"So... um... who are we gonna fight?" Midoriya hesitantly asked. He really, really didn't want to go up against Yamada... or Kayama... or... oh gods... Yagi? Yagi would be the worse choice. The Number One hero, versus a quirkless person, and with a quirk that Monoma couldn't copy effectively due to it's stockpiling nature. That would literally be two functionally (Well, one literally) quirkless people up against the strongest hero who had the power of... eight people in total, maybe? And possibly six other quirks!?
Nah. Nezu wouldn't do that, would he? Was he sadistic enough to do that? At the very least, he would let Monoma copy some of the other people's quirks beforehand. That would be a literal beatdown.
"So... uh... who is fighting them?" Yamada asked.
All the teachers were equally lost.
"It was supposed to be Sir Nighteye. But then he couldn't come, according to Nezu." Moashi replied. "So really... I don't know. Sir said he was looking forward to this, seeing as Midoriya was the... uh... vigilante? And quirkless?"
"Well... Aizawa would be a good choice. Monoma is functionally quirkless, and Aizawa's quirk won't be effective on any of them. Just a full on quirkless fight." Snipe said.
"But that's not fair to Monoma." Kayama sighed, "Ecto is a good choice. Just fighting many at the same time is a good challenge for those two!"
"Wait what kinda support gear does Midoriya have? Aizawa!"
"Just a lot of knives and blades as far as I know. No plasma cutters, luckily. He wanted to build one before he and Hatsume were kicked out." Maijima replied.
Nezu was looking at his phone before he pocketed it.
Shinsou was sitting in Midoriya's lap as he sat on the ground, muttering out different heroes and how they could possibly take them down. Monoma was also at a loss, and everyone else was looking at them in pity for being so stressed out by Nezu and the other teachers who had also gotten into groups to brainstorm.
"Alright. I have decided." Nezu spoke up. "You will be fighting - "
"NEZU! SORRY I'M LATE!" The doors burst open, revealing a winged figure.
"So.. I got the call but I was beating someone up so i didn't listen and I thought there was another fight but apparently not so I just came over here!" Hawks grinned proudly.
"HAWKS!? THE NUMBER THREE HERO!?" Midoriya screeched, and Monoma was at a loss.
"How... but... why... what?!"
"Yo! These are the two?"
Nezu walked over to Hawks, telling him stuff that neither Midoriya nor Monoma heard because they were too busy panicking internally.
"Hey can you copy his quirk if you touch his feathers? Or must you touch him?"
"I don't know. I'll need to try."
"Hatsume! Do you have your tools!?" Midoriya yelled, worry evident in his voice.
"Yep! What do you need, Mido?"
"Just pass it over!"
Midoriya promptly took his bracers off, and after catching the stuff Hatsume threw in his direction, he started fiddling with his gear.
"Hawks is an aerial fighter. We can't match his speed, but he needs space to use his wings, his feathers can attack. Electricity... ranged attack... nets? But he's too fast but we can use his momentum against him and - Pass me the screwdriver."
Monoma just grabbed said tool, passing it over wordlessly as he tried to figure out how to beat Hawks as well.
"I'll give you five minutes! And Hawks won't be wearing any weights because we don't have any that fit him."
"That literally makes no sense!" Midoriya screeched, as Shinsou held two metal plates together as he screwed them together. "THE WEIGHTS ARE ADJUSTABLE!"
Midoriya and Monoma were let into the compound, and they were both silent, tensed up, waiting for Hawks to appear out of nowhere. They were listening out for the swish of the wind, the ruffle of feathers, anything to hint that Hawks was anywhere. They carefully made their way through the compound, in the direction of the gate, when suddenly, Midoriya pulled Monoma back.
"Aww, I wanted to surprise you. No matter." Hawks grinned, flying upwards as Midoriya tried to tackle him. Midoriya landed in a roll, whirling around midway, before aiming his bracers at Hawks before firing off a few blades. Hawks dodged them, before swooping down on Monoma, but Monoma managed to dodge in time, barely. He nicked Hawk's hand, and tensed up as he felt the familiar sensation of a borrowed quirk course through his veins.
He remembered the plan. Getting to copy Hawks quirk was a huge part of their most of their twenty or so plans, and he was not about to reveal his own quirk and mess it up. They were lucky they managed to copy it so early in the fight.
Midoriya was right about a lot of things though. Hawks happy go lucky personality, the high probability he didn't know Midoriya's other persona, or Monoma's quirk, all of that was taken into account. They had a way to beat Hawks, but first they needed to ground him.
Hawks shot feathers at Midoriya, but Midoriya jumped to the side, and leapt off a wall, forcing Hawks to fly even higher.
"Monoma! Go!" He yelled, as he ripped a knife out of its holder.
"Wait. I know you!" Hawks said in realisation. The fighting style, those green eyes, the blades, the way he held it. He flew closer to the ground, "Akatani! I saw you in that building!"
"Oh yeah!?" Midoriya growled. Monoma had already moved in the direction of the gate. Once Hawks was out of sight, he would activate the quirk and blast towards the gate, letting Midoriya distract Hawks while he did so.
