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Vigilantism of Olympic Proportions

Chapter Text

Tsukauchi Naomasa had seen a lot of things over his career as a detective. He had had a lot of victories, and he has sat in his office many nights thinking of the “what-ifs” that came with defeats. But if there was one thing that Tsukauchi was always good at, it was interrogations. He supposed it came with the quirk. 

 

That had to be the reasoning behind calling him in at a quarter past one in the morning to interrogate people on his day off. If not, then a lot of officers would be owing him some coffee. And from the looks of it, the pro hero sitting across from his desk would need a cut of the profit.

 

“Explain it to me one last time, Eraserhead,” Tsukauchi said, finally turning to look at the man head on. “From the moment you saw them, to the moment you stepped into the precinct.”

 

“I was on top of the Yamamoto Printing Company when I heard a scream,” Eraserhead started. “By the time I got there, there were four people in the alleyway: A man, mid-30s, heavier build, passed out; A woman, early-to-mid-20s, slender build, shaken but standing and looking at the man; and two suspects, gender and age unknown, both had stocky-builds, with the only difference being their masks. They completely covered their faces, but one was a light green and the other was a light purple. 

 

“I called for backup and restrained the two suspects, unsure if they were the ones attacking the man and woman, or if they protected the woman from the man. The purple one struggled at first, but gave up when the green one didn’t fight. The woman confirmed that the two knocked the man out, but that he had been about to attack her. When the cars arrived we arrested the two in the masks, as well as the man, who had been starting to wake up.”

 

Tsukauchi took a deep breath, comparing the information Eraser had just provided to the file Sansa had handed him on his way to his office earlier. Logging into his computer, Tsukauchi connected himself to the cameras set up in the interrogation rooms, the two suspects being kept in separate areas to lessen the chances of them working together.

 

“Somehow, you found the Pantheon.”

 

“The what?” Eraser asked, raising an eyebrow. Tsukauchi passed him the file.

 

“The Pantheon. A vigilante organization, active for over two years, with an estimated count of 13-20 members. The only reason we know their name is because of criminals being arrested and blaming the Pantheon for double-crossing them. They seemed to have modelled themselves after the Greek gods, hence the name.” Tsukauchi stared at the cameras again, absorbing as many details as he could of the two. “The green one answers to the name Hermes, although I don’t think we have anything on the purple one.” Eraserhead grunted.

 

“So what does that mean? They got sloppy?”

 

“That doesn’t sound like them though. Active for all this time, and to suddenly give up when apprehended? Something isn’t right.” Suddenly, the purple one shifted.

 

“Uh, Hermes? Did they take your mask off by any chance?” Tsukauchi and Eraser both looked at the computer screen, confused. They were in two separate interrogation rooms, separated by layers of concrete and half of a police force. There would be no way for Hermes to be able to hear th—

 

“Nope,” Hermes replied, voice chipper considering they were currently handcuffed to a table. “They wouldn’t be able to take them off without our consent either way. Don’t sweat it Hades.”

 

“Right,” the purple one, Hades apparently, drawled. “You wouldn’t happen to have a clock anywhere near you, would you? All I got is a barred window and some cinder blocks.”

 

“Ummm yes! It’s kind of in my peripheral, but I can see it. Why? Did you have somewhere to be?”

 

“Hermes,” Hades sighed, shaking their head as if their accomplice could see them. “We both have somewhere to be. At one. What time is it?” Hermes froze as they appeared to read the clock.

 

“1:30.”

 

“Fuck,” Hades mumbled, quiet enough the camera almost didn’t pick it up. 

 

“Where the hell would they be supposed to be? A raid?” Eraser asked, looking at the screen with more interest than the detective would’ve expected. 

 

“At this point, we would have already heard of it,” the detective said, shaking his head. “But I don’t know where else they would have needed to be. And the way they said it. It’s clear that they were both needed, but I couldn’t tell you what for.” The two men watched as both vigilantes suddenly froze. Hades coughed quietly.

 

“So Hermes,” they started, “What do you think Ares will say when he hears we’ve been arrested?” The two paused again, as if listening to something. Hermes looked even more uncomfortable in his seat.

 

“W-well, I think he’d be angry. The others probably will be too.”

 

“Speaking of which, do you happen to know where we are? I didn’t get a good enough look at the sign, I was too busy listening to that guy complaining about our ‘weird fuckin’ vigilante masks.’”

 

“Uhm well, before Eraserhead saw us, we were in that alley near Hokkaido Street, so based on the locations of the different precincts, I would say we’re at the station on Third Street.” Again, he tilted his head, as if listening to a voice that wasn’t there.

 

‘What are you up to?’ Tsukauchi thought.

 

“Either way,” Hermes continued, “It’s not like we did anything wrong tonight! We were just walking home and saw that woman in the alley with that guy. He swung at us! What we did was self-defense!” Hades shook his head, seeming to laugh at his companion.

 

“Oh yeah, we’re completely innocent. And my mask is yellow. So do you have a swanky window, or did I trade a clock for my window privileges?”

 

“No! No, I have a window. It’s barred up though, I don’t think I could jump out of it…”

 

“You know what Hermes, I don’t think they want you to.” The two chuckled at themselves before going silent again. They shifted around in their seats, tugging at the cuffs for the first time since they had been separated.

 

“Hey Hermes?” Hades called out.

 

“Yes Hades?”

 

“Wanna hear the magic word?” The magic word? What the hell are they talking about? Hermes seemed to stifle a laugh. 

 

“Sure buddy, what’s the magic word?” Hades turned his head directly to the camera. Did they know they were being recorded?

 

“Ka-chow.” Suddenly, the precinct was thrown into darkness. 

 

Eraser shot to his feet and was out the door before Tsukauchi had time to find a flashlight. Tsukauchi stumbled after him, towards the two rooms the suspects were being held in. 

 

When the power is cut, the doors automatically deadbolt, which can then only be opened by shift-commanders. 

 

By the time he had crossed the precinct, most of the on-duty officers were nearing the interrogation rooms. Tsukauchi shouldered his way to the front of the pack to stare through the one way glass, where an emergency light had kicked on in one of the rooms. If he were remembering correctly, it was where Hermes was being held.

 

It was empty.

 

Both rooms were empty.

 

As the power kicked on a minute later, Tsukauchi made his way back to his office as Eraserhead exited the station, potentially to look and see if he could catch a glimpse of the vigilantes again.

 

Tsukauchi Naomasa had seen a lot of things over his career as lead detective. He would like to think he was pretty knowledgeable about the different crimes and criminals of Mustafu’s underbelly. 

 

It was sitting in his office, at nearing two in the morning, in desperate need of caffeine or sleep, that Tsukauchi Naomasa came to his newest conclusion:

 

The Pantheon was no ordinary group of vigilantes.

Chapter Text

“Deku, you’re lucky I don’t fucking blast you across the Pacific for being that stupid. You’re one of the leaders of one of the best vigilante organizations in the country and you’re telling me you didn’t put up literally any fight?” Ares yelled as the five vigilantes hopped across rooftops away from the police station. Hermes was just proud that the five had switched their masks back to headset only, so that only people with a headset connected could hear the conversation. Best not to be outed by a childish nickname.

 

Hermes - Midoriya Izuku

Aliases: Deku, Shitty Nerd, Midobro

Role: Lead Informant

Quirk: N/A

 

“Kacchan, it all went according to plan, don’t worry! I would never get myself into something if I didn’t have a way to get myself out of it!”

 

Ares - Bakugou Katsuki

Aliases: Kacchan, Bakubro

Role: Lead Heavy-Hitter

Quirk: Explosion

 

“Oh really Shitty Deku? Was Eyebags a part of your plan? ‘Cause he really seemed to know what he was doing.”

 

“W-well not exac—”

 

“Leave me out of this, you two,” Hades finally spoke up. Midoriya and Bakugou checked behind them, to find the other three only a step behind. “Although next time Midoriya, a little heads up would be nice.”

 

Hades - Shinsou Hitoshi

Aliases: Eyebags

Role: Informant

Quirk: Brainwashing

 

“Sorry Shinsou, I didn’t think you would be with me when it happened. I’ll be sure to tell you next time,” Midoriya apologized as they neared the warehouse. 

 

“Man, I just can’t believe it was Midobro and Shinbro that got arrested first out of all of us,” the scarlet-masked vigilante finally spoke up.

 

“Yeah! I could’ve sworn it would’ve been Bakugou first,” the mustard-colored-masked vigilante agreed.

 

“You ready to DIE Dunce Face?”

 

Hephaestus - Kirishima Eijiro

Aliases: Shitty Hair, Kiri

Role: Heavy-Hitter

Quirk: Hardening

 

Apollo - Kaminari Denki

Aliases: Sparky, Pikachu, Kami

Role: Informant

Quirk: Electrification

 

“Kacchan, no murdering, we need to get to the meeting.”

 

“Oh and WHO’S FAULT IS—” 

 

“Oh good, you all have finally returned. Midoriya, Shinsou, I hope you are both alright,” a young boy stated, chopping his arms as he stood from the table the rest had gathered around.

 

“Everything is alright Iida,” Midoriya grinned, removing his mask along with the others. While they all understood the importance of secret identities, the warehouse was their home, and they very rarely used their code names or wore their gear while in the safehouse. 

 

With all twenty finally present and accounted for, the Pantheon would finally be able to commence their meeting.

 

***

 

“So wait, Midoriya,” everyone turned to see Momo looking curiously at the two late-comers. “What exactly happened? You’re an excellent hand-to-hand fighter, and Shinsou is more than capable of getting out of situations. How did you both get arrested?”

 

“To be honest,” Shinsou started, “I was just in it for the ride.”

 

Everyone went silent to stare at the purple-haired brainwasher.

 

“What? I knew he would have a plan in the end. He didn’t even put up a fight when Eraserhead jumped down out of nowhere, the fuck , so I just decided it was better to go with him than let him go alone.” The others began to nod along, acknowledging that it was usually better to not have anyone go off alone, especially when pros or police were involved. But that left them all with one question.

 

“Oi, Shitty Deku. Why the FUCK did you want to get arrested?” Midoriya lit up like All Might in front of cameras. Fumbling around in his pocket, he brandished a flash drive.

“For this,” he exclaimed.

 

Silence.

 

“You got us arrested...for a flash drive?” Shinsou asked, debating if his life choices were truly the best option. To be honest, some of the others around the table were wondering the same thing as they looked at one of their leaders.

 

“Not just a flash drive Shinsou! This is a bluetooth remote file downloader! I was able to leave the other half in the interrogation room as we were leaving. Meaning—”

 

“We have access to all the police files?” Momo asked, incredulously staring at the device in Midoriya’s hand. The rest of the team were in the same boat, amazed by the skills Midoriya always randomly seemed to have. Although, it was then promptly decided that the next time Midoriya needed to get arrested for information, he would contact everyone else first.

 

“With that new information,” Iida said, organizing the papers in front of himself. “Here are your assignments for the week: 

 

“Midoriya, Jirou, Momo, and Kaminari - I want you all to work on organizing the files Midoriya obtained. What we need to look into, what we have dealt with, what they know of us, etc. 

 

“Bakugou, Kirishima, Ashido, and Tsu - Continue your work on tracking the drug ring. Trigger has been on the rise as well, so if you hear anything on that in particular, exercise caution. 

 

“Koda, Shoji, Ojiro, and Hagakure - If you hear anything new about Trigger, report it immediately to Bakugou, any other new information report it to Midoriya. 

 

“Shinsou and Aoyoma, you two alternate the A route this week in order to maintain a somewhat healthy sleep schedule. Tokoyami and Sato, you two shall do the same for the B route, and Uraraka and I shall cover the C route.

 

That leaves—”

 

“Ah man really? Cleaning duty? Is this because I used my tape to clean your glasses thinking it was a tissue?” Sero piped up, already dreading the kitchen clean up if Bakugou planned on cooking this week.

 

“No it most certainly was not, I was simply following the order of...wait...you did WHAT?”

Chapter Text

Months passed with little sign of the Pantheon. Well, maybe not little sign. More and more cases were being solved, and more small-time villains found themselves in the hands of the police, thanks to the different members of the vigilante group.

 

The Hero Public Safety Commission was getting pissed. There were all of these heroes in the Mustafu area, and not a single one of them had managed to apprehend them, outside of that one fluke months ago? The HPSC went as far as calling in every underground hero in the region to go over the available information. And that is exactly what Aizawa Shouta was currently coming home from.

 

With underground heroes unable to work in the same patterns as the limelight heroes, they instead worked for a set wage, with bonuses assigned based off of solved cases, or accomplished raids. 

 

From that also comes its own order of hierarchy, and somehow, Eraserhead sat as the number one in underground heroics. Now while that was definitely nice in terms of pay, it was plenty annoying, especially when it came to illogical meetings such as this.

 

Opening the door, Shouta could hear Hizashi humming in the kitchen.

 

“I’m home,” he called softly as he set his capture weapon on one of the hooks on the wall.

 

“In the kitchen, Shou” Hizashi replied. Walking into the kitchen, Shouta was quick to wrap his arms around the back of his husband, burying his face into the blond’s shoulder. He felt, more than heard, the blond huff a laugh.

 

“I’m gonna make a wild guess that the meeting didn’t go well?”

 

“It was illogical at best. The file they gave me was almost identical to the one I read with Tsukauchi three months ago. 

 

"They’re slippery. They’re usually paired in groups of two or three and take groups on by surprise. We know that there is at least one with an explosion-based quirk, one speed-based, and at least two or three mutants. But besides that, we know nothing! No age, no gender, not even a good enough estimate of how many people are in this damn group! They’ve never let a hero or law-enforcement officer see them except for once or twice.”

 

“Well,” Hizashi said, turning off the stove and turning to face his husband, “what about those two that were arrested a few months ago? Were any of the quirks connected to either of them?”

 

“Neither. They never showed their quirks, but there’s speculation one of them has a memory quirk based on criminal reports. They all fight quirkless as far as the law can tell.” Hizashi let out a low whistle.

“All of those cases solved with minimal quirk use? That’s impressive. Didn’t they take out that Trigger ring a month or so ago?” Shouta returned his head to his husband's shoulder, letting out a low groan.

 

“Three major drug busts, a trafficking ring, a potential gang war, and over seventy-five small-time criminals in only three months. Better than some underground heroes do in three years. And goddamn, did those bastards at the Commission rub it in.” 

 

“Careful Shou, you almost sound impressed.” The man in question scoffed, finally releasing his husband in favor of heading to the coffee maker. God bless Nemuri for the perfect wedding gift.

 

“What they did has been impressive, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re probably hero school dropouts or rejects that want to appear they have something to prove. What they’re doing is stupid and reckless.” The two slipped back into silence, happy to leave it at that. 

 

Hizashi returned to the stove, and finished preparations for dinner while Shouta graded a few more essays from the pile he had created before having to leave for the meeting. His coffee already half drained in anticipation for his patrol that night. Leave it to the Commission to schedule a meeting of underground heroes, people who worked best and often at the dead of night, for four in the afternoon. Absolute bastards, the lot of them.

 

But as Shouta tried to focus on the essays in front of him, his mind kept drifting to the organization. They really would have been amazing heroes. They were quick, they were effective, they thought before they acted, and they didn’t rely too heavily on their quirks. The same couldn’t be said for the new set of heroes that had begun to debut in recent months. They were people he would’ve actually tolerated working with in the field.

 

Aizawa shook his head.

 

While it was true that underground heroes had worked with vigilantes in the past, never before had the Commission taken such interest in a group. Most of the time, the HPSC couldn’t care less about what the underground heroes did, as long as there were no glaring complaints. 

 

But as the Pantheon began to have a higher arrest count than some limelight heroes, it would make sense that the Commission would want to get involved. 

 

Of course, it wasn’t as if the Commission had any real say in the case. While they may be able to hold some persuasion in courts and over cases, the power really fell to the precinct, and if he remembered correctly, Tsukauchi became lead detective over the case shortly after The Great Escape. But either way, Shouta would prefer that the limelight heroes and Commission stay out of this, and the general nightlife of heroics, as much as possible. 

 

“Shou, if you stare at that paper any harder, you’ll have to explain to Togata why there is a hole in his essay,” Hizashi finally said, sitting a plate of udon down in front of the grumpy man. “I didn’t think 2B wrote essays that badly.”

 

“Shut up,” Shouta huffed, “Let’s eat so I can maybe get some sleep before patrol tonight.” Hizashi smiled at the small blush on his husband’s cheeks at getting caught spacing out. He picked up his chopsticks.

 

“Itadakimasu!”

Chapter Text

Dear Deku,

 

Happy 15th birthday!! Thank you for becoming one of my greatest friends, and for helping me when no one else would.

 

When I left my parents, I didn’t know what I would do. I was cold, I was hungry, but then I met you and Tsu!! I am forever grateful that you all let me join you, and I hope you know just how loved you are!

 

Happy Birthday again,

 

Uraraka Ochako

(Athena - The Wise Vigilante)

 

***

 

Dear Midoriya,

 

The first time I met you, I thought you were going to be a terrifying illegal informant. (Tokoyami wouldn’t tell me anything other than you being one of the leaders.) But you were nothing like that.

 

While you may sometimes do things that you shouldn’t (don’t get arrested again please), you always have all of our best interests at heart, and already are a hero to a lot of us. 

 

Thank you for everything, and have a happy birthday.

 

Asui Tsuyu

(Poseidon - The Aquatic Vigilante)

 

***

 

Mon Àmi, 

 

I wish you quite the joyeux anniversaire!

 

I will be quite honest mon ami, when I was forced to leave home, I was terrified of what I would do. My Japanese was not nearly as good as my parents, and I had not a yen to my name.

 

But thanks to you, I have a family that loves me as me! You are a wonderful person mon ami, and I wish you all the finest things today and every day!

 

Joyeux anniversaire à le vraiment petit chou!

Aoyama Yuga

(Aphrodite - The Fabulous Vigilante)

 

***

 

Dear Midoriya,

 

The three of us wanted to wish you a happy birthday together! 

 

Growing up, our quirks were all people saw. But here, all you have ever seen is us. You didn’t see freaks or monsters, you saw an animal enthusiast, a martial artist, and a friend.

 

Thank you for giving us a home, and thank you for giving us our friends. 

 

Basically, we just wanted to say happy birthday to an amazing friend!

 

Koda Koji

(Demeter - The Silent Vigilante)

Shoji Mezo

(Kratos - The Strong Vigilante)

Ojiro Mashirao

(Pan - The Tailed Vigilante)

 

***

 

Dear Midoriya,

 

Happy Birthday! I hope that the day finds you well, and you are able to celebrate to the fullest extent!

 

I know that I can sometimes be a bit overzealous in my beliefs and actions, but I thank you for always hearing me out, and for stopping me before I did something truly regrettable. You made me see that shades of gray are not villainous, and helped me make some amazing friends.

 

Once again, let me wish you a very happy 15th birthday, Midoriya!

 

Iida Tenya

(Zeus - The Leading Vigilante)

 

***

 

Dear Midoriya,

 

Happy birthday dude! Attached to this, you’ll find a playlist made by all of us in honor of your birthday.

 

I know you’ve probably heard this a bunch, but really, thank you Midoriya. Thank you for getting me away from my parents, for reminding me the joys of music outside of being a rockstar, for letting Denki bring me into this crazy world, and for showing me that I can be a hero too.

 

Here’s to another year around the sun!

 

Jirou Kyoka

(Artemis - The Musical Vigilante)

 

***

 

Dear Midoriya,

 

Happy 15th Birthday! I am wishing you nothing but the best this year, and of course all years after.

 

You are truly one of a kind Midoriya, and I hope you are aware of this. Only you could bring together such a ragtag group of kids, and turn them into heroes. Only you could see past the physical mutations, the quirks, and the social status, and see us for who we truly are. You really are an amazing person, and amazing friend.

 

When I first met you, I was in a bad place, and didn’t even know it. Looking back on it, I suppose it was obvious how I was treated, and how my body was treated. Thank you for saving me from myself, even when I didn’t think I needed it.

 

To an amazing friend, partner, and confidante: I’m wishing you a very happy birthday.

 

Yaoyorozu Momo

(Hera - The Motherly Vigilante)

 

***

 

Dear Midoriya,

 

Happy Birthday dude! Who would have thought stupidly trying to be a vigilante and getting my ass handed to me would end with me meeting a bunch of actual vigilantes, that are more heroic than a lot of heroes.

 

You’re an amazing dude, Midoriya. You’re funny, you’re nice, you’re insanely smart, you’re ripped as hell, and you are always there for us when we need it. I can only hope you know just how much you’re loved by every idiotic vigilante you’ve taken in.

Happy Birthday again, to our fearless leader!

 

Seo Hanta

(Aeolus - The Floating Vigilante)

 

***

 

Midoriya,

 

Thank you. Thank you for bringing me into your group, and for showing me what a family should be.

 

Thank you for getting me away from that man monster, and for working to end him for good.

 

I’m not good with words, so I hope this displays what everything you’ve done meant to me. You are a true hero.

 

Happy Birthday, my friend.

 

Todoroki Shouto

(Hestia - The Solitary Vigilante)

 

***

 

Mido!

 

Happy Birthday dude!! I don’t think I can tell you in a single day how freaking amazing you are. Seriously dude, save some awesomeness for the rest of us!

 

You have no idea how scared and angry I was when I got kicked out. I had a shitty quirk, nobody believed that I was anything but a girl, and I was too stupid to function, let alone be a hero. The Pantheon became my family, and that would never have been available without you!! You did all of this!

 

We should be celebrating you everyday my man, but for now, we’ll settle for today. So eat some of Sato’s cake, annoy Baku (because I don’t think he’s allowed to be mean to you today), and all around have an awesome day!!

 

Kaminari Denki

(Apollo - The Cool Vigilante)

 

***

 

Dear Midoriya,

 

Both of us just wanted to wish you a happy birthday! You are an inspiration to all of us, and we owe all of this to you!

 

When we were attacked, it was you guys that saved us, remember? Bakugou, Shinsou, Kiri, and Tokoyami took on that entire gang, and you and Mina stayed by our sides until the cops came. We’re not sure if you remember that, but from that moment, we knew you were gonna become an amazing person!

 

Happiest of birthdays, from the Wonder Cousins!!

 

Hagakure Tooru

(Iris - The Invisible Vigilante)

Sato Rikido

(Dionysus - The Ambrosial Vigilante)

 

***

 

Midoriya,

 

Only you would take one look at a demonic quirk and call him cool and helpful. For that alone, for seeing the best in us when others only saw darkness, we swore to always protect you.

 

Your disposition is bright enough to dispel any shadow, and your work ethic inspires us all to keep working harder. No matter the quirk, or lack thereof, everyone is amazing in your eyes. One can only hope you realize your own value as well.

 

Happy Birthday,

 

Tokoyami Fumikage

(Erebus - The Dark Vigilante)

 

***

 

Midoriya,

 

Happy Birthday, man. You really are the only person I would get arrested for (but I swear to God, warn me next time). 

 

You are the definition of a ray of sunshine. You see the good in everyone, even those with villainous quirks. 

 

I remember when you first met me. I told you what my quirk was, and was ready to go away. But you just looked like a kid in the damn candy store. I tried to tell you it was villainous but instead you just glared at me like I was the idiot. What 11 year old is ready to pick fights in an alley over the morality of quirks?? Never change Midoriya, never change.

 

Happy 15th again,

 

Shinsou Hitoshi

(Hades - The Misunderstood Vigilante)

 

***

 

Mido!!

 

Happy 15th Birthday to the sweetest, coolest, funniest, most badass cinnamon roll I have ever had the privilege of meeting. 

 

Thank you for protecting Kiri. When he disappeared, I was so scared, but then I found you!! Granted, I was almost hurt, but besides the bruised ego of meeting Bakubabe, I’d say that was one of the greatest days of my life. 

 

You truly are amazing, Midoriya, and I am honored to get to be known as one of your partners in crime.

 

Happy Birthday again!!

 

Ashido Mina

(Persephone - The Headstrong Vigilante)

 

***

 

Midobro!

 

I cannot believe you’re 15!! It seems like just yesterday we were nine year olds hiding out at Dagobah, discovering a warehouse that could be our secret base.

 

You really are an amazing man, you know that? I was terrified when I ran away. I had no food, no money, and no idea how the heck I was gonna survive. But then you and Bakubro showed up!! My two knights in shining armor (or ragged and ripped sweats from the 100 yen store).

 

Happy Birthday to one of my bestest bros!

 

Kirishima Eijiro

(Hephaestus - The Sturdy Vigilante)

 

***

 

Deku,

 

When Round Cheeks and Pinky decided we all needed to do something for your birthday, I knew it was going to be something dumb you would cry over. So when they told us to write a letter about “how we feel about Midoriya” I nearly fucking died of laughter. I’m pretty damn sure you know how I feel about you, I’ve known you since fucking diapers after all.

 

But, I suppose if all the other extras are writing sappy shit, I should too. 

 

Deku, you are my best friend, my first friend. When everyone else, Mom, Dad, Auntie, were gone. You were still there. I will always be thankful for that. Sometimes, I think you know me better than I know myself, creepy fucking nerd.

 

You’re gonna be an amazing hero, nerd. Did you read all of those other extra’s letters already? It should be pretty damn obvious how many people you’ve already helped. You are a hero , Midoriya Izuku.

 

So happy fucking birthday, you shitty nerd.

 

Bakugou Kats Kacchan

(Ares - The Strong Vigilante)

Chapter Text

Shouta really should have known something was bound to happen.

 

The night had been generally quiet, not uncommon for a Wednesday, but definitely too quiet overall. So when he heard the woman’s scream, he was on it in an instant.

 

Looking over the side of the building, it appeared to be a simple mugging. Five men, potentially part of a gang, as well as one young woman. Two of the men had mutant quirks, while the other three had no physical signs of quirks.

 

Jumping down, Eraserhead was quick to restrain the two mutants, flinging them both away from the woman. With the other three’s attention being diverted to the pro, the woman was quick to slip away, running out of the alley.

 

Turning back to the three men Eraserhead was quick to dodge a hand shaped as a knife as it came slashing towards him. Activating Erasure, Eraserhead engaged with the three others surrounding him, using his capture weapon to swing them towards each other.

 

While they generally were alright in fighting around each other, it was clear they weren’t fully trained to work as a group.

 

But it only takes one good swing. Or in this case, a good shot.

 

With Eraser’s back turned, he lost sight of one of the original mutants, who happened to pull a gun.

 

Eraserhead was able to knock two of the ones he was fighting out as he stumbled to the ground, blood flowing through the hole in his side. 

 

“Lucky fucking shot, Adachi!” One of them exclaimed. A crunch of a boot, then there was a foot pressing against the bullet wound. Eraser bit back a groan.

 

“Congratulate him later, Stupid! Let’s finish off this pro and scram,” another voice piped up, this one much closer and probably belonging to the owner of the boot currently holding the bleeding pro down.

 

Now Aizawa Shouta was a skilled pro for a reason, and in the underground scene, death was one of the most common outcomes for the job. And as Aizawa was a realist, he very well could see his chances of getting out of this. He couldn’t struggle too much at risk of injuring himself more, but staying still would surely be a death sentence.

 

More steps started to come towards him as his face lay in the gravel.

 

‘Hizashi…’ Eraser said, as close to a prayer as he had ever come.

 

More steps, but surely there shouldn’t have been these many pairs of feet in the alley. Eraser was sure that the other two were still knocked out.

 

A grunt followed by cursing were heard as the boot holding Eraser down was quickly removed, the person seeming to trip over Eraser’s prone body.

 

“Eraser!” A voice called out. The sound of scrambling feet led to a pair of boots, then a pair of cloth-covered knees near his head. “Eraser, can you hear me?” The man groaned in reply. “Oh thank God,” the voice sighed. “Hera! Can you come over here and help bandage him up? It looks like the bullet went in and out, but there’s way too much blood to be healthy. Aphrodite, make sure all of them stay knocked out, and call the police. Make sure to get an ambulance over here.” Another pair of boots entered Eraser’s peripheral. 

 

“Let’s try and sit him up against the wall so I can wrap all the way around. It won’t be perfect, but it should definitely help staunch the bleeding until he can get to the hospital,” a feminine voice, most likely Hera, said. Suddenly, Eraserhead was hefted up, and gently sat against the brick wall a few feet away. Getting a good look, he couldn’t believe his luck. 

 

Two masked vigilantes stood above him, with a third standing a bit away, most likely contacting the police as asked. The mask with the pale brick color held a roll of gauze, meaning they were probably Hera. The closer mask was an eerily familiar shade of pale green. Hermes. 

 

“ETA is two minutes on the ambulance, you two,” the third mask piped up. The other two nodded, never taking their eyes off the pro. Hera was quick to come closer, and began to put pressure on the front wound, slowly wrapping the gauze all the way around Eraser’s torso.

 

Eraser’s eyes started to slip shut.

 

“Stay awake with me Eraser,” Hermes chided. “With this much blood loss, it’s not safe for you to fall asleep yet. That woman who was running away, had she been here? Was she being mugged or something? Aeolus had stayed behind to help her.” Eraser grunted as Hera applied more pressure to the wound.

 

“Attempted mugging. She ran when they focused on me.” Rapidly approaching sirens wailed in the distance as all three vigilantes stilled.

 

“This is where we leave you Eraserhead,” Hermes stated, standing alongside Hera. “Stay safe out there.”

 

The sound of their leaving was lost as the ambulance arrived at the other end of the alley, and as Aizawa was placed on the gurney, he allowed himself to be lost to unconsciousness.

 

***

 

The ceiling of the hero ward was nothing new to Aizawa Shouta as he opened his eyes. Didn’t mean he enjoyed the view though.

 

Looking out the corner of his eye, Shouta spotted his husband sitting on his phone, leg bouncing as he chewed his nail.

 

“Zashi?” Shouta called, immediately met with a surprised husband.


“Shou! Oh thank God! I know they said that it was a clean wound and you would be alright, but seeing you out cold with that much blood loss freaked me out and—”

 

“Zashi,” Shouta said, slowly sitting up. “I’m alright. Did they already heal me?” To that, his husband nodded.

 

“They wanted to check on you after you were awake, but after that they said you could be discharged. But Shou, what happened?”

 

“A mugging. The woman got away but I lost sight of one of them and they pulled a gun.” Shouta went silent. “The Pantheon saved me.” That got his husband’s attention.

 

“The Pantheon? Shou, are you sure they—”

 

“Yes, Zashi. One of them was the green one from the station. They grabbed the other three before they could finish me off, then one of them wrapped up my stomach before the ambulance got there.”

 

“But didn’t you say they’re never seen by pros? Why would they show themselves like that? There had to have been a way to do all of that without showing you it was them.”

 

The two sat in silence, reflecting on this piece of information as Shouta went through his discharge check-up.

 

It wasn’t until they were both back in the car and headed home for some much needed rest that Hizashi finally broke the silence.

 

“God, I want to see the look on Tsukauchi’s face when you tell him about this.

Chapter Text

The three vigilantes watched on from the rooftops as Eraserhead was lifted into an ambulance, none leaving until the sirens turned on and the hero was being driven away. Quietly, the three met up with Aeolus, and filled them in while making their way back to the warehouse in the lower district.

 

Entering in through the roof access—the only unlocked door to their safehouse—the quartet split apart. Momo headed towards the bathrooms to shower, like always, after a patrol. Aoyoma went towards the kitchen in hopes of finding a snack before falling asleep. Sero looked to be headed off to the common area, most likely to find Todoroki, who was up at all hours. Midoriya beelined straight for his bunk in the corner, content to sleep for the rest of eternity.

 

Of course, other people had other plans.

 

“Wake up Deku, before I dump a thing of water on your shitty head!” Midoriya blinked away a few hours later to his childhood friend standing over him menacingly.

 

“We’re supposed to be having a meeting in five minutes dumbass, now get up!” With that, Bakugou pivoted on his foot, and made his way out the door to the boys’ room and down the stairs. 

 

Midoriya rolled off the side of the bed, sleepily rubbing his eyes as he stretched. Every Monday, the four proclaimed “leaders” met up to discuss the different duties and information available before setting the schedule for the rest of the group. Most of the time, Midoriya enjoyed the organization and making sure all of his information was correct, but most of the time, he didn’t take a patrol the night before. But Koda had been feeling sick last night, and curse his bleeding heart, he didn’t want the anivoice user losing his voice from a cold.

 

Stumbling into a pair of joggers and a t-shirt, Midoriya made his way down to the kitchen of the warehouse, where Iida was looking over a file, Momo was setting down some tea glasses, and Bakugou was glaring at Momo. Overall a normal start for the four’s weekly meeting.

 

“Deku?” Bakugou growled, his voice barely above a whisper. This caused Midoriya to pause. After knowing the blond for over 14 years, he understood the different tones of Bakugou. While many would presume that the angrier he got, the louder he got, it was, in fact, the opposite.

 

“Would you care to tell me what this was about with Eraserhead?” He continued, turning his red-eyed glare on the greenet. “Or maybe why we’re just hearing about this now?” Midoriya sighed.

 

“To be honest, I was exhausted when we got back. We made six arrests, and I had two different meetings with informants that make everything a game of mental chess. As far as I knew, he was in good hands, so I let it rest.”

 

“You revealed yourself to a pro!”

 

“A near dead one.”

 

“Either way! Ponytail said she had to make more bandages to staunch the bleeding. What if he saw her quirk? It’s not like her family is famous and wealthy or anything!”

 

“Would you have preferred I let him die? He was barely conscious, and from what I could tell he was more focused on me.” This forced Bakugou to pause, taking a breath and composing himself.

 

“Obviously I wouldn’t want him to die, Shitty Nerd, we’re not villains. It just pisses me off that I had to hear about it from fucking Ponytail while she’s pouring tea .” Iida finally decided to interject.

 

“I believe everything has ended on a good note Bakugou, and we found out about it within 24 hours, so I say we move on to the actual meeting. Are we ready to proceed?” Iida turned to look the other two in the eye, both giving some form of assent. “Alright then, let us begin!”

 

***

 

“Midoriya,” Iida called, breaking Midoriya out of his daydream. “Something has been keeping your attention. Is it something of importance?” Izuku rubbed his neck, embarrassed at being caught not paying attention.

 

“IthinkweshouldworkwithEraserheadasinformants.” The three others just stared at him in silence. Midoriya took a deep breath. “I think we should work with Eraserhead as informants.” Silence, again, followed by a—

 

What?” Bakugou roared, staring incredulously at his friend.

 

“I think we should work with Eraserhead as informants.” 

 

“Yeah, I heard you the first time, Shitty Nerd. Why the fuck would you want to work with a fucking pro?

 

“I would have to agree with Bakugou, Midoriya, why would you say something like that?” Izuku took a breath.

 

“First of all, he’s not just any hero. He’s the number one in underground heroics! He’s worked with informants in the past and also works at UA!”

 

“What does UA have to do with anything, Midoriya?” Momo asked, tilting her head in question. 

 

Well ,” Midoriya started, “because we wanted to be heroes, right? I know, for a lot of us, we just sort of gave up that dream when we made the Pantheon, but I was reading the UA Code of Conduct, and they have an old bylaw that they must have forgotten about, but for us, it could mean we all become heroes.

 

“Basically, at the rise of quirks—and the beginning of UA—vigilantism was a lot more common. Not to mention, quirks weren’t nearly as powerful as they are today. So, UA made a bylaw that if you could prove you had been active as a vigilante for over a year, you could bypass the heroics exam.” The group was silent, contemplative.

 

“What about the ones who haven’t been here for over a year?” Momo finally asked. “Aoyoma, Tsu, and Uraraka all joined only about five months ago. I suppose we could lie about when they joined, since the police don’t have any solid information on our members but—”

 

“That’s where Eraser comes in! Those of us that don’t make it for being over a year on could possibly earn a recommendation from him! With being in the course, we would be able to earn our licenses, and get back to what we’re doing, just without the Commission on our backs. All we would need is to—”

 

“You cannot be fucking serious,” Bakugou finally exploded.

 

“Kaccha—”

 

“No, don’t you fucking ‘Kacchan’ me!” Bakugou jumps out of his seat. “How the hell do you think we can trust him? You don’t know him Deku, he could very well fucking turn you in when he doesn’t have a bullet hole to deal with. It took all of this fucking time to get all of us together and safe, and you want us to just blow it for this...this...this fucking hobo ! I’m not risking our family for this!” The table goes silent as Bakugou pants.

 

“Don’t you think I’ve thought of that?” Midoriya says after a moment.

 

“De—”

 

“Don’t you think I’ve thought of every possible outcome for our family?” Now Midoriya is standing. “Don’t act like I don’t know what you’re thinking, Kacchan. I was standing next to you when the apartments went up in flames. I was standing next to you when we got the news about Mom and Auntie and Uncle. So don’t act like I don’t know what I’m doing . Because I will always fight to keep all of us safe, but I also will make sure that we have the chance to follow our dreams.

 

“Meeting dismissed. I’m done with this conversation.” And with a speed that they had all seen before, Midoriya turned on his heel, ran up the stairs, and they heard the door slam from the roof.

 

***

 

“Stupid Kacchan, acting like I’m not smart. Who has been the lead informant for almost three years? Who’s been one of the leading reasons we stopped those trafficking rings? I'm smart! I! Am! Smart!” 

 

Kicking a can, it bounced off the wall and deeper into the alley. Subconsciously, Midoriya knew that he was headed towards the shell that was his childhood apartment building, but seeing the building could very well bring him comfort, when the one person left from his past could not.

 

But even with a head full of distractions, Midoriya would have been a terrible vigilante to not notice the sewer grate shift.

 

Out of nowhere, a giant...creature...emerges, completely coated in sludge, with the only solid feature being his eyes and teeth.

 

“A medium sized skin suit,” it gurgled, “you’ll work just fine.” 

 

It was only years of practice that Midoriya was able to avoid the lunge. 

 

‘Think, think Izuku’ Midoriya thought, going over everything that he knew about the quirk in front of him. Reaching into his pocket, he felt a pocket knife he must’ve slipped into his pocket before the meeting. ‘Perfect!’

 

Launching himself forward, Midoriya jammed the handle into one of the eyes, celebrating when the creature shrieked in pain. What? Did you think he was going to stab the guy in the eye with the knife ? He was a vigilante with a grudge, not a villain who liked to maim!

 

With the sludge momentarily distracted, Midoriya rummaged around the nearby trash can, pulling out an old two liter. When the slime reached for the teen again, Midoriya was quick to scoop him up in the bottle and twist the lid, ensuring his hopeful nonescape.

 

Midoriya let himself sigh a breath of relief as the creature shrieked in anger, unable to open the bottle. But just before he could begin to question what to do with the sludge, the manhole flung open, and there in all his glory, stood All Might himself.

 

If Midoriya passed out at the sight, he would blame it on the sludge.

 

***

 

“Young man? Young man?” Slowly, Midoriya came to. “Ha HA! Thought we lost you there!” Wait...no...there was no way...was that...All Might?! Midoriya jumped to his feet, nearly hitting All Might on the way.

 

While the boy still had respect for the number one, he was thankful for toning down his fanboyish nature, especially when coming face to face with the man.

 

“Well, if everything is alright, I’ll be taking this! Thank you again for your help!” Wait, All Might was leaving? Just, with the sludge? Shouldn’t he have called the police or something?

 

“Hey wait, All MIght I wanted to ask you—”

 

“Ha HA! Thank you again young man but now I must go!”

 

“No wait—” And Midoriya Izuku would do one of the most idiotic things he had done in his entire life (besides vigilantism, of course).

 

He grabbed the number one hero’s leg.

 

Touching down on a roof, the hero was quick to shake the kid. And in a poof of smoke, the muscley number one was replaced by a half-decayed man. There was no way this could be All Might. So could it be a shape-shifter? No, no. A shape-shifter wouldn’t have had the ability to make that jump. Unless of course somehow he would be able to copy the quirks of the person they were mimicki—

 

“Young man,” All Might(?) cleared his throat. Ahh shoot, had he been mumbling again? He had gotten used to the mask dampening any mumbles from outside listeners. “I am in fact All Might, but I really must ask you to keep this a secret. If people found out their Symbol of Peace looks like this, who knows what would happen.” The boy nodded his head. “But what did you have to ask, young man? It must be important for you to grab hold of my leg. ” Izuku swallowed, fully understanding how stupid his plan was.

 

“W-well, I guess I was curious what you needed to do to be a hero. Do you need to go through a hero course?”

 

“Well no, young man, you don’t need to go to a hero course to get a license, or a provisional license. But a young and quick-thinking man such as yourself should have no trouble getting into a hero school! Say, what is your quirk, young man?”

 

“Oh, well, I’m quirkless, All Might.”

 

The silence was deafening.

 

“You’re what?”

 

“I said I’m quirkless, All MIght.”

 

“Young man…” All Might said, suddenly not being able to look Midoriya in the eye. “You can’t be a hero without a quirk, let alone probably get in a course to get there. If that’s why you’re asking, I’d recommend something safer. Maybe...a cop...or...something. But either way, you would just be a liability on the field.” All Might checked his watch.

 

“Now,” All Might huffed, as if attempting to push away the awkward air. “I must be off with this villain! I’m sure if you knock on that door over there, you should be able to get in sometime.” 

 

And with that, he took off, seeming to not care about the dreams he crushed in his wake.

Chapter Text

Midoriya Izuku was not blind to the discrimination for quirklessness. But he supposed he had been so stuck in his bubble over the past few years, it had almost...slipped away.

 

His friends didn’t care about his lack of quirk, and the criminals he worked with or helped arrest had no idea. But to hear from his the number one hero that his dream was unrealistic, after already spending the morning arguing to stand for the dreams he and his friends had all envisioned in their youth? It stung. It stung a lot.

 

Unlocking the roof access door was no big deal after years of doing it at the warehouse. Just because that was supposed to be the unlocked door, doesn’t mean everybody got the memo.

 

By the time he made it back to street level the sun was nearly sinking, and after the fiasco that was their attempt at a 1AM meeting time, the group had moved their meeting times to Mondays at dusk, before they would set out for patrol. The last thing Midoriya needed on this day of disasters was to be late and set panic through the Pantheon.

 

As soon as he made it through the door, he was pulled into a hug. Taken aback for a moment, Midoriya realized he had been attacked by Uraraka and Hagakure.

 

“Mido! We heard about what happened at the council meeting, and then you were gone, and we started to get worried!” Hagakure cried out. Midoriya returned the hug, trying to make the others feel better.

 

“It’s ok guys, really! This wasn’t the first time that Kacchan and I have disagreed on something. We always come together in the end.”

 

“That doesn’t make any of us less worried when you just storm out at midmorning and get back right before dusk! We’re your family Deku, it’s our job to worry,” Uraraka cut in. “Oh shoot, we're going to be late!” With that, the three rushed down to the main floor, just as Iida slammed his hand on the dining table to get everyone’s attention.

 

“I now call this meeting to order, as it appears that we all now have arrived!” Iida’s voice boomed. “First order is weekly business, let us start with Bakugou’s team. Are there any changes for the group to know?”

 

And with that, the Pantheon commenced their meeting.

 

***

 

“Thank you for that update Ojiro! In summary: our bug in the police network has alerted us to the Commission’s intention on cracking down on us, and their callout for all Underground Heroes to be on the lookout. That being said, this week’s patrol routes need to stay vigilant and report to the whole immediately if they come into contact with any pro or police presence on our routes.” Iida reorganized his notes, giving the others time to shift after reports have been given.

 

“With all of this said,” Iida continued after a moment, “Is there any new business to report?” Midoriya cleared his throat, catching the attention of the others.

 

“I have a proposition for approval.”

