Chapter 1: First Day of UA
April 3, 2246
Izuku stood in front of the unusually tall doors to his classroom. He hesitated, unsure if he should actually open the door in front of him. He really hadn’t believed he’d ever wind up at UA, let alone be admitted into the hero course. And now he’s here, standing in front of the first step to reaching his goal. With newfound determination, he opened the door.
Only to see that Kacchan and the scary guy with glasses were not only both in his class, but they were in the middle of an argument. Izuku started to shrink in upon himself. Maybe he shouldn’t have come. Maybe he really didn’t deserve to be in UA, like Kacchan said. Kacchan was always right after all.
“You!” The scary guy with glasses announced as soon as he noticed Izuku’s presence. Izuku shrunk further into himself. This is how I die .
The scary guy with glasses approached him with scary speed, as if he wasn’t already scary enough. “My name is Iida Tenya. I’m from Somei Private Academy.” Iida paused, as if he was waiting for Izuku to respond.
At least Iida didn’t seem to be hostile towards him. “I..I’m Midoriya Izuku. It’s nice...nice to meet you.” He said quietly, trying not to draw any more unwanted attention onto himself.
“Midoriya, you perceived the true nature of that practical exam,” Iida said, taking Izuku aback. “I completely misjudged you! I hate to admit it, but you were the superior candidate.”
“I really didn’t perceive anything…” Izuku said, probably too quietly for Iida to hear.
“Ah! That curly hair!” A girl’s voice exclaimed from behind Izuku. “You’re the plain looking boy who saved me from that giant robot!”
Izuku’s face went beet red as the girl approached him, getting a bit too close into his personal space. Usually his instinct was to flinch when people got this close to him because usually people getting this close meant they were about to hurt him in some way. But he didn’t think the girl would hurt him. She saved him from falling before the entrance exam. And she seemed happy to see him. So he tentatively allowed himself to relax, if only a little bit. He could still feel Kacchan;s eyes boring into the back of his skull.
“You got in!” The girl exclaimed excitedly. “Just like Present Mic said! Makes sense, though. That punch was awesome!” She mimicked Izuku’s punch from the entrance exam, minus the shattering of all of his bones part, that is.
“It was really no big deal,” Izuku mumbled, his eyes averted to the floor. “I mean, it’s what anyone would’ve done, really…”
“I disagree,” Iida said, interrupting Izuku and the girl’s conversation. “I was more concerned about getting away and scoring more points. I trusted that UA wouldn’t let an examinee get hurt during the exam so I didn’t think to help her. But you, Midoriya, saw the true nature of the exam and came to her aid! A truly admirable feat.”
“I, uh, I didn’t realize anything,” Izuku stuttered out, before being cut off by a feeling of eyes on the back of his head. Slowly, he turned around to see a homeless-looking man in a yellow sleeping back.
“If you’re here to socialize, then get out,” The man said as he stepped out of his sleeping bag. “This is the hero course.”
Izuku couldn’t believe what he was seeing. He knew that man had to be a hero because UA only employed pro heroes as its teachers. But despite all of his knowledge on heroes, he didn’t recognize this man.
“It took you eight seconds for you to quiet down,” The man said. “Time is a precious resource. You lot aren’t very rational, are you?”
The man didn’t seem fazed by the students’ lack of response. “I’m your homeroom teacher, Aizawa Shota. Pleased to meet you,” The man said, his voice devoid of any emotion. “Quickly now. Change into your gym clothes and head out to the training grounds.”
Izuku made a beeline for the bathroom stalls as soon as he entered the locker room. He didn’t want to risk anyone seeing the myriad of scars across his body, mostly in the shape of Kacchan’s explosions. He heard the sounds of his classmates joking around in the locker room, but he was far too nervous to socialize with them at the moment.
He was one of the first ones out on the training grounds, with the exception of a boy with two-toned hair and a girl with a high ponytail. Izuku breathed a sigh of relief when he realized Kacchan was still in the locker room.
Soon enough, all of his classmates were gathered outside on the training grounds. Mr. Aizawa announced that they would be doing a quirk apprehension test and that the person who came in last would be expelled. Izuku gulped, wondering if the person would be him. He didn’t have great control of his quirk yet, only able to handle 2 percent at the most. And it took time for him to switch his quirk between parts of his body. He had to believe that it was enough.
The first test was the fifty meter dash, where he was up against Kacchan. Izuku gulped and prepared for the test. He fired up two percent of One For All in his legs as he waited for Mr. Aizawa to give them the okay to start.
Izuku ran as fast as he could with his quirk, but Kacchan still beat him by 1.5 seconds. Kacchan’s eyes twitched as he gaped at Izuku’s sudden burst of speed. Izuku gulped, knowing that he was dead. He hadn’t told Kacchan he had gotten a quirk. Kacchan was going to kill him.
“Deku, you bastard!” Kacchan screamed as he charged at Izuku with his quirk. “Tell me how you got that quirk or you’re dead!”
Kacchan’s quirk stopped as he was wrapped in Mr. Aizawa’s capture scarf. His quirk was erased! It was then that Izuku realized which hero Mr. Aizawa was. He was Eraserhead! And he stopped Kacchan from attacking him? No other teacher had ever done that before. Was it because Izuku actually had a quirk now or was Eraserhead different from the other teachers?
“Don’t attack another student like that, Bakugou, or you’ll be expelled,” Mr. Aizawa said, releasing Kacchan from his capture scarf. “And don’t make me use my quirk again. It gives me serious dry eye.”
Kacchan bumped shoulders with Izuku as he made his way back to the group of students. “You better tell me how you got that damn quirk, Deku.”
Izuku nodded nervously. He had no choice but to tell Kacchan something about his quirk but he had to talk to All Might about it first. It was his secret, after all. Not Izuku’s.
The rest of the quirk apprehension test was rather uneventful. Izuku ended up coming in 12th place, which wasn’t all that bad. He definitely had room to improve, but he was nowhere near being expelled. He did feel bad for the person who winded up coming in last until he realized who that person was. It was a dude named Mineta. He’d been making creepy sexual comments towards the girls in his class and had been trying to stare at their...um...assets. It really grossed Izuku out, so he couldn’t say he was sorry about him getting expelled.
“Oh, and I was lying about expelling someone,” Mr. Aizawa said as he turned off the screen that was displaying their results. He then turned to Mineta. “If I hear you make any more creepy comments towards the girls in this class, I will have no qualms about expelling you. I am giving you a chance to improve your behavior since you don’t have zero potential. Don’t make me regret my decision.”
“Yes, sir,” Mineta said with a sharp nod. He looked thoroughly frightened. Izuku hoped he took Mr. Aizawa’s words to heart.
Izuku quickly went back into his school uniform in a bathroom stall and then went to leave UA for the day. It wasn’t a full day of class since the students were only supposed to come for a quick homeroom and then orientation. But Mr. Aizawa had them skip homeroom because apparently a quirk test was more rational. Izuku wished he could’ve done both the quirk test and orientation. He was sure there was some important information he could’ve learned there.
“Hello, Midoriya,” Iida said from behind Izuku, startling him. He hadn’t expected anyone to leave as quickly as he had. “Would you mind if I walked with you?”
“I don’t mind,” Izuku said, a small smile forming on his face. Maybe he had finally made a friend! Though he didn’t want to get his hopes up.
Iida rambled on about how Mr. Aizawa tricked them about expelling someone. It made Izuku realize that Iida wasn’t actually scary; he was just really earnest.
“Hey, wait up, you two!” The girl from earlier called to them, jogging to catch up with them at the gate of UA. “You two headed to the station too?”
“Ah, Infinity Girl,” Iida said, probably referencing that the girl had gotten infinity on the ball throw portion of their quirk test. Izuku himself had scored roughly 300 meters, which was nothing in comparison to her score and Kacchan’s.
“I’m Uraraka Ochako!” Uraraka said cheerfully. “Um, you’re Iida Tenya and Midoriya...um, Deku, right?”
“Deku?” Izuku squeaked out, surprised that Uraraka used the same insult Kacchan did. It made sense. He shouldn’t have gotten his hopes up then everyone was going to be nice to him. Though he really did want to be Uraraka’s friend.
“Hmm?” Uraraka tilted her head to the side. “During the test, that Bakugou guy called you Deku, right?”
“Um, my real name is Izuku,” Izuku said, waving his hands around in embarrassment. “Deku is just what Kacchan calls me to make fun of me.”
“Oh, gotcha. Sorry!” Uraraka scratched behind her head awkwardly.
Izuku breathed a sigh of relief. Uraraka hadn’t been making fun of him. Maybe she really wanted to be friends! Izuku’s smile found its way back on his face.
“But ‘Deku’ well...it sounds like ‘dekiru,’” Uraraka explained. “You know, like ‘you can do it!’ I kinda like it!”
“Deku’s fine!” Izuku exclaimed, feeling his face heat up. He covered his face to hide his obvious blush.
“Midoriya? But didn’t you just say that ‘Deku’ was an insult?” Iida asked.
“Yeah, but Uraraka’s right,” Izuku said, uncovering his face. “It does sound like ‘you can do it.’ And I kinda want to reclaim it. That way Kacchan can’t use it to make fun of me anymore. It won’t hold any power.”
“I suppose that makes sense.” Iida relented as they continued their walk to the station.
“I’m glad I could help then!” Uraraka said cheerfully.
Before they boarded their separate trains, Uraraka asked hima and Iida for their numbers. Izuku felt a warm, fuzzy feeling blossom in his chest. Maybe he could finally have friends!
Kacchan’s text startling Izuku away from the video he had been watching on his laptop. Kacchan hadn’t texted him in years . He had kinda forgotten that he had his name saved in his phone. He briefly hoped that Kacchan had wanted to apologize to him, but he should’ve known better than to hope for something like that.
Of course. Kacchan had just wanted to know about his quirk. He should’ve known better than to get his hopes up. He didn’t know what to tell Kacchan though. His quirk was All Might’s secret to tell, not his. He sent out a quick, slightly panicked text to All Might.
