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Emerald enigma

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A lot of people love myths, urban legends and so on. Mostly because those things are seen as unusual and “cool”. Especially the horror-esque ones. Now, Izuku Midoriya doesn’t exactly agree with those sentiments. For him yokai, spirits and ghosts are not only dangerous, but also plain annoying. Especially when they try to steal his pudding.

 

“Give it back!” He shouts at the blob-like mass of shadows that is currently running away with his food.

 

Normally, he wouldn’t care enough to chase after them, and risk people thinking he’s insane. But he just bought it, and it was the limited summer edition chestnut-cherry pudding! Whether that mass of shadows is a ghost, a spirit or a yokai, it deserves to be exorcised for the sheer audacity of stealing something like that.

 

He finally catches up to them in some dark alley – which is good since there won’t be anyone to see him taking them down here. With a shout of “Gotcha”, he tackles the shadow and sticks one of his paper talismans onto them. The creature withers, letting out a gruesome roar, but they finally let go of his pudding. He manages to catch it before it hits the ground.

 

“Gahghewaegs” The mass of swirling black gurgles, writhing as the talisman slowly eats away at them.

 

“That’s what you get for trying to steal my pudding” He says, even though he knows they can’t understand him.

 

He takes out some exorcising salt from his backpack, and finishes them off. Years ago, when he first started exorcising those things, he barely could bring himself to kill them. But he eventually got used to it. He knows that if he doesn’t finish them off, they will just continue to harass humans. Possibly even lead to murder. It’s… not a chance he wants to take.

 

Sighing, he places the pudding back into his backpack, and leaves the alleyway. If he hurries up, he may be able to rest for a bit before he has to go to his “job”. Maybe he’ll even get to actually eat dinner, if he’s lucky. He runs through the streets, weaving between pedestrians, their guardian spirits, and occasional ghosts. The obvious lack of yokai on the streets is jarring, but he doesn’t want to dwell on it. If he doesn’t know, then obviously it doesn’t concern him.

 

He finally manages to get home. When he goes in, the distinct feeling of a “haunted” place hits him in full force. Looks like the ghosts are messing around again. He can’t see them though, so they’re most likely further in… probably in his room, then. He just hopes they don’t destroy anything this time.

 

A loud bang suddenly rings out. And there goes his hope of keeping his belongings intact. Sighing, he decides to go to the kitchen instead of worrying about it. He’ll just take care of it later… probably tomorrow. He checks the clock, and seeing that he should have enough time, he gets out the ingredients for dinner.

 

He makes a simple risotto, following mom’s recipe. She used to make it often, and even if he doesn’t enjoy it quite as much as he would enjoy katsudon, it’s still really good… Still, it kind of stings to think about the fact that she wasn’t cooking dinners anymore. Mostly because it made him remember she isn’t at home as much. He knows it’s unfair to think like that, since she’s focusing on her job, but… He kind of misses her. Most of the time he’s asleep by the time she comes back, so the only time they really talk is early in the morning.

 

It would be nice if they could talk more… after all, as far as humans go, she’s the only one who’s both nice to him, and alive. It’s… a bit depressing to think about.

 

He eats his meal in silence, checking the clock every now and then. It’s almost time to go… Wait, he has this distinct feeling he’s forgotten about something… FUCK, his pudding. He quickly rushes to put it in the fridge. It would’ve been bad if he took it to his appointment, seeing as it already got stolen once. Hmm… Just for good measure, he decides to put some of his talismans on the fridge. At least now nothing will steal it.

~🌸~

“Thank you for coming all the way out here, dearie” An elderly woman, Ms Hanako, says once he arrives.

 

She’s one of the few elderly people in the neighbourhood. Izuku doesn’t really know her too intimately, but she’s generally regarded as one of those kind elderly ladies who feed squirrels and so on. He sometimes helps her with stuff, like carrying groceries and so forth. It’s the first time she’s asked for him to exorcise something though. He notices her guardian spirit peeking over her shoulders. It’s a weird racoon-like thing with moth wings. He doesn’t acknowledge its presence though, that’d look weird to those who can’t see them.

 

“It’s not a problem” He reassures her awkwardly. It really isn’t a problem… especially since she’ll pay him to get rid of whatever the fuck is haunting her house “Could you tell me more about what’s happening?”

 

“Well… since a few days ago I’ve been hearing those weird noises at night… And my plates started breaking randomly since then… The light is flickering all the time, but the repairman said there’s nothing he can do about it, since it should be fully functional” The woman huffs “There is often also this… this weird laughter. At first I thought it was just some kids going back from their parties, but every time I look outside, no one is there”

 

“I see” He smiles slightly. This sounds like a ghost. Hopefully “I’d like to go in to investigate, if you don’t mind”

 

“Go on” The old woman says, stepping aside to invite him in. The moment he does, there is a distinct sound of something breaking “My plates!”

 

Ms Hanako rushes towards where the kitchen probably is, and he follows her. What’s waiting for them is indeed a broken plate… and a ghost. They’re middle aged, feminine, and have a fucking shot wound on their forehead. Their eyes are whitish, like most ghosts, but a bit of red and black is creeping into them… How lovely, a ghosts that’s starting to transform into a poltergeist.

 

“The ghost is here” He says, locking eyes with the figure, who seems surprised to be seen “Ms Hanako, please leave for a moment. I need a quiet environment if I want to find out what’s wrong”

 

If it was already a poltergeist, he’d just exorcise them – those are too far gone, and more often than not, can’t leave unless they’re exorcised. Since it’s still mostly a regular ghost, he can probably make them move on if he helps them resolve their issues.

 

“…” He waits for the woman to leave before addressing the ghost “Ghost-san, is your business with this house, the person living in it, or unrelated?”

 

“Y-you can see me” The ghost stammers, shocked “Oh my god, you can see me!”

 

“Yes, I can see you” He says patiently.

 

“Oh my god, you can hear me too” Alright, it looks like they’re having some sort of mental breakdown over this… He doesn’t know how to comfort people though, much less dead people. He’s pretty sure the usual “It’s okay, you’re safe” doesn’t apply when someone is dead.

 

“Ugh…” He just stands there awkwardly, waiting for shock to pass.

 

“Sorry, I’m feeling a bit better now” The ghost says. With bewilderment, Izuku sees some of the black and red recede from their eyes. Huh, he’s never seen that happen before…

 

“So, what exactly do you need to move on?” He gets to the point once he’s sure they won’t break down again.

 

“I want my body to be found! I’ve waited, like, twenty years!” The figure yells “Until recently, I wasn’t even able to do anything! Can you imagine going through twenty years without being able to do anything? It’s maddening!!” Alrighty, guess in this case poltergeist turning has to do with the fact they’ve waited this long to be found, huh.

 

“Do you know where your body is?” He asks, since he’s already encountered some ghosts who didn’t.

 

“It’s in the garden in front of the house” The figure answers “The asshole who buried me had earth-kinetic quirk, so he buried me pretty deeply. No one even noticed a thing”

 

“You’re sure it’s still there? No one could take it away while you weren’t present? For example, if you visited family or something?”

 

“Kid, I don’t have family. I didn’t have a family back when I was alive either”

 

“Alright… I’ll go and… dig you out, I guess” He heaves a sigh “By the way, how deep is ‘pretty deeply’? I’d prefer to know how long I’ll have to dig”

 

“About 7 meters, I think. Maybe a bit more” Fuck.

~🌸~

After convincing Ms Hanako that digging through her front yard is necessary if she wants her problems done, he starts working. The elderly woman keeps an eye on him for the first two hours, before giving up and just going inside. He can tell that she’s doubtful. But, he also knows that she’s probably aware of how successful he is in dealing with supernatural activity related things, considering he has a rather solid reputation on that front.

 

It’s dark out when he finally manages to get to the body… or what was left of it. For some time now, he’s been borrowing energy from the ghost, so that he could keep going without a break. His hands hurt, and they’re covered in blisters, but it’s worth it. Letting go of the shovel, he  takes out his phone to report the body.

 

“Thank you” The ghost says before he can even call the police “Now I can finally rest in peace”

 

“No problem” He smiles tiredly, as the ghost fades into nothing, finally passing on.

~🌸~

He leaves shortly after notifying the police, and informing Ms Hanako about what happened. Poor lady looked extremely pale as she rushed to see the skeleton. He did feel kind of bad about that, but still, it’s better than leaving this unresolved. That ghost deserved to get their body found, and their murder should be investigated.

 

Once he gets home, he finds that for the first time in a while, it’s his mom who went to bed before him. If he wasn’t sure she was used to him disappearing randomly, he’d feel guilty about not leaving a note before going to Ms Hanako’s. After all, mom didn’t know about it since he was supposed to be back before she got home.

 

Sighing tiredly, he heads to the bathroom, nodding in acknowledgement to mom’s guardian spirit, and a lone ghost – Mr Kamakura-, as he passes them in the hallway. Once he gets there, he takes his time getting all the dirt off. And there is a lot of it… He should really consider finding alternative methods of digging up corpses. Maybe the police would help? He’d have to actually take credit for finding them next time to get their cooperation though. After all, they wouldn’t help some random boy… but on the other hand, a person who they know has a knack for finding corpses… well, that’s a thought to consider later.

~🌸~

When he steps into his room, he spares a second to greet the ghosts there – who are all apparently playing monopoly, what the fuck – before going to bed. He honestly feels like shit. The fact that he knows he won’t fall asleep anytime soon despite feeling exhausted doesn’t help. Though, he resolves to at least try to sleep.

Ugh, this isn’t helping at all. What kind of insomnia-induced hell is this? Normally, one would expect hours of physical work to help with falling asleep, but no.  Groaning, he secures the blanket tighter around himself, before rolling out of bed, and crawling to where the ghosts are playing UNO now – with a spark of irritation, he notes that there are many other games left laying on the floor, what a mess.

 

There are five ghosts in total, including Mr. Kamakura, who must’ve joined them while Izuku was trying to sleep. From the looks of it, Yukiko – a ghost of a teenage girl who used to live in the apartment – is winning. Though, it seems like Yukizome-sensei isn’t far behind, she could probably still win… On the second thought, anyone could win, no matter who is in better situation right now. UNO games are just unpredictable like that.

 

“Have trouble sleeping, beansprout?” Yukizome-sensei asks once she notices him.

 

The others turn in their direction, as he just continues lying right next to semi-transparent woman. It’s pretty cool that they all have night vision, so they can see him even with the lights off. Well, he does too, which is fairly weird, but he guesses in his case it just comes with the quirk. Still not as cool as the ghosts having it, though.

 

“Mhm” He hums listlessly, shifting to lie more comfortably.

 

“If he’s awake anyways, can we turn the lights on?” Akabane asks “I mean, we could just continue like that, but you know, it’d be more comfortable with at least some light”

 

“Don’t be an asshole, Riku. Just because you can stand sudden changes in lighting doesn’t mean anyone else can. Besides, I’m pretty sure that as responsible adults here, we’re supposed to make sure he falls asleep… and, you know, maybe not try to bring him back to full wakefulness” Yukiko just continues playing with her hair, not meeting anyone’s eyes as she says this.

 

“She’s right-“ Yukizome-sensei starts before being interrupted.

 

“I don’t want to hear anything about ‘being the adult’ from someone who doesn’t even know how to cook, or use a washing machine, for that matter” Akabane snorts as he places a +4 card down, forcing Yukiko to take the cards.

 

“Oh, excuse me for dying before I had the chance. And you know, I’ve been a ghost for at least twenty years, and I have to say that neither of these things rank very high on the list of helpful skills for ghosts” Yukiko grumbles, pouting slightly.

 

“Please try to keep the volume down, you two” Mr Kamakura sighs, placing a card down.

 

“Do you want to join us for the next round, Midoriya-kun?” Yukizome-sensei asks, calm as ever.

 

“Not really, I’d prefer to just look… it’s relaxing” He murmurs, observing as Akabane plays a reverse card right before Yukiko’s turn.

 

“…” Akihiko remains as silent as usual, or so it seems. Wait a second, what’s with the disproportionately large number of cards in his hand. How did that happen?

He observes a few more round before he’s lulled to sleep by the feeling of safety he only ever gets when friendly entities are nearby (he can’t really narrow it down, since the list really has anything that would be friendly towards him, from animals to spirits).

~🌸~

This is it, this is the day Akari Yukizome will finally open her bakery. Everything is in place – the sweets she’s baked give off an alluring aroma, and the flowers placed on the counter help complete the serene atmosphere of the shop. She wonders how many people will come – friends and neighbours coming in from some sense of obligation aside.

 

Well, either way, she’s totally ready to let the world experience the bliss of perfectly made meringue cake. She’s sure that the people will love it. Internally cheering herself on, she goes to flip the sign on the door to ‘open’.

~🌸~

Izuku blearily opens his eyes, giving himself a second to wake up before what he’d dreamt about hits him in full force. Those were… Yukizome-sensei’s memories? Huh, weird. He does sometimes experience the memories of the dead, but, it’s not happening often. And up until now, it was mostly limited to one time per ghost… this was the second memory he’s seen of Yukizome-sensei. And, unlike normally, it wasn’t the scene of the ghost’s death. He’s glad for that, at least.

 

He doesn’t think he’d appreciate seeing Yukizome-sensei die once more.

 

He gets up from the floor and looks around the room. It’s empty, the ghosts probably wandering around the city or something. They do that a lot. Well, at least they cleaned up the games from yesterday. Small mercies, he supposes.

 

He throws the blanket back onto the bed, feeling no need to fold it properly – he’d mess it up anyways, so what’s the point? He checks the time, finding that it’s well after noon. Damn, he slept in way longer than expected. No wonder the ghosts decided to go away for now. And speaking of going away, where is his guardian spirit? He should’ve returned by now… At least going by what he’d said before leaving.

 

It makes him feel a bit lonely, but it’s not like he can do anything about it. At least he’s more or less sure his guardian spirit is alive, seeing as he still has his quirk… at least he thinks he does. The moment he sees any spirit or ghost is when it’ll be confirmed, but until then, he’ll just assume he does still have it.

 

It’s actually kind of funny how quirks, something people take for granted, and treat like any other part of themselves, actually come from entities completely independent of them. Some guardian spirits don’t even actually like their charges, they’re just stuck giving them power and protecting them. Just another bit of knowledge no one would believe, even if Izuku told them.

 

Hhm… now that he thinks about it, he’s glad that his guardian spirit is actually quite nice. He doesn’t know what he’d do if it had the same type of personality as some he’s seen. Specifically Kamui Wood’s spirit. His is kind of like Kac-Bakugou, but much worse. To be honest, despite basically being a hero’s quirk, it behaves more like a villain. He still doesn’t know how to feel about it.

Ugh, he should probably stop wasting time. He doesn’t have any pressing matters to attend to, but… actually eating breakfast would be nice. Then he could study or something. But he’s already far ahead in that regard… Maybe he’ll go around and see if anyone needs his help? There are always at least a few ghosts who need something simple to pass on. And spirits also sometimes have some issues he can resolve.

~🌸~

“Izu~kun!” Yukiko calls out, phasing through the wall, into the kitchen “What are you eating?”

 

“Pudding” He answers, shoving another spoonful into his mouth.

 

“Damn, it’s the moments like these that make me wish I was still alive” Yukiko leans against the wall… rather unsuccessfully, seeing as he can still see a gap between where her back is, and the wall.

 

“You need to lean a bit further back, if you want to actually look natural” He says.

 

“It’s really hard to judge where to lean when you just phase through the wall, you know?” She pouts as she rights herself, finally looking at least partially natural “Though I expected that after fifteen years of practice, I’d finally get it right”

 

Izuku simply finishes the pudding and heads towards the door. Yukiko doesn’t question him, instead opting to follow behind. Izuku doesn’t particularly mind it, he knows that being dead must be extremely boring when you can’t even interact with most things. It’s the main reason why he’s drawn glyphs that allow ghost to interact with objects on all his board games.

 

“Want me to ask around and see if anyone needs help?” Yukiko asks once they’re out in the streets.

 

“Please do” He whispers with a small smile.

 

He also searches for anyone needing help, although a bit more discreetly than the girl. After all, the streets are particularly busy here, so if he was too loud when talking to ghosts people would question his sanity. He doesn’t really care about their opinion, but he doesn’t want them to call the police or something on him.

 

It already almost happened once, and he’d rather not deal with it again.

He stops for a moment, amused, as both a ghost and a spirit sit on the same rock, in the exact same place, basically phasing through each other. It sometimes happens, since ghosts can’t see spirits, and most spirits can’t see ghosts. Still, it’s a funny sight, almost as if reality is glitching. Well, in any case, he should probably talk to the ghost, seeing as the spirit doesn’t look particularly troubled by anything.

 

“Hello? Uhm, ghost-san?” He tries to get their attention, and it works, as they rapidly turn towards him with wide eyes.

 

“Dear god, you can see me!” They exclaim, jumping from their place enthusiastically. The spirit simply gives Izuku a passing glance, before going back to watching other people, or whatever they were doing before.

 

“Yes… Would you like me to do something, to help you pass on?” He asks.

 

“Ehh, not really” The ghost shrugs “My only regret is not living to see the flower festival this year, so I’m guessing I’ll just pass on once I see it”

 

“Oh, okay… I guess I’ll be going then…” He murmurs, turning away.

 

“Izu-kun~!” A loud yell rings out, probably Yukiko’s “I’ve found a ghost who needs help!”

 

Without a word, he heads towards the voice.

~🌸~

The ghost’s problem is quite easily solved. They just wanted someone to make sure their cat will be okay, since it was in their apartment when they died. Izuku picks the lock to the flat, enters and then leaves with the cat. He later takes it to the local animal shelter, which seems to be enough for the ghost, as they move on to… wherever ghost go when their business on earth is finished.

 

Huh, maybe his guardian spirit knows where that is? He’s seemed knowledgeable enough when it came to ghosts.

 

“So, are we going to try and find another one?” Yukiko asks him, still looking at various animals in the shelter.

 

“I think we should go back home” He whispers, silently cursing when one of the shelter’s workers gives him an odd look.

~🌸~

It takes a while, but eventually he gets so bored he starts studying. Nothing new, just brushing up on history and maths. It’s not like he needs it either way, but the last exam of middle school is in like, a month or so, so it’s not a completely wasted effort. Come to think of it, he wonders what he’s going to do after that… Thanks to him being so enthusiastic (and in need of a distraction) he’s actually going to complete middle school one year ahead of his peers. Oh, the joys of online learning. It’s much more bearable than actually going to school. But… now he’ll have way too much time on his hands.

 

“Hey, kid, you’re zoning out” Mr. Kamakura’s voice brings him back to reality “You won’t remember much of this stuff if you don’t concentrate, you know?”

 

“You’re back early” He comments, raising an eyebrow at the ghost who obviously just came back.

 

“Yeah… turns out my colleague’s lecture was cancelled after all” The man looks kind of disappointed by this.

 

“I never really get to ask, but what was it about?” He turns away from the books, fully intending to stop studying for today.

 

“It was supposed to be about the effects of heroism on how quirks evolve” Huh, makes sense. After all, when he was still alive, Mr. Kamakura was a college professor on quirk theory, so his colleague would obviously teach something similar.

 

“Does heroism have any effect on quirks though?” It is an interesting question, considering quirks aren’t exactly genetic, like most people believe.

 

“Well, the lecture didn’t happen so I can’t tell you about its stance on the matter but… I think it does have an effect” The man looks like he’s deep in thoughts for just a second, before continuing “Glorification of heroics makes certain quirks more desirable. To the point where some people choose their partners based on their quirk, and children with no quirk, or quirkless, ones are often abandoned. Their death rates are considerably higher, and as a result, the percentage of certain types of quirks is getting higher in comparison to other types”

 

“It sucks” He huffs. What else can he say? As someone who can see ghosts, he can in fact confirm that there are a lot of quirkless people dying.

 

“It’s just how it is. There have always been, and there will always be undesirable traits that people have no control over” The man’s expression shows distaste “Nothing you can do about it, really”

 

“Yeah…” He knows that better than anyone, since no one would believe he has a quirk. Especially with Bakugou… well, being an even bigger asshole than he is towards others.

 

“Don’t get so depressed about it. At least you are still alive, unlike some of us” The ghost smiles tiredly, ruffling his hair – or at least attempting to “And speaking of living, did you choose which school you’ll apply to yet?”

 

“W-well… I was thinking of trying heroics, so one of the schools that offer that-“

 

“A shame. With that brilliant brain of yours, you going into heroics is going to be a loss for science”

 

“I-I’m not especially good… I only seem a bit smart because you’ve been tutoring me since I was, like, seven” He nervously shifts in his seat.

 

“Izuku, trust me, I’ve had students that’d kill to have a brain like yours” The man grimaces “Some of those morons couldn’t even do a simple analysis right”

 

“A-anyways… I’ve been thinking about applying to U.A., but Bakugou is probably going to be there-“

 

“God, him again?”

 

“-So, I was thinking, maybe Shiketsu or Ketsubutsu. Both are rather good”

 

“Yeah, but they’re not quite as great as U.A., from what I’ve heard, at least. Are you really going to settle for less without even trying?” Yukiko butts in, perching herself on Izuku’s desk “Doesn’t seem like… well, something you’d do”

 

“I’d rather not get stuck with Bakugou again” He says, knowing that it still doesn’t explain it clearly to them. After all, even if they haunt him, it’s not like they’ve been with him at school. They don’t know Bakugou outside of what Izuku’s told them.

 

“I still think it’s a waste not to go into the science field” Mr. Kamakura remarks “But I agree with Yukiko. If you’re going to follow your alleged dream, you should at least give it your best”

 

His ‘alleged’ dream, huh. Is he really so unheroic that they doubt he even wants to be a hero…? No, it’s probably something else… They wouldn’t do that to him.

~🌸~

After a few days, Izuku’s guardian spirit, Yami, returns. Apparently, he was helping an old friend out with something, and it took longer than expected. Yami didn’t actually elaborate on what that something might have been, but Izuku knows that asking would get him nowhere. Befitting the half-cat half-owl appearance he has, Izuku’s guardian spirit is not someone who is willing to do anything he doesn’t want to do.

 

It’s literally like trying to win against a cat (or a bird). There is just no way it’s happening.

 

“Are you still planning on becoming a hero?” Yami asks in the morning after his return.

 

“Obviously” He answers, frowning. Did Yami doubt him too…?

 

“Then we’d better start training again. You need to learn more glyphs before I can even consider letting you anywhere near heroics” The creature says “Not to mention, most schools actually require their students to have a quirk”

 

“What do glyphs have to do with having a quirk?” He asks, confused.

 

“For being so smart, you’re somehow dense” Yami looks at him sceptically “You can’t prove you have a quirk, because it only lets you see stuff others can’t, and not much else. But if you learn a glyph that actually has an effect on the physical world, you can just register glyphs as your quirk and no one will be able to call you out on your lie”

 

“Wait, there are glyphs that can directly affect the physical world? As in, without spirits’ or ghosts’ help?” He blinks owlishly. It’s the first he’s heard of that. The only glyphs he knows just let ghosts interact with stuff, or have some effect on spirits. Or are designed for exorcism purposes.

 

“Of course. They’re just rather complicated and energy consuming” Yami sighs “It will probably take a while for you to learn any of them, since we still have to cover simpler glyphs before moving on to more complex ones”

 

“Will I be ready in time for entrance exams?” He asks anxiously.

 

“…I can’t say either way, but you should be able to register your ‘quirk’ by then” The spirit tilts its head “And if nothing else, you still have your ghost-interaction glyphs. Just draw them on a knife or something and let one of the ghosts stab stuff for you”

 

“T-that’s dangerous!!” He nearly yells.

 

“But it is a possibility. Besides, I thought you trusted the ghosts in this house? Can’t they just help you?”

 

“Ugh… probably? I mean-“

 

“Hey, Izu-kun, why were you so loud, did something happen?” Yukiko asks, phasing into his room.

 

“N-not really” He says with a small smile “Uhm, could you leave for a moment…? I’m kinda in the middle of something”

 

“Oh, you’re talking with your ‘spirit’ or something? Is that why you told us to wait outside earlier?” At his nod, she grins “Alrighty! Just remember to say hi from me!”

 

“…She’s certainly a spirited one” Yami remarks.

 

“Wait, was that a pun?” Izuku asks in disbelief “Oh my god, you just made a pun. I can’t believe I lived to see this day”

 

“It wasn’t a pun” The spirit glares at him “It was just a slip of the tongue”

 

“Sure, whatever you say, Yami”

~🌸~

“Hey, Izuku… Where are you planning to apply for school?” Yami asks him out of nowhere during practice a few weeks later.

 

“I was thinking about Shiketsu, why do you ask?” Izuku is mostly confused since his guardian spirit never had much interest in school or other ‘unnecessary human’ stuff.

 

“You should apply for U.A. My friends’ charge is planning to go there” The creature says “It will be good to meet them there. You’d finally have a human friend”

 

“…Even if your friend is his guardian, there is no telling whether or not he’d want to be my friend. After all, most humans don’t really like me” He says bitterly “Besides, Bakugou is probably also going to try to get into U.A. I don’t… want to be anywhere near him”

 

“…By the time the school starts, you’ll be able to protect yourself. I’m sure of it” Yami sighs “And as for my friend’s charge… he’s not the type of person to reject you just for being weird”

 

“I still don’t think it’s a good idea” He mutters, slightly disappointed that Yami just brushed his concerns aside.

 

“Just think about it for now” The spirit chuckles “I’m sure you’ll change your mind. We still have a lot of time. But for now, please try to focus on the training. The glyph you’ve just drawn is so lopsided it looks like a five year old drew it”

 

“I’m trying! And you were the one who started the conversation in the first place! Don’t blame me for being distracted”

Chapter Text

 

Izuku watches in morbid fascination as the mass of shadows swirls around in a corner of his room. It looks similar to the one that tried to steal his pudding… just with more eyes and less arms. He’s still not sure what exactly are they though. Spirits are normally bound to something or someone, ghosts look a bit more human-like, and yokai are… well, yokai have a certain kind of aura around them that this thing is lacking.

 

So, all in all, he’s not sure what to classify it as. Maybe some weirdly deformed poltergeist?

 

“Hey, Yami?” He gets the spirit’s attention “What is that shadowy thing in the corner?”

 

“…What thing – ah. I didn’t know you could see them” Yami jumps onto Izuku’s bed, his tail swishing “Though I guess it makes sense, since you’re training with your power… Izuku, do you remember what the powers I blessed you with do?”

 

“What do you mean, what do they do?” He’s confused now, his quirk is supposed to be pretty straightforward “It enables me to see you, the ghosts, and the yokai, right? Basically seeing through the ‘veil’ or whatever it’s called”

 

“You’re half correct. It does allow you to see through the veil, but it’s better to say it allows you to see certain planes of existence separate from the one you reside on” Yami explains, though Izuku gets the feeling it just complicates things instead “But since your body can’t handle the full extent of my power… there are planes you’d be unable to see. Since you’ve grown so much, and trained your inner power, your magic capacity also grew. Which means you get another fraction of my power, enabling you to see them

 

“What are they, though?” He asks, still trying to wrap his head around the whole thing.

 

“They’re shadows, or what some would call demons” Yami side-eyes the creature in the corner “They don’t actually have their own plane of existence, but the veil around them is especially thick, so you weren’t able to see them before. There aren’t actually that many of them. Normally at least”

 

“That’s good” He hums to himself “It’d be a pain if there were lots of them. The last one tried to steal my pudding, and I have a feeling they’d continue to be a nuisance”

 

“Excuse me, a shadow did what?!” Yami seems shocked for some reason.

 

“It stole my pudding!” He complains, huffing “Or tried to, at least”

 

“That’s… weird” His guardian spirit mutters “They can go between planes of existence, but they don’t usually interact with the physical world”

 

“It was a very good pudding” Izuku says, because yeah, he too would pass into another realm for good food if he could.

 

“…Your pudding’s good quality aside, I wonder what it was thinking” Yami shakes his head.

 

“Well, my guess is that it was after tasty things”

 

“If you feel like that’s reason enough, then I’m kind of worried about your future”

~🌸~

Izuku watches absently as the shadow that showed up in his room today circles the ghosts, who are playing poker today… for whatever godforsaken reason. He’s half-tempted to exorcise it, since Yami informed him that shadows are usually kind of bad, but it didn’t  do anything wrong yet… Well, he’ll just have to keep an eye on it, and maybe kick it out of his house.

 

“Hey, Izuku? Do you want to learn some new glyphs if you have a bit of time?” Yami asks, entering the room.

 

“Sure” He answers. One of the ghosts looks in his direction for a second, before continuing to focus on their game.

 

“I think you’ll like this one” Yami tells him, already drawing the symbol in the air, using fire magic “It’s like the glyph to let ghosts interact with things, but it actually works on humans”

 

“When you say it works on humans… Do you mean that as in…You know…” He fumbles through his words, unable to decide whether he actually wants his theory to be confirmed or not.

 

“It is a glyph that allows even regular ghosts to posses people, if that’s what you’re asking” The spirit says, tilting his head “Is something the matter?”

 

“No, just… It’s nothing” He’s head some rather bad experiences with ghosts possessing people. But Yami wasn’t there, and he never told him, so… No use bringing it up, really. Or more like, he doesn’t want to bring this up “It’s great, but a protection charm against possessing would also be rather helpful”

 

“Huh? I don’t know if it’d be that beneficial to you” Yami blinks owlishly “After all, your talismans already protect against getting possessed by ghosts”

 

“I know, just… If I know the protective glyph for that, I’d be able to make sure other people aren’t possessed either” He mutters, fidgeting.

 

“That is a good point, especially if you want to be a hero…” Yami tilts his head even more, looking like he’s broken his neck by this point (which would be impossible, since his body isn’t exactly physical) “I will teach you that glyph right after you learn the one we were talking about earlier, alright?”

 

“Yeah… that sounds good”

~🌸~

A few days later, Izuku finally sees a yokai again. It’s a nekomata, who is sitting on someone’s shoulder. It’s not particularly unusual, since nekomata’s don’t leave their owners, be it by waiting at their home, or tagging along like this one, but it is something. Maybe they’d know why most yokai who’d usually be in the city up and disappeared.

 

Izuku has no way to talk to them though, seeing as they’re glued to their owner. He can’t ask Yami to talk to them either, since the guardian spirit is somewhere else again, and will only return in a few days. Slightly displeased, he continues on his way. Dagobah Beach should be somewhere in this area… Oh, he sees the sea. Is this the right beach though?

 

He comes closer, and yep, the beach is covered in garbage, making it the Dagobah Beach, probably. At least he hopes so. How awkward would that be, if he cleaned up the wrong beach? Well, he’d still be fine with it since it’d be something good, but the perspective of cleaning two messy beaches in a row doesn’t really appeal to him.

 

He sets his bag down, and gets ready to work. Gloves and a face mask are a necessity in this sort of place, and he’s glad he’s been able to get them before coming here. Well, time to start cleaning this mess. He really hopes it’ll be easier than it seems. To be honest, if he knew it was this bad, he might have turned the ghost’s request down.

 

Oh well. Nothing he can do about it now.

~🌸~

“…Are you free tomorrow?” Yami asks, even though he probably already knows the answer.

 

“Yep~. Are we going to practice the glyphs again?” Izuku tilts his head. Normally, Yami wouldn’t check with him about his schedule, since he already knows most of it.

 

“No… not really. There is a spirit that needs our help, if you’re willing to lend a hand” Yami doesn’t meet his eyes… there is something weird about this…

 

“Of course I’ll help. Why do you look so… uncertain, though?” He asks, suspicious.

 

“Well, it’s a bit of a delicate situation. And you might need to trespass” Yami sighs “There is a kid, about your age, who refuses to use one of his quirks”

 

“One of his quirks…? But don’t people normally have only one quirk?” He asks, thoroughly confused.

 

“What is this about people having more than one quirk I’m hearing?” Mr Kamakura asks, coming up to them.

 

“The kid is basically a chimera… And he has two guardian spirit because of it, but since their powers are intertwined, it just seems like a single quirk. I guess that as far as humans are concerned, it is one quirk” Yami explains, puffing up “But I can’t imagine how bad it must feel when the person you give your blessing to hates it, while also loving the other guardian’s blessing”

 

“…Izuku?” Mr Kamakura looks at him worriedly, and he realises that he must’ve frowned at Yami’s explanation.

 

“Ah, I’m talking with Yami… About someone who is a chimera and has two quirks because of it” He simplifies.

 

“Chimeras don’t have two quirks…” The dead professor frowns at him “It may appear this way sometimes, but in the end, it’s still one quirk”

 

“Well, I guess it really is one quirk to humans” Yami huffs.

 

Izuku doesn’t say anything more, just nodding. He’ll definitely help that spirit though. He can’t even imagine what it must be like for them…

~🌸~

“Thank you for coming all the way here to meet me” The spirit they’ll be helping says, lowering their head.

 

“It’s not a problem” Izuku answers with as soft smile, internally screaming in delight because that spirit is just so fluffy and cute~!

 

It looks like a fennec fox, but it has large, cat-like eyes, and crimson-amber wings. Both its wings and tail are on fire though, so he guesses it would be hard to pet it. It’s really such a waste… Dammit, he wishes he could pet them. Wait, he can’t get distracted. He has a task to accomplish, after all!

 

“So, uhm… anything I need to know before I try talking to your charge for the first time?” He asks anxiously. Mostly because he’s dreading the oncoming social interaction. He’s not that good at talking to humans who are actually alive…

 

“Don’t bring up his father, if you can help it. He’s the reason my little Shouto hates my blessing. It reminds him too much of the power his father’s guardian spirit gifted the man with” The fox spirit huffs. Alright, judging by the ‘my little Shouto’ comment, they’re fond of the boy. Good to know “I don’t think bringing up his mother is a good idea… not yet at least”

 

“Alright, mentioning family is not going to end well, got it” Izuku interrupts, wishing to just move the conversation along and not have the spirit talk about every single family member the boy may have “Does he have any particular interests? Hobbies, or just aspirations? Something that can be used in a conversation?”

 

“…” The spirit seems a bit troubled for some reason.

 

“Don’t worry, Maruko, both me and my charge are used to rather… unpopular interests people might have” Yami assures “We wouldn’t judge your charge for things he likes… As long as it’s nothing too illegal”

 

“It’s not that. The problem is… my charge doesn’t seem to have any particular interests” The fox spirit – Maruko, apparently – looks quite sad in that moment “Ever since he was a little human, he spent most of his time either training or studying. He’s had some interests before, I think, but not anymore. Though… I think he sometimes reads books for fun”

 

“What kind of books?” Izuku questions.

 

“Uhm, I don’t know. I’ve never taken a good look at them” Well, that wasn’t helpful “Though… he also seems to enjoy some sort of ‘theories’ when it comes to heroes… I’ve seen him watch them on his phone from time to time”

 

“Theories on heroes…? So, either conspiracy theories, or quirk and fighting style analysis…” He mumbles to himself, and then says a bit louder “And what type of person is he in general terms?”

 

“Reserved. A bit intense if you mention any sensitive topic near him… Other than that, I think he likes cats…?” Ding-ding-ding! We have a winner of ‘hobbies’ category. Cats are fine, Izuku can work with that interest.

 

“Alrighty then!” He claps his hands once, a habit he got from Yukizome-sensei “I think it’ll be okay if you’re there to help, Maruko. Let’s go~! …Though, we should probably get some sweets or something first. I’ve heard that the best way to break the ice is with food”

 

“…The other blessing is one of ice, but I do not see how food would break it? I also don’t think Shouto would attack you like that” Maruko says, confused “Even if you are going to trespass into his home”

 

“It was a figure of speech…”

~🌸~

Shouto Todoroki is in his room right now, patching himself up after another ‘training session’ with his father. He doesn’t feel nearly as tired as normally, since Endeavor has been called to deal with some villains in the middle of their training session. Small mercies, he supposes. Otherwise, it could have turned ugly, especially with the way his father is getting more and more enraged at his refusal to use fire.

 

…It’s worth it though. After all, it’s the only way he has  to deny this man everything.

 

He finishes applying the bandages and band-aids, then stashes his steadily-decreasing medical supplies back into a drawer. He’ll have to ask his sister to help him buy more soon. He’s been the one to get them the last two times, and if he came again so quickly, the clerk could get suspicious. And finding another store would be a pain.

 

Sighing, he fishes the phone out of his pocket to make the memo. Alright… he should probably study now, since there is a maths exam this week. He’s fairly confident in his skills, but it’s better to revise than to have Endeavor on his case again if his grades aren’t satisfactory. He’s about to move when he freezes at the sound of knocking.

 

It doesn’t sound like knocking on wood, so it’s not his door… It’s coming from the direction of his window…? He curiously looks there, expecting a pigeon, or maybe a crow, but instead gets greeted with the sight of a green haired boy sitting on his windowsill, and smiling. The boy waves at him, once he realises Shouto is looking at him.

 

…What the actual fuck?

 

Not only is this person stupid enough to trespass onto Endeavor’s property (even if the man isn’t here), he’s also apparently skilled enough not to trigger the alarm. And honestly? Shouto isn’t sure if he’s supposed to call the police or just open the window for the boy who looks at least as uncomfortable as Shouto feels.

 

This whole situation is rather unreal, like some kind of dream. Okay, keep calm. He’s not sure what this person wants, but what’s the worst that can happen? After all, if things go south, he can just ice the intruder. Keeping his face deadpan, and making sure he isn’t giving away his injuries as he walks, he comes up to the window and opens it.

 

“Hello!” The boy greets him awkwardly, getting a raised eyebrow from Shouto“…Can I come in, or…?”

 

“No, you’re going to stay right there” He says, harshly grabbing the boy’s hand. A little bit of intimidation might help in this situation “Now, tell me why you’re here, breaking into my home, or I will turn you into a human-popsicle”

 

“Ugh…” The boy looks a bit confused, but mostly panicked “I didn’t break in, I knocked!”

 

“You climbed all the way to my window. I’m sorry to say, but it’s still trespassing” He replies coldly, watching the boy for any reaction. The guy still seems extremely lost, and keeps glancing to the side “Why are you here?”

 

“I’m not doing anything bad, I promise!” The guy moves his hands around when talking, only stopping when Shouto tightens his grip “Can we just talk it out peacefully? I want to be friends… I even brought some sweets!”

 

Okay, what the fuck?

 

“That doesn’t really answer anything… also normally when people want to become friends with someone they don’t just casually climb their windows” He huffs, and the guy squirms, still shooting glances at this one specific spot, even though there is nothing there.

 

“Ugh, I’m not exactly a ‘normal’ kind of person. A-at least not by most standards” The guy finally looks him in the eye “Please let me in, I just want to talk! And also, you could s-still overpower me with ice even if I was inside, so I don’t know why you want me to stay out there so much”

 

“Mostly because you’re weirdly desperate to get inside, and I don’t trust you” He answers blankly.

 

“It’s because the windowsill is really uncomfortable!” The guy argues.

 

“That’s a terrible excuse. For someone who is skilled enough to bypass our security, you’re awfully unprepared” He shoots back.

 

“Oh, come on! Cut me some slack. I thought it’d be easier” The guy mumbles angrily “Look, let’s just talk inside, you’ll still be able to ice me either way”

 

“…Alright, I’ll bite” He sighs, knowing that if he continued to refuse instead, they’d be stuck in a loop, going back and forth on the ‘going inside’ issue “But if you try anything, know it won’t end well for you”

 

“Yep, I know!” The guy is weirdly cheery again.

~🌸~

Dear god, this is a disaster. He knew he wasn’t ready for actual social interaction with a human, but he at least hoped that entering the room would’ve been easier. Well, he was mostly counting on the shock to make the boy surprised enough that he’d let him in, out of either curiosity, or just because he’d be too shocked to do anything but comply.

 

That did not work out at all.

 

And also, the spirits weren’t exactly helpful in this situation, seeming about as out-of-depth as Izuku himself. Mostly due to how bizarre the whole situation was, since they’d have no frame of reference for Shouto Todoroki’s behaviour. He almost thinks he should’ve tried the normal approach instead, but he gets the feeling he’d just be ignored.

 

Still, he’s here now, in front of the boy he has to somehow get to start using his fire. They’re sitting on the floor, both of them are tense, eyeing the other for any sign of aggression – or, in Izuku’s case, for any sign that he might get iced.

 

“So, uhm, I’m Izuku!” He says cheerily, even though internally he’s not only feeling like an absolute idiot, but also being anxious, and wanting to die in that very moment.

 

“…” The youngest Todoroki just narrows his eyes at him “You came in through my window like it’s nothing, and you don’t even know my name…?”

 

“A-ah! No, uhm, it’s not that. I know you’re Shouto Todoroki, it’s just… I thought introductions would have been nice…?” He stumbles through his answer, somehow wanting to die even more. Yami just sighs in resignation in the background.

 

“Right…” Shouto frowns at him, suspicion clear in his eyes.

 

“Maybe you should try your ice-breaking technique with food?” Maruko asks awkwardly, probably regretting asking Izuku to help.

 

“…Are you sure this is a good idea?” Shouto’s other  guardian spirit asks doubtfully.

 

“You’re spacing out” Shouto points out, and Izuku snaps his attention to the boy. Well, now or never!

 

“Uhm, h-here” He takes out the melon bread he’s bought before coming here “H-have some” God, the longer he talks, the worse the stutter, huh. He thought his stutter-related problems ended a few years ago, but apparently not.

 

“How would I know that you didn’t poison it?” Shouto raises quite a valid concern.

 

“Uhm, w-we can eat half e-each? T-when you will k-know it’s not poisonous?” He tilts his head slightly.

 

“…Alright” Huh, is it just him, or does Shouto seem somehow… amused?

 

Anyways, he tears the bread in half, inwardly cringing at how much of a waste it is to destroy a perfectly shaped piece like that – and offers one half to the other boy. Shouto waits for him to take a bite, before digging in. Okay, this went well, maybe the guy will warm up to him a bit now…? Though… he shouldn’t risk that right now.

 

“Well, I gave you food, my goal for today is accomplished” He announces (lies) to the very confused-looking boy across from him “It was nice to meet you! We’ll probably see each other soon, so uhm, please let me in a bit more quickly the next time…?”

 

“Ugh…” Shouto seems speechless, and Izuku doesn’t blame him.

 

“See you~!” He gets up and jumps out the window before the other boy can stop him.

~🌸~

“Oh my god, kill me, that was horrible” He groans once he manages to find some random park, and sit under a tree. Yami, and both of Shouto’s spirits (he doesn’t know why the ice one followed him) look at him with sympathy.

 

“It could’ve been worse. I admit that our plan… was not the most optimal one” Maruko breaches the silence “And I’m sorry for everything that’s happened… I understand if you choose not to help me anymore”

 

“Oh, don’t worry! I will still try to talk some sense into him. I just need time… probably a lot of time” He reassures, grumbling a bit at the end.

 

“Thank you. And don’t worry about the wait. I’ve waited years, and I can wait some more” Maruko smiles fondly.

 

“As long as you make Shouto happy” The other spirit chimes in.

 

Izuku focuses back on them, still unsure as to why they also followed him out. That particular spirit looks like a white bunny, with one crystal (ice?) horn growing on their forehead. Basically a unicorn bunny, which is incredibly cute in his opinion. Not to mention, despite their dignified looking eyes, they’re a rather chubby bunny-creature.

 

“Uhm, spirit-san? I was wondering for a while… but why did you follow us here?” He asks.

 

“…You’re trying to help Shouto, so I was willing to offer my full cooperation” The bunny answers “Also, my name is Uzomi”

 

“Well, uhm, it’s nice to have you on board” He flashes them a smile “Well, I’ll be going now, if you don’t need me for now. I’ll try to talk to Shouto again after some time”

 

“Goodbye, young one” Maruko and Uzomi say in unison, before leaving towards where Shouto’s house should be.

 

“Let’s get back home” Yami says, already on his way.

~🌸~

Days fly by, and soon enough, he’s already finished with all his exams. Now that he’s finished middle school (still one year ahead of his peers), he has a whole year to prepare for U.A.’s exams specifically. He wasn’t so sure about U.A. until recently, but both Yami’s (and ghosts’) nagging, and the fact that Shouto will most likely attend the same school  made him decide to go there.

 

Now that he thinks of Shouto… he should probably visit the boy soon. Both Maruko and Uzomi drop by from time to time to give Izuku updates about the boy, or inform him about possible conversation topics he might consider. All in all, his info gathering about Shouto is doing great, so he should be prepared to face him again soon.

 

Maybe this time he’ll do it like a normal human being. Bump into him on his morning runs (that Maruko told him about), or wait for him outside school (though that could be even creepier than showing up at his house, considering that the info about where he attends should be harder to find than where he lives).

 

Well, either way, he’ll see the boy soon. And hopefully don’t get threatened this time.

 

The other thing he’s doing in long term – cleaning Dagobah Beach – is also going quite nicely. The ghost who requested it visits him sometimes, always thanking him for his hard work. It’s… nice. And thanks to all that work out, he’s starting to become more muscular. Not that he was that scrawny before (he’s always had plenty of exercise with all the ridiculous stuff he was doing), but the effects of working out are unmistakable.

 

Though, to be honest, it’d take a lot of time for him to notice any change at all if Yukiko didn’t point it out. Of course the (dead) girl was enthusiastic about this change, babbling for hours about how it would make certain styles of clothing look better on him (though he personally sees no reason to change his style – he likes his silly t-shirts and loose hoodies).

 

Well, all in all, things are looking quite great. Aside from his anxiety over the fact that in high school he’ll have to actually go to school again, and interact with people there. But! He’s not going to think about that too much. He’s sure that if he ignores it, the problem will go away. Yep… At least he can pretend it doesn’t exist.

[-----------A (quite bad) drawing depicting Yami------------]

Yami

Chapter Text

 

“…Ugh, I feel trouble coming” Yami says suddenly in the middle of their training session.

 

“What kind of trouble?” Izuku asks, tensing a bit. Ignoring Yami’s warnings is never a good idea “The ‘it may hurt and possibly kill you’ trouble or ‘something annoying’ kind?”

 

“…Something annoying” The spirit answers, and just as Izuku sighs in relief, something bumps into the barrier he’d set up around his room “Go and let him in, it’s just Maruko”

 

“Okay…” He sighs, resigned.

~🌸~

“Let me get this straight…” Izuku breaches the dead silence that resulted from Maruko’s request “He didn’t even get to eat dinner, and he was forced to train since coming back home?” He really feels bad for Shouto “…Alright, I’ll accept your request and bring him some food”

 

“Thank you” The troubled spirit sighs in relief “It’s happened before, so I know that he’d just go to sleep without eating anything otherwise. It’s not healthy…”

 

“Yeah… no problem” Even though he’s a bit scared of coming to Shouto again “Do you know what’s his favourite food? Or at least something he’d enjoy?”

 

“Cold soba” The spirit answers immediately “…And I think he enjoyed this ‘melon bread’ thing quite a lot too, when you brought it the last time”

 

“Okay, thanks” He gets up, and gathers everything he’ll need for tonight “Yami, you coming with, or what?”

 

“Of course I’m going” His guardian spirit huffs, looking a bit offended at the question.

 

“Just making sure” He mumbles, leaving his room.

~🌸~

Shouto feels incredibly hungry. But more than that, he’s tired and in pain, so he can’t exactly go and make himself something to eat. He’ll just have to sleep it off, and hope the breakfast will be enough in the morning. It’s actually not that bad… If only he could just fall asleep. He’s actually pretty sure he was close to doing just that, when there is a knock… a knock on the window.

 

Cringing slightly, he looks there, and upon seeing the boy from the last time, he gets up and goes on to open the window. Izuku is smiling at him, though there is something sad in his eyes. It’s a weird sight, but oh well, there is nothing normal as far as the person in front of him is concerned.

 

“Why are you here?” He intends to sound annoyed, but it comes out a little weak.

 

“Food delivery, duh” The guy says like it makes complete sense… On the other hand, if he has food…

 

“Come in” Shouto says, stepping out of the way.

 

It may not be smart to let his guard down, but he really needs this food. Anything to ease the unpleasant feeling in his stomach, and finally go to sleep. Wait, no, nope, he shouldn’t let himself be so easily bought. This may be a trick. Oblivious to his internal battle between common sense and hunger, Izuku simply sits down on Shouto’s futon, taking out some containers from his bag.

 

“Well, I have some cold soba today” The boy says, and what the actual fuck? Is this just a freaky coincidence, or did Izuku look into Shouto’s preferences in food? “And when we’re done with it, I also have a few mochis, if you’d like”

 

“…Thank you” He says, gingerly taking the offered container full of soba.

 

“I’m honestly a bit amazed that everything in my bag survived climbing over the fence, and up to your window” Izuku fills the silence that arises when they start eating “I mean, you’d expect at least one of the containers to break and ruin my bag. I must be exceptionally lucky today”

 

“Mhm” He hums noncommittally, still wolfing down his portion of the dish.

 

“…You should probably slow down a bit when it comes to eating” The boy tells him, concern lacing his tone “You’ll make yourself sick if you eat too quickly”

 

“…I’ll be fine” He mutters, but he does slow down a bit.

~🌸~

Things are great, all things considered. The lack of melon bread on sale was a small setback, but Izuku managed to get some mochis instead. And even the whole ‘meeting with another alive human’ thing isn’t so bad right now, since Shouto is mostly focused on the food. Plus, this time he was actually invited in rather quickly, so that’s a win.

 

He eats his share of soba slowly, savouring the taste. Even if he prefers Katsudon, this is still pretty awesome. The texture and spices are really nice… He’s brought out of his thoughts when he notices that Shouto is done eating. Wordlessly, he slides the package with mochis towards the boy. There are sweet bean, and milk mochis inside. He hopes Shouto will like them.

 

“So…… Did you just decide to bring all of this on a whim, or did you somehow know… about the whole situation?” Shouto asks, sounding a bit suspicious. The boy doesn’t even touch the pastries.

 

“…I can’t answer that question. Or more like, I won’t answer it” He doesn’t meet Shouto’s eyes “All you need to know is that I’m here for you if you need me”

 

“…That’s not reassuring at all”

 

“At least I’m trying”

 

They sit in silence for a while. When Izuku finishes his share of the soba, he sets the container aside, and moves to sit a bit closer to Shouto. The boy seems kind of uncomfortable, but he doesn’t move away. Small steps, huh. Izuku takes a mochi from the package, and motions for Shouto to also take one. The boy blinks at him slowly, but does it anyways.

 

“So… Are you more of a cat person, or a dog person?” He asks casually, before taking a bite out of the pastry.

 

“…I’ve never really considered it. I don’t think I’m that much of an animal person. Pets are too much of a responsibility” The boy rotates the round shape in his hand a few times before popping it into his mouth.

 

“Huh” Weird, wasn’t he supposed to like cats? “But, like, not as pets. Or, well, not quite. Don’t think of the responsibility. More like… if your friend had a pet, that you could play with once in a while. Would you rather it be a cat or a dog?”

 

“A cat” The boy answers without too much hesitation “They’re less energetic, and most of them like my left side for some reason”

 

“It might be because he’s warmer on his left side” Maruko comments. Well, that’s some info to keep in mind for the future.

 

“Cool. I prefer cats too, they’re so soft, and mysterious. Like how they can allegedly see ghosts. I think that’s neat” Izuku rambles on, covering his discomfort with a smile “What’s your favourite colour?”

 

“I don’t really care about things like that” Shouto takes another mochi “As long as it doesn’t look bad where it is, i guess all colours are equally fine”

 

“I personally like green” His smile turns into a pout when the other boy sends a pointed look at his hair, and then eyes “No, it’s not only because my eyes and hair are green”

 

“I didn’t say anything”

 

“But you were thinking it!”

 

“I really wasn’t”

~🌸~

 Shouto is starting to feel slightly irritated. Mostly because he just wants to sleep, but also ‘cause he can’t figure out what the person in front of him actually wants. For five minutes now, they’ve been making small talk, and the boy has been asking about Shouto’s preferences of all things. They were mostly things he doesn’t think much about, such as his favourite season, or what kind of plants he likes.

 

Not to mention, ‘Izuku’ is constantly glancing at something, but no matter how quickly Shouto follows the boy’s gaze, the spot is always empty. It’s driving him insane.

 

“Oh, it’s getting kind of late” The guy says, swiftly gathering all the empty packages back into his bag “Guess I’ll be going now”

 

“Wait!” He calls out, grasping Izuku’s wrist “I just want to know, what do you want from me? Why are you even coming here? How did you know that I liked cold soba, or that I haven’t eaten dinner today?”

 

“I… I won’t answer those questions” A slightly panicked look crosses the boy’s face before he turns it into a smile again “Well, I’m going~!”

 

Before he can do anything else, the boy frees himself from his grasp, and basically jumps out of his window. Well, it doesn’t matter, really. He’ll just get his answers the next time Izuku comes. If he comes at all.

~🌸~

“It feels like we didn’t make much progress in making him use my blessing” A slightly dejected Maruko says.

 

“Things like that need time” Izuku argues, feeling extremely tired for some reason “It’s obviously a sensitive issue, and I’m still basically a stranger to him. I can’t just breach the topic casually. In the worst case scenario, he’d think that his father sent me to make him use his power, and we’d lose our chance altogether”

 

“I know, it’s just frustrating” The fox ears on the spirit’s head flicker a few times.

~🌸~

“Make it a bit rounder” Yami says, pawing at his attempt to draw a glyph he’s been shown “And you’re missing a few strokes here, in the middle”

 

“Can I ask you something?” Izuku waits for Yami to nod before continuing “Why didn’t you teach me those ‘physical’ types of glyphs earlier? I mean, you’ve always known I wanted to be a hero, and they seem really useful”

 

“You wouldn’t be able to activate them…  In fact, you still can’t… yet” Yami sighs.

 

“What do you mean? You said that they only require more energy” Okay, he’s officially confused now. And, frankly speaking, disappointed.

 

“Well, it’s the only technical difference” Yami sighs “But I think you should be able to tell the other difference”

 

“…” He thinks for a while. Obviously, they interact with physical plane, so that’s a difference, but anything else…? “The other ones involve ghosts or spirits? I mean, the ones for ghost-interaction are obvious, but the only others I know have effect on the spirits… Or are activated by something a spirit or a ghost tries to do. Like the protection charms, since they activate on contact…”

 

“That’s correct” Yami closes his eyes for a moment, tilting his head “Every glyph you’ve used up until now utilises another entity’s energy. You’ve never actually activated a glyph on your own”

 

“W-well, I just have to learn how to do it… Can you teach me?” He asks, hopeful. Because damn, physical glyphs are awesome, and he wants a power he can use on his own.

 

“I won’t teach you for now” He deflates at Yami’s words “But it’s not because I don’t want to, or I don’t trust you. It’s because for now it’s literally impossible for you to do this correctly. Your spiritual energy isn’t mature yet, and trying to activate glyphs with it could mess it up”

 

“T-then, why did you even mention those glyphs at all? And why did you think I’d be able to register glyphs as my quirk?” He pouts “When is my spiritual energy going to mature?”

 

“Normally, human’s energy matures when they’re about sixteen-“ Yami gets cut off half-through.

 

“That’s way after the entrance exam!”

 

“-but I’ve found something that’ll help yours mature faster” The spirit shoots him a look “I made a deal with a yokai to obtain that item, and we’ll go pick it up this month. If my estimation is correct, you should be able to use your spiritual energy about a month or two before the actual entrance exam”

 

“Thank you, Yami!” He tries to hug the spirit, forgetting that he’d need to apply a glyph on himself to be able to touch the spirit “…I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t use it for the exam”

 

“Well, you could always go with knife-wielding ghosts” The guardian spirit argues once again.

 

“That wouldn’t end well, we talked about this!” He sputters “Besides, I don’t want any ghost-available knives around when I know that villains can leave ghosts behind. Can you imagine the kind of havoc that’d arise if a ghost-turned villain stole a knife from one of the ghosts that help me?”

 

“Okay, fine, you win” Yami rolls his eyes “I still think that it’d be a good enough idea. And even if something went wrong, we can just deny everything”

 

“No, we can’t” He groans “Glyphs are going to be registered as my quirk. If anything went wrong, it’d be all on me”

 

“You’re exaggerating”

 

“I’m really not”

~🌸~

“So… That yokai is living in a shrine?” Izuku asks once they arrive to where they are supposed to pick up the item that’d help him activate glyphs.

 

“That’s right. But since they’re masquerading as a human, they’re actually posing as a shrine maiden and not a deity” Yami walks onto the shrine grounds, and he reluctantly follows “There is also a spirit bound to this shrine. I doubt they will come out to meet us though. Like many other spirits who have blessed some place, instead of a human or other organism, they’re mostly preoccupied with managing the energy flow here, and applying protection to at least lessen the damages to the buildings”

 

“That’s… neat, I guess” He tilts his head, thinking intensely “Are there many places blessed by the spirits?”

 

“That depends on the area” Yami seems to shrug “For some reason, lesser guardian spirits like blessing lakes, and springs, in particular”

 

“Uhm… ‘Lesser’ spirits? So there are ranks among spirits too?” He asks, looking around the shrine. The place seems kinda empty.

 

“Of course. Most medium and higher spirits choose to bless living organisms though” Yami seems to shudder, as if remembering something unpleasant “There are even factions fighting over what’s the best thing to bless. They can cause quite a lot of trouble over in the spirit world”

 

“…!” He turns to his spirit guardian sharply. It’s not often that Yami talks about the spirit world, and he usually clams up whenever Izuku asks about it “So, does that mean that once you bless something you can still return-“

 

“Can I help you with something?” A feminine voice cuts him off, and when he looks in its direction, there is a girl-appearing person with fox ears and tail standing near one of the ponds.

 

“You know why we’re here, Kamikou” Yami huffs “I’ve kept my end of the deal. Now it’s your turn”

 

“Of course” The yokai(?) smiles, and motions for them to follow “Come on, I’ve left it further in the shrine”

 

“…Let’s go” Yami says when he sees Izuku hesitating.

 

They walk into the shrine. There is only an old woman praying inside, and Izuku can’t help but feel she appears to be really lonely. They pass her without a word, heading towards the priestess’ room. He’s asked to wait outside, while Yami and Kamikou go in. When they reappear, the priestess is holding some… plant?

 

“Here. It’s a Jubokko sapling” Kamikou says, and he startles, recognising the name of a yokai. And not the good kind of yokai either.

 

“Uhm… thank you…?” He says, confused. He’s heard that Jubokko’s branches can heal people, but how is it going to help him…?

 

“We thank you for your trouble” Yami says “Be assured that we’ll make this tree thrive” Heck no “And treat it with respect” He really doesn’t like what it implies.

 

“That’s good enough for me” Kamikou chuckles “I give thee my advice, shall you come seek it here” Oh, so they’re offering to give them advice if they come back here. Also, why does it feel like their tone changed? “Farewell”

 

“Goodbye” He says, turning away.

 

“Farewell” Yami echoes yokai’s words.

~🌸~

“Okay, what the fuck” Izuku curses once they’re back in his room “Yami, Jubokko is literally a vampire tree! It feeds on human blood. Why exactly are we trying to grow it?”

 

“I told you it’ll help you with your spiritual energy” His guardian spirit circles the sapling, inspecting it from all sides “It comes from an old tree. It’s soaked up its fair share of both human, and yokai blood. I can feel a lot of energy in it”

 

“That doesn’t make me feel any better…” Actually, he feels slightly nauseous just looking at the sapling.

 

“Don’t be picky. Monstrous yokais like this are really hard to come by these days” Yami tries to poke at the little tree “I’ll help you prepare it for eating later”

 

“Yikes” He mutters, resigned.

~🌸~

A few hours later, he’s forced to eat a few leaves, and a twig from the tree. It… doesn’t taste terribly. It has this plant-y taste, with a pang of something iron-y. It’s the knowledge that the sickeningly sweet resin is full of blood that almost makes him gag. He powers through his disgust and manages not to throw up. Good job him.

 

“Now, we should let it regrow, and adapt to the new environment” Yami says “You can water it with your blood mixed with regular water. Though, it would be better if we were able to get some variety of blood for it”

 

“I’d really rather not” He shudders “If I have to feed this thing, I’d feel better knowing it’s only my blood”

 

“It’ll be more effective if it has a variety of blood”

 

“You know what, I really don’t like our new vampire tree”

~🌸~

The next day, he begins to feel results of eating the freaky tree twig, and it’s honestly not the best feeling. He feels… just a bit too hot for it to be normal, and there is this weird energy thrumming through him. Or rather… there is some weird energy in the air. He can’t quite put his finger on it, but there is something out there… He decides to ask Yami about it.

 

“Ah, your quirk is just growing rapidly because your power capacity basically doubled overnight” The spirit says, watching him carefully “Tell me if at any point it feels like it’s too much for you, okay? I’ll try to help you through it”

 

“Okay, but… what is that weird energy in the air” He asks squinting when he sees something like a tunnel of energy in the air, vaguely placed between him and his guardian spirit.

 

“It’s always been there, your ‘eyesight’ was just never sensitive enough to pick up on it” Yami continues observing him “If you get a sensory overload from everything, please call for me. I should be able to at least lessen it a little”

 

“…Is it that bad?” He asks, his voice pathetically quivering.

 

“You’re going to be hit with sensations that’d normally take at least a year to develop. It will be bad” Yami sighs “Also, just a heads up, but you’ll probably be seeing more spirits and shadows from now on. It’s the weaker ones, since they’re pretty well hidden behind the veil. Just don’t freak out, okay?”

 

“…I’m going to sleep, and I’m sleeping this off” He decides, already heading to bed “If you need me, know that I’m going to be rethinking my life decisions”

 

“It won’t be that bad”

 

“Possible sensory overload, plus a load of new spirits and shadows that I couldn’t previously see? What exactly screams ‘not so bad’ about this situation?”

 

“Oh, come on, now you’re just being overdramatic”

 

“Goodnight”

 

“It’s barely noon!”

 

“I’m still going to sleep, goodnight”

~🌸~

After a few days of lying in bed, and adjusting to the new development in his quirk, (and a bit of his ghosts freaking out, wondering if he’s sick), he can more or less function again. It’s still weird to see so much more though. One of the differences is that he can actually see a bit of the guardian spirits’ ‘blessing’.

 

Or at least that’s what Yami claims it is. And it actually makes a bit of sense, since it’s mostly just a bit of energy coming from guardian spirits, somewhere towards their charges. It’s really headache inducing when he looks at big crowds though. Mostly because those energy links are colourful, and rather bright.

