Shouta groaned as Yamada led him up the stairs and into the announcer’s booth. “Come onnnnnnn, Aizawa, lighten up a little!” Yamada said with an annoying grin. “It’s not every year you get a chance to MC the Sports Festival!”
Shouta gave him a dead-eyed stare. “Yes, it is. The Sports Festival happens every year.”
Yamada ignored him, continuing to help him up the stairs. Shouta was tempted to pull his arm away and walk all the way up himself, but he knew he would catch hell from Chiyo if she knew he ‘wasn’t taking care of himself’ and ‘was furthering himself on the road to permanent injury.’ Personally, he thought they were all exaggerating, but he wasn’t in the mood to be yelled at so early in the morning. So up the stairs they went.
Shouta settled into the seat next to Yamada’s, turning towards the microphone and the stage below them. This year’s first-year’s festival was bound to be interesting, to say the least.
Yamada quickly switched into his hero persona and began yelling into the microphone. “EVERYBODY SAY YEEEEEAAAAAAAAAH!” he screamed. In the stadium below, the crowd screamed back. As he began introducing the classes, Shouta tuned out his words and turned his attention to the students down below.
This year, lots of management and support students had elected not to participate, choosing instead to either continue working on their personal projects or interact with the pro heroes in the crowd. That left the two hero courses, general education, and a few support kids. As much as he hated to judge people without getting to know them, he was sure that his class would take the lead and win. It was simply logical. Class A had faced villains on their own for nearly an hour and survived; that alone gave them a massive edge.
Kayama on the field below sounded off the bell, and the race began. Shouta watched
proudly as his students got ahead of the barrier, vaulting over the other kids with their quirks. He sat back in satisfaction as they made it ahead; all the students in the lead were his.
In third place, running alongside hero course students… was a gen-ed kid. His messy green hair was swept across his face, and he kept his hands near his chest as he ran. Shouta furrowed his brow and sat forward, trying to figure out how he had gotten ahead. It looks like… no, wait… The gen-ed kid had taken advantage of Todoroki’s ice and used it to propel himself forward, and had then, somehow, taken the lead.
The green-haired general ed kid managed to stay within the top 5 for the rest of the next stretch, taking others’ attacks and utilizing them to benefit him. Shouta could tell by the way he moved that he was experienced, and he suddenly felt the strong urge to meet this kid. Imagine him with a hero license…
In the final section of the race at the minefield, Shouta was sure the kid would have to slow down. The terrain was too unpredictable for him to rush ahead, too many mines in uncertain places. Bakugou, who was in front of him, charged forward, feet barely touching the ground as he flew ahead. Todoroki followed suit, using his ice to propel him forward. As more and more of Shouta’s
kids students pulled ahead, Shouta noticed that the green haired kid wasn’t moving. Something was wrong.
Next to him, Yamada continued to yell about the race, commenting on anything and everything. “It appears that our green-haired friend has fallen behind! Is this the end of the reign of 1-C?” Yamada drummed his hands on the desk in anticipation. “Wait! I see that he’s digging up something in the dirt. Will he make a comeback?”
Shouta frowned at Yamada’s words. Digging something up? He leaned on the desk and squinted at the track below them and saw — yes, he was digging something up. What could it be?
Suddenly, a loud explosion rocked through the entire stadium. The kid! Shouta thought. He watched as he sailed through the air on was that a piece of one of the robots from before?
Loud bells went off all through the stadium. “He’s done it! Midoriya Izuku from class 1-C has flown past the finish line in first place! By using the mines to his advantage, he launched himself past the others and into victory! What a strategy! Definitely someone to keep your eye on!”
The rest of class A followed behind him, all 19 of his students making it past the finish line. Shouta sighed as the race ended and the students began talking with one another about the race.
Midoriya Izuku, huh?
Should be interesting.
There’s a break of 15 minutes between that event and the next, and Shouta took the time to scout out 1-A’s kids, seeing where they were and how they’re doing. Bakugou seemed to be annoyed by something (yet again) but he saw Kirishima holding him back and distracting him. Good, Shouta thought. It’d be nice for him to have some friends.
When the 15 minutes are up, Kayama snapped her whip and announced the next event, a cavalry battle, and the students scrambled to find partners. People flocked to Bakugou and Todoroki, begging to be their partners, but people skirted around Midoriya, not meeting his eye. Shouta watches as he pulled a small device out of his pocket and approaches a girl from Support with pink hair, Hatsume, waving around the object. She seemed to straighten up, and they quickly talked strategy, eyeing the other students to see if they were a good match to pair up with. Good for them.