 

“Very well, Midoriya, you have the floor!” Iida sat down.

 

“Right, well, before anyone openly argues the idea,” Midoriya paused to stare at Bakugou who glared back at him, already knowing what this would be about. “Before anyone openly argues the idea, let me make all my points, okay?” The others nodded. Midoriya took a deep breath.

 

“I think we should work with Eraser as informants. Many of you may have heard parts of our meeting earlier, but basically I think that may be our best bet for everyone to get their real dreams. Vigilantism isn’t everyone’s dream. You all wanted to be heroes. 

 

“UA has an old bylaw that we could exploit regarding years of active vigilantism. If we can get into UA, or at least get into their good graces, they may be able to help us get to the Provisional Licensing Exam, which would get us out of the Commission’s clutches. For those of you that haven’t been with us for a year, having Eraserhead as a possible recommender could be your ticket. 

 

“We start out small. Leave no contact folders of information in places we’re sure he’s going to find them. Keep watch on what he does with this information. If , in a few months, he meets our standards, and we’re comfortable, we could work more physically with him. Of course before I do anything, I would require the Pantheon’s approval, so it’s up to all of you really. I just...you all wanted to be heroes. I don’t want the Pantheon holding you back from that.”

 

Everyone was silent, absorbing the frantic mess that was Midoriya’s request. 

 

We want to be heroes.” Everyone jumped, surprised by Bakugou’s calm reaction. “This morning you said ‘we’ Shitty Deku. It’s all or nothing. Either we all become heroes or not.” Everyone turns to Midoriya, with a wobbly smile appearing on his face.

 

“Okay Kacchan. We can be heroes . We already are, to some people. Right? I guess, this is just my plan to make it more legal for the rest of you?” Once more, silence falls before Iida clears his throat.

 

“Does anyone else have any comments they wish to make before it’s put to a vote?” A moment of silence. “Alright then. Midoriya motions for the Pantheon to partner with Eraserhead as official informants. Do I have a second?”

 

“I second,” Bakugou’s gruff voice cuts in. Iida nods, long since not surprised by the two original vigilantes agreeing with each other eventually.

 

“All in favor say ‘aye.’”

 

A chorus of agreements fill the room.

 

“All opposed say ‘nay.’”

 

Silence. Iida nods, glancing over at Midoriya.

 

“With a perfect majority, the Pantheon has agreed to work with Eraserhead until further notice.”

Chapter Text

Aizawa Shouta loved many things about his husband. 

 

He loved his passion for music, and his ability to make anyone smile. He loved how hardworking he was, while also being composed and gentle. He loved his long hair and the tattoos he kept hidden under the leather jacket of his hero costume.

 

Aizawa Shouta loved many things about his husband, but calling him at nine in the morning after he had gotten off of shift had him mentally preparing divorce papers.

 

“What?” Aizawa slurred as answering the phone.

 

“Uhm Shou? Sorry for waking you up, but does the Pantheon work as informants?” Well that woke him up.

 

“What?”

 

“Yeah, so I got in the booth this morning and there was a file on my desk. I assume it’s for an interview I have this afternoon, so I open it, and I recognize some of the names from the...I think it was the Ito case? Anyway, I look at the folder again, and I shit you not, a Present Mic post-it note is on the front of it that says ‘Eraserhead.’ What the fuck ?” His husband gasped, sounding slightly paranoid about the idea of someone being in his studio without his knowledge. Not to mention the fact that whoever planted it had to know that Present Mic would be able to give it to its recipient. 

 

“Alright Zashi, I’m on my way. Have you checked the tapes yet?”

 

“No, you were my first call. I’ll have them up, and I’ll call the precinct for an officer to come take a look at this after you hang up. And Shou? Be careful. If whoever left this, Pantheon or not, knows how we’re connected, then they might know where we live.”

 

“I will be Zashi. Call Tsukauchi if he’s available. I’ll see you in a bit. Love you.”

 

“Love you too Shou.”

 

*** 

 

The camera feed provided nothing. All cameras were offline for exactly three and a half minutes, if it had made it to three minutes forty-five seconds, it would’ve alerted Hizashi and the security team. 

 

“What about the file?” Tsukauchi asked, sitting back. Hizashi handed it to him, still looking at his screen. Slowly while reading, the detective’s eyes widen.

 

“Holy shit,” he muttered.

 

“What?” Wordlessly, Tsukauchi handed Aizawa the file. Page by page, the underground hero’s eyes widen as well.

 

The Ito case had been running out of possible leads, and was nearly considered a cold case. A murder and three children kidnapped. 

 

But sitting in the file were addresses, security camera shots of the missing children, photocopied fake IDs. Whoever left this file had found Ito Haru.

 

“I need to get this to the station ASAP, I’ll let you both know if anything comes up.” And with that, the detective was gone, leaving the couple alone. Suddenly Hizashi reached over, and grabbed a paper hidden by the excitement of the mysterious file.

 

Eraser,

 

We hope this finds you alright. Sorry about sending it through Present Mic, we just needed to be sure you would be able to find it. It would be a pain to get all of this info for it just to be lying around in an alley, right?

 

Until next time,

The Pantheon

 

The two pros read the note over and over again. 

 

“At least their intentions don’t seem malicious?” Hizashi tried to reason, more relieved that it was the vigilantes that broke into his studio versus an unknown entity. His husband grunted.

 

“But,” Aizawa started, “what the hell do they mean by next time?”

 

***

 

Apparently, “next time” meant a week later. When another file appeared in the radio booth. Followed by another. And another. And another. A few somehow found their way into Tsukauchi’s desk at the precinct, despite his office being locked. One was tied to an alley cat that ran up to Eraser after a fight. One was neatly folded in a box of jelly pouches that Hizashi picked up from the store. One memorable one found its way onto Eraser’s desk at UA, although that particular incident was never repeated.

 

Months passed this way, and more and more cases were being solved, not just by the Pantheon, but also by Eraser, with the Pantheon’s help. 

 

“Why do you think they’re doing this?” Eraser asks one evening, seated in the detective’s office. Tsukauchi bit back a sigh.

 

“I honestly have no clue. They have very limited connections to the police, yet somehow they’re willing to help us with cases that are classified? While being hunted for a bounty by the HPSC? I honestly can’t figure out their motives.”

 

“They don’t ask for money, or any kind of reimbursement, which isn’t common for informants,” Eraser added. “From the contacts I’ve reached out to, the Pantheon do deal in information, but they’re extremely strict about it, and definitely have a listed price. So why give it to us for free?”

 

The two sat in silence for a few minutes more before the underground hero left to resume his patrol, both still contemplating exactly what kind of intelligence were they dealing with?

Chapter Text

“Hey Hermes?” Uraraka called through the comm.

 

“Hm?” Midoriya hummed back, a few blocks away.

 

“Could Zeus and I join you in hiding the file? There’s a bunch of heroes around our sector, so there’s not much for us to do…” Midoriya smiled under his mask.

 

“Sure! I’m just leaving it at his usual breakpoint, so it’ll mostly be just waiting for him to show. I could use the company.”

 

“Okay! ETA five minutes!” The comm went dead. Midoriya sat back on the rooftop, hidden by the shadows of the roof access door. Waiting for Eraser to find the files had become a common pastime as of late because ‘No Kacchan, I’m not just going to leave files out in the open and hope he finds them!’

 

The soft thud of boots had the vigilante spinning around, relaxing when he saw the thistle and navy-colored masks of his friends. Uraraka waved and Iida gave a brief, silent nod as the two went to sit next to him.

 

“Do you know when he usually stops here, Hermes?” Uraraka asked.

 

“Mm, usually quarter-past two is when he takes his break, so if he hasn’t altered his patrol route— which he hasn’t since he started to find files on his routes —he should be here in about 10 minutes.”

 

“Then we should be sure to stay hidden, and make sure our comms are set to ‘system-only’ so there is no risk of being heard.” Iida finally spoke. His counterparts nodded, sitting back to wait for the underground hero.

 

Out of the corner of his eye, Midoriya watched Iida. Despite him being covered head to toe, Midoriya couldn’t help but pick up something being off about his friend.

 

Sure, Iida was known to usually stay quiet during patrols, not always trusting that he had switched his comm from ‘full-sound,’  to ‘system-only,’ but there was something off about this silence. It was uneasy— anxious . But for the life of him, the informant could not gather why his friend was panicked about waiting for the pro. It wasn’t like they were going to interact with him? And Iida had been understanding back when they put it to a vote, so just what was going on?

 

The thud of a fourth set of boots shook Midoriya from his thoughts. Eraser had landed on the rooftop across from them. Striding forward, it took him no time to notice the file covered in colorful wrapping paper—courtesy of Ashido—and work to open it. After a minute of reading, Midoriya saw the man’s shoulders rise and fall, as if he was sighing, and the hero was gone, headed in the way of the precinct Midoriya and Shinsou had become so well acquainted with a few months prior.

 

Mission successful, Midoriya turned to his compatriots only to notice something wrong.

 

Iida was shaking, frozen in place with his mask still set on where the underground hero had been.

 

“Zeus?” He called hesitantly, catching the attention of Uraraka. Iida made no move to answer. “Zeu– Iida? Can you hear me?” Again, no response. But then, just barely audible, there was a whimper. The shaking became worse as Iida’s chest began to rise and fall fast. Too fast.

 

“Athena, he’s having a panic attack. Can you call into the base and let them know he’s unavailable for right now? I’m going to try and help him.” The girl nodded before turning away. Midoriya turned back to his friend, gently taking his hand.

 

“Iida, can you hear me? You’re hyperventilating, you need to breathe with me, okay?” The tiniest nod as the sound of rasping breath was picked up by the comms. Midoriya slowly put his friend’s hand on his own chest. “Okay Iida, follow my breathing, okay? Don’t worry about talking or anything like that, just breathe with me?” The rooftop went silent after that, the two boys breathing hard, one exaggerating it in order to get the other’s attention, the other’s shaky as if he couldn’t get enough air in his lungs. But at least he was slowing it down. Athena watched from another corner of the roof, allowing Hermes to focus on their friend as she confirmed that Hermes and her would take care of it, and no one else from the Pantheon needed to come.

 

Minutes passed in a tense silence before Zeus seemed to go limp against the side of the roof. 

 

“Zeus? Are you back with us?” Midoriya asked tentatively. A ragged breath came through the comms, but it was followed by a firm nod. “Okay. Athena, can you make him weightless? He can get on my back so we can get him back to base.” Uraraka nodded, heading towards the two, but Iida shook his head.

 

“I–I can walk, Hermes. You don’t need to do that.” But Hermes shook his head.

 

“Rule 17 of the Pantheon Code, if something such as a panic attack occurs, the person who had the attack is not allowed to return on their own, especially if they show lingering symptoms. Zeus, you’re still shaking. The last thing we need is for you to miss a jump and get seriously injured.” The two masked individuals seemed to stare at each other before the navy one nodded again.

 

“Fine.” A tiny voice came. Athena gently placed her hand on Zeus, and helped him to his feet so Hermes could get him on his back.

 

The return to the warehouse was silent as the two leaped through the city. Zeus’ grip slowly became more sure the closer they got. When they reached their roof, Hermes slowly set the other leader down. 

 

As they went inside, Iida appeared like he wanted to go off and hide, but after a year or so with the stoic man, his two friends knew he would just go beat himself up over whatever had triggered the attack. 

 

“Nope,” Uraraka said, grabbing her friend’s hand, “You’re gonna change and meet me down in the commons, understood?” Iida’s face looked pained now that they had all removed their masks.

 

“Thank you for the offer Uraraka, but I believe it best if I just–”

 

“And I believe,” Uraraka cut in, “it’s best if you just change and meet both of us down there. Understood?” Her face took on a darker glint, something that promised if he didn’t come willingly, she would float him down there herself. Iida let out a shaky sigh.

 

“Alright,” he muttered, his voice still a timid imitation of the Iida the two of them knew. The three parted ways for a moment so that they could all change.

 

Returning to the commons, Iida and Midoriya were both shocked to find Tsu, Momo, and Shoto all sitting there with blankets and snacks.

 

“W–what is this? Tsu, weren’t you on patrol?” Iida asked, taking the seat cleared for him in the middle.

 

“Uraraka asked if we could set up a cuddle session for when you got back,” the frog-girl responded, resting her head on Iida’s knee.

 

While it was joked that everybody came to the Pantheon with their own burdens, it was still at least partially true. Everyone had some reason or another why they couldn’t return home. After the first time one of them had woken up from a nightmare-induced panic attack, the commons became a commonplace for late-night cuddle sessions. Just a week prior, Bakugou, Kirishima, Ashido, Sero, and Jirou had been found huddled around Kaminari after he came back from short-circuiting himself.

 

Silently, the five surrounded Iida, all reaching out to cover him in their own way. All six sat in silence, soaking in the atmosphere of their friends. Momo gave the four who just came back from patrol some water and granola bars. Shoto slowly warmed the room, as Tsu snuggled into his left side. 

 

After twenty or so minutes, Iida spoke up.

 

“I knew Eraserhead.” The others turned to give him confused looks. “He...he was in the same year as my brother. Eraserhead and Present Mic were in Class A and...Tensei was in Class B. They used to come over to our house on the weekends. The three of them were...friends.”

 

Everyone sat in silence, realizing what had triggered Iida’s panic attack.

 

A vigilante had turned to villainy a little over a year ago. Midoriya and Bakugou had even spoken to him a few times before he lost himself, and the younger two had met Kiri and began forming the Pantheon. He used to go by Stendahl. But the media had renamed him Stain, the hero killer.

 

Stain’s fourth victim was the Turbo Hero: Ingenium, also known as Iida Tensei. He had discovered Stain was about to kill one of his sidekicks, and had stepped in to save her. Stain told him that he may be a “true hero” but “he would be purged if he stood in his path.” Enigma walked away with her life that day, but her boss did not.

 

Unknown to the general public, but in their family of heroes, the Iida parents were not very involved with their children. They had more important things to worry about . Stepping up, Iida Tensei raised his younger brother.

 

When the news was released of the Turbo Hero dying, Iida was 13 years old. His parents mourned for their heir, throwing themselves even harder into hero work, and leaving their youngest to find his way alone.

 

Burning with anger, Iida had gone out to fight the Hero Killer, alone. Both of his arms sported long scars from the encounter, but if it hadn’t been for Midoriya and Todoroki, he very well could’ve ended up joining his brother.

 

It took his parents three weeks to realize that Iida had left, joining the Pantheon. 


The commons was quiet as the five vigilantes huddled closer to their friend, the only sound being the sniffling of one of their leaders, as he mourned for his brother, his hero , again.

Chapter Text

“IF YOU EXTRAS AREN’T DOWN HERE IN FIVE, YOU’LL MISS THE START!” Bakugou roared, loud enough for the whole warehouse to hear. A sound equivalent to a small stampede could be heard as the final of the Pantheon joined the others in the commons.

 

The yelling woke the six—Ashido, Aoyama, Shoji, Shinsou, Sato, and Sero—who had been cuddled on one of the couches. After patrol had ended, they all simply knocked out on the couches, knowing if they didn’t they would’ve been woken up hours later in order to make it down for the exam.

 

That’s right, today is the UA Entrance Exam.

 

The Pantheon had put to a vote whether they should try for UA, but between some of them being marked as missing or dead, as well as the uncertainty that all twenty would be able to make it with such a biased exam, they all decided to stick with Operation Eraserhead. Which leads to right now.

 

Midoriya and Kaminari had spent the last few days figuring out how to hack the cameras of UA, without being caught by The Rat, in order to watch the next generation of heroes. 

 

Finally, all twenty were seated around the projector; blankets, popcorn and pillows aplenty.

 

“Are you sure we won’t have any issues with Nezu tracking us?” Momo asked, turning to the two techies who were putting the final touches on the display.

 

Midoriya nodded. 

 

“It was so simple that we think he wants to see if anyone would try to get in. But I’m pretty sure we snuck past his different alarms, firewalls, and traps. And if for some reason he does get through, we have this computer pinging to about seven different VPNs he would have to go through, including Rome, Mexico City, Taipei City, Juneau, and a Canadian Naval Ship stationed in the Northern Atlantic.” Momo nodded, turning back around.

 

Everyone’s attention turned back to the screen, where they could see Present Mic standing in front of one of the gates. He screamed go, yet no one seemed to move.

 

“There’s no countdown in real battle!” The pro screamed, kicking the examinees into high gear. Bakugou scoffed from his place next to Tokoyami.

 

“Dumbasses. Do they think those villain bastards are just gonna say ‘hey let’s fight’ when they see them?”

 

“One would think so, but they most likely do not have true experience fighting actual villains like we have done.” Bakugou just hmph ed again as he stared at the screen

 

“Woah! We have a point-stealer on our hands!” Kaminari yelled. “Check out camera four!” Sure enough, a boy with a blond bowl cut was standing in front of another examinee, three bots down in front of him. The kid smirked at the student behind him, who looked like she was ready to kill him.

 

“Maaaan, that is so unmanly.”

 

“Ooh! Ooh! Look at camera seven guys! There’s a silver Kiri!” Looking closer, the group saw a boy who looked like he also had some sort of hardening quirk, although his made him into literal metal, instead of just hardening his natural skin.

“What are the chances of that!” Midoriya said in awe. “Hardening quirks in general are super rare, and to have one being the same age as Kirishima has to be quite uncommon. Although the way he does it seems to be off. Kirishima’s muscles become rigid and allow his skin to take on a shield-like quality, whereas Silver Kiri seems to actually change the material of his skin to...silver? Iron? Just a simple metal alloy? I wonder if–”

 

“Oi! Deku! Nerd out later, some of us are trying to focus!”

 

“S–sorry Kacchan!”

 

A few moments passed in silence as the vigilantes watched different screens. 

 

“Didn’t we read somewhere about four robots?” Kaminari asked Midoriya. “I’ve only seen the one, two, and three-pointer. Wasn’t there a fourth?”

 

“Yeah! The zero pointer! But they didn’t really say anything about it–”

 

“Holy fuck! What is that?” Sero yelped. Suddenly, all 15 screens display a massive robot, larger than any of the buildings in the arenas.

 

That is the zero pointer?!” Kaminari shrieked. All twenty vigilantes watched in a stunned silence as the students ran away from the enormous beasts.

 

“Hey wait, is there a girl trapped in the rubble?” Momo asks. Sure enough, a blonde girl appears stuck under a fallen part of a building, her horns shaking side to side as she shook her head and tried to pry the rubble off of her as the robot got closer. Obviously the vigilantes knew that UA wouldn’t actually kill a prospective student, but the more daunting thing was that no one appeared to be turning back to help.

 

“What the fuck ,” Shinsou said, glaring at the screen. “These hero wannabes care more about saving their useless hides than helping another person? Fucking cowards.”

 

“Boo!” Hagakure yelled from her place next to Jirou, throwing a handful of popcorn at the screen. More handfuls joined in and soon everyone was throwing popcorn and yelling insults at the screen.

 

“THE NEXT ONE OF YOU EXTRAS THAT THROWS POPCORN AT THE SCREEN HAS TO CLEAN ALL OF IT UP! WE DON’T NEED ANY FUCKING COCKROACHES.” Everyone went silent.

 

“Boo.” Midoriya said in a deadpan voice, throwing one last handful at Bakugou. Slowly Bakugou stood and turned to look at Midoriya, the look of a thousand painful deaths in his eyes.

 

“You’re dead Deku.” The two took off at a sprint, jumping over, and using their friends as human shields trying to get away/get close enough to the other. 

 

The other 18 looked on with expressions of fondness, or maybe exasperation. Who needs UA when they have each other? And it was all made possible only by the two idiots, their two idiots, who were currently playing a deadly game of tag.

 

They may be living in a warehouse, they may be doing questionably legal things, but they were all a family, and that was all any of them could ask for.

Chapter Text

“So Aizawa, how many survived the first day of classes?” Cementoss said, sitting down at his desk. Aizawa took a sip of his coffee.

 

“None.”

 

The room went silent.

 

“Seriously Shou?” Hizashi finally asked, “You expelled everyone two years in a row? That has to be some kind of record!” The underground hero turned to his husband.

 

“Eleven of them were moved to other courses, and the other nine would only end up being a liability on the field. It was only logical to save the Hero Commission some body bags later down the line.” Hizashi stared at his husband, simultaneously dumbfounded and not at all surprised, before dismissing him with a shake of his head and turning back to his own desk, where a table full of introductory essays from his third year English students sat. Suddenly, he sat up again.

 

“Oh! Shou, before I forget there was another file left on my desk at the station. The listeners even left me a little gift card and note that apologized for making me the middleman! Isn’t that sweet?” The other pro took the file from his husband.

 

“Ah yes, 19 counts of breaking-and-entering into a pro-hero’s agency. Very sweet indeed.” Leafing through the papers, Aizawa found more information on a case he had already received help from the group for once before. Apparently, he must not be getting through it as quickly as the vigilantes wanted. Passive aggressive bastards.

 

“Oooh,” Nemuri squealed, “Is that another mystery packet from that vigilante group? The godly group, right? What's all in it?” Aizawa handed the file over to the woman.

 

“Mostly analysis, but a few locations, photocopies, and surveillance camera shots.” The trio went quiet as Nemuri worked her way through the file. After a few minutes, she gave a quiet whistle.

 

“This is impressive. And they just leave these for you to find?”

 

“Leave what for who to find?” Nezu said, appearing on Aizawa’s shoulder. It was only fifteen years of training that kept the three from jumping at the interruption.

 

“I told you about that vigilante organization, right? The Pantheon?” Aizawa said, handing the file to the principal after he hopped off of his shoulder. “They began leaving these for me to find a few months ago. The Ito, Bumblebee, Oto-sama, and Nakamori cases were all almost labeled cold before they got their hands on them. And that’s only the cases the police and pros have been able to complete. Alone, they’ve completed over fifty more cases in that same amount of time.”

 

“Careful Shou, it almost sounds like you’re impressed.” Aizawa glared at his husband again. Was he impressed? Maybe. Would the information he’s seen make him believe that at least some of these vigilantes had potential to be heroes? Yes. But they were still a bunch of adults running around at night doing work that they shouldn’t be.

 

“Would I be able to borrow these for a few hours, Aizawa?” The principal said, breaking the underground hero from his concentration. “I would love to be able to dive deeper into these analyses. What an interesting mind that’s connected all of this!” This caught the attention of the other two.

 

“You think it’s just one person making these files? Shou, I thought you said they had a bunch of members!”

 

“Well I’m not sure on the surveillance footage, but from what I saw on the analyses, they all have the same unique style, which leads me to believe that they at least are all created by the same individual.” Nezu began walking away, continuing to look at the file, before being stopped by Powerloader.

 

“Nezu, did you ever figure out where that signal that hacked the cameras was coming from? I double checked all of the coding, but nothing seems changed. Hell, I couldn’t even find any backdoors left.” The principal’s eyes took on a sadistic gleam.

 

“No, not yet, Powerloader. The last I saw the signal came from the Northern Atlantic, where a Canadian Naval ship had recently been stationed, but I highly doubt any of the workers on the vessel would need to watch future heroes finding their place. What... interesting people...we have around UA.” With that, the principal turned on his heels and was gone. Aizawa couldn’t help but shiver.

 

Not only had a halfway decent vigilante organization caught the eye of the rat...mouse...bear... principal , but an unknown hacker with unknown motives as well. 

 

‘If there is a God, may He have mercy on their souls,’ he thought, turning back to his desk to finish the transfer and expulsion paperwork for his former class. 

 

All was silent in the staff room for a good thirty minutes, save for the clicking of keyboards or scribble of a pen, as the staff worked to wrap up any first day paperwork. Aizawa’s silence was interrupted by a throat being cleared directly behind him. Turning around, Aizawa locked eyes with Vlad King, who was towering over him.

 

“What?”

 

“Aizawa, with Class 1-A no longer needing the USJ next Friday, would I be able to take your spot for class 1-B? They may as well have a head start with the lack of competition.” Aizawa fought to stop his eyes from rolling to the back of his head. Vlad had always been obsessed with this one sided rivalry between the A and B classes, despite there being no real difference. 

 

“Take it up with Thirteen, I see no issue with it.” The two turned to the space-themed hero, who had perked up at the sound of their name.

 

“S–sure senpais! I would be more than happy to make the switch! Would you still be joining us, Eraserhead?” Aizawa bit back a sigh. Would he like to? No. With his luck, he would have a long night and not want to have to deal with more brats than he really needed to. But in a building as large as the USJ, and with his technical title being heroics teacher, and with the uncertainty of All Might being actually able to teach , it was always better to have an extra set of eyes.

 

“Fine, I should be able to help.” Vlad King and Thirteen nodded, going back to their respective tasks. Aizawa finally heaved the sigh that had been building up since he sat down. He was already not looking forward to next Friday.

Chapter Text

The commons was filled with anxious murmurs as they waited for the last of them to fall in. Never before had Midoriya—or really any of the leaders—called for an emergency meeting of the Pantheon. If there was something that needed to be said, it was brought up at their weekly meeting. But those were on Monday, and it was Thursday .

 

Midoriya himself stood near the front, where Iida usually hosted the meetings, anxiously pacing while glancing back and forth between Kaminari, Hagakure, and Jirou. Arguably four of the best of their information unit, so if whatever happened was enough to cause all four to be worried, it had to be something big.

 

As the last of them trickled in from patrol, Uraraka asked what they all had been wondering.

 

“That’s everyone Deku, now what happened? You’ve never called an emergency meeting.” Midoriya shut his eyes and took a deep breath coming to a halt in front of everyone. It was when he opened his eyes that they finally heard it.

 

“A large group of villains are going to attack UA.” The room went silent. 

 

“What do you mean Midoriya?” Iida finally said, composing himself quicker than the rest. “Who is attacking UA? And when?” Midoriya took another deep breath.

 

“It’s happening tomorrow morning. The four of us were out following a lead about a gathering of thugs and one of our brokers told us about this bar. We sent Hagakure in with a wire so the three of us could listen.

 

“They call themselves the ‘League of Villains’ and apparently, their ultimate goal is to kill All Might.” Bakugou scoffed from his place on the wall.

 

“They’re going into a school full of pros and heroes-in-training, thinking they have a chance against the number one hero? ” Midoriya then did something the whole of the group had never seen. He turned to Bakugou with a glare more fitting his childhood friend.

 

“That’s what we thought as well, and one thug nearly said something verbatim. The leader, Tomura Shigaraki, said that they had a monster, something called a nomu, that was built to kill All Might. The thugs’ job was to deal with ‘ those hero brats. ’”

 

“But still,” Momo said, frowning at the table, “even if they have something they think can kill All Might, they would still be walking into a trap with all of the pros and security features UA has.”

 

“But the heroes won’t be at the main building tomorrow, or at least, the class All Might is with won't be. They’ll be at the Unforeseen Simulation Joint doing rescue training. A small group of hero students, and only their teachers, will be about fifteen minutes from the main building.” 

 

“If it’s something that big, then why haven’t you reported it to the pros? Or the cops?” Ojiro piped up. This time it was Kaminari that answered.

 

“The only pro who we would trust to: A.) not arrest us on sight, and B.) actually heed our advice, is Eraser, and we couldn’t find him. And we tried to call into the precinct that one detective works at, right? The one with the truth quirk who is technically in charge of our case but Eraser’s been showing him our files? Well we called in to the tip line to try and go through but…” Kaminari tampered off.

 

“Spit it out, Dunce Face!”

 

“But the Hero Commission has declared us notandum levium , not trustworthy. No pro or precinct can take our tips. As soon as they realized who was calling, they disconnected me.” The silence was suffocating.

 

“C–can they really do that?” Uraraka asked, eyes wide. All of the informants, both sitting around the table and upfront nodded. “Then...what are we gonna do?”

 

“That’s why I called the meeting,” Deku said, stepping back to the front. “I don’t think in good conscience we could just leave this alone. If it’s found out we had this information and didn't do anything, our chances of getting into any sort of hero program are done. Not to mention,” Midoriya’s breath shuddered, “Eraserhead is apparently one of the teachers assigned to the class tomorrow. I don’t think I could ever leave him information again knowing us withholding it could leave him seriously injured.”

 

“Surely you could send it to all of the agencies in the area. You and Kaminari must have the technical capabilities of reaching out to them, right?” Iida asked. Again, Kaminari shook his head.

 

“Like I said, we’re notandum levium in the eyes of the law. The pros wouldn’t trust us, or legally be allowed to listen to us without punishment, if we identified ourselves. But if we don’t identify ourselves, we’d most likely be written off as a crackpot trying to spam a bunch of pros.” Everyone sat there, contemplating their next move.

 

“Tch,” Bakugou finally said, standing up straight, “If those dumbass heroes aren’t going to do anything, then that just means we’ll have to, right? That was the whole damn reason Deku and I started this fucking group. We break into UA, keep the extras safe, and kick those stupid thugs’ asses until the pros get their heads out of their asses and come as backup.” The teens looked back and forth at each other, slowly nodding.

 

“You guys need to be aware,” Midoriya said, before anything drastic could be done, “that this will probably be the most dangerous thing any of us have ever done. If this nomu really is made to hurt All Might , then this is a real risk. Any one of you could get hurt. If you would rather work remotely on this, there isn’t any shame.” The other’s stared at him, slowly taking on a determined glint in their eyes. 

 

“What did I tell you all those months ago, you damn nerd?” Bakugou smirked, his grin enough to make hardened criminals cower. “It’s all or nothing. And we can fuck a lot of shit up when all 20 of us put our heads together.” Walking up to stand next to his longest friend, Bakugou turned to face the whole table. “I motion for the Pantheon to sneak into UA, save the extras, and fuck shit up. Do I have a second?”

 

“I second you Bakubro!” Kirishima yelled, pumping his fists together. Midoriya stepped next to Bakugou.

 

“All in favor say ‘aye,’” he called.

 

17 voices echoed back at him.

 

“All opposed say ‘nay.’”

 

Not a peep.

 

“All right then extras,” Bakugou said, his smirk infecting the rest of the group, “Dunce Face, Deku, get the schematics of the USJ pulled up, we’re in for a long night.”

Chapter Text

Breaking down the doors of the USJ were a lot easier than Midoriya thought it would be. A combined punch of Kirishima and Sato’s had them swinging open, although come to think of it, they may not have been locked. Oh well.

 

They entered just as a black blip vanished from sight. The only thing left in the plaza was Thirteen and Vlad King. Thirteen’s space suit was torn open, their body spasming on the floor. Vlad’s back was covered in blood, as if the skin had been sucked away.

 

“Red team, help Thirteen and set up a medbay for the others. Everyone else, get to your areas and find the others!” No acknowledgements were given as the others ran off, knowing their orders from the night of planning. Midoriya, Bakugou, and Todoroki stood at the top of the stairs, looking down into the plaza. 

 

“Hermes?” Todoroki asked, “Were you able to patch through to the school?”

 

“The camera I had placed in my mask isn’t streaming, but it is recording. Something must be jamming the signal here. But my message to every pro on the premises appeared to send before we got here.” 

 

“What the hell are you idiots waiting for?” Bakugou said, backing up. “The hobo needs help, let's go!” Taking a running start, he launched himself off of the landing, blasts propelling him towards the plaza. Over all their years as vigilantes, none of them had used their quirks that openly before. But desperate times, call for desperate measures.

 

“Get us down there and ice the stairs just like he said Hestia,” Midoriya said, jumping onto the others back. Creating an ice ramp, Todoroki slid down the path, freezing everything—save for the sides, where the others knew to direct the students to go up—in his wake so that the villains had no way of ascending to the rescued.

 

Jumping off of his back, Midoriya and Todoroki split apart, Todoroki going off to catch any outliers, and Midoriya running into the center where Eraserhead was fighting. Eraser froze for a split second before swinging another punch.

 

“Hermes? What the hell are you doing here? You would never help them!”

 

“Nope!” Midoriya yelled, “But nobody would believe us when we said you needed help, and I wasn’t going to leave you all alone! Where the hell is All Might?”

 

“It’s a long story. You need to–”

 

“Less chatting more punching, dumbasses!” Bakugou yelled as he crashed down to Midoriya’s right.

 

“Ares, anything to report?” Midoriya yelled, ducking as Bakugou launched an explosion above them. Midoriya had turned off his comm before turning on the camera, so that whoever may see his recording later wouldn’t also hear their comm links.

 

“Poseidon, Zeus, and Erebus’ groups are done. Medbay is set up but Vlad King and Thirteen are unconscious. And watch Handsy over there, that’s the Shiggy bastard.” The two split then, working their way back out. Out of the 50 or so that had been initially in the plaza, only maybe 15 were still standing. They could do this.

 

“No, no, no, no! You stupid fucking NPCs, who ARE you? Why the HELL are YOU here?” A raspy voice yelled. Midoriya turned to see Shigaraki scratching his neck in a rage. “This is All Might’s level, if we can’t kill the boss, we may as well kill his knight.” Almost in slow motion, Midoriya saw Shigaraki run to his left, where Eraser was facing off with someone else. The man extended his hand.

 

“No!” Midoriya yelled, rushing forward and tackling Shigaraki, both biceps burning from where he felt Shigaraki grab him, wrestling himself to be on top of the vigilante. Kicking the man in the groin, Midoriya sprinted back, away from the deranged man.

 

“You fucking glitch . You aren’t even supposed to be on this level! You cheater!” Midoriya stood before the irate man, both arms burning and hanging limp from his side.

 

‘Think Izuku,’ he thought, ‘buy everyone some time.’

 

“I don’t believe we’ve been properly introduced,” Midoriya said slowly, his demeanor changing to add in some of Aphrodite’s charisma. “It’s common in RPGs to introduce yourselves to the NPCs before they can join your party, right? You have to...build relationship points?” Handsy paused, staring at the vigilante. In the background, Midoriya could still hear the others fighting.

 

“Yes...yes...you’re right, where are my manners? I am Tomura Shigaraki, party leader of the League of Villains. And...you?”

 

“I am known as Hermes. I am one of the leaders of my...guild...known as The Pantheon. We’re a party full of...paladins...that work in the name of the Greek Pantheon?” The man seemed to resume his scratching.

 

“A whole party of paladins? Sensei may know about them, but they are not on our side. They took down our cannon fodder like it was nothing. I suppose that means they are strong. But the real question is…”

 

God, did Midoriya sound this dense when he was mumbling? He would have to remember to apologize to Kacchan later. The man turned back to the teen.

 

“Well paladin, my sensei would be intrigued if he met you. What do you think of my nomu, hmm?” The man motioned to the monster still sitting next to the fountain. “He was a gift from Sensei to help me level up. Allow me to show you what it can do. Nomu! Restrain Eraserhead.”

 

Before Midoriya had the chance to cry out, the underground hero was on the ground, arms held behind his back in one massive hand, his head smashed into the concrete with another. Midoriya watched as his yellow goggles were broken, sent flying in opposite directions, blood beginning to pool around the head.

 

Suddenly an explosion, louder than the others rang out. Shifting his eyes, Midoriya saw Bakugou leap onto the black mist that they had seen when they first arrived.

 

“You seem pretty damn secretive about keeping all of you hidden, yeah? That must just mean there’s something to find.” One of Bakugou’s hands held a death grip on a silver collar, previously shrouded in the mist. The other raised in the air, ready to set off a bomb on the villain underneath him.

 

In his moment of distraction, two arms wrapped around Midoriya. One crushing him back to chest to Shigaraki, four fingers grinding into the bloody gap of his bicep. The other hand held precariously over his neck, a single finger raised.

 

“Careful now,” Shigaraki called, voice rasping next to Midoriya’s ear. “If you take out our escape, I’ll take out your leader, you ticking bomb. Now get away from there.” Bakugou froze where he stood. Not obliterating the mist man, but not stepping away either. Frantically, Midoriya looked around.

 

Eraserhead was out of commission, he had gone nearly limp in the giant creature's hold. The only people left standing were Kacchan, Todoroki, Shigaraki, and himself. Todoroki stood off to the side, out of view of Shigaraki, but unable to directly attack him without also hitting Midoriya. But there was one thing Shigaraki foolishly didn’t think of: while he may be holding Midoriya’s arms, his hands are still free.

 

“Better hurry or–”

 

“Ares!” Midoriya called, interrupting his capture. He knew Bakugou would kill him for this later. “Gamma omicron lambda epsilon upsil–” Bakugou froze as he realized what Midoriya was doing.

 

“Hermes!” He cried, jumping up, but it was too late. While Midoriya had been distracting Shigaraki with his weird chant, he had grabbed the hilt of the knife near the small of his back. Twisting it around, he shoved it back, stabbing into the villain's stomach.

 

Shigaraki let out a shriek, his hands slipping for a second before clamping down—not on the vigilante’s throat as intended—but on the stretch of skin directly above his collarbone, where the neck and shoulder met. 

 

The last sound Midoriya heard before he slipped into unconsciousness wasn’t the sound of the door being burst open a second time as the pros arrived. It wasn’t the shout of “I AM HERE!” from his once greatest hero.

 

It was the sound of an explosion, and the voice of the one person he swore he would never leave behind after all these years.

 

The last sound Midoriya heard before he slipped into unconsciousness was a desperate scream.


Hermes!”

Chapter Text

“You know, you would think a hero ward would be more secure, right?” A voice murmured somewhere to Aizawa’s right. He may appear asleep, with the way his face was bandaged, but he was instantly on high alert. He didn’t recognize those voices, hell, they almost seemed like they were distorted.

 

“Well I don’t know about you , but I highly doubt they expect people to sneak through a fifth-story window just to deliver flowers!” They snuck in through the window ? Was someone trying to attack him while he was vulnerable? Hizashi had only been gone for five minutes! But wait, why would they be bringing him flowers if they planned to attack him? Subtly, Aizawa moved his hand to where he felt the call button.

 

“Oh, Eraser, you’re awake!” Well to hell with subtlety. Aizawa scrambled for the button, but a clothed hand beat him to it. “Wait, Eraser, we didn’t mean to star–”

 

“Iris, he probably can’t see us. I would freak out too if random people broke into my hospital room while I was blind.” Wait, Iris ? Could this be…

 

“Pantheon?” Aizawa’s voice whispered. The sound of shuffling stopped.

 

“Yeah, Eraser,” the first voice, Iris , responded. “Athena and I were the lucky two who got to bring you flowers. And also because everyone has been freaking out about you.” A slight pause. “Oh! A–and Vlad King and Thirteen! But...well...a lot of us have more experience with you.” Aizawa took a moment to let that sink in. This merry band of misfits, that he had only actually seen , maybe twice, cared enough about him to break into the hero ward . Huh.

 

“The nomu left me with a scar is what the doctors told me. But besides from a shorter quirk time, everything should be fine after some rest.” Another pause, before an idea popped into his head. “What about the green one? Hermes? Is he alright? Hi–Present Mic didn’t know anything about him.” Even without his vision, he could picture the two vigilantes having a silent conversation on either side of him.

 

“Hermes,” the second voice, Athena , finally said, “hasn’t woken up yet. Ares—oh! uhm, the bright orange mask!—is with them now. Hestia—the burgundy mask—was in charge of getting the rest of us out. Cementoss put up a barrier and hid them from the police as far as we could tell. They’re both at UA.”

 

The three sat in silence for a few minutes. Aizawa sat, picturing the vigilante—shorter than he thought they should be—jumping in front of the villain who had tried to disintegrate him. The same vigilante that had distracted the villain, alone, and kept him from fighting for minutes. To hell with what Hizashi would say, Aizawa really was impressed.

 

“The uhm, flowers we brought were from a garden a lot of us like to visit,” Iris finally said, breaking the silence. “We help with the plants, and in return the neighborhood lets us pick flowers from time to time. Hera—I think they helped patch you up once?—likes to make floral arrangements for our base. Add a bit of color, ya know? And...we bought you a couple candy bars? It’s not much, but whenever one of us gets injured on a mission, we like to chip in and give them some chocolate for their recovery.” Again, Aizawa let reality sink in. The group, who he had only truly interacted with twice , was treating him like a comrade. He had also learned a lot about the Pantheon, hell, probably more than the precinct currently had on record, from this one conversation.

 

“Do each of you have your own mask? Are all the colors different?” There was a giggle from his left.

 

“Yeah all of us have our own color,” Athena answered. “When we officially join, we get to choose. As long as no one else already has it, then it’s yours.” Before Aizawa could think of another question to get the two vigilantes, who were a lot more talkative than Aizawa had expected, a memory flashed through his mind.

 

“Hermes said when they appeared on the plaza that ‘no one believed them ’ and that’s why all of you came to the USJ. What did he mean?” Another pregnant pause as Shouta assumed they were having another silent conversation. That was getting kind of annoying.

 

“According to our informants, the Hero Commission labeled us as notan...notum...note... oh I can never remember the word! Untrustworthy! No cop or pro is allowed to take our tips anymore.” Aizawa froze.

 

Notandum levium? ” He asked in an uncharacteristically quiet voice. If either vigilante noticed, they didn’t mention it. A hum to his left confirmed he had the right term. Again, the underground hero was struck with a realization. If the Pantheon hadn’t taken matters into their own hands, 1-B could’ve been seriously injured. His colleagues could’ve died . His husband could have lost...Aizawa shook his head, clearing those thoughts away for later, preferably when Hizashi got back with his late night snack.

 

Regardless, the pro hero sat as straight as he could in the bed, lowering his head as best as he could with all of the medical paraphernalia surrounding him. One of the vigilantes let out a gasp.

 

“Eraser, you really don’t have to–”

 

“If it was not for all of you, the results of the USJ attack could have been much more gruesome. Many people would have lost people they cherished. So while this is not the best bow, allow me to offer my gratitude on behalf of UA.”

 

The silence in the room was tense. Finally, one of them—when the hell had the two gone to stand at the end of his bed?—cleared their throat.

 

“Thank you for your gratitude. We’ll be sure to share that with the others.”

 

“Yeah! They’ll be shocked to hear–” The sound of a laugh echoing from the nurses station had the two falling silent. Hizashi was nearly back.

 

“You two should both be headed back. While you have a lot of people’s gratitude, you’re still wanted vigilantes.” Another giggle was heard as soft thuds of footfalls were heard to Aizawa’s right, where he assumed the window was. But before they could leave, he had one last question.

 

“Wait!” Both pairs of boots went silent. “Which color masks do you both have?” 

 

“Thistle,” Athena said.

 

“Cyan,” Iris added. 

 

And suddenly, the room was quiet.

 

Not a moment later, Aizawa heard the door open.

 

“Hey Shou,” Hizashi murmured quietly, “I brought you some–oh! Who brought the flowers? They're real nice!” Aizawa smiled to himself.

 

What sweet little hellions.

Chapter Text

Two months and 25 days.

 

That’s the amount of time that Izuku and Katsuki had spent apart in their whole lives. Katsuki was exactly two months and 25 days older than the boy currently passed out on the infirmary bed in front of him. 

 

The last time Katsuki was that fearful was– no .

 

Keep it together, Katsuki.

 

The old woman— Recovery Girl —had been in and out of the room bustling around Izuku for the past twelve hours. She swore to Katsuki that he was stable. That Katsuki didn’t need to keep guard over him, he’s safe . It would’ve taken no less than three pros to drag Katsuki away though. Not that anyone had even been back to see them besides the nurse.

 

Katsuki’s eyes drifted back to the limp body on the bed in front of him. The rise and fall of the blankets the only indication that his best friend, his brother , was still with him.

 

The blood had been everywhere. Izuku’s neck, shoulders, and arms were covered in blood, and more and more was oozing out of him by the time Katsuki had made it across the plaza to where his crumbled body had laid. The warm liquid long since scrubbed off of Katsuki’s hands, but Katsuki could swear out of the corner of his eyes he could still see crimson.

