with a keen eye. The way that Midoriya initiated the attack and carried out his plan had few flaws. Aizawa noticed how he moved around Todoroki, careful to not come in contact with his right side unless he absolutely had to. Could have Midoriya really picked up on that weakness from watching the Sports Festival alone? Was his analysis abilities that good?

He showed promise from observing Bakugo’s movements, that was for sure. Aizawa had never picked up on Bakugo initiating his fights with a punch. He would have to deal with that. Then again, Aizawa had looked over Midoriya’s records many times. He knew that him and Bakugo came from the same middle school – meaning that they knew each other before UA. Perhaps Midoriya already knew this fact about Bakugo from personal experience. But that would mean that he’d seen Bakugo in fights. It wouldn’t be too much of a surprise – but also wouldn’t look too good on his school reports – and Aizawa was sure that he’d seen nothing like that on Bakugo’s records. Then again… that didn’t mean they didn’t happen out of sight.

Aizawa had thought about asking Bakugo to accompany Iida to visit Midoriya whilst he was in his coma. But it didn’t take much to convince him that would be a bad idea. Bakugo only visited Midoriya once in the entire duration of his coma. It was a tell-tale insight into their relationship. That was why, when fate decided that both Kaminari and Bakugo would be in the same match, Aizawa decided that they would be going first. Anything to delay that meeting…

Speaking of which.

“Hey, everyone!” Kaminari called out as him, Kirishima, Jiro and Bakugo waltzed back into view. Jiro lagged just behind Kaminari whilst Kirishima and Bakugo were involved in a deep conversation about something that Aizawa didn’t care about in that moment.

“YOU MISSED OUT!” Ashido yelled at the top of her voice.

Aizawa sighed, he could already feel the lack of sleep that he was bound to be getting over the next few days settling in.

“On what?” Jiro questioned with far less enthusiasm. Aizawa could appreciate that.

“Student 18!”

“EXCUSE ME, WHAT?!” Kaminari screamed.

And the volume’s back.

Aizawa noted the way Bakugo tensed up and how his eyes narrowed, darting across the crowd and then up to the screens displaying the current match.

“It was amazing!” Uraraka exclaimed.

“Wait, the real student 18?!” Kirishima added.

Ashido snorted at that, glancing at Uraraka, “Oh yeah – but you’re just going to have to wait and see him when he gets out of Recovery Girls’!” Ashido announced. “NOBODY TELL THEM ANYTHING!”

Oh no – this isn’t going to end well.

“YOU BETTER HAVE FILMED IT!” Kaminari shouted at them.

Uraraka waved Shinsou’s phone at him, “We sure did – but we’re not showing you until this evening!”

“Why not?!” Kirishima retorted.

“Because we want a genuine reaction from you lot obviously,” Ashido scoffed.

“Look at the screens,” Asui pointed towards the screens displaying a clash between Yaoyorozu and Sato. “See their surroundings, ribbit?”

“That circle of destruction was the fault of Todoroki and 18!” Ashido finished, bouncing up and down.

Their mouths dropped open. Well, Bakugo’s didn’t – he just looked more angry than usual. Not a good start.

“18 did that?” Jiro gaped.

“Well, him and Todoroki,” Hagakure added. “Todoroki actually used his flames! It was amazing!”

“HE DID WHAT?!” Bakugo yelled.

Yep – this is just going to be brilliant.

“He used his fire!” Uraraka replied with no fear whatsoever. “The two of them knocked each other out so they were taken to Recovery Girl – probably just after you guys left.”

“It was pretty intense,” Shinsou added with a nod.

Bakugo was actually lost for words. Aizawa had never seen him like this and it was more than worrying.

It was like he was a ticking time bomb, ready to go off as soon as Midoriya finally showed his face.

Literally.

 


 

Consciousness returned to Todoroki like a tidal wave. He sat bolt upright, panting as though he’d just had a nightmare.

There was a curtain drawn across half of Recovery Girl’s office. He could hear a quiet conversation on the other side.

He furrowed his brow as he tried to remember how he got there. Oh, yeah – right.

He glanced to his left and there was Midoriya. He was still in his rather tattered PE uniform, like how Todoroki was still wearing his charred hero costume. It had deposited a good amount of black ash on the previously pristine bed. If he was planning on using his fire again, he’d have to have it redesigned…

Would he use his fire again?

He continued to stare at his unconscious… opponent? Ally? Friend? He wasn’t quite sure yet.

Midoriya looked like he was sleeping – rather peacefully at that. In a fleeting memory, he remembered that Midoriya had mentioned he’d been in a coma for the last five months. Todoroki hoped nothing that drastic had happened a second time.

“That looks fine now, dear. Be more careful next time,” said Recovery Girl. Todoroki could just see her shadow through the blue curtain.

“H-How are Midori and Todoroki?” he heard Uraraka stammer. She must have been injured in the training exercise herself.

“No need to worry about them, they’ll be fine.”

“But they’ve been unconscious for hours…”

“Both have suffered from extreme Quirk over usage and exhaustion. Furthermore, each suffered quite heavy blows and that Midoriya boy did a number on his hands and fingers.”

Todoroki glanced at Midoriya’s bandaged hands. Why did he go that far?

“Midoriya woke up not long ago and I used my Quirk on his hands a little more. After that he fell asleep again. He’s very obviously not used to this kind of training. He must be exhausted.”

Todoroki clambered out of his bed and approached the curtain, pulling it aside to reveal himself to the other two.

“Todoroki!” Uraraka exclaimed with a large smile on her face. Todoroki wasn’t sure if it was a little forced or not. It was hard to tell with Uraraka – she was always smiling.

She had bandages over her right wrist, which were being carefully undone by Recovery Girl as she spoke to her.

“Ah, Todoroki, dear, how are you feeling?” said the old nurse as she finished with Uraraka.

“Fine,” he replied after a slight hesitation.

“Do you hear any of that?” she questioned as she approached a small pile of paper work on her desk.

“Yes,” he admitted.

“Good, then I hope you two will understand if I keep Midoriya here for a while. The poor thing is very tired. Moreover, with his past health problems, I’d like to double check to make sure his cognitive abilities are up to scratch when he wakes up again.”

They nodded.

“As for you, Todoroki, I think you might have been hit around the head at some point, because you’ve got a nasty bruise forming there. I didn’t want to heal it when you were asleep – you didn’t have quite enough stamina to deal with it.”

Todoroki reached up and touched the side of his head. There was a bandage there, wrapped around his forehead. Tapping the tender skin, he winced when he felt the lump. It must have been one of Midoriya’s kicks.

“Sit down and have a gummy whilst I heal it for you,” she smiled and indicated to the chair Uraraka had just got out of.

Todoroki noticed how Uraraka stood back near the door, tilting her head so she could see around the curtain to Midoriya’s side of the room. She smiled softly when she saw him lying there.

“There, much better,” Recovery Girl sighed as she undid his bandage.

“Thank you,” Todoroki replied respectfully.

“It’s no problem. Now, why don’t you go and get changed into your school uniform and head off to lunch? You have just enough time to grab something to eat and the queues should have died down by now.”

He’d been unconscious for that long?

“Your body is not used to handling your fire,” Recovery Girl explained as if in response to Todoroki’s unsaid words. “If you’re planning on using it properly from now on, I suggest practising on a smaller scale and building yourself up, like what Midoriya’s trying to do.”

“What do you mean?” Uraraka said before Todoroki could.

“Oh, we had a short conversation when he woke up. You see, his Quirk came in late and he’s having some trouble controlling it. He says he can cap it at about 5%, but any higher than that and he suffers from a terrible backlash, hence the broken bones,” she sighed.

“His Quirk came in late?” Uraraka repeated with a frown.

What did she mean by that?

“It’s a rare occurrence – late Quirk manifestation. Ask him about it yourselves when he wakes up. It’s not my place to talk about it,” she answered.

The two of them nodded in understanding.

“Go on then,” Recovery Girl insisted. “Off you pop – I have some paper work to fill out for the hospital on Midoriya’s behalf. Oh, and could you bring back some clothes for Midoriya from his room, dearies? I don’t think he’ll be needing his uniform – but just something for him to change into when he wakes up.”

Uraraka smiled and nodded as she left in front of Todoroki. He hesitated, wanting to ask when she thought Midoriya would be waking up… but instead, he followed Uraraka out, after taking one last glance in Midoriya’s direction.

“I’ll come with you to the dorms then!” Uraraka announced with a smile. “I helped Midori set up his room, so I know where his stuff is.”

Todoroki nodded and the two of them wandered out of UA’s main building and down towards Height’s Alliance. They didn’t utter a word between them as they walked – both in their own heads.

Both thinking of Midoriya.

Todoroki went back to his room and got changed. His empty hero costume case was waiting for him there. He supposed someone brought it out of the changing rooms for him. Probably Iida.

He thought that Uraraka would head off without him, but she was waiting by the entrance to the dorms when he wandered down.

“I grabbed his phone too,” Uraraka told him as they started to walk back to school. “I thought he could text us when he wakes up – let us know he’s feeling ok!”

“Yeah.”

“That fight between you and Midori was really something!” she continued. “Can I ask what the two of you were talking about?”

Todoroki thought for a moment about his response. Apparently, he took too long, because Uraraka quickly added, “Oh, it’s ok if you don’t want to say. I was just curious, that’s all.”

He nodded and didn’t say anything.

Uraraka smiled kindly and fondly smoothed the creases on the shirt she was holding. It was grey, and patterned in large, bold letters, with a green number 18. Ah, this must be the 18 top that everyone was talking about.

They didn’t say anything else as they took Midoriya’s things to Recovery Girl. Todoroki didn’t know why he went with Uraraka. Maybe he was just hopeful that his friend had woken up in the time that they had been gone.

There was cold soba available for lunch that day.

So that was good.

“Do you want to sit with us?” Uraraka asked as he finished paying for his meal. “I know you usually like to eat alone – but hey, this isn’t a usual day for anyone, right?”

Todoroki shrugged. “Sure, why not?”

Uraraka’s grin widened, if that were possible.

She practically skipped over to the small table where Iida and Shinsou were already sitting.

“Hello! Sorry I’m late!” she said happily as she slid into the chair beside Shinsou.

Shinsou had cold soba too.

He glanced up at Todoroki with a look of suspicion. Todoroki supposed it was unlike him to let others into his friendship group. He tended to spend time with exclusively Uraraka, and occasionally Kaminari; Iida was a relatively new addition.

Todoroki sat down awkwardly opposite Uraraka and next to Iida in the only remaining seat.

“Todoroki just woke up,” Uraraka explained. “Midori hit him around the head or something at one point.”

Shinsou didn’t say anything and returned to slurping his soba. Todoroki decided to do the same.

“How is Midoriya?” Iida questioned.

“Oh, he seems fine,” Uraraka replied. “He’s still asleep – apparently he woke up at one point, but he’s just really, really tired. Recovery Girl reckons he won’t be coming to anymore lessons today.”

“That’s a shame,” Iida frowned.

“I was looking forward to him meeting Kaminari and Bakugo,” Shinsou added.

Iida almost choked on his water when Shinsou said Bakugo, Todoroki wondered why that was.

“Yeah, Kaminari’s going to be hilarious!” Uraraka laughed after she swallowed a mouthful of food.

“Bakugo won’t be pleased that Midoriya scored higher on the surprise tests than he did,” Todoroki acknowledged.

The others didn’t say anything for a bit. Todoroki wasn’t used to social interactions, but he was pretty sure that this would be considered as being awkward.

“They weren’t actually surprise tests,” Iida explained after a while. “They were for testing Midoriya’s abilities, and to see how his intellect compared with the rest of our class.”

“Then why didn’t he just take copies of our final exams?” Todoroki frowned.

“Mr Aizawa likes seeing us suffer,” Shinsou said blankly.

Iida quickly contradicted with Shinsou, and the two argued about Mr Aizawa’s teaching methods for the next fifteen minutes whilst Uraraka watched on in vague enjoyment and Todoroki scoffed his noodles silently.

Todoroki wasn’t even vaguely sure what the conversation had drifted to as Iida ushered the group out of the lunch hall and back up to their classroom. They had maths next and Iida, as per usual, was determined that none of them would be late – and since Todoroki had somehow found himself hanging out with them, he was ushered along too.

“WHERE IS 18?!” Kaminari yelled as they walked through the door.

“Not… here?” Shinsou frowned as he walked over to his seat behind what would be Midoriya’s.

Todoroki noticed how Bakugo’s angry eyes followed him as he sat down himself at the back of the room next to Yaoyorozu.

Kaminari groaned loudly and put away his camera phone.

“I’m so confused, can’t you guys at least tell us his name?” Jiro questioned.

Ah, so that’s how it was. They were keeping Midoriya a secret from them in order to promote a more dramatic reaction to his reveal that evening.

“Nope!” Uraraka exclaimed as she sat down behind Iida, catching onto the drift quickly.

Kaminari groaned even louder.

“He must have one hell of a Quirk to beat you though, Todoroki!” Kirishima added. “I can’t wait to meet him! It’ll be like our class is finally complete!”

Todoroki didn’t miss how Bakugo’s fists were clenched so tightly that his nails dug into his skin.

Ah, perhaps he was angry that Todoroki used his fire now – and not against Bakugo.

Mr Ectoplasm arrived a few minutes later, silencing their constant chatter and diverting their focus towards mathematics. Although, even Todoroki couldn’t help but be distracted by the thoughts of Midoriya – his ever-empty seat still collecting dust.

Little did they know, but the act of brushing the dust off the mystery of student 18, would end in stirring up a storm that no one could have seen coming.

 

Except Kacchan, of course.

Chapter Text

It had been a long time since Midoriya had slept so soundly.

It was ironic, considering that he had been asleep for a grand total of five months straight. But it wasn’t dreamless, in a way. Midoriya had wondered, for a time, if he really was dreaming – that he dreamt that he got a Quirk – All Might’s Quirk of all things – that he saved someone’s life – that he met such wonderful people and went to UA. For a fleeting moment, when he finally woke up in the hospital, he doubted the reality of it all.

But it was real.

Then, his panicked, overworking mind considered the possibility that he was still in his coma. That he had drifted so far into the sea of sleep that he dreamt that he woke up – that he finally met Iida and Uraraka – that he was dragged around by her and Shinsou in a desperate attempt to make his reveal more dramatic – that he fought Todoroki and wasn’t absolutely destroyed.