 

Another things he’s able to see now are ‘lesser’ guardian spirits. From what he’s seen, most of them bless plants, or particularly large rocks. There are also… other spirits. Yami says that they aren’t ‘guardian spirits’, since they aren’t blessing anything. Izuku is not entirely sure what they are, and whenever he asks his guardian spirit, Yami simply says that he shouldn’t be concerned about them.

 

But he can’t shake off this feeling that there is something more to it. After all, from what he knows, spirits can stay in the physical realm only if they’re bound to something or someone there. Yami even said that when the contract binding the spirit to someone ends (that is, when that person dies), the spirit has no choice but to return to the spirit world.

 

That’s supposedly the reason why so many spirits actually choose to bless humans.

 

Still, there is not much he can do to learn more. The spirits themselves are avoiding him, and when he asked Maruko and Uzomi about it, they simply said that they trust Yami’s judgement in this case, and will leave it to him as to whether or not to tell Izuku more. It’s frustrating.

 

Aside from that, he’s forced to take care of the freaky blood-tree. It seems to like his blood a bit too much, even trying to latch onto his arm when he attempted to feed it. On that note, since he didn’t have a syringe, he had to use a knife to get some of his blood. And it seems like the gash he made will scar. Oh well, it’s not like it’s especially large, so who cares.

 

At least he isn’t the only one freaked out by the vampire tree. Actually, he’s pretty sure that if Yukizome-sensei wasn’t already dead, she’d have had a heart attack when the tree attacked him. She actually tried to get him to get rid of it, but well, he’s not going to go against Yami. The only ghosts that didn’t have negative reaction to the tree were Mr. Kamakura (who was mostly fascinated by a ‘tree with a quirk’ as he called it) and Akabane (who decided the tree was metal as hell).

~🌸~

“Hey, beansprout, could you help me with something?” Yukizome-sensei asks a few days after his recovery.

 

“Sure” He immediately agrees, putting down his notebook and a pen “What do you need?”

 

“Well… Uhm, I’ve heard that one of those runes you draw-“ It’s a glyph, but he’s not going to correct her “-allows ghosts to posses someone?”

 

“…What about it?” He makes sure to keep his smile pleasant, but he can tell he’s unconsciously tensing.

 

“I was wondering… If I could borrow your body for a bit… Oh my god, this sounds so bad. Actually it is bad” Yukizome-sensei winces slightly, looking ashamed “Actually, forgot I said anything. I’ll be going now…”

 

“Wait!” He stops her “…What would you need my body for?”

 

“Well, it’s kind of silly, actually” The woman looks a bit guilty “It’s just… as a ghost, I can’t bake at all. It’s been getting to me recently. I was wondering if you’d let me do it as you, but… it’s a selfish request. I’m sorry”

 

“No, it’s… okay” He sighs “I… I will let you. If you still want to…”

 

“Thanks beansprout” Yukizome-sensei gives him a warm smile.

 

“So, what are we going to make?” He asks, mirroring her expression.

 

“Hmm, does chocolate cake with fruit sound good to you?”

 

“Yep”

~🌸~

He’s walking towards Shouto’s house, a piece of Yukizome-sensei’s heavenly cake in his bag, when he hears yelling. Yami gives him the ‘you better not’ look, but he ignores it, and rushes towards the noise. It brings him to an alleyway, where he sees a rather scary scene. A bunch of ghosts, and near poltergeists, stand around looking at a fight.

 

The only living figures there are the attacker, who is a rather dangerous-looking man, the pro hero – those goggles… Eraserhead? – and an injured person on the ground. He observes for a second, before deciding to help. He tries to get the attention of the nearest ghost.

 

“Excuse me… uhm… Mr. or Mrs. Ghost?” He whispers, keeping an eye out to make sure he isn’t heard by the villain.

 

“W-wait, you can see us?!” The ghost yells, turning around to face him “Get out of here kid! He’s going to kill you if you don’t”

 

“Ah, don’t worry, I think I’ll be fine” He tries to give a reassuring smile, but judging by the ghost’s expression, he fails miserably “Uhm, do you want to help with the fight?”

 

“Kid, I’d really want to cave the guy’s face in, but I can’t do shit” Ghost looks nervously between the fight and him.

 

“I can help you” He says, taking a marker pen out of his backpack “Just promise to hurt only the villain?” He sees Eraserhead being slammed against the wall, and winces. Yeah, the guy doesn’t seem like he’s winnig.

 

“Sure. He’s the only one I want to suffer anyways” The ghost looks at him with doubt “But I don’t think you could help me in any way”

 

“Just give me a second” He says, grabbing a nearby bottle that’d been broken in half. It looks dangerous enough. He writes a glyphs on it, the one that allows ghosts to interact with stuff “Go for it” He says, holding the bottle out to the ghost.

 

“Kid, I really can’t grab any-“ The ghost cuts themselves off, eyes widening as they actually manage to grab the broken bottle “Oh, heck yeah”

 

Izuku watches as the ghost runs –floats?- up to the villain, and buries the glass in him. He winces. Okay, maybe that wasn’t the smartest move on his part. But at least it works, kinda…? The villain whirls around, giving Eraserhead an opening. The ghost tries to get the bottle back, but it seems like the glyph cracked and it’s not working anymore (thankfully).

 

Soon enough, the villain is left tied up in scarves. Izuku slips away from there before the hero can see him. He really doesn’t want to be charged with vigilantism. Yami keeps glancing at him for some reason, looking like he’s deep in thought. After some time, they get to the area where Shouto’s house is. Before he can climb the fence though, Yami lands in front of him.

 

“So… are you finally admitting that knife-wielding ghosts would work?” The spirit asks and Izuku sputters.

~🌸~

Aizawa has seen a lot of really weird things. It comes with the job, he supposes. But just because he’s used to the certain degree of weird that comes with quirks doesn’t mean he’s any less surprised when the weird shit actually happens. In this case, a bottle randomly levitated itself from around the corner and stabbed the villain he was trying to detain.

 

His first thought was that maybe the victim found some way to use his quirk. But no, the man is still lying on the ground, looking about as shocked as Aizawa. The villain obviously wouldn’t do that to himself, so that leaves the interference from a third party. A vigilante, most likely. But when after restraining the villain Aizawa checks around the scene, there are no signs of anyone being there. Of course, maybe the vigilante just didn’t leave anything obvious.

 

He’ll have to leave the rest to the police.

~🌸~

“…So, are you just going to keep coming here out of nowhere?” Shouto asks after letting Izuku in.

 

“Yep~” He smiles as widely as he can, ignoring the eye roll he gets from Yami. Like, rude, it’s not easy to talk to humans, excuse him for being a bit different than his usual persona.

 

“Pft” Shouto snorts in amusement. To be honest, that’s probably the most undignified sound the boy has made in Izuku’s presence. Though they’ve only seen each other, like three times “I really can’t figure you out, you know?”

 

“Sorry… I’m just…” He vaguely gestures to himself “…like that. I doubt you’ll ever get your answers, if I’m being honest”

 

“I just need to know one thing” The air around the boy suddenly gets more sombre “Was it my father that sent you?”

 

“What…?” He tilts his head in confusion.

 

Why’d Endeavor send him to be his son’s friend if he obviously doesn’t want the teen to have any ‘distractions’ (at least according to the spirits). Then it clicks for him that the bastard would do something like this to get Shouto to use his flames, if he was actually smart enough to think of it. He glances at Maruko and Uzomi, who both seem a bit concerned. Well, time to take a risk.

 

“Uhm, will you be offended if I insult your father?” He doesn’t wait for an answer, just takes in Shouto’s surprised look and continues speaking “Because I really don’t like Endeavor, and wouldn’t help him no matter what he offered in return. Sorry if I’m making you uncomfortable, but he just rubs me the wrong way”

 

“T-that’s fine” Shouto looks like he’s stopping himself from laughing “Just wasn’t expecting that”

 

“No one ever does” He shrugs. It’s true though. Everyone just overlooks heroes’ flaws most of the time.

~🌸~

A few days later (and one more portion of freaky-tree-twig) Yami starts teaching him how to utilise his spiritual energy. Mainly to activate glyphs, though he also showed him how to give some of his energy to other things. Which is just so cool, since he managed to make a flower bloom all on his own (even if he did faint from over-exertion afterwards).

 

What he notices once he actually starts activating the glyphs is that most of them are rather… unimpressive. The fire one is about as powerful as a regular lighter, the wind glyph just causes a light breeze, and water glyph condenses some water from the air. Yami assures him that it’s mainly because he, like most humans, doesn’t have much spiritual energy, and that he specifically should be able to gather more as he practices.

 

The only problem is that it’ll take time.

 

Though, seeing as those glyphs have some visible effect, he should be able to at least register his ‘quirk’. Now that he thinks about it… U.A.’s entrance exam usually has robots in them. If he can learn some electrical glyph, then even if it’s not especially strong he might just be able to mess the robots up. A fried wire should be all it takes.

~🌸~

A few weeks later, when he’s running errands for a ghost, something rather… unexpected happens. A video-game-style slime suddenly appears before him as he tries to enter the underpass, stopping him. It looks cutesy, as it jiggles, but it also looks really worried.

 

“What’s wrong, small one?” Yami asks, landing between the guardian spirit and Izuku.

 

“Please don’t go there! My charge is a villain, he may hurt you” The slime wiggles comically, but their words are concerning.

 

“Where is your charge?” He asks, since he doesn’t know where exactly to run towards. It’d be bad if he tried to escape just to bump into the villain.

 

“He’s going to come here through the sewers. Through that manhole in the underpass” The slime stretches a part of its body to point there.

 

“Alright, let’s leave, Yami” He says, turning away.

 

He starts sprinting away, when he hears a loud crash. He tries to speed up, but he’s apparently not fast enough, as he feels something slimy engulfing his leg. It makes him trip, and more and more of the slimy substance pours over him.

 

“What a lucky find. Who would’ve thought I’d find an invisibility cloak here” The villain sneers “Though you sure are a fast one… Don’t struggle, it’ll only take a moment”

 

He sends a panicked glance at Yami, who looks about as horrified as he feels. Wait… he has his marker pen. He should be able to use some glyph, if he can reach it. Fighting against his instincts, he stops clawing at the slime and reaches for his bag instead. He manages to find the pen, and he uncaps it, beginning to draw.

 

It’s a slime so water wouldn’t help… maybe fire can do something? He writes the fire glyphs, but the  slime just snorts in amusement when flames lick his surface. Yami starts writing something in the air, and he follows the spirit directions, copying the glyph onto his skin. He feels distinct coldness, and the slime around the glyph turns to greenish ice.

 

“Give up, it’s not going to help you, kid” The slime just tries to suffocate him even more fiercely.

 

H-he’s out of options… He can feel his consciousness fading, as he lets go of the marker. Yami is shouting in frustration. The slime spirit seems equally sad, but resigned. This is it, huh…? Just as black creeps into his vision, he sees a new spirit arrive, and someone appearing from the manhole. Green eyes meet blue, before his consciousness slips. The last thing he hears is the catchphrase of his childhood idol, said in booming voice.

 

“Have no fear, for I am here”

 

~🌸~

When All Might arrives at the scene, and sees the limp body of a teenager in the villain’s grasp, he fears he’s too late. But that’s for later. Right now, he has to do something about the slime villain.

 

---A drawing of Uzomi, Shouto's ice spirit---

Chapter Text

 

When Izuku comes to, it’s to the sensation of someone slapping his cheek. He opens his eyes groggily, wincing at the sun. His head hurts, and it takes him a good second before he can see anything and oh god, it’s All Might right in front of him. He and his childhood hero lock eyes for one, incredibly awkward moment, before relief flashes through the hero’s eyes, as the man laughs loudly.

 

“Oh, thank goodness!” All Might says, backing away “You’re okay! Excellent!!”

 

“What…?” He just blinks owlishly, not processing the scene in front of him.

 

“Apologies… For getting you caught up in my villain hunt. Mistakes like that aren’t my style, but…this is a strange land, and besides I’m off camera” The hero strikes some ridiculous pose, and Izuku can see Yami, and some ghost lady, rolling their eyes in the background “But since I’ve successfully contained the villain, I must be off!! Thanks for your support!”

 

And with that the hero flies off. The ghost lady follows after him. Huh, weird. Was she a fan, or does All Might actually have a ghost. Not to mention… for whatever reason, the ghost has a link of energy coming out of her… a ghost bound to a spirit? Weird.

 

“Hey, Izuku, you alright?” Yami asks, still looking worried.

 

“Yeah, ‘m fine” He mumbles, looking at the remaining spirits.

 

Yami is obviously here, and so is the slime-like one. There are also two unfamiliar spirits. One is a small dragon with a mane, and two horns. The other is a white snake with wings. There are some weird… gems floating around the snake. Six in total.

 

“Uhm, excuse me, but who are you?” He addresses the unfamiliar spirits. One of them could be All Might’s, and that’s actually exciting as hell.

 

“I’m Aisha, my current charge is the man that saved you” The snake spirit says, looking at him with amusement.

 

“My name is Rairou. I’m All Might’s other guardian spirit” The dragon speaks up, and Izuku blinks owlishly at them. Wait, All Might has TWO spirits?

 

“Wow, that’s… that’s actually such an honour to meet you” He says, almost mumbling “Uhm, I’ve been wondering if you could tell me, but what actually is All Might’s quirk?”

 

“That’s something our charge wishes to remain a secret” Aisha says, as they fly closer to him “We shall keep all of our charge’s secrets”

 

“It’s not like he’d scream it from the rooftops” Yami rolls his eyes again “Besides, you both do know that I know exactly what blessing you’ve graced that human with? I could just tell my charge”

 

“You don’t have the guts to do that, feathered cat” Aisha chuckles with a subtle hiss “You’re well aware of what the consequences of owning that knowledge would be for your charge”

 

“I was under the impression that you don’t want your charge to be haunted by villains” Rairou chimes in, tilting their head “You know as well as I do that this kind of information would put him in danger”

 

“Dear god, I haven’t seen you two in so long I actually forgot how creepy it is when you agree on something” Yami huffs.

 

“Yami! Don’t be rude, they’re All Might’s guardian spirits” He chastises “It was nice to meet you, Aisha-san, Rairou-san” He bows his head.

 

“Oh, I like this one. Why did you never tell me he was so polite, Yami?” Aisha seems to smile, though it’s a bit hard to tell.

 

“Because I know that letting you anywhere near my charge when he’s still a kid is not a good idea” Yami resolutely steps between him and the snake spirit “I would appreciate it if you left”

 

“…You know, you don’t have to be so stressed” Rairou scoffs, turning away “We’re not about to break our promise”

 

“I should hope so” Yami grumbles.

 

“Farewell, feathered cat” Aisha chuckles and flies away. The dragon spirit follows after them.

 

“…What promise?” Izuku asks “It’s obvious that you’ve known them for quite some time – and by the way, I’m hurt you didn’t tell me -, but like, what kind of promise? I assume it has something to do with me since you asked them to leave like that”

 

“…It’s a long story. You’ll know when the time comes” Yami sighs “Don’t look at me like that, you really aren’t ready to hear it. It involves a rather dangerous villain, and just knowing about it could put you in danger”

 

“A villain…?” He frowns. Well, that’s a first. Usually Yami isn’t especially interested in labels like heroes and villains.

 

“Oh, uhm, excuse me?” A tiny voice speaks up. Izuku turns to see it’s the slime spirit, who for some reason is still here “I-I’m really, really sorry about my charge’s behaviour”

 

“Oh, don’t worry about it, it’s not your fault” He smiles at the spirit, trying to be as reassuring as possible “You couldn’t have known he would turn into a villain when you blessed him. If anything, I’m the one who is sorry that one of my kind is behaving like that”

 

“…You’re a strange human” The slime chirps, seemingly much more cheerful “But thank you. My name is Joko, if you ever need my help, please call on it”

 

“I will” He replies. If a human tried to offer him a favour, he’d turn them down, but it’s a different thing with spirits. Turning down a guardian spirit would be extremely rude, according to what Yami said once.

 

“…Oh, I should probably be going now” Joko says, turning around “I have to make sure my charge doesn’t get in too much trouble… at least as far as other spirits are concerned”

 

“Goodbye… and good luck” He returns.

 

“Yeah, you’ll need it” Yami adds.

~🌸~

“So… care to fill me in on why Aisha called you a feathered cat? Besides the obvious appearance thing” Izuku asks, a mischievous grin on his face.

 

“An old nickname” Yami sighs dramatically “I really wish they’d stop using it though. It brings back way too many memories. Especially the ones of the spirit world”

 

“Are they really that bad?” He asks curiously.

 

“Izuku, there is a reason so many spirits spend their time on earth. If you think this place is depressing, then you should know that the spirit world is even worse” Yami’s tone is deadpan, and somehow haunted.

 

“Never mind, I don’t think I want to know anymore”

~🌸~

The next day, he prepares his usual training gear, and goes to Dagobah Beach. He’s alone since Yami leaves to take care of ‘something’. What this something actually is, Izuku doesn’t know. But, back to the beach… The cleaning is almost complete. There are, like, five heaps of junk left. He’s a bit concerned about what seems to be a car in one of them, but he’ll somehow pull it off.

 

When he’s about to start on the second heap, he hears footsteps. Turning around, he’s greeted by the sight of the ghost who was following All Might, and some skeletal looking guy with blond hair, who wears incredibly baggy clothes. For a moment, he wonders if the man is a relative of the ghost. Then, he notices All Might’s spirits… and the fact that the guardian spirits’ energy link connects them to the man.

 

What the fuck…?

 

Why does this guy have All Might’s guardian spirits? Did he somehow get his quirk? Or… is it actually All Might? The hero’s quirk is obviously strength-related, but considering he has two guardian spirits, transformation being part of his quirk is not out of the realm of possibility.

 

Seemingly familiar blue eyes lock with his own. They stare at each other for a moment, before the man frowns, probably confused by Izuku’s deer-in-the-headlights impression. He locks eyes with Aisha, before they leave, together with the dragon spirit. Well, looks like he’s on his own here. He startles a bit when the man walks closer to him.

 

“Ah, young man! I didn’t mean to alarm you, I was just going for a jog, and noticed that the beach is cleaner than the last time I saw it” Possibly-All-Might says, jogging up to him “Were you the one to clean it up?”

 

“Uhm…” Izuku gives a pointed look to the piece of trash in his hands “Yes…?”

 

“It’s always good to see youngsters such as yourself doing such things” The man smiles at him, his sunken eyes shining “You did a fine job, young man!”

 

“T-thank you, All Mi- uhm, sir” He screams internally when the man tenses, catching his slip-up. Possibly-All-Might’s smile falters, and his eyes widen with shock and… fear? Hostility?

 

“What did you just say…?” The man asks, calmly, but his tone is flat and strained at the same time. Okay, time to think of some excuse.

 

“Oh… uhm…” Quick, any excuse is fine… “I’m sorry. I-I… I know it’s a bit rude, but I’ve been calling you Skeletal All Might in my head, and it kind of slipped out… I’m really sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you…”

 

“Young man… please stop lying” All Might’s voice is now completely strained and almost openly hostile. The ghost that’s been with him is also glaring daggers at Izuku.

 

“I-I’m not lying…!” He instinctively steps back, letting go of the metal junk he’s had in his hands.

 

“If you weren’t lying, you would’ve called me ‘Skeletal All Might’ from the start… not just ‘All Might’” The blue eyes are stormy.

 

“I’m so s-sorry, Sir” He steps back again. Is yeeting himself into the ocean an acceptable option? Cause’ he’d want to do that “B-but you’re not All Might either way, so does it really matter?”

 

“Don’t play dumb” The blond man is eyeing him cautiously, probably ready to bolt after him if he tries to escape. He’s majorly fucked “Who told you? Was it All for One…? But he should be dead…” The last part is mumbled. All Might steps forward and grabs Izuku’s arm “Who told you?”

 

“…!” Izuku is really close to having a panic attack of sorts. God, he wishes Yami was there “I-I… No one told me… I swear”

 

“…We’ll talk at the police station” The man’s voice is somehow stern, like there is a warning in it.

 

He has to stop himself from screaming when the man actually transforms himself into All Might, picks him up bridal style and jumps into the sky. Yep, this is how he’s going to die. Because of a stupid misunderstanding. Oh god, oh dear god. He curls into himself as much as he can, dread washing over him.

~🌸~

Tsukauchi Naomasa is working on the Phantom case – the one about a vigilante that saved Eraserhead a while ago, with just a floating bottle – when his phone rings. He curiously looks at the screen, seeing that it’s a call from Toshinori. He frowns slightly, since the man should have no reason to call him right now. Still, he answers.

 

“Toshinori? Is everything alright?” He asks, trying not to let worry into his voice “You rarely call outside of work, did something happen?”

 

“Could you prepare a very secure and discreet interrogation room?” Toshinori gets right to it. That’s a bad sign, since the guy is normally more polite about things “I have someone… I feel you should meet. And interrogate”

 

“Alright, it’ll be ready in a moment” He says, dropping everything he’s been doing and rushing out to request the room.

 

“Great. I’ll see you in a second” The number one hero says, before ending the call.

From Toshinori’s call, Naomasa was prepared for a hardened criminal. Imagine his surprise when All Might comes with a shaking, almost crying teenager in his arms, and mercilessly shoves him into the interrogation room, before walking out to do the standard pre-interrogation talk with Naomasa, and fill him in on the details.

 

“Uhm… Toshinori, why did you request an interrogation room like this for a literal teenager” He can’t keep the disbelief from his tone.

 

“He knew about my other form, Tsukauchi. He slipped and almost called me All Might when I was in my other form” His friend looks anxious “There is no way he anyone would have figured it out on their own. Someone must have told him, and I doubt it was any of the heroes”

 

“…You think it’s All for One” He whispers. Because, well… that’s the only logical conclusion. Yet, it can’t be logical – All for one is dead “Toshi, that man died years ago”

 

“Then how do you explain this” Toshinori gestures vaguely towards the teen, who is now curling into himself and visibly shaking. Naomasa feels bad for him “I gave him a chance to explain himself, Tsukauchi. But he lied to me”

 

“Toshi, please calm down. You’re not thinking straight” He grips his friend’s forearm to keep him from pacing nervously “Even if he’s a villain, he’s fourteen at most, and obviously panicking. Let’s just calm down, and talk to him. Maybe it’s all just a big misunderstanding?”

 

“I don’t think it is, Tsukauchi” Toshinori tells him, sighing “This is a mess”

 

“Maybe, but we have to make sense of this mess. So let’s just interrogate him, calmly. Even if he is an enemy, I doubt he could fight against you. So just relax” He tries to get his friend to stop being so paranoid, and surprisingly it’s somehow working.

 

“Alright… let’s go in” Toshinori says, looking less panicked now.

 

“Power down first. We don’t need to scare the kid more than necessary” At Toshinori’s doubtful look, he rolls his eyes “He already knows about your other form. Wasting your hero time on this would be a bad idea. Not to mention, even if the boy tries something, you can still react quite quickly”

 

“Right…”

 

 

 

When they come into the interrogation room, the first thing he noticed is the sound of heavy breathing. Way too quick to be normal. Realising that the boy is hyperventilating, he quickly rushes to his side. The teenager flinches when he notices Naomasa, curling into himself even more, panic flashing through his eyes.

 

“Hey, everything is okay” He tries to reassure him, not touching him for now for fear of making it worse “We’re not going to hurt you, and you’re not in trouble” Yet “We just need to ask you some questions, okay? Nothing bad is going to happen to you here”

 

He’s not sure if it’s helping, but he continues talking, trying to be as soothing as he can. He subtly glances at Toshinori, noticing the shame, guilt, and a different than before kind of panic in his eyes. He must feel (rightfully) responsible for the boy’s current state. He continues murmuring reassurances until the teen calms down.

 

“Are you alright?” He asks softly when the teen’s breathing fully returns to normal.

 

“…” The kid glances off to the side, staring at nothing for a moment, before replying “Yeah” Lie “Or, well… as good as I can be… considering… yeah” Truth.

 

He smiles softly, backing away from the teen. It’s bad that he’s not fully okay, but it’s not like Naomasa can expect him to be alright. He should probably be delicate here. He motion for All Might to back off and stand by the door – and his friend follows his non-verbal instructions – before moving to sit in front of the boy.

 

“Alright, let’s start with something easy” He says, taking out his notebook “What’s your name?”

 

“Midoriya… Izuku Midoriya” The boy says, still looking uncomfortable, but at least not crying or panicking. Truth.

 

“Alright Izuku-“ He’s found in his early days that using the first name towards non-adults is usually the right choice. It calms most of them down a bit “-could you tell me how you knew about All Might’s other form?”

 

“…!” For a moment, he’s scared that the boy will panic again, but Midoriya simply shoots a glance to the side, and hugs himself “I… I didn’t…” Truth. Okay… that’s interesting “I… you wouldn’t believe me anyways, even if I told you”

 

“I have a lie detecting quirk. If you tell the truth, I will believe you” He says in his best reassuring tone.

 

“Well… uhm… it’s my quirk…? In a way…” Truth. Midoriya fiddles with his hands “I can… see people’s… uhm… well… quirks, basically…? And All Might’s was there when that man came to the beach… so…” Truth “I just… connected the dots, I guess…?” Truth.

 

“…” He can’t help but stare. Oh god, it really was just a misunderstanding. He feels really bad for the poor boy “Alright, thank you. Just to be sure, but before you’ve seen All Might at the beach, you didn’t know about this, right?”

 

“Yeah…” Truth.

 

“Alright, just one more question, okay?” He smiles at the boy, as he seems to relax slightly “Does the name ‘All for One’ sound familiar at all?”

 

“Uhm, All Might mentioned someone like that when he t-tried to guess how I knew about his secret but… I don’t know who that is” Truth.

~🌸~

After he promises not to tell anyone about what he knows (and a few apologies from the number one hero) Izuku is allowed to leave. Holy shit, how lucky is he to get a detective with a lie detecting quirk? If it wasn’t for that, he’d be done for. Though… It’s kind of sad to realise that not only is his idol in that state… He’s also rather terrifying at times.

 

There is also one thing that he can’t get out of his head: who is All for One?

 

Well, it’s not like he’ll figure anything out just by thinking. He has too little information to go on here. And the fact that Yami (who got summoned by Aisha and came to the interrogation room to calm Izuku down)  is anxiously floating next to him and murmuring about how All Might is a ‘fucking idiot’ is also not helping him concentrate.

 

“…I think I’ll go to Shouto” He says, once they’re farther away from the police station “I need a distraction, and well… it’s better than nothing”

 

“Alright, let’s go” Yami says, sighing “Oh, and just for the record: you’re forbidden from researching All for One. He’s a villain, and not a one you can afford to mess with. Also, go take a shower or something, you stink of trash”

 

“…Okay” He says in a disappointed tone. He really  wanted to learn more.

 

~🌸~

“Hi Shouto!” He says, grinning, once the boy opens the window “Are you up for watching movies or something?”

 

“…Movies?” Shouto repeats, consternation clear on his face “What kind of movies?”

 

“Oh, I don’t know. Something that can be found on the net” He shrugs, coming into the room “Let me search for something really quickly…… Is Lion King okay with you?”

 

“…Sure, I’ve never seen it” The boy returns his shrug, still looking slightly confused.

 

“Oh… Alright, I should’ve seen that coming” He sighs, lying down on one half of Shouto’s futon.

 

“What does that even mean?” Shouto frowns, but lies next to him.

 

“Never mind” He just waves his hand dismissively, before taking earphones out of his backpack and offering one to Shouto “I assume that we can’t really watch it without headphones, so here, have one”

 

“Thanks…” Shouto accepts, shifting a bit closer to get comfortable “…By the way, do I want to know how you knew I’d be free, seeing as it’s the middle of the day, and not the evening, when you usually come”

 

“I’m really not in a mood for more stress. If you continue asking questions, I’ll just go and jump out of the window” He says, looking away from the boy. In truth, Maruko told him when he asked, but Shouto doesn’t need to know that.

 

“…Alright. I won’t ask” The boy thankfully takes his (very real) threat seriously and drops the subject.

 

They manage to watch the whole movie in peace. Izuku cries at a few scenes, earning a confused look from Shouto. Though he can tell that the boy is also having fun, his eyes lighting up several times, mostly during the songs.

 

“So… what do you think?” Izuku asks, grinning, when the movie ends.

 

“It was… okay, I guess” Shouto says, his features rather soft. He’s more relaxed than ever.

 

“Want to watch something else?” He asks, not really wanting to move yet.

 

“Sure” The boy obviously shares his sentiment.

 

“Oh, I think I have something that you’ll like” He says, searching for ‘Frozen’. A lot of people don’t like this particular movie, but he thinks it’s quite enjoyable. Also, it may allude to the whole ‘don’t reject your own power’ thing that he’s planning on pushing later. So, a win-win situation.

 

“I’ll trust you on that” Shouto murmurs, blinking lazily.

~🌸~

He returns in the evening, after watching a few more movies with Shouto. The movie night (day?) was significantly more successful than he’d anticipated. Maybe he could do it again sometime, if he finds any good movies. At Yami’s request, he feeds Jubokko before going to bed. This time, the ghosts barely bat an eye at him slashing his wrist to feed the vampire plant.

 

It’s kind of weird how something so fucked up can be accepted as normal so quickly.

~🌸~

A few days later, he finishes cleaning the Dagobah Beach. He’d manage to do it earlier, but he only ever came late at night, or in really early morning, just so he wouldn’t bump into All Might on accident. Once everything is ready, he searches for the ghost who requested him to clean the beach, and brings them there.

 

“Thank you” The elderly looking ghost says, with something like tears in their eyes “It’s really beautiful… Just like the day my husband proposed to me. I think I can pass on peacefully now”

 

“No problem” He says, watching as the sky starts lightening up. It’ll be dawn soon “I’m glad you’ll be able to go to where your husband is now”

 

“Me too” The ghost whispers, and fades.

 

Izuku watches the sunrise before leaving the beach. He brings a seashell with him as a memento, just in case he won’t return there for some time.

~🌸~

The next few days are surprisingly uneventful. He doesn’t bump into All Might anymore, the police doesn’t come for him, and the ghosts seem pretty tame, so he doesn’t have to perform any exorcisms. The only noteworthy thing is that he finally managed to learn some electric glyph, and he can (finally) actually use it without zapping himself (which happened in the beginning, more often than he’d want to admit).

 

Yami disappears again, saying that he’s going to visit the spirit whose charge is aiming for U.A. Izuku is slightly curious about them, but asking Yami if he can tag along would mean that he’d most likely have to actually interact with whoever this charge is, and he really doesn’t like social interaction. So yeah, he passed on sating his curiosity.

 

Aside from that he’s finally decided on what to do with Jubokko – he’s going to make it into a bonsai tree. Mostly because the tree is already a little asshole with a huge thirst for blood, and he really wouldn’t want to deal with it if it got larger. So yeah, like hell is he gonna let it grow any bigger.

 

Actually making it into a bonsai is more difficult than he’d thought it’d be – trimming it is hard, and it’s constant quest to taste blood is really not helpful when one is trying to wrap a wire around its trunk to shape it correctly. But a couple hours – and several cuts and lacerations later – it’s finally done. Despite the tree throwing a fit against the wire, it actually looks a bit better now.

 

He’s not really sure what to do with the leaves, roots,  and branches he cut while trimming though. It’d be a waste to throw them out, and eating them without Yami’s supervision might not be the wisest choice… Huh, could he somehow conserve them for later? Do they lose their energy if they’re dried, or made into a jam or something?

 

…There is actually someone he could ask about that.

~🌸~

He visits the shrine, making an offering out of a part of his latest pay (which he got for an exorcism). The twigs, roots, and leaves are safe in his bag. Sure enough, after a few minutes, Kamikou comes up to him. Her swishing tail betrays her curiosity.

 

“Hello” He greets them awkwardly.

 

“Welcome” The kitsune greets with a sly smile “I didn’t expect you to come here alone”

 

“Uhm, yeah…” He awkwardly rubs his shoulder, not sure what to say “Egh… I need some advice, regarding the Jubokko tree”

 

“Alright, ask away” Their tail swishes again in earnest.

 

“Well… I was pruning it” He pretends not to notice the yokai’s surprise “And I’m not sure what to do about the parts of it I got from doing it. I wondered if there is some way to preserve them, since it’d be a waste to just let them dry out…”

 

“Well, I could always make them into healing potion for you” They finally say, seemingly still deep in thought “But that service would require payment”

 

“I don’t really have much money…” He mumbles self-consciously.

 

“Oh, I don’t need payments in human currencies. I’m usually paid in blood… or favours” Kamikou winks at him.

 

“I’m sorry… but it’s not something I can agree to” It’s generally a bad idea to owe anything to a yokai. And giving them blood in exchange for something is also rather dangerous.

 

“As expected, you’re a cautious one” The kitsune laughs “Well then, let me give you an idea instead. You can try to get the juice out of the leaves and so on. Then, put it into some container and freeze it. That should preserve most of the healing effects”

 

“Thank you” He smiles brightly.

 

“No problem. I did say I’d offer you advice if you came” Kamikou shrugs, and starts walking away “I look forward to our next meeting”

 

“Likewise” He says.

~🌸~

At this point, Naomasa is really confused. Izuku Midoriya’s responses during the interrogation were all truthful (aside from the one about how he felt), that much is certain. Still, he’s decided to check the boy’s file just for the sake of being thorough – and seeing what kind of person now knows one of All Might’s secrets – and found out that the boy is registered as quirkless.

 

Despite him clearly stating that his quirk allows him to see other quirks, during the interrogation.

 

It’s a really weird issue. But that aside, there are a few other red flags jumping out at Naomasa. One is the fact that the boy began being homeschooled right in the middle of the semester. Normally parents would wait at least until the school has a larger break or something. Even more curious is the fact that the date is a few days after the boy landed himself in hospital, after sustaining unexplained injuries.

 

Weirdly enough, even though the staff of the hospital, and some policemen, investigated the incident, their results are listed as ‘inconclusive’.

 

And it doesn’t get any more normal from there. The boy is listed in several incidents, as the first person to discover the body and phone it in. And he’s found at least five missing people. Normally, such things would point to the boy being a vigilante, but… it doesn’t seem like he’s fought any criminals.

 

Also, Naomasa personally doesn’t think that the nervous mess he’s met in the interrogation room earlier would be able to handle being a vigilante.

 

Other weird things come to light when he digs a bit deeper. There are at least four instances where Midoriya Izuku was sent to the hospital with ‘unusual’ injuries. The excuses given for each one just barely match up with the resulting wounds, but it all seems rather fishy with the knowledge of the last incident.

 

Not only that, but it would seem that the boy sometimes visits the patients at the hospital that he simply should have no ties with. They’re not from his family, it doesn’t seem likely for them to be family friends, and most of them don’t even live anywhere near the boy. To be honest, he’s rather grateful that this report is still there, from the time when the police investigated the unexplained injuries.

 

Since it just adds another layer of mystery to the boy known as Izuku Midoriya. And Naomasa isn’t the type of person to back out of the challenge – he will find out what the fuck is going on with that boy.

~🌸~

After a few days, Izuku decides to visit Shouto again. He checks with the boy’s spirits to make sure the boy would be free that evening, before climbing the boy’s window. Per usual, he knocks on the window. Shouto looks up at him, a soft smile forming on his lips – finally – and opens the window.

 

“So, any particular reason for your visit today, or did you just want to hang out?” The boy asks.

 

“Mostly just wanted to hang out” He replies nonchalantly, entering the room, and heading towards the futon “What to talk about today…” He fakes being deep in thought “Oh, I know! Your quirk is half hot half cold, right?”

 

“Yes…?” The boy answers, eyeing him uncertainly.

 

“Cool” He grins widely “So, do you know how to make snow?”

 

“I’ve… honestly never tried. It should be possible, since my mother could make it, but… I’ve never really had the chance to try” The boy says, sitting next to him.

 

“Hmm… Maybe you’ll find your chance soon. Snow is really neat, and pretty. Not to mention, it’s an excellent smokescreen” He winks at the boy, who seems to consider it “…What about your flames? Any cool tricks there?”

 

“I don’t use them” Shouto answers, his mood visibly plummeting “It’s my father’s fire… I refuse to use it”

 

“That’s… alright I guess” He ignores the baffled expression of Maruko. Well, time to plant an idea in Shouto’s head “But… I don’t think it’s your father’s fire. I mean, it’s your quirk, isn’t it? Yours, and yours alone”

 

“I… don’t think you know what you’re talking about” For the first time in a while, Shouto sounds almost cold.

 

“Aww, come on. I know exactly what I’m talking about” He pokes Shouto’s arm, as the boy glares at him “No matter how hard that asshat tries to claim the credit for your flames, in the end they’re yours, aren’t they? You’re the one who controls them, the only one who can make flames that are completely your own…”

 

“…I think you’re overstepping your bounds” The boy says, but there’s no real bite to his words. Shouto looks… almost contemplative.

 

“Alright, I’ll back off. I just thought that it’s such a waste I won’t be able to see your flames. I’m sure they would’ve been awesome” He tries to smile despite feeling awful, and panicked, since he feels he somehow fucked up “Still, ice is nice too. Remember to practice snow making, so you can show me sometimes, okay?”

 

“…Sure” Shouto chuckles, tension seemingly dropping from his shoulders.

---Drawing of Maruko----

Chapter Text

Jubokko Bonsai (as Izuku decided to name the freaky tree) has been throwing a tantrum recently. It may have to do with the fact that it obviously didn’t appreciate being tuned into a bonsai tree… But regardless, whenever it smells (senses, or whatever it is the tree does to recognize blood nearby) anyone, it starts writhing, and attacks when that person comes into its reach.

 

Yami claims that it’s probably hoping to regain some energy, and it’d probably calm down once it finishes. So, Izuku has had to feed it more often recently, just to sate its bloodthirst. Because of that, he always has at least one unhealed injury on his arms, and the tree trying to attack him when he’s feeding it certainly doesn’t help. But at least he’s more or less used to the pain by now, so it hardly fazes him.

 

Though the look that the cashier gives him when he keeps buying outrageous amounts of bandages (Jubokko Bonsai’s fault) are certainly not good for his heart. More or less, it went from surprised, to suspicious, to slightly terrified. Not that he blames the guy, he also would be concerned if someone kept buying that many bandages.

 

To be honest, he’s contemplating buying several packages of bandages at once, just so he wouldn’t have to go there again so soon.

~🌸~

Naomasa is finishing his fourth cup of coffee that day. Aside from the Phantom case - which he can’t do anything about since he’s waiting for the forensic scientists to finish analyzing the evidence – he doesn’t have any official cases open right now. No, the thing frying his nerves and making him into a coffee addict (as if he wasn’t before) is not an official case.

 

But it’s certainly a frustrating one.

 

He feels like he’s trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle with several pieces missing. He’s interviewed some of the people involved with the boy finding the dead bodies, and they almost always consistently say the same thing. It’s what they claim that’s the problem though. Almost all of them said that they had been having weird problems around their houses, so they called the ‘local occult child’ to help them.

 

So, apparently, Izuku Midoriya is not only interested in the occult, he actually offers exorcisms, and is well known enough that people call for him if weird things happen.

 

But the most disturbing thing is that he actually found those dead bodies, and the people Naomasa interrogated all claimed that their problems disappeared after that. Now, he himself doesn’t believe in ghosts and such, but it’s certainly… a weird thing. He prefers not to dwell on it for too long.

 

Anyways, he’s also managed to ask around the boy’s old neighbourhood (the Midoriya family apparently moved after the boy began being homeschooled), and found some… weird, and slightly concerning things. First, is that everyone seems to be under the impression that Midoriya is quirkless. Second is that several people have seen the boy come back home injured in the past. Some of them also gossiped about how no one ever visited the Midoirya family, and how the house had some kind of ‘creepy aura’ when Midoriyas were still living there.

 

He doesn’t really put much faith in the last two things, seeing as people are often impressionable, and gossip isn’t really a reliable source. Still… the boy wasn’t even in middle school yet back then. It’s weird for someone that age to not bring a single friend home, ever.

 

Aside from that, people claimed that Midoriya was always polite, but also seemed to always be on edge… To be honest, Naomasa can see that happening, considering the nervous wreck the teen was when he was interrogated. Still, what could have made him that way? The earlier nervousness could be dismissed as stress bound to All Might’s secret, and the interrogation itself, but if he was like that all the time… something is wrong here.

 

He’ll have to try questioning Midoriya’s current neighbours sometime. They may be a bit more insightful.

~🌸~

A few days later, Izuku visits Shouto again. This time, he brings a few loose sheets of paper and coloured pencils with him. Drawing is often a relaxing activity, and it’d be good if Shouto tried his hand at it. Who knows, maybe it’ll become his new (probably his only) hobby?

 

“Hiya~!” He greets with enthusiasm, sliding in the moment the window is open, narrowly avoiding bumping into Shouto’s shoulder.

 

“You seem… weirdly cheery today” The boy says, blinking.

 

“Yep, that’s cause’ I am really happy” He grins, even though he internally feels that he sounds like an idiot. Oh well “Anyways, come on, I have something to show you”

 

“…Okay?” The boy eyes him uncertainly as he stands next to the desk and gets the art supplies out.

 

“Ta-dah! We’ll be drawing today” He says with a smile, while internally banging his head against a wall when Shouto blinks at him blankly.

 

“…Drawing? That… seems rather random” The boy frowns, carefully examining the paper and coloured pencils.

 

“Oh, come on, it’ll be fun” He reassures, trying to salvage it “Drawing is fun even when you’re not good at it! I just thought you should try it”

 

“Izuku… you do know that practically all schools have art classes, right? I already tried drawing… We had assignments and everything” Shouto says matter-of-factly, still looking entirely dumbfounded.

 

“Irrelevant!” He says loudly, pointing a coloured pencil straight at Shouto’s face “School doesn’t count! It’s not any fun there. We’re going to draw for fun

 

“Whatever you say” The boy sounds somehow… resigned? Dammit, that could’ve gone better… but at least he agreed…?

~🌸~

Shouto is actually enjoying himself more than he thought he would have. Though it’s mostly due to Izuku’s continued attempts to draw weird animal combinations, which often end up looking silly. And the boy’s  mock-offended face whenever Shouto snorts at his pictures. He himself just draws flowers, though they also end up looking a bit ridiculous since Izuku pushes him to use absolutely gaudy colour combinations.

 

Not that he’s complaining. Some of them actually look quite good. He thinks he’ll keep the neon green-pink lily drawing he’s made. It looks a bit goofy, but he feels like it might be just what he needs to make his room at least somewhat lively. Though… he’s a bit afraid his father will have him take it down if he pins the atrocity to the wall.

 

…He probably shouldn’t think about that.

 

“Hey, Shouto, look” Izuku beams, pointing to the newest disfigured creature he drew. It’s a… a snake with lion’s head?

 

“Pft. Oh my god” He can’t help it, it just looks so silly and disproportionate “What is that monstrosity?”

 

“Oh, come on, at least don’t call it a monstrosity!”The boy whines, turning the paper over, to sketch another thing. He suddenly stops, looks to the side (something he does quite often), and turns back towards him “…Do you want to try drawing one of them?”

 

“…Sure. What do you propose?” He asks, tilting his head slightly.

 

“A cat, but with rabbit ears” The boy says without any hesitation whatsoever.

 

“Alright” He grabs a couple of crayons, and starts drawing.

 

“You know, for someone who’s only ever done it for school, you’re surprisingly good at drawing” Izuku says, leaning towards him slightly.

 

“…” Could he get away with making a joke? Well, he’s about to find out. He really hopes he won’t offend his (only) friend “I’m not good, you’re just so bad that even a five year old could draw better”

 

“T-the betrayal!” Izuku screams in faux-shock. Though, there is something strained in his gaze, something that makes Shouto feel a little guilty.

 

“I was just joking…” He says just to make sure he didn’t hurt the boy’s feelings “You’re actually not that bad at it either… Oh, I finished the cat”

 

“Aww, it looks so cutesy” Izuku coos over the drawing “Why is it green though?”

 

“…” He doesn’t say anything, instead looking pointedly at the boy’s hair.

 

“What the- are you implying… I can’t believe the audacity of that” The boy says, shocked “I do not look like a cat, nor like a rabbit! Why do people keep comparing me to them…?”

 

Oh, that’s some new info. And also, there is some resemblance there, but it’s not like he can say it to the teen’s face. Izuku looks crestfallen enough as it is, so he just continues drawing, adding some flowers around that cat-rabbit.

~🌸~

“But drawing, seriously?” Yami asks once they leave Shouto’s house.

 

“It was a good idea! It actually worked! Stop saying it like it didn’t work!” He sputters, sulking slightly.

 

“He was right though, I can see your resemblance to a rabbit”

 

“Yami!!”

~🌸~

He spends the next few weeks studying glyphs, and trying to learn some baking from Yukizome-sensei. He also studies with Mr. Kamakura a bit (just to make sure he doesn’t forget any material for the entrance exam) but it only takes like two days, so… Anyways, he’s about to put the madeleines he’s made into the oven, when Yukizome-sensei suggests something unexpected.

 

“Hey, Izuku… have you ever thought about buying some more plants? Like, for your room, mostly?” She asks, a thoughtful look on her face.

 

“Uhm… I don’t know how to break it to you…but it’s a bad idea” He puts the pastries into the oven and sets the timer “I’m terrible with plants. I once managed to kill a cactus, somehow. Jubokko Bonsai is only alive because Yami reminds me to feed it”

 

“Uh…? But I think it’ll be good for you. And there are plenty of plants that are easy to take care of, I’m sure we’ll figure something out” Yukizome sensei says.

 

“There are no plants that are ‘easy’ to take care of” He states blankly “They’ll wither if I even look at them wrong”

 

“You really don’t have a green thumb, do you?”

 

“Nope”

In the end, he ends up buying a mint bush. Mostly because Yukizome-sensei thought it’d be lovely. He just hopes he doesn’t kill it.

~🌸~

A few days later, he decides to meet with Shouto again. This time though, instead of climbing through the window, he waits in front of the boy’s school. He knows that it’s probably still a bit creepy for him to know where Shouto studies, but hey, at least they can hang out longer like that. And he’s already checked to make sure that Endeavor will be busy at least until the evening.

 

Shouto’s school is one of those private, prestigious ones where only rich kids go. Seems exactly like the type of thing Endeavor would go for, and he knows that Shouto probably had no say in choosing his own school. Still, it’s super weird to stand in front of it. Especially when people passing him by give him strange looks.

 

Probably because he doesn’t have their uniform.

 

“Izuku…?” A surprised voice calls out.

 

“Hi Shouto!” He says, easily slipping into his more cheerful persona “Want to hang out?”

 

“I’d love to but… I should probably go home before my father starts wondering what takes me so long” Ah, so he doesn’t know that Endeavor isn’t home, huh.

 

“Oh, can’t you just call your sister? She could just relay your message” He says, simply smiling when the boy shots him a baffled look “Just trust me, and text her”

 

“…………She says he won’t be home until later tonight” Shouto shoots him a suspicious look “Do I want to know why you seem to have known that?”

 

“Oh, look, a weird cloud!” He points out with faux cheerfulness.

 

“…I take it you want me to stop asking questions” The boy sighs, while Maruko snickers at his side, thoroughly amused.

 

“Yep” He grins mischievously, trying to squash the weird anxiety that comes to him every time he’s questioned like that “So, uhm, do you want to go somewhere in particular, or can I choose where we go?”

“Go ahead, and lead the way” Shouto sighs again “After all, you’re the one who asked me to hang out”

 

“Hmm, that’s true”

In the end, they go to Dagobah Beach. Mostly because it’s not crowded (and Izuku really hates places with lots of people), but also because it’s a really beautiful and relaxing place. The moment they enter the beach, Izuku takes off his shoes, wanting to feel the sand-grains under his feet. Shouto follows his example.

 

“Let’s find some good spot… oh, this one looks nice!” He gestures to the patch of sand hidden away from the view one would get at the entrance to the beach, before sitting down there.

 

“…You’re going to get sand everywhere if you just sit on it” Shouto warns, but also sits down.

 

“Meh, not enough of a deterrent” He says, and it’s true, considering he’s been working at this beach for months. Sand doesn’t bother him anymore “So…”

 

“So?” Shouto raises an eyebrow at his unfinished sentence.

 

“Do you want to try making snow? There isn’t anyone here to stop us” He grins, giddy with excitement. It’s weird, but he’s almost as comfortable with the boy, as he’s with ghosts and non-humans.

 

“Alright” Shouto chuckles at his antics “You may want to back away a bit”

 

“Okay~” They both stand up, and Izuku takes several steps back.

 

“Alright… here goes nothing” Shotuo murmurs, and the temperature around them plummets.

 

At first nothing happens. Then, Shouto’s right hand gets encased in ice. The boy startles, looking at it blankly. It seems that he wasn’t anticipating that. Izuku has to stop himself from giggling. It’s just that… Shouto’s expression right now is so gobsmacked.

 

“Well, uhm, that didn’t work” The boy says in complete deadpan. Steam starts rising from his arm suddenly “Give me a second, I’ll unfreeze myself and try again”

 

“Oki~. Just remember not to go overboard, okay? If you feel tired, we’ll just stop” He says, just to make sure Shouto knows he’s not pressuring him to keep at it till he’s about to drop.

 

“I know” The boy rolls his eyes.

 

Izuku spends the next few minutes watching in fascination as Shouto tries to make snow. There are no real results there, but it’s still really fascinating to watch. He really wishes he had his notebook on him, so he could take notes. Shouto’s quirk is just so cool!

 

“I give up” Shouto seems resigned as he comes up to Izuku and sits down in front of him.

 

“Well, it was still cool to see your quirk” He says, joining his friend on the sand “I’m sure that one day you’ll be able to make snow”

 

“…Maybe” Shouto smiles slightly.

 

They spend the time till evening on watching the sea and talking about different quirks (though Izuku is doing most of the talking).

~🌸~

A few weeks later, his mother manages to get a day off work, so they decide to spend it together. In the morning, he wakes up earlier than mom, and makes breakfast for the both of them. It’s a rather simple omelette, nothing extravagant, but when his mom finally wakes up and joins him at the table, she heavily compliments his cooking skills.

 

“You’ve gotten really good at cooking” She says, after finishing “I remember your first attempts, when you forgot you tried to boil an egg, and it exploded”

 

“Mom!” He whines “Please don’t bring that up again. It was embarrassing”

 

“I’m just teasing you” She smiles sadly “Still, I wish you did that as a hobby, and not because you have to cook dinner every day”

 

“It’s fine mom” He smiles reassuringly “You know I want to help you in any way I can, right?”

 

“I know, Izuku, I know… It’s just, I feel like I don’t have enough time lately” She sighs “Specifically not enough time I can spend with you. I somehow feel like a failure of a mother…” The last part is murmured, but he hears it anyways.

 

“Please don’t say that!” He abruptly stands up “You’re the best mom I could ever ask for! It’s not your fault you have to work so much”

 

“But it’s true that I didn’t really spend much time with you lately” She smiles nervously, but tears are visible in her eyes “Didn’t you feel lonely?”

 

“I… A bit” He admits “I missed you, but… I have ghosts, and Yami, and… and I made a friend recently. Please don’t feel guilty, because it’s not so bad”

 

“Oh Izuku” His mom hugs him tightly “What did I ever do to deserve you?”

 

“Ah, come on mom. If you tear up, then I-I’ll also” In the end, they both end up crying “I… I’m glad you’re at home today, mom. Now come on, we shouldn’t spend the entire time crying. Let’s watch some movies!”

 

They end up doing All Might movie marathon. He feels a bit bad about the fact that it obviously caters to his tastes rather than mom’s, but she insists they watch it instead of searching for other movies. Their day is rather pleasant.

~🌸~

Before he knows it, there are only four months left until the entrance exams. He begins studying in earnest, making sure to prepare for any and all questions that may be thrown at him in the written part of the exam. He feels confident in most science-related, and quirk questions, but history still poses a bit of a problem for him. He’s good enough at it, it’s just… there are so many things that could be asked on the test, he’s not sure he can remember them all.

 

Aside from that, he makes sure to keep up with his physical training, for the practical exam. After all, he can’t completely rely on his ‘quirk’, since it’s still rather weak. He could probably take out some shabby robots, but with U.A.’s technology… he’s not sure his electricity will be enough to fry them.

 

Also, he has to actually register his ‘quirk’ soon. It’d be too fishy if he claimed it surfaced during the entrance exam, seeing as he has to actually write glyphs to get results, so he’ll have to bring a marker pen or something.

~🌸~

Two months before the entrance exam, the exam for recommendation students is to be held. That is to say… it’s held today. Shouto is taking it, obviously. During those last months, they’ve been meeting up quite regularly. Mostly just hanging out, and trying to make snow – with poor results. But the important thing is, he managed to get Shouto’s phone number.

 

Two disasters of different magnitudes

Izuku: Good luck on your exam!

Shouto: Thanks

Izuku: And remember to be nice to others!

Shouto: Izuku, we’re literally fighting for a spot in the school.
It’s not exactly a place to make friends.

Izuku: Shouto, I assure you that you’re the only one thinking like that.

Just be kind, and patient, and you’ll see that they’ll want to be your friends.

Shouto: I really doubt that.

Izuku: Just do it for me, please?

Shouto:…
Alright, I’ll try.

Izuku: Ah, just a heads up. People may try to talk about your father.

Try to be patient with them, okay?

Shouto: Why’d they talk about him?

Izuku: Most people make friends by shared interests.

In a hero school, it’d obviously be heroics.

And since Endeavor is a respected hero (even tho he’s trash) they’ll try to talk about him with you

Shouto:…It’ll try not to make anyone into a popsicle.

No promises though.

Izuku: SHOUTO

Shouto:…

Izuku: Shouto! You can’t just ice people you don’t like.

Shouto: Oh, I can.

Izuku:…Please don’t.

Shouto: I already said I’d try

Izuku: Please actually try to be nice to them…?

Shouto: Alright, I’ll try.

Gtg, the written part is about to start.

 

He has a slightly bad feeling about this. Of course, he knows Shouto will pass with no problems. The problem is that the boy’s social skills are even worse than his own, and that’s saying something. He’s just have to hope that his heads-up will be enough to prevent Shouto offending anyone if he gets agitated.

 

…To be honest, it may be better if he’s there to do damage control in case things go south.

 

“Yami, come on, we’re going to U.A.” He says, walking out of his room “Could you try to get Maruko or Uzomi to come to me? I’ll need their help with something”

 

“…Alright” Yami seems a bit surprised, but doesn’t protest, at least.

He ends up waiting in front of U.A. He has his phone on him in case Shouto texts anything, but he’s mostly relying on Uzomi now. The rabbit spirit promised to help him keep an eye on Shouto. And in case anything happens, they’ll return and report to Izuku, so that he could try to do some damage control.

~🌸~

The written exam went well. At least he’s written all the answers, without leaving anything blank, so… it should go alright. Right now, Shouto is waiting for the practical test to start. He observes other test-takers, making sure to nod in acknowledgement if their eyes meet. Though he’s mostly doing that because Izuku asked him to be nice.

 

He himself sees no reason in trying to act buddy-buddy towards people he’ll be competing against.

 

Finally, the time for the exam comes. It’s a race kind of thing. He waits at the start, together with everyone else. When it starts, he sprints forward, skating on his ice. He comes in right behind some guy with wind quirk. He feels a bit bitter about coming in second, but there’s nothing to do aobut this since he was beaten fair and square.

 

“Awesome, I won! Wooo!!” Alright, this guy is obnoxious “But who knows who’ll win the next one?! Cuz you’re amazing!”

 

“…” He glances at the guy, but… Even when the teen is this cheerful, he can tell it’s fake. There’s some deep disdain in those eyes, specifically meant for Shouto.

 

“You’re Endeavor’s son or some such, right?! That’s something else” He somehow manages to keep himself from lashing out and telling the guy to shut up. Alright, breathe in and out, he’s doing it because Izuku asked him to.

 

“I’d be grateful if you didn’t mention my father” He says that a bit more harshly than he intended… The guy’s expression clouds over for a moment, and his smile slips. He may have fucked up.

 

“I see” The guy says stiffly, assessing him once more, before walking away.

~🌸~

Endeavor’s son may not be exact copy of his father. He’s a bit more… awkward. But he has the same hateful look in his eyes, and Inasa hates it.

~🌸~

“Oh my god” Izuku groans, listening to what the spirit tells him.

 

The wind dude sounds like an asshole, but… there’s no way he wouldn’t get into U.A. For Shouto’s sake, he’ll have to do the damage control. Still, he hates talking to people, especially strangers, and above all, he hates talking to pricks. And that guy happens to be all of the above. Alright, he just has to remember that he’s doing it for Shouto…

“Izuku…?” A voice pulls him out of his depressing thoughts.

 

“Ah, Shouto!” He plasters a smile on his face, and rushes over to the boy. He doesn’t have much time, so he’ll have to be a bit blunt “Uhm, did something happen? You look… concerned…?”

 

“It’s nothing…… Just… Someone mentioned my father. I… I tried to be civil, but it came out a bit harshly, I think” The boy looks away, scowling slightly “For the rest of the exercises, the guy has been glaring at me”

 

“Oh, that must’ve been awful, are you alright?” He asks sympathetically, because fuck assholes.

 

“Yeah, I’m fine… Just a bit uncomfortable” Shouto turns back towards him. In the corner of his eye, he can see other students begin to leave “I’m pretty sure this guy will get in… he’s just rubbing me the wrong way”

 

“Well, you can’t win over everyone, but… I’m sure it’s just the wrong first impression” He says as cheerfully as he can “Let’s try apologising to him, and see if he’s actually decent, okay?”

 

“Uhm, sure” Shouto blinks owlishly at him “Oh, I think that’s him there”

 

The boy points towards a rather tall student, who has a certain energetic air about him. His spirit seems to be a giant dragonfly with ruby eyes. Izuku takes Shouto’s hand and leads them towards the boy. Well, better now than never.

 

“Uhm, excuse me?” He gets the boy’s attention.

 

“Yes?” The guy whirls around, smiling at Izuku, though his expression falls when he notices Shouto.

 

“Uhm, my friend is a bit bad at expressing himself but… He told me that you seemed a bit offended at something he said, and that he’d like to apologise”

 

“Huh?” The guy seems really surprised, as Izuku gently pushes Shouto forward.

 

“…” Shouto seems to internally roll his eyes, but outwardly he mostly just seems awkward. The boy clears his throat and says a simple “I’m sorry”

 

“See? We just got off on the wrong foot back there” He smiles, daring either of them to disagree, even as he’s dying inside at having to be the one to actually lead the social interaction like that. He did not sign up for this “Let’s just start over, ‘kay?”

 

“Ah! I’m also really sorry!!” The guy bows deeply, his forehead actually hitting the pavement “It seems I’ve misjudged you. No… I simply let my preconceptions cloud my judgement! I’m really sorry!!”

 

“Ah, no, it’s fine” Shouto’s face is still a bit deadpan, but there is now an aura of ‘please, kill me’ coming off of him. Or maybe Izuku is just projecting at this point.

 

“I don’t think he’s entirely convinced, Izuku” Yami says, eyeing the boy with uncertainty “Maybe a few more pushes are in order. But not right now. For now, figure out a way to stay in contact and sway his perception” Wow, useful advice, at last.

 

“Uhm, why don’t we exchange phone numbers?” He offers, pretending not to notice the ‘are you serious’ look Shouto sends him “After all, we might end up as classmates, it’d be nice to get to know each other!”

 

“Ha! I like your spirit!!” The boy says in a booming voice. Well, at least someone appreciates his effort.

 

They do exchange numbers, even when Shouto seems like he’s regretting every decision he’s ever made. Oh well, at least it’s subtle enough that the other boy –Yoarashi, apparently- doesn’t seem to notice.

~🌸~

Okay, it’s been some time now, and seeing how freaking quickly Jubokko Bonsai grows, he’ll have to trim it again. He… really doesn’t want to do this. Taught by experience, he decides to use thick, gardening gloves. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll be able to take a few hits. He really hopes so. Sighing, he takes his scissors, and starts trimming the tree.

 

It attacks him immediately, slashing everything in its reach. And the worst part? The thick gardening gloves he has on don’t last for even a second. The deadly branches slice through them in moments, trying to drink as much of Izuku’s blood as possible. When he’s finally done trimming the freaky tree, he’s cut up, and lightheaded from the blood loss.

 

He really doesn’t like taking care of the tree.

~🌸~

The remaining days till the entrance exam are rather uneventful. He mostly focuses on studying and training, but he still visits Shouto, and the two of them make a group chat together with Yoarashi. He’s also managed to register his quirk as ‘Glyphs’. It’s… a fitting name, even if it’s not creative.

 

Jubokko Bonsai goes through a tantrum again, before calming down. Though that ‘calmness’ is only relative to when it’s agitated. In reality, it’s still an asshole tree that tries to suck his blood at every chance it gets. Still, it’s not as aggressive as before, so at least he’s not that cut up anymore.

 

His mom unfortunately saw his cuts once, and he’s had to explain how and why they were made. That was… an awkward conversation. And now his mom glares at the tree whenever she sees it. But at least she didn’t manage to make any… unfortunate assumptions on her own, so he counts that as a win.

 

Well, all that aside, he’s feeling ready for the entrance exam. He knows he’ll ace the written part, and the ghosts will be there to help him with the practical, in case he needs it (Yami managed to persuade him to use the ghosts--with-weapons option, though he’ll not admit to that if anyone asks why he changed his mind). And with everything in place, he heads for U.A.

Chapter Text

 

He arrives at U.A.’s gates without any problems. Yami, Yukiko, Yukizome-sensei, and Akihiko are with him. Akabane wanted to help him too, but Izuku honestly doesn’t trust him with weapons, so he turned the boy’s offer down. Well, he honestly doesn’t want to make ANY ghost-available weapons, but he really needs them if he wants to pass.

 

“Wait here for a minute” Yami says, once Izuku finds the room where the written exam will be held “I’ll go find my friend and his charge. It’d be good if you knew who he is”

 

“Alright” He murmurs, silently enough that other students wouldn’t hear.

 

“Huh, what’s the hold up?” Yukiko asks, bouncing in front of him.

 

“Yami is searching for someone” He quietly whispers, observing the other examinees. They seem to be absorbed in their own thoughts.

 

He leans against the nearest wall, taking out a pen to fiddle with it. It’s not like he has much more to do. Also, damn, for such a fancy school, U.A.’s heating system could be better. It’s cold as hell here, even though he’s inside. It kind of makes him glad he listened to Yukizome-sensei’s fretting and brought a scarf with him.

 

He should’ve taken full gloves instead of the fingerless ones though. His fingertips are starting to feel slightly numb from the cold.


