Shouta Aizawa didn’t mean to overhear. But knowing Nedzu and his fondness for subtle manipulations, he’s pretty sure the door was left ajar on purpose.
“I just can’t.” The voice of Mirio rings out. “I. I’ve spent all this time on my quirk, and I’m. I’m nothing without it.”
There’s a silence so heavy even Nedzu refrains from his usual sips of tea.
“I just.” Mirio’s voice is laced with pain and sadness, a note of wistfulness ringing through. “I just wish I’d thought to train more without it…”
Shouta Aizawa wasn’t meant to overhear.
But that’s not going to stop him from doing something about it.
“Man we’ve sure been spending a lot of time on quirkless sparring this year.”
Kaminari flops dramatically onto the couch, an ice pack on his knuckles.
“I love it!” Uraraka shouta, miming a couple of punches. “Being able to fight is way more useful against villains than just using my quirk would be!”
Midoriya nods and points an ever present pen at Kaminari. “Honestly you’re the one who has the most to gain from this kind of training Kaminari. Not having to rely on your long range attacks would drastically improve your effectiveness, I mean just think how much easier it would be if you focused on martial arts while also using your body as a human taser, it’s shocking how simple it would be for you to become faster if you just trained at parkour and gymnastics a bit and-“
Uraraka slaps a hand over her friend’s mouth as she laughs at a now passed out Kaminari. “Maybe save the advice for when he’s awake.”
Midoriya flushes and returns to scribbling in his notebook as more of the class trickles in.
Ashido pounces on the couch, and by extension onto Kaminari who awakes with a pained yelp. “I can’t believe our hero training midterm is tomorrow! I’m going to scream!”
Hitoshi politely refrains from pointing out that she is already in fact screaming.
“Well following the theme of the year it will probably involve not using our quirks. Maybe a 1A vs 1B split? Or a shuffle into teams? We had a whole unit on standard weapons, maybe we’ll have to take down robots with those instead of our quirks?”
“No.” Hitoshi interjects sternly. “We are not spending our free time worrying about this. I don’t want to hear anymore about midterms.”
“Do you think we’ll have to write poetry for the English exam?”
Hitoshi throws a cushion at him.
“For your midterm, you’ll be wearing these.” Aizawa Sensei holds up what looks like a thick bracelet in one hand and a modified gym uniform in the other. “You’ve been split into groups of two and will have to rely on ingenuity and resourcefulness to defeat your opponent. The bracelets are quirk suppressors and the uniforms are specially padded to prevent injury. Anything else is banned. No capture weapons, amps, arm grenades, sugar packets or support items of any kind. You will rely on your wits, your brains, and most importantly, your teammate.”
Murmurs begin to break out but a simple look from Aizawa Sensei is enough to quiet everyone down.
“There are three ways to win. First, you can choose to hide. Both teammates must successfully remain in hiding for the duration of the test to evade capture and earn a win. Second, you can choose to try for the exit where only one of you must cross to win. Third, you can choose to fight knowing that you have no weapons or capture tape or any other resources to rely on. Are there any questions?”
Midoriya’s hand flies into the air. “How did UA get quirk suppressing bracelets for each of us? The rarity of a quirk like yours, and by extension the infamous erasing bullets, lies in the fact that they work on all quirks whereas suppressing cuffs, bracelets and medications need to be coded to the individual quirk. Are they marked enough to be able to tell them apart? I guess size wise some of them would be more obvious than others but even so there would be a margin of error. Is UA going to adequately destroy them after the exam to ensure they don’t fall into the hands of villains? Are you-“
Aizawa Sensei tiredly raises his own hand and pinches the bridge of his nose. “Are there any questions about the exam?”
Midoriya puts his hand down.
Hitoshi smirks. “Wait a minute Sensei. Those are all valid questions.”
“The people demand answers!” Kaminari calls out as Sero shouts out a “You can't stop the truth!”
Aizawa Sensei stares at the ceiling beseechingly as more voices clamor until finally he claps his hands for quiet. “Answers go to those who pass. Midoriya. Shinsou. You’re up first.”
The two boys scramble to catch the neatly labeled bags tossed at them. “Uh. Who are we fighting Sensei?”
Aizawa grins and the class takes a reflexive step back.
The bus rumbles beneath their feet as Aizawa Sensei drives them to the testing ground. “You’ll have ten minutes to plan and hide if you choose. After that the test will last for 20 minutes or until one of us has lost.”
Hitoshi turns to Midoriya who silences him with a quick motion. The green haired boy holds out a small notebook and pen where he’s already written:
‘We shouldn’t try to plan on the bus.’
Hitoshi concedes the point with a tilt of his head and the rest of the ride passes in silence.
“Ok so I think first of all we should establish our resources.”
Hitoshi frowns and continues to stretch as Midoriya sits down and begins writing.