 

As much as he tried to push it off, the memories began swimming in front of Katsuki’s eyes, far too quickly for him to wipe them from his mind.

 

 ***

 

It was the first time the boys had been allowed to walk home from school together. At eight years old, the boys had sworn their parents up and down that they would stick together, and that they would come immediately home.

 

They first heard the rumble from four blocks away. The two boys exchanged looks, but continued on. It wasn’t until they turned their last corner that they realized what was going on.

 

A villain attack. A group of villains had crashed their cars into the first floor of the boys’ apartment complex. The infrastructure was crumbling. And the first hero to respond was Endeavor.

 

At the age of eight years old, with no parents in sight, Bakugou Katsuki and Midoriya Izuku watched their homes crumble to the ground.

 

***

 

Hours later the boys found themselves at the trash beach. They tried to run forward and ask people about their parents, but nobody had seen them. When a few officers tried to grab the boys, they ran.

 

The boys were always told they were eerily smart for their age. They knew that if they went with the cops, they may not see each other again. And the gods only knew what the system would do with a quirkless kid. 

 

As the shock wore off, and the grief began to set in, Izuku had a moment of clarity.

 

“Kacchan?” The other boy hummed in response, still trying to light a small fire with his explosions. “What are we gonna do? We can’t go back home, and Mom and Auntie and Uncle are…” The small green boy broke out into a sob. Quietly, he felt a set of arms wrap around him, grounding him back to Earth. A voice, quiet, and slightly shaking, responded.

 

“What if we just stay here? Then we don’t have to deal with those shitty adults or heroes.”

 

Izuku sniffled. “Kacchan said a bad word!” Lightly, the blond cuffed the boy in his arms across the head.

 

“Are you in, Izu?”

 

A watery smile turned to Katsuki. 

 

“Kacchan always has the best ideas.”

 

***

 

Days turned into weeks, which turned into months. 

 

The two boys had found their missing posters a few different times, but as time went on, they found less and less. Within three weeks, Izuku’s posters were gone. A month after that, Katsuki’s were scarce as well.

 

The boys built themselves a little hut out of the scraps they found on the beach, and what wasn’t useful, they sold. They figured out where organizations gave out free food to the homeless. They figured out how to steal from the 100 yen store without getting caught. They began learning how to fight, to defend themselves, and...others?”

 

***

 

When the boys were nine, they met another boy. Or well, to put it more explicitly, another boy their age came crashing into their hut on the beach. 

 

After the boy’s quirk came in, his parents decided he would be able to take a hit. After all, no real man backs down from a fight. The one time he did, he was beaten senseless, and ran out of the house.

 

The boy at first wasn’t sure about learning how to fight after the other two took him in. But then they asked if it made it easier if he knew he could defend just as well as attack? From there, he swore to be a shield.

 

Kirishima Eijiro had joined the party.

 

***

 

At 10, the boys first began to “patrol.” 

 

It was on one of these “patrols” that they met their fourth confidante. She had been trying to protect some other girls from these men twice their size. If Kirishima hadn’t jumped in, she could’ve been really injured.

 

But lo and behold, the girl knew Kiri. She had been terrified that his parents had taken things too far. She had gone out looking for him, but could never find anything. 

 

When the boys told her just what they were up to, she refused to leave them behind. Her parents wouldn’t miss the alien, she promised them.

 

With that, Ashido Mina joined the party.

 

***

 

At 11, Izuku randomly brought home a purple motherfucker with a muzzle. From there, Katsuki just came to the conclusion that his oldest friend was dead set on collecting traumatized and ostracized kids like they were Pokémon. 

 

***

 

They were 12 when they moved into the warehouse. And fuck, was it musty. Ponytail was around by then, which made things easier, and they were starting to make a name for themselves in the information market, which definitely helped in terms of funds. But for a good few months the 17 of them looked a lot more like squatters than residents.

 

It was Izuku’s idea to formally create a group out of all of the ragtag kids staying in their warehouse. 

 

It was also Izuku’s original design that their current costumes are based off of. No more shitty beanies and 100 yen surgical masks that they had to keep replacing.

 

They were 12 years old when the Pantheon was officially born.

 

***

 

At 13, the final three extras joined. Lumpy Space Princess. LeapFrog. Round Face.

 

Their base was finally a good home and not a freezing ass warehouse where they could only pray that no cops would raid. 

 

For the first time since the blond and green-haired boys were eight years old, they had a whole family and home again. 

 

***

 

And now, Katsuki watched on as his first friend laid on a hospital bed, passed out from the worst injuries he had seen in their five years of active duty. 

 

“You gotta come back to me Shitty Nerd,” Katsuki whispered, staring at the limp body. “You’re not allowed to see Dad, or the Hag, or Auntie before me.” The boy's voice cracked. “You promised we’d stick together. Wake up, Shitty Nerd.” Katsuki went silent, willing the tears to stay in his eyes.

 

It was in this silence that Katsuki was able to discern when the heart monitor changed. Jumping up, he raced over to his friend.


“Iz– Hermes ?”

Chapter Text

Consciousness came to Midoriya slowly. One sense at a time.

 

First was taste. His mouth was dried to the point all he could taste was cotton. And plaque. It must’ve been a few days since the last time he brushed his teeth. Didn’t he usually do that after patrol?

 

Next was touch. There were things wrapped around him. Bandages? Had he got injured on patrol? But then the blanket covering his body was soft, but still too scratchy to be the old blanket that was worn thin and soft from years of homelessness. So he wasn’t in his bed.

 

Then came smell. The air was clean, too clean. The warehouse had a mixture of different deodorants, perfumes, and general dust which made it never smell this clean. The familiar scent of caramel assured him that wherever he was, he wasn’t alone. Although now that Midoriya focused, he could swear he smelt something like antiseptic, and that only was confirmed with what came next.

 

Sound. It was quiet where he was, so definitely not the warehouse. Besides the fact at least half of their family was up all hours of the night doing 100% legal things, there was never a moment where all 20 members were asleep at the same time. It just wasn’t safe to leave the warehouse so defenseless.

 

There was soft breathing off to his left, but, much louder, was the tell-tale beeping of a heart machine.

 

Finally, he cracked his eyes open, made difficult by the layer of crust that begged him to return to the land of dreams. But the fuzzy image of blond hair rushing towards him stopped any of those thoughts.

 

“Iz– Hermes? Are you back with me?” Midoriya went to speak, to comfort his longtime friend, but only then came to the realization that his mask was gone. He panicked, reaching for his face, before a calloused hand took his own. “Relax, Hermes. There’s no camera in here, and the only one who’s seen you is that old heroine. Recovery Girl? She swore to secrecy and that she wouldn’t tell anyone about you. You’re safe Hermes. I promise .”

 

As Bakugou spoke, more things became prevalent, memories rushing back. 

 

They had stormed the USJ. He had distracted Shigaraki. Hell, he stabbed Shigaraki. But Shigaraki had...disintegrated(?) him. He was laying in an infirmary of some sort with a curtain drawn so that the bed was hidden from what Midoriya presumed was a door. A breathing mask was stuck to his face, a heart monitor was clipped to his middle finger, and an IV had been connected to his elbow. 

 

Midoriya was brought out of his observations when a set of muscular arms wrapped around him. Gentler than he had ever seen in their shared fifteen years. The voice in his ear was a shaken whisper, hiding every anxiety Bakugou had had since he watched Midoriya crash to the ground.

 

“Never do that to me again, Izuku. It was like I was back there again. The building was coming down. I couldn’t find Mom, or Dad, or Auntie. But this time I was alone. Please , don’t leave me like that again.” 

 

Slowly, Midoriya’s hands wrapped around Bakugou’s waist, pressure weak, but there .

 

“I’m sorry Kacchan.”

 

After a minute in a sober quiet, Bakugou sat back, all sights of weakness gone. Midoriya recognized the mask for what it was. A sign that this was not the place . This wasn’t the face of his Kacchan, or their friends’ Bakugou. This was the face of Ares, the Strong Vigilante, the Co-Founder of the Pantheon. 

 

He stuffed his hair into a black beanie, before pulling up the black medical mask that sat under his chin. He repeated the action on his comrade, sans mask.

 

“Besides from you, the Pantheon had no heavy injuries. Apollo shorted out, Pan had a few slight burns, and a majority of them suffered some form of quirk exhaustion. But Hestia was able to get them all away from the USJ before the cops arrived. The teachers were so concerned about the students and other teachers they didn’t even try to stop them. When I heard the sirens, I assumed we were both going to be arrested, but Cementoss created a barrier around us. After all of the students were accounted for, he and Recovery Girl came to us and helped me sneak you into the infirmary. You’ve been asleep for nearly two days.”

 

Midoriya nodded, absorbing all of the information.

 

“And what about the villains?” He couldn't help but ask.

 

“Well after you stabbed Handsy,” Bakugou paused his explanation to glare at Midoriya, a silent threat that that conversation was not over, “Him and the mist disappeared leaving the rest behind. Hestia froze the nomu's feet to the ground and helped Eraser escape while All Might punched the damn thing so many times it crashed into the ceiling.” 

 

Before Midoriya could comment again, the sound of a door opening had both vigilante’s on high alert, Bakugou standing to obscure Midoriya from view.

 

“It’s just me sonny, you can sit down.” Bakugou relaxed, however minutely, and allowed the elderly heroine into view. “I thought I heard you two talking,” she said, moving to stand next to Midoriya. “You took quite the hit, didn’t you sonny?” Midoriya ducked his head in embarrassment. “Well, luckily , this one over here was able to staunch the bleeding until I was able to heal you. Besides some residual shakiness from the two day coma and blood loss, as well as a few new scars, you should be back to working order in no time. Do you have any questions for me?”

 

“How are the other pros?” Midoriya asked immediately. Recovery Girl had a light smile.

 

“Without you and your friends, it could have been much worse. So for that, I must thank you for saving my colleagues. All three are in stable condition, and much like yourself should be back to full health soon bar a few new scars.” Midoriya nodded his head, glad to hear they would be okay. “Now, let me get that breathing mask off of you so your guard dog over there can give you a mask. Honestly, I don’t know where you found him, but he hasn’t left your side since the pros arrived.” Midoriya held back his tears as Bakugou turned away, grateful for the mask that could hide his blush.

 

“Now, I should warn you Nezu is on his way, and I am under strict orders that you both speak to him. And I don’t want you fiddling with that IV until I come to take it out, understood?” The green-haired vigilante nodded his head as Bakugou handed him his mask. Recovery Girl turned her back to them then. “Well, I'll let Nezu know you’re presentable.” And with that, she was gone.

 

The two vigilantes stared at each other.

 

“Well this is nostalgic,” Midoriya muttered.

 

“What the hell are you on about Shitty Nerd?”

 

“Remember when we first started? All we had were those cloth masks and beanies from the 100 yen bins!” At this point, Midoriya couldn’t contain his giggles. “A lot has changed, huh Ares ?”

 

“Yes, I would say the two of you have done some quite impressive things.” Both vigilantes jumped as the rat entered their space.

 

“I must say,” the rat continued, “you two are much...younger...than what I expected. I expected these burly men with years of battle experience. Truly, all that you’ve accomplished at your age is quite remarkable.” The two couldn’t help but shift uncomfortably at the Rat implying he knew their age. 

 

All of these years working in the underground had many, even the police, believing they were at least in their twenties. 

 

“I’ll cut to the chase for you boys,” the principal continued, drawing the boys’ attention back to him. “I believe that our two groups could help each other. Is it safe to assume that the rest of the Pantheon is within your age range?” The two vigilantes shared a quick look before Midoriya gave a single nod. “Excellent. Well then, here is my proposal: You all dissolve the Pantheon and instead enroll at UA, earn your licenses and do things the legal way, and in return, UA will become an asylum from the Hero Commission, and I will get them off your back. What do you two say?” Once again, the two shared a look. A silent conversation happening between red and green eyes.

 

“The decision,” Midoriya began slowly, “is not ours alone to make. We are a team, and either we all do it, or none of us do it. We would need to speak to the others.” Nezu nodded at that. “But there’s one issue you might need to be aware of if you aren't?” Nezu’s head lolled to the side, looking at the two boys, a silent indication to continue.

 

“The Commission labeled us as Notandum levium a few days ago. We tried to call into the police, or even a few agencies, but as soon as we mentioned who we were…” The boy went silent as the Rat’s face became even more emotionless.

 

“Is that so? Thank you, Hermes, I was not aware of that. I will look into it, not to worry.” A pregnant pause. In the meantime, I will have Recovery Girl come and discharge you. It would do well to let you know that the HPSC will have a warrant to enter UA in,” Nezu glanced over at the clock, “about three hours time. I trust you both to be able to have disappeared within that time frame.” The rat began to walk away, before stopping again. “Oh, and I also trust you to get into contact with me with your answer and any questions you may have as well. After all, you did hack my cameras once before.”

 

With that he was gone, leaving two shocked vigilantes in his wake.

Chapter Text

Bakugou gently set Midoriya down on the roof of the warehouse. No matter how many protests Izuku made that he was mostly fine, all he ever got in response was “ You wrote Rule 17 dumbass, now shut up .”

 

The sun sank behind their backs as they opened the door into the warehouse. They hadn’t even made it to the main floor before they were cornered.

 

“Holy shit, Midobro is back!” Kirishima yelled, racing towards the duo. Within a minute, there were fifteen vigilantes crowding around the two newcomers, all trying to make one giant hug. Bakugou, being the touchy-feely person he is, was quick to end it.

 

“Alright you shitty extras, settle down. We’re calling an emergency meeting.” That caused a bit of confusion.

 

“What? What’s going on Bakugou?”

 

“Is everything all right? You weren’t followed, right?”

 

“Ahh man, I wanna cuddle Midobro mor–”

 

“SHADDUP!” The room went silent. “We got a proposition from UA, and we need a vote. So get your sorry asses in the kitchen, you can cuddle and shit with the dumbass later, now move!” Recognizing Bakugou’s “I’m Ares the Strong Vigilante, These Are Your Orders” voice, those around Midoriya were quick to rush towards the kitchen, with a few splitting off to grab those who were asleep, or maybe not in the vicinity to hear the two returning. 

 

Before long, all twenty were once again assembled, and with that, it was time for the Pantheon to meet again.

 

***

 

“N-nedzu offered what? ” Momo said, the first to recover from the stupor they all felt from the offer.

 

“Basically,” Izuku said, standing in the front next to Bakugou, “If we give up vigilantism, he is offering all of us a spot in the hero course.”

 

“But we told him to fuck off until we talked to you extras,” Bakugou interjected.

 

“This is technically what the plan was, with giving Eraserhead our information, but something this big needs an official vote,” Izuku continued.

 

“Does anyone have comments, questions or critiques they wish to make before we vote?” Iida calls. A dozen hands fill the air.

 

“Can we trust him? Or is he just working with the Commission? He very well could–”

 

“Are they going to separate us? I don’t think I could make it withou–”

 

“What about our parents? Some of our parents actually put out missing pos–”

 

“Would they get custody of us? Oh god, I don’t think I coul–”

 

“This is our safe space,” Momo slowly said, her voice shaking, but clear enough to cut through the chaos of the Pantheon. “This is all we’ve ever known.” Izuku made eye contact with the girl until she had to look away.

 

“One at a time, alright? We’ll answer all of your questions, just give us a second.” The room was silent. “Okay, the first question I heard was if we can trust him. That one I–I don’t fully know if we can trust him. The only thing I have to really go on is that he has a soft spot for human children, and would protect his kids with everything he has. He was also shocked— or at least I think he was— when I told him we were considered Notandum levium. If he was working with the HPSC, wouldn’t he have already been aware of this? I’m not saying one way or another we can trust him, but if my plan works how I’m thinking it could, then we may have a chance.”

 

“And what is your plan?” Tokoyami asked.

 

“A small group of us goes—I say myself, Kacchan, Momo, and Iida—and meets with Nedzu, Eraser, and maybe a member of the police. We give them the information but make it seem like we’re all coming. If they try to arrest us, then we can’t trust them and the four of us need to get out. Iida and Kacchan both have mobility quirks, so Eraser would only really be able to stop one of them. Momo and I should be able to battle our ways out, since we’re pretty versatile. If we do intend to go with trusting Nezu, that’s my idea at least.”

 

A murmur of agreement as people dissolved into small conversations. 

 

“Would we be able to make some demands at this meeting?” Kaminari asked, getting the attention of everyone else. Midoriya again nodded.

 

“My plan was that when I reach out to Nezu I’ll give him our demands for this to work. Technically, we have the upper hand. Did you have something in mind?”

 

“We aren’t separated,” Kaminari said with no hesitation. “I dunno if the way he said it he could’ve meant it as some of us would go to Ketsubutsu. O–or if they don’t like one of our quirks and move us to Gen Ed or something? Or moving some of us to the other hero class to ‘integrate’ us? I guess that’s my guideline, they can’t separate us.” A chorus of agreements filled the room. 

 

“There is also the issue of our parents,” Iida butt in after a moment. “If I remember correctly, only two of us have deceased family members, four of us either left because we were told to or because we wanted to and no one cared, but the rest of us all have parents searching for us, and different levels of abuse we escaped. What do we do about that?” A few of the class subtly glanced over at Todoroki, others looked at Momo or Iida. 

 

There were barely any secrets among the 20 of them, and thanks to that, they all had some pretty common enemies such as the number two hero .

 

“UA would take primary custody of all of us. We’re old enough that the courts would have to listen to us, and almost all of you have really explicit reasons why you had to leave.” A tense silence had everyone restless. “I promise you all, I won’t let them split us, or force us back into the lives of those who don’t care about us,” Izuku paused for a moment as he thought, looking over at Jirou and Sero and Mina. “If you wanted to,” Izuku said slowly, “We could see about supervised visits? If that’s something any of you would be interested in. We can come back to that later.”

 

More nods and quiet conversations filled the room, and Izuku was happy to let it lull naturally. It gave him his own moment to reflect.

 

Will we be able to do this if we go to UA? What does it truly mean to dissolve the Pantheon? What exactly are we dissolving? Would that mean we’re no longer–

 

Izuku is cut off by a soft jab to the ribs. Breaking out of his stupor, he’s met with a pair of red eyes.

 

“We’re all in this together. You got it, Izuku?” Wordlessly, the boy nodded, turning back to the group that did the same.

 

“To answer your question last, Momo,” Izuku said, taking a steading breath, “You’re both right and wrong.” A stunned silence. “Before we had the warehouse, we had the beach. That used to be our safe space. But you’re also right because this is the place that the Pantheon grew. We’ve had a lot of memories here over the past two and a half years. And I wouldn’t trade them for the world. But Kaminari actually made the right point.” 

 

“Wha– huh ?” A confused Pikachu yelped.

 

We are each other's safe space. When we have a nightmare or a bad night, yeah, we may go to the commons, but we go to the commons to be with each other. When someone gets sick or injured it's not the bathroom that makes us feel better. It’s having someone there to patch you up, or buy you a sweet when you’re bedridden. Heck, when Kacchan and I first lost our parents–” There was a sharp intake of breath to his left. “When Kacchan and I lost our parents, when it was just us, it wasn’t the beach, or later on the warehouse that made us feel at least a little better. It was having each other.

 

"I won’t lie to you guys, the thought of dissolving the Pantheon absolutely terrified me when Nezu said it. The Pantheon is my— is all of our— baby. And the way he put it...he made it sound like we had to kill it in order to be heroes, but that’s not it .” Izuku looked to his right, where Kirishima was sitting with Ashido and Koda.

 

“When this is all over Kirishima, you’ll still be Hephestus . You’ll still be The Sturdy Vigilante. You’ll still be the Kiri that ran headfirst into Kacchan and I’s camp because you saw a fire on the beach.” Looking to his right, Izuku spotted Uraraka, with tears unabashedly falling.

 

“You’ll still be The Wise Vigilante, Uraraka. You’ll still be the one we all turn to when we need a laugh. You’ll still be the first one to take one look at Kacchan and say— and I quote —’fight me you blond pomeranian bitch’ when Kacchan complained about the level of spice in our food.” A scoff echoes around the table the same time a watery giggle does.

 

“I’m not saying this will end perfectly, but if you all are with me, then I promise I’ll do my best. I say this needs a unanimous vote. Any objections?” Not a peep.

 

Iida cleared his throat, standing up straight from where he had been standing against the wall.

 

“Does anyone else have any comments they wish to make before it’s put to a vote?” A moment of silence. “Alright then. Midoriya motions for the dissolution of the Pantheon if— and only if —a deal can be reached with Principal Nezu and UA that we will not be: separated, forced to return to home lives best left behind, or turned over to the HPSC. Do I have a second?”

 

A moment of silence. The moment of truth.

 

“I second,” Momo’s timid voice finally says. The group turns to her in shock, but no one says a word. Iida nods.

 

“All in favor say ‘aye.’ All opposed say ‘nay.’”

 

One by one, each member goes around the table with their vote.

 

Bakugou was the final gruff answer. Iida took a deep breath before staring straight ahead, meeting Izuku’s eyes.

 

“With a perfect majority, the Pantheon has agreed to these terms, as long as the deal is true.”

 

The mood around the table was quiet, and tense, and bittersweet. But there was also a timid sense of hope.

Chapter Text

As Nezu sips his tea, he looks once more at the short list of demands that the Pantheon sent before they would agree to meet with the police, and formally end their vigilantism. Honestly, it was a very simple list.

 

  1. Don’t separate us.
  2. Don’t force us to return to our parents. We have our reasons for that we are willing to share if necessary.
  3. Give us proof that the HPSC really will drop our case.

 

Their requests were nothing too extreme, and while he was curious the reasoning behind their demands— because the emotions instilled in the short list had to be important —The Rat was more than happy to wait.

 

‘All in due time,’ The Rat supposed. For now, Nezu had other things to focus on, specifically Sato Hitomi, president of the Hero Public Safety Commission.

 

Now Nezu knew that the HPSC weren’t very thrilled with his existence. They didn’t like that he was a hero. They didn’t like that he ran the best hero school in the nation. They didn’t like that he wasn’t human. Nezu knew that he made a lot of people uncomfortable, and a majority of the time, he tried his best to be approachable and friendly. That is a part of herowork, after all. But the flashes of red and green eyes— scared, no matter how they may have tried to hide it— and the view of those children— because that’s what they are, children —defending his first year students, had Nezu’s face morphing out of the humanlike look he used to cater to the masses.

 

If those kids had not appeared, what would have happened? Nezu could have been mourning the loss of three of his teachers. Four, if Yagi had had to go over his time limit. The children of Class 1-B could have been killed before they had a chance to even make it to midterms. If the Pantheon hadn’t taken action in their own two hands, the USJ could have become a tomb for so many lives.

 

But those other children also could have died. All thanks to the HPSC and their pettiness. Because that’s truly what it boiled down to.

 

Informants may be branded Notandum levium , if and only if it is revealed that they gave shoddy information purposefully, and risked the lives of law enforcement or heroes. The Pantheon barely worked with the police as it was, and if he was remembering correctly— which he knew he was —then all of the information that they had been giving Aizawa had been succinct and important.

 

The only reason they had been labeled Notandum levium was to get everyone against them. These children, while yes, could be tried for vigilantism, only ever really wanted to help, it seemed. And they had done a pretty outstanding job as far as Nezu was concerned.

 

The Rat turned to the file that Tsukauchi had faxed him earlier that afternoon.

 

77 larger cases, and over 250 arrests made in their estimated three years of active duty. They truly had the capabilities of being amazing heroes. And Nezu knew how that scared the HPSC. It did make them look bad, after all. 

 

Nezu’s mind drifted back to Ares and Hermes. 

 

The Rat had thought that the Pantheon would be young. Many emerging vigilantes are just out of high school, and many were hero school dropouts. So when Nezu had been reading the files, he pictured some young adults, battered and scarred. But when he first saw them in the USJ—first the others standing guard over his students, then the two in the center—he saw that they were only the same size as his first years . Maybe that’s why he ordered Cementoss to shield the two before the police arrived. Maybe that’s why he let the others get away instead of telling the heroes to stop them.

 

Nezu prided himself on being a creature of logic, but in that moment, he couldn’t bring himself to stop the vigilantes.

 

Those children would be something amazing, and he could only hope that they agreed to attend UA. But in order to do that, he’ll first need–

 

A knock at the door.

 

Nezu had been so caught up in his own musings, he was unable to do his usual door gimmick.

 

Oh, poo.

 

“You may come in,” Nezu said, standing up to greet his visitor.

 

Sato Hitomi was an austere woman, with a face set permanently into a frown. In Nezu’s opinion, seeing her actually smile would probably be more terrifying than his own.

 

“It is wonderful to see you again, Madame President. Sit, sit, I have tea ready for us. Thank you for agreeing to see me on such short notice.”

 

“What is it that you wanted, Principal Nezu? You’ve always been the type to find any and every possible way to keep the Commission out of your school,” Sato said, sitting herself at the couch across from the principal.

 

“Yes, I suppose we do keep to our own separate paths. But I believe that what I am currently working on would be mutually beneficial for both parties. The issue stands that I need the Commission’s explicit permission to do this. As I’ve always said, my mission is to help raise and inspire the next generation of heroes.”

 

“Let’s get straight to the point,” Sato said, interrupting the principal before he could continue. “What the hell is it that you want permission for, Nezu?”

 

The Rat’s smile turned just the slightest bit feral.

 

“What if I could promise you that the Pantheon will no longer be an issue, and all you had to do was agree not to arrest them?”

 

The silence was deafening.

 

“You’ve spoken to the criminals ? What? They’ve made demands?” Sato guffawed after coming back to her senses.

 

“Ah yes, well, I am sure you heard about the USJ incident a few days ago, yes?” The President nodded. “Ah, good, then I don’t think I need to explain that if those criminals did not intervene, there could have been young blood shed at our humble institution, and both UA and the nation at large would be mourning three heroes still in their prime. And may I just remind you, that these individuals could have stayed out of it, and had two other choices. 

 

“They could have just sat back, and let us struggle and bury our members. The Pantheon performed life-saving first-aid to all three heroes, and kept a class of twenty first years safe, while also minimizing damages. 

 

“Their other option would have been to reach out to other heroes and warn them as informants with their well-known reputation and–oh, oh wait, silly me. You heralded them as Notandum levium. They couldn’t have done that, because no one would believe them.

 

“Now, please remind me if I’m wrong, but the last five individuals who were labeled Notandum levium were labeled that because they had a combined body count of nearly 100 heroes, law enforcement, and civilians. Unless I’m missing something, I do not know of any casualties that fall onto the Pantheon. It really makes me wonder just what the public would say, knowing that the organization that is supposed to be the leaders of our protection, labeled people, who did nothing but saved lives, outlaws. Aren’t you curious as well, Madame President?”

 

The President’s eyes narrowed.

 

“Is that a threat , Principal Nezu?”

 

“Oh, no, no! I would never dream to do any such thing to such a powerful woman. I’m simply wondering what would be the reactions if something that seems to be being kept quiet is suddenly brought to the attention of the public. I am a curious creature, as I’m sure you know.”

 

Sato’s jaw clenched as she grit her teeth.

 

“Once again , Nezu. What is it that you want, exactly?

 

The Rat allowed his smile to take on a sadistic glint.

 

“You will sign this agreement,” Nezu slid a short statement across the coffee table, “Agreeing to stop any and all attempts at arresting the group, and in return, they will dissolve the Pantheon, and enroll at UA under Clause 247A, better known as the Vigilantism Reformation Clause.”

 

“And you really think that they will agree to this? Wait, enroll here? Exactly how old are they, Nezu?”

 

“They’re of age to attend here. And they gave me their list of requests that are easy enough to complete. The last thing needed is the Commission’s permission, and these vigilantes will no longer be on the streets. Do we have a deal?” Nezu asks, gently rolling a pen towards the woman.

 

There was silence as the president read over the document. With an exhale, Nezu watched as his guest put pen to paper, and he had to fight back another grin.

 

Things were truly about to get interesting.

Chapter Text

The four ringleaders stood on the roof of the building across from the meeting ground.

 

After Nezu sent back both a contract signed by the HPSC— and wasn’t that a wild thing to receive —as well as a promise that all members of the Pantheon would be offered a joint asylum on UA grounds signed by the teachers of UA, he sent a set of coordinates to a neutral building owned by Eraserhead’s agency.

 

The four stood at attention in the shadows, arriving early to watch in case they were walking into an ambush. So far, no one else had arrived.

 

“This is our last chance to back out, you know,” Iida suddenly piped up, voice coming in through their connected comms. 

 

“What, Glasses? Trying to make us chicken out?” Bakugou said, with no real heat behind it. No matter how cool all four of them may act about it, this was still an all or nothing moment.

 

If things went well in there, it would be the end of an era.

 

“We’re all together in this, Zeus. We’ll have each other’s back, okay?” Izuku piped in. “Don’t wor–”

 

“Uhm guys, it looks like we have company, and it’s only a few people,” Momo piped up, catching the three’s attention. Sure enough, when they all looked across the street, there was a single unmarked car, with the detective, principal, and Eraserhead heading into the building.

 

The four stood in silence as they watched the others enter. Finally, Izuku broke the silence.

 

“Keep your masks on comm-only for now, I’ll do the talking until we’re sure it’s okay. Lady and gentlemen, it’s time for the show to begin.”

 

When three nods met Izuku’s gaze, he turned back to the building.

 

It was show time.

 

***

 

Stepping into the building, Izuku took in the state of the offices as they passed them.

 

Overall, the building was decrepit, obviously no longer in use. Standing in the open center was The Rat, Tsukauchi, and Eraser. A small table had been set up, a single manilla folder closed on the surface.

 

“Ahh Young Hermes,” Nezu said, staring at the green-masked vigilante, “It is good to see you up and moving. How are the injuries?”

 

“I’ll live,” Izuku said, answering the principal. “What about you, Eraser?”

 

“I’ll live,” the pro mimicked, his voice even more deadpan with the bandages covering his face.

 

“I didn’t know Halloween came early,” Bakugou’s voice piped through the comms.

 

"Bakugou, that is rude!"  The detective cleared his throat.

 

“I’m not sure if we’ve been formally introduced. My name is Detective Tsukauchi Naomasa, and I’m the lead detective on your case. My quirk is called Lie Detector, and can sense when you are telling the truth or lying. It cannot be turned off and is always active, just so you are all aware.” The vigilantes nodded again.

 

“It’s a pleasure to formally meet you, Detective,” Izuku said, before slightly glancing at his team. “We are the four official leaders of the Pantheon. As I’m sure you know, I am Hermes, The Spry Vigilante,” Izuku did a small bow with a flourish. “Next to me in the orange mask is Ares, The Strong Vigilante,” Bakugou silently nodded at them. “After that in the navy mask is Zeus, The Leading Vigilante, and lastly in the japonica mask is Hera, The Motherly Vigilante.” Both nodded at the adults, with Iida accidentally going to give his own greetings before remembering he was muted. Izuku was sure Kacchan would make fun of him for that later if the chuckles in his comm were anything to go by.

 

Nezu nodded, walking towards the four after Aizawa handed him the file off the table.

 

“Well, it is wonderful to speak to you again, especially under better circumstances. You’ve come to your decision then, I presume? I have physical copies of the contracts here for you all, if you would like them.” Nezu stepped close to the group with no sense of fear of the four battle-hardened vigilantes dressed head to toe in black.

 

Opening the folder, there were the documents Nezu had already sent him, along with a copy of the UA handbook, the portion that Izuku read all those months ago before they started working with Eraserhead sat highlighted.

 

Nodding to himself, Izuku handed the papers to Bakugou, who looked at it before nodding.

 

“Last chance,” Izuku said through his comms, “Are we in?”

 

“Yes,” Momo replied.

 

“They seem trustworthy,” Iida added.

 

“Get on with it, Shitty Nerd.”

 

“So,” Tsukauchi said again, “Are we in agreement? The Pantheon will cease, and your group will give themselves over to be charges of UA?”

 

“And will our other promises be kept? We won’t be separated or forced to go to our parents if we have reason to not see them?”

 

“Yes,” Nezu agreed, “Although from the way you phrased it, you make it sound like there may be an issue with this?”

 

“Some of our members come from more well-off or well-known families,” Izuku explained, “And they would do just about anything to get their masterpieces back.”

 

“As long as we are made aware of who may be an issue and why, then we at UA should be able to handle it.”

 

“What’s the bag?” Eraser suddenly popped in. With his face covered in those bandages, it was hard to tell, but from how his body was pointing—and how tense it is—he was focused on the messenger bag held across Izuku’s body.

 

Slowly, ever so slowly to not spook the pro , Izuku reached inside, and grabbed three files of his own. They were wrapped up in much the same way all of Eraser’s info packets had been.

 

“I think if he fucking groans any harder his soul’s gonna leave his fuckin’ mummy body.”

 

"Bakugou, hush!"

 

Walking forward, Izuku handed the first folder to Nezu, who seemed happy to simply glance at the wrapping for now, and not dive into the gold mine inside. Next, Izuku handed one to Tsukauchi, who took it much more delicately—as if afraid of what could be inside—but still didn’t open it, seeming to follow Nezu’s lead. The final folder was briskly handed to Eraser, who was used to seeing the damn things, although neither party missed how weird it was to actually be given the folder by the person who wrote it. Quickly, Izuku scuttled back over to his comrades. Still, none of the three opened the files, instead just staring at the green-masked vigilante who handed it to them.

 

“Those are succinct files on all 20 members of the Pantheon. They have when each of us joined, our quirks, any personal issues that should be noted, or simple facts they may have wanted to share. Feel free to open them and ask any questions you want while you have all four of us here.” After a moment of hesitation, Izuku reached up and unclipped his mask from the straps that held it in place. This was the moment of truth. 

 

The mask slipped off his face.

 

“My name is Midoriya Izuku.”

 

“The name’s Bakugou Katsuki.” At hearing his best friend's voice without the voice changer, Izuku whipped around, seeing Bakugou’s mask also in his hand.

 

“I’m Iida Tenya,” Iida said in his usual voice, mask slipping off. The vigilante gave a stiff bow, and out of the corner of his eye, Izuku swore he saw Eraser tense for a second.

 

“Yayorouzu Momo is my name,” Momo said, the last to take hers off.

 

Together, the four stood in silence, allowing the two pros and police officers to memorize their names and faces before Izuku stepped forward once again, extending his hand to The Rat.

 

“Pleasure doing business with you.”

Chapter Text

“Oh, before we go, can I ask one favor?” Izuku asked, turning to face the three adults as they packed up. The seven had been hunkered down in the office building for well over three hours, and were finally packing up, all of their questions satisfied.

 

“And what may that be, Midoriya?” Nezu said, his head tilting to the side.

 

“Give us until Saturday morning. On Saturday, we can direct the pros to our base, but let us at least have some time to say goodbye.”

 

The Rat smiled, but it held none of the usual sadism.

 

“I believe that can be arranged.”

 

***

 

The Pantheon was gathered one final time, but it wasn’t for any kind of meeting. No, they'd taken their final patrol on Thursday night, and now it was Friday. Tomorrow morning at nine, Izuku and Katsuki would go to collect the pros who volunteered to help them.

 

No, tonight was not a time for battle strategies or patrol schedules. Tonight was the night for one final cuddle session—one that involved all 20 members.

 

Every blanket in the warehouse had been acquired to make a giant nest of sorts— considering they wouldn’t need to put their blankets back on their beds tomorrow —and Mina, Rikido, and Momo had been in charge of making enough snacks to feed a small army.

 

“Hey Izu,” Denki called from across the pile, “What’s got you looking all sad and pensive? Tonight’s a celebration, right ?” Izuku couldn’t help but smile.

 

And wasn’t that a new development? It had happened when the four returned from their meeting a few nights ago. Everyone had still been awake, sitting in the commons.

 

***

 

“So that’s that, huh?” Sero said, looking around. “The Pantheon is officially over.”

 

“Well damn dude, you didn’t have to make it that depressing,” Shinsou retorted.

 

“I didn’t mean it like that! Okay, maybe a little but–”

 

“Call me Koji.”

 

Everyone turned, startled by Koda suddenly speaking up like that.

 

“What did you say, Koda?” Izuku asked, turning to their quietest member.

 

“Well, no matter what happens, whether we’re Pantheon or not, we’re still family. A–and family calls each other by their names! So, I mean, if you wanted, I just meant that you all cou–”

 

“Call me Mina!” Ashi Mina cut in.

 

“That’s a manly idea, dude! I’m Eijiro!”

 

“You guys already practically call me Momo!”

 

“Shoto.”

 

“Sho, we already call you tha–”

 

It wasn’t a lot, but even in Koji’s small words, there was a promise. No matter what, they really were family.

 

***

 

“Man come on, that wasn’t even that funny of a story, would you quit laughing like that?”

 

Coming back to himself, Izuku came to the sight of Kacchan and Denki nearly on the floor, dying of laughter over something stupid, he was sure. Eijiro, on the other hand, was nearly as red as his hair. 

 

“Oi! Deku!” Kacchan yelled between fits of laughter, “Remember when Shitty Hair’s teeth all fell out when we lived at the dump? What the hell is it that he thought happened? It was something stupid!” Now it was Izuku’s turn to laugh.

 

“Izu-bro, please no–”

 

‘Oh no bros, I think there must be radiation in this stuff. Look at my teeth!!” The whole commons broke into fits of laughter as they learned about when Eijiro was first growing his fangs. Eijiro—while maybe a little embarrassed—was still laughing along with them

 

“Oh, oh! What about that time Denki and I mixed all those old tea bags together!” Mina called out.

 

“Was that the tea you told me was a new blend you had just bought?” Momo asked, turning to the girl with her eyebrow raised. The pink girl was quick to shake her head.

 

“Nope, nuh uh, absolutely not, we would never do that to you.”

 

“Mina, you just sounded about as sincere as Fumikage ever does,” Mezo piped in.

 

“I do not know what you are talking about. I always speak in truths,” Fumikage huffed from where he was buried on Shoji's left side.

 

“Fumikage, I do not believe lying is good for you,” Tenya randomly cut in. “There was that time you demanded you ‘pay homage to your ancestors’ and you proceeded to caw at us until Katsuki threw that loaf of bread at you!”

 

“I do not know what you mean, that was 100% truthful and necessary.”

 

“Oh mon dieu, Ochako, do you remember your first gay panic?” A chorus of groans echoed throughout the nest, drowning out the remaining chuckles.

 

“If I ever have to sit through Aoyama-Sensei’s gay therapy sessions again, I’m going to need actual therapy.”

 

“Hmph!” Yuga grumbled with no real heat behind it, “Well I’m sorry , Mashirao, some of us are not cursed to be members of the default setting!”

 

The laughter was near screeching at this point, between the affronted look on Mashirao’s face, and the haughty look on Yuga’s. 

 

There were hundreds upon hundreds of memories hidden all throughout the warehouse they had made their home over the past three years.

 

On the ground floor—where the kitchen, the commons, and their bathroom sat—there were all the late night meetings in the kitchen. There were karaoke nights in the commons for each of their birthdays. And trying to get new plumbing in an abandoned warehouse they may be illegally squatting in, was definitely an adventure in and of itself.

 

On the second floor, were the two halves that people had their bunks in. In one corner, the girls had their beds, and they were blocked off from the others thanks to some rope and well placed blankets. Each bed had a small trunk for momentos, and a small blanket Momo made each of them in their mask colors as a one year anniversary gift since they’d moved into the warehouse.

 

Up one last flight of stairs would lead you to the roof access door. How many stories could that door frame hold? How many times would it be open and shut as the groups main entry point into the warehouse day in and day out. Of course, the main floor technically had some small doors and old garage doors that could be propped open, but they were trying to stay hidden, damnit!

 

And tomorrow, that all will be over.

 

Izuku tried not to think about that part.

 

Koji had been right, it doesn’t matter if the group of them were sitting in the commons, or...wherever it is that UA was going to stick them.

 

Izuku knew that, he did, but that didn’t stop him from–

 

“Oi! Shitty nerd,” Kacchan yelled, smacking Izuku in the head with a flying pillow. “Get whatever stick you got, outta your ass, before I come over there and do it for you!”

 

“Ooh, kinky!”

 

“Spark Plug, you’re dead!”

 

Izuku couldn’t fight back a smile. Well, there’s only one way any and all group cuddle sessions can end. Death by explosion.

 

Sometimes, Izuku thinks Kacchan forgets that he grew up with him.

 

“Then why don’t you come over and make me,” Izuku took a deep breath, “ Daddy.

 

The laughter and shrieks were almost loud enough to cover the nuke now chasing the greennet.

Chapter Text

Friday was simultaneously Hizashi’s favorite and least favorite day of the week.

 

On the one hand, he’s able to pursue all of his passions in a single day, with teaching from 7-3pm, a quick hero patrol from 3-5pm, and his weekly show running 5-10pm.

 

On the other hand, Fridays had him pursuing all his passions, and by the time he usually made it back to the apartment at 11, he was exhausted.

 

As Hizashi stepped through the door, and was able to finally let the last of his Present Mic persona rest, he was surprised to hear noise from the direction of the kitchen. Most Fridays, Shouta was also working, with crime definitely ramping up on weekends, but with tomorrow being the day the Pantheon officially joins UA, all pros going to the warehouse tomorrow were told to take tonight off to prepare. Hizashi was sure his husband would take the free time to catch a few more hours of that desperately needed sleep, but instead there he was, hunched over the familiar file that Hizashi knew the Pantheon had given him only a few days prior.

 

Walking closer, Hizashi randomly picked up one of the sheets from his husband’s apparent discard pile.

 

6. Erebus (Tokoyami Fumikage)

Role: Protector

Pronouns: He/Him

Mask: Charcoal

Quirk: Dark Shadow

Dark Shadow is a sentient shadow that can materialize at will, acting as a personal guardian that becomes more volatile in the dark.

Reason for Joining: Abusive Household

While both parents had avian-based quirks, the idea of a “demonic quirk” was a black mark on their family, and while they may have not physically assaulted Fumi, they turned a blind-eye and were grossly neglectful.

Other Information from Tokoyami:

Dark Shadow uses she/it/they pronouns. For the safety of myself, Dark Shadow, and people sleeping near me, it is best I always have some sort of light on. I also really like apples.

 

Dumbfounded by the story told in so few points, Hizashi looked up at his husband, who, with only a quick glance, wordlessly slid another paper towards Hizashi. Quickly, the pro picked up the other profile.

 

5. Hades (Shinsou Hitoshi)

Role: Informant

Pronouns: He/Him

Mask: Lilac

Quirk: Brainwashing

When someone verbally responds, they are put into a state where they must obey all commands until snapped out of it (physical touch)

Reason for Joining: Kicked Out

While in the foster care system, Hitoshi had to wear a muzzle, due to his vocal quirk. One day, after a rough time between home and school Hitoshi ran away, still with muzzle on.

Other Information from Shinsou:

When the weather is overcast, or cold, the scars on my jaw will act up. They could maybe swell, or just ache a lot to the point where eating hurts. There are also days I just prefer not to talk. All of the class can use JSL, at least to some extent, when needed.

 

“These poor kids,” Hizashi muttered, slumping into the nearest chair. “Did all of the little listeners come from people who didn’t like their quirks? And what do these numbers mean?” His husband finally sat back, bringing a hand up to wipe his eyes, careful of the bandages covering the new scar.

 

“Most of them either were kicked out or ran away for one reason or another. There are a few extenuating circumstances, but besides that, pretty much all of them ran. And the numbers indicate what order they joined.”

 

“Shou, you’ve been looking at these for hours, why don’t we turn in? We’ll see them all tomorrow?”