Getting slightly agitated  at having to wait in a place with so many people, he puts his pen back, and checks the contents of his bag once more to distract himself. Nothing seems to be missing… though if anyone sees what’s inside they’d be concerned. Mostly because he has two small axes, and a switchblade there.

 

That’s not all he has, but those are the items that seem the most dangerous. Yeah… he’ll just hope people will ignore them when he pulls them out.

 

He closes his bag, and plays with the ends of his scarf for a bit. It’s weird that Yami hasn’t returned yet, but maybe he’s talking with his friend, or something. Ugh… The stress is really starting to get to him. Even though he knows it’ll be fine, he feels strangely inadequate.

 

“I’m back” Yami calls, flying up to him.

 

“Welcome back” He whispers, before freezing when some other spirit comes up to them.

 

Oh, it was following Yami. So, it’s the ‘friend’ then? It looks like a purple deer with black patterns all over it. Its antlers are white and glowing. And there are… white little birds(?) made of light sitting on them? Okay, as far as weird spirits go, this one fits in the weirder part. Still not the craziest he’s seen, but… yeah, not entirely normal.

 

“Hello…?” He greets hesitantly, shrinking away when one of the other examinees gives him a weird look.

 

“Good morning” The deer spirit gently inclines their head, bowing in greeting “It’s good to finally meet you. Yami has been talking about you a lot”

 

“…Likewise” He subtly whispers, even though Yami didn’t really talk about his friend aside from mentioning him every now and then.

 

He sees a few of the nearby examinees’ spirits staring at him, probably just realising that he can see and hear them. One tries to come closer, but Yami hisses at them, and they back off. The deer spirit just continues watching him with those old, gentle eyes, seemingly mulling over something.

 

“Is something the matter, spirit-san?” He asks quietly, keeping an eye out on people around him, in case they notice him talking to seemingly thin air.

 

“You can call us Sorya, little one” The deer spirit offers, before continuing “We’d… like to ask you for a favour”

 

“Oi, aren’t you forgetting something? I thought we agreed all ‘favours’ and other requests would go through me first” Yami says, pawing at Sorya’s side. Wait… that’s the first he hears of this.

 

“Indeed… but our request will not hinder, neither endanger your charge” The deer spirit says, closing their eyes. When they open them again, Izuku notices that they have a third eye that’s been closed earlier. It’s on their forehead, and it looks slightly creepy “Will you hear us out?”

 

“Ugh… sure?” He whispers uncertainly, while Yami just nods.

 

“Thank you, little one” Sorya bos their head again “Before the practical exam starts… please talk to my charge. He’s extremely worried, since his quirk isn’t physical”

 

“Yeah, I see how that could be a problem” Yami winces sympathetically.

 

“…Could you also pass along a piece of advice from me?” Sorya asks.

 

“Uhm, sure” He whispers “What kind of advice…?”

 

“…I’ll tell you when the time comes” The deer spirit blinks owlishly, before turning away “You better hurry along now, little one. It seems like your trial is about to start”

~🌸~

The written exam is quite easy. His ghosts and Yami are just walking around the room while it’s held, since they don’t really have anything else to do. But well, even if they don’t help him, he’s certain that he’ll pass this part. Mr. Kamakura’s lessons really pay off now. There are only two questions that give him some trouble, and he still manages to answer them in the end.

 

Once it’s finished, Sorya comes back, presumably assuming that his charge will be fine on the way to the auditorium. Once they get to said room, Izuku hangs around the doors, waiting for the deer’s charge to come in and take their seat. While waiting, his eyes catch sight of blond hair, and characteristic red eyes.

 

He tenses for a moment, before tearing his gaze away. Kacch – Bakugou didn’t see him. And he wouldn’t do anything here anyways. It’s alright.

 

“He’s here” Sorya says, and he manages to snap out of it.

 

“Lead the way” He murmurs, stepping away from the wall, and nodding at his ghosts to let them know he’s going.

 

The deer spirit leads him to a seemingly calm, purple haired boy. Thankfully, said teen is sitting at the edge, so it’s easy to talk to him. Izuku gives himself a second to observe the boy more carefully, noting the bags under his eyes, and bitterness under the mask of indifference. There’s slight nervousness in the way the teen taps his finger on his other arm.

 

Also, another curious thing – the teen has two nekomatas sitting on his shoulders. A rare sight… But it confirms that the boy is good, at least towards cats. Schooling his expression into a gentle smile, Izuku walks closer.

 

“Hello” He greets the other boy, and the teen jumps.

 

“Oh, sorry, I’m in the way” The boy shuffles back awkwardly, trying to let Izuku pass (probably so that he could get to his assigned seat or something). Also… his voice is strangely deep… and somehow pleasant. Izuku really likes it.

 

“Ah, no, I’m not… I won’t sit there” He gestures awkwardly to the seats in that row “I just… wanted to talk… to you”

 

“Oh” The boy raises an eyebrow at him, smirking slightly “To me specifically?”

 

“Actually, yeah” He shrugs, deciding to cover up his awkwardness with talking “You seemed… a bit nervous. A non-physical quirk, I assume?”

 

“Yeah…” The boy scratches his neck, eyes slightly narrowed “Something like that. This exam isn’t exactly great for non-physical quirks”

 

“Yeah” He makes sure to keep up his smile “But I’m sure you’ll do okay”

 

“Which part of ‘not exactly great for non-physical quirks’ did you not get?” And…he gets the raised eyebrow again. He nervously looks towards Yami and Sorya, hoping that this ‘advice’ will come in handy now, if they tell him about it.

 

“Please, do tell him… that it’s a hero school, and they wouldn’t turn down people with heroic qualities” The deer spirit tilts their head “Helping people is just as important for heroes as taking down the villains”

 

“…” Oh, so that’s it, huh? Some secret point-system “I don’t think you should be that concerned” He turns towards the boy again, and flashes him a smile “After all…” He leans in closer, whispering so that only the boy in front of him would hear “U.A. is a great school, they know that not all heroes are combat oriented. There are also those… that rescue others” He leans in a bit more when he sees the boy’s eyes widen in realisation “So… try to be a hero who saves. They’d all be idiots to pass up someone like that”

 

He leans back, away from the still shocked boy. Okay, his part here is done. He turns around, and tries to walk away with a simple ‘see you around’. It doesn’t work, as his wrist is grabbed. He turns again, to see the boy also standing, still seeming shocked. The teen attempts to talk, opening and closing his mouth a few times, before the sound comes out.

 

“Thank you” The boy says, and it seems sincere, without the earlier bitterness mixed in “I don’t know why you’d do that… but thank you”

 

“No problem” He smiles, and when his wrist is released, he starts walking away, offering a single “Good luck” to the other boy.

~🌸~

He ends up seated between two strangers, breathing a sigh of relief that he’s nowhere near his ex-friend. Them meeting after so many years wouldn’t have ended well. He observes as the last examinees enter, before all the lights go out. One single spotlight turns on, shining on the stage, where Present Mic appears, and oh god, it’s Mic!!! He’s so cool.

 

“Oh, it’s Present Mic… His radio show was quite good, from what I remember” Yukiko says, watching the hero curiously.

 

“He’s great” He murmurs back, ignoring the weird stare the guy next to him gives him.

 

“I don’t know… I feel like he’s a bit too gaudy” Yukizome-sensei grimaces slightly as the man explains the rules.

 

“It’s just his hero persona” He shrugs “Many heroes have to present themselves like that to be marketable”

 

“Doesn’t mean it’s in good taste” The woman sighs “At least they could’ve given him different glasses”

 

“I mean, they’re kind of iconic, so…”

 

“And you!” Someone shouts, bringing him back to reality. Who the fuck is this jerk pointing at him? “You’ve been muttering this entire time! It’s distracting!”

 

He tunes the boy out, though he does stop talking with the ghosts… or talking in general. He knows that other people find his muttering annoying, he just couldn’t help it! Present Mic answers the guy’s earlier question – and it’s good to know that there are 0-pointers, even if he’s slightly suspicious of them – and goes on to usher them to their zones.

 

As he’s walking by the purple haired boy, he gives him a subtle thumbs-up, and mouths a ‘you’ll do great’. The teen smiles back at him. He really hopes that the boy will get in, since unlike certain people taking this exam, he doesn’t seem like a complete prick.

~🌸~

Once he arrives at the exam grounds, he decides to check if everything’s ready, and then try giving weapons to ghosts. Alright… The stack of papers with glyphs written on them is here, and so are the few Jubokko leaves he cut in the morning – he mostly took them in case he runs out of energy to activate glyphs, those things pack a punch even if they don’t seem like it.

 

He fishes out the weapons from the bag, and passes them to the ghosts. He trusts them not to hurt anyone, even if Yukiko seems oddly… excited about going into battle. He then takes out the marker pen, and writes an enhancement glyph on his skin, just in case he needs it later. He wouldn’t be able to activate it for long, since this thing is really not energy-efficient, but it may help him if he needs to run away or lift something heavy.

 

“Excuse me!!” The loud guy from before screams, going towards him. Following him is a… blue-white secretary bird? His spirit, most likely…?

 

“Oh god, it has such fabulous eyelashes” Yami snickers on his shoulder, quietly enough not to let the other spirit hear.

 

“Please don’t take out your weapons yet! You’re clearly making other examinees feel unsafe! The exam hasn’t even started” The guy complains, and Izuku is somewhere between trying not to laugh because the boy’s spirit is really fabulous, and being absolutely terrified because this guy is yelling at him, and people are starting to stare “Put them back at once!!!”

 

“Hey, Izu, can I hit this guy?” Yukiko asks, moving forward a little, to be in his line of sight, and holding an axe “Of course, not with the sharp edge, but…”

 

“Please behave!” Yukizome-sensei hisses.

 

“What are you waiting for?!” The guy asks loudly, waving his hands around robotically.

 

“Uhm… I… that is…” God, he can’t stand everyone staring at him like that. He just wants to run away from here “I… I… s-sorry…?” He hugs himself, trying to shrink away from sight, as other examinees jeer and comments about how it’s one less enemy to worry about. It stings.

 

“Could you please just do as I asked? Put those away” The guy requests, gesturing to the ‘floating’ weapons again.

 

“And… Begin!!!!” A loud voice booms from somewhere, and Izuku really appreciates the timing. He immediately rushes to the battlefield, effectively escaping the boy, and everyone’s stares “What’s wrong? The test started! Examinee number 23338 has the right idea!! Run! Run!”

 

Oh, he’s actually managed to get ahead. Good. He sees Yukizome-sensei burying the switchblade in one robot’s wiring, making it combust. Akihiko and Yukiko are off to somewhere, trying to destroy the robots with their axes. He quickly takes out a few electric-glyph papers, and proceeds to stick them onto nearby robots, while activating them.

 

Most robots just stop working, but a few actually blow up, so he ends up with a few scratches. Nothing he’s not used to. He’s quickly passed by other examinees who’ve caught up to him, and are trying to find more robots to kill. Well, he’s a bit too slow, so no point competing with all those power-houses here.

 

He sees Yami gesturing for him to come out of the corner of his eye, and he ducks into the alleyway where the spirit is. After a few moments, a tree pointer comes at him. He manages to dodge its attack, and stick an activated glyph onto it, making it explode. Yami flies higher to spot more enemies, and Izuku uses the precious few second of break to take out more papers with glyphs, as he just runs straight ahead, waiting for directions.

 

“There are quite a few ‘villains’ that way” Yami says, and Izuku follows him.

 

True to his word, there are quite a few robots there. He needs to be quick before anyone else decides to come here though. With practiced movements, he darts around, sticking electric glyphs onto robots to make them malfunction. Thank god for all the times he’s dealt with poltergeists, since it was basically the same thing, only with exorcism glyphs instead.

 

“Hey, beansprout! Someone looks like they need a bit of help there!” Yukizome-sensei yells, getting his attention.

 

Huffing, he nods to Yami and leaves towards the ghost. And sure enough, there’s a guy there fighting a robot, and clearly losing. One problem – the boy loses his footing, and is about to be hit. Without thinking, he rushes forward and pushes him out of the way, getting his arm sliced by the robot in the process.

 

Sighing, he runs up to the robot, twists it’s ‘arm’, and sticks a glyph paper to it, applying less energy than normally – enough to stun the robot, but not to finish it off. After all, even if he’s there to help, he isn’t about to steal points from some random.

 

“Break it now!” He yells, and the startles examinee shoots a fireball his way. Well, he should’ve thought that through better.

 

He dodges out of the way, and runs away from there, sparing a glance back to make sure the robot is destroyed. Alright, now back to fighting for real. Yami leads him to where there are less people, and more bots. He finishes them off. That pattern continues, broken only when he sees someone in need of assistance (or ghosts alert him of someone like that), and when he has to use Jubokko leaves (though he does it rather subtly, making sure that the cameras won’t catch it. Can’t have people suspecting he’s using quirk enhancers, after all).

 

It stops somewhere towards the end, when there’s a loud sound, followed by ground shaking. He rushes towards the source of the disturbance, destroying a few robots on the way. After all, people are bound to need help if something this noticeable is happening there. He sees people running away from the area – the loud guy is among them (not so brave when it’s not an awkward kid he’s against, huh).

 

“There are people who are hurt here” Yami says, and indeed, he can see a few examinees limping.

 

Cursing under his breath, he rushes towards someone who tripped, and helps them up. He’s about to run and help the limping examinees escape faster, but… That’s when he hears it. A cry for help. Whipping around, he sees a girl stuck under the rubble. She has short, brown hair, and it doesn’t look like she’ll be able to get out by herself.

 

He immediately runs towards her, noting a fancy stingray, hovering above the girl. Her guardian spirit… but it doesn’t tell him much about her quirk, so he’ll have to ask, if it comes down to this. He nods at Yukizome-sense, who was nearby, and she rushes to his side.

 

“Try to cut the giant robot’s wiring” He whispers to her, before crouching in front of the trapped girl “Hey, are you alright? Nothing broken?” He asks, carefully preparing to lift the slab of concrete. If she’s wounded, he’ll have to be extremely careful.

 

“Just…stuck. And nauseous, but that’s because of my quirk” The girl says, looking a bit green.

 

“Alright” He tries lifting the piece of concrete, but it doesn’t budge. Okay, plan B. He pours energy into the strengthening glyphs on him, and tries again. It… moves a bit, but not enough for the girl to crawl out.

 

Biting his lip, he looks back at the robot. It’s… not stopping. Well… it’s not a bad way to die. Wait, they wouldn’t let them die on the test, right…? But there can always be unforeseen accidents. He… has to get them out of here… So, he tries something he’s never done before. He pours all of his remaining spiritual energy into the glyph, pushing at the concrete slab.

 

He feels a rush of strength enhancement, and manages to push the piece of rubble off. But then the pain hits him. He… he used too much… He coughs, panicking slightly when he sees his own blood dripping onto the concrete. Still… he has to get out of here.

 

“Get up if you can” He tells the girl, almost chocking on his blood as he talks “We have to… escape…”

 

“Are you okay?! Oh my god, you’re bleeding, you’re not okay”  The girl also seems to panic.

 

Go. Now” He repeats, trying to get up.

 

“I can’t leave you here!” She hisses, helping him up. Okay, that’s appreciated.

 

“Thanks” He says, as she helps him walk.

 

Still… they’re rather slow. Too slow… The robot is going to crush them in a few moments. Yukizome-sensei… please hurry up. He grits his teeth and speeds up a bit, even though he just wants to curl up on the ground and cry. Wait… there are alleyways, maybe they can go escape into one of them to avoid the robot’s path…?

 

He tugs on the girl’s arm, and when she glances back at him, he gestures to the alleyway. She seems to understand, walking there instead. Still… even if they reach the alleyway, they’ll have to go further in, or they’ll get caught up in the destruction. Yami is telling him to hurry it up – as if he can – as the spirit himself floats higher up to have a better view of the situation.

 

“Just a bit more…” He mumbles, forcing himself to push ahead.

 

“…! The robot is going down!!!” Yami yells to him from above.

 

“Oh, thank god” He breathes out, collapsing, as there is a loud crashing sound somewhere behind them. The robot has fallen.

 

“H-hey!! Don’t fall asleep!!” The girl shakes him, as his world fades “C-come on, don’t close your eyes! Hey! Do you even hear me?!”

~🌸~

When he wakes up he realises that he’s in some hospital-like room. Thankfully, he doesn’t have an IV drop, which means his scars were probably not seen. Or the doctor has seen the thick dressing made of bandages on his arms and gave up on inserting a needle anywhere there. He… prefers the first option.

 

He looks around the room. His bag is on the chair next to the bed he’s lying in, the switchblade is right next to it, and the two axes are on the floor. The three ghosts are in the room, talking among themselves. They don’t seem to have realised he’s awake. Yami is also there, talking to some spirit he doesn’t recognises. Maybe the nurse’s…?

 

“Oh my god, you’re awake!” Yukizome-sensei yells, racing to his side and trying to hug him. She winces and settles for just being near when her hands phase through him “I’m so glad you okay. Don’t scare me like this ever again, beansprout”

 

“S-sorry…” He mutters. It’s not like he planned to end up like this! “I… should probably go home now…”

 

“If you try, the nurse will kill you for leaving without permission” An unfamiliar voice tells him. Oh, it’s the spirit Yami was talking with. It’s… human-like. Looks like a fairy or something…? “If you want to avoid the lecture, just wait a few minutes, she’ll come here”

 

“Mhhm” He hums, lying back down. Yukizome-sensei gives him a questioning glance, but stays silent.

 

“You don’t look so good” Yukiko remarks, sitting on the bed next to him. Yami just silently watches on, looking concerned.

 

“I’m fine” He manages to groan out, even though he still feels awful.

 

God, why is spiritual energy depletion so painful? Honestly, he would’ve just cried then and there, but he’s afraid the nurse would be hesitant to let him go if he does that. So, he just tries to hold back tears, as he waits for anyone to come by and tell him he can leave. It… doesn’t actually take long. A few minutes, at most. But it still feels painfully long to him.

 

“Oh, you’re awake” Old-sounding voice calls out, and sure enough, there’s the nurse – the youthful heroine, Recovery Girl “Are you still hurting anywhere?”

 

“A bit” More than ‘a bit’, but he just wants to leave. He can’t even muster enough energy to fanboy over the heroine “Mostly just exhausted… I overused my quirk quite badly”

 

“Do you think you’ll be okay if you go home right now?” The nurse asks, observing him carefully “Any dizziness, intense pains, or nausea?”

 

“Oh, uhm, I’m… okay enough” He says. It’s… more of a lie than a truth. But he’ll be fine.

 

“If you’re sure… Take a few gummies” She hands him a handful of aforementioned sweets “Eat them, and then you can go home”

 

“Thank you” He says, before putting a few in his mouth and chewing. He can feel the sceptical gaze Yukizome-sensei is giving the gummies. Despite her blatant suspicion, he finishes all of them, and gets up “I’ll be going now” He says.

 

“Take care” The nurse hums, as he gather his things and leaves.

~🌸~

Once he’s home, he just tosses the bag aside, and face-plants into bed. He feels awful… How the fuck did he manage to get home is a wonder, if he has to be honest. Well, at least he’s almost completely sure he’ll get in. He did get quite a few points by himself, and the ghosts were racking up the points for him the entire time. Not to mention the supposed rescue points.

 

And besides, the results will come in a few weeks, so he can just confirm it then. For now though… he just wants to sleep. He asks the ghosts to leave his room for tonight, and then promptly passes out once he’s alone.

~🌸~

Aizawa grits his teeth, rewatching the footage. That quirk… it seems so familiar, way too familiar. The flying axes move like they’re actually held by someone, and not just floating or carried via levitation. They seem almost exactly like that bottle… Could it be that this boy is the vigilante who helped him…?

 

Surely, that’s not possible… he’s way too young, and he wants to actually be a hero. Going vigilante is way too risky… But as much as he wants to deny it, he knows that teenagers make a lot of stupid decisions, especially the ones who want to help others, without regards for their own well-being.

 

He’ll have to look into that possibility… But even if that turned out to be the truth, he doesn’t really want to punish the boy too severely. Not only was this a one time thing, as far as he’s aware at least, but the boy is actually trying to get into a hero school. Setting him on the right track, and keeping him there would be much more logical than putting him in jail or the like.

~🌸~

 

For the next three days, Izuku is still feeling the negative effects of his little stunt, so he just stays in bed, and reads books. He also texts with Shouto (and sends a few messages in their group chat with Inasa, but they’re mostly the obligatory ‘answering questions’ texts, oh and the one about how he did good enough in the entrance exam).

 

Staying in bed for so long is a bit boring, but at least ghosts try to include him in their game tournaments, so it isn’t as bad as it could have been. On the fourth day, he can actually get out of bed without feeling like he’s going to die, so he makes use of that and goes for a walk.

 

The neighbourhood is quiet, and seems a bit empty. It’s probably just due to the fact that it’s not a busy street, but it feels weird with so few people around. There are quite a few ghosts though, but he doesn’t talk to them, since he’s still in no shape to help them. He feels a bit guilty about it, but it’s not like he can do anything to make his condition better.

 

The only thing that could heal him is the Jubokko tree, and he’d rather not use it if it’s not necessary. Especially since it’s rather weak right now, because he took a few of its leaves and haven’t fed it since. He’ll probably have to ask his mom for help… and that doesn’t make him feel any better. Actually he feels almost sick just thinking of asking his mom to feed the blood-eating tree. But he’s afraid that it might partially dry up if he doesn’t feed it soon…

 

…He’ll have to ask Yami before he does anything.

 

He refocuses on the scenery before him. It’s… rather calm here, but it also feels a bit suffocating. Maybe he should go somewhere else? Some park… or the beach. Hmm… The beach sounds nice. But not the Dagobah Beach. It’s too far away, and he might bump into All Might if he goes there. The last time was already a risk, and he only took him to show the beach to Shouto.

 

…Wait, what the fuck.

 

He can see a familiar man in the trench coat walking into his neighbour’s house. It’s… All Might’s friend. Why’d he be here? Wait, he’s a police officer, did something happen here? Or… is he there for Izuku…? Anyways, it’s time to leave this place. He picks the direction of the nearest beach, and speed-walks away.

 

~🌸~

“Hey, Izu! The mailman was here! He put some letters into the mailbox” Yukiko informs him, as she walks into his bedroom.

 

“Ah, thanks” He says, and heads to the mailbox. It’s probably just bills and so on, but the slight possibility of it being his U.A. acceptance letter is thrilling.

 

He takes all the letters and so on to the house, and starts sorting them. Electricity bills… water bill… oh, a letter from mom’s job. And… A rather thick letter from U.A. Actually, it doesn’t seem to be just paper there. He carefully feels the ‘letter’ with his hands, and concludes that some kind of disc-like object is inside.

 

Well, time to go to his room, and open it. Giddily, he runs to his room, and sits on his bed… The moment of truth is here. Will he get in, or will he be rejected…? He carefully uses a nearby ruler to open the envelope, and picks up the disc from inside… There doesn’t seem to be an actual letter alongside it though. Huh, weird.

 

Suddenly, the disc activates.

 

Startled, he lets go of it. It falls onto his bed, and he finally sees that it’s projecting the number one hero, All Might. What…? I-it was supposed to be from U.A. What is going on here? Then, All Might speaks, and oh, isn’t that just wonderful. The number one hero is going to be teaching at the school he’s going too.

 

On one hand, it’s like a childhood dream come true, and just generally super awesome. On the other hand… he’s had a rather bad first impression as far as meeting with All Might goes. And he’s slightly terrified of the man now. It’s not going to stop him from fanboying, but still, being in the hero’s class would be… awkward.

 

But hey, he actually managed to pass! And that’s something. Also, he’s managed to snatch second place, being only behind… Bakugou Katsuki. So… his childhood ex-friend is probably going to be at U.A. Yikes, he hopes they end up in different classes. Facing the boy right now would be… awkward, and painful.

 

And he’s not sure he’d be able to do it without having a mental breakdown. But hey, he has to think positively! There’s a 50% chance the boy will be in the other class. Plus, he knows at least three people who are quite nice, so at least one of them has a quite high chance of being in the same class as him. Yep, he just has to look on the bright side. Just… look on the bright side. Dear god, why does staying positive have to be so hard?!

Chapter Text

 

“Hey, Yami, do you know if Sorya’s charge passed the exam?”  He asks, looking up from the glyph he’s practicing.

 

“Uhm, Izuku… I was with you ever since you opened the letter. How the fuck would I know?” The spirit looks at him with concern, probably wondering if he’s finally lost it.

 

“Well, I was just checking… unlike me you don’t need to sleep, so there was at the very least a possibility of you going out to meet Sorya at night” He shrugs “But, well, if you don’t know, then I guess it doesn’t really matter for now. But could you ask them the next time you see them?”

 

“Sure thing, though…” Yami’s eyes narrow in suspicion “Why do you want to know this? You’ve only met the guy once, I didn’t think you’d care so much”

 

“Well… I did pass along that advice, so I wanted to see if he made it in after all” He hums “And besides, if we’re going to be classmates, it’d be best to become friends as soon as possible… Or at least before the school starts”

 

“Why the rush?” The spirit asks, tilting his head.

 

“I mean…” Does he really want to say it? Well, it’s not like… he has much of a choice since Yami is already onto something “Bakugou may be in my class, you know…” He says softly, half-wishing his spirit won’t hear “I… I think if he’s there… he’ll scare off anyone I might try to befriend. B-but if we’re already friends, then he’ll at least hang out with me after school, right…?”

 

“Izuku… I don’t think you should worry so much” Yami is wearing a painful expression. Ah… he’s made his spirit worried. That… wasn’t what he wanted to do “Your future classmates are all already teenagers, not just little kids. I doubt it’ll be the repeat of when you still went to school with that boy”

 

“Y-yes… you’re probably right” Then why doesn’t he feel reassured at all…? Maybe just in case… “Still, I’d want to meet Sorya’s charge again. He seemed… nice. A-and you always used to tell me that I needed more human friends, right?”

 

“…” Yami scrutinises him for a moment, before sighing “How exactly do you plan on becoming friends with him?”

 

“Well, uhm, I mean…” He didn’t think that far ahead... But there had to be something, right? “I could ‘accidentally’ run into him while he’s out of the house. Then, I’d ask for his phone number or something, and keep in contact, I guess…?”

 

“Dear god, ‘accidentally’ run into him… I really feel like I should curb those stalkery tendencies of yours, it’s beginning to feel creepy” And going in through Shouto’s window on their first meeting wasn’t? “Seriously, there are no pressing matters regarding that boy, so just wait till you two go to school together. If he doesn’t get in – then we’ll talk about other methods”

 

“But it’s, like, at least a few weeks away from now” He whines.

 

“You’ll live” Yami rolls his eyes “You can always hang out with Shouto and that other dude, what was his name again… Nevermind” Huh, he does have a point “Now, get back to practicing this glyph. The more you write it, the less time you’ll need to copy it if need arises”

 

“Yes, yes, I know”

~🌸~

Alright, he’s doing it. He’s going to text Shouto, and Inasa, and ask them to hang out. God, why is he suddenly feeling so nervous? He’s hung out with Shouto countless times, this won’t be any different… Well, it will be more of a celebration, since he wants to celebrate the fact they all got into U.A., but aside from that it shouldn’t be all that different…

 

Alright, focus, he’s going to do that.

 

Hero hopefuls

Izuku: Hey guys, what would you say to going somewhere to celebrate that we all made it into U.A.?

 

God, this was so bad. It’s cringy as fuck, and also seems way too… stuffy. But he already sent it, so deleting it wouldn’t do much, especially since the ‘seen’ icon is showing… ugh, why is he so bad at this?

 

Inasa: That’s a brilliant idea!!!! I like your enthusiasm.

Where do you want to go?

Some cafe?

 

Shouto: I’ll only be free on Friday, if you want me to come.

 

Okay, that went well, now onto the details… Obviously, the date would have to be this Friday, but what about the place? There are a few good cafes nearby, but Shouto lives a bit further away, and he doesn’t even know where Inasa lives.

 

Izuku: Well, I’m free on Friday! I think a cafe would be nice, but I don’t really know any we could go to.

 

Inasa: Friday is fine by me!!!

 

Shouto: About the cafe, there is one my sister recommended to me a while back.

I think it’d be nice to go there, they supposedly serve very good coffee.

 

Izuku: Sounds good to me :D

Would you text us the location?

 

They spend the next few minutes figuring out a good time to meet up, and so on. It’s… nice. He thinks at least. Is that what planning an outing with friends feels like? He’s never really done it before, since he just showed up at Shouto’s before… To be honest, he could get used to this. Well, maybe not to actually being the first to text, that was nerve-racking.

~🌸~

It’s finally Friday. The weather is nice, and he’s been spared from feeding Jubokko Bonsai today, so he can tell that the outing is off to a good start. But… just in case something weird does happen, he brings some exorcism talismans along, hiding them in his bag. Better to be prepared.

 

When he arrives at the cafe, fifteen minutes before their meeting time, he notices that he’s (understandably) first there. He orders a cup of vanilla latte, and takes a seat at one of the tables. He takes his time looking around. The cafe is mostly made of wood, and clearly going for the comfy, slightly old aesthetic.

 

There are flowers on each table – a nice little touch. It’s all… very relaxing, even if there are quite a few people around. The person handling the orders, who is probably owner of the cafe, seems to be an elderly woman. She’s dressed in a simple white shirt, black pants, and has a black apron with little, purple flowers painted on it. She seems quite nice, if a bit tired.

 

“Good afternoon!!” Inasa says loudly – too loudly – taking a seat next to Izuku, who shrinks a bit at the glares other customers throw at them.

 

“Hello” He says, sipping his coffee “There should still be around ten minutes left. I think you should order something before Shouto comes”

 

“Ah, yes!!! We should probably also text him and get something for him” The boy says enthusiastically, taking out his phone.

 

“I’ll leave you to it” He hums.

 

The boy spends the next minute or so ordering, before going back to the table. They mostly make small talk, commenting about newest heroes (Inasa always talks about how ‘passionate’ they are, for some reason) and some more popular ones. Finally, about two minutes before what was supposed to be their meet up time, Shouto arrives.

 

Izuku is really glad for that, because talking to Inasa when he’s alone is rather exhausting, since he has to fake cheerfulness all the time. But… there is something wrong about Shouto. Well, not about the boy himself, rather, about those accompanying him. Only Uzomi is here, and there seems to be a ghost following Shouto. It’s weird, he didn’t have a ghost last time Izuku met up with him.

 

The ghost seems to be a woman in her twenties, maybe early thirties. She has red hair, that was probably once fiery, but looks mostly washed out now that the woman is not alive. She has piercing blue eyes that remind him distinctly of… oh. Endeavor shouldn’t have a daughter with red hair, so who the fuck is this?

 

“Izuku, is everything okay?” Shouto asks, waving a hand in front of his eyes “You didn’t answer my greeting… and you seem pretty… uhm…”

 

“I just zoned out” He says, waving his hand around apologetically “Sorry, that was probably bad timing”

 

“It’s fine…” Even though Shouto says that, he can see the boy eyeing the spot he was looking at suspiciously.

 

“Anyways, let’s make a toast!” He smiles with (false) cheerfulness, picking up his cup of coffee “To our future at U.A.!”

 

“To our future at U.A.!!!!” Inasa repeats the gesture enthusiastically, while Shouto does the same with a confused look on his face.

 

“I hope we end up in the same class” Izuku says, still smiling. He catches the minute twitch of Inasa’s face as the boy glances at Shouto, and he has to stop himself from frowning. Does… Inasa not want to be in the same class…?

 

“Yes, it would be nice to be in the same class as someone as passionate as you!” The boy in question says with vigour. Huh, maybe he was mistaken earlier.

 

“…Yeah” Shouto smiles softly, taking another sip of his coffee.

 

He lets himself go silent as Inasa starts another conversation about heroes. He can’t help but let his eyes wander discretely to Shouto’s ghost. The woman is looking around the building, seemingly standing on guard. He averts his eyes whenever she looks towards him, not wanting to give away she can see her. Not yet at least.

 

He observes her, only half-listening to Inasa’s passionate speech, and Shouto’s attempts at responding to it. It goes on for a while, before Yami flies into his field of vision.

 

“Izuku, focus!! He asked you a question!” The spirit hisses, and he turns his head back to Inasa so quickly it almost hurts.

 

“Ah, could you repeat?” He asks, awkward smile playing at his lips.

 

“Izuku… Are you sure you’re okay? You seem especially distracted today” Shouto says before Inasa can repeat whatever question he asked before “You don’t have to push yourself”

 

“Were you unwell? I apologize for not noticing sooner!!” Inasa says, bowing so hard he hits the table with his head, and the coffee almost spills from their cups “You should probably rest if you’re tired”

 

“I’m fine… Just a bit spaced out” He waves his hands around frantically, wincing a bit when all that moving around makes him his the table with his wrist, and he can feel warmth spilling there – one of the cuts has reopened. Well, fuck “Well, could you repeat your question from earlier?” He asks, discreetly hiding his hands under the table, in case the blood manages to seep through the bandages and stain his sleeve.

 

“Oh!! I wanted to know your thoughts on the current top five heroes!!” Inasa says enthusiastically, seemingly relieved that he’s ‘alright’ “All Might is obviously the most passionate, but there are some other great ones!!”

 

“Hmm, Hawks is good” He hums, tilting his head “Best Jeanist is also quite skilled. Though Edgeshot has some good points as well, I like them all, to be honest”

 

“Huh, you’re not even considering All Might?” Inasa asks, confused.

 

“Well, All Might is a given” He answers easily, but… is he really a given? All Might is a bit terrifying, at least to him.

 

“Todoroki’s father is also quite impressive in his own right, managing to keep his title of the number two for so long” Inasa is still smiling, despite the fact that Izuku knows he hates the flame hero.

 

Honestly, he feels like face-palming. It’s pretty obvious he’s trying to bring up a topic that’d rope Shouto into the conversation, but this is not ending well. Did he not learn anything the last time he brought Endeavor up in front of Shouto? And speaking of the boy, he’s currently gripping his cup of coffee really tightly, and his face is twisted with disgust, some cold rage and hatred in his eyes.

 

“Is he now” Shouto says dismissively, even though his voice is slightly strained.

 

Inasa frowns at the boy, something between confusion and distaste colouring his expression. There’s something stormy in those eyes. Oh boy, does Izuku feel like hitting him right about now. Why did it get like this…? Okay, plan B. He internally apologises, before kicking Shouto under the table. It makes the boy spill some coffee on his shirt.

 

“Ah, I’m sorry” He says, awkwardly sitting there as Shouto sets the cup down, and grabs some napkins to clean up “Uhm, there should be a bathroom here. The stain should get out if you try to wash it now” He offers.

 

“…I’ll go try, then” The boy goes along, even as he sends Izuku a questioning glance.

 

“…” Inasa seems to be speechless, for once.

 

“…So, Inasa-“ Izuku addresses the boy once they’re alone at the table “Exactly why do you seem to hate Shouto so much?”

 

“Huh?!” The boy flinches slightly “I don’t hate him! I apologize if it seemed like I disliked him, but it’s untrue”

 

“Inasa… I have two working eyes and a brain. It’s not that hard to see you dislike him” He continues coldly “You get this… look in your eyes whenever Shouto reacts the way he just did”

 

“I-I don’t hate him…!” Inasa denies the obvious fact “He’s just… he’s trying to be a hero even though he has this cold look in his eyes… like he’s filled with hatred. I don’t believe hateful people like that are fit to be heroes…”

 

“What a load of bullshit. Not to mention he’s a hypocrite, seeing as he’s trying to become a hero even though he has this hateful look when seeing Shouto in this state” Yami huffs.

 

“…Please do not speak like that about my charge” The dragonfly on Inasa’s seat hisses “He’s just… a bit misguided”

 

“I don’t hate him as a person… I just don’t see why he’d try to become a hero, when his gaze is always fixed on something else” Inasa ends, looking away with a grimace.

 

“I’m going to be completely honest with you here” He warns, done with this shit “I don’t get your reasoning, and I don’t care for it either. Shouto is a good person, whether you recognise it or not. He’s a great person with not so great circumstances. Is he sometimes cold? Yeah. Are there things he outright hates? Yeah. Would that make him a bad hero? No, I don’t think so”

 

“What are you…?” Inasa asks with wide eyes, looking incredibly confused.

 

“And you know what? He’s a much better person than you, heck, probably would make a better hero too” He continues, ignoring the indignant look Inasa gives him “Do you know why? You judge people on the first impression you get from them. Or maybe even on some prior prejudice. He wouldn’t make a good hero because he seems hateful? Don’t make me laugh”

 

“Uhm” Inasa is beginning to look uncomfortable. Good.

 

“How can you say that when you look at him with the same amount of hatred he himself shows?” He snorts, taking some weird pleasure in the way Inasa flinches at that “But you know what’s even worse? He actually has a good reason for hating certain things. A very good reason. And what do you have, aside from your judgemental character?”

 

“I…” At the very least, the boy looks ashamed.

 

“Inasa, you’re not a bad guy” He says, in a softer voice, once he notices people are starting to stare at them “Actually, I think you’re a pretty god person. Your heart is in the right place… but I think you should really reconsider the way you look at people”

 

“…” The boy is staring at him.

 

“You’ve already made a really bad judgement once. This time, the stakes weren’t especially high” He continues “But once you’re in the field, your attitude towards others can mean life or death. Not only for yourself, but also for civilians. I hope that you never put your imaginative grudges above your duties”

 

“I… I’ll think about it” The boy says, much more subdued than normally “I… I didn’t think it was like that… I just…”

 

“Shh, it’s okay” He says, trying to keep up his persona, since he might just break down and cry if he breaks it now “Just… think about it, alright? And maybe stop judging people by appearances?” And by prejudice, since he’s fairly sure the boy would be less harsh on Shouto if the latter wasn’t  Endeavor’s son. Damn projecting one man’s attitude on all the family members, it doesn’t work like that.

 

“…I apologize” Inasa repeats, slamming his head into the table again with a bow “I’m really, truly sorry!”

 

“It’s fine now, alright?” He feels a bit bad. Not too much, but a bit “Oh, and one more thing”

 

“Huh?” Inasa brings his head up, looking at him questioningly.

 

“Even when you re-examine your worldview, please don’t stop hating Endeavor. That man is a piece of trash” He says with a smile, ignoring Yami’s cackling.

~🌸~

The rest of their little ‘celebration’ goes quite well. Or at least as well as it can go, with Inasa still being a bit subdued, Shouto looking extremely confused and uncomfortable, and Izuku trying to hide his hands at all times. Yep… it could be worse, at least. The thing is, when they leave, Shouto asks him to come with him.

 

And Izuku accepts, like a dumbass. Seriously, no one with half a braincell would say okay to hanging out, when their wounds are reopened, and bleeding. But here they are.

 

But hey, since Endeavor isn’t home, he can just go through the front doors together with Shouto for once. That’s a first, though he hopes it’ll happen more often. Going in through the window is a bit annoying, even if he loves how much of a dramatic entrance it is.

 

“Oh, you brought a friend!” A feminine voice calls out when they’re walking to Shouto’s room, and a young woman emerges from one of the other rooms. Too young to be the boy’s mother, his sister then? “I’m really glad to meet you! Thank you for taking care of my brother”

 

“Taking care, huh…” Shouto huffs with vague amusement.

 

“Uhm, it’s nice to meet you too, I’m Izuku” He beams at her, ignoring Shouto.

 

“We’ll be in my room” Shouto says, and grabs his wrist to drag him along.

 

He has to stop himself from yelping at the sudden spike of pain. From the worried frown on Shouto’s sister’s face, he didn’t manage to completely hide his reaction though. Thankfully, before she can say anything, Shouto manages to drag him further into the house, and they make it into the boy’s room uninterrupted.

 

Still, this was the wrist that was bleeding earlier, and it’s warm (and wet) again. There is no way this isn’t going to seep through. He screams internally when Shouto stops in the middle of his room, frowning, as he glances back at where he’s holding his wrist. The boy gingerly lets go, blinking owlishly at the bloodstain that’s surprisingly visible on the dark material.

 

“What…?” Shouto is just staring in shock, tense, and somehow horrified “Oh my god, I didn’t hurt you, did I?” The boy blurts out.

 

“Uhm, no, it’s fine” He tries to wave off the boy’s concern, withdrawing his hand “It was… just a gash that reopened. Not a big deal”

 

“Let me see your hand” Shouto says, frowning, as he reaches out for his hand. Well, fuck.

 

“I said it’s fine” He huffs, hugging the bleeding wrist to his chest “I’ll just take care of it when I get home, it’s not really painful anyways”

 

“It doesn’t look like you’re fine” Shouto argues, looking incredibly worried. But he can’t let him see his wrist. Not with the knife-wounds on them. The boy would jump to the wrong conclusion, and that’s not a conversation he wants to have anytime soon.

 

“Shouto, please, drop it” He repeats softly, taking a step back “I-it’s nothing, so please just back off, okay?”

 

“Alright” The boy grimaces, but draws his hand back “But… at least warn me the next time you’re wounded. I don’t want to hurt you on accident”

 

“Haha… Yeah, I’ll make sure to do that” He won’t, cause’ he’s always wounded. But it’s not like it matters all that much.

~🌸~

“I fucked up, now Shouto will know something is up” He groans, collapsing on his bed. And another thing that frustrates him – he still doesn’t know anything about Shouto’s ghost.

 

“Hey, at least you know that something is up with him too, so if worse comes to worst, you can always blackmail him into dropping the issue” Yami shrugs, lazily observing the ghosts’ game of UNO.

 

Like hell I’d do that” He sputters in shock.

 

“Relax, I only brought it up as a possibility” The owl-cat spirit sighs “And besides, if you’re backing off on personal issues, I’m sure he’ll also show you the same courtesy”

 

“I doubt it” It’s his turn to shrug.

 

“Jeez, give him some credit, you guys are friends” Yami looks at him with this sad look in his eyes .

 

“…Bakugou was my friend too, at one time, and see how that turned out” He smiles bitterly “I don’t think friendship alone means he’ll back off, even if I tell him to”

 

“Just because Bakugou was an asshole doesn’t mean other people will be the same” Yami argues.

 

“…Maybe you’re right” He shrugs again “But it’s better to be prepared in case Shouto does try to look into stuff related to me”

 

“…”

~🌸~

“Ah, Izuku, a letter is here for you!” His mom yells from downstairs. But more importantly – a letter? It’s not like many people could send him one.

 

“Coming!” He yells back, and just shrugs at the perplexed ghosts as he leaves the room “Who is it from?” He asks, holding out his hand to accept the envelope.

 

“It has U.A.’s crest on it, so I think it’s from the school” She answers, and his stomach drops. What would the school need from him now? Will they say he can’t attend after all?

 

“Ah, thanks” He says dazedly, taking the letter and returning to his room.

“So, are you just going to stare at it, or…?” Yukiko’s voice almost makes him jump.

 

“A-ah, I’ll open it now” He says, smiling nervously.

 

Okay, here goes nothing. He carefully opens the envelope, and starts reading the letter. It seems to be… a summoning for some sort of ‘interview’? Something about assessing students in order to decide which class they’d better fit in. But… he’s never heard about anything like this happening. In the first place, why’d they need an interview like that? And besides, it implies that all future students go through it, but isn’t it weird to do that, considering how much effort would go into something on that scale?

 

“I don’t like it” Yami says from his place on Izuku’s shoulder “This thing feels fishy”

 

“Yeah… it’s weird” He whispers, and Yukiko looks at him quizzically.

 

“What does it say?” The girl asks, and when he fills her in, she frowns “Huh, I’ve never heard about U.A. holding those sorts of interviews. It might have changed from the time I was alive though”

 

“Well, I have to go if I want to be admitted into the school” He grimaces slightly “Yami, you’re coming with me, right?”

 

“Of course. Someone has to make sure you make it out alright” The spirit in question huffs “And besides, you suck at lying. If we want to sell glyphs as your quirk, I’ll have to be there to help you answer any questions”

 

“Thanks Yami” He says with a smile.

~🌸~

Honestly, Naomasa feels a bit bad about this whole thing, but he needs to make sure that Midoriya isn’t the vigilante Phantom – as Eraserhead seems to suspect. So, he hides in a room connected to the one where Aizawa will be ‘interviewing’ the boy, waiting for the whole thing to begin.

 

He also hopes to glimpse some more information about the boy, since visiting Midoriya’s current neighbours brought up some… concerning issues. Mostly the fact that the teen is constantly going out at night, only ever wears long-sleeved clothes, and a few people saw him wearing bandages on his arms. There’s also the seemingly ever-present issue of the family not having any guests over.

 

“Uhm, good morning, I’m here for the interview…?” Truth. Midoriya’s hesitant voice rings out after a short knock.

 

“Come in” Aizawa’s tone is as emotionless as ever. Naomasa hears the creaking of the opening door, then footsteps “You’re Izuku Midoriya, correct?”

 

“Yes” Truth.

 

“Alright, let’s begin now. Take a look at this” There is some shuffling as Eraserhead presumably shows the boy’s file to him “Are all the information about you correct?”

 

“Well, uhm… Ye – oh, actually, the quirk registry isn’t… fully correct” Truth. Wait, his quirk registry isn’t correct? “I-I mean, my glyphs do work like that, but…there is some information missing. It’s not that important though” Truth.

 

“Given the hero course’s focus on quirks, I think even little things would be important” Aizawa says “Please elaborate on what’s missing”

 

“Uhm, well… My quirk is actually activating glyphs, not making them, so even if it was someone else who wrote it, as long as it’s the right shape, I can use them” Truth. Well, that was certainly not ‘unimportant’ information “T-the other thing is… my quirk shows me new glyphs when I gain enough stamina to actually use them, or when I’m close to being able to use them. I don’t know how many glyphs there actually are” Truth.

 

“Is that all?” Aizawa asks, and the boy presumably nods “Alright, we’ll update your school files. Anything else wrong with what’s written there?”

 

“No, aside from the quirk registry, everything else is correct” Truth.

 

“Alright… The official interview part is about to start. I’ll ask you questions, please answer all of them truthfully” Eraserhead says “What type of hero are you trying to become?”

 

“Uhm, I’m not really sure yet. I guess I’ll just see how to best apply my skills” Truth There is slight nervousness in the boy’s voice, as if he’s expecting his answer to be the wrong one.

 

“That’s okay, most students think similarly” The man reassures “Do you have any official training? Any martial arts classes, or something similar?”

 

“Ah, no, I’ve never been to any official classes” Truth.

 

“Alright… Do you plan to focus more on your quirk, or your hand-to-hand fighting technique?”

 

“Uhm, I think focusing on hand-to-hand combat would be more beneficial to me” Truth.

 

“What are your academic strengths and weaknesses?”

 

“Uhm, I’m rather good with science related fields. As for my academic weaknesses… it’d be history and literature. However, I believe that I’m still on an acceptable level when it comes to them” Truth.

 

“Tell me a bit about your family” Eraserhead says in deadpan tone.

 

“Pardon…?” The boy seems genuinely confused.

 

“I said: please, tell me a bit about your family” Eraserhead repeats “It’s a standard question on this interview”

 

“O-oh, thank you for repeating…… Uhm, my parents are divorced. I live with my mother” Truth. But all of this is already in the file “I believe we’re… on rather good terms” Truth. “We’re a rather normal family, I think…” Lie. Well… not exactly unexpected for the boy to lie about that.

 

“Alright, let’s move onto the next question” Aizawa sensei is still as deadpan as ever “This will be the last one. Have you ever used your quirk in an illegal manner, or done any other actions that could be interpreted as vigilantism?”

 

“Well, uhm, I’ve never used my quirk like that” Truth “And I don’t think I’ve ever committed vigilantism” Truth. Well, at least this is cleared up.

 

“Thank you for your time. You may leave now”

 

“Goodbye”

“He’s left, you can come out now, Tsukauchi” Eraserhead says after a moment “So, did he lie about anything?”

 

“Well, he’s only lied once” He answers and the hero whips his head around to him “He lied when he said that his family is normal”

 

“Huh… weird” Aizawa narrows his eyes, but quickly regains his blank face “Still, at least we know he isn’t our vigilante”

 

“It would appear so”

~🌸~

“Thank you for your help, Yami. I don’t think I could’ve gone through the human lie detector without it” He says once he’s not on the school property anymore.

 

“No problem” Yami huffs “Still, didn’t expect the detective to be there. It seems like he has some connections to U.A., so try not to do anything suspicious”

 

“Yeah… I’ll try” He promises “oh, there is also one more thing… that interviewer seemed somewhat familiar, do you know who it was, Yami?”

 

“Hmm, I believe it was the hero you people call Eraserhead…?” Yami tilts his head, as Izuku stops abruptly.

 

“Oh my god, it was really Eraserhead…!” He whispers, shocked. Some people give him weird glances so he resumes his walking. Still he has to try really hard not to fanboy about meeting one of the best underground heroes.  

 

And said hero’s spirit. Not that they actually talked, of course. They seemed to be some sort of big cat. A lynx, maybe? There was this… dark, unearthly aura surrounding them. Huh, if he ever has the chance, he’d like to speak to them properly.

---A drawing of Sorya---

Chapter Text

 

The first day of school comes, and honestly, he feels completely unprepared. This is the day he may be ‘reunited’ with Bakugou. If the boy is in his class. He’s not sure how to feel about it – he’s mostly dreading it though. He’s already seen the boy at the entrance exams, but… actually interacting with him, after everything? He doesn’t think he can do this.

 

Maybe Shouto would let him hide behind him?

 

It’s obviously not a long-term solution, but he’s quite desperate to get as much time to mentally prepare as he can. It’s actually funny, in a pathetic kind of way. He’s experienced death dozens of times – even if just through memories of ghosts – why would something like that freak him out? How is facing him so much worse than the sensation of being stabbed, bleeding out, getting crushed – h-he shouldn’t think about it.

 

He takes a few deep breaths, and closes his eyes until his heartbeat slows.

 

He’s… not okay, but it’s close enough for him to go on with his life. A fifty percent chance… That’s all it is. Nothing more, and nothing less. He puts on some make up to conceal the dark circles under his eyes – a product of a sleepless night – and goes on to put on his student uniform. He has some difficulties with the tie, and ends up needing Mr. Kamakura’s help to tie it correctly. Honestly, he’s glad the man decided to wait for Izuku to leave before going off to his friend’s lecture.

 

After a bit of hesitation, he decides to also wear his scarf – it’s dark grey, and will probably do more than his uniform to conceal the charms and talismans around his neck. Normally they’d be hidden in his baggy hoodie whenever he was out of the house, but wearing it is just not possible right now. He checks if he has everything one more time, before heading out.

 

Yami flies at his side as he heads for the train station. He’s really grateful for his spirit’s presence, since it keeps the anxiety at bay, even if he logically knows the spirit wouldn’t be able to do much as far as humans are concerned.

He finally arrives at the doors to 1-A. Honestly, his journey here was one big blur, and he’s not sure he’d be able to recount it, even though it’s just happened. But there are more pressing things to worry about right now. Like actually going into the classroom. He really wonders why it has to be so hard. Will Shouto be there? Inasa? Sorya’s charge? More, importantly what if Bakugou is there? Or the scary boy from the exam?

 

“Izuku, you’re spacing out in the middle of the hallway” Yami says softly, and he becomes acutely aware of the whispers of students who pass him by. They think he’s weird… “…Want me to check the classroom and see if The Brat is there?”

 

“Don’t call him that” He whispers instinctively, before catching himself “…Sorry, habit. Please, please, check the classroom”

 

“You sure you don’t need to go to the bathroom or something, and calm down?” Yami asks with that concerned voice of his.


“I’m fine… I just… I need to know if he’s here” He mumbles.

 

“Okay… I’ll go check, and you try to calm down in the meantime, that works for you?” His spirit hesitates in front of the door, waiting for an answer.

 

“Yeah” He says, taking a deep breath, and hugging himself. It’s something that’s always calmed him down.

 

Yami disappears behind the doors, and he waits. Of course, his spirit should have returned by now, since he only wanted to check if Bakugou is inside, but he has a feeling he knows why his guardian spirit is not back yet. Yami is probably just giving him a bit of time to calm down. Either that or Bakugou is inside and Yami just puts off the inevitable.

 

“…” Yami comes back with a solemn look on his face “Okay, don’t freak out, but…” How exactly is he supposed to remain calm with an ominous opening like that?! “…Uhm, Bakugou is there. He’s busy shouting at someone right now, so if you’re careful, you may be able to sneak past him”

 

Oh, that’s a plan, apparently. It’s just putting off the inevitable, but he thinks it’s better than nothing.

~🌸~

Shouto is just sitting at his desk, slightly leaning forward, waiting for the lesson to start. It’s not like he has anything better to do – Inasa had gone off to greet his other classmates earlier (the boy is talking animatedly with a red-head and pink girl right now), and Izuku isn’t even here. Well, there is a slight chance that the latter will come later, but it’s equally as possible that the boy is in 1-B.

 

Two voices grow louder and louder among the class’ chatter, and he finally turns to look. A blue-haired boy with glasses seems to be trying to scold a delinquent-looking blond, and is getting insulted for his efforts. Shouto feels a bit bad for the boy, even if it’s an amusing sight. Though mostly, he just wants them to be quieter.

 

“Hi Shouto!” A cheerful yet quiet voice suddenly says right next to him, almost making him jump. He turns there to see a rather nervous-looking Izuku.

 

“Hi” He returns the greeting, blinking slowly “I didn’t see you come in” Smooth, Shouto, really smooth. Because that’s exactly how normal people react.

 

“I can be stealthy if I want to be” Izuku says with a pout, still quietly “You don’t have to give me that disbelieving loo-“ The boy cuts himself off, staring at something.

 

Shouto follows his line of sight, finding a purple haired boy who seems to be napping on the other end. Why would Izuku react like this? Is it someone he knows? Or maybe it was just one of those ‘spacing out’ moments when he’s staring at nothing? Looking back at Izuku, he finds that the boy looks unusually… gleeful.

~🌸~

Izuku can’t help but feel happy the moment he notices Sorya’s charge (though the spirit is strangely absent). He was a bit worried that they’d be in different classes. But he’s here, and that means he has three people who actually seem not to dislike him in the same class. He’s not entirely sure if that makes up for Bakugou being here, but it’s pretty close.

 

After all, people his age usually strongly dislike him.

 

In fact, those three are probably the first ones to like him in years. Or as he’s pointed out before, at least they don’t openly dislike him. He’s not sure Inasa necessarily still considers him a friend after their last conversation, even if the boy acts like it, and Sorya’s charge didn’t really have enough time to form a solid opinion about him.

 

“Is it someone you know?” Shouto asks, bringing him back to the present.

 

“Ah, kind of. We met at the entrance exam” He says, feeling his smile slip a bit. It’s not that anything is wrong, just… it feels weird to smile when they are so many people in the room once he realises it “He’s cool, I think. We should probably become friends with him”

 

“Huh, why?” Shouto sounds genuinely confused by the notion of making an effort to have more friends.

 

“Uhm, well…” He can’t exactly tell the boy about Yami and Sorya’s friendship. That’d probably go really wrong “He just… seemed cool…?” And the purple-haired boy still has two nekomatas hanging around him, which is beyond awesome. But it’s also the type of reason he can’t really voice out loud.

 

“That’s it?” Shouto blinks at him owlishly “Really?” He nods awkwardly, and they boy’s lips curve into a subtle smile “You really are weird, you know?”

 

“…” Doesn’t mean he wants to hear it, especially not from a person who refuses to acknowledge one of their blessings.

 

“I TOLD YOU TO FUCK OFF, YOU STUCK UP ELITIST FUCKER” Bakugou yells, and he can feel himself flinching, hands going up to protect his neck instinctively.

 

“I will not stand down until you take your feet of the desk!!” The slightly-terrifying guy from the entrance exam yells, a little less loudly.

 

“Izuku… are you okay? You’re shaking” Shouto says in a soft tone, concern colouring his voice.

 

“It’s okay…” It isn’t “I’ll… be fine” He won’t be okay “I just need a minute… that really startled me” Well, at least Bakugou didn’t notice him.

 

“If you’re sure” Shouto shrugs, but still seems sceptical. Uzomi and Yami are also giving him worried glances, and so is Sorya (Maruko is absent, and now that he thinks about it, the weird ghost who was following Shouto earlier is also not here).

 

“Yep, I’ll be fine” He says quietly, with a forced smile on his face. It’s really a blessing that Shouto doesn’t seem to notice things like that.

 

“OH MY GOD, IF YOU DON’T LEAVE ME RIGHT FUCKING NOW, I’LL KICK YOU SO DAMN HARD THAT THIS STICK SHOVED UP YOUR ASS WILL COME OUT OF YOUR GODDAMN MOUTH!!!” Bakugou continues yelling.

 

Izuku just closes his eyes, taking in deep breaths. He needs to calm the fuck down, or else he’ll gain attention. And that’s the last thing he needs right now. Calm down, act normally, don’t draw attention. If he just follows these, Bakugou probably won’t notice him for now. The boy has never held much interest in his classmates, after all.

 

“H-hey, Izuku, are you really okay?” Shouto asks, and when he opens his eyes he sees that the boy is standing up now.

 

“Yeah” He answers with a lie and a perfect fake smile “I’m fine” He hears the doors opening, and in comes the girl he’s saved at the entrance exam.

 

“What’s with all the yelling?” She says once she hears the still-arguing pair “Ah, I’ve seen you at the entrance exam!” She points at the boy with glasses “You were kind of cool, asking a question in front of everybody, just like that!”

 

“I’m from Somei Private Academy. My name is Tenya Iida” The boy introduces himself. Huh, good to know his name.

 

“Oh! I’m Ochako Uraraka, nice to meet you” The girl says, ignoring Bakugou’s grumbling about ‘finally having some damn peace’. She smiles cheerily “So, we’ve got our entrance ceremony, and guidance sessions today, yeah? Wonder what our teacher will be like. Boy, I’m nervous” She goes on, half-excitedly, half-nervously.

 

“If you’re here to socialize, then get out” Aizawa-sensei suddenly appears in something like a sleeping bag “This is… the hero course”

 

Izuku uses the distraction to get to his seat unnoticed – incidentally it’s right behind Bakugou (just his luck). His homeroom teacher makes eye-contact with him as he finishes sneaking around, but thankfully looks away, scanning the rest of the class.

 

“It took eight seconds for you to quiet down. Time is a precious resource. You lot aren’t very rational, are you?” He can hear Yami snorting at Eraserhead’s comment, for whatever reason “I’m your homeroom teacher, Shouta Aizawa. Pleased to meet you” And if that’s not a confirmation of the fact he was the only one to meet the man beforehand, he doesn’t know what else would be “Quickly now. Change into your gym clothes, and head out to the grounds”

 

Izuku leaves his desk, and gets his gym clothes, carefully avoiding Bakugou’s line of sight the entire time. As he’s leaving the classroom, Yami offers to guide him to a bathroom, so that he wouldn’t have to change with everyone else. He accepts the offer, but before he can follow his spirit, he notices the still-half-asleep Sorya’s charge.

 

The boy doesn’t seem like he’d enjoy being in the changing room with their noisy classmates, so Izuku makes a very stupid decision, and grabs the back of the boy’s uniform. It seems to startle the other, as he whips around, and they stare at each other for a moment, before recognition sparks in the boy’s eyes.

 

“You are the guy from the entrance exams” The guy says simply, staring at him with wide eyes.

 

“Yep. Do you want to avoid the crowds and change in the bathrooms instead?” He asks, getting an approving nod from Sorya in the background “Oh, I’m Izuku, by the way”

 

“Hitoshi Shinsou… and yeah, I’d appreciate that” The boy says, his expression melting into something thoughtful.

They change in separate stalls, which is great since Shinsou doesn’t see his bandages. To prevent his other classmates from noticing them, he decides to wear a long-sleeved undershirt he’s taken with him to school. He also decides to wear his scarf, for the same reasons as before. Even if it’s a bit more attention-catching, he can deal with questions about the scarf, and he can’t say much if his classmates question his talismans.

 

“Is it really so cold you need a scarf?” Shinsou asks once they’re both change, and heading towards the grounds.

 

“Hmm, maybe” He answers half-heartedly “By the way, was my advice helpful?”

 

“Ah… yeah. Sorry, I wanted to thank you earlier. So, uhm… thanks, I guess” Oh, good, the boy seems a bit awkward. He can deal with awkward people “I mean, my quirk isn’t that great against robots, so the only reason I passed is that I had enough rescue points, and yeah, I only really got those because of you… So thanks”

 

“No problem” He beams at the other boy, getting an awkward half-smile in return.

 

Surprisingly, when they make it to the grounds, it turns out they aren’t the last there. Thankfully, even though Bakugou is there, he’s standing with his back turned to them, so he doesn’t notice him. He quickly tugs on the upper half of Shinsou’s PE uniform, and leads the boy to where Shouto and Inasa are talking. Or well, Inasa talking, and Shouto mostly just awkwardly nodding along, and interjecting here and there.

 

“Hi guys” He says, still not letting go of the material in his hand.

 

“Oh, Izuku!” Inasa grins at him, somehow still genuine “I haven’t seen you earlier. It’s good that we’re in the same class!”

 

“Are you going to introduce us or…?” Shouto is as blunt as ever, gesturing towards Shinsou.

 

“I’m Hitoshi Shinsou” The boy introduces himself awkwardly, shooting a glance at where Izuku is still holding him by the tracksuit. He actually lets go now, since he’s almost certain the boy won’t just run off.

 

“My name is Inasa Yoarashi! It’s nice to meet you!” The boy says with the enthusiasm only he can display. Izuku uses the chance to move a bit to the right, effectively making the three taller boys into a wall between him and where Bakugou is standing.

 

“Shouto Todoroki” Shouto introduces himself curtly “I’m guessing that Izuku dragged you here against your will, so I’ll apologize on his behalf”

 

“I did no such thing!” He sputters, still mindful not to be too loud. He gets two deadpan stares, and one confused from Inasa.

 

“It’s… fine. I just wasn’t exactly expecting it” Shinsou says with a half-smirk. Seriously, what’s with this guy and half-smiles?

 

“We’re going to have a quirk apprehension test” Aizawa-sensei announces, and Izuku notes that everyone is finally gathered.

 

“What about the entrance ceremony?! Or guidance sessions?” Uraraka asks, obviously thrown off.

 

“No time to waste on that stuff if you want to become heroes” Eraserhead says, ignoring the girl’s indignant squawk at his words “U.A. is known for its ‘freestyle’ education system. That applies to us teachers as well” Their teacher then goes on to list the activities normally performed on PE tests, and points out the irrationality of not allowing quirks in them “Bakuogu, how far could you throw in middle school?”