When his eyes drifted open, he half expected to see the All Might posters on his wall back at home. But it was the real All Might that his eyes rested upon.

His skeletal face broke into a wide smile – one that hadn’t seen the light of day in far too long.

All Might…” Midoriya murmured, rubbing his eyes.

“Midoriya, my boy!” he grinned, patting him a little too forcefully on the back as his successor sat up. “Aizawa’s told me everything! Way to make a debut to your fellow hero students!”

“…Huh?”

“All Might!”

His head snapped around and Midoriya spotted Recovery Girl reappearing through the curtain that seemed to separate him from the rest of her office.

“You better have not woken him up on!” she exclaimed, threatening to hit him around the head with her walking stick… thing.

“Uh – n-no,” Midoriya groaned, eyes slowly adjusting to the light, “I woke up by myself… what –”

“– You fell asleep after I healed your hands,” Recovery Girl answered before Midoriya could even utter the question.

“O-Oh… WAIT! Have I missed class?!” he exclaimed.

“Don’t worry, young Midoriya,” All Might replied. “You’ve been excused from lessons for the rest of the day. You have other matters to attend to this afternoon anyway.”

Midoriya wanted to ask what those matters were, but a bowl of steaming rice was instead thrust in his direction by Recovery Girl before he could.

“Eat,” she insisted. “It’s well past lunch and you need the energy.”

Midoriya didn’t have the courage to disobey her.

“You have so much more of a grip on One for All than I remember,” All Might told him after a moment’s silence as Midoriya shovelled the rice into his mouth. “I asked for the recording of your training exercise, and I have to say, it was very impressive.”

“Y-You really think so?” Midoriya stammered after he swallowed his mouthful.

“Of course! Granted, you broke your bones again, but surpassing that little problem will just have to come with practise!” he clapped his hands together and beamed at his successor. “You certainly proved your abilities to Aizawa – he submitted the paperwork to get you into the provisional licencing exam only a few hours ago!”

“Really?!” Midoriya exclaimed, almost spilling the remainder of his rice over his bed. “So, I’m in – officially?!”

“Into UA? Of course, my boy! There was never any doubt.”

“Mr Aizawa would beg to differ,” Midoriya grimaced, before finally finishing his rice and placing the empty bowl on the bedside table.

He was about to turn back to All Might, when he noticed a small pile of clothing on the floor beside the table. On top was his phone, alongside a hastily written note in Uraraka’s neat handwriting:

 

Hello sleepyhead!

Hope you’re feeling better! We’re all worried about you but Recovery Girl says that you should be fine! She also asked me to bring a change of clothes for you – so I brought your favourite top!

WINK WINK

Repeat after me:

You I do not have a choice in this matter.

Anyway, I also found your phone, so text us when you’re up! Mr Aizawa says you won’t be in classes for the rest of the day – so we’ll see you after school! Oh, and don’t message on the group chat – Kaminari, Jiro, Kirishima and Bakugo still don’t know anything about you… So, that’s going to be fun to watch!

See you soon!

Uraraka and Todoroki.

 

Wait, Todoroki?

Midoriya guessed that the entire note was written by Uraraka, judging by the handwriting and overall character of the message. Perhaps Todoroki just went with her so she added his name to the bottom of the paper as a second thought. Maybe Midoriya had finally gotten through to him! Oh well, guess he’ll just have to wait and see.

“Get changed out of those ruined PE clothes,” All Might suggested, indicating to the tattered uniform Midoriya still wore. “After that we have to make a little visit to the support department.”

“The support department?” Midoriya repeated in confusion.

“Well, someone never ended up submitting a costume form before school started.”

Midoriya laughed sheepishly and scratched the back of his head, “Sorry…”

“It’s no problem, my boy. The licencing exam is still a few weeks away, so we have time to develop a costume and a hero name, as well as meddle with your fighting style and perhaps some super moves like the rest of your class. Of course, it doesn’t matter if you don’t pass the exam the first time around. Many hero courses don’t even submit their students to the provisional licencing exam until their second year, so it won’t be too much of a problem if you have to take it again in April – it isn’t improbable that you would be the only one.”

Midoriya nodded, a wave of determination washing through his mind. If he could pass this test, then he’s away – on the path to become a hero, no matter what happens next.

 


 

“All right class, this is Izuku Midoriya.”

Midoriya waved hastily to the room of support course students before him. They were first years – all his age, and they didn’t look too pleased about being interrupted.

“Midoriya has just re-joined the hero course after being absent for certain reasons,” Power Loader continued. “But he never got around to designing a hero costume. With the provisional licencing exams fast approaching, he needs to get some ideas down on paper. So, would anyone like to volunteer to lend him a hand?”

There was a brief moment of silence whilst the ensure students glanced between one another. Then, to Midoriya’s utter realife, someone slowly raised their hand.

“I guess I could –” he started.

“OH! ME – ME!” someone interrupted and whizzed into view on a set of roller skates – of all things. “I’LL DO IT – PICK ME!”

Power Loader glanced between the first student to raise his hand and this newcomer.

The first guy raised his hands in defeat, “I really don’t care,” he admitted.

Power Loader sighed, “Fine, Hatsumei, don’t kill him.”

Wait, what?

“Come with me – new hero!” the pink haired girl exclaimed, before grabbing him by the wrist and wheeling him off across the classroom. Midoriya didn’t even know how she managed to pull him with such a force whilst on roller blades. He wisely decided not to question it and simply stumbled after her, costume forms gripped tightly in hand.

He started to regret telling All Might that he didn’t have to come with him.

“So, first things first!” Hatsumei exclaimed, throwing off his roller skates and tossing them into a pile of similarly discarded designs in the corner of the room. “What’s your Quirk?”

Quirkless.

“Oh… um… it’s like a strength enhancer thing…”

“In that case you’ve gotta try out some of my babies!”

“Y-Your – what?”

Across the classroom, Hatsumei’s peers watched on in vague interest.

The student who had considered volunteering in the first place murmured his apologies under his breath. “I feel sorry for him.”

 


 

The fatalities surrounding the destruction of Kamino Ward are mind-blowing. Those who narrowly avoided death have been left with devastating injuries that promise to change their lives for good. Even many coragous heroes have been left worse for wear, including our number four hero, Best Jeanist, who has taken a temporary leave of absence from hero work to recover. Moreover, the former number thirty-two hero, Ragdoll, has been forced to retire after becoming unable to utilise her Quirk. Of course, no news is more earthshattering than the announcement of the retirement of our number one hero, All Might, after the same fate befalls him. All this death and torment continues to haunt the residents of Kamino as restoration projects continue to –”

Kirishima sighed, turning down the volume on the TV. The news was just so depressing. He thought, because they were talking about Kamino, that Bakugo might be mentioned, and that was always interesting to watch – but he wasn’t complaining, those news stories often weren’t particularly pleasant or truthful.

School had only just ended, and the entire class was buzzing about this student 18 which had finally joined their number. Kirishima was certainly excited, he wouldn’t deny it! But nevertheless, he couldn’t stop his mind from wondering elsewhere. He already knew what would happen when 18 finally appeared. He would waltz in, and Kaminari would freak out – the others would make a big deal about it all and the guy would finally unravel the mysteries about him – where he’d been and all that jazz… But then the hype would die down and the new guy would settle in. Kirishima reckoned he’d be close friends with Iida and Uraraka and that bunch. All he’d managed to get out of them was that the three of them had known each other for a while.

Kirishima’s eyes were still glued to the television screen. He couldn’t really hear what they were talking about anymore, but the camera continued to pan over the rubble All Might’s last stand had left in its wake.

He remembered that day vividly. He remembered how frightened he was, but how he actually managed to make a difference! Bakugo got out. He was safe – barely a scratch lay upon him physically. But Kirishima wondered if he would have been able to get out without his and the others’ help. Iida had been hesitant at first, but Kirishima was glad he came. He sure kept them in check.

Oh yeah, and Deku – the ghost. He was smart – calculative, and came up with a brilliant, although slightly reckless plan that pulled through. Kirishima couldn’t thank him enough… if he wasn’t there, maybe they all would have ended up in that rubble.

Although, Kirishima never did thank him. He couldn’t. The ghost hadn’t shown himself since that day. He couldn’t stop thinking about it.

“Hey, Kaminari?” Kirishima called out. He was the closest one to him at the time and was one of the most interested in the whole ghost subject anyway.

“What’s up?” he asked with a grin. He was talking with Uraraka and Mina about 18, desperately trying to get some more information out of them before he finally arrived.

“What do you think happened to Deku?”

His smile faded, glancing at the disaster footage that Kirishima couldn’t break his gaze from. That green lightning circling All Might’s final punch most certainly came from their friendly ghost.

“The ghost guy?” he asked.

Kirishima nodded.

“I don’t know. Maybe we should hold a séance,” he smirked.

“Oh! That would be so much fun!” Uraraka exclaimed, “Maybe we should do after 18 comes around! He texted me to say he woke up a while ago – but he’s doing something about his hero costume and stuff before he heads over here.”

“Ah, I guess that makes sense. Then finally that dusty box in the classroom will actually have something in it,” said Kaminari.

“Exactly.”

“Seriously, guys, I’m actually pretty worried about him,” Kirishima continued, driving the conversation back to where he wanted it to go.

He hadn’t spent too long with the ghost face to face, but during his time on the bullet train to Kamino, he actually grew to consider Deku as a friend. He remembered that he had told them that he had been in class 1-A all along. He knew all of them as well as they knew each other. It was a little strange at first, but after he explained that he only recently discovered how to intentionally make himself heard and visible, Kirishima quickly settled into the idea of having a ghost for a friend. He was really nice – an honest, sweet guy who clearly didn’t have that much experience with friends. He talked a lot and made lots of surprisingly witty jokes, although Kirishima wondered if he ever actually meant to say those aloud. He had given up so much to protect him and his classmates, almost from beyond the grave.

Kirishima remembered Deku telling him that he was half dead – very sick and bedridden in a hospital. He knew Bakugo personally – called him Kacchan, of all things. Then Bakugo told them that Deku had terrible seizures every time he overused his mysterious power. And then Kirishima looked back at the footage of All Might’s fight and wondered…

Just how far did he go?

“He was a ghost because he was half dead and his Quirk did weird things to his spirit or something in his sick state, right?” Kirishima reminded them.

“I don’t know, you were the one who spent more time with him,” Kaminari replied.

“Well… I don’t know, man – what if he did too much?”

“What are you talking about?” Mina frowned, putting her hands on her hips and furrowing her brow.

“Guys. What I’m saying is, maybe the reason why we haven’t heard from him in so long is because he… well maybe he got too sick,” Kirishima sighed, turning off the television.

Silence fell between them.

Kirishima noticed how much of the rest of the class looked up from whatever they were doing and gazed towards them, a worried look plastered upon their expressions.

It was Yaoyorozu who spoke first, “It would make sense,” she started. “Why else would he not talk to us? I would respect giving us some distance for the first few days of us being here, but it’s been a while now. Perhaps, after the Kamino incident, he…”

That glum silence returned.

“I mean hey, wouldn’t a séance still work?” said Kaminari.

Mina hit him around the head. “RUDE!” she yelled. “He could actually be dead!”

“Exactly!” he retorted, clutching the side of his head and stepping away from her. “He wasn’t a real ghost in the first place. If he’s dead, then he is now!”

Everyone glared at him.

“Hey! I’m just trying to lighten the mood, alright?! We don’t want 18 coming here to find us all depressed over a ghost of all things!”

“Maybe he’s still around,” Uraraka suggested. “But perhaps he just can’t make himself visible anymore.”

“Alright then – hey, Deku! Do the shiver thing!” Mina yelled to thin air, and then held her hands out and closed her eyes, waiting for something to happen.

Everyone just stared at her as she stood, spread out like a starfish for a good few seconds.

“Nope,” she popped the p. “Nothing – no ghost here, people.”

Jiro snorted.

Kaminari sure sucked at lightening the mood – but Mina could do it no problem. She’d always been like that, even during middle school – she’d just put on a brave face and a big smile and everything would turn out ok.

Kirishima smiled too.

Bakugo wasn’t around, he noticed. He stormed up to his room the moment classes were over for the day. Kirishima decided not to question it. But, of course, if Bakugo knew Deku, then if he were dead, he would know.

He’d just have to ask Bakugo.

Then finally that mystery would have some closure – no matter what the outcome really was. But Kirishima hoped Deku was ok.

However, the truth behind that mystery was a whole lot more complicated than he realised…

 


 

It took a while for Hatsumei to calm down. Midoriya was more than a little worried that he would be sent back into his coma from the looks of exploding gadgets.

But, eventually, the two were able to sit down and brainstorm ideas to best utilise Midoriya’s complicated power, from what he knew at the time – and from what he was able to tell her, of course. It wasn’t like the ghost thing was of much use anymore anyway. Midoriya didn’t have his notebooks on him, but he was kind of glad that he didn’t. His original designs certainly wouldn’t suit the way his power turned out, but he decided to play homage to it, nonetheless, keeping what was originally a mask as a hood, and the smile remained in the form of a mouth guard. Images of what he managed to do to Todoroki’s head flashed through his mind. He wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of a kick as powerful as his own thank you very much – especially to the jaw. Then, Hatsumei had the idea of adding iron sole boots to his costume, something that she was keen to design herself, in order to make those kicks even worse. She started to tinker with those ideas as soon as Midoriya left, handing in what they had come up with to Power Loader in the process. He seemed vaugly impressed he survived the whole ordeal at all.

Midoriya recognised Hatsumei from the Sports Festival. Granted, when he was there as a ghost, he didn’t spend much time around her, choosing to focus on watching his classmates’ matches and hovering around Todoroki for a while. He only really payed much attention to her during his re-watch of the event. She was certainly enthusiastic, Midoriya could say that much. Hatsumei was driven, energetic and the very definition of a mad genius. Midoriya couldn’t wait to see how his hero costume worked out in the end!

All he needed to do now was think up a hero name…

And that was an entirely different challenge.

He mulled it over as he wondered back to Recovery Girl’s one last time. He still had bandages on his hands and she wanted to check them one last time before she took them off.

To Midoriya’s surprise, when he left her office, he found none other than Todoroki waiting for him outside.

They stared at each other for a brief, awkward moment. “Ah, hello!” Midoriya exclaimed, “Sorry, I, um, didn’t expect to see you there.”