 

“I can’t, Hizashi,” Shouta said, suddenly looking up. “These kids have nothing , some longer than others. They’re putting their trust in us, in me. I can’t take that lightly. I won't.” Hizashi cracked a small smile.

 

“Careful there, Eraser,” he quietly joked, “I’m starting to think you care.” A moment of silence passed as his husband grumbled at the long standing joke.

 

“Just shut up and let me work,” Shouta finally said.

 

“Ahh come on! At least give me the rundown, they’re gonna be my students too! And not all of us got that fancy schmancy file!” Hizashi snapped some finger guns as his husband slowly collected all the papers. It was hard to tell with all of the wrappings, but Hizashi could feel the ‘You’re Lucky I Love You Or You’d Be Divorced’ look from across the table.

 

“Fine, let’s go over it once, then we’ll sleep.” Shouta put the first paper on the table, sliding it over to his husband.

 

“First, is Midoriya Izuku, known as Hermes, with the green mask. Him and number two, Bakugou Katsuki, or Ares—the one with the orange mask—were the first ones to join together. Their families were close, and the two lost both of their parents to an apartment fire when they were eight. They evaded the police and hid at Dagobah Beach for a few years, where they met a few others. Midoriya is quirkless, but is the Head Informant and specializes in quirk analysis. Bakugou’s quirk Explosion comes from a combination of his parent’s quirk, apparently. He sweats something similar to nitroglycerin, which he can ignite in the palm of his hands. He’s the head of the quote-on-quote ‘Heavy-Hitters.’

 

“Kirishima Eijiro, scarlet mask, known as Hephaestus, is also a heavy-hitter. When his quirk—which allows him to harden his skin on command—came in, his parents’ decided he could ‘take a hit’ and began to use him as a personal punching bag. He ran away when he was nine, and was on his own for a few weeks until he literally crashed into Bakugou and Midoriya’s campsite. The three became friends, and technically this is when they began vigilantism, although it was pre-Pantheon.

 

“The next person to join was Ashido Mina, pink mask, vigilante name: Persephone, at the age of ten. Her parent’s liked to call her the Family Freak, and to this day she’s not sure if it was a joke or not. She grew up with Kirishima, and when he quit coming to school, she thought his parents had taken it too far. When she ran into the three on patrol, she refused to leave them alone, and ended up joining them. Due to the sclera in her eyes, she’s prone to migraines, so she is more a night person but in sunlight may need sunglasses. She is the first in the ‘Protector’ category, because usually she would be the one dealing with victims of crimes while another would deal with the criminal.

 

“As you saw with Shinsou, he came from a quirkest family until he ended up running away around 11. Midoriya found him a few days later and he hadn’t been able to eat or drink due to the mask. Midoriya took him to Dagobah, unlocked the muzzle, and he ended up staying.

 

“Tokoyami joined a few weeks laters, after his attempted-mugger was caught by Kirishima and Midoriya.

 

The next two joined together, cousins Sato Rikido and Hagakure Tooru. Their family was attacked while out to eat, and the two of them escaped most of the harm. Bakugou found them and took them back to the beach after they saw what happened to the restaurant. 

 

“Sato, mask color: banana, name: Dionysus. His quirk, Sugar Rush, multiplies his strength for every ten grams of sugar he eats. He’s another Heavy-Hitter.

 

“Hagakure, mask color: cyan, name: Iris. Her quirk has her invisible at all times, although there is a way for her to reflect light. And before you ask, yes, she is one of the brats who visited me in the hospital . Due to her quirk, she is also an Informant.

 

“Next up was Kaminari Denki, mask color: mustard, name: Apollo, role: Informant. He was kicked out of his foster home for ‘not being smart enough’ and ‘for having such a shitty quirk.’ His quirk, Electrification , allows him to generate, control, and emit currently over 1 million volts of electricity. His quirk also affects his ADHD, which makes it difficult for him to study, but he is a computer expert, and is actually the one who, along with Midoriya, hacked the cams of the entrance exam.

 

“Next up is Todoroki Shouto, yes , as in that Todoroki. Mask color: burgundy, name: Hestia, role: Heavy-Hitter. Apparently, Todoroki Enji, bought his wife from her parents, and basically kept getting her pregnant until he got himself a ‘ suitable’ heir. According to him, Midoriya randomly showed up one night at his window and asked if he wanted to leave. He did, and that was it. He asks that everyone just call him Shouto, and also wants people to be aware he is not always the best at social interactions due to his upbringing, so if he’s quiet, don’t think he’s rude.

 

“Soon after him, Sero Hanta joined. Mask color: white, name: Aeolus, role: Protector. Apparently, they tried to be a vigilante on their own, and nearly got themselves killed. Shouto found him, saved him, and randomly brought them back with. Sero was apparently the third oldest of nine kids, so they promised that his family wouldn’t care. Their quirk, Tape , comes from his elbows that have a slot-like mutation that lets him shoot tape of his own design. He wrote as an extra note that both he and Shouto are two of many insomniacs, and if awake could probably be found crashing near each other. They also use they/he pronouns, with an emphasis on they.

 

“Yaoyorozu Momo was saved from a potential sexual assault by Sero and Bakugou. Apparently Bakugou looked her over and said that she needed help, so they took her in. Mask color: japonica, vigilante name: Hera, role: Protector. Her quirk, Creation , allows her to create anything nonliving using the lipids in her body. Her parents were very strict about her education, as well as her appearance, so while she knew how to make many things, they would restrict her calorie intake to the point she would pass out after using it. She has times where she still has trouble with caloric-intake, but the group has plans in place to make sure that she never goes down to a critical weight, like she was when they met her.

 

“Next is–”

 

“Hold on, hold on. Shou, how old are they all by now?” Hizashi asked, his head swimming from all of the information. Shouta frowned but looked at a loose piece of paper not in his stack.

 

“At this point in their creation, they’re all around 11, and no, the Pantheon hasn’t been formed yet. Any other questions?”

 

“Do you need a stiff drink as much as I do?”

 

“Stay on topic, Hizashi. Next is Jirou Kyoka. Mask color: purple, name: Artemis, role: Informant. She comes from a musical family, and felt the stress to be a musician like them instead of following her own path. One night on a walk, they randomly met Kaminari, who told her she could join them, if she wanted. Their quirk, Earphone Jack , is a mutation that gives her headphone jacks as earlobes, which she can use to project their heartbeat, have increased hearing, and as a form of attack. They use she/they pronouns, and apparently talked Kaminari into making it so all of their comms can play your radio station, whenever they want.

 

“After she joined, it was…” Shouta trailed off.

 

“Shou, what is it?”

 

“Next was Tenya, Zashi.” Hizashi felt his stomach drop. Little Tenya? Tensei’s Little Tenya, who looked like he had stars in his eyes every time his big brother was mentioned. Admittedly, Hizashi and Shouta hadn’t really spoken to the Iida family after Tensei’s...death...but the Iida’s really lost both of their sons?

 

“Apparently," Shouta said, after a pregnant pause, “The Iidas didn’t really spend a lot of time with their kids. Tensei raised Tenya, and after his death, his parents threw themselves into hero work and left him alone. He went after the Hero Killer himself.” Hizashi sucked in a breath. “Todoroki and Midoriya stopped him in time, and the Hero Killer got away. He immediately joined the group, but now has long scars circling his arms from the fight, which sometimes act up in cold weather. He is the last four of the official leaders to join, his mask is navy, his name is Zeus, and he is labeled as a Protector. He...he looks a lot like him, Zashi. He was one of the four there the other night.”

 

Before Hizashi could think to comfort his husband over their lost friend, he barreled on.

 

“The next three all joined together, and this was the timeframe where a majority of them were twelve. Koda Koji, Shoji Mezo, and Ojiro Mashirao, all met while homeless. They were kicked out for being ‘freaks’ due to their mutations. They stumbled upon the group at the beach, and were the last members to join before they moved to their current location.

 

“Koda Koji, mask color: brown, name: Demeter, role: Informant. His quirk, Anivoice , gives him the ability to speak to any animal, who most of the time will obey his command. He has extreme anxiety, and will resort to JSL if he feels overwhelmed.

 

“Shoji Mezo, mask color: cobalt, name: Kratos, role: Informant. His quirk, Dupli-Arms , allows him to manipulate his six arms, as well as change the ends into hands, ears, eyes, or mouths. He is the tallest, and easiest to spot, even in uniform with the others, and according to a note written in pen on his paper, he is the best person to go to when you’re having a panic attack, because he will crush you in a hug with all six arms.

 

“Finally of those three is Ojiro Mashirao, mask color: gray, name: Pan, role: Heavy-Hitter. His quirk, Tail, is exactly what it sounds like. He has a powerful tail that works as a fifth limb. Ojiro has the best trained martial arts experience, with a level three black belt, and has his own style, which he uses in combination with his tail.

 

Hizashi’s husband finally took a deep breath, slouching back in his chair.

 

“After these three joined, they moved to their current location, which they will take us to tomorrow. It was also here where they officially started to be branded as a unit, and is technically where the Pantheon first formed.

 

“When they were all starting to turn 13, the next one to join was Aoyama Yuga, mask color: fuschia, name: Aphrodite, role: Protector. They’re from a first generation immigrant family from France, and moved here when he was 10. When they came out to their parents, they were kicked out and told to never return. He barely spoke Japanese when he met the Pantheon, but is now fully fluent in both Japanese and JSL. His quirk, Naval Laser , gives him the ability to fire a laser from his navel, although if he uses it too often, he’ll become nauseous.

 

“A few months later, Tokoyami and Dark Shadow met Asui Tsuyu, mask: dark green, name: Poseidon, role: Informant. Her parents neglected her in favor of her younger siblings, so she agreed to come with and meet the group. She ran off with them shortly after. Her quirk allows her basically everything that a frog can do, including a tic where she may randomly say ‘kero,’ so keep that in mind.

 

“The final to join was Uraraka Ochako, mask color: thistle, name: Athena, role: Protector. Her family is low-income, and thinking she would be less of a burden, she ran away. Two of the informants, Jirou and Kaminari, noticed her, and reported it to Midoriya. He befriended her and talked her into joining. She ranks within the top three in quirkless sparring, under only Midoriya and Ojiro. Her quirk, Zero Gravity , allows anything that is touched by all five fingers to float in the air. She can do it to herself as well, but not for long. She also has issues at times with food, but similar to Yaoyorozu, the group has steps in place to help.

 

“After she joined, the group were active for over a year before Midoriya and Shinsou were purposefully arrested, in order for them to gain access to police-sensitive information.”

 

Both heroes sat in silence, allowing all of the information to fully absorb. All of the things these children have done, and that was when the entire world was against them. Slowly, Hizashi reached across the table and grasped his husband’s hand as he set the last of the papers down.

 

“They won’t have to do this alone,” Hizashi said quietly. “Not anymore.”

 

Shouta didn’t say a word, but squeezed his hand in return.

Chapter Text

When the pros met at UA the next morning, the air was filled with apprehension, but also excitement. They were being invited to the headquarters of one of Japan’s most infamous vigilante organizations. They were going to get to see the members of the Pantheon unmasked . But there was one small issue.

 

“So uhm, where are we going?” Midnight said, turning to Aizawa. All five heroes—Eraserhead, Present Mic, Midnight, Vlad King, and Ectoplasm—stood just inside of the gates of UA in their civilian clothes, not wanting to draw attention to the kids. Aizawa sighed, bringing up a hand to rub where his bandages are.

 

“They said they would lead us there today. Before they left, Hermes said to go to the corner of 9th and Broadway, and someone would be waiting for us.”

 

“They sure like their privacy, don’t they?” Vlad piped up, hand flicking the keys for the bus that he would drive the pros in.

 

“Well if you think about it,” Mic slowly added, “They haven’t had to trust anyone outside of their initial circle up until now. Plus, it’s nice being able to say goodbye on their own time. If we knew their address, we would want to see it right away.”

 

With that, the pros slowly loaded onto the bus in silence, each lost in thought about the children they were going to see.

 

When Vlad pulled up to the intersection of 9th and Broadway, he stalled the engine, and turned back to the others.

 

“I don’t see anybody. Are we earl–” A knock on the door cut him off, making all of them jump.

 

Standing in front of the doors, hoods down and maskless, stood two teens, one of them shyly smiling up at the pro, and the other scrutinizing his every move. Silently, Vlad turned to Eraser, looking for confirmation that these weren’t random runaways coming up to the bus. Wordlessly, Eraser nodded, signaling Vlad to open the doors.

 

“What, did you think we were fuckin’ moochers or something?” The angry one said, shoving his way onto the bus first.

 

“Kacchan, be nice, he wouldn’t recognize us. Good morning everyone! I’m Hermes, or, well, I guess Midoriya Izuku? And the angry one is Ares, or, uhm, Bakugou Katsuki?” The four that hadn’t seen the vigilantes since the USJ stared at the two in a shocked silence. These two were some of the most intelligent and dangerous vigilantes of a generation? 

 

“If you want, Mr. Vlad King, turn up here onto 11th street, then there should be an alley on your right that the bus should fit through! We put the doors up, so you should be able to see where to stop by then!” Taking the direction for what it is, Vlad turned back to the wheel, and turned on the bus.

 

“So, Green Bean,” Mic started, “Is it weird goin’ around without the mask?” Midoriya awkwardly laughed, and all of the pros couldn’t help but notice how he leaned even closer to the Bakugou kid. So he was more nervous than he was letting on. Interesting.

 

“I guess so? I mean, during the day we obviously weren’t running errands in our gear, so I guess it’s not too bad. Although being in front of heroes who know who we are without the masks is definitely a new thing. We also haven’t really had anyone to the warehouse besides the ones who live there, so that’s probably the weirdest thing. Oh! I should probably warn you it might be a little chaotic, since everyone was packing this morning—” 

 

“Oi, Deku,” the other piped up, slightly cuffing the boy next to him, “You’re doing the thing again. Shut up, it’s fine. Everyone’s fine.” The smaller boy slightly blushed, and offered the pros an awkward smile before turning to look out the window as Vlad turned into the alleyway.

 

Up to the left there was a clearing into a parking lot, where there were two other teenagers waving at the bus. Exiting the alley, the teachers took in the site of the abandoned warehouse with its overhead doors propped open for anyone to see in. Vlad turned off the engine and opened the doors. The two waving teenagers bound up to the bus.

 

“Hey, you guys are here! I’m Kaminari Denki, or, uh, I guess Apollo. The pink one next to me is Ashido Mina, but you would probably know her as Persephone. Welcome to the Pantheon!” Kaminari and Ashido bounced on their feet as the pros exited the bus before turning back to their leaders. “Almost all of the bunks are emptied except for yours. Tenya and Hanta took off to take our leftovers to the shelter on Broadway about ten minutes ago. Fumikage and Mashirao are trying to figure out how to disconnect the plumbing, but I think they could use your help? Oh! And someone should probably tell Ochako to take her medicine because she’s been helping move things all morning, and she says she’s fine, but I’m pretty sure she’s not naturally that green?”

 

Once again the pros were shocked. They had already gotten almost everything accomplished? Before nine am? These teens ran a tight ship, and seemed to know what they were doing. The green-haired one, Midoriya, seemed to relax as he stepped back into an almost leader-role.

 

“We’ll go get our bunks stripped. Tenya, Mezo, and Rikido were the ones who mainly set up the bathroom, so maybe find one of them to help? And I’ll go find Chako. Is the first aid kit still out?” With a nod from the blond boy, Midoriya was off, following the other two, and leaving the other blond with the pros. His eyes shifted towards them, and for a moment the mask slipped, and they saw the Ares they had all read about.

 

“Most of us have our stuff figured out. It’s a lot of just hauling it out to the bus. We all have mini trunks, and maybe a backpack. If any of you know plumbing, feel free to go attempt to turn those fucking pipes off. We have people coming tonight for the couches, so don’t bother with them. Just find somewhere to be useful.” Without another word, he too ducked into the warehouse, presumably to go get his things, walking away nonchalantly like he didn’t just try to order around a group of pros.

 

“You heard the kid,” Aizawa said, starting after him. “Let’s get this over with.”

 

Stepping into the warehouse, Aizawa took a moment to analyze everything he was seeing. The bricks and cement were relatively clean, and in one corner there was a group of five or so couches all facing one another with a dirty sheet taped to the wall, almost like a projection screen? In the opposite corner, on the other side of some stairs leading up to a catwalk-esque second floor, was a rudimentary kitchen with a bunch of cabinets and what looked like an old salvaged fridge and stove. How they possibly worked, and where the hell they may have gotten them is a question Aizawa wasn’t sure he wanted an answer to. Next to the “kitchen” was a massive table, with 15 mismatched chairs surrounding it haphazardly. Old, abandoned crates littered the corners, and the aforementioned trunks were neatly stacked near the old couches.

 

“They really know how to make a place homey, huh?” Mic said from next to him. “I’m kinda surprised there aren’t bugs.”

 

“There are,” a voice broke in from behind the two. Whirling around, the husbands came face to face with a smug teen with designer eye bags, and a full coffee pot working as his personal mug. “The crawly bastards like to come in in the winter. Koji has a deal with them: They're allowed to stay as long as they don’t eat our food and stay in the crates over in the corners. Roaches are surprisingly good negotiators.” With that, the cryptid walked away, going over to the Kaminari kid who was trying to take away his coffee pot.

 

“I like that kid,” Aizawa mumbled under his breath. “Let’s get to work, Mic.”

 

***

 

Aizawa wasn’t sure what to expect when he climbed to the second floor. But a  smattering of 20 or so old mattresses and futons definitely was not it. He supposed the vigilantes had to sleep somewhere. Oddly enough, an old fishing wire was strung up in one corner. 

 

“It usually looks a little nicer than this,” A girl piped up, coming to stand next to the pro. ‘Yaoyorozu,’ his mind supplied.

 

“The mattresses and futons all had a bunch of blankets and sheets covering them. The trunks you saw downstairs would sit at the foot of the beds, and most of us had some kind of lantern near where our heads would be. Sometimes we even had posters to put up.” The girl followed the pro’s eyes over to the wire. She chuckled. “I actually came up here to cut that down now that we won’t need it. All of the girls had our beds in that corner, and we had a sheet over the wire so we could change in peace.” Aizawa’s eyes tracked the room again, imagining the features that the girl had told him about.

 

‘Homey,’ Mic’s voice echoed in his head. Aizawa nodded towards the staircase leading up to a door. 

 

“And what’s that?” The girl looked over to the stairs.

 

“Oh! That’s the roof access. To be honest, I’ve only seen the floor access doors open when we first came here. We always use the roof access, if I’m being honest.” The girl chuckled, seemingly lost in memories.

 

“Can I go up there?” Aizawa said suddenly. The girl seemed startled.

 

“Uhm, sure? I mean, go ahead, there shouldn’t be anything up there. And, I think we’re leaving soon? But, yeah! Go ahead!” Taking the confirmation, the hero left the girl to her work and made his way to the roof. Surprisingly enough, a fuzzy head of green hair was already up there when he opened the door.

 

Quietly walking up behind the boy, Aizawa saw him slowly chipping away at a brick. Looking a little closer, Aizawa could make out some kind of engraving. Before he could open his mouth to speak, the green-haired vigilante surprised him, showing he knew the pro was there.

 

“When we finished redesigning this place, Kacchan and I engraved this together, I...I couldn’t leave it behind.” Looking over the boy’s shoulder he saw a brick slowly being chipped away against the wall with symbols written in chalk against the red.

 

ΓΟΛΕ ΥΘΠ

 

“What does it say?” Aizawa said, grabbing the brick as it finally came loose from the foundation. The kid sheepishly rubbed the back of his neck as he stood next to the pro.

 

“Gamma, omicron, lambda, epsilon, opsilon, theta, pi,” He said simply, taking the brick from his hand and putting it in his hoodie pocket.

 

“And what does that mean? You said something similar at the USJ, right? The cameras picked it up, but Nezu couldn’t figure out what the code meant.” If it was possible, the kid got even redder.

 

“The characters are similar to the English words for ‘ love you.’ I said it to Kacchan at the USJ because I didn’t want Shigaraki to put together my plans, but I wanted to say bye to Kacchan, so...that’s why I didn’t just say ‘love you.’”

 

The two stood there in an awkward silence, the boy lost in thoughts, and the pro unsure on how to proceed. This boy had truly been prepared to die that day at the USJ.

 

Just when he was prepared to shuffle the kid down the stairs and into the loading bus, the green-haired kid opened his mouth again.

 

“I’ve lived in this warehouse for three years, Eraserhead. I’ve patched up my friends here after a rough patrol. I’ve laughed with Kacchan on this roof after our fights. I’ve become who I am here. I’m sure Kacchan caught on, because he’s Kacchan, but I’m terrified. I’m terrified that this is the end of the adventure. We’re not gonna be the same people we were while we were the Pantheon. I’m no longer Hermes, I’m just...Deku.” The kid went silent, spiraling deeper into his own head. Aizawa knew he was never the best when it came to comforting someone, but for this kid, this vigilante that protected him, that argued for him, that believed in him? He could at least make an effort.


“Kid,” Aizawa said, putting his hand on Midoriya’s shoulder, turning him to face the pro. “I can’t promise that things aren’t going to change. But one thing you’ve got is all of those other kids down below us. You all work together seamlessly, you’re a team , and that’s not something that just disappears. And you’ve got a good head on your shoulders, all of you do. I can’t promise that there won’t be moments where you trip up, but you have people to pick you up again. This is just your next step,” Aizawa took a deep breath, cursing his husband for teaching him about dramatics, “Welcome to your hero academia.”

Chapter Text

The ride to UA had been a controlled chaos of 20 teenagers and five pro heroes squeezed onto a single bus, alongside 20 small trunks. Thankfully, the rest of the school was moving in the following weekend, so the ex-vigilantes had the chance to move in without any prying eyes asking about the new transfer class at UA. 

 

Throughout the afternoon, various teachers that maybe hadn’t helped with the Pantheon leaving their safe place stopped by to offer their assistance, or simply to say hi. Snipe had joined in helping the kids carry their things up to their room, especially Uraraka who had nearly exhausted herself helping with move out, much to the chagrin of her friends. Cementoss had made any necessary adjustments that the kids needed for their rooms, not that there were many needed. Lunch Rush brought bentos for lunch for all in attendance. Thirteen and Hound Dog had both stopped by to say hello and offer a bit of support, even if they couldn’t stay for long. Nezu even made a surprise entrance, and it was a literal surprise, what with the vent popping open to reveal the Rat. (If Midoriya happened to mutter that that may be something to check out, Bakugou would of course be close enough to cuff him for it.)

 

They all were fully unpacked by the time dinner rolled around, and someone had had the idea to order pizzas as an easy dinner. It was there that Aizawa decided to finally address his new class.

 

“I’ll go more into detail about things tomorrow, but here is a brief rundown for reference. Classes run from 8AM to 12PM. You get a one hour break for lunch, then you will return for heroics. Class A has practical training Mondays and Wednesdays, and lectures on ethics on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Fridays will alternate between the two. 

 

“When in class, you will refer to me as Aizawa-Sensei. Due to my status as underground, that is the safer option in general for you to be referring to me as. For the rest of your teachers, you can just refer to them by their hero names.

 

“Your curfew is in the dorm by 10pm on weeknights, and midnight on weekends. We will be stricter with you all, due to our agreement with the Commission. There will be random nights teachers will come to assure that all 20 of you are here. If you aren’t, you may be given an ankle monitor until proven trustworthy.

 

“Besides that, just have basic courtesy. We will be holding exams in the core subjects all of Monday and Tuesday, since we need to see how much you all will need to catch up on, due to your time on the streets.

 

“As far as the rest of the student body is considered, you are all overflow students from IO, UA’s sister school. For your own protection, we’re keeping your vigilante statuses secret until necessary. Understood?” A murmur broke out in the crowd, and after a moment, the pro nodded. “Alright then, we’ll be back to check on you tomorrow. Don’t break anything in the meantime.”

 

The group didn’t really do much else that night. After the pizza was put away, they put on a movie, and there was a general sense of comfort in their new living quarters, but the unspoken agreement was that everything was still new.

 

There was no dust covering the floor. There were no blankets or leftover fruit left on the coffee table. The TV had a crisp image, and wasn’t the same fuzzy lines that the old projector Denki and Izuku had scrounged together would create. The air smelled more like a hotel—minus the newer scent of just eaten pizza—than a place filled with random bodies, candles, and body sprays.

 

Yes, this place had the ability to become home, but for now, it was still much too new.

 

Although, if there was one thing they were all excited about—besides working plumbing and more than two toilets and showers—it was their abilities to have their own rooms. Many of the group had grown up with siblings they had to share with, even before joining the group, and now they had four whole walls that belonged solely to them. 

 

Izuku’s room was pretty barren, if he was being honest. In another life, maybe his dorm would have been filled with All Might paraphernalia, just like his old room had been, years and years ago. But that wasn’t who Izuku was anymore.

 

So, his walls were left blank. His floor was also plain wood, although there was talk of a mall trip, and he was hoping to get a rug, and maybe a bean bag chair. His desk was barren, save for a lamp that the school supplied him and a few pictures of the group throughout the years. One from the one year anniversary of the whole Pantheon together. One of Izuku, Eijiro, Kacchan, Hitoshi, and Mina at Dagobah. One of Kacchan and him when they were in primary school. And one, the most important of them all, was a picture of Midoriya Inko and a five year old Izuku on her knee.

 

The room was nice. It was his own. 

 

Izuku laid down in his bed. The first real bed he’d had in seven years. The boy shut his eyes, and allowed himself to relax, ready to finally sleep.

 

He waited.

 

And waited.

 

And waited.

 

The next time Izuku opened his eyes with a huff, he turned to the small alarm clock he had set on the window sill above his bed. 1:57AM blinked back at him.

 

Great.

 

He should have been fine. It was just a new bed. Yes, it was different, but it’s not like he hadn't been sleeping in a room with 19 other people for the past five years.

 

As more time ticked on, and Izuku couldn’t bring himself to sleep, he eventually waved the white flag and got out of bed. 

 

Padding out the door, Izuku made his way to the elevator, cringing at the sound as the elevator dinged to a stop. Could Izuku have taken the stairs up? Yes. But it was damn near 2:30 at this point, and he was just tired.

 

As the elevator came to a stop on the fourth floor, Izuku slowly waddled out, looking around at the others doors. They had hosted a “decorating contest” of sorts earlier, helping him know where his destination would be now, but of course, none of them really had a lot of “decorations” to show off.

 

Coming up to the door, Izuku timidly knocked, aware of Mezo only a few doors away. Thankfully, it must’ve been loud enough, considering the stomping heard from the other side of the door.

 

Slowly, the door slid open, revealing one eye slit to dampen the lights in the hallway.

 

“Nerd?” Katsuki asked gruffly. “It’s fuck-knows in the goddamn morning. What the hell do you want?”

 

“Can I sleep with you?” Izuku said immediately. Many would think it would be embarrassing, asking to spend the night in someone’s room when you all just got your own spaces, but not many had seen the same things that Izuku and Katsuki had.

 

Staring at his friend for a moment, Katsuki eventually nodded, opening the door in a silent invitation. Wordlessly, Izuku slipped inside and immediately beelined for the bed, feeling Katsuki settle in next to him.

 

Finally , Izuku felt fully relaxed.

 

“Thank you, Kacchan,” Izuku murmured, not wanting to disturb the blond anymore than he already had.

 

“Shut up and sleep, Shitty Nerd,” Katsuki grumbled. But after a moment, Izuku felt the body next to him shuffle closer. “You’re welcome here anytime, Izuku.”

Chapter Text

As the ex-vigilantes settled into their new lives, they were met with some unexpected issues. 

 

The main one being their education. 

 

With over half of the group being homeless by the age of 11, there were definitely some gaps in their learning. Don’t be fooled, the Pantheon was by no means illiterate, they could do all of their basic arithmetic and readings, but besides from a very few Momo, Tenya, Izuku, Shouto, and Katsuki— many of them had not been keeping up with where their education should be.

 

Nearly all of them were placed into some form of remedial education in the evenings, as well as jumping straight into what UA considered “normal” curriculum in the mornings. This was on top of already working on their heroics and keeping up with the training regimens they had all been using for at least a few years. 

 

But the Pantheon was known to adapt, improvise, and improve, and that they did.

 

A schedule was set up every weeknight, and the top students of the class would be available to study in the common room with anyone who needed it. 

 

Momo was in charge on Mondays, and was best to help with Modern Japanese Literature and the different sciences.

 

“Hey Momo, are you a 0 on the pH scale? Because you’re anything but basic.”

 

“Denki! That is an excellent way to remember the pH levels! Good job! Now, if we’re going over Section C…”

 

Tenya took Tuesdays, and was the best when it came to English and mathematics.

 

“Mina, have you ever thought of listening to music to practice your English?”

 

“Huh? No, why would I listen to music I don’t understand?!”

 

“Music is an excellent way to get things stuck into your memory, and also to help with learning the more informal and social ways of speaking. Kyoka! Would you happen to have any playlists…”

 

Izuku took Wednesdays, and was always ready to help in just about anything, but he truly shined with anything analytical.

 

“If it helps you think about it easier, Tooru, try and think of…oh! You like anime, right? Think of Saiki K when you need to remember Deus Ex Machina! He literally changed people’s perception of weirdly colored hair so he wouldn’t stand out. That’s an Act of God, that wasn’t really necessary, thus, a Deus Ex Machina! Make sense?”

 

Katsuki had Thursdays, and would pound formulas into peoples’ heads until they got them through their thick skulls.

 

“Shitty Hair, I went over this last week with you. Now what the hell is the pythagorean theorem?”

 

“OH! That’s the one with the triangles, right? That’s A+B=C!”

 

“No it isn’t dumbass! It’s A 2 +B 2 =C 2 ! A AND A 2 ARE TWO VERY DIFFERENT FUCKING THINGS!”

 

“Why would there be squares in a formula for triangles?”

 

“BECAUSE THAT’S JUST WHAT THEY’RE CALLED, YOU…”

 

The class was a fair and level playing field, but everyone still understood that the leaders that they appointed so long ago would always be there to help.

 

***

 

“You all have been making good progress lately, and I think this may be a good time to tell you all that next Wednesday we will be hosting the First-Year Sports Festival.” Aizawa droned on in the front of the class. The class was silent for a moment before suddenly multiple voices began speaking over one another. Rolling his eyes, Aizawa activated Erasure and glared at his class. Were any of them actually using their quirks? No. But did it add to the intimidation of it all? Absolutely.

 

“Quiet! I’ll answer your questions, but I won’t have anything to answer if I can hear the questions. Now, one at a time!” Once again, the class was quiet until Yaoyorozu timidly raised her hand. Aizawa nodded his head towards her.

 

“Will...will we be competing in the festival as well? How would we be able to pull that off without blowing our covers? And what about our parents? People would probably recognize at least most of us, and with that, our parents will come knocking for better or worse…”

 

“I understand your concerns. Yes, all first-years will be competing if they wish to, and I would recommend you all do it. These provide an excellent way for other agencies to scout you, and for you all to show off your individual abilities. While we at the school may know just how good you all are at teamwork, we’ve yet to fully see how you all work when alone. 

 

“In terms of your parents and the media, we do plan to use all of your names, and UA will have our lawyer on standby if after the festival we begin to receive complaints. Although, I should warn you, we will be needing more explicit details on why you left your families over the small amount you all gave us in your files if something like that is to come to fruition.

 

“We will not be publicly going with the fact that you are transfer students, and simply sticking with you are the students of Class A, which is technically the truth, even if you all were not participants in the entrance exam.

 

“Any more questions?”

 

The room was once again silent before Midoriya suddenly raised his hand, and a tiny smile began to form on his face.

 

“I know we’re supposed to be showing our individualism, and we will! But, are we allowed to work with each other at all during the festival?” Aizawa could feel the headache beginning to pound away at his temples as he saw the green-haired boy’s eyes turn calculating and was sweeping back and forth around his classmates.

 

“Yes,” Aizawa begrudgingly admitted. “There will be times you will have to work in teams, and times where they are not required but could help you. As long as none of you ride on only the merits of someone else, then I see no problem with it.”

 

More murmuring began to break out around the classroom, but this time Aizawa simply rolled his eyes and let them do it. 

 

This would be one hell of a festival, he already knew.

 

***

 

“Ah! Young Midoriya, would you be able to join me for lunch today? I have something I wanted to discuss with you,” All Might said, rounding the corner as Class 1A dispersed to go to the cafeteria. 

 

Hitoshi and Katsuki stood on either side of the boy in question as he looked up at the number one hero in his full form. It was only because he was standing in-between them that Izuku noticed the moment that Hitoshi stiffened and Katsuki just slightly placed himself in front of Izuku, looking ready to fight at a moment's notice.

 

While All Might hadn’t explicitly said anything to or about Izuku during their brief time at UA, there were still moments that didn’t sit right with the group. Such as the time during their first week of training where All Might seemed pained to put Izuku into the exercise, and only did it in order to save face. Then of course there was the time with the Sludge Villain that had slowly been pried from one very-reluctant Izuku to Katsuki that night after their fight over Eraserhead.

 

Calmly, Izuku put a hand on both boys’ shoulders until he felt them relax under his hand.

 

“Sure, Sensei. Hitoshi, Kacchan, I’ll see you guys in class okay?” The three boys separated with a silent nod from the purple-haired boy, and a tch, whatever, Deku , from the blond.

 

Entering into the teachers’ lounge, the hero and the student made their way to one of the empty meeting rooms. 

 

Izuku watched as the older man deflated across from him, and began twiddling with his fingers, fidgeting in his seat.

 

‘He’s anxious about something,’ Izuku thought to himself, allowing his more analytical side to slip out. Whatever it was that had drawn All Might to talk with him individually, Izuku knew it couldn’t be anything good.

 

After a minute or two more of uncomfortable silence, where Izuku watched the man open his mouth before slowly shutting it again, Izuku had had enough.

 

“What is it that you wanted to see me for, All Might-Sensei? Just speak your mind so I can answer whatever question you have.”

 

The man was shocked for a moment, and coughed into his handkerchief before looking up again to Midoriya, a fixed gleam in his eye.

 

“Ah yes, Young Midoriya, I suppose my reason was I wanted to speak to you before the sports festival. If you were thinking of dropping 1A, it would be wise to do it now, so that the heroes would know that you’re not interested in an internship.” A clawing feeling began to rise up Izuku’s throat as the hero’s implications began to make sense. But he just had to be sure.

 

“W–what do you mean by that? Why would I not want to be looking for a hero internship? Those are right after the festival, right?”

 

“Ah, well, yes , Young Midoriya, they are,” All Might slowly said, seeming to rethink his choices. “I suppose I was just wondering, is the hero course the best option for you? I mean, at the USJ you nearly die–”

 

“Yeah, you’re right,” All Might relaxed for a moment, thinking his point was made. “I nearly did die at the USJ because you weren’t there. And the injuries I got? They were from a quirk that could kill anyone . Quirked or no. Not to mention, I went down swinging, and stabbed Shigaraki as I fell. I actually fought at the USJ, All Might. And where were you? ” The man seemed dumbfounded, shocked at the boiling anger coming from the kid who only a few months ago had been the picture of hero worship. But Izuku was seeing red, and was ready to rip a whole through All Might’s uninjured side.

 

“Let me put this into perspective for you, Toshinori . I have spent the last 11 years of my life being told that I won’t amount to a damn thing because I can’t use telekinesis, and I’m not belching fire. But you want to know what I did? I kept fighting . I created one of the most intricate and respected vigilante organizations of all time. I kept 20 preteens alive, safe, and fed, when all we had to our names was an abandoned warehouse. I got all 20 of those kids a chance in the UA Hero Course. I did every last bit of this with not a quirk to my name, and I will be damned , before I take your advice.”

 

The boys’ words were laced with venom, and he stood from the couch, towering over the still seated hero.

 

And as the boy made his way to the door, he turned one last time, an unknown fire locked onto the number one hero.

 

"And if your teaching is filtered through this much prejudice? Then it may be time to hang up that cape. Because it sure as hell is not heroic.”

Chapter Text

“And introducing the first class of today, everyone give it up for cLASS 1A!!” Present Mic screeched as the class exited the tunnel and made their way onto the field. 

 

“Yeah, that was a real fuckin’ inspirational welcome,” Katsuki mumbled as the class was given polite claps from the people in attendance. The crowd began to cheer louder in honor of the “class that survived oNE FREAKY VILLAIN ATTACK” as Class 1B took the field. Eijiro softly elbowed the blond from where he stood next to him.

 

“Relax Bakubro, it’s not like they could very well say ‘hey, let’s welcome a bunch of illegal vigilantes onto the field! Yep! They’re here!’ That wouldn’t end well dude.”

 

Katsuki scoffed next to him. 

 

“No it wouldn’t be smart, but it would be funny as hell for that first 20 seconds, right?”

 

“Would you two be quiet?” Izuku said, coming up to stand behind both of them. “They’re announcing the other classes, be nice.”

 

“Yeah, Kacchan, ” Denki said next, draping him across Katsuki’s shoulder. “At least let them get on the field before you start giving declarations of war!” The redhead and the green-haired boys both chuckled to themselves and Katsuki shoved Denki off of him, reaching out at the last second to grab the other boy’s wrist so he wouldn’t faceplant in front of all the spectators.

 

***

 

That morning, the class had been sitting in their prep room, as they waited to be called to the tunnel’s entrance. While they had all been excited just 24 hours prior, as time crept closer, many of them couldn’t help but start to get anxious.

 

What if we’re not as good as we think we are?’

 

‘What if one of our parents cause a scene?’

 

‘What if we take it too far and people discover who we are?’

 

The room was blanketed in a silent tension, with only a few mumbled conversations breaking through the fog. 

 

Shouto, sitting next to Hanta, looked around at his friends, and decided that he needed to do something to calm them down. Distract them...somehow. 

 

Suddenly, Shouto’s eyes landed on Izuku, quietly in a discussion with Tenya and Mashairo. Standing up, the fire-and-ice user made his way over to the center of the room before subtly clearing his throat.

 

“Izuku,” he called, getting the green boy’s attention. When a majority of the eyes in the room—including Izuku’s—locked onto him, Shouto opened his mouth again. “Objectively, I am stronger than you.”

 

Chaos erupted as people tried to figure out what the hell Shouto was doing, but he silenced them with a single, raised hand. Looking back up, Shouta made direct eye contact with one very confused Izuku.

 

“Well, I, yeah? Objectively— and especially quirkwise —a lot of you are stronger than me? Why?”

 

“Well, it’s just that you are also strong in your own right, I look forward to beating you in the tournament.” 

 

Silence lasted a whole 20 seconds before the room was filled with all kinds of yelling.

 

“Shouto, why would you say something like that?”

 

“Now Shouto, that was highly unsportsmanlike! I would ask that you please apologize!”

 

“Come on ‘Roki, why’d you say that? Izuku is one of the best of us!”

 

But across the room from where Shouto still stood, a calculating gleam caught in Izuku’s eye, before his smile turned much more genuine.

 

“I plan to give it my all Shouto, so come at me with everything you’ve got.”

 

“NOW HOLD THE HELL ON, STUPID DEKU. IF THERE’S ANY ONE EITHER OF YOU SHOULD BE MAKING DECLARATIONS AGAINST IT’S ME. ICYHOT, GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS AND CHALLENGE SOMEONE EL–”

 

The class broke out in laughter as the tense atmosphere finally dissolved with Denki and Mina starting to tease Katsuki. Proud of himself, Shouto returned to his seat. While he still had trouble picking up on cues and reading the room most of the time, Shouto would say that this time, he did good.

 

***

 

“And giving our First Year Pledge, we have the top scorer of our hero exam! Please welcome Monoma Neito to the stage!” More clapping filled the arena, and few excited whoops from the other end of the field came, most likely from the other students of Class 1B.

 

“Isn’t that the point stealer?” Denki whispered to Izuku as a blond boy climbed the stairs. Taking a closer look Izuku nodded.

 

“Yeah, I think that is him.”

 

“Ahem,” the boy said, clearing his throat. “Thank you all for coming out today. I’m sure there will be lots of interesting moments, and I would like to let the press all be aware that Class 1B is here to steal the show. So get your popcorn ready, because we’re about to go plus…”

 

The crowd responded with a resounding “uLTRAAAAAA” lead by Present Mic himself. Class 1A looked amongst themselves as Monoma made his way back to his own class, who were whooping and hollering at his announcement.

 

Some of 1A had shocked expressions over the blunt declaration. Others had grins that eerily began to mimic Aizawa’s when he thought he would be able to trip them up. Then there were a few— Katsuki— who looked downright bloodthirsty.

 

That was the declaration he had been waiting for.

 

“I’m gonna be laughing my ass off when I’m standing on that stage and that punk isn’t. Deku, let’s fuck him over in Round One!” Izuku shook his head while trying to hold in his chuckles. Putting a hand up to stop Tenya from lecturing Katsuki, he looked over at the blond.

 

Kacchan , you and I both know we need to stick to the plan. Not to mention, they're hero students too, and they need to catch the pros' attention just as much as we do.” His childhood friend simply grunted, but seemed to come to his senses, tamping down on the bloodlust. At least for now.

 

“Alright kiddies,” Midnight purred as the crowd settled down from Monoma’s declaration. “What a way to kick off a festival! As I say, what would this world be without a little passion? ” She winked at the camera. “Now then! Here is our first event!” At the crack of her whip, a digital wheel began to spin with different options for the event before it landed on the winner.

 

OBSTACLE COURSE

 

“And there you have it folks! Don’t be fooled, this map is not a simple race to the finish! There will be all sorts of tricks and traps you will face in order to make it back here in one piece. The first 42 of you to make it back here will advance to round two, so get in position and be sure to let your sadistic side shine!”

 

As the students all crowded around the gate, Izuku made a realization.

 

The gate itself was the first obstacle.

 

With over 200 students in the grade, that gate was by no means big enough for the whole of them to make it through. It would be a bottleneck.

 

Before he had the chance to fully slip into an analytical headspace, he was pulled out by a gentle tap on his arm. Looking to his left, Ochako stood with an innocent smile on her face.

 

“Hey Hermes,” Ochako whispered, pulling herself closer to not be heard as the students passed them by to try and get to a good spot. “Are we still on for Operation Titanomachy?” The girl leaned back, blinking her eyes sweetly at the green-haired boy. He answered in turn with his own all-too-innocent smile.

 

“Not this round, for now, let’s give the other classes at least a chance . We have to see if 1B is all talk, right?”

 

Izuku took his place in the back of the pack as Ochako moved on, coming up with his own plan to be one of the first 42. Someone was sure to create a barricade of sorts when the whistle blew, so how would Izuku get past the mob?

 

A smile that would bring villains to sainthood slowly spread across Izuku’s face.

 

The countdown began.

 

Three.

 

Two!

 

One!

 

BEEP!!

 

The UA Sports Festival had officially begun.

Chapter Text

The Titanomachy was a series of wars that took place in Ancient Greek mythology.

 

It was a battle over who would rule the universe. The Olympians, of Mount Olympus, or the Titans, of Mount Othrys.

 

In the end, it was the Olympians who banded together and won it all. And that was the Pantheon’s plan for the festival.

 

See, Izuku wasn’t just being placating when he told people not to gang up on anyone for the first round. Hell, just a few nights prior, the group had all met in the common room in the same way they would gather in the warehouse , and decided on what they would do to not only give themselves the chance to shine on their own, but also to show off the intricate teamwork they had developed after years together.

 

***

 

“So, we don’t help each other, then we help each other, then we don’t?” Tooru asked from her spot on the couch. Izuku nodded from where he stood.

 

“In almost every sports festival, they have both a teamwork section and an individual section. Then they always have one-on-one fights, besides for a few times where they’ve done two-v-twos. But those are rare.