Midoriya ran up excitedly to a purple haired boy, apathetic and standing off to the side, but he tilted his head as Midoriya and Hatsume spoke to him, and he nodded his head agreeing. Shouta watched him hesitate before saying something, and he could almost hear the excitement coming off of Midoriya. He checked the roster. Shinsou.
The planning stage ended soon after, and right when the last team had tied on their headbands, the bell rang throughout the stadium and the second event began. Shouta leaned back in his seat, closing his eyes to give them a rest (Chiyo can’t yell at him now!) and listened as Yamada yelled into the mic and began narrating.
“Wellll, folks, looks like we’re kicking this off in high gear! Teams Kendo and Kodai sprint after Team Midoriya, the un lucky team with the ten million point headband! Teams Todoroki and Bakugou are going straight at each other, and Todoroki, son of our number 2, Endeavor, is sending ice towards the other team! This could go either way, with two powerful teams, but it looks like so far, Team Todoroki has the upper hand! Team Monoma is— wait a second! What is going on with Team Midoriya?”
Shouta, startled by Yamada’s sudden change in tone, snapped his eyes open and looked out over the field. As his vision focused, he squints, confused at the sight he’s seeing. What was that in Midoriya’s hand?
Yamada howls. “It seems that as Team Kendo and Kodai ran for Midoriya, he used a grappling hook to latch onto… a floating robot above their heads? WHOAAAAAA! When did THAT get up there? Now, it appears the robot is carrying the team over everyone else and dropping them—ARE THEY HEADING RIGHT IN BETWEEN TEAM TODOROKI AND TEAM BAKUGOU? DO THESE KIDS HAVE A DEATH WISH??”
Shouta was indeed thinking the same thing. From what he could see before, Bakugou seemed excessively aggressive towards Midoriya and his entire team. What were they thinking going over there? He furrowed his brow as he tried to think of what their plan may be.
“Midoriya and his team are running up towards Bakugou and Todoroki, dangerously close, but WAIT A SECOND? WHERE IS THEIR HEADBAND? WAS IT STOLEN BY ANOTHER TEAM?” Shouta felt a jolt in his heart at Yamada’s words. Could it be over for the gen-ed kid so soon?
He shook his thoughts away roughly. Why was he so concerned over a student that was not his? He should be happy for his students, not worried over Kayama’s!
As he cleared his head of the offending thoughts, Yamada screamed next to him once again, and Shouta groaned as the whine rang through the small booth. “Volume, Yamada,” he muttered, but his coworker paid him no mind as he continued to yell.
“IT APPEARS THAT TEAM MIDORIYA’S HEADBAND WAS NOT STOLEN BY ANOTHER TEAM, BUT RATHER, IS BEING STORED ON THE ROBOT FROM BEFORE? IS THIS EVEN ALLOWED? JUDGES????”
Kayama walked over to Ishiyama, and they conversed quietly for a few seconds before sending a thumbs up to the little commentary booth they were sitting in. “WE HAVE WORD FROM THE JUDGES THAT IT IS ALLOWED DUE TO THE FACT THAT MIDORIYA IS NOT IN THE HERO COURSE. CAN I GET A YEAAHHHHHHHHHH FOR OUR CREATIVE STUDENT HERE AT UA?”
From where Shouta was sitting, he could have sworn Shinsou was rolling his eyes.
Midoriya’s team rushed forward to Team Todoroki, and Midoriya deployed another, smaller grappling hook (how many did he have? ) and launched it straight at the boy’s head. Todoroki deflected it, casting it away with a simple ice attack, but the metal tip of the hook stuck to the ice before quickly melting it, sailing past the attack and hooking into Todoroki’s shirt. For the third time since the sports festival started, Shouta furrowed his brow in confusion. What kind of an invention was that? Was that even legal?
Midoriya pulled the hook and it tore a bit of the shirt, exposing Todoroki’s bare arm, and the heterochromic boy pulled the hook off of him, annoyed. He said something to the other team angrily, mouth moving mutely as he told them off, and Shouta watched as Shinsou’s eye gleamed as he said something back.
Did Yamada say what Shinsou’s quirk was—
“TODOROKI IS HANDING SHINSOU OF TEAM MIDORIYA HIS HEADBAND! WAIT, NO, HE STOPPED WITH HIS HAND IN MID-AIR! MIDORIYA SNATCHED THE HEADBAND OUT OF HIS HAND!!! AND NOW THEY’RE FLYING UPWARD AGAIN TO THAT LITTLE ROBOT!!! LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I THINK TEAM MIDORIYA IS ONE TO KEEP YOUR EYES ON TODAY!!”