Izuku sent out a quick thank you text to All Might before deciding to text out some sort of an explanation to Kacchan. He really hoped Kacchan would believe his explanation and stop pestering him about it. Thankfully the exchange would be over text since Izuku knows he’s a horrible liar, especially to Kacchan. He swears Kacchan knows just how to scare the truth right out of him.
Izuku didn’t know what to tell Kacchan. He hadn’t expected Kacchan to ask what the traumatic event was that caused him to get his quirk. Looking back on it, he should’ve told him it was the sludge villain incident. That would be the most believable.
But maybe some part of him was mad at Kacchan for treating him like shit for all these years. Maybe some part of him was still upset with Kacchan for telling him to kill himself. Maybe that’s why he said what he said. Oh well, he can’t take it back now. Though he did feel guilty for saying what he said.
Bakugou’s phone dropped onto his bed. He couldn’t believe the damn nerd actually went through with it. His body shook with anger. Anger with who, he couldn’t say. He was just so damn angry! Deku shouldn’t have tried to follow his advice! He never listened to him before so why now?
You shouldn’t have told the quirkless kid with no future to take a swan dive off the roof. What did you think would happen?
Bakugou shook these thoughts from his head. He can’t be thinking about Deku trying to off himself. He didn’t succeed and now he has a quirk to show for it. Maybe he did some good then.
“Katsuki, why the hell aren’t the dishes done, you damn brat?!” His mom yelled from downstairs.
Fear shot down Bakugou’s spine. His mom was home early. Shit. He thought he had some time to decompress after school. He should’ve done the dishes right after he got home. God damn it. Why was he so damn weak ?
Bakugou was met with a harsh slap to his face as soon as he walked down the stairs. His mother was screaming obscenities at him, but he tuned her out. He hung his head and apologized. He began working on the dishes and his mother left him alone after that. He let out a sigh of relief. She was in a good mood today. He wasn’t going to get condemned to the basement like the day of the sludge villain incident.
When he got back to his room, he couldn’t stop thinking about Deku. When did Deku try to kill himself? Was it the day of the sludge villain incident when Bakugou had told him to? Or was it later in the year? It was some time before the entrance exam and after the sludge villain incident. That’s all he knew. He hadn’t expected to be so damn frustrated about it. What Deku did was none of his fucking business.
Bakugou’s sleep was restless that night. Oh well. At least tomorrow he had real classes at school. He would blow those damn extras out of the water and prove that he wasn’t weak. He was the best of the best. Deku having a quirk now hadn’t changed that.
Chapter 2: Combat Training
Combat training with All Might. Deku vs Kacchan. All Might is worried about Deku. Shinso and Dabi backstory. What a day!
Saturday, April 4th, 2246
Bakugou was annoyed with how slowly time seemed to move at UA. His morning classes were boring, just stupid shit like math and English. He guessed it was kinda cool that the teachers were actual pro heroes and not some dumb extra, but he didn’t come here to learn this boring shit. He came here to learn how to be a fucking hero.
Finally, lunch came around. Some dumb idiot with spiky red head tried to get him to sit with him and his stupid friends. Bakugou told him to fuck off before heading to the roof to eat. He thought it was kinda dumb for UA to leave the roof unlocked like this, especially since Deku used it to take a swan dive off the roof.
After lunch, things finally started to get good. First of all, All Might was gonna be their fucking teacher! Hell yeah! Though Bakugou would never admit it to anyone, he was excited to be taught by his favorite hero. Secondly, All Might was gonna teach them combat training! He wasn’t the Number One Hero for no reason.
Bakugou hurriedly changed into his costume. He designed it himself last year before sending it off to UA so they could make it. He was pretty proud of it. It looked super badass! He was one of the first ones out there, except for the stupid extras that placed higher than him in the quirk test. That was just a fluke. He was gonna show those extra what a real hero looks like!
The shitty haired guy from before tried to talk to him after he came out of the locker room. Bakugou gritted his teeth. Didn’t the stupid fucker know that he wasn’t here to make friends? He was here to be the Number One Hero, damn it! He didn’t need friends . All Might didn’t have any fucking friends as far as he knew.
All Might finally decided to explain the combat exercise and he teamed up with the uptight glasses guy from earlier. Annoying, but he could work with that. He begrudgingly nodded at Glasses. Then he was fucking paired against Deku and his Round Face Friend. He was gonna fucking end the stupid nerd!
Except you almost did end the nerd. He tried to throw himself off a roof because you told him to. Shouldn’t you lay off on him?
Bakugou gritted his teeth. He did lay off on the nerd after the sludge villain incident. But then Deku had the nerve to get into UA with a quirk . He still thought he was better than Bakugou, just like everyone else did. The nerd was asking for a beat-down.
Izuku was nervous to fight Kacchan. Uraraka had tried to talk to him about coming up with a plan but all he could do was try his best to quell the shaking of his bones. He could feel the sweat dripping down his face underneath his mask despite the slightly chilly breeze outside. Kacchan was certainly going to kill him.
“Whoa, Deku, are you okay?” Uraraka asked him, a concerned look on her face. “You don’t look so good.”
“I’m just...I’m just kinda nervous to be fighting Kacchan,” Izuku said, visibly deflating as he grip on the floor plan tightened. “He’s so much stronger than me. He’s amazing. I want to beat him, but there’s no way I can with the power I can wield right now. He’s going to go after me and kill me.”
“If you want to beat him, then we will, Deku!” Uraraka said cheerfully, slapping him playfully on the back. “Your quirk is pretty cool. I’m sure you’ll be able to evade him in time to lure him far away from the bomb. Then I just have to sneak up and Iida, and bam! We win!”
“You sound so...confident,” Izuku mumbles dejectedly. “How do you do it?”
“You just gotta believe in yourself,” Uraraka said, placing a comforting hand on Izuku’s shoulder. “Bakugou’s just a dumb bully. And All Might wouldn’t let him seriously hurt you. He’s our teacher and the Number One Hero. And if he does, I’m sure Mr. Aizawa will expel him!”
“I’m not so sure…” Izuku mumbled.
Before Uraraka could reply, All Might announced the start of the exercise. Uraraka led him down the hall, opting to stick together until Kacchan found them. Then Uraraka would break away and try to find the bomb while Izuku focused on evading Kacchan.
It wasn’t long before Kacchan found them. Izuku stood his ground, telling Uraraka to run. She listened to him, running away as Izuku grabbed Kacchan’s right arm during his next attack, tossing him over his shoulder using two percent of One For All.
“Deku, you bastard!” Kacchan yelled, sending an explosion towards Izuku’s face. Izuku quickly fired up One For All in his legs, barely dodging the attack. Before Kacchan could attack him again, he used his quirk to run down the hallway.
Izuku knew this would only make Kacchan more mad, but he figured Kacchan would be mad anyway. He needed to keep Kacchan’s attention on him for as long as possible so Uraraka could find the bomb and win the exercise. He trusted his friend’s plan.
“Found you.” Kacchan said, explosions sparking in his palm. “Always hiding like a coward, huh? You’re so damn weak , Deku, even with that new flashy quirk. Don’t run away like a fucking coward, Deku, and fight me!”
“I’m not a coward, Kacchan!” Izuku yelled, fired up three percent of One For All in his anger. “I want to win!”
Kacchan sent a point-blank explosion to Izuku’s face before he could land the attack, sending him flying into the wall. Izuku’s mask was ripped down the center and his ears were ringing but otherwise he seemed to be alright. He was right to ask for his costume to be made out of fireproof material. He couldn’t be too prepared against someone like Kacchan.
“Why did you do it, Deku?” Kacchan growled, stalking over to where Izuku lay propped up against the wall. “Why did you follow my advice? You really needed that fancy quirk of yours so badly? You never listened to me before so why ?” Izuku didn’t miss how Kacchan’s voice cracked in the end.
Oh crap. I really shouldn’t have lied about that. I didn’t think about how that would affect Kacchan. I just wanted him to shut up about my quirk. Stupid Deku. Stupid. You’re so stupid. Maybe you really should’ve taken that swan dive off the roof. It’s not like you never considered it. I mean, I almost did it after All Might left me on that rooftop after crushing my dreams, but then that explosion went off, so really Kacchan ended up saving my life, albeit indirectly, but still…
Kacchan’s fist connecting with his face broke him out of his thoughts. “Get out of your stupid fucking head and FIGHT ME!”
Izuku simply reacted . He didn’t think. He fired up a whopping five percent of One For All in his right arm and punched Kacchan right in the stomach, sending him flying a few feet backwards.
“Not everything is about you, Kacchan!” Izuku didn’t realize he was getting angry. “I tried to jump off the roof because All Might told me I couldn’t be a hero without a quirk after he left me on the rooftop ! And now I have a quirk so maybe he was right !”
Kacchan stopped in his tracks. In that moment, Uraraka’s voice spoke into his ear, telling Izuku that he found that bomb. She’s right above where Izuku is currently standing. A plan quickly formed in Izuku’s brain.
He fired up one hundred percent of One For All into his right arm and sent the power up towards the ceiling. Izuku stumbled backwards, still not used to the recoil of using that much of his power. Shortly after that, All Might announced that Izuku’s team had won the exercise.
Izuku only had more thought before he passed out from the pain. All Might had heard what he told Kacchan .
All Might paced back and forth in the nurse’s office, worried about what Midoriya had said during his match with Bakugou. He knew he instructed Midoriya to tell Bakugou that he had gotten his quirk from a traumatic event, but he hadn’t expected him to tell Bakugou that he had attempted suicide! He wondered how much of that was the truth. Midoriya had seemed too emotional during that match for it all to be a lie.
He was also concerned with Bakugou calling it “his advice.” Did Bakugou tell Midoriya to commit suicide? That was very worrying if it was true. Once Midoriya woke up, he would have a talk with him about this.
All Might couldn’t get the boy’s words out of his head. “I tried to jump off the roof because All Might told me I couldn’t be a hero without a quirk after he left me on the rooftop! And now I have a quirk so maybe he was right!” Had Midoriya really meant that? Had Midoriya really almost jumped off that roof because of All Might? He felt sick to his stomach. To think that he had almost caused his successor to do the unthinkable.