 

“Sixty seven meters” The blond says, frowning slightly.

 

“Great, now try it with your quirk. Do whatever you need to, just don’t leave the circle” Aizawa-sensei instructs, passing a ball to the boy “Give it all you’ve got”

 

“Awesome” Bakugou grins, though Izuku has no idea what kind of emotion is hidden in the boy’s eyes “DIE!!!” The teen yells loudly, blasting the ball far away.

 

“It’s important for you to know your limits” Aizawa-sensei shows them the device, displaying the astonishing 705.2 meters “That’s the first rational step to figuring out what kind of heroes you’ll be”

 

“Whoa! This is awesome!” The pink girl exclaims. Does she have a death wish or something?

 

“705 meters, seriously?!” The guy with weird elbows yells, still shocked.

 

“So we can use our quirks for real!! Man, the hero course is great!!” Uraraka says enthusiastically. Seriously, they’re just asking for retribution from their teacher.

 

“…” Aizawa-sensei’s gaze sweeps over the students, pausing for a moment at Izuku, probably because he just knows the dread he feels is showing on his face “…Awesome, you say? You’re hoping to become heroes after three years here, and you think it’ll be all fun and games?”

 

“…” The students are dead-silent, some of them tensing.

 

“Right. As some of you might have noticed, there is 21 of you here, instead of the regular 20” There is a sadistic glint in the man’s otherwise dead eyes “That’s because Nedzu decided to open up one more recommendation spot this year. And do you know why this additional person is in this class?”

 

“…” Everyone is still silent, probably dreading the conclusion they might reach.

 

“You see, one more person wouldn’t really be a problem here, since…” Aizawa sensei grins sadistically “The one with the lowest score across all eight events will be judged hopeless… and will be expelled. So do your best to make the cut”

 

“WHAAA?!” Several people cry out at once. Izuku doesn’t join them, instead opting to step closer to Sorya. He feels like Shinsou would need a bit of help there.

 

“Any more hints to drop?” He asks in a hushed tone, careful as to not let his classmates see he’s talking to ‘thin air’.

 

“…We truly do not know” The deer shakes their head, and the little birds on their antlers move around restlessly “But the blessing we’ve given him is brainwashing. If you could help him with that, we’d be grateful” Oh, that’ll actually be quite easy.

 

“Hey Shinsou” He gets the boy’s attention, stepping closer to him, so that only the boy would hear him whispering “Earlier, Aizawa-sensei’s rules were rather vague. He said to do whatever as long as one doesn’t leave the circle. You could possibly use your quirk to get someone else to do this exercise for you”

 

“Why do you know my quirk?!” Shinsou asks, panicked, in a hushed whisper.

 

“…Not important” He huffs, stepping away “Just don’t let him expel you, got it?”

 

“…Right” Shinsou seems to calm down slightly, but is now throwing suspicious glances his way.

 

“Your fates are in our hands” Eraserhead grins maniacally “Welcome, this is the hero course at U.A. High!”

~🌸~

When Aizawa finishes talking, his students start complaining about how unfair it is. Most of them seem worried, or outright terrified, but there are a few outliers (aside from the ones with unreadable faces). Momo Yaoyorozu, who seems mostly determined, and only slightly concerned. Yoarashi Inasa – seems like the boy is still enthusiastic about it all. Hitoshi Shinsou, who mostly seems to be contemplating something after another student whispered it to him.

 

Then, there are less positive kinds of ‘keeping their cool’. Katsuki Bakugou – simply overconfident. Shouto Todoroki – the boy looks almost bored, way too cocky for Shouta’s tastes. And… Izuku Midoriya, who is as mysterious as ever, it’d seem. It’s not that the boy’s lack of reaction to Aizawa’s declaration is in itself bad, it’s more about the fact that the boy is not only distracted, but also seems terrified of something other than the test.

 

It’s not that hard to piece together what he’s terrified of either. It’s obvious with the way the boy has been avoiding Bakugou’s line of sight since the very beginning. Not to mention, Midoriya didn’t react the moment Aizawa made his declaration. The boy took a few seconds before whispering something to Shinsou, and after approximately ten more seconds, he seems to have been hit by some sort of realisation, shooting a quick glance to where Bakugou was, and immediately retreating behind his presumably-friends.

 

Aizawa has an inkling about what the boy is panicking about – after all, if he’s avoiding having Bakugou notice him, it’s really too bad he’ll have to come forth to do the test. There is no way Midoriya will be able to avoid drawing attention to himself while he’s completing his tests. But maybe… he can help the boy just for a bit.

~🌸~

Once Aizawa-sensei finishes delivering his speech on unfairness, they start doing the tests. And honestly? He’s absolutely fucked. There is no way Bakugou won’t notice him. What does he do when the boy finally does? He probably can’t run away in the middle of the tests, counting on others to step in has never worked before, and just accepting the beating is not something he’d want to do.

 

But, by some unknown miracle, Aizawa-sensei doesn’t call them by their surnames, instead opting to call them by nicknames… of sorts (which was kind of funny, especially when the man called Shinsou ‘the sleep deprived one’). And, by some further miracle, he was always right behind Bakugou, so he somehow managed to complete most of the exercises (mostly just opting for the enhancing glyph) in times when the boy was still either walking back, or boasting about his score.

 

‘Most’ because finally, the dreaded ball toss comes. There is just no way to slip under Bakugou’s radar here. Dread washes over him, intensifying with every person called to do the exercise. He can feel his friends’ worried gazes, and even some of his other classmates who are nearby seem a bit concerned about him. And finally, the moment comes, and he knows he’s screwed, because Aizawa-sensei pauses on him before calling him out.

 

“Izuku Midoriya, come here” The teacher says, and he stills, because that’s the first time he’s called anyone by name, at least since the quirk apprehension test started.

 

“Haah?! Someone has the same fucking name as Deku?” He can hear Bakugou sneering quietly. Yep, he’s going to die.

 

“Just go, Izuku. People are starting to stare” Yami says, puffing up protectively.

 

I-it should be okay. Even if he is attacked, even if Yami can’t protect him, even if no one else does, it won’t end up like the last time. There are no poltergeists here… and he’s stronger than before. It’s alright, he can take physical attacks… He nervously steps forward, and can instantly feel those red eyes on him.

 

“Oh, it’s you!” Uraraka yells, but gets interrupted at the end by a much more menacing voice.

 

“What the fuck?!??!!!” Bakugou yells, and he instinctively stops moving, eyes darting to the boy “What is the quirkless fucking freak doing here?! Oi, Deku, explain yourself!!” The blond yells, trying to throw himself at Izuku.

 

Oh dear god, this is how he’s going to die. He closes his eyes, preparing for impact… but it never comes. He feels a presence in front of him, air getting slightly cold, and he opens his eyes. Shouto… is in front of him, frost lightly coating right side of his body. It doesn’t look like Bakugou hit the boy… but then, what happened?

 

“ARGH… What the-?! This cloth… it’s stiff!” Bakugou says loudly, and oh, did Aizawa-sensei wrap him in his capture gear? He gingerly peeks out from behind his friend, and sure enough, it’s exactly what happened.

 

“It’s a ‘capture weapon’ made of carbon fibers, and a special alloy wire” Aizawa-sensei informs the boy “Geez, stop using your quirk already… I’m getting dry eye over here”

 

Bakugou miraculously stops struggling, and shoots him one last glare, before conceding defeat. Aizawa-sensei lets him go, and the boy returns to his spot. Their classmates are whispering about what’s happened, and what does Bakugou mean by ‘quirkless’. Only once it’s clear he won’t be attacked for now, Shouto turns around to face him.

 

“Are you okay?” The boy asks him worriedly, frowning.

 

“I’ll manage” He answers in a whisper, with a smile that even he can tell is shaky, even though he can’t see it.

 

“We don’t exactly have the whole day” Aizawa-sensei says.

 

Still slightly shocked (mostly because someone has actually helped him), he walks up to the circle and accepts the ball. He kind of wishes he had a ghost here. It’d be easier to just have them carry the ball. But as it is, there is little he can do. He hastily scribbles a wind glyph onto the ball, and activates it alongside the enhancing one on his hand. The ball doesn’t go as far as some of his classmates’ went, but it reaches a good 150 meters.

 

He’s pretty sure he won’t place last. When he turns around, intending to return to his earlier spot, he notices Bakugou’s hateful glare still on him. Oh… he’ll probably be beaten after school. That’s not something he really wants to worry about for now though, so he just gets back to his place between Shouto and Shinsou.

 

“Sorry for not stepping in” Shinsou whispers awkwardly once he’s there “It just could’ve gone really badly if I did” And the boy had a point. There were already some people who seemed hostile towards Shinsou after he brainwashed them for the exercises (and Iida who seemed shocked, and even asked Aizawa-sensei if it wasn’t cheating). If he did something there, even more people could potentially turn against the boy.

 

“It’s alright” He says, but his voice is weak. Even he can hear it.

~🌸~

The first test from hell ends, and the invisible girl ends up in last place. Fortunately, Aizawa-sensei reveals that the whole expulsion thing was just a logical ruse to make them do their best. Yami promptly calls the teacher out on some supposed ‘lie’, but Izuku is more preoccupied with something else – they’ve been dismissed, and that means that whatever Bakugou decides to do is fair game. Well, Shouto might step in again, but that’s about it.

 

He hesitantly makes it to the changing room with everyone else, ignoring the obvious stares he gets. The moment he’s in the locker room though, he gets grabbed and slammed into a wall. He freezes up in fear as ruby eyes stare back at him, face set into a permanent scowl. His head is suddenly full of cotton, and he doesn’t know what to do to make it all go away.

 

“What kind of dirty trick did you use to get in, you dirty liar?” Bakugou hisses. Oh, he just realises, but Shouto went to one of the stalls to change, so he probably won’t get any help. Oh well…

 

“N-none, I got in here by m-myself” He stammers out his answers, and gets punched for his trouble.

 

“Bullshit!! We both knows you must have pulled something. How else would a weak, quirkless, delusional creep like you get in?!” The hand moves from his arm to grab at the front of his shirt. Nononononononono, he doesn’t like it, it’s too close to his talismans, too close to his neck.

 

“Hey, cut that out, man!” The redhead yells, shifting nervously behind Bakugou “You’re going to hurt him”

 

“I cannot stand for this disorderly conduct! Put him down at once or else I’ll be forced to get the teacher” Iida warns, as if the boy would care.

 

“Fuck off, you useless extras” Bakugou snarls “This is between him and me”

 

“At first I took you for a passionate person, but… I don’t like what you’re doing” Inasa says, in a threatening tone that really doesn’t belong with his voice “Leave him alone”

 

“I said this is between him and me!! Are you all deaf or something” The boy yells, and Izuku can see Iida leaving (presumably to get the teacher) “Now, fucking Deku, answer my question, or god help me, I WILL maim you” He punctuates the threat by letting him go for a second, before slamming him back into the wall, by the throat. Nonononononono.

 

“Let. Him. Down.” He can distantly hear Inasa say, and feel wind picking up inside the room while everyone else just looks panics.

 

The pressure on his throat increases and – he can’t breathe, oh god, he can’t breathe, why, why is this happening? The scene of Akabane’s death flashes before his eyes. Strong, brutal hands squeezing his throat, slowly strangling him even though he would’ve died of bloodloss soon anyways. The fear, of death, of the unknown. The desperation that comes with knowledge that either way he’s dead…

 

N-no, Bakugou’s hands aren’t squeezing that tightly, there’s no reason to- Dimly lit room, and fog that overtakes his mind as he fights a losing battle against death. Warm liquid in his throat, feeling of the crushed windpipe. He has to CALM THE FUCK DOWN. He’s here, he’s alive, Bakugou won’t kill him, this is NOT the time to be hallucinating – having flashbacks, whatever…!

 

Phantom pains spread across his body, as the hands pushing him up against the wall don’t let go even as he feels wind beginning to turn violent inside the room. Pain, warmth, and wetness of blood, seeping from stab wounds all around his body. They all start to fade. Oh god, why do they fade, he can’t think, there’s not enough air, everything hurts. He can’t breathe, his vision is dark.

 

He distantly feels the hands in real life let him go, and he’s caught by someone before he can fall. But even with the hands gone, he can’t breathe, he can’t think, he can only relieve the memories of a person long dead, with words Why me? Why did it have to be me? I didn’t even get to tell my parents I loved them for the last time. echoing through his head. The last regret of a man who died a miserable death at the hands of a villain.

 

He feels it when someone picks him up, carrying him bridal style, but he can’t see anything, can’t hear anything. Not from the real world. Even as the memory ends, he can still feel the phantom pressure, can still almost smell the coppery blood. He quickly realises that he’s hyperventilating, and that it’s not helping at all.

 

He feels himself being set down, and can tell that someone is crouching in front of him, but not much beyond that. He tries to focus on the blob of… purple(?) in front of him, but he just can’t. The feeling, the smell that just won’t leave, the laughter that’d haunt him for eternity – it’s all too much, he just can’t.

 

Suddenly, he feels a hand in his own – in his hands, not on his neck, if its in his hands it can’t strangle him. He grasps it tightly, focusing on the way that it’s warmth grounds him. He tries to steady his breathing, reminding himself that he’s fine, he’s alive, he’s safe, no one is trying to kill him. His eyes focus a bit more, and he notices Yami at his side.

 

Yami is here, it’s okay. He closes his eyes, squeezing the hand that lays limply in his own. It’s fine, he’s alive, he’s fine. He will be fine. He finally opens his eyes, green orbs instantly meeting the lilac ones in front of him. Neither of them say anything, too afraid to mess up the fragile silence. They just sit there, without a word, as Izuku struggles to get his emotions – and mind – back under control. Dammit, why does he have to be so weak?

Chapter Text

 

Shouto feels bad for leaving Izuku’s side (the boy’s surname is apparently Midoriya, but it’d be weird to start calling him that now, after all this time), he really does, but he figures it’d be okay – he’ll be in the changing room, and there are too many people there for Bakugou to try anything. And well, Shouto can’t exactly change in front of everyone – that’d raise way too many questions about his bruises. So, he heads for the bathroom stalls further back, and starts changing.

 

He’s about halfway through taking off his gym clothes when he hears yelling. He can’t make out the exact words, but he can tell that it’s Bakugou who is saying something. He’s about to fix his clothes and go check out the commotion, when he hears Inasa. Seems like he doesn’t need to get involved after all – he knows the boy is capable of taking care of things, well, when he actually steps in.

 

He continues changing, but the yelling doesn’t stop. Once he’s done, he hurries out, worry gnawing at him. Did a fight break out or something? They should’ve resolved it by now… The moment he opens the bathroom’s doors, strong gust of wind almost knocks him back. He grimaces, looking at the scene before him, and his stomach drops.

 

Inasa and Bakugou are standing face to face, looking ready to fight, but they turn to look at him when the door behind him closes shut with a loud thud. He doesn’t really care for it though because he can see Izuku, half-collapsed, dazed, shaking, and the only thing keeping the boy from falling to the floor is Shinsou’s desperate grip. And the worst thing is that his friend doesn’t even react to the loud thud, still hyperventilating and looking on with unseeing eyes.

 

“What did you do?” He asks coldly, looking back at Bakugou.

 

“Oh, come on! Are you going to side with this fucker again?” The boy snarls, setting off a smaller explosion when gesticulating towards Izuku. The latter still doesn’t react “Look, I don’t know, nor do I care, what he told you, but if you knew what kind of person he was, I promise you wouldn’t side with that freak” There is something strained in Bakugou’s tone, but Shouto doesn’t care for it “So just step the fuck down”

 

“Shut up” He says, glaring at the boy “I know enough. He’s a good person. So leave him alone before I freeze you” Out of the corner of his eyes, he sees Shinsou picking Izuku up and stealthily leaving the room. Good, he won’t get caught up in this mess if they fight for real.

 

“I’ll have to agree. I can’t see Izuku being a bad person” Inasa frowns, and it’s really weird to see him with any expression that isn’t even a bit enthusiastic.

 

“You don’t know anything, do you?” Bakugou scoffs, unusually quiet, clenched fists shaking in rage “Well, go die in a ditch for all I care. And don’t think you’re suddenly better than me just cause’ you placed higher in the test, half n’ half, wind-fucker. I will show you that I’m better. Well, if you live to see the next test, that is. Can never be too sure when you’re hanging around fucking Deku”

 

“What’s your problem?!” He shouts with barely contained rage, frost spreading around the room “First you attack Izuku out of nowhere, and now you act like he’s the problematic one…? Not to mention your high and mighty attitude. Do you think anyone would side with you?!”

 

“On the first name basis with the freak, huh?” The boy scoffs “I see that the little creep has you wrapped around his little finger already”

 

“Oh fuck off” He snarls, throwing some ice towards the boy, who quickly explodes it, falling into a fighting stance.

 

“Try it again, half and half, and I will explode your face” Bakugou warns.

 

“H-hey, guys, calm down!” A redheaded boy tries to step between them “It’s the first day of school. Do you really want to get detention? A-and Aizawa sensei seems pretty strict, he may expel you if you start a fight!”

 

“Tch” Bakugou clicks his tongue, and backs off “I’m leaving… don’t come crying later if anything happens to you because of that freak” He still feels like punching this guy, but he’ll have to stop himself for now. It’s not worth it.

 

Bakugou grabs his stuff, and turns to leave, despite still wearing his gym clothes. Before he can take more than one step towards the doors though, Aizawa-sensei bursts into the room, quirk activated and scarf in his hands (Iida follows closely behind, he must’ve been the one to call the man). Everyone is stunned into silence as their teacher deactivates his quirks, looks around the room – lingering longer at the ice, scorch marks from when Bakugou blew up said ice, and some items knocked over by Inasa’s wind – and glares at them.

 

“You four-” He gestures to him, Bakugou, Inasa, and, surprisingly, Kirishma (who was still in the middle) “To the Principal’s office… Where is Midoriya?” The man asks after a second, apparently just realising the boy isn’t there.

 

“Uhm, Shinsou took him outside a few moments ago” A guy with weird elbows says.

 

“Yeah, he looked like he was about to pass out” An understatement by a guy with yellow hair.

 

“Ugh…” Aizawa-sensei grunts, massaging his forehead “I’ll go check on him, and see if he needs to go to the nurse. Then I’m going to Principal Nedzu, and I expect you four problem children to be there. If you fail to show up, I will expel you” And with that threat, he’s out of the door.

 

“But I did nothing wrong…” The redhead mutters, sighing in defeat.

~🌸~

Aizawa is in a really bad mood. It’s literally the first day of school, and the brats are already fighting with each other. He thought that this year’s batch was at least a bit more promising than normally, but apparently they’re already trying to prove him wrong. He should really just expel them all and be done with it. But he knows he won’t do it – at least not until he hears the full story.

 

He rounds the corner, and finally sees his missing problem child. He has to make an actual effort to keep worry out of his face, because Midoriya looks really pale, and is keeping Shinsou’s hand in a white-knuckled grip, like it’s the only thing grounding him. He walks up to the two boys, purposefully making his footsteps louder, so that he wouldn’t startle them by appearing ‘out of nowhere’. Both boys flinch a bit, and in terrifying synch, they whip their heads around to look at him.

 

“Are you alright?” He asks Midoriya, crouching next to him, slowly “Do you feel faint? Any dizziness?”

 

“N-no… I-I… I’m alright” The boy says weakly, glancing at thin air every few seconds.

 

“Uhm, Izuku? You don’t seem alright” Shinsou says, frowning in worry.

 

“B-but I will be… I just need a second” The boy answers, slightly loosening his hold on the other teen’s hand.

 

“Do you think you can stand?” He asks softly, wanting to measure how shaken the boy is, in case he’d need to carry him to the infirmary instead of letting him walk.

 

“Oh, uhm, yes… I think” Midoriya confirms, letting go of Shinsou’s hand and standing up shakily. He looks like a slight breeze could knock him over, but he’s standing, so that’s got to count for something.

 

“Alright, see if you can walk without falling” He commands, ignoring the confused, and slightly offended look he gets from the boy. Midoriya follows his request, looking a bit more steady now “Good. I’m taking you to the infirmary. Recovery Girl will have a look at you before you’re allowed to go home”

 

“B-but, I’m not injured!” The boy claims, flabbergasted.

 

“Izuku, I don’t think you should argue with our homeroom teacher. Not about that at least” Shinsou says, and Aizawa has to admit he’s a bit grateful for that. It’s usually easier to get students to do something if their friends agree that it’s necessary.

 

“B-b-but… I’m fine” Midoriya still tries to argue, but even he doesn’t sound convinced of what he’s saying “I… I’d prefer to just go home, if you’d allow me”

 

“There is no way I’m letting someone who looks this pale go home by themselves” He says in his most deadpan voice, and starts slowly walking towards the infirmary “Come on Problem Child, the sooner we get there, the sooner you’ll be cleared to leave”

 

“R-right” The boy stammers, and after a second or so, he can hear both boys’ footsteps echoing through the hallway alongside his own. He glances back after a few seconds, slightly relieved to see that Shinsou is walking right next to Midoriya, near enough that he could catch the boy if the latter faints.

They make it to the infirmary without any incidents. As they walk in, Recovery Girl turns around to give him the exasperated ‘seriously?’ look, obviously irritated that someone already needs medical attention this early into the school year. Still, she walks up to them frowning at the still unusually pale Midoriya.

 

“What happened?” She asks, nearly hitting Aizawa with her cane as she points it at him.

 

“Shinsou, Midoriya, please fill Recovery Girl in on what’s happened” At the woman’s questioning gaze, he shrugs “I wasn’t there when it happened”

 

“Uhm… I actually… kind of blanked out” Midoriya admits “I think I had a panic attack or something similar…? I-I… I don’t know how to call it”

 

“Yeah, a panic attack would be pretty accurate description if you ask me” Shinsou says, wincing slightly.

 

“Elaborate please” Recovery Girl requests, as she leads Midoriya to sit on one of the beds, looking at his face intensely.

 

“He just kind of… stopped responding to anything, and started hyperventilating, I guess?” Shinsou describes, scratching his head awkwardly “Uhm, I think he was shivering at one point, and he nearly collapsed, but I was a bit too panicked to notice anything else”

 

“Mhhm” The nurse hums, checking the boy’s pulse.

 

“If that’s everything you needed from him, then I’d like to take Shinsou to the Principal” At the woman’s raised eyebrow, he decides to elaborate “There was a fight in the locker room. I wanted to get Midoriya’s point of view, but he’ll obviously be unavailable for a while, so I’m settling for Shinsou”

 

“I think I’d be okay to go…” Midoriya says, before glancing to the side and flinching slightly “Or, uhm… never mind. It might be better not to”

 

Okay, good to know the boy has self-preservation, and some sort of good judgement. Most teenagers don’t.

~🌸~

Shouto is feeling really weird, though he feels like it’s justified in this situation – he’s sitting right next to the person he almost froze earlier, and they’re both drinking tea (mostly because they didn’t want to offend Principal Nedzu). Or well, he’s drinking the tea, and Bakugou is staring at his cup as if it personally offended him.

 

The redhead from earlier is sitting on the other side of the unpleasant boy, and Inasa is next to him. Both are also awkwardly trying to drink their tea. For whatever reason, Iida is standing at the door, even though Aizawa-sensei didn’t ask him to come. Now, all of this is already weird, but there is yet a thing that weirds him out even more – namely, the fact that Nedzu barely even reacted when they all came here, and the Principal’s smile never slipped as Iida explained the whole situation.

 

He doesn’t know what he’d been expecting – rage? disappointment? thinly veiled threats? – but it certainly wasn’t this. Well, at least Izuku wasn’t forced to come with them – at least if Aizawa-sensei keeps his promise to get the boy to the infirmary. If the boy was here, it would probably be even more awkward.

 

Suddenly, the doors to the Principal’s office open, and in comes Aizawa-sensei, followed by Shinsou. He meets the purple-haired boy’s eyes, breathing a sigh of relief when he finds that the boy looks almost bored, because that means that Izuku is most likely okay. He refocuses on the cup of tea in his hands, gulping down the remains and setting it back on the table.

 

“Is that everyone?” Principal Nedzu asks, and Aizawa-sensei nods silently in response, crossing his arms “Splendid. Now, since young Iida has already informed me about the incident, I’d like to hear all of your accounts, as well as your reasons for acting like you did. Shinsou-kun, if you’d start, please”

~🌸~

Izuku is sitting in the infirmary, chewing a gummy bear unenthusiastically. Recovery Girl ordered him to eat a handful before he’s allowed to leave (he’s also supposed to get some rest once he gets home, but he’s not sure he wants to follow through on it – well, he probably will if Yami has anything to say about it). After he’s done, he bids the nurse farewell, and leaves.

 

Surprisingly, both Sorya and Recovery Girl’s spirit are still following him. He guesses that Sorya just wants to watch over him in Shinsou’s place, since the boy seemed pretty worried, but he has no idea why the other guardian spirit is still by his side. And he can’t exactly ask about it, since he’s still in the middle of the hallway, and no one is here, so if he’s caught talking to thin air by security cameras he wouldn’t even have any possible deniability.

 

When he reaches the school gates, he notices that some of his classmates are waiting there – Uraraka, the pink girl, guy with weird elbows, yellow haired guy with black lightning in his hair, and the bird-headed boy. It actually makes him stop for a second. Why would they be here? Were they going to interrogate him about his reaction? Were they here to mock him? Did Bakugou already manage to convince them to bully him?

 

“Ah, here you are!” Uraraka shouts, noticing him, and immediately taking off in his direction “I was so worried!” She stops right in front of him, and he almost takes a step back “Sero – that’s the guy with large elbows if you didn’t get his name earlier – told me about what’s happened. Are you alright?”

 

“Uhm, yeah… I’m alright” He says, putting on a smile “It wasn’t anything serious, so I just needed to rest a little” Well, rest, eat, and the nurse kinda did recommend seeing a psychologist if something like this happened again (but he’s definitely not doing that).

 

“Great! I’m glad you’re okay” The girl grins happily at him “Oh, uhm, and also, I didn’t really get a chance earlier because of everything, but… I wanted to thank you for what you did at the entrance exam”

 

“I-it’s… uhm, it’s alright” He stammers out, blushing slightly “It wasn’t r-really anything special though”

 

“Eh, what do you mean ‘nothing special’?!” The girl gasps exaggeratedly “You were the only one to help me! And it was so cool, how you lifted that rubble!”

 

“Hi! Hope I’m not interrupting anything~! I’m Mina Ashido!” The pink girl runs up to them, followed by the rest of their group “You’re Midoriya, right? Hey, do you know when Aizawa-sensei will let Kirishima go?”

 

“Huh…?” He tilts his head in confusion “I… I d-don’t know anything about that”

 

“Damn, I thought you’d know” The girl mutters dejectedly “Anyways, it’s nice to meet you!”

 

“Likewise…” He tries to return her smile, but he can feel that his isn’t nearly as bright.

 

“Ah, right! We haven’t had the chance to introduce ourselves, huh? I’m Denki Kaminari!” The blond guy says, shooting him a friendly smile.

 

“You may call me Fumikage Tokoyami” The bird-headed guy says.

 

“Hanta Sero” The guy with elbows shoots him a smile, good to know his full name.

 

“Uhm, it’s nice to meet you all” He says, forcing himself not to stutter. He’s embarrassed himself enough for one day “I hope we can all get along”

 

“Yeah!” Kaminari grins “But still… do you really not know anything about when Aizawa-sensei will be done punishing everyone?”

 

“S-sorry, I really don’t” Goddamn stammer is back, huh. He really just wants to go home at this point “He kind of left me in the infirmary… I only know that he’s brought Shinsou to the Principal, so I guess Kirishima would also be there…? By the way, why’d he punish Kirishima?”

 

“Ah, after you left, Kirishima kind of stepped between Endeavor’s son and Bakugou. I think our teacher misunderstood something there” Kaminari says, and the fact he addresses Shouto like this really leaves a bad taste in his mouth, but more importantly…

 

“Huh, Shouto? But wasn’t Inasa the one who tried to stop Bakugou?” He asks, confused.

 

“Eh, you don’t remember?” The yellow haired boy seems just as confused as he is “I mean, he did kind of interfere before you were taken out of the room, so I thought you’d notice. Sure, you looked kind of out of it, but… do you really not remember?”

 

“S-sorry, I really don’t” He admits, curling into himself slightly.

 

“H-hey, uhm… I wanted to ask this earlier, but are you really okay?” Sero asks, his face full of concern “It’s not natural to just not notice something like that… or forget it so quickly. Are you sure that Shinsou… you know, didn’t do something to you?”

 

“Huh…?” What does Shinsou have to do with anything?

 

“Whatever are you implying?” Tokoyami glares at the boy, as the overall mood plummets.

 

“H-hey, don’t look at me like that! You’ve seen him use his quirk” Sero says, certain tone of nervousness colouring his tone “He could totally mess with Midoriya’s memories!”

 

“Hey, that’s mean!” Uraraka yells at the boy “And besides, he seemed to be friends with Midoriya earlier! Why would he even do something like that?!”

 

“Yeah, Sero, that was kind of uncool of you” Ashido echoes the girl’s sentiment, but she looks kind of unsure. Kind of… fearful. It hurts to see it.

 

“But you can’t say he didn’t do it… Look, I’m only presenting a possibility here” Sero looks really uncomfortable now “But as for why he’d do it, what if he made Midoriya do something weird, and then tried to get him to forget about it, and he just forgot some other things in the process?”

 

“Dude, please don’t say that. I don’t care if you’re only presenting a possibility or what, that shit is giving me the creeps” Kaminari shivers.

 

“I… don’t think he’s actually wrong, it is a possibility” Ashido says, also shivering slightly “Jeez, that’s so freaky, I don’t wanna think about it!”

 

“He wouldn’t do that!” He yells, only realising it when all eyes turn to him. For the first time, he simply doesn’t care “Shinsou isn’t that kind of person!”

 

“He did use his quirk on others on the test, and he didn’t even bat an eye at the fact no one actually agreed to be under his control” Ashido points out quietly.

 

“H-hey, you guys are being unfair!” Uraraka says, looking slightly angry “It was a test of our quirks, if he did anything wrong, Aizawa-sensei would have stopped him”

 

“Yeah, but Aizawa-sensei wasn’t there after the test, was he?” Sero winces slightly, shifting nervously “Look, I don’t want to think about it either, but it is weird for Midoriya’s memories to be that hazy! I’m only worrying about what could have happened!”

 

“Then don’t” He says. It isn’t particularly loud, but he can still feel those eyes on him “I… If you’re going to say things like that, while pretending it’s because you care about me, then just… don’t. I know Shinsou wouldn’t do anything bad with his quirk, and I don’t appreciate you saying all that about my friend…… I’m leaving” He starts walking towards the gate, but as he sees Sero open his mouth again, he can’t take it, and starts outright running (apparently, running away from his problems is one thing he can actually do well).

~🌸~

“…We appreciate you helping our charge” Sorya says, once Izuku is back home, lying on his bed.

 

“Mhhm” He hums noncommittally “I just wish people weren’t such assholes about quirks”

 

“Honestly, same” Yami settles down next to his head, huffing.

 

“We’re a bit worried about our charge, so we’ll be taking our leave now” The deer spirit says, before leaping through the wall.

 

“Alright, now, I’d like to go to sleep, so if you want something, come to me tomorrow or something” He directs it at Recovery Girl’s spirit.

 

“Ah, I don’t need anything from you” The spirit says, regarding him with big eyes “I came to make sure you actually rested. I’d found that far too many people ignore my charge’s orders, so I planned to make sure the one person I could influence would take them seriously”

 

“Alright, now let me sleep” He grunts rolling onto his side.

 

“Aren’t you going to text Shouto first?” Yami asks “He did get in trouble for helping you. As did Inasa, I imagine”

 

“Ugh” He frowns. He really doesn’t have enough energy left for this shit, but he supposes it’s better to check up on his friends. He grabs his phone “Alright, alright, I’m checking on them”

 

He texts Shouto first, and after assuring the boy that he’s alright, he finally learns that people who stepped in to help him were let off the hook with only a warning about using their quirks without supervision. On the other hand, Shouto doesn’t know what happened with Bakugou, since apparently everyone else was asked to leave before the Headmaster handed the boy any punishment.

 

He texts Inasa next, and aside from learning that Bakugou had some… choice words about him – he really shouldn’t be surprised at this point – everything else is the same as what Shouto has told him. On one hand, he’s kind of relieved, since he doesn’t know what he’d do if they said Bakugou was expelled or something, but on the other hand, anxiety gnaws at him since he’s once again unable to tell if Bakugou will be in his class tomorrow or not.

 

It all comes down to what teachers are like, really. Aizawa-sensei already proved himself to be different from the other teachers he’s encountered, since he actually stopped Bakugou once, but it doesn’t mean they’d be willing to let such a great talent go for someone like Izuku. He knows that compared to Bakugou’s innate battle genious, he’s rather lacking. It wouldn’t be weird if they only let the boy off with a warning, like all the other times.

 

On the other hand, if they decided to expel Bakugou, what would he even do? He doesn’t know who the people in his class would side with, especially the ones who didn’t see the entire situation. He knows that most of his classmates are probably pretty alright, but how will they react if Bakugou is expelled because of him? Would they turn on him? Talk behind his back? Think that he’s weak, too weak to be in that class?

 

Most of them probably wouldn’t do anything too drastic, but he intimately knows that it takes just a handful of people to make someone’s life a living hell… He… He doesn’t really look forward to finding out if something like this is going to happen.

 

“Hey, Izuku, you alright?” Yami asks, puffing up his feathers “You said you wanted to sleep after checking on your friends, didn’t you?”

 

“A-ah! Yeah…” He shakily turns off his phone, and lies back down “Thanks Yami…”

 

“What for?” The spirit asks, baffled.

 

“Ah…” Pulling him out of his thoughts mostly “Nothing really. Goodnight”

 

“Goodnight beansprout” He sputters as his guardian spirit uses the nickname Yukizome-sensei gave him. Still, it lightens the mood a bit.

~🌸~

Aizawa is pacing around his apartment, furious. He knows he should be in bed and at least trying to get some sleep but he can’t let go of his rage. The sheer audacity of that fucking rat. He was supposed to be able to expel students freely, and yet, Nedzu stepped in and forbade him from expelling Bakugou today.

 

Worse still, he wouldn’t even give a clear reason for doing something like that. The principal just dismissed him saying he should try his best to steer the boy towards a better path. Bakugou wasn’t even moved out of the hero course, or even to class 1-B. How the ever loving fuck is he supposed to successfully teach two students who didn’t even last one day without fighting each other – even though that’s all on Bakugou from what he’s heard.

 

At the very least the rat has forced the problem child to go through anger management therapy if he wished to remain in the hero course. But other than that, the boy was let off the hook with nothing more than a warning, same as the boys who were just defending their classmate from assault. What a joke that is… Still, he can’t really go against Nedzu, and he’s sure that the rat has some sort of goal in mind.

 

Doesn’t make him any less pissed off.

 

He stops, dragging a hand down his face. This whole thing is a mess. For now, all he can do is make sure there aren’t any more situations like that. And also, he should probably do a lecture on quirk discrimination or something, because he’s seen the looks some of the students were giving Hitoshi Shinsou when the boy used his quirks on the quirk apprehension test.

 

Why does his class have to be so problematic this year? Is it his punishment for expelling his entire homeroom class the last time? No, that’s just silly and illogical. His last class had zero potential, so it was for the best they wouldn’t become heroes. Still, if it wasn’t that, then what the fuck did he do to deserve this? Maybe becoming a teacher was a mistake.

---A drawing of Aisha---

Chapter Text

 

 The next morning, Izuku wakes up and goes through the motions of readying himself for school. He can see the ghosts giving him concerned glances as he walks around like a zombie, but he doesn’t stop to reassure them he’s alright – mostly because he really isn’t. He’s scared of what school will be like today.

 

Partly because of the whole Bakugou situation, but also because of what’d happened with Sero and the rest. He’d do it again in a heartbeat if someone talked shit about his friends, but he knows that things like that are going to put him in a bad spot among his classmates. He’s not really enjoying the idea of people turning on him like in primary school…

 

“Hey, beansprout? You’ve been staring at that mirror for a while now” Yukizome-sensei says, putting her hands approximately on his shoulders “Need me to find a ghost who could help you with your tie?”

 

“…Ah… no, thanks” He tries to shake off the unpleasant thoughts, and attempts to tie his tie. It… doesn’t look too good, but he’ll wear a scarf anyways, so who cares.

 

“…Beansprout, I don’t know what happened yesterday, but… you don’t look too good” Yukizome-sensei says, worry etched on her features “If you want to talk about this before going to school-“

 

“N-no… I don’t really want to talk” He says, but his voice cracks a little.

 

He exits the bathroom, and wraps a scarf around his neck. His eyes feel warm, and his head is kind of heavy… wait, his vision is going blurry… god, why is he crying now? He has to go to school, he really doesn’t have the time to break down. Why is he even crying anyways? It’s not like there’s anything he can’t deal with there…

 

He takes a deep breath, wipes at his eyes, and steps forward – only to recoil in pain as he collides with the doors. He feels wetness on his cheeks and – yep, he’s openly crying now. God, he really wishes it’d stop.

 

“Izuku, hey, Izuku, please tell me you’re alright?” Yami’s voice resounds somewhere in front of him, but he’s just tired even though he’s only woken up, so he ignores his spirit and just buries his face in his hands “What am I talking about, you’re obviously not alright…”

 

“S-sorry…” He manages to choke out “I just… I just n-need a m-moment…”

 

“Take all the time you need” Yami’s voice is soft and caring, and it’s probably just what he needs right now, but…

 

“I-I c-can’t be la-ate for school…” He says weakly, his voice cracking in several places.

 

“Uhm, I’ve been trying to tell you since you woke up, but… It’s four in the morning” Wait, what? “You have a lot of time…”

 

“A-ah… E-explains the bags u-under my ey-eyes” He snorts even as he can feel more tears falling. God, he feels so pathetic right now “I-I don’t t-think I’ll be a-able to fall asleep again…”

 

“Thought so…” Yami hums “After you stop crying, we can go visit Kamikou’s shrine, or you know, just go for a walk. It’d be probably better than just sitting here, and overthinking things…”

 

“Y-yeah…” He finally takes his hands away from his face, relieved that tears are starting to slow down “I-I’d like that…”

~🌸~

When they arrive at the shrine, he’s immediately hit with how peaceful it is there. It didn’t feel like this in the middle of the day with all the people, but right now, it really does feel like a sacred place. Though, maybe it is actually sacred in a way, seeing as a spirit is supposedly guarding it.

 

Yami guides him to one of the cherry trees, making him sit under it while he goes inside the shrine itself. He complies, leaning against the coarse bark, and playing with his scarf. To be honest, he’d rather not be left alone with his thoughts, but at least the crisp air is making breathing a little bit easier, and helps him clear his head.

 

“Wow, you weren’t kidding, he does look… unfortunate” A feminine voice resounds in the silence, and he turns to see the kitsune from before “Come on, kid. Let’s go inside and I’ll make you some tea”

 

“Huh? Tea…?” He looks between Yami and the yokai. From the start, he wasn’t sure why’d his guardian spirit bring him here, but now he’s even more confused.

 

“Well, of course. I always serve tea for people who are staying at my shrine” Kamikou huffs.

And that’s how he finds himself with a cup of steaming lavender tea, sitting in front of a yokai, and wondering what the actual fuck is Yami’s plan here. Though… he has to admit that it’s at least a bit relaxing. Certainly takes his mind off things…

 

“So… Do you need any advice on anything?” Kamikou asks, gently tilting their cup from side to side.

 

“H-huh, advice?” He blinks at the fox yokai “I… don’t think so…?”

 

“Come on, don’t be modest. There has to be something, if your mood is that sour” And there goes his relaxation “You know, even if I’m a kitsune, I’m still a priest. I listen to my fair share of human problems, and help resolve them”

 

“Do you now…” Yami huffs “Never thought I’d see a day when a kitsune does something as selfless as helping humans without a deal of some kind” Whatever happened to payment ‘in blood or favours’?

 

“You’re too harsh with your judgement, owlish cat” Kamikou snorts with some sort of amusement “Or maybe too kind, if you only think of kitsunes as selfish. We’re only a bit worse than humans in that regard”

 

“I think you’re confused about what ‘a bit’ means” Yami deadpans.

 

“I’m really not” The kitsune chuckles “Anyways, human, tell me what’s troubling you. You’ll feel much better once you do, believe me”

 

“Uhm…” He looks at Yami for help, but the spirit just inclines his head in a ‘go ahead’ kind of motion “I-it’s nothing really”

 

“It’s about half past four, sunrise barely ended. If it was nothing, you wouldn’t be here this early” Kamikou looks at him with no-nonsense kind of gaze “I already said I don’t need any payment for advice I’ll give you, so just go ahead and spill it” That’s not the issue.

 

“Uhm, well, I kind of… Got into a fight yesterday” He says, nervously sipping his tea in-between sentences “And I might have offended some people when I tried to defend a friend… I just… I’m worried about people’s reaction, I guess…? From experience, most humans don’t really like me in the first place, so I’m a bit worried about people at school turning against me…”

 

“Hmm, you said you were defending a friend. Does it mean your friend is in the same class?” Kamikou asks, and continues when he nods “Then I don’t think it’ll be that bad. Friendship works both ways. You defended him, and he will probably defend you if others try to pick on you”

 

“Ah… I don’t really think that’s how it works” He says, averting his gaze “Besides, I… don’t want him to get in trouble because of me… People are already pretty prejudiced against him because of his quirk”

 

“I don’t think that’s a decision you can make for him” Kamikou hums “If he was in trouble, you’d help him even if there were some consequences for you, right?”

 

“Of course! But that’s… not the same, I think” He says, feeling vaguely uncomfortable with the concept of anyone else getting in trouble because of him.

 

“It really is. So, have some trust in your friend. If he betrays that trust, then he wasn’t much of a good friend to begin with. It’s as simple as that” The yokai shrugs.

 

“That’s… not really what I was nervous about though” He says, kind of sheepishly “I know he’s a good friend, and that he may stick up for me… It’s just, as I’ve said, I’m worried about other people. My friend won’t always be there to help me… And I know just a few unpleasant people is usually enough to make school a horrible experience”

 

“Well, you can always try to fight them” Kitsune argues, poking him in the arm lightly “You seem like you have some strength, and Yami told me you know a few glyphs. I think you’d do alright in a fight against a mere human”

 

“B-but, that’d only make things worse!” He cries out “I-I’m sure they’d try to get revenge if I actually did that”

 

“I’ve been observing your kind for centuries, so trust me when I say that most assholes who’d go after you because you’re not normal are more likely to leave you alone if you stop being an easy target” Their words are blunt, but their tone is surprisingly soft “If they bother you, just try to stand up to them. They might badmouth you when you’re not around, but they’ll at least fuck off for the most part. And if that doesn’t work, you can always come to me for some curses to use”

 

“I won’t curse my classmates!” He sputters, appalled by the idea “But, uhm… thanks” He’s not going to do any of that, but at least a ridiculous idea like this makes him relax a little.

 

“Huh, you’re already looking better” The kitsune grins “Just remember to hold your head high, and you’ll do just fine”

 

“Dear celestials, this was a horrible idea” Yami groans “I thought you’d be better at this”

 

“Hey, I’m good at cheering humans up!” Kamikou snaps back “Look, he doesn’t look half-dead anymore!”

 

“I bet your lavender tea did more than your weird pep talks to reach that result” His guardian spirit deadpans.

 

“I certainly did more than you, you useless owl. You are his guardian spirit. Better yet, he can actually see you and talk with you. And you’ve known him since he was born – if you needed my help in the first place, that’s entirely on you” The kitsune sneers.

 

“Rude” Yami huffs “It’s because I’m here all the time that he doesn’t listen to me, even when I reassure him!”

 

“Uhm… sorry…?” Izuku can feel his cheeks warm up with embarrassment. He really shouldn’t put Yami in a situation when the spirit feels like he’s ignore like that…

 

“Well, anyways, you should still have at least an hour before you have to go to school, no?” Kamikou tilts their head “If you’re feeling up to it, there is a ghost that needs a bit of help”

~🌸~

After he ends up agreeing to help, Kamikou fills him in on the whole situation. He’s a bit baffled to find that ghosts are also visiting shrines, and that Kamikou can see them (though, apparently they can only hear and see ghost who are on the shrine grounds, which is weird). It turns out that the ghost he’s been asked to help wants her body to be found, but the kitsune couldn’t tell him more than that. So, with Kamikou’s directions to where the ghost should be, he leaves the shrine.

 

Soon enough, he finds himself in one of the bigger city parks, feeling a bit weird with the fact there are only ghosts here. He knows that it’s too early for anyone to be up, but there were always at least some joggers or someone walking back from a party at odd hours in the morning, when he walked around these parts before. This lack of actual living people is giving him the creeps.

 

“Look, isn’t that the lady we’re searching for?” Yami asks, pointing his paw at one of the ghosts.

 

Sure enough, she does fit the description. Blond hair with reddish highlights, a simple pink summer dress, and a red bow in her hair. She must’ve been pretty when she was still alive. Now all of this just looks bleak, and adds to the sadness that always seems to cling to those who die way too young. She seems to be in her twenties, so it’s not as jarring as seeing a kid ghost, but still…

 

“Uhm, excuse me?” He calls out, trying to get the ghost’s attention “Are you Yume Haizono?”

 

“H-huh?!” The woman whips around to face him “Y-you mean me? Wait, you can see me?!”

 

“Uhm, please keep it down…?” He requests, even though he knows she’s really shocked “I was asked to help you find your body…?”

 

“A-are you actually going to help me?” The woman asks, stepping into his personal space and trying to grab his hand, even though they go straight through hers “Ah… I can’t actually touch you, can I…? Well, thank you for helping me”

 

“No problem” He smiles slightly. It’s still a bit unnerving to search for dead bodies, even after all these years, but it’s something familiar. Certainly beats worrying about what might happen at school “Do you know where your body is?”

 

“Y-yes, I’ll take you there” Ms Haizono motions for him to follow and rushes ahead.

A few minutes later, he’s standing on a rooftop, removing the grey blanket Ms Haizono’s body was wrapped with. He has to admit that the criminal was creative here, since no one would expect a body to turn up here of all places, and it’d probably be a while before anyone noticed the stench of a rotting corpse, much less think to actually check the roof.

 

And to anyone watching from above, the body would just look like a weird smear of colour because of the blanket. Well, now comes the hard decision. Leave the scene after alerting the police, and risk them having to hunt him down to take him in for questioning, or just obediently wait next to the body, and risk being late to school, even if he has more than an hour to get there?

 

Hmm, he’d rather not have cops turn up at his school to take him for questioning. Happened once a while back, and everyone thought he was a criminal ever since (though he suspects Bakugou thought he was a villain far earlier than that little incident). Sighing, he dials the all too familiar number, and smiles a bit as the ghost gives him a thumbs up.

 

“Hello? This is Musutafu Police Department, how can I help you?” The person’s voice sounds bored, yet slightly curious.

 

“I’d like to report a dead body” He says plainly, like he’s done so many times before.

~🌸~

“Hey there, kiddo” A familiar detective greets, climbing onto the rooftop. He’s a bit relieved that it’s that man, since he usually lets him go pretty quickly. Though, it’s the first time Izuku has seen him this year “Heard you had another corpse for us?”

 

“Mhhm, it’s here” He gestures to the mass under the blanket. He covered Ms Haizono’s body again because he couldn’t bear to look at it “I have school today, would you let me go early?”

 

“Sure thing, I can even give you a lift, if you want. But first, the standard questioning” Detective Shinogi says with an ever-present amused smile, and Izuku groans “Come on, it’s not that bad”

 

“It’s annoying. You know as well as I do that I have nothing to do with the crime itself. I’ve only found the body” He pouts slightly.

 

“Well, you do find a lot of them. To the point where it’s ridiculous” The detective chuckles “You know, recently it’s even captured the attention of one of the big shots. Detective Tsukauchi, the man who works on All Might related cases”

 

“Is that so…” So Tsukauchi has been looking into him more thoroughly. Not that weird, but it still makes him uncomfortable.

 

“Yep, though I guess you’re a bit of a celebrity yourself, among cops” Detective Shinogi smirks slightly “The forensics and the homicide department are arguing about who should get you when you graduate”

 

“Oh… Uhm, I’m becoming a hero, I’m even in a hero course already, so…” He coughs awkwardly.

 

He didn’t know anyone there actually wanted him. Sure, there were a few detectives who usually responded to his ‘found a body’ calls, so he knows they are aware it’s not just a one-time thing with him, but still… To think they talked about him at the precinct…

 

“Huh, a pity. Sasahara will be heartbroken” The man doesn’t look sorry at all though “Still, good for you, kid. Being a pro hero is a respectable job. Still, when you go pro, remember to work nicely with the police, alright?”

 

“Uhm, sure…?” Could he even say no to that?

 

“Right… Now, please give me your statement”

~🌸~

In the end, the detective does actually give him a lift, but thankfully Izuku manages to convince the man to drop him off before they get anywhere near U.A. It would not look good if he was dropped off for school in a police car. It wouldn’t look good at all. Well, all well that ends well, he supposes, heading for the school gates.

 

When he arrives, he’s surprised to see Aizawa-sensei standing there, obviously waiting for someone. When their eyes meet, Izuku inclines his head with a muttered ‘good morning’, before trying to move past the man. His teacher however, evidently has other plans, since Izuku’s path is blocked by the man’s slender figure.

 

“Come with me to the teacher lounge” Is all Aizawa-sensei says before turning around and begging to walk away.

 

Oh god, what did he do? Are they finally going to punish him for being the source of yesterday’s commotion? Or maybe Sero made up some lie to tell the teachers to get back at him for yesterday? What did he do, why was his homeroom teacher waiting for him, why does he want to talk? Oh god, he can feel the morning’s anxiety returning tenfold. Still, he takes in a deep breath, and starts trailing after Aizawa-sensei.

 

“Calm down, it’s probably nothing bad” Yami says, and while he’s grateful for his presence, why would it be nothing bad, Yami?! IT’s ALWAYS SoMetHiNG BAD “Oi, do you know what’s this about?” His guardian spirit asks Aizawa’s, and well, fair, the man’s spirit could know.

 

“It really is nothing bad for all I know” The big shadowy lynx shrugs “He’ll probably just tell you about what’s been decided about yesterday’s incident, and give you a ‘you can come to me if there’s anything wrong’ talk. At least, I think that’s what he’s going to do. It’s not like he talks to himself, so I have no way to be completely sure”

 

“Thanks” Yami says, and Izuku feels better already, since it really may not be all that bad.

 

They make it to the teacher lounge without any accidents. When they enter, a few teachers look over in their direction, some sending questioning glances at Aizawa-sensei. The man simply ignores them, as he leads him to a couch, and motions for Izuku to sit down. He obeys, and his teacher moves some chair so that they can sit face to face.

 

“…I wanted to talk to you about yesterday’s incident, and inform you of the school’s decisions regarding it” Aizawa-sensei says, and Izuku nods “Alright, first of all, the people who stepped in to help you are not facing any kind of punishment. I thought you might need to know that if they haven’t already informed you”

 

“Right…” He nods his head slowly. What about Bakugou…?

 

“Unfortunately, when it comes to Katsuki Bakugou, he also didn’t receive a harsh punishment” Oh, he should have expected this. After all, there is no way any school would sacrifice Bakugou’s potential for him “He is however taking mandatory anger management therapy, and will be expelled if he attacks anyone again. If he tries to assault you again, please report it to me. It doesn’t matter if he does it on school grounds or outside of them. Alright?”

 

“Y-yes” He stutters out, tears threatening to spill from his eyes. He can’t believe it – Bakugou is actually forced to go through anger management therapy.

 

“Once again, I’m really sorry that there wasn’t more I could do, and I know that Bakugou’s punishment may seem unjustly light-“ Aizawa-sensei cuts himself off, and they just stare at each other, as he tries to reign in tears “Why are you smiling…? And crying?”

 

“A-ah” Oh, he really was smiling “S-sorry, it’s just… I’m really happy. I-I honestly wasn’t expecting Bakugou to face any consequences… so thank you”

 

“Midoriya…” Aizawa-sensei’s brows are furrowed, and his gaze is darkening. Crap, he didn’t mess up, did he?! “Bakugou assaulted you. Why wouldn’t he face any consequences”

 

“W-well, that’s… that is… uhm” He stammers out, looking at Yami for help.

 

“Calm down, take your time” His spirit tells him “And just do what you think is right, okay?” Oh, so his guardian spirit is leaving it up to him.

 

“Well… It’s just… No one really… uhm, reprimanded Bakugou before, I guess…? A-ah, or not really… Or maybe…” He says, cringing under Aizawa-sensei’s gaze “S-sorry, it’s stupid, I should just shut up. I’m just really happy, and a bit overwhelmed… I didn’t expect this would be any different from last time, and yet, Bakugou is actually facing some consequences and it’s just… mindblowing, I guess…?”

 

“Wait, hold up” Aizawa-sensei is frowning as he hold his head up to stop his muttering “Last time?”

 

“I’m sorry, it’s not important, I should really just shut up” He rambles on quickly, curling into himself. He messed up, he messed up so badly.

 

“Midoriya, please talk to me, what was that about ‘last time’? Has something like this happened before?” His homeroom teacher asks relentlessly, and he seriously considers just trying to escape.

 

“S-sorry… It was a slip of the tongue, of course nothing like that happened” He lies, nervousness making him talk incredibly fast “A-anyways, I mean, uhm, you know, the lessons will start soon, I should, uhm, head back to class…”

 

“…If you won’t talk with me, then I guess there is no point in pressing the issue further… for now” Aizawa-sensei says in complete deadpan, eyeing him suspiciously “You can go to your classroom now… Oh, and, Midoriya? Please come to me if anything happens. I’m on your side here, okay?”

 

“R-right” He stammers out, even if he doesn’t really believe it. Then, he promptly runs out of the room, a slightly suffocating feeling settling in his chest. Dear god, that was stressful.

He quietly enters the classroom, somehow going unnoticed by other students. Well, maybe it’s not so unexpected, since no one is really looking at the door. He’s about to head to his seat, when he notices that someone is already sitting there – it’s the birdheaded boy, Fumikage Tokoyami. Huh, weird. He’d understand if the boy sat there to speak with someone, but he seems to be almost… dozing off?

 

“Are you perhaps confused as to why my charge is in your place?” A voice asks right next to him, and he whips around, only to come face to face with… a carved pumpkin? “Worry not, human. My charge has simply decided to exchange seats with you. He didn’t want you to sit anywhere near that… blond brute”

 

Now that he looks more closely, it’s not just a carved pumpkin, but a black cat wearing a pumpkin on its head… It also has a pair of black wings, and its tail is split in two, each end lit with blue fire. Alright, this is slightly weird, but not the weirdest thing he’s seen as far as spirits go.

 

“How thoughtful” Yami hums, and he realises that he hasn’t answered for too long.

 

“A-ah, it was nice of him… Uhm, thanks for letting me know” He whispers, keeping an eye out to make sure no one notices him talking to thin air “I’ll make sure to thank him later”

 

“I’ll hold you to it, human” The pumpkin cat says, before sprinting away and jumping onto Tokoyami’s arm.

 

“Pft, cats… they’re so quick to run away once they lose interest in you” Yami grumbles.

 

“You’re half cat” He states matter-of-factly, blinking at his spirit.

 

“Yeah, and? Well, anyways, you should probably head to your new desk, there are about three minutes before the bell rings” Yami is already flying to Tokoyami’s past seat, and he reluctantly follow, keeping to the wall.

 

Oh, now that he sees it, Tokoyami’s seat was right in front of Shouto’s, and to the right of Shinsou’s. That’s incredibly lucky. He’ll really have to thank the bird-headed boy later. He takes the seat, and lightly taps Shouto’s wrist. The boy startles a bit, looking up from his phone.

 

“Hi” Izuku says, smiling.

 

“Good morning” His friend replies, returning the smile “Are you… okay after yesterday?”

 

“Yep” He lies, tilting his head “I-I didn’t even actually get hurt, so it’s fine”

 

“It’s not fine” Shouto snaps, before wincing slightly, guilt appearing in his eyes “Sorry, I’m just angry that they didn’t expel Bakugou, I guess”

 

“Ah…” He doesn’t really get why would Bakugou be expelled for that, but he isn’t about to argue with his friend.

 

“Anyways, the lesson is about to start, shouldn’t you go back to your seat?” Shouto asks him, curiosity colouring his tone.

 

“Ah, actually, we kind of switched seats… me and Tokoyami, so…” He trails off.

 

“Okay” His friend nods, but just as he’s opening his mouth to say something again, the bell rings.

~🌸~

When the lunch hour comes, Izuku waits for Bakugou to leave, before coming up to Tokoyami. The bird headed teen looks at him with his usual unreadable expression.

 

“Hi, uhm… Thanks for swapping seats with me” He says, smiling sheepishly.

 

“You’re welcome. Though, it was also my way of apologizing” Tokoyami closes his eyes for a moment, before looking straight into his eyes “I should have done more when they were doubting our classmate. I apologize for not coming to your aid when you were refuting their claims”

 

“Ah, it’s quite alright” He waves his hands dismissively “I’m actually quite glad that you don’t judge Shinsou for his quirk. I appreciate that”

 

“…” They stare at each other for a moment before Tokoyami coughs “We should probably go to lunch now”

 

“Ah, yeah” He chuckles nervously, stepping away to let the other boy go.

 

Before he can leave though, he spots Iida at the doors. The boy is observing him and Tokoyami, and just when he thought Iida would call out to the bird headed boy, he lets the boy through, his eyes zeroing in on Izuku.

 

“Midoriya!” Iida calls out, moving towards him now that he’s not conversing with someone else “I just wanted to make sure, as your fellow classmate – are you alright?”

 

“Y-yeah, I’m fine” He stammers out.

 

“That’s good… If that ever happens again, don’t hesitate to inform me” The boy says, and leaves while Izuku is still standing there dumbfounded. What’s with all the nice people today? What’s this support? Is this a dream?

 

“Izuku, you’ll miss lunch if you don’t hurry up” Yami tells him.

~🌸~

As he’d expected, Shinsou, Inasa, and Shouto are all at the same table when he comes into the cafeteria. He puts his tray down, taking a vacant seat next to Shinsou. The boy gives him a nod of acknowledgement, before resuming his meal unenthusiastically. Inasa doesn’t even stop in his tirade about how passionate Fleur (a hero who debuted this week) is, and Shouto looks like he’s completely spaced out by now.

 

He spends the rest of the lunch nodding along to Inasa’s rant, and pitching in here and there.

 

Though, he also takes some time to observe the groups that formed within the class. Uraraka, Iida, the frog-like girl, and he sparkly blond kid are sitting at one table. Another is shared between Ashido, Sero, Kaminari, and Kirishima (Bakugou is also there, but he’s sitting at a certain distance, alone, so Izuku doubts he’s really a part of the group).

 

Next group consists of the girl with creation quirk, the girl with weird ears, the boy with the tail, and the invisible girl. The last one – where Tokoyami is – consists of the remainders of their class. It’s probably the quietest group. And… wait, is that a literal crow sitting on their table? He’d assume it’s just a spirit of some kind, but the quiet boy with weird head is feeding it, so it has to be a real crow…

~🌸~

After lunch, the afternoon classes start – the hero basic training. He’s feeling a bit giddy with excitement, though he’s also a bit scared. All Might is probably going to be the teacher for this class, and meeting him like that would be really awkward. Probably.

 

“I AM HERE!” All Might’s shout brings him out of his thoughts “Coming through the door like normal!!” This is not normal in any way shape or form, but okay.

 

“It’s All Might!! Incredible, he’s really going to teach us!!” Someone cries out.

 

“That’s his silver age costume!” Kaminari gushes.

 

“Hero basic training!!” Their teacher continues on, ignoring the chatter “The class that will put you through  all sorts of special training to mould you into heroes! No time to dally! Today’s activity is this!!”

 

“BATTLE TRAINING?!” Several people yell in excitement, reading off the card All Might is holding.

 

“Battle training…” He hears Shinsou whisper, apprehensiveness clear in his tone.

 

“And for that… you need these!!” All Might strikes another dramatic pose, pointing to the cases that slide out of the wall “In accordance with the ‘quirk registry’ and the special forms you filled out before being admitted-“

 

“Costumes!!!” Kirishima interrupts, failing to contain his obvious excitement.

 

“Ehm, yes” All Might clears his throat awkwardly “After you change, come out in ranking order to ground beta!!”

 

Like last time, he leads Shinsou away from their rowdy classmates, this time managing to get Shouto as well. They all change away from the class, enjoying the privacy. When he exits the stall, he takes a moment to look in the mirror, trying to see if his costume fits. It actually doesn’t look too bad, in his opinion.

 

His hero costume consists of fortified boots that go up to just a bit below his knees, a mismatched pair of gloves (fingerless glove with electricity glyph sewn onto it for his right hand, reinforced one with covered fingers for the left), dark long sleeved shirt, and dark-green trousers, inconspicuous bulletproof vest, utility belt with marker pens and a lot of pouches,  his usual scarf (and talismans hidden below it), a face mask that should be able to filter out smoke, elbow guard (on his right hand), and forearm guard (on his left hand).

 

He also uses a few hairclips to keep his hair out of his eyes.

 

Shouto walks out of the stall next to his, and he has to stop himself from showing disappointment. Boy is half encased in ice. Not only is it frustrating because it reminds him of the boy’s refusal to use fire, it’s also an incredibly bad fashion choice. He’d look much better if he didn’t cover half of his face.

 

“…“ They stare at each other silently for a few moments.

 

“Your shoes are an eyesore” Shouto states matter-of-factly, and okay, fair, green and red don’t look that good together in this case, but still, rude.

 

“They’re fine” He huffs “Besides, at least they’re reinforced, so if nothing else they’ll hurt when I kick someone”

 

“Their functionality is not the issue here” The boy deadpans.

 

“I don’t want to be lectured on style by someone who is half popsicle” He grumbles, pouting.

 

“That’s so that I don’t accidentally activate my flames” There is some irritation in Shouto’s voice now.

 

“Who was the one who said that functionality isn’t the problem here?” He smiles smugly at his friend’s withering glare.

 

“Don’t just-“ Whatever he’s trying to say gets cut off by a crashing sound.

 

“Shinsou, you okay?” He asks when he realises that it came from the boy’s stall.

 

“Y-yeah, just fell” Comes a reply. Izuku and Shouto share a glance, before they both shrug. Soon enough, Shinsou comes out “Oh my god, Izuku, you’re a ninja”

 

“I am not! And I don’t want to hear that from someone who looks like a second coming of Eraserhead!” He squawks, while Shouto chuckles subtly – traitor.