Shouta stared straight up at the tile ceiling of the commentary box. His brain was mush. His mind was dead. He had no clue what was happening. Who was this Midoriya kid, and why was he so OP? Shouta considered quitting as a teacher. These kids are 15 and they’re so much more competent than pros I’ve met on the field. How?
He watched for 18 more minutes (it had only been 12 minutes so far; how?), as Team Midoriya did the same thing to Bakugou and Asui’s teams. After Shinsou had high fived Monoma from Class B without taking his headband, the other teams started avoiding them, choosing instead to go after the teams with headbands left. Midoriya’s points remained on the flying robot of Hatsume’s creation, 30 feet into the air. Three different teams tried to destroy it. "Three different teams were made out to be fools.”
Shouta was considering adopting all three of them.
Yamada, turning his hero persona off for a moment, leaned away from the microphone and grinned at Shouta. “You’re totally thinking of adopting him, aren’t you?”
Shouta rolled his eyes at him. “Who, Midoriya?”
Yamada nudged him playfully, eyes sparkling in that annoying way of his. “Don’t play dumb, Aizawa, I know you better than that.”
Shouta didn’t smile back. “ No. ”
The other man shrugged. “If you say so~”
Right as Shouta turned his attention back to the match, the bell rang, signaling the end of the second event. He didn’t even have to check the scoreboard to know the rankings.
“Team Midoriya is in first place with 10,001,665 points!”
“Team Todoroki is in second place with 355 points!”
“Team Bakugou is in third place with 300 points!
“And Team Monoma is in fourth place with 235 points! Congratulations to all of the winners! You have proceeded to the next round!”
Shouta groaned and sipped from the thermos he had brought but neglected so far. “These kids are going to single handedly bring down the hero course. Gen-ed and Support kids. Do you have any idea how much they would have had to train on their own to get this far, this well?” He groaned again. “They’re definitely getting in the hero course, that’s for sure.”
Yamada slapped his back good naturedly and laughed. “C’mon, Aizawa, aren’t you proud? Underdogs, making their way up the rankings!” Shouta ignored him in favor of contemplating his life’s existence.
The time between the second and third event was significantly longer, so Shouta got up and stretched before pacing around a bit in the small box, giving his muscles a working over so they would be ready to be used again. Chiyo would have his head if he didn’t ‘relax every once in a while’ so he compromised by always working but never taking breaks. It was the same thing, right?
When he was done stretching, he sat back down and watched as Kayama called each of the finalists up to draw lots for the tournament. Some of the matches he could call already. Todoroki was sure to beat Sero, Iida had an edge over Kaminari, and there was no way Kaibara could beat Bakugou. It was simple logic, nothing personal.
But there were some matchups he was unsure of. Shouta squinted at the bracket board. Yaoyorozu Momo versus Midoriya Izuku.
An hour later, the bell rang throughout the stadium, signaling the start of the last round. Shouta made sure to keep his eyes open and attention on the stage below him. Chiyo be damned, he was going to watch the whole thing!
Not because Midoriya was first. Definitely not. He was entirely impartial and not in awe at all, stop laughing, Yamada!
Midoriya stepped onto the stage opposite Yaoyorozu, hands folded behind his back carefully. He was fidgeting with something with his hands, and Shouta squinted to get a better look. What does the kid have planned now?
Kayama held up a flag high above her head and began counting down. “Three, two… go!” The match began.
Midoriya sprinted into action immediately, rushing forward to intercept Yaoyorozu’s attack before she could even move. The metal pole she was forming with her quirk clattered to the ground as Midoriya hit her with a jab to the stomach and sweeped her feet out from under her with one smooth movement. Shouta could see now that the device from before was some sort of retractable rope, and he used it now on Yaoyorozu to tie her hands together before hauling her up and out of the ring.
Shouta glanced at the timer. Two minutes. Faster than anticipated.
He hid a wince as Kayama called the match and Yaoyorozu got to her feet with a pained expression. The poor girl had little self confidence as it was; getting beaten by someone with less training than her must have hurt. He would have to remedy that later.
