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The Lunar Blood

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Izuku Midoriya’s one dream in his life was to become a hero. He loves everything about heroes: their radiant costumes, glistening smiles and—most importantly—the drive to protect those in need. No other hero exemplified these traits more than All Might, the greatest hero to ever live. Midoriya was his greatest fan boy. Posters of the hero were proudly hung on his bedroom walls, and action figurines strewn all over the bookshelves. He simply couldn’t get enough of his favorite hero.

He would always ask his mother with sparkly eyes to “Put on the video!”

She’d always chuckle at his admiration.“Okay Sweetie! I swear, ten thousand of these views are from you!”

He’d always squeal with excitement and then he’d fall under a trance. His eyes glued to the screen as he saw All Might rescuing several people from an overturned bus. It was a grisly scene. At first his mother was concerned about the content, but after she saw his admiration for All Might, her apprehension vanished. “All Might is so cool!” Midoriya thrusted his favorite All Might action figure in the air. “I can’t wait until I get my quirk! I’ll be just like him!”

“I’m excited for you too, Sweetie! Tomorrow we get the results!” his mother said sweetly. She was a little nervous though. She was excited for her little boy, but she was also terrified at the prospects of her son becoming a hero. No mother ever wants their child to be put into harms way. The dangers of being a hero were like no other form of occupation, and she couldn’t help but be a little nervous. She had more than just heroism to be worried about. She was worried about the secret to her family line. Long before the advent of quirks, there were beings known as monsters. The monsters that are discussed in typical tales of heroism exist and have existed for millennia. Monster blood runs through her family’s veins: the blood of wolves being the curse that her family had to bare.

Lycanthropy is the supernatural transformation of a human into a wolf. Lycanthropes—more commonly known as werewolves--had been in her family for as long as she could possibly remember. Her grandfather was one and he was executed for being one. Although she wasn’t born with the trait, she was still a carrier of the gene. Her brows furrowed at the possibility of her son bearing the trait. It was right around his age when he would begin to develop it. The world was a scary place. People fear what they don’t understand. If her sweet Izuku developed lycanthropy, then his dreams would be rendered almost impossible. Heroes hunt monsters.

She sighed and shook her head, clearing her mind from the thoughts that troubled her so. “It’s going to be fine. He’s not a werewolf. His teeth aren’t pointed, and he doesn’t act differently when the full moon is out. We’re going to be fine.”

She walked out of the room. Dusk was swiftly approaching, which meant that she had to prepare dinner soon. Her husband would be home soon, and he would undoubtedly be tired. Hisashi Midoriya worked long hours at the Hero’s Association. Although he wasn’t a hero himself, he worked with communications and made a decent wage. It was more than enough for the family to live comfortably. The apartment had ample room for the family and all the appliances were up to date. Each room was fully furnished and gave the apartment a very cozy feel.

“Hey, Sweetie! Would you like to have soy sauce with your rice?”

“Yeah!” Izuku’s excitable voice rang out above the din of the computer that he was glued too. His happiness stilled her nerves, but she couldn’t quite shake the sense of dread that she felt. “Whelp, the beef isn’t going to cook itself.” With that, she began to cook.

Halfway through her cooking, she heard the front door creak open. “Hello! Babe, I’m home!” Hisashi exclaimed. He set down his suitcase with a thud on the floor. She heard little Midoriya’s little bare feet slapping against the tiles as he ran towards his father. “Hi Daddy!” He wrapped his little arms around his father’s waist and stared up at him with pure happiness.

Hisashi picked up the green haired runt. “Hey there buddy! How’ve you been? You haven’t been causing any trouble for you mother, right?” He tickled the little boy.

Midoriya screeched with laughter “No! I never do! Haha! Stop! Hahaha!” He fidgeted as he tried to escape his father’s grasp. It was to no avail.

“He never does.” Inko Midoriya leaned up against the wall in the hallway that led to the kitchen.

“Hey Babe!” Hisashi stopped tickling his son and he set him down gently. He looked at his wife lovingly before walking towards her. She met him half way and they engaged in a tender embrace.

“How was work, Dear?”

He shrugged a little. “Work is work. Same as always: a bunch of phone calls, mountains of paper work, having to refile everything because my coworker doesn’t know how to alphabetize.”

She stifled a laugh. “He still doesn’t know how to do that?”

“Nope. Some people I guess never learn.”

“Well, go get changed. Dinner will be ready in a couple of minutes.”

“Okay. What’s for dinner?”

“You’ll find out when you come to it. You know me by now.” She stuck her tongue out at him. He nodded before making his way to their bedroom.

“Mommy! Can I help?” Midoriya gazed up at her. Stars were shining in his eyes.

“Of course, Sweetie! Thank you!” She handed the glasses to the little boy and he filled them up with water from the refrigerator. She took out three plates and served the meal: it was beef and peapods. It was one of her grandfather’s favorite meals. Thinking about what happened to him made her worried again, but she did her best not to show it. “Ok Sweetie! Can you go get your father?” He shook his head excitedly and then dashed out of the kitchen.

His little feet slapping floor as he ran down the hall. His little fist tapped on the door. “It’s time to eat, Daddy!” The door swung open. Hisashi’s suit was replaced with a t-shirt and some sweatpants. It was his usual lounge outfit.

He glanced down at his bundle of joy before picking him up again and placing him on his shoulder. “Thanks buddy! Let’s go eat!”

Inko couldn’t help but smile as the two loves of her life came into the kitchen. For a moment, everything seemed all right. “I must be just worrying about nothing as usual.” She thought to herself.

“Thanks for dinner, Babe!” She smiled warmly and nodded before kissing her husband. Midoriya grimaced at the display of affection—like all little kids do at the sight of kissing. Hisashi noticed his reaction and laughed. “One day, you’ll be into girls. You’ll even kiss a girl.”

The whole family sat down at the table and dug in. As usual, the meal was delicious. The beef chops were tender, and the sweet sauce of the meal made the rice very sweet and succulent. This topped off with crispy pea pods, made for an excellent meal. “So, tomorrow is the big day, huh?” Hisashi broke the sounds of chewing.

“Yeah! I get to find out what my quirk is! I’m gonna be just like All Might! I’ll be super strong!” Midoriya flexed one of his little arms.

“My! You’re already strong!” Hisashi lightly grabbed his son’s arm. “Yep. You are a strong little man!”

“What Quirk do you think you’ll have, Sweetie?”

“I don’t know…how about super strength and speed! OH! I know! I would have the ability to fly and shoot lasers out of my eyes! I’d have super cold breath and—”

“Wow! You’ll be really powerful! You’ll be just as strong as All Might!” Hisashi said. Izuku nodded and then grinned. His cute little teeth were on full display. He was missing a couple, but that was usual for a five-year-old--especially one that loved a ton of sugar.

“You won’t be able to be really strong, if you don’t eat your vegetables.” Inko stated as she stared at the little boy’s plate. It was clean except for the pea pods. They were left untouched and in a pile.

“I don’t like ‘em. Peas icky!” He crossed his arms and pouted.

“Come on buddy! Eat them and I’ll buy you ice cream tomorrow, after you show me that new quirk of yours.”

He gasped. “Really?! Okay!” He gobbled down the pea pods without hesitation. Inko gave Hisashi a look, to which he simply shrugged in a what-else-was-I-supposed-to-do sort of way.

Tomorrow soon came and the Midoriya family was off to the doctors. They had gotten a phone call the night before that reminded them that they had a scheduled appointment for the next day. Hisashi was home from work. He had requested a day off, so that he could be there when his son discovered whatever his quirk would be. He was hoping that his little buddy would inherit his fire-breathing quirk that had been in the Midoriya line for generations.

“Today’s the day, Little Man! Are you ready?”

Izuku smiled brightly. “Uh-huh!”

“I’m so excited for you, Sweetie!” She gave her son a warm hug. “I know how important this is to you.” She was feeling a little sick to her stomach. It was like indigestion, but far more intense and visceral. Something was not right, and she didn’t know why. Some would call it a ‘mother’s intuition’ but she wasn’t too sure. She just hoped, whatever it was, that her son would get a Quirk. If her son had a Quirk, he couldn’t have lycanthropy. For some reason, those who inherit the monster gene are incompatible with quirks. It is generally one or the other. There were rare times in which those with monster blood were born quirkless and no inheritance of the gene, but that was incredibly unlikely. Either way, her fears would be realized or left unfounded today. The whole thing left her in a state of nausea.

“Babe. Are you alright?” Hisashi rested a hand on her shoulder.

“Yeah.” She took a deep breath. “I’m just a little nervous is all.”

“Well don’t be. He’ll be fine.”

“Yeah! There’s nothing to be worried about! I’ll become a great hero!” Her son’s excited tone always brought her out of her head.

“Everything will be fine.” Inko stated with some forced confidence. She felt better admittedly, but something was still off, and she prayed silently that it wasn’t what she was fearing. There was only one way to find out. “We should probably leave now.”

The drive to the doctor’s was oddly quiet. Izuku was lulled to sleep with the constant rhythm of the car ride. Inko’s nausea was back in full force as she stared aimlessly out the passenger side window, while Hisashi was on auto-pilot. The slow and almost methodical drone of the car on the road had the entire family in a state of limbo. The never-ending traffic made the uncomfortable situation a million times worse. After what felt like hours, the family arrived finally at the doctor’s office. The family was sitting in one of the rooms waiting for the doctor. Izuku played with his little All Might figurine that he always had on him. Hisashi had laid down on the bed and began to doze, while Inko was alone in her thoughts.

The awkward silence was broken when the doctor finally entered the room. He was an odd-looking man. He was wearing the traditional lab coat with a stethoscope around his neck. He had the strangest goggles/glasses that were yellowish brown in color with green lenses—that appeared to be lights. He had a round face and big ears. His nose was medium sized, and his mouth was covered up by the gray mat of fur that seemed to spill out of his nose. He had a clipboard in hand—whose contents held the future of the Midoriya family.

“Hello doctor. So, what’s the news?” Hisashi asked.

“What’s my Quirk?!” The excitable green haired boy was practically jumping up and down.

The doctor’s expression turned grim. “I’m sorry, kid. It looks like you don’t have a Quirk.” Inko’s eyes widened in alarm and Midoriya froze.

“Are you sure there wasn’t some sort of mistake?” Inko hazarded. Alarm was dripping off her voice and it felt like her heart was in her throat.

“No. The results of the Quirk examination are incredibly accurate. We ran the test multiple times and we got the same results every time. I truly do apologize. It’s clear that this wasn’t the news you were all looking for. But don’t worry little kiddo, you can find a plethora of jobs and hobbies to do that don’t require the use of quirks!” He tried to lift the mood, but he failed miserably.

Inko didn’t even move. She was in a state of shock. “This couldn’t be happening! He can’t have it!”

“Thank you for your time doctor. It was much appreciated.” Hisashi broke Inko out of her trance and she began to sweat.

“Of course. If you have any questions or concerns, do feel free to call the office or even schedule an appointment. Without further ado, I must be off.” The doctor gave a slight nod before walking quietly out of the room. He closed the door behind him.

“We should get going. I’m sorry Izuku, but it is what it is. What you get in life, you get.” He placed his hands on Izuku’s shoulders.

Without another word spoken the family drove home. They had stopped to get some ice cream, but the deafening silence still permeated the air. Even when they were home, a somber veil was draped over every corner of the apartment. The very color of the world seemed to be drained a little. The overcast sky wasn’t helping with things either. The rest of the day stayed like this too. What was so strange about it, was that no one cried. Everyone’s ability to even emote was seemingly left behind at the doctor’s office. This collective apathy was broken when Inko heard an all too familiar video playing from the computer of her son’s room.

She stepped into his bedroom. The lights were off, save for the glow of the computer screen. In the chair sat her son. He was watching his dream ahead of him, seeming so close but forever out of his reach. No matter what he tried, he wouldn’t be able to be a hero. There was a reason why no one heard of a quirkless hero. They simply didn’t exist. “Izuku.” Inko’s voice was barely a whisper.

His chair slowly turned around. Tears were streaming down his cheeks as his large and sad eyes bored into her own. “Mommy. Can I still be a hero?” His voice was almost despondent.

“Oh Izuku!” She wrapped her arms around her son. “I’m so, so sorry!” Together the two grieved.

 

Several days had passed since the dreadful news of the doctor’s office. Hisashi had returned to work and wouldn’t be home well into the evening. As a stay at home mom, Inko’s life revolved around the usual: house work, taking care of her bundle of joy, paying the bills, among other boring adult duties. The house was still heavy. Izuku was absolutely devastated. He usually was running around in his own little world. He would pick up his action figures and play out whatever heroic fantasies a five-year-old would fancy. Usually, there were a lot of sound effects, and they would be constant. However, today was not like that. Ever since he found out that his dream was crushed, he had become almost despondent. It killed Inko to see her son like this.

Inko quietly knocked on her son’s door. “Sweetie, why don’t we go to the park today? It’s gorgeous outside.”

Silence.

“Sweetie, please open the door.”

Silence.

She sighed and then tried the door. It was locked. That was odd. She wasn’t even aware that her son even knew how to lock the door. He had never done it before. “Come on Sweetie, please open the door.”

“No.” his voice was soulless, and she grimaced in response.

“I know you are upset about not having a Quirk. I know that you wanted one so badly, but you can still live a life without one. It isn’t good for you to be in your room all day. I hardly see my little boy anymore.” She was trying the guilt card. She hated doing it, honestly. It felt manipulative and she never wanted to manipulate her son; however, mulling over what he can’t have isn’t going to help him. Adults are the ones that are supposed to carry the woes of the world. Kids should never have to face that burden.

“I don’t want to do boring things. I want to be a hero!” That didn’t work. She was going to have to try something else.

“I know, Sweetie. I know. You can still be one, even without a Quirk!” That wasn’t a complete fabrication. He couldn’t become a pro-hero without a quirk, but he could become a hero and save lives. Police officers are heroes, and not all of them have Quirks. He could even work in communications like his father. His father may have a quirk, but he doesn’t use it in his occupation.

“I can?” He asked innocently.

“Of course, Sweetie. Now can you please open the door?”

“Okay!” She heard his little feet slap against the bedroom floor. There was a soft click and the door quietly opened. His bright green eyes were staring up at her. He had a smile on his face. Her little Izuku was back. “Can we actually go to the park?”

“Of course, Sweetie! The weather is beautiful. Maybe we could even call your friend Katsuki?”

He shook his head vigorously. “Yeah! Can we?!”

“I’ll call his mother.” Inko smiled before proceeding to the kitchen where the house phone was located. She dialed the Bakugou family’s phone number.

It rang a couple of times before a rough, womanly voice answered the phone. “Hello?”

“Hi Mitsuki.”

“Hello Inko! How are you?”

“Excellent. I was wondering if it was okay for Izuku and Katsuki to hang out at the park?”

“Absolutely! I was just thinking about asking you. It’s been a while since the two of us got together. We need to have lady’s nights more often.”

“Yeah. We have been pretty busy, right?” Inko chuckled lightly.

“Well, I gotta clean the kitchen, and then I’ll bring Katsuki to the park. I’ll see ya there!”

“Good-bye.” Inko hung up and placed the phone in the receiver. It clicked and then beeped into place. “Okay Sweetie, lets get ready to go!”

“Okay!” The little green haired boy ran excitedly into his room to get changed.

“I’m glad you’re back, Izuku!” It was perfect weather. The sun was brightly shining and there was a mild breeze from the east that balanced the thick summer heat. The humidity wasn’t overbearing, and the bugs weren’t swarming. It was the best weather for outdoor activities. Inko was pulled out of her reverie by an excited squeal!

“HI KACCHAN!” Izuku sprinted towards the ashen haired boy. His little red shoes dispersing the loose woodchips of the playground.

“Hiya, Izuku! Let’s play!” Katsuki gave a toothy smile. He ran towards Izuku with equal excitement leaving his mother to laugh.

“Be careful, Sweetie!” Inko called after her son, who was long out of ear shot by then.

“You worry too much! Kids are gonna be kids!” Mitsuki laughed as she saw the two boys chasing after each other.

“I know, but I hate seeing my little Izuku get hurt!”

“He maybe little now, but that won’t always be the case. That’s why you got to let them have fun while they still can!”

“Yeah. I know.” The two mothers made their way to a bench that was sitting under a great tree. They were covered from the extreme sunlight but were still in sight of the children. “How’ve you been Mitsuki?”

“More or less the same as usual. Katsuki’s being a bit of a pain in the ass, especially with that explosive Quirk of his.” She shook her head. “He scorched the kitchen table again! It’s the third time this week!”

Inko slightly recoiled at the word Quirk. “Yeah. I can see how that can be stressful. I guess your traits are truly the dominant ones.” She laughed weakly, which raised the suspicion of the other woman.

“Are you okay? You seem a little down.” She craned her head to the side.

“I’m fine. It’s just been a stressful couple of days. Nothing that I can’t manage.”

“Well, do you mind spilling the beans? Us ladies got help each other out sometimes.”

Inko sighed. “It’s about the Quirk examination that we just had a couple weeks ago. We got the results two days ago and…it didn’t go well.”

“How do you mean?”

“Izuku…doesn’t have a Quirk and he will…never have a Quirk.” She hung her head. Tears threatened to spill from their springs.

“Ah. I see.” She placed her hand on her shoulder. “You feel responsible for the results, huh? Well you shouldn’t. You can’t control what does and doesn’t get passed on to your kids, you know?”

“Yeah, I know. But Izuku was so crushed! He has wanted a Quirk for forever. He wants to become a pro-hero, but now he’ll never be able to be one!” Inko lost her battle with her tears and she began to cry.

“Inko. It’s gonna be okay. Even without a Quirk, he can still be a hero, you know?”

She sniffled and wiped the tears from her eyes. “I know that, but he won’t be able to achieve his dreams though. He doesn’t want to be a regular hero. He wants to be just like All Might. Try as much as he likes, he won’t ever be able to be as good as him because of something that is beyond his control, and it angers me so much!”

“I know what you mean. But the world isn’t fair, and we have to play with the hands that we’re dealt.” Mitsuki gestured for a hug. Inko accepted the gesture, sniffling into the ear of the other woman. “Please don’t beat yourself up over this, okay?”

“Yeah, I know.” She said it with forced conviction. Of course, she couldn’t actually do that. Her son was born without a Quirk, and it’s still too early to rule out the fact that he may be a werewolf. They begin to develop signs around Izuku’s age and will experience mood swings and other psychological changes, along with some physiological ones. These changes will become pronounced around a full moon, which just so happened to rise tonight. From Inko’s perspective, they were far from being out of the woods.

“AHHH!” The two women broke apart. They looked over frantically to see Izuku on the ground crying. Smoke was rising from his forearm as Katsuki stared in awe and in fear at the what he’d done.

“Izuku!” Inko sprinted towards her sobbing boy. “Izuku!”

“Mommy! It hurts!”

“Dammit Katsuki! How many times do I have to tell you? Do not burn things up!” Mitsuki roared.

“Mom! I didn’t mean to! I swear—”

“Enough Katsuki! We are going home right now!” She grabbed her son’s hand. “I’m sorry this happened, Izuku! I’m gonna make sure that Katsuki gets his act under control!” Katsuki recoiled at the implications of that, and the two stormed off: the mother dragging her terrified son behind her.

“Mommy!”

“Shhh! Let’s get you home, okay? We’ll get you all patched up and feeling better.” She saw the red mark on his skin. It wasn’t a deep burn, so it wouldn’t scar, but it must have been excruciating—especially for a child.

The park was only a couple blocks from their apartment. Within minutes, they were back, and she rushed her son into the bathroom. “Let’s put your arm under some cool water and—HUH?!” Inko’s eyes popped out of their sockets. The mark was gone, completely. She checked the other arm, in case she got the two mixed up, but there was nothing there either.

“It doesn’t hurt anymore, Mommy. I’m all better.” He stated matter-of-factly. “Is Kacchan gonna get in trouble because of me? I really don’t want him too.” His big green eyes were a little sad. He didn’t want his friend getting in trouble.

“He’s not in trouble because of you. He’s in trouble because he ended up hurting you with his Quirk.”

“But it was an accident. He didn’t mean to do it! He shouldn’t get punished for something he didn’t mean to do!” Izuku stated a little indignantly.

“Even if it’s an accident, you still have to pay the consequences of your actions.” He didn’t seem convinced. “Think of it this way: let’s say that you broke an expensive vase. What do you think should happen?”

He raised his brow a little. “Well, I’d say that I’m sorry and that I’d see if I could fix it.”

“Well that is exactly what is going to happen to Katsuki. He hurt you on accident. He was remorseful about it, and now he is going to work with his mom so that that doesn’t happen again. It’s a big part about growing up. You make a mistake, and then you fix it.”

He nodded slowly. “Okay. Mommy?”

“Yes, Sweetie?”

“Can I have some ramen?”

“Of course!” Inko laughed a little at the adorable request. “I’ll go make the ramen, you go play with your toys, okay?”

“Okay!” He sprinted out of the bathroom towards his bedroom.

Inko was boiling the ramen and preparing the food on autopilot. She delved back into her thoughts and concerns without a distraction. “Oh my God! This cannot be happening! He has no quirk, and his skin had already healed! It wasn’t a major burn, but that type of injury would have been red for the next couple of days, and still be tender for the next couple of weeks. An injury like that shouldn’t heal in a matter of minutes. Not only was there that, but there was also Izuku’s mood change. Yes, he was upset about not getting a quirk; however, I have never seen a child of his age almost sinking into a depression because of something not going his way. If he was a teenager, it wouldn’t have been that much out of the ordinary. But for a little kid to shut himself in his room for days, that’s strange.” She shook her head in an attempt to silence the panic she felt. “Calm down, Inko! Just because he may have some of the signs, doesn’t mean that he is a werewolf!”

The timer snapped her out of her thoughts. “Okay Izuku! The ramen is done!”

“Okay!” He ran into the kitchen and plopped into his seat. He bounced in his seat, full of energy.

“Here you go, Sweetie! Be careful. It’ll be a little hot.”

“Okay!” He grinned before he began to shovel in the hot ramen into his mouth. He clearly ignored her warning, but he didn’t seem bothered by the temperature.

“Is it good?” She stared in awe at her son. He is a growing boy after all, but he was really wolfing it down.

“Yeah. Itcsh sho good!” He talked with a mouthful.

 

Dusk was beginning to fall, and the pale moon began to rise in the sky. Inko had managed to push off the thoughts in her mind for now. She had a distraction: laundry. She hated doing laundry, because it’s a never-ending task that she wished someone else could do. However, it is a great distraction. One that she needed right now. Her husband wasn’t home. He was working a later shift tonight. He should be home within the hour, but he tended to stay late in order to ensure that everything got done. He was that type of worker.

“Mommy! Come here! Come see this!” Excitement was evident in his voice.

“I’m coming.” She walked over to the bathroom where she heard her son’s voice come from.

She stopped dead in her tracks when she looked in. Izuku was staring at himself in the mirror. His eyes weren’t human. They were blood-red and glowed like fire. They looked like the eyes of a blood-starved wolf, yet they still carried the innocence of a small child. His ears were covered in a layer of green fur. “See, Mommy? I have a Quirk!” He was smiling. His canines were elongated into fangs, and the rest of his teeth were sharpened immensely. “I can finally be a hero!”

Inko couldn’t keep in her terror anymore and she began to sob. Izuku was perplexed by her reaction. He took a step forward. “Mommy, what’s wrong? Did I do something wrong?”

She shook her head. Her vision was blurry through the copious amount of tears. “Oh Izuku! I’m so sorry!”

“Mommy? What are you sorry for?”

“Listen to me Izuku!” She grabbed his hands. His hands had turned into little claws. “You can never show anybody this!”

“But Mommy, I don’t understand. What’s wrong?”

“You are a werewolf—a person who is born with the ability to transform into a wolf. On nights when the full moon rises—like tonight—you will transform into a wolf. The trait comes from my side of the family.” Her stomach turned with knots of regret and guilt.

“Does that mean you’re a werewolf too?”

She shook her head. “No. I wasn’t born with the trait because I was born with a quirk. For some reason, those who are werewolves are unable to inherit quirks. Something genetic must be making it incompatible. I passed it down to you, and that is how you inherited it. I’m very serious, Izuku. You can never show people this!”

“But why not? Why must I hide a part of who I am?” Her heart broke at his pained expression and his innocent words. His little eyebrows furrowed in concern, and his bright red eyes were quivering a little.

“Because other people won’t understand what’s going on. People are afraid of things that they don’t understand. If you were to show this to someone who didn’t understand, they might do something unkind to you.” She began to sweat at the memory of her grandfather’s death. Her family had to change names and go into hiding after the incident. It was the worst time in her life.

“Okay. I understand. Can I at least show Daddy?” His tone was hopeful.

She paused. She had no clue what she was going to tell her husband. She never shared him the family secret of her blood and she never planned on it as long as the need never came about. Now, she wasn’t so lucky. This was going to be a terrible revelation for everyone. She could feel it in her bones.

“Yeah, you can show him. But let me talk to him about it first, okay?” He nodded. “Go play with your toys. There will be nothing to worry about, okay Sweetie! No matter what happens, he and I will always love you, okay?” She felt tears threatening to spill from her eyes. She wasn’t feeling very confident about his reaction. Hisashi loved Izuku as much as any father loved his son. However, Hisashi was somebody who went by the book and followed the rules. The rules mandate the death of all monsters, but surely his son was an exception, right?

The minutes crawled by at an agonizing pace. He would be home any minute now, but each minute felt like an eternity, and Inko became more and more nervous. Then she heard keys in the door, her breath stilled, and it swung open.

“Babe! I’m home!” Hisashi was exhausted. That much was clear. His suit was crumbled, and his tie was off center. He looked like he just stepped off a train.

“Hi Dear!” Inko hugged him, but her muscles were so tense. “How was work?”

“It was fine.” He paused and noticed her labored breath. “What’s wrong, Inko?”

“We need to talk.” Her nerves were burning. She was so scared about what was about to happen.

“About what? Did something happen?”

She started to shake. “I need to tell you a secret about my family, but let’s talk in the living room.” He nodded. He was bewildered and her worried posture was filling him with a sense of dread.

She waited for him to sit down before she began. “Okay. You know that werewolves exist right?”

“Of course, what does that have to do wi—”

“My family has werewolf blood.”

He stopped dead. “Pardon me?” Anger was burning in his eyes.

“It comes from my dad’s side of the family. I never told you about my grandfather because he was a werewolf. He was executed when I was a little girl and we fled. Our names were changed, and we escaped with our lives.” Her breathing was getting heavier. Hisashi’s anger was terrifying her.

“I see how that may be troubling, but why bring this up now? Why didn’t you tell me before?!” His face contorted in anger, and he looked menacing.

“I was terrified what your reaction was going to be. It was a well-kept secret in my family because exposure of this fact could have spelt certain death for us. I never inherited the trait, but Izuku—”

“What?!” He nearly yelled. “Are you saying that he’s—”

“Daddy!” Izuku stepped into the room. He was more transformed than before. His eyes were more wolf-like and his fangs were long enough that they stuck out of his mouth. His ears were now sitting on the top of his head, like a wolf, and he had a long and fluffy green tail. His hands were little claws along with his feet, which were both covered in thick green fur.

Hisashi said nothing. He stood quietly, but his eyes filled with murderous intent. “You’re not my son.”

Inko gasped. “Hisashi! How can you say that?!”

“Daddy. What do you mean? Did I do something wrong?” He took a step backwards. Tears were welling in his eyes as he stared into the cold gaze of his once gentle father.

“Just as I meant to, Inko! He’s a freak! An abomination that isn’t fit to live in this world!” He spat the last word.

“Hisashi!”

“QUIET!!”

“Daddy! Why are you talking like that?” Izuku started to cry.

He said nothing. He turned towards Inko. “He deserves to die! But…” tears began to well up in his eyes, “I can’t kill my own son; however, by law I cannot raise him. So, I will leave.” He left the room.

“Hisashi!”

"Daddy!" Izuku ran to grab his dad’s arm, but his claws sank into his arm and drew blood.

“AH! Don’t touch me! You freak!” He shoved him away.

“Daddy! Please, don’t leave me! I’m sorry Daddy! Daddy!” Hisashi ignored his sobbing child. He picked up his briefcase and walked out the door. Leaving the two behind in their grief. As the night progressed, Izuku transformed more and more into a wolf. His cries turned into mournful howls as his mother tried to console him. He had just lost his father, and his life would never be the same.

Chapter Text

Izuku awoke to the sound of his alarm. It has been nine, long years since Hisashi abandoned his wife and son. His absence had financially strained the family. There were no alimony payments, and Inko was powerless to do anything about it. If she said or did anything against Hisashi, he could report them to the Hero Society. Inko and Izuku were forced to move into a cheaper apartment on the outskirts of the city. This was due to two reasons: it was significantly more affordable than the cozy apartment they were used to; secondly, the forest preserve wasn’t that far from the apartment. This was necessary because Izuku’s wolf form required a lot of space that the apartment didn’t have. Every time the full moon rose, Inko and her son would go to the nearby forest reserve—a couple miles out—in order to keep her son’s affliction a secret.

Even this task was made difficult. Although the apartment was cheap, she still had to find a way to support her child. Inko worked multiple shifts and she had to send her child to school, which wasn’t free. Since she was gone from the house so often, her son had to go to daycare—at least while he was still young. This only added to the already overwhelming financial burden. Izuku’s lycanthropy made this situation even worse. On the nights of the full moon, Inko had to work early shifts that enabled her to be home before the evening. It was exceedingly difficult to get all her jobs to comply with her needs, but she somehow managed it.

Inko’s time constraint poised an arguably greater problem: she couldn’t always watch out for her son. There were many days he would come home with damaged clothing and items. Scorch marks were ever prominent on his clothing. This was undoubtedly caused by Katsuki Bakugou. Before his quirk fully developed, Izuku and him were close friends. Nowadays, Katsuki had become arrogant. He looked down on everybody. Izuku never developed a Quirk, which only fed the ego that Katsuki had. Izuku became a target for bullies and would regularly come home upset or even worse. He would be physically fine, due to his supernatural healing abilities, but emotionally he was very fragile. His self-esteem was practically nonexistent. This unnecessary burden only added to the immense pressure he was feeling for having to keep his werewolf side a secret.

Had Inko been in a better state of mind herself, she would have noticed the change in her boy. Her own stress and grief were unbearable for her, and it left her emotionally and physically exhausted. The additional financial cost of having to purchase more than enough school supplies was annoying, but she never did anything about it. She didn’t have the energy to process it and Izuku never brought anything up, so it became a topic that was forgotten. It was another elephant in the room to forget about.

Izuku heaved a heavy sigh. “It’s time to get up already.” With a groan, he lifted his sleepy body out of bed and began to get ready to start the day.

He lumbered into the bathroom and he began to brush his teeth. His tired, green eyes were staring at the freckles that sprouted on his cheeks. His eyes flicked to his canines. Regardless of the lunar cycle, werewolves still maintain some traits from their wolf form. Izuku’s canines were sharper and more pointed than average. This led to the typical remarks of him being “a vampire” or any other mythical creature. He tried to ignore his classmates’ hateful words the best he could, but no one is totally immune to the words of their peers. After several minutes of brushing, Izuku spat out the toothpaste and took a long drink of water. It tasted metallic. It was almost like he licked pennies. The water at home—his old home—was so much more refreshing and real than this crappy apartment.

It was just another way in which his life had changed forever, and his usual optimism seemed far away today. He felt like he was submerged in water. Every movement was slow and required all his energy. He wasn’t entirely sure how he’d make it through the day, but he’d have to grin and bear it.

After splashing some water on his face, he made his way into the kitchen. There, he saw a note on the kitchen table. It read:

Dear Sweetie,

       Good morning, Izuku! I made you some eggs with toast and sausage. It’s in the oven so that it could keep warm. I also made you a lunch to take to school today. I’m sorry that I can’t be here to give you a morning hug and a kiss like I used to. I really am sorry. I love you more than anything in this world and I hope that you have a great day. I’ll see you tonight. I love you!

Love,

Inko

His eyes drifted over to the pictures on the fridge. They locked onto a picture of his mother. She had changed so much over these past years. Before the absence of his dad, his mother’s eyes were so full of life an energy. Her skin was brighter, and her hair had a gleam to it. Nowadays, her skin had aged and her hair lost its youthfulness and strength. It was reduced to a frazzled mess full of split ends. She seemed even shorter now than she used to, but Izuku had grown up. He was taller than his mother, but small in comparison to the rest of his class. She had put on some weight though. Stress, guilt and poor-quality food tends to do that to a person.

To his surprise, breakfast was delicious. He didn’t feel all that hungry, but he must’ve been. “Well, it’s time for me to head to school. At least the walk isn’t too bad.”

And it wasn’t. The apartment was only a couple of blocks away from Aldera Junior High. Due to the population density of the metropolitan area, the walk would still take at least ten minutes. That’s without distractions too, which there usually was.

“RAAAAH!!”

A massive roar tore through the air as a powerline was effortlessly sundered in two. The top piece plummeting to the street below. Cries and screams called out in response to the grisly sight before them. A crowd was gathering under the shadow of the terrifying monster that could have been seen from three prefectures away.

Before it crashed into the street, a hulking man, garbed in a blue vest and yellow and black bands on his wrists and forehead, effortlessly caught the metal beam. It was an impressive display of raw strength that could only belong to a hero.

“Oh, it’s Death Arms!” A bystander exclaimed. “He carries out justice through his great physical strength: The Punching Hero!”

Water shot out of a man that appeared to be comprised of fire hydrants. The water formed a barrier to prevent any of the civilians from being in danger. “Everyone, this is dangerous. Stay back, stay back!”

“The rescue specialist, Backdraft, is here, too!” Another voice added to the excitement that filled the air.

Izuku tried his best to see the scene, but to no avail. He’s only fourteen and had a lot of growing to do. The massive villain was still in plain sight.

“But man, turning into a monster’s an amazing Quirk. What did he do?” One man inquired.

“He stole someone’s bag and went out of control when he was cornered.” Another man deadpanned.

“A Quirk like that, and he’s a bag snatcher?” His voice was filled with dismay.

Suddenly, a shadow flew through the sky, and several women screamed out of pure joy. “You can do it, Kamui!”

He landed effortlessly in front of the crowd and dashed toward the villain. He wore a navy-blue uniform with golden braces on the biceps. His forearms and face were covered in wood. Despite the heavy quirk, he moved with incredible agility. He leapt to a tremendous height and was ready to attack.

The villain noticed his presence and swatted at him. “GET AWAY!” Kamui nimbly dodged the attack.

Izuku finally wormed his way through the crowd. His heart beating and he shook with anticipation. “Who’s fighting?!”

The villain lunged forward in an attempt to grab Kamui, but the attempt was futile. He extended a wooden arm to ensnare a metal cross walk, in which he landed gracefully.

“Kamui Woods!” Izuku answered his own question. “The young and talented rising star!”

“You were the one asking, but you gave a perfect commentary, kid.” Said a man with peculiar, cross-shaped growths protruding from the sides and top of his head. “You’re a fanboy, aren’t you?” The man pointed a figure.

“Uh, well…” he totally was a fanboy. How could he not? Kamui Woods has proven time and time again of being an excellent hero. Izuku was an avid hero researcher. Every hero worth their salt had been analyzed by him one way or another, but Izuku didn’t want to admit his admittedly childish obsession—his unrealistic, childish obsession.

Izuku decided to leave the question unanswered, and he returned his gaze to the battle. The villain slammed his heavy arm into the ground, cracking the metal train rails. Kamui leaped to dodge and countered by wrapping his wooded arm around the forearm of the giant. This proved ineffective, as the giant whipped his arm around and Kamui was sent flying like a rag doll. He righted him self in the air before landing safely on the building facing the beast. He was unharmed.

“Illegal use of powers during rush hour and robbery resulting in bodily injury.” Kamui’s deep voice rang out in the crisp air. “You are the incarnation of evil.”

He raised his arm: branches sprouted  from it and formed a snare of tree branches. Izuku’s eyes shined brightly. Kamui was about to use his signature move. “Oh, here it comes!”

“Show us something flashy, Tree-man!” The peculiar man exclaimed.

“Pre-emptive…” Izuku began.

“Binding…” Kamui swung his arm back: winding up for his greatest attack.

“Lacquered Chain Prison!” They shouted in unison.

Kamui released his attack. Branches shot forth to ensnare the villain. He raised an arm to brace for the attack when a thunderous voice shook the city.

“Canyon Cannon!” A massive blue leg slammed into the giant, knocking him away with a satisfying WHAP! He flew into the siding of a building: debris rained from the following explosion.

The crowd was stunned into silence. “Huh?” Even Kamui was at a loss for words.

The confusion was broken by the media. Cameras swarmed like locusts in a field. “Here it is, here it is, here it is, here it is.” Camera flares and clicks echoed the monotonous mantra of the media.

“Today is the day of my debut!” The giantess’s voice rang out. “My name is Mt. Lady. A pleasure to make your ass-quaintance!” She thrusted her bum in the air. Since it was covered in a tight and white heroine suit, erroneous and disgusting fantasies began to fill the minds of most of the men in the area.

Izuku was enthralled as well, but not for the same reason as everyone else. A new heroine had just made her debut in front of his eyes, and being the avid hero analyst that he was, he had to take notes.

Kamui wasn’t happy about being upstaged. “Sh-she’s getting the credit…”

Raucous cheers filled the air, as the giantess reveled in her attention. She shrunk herself down to normal size and the villain was apprehended by the police: who were rendered useless by the power of the monster.

“Gigantification, huh?” Izuku’s pen glided across his notebook. “She looks like she’ll be popular, and it’s an amazing Quirk, but thinking about the damage to the city that’ll go hand in hand with that, its use might be limited? No, but whether or not she can control the size…”

“Hey wait, you’re taking notes?” Izuku didn’t notice his voice. Whenever he dived into his notebook, the outer world faded into the background as his synapses and analytical mind fired like a well-oiled machine. “You wanna be a hero? That’s great! You can do it!”

That snapped him out of his thoughts. He turned towards the peculiar man: a light blush dusted his cheeks. Izuku never anticipated this. Every single time someone discovered his hero aspirations, people would laugh in his face. His own mother didn’t support him, well she supported him with his physical needs, but she was never there for his emotional needs. She was too tired nowadays. “Yes! I’ll do my best!” Izuku’s heart was burning with joy. He may be a werewolf, but he certainly wasn’t going to let that fact stop him from achieving his, albeit unrealistic dreams.

 

Izuku’s optimism was very short lived. Today in class, they were deciding what career path they would go on after junior high. Nervousness gnawed away at his innards as he hastily filled out the form that was handed out. He turned it in first, in hopes that it would go unnoticed by everyone else—especially Katsuki.

Once everyone had turned in their forms, the teacher cleared his throat. “Since you’re all third years, it’s time for you to think seriously about your future.” He grasped the stack of papers before continuing. “But I don’t even need to read this, do I? You’re all going into the Heroic’s course, aren’t you?”

Cheers of approval rang from the students. Their various quirks were released simultaneously. One student had skin made of rocks, while others spewed out flames and water from their hands. One girl levitated her pencil box with her telepathic powers. Izuku sat in awkward silence. If all went to plan, he’d remain forgotten and no one would point out his Quirkless status.

“Yes, yes, you all have wonderful Quirks! But using your powers at school is against the rules!”

“Teach!” Katsuki’s arrogant voice cut through the class. “Don’t lump us all in the same group.” He was lounging in his seat with his feet crossed and on his desk. His head was leaning back, hovering over the desk behind him. He oozed narcissism. “I’m not gonna be stuck at the bottom with the rest of these rejects!” He sneered.

“Typical Kacchan.” Izuku thought to himself.

A din of anger barked in response to Katsuki’s taunts. “That was uncalled for, Katsuki!” Boos and other jeers were leveled at the ashen haired asshole.

Their response only further boosted his ego. A shit eating grin spread across his face. “You all should just shut up like the extras you are!”

To the untrained observer, the teacher's ability to keep a blank look on his face in the wake of his class descending into chaos would be noteworthy. However, it was a normal day. Katsuki would say something mean to everyone else, and everyone else would respond in kind. “Oh, if I remember correctly, you want to go to U.A. High, right, Bakugou?” The teacher was examining his notepad.

“U.A.? That national school?!” Exclaimed an orange haired girl.

“It’s technically an international school that’s incredibly prestigious. Most of the well known and greatly admired pro-heroes are alumni to that school.” Izuku facepalmed and then put his head down.

“It was in the top 0.2% this year, you know!” Another student stated pointedly.

“Their acceptance rate’s always really low, too!” It was a poor deterrent for Katsuki. Of course, he was going to try and go to U.A.! Katsuki had the skills and requirement necessary for it. His ego was not unfounded. Unlike a lot of bullies, he had the skills and abilities to back up his brutish behavior.

“That’s exactly why you guys are just extras!” He jumped onto his desk before proselytizing to the class. “I aced the mock test! I’m the only one at this school who could possibly get into U.A.” He pointed a thumb towards his chest before continuing. “I’ll definitely surpass All Might and become the top hero! My name’ll be inscribed on the list of top earners!”

“Oh yeah, Midoriya wanted to go to U.A., too, right?” Katsuki was promptly silenced, and all the eyes in the room shifted onto his subdued and tiny form.

“Why did he have to say that?” He tried to make himself invisible. He failed.

Laughter tore through the classroom and into his heart.

“Huh? Midoriya? No way!”

“You can’t get into the hero course just by studying!”

Horror flashed across Izuku’s face. “Th-they got rid of that rule!” He stood up to try and make himself seem larger than he truly was, but it only made him feel smaller. “There’s just no precedent…”

“BLAM!!” an exploding hand cut him off, and he was knocked flat on his ass.

“Hey, Deku!” the exploding culprit gave crazed eyes to his victim. “You’re below the rejects! You’re Quirkless! How can you even stand in the same ring as me?”

Fear rippled through Izuku like a stone in a pond. “No, wait, Kacchan!” He threw his arms up in a defensive manner. “It’s not like I’m trying to compete with you or anything!” He scooted back until he bumped into the wall behind him. He was terrified, and it was clear that no one was on his side. No one had ever been on his side. He turned his head downward to avoid the bloodthirsty gaze of the taller teen. “Believe me! It’s just that it’s been my goal ever since I was little. And well, I won’t know unless I try.”

“Whaddaya mean, unless you try?!” Smoke erupted from his hands, and the smell of sulfur and nitroglycerin filled the air. Izuku’s heightened senses multiplied the scent a hundredfold and his eyes began to water. “Are you taking the test for fun?! What the hell can a Quirkless nobody like you do anyway?”

“Okay, that’s quite enough.” The teacher's unenthused voice drawled. “Bakugou, leave the poor kid alone and return to your seat. You too, Midoriya.” Izuku hesitantly rose from the ground: his legs quivering from the pure terror he was put through. An anger was blooming in his chest.

“Why the hell didn’t you step in the moment he destroyed my desk?! Why in the hell did you let any of this happen?! Why did you always let this happen?!” His heart was pounding in his chest, and he could feel the wolf side of him wanting to come out and get even with Katsuki. He pushed it down. “Nothing good would come from that.”

 

The rest of class was uneventful, and the teacher had gotten Izuku another seat. Little was left from Katsuki’s “demonstration of how awesome he is.” The time on the clock read: “3:40” and class was dismissed. The other students went their own ways, and the teacher had long since made himself scarce. All that was left in the class was Izuku. He was on his phone and reading various headlines about the incident that had taken place.

“The incident this morning is all over the headlines!” He locked his phone before sliding it in his pants pocket. “I wanna hurry up and go home so I can write it down in my notebook.” He held up said notebook with excitement, only for it to be pried from his fingers by rough hands.

His tormenter towered over him again. An unenthused look was plastered on his smug face. He waved the notebook around in an irritable manner. “We’re not done talking yet, Deku.”

Of course not. How could he forget? During school, he was at the mercy of his fellow classmates, but after school—when no one else was around—Katsuki and his goons would always hound Izuku for being a weak coward. This was no exception.

“Katsuki, what’s that?” A teen with shoulder length hair asked.

He held the notebook higher for them to read, despite of Izuku’s protests.

“Huh? ‘Hero Analysis for the Future No. 13’?” His voice broke with laughter. “Seriously?”

“Midoriya…” The other goon with stylish black hair snickered in response.

“I-it’s fine and funny, isn’t it? Give it back!” He reached for the notebook. Katsuki said nothing. He slammed the notebook in between his hands and the whole thing combusted. The nitroglycerin smell hung in the air and his eyes began to water. “That’s mean…” Katsuki nonchalantly tossed the notebook over his shoulder and out the open window. “What?! Why?!”

“Most top first-string heroes have stories about them from their school days.” He ignored his questions. “I want the shine of being able to be called the only student to make it into U.A. from this mediocre city junior high school. I mean, I’m a perfectionist.”

“And a complete asshole!” Izuku yelled in his head.

“He’s so petty.” The styled boy muttered.

Katsuki grabbed Izuku’s shoulder like a vice grip. Smoke filled the air again. He could feel the heat through his school uniform. “So anyway, don’t apply to U.A., nerd.” He stated with a smile on his face. Had it been anyone else, the mixed signal would have been mistaken as a joke. It was different with Katsuki. Him and his explosive quirk made his threat a very real threat.

Fear had seized Izuku’s vocal cords. He was unable to get any words out. Seeing that his threat had gotten through to his victim, Katsuki and his goons began to walk out of the room.

“Come on, you could at least say something back.” The black haired one stated with disappointment.

“Don’t say that. He’s pathetic. He still can’t face reality.” The other one answered smugly.

“I have faced reality, despite that, I will apply to U.A. and I’ll try my hardest to get in! What do they know about reality anyway?” His wolf side growled in his mind.

Of course, Katsuki had one last thing to say. He stopped and turned to face Izuku. “If you wanna be a hero that badly, there’s a quick way to do it. Believe that you’ll be born with a Quirk in your next life and take a swan dive off the top of the school!”

That was the last straw. A deep growl came from Izuku. “The hell did you just say?!” He turned around. He could feel his fangs under his lip.

Katsuki was shocked by his tone of voice and the throaty noise coming from the usually shy boy. “I said, if you wanna a Quirk so bad, why don’t you throw yourself off the building, Deku?!”

Izuku snarled in response. In a flash, he had grabbed Katsuki by the collar and lifted him off the ground, an impressive feat for someone who was several inches shorter than him. “I have a better idea! Maybe I should throw you off the top of this building, and we could test if you would be reborn as a better person. What to you say, Kacchan? Want to try it?!” He bared his fangs at his tormenter.

Katsuki’s face paled and his eyes filled with fear. His red eyes peered into Izuku’s. Normally they were a gentle and timid shade of green, now they were a deep shade of crimson that emanated power and danger. “Deku? What the hell—”

“What’s the matter, Kacchan? Not so tough, are you? Here’s a word of warning: it’s very difficult to become a hero, if you’re a red stain on asphalt. That is exactly what will happen to you if you ever tell me or anyone else to go ahead and kill themselves just to appease your superiority complex!” He growled before slamming Katsuki into the wall behind him. He fell to the floor with a thud, and Izuku kicked him in the stomach, knocking Katsuki’s breath away. “That’s for ruining my notebook, asshole!”

He glared at the goons, who were silent to this whole affair. They yelped when his murderous gaze bore into theirs. Izuku growled again before grabbing his things and walking out of the room. He walked out of the front of the school and fished his notebook out of the fountain.

It was completely ruined. Months of analysis and work gone. Tears blurred his vision as he continued to walk home. His tears were halted by terror. “Oh my God! What did I just do?” He hadn’t meant to hurt Katsuki like that, but he had lost control. “Father was right: I am a freak!” He began to sob. Tears were steaming down his face as he took out an old family picture from his wallet.