“It’s fine,” he said drearily. “I just haven’t seen you since this morning. I was wondering what happened to you. Did you just wake up?”

“Oh, um, no – I woke up a while ago, actually. I’ve been held up in the support department ever since – designing my hero costume.”

“Do you not have one in the case back in the classroom?” he questioned as the two began to walk through the halls and out towards Height’s Alliance.

“No, it’s empty, I think. I never had time to fill in a costume request form before I started at UA,” Midoriya laughed meekly.

The dual haired boy gazed at him for a moment. Midoriya wondered what was going through his head. It was kind of freaking him out.

“What happened to you?” he asked eventually.

Midoriya jumped at the question. “Oh, yeah… um… I was watching this villain attack – a building was falling down. Everyone had been evacuated, but then I saw this little girl, Kichi, in the next building along – and it was about to be crushed… So, um, I kind of moved without thinking – and jumped right in.”

“Into the building.”

“Yeah.”

“The one which was about to fall down.”

“…Yeah.”

“And I suppose that would be how you fell into a coma?”

“…That would be correct, yes.”

“Hm…” was all he said for the next five minutes.

“Thank you.”

“For what?” Midoriya replied after jumping again. He really needed to get a grip on himself.

“For telling me… and for helping me today.”

Midoriya smiled, “It’s ok – you looked like you needed someone to say all that. I hope I didn’t offend you too much.”

Too much.

“Yeah, it’s fine. You… actually hit the nail on the head for most of that.”

“For… most of what I guessed about… you?”

“Yes. About my father – my power – my scar.”

“…Right.”

“But perhaps you need to know the full truth.”

And so, he told him – everything.

Finally, Midoriya could see the whole picture. They were at the entrance to Height’s Alliance by the time Todoroki finished his sad story.

“I’m really sorry,” Midoriya mumbled.

“Don’t be,” Todoroki replied. “Your confrontation was irritating,” he admitted with blatant honesty, “But it was what I needed. You are certainly worthy of working towards being a hero in our class. I hope one day to beat you.”

Midoriya’s smiled grew wider. “Same here! I think that fight counted as a draw.”

“Depending on the viewpoint,” he grumbled, opening the door for him.

“Well, it doesn’t matter,” Midoriya continued as the two of them wandered towards the common room. “We’ve just got to both get our provisional licences and then we’re one step closer to being real heroes!”

“Yes, I look forward to working with you in the future. Your power, it reminds me of All Might’s.”

Midoriya gulped, trying to hide his sudden worry over the matter.

“Your determination and recklessness does too,” Todoroki continued.

“Well… I don’t know – I guess I’ve never thought of my Quirk in that way before! Ha, ha… but, then in the future, we can be the new All Might and Endeavour!”

“Yeah…”

“You be All Might, and I’ll be Endeavour.”

 


 

Todoroki appeared in the entrance to the common room.

He was laughing. Well, barely, but this is Todoroki we’re talking about.

Kaminari’s mouth fell open and he immediately started filming.

“Guys, he’s showing emotion!”

“That’s actually terrifying – what happened?” Jiro murmured.

Mina immediately leapt to her feet and snatched Kaminari’s phone off him. She angled the camera so that he could capture Kaminari’s face as well as that of the newcomer that appeared only seconds later.

“What, you don’t think I can pull it off?” the new guy said.

And from around the corner, behind Todoroki – came someone all too familiar – with messy green hair and a brilliant smile. A face covered in a dotting of freckles, but one which now lacked the marring purple bags that had once lined his eyes.

Kaminari’s mouth fell open.

“Woah, woah, woah,” he begun.

Todoroki and his friend turned to face them as if they’d only just realised the others were there.

YOU’RE STUDENT 18?!”

Mina zoomed in on Midoriya’s face.

“…Surprise?”

 

Chapter Text

“ARE YOU ACTUALLY KIDDING ME?!” Kaminari yelled.

“You’re going to electrocute someone, calm down,” Shinsou acknowledged bleakly, eying the sparks that flew from Kaminari’s sides.

18 looked like he was more than ready to back into a corner and die – but Kaminari wasn’t done yet.

“Y-You… You – it’s you!” he gaped.

“H-Hi?” he stammered, glancing wearily across the room, between faces trying to hold back laughter and those who were just trying not to throttle him at this point.

Um – care to tell us why you didn’t tell us before?” Jiro questioned, pulling at her earphone jacks. Kaminari didn’t think he’d ever seen her so shocked before. And they’d encountered several villain attacks.

“Err…” was all he could muster as a response.

“Holy shoot,” Kirishima gaped, after recovering from the surprise a little. “I can’t believe it – you’re the guy Kaminari almost knocked out with that football last week!”

“Good eye,” acknowledged Jiro, her voice back to its usual ways – dripping with sarcasm.

“Don’t worry about that!” the new boy exclaimed. “Honestly, you didn’t nearly knock me out – I barely had a bruise!”

“He said barely,” Jiro pointed out, “meaning he had something.”

Thank you, Jiro,” Kaminari replied. “I’m so sorry about that!” he exclaimed, turning back to 18.

“Really, it’s fine,” he replied with a sweet smile – weird to think this was the guy who forced the monster that is Todoroki to use his fire.

Then made him laugh for goodness sake.

“What’s your name again?” Kaminari questioned.

“Don’t take it personally, he has the memory span of a goldfish,” Jiro smirked.

“Oh, um, it’s fine – my name’s Midoriya – anyway, goldfish have a memory span of around five months.”

“Huh,” Uraraka butted in. “You learn something new every day.”

He blinked at her for a moment, “Oh!” Midoriya grew flustered all of a sudden, “I said that out loud, didn’t I? – I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to sound rude – I don’t exactly have a brain-to-mouth filter anymore.”

“You can say that again,” Todoroki interjected from across the room.

“Todoroki’s participating in conversations guys,” Mina acknowledged. “18 – you bring out the best in all of us.”

He didn’t really know what to say – probably a little more than overwhelmed.

Kaminari put his hands on his shoulders. “This is really important; we all need to know – how did you make Todoroki laugh?”

“Um, you’re not going to ask where have you been?!” Uraraka exclaimed.

“Oh yeah, that too.”

“Um… it’s sort of a long story…” Midoriya mumbled.

“The laughing thing or the coma thing?” asked Mina.

“Wait – coma?!” Kirishima repeated. “Oh, so that’s why you’ve been in the hospital for so long! That’s gotta suck, man!”

“Ha, ha… yeah, kind of,” he replied, rubbing his head awkwardly.

“Oh my God – the top, I’ve just noticed the top,” Jiro interrupted, rubbing her temples in the sheer stress of it all.

“ISN’T IT AWESOME?!” Uraraka yelled.

“So, it was you!” Kaminari exclaimed, pointing at her accusingly.

Guilty!” she sang. “Repeat after me, Midori! You have –”

“I have no choice in this matter…” he sighed.

“GOOD JOB!”

“People! Let us not overwhelm Midoriya!” Iida interrupted, pushing in between him and everyone else and doing the hand chopping thing that everyone had grown too used to at this point. “This is his first day and we should be trying our hardest to make him feel welcome rather than out of place!”

“Just ignore him,” Jiro grinned. “This is what life in the dorms is like every day – just pure and utter chaos.”

“Do you want to sit down or something?” Kirishima offered. “You’re standing there looking like you’re lost or something, man,” he laughed.

Uraraka vaulted over the back of the sofa she was on, grabbed Midoriya by the shoulders and pushed him over to the little circle of chairs in the centre of the room. “Come on, Midori! You’ve got a lot of explaining to do!”

“Hm…” he muttered as his friend literally pushed him down into the seat.

“Hi!” Hagakure exclaimed.

Midoriya just waved – barely even batted an eyelid at the floating set of clothing sitting next to him. The whole scenario surprised Kaminari more than it did Midoriya. Hagakure usually freaked out the collective student body of UA by being literally a floating student body. Seriously, Midoriya didn’t look like much, but from what Kaminari had seen and heard of him, it was clear that this guy was the real deal – the student 18 they had been waiting for!

“So, ok, first things first – how did you get into a coma in the first place?” questioned Hagakure as the rest of the class gathered around. The only one who wasn’t present was Bakugo, who stomped up to his room in a mood that wasn’t unlike him immediately after class.

“I-I–” he stammered, glancing around at them all with wide eyes. This guy literally flattened part of Field Gamma earlier. His timidity matched with that power was weirdly terrifying. “I, um, well –”

“Midoriya jumped into a villain attack to save someone’s life,” said Iida, swooping in for the rescue. “He was horribly hurt in the process but the civilian in question walked away with only a few cuts and bruises.”

Midoriya looked down at his feet like what he had done was something to be ashamed of.

“Wow! Seriously?!” Mina exclaimed. “I remember you saying you were involved in a villain attack – but you saved someone’s life?! That’s amazing!”

Kirishima sighed audibly. “Why is everyone here so cool and heroic?”

“So what? Hit by a car? What it a Quirk?” asked Kaminari in curiosity.

“Oh, um, falling building, actually,” he explained, rubbing the back of his head again. Kaminari wondered if there was a scar there, under that mess of green hair.

“That must have taken guts…” Sero gaped.

“Well, um, not really,” Midoriya replied. “I didn’t really think about it.”

“So, you just jumped in?” asked Hagakure. She took a sip of her tea – the liquid disappeared into nowhere, her being invisible and all – again, Midoriya didn’t find it at all weird – like he was already used to it.

He laughed feebly, “Yeah… but it all turned out ok in the end – I’m here after all.”

“It only took you five months,” Shinsou said, rolling his eyes.

“Yeah, he slept through his alarm,” Uraraka smirked at him.

Jiro and Kirishima stifled their laughter, but Kaminari was so engrossed on 18’s reappearance that he didn’t even acknowledge the pun. “What was it like? Being in a coma for so long?”

Midoriya had started to calm down at this point. It was bound to be rather petrifying, with 18 (ha… 18…) other people that he only knew from TV surrounding him, completely fixed on his life story. “It was… yeah, it was… frightening.”

“I couldn’t imagine,” Yaoyorozu interjected, swirling her tea mindlessly. “Being trapped in your own body – unable to move or see or speak…”

“Hm…” Midoriya replied. “It was lonely…”

“Man, we really missed you here,” Kirishima smiled, leaning back into the sofa. “We didn’t even know who you were or why you weren’t there – but it was like there was a hole in the class, you know?”

The rest of them nodded simultaneously. Midoriya seemed rather shocked by it all – but no one disagreed. Midoriya’s absence consumed the minds and imaginations of everyone in class 1-A – especially that of Kaminari. Now the guy was here – in the flesh! It was strange, to say the least, but Kaminari wasn’t the only one in the class who could tell that he would be a weird and wonderful addition to their number.

He was incredibly strong and decently smart, especially for someone who’d been out of commission in a coma for five months. He was kind-hearted, sweet-souled and his smile just seemed to lighten the room – this guy was going to be one of the best heroes out of the lot of them – it wasn’t hard to see.

“Thank you,” Midoriya smiled, “it’s amazing to finally be here – even if it took a little longer than expected.”

A ripple of laughter spread amongst them.

“There’s so much you missed out on!” Uraraka exclaimed. “I know me and Iida have like, filled you in on most of the stuff – but now you can watch some of Kaminari’s videos and see it for yourself!”

“Wow look at that, Kaminari – your videos have a use after all,” Jiro interjected.

“Shut up!” he retorted, “We’ve found plenty of uses for them!”

“Wait, how do you know Iida and Uraraka?” questioned Tsuyu, tapping her chin with her index finger in a very Asui-like fashion.

“Oh, they were my only visitors!” Midoriya replied gleefully, completely glossing over the main implication of that explanation.

“Wait, your only visitors?” Mina repeated with a horrified look on her face.

“Oh, I don’t mind,” he answered quickly. “I had my mum visit me whenever she could and, um, quite a few of the UA teachers a lot – which was really cool. Then the hospital staff were all super nice. Oh, and Kichi, of course – the girl I helped all those months ago. She only visited a few times though. She’s only five; her dad thought the hospital was a little too much for her to deal with. But I don’t think she was really that bothered.”

The class gaped at him.

“So, the only people who visited you for five months, apart from staff members of school and the hospital, were the girl you saved, Iida and Uraraka?” Yaoyorozu concluded.

“That’s horrible, man!” Kirishima exclaimed.

“Iida! Why didn’t you tell us?!” Hagakure protested.

“Because we didn’t want to crowd Midoriya – as per Mr Aizawa’s instructions!” Iida quickly explained.

“Guys, really, I don’t mind – you couldn’t have known and I’m sure it just would have been awkward. It’s not like I was able to make a conversation!” Midoriya laughed feebly.

“Jeez, man, that sucks,” said Kirishima.

“We’re dreadfully sorry for the situation you found yourself in,” Yaoyorozu continued as she collected in empty cups of tea from her classmates. “But it’s a relief to us all for you to finally be here.”

“Honestly, no one’s more relieved than me,” Midoriya protested. He took half the pile of cups and saucers from the deputy class rep to help her.

“Oh, you don’t have to do that –” she begun.

“– You wouldn’t want to drop them,” he insisted, heading over to the kitchen behind Yaoyorozu. She took the pile off him to put them in the dishwasher as soon as she had free hands.

“Really, the visitor thing is no problem,” added Midoriya as he wandered back over to the circle of sofas they had formed. “Anyway… come to think of it – I did have one other visitor…”

“Who would that be?” asked Shoji, who was sitting with the quieter bunch – just listening in politely to the whole scenario. Nevertheless, the entire class was incredibly intrigued in Midoriya’s story.

“Oh… an old friend of sorts…” he replied.

Kaminari noted how he glanced towards Iida with an air of worry in his expression.

“But he only visited once – and I think he was forced to,” Midoriya laughed, leaning over the back of the sofa rather than sitting back down.

“Whilst we visited once a week!” Uraraka interjected. “Anyway, who’s this other guy? You’ve never mentioned him before.”

“Well… there’s a good reason for that.”

Kaminari decided that this random other friend (he certainly wouldn’t count them as a friend if they only visited once whilst he was in a coma) should be a mystery left for another time. “Hey, why don’t we watch some of those videos you missed out on?!” he suggested eagerly.

“Oh! You have to start from the beginning!” Hagakure insisted.

“Yeah! We need a full recap of the mystery of student number 18!” Mina added with a laugh.

And our ghost!” said Uraraka. “You’re not afraid of ghosts, are you, Midoriya?”

