"I’m sure you’re wondering why I've called you here..." Vice-Admiral Aizawa grumbled as he tilted his head back to deliver eye drops to each of his bloodshot eyes.
The Vice-Admiral was melted into a large, dark blue leather chair. His jet-black hair, which usually draped lazily over his tired face was pulled back into abun that showed thought but was still a mess nonetheless. The red uniform, which was too large for his wiry frame, hung loosely on Vice-Admiral Aizawa and was covered in wrinkles. Any other Starfleet officer would be scolded for such an unforgivable dress-code violation, but Vice-Admiral Aizawa was the exception. He was exhaustion, personified. Dark bags were prominent under his black, bloodshot eyes as if he hadn’t slept in days. The Vice-Admiral’s desk was littered in precariously-balanced stacks of PADDs that chirped, demanding attention. The desk was also covered in empty, coffee-stained mugs; the strong, stale aroma permeated the entire office. A small couch was shoved into a corner of the small room and a large yellow sleeping bag was draped over it. It wasn’t uncommon for Aizawa to spend his nights in his office.
Lieutenant Commander Izuku Midoriya sat in a smaller chair on the other side of Aizawa's disorganized desk, his scarred fingers nervously drumming on the side of his leg. In contrast to the Vice-Admiral, Midoriya’s gold operations uniform was crisp and pressed. His dark green hair, while unruly in his youth, was carefully styled in a neat undercut. Sweat was starting to build up under the collar of Midoriya's uniform and the green-haired man shifted uncomfortably. No one had expected the Lieutenant Commander to make it this far. During his first year at Starfleet, Midoriya had scored the lowest in almost every subject, he had been scared of heights and space, and he had no previous familial background within the fleet. Everyone, including Vice-Admiral Aizawa, had dismissed Midoriya early on and expected the boy to drop out. Only Admiral Toshinori Yagi, or All Might as people liked to call him, seemed to be on Midoriya's side from the beginning. All Might had even been the one who had convinced him to apply to Starfleet in the first place. Midoriya managed to prove everyone wrong, displaying power and determination that rivaled All Might himself and graduated third in his class.
Sitting next to the Lieutenant Commander with an annoyed look on his face was Commander Katsuki Bakugou, his arms crossed over his red command uniform. His ruby eyes were darting back and forth between the Vice-Admiral and Midoriya, giving both men a death glare. The explosive blond had been in the same class as Midoriya, the two had even been childhood friends, but there was clearly a strained relationship between the men. Bakugou had made a point to beat Midoriya in everything they did as the academy, coming second in their graduating class with near-perfect test scores. The Commander had excelled from the start, quickly moving up the ranks as soon as he graduated. With an extreme list of accomplishment under his belt, everyone assumed that Bakugou would be the youngest person in Starfleet to gain command of a starship, but fate had other plans.
“I’m sure you’ve both heard about the starship Yuuei, a brand new vessel that Starfleet plans to send out on an exploratory mission within the next year.” The Vice-Admiral continued, Bakugou smirked confidently while Midoriya held his breath, “I’m here to announce that, after much consideration, we decided that Lieutenant Commander Midoriya will be promoted to the rank of Captain and will be put in command of the starship Yuuei.”
Bakugou jumped up, slamming his hands down of the Vice-Admiral’s desk with an explosive ‘bang’ that caused Midoriya to yelp. The stacks of PADDs collapsed and crashed, sending the devices in all directions. Rage burned in the Commander’s eyes as he glared holes into the Vice-Admiral, who was still relaxed in his chair, unfazed by the outburst.
“You have got to be fucking kidding me!” the Commander hissed, smaller explosions erupting from his palms, burning the desk. “You can’t promote Deku over me! I have more experience in the field! I’m a higher rank! You can’t do this!”
The Lieutenant Commander cowered in his chair, both hands gripping the edges of his seat until his knuckles turned white. Although Midoriya had grown up with him, Bakugou’s frequent outbursts still shook him to his core. The two had been separated for the last few years; Bakugou had been stationed on a starship engaging in war exercises along the neutral zone while Midoriya had been placed close to home at Saturn Station. The trembling man, feeling more like a boy, eyed the commander nervously, his stomach twisted into a knot as he watched his childhood source of so much heartbreak and inspiration yell into the Vice-Admiral’s face. All Might had told the Lieutenant Commander about the new starship about a week earlier and encouraged Midoriya to apply. He had done so on a whim, but he had never in a million years dreamed that he would get promoted to such an impressive rank, especially not over Bakugou.