It seemed like it came from a different time period. His mother was healthy and happy. He was sitting on his father’s lap with a wide smile on his face. His father was there. He was looking down at him with joy in his eyes. “Daddy! I miss you so much! Why did you leave us?!” He desperately craved his father's strong embrace: the thick smell of cologne that emanated from him. His sharp stubble that he’d rub on him when he would nuzzle him. He missed the tickle wars that he’d had with him and he missed the gifts he’d get from him on Christmas Day.

The world was drowned away as he delved into a happier time. His supernatural senses were very acute and accurate. When his mind was clear and he could focus, he could detect everything that was around him. But not now, he was consumed in his grief and he didn’t notice that he’d strayed from his intended path. He walked under an overpass as he continued to mutter to himself.

That’s when he heard sludge moving behind him. He turned around to see a billowing mass of green slime appear. “A villain?!” A head formed out of the mass. It had many pointed teeth and crazy, bulbous eyes that bore into his green ones. His legs nearly gave out as his body locked in place.

“A medium-sized invisibility cloak…” Its deep voiced echoed under the deep overpass.

He was shaken out of his paralysis and Izuku took off in the other direction, but it was too late. The sludge monster was already on top of him. It was forcing itself inside of him. “Don’t worry. I’m just going to take over your body. Calm down. It’ll only hurt for about 45 seconds.” Izuku’s wolf side activated again. His own red eyes bore into the monster that was forcing its way into him. He clawed at the monster, trying to get him off him. “Tenacious, aren’t we? What type of monster are you? Quite an interesting invisibility cloak. Stop struggling so much, no one will save you. Try as hard as you can, but you’ll never escape my grasp.”

“I can’t breathe!” Tears were blotting his vision once more as he continued to thrash to get free. It wasn’t working and he could feel his strength begin to ebb away.

“Thanks for your help. You’re my hero!” He laughed evilly. “I didn’t think that had come to this city.

“My body. There’s no strength…I’m dying…am I dying? Mom! I’m so sorry…It looks like…I’m not coming home.” Izuku’s vision began to darken significantly as his body was starved of oxygen. Soon, darkness was all he saw.

 

Death would not find Izuku. The manhole cover flew across the overpass. This distracted the villain from claiming his body. His eyes nearly popped out of his gooey head and terror reverberated through his amorphic form.

“It’s all right now, young man.” A powerful voice called out. The man in question was enormous. His muscles rippling under the tight t-shirt that he was wearing. His golden hair shown brilliantly, even in the dim lighting of the overpass. It was no other than the hero: All Might. Had Izuku remained conscious, he would have lost it then. “I am here!”

The villain responded rashly and attempted to swat All Might away. He ducked and the green sludge arm slammed into the wall behind him, cracking it with great force. All Might leaped towards the villain. The slimy monster sent another arm at the hero: he wouldn’t dodge this one. Instead, he decided to show some muscle.

He slammed his foot down, stilling his momentum and transferring it into his mighty arm. “Texas Smash!” A maelstrom tore through the overpass. The shape of the overpass created a wind tunnel, which further amplified the overwhelming might of the great hero.

It slammed into the villain with tremendous force. “Wind pressure…?!” The wind smeared the green villain all over the underside of the overpass. This released the boy, as he fell backwards.

The change in pressure and access to oxygen broke Izuku out of the trance he was under. His eyes opened lethargically. He tried focusing on the figure he saw in the cave. His massive form contrasted with the blinding light that was behind him. He recognized the v-shaped crest of golden hair which was bleached in the straining light. “All…Migh…?” Izuku lost his battle and fell unconscious.

His body fell limply to the ground. All Might needed to attend to the boy’s injuries; however, he needed to secure the villain and ensure that he wouldn’t be able to escape. Normally, he wouldn’t have any container to hold such an amorphous villain, but luckily for him and the world at large, All Might still had wonderful groceries.

He downed two bottles of soda—and grimaced at the massive amount of sugar he flooded his system with—and then scooped the villain into the containers. It wasn’t the most secure way to hold a villain of this magnitude, but it would do. The villain was incapacitated. The likelihood of him being able to break out of the confines of the container was slim to none.

With the villain secured, All Might turned his attention to the boy. He was lying flat on his back. All Might may have been great at rescuing people, but he wasn’t the best at doing CPR, or knowing whether the boy was dead. He assumed that he wasn’t, since the villain wasn’t attacking him for that long anyway, but he still wasn’t sure.

He leaned in close to the boy in order to hear his breath. To his delight, he heard the gentle breathing of the unconscious child. All Might then decided the best course of action: tapping the kid enough so that he wakes up. Not the best of plans admittedly, but All Might knew that he didn’t have much time to dilly dally. He wouldn’t be able to keep his quirk activated for much longer, if the dull throbbing in his chest and abdomen were any indication.

He began to lightly smack the boy’s face, in a silly attempt to wake the boy up. “Hey! Hey! He—” His green eyes opened, and he shifted. “Oh, good!”

Izuku froze, and his eyes bulged out of his skull. “WAAAAAAAH!!!” He scooted back from the muscular hero in a laughable fashion.

All Might stood straight up to his imposing height. “I’m glad you’re okay!” Izuku was too shocked to respond. “Sorry ‘bout getting you caught up in my villain fighting. I don’t usually make mistakes like this, but I was in high spirits on my day off in a new place.” He let out a hearty laugh. “But you were a big help. Thanks!” He held one of the soda bottles. “I captured him safely!”

“The number one hero: All Might! He’s here! He’s actually here in front of me! He thanked me! The greatest hero of all time actually thanked me! Oh my God!! He looks completely different in person!” Izuku was paralyzed in awe. He simply couldn’t believe his eyes. “Autograph! I need an autograph! Where should I--?” His eyes landed on his charred notebook. “In that notebook—” He hastily grabbed it and opened it. His eyes bulged again.

Written in all caps and with his V-shaped insignia:

               “All MIGHT!!!”

“You already did!” Izuku bowed up and down in a comical manner. “Th-thank you so very much! It’ll be an heirloom! A family treasure!”

He gave a thumbs up. “Okay” He padded the bottle in his pants pocket. “Well, I need to take this guy to the police. See you again on the other side of the screen!” He waved and prepared to take off.

“Wait, already?”

“Pros are constantly fighting enemies and time.” In his case, All Might was racing against the clock.

“Wait. There are still…things I want to ask…” Izuku stepped forward.

“Well then, I’m counting on your continued support!” He yelled towards the boy he thought was still on the ground. He somehow didn’t notice the extra weight of a person hanging onto him before taking off. He noticed the extra draft in flight. “Wait.” He looked back, only to see the poor kid hanging on for dear life. His mouth and eyes flapping in the intense winds. “Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey! Let go of me! Your fanaticism is too much!” He lightly tried to pry the boy who had a vice grip on his leg. The extra strain caused the bottles to fall from his pockets, but he was too distracted with the boy to notice.

“If I…let go now…I’ll…I’ll die!”

That admission got through to the thick-skulled hero. “That’s true.”

“I…have…a lot of things…I want to ask you directly!” His lips and eyes were still flapping in the wind. If he didn’t close them, the boy would dry out from the inside.

“Okay, okay! I get it, so close your eyes and mouth!” He heeded the warning and buried his face in All Might’s quad. He put a hand on the boy’s back to calm him. That’s when the strain in his chest multiplied. He coughed suddenly and blood seeped out of the corners of his mouth. “Shit. I’m running out of time!”

The two landed on top of a building with a loud CRASH! All Might absorbed all the shock.

Izuku was left heaving. His lips were chapped from the winds and his whole body shook with exhaustion. “Th-that was scary…I thought I was gonna die!”

“Good grief. If you talk to the people downstairs, I’m sure they’ll let you down. I seriously am outta time, so I really must go.” He began to walk off.

“Wait! Um…”

“No! I will not wait!” He was beginning to panic. He had to leave, and he had to leave now.

“But…” He reached out after his hero.

“I’m sorry, kid. It looks like you don’t have a quirk.”

“I’m sorry, Izuku! I’m sorry. I’m sorry!”

“What the hell can a Quirkless nobody like you do anyway?”

“He’s a freak! An abomination that isn’t fit to live in this world!”

He slowly lowered his hand until it was limp against his side. “That might be true, all of it. But even so, I…” He clenched his hands into tight fists, and he shook with determination.

“Even if I don’t have a Quirk, even if I’m not normal, can I become a hero?” All Might halted.  “Can even someone without a Quirk be like you?”

Chapter Text

Memories of Izuku’s past flashed through is mind, like a faucet that had burst. “I’m sorry, kid. It looks like you don’t have a quirk.”

“Even if that was true…”

“You’re below the rejects! You’re Quirkless! How can you even stand in the same ring as me? What the hell can a Quirkless nobody like you do anyway?”

“Even if that’s what everyone thinks…”

“I’m sorry, Izuku! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!”

He shook his head at his mother’s words. “No, that’s not it. That’s not it, Mom. I…even so, I…”

“Even if I don’t have a Quirk, can I become a hero?” All Might stopped dead in his tracks. Izuku had his attention. “Can someone without a Quirk be like you?”

All Might turned over his shoulder. “Without a Quirk…AGH!” Searing pain shot through his body. Steam began to rise off his massive form. He had run out of time. The strain of his Quirk had become too great. “Oh no, holy shit, goddammit!”

Izuku’s eyes were casted downwards: he didn’t notice All Might’s blight. “It might’ve been because I don’t have a Quirk, but I’m always made fun of. Maybe that’s why, but I don’t know. I do think saving people is super cool.” Steam was billowing from All Might and he was obscured entirely. Izuku didn’t notice at all. He was pouring his heart out to his idol. “Saving people with a fearless smile. I want to be the greatest hero, like you!” The unobservant boy finally lifted his gaze and his eyes landed on the skeleton like form of All Might. “HUH?!” His voice echoed throughout the district.

 

The slime villain had just regained consciousness from his run in with All Might. He was still bound to his plastic prison. “Wh-where am I? What happened…?”

Texas Smash!”

“Oh yeah, that bastard! If it weren’t for that bastard…”

“Hey, Katsuki, aren’t you and Midoriya childhood friends?” The styled friend inquired to the ashen haired teen.

“You went a little overboard today. He went a little overboard today! That was horrifying! Who knew that he had a Quirk all this time!”

Images flashed through Katsuki’s mind. Izuku’s red, bestial eyes. The sharp fangs, the clawed hands, his immense strength and that low guttural growl that came from deep within. He wasn’t going to admit that he was scared of little Deku, but he was terrified of little Deku. His Quirk didn’t feel like a normal Quirk. There was a weird pressure coming from him that he never felt before. “It’s his fault for getting in my way.” He kicked the villain mindlessly, mistaking the bottle for commonplace trash. Mistake that it was.

“Don’t pretend that he didn’t scare you! He totally wiped the floor with you!” The black haired one jeered.

“The fuck did you just say?!” Tiny explosions danced across his palms. “I wasn’t afraid of shitty little Deku! I’ll destroy…you.” His anger drained from him as he fell deeply into thought.

“It’s just that it’s been my goal ever since I was little and well…I won’t know unless I try.” Guilt panged in his heart.

“He’s an idiot dreaming like a kid!” He combusted the pop can in his hand. It was a futile attempt to cover up the anger he felt at himself. Deku and him used to be close friends and how did he repay that friendship? By bullying his friend when he didn’t develop a Quirk and he gained an exceptionally powerful one. As much as he claimed to hate Izuku, he admired his drive. He admired the smile that he managed to keep, even while his life continued to be dragged through the mud. His own father had left him, yet he still remained strong. “Just watching him pisses me off!”

“Well, why don’t we go to the arcade for a change of pace?” The one with the shoulder length hair offered.

“You’ll come, too, right, Katsuki?” The other one asked.

“Yeah.” Katsuki sighed.

“Then let’s go to the one in front of the station.” The slime monster spilled forth unnoticed. “There’s bound to be so much prey there!”

“You’re terrible.” The black haired one deadpanned.

“What?! If we get caught, it’ll end up on my record!” Katsuki protested.

That’s when his friends noticed the monster forming behind the ashen haired boy. “Hey, look!” They exclaimed in unison.

“An invisibility cloak with a great Quirk!” Katsuki felt genuine fear for the second time today. The monster lunged, and hell broke loose.

 

Izuku shook at the skeleton man that was in front of him. “Y-Y-You’re deflating!” He whipped his head around, trying to see if he could see if the real All Might was somewhere else. “Wait, up until now…Huh?! Fake? A fake?! You’re so skinny!”

The skeleton man led out a sigh. “I am All Might…” blood spilled out of his mouth in copious amounts.

“AHHHH!! NO WAY!!”

“You know how the guys at the pool are constantly flexing and posturing?” He wiped the blood from his mouth. “It’s like that.”

“No way!” This could not be happening. He had to be dreaming. “I-It can’t be! All Might is fearless. He saves everyone with a smile. He’s the greatest!”

All Might let out a great sigh. “A fearless smile, huh?” He sat down, his body heavy from exertion. “Now that you’ve seen me like this, young man, make sure that you don’t write about it online, even accidentally.”

All Might raised his shirt. Izuku gasped. It was…awful. His skin looked mangled and raw. A deep red borderline purple was etched into the weathered skin. “It’s an injury I got from an enemy’s attack five years ago.  Half of my respiratory organs were destroyed, and I lost my stomach. I’ve become emaciated from repeated surgeries and the aftereffects. Right now, I can only work as a hero for about three hours a day.”

“That can’t be…” Izuku began piecing his testimony together. “Five years ago, was that when you fought Toxic Chainsaw?”

He nodded. “You’re well informed. But a punk like that couldn’t defeat me.” He balled his fist tightly. “This fight was not made public to the world. I asked that it not be made public. I will save people with a smile! The Symbol of Peace cannot be daunted by evil. I smile to show the pressure of heroes and to trick the fear inside of me.”

Izuku gasped. “He’s not so different from me, but that would mean…”

“Pros are always rising their lives. I cannot simply say, ‘You can become a hero even without power.’”

A knife tore through the green haired boy’s soul. Tears began to fill his eyes. “I-I see.”

“If you want to help others, then you could also become a police officer. They’re often teased because they get villains delivered to their doorstep, but that is also a fine occupation.” All Might stood up and opened the door. He paused in the door way. “It’s not bad to dream. But you also have to consider what’s realistic, young man.” With that, the not so mighty All Might made his exit. “Now, I need to quickly get this guy…” He patted his pockets and felt nothing. The bottle was gone.

“BLAM!”

Thick, black smoke rose a few blocks away. Fear wriggled its way through All Might. “Don’t tell me…”

Izuku saw the explosion too. “A villain! What hero will go to the scene?” He ran towards the door, excitement jolting through his body.

“I cannot simply say, ‘You can become a hero even without power.’” All Might’s voice echoed in his head and he stopped dead in his tracks. A thick and bitter sourness tainted his throat, like the taste of rotting meat.

“I truly am useless, aren’t I?”

 

All Might ran as fast as his frail frame could carry him. He lumbered in the street. Sweat was furiously pouring down his weakened form. It was a shame to see such a powerful hero reduced to a weak, pitiful, little man.

Screams were heard as explosions rocketed the Tatooin Shopping District. Glass rained everywhere as thick smoke mingled with embers and ash. Buildings and storefronts were consumed in dangerous and hungry flames. Heroes arrived on the scene in seconds and they surrounded the slime villain. Katsuki was struggling in the villain’s viscous grasp. Since the villain wasn’t corporeal in form, it made it impossible for the explosive teen to free himself.

“A child was taken hostage?!” Death Arms smashed his fists together and bolted towards the monster. “You coward!” He leapt into the air and slammed into the villain with all of his might. The attack landed but was absorbed effortlessly by the semi-liquid state of the villain. “What is this? I can’t grab hold!”

The villain scoffed and then swatted the muscular hero away, like he was a fly buzzing around shit. He slammed into the metal siding of a building.

Alarm shot through the other heroes. “Death Arms!” One of the heroes cried.

“Shit!” Another exclaimed as the villain went on the offensive.

The heroes dodged the incoming attack, but the aftermath of it would have shaken even the foolhardiest of heroes. There was an impact crater left from the horrific attack. “Don’t come near me!” The villain grinned. He knew that he was at a definite advantage. Thanks to the explosive power of his captive, he could keep all the heroes at bay.

Katsuki got his mouth free from the sludge that covered it. “AHHH!” He writhed in the filth, trying desperately to escape the hold of the villain. “I won’t let sewage like this swallow me! You little—” explosions popped in his hands, then violently detonated. Black smoke and fire burst forth and the heroes had to take cover to not be caught up in the heat.

“What power! I’ve hit the jackpot! With this Quirk and power, I can get revenge on that guy!” The villain couldn’t contain his excitement. He trembled at the prospects of being able to kill All Might.

The loud battle drew attention from an enormous crowd. Whenever villains and heroes fought, massive crowds would check out the action. Who could blame them? Why go watch an action movie when you could just walk a couple blocks away to see heroes and villains fighting with reckless abandon?

“Woah, what’s that?! Could he be a big-shot villain?” A civilian exclaimed.

“She’s here! The rookie hero, Mt. Lady!” A woman shouted.

Mt. Lady arrived on the scene with a daring smile. Her gigantic steps pounding the earth with a methodical beat. It was akin to the heartbeat of a blue whale: Something that could be heard from miles away. Her eyes widened and she stopped dead in her tracks. “W-wait…I need there to be at least two lanes!” Unluckily for everyone, the villain was camping out in a too narrow area. Mt. Lady would destroy everything if she tried to squeeze her way into the cramped space.

Katsuki’s friends were huddled together, terrified. Flame had surrounded them, and they didn’t have the means to escape. Suddenly, a wooden arm wrapped around the two and they were hoisted out of the fire pit.

Kamui Woods carried the two boys along with other civilians that were caught in the crossfires. Being comprised of wood, he was not fit for explosions and intense heat. “I’m not good with explosions! I’ll leave it to someone else for today!”

“Thanks for that!” Back Draft responded. Water poured out of his fire hydrants. He was the only hero on the scene who could put out the fires that threatened to swallow the entire shopping district. “I have my hands full fighting the fire. The fire truck’s not here yet? How are things over there?”

Death Arms was exhausted and bloodied. He was covered in scrapes and bruises, yet the villain was seemingly unharmed. “He’s sticky and hard to grab, and a child with a strong Quirk is struggling against him.”

“Thanks to that, it’s a minefield.” The other hero added. “It’s hard to do anything against this triple play!”

Katsuki’s face was once again covered by slime. He’s very strong for his age, but he doesn’t have enough leverage to pry himself from the grasp of the villain.

The slimy villain struck once more. “Crap!”

The heroes dodged the attack. It was all they could do. They couldn’t grab him, and their Quirks were rendered useless due to the location that they were fighting in.

“Give it up! There’s no one who can take care of this at the scene right now! All we can do is wait for someone with a more suitable Quirk!” One of the more sensible heroes explained.

“Let’s hold of the damage until then!” Back Draft stated.

“Don’t worry, I’m sure someone will be here soon!” Kamui set down the civilians at a higher location, far away from the action.

Death Arms shook with fury. “I feel bad for that child, but he’ll just have to bear it a little longer. Damn it! If only I had enough power to blow that guy away!”

“Hey, doesn’t it look kinda bad?” A voice in the crowd stated with worry.

“You can do it, heroes!” A woman shouted.

All Might finally arrived on the scene. He was winded. He clutched a street light for support as he gasped for air. His one working lung was at its limit. He peered through the crowd and saw the familiar villain that he fought earlier.

“It was back then! I was too distracted by my time limit! I can’t believe I made a mistake like this after admonishing that fan.” He clutched his throbbing chest. “Pathetic…so pathetic.”

 

Izuku had left the building. He wasn’t sure where he was going, but his body just carried him. He stared at his charred and waterworn notebook with dismay.

“He can’t face reality, even though he’s already a third year in junior high!”

“It’s time for you to think seriously about your future.”

“You also have to consider what’s realistic.”

Izuku sighed as tears welled in his eyes. “Even a top pro said it.” He sniffled. He brought his hand to his nose to wipe away the snot he could feel ready to be unleashed. “Don’t cry! You knew, didn’t you? The reality. You knew. That’s why you were trying so desperately. You were averting your eyes and not looking at reality. A monster can never become a hero. It could never possibly work, could it?”

A close explosion shook him out of his thoughts. He smelled the sulfur in the air, and it made his eyes water even more.

“Is this where the explosion earlier was?” He noticed a crowd forming where he saw the black smoke emanating from. “Hang on, does that mean I came out of habit without noticing?” He moved towards the crowd like he was a fish on a string. “Stop it. It’ll just feel meaningless right now.” He gasped when he saw the slime villain. “Why’s that guy here?! Did it get away from All Might?! Did he drop it? If he did…then it’s my fault!” He felt like vomiting. That sour taste in the back of his throat intensified greatly.

“Why aren’t the heroes doing anything?”

“They can’t. Apparently, the villain caught a junior high schooler. It’s been like that for a while.”

“Caught?” His green eyes flashed back to the monster in front of him. “It’s been like that for a while? How can they bear that suffocation? I thought I’d die after a few seconds. Wow!”

“Anyway, wasn’t that villain the one All Might was chasing earlier?”

“All Might? No way! He’s here?”

“I think I saw him earlier.”

“Seriously?! Then what’s All Might doing?!” Other cries of fear and indignation began to rise from the crowd of bystanders. Every word was like a dagger to All Might’s withering form.

Izuku couldn’t hold back the tears. His own guilt was too much for him to bear. “It’s my fault! He can’t do anything!”

All Might was also wallowing in self-pity and regret. “Pathetic.”

“All we can do is wait for a hero with a more suitable Quirk! I’m so sorry, All Might!”

“Pathetic!”

“Do your best! I’m sorry! I should have just let All Might go when he said goodbye.”

“So pathetic!” His grip on the pole tightened.

“Help will arrive soon. Please, hang in there!” He returned his bleary eyes to the monster and the ashen haired boy that was in his grasp.

That’s when Katsuki opened his crimson eyes.“Wait! Kacchan?! That smell! Nitroglycerin?!” Izuku burst forth from the crowd.

His once green eyes were that of the wolves, blood red and ready to kill. He sprinted with inhuman speed and a low growl shook the area. He bared his fangs. “Kacchan! Hold on!”

The crowd gasped as they saw the boy grow a green tail. The heroes’ faces paled in fear as they saw the monster spring from the crowd.

All Might couldn’t believe his eyes either. “Isn’t that the boy from earlier? The one who said that he was Quirkless?! He clearly has a Quirk unless…that couldn’t be right!”

The villain turned his gaze to the growl. Before he could react, Izuku had pounced on the villain. In one swift motion, Izuku slashed at the villain and cut through the slime that was holding him together. The attack created a burst of wind that released a shockwave.  What little glass that had remained was reduced to a powder.

“What the hell—” The villain was beginning to lose his grip on his host.

“Release Kacchan now!” Izuku’s voice was deep and full of unbridled rage. His voice alone had bestial strength and it terrified the villain.

“You! You’re that kid that I tried to possess earlier!” The villain leapt away from the enraged wolfling.

“I said, ‘LET HIM GO!’” He leapt again at the villain, tearing into his sludgy form.

“How could this be? When he had him in his grasp earlier, the boy was powerless and weak. Now, the boy is winning! This can’t be!” The villain’s expression darkened considerably.

“Not gonna happen, kid! As you can see, he’s mine now! I will not give him up. With his power, I can destroy you easily!” The villain released Katsuki’s explosions at the boy.

He dodged effortlessly. He bared his teeth in a grisly smile. “Amateur! Kacchan’s Quirk is mighty powerful, but you are a child playing with matches!”

Anger bloomed in the villain. “You think you can mock me, kid?! I’ll kill you!” He struck at the boy with a massive green fist.

He sidestepped the attack and cut through it, like a knife through melted butter. “Not if I kill you first!”

“Ha! I’d like to see you try!”

The heroes were stunned into silence. The ensuing battle was unlike anything they had seen before. It was wild and horrifying. Two enemies were attacking with wild and powerful blows. Each one lethal to the average person. This wasn’t a battle between a hero and a villain. The villain would attack recklessly while the hero would fight with restraint in an effort to lessen damage to both the villain and the surrounding area. This was not the case.

Both combatants were out for blood. It looked like a battle between two villains.

Izuku suddenly lunged at the villain. His claw tore into his eye socket, piercing the eyeball. Blood gushed everywhere. The villain screamed in agony.

“I knew it! Your slime may be impervious to physical attacks, but your organs are not! That eye of yours isn’t coming back, is it?” His tone was cold and murderous. There was an eerie giddiness to it that shook everyone to their bones. “Let him go, or I’ll rip out the other one! Your choice!”

“Fine! I’ll let him go!” He released the boy. “Now leave me alone!”

Katsuki flopped to the ground. He was exhausted and his head was in a fog.

“Kacchan!” Izuku rushed to the ashen boy’s side. “Are you okay?”

Katsuki shuddered at the low voice above him. Terror rocked his form as his own crimson eyes bored into the ones, seemingly soaked in blood. “D-Deku?”

The villain tried to slip away, but Izuku let out a low growl. “Where do you think you’re going?”

“You said if I let him go—”

“That I wouldn’t rip out your other eye! I never said that I’d let you leave, did I?”

“M-mercy! Please!” The villain tried to make himself as small as possible, but Izuku just shook his head.

“You are truly a disgusting being! You had no intentions of letting either me or Kacchan live, so why in Hell should I let you live?! People like you don’t deserve any mercy! If you can even be called a person!”

“D-Deku?” Katsuki tried to call out to him, but his words didn’t reach the wolfling.

With a thunderous roar, Izuku continued his assault on the villain. Green slime splattered everywhere. He had gone insane. Even after the villain’s body was reduced to a green paste, Izuku continued snarling and slashing at his form.

“D-Deku! Stop!” Katsuki called out again. Izuku didn’t hear him. “Damn it, shitty Deku! I said to stop!” He grabbed his shoulder. He spun and growled in his face. He stopped when his wolfish eyes met the terror in Katsuki’s.

“Kacchan?” His red eyes flashed back to green and then back to red and then back to green.

“It’s me, Deku.” Katsuki heaved a warry sigh.

“Kacchan, are you all—Huh?!” He saw his claws. They were sharp and covered in blood. “What did I—” He looked back at Katsuki’s eyes. There was still terror in them, and it was directed at him.

“Oh no! I let my wolf side out! I need to get out of here befor—”

“Step away from the boy!” Death Arms decreed.

Izuku let go of Katsuki and stepped away. He was shaking with fear. He tried to force his wolf side away, but his body was still pumping with adrenaline, which made it nearly impossible for him to focus enough.

The other heroes moved and surrounded Izuku. Back Draft grabbed Katsuki’s shoulder. “We need to get you out of here, young man. It’s not safe.”

Normally Katsuki would argue, but he couldn’t find the words. To be honest, he was relieved. He was terrified of Deku. That murderous gaze and form sent shivers down his spine, and the way he fought. The brutality of it. It was too much.

“Please. I didn’t mean to—”

“Quiet, monster!” Kamui interrupted. “You are under arrest for unlawful use of your Quirk!”

“Wait a minute! Unlawful use of my Quirk! Then that means that they don’t think I’m a werewolf!” Izuku was able to calm himself down at that realization. His half-shifted form faded away, leaving him in tattered clothes and busted shoes.

“Pathetic…Pathetic!” All Might forced himself into his all-powerful form through the anger of his own failure.

“Hold right there!” His voice thundered across the crowd.

Everyone’s gaze was drawn towards the muscular hero. “All Might?!” The crowd gasped.

He nodded, but he hid his rage with a smile. “You shall unhand the boy!”

The heroes gave him a bewildered look. “All Might! He used his Quirk illegally. He broke the law!”

“He may have broken the law, but it is thanks to his wonderous Quirk, that the young boy made it out unscathed. Besides, us heroes break the law all the time in our battles. It’s the reason we must pay for property damages of our battles, otherwise we would be arrested for vandalism.”

Izuku couldn’t believe it. He was getting praised by his favorite hero.

“But, All Might—”

“But nothing! If it wasn’t for this young man, there could have been some very severe repercussions. We should celebrate and reward heroic behavior, not condemn it.”

With that logic, it was hard to argue with All Might, and the heroes relented. “Fine. Boy, you are off the hook. Do not use that Quirk unless you get officially registered otherwise, we will have to arrest you. Do you understand?”

Izuku nodded quietly.

“You can go.” Kamui stated calmly before turning to leave.

Before anyone changed their minds, Izuku began walking away. There were reporters everywhere, but they weren’t focused on him, they were focused on All Might. He wanted to give thanks to All Might, but the thick crowd of overzealous reporters rendered that impossible.

“I suppose it’s for the best. Last time I talked to him, a villain was let loose.” He went to leave, but he couldn’t help noticing all the eyes that were on him. He could feel everyone’s apprehension of him, and he didn’t blame them. He did go on a rampage and almost gutted the person he was trying to protect. It made perfect sense to be afraid of him. Wouldn’t everyone be?

He put his head down and the crowd parted like the Red Sea. He took the easy escape route and used some of that super speed of his to get as far away from that place as possible.

All though the villain’s wounds were severe, he did not die from his altercation with Izuku. The police and the heroes collected the scattered sludge and hauled it off. Katsuki received massive praise for his powerful Quirk.

“That was amazing toughness! And that Quirk! Once you’re a pro, please come to my agency! You’ll definitely be an excellent sidekick!” One of the heroes exclaimed, much to the chagrin of Katsuki.

“Pfft! Sidekick! Like anyone would want to be your sidekick, chicken man! Besides, I don’t deserve any praise. I was powerless to that villain and he exploited my Quirk to wipe out the shopping district. I should have been the one that got in trouble and not Deku. That’s another thing—his Quirk. When and how did that develop? It doesn’t make any sense that that useless bastard would simply hide away such a powerful Quirk, but he had to have been. Not only did he save me, but he kicked that villain’s ass." He shivered. He had severe gooseflesh. "However, his Quirk feels different than any other Quirk I have come across. There’s that weird pressure that was coming from his eyes that isn’t present with anyone else’s Quirk. The hell is that about? And the way he behaved while using his Quirk, it was the complete opposite to how he acts at school or even around me. What is going on?”

              

The sun was beginning to set, as Izuku was walking home. His bare feet were sore from hoofing the several miles on foot. He was still thinking about what had just transpired and he still couldn’t believe that a pro hero--his favorite, All Might--praised him for his “heroic behavior.”

“Deku!” Katsuki’s voice called from a distance. Izuku turned around to see the explosive teen running in his direction.

“Kacchan?”

“I never asked you for help!” He bunched his fists together. “And you didn’t help me! Got it?!” He looked insane. His lips were parted and to the side, and his top gums were exposed. He looked like a camel about to spit. “I was fine by myself. You’re a not so Quirkless failure playing without a full deck. Don’t think you can look down on me! Are you trying to make me owe you?! Don’t look down on me!” He turned around and walked off with his knees bent. “You damn nerd!”

“Um, the hell was that about? Of course, I don’t look down on him. It’s the other way around. I look up to him almost as much as I look up to All Might. He has such an odd way of communicating ‘thanks.’ At least, I think that is what he was trying to say." His forehead creased in concentration. "What would he be thankful for? A friend is supposed to help another friend in a time of need. Although he has tormented me for the past several years, I still consider him to be my closest friend. Besides, I didn’t save him. He saved me from hurting someone who didn’t deserve it. I had completely lost control back there. If he hadn’t brought me back, I don’t know what would’ve happened.”  Sweat streamed down his back at the very thought.

Izuku turned around and let the golden glow of the sunlight hit his face. The warmth of the sun stilled the anxieties that were festering in his stomach. He wasn’t sure how he got off the hook with using his wolf side today, but he somehow managed to pull it off. And he was very grateful.

“I am here!” All Might sprinted out of the alleyway ahead.

“A-All Might?! Why are you here?” Izuku looked around to see if any reporters were around. “You were surrounded by the media until just now.”

“Hahaha! Getting away from them was a piece of cake! Why? Because I am All Migh—blegh!” Blood poured out of his mouth and he shrunk back to his skeleton self.

“Ahhh!” Izuku screamed out of fear. “You need to stop straining yourself. You’re going to die if you keep spewing blood all over the place.” The smell of iron was in the air and it made him feel nauseated.

“Young man, I come with thanks, a correction, and a suggestion. If you hadn’t been there, if you hadn’t told me about your life, I would have been a hypocrite. I would not have been worthy of the praise of being a pro hero, and I thank you for it.” He bowed his head respectfully.

“That can’t be. It was my fault in the first place. I got in the way of your work, and I said all those impertinent things even though I’m Quirkless—”

“But, you’re not Quirkless. You saved that kid using your powerful Quirk!”

Izuku froze. “Crap! I shouldn’t have said that. Now what am I going to say? If I backpedal, he’ll get more suspicious, but it would be awful to lie." He shook his head at the prospects of lying. "No. I shouldn’t lie to All Might. That wouldn’t be right. He deserves to know the truth.”

“That’s where you are mistaken, All Might. I do not have a Quirk.” He raised an eyebrow. 

“But if you don’t have a Quirk…” his eyes widened “then you’re a—”

“A werewolf. Yes, I am a monster.” Izuku admitted quietly. He looked down at his dirty bare feet. He took a step forward and held out his hands.

“What are you doing, young man?”

“Aren’t you going to arrest me? It’s a hero’s duty to protect the world and rid it of monsters. I certainly qualify as a monster.”

“While it is true that a hero is supposed to rid the world of monsters, you certainly do not qualify as a monster.”

Izuku gasped. “What are you saying? Of course, I’m a monster. I nearly killed that villain and my childhood friend out of pure rage. I’m a danger that needs to be put down. How could I not be a monster?”

“You may have lost control, but you did it in order to protect your friend. I had arrived on the scene before you did, young man. I was rendered powerless due to the use of my Quirk in the previous fight. Had you not arrived and used your abilities, that kid the villain snatched would have died and so would have a lot of other people. Monsters don’t save lives: Heroes do.”

Izuku looked into All Might’s eyes. They were filled with sincerity and kindness. “Top heroes have stories about them from their school days. Most of their stories have one thing in common: Their bodies moved before they had a chance to think.” Tears filled Izuku’s eyes and he felt his eyebrows quiver. “That was true for you, too, wasn’t it?”

“Yeah.” Izuku clutched his chest as full body sobs came out of him. He bowed in front of his idol. He heard his mother’s voice in his head.

“I’m sorry Izuku! I’m so sorry!”

“No Mom. That’s not what I wanted you to say. What I wanted you to say was…”

“You can become a hero.” All Might stated with wholehearted conviction.

 

 

Chapter Text

The number one hero, All Might. Age unknown, Quirk unidentified. He dashed onto the scene of the hero world and received unwavering popularity based on his ability. Ever since he appeared, the once critically high rate of crimes committed by villains decreased year after year, and his existence itself became a deterrent. He became the Symbol of Peace in both name and reality. And that man said to me—”

“You can become a hero.”

“Huh? Midoriya? No way!”

“You’re Quirkless! How can you even stand in the same ring as me?”

“I’m sorry, Izuku! I’m so sorry!”

“He’s a freak! An abomination that isn’t fit to live in this world!”

Izuku clutched his ragged uniform. “I wanted someone to tell me that. And then, the person I most admired said those words to me: A monster who wasn’t supposed to exist. Can anything be more shocking than this? More than this…?”

“You are worthy to inherit my power.”

Izuku’s sobbing stilled. He craned his heavy head upwards towards the blinding radiance of the sun. He peered through bleary eyes. “Huh? Inherit your power?”

“HAHAHA! What’s with that face?” He walked towards the boy. “It’s just a suggestion. The real show starts after this.” He pointed a finger towards the amber sky. “Listen, young man. You need to decide whether or not you will accept my power!”

“Wh-what is All Might saying?”

As if he read his thoughts. “I’m talking about my power, young man. The tabloids called it ‘superhuman strength, and a ‘boost,’ and I constantly dodged the question during interviews with a funny joke. Because the Symbol of Peace, All Might, had to be a natural-born hero. But young man, I will tell you the truth. My Quirk was passed on to me like a sacred torch!”

Izuku didn’t understand. “It was passed on to you?”

“That’s right. And next, it is your turn.”

“W-wait! Wait a minute! It’s true that your Quirk is something hotly debated. So much so that not a day goes by when I don’t see someone talking about it online. But, well, I don’t really understand what you mean by inheriting or passing on a Quirk. I’ve never heard of anything like that before, and it’s never even been conjectured in the debate. Why is that? Is it because since the dawn of history, a Quirk like that was never confirmed? In the first place, it’s theoretically impossible to pass on a Quirk, especially if they were not born with one—”

“You always start with denial, huh? Nonsense!”

“Wha--?!”

“I may hide a lot of things, but I don’t lie!” There was a slight indignation burning in his tone. “The power to transfer power: That is the Quirk I inherited! I was crowned with ‘One For All!’”

“One For All…” Izuku mimicked with wonder.

“That’s right. One person cultivates the power and passes it on to another person, who also cultivates it and passes it on. It is the crystallization of power that spins together the voices of those who need help with a courageous heart.”

“Why are you…Why are you giving me something so great?”

“I have been looking for a successor. And then, I thought it would be all right for you to inherit it. You are just a Quirkless hero fanboy, but you were more heroic than anyone else back there!” That struck deep into Izuku’s core. Tears once more were threatening to spill from his eyes. “Never mind! Well, it’s up to you, though. What’ll you do?”

Izuku balled his hands into fists. “He said so much to encourage me, and even told me his secret. However, this will never work, even though I want his ability so much.”

He wiped his eyes before rising to face All Might. “As kind as the offer is, All Might, I must decline.”

All Might’s eyes popped out of his head. “Young boy, what do you mean?”

“What you are offering is impossible. For regular humans, your Quirk is intended to pass onto, but I’m not human; therefore, I’m unworthy of its power.”

“Nonsense, my boy! You may be a werewolf, but you have the heart of a true hero! There has never been a more worthy successor of One For All than you!”

“It warms my heart that you think that, but you are mistaken. Werewolves cannot obtain Quirks. It is impossible. Something about our genetics renders the inheritance and transference of Quirks impossible. I’m truly sorry, All Might. I hate to let you down.”

All Might paused. After a brief moment, he registered Izuku’s response. “I see. That is a shame. You are truly worthy of this Quirk. I never knew that werewolves were unable to inherit Quirks.”

“It’s not just werewolves. All of monster kind are unable to inherit Quirks, but I assume that I’m one of the only monsters left considering…”

“The Malleus Maleficarum: The Hammer of Witches.” All Might finished.

Izuku nodded. “Almost all of monster kind was gathered and executed. No hero alive today has ever seen a monster in action. We practically don’t exist anymore, and many of our secrets were lost due to that bloody decree.”

The air had turned ghastly dark. All Might gulped from how dour the mood had become. “Well, you can still be a hero, young man.”

Izuku shook his head. “You know that isn’t true. Heroes are supposed to hunt monsters and villains. How on earth would I be able to become a hero?”

All Might grinned. “You said so yourself, ‘No hero alive today has ever seen a monster in action.’ Since it occurred so long ago, no one would be able to recognize your supernatural abilities for what they are. You could pass off your wolf side as a Quirk, and no one would question it.”

Although it was a good idea, Izuku knew that it wouldn’t be that simple. While the decree and the subsequent genocide of monster kind had taken place over one hundred years ago, members of the Hero Society are still monster hunters. They missed several bloodlines of monsters, and some in the organization would be out to kill him the moment he showed his abilities. If this wasn’t the case, then his grandfather wouldn’t have been killed when his mother was a little girl and she wouldn’t have had to keep the family secret from his dad. Maybe, his own father wouldn’t have abandoned him for the “freak” that he was.

“But I can’t control it. My wolf side isn’t like some Quirk that can be turned off at a moment’s notice. It is always there and always present. If I become consumed by my emotions and drives, then I become feral. Had Kacchan hadn’t stopped me back there, I could have easily killed someone.” All Might opened his mouth to protest, but Izuku continued. “It doesn’t matter that I lost control because I was trying to save someone. I still lost control and I am a threat. That is why I should be forgotten about or taken into custody. I’m a danger to everyone.”

All Might shook his head. “Then all we have to do is to train you. Hone your skills and your ability to control your wolf side. The more practiced and comfortable you become with your ‘Quirk’, the more control you’ll have over it and the less likely you’ll be to lose control.”

“While that is technically true, it would be a double-edged sword. The more powerful I become with my Quirk, the more dangerous I become if I were to lose control. Besides, harboring a monster is breaking the law. Why would you go to such lengths just to help someone like me, anyway? It couldn’t be for purely altruistic reasons, can it?”

“I’m willing to do it because I know that it is the right and just thing to do. You would be a great asset to the Hero Society. You have the power and the heart to become a great hero. The amount of lives that you could save! Why, you have the potential to far surpass me. That is not an exaggeration, my boy! Even if you were to lose control, today proved that you can be brought out of it. Besides, no other hero would be able to handle your attacks than me anyway. If you were to snap, I am more than capable of subduing you until you regain your control. Having you run around, like a fuse ready to blow, is far more dangerous, wouldn’t you say?”

Izuku hadn’t considered that before. “You’re right. It would be safer for everyone if you trained me. But if I was to lose control, and others were to find out about my heritage and others were to find out that you knew everything, that would ruin your reputation and you’d be arrested. Certainly, the consequences far outweigh the positive—”

“My boy, I’m going to say this once and once only. You are not a monster! You are worthy of a future! You are worthy of following your dreams! I don’t care what dangers may face my reputation. The well-being of the public far outweighs the worth of my reputation. You, more than anybody, should know that I am not some glory seeker, like some of the other pro heroes.”

“While you are not a glory seeker, you still care for your reputation. Every hero must. A hero’s reputation is their livelihood. Only by selling merchandise and being marketable, are heroes paid their dues. They don’t get money for saving lives. They get money for being consumable. All Might is not an exception.”  

“You really think so?”

“I do. You deserve happiness, just like everybody else.” Tears began to run down Izuku’s face. “Now, young man, will you allow me to train you? Allow me—All Might—to hone your skills and make you into the hero you are meant to be?”

He nodded. “Yes, thank you! Thank you so much!”

 

Izuku woke up bright and early the next day. Happiness bloomed in his chest. The hope was practically palpable. What made it even better, was that his mother didn’t have to work early. That meant that, for once in a blue moon, he had the opportunity to spend some time with her.

“Izuku, what are doing up so early?” He turned his head to see his mother standing in the doorway. Bags the size of small dinner plates sank under her eyes. She looked like she had two black eyes, but it was just exhaustion.

“I was thinking about jogging this morning. I need to get in shape if I want to go to U.A.” It was a half-lie. He wasn’t going to jog. He was going to head to Dagoba Municipal Beach Park at the behest of his new trainer—All Might. He had neglected to tell his mother about his encounter. He didn’t tell her anything about his fight with the villain or how he exposed his powers in public. It would have added unnecessary stress to someone already drowning in it.

“That’s great to hear, Sweetie. It’s nice to talk to you. We don’t get to do this very often.” She had a sad look in her eyes. No doubt, she was recalling the bygone days. Nine years ago, she was at the apex of her happiness. Her marriage was as strong as it could possibly be, and her little bundle of joy was growing up and surrounded by a group of friends. If only that happiness could have lasted a little longer, but no one is in control of which way the world turns.

“Yeah. I missed being able to talk with you. Do you work today?”

She nodded. “Yep, I have a late shift tonight. I don’t have to be there until noon. What do you want for breakfast? Or do you want me to wait so you could go on your jog?”

“Can we have some breakfast first? I’m not entirely awake yet.” He scratched the back of his head.

“Of course, but won’t that give you an upset stomach?”

“Damn it, Mom! I guess I should have just told her that I was going to practice with All Might, but then I would have to tell her what happened yesterday. I am a little surprised that she heard nothing. It was all over the Internet. ‘Wolf Boy Takes Out Slime Villain’ or ‘Wolf Boy Saves Junior High Schooler’! I guess it’s a blessing that my mother is so busy, otherwise she would’ve freaked out by now.”

“I’ll be fine, Mom. You shouldn’t worry about me too much.” He laughed to kill the curiosity of his mother. To his delight, it worked.

“Of course, Sweetie. What would you like?” Her eyes shined brightly—like they used to.

“Can you make omelets?”

“Of course, Sweetie. I’ll make them right away.” She gave Izuku a kiss on the forehead before walking into the kitchen.

“Man. That was close. I should tell her eventually, but now I am too scared about how the news will affect her. Her health has been steadily declining over the years, because of me no doubt, and I don’t want to accelerate the effects. If only she’d take a break.”

He shook his head and began to pack a bag full of things. That’s when he saw the tattered clothes from yesterday. He had forgotten to dispose of it before his mother saw the evidence of his misdeeds, but he fell asleep as soon as he gotten home. Yesterday was exhausting for everybody.

He decided to stuff the tattered clothes into his bag for now, but he didn’t know what he was going to do about his shoe situation. He only had that one pair of red shoes that he’d busted the day before. He did have a pair of flip flops in his closet, but that wouldn’t really pass the whole sniff test. Who goes running in flip flops? Clearly a liar. Hopefully his mother would be too tired for analytical processing. Once again, he would take advantage of his mother’s compromised health.

“I’m such a great person, aren’t I? Truly deserving of fulfilling my dreams, huh?” He laughed bitterly before making his way to the bathroom to freshen up.

When he got out, his mother told him that breakfast was ready, and the two sat down at the old kitchen table. It was a crappy thing. Stained beyond belief and splitting in the middle. It was like a lot of the furniture in the apartment, old and falling apart. Not that much different than his mother. She wasn’t old in terms of age, but her body was old and withered. One person could only take so much stress for so long before breaking down. His mother rarely, if ever, got days off to herself. Izuku wasn’t exactly a handyman and the low income of his mother limited their options, so the apartment—which was already in shoddy condition—fell into disarray.

The omelet brought back a lot of memories. Inko regularly made omelets for breakfast. When Izuku was little, hers would be loaded with fresh tomatoes and a plethora of other vegetables, while his would be full of cheese and ham. Today was no different, except for the heaping pile of vegetables that was on his plate.

Inko chuckled. “This brings me back a few years. Back when you detested vegetables. Remember Izuku?”

“Of course. How could I forget? I’d regularly refuse to eat my vegetable and then you and Dad would find a way to cajole me into eating it.” He smiled.

“Ice cream was usually his bargaining chip. I was not really pleased when he would bring it up. Yeah, it worked, but it was a tad counterproductive. You had ice cream almost every day.”

“Well, they say that the way to get into a child’s heart is to smother them in chocolate and ice cream.”

“Who says that?” She raised an eyebrow.

“Me.” Izuku blushed a little. He shoveled the cheesy omelet into his mouth. “Hmm!”

“Is it good?” She looked amused.

“Of course. It always is. Thanks for breakfast!”

She smiled warmly. “Of course, Sweetie. When are you planning on running? It’s almost six o’clock.”

Izuku’s eyes widened. “I should get going soon.” He didn’t want to keep All Might waiting and the beach wasn’t exactly close.

He finished his omelet and downed the cup of milk. He kissed Inko on the cheek before grabbing his back and throwing on his flip flops. She noticed. “Izuku, where are your shoes?”

“Shit!”

“In the bag. I was going to put them on when I got to the…park. Got to the park.” She raised her eyebrow. “Um…I don’t want to wear them out. They’re the only pair that I have after all.”

She didn’t quite believe him, but she didn’t press it. “Okay, Sweetie. Do be careful.”

“Of course, Mom. Careful is my middle name!” He gave her a final wave before leaving the apartment. He closed the door before he sprinted to the beach. He was going to be late.

 

Luckily, his supernatural speed didn’t make him as late as he would’ve been without it. 