 

“That means that there will be a round explicitly where we should work together, then one that we may not need to. I want all of us to be able to show off our own merits, at least a little. So the plan is: for one round we’ll be on our own, and the other we can team up but only with two or three others. It definitely wouldn’t be fair if all 20 of us just fully stuck together.

 

“I call it: Operation Titanomachy. Are you all in?”

 

“Izuku motions to…” Tenya suddenly cuts himself off, blushing a bit at the force of habit. But Izuku just smiles at him.

 

“I motion for Class 1A , to enact Operation Titanomachy at the UA Sports Festival, and absolutely dominate . Do I have a second?”

 

“Hell yeah, Midobro!” Eijoru said, pumping his fists.

 

And well, the rest just had to follow suit.

 

***

 

Izuku came back to his senses right as a massive ice sheet coated the ground surrounding the gate.

 

‘Really Shouto?’ Izuku asked himself. ‘You couldn’t just leave the bottleneck to be its own obstacle? You just had to do that?’ But even as he griped, Izuku began to see a path forming for himself. Not one that many would probably like, but oh well! Beggars can’t be choosers!

 

Taking a few steps back, Izuku centered himself and took off, jumping into the air until he was high enough to hop on a really short Gen Ed student’s shoulders. The grape-headed boy let out a yelp at the sudden weight, but Izuku was already gone, using the shorter boy as a stepping stone and beginning to lightly dance across people’s shoulders and backs as they were stuck/frozen in the entrance.

 

“Look at that fancy footwork from Midoriya! Ouch! Watch your head everybody!” 

 

“The technique he’s using requires a lot of balance and speed. One wrong move could injure not only himself but the people he’s jumping over.”

 

“Thank you for that in sight ful commentary, Eraser!”

 

“Whatever.”

 

Tuning out his teachers’ banter as he made his way to the end of the entryway, Izuku took stock of the situation as he returned to the sunlight.

 

The rest of his class had already made it out of the tunnel—whether that was Shouto being nice and letting them move first, or them also bypassing Shouto’s first move was still up in the air—and also quite a few of 1B. 

 

“Look at that Monoma kid go!” Present Mic screamed, as Izuku took off at a steady jog. Well, it was more of a sprint to the other kids, but he was fast, okay??

 

“Whoa! Wait a minute, is Monoma floating ? Isn’t that a quirk from your class, Eraserhead?” Wait, what? Ochako wouldn’t float him, how is he in the air?

 

“That is correct,” Aizawa’s monotone voice filled the air. “Monoma’s quirk, Copy , allows him to duplicate another person’s quirk for a period of time. It would appear he most have touched Uraraka of Class 1A during the initial sprint.

 

“Whoa, when did you get a motormouth, Eraser?”

 

“Oh shut up.”

 

‘A copy quirk?’ Izuku thought to himself. ‘So Monoma is trying to figure out his competitions’ quirks in the first round, since he would already know his class. Interesting.’

 

The next obstacle Izuku made it to, or well, went by , were two robots he recognized as the zero-pointers from the Entrance Exam. 

 

The scent of electricity filled the air, especially around the completely still robot on the left. Izuku was sure to avoid any metal pieces as he scrambled around, sure that this was Kaminari’s doing.

 

The other robot just straight was blown straight through, the black smudge of explosions dusting the exterior.

 

‘Guys,’ Izuku thought to himself, ‘I think you’re making it a bit easy for the others…’

 

By now, Izuku had rejoined the front runners, although he heard many more starting to run behind him, signaling that Shouto’s ice must’ve begun to thaw and release the other contestants. But it was too late, because by then Izuku had spotted the next obstacle.

 

Tightropes.

 

Izuku couldn’t hold back a maniacal laugh as he saw his classmates running across the wires with no hesitation. Years on the edge of roofs and electrical wires had prepared them for this moment, and Izuku saw Class 1B taking the falls much more cautiously. Monoma had fallen behind, but was now mobile again, after catching up with Hanta at one point.

 

Without a moment of hesitation, Izuku ran onto the tightrope, smiling to himself. Having the open air on all sides of him, with nothing but his own two feet and brain keeping him going was something he didn’t realize he missed. It was that same rush that he got when patrolling, when he could jump across rooftops and parkour up the sides of the alleys to see who could make it up faster.

 

Before he knew it, he was already on the other side.

 

“Look at THAT, Eraser! Your kids just absolutely went across those wires without a moment of hesitation. What ARE you teaching them?”

 

“I haven’t taught them any of this. Everything that you’re seeing right now is the result of years of personal training and endurance .”

 

“You heard it here first, folks! Eraser is a TERRIBLE TEACHER!”

 

“Now hold on I didn’t say–”

 

Seeing plumes of pink smoke fill the air, Izuku made his way to what should be the final obstacle of the race. One unfortunate Class 1B kid made a misstep, and Izuku came face-to-face with what he was really facing. 

 

A minefield.

 

UA has a literal minefield. Of course.

 

Katsuki and Shouto were tied for the lead, trying to trip each other up in the front, but not daring to use their quirks. Tenya was picking his way at a slightly slower pace, unsure of his footing. Eijiro and the silver boy from 1B were neck and neck with each other. A girl with pink hair was maniacally laughing as she set off mine after mine.

 

At this rate, Izuku wouldn’t be able to take the win. Sure, he would be in the top 42 he was sure, but he had been given declarations of war. Not once, not twice, but three times. 

 

Plus ultra, right?

 

“Momo,” Izuku called as he noticed the black-haired girl run next to him. Stopping suddenly, she turned to him. “Would you be able to make me a sheet of metal? Like, three-by-three size? Or three-by-two?”

 

Momo looked at him as if he had lost his mind before she simply shook her head, calculating how many were in front of them. Only about twenty-two currently were ahead of them, with many still stuck at the tightropes.

 

“Cover me,” she said, as she pulled up her shirt. Dutifully, Izuku stepped up next to her, allowing her to use her quirk without risk of anyone seeing anything. After a minute, she coughed, and when Izuku turned, Momo held a sturdy piece of metal in front of her. “Just what, do you plan to do with that?”

 

“Don’t worry about it, it’ll work out! Thanks again!” Taking the cue, Momo took off to pick her way through the mines. Delicately, Izuku began to dig out two, then three, then five, then ten of the mines, until there was a small pile built up.

 

By now, there had to be at least 30 students on the minefield, with Shouto and Katsuki being nearly out, and Monoma and Tenya right behind them.

 

‘Kacchan is gonna kill me for this,’ Izuku thought to himself as he took a few steps back, the sheet of metal grasped firmly in both hands.

 

Deep breath in, deep breath out. Izuku took a few quick steps forward then jumped directly onto his small nest of explosives.

 

The explosions drowned out Izuku’s screams as he went airborne, and went flying across the minefield.

 

Everyone had paused at the sound of the massive explosion, and Izuku felt frozen in time, as he took in the faces of those around them.

 

Shouto, as emotionless as he sometimes looked, nearly had his eyes bulging out of his head.

 

Katsuki looked ready to pop a blood vessel, or maybe Izuku’s head. Probably both.

 

Tenya looked about ten seconds away from a scolding or an aneurysm. Whatever came first.

 

Monoma had a mild look of fear in his eyes as the psycho from 1A flew over him.

 

Momo looked just about on the verge of laughter, as she put together just what she had just assisted with.

 

As suddenly as the world had suddenly stopped, it started again. Izuku was hurtling through the air, and it was only when he was past the apex point that a thought suddenly occurred.

 

‘How am I supposed to land?’

 

The two boys under him had just exited the minefield and were right on his heels as he prepared to hit the ground.

 

‘When in doubt, tuck and roll.’

 

“DEKU!” Katsuki screeched as Izuku got himself into position to abandon ship. Oh yeah, he was so dead later.

 

Diving off of the metal before it could hit the ground, Izuku tucked himself into a roll and brought himself to his feet, only a handful of steps ahead of Katsuki, who had pulled ahead.

 

Izuku could hear the explosions as Katsuki sped up to overtake him, but it was too late.

 

“And with that crazy fireworks display, MIDORIYA IZUKU OF CLASS 1A HAS WON THE FIRST ROUND!!”

 

The world all came back into focus at once as Katsuki tackled him into the grass, passing just seconds later. 

 

Sure, most of his friends told him he was an idiot for pulling such an insane stunt, but he could tell they were all... mostly ...impressed.

 

But as more and more people began to cross, and the rest of 1A joined their group, at least a few of them noticed a pair of gray eyes across the field, locked onto the boy with the green hair.

Chapter Text

“Izuku,” Mashairo said, as the green-haired boy tried to defend himself against an angry, blond runner up. “You noticed Monoma, right?”

 

Finally calming the blond, who was more intrigued about hearing what the other blond bastard was up to than beating the ever-loving shit out of his friend, Izuku turned to Mashairo, who had also caught Fumikage and Tooru’s attention with his comment. 

 

“Do you mean him borrowing Ochako’s quirk? Yeah, I heard Present Mic mention it. Why?”

 

Well , he also ‘borrowed’ Rikido, Mina, Hanta, and Denki’s quirks at some point during that round. When the robot went down from electricity, it was because there were two people electrocuting the wires. I think he’s trying to figure out all of our quirks.” Izuku nodded along with the explanation.

 

“That would make sense. We would be 1B’s biggest competition and they don’t know our quirks. They would be able to figure out Tooru, Mezo, and Tsu’s quirks, since they’re all mutations. But for the rest of us, it would be a complete mystery. I mean, technically Jirou could also fit under that quirk description, but he could be curious on what exactly the jacks do. But then there’s the question of if he’s spying simply for himself, or if he plans to convey that information to Class 1–”

 

Smack.

 

“Oi, Deku, did you know you’re supposed to breathe at some point? And I think you’re missing a pretty damn important point.” Izuku turned to his friend in confusion, still rubbing the back of his head where Katsuki had hit him. The blond rolled his eyes before lowering his voice. “What do you think the reaction will be when he finds out your quirk?” The three others froze as the idea hit them, but Izuku just gave Katsuki a small, innocent smile.

 

“Well, then I suppose the two of us are about to play tag. I kind of want him to at least get a chance in the finals before Hermes comes out to play. Agreed?” The three others relaxed, reassured that Izuku knew what he was doing. “Could you three do me a favor and go warn the others about Monoma? It’s not that I don’t think you all would be more equipped and knowledgeable on your quirks, but I don’t want to give any unnecessary advantages if we can avoid it. Sounds good?” Mashairo and Fumikage nodded, before the three of them took off to go find the others. 

 

“Oi, Deku,” Katsuki murmured as the three walked off. 

 

Izuku hummed next to him, but when he looked up, he saw that Katsuki wasn’t looking at him. He was looking off at the audience.

 

“You hear it, don’t you?”

 

At first, Izuku paused, planning to ask what Katsuki meant, but as the two stood in silence, the conversations of the crowd started to reach them.

 

“Is that a Todoroki kid?”

 

“Yeah, it says it right there!”

 

“Todoroki? As in like, Todoroki Enji? Isn’t that Endeavor’s name?”

 

“Yeah it is! But wait, where’s Endeavor then?”

 

Oh.

 

Well, that’s not good.

 

Pivoting, Izuku was able to pick up the red and white hair of his target, crouched on the ground, hidden behind Ochako, Hanta, and Tenya.

 

“Oh god, Kacchan, let’s go.” The two walked in a stiff silence across the field to where Shouto was crouching. When close enough, Izuku saw Shouto clasping both of his hands to the point of white knuckles. And he was shaking.

 

Knowing not to put a hand somewhere the boy couldn’t see, Izuku calmly placed his hand atop Shouto's. All five stayed silent as Shouto processed the physical contact. When the red-and-white-haired boy finally looked up to meet Izuku’s eyes, Izuku offered a small smile. One that Shouto knew was not one to placate or pity, but to serve as a reminder.

 

You aren’t alone in this. Your real family is here.

 

“Don’t worry about anything you hear in the audience, Shouto,” Izuku said softly, helping the boy to steady himself on his feet as he unfurled. “As long as we’re on this field, he can’t touch you. And when we’re up in the stands, he’ll have to go through all 19 of us. And after the Sports Festival? We don’t need to worry about that right now, alright? I promise you, you’re safe as long as I’m breathing.”

 

“Yeah, me too IcyHot. I’ll be the shit outta him. Number 2 or not.”

 

“Leave a piece for me Katsuki!”

 

“Hell yeah, I’m down to kick a hero’s ass.”

 

“While I may not usually appreciate the idea of violence, I think I could get a good kick or two in.”

 

Shouto slowly nodded his head in acknowledgement. He knew they were there. He knew that he was safe.

 

“Alright, kiddies,” Midnight’s voice sounded, drawing the remaining participants’ attention. “It is time to decide the next round. Let’s see it!” The spinning wheel was back, but this time with new options.

 

Around and around it spun until it finally slowed to a stop.

 

[CALVARY BATTLE]

 

“You will place yourselves in teams of three to four, with one rider and at least two horses. From there, you will fight each other to steal your headbands from each other. The four teams with the most points at the end will move on to our final round!

 

“Now, in terms of points, we start at the bottom with five points, and go up by increments of five until we get to our first place where…”

 

Where you get a million points.

 

Izuku was used to facing the worst of the worst. He had taken on some really messed up people in the course of his life and in his time as his vigilante. So why was the amount of bloodlust coming from some first years freezing him in place. Well, at least one of those sets of eyes makes sense.

 

A hand— much too warm, on the edge of burning— landed on Izuku’s shoulder.

 

“Well would you look at that . I think I’ll enjoy taking that from you, right? Izuku? ” Oh. Oh shit. Rest in peace, Izuku. He would surely be missed.

 

As Izuku looked around, shoulders hunched as if he held the weight of the world, he found that most of the other classes had dispersed by now to form their teams. But 19 eyes stared back at him, almost as if they were…

 

Oh, right.

 

“Initiate Operation Titanomachy. Good luck everyone.” Suddenly there was chaos as members of 1A grabbed each other or haggled each other for other teammates.

 

Slowly, the teams began to form, and just before Midnight called for their attention again to come grab their headbands, a pink blur latched on to Izuku’s arm, causing him to jump.

 

“Well howdy there, Mr. Ten Million! You’re gonna have all eyes on you, arent''cha? Perfect to get my babies on camera! So, what do you say, do we have a deal?” 

 

Izuku was stunned into silence for a brief moment. Who was this girl? Why did she just decide to join his team? What the hell were her babies?

 

“Uhm, I’m sorry,” Ochako said, getting the girl’s attention. “What was that you said about...babies?”

 

“OH!” The girl said, unlatching herself from Izuku to fumble around in her back pocket. Suddenly, she whipped out a wrench, but as soon as she pushed a button, electricity shot through both ends, in a similar fashion of a taser. 

 

“The name’s Hatsume Mei, Class 1H. Pleasure to meet ya!”

 

A support course student?

 

“If you guys agree to work with me, you’ll have free-reign on all my gadgets! People not in the hero course are allowed to use support weapons, so that we have a chance against you hero types. So, you guys in, or what?”

 

Looking around at his classmates, Izuku saw that the rest of them had just stuck to their classmates.

 

‘But,’ Izuku thought to himself, ‘We did come to UA to expand our networks.’

 

Silently, Izuku looked over the shorter girl's head at his two friends, an unspoken question in his eyes. After a minute, both nodded, both still a little wary. Izuku turned back to the girl.

 

“Ms. Hatsume?” The girl, Hatsume, looked up at him. “I believe that we’re in business.” A wicked smile that would make Katsuki proud suddenly appeared.

 

“Let’s make it to Round Three! Now then, what’s the plan?” Looking around at his new team, strategies began to form.

 

Oh yeah, this could work.

 

***

 

“Esteemed guests of UA, it is time! Prepare the calvaries!” Midnight crowed.

 

Team Bakugou (545 points)

Bakugou Katsuki, Kirishima Eijiro, Kaminari Denki, Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu

 

Team Todoroki (585 points)

Todoroki Shouto, Yaoyorozu Momo, Shinsou Hitoshi, Sero Hanta

 

Team Jirou (340 points)

Jirou Kyoka, Asui Tsuyu, Tokoyami Fumikage, Koda Kouji

 

Team Ashido (285 points)

Ashido Mina, Sato Rikido, Shoji Mezou

 

Team Hagakure (180 points)

Hagakure Tooru, Ojiro Mashairo, Aoyama Yuuga

 

Team Midoriya (10,000,490 points)

Midoriya Izuku, Hatsume Mei, Iida Tenya, Uraraka Ochako

 

And that wasn’t even all of them .

 

“The games will begin in 3...2...1!”

Chapter Text

As soon as the bell rang, all teams took off, with a majority headed straight for Izuku. But that’s okay. Everything’s okay. Izuku is an expert strategist for a reason . Got it?

 

“Are you guys ready to go?”

 

“You got it Ten Million!”

 

“Ready when you are Izuku!”

 

“Let’s do it!”

 

Uraraka taps the two back “horses” as well as Izuku before tapping her own arm. With the assistance of Hatsume’s twin jetpack babies, the four of them are rocketed into the air, leaving all of the teams readying to overwhelm Izuku’s team stuck in a battle-royale brawl with Team Bakugou, who had been the closest.

 

From the last time that Ochako had tested her quirk with Izuku, she had been able to hold just herself in the air for about 20 minutes. How long could she do it with three others? That was up in the air, but all they needed was 10 minutes.

 

This was just a game of keep away.

 

Suddenly, tape shoots into the air, headed straight for Izuku’s head. The boy ducks to the left, and is only just able to avoid Tsu’s waiting tongue that had snuck up from the other side.

 

Unfortunately, the Pantheon were experts on keep away.

 

For years, they had kept themselves off the radar of police, villains, and pros alike. There had been times when they were all younger where they had to shoplift to survive. Not to mention, one of their favorite training exercises was a game of quirked tag.

 

Was it chaotic? Yes. Did it make them all masters of evasion? Definitely.

 

“Jacks to your right,” Tenya called out, giving Izuku barely a moment's notice to avoid the earjacks as they came zipping towards him. Wait a minute, how was Kyoka so far in the air? If Izuku remembered correctly, she had teamed up with Koji, Tsu, and Fumikage, so how…

 

Taking a moment to survey their surroundings in the air, Izuku was both simultaneously terrified and impressed with his class. Team Bakugou, made up of Katsuki, Eijirou, Denki, and that silver guy from 1B (apparently it had been Denki’s idea to reach out to someone in 1B, something about “if the enemy was trying to spy on us, we should spy on them”). The teams that weren’t being taken down by Team Bakugou seemed to be in some sort of free-for-all where the only goal was to avoid Team Todoroki Then there was Kyoka, a good 10 feet in the air, and within earjack distance, being held up by a very focused Dark Shadow.

 

What the fuck.

 

What the fuck.

 

“It’s an all out brawl down there!” Present Mic cried, “Looking at our leaderboard, it looks like Team Bakugou and Team Todoroki are neck-and-neck with Team Monoma in a distant fourth! And of course still in number one we have the high fliers themselves, Team Midoriya!

 

“Hatsume,” Izuku screeched as he dodged a light blast coming from Yuga. “Can these babies perform evasive maneuvers?!”

 

“Oh baby, do they!” Hatsume giggled.

 

“Ochako, how are you holding up?”

 

“I— hic— I have maybe three minutes left in me, but that’s pushing it.” 

 

Checking the clock, there were still six minutes left. Team Todoroki had taken a few different bandanas while still holding onto their own. Team Bakugou had annihilated anyone not in the hero course, and seemed to be in a spitting match with Team Monoma.

 

Suddenly, Izuku was being jerked to the right and higher as Hatsume’s babies put on a show for the investors. Holding onto Ochako in front of him, and praying that Tenya and Hatsume had enough of a hold on him to keep them all connected, the four begin an intricate dance through the air, evading anyone and everyone who came after them.

 

But all good things must come to an end, and right when Ochako opens her mouth to give them the gravity warning, a massive glacier rises from the stadium, creating a ramp of sorts to help Team Midoriya with their landing without having to try and fight their way down. The only problem?

 

Team Todoroki had just cut them off and simultaneously cornered them.

 

Sometimes, Izuku really hated how smart his friends were.

 

As Hatsume helped Ochako into a pair of…rocket skates?!?...Izuku turned back to Team Todoroki, who stood only ten feet away. Shouto’s eyes locking onto Izuku’s as the team paused to catch their breath.

 

“Izuku! Are you all okay?” Kyoka yelled. Just as Izuku was about to answer, not taking his eyes off of Shouto, a pinch on his thigh turned his response into a yelp of pain. 

 

“Don’t answer anyone,” Tenya muttered from Izuku’s right. Eyes widening, Izuku took a closer look at the horses of Team Todoroki, instead of just Shouto himself.

 

Momo had a look of determination on her face, brows scrunched as she held the front position.

 

Hanta held his signature smirk, although Izuku couldn’t help but notice that one of his hands was raised to be near his opposite elbow.

 

Hitoshi was hidden against Shouto’s side, nearly invisible against Shouto’s left. But from the glimpse Izuku could see, he realized why Tenya had stopped him. Those cheeky bastards had Momo make a voice changer.

 

“Ochako, are you okay?” Hanta seemed to call, but the team had had their eyes opened, and all four of them could see clear as day that Hanta didn’t open his mouth.

 

Before Izuku could stop to think of a plan, a boom and flying ice grabbed both teams' attention.

 

Team Bakugou was on their way, and if Izuku had spent years cataloging Katsuki’s different explosions and their meaning.

 

Kacchan was out for blood. His own or Shouto’s, he wasn’t sure yet.

 

Well, things couldn’t get much worse.

 

Izuku’s eyes shifted to the clock.

 

1 minute, 24 seconds.

 

It got worse.

 

“Everyone,” Izuku said, “I’d rather die by ice than by explosion. One the count of three we’re using tenya’s recipro to get Shouto’s headband. Understood?”

 

“Yes!”

 

“Yep!”

 

“Aye-aye!”

 

They were off in three, two…Izuku really forgot just how quick Recipro Burst was. Grasping blindly from Shouto’s collection of headbands, the two teams were on opposite ends of the ice rink in the blink of an eye as the buzzer sounded, and Team Bakugou made their final blast into the iceberg.

 

Whooping an excited yelp, Izuku slid down from his team’s shoulder and proudly held up a Team Todoroki’s ribbon. Turning the number around, Izuku read the big red number with his own two eyes. 45.

 

 

What?

 

“Izuku,” Ochako said, looking over at the scoreboard. Turning to follow her eye, Izuku realized why his friend’s voice was so hollow.

 

Team Todoroki: 10,001,025 points

 

Shouto had grabbed Izuku’s headband in that brief moment that Izuku had been distracted trying to pull the ribbon to himself.

 

His team had lost.

 

They wouldn’t go to round three.

 

He couldn’t prove to All Mi–

 

“Ah c’mon Ten Million, don’t look too upset.”

 

Turning to Hatsume, to apologize for not helping her to show off more of her inventions, Izuku came face-to-face with the smile of one very mad genius.

 

“Hatsume, I-”

 

“Ah ah! No time for sadness, Ten Million! Allow me to introduce you to the Backstabbing Handy Grabber! Baby Number 4,713, if you were curious.” Looking away from Hatsume’s face, Izuku looked down at the hand she motioned with, and he almost couldn’t believe it. In her hand was another headband. A bright 585 shining back at them.

 

Hatsume had stolen Shouto’s headband.

 

Looking back at the scoreboard, Izuku almost couldn’t believe it.

 

1st Place

Team Todoroki - 10,001,340 

 

2nd Place

Team Bakugou - 1,070 

 

3rd Place

Team Monoma - 1,010

 

4th Place

Team Midoriya - 630 

 

“CAN YOU BELIEVE IT FOLKS!” Present Mic’s voice booms through the stadium. “THE TOP FOUR TEAMS HAVE ENDED UP STEALING ALL OF THE POSSIBLE POINTS! ERASER, HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS?”

 

“From the information I have pulled up, the last time the teams took all of the points going into the final round was nine years ago in 2XXX.”

 

“All right! Give it up once again folks to our final 16! After a short intermission, we’ll be back with our one-on-ones! Hey, Eraser, wanna go get some grub?”

 

“I’d rather take a nap.”

 

As the sound of his teachers faded once again into the background, Izuku stared once again at the leaderboard.

 

He had done it.

 

They had done it.

 

Out of the final 16 spots, 10 belonged to 1A.

 

And as the members of the Pantheon Class 1A gathered around Izuku—both those moving on and those not—cheering, and celebrating, and laughing, and cursing each other.

 

They were going to the final rounds. 

 

The One-on-One Fights

Round One

Monoma Neito - Midoriya Izuku

Iida Tenya - Hatsume Mei

Sero Hanta - Tsunotori Pony

Kaminari Denki - Shinsou Hitoshi

Yaoyorozu Momo - Shiozaki Ibara

Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu - Kirishima Eijiro

Kendou Itsuka - Todoroki Shouto

Uraraka Ochako - Bakugou Katsuki

Chapter Text

“So how long are you going to let him think he has a chance before you kick his ass?” Katsuki asks as the two walk through the tunnel towards the arena entrance.

 

“You seem to think pretty highly of me, Kacchan. He could kick my butt out there, ever thought of that?” Izuku said, rolling his eyes.

 

Stopping mid-step, Katsuki grabs Izuku’s shoulders, bringing them both eye-to-eye before he began to shake his childhood friend, emphasizing his words with each shake.

 

“Don’t. Fucking. Say. That. Nerd. You are literally the Midoriya Izuku. You took down a drug gang at the age of 13. You can take on a little blond wimp, Deku.”

 

Kacchan Translation: That’s not true! You’re the Midoriya Izuku, and you have already done so much good! I believe in you, Izuku!!

 

“Whatever weird fucking thought is giving you that creepy-ass smile, I don’t wanna hear it. Just go kick his ass, Shitty Nerd.” Lightly punching Izuku in the arm, Katsuki leans against the wall, making it clear he plans to watch from here. But before Izuku can overthink anything, the announcer’s booth comes to life.

 

“And from the left, here comes the absolute beast of 1A, who took the first round with a bang and the second round had him flying above the other competitors. We have: Midoriya Izuku!” Raucous cheers filled the arena as Izuku stepped onto the stage, facing the opposite tunnel, where he could see Monoma in the distance.

 

“And from the right, we have the smack-talker of 1B, yo! Give it up for our first year rep, and our challenger, we have Monoma Neito!” More cheers filled the arena, but Izuku thought a majority suspiciously came from where Class 1B sat. Monoma walked to the stage oozing confidence and charisma, as if he thought he already had the win in the bag. Izuku could feel his competitive streak rising to the threat.

 

“Alright boys,” Midnight purred between the two. “As a reminder of the rules, the first to be incapacitated or moved out of bounds looses. Killing, maiming, and torturing aren’t allowed, but the rest is fair game. Your fight will begin with the crack of the whip. Midoriya, are you ready?”

 

“Yes, ma’am.”

 

“Monoma, are you ready?”

 

“Yes, Sensei.”

 

With the crack of a whip, the fight began.

 

***

 

“So the blond bastard has most of our quirks pegged by now,” Kacchan said as the two made their way to the tunnel’s entrance. “He tested out Gingerbread Man, Pinky, Tape Face, Dunce Face, and Kirby’s quirks in Round One. He stole mine and Snow White’s in Round Two. He would know Shitty Hair’s because of Tin Head. Icy Hot and Sparkles showed off their quirks, and Frogger, Invisibitch, Edgar Allan Crow, Cthullu, Tail Bitch, Glasses, and Earphones all have obvious quirks. That leaves you, Ponytail, and MindFuck.”

 

“So he may think I have a mental quirk then?”

 

“Probably. So what’s your plan?”

 

“Kick ass and take names?” Katsuki nearly tripped over his own two feet as he heard his best friend say that, before starting to chuckle.

 

“Damn straight, Deku. Put on a show, and tell the world to fuck off.”

 

***

 

Put on a show, and tell the world to fuck off. That should be easy enough, right?

 

As the whip cracked down, Monoma shot forward, his fists enlarging to quadruple their size. He reached for Izuku, either to throw him out or to take his “quirk,” Izuku wasn’t sure. But Izuku evaded, going on the defensive.

 

The first part of the plan was to play Cat and Mouse. Monoma couldn’t hold onto those quirks forever. He would have to have a time limit. As the time drew closer, Monoma would become more desperate, and desperate men do stupid things.

 

After five minutes, Izuku could tell that the audience was growing bored. They were quiet, and the yells that he could make out were less than encouraging. 

 

“Get on with it kid!”

 

“Throw a punch already!”

 

Izuku could make out the wild look in Monoma’s eyes as his swings became sloppier. So his limit must be close then? From what Katsuki had told him beforehand, it appeared that Monoma could copy four quirks. One of them was the big hands that he had been using to swing with. There had been a few times that Izuku had nearly tripped on air, and gotten caught in what seemed like a solid wall of the element, but in the end Izuku evaded. Izuku hadn’t seen a third or fourth, but he assumed Monoma had copied Tetsutetsu’s. It would make sense, if Midoriya had a strength quirk to bring to the table.

 

Alas, as Monoma was about to find out, that was not the case.

 

Leaving himself purposefully vulnerable, Izuku side-stepped at the last minute. But before Monoma could regroup, Izuku allowed the blond to grab his wrist before suddenly grabbing a hold of him and throwing the boy over his shoulder.

 

The crowd suddenly began to scream because finally, finally, we were getting to the fighting! But as Monoma stood back up, all he could see was a face of confusion before it was set behind its mask again.

 

“What’s your quirk?” Monoma asked as he squared up in front of Izuku, who mirrored him. “I touched your skin, your quirk’s information should have registered, but it didn’t . So what is it? ” 

 

Mimicking one of Katsuki’s grins, Izuku slunk down, and—right before he leaped—he whispered: “Why don’t you come find out?”

 

What emerged was a fist-fight, with Izuku deflecting every hit that he could see, and cataloging all the ones he couldn’t. But time wound down just as he predicted, and soon enough, the crowd was watching the quirkless and the technically-quirkless fight.

 

The fight had gone on for ten minutes at this point, and Izuku could tell that Monoma was at his wits-end stamina-wise.

 

Put on a show, and tell the world to fuck off.

 

With one swift kick, Izuku tripped up the blond, and had him face-down, on the cement, both hands behind his back, and legs scrambling for purchase. But it didn’t matter. Izuku had taken down crimelords twice as powerful than a high school student with the same move. 

 

“Monoma Neito,” Midnight called from her place, “Can you move?”

 

After a minute more of desperate struggling, Monoma went lax, accepting his defeat.

 

“Monoma Neito cannot continue. Midoriya Izuku wins the first match!” The crowd goes wild, happy for this rather tame fight to be done, but as loud as they got, the microphones were still on.

 

“What,” Monoma gasped, standing up. “What is your quirk? There was no way in hell you just pulled that off without one, so what is it?” Izuku smirked as his opponent.

 

“Don’t underestimate a Quirkless Deku, Monoma.”

 

Izuku walks off of the field to complete silence, unaware that the entire arena just heard him. But, Izuku walks off that field, and into the tunnel where his best friend stands, as if he could take on the world.

 

***

 

When Izuku and Katsuki return to their seats, it’s only years of training that keeps the green-haired boy on his feet as he’s rushed by half his class to be pulled into a hug.

 

“Oh my gods, Izuku, I cannot believe you just–”

 

“That was insane, bro! How did you–”

 

“You played that dude like a fiddle, Izu–”

 

“Alright you noisy extras, let the dumbass sit down. He did just spend 10 minutes playing tag with an idiot,” Bakugou yelled, getting the class off of his friend. 

 

As the two sat down, Izuku lost himself to the noise of his friends chattering as the arena prepared for the next battle. He didn’t hear the whispers of “UA wouldn’t actually let a quirkless in here, would they?” “That poor kid, he’s gonna be eaten alive!” “How dare that little piece of shit try and get off on playing hero?”

 

But for now, Izuku just sat with his friends and relaxed, and watched as Tenya took the stage against Hatsume. There was some kind of commotion about support equipment, but honestly Izuku couldn’t care less. He shut his eyes, content on a brief sleep until he was needed again before he was harshly jabbed in the side.

 

Eyes flinging open, Izuku stares at Katsuki, who in turn jerks his head towards the entrance of their seating area. Turning to see just what the hell Katsuki is on now, Izuku makes eye contact with one Monoma Neito. Oh, this can’t be good.

 

Slowly rising from his chair, Izuku made his way towards his previous opponent, well aware that his classmates’ eyes were all on him, despite the fact that nobody was looking his way.

 

“Was there something you needed, Monoma?”

 

“Is it true that you’re quirkless?” Monoma asked, oddly subdued compared to the flamboyant personality Izuku had seen earlier in the day.

 

“What about it?” Izuku asked suspiciously, ready to cut the boy off from any quirkist bullshit.

 

“It’s just, that’s really cool. I have to put up with enough shit for having a “stealing quirk” and not having anything to work with when no one lets me borrow theirs. And the fact that you could kick my ass without anything but your own wits? It was…cool. Good job 1A.” Monoma stuck out his hand, as if asking for a handshake, and without hesitation, Izuku met him halfway. But as the two shook hands, an unspoken truce forming between them, Monoma yanked on Izuku’s arm, pulling him off balance and close enough to be heard at a whisper.

 

“Not that I actually believe that story that you’re all transfer students, but I think that’s a secret best kept in the walls of UA, right?”


Without, Monoma marched away, any timidness nowhere to be found, and Izuku was left to wonder just what was the boy known as Monoma Neito.

Chapter Text

As Izuku returned to his spot next to Katsuki, he allowed Monoma’s words to wash over him. Monoma had no proof to back up his suspicions, and even if he did, UA was prepared for any kind of speculation. Izuku wasn’t scared.


Focusing back on the match happening in front of him, Izuku was able to see the moment that Hanta’s tape was able to connect with Tsunotori’s horn. From there, Izuku knew it wouldn’t be long now. He had watched Hanta practice that move countless times in order to capture different villains, first on the mannequins the group had salvaged from a dumpster, then on Mezou, then on Mina and her tiny little stub horns. Comparing that to Tsunotori’s larger ram-looking horns, this shouldn’t take too long.

 

“Jesus, Nerd, maybe you should be up with Mic,” Katsuki muttered from Izuku’s left. Startling, Izuku looked around to notice most of his friends that were within earshot of him were holding back laughs at his thinking. There were some days he really missed the Pantheon’s sound proof-masks.

 

“Cut Midobro some slack, Bakubro! He’s just thinking what we’re all thinking!” Eijiro added in, slapping his hand against Izuku’s shoulder.

 

Sure enough, the match really was over soon after that, with Hanta hauling Tsunotori over the line with a well timed jerk of his tape.

 

As Denki and Hitoshi took the stage, Ochako leaned closer to Izuku’s ear. 

 

“Who do you think will win this?” She stage-whispered from Izuku’s right. Taking the question as a way to mutter to his heart’s content, Izuku stared back down at the stage.

 

“Well, Hitoshi is the better option in terms of quirkless-combat. While Denki is spry and good at evasion, he doesn’t have the same level of muscle as Hitoshi does. And since Denki would know Hitoshi’s quirk, he should know not to respond to him. So unless Hitoshi says something completely out of pocket, then he’ll be down to a quirkless fight like Monoma and I had.

 

“That being said, Denki doesn’t have the same drawback to his quirk that Hitoshi does, and could use it freely as long as he doesn’t go too crazy, which he almost never does in simple sparring matches. But Denki can’t just completely let lose and fry the whole stage because he wouldn’t want Midnight to be caught in the cross-fire. Cementoss should be fine considering he’s, you know, cement. Although now that I think about it, how much of him is cement? Like, does he have blood inside of him, or liquid cement? If he was in need of medical attention, how–”

 

“Goddamnit Deku, no tangents.”

 

“Ack, sorry! Back to what I was saying, Denki would have to use a concentrated blast, which would definitely be weaker, and one alone probably couldn’t take Hitoshi out. But Hitoshi is also not as good at evading as Denki or I would be, so he’ll have to watch out on that.”

 

“So Deku, what’s your verdict?” Ochako asked, as Midnight readied her whip.

 

“I think Denki will take it only if Hitoshi can’t get him to overdo himself—which I doubt—or get him to talk.”

 

As the whip cracked, both sides took off at a sprint for other, and from their spot in the stands, 1A could see Hitoshi trying to get Denki to respond. Then, Denki did something that Izuku hadn’t calculated.

 

Denki tackled Hitoshi, taking them both to the ground. But instead of grappling with him, or even trying to land a punch like Hitoshi was, Denki simply opened his arms, and bearhugged Hitoshi. As Hitoshi started to flop around like a fish, 1A came to the realization of what Denki had just done.

 

He used himself as a human taser.

 

As Midnight named Denki the winner of the round, and Denki helped to lift Hitoshi onto one of the meda-bots, Katsuki burst into laughter.

 

“That dumbass I can’t believe that worked! Maybe that should be his new super move. The Electric Hug .”

 

Dumbfounded, the class claps along with the rest of the stadium as their two classmates walk off of the arena.

 

Next up: Momo versus Shiozaki Ibara.

 

“All right Izuku, you’re zero for one, try again,” Ochako said, coming around the side to lay over both Izuku and Katsuki. The green-haired boy absent-mindedly started scratching through the girl’s brown hair, meanwhile Katsuki attempted to shove her off.

 

“Oi, Pink Cheeks, you do realize we’re going to be fighting in like, 30 minutes right? Get the fuck off of me!”

 

“Ahh, but my dear Kit Kat!” Ochako said in her sickly sweet tone, “You make an excellent pillow!”

 

It was only all of Ochako’s combat training that kept her from hitting the ground as Katsuki finally shoved her off. 

 

Patting the girl’s arm as she went to properly sit next to him, Izuku turned back to the stage.

 

“I’m not sure about this Shiozaki girl’s experience. If she uses her quirk mainly for fighting—which I would assume she does—then Momo will have to come up with a way to combat that. 

 

“Momo, meanwhile, has access to not only her quirk, but years of practice in hand-to-hand. I would be surprised if Shiozaki is able to beat her.”

 

As the class settled in to watch the next fight, Izuku’s predictions all came to pass.

 

When the whip cracked, Shiozaki’s hair immediately extended and slammed into the ground, presumably headed for Momo on the other side of the field. But Momo didn’t seem concerned at all. No, as the vines most likely came rushing towards her, Momo simply slipped off her shoes and watched Shiozaki with a small smile.

 

Before anyone could wonder what Momo’s plan was, Shiozaki made a strangled yelp as her vines came up from the ground, surrounding Momo, yes, but not touching her. As Momo began to walk closer to the girl from 1B, she didn’t look concerned about the vines trying to grasp at her legs. No, every vine that tried to touch Momo’s feet or uncovered calves would immediately begin to shrivel up, and curl away.

 

Momo was sweating weed killer.

 

Even from this distance, Izuku could make out the sheen covering Momo’s exposed skin, glimmering in a similar way to Katsuki’s nitroglycerin sweat.

 

From there, the match itself was rather simple, with Shiozaki unable to grasp Momo with her vines, it became woefully clear that she was not prepared for a fist-fight, something that the Pantheon excelled in.

 

You see, one of the ways that the Pantheon had been able to stay hidden and unknown for as long as they did was for a multitude of reasons. Their all-black matching ensembles allowed them to blend into the world around them. Their voice modifiers all gave them seemingly similar voices to those outside of the comm network. And most importantly of all: the Pantheon rarely ever used their quirks in a flashy way.

 

After Izuku had discovered the loophole of how technically he wasn’t a vigilante, he had been quick to start to teach the other’s of his band of misfits how to take villains down without the use of quirk.

 

If Class 1B was ever going to be able to take on 1A in a fight, it seemed that they really needed to learn how to throw a punch.

 

The next fight was a bit of a refreshment to the Pantheon. 

 

Eijiro was taking on Tetsutetsu, the guy who was basically his silver-version. Both boys were evenly matched in terms of quirks, and where Eijiro technically had the upper hand with combat, Tetsutetsu surprised Izuku with his use of evasion. If there was one thing Izuku had never been able to teach Eijiro, it was how to properly evade. In Eijiro’s own words “how can I be a shield, if I’m the one dodging the hits?”

 

But, in the last minute, when it was coming to the point that 1A was sure it would end in a tie, Eijiro pulled something they hadn’t seen since their Pantheon training days.

 

Unbreakable was a super move Eijiro had been working on for as long as the Pantheon existed. For those brief moments when it could be done, Eijiro’s strength and hardness increased to triple what it had been in his previous hardened state. 

 

While Tetsutetsu would have been Eijiro’s perfect equal in another life, Class 1A’s Kirishima Eijiro had a few more tricks up his sleeve.

 

As soon as Unbreakable touched Tetsutetsu, it was clear that he was at his limit for holding up his silver, and the boy flew through the air, landing squarely on the wrong side of the white line.

 

“OH YEAH! LOOK AT THAT ERASER,” Present Mic said as the match was called, “CLASS 1A IS ABSOLUTELY KILLING IT!”

 

And that was absolutely the truth. Out of the five matches that had already taken place, Class A had won all of them. The final battle of this round was between two members of 1A—Kastuki and Ochako—so that one was sure to have a 1A victory. The only chance 1B had left was in the contestants taking the stage now.

 

Shouto would be facing the class rep of 1B, Kendou Itsuka.

 

The fight started out strong, With Kendou coming at Shouto with the same enlarged fists that Monoma had used in the first fight. Shouto was forced onto the defensive, which was never his best footing, but had begun to leave patches of ice everywhere he dodged, hoping to trip up the rep.

 

While Izuku was sure that his friend could see this fight through and win in the end, he was not prepared for what happened next.

 

The crowds had been ecstatic, finally seeing a truly quirked battle with the flashiness society had come to love. Kendou’s fists were swinging wildly, looking for an opening to hit Shouto. 

 

Shouto had begun to leave larger bits of ice, even freezing Kendou’s feet to the ground for a moment. His fire licking close to his body, keeping his temperature regulated.

 

Suddenly, the temperature of the arena spiked.

 

“SHOUTO!”

Chapter Text

“SHOUTO!”

 

In the blink of an eye, the crowd went silent, startled by the booming yell of a voice they would be hard-pressed not to recognize.

 

Todoroki Enji, better known as the number two hero, the Flame Hero: Endeavor, stood at the top of the stairs, staring down into the arena, and onto the field where his youngest son was fighting.

 

1A turned to Shouto, unsure of how they could help from their spots in the stands, but Izuku from his seat could see the ice beginning to creep up his friend’s side, and he only had a moment to react.

 

“Everyone, down!” Izuku yelled as the very air around the arena seemed to explode. Ducking behind the railing, Izuku could see the flash of light as the cold air of a panicked Shouto hit the suffocating heat that followed Endeavor.

 

When the explosion died down, Izuku slowly unfurled himself from where he had gone, and looked back at the arena.

 

Everything was in rubble as the cement couldn’t stand the rapidly changing temperatures. What was left of a heaven-piercing icewall cut the stadium in two. Kendou laid passed out at the far side of the wall, obviously thrown out by the explosion. Shouto stood in the epicenter of it all. His feet froze to the ground, most likely at the last moment.

 

As the world seemed to come back into focus, the crowds began to roar in applause. But Shouto didn’t even stop to wait for the all clear. As soon as the match was called, his feet were dethawed and he was running for the tunnels. 

 

Whipping around to look at the seats, Izuku found that the flame hero was also gone. Quickly looking around his friends, he could see the grim faces they had all been turned to at the sight of the number two hero. As much as Izuku wished all of them could go and hide Shouto from the world in a nest of blankets and pillows, they all had a show to put on, and parts to play.