 

“Hey, come on, it’s just the scarf and dark colours. My outfit is way more… fitting” Shinsou says, pausing at the last phrase. Izuku frowns, but looks a bit more closely, and yeah… he can see that it’s ‘fitting’, since the material hugs the boy’s frame, nicely highlighting his- “See something you like?” Shinsou teases, and he sputters, averting his gaze.

 

“I was just trying to see how different this outfit is compared to Aizawa-sensei’s!” He manages to choke out, still feeling the heat of a blush on his cheeks.

 

“…Your mouth-guard looks quite bulky, does it have some other role, aside from protection?” Shouto asks curiously, probably deciding to ignore their antics.

 

“It does, but its function is a secret for now” Shinsou huffs, still looking way too amused “Come on, we’ll be late if we don’t hurry”

 

“R-right” He stammers out, awkwardly following his two friends, as they walk towards the rest of their class.

 

---Izuku's hero costume (drawing)---

Chapter Text

 

They manage to catch up to their classmates (and somehow not be the last ones there). Izuku takes a moment to analyze his classmates’ costumes, and he decides that some of them not only look weird, but are also really impractical. Kaminari’s looks like it has little to no protection, and so does Jiro’s, but at least those two look kind of normal.

 

Some other people… well…

 

The invisible girl just has boots and gloves, which not only looks weird, but also offers no protection at all – like, come on, there had to be a better option. The girl with creation quirk is revealing way too much, has about zero protection in all vital areas, and those boots do not look sturdy or comfortable at all – also, they could at least give her a cloak or something. He’s also very concerned about Kirishima’s costume – it doesn’t seem very practical, and leaving vital areas uncovered is a big no, even if he has a hardening quirk, since the villains could stab him before he can use it.

 

Uraraka’s costumes seems way too bulky in some areas – which could hamper her movements – and way too skin-tight in others – so it offers little protection unless it’s some freakishly armour-like cloth or something (he’s not going to underestimate the support companies). Also, does she have… heels in her shoes? That’s not really going to work in most terrains, and even in those she could potentially walk in, it’ll still hinder her during a fight.

 

Bakugou’s costume, well… he feels a bit weird about criticising the boy’s decisions, since he knows Bakugou wouldn’t make any weird mistakes, but it still feels like the boy’s outfit has too many things an enemy could grab. Not to mention the bulky, grenade-looking forearm guards – they seem like they’d be hard to manoeuvre in. Still, Bakugou probably has some reason to make his costume like that… right?

 

“…” He feels a gentle nudge to his side, and turns around, coming face to face with Shinsou “You seemed pretty pale… are you alright?” The boy whispers, glancing at Bakugou “…I don’t think he’ll try anything since All Might is here. So relax, okay?”

 

“A-ah, I’m fine” He wasn’t really worried about that, but it’s nice that Shinsou cares “I was just thinking about our classmates’ costumes…”

 

“Pft, yeah, I guess you’re right to be appalled. Some of them are worse than Shouto’s icy gear” The boy smirks, getting an offended scowl from said boy.

 

“Would you please stop insulting my costume choices? At least it has some function” The boy grumbles.

 

“I mean, I wouldn’t have to insult it, if you actually had any design sense” Shinsou teases.

 

“Oh, for the love of-“ Shouto never gets to finish, as the last person to arrive bolts in, making quite a ruckus in the process.

 

“Sorry to keep you all waiting!” Inasa yells. Huh, he actually looks quite good in that costume “I had some…difficulties with putting everything on”

 

“Shall we begin now, my wards?!” All Might’s voice is as booming as always. And yeah, it still feels a bit awkward to have him as a teacher “It’s time for some Battle Training!!”

 

“Sensei! This appears to be the same field as the one used in the entrance exam. Will we once again be performing cityscape manoeuvres?” Iida asks, and wow, he kind of looks like Ingenium. Their quirks are fairly similar too…

 

“Nope! You’ll be moving on to step two! Indoor personnel battle training” The man says, and Aisha facepalms (?) with her tail in the background… that does not bode well “Villain battles are most commonly seen outdoors, but, statistically, the most heinous are more likely to appear indoors”

 

“Oh god, he’s really going through with this” Rairou sighs.

 

“Just why did they even let him teach without any supervision by more experienced people…” Aisha comments, looking worriedly towards her charge.

 

“Between confinement, house arrest, and black market deals… in this hero-filled society of ours, ahem, the cleverest villains out there lurk indoors!” All Might continues on, blissfully unaware of his spirit guardians’ doubts about him “You’ll now be split into villain teams, and hero teams, and face off in two on two indoor battles!”

 

“Uhm, but there is 21 of us…? It’s an uneven number” Kirishima voices his concern.

 

“Ekhm, there will be one team consisting of three people” The man explains.

 

“Isn’t that too unfair?” Uraraka asks.

 

“Shouldn’t we have some basic training first, kero?” The frog-like girl inquires.

 

“Don’t worry, both of you! Even if the battle is unfair, it’ll still be a good experience, and as for basic training, the practical experience itself will teach you everything you need” The man answers, looking way too pleased with such half-assed answers. And really, they should learn basics first… “The distinction here is that you won’t be fighting disposable robots”

 

“Oh god, Toshi, you can’t just skip basic training” The ghost woman at All Might’s side scrunches her face up, commenting even though the man can’t hear her.

 

“What foolishness” Tokoyami’s spirit sighs.

 

“Agreed” Rairou tilts his head.

 

“Now, now, don’t be so harsh on him, he seems like he’s still new at this” Iida’s spirit tilts their head, clearly amused.

 

“I’ve been through seven other charges before him… I feel like him being new to teaching has little to do with this. He could’ve always asked other teachers for tips, instead of doing this on his own” Aisha hisses slightly, shaking her head.

 

“Hey, Izuku, you okay? You’ll miss the whole explanation if you continue spacing out” Shouto whispers, making him focus more on actual humans instead of spirits.

 

“…The heroes have a limited amount of time to either capture the villains or secure the weapon. The villains must either capture the heroes or protect the weapon until time is up” All Might continues on with his explanation, thankfully not calling him out for his lack of attention “Your battle partners will be decided by… drawing lots!!”

 

“Is that really the best way?” Iida questions. He’s really impatient, isn’t he…

 

“Ah, pros often have to team up with heroes from other agencies on the spot during emergencies. It actually makes more sense to do it like that” He says, slightly freezing up when all the attention ends up on him “…I think…?”

 

“It’s still not good as an exercise that tries to teach kids more about using quirks against others… And doing something like that so early on…” The ghost woman sighs, massaging her forehead “Toshi, you could’ve at least given them some basic lessons”

 

“I see! I apologize for getting ahead of myself” Iida bows slightly “My mistake!”

 

“It’s fine, really” All Might laughs dismissively “But before we start, there is one pair that won’t draw lots! The people who scored first on the entrance exam, and exam for recommendation students respectively, please pair up together! You two will be going against the three-people team!” Oh, so that’s his idea of making it a bit more fair. Still, two allegedly strongest people together? That feels a bit unbalanced.

 

“Does it really have to be the wind fucker?!” Bakugou complains to no one in particular.

 

“Ignore him, let’s just get our lots” Shouto says, already walking away.

 

He shares a glance with Shinsou, and the boy shrugs, motioning for him to go ahead. He ends up on team A with Yaoyorozu (good thing All Might announced her name, otherwise it’d be awkard). Hmm, now that he properly looks at her spirit, it’s a bit… odd. He feels like he’s seen something similar before but he can’t quite put his finger on it… wait, he remembers. It’s a dirona, but kinda bigger. Huh, still looks weird. It doesn’t really look like an actual animal, more like an elaborate decoration. Or a weird plant.

 

“We should probably think about how our quirks can be used together” The girl suggests, bringing him back to the present “I’ve seen yours during yesterday’s test but… I’m not really sure how it works yet, mind elaborating?”

 

“Well, uhm, my quirk is called ‘Glyphs’ and it allows me to activate the symbols I draw to make them take certain effects” He explains “However, uhm… it’s still a bit weak. And I can’t exactly draw any new symbols in the middle of the fight”

 

“I see” Yaoyorozu seems to be deep in thought.

 

“Moving on, first up are these!” The hero announces, pulling out two balls “The heroes are Team H! The villains are Team A!”

 

“Tokoyami and the invisible girl…” He murmurs, looking at their opponents “This will be difficult. Tokoyami’s quirk seemed to be rather powerful, and having an invisible opponent is tough… especially if she just sneaks past us to the weapon”

 

“We can always set up traps. It’s not a foolproof plan, but it seems to be the best course of action” His teammate comments.

 

“Right… Could you go on ahead to the room where the bomb is? I’m going to see if there are any hidden entrances they could use” It’s just an excuse, since he needs to ask Yami for help. He just hopes she lets him go.

 

“I don’t think there would be any not shown on the floor map” The girl frowns at him.

 

“Well, yeah, as far as normal entrances go. I want to look for areas that’d be only accessible with the help of their quirks. It might be hard to see them on floormaps alone” He says, fidgeting slightly.

 

“Alright…” The girl leaves ,but he can see slight suspicion in her gaze.

 

He follows her for a moment, till they enter the building, then he splits up, inspecting the rooms and so forth. Once he moves onto the second floor (which doesn’t take long), and he’s certain that no one can hear him, he motion for Yami to come closer.

 

“Could you find any spirits willing to help us?” He asks in a whisper “It’d be much easier if they helped me keep track of my opponents”

 

“Sure” Yami huffs “Just give me a second. I’ll ask around”

After a few moments, the spirits start coming. Sorya, Maruko, and Uzomi all arrive almost instantly. Then, Iida’s and Uraraka’s quirks come, along with a frog that has turtle’s shell. He thinks he’s seen the latter spirit hanging around Asui… The last three to come are the spirits who were hanging around Kirishima, the sparkly boy, and the muscular boy with too many arms.

 

Kirishima’s spirit seems to be a tortoise with weird designs on its shell, and at least eight legs. The sparkly boy’s guardian is a colourful wolf with bird-like feathery parts, mostly on its lower half. And the last one is… ekhm, that looks weird… it’s a weird amalgamation of an octopus, and a spider. Yikes, this is nightmare fuel right here.

 

“Alright, that’s everyone” Yami says, returning to his side. He nods, as he goes about checking the rest of the building “Okay guys, introduction time for those who didn’t do it yet”

 

“My name is Vayra” Iida’s spirit says, bowing slightly.

 

“They call me Levitia” Huh, kind of fitting for a spirit that grants anti-gravity… Still, it’s weird to see a stingray outside the water.

 

“I’m Tianu, kero” Croaks the frog(?).

 

“You may call me Likho” Kirishima’s spirit bows their head slightly.

 

“Just call me Yoru” Says the spider-octopus abomination.

 

“Please call me Firin” The colourful feathery wolf requests.

 

“Alright… would you all help me keep an eye on the overall situation?” He asks in a quiet voice “Yami will coordinate you, ask him if you have any questions”

 

And with that, he heads back to Yaoyorozu, to help her think of a plan in the remaining time.

~🌸~

He checks in with his teammate one more time, before assuming his position by the window on the second floor. Everything is in place, traps spread out around the building (though not as many as Yaoyorozu wanted to make – he’d stopped her halfway through, since her quirk warned him that she’s exhausting her resources too much), and spirits spread out, waiting to warn him about incoming enemies.

 

There is nothing more to do now, he’s even written a strengthening glyph on his arm, and a fake ‘glyph’ to explain his knowledge of the enemies’ movements, along with preparing some glyphs that could come in handy, writing them down on little pieces of paper.

 

“Time’s up! Heroes may infiltrate the building now” All Might’s voice signals the start of the exercise.

 

“Tokoyami is going through the front doors” He informs Yaoyorozu about what he can see “…The invisible girl is taking off whatever remains of her costume, she’s going to try sneaking in”

 

“Alright… and also, her name is Hagakure, it’ll be faster than calling her invisible girl all the time” Yaoyorozu answers him.

 

“Oh, thanks” He clears his throat “Uhm, I’m going to try going after her first”

He ‘play’s with the capture tape in his hands, trying not to give away that he knows exactly where the invisible girl is. When she passes right by him, he whirls around and wraps the tape around her. The girl squawks indignantly, as he continues tying her up, relying on Yami to tell him where the girl’s arms and legs are.

 

“Tooru Hagakure is out!” Comes All Might’s announcement.

 

“How?!” The girl asks, still completely baffled.

 

“…Sorry, I don’t really have the time to explain” He says, running off towards where Tokoyami is making his way up.

 

He hears a loud noise, and… yep the boy triggered one of the many traps Yaoyorozu laid. Izuku speeds up a bit, because Tokoyami is just a tad faster than he expected – though, it’s mostly due to the fact that the boy didn’t bump into anyone yet. He really should’ve taken that into consideration when he went after Hagakure, huh…

 

“Yaoyorozu, get ready to fight. I’m going to try slowing Tokoyami down, but my chances are… not too good, I think” He says into his earpiece.

 

“Understood… Remember to call for me if it gets bad, okay?” The girl answers.

 

“Roger that”

 

Finally the bird-headed boy comes into sight. Tokoyami whips around, and there is a single moment when they pause to look at each other, before the boy activates his quirk. Dark Shadow (at least he thinks that’s the creature’s name?) lunges at him, and he has to use his strengthening glyph to jump back in time.

 

“Jump back!” Yami yells, and he complies, narrowly missing the creature’s talon.

 

Damn, this is not going to end well, is it? Dark Shadow swipes up, destroying the overhead light, and yep, it’s growing bigger. Well, on the plus side, now he knows that light is somehow affecting it. On the other hand, most of the glyphs he prepared are electric, fiery or freezing. He doesn’t exactly know any light glyphs, since he could always see in the dark better than regular people.

 

The fact that both fire glyphs and electric glyphs don’t produce that much light isn’t helping him either.

 

He dodges again, as Dark Shadow destroys another part of the corridor, but just as he’s grasping at a fire glyph to buy some time, the creature retreats. Fuck, Tokoyami is running towards Yaoyorozu again. He gives chase, but gets stopped every time he comes into Dark Shadow’s range.

 

“Yaoyorozu, make some flashbangs, and a flashlight!” He yells through his earpiece “Tokoyami is coming your way”

 

“Got it” The girl answers.

 

He feels sharp pain, as he’s yanked forwards by Dark Shadow. Dammit, he got too distracted. He tries to get free, but the shadowy bird is effortlessly keeping him in the air.

 

“Fumi! Come on, bind him before we continue” The thing calls out, and he starts trashing even more, even going as far as trying to bite the creature.

 

Wait… the fire glyph.

 

Oh god, Yami is going to be so mad after this. He grits his teeth, waiting till Dark Shadow brings him closer to the waiting Tokoyami, and activated the glyph. It hurts, it hurts so much. The piece of paper with the glyph squeezed between Dark Shadow and Izuku’s hand, and he can feel his uncovered fingers burning. But it makes the creature drop him.

 

“Waa” Cries out the shadowy bird, as Izuku crashes into the floor, unpleasant smell of burning flesh filling the room. He can see Tokoyami flinch just the slightest bit, before the boy lunges at him, capture tape in hand.

 

Izuku rolls away, accidentally setting off one of the traps. It explodes, small pieces of debris go flying. One slices his cheek, but he pays it no mind, since Dark Shadow moved to shield the other boy, effectively taking up most of his opponent’s field of vision. He takes advantage of that, lunging forward, and falling into a roll, swiping Tokoyami’s feet from under him when he stops.

 

They both end up on the floor, and he almost manages to reach his capture tape before Dark Shadow throws him off of Tokoyami. Unfortunately, he hits his head while landing, and nearly blacks out. Everything turns blurry, and the sounds are weird, everything sounds like he simultaneously has hearing aids and sound-cancelling headphones on. It’s driving him insane.

 

He sees some black blur in front of him – probably his opponent – before there is a flash of light. He hears a few weird thud-like sounds, inhuman screeching, and then a moment of silence.

 

“Fumikage Tokoyami has been captured! Villain Team wins!” Comes All Might’s slightly garbled voice. Oh, they won…

 

Midoriya, are you okay?” A feminine voice asks… ah, that’s Yaoyorozu, probably.

 

“Y-yeah, just, I need a second. I think I hit my head…” He says, groaning. He tries to stand up, but gets dizzy and collapses halfway through “Ugh…”

 

Midoriya?!”

~🌸~

After that, the bots took him to Recovery Girl’s office, and he’s now lying in one of the beds. He’s mostly healed since the nurse used her quirk on him, but he can’t go back and watch others’ matches, since she ordered him to eat a handful of gummies before leaving. So, he’s just sitting there, begrudgingly munching on the sugary treat.

 

Most spirits left him in order to observe their own charges’ matches, leaving him with only Yami, and surprisingly, Levitia (who claims that Uraraka will win no matter what, so there is no point in supervising). Neither spirit is saying much, but their presence itself is reassuring.

 

He finally manages to finish the gummies, and just as he’s about to report to Recovery Girl and head outside, Sorya barges into the room, looking rather… distraught.

 

“Something the matter?” Yami questions, stepping in front of Izuku.

 

“Our charge has been hurt… He was sent to the infirmary, but he went to the bathrooms instead” The deer spirit says, somehow doing it in many different voices at once “He seemed… really emotionally unwell. Another human insulted him and our blessing. We can’t do anything to help him though… So, could you maybe…?”

 

 

“I see… Midoriya, you up for it right now?” Yami asks, letting concern bleed into his tone.

 

“On it” He whispers, before leaving the infirmary. Thankfully, the nurse doesn’t stop him.

~🌸~

Hitoshi is washing his face, trying to hide any traces of crying. Pathetic, isn’t it, how even though he should’ve expected people to treat him like a villain, he’s still getting so emotional over it? He doesn’t even know what’s worse – the fact that his teammate preferred to lose than to talk with him and trust him even a bit, or that some of his classmates whispered ‘kinda fitting’ when he was put on the villain team.

 

He grits his teeth, rubbing at his eyes even if it doesn’t stop the tears. Why is he even still crying? He stopped doing things like that long ago… Maybe it’s just because for the first time there were some people who didn’t care about his quirk? It’s stupid, but having someone treat him decently, and then going back to everyone else treating him like a villain or just outright ignoring him… it hurts. It hurts more than the bruises he got in the exercise, more than the cuts, and acid burns.

 

There’s a slight click of the doors opening, and he turns his head downwards, so that whoever just came in wouldn’t see his still puffed up eyes. He only briefly glances at the mirror to make sure it’s not one of his classmates – and yep, it’s Izuku. He really doesn’t want the boy to see him in such a pathetic state…

 

“Hey” His friend greets, leaning slightly against a sink next to him “Do you… uhm… I’m sorry for being blunt, I’m bad at comforting people, but… do you need a hug?”

 

“N-no, it’s fine” He croaks out, his voice breaking only once. Damn it, he hates when it happens after crying, it’s so embarrassing “Actually, could you just… leave? I just… need some time”

 

“Are you sure?” The boy’s voice is soft, not at all off put at his response “I mean, I’ll leave if you really want me to, but I guess I just wanted to make sure you don’t need company or something…”

 

“Y-you’re really bad at this” He chuckles, finally turning towards Izuku, who smiles at him brightly, something like relief flashing in his eyes.

 

“Oh, come on, I’m sure I’m better at this than Shouto or Inasa would have been” And isn’t that an interesting mental image “Still, are you sure you don’t want that hug? I get if you’re not comfortable with something like that, and I’ll back off, but yeah, just checking again, since you know, it usually helps people-“

 

“It’s fine…” He interrupts awkwardly “I don’t really want my bruises to hurt any more than they do now”

 

“Oh shit, I haven’t considered that” Izuku murmurs “Well, then, uhm… anything else I can do?”

 

“No, ekhm, I’ll be going to the infirmary now…” He says, stepping away from the sink “Since, you know, even if I’m still looking like a mess, it’s not as bad as it was…”

 

“Oh! Alright then, let’s go” The boy smiles at him reassuringly, and he’s left staring.

 

“Uhm… Didn’t you come here… for something?” He questions awkwardly. The boy couldn’t have just come to comfort him, since there’d be no way for him to know Hitoshi was there.

 

“A-ah, n-not r-real-ly…?” The stutter is back in the boy’s voice, as panic flashes in his eyes, before they calm once again “I mean, I was just walking by when I thought I heard a noise coming from here… So, uhm……… I went to check it out, and here you were”

 

“Oh” Is all he can respond with. That explanation is somehow… fishy. And so was Izuku’s slight panic at the question. But for now, he just files it away for later, and focuses on other things “You don’t have to go to the infirmary with me, you know?”

 

“Huh?”

 

“I mean, you were going back to class, right?” He shuffles awkwardly, scratching his neck “I can’t really think of any other reason for you to go through here… but nevermind that, I don’t really want to take up your time, so, uhm… you can go. I’ll be fine”

 

“W-well, uhm… Would you mind if I tagged along anyways?” The boy asks, looking away with pink dusting his cheeks. That’s somehow… adorable.

 

“Suit yourself, I guess” He answers in a too flat tone. God, he’s so bad at this whole friendship thing.

 

“Great! So, uh, lead the way” Izuku gestures for him to go ahead.

~🌸~

For once, Izuku is grateful for Recovery Girl’s long lectures about how they should be more careful, and how All Might shouldn’t have introduced such a risky exercise on their first hero basics lesson. Really, her rant is saving him from the awkward silence, and he’s very thankful for that. A bit further in front of him Shinsou looks like his ghost left his body, and he’s just standing there, blinking owlishly as Recovery Girl goes on and on.

 

But the best thing about it is probably the fact that all four spirits present continue commenting on the situation, agreeing or denying the nurse’s claims.

 

It’s weird, and a bit uncomfortable, but this moment… feels strangely peaceful. He doesn’t really get why, but he kind of doesn’t want to return to his rowdy classmates yet, even if it means missing a few more fights. Finally, the nurse finishes, heals Shinsou with her quirk, and bandages whatever injuries it didn’t heal (while lamenting about Shinsou’s low energy level).

 

Soon enough, they’re going back to class, passing some injured students on the way. Looks like another round has wrapped up… Things are still silent between them, but it’s settled into a more comfortable kind of silence. When they arrive at the observational room, their classmates welcome them back enthusiastically.

 

As it turns out, there is only one fight left – there just weren’t too many student who were injured enough to go to the infirmary, so they didn’t know. He settles into one of the corners, Shinsou staying relatively close to him, and looks to the screen displaying the last groups.

 

It’s the three versus two match. Inasa and Bakugou ended up being villains, and it looks like they’re arguing (and he has to admit, Inasa looks kind of scary right now). The team of three consists of Iida, Asui, and Uraraka. They have the advantage in numbers, but he still feels kind of bad for them, since both Inasa and Bakugou are really powerful…

 

 

As it turns out, the match ends quite quickly, and not at all how he expected it to end. Bakugou and Inasa seem to continue arguing, and even after they split up, it doesn’t look too good. Bakugou went ahead alone, guarding the lower floors, but both Asui and Uraraka managed to get past him, and they ended up confronting Inasa.

 

Now, normally this wouldn’t be a problem. But… since Inasa continued using his wind in a quite forceful manner, it could also be felt on the lower levels, and he’s managed to knock Bakugou off balance more than once when the boy was in mid-air. Even if they can’t hear what’s said, Izuku can still see that Bakugou is yelling… and apparently so is Inasa.

 

This mess of a match continues till Iida is out, and Bakugou returns to defeat the rest of his opponents. He ends up interfering with Inasa’s attack, basically walking in when the boy was flinging Uraraka away from the bomb, making the girl land accidentally on Bakugou. Of fucking course, it’s not Bakugou’s way to just move, and the boy also wouldn’t let anything hit him, so he ended up blasting Uraraka, accidentally making her smash right into the bomb, since she had her quirk activated.

 

It’s almost comedic how they lost like that.

 

And to add an insult to the injury, it doesn’t quite end there. Izuku watches with dread as after the heroes’ victory is announced, the two boys scream at each other, and Bakugou lunges at Inasa, the other meeting him halfway. Both Uraraka and Asui try to get them to back off, but the boys just continue fighting, till All Might has to step in.

 

Both of the boys are brought to the infirmary, and everything is more or less peaceful again, but that last match certainly leaves a bad taste. That conclusion was entirely unsatisfying, probably making the hero team feel like they won by sheer luck, and obviously enraging the villain duo. Everyone else was just shifting awkwardly, wincing at the after-exercise fight, so it’s obvious that he wasn’t the only one who found that painful to watch.

 

Still, as troublesome as it seems, he’ll have to find Inasa later and talk to him, because that was… Uhm, he doesn’t really want to say unheroic, but it was certainly reckless and dumb. Not liking his teammate is one thing, but actually going through the match like that, without any regards for his (admittedly uncooperative) partner… It could end badly if it was a real fight.

 

Still, both of the boys are in the infirmary now (having been knocked out by All Might), so he’ll have to save any talking for tomorrow.

Chapter Text

 

Izuku spends the walk home in silence. None of his friends are by his side, since they all split up at the school’s gate. Normally, he would’ve suggested they hang out together or something but… both Shouto and Shinsou had seemed like they had a lot on their minds, so he just left them alone.

 

When he gets home, he’s fully intending to just eat dinner and go to sleep. That is, until he sees an unfamiliar spirit sitting on the sofa in the living room. He frowns, wondering if he’s seen them somewhere before and just didn’t recognise them at first glance, but… he would have remember a spirit like that.

 

It’s a small, fluffy three-tailed fox, and the only thing that makes him sure it’s not just a kitsune is the unicorn-like horn on its head. All in all, the spirit is one of the cutest he’s seen. Still, if he doesn’t know them, what are they doing in his living room? He’s about to ask Yami if it’s someone he knows, when his guardian spirit just zooms past him, barely managing to stop in front of the fox.

 

“What the hell are you doing here?!” Yami hisses, and Izuku freezes. His spirit is rarely this angry, so why…? “We agreed that you wouldn’t come anywhere near my charge until I decided he’s ready!”

 

“…I’m sorry, but we’re out of time” The fox spirit says softly “I… I have a warning to pass on. Even if you don’t want me to talk to your charge yet, at least allow this much”

 

“Why couldn’t you just approached me when he wasn’t around and asked me to pass it on?” Yami asks suspiciously.

 

“I don’t have the kind of time to wait for you to be alone” The fox huffs back.

 

“…Yami?” He gets the spirit’s attention, and sees the exact moment his guardian is hit with some sort of realisation “Why wouldn’t you let them meet me…?”

 

“Just for the record, I’m a female, please refer to me as ‘she’” The fox puffs up a bit, pouting.

 

“…Why wouldn’t you let her meet me?” He corrects, turning to Yami again.

 

“That’s… mostly because it’d be too dangerous” The spirit looks really uncomfortable “Please, just trust me… Come on, Safali, we’re taking it outside. Izuku… please trust me on this and don’t try to follow us, okay?”

 

“B-but! If I don’t warn him, his life will be in danger” Safali jumps in place, tails swishing.

 

“I’ll judge if it’s something I have to tell him or not” Yami says, unusually coldly… “Come on”

 

And that’s how Izuku is left on his own, utterly confused, and feeling just a little bit betrayed because Yami doesn’t trust him.

~🌸~

He finishes his homework, and continues waiting for Yami to return. He waits, and waits, and waits, exhaustion gnawing at him, till he feels like he can fall asleep at any moment. But even so, Yami is nowhere in sight. Finally, one of the ghosts orders him to get some sleep, and he obliges. Not like there’s much he can do anyways…

~🌸~

When he wakes up in the morning, Yami is already there, but the spirit dismisses any questions with ‘I’ll tell you when the time is right’ and ‘There is no use saying anything in case it won’t involve you’. He’s a bit suspicious of the latter response, but he can’t do anything about it. So, as he walks to school with Yami at his side, the heavy silence is really rather awkward.

 

“What the fuck” Yami mutters when they arrive at U.A.’s gates, and Izuku can’t help but agree, since there are just so many reporters here…

 

“Think there’s any other way in?” He asks in a whisper, cursing mentally when one of the reporters spots him.

 

“Hey you! Can I have a moment?” No “What kind of lessons does All Might teach?” Disorganized ones… but he can’t say that…

 

“A-ah, I’m sorry, our class didn’t have any lessons with him yet” He lies, almost managing to keep his tone even.

 

And sure enough, the lie works like a charm, reporters turning back in disappointment, treating him like thin air.

 

“Vultures” Yami huffs.

~🌸~

The class starts, and Izuku swears the room gets colder when Aizawa-sensei walks in. The man glares at the class, stopping at his desk and just kind of freezing there for a moment, despite the fact that he’s made it very clear he doesn’t like wasting time. Izuku can hear other students shifting uneasily under Aizawa-sensei’s scrutinising glare, and then, the man speaks.

 

“I hope you’re all rested from yesterday’s battle trial” Aizawa-sensei begins but his tone is strangely flat and cold “I took the liberty of looking at your marks and evaluations. Which brings me to… discussing some of the dumbest, most irrational mistakes I’ve ever seen in all my years as a teacher. Honestly, I debated just expelling all of those who made them”

 

“…” There is a moment of silence, everyone tense – no, terrified – under the teacher’s gaze.

 

“Mashirao Ojiro, Katsuki Bakugou, Inasa Yoarashi, stand up” The man commands, and Izuku can see quite a few people breathing a sigh of relief, since they’re not the ones facing their teacher’s wrath “Ojiro, could you tell me what the ever loving fuck did you think you were doing?

 

“Uhm, sir, that is…” The boy seems troubled, before he breathes in deeply, and seemingly steels himself “I… could not bring myself to cooperate with him. Frankly speaking, I see no reason why a person like him was even allowed to stay in the Heroics Department-“

 

“I see no reason why you should stay here, since I haven’t heard you say anything that’d actually excuse your behaviour” Aizawa-sensei looks furious, his eyes flashing red “A huge part of being a hero is the ability to look beyond one’s prejudices and actually act decently. If you refuse to cooperate with someone just because you don’t like their quirk, I highly doubt you have any future as a hero”

 

“It has nothing to do with his quirk” Ojiro raises his voice, obviously frustrated “It’s about how he uses it! It’s about actual honour and decency! I refuse to acknowledge him as someone deserving to be a hero! You all saw the test on the first day… He just continued using people as tools, over and over again, without asking for their input at all. A person who treats others like that… like they’re just tools to be used, and not actual people, is someone I simply can’t accept”

 

“I am this close to expelling you right on the spot” Their teacher hisses “Do you actually believe the utter bullshit you’ve just spouted? Did you, for even a fucking second, consider things from a perspective different than your own? About how it must’ve been for Shinsou, who has a non-physical quirk, to be forced to take a test like that? To be threatened with expulsion if he ends up in last place? Where his only choices would be to either risk everything he ever worked for and not use his quirk at all, or use his quirk in the way he actually did? Tell me, Mashirao Ojiro, can you say with absolute certainty that you wouldn’t do the same in that situation?”

 

“Uhm…” Ojiro looks really uncomfortable, a bit of guilt passing through his expression, before determination settles in “I’d like to think that I’m a moral person. I think I would have at least tried to find another way, Aizawa-sensei” Izuku really feels like strangling the boy, but he keeps his mouth shut since it’s pretty clear that Eraserhead shares his sentiment.

 

“Oh really?” The teacher barks out, narrowing his eyes “Well then, the door is right there”

 

“Huh?” Ojiro exclaims, blinking owlishly.

 

“I personally agree with Shinsou’s choice. It was the most logical one given the situation” Aizawa-sensei activates his quirk again “He will continue to be part of this class, whether you want him to be or not. If your rigid mindset prevents you from showing even basic decency, and worse – stops you from actually taking hero training seriously – then you can show us just how dedicated you are to your so-called ideals, and leave”

 

“…” Silence… just complete silence. No one is even daring to move. He’s pretty sure some people are even holding their breaths.

 

“What’s wrong?” The man lifts an eyebrow, sadistic smile stretching his lips “I thought that he was someone you couldn’t accept? If your morals tell you so, then leave right now, because I don’t have time to dwell on lost causes. Oh… but don’t worry. I’m sure there are plenty of morons who share your mindset that will tell you that you did the right thing. So go right ahead. Leave, no one is stopping you”

 

“I…” Ojiro is glancing to the sides, looking almost panicked “I… I don’t want to… leave U.A.”

 

“So, I assume you don’t have any further problems with any of your classmates anymore?” At the boy’s rushed ‘no’ Aizawa-sensei nods, still glaring icily “Good, because you’re already on thin fucking ice. Now, I’d just like to say that if anyone here pulls a stunt like that in the future, they will be expelled with no questions asked. Are we clear?”

 

“Yes” Several voices answer, clearly frightened.

 

“Good. You’re here to become heroes. So I expect that if anything happens in the future, you will actually report to me instead of bottling it up and failing exercises because of it. Ojiro, sit down” The boy does, and Aizawa-sensei turns to the other two boys “Katsuki Bakugou, you were already warned before, and while your actions in the match weren’t expulsion worthy, I want to know why you did what you did”

 

“What the fuck, windy fucker was the one who made us both lose” The boy grunts, but there is certain wariness to his tone. Wow, it’s amazing that even Kacchan doesn’t dare antagonize Aizawa-sensei when the hero is like that (though, maybe he is a bit antagonizing, but still, for Kacchan it’s the mildest he’s been in a long time).

 

“I know that it was largely his fault, and I will get to that. But first, tell me, why didn’t you try to cooperate more? Why didn’t you try to warn your partner about when exactly you were coming into the room? Why the ever loving fuck did you fight with your partner after the exercise ended?” Eraserhead fires question after question with unwavering tone.

 

“This shithead clearly didn’t want to cooperate with me, he should’ve clearly heard me coming from a mile away, and he was the one who provoked me after the exercise ended” Bakugou huffs, amazing not seeming angrier than his usual self. Aizawa-sensei’s glare really does make miracles happen, huh?

 

“So, will you just attack anyone who ‘provokes’ you? Are you that prone to losing your temper?” Aizawa-sensei sighs in resignation “I sincerely hope you get that temper of yours under control. Attacking your colleague, no matter how infuriating they are, could be a basis for stripping you of your hero license, if you actually manage to get it. Just something you should keep in mind if you plan to seriously pursue this profession”

 

“Alright, alright” Bakugou rolls his eyes “Can I sit down now?”

 

“Yes” Their teacher answers dryly, turning towards Inasa “Now, you. I expect you to reflect on your cooperation issues. If I see you having any more issues like that, I’m sending you to Hound Dog”

 

“…You’re not going to ask why I provoked Bakugou?” Inasa asks blankly, because he apparently has Izuku’s own levels of self-perseverance.

 

“I watched the video. I heard what you said, and I have a pretty good idea of the whole thing” Aizawa-sensei’s tone is equally blank, but somehow in a more exasperated manner “Sit down, we can’t continue wasting our time like that. Now, let’s get on with the homeroom notices. We need to pick a class president”

 

“Thank god it’s actually something that’s not bad for once!” Hagakure whisper-yells, with Ashido nodding along.

 

“What a school-like activity” Mutters Uraraka.

 

“…I wanna do it” The girl with earphone jacks – Jiro? – says, breaking the silence. And right after most of their class echoes the sentiment. Good to know the lighthearted mood is back at least…

 

“BE QUIET!” Iida yells, loudly enough that Izuku nearly falls off his chair “This is a task laden with responsibility where you must carry and pull everyone else’s weight! Just because you’d like to doesn’t mean you can!” What’s with all the seriousness all of a sudden? “It is a holy office that requires the great esteem and trust of those around you…! The only truly worthy leader will emerge from a democratic choice reflecting the will of the people!”

 

“He sounds so serious but… he really wants to do it, huh?” Maruko stares at the boy in bemusement, and Izuku hums noncommittally.

 

“This must be settled by a vote!” Iida continues, obviously oblivious to the spirit’s comment.

 

“He’s being really lofty, ain’t he?! With that proposal” Kaminari says.

 

“It’s still too early to have developed any trust in each other” Asui tilts her head.

 

“Even after two days…?” Tianu, the girl’s spirit, mimics her head-tilt.

 

“And everyone will just vote for themselves!” Kirishima pitches in, indignant.

 

“And that’s precisely why the person who does manage to earn multiple votes will be truly appropriate person for the job, no?” Iida argues, doing that weird robot-like thing with his hands. He briefly wonders if it’s a tick or something intentional.

 

“Or at least it’ll be the most popular person” Vayra bats his, frankly fabulous, eyelashes “Well, it’s not like they can’t be changed later in case they aren’t suited”

 

“Is that all right, sensei?!” The boy asks their strangely silent teacher.

 

“As long as you all decide by the deadline, anything’s fine” The man says, all the intensity from before gone. Though… somehow the way it just disappeared without a single trace is even more terrifying.

 

~🌸~

Izuku stares numbly at the voting results. That was close… one more vote and he would have tied for Vice. Whose idea was it to vote for him anyways? Even he himself didn’t do that… He decided to go with Yaoyorozu instead. She ended up taking the title of the Class President, with Iida as her Vice. Incredibly logical choice, seeing as Iida has an uncanny ability of getting things under control most of the time, and Yaoyorozu seems pretty calm and collected most of the time.

 

“Midoriya, a word” Aizawa-sensei makes him stay as the bell rings, making every other student rush to the lunch hall (Shinsou stays behind for a moment, before Izuku tells him to not wait for him).

 

“Is something wrong?” He’s careful to keep his voice emotionless, even as he’s starting to panic inside.

 

“First off, please be more careful from now on” His homeroom teacher says “Lighting yourself on fire to escape someone is not a good tactic. At least not in training. I expect you’ll tone down your reckless tendencies”

 

“A-ah, sorry…” He mutters. Gosh, he almost forgot he set his hand on fire to escape Tokoyami.

 

“And… there is something else I’ve been wondering about…” Aizawa-sensei observes him carefully, tensing a bit now, as if he’s prepared to stop Izuku if he tries to run away. Not a good sign “Your decision to look for more obscure ways into the building at the start of the exercise was… peculiar. Not to mention, you actually muted you earpiece’s microphone”

 

“W-what about it?” He asks, shifting a bit.

 

“Relax, he’ll only get suspicious if you get more nervous” Yami says, and even though Izuku still feels a bit bitter about the whole Safali situation, he’s grateful for the spirit’s presence right now.

 

“Nothing, really… I was just wondering if you had any reason for doing that” The man answers, carefully measuring his reaction.

 

“A-ah… no reason in p-particular…? I guess…” He stutters out. Damn it, even if he tries not to act nervous, he just can’t.

 

“Is that so…” Aizawa-sensei considers him for a few more seconds “If there is something you’re not telling me…”

 

“T-there’s nothing!” He answers a bit too quickly.

 

“I’d appreciate a bit more trust” His teacher sighs “I can’t help you if I don’t know what’s wrong. You can tell me, I swear I won’t be mad”

 

“B-but, there really is nothing…” He repeats, consciously stopping himself from playing with his fingers.

 

“It seems you’re still not ready to tell me, so I won’t press it for now… But as your teacher, there are things I need to know to help you learn more. Things like… the actual limits of your abilities” He has to try really hard not to stiffen at those words. What exactly is Aizawa-sensei suspecting? Oh god, what’s going to happen to him.

 

“I know” He says, putting on a fake smile “Thank you for being considerate… I should… probably go to lunch now”

 

“…Alright”

~🌸~

Aizawa really didn’t expect that. He was taking a shot in the dark by mentioning the kid’s abilities, but Midoriya momentarily paled, and the smile the boy gave him right after that was just short of natural. Something is up here. It’s now obvious that what Midoriya tries to hide has to do with the teen’s abilities, most likely quirk-related, but what exactly is it?

 

Can those glyphs of his do more than what he’s shown?

 

Is there another aspect to his quirk?

 

Or maybe it’s actually about non-quirk-related abilities?

 

No, that one is out, Shouta would’ve spotted right away if the kid was holding back in hand to hand. Well, he doubts he’ll be able to think of anything just with the information he has. Still, he can’t just let it be… Maybe he should give Tsukauchi a call sometime soon. The man seemed to be looking into the boy the last time he contacted him, so maybe the detective has some new info…

~🌸~

“What did Aizawa-sensei want?” Shouto asks once he makes it to their lunch table.

 

“He asked me to not burn myself on purpose during the exercises” Izuku says in complete deadpan, earning a snicker from Shinsou.

 

“You have to admit that it’s a valid request” The purple haired boy smirks at him “What you did was kind of stupid”

 

“Agreed” Shouto deadpans.

 

“Ah, I too have to agree with that” Inasa says, a bit sheepishly.

 

“Traitors, all of you!” He huffs, crossing his arms “It wasn’t stupid”

 

“It was” Yami says.

 

“It was totally stupid” Shinsou nudges him playfully.

 

“You really shouldn’t take that stuff as lightly as you do. Burns are a serious matter” Shouto whispers to him, quietly enough that neither Shinsou nor Inasa could hear. He’s immediately hit with the fact that Shouto would know, he has a terrible burn scar. It makes him feel a bit guilty, to so readily burn himself just for an exercise… when he should know better. He really doesn’t like worrying others, huh.

 

“Sorry… I won’t do things like that anymore…” He whispers back, glancing away.

 

“…What are you two whispering about?” Shinsou asks, looking between them “Are you finally confessing to each other?”

 

“No” Shouto deadpans.

 

“W-what… NO!” Izuku almost yells.

 

“Aww, and here I was hoping for some teenage drama” Shinsou huffs.

 

“You’re also a teenager” He points out grumpily.

 

“My love life is non-existent” The always-tired teen says.

 

“Same” Shouto mutters.

 

“I think that applies to everyone here” Inasa says, a bit more enthusiastically than he probably should.

 

“Huh, we’ll see… Midoriya?” The boy raises an eyebrow at his flabbergasted expression “…You didn’t confirm your lack of a love life. Come on, if you have some, spill it”

 

“I-I… I’m not dating anyone” He admits, feeling heat rise up to his cheeks.

 

He’s so embarrassed he almost misses the flash of happiness in Shinsou’s eyes at his confirmation. Just why the hell is his friend so happy about him being single? Does he think it makes him miserable? Will he use it to make fun of him later? Wait, Shinsou isn’t that kind of person… Is he just happy he can relate?

 

His thoughts are interrupted by a sudden alarm.

 

“…The fuck?” Shinsou mutters, as they all stand up.

 

“Security level 3 has been breached. Students please promptly evacuate” Comes a robotic voice.

 

“Yami’s charge!” Safali suddenly appears from amongst the students, stopping in front of him “Quickly, come with me! My charge is the one who breached security, and though there is no immediate danger, we really need to talk if you don’t plan on dying”

 

“Oi, I think I told you not to pull shit like that” Yami huffs, stepping in between them “Izuku, go with your classmates. I’ll tell you later if it really is something you need to know”

 

“For grace’s sake, Yami! I know you just want to protect him, but that’s actually going to threaten his safety!” Safali yells, growling.

 

“Hey, kid, they’re talking to you” Maruko points out to him, and he turns to see his friends watching him with odd expressions.

 

“Izuku, are you alright? You weren’t responding” Shouto says, completely ignoring the chaos all around them “We should evacuate… Everyone will be gone in a bit if we don’t hurry”

 

“Uhm, that’s, I…” Oh god, what does he do. Does he go with them, or ignore Yami and go with Safali?

 

“Oh, for god’s sake, come here” Shinsou grabs his hand, and begins tugging him forward “We really shouldn’t stay still if someone just infiltrated our school”

 

He lets himself be dragged along without protest when their group takes off.

~🌸~

The mass of people is not only overwhelming, but also really dangerous. In just a few moments, he and Shinsou got separated from the rest, and the only reason he’s still with his friend is the death grip he has on Shinsou’s hand (though the boy is grasping his just as tightly).

 

“Oh for god’s sake” Shinsou groans, when for the umpteenth time they almost get pulled apart “I’m sorry for what I’m about to do, but bear with it, please”

 

He doesn’t get to chance to ask what the boy is planning, before Shinsou pulls them both towards the nearest wall. Just when he’s about to open his mouth, he gets pressed against the stony surface, squirming slightly as he realises he’s caged between Shinsou’s arms, the boy’s chest, and the wall. What the fuck. Why the fuck… What…?

 

“Sorry if it’s a bit uncomfortable” Shinsou says, instead of actually explaining anything “Just figured it’d be better to do this rather than risk getting separated. Besides…at least you don’t have to worry about getting elbowed in the ribs now”

 

“Y-yeah” He stutters out. Wow, from this up close, the difference in their heights is even more noticeable… how unfair. Wait, that’s not what he should be focusing on right now “Uhm, we still have to evacuate though…”

 

“I know, but we can just wait till others pass through and go behind them-“ Shinsou chokes slightly right at the end, when someone accidentally elbows him in the side “See? Going anywhere in this crowd would be suicide…”

 

“Y-yeah…”

~🌸~

Damn it, Hitoshi should’ve thought it through a bit more. Because while this position allows him to shield Izuku from the worst of this mess, it also means they’re very close to each other. And the slight blush gracing his friend’s cheeks is certainly not helping him ignore it. To be honest, he just really wishes Izuku won’t misunderstand his actions.

 

That would be not only awkward, it could also end their friendship.

 

And now that he thinks about it, his earlier probing about the boy’s love life is probably also not helping his deniability. Damn it, why did he try to tease Izuku like that, he just knows he’ll come to regret it. Because even though his quirk didn’t deter the boy, Izuku would still probably be weirded out if he thought Hitoshi liked him that way.

 

Which he doesn’t. Even if he thinks the boy is a bit cute… Okay, that was a bad thought, he really shouldn’t be thinking about how cute Izuku looks, especially when he’s this close to him. Or, maybe he can’t help it specifically because the boy is this close. Guess that’d forever remain as a mystery, since he refuses to think about it too deeply.

 

Fuck, why do so many of his classmates have to be so hot anyways?! It’s definitely not good for his heart. Especially Izuku with his constellations of freckles, those stupidly big emerald eyes, and the uncanny ability to show up when he’s needed. That last part especially, what gives that boy a right to be as nice as he is, and ALWAYS have such great timing?!

 

Whether or not that timing is just all coincidence or not is up for debate though…

 

“Ugh” He groans when someone shoves him again, and he ends up hitting his head on the wall “Ouch…”

 

“A-ah, are you okay?” Izuku asks, worry flashing in his eyes.

 

“Yep, just peachy” He answers dryly. Using sarcasm may be a bit mean, but goddamnit, he doesn’t have the mental capacity to be nice when his head hurts like a bitch “I wish they’d stop trying to trample us though”

 

“EVERYBODY CALM DOWN!” Someone yells – and, yep, it’s Iida “It’s okay, it’s just the press! There’s nothing to panic about, it’s okay!! You’re at Yuuei! Let’s conduct ourselves in the manner of those enrolled at the highest academia!”

 

And Hitoshi would breathe a sigh of relief, if only he hadn’t heard the small, muttered ‘Just the press, huh……… I guess, of course it wouldn’t be them’ from Izuku.

~🌸~

After everyone calms down, the evacuation gets much easier. When everything is finished, and they’re told to go back to the cafeteria for the remainder of lunch, Izuku makes up some excuse and tells it to Shinsou, and then proceeds to sneak out. Mostly because he’d really want some explanation right about now.

 

It’s a good thing that Safali apparently managed to somewhat convince Yami about why he should be told more. Otherwise, he’d need to do it himself, and he really doesn’t want to damage the relationship with his guardian spirit even more.

 

“So, would you be so kind as to finally tell me about whatever the fuck is going on?” He asks, sitting under a tree. They’re somewhere in the greenery-covered areas of the campus, but he’s made sure that the main building is still in his sight. Getting lost now would be a pain “I mean, you said your charge was the one who breached security, right? Why would he do that?”

 

“I guess I should start with basic information” Safali mutters, before speaking up “My charge is a villain. He’s planning on attacking your school soon. Very soon. It was his declaration of war”

 

“Wait, he’s attacking U.A.?!” He whisper-yells, horrified “Yami, did you know? Was that the last warning?! Why didn’t you tell me?! How the fuck would not telling me my school is getting attacked actually protect me?!”

 

“Uhm, you see, before, their plan wasn’t clear on what class they were going to attack” His spirit says, a bit of shame in his voice “So, you know, I wanted to wait to make sure whether or not 1-A would be caught up in this”

 

“…You didn’t plan on telling me anything if it was another class getting attacked” He states, more than he asks. But he needs confirmation…

 

“Yes” Yami sighs.

 

“Why?” Even he can hear pain in his own voice “Why wouldn’t you tell me? I know you want to protect me, but if there was anything I could do… I’d do it. I could’ve told the teachers, the police, anybody!”

 

“That’s the problem!” Yami snaps “You are too eager to help. This is not a trivial matter, those are actual villains we’re talking about. People who have killed before. And they have their people within U.A. What do you think would have happened if they learnt you somehow knew about their plans? Do you think they’d just leave you alone? No, they wouldn’t. If something like that happened, they’d either kidnap you to try and get you to tell them how you knew, or they’d just kill you”

 

“Still, it’s only if they learnt about it, right?” He grits his teeth “I could’ve left an anonymous tip or something!”

 

“Well, lot of good that’d do! They’d just discard it. And if it alerted the villains, they’d be more cautious next time. They’d probably look for you too” Yami’s voice is somehow full of pain “…And before you suggest you could’ve just come to Aizawa-sensei and asked him to keep quiet about the fact you were the one to warn him, just remember that he’s already suspicious of you”

 

“I know all of that! But if my warning saved at least one person, it would’ve been worth it” He replies. It’s true that him knowing too much would attract attention, but… he just can’t stay silent “I don’t want to be ‘protected’ if it means someone else might get hurt…”

 

“…My thought on this subject won’t change” Yami huffs “I’ve… know you since you were little. I know fully well that you would try to help, consequences be damned. I just hope you understand that I couldn’t take that risk, since I don’t have any actual way to stop you if things go south”

 

“No, I don’t understand” He grits his teeth “But… At least now I know my school will be attacked. Safali, could you give me some more details? Anything that could help me prepare?”

 

“Of course…”

~🌸~

Eraserhead is really suspicious (and slightly worried) when Midoriya misses the class after the lunch break. Other students also seem quite confused by that fact, so he doesn’t think anyone knows where the boy is. Still, when the next period comes, Io and behold, Midoriya actually shows up.

 

Of course, he questions the boy about why he wasn’t there, but the only excuse he receives is that Midoriya ‘got lost in all the confusion over the alarm’.

 

And isn’t that just suspicious.

---Asui's spirit, Tianu---

Chapter Text

 

Izuku anxiously waits for the lesson to end. There is a lot he needs to prepare for tomorrow, and way too little time to do it all. At least if he’s going to do it alone… But the only people he could possibly ask would be either his mom (and he can’t really alert her that something is wrong, since she wouldn’t let him go to school then), Kamikou (who would most likely want some compensation for helping) or one of his friends (which would raise a lot of questions he’s not ready to answer – well, maybe Shouto wouldn’t mind not questioning him).

 

“You’re dismissed” Aizawa-sensei says a moment before the bell rings.

 

He quickly packs his things, and dashes for the door. Before he can take more than two steps though, a hand grasps his arm, stopping him, and almost making him fall. He looks back, confused, only to come face to face with a frowning Shinsou. Well… that’s unexpected, but he doesn’t really have time for this. Not right now.

 

“Uhm, do you need something…?” He asks despite his hurry, because he can’t bring himself to just dismiss his friend without hearing him out.

 

“What’s the hurry?” Shinsou asks, frown slipping off his face “I just wanted to ask about why you vanished after the alarm”

 

“H-huh, I already said-“ He gets cut off halfway through.

 

“Izuku, I was with you until the evacuation ended” The boy says dryly “There is no way you would’ve gotten lost. Not unless you ran off somewhere, away from everyone else… So, where have you been?”

 

“…” He glances around quickly, making sure no one is listening in, before he responds “Well, uhm… I went out of the building…” Welp, fuck his brain for making him blurt that out. There is no way he can make a logical excuse now.

 

“Out of the building?” Shinsou asks, quirking an eyebrow.

 

“It just ended up like that” He lies “I mean, I wanted to get to class as quickly as possible… So I went ahead of the crowd. I… got lost. And thought it’d be best to go back to the main entrance, and go to class from there”

 

“That seems… fishy at best” His friend tilts his head, looking at him with narrowed eyes.

 

“C-could you just… drop it?” He has to try this, at the very least. It worked on Shouto, after all.

 

“The same way I didn’t say anything about the fact you knew my quirk? Even though you shouldn’t have known…” Shinsou tightens his hold “I… didn’t want to risk our friendship over this… but this is just too weird, Izuku. Please just tell me why. Why did you know what you did? Why did you go off on your own after the alarm?”

 

“I-I’m… in a bit of a hurry to get home today… I should be… going” He says quickly, before attempting to break free. It doesn’t work “Shinsou, please

 

“…” His friend frowns, conflict flashing through his eyes “I…”

 

“What are you doing?” Shouto asks coldly, appearing out of nowhere. The boy then proceeds to look pointedly at where Shinsou has Izuku’s arm in a death grip “…I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but… Why exactly are you using that much force to keep him in place, Shinsou?”

 

“I-I didn’t…!” The boy in question lets go of his arm as if it burnt him “I just…”

 

“A-ah, it’s okay” He waves his hands around “I think there was some kind of misunderstanding” He says with a perfectly natural looking smile “He wasn’t hurting me or anything” Besides, it was his own fault for being sketchy as fuck all the time. Who would’ve guessed it’d bite him in the arse that early?

 

“…I’ll believe you, but please try not to look like you two are seconds away from having a fight” Shouto sighs “I was seriously worried something was wrong” It was, but it’s not like he’s going to say that.

 

“S-sorry” Shinsou stammers out, looking away “I just… got carried away” He shoots a suspicious look at Izuku “Though… I’d still want some answers”

 

“A-ah, it’s getting kind of late. Gotta hurry before I miss the train, bye~” He says quickly, ignoring the way Yami facepalms and mutters something that sounds suspiciously like ‘Couldn’t you be any less obvious…’.

 

“…Don’t worry, he’s always like this when people question him” He hears Shouto say, before he’s out of the hearing range, running through the corridor.

 

Well, fuck, that could have gone way better.

~🌸~

Hitoshi is honestly feeling horrible. Just why in the hell did he think it was a good idea? No, more like, why did he think getting answers was worth risking his friendship. Izuku was one of the few people who didn’t give a single fuck about his quirk, and he just almost ruined it all. Hell, if Shouto didn’t step in when he did, Hitoshi might’ve done something he’d regret even more.

 

And all that because of what? Paranoia? The creepy way of just knowing things his friend seems to have? A few just a tad suspicious words?

 

So what if Izuku knew his quirk before he told the boy. It’s not like he was ever treated like a villain by the teen. And what if Izuku is a bit weird, they’re friends, he was supposed to be able to look past that and trust the boy. It shouldn’t even matter if his friend said something suspicious – the boy is just not the kind of person to do something outright evil.

 

Or is he?

 

No, nope, bad thought, he shouldn’t doubt the one of the only people who are decent enough to accept him as more than just his quirk. Besides, how could Izuku be evil when he’s friends with number two hero’s son? Surely, if the boy was a villain, it would be quickly discovered.

 

But… what Shouto said implied that he questioned the boy too, or at least seen someone question Izuku. That in itself is weird.

 

Since… Hitoshi was feeling paranoid because of things Izuku said when they were relatively alone (or at least couldn’t be overheard). Then… it means someone else also has enough separate reasons to want some answers from the boy.

 

Dammit, he’d really just want to stop thinking about it.

 

For now, he guesses he should prepare something as an apology for being so pushy about all of this. That’s… what people do when they screw up, right? He’s pretty sure he’s at least read about something like ‘apology gift’ before.

 

…He should probably just look it up on the internet.

~🌸~

First thing Izuku does after leaving his backpack at home, is go to Kamikou’s shrine. Yami said that the kitsune would probably be willing to help him keep his classmates safe. For a price, at least. He’s not entirely thrilled by the idea, but he guesses that it’s fair, as long as the fox’s price is reasonable.

 

“What brings you here?” Kamikou asks when they arrive at the shrine.

 

“We need help” Yami answers blandly.

 

“Oh my, how unexpected” The fox tilts their head, their tone completely dry “What do you need?”

 

“Uhm, I was wondering if you could help me protect my classmates” Izuku speaks up, stepping forward “The villains are planning to attack them on our trip tomorrow…”

 

“I need a bit more details before I promise anything” Kamikou huffs.

 

And so, he and Yami explain the villains’ plans, their quirks, and anything else that seems relevant.

“I see” The fox yokai frowns, deep in thought “I can offer my protection to your classmates. It should be able to prevent the warp villain, and the dust-turning one, from using their powers on them…”

 

“Really?” He asks, hope clear in his voice.

 

“…However, I don’t think I can do much against physical attacks” Kamikou grimaces slightly “Especially if they come from that Nomu thing you described”

 

“So, even you can’t face a creature with multiple blessings, huh…” Yami mutters.

 

“Hey, don’t give me that look. I could win against it in my full form” The kitsune huffs “But that would mean actually putting my life on the line. And that doesn’t come cheap. Even my protection is going to cost you a bit, I don’t think you’d be able to pay off my assistance with fighting that monster”

 

“Well… Some protection is better than none” He says, because he knows that Yami would object if he even tried to ask about what that ‘price’ would entail “What do you want in return?”

 

“First, I have to know something… In regards to this ‘Nomu’, Yami, will you be using the Amending Tool?” Kamikou asks, and he frowns at the unfamiliar name.

 

“…That’s the plan, yes” His guardian spirit answers “Or at the very least, the plan is to prepare it, and use it if it’s necessary”

 

“Yami, what’s the Amending Tool?” He asks, looking between the kitsune and his guardian spirit.

 

“…I’ll tell you when we get home” Yami promises.

 

“Why put it off? The Amending Tool allows one to ‘amend’ a contract” Kamikou huffs “In short, it lets the person who use it make a blessing ‘malleable’, in which case the person receiving the blessing can be changed to someone else… and the type of blessing can also be modified”

 

“That… sounds rather powerful” He says, frowning “Yami… why would we… use it? You don’t intend to… You don’t… oh my god, you want me to take Nomu’s blessings, don’t you?”

 

“Only as a last resort. If everything goes well, you won’t have to do that” His guardian spirit reassures him, looking somewhat guilty.

 

“I can’t do that! I have no idea why multiple spirits would bless the same person, but I just… can’t take it away, not like that” He knows he wouldn’t be able to do it, why would Yami think he’d be capable of something as cruel as taking away someone’s blessing…

 

“Uhm, excuse me” Safali speaks up for the first time in a while “I don’t think you should be feeling bad about taking away Nomu’s blessing… The spirits all want to be free from it, and Nomu itself isn’t human anymore, it doesn’t have any free will”

 

“I can’t believe you’re omitting the most important truth here” Kamikou butts in, and he sees the way Yami’s eyes widen comically, shock and fear filling them, probably already knowing what that truth is, and not wanting it to be said “…There is no way so many spirits would bless the same human. Their blessings must have been influenced by some outside force”

 

“What do…you mean?” He asks, feeling faint “But… I mean, who would do something like that, and how? Wait, that Amending Tool… are you saying that someone used it to create that ‘Nomu’…?”

 

“The Amending Tool can’t be used that way” Yami says, glaring at both Safali and Kamikou, probably wanting for them to shut up for the moment “It’s not really as powerful as it sounds… It can only destabilize the link between the spirit and whatever they’re blessing if the spirit doesn’t protect their blessing from being destabilized, and if the target isn’t consciously hanging onto the blessing. In short, it’ll only work because the spirits want to be freed from the Nomu, and the thing itself has no free will, and so can’t feel attachment to their quirks”

 

“That’s… weird” He frowns “But I guess, it kind of makes sense…? But then, how was the Nomu created? What else could have given it multiple blessings…?”

 

“Well, that-“ Safali starts to say something, before being interrupted by Yami.

 

“Shut up Safali” His guardian spirit huffs “Izuku, it’s really not something you should be focusing on now. It doesn’t matter to the attack. I swear to tell you all about it when we get through this safely, okay?”

 

“Alright…” He says, despite a slight pain in his heart, traitorously whispering to him that Yami is keeping secrets, and still doesn’t trust him. And that’s… just stupid, because Yami will tell him all about it… right?

 

“Uhm, if you’re done…” Kamikou speaks up “The thing I want for protecting the boy’s classmates is one of the spirits’ blessing. If you’re going to reassign them anyway, I want one”

 

“Do you even know what you’re asking for?!” Yami hisses.

 

“That… can be arranged, I think” Safali says softly.

 

“How the hell can it be arranged?!” His guardian spirit comes very close to yelling.

 

“…I’m pretty sure the spirits would appreciate being bound to yokai more than being bound to that thing” Safali says, looking away “You haven’t seen it up close, Yami, you haven’t seen what happened to their charges… They would readily bind themselves to a yokai to escape all this”

 

“Dear lord, am I the only person who thinks it’s a bad idea?” The cat-owl asks dramatically.

 

“Apparently” Kamikou shrugs “I just want my pay”

 

“Okay… So, do you need anything to give them your protection, or…?” He asks, since he knows some yokai need a medium to use their powers.

 

“Actually…”

He and Kamikou spend the next few hours making little charms. They are literally just flower-shaped wooden phone-charm-like little things with some weird glyph on them (it doesn’t look anything like the ones Izuku knows). The only break he gets from making them, is when he runs to a nearby internet cafe in order to send an (anonymous) email to U.A.’s principal, informing him of tomorrow’s attack (he planned to do it after striking a deal with Kamikou [on his way home], but the charm-making really threw that plan out of the window).

 

When they’re finally done, he has enough charms for all of his classmates. He also asks the kitsune to help him make one that’d allow Shinsou’s nekomatas to protect the boy (every bit of extra protection is appreciated, after all). That one specific charm ends up having a different glyph from the rest, but he doesn’t really question it – after all, kitsunes and nekomatas are completely different yokai, so it makes sense they’d need different glyphs.

 

He exits the shrine, leaving Safali with Kamikou, so that they could prepare the ‘Amending Tool’, (however that’s supposed to be done). After he gets home, he quickly eats something, packs his charms, some knives and marker pens for tomorrow, and then leaves the house, fully intending to meet up with Shouto before the inevitable disaster of the villain attack.

~🌸~

Shouto is just mulling over the events of the day, wondering what was up with Izuku and Shinsou – he knows that he’s not the most perceptive person when it comes to other humans, so there is probably something he’s missing in this whole situation – when he hears the telltale knock on his window.