“Hey, young man! I thought you weren’t going to come!” All Might’s voice boomed across the beach.

There was garbage everywhere. Washers, dryers, refrigerators, cars, tires, and a plethora of other household appliances and scrap littered the beach as far as the eye could see. Izuku looked around for the voice that summoned him.

“Up here, young man!”

Izuku looked up to see All Might sitting on top of a massive pile of junk. “What are you doing all the way up there, All Might?”

“I was on the look out for you, young man.” He jumped down to Izuku.

“Sorry for being late. It has been a while since I got to hang out with my mom. She works all the time, you see, and I don’t get to see her that much anymore and—”

He raised a hand. “No need to apologize, my boy. I understand the need to hang out with your family. They come first before everyone else, after all.”

Izuku nodded. “Of course. Thank you, sir. By the way, I never told you my name. I’m Izuku. Izuku Midoriya.”

All Might’s eyes flashed with recognition. “Midoriya…as in Hisashi Midoriya? Is he your father, Young Midoriya?”

“Yes, he is.” Izuku looked at the trash around him. He felt at home.

“Is he? Is he a werewolf too?”

Izuku sighed before returning his teary eyes to All Might’s. “No. He’s not. He has a fire breathing Quirk.”

“Then it came from your mother?”

He nodded. “My mother is not a werewolf, but the wolf blood runs in her veins. All werewolves are Quirkless. By around the age of four, Quirks begin to manifest. By the time I was five, everyone in my class had already developed theirs. Kacchan—the one who was attacked by that villain—was in my class. We both attend Aldera Junior High. I never developed one. So, my mother took me to the doctor to see what was going on. That is when we discovered that I was Quirkless. At the time, I was not aware of the implications, but my mother knew. She knew very well. My mother has a telekinetic Quirk. If I was to have a Quirk, it would’ve have been telekinetic or fire based, like my parents. But I received none.”

“I understand, Young Midoriya. However, you say that your mother works all the time. Why is that the case? Certainly, Hisashi makes enough money to support your family.”

“You are under the assumption that he lives with us. He doesn’t. He doesn’t even pay alimony payments.”

All Might’s eyes widened significantly. “What? Why?”

Izuku shrugged. “A few days later, after the discovery of my lack of Quirk, the full moon rose. My abilities first manifested themselves. Kacchan and I were at the park. We were rough housing when he accidently burned me with his Quirk. My mother brought me home to fix the injury, but I was fully healed. She freaked out, but I thought nothing of it. That night, I was in my room when I felt this weird jolt of energy. I felt my teeth elongate and green fur began to grow on my ears. I was ecstatic. I thought that I finally developed a Quirk. How wrong I was!” All Might grimaced but kept silent. “When I showed my mother, she swore me to secrecy. Everything was fine until my father got home. My mom and him got into an argument and I—who had transformed more than I was a couple minutes ago—came into the room during its climax. My father didn’t take the news too well and he left us. He said that I deserved to die, but he said that he didn’t have it in him to kill his own son, so he left. He couldn’t kill me, but he couldn’t stay to raise me. He may not be a hero, but he couldn’t consciously raise a monster, now could he? It’s not like my mom and I could do anything about it. If we said anything, he could have used his position to expose us of our heritage, and we would be put to death. We were essentially black mailed without words being explicitly stated. We understood how hopeless we were in that situation, so we said nothing.”

All Might had a guilty look plastered on his stoic features. “I’m sorry, Young Midoriya. I shouldn’t have brought that up. It’s terribly rude of me.”

“You have nothing to apologize for. You had no way of knowing. Besides, you’re taking the time to help me become a hero, after all.” Izuku smiled warmly at him and he felt a little better. “It’s nice telling someone else what happened. You’re the first person I’ve told what really happened. It’s nice to trust someone else besides family, you know?”

All Might nodded grimly. “Of course. You can tell me anything you need, Young Midoriya. Us heroes have let you and your people down for long enough. It’s about time we paid our debt.”

“Well, you didn’t do anything against me or other monsters. You have no debt to pay. Most heroes have no debt to pay. The sins of the past are sins of the past. There’s no point in dwelling in the past. All we can do is keep moving forward.”

All Might glowed like a school boy. “Well said, Young Midoriya! Spoken like a true hero.”

Izuku blushed. “Well, I’m not here to learn how to speak like one. I’m here to become one.”

“Ah! Right! I nearly forgot.” He let out a hearty laugh.

“You almost forgot? That’s the reason why we are both here!”

“Why did you choose this place? It’s a tad…awful.” He covered his nose when he got a big whiff of rusted metal and garbage.

“Well. This is the perfect place to train. We are far from others. There’s little to no distractions and we don’t have to worry about a civilian getting hurt. Also, we have no one to see your ‘Quirk’ in action. The more mysteries you have about your ‘Quirk’ the better. After all, people like mysterious heroes.” He smiled brightly.

“Isn’t it a tad early to tell me about my potential reputation? Besides, the media is having a field day with the ‘Wolf Boy’.”

“HAHAHA! Yes! Well, it’s never too early to worry about your reputation, Young Midoriya. After all, it does decide your futu—”

“Can we get on with the training, sir?”

“Ah, yes. My apologies! Let us begin.”

 

A few days had passed. The task that Izuku was working towards was strength training. Before he would spar with All Might, he would have to build some quality muscle. All Might isn’t a push over. His One For All Quirk is nothing to laugh at. Izuku would have to be in top shape in order to have any hopes of sparring with the greatest hero of all time.

In order to accomplish this, the titular hero tasked the boy with clearing the beach. Izuku’s super strength made the feat less impressive and less strenuous. To amp up the difficulty, All Might would transform into his hero form. The extra weight was supposed to stimulate Izuku’s body.

“Hey, hey, hey! This is such a comfy fridge to sit on!” The fridge was massive. Probably 16-17 feet in height and made of steel. The added weight of All Might made it an even more daunting task. Izuku was still able to move the fridge. An awful grinding noise was made as it ploughed through the powdery sand. The sand made it even harder to move, since it wasn’t on stable ground, resulting in a ridiculously slow pace. “You know, if you want to become a hero, you need to be able to move this with lightning speed.”

“I would be able to move if quicker if you’d allow me to use my wolf side.”

“That’s cheating, Young Midoriya. Your strength will exponentially increase if you strengthen your base level strength.”

“It would also be easier to move if you didn’t weigh 274 kilograms.”

“No, I lost weight, so I’m only 255 kilograms now, in this form.”

“Like that makes such a difference.”

“Anyway, why am I dragging trash here, anyway?”

He laughed and pulled out his phone to take some pictures. “To build strength, of course. I thought we already went over this, Young Midoriya. In order to become a hero, you must become stronger than the very earth itself.”

“I know that. But wouldn’t regular weights be more effective than this?”

All Might shook his head. “It’s not just about getting stronger, Young Midoriya. After doing some rigorous research on the internet, I discovered that part of this beach park’s coast has been like this for many years.”

“Yeah. For some reason, because of the currents, objects drift here a lot, and people take advantage of that to dump their illegal dumping. The local residents don’t come near here, either.”

“Heroes these days are all after the showy stuff.” All Might rested his mighty hand on the top of the fridge. “Originally, being a hero meant doing volunteer service.” He pressed his arm and the fridge crumpled like a soda can. It was an impressive show of strength. “Even if people called that boring or whatever, you can’t waver from those roots.” He slammed his body into the crumpled fridge, and it blasted away. The rising sun blinded Izuku. “You will restore the horizon for this whole section! That is your first step toward becoming a hero!”

He looked around with bug eyes. “My first step? Clean…this? All of it?!”

“Young Midoriya, you want to go to U.A., right?”

“Yes! Yes! Because it is where you went!” He blushed and placed a hand on his All Might t-shirt. “So, if I’m going to go, I thought it would definitely have to be U.A.!”

“You’re a go-getter fanboy! But I’ve told you this before. It’s not something you can do without a Quirk. Before we can work on your ‘Quirk’ you need to have a strong foundation. Without it, even with the power of your wolf side, you’ll be at a significant disadvantage to the students who have been practicing and perfecting their Quirks their entire lives. It’s sad, but that is what the reality is. You can’t afford to take any short cuts. And U.A.’s is the hardest hero course to get into. In other words…”

Izuku stepped towards the tall hero. “In the ten months until U.A.’s entrance exam, I have to strengthen my body and become comfortable in my wolf form in order to even stand a chance!”

All Might pulled out a massive stack of papers. “That’s where this comes in! I came up with this: ‘Aim to Pass: American Dream Plan’! It’s a training plan to help you finish cleaning up the beach. I’ll have you follow this in every aspect of your life! Once the beach is cleared, we can start training your ‘Quirk’, but you’ll have to give it your all and stay true to the plan.”

Izuku flipped through the packet. It was his entire life for the next ten months! It was incredibly thorough. From 4am-11pm for ten months, Izuku would be training his mind and body. “Even sleep and meal times are included!”

“Frankly, this is a super hard schedule. Can you follow it?” All Might’s voice was hushed and sincere.

“Of course! I’ll have to work many times harder than anyone else, or else I can’t do it. I’ll do anything to realize my dream: To prove to the world that I am worthy to not only live in it, but to protect it!” All Might nodded at his heroic response.

And so, began his ten months of hell. Every day, he would rise, well before the sun, and clean. The various objects were of varying weights and sizes. Some where just spare tires, while others were entire lockers. He was pulling trucks and carrying fridges and moving stoves. It was grueling work. All Might didn’t help with any of it. He was there for moral support. He was the force that pushed Izuku forward: The person in his corner that he needed his entire life. All Might wasn’t going to help with the beach. Izuku was the one who was receiving training, not him.

When Izuku wasn’t being worked like a pack mule, he was dealing with the normal stresses of a teen: School work and all that that entailed.

“Let’s see…with the appearance of super powers…” The teacher with tall blond hair began. “the Building Standards Act was revised…”

“This is insane! Ten months of this, huh?” Izuku’s body felt dead and he had just begun.

Izuku is an excellent student, so he did just fine. However, he began to mutter more frequently than he usually did. Most of it was about his intensive training regimen. “It’ll be hard if I don’t finish the beach as soon as possible. Five months diverted towards ‘Quirk training’ might not be nearly enough. There are 294 days left. Taking into consideration a sufficient recovery period, if I rest for two days in between, that gives me about 98 days of real training even if I’m efficient, which may not be enough time. Considering how difficult the competition is going to be, I’m going to need to work even harder. I may have to cut off a couple of those two-day rest periods so that I can free up enough time to divert towards training. I can get in about five hours of training morning and night, so that’s 490 hours…” He hadn’t realized that he was speaking out loud. The entire class had turned back to him in amazement.

“Also, that beach cleanup doesn’t work out any specific parts of the body, if I don’t work out my whole body equally, then there’s no way I’ll make it and this training will have been for naught. Bodybuilding to create a body able to adapt to any situation, literally intensive training to become a hero. All Might can’t stay and watch me the whole time. If I don’t do as much efficient independent training as I can, there is no way I can catch up the way I am now. Anyway, I’ll have to cut—”

“Midoriya, hey!” the teacher exclaimed. He was utterly ignored, so he stretched out an arm to grab the green hair of the mumbling student. “Did your encounter with the villain make you go crazy? It’s presumptuous to think of getting into U.A. like that, considering how you lost control of that Quirk of yours.” The other kids snickered in response.

Izuku's cheeks flushed in embarrassment. He gained composure and the fire of determination sparked in his forest green eyes. “What you think is irrelevant, sensei.” Izuku’s words cut through the classroom. “I’ll get into that school if it is the last thing I do, and I’ll make you eat those words!”

Katsuki, who recently has left Izuku alone, turned to the green haired boy. His eyes narrowed.“Deku. You may always be shitty little Deku, but you did save my ass during that villain attack. If anyone can make it into U.A., I think you honestly can. Especially if that mumbling of yours is any indication of just how hard you are training. If All Might is truly training him, then he must have a lot of potential that we can’t see. That also means that I’ll have to try that much harder to ensure that Deku doesn’t surpass me. I have the experience of my Quirk, but he clearly has the advantage of strength and speed, if his fight with the villain was an accurate indication of his power. He will undoubtedly gain a lot of strength from his time with All Might. I’m going to have to keep a close eye on you, Deku!”  Katsuki smirked.

“You know, teach! You shouldn’t go around shitting on other people’s dreams.” 

“That’s rich coming from you.” Another student responded.

“You didn’t let me finish, you little shit. You shouldn’t shit on the dreams of those who have the abilities and the drive to achieve them. You extras won’t ever make it into U.A. High! Deku and I are the only ones who have the talent to accomplish it, so you should all just shut up and stay out of our way!”

Izuku was moved by his harsh words. “Kacchan.” It was the first time in ages that Katsuki had complimented him. Maybe the two of them will be able to become close again. “Thank you!”

“I didn’t say that to appease you, shitty Deku! I’m just telling the truth!” He grumped.

“As tough as you may make yourself, Kacchan. You are still the person that I know you to be. Sure, you’ve always been aggressive, and you don’t seem to care whose feelings you hurt, but you aren’t all bad and flying off the handle. I’ll make you proud, Kacchan!”

“Very well, Bakugou. I apologize, Midoriya. Let us continue with our lesson.” The rest of the school day went by without incident.

After school was more or less the same as the mornings. Whenever he wasn’t eating, he was moving whatever he could at the beach. Day by day, he chipped more and more of the trash away. Due to his supernatural strength, Izuku was able to move cars and refrigerators with relative ease. Progressively, he gained more and more strength. His frame began to be packed with lean muscle. He wasn’t overly muscular, like All Might, but he definitely had some.

He needed more muscle, which led to a complication. In order to gain this enhanced physique, he had to change his diet. Instead of consuming low-quality food, which is only what his mother could afford, Izuku would have to eat quality food. Given his current financial situation, this task was impossible without All Might’s help. This created a problem: How the hell was he going to get his mother to agree to any of this?

One night after Inko’s shift, he spilled the beans. “Hey Mom, I have some news to share with you!”

His mother’s tired eyes beamed in response to his enthusiasm. “Oh, what is it, Sweetie?”

“Well, you know how I’ve been getting up lately? I haven’t been just jogging.” Inko’s eyes widened in shock before darkening into anger. She was about to say something, but he cut her off before she succeeded. “Please let me finish!” She paused and then nodded for him to continue.

He heaved a sigh before continuing. “I’ve been training at Dagoba Municipal Park! I’m trying to get stronger in order to get into UA! I haven’t given up, and I’m not going to ever give up!” A look of guilt graced Inko’s withered face. “I haven’t been practicing alone, you see. I have a…mentor of sorts.”

“Who?”

“Mr. Toshinori. He’s a professional trainer. He’s trained countless heroes!” It wasn’t a total lie. All Might is a teacher at UA. However, Izuku was not privy to that information.

Inko cocked her head to the side. “I’ve never heard of him.” Her eyes narrowed in suspicion. “How’d you meet him?”

“Shit! How do I answer that in a way that makes sense but doesn’t tell her about that incident?”

“Um. Y-you see…there was a villain attack several weeks back, and he saw my notebook. You know, the one that has all of my hero notes?” She nodded. “He was so impressed by my analytic skills that he decided that he would train me.”

“If he’s impressed with your analytical skills, then why would you be training at a beach that’s on the other side of town at odd hours? If he’s impressed with your mind, shouldn’t he be training that instead of training your muscles?” Inko may be tired all the time, but that didn’t stop her dull her mental capacity in any way. She could smell bullshit from a mile away, and that stench was permeating from Izuku like the breeze from a freshly fertilized field.

“Ah! Well you see…he always says, ‘In order to have a sharp mind, you must have a strong body!’” He was starting to sweat.

“Are you lying to me, Izuku?”

“N-No!” Her piercing gaze bore right through his quickly falling defenses. “O-Ok! You’ve caught me. He’s been teaching me how to fight. He never saw my notebook, well—he did—but that’s not the reason why he’s training me—”

“Izuku! Tell me the truth!”

“Fine! A couple weeks back, there was a villain attack. He was a slime monster and he held Kacchan in his grasp. I panicked when I saw that, and I ran out. I let my wolf side come out and I saved him.”

Inko looked like she just had the wind knocked out of her. “I-Izuku! No! Please tell me that there was no one else there!”

“There was an entire crowd there, mother. You know how it is whenever there is a villain attack and Kacchan’s Quirk isn’t exactly quiet. There were pro heroes there as well: Kamui Woods, Backdraft, Mt. Lady, Dea—”

Inko wrapped her arms around him as if he would sublimate without her support. “Izuku, my baby! You can’t! They’ll come after you! They’ll take you away from me!” She let out panicked sobs as she shook in his arms.

“Mom, nothing is gonna happen. They all thought it was my Quirk! Mr. Toshinori thought that as well.” He tried to comfort her, but he let his tongue slip.

 She released her hold on him and her frenzied eyes stared into his. “Thought? Then that means—”

He nodded. “Yeah, I had to tell him the truth.”

“IZUKU!!! WHY?! YOU KNOW THAT’S DANGEROUS!”

He recoiled from her piercing shriek. “Mom! Stop freaking out! He admired my bravery. I was able to rescue Kacchan when the other pro heroes couldn’t do anything. He was going to pass on his Quirk, when I had to tell him that I couldn’t receive it, being what I am.”

“Izuku, you can’t pass on a Quirk. That can’t be possible.”

“Normally, no. Some Quirks, his in particular, can be passed on like a baton in a race. Mr—oh forget it! All Might’s Quirk can be passed down to people. He had been given it by his predecessor.”

Her eyes widened in shock. “All Might?!”

He chuckled at her bewildered expression. “Yeah, All Might! The All Might! The Symbol of Peace! He wants to train me. He was going to give me his Quirk to inherit since I showed him what it meant to be a true hero. I had to decline his offer and tell him all of the details on why I was declining such a gift.”

Her shock turned into fear. “But Izuku, he’s a pro hero. Pro heroes are supposed to hunt monsters. Certainly he’ll—”

“I thought that as well, but he’s willing to go against the rules and even jeopardize his own career in order to give me a chance at becoming a hero. Mom, this has been my dream ever since I was little! I have the opportunity to be trained by the strongest hero of all time! I’ll be able to get into UA! I can achieve my dreams!” Stars were burning in his verdant eyes. Tears of excitement threatened to spill from his reservoirs.

“B-but it’s dangerous!”

“Mom, life is dangerous. No matter what occupation I take, being what I am, I will always be in danger. It’s my life, and I should be able to determine where it goes while I still have the option to make such a choice.” His words sat in the air. Neither moved for seconds, which felt like hours. “Mom, please! Let me do this! Let me achieve my dreams!”

She nodded. “Of course. You are almost a grown man. You should be making your own decisions. I know, more than anybody, how badly you want this. How you’ve dreamed of doing this! You’re right! I-I’ll allow it! Please, just promise me that you’ll stay safe!”

He tightened his hold around her. “You know I will. I love you, Mom.”

“I love you too, Sweetie!”

She also agreed to the change in his diet. It took some convincing for her to do it, but he reasoned that All Might was more than willing to foot the bill in order to help him. All Might was a pro hero that made a lot of money. He would have no problem supporting the Midoriyas.

All Might wasn’t giving the family money for living expenses. Although he wanted to, Inko virulently refused his offer. She despised hand outs and she felt that they were already burdening the hero enough. Since she wasn’t home to cook most of the meals, Izuku had to learn how to do it. He wasn’t the best cook, not by a long shot. Like anything else, his culinary skills improved enough for him to adequately prepare the meals.

With the improved diet, Izuku’s body was strengthened significantly. With his enhanced supernatural strength, he was able to clean the beach within the deadline. There was exactly five months left before the exam, which left enough time for them to get some combat training in. At first All Might would use his strength sparingly. Yes, Izuku’s supernatural healing abilities made him incredibly durable, but One For All was a truly terrifying Quirk to deal with. It could wipe out entire city blocks, let alone obliterate a teenage werewolf.

Izuku let his wolf side come out during these training sessions. He would regularly lose control. The pull of the wolf was incredibly strong. Luckily for All Might, the wolf wasn’t very experienced in actual combat. He relied to much on instinct and thrashing than systematic and calculated attacks. All Might’s several years of experience and incredible strength made him the person to counter Izuku’s wolf side.

After the first month, he was starting to control his wolf side a little easier. He’d be able to stay in control for about five minutes before giving way to instinct. He hated how powerless he felt. All Might noticed his glum behavior one morning.

“Young Midoriya, what’s the matter? You’ve been less cheerful as of late.” He tilted his head in a way that conveyed concern.

Izuku averted his gaze and stared at the still dark horizon. “I just feel so…useless. We’ve spent an entire month, and I have almost nothing to show for it. I know I’m essentially working with a ‘Quirk’ for the first time in my entire life, but I feel like I’ll never be truly ready for the exam. Everyone else has had their entire lives to harness their abilities, while I’ve only been using them for a month. I know that I wouldn’t have it mastered yet. I know that it would take me years to do so. But I can only remain in control for five minutes, and I constantly have to keep an eye on the lunar cycle. I’m just…unbelievably stressed and feel like I’m just wasting time, you know?”

“My boy,” he laid a firm hand on his shoulder “I understand how you feel. I too, wasn’t born with the Quirk that I know possess. As I told you before, One For All is an exceptionally powerful Quirk that is transferable. The first several months that I had my Quirk were horrible. I was strong enough to inherit the Quirk, but I was not strong enough to not be significantly harmed by it. I lost control of it a lot and I would regularly break bones.” Izuku faced the hero and their eyes locked. “I thought about giving up several times. I thought that I wouldn’t ever be strong enough and that my mentor had chosen the wrong person to inherit the Quirk. I felt inadequate in every way, but I pushed those thoughts aside. I needed to focus on my goal: I wanted to become a hero that people could believe in. That they could go to bed and not have to worry about them falling victim to the villains that prowl the streets at night. So yes, I do understand where you are coming from, Young Midoriya.”

“All Might…I”

“Don’t give up, Young Midoriya. You should be proud with the progress that you’ve made. I’m proud of you. You truly are a worthy successor of One For All. It’s a shame that you can’t bear it, but know that you will become an excellent hero, nay! You’ll become the greatest hero of all time! You have the drive, the heart, and the spirit to do so! So, keep your head held high, my boy! You’ll do great things!” All Might shown a bright smile. His bright white teeth were bathed in an orange glow as the sun peeked above the horizon.

The shadow casted from the low lighting obscured the tears that streamed down Izuku’s face. “All Might! Thank you!” He began to sob. It was what he needed. He needed a father figure in his life desperately. After his father left him many years ago and his mother began to work her self to an early grave, he didn’t really have a parental figure to help him. He had no one to guide him in his life. He lived a lonely existence. He had no friends: No one for him to talk to. His lycanthropy and Quirkless identity further isolated the green haired teen from having any other human connections, so this gesture of kindness, this reassurance in a cold world that was against him, was all that he needed.

“Of course, my boy!” He patted the teen on the shoulder. “Let’s begin our training for the day. Let’s push on forward and break past our limits. We will go…PLUS ULTRA!” He raised a fist in the air.

Izuku cocked his head to the side. “W-what?”

All Might gave a hearty laugh. “My boy, you’ll understand that when you get into UA! For now, let the training commence!” One For All crackled through the hero. “Are you ready, Young Midoriya?”

“I was born ready!” His eyes turned red and his claws appeared. “Let’s begin!”

Months passed and it was time for Izuku to prove his merit to the world. He could now maintain control of his wolf side for thirty minutes before losing control to his instincts. While it was great improvement, it would prove to be a great hindrance. The thirty-minute timer meant that he would have to use is powers carefully. Luckily for him, his physical strength had increased exponentially, so he would have enough raw strength to get through the entrance exams without having to rely on his wolf side. He still had little control over his wolf side when he fully transformed. Instead, Izuku could only half shift: Where he could take on some of the attributes of the wolf—claws, fur, a tail, heightened senses and speed—but was significantly weaker than a full shift. He could full shift if he became desperate enough, but that would be for a last resort only. When the moon reached its zenith in the sky, he would be forced to fully shift. This was a haunting reality that plagued Izuku’s mind. Even if he managed to get into UA, he would still have to get to the woods when the full moon rose, otherwise the results could be disastrous.

It was finally time, it was finally 6 am on the day of the entrance exam. It was a cold February morning. The air was crisp and still. Everything was at a standstill. It was the calm before the storm. Izuku’s roar tore through the morning air, stopping All Might in his tracks. His eyes widened as he took in the sight. He stood in the shallows of the water and hollowed at the moon who’s glow was still prominent, even in the approaching dawn. Izuku’s green fur was shimmering in the morning light. He had half shifted. An aura of poise and power was flowing from him like a raging river.

“Hey, hey, hey! I know the time is upon us, but what is with you making such racket in the morning, Young Midoriya?! You can only maintain that form for thirty minutes before becoming feral. You should not be wasting it before you even get into the exam!”

Izuku looked towards him. His blood red eyes staring into the concerned eyes of his master. He smiled at his teacher: Fangs that could puncture a tire hung from his mouth. Something was different about him. He seemed more bestial than before in his form.

“I didn’t really have a choice, you see.” He pointed a claw towards the full moon that was paling from the radiant light of the morning sun. “It was a full moon last night! I just got back from the woods, but I’m still under the effects of the moonlight. They are waning though, which is good.”

All Might raised his brows. “Ah, I see. We never did have morning practice after the full moon. I had forgotten that it had occurred last night. What’s it like to fully shift?”

“It’s like a…fire. Before the moon climbs above the horizon, I can feel electricity jolt through me. As the sky darkens, the feeling intensifies significantly. It keeps building until the moon reaches its peak. As it progresses, it becomes hard to concentrate.” His eyebrows begin to furrow. “The very act of talking becomes difficult, and as it continues, I lose the ability all together. All I want when I’m in that state is to hunt. I need blood. I need meat. I need to tear into something. The thoughts bombard me until I lose control completely. That’s why I go far out into the woods on days of the full moon. I try to reduce the possibility of running into someone. If that were to happen, well I shudder at the very thought.”

All Might lowered his head. “I’m sorry, my boy. I shouldn’t have asked such a private question.”

He shook his head. “No! There’s no need to worry about that!” His features softened and his eyes turned verdant once again. “Finally! Sometimes I worry that it won’t go away. That I’ll be stuck like that. It still makes me doubt my odds of becoming a pro hero. A pro hero is someone who is supposed to be able to help anyone at a moment’s notice. Yet here I am, bound to the cycle of an object over 200,000 miles away.” All Might moved his lips to speak. “I know, I know. ‘I deserve happiness and the chance to pursue my dreams.’ I’m just speaking what’s on my mind, All Might.”

All Might sighed slightly before taking a step forward. “No one is more worthy of being a hero than you are, my boy. You have a…condition and you still find the courage and the ability to press on. You spit in the face of adversity. If that isn’t heroic, I don’t know what is. I find your strength to be what best exemplifies a hero.”

Izuku’s eyes widened a little. “It’s funny you say that, All Might. I thought the same thing about you. Despite the horrific battles that you found yourself in, you managed to save everyone—and I mean everyone—with a smile. I envied that strength and so it deeply warms my heart to hear you say that.” He couldn’t help but feel a slight blush begin to leave its imprint upon his freckled cheeks.

That’s when All Might laid his gaze on Izuku’s form. He had really packed on some muscle. The first day of training, he was a scrawny kid. He looked like he hadn’t had a good meal in ages. Considering his situation, that was probably the case. However, now was a different story. He was brimming with raw and powerful muscle. Even in his T-shirt, you could see the power emanating though his chest and into his arms. “You’ve really grown strong in your own way.” He pulled out his red phone. “Here, take a look.”

“This is…”

“It’s you, ten months ago. You’ve done well. You’ve far exceeded my expectations. Your muscle isn’t just for show. You are strong, fast and very light on your feet. I’ve had to use a large portion of my power against your half-shifted form. You, my boy, will have no troubles entering UA with the speed and power that you possess. Top that off with your brilliant and analytical mind, and you get the perfect hero.”

Izuku stared at the palm of his hand. “I feel like I’m cheating.” All Might stiffened a little. “You did all this for me. I’m too blessed.” Tears were beginning to steam down his face. “My entire life, I’ve been told that I can’t become a hero. That It’d be impossible for me to succeed on my own, without a Quirk. I was even told by the man who was supposed to love me unconditionally that I’m not fit to live. That I should die. The day you told me that I couldn’t be a hero, to be honest, I had resigned my self to my fate.” All Might felt guilt begin to gnaw away at his stomach. “My greatest idol told me that my dream wasn’t realistic and that I’d never be able to cut it.”

“But then, after saving Kacchan, you appeared before me again. You told me what I needed to hear all my life: ‘You could become a hero!’ I play that scene over in my head day after day. How could my life have led up to this point? How did this happen to me? My prayers had finally been answered! You kept saying that I deserved to become a hero, despite my condition. Despite you potentially throwing your career away. Despite the logistical nightmare the last ten months have been, with my picky schedule and my financial situation, you still were the person in my corner. You were the only person in my corner, and it made all the difference. So, thank you, All Might! Thank you for helping a lonely little wolf find his purpose in life! I certainly couldn’t have done any of this without your support!”

All Might patted the green haired boy on the head. “I merely did what I thought was right. Nothing more and nothing less. You achieved this. It was your own hard work and your unwavering dedication that made this moment possible. It’s people like you that give me hope in this crazy world we find ourselves in. Dry your tears, young man, and stand up tall. You deserve to have more confidence in yourself!”

He sniffled and wiped his tears into his sleeves. “Right. I’ve always been a crybaby.”

All Might let out a hardy laugh and transformed into his renowned form. “All right! Izuku Midoriya, it is time! Time to show the world what you are made of!” With a hard pat to Izuku’s back —that would have broken most people—the two left the now pristine beach park behind them.

UA High was impressive. The site of the entrance exam was an incredibly tall glass building that seemed to pierce the very heavens. In front was a massive blue arch that had the insignia of the school in golden letters. Following the massive arch, was a series of arches that led to the entrance of the building.

Izuku was now alone. After seeing All Might off at the beach park, he had arrived at the school at 8:40 sharp. It was a chilly day with clear blue skies teeming with the ghostly wisps of white cotton. The chill in the air coupled with the shock of being at UA left Izuku feeling a tad nauseous. This was it. This was the time to prove his worth.

“I made it…” He tightened his grasp on his yellow backpack. “Luckily, I have more control over my ‘Quirk.’ I am so grateful that All Might has helped me get to where I am now.”

Izuku continued to mutter quietly to himself. There were people teeming everywhere. Other hopeful youth like him with big hearts and even bigger ambitions. They too were anxious, and for the first time, he wasn’t called out for being a weirdo or a creep for muttering all the time. Normally that was the case, but nothing about being at UA would be normal.

“Out of my way, Deku!”

Izuku whipped his head around to see the ashen haired teen. His usual scowl was etched onto his face. “Ah! Kacchan!”

“Don’t stand in front of me. I’ll kill you!”

“Nice to know you haven’t changed that much, Kacchan!”

“M-morning! L-Let’s both do our best!” He gave a nervous laugh. Katsuki’s threat had the opposite effect on him. The familiar face and voice of his friend—if that was even the word that could be used—was enough to calm his nerves a little.

“Ha! ‘Do our best!’ What do you take me for, Deku? An idiot?!” The strong smell of nitroglycerin and sulfur filled the air as tiny explosions danced on his palms.

“O-of course not, Kacchan! I-I’d never thought of you as one! I promise!”

His eyebrows furrowed in anger at the green haired teen’s stuttering. “Get a hold of yourself, won’t you? You won’t get past this test if you shit your pants! Come on, Deku! Don’t tell me your training with All Might has been for nothing!”

Izuku paused and considered his words. “You know, you’re right, Kacchan! Thank you!” He scratched the back of his head sheepishly.

“I’m always right, shitty nerd!” He poked Izuku in the chest. “You’re my rival: The only person here who will be able to hold a candle to my skills. Don’t let me down, you hear!”

The freckled teen paused at the unlikely source of his praise. “Of course, Kacchan! I won’t! I promise!”

With a grunt, Katsuki placed his hands in his pockets and continued his way.

“Hey, isn’t that Bakugou? The one with the sludge villain?” A fellow student exclaimed.

“Oh, he’s the real thing! That kid with the green hair. Isn’t he the Wolf Boy that was also present and saved his ass?!” Another chimed in.

Katsuki growled at that comment. “You should watch what words you use, shitty worthless extra! He didn’t save my ass! I could’ve gotten out of that scenario on my own! He just helped was all! I shouldn’t be getting so angry at worthless extras. I should just ignore the machinations of the sheep!”

“I heard that kid fought like a villain. He brutalized the sludge villain! I’m surprised he was allowed to even come here! I heard it was horrifying.”

“Yeah, he’s dangerous, isn’t he?”

Izuku tried his best to ignore their hurtful comments, but they hit their mark. Images flashed through his mind of that day. The people looking at him with barely contained fear. The heroes going to arrest him. The horrified look on Kacchan’s face as he stared into his own eyes.

“Looks like you were right, All Might! I really do need to be careful about my reputation. I already have notoriety, and I haven’t even become a hero in training. Ever since that day, Kacchan hasn’t regarded me with any hatred. In fact, he stopped picking on me all together. He even defended my interests when others thought that my aspirations were impossible. The look on that teacher’s face when Kacchan told him off! That was priceless and heartwarming.” A warm smile formed as his eyes filled with pure hope. “I needed that warmth from him for so long.”

He turned to look at the golden letters carved into the entrance of the building. “Remember these past ten months! Take the first step…” His legs were quivering in anticipation. “…to being a hero!” His nervousness betrayed him as he tripped over his own shoes. With his fate sealed he resigned himself to, “Maybe I’ll just die instead!” Before his face kissed the ground, his momentum was stopped. He felt weightless.

 “Are you all right?” Came from a gentle looking girl with short brown hair. Her hand was on his backpack. That’s when Izuku noticed that he was floating.

He flailed in the air. “Ah! Ahh! What’s going on?!”

She grabbed him and she gently released him from his anti-gravity state. Izuku’s eyes landed on his savior. She was a cute girl with the kindest face he had ever seen. Her smile was warm and inviting. Her rosy cheeks enhanced the warmness of her cute smile. She put her hands together. “It’s my Quirk. Sorry for using it without asking first. But it’d be bad luck if you fell, right?” Izuku was left speechless. “Aren’t you nervous?”

A warm blush graced his features. “Uh…”

“Let’s do our best. See ya!” With one last look of her bright chestnut eyes, she turned around and made her way up the stairs. Leaving the green haired teen in a flustered silence.

“I talked to a girl!”

 

Examination orientation would be taking place within a massive auditorium. There must have been well over a thousand other students seated. The excitement was palpable, leaving Izuku in a state of placid wonder.

A flamboyant voice blasted over the speakers. “For all you examinee listeners tuning in, welcome to my show today! Everybody say ‘hey’!”

Silence.

“What a refined response.” The blond hero with glasses shrugged. “Then I’ll quickly present to you the rundown on the practical exam! Are you ready? Yeah!” He raised a hand into the sky, in a vain attempt to get a response from the audience.

Silence.

“It’s the Voice Hero, Present Mic! Wow!” Izuku gushed. He was stoked to see another pro hero. “I listen to him every week on the radio. I’m so moved! All the teachers at UA are pro heroes!”

“Shut up.” Katsuki grumped.

“Jesus Christ, shitty Deku! I know you are a hopeless fanboy but get your shit together! You can’t fall apart every time you see a pro hero!”

“As it says in the application requirements, you listeners will be conducting ten-minute mock urban battles after this!” The massive screen behind him flashed on. “You can bring whatever you want with you. After the presentation, you’ll head to the specified battle center, okay?”

More silence. This time, the students looked at the cards they received upon entering the auditorium.

“Okay?!”

Katsuki glared over at Izuku’s paper. “In other words, they won’t let you work with your friends, huh?”

Izuku’s card read:

“Exam Ticket”

“Examinee No.: 2234”

“Test Location: Battle Center B”

 

Katsuki’s card read:

“Exam Ticket”

“Examinee No.: 2233”

“Test Location: Battle Center A”

 

“Y-You’re right. Even though our examinee numbers are consecutive, we’re assigned to different battle centers.”

Katsuki noticed Izuku’s wandering eyes. “Don’t look. I’ll kill you.” Izuku gave him a cheesy smile. “Damn, now I can’t crush you.”

Izuku looked back at the screen. “Yeah, I wanted to be in the same battle center as you. I’m not the weak, defenseless little kid anymore. I wanted to show you that, Kacchan. I guess that’ll have to wait until we both make it into UA, okay Kacchan?”

“Are you doubting my skills, Deku?”

Izuku laughed. “Of course not! Are you doubting mine?”

“No. I’d be dumb to, after all.” He looked down before continuing. “I-I haven’t been the greatest person lately, Dek—Izuku. I-I’m sorry.”

Green eyes landed on the ashen haired teen. “Kacchan!” Tears began to well up.

Crimson met green. “Oi! Don’t you start crying now, Izuku! You’re not weak and defenseless, right?!” He put a hand on the shorter teen’s shoulder. “I let myself get ahead of myself these past years. You haven’t had the best home life, and I certainly wasn’t making it any easier. I’m sorry.”

Tight arms wrapped around the explosive teen. He tensed at the unwarranted contact. “Oh, Kacchan! You! You have nothing to apologize for!”

“You’re wrong, Deku! I have so much to be sorry for!” He returned the hug with noncommittal energy. 

“Let’s save the tears, Deku! We need to pay attention!”

He unwrapped himself from Katsuki. “Ah, right! Sorry!” He blushed at his embarrassing breakdown and silently cursed his ineptitude.

An image of a city was displayed on the screen. “Three different types of faux villains are stationed in each battle center. You earn points for each of them based on their level of difficulty.” On the screen showed three shadows of the faux villains. Each had the amount of points awarded for their defeat. “Your goal, dear listeners, is to use your Quirks to earn points by immobilizing the faux villains. Of course, attacking other examinees and any other unheroic actions are prohibited!”

A tall teenager with blue hair and glasses stood up and raised his hand into the air. “May I ask a question?”

Present Mic pointed at the student. “Okay!” A spotlight landed on the student.

He held up a sheet of paper showing four faux villains. He pointed at the fourth one that wasn’t displayed. “On the printout, there are four types of villains. If that is a misprint, then UA, the most prominent school in Japan, should be ashamed of that foolish mistake.”

Katsuki scoffed. “Jesus Christ. Talk about being a stick in the mud.”

“It’s a fair question, Kacchan.”

“We examinees are here in this place because we wish to be molded into exemplary heroes.” He clenched a hand with conviction. He turned around and pointed at Izuku, who froze as all eyes turned to him. “In addition, you two, one with the curly hair and the other with the pointed hair! You two have been talking this entire time! It’s distracting and is disrespectful to the rest of the examinees. If you’re here on a pleasure trip, then you should leave immediately!”

Katsuki stood up and glared down at the blue haired teen. “Shut the fuck up, Four Eyes! No one gives a shit on what you have to say!” Some of the others laughed at his remark, while others gasped.

“Kacchan!”

His eyes burned with indignant determination. “Such disrespectful behavior! You shouldn’t have come here!”

Tiny explosions popped and banged in the explosive teen’s palms. “Why don’t you come over here and say that to my face, you worthless extra?! I dare you!”

“That’s quite enough examinees! Such fighting is unbecoming of future heroes. Continue with such behavior and you will be removed from the entrance exam!” Katsuki and Four Eyes turned their attention back to the speaker. “Now to answer your question, Examinee Number 7111, the fourth type of villain is worth zero points. That guy’s an obstacle, so to speak. There’s one in every battle center—and obstacle that will go crazy in narrow spaces. It’s not impossible to defeat, but there’s no reason to defeat it, either. I recommend that you listeners try to avoid it.

Four Eyes bowed. “Thank you very much! Please excuse the interruption!” He took his seat and the light was taken off him.

“I see…it’s like the obstacles you avoid in video games, huh?” One of the other examinees pondered.

“The whole thing is like a video game.” Another said.

“That’s all from me! Finally, I’ll give you listeners a present—our school motto! The hero Napoleon Bonaparte once said: ‘A true hero is someone who overcomes life’s misfortunes.’ Go beyond. Plus Ultra! Now, everyone, good luck suffering!”

The screen turned off and the students were excused to their respective battle centers. “Hey, Kacchan.” The ashen haired teen turned back to Izuku. “Thanks for sticking up for me. Not only today, but in class ten months ago.”

“I wasn’t sticking up for you today. That nerdy little shit was pissing me off. I hope that that little brownnoser fails the entrance exam. If I have to put up with him at UA, I’ll seriously blow up someone!” Izuku gulped at his harsh words. “And for class, I was only doing what was right. The teacher was being a dickhead to you, and it was undeserved.”

Izuku cocked his head to the side. “But Kacchan, every time I got picked on, either by you or the others, that was undeserved as well!” Izuku’s eyes widened at what he just said, and he covered mouth in a vain attempt to stop the soundwaves from traveling. “Kacchan! I didn’t mean—”

He just shook his head. “No, you were right. We all treated you like shit for years. I treated you like shit for years and I shouldn’t have. That’s what I was getting at and I’m sorry. You’re a fucking liar when you said that I had nothing to be sorry for! I may have the strength to become a hero, but sometimes I feel like I don’t have the heart required to become one. It took an ass kicking from you and you saving my life from the sludge villain to realize that. I’m pretty pathetic.”

“Kacchan! That’s not true at all!”

“Stop lying, Deku! I even told you to kill yourself! How is that justifiable?! What if you’d actually done it?! I would have been a murderer if you did, and I would have been unfit to become a hero! I would have been a friend killer!” Tears were threatening to fall from Katsuki’s eyes. He scrunched his face together in order to prevent their descent.

“Kacchan! That’s not right. Even if I did take your advice that day, it would have been my choice and my choice alone. Yeah, your words may have contributed to my hypothetical suicide, but you would not have been responsible for my death. Nothing bad came of that anyway, so you shouldn’t be beating yourself up over it.” He hugged Katsuki again and he returned the gesture, this time with sincerity. “You can’t change the past or your previous mistakes. All you can do is change what you can do now and change what the future may become.”

“Can…Can we become friends again? Can we restart?” His voice was weak, barely above a whisper.

“Of course, Kacchan.” Tears began to pour down his face. “I’d like that very much!”

 

Standing in front of the gate of Battle Center B, Izuku stared up at its intimidating presence. A look of fierce determination was burning in his lush green eyes. “It’s time to give everything I got from my training with All Might these past ten months.” He could feel his wolf side shaking with anticipation. “I will become the hero I always dreamed of being!”

Chapter Text

UA High School’s Hero Course: A training school for those whose goal is to acquire the necessary qualifications needed for pro heroes. Among similar courses across the country, theirs is the most popular and most competitive, and their acceptance rate is less than one in three hundred every year. All of the applicants have begun training their Quirks from their appearance. This on top of the fierce competition that he was expected to face, meant that Izuku had a lot of work cut out for him. He had trained with All Might these past few months, but would it be enough to catch up to those who have been training for over a decade?

The hero who refused a National Honor Award—The number one hero, All Might; the hero who resolved the most incidents in history—The Fiery Hero, Endeavor; and the winner of the Best Jeanist award eight years in a row—Best Jeanist; All of whom, graduated from UA High! Graduating from UA is a requirement for becoming a great hero. The weight of his past, the hope of his mentor, his dreams, and the memories that haunted his waking memory all piled onto Izuku as he stood at the entrance gate for Battle Center B. Others around him stood in awe at the imposing gates standing before them.

“What is this?”

“It’s like a city!”

“They have more than one of these on the school grounds?”

“UA’s amazing!”

“As it says in the application requirements, you listeners will be conducting ten-minute mock urban battles after this! Three different types of faux villains are stationed in each battle center. You earn points for each of them based on their level of difficulty. Your goal, dear listeners, is to use your Quirks to earn points by immobilizing the faux villains.”

Izuku gulped. His stomach quivered and his skin felt clammy. Sweat was dripping down the sides of his face. “Mock battles…” Izuku’s forest eyes scanned the crowd around him. Everyone else had poise, which only accentuated just how terrified he felt. “How can everyone be so confident? Aren’t they nervous? They even have equipment to go with their Quirks…” That’s when his eyes landed on the kind-hearted girl from earlier. “Oh, it’s the person I met at the school gates! The nice person! She was assigned to the same battle center, huh?”

He finally found the strength to move. He rigidly stepped forward, as if his joints had turned to stone. “Oh yeah, I have to thank her for earlier.”

Suddenly a strong hand gripped his shoulder. Izuku turned his head to see the same navy-blue haired student with the glasses from earlier. His expression was stern, if not angry. That’s when Izuku noticed his height and his muscular build—which was highlighted by the blue athletic gear that he was wearing. “He’s here, too?”

His intense eyes landed on the kind girl. “That girl appears to be trying to focus.” His voice was even and very stern. He seemed several years older than the rest of the students. “What are you doing here? Are you taking the entrance exam to interfere with everyone else? First, you were muttering with that friend of yours during the orientation speech, and now you are plotting to throw off her concentration?”

“N-N-No, of course not!” Izuku waved his arms at a frenetic pace.

“That guy’s the one who was about to trip in front of the school gates, right?” One of the other students pointed out.

“The one who winced after being called out.”

“The one who was talking with that asshole from earlier.”

“At the very least, we have one less to rival to worry about, huh?”

“Speaking of things to worry about, do you think that ‘Wolf Boy’ is gonna show up for the entrance exam?”

“I certainly hope not. That freak shouldn’t come to this school. Especially with that villain’s Quirk of his.”

Other cries of agreement and condemnations poured out, like a clogged gutter in a thunderstorm. Each remark stung a little. Izuku slumped his shoulders as he looked towards the ground. Shame and self-loathing began to churn in his innards.

“I feel like the others think they lucked out because I’m here. I guess that’s a good thing. It seems that not all of the students have been able to make the connection that I’m the ‘Wolf Boy.’ I’d rather have them think I am useless or not competition than be outright feared. I guess that’s a plus?” Dumpster diving for validation has always been one of Izuku’s strong suits.

“OKAY, START!” Present Mic’s obnoxiously loud voice screamed out of the speakers. Everyone stood there, unable to register his words. “What’s wrong? There are no countdowns in real fights! Run, run! The die has ban cast, you know!”

“Huh?” Izuku felt lost. He turned back to see that everyone had gotten a head start. “HUH?!” With a burst of speed, Izuku bolted after the group. “I’m behind already!” His eyes flashed red as he burst through the crowd, knocking over some of his fellow competition.

“Sorry, sorry! But I can’t stop now. I will not let the ten months of training that I’ve done with All Might be for naught! I have a dream to catch!”

Suddenly a faux villain busted through a concrete wall. Debris and smoke filled the air.

“One point!”

Before the faux villain stated its recording, Izuku decimated the machine with one powerful blow. Chunks of green metal and burnt wire shot out everywhere as a massive amount of wind was released.

“One down! Several to go!”

The months of training against the number one hero had done Izuku a great service. He racked up points at a sickening pace.

“I have almost forty points! I think I’m in good shape. But I need to keep this up!” Izuku’s fiery red eyes landed on a three pointer that glared back at him. It charged at him with blinding speed. Izuku moved to attack when a blinding and radiant beam of pure light blasted through the three pointer, turning it into a pile of smoldering ash.

“Thanks for distracting it, mon ami!” A fellow student exclaimed in a suave and thick French accent. His hair was a radiant gold, and he was adorned in a frilly white outfit that had a golden hole in the center. At his naval, was a lens that must have focused the light generated from the extravagant lad. “You have quite the beautiful Quirk! Magnifique! However, you shall not outshine, moi! We work great as a team, but I am a star! Thank you for your assistance! Good luck with the rest of your practical exam, mon ami! Adieu!” He waved before taking off.