“Midoriya won’t be up for another hour or so,” Recovery Girl told him. “You need to teach Class 2A’s Hero Law class as Yagi Toshinori. You can’t be late because you’re hovering over him. He’ll be fine.”
“But during his match, he…”
“You can discuss that later, Toshinori,” Recovery Girl chided. “The boy needs rest. You speak with him about this after school.”
All Might sighed, knowing Recovery Girl was right. He couldn’t abandon his duties as a teacher to the other classes at UA. He left the infirmary, trusting Midoriya’s care to Recovery Girl. He just hoped he could talk to Midoriya soon about what happened during combat training.
Shinso hated being in General Studies. He was so certain he would make it into Heroics but then that stupid fucking entrance exam just had to be biased towards kids with flashy, powerful, heroic quirks. Not villainous quirks like Shinso’s.
Nobody really wanted to be his friend either. He was used to that. Nobody wanted to befriend the weird quiet kid with the villainous quirk. At least nobody was openly hostile towards him like his other schools. People here at least made polite small talk before finding someone better to talk to.
He couldn’t help but be envious of the kids in the hero course. He saw them eating lunch together at a table across from him, speculating about what their first class in Heroics would be about. That should be him . He should be there.
A text from Dabi interrupted his envious thoughts.
February 26, 2246
Shinso walked back home feeling frustrated. He had only managed to score a measly four points during the entrance exam. Not nearly enough to get in. He didn’t need UA to mail the results back to him next month. He knew for a fact that he wasn’t going to make the cut for the hero course. At least he probably made the cut for General Studies. Plan A didn’t work but he was sure as hell going to fight his damn hardest so that Plan B will work. Shinso wasn’t a damn quitter. He would never give up on his dream.
He arrived home to his father holding a bottle of beer as he watched some dumb wrestling match on the TV. Shinso tried to close the door without making a sound so that he wouldn’t alert his father to his presence but to no avail. His father’s head whipped around and glared at Shinso.
“Well, well, well, if it ain’t the Future Villain of UA,” His father snarled. “I can already tell by lookin’ at your sorry ass face that you didn’t get in. Whatta you’d expect? Nobody wants a villain pretendin’ to be a fuckin’ hero.”
“I’m not a villain,” Shinso said, his head down, eyes averted to the floor.
“Oh, so you think you have the right to talk, huh?” His father sneered before laughing hostilely. “I don’t wanna have to get that damn muzzle back out. Hadn’t had to use that thing in years. It’s probably all fuckin’ dusty and shit. You don’t wanna make me go through all that trouble, right?”
Shinso shook his head. He should’ve known better than to speak earlier. That was the one rule his father had for him. No speaking. If he doesn’t speak, he can’t use his villainous quirk.
Instead of going to his room, Shinso left out the back door. He didn’t want to be at home right now. He didn’t make it far before someone placed a knife to his neck and demanded he hand over all his money.
“I don’t have anything,” Shinso said, flinching as the knife pressed closer to his neck. “Why are you doing this?”
Before the villain could respond, blue flames shot at the villain, causing Shinso to use that opportunity to scramble away. Blue flames engulfed the villain, burning him alive. Once the guy was no more than a pile of ashes, the owner of the flames turned to Shinso.
“You okay, kid?” The man asked him, reaching out his purple scarred hand. “Scumbags like them are the worst. Sorry you had to get caught up in all that.”
Shinso nodded, not trusting himself to speak at the moment. He just watched this guy kill someone. Granted, he killed a criminal who was probably going to kill him if he didn’t hand over any money, but still. Shinso could’ve stopped him with his quirk. It probably would’ve stopped him from getting into the hero course for sure, but at least both of them would be alive.
“I happened to hear the fight you had with your shitty old man,” The man said, leaning against the wall of one of the buildings in the alley. “How he treats you is fucked up. Saying you’re destined to be a villain because of your quirk. He shouldn’t discourage you from following your dream. And don’t even get me started on the fucking muzzle. That’s fucking abuse, kid. Have you gone to anyone about it?”
“No one does anything,” Shinso said with a shrug. “He never hurts me so it’s fine.”
“No, it’s not fine, kid,” The man said. “My old man never hurt me either but he still messed me up pretty badly. He wouldn’t let me be a hero either. Told me I should just be normal and pick a different career, one I wouldn’t fail at.”
“But your quirk is powerful and flashy,” Shinso said, a twinge of bitterness seeping into his voice. “You have a great quirk for hero stuff.”
“My quirk burns me. It’s what gave me all these scars. But still, you can’t help what your heart longs for.”
“Do you think that I can be a hero even with a villainous quirk?” Shinso asked, feeling hopeful for the first time in a long time.
“Of course,” The man said. “I’m going to train you. I’ll make sure you get into the hero course.”
Shinso should not be trusting this random dude who just murdered a man in front of him. But the guy reminded him a bit too much of himself, maybe a dark reflection of who he could become in a few years if his Plan B didn’t work. So Shinso nodded. “I’ll do my best.”
“Name’s Dabi. You?”
And thus an unlikely team-up was born.
Izuku woke up feeling groggy. He took a look at his surroundings, realizing he was in the infirmary. Right. He forgot that he passed out after training. He waited for Recovery Girl to dismiss him for the remaining of his afternoon classes, only to realize he had only ten minutes left of the school day. Shit. How long was he out for?
A few minutes later, Recovery Girl cleared him to return to class, after telling him that All Might wanted to speak with him before school tomorrow. Izuku cringed. He thinks he knows what All Might wanted to talk to him about. He couldn’t think about that right now. He had to apologize to Kacchan before he left for the day.
A group of classmates crowded around him as soon as he entered the classroom, praising him for his manly match against Kacchan. (He thinks that’s what some guy named Kirishima said?) A girl with pink skin (Ashido), a guy with big lips (Sato), a sparkly guy with blond hair (Aoyama), and Mineta always wanted to congratulate him on his match.
Uraraka also ran over to him to ask him how he was doing. As much as he wanted to talk to her, he was trying to scan the room for Kacchan so he could apologize. “Where’s Kacchan?” He asked her.
Uraraka had told him that Kacchan had left already. Izuku quickly ran outside to see if he could catch Kacchan in time, but no luck. Oh well. Maybe he can text Kacchan after he goes home for the day.
Chapter 3: Weak
Dabi and Shinso meet Hawks. Bakugou struggles with being weak.
Sunday, April 5, 2246
Dabi sighed. Shinso was taking longer than normal to meet up in the forest for training. He briefly wondered if he should go to his house to check on him but decided against it. Shinso would let him know if he needed help. Even though his father was a massive dick, he trusted Shinso when he said that he never physically hurt him. Shinso likely wasn’t in any danger.
“What are you doing out by yourself so late at night?” A voice said from behind him.
Dabi whirled around blue flames already licking at his fingertips. “Show yourself.” Dabi said with a low growl. “I’m not someone you wanna mess with.”
“Ooh, scary,” The owner of the voice chuckled. “You’re funny. I like you.” The owner of the voice stepped out of the shadows, revealing himself to be the Number Three Hero: Hawks.
“Great, a hero ,” Dabi said with a scowl, though he allowed his flames to flicker out. Despite his annoyance, the hero didn’t look to be a threat.
“In the flesh,” Hawks said with a bow, his red wings spreading out against the trees. “Tell me, Dabi. What are you doing in the forest so late at night?”
“Technically, it’s morning,” Dabi said, crossing his arms against his chest. “And what’s it to you, birdie? I’m not doing anything illegal.”
Dabi’s eyes widened when he realized that Hawks knew his alias. “And how the hell do you know my name?” He said, his eyes narrowing with suspicion.
“You’re a pretty well-known vigilante, Dabi,” Hawks said nonchalantly, picking up a stray leaf on the ground and inspecting it. “You’re doing some pretty cool stuff. Makes my job a little easier, you know? I mean, you shouldn’t be killing the villains you fight but who am I to judge? Sometimes heroes have no choice but to kill villains too.”
“Hey, Dabi,” Shinso said as he jogged into the forest. “Sorry I’m late! I got a bit held up.” Shinso paused when he saw Hawks standing beside Dabi. “Why’s he here?”
“I’m just checking on my favorite vigilante,” Hawks said with a chuckle. “I have to hit the hay now, but I’ll be seeing you around! Bye bye now!”
“That was weird,” Shinso said, a perplexed expression on his face as he watched Hawks fly away. “Do you know him?”
“Haven’t met him until today,” Dabi said with a shrug. “Oh well. He seemed harmless. Let’s get started with your training, brat.”
Bakugou woke up in a cold sweat. Another stupid nightmare about the sludge villain. He should really be over that by now. He wasn’t fucking weak . He was strong, damn it! He meant what he told Deku yesterday. He may have lost yesterday. He may not be as strong as the Icy Hot Bastard, but he was just getting started! He’d train really hard and win the Sports Festival and prove to everyone that he was the indisputably strongest person not only in Class 1A, but the whole hero course!
With newfound determination, he quickly changed into his workout gear and went for a run. It was around 7 am by the time he got back. The hag was awake and making breakfast in the kitchen.
“Heard you lost at Combat Training,” The hag said after Bakugou had walked in. “You’re so pathetic, Katsuki. I thought you told me you were stronger than those extras?”
“I am,” Bakugou said, trying his best to sound confident. But not too confident. He didn’t want to set off his mother. “Deku only won on a technicality. His teammate found the bomb while I was fighting him.”
“Sounds like you underestimated his teammate then,” The hag shot a disapproving glance over her shoulder. “I thought you were at least smart, Katsuki. You’re my son, after all. Guess I was wrong about that, too. You really are a failure.” She laughed good naturedly.
“I’m gonna win the Sports Festival and prove everyone wrong,” Bakugou said, gritting his teeth in frustration. “I’m gonna prove to everyone that I’m the best of the best. I’m gonna be the Number One Hero, even stronger than All Might.”
“Not with that attitude,” The hag said, rolling her eyes. “You’d be better off as a villain.”
Bakugou’s hand rolled up into fists but he said nothing. He didn’t want to risk the hag turning this into one of her “lessons.” She normally didn’t do that unless he deserved it, so he just retreated to his room.