“Resources? Midoriya the whole point of the exercise is that we don’t have any-“
He trails off as he catches sight of what Midoriya is writing.
Paper? Airplanes for distraction?
Hitoshi blinks. “Secret knife?”
Midoriya beams but continues scribbling. “Yeah. I’m listing Sensei’s support items since there’s no rule that says we can’t steal his. And Sensei carries a special knife that’s designed to cut through his capture weapon in case he ever gets tangled in it.”
Hitoshi decides not to dwell on how Midoriya knows that and simply grins evilly. “Does he now?”
Midoriya doesn’t respond so Shinsou brings up the other thing he noticed. “Shoes?”
His green eyed classmate finally looks up. “Oh sorry I should have asked if you were okay going barefoot first. It’s just, mine are steel toed so they’re practically weapons already.”
He rubs the back of his head sheepishly.
Hitoshi thinks back to all the times kids stole his shoes in middle school.
Running home while being chased shoeless wasn’t exactly a walk in the park.
But he can’t deny that he’s gotten pretty good at it.
“Yeah. Barefoot is fine.” He pulls off his shoes and socks while Midoriya expertly knots his own laces together. “Won’t that make throwing them kind of difficult?”
Midoriya tilts his head questioningly. “Throw them? I wouldn’t try that. Aizawa Sensei would just dodge and then we’d be minus a weapon. These are more like… improvised nunchucks? Yeah. Like we would swing them around simply to keep him back and hopefully tangle the capture weapon so he has to draw his knife…”
Hitoshi stares at his classmate, desperately trying to keep up. “So… what do you want with our socks?”
Nedzu sips his tea and serenely watches the monitors as all around him, teachers start losing their shit.
“What is he doing with those rocks?” Midnight yells.
“Did he just smash a window???”
“He’s using a shard to cut up his jacket???”
“No it’s just the sleeves, see he’s putting the vest of it back on…”
“Was that a pun Hizashi? I swear to god-“
“Is he filling their socks with bricks???”
“No, I think it’s the rocks from earlier…”
“What are they doing now???”
Nedzu takes another serene sip.
For once, he is thoroughly entertained.
The boy grunts questioningly.
“What. Are you doing?”
The boy looks up from where he’s slowly bending a street light down towards the ground.
With his hands.
What the fuck.
“Sensei should start looking for us in about 2 minutes so I’m removing anything he can use to swing in easily…”
The pole touches down and Midoriya immediately walks to the next one.
Is he not even sweating?
“Oh I forgot to ask Shinsou. I’m planning to fight obviously but do you want to back me up or would you prefer heading to the exit?”
Hitoshi tilts his head with a smirk. “What do you think?”
Class 1A, minus the two currently taking the exam, fall silent as the large screen finally turns on.
“I still don’t see why we couldn’t watch their prep time.” Jirou says, idly twisting her ear jacks.
Iida chops his arm through the air and launches into a speech about cheating and copying but the class immediately tunes him out as they watch the footage.
Midoriya stands in the middle of the street, barefoot and sleeveless.
Dangling from the fingers of his right hand are… his shoes?
Shinsou is nowhere to be seen.
The camera pans out to show Aizawa Sensei landing on the roof and sending his capture weapon towards Midoriya.
Midoriya who doesn’t move from his spot.
Midoriya who raises his shoe weapon, swinging it wildly at the moment of impact and hopelessly tangling it in the ends of the capture scarf.
That's when Shinsou pops out of an alley, swings something over his head and lets go. The projectile hits Aizawa in the face.
Aizawa, who is unable to dodge because at the moment of Shinsou’s throw, Midoriya had braced his feet and tugged his teacher off balance.
Aizawa, who had eyed the rock-sock projectile with disdain and been forced to dodge another one as Midoriya gave another yank.
With a quick flash of his knife, Aizawa Sensei cuts Midoriya loose.
Midoriya who’s grin turns positively evil as he deftly untangles his shoes and tosses his newly acquired, mini capture scarf to Shinsou.
The fight had been quick after that.
The two had stayed far enough away from each other that Aizawa Sensei had to split his focus between them.
Shinsou had sent his own capture scarf at Aizawa, who took his attention off Midoriya for one second to dodge, but one second was all it took.
Midoriya swung his shoes over his head and let them fly, where they wrapped around his teacher’s legs and sent him crashing to the ground.
Hitoshi watches Midoriya wrap the sleeve scraps around Eraserhead’s wrists, with an air of detachment.
They just beat Eraserhead.
They just beat Eraserhead without using quirks.
Midoriya would be absolutely terrifying if he wasn’t currently beaming up at Hitoshi happily. “Should we go for the exit too Shinsou?”
Hitoshi shares a look with Aizawa Sensei before shrugging disinterestedly.
A thought occurs to him and he grins evilly. “Nah. I think Sensei owes us some answers about suppression bracelets.”
Midoriya’s face lights up and Aizawa lets out a world weary sigh.