Izuku stared. “Um…okay? You, too?” He was having a hard time comprehending what just happened.

“Six minutes and two seconds left!”

Present Mic’s voice tore him from his reverie. “Right!” He glanced around the streets around him. Broken faux villains lie everywhere. The air was thick with the scent of burning rubber and smoke. “There doesn’t seem to be many more of those villains, but I need to keep looking. I will not give up!

His eyes landed on the kind girl from before.  She was running around with a look of determination plastered on her once gentle features. A few faux villains caught sight of her. Before they could react, she laid her hands on them and a flash of pink light appeared. Just like that, the faux villains were rendered useless as they became weightless. She put her hands together. “Release!” Their weight returned to them and they plummeted to the ground. She was left panting for breath.

Izuku stood there in awe. “What an amazing Quirk! Anti-gravity! She has the ability to remove the weight of an individual by removing them from the gravitational field of the planet, thus rendering them weightless. My, the usefulness of such a Quirk is astounding. Is there a weigh limit to it? Is there a limit to the amount of objects she can lift at one time? Can she cancel out her own weight? What are the consequences for over exertion? It’s clearly taxing but is it more than that? I wish I had my notebook.”

“That’s twenty-eight points!” With a huff, she ran off.

“Wow, twenty-eight points! She’s nearly caught up to me. I really need to find more machines.”

A two-pointer appeared from the ground a fair distance away from him. Before he could reach it, the student with the glasses blasted onto the scene. With a rocket enhanced kick, the two pointer blew up from the impact.

“Forty-five points!”

“Shit! I really need some more!” He wasn’t the only one in that predicament.

“Thirty-two!”

“That one’s mine! Don’t take it!”

“It’s first-come, first-served!”

“By this time, there probably aren’t many left at all. The likelihood of me finding another one before someone else beats me to it is not that high. I may not have the highest score, but forty points should be enough for me to pass. But I should still try to raise it a few more.”

 

“In this practical exam, the examinees have not been informed of the number of villains or their locations. They have a limited amount of time in a vast area.” The president of UA explained to the other pro heroes. The pro heroes were watching the students from afar. Every single student in the practical exam were being observed and notes were being taken. “They have to draw the villains out from there. Information gathering, the ability to understand the situation before anyone else; mobility that can be used in many different circumstances; discernment to be able to stay calm in any situation; and pure combat ability. These basic abilities needed to keep the peace in the streets are turned into points in this test.”

“Doesn’t this year’s group look promising?” A calm female pro hero asked.

“Well, we can’t know for sure yet.” Replied and old, raspy voice. One of experience and many battles. “Their true test is still to come.” Said man pressed a red button labeled “Yaruki Switch!”

 

 

The ground heaved violently. An explosion of debris and smoke expelled into the air as several buildings were reduced to rubble. The lurching ground stopped everyone in their tracks. A massive robot, the likes of which no one has seen before appeared. It towered over the buildings. Its massive metal frame moved on heavy and thick tracks that grinded the very ground to dust.

“An obstacle that will go crazy in narrow spaces. I recommend that you listeners try to avoid it.”

Izuku was stunned into silence as the towering machine of death casted an even more oppressive shadow over his seemingly miniscule form. “Isn’t it a little too big?”

The machine attacked. It lifted its massive multi ton fist and slammed it into the ground with an earth-shattering amount of force. The entire ground shook as building cracked and windows broke from the intense impact. The students were nearly blown away as massive gusts of wind blasted towards them with hurricane level ferocity.

The others cowered in fear and took off in the other direction. The massive zero pointer would have been impossible to handle for the examinees. It was the main reason why it was meant to be avoided. Its not invulnerable to attacks, however its massive size made it an incredibly powerful foe. Even if you managed to defeat it, you would be awarded with zero points. This beast is supposed to simulate the situation that many heroes must face: unstoppable calamities. As powerful as some heroes were, they were not gods. There were many catastrophes that simply couldn’t be stopped. People that couldn’t be saved. That was the harsh reality of the world. Sometimes running away was the only option.

Izuku stared at the menace with abject horror. He had no idea what to do. He froze as he stared death in the face. “I need to get away. It doesn’t matter if I have forty points. This thing will reduce me to red paste. I need to get out of here fast!”

“Less than two minutes left!”

“Ow!” An anguished cry rose above the quieting din of the retreating examinees.

Izuku turned around to see the kind-hearted girl. Her leg was pinned under rubble. Her leg bent at an awkward angle. She was immobilized. She couldn’t run away if she tried.

“I’d be bad luck if you fell, right?” Her gentle voice echoed in the space of Izuku’s frazzled mind.

Something clicked within him. It was the same thing that happened when he saw Katsuki suffocating from the slime villain. This girl was in danger, and he needed to save her.

His eyes flashed red as his canines elongated. His breathing went ragged as a feral growl ripped out of his throat. “Hang on!” With blinding speed, he removed the girl from the rubble she was pinned under, and he set her down carefully. “Are you all right?”

She shuddered at a combination of his inhuman voice and characteristics and the intense pain that racked her frame. “Y-Yeah. I-I think s-so. It hurts!”

Anger exploded in his chest. His wolf side demanding he tear that damn machine limb from limb, and that was what he intended to do.

With a roar that shattered the sound barrier, Izuku leapt towards the zero pointer. He tore through the thick metal plating. Sparks flew everywhere as bits and pieces of the machine were torn form its center. A clash of wind blasted outwards from the powerful swipe, clearing the smoke that blanketed the air.

The machine recoiled from the attack and responded with thunderous fury. It swung its arm with unbelievable speed, knocking Izuku across into a building. He stood, slowly. The attack knocked the wind out of him as the iron taste of blood trickled down his mouth. With an intense snarl, he returned to the fight. This time, he placed an incredibly powerful kick to the head of the machine. The head crumpled from the intense force producing an incredibly powerful shockwave that blew out whatever glass remained of the mock city block. This caused a chain reaction of explosions to rock the hulking metal mass of the zero pointer as it swayed precariously before collapsing to the ground. The impact of the machine shook the area once more.

Izuku landed with grace. He focused on his breathing and shut away the wolf side. His fangs shortened and his claws retracted. His clothes were in tatters and his right shoe was horribly busted. He had light bruising on his back when he was thrown into the building, but it in a couple of minutes those bruises would fade completely. One pro to being a lycanthrope, was that he was rarely hindered by cumbersome injuries.

“One minute…left.” Present Mic’s eyes were wide like saucer plates. He wasn’t the only one. All action had completely stopped as all eyes were on the Wolf Boy. No one could believe their eyes.

Izuku looked over at the girl. Her surprised brown eyes stared into his as he stepped forward. “Are you, okay?”

She nodded. “Yeah…I”

“Time’s up!”

The air was oddly still. The town was quiet, save for the sounds of air sirens.

“What is that guy?”

“How did he do that?”

“Did you see him fight some of the other faux villains? He wiped them out with one punch too.”

“How can someone be so strong?”

“And we thought that he was going to be easy competition.”

“How is he still walking after that attack? No one should be able to stand from that!”

“Does he have multiple Quirks?”

His eyes widened as he heard the flood of comments directed towards him. “Shit! All eyes are on me! What on Earth do I say? I demonstrated super speed, strength and resiliency. Not to mention that I clawed the machine!”

The teen with glasses ground his teeth in frustration. “It seems I’ve misjudged him. He’s not here to partake in frivolous activities. He’s a true bona fide hero! Everyone else ran away from the zero pointer and abandoned one of our fellow examinees just to escape. He was the only one to stand up to it! I’ve brought shame upon my family name! Damn it! And the rest of them, they’re missing the point. Yes, he is incredibly powerful. However, it is how he used his power that made all of the difference. Can they not see the error in their ways?”

“Okay, good work.” A gentle and old voice rang out in the ruined block. “Good work, good work.” The old lady reached into her lab coat pocket and pulled out some gummies. “Here you go. Here are some gummies.”

“Thanks?” One of the examinees said with a shocked expression.

“Yes, yes, you, too.”

“That mademoiselle is the backbone of UA.” The elegant student with the French accent explained with a wink.

“Recovery Girl?!” Izuku’s eyes widened in shock. “You’re here too?!”

She waved him off. “Of course, dearie. We couldn’t throw a bunch of kids at killer machines and not have some one with a healing Quirk. What good are a bunch of examinees if they end up hospitalized, or worse…”

He rubbed the back of his head. “I suppose you do have a point there. Haha.”

“You took a big hit from that machine. I’m surprised that you are still standing. Are you injured?”

“No, ma’am.”

“Hohoho! Such good manners! You don’t need to use such honorifics, dearie. Just call me Recovery Girl! But are you sure that you are not injured? Not many examinees, even with resiliency Quirks, could have taken such a blow and be unscathed.”

“Besides some slight bruising on my back, I’m fine.”

Her eyes widened slightly. “That’s impressive, dearie. Well, is anyone else injured?”

“She is, ma—Recovery Girl.” Izuku gestured to the anti-gravity girl.

“Are you alright, dearie?” Her wrinkled face folded into lines of concern.

“M-my leg. I think i-it’s broken.” She clenched her jaw from the intense pain.

“Take some gummies, dear child. They’ll give you the strength necessary for a speedy recovery.” She puckered up her lips. “Kiss!” And she did just that. Her lips pecked the top of the anti-gravity girl’s hair and her body was flooded with green light. In seconds her leg shifted back into a natural position and the pain dulled and then melted away completely. As if it was never there in the first place.

Her eyes widened in shock. “Oh my! The pain is gone!”

“Incredible!”

“What a Quirk!”

“What just happened?”

“Her Quirk is the super-activation of healing ability. UA can only go through with such a reckless entrance exam because of her.” The golden haired student explained.

The navy haired teens eyes widened. “I see! If this exam is set up like that, then he’s…”

 

One week had passed from the entrance exam. Ever since the practical exam, the Midoriya household has been incredibly tense. Izuku hasn’t been able to think about anything else than the results of the test. He wasn’t very confident that he’d make it in with the score that he received, and he was nervous at the prospects at failing his favorite hero. Because Izuku’s mind was occupied about his future, he would often space out during the present. This meant that he would often stare at inanimate objects for minutes at a time without uttering a single word. His sights were set upon the fish he was having for dinner. Inko was deeply concerned by his behavior.

“Izuku?”

Green eyes blankly stared at the white eyes of the dead fish.

“Izuku? Izuku?” His eyes regained focus as he was brought out of his thoughts. “Hey, are you all right, Sweetie? Why are you smiling at the fish?”

He stiffened. “Oh, sorry! I’m fine!” He began to devour the bowl of white rice in an attempt to quell the nerves of his mother, and to shut up the growling monster that was his stomach.

The rest of the meal was eaten in complete silence. No one knew what to say and neither of the Midoriyas were very good with small talk. After dinner, his mother soaked the dishes while Izuku went to the living room to watch some tv. The worn couch creaked as he sat down. He mindlessly foiled with the tv remote while aimlessly squeezing one of the grippers All Might had given him. During the ten months of hell, they served to increase his hand strength. Now they were used similarly to a stress ball. He’d squeeze away his nerves, and he had a lot to squeeze away.

“From self-scoring, I know that I just barely passed the written exam. With my score of forty that I had received during the practical, I may have had just enough points to squeeze by. But what if it wasn’t enough? What if I failed? I don’t want to fail! No one wants to fail! I also don’t want to fail All Might. Speaking of whom, ever since the practical, I haven’t been able to contact him.”

In the middle of his spiral of contemplation, his mother had snuck into the living room. She overheard him heave a great sigh as he stared blankly at the bland commercials that flashed on the dusty television set. “The results should arrive today or tomorrow, right?”

“Yeah.” Izuku breathed out.

“I think its amazing that you even applied to UA. That in itself is an achievement, Sweetie! No matter what the results are, know this: I will always be proud of you!” Her eyes were squeezed shut for enthusiasm.

“Yeah.”

Izuku never told his mother about All Might’s affliction. He thought about telling her, since he hated keeping secrets. But All Might had sworn him into secrecy, and his mother had always taught him to keep his promises, so he intended on doing so. If word got out that the Symbol of Peace was weakened, the pandemonium that could have been caused would be catastrophic. Whatever order the heroes were able to maintain would disappear like water vapor in a desert.

Still stuck in a wave of contemplation, Izuku set down the tv remote and lifted one of the dumbbells that were on the floor. Ever since he had started his training with All Might, various exercise equipment was strewn throughout the house. His mother would occasionally complain about stubbing her toe on a piece of exercise equipment that she couldn’t see, since he had a tendency to put them in the worst spots possible. Besides that, his mother didn’t really complain that much. Izuku was left to his own devices for the greater part of the day. He did miss hanging out with his mother, but he was too preoccupied with his own self doubt to truly appreciate the time that he had to spend with her.

“All Might! After you saw potential in me, I’m sorry that I may not have been able to live up to it! But I did what I thought was right! All Might, you…”

Suddenly the door swung open. His mother flopped to the ground, her expression frantic. “Izu-Izu-Izu…! Izu-Izu-Izu… Izuku!” In her hand held on envelope with the UA seal. “It’s here! It came! It’s here!” Izuku’s eyes widened greatly.

He took the envelope and escaped to his room. His mother was left pacing outside the hallway. “Come on, Izuku! I know you did it! I know you passed! Just come on and tell me!”

Izuku sat at his computer. Its light was the only source of light in the entire room. He sat staring at the unopened envelope with a feeling of dread sitting in his stomach like a ton of lead. The voice telling him to “Open the damn letter already!” finally won and he ripped open the letter. Shreds of paper scattered everywhere.

A metal holographic disc landed on the desk. As soon as it made contact with the splintered wood, a blue light emanated from its center. It took the form of All Might in a yellow suit.

“I am here as a projection!”

Izuku was startled by the loudness of his voice. “All Might?! Wait, this is from UA, right?” His eyes looked at the seal which did indeed show that this was from UA. “What?!”

“I had to do some paperwork that took some time, so I couldn’t contact you.” A raspy cough cut off his speech. He put a hand to his chest and bowed in an apologetic manner. “I’m sorry. Actually, I came to this town to work at UA.”

“All Might is working at UA?!”

Almost as if All Might could hear him, he nodded in agreement. A disembodied hand came from off screen telling him something that Izuku couldn’t quite make out. All Might’s attention was drawn to it. “Hm? What is it? Wrap it up? But there is something I must talk to him about…” The hand waved a finger in a disciplinary way. “It’s going to push everything else back?” He raised his broad shoulders in a shrug. “All right. Okay. Young Midoriya, you barely passed the written exam and scored forty points on the practical exam. That in itself would make you an unlikely candidate for the Hero Course…”

Izuku white knuckled, nearly tearing the loose fabric of his grey sweatpants. “I knew that. I knew…that.” He could feel white hot liquid brimming in his eyes. “I knew that, but…It’s so frustrating!”

“If that was all there was to it…well, I am an entertainer, as well! First, take a look at this video!” He gestured widely with his remote and then clicked the button.

The screen switched to a video. The kind-hearted girl that Izuku had saved during the practical exam was standing in a door way. Her expression was brimming with anxiety. She exhaled before taking a shaky step forward. “Excuse me, um…” The video paused.

“The nice person?” Izuku’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion.

“She came to negotiate directly in person after the exam!” Izuku’s eyes widened. All Might held up a finger. “Negotiate what? Keep watching to find out.” He continued the video.

Present Mic was now present. His back was to the camera, but his bright and tall yellow hair combined with his typical attire made the titular hero stick out like a sore thumb. “Um, the person with curly hair and freckles…” The nice girl continued. “Do you know who I’m talking about? Um, kind of plain-looking…”

“It’s me!”

“Is it possible for me to give him some of my points? He saved my life from that zero pointer, and I feel like he should be rewarded for his heroism. Even if it means that I can’t get in, I believe he deserves the reward.”

“What the hell can you do?”

“Quirkless freak!”

“At the very least, give him some of the points that he lost because of me. Had he left me to my fate, he surely could have gotten some more points!”

“Quiet, monster!”

“I’m so sorry, Izuku!”

“He saved me! He saved me when no one else dared to move! Certainly, you guys must have seen that!” Izuku’s eyes shined with tears at the conviction in her gentle voice. “Please! Please! Please!”

The video paused once more. “In addition to now having a ‘Quirk,’ your actions spurred others to act.” He turned around with his signature white grin on his face. “The entrance exam the other day was not graded only on villain points!”

Green eyes widened several magnitudes as a hushed gasp escaped his tight lips. The video continued. “Even if you ask to, you cannot give him your points.” Present Mic patted the girl’s head. “Anyway, there’s no reason to give him any, female listener!”

All Might stepped in front of the screen. “How can a hero course reject people who save others and do the right thing? Call that lip service?” Izuku stared dumbfounded at the screen. His mouth had long gone dry. “Bring it on! This is a job that requires risking one’s life to put that lip service into practice!” The screen changed and displayed “Rescue Points! And they’re given by a panel of judges. It’s the other basic ability we at UA look at!”

The screen changed again to show Izuku’s score. “40 Villain points. 60 Rescue points.”

“Izuku Midoriya, 100 points in total. Sixty from rescue, forty from villain points. Ochaco Uraraka, award 45 rescue points for her outstanding moral fiber! You both pass!”

Izuku couldn’t hold off the water works for any longer. “This is too crazy…”

All Might offered a mighty hand. “Come, Young Midoriya. This is your Hero Academia!”

“Yes, sir!” He sniffled quietly, trying to maintain the sobs that were burning in his chest.

 

His mother’s pacing had increased to a feverish pace. If this kept up, she’d keel over from exhaustion. That’s when the door opened. Green eyes met green eyes. No words were exchanged. None had to be, as Izuku led out a big grin.

Inko covered her mouth as copious amounts of tears poured down her face. She ran towards Izuku, throwing herself around him. He was nearly knocked off balance. “Oh, Izuku!”

Izuku was crying as well as he felt sobs quake from his mother’s chest. “I did it, Mom! I can finally be a hero!”

“I did it, Dad! Are you proud of me too?”

Chapter Text

“The cumulative results are out for the practical exam.” One pro hero announced to the others. On a massive screen displayed the results of the ten highest scores in the entrance exam.

In first place was Izuku Midoriya: with 40 villain points and 60 rescue points. Culminating in a record breaking 100 earth shattering points! Second place was Katsuki Bakugou: with 77 villain points and 0 rescue points. That too was cause for surprise. No other combatant in the history of the practical test had gotten that many points on defeating faux villains alone, which was a testament to the strength of the explosive teenager.

In third place was Eijiro Kirishima: 39 villain points, 35 rescue points. Fourth place was Ochaco Uraraka: 28 to 45 points. Then Ibara Shiozaki: 36 to 32. Itsuki Kendo: 25 to 40. Tenya Iida: 52 to 9. Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu: 49 to 10. Fumikage Tokoyami: 47 to 10. Lastly, Yosetsu Awase: 50 to 6.

“I can’t believe Katsuki Bakugou got over seventy points without any rescue points.” Another pro hero stated with shock.

“The faux villains require their targets to draw near them. In the second half, as others were slowing down, he used his flashy Quirk to keep bringing them close and then counterattacking. It’s the result of his toughness.” A deep voice concluded.

“Let’s not forget about the candidate in first place: Izuku Midoriya. Forty villain points is nothing to scoff at, but he also received an additional 60 rescue points and has broken the record at the entrance exam!”

“I still can’t believe that one of the examinees took out a zero pointer, without additional help mind you, and walked away without serious injury. Recovery Girl didn’t even need to help him!”

“There had been other examinees who took on the large villain in the past, but it’s been ages since I’ve seen someone blast it away like it was a piece of trash!”

“I have never heard of a single Quirk that has been able to do this. Super strength and speed are customary to enhancement type Quirks, but also increased regeneration and durability? Is it possible that this candidate has more than one Quirk?”

“Don’t be ridiculous!” A grumpy voice called out. “There is no way that kid has more than one Quirk. It says so in his file! Besides, there has only been one recorded in history that has had more than one Quirk! We don’t talk about him!”

“I’m not being ridiculous! It’s a legitimate question! I’ve never, in my entire life, seen a Quirk with these many attributes and not have a single draw back!”

One pro hero stayed quiet has he stared at the screen with tired eyes. Eraser Head has never been known for being the talkative type, and he certainly wasn’t going to start peddling conspiracy theories; however, there is cause for suspicion here. If he remembered correctly, he remembered Dead Arms and Kamui Woods talking about a ‘Wolf Boy’ who single handedly incapacitated a sludge villain that even pro heroes at the time were unable to handle. They had never gotten his name, but the description of green and unruly hair with a freckled face was a perfect match.

“That’s not all he had. Didn’t the others see the claws that he grew? He tore through the thick metal plating of the Zero Pointer like it a knife through butter! Just how many Quirks did this boy have, exactly?” His face was grim as his forehead scrunched in concentration.

“Izuku Midoriya” Eraser Head mumbled to himself, “I’ll have to keep an eye on that one.”

 

 

The night after he had opened his acceptance letter, a certain Symbol of Peace had contacted a certain “Wolf Boy.” With haste, Izuku ran to the beach park.

“All Might!” His voice blasted through the cold night air unimpeded.

Blood seeped out of All Might’s mouth as his dark eyes widened.

“Who’s that?” A man inquired in the distance.

“All Might?! Where?” A woman at the end of the pier began to frantically look around for the hero.

With dismay, All Might hunched over and stated in a quiet and energized voice, “Repeat after me. ‘I had the wrong person.’”

“Oh!” Izuku flailed his arms around. “I had the wrong person!”

“Aw, what?”

“That’s a darn shame! I was hoping to see him…”

The two heaved a sigh.

“Congrats on getting accepted.” All Might raised his hand for a high five. Izuku accepted the gesture.

“Th-Th-Thank you very much!”

“Just so you know, I didn’t tell the school about my connection to you.” He put a hand on his hip and waved with his other. “You’re the type that would think that’s cheating, right? I wasn’t one of the judges.”

“Th-Thank you for your concern!” He bowed. “But I was surprised to find out that you were a teacher at UA. So that’s why you came here, huh? I mean, your agency is in Roppongi in Minato, Tokyo at—”

“Stop that!” Izuku’s mutterings were promptly silenced. “I couldn’t tell anyone before the school announced it. I just happened to be offered a job from UA when I was searching for a successor.”

“I see. You are planning on choosing one of the students then?”

All Might nodded. “Indeed. You’re quite a sharp kid, you know that?”

“Then—”

“However, you may have showed off a little too much at the practical exam.” His voice was level and very serious.

“What do you mean?”

“You broke the record for the entrance exam. Had we been in normal circumstances, that would be cause for rejoice; but, your little fight with the zero pointer wasn’t fought in a vacuum.” Worry fluttered in Izuku’s stomach. “You displayed your strength and speed. That could have been waved off as just a regular Quirk. However, you went overboard. You gave them a showcase of your claws, your superhuman resiliency and your heightened healing abilities. Some of the pro heroes even began formulating a couple of theories about you having multiple Quirks.”

“I-I’m sorry, All Might. It was just that the girl was in danger and I—”

“I’m not reprimanding you, nor am I angry with you. I am merely warning you to keep your wits about you.  True, none of the pro heroes that watched the practical exam have seen a member of monster kind; however, they’ve have been trained to hunt your kind. Just…tread lightly. I won’t be able to save you from the law if they decide to act upon it. I’ll do the best that I can but…”

“I…understand.” His breath was shaky and uneven. “Thank you, All Might.” There was a slight moment of hesitation. It was silent, save for the sound of water crashing at the shore. “Have you found anyone, yet?”

Green eyes stared warily into the hero’s. He shook his head and sighed. “I have not. While I did watch the practical exam, I found no one who exemplified the qualities of a hero more than you, Young Midoriya. I’m not saying that the others did not display Quirk prowess or dedication to their work. However, the others were more focused on succeeding than saving lives. It is our duty, as heroes, to protect those around us. No one rushed in to help Miss Uraraka except for you, my boy.”

“I see.” He casted his gaze to the sand below. “I’m sorry that I can’t be your successor.”

“Young Midoriya,” he rested his hand on the apologetic teen, “For the last time: You have nothing to apologize for! You can’t control what is impossible for you to do. You may have gotten stronger physically, but I’m still afraid that you have a lot to go in terms of mental fortitude.”

“I’m s—”

“Don’t apologize! Young Midoriya, look at me.” There was a moment of hesitation, but Izuku finally returned his heavy eyes towards the sincere gaze of his mentor. “You did great, kid! You may not have heard this often but…I’m proud of you!”

“Thank you…All Might!” His vision was obscured by his signature tears that threatened to drown out the happiness he felt in his heart. “I haven’t had anyone besides my mother say that to me.”

All Might reached out to give a well needed hug. Izuku reciprocated the gesture and the two embraced. “It’s okay, Young Midoriya.”

“You have a strength burning inside of you. However, it is marred in self-doubt and pity. It’s being constricted by your own negativity. You are not allowing it the fuel that it needs to thrive. Your will is like an unforged blade—brittle and without form. The trials ahead of you shall take that unforged blade and meld it into shape, and with that blade, you’ll become the greatest hero. Your volition to survive will create the most tempered blade imaginable.” All Might nodded to himself as a smile appeared on his skeletal face. “Yeah, that’s deep!”

 

April had arrived, bringing with it warmth and sunshine. The air breathed with the scent of new beginnings. The sky was bright, and the future was even brighter beyond it. It was time for Izuku to go to UA. Deliberation time was over!

Izuku was currently packing his yellow backpack, while getting hounded by his mother to make sure that he had all of the necessary materials to be successful. Like any mother-son relationship, the child’s nerves would flare, and the mother would keep nagging unimpeded. Both of their nerves were burning on end, for neither knew what the future held.

On one hand, Izuku was ecstatic about his future. He could finally become the hero that he always dreamed of becoming. Not only that, but Katsuki had showed signs of changing. He asked Izuku if they could be friends again. The very thought about permanently burying a part of his past filled Izuku with a sense of burning determination.

On the other hand, Inko was terrified about him going to UA. She wouldn’t be able to protect her baby boy, and he would be using his wolf side as a Quirk. He would be exposing their secret to the very same Hero Society that hunted her family for generations. She was fearful of him being discovered. She was scared of her baby boy never returning, just like how her grandfather was arrested and promptly executed for being an “aberration to all that is natural.”

“Izuku, do you have tissues?”

“Yeah.”

“And your handkerchief? What about your handkerchief? Your hanky?”

“I have it!” He heaved an exasperated sigh. “I’m going to be late.” He swung his backpack over his shoulder and walked away. “I have to hurry.”

He opened the door. “Izuku!”

Biting back a growl, he turned over his shoulder and glared at his mother. “What is it?!” His features softened as he saw tears begin to well up in her eyes.

“You’re really cool! I love you, Sweetie! Go and kick some butt!” Her warm smile betrayed the tears in her eyes.

Izuku reciprocated her smile with a brighter one of his own. “I’m off!”

 

The acceptance rate for UA High’s hero course is less than one in three hundred every year. Other than the four people admitted through recommendations, 36 are admitted through the regular exam. Those 36 are split into only two classes, with 18 in each. 1A and 1B are the two classes. Izuku Midoriya was placed into 1A. Because of this, he was running in the halls trying his hardest to locate the room. Given the immense size of the school, it seemed like an inexorable task.

“Class 1A…1A…This place’s too big.” Nerves flaring from his potential tardiness were eating away at him. He finally found the sign. “There it is!”

His eyes widened as he noticed the commanding size of the door for the classroom. A massive 1-A was written on the colossal door in red print. If Izuku wasn’t already nervous at the difficult task ahead of him, the sheer size of the door would have been enough to make him start.

“The door’s huge! Is it for accessibility?” He took a deep breath to still his burning nerves. “The elite chosen from the huge number at the exam…” Images of the blue haired kid with glasses and his childhood friend flashed in his mind.

“I certainly hope that the student—more like man—with glasses isn’t in my class. He intimidates me greatly. I also hope that Kacchan isn’t in my class, as well. I know that we are trying to restart this whole friendship thing, but I haven’t exactly had the best experiences with him in a classroom setting.” He was starting to sweat a little bit as he slid the massive door open. “Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me!”

There they were. The two people he was hoping to not have to deal with on his first day were in the same class as him. Katsuki had his legs on the desk in his usual cocky demeanor, while the man with glasses stood with an indignant look on his face. Clearly not pleased with Katsuki’s behavior.

“Don’t put your feet on the desk!”

Katsuki quirked an eyebrow as he sneered. “Huh?”

“Don’t you think that’s rude to UA upperclassmen and the people who made the desk?”

“What shitty school did you attend, worthless extra! Were you born with a stick up your ass, or did they shove one up there for you?”

Izuku sighed. “Jesus Christ, Kacchan. You haven’t even been in the building for twenty minutes and you’re already picking fights.”

“Such language, you cretin! I thought I recognized your foul presence from before. You’re the one who was talking during the orientation speech before the practical exam!” Katsuki looked like he was about to blow a fuse. “To answer your question in poor taste, I attended Somei Private Academy. My name is Tenya Iida.”

“Somei? So, you’re a damn elite, huh?” He leaned forward. “Looks like I’ll have fun crushing you into the ground like the pretentious little bug that you are!”

Iida recoiled slightly. “‘Crushing’? That’s cruel. Do you truly aim to be a hero?”

“He plans on becoming the greatest.” Izuku sighed as he stepped into the lion’s den.

Iida turned. “You’re…”

Everyone else, who Izuku failed to notice at the time, all turned their attention on the green haired teen standing in the doorway.

He blushed, his nerves jolting with electricity as he scrambled for a dignified response that didn’t signify his inevitable doom. “Oh, um…”

“Good morning!” Iida walked across the room in an unusual fashion. His gait was straight as a board while he swung his arms in a robotic-like motion. “I am from Somei Private Academy. My name is—”

He put his hands up. “I heard! I’m…Izuku Midoriya. Nice to meet you, Iida.”

“Midoriya, you realized there was something more to that practical exam, didn’t you?” Izuku gave him a bewildered look. Shame was evident on the taller teen’s face. His forehead scrunched in frustration. “I had no idea. I misjudged you!” He turned his head to the side. “I hate to admit it, but you are better than me.”

“Um…sorry. I actually didn’t realize anything.” He scratched the back of his head. “I was just as lost as everybody els—”

“Oh, that curly hair!” An energetic voice quipped. “You’re the plain-looking one!”

Izuku turned around and his cheeks burned red. “It’s the nice person! She looks good in that uniform.”

“You passed, just like Present Mic said!” Her bright eyes were shining with the energy of a million suns. “Of course you did! Your kick was amazing! The wind from that attack alone nearly blew me away!”

“Oh, well, um, it was thanks to you going to speak with him directly that I, uh…” Izuku began to blush more feverishly.

“Huh? How did you know about that?”

He covered his face to try and hide is awkwardness. “Oh, uh, that’s because…”

Katsuki watched from his desk. The happy-go-lucky girl was swinging her arm in a manic manner, while Izuku was drowning in his own insecurities. “How in the hell can he manage to take out a zero pointer—a feat I didn’t accomplish—but he can’t have a small conversation with some shitty ass extra?!”

His forehead creased as he recalled his teacher’s reaction to both of them getting into UA.

 

“I can’t believe we have two students form our school matriculating into UA!” The teacher was beaming with excitement and…pride.

Izuku was tense and rigid as a board as he received the praise from the usually disinterested teacher. Katsuki stood there, with his usual trade mark expression. To the untrained eye, a look that conveyed annoyance and overall belligerence. However, it masked the whirlwind of emotions that were festering beneath the surface.

Although he knew he was going to get in, he was still ecstatic to find out that he had been accepted into UA’s Hero’s Course. The conflict came when he looked at Izuku. He never knew what he truly thought about him. On one hand, he just wanted to smash is annoying and muttering face into the concrete. Fear also crept into his heart when he remembered how Izuku had destroyed the sludge villain and the bestial way he spoke. He felt incredible guilt at the way he treated his friend—or whatever term could be used to describe their complicated relationship—and how shitty his home life had been after his, even more shitty, dad abandoned them for reasons they didn’t understand. He also felt joy and pride towards the green haired teen for also landing into UA High, but incredible frustration at him for muddying his legacy. He was supposed to be the only one from his shitty school to get into the prestigious academy, but that was one thing he’d have to share with Izuku.

“Especially you, Midoriya. It’s a miracle!”

Katsuki glanced over at the sweating teen next to him. Before the sludge incident Katsuki would have ground the shorter teen into the ground for sullying his dreams, but post sludge incident Katsuki didn’t know what to feel or how to react.

After school that day was made even more awkward when it was just the two of them left in the classroom. They were the talk of the neighborhood for making it into UA High, so the two had to deal with constant praise and even speculations about their futures from everyone who came across them. It was praise that was supposed to be his and his alone. Katsuki was frustrated, but his conscience was scolding him for treating Izuku like shit for all these years and was condemning him for not walking over to the teen and congratulating him for achieving something. Before he made a move, Izuku approached him.

“K-Kacchan! Um…congratulations on making it into UA.” He was shaking for some reason.

Katsuki’s eyes narrowed in suspicion. “Well of course I’d make into UA. What, did you think that I wouldn’t make the cut?”

He shook his head. “Of course not, Kacchan! I knew you were going to make it in. I just am glad that we are going to the same high school.”

Katsuki scoffed. “It’s not something to be happy about, De—Izuku.” Intense red gazed into quivering green. “After all, that just makes us into rivals.” A sneer creeped its way onto his face. “That means that you and I are going to be competing for the top spot.”

“I suppose you are right about us being rivals, but I was hoping what you told me at the practical exam was something that you meant. You do remember what you said…right?” Worried verdant investigated angry crimson.

“Of course, I remember what I said! Do you think I’m an idiot?!” Izuku went to protest his accusation, but Katsuki continued. “And of course, I meant it, Izuku. Unlike some people, when I get…emotional the words I say mean something!”

A warm smile graced Izuku’s lips. “Just because I get ‘emotional’ more times than I’m not, doesn’t mean that what I say is meaningless.” Katsuki scoffed. “Thank you anyway, Kacchan. I-I just don’t want to disappoint you is all.”

 

“What the hell did you mean by that, De—Izuku? Why would that have been his biggest concern? I bullied him for years. You’d think his nervousness would be from me beating the crap out of him, not me having disappointment in him. Why does the shitty little nerd have to be so damn confusing?” An ugly scowl was present as he turned towards the front of the room. “Why am I so conflicted right now? I’m here to be a hero, not to deal with such weak emotional nonsense!”

“I wonder if today’s just the entrance ceremony and orientation?” Uraraka asked to no one in particular. “I wonder what our teacher’s like? Aren’t you nervous?”

Izuku turned towards his fellow classmates as they went back to whatever was preoccupying their minds before he entered the room. “She’s s-so close!”

“Go somewhere else if you want to play at being friends.” The world’s most tired and dead voice droned. Uraraka and Izuku turned to where the voice had come from. The source was a head that was peeking out of a yellow sleeping bag that both students had managed to avoid stepping on as they stood in the doorway.

“This is the hero course.” The tired man unzipped the bag. His long black hair hung to the side of his face that only managed to convey a sense of tiredness. He grabbed a packet of juice from inside of the bag and drank the contents in one gulp.

Iida, Uraraka, and Izuku were stunned into silence. “S-Something’s here?!”

The tired man stood up and shed his sleeping bag like a chrysalis. Instead of a beautiful butterfly being freed, the class was graced with a sleep deprived and scruffy man. He wore a completely black outfit, save for the long gray scarf that coiled around his neck. His long black hair hung like sleepy curtains and obscured the man’s nearly grey colored face. “Okay, it took eight seconds before you were quiet. Time is limited. You kids are not rational enough.”

“A teacher? Which means, that person’s a pro hero, too?” Izuku’s mouth was agape. “But I’ve never seen a hero who looked that worn out before.”

“I’m your homeroom teacher, Shota Aizawa. Nice to meet you.”

Gasps and other sounds of disbelief erupted from the other students present in the room. “Homeroom teacher?!”

Aizawa rummaged through the sleeping bag and pulled out a UA athletic uniform. “It’s kind of sudden but put this on and go out onto the field.” Everyone remained still and looked at him with a sense of bewilderment.

 

The UA system does not follow the beaten path. Yagi Toshinori—All Might—knew this all too well as he peered through the pages of his “Teacher Directory” book. Depending on the homeroom teacher, even the first day can be…interesting.

 

“A Quirk assessment test?!” The class roared.

“What about the entrance ceremony? The orientation?” Uraraka asked.

“If you’re going to become a hero, you don’t have time for such leisurely events.” Aizawa stated with the enthusiasm of a damp rock. “UA’s selling point is how unrestricted its school traditions are. That’s also how the teachers run their classes.”

A din of noise emanated from the students. Aizawa ignored them and turned to address the class. “You kids have been doing these since junior high, too, right?” He held up his phone. “Physical fitness tests where you weren’t allowed to use your Quirks. The country still uses averages taken from results from students not using their Quirks. It’s not rational. Well, the Ministry of Education is procrastinating.” He put his phone in his pocket. “Bakugou, you finished the practical exam with the most villain points, right?”

All eyes landed on the ashen haired teen. “In junior high, what was your best result for the softball throw?”

“67 meters.” Suspicion was clear on his face.

“Then, try doing it with your Quirk.” He gestured for Bakugou to step into the center of the circle. “You can do whatever you want as long as you stay in the circle. Hurry up. Give it all you’ve got.” Aizawa lofted a softball his way.

Bakugou caught it. He stretched his shoulders. “Then, well…” He widened his stance and focused on his breathing. “I’ll add a blast to the pitch.”

He wound his shoulder back, took a step forward and released the ball with a well-timed explosion. “Die!” The ball easily broke the sound barrier as it shot through the sky with a blazing trail. The smell of sulfur permeated the air.

“Die?” Izuku questioned.

“Know your own maximum first.” The ball hit the ground and Aizawa showed the screen to Katsuki first, then to the rest of the class. “This is the most rational way to form the foundation of a hero.”

The screen displayed: “705.2 meters!” Everyone’s jaws collectively dropped to the floor, save Izuku.

“Over 700 meters?! Seriously?!” Exclaimed an electric blond-haired student with a black lightning bolt-like streak in his hair.

“What’s this? It looks fun!” Quipped a peculiar pink haired and skinned girl with horns coming out of her head. The sclera of her eyes was black as night with golden irises that twinkled with excitement.

“We can use our Quirks as much as we want! As expected from the hero course!” This voice emanated from a black-haired student with a dopey grin on his face. What stood out most about this individual was his oddly shaped arms.

“‘It looks fun,’ huh?” Aizawa’s dead voice killed the excitement in the air. “You have three years to become a hero. Will you have an attitude like that the whole time?” A manic grin formed from his thin lips. “All right. Whoever comes in last place in all eight tests will be judged to have no potential and will be punished with expulsion.”

“HUH?!” The class screamed in unison.

 

 

All Might examined page after page looking for the homeroom his protégé  was put under. His eyes flicked with apprehension when he landed on the homeroom teacher for 1A.

“Aizawa, huh?” He felt a little clammy. “He’ll be facing a lot of suffering from the start.” He laughed mirthlessly. “He can’t catch a break, can he?”

 

 

Fear wormed its way through Izuku’s mind as he stared into the devilish smile on his teacher’s corpse-like face. “Punished with expulsion?! Oh no… This is bad… In all eight tests?” He held his clenched hand with a vice grip. His heart pounding in his chest and making it hard to think. “What am I going to do? I can’t go all out on all of these tests, Mr. Aizawa may know something is up. From what I know about UA, he has to be a pro hero. That means that he most likely saw how my practical exam went. If I go all out, my secret may be exposed, but if I don’t go all out and the others do, I get expelled?! I’m screwed!”

“We’re free to do what we want about the circumstances of our students.” He held back his long black hair that blanketed his unshaved face. His eyes bulged with an insane light. “Welcome to UA’s Hero Course!”

Iida fixed his glasses and prepared for battle. Uraraka gulped as she fumbled at processing the information that had been forced upon her. The other students did a combination of both. Some widened their stance to show confidence that many of them didn’t feel, while others quietly panicked. There were three who had very different responses.

A girl with her hair in a massive black and stylized pony tail remained unconvinced about the announcement their teacher kindly bestowed upon them. “He can’t possibly be serious. You can tell by that grin on his face. He’s clearly doing this to get a rise out of the students.” She flicked her eyes on the panicking students around her. “And it’s clearly working.”

A peculiar bicolored hair teenager with heterochromia showed no emotion. He felt no panic, since he’s used to the pass and fail tests his beloved father bestowed upon him from the kindness of his heart. “Expulsion? So be it. If people are unable to deal with the possibility of failing, of not being able to remain calm within a stressful situation, then they are unfit to become heroes! I need not concern myself over the well-being of my fellow classmates. I’m not here to make friends or form alliances. I will do what I must to succeed and show a certain someone that I can make it without his precious power!”   

Instead of cowering in fear at the prospect of expulsion or remaining calm and rational, the biggest smile grew on Katsuki’s face. His eyes narrowed in intense concentration as the bridge of his nose furrowed. “I couldn’t agree anymore! The weakest one in the course should be expelled like the worthless extra that they are.” He looked over his shoulder to at the quivering form of Izuku. His eyes narrowed in anger. “The hell are you so nervous about, Dek—Izuku. No! When he acts like a sniveling coward, he deserves the name Deku! You got the highest score on the practical exam and you took out a zero pointer in two attacks, if the extras were correct. What could you possibly be freaking out about, shitty nerd?!”

Sweat poured down Izuku’s face as he tried and failed to calm his fluttering heart. “A huge test on the first day of school? What am I going to do?”

“Last place will be expelled?” Uraraka spoke up. A fire was present in her brown eyes. “But it’s the first day of school! No, even if it wasn’t the first day of school, this is too unfair!”

Aizawa’s eyes narrowed in slight irritation. “Natural disasters, big accidents, and selfish villains. Calamities whose time or place can’t be predicted. Japan is covered in unfairness. Heroes are the ones who reverse those situations. If you wanted to go talk with your friends at Mickey D’s after school, too bad.” His dry and unfeeling words killed the anger that was in Uraraka and replaced it with a sense of dread. “For the next three years, UA will do all it can to give you one hardship after another. Go beyond. Plus Ultra.” He beckoned the students to try with a wave of a finger. “Overcome it with all you’ve got.”

Iida grabbed the water bottle that was securely placed in a leg strap and drank the calming water down with intensity. His eyebrow angled in a perpetual state of seriousness, tugged at the ridge of his brow. “This is too serious to be hazing. However, this is the best of the best. There is no choice but to do it.”

Katsuki smiled at the work that he had accomplished. Arrogance rolled off of him in waves. “This isn’t all I’ve got.”

Uraraka clenched her fists. “Fine, Mr. Aizawa! I’ll play your game. I didn’t come all of this way just to be expelled on the first day of school!”

“All right, demonstration’s over. The real thing starts now.”

 

Test 1: 50-meter dash.

The camera robot was positioned at the edge of the track. Once the students crossed the white line, their time would be recorded, and a listing would be produced. The goal of all the tests was to not come in last place. The two at the starting line were Tenya Iida and Asui Tsuyu.

Tenya Iida’s Quirk of “Engine” allows him to blast off at incredible bursts of speed. He’s one of, if not, the fastest student currently attending UA. Asui Tsuyu’s Quirk of "Frog" allows her to leap effortlessly through the air. She excels in water environments and has an elongated and very powerful tongue.

“Are you ready…” The weird synth voice spoke in a high-pitched tone. “Get set…” BLAM! A gunshot ran out, and the two took off. Iida blasted off from the starting line with his engine powered legs. “3.04 seconds.”

He skidded to a stop and turned towards the track. “For 50 meters, I can only go up to third gear…”

“Well, he’s like a fish in water.” Aizawa rasped unimpressed—his specialty. “It’ll be worth seeing what others do.”

Asui’s time was 5.58 seconds. To that she responded with a “Ribbit.” Her long pink tongue was hanging out of her mouth.

Uraraka’s turn was next. “Lighten up my clothes and shoes.” Pink flickers of light flashed from her fingers as she canceled out the effects of gravity on her clothes and shoes.

“Get set…” BLAM!

She took off in a dead sprint. Due to her lightened frame, she carried herself quicker than she ever had. “7.15 seconds.”

She smiled brightly. “Oh, but that’s faster than I was in junior high!”

“Everyone, you’re not being creative enough.” Said the elegant French student. “I’ll show you what it’s like...”

BLAM!

He leapt into the air and fired off his naval laser, “…to be allowed to use your Quirk!” Yuga Aogama. With the Quirk of Navel Laser, he is able to shoot massive beams of concentrated light out of his navel. He’s limited by the amount of time he can shoot continuously.

“5.51 seconds.”

He turned towards his confused classmates. “If I shoot for more than a second, I get a stomachache.”

“What the heck?” They stared at the sparkling teen like he grew three more heads.

“Looking at the upper limit of your Quirks and the room for growth in each result, it becomes clear what you can and can’t do.” Aizawa overheard the conversation. That was one thing about Aizawa that many people don’t realize. He may look like he’s half-dead—and he may very well be—but he is probably one of the most perceptive pro heroes out there. His intellect and quiet persona make him not only excel in stealth, but greatly increase his options when in combat.

Next was Katsuki and Izuku. The ashen haired teen was surprisingly calm and composed, while the freckled teen was shuddering from his apprehension.

He blinked rapidly as he heard the robot’s voice. “I’ll run using my normal speed. It should be fast enough to not come in last place. It certainly won’t place first, but the last thing I need is for all eyes to be on me.”

Aizawa watched the two prepare for the signal to start. “That will connect to the creativity needed for you to survive.”

BLAM!

The sound jolted Izuku into pressing off the ground with a little more force than he intended. The ground cracked as he shot forward, his expression was one of fright.

Not to be outdone by his classmate and self-appointed rival, Katsuki ran forward with his hands backwards. He unleashed explosions to propel himself forward. He called the move “Explosive speed.” While the name may be lacking in creativity, the practicality and applicability of his Quirk was not to be underestimated.  

Much to Bakugou’s chagrin, Izuku and him crossed the line at the same time. “4.13 seconds.”

All eyes were focused on the two who tied. “What are you all gawking at? When I use both hands, the force disperses, thus propelling me forward.” His eyes flicked back at the small crater formed by Izuku’s take off. “Are you surprised about that? As much as I hate to admit it, shitty Deku here placed first in the practical exam. You shouldn’t expect any less from someone like him.”

Izuku’s breath hitched. His frazzled eyes locked onto the perpetual scowl on Katsuki’s face. “Kacchan! I’m really not that good you know, but thank you!” Katsuki scoffed in response and turned away.

Aizawa narrowed his eyes. “That much is to be expected with the top two students at the practical exam, but why was Izuku Midoriya so surprised by the force that he used? The destructiveness of it certainly shouldn’t surprise him. He did take out the zero pointer with a monstrous kick. Does he not have control over his Quirk or potential Quirks?” His tired eyes scrutinized the green haired teen in front of him. “His tense muscles, tight jaw, and shaking eyes. He’s definitely afraid of something.”

Izuku inhaled deeply. With ten deep breaths, he was able to calm the frantic beating of his heart. “Damn that gunshot! I hope that’s not how all of these tests are going to be started! I did get a really good score, but I guess I could attempt a little harder. I did get first place. It would be far more suspicious if I did awful in these assessments, yet somehow excelled in the practical exam. With everyone using their Quirks to produce extraordinary results, the competition is going to be steep.”

 

Test 2: Grip Strength.

“Well, this one shouldn’t be too difficult.” Izuku looked at the sensor in his hand. “After all, I did take out the zero pointer. I’ll flex off my strength a little bit, not too much, but enough for me to get a good score.”