He set off an explosion into his pillow, not caring if he destroyed it. He can always buy another one with the allowance his dad gave him. As long as he didn’t mess up, he got whatever he wanted. He just had to be perfect. And was that really so hard? Bakugou was better than everyone else, so of course perfection was expected of him. It was only natural.
He just hoped tomorrow he would be better at being perfect. Because today, he was already a failure.
Chapter 4: You Go, Class Rep!
The class votes for class president. All Might talks to Deku. The traitor lets the media inside UA. Bakugou is mad at Iida for making a class group chat.
Monday, April 6, 2246
Izuku had a hard time getting past the press at the gates of UA. It was really overwhelming, being surrounded by that many people, especially since they all wanted to ask him questions about All Might. He didn’t know what to say. He started to attempt to stutter out a response, but then Iida made a grand speech, diverting the reporters’ attention. Izuku made a mental note to thank Iida later as he slipped past the reporters into UA’s gate.
Izuku walked into All Might’s office that morning feeling rather nervous. He was nervous since he saw All Might’s text when he woke up. He had a feeling he knew what All Might wanted to discuss with him. It probably had something to do with what he told Kacchan during the training exercise.
He took a deep breath before knocking on All Might’s office door. All Might opened the door quickly, ushering Izuku inside. He gestured for Izuku to sit down on the couch while All Might took the chair in front of the coffee table.
“Would you like some tea, Young Midoriya?” All Might asked, breaking the tense silence.
“No thanks, All Might.” Izuku shuffled in his seat uncomfortably. He wished All Might would just get it over with already!
“Would you like to talk about what you told Young Bakugou during the training exercise on Saturday?” All Might asked him while pouring a cup of tea for himself.
“Do I have a choice?”
“You always have a choice, Young Midoriya,” All Might said, offering Izuku a reassuring smile. “You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to, though it would be best if you talked to someone about it. It doesn’t have to be me if you aren’t comfortable. I just wanted to check in with you, after what you said during the match with Young Bakugou.”
“I…” Izuku was at a loss for words. He wasn’t used to a teacher caring about his well-being like that. He had never been given choices before, just orders. Izuku’s eyes welled up with tears before he quickly wiped them away. “After...after you told me I couldn’t be a hero without a quirk, I felt like I lost everything. I didn’t have a dream to chase after anymore. I didn’t have any friends. All I had was my mom.”
All Might nodded somberly, realizing that crushing Izuku’s dreams on the rooftop was a grave mistake.
“Kacchan...well I guess you probably figured out what he said,” Izuku said with a sigh. “I’m not going to repeat it, because, well...he doesn’t deserve to get expelled over this. He hasn’t said anything like that before and I think he feels bad about it. But anyway, after everything that happened that day, I thought about following his advice.”
“But you didn’t,” All Might said softly. “I’m glad. Even without my quirk, you would be a great hero. I see that now. I’m so sorry, Midoriya-shounen.” All Might closed the distance between them, wrapping his successor in a warm hug. “I failed you that day as a hero. I hope you can forgive me.”
“It’s okay, All Might,” Izuku said, wiping the tears from his eyes as he pulled away. “You didn’t know. And everything’s fine now.”
“Are you sure?” All Might searched Izuku’s eyes for any sign of doubt. “You told Young Bakugou that you got a quirk by...following his advice. I think it would be wise for you to tell him the truth. Maybe not about One For All necessarily, but that someone had given you your quirk. I don’t think it’s good for either of you to have Young Bakugou believe that you had actually followed through with his advice that day.”
“Yeah, I think you’re right,” Izuku said with a sigh. “I’ll tell him soon. He said he didn’t care but I know Kacchan. He cares, deep down, I think.”
“Would you like me to talk to him?”
Izuku shook his head. “I think that would just make things worse.”
“If you’re sure,” All Might said, standing up. “You should head to class now, Young Midoriya.”
Izuku nodded, saying goodbye to All Might before heading to class.
The traitor put down their phone, a barely audible sigh escaping their lips. They wished they didn’t have to obey Sensei, but it’s not like they had a choice. They knew what happened to Traitors. No matter what they did, they were totally fucked. At least the heroes wouldn’t kill them if they found out. Sensei definitely would.
They crept out of the classroom as Mr. Aizawa napped and the rest of the class argued about how to choose a class representative. They had no interest in that kind of stuff. They weren’t here to play at being a hero like the other kids. They were here to serve Sensei so they could stay alive. That’s all this was. Survival.
The traitor finally snuck into the teacher’s lounge and ruffled around the cabinets until they found a copy of the schedule for Wednesday. They were ordered to find it and leave it out in the open so the villains could find it quickly when they broke in during lunch. They didn’t know why they couldn’t just take a picture of it and send it to Sensei. Probably some bullshit about being tracked.
The traitor snuck back into the classroom, just as voting was taking place. Everyone was writing names down on a piece of paper, too busy to notice the traitor slipping in through the back door. They made their way to the tissue box, blowing their nose loudly. They wanted everyone to know why their seat was empty.
“Damn, allergies?” A boy with a tail asked them with an awkward chuckle.
“You know it!” The traitor said with a giggle. “It really can be a pain sometimes, especially in the spring.”
“I get’cha,” The boy with the tail said as he handed his paper slip to Iida. “Hopefully it’ll get better after the summer is over.”
“Yeah, maybe.” The traitor sighed, slipping back into their seat. They wished things could get better. They wished they didn’t have to always be in survival mode all the time. They wished they could just be normal. But they haven’t known normal in a long time.
Izuku couldn’t believe he got voted to be the class representative. He thought for sure someone like Iida or Yaoyorozu would get chosen for the position instead. He didn’t have the charisma to lead the class. He stuttered out a quick ‘thank you’ to the class before heading off to lunch.
He learned at lunch that Iida and Uraraka were the ones who voted for him. He shook his head, a smile forming on his face. He couldn’t believe he had friends who had such faith in him. To think that they thought that he had what he took to lead the class!
“Thanks for voting for me, you guys, really,” Izuku said, tears welling up in his eyes. He quickly wiped them away before continuing. “But I really don’t think that I have what it takes to be Class Representative. I voted for myself but I really didn’t think that I would get the position. I think someone else would be a better fit for the job.”
“No way, Deku-kun!” Uraraka exclaimed. “You’ll be a great Class Rep! I know it!”
“I, too, think you would do a wonderful job as our class representative,” Iida said, chopping his hand through the air. “I merely voted for whom I thought would best fill the position. As much as I would have liked for that person to be me, I cannot deny that you are better suited to the role.”
“Merely?” Uraraka tilted her head to the side. “That reminds me, I’ve been meaning to ask...are you rich, Iida?”
Uraraka’s questions caused Iida to launch into a tirade about his family’s hero agency, specifically his older brother, Ingenium. Iida seemed to really look up to his older brother. Izuku found it quite admirable. Iida’s admiration for Ingenium was very similar to Izuku’s own admiration for All Might.
Before Izuku could reply, the alarms went off, announcing that there was a Level Three Security Breach. Everyone in the cafeteria started freaking out, shoving each other in a stampede to the exit. Izuku started to get swept away by the other students, someone elbowing him in the ribs, knocking the air right out of him. He started to feel like he was suffocating.
Just as Izuku thought things were hopeless, Iida floated above the crowd with the help of Uraraka’s quirk. He stood on top of the exit sign, telling the students that there was no need to worry, since the security breach was only due to the overzealous reporters who managed to get inside the school.
The atmosphere instantly relaxed as the students made their way towards the exit, this time in a much more orderly fashion. In that moment, Izuku knew for certain that Iida would make a much better class representative than he would. Izuku knew what he had to do.
Once they were back in the classroom, Izuku announced that Iida should be the new class representative because of the courage and ingenuity he showed during the security breach. Iida accepted the nomination, as did the rest of Class 1A. Izuku smiled fondly, knowing that he made the right choice.
Once Izuku was home from school, he got a notification on his phone that Iida had created a class group chat. Izuku smiled. He was even more confident now that he made the right choice by making Iida the class representative.
would turn out to be an amazing year.
Chapter 5: Tension Brewing
Hawks kinda blackmails Dabi into hanging out with him. Kaminari is distracted due to his parents' fighting. Bakugou is mad that Todoroki keeps beating him during training.
Tuesday, April 7, 2246
Dabi crouched on top of a roof in a rundown part of Kamino Ward. He was watching a suspicious dude with pale blue hair in a black hoodie walk into a bar despite looking like he was under the legal drinking age. Not that mattered over here. Heroes and police rarely patrolled this area. This is why Dabi found himself over here a lot, picking fights with scum that reminded him both of himself and Endeavor.
“What’cha looking at?” The familiar voice of the number three hero said from behind him, ruining Dabi’s concentration.
Dabi whirled around, his icy blue eyes staring daggers at Hawks’ own. “It’s none of your fucking business, birdie,” Dabi said, seething. “What are you even doing here anyway, hero ? You lot don’t hang around here, especially not you , Mr. Number Three.”
“I was following you,” Hawks drawled lazily, sitting next to Dabi on the edge of the roof. “You looked lonely without the UA kid following you around so I thought I’d be a cool stand-in. Besides, things were slow today.”
“I don’t need a hero following me around,” Dabi shoved Hawks off the roof, to which the bird just laughed off as he flew back up.
“But you’re so interesting,” Hawks said, appearing in front of Dabi again. The damn idiot was persistent. “You act like you hate heroes but you’re training a kid to become one. And you haven’t tried to murder me even though I’m obviously annoying you, so…”
“I’d rather not go to jail for murdering a pro,” Dabi huffed, crossing his arms as he turned away from the persistent hero. “It’s not because I give a shit about you, birdie. And it’s none of your business why I’m training the brat.”
“Well, it kinda is, considering you’re a vigilante, technically, and well, that’s kinda illegal, you know?” Hawks said with an awkward laugh. “And illegal quirk usage is kinda my jurisdiction, you know, being a hero and all.”
“Clearly you’re not very good at your job if you haven’t tried to arrest me.”
“Do you want me to arrest you?” Hawks tilted his head to the side, that damn annoying smirk on his face.