 

“What are you doing here?” He asks, opening said window to let Izuku in “…Also, you know that I could have let you in through the front if you texted me, right?”

 

“I have no time for things like that” His friend simply says, and there is something… different about him. Something more frantic, and at the same time… the boy seems more fatigued than normally? “Anyways, can we talk?”

 

“Yes…?” He tilts his head “I wouldn’t have let you in if I had no time”

 

“…Good, that’s… okay” Izuku sighs, sucking in a deep breath. What’s up with that answer anyway…? Something’s not right here “Uhm, so, this will sound a bit bad, but I need you to promise me something…”

 

“What is it?” He frowns. There is certainly something weird about Izuku coming here to make him promise something, when he could just make the same request at school…

 

“…If it can save someone’s life, please use your fire” His friend asks, and his blood turns to ice… Why…? “I know that you don’t like it, but…”

 

“I won’t use my fire in a fight” He grits out.

 

“…Are you prepared to let others die just for that?” Izuku asks, some kind of non-physical pain evident in the way his expression twists “Could you live with yourself if someone died because of your grudge?”

 

“What’s with those questions. No one will die. I know I can protect people with just my ice” He says, letting more frustration seep into his tone “In the first place, how would I even save someone with fire? Fire just… destroys. It can’t protect anything, Izuku”

 

“Yes, fire just destroys” Izuku glares straight into his eyes “That’s the entire point. I’m asking you to destroy whatever may threaten people’s lives, even if you have to use your fire to do it”

 

“I already told you I can do that with my ice” He repeats, patience quickly wearing thin.

 

“…There are times, when your ice will not be enough” His friend has a pained expression on his face, but Shouto just can’t understand why he’s saying all this “I… obviously wouldn’t ask you to promise me this if I didn’t think it was necessary. Please Shouto…”

 

“…Why do you think it’s necessary?” He asks, letting his face relax, making it into a blank mask.

 

“Well………………… please don’t question how I know this, but… Villains will attack our class soon” Izuku says “Probably even tomorrow. And… I’m not sure everyone will be able to survive. That’s why, even if it only increases our chances a bit, I want you to use your fire if others are in danger, okay?”

 

“Is… is that why you were acting weird today?” Okay, he thinks he’s starting to piece this together. Still… what’s with the way Izuku went from being extremely vague to just spilling it all in one go? That’s… extremely out of character for the boy “Please tell me you already told the school about this”

 

“…Yeah, I did” His friend say, even as he’s squirming a bit uncomfortably.

 

“Okay, then, why would you need to tell me?” He frowns, tilting his head slightly “I mean, the school is obviously going to put countermeasures in place, right? I don’t really see a point in making me promise to break my vow in case of an emergency, if the crisis is already being planned against”

 

“That’s… I think the school will do something to tighten the security, but I doubt it’ll be enough” His friend says, biting his lip nervously “They might not even take me seriously in the first place…”

 

“…” He sighs, dragging a hand down his face “You’re overthinking this. U.A. is known for its security, everything will be alright, especially since they’ve been informed of this attack beforehand”

 

“Just promise me, alright…? It’d at least help me put my mind at ease” Izuku pleads, for some reason just looking resigned.

 

“Okay, if it means so much to you” He says sceptically “I’ll use my fire if it’s needed”

 

“Thanks, Shouto” Izuku smiles at him, but it’s one of his fake smiles. They always look almost natural… but he’s learnt to how to tell the difference between them and the real ones. He’s… not really reassured to see it, if he’s being honest “Oh, right, here”

 

“……?” He raises an eyebrow at the cutesy flower charm his friend gives him “Thanks…?”

 

“Keep it with you, okay?” Izuku requests, before heading for the window “And I mean it. Take it to school tomorrow”

 

“…” He doesn’t say anything as his friend leaves.

 

He guesses that there is no harm in carrying it around, if only to make sure Izuku doesn’t devolve into a nervous wreck (which is not likely to happen, but it’s better to be safe than sorry). Still, there is something wrong with this entire situation – something that makes worry seep deep into his bones. Mostly because he can’t help but wonder: why and how did Izuku know about this supposed villain attack?

~🌸~

Alright, that went more or less okay. Even if it could have gone a bit better. Well, at the very least Maruko helped him through it… somewhat. Yami is still grumpily ignoring him though. Guess he didn’t appreciate Izuku talking about the attack… Which kind of makes sense, since now the information can be traced back to him, but still… He really doubts Shouto would say anything that could incriminate him.

 

Still, it somehow feels like he’s losing his friends’ trust today… Shinsou is openly questioning him, and even though Shouto gave up on that, it still feels like he’s somewhat suspicious. Even if it can’t be helped, it makes him feel really frustrated. They’re his first human friends in a long while, but why does it feel like their friendship is still so… fragile?

 

Well, he probably shouldn’t think too deeply about it. It’s natural that they don’t trust him that much, since they know he keeps a lot of secrets. Just the fact that they tolerate him – and more astonishingly, treat him decently – should be enough for him.

 

“I don’t know what you’re thinking about, but please stop, Izuku” Yami says, though he averts his eyes when Izuku looks at him “You look like you’re about to cry”

 

“O-oh, is that so…” He murmurs, desperately trying to focus on something other than his own thoughts “Uhm, hey Yami, what should I do now?”

 

“Huh?” The spirit tilts his head, clearly perplexed “What do you mean? We’re going home”

 

“I know, but like, after we get home” He plays with his fingers as he walks “I mean, obviously I’ll have to go and pick up the Amending Tool” Which is still a stupid name, in his opinion “…But I don’t think it’ll be ready for a while… at least from what Kamikou said, I think…? So, uhm, anything else we need to do in the meantime?”

 

“…I’ll try to teach you a simple healing glyph” Yami sighs “But don’t overdo it, okay? You’ll need to get at least some sleep, if you want to help anyone”

 

“…Thanks” He says.

 

“What are you thanking me for?” His guardian spirit huffs “I’m just making sure you have the highest possible chance of survival… Though I’d still prefer if you just stayed home”

 

“That’s… not gonna happen”

 

“I know”

~🌸~

The next day, Aizawa is woken up not by his alarm, but surprisingly, by a text message. Who the fuck has the guts to text him at this ungodly hour? He checks his phone, and… It’s Nedzu. Of course it’s the principal. Grumbling, he opens the message, and almost drops the phone as he reads it. Well, that’s concerning… An emergency staff meeting, huh. And moreover, the specific reason for it wasn’t given through the text.

 

Is it just one of Nedzu’s mind games, or is it something that shouldn’t be mentioned over texts?

 

Either way, it’s really making him worried.

~🌸~

The first lesson of the day is homeroom. It’s really rather convenient, since no one is studying in case of surprise-quizzes, so he can give out the charms without worrying that he’s disturbing his classmates. Who to start with though… If the first person doesn’t accept the charm, it may influence others to also pass on them…

 

So, obviously, Bakugou, Sero, Kaminari, Ashido, and Ojiro are out. Those are the people who have the highest chance of rejecting the charms… for various reasons. Similarly, he can’t count on Jiro, Shoji, Sato or Koda, since he doesn’t really know them… Tokoyami might reject the charm because of clashing aesthetics…

 

So, he needs to choose someone from the rest… Giving the charms to his closest friends first could backfire, since then the rest of his classmates might think the ones he gives them are extras, or that he’s just doing that to be polite… Iida would be a pretty good choice. He seems like he’d accept, even if it’s only out of obligation.

 

Similarly, he could give one to Uraraka first. She seems like a fairly well-liked person, so her accepting a charm could make others do so as well… Oh, now that he thinks about it, Yaoyorozu might be the best choice. She is the class president, so she’d probably accept it out of obligation, and she seems to be fairly popular as well.

 

“The bell will ring in fifteen minutes. I’d advise you to distribute the charms now” Kamikou – who is tagging along in her fox form – says. It’s convenient that she can turn invisible for human eye.

 

“I’m on it” He whispers softly.

 

Okay, he’ll start with Yaoyorozu… He walks up to the girl’s desk, briefly returning Shouto’s curt nod – and ignoring a nervous tinge as he passes the napping Shinsou. He takes out one of the charms, and clears his throat to get the girl’s attention.

 

“Oh, Midoriya. Do you need something?” Yaoyorozu asks, looking at him with a puzzled expression.

 

“A-actually, I just wanted to give you this” He extends the hand with the flower charm “Uhm, I thought it’d be nice to give them to everyone in our class… They’re good luck charms…”

 

“…” Yaoyorozu is just staring at it for a moment, her eyes sparkling, and he’s starting to get a bit worried. Then, she covers her mouth and quietly murmurs something that sounds suspiciously like ‘so precious’, before turning to face him again “Thank you” She smiles at him, and it’s weirdly adorable… Ugh, stop thinking about it, focus.

 

“No problem” He returns the smile, before heading towards the next person – Uraraka (she’s not really that close, but better to be safe than sorry and all that) “Hey, Uraraka, you got a minute?”

 

“Oh, Midoriya! Sure, what’s up?” The girl asks, smiling at him.

 

“Uhm, I wanted to give these to all of our classmates… those are good luck charms” He passes her one of them “So, uhm, here”

 

“Thanks, it’s so cute!” The girl exclaims, and a floating uniform(?) – Hagakure? – rushes to them.

 

“Oh my god, that’s so cool, what are those?!” Hagakure asks, her sleeve vaguely gesturing towards the charms.

 

“A-ah, they’re good luck charms” He repeats “Here, take one”

 

“Thanks!” The girl says, gesticulating about as wildly as Iida sometimes does. That… gets quite a lot of attention.

 

Some of the more sociable classmates – namely Kirishima, Ashido, Aoyama, a slightly sheepish Kaminari, and, surprisingly, Asui - gather around him. He gives them the charms – and kind of reconciles with Kaminari, when the boy apologizes. From then, it goes rather smoothly. Ojiro looks a bit surprised when he’s also given one, but he accepts. So does Sero – who actually apologizes to him just like Kaminari, which is nice, even if he’d prefer if they apologized to Shinsou instead.

 

As expected, the only person who refused the charm in the end was Bakugou. He’ll have to find a way to slip the charm into the boy’s clothing or something… Well, now there is only one person without a charm – Shinsou. This… shouldn’t be too hard, even if yesterday was a bit tense.

 

Taking in a deep breath, he approaches his friend’s desk, and abruptly stops when he realises that he’ll have to wake him up somehow… preferably without destroying the boy’s mood too much. Considering the boy is sleeping through their class being extremely loud, trying to wake him up with sound is out… Being loud enough to wake Shinsou up would bring too much attention towards them.

 

Sighing slightly, he delicately pokes the boy’s arm… and nothing happens. He tries to apply a bit more force, and then a more when it doesn’t work. Shinsou only grumbles, and swats at his hand, without actually waking up. Okay… that obviously doesn’t work. He frowns a bit when Yami suggests shaking the boy, but he does it anyways.

 

“Ungh…” Shinsou groans, sluggishly opening his eyes “…What” The boy bites out, before apparently noticing who he’s talking to, because a second later he just flinches, straightens in his chair and stammers something unintelligible out. Okay… weird. But not exactly bad, he hopes…?

 

“Uhm, hi” He smiles at his friend, and Shinsou averts his eyes “I, uh, know that it’s a bit awkward because of yesterday… but… Uhm, here, those are for you” He passes the two ‘lucky’ charms to the boy, one for kitsune-related protection, the other for nekomatas. The two cat yokai meow in appreciation “I’m… sorry, but I still can’t tell you about what you wanted to know. Can we… still be friends despite that?”

 

“Ah, sure… I’m the one who is sorry” Shinsou says, his cheeks burning in slight embarrassment “I shouldn’t have been so pushy about all this. Uhm, here” The boy reaches into his backpack, and hands him two origami flowers on little sticks that act as stems “…Sorry if it’s a bit weird, but I’ve heard that flowers make great apology gifts, and uhm… I didn’t really know how to keep actual flowers from wilting before I can give them…and it turned out like this”

 

“Oh my god, this is so… so hilarious yet cute” The fox yokai huffs “Keep that human, Izuku, he’s too adorable to pass up on” He somehow manages not to choke on thin air at Kamikou’s comments.

 

“Thanks” He can’t help but smile, cradling the flower closely “They’re beautiful”

 

“…Those are cool too” The boy says, dangling the two charms from his hand.

 

“I’m glad you like them”

~🌸~

Hitoshi is so glad that Izuku also brought flower-themed gift. He felt kind of silly making origami flowers for someone else, but at the very least it wasn’t overly awkward. And hey, it seems for once the internet was right – apology flowers are apparently a thing.

 

The lesson starts right after that, and he only half listens as Aizawa-sensei goes through normal homeroom stuff – looking somewhat more alert than usual(?). He feels kind of bad for ignoring their teacher, but Izuku put the origami flowers into his scarf, and it’s weirdly distracting. REALLY distracting. Especially with the way the boy keeps reaching up to the flowers and gently trailing his finger along the paper petals.

 

Unfairly ador- distracting… unfairly distracting.

~🌸~

The dreaded foundational heroics finally arrive… and just as he’d feared, they’re still going to be doing rescue training at USJ. Even though the number of teacher that are supposed to be present increased from three to five, it still makes him feel unease.

 

When they get to the changing rooms, he quickly changes into his gear, takes the extra knives, pens etc. with him (ignoring the weird looks his classmates shoot him), and packs the Amending Tool (which is a relatively large piece of fabric-like material with intricate glyphs sewn into it [even though Yami claims that the tool itself is the glyphs and that they could be placed on anything]), before heading out.

 

He’s done everything he could to prepare… The rest is up to him, his classmates, and the teachers… He really hopes they all manage to get out of it alive.

Chapter Text

 

Just before they board the bus, he takes advantage of the distraction Iida provides, and slides up to where Inasa is standing (and apparently talking with Kirishima about manliness [?]). He quickly shoots an apologetic smile to the redhead, before speaking up.

 

“Uhm, can I borrow Inasa for a moment?” He tilts his head, playing with his scarf all the while “I mean, it’s not really that important, so if, uhm, if you are h-having a conversation about something important… Uhm, then I-I’ll back down, I guess…?”

 

“Wow there, breathe dude, it’s okay” Kirishima smiles at him, looking vaguely concerned “We can always talk later, right Inasa?”

 

“Yeah! It’s fine” Inasa beams at them both “You’ll have to tell me more about that Red Riot later! He sounds really passionate”

 

“He is, isn’t he? So manly!” Kirishima spouts the stuff about manliness again… just what is this conversation…? “Anyways, I’ll be with Ashido if you need me”

 

“Okay!” Inasa beams enthusiastically, before turning to Izuku and giving him a questioning look.

 

“…” Okay, how to say it… “Uhm, so, anyways… Inasa, I need your help”

 

“With what?” The boy asks, frowning.

 

“Well… this will sound weird, but… uhm, if something looks… dangerous, could you please stop Kirishima and Bakugou from jumping in?” He requests, and Inasa’s frown deepens “I mean, I trust in their judgement-“ He doesn’t “-but I don’t want them to get hurt because they’re rushing ahead. And I’m not exactly… strong enough to hold them back if it’s needed”

 

“I can do that, but… we’re doing rescue training. What would be dangerous there?” His friend seems entirely confused.

 

“It’s partially because we’ll be doing rescue training that I’m asking that of you” He lies, keeping a straight face “I mean, we’re at U.A. I’m pretty sure some of the rescue zones will be dangerous. Like with landslides and stuff… So, like, just keep an eye out, okay?”

 

“Alright” The boy says, but even he gives Izuku a slightly suspicious look.

 

“Congratulations. Number of people who think you’re suspicious as fuck just increased by one” Yami comments dryly “Couldn’t you… you know, give a better reason or something? Or just not ask that at all. Having at least one friend not doubting you would be appreciated…” Obviously, he chooses to ignore his spirit, especially since people would notice if he answered.

 

“Ah, we should probably get going. It looks like Iida is almost done organizing everything” He says, looking at where the aforementioned boy is giving out instructions “He’ll probably yell at us if we’re too slow…”

 

“He’s just passionate!” Inasa claims, his previous frown now gone.

 

“Yeah, I can see that…” He murmurs.

 

“Well, let’s just hope he trusts you enough to actually step in if things go south” Yami says, as they head for the bus “Actually, why would you even ask him to do that? I guess it makes sense for Bakugou, but Kirishima? He didn’t strike me as the type to just recklessly jump in”

 

“Do your eyes work, feathered cat? He does look like the excitable kind, and they’re quite known for having little to no self-preservation skills” Kamikou huffs, earning a glare from Kirishima’s spirit.

 

“Ah, it’s just that… He was one of the people who stepped in earlier… I wouldn’t put it past him to jump into danger to protect others” He whispers quietly, boarding the bus.

 

“’Stepped in’ my ass. He only did that after Shinsou dragged you out” Yami snarks “And, of course, after Todoroki stood up to Bakugou”

 

“Well, then it may have been unnecessary, but you know, better than not keeping an eye on anybody” Kamikou shrugs, answering in his place.

 

Izuku stops for a moment, trying to choose his seat. Shinsou, Shouto, and (kinda unexpectedly [mostly because he’s usually sociable]) Inasa are sitting together in the back. Though, they’re not really talking… He could sit with them, but… he could also try to use this bus ride as an opportunity to slip the charm to Bakugou.

 

He’d really rather not, but the villain attack will probably be pretty… dangerous. He just can’t afford to leave anyone without protection. So, reluctantly, he takes the open sit behind the boy. Coincidentally, the seat next to his is also open, so… never mind, Tokoyami just up and sat down there.

 

“So it ended up being this kind of bus anyway!!!” Iida shouts, crestfallen, when they’re all seated.

 

“Hey Midoriya, I always say what’s on my mind…” Tsu-chan suddenly says, bringing him out of his thoughts (that centred on ‘how to make it so Bakugou has the charm’).

 

“W-what i-is it?” He manages to stutter out. Ugh, he honestly could do without the stuttering, but he just can’t seem to get rid of it.

 

“Your quirk seems really weird, ribbit” The croaks, tilting her head.

 

“There is so much weird stuff about him, and you still choose this of all things…”  Kaminari grumbles.

 

“Kaminari, that was a bit rude, bro” Kirishima says, frowning.

 

“Ah, sorry, I didn’t mean it in a bad sense!” The boy waves his hands around frantically, looking appropriately apologetic “I was just surprised since I thought she’d talk about other stuff!”

 

“…What’s so weird about my quirk?” He questions, choosing to ignore the boys “As far as I know, it shouldn’t be anything too out of the ordinary? I mean, it’s not really anything interesting compared to Tokoyami’s Dark Shadow, you know?”

 

“You’re shifting attention way too obviously… They’ll catch on something is fishy if you aren’t careful” Kamikou warns.

 

“When has that ever stopped him before…” Yami mutters.

 

“Right… but it’s still really weird, ribbit” The girl taps get cheek thoughtfully “From what I’ve seen, you can only activate it by touching those weird symbols… And it may just be my assumption, but the effect should vanish when you stop touching them, right?”

 

“Uhm… what about it?” He asks, also tilting his head, while Yami seems to have an ‘oh shit’ moment for some reason.

 

“It doesn’t add up with what you did at the entrance exam, ribbit” Tsu-chan sends him a curious glance as he stiffens “People who were in the same area as you said that you made some weapons float and attack robots… but then, you couldn’t have been touching the symbols at the time, right? If that’s so, then how were they powered?”

 

“Oh! You’re right!” Uraraka chimes in, looking thoughtful “Huh, that’s weird”

 

“A-ah… I think you may have kind of misunderstood” He tries to improvise… Think, how could he explain this “I mean, I need to touch the glyph to activate it but… Once I do, some of them can work on their own for some time. It all depends on the type of glyph” He lies.

 

“Is that so…” Tsu-chan frowns for a moment, before getting back to that weird, unreadable expression of hers “Well, if you say that’s how it works…”

 

“Speaking of Midoriya’s quirk, it seems so versatile!” Kirishima chimes in “I mean, he already showed off so many different effects, it makes me kind of jealous”

 

“I-I don’t think you should be that jealous” He says “I mean, your hardening is really awesome! It has a lot of applications, especially in rescue… Not to mention, I have to make my glyphs before battle, since they require a bit of effort to make them work. You on the other hand, can just use your quirk on the spot…”

 

“Huh, I guess. It’s still not really flashy though” Kirishima only mumbles the last part, but the conversation still goes onto the topic of flashiest quirks in class.

 

Appreciating the distraction, he puts some glue on the remaining charm, and subtly attaches it to the metal piece of equipment around Bakugou’s neck. He knows no one is watching – otherwise, one of the spirits (or Kamikou) would alert him – so he doesn’t really feel nervous about doing it… not as much as he would otherwise, at least.

 

 

With that done, he gets comfortable in his seat – still ignoring the class’ conversation – and starts drawing glyphs on loose pieces of paper. He’s already made quite a few at home, but it’s better to be safe than sorry… and he really needs the distraction. Mostly because the closer they get to the USJ, the harder it is to remain calm.

 

Logically, he knows he did all he could without revealing too much, but still… What if someone dies? What if he isn’t good enough? Fast enough?

 

“Izuku, calm down” Yami says, jumping onto his knees “People will notice your fidgeting if you don’t…” He elects to give his spirit the best ‘you don’t say’ glare he can muster “Look… it’ll be fine. We’re prepared, and if something goes horribly wrong, Kamikou can at the very least  keep everyone alive… So, don’t worry so much. We’ll be fine”

 

He takes in a deep breath, and tries to calm down the best he can. Yami is right, it should all be fine… At the precise moment, Safali barrels into the bus, looking really distraught. She looks around for just a moment, before spotting him and running over.

 

“What’s wrong-“ Yami tries to ask, getting cut off at the end.

 

“We have a problem. A really big problem” She says, tails swishing wildly “My charge was just informed about the heroes’ preparations… The villains are changing their plans-”

 

“Will we be able to stand against them?” Yami asks simply.

 

“I… I don’t know” Safali sounds like she’s about to cry “Al- My charge’s benefactor granted him another Nomu for this attack. It’s not quite as dangerous as the first one but… It’s still really strong”

 

“So, we’re fucked” His guardian spirit says in that resigned voice of his, that somehow sounds both flat and holds some indescribable emotion “I knew it… I knew I should have just knocked Izuku out somehow or asked Kamikou to do it…” If it wasn’t for the fact there are people around them, he’d retort “Fuck, Izuku, whatever it takes, you can’t go there”

 

“…” He’s very close to just saying ‘fuck it’ and whispering to Yami, but instead he just glares at the spirit, hoping it accurately conveys ‘If you think I’ll leave my friends, then you’re really wrong’.

 

“…I’m serious. We don’t really stand a chance if there is two of them” His guardian whispers softly “Kamikou can’t really guard against physical attacks all that well, and the Amending Tool works one quirk at a time. Before you manage to get to one of these monsters, another would have lots of chances to kill you. It’s too dangerous”

 

“…” But where exactly does that leave them? The only chance to prevent the USJ trip would be now, before they get there… But how to do that? He has to act quick, though… it may blow his cover a bit if he says anything.

 

“Little one, why are you hesitating?” Tokoyami’s spirit asks, tilting their head “If you go to your teacher right now, you might yet stand a chance at escaping the villains unharmed”

 

If Aizawa actually listens. And given that we’ve already warned the school and they’re still going through with it… I doubt it” Yami huffs “It’d be best to just run away… make up some excuse, maybe drag your friends away with you. Just please, Izuku, do what it takes to stay alive”

 

What it takes to stay alive, huh… But… he can’t abandon the rest of his class. On the other hand, Yami is right: Aizawa-sensei will most likely not listen to him. So, either he’d have to stay here and find a way to combat the Nomus… or make it so that the class can’t get into the USJ. How can he achieve either though?

 

“We’re almost there. Settle down already” Aizawa-sensei’s voice reaches him, and his pulse spikes, because he’s rapidly running out of time.

 

Okay… He probably won’t be able to do anything himself – at least openly, or else he might be expelled (though he’s willing to risk it if everything else doesn’t work). That leaves doing something discreet – but what? – getting help from one of his friends – Shouto would be the best bet, secret keeping wise – or trying to get help from either spirits or yokai…wait, that’s it.

 

If he remembers correctly, both nekomatas and kitsunes should be able to summon fire. A fire should be enough grounds for evacuation… Now, he only needs to find a way to talk with Kamikou without anyone overhearing… The bus comes to an abrupt halt, bringing him out of his thoughts. The class begins moving, leaving the bus.

 

Seeing that Aizawa-sensei is still there, probably to make sure no one is left behind, he follows his classmates without a word. Once he’s there, he notices Present Mic and Snipe waiting for their class. Alright, that’s… not good, to be honest. Given the nature of their attacks, Kurogiri might be able to redirect them against the heroes… And he really doubts Nomu could be taken down by them. Midnight or Cementoss would be much better for this.

 

He waits till everyone starts walking towards the USJ, and then subtly motions Kamikou to come over, as he bends down to ‘tie a shoelace’. No one seems to notice… Oh wait, where is Aizawa-sensei?

 

“Hurry up” A gruff voice resounds from behind him, and yep, that’s definitely Aizawa-sensei.

 

“Just a second” He says awkwardly, making his shoelaces come undone and tying them again, slowly, while whispering his plan to Kamikou.

 

“I know tying shoelaces doesn’t take this long. I don’t know what you’re stalling for, but stop now, Problem Child” His teacher says with a huff.

 

“I’m not stalling!” He protests, standing up “Uhm, it’s done”

 

“Great, now we just have to catch up to the rest” His teacher starts walking, while keeping an eye on him, probably to make sure he’s following. So he does just that.

~🌸~

Something is wrong with Midoriya. Aizawa swears he’s not just imagining it, no matter what Mic says. It’s especially evident today. The boy has been… weird even before the first lesson. And his –frankly worrying – skittishness only got worse from there. It’s almost like the boy knows about the attack they’ve been warned about.

 

But how?

 

The obvious answer to that should be: because he’s a traitor. The only thing that bothers him is that it’d be too obvious. Would a real traitor behave so suspiciously? Would they really let their guard down in their enemies’ territory? The boy certainly doesn’t strike him as someone that stupid… most of the time, so what’s the deal with that?

 

Or maybe, Midoriya is merely collaborating with the real traitor. It’d be a perfect plan – the boy acting suspiciously to get all the attention away from the real traitor, while probably having both an alibi, and a way to get through lie-detectors. He doesn’t want to suspect any of his students, but… That option seems very likely.

 

For now though, he doesn’t have any actual proof – just his suspicions, and Tsukauchi’s ongoing investigation (which so far didn’t yield many results, from what the detective told him). And so, all he can do is keep an eye on Midoriya (and probably his friends). He’ll report his suspicion to Nedzu later – if nothing else, that rat knows how to go about things like that.

 

“Huh? Where is All Might?” Mic asks when they arrive at USJ’s gates, and Thirteen comes out to greet them.

 

“Nedzu just called me. It seems like All Might… Uhm… Ran into some trouble earlier this morning, and is now resting in the nap room” Thirteen says.

 

“He what” Aizawa knows it’s not his colleague’s fault, but he can’t keep the rage from his voice. That imbecile-! All Might has known fully well about the possible attack, and he still used up all his time “I swear to god, when I see him, I will punch him” To be honest, he has half a mind to just take his class back to school, and call the trip off.

 

“Ekhm, anyways, let’s hurry up inside!” Thirteen says, as they herd the students towards the building.

 

…Which promptly bursts into flames right before they manage to enter.

 

Honestly, fuck this day.

~🌸~

Okay, this is… working (questionably?). The teachers told them to wait while they try to put out the fires… Which they can’t possibly put out that quickly considering that both Kamikou and Kuro (one of Shinsou’s nekomatas) are consistently spreading the fire around.

 

“Midoriya, a word” Aizawa-sensei takes him to a side, and glares at him “Okay, Problem Child, what did you do?

 

“H-huh? Uhm, I-I didn’t do anything” He says, like a liar he is “I think? Uhm, I really have no idea what you mean…?”

 

“Don’t play dumb. I know you have something to do with that fire” His teacher gives him a disapproving gaze “You’re not that good at keeping secrets Problem Child….…”

 

“…” He doesn’t say anything, instead just tilting his head.

 

“Look, I’m not mad. Just… put out that fire, and I’ll let this slide, but only this time” Eraserhead continues speaking once it’s clear Izuku won’t respond to the accusations “I know you’re worried, Problem Child, but there are four heroes here, including me. We can take care of anything that happens… even a villain attack”

 

“…” Well, fuck, he’s been found out. Yami help…?

 

“Just don’t say anything incriminating” His guardian spirit says “But you should probably suggest leaving…”

 

“Uhm, I’m sorry, but I don’t think I have anything to do with the fire…?” He lies again, fidgeting nervously “I… honestly don’t know why you’d even suggest something like that… But, uhm, it doesn’t seem like it’s going to be resolved anytime soon… will we actually be able to have our rescue training today? It seems like we might have to put it off…”

 

“So that’s what you really want” The man sighs. Well, okay, he might have worded it differently… But still, what’s with that conclusion?! “Listen, I didn’t want to do that, but you leave me no other choice” His teacher’s eyes light up suddenly.

 

Oh, Eraserhead is trying to erase his quirk… That… he’s not really sure how he feels about that. Mostly, he just feels bad, because he can tell that it isn’t working – he can still see spirits, and he doesn’t feel particularly weird, like most people with perception quirks would when said quirks are erased.

 

Still, why isn’t it working? Wait, actually, he can feel the faint warmth coming from his talismans – the same sense of warmth that comes when they guard him against unwelcome ghosts. Which means that the talisman is most likely the thing responsible for blocking Aizawa-sensei’s quirk… He’ll have to ask Yami about that later. For now though, he should really focus on the present.

 

“…Can I go back to my friends now?” He asks once Aizawa-sensei stops using his quirk.

 

“Yes” The teacher replies, seeming slightly confused that the fire is still as strong as ever, even though the man ‘erased’ Izuku’s quirk (not that actually erasing his quirk would help in any way).

 

Not wasting even a moment, he goes back to his classmates, already debating his next move. Obviously, Aizawa-sensei won’t let them go back to school. But being here instead of the inside of USJ is only slightly better safety-wise. It might give them some more room to manoeuvre, and possibly escape the villains, but with two Nomus on the villains’ side, he can’t be sure they have a chance at actually getting away unscathed.

 

(Absorbed in his thoughts, he completely misses how Bakugou tries to approach him with a murderous glint in his eyes, and only backs off when both Kirishima and Shouto move in between them protectively)

 

According to Safali, the villains should appear in the middle of USJ. Before they catch onto the fact that everyone is outside, and before they actually move over here, a few precious seconds should pass – in that time, it should be possible for someone to escape and get help. But who is fast enough? Inasa? – No, the boy is needed here, he’s one of the only people who should be able to at the very least slow the Nomus down.

 

Yaoyorozu? – Could possibly create a vehicle of some kind and escape, possibly with another person. But… He’d have to actually warn her before the villains appear so that she has time to make the vehicle… And since they’re not that close, there’s no way she wouldn’t tell the police he knew about the attack…

 

Iida? – The boy sure is fast, there’s no question about that… But would he actually listen? He seems like the type to stick around even if he’s told to escape… Especially if the order comes from a student, and not an authority figure. There is one way to bypass this, though…

 

“Hey, Shinsou?” He turns to the boy, visibly startling him… He can still back out now. It would probably be wise, since Shinsou does ask questions unlike Shouto, but… “I need a favour”

 

“What’s up?” The boy asks awkwardly, making eye-contact before abruptly looking away.

 

“Well, uhm, I need you to-“ He doesn’t get to finish, as a yell interrupts him.

 

“The villains are here!” Kamikou screams from where the flames are still raging.

 

“…Izuku?” Shinsou sounds concerned… Oh, right, from his perspective it would look like Izuku just clammed up in the middle of a sentence.

 

“There seems to be someone there…?” Thirteen says, before a warp gate opens up between their group and where the bus is.

 

“Jeez, that sure was inconvenient” Safali’s charge – Shigaraki or something…? – says, coming out of the portal “First the schedule change, now this, what is this, a hard mode?”

 

“Shinsou…” He whispers softly, leaning in so the boy can hear him “Make Iida go back and alert the school, use your quirk if you have to”

 

“Huddle together and don’t move!” Aizawa-sensei shouts out, stepping in between the class and the villains, as more and more people pour out of the portal “Snipe, cover me. Mic, Thirteen, protect the students!” And with that, the man lunges forwards.

 

“T-those are…” Shinsou looks horrified, and it doesn’t seem like he’ll get over the shock soon… Well, so much for using him to make Iida run.

 

“Mic-sensei! We should alert the school!” He shouts. Who knows, maybe they can’t block communication here since they’re not in the dome…

 

“I’m trying, just a moment!” His teacher shouts back, herding all the students so that they stay in one place.

 

“Eraserhead, Thirteen, Present Mic, and Snipe…” Kurogiri says, teleporting away from the main fight, closer to their group “Mr. All Might was supposed to be here as well and yet…”

 

Snipe turns around and shoots, but Kurogiri simply warps the bullets away, making it so that they hit present Mic instead. Izuku watches in horror as the man collapses. O-okay, fuck, they’re so fucked right now. Kurogiri can’t warp them away but he sure can warp other things…

 

“Mic!” Thirteen yells.

 

“We went through all this trouble…” Shigaraki says really loudly, his words clearly cutting through the noise “And yet All Might isn’t even here. I wonder if he’ll show up if we kill the kids” …He feels like crying. This is about as scary as some of the poltergeists. Why couldn’t they just call the trip off…

 

“Izuku, focus!” Yami yells, and he snaps out of it.

 

Okay, time to assess the situation… Aizawa-sensei is fighting off the normal thugs, Snipe is trying to tend to Mic, while also keeping an eye on Kurogiri, and Thirteen stands between the shadow villain and all of 1-A. Shigaraki is simply observing for now, and so is Kurogiri… Nomus aren’t doing anything. His classmates also seem unsure of how to react.

 

Okay, first things first.

 

“Yaoyorozu! Could you make some bandages and other stuff to help Present Mic?” He asks the girl, taking out a healing glyph he prepared earlier with Yami’s help.

 

“On it!” The girl answers, as they crouch near their teacher.

 

“Snipe-sensei, please help with the villains” He says, and the man looks uncertain for a moment, before complying.

 

Okay… This looks bad, the bullets hit the man’s arms, and one seems to be in his side. Present Mic looks like he’s about to pass out too…

 

“How foolish, to attack in the same manner again” Kurogiri says, and he sees at the corner of his eye as bullets get warped, and then reappear near Aizawa-sensei, narrowly missing the man.

 

“Fuck… Thirteen!” Snipe-sensei calls out, and No.13 activates their quirk.

 

Izuku looks away, focusing on helping Present Mic. He ignores the gasps behind him, ( it’s probably just people reacting to the fights). With Yaoyorozu, they manage to bandage their teacher’s wounds so that they aren’t really bleeding that much anymore. Unfortunately, they can’t exactly take out the bullets stuck in the wounds, so he can’t use his healing glyphs.

 

“Well, that was troublesome” At Kurogiri’s voice he finally turns to face the villain. His eyes widen at the collapsed Thirteen and Snipe, both seemingly unconscious “But where are my manners? Greetings, we are the League of Villains. Our goal is killing All Might”

 

“Izuku!” Kamikou gets his attention “Just for the record, I can more or less conduit my power through ice if someone who wears my mark is touching it! Make your friend freeze the shadowy bitch”

 

“Shouto, freeze him!” He yells at his friend, gesturing wildly. (Out of the corner of his eye, he can see Inasa holding Kirishima and Bakugou back from attacking Kurogiri).

 

“…” For his part, Shouto looks conflicted, before a look of resignation sparks in his eyes, and he complies.

 

“I’m afraid that won’t work” The mist man says, directing his quirk towards the creeping frost.

 

Izuku quickly moves towards Thirteen and Snipe, keeping an eye out on the mist villain. He sees as the ice collides with mist, but instead of getting swallowed like the bullets, it seems to actually repel it. Kurogiri’s yellow eyes become impossibly large as ice engulfs him, Stunned silence fills the air, as Izuku slaps the healing glyphs onto Snipe-sensei, pouring his energy into them.

 

“…What the fuck” That’s definitely Bakugou…

 

“H-how…?” The villain asks, the man’s teeth chattering in the cold “I-I can’t… t-telep-port away…”

 

“Don’t take your foot off the ice” He instructs his friend, continuing to tend to his teacher.

 

“Ah! We shouldn’t just sit around!” Uraraka suddenly yells “Now’s our chance to either escape or help Aizawa-sensei”

 

“Engaging in a fight would be irresponsible!” Iida screams back, apparently appalled by the idea “We’ve just started our education at U.A. If our teachers – save for Eraserhead – were incapacitated so easily, we simply don’t stand a chance!”

 

“Aizawa-sensei is outnumbered, kero” Tsu-chan pipes in “I don’t think he’ll be able to hold out much longer”

 

Crap, why is the healing taking so long? Snipe-sensei would at least take them away from the fight… Or at least Izuku thinks so.

 

“Iida is right” Yaoyorozu says, already moving to tend to Thirteen “We can’t engage the villains. Especially not when we have injured on our hands!”

 

“Well then, what the fuck do you think we should do, elite-girl?” Bakugou asks, angry as always, but with unusual urgency “We’ve already taken down the warp-gate fucker, taking on a few thugs shouldn’t be that dangerous”

 

“We don’t know their quirks, you idiot” Shinsou snarls, seeming to finally break out of his stupor “Iida, you’re the fastest, you should go alert the school. We don’t know if Mic got through to them” He echoes the task Izuku earlier gave him.

 

“But… I cannot possibly leave you all here!” The boy protests, before he goes blank as Shinsou’s quirk takes hold.

 

“Go to the Headmaster’s Office and tell him about the attack” The boy commands.

 

“What the-?! You can’t just do something like that!” Kaminari yells “Don’t just brainwash someone to do something in a situation like this! How can we feel safe talking with you if you pull shit like that?!”

 

Izuku tunes the ensuing argument out, filing it under ‘take care of it later’. For now, he’s mostly concerned about the fact that Kurogiri is so quiet… and that Shigaraki doesn’t seem particularly put out. Well, the later can just be because the man is crazy – that, and the fact that Eraserhead doesn’t seem to be doing so well anymore.

 

Finally, finally, Snipe-sensei groans, trying to get up. The wound is half-healed at best, but it already exhausted way too much of his energy, and had taken too long. If it wasn’t for the fact his supply of Jubokko leaves is very limited at the moment, he would’ve used it just then. Since Yaoyorozu is already patching Thirteen up, he’s not going to heal them right now. Helping Eraserhead takes priority. Now, who could do something…

 

“Inasa, could you help Eraserhead-sensei from a distance?” He asks, and the boy nods instantly, moving to do just that. The fact that Inasa doesn’t even say anything is almost surreal, but he should have expected it given how grave the situation is… “Uraraka, Shoji, please get Mic-sensei out of here”

 

“On it” The girl says as they move to follow his commands, the rest of the class turning to listen to him.

 

“Kids, you need to all get out of here… hurry” Snipe-sensei says, finally getting up fully “I’ll take you back to school…”

 

“Nomu” Comes a voice that makes Izuku’s blood turn to ice “Get him”

 

And then Aizawa-sensei is slammed into the ground.

Chapter Text

 

It takes every bit of his self-control not to scream. Izuku stands there, frozen, watching blood pool under his teacher’s head, fat drops of red liquid rolling down the man’s face. And yet, that’s not what really makes him freeze. No, he’s seen worse than that, he’s lived through memories worse than that. What really freaks him out is the Nomu.

 

He didn’t notice it before, since he was only glancing at the monster up until now, instead of truly looking at it, but… This thing… It isn’t even fully alive… No, that’s wrong… it should be alive, it moves, and breathes, and generally does all that a living organism would but… Its ghost, if it can even be called that anymore, is visible.

 

And it’s a poltergeist, something Izuku didn’t think was possible for a living being.

 

No, maybe this whole thing is impossible. And the other Nomu is almost exactly the same.

 

Ghostly, mangled, torn up limbs, heads, and torsos sprout from the physical body of the monsters, covered in red-black eyes, exposed bones showing in places. Half-melted mouths placed seemingly at random are twisted and frozen mid-shout, sharp teeth dripping with red fluids. It… they… they look like they’re in terrible pain.

 

But that’s not even the worst.

 

He can see the links of guardian spirits’ blessings attached to various parts of the poltergeists, jerking the mangled ghosts from side to side, coming way too close to tearing them apart. That’s… that’s just wrong. How could it happen…? Those are blessings, they are meant to protect humans… how can they bring so much pain and suffering to their bearer? Why does it seem like they’re ripping those souls into pieces…

 

“Oi, pull yourself together!” Yami yells, flying right into his field of vision “Bakugou blasted into the main conflict! He may be an ass, but he’ll get himself killed if you don’t do anything!”

 

Bakugou…? He quickly shakes his head, trying to get his clear headedness back – and ignoring the bile rising in his throat. He quickly surveys the situation. As Yami said, Bakugou is in the middle of the fray, Shigaraki eyeing the boy curiously – which is bad – and Snipe is busy keeping the other students back from jumping in.

 

Yaoyorozu – bless her ability to think rationally – is carrying Mic and Thirteen towards the school, with the help of Tsu-chan, Jiro, Koda, and Ojiro. Good, it’ll both keep the injured away from the fights, and get at least some of the students away.

 

Okay, who should he get to help, and who should he convince to retreat… Inasa is still helping knock down the small-time thugs from a distance, so it’s best he stays here, Shouto is keeping Kurogiri in place, so he won’t be available for a while… Other than them, it seems like everyone else is free (even if some of them are frozen stiff with fear, or trying to recklessly follow Bakugou).

 

 

Okay, think, what’s the priority right now…

 

“DIE!!” Bakugou shouts in the distance, and Izuku notes with alarm that the boy is getting close to Shigaraki. Oh no…

 

“How annoying… Nomu” The man motions for the second abomination – Don’t think about it, don’t think about it, focus on the fight – to attack, and Bakugou barely manages to dodge out of the way.

 

The second attack comes, and the boy isn’t so lucky anymore. It takes only a second for Bakugou to be sent flying by the monstrosity’s punch. Izuku’s eyes snap to where the boy lands, and he hisses when Bakugou stands up, with one hand completely purple and dangling at an awkward angle – definitely broken.

 

“F-FUCKING DIE!!” The boy screeches, blasting himself – and ouch, that looks painful – back towards the villain, even as fear flashes through his eyes.

 

“Tch. What an annoying kid” Instead of commanding the Nomu, the man lunges at Bakugou.

 

“Shinsou! Could you try to get that villain under your control?!” He asks, observing the scene.

 

Bakugou dodges the first few strikes.

 

“Even if I try, he won’t hear me if I don’t get closer” His friend answers, looking exceptionally pale.

 

An explosion unbalances Shigaraki, but the villain just backs off for a moment before continuing his assault. This time, Bakugou’s dodging gets even more desperate.

 

“Absolutely not!” Snipe-sensei snaps “It’s already bad enough one of your classmates is down there! I’m not letting you get any closer! In fact, you should all head for the school, dammit!” A bit surreal to hear their teacher curse – wait, focus, that’s not what’s important here.

 

“But sensei! I can’t just leave Bakugou to fight by himself!” Kirisihma cries out, still trying to get past their teacher.

 

Bakugou slips up. World seems to almost go in slow motion as one of those deadly hands land directly on the boy’s face… But nothing happens. Shigaraki jumps back.

 

“Nomu, hold this fucking persistent NPC down” And in just a moment, Bakugou is forced to the ground, though the boy is still exploding “How cool Eraserhead… Erasing my quirk, even when you’re that hurt. Nomu, bash his head in”

 

“NO!!” Several students yell, but it’s no use. Eraserhead falls unconscious (because he has to be, he can’t possibly be dead…).

 

“Inasa, see if you can use your wind to prevent that guy from giving any more commands” Izuku says, taking out the Amending Tool and a knife. All he needs is a drop of Nomu’s blood…

 

“…” Inasa grits his teeth, directing the gale at the villain. Drops of sweat are rolling down the boy’s forehead – it doesn’t seem like he’ll last much longer.

 

“Shinsou…” He whispers, getting the boy’s attention “I leave the rest of our class to you… Don’t let them run in. It’d be best if you could make everyone except for Shouto and Inasa retreat, but… Do what you can”

 

“I know” The boy responds sharply, giving him one suspicious, warning glare – probably sensing he’s about to do something very stupid – before running up to where Kirishima and Snipe are still arguing (honestly, probably the only reason the teacher didn’t just drag the boy away by force is that Izuku barely healed him enough to walk, much less do anything more).

 

He takes in a deep breath, preparing to run, but then suddenly – Shigaraki is pointing a hand towards where Inasa is standing. And in that moment Izuku realises that those things work on non-verbal commands too, and their class is screwed. Less than a second later, Nomu is where his friend once was, and the boy is rolling across the ground, crying out in pain.

 

Izuku takes this chance to pounce on the beast, slashing its back – ignoring the ghostly limbs trying to latch onto him. At the first hint of blood, he presses the Amending Tool into the gash, before the monster manages to slap him away. It hurts, but he’s done what he had to – the blood on the cloth lights up to a brilliant blue, and falls into dust, as one of the blessings detaches itself from the ghostly amalgamation and connects to Izuku.

 

He feels it almost immediately – it’s like a strange warmth seeping deep into his bones, healing him. Okay… he’s fairly sure he just got the regeneration ability. That’s actually pretty good… Even if it doesn’t make the Nomu any less of a threat towards his classmates. Yea…he should probably do something about that.

 

“Get up, it’s not the time to space out!” Yami yells.

 

He quickly stands up, looking around. Most of his classmates, alongside Snipe-sensei, are trying to combat the Nomu – with mixed results (the fact that it doesn’t regenerate anymore definitely helps though) – Shouto is keeping an eye out but thankfully doesn’t move away from his spot. Shinsou seems to have gotten Hagakure and Sato to help Inasa get away from the raging monster (the boy himself seems battered – he’s barely conscious from what Izuku can see).

 

“What the fuck is this glitch?!” Shigaraki suddenly yells “Why isn’t the Nomu regenerating anymore?! Nomu number two, get those fucking cheaters!”

 

The monster does just that, which creates two problems. First – now there are two monsters attacking the class, and Snipe-sensei seems to have run out of bullets, so they’re fucked. Second – now Bakugou is free to attack Shigaraki again, and even if he can’t get disintegrated, it’ll definitely end badly.

 

Grimacing slightly, he attacks the first Nomu again, this time managing to back away before it hits him. Kirishima isn’t so lucky – the boy is sent flying, and he would probably be knocked out if it wasn’t for his quirk. Izuku cleans his knife with the Amending Tool, watching as another blessing travels from the Nomu to him. He can’t feel it, and he’s not entirely sure what it does, but it’s still one less quirk to worry about when it comes to this monster…

 

“FUCKING EAT SHIT AND DIE!!!!!” Bakugou yells somewhere in the background, presumably attacking Shigaraki. Uhm… he should probably send someone to help the boy. Just in case.

 

“Jeez, how annoying. You’re quite overpowered for an NPC, aren’t you?” The villain answers.

 

Ashido is suddenly sent flying by one of the monsters, and a second later Snipe-sensei takes a hit from the other one while protecting a student. Izuku lunges for the same monster again, this time simply pushing the Amending Tool into the open wound, without having to slash the Nomu again. It’s really much easier without the regeneration…

 

He sees the next blessing get transferred to him. 3 done, 3 to go… But before he can make any further moves, the Nomu collapses under all the attacks from his classmates and Snipe-sensei. Huh… guess that when one takes away the monster’s regeneration, and presumably the shock absorption quirk, it goes down pretty quickly.

 

Well, time to take care of the other one. But first…

 

“Kirishima, Shoji! Go help Bakugou if you can!” He yells out, preparing to strike at the remaining Nomu.

 

“Are you sure?!” Kirishima questions “He’s holding out better than us here!”

 

Well, it’s not that the boy was wrong. Almost everyone who stayed to fight the Nomu is already bruised and battered, not to mention the few people who fainted after being hit, and Bakugou is still able to dodge, despite having a broken arm… And yet…

 

“Bakugou will run out of stamina soon” He warns, jumping at the monster and slashing its arm “And there’s not much you can do against this monster anyways”

 

“Understood” Is all Shoji says before running off. Kirishima is much more hesitant, but he finally relents.

 

Izuku quickly uses the Amending Tool again, taking another quirk. For a moment everything is fine, but then – his world goes white with pain. It’s searing – burning through his every cell, leaving him to fall to the ground like a stringless puppet. What the hell…?

 

“Oh god, I’m so sorry. This wasn’t supposed to happen” Yami’s distant voice calls out “Hang on, I’ll fix it”

 

A few seconds later, the pain suddenly disappears. He tries to get up, but his legs are too shaky, and he just ends up falling again. Groaning, he lifts his head to at least look around, and is met with the sight of the Nomu’s fist going directly for his face. Time seems to slow down, as he desperately tries to roll out of the way, but it’s like he’s moving through water, he’s too slow, and he’s about to be hit hard. (Distantly, he realises that he has a regeneration quirk now so he should be fine).

 

Suddenly, spikes of ice skewer the monster, and Izuku snaps his head to where Shouto is. His friend had to move to get at the Nomu, which means…

 

Oh. Oh no.

~🌸~

Tomura is getting increasingly annoyed. There are three of those stupid NPCs now, and he can’t even disintegrate them. What the fuck are those cheats?! Not to mention the Nomus – one of them has fallen (those heroes are apparently all fucking cheaters), and the second one is only slightly better. Even Kurogiri can’t do shit! And the worst part is that All Might isn’t even here. The League is losing against literal children and a discount cowboy without bullets.

 

“Why don’t you fucking die already, fucker?!” The exploding NPC shouts again, and Tomura has to jump back to avoid both him and the weird multi-armed kid.

 

The loud NPC doesn’t seem to be deterred, only blasting himself further with his explosions. It doesn’t seem to be that effective with just one hand but still… What amazing pain tolerance… Tomura dodges, and that’s when he sees something interesting. A weird, flower-like wooden thing is stuck to the boy’s costume, even though it clashes horribly with the explosion theme. It’s almost like those items people wear for their stats, even when they look like shit. Really interesting.

 

“Tomura Shigaraki” Kurogiri suddenly materialises right behind him, and in a second, they’re both teleported away from the NPCs. What the fuck? Wasn’t some brat holding Kurogiri down or something “I apologise for my earlier… unsightly capture. However, I believe we should retreat”

 

“Yeah, I can see that” He mutters, watching as the only Nomu left struggles under a barrage of strikes, even as it manages to knock some brats out “But first, there is an interesting theory I’d want to try…”

 

“DIE!!!” The brat is lunging towards them again, ignoring the two allies he’s left behind. Oh, how utterly convenient.

 

Tomura simply dodges again, and when he manages to get behind that stupid fucking NPC, he rips the little flower off. It doesn’t turn to dust. He throws it towards Kurogiri, noticing how the smoke seems to part around it. It lands on the grass somewhere. An interesting piece of equipment, that’s for sure. When the NPC tries to punch him again, he manages to grab the brat’s elbow. The skin under his hand disintegrates. With a pained shout, the NPC breaks free and backs off.

 

“Ah, I see. So that’s what it was. A cheat item” He says, feeling a smile stretching his face almost painfully.

 

“Bakugou!” One of the other NPCs shouts, finally catching up, and stepping in between the brat and Tomura.

 

“I’m fine, shitty hair” The annoying NPC growls.

 

“Kurogiri, we’re leaving” He decides. It would do them no good to stay any longer, since he already has all the information he needed “Remember to take the Nomu”

 

“As you wish” The man replies, and he’s teleported away, chased by the sound of that NPCs indignant yelling.

 

Soon after, Kurogiri returns to the bar with the battered Nomu. Only one Nomu. Tomura clicks his tongue in annoyance, fully resigned. Still, they gained some really valuable info so it should be okay… And since All Might wasn’t there anyways, it’s not like they missed much by leaving. Now all that’s left is to give his report to Sensei, and ask for advice. If all goes well, he might just find himself with a new, interesting minion…

~🌸~

When villains suddenly leave, some of his classmates let their guard down, and Hitoshi can’t help but be annoyed by it. Sure, it doesn’t seem like the villains will come back, but not paying attention could get them all killed on the off chance that they would. After a few minutes pass, and someone manages to get Bakugou, Shoji, and Kirishima to come back to them, Hitoshi finally lets himself relax, just a bit.

 

He doesn’t completely let his guard down though, still on the lookout for any abnormalities. He surveys the area, noting the state his classmates – and teachers – are in. Snipe-sensei looks like he might keel over any second now, Aizawa-sensei (who was brought closer to their group by Uraraka, who clearly doesn’t know enough about first aid to not move the injured unless necessary) is still unconscious – or worse.

 

As for his classmates, they’re in various state of battered and broken. The only one who was lucky enough to get away without any injuries at all is Shouto, who is now sitting beside Izuku. And speaking of the annoyingly green mystery that is his friend… Well, Izuku doesn’t look too good. Since he suddenly collapsed in the middle of the battle, he hasn’t been able to stand up at all, and has been actually looking paler by the minute.

 

Other than that, there are just a few people with notable injuries – excluding Present Mic and Thirteen, who were dragged away at some point. There is Bakugou, whose arms are both injured terribly – and it must suck, considering that the guy relies on them so heavily, Aoyama with a broken leg, Ashido who seems to have gotten concussed at some point, Kaminari – though it’s hard to say if he’s hit his head or if it’s just from overusing his quirk again, Kirishima who is extremely bruised, and seems to have at least one broken rib from how he’s standing. And then there’s… Inasa, who hasn’t been able to properly stand up on his own since that monster punched him away.

 

“Hey, Izuku? Uhm… Izuku? Please say something… You’re freaking me out a bit here… I-Izuku…?” Shouto’s voice makes him snap his attention to his friends – and yup, Izuku is definitely not alright “Hey!! Please, for the love of god, say something…!”

 

“I don’t think he’s fully with us, Shouto” He says, crouching down next to the boy in question “His eyes are unfocused… And he’s pale as fuck… Well, what do we do?”

 

“No idea” Shouto answers, panic evident in his face, despite the deadpan tone.

 

“Well then… Think it might be quirk shock or something? Wait, maybe it’s that weird cloth-thing…” He reaches for said item. Carefully, he removes it from Izuku’s slack hand.

 

 

“…I don’t think it helped…?” Shouto frowns.

 

“Well, no shit” He quickly checks to see if Izuku is still breathing. To his immense relief, he is “Well, uhm, aside from Yaoyorozu, is there anyone here who might know what to do?”

 

“I don’t know, why don’t you go around and ask or something?” Hitoshi is about to argue that he should be the one to stay with Izuku while Shouto asks around, but the heroes choose this particular moment to arrive.

 

To their relief, Recovery Girl is with them. They leave Izuku in her care. 

~🌸~

Izuku is not having a great time, at all. Everything is swaying, even when he’s not moving at all. And there are weird colours everywhere. It feels eerily like that one time he was put on way too many painkillers because a nurse messed up with the dosage. But unlike back then, he can still feel pain, so it’s somehow even worse.

 

…Still, not being able to even move a finger no matter how much he tries is just the worst. But hey, at least he’s alive. And, surprisingly, he can hear just fine. Well, at least when it comes to spirits and yokai.

 

“Yami, for the love of everything that’s good, do something” Kamikou says, worry clear in her voice.

 

“I’m trying here. Do you think it’s easy?” His guardian spirit snaps “Your power interfered with the quirk transfer, and now all of those blessings are tangled as hell. Not much will help here until I can untie this”

 

“Can’t you ask Aisha for help? Or, I don’t know, actually call your master or something?!” Kitsune’s voice raises once again. It sends a painful jolt through his head. Fun.

 

Wait, ‘master’?

 

“I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but for the past, I don’t know, HUNDRED years my master has been quite busy” Yami responds “And I have literally no idea where Aisha went. She was supposed to be with her charge”

 

“Are you sure there’s no way to help him sooner? He doesn’t look so good” Kamikou asks again, clearly nervous “I don’t know, I could bring Jubokko leaves, or unicorn blood, or fairy dust or something?”

 

“…I don’t want to know how you got those last two, but anyways, he’s fine. Or he will be, at least” Yami answers with a sigh “That’s just what happens when a blessing gets messed up and interferes with the host’s own magic. I’ve dealt with this before, I know what I’m doing”

 

“Wait, what do you mean you’ve dealt with this before?! When?” The kitsune sounds flabbergasted, and honestly, Izuku could get behind that question.

 

“My last charge had… a rather unfortunate encounter with a unicorn that’d had its horn cut off” Yami responds, as if that didn’t only create more questions “…And some pissed off fairies… And a lake’s guardian spirit that I’m not exactly on friendly terms with… My last charge was a rather unlucky person”

 

“…What the fuck” Honestly, same, Kamikou, same.

 

“Uhm, hey you guys…” A third voice chimes in, and he recognises it as one of Shinsou’s nekomatas “If you don’t need me, I think I’ll be going back to Hitoshi”

 

“Sure, go ahead” Yami dismisses the yokai distractedly.

 

“…” It’s silent for a while.

 

“Ah, here it is” His guardian spirit finally exclaims “Alright. I don’t know if you’re still able to listen or not, Izuku, but if you are, brace yourself. This will hurt”

 

And far too soon, Izuku finds that Yami really wasn’t lying. It hurts, seemingly burning his out from inside, just to freeze him to his core, which then gives way to a sharp pain, like a cutting knife. It hurts like hell, and he finally, mercifully, loses consciousness.

~🌸~

“That surely is… intriguing” Sensei says, and Tomura can’t hide his excitement.

 

“I know, right?! Those cheat items completely blocked our quirks. If we could just replicate them, the heroes would be done for!” He’s grinning so hard his face hurts a bit. Especially his lips. Smiling while having chapped lips is not really great “After all, even All Might is just a nobody if you take away his quirk”

 

“Yes, that is true… But there is something I’d like you to clarify for me… That boy you’ve talked about. You said he put a cloth with weird symbols on the Nomu, and shortly after, it stopped regenerating?” Sensei questions, curiosity lacing his voice “And no one else seems to have done anything out of the ordinary to the Nomu at the time?”

 

“Yes!! I’m telling you, he must be the one who can make those cheat items!” He confirms gleefully “That little flower I told you about also had some weird symbol on it. I’m pretty sure he has to prepare those in advance, so if we ambushed him, we might be able to kidnap him and make him work for us”

 

“But that’s the thing, isn’t it? If they have to be prepared in advance… Why would he have them at the USJ?” Sensei hums, sounding expectant. Tomura frowns, not really knowing what direction it is going in.

 

“Wouldn’t it be quite normal for him to have them? These brats were all in hero costumes, so it wouldn’t be weird for him to be prepared…  would it?” He brings his hand up to scratch at his neck.

 

“Well, just having them on him isn’t the problem” Sensei concedes “The real issue is that he seems to have given them to his classmates… Isn’t that strange? Surely, it could help them in whatever exercise the teachers would have them do, but… it seems like the kind of thing one would do after the exercises were explained. And considering they never even managed to set foot in the USJ itself, that seems… unlikely”

 

“…You’re saying he knew we’d attack” Tomura continues to scratch at his neck “But we already knew heroes were somehow alerted. They could have told him, or at least asked him to do it without explaining anything”

 

“Unlikely” Sensei dismisses the idea “According to our spy, the Headmaster received the news about our plan sometime yesterday after school. The teacher conference was held this morning. It doesn’t seem like Nedzu held any teacher back, so he couldn’t instruct them to tell the boy to prepare… And the rat himself would have no opportunity to confront him directly without anyone seeing”

 

“Huh… That does raise some suspicions. But, Sensei, couldn’t the headmaster just text them the plan or something?” He stops scratching his neck, instead opting to walk nervously in circles “I’m sure they have lots of electronic communicators and shit like that”

 

“That is, of course, one possibility… But then, why’d he do it in such a roundabout way?” Another damn question. Like he couldn’t just be given answers already.

 

“Uhm… Maybe he suspects there is a traitor?” He guesses and Sensei inclines his head slightly in a nod “Which means… either the kid learnt about our plan on his own, somehow, or they know about our spy… Both of those are just no good…”

 

“It would appear so… But no matter. Knowing Nedzu, he’d figure out we have an insider after the attack anyways. And there could always be a leak of information among the thugs, so the boy learning about it isn’t that much of a bad news…” Sensei hums “Even if it does say something about the boy’s character, if he did indeed learn it from minor villains…”

 

“Then why’d you ask about it?” He frowns. Sensei never asks these kinds of things without a reason.

 

“…Because I don’t want you to be caught off guard a second time” Sensei claims, and why can’t the man give an answer that makes total sense for once “I suspect this boy had more than a little to do with today’s failure. If you go after him, do make sure you’re prepared for anything and everything”

 

“…” He doesn’t understand…

 

Why does Sensei think some hero brat could cause them so much trouble? The kid may be a fucking cheater, but he should also be one of those characters you recruit from your enemies. Or just one of the NPCs one raids for loot. In other words, the brat should be someone convenient for their cause, so why does it seem like it’ll turn out to be… annoying.

~🌸~

When Izuku wakes up, he finds himself in the school’s infirmary. He thinks it’s kind of weird they didn’t just send him to a hospital, but oh well. Recovery Girl probably knows what she’s doing anyways. He looks around, and finds that while Kamikou is gone, Yami is still by his side.

 

“Okay… what the fuck, Yami?” He asks, after looking around to confirm the nurse isn’t here.

 

“…!” The spirit starts, looking at him “Oh, you’re finally awake”

 

“I’ll repeat myself: what the fuck. What even happened?” He repeats, and then when Yami opens his beak, cuts the spirit off “I mean, I’ve heard what you said about the blessings getting tangled or whatever, but like, is there a chance of it happening again? Is everything alright now? What happened after I got knocked out? Is everyone aside from me okay?”

 

“Slow down! Slow down…” Yami huffs “Yeah, everything is good now. I even already passed one of the blessings to Kamikou while you were still out of it, so you won’t have to go through that while being conscious. Oh, and by the way, no one died, your classmates and teachers will all fully recover from what I’ve heard. Now stop looking at me like that, and start planning on what to say to the police”

 

“Oh shit, I forgot they’ll want my statement” He grimaces. He’s way too tired to think of… actually, he’s way too tired to think at all, but when haven’t that been the case “Okay, I’ll have to somehow bullshit my way through this… I’m really hoping Mr. Lie Detector isn’t on the case”

 

“He is. He’s already interrogated some of your classmates” Yami sighs “To be honest, the interrogation is probably the only reason your friends aren’t with you right now, so at least that’s a good thing”

 

“And it’s a good thing, how exactly?” He asks incredulously.

