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The clock on the wall ticked away slowly, seeming to taunt each of the students as they walked into their homeroom class. Reminding them that the day had only just begun, and they wouldn't be walking out to enjoy their days till the school day was out. The dress code at this particular school was rather relaxed. Most of the girls came in with skirts and jeans. The boys wore jeans and khakis. Everyone, still had to wear polos. but, despite the warm weather, few wore jackets. And in this particular classroom, only one student bothered to wear a hoodie, settling into his seat with a heavy sigh. 


The boy in the hoodie slid down into his seat, grumbling about it being uncomfortable, before adjusting his glasses. The rectangular lenses glare in the light for a moment, before settling atop his nose, letting him gaze through the slightly smudged lenses as his teacher walked in with a stack of papers. A man well into his mid-life, with a full-beard and well groomed head of hair with matching streaks of gray in random sections, mixing well with his natural, fading black. 


The teacher cleared his throat, gathering the class' attention as he looked through the papers. "Alright everyone. welcome to another day. Now, I know everyone is waiting to get through the year. You're all in your final year, and waiting to go off to the next chapter of your lives. I have here your forms that you turned in a week ago, and nothing warms my heart most than to see some of you shooting from your dreams. On that note, I wasn't very surprised to see most of you applying to Shiketsu for the Hero course there...." Most of the class was grinning, wanting to cheer and cry out at the thought of getting their chances at being heroes.


The teacher, however, had a small glint in his eyes as he came across one student's form, and let out a small gasp. "Oho? It seems not all of you looking to be heroes are applying to Shiketsu..." He pulled the form in question from the pile, holding it towards the class as his eyes settled on the slouching student near the back of the room. "Planning for U.A. are we, Masa my boy?"


Benkei Masagi, also known as Masa, nearly shot up straight at his teacher calling him out. Instead, he let his head hang back as he felt his entire class slowly turn to look at him. With a huff, he ran one of his hands through his thick, slightly curly brown hair and sat up straighter while bringing his head back forward.He was mildly surprised to see most of his class was grinning at him, and not in a condescending or mocking way. Warm, supportive. One or two even sad. "Yeah, that makes sense actually, Sensei!" A boy near the front called out, before turning back to Masagi and giving his own grin.


"Recovery Girl is at U.A. right? Where better for Masa to go?" He continued, before giving him a thumbs up. "Give 'em a good show, Masa!"


A girl next to him giggled and nodded. "Yeah, don't forget us when you're saving people in the East!"


"Don't let us down Masa!"


"You better not slack off man!"


"Show 'em how we do things here in the West!"


The sound of a hand slapping against wood got the class' attention back towards the front, a mischievous glint in the Teacher's eyes. "Now now everyone. You can cheer Masagi on later. Masa, my boy? Make sure to keep up that training you told me about. The same goes for all of you! It is NEVER too early to prepare for your dreams! Now then, let's get started with class proper..." For Masa, that blended with the noise of shuffling folders, notebooks, and textbooks. The next thing he knew, he was walking home, heading up the steps to his two story house, and pushing his way past the front door. He called out a half-hearted "I'm home," and headed up to his room, dropping his backpack on his bed, before pulling off his jacket and tossing it atop the bag.


He stopped, and looked down at his hands. A few scars dotted the landscape of his palms. With a huff, he clenched his hands, and swiftly made his way out of his room, heading for the living room. "Hey, Dad...!"


<10 Months Later.>


Izuku sighed as he watched Katsuki walk off, before steeling his nerves, and making his way forwards towards his dream...


Only to trip like a fool over a slightly raised slab in the path, and get saved by a cute girl with pink cheeks. He was blushing like crazy as he watched her go. Suddenly, a hand clapped onto his right shoulder, and a deep, soft chuckle came from his right. "Nerves suck, don't they?" A soft, masculine voice asked. As Izuku turned to look at who was speaking, he had to slightly look up due to his somewhat hunched posture.


The boy he was looking at was obviously around six feet tall and broad shoulders, with recently cut brown hair that was only a few inches from the top of his head. Wearing a pair of blue sweat pants, black running shoes, a t-shirt with a hood attached to it that showed the slightly tanned skin of his arms. Looking at his face proper, he was met with a slightly round face that ended with a slightly pointed chin. Rectangular glasses sat on the bridge of his nose like gates, with dark blue eyes. His expression was that of someone who was somehow relaxed...But the hand on his shoulder spoke of a hidden tension.


"Sorry to talk to you out of nowhere man, but ya look like you needed to come back to earth, ya know?" He explained with a small smirk, letting his hand slide from Izuku's shoulder as he went to walk by. Izuku's eyes followed the slightly taller boy who took a few steps, stopped, and turned, smiling as he beckoned Izuku to follow. "Come on. Ain't no use in being late!" Those words snapped Izuku from his curiosity in the new face, following him inside the test site, giving him a determined nod and smile.


Masagi, smiled at the smaller, green-haired boy. He seemed nice, and his expression of determination seemed genuine at the moment. That was enough for him, assuming that at the moment, the boy forgot whatever had caused him to stand in front of the school un-moving. Moving on to the test building, he found his place for the written exam, and sighed heavily as he dropped into the chair. He looked over to his right, and saw a girl with vines in her hair. He blinked as he looked at her hair and posture, before feeling self-conscious, and righting his own posture just as she turned to look at him, as if sensing his gaze. She gave a polite nod in greeting. He smiled softly and returned the nod, before returning his attention to the room itself and the coming test. 


Eventually, the Pro Hero Ectoplasm came out, and began to explain the test rules, the time limit, and to offer words of encouragement to all the test takers in the hall, while aides walked down each row, setting test packets in front of each applicant. When Masa got his, he could only huff and stare at it, before picking up the pencil they provided for him, and waiting. When given the order to begin, he smiled softly, wrote his name and examinee number, and got to work. 