“Fuck no,” Dabi growled, shoving past the stupid hero. “I want you to leave me the hell alone.”
“Well, I’m either gonna arrest you or I'll hang around and help you out!” Hawks said, wrapping his arm around Dabi’s shoulder. “I think you’re doing a good thing but you need some guidance from an actual pro. That’d be me! And if you’re working under me, you’re no longer breaking the law. I’d say it’s a pretty done deal. It does mean no more murder though.” Hawks shrugged at the end. He looked so aloof but Dabi knew that Hawks had just backed him into a corner. That stupid cunning hero.
“You know I can’t refuse an ultimatum like that,” Dabi said, his face contorting into a scowl. “I could just fight you and probably burn your stupid feathers off but that’d be inconvenient. So I accept your stupid ‘offer.’”
“Yay! I look forward to working with you!” Hawks said with a mock bow.
Dabi scoffed at the ridiculousness that was the number three hero. “What the hell did I get myself into…”
Mr. Aizawa told the class that for today’s heroics class, they would focus on sparring without the use of quirks. However, Kaminari wasn’t listening to Mr. Aizawa’s instructions. He was still thinking about his parents’ especially loud fight from the night before, which caused him to stay up way later than he normally would. He knew his parents had been fighting a lot more these past few years, but this fight in particular was especially explosive. His dad had even used his quirk to make the lights flare up. It was really scary!
“You okay, dude?” Kirishima asked him, a worried expression on his face. “You kinda spaced out there, man.”
Kaminari plastered a stupid grin on his face. “Yeah, sorry about that,” He said with a laugh. “I might’ve stayed up too late playing Minecraft again. I think I missed what Aizawa-sensei was yapping about.”
“Man, you gotta get a better sleep schedule,” Kirishima said, slapping him on the back. “We’re sparring without quirks. Wanna team up?”
“Yeah, sure!” Kaminari was grateful that people so easily bought his easy-going goofy attitude. It would be a problem if people thought that something was going on with him. He didn’t want to be a burden. That was his greatest fear, even if it was a bit illogical.
Bakugou was pissed off that he was paired with the stupid ice guy for sparring practice. He didn’t need to be reminded of his weakness in the training exercise on Saturday. He was so pathetic. And now that stupid ice bastard was kicking his ass because the dumbass has some stupid martial arts training or something. He was so mad! And even if they could use their quirks, Bakugou knew the bastard would still wipe the floor with him. Maybe his mom was right. Maybe he really was weak…
After being pinned for the seventh time, Bakugou finally snapped at the ice bastard. “Stop thinking that you’re fucking better than me, Half’n’Half!”
“It’s just a training exercise,” Ice bastard said, emotionless as always. That just pissed Bakugou off even more. “I don’t understand why you’re getting so worked up over it.”
“Don’t you dare fucking mock me!” Bakugou yelled, his palms sparking with explosions that he desperately wanted to unleash. He took a deep breath and turned away from the ice bastard. “I’m not your punching bag, Halfie. I’m gonna wipe that stupid look off your fucking face.”
The ice bastard didn’t even have the gall to say anything. He just readied himself into the same damn stance he used every match thus far. The guy was so overconfident! Bakugou wanted to beat that stupid expression right off his stupid face. And he would too! That would prove to everyone that he was the strongest. He had to be the strongest. If he wasn’t the strongest, then he was weak like Deku. He wasn’t gonna give anyone the satisfaction of seeing him be weak!
He darted forward, feigning a right hook while kicking the ice bastard in the balls. The stupid ice guy doubled over in pain, which Bakugou quickly used to pin the bastard on the floor. So what if he had to use a cheap trick like that to win? Deku won their match the other day with his own cheap trick so why couldn’t Bakugou take a page out of his book?
Because you’re weak just like Deku is.
Bakugou shook his head. No, he wasn’t weak. He wasn’t anything like Deku. He let the ice bastard up off the ground. The ice bastard was giving him a fucking dirty look but it’s not like Bakugou cared. The ice bastard might be strong, but he was too much of a pussy to actually start a fight. That made Bakugou feel better. He was still more of a man than that damn ice bastard. It proved that he wasn’t weak.
When Bakugou arrived home that evening, the house was empty. His parents had left to go on a trip to Paris for some stupid fashion convention or whatever. Bakugou breathed a sigh of relief. He didn’t have to deal with the old hag today.
He quickly changed out of his school uniform into his workout gear so he do his evening training before dinner. Training at school wasn’t enough. He had to train twice as hard as the other extras so that he could be stronger than them, better than them. He had to pull ahead of that ice bastard before the Sports Festival rolled around. He had to be the undisputed champion in everything that he did or else he would be weak. He wouldn’t be weak. He would be strong, even stronger than All Might.
Maybe then his mother would finally love him.
Chapter 6: The Attack on the USJ
Wednesday, April 8, 2246
“I am Shigaraki Tenko and I am only here to kill All Might, the Symbol of Peace. None of you stupid UA brats are gonna die, however I’m not above killing your other teachers if they decide to get in my way. Hero society is rotten to its core, relying too much on All Might to save everyone. That’s why I am here. I’m going to change hero society not only in Japan, but the entire world!”
“Monologuing is gonna cause you to get your ass whooped, Tenko,” a feminine voice said from the couch. “There’s going to be three pro heroes at the USJ today. And don’t discount the UA students. You need to have your guard up. The nomu might not be enough to protect you if you wind up getting outnumbered.”
“Shut up! It makes me look cool!” Shigaraki whined. “Besides, I need to have a solid motive or else they’re gonna see me as some NPC, a non-entity. I need them to know that I’m the final boss before I kill All Might, otherwise the narrative won’t match up.”
“Ugh, stop with those stupid ass gamer analgoies,” The woman groaned as paused the show she was watching. “It’s no wonder you’re still single. I managed to make you somewhat decent looking by forcing my skin care routine on you but I can’t perform miracles on your personality.”
“Oi, it’s not like you’re seeing someone either!” Shigaraki crossed his arms and pouted like a child. “You have a stupid pathetic crush on that rabbit hero! There are other people that exist, you know!”
“Oi, shut your fucking mouth, Tenko!” The woman stormed over and pointed right in his face. “She’s fucking hot, okay? And it’s not like every single fucking pro hero is a dick. That’s the whole reason we’re fucking changing society and not destroying it like you wanted to do, dickhead.”
“Whatever,” Shigaraki brushed past her so he could head down the stairs. “The NPC villains are waiting downstairs. The attack starts soon. You coming?”
“I’m staying here,” The woman said as she unpaused her show. “You know my quirk is better suited to fixing you idiots up after the attack.”
“It’s like you have no faith in me.”
“Look, All Might is fucking strong, okay? I know you’re gonna come back with at least some injuries.”
“Whatever,” Shigaraki scoffed. “I gotta go.”
“Break a leg!”
“As I told you yesterday, for your heroics class, we are going on a field trip to Unforeseen Simulation Joint, better known as the USJ,” Mr. Aizawa said as soon as the bell rang after the students had returned from lunch. “We’ll be taking the bus there since it’s on the edge of campus. Suit up into your hero costumes and meet out front in ten minutes.”
“Excuse me!” Sero said, raising his hand. “What exactly will we be doing there?”
“Disasters, shipwrecks, and everything in between,” Mr. Aizawa said, while holding a card that said Rescue. “It’s Rescue Training.”
“Rescue…” Kaminari said, exhaling slightly. He felt a bit nervous about the whole thing, especially since he hadn’t slept that well again due to his parents’ fighting. He turned to Mina in the seat next to him. “Looks like this will be a lot of work this time, am I right?”
“Really?” Mina said excitedly.
“No way, dude! I’m totally psyched!” Kirishima said, pumping his arm in the air. “Rescuing is what being a hero is all about! It’s super manly!”
“No one can beat me in the water, kero,” Tsuyu said.
“You’re wasting time talking,” Mr. Aizawa said with an exasperated sigh. “Hurry up and get dressed so we can begin your training.”
Izuku felt excited as he exited the locker room. He was going on his first field trip in the hero course! Well, granted it was still somewhere on UA’s campus, but it was further away from their normal training grounds. It was about a ten minute bus ride. He was a bit nervous about being on a bus with his classmates since that had never gone well for him before. But he knew his classmates were different. He still didn’t know if that had to do with whether he had a quirk or not.
“Hey, Deku!” Uraraka said cheerfully as they met in front of the bus with the rest of their classmates. “Why don’t you have your hero costume? Aizawa-sensei said we could wear ours and since yours is super cute, I thought you’d wanna show it off, you know?”
Izuku felt his face heat up at Uraraka’s comment. She called my hero costume cute! “Well, it was kinda destroyed after battle training the other day, so I’m stuck with the gym uniform for now, minus my gloves and utility belt.”
“Oh, darn,” Uraraka said, nodding as she commiserated with Izuku’s plight. “Well, hopefully it’ll get fixed soon!”
“Class 1A, gather round!” Iida shouted after blowing a whistle to get his classmates’ attention. “Form two lines by your student numbers in order to make boarding the bus move smoothly!”
Izuku really admired Iida’s dedication to following the rules. It turned out that Iida’s efforts were wasted this time, though, since the bus had an open layout. Iida seemed a bit dejected that his orderly plan fell apart.
“I’m sure next time there’ll be rows,” Izuku said, trying to cheer Iida up.
As the bus began to drive towards the USJ, Tsuyu turned to Izuku. “Midoriya, I say what comes to mind.”
Izuku stiffened up, shocked that a girl besides Uraraka was talking to him. “Um, yes, Asui?”
“Call me Tsu,” Tsuyu said, her eyes seemingly staring right into Izuku’s soul.
Izuku’s face flushed in embarrassment. “Right,” he stuttered.
“Your quirk is like All Might’s,” Tsuyu said, tilting her head as if she was asking for confirmation.
“Huh?” Izuku spluttered. He hadn’t expected someone to make the connection this soon! What was he supposed to say? “But I’m…I’m not nearly as strong as he is!”