 

“Well, for one thing, they aren’t here demanding answers from you” The spirit huffs “And since they don’t know how you are, they are less likely to sell you out” Wait, what does that mean?

 

“…?” The question marks must be written all over his face, because Yami just sighs. Before he can answer though, Recovery Girl’s spirit comes barging in.

 

“My charge will be here in a moment- oh, you’re awake!” The spirit smiles at him “Don’t strain yourself too much, okay? You still look exhausted”

 

“I’ll try…” He answers blandly.

 

“Oh dear, you’re awake” The heroine says as she walks in “How do you feel? Any lingering pain? Dizziness? Anything unusual?”

 

“Uhm, no, I’m, uh I-I’m fine” He stutters out, though he only manages to give a weak smile.

 

“Are you sure?” She hits him with that flat, no-nonsense stare.

 

“Yep! I think I’ll be fine now, since it was only quirk exhaustion” It wasn’t but he needs an excuse for what happened.

 

“Still, it was one of the weirdest cases of quirk exhaustion I’ve ever seen. We’ll have to do a few tests to make sure it doesn’t happen again. And if you feel something is wrong, even if it seems insignificant, you will see a doctor, understand?” The nurse gives him a menacing look, and all he can do is nod “Good. Now… unfortunately, your mother wasn’t able to get here yet. Are you okay with talking to the detective without her being present?”

 

“Ah, y-yes…” Well, it’s not like it’d change much anyways. Aside from emotional support, but he has Yami for that.

 

“I’ll bring him here, then. But if you feel unwell during any part of the interrogation, I will kick him out, so don’t worry and just tell me if something is wrong” She declares, leaving.

 

...

 

“Yami, please kill me. I have literally no excuse for what happened with the Nomus” He groans, and Yami pats his hand with one of his paws.

 

“Well, that’s bad, but you honestly should have thought about it before you decided to stay and fight the villains” The spirit huffs “And I don’t think I can help you there. I can’t think of anything believable either”

 

“Well then… I’m screwed” He sighs.

 

He already knew he’d have to bullshit his way out of this, but there is literally no plausible explanation for what he’s done. Or at least he can’t say something that’d be coherent, true, and also not get contradicted by his classmates’ testimonies. Fan-fucking-tastic.

Chapter Text

 

Naomasa tries to relax, putting on a neutral smile and trying to erase any lingering suspicion from his face. He’s about to enter the infirmary and begin the questioning of Izuku Midoriya – yes, that Izuku fucking Midoriya – so he can’t afford to show what he thinks. If he does, it could put the boy on alert, and then there’d be less of a chance he’ll slip.

 

And by god, at this point Naomasa prays for Midoriya to slip.

 

He’s been on that boy’s case for a long time, and he always returns with more questions than answers. He’s honestly sick of that. Not to mention, apparently the boy can do something with quirks. It’s either erasing them temporarily, permanently, or, god forbid, taking them away. He really hopes it’s not option number three. They don’t need a second coming of All for One.

 

Recovery Girl clears her throat, and gives him a pointed look when he glances at her. Right, he’s been zoning out instead of going in, huh. He takes in a deep, calming breath, before going in. The elderly nurse follows after him, plopping down in her usual chair once they’re inside.

 

“H-hello” Midoriya greets. His eyes look… like he’s panicking. That’s somehow both surprising and predictable. Even to him that doesn’t make much sense, but really, what does when it comes to this boy.

 

“Good evening” He returns with a neutral smile. It usually helps get people to relax. Seemingly not in this case “As you probably know, I’m here to get your account of what happened at the USJ” And now the bit he usually wouldn’t throw in, but feels like he should now “Please be aware that I’ve already questioned your classmates, so if there are any inconsistencies, I’ll ask additional questions”

 

“R-right” The boy stutters.

 

“Okay, start at the beginning, if you would” He requests “If I remember correctly, when your class arrived at the USJ, a fire started, right?”

 

“Y-yes. Uhm, the teachers were trying to put it out, but they didn’t manage to do it before the villains arrived…” Truth. And of course the boy omits one of the important parts.

 

“From your classmates’ testimonies, your homeroom teacher, Shota Aizawa, pulled you to the side and used his quirk on you while the other teachers were putting out the fire. Could you tell me more about this?” He observes the teen carefully, gauging his reaction. Though he doesn’t manage to detect anything other than mild surprise “What did you two talk about? Why did he feel the need to erase your quirk?”

 

“A-ah, he thought I was the one who set the fire, so he asked me to put it out” Truth. Interesting. But also, really weird… “He only accepted that I wasn’t the one to do it when he used his quirk on me” Truth. ‘He ‘accepted that’’. Not ‘I wasn’t the one to do it’. A very specific wording…

 

“So, you had nothing to do with the fire, correct?” He asks just in case.

 

“I didn’t set that fire” Truth. That should be enough… but why not just say ‘yes’? No, he’s probably reading too much into this…

 

“Alright, continue” He finally says, giving  the boy a calming smile.

 

“R-right. Uhm, so, after the villains appeared, Aizawa-sensei rushed into the biggest group to keep them away from our class. One of the villains tried to prevent us from escaping. Shouto managed to detain him in the end, but… That villain hurt the rest of the teachers” Truth. Midoriya actually grimaces at that “Out of all of them, only Snipe-sensei was able to stay conscious” Truth.

 

“I was under the impression you healed him?” At least that’s what other people said.

 

“A-ah, yes. I was able to learn a healing glyph recently, so I used it” Truth. There’s nothing suspicious about the boy’s expression, for once… Still, the quirk itself still kind of bugs him.

 

“There is actually something I wanted to ask you about that…” Okay, he has to choose his words carefully “I’ve read about your quirk in the files… It may just be a misunderstanding on my part, but from what you told me the first time we’ve met, your quirk also allows you to see other people’s quirks, right?”

 

“Y-yeah, that’s part of it” Truth “What about it?”

 

“I was just making sure, since it’s not stated in the files” He hums, looking at his notes “You should update your papers. It may not seem like something important, but it’s better to be safe than sorry in case anything happens”

 

“R-right… Anyways, uhm, we were fighting the villains… Ka- Bakugou rushed in after Aizawa-sensei. The villain with a lot of hands set those two m-monsters on us” Truth. The boy shifts nervously. Naomasa doesn’t blame him. They’ve arrived at the truly important part.

 

“So, from what I could gather from other testimonies, you’ve done something to the ‘Nomu’, didn’t you?“ He notes the almost-flinch the boy does “Could you tell me about what that was?”

 

“Well, that’s… uhm… how should I put it…” The boy fumbles, before some sort of determination settles in his eyes “I… Made them unable to use their quirks” Truth.

 

“I see” Good, it doesn’t seem like the boy has All for One’s power, at least “Could you elaborate on how you managed to do-“ Naomasa is interrupted by the door opening.

 

He glances up, freezing at the sight before him. Three people enter the room. A man and two woman, one of whom is at the front, clearly leading. All are in police uniforms. The leading woman has very sharp, characteristically pink eyes, and silvery-white hair.

 

“Officer Sasahara” He greets her with a curt nod “I apologize, but I’m in the middle of a questioning. It should only take a bit more time, so if you require my help with anything, I’d like to ask you to wait outside”

 

“I also apologize, but that’s not why we’re here” Truth. Those pink eyes seem to look into his very soul “We’ve received the permission from the higher-ups to take care of this particular interrogation… So I’ll have to ask you to leave” Truth.

 

“Excuse me for doubting you, but I’d like to see the orders on paper” He narrows his eyes at her. Why would the interrogation rights be transferred? And only for this particular student at that…

 

“Here you are” She passes them with a smile. And sure enough, the signature of the Commissioner General is right there. How in the hell she managed to get it in such a short time is anyone’s guess “Now, if you’d please leave. Miss nurse, I’m afraid I’ll also have to ask the same of you. This questioning may touch on classified information…” Truth.

 

“I don’t think I can do that in good conscience” Truth. Recovery Girl says “I only allowed Detective Tsukauchi to question my patient on the condition I could stop it at any time if I felt it was detrimental to the boy’s health. I’m afraid the same condition would apply if you wanted to go through with your questioning” Truth.

 

“I’m sorry ma’am, but we can’t afford classified information leaking” Truth. Sasahara says, bowing slightly “I apologize for the inconvenience, but we just can’t take that risk. However, I guarantee we will stop the questioning the moment he starts seeming unwell” Truth.

 

“There’s nothing I can do to change your mind, is there?” The nurse huffs “Alright. But remember, if it turns out you lied about this, I will have your head” Truth. Okay, that's terrifying.

 

“I understand, ma’am” Officer Sasahara bows again “Now, if you could please leave”

~🌸~

Izuku is internally panicking. He barely managed to figure out what to say to Detective Tsukauchi, and now there’s someone else taking over the interrogation. Not to mention, Detective Shinogi is here. And he’s pretty sure that Officer Sasahara is the same Sasahara Detective Shinogi told him about once. Normally, that’d be a good thing, but… this is just too weird.

 

Also, the third person is someone he doesn’t recognise at all. So, that’s not helping either as far as ‘figuring out how to sidestep their questions’ goes.

 

“Watanabe, go stand guard over the doors. Make sure no one is eavesdropping” Officer Sasahara says, and the other woman leaves the room “Shinogi I’m letting you take over here for now”

 

“Jeez, way to put me on the spot” Detective Shinogi scratches his neck “Anyways, kid, there is no need to look so tense. You’re not in trouble or anything”

 

“Right…” Izuku forces himself to relax slightly, or at least look more relaxed. He doesn’t want them to think he has much to hide. Though, that ship probably sailed months ago, when he met Detective Shinogi while ‘turning in’ corpses.

 

“I’m serious here, kid. Just think of it as one of our little ‘interrogations’ we’ve had in the past” The man says, apparently deciding that he still looks too nervous.

 

“I… It’s fine, you can just start asking questions” He answers, though he’d rather just not deal with this at all “The sooner we get this over with, the sooner I’ll be home…”

 

“That’s the spirit” Detective Shinogi nods approvingly “So, I think we should start with clearing some things up. We’ve already met each other quite a while ago, but I’ve never told you about my investigation team, did I?”

 

“No, you haven’t” He tries to keep his face neutral, but he’s pretty sure his tone betrayed his curiosity anyways.

 

“Well, you see, we don’t really deal with ‘normal’ stuff, like the rest of the policemen” Detective Shinogi sends him a sharp smile “Instead we get to investigate more… classified cases. Weird quirks, unsolvable cases involving important people… supernatural happenings”

 

“Oh shit” Yami whisper-shouts at his side and Izuku barely manages not to jump “I never expected that laidback detective to be one of those dudes

 

“…” He decides to keep his mouth shut for now, only frowning slightly.

 

“You know, like ghosts. Like you seeing ghosts” The man says, aand here goes his composure. Freezing up is all Izuku can do not to shout “What’s with that reaction? You thought I wouldn’t catch on? It was quite suspicious, a single kid finding so many dead bodies… and yet nothing linking him to the murders. Of course my team would be called in to investigate. And, of course we’d find out about something like that”

 

“You… you must be joking, right?” He tries to keep his voice even, obviously failing “I mean, my quirk doesn’t exactly fit your theory. Besides, ghosts? That’s outrageous” Oh god, did he just really insult the investigation done by pros? He’s so doomed.

 

“You know, I find it amazing that every time I meet a medium, they try to cover their abilities up with those exact same claims” Detective Shinogi smiles lazily, leaning his elbow on the table “I’ve already told you, though. You’re not in any trouble here, so just relax. It’s not like we’ll do much with this knowledge. Oh, and don’t bother denying it again, we have a medium on our team, and he got a ghost to stalk you some time ago. Apparently, they’ve seen you talking to other ghosts”

 

“…” Well, fuck “So… uhm… what now? If you’re not going to do anything… why even interrogate me…?”

 

“Huh, why not?” The man lifts an eyebrow.

 

“…Stop playing around, Shinogi” Sasahara jabs the detective in the side “It’s not helping”

 

“Fine, fine, jeez” The man sighs “Well, first off, we needed to get rid of Tsukauchi somehow. We couldn’t let him find out too much, now, could we? I swear guys with truth quirks are annoying. We’ve been trying to make him stop looking into you since he started his little investigation. Now that we have the chief of police on our side, that should be easy enough. But, yeah, point is – him interrogating you right now could lead him to discover some things that he shouldn’t”

 

“Alright… I think I get it” He murmurs, still a bit unconvinced “Wait, you said ‘first off’, does that mean there’s more to it?”

 

“I mean, yeah. We also have to confirm some things, specifically your quirk and other skills  you might posses. Now, I know it’s probably an uncomfortable topic, but it’s something we must know about” Yeah, that’s a no “And, well, one last thing is that we have an offer to give you”

 

“An offer?” He questions, tilting his head slightly.

 

“Well, first we will have you answer those questions, then we’ll talk about the offer” The man sighs “Alright, so, could you tell me about your quirk first? Everything, if you can. Oh, and also, just know that lying is no use”

 

“Uhm…” Alright, what now… Think, quickly. Wait, his usual lie should also work here, right? “Well, uhm… My glyphs allow me to do quite a lot of things, so I don’t think I’ll be able to list them all. Mainly because I don’t think even I know everything about their capabilities. The main ones are those that allow me to heal, use different elements – like fire – even if it’s just in small quantities, and, uhm… let ghosts interact with our plane, in a way…”

 

“Interesting” Detective Shinogi narrows his eyes “That’s very useful information. But also, I think you’re omitting something”

 

“Uhm, I don’t know what you’re talking about…?” The man can’t know about his actual quirk, can he?

 

“I’ve heard the last part of Tsukauchi’s interrogation, you know? Making someone unable to use their quirk seems like quite a big deal” Detective Shinogi observes him carefully, and Izuku barely manages not to start shaking.

 

“Uhm, yeah, but it’s… not really all you make it out to be” He fidgets with his sleeve “I mean, it’s quite a new technique, and there are lots of things I had to do for it to work, and I don’t think I could really replicate it again…”

 

“I see… That sounds a bit off, but you’re also not lying…” The man murmurs “So, you don’t think you’ll be able to do it again?”

 

“Yeah…” He stops playing with his sleeve “At least not anytime soon”

 

“Hmm… Alright, could you tell me more about your medium abilities, then?” Detective continues the interrogation “I’d want to hear about it in a bit more detail”

 

“A-ah, well, uhm, basically, I can see ghosts…?” He’s really not sure what the man expects from him “And well, with my quirk I could make them able to touch stuff… And, uhm, well, sometimes I get visions of how they died…? I mean, it doesn’t really happen all that often anymore, so, it’s not like it’s an especially consistent or even a useful ability… It also only shows up when I’m sleeping. And, well, I think that’s all…?”

 

“Okay, thank you for answering truthfully” The man hums “Also, it’s probably more useful than you think. But, I’ll let our medium officer handle that one… Well, anyways, I think that’ll be-“ The detective is cut off with another jab to the side.

 

“The offer, Shinogi” Sasahara says exasperatedly.

 

“Oh, right, that” The man rubs his ribs. That jab must’ve hurt “Well, one of ours is a registered pro hero, so if you’d be willing, we could offer you a place on our team for U.A.’s internships. We feel like your skillset could be useful there, and you could also learn a thing or two with us… And if you choose another hero to intern with, but still want to try working with us, I’m sure we could ask Nedzu to extend your internship time to two weeks instead of one”

 

“You’d do that for me…?” He asks, stunned, before Yami reminds him to show his gratitude properly “A-ah, thank you very much!”

 

“I’ll take that as a yes” The man shoots him a smirk “Well then… we’ll be going for now. See you at the internship”

 

“Shinogi, give him the phone number” Sasahara sighs with annoyance.

 

“Oh, right” The man seems grateful that there was no jab this time “Here” Izuku accepts the card given to him. It has a phone number on it “If you go around finding corpses again, call this number. Someone from our team will take over and inform the regular police without getting you involved. It saves us the hassle of having every first responder redirect your cases to us”

 

“Ah, thank you” He says, as the man gets up and turns to leave “Uhm… Goodbye!”

 

“No problem, see you, kid” Detective shoots him one last smile.

 

“Goodbye” Officer Sasahara also bids him farewell. And with that, he’s left alone in the infirmary.

 

“Oh god, I can’t believe that just happened” He sighs, letting himself relax.

 

“Yeah, me neither” His guardian spirit still seems a bit dumbfounded. Izuku doesn’t blame him “Well, now there is someone who knows about you seeing ghosts, so… you get one more way to excuse your knowledge about villains”

 

“Wait, about that… My ghost-seeing comes from my quirk. But Detective Shinogi said that most mediums use their quirks to prove they couldn’t possibly be mediums. What’s up with that?” He questions, frowning.

 

“Ah… Well, you’re not exactly a medium, since your sight comes directly from my blessing” Yami stops for a moment, seemingly gathering his thoughts “The real mediums… well, their ghost-seeing abilities are completely independent from our blessings, so most of them have some quirk on top of being who they are. It often runs in the family, from what I’ve heard”

 

“Huh, why did you never tell me?! That sounds, like, super important!” He has to try really hard not to be too loud while speaking “I mean, I didn’t even know there were other people who could see ghosts! I knew yokai could, but that’s kinda different…”

 

“I’ve never told you since I’ve also never met an actual medium. All I know about them is what I’ve heard, and I think we both know hearsay isn’t exactly that reliable of a source” Yami huffs.

 

Izuku doesn’t get to say anything back, since Recovery Girl comes back in.

 

~🌸~

 

Izuku’s mom comes soon after the ‘interrogation’, and he manages to get home without any issues. Once there, everything that’s happened finally catches up to him. God… he has extra quirks now, and he hasn’t even met the spirits from whom those blessing come from… And also, Yami owes him an explanation about literally everything that’s been kept from him so far.

 

He tries really hard to focus on those things, and not on what the Nomu was like, and the fact that he’ll have to explain himself to his friends somehow.

 

Those are problems for later. Or maybe never, preferably.

 

Still, Yami said that he’ll explain everything tomorrow, since Izuku ‘should go to sleep now’. And from what his spirit has said, he’ll only be able to meet his new guardian spirits when all the explanations are done with, since that’s what all the spirits apparently agreed on earlier.  The fact that Izuku himself had no say in this kind of sucks, but it’s not like he can do much about it.

 

Begrudgingly, he goes to bed, just lying there while the ghosts play some game again – monopoly, considering the angry shouts. He tries really hard to fall asleep, but despite being exhausted as hell, it doesn’t seem like sleep will come anytime soon. It’s kind of annoying… He wonders if he should consider buying sleeping pills for when something like this happens again in the future.

 

“Noooo!” A ghost wails.

 

“Ha! You’ve stepped on my hotel. Pay up, fucker” One of the other ghosts responds. Maybe Yukiko?

 

“Guys, keep it down. Izuku is trying to sleep” Yukizome-sensei chastises softly.


Yeah, the sleeping pills are probably a good idea… A very good idea. Alongside some earplugs.

 

 

~🌸~

 

Naomasa sighs, basically collapsing into his bed. That was a long day. A very long, very confusing day. He’s spent most of it collecting testimonies of the USJ attack, and most of them make sense. But once again, nothing is quite that simple when Midoriya Izuku is involved, or so it seems. It was going great – like, really great. He was getting something at least. It was almost a normal testimony. And then motherfucking Officer Sasahara barged in.

 

He’s so confused. What would Sasahara’s team want with the boy? It could do with the whole ‘discovering corpses’ thing he’s heard about, but… Why now, right after the USJ? And why stop him from questioning the boy? If they just wanted information, they could have gotten it without throwing him out. No… they wanted to keep some information from him. It was even their official reason – classified information no one could hear about…

 

He knows he should just back off on this one, but he can’t help feeling worried. This weird boy, who happens to know Toshinori’s secret, apparently has something to do with Sasahara’s team. Not to mention all the other oddities he’s discovered through his investigation. There’s just something… not right here. He can’t quite put his finger on it, but he knows it’s going to keep bothering him.

 

And now he’ll never find out what that something is. At least not if he wants to keep to legal means. He knows what it means to be cut off from someone by Sasahara – soon, he’ll get an order to stay as far away as possible from the whole thing, he’s sure of it. But, well… Him staying away from it doesn’t automatically mean others will too, right? It should be fair game if he asks Toshinori to snoop around… Or if he gets Eraserhead to keep an eye on the kid.

 

It feels a bit underhanded, but… He has a feeling it’ll be for the best in the end. And when one’s a detective for as long as Naomasa, they learn to trust their gut feelings. So, that’s exactly what he’s going to do…

 

~🌸~

 

Kamikou returns to her shrine without trouble. Today sure was tiring… And worrying, considering how powerful those villains actually were. It might have not looked like this to the humans, since she blocked those people’s quirks from harming anyone, but… Those were some nasty powers. And really trained ones too. She had to actually strain herself to keep them cancelled. It’s not something that happens that often with quirks.

 

Though, that happening with the disintegration villain could also be due to the fact that he’s had a fox spirit. As much as she hates to admit it, her techniques don’t work all that well on fox-typical magic, mostly since she’s a kitsune herself, and uses exactly the same type of spells. It’s a bit irritating. Especially since when it comes to same-kind magic, it always comes down to sheer power and the purity of energy itself, and spirits are always better at that than yokai.

 

And even more troubling is that since it was a blessing, and not the spirit actually casting spells, that fox spirit didn’t even have any control over the whole thing. To be honest, that may just be the worst thing about granting blessings – as long as they’re in effect, there’s not much one can do to ensure they aren’t used in a way they weren’t intended to. Honestly, since humans started receiving blessings left and right, there’s been so much trouble with them…

 

It’s actually funny, how something called a blessing can screw so much stuff up. But it’s kind of too late to do anything about that. The only thing she can do is hope that humans finally manage to settle down and stop trying to kill everything they can (and yes, she does know it’s just a few bad apples that are like this, but it doesn’t make it any less awful).

 

Sighing, she walks over to the cupboard in her room, fully intending to bring out some alcohol, only to come face to face with… a package? She eyes it with both curiosity and a healthy dose of fear. Her yokai friends – and her master – sometimes send her stuff. Usually it’s just, well, weird. All of them have very particular tastes, after all. But sometimes, it’s something really dangerous. Like that Jubokko tree she’s gotten over a decade ago from Asahi. Or the very questionable effigy of Marzanna from when Aiko visited Europe, which turned out to be cursed with a snow spell and almost made Kamikou freeze to death. Or the basilisk egg… Or vampire watermelon… Well, that last one wasn’t as dangerous as the rest but the point stands.

 

So, Kamikou approaches the package very carefully, even making a fireball behind her just in case. She slowly opens it, fully expecting something to jump out at her. To her relief, the first thing she sees is a letter. She picks it up, glancing at what’s under it… Which turns out to be just crystals. Good. Not much can go wrong with those. She opens the letter, raising an eyebrow at how short it is, and reads it.

 

‘Dear Kami-chan,

Happy Halloween 2019!

I’ve brought you some crystals to decorate with!

Don’t forget the carved pumpkins.

 

~Yu’

 

…What the hell. It’s over two hundred years old. What kind of godforsaken method was this sent with, time warp or something? Oh well, not that it matters. It’s a thought that counts, even if it’s a really, really late present.

Chapter Text

 

The next morning, Izuku sits on his bed after waking up, groggily looking at Yami and… Aisha? Oh, right, his guardian spirit did promise him an explanation, huh. Still, why would he need Aisha to be here for it? Is it somehow connected to All Might? Or is it because of the spirits’ connection from before Izuku received his quirk?

 

“Uhm, good morning?” He gets their attention.

 

“Ah, you’re awake” Yami says, somehow looking tired despite the fact that spirits don’t really need any kind of rest.

 

“Good morning, little one” Aisha greets in an unreadable tone “Is it fine to just get on with it, then?”

 

“Hold on just a second, he barely woke up! At least let him change out of his night clothes” Yami huffs.

 

“Ah, no, it’s fine” Izuku sends them a smile “I’d actually rather start as soon as possible” Well, mostly because he’s kind of afraid Yami might change his mind otherwise “So, could you tell me about the villains? And everything else that’s relevant…”

 

“Well, uhm, what to start with…” Yami trails off.

 

“Don’t tell me you’ve had a whole night, no, all these years to plan this explanation, and you don’t even know where to start?” Aisha sighs, though it’s a bit of a hissing sound.

 

“Oh come on, give me a break. It’s just a really… delicate matter” Yami huffs “Alright, so… You’re aware that blessings – or rather, quirks that result from them can have various, sometimes even weird effects?”

 

“Well, yeah. I mean, there was even that one guy whose quirk gave him grass instead of normal hair” He doesn’t get the point of mentioning it though. Quirks can be weird as hell, so what?

 

“Well… This will probably be a weird concept for you, but while some spirits decide on the power they give in their blessing… Some leave it up to chance. Or use specific criteria” Yami goes on. Okay… that, uhm, that’s weird, but not actually that complicated, he guesses “One of those criteria is how suitable the power would be for the spiritual energy of the human meant to receive it”

 

“Huh? Are there different types of spiritual energy?” He asks, frowning “Or it’s just about how strong it is?”

 

“There are different types but that’s irrelevant for now” Yami sighs “Anyway, if a power isn’t a good match with someone’s spiritual energy, they may end up unable to use their quirk. Or worse, their quirk may damage their health or become uncontrollable”

 

“That’s… horrible” But at least it answers the questions of why some people have problems with their quirks “But, if the spirits know this, why would they give those types of blessings?”

 

“They don’t know, that’s the whole problem” Yami huffs “Most spirits don’t have the option to check if the blessings they can give are compatible with their future charges. That’s also why most people have quirks similar to their parents. Most of the time, spiritual energies of family members are quite similar, so spirits also give similar blessings to them, just to be safe”

 

That’s a lot to take in, but more importantly, why is he only told this now? This type of knowledge doesn’t seem dangerous, and yet… why did Yami keep it from him for so long… Or was it that the spirit just didn’t feel like mentioning it before?

 

“Anyways, because there are exceptions, it can’t be said that this way is foolproof” Yami goes on, something sombre settling over his features for just a second “Aside from checking the compatibility, the only other guaranteed way to ensure the blessing will be a good match is to include suitability criteria as part of the blessing. However, there is one major drawback to that. With blessings like those, the spirit doesn’t actually choose any power to give. It’s instead chosen by the blessing itself, giving the charge a quirk that’s most suitable to their own spiritual energy, regardless of what it may be”

 

“Why would it be a drawback, though?” He frowns again, trying to wrap his head around it all “I mean, they get the best possible blessing, right?”

 

“The ‘regardless of what it may be’ part is the problem” Yami seems to almost scowl while saying it “I made a mistake of disregarding this once. A long time ago, when I’ve given my first blessing. In a way, that mistake was why your class was attacked”

 

“…Huh?” Okay, he’s completely lost now “Wait, how?”

 

“The blessing turned out to be the ability to ‘steal other quirks’, or rather, to change the human recipients of the blessings” The spirit says in a grave voice, and suddenly, Izuku is feeling faint “He turned to villainy, taken the name All for One, and done unspeakable things. He was also the one behind the attack”

 

“…” He’s left speechless. He doesn’t know what he was expecting, but this is… just too much.

 

“The Nomu you fought had multiple quirks because of that man” Yami’s tone is full of scorn. It’s no something he hears often “He’s made countless humans and spirits suffer for his own ambitions. I need you to understand that he’s a dangerous man, and you can’t come after him, not now. You’re still too weak, too inexperienced. Please, promise me you won’t do anything rash“

 

“I know” He bites out, before taking a deep breath “I realise that going after someone who made that monster is basically suicide. But… but still. He’s hurting people, even now. Is there nothing I can do? Maybe tell someone about it?”

 

“I don’t think so” His guardian spirit sighs “The only person who could possibly be strong enough to challenge All for One right now is-“

 

“All Might. But he’s injured” Izuku cuts in, pacing nervously “Fuck”

 

“…And he already knows about All for One anyways, so telling him won’t change anything” Yami sighs again.

 

“Wait… we’re only considering humans, but what about yokai?” He stops pacing, coming to a realization “They’re usually stronger than humans, and they wouldn’t be afraid of having their quirks stolen. Surely, there is at least one yokai who could defeat All for One?”

 

“Well, yes, but… uhm, how to say it…” His spirit trips over his words, unable to form a sentence.

 

“There are, but it’s impossible for them to do anything” Aisha cuts in, finally saying something “To prevent any incidents during the introduction of quirks, yokai representatives and spirits made a pact, so that the first humans to be given quirks wouldn’t be attacked. Unfortunately, since All for One is from the first generation of quirk users, yokai can’t kill him unless he attacks them first”

 

“Can’t they make an exception? I mean, it’s been at least two hundred years since the first generation, right?” He really doesn’t like this whole situation. Especially the implication that Yami has another charge, and he didn’t know anything about it at all.

 

“If it was a normal contract, then maybe. But this one was a magical contract” She explains “To modify it in any way, the people who signed it would have to be present. And the Spirit King can’t afford to be away from our realm right now”

 

“Huh, why?” He asks dumbly, still trying to process everything. Wait, that means spirit world is a monarchy?

 

“He’s a relatively new king, and let’s just say some factions are… dissatisfied” Aisha hisses “Regardless, it could be centuries before he’s free to come, and by that time, All for One will probably be dead anyways”

 

“With that said, since neither spirits nor yokai can do anything, the only ones who can would be humans” Yami says “Which means if we want to have any chance of defeating All for One, our best bet is either you, after you gain enough power, All Might’s successor or the man himself”

 

“Wait, All Might has a successor?! And it’s someone powerful enough to go against All for One?” He starts pacing again “Well, I guess they’d have to be pretty strong to have caught All Might’s eye…”

 

“Ah, no, he doesn’t have a successor yet” Aisha corrects “It’s just that…… All Might’s quirk is something that can be passed on. So while he doesn’t have a student yet, I have no doubt he will have one in the future. Preferably soon”

 

“O-oh, that’s… A lot to take in” Alright, he has to focus. There are a lot of questions he’d want to ask right now, but there is one thing that’s bothering him more than the rest “Wait, but… From what I can put together, All Might already faced All for One… without having a successor at that time. Are you sure he’ll actually pick one?”

 

“I do admit he’s taking rather long to choose” Aisha sighs “But the sole reason he came to U.A. is to find a successor, so at the very least I’m confident he’s taking some steps in the right direction”

 

“I see…” He hums “Maybe I could somehow help with that? Since we’ll need all the help we can get to face All for One, it’d be good if All Might started training his successor as soon as possible”

 

“I don’t think that’d be wise” The snake spirit says “If he somehow discovers you know that secret of his, it could put you in a pretty bad position”

 

“Well then, I’ll just have to do it discreetly” He argues.

 

“Oh god, no” Yami sighs “Izuku, you’re not great at keeping secrets. You’re even worse at it than me, and that’s saying something” Fair point, but still, that hurts.

 

“Okay… then do we just wait for him to make up his mind? Considering the villains already attacked the school, it doesn’t seem like we have much time before things get even worse” He says.

 

“That is indeed true. But that still doesn’t mean we should rush” Aisha hisses softly “After all, even if All for One has to be dealt with, he will fall eventually, even if both you and All Might fail. It’s always been just the matter of when. On the other hand, if we rush to choose a successor, and he turns out to be unsuitable… it’s hard to imagine the damage that could be caused with a quirk like that”

 

“Well, I mean… you’re right, it is an incredibly powerful ability, but would that really be worse than what All for One is doing?” He questions.

 

“From my perspective, it would be. That villain is just one man. No matter how many allies he has, or how many blessings he steals, he has only one life” Aisha answers “On the other hand my blessing can be passed on. Even worse, it gets stronger each time. If its holder turned to villainy, heroes wouldn’t be able to do anything against them. And even if they somehow killed the holder, they’d probably had already passed the quirk on, so it wouldn’t do much good”

 

“Well, I guess…” He supposes it makes sense “So… any other secrets I should know about?”

 

“…Well, there is one other thing. I’ve told you that I was the one to gift All for One with a quirk. And that he’s still alive. Have you wondered why you can’t sense my connection to him, then?” Hmm, well, it’s true that he can’t see any sort of blessing aside from his own emanating from his guardian spirit… “That’s because… there isn’t one. Not anymore”

 

“…Excuse me?” He blinks in confusion. If there is no connection, wouldn’t the quirk be lost…?

 

“There is a bit of a story behind it, but… My master from the Spirit World noticed what happened, and decided to intervene” Yami scowls. Wait, Master? “I was too weak to stop him… He just… He couldn’t annul the blessing altogether, so he changed the spirit giving it – from me to himself. And now he’s bound to that bastard”

 

W-wait, just how…? Spirits can actually change which one of them is giving a blessing? But then… why are there so many of them who despise their charges? Is it just that no one else wanted to take that burden in their stead, or is it about something else? Somehow, it feels like he knows way too little about these things…

 

“O-okay… that’s… okay” He takes in a deep breath “So… Is there anything I can do about it? Aside from killing that man, since I don’t think I’d be able to do that, regardless of who he is…”

 

“I… I’m still figuring it out” Yami admits, suddenly sounding more exhausted than angry “And anyways, that’s something that I’m preparing on my end, so you don’t have to worry about it”

 

“…Please tell me you’re not doing anything stupid” He pleads, knowing fully well that his guardian spirit tends to be about as reckless as him. Well, at least occasionally.

 

“Oh, he definitely is” Aisha butts in, sighing “But he won’t even tell me what it is exactly, and I’ve been asking for over ten years. Just give it up and focus on damage control”

 

“Oi, that’s rude” Yami snaps “And could you not say that’s it’s stupid when you don’t even know what I’m doing in the first place?!”

 

“I may not know what you’re planning, but I know you” The snake spirit deadpans “And that’s enough to conclude this isn’t going to go well”

 

“What the-?! Rude” Yami huffs “But we’re getting off track… now that there’s nothing else to tell you, Izuku, would you like me to call the spirits you got from the Nomu? They’re waiting outside since I’ve asked them to, but I think some of them are getting impatient”

 

“Ah, yeah, please call them” He says.

 

He’s a bit excited, if he’s being honest, and it’s almost enough to wash away the lingering doubts and questions about what he’s learnt from this talk. Almost… but still not quite enough. All the same, he knows that asking Yami would be useless. That goes for Aisha too, since the two spirits seem so close. She’d probably keep quiet about stuff Yami doesn’t want him to know. He may have some luck with Kamikou though… The yokai was clearly asked to keep quiet about some things, but they may be easier to sway, especially if Izuku approaches while Yami is off doing something else.

 

Wait, he should probably take a moment to mentally prepare before meeting his new spirits. It shouldn’t be as nerve-wrecking as meeting other humans but it still makes him a bit – Oh, too late, they’re here already. He blinks owlishly at the three spirits trailing behind Yami. They look… completely normal by spirit standards. He doesn’t know what exactly he’s been expecting, but he thought they’d be at least a bit different, given that they came from that monster.

 

“Ekhm” Yami clears his throat, probably noticing that Izuku spaced out a bit “I’ll introduce them from left to right. This is Kiko” The spirit vaguely resembling a lamb with cat paws bows briefly “Their blessing is regeneration. The one in the middle is Tamara” The yellow penguin spirit waves in a greeting that he reciprocates “Her blessing is energy regeneration. The last one is Nomani” The spirit that looks like a little reindeer tilts it’s head at him “His blessing is shock absorption”

 

“It’s nice to meet you!” Izuku says a bit louder than he wanted. He bows, hoping to hide his awkwardness even a little bit.

 

“Ah, you don’t have to bow…” Tamara flaps her wings around wildly, possibly trying to gesticulate “But, uhm, it’s nice to meet you too. And we’re all really grateful you’ve rescued us from being bound to the Nomu. I don’t think I’d be able to take it for much longer… Ah, I’m sorry, that was a bit…Uhm, I apologise for ruining the mood, especially-“

 

“You’re rambling again” Kiko cuts in, silencing the penguin.

 

“Uhm, I’m… I’m sorry…!” Tamara looks close to tears all of a sudden.

 

“Well, there is nothing to be sorry about, I think” Izuku says awkwardly. Maybe the atmosphere will improve if he distracts them…? “Anyways, now that introductions are out of the way, do you guys want to do anything in particular?”

 

“Not really” Kiko responds flatly “I mean, we can’t interact with the material plain in the first place, so what’s the point of even trying to do anything? The most we can do is watch other creatures”

 

“Kiko, don’t be rude!” Tamara glares lightly at the other spirit.

 

“They have a point though” Nomani tilts their head “Or do you have anything in mind that we actually can do?”

 

“…” Tamara stays silent. Somehow, it feels like the mood is even more awkward than before. Just what did he do to deserve this…

 

“Well, if you don’t need me, I shall be taking my leave” Aisha announces, obviously escaping the uncomfortable situation.

 

“Ah! Actually, there  is something I’d like us to do!” Tamara says quickly, in a nervous tone “Since my last charge died so suddenly, it’d be nice to inform his family about everything. They are still probably looking for him, and since I can’t do it myself, I was hoping… you could maybe lend a hand…?”

 

“You’re talking about your last charge in front of your current one?! How rude can you get?” Kiko gets unusually worked up. Wait, he’s only known them for less than an hour, is there even a ‘usual’? Maybe it’s more that he didn’t expect the spirit to lose their cool this easily…?

 

“Could you please calm down” Yami groans “It’s literally your first day here. This was supposed to be about making first impressions and letting Izuku get to know you. Please at least try to stay calm”

 

“Aren’t you supposed to be his original guardian spirit?! How can you stay so calm?” Kiko sends Yami an absolutely venomous look “This is like talking about your ex in front of your current partner. You should feel at least a bit offended on your charge’s behalf!”

 

“H-huh…?” Izuku can’t help feeling a bit lost. What even is this analogy? Those two aren’t the same at all.

 

“Spirit etiquette” Yami whispers upon catching his confused stare. And that… explains less than he’d like but he’ll take it.

 

“I… I’m… I, uh, sorry…?” Tamara apologizes, and the lamb-cat just nods in satisfaction. Why does this spirit remind him of someone…

 

“Uhm, it’s alright!” He chirps, as enthusiastically as he can “I don’t actually mind helping you with that” He ignores the indignant look Kiko throws him “I have some experience with passing on the news, since I helped quite a few ghosts with that. So just give me a moment to get ready, and we can go”

 

“Thank you…” Tamara says with something that is probably a smile. It’s really hard to tell though.

 

“…I give up” Kiko groans.

 

“Maybe that’s for the best” Yami comments in complete deadpan.

 

Actually having more than one spirit is going to be hard, isn’t it? Somehow, he can already feel a headache coming.

 

~🌸~

Miraculously, he manages to fulfil Tamara’s request without screwing anything up. Even though he feels a bit concerned, since Kiko left in a bad mood, saying that they still have some things to check up on. He feels like that particular spirit doesn’t have too good of an opinion of him. Though, it’s not like he can do anything about it.

 

“So, anything else you want to do?” He asks, and the spirits look at each other, shrugging “Uhm, we can help some ghosts. Or watch a movie? Maybe I could bring you along while I visit my friend, to introduce you to his spirits?”

 

“Izuku, I don’t think you should visit him so soon after what happened” Yami cuts in “He may still be recovering. Mentally, I mean”

 

“Isn’t it all the more reason to go?” He asks, tilting his head “Maybe he could use some company”

 

“…I’m surprised you’re not jumping at the chance to postpone your friends questioning you about the villain attack” Yami huffs. Though, Izuku gets the distinct feeling the spirit wants him to stay away from Shouto for some other reason. He has no idea why though.

 

“I wonder… Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to get it over with” He says to gauge Yami’s reaction. The spirit apparently realises, and levels him with a glare.

 

“Please, just don’t. Trust me on this one” The owl-cat sighs.

 

“Uhm, I don’t know what this is about…” Nomani cuts in “But maybe we should just watch a movie instead…”

 

“Right! How about something from Disney?” Tamara suggests.

 

Reluctantly, Izuku decides to drop the subject altogether.

 

 

They end up watching the Lion King. Yami leaves about half-way through, and Izuku probably shouldn’t feel glad about that, but he does. It’s not that he minds his guardian spirit’s company, it’s just… Yami keeps a lot of secrets, and also makes sure no one spills anything if he can. So, since he left for now, Izuku should be able to get away with seeking for answers.

 

“That was a good movie” Tamara remarks. And yeah… he should probably also do something about these guys. It’d be no good if they told Yami about his plans…

 

“Yep” Izuku smiles brightly, hoping it doesn’t seem fake “It’s a bit old, but I’ve always loved it. So, anything else you want to do today?”

 

“………” There is a moment of awkward silence as the spirits look at each other.

 

“It’s okay if there isn’t anything!” He reassures, his smile just a tad more genuine now “We’ve already done a lot for just one day. And all of us have our own things to do, I guess, so… how about we split up for now, and meet up again tomorrow?”

 

“That sounds good!” Tamara agrees, obviously trying to evade the awkwardness.

 

“Fine by me” Nomani shrugs.

 

“Right, so… I guess I’m going to take a walk” He half-lies (he is going out so it is a walk, okay?!) and quickly leaves.

 

Now, he guesses his best bet would be going to Kamikou. Well, for most answers anyways. The thing with Shouto is bothering him a lot, and he could probably just go there and check it out himself… He doesn’t really want to though. Or more like, he doesn’t want to risk putting Shouto in danger. There is only a small chance of it happening, but it’s there. Yami wouldn’t tell him to stay away without reason after all…

 

Well anyways, to the shrine it is!

 

~🌸~

 

Kamikou is just minding her own business, making tea for herself and her new spirit, when Yami’s charge decides to come. Don’t get her wrong, she had nothing against either of them. It’s just that the child is alone (again) and she can make a wild fucking guess that it’s going to lead to something Yami doesn’t approve of. Which means a headache if he ever finds out…

 

Still, that’s the problem for the future her. And also, she has no intention of keeping anything (or at least things she wasn’t asked to not say) to herself. It’s just not her style, plus she enjoys the chaos it causes. So, she simply invites the human in, and offers him some tea.

 

“Thank you” He says with an awkward smile, accepting the cup.

 

“No problem” While the kid is preoccupied with drinking, she waves at her new spirit to give them some privacy. The spirit leaves “So, what brings you here? Some problems with the Jubokko, or…?”

 

“Ah, no, the tree is fine” He takes a sip, probably to stall just a bit, despite being the one to come to her “It’s just that… after the USJ, I’ve talked with Yami. And… there are a lot of things I don’t really understand, and he didn’t really want to elaborate… Well, that and I feel he doesn’t even know some things. And you might, so…”

 

“I see” As expected “Well, ask away, I guess”

 

“About the pact to not attack the first quirk users… It’s been bugging me, but how come it hasn’t been broken?” Izuku asks, brows furrowing “I mean, even if yokai representatives signed it, since yokai come into existence quite spontaneously at times, wouldn’t it be impossible to keep them all in check?”

 

“Hmm, it sure is impossible. But that’s simply not how the pact works” She sighs “It’s a magical pact that reacts instantly if one sides breaches it. So, to prevent stupid accidents from happening, there is a clause included in it for cases when a yokai attacks the protected humans without the orders from factions that signed the pact”

 

“Huh, there is something like that…?” She can basically see some figurative cogs turning in the boy’s head. She can’t decide if it’s a good or a bad thing though “So then, if for example, a yokai were to attack without orders… what would happen?”

 

“Well, as per the pact, the factions upholding the pact would hunt them down to the best of their abilities” Kamikou is aware she’s grimacing slightly, but she can’t really help it “It’s happened quite a lot at first, actually. Especially with younger folks, and those that weren’t… exactly sentient. Though some of the elder yokai got greedy seeing human power and got themselves killed too. It wasn’t… the best times for our kind”

 

“Oh… I’m sorry” The boy’s face is painted in worry, probably seeing something weird in her own expression. She tries to pull her face into something more neutral.

 

“Don’t be. They knew the risk” She shrugs “But by now I doubt there would be anyone willing to go against the pact. Yokai guarding it are quite ruthless. Especially since there are only a few protected humans left, and a whole bunch of non-protected ones”

 

“I see” Izuku frowns, and Kamikou narrows her eyes. Did he want a yokai to go after one of the protected humans? But who-… oh, Yami’s first charge, All for One. That makes sense “Well, uhm… What exactly do yokai get out of that pact?”

 

“Pardon me?” She blinks in bewilderment.

 

“I mean, the spirit obviously want the pact since they’re the ones providing the quirks” He states “But aside from having a connection with the new Spirit King, I don’t see what yokai would gain from this…”

 

“Well, a lot of things, actually” She hums, somehow shocked that Yami didn’t deign to explain it to his charge “For once, a lot of powerful, old yokai wanted to coexist with the humans and that was the perfect excuse to get rid of the opposition. Not to mention, allowing the quirk to flourish would mean that in some time, we wouldn’t stand out anymore, even those of us without many human features. Everything would just be thought of as spirits’ blessings. It’s a great thing for a lot of yokai, since most don’t actually stand a chance against firearms and humans can be… ruthless towards those different from them”

 

“I see” The boy hums thoughtfully.

 

“There is also the official reason – in exchange for not disturbing the first quirked humans, yokai would gain a piece of land between Human World and Spirit World that was previously the spirits’ property” She explains “Well, I guess for many it would be the main reason for the pact. Especially with those who didn’t want anything to do with humans. That’d be their only way to escape, seeing as humans are present all around the Earth”

 

“Wait, there is something between human and Spirit worlds?” The boy asks. Seriously, is Yami not teaching him anything?

 

“Well, yeah” She shrugs, not letting her surprise – and irritation – into her voice “The In-Between is actually quite great, I’d say. Not so dense in energy that only spirits would be able to exist there, but with just enough of it that most humans wouldn’t be able to even get in there, for now at least”

 

“Thank you for telling me…” The boy says, staring at the tea cup intently “Actually, there is one more thing I’ve been wondering… do you know anything about Yami’s master?”

 

“…” She stops for a moment, considering the question carefully. Yami’s master, huh… Is it who she thinks it is? And if so, why would she come up in the conversation between Yami and his charge?

 

“I mean, I’ve only heard about him today, but… It just bothers me to not know anything” The boy adds, cutting the silence. Wait, ‘he’? Is it a misunderstanding, or are they not thinking of the same person? “I mean, I guess I do know that they come from Spirit World, so they must be a spirit, but not much aside from that…?”

 

“…Ah” A spirit, then. Well, that clears things up “I’m afraid I also don’t know anything” Not about this ‘master’ anyways “Is that all?”

 

“Ah, yeah. Thank you for helping me” The boy gives her a smile, putting the empty teacup down “I’ll be going now”

 

“Alright… Goodbye” She watches him leave, absentmindedly fiddling with her hair. Yami’s other master, huh…

 

~🌸~

 

Okay, Izuku supposes that with this most of his questions have been answered. At the very least those that had anything to do with yokai… And the answers mean that there probably won’t be any of them willing to help take down All for One. He already guessed that before, but it’s good to have a confirmation.

 

At least he won’t waste time actually considering that option.

 

He should have get his priorities in order for now… First off, he has to find a way to get stronger. Preferably fast, especially if the villains don’t give up on attacking his school. Huh, maybe he should have asked Kamikou for training advice… On second thought, it probably wouldn’t help much, considering how different yokai are compared to humans. Maybe he should just ask Aizawa-sensei?

 

Well, when he can, that is… Now that he thinks about it, his teacher will likely try to question him about the attack, won’t he? Oh, his friends will too, probably… He wonders what it’d take to distract them from it. Shouto he could most likely handle, since from the very start their friendship involved dodging questions. So, the boy shouldn’t be too pushy about that.

 

As for the rest of his classmates, and probably his teacher… well, he’s not sure what to do about them. Especially since he asked Inasa to help with Kirishima and Bakugou if things go south… Oh god, he really won’t be able to deny he knew about the attack ahead of time…

 

Dear god, what will he….… Wait, there is an option he likes. Distraction. The Sports Festival should be held soon, if they don’t call it off because of the attack. It’s not a permanent  fix, but given how excitable Inasa is, it should make him forget about the whole thing for a while.

 

And if the class gets swept into preparations and so on, even if they’d want to question him, they’d most likely prioritise training. It’ll require a bit of effort, but if he can avoid being left one on one with anyone, there shouldn’t be many chances for them to do anything…

 

Yep, this will do for now. Or, at least, it’s better than no plan at all.

 

What else is there to do… Oh, he should probably find a chance to talk with that ghost that’s following All Might. It’s nothing really that important, but he’s rather curious about them. While it’s possible they don’t know as much as Aisha when it comes to the hero, at the very least they might have some insight that the spirit simply lacks. A more… human perspective, so to say.

 

At the very least, they might have an inkling about what the man searches for in his future successor. Of course, he’s aware neither Aisha nor Yami would be happy if he decided to interfere, but… he worries about what’d happen if All Might doesn’t choose someone soon.

 

The man is obviously in no shape to stand against a multi-quirked monster (not that Izuku himself has any right to talk considering his current quirk status), and he himself is… way too weak to even seriously consider that right now. Huh, actually, maybe Aizawa-sensei could help, if he got healed.

 

The man might not stand a chance against a Nomu, but if he can cancel quirks, and All for One depends on them to fight… It could just give the heroes the edge they need. To make it happen he’d have to somehow pass on the idea though… and that’d make him seem even more suspicious. Unless…

 

…Detective Shinogi already knows he can see ghosts. It wouldn’t be that weird if he claimed a ghost told him to pass the information on. It’d probably be a while before they met again (probably till after the Sports Festival, on the internship) but it may just be his chance to sway the odds in the heroes' favour.

Chapter Text

 

The day of going back to school finally arrives. Though, Izuku would be lying if he said it didn’t make him nervous. He’s not sure how well his classmates have handled the USJ, or rather all the emotions that surely came after they realized they could have died.  Plus, even he is self-aware enough to know they’d have a lot of questions about his actions. And although using the Sports Festival as a distraction is still his plan, he’s beginning to have more and more doubts about it.

 

Well, whatever. He’ll just wing it like always. And also the spirits would probably help him think of what to say if it comes down to it, so it’s not that bad. He hopes.

 

He’s out of time though – the doors to his classroom are right in front of him. He stops for just a moment, takes a deep breath and plasters a smile onto his face, then enters. Immediately, he feels a disturbing atmosphere. He expected things to be off, but… the air here is just too tense. Everything is quiet, too quiet.

 

The first thing Izuku notices is the large group around Shinsou’s desk. They are all looking at him, seeming rather startled by his entrance. Then, he notices the slap mark on Kaminari’s cheek, and a wet trail of tears on Shinsou’s face. And it suddenly dawns on him – they must’ve been arguing about Shinsou using his quirk on Iida.

 

“Ah, Midoriya!” Inasa acknowledges his presence out loud, finally breaking the tense silence “It’s… good to see you” Ok, that sure as hell didn’t sound as enthusiastic as usual.

 

“We should all go to our seats already!” Iida gesticulates as wildly as usually at least. Though his expression is rather… stiff “The lesson will start soon!”

 

“There is still at least ten minutes left” Shouto says in complete deadpan, even though he has a displeased frown on his face. Izuku notes that the boy is keeping a hand on Shinsou’s shoulder in a comforting manner.

 

“Ehm, that is-!” Apparently Iida didn’t expect his plans to diffuse the situation to be foiled just like that. Izuku slowly starts walking towards the group, prepared to either comfort Shinsou or punch Kaminari, depending on how the situation develops “Still, we should disperse!”

 

“Hey, Denki, you okay, man?” Kirishima asks quietly, looking worriedly at the still shocked boy.

 

“Well, I did just get slapped” Kaminari grumbles, massaging the cheek with the red handprint.

 

Because you deserved it!” Shouto hisses out, looking rather pissed off.

 

“Hey! I know how you feel but resorting to physical violence is just not manly at all!” Kirishima crosses his arms, stepping in front of Kaminari.

 

“Everyone, please disperse!” Iida tries to diffuse the situation once again.

 

Izuku is now right next to the group, so he just crosses the remaining distance, and stands next to Shinsou, just close enough to be sure the boy is aware he’s there to help. Shinsou turns slightly away, probably not wanting Izuku to see him crying. The boy is still eerily silent.

 

“No, Kirishima is right, you went way too far by slapping him, Shinsou” Ashido pipes up, her expression unusually serious “He also shouldn’t have said some of that, but still…”

 

“Some? SOME of that?!” Shouto seems even more furious. The boy takes his hand away from Shinsou’s shoulder, and steps forward, mimicking Kirishima’s position. The air feels chilly, and Izuku can actually see some frost covering the floor on Shouto’s right side “You can’t possibly be serious right now”

 

“Hey, I get that we’re all on edge, but maybe we should all take a deep breath and try to calm down?” Uraraka joins them, taking a place at Iida’s side, clearly rather uncomfortable with the current situation “We shouldn’t turn on each other. In the first place, it’s the villains’ fault we were put in a situation that ended up… like that”

 

“I agree!” Iida backs her up “And now, please return to your seats!”

 

“No… at least not until he apologizes for slapping Kaminari” Ashido stubbornly repeats herself.

 

“I have no intentions of apologizing for that” Shinsou finally says something, and Izuku’s heart hurts at how evident it is the boy was crying, even from just his voice “Not until he takes back what he said…”

 

“You don’t see what you did wrong at all, do you?” Ashido scowls “Using violence just because you don’t like what someone said is not right! And even if you lost control and did it without thinking, at least have the decency to apologize!”

 

“And you should also apologize to Iida, you know? You did use your quirk on him without asking if you could” Kaminari speaks up again “Though you don’t seem to regret that at all…”

 

“How dare this asshole-?!” One of the nekomatas on Shinsou’s shoulders hisses, even though only Izuku can hear it.

 

“W-wh-? There is no need for-!” Iida tries to say something but Izuku cuts him off.

 

“It’s my fault so stop pestering Shinsou about it” He says, even though he hates bringing attention to himself “I was the one who asked him to do it. Sorry Iida… I know it’s just an excuse but there really was no time to waste in that situation”

 

“There is no need to apologize! In the first place, I should’ve realized I was the only one fast enough to alert the school on time” Iida gesticulates wildly again, purposefully chopping the air between the two groups, forcing both Shouto and Kirishima to step back, creating some distance “Truly, it was a mistake on my part! And now, the bell is about to ring, so let’s all go back to our seats! I doubt our teachers would appreciate waiting!”

 

“That’s true! We should show our passion for learning and do our best! That’s what Plus Ultra means!” Inasa chimes in, seemingly regaining his good mood.

 

“Yeah, let’s just go to our seats, guys” Kirishima agrees with an unsure smile, lightly tugging Ashido’s arm as he starts heading towards his desk “Come on, the lesson really is about to start”

 

“I hate leaving things unresolved like that” Ashido murmurs, but also starts backing off.

 

“What a mess” Yaoyorozu sighs quietly.

 

There is a general air of relief as people disperse to their own desks. But of course, it’s very short lived, since Shouto very purposefully shoulder-checks Kaminari on his way to his seat. The mood seems to just drop all the way to the ground at the remaining hostility, especially as Ashido glares at the boy.

 

“Here, take a tissue” Izuku offers to Shinsou as they sit down, and the boy takes it, nodding slightly.

 

“Thanks” Shinsou says, sounding extremely tired.

 

Izuku just turns around to face the front of the classroom, trying to ignore the pangs of guilt. He logically knows he isn’t responsible for what happened, but… He was the one who knew about the attack. If he did more to stop it, maybe they wouldn’t have to go through all that. Maybe Kaminari wouldn’t talk to Shinsou like that. Heck, maybe they’d even be able to reconcile.

 

“Izuku, stop” Yami huffs, jumping onto his desk. Izuku just raises an eyebrow “Don’t give me that. You were blaming yourself for something again”

 

“…” He can’t say anything without people noticing, but he hopes his stare conveys denial.

 

“I’ve known you since you were a little kid” His guardian spirit says in complete deadpan “I may not be the most knowledgeable about humans, but I know you. And I know what face you make when you blame yourself for something… I know it all too well”

 

“…” He averts his eyes, turning to look out the window. In passing, he notices that Bakugou’s seat is empty. Not that surprising, given the boy’s extensive injuries, but it still makes him feel slightly nauseous.

 

“Excuse us, little one” A familiar voice calls, and he turns his head slightly, coming face to face with Sorya.

 

“…?” He tilts his head slightly. What could Shinsou’s spirit want right now? They’re not going to berate him for not stepping in more, are they?

 

“Thank you for caring about our charge” The deer spirit bows slightly, the little light birds chirping along from the antlers “He really needs more people caring about him… However, please be careful. Before coming to class today, our charge seemed like he was deep in thought. He might want to get some answers from you later”

 

“Thanks…” He mouths soundlessly, knowing that even a whisper could be heard in the relative silence of the classroom. Especially with Jiro and Shoji here.

 

“Morning” Aizawa-sensei’s voice suddenly appears, and Izuku turns just in time to see his –heavily bandaged- teacher walk up to his usual place in front of the blackboard.

 

“Aizawa-sensei, you’re already back?!” Several people yell.

 

“Is it alright for you to be here, sensei?” Sero questions “Your injuries are about as bad as Bakugou’s, and he isn’t here today because of them… And the guy seems to be strangely diligent about attendance, so…”

 

“There are a lot of bandages on you, kero” Tsu-chan comments. Well, at least the man doesn’t look like a mummy yet. It’s only part of his head, and arms that are bandaged.

 

“Don’t concern yourselves over me” Aizawa-sensei says in complete deadpan “After all, the battle hasn’t really ended for you yet”

 

“The battle?” Iida asks, visibly tensing. The rest of the class looks on edge too, but Izuku is quite sure this ‘battle’ won’t be anything dangerous. Otherwise, the spirits wouldn’t be so calm.

 

“Are there more villains?” Ojiro questions.

 

“Yuuei’s Sports Festival is approaching!” Aizawa-sensei finally stops messing around.

 

“A sports festival!” A few people repeat, probably a bit shocked sensei would refer to it as a battle.

 

“Wait, hold up!” Kirishima chimes in “That sounds like something villains would try to infiltrate… doesn’t it? Will it be alright?”

 

“On the contrary, going ahead with the festival shows we’re confident in our improved safety measures” Aizawa-sensei answers. Izuku honestly isn’t sure he should be accepting such a half-baked answer “What you should be thinking about it what a huge chance the academy’s Sports Festival presents for you all”

 

And here is the distraction. Maybe he wouldn’t notice it if he wasn’t going to use the same thing to distract his classmates, but right now it just seems like an obvious ploy to him. Their teacher wants them to stop questioning actual safety measures in place. That or the man just tries to divert their attention from the attack. It makes sense considering it could hinder their preparations if they weren’t concentrated, but still…

 

“The country’s top heroes are all sure to be watching us!” Yaoyorozu speaks up, looking way more at ease now than before the lesson started. His classmates… really are distracted easily, huh “It’s because they’ll be scouting for us!”

 

“I’m thinking I might follow the tactic of going sidekick for a pro hero’s squad after graduating” Kaminari says, previous conflict apparently forgotten already.

 

“But there are loads of people who get stuck as sidekicks forever instead of going solo” Jiro comments in a rather neutral tone “And you seem like just that kind of dumbass, Kaminari”

 

“Ouch” The boy exclaims in a faux hurt tone.

 

“Naturally, entering the squad of a famous hero will get you higher status and more experience” Aizawa-sensei continues his speech. But wait, isn’t what he just said a bit… off? Should he really say that only about famous heroes? That’s weird considering Eraserhead himself is an underground hero “Remember, time is limited. You only get three chances. If you aim to be a hero, this is an event you can’t overlook”

 

“…” There is a moment of silence as everyone processes the words.

 

“Well, now onto other matters…” And so the homeroom goes on.

 

~🌸~

 

When lunch break starts, there is a moment of awkward silence as people wait to see if the conflict from this morning is going to start again. Quite obviously, it doesn’t. By this time both Ashido and Shouto have calmed down, and although the air is still rather hostile, to Izuku it doesn’t seem like either group will try to demand an apology again. For now at least…

 

“Ochako-chan, Hagakure-chan, let’s go, kero” Tsu-chan says, being the first to leave her desk.

 

“Yeah, we have to get some energy for training!” Hagakure chirps in a bubbly tone, gesticulating energetically “Come on or someone might take our usual table!”

 

“Girls… let’s crush it. The Sports Festival” Uraraka has quite a scary look on her face.

 

And with that proclamation, it’s like the rest of the tension just leaves. People gather around in groups and start heading for lunch. Though, Izuku’s own friend group is a notable exception. It doesn’t look like Shinsou is thrilled at the idea of going to the cafeteria today, and Shouto doesn’t even get up from his seat at all. Only Inasa looks like he wants to go, but apparently decides to just stay put after glancing at them. Huh, maybe his room-reading skill increased.

 

“Hey, do you guys want me to go get you something from the cafeteria?” Izuku offers, since even though probably none of them want to go there, skipping lunch is not really a great option.

 

“You don’t have to do that” Shinsou sighs, running a hand through his hair “I’ll go there, just… I need a moment more”

 

“Take as much time as you need!” Inasa says loudly “We don’t have any strenuous classes scheduled after lunch today, so even if we end up missing it, it should be fine!”

 

“Actually…” Shouto pipes up, leaning over his desk a bit more “There is a vending machine close by. We can just go get something from there”

 

“Huh, I don’t remember seeing a vending machine anywhere…?” Izuku tilts his head.

 

“You’d have to go up the stairs to get to it. We don’t really have any lessons there, so I guess you just never had the chance to see it” Shouto shrugs.

 

“Uhm… why would you go… you know what, never mind” He sighs. Better not to question anyone or they’ll question him too “So, are we going there?”

 

“Guys, I told you it’s fine” Shinsou gives them an unimpressed stare, and stands up “Let’s just go”

 

“Nah, I think I’ll just go with the vending machine” Izuku says, knowing that his friend just doesn’t want to inconvenience them “The cafeteria is way too loud. My head has been hurting since I woke up, so I wanted to just get something to eat and go back to the classroom, but if there is a vending machine then that’s even better”

 

“I also prefer the vending machine option” Shouto shrugs, keeping an admittedly impressive poker face “I feel that if I were to come anywhere close certain people right now, I’d end up punching them. And Aizawa-sensei would probably not appreciate that”

 

“I can understand Izuku, but what kind of excuse is that?” Shinsou rolls his eyes, but there’s a small smile tugging at his lips “Alright, you win, we’re not going to the cafeteria”

 

“Yeah, let’s go get some snacks instead!” Inasa shouts, returning to his normal, energetic self now that he isn’t at loss about what to do “Maybe there’s going to be onigiri there!”