“Um… not exactly…”

“Then it’s settled!” Kaminari announced, taking his phone back off Mina. Had she seriously been filming this entire time?

But before he turned off the camera, the group heard a thundering noise hurry towards them.

“I’d know those angry footfalls anywhere,” Tokoyami sighed theatrically.

“Don’t stop filming yet, Kaminari!” Mina exclaimed, “We’ve still got one more big reveal to go!”

Then they caught the smile on Midoriya’s face quickly fading.

“Oh no,” he whispered under his breath. “Here we go.”

“What?” Uraraka frowned, not quite catching what he said.

The door slammed open dramatically – revealing the final student of class 1-A…

“Is it not passed your bedtime, Bakugo?” Kaminari exclaimed with next-to-no fear.

He fell silent as Midoriya slowly turned his head.

Red eyes met green.

And Bakugo spat – with the most venomous voice that Kaminari had ever heard – something that no one expected.

“Deku,” he snarled.

The class glanced between Midoriya and Bakugo.

“Deku?” Kirishima repeated. That was the name of class 1-A’s ghost – what the –

And then Midoriya interjected with shockingly forceful confidence:

“What’s the matter, Kacchan? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“…I said that out loud, didn’t I?”

 

Chapter Text

“What’s the matter, Kacchan? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

The class stared at him, mouths hanging open.

Then Midoriya’s mouth fell open; his face growing pale. “…I said that out loud, didn’t I?”

“That you FREAKING DID!” Bakugo yelled, charging forward at Midoriya.

He yelled out in fright and ran around the other side of an empty armchair to put some distance between the two.

“I’M GOING TO SEND YOU BACK TO YOUR GRAVE!”

“WAIT! I can explain!”

“I DON’T CARE, YOU BASTARD!”

“Um – what’s going on?” voiced Uraraka, but Midoriya and Bakugo were a little too preoccupied to answer in that moment.

“Iida! Save me!” Midoriya cried, dashing out from behind the armchair to duck behind Iida’s towering figure, who was standing just to the side of their group of classmates. He, a little surprisingly to the others, didn’t seem as bewildered by the interaction as they were.

Oh, Midoriya had this coming. Perhaps he shouldn’t have stayed quiet for so long? He was just so scared about what they would think. This was his first impression on them after all. Strange, considering he’d known all of them for months now. He thought it had been going well! They were all being so nice and kind to him… a-and everyone was so excited just for him to be there! And he was excited to finally be actually at UA – but then Kacchan just has to come and shout and make a ruckus and suddenly all eyes are on Midoriya again and he’s sinking into a hole and the eyes are all he can see and he just knows what they’re thinking – he doesn’t want to know what they’re thinking – but it might as well be written on their foreheads –

“STOP MUTTERING IT’S DRIVING ME INSANE!” Bakugo yelled.

Oh, shoot, how much of that was in his head and how much left his mouth?!

“Midoriya, have you forgotten how to keep your thoughts in your head?” Iida whispered to him – not quietly enough.

Midoriya never thought he’d want to be able to disappear and float through the floor. Needless to say, he was proved wrong.

“Possibly…?” he replied hesitantly.

Bakugo suddenly lunged around Iida and Midoriya yelped, diving out of the way with a flash of green light and rushing across the room in a blur.

“WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!” Bakugo screamed at him.

“…Huh?”

“So now you use your flashy Quirk! HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN HIDING THAT LITTLE DETAIL FROM ME, HUH?!”

“No, no! You’ve got it all wrong! I really was Quirkless!” Midoriya protested, not daring to come any closer to Bakugo’s fuming figure. “I-I mean – I didn’t know I had a Quirk – I wasn’t lying to anyone; you’ve got to believe me!”

“Woah, wait a second – what’s going on here?” Kirishima interrupted.

Midoriya glanced back at his classmates’ confused expressions – oh, he was so done for.

Ok, ok – how could he explain this without freaking them all out too much?

“So why the hell do you decide to only show up in that villain attack?!” Bakugo yelled, ignoring Kirishima as he directed the fires of his rage at Midoriya – he could only hope that didn’t turn into literal fire any time soon.

“I-I didn’t know how to control it!” Midoriya explained frantically, before turning back to Kirishima, “Ha, ha – Kacchan and I have known each other for a really long time – we’re childhood…,” he paused, “friends…” Midoriya added hesitantly.

“Oh,” said Iida, “That friend.”

“WHAT THE HELL IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?!” Bakugo roared.

“Oh, come on, Kacchan!” Midoriya exclaimed, “I was in a coma for five months and you only visited me once!”

“Like I freaking wanted to!”

“Yeah, I gathered.” Oh, that came out way more sarcastically than he had meant for it to be.

“How did you even know I only visited once?!”

Seriously? “You know exactly why! I was a ghost – I could hear and see everything – I was everywhere – at the hospital – at UA – at the internshipsand at the summer camp! I thought you figured that out!”

Oh dear – this wasn’t how he wanted it to go. If it was any other situation, Midoriya would have kept all these thoughts inside his head – shouted at him, screamed at him for being so thick headed – but never uttered those words aloud. But it had been so long since he had needed to keep his thoughts inside his head, the natural barrier between them being just thoughts and being a reality had all but faded. When he was a ghost, Midoriya always spoke aloud – there was no need for him to not – it wasn’t like anyone could hear him. Unfortunately, five months of doing so had really gotten him into a bit of a bad habit now those words could actually be heard.

“You – you’re really Deku?”

Midoriya turned slowly, his gaze resting on Todoroki. “I… um…”

“YOU’RE ALIVE!” Kirishima actually vaulted over the sofa and leapt towards Midoriya, who was still a good distance from everybody else in genuine fear for his life. He was more than a little surprised when the red head pulled himself into a heartfelt hug.

“Um – what?”

“You’re not dead!” Kirishima acknowledged gleefully, before pulling away from the hug. “You’re actually the ghost? No kidding?!”

“Um…” was all Midoriya could say.

“Back the hell off Weird-Hair! This bastard has got some explaining to do and he’s got two minutes before I kill him!” Bakugo exclaimed, pointing a finger accusingly in Midoriya’s direction.

“You shouldn’t have stayed quiet for so long,” Iida reprimanded him.

“This is not the kind of thing you just drop into a conversation!” Midoriya retorted, his words spilling out of his mouth like a burst watermain. “Oh, by the way, I’ve been accidently haunting you all for half a year!”

 

They were all staring at him.

 

Damn it – why wouldn’t his thoughts just stay put?!

 

Midoriya turned to the wall behind him and slammed his head against it.

“You can’t pass through walls anymore, Midoriya.” He could hear the laughter bubbling in Iida’s voice as he said it. It made that suspenseful silence feel a little less… dangerous.

“If I hit it hard enough, the wall will fall down and the building will swallow me whole,” Midoriya muttered bitterly.

“I’d rather you wouldn’t go back into your coma, man,” Kirishima smiled at him.

Midoriya had somehow forgotten he was standing there. With his forehead still resting against the wall, he glanced at Kirishima with wide eyes. “Why are you not… I don’t know, acting like Kacchan?”

“We would like answers, yes,” said Tokoyami. Midoriya didn’t turn around to look at them all quite yet – he was trying to delay the inevitable really. “But we don’t suppose returning you to a ghostly state would help matters.”

“You knew it would come to this eventually,” Iida added attentively.

“OK, WHY THE HELL DOES FOUR-EYES KNOW ABOUT ALL THIS?!”

You really need to learn your classmates’ names, Kacchan.

Oh, hey – he didn’t say that out loud!

Progress!

“He deserved to know!” Midoriya countered, forcing himself to turn around and face them. “N-Not that no one else here did!” he added quickly, glancing at each of their shocked faces in turn and at – oh shoot, the camera’s still rolling. “I-I just never had the chance!”

“Why don’t you come, sit down, and talk to us properly about all this before you say something else you regret?” said Asui wisely.

Midoriya still felt like curling up in a ball and hiding behind the sofa, but Kirishima grasped his arm and pulled him back towards their circle that never really disbanded, before he had the chance to properly mull that over.

Kirishima forced him back into his seat between Uraraka and Hagakure, before leaning over the back of the sofa himself to listen in to whatever Midoriya would say next.

“Um…” was all that fell out of his mouth this time.

He glanced around at his classmates. Each of their expressions held varying levels of perplexity. If Midoriya wasn’t so terrified himself, perhaps he would have found it rather funny. Kaminari was still filming, of course, Midoriya wondered if the phone was just part of his arm at this point. He was probably charging it in the process anyway.

“Kaminari, why are you still filming?” Shinsou voiced.

“Um, student 18 is actually the ghost – and you’re expecting me not to film the explanation?!” he retorted.

“How much storage does your phone have?” asked Sero.

“Unlimited.”

“I think you might be pushing the unlimited at this point,” said Mina.

“That’s not possible!”

“And it’s not possible to be a ghost, yet here we are,” Shinsou smirked, sipping at his coffee. “Well then, student 18? Are you going to explain yourself or not?”

Midoriya gulped. “I-I thought you would all react very differently to all this…”

“We haven’t decided how to react yet,” Shinsou replied. “That all depends on what you say next.”

Well, that’s not at all ominous.

“I feel like you didn’t say something sarcastic out loud then, and so I am proud of you,” Kirishima grinned.

Midoriya was so bewildered that he didn’t know how to respond.

“Come on, Deku,” Uraraka pushed, “What happened to you… really?”

“I… um…” he mumbled.

Midoriya took a deep breath. He owed them all an explanation. He couldn’t put it off any longer. There were only so many secrets he could keep - it was like he had reached his maximum capacity of secrets.

“Well… I guess it all comes down to my Quirk,” he begun. “You see, it didn’t manifest until I started training to get into UA. I guess my body just wasn’t strong enough to handle it beforehand,” he explained, slipping the lies in amongst the truths with relative ease. “It’s an enhancer ability… I must have explained it to you all at least once… I think. Um, anyway – I can use it to enhance my speed or strength… and stuff… So, when I came to in my coma – if that makes any sense, I though that, by activating my Quirk, I could enhance my muscles enough to break myself out and I would be able to move again… But it didn’t quite work like that…”

“So, it like, ejected your spirit?” Kirishima guessed.

“I suppose,” Midoriya replied with a nod.

“Man, that must have really freaked you out.”

“You have no idea…” Midoriya sighed. “I’ve had my Quirk for such a short amount of time that I… just didn’t know how to control it. So, all I could do whilst in my coma was leave my body. I couldn’t touch anything or speak to anyone – only watch and hear…”

“You came to UA,” Yaoyorozu concluded. “You knew you had a place here, so you came to take it – be here spiritually despite not being so physically.”

“E-Exactly!” he stammered in reply. “I didn’t know what else to do! But I’m… I’m so, so sorry – even as I slowly gained control – I didn’t even try to contact any of you. I guess I was just so scared about what you might think… I preferred being your little classroom enigma than… I don’t know what the alternative could have been…”

“Some kind of creepy stalker, maybe,” Kaminari grimaced. Midoriya must have looked like he was about to cry, because Kaminari quickly added, “Hey, don’t worry about it! I didn’t really mean it!”

Jiro punched him in the shoulder.

“WAIT A SECOND!” Uraraka exclaimed with such a volume that Midoriya almost jumped out of his skin. “I asked you if you were afraid of ghosts and you just go not exactly?!”

A soft ripple of laughter broke out amongst them.

“S-Sorry…” Midoriya muttered with a slight smile.

“You like doing that whole, stand there and act oblivious shtick, don’t you!” Mina acknowledged accusingly.

“I-I didn’t know what else to say!”

“Oh my God – you already knew us when we were at the park,” Kirishima realised with wide eyes.

“Yeah! That was my first time physically out of the hospital in almost half a year a-and a football smacks me in the face and then you’re there and I think I almost passed out.”

“Imagine if you actually ended up going with us to the park, man!” Kirishima laughed. “Oh my God – that would have ended up being dramatic!”

“Tsk,” Bakugo said in reply.

If Midoriya didn’t know any better, he would have thought Bakugo was actually kind of happy to see him – finally there and awake. But he knew that really all he was looking forward to was beating him up in training the next day. In fact, he confirmed that suspicion almost immediately after the thought crossed Midoriya’s mind.

“Whatever, I’m going to bed,” Bakugo announced. “And Deku, tomorrow – you’re dead.”

He stormed away without another word.

Midoriya let out a sigh of relief that he hadn’t realised he was holding in.

“You must have done something right there,” Shinsou pointed out.

“Really, why are you all not… um…” Midoriya said, struggling to find the right words.

Dazzled by your predicament?” Aoyama finished for him theoretically.

“Um, yeah – that.”

“There are all sorts of weird Quirks out there!” Hagakure explained quickly, “Look at me for instance!”

“I would if I could.”

They all laughed.

Midoriya gazed around at them frantically. “W-What?” he stammered.

“You didn’t mean to say that out loud, did you?” Sato smirked.

Midoriya groaned. “This is getting ridiculous…”

“Nah, I can already envisage Midoriya’s montage of things he hadn’t planned on saying out loud,” Kaminari laughed. “We’ve known you for like, a day, and I’ve already got half the footage I need.”

“Well, if you think about it, Midoriya’s known all of us for as long as we’ve known each other,” Asui acknowledged thoughtfully.

“I-I know it’s kind of strange…” Midoriya added quickly. “A-And I’m really sorry about that…”

“I see,” Todoroki interjected. “Is that how you were able to analyse us all so efficiently?”

“Oh yeah,” Ashido realised. “But… how much did you know and how much did you guess?”

“Um… I don’t know?” Midoriya shrugged with a sheepish smile.

“And I’m still kind of bummed that you told Iida and not me!” Uraraka interrupted, pouting mockingly.

“I-I’m so sorry!” Midoriya stammered. “Really I-I told Iida whilst I was still a ghost – back at Kamino! I would have told you but I –”

“I’m kidding!” Uraraka smiled, nudging him playfully.

“Oh, thank goodness – I was worried you were going to float me into the sun.”

Laughter rang out in Height’s Alliance – it didn’t stop all evening.

They started to re-watch some of Kaminari’s old videos. Not so Midoriya could catch up, but so everyone else could finally understand what had really happened.

 


 

“Yeah, I think class 1-B reckons they’re haunted.”

“That is brilliant!”

 


 

“Wait, you were at my internship?!”

“How else did you think I knew Gun Head martial arts?”