“Yeah, and even when Midobro uses his full strength, he breaks his bones,” Kirishima pointed out. “All Might doesn’t have that drawback, so they’re not super similar if you think about it.” Izuku sighed in relief at Kirishima’s timely aid.
“It’s nice that you have a simple augmenting type quirk, Midoriya,” Kirishima said, turning to Izuku. “You can do a lot of flashy stuff with it! My hardening quirk is good for fighting villains, but it’s not all that flashy and I can’t do much else with it.” Kirishima hardened his arm in demonstration, a downtrodden look on his face.
“Well, I think your quirk is super cool, Kirishima-kun!” Izuku said, getting ready to fanboy over his classmate’s quirk. “It’s a great quirk for hero work! Think of all the people you can save with it! You can basically take hits for civilians without taking any damage yourself!”
A small smile formed on Kirishima’s face. “Thanks, Midoriya. But you have to think about popularity as a pro, too, you know. My quirk doesn’t exactly stand out.”
“My navel laser is at a pro level with both flashiness and strength,” Aoyama said confidently.
“But it’s not that great if it gives you a stomachache,” Mina said, placing a hand on his shoulder.
“Well, if you’re talking about flashy and strong, it’s gotta be Todoroki and Bakugou, right?” Kirishima said, his smile widening.
“But Bakugou is always mad so it doesn’t seem like he’ll ever be that popular,” Tsuyu said nonchalantly, as if she didn’t just insult Bakugou within his hearing range.
Bakugou felt all the blood rush out of his head. That damn frog bitch’s words sounded so similar to things his mother had said about him. It made his blood boil. That bitch was going to eat those words. He was going to be the next number one hero!
“What the fuck did you just say, Frog Face?” Bakugou shouted angrily. “You should know better than to pick a fight with me!”
Tsuyu rolled her eyes, taking this as confirmation of her earlier statement. “See?” She said, pointing to Bakugou’s pissed off expression as he leaned over the railing.
“We haven’t known each other that long, so it’s amazing that everyone already knows his personality is crap steeped in stewage,” Kaminari said, feeling a sense of comradery poking fun at the angry pomeranian of Class 1A. “It’s a shame, really. He’d be a total catch if his personality wasn’t so crappy, you know?”
“What the hell did you just call me, Dunce Face?” Bakugou screamed, his palms sparking with small explosions. “I’ll kick your ass, you bastard!”
Meanwhile, Izuku was having an internal crisis. He had never heard Kacchan being teased before. Well, except one time back before his quirk came in…but that was different. Ever since Kacchan had gotten his quirk, everyone had immediately put him on a pedestal. Everyone adored Kacchan even though he was arrogant and had a short temper. Everyone just brushed aside his negative qualities because they all assumed he’d be a strong, famous hero someday. It was only natural given his quirk and his drive, after all.
“I can’t believe Kacchan is being teased…” Izuku muttered to himself. “UA really is different after all.”
“We’re here,” Mr. Aizawa said, standing up. “Stop messing around.”
Thirteen was waiting for them outside the USJ. Izuku was excited to see them. They were a respected rescue hero. He looked over to see Uraraka bouncing in excitement.
“Oh, I love Thirteen!” Uraraka said excitedly.
“Let’s go inside without delay,” Thirteen said.
The students were all amazed about how large the inside of the USJ was. Sero even said it looked just like Universal Studios Japan, which was funny considering it shared the same acronym.
“A shipwreck, a landslide, a fire, a windstorm, et cetera,” Thirteen said to the wowed students. “It’s a training ground that I made with different types of accidents and disasters. As Aizawa must have told you, this is the Unforeseen Simulation Joint, or USJ for short.”
“Thirteen, where’s All Might?” Aizawa said, looking over his shoulder as he approached them. “He was supposed to meet us here.”
“About that…” Thirteen said in a low whisper so that only Aizawa could hear. “It looks like he did too much hero work on his way to school and ran out of time, so he’s resting in the lounge.”
“That’s the height of irrationality,” Aizawa said with a sigh. He then turned to the students. “It can’t be helped. Shall we begin?”
“Let’s see, before we begin, I want to say a few things,” Thirteen said to the students. “Everyone, I’m sure you’re aware of my quirk, Black Hole. I can suck up anything and turn it to dust.”
“You’ve been able to use your quirk to save people from all kinds of disasters, right?” Izuku said excitedly as Uraraka enthusiastically nodded next to him.
“Yes, but it is also a power that can kill easily,” Thirteen said.”Some of you also have quirks like that, right?” Uraraka stopped nodding, a somber look on her face. It hasn’t crossed her mind that a hero’s quirk can just as easily be used to kill as it could to save.
“Of course, in our society,” Thirteen continued. “Personal quirks have been certified and strictly regulated, so that doesn’t seem to be a problem at first glance. However, please don’t forget that many quirks can kill with one misstep. I’m not saying this to scare you, but so that you can understand how important it is to learn how to control your quirks and use them properly for hero work. That’s what this class is for. You will learn how to use your powers to save lives.”
Thirteen’s speech was cut off by a loud clapping sound coming from the center of the USJ. “Wonderful speech, Thirteen,” a raspy voice said, seeming to be amplified by a loudspeaker of sorts. “I must say, you’ve inspired me to gain better control over my own quirk. I’m sure that’s not what you intended.” The man chuckled.
The man paused, realizing he must have been rude by interrupting the hero’s speech without even introducing himself. “My name is Shigaraki Tenko, and I am the leader of the League of Villains. But don’t be fooled by the name, I’m not here to harm any kids. I’m simply here to kill All Might, the Symbol of Peace so I can change society for the better. Get in my way, and you’ll be dealt with accordingly.”
“Get back!” Aizawa yelled to his students as more villains started pouring out of the purple mist. “Those are villains!”
“I’ll protect the students,” Thirteen called to Aizawa as they began herding the students towards the exit.
The purple mist surrounded the students before they could reach the exit. “My apologies, but I can’t have any of you fledgling heroes escape and alert the pros.”
Kirishima and Bakugou took the opportunity to charge at the villain, just as Thirteen was about to fire up their quirk. The villain remained unaffected by Bakugou and Kirishima’s attack, though he did mumble something about that attack being ‘a close one.’
Before Izuku knew what was happening the mist gathered around him and then he was falling from the sky, hitting the water below him with a big splash. His instincts kicked in and he powered up his quirk and started swimming to the surface.
But before Izuku could make it to the surface, a villain that resembled a shark came charging at him, which Tsuyu swiftly used her tongue to rescue him and place him gently on the boat.
Tsuyu threw Mineta roughly onto the boat, annoyed at his inappropriate comment on the size of her boobs. Izuku felt bad that he hadn’t even noticed that Mineta was there, though he was kidna focused on not dying. Even though the villain said that they wouldn’t kill them, Izuku wasn’t sure if the villain was telling the truth or not.
“Thanks, Asu–I mean, Tsu!” Izuku said, a bit flustered at having to call a girl by their first name.
“This has turned into a bad situation,” Tsuyu said as she climbed onto the boat. “Those villains said their goal was to kill All Might.”
“But it’s not like they can kill All Might!” Mineta said confidently. “Once All Might comes, he’ll pound those bad guys!”
“Mineta, don’t you think that they are trying so hard because they found a way to kill him?” Tsuyu said bluntly. “That Shigaraki guy seemed pretty confident in his abilities and convictions. Even though he said he wouldn’t kill us, he’s still pretty scary, kero.”
“Midoriya,” Mineta spluttered, tears welling up in his eyes as he pointed to the water below. “What the hell is that?”
Several villains were rushing towards the boat, sinister looks in their eyes. Izuku’s eyes widened in realization. Just because that Shigaraki guy had said he didn’t want to kill them, that didn’t mean that his underlyings would follow his orders.
“You bastard! I’ll kill you!” One of the villains shouted from the water.
“There’s a ton of them!” Mineta screamed, shaking with fear. He wanted to be a hero so he could finally be cool! So that his parents would finally notice him, so that girls would finally think that he was more than just a short little kid with no potential to be anything more. He wasn’t expecting to have to face real villains not even a week into the school year! He seriously considered dropping out if he managed to survive this. Maybe there was another way he could be recognized as someone important.
Izuku was also scared of those villains. Heck, he was terrified! But, even so, he had to stop the villains from killing All Might. That man had become so much more than his mentor this past year. Izuku started to view the man the same way he had viewed his father. He would do everything in his power to keep him and his classmates safe or he couldn’t ever call himself a hero.
“If those guys have a way to kill All Might, then right now, we should be stopping whatever they’re planning,” Izuku said, clenching both his hands into fists. “By fighting and winning!”
“What do you mean fight?!” Mineta screamed, tears streaming down his cheeks. “Are you stupid?! These guys might kill All Might, right? What makes you think we even stand a chance, even if they're not out to kill us?! Use your brain, Midoriya! Those villains might not kill us, but they definitely want to hurt us!”
Izuku peered over the edge of the boat, seeming to be deep in thought. “Mineta, those guys down there are clearly assuming we’ll fight in the water, right?”
“Are you ignoring me?!” Mineta yelled indignantly.
“Does that mean they knew what was going to be in the facilities before they gathered people?” Tsuyu asked, voicing what Izuku had been thinking.
“Yeah, for people that gathered that much intel so meticulously, there’s something strange,” Izuku said. “They sent you, Tsu, to the shipwreck zone. This means the villains probably don’t know what our quirks are. They probably separated us because they didn’t know our quirks so they planned to overpower us with numbers. We have inferior numbers and less experience, so our hope is that they don't know what our quirks are.”
Tsuyu nodded, understanding where Izuku was going with this. “They aren’t trying to climb the boat, kero. That confirms your theory.”
“Right,” Izuku nodded. “I’ve been watching our classmates and their quirks since school started. Based on that, I believe I have a plan. Mineta, throw as many balls as you can into the water. The villains likely won’t know what they are, so they’ll most likely avoid them at first. Then, I’ll leap over the edge of the boat and use the full power of my quirk to create a whirlpool, which will cause them to collide with each other and your sticky balls. Then Asu–I mean Tsu! Tsu will catch me with her tongue and jump onto the shore.”