He tightened his grip slightly. The recorder beeped. “385.6 kg.”

“Wow!” Izuku’s attention was ripped from his score. “540 kilograms? What are you, a gorilla?” The black-haired student with the strange arms was referring to a massive student in both height and physique. The student in question had multiple sets of thick, muscular arms. “Oh, an octopus.”

“Octopuses are sexy.” A small voice with a lisp said creepily. It came from a short kid that had these creepy purple balls growing where his hair should be.

“If 540 kilograms is the high score, than I think my 385.6 is high enough.”

 

Test 3: Standing Long Jump.

This one was easy for everyone, including Izuku. Katsuki and Aogama used their Quirks to effortlessly fly over the sand pit. Izuku had no trouble kicking off the ground with his feet. He soared over the sand box and landed gracefully.

Aizawa’s gaze was fixated on him. “He seems to have more control over his Quirk than earlier. He’s less tense, that’s for sure.”

 

Test 4: Repeated Side Steps.

Another easy test for all participants. The only noteworthy score was from the strange kid with the purple balls. They apparently have a bouncy aspect to them. Kind of like rubber. He bounced back and forth between two stacks of them, allowing him to blow everyone else’s score out of the water.

 

Test 5: Ball Throw.

Uraraka opened the gate with an infinity score. Using her anti-gravity ability, she hurled the ball to the great expanse of space. Aizawa showed her score and the class responded with a tremendous uproar.

“Infinity?!”

The electric-blond haired student was shell shocked. “That’s amazing! She got ‘infinity’!”

Izuku couldn’t believe what he just witnessed. “Infinity? That’s a tad impossible to beat! I was hoping to let out some more power on this one. There’s been one unbelievably high score for every test so far, and I was going try and get that score. I am Kacchan’s rival after all. I can’t just let him be the one in first, now can I?”

It was Izuku’s turn to throw the ball. He stepped up to the center circle and stared at the ball in his palm. “All that’s left is this, the long-distance run, sit-ups, and the seated toe-touch. I should be fine with all of those. It’s really a shame that that nice girl did so well. I mean, I am happy for her, but…” he sighed before looking at the field in front of him.

“Midoriya has done phenomenal for all of the trials so far. I expect him to do no less here!” Iida stated with crossed arms.

“Huh? Well of course he will. He’s not some Quirkless small fry…you know.” Katsuki’s spunk disappeared like a fart in the wind. He cast his eyes downward.

“Is something wrong, Bakugou?”

Katsuki ground his teeth. “It’s none of your concern, Four Eyes!”

Iida sighed. “I am only trying to help a fellow student out. You don’t have to go and chew me out. You shouldn’t have such a harsh temperament for a hero.”

“Huh?! First of all, you bastard, I didn’t ask for your stupid help! Secondly, who’s chewing you out? And lastly, stop saying that I’m not fit to become a hero and the like. You’re really pissing me off!” Sparks were flying from his palm as he kept his hands as close to himself as he possibly could.

Iida just sighed before turning away. “I never said that you were unfit to become a hero. I said that attitude is unbecoming of a hero.” Katsuki scoffed before muttering some swear words under his breath.

Aizawa’s eyes were trained on Izuku. “Izuku has done well, very well. While I don’t usually peddle in unfounded conspiracy theories, this would be a perfect time to test a hunch that I’ve been feeling this entire time.” His eyes began to flash red as Izuku took a breath and got into stance.

Izuku released the ball with tremendous force. Wind slammed into the spectators as the ball tore through the sky well past the sound barrier. Aizawa’s eyes widened significantly. “Nothing happened! Then that means…I was right.” His eyes darkened as he prepared his scarves.

“Izuku Midoriya…” Aizawa called out in a tone that seethed with anger. Red eyes met green. “I erased your Quirk. How were you able to still use your own when my sight was locked onto you?”

Izuku began to panic. “Erased my Quirk?” That’s when he noticed the yellow goggles that were obscured by the thick scarf. “Those goggles…I see! You can erase other people’s Quirks with your Quirk just by looking at them. The Erasure Hero: Eraser Head!”

“Eraser? I’ve never heard of him?” The electric-bond said.

“I’ve heard of him. He’s an underground hero.” The peculiarly pink colored girl responded.

All Might peaked around the corner. His nerves were firing too as he surveyed the scene. “He doesn’t like media attention because he says it hinders his work. That’s right, Young Midoriya. He and I don’t get along. I completely forgot about your true Quirkless nature. It’s impossible to erase a Quirk if one doesn’t exist in the first place.”

“I’m a little impressed that you know who I am; however, you failed to answer my question. How did you block out by ability? Especially, since you were unaware that I was your teacher.”

“Um…well you see…I—” Before he could finish, Aizawa ensnared him in the strands of his scarf and pulled him towards himself.

He leaned over and spoke in a low voice. “From what I know to be true, it is impossible for someone to resist my Quirk unless they have a mutation type Quirk. At the entrance exam, you displayed super strength, speed, regeneration, and even the generation of claws. Is that correct, Midoriya?” Izuku nodded. His throat felt closed. “No mutation Quirk I’ve ever come across has been able to have all of these features. By process of elimination it only leaves me with one possible choice to what you really are. Care to enlighten me?”

“I-I d-don’t k-know what you m-mean, Aizawa-sensei.”

The scarf tightened. “Don’t play dumb with me, Midoriya. Do you take me for a fool?” His presence was overbearing. Izuku longed for the time in which he was disinterested.

“N-no! O-Of course n-not!”

“Then answer the question.”

Izuku’s heart was pounding at a frenetic pace. He could barely hear over the stale fear that was present in every thought. “Oh no! What do I say? What can I say? Is this the end? Is this where I die? This was such a dumb idea! Of course, I couldn’t become a hero! Why did I think I could being what I am?!” Tears were creeping down his face. “I-I’m—hah!” He couldn’t breathe. He felt his throat close as he was seized by a panic attack. He lost stability. He would have collapsed to the ground had he not been in the strong hold of Aizawa’s scarf. His eyes were vibrating in their sockets as he was bombarded by increasing incoherent and panicked thoughts.

All Might saw the whole event transpire. He had to step in. This was getting ugly very fast. “Mr. Aizawa!” Gasps erupted from the tense students as they heard and saw All Might walk out onto the field. “What do you think you are doing to that student? Unhand him! Can’t you see that he is terrified of your presence?” The musclebound hero towered over Aizawa.

Red eyes reverted to normal as he turned his gaze to The Symbol of Peace. “What are you doing here, All Might? Come to spy on my class, have you?”

All Might tightened his jaw. “You don’t get to answer my question with another question. What do you think you are doing to Young Midoriya? Can’t you clearly see that he has been reduced to a state of hysteria due to your actions? Let him go, right now Mr. Aizawa, or I will be forced to take action!”

Aizawa glared at All Might, but he knew better than to stand up against the number one hero. Even in All Might’s weakened condition, he could effortlessly swat him aside before he was able to activate his erasing Quirk, especially at this distance. “Very well.” He undid/relaxed the scarf and Izuku’s shaking form tumbled to the ground. All Might caught him before he hit the ground. The two heroes glared at each other. Their mutual fury was cut short by Izuku’s whimpering. He sounded like a wounded and panicked dog.

“Young Midoriya. It’s all right. I’m here.” All Might’s voice was calm and gentle. Low enough in tone that the others could barely hear the words. “It’s all right, my boy. Everything his safe now. No one is going to hurt you.” His whimpering quieted down but was replaced with full body sobs. “Easy there, Young Midoriya! Shh! Shh! Shh! It’s going to be okay. Everything is fine.”

There was dead silence. All the students watched in complete and utter shock as they collectively pondered what was going on. Uraraka had tears running down her cheeks. Iida had his usual sternness with a hint of concern. Electric-blond boy and weird armed boy had a look of utter confusion. The short one with the purple balls had tears in his eyes as well. The student with heterochromia had an unreadable expression on his face. It might have come across as apathy, but there were several questions and emotions swirling around underneath.

Then there was Katsuki. He had noticed Izuku’s odd behavior the entire class period. At the beginning he was incredibly stressed and freaking out for no apparent reason. His scores were excellent—some better than his own. Yet here he was, at the Ball Throw test, reduced to a hysterical mess at the hands of a tired albeit intimidating teacher. Katsuki didn’t know what to think and just stood there with his mouth open. His eyebrows were scrunched together and his whole body was stiff with worry. As much as he would hate to admit it, Katsuki genuinely cared for the well-being of his only friend.

Rational thought finally returned when he opened his eyes. Through bleary vision, he saw his mentor holding him with a warm and gentle expression on his face. “All…Might?”

He nodded. “Yes, my boy. It’s me. Everything is okay now.” All Might put a hand on his still tense shoulders. He flinched a little at the touch. “Are you okay, young man?”

Izuku blinked some tears away before slowly nodding. “I…I think so.”

He moved to stand, but All Might held onto him. “Easy, easy, my boy! Let me support you!”

With his aid, Izuku stood up. He was a little disoriented from the whole experience and incredibly drained. “Th-thank you, All Might.”

“No problem, my boy!” All Might showed his pearly whites in hopes of cheering the boy up. Izuku smiled weakly in return. It didn’t meet quite meet his eyes. They were cloudy from pure exhaustion. “Let’s get you out of here, Young Midoriya!” He looked towards Aizawa in a way that made it apparent that it was nonnegotiable.

Aizawa returned the look with one that meant, “This is far from over.” However, Aizawa allowed the two to walk off the field. Izuku stumbled multiple times and All Might was there to keep him supported the entire way.

That’s when Aizawa realized that he was still in the middle of teaching class. He turned around to see the rest of the students standing there in shock. He smirked. “If this is what it takes to get all of you to focus, then I should do it more often.”

“What the hell happened, Aizawa?! Why’d you do that to Deku?!”

“That’s Mr. Aizawa to you, Bakugou.”

Katsuki’s eyes darkened in anger. Smoke was emanating from his clenched fist. He could feel his nails leaving crescent marks on the palm of his hand, but he didn’t care. He was beyond angry at Aizawa for causing this. “Answer the question!”

“Not going to happen, Bakugou. What happened between Midoriya and I are going to stay between Midoriya and I. As for the rest of you, we still have some tests left to do.”

Chapter Text

Izuku was sent home at the behest of All Might. Normally he would protest. He worked so hard to get into this school and him not being able to finish a single day would set a bad precedent. Izuku’s panic attack had left him feeling out of gas. He barely had the strength to walk and his mind was on autopilot. No part about what happened that day was normal.

He made it back to his apartment without incident. Of course, his mother was working, so he had the entire apartment to himself. His heavy eyes and swaying frame required heavy sleep to rectify. So, he did just that. After changing out of his sweaty clothes, Izuku flopped onto the bed and a heavy wave of sleep covered his tired body.

 

“Daddy!” Little Izuku ran towards his father. He had the day off which meant that he would be able to spend some quality time with his son.

“Hey there, buddy!” Hisashi chuckled before picking up his son. “Are you ready to go to the park, little man?”

“Yeah!” Izuku’s green eyes were beaming.

“Not so fast, Sweetie!” His mom stated with a bemused smirk on her face. “You aren’t going anywhere without your little jacket.”

“Oh right, I nearly forgot!” Hisashi scratched the back of his head.

Inko shook her head at her husband’s aloofness. He may have been a diligent worker and doting father, but he’s still the same dopey nerd she met in college. “Oh dear, the first frost is coming soon. In a week it’s supposed to snow for the first time of the year. Weren’t you the one who told me that?”

He chuckled. “Right, I did!” He opened the closet near the front door. “Here you go, buddy! Stretch out your arms.”

Izuku did as he was told. Hisashi bent down so that he was eye level with the freckled boy. “All Might!” His eyes twinkled at his All Might jacket. The hood was red with the signature yellow V etched into the fabric.

Hisashi zipped up Izuku’s small hero coat. “Man, you are growing up so fast! Soon you’ll be eye level with me!”

“Really?” Izuku’s mouth hung open.

Hisashi nodded. “Yeah, I looked an awful a lot like you when I was your age.”

“He doesn’t just look like you. You two are practically identical! When he was your age, he had an intense love of heroes, just like you, Sweetie!”

Hisashi blushed a little. “Yeah, I had quite the infatuation with Gran Torino. I used to have all of his memorabilia.”

“Remember when we were in college? You even had a copy of his hero costume. You wore it to some of the costume parties we used to go to.” She chuckled at the memory.

Izuku stared at wonder at his dad. “Time certainly does fly doesn’t it.” Hisashi wrapped an arm around Inko’s waste and pulled her close to him.

“It does.” She stared lovingly into his eyes.

“You guys are the best things that ever happened to me.” Hisashi beckoned Izuku over. Releasing his grip from his wife, he picked up his son and set him atop his shoulder. “Well, the swing won’t swing itself.”

              

 

Izuku stirred from his slumber. Happiness was blooming in his chest. He sat up from the bed and wiped the sleep from his eyes. He felt a lot better than before. The sun was nearly below the horizon. The apartment was shrouded in shadows, save for the red light of the sun falling off the end of the Earth.

Izuku walked into the kitchen. His stomach was growling. “Maybe there’s some leftovers in the kitchen.” That’s when his eyes landed on a photograph of his family.

It was the last family photo they took together. It was taken the same day as the warm dream that he had with his father. They were in the park. The trees were of burning orange and deep auburn. Golden flecks of leaves were ever present on the ground as leaves covered the waning grass. The happiness on his mother’s face took him back a little.

Her eyes were bright and shining. Her teeth were shining brightly in the light of the sun. The warm colors in the background contrasted greatly with her green hair and bright emerald eyes. His father’s expression was just as happy. His brown hair and eyes were shimmering from the sunlight that was facing them.

Then his eyes landed on his, well his lids. They were tightly closed. The corners of his eyes were creased tightly. His mouth was wide open. Gaps were present in his little teeth. That was probably the last time he had ever expressed such joy.

His chest ached severely as he choked back sobs, he didn’t know he had. He wiped the tears that were streaming down his cheeks. That picture was the apex of his family’s happiness. By the next spring, the kids around him noticed his Quirkless behavior. A couple weeks after that, their proclamations were proven correct. A few days after that, his father left and never came back. He spent his sixth birthday party alone with his sobbing mother.

“Izuku?” His mother’s voice jolted him out of his memory. He hadn’t heard her come in. “Izuku, are you okay?”

“Yeah.” His tears garbled his speech. He turned his wet eyes back to the picture on the fridge. “I miss him so much.” His lips quivered has he tried to keep his sobs in.

Inko hugged him tightly, her own tears were streaming down her face in the same fashion. “I know, Sweetie! I miss him too!” He hugged her back and lost the battle with his emotions.

Silence hung in the air, save for the occasional sniffle are whimper from the Midoriyas. Izuku broke the silence, his voice was very quiet. “How was work, Mom?”

She sighed before squeezing him tightly and kissing him on the cheek. “It was tiring, but nothing really changed. How was school?”

“Fine. It was…a tad stressful, but that’s not exactly something new.” He had long forgotten his hunger and sat down at the kitchen table. The chair creaked when he put his weight on its worn wooden frame.

“Did anything exciting happen? Did you meet any new friends?”

“Yeah, we had a Quirk Assessment T-Test.” His voice quivered as he tried to hide the panic that he felt that morning. “I did really well on that. Finished first, actually.” Had he not missed the last three events, that may very well had been the truth. For all he knew, he got last place and was expelled from the class on top of his teacher deducing his secret. “I met this really kind girl, her name is Ochaco Uraraka!”

Inko raised an eyebrow. “A nice girl, huh? Is she cute?”

His cheeks combusted in bright red. “U-um…”

Inko laughed. “I’ll take that as a yes, then.”

He scratched the back of his head. “M-Mom. That’s embarrassing.”

“There’s nothing to be ashamed of, Izuku.” She smiled warmly. Her lip twitched and Izuku saw the happiness fall right off her face. “No one bullied you, right?”

He shook his head feverishly. “Of course not, Ma! That type of stuff wouldn’t happen at UA. It’d be ‘unbecoming of heroes.’” He copied Present Mic’s inflection.

A smile returned to her face once again. She sighed lightly. “That’s very good. Are you hungry, Sweetie? Need me to make you something?”

He shook his head when his stomach growled very audibly. Shame covered his face as she raised an eyebrow. “Okay. Maybe a little.”

She laughed. “What do you want? I could heat up some of that leftover katsudon. Would you want that?”

He nodded sheepishly. “Thanks, Mom!” He kissed her on the cheek. “I love you.”

“I love you too, Izuku.”

 

Uraraka was sweating as she did sit up after sit up. The rest of 1A was doing the same thing, paired up into partners except for Bakugou, a red-haired kid named Kirishima, and herself that formed a group of three.

Everyone’s wings felt clipped after the incident that happened to one of their fellow students. Izuku’s absence didn’t do anything but amplify the anxiety that all the students felt. The toe touch and long-distance tests flew by as the entire class felt jittery from the previous events.

Aizawa corralled the rest of the students into a block. “Okay, I’ll quickly tell you the results. The total is simply the marks you got from each test. It’s a waste of time to explain verbally, so I’ll show you the results all at once.” With a click of his phone, a hologram display showing the scores of the exam were projected into the air. There were two columns of ten.

It read:

                              “1st Momo Yaoyorozu, 2nd Shoto Todoroki, 3rd Katsuki Bakugou, 4th Tenya Iida, 5th Fumikage Tokoyami” were the first five names in first column. “11th Koji Koda, 12th Rikido Sato, 13th Tsuyu Asui, 14th Yuga Aoyama, 15 Hanta Sero” were the first five names in column two, “6th Mezo Shoji, 7th Mashirao Ojiro, 8th Eijiro Kirishima, 9th Mina Ashido, 10th Ochaco Uraraka” read the last five names in column one. “16th Denki Kaminari, 17th Kyoka Jiro, 18th Toru Hagakure, 19th Minoru Mineta, 20th Izuku Midoriya” read the last five names.

Red eyes read Izuku’s placement on the roster. Anger bloomed in his chest. “Are you kidding me? I know I said that the person that made it into last place should be expelled, but I didn’t expect Deku to get the chopping block.” He ground his teeth.

Uraraka had tears in her eyes when she saw Izuku’s score. “This is so unfair! He should have been exempted from the rest of the tests, not outright failure!”

Iida’s eyes narrowed. “He was the most disserving of the top spot. Not last place. Aizawa should be ashamed of his callousness.”

The other students had similar reactions. While they were relieved that they weren’t in last place, they were enraged by how a student, who had been rendered unresponsive by a bout of hysteria, was offered zero leniency.

Todoroki Shoto remained calm. “While it is unfortunate to see such talent go to waste, this it for the best. If he had a panic attack in the middle of a battle, people could die. We’re here to become professional heroes. We’re supposed to defend the weak and powerless. We aren’t supposed to be weak and powerless.” His lips were tight. He wasn’t happy to see Izuku’s score in the slightest, but he did believe that Aizawa’s policy should stand.

The image disappeared at the click of the button. “By the way, I was lying about the expulsion.”

Silence.

His dull expression brightened as a weird smile formed on his lips. “It was a rational deception to draw out the upper limits of your Quirks.”

“WHAT?!” The class screamed.

Yaoyorozu chuckled a little bit before regaining her composure. “Of course, that was a lie. It should have been obvious had you just thought it through. I probably should have said something.”

All eyes turned on her. “Yeah! Maybe you should have!”

“That was a little nerve-wracking, huh?” Hanta Sero—the kid with the strange arms stated to Kirishima.

He grinned, showing off his sharpened teeth. “I’ll take up the challenge anytime!”

Katsuki heaved a relieved sigh. “That's good, at least. What good would my rival be, if he was expelled on the first day of school?”

“With that, we’re done here. There are handouts with the curriculum and such in the classroom so when you get back, look over them.” With that, the not sleep deprived, but seemingly sleep deprived, teacher made his lethargic exit.

Uraraka wiped her tears on her sleeve. The girl with the pink skin, Mina Ashido walked over to the anti-gravity girl. “Are you okay? You seem a little shaken up.”

She nodded. “Yeah, I’m fine. I’m just glad that no one is going to get expelled.”

The pink girl nodded. “Yeah. That would have been totally unfair if he got expelled for getting last place. Out of all of us that needs to be expelled, that little purple kid should get the axe. Did you see how he looked at all the girls with interest? He’s a creepy little thing.”

Uraraka nodded. “Yeah, I did notice his hungry gaze.” She chuckled a little. “Thanks for checking up on me.”

Mina smiled brightly. “Of course! We’re part of the Hero Course now! We gotta look out for one another!”

Denki Kaminari, the student with the electric-blond hair, walked over. “Well, today was a rollercoaster, huh? It was sweet that All Might showed up! I wasn’t expecting that.”

Tokoyami—the peculiar student with the bird head—came over as well. His expression was very serious. “It would have been a lot better had there not had been that showdown between the two teachers. And the way that Aizawa-sensei acted towards…Midoriya was too extreme.”

“I couldn’t agree anymore.” Kirishima responded with a grin on his face. “That Midoriya kid is the manliest guy in this entire class. However, it would have been kind of awesome if All Might and Aizawa fought. It would have been out of an action movie!”

“We shouldn’t be hoping for such violence as up and coming heroes.” Iida reprimanded from the side. “We also shouldn’t be speaking ill about our teachers while we are at this school. The last thing we need is to form a divide between the student body and the staff.”

Katsuki wasn’t planning on speaking out. He was planning on ignoring the “extras,” but Iida’s comment angered him. “Shut the hell up, Four Eyes! Just because they are teachers, doesn’t mean they get respect. I don’t care if he was the embodiment of Jesus Christ! That bastard shouldn’t have done that!”

Iida adjusted his askew glasses. “While I do find his behavior to have been extreme, I find it most troubling the way you speak about your elders. Do you speak to your own mother in such a manner?”

Katsuki was about to say something else, but he bit his tongue. Talking further wouldn’t accomplish anything. What matters most is that Izuku wasn’t expelled. He’ll be here tomorrow. He scoffed before turning around. The other students soon followed suit.

 

 

Aizawa left his students. He was pondering to himself when he caught sight of All Might from the corner of his eye. “Are you still watching me, All Might?”

“Do you take joy in torturing your students, Aizawa?” All Might’s expression was grim.

Aizawa smirked. “Didn’t you reprimand me for answering your question with a question? Besides, you shouldn’t be taking such interest in a student. That’s not proper protocol for a teacher.”

“Expelling half of a class is proper then? Threatening your students to the point of hysteria is proper?”

“Are you critiquing my methods, All Might? I get rid of students I deem have zero potential. Why divert our limited resources into students who don’t have the capabilities of becoming heroes?”

All Might ground his teeth a little. “And how exactly do you determine their value? How do you determine their level of potential, by not even giving them the time of day? And about that student you were reprimanding, he clearly as displayed tremendous potential, both within the practical exam and in your Quirk Assessment Tests!”

Aizawa frowned. “If they aren’t able to show me potential within a class period, then they shouldn’t be at this school. If they passed into 1A, then they must have done well enough in the practical exam to make it. Logic would then dictate that individual should display incredible prowess over their Quirk and should be ready to adapt to stressful situations. That is the purpose of the practical exam. It is to weed out the students who aren’t fit for the Hero Course. However, the practical exam isn’t perfect. While it displays the raw strength, the students are capable of, it does nothing to demonstrate the psychological states of the students who take the exam. If they are not able to handle their own stress in a controlled environment, then how in the hell can we expect them to respond in the proper way in a noncontrolled environment? The very consequence of such an environment can lead to the deaths of their entire squad.” All Might grimaced at his logic. It was hard to argue with.

“To answer your second question, yes, Izuku Midoriya does show a lot of potential in being a hero. In the practical exam, he was the only student who rushed in to save Uraraka from the zero pointer. His decision was rash, and not recommended, but it did show his moral fiber. The problem comes from the very abilities he has displayed. Not only does he have super strength and speed, he is also in the possession of super resiliency and regeneration on top of the ability to spawn claws. Each of these abilities would make for incredible Quirks on their own, but to have all of them together would mean two possible outcomes: one, Izuku has multiple Quirks and, the other is Izuku being part of monster kind. To test this inquiry, I planned to erase a Quirk during the Quirk Assessment Test. If the Quirk was erased, but others were used, then it would demonstrate that Izuku may be related to the greatest villain in history. If the Quirk was erased and he threw the ball regularly, then it would disprove the other two theories. However, if I used my Quirk, and he was still able to throw the ball, then that means that he is without a Quirk. This would suggest that he is, in fact, a member of monster kind; therefore, the immediate removal of him from the course would be mandated under the code of conduct given from the Hero Society!”

“I’ve answered your questions, so you answer mine. Do you know anything about Izuku Midoriya that you haven’t shared with the school or the Hero Society?”

All Might gulped before nodding. “Yes, I am aware of key details regarding Izuku Midoriya that I have not shared with the Hero Society or with Principal Nezu!”

“Then answer the follow up question: what secrets of Izuku Midoriya are you privy to?”

All Might sighed. As much as he hated going against his word, he would have to tell Aizawa about his secrets. Aizawa already deduced them by the Quirk Assessment Test. His testimony would be all of the evidence necessary for Izuku’s arrest, and under the code of conduct issued under the mandate of “The Malleus Maleficarum,” Izuku would be euthanized. If he could convince Aizawa to not spill the beans, Izuku’s life could be spared.

“Izuku Midoriya told me, with the utmost secrecy, that he is a werewolf.” Aizawa’s stance shifted slightly. He was certain he was correct, but it still surprised him to hear the truth. “I have been training him for these past ten months on trying to get control over his wolf side.”

Aizawa’s eyes widened. “Why didn’t you immediately report him to the Hero Society?”

“Because it is wrong to condemn a person to death based on something that they were born with.”

Aizawa sighed. “Rules are put in place for a reason. Werewolves are dangerous because it is impossible for them to have complete control over their supernatural powers. You know as well as I do, that their abilities aren’t Quirk based. Their wolf side can’t be contained like a normal Quirk, nor do Quirk suppressing materials work on their abilities if they are to lose control. His very existence is a liability.”

The number one hero shook his head. “So are all people with Quirks. If Katsuki Bakugou was to go on a bloodthirsty rampage in a crowded shopping mall or stadium, he could kill thousands of people before we even had the chance to react. We already had a taste of the destruction that could be caused from that individual when the sludge villain laid waste to the Tatooin Shopping District.”

“Those are two different things. Bakugou was held against his will in the shopping district.”

All Might nodded. “He was held against his will and it was the pro heroes who were unable to do anything. The villain was within a tight space that severely limited our options with the use of Bakugou’s explosive Quirk. I was rendered powerless as well, since I had run out of my time available for me to be in my Hero Form. None of the pro heroes on the scene were able to do a single thing. Had Izuku Midoriya not have had his supernatural powers, Bakugou Katsuki among with several civilians and even some pro heroes, would have died that day. It was him and him alone that saved the day. How is that fair? How can we pass judgement on a boy that has done nothing but protect people every single time? Certainly, you must see the problem with that, Aizawa! Not only did he save Katsuki’s life and Uraraka’s, but his actions have also spurred the actions of the people around him. Certainly, you are aware of Uraraka’s actions during the practical exam and after, right?”

Aizawa nodded. “I do.”

“So, a student, who has done nothing but save other people, deserves to be arrested and put to death simply because he dared to exist? If that is what, we heroes, are supposed to do, then we are no better than the villains we stop!”

Silence.

The two teachers stared at each other without uttering a single word, but the gears were turning in Aizawa’s head. He nodded. “You make a fair point, and I can’t believe I haven’t thought about that before.” Another pause. “What do you suppose we do? We won’t be able to keep this a secret forever.”

All Might grinned. “I suppose not, but if we could get Principle Nezu to see our point of view, then he may be able to offer special protection to Izuku against other pro heroes. It’s really the only option that we have. We allow him to come to this school, to hone his skills, and then we use his results as a bargaining piece to convince Nezu and the other pro heroes.”

Aizawa nodded. “Very well, All Might. I’ll allow Izuku to be in the class.” All Might’s grin widened. “However, we must keep an eye on him at all times. He is not to be out of our sight for a moment, and if he loses control over his abilities and threatens my class, I reserve the right to go up the chain of command. Are we understood?”

All Might chuckled. “Crystal, Aizawa!”

“Good.” The sleep deprived hero yawned before making his exit.

Well, Young Midoriya, we are not out of the woods yet. I assure you though, we will get through this. Go beyond! Plus Ultra!” All Might paused. “Oh, I should probably contact him.”

 

 

Izuku spent the remainder of the day with his mother. Now that he had been properly fed and rested, his mind was firing on all cylinders. He knew that he was screwed. Mr. Aizawa—Eraser Head—discovered his secret and was going to report said secret to the Hero Society. He hadn’t the heart to tell his mother about the events that happened. Sooner or later there would be a knock on their apartment door, and he would be separated from his mother. He was living his final hours, and he had accepted that.

“Izuku, it’s getting pretty late. Shouldn’t you be getting to bed?”

Izuku smiled warmly. He felt his stomach undulating and there was a fluttering in his chest. “You’re r-right!” He looked over at the clock. It was half past 10. “But can I stay up with you for a little longer? We haven’t got to hang out with each other in a while.” His green eyes pleaded with his mother’s.

She gave a slight nod; a small smile was pleasant on her lips. “Sure, Sweetie! We can hang out for a little longer!” He teared up at her response before quickly wiping them away. “Izuku, is something the matter?”

“N-no! I’m just still shocked that I’m going to UA High! It feels like I’m dreaming!” His throat clenched, and he felt a little dizzy. “Yeah, a bona fide nightmare!”

She nodded. “Yeah. I’m a little shell shocked, too! Not that I didn’t have faith in you, or anything! I’m just glad things have played out the way things did. Everyone deserves to have some happiness in their life.”

He chuckled. “Now you just sound like All Might!”

She smiled. “Well, then I guess you truly are in good hands then! Say what you will about his persona, he definitely has a large heart! I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to repay him for what he’s given us.” She frowned a little. “I hate having to rely on someone else for help. Somedays I feel like I’m a failure as a parent. I haven’t been able to be there to help you through all of your struggles because I’m constantly working. And I don’t even make enough money to afford furniture that’s not on its last limbs.” She gestured at the sagging sofa, and the splintering wooden furniture.

“Mom! You’re not a failure!” She looked back at him. Her face read that she remained unconvinced. “You’ve been dealing with your own hardships and have been busting your ass off trying to support us! If it weren’t for…him, none of this would have happened!”

“Izuku!” Her eyes had an anger in them that he hadn’t seen in a long time. “We shouldn’t blame our situation on others, and you should respect your father!”

Anger boiled in his eyes as well. “That man hasn’t shown us an iota of respect! Not once, has he come to any of our birthdays, sent Christmas cards! Anything! It’s as if we never existed in the first place! Like we were a bad dream—a distant and fading memory!”

“Izuku!”

“All I’ve ever wanted these past nine years, was to see him again! Why did he leave us?! Were we not worth it?! What happened to ‘being the best things that ever happened’ to him?!” Izuku’s eyes turned red. “Did he ever love us to begin with?!”

“IZUKU! THAT’S ENOUGH!” His eyes turned back to green. Tears were welling up in both of theirs. “It’s time we moved on from the past.”

“How can you say that, Mom?” He took a step forward as if he was trying to analyze the anomaly that was his mother. “How can you say for me to move on when you’re just as stuck as I am?!” He immediately covered his mouth. Inko winced at his words as if she’d been slapped. “Mom, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to—”

“No, you’re right, Izuku. I’ve done a poor job moving on.” She looked down at the wedding ring that was still on her right hand. “What you said was true. I guess I should rephrase my wording. We shouldn’t dwell in the past. All it will do is drag us deeper into our misery. As for him loving you, he did. I know he did. By him choosing to leave and not report us, he spared our lives. He very easily could have turned us in.”

“He very easily could have stayed!” Izuku shook his head. “I don’t understand why you rush to defend his actions! He abandoned us! Period!”

Anger was once again in her eyes. She ground her teeth. “I’m not defending his actions! You know just how hard it was to live in secret every waking moment! He could have lost his life if our secret came out! It’s my fault for withholding information from him until the last minute. I should have told him from the start!”

“Then I wouldn’t have been born.” Inko was stilled instantly. “Given how poorly he reacted to finding out that I was a monster, do you really think that he would have stayed with you long enough for me to be conceived? I don’t understand why you can’t seem to understand this, Mom! The reason why he left was because he was afraid of losing his precious position!”

“Izuku! That’s not true—”

Izuku rose his eyebrows. “Really, huh? Do you honestly believe that he would have stayed around had you told him, on your first date, that you had werewolf blood coursing through your veins? Do you honestly think he would have stayed when he realized what that entailed? That this was all a glorified game of genetic Russian Roulette?!”

Inko’s eyes cast downwards. She looked so small as she fidgeted a little. That’s when Izuku realized that she was sobbing quietly. He sighed before walking over to give her a hug. She sobbed into his shoulder like a little kid.

The two stayed like that for a while. No words were spoken. What else was there to say? Izuku finally addressed the elephant in the room that had grown to behemoth proportions over the years of neglect and willful ignorance. The two snapped out of there trance when the clock struck eleven.

Rational thought reappeared out of chaos for the second time today. “It’s getting pretty late, Mom!” Tears welled up in his eyes. “I love you, Mom! And I’m sorry for everything!”

“Oh, Izuku!” She kissed him on the cheek as she kept on crying. “You have nothing to be sorry for!” She kissed him on the forehead and then again and again. “I love you more than anything in the world!”

Izuku held on tight to her. He didn’t want to let go, he really didn’t. But all things must pass. Her life would be easier without him anyway. She wouldn’t have to live in fear anymore. Everything would be alright.

After placing a kiss on her cheek, Izuku headed to his room. The mix of emotions spiraling in his gut made him feel oddly numb. Normally, he would have beaten himself up after telling his mother that his father only loved the make-believe version of her, but he was far too terrified from his impending doom to think rationally for a moment. That’s when his cell phone rang. He jolted from the unexpected interruption.

He glanced at the number on the screen. It was one that he didn’t recognize. He decided he was going to let it go to the answering machine. If it was a telemarketer, then he wouldn’t waste his time. But if it was who he thought it was, some member at UA calling him to find his whereabouts, then he would let them hang. He resigned himself to his fate, but that didn’t mean that he was going to run towards it.

His phone went to voicemail: “Young Midoriya!” All Might’s voice blared through the speakers. Izuku’s eyes widened as he scrambled to pick up the phone. “It’s a shame that I miss—”

Click! “All Might?!”

“Ah! Young Midoriya! I’m glad I caught you! It would have been a shame to leave a voice mail!”

“All Migh—”

“Before you ask, I am a teacher at the school, so I have access to your student file. That is how I got your contact information.”

“That’s not what I was going to ask. Why are you calling me so late at night?”

“Ah! I’m sorry, my boy! I didn’t mean to disturb your rest, especially after having such a rough day.”

He sighed. “I actually wasn’t asleep.”

“Then that’s good then. To answer your question: I’m here to tell you that—”

“I’m expelled and will be arrested shortly.” Izuku deadpanned.

“What? No! I actually called to bring the opposite. You passed the Quirk Assessment Test!” All Might’s voice beamed with pride.

Izuku almost choked on his own spit. “What do you mean that I passed the test? At the very least, I failed the exam by getting zeroes on the last three tests meaning that I was expelled. Aizawa discovered my little secret, and certainly he would have reported that to HQ with my current address.”

All Might hummed. “Under normal circumstances, that very well would have been the case. However, I was able to sway his mind. I convinced him that not only are you not a threat to the students and staff at the school, but I also convinced him to keep your secret safe, and that you would be allowed to stay in his class.”

Izuku couldn’t believe it. “S-so…I’m not going t-to be arrested?”

All Might chuckled. “Of course not, dear boy!”

Izuku sobbed uncontrollably over the telephone. “I-I’m not going to die! Oh, thank you so much!”

“You're most welcome, my dear boy. There is one condition, however.”

Izuku choked back the sobs and he wiped his eyes. “W-what is it?”

“You are to be under constant surveillance under either his or my watchful gaze. If you are to lose control of your wolf side and attack any of your fellow classmates, Aizawa will report your status to the higher ups and you will be apprehended. You are, by no means, out of the woods yet, Young Midoriya. But your head is no longer on the chopping block.”

“What about the o-other pro heroes?” Izuku sniffled. “Will they be notified about it as well?”

“Not for the time being. For now, we will bide our time. You’ll advance through the lessons using your ‘Quirk.’ Once you’ve built a large enough profile detailing all of the heroic things you are capable of, we plan on telling Principle Nezu about your heritage.” Izuku began to sweat. “It will be incredibly risky, since he can be a tad frivolous. However, he would be able to offer protections the likes of which Aizawa and I would be unable to provide. You could be protected from the mandate. Then you wouldn’t have to hide yourself away when in the presence of other pro heroes. You’d be able to flex your muscle more without the constant threat of death.”

“I-I see. Do you think that it will work?”

“We must stay vigilant and optimistic, Young Midoriya. Yes, I do believe that this plan will work; however, it means that we will have to bide our time. It also means that you will have to listen to the specific instructions that we give you. One slip up, and your cover could be blown. Do you understand, Young Midoriya?”

Izuku gulped and took in a shaky breath. “I do. I-I understand.”

“Wonderful! Have a great night and get plenty of rest! Tomorrow will be more physically taxing than today was!”

Izuku dreaded that news. “Okay, I will! Good night, All Might!”

He hummed once again. “You too, Young Midoriya!”

With that he hung up. Izuku stared at the phone and took a long and deep breath. “Once again, I managed to miss my date with Death! I need to stop having these little scares. They can’t be good for me.”

Chapter Text

The next day, Izuku arrived at UA. He rubbed the gunk out of his eyes has he lumbered towards the gate. The events of last night were still playing in his mind and he felt exhausted. He was convinced one hundred years of sleep wouldn’t be enough to get his mind out of the fog it was in.

He felt a strong hand on his shoulder, and he jerked back. “My apologies, Midoriya.” It was Iida. His usual sternness was replaced with worry. “I was calling you from afar, but you weren’t listening. Are you sure that you are in good enough health? I can take you to the nurse’s office if you nee—”

Izuku waved him off. “No. I’m fine! Thank you, Iida. I just had a rough night’s all.” Iida remained unconvinced. “I would have been very upset had I found out that I was expelled for getting last place. Then again, I wouldn’t be here if that was the case.” Iida nodded and led the way.

The two students began to walk towards the entrance of the exam. “I was really taken aback by Mr. Aizawa. I even thought. ‘This is the best of the best’ as a way to rationalize his behavior. I didn’t think a teacher would encourage us with a lie.” He crossed his arms. “And I was angered when I saw that you were in last place. Everyone else had similar reactions to your score. It would have been unjust for the school to expel you on having a mental breakdown.”

Izuku grimaced before gulping. He had forgotten the others saw that entire scene play out. “Well, this is a school of heroes. I suppose it would be dreadfully ironic to do unjust things to its students within the Hero Course.”

Iida nodded. “When you think about it that way, it was obvious that Mr. Aizawa was lying. He got me hook, line, and sinker.” He looked ashamed of himself.

“Well, you weren’t the only one fooled. I thought I was going to be expelled after I finally regained my senses.” Izuku looked down at the ground. “I’m sorry you had to see that. That wasn’t very heroic of me.”

“Midoriya, there’s no need for you to apologi—”

“Hey! You two!” Uraraka shouted as she ran towards them. “Are you guys going to class? Wait for me!”

“Uraraka!” Izuku stated with a slight blush.

“You’re the infinity girl.”

Uraraka nodded. “I’m Ochaco Uraraka. Um, you’re Tenya Iida.” Iida nodded. “You are…is it Deku or Izuku Midoriya?”

Izuku chuckled. “It’s Izuku Midoriya. Kacchan just uses ‘Deku’ when he’s trying to make fun of me.”

Iida cupped his chin with a hand. “So, it’s an insult, then?” Izuku nodded.

“Oh, is that right? Sorry!” She scratched the back of her head. “But ‘Deku’ sounds like the Japanese word for ‘You can do it!’ so I kinda like it. It’d make a great hero name!” Her bright smile was contagious.

Izuku’s body temperature skyrocketed. “I’m Deku!” His face was flushed in crimson. Beads of sweat were present upon his brow.

“Midoriya?” Iida cried out in dismay. “You’re accepting it too easily! Wasn’t that an insult?”

Izuku turned around and covered his face to conceal his blush. “It’s like a Copernican Revolution!”

“Co-pe?” Uraraka asked. She shook her head. “Anyway, are you sure that you are okay, Deku? When you collapsed to the ground, I thought the worst.”

Izuku turned back to the infinity girl, his expression both grim and happy in a weird oxymoronic juxtaposition. “Yeah! I’m fine. I didn’t mean to freak out like that and worry everybody. I apologize.”

“You have nothing to apologize for, Midoriya.”

“Yeah, Deku. Mr. Aizawa was being terrifying. Had he spoken to me in the way he was speaking to you, I would have had a heart attack.” She smiled. “That being said, why was he talking to you like that? You didn’t break any rules.”

“Well you se—”

“You don’t have to answer that if you don’t want to, Midoriya.” Iida stared down the brown haired girl. “Uraraka, that is not an appropriate question to ask him. What happened between the two of them happened between the two of them. We shouldn’t be so nosey in the lives of our fellow classmates.”

Uraraka nodded sheepishly. “Oh, right! I’m sorry, Deku! I shouldn’t have asked such a private question.”

Midoriya let out a strained breath that he didn’t know he was holding on to. “You have nothing to apologize for, Uraraka. No harm done!”

The three made their way to their classroom making some small talk along the way. Uraraka and Izuku talked about nothing in particular, while Iida quietly observed the two awkward and bubbly individuals laugh and talk with avid interest.

That’s when the three entered the classroom, and all eyes landed on Izuku. Vocal interjections broke out from nearly all the students in the class.

“Are you alright?” “Do you need any help?” “Hey, no one was expelled!”

Everyone crowded around the shy teen. Iida tried his best to give the shorter teen some space, but the curiosity of everyone was too great.

Katsuki watched his class swarm Izuku like a bunch of flies on shit. He noticed that only a handful of students remained where they were: Tokoyami or Bird Head; Todoroki or Half n Half Bastard; and Yaoyorozu. The loud voices and Izuku's freaked out expression spurred him into action.

“OI! STOP SWARMING HIM! CAN’T YOU SEE THAT HE DOESN’T LIKE THAT?!” All eyes turned on the explosive teen as tiny explosions popped in the palms of his hands. The room became dead silent. “Give Deku some space.”

That’s when the group noticed just how uncomfortable they had made Izuku. He was visibly shaken and pale. Sweat was dripping down his face as he took some labored breaths. Katsuki growled before forcibly pulling him out of the mass of oblivious students. “Thank you.” Izuku spoke above a whisper.

Katsuki hated seeing him in this state. He had seen it many times before, caused by his own hand or by the hands of those he called his friends. He felt a little proud of himself for sticking up for the green haired boy, but mainly incredible guilt from being the cause of such a state for nearly ten years.

“You’ve got nothing to thank me for, De—Izuku. I merely did the right thing.” He brought Izuku to his seat which just so happened to be right behind him. “We got our assigned seats yesterday. You’re right behind me.” Izuku nodded quietly before shakily sitting down.

Katsuki looked over to see all eyes on them. “What’s the matter? You all got something to say?”

Silence.

“Then quit staring and mind your damn business!” The others quickly went to their seats.

Aizawa walked into the room. Izuku straightened his posture as the tension in the room skyrocketed. The tired teacher’s eyes landed on Izuku’s. He merely nodded before blankly addressing the classroom. “Good job on all of you finding your seats. It took less time than yesterday.”

 

The curriculum for UA went like this. Regular required classes, like English, were taught in the morning.

Present Mic turned towards the bored students. “Which of these English sentences is wrong?”

He was referring to the several sentences that were written on the board. The students stared blankly at the teacher. “This is…so normal.”

Katsuki growled. “So damn boring!”

“Everybody, heads up!” The excitable teacher yelled, jolting the students awake. “Let’s get this party started!” Yaoyorozu raised her hand. “Okay, Yaoyorozu, come on!”

“The relative pronoun is in the wrong place in number 4, sir.”

 

After the morning classes was lunch, which was held within the main cafeteria. Gourmet food could be purchased here at reasonable prices. The food was prepared by the Cook Hero: Lunch Rush!

He gave a thumbs up. “White rice is great comfort food, isn’t it?”

Izuku was gushing over another pro hero, while Uraraka and Iida looked at the hero with utter confusion.

“Yeah?” Uraraka hazarded.

 

 

And then, in the afternoon, we finally have…Hero Basic Training.

“I am…” Izuku’s eyes sparkled as a certain hero’s voice rang out from the hallway. “coming through the door like a normal person!” All Might’s intimidating frame entered the room in an odd fashion. The class was more than surprised.

“It’s All Might!” Kaminari stated with stars in his eyes.

“Wow, he really is a teacher!” Kirishima exclaimed.

“That’s a costume form the Silver Age, isn’t it?” Tsuyu pointed out.

“Its style is so different, it’s giving me goose bumps.” Ojiro, the student with the tail, stated with wonder.

All Might stood behind the small podium. “I teach Hero Basic Training. It is a subject where you train in different ways to learn the basics of being a hero. You’ll take the most units of this subject!” All Might flexed. “Let’s get right into it! This is what we’ll do today!” He pulled out a card that read: “BATTLE” and held it high into the air. “Combat training!”

Katsuki grinned widely. “Combat…”

“…training.” Izuku began to sweat.

“And to go with that are these!” He pointed at the wall. Massive metal shelfs came out of the wall containing boxes with numbers on them. “Costumes made based on your Quirk registrations and requests you sent in before school started.

The other students cried out with raucous cheers.

“Costumes!” Izuku grinned.

“After you change, gather in Ground Beta!”

“Yes, sir!” The class screamed in unison.

 

“They say the clothes make the man, young men and ladies.” All Might declared as the students walked out in their new costumes. “Be fully aware from now on…you are heroes!” All Might’s heart quickened as excitement moved throughout him. “That’s great, everyone. You all look cool! Now, shall we begin, you zygotes?

 

 

The Clothing Allowance. Before they enrolled in UA High, each student submitted Quirk registration forms. On each contained the physical measurements along with the desired designs so that a support company, under exclusive contract with the school, could prepare state-of-the-art costumes for the students. It’s quite a wonderful system that gives all the students a taste of what it feels like to be a hero.

Three weeks ago, Izuku was sitting on his old living room couch, scrutinizing the dozens of papers laid strewn on the small coffee table. “But I’m already registered as ‘none.’” He looked at the papers and sighed. “Oh, what should I do?” He decided to phone All Might. Maybe he could shed some light on what he should do.

“Quirk registration? Oh, you can update that.”

“Really?”

All Might laughed. “Everyone is examined and registered all at once when they enter elementary school and junior high, right? But there are cases where people discover their Quirks aren’t what they thought they were. So, you’re allowed to update it once or twice. They won’t accept outrageous changes, but if you had ‘none’ before, it’s probably fine.”

“I’m home!” Inko’s voice startled him.

“And by ‘probably’ I mean I’m sure—” Beep! Izuku’s thumb accidently ended the call with All Might.

“Oh, I hung up by accident!” He put his phone away. “I’ll have to apologize later.” Inko entered the room. “Welcome back!”

Inko carried a bag with her. “Hey, Izuku—” She whipped out a green jumpsuit and held it in the air, beaming with pride. “Congrats on getting into UA! I might’ve jumped to conclusions, though.”

He stood up from the couch, which groaned in response. “A jumpsuit?”

“It’s not much as it is now, though. When you’d dozed off while studying, I happened to see your notebook.”

“What?”