 


 

“THE DRAFT! OH MY GOD – the draft was actually a ghost!”

“…Whoops?”

 


 

“I was right! I did see you sitting in seat 18 that one time!”

“If only I could have figured out how to stay visible that little bit longer…”

"But then we wouldn't have been able to see all these dramatic reveals!"

 


 

“So, that was you, at the summer camp?” asked Shoji.

“Yeah… I’m sorry if I frightened you,” Midoriya sighed. “But I just had to help – I couldn’t bare just standing by and watching. I had been practising my Quirk – so I had a little more control… I guess I should have used the opportunity to explain my situation a little better.”

“Hey… Midoriya?” Kirishima frowned.

“What is it?”

“I remember, after we got Bakugo out of there, back in Kamino, he recognised you and he… he said you were having seizures – corresponding with every time we’d seen your ghost use too much power.”

“Oh yeah… right…” Midoriya replied, staring down at his feet. “The doctors said I actually went into cardiac arrest a few times – but I don’t remember any of it.”

“Nothing at all?” pressed Iida.

Midoriya shook his head.

“Well, we’re glad you’re finally here, Deku,” Uraraka smiled.

“D-Deku?”

“Yeah! It’s a cute nickname – it’s like, you can do it!”

“Really?” Midoriya replied, eyes wide. “It’s Kacchan’s name for me – it’s supposed to mean useless.”

“Oh – I’m sorry!”

“I-It’s ok! I… I don’t think I really mind it anymore…”

“Well, I think it would make a great hero name!”

“You think so?”

“Yeah! That sounds cool!” Kirishima interjected. “It’s like, you were half dead but you still managed to help us out. Did I say how manly that is by the way?!”

“T-Thank you so much!” Midoriya stammered. “I-I really don’t deserve you all being so nice to me…”

“Hey, why not?” Mina protested. “You’ve risked your life on multiple occasions to save not just our lives – but others too! You’re more of a hero than most of us are! And you’ve only officially been at UA for a day!”

“Plus, you’re in the top of the class in academics,” added Yaoyorozu.

“And your training exercise with Todoroki earlier today was incredible,” Sero reminded him. “Especially considering you haven’t been able to use your Quirk in your body for so long.”

Midoriya gazed, stunned, around at his new friends. It was rather overwhelming, and more than a little terrifying at the time. But… he could already tell…

 

Things were looking up.

 

Chapter Text

With the provisional licencing exams only a few days away, the students of class 1-A weren’t given much room to move amongst their tight training schedule. But the teachers could tell that their students were more than a little distracted.

Across gym gamma, watched over carefully by Mr Aizawa, was student 18, hard at work discovering the strengths and weaknesses of his abilities, or, more importantly in his case, how much of it he could actually use without it backfiring on him dramatically again.

Uraraka was more than a little captivated by Midoriya. She’d started calling him Deku by this point, completely in awe of her friend’s feats even whilst he remained unconscious in a coma. She vaguely remembered Deku the ghost appearing before them in Yaoyorozu’s room at the hospital, way back before the attack on Kamino. It felt so strange, relating that translucent, blurred figure to the Midoriya she had come to know. He was just so… determined – in everything he did. When he finally figured out how to make himself heard and seen as a ghost, he didn’t hesitate to throw the chance of alerting them to his condition in exchange for helping Bakugo – or Kacchan, as he called him.

As it turns out, the two really were childhood friends! Well, friends was a loose term, but, from what Uraraka could gather from the information she had collected from Midoriya’s mother and the hospital staff, Deku didn’t have any other friends before UA – no one at all. He didn’t talk about it, but Uraraka assumed that it was because of how late his Quirk set in… She couldn’t imagine being Quirkless for so long. Well, she didn’t think it would be so bad – the major problem would be how others treated her, and she reckoned that’s the issue Deku was faced with as well. Anyway, Bakugo and Deku grew up on the same street – every school they ever went to, they were together – Deku was there when Bakugo got his Quirk – Bakugo was there when Deku didn’t.

“Uraraka!” Mr Ecotoplasm called out to her. Uraraka was busy floating around in the air, building up her resistance to the nausea. “Focus on your own Quirk!”

She nodded frantically, not wanting to risk opening her mouth for obvious reasons. She tried desperately for the remainder of the lesson not to let her gaze drift back to Deku. But she couldn’t help but grin, thinking about the little surprise she had left for him.

 


 

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Deku sighed.

Uraraka and the rest of the class looked up at the new student, who had just come back to Height’s Alliance after having another talk with Mr Aizawa about confirming his hero name or something.

They all burst into laughter.

Uraraka and the rest of the girls had taken the liberty of going out for a quick trip to the mall a few days before hand. The special item they had bought for Midoriya wasn’t something they had planned to find, but it was Jiro who came across it, amongst the stores that often supported her fashion sense. And so, they had switched out the plain, grey T-shirt, which literally read T-shirt, they had found in Deku’s kit bag to change into after hero training, with something that they decided would suit him perfectly:

A black top, depicting a little, luminescent green ghost, and the iconic words: not dead YET.

Sighing, he raised his hand like he was asking a question in class, “Do I really have to wear this?”

“YES!” Uraraka and Mina exclaimed simultaneously with the upmost enthusiasm.

Kaminari took a picture before Midoriya could react – capturing the exasperated look that briefly flickered across his face. It didn’t last long though, he soon gave in to his usual, beaming smile and laughed along with them.

“You will have an entire collection by the time we finish the hero course,” Yaoyorozu acknowledged as she poured her friends cups of tea.

“It sure looks that way,” he smiled. “Do you want me to pay you all back for this?” he added quickly.

“Not at all,” Yaoyorozu replied. Of course, she had been the one to pay for it – she had the kind of money to splash out on silly things like that whenever she wanted. “Think of it as an early birthday present.”

“Or late,” he laughed.

“Wait!” Uraraka exclaimed suddenly, “When was your birthday?!”

“Oh, um, July fifteenth…”

“Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry!”

“D-Don’t worry about it,” Deku smiled. “I was still in my coma anyway – plus, you gave me the eighteen top as well!”

“Yeah… I guess so…”

“Anyway, I’m going to put my stuff back in my room,” he said, swiftly changing the subject. “See you later.” And with that, he picked up the bag he had discarded by the door and disappeared up the stairs a few seconds later.

A moment of silence passed between the group that had gathered in the common room, which was a surprisingly large proportion of their class, excluding the usual who spent most of their time in their rooms, avoiding social interaction, like Tokoyami, Bakugo, and Koda, as well as a few others, such as Iida and Todoroki, who spent way too much of their time studying.

“Ok, being completely honest here, what does everyone think of Midoriya?” Kaminari said all of a sudden.

“What do you mean?” Uraraka replied.

“Like, does no one else think he’s a little… I don’t know, too nice?”

“Hm, I don’t quite see what you’re implying,” Yaoyorozu frowned.

“Well, it feels like he’s faking it, you know?” Kaminari pondered, lying on the sofa and staring at the ceiling, his legs resting on Kirishima’s lap, who was way past caring. “Like he’s just trying to get on our good side – and it’s more than a little freaky how much he knows about us all!”

“Deku’s just a really nice guy!” Uraraka interrupted furiously. “He’s not faking anything! And if you think he’s acting too nice – well maybe it’s because of how terrified he is that we’ll do – do – do this – talk about him behind his back because of his… ghost exploits…”

“Yeah but, exactly what ghost exploits did he do?” Kaminari continued, not at all phased by Uraraka’s defensive outburst. “He could have floated around in your changing rooms and you would never know!”

“For all you know, I’ve been wandering around your changing rooms,” interjected Hagakure menacingly.

“Point taken – but still. Don’t you think it’s a little scary that he knows about all of our weaknesses? I mean, it was one thing when we thought he was just analysing us and guessing them – but… I mean, I wasn’t kidding when I said he was kind of like a creepy stalker the other day. He knows all our names – our Quirks inside and out – as well as our eating habits – our average scores on tests… Yesterday, when I was doing my homework, he pointed out this thing that I’ve apparently got into a habit of doing in my English gramma? Like – he told me he realised I’ve been doing that since the beginning of the year. It’s just freaking me out a bit.”

“Then think about how Deku’s feeling!” Uraraka exclaimed, she was standing up at this point, her hands clenched into fists. She was surprised she didn’t make herself float in the process. “He’s been stuck in a horrible situation for almost half a year! And despite all that, all he ever strived to do was to help us! The least we could do is help him readjust! What would you do if you suddenly found out something new about a Quirk that-that you’d only had for a few months?! Something that could help you not stay stuck in a hospital for hours on end, unable to e-even breath on your own?!”

“Hey! I’m not trying to be mean – I’m just stating the facts. You can’t deny it’s a little freaky, Uraraka. Don’t you even feel the slightest bit annoyed that he didn’t tell you about all this?”

Uraraka hesitated, glancing around at her classmates, who were all staring at her with wide eyes. They weren’t used to seeing her so worked up. She could see it in their faces. No one but Hagakure (and of course, Iida) really seemed to agree with her trust in Deku. She supposed they just didn’t see him the way that she did. Deku is a wonderful, selfless person who wanted nothing more in life than to help others. That was why he was there, at UA – why couldn’t they see that?!

“Guys, calm down,” Shinsou sighed. “All this was just due to the nature of his Quirk. Like how everyone called me a villain because of the nature of mine. He couldn’t control it – he didn’t have a choice. So, give it a rest.”

Thank you, Shinsou,” Uraraka smirked, crossing her arms triumphantly.

“Well, you are right, Kaminari – it is a bit weird, but…” Mina begun, twisting her horns thoughtfully. “Midoriya seems really nice – and I’m pretty sure he’s not the kind of guy to just put it on.”

“Anyway, we’re gonna be with him for the next two and a half years, so there’s no point in… I don’t know, freaking out about it,” added Kirishima, “It’ll just make things more awkward than they already are.”

Ok, so that’s another couple of people re-added to Uraraka’s list of friendship.

“Evening everyone.”

Uraraka jumped and turned around in a panic.

It was Mr Aizawa, looking as tired as ever.

“Mr Aizawa?” Yaoyorozu realised, getting to her feet. “Is something the matter?”

“Have you seen Midoriya? He has a visitor.”

“Oh, I think he’s gone back up to his room,” Uraraka replied hesitantly.

“Could someone go and get him for me?”

Shinsou stood up immediately. “I will – I’ve got to put my work back in my room anyway – and his is right next door,” he reasoned. Uraraka was silently grateful for him volunteering. She didn’t really want to go up to the boys’ side of the dorms – and didn’t want anyone else to fetch him, considering the conversation they had just been through.

“Thank you,” Mr Aizawa grumbled, and he shuffled away and out of sight, back down the stairs, towards the entrance to Height’s Alliance.

“A visitor on a school night?” Kirishima frowned.

“Do you think something happened?” questioned Hagakure.

“If something bad happened, then Mr Aizawa would have escorted Midoriya to somewhere more private to talk to him, ribbit,” reasoned Tsuyu.

“Maybe he will once Midoriya reappears,” suggested Sero.

They fell quiet for a moment – well, Uraraka did. Everyone else just returned quietly to their own conversations. She wondered how many followed the reoccurring topic of Deku.

Uraraka felt a little lost, standing there, in the middle of the common room and staring blankly at the others. Only, that feeling didn’t last long, because not a moment later, the sound of thundering footsteps filled her ears.

She turned back to the door, only to see a little girl, less than half her height, whiz around the corner and into the common room.

She seemed weirdly familiar.

“Have you seen Mr Midoriya?!” the girl exclaimed at a surprisingly high volume.

Everyone stopped talking immediately and turned to the newcomer in shock.

She had bright purple hair, which hung wildly around her shoulders and seemed to glisten a peculiar shade of pink in the light. Her eyes were wide and her smile was wider. Strangely enough, she was barefoot, and held in her hands, a rather large picnic basket.

“Um…” Uraraka started.

The girl ran up to her, dropping the basket at her feet and pulling on the hem of Uraraka’s skirt. “Are you Mr Midoriya’s friend?”

Uraraka blinked at her, still rather stunned by her sudden appearance. “Yes!” she said quickly, realising she had been quiet for a little too long. “Yes – and he’ll be here in a bit.”

Her smile grew wider, if that was possible.

From inside the basket, she pulled a cuddly koala bear – which was absolutely covered in pink glitter – ah, that explains that strange shimmer to her hair – she’s covered in the stuff too – and… so is the floor.

She gripped it tightly against her chest, looking up at Uraraka gleefully. “Are you a hero too?” she asked.

“I-I’m a hero in training!”

She gasped, “What’s your hero name?”

Uraraka hesitated, briefly glancing back at her classmates, who were all thoroughly enjoying the awkward interaction. Kaminari had his phone out now, filming the interaction. She wasn’t sure if that was really allowed. Oh well, she didn’t really care if he got in trouble at this point.

“Uravity!” Uraraka replied confidently.

“Oh! Oh! That sounds like gravity!” the girl realised, bouncing up and down and dislodging more glitter.

“That’s right!” she grinned. “You see, my Quirk makes things float.”

She gasped dramatically, and then thrust the glitter-covered koala at Uraraka, “Can you make Panda float?!”

Uraraka glanced down at the koala she now held in her hands.

It definitely wasn’t a panda.

She decided against correcting the choice of name, and instead, tossed the bear into the air with the faint pink glow of her Quirk.

Or maybe that was the glitter.

The girl squealed and bounced up and down, gazing at her toy as it floated through the air above her little head.

“Do you want to see my Quirk?!” she asked excitably, and before Uraraka could say anything, the girl charged at the wall beside her, leapt upwards, and landed clumsily on it. Then, still laughing with the upmost euphoria, she ran up the wall and started to walk across the ceiling. She gleefully grasped at Panda, and pulled it in tight for a hug, sending glitter showering down on Uraraka’s head.

“That’s really cool!” Uraraka exclaimed – and she wasn’t just saying that. It actually was an incredible Quirk!

“Thank you, Uravity!”

If Uraraka wasn’t smiling before, she certainly was now.

“Kichi?”

Uraraka turned to see Deku and Shinsou, who had reappeared in the doorway. Both were staring at the girl stuck to the ceiling.

“Mr Midoriya!” the girl – Kichi – cried. She dropped Panda, which succumbed to gravity and fell to the floor after Uraraka released her Quirk. Kichi, however, did not, and instead charged back down the wall and literally threw herself at Deku before she had even reached the ground.

