“Your stance and breath are key. Power in fire comes from the breath, the stance allows control of the flame,” All might instructs.
Izuku inhales and widens his stance, red sneakers sliding on the soft moss, “got it!”
All Might saunters over and gives him a shove, hard. Izuku sways but keeps his stance, arms tight and bent at his sides.
All Might rubs his chin .“Hmm, better. Your stance doesn’t seem to be the problem, and I highly doubt its concentration...”
Izuku sighs and rises from his stance. “Can’t be breath either, Air is my birth element after all.”
“Something else then, could be mental or spiritual if not physical.” All might plops his emancipated form onto a boulder covered in the same moss as the ground. Glowing green orbs bounce up from the moss and sparkle in the limited emerald sunlight steaming the forest canopy.
Izuku kicks at the forest floor, sending more floaters into the air. “I just wish I could bend in the spirit world! It would make this so much easier!” Izuku snaps, dropping onto the floor and crossing his legs with a huff.
After air...water and earth came so easily to him, but now that he's moved to firebending he's met an impasse. No sparks, no heat. Nothing.
All might frowns. “I wish we could get you a master to teach you in the real world but—“
“We agreed it would be best to wait to reveal the new avatar until I finish my training so that I’ll be ready for the dangers that come with the responsibility of being the symbol of peace…” Izuku drones cutting him off.
All Might chuckles, “I suppose we’ve had this conversation often, haven’t we?”
Izuku plants his hands in the moss and turns his body without having to uncross his legs. Had he not visited the spirit world as often as he does would have worried about dirtying the PJs he was in.
He studies All Might seriously for a moment before speaking. “Still… don’t you want the world and your loved ones to know you’re dead? For closure?” He questions slowly, “They’ve suspected for sometime, but they’re nowhere close to the actual time. At most they think you’ve been gone for six years… not fifteen.” He finishes softly.
All Might slides off the boulder and comes to sit by Izuku in the moss. Izuku follows him with his eyes. The lengthy fabric of the formal fire nation robes fold around him as he sits. Izuku is still getting used to seeing him in both the formal attire and shrunken form. Fire nation clothing is made solely of gold and bright and dark reds. The costumes he wore for combat and in public always contained colors from all the elements—Izuku slides to the side to give some room for his pointy shoulder things—and were much less...sharp.
All Might inhales deeply, “There are few that I could call loved ones back on Earth, though I can think of a few people in particular that would be pissed that I died without telling them…” All Might smiles when Izuku chuckles, “but no… I think maybe… It’s better this way, gives them time to move on. Like how its easier to move on from a show that you liked when because you haven’t watched it in a while rather than ones that are canceled right after a new season is released.”
“Still sucks though,” Izuku mumbles, “and I’m not sure if that analogy is entirely accurate.”
All Might hums, “your safety is still more important regardless, the villain world has gotten much more brazen in my absence.” He leans back on his hands in a very un-fire-nation-like behavior and gazes at the alluring woods of the spirit world.
Izuku smiles sadly and follows his gaze into the trees. A graceful forest spirit with long antlers that twist like tree branches, and a few to many legs, wanders through the brush. It’s calm eyes settle on them a moment before it continues on its path. The long vines and leaves hanging from its antlers brush against the ground as it disappears among the trees like it's one of them. Izuku presumes, that in a way, it probably is.
“This place is beautiful, isn’t it?” All Might whispers.
Izuku hums, “At least this place is, I still have nightmares about some of the places here.”
All Might places a hand on his shoulder, its light but reassuring. “Not all spirits are kind, that is true.” He turns his hollow, blue beacon eyes from the forest to settle into equally vibrant green of his successor’s irises, “but I think it's nearly time for you to return, tomorrow’s a big day after all,” he notes.
Izuku groans and flops backwards into the soft moss sending green orbs flying, “just a little longer, everything is so much simpler here…”
“That fire bender boy still not speaking to you?”
“He hasn’t said a word to me since I came in first place in the exams!” Izuku shouts, throwing his hands above his head. “Kacchan is so impossible sometimes! We were friends when we were little but grew apart when my bending didn’t come in. Then six years ago when it did, it still took years to mend even a fraction of our friendship. And now he's shutting me out again!” Izuku huffs exasperatedly.
All Might chuckles briefly, to which Izuku gives him a halfhearted glare. “I knew quite a few firebenders like that, they tend to be quite hotheaded don’t they?”
“But you’re not like that…” Izuku mutters softly.
“I’d like to think not.” All Might stands dragging an unwilling Izuku with him. “Your alarm could have already rung by now and your mother could be panicking,” All Might comments calmly.
Izuku’s eyes widen momentarily before he turns to squint at All Might, “that’s cruel…”
Izuku sighs and closes his eyes and breathes in, a glow lights up from under his skin and he allows the world to fade.
Izuku’s alarm blasts in his ears.
Izuku falls onto the floor with a shout. Groaning, he sits up and rubs at his bruised tailbone.
“Izuku? Are you alright?” A muffled voice calls from behind his door.
“Y-yeah fine. I’m good, thanks mom…” Izuku stutters out.
“Alright, breakfast is on the table when you’re ready.”
Izuku listens as her footsteps patter away from the door before letting out a sigh of relief. Izuku has already scared his mom enough times from being unresponsive when in the spirit world.