 

“What kind of vending machine even sells onigiri?” Shouto looks baffled, even though it’s not the strangest thing to find in a vending machine. Or even remotely strange at all, all things considered.

 

~🌸~

 

Eraserhead is just about to leave the staffroom when there is a knock on the door. He internally sighs, knowing that he’ll have to interact with whatever student decided to come, and opens the door. He pauses in surprise when the student turns out to be Iida. Figures his class would cause trouble, but for it to be serious enough to make Iida come to him?

 

“Ah, hello, sir” Iida bows “I’m sorry to disturb you, but there is something… I feel you should know”

 

“What is it?” He keeps his tone neutral, even though he does feel just a bit worried. Not that he’d ever admit it.

 

“Well… ah… It would seem that USJ left some… tension between certain students…” The boy reports, and Aizawa raises an eyebrow at the blatant vagueness “To be exact… Kaminari was mad about how Shinsou used his quirk, and their argument… escalated. Other students seem to have taken sides, and I fear that it might create a divide in our class that could hinder our studies”

 

“I see” He says, feeling really annoyed.

 

He was already going to give them a talk, and that’s not going to change. It’s just that he wants every student in his class to be present for that. Still, he doesn’t know when Bakugou is coming back to school, and he can’t just let it go on until then. He’ll give Kaminari a warning for now, and talk with Shinsou tomorrow to make sure the boy is doing okay, and to ensure that he knows Aizawa is on his side.

 

“I’ll take care of that. You can go back to class for now” He dismisses his student, and starts heading towards the cafeteria since Kaminari is still likely to be there.

 

~🌸~

 

The school day ends without any further incidents. Although things seem a bit awkward between certain people, most of Izuku’s classmates are too distracted by the upcoming Sports Festival to let it sour their moods. Uraraka and Inasa are especially fired up, and their determination seems to be contagious.

 

Izuku is honestly relieved that no one seems to be questioning him about USJ. Now he just has to go home and start making a plan to prepare for the Sports Festival…

 

“Hey, Izuku…” He hears Shinsou’s voice and turns to face the boy. Somehow, he has a bad feeling “I know I said I wouldn’t pry, and I’m not going to, but… Is there any chance you’re ready to tell me anything? I’m… worried”

 

“…Sorry” He mutters. Somehow, he feels immensely guilty “I really… can’t tell you much”

 

But is that really the truth? Shinsou isn’t the type of person to turn his back on him or call him a liar if he told him about his quirk… Still, there is no way he’d believe something crazy like that either. Though… Izuku doesn’t necessarily have to tell him everything, does he? At the very least, he should be able to tell him some things…

 

“Figured as much” Shinsou sighs “Though, you said you can’t tell me much. But does that mean you can’t say anything, or…?”

 

“Actually…” He stops for a moment as words die on his tongue. Come on, that shouldn’t be as hard as it is…! “Uhm, I mean, that is… ugh… W-would you, uh, be free right now?”

 

“Yeah, I’m free” The boy confirms, his eyes widened slightly in surprise.

 

“Would you… uhm, want to, maybe, uh, hang out at my house…?” He finally manages to ask. God, why was it so much easier in his head.

 

“Sure” The boy answers, looking slightly confused. Though there seems to be a slightly pink tint to his cheeks… Huh, is he that warm? It’s sunny right now but Izuku doesn’t really feel like it’s especially hot…

 

“Great! Uhm… yeah, great” Goddamn it words “So, uhm, yeah, great, I, uh, well, I’ll, eh, maybe, uh…”

 

“Izuku, I know I’m breathtaking but breathe for god’s sake” Shinsou teases with a smirk.

 

“I am breathing just fine!” He huffs, finally managing to calm down somehow “So, uh, anyways… I’ll go ask Shouto and Inasa if they want to join us, so…” It’ll be easier to reveal some things to all of them then keep track of who knows what, that’s for sure…

 

“Oh, I see” Shinsou sounds somewhat disappointed. What’s with that…? Did he make some mistake? “I’ll be waiting by the entrance then”

 

“Right…” Okay, that feels kind of awkward all of a sudden.

 

~🌸~

 

Hitoshi looks around curiously as Izuku tries to open the door to his apartment. It all feels so… weirdly normal. The neighbourhood is a relatively nice one. Nothing fancy, but not dangerous or anything. The building itself also feels regular. It’s so weird that someone like Izuku lives in a place like that… Though he’s not sure what kind of place would fit the boy in the first place.

 

“Ah, finally!” Izuku exclaims, and Hitoshi sees the door open “Sorry it took so long, I guess something is wrong with the lock. Come on, let’s go inside”

 

He can feel his heart skip a beat. He’s never been over at anyone’s house before, and this is Izuku’s home. Though he really wishes they were alone. Of course, Shouto and Inasa are also his friends but… Uh, okay, he really doesn’t have an excuse. Mostly since he has no idea why he’s disappointed that they’re here.

 

Honestly, he feels like something is wrong with him lately.

 

He’s the last to come in, and he closes the door before taking in the interior. It looks… nice. Homely and warm. The walls are beige, littered with photos of Izuku and a woman that’s probably his mother. Any furniture in sight looks simple and cosy. Once again, not exactly what he’d expect… It looks like a regular home, and there is not even a hint of mysteriousness or weirdness that Izuku seems to radiate almost constantly. At least at first.

 

When he looks a bit closer, he sees it. A slight indent in the wall. Some scratch marks on the older looking, wooden furniture. Cracked frame of one of the pictures. Darker, brownish spots on the red rug – dried blood that they weren’t able to wash out, perhaps?

 

Somehow, the house seems slightly less homely. He shrugs off the weird feeling though, and follows the others to the living room. There doesn’t seem to be anything amiss here at least. The only out of place things are the colourful dream-catcher-like talismans on some of the walls. But it’s a rather cute out of place kind of thing. Like when people gather knick-knacks that don’t fit well into their style, but choose to display them anyways.

 

“You have a really nice home, Izuku!” Inasa comments, looking around with a goofy smile. The boy points at the talismans “I can just feel the passion that went into making all these!”

 

“Uhm, oh, yeah…” Izuku seems a bit embarrassed at the comment, but chuckles regardless. He has a nice-sounding laughter… Not the time to think about that, stupid brain! “Anyways, could you wait here for a moment? I have to check something before I take you to my room… Ah, unless you want to hang out here, we could watch a movie or something…” Going into Izuku’s room? Oh god, why does Hitoshi feel so nervous just thinking about it, what’s wrong with him.

 

“I’m actually quite curious about what your room looks like” Shouto speaks up “Plus you’ve already been in mine so…”

 

“Wait, really?” Hitoshi asks, for some reason feeling just a bit bad. He can’t quite place the emotion, but it’s not a nice one “I didn’t know you were that close…”

 

“Wait, does that mean you guys hang out outside of school, like, regularly?!” Inasa shouts, looking almost like he’s pouting “You could have told me! We’d all hang out together, go to the arcade and stuff like that!”

 

“Don’t blame me, blame Izuku – he’s the one barging in at random most of the time” Shouto shrugs.

 

“Don’t make it sound so weird!” Izuku squeaks “A-anyways, I’ll be right back!” And so the boy leaves.

 

“I’m kind of surprised your father just let him in” Hitoshi comments in a neutral tone “I mean, no offence, but Endeavor seems… strict”

 

“Well, obviously, my father doesn’t know” Shouto huffs in obvious amusement.

 

“Huh, what do you mean he doesn’t know?” Inasa frowns in confusion.

 

 “I don’t know how Izuku does it, but he always manages to sneak in” Shouto shrugs “I’ve stopped questioning it a while ago…”

 

“…O-oh” Hitoshi chokes a bit, feeling heat rush to his cheeks.

 

Izuku sneaks into Shouto’s house? To his room no less…? Just what kind of relationship do those two…… No, he shouldn’t think about it. It’s their business, and besides, they don’t really act like they’re more than just friends, so there is probably nothing to worry about. Yeah, nothing… Wait, why would he worry about that anyways? He couldn’t possibly be feeling… jealous, could he?

 

No, obviously impossible. Izuku is just his friend and he shouldn’t –can’t be hoping for anything more. It’s just not going to happen, and he can’t ruin this friendship just because he got greedy. In the first place, he might not even be feeling attraction towards the boy. It’s just that Izuku is the first person to treat him so nicely, his first real friend, so obviously it’d feel different than what he feels for most people.

 

“Shinsou, are you okay?” Inasa asks, and he stops zoning out.

 

“Yeah, just peachy” He automatically says with sarcasm.

 

“You know you should go home if you’re not feeling well, right?” Shouto asks, studying Hitoshi’s face intensely enough to make him uncomfortable “I know that Izuku inviting us here is a big deal considering how secretive he is, but… you should take better care of yourself. I’m sure there will be other chances for you to come here, since Izuku apparently decided to open up…”

 

“I’m fine” He rolls his eyes, forcing a smirk onto his face “Just-“ He never gets to finish the excuse as they hear a loud crash.

 

“Wha- Izuku, are you okay?!” Shouto yells as they all tense up in preparation for trouble “Do you need help?”

 

“I’m fine!! Just dropped something!” The boy’s voice reaches them, slightly panicked “J-just stay where you are for now, I’ll be done in a moment!”

 

“…” They all share a worried glance, but stay put nonetheless.

 

“Alright, I’m all done now!” Izuku says cheerfully, entering the living room. And really, it wouldn’t be disturbing if not for the fact that the boy had a new bandage on his hand and blood splattered on his uniform.

 

“Uh, Izuku… What happened…?” Hitoshi asks, eyeing the new injury.

 

“Just cut my hand on something, it’s nothing serious” The boy says, averting his gaze, and yea, Hitoshi doesn’t believe for a second that it’s ‘nothing serious’.

 

“I’m a bit afraid to ask…” Shouto begins slowly “…but what exactly do you keep in your room to end up like that…?”

 

“Uh… well… anyways, let’s go!” Izuku doesn’t even try to answer the question, and if that isn’t ominous, Hitoshi doesn’t know what is “I promise you won’t get hurt or anything! Just ask before you touch anything, okay?”

 

“…” They all exchange worried glances again, before Shouto shrugs and goes on to follow Izuku. Hitoshi and Inasa aren’t far behind.

 

~🌸~

 

~Excerpt #1: Kitsune’s Tails I~

 

It is a widely known fact that kitsune’s power can be measured by the number of their tails. That number ranges between one to nine, former being the weakest level of power and latter the strongest. However, what most don’t realise is that since nine is the highest possible number of tails, the differences in power between nine-tailed kitsunes are rather wide.

 

While it’s possible to measure the power of one to eight-tailed kitsunes simply by their tales, nine-tailed kitsunes have no set threshold of power, and thus should not be engaged carelessly. There have been many recorded instances where an entity capable of defeating two nine-tailed kitsunes at once wasn’t able to defeat another in a one on one fight since the difference in power was too great.

 

It is also worth noting that tails signify simple raw power, and not battle prowess. Even a one or two tailed kitsune can be a considerable threat provided they know powerful spells or other dangerous techniques. Of course, a kitsune that has both the raw power and technique is the most dangerous to encounter.

 

There have been only a few cases where a kitsune was able to achieve such highs. The most well known one is The First Zenko, Inari’s right hand man. Said kitsune is known for, among other things, slaying a fully grown dragon in one hit. Often hailed as the strongest yokai, The First Zenko manages Japan’s affairs in Inari’s absence, often representing the country in foreign courts.

 

However, as stated before, abovementioned kitsune is an outlier, and should not be used as a standard for the power of nine-tailed kitsunes.

 

~Beastiary of Japan, by Sylvia, Fae Scholars Association

 

~Excerpt #2: Kitsune’s Tails II~

 

[...] It should be noted that there are many ways for a kitsune to obtain power, and thus also obtain extra tails. The slowest and simplest way comes from how the magical energy in Japan works. All it takes is for the kitsune to stay in Japan, and they gain power passively. Not many opt to rely only on that way, however, since even to obtain a second tail a kitsune would have to wait a whole hundred years.

 

Aside from natural acquisition, there are many ways for kitsunes to raise their power level. Those ways vary in time, materials, and skills required to make use of them, as well as varying in how ethical they are [...].

 

Some of the less ethical ways of raising power rely on harvesting souls of other entities. In the ancient times, the most popular souls for such practices were the souls of humans. That was a natural outcome since human souls can accumulate high quantities of magical, spiritual, as well as mental and emotional energies. However, nowadays almost no kitsune dares to make use of them, since Inari and his zenkos hunt down those who are discovered to dabble in such practices.

 

~Beastiary of Japan, by Sylvia, Fae Scholars Association

Chapter Text

 

Izuku is internally freaking out. Just why did he think this was a good idea? This could go so wrong in so many ways. Well, at least he managed to stuff his bloodthirsty bonsai into the closet, so there shouldn’t be any more problems with that, probably. So, yeah, that’s good, even though he paid for that little bit of security with his blood. Not to mention, the goddamned tree is getting stronger – not that long ago, it had to struggle quite a bit to move with the metal wire around it, now it’s almost as if there was no wire at all.

 

He tries not to let it show on his face though, as he leads his friends into his room. And he’s really glad that he’s the first one in, since he notices the slight, repeated movement of the closet doors, as if something is trying to open it but not quite reaching. Before his friends manage to even get in, he leaps towards his desk chair and manoeuvres it to be propped up against the wardrobe, effectively keeping it close. He ignores the non-stop scraping of wood on wood that follows.

 

“…Izuku, what are you doing?” Shouto asks, looking halfway between confused and concerned.

 

“I, uhm… moved the chair out of the way?” He lies, to the simultaneous raised eyebrow from both Shouto and Shinsou, and a slightly confused look from Inasa “Anyways! Sit down on the bed, or uhm, maybe sit on the ground… Yeah, that may be even better. We can play a board game or something”

 

“Oh my god, I’m getting second-hand embarrassment” Akabane groans “Can I leave now?”

 

“Oh, shut up!” Yukiko snaps “He finally has some friends over! Our green bean is almost grown up, how can you even think about leaving us during this touching moment? This is a milestone in his growth, a milestone I tell you!” And once again Izuku is very glad that no one but him can hear ghosts.

 

“Oh my god, even though you died a teen, you act like a middle aged, crazy lady with a wine addiction fawning over a kitten” Akabane snorts, and well, that was weirdly specific.…?

 

“You seem spaced out” Shinsou says, and Izuku focuses on his friends again.

 

“Ah, sorry! I was just think about what we could do” He lies easily. He quickly tries to remember what games he has “So, uhm, we can play UNO, or monopoly, or, uhm, well, eh…”

 

“You can play Clue” Yukiko tries to help him “Or Go Fish?”

 

“We have poker cards, though I’m not sure that’s appropriate…” Yukizome-sensei chimes in “Oh, how about Old Maid?”

 

“I have, uhm, cards, so any card game is… uhm, an option, I guess?” He shrugs, internally wanting it all to just be over, because it’s embarrassing and oh god, why did he think it was a good idea to invite his friends over, he’s so awkward, what does he do? “Or, we could, uhm, watch a movie…?”

 

“Uno sounds fine” Shinsou says, saving him from even more awkwardness.

 

“Fine by me” Shouto shrugs, but there is something weird in his eyes… Oh, seems to be embarrassment? But what would he be embarrassed about…?

 

“That sounds wonderful!” Inasa yells, smiling with way too much excitement “I’ve heard of this ‘Uno’, but I’ve never had a chance to play!”

 

“Me neither, so I guess we’ll be learning from those two” Shinsou scratches his neck, sending them a half-smile. Wait, why did he choose Uno if he doesn’t know how to play?

 

“No, I also don’t know how to play it” Shouto admits, obviously failing to keep his face stoic. Wait, that’s what he’s been embarrassed about? “Though, I’m glad I’m not the only one…”

 

“…Alright then, I’ll get the cards” He flashes them a wide smile, standing up to grab the card deck, even as he’s internally freaking out.

 

Holy fuck, none of them have played Uno before. Why didn’t they just suggest some other game? Have they really not played anything from the ones he suggested? Those seem like standard games to play with friends… oh, that’s it, isn’t it. Shinsou he can understand in that case, and even Shouto, but Inasa seems kind of sociable so he wasn’t expecting that.

 

Now that he thinks about it, he really doesn’t know all that much about Inasa. Not that he knows a lot about the other two, but… he feels like he knows more about them. Well, maybe he’s just overthinking this. Grabbing the cards, he tries to focus on recalling the rules of Uno instead, and the troubling thoughts disappear after a moment.

 

~🌸~

This is not exactly what he’s been expecting, but Hitoshi has to admit this hanging out thing is a bit fun. Playing Uno is also not that bad once he’s actually learnt the rules. Also, it’s hilarious to see both Izuku and Inasa getting absolutely destroyed by Shouto. Hitoshi himself isn’t in the line of fire since depending on the direction he’s either after Inasa or Izuku. So far he’s the only person not hit by any +4 cards.

 

“I’m sorry” Shouto says in complete deadpan, putting down a +2 card, which leaves him with only 3 cards left.

 

“Why always me?!” Izuku pouts, drawing the cards.

 

“We need to cooperate! Otherwise we’ll be defeated again!” Inasa declares, although Hitoshi isn’t sure how exactly he plans to not be defeated when he has like seventeen cards “Shouto’s passion may be praiseworthy but I’m not going to just let him win 5th time in a row! I refuse!”

 

“Y-yeah! We’ll make a comeback!” Izuku agrees, determination glistening in his eyes. Cute.

 

“Doubtful” Shouto smirks.

 

And of course, a few more rounds and the boy wins, while Inasa ends up with over twenty cards. Izuku has a lot too. Hitoshi feels a bit bad, but winning against them both is rather easy. In the end, between Inasa and Izuku, it’s the latter that loses.

 

“I hate all of you” The boy grumbles, sulking.

 

“Maybe it’s time we changed games” Shouto offers, though he’s seemingly unable to cover up his amusement.

 

“I don’t need your pity!” Izuku fumes, pouting.

 

“Actually, rather than changing games, shouldn’t we talk about why we’re really here?” He interjects, hoping he’s not wrong “I mean, you wouldn’t just invite us without any reason, especially since you did it right after I asked if you’d be comfortable with telling me anything… So, if you have something to say, now would be a good time”

 

“Ah, I um, guess… Yea, it would be a good time…” The boy manages to get out with some difficulties, before he falls silent for a moment, doing this weird thing when he seems like he’s listening to something even though there’s no noise. Plus his eyes shift to land on something that’s just not there, as always “Ah. Right… Uhm… Well, I’ll bring you some snacks first. I’m not stalling, just… Thought it’d be nice since talking may… uhm, take a while…”

 

“You don’t have to force yourself to tell us anything” Shouto says, watching with a serious face as Izuku places the cards back onto his desk “Even if you invited us with the intention to talk… it’s fine if you changed your mind or something. Hanging out for the sake of hanging out… is fine too, I guess”

 

“Thank you, Shouto, but it’s okay” Izuku flashes them all a blinding smile, heading for the door “It’ll just take a moment – don’t touch anything”

 

By ‘anything’ Hitoshi assumes he mainly means the wardrobe that’s been making weird noises that everyone has been ignoring so far. Although he guesses it’s exactly the type of thing he’d been expecting to find in Izuku’s room, so maybe others were also prepared for things like that. He really wants to know what’s inside though…

 

He decides to distract himself by looking around the room. Most of the things there are fairly normal – hero merchandise, books, board games, cards, notebooks, school supplies, some things that seem like gardening supplies (but where are the plants? If they’re in the garden or something, why not keep the tools closer to it?). But it’s the little things that are a bit… off.

 

Like how practically all board games and cards have weird symbols drawn on them. Even the Uno cards they were playing with – and yes, he’d noticed from the start, he just decided not to say anything. Or how many of those books were on legends or occult stuff –maybe a hobby? Or maybe how even though most notebooks were labelled as ‘quirk analysis’, there were some called ‘ghost records’-what does that even mean?

 

So, he gets up, intending to look around. Only, as he tries to move, someone grabs his hand. He looks back to see a frowning Shouto.

 

“What are you doing?” The boy asks, sending him a slight glare “Izuku said not to touch anything”

 

“I’m not going to touch anything! I’m just going to look” He says, rolling his eyes “Come on, I’ll only be looking at stuff that’s out in the open anyways. If he didn’t want us seeing it, he’d have hidden it”

 

“…” Shouto looks troubled but lets him go.

 

Hitoshi casually walks over to Izuku’s desk, taking a closer look at the items laid out on it. There is some sort of pendant in the corner, almost buried under loose paper sheets full of drawings. It has some symbols on it – is it a talisman or something? The drawings themselves depict something like animal hybrids. A cat in a turtle’s shell, a goose with a snake for the head, a jellyfish with antlers, a fox with wings… he snorts spotting a platypus, the only animal to remain intact.

 

There is also one piece of paper with a symbol drawn on it over and over again, in neat rows. It reminds him of how children practice writing… Is it for Izuku’s quirk? The last thing that catches his eye is a container full of something that looks like either sugar or salt. Either way, why is it here of all places?

 

Satisfied with his observations, he moves again, surveying the room for anything peculiar. He stops for a moment noticing a book under Izuku’s bed, but doesn’t bend down to look at it. Even if it’s hidden flimsily, it’s still probably not something he should look at. Finally, he sees a hero figurine that looks at least partially melted, with some burnt places. It’s on the wardrobe, but as he gets closer to look at it, the weird sounds from within intensify. 

 

Startled, he takes a step back, but there is a loud thud from within the closet, as if something fell. Then, the moderately quiet sounds turn into pounding on the wood, and the closet begins rattling and shaking. It’s pretty clear that the chair propped up against it is the only thing keeping it from opening. Still, even the chair is starting to move slightly, bit by bit. He stares at it, frozen.

 

“Get away from the closet!” Izuku yells, frantically running into the room, a plate of snacks in his hands. He looks pale and terrified.

~🌸~

Izuku is making some snacks in the kitchen with Yukizome-sensei’s directions – cutting fruit into smaller pieces and laying out store-bought cookies in a nice-looking way – when Shinsou’s spirit runs into the room, looking more panicked than he’s ever seen them. He doesn’t even have time to put the finished plate down before Sorya starts talking.

 

“Little one! Hurry back, our charge is nearing the yokai tree!” The deer spirit says, and fear fills Izuku, spurring him into action “I don’t think he’ll open the wooden box it’s in but I doubt that flimsy furniture can contain it for long after it senses new pray near!” The deer spirit says as they race to Izuku’s room.

 

“Get away from the closet!” Izuku yells, throwing open the door, and rushing inside. He quickly sets down the plate he’s been holding, and surveys the situation “J-just, come over here”

 

“Izuku, what’s in the closet?” Shouto asks from behind him, also standing up. A quick glance tells Izuku that both the boy and Inasa are in fighting stances.

 

“…” Ah, fuck it “A tree. Now, get away from the closet pelase”

 

“A tree?” Shinsou questions, still looking stunned “Izuku… whatever that is, it isn’t a tree”

 

“Yes, it is- you know what, now’s not the time for this, just trust me and come over here” He says, keeping an eye on the closet, as the Jubokko viciously pounds on the doors. He’s prepared to step in between it and his friend, if needs be, but he’d rather not get cut again.

 

“…Alright” Shinsou gives him a weird look but slowly moves away from the closet. Once he’s next to them, he turns to stare at the furniture again “So… What’s really in there?”

 

“I already told you” He sighs “Anyways, it should settle down now that no one is near it” Probably? “But, uhm, maybe we should move to the living room”

 

“I really hope you’re not keeping an actual animal in the closet” Shouto says in complete deadpan, tilting his head “That would be cruel”

 

“It’s. A. Tree” He pouts, but his expression shifts into a frown when he finally realises something.

 

His friends won’t believe him with just words. Not when it’s something that doesn’t align with their worldview. If they can’t even believe him that it’s actually a tree… is there even a point in telling them about his quirk? Won’t they just say he’s lying, like everyone else? At least he could potentially prove it’s a tree by showing it to them, but with the spirits… He has no way to prove they even exist.

 

“You know what? Never mind, let’s just go” He walks out of his room, not even bothering to make sure they’re following him. After all, if they try anything actually dangerous – like getting close to the Jubokko again- at least one of the spirits would let him know.

 

“Izuku, the snacks!” Yukizome sensei screeches indignantly.

 

He stops for a moment, starling a bit when someone bumps into him. He turns around and apologizes to the dumbfounded Shouto, before quickly darting inside to pick up the plate. The things on it moved slightly, but nothing has fallen so he supposes it doesn’t matter. He starts heading for the living room again, blatantly ignoring the slightly awkward looks his friends give him.

 

“Izuku… I was only joking about it being an animal… I know you’re not the kind of person to do something like that” Shouto says, sounding worried, though apparently for wrong reasons “None of us think you are”

 

“It’s alright” Izuku responds curtly, trying to force himself to not sound irritated “It’s not even… the part that’s bothering me”

 

“This is a mess” Yukiko groans from somewhere behind him.

 

“We can still make it work!” Yukizome sensei insists, as optimistic as ever. It makes Izuku grimace “We have snacks, and after the heavy talk is over, we can just watch a movie or something!”

 

“I don’t think a movie proposal would go over well in this mood” Akabane murmurs. Huh, so he hasn’t left after all.

 

“Well, we can always try” Yukizome sensei snaps, and Izuku just really wants them all to shut up. Though, he supposes it’s still better than awkward silence.

 

Finally, he gets to the living room. He quickly sets the plate of snacks down on the table and takes a seat. His friends also sit down, though Shouto looks vaguely uncomfortable, Shinsou has a guilty look on his face for some reason, and Inasa seems to be in deep thought.

 

“So… I guess it’s time to talk, huh…” Izuku sighs deeply, trying to collect his thoughts. Where to begin though… “I… guess you’re all aware by now that I was expecting USJ to happen and prepared beforehand”

 

“…” They don’t say anything, just nod with serious looks on their faces, suddenly giving him all of their attention.

 

“So, first let me clear up one thing. I have nothing to do with any villains. The only reason I even knew anything about the attack was that someone told me about it” He briefly pauses, thinking about what he should reveal and what’s too risky yet “The reason they told me specifically… well, I’m probably the only person they could tell, considering everything. And it’s because of my quirk” He wouldn’t lie. Just… bend the truth by letting them come to the wrong conclusions. For now, anyways “And well, I guess that today I’ll tell you about a part of my quirk… one that not even the teachers at U.A. know about…”

 

“Huh…? But they should have access to all of your quirk files” Inasa says, confused even as Shouto and Shinsou seem to have caught on “They should know about it! Unless…”

 

“It’s not in the quirk registry” Shouto says, looking straight at Izuku “I guess I should have expected that. You do seem to treat law like a guideline at best”

 

“…Rude” Izuku mutters, narrowing his eyes at the boy slightly. Still, he makes sure not to actually glare.

 

“He’s not wrong” Yami says, suddenly jumping onto the table “What is that look for? He isn’t. I know what I raised you to be like and I will admit it proudly!”

 

“You purposefully raised him to break the law?!” Maruko squawks from Shouto’s side, flaring up.

 

“Human laws are stupid in most cases” Yami huffs “The important thing is following the actually sensible ones, and not getting caught breaking the rest…”

 

“Anyways…” Izuku manages to stop himself from reacting to the spirits, instead addressing his friends “What I’m about to tell you will probably be hard to believe. Like, possibly harder than when I told you the thing in my closet is a tree – which it is, and I would prove it if it wasn’t throwing a tantrum right now. Anyways… If you’re not even going to attempt considering what I tell you, you can just leave now”

 

“I’m staying” Shouto says, shrugging and picking up a cookie “I think I’m more or less accustomed to the weirdness by now. Even if you said you were an alien, I wouldn’t really be surprised. It’d even make some sense, actually” The boy takes a bite, tilting his head “Those are good…”

 

“How exactly would it make sense?” Shinsou stares, obviously baffled “I mean, I get the weirdness part-” Rude “-but Izuku is a human, you know? Just what part of him screams ‘Alien’ to you?!”

 

“Ashido looks like an alien” Inasa mutters. Wait, why are they all getting so sidetracked, weren’t they the ones pestering him about telling them stuff?! “Do you think she might be…?”

 

“That’s obviously just her quirk” Shinsou says in complete deadpan.

 

“No, Inasa might be onto something” Shouto butts in, nodding in thought as if they were discussing something actually important “I’ve never really considered it, but it would make sense. With the emergence of quirks, it would be pretty easy for an alien to claim to be human…” He has a point since Yokai do just that, but is it really what they’re choosing to discuss right now? “Plus, don’t you think it’s weird how quirks just suddenly appeared one day? Maybe some alien technology created and implemented them…”

 

“Well, we’re not from this world, so I guess we can be considered aliens?” Nomani, one of his new spirits, wonders aloud.

 

“No, comparing us to those weird, greenish creatures from human movies is just insulting!” Inasa’s guardian spirit pouts.

 

“That’s crazy” Shinsou snorts “Are you a conspiracy theorist, Shouto?”

 

“What’s a conspiracy theorist?” The boy in question frowns, clearly confused.

 

“It’s a person who-“ Shinsou tries to explain but Izuku cuts him off, completely done at this point.

 

“If you need me, I’ll be in the kitchen” He stands up “Call me when you actually intend to hear me out”

 

“Wait” Izuku’s hand is suddenly grabbed, and he turns back to see Shinsou giving him an apologetic look “Sorry, we were just trying to lighten the mood a bit, I guess…” Shouto and Inasa seem a bit confused by that statement, but he’ll let it slide.

 

“Oh…” He sends them a small smile, sitting back down “I… I guess I’m a bit on edge. Sorry for misunderstanding”

 

“So, what’s up with your quirk?” Shinsou asks, letting go of his hand. It feels unpleasantly cold now that it’s not being held anymore.

 

“Well… I guess there really isn’t a good way to put it, but… I can see ghosts” He keeps his face carefully neutral as he glances at his friends. They all seem a bit… confused. But while disbelief flashes on Shinsou’s face, and Inasa just seems lost, Shouto seems to be in deep thought, as if trying to put together a puzzle “And yeah, I guess it must be a shock, but I did say it’d be hard to believe”

 

“Wait, ghosts- as in, dead people?” Inasa frowns deeply “But that’s… if they existed, there should be more people able to see them, considering all the quirks. Wouldn’t their existence have got officially confirmed by now?”

 

“Quirks like that would be pretty rare. And it’s not like it would be easy to actually prove anything – even before the age of quirks there have been countless people claiming to see ghosts, so things like that are automatically thought to be scams. No one would waste their time trying to test the legitimacy of such a quirk” Shouto says, leaning forward slightly “Plus, even if someone managed to prove the existence of ghosts – the government would probably just cover it up and try to recruit people with ghost seeing quirks. Ghosts would be great for spying on villains, and it would probably be better if said criminals were unaware of their presence…”

 

“You have way too much faith in the government’s ability to cover things up” Shinsou snorts “People would find out sooner or later, and considering how hard it is to stop some information gathering quirks– I’d say sooner rather than later”

 

“Putting that aside…” Izuku clears his throat “Are you willing to believe me?”

 

“Yeah” Shouto says without a hint of hesitation “It would clear some things up, actually. Like how you know so many things, or how you seem to talk to thin air, or just stare at nothing”

 

“I’d like to believe you but… I think we’re all ignoring the most obvious thing” Shinsou sighs, dragging a hand down his face “How would the ability to see ghosts connect to what we know about your quirk? Even considering dual quirks like Shouto’s, there’s usually some connection between the powers”

 

“That’s true. Both fire and ice are not only elemental quirks, they also relate to temperature” Shouto nods “Though, they are basically opposites”

 

“Yeah, but what does seeing ghosts have to do with glyphs, or whatever those weird symbols you draw are called?” Shinsou watches him intently, searching his face for… well, probably for a lie “I’m willing to believe in you seeing ghosts but… only if it’s even remotely plausible”

 

“Even if it doesn’t seem plausible, shouldn’t you believe him anyways?” Inasa asks, gesticulating animatedly “We’re friends! We shouldn’t doubt each other, even if things get… like this. So what if his abilities don’t have much in common! I’m willing to believe in Izuku! Putting trust in your friends is part of living passionately!”

 

“So you’d be okay with trusting him even if you knew for a fact you were being lied to?” Shinsou raises an eyebrow “Trust is all well and nice, but I don’t think I could just… not doubt something that makes no sense. Sorry if that doesn’t fit your idea of friendship, but I guess that’s just the type of person I am”

 

“That’s… okay too, I guess” Inasa looks away “I may not like it… but I’ve recently come to accept people have different outlooks on life. I don’t think we’ll ever agree on that, but…” The boy bows “I want you to know that even though I said trusting friends is part of living passionately, I think you’re passionate too! I hope I haven’t offended you with my words earlier”

 

“No, uhm, I knew you didn’t mean any harm or anything” Shinsou says awkwardly, obviously not expecting the weird speech “A-anyways, care to comment, Izuku?”

 

“You’re… right in saying that there doesn’t appear to be a link between those two abilities. But just because it’s not obvious, doesn’t mean they’re not linked” He talks calmly, even though he’s internally panicking while trying to put together a sound argument “In the first place, a large part of what makes glyphs work is the sensory part of my quirk, even if people don’t realise it” Half-truths and skirting around what his quirk actually does. Just what he’s best at. Hopefully “Everyone could draw a glyph if they knew the shape. But activating it requires energy… and to manipulate that energy I have to sense it. Feeling it, seeing it – it’s all part of my quirk. That sensory part is the link”

 

“Okay, but how does seeing that ‘energy’ or whatever translate to seeing ghosts?” Shinsou is still looking at him as if trying to tell if he’s lying.

 

“Well… some glyphs can actually be activated by ghosts” Not a lie. Izuku knows he sucks at outright lying “Uhm, the ones I’ve known for the longest can interact with ghosts – I’ve learnt them before even learning how to make ones I can use by myself. What I’m getting at is – if the ghosts can use my glyphs… that would mean they have the same energy inside them, right? So, it’s just a theory but… since they aren’t really corporeal, they might be just made from the energy I’m seeing… and that may be why I see them, I guess?” Oh well, that last one is complete bullshit but no one has to know.

 

“What do you mean we’re made from some weird energy?!” Yukiko yells, flickering wildly on the edge of his vision “I always thought we were, like, souls or something? Or well, I mean, I don’t know? Whatever standard pop-culture ghosts are made of? Ectoplasm? Wait, is the weird energy ectoplasm, technically? Are souls made of ectoplasm?”

 

“Stop having an existential crisis in the middle of the living room, especially in this situation, it’s distracting!” Akabane snarls.

 

“How can you be so calm like that?” Yukiko is still rather loud, but at least not yelling anymore “That has literally flipped my world-view upside down and you’re just- ugh!”

 

“Physical things are made of atoms, little balls we can’t even see. Who cares if non-physical ones are made from some weird energy. A soul is a soul, regardless of what’s it made of” The ghost shrugs “In the end, I’m me, whether I’m made up of little balls or something else”

 

“Shush, both of you” Yukizome sensei tries to get them to shut up “Now is the time for the living to talk between themselves – don’t distract Izuku when he needs to pay attention”

 

“I… need a minute to process all this” Shinsou sighs.

 

“Take your time” Izuku shrugs, reaching for an apple slice from the plate “Feel free to try the snacks too. Sometimes it’s better to eat while thinking”

 

“…Thanks” The boy answers.

 

They all sit in silence for a little while. Izuku’s friends seem to be thinking everything through, and the boy himself mostly listens to ghosts and spirits occasionally bantering. Usually over stupid things. He has a feeling some of them are doing it on purpose to distract him from the silence, but he doesn’t mind it.

 

“Alright, I think I’ve got this” Shinsou suddenly turns to him again “But… if you see ghosts, are there any following me?”

 

“Uhm, none that I can see” Izuku answers, kind of confused. Why would Shinosu even have ghosts with him? “As far as I can tell, the only one here who has a ghost following them is Shouto…and that’s only, like, occasional”

 

“Figures” Shinsou mutters, and there is some weird disappointment there that Izuku won’t read too much into.

 

“Wait, I have a ghost?” Shouto looks utterly confused “But… I don’t think anyone who would care about me has died? I mean, it could be my mother but… as far as I know she’s still alive, just in the… hospital”

 

“You don’t know if your own mother is alive?” Inasa gives the boy a strange look, and honestly? Izuku has kind of similar feelings on that matter, but he also understands it’s somehow Endeavor’s fault even if he doesn’t know the details.

 

“I mean… I assumed my siblings would tell me if anything serious happened to her but… I just can’t think of anyone else, I guess?” The boy shrugs, face blank even as his eyes betray his sadness “And I haven’t seen her in a long while… She can’t leave the hospital, so…”

 

“I don’t think you should worry about that. I seriously doubt that ghost would be your mother” Izuku reassures him, feeling slightly lighter when he sees relief in Shouto’s eyes “In fact, even though it was a woman, she looked rather similar to your father… May just be a long-dead aunt that decided to check on her brother’s family or something. Things like that happen”

 

“Yeah, I guess” Shouto shoots him a quick, weak smile “I guess… we should stop talking about that. The mood feels somehow heavy”

 

“No, if you feel the need to talk, please go ahead and don’t mind us!” Inasa declares “Sometimes there are things you should just get off your chest!”

 

“Read the room Inasa- he’s obviously saying he doesn’t want to talk about his family anymore” Shinsou rolls his eyes “So… weren’t you talking about some movies or something earlier, Izuku?”

 

“Oh, right!” He jumps at the chance to leave all the heavy, emotional stuff behind in favour of fun “What do you want to watch? I have a lot of superhero movies, and uhm, I also have Disney movies”

 

“What’s Disney?” Shouto asks.

 

“Alright, looks like we’re watching Disney” Izuku decides immediately “Prepare for greatness – we’re starting with The Lion King”

 

“Oh my god – no, I always cry at that!” Shinsou grimaces “I don’t want to be seen crying”

 

"The title seems somehow familiar...?" Shouto murmurs. Oh yeah, they did watch it together already, didn't they? Well, one more time isn't going to hurt, especially since Shouto still doesn't seem to remember what Disney is...

 

“Huh? Is that movie that sad?” Inasa questions.

 

“…Sorry Shinsou, but I refuse to leave anyone unaware of this timeless classic” Izuku pats his friend’s shoulder in consolation “I will bring some tissues if that helps –we’ll cry together”

 

“Just why…” The boy groans.

Chapter Text

 

Shouto is the first to leave. It’s not really all that surprising, honestly. He’s the son of Endeavor, and Hitoshi feels like the man is exactly the kind of person who would give his children a strict curfew. Thankfully, Inasa doesn’t stay for long after that, so Hitoshi is left all alone with Izuku.

 

“Do you mind if I stay for a bit longer?” He asks, just to make sure “I won’t be offended if you’d rather I left though”

 

“Ah, no, it’s fine! I really appreciate the company” Izuku responds, shooting him a brilliant grin. Unsurprisingly, this is definitely not good for Hitoshi’s heart “Should we watch another movie? Although, that may not be a good idea… It’ll be getting dark soon, so we probably wouldn’t be able to finish it. Hmm… Is there anything you want to do?”

 

“Ah, uhm, me?” He asks, startled. Honestly, he was expecting Izuku to start rambling until he came to some conclusion. “Eh... not really. Though… I guess I need to talk to you about something… now that we’re alone and all”

 

“About what?” Izuku asks, and Hitoshi hates the way his friend tenses slightly.

 

“You said there aren’t any ghosts following me. Does that mean you haven’t seen any ghost following me ever, or did you just mean you’ve seen something, like, once and never again?” He prods, keeping his face carefully blank.

 

“Uhm, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a ghost following you specifically” Izuku answers, much less tense now. The boy tilts his head “Why are you asking?”

 

“Well…” He trails off for a moment, hesitating.

 

Is he really going to destroy the nice mood by voicing his suspicion? Should he just believe in Izuku and let it go? Give it some time and bring it up later? Spend the rest of today trying to get closer to Izuku instead? It’s probably not often that he’ll end up alone with the cute boy…

 

“It’s nothing, really” He ends up saying. He rubs his neck awkwardly, internally groaning at the obvious lie. And judging from Izuku’s expression the boy can tell “I was just curious, you know? Anyway, uhm, what do you think about Mirko?” Smooth topic change Hitoshi, very smooth.

 

“Well, she is a really great hero, you know? She is very strong and her hand to hand combat techniques are great! I wonder who taught her. Her quirk is amazing too!” Izuku starts rambling, and Hitoshi smiles while he listens half-heartedly.

 

Izuku is very cute when he gets excited, and the sight of his glistening eyes and eager smile make Hitoshi feel butterflies, as he tries to fight the blush he can feel creeping across his face. But… it’s still not enough to completely smother the suspicion he feels gnawing at the corners of his mind.

 

If there were no ghosts following Hitoshi ever, how did Izuku know about his quirk?

 

~🌸~

 

Katsuki is staring blankly at the ceiling. He has one more day of rest left. Then, Recovery Girl will be able to heal him up some more, and they’ll see if he’ll be in any shape to attend classes. To be honest he’s not sure if he’s hoping for that or for the opposite.

 

On one hand, going back to class means he’ll be able to catch up quickly and get back on track with everything. On the other… he’s just so confused. And scared, although he’d never admit that to anyone. And the band of merry idiots who added him to their little group chat isn’t helping.

 

Granted, he doesn’t want them to help, and hasn’t reached out. It’s just that reading what they send is pissing him off.

 

They just bitch about the purple fucker and Zuko knock-off whenever they’re not sending stupid memes. He knew the IQ levels were quite low between these four, but seriously, what is wrong with them? Of course Mindfuck used his quirk, what else was he supposed to do? Wait for the elite fucker to get his head out of his ass?

 

And even if Katsuki hates that gullible Half n’ Half fucker, he can admit that he’d probably also blow up if someone was spouting as much bullshit as Discount Pikachu. But of course, he can’t exactly say that. For better or worse, the idiots are at the very least somewhere on his side. For now, at least.

 

It’s not that he needs them, but… it’s kind of reassuring that not everyone is wrapped around Deku’s finger. Katsuki can work with that. Even though the fucker uses every goddamn trick in the book to make people overlook the shit he’s pulling. And it’s so goddamn obvious, even down to his choice of friends.

 

Daddy Issues flavoured Candy Cane? The guy is the son of Endeavor, the number two hero. And he’s following in daddy dearest’s footsteps. Who would believe this guy’s best friend could ever do anything even remotely villainous?

 

Simon Says Purple Version? A perfect distraction. People are idiots, so they’d usually assume the person with a villainous quirk would be the villain. Makes Deku look all innocent in comparison. Doesn’t help that from what Shitty Hair claims, it was Deku who told the purple fuck to use his quirk like that in the assessment. He sure as hell succeeded in shifting the topic of conversation towards the ethics of brainwashing rather than his shady as fuck actions.

 

Windy Brick-wall? Heroic enough to make his friends look better by association, gullible enough to fall for Deku’s shit, and just flashy and fucking loud enough to be a giant, walking distraction. He seems like an idiot who wouldn’t know suspicious behaviour if it hit him in the face too, so Deku could plausibly use him to carry out some shit.

 

All in all, his whole friend group is way too convenient for it to just be a coincidence. But it’s not like he can bring it up to anyone. He fucked up on the first day, so nobody would listen to him in regards to Deku. And even if there was a chance they would, he’s not sure he wants to do anything right now.

 

Recent events have been very… weird. He’s not even sure what to think anymore. On one hand Deku clearly knew about the attack. The shady fucker was being so obvious Katsuki doesn’t know how in the hell the guy managed to avoid being arrested. Especially with those weird flower things he was passing around. They had some purpose related to the attack, even if Katsuki isn’t sure what it might’ve been. He suspects they had something to do with how the villains’ quirks failed them, but was it really the only thing they’ve done?

 

Not to mention, he’s pretty sure Deku attached one of them to his costume without his permission. There is no way in hell those were only meant to provide protection if that’s the case.

 

On the other hand… Deku didn’t seem to be with the villains who attacked them, at the very least. There’s the thing about quirk malfunctions, but he’d also made sure Iida could get backup as quickly as possible. Not to mention, Katsuki has heard the creep somehow got hurt. And he helped fight one of the weird ass monsters. Plus Shitty Hair said Deku had sent him and Arms to help Katsuki.

 

Sure, Deku could have just wanted to humiliate him in front of the only person he sort of stands, but… He honestly doesn’t think that’s it. And somehow, that makes it even creepier. Because he can’t tell what Deku is playing at, much less what his next move will be.

 

And even though he hates it, he can’t help but feel scared.

 

~🌸~

 

Izuku wakes up early the next morning. He briefly contemplates going to sleep, but decides against it in the end. He already feels more or less rested, and there are still things he has to do. Might as well get them over with now.

 

He gets ready for the day, then puts on a rather thick winter coat and gloves. He feels way too hot, but he endures it. He walks back into his room, and gets the bonsai out of the closet, then puts it back in its usual place. Unfortunately, despite being so thick his apparel isn’t all that tree-proof.

 

The coat sleeves get shredded a bit, and he ends up with one small stab wound near his elbow, and a tiny slice near his shoulder. He quickly takes the coat and gloves off, then treats the wounds, sighing in annoyance. The tree was supposed to calm down after a while, but apparently it’s only getting more unruly. And much stronger. He’ll need to trim it soon, and possibly get some sturdier wires to restrain it.

 

He should probably visit Kamikou soon. She might have some idea as to how to calm the tree. Or maybe even refer him to someone who would be willing to trade it for something less troublesome. He gets that eating the leaves will help him get more powerful, but it’s starting to become more and more dangerous. There has to be some alternative.

 

Though, that’s for after school. So, he quickly makes a mental list of things to do, and immediately starts completing it. Breakfast, exercising, a shower, preparing breakfast for mom… In the end, he’s left with about half an hour before he has to go out to catch the train.  Fortunately, by that time, Yukiko and Akabane come by.

 

“Good morning” He greets, shooting them curious glances. It’s not often they’re here at this hour.

 

“Morning” Akabane says, but doesn’t avert his eyes from where Yukiko is practicing leaning on the wall.

 

“Hi Izu-kun!” Yukiko greets a bit more enthusiastically than usually “Do you have time after school today?”

 

“I mean, I should. Why?” He tilts his head, puzzled.

 

“Well, I asked around a bit and found a few places with poltergeist problems. Thought you might want to help” She chirps, before her face is adorned with a mischievous smile “After all, you do have a ‘local occult child’ reputation to uphold. Or a cryptid one, depending on who you ask, I guess”

 

“…” He gives her a deadpan stare “We’ll talk after school is over, alright?”

 

“Yeah, yeah” She waves her hand around dismissively “Just don’t forget. I’m like, super pumped for it”

 

“Uh, what is wrong with you today?” Akabane asks with a frown “You’re even more annoying than usual”

 

“And you’re even more of an asshole” She snaps back with a huff.

 

“…I’m going out, you two have fun” He says. He doesn’t really feel like dealing with their shenanigans right now.

 

~🌸~

 

Even after Izuku arrives at U.A.’s gates, Yami and his other spirits are nowhere in sight. He supposes they also have their own lives though. He wouldn’t be surprised if Yami went to talk with Aisha or something, and the others probably don’t feel attached enough to stay with him at all times. It’s fine, really.

 

“Yami’s charge, please wait” Someone – a spirit most likely – calls out, and Izuku moves to the nearest wall as to not block the corridor, before stopping.

 

“…” He mutely looks around for whichever spirit just talked to him – it’s difficult since there are so many students and most have spirits with them.

 

“Ah, I am here” The voice calls out again, and Izuku looks at where it’s coming from… Oh god, it’s Iida’s fabulous looking spirit.

 

“What is it?” Izuku whispers after turning a bit towards the wall, and taking out his phone. At least people will assume he’s texting someone, or something. Better than being seen talking to air again.

 

“I believe some of the other spirits want to talk with you” Vayra informs him “Would you be willing to speak with them during lunch break?”

 

“Why are you the one asking me?” He questions. It is kind of weird since the spirit doesn’t seem to include themselves among the ones wanting to speak with him.

 

“…I don’t think they know how to bring it up” Vayra says “Anyway, if you’re willing, I’ll tell them to follow you when the break starts. It would probably be for the best if you thought about some discrete location”

 

“…Alright” He murmurs, and puts his phone away. He resumes his walk to the classroom as casually as he can.

 

“Ah, also… The tension still seems to be fairly high between students” Iida’s spirit warns.

 

Well, it can’t be worse than yesterday. Or at least, so Izuku hopes. He reaches the door to class 1-A, and after taking a deep breath, pushes it open. To his relief, his classmates seem to be chatting excitedly about sports festival, training, homework, and really a lot of other things.

 

Still, he can kind of see what Vayra meant. There seems to be a rather clear divide between groups.

 

Ashido, Kaminari, Sero, Kirishima, and surprisingly, Hagakure and Ojiro are sitting together in the front. Bakugou would probably also be there but… well, he’s still not back to school, it seems. From what Izuku can hear, they’re talking about maths homework.

 

In the back of the classroom, there is his usual group of friends with some additions. Shinsou seems half-asleep, Inasa is desperately trying to engage Shouto in a conversation about training. Tokoyami is nearby, chatting with Shoji. Even though they’re not outright interacting with Izuku’s friends, both boys positioned themselves close enough to show they’re part of the bigger group. Showing their support, perhaps?

 

The rest of their class is more or less huddled together in the middle, –well, with the exception of Aoyama who is over by the window- clearly distancing themselves from two groups. It leaves a bad taste in his mouth. Not caring for drama is one thing, but when things escalate like that… It kind of hurts to see.

 

“Oh, Izuku!” Inasa shouts, waving to him. He plasters on a smile, and heads towards his friends. Class will start soon, but he can still talk with them for a bit, at least.

 

~🌸~

 

Lunch break arrives quickly, and people break off into groups again. At first Izuku thinks it’ll be awkward to excuse himself, since his friends swarm his desk immediately once the break starts, but then Aizawa-sensei asks Shinsou to stay behind, and Inasa goes on to invite Tokoyami and Shoji to sit with them. It leaves Izuku with only Shouto in his immediate proximity, and with how little the boy questions him, it’s easy to make up some excuse and leave.

 

He wanders the halls for a bit, until the crowd of students is almost entirely gone. Then, he finds an empty classroom, and steps inside. There aren’t even any bags left at the desks, so he’s fairly sure no one will come in for a while. Good. He settles in a chair, and looks at what spirits followed him. There is Firin, Tokoyami’s spirit, and-……Kaminari’s spirit.

 

“So, what’s the matter?” He questions, and the spirits look at each other.

 

“I guess I will state my business first” Tokoyami’s spirit says “I am… concerned about my charge’s control over his power, and his attitude towards it. I understand that it’s unfair to ask this of you, but could you perhaps bring it up with the teacher? I worry about what might happen if nothing changes…”

 

“Alright… I can do that, but… I’ll need some arguments to support it first” Izuku says, playing with his scarf nervously “Aizawa-sensei will most likely question how I came to that sort of conclusion and whatnot. It might come off badly if I comment on Tokoyami’s quirk without being able to say why I think he might lose control over it”

 

“I understand” The spirit says, turning to leave “In that case, goodbye for now. I’ll think about it some more”

 

“Ok, who’s next?” He asks, looking between the rainbow wolf-thing and the plausibly feline spirit “…”

 

“…” The spirits remain silent, looking at each other with uncertainty.

 

“Uhm… could one of you start explaining already, please?” He requests, smiling awkwardly.

 

“I guess I’ll go first, then” Firin says, their tail swishing anxiously “It’s just that… my request may prove difficult” Huh? “My charge’s blessing is not working properly. I was wondering if you and the feathered cat could look into what went wrong and possibly correct it”   

 

“Me and Yami?” He tilts his head “I don’t see how we could help, though…”

 

“From what I know, your guardian spirit specializes in studying spells. Blessings fall under that category, so I thought that maybe he’d have some ideas” The spirit explains, lowering their head at the end “So please, at least consider looking into it…?”

 

“Uhm, I can ask Yami, but… why didn’t you just ask him on your own?” He narrows his eyes at the wolf “And besides that… how exactly is the quirk not working properly? From what I’ve seen Aoyama seems to be doing quite fine”

 

“I believe… Yami would consider the request more seriously if it came from you” Firin explains “And when it comes to my charge, well… this blessing isn’t suited to his body. You surely must have noticed that he always wears a belt with some weird human technology to regulate his power’s output. And even with it, he is in pain after using that power even for a short while”

 

“…It’s true that Aoyama seems to always have that belt on. And he does get stomach aches after using his quirk” Izuku mutters to no one in particular “Alright, I’ll bring it up with Yami, but I can’t promise anything”

 

After all, seeing how All for One was created, Izuku doubts Yami would know much about dealing with unfitting blessings. If he could do something about them, he wouldn’t have had to rely on a blessing like that to gift a suitable quirk.

 

“Alright, now that that’s been dealt with, could you state your business here… uh, actually I don’t think I know your name…? You’re Kaminari’s spirit, right?” He turns to the last remaining spirit.

 

“Ah, yeah, I’m Lua. And, um, I apologize for my charge’s behaviour” The probably(?) feline spirit bows slightly.

 

“It’s fine, really! You’re not the one who should apologize. It’s not your fault it turned out liked that…” He reassures, his hands flailing around as he gesticulates wildly, flustered by the unneeded apology.

 

“Thank you for being understanding” Lua raises their head “My request… has to do with my charge. It is a similar situation to Firin’s problem”

 

“Huh? Kaminari doesn’t seem to need support items though? And I don’t think I’ve seen him be in pain after using his quirk either” Izuku points out, keeping both his face and his tone carefully blank. He really isn’t fond of the guy, but he doesn’t want to be rude to the guardian spirit.

 

“He should get this ‘support item’ thing though” Lua grumbles “That’s the problem. When my charge overuses their quirk… well, their brain seems to be getting a bit fried. It wouldn’t worry me as much if I was sure there was no permanent damage linked to it but… I’m afraid it might be a possibility”

 

“That’s… that sounds bad, especially if the damage accumulates…” He murmurs, feeling conflicted and uncomfortable. He really doesn’t like Kaminari, but it’s not like he can just ignore it if someone’s health is at stake.

 

“I know you detest my charge, but please, convince your teacher to get a medic to look into it. I would be immensely grateful if you also mentioned one of those so called ‘support items’ that might help my charge mitigate the damage” Lua bows again “I know I’m asking a lot, but… I’m afraid of what might happen if my charge keeps overusing their power”

 

“Alright. I will… try to bring it up” He promises, before something hits him “Wait… why didn’t you tell me that before? You should have been aware I can see spirits, especially since I’ve asked for their help… Now that I think about it, Firin could have brought his issue up to me too… So, why only ask me now?”

 

“I can’t speak for Firin… as for me, I simply wasn’t sure of your character in the beginning, and then my charge went ahead and… well, insulted your friend, so asking for help seemed like it’d become awkward” The spirit confesses “I only mustered up the courage today, because Firin and Zari were going to ask you for help, so I could just tag along…”

 

“I see…” He kind of understands. It probably would be awkward if Lua came alone. He really wonders why Firin didn’t ask sooner though… “Well, I’m glad you did. It would be bad if something happened to Kaminari because of his quirk…”

 

“Yeah… thank you for listening to my request” Lua chirps, evidently relieved.

 

They part ways, and Izuku hurries over to the cafeteria. Thankfully, his friends don’t question him too much, and he even manages to actually finish his food before the break end.

 

~🌸~

 

“There is only, like, a little over a week left till the Sports Festival. I’m so excited!” Inasa announces loudly as they walk to the school’s gate.

 

“We know. Aizawa-sensei announced that literally yesterday” Shinsou sighs.

 

“I know! But I’m too excited to just not talk about it!” Inasa grins “I can’t wait for it! Even though we’re given all that time to prepare, it’s still way too much waiting!”

 

“I don’t know, I’m rather grateful they give us so much time” Shinsou comments “I mean, yeah, it is rather nerve wrecking to wait for it with all the hype, but… at least we can get some more training with actual pros in the meantime”

 

“I don’t think the type of training we do in classes would be very helpful at the festival though” Shouto chimes in “The finals are always way more straightforward than the scenarios in exercises”

 

“You’re not wrong. But I’m still thankful for the extra time” Izuku hums “I need a lot of it to develop my quirk, since  I actually have to memorise the glyphs and all” Then, he suddenly stops. When he speaks again, his voice is quiet, and his eyes dart around to see if anyone is eavesdropping “Oh right, speaking of my quirk. I’m going to check out some haunted places today. I’ll probably end up performing an exorcism or two… If any of you would want to tag along, uh…”

 

“That sounds really interesting” Shouto says with clear excitement shining in his eyes. But then, abruptly, it dies down “I can’t though. Until the Sports Festival ends, I have extra training right after school”

 

“You’re unexpectedly passionate about that, huh?” Inasa comments, still grinning “I also intended to practice today, but I think I will take you up on your offer instead, Izuku! I just can’t help my curiosity! Ghost hunting sounds so fun! And I will probably also end up seeing a new, passionate side of you! Even though your regular one is super passionate too!”

 

“Great!” Izuku exclaims, ignoring the usual talk about passion. He has a feeling that if Kirishima wasn’t hanging around Kaminari, he’d quickly become friends with Inasa. Though, it may just be his impression “How about you, Shinsou?”

 

“Guess I’ll tag along” The boy says, but doesn’t meet his eyes. Is there something wrong…?

 

“Are you… not good with spooky things, Shinsou?” Shouto asks as they resume walking, passing the gate and heading for the train station. Apparently the boy picked up on something too.

 

“What? No” Shinsou looks almost insulted as he rolls his eyes “I’m not scared or anything. I actually like watching horrors and stuff, so I have a rather high resistance to ‘spooky’ things”

 

“Huh, never would have guessed you’re the type” Shouto says, frowning just a bit “I guess you’ll be fine then”

 

“Mhm” Shinsou hums, and soon, the topic changes as they continue walking.

 

~🌸~

 

Neito sighs, scrolling through his class’ group chat. They were supposed to discuss strategies and exchange intel, but it’s full of memes and inane conversations now. In hindsight, maybe it was bound to happen, considering his classmates’ personalities. He was barely even able to talk them out of their inane plan to take a look at class 1-A after school.

 

He might have also sent a teacher there just in case. And the teacher did end up dispersing a crowd before 1-A could even notice, from what he’s heard, so that ‘just in case’ turned out to be quite necessary.

 

He gets the importance of gathering information on their opponents. He also gets the need to challenge those arrogant, spotlight-hogging pricks, but alas… They’ll have a much bigger advantage if 1-A doesn’t know they’re being targeted until the very last minute. Plus, it may do some good to gather info in a way that doesn’t actually let their opponents know it’s being gathered.

 

After all, there are still almost two weeks till the sports festival. Even if they confronted 1-A directly, and discovered some weakness, it’d likely be covered by the time the event comes. But if they operate more from the shadows… well, their opponents won’t feel the need to plan around people knowing their weak spots if they don’t realise said weak spots are known.

 

Still, so far there’s been little anyone was able to gather. He has a feeling most of his classmates aren’t taking it too seriously, and it’s really a pity. It’s fine and all to focus mostly on training and planning for the festival, but without actual info about their competition, they won’t be able to decisively outshine 1-A.

 

He’s already started observing their rival class, of course. Still, even if he is rather good at stuff like that, it won’t help them much if he’s the only one trying. He’s only human, and as much as he loathes to admit it, he is likely to misinterpret or overlook things. Even right now, as he’s beginning to go through his notes, he can’t help but wonder if he is drawing correct conclusions.

 

1-A seems to have broken into smaller groups. That’s a fact. He’s heard students gossiping about the tension seen between the groups – hell, he’s also seen it today. That’s also a fact. The conclusion he’d arrived at is that the class is unlikely to act together as a cohesive unit. But he keeps second guessing it.

 

So what if people split into groups? It also happens in classes that are generally good at coming together to achieve a goal. The rumours are rather harsh, but they’re only rumours, so it’s not like he can completely trust them. And even if he can see the tension between 1-A students… they might be able to set aside their differences and cooperate if they realise others are doing similarly.

 

They somehow survived a villain attack, so even if they get arrogant, there have to be at least a few people with brains in there.

 

He thinks he can even pinpoint the biggest threats on that front. Yaoyorozu Momo and Iida Tenya. Class President and Vice of 1-A. Kendo often mentioned that they both seem to have good heads on their shoulders. Plus, he’s seen it himself with how Iida calmed everyone down while the alarm was blaring.

 

There are also two other recommendation students he has to be wary of –and yes, he is incredibly enraged at the fact 1-A has 3 recommendation students while 1-B only got 2. He isn’t quite sure if they’re the same type of threat as Yaoyorozu and Iida, but as the top two from the recommendation exam –as stated by Tokage- they’re likely to be observant and have some sort of leadership skills.

 

It’d be good to attack them first when the chance presents itself. Of course, it wouldn’t be desirable to attempt so in the first round – it usually leaves enough spots for both hero classes and two to three people of different courses, so even if 1-B manages to hinder them, they would be likely to pass. It’s not that Neito thinks non-hero course students wouldn’t be able to make use of opportunities, it’s just that those are recommendation students and someone from a hero family that they’d be targeting. There isn’t much one could do against them without proper training.

 

He sighs, and takes out a pen, circling the names of possible threats. After some consideration, he doodles an exclamation mark next to Yaoyorozu’s name. He might have asked Vlad King about the scores for the written tests, and discovered that the girl is unsettlingly smart. Sure, it might just be academics, but it does make her a possible threat, if she can apply her knowledge to real-life scenarios.

 

An idea suddenly strikes him, and he writes a little note next to Todoroki and Iida. “Check information about relatives”. Of course, he’ll start immediately, but it doesn’t hurt to have a note about it, in case he doesn’t find anything important now, and will have to resume his research later.

 

Honestly, he’s kind of appalled he hasn’t considered it before. Since both boys come from hero families, there is a big chance he’ll be able to find out a lot about their relatives. And since quirks are usually similar between family members, a lot of it should be relevant to how the two will fight. Especially since they’re likely to have received training from their hero relatives.

 

Sure, maybe not all of it will be similar, since they’re training at U.A. under another pro now. But still, even knowing the very basics of what he can expect will help a lot with planning. Excited, he closes the notebook, and walks over to his computer. He stops for just a moment, before he reaches a decision, and shoots a quick text in the group chat. There, now that he’s shared his idea, his classmates might look into it too.

 

He doesn’t have too high hopes for most of them, but it’d be a relief if at least Tokage and Kendo also looked into it and shared their observations. Satisfied, he gets to work.