Midoriya caught her with ease but looked more than a little bewildered as the girl hugged him tightly.

“What are you doing here?” he asked as the girl clambered off him. She was gazing up at him like he was the light of her world.

She gasped again, ran over to Uraraka and retrieved the basket she had discarded, before running back to Midoriya, leaving a trail of glitter as she went.

“Kichi!” someone else exclaimed. As Shinsou backed away cautiously from the interaction, a tall man with bright purple air appeared, likely Kichi’s father. “Stop running away from me like that, we’ve talked about this!”

“Sorry, Papa!” she replied. She didn’t sound sorry at all.

“She’s found a way of bypassing the stairs,” the man informed Deku with a laugh.

“What’s going on?” Shinsou questioned Uraraka quietly as he reached her side.

“I have no idea,” she replied honestly.

Shinsou simply shrugged and wandered over to the kitchen to make some more coffee.

“Oh!” Midoriya suddenly exclaimed, “You have a Quirk!”

Kichi nodded furiously, still bouncing up and down. The lid of her basket opened and closed as she did so. “Isn’t it super cool?!”

“It is! That’s amazing!” Deku said with such enthusiasm that Uraraka wondered if he would react in exactly the same way if he were talking to an adult.

“Kichi? Aren’t you going to show Mr Midoriya what you brought him?” her father reminded her.

“You really don’t have to call me that,” Deku laughed feebly.

“I made cookies!” Kichi yelled, thrusting the open basket at Midoriya, ignoring his previous comment.

“Oh, wow! These look amazing! That’s a lot of glitter!”

“Don’t worry, it’s edible,” Kichi’s dad sighed. “She saw it in the shop and refused to leave until we bought it. It’s safe to say the house will most likely be pink and sparkly for the foreseeable future.”

Deku laughed. “Well, it seems like the dorms will be too, so I think we’re even.”

“Miss Uravity!” Kichi suddenly called out.

Uraraka blushed, “…Yes?”

“Do you want a cookie?!”

“Um, ok!”

“How many cookies did you bake, Kichi?” Midoriya asked sweetly, kneeling down to her level and putting the basket on the floor.

“Um… twenty-eight!”

“Twenty-eight? That’s a strange number of cookies!”

“Well, Panda did eat a few.”

“Oh, did Panda eat them, did he?”

Kichi nodded surly as she retrieved the toy from Uraraka.

Uraraka gazed down at the basket of cookies. Deku was right, that sure was a lot of glitter.

“Well, then that means there’s enough for everyone!” Midoriya smiled sweetly.

Kichi clapped her hands excitably. “Take a cookie!” she insisted, picking up the basket and holding it out to Deku again. He retrieved one at the top, which held the least amount of glitter possible. Which was still quite a lot.

She then held it up to Uraraka, who followed Deku’s decision to pick the second-least-glittery biscuit.

Kichi, with far more confidence than Uraraka had at her age, then hurried across the room, holding out the basket to each of Uraraka’s classmates in turn, who all took a cookie with a smile and a thank you.

Aoyama praised her choice of glitter. She was very happy about that.

“Um, can I ask why the koala is called Panda?” Uraraka whispered to Deku.

“Oh, I gave her that toy – her last one was kind of destroyed,” he replied. “I said it was a koala, but she said that it was a panda now.”

Uraraka giggled softly, “Fair enough.”

“Want to see a magic trick?” she heard Hagakure ask Kichi. The little girl was staring at her curiously. Uraraka didn’t blame her – it wasn’t like you saw an invisible person every day.

Hagakure then shoved the entire cookie in her mouth – making it seem like it had vanished into thin air.

Kichi let out a shriek of laughter. “Do it again!” she insisted as Hagakure struggled to eat the cookie, that she had unwisely tried to eat in one bite.

“I can’t thank you enough,” Kichi’s dad told Midoriya.

Uraraka frowned at the two, unsure of what was going on.

“You say that every time, and every time, I say not to worry about it,” Deku smiled.

“But really, if it weren’t for you, she wouldn’t have been able to… to discover her Quirk – and to christen our new house by smothering it in glitter.”

Uraraka’s mouth formed the shape of an o, the pieces of the puzzle finally linking together in her mind.

The purple haired girl drawn on Midoriya’s get well soon cards.

The mention of a destroyed teddy bear.

The name Kichi.

Ah, this was the girl that Deku fell into a coma for.

“Your Quirk is amazing!” Kichi exclaimed, beaming at Hagakure.

“So is yours!” she replied.

Kichi responded to that by running back up the walls. Her hair hung downwards, tickling the tops of many of the students’ heads. It was rather long. Her pink top was tucked firmly into her jeans, likely by her father, for the very reason that befell her hair.

After dancing on the ceiling for a while, laughing in the joy of her newfound ability, she hurried back over to Midoriya, gazing down at him blissfully.

“When I grow up, I’m going to be a hero, just like you!”

Midoriya looked like he was about to cry.

“Do you think I can be a hero, Mr Midoriya?” she asked with a sudden worry drifting across her face.

Midoriya smiled, “Anyone can be a hero.”

The interaction was so heart wrenching that Uraraka felt like she was going to cry too.

“And I’ve told you to stop calling me that!” he insisted with a laugh as Kichi’s dad pulled her off the ceiling.

“Then what’s your hero name?” she questioned.

Midoriya hesitated. “Deku! Deku is my hero name!”

Ok, Uraraka was literally about to cry.

Kichi cheered. It sounded like she had been trying to get a hero name out of him for a while now. “You’re my favourite hero, Deku!”

“Thanks,” was all Deku could manage.

 


 

Eventually, after sharing out the remainder of the glitter covered cookies – which didn’t taste too bad, all things considered, Kichi and her dad waved goodbye, and was escorted out of the premises by Mr Aizawa, who looked like he’d rather be doing anything but.

“THAT WAS SO CUTE!” Mina cried, gasping Deku by his shoulders and shaking him back and forth.

“Who was that?” Kaminari insisted.

“O-Oh, that was Kichi,” Midoriya replied.

“Yeah, we got that bit,” Jiro said bluntly.

Midoriya laughed, “Sorry – but yeah, that’s Kichi. I, um… that’s – err… Remember how I got into my coma?”

“You got crushed by a falling building in a villain attack, right?” Kaminari remembered.

“Wait! No way,” Mina gasped. “Is that who you saved?”

Midoriya nodded with a meek smile, rubbing the back of his head shyly. “I guess she wanted to show off her new Quirk to me.”

“You… saved her life?” Kaminari gaped. “Holy shoot, man – I completely forgot you saved someone.”

“It’s just so manly!” exclaimed Kirishima, who was actually crying.

“Um, do you want me to clean up the glitter?” Deku questioned.

“No!” Mina exclaimed quickly. “It shall stay as a memorial! And I want to see how long it will take for Bakugo to complain.”

“O-Ok…”

Uraraka suddenly realised that Deku was still wearing his not dead yet top – that probably wasn’t the best thing to be wearing in front of the girl he almost died for. Whoops.

At least the little ghost picture was cute.

Uraraka watched on as the others gushed over how sweet Kichi was – and how good Midoriya seemed to be with kids. Kaminari didn’t seem nearly as unsure around him anymore. In fact, no one did.

Suddenly, all thoughts of him not belonging were lost, buried under a pile of pink, sparkly glitter.

 

Chapter Text

Midoriya couldn’t help but hold his breath.

The provisional exams had been tough. He felt like he scraped through the first test by the skin of his teeth. Not many of his classmates had even one of their lights hit off. He felt a little bad about it. But, then again, one of those Shiketsu students was… at the very least, strange.

Anyway, back to the task at hand – don’t get distracted! This is the big moment…

If Midoriya failed this…

It was goodbye hero course.

The names appeared on the board in alphabetical order. It panicked Midoriya at first. It appeared so suddenly –

Where’s his name? Where’s his name? Where’s his name? Come on! Where is it? Is it not there? Did he –

Izuku Midoriya

“I-I…” Midoriya stammered, eyes wide, staring at his name up on the board. “I… passed,” he gaped.

“You passed?!” Uraraka exclaimed, bouncing up and down. “I did too! Oh, my goodness! We passed! We passed!”

She was laughing, grasping Midoriya’s arm and bouncing up and down. Shinsou was there too, gazing up at his own name like it was amongst the stars.

Although, not every member of class 1-A followed the same path that day…

 


 

“OK! THAT IS IT – CLEAN UP THE FREAKING GLITTER!”

“Kacchan, it’s been almost a week,” Midoriya sighed as the explosive blonde frantically shook the pink substance from his hair. The attempt was in vein. The glitter just seemed to like him. Although, Midoriya was quite convinced that Mina had kept a secret store of the stuff. He wouldn’t put it past Kichi to let that happen.

“HOW IS IT ON THE CEILING?!”

Poor Kacchan. He didn’t pass the exam. Midoriya simply couldn’t believe it when he found out.

He passed the exam – but Kacchan didn’t?!

He had to go on some kind of special course now, alongside Todoroki and a few others, including the guy with the wind Quirk from Shiketsu.

“How are you feeling, Deku?!” Uraraka asked unexpectantly; Midoriya almost jumped in surprise.

“Oh, um – a little overwhelmed, actually,” he admitted, a meek smile across his face.

“Midoriya, you’re always overwhelmed,” Shinsou sighed. But there was a happiness about him that Midoriya hadn’t really seen before – a strange excitement and feeling of belonging. He was a hero now – not a villain. A hero – and anyone who tried to say otherwise could tell that to his provisional hero licence.

That was something Midoriya had in common with him.

After all the trails – all the hurdles he had to overcome – he was finally here.

Officially safe in class 1-A of UA’s hero course; a hero licence in hand.

“Locking on with sparkling eyes!”

Midoriya and the rest of the class turned to the door in surprise.

“Here to lend a helping paw!”

“Coming out of nowhere!”

“Strikingly cute and catty –

“–We’re the wild, wild Pussycats!”

The class cheered and gave the hero team a round of applause as they struck their iconic pose with broad smiles across their faces.

“It’s the Pussycats!” Mina exclaimed happily, bounding over to the hero team along with the rest of them.

“What are you doing here?” questioned Sato as he brought over cups of Yaoyorozu’s tea for them. The speed at which she managed to make some more was phenomenal.

“We came to say congratulations to you all – we’ve been told nearly all of you passed your provisional hero licence exam!” Ragdoll exclaimed.

“Even the new kid!” added Pixie Bob.

They all waved at Midoriya – the only unfamiliar face of the bunch.

He simply gulped and waved back.

The heroes didn’t catch onto the glances exchanged between class 1-A as they smirked in Midoriya’s direction knowingly.

“We can’t stay long I’m afraid,” Mandalay continued, despite convincing Kouta to take off his shoes by the door and quickly following suit. “We’re just heading home from the big city, so we thought that we’d drop by as we went.”

“I’m sorry we couldn’t protect you back then,” Tiger told Bakugo, who was staring at them in a Bakugo-like manner with crossed arms and a permanent scowl.

“Don’t dredge up things from the past,” he grumbled as he marched away, over to the kitchen were Kirishima and Kaminari were hovering.

“What’s with the glitter?” Kouta questioned Iida in curiosity.

“Ah, we had another visitor last week who brought a significant amount of it along with her,” Iida explained briefly. “Although, we did not believe the remnants were that noticeable.”

“Well, they freaking are!” Bakugo yelled back at him.

“Sorry about that,” Midoriya smiled sheepishly.

“Don’t apologise, Kichi was literally the more adorable thing on Earth!” Mina exclaimed, grinning just thinking about her admiration of Midoriya and boundless quantities of cookies and glitter.

“This a little sister, new kid?” Pixie Bob questioned.

“Oh, no,” Midoriya corrected quickly. “Just a friend of sorts.”

“He saved her life and she absolutely loves him – it was so cute!” Hagakure explained.

“Oh, wow – I bet there’s quite a story behind that,” Mandalay smiled.

“…You could say that.”

“Ever noticed how he just ends up being really vague about dramatic situations?” Midoriya heard Uraraka whisper to Shinsou.

“Like he doesn’t want to have to deal with the trouble of explaining it but just ends up making it worse in the process? Yeah, we all have.”

Midoriya chose to pretend that he didn’t hear them.

“How are you, Ragdoll?” questioned Yaoyorozu, who stood nearby, taking sips of her tea periodically.

“Feeling much better, thank you very much!” she replied. But Midoriya could tell by her smile how far from the truth that was. He was used to the expressions on people’s faces in the hospital. Midoriya supposed that was how he got so good at his smiles. You can’t tell the fake from the real when you’ve had as much practise as he had.

“My official hero days are over,” Ragdoll added without a hint of remorse in her voice. “But – we’re looking into other ways I could help the Pussy Cats instead! It might take a while – perhaps after the next hero billboard announcement – then we can see what ranking we’ve fallen to, even after being inactive for so long – and then take it from there!”

“So, your Quirk never came back?” Tokoyami questioned with a frown.

She shook her head.

“The villain in question was a… tricky customer,” replied Tiger.

“Speaking of villains!” Pixie Bob interrupted, changing the conversation so swiftly and seamlessly that Midoriya could only assume she had a developed a sort of skill of it. “Muscular’s been officially sentenced now! With all the chaos of heroes retiring and big villains being arrested and… well, everything – the official public release of such matters was really pushed back.”

“The media hasn’t been talking about it, of course,” said Mandalay. “It’s old news really, and nothing much has changed. He’s still in Tartarus, and he’s still there for the time being. But he’s officially been sentenced with Capital Punishment now.”

“And rightfully so!” Iida agreed.

“Kouta was super brave – giving the police a report on everything that he saw,” Pixie Bob smiled down at the boy, who looked like he was feeling rather uncomfortable in the situation.

“Any word on the guy who took Muscular down?” Kaminari questioned.

The entire class turned and stared at him in disbelief.

 “What?” he asked, his mouth half full of whatever food he had found in the cupboards.

Kaminari, you really are a dunce.

“Not at all! He doesn’t match any vigilante reports – no villain ones either!” Ragdoll explained naively, “And the Quirk records can’t find anything that matches his! He’s a real enigma.”

“Maybe that should have been your hero name,” Mina whispered in Midoriya’s ear.

Midoriya smirked – but no, Deku… just felt right to him, somehow.

“I like your top.”

Midoriya blinked down at Kouta.

He blushed, realising he was wearing the not dead YET top, decorated with the neon green ghost.