Midoriya grinned openly, proud of his victory, but his expression became neutral as he walked up to Yaoyorozu. He said something to her and held out his hand for her to shake. She hesitated before taking it with an unsteady smile, bowing her head at him. “Good match,” she mouthed.
pride accomplishment build up in him. Even on the ground, Yaoyorozu was a good sport. That wasn’t something you could say about just any pro.
As Midoriya walked off the stage to the bleachers, he grinned at his classmates’ congratulations, rubbing the back of his head sheepishly as he took in their compliments. Shouta relaxed back in his chair, focusing his attention on Yamada’s commentary.
“What an exciting match! Poor Yaoyorozu didn’t stand a chance! Midoriya is definitely one to watch this year. I’ve got Eraserhead up here in the press box with me. Eraserhead, what are your thoughts on what we just saw?” Shouta suppressed an eyeroll at his coworker’s over-the-top attitude and leaned in to the mic, turning his words over in his head quickly.
"Midoriya did an effective takedown of Yaoyorozu, moving first, before she could attack. His quick attacks in rapid succession confused his opponent and allowed him to move her out of the boundaries without using lethal force. His quick thinking is exactly the kind of behavior pro heroes exhibit." He paused for a moment. "Despite her opponent's quick attacks, Yaoyorozu continued to fight back until she could no longer move. Another valuable trait in a pro hero. In the end, this match came down to a competition of speed, which Midoriya won. The same outcome isn't guaranteed next time."
Yamada grinned broadly next to him. "An excellent analysis from Eraserhead! Both kids definitely fought well today, and I couldn't have called it myself!!! Midoriya will move onto the second round. And now, the second match!!!"
Shouta watched with rapt attention. This should be interesting.
Seven matches later, round two had begun, Midoriya's match again being first. He was up against Monoma from Class B, one of the ones who came to scout out his class just a few days before. He had just barely managed to beat Kirishima, rushing him and copying his quirk before gradually pushing him out of the ring. He had known he couldn't beat Kirishima head on, so he used other tactics to gain the upper hand. A perfectly logical strategy.
Shouta was curious to see how he would fare against Midoriya.
It went just as well as he expected.
"It looks like Monoma is using the same technique he used in the first round, rushing forward quickly to get ahold of Midoriya's skin. Oh, it looks like he's made contact! Midoriya appears to be… laughing, for some reason, man, that kid is scary. Monoma seems to have given up on trying to copy Midoriya's quirk and is pacing around the stage, staying opposite his opponent. And- looks like Midoriya is moving towards him, hands up, and ooh, he just sent a punch straight to Monoma's ribs!"
Shouta watched as the match continued on exactly as Yamada was describing it, Midoriya getting up close to hit Monoma before backing away again, retreating before Monoma could get a hit in. He's trying to wear down his opponent so he can easily push him out of bounds, Shouta mused to himself. Interesting.
Eventually, the situation Shouta predicted came true, and when Midoriya took a jab at Monoma's side, instead of backing off, he gave him an extra shove so he landed, back first, onto the ground. "Aaaaandd, Midoriya progresses to the third round!!! What a match, ladies and gentlemen, what a match. It looks like a general education student will make it to the third round for the first time in 15 years! Midoriya Izuku is making history, and you all get to watch him do it!!! Can I get a YEAAHHHHHH!"
Startled, Shouta realized that Yamada was right; Midoriya was the first in 15 years to make it to the third round of the sports festival. He found himself staring into space for what must have been the fiftieth time that day. How does this kid do it?
Shouta glanced up at the bracket to see what the other matches were. Todoroki vs Bakugou? Mentally, he shook his head. What a match made in hell.
And it was.
The third and final round came an hour and a half later, once all the students were healed and accounted for. There was still a lot of destruction from the fight between Bakugou and Todoroki, but Shouta trusted that Nedzu had it handled and would get someone to clean up the damage. They probably should’ve accounted for this to happen, but sometimes a simple fight to get out energy was needed, to get out all the emotions.
That didn’t matter though.
They were on the last round.
Bakugou vs Midoriya.
Shouta could feel a headache forming already.
There was no way this would end well.
Next to him, Yamada was humming and doing vocal exercises, but he straightened up when the bell rang again throughout the stadium. “It’s the final match between our first years!! Can I get a YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!” The crowd roared back, energies high. After watching Midoriya progress through the rounds, they were all anxious to see what would happen next.
Shouta was, too.
Yamada straightened. “Aaaaand the match begins!!” He began rambling about odds and breaking the glass ceiling and whatnot, but Shouta tuned him out. Let’s see how this goes.
