‘Do I really belong here? ’
This was the question running through Momo’s mind. She had just gotten out of her match against Tokoyami, where she lost in under 10 seconds. ‘ Do I really belong at UA? ’. This wasn’t the first time she asked herself this question. It started during the recommendation exams; while she did good enough to get into UA, she felt like she could have done better and that the others were more capable than she was. Her experience now was a prime example as to why she doubted herself so much.
She slowly walked through the corridors of the massive coliseum the Sports Festival was hosted in. Her lip trembling, tears threatening to roll down her face. She didn’t really have a route to follow; she just wanted to get away from the site of her shameful failure. Momo was too tired and sad to care where she went. She was too lost in her own mind to pay attention to where she was going.
‘ Do I really deserve to be at UA? ’
She sat down on the floor, curling up in a ball and crying into her arms. Sorrow filled her gut as she sobbed. She wasn’t sure if she could really be a hero. How could she if she wasn’t even able to defeat her classmate? She could barely hold her own against Tokoyami and Dark Shadow, so what made her capable enough to be a hero? What if she wasn’t good enough to save people in need? She continued to sob, her mind in a constant cycle of self hate and doubt. She was so caught up with her sorrow that she didn’t hear the approaching footsteps coming towards her.
She felt a figure sit down beside her and put a comforting hand on her shoulder. She looked to see who it was, feeling surprise cross her face as she recognized the figure.
As the match finally ended, Izuku finished writing in his notebook, making sure to add every detail about both Tokoyami and Yaoyorozu, from strengths and weaknesses to ways to improve them. ‘ Hmm, Yaoyorozu’s quirk is quite strong, with many possibilities, but it seems her current capabilities with it seem to be lackluster. I wonder why that is? ’ he thought curiously, looking at Yaoyorozu.
The closer she got to the entrance, the clearer her expression was. His heart sank, realizing how she probably felt right now. Before he could even think, he was walking up the stairs of the bleachers his class was in, oblivious to the calls and questioning looks he got from his classmates. As he made his way down the hall, making a run for it to get to where she was as soon as he could. ‘ I know that look. The feeling of failure and the lack of self worth. If I don’t stop it now, it will lead to very bad decisions ’ he thought, filled with determination to reach her.
He himself knew how it felt to be a failure, someone who made mistakes and lost themselves in their own mind because of not being enough to complete a task important to them. He looked around the empty halls of the floor below his origin point, until he heard sobs coming from the left of him. His body tensed, the feeling of being too late not lost to him as he walked towards the noise, finally spotting her. He slowed down his pace, realizing he didn’t have a plan for how he would comfort her, but the thought was put aside as he crouched down beside her and put a comforting hand on her shoulder. She looked up, wide, bloodshot eyes staring back at him, her mouth slightly agape with surprise.
“Izuku…?” she asked, shocked to find him here. This was when he realized something.
He was touching a girl’s shoulder without a plan of action.
He was touching a girl’s shoulder.
He was touching a girl.
His mind panicked, his brain going haywire with nervousness. “H-H-Hey, Yaoyorozu,” he greeted, slowly trying to calm his nerves as he removed his hand from her shoulder in a panic.
She smiled lightly. “Hey… um w-what are you doing here?” she asked, her bottom lip still trembling.
“W-Well I saw how you were when the match was over and I wanted to tell you a couple of things, if I may” Izuku said shyly, rubbing the back of his neck and blushing lightly. Momo nodded, letting Deku speak.
“W-well for starters… I know what it feels like. To lose over something you wanted your best to do. I… I didn’t have the nicest childhood, so feeling like a failure or a disappointment was something I was very used to. So, I know how you feel” he began, trying his best to push down his nerves for the sake of Momo.
“B-but how? You’re one of the best students in our class! A-and while we aren’t necessarily close, I can still see you’re one of the top of the class, in both academics and in combat situations. A-and yet here I am, l-l-losing in under ten seconds,” she broke into a sob, her mind tearing itself apart with negative thoughts.
‘ You don’t deserve to be at UA, ’ her mind taunted.
“I-I just don’t think I deserve to be here at all. UA is known for being prestigious, with all of the students being exceptionally capable. A-and yet, I got overwhelmed… I didn’t know what to do and I panicked and I lost because of it… I-I just don’t know if I can trust myself anymore,” she cried, covering her face with her hands. “I-I don’t know if I can trust my own judgement at all,” she sobbed, biting her bottom lip and shedding silent tears. A hand wiped her tears away from her cheek. She looked back at Izuku, mouth slightly agape and eyes wide, a bright blush covering her cheeks. Realizing what he had done, Deku pulled his hand away quickly, looking away. “I-I’m sorry,” he mumbled, rubbing the back of his neck, a matching blush appearing on his face.
“Yaoyorozu. I know w-we aren’t especially close with one another, and I know that we aren’t necessarily friends, but I think you’re wrong about yourself. Firstly, you got here through recommendations, and I have heard how much harder those tests are compared to what we did. I mean we just had to fight some robots, while you guys had to compete against one another. And think about it, the other recommendation student was Todoroki! So I would say that in itself is impressive. But your quirk is incredible! The way you’re able to create practically anything on it’s own is amazing, but the ways you can implement your quirk in situations is even greater of a feat! And yes, w-while you may not have done as good as you wished, we are UA students.
“The thing is, we are just that. Students. We aren’t coming here to be pros, or to show that we can do as good as pros are. We are here to learn, to improve, and to become heroes! We aren’t expected to be able to fight villains yet, and I can barely control my quirk at all without breaking myself, so I have a lot of stuff to learn here. Yes, you lost, but how about you look at it this way: you can go back and see what you missed in the matches you did so far. Look at your mistakes and find a way to improve upon those mistakes. Fix those flaws to become better. I know you’re smart enough to find those mistakes. A-And if you need help, I’ll be m-more than glad to! I have already taken notes on everyone in the class to see how everyone can be improved upon so I’m sure I can help you with that. But know that you do deserve to be at UA with the rest of us, and you deserve to become a hero. We just started here at UA, so in these next few years, we have a chance to improve ourselves and become the best heroes! So don’t give up!” he raised his fist high, smiling widely and blushing lightly. Momo smiled back, doing the same as Izuku.
“Let’s go Plus Ultra!” Izuku exclaimed, standing up and beaming. Momo stood next to him and nodded, eyes full of determination. They laughed, realizing how dumb they probably looked. In the spur of the moment, Momo hugged Izuku.
“Thanks, Midoriya. That really helped,” she said softly. Izuku tensed up, blushing up a storm and avoiding eye contact. “I-It’s no problem, really,” he expressed shyly, trying not to focus on the feeling of her body against his. She looked at him in confusion before realizing their position and backing away a couple of steps. She looked away, a bright blush spreading across her cheeks and ears. “S-sorry.”
“I-It’s okay,” he responded, looking down in embarrassment. They stood there in awkward silence, neither one being sure of what to do next. “W-well we should probably go back up now; I’m sure our friends are worried,” Momo said, slowly walking towards the stairs. Izuku nodded and joined her by her side. They walked together back to their friends, but also walked a brand new path that was new to them. Life would lead them through many hardships. But today was a special occasion. Today… a new friendship bloomed. And today, two similar people have found their place. Where they belonged.