“Thanks,” he replied with a meek smile. “It’s a bit of an inside joke.”

That was when Midoriya realised that there was a ghost on Kouta’s top as well. A little white one – looking like a floating sheet with eyes holes in.

“He’s been insisting on ghost themed things ever since it happened, you know,” Mandalay grinned.

Kouta glared at her, flushing red in irritation.

“Midoriya, right?” Pixie Bob confirmed.

He nodded, “Nice to officially meet you all!”

“You too, enigma 2.0!” the embodiment of ignorance that was Ragdoll, replied. “We’ve heard a lot about you – coma boy! I know what that’s like – really sucks, am I right?”

“Y-You were in a coma?” Midoriya stammered in a slight panic.

“Yeah… only for a few days though – after the Kamino attack. But you were stuck like that for months – but you’ve recovered brilliantly! Look at you! Hero licence and all! That’s some impressive comeback!”

“Oh, thank you,” he smiled, rubbing the back of his head blushingly.

“Why were you in a coma?” questioned Kouta.

“This idiot threw himself into a falling building to save someone’s life!” Mina explained with a hint of pride in her voice.

“You did?” he asked, gazing up at Midoriya with wide eyes. Strange, Midoriya remembered when he hated heroes with a burning passion.

He laughed meekly, “Yeah… She visited the other week – Kichi, she brought the glitter along with her.”

Ah, so there’s the big story you skipped over!” Pixie Bob exclaimed, pointing at his accusingly.

Mandalay’s phone buzzed from her pocket in that moment. She pulled it out and glanced at the new notification. “Ah, that’s Aizawa – Principle Nedzu wants to see us before we go. We should probably go and check in on class 1-B before we see him though.”

“Good idea!” Ragdoll agreed excitably.

The team of heroes were waving their goodbyes and putting on their shoes when Kouta wandered back over to Midoriya and tugged on the hem of his t-shirt. Midoriya noticed how his eyes lingered on the image of that green ghost.

“Why did you jump in to save that girl?” he asked quietly. “You weren’t a hero – you didn’t know her – you almost died… so… why…?”

Midoriya smiled, “Because that’s what heroes do.”

He saw the recognition of the words flicker across his eyes.

“Come on, Kouta – time to go!” Mandalay insisted.

Midoriya grinned as Kouta’s eyes drifted between the ghost and Midoriya’s face.

He put his finger to his lips and watched a knowing smile wobble across the young boy’s face.

Kouta nodded in understanding, mimicking Midoriya’s gesture with a promise to keep quiet, and, with that, they were gone.

 


 

The Wild, Wild Pussycats just couldn’t give Aizawa anymore notice, could they?

He was busy enough, filing reports on his students’ successes, as well as their losses, that they day brought. That, as well as juggling his hero career with lesson planning and everything else in his messy life, was certainly not helping the bags under his eyes.

Now, he had to rush across UA to collect visitor IDs for the five of them before they arrived and were forced to stand by the gate in confusion.

With that task complete, he had been told to report back to Principle Nedzu once they arrived. And then, he had to pass on a message to the Wild, Wild Pussycats about meeting with Nedzu before they left. He was fortunate enough to have saved Mandalay’s number in his phone following the incidence at the summer camp – so that saved a little more time.

Sighing, Eraserhead walked back to Height’s Alliance at a slow pace, taking in the chill in the air and the calmness that the night brought. He would prefer to be out on patrol – but he still had work to do. Before the Pussycats turned up, he was halfway through writing about Midoriya’s remarkable progress in class.

He frowned, thinking about the kid. He was a peculiar one, that was for sure. Incredibly smart, considering his circumstances; analytical, a skill often overlooked by many, but was essential in the makings of a good hero; above all, he was determined. Aizawa wasn’t sure if this factor was more good than bad. Of course, all heroes had to have determination as a key drive – a desperation to do what’s right; a longing to get the job done. But Midroiya’s was off the charts. Aizawa remembered the first day he met the kid, whilst he was awake, that was. He didn’t even ask who he was – seemed to know immediately. All he said, in his groggy, tired voice, was if he was going to let him back into the hero course – as if his very life depended on achieving it.

Aizawa didn’t find it hard to admit it to himself: he didn’t believe in Midoriya at first. He didn’t see his potential – only a reckless kid with a reckless power. But behind that recklessness was a drive that only the greatest heroes possessed. It was a selflessness – backed with a kind smile and a golden heart. The kid was going to be a great hero, and Aizawa was to make sure of it.

But, nonetheless, there was something off about him.

Something he couldn’t quite pinpoint…

Had he seen him somewhere before? Somewhere other than the news channels reporting the young boy’s various acts of selfless heroism…

Aizawa tried to shrug those doubtful thoughts away as he opened the door to Height’s Alliance. He had spotted the Pussycats and Kouta on their way to class 1-B’s dorm on his way over, so at least he wouldn’t have to deal with interacting with them a second time that evening.

“KAMINARI, YOU ABSOLUTE IDIOT!” screamed Ashido.

Oh no, what had happened now?

Aizawa rolled his eyes. He should probably go and check that he hadn’t blown up the microwave or something stupid

“WHAT?!” he heard Kaminari reply as he walked through the door to the common room.

“MIDORIYA WAS THE GHOST AT THE SUMMER CAMP, DUH!”

Silence.

The entire class turned and stared at him, smiles fading from their faces quicker than Bakugo could lose his temper.

It took Ashido a second to turn around and realise what she had just revealed.

Aizawa saw Midoriya’s head of green hair sink behind a sofa.

“Care to repeat that, Ashido?” Aizawa asked calmly.

He was not calm.

“Um…” she said hesitantly. “Like his ghost top… you know…?”

“I can explain,” Midoriya sighed, reappearing from his hiding place. “I… probably should have told you this… a while ago.”

Something clicked in Aizawa’s mind.

The green flash of light associated with the kid’s Quirk.

The green flicker about the man who saved Kouta.

That stupid reckless tendency of his.

The strange knowledge of his classmates.

His uncanny ability to keep up with classwork despite not being there for five months.

Easy.

He was there all along.

“How?” was all Aizawa could say. There was more emotion behind that question than he would care to admit.

Midoriya blinked at him, perhaps unsure of how much his teacher had already figured out. “Um, well, my Quirk is a kind of enhancer ability… and, um…”

“He figured out astral projection, Sir,” Shinsou replied surely.

“Excuse me, but what?” That was what Aizawa had already concluded, really – but he was having a struggle believing it.

“When I was in my coma I tried to activate my Quirk to get out of it only I couldn’t move so it couldn’t enhance my muscle movement so it enhanced the only thing it could and I kind of accidently projected my spirit out of my body.”

Aizawa stared at him.

Well, weirdly enough, it made sense.

If only he hadn’t said all that so quickly – maybe it would have made a little more sense.

“Try breathing next time you speak,” Aizawa sighed. “So, what you’re trying to tell me, is that you’ve been at UA this entire time.”

“…Possibly?”

“Then why didn’t you show yourself until the summer camp?”

He opened his mouth to reply, but Aizawa held up a hand to stop him, whilst he massaged his temples with the other in the stress of the situation. “You didn’t know how, did you?”

“…No.”

“And you figured it out during the attack.”

“Kind of?”

“And you didn’t think to alert us afterwards?”

“Um, well, I kind of passed out – If that made any sense?”

Aizawa didn’t know why it did.

But it did.

“Were you unconscious from the time you passed out at the summer camp until the moment you woke up from your coma?”

Aizawa noticed how he glanced at a very particular group of people.

Iida, Todoroki, Kirishima, Yaoyorozu and Bakugo.

Oh no – he did not

“You helped them on their rescue mission, didn’t you?” Aizawa could feel his blood pressure rising.

“…Um – you’re not going to expel me, right?”

These kids are going to be the end of me.

Aizawa sighed deeply. “No.”

He visibly relaxed.

“But you’re close – got it, Problem Child?”

“Y-Yes Sir!”

“You are aware you almost killed yourself – using your Quirk like that?” Aizawa only realised after he said it that Midoriya was probably well aware of that fact and most likely did not care in the slightest.

He nodded unsurely.

“You’ve got to get a grip on that reckless tendency of yours.”

“Yes… Sir…”

“Alright,” Aizawa sighed. “Who else knows about this? Other than the class?”

“Um… I think Kouta kind of… guessed?”

Sure he did.

“Oh, and I told All Might.”

Of course he told All Might!

“And you can’t do this… astral projection now that you’re no longer in your coma?”

“No, Sir.”

“Right.” That’s that then – what else could he possibly say? Don’t do it again?

“Try not to kill yourself again.”

Midoriya glanced down at his top. Aizawa only then registered what it said:

Not dead yet.

How fitting.

Aizawa smirked at them, and with that, he walked away.

He waited outside in the corridor for a moment. He heard the class literally explode with shouts and laughter – a mixture of scolding Kaminari and Ashido for letting the cat out of the bag, and for praising Midoriya for managing to survive the encounter.

Aizawa let his smile grew wider.

Those kids were going to be great heroes one day – but that was all he was certain of.

It was like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders, and most likely Midoriya’s as well. Because, finally, the mystery of student no.18, had been solved.

Chapter Text

The café was literally in the middle of nowhere. The abandoned streets were the perfect place for organised crime to occur. Any unfortunate soul to wander down there had to have their wits about them…

Or so they thought.

 But these particular narrow alleyways really were empty. No shady men leaning against the wall, cigarette in hand and leering if you got too close – not suspicious characters with their hoods pulled up, casting a shadow across their faces as they walked by – not even the scamper of a rat in the gutters. And as the sunset illuminated these far corners of the city, not a single villain stirred. For this, unbeknownst to the media and the public, was somewhere the heroes kept in check. Their actions there weren’t publicised, at least, not on purpose – and amounted to nothing more than figures on their hero statistics, upping the numbers of dissolved situations every couple of weeks.

But why? Why this neighbourhood? What was so special about these old, abandoned flats and cobbled streets?

Well, the answer to that lay with that one, small café.

It was hard to find, but maybe that was drew them to it. Kenopsia was going out of business for this very reason – long before those streets became the quiet haven they had become known for amongst the select few. It was a hero, a literal hero, who saved that little café Kenopsia. Brain Blank was his name – Hitoshi Shinsou – an underground hero with a fondness of coffee. So, when he finished whatever exploits he had been up to, the little abandoned shop was just what he needed.

And then Shinsou came back – again and again. Until, one day, he brought a few more along.

Two years later and the business was booming. But still, if you mentioned the name to any random person on the street, they would simply raise an eyebrow and frown. Perhaps look it up online but yield no results. For Kenopsia only attracted a very specific type of customer.

Kenopsia became a café for heroes.

Finally!” Pinky sung as she slammed the door closed behind her, sopping wet. The pitter patter of heavy rainfall sounded around them. There used to be a leak in the roof of the shop – but with the generous donations the heroes made to keep the place going, it wasn’t long before the shop owner could make the renovations she so desperately needed.

“Evening, Ms Pinky!” greeted Hashira, the young owner of the business.

You get to call me Mina!” she retorted. “How many times do I have to tell you this?!”

Hashira simply smiled and cocked her head to one side, “Did you not have an umbrella on hand?”

“Does it look like it?!”

“Hey, Mina! Over here!” Uraraka waved excitably.

“Woohoo! Uravity! Oh my gosh – I saw the news the other day – that rescue was incredible!”

“Aw, thank you!” she replied as Mina hurried over to their large table.

Yaoyorozu had already ordered some other random kind of tea that Mina was sure she’d never seen before. How many types were out there? Surely there could only be so many! It had been ten years since they started at UA – and Yaoyorozu still came up with new ones!

“Who are we waiting for?” Mina questioned as she sat down. It seemed like nearly everyone was already there. The large table was really just many small ones that Hashira had pulled together for the evening, all turned to face the TV screen that Kenopsia’s owner had purchased over a year ago. Well, this wasn’t that TV. Kaminari short circuited that one and had to buy her a new one.

“Just Deku and Bakugo now!” Uraraka replied happily, munching on one of her mochi balls.

Iida immediately scolded her for speaking with her mouthful.

“Well then, Kaminari?” began Shinsou, “Have you got the video?”

“Sure have!” he exclaimed excitably. “Oh, um, Hashira? Remember not to tell anyone about this stuff, ok?”

Hashira nodded and smiled. She knew an awful lot about the heroes’ troubles and weaknesses. But it had been many years since those secrets were spilled, and they grew to trust Hashira. Once Kenopsia was converted formally into a heroes-only-café, she even signed a government official document to prove that nothing said under her roof would venture outside.

The entrance was thrown open once more.

“DAMN IT, DEKU! Why are you so freaking reckless?!” Bakugo yelled as he stomped inside.

The number one hero hurried in behind him and gently closed the door.

“Sorry for dripping water all over your café, Hashira,” Midoriya apologised swiftly with his signature smile as did just that.

“Don’t worry about it!” Hashira replied quickly. She’d always been quite the Deku fan. It was quite the shock to her when Shinsou first dragged the number one hero in through Kenopsia’s door. She almost passed out – Mina recalled the occasion fondly.

“What did he do this time?” Uraraka sighed as Deku plonked himself down in between her and Iida.

“I didn’t do anything –” he started.

This bloody idiot threw himself in front of a runaway vehicle to stop it from running someone over,” Bakugo sighed as Hashira gave him a cup of coffee that was so strong that it could probably kill a small creature. That was the fault of Shinsou’s influence.

“Well what else was I supposed to do?!” Midoriya protested.

“Um, blast the car?” suggested Kaminari.

“Pulled civilian out of the way with black-whip?” added Jiro.

“Jump in, pick them up and fly off?” frowned Yaoyorozu.

“Literally anything but KICKING THE FREAKING ENGINE AND HOPING THINGS WILL TURN OUT OK!” Bakugo yelled.

“But things did turn out ok!”

“You need to stop throwing yourself into dangerous situations,” acknowledged Iida.

“I can’t help it, ok?” Deku exclaimed. “I see someone in trouble and my –”

“– body moves before you have a chance to think. We know,” Shinsou sighed.

“You’re going to find yourself in deep trouble one of these days,” Tokoyami added thoughtfully. “You will remorse in not taking our advice.”

“SPEAKING of getting into stupid situations…” Mina interrupted. She grinned slyly and gazed around at the table. “We have an anniversary to celebrate and some ancient archives to dig up!”

A few of them cheered. Midoriya’s was more than sarcastic.