Tsuyu nodded at Izuku, impressed with his plan and his observational skills. “I trust you, kero. Let’s hope this works.”
In that moment, one of the villains sliced the boat they were standing on in half, causing it to start to sink. Mineta started freaking out, exclaiming that Midoriya’s stupid plan wouldn’t work and that they were all gonna die.
Izuku crouched down to Mineta’s level, placing a trembling hand on his shoulder. “Mineta, I believe in you. We’re gonna get out of this but we need your help.”
Mineta nodded tentatively, tears still pooling out of his eyes. He still believed the situation was hopeless but he had to at least try to survive. He couldn’t just give up. There was no way he would ever be seen as cool if he cowered in the corner while he hoped for a painless death. With newfound resolve, he began throwing his balls off the side of the boat.
Izuku used that moment to leap off the edge of the boat, channeling his inner Kacchan. “Die, you scumbag villains!” He screamed while firing off one hundred percent of his quirk into his finger, making a giant whirlpool just as he planned. The villains got sucked in and were stuck to each other thanks to Mineta’s quirk.
“Asui! Now!” Izuku yelled, his eyes filling up with tears because of his broken finger. Tsuyu wrapped her tongue around Izuku’s torso and carried him and Mineta to the shore.
Mineta looked over at Midoriya in awe. Midoriya had been just as scared as he was, but he was able to push aside that fear and not only make a plan to defeat the villains, but carry it out flawlessly. Midoriya was a first year student just like he was. He was scared just like he was and yet he was so much better than Mineta. Everybody thought Midoriya was cool. After this was over, he had to ask Midoriya what his secret was.
“I had a bowel movement this morning so those things will stick all day,” Mineta said, referring to his quirk. He had to avoid comparing himself to Midoriya right now. Those thoughts could come later.
“Midoriya, is your finger okay?” Tsuyu asked Izuku. “That was a pretty reckless move you pulled there.”
“Yeah,” Izuku said as he used his elbow pad as a makeshift splint for his finger. “Anyway, we should make getting help our top priority. It would be best to follow the shore and avoid the central plaza as we head towards the exit.”
“That’s true,” Tsuyu agreed, her eyes drawn to the central plaza where Aizawa was fighting. “Mr. Aizawa has drawn a large number of villains there.”
“He might’ve over exerted himself by jumping to fight all those villains for us,” Izuku said, inhaling shakily. He couldn’t stand by while one of the only teachers that had ever treated him fairly was being brutalized by villains. He knew that he was outnumbered and not only that, but the villains had a way to kill All Might. Aizawa was much weaker than All Might, so Izuku had no doubt that Aizawa was in grave danger. Izuku had All Might’s power now. It was up to him to stop the villains. Otherwise he’d be a terrible hero. He’d be responsible for his teacher’s death.
“Wait, Midoriya,” Mineta said, his voice shaking. “Don’t tell me you…stupid, stupid, stupid.”
“I’m not thinking of doing anything that will get in his way,” Izuku said, turning towards the central plaza with a determined look on his face. “But if we can find an opening and lessen Mr. Aizawa’s load even a little, then we have to do it.”
Shigaraki was proud of himself. He managed to figure out what Eraserhead’s tell was. In just a few more seconds, he would blink and his hair would fall back down. That’s when he’d strike. There was no need to kill the hero. He was an underground hero and frankly kinda cool. He’d just decay his arm to catch him off guard before Nomu could knock him out.
Shigaraki’s hand made contact with Eraserhead’s elbow the second Eraserhead blinked. “Sorry, Eraserhead,” he said with genuine remorse. “But you’re in my way.”
While Eraserhead was distracted, he instructed Nomu to slam his head into the ground, knocking him out. Shigaraki surveyed the battlefield. There was still no sign of All Might. That pissed him off. His one purpose was to come here to kill the Symbol of Peace and he didn’t even have the gall to show up. She would be laughing at him right now; Shigaraki knew it.
“My apologies, Shigaraki Tenko,” Kurogiri had said from behind him. “But one of the students has managed to escape.”
“Fuck me,” Shigaraki groaned. “Maybe that’ll mean that All Might will finally get here so I can end him in front of all these pathetic brats. Show them how fragile their Symbol of Peace really is.”
It was then that Shigaraki noticed the three UA brats hiding by the shoreline. He sighed. Did these brats have no self preservation instincts? He walked over to them, wondering how he should handle them. He said he wouldn’t kill the brats and he meant that. They weren’t the real problem with hero society, just byproducts of it. They just happened to be more privileged than he was and that wasn’t their fault. They were just kids. Pathetic, annoying, hero-infected brats, but still kids.
“Get the fuck away from here, brats,” Shigaraki spat out, his red eyes narrowing. “All Might will show up soon and unless you want to watch me end his life, I’d suggest running the fuck away.”
“I won’t let you kill him,” The green haired boy said despite his voice quivering in fear.
“Yeah?” Shigaraki scoffed at the brat. “I could kill every single person inside of the USJ right now, you realize that? But that’s not my quest. All Might is the final boss that I need to defeat to reach the next level of my plan to change society. But using my quirk would be too easy. I want him to suffer, don’t you see?!” Shigaraki was laughing maniacally now. He couldn’t help it. He was so close to tasting victory. Didn’t the brats see that?
All Might threw open the door. And he wasn’t smiling. But Shigaraki was. “Nomu, kill All Might.”
All Might ultimately won against the nomu, with a bit of aid from Todoroki and Bakugou at the beginning of the attack. But now he was out of time.
“He’s not any weaker at all,” Shigaraki pouted. “Did Sensei lie to me?”
“What’s wrong?” All Might taunted. “You’re not coming at me? Didn’t you say you’d defeat the final boss before clearing this level or something? Come and get me if you can.”
“All Might’s bluffing,” A feminine voice said into Shigaraki’s earpiece. “I’m looking at the cam footage right now. If he had strength left, he would’ve gone after you by now. But he’s just standing there trying to pull cheap scare tactics to get you to back off. If you and Kurogiri charge him, you can end this.”
“Thanks, Butterfly,” Shigaraki said, muting the earpiece. “Kurogiri, you know what to do.”
Shigaraki knew he could just decay the ground to kill All Might, but the bastard could jump in the air to avoid it and he risked killing his allies as well. He couldn’t exactly control the spread of Decay. So we could have Kurogiri warp his hands right next to All Might so he can just touch him directly.
“Get away from All Might!” The green haired brat from earlier screamed, two broken dangling limply behind him as he jumped in front of Shigaraki’s hands.
“Shit,” Shigaraki muttered, moving his hands at the last second so that he didn’t accidentally decay the kid. This kid was proving to be a real pain in the ass but he wasn’t here to kill children.
Before Shigaraki could properly tell the brat off for getting in his way, a bullet tore through his hand. Shigaraki let out a pitiful wail of pain as more bullets rained down on him, hitting both his legs and one of his arms before Kurogiri could warp him back to the base.
“Damn, those heroes got you good,” The woman said, laughing. “I guess we’re going with my plan now. Told you I was right.” She stuck her tongue out at him.
“Fuck you,” Shigaraki said, rolling his eyes. “Just shut up and heal me already.”
She carefully took the bullets out of Shigaraki’s body before placing both her hands on him to restore the rest of his body. It was always such a weird sensation, feeling his body grow back together. Her quirk really was amazing. It was the perfect counter to Shigaraki’s own. The two of them would be unstoppable, the perfect team.
A detective counts the students of Class 1A as they line up outside of the USJ. “Other than the boy with both legs severely injured, everyone else seems unharmed,” he said.
Hagakure placed a hand on Ojiro’s shoulder. “I heard you were fired up this time,” she said with a smile in her voice. “I can’t believe you had to fight by yourself. You were super strong!”
Ojiro was taken aback by Hagakure’s praise. He felt a blush heating up his cheeks so he turned away. “I thought everyone was by themselves. I really didn’t do anything special. I survived by using hit and run tactics.”
“I was in the landslide area,” Hagakure volunteered, pointing at Todoroki. “Todoroki was super strong! I was surprised!”
“Let’s have the students return to the classroom for now,” The detective said. “We won’t be questioning them right away, right?”
“Detective, what about Mr. Aizawa?” Tsuyu asked.
“He should be fine,” The detective said. “He has a concussion and sustained several facial fractures which may leave a scar and impact his quirk usage slightly, but other than that, he sustained no other major injuries.”
“What about Thirteen?” Mina asked. She had seen Kurogiri use their own quirk, Black Hole, against them, ripping their back open. Mina had done her best to treat their injuries but she didn’t know if Thirteen would be okay or not.
“Thirteen has been treated,” The detective said, smiling at the student’s concern. “They’ll survive and make a full recovery.”
“What about All Might?” Kirishima asked.
“He’ll be fine,” The detective said. “Recovery Girl’s power is enough to treat him. He’s recovering in the nurse’s office with your classmate, Midoriya. Now, let's get back to your classroom.”
Bakugou stared at the USJ building. He thought about how weak he was. There was no way in hell that he was strong enough to take on that nomu monster like All Might did. He had a long way to go to achieve his goals. He’d have to work even harder. He wouldn’t feel this weak again. That was a promise.
“Bakugou, we have to get back to the classroom now!” Shitty Hair called out to him. “We don’t wanna keep the others waiting, you know?”
“Whatever,” Bakugou scoffed, but followed the idiot anyway. He was reluctant to admit it, but Kirishima was a good teammate. He handled himself just fine against the D-list villains and had even charged at the warp villain with him at the beginning of the attack. He supposed he wasn’t as annoying as the other extras in his class.
“Because of the situation this time, I can’t really scold you,” Recovery Girl said to All Might.
“I’m not sure but I think I might’ve shortened the time limit on my hero form again,” All Might said sadly, looking up at the ceiling. “I hope I still have at least an hour.”
Izuku’s eyes welled up with tears at the thought of All Might’s predicament. “All Might…” He can’t help but feel as if it’s his fault somehow. If he had been stronger, if he could handle one hundred percent of One For All without injuring himself, maybe he could’ve taken on the nomu instead.