After the written exam was called, Masa grunted and did his best to stretch silently, and get all the kinks out of his system. As they were told to head to their next destination to learn of the next half of the exam, he looked to the Vine-Haired girl, and gave her a small nod, smile, and even a silent wave as he got up and left. As he walked into the next area to get his explanation, he walked into an auditorium, and sighed as he sat near the very back, up near the top. He felt less self-conscious with the dim lights hiding him from unfamiliar faces, and slouched in his seat, vaguely paying attention. He perked up when a voice that wasn't Present Mic's spoke up.


He was also heavily interested in how he knew the number of the boy with the question who stood up. 


And he frowned heavily as he watched the boy turn and berate someone...Four rows fucking behind him. For MUMBLING. 


'How friggin' high-strung do you gotta be, buddy? That's rude as hell...' He grunted as people giggled and shook his head. Oh how his teacher would have torn into these kids, acting like this. He looked down and hummed as he saw the test site on his card, vaguely acknowledging that they were dismissed, filing out with the rest of the students to the locker rooms, adding only a nylon belt to his outfit, clipping it into place, and making sure the contents of the attached, digital camera sized bag were secure. Then, he followed the others to the buses, stepping on board and taking a seat. He let his head hang forward as he began to hype himself up. Once the bus stopped, he was one of the first to his feet, his face graced with a determined smile, and a fire in his eyes.


He grouped up with everyone else, and sighed as he began to go through his stretches. While looking around, Masa noticed the green-haired kid in a green tracksuit. He looked nervous again. Masa frowned at that. He frowned even more when the kid went to go talk to someone...Only for the loud guy from earlier to stop and start accusing him of trying to distract and ruin someone's chances. He could already hear the giggles and creeping smiles of people around him...And he suddenly hoped they all failed miserably.


Grumbling, he got up and stormed over. He could feel the gazes suddenly turning his way. He was suddenly in both of their faces for a moment, before ripping the taller boy's hand from the green-haired teen's shoulder.


He was then between the two of them, and the slightly taller, blue-haired teen could only stare at Masa, who had snatched his wrist with a snarl. Masa tossed his arm to the side and glared daggers at him. "You're an ass, you know that?"


The kid stepped back, looking offended at the crass language. "I beg your pardon!?"


Masa took a step forward, his glare challenging the boy. "You don't know him. You don't know anything about who he is, who he knows here, or what his goals are. So what god-damn right do you have to stand there, judging and accusing him? Huh?" The boy paled and winced, taking another step back from the brown-haired teen in his face. Masa stomped forward, not giving him a chance to get away. The people around them were ALL paying attention now. And most of those who were smiling and giggling earlier all either winced, frowned, or even looked somewhat ashamed.


"And all the same, here you are, treating him like some kid on the street you just caught stealing, bashing and berating him and making him feel like a piece of shit. You sure YOU'RE in the right place, jack ass? Cause last time I checked, this is the Hero Exam, and you damn well ain't acting heroic." The boy winced heavily, and looked ashamed as his gaze turned from Masa's to the ground. Masa grunted and tsk'd in annoyance, before poking the taller teen in the chest hard. "Go home and look in the mirror, buddy. And look hard."


The teen winced from the prod and harsh words, nodding and backing away, before bowing deeply, and apologizing, before walking from the two and beginning to stretch. Masa looked to the large group of students who were watching. Many of them were frowning, and looking down. Some were watching with wide eyes. A few even gave approving nods at his intervention. "And the rest of you are just as god-damn guilty!" 


The call caused many of the students to look up sharply, eyes wide as the angry teen was now addressing THEM. "And I mean all of you pricks who stood there and laughed, or even thought seeing that shit was somewhat fuckin' funny. The hell is wrong with you all?! Why am I the only one to step in here!? Some wannabe Heroes you all are! If you all were Pros, I wouldn't want you ass holes saving my life. You'd probably break all my shit and say it was my fault. Fuck you, and fuck off." Everyone looked away at that, and those who were addressed were looking anywhere but at Masa and the boy he was standing up for.


With a heavy sigh, Masa finally let his anger drop from his face and simmer below the surface. When he turned to the boy who was staring up at him like he was All Might himself, he gave him a small, kind smile. The tension he had bled as he saw the small teen was alright. He chuckled, and put a hand on his shoulder, like he did earlier. "Sorry you had to see that, man. I just couldn't let him do that to you. You alright?"


The teen blinked before waving his arms rampantly, a surprised look on his face. "Oh, n-no I'm fine! It didn't bother me! R-really!" He explained with a stutter. Masa chuckled and brought his hand from the teen's shoulder before giving it a few comforting pats, and letting it slide off before he held it in front of the boy for a handshake. "Benkei Masagi. Everyone calls me Masa." 


The smaller boy stopped waving his arms, and chuckled, rubbing the back of his head with one hand, and taking Masa's with the other, giving him a nervous, but firm handshake. "Izuku Midorya. Nice to meet you, Masa!"


Masa grinned at Izuku, and nodded. "Nice to meet you, Midor-" "AND START!!!" Masa was interrupted by a loud voice, and a just as loud buzzing. He whipped his head around, and saw the doors to the test sight opening. He cursed under his breath, and looked to Izuku with a determined expression. 


"We can talk later. Move, now!" He said, before letting go of Izuku's hand and dashing for the entrance of the mock city. And from the sounds of stumbling and eventual running, he could tell Izuku was right behind him. As he passed the gates, he let a slow breath out.


And grinned at the challenge ahead.