Kaminari got to his feet instantly and bounded over to the TV screen, before plugging in a USB drive and hurrying back over to his seat by Kirishima with a remote in hand.

“Why am I here again?” Bakugo groaned.

“Because we want you to be!” Kirishima grinned.

“Ah ha!” Kaminari voiced, clicking a final button for his video to appear on screen.

“Come sit with us, Hashira!” Mina offered, gesturing to the empty seat beside her.

“Yeah, we want to see your reactions!” Hagakure giggled.

“O-Ok,” she replied timidly, hurrying over with the large bowls of popcorn they’d ordered earlier.

And with that, Kaminari pressed play.

“This small gang of villains has been evading police custody for a total of four months, and have finally been cornered today by heroes, who located what can only be considered as their main base of operations, here in the heart of Masutafu.”

“Oh, no way…” gaped Midoriya. “How on Earth did you dig up this old footage?”

“Huh? What’s this?” frowned Uraraka.

“Oh, you’ll see,” smirked Kaminari as the video continued.

After holding the residents of this apartment building hostage, heroes have finally diffused the situation and arrested the villains in question,” the reporter continued. “However, due to the great damage inflicted on this residential area, all surrounding buildings have been evacuated as – ah, as the flaming building begins to collapse!”

“I have literally no idea when this was,” acknowledged Sero blankly, “Help us out here, Kaminari?”

“Just wait!” he insisted.

That was when they saw it – a flash of green light leaping from the crowd and smashing through the window in the neighbouring building.

“Was that –” began Sato opened mouthed, “No way – Midoriya, this is when –”

“Yeah, I know,” Midoriya interjected as the building he had just jumped into crumpled to the ground – the reporter yelling in panic at the heroes, telling them what had just happened. “I’ve watched this before,” he continued, wincing at the thought. “Although I really can’t remember any of it at all.”

“WAIT!” Mina yelled suddenly, a handful of popcorn midway to her mouth, “Is that when you saved Kichi?!” she realised.

“I-I don’t understand,” said Hashira unsurely. “Was this your debut?”

Kind of,” Midoriya laughed feebly. “It was the start of a whole load of trouble for me.”

“And for us,” Sero sighed.

The video faded into a much later time period, where the camera zoomed in on a hero pulling two figures from the rubble.

Midoriya had his hand over his face at this point, not wanting to watch his now comatose self being rescued.

The camera zoomed in on a very young, purple haired girl, refusing to let go of Midoriya’s unconscious body, whilst hugging a torn teddy bear with her free arm.

“Mon amie,” mumbled Aoyama, “That is simply diabolique, Midoriya.”

“I’m honestly surprised no one else has found this footage yet,” Deku admitted. “Every time I’m invited to some kind of talk show, I think they’re going to bring it up – but they never do.”

“Poor Kichi,” Uraraka whispered.

The footage faded to black as the camera caught Midoriya’s fallen body being carted off into the ambulance, the distant sobs of little Kichi disappearing in the process.

“Well, that was depressing,” Jiro voiced.

That brought a few weak laughs from the gathering. But Kaminari’s video suddenly started along an entirely different route.

The mystery of student number 18!” exclaimed Kaminari’s younger self as he zoomed in on Midoriya’s empty desk. “Why are the students of class 1-A numbered from 1 to 20, despite there only being 19 of us?!”

“Where are you going with this, Kaminari?” questioned Jiro, who gave him a weird look as the camera panned over to her.

“Is the very first video you ever took?!” gasped Mina.

“Of the vlogs, yeah!” Kaminari replied. “It’s not very long though – Mr Aizawa interrupts in a couple of seconds… yep – there he is!”

“The legend,” Kirishima sighed fondly as Mr Aizawa literally rolled into the classroom in a sleeping bag and told everyone to shut up.

The footage cut to a montage of Iida karate chopping the air and telling people off for trivial things.

“Why?” Jiro laughed.

“Comic relief,” Kaminari replied honestly.

“I am not comic relief!” Iida protested, “I was simply ensuring the integrity of our prestigious school and the rules that we should have always been obliging!”

Should,” repeated Tsuyu. “I am honestly surprised only one of us was expelled.”

“Someone was expelled?” gaped Hashira. “Who?”

“The guy with the purple hair you’ll see from time to time,” Kaminari replied.

“You might not know him,” Yaoyorozu added. “He never became a hero – but he owns a magazine company now. He did… surprisingly well in life, all things considered.”

“Speaking of breaking the rules…” smirked Kaminari.

So, the one who makes Bakugo blow up the most gets the most points?” asked Sero on screen.

“What the hell?!” Bakugo exclaimed.

“We’re still keeping a tally,” Kirishima admitted.

“I was there you know,” Midoriya alerted them.

“Holy shoot, really?”

“Yeah – I think I asked you if you had a death wish and then Jiro said exactly the same thing.”

Sure enough, Jiro’s younger self did just that.

Freaky!” sung Mina.

“Oh, wait, this is the day of the USJ attack, isn’t it?” Midoriya recalled.

Kaminari nodded, “There wasn’t any footage of it though. I broke my phone, remember? So I couldn’t even do a we survived vlog afterwards.”

“What a shame,” muttered Tokoyami.

The videos continued like this for a while – documenting Shinsou’s arrival – the legendary draft, which brought up more than a few laughs – then the time when Midoriya managed to become visible for a second in class. Kaminari managed to stop the video at the perfect moment, to see the blurred, green figure of the ghost.

“What is that?” Hashira questioned when she saw it. A lot of the comments the heroes were making were going over her head, and she was definitely confused.

“That’s –” Midoriya began.

“YOU’LL SEE!” Mina shouted over him. “It’s gonna be a surprise!”

Midoriya sighed.

“Ah, the summer camp bit is coming up soon,” Kaminari warned them.

“Oh, please tell me you didn’t leave that clip in of me in the woods?” Jiro moaned.

“Not the entire thing!”

“It’s just me unconscious and everyone screaming for like half an hour!”

Some parts of Kaminari’s video montage left the entire class (expect maybe Bakugo, Todoroki, Shoji and Tokoyami) in tears. Others left them (and particularly Uraraka and Mina) doubling over in laughter. Even Todoroki was smiling at those parts – which was something to behold.

“Oh my God – look at Midoriya’s face!” Kirishima laughed histerically as they finally reached the part when Midoriya bumped into them at the park.

“Pause it right there!” Mina insisted.

So, Kaminari did just that – at the moment when Mina’s past-self began explaining the mystery of student number 18 to student 18. Midoriya, meanwhile, looked more than ready to turn back into a ghost and sink through the ground.

Even Hashira was laughing now she got the gist of it all.

She wasn’t laughing by the time the videos revealed who the ghost really was.

“You spent five months as a real ghost?” she gasped.

“Yeah…” Midoriya admitted as they continued to watch him panic over everyone not freaking out over this new revelation. “Everyone found it kind of hard to trust me after that.”

“You’re making that up!” Uraraka insisted.

“Weren’t you the least bit insulted that I never told you until then?” Midoriya frowned. “Because I really should of… I was just kind of frightened about what everyone would think…”

“And understandably so, Midoriya,” Iida agreed. “I would be too, if I had been through what you had. You experienced something that no one else could possibly comprehend. Of course, you worried about how we would react to such a revelation – when we couldn’t understand what you had been through.”

“It was kind of freaky, though,” Kaminari admitted.

Jiro plugged her earphone jacks in his ears.

After the whole mystery of student no.18 montage was over, Kaminari’s videos moved on to something that the class had planned from the start – little videos on each and every student, from numbers 1 to 20.

That, of course, meant that Aoyama’s was first.

“I tried to capture your personality,” Kaminari sniggered as the video went on a tangent of the many, many times Aoyama had struck a pose in front of the camera.

“And for that you did a superb job, mon amie!” he exclaimed with his usual smile and wink.

“Oh yes! I’m up next!” Mina exclaimed once her face faded into view.

“So, those numbers you call out to each other in the field sometimes,” Hashira questioned as they watched Mina’s younger self talk about the evolution of her hero name. “Are those your student numbers from your time at UA?”

“They sure are!” Uraraka confirmed. “They kind of stuck, for some reason.”

“Usually, student numbers are a rather trivial thing,” Yaoyorozu added. “But at UA, the fiasco with Midoriya left us often referring to him as 18, and consequently, each other as their student numbers.”

“Yeah… sorry about that,” Midoriya chuckled nervously.

“Stop apologising for every stupid little thing,” Bakugo grumbled.

“Yeah!” Uraraka agreed, “The student numbers are a really useful code!”

“Calling me ghost has been picked up by the media a few times though,” Deku pointed out.

“Oh yeah, that’s right,” Mina recalled.

“I remember them talking about it on television once,” Todoroki contributed.

“Oh well,” Kaminari sighed. “It’s not like anyone can see through it.”

“Was that a pun?” Hagakure giggled.

“Huh?”

“Anyway – you’re missing out on my video!” Mina protested, so they all got back to watching it.

A lot of the videos were really flattering. Capturing wonderful moments in training from the video camera Kaminari ended up installing in the glasses of his hero costume for obvious reasons. Others were more mockery – such as Kirishima crying over every little thing he considered manly – or Tokoyami saying revelry in the dark about a hundred times. As it turns out, Jiro was the one who edited Kaminari’s part – and that involved purely his ‘dunce mode’ doing stupid things on camera.

Uraraka was filmed sitting on the ceiling and ambushing anyone who came through the door with her legendary sneak attack. Because no one usually looks up.

Bakugo’s video revolved mainly around the get points for making Bakugo blow up game – which he was not happy about.

Kaminari got more points for the game thanks to that.

Todoroki’s was literally every time he showed the slightest bit of emotion. He protested that he wasn’t that blank faced all the time. Kaminari disagreed.

Shinsou’s was an investigation into his coffee habits.

Hashira took notes.

And then they reached Midoriya’s video – intentionally left until last.

“I was worried when you jumped straight from Kacchan’s video to Shinsou’s – and now I know why,” Midoriya sighed.

“Midoriya!” Kaminari called out in the video, running up behind Midoriya, who had been working innocently in the common room.

“Um… hello?”

“Introduce yourself for my video!”

He blinked at the camera. “Is this another vlog?”

“Wait – were you not there when I suggested doing videos on every person in class?!”

“Um… no? I’m not all knowing…”

“Sometimes that’s difficult to believe – introduce yourself to the camera!!”

“Uh-uh – I-I’m Izuku Midoriya… um…”

“Say your hero name!”

“Oh, um, Deku! A-And I have an enhancer Quirk… of sorts…”

“Ok – now explain the top!”

The camera panned down to reveal a t-shirt that read Cauliflower.

The entire class laughed as both present-day and past Midoriya face palmed.

It’s supposed to be ghost broccoli...”

“Where did you even find that top?!” Midoriya questioned exasperatingly.

“We will never reveal our secrets,” Uraraka giggled menacingly.

The video went on to revealing the far too many tops the class had forced on Midoriya over the years, including the legendary 18 top that started it all.

“I still have all of those,” he smiled.

“Well, they were all pretty big for you to begin with,” Yaoyorozu pointed out.

“You threw out everything else – I didn’t have a choice other than to wear them!”

“That was payment for buying them for you,” Mina insisted.

“And because Mina accidently melted a few of them,” Tsuyu admitted.

“I did not!”

“She did.”

“That explains the random acid burns in my clothes then.”

“Are we ever going to release these to the public?” questioned Todoroki.

“Not… yet,” Midoriya said quickly.

“If Midoriya says no then it’s a no,” Kaminari sighed in defeat.

“Can we eventually though?” Hagakure begged.

“…Maybe.”

She cheered.

Eventually,” he added.

“Of course, we should completely respect Midoriya’s choice in this matter!” Iida agreed sternly, chopping the air as per usual. “As the number one hero – it is important that we keep such details about his Quirk a secret!”

“Yeah, yeah – we get it, class pres,” Mina insisted, munching on the remainder of the popcorn. “Whatever you say, Mr Number One Hero.”

“Please don’t call me that,” Midoriya groaned, struggling to suppress his smile.

The video didn’t have much more left – mostly involving the other hilarious antics of class A over the years. Oh, and that precious reveal to class B of Midoriya’s. The expressions on their faces were priceless.

And then, as the sun set completely over those empty streets, 20 of Japan’s top heroes filed out of café Kenopsia and into the night.

It had been almost ten years since Midoriya returned to UA – ten years since the day the mystery of student no.18 began. And the future was looking bright. But that did not mean for one second that Deku’s story was over – no, far from it. He still had many trials waiting for him – each greater than the last. But he would pull through – he always did. They always did.

But on that day – a new line of heroes stepped into the limelight – people who would not be standing there – alive, that day, if it weren’t for his sacrifices; for the heroes’ efforts and achievements.

It had been ten years since they all first stepped into UA – except for maybe Midoriya.

But the three students that Midoriya sacrificed so much to protect, would make it to their first day of school.

 


 

“Alright class,” Mr Aizawa groaned.

It was a new day – new year, and 20 new faces.

But would there still be 20 at the end of the day?

He looked out over those eager expressions. He had grown used to the concept of teaching. He wondered which of these little bastards would be his new Problem Child?

The last one ended up being the number one hero.

He glanced at student no.5.

White hair – red eyes, and a little horn sticking out the side of her head. Aizawa would be lying if he said he wasn’t pleased to see Eri there, despite everything she went through.

Student no.17.

The boy refused to take off that battered red cap with little golden horns. His feet were up on the desk like he owned the place. That desk was stubbornly covered in scorch marks from its last owner. Maybe one day, Kouta will find himself putting out the fires Bakugo leaves in his wake.

Student no.3.

She looked just like her older sister, but with pigtails. It’s going to be confusing, calling her Asui.

Then there was student no.18.

A girl with bright purple hair grinned back at him. She was going to drive him up the wall – literally.

Oh, how those faces were far more familiar than he would have liked them to be.

“Get your PE kit on,” Aizawa insisted.

All but those four sported confused expressions.

“We’re going to have a little Quirk test – And last place will be expelled.”

Gasps and immediate protests rang out among them.

Amongst all but those four.

“Life isn’t fair,” Aizawa explained, speaking over their complaints. “I don’t care if you passed the entrance exam. Idiots pass the entrance exam. You’re in my class now – my classroom – my rules – I get to choose who stays and who goes. Because one day, you will get to choose who lives and who dies.

“So come on, plus ultra – and all that.”