She looked down, unable to meet the eyes of her son. “The terrible thing I said kept bothering me. I gave up back then. But you didn’t give up. You kept chasing your dream, didn’t you?” Tears were in her eyes. “You didn’t give up, even when our way of life was dragged through the mud. Even when I stopped being able to be home all the time. Even when you started getting your items damaged from the school bullies. You kept at it despite all of that.” She sniffled. “I’m sorry, Izuku. I’ll support you openly with everything I’ve got from now on!” She held the green jumpsuit a little higher.

 

 

Izuku grabbed onto his hero costume. Determination was burning in his eyes. “These are my mother’s feelings. What’ll I wear if not this! Even if it’s not the most convenient or state-of-the-art, it’s fine.” At the end of the tunnel, Izuku stood tall and proud. The green bunny ears of his costume shined in the bright sun light that beamed down on all the students. “This is my hero costume!”

Uraraka noticed him. “Oh, Deku?” She walked towards him.

“Uraraka!” His eyes bulged out of his head as he saw Uraraka’s skin tight costume styled like the hero, Thirteen.

“That looks cool! Really down to earth.” Izuku covered his mouth as his pulse quickened. His heart was pounding in his chest. “I should’ve written what I wanted. Mine ended up being a skintight bodysuit.” She scratched the back of her head. “It’s embarrassing,”

Mineta, the creepy kid with the weird purple balls for hair, gave a thumbs up. “The hero course is the best.”

All Might looked at his protégé. That’s when he noticed how the pointed bunny ears of the suit was designed in a way to look exactly like the yellow, v-shaped crest of his hair. He also noticed the white chin guard, and how it looked like a smile displaying his pearly whites. All Might chuckled. “It’s so obvious.”

He cleared his throat. “Now, it’s time for combat training!”

“Sir!” Iida’s voice boomed out from his heavily armored, yet incredibly futuristic costume that was both intimidating and bad ass. “This is a battle center from the entrance exam, so will we be conducting urban battles again?”

“No, we’re going to move ahead two steps!” He held two fingers. “Most of the time, fighting villains takes place outside, but if you look at the total numbers, atrocious villains appear indoors at a higher rate.” Izuku nodded in agreement. “Imprisonment, house arrest, backroom deals—in this society filled of heroes, truly intelligent villains hide in the shadows! For this class, you’ll be split into villains and heroes and fight 2-on-2 indoor battles.”

“Without basic training?” Tsuyu questioned.

“This is a real battle to understand those basics! However, the key this time is that there’s no robot you can just beat up.”

“How will the losses be determined?” Yaoyorozu was the next to speak up.

“How much can we hurt the other team?” Katsuki asked with interest.

“Will the punishment be expulsion like with Mr. Aizawa?” Uraraka piped in.

“How shall we be split up?” Iida asked with a raised hand.

“Isn’t this cape crazy?” Aoyama brandished his purple cape that sparkled like the shiny and purple cosmos.

All Might shook his fist in frustration. “I’ll answer all of your questions if you let me finish!” He opened a book which was comically small for his massive hands. “Now listen here.”

“A script.” Izuku pointed out.

“The situation is that the villains have hidden a nuclear weapon somewhere in their hideout. The heroes are trying to dispose of that. The heroes need to catch the villains or get the nuclear weapon back in the allotted time. The villains need to protect the nuclear weapon for the whole time or catch the heroes.”

“The situation feels very American!” Izuku thought with wonder.

All Might held up a large yellow box with the word, “Lots” in black print. “Teams and opponents will be determined by drawing lots!”

Iida stepped forward. “They’re being decided so haphazardly?”

“Pros often have to create makeshift teams with heroes from other agencies, so maybe that’s why?” Izuku postured.

“I see. The discernment to look ahead…” He bowed. “Please excuse my rudeness!”

“It’s fine. Let’s do this quickly!”

Here were the following teams: Team A, Izuku Midoriya and Ochaco Uraraka; Team B, Mezo Shoji and Shoto Todoroki; Team C, Minoru Mineta and Momo Yaoyorozu; Team D, Katsuki Bakugou and Tenya Iida; Team E, Mina Ashido and Yuga Aoyama; Team F, Koji Koda and Rikido Sato; Team G, Denki Kaminari and Kyoka Jiro; Team F, Fumikage Tokoyami and Tsuyu Asui; Team I, Mashirao Ojiro and Toru Hagakure; and Team J, Hanta Sero and Eijiro Kirishima.

Uraraka was beaming. “Wow! It must be fate! I’m counting on you!”

Izuku was breaking down. The bubbly nature and attractiveness of his partner was throwing him for a loop. Her costume and his shy personality were only complicating things. “Seriously?! I have to speak properly, or else—”

All Might drew one team from each box. “The first teams to fight will be…” He held up two balls: one black ball with the white letter “D,” the other white ball with the black letter “A.” “These guys!” Izuku gasped while Katsuki smirked. “Team A will be the heroes, and Team D will be the villains. Everyone else, head toward the monitor room.”

“Yes, sir!” Responded the other students.

Izuku looked over at Katsuki, whose eyes had already been staring at him. Izuku let out a deep breath before walking over. “Well, it looks like we are up first.”

Katsuki grinned manically. “Yeah, shitty Deku! You better be ready and show me what you’re made of! You’ve trained ten months with the greatest hero of all time! If you give me anything less than a challenge, I’ll beat you within an inch of your life! I will hold nothing back!”

The green haired teen smiled back. “I’ll show you what I’m made of Kacchan! Just don’t be upset when we in!”

Katsuki grinned even more. “Oh, it’s on now, you little shit!”

“Villain team, go in first and set up!” All Might interrupted their playful moment. “In five minutes, the hero team will break in, and the battle will start!”

“Yes, sir!” All four responded.

“Young Iida, Young Bakugou, learn to think from the perspective of the villains.” The two looked up at the towering hero. “This is pretty close to a real battle. Go all out. Don’t be afraid to get hurt.”

“Yes, sir!” Iida responded.

Katsuki looked over at Izuku who was muttering words of encouragement to himself. “If things go too far, I will stop it.” All Might said.

“Yes, sir!” Iida said again.

Katsuki growled. “You better give me what you’ve got, Deku! I won’t settle for anything less!”

The two stepped inside the building. When they entered the room that housed the mock nuclear warhead, Iida heaved a great sigh. “Even if this is training, it pains me to become a villain. So, our job is to protect this?” He knocked on the warhead. It clinked against his armor. “It’s papier-mâché.”

“Do you ever shut up?” Iida turned around and faced his unwilling partner.

“Even though we don’t seem to like each other very much, we need to work together as a team. Your cantankerous attitude is making that very difficult!”

Katsuki laughed. “Jesus Christ! You apparently have never heard of a joke, have you? Not surprised from your proper upbringing! Are you even able to wipe your own ass, or did they do that for you at Somei as well?”

Iida gritted his teeth. “What about you? Did your lack of manners come from not having parents who cared enough or…what exactly?”

Katsuki flared his jaw, a vein was bulging out of his neck. “Actually, no! You, pompous little shit! My parents raised me just fine. I guess I have a bit of a rebellious streak. But you should really watch who you say that joke to! Depending on who you say that to, you could get your ass beat! Not that I really care! I would love to see you taken down a few pegs.”

Iida felt like a complete jackass. “You’re right. I shouldn’t have said that, my apologies.”

Katsuki rolled his eyes. “No one needs to hear an apology. I swear, you are more annoying than Deku, and that’s saying a lot! Speaking of him, leave him to me, you hear? We gonna have a little battle and I don’t want any interruptions.”

“Well, what about defending the weapon? We need to strategize and work together.”

“I’m sure you’ll figure something out. Teamwork’s a bit overrated. It’s definitely not my forte.” He grinned before walking out.

Iida sighed and shook his head. “It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.”

 

“It’s a lot of work to memorize the building’s floor plan.” Uraraka said to herself. “But All Might is just the same as when he’s on TV. Unlike Mr. Aizawa, it looks like there’s no punishment,” She smiled her signature smile and turned her head. “so, we can relax and—” that’s when she saw Izuku’s look of terror. “You’re not relaxed at all!”

He let out a couple of shaky breaths. “Well, it’s because we’re up against Kacchan and there’s Iida, too, so I feel like I need to be on guard…” Izuku was sweating profusely. “And I can’t go overboard with my powers otherwise I could really injure Kacchan. I also can’t lose control, or I’ll be put to death by the Hero Society. And I have so many secrets that I can’t tell anybody, and Kacchan will most likely kick my ass every way to Sunday with that explosive Quirk of his.”

“I see. Bakugou’s the one who makes fun of you, right?”

Izuku dropped his shoulders a little. “He’s amazing.”

“I’ll definitely surpass All Might and become the top hero!”

“He may be a piece of work. He can come off as uncaring, overbearing, and a general bully as well. His goal, his confidence, and his Quirk are way more amazing than mine.” He stood up straighter. “He’s also my rival. That’s why right now…” he attached his mouth guard. “I don’t want to lose.”

Uraraka smiled. “A fated battle between men, huh?”

Izuku blushed again. “Oh, sorry, this isn’t your problem, Uraraka.”

“It is! We’re a team, aren’t we?” She raised her fist. “Let’s do our best!”

Izuku smiled and nodded. “Thanks, Uraraka! It means a lot.”

“Now, let’s start the indoor person-to-person combat training with Team A and Team D!” All Might turned around to address the students that were not currently participating. “Okay, everyone, you all should think as well.”

“Young Midoriya! Here, you are no more than a single student. I’ll grade you strictly without playing favorites.”

Izuku and Uraraka snuck in the building through a window.

“We’ve infiltrated successfully!” She said.

“There are a lot of blind spots, so let’s be careful.” He cautioned. They walked close to the wall. Izuku peeked around the corner and then motioned for them to go. “If Kacchan shows up, ignore him and try and find the bomb. He’ll have his sites on me and me alone. No matter what happens, do not come back for me. Try and find the bomb, understand? Once you find the bomb, notify me and I’ll see if I can’t lose Kacchan long enough for me to come to you, okay?”

She nodded. “Okay, Deku, I trust yo—”

Izuku smelled nitroglycerin and he saw the source as he ambushed the two with an explosion that left a gaping hole in the wall. Izuku dodged the full brunt of the attack and pushed Uraraka out of the way, but his costume suffered some damage.

“Uraraka, are you all right?”

“Yeah, thanks.” That’s when she noticed half of his mask was destroyed along with very light burns on the side of his face. “Deku?”

“It’s just a scratch. Now get out of here!” She scrambled to her feet.

The smoke cleared and Katsuki stood like a bloodthirsty predator. “Come Deku, don’t dodge. Show me what you’re made of.”

“Like I said, Kacchan. Don’t be upset when we win.”

 

“A surprise attack from the start? Bakugou, that’s cheating!” Kirishima clasped his hands. “A surprise attack isn’t manly at all!”

“A surprise attack is a strategy, too.” All Might said while writing down some notes. “They’re in the middle of a real battle right now.”

“Midori avoided it!” Mina exclaimed.

“There goes Bakugou!” Kaminari yelled.

 

“Come on, Deku! Quit dodging! Come at me with what you’ve got!” Katsuki led with his right hand. Izuku easily sidestepped and grabbed. Katsuki’s eyes widened. The green haired teen flipped the taller teen over and slammed him into the ground with tremendous force, cracking the tile.

“Wow, he’s like a martial arts master!” Uraraka exclaimed.

“Kacchan. You need to stop leading with your right. It’s very obvious that you favor it.” Izuku chuckled. “I’ve been watching you for years. I wrote an analysis for all the heroes I thought were amazing in my notebook. In the notebook you tossed out the window, you were in that one.” Katsuki looked at Izuku dumbfounded. “My ‘Deku’ isn’t always going to mean ‘useless!’ Kacchan, my ‘Deku’ means ‘You can do it!’”

Uraraka gasped at her own words. “Come on Deku, show him what you’ve got!”

Katsuki stood up. “That was a nice reversal there, Deku.” A grin plastered on his face. “But you and I are just getting started. Come at me Deku! Show me what you got!”

And just like that, sparks began to fly.

 

Chapter Text

               Because Izuku and Katsuki lived in the same neighborhood, they’ve known each other since they were little. Katsuki was always the daring type. He welcomed danger due to the excitement it would be. Izuku, in many ways, was the opposite. He hated seeing people around him getting hurt, and he hated the prospects of getting in trouble.

               Katsuki, Izuku and three other children stood at the threshold of the woods surrounding the city. There stood a broken-down chain-link fence with signs saying, “No Trespassing!” “No Loitering!” “Entry Is Prohibited!”

               Izuku, being the shy and observant little boy that he was, was terrified of the posted warnings. Katsuki couldn’t have cared less. Rules have always been suggestions that were meant to be ignored, if not broken.

               With a manic grin, Katsuki pointed towards the entrance. “Let’s go kill the enemy!”

               The others, being the sheep that they were, blindly followed the young ashen haired boy with bubbly enthusiasm. “OKAY!”

               Swallowing his fears, Izuku copied their motions. “O-okay!”

               Being the fierce person that he was, Katsuki became the leader of the children. Often times, he spearheaded expeditions into the woods to hunt for “villains” or other unsavory characters. Good or bad, Katsuki was always full of confidence. Since he always asserted what he believed with confidence, the others would never question him. Izuku found his confidence to be cool, and he wanted to emulate his.

               Before Quirks entered the lives of the small children, Katsuki and Izuku were close friends. Wherever Katsuki was, Izuku was never far behind. Then Katsuki’s Quirk manifested. At first, the two boys remained close. Katsuki was ecstatic for getting his new Quirk, and Izuku pined for the day in which he’d get one to call his own. However, Izuku wasn’t the only one that heaped praise onto the impressionable child. The other adults praised Katsuki for his “flashy Quirk” and how it “was a sign that he’d become a great hero.” This drastically grew his ego, and he began to change for the worse.

               He already had the makings of a strong leader. He was well respected by the other kids in his class and the power that he received only increased their respect of him. Power corrupts. The once kind-hearted boy became a cold-hearted bully who picked on kids who had “worse Quirks than his own.” His respect turned to fear, and the other kids simply stayed in line.

               All except Izuku. Izuku found Katsuki’s treatment of the other kids to be wrong, and so he’d stand up for the victims of his bullying. This only irritated the ashen haired boy, especially after it became apparent that the green haired boy was indeed Quirkless, and so their friendship frayed to pieces.

 

               Katsuki stood up. “That was a nice reversal there, Deku.” A grin plastered on his face. “But you and I are just getting started. Come at me Deku! Show me what you got!” Sparks danced across his gloved palms.

               “Hey, Bakugou! Give me your status!” Iida called over his headset. “What happened?”

               Katsuki pressed his fingers to the earpiece. “Just shut up and defend! I thought I told you not to interrupt with our battle!”

               “You still haven’t answered my question! He—” Katsuki promptly hung up. “He hung up…” Iida clenched his fist. “Going off on his own like that! What is wrong with him?! Jeez!”

 

               “What was Bakugou saying? Can’t tell with just the cameras in a fixed position and no sound.” Kirishima said.

               “He’s talking to his partner over the small wireless radio.” All Might pointed to the glowing blue earpiece he was wearing. “You can bring that plus the building’s floor plan, and this capture tape!” He held up a roll of white tape. “Once you wrap this around your opponent, it shows that you’ve captured them.”

               “The time limit is fifteen minutes, and the heroes don’t know where the nuclear weapon is located, right?” Mina asked.

               “Yes!” All Might said with a smile.

               “Then that means that the heroes are clearly at a disadvantage here!”

               “Heroes should be able to turn the tables on whatever predicament they’re in. Besides, didn’t Mr. Aizawa tell you, too? You know—” He waved a finger. “Here we go—”

               Everyone raised a fist in the air and cried, “Plus Ultra!”

               “Monsieur, Bakugou is—” Aoyama interrupted their reverie.

 

               Katsuki lowered a palm to the floor. Izuku recognized what was about to happen. “Uraraka, go!”

               BLAM!

               Katsuki launched himself towards the freckled teen with a powerful kick. Izuku blocked while Uraraka sped down the hallway. “Looking away? Don’t be so sure of yourself, Deku!” His red eyes widened as he saw white capture tape around his leg. Katsuki blasted the tape away, Izuku rolled to the side.

               Izuku stood up and grinned. “I should have known that that wasn’t going to be enough to best you, Kacchan! But I’m afraid you are the one who is so sure of himself!”

               Katsuki returned the smile. “Very well, Deku! But are you going to do anything else but block?!” He leapt towards the green haired teen.

               Izuku side stepped the attack and kicked. Katsuki attempted to block the attack but was knocked off balance by the force of the impact. Another kick found itself on Katsuki’s ribcage, launching him into the wall.

 

               “That guy’s amazing!” Hanta said. “I know he placed first in the entrance exam, but he already seems professionally trained!”

               All Might’s signature grinned widened. “He was always good at reacting quickly in a crisis. He spent years writing his notes and internalizing them. That on top of his supernatural abilities make him quite the formidable opponent! Do not let the appearances of your opponent deceive you!”

               The class watched in amazement as the two fighters continued their intense battle. It was like a dance and it went like this: Katsuki would engage, either by propelling himself forward using his Quirk or by using his explosive Quirk to change the angle of his attack. Izuku would keep his distance, never taking the initiative and only attacking when he found the opponent left himself open.

               Katsuki would then react to Izuku’s attack. He learned not to block his attacks, because the amount of power that the shorter teen packed would only drain his own reserves of stamina, so he’d attempt to dodge or would set up a smoke screen to blind his opponent.

               One thing was clear. Both opponents were enjoying the battle. Katsuki and Izuku’s eyes gleamed with excitement.

               “Those two are so manly!” Kirishima was quaking with excitement. “I’ve never seen such an amazing fight!”

 

               “I gotta admit Deku, this is the most fun that I’ve had all year!” Sweat was streaming down his face.

               “Me too!” Izuku laughed as the two engaged in another trade off.

               Katsuki leapt forward once again, leading with his right. Izuku chuckled before grabbing Katsuki by the wrist. Before he threw the ashen haired teen, Katsuki let out a fully charged blast with his left hand. This one connected with Izuku’s brow, blasting off the remnants of his mask. He stumbled and let go of Katsuki who smoked Izuku in the jaw with a powerful right hook.

               Before Izuku could respond, Katsuki shifted position with another explosion and landed a kick to Izuku’s midsection, knocking the air out of him. He then grabbed Izuku by the head and threw him into the wall. His head bounced off of the concrete wall before crumpling to the ground. Blood trickled from the newly formed gash on his forehead.

               He groaned on the ground, Katsuki laughed. “Come on, Deku! There’s no way that you took out the zero pointer with this weak ass power! I thought you said you were going to win and that I shouldn’t feel bad when I inevitably lose!”

               Izuku’s world was spinning from the concussion he definitely had. He stood shakily. “You’re going to have to do better than that before talking about who won this fight or not, Kacchan!”

               “Uraraka. Please let me know when you find that weapon. I won’t be able to hold out too much longer with Kacchan at this rate.” He looked at the burns that littered his arms and the tatters of his costume. “But we still hold the advantage. Kacchan has only been focusing on me, which means that him and Iida are probably not working together very well. Uraraka and I have a plan, I just have to hold out long enough for us to accomplish it.”

               Katsuki narrowed his eyes. “Why are you holding back, Deku? I know you have more power than this! He can’t really think that he’s better than me, can he?! That little pebble!”

 

               Uraraka peeked around the corner. “Found it. Now I just have to tell Deku and hide until he gets here.” That’s when she looked at Iida. He was muttering to himself.

               “Bakugou is a natural at being bad, but that fits this training perfectly. Then I must also devote myself for being a villain. That’s right.” He shifted his weight slightly. “This is another trial to turn me into a man who will not bring shame to the Iida family. Become a villain! Be dyed with evil in order to become a hero!” He turned around, his eyes bulging in an insane fashion. “I am…extremely evil! Muhahahaha!”

               Uraraka couldn’t contain her laughter. “He’s taking this so seriously!”

               Iida heard her giggling. “Have you arrived, Uraraka?” She warily stepped out from behind the pillar. He pointed. “I knew that you would come here alone the instant Bakugou ran off by himself. Your Quirk allows you to make the objects you touch float. That is why I put away all of the things on this floor before you arrived.” He gestured widely to the pristine floor. There wasn’t even a speck of dust. “Now you cannot play your little tricks! You have blundered, hero! Muhahahaha!”

               “He’s starting to look like a villain!”  She giggled a little. “Still pretty funny, though!”

               She activated her radio. “Deku!”

              

               Over the din of explosions and crumbling concrete, Izuku heard Uraraka’s voice in his ear. “I need to get some distance between us, sorry about this, Kacchan!”

               He dodged the incoming attack before punching Katsuki square in the jaw. The explosive teen fell to the ground. “Just because I favor using my legs, doesn’t mean that I’m not able to throw a punch!” He turned on his heel before taking off in the other direction.

               “Oi! Deku! Where do you think you’re going, you shitty nerd?! We ain’t done here!” Katsuki felt his blood pressure rise as the green haired teen disappeared down the hall. He got up slowly, but the scrapes, cuts and contusions that dotted his skin protested fiercely. He might have a couple bruised ribs, if the throbbing pain in his chest was any indication.

               Izuku turned several times in the hallways to throw off the pursing Katsuki. “I think I put enough distance between us.”

               He clicked his earpiece. “Uraraka! How’s it going?”

               “Iida found me. Sorry!”

               Izuku bit back a laugh as he heard Iida proclaim to the heavens. “I’m evil!”

               “Right now, he’s slowly…”

               “Where are you?”

               “Middle of the fifth floor.”

               Izuku gasped. “Almost directly above where we are! We probably don’t have much time left, either. If we run out of time, our opponents win!”

               “Um, Deku! We’re going to be alright.”

               Izuku blushed. He hadn’t realized that he said that out loud. “Yeah! Just keep him occupied, I’ll be able to aid you in a second.”

               “Okay!”

               Izuku heard a ringing sound coming from behind him. A tattered Katsuki stood there staring daggers at him.

               He raised his right grenade shaped arm brace. “They’re loaded.”

               Izuku tensed up. “Kacchan.”

               “Why won’t you use your full power against me, Deku? Are you saying that you can win even if you don’t use it?” Katsuki’s bulging eyes were bloodshot, giving him a psychotic edge to him. “Are you underestimating me, Deku? Just because you got a higher score in the practical exam, does not mean you can look down on me! How arrogant of you and disrespectful to the other students! Everyone else, not that I care about them, but everyone else is busting their asses off to be here; then, there’s you. You, who got specialized training from the number one hero, All Might, waltz in: gets the best score and then coasts as soon as he gets into UA.”

               “That’s what I can’t understand! You clearly have had this power the whole time, didn’t you? So why did you keep it hidden from everyone else? Why did you hide it from me, your best friend at the time? Do you enjoy playing the victim card? Were you simply acting yesterday so that you’d get pathetic sympathy from everyone else? From me? Is that how you’ve viewed me this whole time? Did you withhold your precious power because you were looking down on me this whole time? Huh? ANSWER ME, DEKU!!!”

               Izuku felt his body quiver. A combination of exhaustion and fear was creeping into his bloodstream. “That’s not it, Kacchan. I’ve never looked down on you!” Tears were in his pleading green eyes. “I’m sorry if that is how you’ve felt these past few years. I’m sorry if you think that I was deceiving you on purpose. That has never been my goal, but there are just somethings that I can’t talk about. Some secrets that I can’t share, even with you. I’m sorry, Kacchan! I truly am!”

               Katsuki’s jaw muscles tensed into an intense frown before loosening into an intimidating smile. “Secrets huh? With your stalking, you probably already know,” he extended his right arm. “but my Quirk, Explosion, lets me secrete nitroglycerin-like sweat from the sweat glands on the palm of my hand and make it explode.” He pulled back on the metal contraption, cocking the explosive barrel chamber and exposing a lever. “If they made this the way I asked, then these gauntlets will store the nitroglycerin inside them, and…” He hooked his finger on the lever.

               All Might stared at the screen in terror. “Don’t tell me that’s…” He grabbed his mic. “Young Bakugou, stop!” The barrel flared up as a white-hot flame burned in the chamber. “Are you trying to kill him?”

               “If I don’t hit him, he won’t die!” He fired the attack. A massive condensed explosion shot out of the barrel in a column of white-hot fire. The cramped space made it impossible for Izuku to get out of the way in time. He hunkered down as the white fire enveloped him.

               BLAM!

               The entire prefecture shook from the massive explosion. The class screamed as the observation deck rocked back and forth. “This is supposed to be a class!” Kirishima yelled.

               “Young man! Young Midoriya!” All Might cried out. His chest felt tight as he attempted to keep the pure panic out of his voice.

               The smoke cleared and Katsuki’s eyes widened as he saw Izuku lying on the ground. The right side of his costume was burned off, along with the entire top layer of his skin.

               A low growl was heard. “Is that…even allowed?” His eyes were burning with a bestial rage. “What were you trying to accomplish with that, Kacchan? Were you so hurt by my actions that endangering my life was a valid response!?” He bared his enlarged canines and he grimaced from the loss of skin on the right side of his body.

               Katsuki looked at him in horror. “Haha! What’s with the look on your face, Kacchan? Certainly, when you release lethal level force on a fellow student, you must expect them to be severely injured from it! But don’t worry too much about it, Kacchan. I was only grazed by it, so I’ll live.”               

               “Bakugou!” Iida’s voice startled Katsuki. “Did you do that? What in the world did you do? Explain yourself!”

              “This is my chance.” Uraraka dashed forward. “If we retrieve the weapon, we’ll win!”

               Iida returned his attention to her. “I won’t let you, hero!” He ran forth.

               Uraraka clasped her hands together and pink flashed emanated from her finger tips. She leapt off of the ground, completely weightless. “We need to touch the weapon itself for it to count as being retrieved.”

               Iida stared at her. “Can she make herself float now, too?”

               She clasped her hands again. “Release!” She grinned. “It’s a special move that’s hard on my body!

               Before she landed on the weapon, Iida rocketed forth and swiped the nuclear weapon. She landed on the ground and rolled ungracefully before slamming into the wall. Her headgear fell off.

               “Your Quirk is not a threat if you cannot touch anything. I’ll hold out until time runs out! Muhahahaha!”

               She turned to him, silently cursing her own ineptitude. “Deku’s trying so hard, though! I’m not going to give up!”

               “Deku!” She called over the headset.

              “Uraraka!” His bestial voice made her skin crawl.

               “Deku! What happened down there. Are you okay?”

              “I’m fine don’t worry about me….give me the details! What’s going on up there!”

               Gasps came from the students as they saw Izuku’s charred skin.

               “All Might, you need to stop the fight! Bakugou nearly killed him!” Kirishima said.

               All Might grimaced. “No. As crazy as he may seem, he still has a rational side to him. I don’t know if it was shortsightedness or what, but I don’t think that he intended to hurt him.”

               “But sir, his skin! It’s missing from the right side of his body! He needs medical attention.” Pleaded a teary-eyed Mina.

               “Don’t worry about that, mademoiselle. You forgot about Recovery Girl! She’ll heal him up just fine, mon ami!” Aoyama stated nonchalantly.

               “Heroes have to deal with life or death scenarios. It’s a part of the job. But fear not, young ones! I will not allow him to use that attack again!” All Might grabbed the microphone.

               “Young Bakugou, the next time you use that, I’ll stop the fight and your team will lose.”

               “Huh?”

               “To attack on such a large scale inside is inviting destruction of the stronghold you should be protecting. That is a foolish plan for both heroes and villains! You will lose a lot of points for it!”

               Katsuki began to shake with fury. “I don’t plan on using this attack again. I nearly vaporized the nerd!”

               “Uraraka! Go to the pillar by the windows!” Izuku growled into the headset. “Over and out!” Izuku turned his bloody eyes towards the explosive teen. “Okay, Kacchan! Since you wanted to see this side of me so badly, allow me to give you a demonstration!”

               With a thunderous roar, Izuku leapt forward. “Fine, Deku! You should have showed this off from the beginning!” An exploding hand made its way towards the clawed hand of Izuku.

               All Might looked on in horror. “NO Young Midoriya! If you attack him with that, you’ll kill him!”

               The other students screamed out.

               “I said, this looks bad! Sir!” The red head shrieked.

               All Might clenched the microphone. “Both of you, sto—”

               “Let’s go, Uraraka!”

               All Might’s eyes snapped to the screen.

               “Okay!” Uraraka hugged the pillar.

               “As of now, there is no way for me to beat you one on one Kacchan! It’s too dangerous either way! However!” His injured arm flexed painfully as the newly exposed muscled tensed with supernatural power. “I won’t let you win!”

               Izuku blocked the explosion with his left arm and slammed the air with tremendous force. The ceiling caved as a massive column of air tore through the building. Glass and debris flying everywhere as the center of the fifth floor was blown skywards and out of the building through the gaping whole formed in the roof.

               Iida’s eyes widened at the destroyed state of the room. “What the—”

               Uraraka applied her Quirk at the broken pillar she had wrapped her arms around. “Sorry, Iida! Improvised special move: Comet Home Run!” She swung the pillar with all of her strength, knocking a massive hail of debris at Iida.

               “You call that a home run?!” He braced for the hailstorm of concrete.

               Uraraka canceled out her own gravity before leaping into the air. “Release!” She landed on the nuclear weapon. “Retrieved!”

               Iida’s eyes nearly fell out of his skull. “No! The weapon!”

               His voice echoed from above. Katsuki’s eyes were turned skywards. He quivered from the display of raw power. “From the start, this was the power you had in your possession…you were underestimating me, weren’t you? You could have wiped the floor with me from the start!”

               “I wasn’t going to use it…because it’s so hard to control.” Katsuki’s eyes flicked towards the new grisly wound on Izuku’s left arm. “I’m weak to fire when I use it! Had I used this from the start…or when you used that attack on me…I would’ve died.” Katsuki shook has he stared in horror at the extensive damage down to his left arm. It wasn’t just a burn that removed layers of skin. It was deeper than that, the outline of bone could be seen. The layers of skin and tissue had sloughed off and dripped onto the tiled ground below. “You asked me…what I was hiding? It has to deal with my weakness to fire. It has to deal with why my father abandoned me. It has to deal with why I had a breakdown yesterday…but I can’t…” His red eyes turned back to soft green. “Tell you why…I’m so…sorry…Kac-chan!”

               A horrified silence was all there was at the observation deck. All Might was shaking from his own horror at the grisly wounds he saw in front of him. “How could I have been so stupid! Of course, he’d be weak to fire! His kind is weak to fire!” He swallowed the sour taste of guilt. “Hero…”

               Izuku swayed as he lost consciousness from the severity of his wounds. He crumpled to the ground in a pathetic heap. “Hero Team wins!”

Chapter Text

Katsuki stared at the smaller teen before him. His body collapsed and horrifically scarred from the burns he had caused. The smell of burnt flesh filled the air. This in combination with his skyrocketing heartrate made it increasingly difficult for the ashen haired teen to catch his breath.

“Dead! Is he dead?! How is he dead?! How is he this hurt?!” He crouched down to him. “What do I do? What can I do?”

“Help! We need medical attention over here!” Tears were prickling his vision as his heart fluttered in his chest.

              

All Might stared in horror at the limp form of Izuku. The burns that littered his body were the worst he had ever seen. Katsuki’s cry snapped him out of his thoughts and he sprang into action. He called Recovery Girl. “I need medical attention to Ground Beta!”

“Is it a student?”

“Yes.”

She sighed. “I’ll send the recovery bots to pick up the student.”

“Make haste! This is of urgent concern!” He tried to keep his voice level, in a vain attempt to convey to his students that the situation was okay and could be handled. It failed, miserably.

Mina was hysterical. Tears streamed down her pinken cheeks as Kaminari attempted to placate her. “Mina, it’s going to be okay.”

“Miss Ashido, everything is under control. You don’t have to worry about Young Midoriya!” All Might stepped closer. He put his hand on his chest. “I swear to you, that everything will be okay!” He gave a nod before he sprinted out of the room and headed towards the destroyed building.

She said nothing as she continued to cry. A disembodied pair of gloves floated towards her. One glove landed on her shoulder. “You see, there’s nothing to worry…about.” Unseen tears rolled down the glove owner’s face as she tried to fight them back.

Kirishima had turned green at the sight of Izuku’s body. “I think I’m going to…be sick.”

“Are you going to be okay, Kirishima?” Tsuyu asked. Her usual monotone voice was a little warbled from her own worry.

“I think I need a barf bag.” Hanta said. The black-haired teen looked more ill than Kirishima as he held the sides of his stomach.

“This is too much! Is he going to be okay?” Mineta was crying. “It’s too early for one of us to kick the bucket! What if it’s me next?”

Mezo, the six-armed man walked over. “Try to get a hold of yourself, Mineta. This is one of the possible outcomes of being a Hero. The dangers of being one are not spoken about enough.”

Tokoyami stepped forth. “I agree, but it is greatly unfortunate that this happened to Midoriya. It looks like he’ll miss out on the rest of his classes for a second time in a row. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say the poor boy is cursed.”

“Nonsense, mon ami! His life should be blessed; after all, he’s graced by my excellence every day. No one can deny my sparkle!” His eyes twinkled, but not as brightly as usual.

Todoroki clenched his fist. “That’s going to scar horrifically, assuming he even survives the next hour. With burn wounds of that caliber, his odds of survival aren’t very high.”

Yaoyorozu wiped some tears from her eyes as she walked towards the red-and-white-haired teen. “How are you holding up, Todoroki?”

“Fine. You?”

She raised her shoulders a little. “I think I’ll manage. Just a little shaken.”

He nodded. “What’s going to happen to Bakugou if Midoriya dies?”

She bit her lip. “I don’t know. Regardless, I feel bad for him. I can’t even begin to imagine what he’s feeling right now.”

Todoroki’s eyes narrowed. “This is why you don’t play with fire.”

Koji, Rikido, Kyoka and Ojiro remained quiet as they stood in contemplation and watched the chaos unfold around them.

 

“Help! We need medical attention over here!” Iida’s stomach sunk to the ground as he heard the pure terror in Katsuki’s voice. He turned to run down the stairs when he saw Uraraka slide off the warhead and crumple to the floor.

“Uraraka!” He ran towards her. “Are you alright?”

She nodded shakily as she tried to gain her bearings. “It’s a…side effect of…overusing my…Quirk! I get…very…nauseous.” She stumbled as the world spun on its side.

Iida caught her before she tumbled precariously close to the gaping hole in the floor. “Please do watch your step, Uraraka! It seems something may have happened to Midoriya.”

Uraraka’s eyes widened as she turned her head, a little too fast for her sickened state, towards the stern teenager. “Deku’s…hurt?”

“I don’t know. Can you walk?”

She nodded. “With some support.”

“Let me assist you.”

“We need to go check on Deku and…Bakugou!”

Iida nodded and they made their way down the stairs. “We honestly should vacate this building. It can’t be that structurally sound after whatever Midoriya did to it.”

“His power truly his scary.” She laughed. “I’m glad he was…on my side.”

“Izuku! Izuku! God damn it, Izuku! Stay with me you shitty bastard!” Katsuki’s tear-soaked cry echoed throughout the building.

The duo made it to the room where Katsuki and Izuku were. Katsuki was kneeling next to the crumpled form of Izuku.

“Bakugou, what happe—”

“DEKU! DEKU, OH MY GOD!” Uraraka lost balance and would have faceplanted had Iida not had a firm grip of her shoulder.

Iida recoiled from Uraraka’s piercing shriek as he stared at the charred body in front of him. “Bakugou! What happened? What did you do to him?”

Katsuki’s tear-soaked face turned to face Iida. “I don’t know. I hit him in the arm with a normal attack, an attack that he shrugged off earlier. But when I hit him this time, his skin boiled off.”

“How did that eve—”

“Young Midoriya!” All Might along with a couple of medical robots appeared. “Do not fear, young students! Help has arrived!”

The robots carefully placed the teen on a stretcher. “To the nurses office.” A deep robotic voice said.

“I know!” Responded the other robot in an absurdly high-pitched voice.

The robots moved off. Katsuki stood and ran towards them only to be stopped by All Might. “Hang on, Young Bakugou! Are you okay?”

Katsuki growled. “Am I okay?! AM I OKAY? I’M NOT THE ONE WHO’S MISSING HALF OF HIS SKIN!”

All Might shook his head. “That’s irrelevant, Young Bakugou. It is my duty as a teacher to look after all my students. That includes you.”

“Like I give a rat’s ass about your duty! I nearly cremated my frien—De—Izuku! I nearly killed him, hell I probably did kill him! How am I still your student after doing that?!”

All Might placed his hand on the crying teen. He held a firm grip. “You feel responsible for hurting, Young Midoriya. I understand why you’d think that way; however, in reality it was my fault that this situation played out. Considering…never mind.”

Katsuki caught the backpedal. “Considering what?”

All Might shook his head. “Nothing for you to be concerned about, Young Bakugou. Just know that everything is going to be fine.”

“Don’t give me that load of bull shit! Never mind what? What were you going to say? Do you know something about him that I don’t?!”

All Might’s smile fell, and he gave a straight face. “I do. But I am not at liberty to share them with you or any of the other students. After he has deemed that the time is right, then he can share the secrets that I’m privy to at his own leisure. I am sorry, Young Bakugou, but I cannot divulge that information.”

Katsuki stared at his idol as a whirlwind of emotions tore through him. He went to walk past All Might after Izuku, but All Might’s remained firm. “Hold on, Young Bakugou!”

“The hell, All Might?! I don’t need a continued therapy session, and the info that I want to know, you aren’t at the liberty to tell me, so what’s with the hold up?” Katsuki felt a blood vessel waiting to burst.

“You along with the others need to return to the observation deck. Everything will be handled from here.”

Smoke emanated from Katsuki’s palms. “Screw that! I need to go check up on him!”

All Might smiled again. “It warms my heart to see Young Midoriya surrounded by a group of friends, but I’m afraid I cannot allow you to see him.” Katsuki moved his mouth to speak. All Might continued. “No, not even his recovery room.”

“Why the hell not?!”

“Medical confidentiality of the student. That is information that is only supposed to be known only between the student, the staff, and his parents. Not student to student.”

“I don’t give a shit! Besides, I’m the one that melted off his skin! I’m pretty sure I have a good picture of what’s going on!”

All Might chuckled. “Your tenacity—and stubbornness—truly do live up their reputations.” Katsuki’s eyes narrowed. “But rules must be followed, Young Bakugou. Now listen to what I’m saying and go back to the observation deck. Everything will be handled from here on out.”

Katsuki was about to protest when Iida stepped forward. “I know that you are going through a bit of a rough patch right now, Bakugou, but please stop giving All Might so much grief and come with us already.”

Katsuki glared at him. He was fuming, but he bit his tongue. “Fine, Four Eyes.”

“Uraraka, what appears to be the problem? Do you need medical attention as well?” All Might asked.

“No. Thank you, sir! I just get nauseated when I overuse my Quirk.”

“I see.”

“Will you be coming back to the observation deck with us, sir?” Iida asked.

“No, I called Principal Nezu. He will observe the rest of the combat training. I must go to Young Midoriya’s side.”

Iida nodded. “Well, take care then, sir.”

All Might nodded before taking off.

 

The trio arrived back to the observation deck. All eyes landed on the combatants. Kirishima was the first to speak up.

“What happened down there?”

“Is Midori going to be okay?” Ashido asked through bleary eyes.

“Fuck off.” Katsuki glared at them.

“Don’t you think your explosions got a little out of hand, man.”

Katsuki’s eyes screamed murder. “I said to fuck off!”

Iida stepped in front of Katsuki and Kirishima. “That’s enough out of both of you. Kirishima, this is not the time to be talking about this. We’re all a little shaken up from it and I think it is unwise to dwell on it. Trust the words of All Might: Everything will be okay. UA has the best medical aid in the country. Midoriya will be healed and back in class in no time. You just have to have faith in the staff of this school.”

That silenced everybody until a peculiar mouse, or bear walked into the room wearing a suit and carrying a clipboard. This mystery animal had a scar over his right eye. “Hello, future heroes! Due to the unexpected medical emergency, All Might will not be back for the rest of the period. In his place, I shall watch over the series of battles, but allow me to introduce myself. I am the principal of this esteemed academy: Principal Nezu at your service!” He bowed.

The students stared at him with their jaws open. He chuckled. “What? Have you never seen an animal with a Quirk, or are you surprised that this animal is the principal of the academy?” He walked over towards the boxes that held the Villain and Hero teams. “All Might informed me about the way in which the next teams will be picked. Due to the extensive damage done to building, we will be changing locations to avoid any other medical emergencies. What’s the point of pouring our time and energy into the growth and development of your abilities if you end up dying due to failed structural integrity?”

The class just stared at him. Some grimaced at his almost mocking tone.

He shrugged. “I see no one caught onto my humor. Bad timing, I suppose.” He grabbed a ball out of the hero box and a ball out of the villain box. “The next match will be: Team B as the heroes, and Team I as the villains.”

 

 

Recovery Girl has seen her fair share of intense injuries. Laceration and broken bones caused from collapsed buildings. Chemical and acid burns from chemical spills and villainous Quirks. Concussions caused from car crashes, among the various amount of injuries from hero and villain battles.

However, never in her long life has she seen a person, let alone a student at the academy, have such extensive burn wounds. She stared daggers at All Might when he stepped into the room.

“All Might! What on earth were you doing in class? Showing the capabilities of a blast furnace?” He frowned but stayed silent. “You should know that my Quirk isn’t magic. There’s no way I can heal him with my Quirk! He needs to be hospitalized!”

All Might shook his head. “That won’t do. I suppose I will have to explain some things.” All Might frowned and took in a deep breath. “What I am about to tell you must stay here. Do you understand?”

She frowned.  Her forehead creased in frustration. “All Might. I’ve kept a fair deal of your little hero secrets safe and sound for years now. You don’t need to tell me to keep a secret a secret.”

“Very well. You see…Young Midoriya is a werewolf.”

The room stood still. Recovery Girl shifted slightly before nodding along. “You said you were doing combat training. These wounds were caused by a fire Quirk or something of that sort?”

He nodded. “Young Midoriya squared off against Young Bakugou. It was a fierce battle and…”

“All Might! I don’t need to hear a play by play!” He closed his mouth promptly. “But that does explain why you don’t want him to go to the hospital. Given how unstable his kind can be, especially after sustaining such grievous wounds, it could be dangerous, not only for him, but the staff at the hospital who wouldn’t be able to handle a frenzied patient with overwhelming strength.” She sighed deeply.

“But these wounds, I’ve never seen burn wounds of this caliber and have the patient survive. My Quirk isn’t magic. It takes their energy and prioritizes its use on recovery. It stimulates repair. The extent of these wounds would take so much energy out of the student that the likelihood of him waking up…would be low indeed.” All Might’s frown intensified. Little beats of sweat dribbled down his face. “It’s not like these are lacerations. Burn wounds are significantly harder to heal and the likelihood of nasty scaring is off the charts.” Her lips tightened. “There’s no way to guarantee his survival.”

“I understand that, Recovery Girl. But what choice do we have? There’s no way to know how he’ll react if he gets treated at the hospital. nAd the time it would take us to get to the hospital…it might be too late.” All Might growled. “Which means, we must treat the boy here and now!”

Her frown somehow grew more. “Very well. We must treat him now.” She walked over to the charred boy and placed a gentle kiss on his head. His body flushed in green. “You better wake up from this, sweet child.”

Like magic, the slightly charred membrane began to flake away, as new and supple pale flesh sprang into existence. Inch by inch, the new supple skin appeared to stich together as it formed a uniform shell. On his left arm, the healing was more…visceral. The burnt muscle frayed apart as new red muscle fibers reformed and coiled around itself before reattaching to the exposed bone that lie beneath it. This time, the skin from his shoulder extended and grew down the biceps and down to the fore arm, like a rolled-up sleeve, covering the muscles lining the humorous to the carpals of the hand. This new skin was also pale, and slightly lined with sweat secreted from the newly formed sweat glands.

Recovery Girl’s eyes widened at the apparent lack of scaring that was shown on the boy’s newly formed skin. It was slightly paler than the rest of him, but that was due to the absence of melanin. A couple days of normal amounts of sunshine would rectify the change. Even the green hair that had been burned off by the explosion, had sprouted and curled. It lengthened and became uniform with the rest of his head, as if he’d never been burned in the first place.

Her eyes flicked at the heart rate. It was at a steady 63. “A little low, but still within the ranges of a normal resting rate for a boy of his age. The rest of his vitals look good too.” She noticed the faint but steady rise and fall of his chest. “Steady breaths. No tension or difficulty. Good.”

“Has he made a full recovery?”

“It’s too early to say. Normally, I’d say no. Nerve damage, no matter the extent of damage, is permanent. If he was a normal boy, that’d still be the case. But he’s a werewolf, monsters have a different physiology than we do and are a lot hardier than us. Their incredible recovery factor is the cause for their incredible resiliency, on top of having exceptionally strong bones and muscles. However, werewolves are weak to fire. Something about burn wounds slows down or stops their regeneration factor all together. Had you not brought him in when you did…”

All Might stopped her. “You needn’t finish that statement.”

“Is anyone else aware of his condition?

All Might smiled. “Mr. Aizawa knows. That’s all.”

She rose an eyebrow. “You haven’t informed the principal?”

“No. His mother made it very clear that, under no circumstances, were we allowed to share the family secret.”

“I understand the need to keep secrecy, but that isn’t very wise. Nezu wouldn’t share the secret with anybody.”

All Might nodded. “I agree, but the Midoriyas made it very clear. That being said, we do plan on telling Nezu Young Midoriya’s secret after we have built up a large enough portfolio detailing his heroic ability and that he’d be a great asset to the Hero Society. It’s a plan Mr. Aizawa and I came up with.”

She tilted her head. “How did Mr. Aizawa find out?”

All Might sighed. “During the Quirk Assessment Tests that he does every year, he activated his Quirk on Young Midoriya and when nothing happened, well…”

“All Might. Why are you still in your hero form? You can barely hold it long enough to do basic hero work. Why are you straining yourself so in the presence of someone who already knows your secret?”

All Might looked down at himself, and then released his form. His muscles deflated until his skeleton like form was all that remained. “To be honest, I was so absorbed in Young Midoriya’s recovery that I ignored the throbbing in my chest.” He gripped his chest. “Thank you for bringing that in the foreground.”

She rolled her eyes. “It’s the beginning of the year and you already are such an idiot! Just make sure that you take extra care of him.” She looked over at the sleeping boy. “The heavens only know just how hard of a life he has led.”

Determination burned in his eyes. He placed a fist to his chest. “I pledge to keep Young Midoriya safe from harm.”

She rolled her eyes and chuckled. “You’re such a little kid, I swear. So undignified.”

All Might’s sunken eyes landed on Izuku. “How long will he be out for?”

“I don’t know. This is the first time I’ve healed a member of his kind. Given the severity of his wounds, I’d say he’d be knocked out for a couple more hours at the very least.” She looked away from the boy before sitting down at the chair facing her computer screen. “We should probably contact his mother. I bet she’ll be worried sick.”

All Might shook his head feverishly. “I don’t think that’s a good idea. She’ll probably demand his immediate removal from the school.”

“She wouldn’t be in the wrong. After all, over half of his skin was burned off due to the negligence of a certain teacher.” Guilt wiggled throughout All Might. “If I were her, I wouldn’t have allowed him to join the Hero Course in the first place.”

“She didn’t want him to join the Hero Course. The day Young Midoriya told her that I knew their secret, she had refused out of hand. Only by his strong words and conviction, was he able to convince her.” She pivoted in the chair. “It was his dream to become a hero, and she felt that it wasn’t her right to take that from him.”