"So, how ya doing, Kiddo? You weren't looking too hot the last time I saw ya." Hawks grinned.
"I'm fine now." Midoriya groaned. He knew Hawks wanted to meet, Aizawa already mentioned that, but now?! Having this talk now?!
"I can see that." Hawks replied, getting closer to the ground, "You're adorable. You and the kid."
"I'm not!" He replied indignantly. "And leave Toshi alone!"
"Nah." Hawks grinned, pulling out two long feathers and holding them out like knives. He charged at Midoriya, and Midoriya dodged, and kicked off a wall to get above him. He imbedded the blades on his shoes into the wall, using that as a grounding point for him to jump off the wall, over Hawks, before flipping over and firing a few more blades that were sparking with electricity.
Hawks swerved to avoid them, until he was slammed into by Midoriya, who pressed his hands that were somehow glowing with electricity onto his wings, causing him to lose control over his wings and the feathers that were detached.
They were sent tumbling onto the ground.
"Get off me, brat!" Hawks hissed, pushing himself up. He shook himself, feeling a numb feeling coming from his wings.
Shit. It would take some time for them to recover.
Hawks stepped back, trying to avoid a slash by Midoriya.
"So, who are you living with?" He asked, trying to distract the boy.
"Aizawa sensei, why?"
"Wait, he already has custody over you!?"
"Why does that even matter!?"
"Midoriya Izuku and Monoma Neito have passed the exam. Please head over to the observation room!"
Shinsou was being held in Aizawa's arms (After getting dry) as he grinned at the screen, watching Midoriya and Hawks fight. Monoma, another person he liked more than the others, had sprouted wings and was flying towards the exit, and he cheered when he passed the gate.
The screens went off, and Shinsou giggled, leaning down to reach for Nezu's tail as it swished about.
"Hitoshi, no." Aizawa tried to pulled Shinsou away, "Stop trying to grab the principal's tail."
"But it moves!"
"It's alright, Aizawa. He's not hurting me anyways." Nezu smiled, turning around and letting Shinsou pat his head.
"Zuzu is fluffy!"
And it was things like this that reminded Aizawa that Shinsou was still a child.
No matter how much he had been through, he just a kid, a toddler. Just a six year old. He was smart, sure, mature, yes, but he was still easily distracted, like any other kid his age should be. And liked fuzzy animals, like cats. And apparently Nezu.
"But you're too much of a handful for anyone!"
Everyone turned to the door that lead to the compound the last fight was held.
"Exactly! What makes you think you can even handle me!?"
"I'm really fast?"
"So!? Ingenium is really fast too!"
Hawks was picking Midoriya up by the collar as he carried him into the room, Monoma walking behind them looking totally lost. Midoriya was struggling, but they all know he wasn't really trying, or he probably would have broken Hawks wrist by now.
"Sensei! Tell him to stop harassing me!"
Hawks then stomped up to Aizawa, and by that time, Tensei, fearing for the chaos between the obviously protective Aizawa and the Number Three hero, started shooing all the students out of the room with Snipe and Kayama's help. But the ensuing argument was very easily heard.
"Excuse me? What makes you think you even have the right to take custody over him?"
"I'm the number three hero?"
"And how old are you even!?"
It was ridiculously funny to look at them, and Nezu just had this grin on his face as he watched Aizawa, with Shinsou in his arms, and Hawks, holding Midoriya like a kitten, argue.
"You knew this would happen." Hakamata sighed, shaking his head, "Why do I even bother?"
Shinsou and Midoriya just watched the argument, not knowing how to intervene. Midoriya looked at Monoma pleadingly for help, but Monoma looked equally confused, dazed, and wide eyed as the both of them.
"It looks like it's going to escalate into a fight." Ectoplasm grumbled, making two more clones of himself in case he had to restrain the two heroes.
"Don't. Just watch." Nezu still had that giant shit eating grin plastered all over his furry face.
"Bad. No fight." Shinsou was in arm's reach of Hawks, due to Aizawa carrying him, and used that to tap Hawks on the nose, distracting both him and Aizawa, "Fighting is bad."
Until he caught sight of Hawks' wings, and his eyes lit up at the sight of the fluffy red feathers.
It was eventually resolved in a compromise, with Aizawa unofficially adopting Hawks as he watched the Number Three hero sit on the ground with Shinsou playing with his feathers, and Midoriya peering at a feather curiously as he bombarded the Wing Hero with question after question.
The news that they all passed was music to their ears. The camp, all of them were going. But then there was a major problem.
They needed to get stuff for the camp. Insect repellant, sunblock, and probably shoes.
But the last time he had been to a mall was with Aizawa, Kayama, and Yamada.
And the time before that... he didn't even remember. He did remember trying to get clothes for Shinsou, but he just ended up altering his old clothes that were way to small for him.
And he was supposed to go with his friends?
"Sensei! Please! Can I not go to the mall?" Midoriya was practically begging.