 

Katsuki and Ochako were already gone, having left for their own match before Shouto had even taken the field. Who knows if they even knew what was going on.

 

“Hanta, Tenya,” Izuku called, his voice eerily calm when it needed to be. “Both of you are with me. We need to find Shouto before he does.”

 

Without another word, the trio take off, leaving the rest behind to watch each other’s backs. 

 

The three rush down to the ground floor, all three of them aware on how to get to the prep rooms after their first matches. As they were rushing through the concrete halls, urging themselves to go faster without looking overly suspicious, they finally made it to the prep hallway.

 

But they weren’t the only ones.

 

As they made it to the door that Izuku noted had a frosted-over nob, Endeavor rounded the corner, signature scowl prevalent on his face.

 

“Hanta, Tenya,” Izuku murmured, low enough to know that only they would hear, “Go and calm Shouto down and keep him safe. I’ll deal with this.” With no time to argue, the two entered the room, and if Izuku listened for Tenya to click the latch on the lock, then that was only for him to know.

 

Izuku leaned against the door, pretending to check his phone, as if he wasn’t watching a flaming pile of bullshit approaching him from its reflection.

 

“Boy,” Endeavor’s voice carried as he zeroed in on Izuku. “Move, I need to go in there.”

 

Putting on an innocent face, Izuku pulled on the mask of the boy he maybe would have been, if his life hadn’t changed all those years ago.

 

“Oh my gosh! You’re Endeavor! I didn’t know you were here! Are you looking for work study students? There have definitely been some amazing–”

 

“Boy,” Endeavor interrupted, stepping even closer, only a few feet now from Izuku. “I don’t have time to answer your ridiculous questions. I need to speak to my son. Now move.”

 

Izuku could have kept the innocent persona going. He could have sent a text to Aizawa alerting him of the situation, or asked Tenya to when he was with Shouto.

 

But Izuku had been the one to bring Shouto to the Pantheon. Izuku had been the one who heard Shouto’s choked sobs from the solitude of his bedroom, when neither of them could have been older than eleven. Izuku had been the one who taught him that his quirk was his , had rubbed his back when he woke up from nightmares, and had talked Koji into teaching them all JSL not only for missions, but also for the days Shouto or any of them went nonverbal.

 

Izuku had been there through everything, and he wasn’t just going to bow his head and move out of the way.

 

“I’m sorry, but I don’t think I’ll be doing that,” Izuku said, his voice shifting from that innocent air to a serious calm. Endeavor squinted at the boy, opening his mouth to probably give the same order again, but Izuku beat him to it.

 

“You see, my friend is in there, and he’s having a pretty rough day. Not to mention, I don’t think that you’re supposed to be down here, Endeavor. This is a restricted area, and I see you don’t have a pass. So why don’t you just move along, and I won’t have to call my teacher. Okay?”

 

The heat of the hallway was becoming stifling, but Izuku never broke eye contact.

 

“Is that,” Endeavor growled, “a threat?”

 

At that, Izuku laughed.

 

“A threat?” Izuku asked. “ A threat? No, no, that was merely an observation. Here, Todoroki Enji, lemme give you a real threat. You will not take another step closer. You will not try to talk to Shouto. You will turn your incinerated ass around and march yourself out of this arena. You will not put up a fight over custody against UA. And do you want to know why?”

 

Sweat was beginning to trickle down Izuku’s brow, but he knew it wasn’t from fear. 

 

“Because if you don’t, I will ruin you. Every secret that you have, every skeleton you think you have buried, I will reveal. I know why your wife is in that hospital. I know why your eldest isn’t around anymore. I know why your daughter is a teacher, and is one of the strictest about mandated reporting. I know why your second son left home as soon as he got the chance. I know why your youngest ran away. I know everything that you did before your youngest ran away. I know how many funerals the Endeavor Agency has had to pay for in the past year. I know how many NDAs are currently in effect with your name on them. 

 

“I know a lot of things, Todoroki Enji. How many of them do you want the public to know? Because the minute you try to move me, is the minute every dirty little secret hits the press.”

 

Somewhere in his speech, Izuku’s voice had become a whisper. But he knew both the man in front of him and three bodies surely just on the other side of the door could hear every word.

 

The silence in the hallway was damning, and Izuku could feel the pro analyzing him, weighing his words to see how much truth they held. But Izuku knew the look in his eyes promised that he was not lying. He had been gathering evidence long before he even stuck out his hand, and asked an eleven-year-old Shouto if he wanted to run away with him. 

 

Without another word, the pro turned on his heel, only breaking eye contact when the rest of his body had turned away. Apparently, his protegé wasn’t worth that risk.

 

Good.

 

Izuku didn’t move from his spot until the sound of the two enormous boots faded away, long gone from anywhere close to his friends.

 

It was only then that he allowed himself to breath, and a moment after that where he slumped against the door. The wood making a solid thunk as it took on his body weight. 

 

“Izuku?” Tenya’s voice tentatively called from the other side. “Is he gone?”

 

“Yeah,” Izuku sighed, putting his weight back on his own two feet. “He’s gone now. Can I come in?”

 

Slowly, Izuku heard the click of the lock coming undone, and saw Tenya’s eye slowly peak through the door. When the blue-haired boy was sure that only Izuku stood in the hallway, he opened the door wide enough to squeeze himself in.

 

Izuku allowed the anger and hatred he had manifested to simmer and dissolve, locked away again until it was needed. Right now, he had a friend he needed to focus on.

Chapter Text

A short time later, the four students hear feet running down the hallway. Fearing the worst, Izuku, Hanta and Tenya get in position around Shouto, ready to defend him against any unwanted visitors. But then, before whoever it is even grabs the door handle, they hear a knock.

 

KnockKnockKnockKnock KnockKnock

 

Relaxing, Izuku walks towards the door as Tenya and Hanta resettle around Shouto.

 

“Who is it?” Izuku called, hand settled on the door-knob.

 

“It’s Katsuki and me!” Ochako’s chipper voice more subdued behind the door. Slowly opening it, Izuku came face-to-face with his two classmates, both battered and bruised, but lacking in their usual over-expressiveness. Ochako’s bubbly smile was watered down, and she looked concerned. Katsuki on the other hand looked ready to explode something—or some one —but was holding back, well aware that Shouto couldn’t handle loud noises when he was already startled.

 

Turning back to the ones already in the room, Izuku locked eyes with Shouto’s form. He was no longer shaking, but he was rocking back-and-forth, a self-soothing method that he used quite a bit.

 

“Shouto,” Izuku asked quietly, “Is it alright if Katsuki and Ochako come in? It’s just them.” Without a word, Shouto jerkily nodded, and Izuku took the affirmative to shuffle to the side and allow the two to enter.

 

As soon as the door was open, Ochako was rushing towards Shouto, only coming to her senses when she was a step or two in front of Shouto, and Hanta, whose side he was half buried in. Slowing down, Ochako gently sat down next to her friend, and instead of touching him, simply reached out her hand, palm up, and allowed the split-haired boy to take it in his own hand, beginning to play with the girl’s fingers. 

 

Whenever Shouto began to space out or not be able to communicate, they’d found one of the best ways to help ground him was to give him one of their hands and allow him to simply play with it. All 20 of the kids had different hands, and slowly the boy would be able to come back to himself, noticing the subtle differences in each hand. 

 

Katsuki for his part physically relaxed as he took in the sight of his…friend…and knowing that at least physically, he was safe.

 

Nodding to himself, Katsuki turned to Izuku and Tenya, who had moved over to the door to give Shouto even more space. If they all knew one thing, it was that feeling cornered could lead to some…accidents.

 

Katsuki began to tell the tale of what had happened as Izuku was facing Endeavor. Ochako and Katsuki had fought on the stage, and the two of them were pretty evenly matched. He explained how the crowd underestimated Ochako, and how they had made him appear as a villain. Then, quietly, Katsuki told the two that Aizawa defended him. He told them about how Aizawa called out the people in the crowd, including the pros, and how he told the audience that they should be ashamed of themselves for underestimating Ochako and for not giving Katsuki the credit he was due.

 

Momo and Shiozaki hadn’t had the crowd’s ire because it was two girls facing each other.

 

Tenya and Hatsume hadn’t faced it either, since Hatsume basically used Tenya as a walking billboard, and didn’t really take it seriously.

 

But then Katsuki tells them—in an almost proud voice—that Ochako had debuted a new super move that none of them had seen before. Katsuki was honestly impressed with the display, and he admitted that if he had pushed himself too much any earlier in the fight, she probably would have beaten him—something that would have put her on a very small list of her classmates who had actually been able to defeat him. 

 

A small sniffle brought the three leader’s attention back to the others in the room. Shouto’s fingers were lightly dancing around the fingerpads on Ochako’s fingers that were from her quirk. That was the cue that he was coming back to himself, being able to distinguish the differences between each of his friend’s hands.

 

For Ochako, that meant the fingerpads and the different callouses from when she used to help out her parents and their construction business.

 

Katsuki slowly walked over to the group, purposefully making his steps louder than any of theirs had naturally become. He reached out his own hand to Shouto, and when Shouto made eye-contact, it was only a minute before the two were wrapped in a hug.

 

There was a small number of people that Shouto was okay with physical contact with, and while the entirety of 1A was on that list, the levels of comfortability all varied.

 

There was a small number of people that Katsuki was okay being hugged by. He could tolerate all of his idiots, but that didn’t mean he always was happy about it. 

 

Today was the exception.

 

“He won’t touch you as long as we’re breathing IcyHot,” Katsuki whispered to the boy. “He’d have to go through all 19 of us before he’ll get to even look at you.” Shouto began to shake in Katsuki’s grasp, but the blond just held his friend tighter, not caring for the large tear-stain beginning to form on his shoulder.

 

The group sat in silence in the room, the only sound being the quiet sniffles of Shouto as he and Katsuki rocked back and forth. Nearly all of them were going to be in the next round, but not a single one of them cared to check the time.

 

Their family comes first.

 

After a few more minutes, the sniffling goes quiet, and Shouto slowly pulls away from the hug, Katsuki letting him.

 

“I’ll stay down here with you, Shouto,” Ochako finally said, breaking the silence. “I don’t have any more rounds, so we can just stay down here and watch it on my phone.” Slowly, Shouto nodded, and returned to Ochako and Hanta’s sides, subtly leaning into them. 

 

Suddenly, Shouto’s eyes looked up in a panic, making eye contact with Izuku.

 

“What about you guys? If Katsuki and Ochako are back down here, then that means that the next round should be starting right? Izuku, Tenya, you both need to–”

 

“Not to worry!” Nezu said, appearing in the doorway, making all the others jump. “I had Present Mic tell the crowd that we’re taking a short intermission to fix the field after Mr. Bakugou and Ms. Uraraka’s performance out there.” For a split moment, Izuku saw The Rat’s eyes flick over to Shouto, and his tail angrily twitched behind him. More quietly—gentler—Nezu continued. “I would like a more indepth answer soon. But for now, that can wait. Mr. To– Shouto ? Will you be able to continue with the festival, or would you prefer to withdraw?

 

Everyone’s eyes flitted over to Shouto, and even with all the different possibilities running around Izuku’s head, he couldn’t say for certain what Shouto was going to choose. Either way, their family would keep him safe, but in the end, this was Shouto’s choice.

 

“Is he…is he still here?” Shouto asked after a minute. If possible, The Rat’s face softened even more.

 

“After his… conversation …with Mr. Midoriya,” and from the look on The Rat’s face, Izuku knew that what he had said to Endeavor would come back to him in the end. “Endeavor left the UA grounds entirely. However I cannot confirm that he would not be watching from the stream–”

 

“I’ll do it.”

 

The student’s all whipped their heads around, surprised at Shouto’s voice, steadier than it had been before everything had happened.

 

“He was going to see me eventually, right? There’s no point in hiding anymore.” Izuku was proud of his friend, and he could see Nezu’s eyes appraising the split-haired boy.

 

“If that is what you wish, then we will continue as planned. I did take the initiative to change the order of the fights, so that you will be able to have a bit more time to prepare.” Shouto, along with the rest of them now, nodded.

 

“In that case, the first fight will be Kaminari Denki versus Iida Tenya. Mr. Iida, you have ten minutes to get in position, so I believe you should be headed out. To the rest of you, I wish you a successful festival!” And with that, The Rat was gone, and the group was left to look at one another, before Tenya, Izuku and Katsuki stepped out, leaving Ochako and Hanta to stick with Shouto until it was time for their turn.

 

Round one was officially over. Through all the ups and downs, who knew what round two would bring, but either way, they had made it.

 

The One-on-One Fights

Round Two

Kaminari Denki - Iida Tenya

Yaoyorozu Momo - Midoriya Izuku

Bakugou Katsuki - Kirishima Eijiro

Todoroki Shouto - Sero Hanta

Chapter Text

Katsuki split off from Tenya and Izuku as they reached the staircase, the blond going to return to the stands and update the class on Shouto, and the two others headed for the tunnels that would lead out to the field.

 

“So,” Izuku said, trying to break the awkward silence. “Do you have a plan on how to fight Denki? You two didn’t really spar much that I can remember…”

 

“I will simply go into the fight with the same determination as I would with any other foe,” Tenya said, latching on to the conversation. “And what about with yourself? Have you come up with a strategy to take on Momo?”

 

Izuku started to rub the back of his neck, explaining that he has no idea what he plans to do yet, he had been so focused on helping Shouto that he hadn’t really had the time. 

 

“Well,” Tenya said, as they both came to a stop in front of the tunnel’s exit onto the stage. The crowd was getting hyped up as Present Mic was beginning to explain the new competitors. “I wish you the best of luck, Izuku, and may we see each other in the third round.”

 

Izuku smiled as his friend walked away, into the sunlight.

 

I hope we will, Tenya.

 

***

 

Shouta looked down at his students as the two of them took the field.

 

While it had only been a few weeks since the students had fallen under his care, Shouta would like to think that he had a pretty good grasp on at least their rudimentary strengths and weaknesses. All of them were well-versed in being creative, as well as how to fight quirkless, but individually, they each had their own ways of doing things, and it was clear that they relied on the others to help balance themselves out.

 

How this round was going to go, Shouta couldn’t know for sure.

 

“Alright, alright,” Hizashi yelled, calling the crowd’s attention back to the event. “We are back and better than ever, listeners, and I cannot wait to see how this goes! Eraser, what are you thinking as your students get ready to duke it out?” Rolling his eyes at his husband’s theatrics, Eraser leaned slightly forward, wincing at the pull of his bandages.

 

“I would say that both of them have their strengths and weaknesses that the two can play off of. 1A is a close-knit group, and knows a good amount about each other’s fighting styles. The way that they counteract this knowledge will be pivotal in deciding who moves on.”

 

“You heard it here, ladies and gentlemen! Midnight! Take it away!” 

 

As the whip cracked, both boys were quick to evade the other’s opening hits, their moves almost like a dance as they tracked the other’s movement.

 

Kaminari is better at evasion, but his punches or kicks are not nearly as strong as Iida’s. The question came down to stamina, and if Kaminari could outlast the other boy and continue to evade.

 

Suddenly a strobe-like effect blindsided the stadium as Kaminari grabbed ahold of Iida’s leg from where Kaminari had ended up on the ground. There was silence as Iida tripped over himself before falling to his knees and hitting the ground, both legs twitching. Kaminari stood over him, heaving as he stared down at his classmate.

 

“Iida, can you move?” Midnight called from her place over on the—thankfully insulated—stage. After a minute of struggling, and trying to get his feet under him, Iida hung his head, slowly shaking it back and forth. Midnight nodded before raising her whip again.

 

“Iida Tenya is unable to continue, Kaminari Denki moves on to the semi-finals.” The crowd erupted in cheers as they saw Kaminari get a momentary look of happiness, a smile breaking out from ear to ear as he shot finger guns at random places in the audience. But Shouta couldn’t help but notice the slight wobble of his standing. Was he just tired, or had he nearly hit his limit when taking on Iida?

 

“Look at that !” Hizashi called, as Kaminari helped Iida up and placed him on the med-cart, walking off the field next to his classmate, “A true show of sportsmanship from our hero course! How refreshing! Alright dear listeners, with no need to actually fix the stage this time, we can move onto our next fight immediately? Can I get a ye EEAHHHHHHHH!” The crowd gave a half-hearted reply, but by now, Hizashi was on a roll. “Up next we have the master of hand-to-hand versus the mistress of creation! Here comes two of 1A’s quickest thinkers, everyone, give it up for the Vice-Rep of 1A, Yaoyorozu Momo, and her challenger, Midoriya Izuku!”

 

The crowd noticeably lessened their cheers at the sound of Midoriya’s name, and Shouta flashed back to what happened at the end of Midoriya's last fight.

 

***

 

“Monoma Neito cannot continue. Midoriya Izuku wins the first match!” Midnight yelled as the match was called.

 

“What is your quirk?” Monoma asked, standing up, most likely unaware of the mics placed closer to the ring. “There was no way in hell you just pulled that off without one, so what is it?” Izuku smirked as his opponent.

 

“Don’t underestimate the Quirkless Deku, Monoma.”

 

As the two walked off stage, they didn’t hear how the crowd went silent. They didn’t hear the whispers beginning to ask if they’d heard right. They didn’t hear the grumbles asking why UA would allow a Quirkless to take the spot of someone better suited.

 

But Shouta and Hizashi heard, and as the two made eye contact, both of them thought the same thing as Hizashi announced the next round.

 

A storm was brewing, and Midoriya Izuku was going to be the center of it.

 

***

 

Yaoyorozu was giving it her all, and it really did look like she had Midoriya on the ropes. As soon as the whip had cracked, she had formed a staff and had taken to beating back Midoriya. When Midoriya disarmed her and took the staff for himself, she had simply created twin sai and continued the fight. When Midoriya was able to get her to drop those, Yaoyorozu simply created a shield and began to push Midoriya into a corner.

 

Shouta wanted to be impressed with the girl. She was showing insane knowledge of weaponry, and a versatility that would make her a huge asset in the field. Shouta wanted nothing more than to be proud of how Yaoyorozu was competing, But instead, all Shouta—and Hizashi—could hear was the sounds of the crowd as they became louder.

 

“Just get him out of there!”

 

“Quit playing with your food and take him out, kid!”

 

“The quirkless shouldn’t even be here. You’re just a waste of space!”

 

Shouta saw red in the same shade of crimson he had earlier when the crowd had begun to spew their sexist bullshit at Uraraka during her fight against Bakugou. Shouta shot ramrod straight, no longer upset about the pain it was bringing to his rib.

 

“Who said that,” Aizawa’s voice growled, deeper and louder than many would expect from an underground hero. “Who dared to bully children as they fought for a school event . UA is a safe haven for all students, of all backgrounds. We see more than a quirk— or lack thereof —and if you have an issue with that, you can take it up with Nezu himself. But for now, quiet yourselves, and watch the match, because the next person who heckles first years over something they cannot control will be banned from the school’s grounds. Do I make myself clear?”

 

The silence of the crowd was deafening, nobody wanting to lose their seats to one of the biggest events in Japan. But then, yelling started, and before Shouta’s hackles could raise again, Hizashi put his hand on the black-haired man's arm, and pointed towards the student section. From their seats in the announcers booth, both men got front row seats.

 

Class 1A was all on their feet, screaming, clapping, cheering, doing everything to show that they were paying attention. That they were proud of their friends down on the field. But what was surprising was that they weren’t the only one’s cheering.

 

Right next to 1A, 1B began to cheer and clap for their rival class. Then 1H began as well. Soon the student section was filled with cheering, and before long the crowd started to cheer too. Not nearly as loud as the hero courses, but loud enough to drown out any lingering whispers.

 

“Look at that sportsmanship!” Hizashi enthusiastically yelled, “Now that’s the kind of action we like to see here at UA. You go, little listeners! But it looks like this round is officially OVER !” Turning his attentions back to the match, Shouta was thankful for the bandages across his face that surely covered the absolute shock he worse.

 

Midoriya was standing just on the edge of the right-most bounds. And Yaoyorozu…

 

Yaoyorouza Momo sat on the ground on the other side of the white line.

 

“Yaoyorozu Momo is out of bounds,” Midnight yelled, once again raising her whip, flicking it at the audience. “Midoriya Izuku will move on to the semi-finals!”

 

Shouta watched as, with a broad grin, Midoriya reached out a hand and helped Yaoyorozu to her feet. The two grinned at each other before turning to face the crowd, and, to Shouta’s surprise, bowed at a perfect ninety-degrees toward the student’s section, completely ignoring the other areas

 

As the two walked off the field, seemingly both in good spirits, Shouta was once again impressed by his class of hellions, and he would proudly admit it to anyone who asked.

Chapter Text

Katsuki stood in the tunnel as Izuku and Momo walked towards him. The two stopped, just inside of the tunnel and out of the sunlight, across from Katsuki.

 

Staring at them both for a moment, Katsuki gave them a curt nod.

 

“Good job, Ponytail. You’ve improved your weapons-game. You could’ve kicked any of those extras’ asses.” Momo smiled at the comment, a small blush painting her cheeks. Katsuki turned to his green-haired idiot. “Deku, if you listen to any of those bastards in the audience, I will howitzer your ass right now. Understood?” Izuku ducked his head, trying not to make eye contact with his childhood friend.

 

“Loud and clear, Kacchan.”

 

“Good, now move it extras, I have a Shitty Hair to beat the gel out of.” The two scurried out of his way and Katsuki allowed himself a small smile as he heard the two whispering as they continued down the tunnel. 

 

Good. Neither of their spirits took a hit on that one.

 

When Katsuki had heard what the crowd was saying, he had to physically hold himself back from coming out of the tunnel earlier and beating the shit out of anyone in the audience who he heard talking shit.

 

But then Eraserhead came through, defending them again.

 

Katsuki’s thoughts suddenly circled back to all those months ago, back before the first file was even written.

 

***

 

“No, don’t you fucking ‘Kacchan’ me!” Katsuki spat at Deku. “How the hell do you think we can trust him? You don’t know him Deku, he could very well fucking turn you in when he doesn’t have a bullet hole to deal with. It took all of this fucking time to get all of us together and safe, and you want us to just blow it for this...this...this fucking hobo! I’m not risking our family for this!” 

 

***

 

At the time, Katsuki had been so sure that he was arguing for what was best. They didn’t know this pro that could very well turn them in. But now there they were, the hero not defending them once, but twice to an arena full of people.

 

Katsuki slapped his face, pulling himself back into the moment.

 

Debate being nice to his homeroom teacher later, time to beat the shit out of Eijiro.

 

“Coming from the left,” Present Mic yelled, “We have the shield of 1A, give it up for Kirishima Eijiro!!!” The crowd went wild, and Katsuki, while standing alone in the tunnel, allowed a fond smile to spread across his lips for just a moment.

 

“And from the right,” the cockatoo continued, “Here comes the bloodthirsty bomb of 1A, make some noise for Bakugou Katsuki!” Slipping his smile into his more trademarked smirk, Katsuki strode out onto the field, his eyes locking onto his opponent.

 

The rest of the world fell into silence as Katsuki allowed it all to fade away. Izuku and him had discovered when they formed the Pantheon that when Katsuki is pulled into a fight, he has this ability to focus on only the person in front of him. That’s how Cheeks had nearly gotten him in the last round, and Katsuki refused to let that happen again.

 

***

 

“How is he?” Eijiro had asked as soon as Katsuki had returned to the 1A seats. The others were quick to turn at the sound of the new person, and Katsuki could make out all of their concerns clear as day. He really did have a caring group of idiots, didn’t he. 

 

Taking a deep breath, Katsuki collapsed into his seat, well aware of the twelve pairs of eyes that were still locked onto him.

 

“He’s got us, so I think in the end he’ll be okay. Deku apparently scared the bastard off. How, I have no fuckin’ idea. Round Face and Tape Face are staying with him for now.” Deciding to get his friend’s thoughts off of IcyHot, Katsuki turned to Eijiro who had sat directly behind him and allowed for his smile to turn feral.

 

“You should probably focus more on what kind of grave marker you want, Shitty Hair. I’m not going easy on you.”

 

Eijiro’s eyes shone with challenge and Katsuki was reminded why Eijiro was one of his closest friends.

 

“Bring it Bakubro!”

 

***

 

As Midnight cracked her whip, Katsuki was off, aiming low and hoping to get under Eijiro’s raised arms. But the bastard hardened at the last second, and Katsuki had to pivot his explosions to move him out of the way before Eijiro’s punch could land.

 

The two went back-and-forth, an intricate dance at a much faster pace than the rest of 1A would usually do. But besides maybe Izuku and Katsuki, Eijiro and Katsuki had the most spars under their belts against each other. They knew every trick in the other’s books, and could counter just about all of them. For those they couldn’t counter, a bruise or two never hurt anybody.

 

But Katsuki wasn’t known as Ares for nothing.

 

The crowd was probably wondering why Katsuki wasn’t making many explosions, and Kats could tell that Eijiro was wondering the same thing. Then, as Katsuki saw the slightest shift of Eijiro’s hardening—a sign that his stamina was running out—Katsuki let off two simultaneous explosions and sent himself flying straight up into the air. Pivoting his legs, he began his descent in a spin, aiming right for his opponent.

 

Eijiro put up his arms, hoping that his hardening could take the hit. But the quirk was at its limit, and Eijiro hit the ground on his back, hard . It was only the last second that Eijiro could think to harden the back of his head, saving himself from a concussion. But even with his head not injured, Eijiro’s entire body was sore, and he knew he couldn’t have stood up if he tried.

 

With Katsuki leering over him, Eijiro smiled back up at him dazed, and tapped the ground twice.

 

Like a flip was switched, Katsuki relaxed above him, and stepped over him to stand at his side. The blond turned to face Midnight.

 

Blinking the shock out of her eyes, Midnight cleared her throat.

 

“Kirishima, can you move?”

 

“Nuh,” Eijiro said intelligently. Nodding, the woman carefully stepped around the rubble from Katsuki’s explosions and made her way towards them.

 

“Kirishima Eijiro is unable to continue, Bakugou Katsuki moves on to the semi-finals.”

 

The crowd went wild at the impressive show of quirks, and Katsuki didn’t even pretend to hide his sneer at the crowd. Those idiots were the reason why people like Izuku and Hitoshi were told they couldn’t be heroes.

 

But the Pantheon would teach them all that heroics wasn’t just about the muscle.

 

When the Med-Bots appeared to pick up Eijiro, who groaned every time he tried to so much as sit up, Katsuki eventually rolled his eyes and squatted down, picking up the heavy bastard in a princess carry. Gently setting him on the gurney, Katsuki followed behind the bots as they exited the field, tuning out Present Mic and his talking about sportsmanship or some shit.

 

As they made their way to the infirmary, Katsuki dropped Eijiro on the nearest bed, and watched as Recovery Girl pecked him on the cheek, making his eyes flutter shut. Katsuki sat down on the other side of the bed, and wordlessly took the gummies that the old heroine held out to him.

 

Absentmindedly rubbing his forearms to work the tension out of it, Katsuki’s eyes drifted over to his friend, shoving down the thoughts of the last time Recovery Girl had to heal one of his passed-out friends. As he watched Eijiro's chest rise and fall rhythmically, Katsuki reminded himself to grab Eijiro’s heated shark plushie to help with the red-haired bastard’s pain tonight.

 

Shaking his head, Katsuki stood up and walked out of the infirmary, trusting the heroine to watch over his idiot. Katsuki really wanted to see the next match with Shouto and Hanta. Whoever won that match would take on Deku in the semi-finals, meanwhile Katsuki would be fighting Dunce Face. Really, the idiot had already mostly won the battle for him, what with that stupid million volt shock he pulled earlier to take out Tenya. 

 

If that idiot thought the Bakugou Katsuki would go easy on him just because he had overworked himself, then he would have to be losing brain cells faster than usual. 

 

But as Katsuki’s eyes landed on the student section in front of him, he silently added “take care of Dunce Face” to his list of tasks after the festival was finished.

Chapter Text

Izuku nodded as Katsuki walked into the 1A seating area. The rest of the class congratulated him for his victory, and Katsuki turned on his usual bravado as he took a seat next to the greenette.

 

“How is Eiji?”

 

“Knocked out at the moment, but it was just quirk-overuse. He’ll be fine in a few days.” Izuku nodded at the response and looked at the field in front of them.

 

“What’s going on in that head of yours, nerd?” Katsuki asked as he waved at Ochako, who had come up to watch the match with the rest of her class.

 

“I’m just worried about Shouto. His quirk gets wonky when his emotions aren’t stable , especially his fire. And I know he would never purposefully hurt Hanta, but that doesn’t mean accidents don’t happen, and I think that would just make him feel worse, so I just–”

 

“Deku, it’s okay–”

 

“Am worried that this could go wrong in so many different ways. Don’t get me wrong, I think that both of them are incredibly strong, and I’m beyond proud of Shouto for continuing with the tournament. I guess I’m still–”

 

“Oi Deku, you know you’re supposed to breath–”

 

“That overprotective worrywort I have been. Ha! I guess some things never change. In terms of who’s gonna win, I honestly have–”

 

“Hey, Izuku, who’s gonna win?”

 

“No idea–” A fog settled over Izuku’s eyes, disconnecting him from his train of thought and left him floating in one very familiar abyss. After a minute, Izuku’s senses began to return to him, and blinking the last of it away, Izuku turned in his seat, to look at one very smug Hitoshi who was slouching behind him.

 

“Works every time.”

 

“Thanks Hitoshi,” Izuku mumbled, melting into the arm that Katsuki threw over his shoulder.

 

“Deku, I’m sure that everything will be fine,” Katsuki reassured him. “It’s like you said, both of them are strong, and they know each other’s fighting style as well as any one of us would. Shouto will probably fall into his usual rhythm of burning the tape that comes near him, and Hanta isn’t dumb enough to angle the tape head on. It’ll be fine.”

 

“Yeah Deku,” Ochako joined in, poking him in the side where she knew it tickled. “Both of them seemed fine when they left for the match. Shouto has complete control of his quirk, and if he messes up, we have Recovery Girl now, and Hanta is good at avoiding hits. I mean, he talks to Kats on a daily basis!”

 

“Shut up you Kirby-wannabe.”

 

Smiling at his two friends’ usual bickering, Izuku allowed himself to relax as they finished the last of the fixing up of the stage. (Honestly, 1A should probably send Cementoss-Sensei a fruit basket for the amount of times he’s had to remake the stage today…)

 

“Alright, alright, alriGHT! Party people, we’ve made it to the final match of the second round! Coming from the left tunnel, give it up for the King of the Office Supplies! The amazing, incredible, the friendly-neighborhood Sero Hanta!” The crowd cheered as Hanta took the stage, smiling and waving at all the people they could, his signature smile plastered on his face.

 

“And from the right, we have the Lord of Ice and Fire who absolutely blew us all away last round! Give it up for the one, the only, Todoroki Shouto!” Shouto’s posture was rigid, and his eyes never left his target. But this wasn’t like Katsuki’s tunnel-vision. No, Shouto had never even had tunnel-vision like Katsuki or Izuku did.

 

Despite the sun shining, and it being a beautiful spring day, a chill filled the air, and Izuku felt the blood drain from his face. Sitting up straight, Izuku turned wide eyed to his childhood friend, who had also gone rigid as the temperature dropped.

 

Uh oh.

 

The two locked eyes, and both of them realized what might be about to happen.

 

“All of you need to duck, right now, ” Izuku called, just loud enough for his class to hear. None of them dared to question the greenette and all of them hit the ground without another word.

 

Izuku heard the crack of the whip, and the temperature dropped another 20 degrees. Looking up Izuku saw the tip of ice right where his head had once been. Cautiously looking up, Izuku found a massive glacier that pierced into the sky higher than he was sure the Sky Tree even was. This was not the same controlled chaos that happened in the Cavalry Battle. 

 

This was a fear response.

 

“Woah!” Present Mic yelled, “Talk about a brain freeze! Hey Midnight, Cementoss, you good down there?” From where 1A sat, their view of the field was blocked by the iceberg in front of them, but they could all guess that the two pros didn’t dodge the ice either. Puffs of hot air was the only thing breaking apart the eerie silence that had overtaken the student section.

 

“Sero, can you move?” Midnight’s voice finally called out. Oh god, was Hanta in that iceberg?  

 

Another moment of tense silence.

 

“Sero Hanta is unable to continue, Todoroki Shouto moves on to the semi-finals!”

 

The silence is broken by raucous cheers as the crowds probably overcame their shock.

 

“And with that, our semi-final bracket is now filled!” Present Mic yelled, probably trying to regain the audience’s attention. “We will take another short break to fix the stage, yo! In the meantime, here’s your matches for round three!”

 

From where the iceberg was beginning to melt, the class could make out the jumbotron, which was proudly broadcasting the next rounds.

 

The One-on-One Fights

Round Three

Kaminari Denki - Bakugou Katsuki

Todoroki Shouto - Midoriya Izuku

 

Down on the ground, Izuku could make out Shouto with his hand glowing against the ice, slowly melting where he had Hanta buried up to his neck. The flame was consistent, and steady, but Izuku could still see how small it was. 

 

“Oi, Deku,” Katsuki said, bumping Izuku’s shoulder to get his attention. “Dunce Face is heading down to the tunnels to get ready for our match. You and Shouto will probably just stay down there too. C’mon, Nerd.”

 

Without another word, Izuku follows the two blonds up the stairs, passing the rest of his classmates. But before he fully turned the corner out of the student section, Izuku turned one last time and stared at the slowly shrinking glacier, an uneasy feeling beginning to build in his gut.

Chapter Text

Izuku watched as Katsuki stood over Denki. 

 

Their fight had been short, but definitely not anticlimactic. Denki must have warned Midnight to stand back, because he let off a straight shot of electricity, unlike his past few rounds where he had won by direct contact. 

 

Izuku understood his thought process. He wouldn’t want to get close to Katsuki in a fight if he could avoid it either. Unfortunately, while the zap may have looked impressive, from the way Katsuki took it, you would think it was no more than the static shock you would get from a dryer. Denki had been too close to his limit to produce a heavy enough shock. Even from this far away, Izuku knew that the boy on the ground had shorted out.

 

Knowing that Katsuki would take care of Denki, Izuku’s sights turned to the tunnel entrance on the other end of the field, where he knew Shouto would be. A foreboding feeling began to weigh in his stomach, as memories resurfaced in front of his eyes.

 

***

 

Izuku jumped over the side of the gate where he knew there was no camera. He had specifically picked this night to come, knowing that the number two would be working late. He would never ask his family to go directly against the number two hero, but if he gently asked if they could cause some chaos tonight while being careful, that was different.

 

From his spot on top of the fence, Izuku jumped across, landing on the maple tree near the windows. Izuku had been staking out the property for weeks before he made his plan.

 

Climbing a few branches higher, Izuku tapped on the window, waiting patiently as the noise inside—what he later learned to be sobs—immediately cut off. After another minute of silence, Izuku tapped again. Suddenly, the curtains were ripped back and bloodshot heterochromatic eyes met green ones.

 

Izuku shyly waved.

 

Suspicious, the boy unlatched the window, but glared at the boy in the tree.

 

“Who are you?” He asked, “What are you doing here?”

 

“What would you say if I told you I could get you away from your dad?”

 

“I would say you’re a fool.” Izuku smiled at the insult, but extended his hand.

 

“I’ve been called worse. What would you say if I told you I could give you a friend?”

 

That look of hope was the first crack in the Todoroki Mask.

 

***

 

Things weren’t easy at first.

 

While Katsuki and the others by now were well-versed in dealing with traumatized kids, Shouto was…different.

 

He was…antisocial…which was fine! Hitoshi and Katsuki weren’t exactly known for being people-persons. But Shouto…Shouto just refused to try.

 

He was cold.

 

He refused to even talk to the others, besides maybe clipped answers to Izuku.

 

Tensions were high, among everyone, and of course it had been Eijiro who had tried to break the tension.

 

“So, Todoroki, have you ever thought about being a hero? I mean, that’s what most of our goal is, that’s why we train so hard! Would you maybe want to train with us?”

 

Todoroki looked Eijiro dead in the eye, and said one of the worst things he could’ve. 

 

“I don’t need to train. My power is already strong, and I can be a competent enough hero with only my right side. Only my ice.”

 

Everyone sitting around the campfire froze. 

 

See, there was another group of heroes that didn’t think they needed to push their quirks. They didn’t need to use them to the full extent. Why they didn’t, no one knew. Maybe they thought they were good enough without them. Maybe they thought the scene in front of them was a lost cause. 

 

But that hubris cost two eight year olds their parents.

 

Izuku and Katsuki made eye contact. 

 

And then they challenged Todoroki to a fight.

 

***

 

The fight between the three of them nearly leveled the entire beach, as well as their home. Between the explosions, the ice, and the screaming, it’s a wonder the cops hadn’t been called.

 

Katsuki had a cut on his cheek, and his forearms were completely strained. Todoroki was shivering, and his eyes were a little wild, like an animal who was cornered.

 

And Izuku…

 

Izuku stood over Todoroki with a foot on one wrist and a death grip on the other. A deadly seriousness in his voice and fire in his eyes.

 

“I would give anything to be in your shoes, don’t you get that? You have two amazing quirks. I have nothing . And the last time heroes said that kind of shit, there were body bags involved. So never say that to me, to Katsuki, to any of us again. Do you understand?”

 

All the boy on the ground could do was nod.

 

***

 

As time moved on, Todo Shouto slowly came out of his shell. He began to get a shaky control of his fire, with the help of Katsuki. And with the help of the Pantheon, he learned what a friend was.

 

But one thing that changed immediately after that was that Todoroki Shouto never held back both sides of his quirk again.

 

***

 

When Izuku came back to himself, he was standing on the stage, Shouto standing in front of him with that same blank look in his eyes that he had with his match with Hanta. Although now that Izuku was within closer range, he realized why that look had unsettled him so much earlier.

 

It was the same emotionless look in his eyes that Izuku had seen four years ago, through that window. It was a look he hadn’t seen since that very day.

 

Steeling himself, Izuku took a deep breath, and called on that same rage that had filled him all those years ago.

 

“Shouto,” Izuku said quietly, just loud enough to catch the boy's attention, but not the microphones. “Do you remember that conversation all those years ago? A few days after we met?”

 

The steel in Izuku’s voice broke through the fog, at least, for a moment. Shouto seemed to actually take in Izuku’s face, and the green-haired boy could tell the minute that the emotions were noted.

 

“Izuku, this isn’t like Dagobah. I can’t do that. He’s watching –”

 

“Do you remember the rest of that conversation? What happened the last time people held back?”

 

“Izu–”

 

“All or nothing, Shouto.”

 

The crack of the whip had both boys moving.

Chapter Text

Izuku jumped back, pivoting on the balls of his feet as he watched the ice fly next to him. The ice was definitely not as hazardous as it had been against the fight with Hanta, but it was still cold and Izuku knew that the minute the ice caught him was the moment that Izuku would be done.

 

The green-haired boy was sure that the audience would be in an uproar by the end of this fight. Here he was, taking on arguably one of the strongest people in his grade, with no quirk to his name.

 

But Izuku had beaten Shouto before, and he’d be damned to not do it again.

 

A second blast of ice to Izuku’s right that was made to put him between a rock and a hard place—or more accurately, a sheet of ice, and another sheet of ice—but at the last moment, Izuku jumped up, using the traction of his shoes to boost himself up as he ascended in the same way that Izuku would have countless nights against the brick deadends of alleyways. 

 

The thing not many people knew of Shouto’s ice, is that it’s only the smooth and perfected version when he stopped to focus on it. Even when he did focus in on it, the only way he could ever get it perfectly smooth was if he was pushing it out horizontally. Not as a huge glacier. No, Shouto’s real ice was rough. It was textured. It was the sort of ice that any well-made shoe would be able to stick to without any issue. And well, Izuku’s “ugly red shoes” did have a few uses, after all.

 

Izuku made his way to the top of the two glaciers—left, right, left, right —and didn’t stop to breathe until he had a stable footing on the cliffs at the top. Gasping for air, Izuku didn’t stop to survey his view, but instead focused down his nose at the boy below him.

 

If he sent a glacier to coat over the old ones, he would just be stabilizing Izuku’s admittedly sketchy footing. If he tried to go from above and hit Izuku, it wouldn’t be weak enough, and he would risk truly injuring Izuku from the height he was currently at. No matter how much of a fight this was, no matter where in his own head Shouto was, Izuku knew for a fact that he would never allow himself to purposefully maim any of his friends.

 

That ice that encased Hanta in the previous round? Hanta had confirmed his suspicions in the tunnel when he was returning to the student section to warm up.

 

***

 

“Yeah no, I was terrified,” Hanta laughed, awkwardly rubbing one of his arms. Izuku noted that the cold always had a bad side effect with his elbows, and cataloged to make sure they had the ointment they kept on hand for cracked skin in the medicine cabinet tonight for the tape-user.

 

“You got out of the ice pretty quickly,” Izuku noted. Sure, from where the class had seen it, it had looked as if Hanta and half the field was encased in ice.

 

“Ah yeah, but none of it actually touched my skin…”

 

“What?” Hanta began to explain about how the ice had come up over his shoulders, but as long as the black-haired boy hadn’t moved, then he wouldn’t have actually touched any of the ice. It was as if Hanta had been wrapped in an icy bubble, with only his head exposed.

 

And that’s when the lightbulb clicked.

 

***

 

No matter how unhinged or cornered Shouto may have been feeling in his fight with Hanta, he never put him into any actual danger. And he wouldn’t do it to Izuku, either. All he needs is to evade and conquer. 

Easier said than done.

 

Taking a deep breath, Izuku slid down the ramp of the ice, gliding closer and closer to Shouto. Keeping his peripheral on Shouto’s right hand, the moment it shifted up, is the moment he jumped, rolling directly next to Shouto’s left. Grabbing a hold of his wrist. Izuku spun around pulling the arm flush against the small of Shouto’s back. 

 

“How you doin’ Shouto?”

 

“Izuku, now’s not the time for a conversation.”

 

“Ahh, you’re right, we’re beating the crap out of each other, right?”

 

“Izu–”

 

Kicking the back of Shouto’s knees, he sent the dual-haired boy to his knees, and swiveled to stand directly perpendicular with Shouto’s left as the boy swung around on his knees and sent another iceberg towards the boy. It was a bit smaller than the previous ones, but Izuku couldn’t have blocked that one considering how close he was. 

 

Izuku was sent rolling, and he saw the white line approaching him from where he landed. Scurrying to his feet, Izuku stood again, in a similar spot to where he had once stood when facing Momo. 

 

Deep breath in.

 

Deep breath out.

 

Izuku took off at a sprint, his mind shifting back to fights of the past.

 

That incoming iceberg is suddenly a group of garbage cans that a purse-snatcher pushed in his path to slow him down.

 

That glacier was the side of a building he did a jump off of in order to pursue Katsuki in a game of quirked tag.

 

That blast of fire directly above him? It was that first sparring match where he had pushed Shouto to his limits all on his own.

 

Before long, Izuku was right back where he started. Staying close to Shouto’s sides, Izuku stepped into Shouto’s bubble, one of his feet planted in between Shouto’s, forcing him off balance and out of rhythm. 

 

A right arm came crashing down towards Izuku’s collarbone, and he grabbed the sleeve, shoving it towards the sky and allowed snow to rain down around them. A left arm came around for a punch and Izuku ducked, shoving Shouto’s chest and tripping him up to the point that the dual-haired boy landed flat on his butt in front of him. 

 

Diving for him, Izuku landed on top of Shouto, and it became a back and forth. For one moment, Izuku stood above Shouto with a wild look in his eye. In the next, it was Izuku on the ground and Shouto gasping above him.