“All Might. No one’s dreams are worth more than their life.” She pointed at him. “He nearly died! And given what he is, he’ll only be exposed to even greater dangers than he would be if he lived a normal life.” She shook her head. “Young people and their ambitions, they need to think of the practicality of their choices. No doubt that his mother has had to live a terrible life in hiding. Just how badly would she be hurt if she got a phone call saying that her baby boy would never come home? The very thought tears me apart.”

All Might chuckled slightly. “Whatever life she has faced, he has had as well.” A sad smile graced his bony features. “It’s funny how you said for him to think practically about his choices. I had given him the same advice right before the sludge villain destroyed the shopping district. And you know what happened? It nearly destroyed him!” His eyes hardened in anger. “I had told him to give up on his dreams when he told me that he was Quirkless. How heroic of me to tell a young Quirkless child that he couldn’t become a hero! Given that I also was a Quirkless child at one point, you’d think I would have had the compassion to console the stricken boy. Instead, I told him to become a police man. To walk away from his dreams.”

Recovery Girl sat in silence as tears began to well in the atrophied hero’s eyes. “You know what happened after that? Immediately after I told him that he can’t be a hero, he saved the day. I was rendered too weak due to spending all my time in my hero form chasing the sludge villain. I was useless and so were the other pro heroes. Their Quirks and the cramped spacing made everyone helpless. The slimy little bastard was too much to handle. To make matters worse, he had kidnapped a teenager with an explosive Quirk. The very same Young Bakugou.” All Might tightened his fist. “Because of our ineptitude, or inability to plan, Young Bakugou would have died, and so would have several citizens.”

“All hope was lost until that boy over there, the same boy that I told to give up his dreams, unleashed his wolf side and saved the day. In that one act of heroism, he had showed me my own hypocrisy. He made me see, not only the error of my ways, but also the error of society’s ways.” All Might began to quiver from his intense passion. He took a deep breath before continuing. “Right after he saved the day, the other heroes were attempting to arrest the poor boy for illegal use of his ‘Quirk.’” He chuckled. “It infuriated me, and I stepped out and showed them the folly in their ways. Then I was surrounded by the media and the young boy ran off.”

He wiped the liquid from his eyes. “After searching the streets for a couple of minutes, I overheard Young Bakugou telling Young Midoriya that he hadn’t helped or something of the sort. So, I cut through and alleyway and found the green haired boy. We had a heart to heart. He told me, potentially his greatest enemy, that he was not only a werewolf, but that he didn’t deserve to exist.” His lips quivered. “I told him that that was untrue and had he not have been what he was, that the day would have been lost. I told him that he could be a hero, despite what others might say, despite what society would say. He broke down. He fell to his hands and knees and sobbed into the pavement. That was the first time in his entire life that he was told he could achieve his dreams, that not all hope was lost. And it came from the very person who told him to abandon it in the first place.”

He wiped his eyes again. “Don’t you see, Recovery Girl? Don’t you see that it was his dream that has kept him alive these past years? The hardest part is that he is not alone. There are plenty of other members of his kind left. Many who have not seen the light since their kind was exterminated all those years ago. I may be the Symbol of Peace, but my message, my power, has been unable to help the Quirkless, the forgotten, the exterminated. That is why Young Midoriya must attend this school. That is why it is important that we keep him safe and nurture him to become the next Symbol of Peace. He needs to stop hiding himself away. He deserves a moment to step out into the sun and to give hope to those who need it most. We could overturn the mandate, and monster kind could finally live the lives they were supposed to be living this entire time!”

The room was quiet again, save for the quiet sounds of the heart monitor and the steady breaths of the sleeping boy. Recovery Girl grabbed a handkerchief and handed it to the hero. “Here. It’s gross to wipe your tears and boogers on your sleeve. Symbol of Peace or no, it’s clear that basic hygiene is still foreign to you.”

He chuckled before grabbing the handkerchief. “Thank you. I forgot to pack mine.”

She rolled her eyes. “What else is new? But I do see your point. Since you are so passionate about this, I’ll let it slide. If you truly do intend for him to become the next Symbol of Peace, then you need to do a better job at guiding him. The times ahead of him will be the most difficult in his lifetime. He needs a sturdy foundation to keep him grounded, and you must be that foundation. Do you understand?”

“I do. Yes, ma’am.”

 

A few hours passed with awkward silence. Every now and then, Recovery Girl would check his vitals and listen to his heart, but nothing was out of place or wrong. All Might sat looking on his phone. He scrolled through articles about the daily news. He went on various blogs. Some were about him and the secret surrounding his Quirk. Others were about the sludge villain incident and the “Wolf Boy” that had saved the day.

All Might grimaced at some of the comments and responses about the incident. On one hand, the boy was praised for saving the day and protecting the people. However, not all the comments were positive. A lot, he’d say the majority of comments, were how terrified they were. They called it a “Villain’s Battle” and that he should be labeled as a vigilante instead of the hero that he was. All Might’s blood pressure rose as he read every ignorant and fearful comment about the “Wolf Boy” that circulated online and on talk shows.

He and Recovery Girl were pulled out of their awkward routine by the sound of a tired gasp. Both pairs of eyes found themselves on the boy that stirred in his sheets.

His bleary eyes opened on the clock hanging on the opposite wall. “It’s late….in the afternoon?” His voice, raspy and sore.

Recovery Girl walked over to the bed. “I see you are awake, now. How are you feeling, dearie?”

His verdant eyes flashed as he recognized the pro hero from the practical exam. “Recovery Girl? If you’re here, then that means…”

“You’re in the Nurse’s Office, Young Midoriya.”

“All Might?! You’re here too! Where are the others?”

All Might smiled. “I’ve been here ever since the battle. If I was to guess, they’d be wrapping up homeroom right about now.”

Izuku went to get out of bed, Recovery Girl’s small but firm hands held him in place. “Hold on now. You just recovered from grievous injuries. You shouldn’t try to stand just yet.” She took out a handful of gummies and offered them to him. “You should be feeling rather lethargic. With the extent of your wounds, you should have died. My Quirk isn’t all magical.”

“My wounds?” He looked at his arms. They seemed fine to him. Maybe a little paler than usual, but that could have been the lighting. “I appear to be fine.”

“Do you not remember what happened, Young Midoriya?” Tired green eyes lulled their way over to the atrophied form of All Might. He shook his head. “We were doing themed combat training. You went up against Young Bakugou and—”

Izuku’s eyes widened. “And my skin burned off!” He began to sweat, and his heartrate increased. “If I’m here and I’m healed then that means…” His eyes started vibrating in his sockets. “She knows! They all know!” He began gasping for air as his heartrate neared 200.

“Young Midoriya!” All Might took a step forward towards the frazzled teen. “Everything is okay. No one is going to harm you.”

Izuku began to violently shake as he mumbled incessantly. “Breathe. Young man. Breathe. I’m here to help you, not to harm you.” Recovery Girl’s voice was hushed and gentle “There’s no need to fret. You’re safe. Nothing bad is going to happen.”

After a couple minutes of comforting words and quiet voices, Izuku finally regained composure. His heartrate slowly fell. His breath was still shaky and sweat was dripping down his face. Recovery Girl placed her hand on his brow. “You’re burning up. Allow me to get you a cold compress.” She came back with a cool ice pack wrapped in a towel. She placed it on his forehead. “There, there. Everything is okay.”

“Young Midoriya. You know that we would never try to harm you.”

Izuku looked at him with quivering eyes. “I know that…but—”

“You thought that everyone else knew about your little secret and that you were going to get into trouble.” Recovery Girl stated matter-of-factly. “That’s what you were afraid of, weren’t you?”

He nodded. “So, you know then?”

She nodded. Izuku turned and stared at All Might, who shrunk a little from the look. “I’m sorry, Young Midoriya. But I had to tell her. We couldn’t move you to a hospital and your life was on the line so I—”

Izuku stopped him. “I think you may be hanging around me too much.” He scratched the back of his head. “You did what you had to do. I understand, thank you.”

All Might stared blankly at him. Recovery Girl chuckled. “Even he his more mature than you.” Izuku’s stomach growled. “But not very observant. Eat those gummies, will you? They’re to get some of your strength back.”

Izuku nodded. He popped a couple in his mouth. “Thank you, ma’am.”

She smiled at him. “Of course, dearie. I’m only doing my job. It was interesting to see your healing factor in action. I’ve never healed a person with your condition before, so it was an educational experience.” He looked down. “However, I don’t ever want to see you with wounds that bad ever again! You nearly died and were brought here as soon as you possibly could have. Any later, and you might not have been so lucky. Am I understood?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Good. As for your wounds, they are fully healed. They appear paler from the rest of your skin because your body hasn’t produced the amount of melanin as the rest of your body. There’s a possibility that this will be permanent, but we shall see in a few days if it goes away or not.” She signed something on a clipboard. “There’s no other reason to keep you here. Your vitals are fine. You’re free to go.”

His eyes brightened but then he remembered something. “Does my mother know?”

She frowned. “Against my better judgement,” She looked at All Might, who looked like a kicked puppy. “we haven’t informed her. I don’t see the merit in withholding such information from your mother, but he convinced me not to. I’m not so sure how you are going to get this past her intuition. A single parent’s intuition is one of the strongest things out there.”

“How do you know that my mom’s a single parent?”

“Midoriya is not exactly an uncommon name. So, I was able to piece together that a certain Hisashi Midoriya is your father.” She hissed his name, dripping with disdain. “Then I saw the resemblance of your features to his, and it made it obvious. To answer your question,  her current address is different than his address. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what that means.” Izuku gulped. Her frown intensified. “He’s a bit of a disgrace of a man, isn’t he?” His eyes returned to her fierce gaze. “It may be a tad unprofessional to me to comment on the personal lives of my colleagues, but I could never understand why he’d leave his son and wife behind like that. Now I know the reason, and it disgusts me.”

“I think that’s quite enough, Recovery Girl.” All Might walked towards the two. “This is hardly the thing we need to be talking about right now. You said so yourself, there’s no reason to keep him here.” He extended his arm. “Come, Young Midoriya. Let’s get you out of here.”

“Right, my apologies, dearie.”

Izuku shook his head. “There’s no need for that, Recovery Girl. Thank you for all of your help.” He took All Might’s hand and the two rose Izuku off the bed. “You too, All Might. Thank you.”

“Of course, my boy!”

The mentor and his ward walked over to the door. Recovery Girl spoke after them. “If you don’t feel quite right, do come back tomorrow, okay?”

He nodded before stepping out into the hall. That’s when he noticed All Might’s costume. “Wait, shouldn’t you stay here so that you’re unseen, or at the very least change into something else?”

“But are you sure that you’ll be okay to make it the rest of the way? I can be in my hero form along enough to get you back to class.”

Izuku nodded. “I’ll be fine, All Might. You don’t need to strain yourself unnecessarily. I feel okay, just very, very tired.”

“Very well, Young Midoriya! Do take care, and make sure to get some rest, okay?”

He smiled sweetly. “Of course, you know I will. And you get some rest, too. See you tomorrow!”

Just like that, the two parted ways. Izuku walked down the hall way, feeling a little feverish and very sluggish from the day’s events. He wiped the sweat from his brow as he fell back into his mind. His body was on autopilot, as he walked through the class halls, painted orange and deep auburn by the setting sun.

“I ended up skipping my afternoon classes for the second day in a row. Mr. Aizawa is gonna wrap me in those bindings again, isn’t he?” A cold shiver trailing from his neck down to his lower spine caused goose flesh to appear on his skin. “It’d be nice if I could actually have a full day of school. One without mental breakdowns and hospital visits.”  He took a deep breath when he came up to his classroom door. “Hopefully no one is here, and I can just grab my things and go.”

As soon as he slid open the door, he was graced with all eyes on him. He bit back a curse as he stepped into the room. He was blindsided by strong pink arms wrapping themselves around him, as the girl in question sobbed into his shoulder.

“Oh, thank God you are okay!” Mina wailed.

“Easy there, Mina. He just got back from the hospital.” Tsuyu said.

“Ah, right.” She let go of him. “I didn’t hurt you, did I?”

He shook his head. A wild blush was burning in his cheeks. “No! I’m fine!” He showed his arms. “See? No burn marks!”

“Well of course you’d have no burn marks, mon ami! Recovery Girl is not the mademoiselle to underestimate. She could heal just about any injury! C'est magnifique!” Aoyama said.

“That was quite the manly fight there, Midoriya! You two slugged it out like true men, though my heart stopped for a moment when you collapsed.” Kirishima stated.

“Me too, I nearly threw up when we saw the smoke clear. I thought, for certain, that you were dead.” Hanta admitted.

Mina wiped her eyes. “It’s a miracle that you’re standing here before us. I’m just so glad that you’re okay.”

Izuku was stunned into silence. He had no idea what to say. This was the first time his peers actually seemed to hold value in his life. He wiped some tears from his own eyes. “You guys needn’t worry yourselves over someone like me. I’ll be okay.”

“That’s not true, Midori! We’re class mates now! We need to look after each other!”

“That was an impressive feat of strength. I heard that you took out the zero pointer, but to actually see that, was beyond impressive.” Rikido said.

“Seeing such strength from a fellow classmate, spurred the rest of us into performing just as well, mon ami! That performance was most inspiring! Monsieur!”

Izuku took a step back from all the attention.

The redheaded boy pointed to himself. “I’m Eijiro Kirishima. We’re all going over the training together right now. We were all worried sick about you, man.”

“I’m Hanta Sero.” The black-haired boy said with a dopey grin on his face.

“I’m Yuga Aoyam—”

“I’m Mina Ashido!” The pinkette cut him off. “Your fight was so awesome! It was like watching an action movie! And it had a gut-wrenching climax!”

The frog girl peeked out from behind Mina. “I’m Tsuyu Asui. Call me Tsu.”

The tall student with the big lips gestured with his hand. “I’m Sato!”

“Um…er…” Izuku stuttered.

The short kid with the purple balls leapt into the air. “I’m Mineta!”

“Where the heck did you pop out from?” Kirishima asked.

“I’m Yuga Aoyama!” The suave blond stated again. “I am a man who never stops shining.”

Rikido Sato glared at the little guy. “You did terrible in the training.”

Fumikage sat on his desk and sighed. “You’re too loud.”

“Tokoyami!” Iida charged to the bird headed teen with his arms swinging in a robotic motion. “That desk is not a chair. Get off immediately.”

Kyoka Jiro looked at him in disbelief. “It’s not that big a deal, is it?”

“Wh--?!”

“What’s with those hands, anyway?” Mashirao asked.

Iida looked dejected. “You people…I cannot condone actions that disrespect the desks the great men and women who are our upperclassman once used!”

“You’re too loud.” Fumikage sighed again.

Izuku extricated himself from the mob of energy and walked over to Iida and the others. “You never waver, do you?” Izuku chuckled as a bemused smirk appeared on his lips.

“Midoriya! I’m glad to see you so well! When he heard Bakugou scream, we assumed the worst!”

Izuku’s eyes widened. “Bakugou!” He looked at Katsuki’s seat, only to see it vacant.

That’s when Kaminari entered the room carrying a load of text books. He turned around to Uraraka, who walked in carrying a smaller stack of books. “Hey, Uraraka, wanna grab a bite to eat sometime? What do you like?”

She stopped and thought about it. “Mochi—” Then her eyes landed on Izuku. Tears were streaming down her face as she sat the books down and closed the distance. She hugged him with all of her might. “Deku! You’re okay!”

“Yeah. I’m okay.” His blush had returned with a vengeance. “Recovery Girl healed me.”

She looked at him like he grew three heads. “How are you still standing? When she healed my broken legs, I was left exhausted for the rest of the day. Your injuries were a lot more severe than mine!”

“Um, well, I guess I just have a lot of stamina on reserve.” He laughed nervously. His eyes landed back on Katsuki’s empty seat. “That’s besides the point. Where is Kacchan?”

“You mean, Bakugou?” Izuku nodded. Uraraka sighed. “We all tried to stop him, but he went home just now without saying anything. I had never seen anyone look so guilty before.”

“Which way did he go?”

“I don’t know.”

Izuku broke out of her grasp and ran out of the room.

“Where are you going?” Uraraka asked.

“You shouldn’t run with those injuries.” Tsuyu said.

“Don’t run in the halls!” Iida grumped.

He paid them no heed as he sprinted down the hallway. “Kacchan! I can only imagine what you are feeling right now. Guilt! Pure and simple guilt! It’s my fault really.” He dashed down stairs, whipped around corners, and dashed through the front doors.

He leapt down the front steps when his eyes landed on ashen blond hair walking away from him. “Kacchan!” He ran down the path. “Kacchan, wait!”

He turned his head to the side, so that he could see Izuku over his shoulder. “What?” Katsuki said with mock apathy and irritation. His tone of voice was betrayed by the raw emotions swirling in his eyes, his tight jaw, rigid posture, and the faint tear stains on his cheeks.

“Kacchan, what happened back there was not your fault!”

Anger flashed in his ruby eyes as he turned around to face him. “What the hell do you mean by that, Deku?! I nearly killed you! Your skin bubbled and fell off! What injured you then if it wasn’t me, the Devil?!”

“Kacchan.” He held his hands up. “Please, just let me talk for a moment. I’ll try and explain everything.” He waited for a response from Katsuki, who nodded. He took in a deep breath. “There’s a couple things I feel is important that you know, but before I do that, I have a question to ask. What do you know about my father’s absence?”

Katsuki stared at him with suspicion. “I don’t see how that ties into anything.”

Izuku frowned. “I’ll tie that into this, but first, answer the question. What do you know about it?”

Katsuki turned his gaze at the golden glow that refracted off the glass walls of the building. “To be honest, De—Izuku, I don’t really know much. It was a summer day. We went to the park. You and I were playing on the playground when I accidently burned you with my Quirk. My mother was beyond angry with me. As soon as we got home, she grounded me for the rest of the month. During that time, we worked on controlling my Quirk. It was hard as hell, but that was how I was able to control my Quirk so well. My mother forced me to after harming you.” He chuckled at the irony.

“That’s a topic for another time. The rest of the day I spent practicing my Quirk when we had gotten a phone call in the middle of the night from your mother. It was an odd time to call. Your mother didn’t call very often, so her calling in the middle of the night set the mood for what was about to happen. I remember hearing her sobbing voice on the phone. She was crying so loudly, that I heard it from the other room. My mother tried to console her, but it was all in vain.”

Izuku frowned but said nothing. “The next couple of weeks we came over to your house to help pack. It was clear from the arrangement, that your father wasn’t going to provide alimony payments. That pissed off my mother who was bewildered by your mother’s blatant refusal to drag his ass to court. The next couple of weeks after that, you had moved across town, and we didn’t see each other as often except for at school. I became a terrible person and now we’re here. That’s all I know. I don’t know why your father left.”

Katsuki’s eyes landed back on Izuku’s. The green haired teen wore a sad smile, but his eyes held fear. “You didn’t become a terrible person, Kacchan. I withheld a lot of secrets that would have made things so much clearer, but what I’m about to tell you, I was sworn into secrecy by my own mother. The consequences of such a secret getting out could be disastrous, so you cannot tell anyone about it, okay?”

Katsuki stared at him for a second. His forehead creased in confusion. “I don’t really understand, but you can count on me to not share a secret. I’m not a gossip queen, you know.” He folded his arms.

Izuku’s eyes brightened a little. “I know that, Kacchan. It’s just a hard thing to talk about.” He closed his eyes took a deep breath, then he opened his eyes. They were blood red instead of green. Katsuki’s hairs stood on end as that supernatural pressure rolled off him. “This is not a Quirk, Kacchan. I’m…not human, Kacchan. I’m a werewolf.”

Katsuki took a step back. “What the hell? What are you talking about, Deku?! They don’t exist anymore! They all died!”

Izuku shook his head and laughed darkly. “That’s what they would want you to believe. But that is not the truth. The Malleus Maleficarum killed a lot of us but did not slay all members of monster kind. To answer your question, this is how it all ties in. The same night that my mother called was the first full moon in which I was forced to transform. That was the same night that I discovered what I was and that a primal fear my mother felt had been realized.” Tears were streaming down his face. “This is why my father left me that night. This is why I’m weak to fire! This is why what happened during training was my fault! My kind is weak to fire! My burn wounds were from you, but had you fought anyone else, they wouldn’t have been as wounded as I was.”

He closed his eyes and took in another deep breath before opening them. They were green again. “I’m sorry for hiding so much from you all of these years. I’m sorry that I didn’t tell you sooner, that you thought I was tricking everyone so that I could play the victim card. That was never the impression I was trying to give off. I was afraid for my life. Afraid that if I slipped up, just once, that I would be put to death.”

Katsuki’s eyes widened as everything fell into place. “So, during the Quirk Assessment Tests…”

Izuku nodded. “Mr. Aizawa discovered my heritage by discovering the fact that I was Quirkless.”

“Oh…” Katsuki trailed off.

“Yeah, not what you were expecting, right?” Tears were still streaming down his cheeks. “If you don’t want to be friends anymore after hearing this, I completely understand. I won’t talk to you again if you don—”

A strong hug cut him off. “Shut up, damn Deku! Why would I abandon you because you happen to be different than what I thought you were? That would be ‘unbecoming of a hero,’ wouldn’t you say?”

“B-but, Kacchan—”

“‘B-but, Kacchan,’ nothing! I’m sorry that I knew nothing about it. I’m sorry that I didn’t support you earlier after your father left. After the discovery of your lack of Quirk. Had I acted like the better person, like the hero I was trying to be, I could have gained your trust enough to be deemed worthy to hear your secret.” Izuku began to sob. “It’s okay, Izuku. But you’re not supposed to cry when you come to make others feel better. I feel like this is more your therapy session than mine.” Katsuki chuckled.

Izuku chuckled as well before they broke off the hug. He wiped his eyes with the palm of his hand. “I’m sorry, Kacchan! I’m quite the crybaby, aren’t I?”

Katsuki ruffled his hair. “Yeah, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

 

 

Chapter Text

Mina, Uraraka and Tsuyu watched from the glass balcony overseeing the entrance of the school. With her hands pressed against the glass, the pinkette stared with her black eyes as wide as saucers.

“What was that?”

“I’m not sure, ribbit.” Tsuyu slurped a little. “That Bakugou seems to have a soft spot for Midoriya.”

Uraraka nodded. “He was so distraught after the fight. Even when Yaoyorozu went off and explained to All Might why Iida deserved the top spot in the battle and how Bakugou’s actions were foolish, he just stood there with that broken look on his face.”

“I wish we could’ve heard what they were talking about though.” Mina whined. “I hate it that I barely know anything about anyone here. It’d help us get along better as a cohesive…is that a word?” She scratched her chin before her eyes shined. “Totally…cohesive group.”

Uraraka frowned. “I agree, but I highly doubt Mr. Aizawa would appreciate us spending our time socializing. He said something about how we shouldn’t expect to hang out at Mickie D’s or what not.”

Tsuyu slurped again. “Yeah he did say something like that. We have to be more rational and all.”

Iida walked around the corner as he spotted the three girls staring out the window. “Ah, Uraraka!” The brown-haired girl snapped her head towards Iida, startling Mina. “I was wondering where you’d been. I was about to head down to the station, and I was wondering if you wanted to walk over there with me, like how we did yesterday.”

She smiled. “Yeah, of course Iida! Thank you!”

Iida eyed the three with suspicion. “What appears to have caught all of your attention?”

Mina and Uraraka eyed each other while Tsuyu just shrugged her shoulders. “We were wondering were Midoriya ran off to and it turns out he found Bakugou.” Tsuyu pointed out the window.

Iida sighed before readjusting his glasses. “You know it isn’t sportsmanlike to eavesdrop on our fellow…students.” His eyes widened as he saw Katsuki wrap his arms around Izuku. The shorter one was clearly crying.

Mina grinned. “I know! Surprising right?! I wasn’t expecting them to be such close friends!”

Uraraka chuckled. “Yeah, especially with a nickname that means useless. I thought that they weren’t close friends at all. Bakugou and Deku apparently haven’t had the healthiest of friendships.”

The four stared at the sight in front of them, totally enraptured with the scene playing out. Iida chuckled when he saw Katsuki ruffle Izuku’s hair with a small smile present on his features. “You know, I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen Bakugou exhibit such friendly behavior.”

Mina laughed. “Every other time someone even addressed him, he generally responded with some violent or rude comment.”

Uraraka sighed. “I’m just glad that everything appears to be well here at UA. I was really scared during class today. I hope tomorrow won’t be as stressful.”

Tsuyu slurped again. “Maybe Midoriya will actually be able to make it through a whole day of class?”

Iida sighed. “Well, I suppose we’ll have to wait and see. Uraraka. It isn’t getting any earlier. The sun is setting, and we shouldn’t walk to the station in the dark.”

She nodded. “You’re right, Iida. We should be going. Goodbye Mina and Tsu, I’ll see you guys tomorrow!” Mina and Uraraka hugged while Tsuyu bid her farewell with an awkward handshake and a nod.

By the time they exited the building and walked down the street, the sun fell behind the tall buildings of UA. Tall shadows fell upon the duo as they made their way to the station under the burning sky.

“Today was certainly an odd one, wasn’t it?” Iida spoke.

“Yeah, there was more than enough excitement for one day! I knew it was going to be difficult at this school, but nothing can prepare you for a literal life and death scenario of a fellow student.” She laughed nervously. “There should have been some sort of form or something that told us about it!”

Iida shook his head. “Something is very odd about Midoriya. I don’t really know quite what it is, but his Quirk doesn’t really make sense. I’ve been thinking about it ever since yesterday, but his burn wounds today only exemplified my confusion.” Uraraka stared at Iida with her head tilted slightly, eyebrows scrunched together. “Think of it this way: He took out the zero pointer without difficulty; he was able to keep up with Bakugou who, as Yaoyorozu pointed out earlier, has exceptional talent and control over his Quirk; his Quirk wasn’t erased when Mr. Aizawa used his Erasure Quirk on him; and the physiological and even psychological changes to Midoriya when he activates his Quirk all seem to contradict one another.” He sighed. “Nothing really seems to make sense about him.”

Uraraka nodded. “Yeah, Deku seems to be quite the mystery child. I don’t really understand how he even managed to wake up today after being healed by Recovery Girl. Her Quirk takes a lot out of you. I was bed ridden for the rest of the day after the practical exam and most of that exhaustion came from the use of Recovery Girl’s Quirk.”

Iida’s forehead creased as he contemplated what to say next. “There’s also the rumors proliferating on social media that there is a ‘Wolf Boy.’ It involves the sludge incident. Bakugou was the junior high student that was caught in that villain attack, and the wind pressure that Midoriya was able to produce during the training today is awfully like the reported wind pressure generated from the ‘Wolf Boy’ that we keep hearing about. Now, I’m not the one to spend my time pondering conspiracy theories, but the similarities seem to be uncanny!”

Uraraka nodded again. “I also read that the ‘Wolf Boy’ had green fur, which is a definite match with Deku when he transforms. So, what do you think Iida? Is Deku and the ‘Wolf Boy’ one and the same?”

“I’m not sure, Uraraka. It appears to be the case, but maybe we should ask Midoriya about it tomorrow. I hate to have such distractions about our fellow classmates hanging over our heads. The less rumors we have going around about each other, the better.”

“I’d have to agree!”

 

 

Todoroki was the last student to leave the 1A classroom. The hustle and bustle of the other students put him off a lot and he liked having his own peace and quiet away from everyone else. He knows when he gets home, that it’ll be anything else than quiet. His father being the Number Two Hero led to him living in the spotlight.

He was always seen as “The Son of Endeavor” more than he was seen as Shoto Todoroki. He hated the attention that his father’s title gave him and his family. Financially, the Todoroki’s were well off, but emotionally there was much to be desired. As such, the teen grew up to be emotionally despondent and reserved. He couldn’t deal with intense emotions very well because he was never allowed to address them.

In his father’s quest of building his grand legacy, Todoroki and his siblings were left to the themselves to deal with their emotions when they weren’t working themselves to death to appease their father’s ambition. This was made doubly worse, by Todoroki’s obstinate refusal to use his left side, his fire side—his father’s side. He despised his father and he couldn’t really be blamed for harboring such ill feelings.

Because of his intense emotional turmoil, Todoroki would often find himself in the midst of his thoughts. Bombarded by curiosities, his analytical mind fired constantly. Making connections between things that others wouldn’t be able to make if they were given a life time. Today was no exception, especially after the harrowing endeavor that his fellow classmate, Izuku Midoriya, had to partake in. He was the singular focal point of Todoroki’s curiosities.

“Super strength, super resiliency, increased senses, high skill in combat, transforming, manipulation of wind pressure through the use of incredible speed. Quite the formidable opponent.” Todoroki’s grey and blue eyes were narrowed in intense concentration as he unexpectedly walked into Yaoyorozu.

He backed up, a fierce blush blossomed on his face. “My apologies” They said in unison.

She chuckled. “It wasn’t your fault, I shouldn’t have turned the corner so quickly.”

He shook his head. “I would have avoided you if I had been watching where I was going.”

An awkward silence fell over the two as they thought about what to do to alleviate said awkwardness. “Your analysis today of Team A and D’s fight was very good.”

Yaoyorozu smiled. “Well I’m not so sure about that but thank you anyway. Your battle today was quite impressive. Your Quirk is incredibly powerful! I’m not sure how I’d handled that one.”

Todoroki stared at her blankly before looking away. “Your Quirk is nothing to underestimate. Being able to create materials out of the food you consume is quite impressive.”

She raised an eyebrow. “How did you know that I could create inorganic compounds out of the lipids in my body?”

“I’ve been observing my classmates very carefully. After all, we are here to become heroes and it is very important to understand the abilities of our potential rivals in order to succeed.” His face was stoic and hard like a rock. “We’re not here to make friends.”

She nodded along but frowned slightly. “That’s quite impressive analysis, and while it may be true that we are here to become heroes, you shouldn’t deprive yourself of the friendships that are available for you here. When we do become pro heroes, the friendships that we make here will carry over into our professional work.”

He chewed his lip. “I don’t need to build friendships. Having one friendship is enough.”

Her eyes glistened slightly. “So, you think of me as a friend?” He blushed a little before nodding. She laughed and his blush intensified. “There’s no reason becoming all embarrassed. And thank you, I consider you a friend as well.”

He shook his head. “I’m not embarrassed. Don’t be ridiculous.”

A coy smile spread across her face. “Sure, whatever you say.” She turned around before heading off. She looked back at him over her shoulder. “Have a good night, Todoroki. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“You too.” He said quietly before she made herself scarce. “Embarrassed? What was she talking about? I wasn’t embarrassed.”

“You shouldn’t deprive yourself the friendships that are available for you here.”

He sighed. “I suppose she does have a point, but I’ve never really had a friend before. I’m not so sure how to do this.”

He shook his head before falling back into the tempest of thoughts twirling about in the fields of his mind. He walked down the front steps of the school and looked up at the starry sky. The sun had fallen below the horizon, leaving the world shrouded in a murky blue wrapped in ebony. The faint lights twinkled in the ever-growing darkness above.

“There truly is beauty in darkness.”

 

 

After bidding farewell to Katsuki, Izuku walked home. Dread was in his stomach at his mother’s potential response. He walked by a shopfront and stared at his reflection. His skin didn’t look too bad. The most noticeable part was the mismatched color of the two sides of his face.

“I kinda look like that one student in my class. The one with the bi-colored hair and the scar on his face.” He sighed. “Another con to not having a full day of school. I don’t know half of my class by name. Assuming I’ll get another chance to find out tomorrow. My mom is gonna freak when she sees this!”

He dragged his feet on the sidewalk. He stopped in front of his apartment building and sighed. It looked less inviting on the outside than it did on the inside. It was stained and kind of run down. You could tell that the inhabitants were of noticeably lower economic standing than the rest of the community. Another reminder to Izuku of just how worthless he truly was in the eyes of the society around him that he’s fighting to protect.

With a heavy heart and throbbing head, Izuku entered the building and took the creaky elevator up to the floor where his apartment was. After shambling through the dimly lit hallway that smelled of stale cigarettes and something musty, he made it to his apartment. He took out the key and placed it in the lock. With one last intake of sullied air, he opened the door.

“I’m home.” He stated with the enthusiasm of a depressed zombie.

To his delight, horror, and surprise, his mother greeted him in the living room. “Hi Sweetie, how was—” Her eyes widened when she saw his face. “Izuku?! What happened?”

“Before you freak out, please allow me to explain.” He held up his hands to try to still the panic in his mother, only for her eyes to widen more when she saw the paleness of his hands.

“Are those burn marks?” She gritted her teeth.

“Yes, but can you please let me explain?” She nodded with angry green eyes boring into his worried verdant. “Today we had Hero Basic Training in which we were divided into teams of two. One team was a hero team, one was the villain team. The goal of the hero team was to find and secure the mock nuclear warhead that was hidden somewhere within the building. The other team was supposed to defend the weapon by either apprehending us, or by holding us off for the time to run out. The first teams to go, was my team—I was on the hero’s team with Uraraka—and Kacchan was on the other team with a boy named Iida.”

“To make a long story short, Kacchan and I got into a battle. He unleased a powerful attack that burned half of my costume off and forced me to partially shift.” Inko gasped at that, but he held up his hand to quiet her. “In a desperate attempt to win, I struck the air which tore through the building allowing for Uraraka to secure the weapon and win the day. Kacchan got another attack off of me as I released the attack. I collapsed from the extent of my injuries.”

“I was rushed to the Nurse’s Office, where Recovery Girl fixed me up and everything went well.” She opened her mouth to speak. “No, the marks shouldn’t be permanent. My body just hasn’t produced enough melanin yet. In a couple of days, it should return to normal.”

Her forehead creased as rage boiled in her eyes. “You mean to tell me that you were hospitalized without me being notified?! I don’t give a rat’s ass about the ‘safety of the school’ if you are hospitalized, I—as your parent—have the right to know! Not after the fact, but during the moment!”

“Mom, I understand your anger, but—”

“Don’t make excuses for them! You don’t understand!” She began to cry. “You’re all that I have left! I cannot afford to lose you too!” She wiped her brow before her face contorted into that of burning ire. “What’s All Might’s phone number? I have a call to make!”

“Mom! We don’t need to—”

“What’s. His. Phone. Number?” He recoiled after every word of her venomous tone.

He sighed before he got out his phone and dialed All Might’s number. He handed the phone to her. “Here.”

It rang a couple of times. “If he doesn’t answer, I swear to God…” Click! “Hello? Hi, this is Mrs. Midoriya! I’m hoping that I’m not interrupting anything, but I have a few questions regarding my son…”

Izuku watched in horror. He couldn’t make out what All Might was saying, but he could tell just by the tone of his voice that he was dreading this call as much as he was.

“My boy came home with burn marks over his face and arms and he told me that he was hospitalized. Care to tell me why I wasn’t notified…” She stood there, one hand on her hip, and disappointment all over her worn features. “My son’s well-being is something that I should be privy of every waking moment! Am I to be understood?” She nodded before moving in for the kill. “If something is to happen to my son that requires medical attention, I am to be notified immediately! If I EVER find out that my son was hospitalized and I wasn’t notified, I will deem that you are not able to adequately look after my son, and he will be removed from the school without hesitation! Am I understood?!” Her features stayed the same, except for her eyes, they brightened slightly. “Great! Thank you! Have a wonderful evening!”

Click. She handed the phone back to him.

Izuku looked her in the eyes. “Mom, I do understand how important I am to you. I would never do anything on purpose that’d separate myself from you.”

“I know that, Sweetie. But you know why I did that right? They intended to hold your well-being as a secret in order to protect their precious reputation from a lawsuit!”

Izuku glared at her. “Mom! That’s not true! That’s not true at all!”

She raised an eyebrow. “Oh yeah? Then please enlighten me! What was their reasoning behind it?”

He gulped. “All Might’s reasoning behind it was that he was afraid that you would have pulled me from the school if you found out how hurt I was. He was trying to protect me from any decision you may have made that could have endangered my dream.”

Her eyes vibrated with unbridled rage. “Then that’s a gross mischaracterization of me! Yes, I am very protective of your well-being. Yes, I hate to see you be hurt, but getting hurt is part of the profession you want to partake. I can’t freak out every time that you get injured. I understand that! I wouldn’t pull you out of the school for being hospitalized from an accident that happened during training. No one intended for you to be that hurt! The part that pisses me off is the hushed secret! I would have left work and come to the school to make sure that you are all right, but I’m not delusional enough to remove my child from the school of his dreams because of an injury that was inflicted upon him at the very school in which children, with superpowers, are pitted against each other in order to become heroes!" She clenched her fists and dug her heels into the ground. "How dare they treat your well-being as a secret!”

“Mom, I get it! They should have told you that I got injured. I agree with you. You’re preaching to the choir.”

Inko’s eyes softened a little. She took several deep breaths after wiping her eyes. The family certainly had working tear ducts. “I got carried away a moment there. I’m sorry, Sweetie. I wasn’t angry at you.”

Izuku smiled. “I understand, Mom. You’re just trying to keep me safe.” He wrapped his arms around her. “I love you.”

She smiled before planting a kiss on his cheek. “I love you, too, Sweetie. You’ve had a pretty rough day. How about some dinner?”

“Sounds great, Ma. What’s for dinner?”

“Beef and peapods. It’s been a while since we had that one.” She smiled warmly.

He nodded. “Brings back a lot of memories, doesn’t it?”

Her smile saddened slightly. “Yeah, but let’s not stew in the past.”

That’s when Izuku smelled the aroma of the beef and peapods. Succulent and inviting the smell was. His mouth salivated as his stomach grumbled in protest. “I’m surprised I didn’t notice it as soon as I walked in.”

“You thought you were going to be removed from school, weren’t you?” She rolled her eyes.

“Of course not, hahaha.” He scratched the back of his head. She just shook her head at him.

The two set the table and she served the meal. “Besides spending most of your day in a hospital room, how was the rest of your day?”

“Fine. It was a tad eventful in the hospital room after I woke up.”

She raised an eyebrow. “Eventful how?”

“I’ll keep it short and sweet. I had a panic attack. Recovery Girl and All Might calmed me down, and I was released.” Inko stared at her son in a sense of bewilderment and worry. “I freaked out because I was afraid, I was going to get in trouble for her or any of my classmates finding out about my… ‘condition’ as she put it.”

Inko sighed. “So, she knows?”

Izuku nodded. “Yep. Mr. Aizawa knows, too. Figured that out yesterday as well.”

Inko’s eyes widened. “You never told me that!”

“I completely forgot that I didn’t tell you. I should apologize for how I acted last night. That wasn’t very cool of me bringing up things about the past that should have been left behind. I was upset because, well I thought that this was going to be my last couple hours alive.” Inko’s eyes began to tear up again. Izuku’s wettened too as he continued. “I guess I was just addressing how I felt for so long. Do I hate my Dad? To be honest, I kinda do. How could I not? The predicament we are in now is because of what he did, but at the same time, I just wish he would just come home, and we could just forget what happened these past 10 years, you know?”

Inko nodded as she began to cry. “Well…how did…Mr. Aizawa find out?”

“He has the ability to erase Quirks, and he decided to test it on me. He wasn’t the happiest when he found out that I wasn’t ‘normal.’” Izuku laughed dryly. “The very same man you handed is own ass is the one that got me out of that predicament. Yet just another way I’m indebted to him.”

“Well, why didn’t you tell me?”

Izuku shrugged. “I didn’t want you to worry about me anymore. I was kinda of happy that it was gonna come to an end. I wouldn’t have to hide anymore, and I wouldn’t have to burden you anymore.”

“DON’T YOU EVER SAY THAT AGAIN!” Izuku’s eyes widened. Inko crossed around the table and held her son’s cheeks. “You are not a burden, Izuku. How could you ever think in such a way? I want you to repeat after me: I am not a burden.”

He said nothing as he averted his gaze. “Izuku, look at me.” He kept his gaze away. “Izuku. Look. At. Me.” His teary eyes stared into hers. “I want you to say it.”

“I-I am not…a burden.” He began to sob.

She wrapped her son in her arms and cradled him gently. “I love you so much, Izuku. I never want you to think of yourself in such a way, okay? Whenever you feel like you are at a loss, I want you to say that to yourself, you hear? You are not a burden and you never could be. When I say these words…I mean it…” She choked back some tears. “You…are the best thing to ever happen to me.” She placed a kiss on his forehead and then another and another and another.

After several minutes of crying and hugging, the Midoriyas settle down and continued their conversation. “I told Kacchan about my secret.”

Inko eyed him nervously. “How’d that turn out?”

He gave a warm smile that stilled her fears. “It went as well as it possibly could have. He felt very guilty after he injured me, and I was able to calm him down. I told him the truth about why Dad left, and we hugged it out. We’re on the road to becoming friends again and I couldn’t be happier.” He looked down at the food, that had long gone cold. “For the first time since I was small, things are finally looking up.”

“I’m glad to hear that, Izuku. You and Katsuki used to be so close. Had we stayed in that old apartment, you two probably wouldn’t had separated as much as you did.” She sighed sadly. “Another regret.”

“Well, there’s no reason to worry about it now. Besides, you should hang out with Mitsuki. It’s been ages since you’ve seen her. I bet the two of you could use a change of scenery. Maybe go out to the park or have dinner at a local restaurant. Do…anything else to get your mind off of things. You haven’t treated yourself in such a long time.”

She smiled at the thought. “That’s…a really good idea. We all could use a break every now and then. Maybe we could bring Katsuki along and you two could hang out outside of school for once? You haven’t done that in ages.”

Izuku’s eyes brightened. “I’d like that very much.”

Chapter Text

        It was a beautiful morning. The sun was shining brightly in a cloudless sky. The sun’s blinding radiance reflected off the glass shell of the school in a way that made the school seem almost magical. Perhaps this was one of the reasons why the reporters were crowding outside of the school, like a pack of hungry piranhas that smelled blood in the water. However, the more likely reason was that All Might was officially announced as a member of the prestigious school’s staff. This set the scene for the breaking stories—which would garner countless reads—to rise to the top, and every single reporter from every news outlet were desperately clawing at any piece of the news pie they could get.

        Izuku stood at the entrance of the school, sweat rolling down his face, as a massive swarm of news reporters and the like stormed the front gates. He was their latest victim of their game of a million invasive questions.

        He recognized some of the reporters as the very same who had written various diatribes targeting the “Wolf Boy” among other reports that labeled him as a deranged villain. Cameras flashed as questions bombarded the teen.

       “Are the rumors correct about the ‘Wolf Boy’ being in attendance at the school?”

       “Where is All Might? Is he currently in the building?”

       “Can you go in and bring him out here?”

       “Is Katsuki Bakugou at this school as well?”

       His worried green eyes scanned the growing crowd in front of him. It felt like he was in an interrogation.

       “Hey you!” One energized woman thrusted a microphone in his freckled face. “How are All Might’s classes?” Her eyes were hungry for any reaction. Even the smallest of table scraps available could be enough to formulate news stories that would fill the tabloids.

       He took a step back before waving his arms frantically. “Uh, excuse me, I have to go…to the nurse’s office!” He gave a nervous smile to boost the credibility of his statement. It wasn’t a total lie. He was supposed to check in with Recovery Girl if he felt under the weather.

       He turned on his heels and dashed inside the perimeter of the school. He was heaving by the time he reached the hall way outside of his classroom.

        Tsuyu noticed his frazzled state and walked towards him. “Ribbit. Did you have some trouble with the media out there?”

        Izuku nodded. “Yeah, I was bombarded by questions. I felt cornered so I turn around and ran.” He looked down. “Not exactly the most heroic way to respond to that, but what else was I supposed to do when a microphone gets shoved down my throat?!”

       Mina stomped into the hallway. She clutched the side of her uniform as she marched towards the two. “The nerve of those reporters!”

        Izuku chuckled. “They giving you some grief, too?”

        Her lips were tight. “Yes! One of them wondered if I was an alien or not? Others asked about this ‘Wolf Boy’ and if Bakugou went to our school. I know they are only doing their job, but could they back off?”

 

        “Will you tell us about what the Symbol of Peace is like as a teacher?” The target this time was Uraraka.

         Her face was flushed a cherry red as she was backed into a corner. “Wh-what he’s like? Um…” She posed. “He’s very muscular!”

         The crazy lady with the microphone’s eye twitched at the response. “That’s to be expected of the professional hero, but what is he like in class? What type of education are you getting at this school?”

         “U-um.” She pretended to check her wrist for the time. “Oh, would you look at that! I’m gonna be late for class.” She took off in the other direction as quickly as she could, ignoring the cries of indignation from the blood-starved reporters.

 

         “What do you think of All Might as a teacher?”

         Iida was in the hot seat now. He straightened his already rigid posture. His eyes were burning with determination. He planned on speaking from the heart. “He made me recognize anew that I attend an educational institution that is the best of the best. Of course, his dignity and character go without saying, but we students are constantly able to see his humorous side. It is a unique opportunity to learn about being a top hero directly from one.” The crowd turned into a frenzy at his response. They finally had someone who was willing to divulge information.

        “Is it true that the ‘Wolf Boy’ is a part of your class?”

        “What type of training are you going through right now?”

         Iida flared his jaw and huffed a little. “No one, to my knowledge, at our school goes by the moniker of ‘Wolf Boy!’” He crossed his arms as he stared into the camera. “I personally think it his irresponsible and morally reprehensible for adults, such as yourselves, to be propagating rumors about the ins and outs of my fellow classmates. You all should be ashamed of your greed for sensationalized news!”

         “So, there is no ‘Wolf Boy’ at the school?” One reporter with a notepad spoke up.

          Katsuki saw the crowd around the gate as he turned the corner. “Oh! God damnit!” His eyes narrowed in disgust as some of the reporters turned to look at him with hunger in their eyes. He noticed Iida was in the middle of the crowd, surrounded on all sides by reporters asking him invasive question after invasive question.

         “Move out of the damn way, you shitty media!”

          Iida looked at the ashen haired teen. His eyes beamed with a sense of thankfulness. He may have been the one most willing to engage with the antics of the media, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t quickly overwhelmed just like how everyone else was.

           “Excuse me!” The one with the microphone stalked forward and thrust the microphone in the explosive teens face. “Can you tell me about All Migh—”

           “No, piss off!”

           Her eyes flashed with recognition. “Wait a minute! You’re the one who was caught by the sludge villain!”

           The other reporters gasped as they spiraled out of control. They fired question upon question.

           Katsuki growled at the crowd. “I said to piss off!” He grabbed Iida by the shoulder and dragged him away from the crowd. “You are not helping, Four Eyes! Move your ass, before they make you late! I thought you were a fanatic about being on time!”

           Iida nodded. “Thanks for pulling from that mob, Bakugou. I thought if I told them some info, it would be enough to stay them off, but it only emboldened them!” He clenched a fist. “They kept asking about whether or not we had a ‘Wolf Boy’ within our midst. Even if it were true, why must they report on it? There are far more pressing issues for them to be reporting on.”

           Katsuki frowned. “It’s impossible to tame the masses. It’s best to just ignore them.”

           “What is your relationship with Midoriya?”

           The question nearly took Katsuki’s breath away. “Where the hell is this coming from?”

           Iida shrunk a little. “I hate to admit, but I along with a few of your classmates, were watching your interaction afterschool from the walk way. We honestly didn’t mean to pry, but we were just worried about what was going on. The way you left yesterday, we were just concerned was all.”

           Katsuki flared his jaw. “It seems to me like you should all mind your damn business.” He scoffed. “You’re no better than those shitty reporters out there.”

            Iida narrowed his eyes. “I apologize Bakugou, but I’m afraid I can’t just mind my own business.” Katsuki scowled at him. “Some things just are not adding up with the abilities off Midoriya. While I hate to talk at such lengths behind the backs of one of my classmates, if there is a secret that is being held here that is of matter of great import, I believe that we have the right to know what it is. We are classmates after all; therefore, we are allies in battle. Allies that have no chemistry, do not work together as a functional unit.”