“I wasn’t one-hundred percent behind this decision either; I don’t think the Lieutenant Commander is ready to take this position.” The Vice-Admiral sighed, the words hit Midoriya like a ton of bricks “I don’t think he is ready to make tough decisions, but Midoriya has friends in high places; my hands are tied. Commander Bakugou, you are being promoted to second-in-command. I don’t have the energy to spare your feelings. Although I think you have what it takes to really shine, you were deemed too reckless to be in command, and I agree with that assessment. This will be a good learning experience for both of you. You will both be debriefed on your mission next week. You’re dismissed.”
Midoriya leaped up and nearly ran out of the room, all too aware of the red eyes glaring daggers into his back. As soon as the door swung shut, Bakugou erupted again, his voice easily heard through the door causing people to stop and stare. The Lieutenant Commander pressed his back against the wall right outside of the office, listening to the one-sided tie-raid of a bruised ego on the other side of the door. This was supposed to be his moment. He, at 23, was the youngest person in Starfleet to be given a ship. He felt sick and deflated. An explosion shook the wall and Midoriya leaned his head back with a thud, closing his green eyes and groaning to himself; Bakugou was not taking the news well. He didn’t want this promotion. He didn’t want to be on a ship with Bakugou. Why, oh why had he listened to All Might? The room went quiet and Midoriya stood up straight with a sigh, making his way slowly down the hallway, out the door, and into the cold San Francisco air. The chilly winter breeze sent shivers down his spine as he sulked around the courtyard, his body had grown accustomed to the regulated temperature on Saturn Station. Midoriya wrapped his arms and retreated into himself, looking up at the grey sky and muttering to himself in an attempt to brainstorm himself out of his unwinnable circumstances.
“I won’t know how shitty the situation is until the debrief…” The young Captain grumbled, shivering as another cold breeze stung the tips of his ears “All Might didn’t give me many details about the ship… or what the mission is…”
A pair of small, delicate hands reached around to cover Midoriya’s eyes, shaking him out of his thoughts and he jerked at the touch. There was a chin resting on his shoulder and another cheek pressed against his own.
“Guess who!” a familiar friendly voice whispered into Midoriya’s ear, causing his cheeks to flush a deep red.
“Uraraka!” Midoriya squeaked, pulling her hands from his eyes and looking at his former classmate out of the corner of his eye.
Hopefully the cold masked his blush.
“Ochako!” Uraraka whined, sticking her tongue out as she moved to stand in front of Midoriya “We’ve known each other for over four years now. You can call me by my first name!”
Midoriya laughed nervously, rubbing the back of his neck as he and Uraraka strolled through the courtyard. The two made small talk about what they had been doing after graduation. Uraraka had grown her hair out over the past few years, and it was pulled up into two buns on either side of her head. Midoriya thought her blue science uniform looked nice with her eyes and then blushed a deeper red at the thought. The petite, attractive woman went in-depth about the research she had been conducting, her quirk helped a lot with her studies over the years. He was glad to have someone there to distract him from his miserable day, but his relief quickly dissipated as the conversation turned to him.
“So what are you doing back on Earth?” Uraraka asked, nudging Midoriya gently with her elbow.
“I -uh- I… got a promotion…” The young Captain mumbled, hiding his face in his hands as he said it.
The science officer’s eyes lit up at the news; a huge smile stretching across her face. A loud, excited squeal left Uraraka’s lips as she bounced up and down.
“That’s insane!” She exclaimed, throwing her arms around Midoriya’s shoulders and squeezing him tightly “That’s so exciting! Aren’t you excited? We have to go get drinks to celebrate! Is it on that new ship? I’m being transferred to that ship too!”
“You’re going to be on the Yuuei?” Midoriya cried, ignoring her other questions as tears of relief collect at the corners of his eyes at the news. “Oh thank god!”
Uraraka pulled back from the tight embrace, holding Midoriya at arm's length. Her big brown eyes staring deeply into Midoriya’s, a look of concern plastered on her face. Before she was able to question him further, a loud explosion echoed through the courtyard. Bakugou slammed the door behind him and stomped by, his closed-fists still smoking, sticking close to the building as he walked as to avoid running into anyone. Even at a distance, Midoriya could see that the commander’s jaw was clenched tightly. He wondered how long it would his new second in command to calm down. Uraraka’s eyes followed Bakugou until he was out of sight, there was an expression on her face that Midoriya couldn’t quite place. She looked sad.
“Let’s go get drinks,” The science officer said, her eyes staring at the place Bakugou had been a moment before “I’m paying.”