 

But when both of them were standing once again, Izuku took a page out of Denki’s playbook, and simply dove at the older boy. Putting his own hand behind his head just to be sure that his head didn’t connect to the ground.

 

Izuku kneeled over Shouto with a foot on one wrist and a death grip on the other. The deja vu of the moment not lost on either boy. Shifting the weight of his foot once again to put even more pressure on Shouto’s left hand.

 

“The same day that you are the same person as your father is the day I will publicly tell the world that I am useless. You have a lot of people watching your back, Shouto, you don’t need him anymore.” The words were whispered through gritted teeth, low enough that the mics were sure not to pick up. 

 

They both stayed in that position for a moment as the match was called, both of their chests heaving from the effort. But as the applause filled the arena, the crowd notably dumbfounded about the quirkless beating the son of the number two hero, Izuku simply put on a small smile and reached out a hand to his friend, still lying on the ground.

 

And Shouto, well, he didn’t exactly smile, it had never been Shouto’s main method of showing happiness anyway. But as he grabbed ahold of Izuku with his left hand—subtly heating it to help warm up the greenette—there was a small nod of understanding, and a look of raw emotion in his eyes.

 

But the storms had passed, and there was a promise held of smoother seas.

 

The two walked off the stage together, happy to walk in a calm silence with each other. Anything that they would have needed to say was expressed in their actions in the last ten minutes. Shouto’s desperate fight to keep everything—every one— at bay, and Izuku’s resolve to reach out his hand to help, no matter how many times he got burned—or froze—in the process.

 

As the two stopped in front of the prep rooms, ready to split for Shouto to go and sit once again with his class and Izuku to compete one last time, a head of blond hair came around the corner. The feral grin enough to put lesser men in the ground. But Izuku, Izuku only met it with his own 1 million watt smile.

 

It was showtime.

 

The One-on-One Fights

Round Four

Midoriya Izuku - Bakugou Katsuki

Chapter Text

Katsuki was sure that the crowd didn’t know what the hell to think. Here was probably the most violent person in 1A—Katsuki wasn’t blind , he knew what he looked like while fighting—taking on who was supposed to be this absolute weakling who had been kicking ass all day. Katsuki wanted to laugh in all of their faces at their biases, and to show off how proud he was of his idiotic classmates. Alright, maybe Katsuki was soft, but he was in a class full of badasses.

 

Oh, but that didn’t mean that he was going to go easy on the nerd. Hell no. If Izuku wanted to fight Katsuki, then he was going to have a fight .

 

“Here we are, folks!” Present Mic yelled, probably the most excited he had been in the entire day, if that was even fuckin’ possible. “We have been at the edge of our seats, watching as all these amazing students fought tooth and nail to make it to this final event!”

 

“Our first challenger hit the first round with a bang and pulled a surprising win in round one. In round two he was flying high and was just able to clutch a spot in the final round with the help of his teammates. And this afternoon he has absolutely dominated, proving to us all over and over again that the quirk doesn’t maketh the man. Everyone, put your hands together for Midoriya IZUKU!!” The crowd was stomping their feet, and cheering, most likely still remembering Eraser’s threat from Izuku’s last round. And if Katsuki strained his ears, he was sure he could hear Shitty Hair and the rest of 1A cheering the loudest.

 

“And our second challenger has been chomping at the bit from this morning too! He took a commanding lead in round one, and has finished in second place in both rounds. Will he be able to pull out a win this time around? Everybody! Clap your hands for the ticking time bomb of 1A. He’s loud, he’s proud, and he’s here to put on a show. Give it up for Bakugou KATSUKI!!”   The cheers this time were a little more raucous, but if Katsuki focused, he was sure he could make out a BA-KU-BRO chant coming from the 1A section. 

 

He would kick their asses later.

 

For now, it was Izuku’s turn.

 

Katsuki walked on to the stage, and stood across from his longest friend. 

 

“Any last words, Deku?”

 

“Don’t start with a left hook, Kacchan.

 

Oh, he was dead.

 

“Midnight!” Present Mic continued as the crowd settled, “Are you ready?!” Nodding to each boy, Midnight raised her whip.

 

The crack had both boys flying forward, with Izuku going on the defensive as he spotted the left hook from the corner of his eye. But as he went to block it, he was surprised by an uppercut straight to the chin, sending him flying back.

 

That idiot had said to not start with the left hook. 

 

But the nerd isn’t down for long and shoots out his foot, catching the back of Katsuki’s ankle. While it didn’t pull the blond to the ground, it did put him off balance enough that when the green-haired boy’s foot came back around and hit Katsuki’s thigh, the blond did hit the ground.

 

But as Izuku stood up to have the higher ground, Katsuki let off an explosion—not big enough to burn the other boy, but enough to ward him back.

 

Quickly, Katsuki got to his feet, and didn’t hesitate to move forward again, popping off explosions low to the ground, not having to worry about another meteor shower courtesy of Ochako. In the smoke screen, Izuku ended up behind Katsuki and prepared to tackle him but at the last moment Katsuki caught sight of the smoke being disturbed, and turned to let off a massive explosion.

 

Izuku was sent flying back, but rolled to slow his momentum, stopping just a few yards shy of he white line.

 

Katsuki stalked forward, ready to kick the little shit past the line.

 

But Izuku was on his hands and his knees, scuttling forward like a little fucking demon. 

 

“Die, Shitty Nerd!” Katsuki yelled—he did not yelp, fuck you—letting off a stream of explosions to give himself some breathing room away from the idiot.

 

Izuku was on his feet now, charging low and Katsuki put his explosions to rest, giving his poor wrists a break. He purposefully left one of his arms open in a punch, hoping to bait Izuku into going for a judo flip. As the blond saw his friend balance his feet and begin to grab the wrist with both hands, Katsuki pivoted his feet at the last moment and yanked his arm, dragging the nerd along behind him, and throwing him off balance.

 

Payback for earlier, you little shit.

 

Kicking the nerd in the ass, Izuku went tripping forward, catching himself with the palms of his hand and barely managing to stay on his feet.

 

For a moment, the two of them came to a pause, but of their shoulders rising and falling with well controlled breaths. Locking eyes, Katsuki knew that both of them were flitting through their memories of past fights.

 

When they were six, and they would “spar” while playing heroes and villains.

 

When they were nine, and they first decided to become vigilantes.

 

When they were thirteen, and they were testing out the new training mats on the roof of the warehouse.

 

When they were fifteen, and just last week they sparred for training in class.

 

All day, the two had been watching their friends fight, and they had to come up with ways to counter people who had been seeing their moves for at least a few years. But what about the two idiots that had been fighting with each other since they were both able to walk?

 

Izuku’s fist swung over and Katsuki put his arms to deflect, but in doing so missed the knee coming up for his ribcage. Katsuki wheezed at the hit and flinched, but punched the nerd in the nose on his way back. The two didn’t even pause as they went back at it, years of vigilante training having them unable to pause until they the “enemy” was down.

 

A blast to Izuku’s side.

 

A punch to Katsuki’s arm.

 

A returning punch to Izuku’s shoulder.

 

A kick to Katsuki’s stomach.

 

The blows being traded back and forth with both of them refusing to give up ground. Yeah, those hits were gonna hurt in the morning, but for now it was just one foot in front of the other. All background noise faded away, and Katsuki had no idea what the crowd’s reaction was to the fight, but he didn’t really care.

 

This was his best friend, and he was going to beat his ass.

 

As Izuku came charging one more time, Katsuki was prepared, grabbing ahold of him around the waist and flailing back, flipping Izuku over his shoulder and both of them landing on his back. Scurrying up, Katsuki jumped on top of the boy still on the ground, taking a hold of both of his wrists in one hand, and a smoking palm left threateningly over his neck.

 

The green-haired boy struggled in his grip, trying his best to buck the blond off, but after a minute of struggling, it was clear that both of their stamina was gone.

 

“Midoriya, can you move?” Midnight called from her spot on the sideline. Izuku struggled again, a wild look in his eye as he tried to go so far as to bite the smoldering hand near his chin, but Katsuki popped it at the last moment, forcing the nerd to jerk his head back. It didn’t matter that he was still struggling, after a minute, both of them heard it.

 

“Midoriya Izuku is unable to continue, Bakugou Katsuki takes the match!”

 

For a brief moment, the two stay in their own little world, panting and staring at each other. They had really just done that.

 

Holy shit.

 

All at once, the rest of the world came rushing back, and it was as if the stadium was shaking with the shouts and stomps of the crowd. 

 

“You’ve heard it here first, folks! Bakugou Katsuki is the Champion of the First Year Sports Festival!” Mic yells above the roaring crowd.

 

On aching muscles, Katsuki shifted off of his seat on top of the green-haired boy’s stomach, and stood above him, his knees popping with the effort. But standing above his long-time friend, a small smile ghosted across Katsuki’s face as he let out a breathless chuckle. Reaching out a hand, Katsuki hauls his friend to his feet, steadying him against his side when he stumbles. In all honesty, they were probably holding each other up at this point.

 

“I believe that makes it 212 for me and 179 for you, Nerd?”

 

From his peripherals, Katsuki could make out his friend shaking his head in exasperation.

 

“Whatever you say, Kacchan.”

Chapter Text

Toshinori was, to put it frankly, in shock.

 

Of course, he had read the same reports that the rest of the teachers had read about a group of 20 young vigilantes that were efficient and experts at evasion. He had even been privy to the more in depth reports, thanks to being the number one hero and being a close friend of Tsukauchi. So to an extent, Toshinori should have understood the sheer amount of skill that the new Class 1A had. 

 

But as he had watched the matches progress, he couldn’t believe the things that he had seen.

 

Young Todoroki and his impressive displays of ice in the first and second round, and the way he had competed in the final rounds?

 

There was Young Yaoyorozu, who had been strong and steady throughout the rounds, and exhibited a levelheaded way to compete. 

 

There was Young Kaminari who still had some work to do, but the way that he had controlled the output of such an enormous quirk reminded him so much of the stories his mentor used to tell Toshinori about One for All.

 

Young Iida had fought valiantly and shown a quick way of thinking.

 

Young Kirishima had shown new ways to try out his quirk, and how what should be a defensive quirk could be used in an offensive way.

 

Of course there was Young Bakugou who was the true epitome of creativity with what should be a rather straight-forward quirk.

 

And then there was Young Midoriya. Who had been concise, and yet still full of personality. He had worked as a team with his classmates, and proved time and time again on how no one should underestimate him.

 

“Let me put this into perspective for you, Toshinori. I have spent the last 11 years of my life being told that I won’t amount to a damn thing because I can’t use telekinesis, and I’m not belching fire. But you want to know what I did? I kept fighting.”

 

As Toshinori stood to take up his position on the roof of the arena, those words from all of those weeks ago came back to him. Those words of fire, of poison, the force of nature that was Midoriya Izuku came back to Toshinori.

 

I underestimated you, Young Midoriya. That is not a mistake I will make again.

 

***

 

Flying down from his spot on the roof, Toshinori waved at the screaming crowd, apologizing to Midnight for interrupting her speech. In long confident strides, All Might climbed the stage to stand in front of the podium. On the third place level stood only Young Todoroki. Young Kaminari had been unable to attend due to his quirk overuse.

 

First, Toshinori raised his hand, and indicated to the spot where Young Kaminari would have stood.

 

“This young man,” he announced to the crowds, “Displayed an amazing control over a quirk like no other. He was quick-witted, and creative, and he shall be honored for his accomplishments, whether present or not! One of our third place recipients was Kaminari Denki.” The crowd began to cheer, and Toshinori would be deaf to not realize that a majority of the noise was coming from the student sections. Never in all his years watching the festival had he seen such displays of comradery, not even in his own years of UA. 

 

Stepping closer to the podium, Toshinori placed his hand on Young Todoroki’s arm, smiling at the crowd, once again.

 

“Our other third place recipient also showed a unique and strong control of his quirk, and it is clear that he will be someone to watch as this class grows and improves. Truly, your ability to power through and show such amazing moves is something that will fill everyone with awe! May I present to you, Todoroki Shouto!” The crowd cheered louder than they had for the absent boy. Taking the medal from Midnight’s hands, Toshinori placed the medal around Young Todoroki’s neck, who bowed his head in a silent acknowledgement.

 

Walking across the stage, Toshinori couldn’t help but gulp as he made eye contact with Young Midoriya. Midoriya for his part just had a blank look, before putting on what may or may not have been a sincere smile. With tremors hopefully no cameras picked up, Toshinori put his hand on the green-haired boy’s shoulder, a bit afraid he may bite.

 

“You,” Toshinori began, looking straight at Midoriya and not paying any attention to the audience. “You are going to be an amazing hero, I can feel it. My boy, you proved yourself with nothing but your own wit and skill. Everyone, and I mean everyone, who told you you could not make it to where you are, just the way you are, should look back on their own prejudices with shame. One day, you will be a symbol for all quirkless people, and I will smile on that day. But for now, it is my pleasure to announce our runner up. May I present: Midoriya Izuku!” 

 

The young man’s face had frozen, his eyes no longer shielding whatever emotion was going on behind the young man’s eyes. Young Midoriya bit his lips, as if to stop the tears beginning to well up in his eyes, but he nodded his head vigorously. It was clear, Toshinori’s underlying apology was heard as well.

 

Taking the medal from the heroine’s hands, Toshinori gently draped the ribbon around the boy's neck as the crowd began to clap. And finally, for probably the first time since the beginning of Round Three, the crowds were roaring in approval for the young, quirkless man.

 

Stepping away, Toshinori turned his attention to the blond, and was met with appraising eyes, before a short but stiff nod. As if Toshinori had just passed a test he had once flunked. Clearing his throat, the man went to stand next to Young Bakugou.

 

“With such skill, such prowess, and such talent, I should not be surprised with this outcome. Truly, you are an amazing young man, and will one day be a bright and inspiring hero. This award is not only deserved, but rightfully earned. May I present to you, the champion of the UA First Year Sports Festival, Bakugou Katsuki!

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen, once again, these are your victors! Another round of applause for them, and all of the first years that competed today. You all will be a mighty lot, I just know it!”

 

As the crowds got to their feet, giving the young men on stage the praise they so rightfully earned, Toshinori’s ever-present smile grew. Present Mic was quick to take back his place as the MC, and Toshinori took the moment to jump away, landing once again on the roof.

 

From his place, Toshinori had a view of the entire stadium.

 

Midnight and Cementoss were off on the side of the stage, quietly chatting, and clapping alongside the audience. 

 

Young Bakugou was laughing from his spot on the top of the podium and was pumping his fist, which held the bouquet of flowers, in the air. 

 

Young Midoriya was staring at him fondly, before turning back to the crowds and waving with as much energy as he could muster after a day filled with physical activity.

 

Young Todoroki, for his part, was much more demure from his spot on the stage, simply staring out at the audience before he was abruptly grabbed by Young Bakugou. Suddenly, all three victors are standing on the first place podium, with Young Bakugou’s arms thrown over both of them. His laughter nearly feral from his spot in the middle.

 

1A for it’s part was so loud and jubilant that Toshinori would have thought that all of them were on the stage. 1B even seemed to have been infected with the joyous energy of their sister-class.

 

As the confetti cleared, and the victors left the stage for a final time, Toshinori allowed himself to deflate and took a seat a few paces back from the edge of the roof, still looking down at the slowly emptying arena.

 

Yes, Toshinori had vastly underestimated Class 1A, and from all of those files he had glimpsed at over the past year, it was obvious that he was not the last.

 

Toshinori knew that his time as the number one hero was slowly coming to its end, he was not as naïve as he may sometimes present. But for the first time in quite a while, Yagi Toshinori had faith that Japan was in good hands.

Chapter Text

After the festival had ended, Aizawa met up with his class of hellions. 

 

Opening the door, his class quickly moved to silence, something that he had to admit he enjoyed about this class. Definitely saved him the eyedrops he usually wasted on quieting his classes in the past.

 

“Good work everyone,” Shouta said, his deadpan voice not giving away his pride in his class. “You have the next two days of classes off as UA hosts the second and third year’s festivals. I expect you all to use that time to recuperate and allow your bodies to heal. I have a patrol tonight, and I will be with Present Mic for the next two festivals, but if you need me, your class reps should have my number. You’re dismissed.” 

 

The class didn’t wait for any other signal to break out into more conversations. Bakugou had turned to murmur to Midoriya, who was nodding along to what he was saying. Tenya was animatedly saying something to Satou and Koda, who were answering in their own ways. 

 

Taking one last look at his class, Shouta nodded before turning on his heels and walking out, trusting them to take care of each other. In the meantime, Shouta needed to head to Recovery Girl’s office for one last healing session, and maybe a power nap before he and Hizashi met for dinner before his patrol.

 

***

 

As Shouta landed in front of the UA gates, he took a moment after swiping his ID to allow himself to fix his body. Popping both of his knees, then his shoulders, then his neck, Shouta did what Hizashi would teasingly call a “hard reset.” But after a long patrol and after being on medical leave, it was always best to leave off with a stretch. 

 

Slowly, Shouta began his walk around the UA grounds, and towards the dorms. As much as all the man wanted to do was crash down in his bed in the teacher dorms next to his husband and their three cats, the teacher group chat had been blowing up earlier in the night about first years hosting parties in their dorms to celebrate their festival, which the teachers had to shut down for being too raucous past curfew. And while nothing explicitly had been said about 1A, Shouta didn’t want to have any unnecessary surprises when he would already have to go straight to the second year’s festival tomorrow.

 

Climbing the steps of Height’s Alliance, Shouta opened the door to 1A, slightly annoyed that it was left unlocked. What, did they all forget? Usually at least Tenya was smart enough to remem–

 

With his boots left in the genkan, Shouta was brought to a pause in the doorway leading into the common room.

 

The common area had been completely rearranged, with the couches all pushed together to form a big U-shape, and the coffee table had been shoved to the far edge, completing the loop around the couches. In the middle of the “nest” was what had to be nearly all the blankets in the dorm building, as well as the extra futons that the school kept tucked away in the supply closets.

 

But it wasn’t just the display of architectural-comfiness that had Shouta pausing, but it’s occupants. 

 

All of 1A were piled inside, laying on top of one another, or next to each other, or at least near each other.

 

Tenya had taken a couch for himself, but from what Shouta could make out from under the chaos, he had three or four pillows boosting his legs to warn off any swelling in his ankles and calves from quirk overuse. One of his arms laid over the edge of the couch, and currently had a sleeping Uraraka using it as a teddy bear. 

 

Next to Uraraka was Aoyama, whose arms were wrapped around the gravity-quirked girl's stomach. 

 

Todoroki sat in the middle of the next couch, with Sero on his left, and Midoriya on his right. Both boys had their heads resting on Todoroki’s shoulders, and Todoroki himself had nodded off and snuggled closer to Midoriya. In between Midoriya’s legs, Shinsou had ended up asleep with a pillow roughly shoved between his head and Midoriya’s thigh.

 

In Shinsou’s lap were Kaminari’s feet, with the electric boy stretched out between the two couches and his head resting on a throw pillow on Bakugou’s thigh. Bakugou’s back was slumped against the arm of Iida’s couch, with his head tilted all the way back against the side of the couch. One of the explosive boy’s hands hung limp on Kaminari’s head, as if he had fallen asleep in the middle of brushing through it. Kirishima had claimed Bakugou’s other thigh as a pillow, and in return had seemingly given up his own bicep as a pillow for Ashido, who lay next to him. On Kirishima’s stomach lay a giant shark plushie that Shouta thought he remembered seeing as a heating pad advertised for kids, most likely being used to help Kirishima’s stiffened joints relax.

 

Shoji laid with his back against the last couch, and a few pillows helping his head from being at an awkward angle. His snoring was a low rumble that probably vibrated in his chest, where both Asui and Hagakure had ended up laying, an extra blanket tucked around the frog-quirked girl. Yaoyorozu and Jirou had taken each of the larger boy’s arms as their own, and cuddled closer to the two girls in the center. A thick fleece blanket draped around Yaoyorozu’s shoulders.

 

Koda and Tokoyami both laid back-to-back a little ways away from Shoji, both content in having their own space while still staying close to each other.

 

Ojiro and Satou were in a similar situation, only a few steps off from the other two boys.

 

All of the class had changed into sweats of some sort, and from the lack of ponytails and hair gel, Shouta took the educated guess that they had all probably showered after returning from the dorm. 

 

Coming out of his stupor, Shouta slowly made his way forward, quietly stepping around the pillow fort, and towards the kitchen. Sitting there on the island, Aizawa could spot a few empty pizza boxes, and some 2-liter bottles of soda that looked like they were the store-brand of the convenience store that sat at the bottom of the hill near UA. Chuckling softly, Shouta shook his head at the boxes.

 

He supposed his kids deserved that much after everything that they’d done today.

 

Switching off the kitchen lights—but being sure to leave on the undermount lights for Dark Shadow—Shouta returned to the common room. Taking a moment to look again at his class, Shouta’s eyes flickered over to the coffee table, which he had previously left unattended.

 

A few mugs and drying tea leaves littered the table, as well as the granola bars that Shouta remembered Yaoyorozu and Uraraka preferred when they had over-used their quirks and were too nauseous to eat big meals. The few different bottles of pain relievers, ointments, and tissues spoke to the different ailments and injuries tended to after the day’s events.

 

Sighing to himself, Shouta reached over to the arm of the couch on the outside of the nest and switched off the tv, which had been playing the main menu for some animated movie. Grabbing a few blankets that weren’t in use, Shouta settled them over the ones with no coverings. A few times the students reacted to the sudden movement, but after peering over at their teacher, they would just roll over again. 

 

Stepping over to the doorway, Shouta slowly dimmed the lights, letting them go completely dark only after he was sure the night-lights had activated.

 

Silently, the man made his way back over to the door, slipping on his boots and stepping out of Height’s Alliance. After making sure the doors were actually locked, Shouta took a deep breath of the crisp spring air, and started to make his way— finally— back to the teacher’s dorm, hoping to maybe catch a few hours of sleep before Hizashi unfortunately woke him up at 7:30.

 

You’re becoming such a dad, a voice that sounded eerily like his husband whispered in his head.

 

Oh shut up, Hizashi.

Chapter Text

The class spent the next four days recuperating from all that happened during the festival. Momo hadn’t eaten nearly enough that day at lunch to combat the massive objects and rapid speeds she was making, so she needed extra-fatty foods for the next few days, in order to feel better. In a similar vein, Ochako’s Meteor Shower had taken a lot out of her, and not stopping to rest immediately after the round left her in need of nausea-medication and simple broths all of the next day.

 

Denki’s shock had left Tenya’s engines short-circuiting, and there became moments where the tremors in his calves would become too much, but Tenya assured an anxious Denki that after he took the time to properly clean them that all would be back in working order.

 

Speaking of Denki, he had really overdone himself for the first time in quite awhile, and had ended up short-circuited for nearly 12 hours—a new record, unfortunately—followed by another 12 hours of simply being down and out from all the energy his quirk had taken. Between the extended period of shocks, and the fact he hadn’t actually used that high of voltage in awhile, his brain didn’t have the same tolerance that it may have once had. The class took turns sitting with him and making sure he got what he needed as he oh-so-slowly came back to himself.

 

Shouto had been staying quiet since the end of the tournament, and was constantly being pulled into different quiet games or competitions from their blanket nest in order to keep him from spiraling. After that first night, he had grown more averse to touch, but he did accept Izuku’s weighted blanket Momo had once made him, so that was progress.

 

The skin around Hanta’s elbows had ended up cracking and splitting as soon as he tried to dispense any tape following the Great Glacier Incident, but the dorm was thankfully still well-stocked in his usual ointment and bandages. There were times where it became a bit difficult to bend his elbows without the skin being forced to shift around, but he managed.

 

Eijiro’s skin had also taken a bit of damage, drying out to the point of being able to crack, so for the rest of their break, he was constantly reapplying his medical-lotion to help his skin get back the nurtience. And if the class always made sure that the heating pad within his shark plushie was kept warm, then that was their prerogative.

 

Katsuki had faced some strained muscles in his arms from quirk-overuse, but his own heating pad helped to overcome that, even if that meant he had to keep discharging his palms in tiny pops with the sweat building up. 

 

Izuku himself was acting like a mother-hen, being sure that the rest of his class was taken care of, until he was eventually forced into relaxing on one of the couches, and allowing his own weary body to rest.

 

The members of the class that hadn’t faced any quirk overuse found themselves taking turns watching their classmates and making the meals for the class.

 

Izuku had been able to connect his laptop to the main TV in the common room, and on Thursday and Friday of that week, they had tuned in to watch their upperclassmen compete in their own festivals.

 

The common room was filled with the quiet murmur of conversations, Izuku’s mumbling, and Katsuki’s tiny explosions. On one of the days, Satou had put a big pot of curry together to stay heated on the stove, and if any of them shut their eyes for a moment, they could almost picture that the last few months hadn’t happened, and they were all back in that warehouse again.

 

Aizawa-Sensei had come to check on them after each of the upperclassmen’s festivals, and had even been talked into joining them for dinner on Friday night!

 

After so much excitement, action, and work, the break was well appreciated.

 

***

 

Alas, all good things must come to an end, and on Monday morning, the class dragged themselves out of their respective dorm rooms, and made their way back to the hallowed halls of UA.

 

“Alright everyone, once again, good work with the Sports Festival. The teachers will be gathering and sorting the different work studies queries in the next few days and will hopefully have them to you by Wednesday. We want all of your responses back to us by Friday. Those of you who don’t get requests, you will still have options from a list of open-door invitations that UA has access to. And be sure to think long and hard about these requests! There are third years who look back on their first year work study with regret, so be sure to settle on a decision you think will help.” The class murmured among themselves, and Aizawa didn’t seem to care enough to try and regain their attention. “Study hall for the rest of the period, keep your conversations quiet.”

 

With that, Aizawa folded himself up into the monstrosity that he called a sleeping bag and pretended to sleep.

 

Izuku excitedly turned to Hitoshi, ready to ask if he had any ideas of who he wanted to go with when suddenly, Aizawa’s voice rang out again from behind the teacher’s podium.

 

“Midoriya, Todoroki, you’re needed in Nezu’s office. You don’t need a pass.” Turning to Shouto, the two awkwardly make eye contact, realizing what the meeting was probably for.

 

It was time to discuss the Endeavor Situation in full.

 

Rising from the desk, the two slowly made their way to the front of the classroom, and nodded to their teacher before heading towards the door. The abrupt scraping of a chair against the floor broke the sudden silence. Turning around, both boys found Katsuki grabbing his blazer off of where he had thrown it behind his chair, and shoving his hands in his pockets before walking towards the two.

 

“Bakugou, the principal asked for only those two–”

 

“Well tough shit, he can tell me to get the hell out himself then.”

 

Without another word, the three stepped out the door, Aizawa putting up no other arguments, as if sensing the weight of whatever conversation was to come.

 

Silently, the three made their way down the hall and towards the front doors, where the elevators to the upper levels were kept. It wasn’t until the doors dinged shut behind them as they began to ascend that the silence was once again broken.

 

“So is this what I fuckin’ think it’s about to be, or are we not about to go talk about some douchebag parents?” Katsuki said, not even turning around to face the other two. Izuku and Shouto meet eyes.

 

“That’s what I’m thinking,” Izuku said quietly as the door dinged, and began to open. 

 

Turning to the left, the three begin their trek towards The Rat’s office, with Izuku now taking the lead. The three ex-vigilantes hid their surprise probably well as the door seemingly swung open with magic right as Izuku put his hand up to knock.

 

“Ah, Mr. Midoriya, Mr. Todoroki, Mr. Bakugou, right on time! Please, come in, come in! Would any of you be interested in tea?” Unsure of how to turn down The Rat, the three boys just awkwardly nodded and before long they were each sitting with their cups of tea on a couch across from the principal.

 

“You know, Mr. Bakugou,” Nezu said, sipping his tea, “I believe that I only requested for Misters Todoroki and Midoriya.”

 

“Yeah well, I know everybody’s tragic backstories as good as these two idiots, so I decided to make sure neither of them forgot shit.” The unsaid and also to have their backs hung between the three. 

 

Nezu blinked at the three before finally seeming to decide to agree, giving a single nod to the three.

 

“I suppose that makes sense. Now, I don’t want to waste anymore of you gentlemen’s time.” Walking over to his desk, Nezu returned with a file that Izuku is quick to recognize that it was the same one given to Aizawa, The Rat, and Tsukauchi all those months ago. 

 

“While this file was quite helpful at the time,” Nezu continued, “You did specify that there may be a time when we may need more details. I believe now may be the case. Aside from Todoroki Enji, we have had six other student’s parents reach out to us following the first year’s festival. One of your stipulations when you all joined UA was that you would not be forced back to your parents. In order for that to be met, I will need to give our lawyers something to work based off of.”

 

“Who else’s parents called?” Izuku asked timidly, unsure if he’d want the answer. 

 

Nezu’s whiskers twitched as he looked up at the green-haired boy.

 

“The Iida Family, the Uraraka Family, the Yaoyorozu Family, the Ashido Family, the Jirou Family, and the Sero Family.”

 

Looking between his two friends, the three seemed to silently decide how they wanted to go about this conversation. Coming to a conclusion, Shouto cleared his throat.

 

“I suppose I should go first?”

Chapter Text

Over the next two days, each of the students who had remaining relatives—Tenya, Ochako, Momo, Mina, Kyoka, Hanta, and Shouto—were individually pulled into meetings with Nezu, Hound Dog, and Aizawa to make plans and decide what the wanted to do.

 

Ochako and Kyoka were excited at the idea of seeing their parents again, but made it clear that they did not want custody returned to them.

 

Mina and Hanta were shocked that they had been asked about, and while weary, were also intrigued.

 

Momo and Tenya were uneasy about the whole thing, and had yet to decide if they really wanted to see their parents again after everything that happened.

 

Shouto was looking into an Order of Protection he could have in place against the Number Two Hero. He was unsure if he wanted to see any of his family members or not.

 

Through it all, the others of the class were there for their classmates, whether that be: pulling the seven into extra training so they could work off excess energy or cuddling up with them after nightmares or old memories would resurface late into the night.

 

It wasn’t just the class that had been there for the rest of 1A, the teachers had made their help known. The latest art project was open to whatever the student’s wanted to make it, with the only requirement being it be about “the past.” When the students would return from their meetings, Present Mic would avoid picking them for questions, especially with the tear-tracks still prevalent on their faces.

 

But perhaps the most helpful—surprising the whole class—was All Might. Every Heroics class, he was there watching, listening, helping . Even after school when the kids would book the gym to continue working, All Might would still be there. 

 

“Young Uraraka,” All Might would call after a spar just ended between the gravity-user and Kyoka. Both girls turned to him (the rest were all tuned into him as well, but no one shifted to show it).

 

“Yes, Sensei?”

 

“Have you ever used your quirk on yourself while fighting?” The girls stared at him confusedly. “I have seen you use your quirk to spar on others, but have you tried using it to make yourself lighter? Your file says your quirk cannot make you completely weightless for long, but could you use it to allow yourself more mobility in the height of the fight?”

 

Ochako broke out into a smile. “Will do, Sensei!”

 

And it wasn’t just a one time thing.

 

“Young Kaminari! How much electricity could you use in those taser-punches you tried at the Sports Festival without leaving yourself incapacitated after an average patrol?”

 

And it wasn’t just a few of the students.

 

“Young Midoriya!” All Might called. For a moment the green-haired boy froze. Really, the whole class stiffened. Vigilantes may forgive—well, most of them—but they never do forget.

 

“Y-yes, Sensei?”

 

“Can you kick with strength from either side?” The boy stared up at the pro in confusion.

 

“I believe so, Sensei.”

 

“Do you know which side is Young Sato’s dominant?” The two boys looked at each other, confused.

 

“I think so?”

 

“Try aiming your power on his non-dominant side. It will knock your opponents off-kilter and give you an advantage.” Once he was sure the boys understood what he was saying, he walked away. No comment about the match-up and how one was quirked and one was quirkless. He simply gave advice and moved on. 

 

The boys glanced at each other again, Rikido slightly confused and Izuku giving the smallest of smiles. 

 

Minds were already beginning to change.

 

***

 

As soon as Aizawa-Sensei walked into the room, all of the kids had scurried to their seats. Once the last notes of the bell rang, Aizawa nodded from his spot at the podium, and picked up a stack of packets.

 

“Iida, Yaoyorozu, pass these out to each individual please.” Scurrying up to the front the two class reps began to pass out the papers to their respective owners. When Yaoyorozu set his down on his desk, Izuku glanced down for a brief moment.

 

Internship Nominations - Midoriya Izuku, Class 1A

 

Izuku stared down at the words in front of him. People had…asked for him. Hearing the flip of pages, Izuku grabbed his own booklet, excited to see who had asked for him.

 

Eraserhead - The Underground Alliance Network

 

All Might - The All Might Agency

 

Hawks - The Hawks Agency

 

Gunhead - The Gunhead Agency

 

Izuku was shocked. All Might had asked for him? Hawks had asked for him?

 

Looking up from his desk, Izuku looked at the top five that Aizawa-Sensei had projected.

 

Todoroki Shouto - 4,352 nominations

 

Bakugou Katsuki - 3,977 nominations

 

Tenya Iida - 942 nominations

 

Kaminari Denki - 623 nominations

 

Kirshima Eijiro - 213 nominations

 

“Goddammit Icy Hot, why do you have more than me? I didn’t get my ass handed to me–”

 

“Hey wait, yeah, why isn’t Izu on here–”

 

“I cannot believe Tenya beat me when I became a literal human taser–”

 

“Silence!” Aizawa called, Erasure flashing for just a moment. "The amount of internships you get does not indicate whether or not you will be successful, or even if you are the strongest. That just means that you are the ones that the pros have their eyes on. All of you have nominations—but for those of you that don’t want to work with the heroes who put in a request for you—UA has longstanding agreements with certain agencies that are always looking for interns.

 

“Be sure to think long and hard on who you choose for these internships. The lessons that you learn, no matter the agency, are important for each of you. The application forms are in the back of your packets, and I need you to turn them in to me by after school Friday.” A fluttering of paper as everyone turned to look at the aforementioned paper. “As you can see, you will need to give your hero codename. This doesn’t have to be set in stone, but you should be careful because just like with the internship you choose, because the names you choose–”

 

“Could change everything!” Midnight interrupted, slamming the door open. 

 

Sighing, Aizawa slumped off of the podium and into the corner behind the teacher’s desk. “Midnight will be helping you,” Aizawa said, “This has never been my forté.”

 

Midnight-Sensei began to pass out wipe boards to the class, and the jovial tone that the class had had over internships had dissipated.

 

This was real hero stuff

 

It happened every once in a while that one or the whole class was suddenly reminded that this was real . The plans that they had made and all of those daydreams in the dilapidated warehouse had come true, and this really was thier life now.

 

But now the question was, what did they want to call themselves? The Pantheon was originally started back when they were only 13, before they had even met Yuuga, or Tsu, or Ochako. Then, every member that joined afterwards had simply chosen a name in the same vein to keep the tradition alive. But now this was up to each of them.

 

They had discussed one night after dinner what they wanted to do about naming. They couldn’t just keep using their vigilante identities. Just because they were legally in the rehabilitation program and that the police and commission couldn't blacklist them from heroics, doesn’t mean the public would appreciate or even accept being helped by “criminals.” 

 

Not to mention the whole ‘the Commission doesn’t actually know that we are who we are.’   While yes, it was a pretty obvious step in logic that a class of 20 randomly transferring altogether to UA, where a whole slew of ex-vigilantes were scheduled to be, seemed like a pretty cut-and-dry fact, there was never a set “these children are the vigilantes; here are their names, ages, and quirks.”

 

As far as Nezu was concerned, the less information the Commission had the better, and the Pantheon was quick to agree.

 

So that leads them all back to the problem at hand.

 

What should their hero name be?

 

The room was filled with a tense silence, with the only sound being the dry erase markers as they swiped over the surface of the board. After a few moments, Midnight called for their attention again.

 

Slowly, Tsu—gods bless that frog—broke the tension, and made her way up to the front of the room. Looking around at her classmates, the girl took a breath and flipped her board to the class.

 

The Aquatic Hero: Neptune

 

“I wanted to pick a name that represented me, kero, ” Tsu explained, turning to Midnight for approval, “All of me.”

 

With a nod of her head, the woman accepted the name, and Tsu made her way back down to her chair.

 

Momo stood up next.

 

“I am the Creative Hero: Juno.” 

 

Midnight nodded, and Kyoka stood up.

 

“The Hearing Hero: Diana.”

 

One by one, the rest of the class went up to the front of the room.

 

“The Sparkling Hero: Venus,” Yuuga said.

 

“The Electric Hero: Phoebus,” Denki said happily.

 

“The Sky High Hero: Aiolos,” Hanta smirked.

 

“The Turbo Hero: Jupiter,” Tenya said with a small smile.

 

Vulcan.

 

Prosperina.

 

Pluto.

 

Scotus. Bacchus. Arcus. Vesta. Ceres. Cratus. Faunus. Minerva.

 

“The Explosive Hero,” Katsuki said, flipping over his wipe board and making direct eye contact with Izuku (something none of the others had). “The name’s Mars.” 

 

Being the last one, Izuku walked up to the front on shaky legs, 21 pairs of eyes locked onto him. With tears in his eyes threatening to spill over, Izuku giggled from his spot in the front.

 

“I guess none of us are that original, huh?” With a deep breath in, Izuku flipped his board, announcing who he was to the people he cared about most.

 

The Quirkless Hero: Mercury

Chapter Text

“Remember not to take out your costume from the cases until you have reached your destination,” Aizawa reminded everyone as they stood in a semi-circle in the train station. “Anyone caught with them out when they shouldn’t face a week suspension and a 1,000 word essay. Your safety and anonymity are priority, regardless of whether you plan to go underground or spotlight…”

 

Izuku zoned out of the lecture as he stared off into space. This was the first time that the whole of the group would be separated. Sure, they had been apart for a day or so in the past due to health reasons, or to investigate a case, but never for a week. This would be…new.

 

A shoulder knocking against his pulled the boy out of his thoughts as one of his classmates leaned down to be closer to his ear.

 

“Is Tenya going to be okay?” Shouto asked, “He’s been acting off ever since the weekend of the Sports Festival…”

 

Putting on a smile that seemed reassuring to strangers but was a clear ask me later when we’re alone to his friends, Izuku looked over to Shouto.

 

“We’ve got it handled, Shouto, don’t worry about it.”

 

***

 

It started on the Friday night after the Sports Festival. The class had been lounging around all day, watching the third years’ festival. Izuku had been lying on the couch, cuddling against Mezou, with the news playing in the background. Glancing up, Izuku had caught the headline.

 

Hero Killer Attack in Hosu City

 

Memories of the last time the Hero Killer had been in Hosu flashed across Izuku’s eyes. The screaming, the tears, the vengeance. The crash of plates in the kitchen caught some of the class’ attention, and Izuku watched as Tenya stalked out of the room, without stopping to even clean up the spilled glass.

 

This wouldn’t be good.

 

***

 

Over the course of the following week, Tenya had begun to pull further away, and become more quiet, more rigid, and the rest of the class was beginning to notice.

 

“Izuku have you talked to Tenya lately?” Ochako asked one night when the two were studying in the girl’s dorm. 

 

Izuku looked at her quizzically. 

 

“It’s just,” she continued, “He’s been off all week, and I’m worried about him.”

 

“I think I know what’s going on. It’s not my place to say, but I’ll talk to him, okay?”

 

The girl had agreed, but Izuku could see that the worry had not completely gone away. 

 

Unknown to Izuku at the time, but Denki had also asked the same to Katsuki, and Kouji had gone to Momo.

 

***

 

It was an hour before curfew the next day when Izuku heard a knock at his door. Walking over, the boy came face to face with a concerned Momo and a disgruntled Katsuki.

 

“Let us in, Shitty Nerd, we all need to talk.” Silently moving out of the way, both students entered his dorm and made themselves at home, with Momo perching on the corner of his bed, and Katsuki flopping down in the bean bag.

 

It was weird seeing the two of them together and coming to Izuku, especially without— oh.

 

“What are we going to do about Glasses?” Katsuki finally said when Izuku returned to his place at his desk. “When he’s not being all sulky and quiet he is acting like he has a stick the size of the fuckin’ sky tree up his ass. I haven’t seen him like this since…”

 

Since we first met him was the silent end to that sentence. 

 

Katsuki and Momo hadn’t been there when Shouto and Izuku had first met Tenya. They hadn’t seen the blood staining everything, or hear Tenya’s unhinged cries for justice. But they had heard it all from Izuku that next night when they had brought back another traumatized heroling with them from patrol.

 

Over the past two years, the three of them had bonded with each other, not only as fellow members of the Pantheon, but as leaders. When the entire group’s survival rests on you, you make connections with others who get it. 

 

Momo and Tenya had bonded over different teas, and being from “elite” lineage.

 

Katsuki had helped Tenya break out of his shell, and act feral when he needed to.

 

Izuku and Tenya had become closest over simply proximity, and an understanding of just what happened in that alley with Stain.

 

The point is, all of them cared about the other, and they also had a responsibility to look out for each other, just as much as they looked out for their other friends.

 

“I saw that he accepted an internship with Enigma,” Momo piped up after a moment.

 

“Who the fuck is that?”

 

“One of Ingenium’s old sidekicks. A group of them still run the agency under Ingenium’s name. But if that’s who he’s going to intern with, doesn’t that mean–”

 

“That bastard is going to intern in the last known location of Stain.”

 

The three looked up at each other, different shades of green on their faces.

 

“We need to talk to Tenya.”

 

***

 

“I can promise the rest of you that everything is alright. Enigma is an excellent hero, and I trust them to teach me well,” Tenya said the next afternoon when they had dragged him away to an empty classroom at lunchtime.

 

“Oh really?” Katsuki said glaring at him, “This doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that the fucking Hero Killer is in Hosu and you still have a bone to pick?” Tenya sputtered at the accusation.

 

“No, no! It isn’t anything like that! I had been hoping to connect with someone from the Ingenium Agency long before that news report broke. I’m still…” Tenya hesitated.

 

“Tenya?”

 

“I’m still hesitant about seeing my parents. I was their backup child, I know that. And even after they lost their heir—their pride and joy—they still didn’t care enough to check on me. I know they were grieving, I know that that’s their right as his parents but I was–”

 

“You were only 11,” Momo interrupted him, placing her hands on his shoulders and forcing him to look at her. “Tenya, you were only 11.” Tenya nodded, not looking any of them in the eye.

 

“My parents may not have cared about me, but my brother was always there. This is my chance to connect with Tensei again. The Hero Killer took him away from me once, and allowing him to be taken away because of that… that monster …I don’t think I could even stomach the idea of being the Turbo Hero.”

 

After a moment of Tenya collecting himself, he stepped away from Momo, and looked up at the three others again. There was a fire behind his eyes, but it was not the same one that had led him to revenge. It was the warmth that had protected his friends during patrol when they had been snuck up on. It was a fire that held a promise.

 

“I swear to you all here, on my brother’s name, that I will not actively search for the Hero Killer.”

 

***

 

The class began to break off as the trains arrived, and Tenya waved to Izuku and Shouto before boarding his train along with a few others that would make a stop in Hosu.

 

Izuku trusted his friend to keep his promises.

 

He just wasn’t so sure if he trusted fate to agree.

Chapter Text

The train ride from Mustafu to Kyushu only took four hours, with Shouto and Izuku camping out next to each other for the duration, quietly chatting and trading snacks amongst themselves. When the conductor called out the next stop, the two silently packed up together and got off with the others. 