Midoriya seemed to be almost… afraid of Bakugou. He was skirting around the edges of the stage, staying as far away from the other boy as possible. He kept muttering to himself, his lips moving a mile a minute as he seemed to plot out what he was going to do.
Bakugou was having none of it.
“DEKU, YOU BASTARD!” His palms sparked with nitroglycerin and rage. “WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING HERE?” His voice was loud— loud enough to travel hundreds of feet through the air and through the thick glass of the press box where Shouta was sitting with Yamada.
This isn’t going to end well.
Midoriya almost cowered as Bakugou ran towards him, but at the last second, he ran out of the way, darting past him and causing the other boy to lose his balance. This seemed to only fuel Bakugou’s rage even further. “DON’T YOU RUN AWAY FROM ME NOW, DEKU!”
For a fraction of a second, Midoriya paused at the other boy’s words, and instead of running away, he turned to face him head on. Even from far away, Shouta could see his face harden. Midoriya held out his hands, bracing himself…
...and judo flipped Bakugou over his shoulder.
The crowd screamed at Midoriya’s actions, riling the two of them up even more. As soon as he hit the ground, Bakugou jumped back up and met Midoriya with a right hook to the face, most likely fracturing the bones in his hands. This isn’t the first time Bakugou’s led with a right hook, Shouta mused. Something else to fix.
Midoriya took the punch and rolled, dodging the explosion that came immediately after. Part of the blast caught his clothes, singing his uniform, but he ignored it, taking the damage in stride. He attempted to sweep Bakugou off his feet, trying to take him down the same way he did Yaoyorozu.
It didn’t work.
Bakugou caught his arm, stopping him from sweeping his legs out from under him, and threw him to the ground, palms alight. He sent explosions, one after another at the other boy, as Midoriya, who was still on the ground, scrambled back further and further away from him.
As Shouta watched the match go down, he came to a sudden realization. Before, he got lucky; his opponents all fought quirkless. But Bakugou relies so heavily on his quirk that he doesn’t stand a chance.
I guess that’s something I’ll have to teach the kid.
Shouta was jerked out of his thoughts by the sound of the bell ringing loudly, signaling the end of the match. He blinked, and when he looked down at the field, he saw the match was over.
Midoriya had fallen out of the ring.
Bakugou scoffed at the other boy, looking like he wanted to spit on his feet, but instead he stalked off, shouldering past Kayama and Ishiyama and into the pits of the stands. Shouta sat in mild shock as Yamada narrated the ending of the match and gave commentary. Midoriya had lost so easily against someone he should have had a fairly even match against. If he hadn’t avoided Bakugou in the beginning and angered him that way, maybe there could have been a chance. But then again, Bakugou seemed to have a hatred for Midoriya even before their match. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be.
But one thing was for sure.
Midoriya was one hell of a kid.
Weeks after the sports festival, after internships had ended and Iida and Todoroki were dealt with, Shouta was called into Nezdu’s office for a ‘simple meeting.’ He suspected it was just another excuse to get Nedzu to pick his brain over an endless cup of tea, but he decided to give Nedzu the benefit of the doubt (a horrible decision, really) and hope for the best.
The meeting was not what he expected.
“You remember Midoriya Izuku’s performance from the sports festival, don’t you?” Nedzu asked calmly, folding his paws in front of a steaming cup. “I’ve decided that he be placed in the hero course.”
Shouta stared at Nedzu openly. “Midoriya Izuku… the kid who nearly exploded himself to win the first event? Midoriya Izuku, the kid who tormented Bakugou in the cavalry battle? Midoriya Izuku who beat Yaoyorozu without using his quirk? That Midoriya Izuku?”
Nedzu smiled at him. “Unless there is another I am unaware of.”
Shouta groaned. He could already tell that Midoriya would be a problem child.
Nedzu took a sip of his tea and handed Shouta his file. He flipped it open and scanned the page, quickly taking in information. Grew up in the same neighborhood as Bakugou, martial arts training, mother has a telekinesis quirk…
Nedzu’s smile became the slightest bit tighter, and his beady eyes narrowed. “I assure you, he is a good fit for the hero course, despite his lack of a quirk.”
Shouta nodded automatically, throwing away Nedzu’s assumptions with a gesture. “There’s no problem with him being quirkless. But if he can do all this without a quirk…”
Nedzu grabbed a metal tin of cookies from a drawer in his desk. “Have a snack, Aizawa-san. I think it’s going to be a long three years.”
Shouta took a cookie.