"Look, if it comforts you, I'll be tagging along. Inconspicuously, of course." Yamada sighed, "But going shopping is a normal thing. We all know that you've been deprived of little comforts like this. Shopping is a very natural thing to do, and I think you should make the most of this and try to hang out. Be a normal teenager."
"But - "
"Izuku." Aizawa spoke up, "Stop worrying. It's just a mall. Everything will be fine. Just relax for once."
Of course, everything was not fine.
It was never fine. He was a trouble magnet.
He had grouped up with Monoma, Kendo, Uraraka, Iida, Todoroki and Awase, but most of them had ended up forming their own groups and wandering off. Shinsou was with Yamada, somewhere in the mall, while Aizawa finished some paper work.
He went to the bathroom for a few minutes, and what did he see coming out?
Shigaraki, with his fingers around Monoma's neck.
Granted, he hadn't even met the villain before. But even though he no longer patrolled, the information ingrained in his head couldn't be removed so easily.
Shigaraki Tomura, man-child leader of the League of Villains. Responsible for the USJ attack, and probably those Nomu's at Hosu. Worked with (Or probably works under) All for One, the villain with the ability to steal quirks. Yagi didn't have a successor yet, but they somehow agreed that he was probable the best person to go up against All for One. After all, he was quirkless. He didn't have anything to lose if he did end up meeting that two hundred year old villain. One for All was cunning, lying in the shadows, but Shigaraki?
Midoriya didn't know what he wanted, but Shigaraki merely grinned at him, before disappearing into the crowd.
Monoma slumped against the wall, breathing heavily. Midoriya immediately went up to him, patting him on the back.
"You okay, Monoma?"
"I... damn... so that's what it's like... huh?"
"Being up... against... a real villain..."
"Monoma, are you okay?" Midoriya didn't understand, "Do you want to sit down for a second?"
Monoma wasn't expecting a hand to clamp around his throat.
His breath hitched, and the man who grabbed his neck snickered, "Calm down. I don't mean to do anything. I just want to ask a question, since I saw you hanging out with the Midoriya boy. Also, you don't want anyone else to panic... or maybe die, do you?"
"What do... you want?"
"Stain's ideals are being broadcasted everywhere, despite the fact he was beaten by a high school student. All he did was make some kind of speech after he was cuffed and chained and being dragged into a police van to be transported to Tarturus. Why weren't the Nomu's effective then? They caused more havoc that the hero killer ever did, they destroyed buildings, but we, the League of Villains, ended up as the side story. Why are Midoriya and Stain the main thing now!?"
Monoma really, really wanted to be snarky, but after knowing that he was the one that set those damned creatures all over Hosu, he didn't want to risk messing up.
"Stain's ideals are clear." He tried to remain calm, "He wants a better society, and to do that, he killed heroes he deemed unworthy. He has the power to back it up, and he is respected for sticking to his ideals, even if they are wrong. Midoriya is strong, being a prominent figure in both the Sports Festival and then beating Stain. Because no one knows his quirk, since it hasn't even been seen before, it kind of sends a message in a way that quirks may not be as important as we think they are. All I know about you is that you seem to want endless destruction just for the fun of it."
Shigaraki fell silent, and Monoma was really hoping whatever he said would satisfy the villain so that he, and everyone else, could live to see another day.
"You know... that's why you're all so irritating. Midoriya, Stain. It's all to similar to All Might. To create a world without All Might, and cause enough destruction to show them all how fragile their justice really is. That's my conviction. Everyone smiles, everyone is so happy because of All Might. Because they think he's infallible. I will bring him down and show him just how "infallible" their hero is."
Monoma was silent the entire time as Midoriya dragged him to a nearby cafe, until Midoriya poked him on the shoulder and asked what he wanted. They eventually settled down with a soda each, Midoriya sipping his drink curiously.
"Never had a soda before?"
"Yeah. I just drank water. Or coffee. Or energy drinks. This is... actually nice."
Monoma just remained quiet.
"That was Shigaraki Tomura."
"Did you see him often? As your... other persona?"
"No. I was lucky enough to not meet him. My fighting style is mostly close combat. I wouldn't want to fight him, given his quirk. You felt him clamp his fingers around your neck, right? Notice how he only used four fingers?"
Monoma tried to recall, but his brain was not retaining the information, and he shook his head.
"Figures. His quirk is like... Uraraka's. Or Kodai's. All five fingers need to make contact for activation." Midoriya held his hand out to show Monoma what he meant. "He usually holds his pinky out so he won't disintegrate stuff."
"Wait..." Monoma was still trying to reel his head around being a finger's touch away from being a pile of dust on the ground, while trying to process the information that the borrowed quirk from the contact gave him. "Never mind. I know what you mean."
"You're taking this awfully calmly."
"I guess. I mean... you know what you're doing. And he touched my neck. I copied the quirk by accident out of shock.. so I kinda know what you are talking about."
Monoma just forced himself to not hold anything as he activated it, letting the four minutes tick by as they sat in silence.
"I'm just... gonna file a report."
Midoriya ended up going with him, before going home with Yamada and Shinsou and screeching "I TOLD YOU SO!" at Aizawa.