He washes up, dresses quickly, and makes his way to the kitchen while smoothing out creases in his Yuuei uniform. The light fabric sits comfortably on his shoulders.
He pats down his mess of hair as he walks, curls completely covering the arrow tattoo across his forehead. He rounds the corner and smiles at his mom. Her hair is pulled back to reveal her own air bending tattoos; Izuku supposes some traditions never die. Izuku learned everything he knows about air bending from her. She was a prodigy from a young age and had passed her talents for air bending onto her son (If only his father had passed down his skill at firebending) and because of her he managed to get his mastery tattoos at the same age as most air benders his age, despite his late start to bending. His mom was one of the most skilled air benders he’s seen. (and he's seen a lot of pro benders) but, a career in bending simply wasn’t her calling and Izuku respected that.
“Don’t you look fancy,” she smiles.
Izuku returns it, “it's like a dream… I never thought I’d make it to Yuuei, and I still think I dreamed up the whole avatar thing,” he admits.
His mom gives him a watery laugh.“Oh Izuku I’m so proud of you,” she sniffles, “just...remember to be careful, alright?”
Izuku being the avatar had always been hard for her. One day he’d just been a normal non-bender kid, the next he suddenly had some dangerous cosmic destiny. It had helped ease her worry when they decided to keep his existence a secret for now; it was the main reason Izuku had agreed. Still, it was hard keeping something so big a secret. Especially from Kacchan.
“Finish your food, you don’t want to be late for your first day.”
Izuku shoves the last on his rice into his mouth and floats towards the doorway with the aid of some air bending. “Alright gotta go!” He gives her a peck on the cheek, “love you bye!” He dashes out the door putting some bending behind his steps.
“Love you too! And remember, no bending in public!” Waving, she calls after him.
He returns the wave and slows to a normal jog, still fast considering he’s a master air bender and running comes with the jig, but not supernaturally fast enough to be stopped by a cop or pro bender for illegal unspecified public bending. Izuku hates those laws.
The train ride is uneventful, as is the walk to the school. He doesn’t know whether to be relieved or concerned that he hasn’t seen Kacchan yet. Maybe he’ll be lucky and they won’t be in the same class?
Navigating the halls of Yuuei takes longer than he thought but once he arrives at the door he knows he's in the right place. ‘1A’ is stamped vertically on the giant door. Why would they even need such a big door?
He takes a deep breath and grips his backpack straps. He really hopes that boy from the entrance exam isn’t here… what was his problem anyway. Izuku sighs and slips open the door and is immediately greeted with the sounds of arguing.
Oh… of course.
Kacchan has his feet up on his desk and is taunting the kid from the exam.
The tall, blue haired boy seems to be disgusted with Kacchan’s disrespect to his classmates because his feet are on the desk? And Kacchan seems to be annoyed by the fact the kid—Iida Tenya, he introduces himself as—went to some elitist middle school…
Izuku shifts his attention to the class. His eyes widen when he spots at least six spirit mutants in the class. He rarely even sees one a day just on the streets… Izuku shifts his senses to the spirits to take in his classmates (The spirit sense was one of the few things All Might could teach him in the spirit world beyond just pointers and correct stance). Izuku senses the spirit attached to the boy with the raven head more easily than the others; a spirit of shadows and darkness. It must be a very deep connection… possibly even a manifestable spirit guardian, for Izuku to so easily sense him.
Iida notices Izuku from the corner of his eye and promptly abandons his dispute with Kacchan to shuffle his way over to Izuku.
“Hello, I’m Iida Tenya from—“
“Oh, yeah. Sorry, I heard you talking to Kacchan. I’m Midoriya. It’s nice to meet you!” Izuku greets, cutting him off.
Iida recovers quickly and continues. “Well, Midorya then. I must hand it to you, you divined the true nature of the exam. I was completely blind to it… and I misjudged you… I apologize. You were the superior air bender.”
“Oh um, I actually didn’t know—“
“Hey it's you! The curly haired air bender from the exam!” A third voice interrupts.
Izuku turns to see the girl from the exam walk in behind him. Izuku freezes, he passed out right after defeating the zero pointer, he never got to speak with her and find out if she saw…
“I’m so glad you made it in! That air bending during the exam was crazy, I’ve never seen anything like it!” She shouts, punching the air, “but are you ok? You were out cold afterwards, and you looked like you were in a lot of pain…” she tapers off, quieting down in her concern.
Ok, so maybe she didn’t see him enter the Avatar state… that's good… One thing he can cross off his list of things to stress about; All might will be relieved too.
“Ah, yes, I’m fine. I just wasn’t—“
“If you’re only here to make friends, I suggest you go elsewhere.”
Izuku clicks his jaw shut when he spots the scruffy man cocooned in a yellow sleeping bag who just spoke to them. Behind him, all chatter inside the classroom quiets.
The ruffled man sheds his sleeping bag and steps into the room after berating them on taking eight seconds to settle down.
“I’m Aizawa Shouta, your homeroom teacher,” he pauses like he expects someone to argue. Luckily they stay quiet. He digs around in his yellow bag and pulls out a gym uniform. “Put these on and meet me at the PE ground,” he mumbles before promptly exiting the classroom.