            Katsuki glared at Iida with barely contained visceral rage. His palms were sweating and popping a little. A small but steady amount of black smoke filled the air as Katsuki shook. “There is no secret that Deku is holding. To answer your question about our relationship, we are childhood friends. I’ve known him ever since we could walk.”

            Iida remained skeptical. “Well, then could you tell me a little more about his Quirk? The abilities that he has displayed don’t make sense in conjunction with one another.”

            “Here’s a novel idea: Why don’t you go ask him instead of bombarding me with twenty questions?” Katsuki stared directly into Iida’s eyes. “But if you go to ask him, know this: You will mind your manners. If you see him get uncomfortable at your line of questioning, you will stop. You will apologize and you will walk away. Are we clear?”

            Iida stared back at Katsuki. He nodded. “I understand, Bakugou. I will handle the issue with extreme care, and I will make sure that it is clear to Midoriya, that he is under no obligation to answer my questions. I will ask them as merely the curious individual that I am, and nothing more. I pledge you this.”

            Katsuki rolled his eyes. “Jesus Christ! Do you have to speak in such a manner? You sound like a kid who found a thesaurus for the first time.”

            Iida remained unphased. “I’m merely speaking in the manner in which I was taught.”

            Both pairs of eyes noticed Izuku in consort with Mina, Tsuyu, and Uraraka. Izuku’s green eyes brightened considerably when they landed on Katsuki. Katsuki leaned close to Iida and said in a low voice. “Remember to mind your manners.”

            “Hey, Kacchan, Iida! Good morning!” Izuku smiled sweetly.

            Mina turned around and waved. “Hey Bakugou and Iida. How’d it go with those reporters?”

             Iida laughed. “I found it to be an…educational experience.”

             Katsuki narrowed his eyes. “The dumbass here thought he could fight fire with fire and got surrounded by the mob. I had to rescue him because he was too dumb to just walk away.”

             Iida cast his eyes downward in a way that conveyed immense shame. Izuku walked towards him. “Don’t look so melancholy, Iida. You actually talked to the reporters. That’s a lot better than what I did, I just made up an excuse and then ran for the hills.”

             Uraraka laughed. “I did the same thing, really. It gets kind of terrifying when they all ask you at the same time. I didn’t know what to say or who to look at.”

             “They should learn to mind their damn business.” Katsuki’s eyes trailed over to Iida as a shit eating grin stretched across the ashen haired teen’s face.

              Aizawa, who was sleeping in a bag on the floor, shed his yellow chrysalis. “Bakugou, you should watch your tongue. As for the rest of you, way too loud right now.”

             “Aizawa?!” The group looked at their teacher.

              He sighed. “You still can’t follow directions, I see. We’ll have to see about that.” He stifled a yawn. “What has you all so wound up this morning?”

              Tsuyu slurped. “Reporters. There are reporters everywhere.”

              Aizawa’s eyes filled to the brim with irritation. He sighed as he ground his teeth. “Figures. UA, against my say, made it official that All Might is a teacher at the school.” He pinched the bridge of his nose. “I’m gonna deal with this, you all get to your seats.”

             “Yes, sir!”

             Aizawa dragged himself off. He grumbled to himself as he stepped outside and had to shield his eyes from the bright sunshine. He stepped towards the mass of reporters, who turned towards him. They jumped at him in a frenzy.

             “Speaking of All Might, what do you know about him?”

             “You’re a tad scraggy, what’s your deal?”

             He stared at the camera. “He’s not on duty today.” He waved them off. “You are disturbing the classes. Please leave.” He turned around and walked off.

             The crowd cried out.

              “I would like to speak directly with All Might!”

              “I feel like I’ve seen him before…”

              “Don’t you think you’re too scruffy?”

              Aizawa scowled slightly as he walked away. “I can’t believe All Might was able to work as a hero with all this.”

              “Hey! Just a little time is fine!” The woman with the microphone tightened her grip on her microphone.

               She stepped forward, one step too far, and triggered the security system. The alarm sounded as red lights went off. Metal walls sprang out of nowhere and blocked off the entrance completely, almost harming her in the process.

               Her eyes bulged out of her skull. “Wh-what is that?!”

               “It’s the UA Barrier.” Said a camera guy. “That’s what we call it, anyway.”

               “That’s so lame! What the heck is that?”

               “If someone tries to get in without a student ID or a pass to enter,” He pointed at the gate. “the security system kicks in. Apparently, there are sensors all over the school.”

               “What the heck?” She stood rigidly. “They think they’re so high and mighty. They could at least give a brief comment so we could go on with our lives.”

               “Seriously, we’ve been here for two days, and they still won’t say anything.”

               With all the attention drawn on the school, unsavory individuals took interest. A man garbed in black with light blue hair stood at the UA Barrier.

              “Very interesting, indeed.”

 

               “Good work on yesterday’s combat training.” Aizawa stood behind the podium. “I saw the video and results. Bakugou,” The ashen haired teen frowned at the mentioning of his name. “you’re talented, but you got ahead of yourself. Your Quirk can kill people, and you need to demonstrate more restraint. You will fail this course if you can’t reel it in.”

               Katsuki looked to the side. “I know.” He closed his eyes as guilt gnawed away at him.

               “And Midoriya.” The green haired teen straightened and the tension in the room doubled. “Speak with me after class. You’re not in trouble, but we need to speak about some…logistics.”

               Izuku nodded as he stared into his desk. “Yes, sir.”

               “Now let’s get down to homeroom business. Sorry about the late notice, but today, I’ll have you…”

               Everyone joined in on the same wavelength. “…take another special test?!”

               “…decide on a class representative.”

               The class breathed a sigh of relief. “It’s actually a normal school activity!”

               Kirishima raised his hands. “I want to be class rep! Pick me!”

               “Me too!” Kaminari raised a hand in a noncommittal way.

               “I want to do it, too.” Kyoka raised her hand.

               “It’s a job made for m—” Aoyama said.

               Once again, Mina stood up and jumped in front of him. “I’ll be the leader!”

               Mineta stood on his desk and waved his arms in a frantic manner. “My manifesto is for all girls’ skirts to be 30 centimeters above the knee!” Veins were bulging in his eyes.

               Izuku looked at him in shock. His attention was drawn towards Katsuki when he rose his hand.

               “Let me do it! Me!”

               Izuku chuckled a little and Katsuki stared back at him in a way that said: “What in the hell is so funny?”

               His eyes beamed he saw the excitement around him. “I think it would be kinda fun to be class rep, but terrifying in the same breath. I’m not sure if I would be able to do it considering…”

               Iida stood. “Silence, please!” Everyone turned towards the serious teen. “It is a job with the serious responsibility of leading others. It is not a job for just anyone who wants to do it. It is a calling that requires the trust of those around you. If we want to use democracy to decide on a true leader, then we should hold an election to choose one.”

               His height and his rigidity made his raised hand the highest out of the class. They all collectively narrowed their eyes. “Your hand is raised the highest!”

               Kaminari stared at him like he grew three heads. “Why did you suggest that?”

               Tsuyu slurped and placed a finger on her cheek. “We haven’t known each other for that long, so how can we have trust or anything?”

               “If that’s the case, and everyone votes for themselves…” Kirishima said.

               Iida frowned a little. “Don’t you think that is precisely why whoever receives multiple votes here can be truly considered the most suitable person?” He looked towards Aizawa, who was encased in his yellow sleeping bag. “What do you think, Mr. Aizawa?”

               “I don’t care, as long as you decide before homeroom is over.” He laid down and closed his eyes.

               “Thank you very much!”

               So, the class held an election. As Kirishima pointed out earlier, most of the people voted for themselves, so most of the board had one point. Izuku and Yaoyorozu were the outliers, who had 3 and 2 votes respectfully.

               “I got three votes?!” Izuku stared at the board with his jaw open.

               Katsuki stared in disbelief. “Huh?! How’d you get three?”

               Hanta Sero looked over at the ashen haired teen, with a grin on his face. “Well, it’s better than voting for you. He’s less liable to blow up half of the class.”

               “What did you say?!”

               Uraraka whistled to herself. “It’ll be scary if Bakugou finds out.”

               Iida was hunched over his desk. His hands were shaking. “Zero votes…I knew that would happen. This is only to be expected of a person’s calling.”

               Yaoyorozu looked at him in pity. “You voted for someone else, huh?”

               Rikido stared in disbelief. “But you wanted to do it, too. What are you trying to do, Iida?”

               Todoroki closed his eyes. “I got zero points as well. What could I possibly due as class rep? I don’t particularly like talking, nor do I want everyone’s eyes on me. Besides, Yaoyorozu would do so much better than I would.”

               Aizawa stared at the results and recorded them. “Then, the class rep is Midoriya and the deputy class rep will be Yaoyorozu. Come up here and look at the class you are representing.”

               Izuku walked forward with shaking knees. He looked at Katsuki who gave him a reassuring smile. He swallowed his fear and stepped in front of the class, Yaoyorozu stood to his left.

               “S-S-Seriously? Seriously? Me?”

               Yaoyorozu sighed. “How vexing…”

               “That might not be too bad.” Tsuyu concluded.

               “After all’s said and done, Midoriya can be pretty fired up, anyway.” Kirishima smiled. “And Yaoyorozu was cool when we were going over the battle results!”

               The bell rang, and the class was dismissed. Izuku grabbed his things and walked over to the unenthused teacher.

               He gulped. “You said that you wanted to see me when class was over?”

               Aizawa nodded. “I do…but first,” he eyed the other students who were curious—namely Mina, Iida, Uraraka and Katsuki. “I asked for Midoriya and Midoriya only. The rest of you are dismissed to your next class.”

               Uraraka and Mina looked at each other and then bowed that they were sorry for eavesdropping and walked out of the room. Iida did the same before eying Katsuki, who stayed right where he was.

               Aizawa sighed. “That goes for you too, Bakugou. Close the door on your way out.”

               Katsuki opened his mouth to protest, but Izuku stopped him. “Please, I’ll be okay, Kacchan. I’ll be fine. You can go on ahead.” Katsuki looked him in the eyes but relented when he saw his sincerity. With a nod, Katsuki and Iida left the room. Iida walked back in to close the door, then bowed before making his exit. Izuku turned to Aizawa. “Sorry about his behavior, Mr. Aizawa. He’s a little protective is all.”

               Aizawa rose an eyebrow. “Is he aware of your…secret?” Izuku nodded. “Well, then I guess he is a good friend. Now for your test results, are you trying to get yourself killed?” Aizawa frowned as he stared down the green haired teen.

               Izuku gulped before shaking his head. “No.”

               He rose an eyebrow. “Really, because you could have fooled me.” Izuku looked towards the ground. “I know you and he share quite a history, but your actions during that exam were more than foolish. Instead of having a playful fight with your rival, you should have taken the exam seriously from the get-go. You’ve probably felt it too, given how sensitive your kind tends to be, but your classmates are suspicious of you.”

               Izuku nodded. “I know that, I was just—”

               “Not thinking. You do realize that All Might and I are putting our careers on the line to ensure your safety. Going against the mandate is a serious crime. You can’t flaunt your powers like that. Not only do you not have total control over them, but you could very easily kill someone on top of exposing yourself to the world at large.” He sighed again at the expression on Izuku’s face. “Now is not the time for tears, Midoriya. You need to keep your wits about you. As you probably ascertained from your run in with the media, is that they are curious about a certain ‘Wolf Boy.’ So much so, that they asked about that as much as they asked about All Might’s ability to teach. All eyes are on you and you aren’t even a hero yet. You need to be careful, not just of the media in general, but also the other staff members at this school.” He leaned in close. “I wouldn’t be the only one who would be less than thrilled about having a monster in our midst.”

               Izuku gulped and took a shaky breath. “I understand, Mr. Aizawa. I’m sorry.”

               “Good. And you should take that to heart. Remember: I don’t like repeating myself.” He opened the door with his scarf. “You’re free to go. That’s all I needed to say. You don’t have to worry about tardiness, I’ll send a report. That does not mean you can tarry here. Get moving.”

               Izuku nodded before taking his leave.

               Aizawa sighed deeply. “That problem child is going to be the end of me, I swear.”

 

 

               Izuku walked down the hall. History class was already in session, so Izuku tried to enter as discretely as he possibly could.

               Snipe—the pro hero who is well known for his Homing Quirk—looked up from his clipboard. “Ah, I see. Nice of you to join us, Midoriya. I had just received word from Mr. Aizawa that you would be running late. Please take a seat and join us.”

               Izuku nodded. “Right.” He made is way to his seat.

               Katsuki’s eyes were on him the entire time, scrutinizing his facial features and body posture for any indication of fear within his friend. He bit back a curse when he noticed how stiff Izuku’s posture was when he took his seat. He decided to voice his concerns. “How are you holding up, Izuku?”

               Wary green eyes met his. “I’m doing fine, Kacchan. You don’t have to worry yourself about me.”

               Katsuki shook his head. “You know I can’t do that considering…well, anyway. Did you talk about you know…?”

               “I’ll tell you more about it after school. But everything is fine.”

               Snipe stared at the two. Although his eyes were hidden behind his mask, disappointment and annoyance radiated off of him like heat from a red-hot iron from a smelter. “Enough. Midoriya, do you think that coming late to class gives you an excuse to have a private conversation?”

               Izuku looked up at the teacher and then noticed that all eyes were on him. “Um…of course not, sir.”

               “Good, because you could have fooled me. You are here to learn a proper education. The last thing we need is unnecessary distractions.” He brought out his textbook and flipped through the book. “Now, where were we? Ah! Turn your books to page 184.” He waited for the students to take out their history text books. “Today we will be discussing monster history.”

               The hairs on the nape of Izuku’s neck stood up on end as a cold shiver zipped down his spine.

Kirishima raised his hand. “Sir, I don’t understand why we need to discuss monster history. Aren’t they all dead?”

               Snipe shook his head. “That is where you are wrong, Kirishima. Although the Malleus Maleficarum was issued over 100 years ago, most of monster kind was exterminated, but not all were. It is our—including your—civic duty to protect the public from the dangers of monster kind.”

               Mina raised her hand. “So, it’s our job to hunt monsters?”

               Snipe nodded. “Yes, it is.”

               A smile stretched across her face that filled Izuku’s heart with dread. “Awesome! I always wanted to fight one! It’ll be just like an action movie!”

               Kirishima nodded along. “Yeah, how frickin manly would that be? I can just picture myself having an all-out battle with a werewolf.”

               Izuku began to profusely sweat.

               Tokoyami sighed. “You two are too loud. And you wouldn’t want to come in contact with an actual werewolf, Kirishima. It’d rip you in half before you had the opportunity to regret your decisions.”

               Iida nodded along. “They are the most fearsome of monsters. In terms of pure physical strength, they are unrivaled.”

               Snipe nodded along in a way that encouraged it. Although no one could see his face, it was clear by the tone of his voice that he enjoyed the discussion. “They are fearsome monsters. It is the reason why the mandate was first implemented. Can anyone tell me their weakness?”

               Yaoyorozu raised her hand. “Fire, sir. A lot of members of monster kind are weak to fire.”

Hanta looked over to Todoroki. “Doesn’t your family pride itself on being monster hunters, Todoroki?”

               He nodded. “Yes, it’s another thing that my father prides himself on taking ownership over. It’s been the mantle of my family for generations.”

               Izuku visibly shuddered. All eyes turned to Midoriya who had become as pale as a bedsheet. “Is something wrong, Midoriya? Do you need to go to the nurse?” Iida asked.

               Izuku clenched his fist and took in a shaky breath. “No…I-I don’t need to s-see the nurse. M-monster’s just…terrify me.”

               “Don’t worry, Midoriya. It is wise to fear monsters, but you will learn exactly how to take one down in this course in tandem with the classes you will take in the heroics course.” Snipe’s piss poor attempt at stilling Izuku’s nerves only exacerbated his fears.

               “O-Okay.” He felt nauseous and the class was spinning. He put his head on his desk in order to still his panicking nerves.

               Katsuki looked back at Izuku and bit back curse words. He couldn’t speak out against what they were saying. It would draw suspicion. It was common opinion—a part of the status quo. Monsters are dangerous. They eat children. They cause poverty. They are embodiments of chaos. Spawns of the devil and bringers of the end. Most importantly, they weren’t human. They deserved to die.

               Sobbing caught everyone’s attention as everyone turned toward Uraraka.

               “Miss Uraraka, what seems to be the problem?” Snipe asked.

               “All of this talk of monsters…it’s awful.” She stood up and stared at her class with disgust. “How dare you all?! They are not evil! They don’t deserve to die simply because they exist! We’re here to become heroes, not murderers!”

               Snipe wasn’t happy about this development. That was clear in his now rigid posture. “Miss Uraraka. Monsters are evil! They are not people and they don’t deserve to exist! The law is written the way it is for a reason and you will partake in it, rather you like it or not!”

               She clenched her fists and stared him down. “I refuse! I will not follow that mandate regardless of the consequences!”

               Snipe shook with fury. “Miss Uraraka! You are out of line! Persist in this behavior and I will expel you from the course. Unlike Mr. Aizawa, this is no logical ruse.”

               She looked at the rest of her classmates. Tsuyu’s usual expression was replaced with a deep sorrow. Iida stared at her sternly. Katsuki tried to stay neutral but his eyes were swirling with emotions. Then she looked at Izuku Midoriya. His eyes had nothing but pure fear in them in a way which spelled doom. Tears were in his eyes as he shook his head at her.

               She stared back at the teacher before nodding quietly. “Sorry, sir. I spoke out of line. It won’t happen again.”

               His behavior brightened. “Good. I know it may seem extreme, but the law is here for a reason. It is very much a world of kill or be killed. They’d bring chaos and we as heroes and delivers of law and order cannot allow that.”

               Yaoyorozu raised her hand. “But sir, this is hardly more than just a dogmatic principle that is highly contested online. Many are calling it for what it is: genocide. The likes of which haven’t been seen since long before the dawn of Quirks.”

               Snipe shook his head. “Those who run against the mandate have no leg to stand on. They are called monsters for a reason. Those who work against the mandate are welcoming the end with arms wide open. You will all learn in due time why the mandate is true and why it should stay.”

               She remained unconvinced but quietly nodded along. “Thank you, sir.”

               The rest of the class consisted of more monster bashing and Izuku quivering at his desk. When class was dismissed, he was the first to grab his things and run out of the room. He dashed into the hallway and sprinted to the nearest bathroom.

               He stared at his peaked form in the mirror. His hair matted with sweat as his heart pounded in his ears. The sour feeling, he felt in his stomach won the fight and he ran towards the nearest toilet. After a couple bouts of vomiting, he regained some composure and wiped his mouth. He splashed some water on his face. He wiped a couple tears that stained his reddened cheeks before stepping out into the hall.

               “Izuku!” Said green haired teen snapped his head towards Katsuki who was running towards him. “Izuku, are you okay?”

               He felt lighter when he looked into Katsuki’s wary eyes. “Yeah, I’m fine now. That…was very difficult to hear.”

               Katsuki narrowed his eyes. “I can only imagine. Fucking asshole! How much of a shithead can one person be?!” His hand popped and crackled with explosions. “I had to fight the urge not to blow his smug ass up!”

               Izuku chuckled. “You don’t need to worry yourself so, Kacchan. One person in my corner is better than having absolutely nobody. I think I can manage.”

               Katsuki wrapped an arm around Izuku’s shoulder and pulled him closer. “I’m in your corner and that one girl…Round Face I think is what her name is…it doesn’t matter. She seems to be in your corner as well. You’ve got All Might, and your mother. You aren’t alone anymore, Izuku! Like hell am I just going to sit around and let anything happen to you.” He dragged Izuku forward. “Come on. It’s time for lunch. We need to get there before they eat all of the food.”

               “Kacchan!” Izuku laughed. “I highly doubt we’ll run out of food and I can walk by myself. Her name is Ochaco Uraraka, not Round Face!”

               “Same difference.”

               “Deku! Bakugou! Wait for me!” Uraraka ran down after them.

               “Speak of the devil.” Katsuki mumbled.

               “Don’t run in the halls, Uraraka!” Iida walked stiffly behind her.

               They entered the cafeteria and Uraraka’s eyes bulged out of her head. “There are a lot of people today, too!”

               Iida nodded. “That’s because everyone in the hero course, support course, and management course meets in the same place during lunch.”

               Katsuki rolled his eyes while Izuku chuckled a little. The four made their way through the lunch line.

               Iida dug in with haste. He ate the food quickly but made no mess. It was kind of impressive to watch someone eat at such a pace yet be so refined while doing so. The rest looked at their food with general disgust. Katsuki picked at his food while Izuku and Uraraka played with it.

               Iida cocked his head to the side. “What appears to be the matter? Why are you not eating your food?”

               Katsuki scoffed. “I thought Somei Academy taught smart people. Yet every waking second I’m with you, that reputation becomes more and more false. Jesus Christ! How thick-skulled can one man be?!”

               Iida fixed his askew glasses. “I don’t know what you mean.”

               “Of course not.” Katsuki just shook his head.

               “Well, our teacher did just promote the genocide of an entire group of people.” Uraraka looked at her bowl of white rice. “They shouldn’t have his class right before lunch.”

               Iida raised an eyebrow. “I don’t understand why you are all so shaken up about this. What else did you guys expect from the hero course? Certainly, you guys had gone over the mandate in your previous history classes. It’s a required subject by the Ministry of Education.”

               Izuku’s eyes narrowed in anger. He stood up and glared at Iida. “THAT DOESN’T MAKE IT RIGHT!!”

               Silence.

               The entire room turned towards the shaking teen, but he didn’t care. “It doesn’t make it right.” He wiped the tears streaming down his face. “You have no idea what it is like to have to live every waking moment in constant fear, and because of that damnable mandate, all members of monster kind have had to! Certainly, you have the compassion and the morals to understand that, at the very least, is objectively wrong!”

               Iida stared at him. He swallowed some of the humble pie he was force fed. “I’m sorry, Midoriya. I didn’t realize you felt so strongly about it.”

               Izuku grabbed his things, wiping the tears that kept on spilling from his eyes. “Well, maybe you should as well!” He turned on his heels and sped off in the other direction, leaving his unmolested food behind.

               Slow clapping drew attention to Katsuki. He shook his head. “Great job, Four Eyes. You’ve truly outdone yourself.” Katsuki’s eyes screamed murder. “Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t blast you to kingdom come, you little bastard!” Smoke billowed from his palms.

               “Bakugou, enough!” Uraraka put her hands on Katsuki’s. “There’s no need for that.”

               Katsuki glared at her. “Stay out of this Round Face! I specifically told you, Four Eyes, to not act like this around Izuku, did I not?”

               “I didn’t ask about his Quirk at all.”

               “Doesn’t matter, jack ass! You clearly saw how terrified he was in class. That should have been enough of a signifier for even someone as oblivious as you to not broach the subject!” He stood up not taking his eyes off of him for a second. “Now I have to go fetch him because you pissed him off! Thanks for that, Four Eyes! Way to act like an up and coming hero!” Katsuki turned and hiked in the direction Izuku bolted for.

               Iida sat there and he felt awful. He didn’t mean to upset Izuku like that. He looked at Uraraka. His stern features had softened has he fought back some tears. “I didn’t mean…to upset him like that. I didn’t…know he felt that way. I wouldn’t have said…anything had I known—”

               “Iida. You shouldn’t beat yourself up over something that was ultimately beyond your control. You probably grew up surrounded by people who knew no better.” Uraraka looked down. “I haven’t told anyone about this but…” Her lips quivered as she twirled the white rice with her fingers. “…I lost a childhood friend because of the mandate. She was a fae. At the age of ten, she was discovered by the hero society and she was taken away that very day.” She wiped her eyes. “I never saw her again after that. It’s not hard to figure out what happened to her.”

               Iida stared at her. He blinked away a couple tears. “Uraraka. Why do you want to become a hero since they…”

               “…took her?” Iida nodded. “It’s because this mandate needs to change. No one else should have to die because of it. Society needs to change when it advocates for the genocide of a group of people. Certainly, you can understand that, Iida.”

               Iida nodded. “I do. You have my sincerest apologies, Uraraka. I didn’t mean anything—”

               “Iida, it’s fine. Now you know. You can’t blame yourself for not knowing something.” The two stayed quiet for a while. “Round Face?” She laughed to herself. “Does he not know my name?”

               Iida opened his mouth, but an alarm went off.

               “An alarm?!” Uraraka asked.

               A voice came over the speakers. “There has been a Level 3 security breach. All students please evacuate outdoors promptly.”

               “What’s ‘Level 3 security’?” Iida asked.

               “It means someone is trespassing on school grounds! I’ve never seen anything like this in the three years I’ve been here! You should hurry, too!” Said an upperclassman before he stood from his seat.

               It was pandemonium. All of the students rushed into the hallway. People were shoving and pushing, desperately trying to get outdoors.

               “Don’t push!”

               “Wait, I’m falling!”

               “I said, don’t push!”

               “Ow!” Uraraka groaned as she was sandwiched between Iida and another student. “What’s going on all of a sudden?”

               “As expected of the best of the best. Everyone reacts quickly in a crisis!” Iida shouted over the din of voices.

               “They’re so quick that it’s causing a panic!” Uraraka screamed. “Stop pushing, please!” She looked around. “Where is Deku and Bakugou?”

               “I don’t know!” He fought his way to the window. He pressed his head against the glass. “Who in the world trespassed?” His eyes widened in disbelief as he saw the mass of media personnel from earlier in the square. “The press!”

 

               “Give us All Might! He’s here, isn’t he?!” The crazy woman with the microphone shoved said microphone in Aizawa and Present Mic’s face.

               Present Mic looked at the crowd in dismay. “We told you, he’s not here!”

               “If you just give us one brief comment, we’ll leave!” Asked another reporter.

               Aizawa raised his hands. “If you guys get one comment, you’ll want another. That’s just how you are.”

               Present Mic leaned and whispered into Aizawa’s ear. “They’re illegal trespassers, you know. You could call them villains. You think we can beat ‘em up?”

               “Don’t do it, Mic. They’ll writ up a bunch of half-truths about you and there are enough rumors floating about the students and staff at this school already. You don’t need to add to it. Let’s just wait for the police.” Present Mic sulked.

 

               “I wondered what it was, but it’s just the media. Everyone calm dow—Ouch!” Iida was shoved into the glass.

               “Ow!”

               “Wait! Someone fell!”

               “Don’t push!”

               “Where are the teachers?” Iida groaned against the glass. “Are they busy trying to deal with everything?”

               Kirishima raised his hands. “Everyone, stop! Slow down! Slow down!”

               Iida’s eyes landed on Kirishima and Kaminari trying to placate the frenzied crowd. It wasn’t working. He witnessed the two get ploughed over by the scrambling mass of panicking students. “Is there anyone here who knows everything’s fine? No one has noticed! Everyone’s panicking!”

               He heard Uraraka scream. “Uraraka!”

               “Iida!” She reached a hand to Iida.

               He shimmied his way along the glass to get closer to Uraraka. “What would Midoriya…or my brother…do in this situation?” He narrowed his eyes. “I have an idea!”

               “Uraraka!” He reached forward. “Make me float, Uraraka!”

               She reached forward and pink light flashed from her finger pads as she made Iida weightless.

               He leapt into the air as he scanned the hallway. “A place in everyone’s line of sight.” His eyes landed on the exit sign. There was a ledge above the doorway. “There!”

               He extended the engines in his legs. “Engine boost!”

               He boosted all right. However, he was not used to being weightless, so the massive increase in speed and his weightless nature made him unbalanced. He summersaulted in the air in quick succession. He yelled as he twirled over and over and over again drawing everyone’s attention as he ungracefully smashed into the wall above the door. “Be concise, clear, and bold!”

               “EVERYONE, EVERYTHING’S FINE!” The chaos stopped as everyone stared at the teen. “It’s just the media! There is nothing to panic about. Everything’s fine! This is UA. Let us act in a way befitting the best of the best.”

               Kirishima and Kaminari eyed each other before sighing in relief.

               “The police are here.”

               “Oh, good.”

 

               The reporters were rounded up and escorted off of campus. Present Mic stood there with a grin and waved goodbye in a way befitting his flamboyant and overdramatic nature. “Goodbye, bad mass communication!”

 

               After the mass of reporters were escorted off of campus, UA resumed their schedule.

               “Come on, class rep, start!” Yaoyorozu—deputy rep—said to Izuku.

               He clenched the sides of the podium and his body shook from exhaustion. “N-now, let us decide on the other class officers…” He looked down. “Before we get to that, can I say something?” Yaoyorozu raised an eyebrow before nodding for him to continue.

               He looked up at the class. His eyes landed on Iida’s, whose already rigid posture, tightened with the eye contact. “I think that Tenya Iida should be the class rep after all!”

               Iida shifted. “No, Midoriya, you deserve to be the rep. Your passion for justice and helping others, it’s the reason why I voted for you in the first place. It wouldn’t be right for me to take your position and it would undermine the validity of the election that we just had.”

               Izuku smiled before shaking his head. “Elections are not foolproof Iida, especially those based off of ignorance. We don’t know what’s going to happen to us throughout the course of the day and we—as heroes—need to be ready to react at a moment’s notice during a situation that calls for our attention.” His eyes glistened with tears and his lip quivered. “Our conversation at lunch rendered me useless to adequately react to the situation at hand. When the alarm went off, I panicked. Had Kacchan not found me, well, I don’t know what I would’ve have done.” Katsuki shook his head and turned to face the windows.

               “It was you who responded properly in a tense situation. You were able to calm the panicking student body where others failed to do so.” Kirishima and Kaminari stared at their desks. “If I cannot even get my emotions in control, then I shouldn’t be representing the class. I think it would be within our best interests, if you had my position instead.”

               Iida stared slack jawed at Izuku. “But Midoriya, I—”

               “You know, he’s right.” Kirishima cut him off. “Midoriya’s saying it, and it’s true that you were a big help today in the hallway.”

               Kaminari chuckled. “We tried to help, but no one really payed on any heed. You should be the representative.”

               Aizawa—who had been quietly taking a nap on the floor—sat up and yawned. “You’re wasting time.” Izuku jumped, clearly not expecting the yellow bag at his feet to move. “I don’t care what you do, just hurry up and do it.” He turned to his side and laid back down.

               Iida stood up. “If the class rep has nominated me, then it cannot be helped.” He raised his hand. “From this day forth, I, Tenya Iida, promise to do my best to carry out the duties of class representative.”

               Kirishima gave a toothy grin and a thumbs up. “We’re counting on you, Emergency Exit!”

               Kaminari copied his enthusiasm. “Emergency Exit Iida! Do your best!”

               Yaoyorozu stood with her shoulders slouched. She heaved a sigh. “What about me…?”

 

               While the classes ran unimpeded, the remaining staff members—Thirteen, Midnight, Recovery Girl, and Nezu--had convened at the entrance where the gate had been reduced to a pile of ash and debris.

               “How were the ordinary members of the press able to do something like this?” Nezu asked with his hands folded behind his back. “Someone instigated this. Did someone evil slip in, or was it intended to be a declaration of war? Regardless of the motive, we need to get to the bottom of this and boost security.”

               “Yes, sir.” Replied the other heroes.

 

               In a district far from the school, Mt. Lady and Kamui Woods stood bruised and injured from their battle with a muscular pink villain, whose neck muscles encased it’s head like a hood.

               He held three hostages: A man, his wife, and their child. He smiled at the heroes. “Listen heroes, don’t come after me. If you do,” He gestured towards his hostages. “I’m gonna kill this rich family here.”

               “It’s fine now, family!” A thunderous voice called out. The heroes looked towards the blinding sun where the voice came from. Out of the glare, All Might flew onto the scene in his yellow suit, brandishing his signature smile. “Missouri Smash!” He karate chopped the villain above the shoulder, who crumpled to the ground like a tin can.

               Before the family was crushed under the pink villain’s weight, All Might had snatched the family. “Why? Because I am here on my way to work.”

               Before he could bask in the sunshine and glory, a piercing scream was heard. “A hit-and-run?!”

               He turned around after setting the family down. “It’ll be bad if I’m late, but…!” He leapt into the air. His chest began to throb as sweat streamed down his chiseled face.

               “I’ve gotten slower…?” His jaw tightened. “Ever since I saved Young Midoriya from harm, my powers have been weakening. The time I can spend in this form has decreased significantly from what I used to do.” A cold chill settled in the hero’s heart. “If I don’t find a successor before I run out of my form…then he’ll be nigh unstoppable. And If I run out of power before Young Midoriya gains control of his form or before we bring him forth to Nezu, we’ll be in quite the pickle. Shit!”

 

               Aizawa stood in front of the class. “For today’s hero basic training, it’s turned into a class with three instructors, All Might and me, and one more person.”

               Izuku stared at Aizawa. “Turned into? I wonder if it’s a special case?”

               “Excuse me!” Hanta raised his hand. “What’ll we be doing?”

               Aizawa held up a card that said “Rescue” in blue letters. “Disasters, shipwrecks and everything in between. It’s rescue training.”

               The class enjoyed this. Grins and other looks of surprise were worn by the students.

               “Rescue.” Kaminari turned to Mina. “Looks like it’ll be a lot of work this time, too.”

               She smiled brighter than before. “Right!”

               “Idiot,” Kirishima smirked. “this is the duty of a hero!” He clenched his fists as he pumped himself up. “My arms are ready to rumble!”

               Tsuyu stared at the excitable trio. She slurped. “No one can beat me in water, ribbit.”

               “Hey, I’m not done.” Aizawa deadpanned. The class turned back to him. “You can decide if you want to wear your costume or not this time.” He clicked a button and the metal shelves holding their costume boxes came out of the wall. “Because there are probably costumes that limit your abilities, too. The training will take place off-campus, so we’re taking a bus.” He walked from the podium. “That is all. Start getting ready.” He walked out of the room.

               The students rose from their seats and went over to gather their costumes. Izuku sat at his desk. “Rescue training…” Images of All Might saving people from the burning bus flashed by in his mind. “This is what I’ve dreamed of. It’s training to get another step closer to becoming the greatest hero.”

               Izuku put on his gym clothes, since his costume was incinerated by a certain explosive teenager. Uraraka noticed and asked him about it.

               “They got ripped up during the combat training, so I’m waiting for the support company to fix it.” Uraraka nodded.

               A whistle caught everyone’s attention. “Class 1-A, gather round!” Iida’s commanding voice radiated and echoed off of the buildings. “Form tow lines by your student numbers in order to make boarding the bus go smoothly!” He blew the whistle again in a cadence.

               Uraraka laughed. “Where did he find the whistle?”

               Izuku chuckled and shook his head. “I’m not sure but leave it to Iida to be prepared.”

               To Iida’s dismay, the bus was formatted differently than what he had had in mind. Because of this, he looked like a deflated balloon. He covered his head in shame.

               “Shoot. I didn’t think it’d be this type of bus.”

               Mina laughed. “There was no point, huh?”

               Aoyama sparkled. “There’s no need to fret, mon ami! All that’s well, ends well!”

               Tsuyu slurped again. “I say whatever comes to mind. Midoriya…” The green haired teen looked at her.

               “Um, yes, Asui?”

               “Call me ‘Tsu.’”

               He blushed a little. “R-Right.”

               “Your Quirk is like All Might’s.”

               Izuku’s blush intensified as nervousness began to settle in the pit of this stomach. Kaminari interjected before Izuku could respond. “It’s similar, but All Might doesn’t grow claws.”

               Mina smiled. “Or a tail. Your Quirk is kinda like a junk drawer, you know?”

               Iida sat up and stared at Izuku. He opened his mouth to say something, but then he felt a fiery set of eyes piercing the back of his head. He turned to see Katsuki burning holes into him. If looks could kill, he would’ve died at lunch. Iida nodded before turning back to Izuku.

               Izuku was clearly fumbling for a response. “Well, you see, that’s quite the compliment but, um…”

               Kirishima looked at Izuku and grinned. “Your Quirk is pretty weird, but very showy. I like it!”

               “Ah, well…thanks.”

               Mina waved his attention. “Midori? Can you explain your Quirk more to us? It’s a bit of a mystery.”

               Izuku was suddenly aware of all eyes were on him and the bus suddenly felt a lot smaller. He wasn’t sure what to say.

               Iida shook his head. “You don’t have to answer that question if you don’t want to, Midoriya.”

               All eyes turned to Iida. Katsuki eyed him suspiciously, but even he had to admit that he was surprised by Iida’s actions. It appears he finally learned his lesson.

               “Aw! But why not?” Mina pouted.

               “Because Izuku doesn’t have to respond to shitty extras like you!” Katsuki glared at Mina who simply stuck her tongue at him.

               Before an argument started, Izuku spoke up. “That’s enough, Kacchan! Thank you, but I can speak for myself.” He eyed the ashen haired teen who looked at him with a sense of bewilderment before pressing his lips together.

               “Fine, suit yourself.” He looked out the window.

               Izuku sighed. “My Quirk is…complicated. It has a lot of different settings. I have my base form, which is not transformed. I have higher strength, speed, and general durability than the average person. It many weighs it acts as a simple augmentation Quirk at its base line form. Then there is my power activated form. My eyes turn red and my teeth sharpen a little along with my nails. It’s not a fully transformed state, but my abilities do multiply. One glaring weakness becomes apparent, however. I gain a weakness to fire.” A collective chill worked its way through the nerves of everyone within ear shot as they remembered the mock team battles from the previous day.

               “Then there is my transfigured form, which is the form I fought Kacchan with during the battle yesterday. It’s hard to control, so I don’t use it that often. It’s a significant boost to my power activated form. But everything is strengthened, including my weakness to fire.” He looked at Tsuyu. “You were right, my Quirk is a lot like All Might when I fight. I’m able to manipulate wind pressure by striking the air at intense speeds, and with my lengthened claws, I can shred through armor plating as some of you saw during the practical exam.”

               Kirishima stared at Izuku with amazement beaming in his eyes. “Man, that’s so cool! No wander you’re the manliest man in our class! I wish my Quirk was as flashy and versatile as yours.” He raised his arm and hardened it. The once smooth skin hardened, and grooves became visible in the rigid flesh. “Mine is just a simple hardening Quirk. A boost to my offensive and defensive capabilities but not exactly a show stopper.” He pouted a little.

               Izuku smiled. “I’m not so sure about me being the manliest of the class, but you shouldn’t sell yourself so short. In fact, I really like your Quirk and it has more versatility than mine, actually. Simple is good because it is easy to master and manipulate. You have great control over your Quirk, while mine feels like I still have training wheels attached. The simplicity of your Quirk is actually one of the strongest capabilities of yours. It provides an excellent offense and defense while not reducing your mobility. It has no apparent or inherent weakness. Unlike my Quirk that’s weak to fire, your Quirk’s only drawback, like everyone’s Quirk, is that yours probably exhausts easily, or is harder to use in longer fights. That is probably also dependent on the surface area of skin that is hardened. You could probably have your arms continually hardened for a longer period of time than you could your chest, and vice-versa.”

               They stared at Izuku as he continued to mumble incessantly about the strengths and potential applications of Kirishima’s Quirk. “Jesus Christ, dude! I wasn’t expecting to hear a lecture on his Quirk!” Kaminari stared at Izuku with awe. “You were able to figure all of that out on just glancing at his Quirk one time? You didn’t even see him in action since you were at the Nurse’s Office.”

               Kirishima chuckled. “Not only do you have a kick-ass Quirk, but also have the brains to use it effectively.”

               Tsuyu slurped. “You’re quite strong, Midoriya.”

               Izuku blushed from the praise. “Well, I’m not so sure about that.” He chuckled pathetically.

               “Midoriya.” Izuku turned to Iida. “I’m sorry for what I said earlier.”

               Izuku stared at him like he grew another head. “Sorry? Sorry for what?”

               Iida gulped. Guilt tore through him. “For my callousness that I displayed earlier at the lunch table. You were uncomfortable about what happened in Snipe’s class, and I shouldn’t have pressed on with it. It was unheroic of me.”

               His lips quivered a little as he descended into a spiral of self-doubt and self-consternation. “Iida, you have nothing to apologize for, really. I shouldn’t have yelled at you like that back in the cafeteria. That wasn’t cool of me and it was one reason why I felt that I wasn’t deserving of the role I was elected to do.”

               “Pardon moi, but why were you so upset earlier during our history class. Pardon moi, for my intrusion, but your reaction in class didn’t seem to make sense. You active heroically when you protected that mademoiselle” he pointed at Uraraka who stared at the group with passion, “but you cowered in class at the mention of monsters. Pourquoi est cela?”

               “U-Um…w-well…”

               “Aoyama? Have you no sense of shame?” Iida glared at him.

               “Eh? Why do you ask, mon ami?”

               Uraraka stood up. “Because it’s very impolite to ask why someone is afraid of something.” They turned to look at her. She looked to Izuku, her eyes were tender and warm. They hardened as she focused on the flamboyant blond. “I’m sure he has his reasons and he is more than entitled to keep them away from nosey people like you.”

               Iida nodded. “I couldn’t agree more. It is unfriendly to poke your nose in business that doesn’t concern you.” He turned back to Uraraka. “But that doesn’t mean that you get to stand while the bus is moving. Return to your seat, Uraraka!”

               She covered her mouth to contain her laughter. “R-Right Iida! I’m sorry!”

               Yaoyorozu leaned in to Uraraka. “I actually wanted to ask you about something that happened in class today. I didn’t want to pry but I just wanted to know your reasoning behind what you said to Snipe earlier in class. I’m sorry if I’m overstepping my boundaries but Todoroki and I are very concerned about what happened.”

               Uraraka cocked her head to the side. “And why would you two be concerned about me in the first place? I spoke my mind and that was all. What Snipe was saying was immoral and incorrect. Regardless of what regulation the Ministry of Education enforces on its staff, this is a very unconventional school, so I was expecting it, at the very least, to not conform to the worst parts of our current education system.” She frowned. “But I see that was just blind optimism.”

               Yaoyorozu nodded. “I see, but I urge you to partake in some caution. While I also agree that the mandate is incorrect and immoral, many of our classmates and staff may coming to the table from a different angle. On top of that, open protesting against the mandate makes you a prime target for character assassination. Especially, considering that you are a woman. You would be asking for trouble.”

               Uraraka ground her teeth. “While I appreciate your concern, I’m not going to be afraid to speak my mind. This is a matter of great importance to me, and I’m not going to be silenced because others may be uncomfortable with changing their viewpoints! It’s part of the learning process: Adapt to your surroundings. If your way of thinking is obsolete and immoral, then it deserves to be thrown out and replaced.”

               Yaoyorozu smiled sadly. “I wish I had your confidence. The very thought of standing up against public derision terrifies me, but you do need to err on the side of caution. We live in a scary world.”

               Uraraka smiled warmly. “I understand, Yaoyorozu. Thank you.”

               Yaoyorozu’s smile widened, “Of course! Anytime!”

               “Look alive. We’re here.” Aizawa said blankly.

               “Yes, sir!”

 

               “Everyone, I have been waiting for you.” Thirteen’s voice emanated from her costume in a way that sounded like she was talking through an intercom.

               The class gasped and their eyes widened at the hero in front of them.

               Izuku gushed. “It’s the Space Hero, Thirteen! The gentlemanly hero who has rescued tons of people from disasters!”

               “Oh, I love Thirteen!” Uraraka beamed.

               “That’s go inside without delay.” Thirteen pointed to the massive doors.

               “Look forward to working with you!” The class answered her call.

               Everyone’s eyes widened at the spectacle that laid before them. The complex that they were in comprised of several themed areas. There were mountains, a reddish dome that contained fire, a massive lake and water slide with a sunken ship at its center, several destroyed buildings, forests sprouting in between the sections with a beautiful fountain at the center of the quad. All of this was encased in a massive glass dome in which natural light flowed in through the clear glass.

               “Wow, it looks like the USJ!” Kirishima said.

               “A shipwreck, a landslide, a fire, a windstorm, et cetera—It is a training ground that I made with different types of accidents and disasters.” Thirteen gestured proudly. “It’s called the ‘Unforeseen Simulation Joint,’ or ‘USJ’ for short!”

               “It really is USJ…” The class collectively thought.

               “Thirteen, where’s All Might?” Aizawa asked. “He was supposed to meet us here.”

               Thirteen took a step forward. “About that…” She leaned towards him. “It looks like he did too much hero work on his way to work and ran out of time,” She held up three fingers “so he’s resting in the lounge.”

 

               All Might was indeed resting in the lounge. He cursed at his own ineptitude. “Sorry…I should be able to go for a little bit at the end. I’m really sorry!”

 

               Aizawa stared at Thirteen blankly. “That’s the height of irrationality.” He said before looking back at Izuku who gulped. “It can’t be helped, I suppose. Shall we begin?”

               “Let’s see…before we begin, let me say one thing…er…or two, or three..or four…five…six…seven…oh forget it! I have several things I need to say.” The class looked at the hero in pure confusion. “Everyone, I am sure you are aware of my Quirk, Black Hole. I can suck up anything and turn it to dust.”

               Uraraka shook her head rapidly like a broken bobble head. Izuku smiled. “You’ve been able to use that Quirk to save people from all kinds of disasters, right?”

               “Yes, but it is a power that can kill easily.” The excitement of the class shifted to its unsavory counterpart, apprehension. “Some of you also have Quirks like that, right? In a superhuman society, personal Quirks have been certified and stringently regulated, so that doesn’t seem to be a problem at first glance. However, please do not forget that there are many Quirks that can easily kill with one wrong step. This one of the reasons why the highly contested mandate still stands. Monster kind’s supernatural abilities are nearly impossible to control and the consequence of such were deemed to risky for society to function, especially with the massive influx of Quirks that came about in the last two hundred years.” Izuku stared at the floor.

               “But I’m afraid I’ve gotten off track. With Aizawa’s physical fitness test, you found out about the possibility of your own hidden powers, and with All Might’s person-to-person combat training, I think you experienced the danger of using those powers against others. This class is a fresh start. You shall learn how to use your Quirks to save people’s lives. You do not have powers so you can harm others. I hope you leave here with the understanding that you have powers in order to help others. The hardest path is the one less traveled.”

               Izuku returned his gaze at Thirteen. Her words touched him deeply and he breathed a sigh of relief.

               Thirteen bowed. “That is all. Thank you for listening.”

               “That was wonderful!”

               “Bravo! Bravo!”

               The excitement in the air was palpable.

               “All right then, first—” Aizawa pointed when the lights begin to flicker and turn off. The fountain sputtered out water before turning off.

               Izuku felt…off. There was this weird pressure in the air that he couldn’t describe, and it seemed to emanate from the fountain. His green eyes wandered over to the fountain where he noticed a gravitational distortion appear in the air. The space buckled and caved in on itself as a purplish black hole formed. It grew in size before rupturing to reveal a man comprised of smoke with piercing yellow eyes. A man, with bluish hair and covered in disembodied hands, stepped out of the portal.

               Aizawa turned around, shock etched onto his uncaring face. “Gather together and don’t move! Thirteen, protect the students!”

               Kirishima eyed the portal. “What’s that?” Many figures of unknown origin and identity spawned from the black chasm. “Is this like the entrance exam where the lesson’s already started?”

               Izuku stepped forward. “Don’t move!” He flinched at Aizawa’s harsh tone. Said teacher equipped his yellow goggles. “Those are villains.”

               Izuku’s flood froze when a hulking creature appeared. Its skin was a deep navy blue that was so dark that one could mistake it for ebony. Lining its shoulders and thick arms were these reddish tattoos that looked like old scars. It had a bird lake maw with dead eyes and an exposed brain. There was something else about it that suggested that it was unnatural. Izuku felt a weird pressure coming off of it that he hadn’t felt before.

               A panicked voice wriggled its way through Izuku’s mind. “We’re gonna die!”