 

After a moment, a woman in a jean jacket and leggings came walking up to them.

 

“Hey you two! You’re Midoriya and Todoroki, right? My name is–”

 

“The Night Hero: Batwing!” Izuku exclaimed under his breath. The woman blinked at him in shock for a moment before breaking out into a grin.

 

“Nice one, kid. Most people can’t guess who I am without the cowl. But when I’m civvies, just call me Imai. I’m in charge of taking you to the agency, so c’mon!” The boys are quick to follow the pro and engage in small talk as they walked the four blocks to the agency. Or, more accurately, Izuku made small talk and Shouto followed next to him silently, nodding or shaking his head when needed.

 

Once they arrive at The Aviary—an unofficial nickname from the sidekicks, Imai tells them—they’re led to an elevator and taken to the top floor. Stepping out into the hallway, Izuku is met with a normal entryway and an entire wall of mirrors.

 

‘One sided glass?’ Izuku wondered.

 

Imai strode forward of the high schoolers, and with a knock, opened the door with flourish before motioning for the others to enter. 

 

Stepping into the office, the first thing Izuku saw was red.

 

Large red wings flared out on either-side of a custom made desk chair, the iconic jacket thrown over a couch near the terrace doors. 

 

The second thing that Izuku notices is yellow. Two golden eyes that have locked onto him. For a moment, the boy is disoriented as he watches the eyes almost shift . One moment they’re cold, calculated, staring straight into Izuku’s soul , then the next, they’re the easygoing calm that had fangirls swooning across the country.

 

“Well if it isn’t the men of the hour,” Hawks said, standing up and walking around his desk. “You must be Todoroki Shouto, right? You had crazy control of your quirk,” The pro said, shaking Shouto’s hand as he silently nodded his head. When those eyes returned to Izuku, he knew that he hadn’t hallucinated the calculating glance.

 

“You’re the infamous Midoriya Izuku then? You had one hell of a last fight during the Sports Festival, ya know? Really cutthroat. I liked it.”

 

“Uh, well, uh, thank you sir.” Izuku said flustered. It wasn’t everyday you get complimented by the Number Three Hero (disregarding the fact he had been getting compliments from the Number One Hero, and that the Number Two Hero was a piece of shit).

 

“How about Imai shows you both to the locker rooms so you can change into your costumes, then I can see what I’m working with this week. Sound good?”

 

“You mean,” Izuku stuttered, “We get to fight you?”

 

“Yeah kid, what? Are you chicken?”

 

“N-no sir!”

 

“Alright then,” the hero said, clapping them both on the shoulder, "Then go suit up and meet me in the sparring gym in 10!”

 

In a blink the three were out the door, and Imai was leading them to the elevator again to show them the locker rooms. Both boys' gazes met, a silent understanding in their eyes.

 

***

 

“You’re telling me you agreed to both of us going to train with Hawks, when you were also 90% sure we were going to be spied on?” Shouto said incredulously, mumbling from his spot next to Izuku on the train.

 

“There’s something about Hawks that has always been suspicious to me,” Izuku explained under his breath. “He acts all carefree and happy, but there’s something else to it. Back when we first started working with Sensei, Denki and I had been nearly able to crack into something regarding a training program for heroes led by the Commission themselves. Shouto, it was like they were making watchdogs they could control completely in the hero ranks. And–”

 

“You think Hawks is one of them?” Shouto interrupted.

 

“I do.”

 

“So while he has his eyes locked on us, trying to do the Commission’s dirty work, we’ll be cataloguing everything we can too.”

 

“Exactly,” Izuku breathed.

 

“But,” Shouto continued, returning to the earlier part of their conversation, “In order for us to best stay under his radar, we have to play into our images?”

 

“Yeah,” Izuku said. “You played into it a bit at the Festival, so that helps. I just need to act more bumbling and awkward. We can play off me being a good fighter as my will to be a good hero or something, and yours can always fall back to ‘natural talent’ or something like that.”

 

“We probably can’t talk openly to each other either. Between the cameras and the comms, we won’t ever really be alone. We can’t drops this act.”

 

“So we just need to fool the Number Three Hero, huh?” Shouto asked, answered by a small nod. He gave his friend a small smile, something he probably wouldn’t be able to do for the rest of the week, “sounds like child’s play.”

 

***

 

The boys were quick to change—thanks to all of Aizawa’s threats about not changing quick enough—and were back standing in front of Hawks within 8 minutes.

 

Izuku was dressed in black jumpsuit, accented by the darker red boots and a utility belt with medical supplies, shuriken, a few knives, and his snappable bo staff. Laying on his collarbone was a metal mask that he could snap into place over his face, running from his cheekbones down to below his jaw. It had the same technology implemented from the Pantheon’s masks that would allow him to deafen his voice to comm-only in the chance he started to mumble plans aloud.

 

Shouto was in a navy colored jumpsuit that zipped up in the front. His boots were white knee-highs with built in shin-guards to help with falls or fights. Small gauntlets similar to the ones on the inside of Katsuki’s grenades were specially designed with one having a heating element and the other a cooling in order to help regulate his body temperature better. His utility belt was a lighter red than his counterparts, and was filled with mostly rescue and medical supplies. Hidden inside one of the utility belt’s pockets sat a compact mask that in an emergency would function the same way as Izuku’s with comm-functionality, as well as having gas-filtration.

 

“Well aren’t you two a sight,” Hawks said from his spot in the middle of the mats. Izuku noticed a few other sidekicks along with Imai had taken to standing at the sidelines.

 

Suddenly, a few feathers shot out, and Shouto and Izuku dodged in opposite directions.

 

“Rule number one boys, always be prepared for a fight,” Hawks called, but the two were far too busy dodging. Thankfully, they had spent years dealing with explosions, tongues, demons, and tape. Feathers were just…a faster alternative.

 

The two were able to last for a while against the pro, but none of their hits could land, which honestly made sense because hello that is the Number Three Hero. 

 

With Shouto and Izuku panting on the ground, a collection of feathers stabbing their clothes to pin them to the mat, Hawks stood over them for a moment before recollecting his feathers and plopping down near them.

 

“That was pretty good considering you guys are…what? 15?” Breathlessly, the two nodded. “I don’t think I’ve seen anyone your age able to dodge my feathers like that. Plus you nearly landed a hit or two? Consider me impressed.”

 

The three sat in silence for a few moments, with the only sound being the boys’ panting. Even with his eyes shut, Izuku could feel the eyes on his face, but he didn’t care about schooling his expression at the moment. What was the pro going to see? An exhausted hero-in-training? Suspicious.

 

“You know,” Hawks continued eventually. “You guys fight a lot like these ninja dudes I read some reports on. They were really quick like you guys.”

 

Oh, so that’s how he wanted to do this? ‘ Alright,’ Izuku thought, ‘Two can play this game, BirdMan.’

 

“R-really?” Izuku said, uncertainty and awe creeping into his voice. Slowly, the boy sat up to get a better look at the pro. “Compared to someone trained like you, that’s a real compliment! I still can’t believe we lasted that long!”

 

Hawks’ eyes went through a lot of emotion at the one moment that Izuku couldn’t make out, but he knew his challenge was heard.

 

This was going to be an interesting week.

Chapter Text

The night found both boys lying across one of the beds on their phones. After the fight with Hawks, they had ended up sparring a few of the sidekicks as well so Hawks could figure out who would best help each boy. Now it wasn’t that the two weren’t used to heavy-duty training sessions, but it wasn’t often that all of their opponents were aviary. 

 

So, there lay the two boys after dinner, silently typing away on their phones as the class’ group chat blew up, with everyone giving a quick check in to the rest. With all of the different types of herowork that they were shadowing, some were heading to bed—like Shouto and Izuku—whereas others were on break from a patrol.

 

Electrification: guys sos seriously i am ded

 

Electrification: you guys got to go do badass things and i had to take a tEST

 

Invisibility: besties, why did we both choose nezu again XP

 

Not-Applicable: lol guys im sure it’s not that bad

 

Dark Shadow: if it would help you guys, perhaps those of us still on campus could meet up for lunch

 

Acid: hECK yEAH my bestieeeesssssss

 

Hardening: ok but guys

 

Hardening: what would happen if I punched a pro with a hardened hand?

 

Hardening: like,,,i’ve punched people before, but how much jail time am i looking at?

 

Hardening: @Explosion @Creation @Engines @Not-Applicable

 

Explosion: do NOT punch any pros

 

Explosion: especially not without me

 

Not-Applicable: what did death arms do kiri?????

 

Hardening: what did he not do

 

Creation: oh dear

 

Half-Cold Half-Hot: if you’re gonna assault a pro, at least make it count

 

Tape: yeah! knee him in the family jewels!

 

Anivoice: >.<

 

Not-Applicable: Kouji!!!!

 

Not-Applicable: how’s lessons with midnight

 

Anivoice: o(>ω<)o

 

Not-Applicable: that’s awesome!

 

Knocking on the door had both boys dropping their phones and looking up as Imai poked her head in. 

 

“Hey guys! Thought I’d stop by and see how you were both doing after those spars earlier, you guys were really going hard! Need anything?” Both boys shook their heads, their façades dropping into place.

 

“N-no thank you! We should be alright!”

 

“Alrighty then! I’ll be back here at 7:45 to get you guys for breakfast, see you tomorrow!” With that, the sidekick was gone, and both guys dropped again.

 

“Do you think Kats has tried to crisp Jeanist yet?”

 

“Definitely. Do you think Yuuga has bejeweled any of Mic’s costume yet?”

 

“Bold of you to assume Present Mic doesn’t secretly bejewel things himself.”

 

***

 

After breakfast that next morning, the boys were led to another gym that was filled with equipment, but not really set up for sparring. Hawks had apparently already left for patrol for the day, but he wanted the boys to apparently spend the morning warming up and doing their regular routines before going out in the afternoon. Izuku would stick with Imai and Shouto would be paired up with one of the other sidekicks who they had sparred with yesterday.

 

***

 

Suited up, Izuku stood at the entrance of the agency, waving as Shouto took off with Sparrow. 

 

“You ready for this, kid?” Imai said, coming out in her own outfit. The dark grays and blacks of her jumpsuit and cape made her look like a shadow in the middle of a sunspot. 

 

‘Another hero better suited for underground,’ Izuku mourned to himself.

 

“I sure am,” he told the woman as she handed him a comm linked to the agency. 

 

“Alright, while we’re out on patrol just call me Batwing. What’s your codename?”

 

“Mercury.”

 

“Well, Mercury, it’s nice to meet ya. My patrol route usually takes about 3 hours, so we should be back right around dusk. Nothing too major should go on, but if there is, stick close to me and wait for orders before jumping in. You don’t have the same field-experience I do yet.”

 

‘Oh you have no idea.’

 

“You got it, Batwing!”

 

***

 

Patrol itself had been going fine. Izuku had hung back as ordered and “took notes” on the “proper etiquette” of dealing with criminals.

 

To be honest, the boy was half bored. He knew all of this stuff (not that Imai would know that). So maybe that’s why he heard the sounds of punches more clearly from the next alleyway over. Checking to see that Imai was still busy helping the old woman who had questions for her, Izuku slipped away, just to check, he promised himself.

 

Peeping around the corner, Izuku saw a group of kids seeming to kick something. Tilting his head, Izuku looked closer, and realized that that was a person on the ground. That was a kid.  

 

Izuku was already angry, ready to go get Imai for help, but then the words they said hit him, and the boy saw red.

 

“You think you’re worth more because another Quirkless piece of shit can actually throw a punch. You’re such a worthless waste of space. Why don’t you just take a nose-dive–”

 

“Say that again, I dare you,” Izuku said, suddenly standing behind the group. Was he really going to beat the hell out of a bunch of middle schoolers? No. But in another life, in another world, that could have been him.

 

“I would suggest every last one of you get out of this alley now, before I have you arrested for assault and harassment.”

 

The kid looked like he was ready to argue, but in a moment, there was a flash of recognition, and he realized just who he was talking to. Izuku stood at attention until the last of them disappeared. Turning back to check on the boy, Izuku came face to face with awe.

 

“It’s you, right? You’re the quirkless kid!” Under his mask, Izuku smiled.

 

“Yeah, I’m Mercury, the Quirkless He–”

 

Izuku was suddenly crushed in a hug by a boy only a few inches shorter than him. As the boy began to shake, Izuku wrapped his arms around the boy's slender frame. 

 

The quirkless boy began to cry again, but before Izuku could panic, he heard what the boy was mumbling in between cries.

 

“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

 

Izuku simply hugged him tighter.

 

***

 

Three hours, one pickpocket, four grannies who needed assistance, and a countless amount of photos later, the two returned to the agency with Imai and Izuku splitting up at the locker rooms. 

 

“Nice work out there today Mercury, you stayed cool through it all, although next time, warn a partner before taking off, got it?”

 

“Thank you for working with me,” the green-haired boy said with a smile as the door shut behind him. Taking a shaking breath, Izuku felt his muscles unwind as he stepped further into the room and headed to his assigned locker.

 

As the hot water trickled down his back, Izuku took a moment to decompress completely from everything. 

 

It had been awhile since he last had an adrenaline rush from going on patrol. Admittedly this patrol was a lot more PG than he had been used to back in the day, but he could appreciate going slow while trying to work out how he would be Mercury, on top of being in a new location.

 

Stepping out of the shower, Izuku nodded to Shouto who sat on the bench and scrolled through his phone.

 

“Tenya says that he’s going out on patrol tonight with Enigma,” the split-haired boy said in lue of greeting.

 

“Does that worry you?” Izuku asked, genuinely curious.

 

“Does it worry you?” Izuku opened his mouth to reassure his friend, before visions of bloodshed and screams and the shink of blades echoed in front of him. Taking a shaky breath, Izuku turned to his friend after returning his uniform to the locker.

 

“If this were anyone else, I wouldn’t be sure. I’m worried for his safety, of course, but I don’t think I’m worried about him going off the deep end again. Iida Tenya is many things, but he never purposefully breaks a promise.” Green and heterochromatic eyes met. “He swore on his brother’s name that he would not seek out Stain. I trust him on that.”

 

Shouto looked away, but after a minute he too nodded. All they could do is trust in their friend.

 

Walking back out and towards the elevator, the boys were preparing to head back to their temporary home when suddenly the doors opened to reveal bright red wings.

 

“Well you guys made my job easier! I was about to hunt you down,” Hawks said jokingly as the two boys froze in front of them.

 

Hawks was looking for them?

 

“Sorry I wasn’t around much today,” Hawks continued, “Secret hero meetings and all that jazz. Buttttt,” the hero held up two bags full of takeout, “I did bring dinner for the three of us to split. I thought I could check in, get a debriefing, and do all the things that I’m supposed to do as a good mentor.”

 

Nodding, both boys stepped into the elevator, and waited as the machine lifted them higher and higher to the top floor office. Following behind the pro, the boys made themselves comfortable on the couches as instructed as Hawks made himself busy with opening the containers and passing out paper plates and plastic cutlery.

 

“Ah man, I absolutely love this place. Best fried chicken in Kyushi, I’m telling you.” Hawks chatted away as the three dug into their food, making jokes about how no, it’s not cannibalism.

 

“So,” the man said as he polished off his fifth chicken leg. “Tell me about patrol, was it what you expected? Easier? Harder?”

 

The boys didn’t make eye contact— because that would be too obvious —but they both knew what that question meant.

 

It’s showtime.

 

“Batwing and I had a pretty uneventful patrol,” Izuku started, avoiding Hawks’ eye to keep up the “innocent” façade. “We had one pick-pocket that she took down, but besides that it was a lot of photo-ops and helping with small tasks.”

 

“Ah yeah, those small tasks do add up though. It’s one thing to focus on big crimes, it’s another to help the little guy. And those little guys matter.” Izuku nodded along to the comments, as the hero moved his attention to his friend. “What about you, Todoroki?”

 

At the use of his last name, Izuku saw Shouto’s fists clinch, and was sure Hawks zeroed in on it. 

 

“Sparrow and I participated in taking down a hostage situation at the 3rd Street Bank. As soon as Sparrow had him away from the hostages, I froze him in place and used that to keep him immobilized until the police could arrive. Besides that, we got stopped seven different times for pictures.”

 

Shouto…got to participate in an actual fight? When Izuku had gone out and found a pick-pocketer —something Izuku had taken down solo countless times—he had been reduced to simply waiting with the victim to awkwardly stand around as Batwing showed off her echolocation to catch the villain.

 

“Wow,” Hawks said, oblivious to the quirkless boy’s turmoil. “You’re becoming a real lady-killer, aren’t ya?”

 

“Lady…killer?”

 

Oh gods, abort mission, Shouto is not good at hyperboles. 

 

“So, Mr. Hawks,” Izuku started, the pro turning his head to look over at him. “What sort of meetings did you have to go to? Was it with the police? Other pros? The Commission?”

 

“Woah dude,” Hawks said, cutting off Izuku’s nervous rambles, “I can’t really go into detail on it, but I can say that some other pros are involved. To be honest, the Commission doesn’t really get involved with crimes very often, ya know? They’re more for keeping us in order, ya dig?”

 

Giant red letters and the words Notandum levium flashed before both of the students.


Don’t get involved, my ass.

Chapter Text

‘If this motherfucker says one more thing about me getting snarl lines by 30, he’s gonna have to learn how to remove burn marks from denim.’

 

***

 

‘Where is he? Where is he? WHERE IS HE? He is a 5’8” MAN with PADLOCKS all over him! C’mon Hanta, don’t get trapped AGAIN.”

 

***

 

‘I hope that Izuku never meets Kota, he would take one look at him and we would have a 21st member of the Pantheon, kero.’

 

***

 

‘You’re telling me that this man makes lunch for the entirety of UA, and breakfast for others, ON TOP OF regular herowork? Screw this, I am never having more than one job.’

 

***

 

‘Figure out what 1A is hiding, Hawks. Do it for the good of the law, Hawks. Why don’t you guys try interrogating these Mini Nezus?’

 

***

 

‘I will dismantle this society of phony heroes, one by one. May the stains of their sins cleanse a new world.’

 

***

 

Akaguro Chizome was known for working solo. So when some bastard made of smoke suddenly appeared in front of him, saying something about how “The League of Villains requests an audience with you,” he was ready to tell him exactly what he could do with the League of Villains. 

 

But,

 

But, there had been whispers about a puppet master for the League. A King of the Shadows even the most heinous of criminals would not double cross. And as hard as it may be to believe, Chizome did not have a death wish.

 

He stepped through the portal.

 

***

 

“And why, in all that is unholy, would I ever follow you,” Chizome spat at the man across from him. 

 

This poser comes along, acting as if he was the savior of Japan, speaking ill of the only good hero left in this cesspool. Then he expects Chizome to simply bend over for him.

 

It was disgusting .

 

The cup that the baby-man had been holding crumbled to dust before it could shatter against the wooden floor, as Shigaraki angrily stood up.

 

“Because we will change Japan, and you can choose for yourself whether you stand with us, or against us. All of these disgusting heroes, and their herolings are nothing but NPCs to step on and destroy.” With a hand resting on the hilt of his katana, the man stared down the manic child in front of him, face shielded by the mummified hand.

 

“And what would your first order of business be, if I decided to do your bidding? Huh?”

 

The smile that cracked out from the sides of the hand was filled with malice and plaque.

 

"There was a group of paladins that got in the way of the first major battle. Their name was the Pantheon. I assume you’ve heard of them?”

 

‘Heard of ‘em?’ Chizome scoffed to himself, ‘Hell, I’ve fought at least two of them. Gave advice to at least another two. What were their names again…’

 

“Personally, I’d prefer if they were all cut through—to make an example of people who get in our way—but for now if you can get rid of the main four, I’ll take it. They’ve gone underground after our rendez-vous, but I know they’re out there.”

 

‘There were two of them I met way back in the day. They were just kids back then. How old would they be now? Are they the same ones that fought me last time I was in Hosu? Oh what the hell were the names of those two?’

 

“The main four leaders,” Shigaraki continued, obliviously, “The first one has some sort of speed quirk. Their name is Zeus. The other one we’re not sure on the quirk. We just know their name is Hera. But the main two roaches you’ll have to kill–”

 

‘Didn’t that one have a name that started with an H?’

 

“One is a malicious bastard. If he hadn’t pissed me off, I would think he’d be a good addition to our party. His name is Ares. The other one, that absolute bastard , needs to be gutted first. They call him–”

 

‘Hector? Hephestus? Heracles?’

 

“Hermes.”

 

Before he could think, the katana had been pulled and was pointed at Shigaraki. Really the only reason he hadn’t been sliced through was a portal opening at the last moment to redirect the swing.

 

“No deal,” Chizome said, the gravel in his voice taking on a sharp edge. “I have my own reasons to not like those idiots. But call someone else to do your dirty work.”

 

Shigaraki began to scream, and rush towards the sword-wielding man, but before either of them could make good on their threats, more portals opened, keeping the two separated.

 

“I believe there are no further things required for this meeting. Mr. Stain, the portal behind you should return you to Hosu City.

 

With another sneer, the man backs into the portal, never daring to take his eyes off of the deranged man in front of him. When the portal closed after him, and he heard the crunch of the tar on the rooftop under him, he allowed himself a moment to relax. 

 

That was the newest threat to hero society? Laughable.

 

But after that moment of peace, Chizome’s vision started to turn red around the edges. Imbeciles like that thought they could change hero society? Society needed to be culled from the bottom, not the top. Noise in the alley caught the man’s attention.

 

A little female hero stood near a trash can, talking into a communicator. A half-drunk water bottle hung limply in her hand.

 

The shink of a katana was muted against the chaotic backdrop of the city.

 

Stain stared down at the woman.

 

She would make a perfect sacrifice.

Chapter Text

The following morning after the late night picnic in Hawks’ office, the man had invited the two boys to join him on a patrol in Hosu, something about a few of the bigger pros circling around the city in hopes of finally stopping the mysterious hero killer.

 

Both had been eager to be able to patrol together— not to mention with the Number Three Hero —and were quick to accept.

 

So far, the train ride had been relatively quiet, the bullet train getting the trio from Kyushu to Hosu in only an hour and a half. Hawks had made a few jokes here and there about how it was weird for him to rely on something else for fast transportation, but besides that they hadn’t exactly talked much.

 

Izuku had been bumbling around on his phone, talking to Katsuki about how it was weird hearing a pro talking about his parents and their accomplishments in the fashion industry when Shouto had bumped him on the shoulder and pointed at a bulletin board they were riding past. 

 

The entire board was taken up by an advertisement for a support company, their phone number starting with 333 .

 

***

 

Back when there were only a few of the group together—Izuku, Katsuki, Eijiro, Mina, Hitoshi, and Fumikage—Mina had gotten really into the idea of angel numbers and their possible meanings.

 

It started out with them using them jokingly.

 

When Hitoshi had sprained his wrist and they had to splint it, the group had each written a small 777 on the splint somewhere. 

 

Then, when the group began to grow, the informants made it a habit to write 111 on themselves before going out to gather information as a sign of protection.

 

333 became the number to use when someone needed help.

 

***

 

The train suddenly came screeching to a halt, and all three heroes were on their feet in an instant, their costumes thankfully already on before they boarded the train. Just as Hawks began to make his way towards the front of the train, the tearing of metal had everyone backing up as a great beaked-beast stuck its head in the hole.

 

A nomu.

 

“Mercury, Vesta, evacuate the civilians. Help where you can. I give you permission to fight so long as it’s to protect someone.”

 

Without another word, the man dove out of the opening, taking the nomu out of the window with him. Both boys locked eyes before drawing themselves up to their full heights.

 

It was time to be heroes.

 

***

 

Over time, the angel number tradition went away. The group had more important things to focus on, and Mina had moved on to other practices and superstitions.

 

But the code for 333 always remained the same. Even those who joined long after the end of the angel numbers knew that if you ever needed help, 333 was the code to send.

 

When the class joined up with UA, the code lived on even then. When the whole class was given their own phones to be able to stay in contact, they had all brought them to Denki and Izuku who had put a small bug in each of their phones.

 

The bug was programmed that if the user ever texted only 333 , their location would be immediately sent out to whoever the person had last texted.

 

***

 

The boys were able to open each of the emergency exits and escort the passengers of not only their own car, but the rest of the train as well. When all of the civilians were retrieved—thankfully uninjured—Izuku and Shouto looked at each other, unsure of what to do for a moment.

 

The city of Hosu was up in flames. Nomu had overtaken the streets, people were screaming, buildings were crumbling. The heroes were trying to keep track of it all, but they just couldn’t seem to get a hold of all the chaos. 

 

Suddenly, Izuku grabbed Shouto’s hand, a fiery look in his eyes.

 

“We need to leave this to the heroes,” he said, “Our job is to protect the civilians.”

 

With a nod, both boys took off, with Shouto leading the way and freezing out any flames that began to creep up on the group’s path, and Izuku taking the rear to be sure that no one was left behind. 

 

More and more people began to join their little group, and before either of the boys could think about it, they were ushering well over 90 men, women, and children through the flames of Hosu City.

 

“There’s a civilian protection area one block north of here at the police station. I say we drop them off there then head out to find anyone who could be hurt,” Shouto’s voice crackled through their Hawks-Branded comms.

 

“Agreed, lead the way.”

 

In a few more minutes, the group arrived and Izuku and Shouto stepped back as civilians were reunited with their friends and families. A med station had been set up, with EMTs working to treat burns or scratches that the people may have acquired.

 

“You two!” A hero called from somewhere within the chaos. “Head towards the Eastern half of the city and see who you can find! There’s another med station set up at the corner of 34th avenue and Hokkaido Drive!”

 

Curt nods were the only response as the boys took off in the desired direction, keeping an ear out for any calls for help.

 

As they passed downtown they saw a large mass of the Nomus being fought en masse by a collection of heroes. Sprouts of water, pillars of fire, and sharpened wings all whizzed through the air taking down the beasts left and right.

 

Neither boy commented on the obvious that where the Nomu were, the League couldn’t be far behind . They didn’t need to. There were more pressing matters at hand.

 

By the time they made it to the rendezvous point 5 minutes later, they had grabbed one small family of four, an elderly couple, a group of drunk college kids that had been trying to walk home, and a dog walker with two small shiba inus.

 

As the group made their way into the station, Izuku and Shouto hung back, allowing themselves a moment to catch their breaths as they watched their charges walk ahead. 

 

Shouto began to walk forward, intending to talk with whatever heroes were protecting this location when he was suddenly yanked back by a hand on his forearm. Turning around, the split-haired boy found Izuku frozen in his spot, his phone lighting up the paling look on his face. 

 

“Izuku,” Shouto called, “What is it?”

 

Without a single word, Izuku turned his phone around so that Shouto could see.

 

It was the group chat Izuku had made with Tenya, Momo, and Katsuki, that the boy had been texting in earlier when they were still on the train.

 

The last two messages had Tenya’s icon next to it.

 

The last message sent opened into the maps app.

 

The second to last message simply read 333.

 

The boys took off without a second thought.

Chapter Text

“Tenya,” a voice called through the large house, echoing off the empty walls. The small boy was on his feet in a second, his quirk randomly kicking in and making him have random spurts of speed. Those spurts are helpful when trying to make it to a location in a speedy fashion, it was not helpful when he found himself at the top of a staircase.

 

The two year old yelped as he was sent careening down the stairs, and prepared for the inevitable pain that came with hitting his head on a wooden staircase. But the pain never came. All the small boy felt was the jolt of two strong arms suddenly catching him.

 

“Woah! Tenya, we really gotta work on when to hit the breaks, huh?” Tenya opened his eyes to see his older brother standing over him, working to place the stocky toddler on his hip while avoiding the engines in his calves.

 

After a moment the younger boy snuggled into his brother’s shoulder, uncaring that he had not said a word— that is rude Tenya, you speak when you’re spoken to and simply relaxed in his brother’s hold. His big brother was training to be a hero, after all. He was training to be super strong.

 

“9/10 on the catch, 10/10 on the jokes afterward,” a voice piped up from below them, and Tenya was jolted back to reality with two strangers standing in the entryway. And strangers were scary , but these ones were wearing the same clothes as his big brother, so maybe they were okay?

 

While Tenya debated the moral ethics of trusting nicely dressed strangers, Tensei had returned to the ground floor and was standing in front of the two boys.

 

“Tenya, these are my friends from school,” the older boy explained. “The one with the yellow hair is named Yamada.” Tensei pointed at the blond. Then, the boy pointed at the other one. “The one with the black hair is named Aizawa. Can you say Aizawa?”

 

Of course Tenya could greet guests! What would mother say if he didn’t?

 

“Nice to meet ‘chu, Zawa, Y’mada.”

 

The blond one began to coo at the toddler, and Tenya couldn’t help but smile at how silly he was. And if the small boy followed the three hero-students around like a lost duckling for the rest of the afternoon, then only those four were all the wiser.

 

***

 

There was blood. 

 

There was so much blood.

 

Images were flashing back and forth between there being another hero— Native? —and his mentor. Enigma was on the ground, blood pooling out of the wound on her torso, the hero gasping for breath.

 

Tenya needed to help her, Tenya needed to staunch the bleeding. But there was someone in between the two of them.

 

No. 

 

No, not again.

 

The Hero Killer slowly turned away from the downed hero, locking his gaze on Tenya’s mask, the only barrier between the killer and the boy’s terror.

 

This man he…he had killed Native. He had killed…Ingenium. He was going to kill Enigma. A cold calmness settled over Tenya. His muscles clenched then relaxed.

 

No.

 

No, never again.

 

“Who the hell are you?” Stain asked, glaring at the hero student.

 

“I am the Turbo Hero: Jupiter, and in the name of Ingenium,” Tenya’s voice did not crack. “In the name of Ingenium, this ends today.”

 

“Name of Ingenium, huh?” The Hero Killer smiled, his katana glinting in the light where it was not stained in blood. “I thought I taught a punk like you a lesson once, didn’t I? And your friend’s aren’t here to save you this time.”

 

Tenya shifted on his feet as the murderer raised his blade.

 

“Computer,” Tenya whispered into his helmet, “333.”

 

***

 

“Tensei,” Tenya asked as the two walked back from Tenya’s primary school, “Why don’t Mom and Dad ever come pick me up? Neichan’s parents come and pick her up, and they’re super busy too!” 

 

The nine year old was too busy looking at the cement in front of him to see the strain that the 24 year old suddenly had.

 

“What, am I not good enough for you?” The hero joked to his younger brother.

 

“But what am I going to do if you leave? I can’t do this on my own!” Tenya said, suddenly nearing a meltdown, stopped walking where he was. Tensei dropped down next to the young boy, trying to soothe him.

 

“Whoa, whoa! I’m not going anywhere kiddo! Tenya? Tenya, look at me.” Watery eyes met strong blue. “Tenya, I will always come back for you, okay?”

 

“Pr–promise?”

 

A thumb swiped away a stray tear.

 

“I promise.”

 

***

 

Tenya dodged to the left, barely avoiding the katana as it swung down. A knife was sent flying and the split second decision to duck was the only thing that stopped a knife from slicing through his helmet.  

 

Back and forth in a deadly ballet the two went. Tenya just praying that his message sent and that he can keep Stain distracted until help arrived.

 

Iida Tenya promised he would not pick a fight with the Hero Killer, and he would be damned if he didn’t keep that promise. 

 

In a lapse in judgement, the boy went left when he should have dodged right, and for a moment all he knew was white hot pain. An opening in his armor gave Stain just enough room to cut through, and the katana sliced straight through the fat of his forearm.

 

The blade was ripped out and a kick to the leg had Tenya stumbling to the ground. Right as his head hit the cement, the boy felt a sudden wave of stiffness overtake his body. He couldn’t move. 

 

The boy knew it wasn’t shock, Tenya knew what it felt like to be in shock. This was different. Then, it hit him.

 

That’s his quirk.

 

***

 

Tenya was 12 years old, when he learned that promises could be broken. 

 

His parents had told them that year that he was definitely old enough to be walking home alone now, and that he couldn’t be selfish and ask Tensei to take more time out of his heroic life than necessary.

 

For as long as he could remember, Tenya’s parents had lived by that same standard.

 

So when Tenya walked into his room and came face to face with his parents sitting in the formal living room, he was, to put it lightly, shocked.

 

“Mother? Father? It’s wonderful to see you! Did you take the night off work, or–”

 

“Tenya, sit down. We have something we need to tell you about Tensei.”

 

***

 

The sounds of boots coming closer to him was deliberate. The Hero Killer was playing with his prey before putting it out of its misery.

 

‘No, no!’ Tenya thought to himself, willing himself to just move. ‘Not this time, please! I don’t want to die this time!’

 

If you had put 12 year old Tenya in this scenario, he would have accepted his fate. He would be happy to finally be free from his parents. He would be happy to see his brother again!

 

But 15 year old Tenya had people waiting for him. He had Ochako, and Tsu, and Shouto, and Izuku waiting for movie nights. He had Momo, and Yuuga, and Katsuki waiting to have their afternoon tea sessions. He had Mina, and Denki, and Tooru who he promised to help work on building their stamina. He had Yamada and Aizawa who had swore to Tensei that they would look out for him.

 

Tenya wanted to live.

 

The blade arched up.

 

“JUPITER!”

 

The blade swings down.

Chapter Text

Eijirou could handle a lot of things, both literally, and mentally. But there was one thing that he had never been able to stay quiet about, ever since he met up with two orphans on a trash beach.

 

He refused to let someone with power ever hold it over someone again.

 

Now, when Eijirou turned in his internship application, he had been excited to work with Death Arms. He had a strength quirk as well, and was currently working on opening his own agency! Learning the ins and outs of that would help Eijirou and the other’s so much when it came time for them to graduate!

 

But as the days went by, he learned that Death Arms wasn’t really the most heroic of guys. Eijirou didn’t say a word though. He was a guest. Not to mention, he promised Bakubro he wouldn’t beat up any pros without him there for backup.

 

So Eijirou was silent when he listened to Death Arms brag to the public about how he was the best.

 

Eijirou was silent when he beat the pulp out of a pick-pocketer, who had no strength quirk and didn’t put up a fight. (Eijirou was sure to give the guy first-aid though, much to his mentor’s chagrin.)

 

But on the third night, the hardening-quirked boy lost his cool when the two were relaxing in the lounge.

 

“I just don’t understand how the hell he could have done it,” Death Arms had been talking over the phone (oh, and that was another thing, why the hell didn’t he let Eijirou call him by his real name?).

 

“Seriously, everyone knows the Quirkless can’t do shit. I mean seriously, why would it even–”

 

Crunch.

 

In between one blink and another, Eijirou had moved from the couch to the opposite side of the room, and was standing over the pro, with blood on his knuckles, and a broken nose in front of him.

 

Whatever punishment he got would be worth it. No one insults his friends.

 

***

 

“So your voice changer gives you the ability to mimic, right?” Joke asks as the two sat on a rooftop.

 

“...yeah?” Hitoshi responded, not sure where she was going with this.

 

“Well, have you ever tried telling a joke?”

 

Hitoshi turned to his mentor, and Joke couldn’t help but snort at the look that was such a mirror of his homeroom teacher’s.

 

“Hear me out, hear me out! When you insult someone, yes they may respond, but they may also get so angry they won’t answer. But a random knock knock joke? I swear to you that no human being is immune to answering them. Swear on my life.”

 

Hitoshi looked out over the city he was visiting as they finished his break.

 

Knock-knock jokes, huh?

 

***

 

Tooru worked to keep her footsteps as quiet as possible as she made her way down the pitch black hallway.

 

Toe, heel. Toe, heel. Keep the weight evenly distributed as you move to insure that there is no possibility of creaking giving you away.

 

The stealth advice coming to her as easy as she breathed with both Izuku and Nezu’s voices echoing in her head with advice.

 

The girl's breathing had gone nearly silent as she crept along, following the plan she had come up with when the principal gave her a five minute head start to memorize the blueprints before she was released into the building.

 

‘Your task, Ms. Hagakure, is to make it to the system restart button located on the blueprint. You will need to first work to uncover it on the blueprint, then make your way there as quickly as possible, and restart the generators with it.’

 

Third floor from the ground, in the east wing, in the locked janitor’s supply closet. 

 

The girl’s eyes locked onto the hallway with the aforementioned door, and she bit back an invisible smile. Checkmate.

 

Not giving up her stealth in the name of speed, Tooru crept over to the door only 20 paces away, and reached into her thigh holsters without daring to even turn her head. 

 

Just as the girl was releasing her breath to insert the lockpick, the lights began to click on one by one. Oh no, that could only mean–

 

“Congratulations Mr. Kaminari for winning the round.”

 

Crap!

 

Huffing out a sigh, Tooru took a moment to switch her suit out of stealth mode so the others could see her— even though the girl was pretty sure that The Rat had been seeing her the whole time —and if she made sure to point a certain finger at the nearest camera, then it was only a coincidence.

 

“Dammit Phoebus! I was so close!”

 

“You snooze, you lose Arcus!”

 

“Miss Hagakure, please make your way back to the command module to debrief.”

 

Screw Denki and his computer skills. While she was working her butt off to break into the building without any of the censors picking her up, all Denki had to do was sit at a computer and hack into the same generator to activate it. She had the harder job!

 

Even if it was a pain in the ass to lose to Denki again , Tooru had to admit the tests in intel gathering that Nezu had set up were things the two would be sure to share with the others. After another debriefing, of course.

 

***

 

“Not going to lie, darling,” Midnight said, sitting across from her mentee. “This was not the look I was expecting for an animal themed hero. I was expecting something more…colorful?”

 

Kouji looked down at his costume he had been showing off to the pro, awkwardly beginning to scratch at his arm. Sure, the look wasn’t exactly colorful , but it got the job done! Not to mention, it wasn’t like the boy was looking to work in spotlight heroics, so it helped to have him bleeding into the shadows a bit. 

 

The Black cargo pants and undershirt were matched with dark gray boots and a dark gray vest. The vest had everything from dog treats, to bird food, to medical supplies (and if it was also bulletproof, then villains didn’t need to know that)! The first time that Katsuki had seen him, he called him Edgy Steve Irwin for a week.

 

“But,” Midnight-Sensei said, standing up to actually sit next to the student. “I really like what you’re going with. There are all kinds of animals that use darkness to better do their work. Who’s not to say the great Ceres cannot work the same, hm?

 

Excitedly, Kouji nodded his head. “Y-yeah! I was actually wondering if you could help me with that?”

 

“With what, darling?”

 

“Well, you know your branding really well, a–and you talk to people really well. I can talk with my class, but I want to be able to at least talk to people without shutting down. And…and I want Ceres to be a hero that little kids can know to look out for, and who will keep them safe…”

 

For a few moments, the office was silent after Kouji’s little declaration. To be honest, he wasn’t sure where that came from, but he knew that it was the truth. Shyly, the boy looked up to meet the heroine's eyes, and he could find nothing but a compassionate understanding.

 

“I think we can do that.”

 

***

 

Fumikage swerved to the left, dodging the blast of light that his senpai let off. To be honest, it reminded the boy a lot of fighting Yuuga, except the third year had lasers coming from each palm, making it a deceptively more difficult quirk to avoid. Coupling that with the three spotlights that Thirteen-Sensei had directed at him, Dark Shadow had been relegated to hiding in between Fumikage’s back and his knee-length cloak, trying to cling on, and call out hits where he could.

 

For a moment when he is distracted by the dodge, a second light came out of nowhere, and knocked the boy to the ground, sending him rolling across the cement, and straight out of bounds for the fight.

 

Taking a moment to just lay on the ground, the boy turned his head and took in Mina’s own challenge.

 

Thirteen-Sensei had tasked her with making five different acids by the end of the week, whether that be through diluting it with water, changing it herself (that one was a bit more difficult), or working to create combinations with the support labs. 

 

In the past, all Mina could really do was “eat through a literal inch-thick piece of metal” or “this is just spicy water that Denki should definitely not try to ingest.”

 

So far, the girl had mastered how to scale up or scale down the level of acidity without sacrificing the amount of acid secreted, although she was due to meet with Powerloader-Sensei in about 20 minutes.

 

“Oi, Bird Man? You tired already? Sensei says you have me for another hour! Up and at ‘em Rockin’ Robin.”

 

If I hear one more bird pun, I want Mina to hit me with the Level 0.

 

***

 

Ochako walked out of the Rabbit’s Hole Agency’s support lab and sprinted towards the locker room to change into her costume. The adjustments to her costume—courtesy of Rabbit’s Hole—had helped to make her costume more comfortable. 

 

The shirt was still close-fitted, but was no longer skin-tight, and allowed Ochako to avoid dealing with the way her body looked on the days she would prefer not to. The built-in sports bra would help to keep everything in place whether she was running, working out, or floating upside down. And the shoes? Oh the shoes…

 

Long gone were the stupid heels that the support agency had given her. Miruko had taken one look at her costume, and then immediately laughed all the way to support. 

 

With her helmet tucked under her arm, Ochako headed out to the gym, and ended up finding the very rabbit she had been thinking of. 

 

“Oh you are already so much more balanced. For fuck’s sake, I’m gonna rip the throat out of whoever changed your design the first time.” Thank the gods that Katsuki didn’t take up the offer to come with her to Miruko’s. Those two are way too similar for anyone’s good.

 

“Thank you again for the updates, Miruko!”

 

“Bah, don’t mention it kid. Not get your ass ready. You wanna be able to be on my level? You’re gonna have to be able to beat me first.”

 

Ochako’s grin was a perfect replica of the feral smile on her mentor’s face.

 

***

 

“You're telling me that you decided a full denim-on-denim look was a bright idea twenty years ago , and your dumbass didn’t think to reconsider at anypoint?” Katsuki asked, lounged on a couch in his mentor’s office. The two of them had just gotten back from a patrol—where Katsuki showed the bastard that he could be nice, dammit —and he had been sending messages back and forth with Momo, Tenya, and Izuku.

 

Momo had caught her “first” villain all by herself, and had been apparently awarded with takoyaki for her efforts. Tenya was headed out a little before that for patrol himself, but he had promised to text them when he was back. Izuku was actually headed towards Hosu himself with Icy-Hot and The Cannibal. 

 

“I will have you know that I have one the Best Dressed Hero award for the past seven years in a row. And mind your tone, it is unbecoming. It is important to remain professional even when you believe you are safe from prying eyes.”

 

“Yeah, you won the Jeanist’s Annual Best Dressed Hero award. That has to be nepotism or something, right? And I don’t remember my mom ever holding her tongue in the office, and people respected her, right?”

 

His mentor sighed, as if he was put-upon to have to answer his mentee’s questions or rebuttals, but over the past few days, Katsuki had been able to get an understanding of the older man’s unspoken language. The double-denim dimwit actually did like the walking grenade, otherwise he never would have offered him a position.

 

“Your mother was one of the most well-respected women in the industry, and you're right, she never failed to speak her mind.” That was another thing Katsuki had been surprised to learn when he showed up at Best Jeanist’s agency. Apparently, he had actually been good friends with Masaru and Mitsuki back in the day. “But I will warn you, she had to fight for her spot many times because of it before she made a name for herself. There were many uphill battles involved.”

 

Katsuki willed the tears that were always a threat when he stopped to discuss his parents. 

 

“Yeah well,” the boy said, his cocky smile a staple on his face. “I am my mother’s son.”

 

It was well-hidden under that stupid denim mask, but Katsuki could just tell that his mentor’s eyes had lit up at the comment.

 

“Yes,” Best Jeanist said, “Yes, you are.”

 

The two settled back in, and Katsuki saw his phone light up with a message from…Tenya? He still had another three hours on his patrol, what could he–

 

Katsuki’s blood went cold.

 

333.