“Well, it can’t be helped,” All Might said, sitting up. “These things happen. But Young Midoriya, I want you to know that this wasn’t your fault. You did all you could. Like I said earlier, you jumping in when you did likely saved my life. So please don’t beat yourself up over it.”
“Excuse me,” a man wearing a detective outfit said as he entered the nurse’s office. “It’s good to see you, All Might, though I wish we were meeting under better circumstances.”
“Tsukauchi, you’re here, too?” All Might coughed in surprise.
“All Might!” Izuku sat up in alarm. “Is it okay to show that form to him?”
“Yeah, it’s fine,” All Might said, reassuring his successor. “He’s Tsukauchi Naomasa, my best friend in the police force.”
“What’s with that introduction?” Tsukauchi said with a laugh. “Sorry to cut to the chase, but can you give me details about the vill–”
“Wait!” All Might said. “More importantly, are all the students okay? What about Eraserhead and Thirteen?”
“Other than Midoriya, the other students only had light injuries,” Tsukauchi said with a smile. “The two teachers are in stable condition for now. There’s no need to worry.”
“I see.” All Might smiled. “I’m glad everyone is okay. Those students fought hard. They’re going to be great heroes someday. I just wish they didn’t have to face something so traumatic so soon.”
“I agree.” Tsukauchi nodded. “Are you able to give your statements now, All Might? If you’re not ready, I can always stop by after I interview the students.”
Kaminari turned the handle to his apartment, trying to steady his shaking hands. Despite his laidback attitude with his classmates, the attack today had really shaken him up. The main villain had said that he didn’t want to hurt him, but apparently that order hadn’t applied to the other villains there.
“Denki? Is that you?” His mom asked as he opened the door. His mom quickly ran to envelope him in a big hug. “I was so worried when I heard you were attacked! I know how strong you are but I couldn’t help but worry. I’m glad the teachers took such good care of you though!”
“Yeah.” Denki forced a smile onto his face, though he couldn’t stop the tears clouding his vision. “I kicked some villains’ asses. You’d be proud.”
“Hands up,” The electric villain said, holding Kaminari up by the collar of his hero costume. He had gone into ‘dumb mode’ where his brain was fried from overusing his quirk. But contrary to what everyone believed, he’s still aware of everything that’s going on around him. He’s just trapped in his own mind, unable to react to the world around him. His thoughts slow down and everything goes cloudy, but he understands everything.
“No quirks allowed,” The electric villain continued. “If you use your quirks, I’ll kill this guy.”
“Kaminari!” Yaoyorozu yelled, fear evident on her face.
“Damn it,” Jirou said, gritting her teeth in frustration. “He got us. We let our guard down. An ambush after we thought we’d got them all. I can’t believe we didn’t predict this.”
“I don’t want to kill someone who’s an electric type like me,” The electric villain said, activating his quirk. “But I guess I have to, huh?”
Kaminari’s face morphed into one of absolute terror. He had never had his life put on the line like this. He knew that something like this would happen eventually with the career path he chose, but he didn’t think it would happen in his first year of high school! He was only fifteen for fuck’s sake! He wasn’t ready to die.
Yaoyorozu and Jirou both raised their arms in the air. They likely didn’t want him to die either. How nice of them, Kaminari mused. He wasn’t sure if his friends from middle school would opt to risk their own lives for him like they were. Arata and Daichi weren’t bad people, but they weren’t super close friends or anything. When it came down to it, they just wanted to live normal, carefree lives. They would save themselves first.
“I’m going over there,” The villain said, interrupting Kaminari’s already jumbled thoughts. “Don’t move a muscle.”
“Electric types like you and Kaminari are born winners, right?” Jirou said, a confident smirk on her face. Kaminari briefly wondered what the hell she was trying to do. He wasn’t a born winner. He fried his brain so hard when his quirk came in that any other career path was unavailable to him. He was too dumb for standard career paths for electric quirk users like engineers and things like that. Being a hero was the only way he could be successful.
Whatever Jirou was trying to say, it made the villain pause for a moment. Kaminari couldn’t focus on what she was saying, but he was thankful that she was trying to help. Maybe he should ask her out later.
Suddenly, the villain’s electricity increased, getting closer to Kaminari’s face. He panicked, trying to squirm out of the villain’s grasp, but to no avail. “Did you think I wouldn’t notice?” The villain taunted them. “A kid’s naive thinking only works on dumb adults. You novice heroes shouldn’t make light of hostage situations. If you two don’t put up a fight, I’ll let this idiot go. Someone else’s life or your own?”
Kaminari didn’t know what he wanted them to do. He didn’t want to stand there and watch his classmates die, especially that cute girl who tried to save him. But he didn’t want to die either. Tears threatened to spill from his eyes as he silently pleaded with them to let him live. He was being selfish. Maybe he wasn’t cut out to be a hero after all.
Then Snipe shot the villain and everything turned out okay. But Kaminari couldn’t forgive himself for being so selfish and useless.
“Denki, are you okay?” His mom asked him, bringing him out of his thoughts.
“During the attack, I short-circuited again,” Kaminari said, wiping the tears from his eyes. “One of the villains used me as a hostage and told my friends that it was either my life or their’s. And I wanted them to choose me! Isn’t that selfish? How can I be a hero if I think things like that?”
“Denki, look at me,” His mom said, moving his head so that he could look her in the eyes. “It doesn’t make you a bad person for wanting to live. That thought may have been selfish, but you’re fifteen and you were in a life or death situation. No matter your career path, you shouldn’t have had to face something like that when you’re so young. Both you and your classmates are all alive and that’s what matters. You’re not a hero yet, Denki. It wasn’t your responsibility to save them.”
“But I wanted to!” Kaminari cried. “I wanted to save them! But I was useless! I overused my quirk after one big attack and by doing that I became a damsel in distress, someone that those girls needed to save. I’m supposed to be a man!”
“Needing help doesn’t make you any less of a man, sweetie,” His mom said, running her fingers through his hair. “Those girls are your classmates. They want to be heroes just like you do. You’re allowed to rely on them for help and vice versa. You all did the best you could today. Please don’t beat yourself up over it.” She planted a kiss on his forehead.
“I guess you’re right,” Kaminari said shakily, letting go of her. “Thanks, Mom.”
“This won’t all go away overnight,” His mom said, ruffling his hair as she stood up. “You went through something traumatic. I think it would be a good idea to move your appointment up. What do you think?”
“Yeah,” Kaminari said sheepishly. He didn’t like that he had to start going to therapy last year because of his parents’ fighting. His mom had said it would be good for him but he just didn’t connect with the therapist. But he didn’t want to tell his mom that. “I think that’s a great idea, Mom.”
“Now, how about we make some hamburgers for dinner?” His mom asked cheerfully, trying to help her son feel better.
“Sounds good,” Kaminari flashed her a real smile this time. Maybe he’s still beating himself up over the USJ incident, but he’s just happy his family is at peace again.
Iida was exhausted after the attack. He wanted nothing more than to lay down and relax. But the class representative from 1B had reached out and he felt obligated to respond to her. Kendo was a nice girl and he looked forward to working with her in the future.
Iida’s eyes widened with surprise when he saw his brother sitting on his bed when he came home from school. Tensei hadn’t stopped by in a few weeks, too busy with hero work to even have dinner with his family. He was working on a case against the Hero Killer. Iida was proud of his brother for being assigned such a high profile case.
“Tensei, what are you doing here?”
“You think I could just ignore the fact that you were involved in a villain attack?” Tensei said, standing up to wrap his younger brother in a hug. “I had to come by and make sure you’re okay. I know my job is important and lately I haven’t had much free time, but you’re more important, Tenya. You’re my family.”
Tears streamed down Iida’s face as he sobbed into Tensei’s chest, all the stress from the day’s events finally pouring out of Iida’s body. He had to be strong for his class but he didn’t have to be strong here. Here he was Tensei’s baby brother. Here it was okay to be weak, just for a little while before he could gather up his strength.
“I had to run away and abandon my classmates,” Iida sobbed. “I knew I was doing it to get the teachers so they could help, but I couldn’t help but feel like I was abandoning them. I was so worried that I would come back and they’d all be dead and have it be my fault.”
Tensei hugged Iida tightly. “It wouldn’t have been your fault, Tenya. You wouldn’t have abandoned them. You couldn’t have fought all those villains on your own. You did the right thing. I’m so proud of you.”
“You’re proud of me?” Iida wiped the tears from his eyes.
“Of course,” Tensei said, ruffling Iida’s hair affectionately. “You were a real hero today. You saved your classmates’ lives. But even if you had stayed and fought, or if you hid in a corner because you were scared, I would still be proud of you because you’re my brother.”
“Thanks,” Iida said, shakily standing up. “You’ve always supported me, Tensei, even when Mom and Dad were too busy with their own hero work. I’m glad I am able to count on you.”
“Don’t worry,” Tensei laughed, punching Iida lightly on the shoulder. “You’ll never be able to get rid of me. I’ll always be there cheering you on. And before you know it, we’ll be able to work as heroes together. Maybe I’ll take you on as a work study student during your second year, if you behave, that is.”
“Tensei! I always behave!” Iida yelled as he chopped his hands through the air. “Mom and Dad have taught me to always have the utmost respect for the rules!”
“Yeah, because I’m the example of what not to do,” Tensei chuckled ruefully. “I was a bit of a nightmare during my teen years. Trust me, they didn’t want another mini me running around.”
“Are you staying for dinner?” Iida asked, changing the subject. He really hoped Tensei would stay. He missed his brother when he was gone.
“Of course. I’m not leaving you alone after a villain attack,” Tensei said. “Now how about we watch a movie before dinner?”
Iida smiled. “As long as it isn’t one of those weird romantic comedies you are so keen on.”
“Nah, I’ll let you pick this time,” Tensei chuckled. “And my rom coms aren’t weird!”=
“I believe you only watch them because you’re sad about being single,” Iida teased.
“You’re single too, Tenya!” Tensei said with mock indignance as he began tickling his brother.
“At least I’m not single and thirty ,” Iida said through his laughs. He managed to push Tensei off and reach for the remote. “We’re watching The Flash .”
“Of course,” Tensei said, rolling his eyes. “Alright. I did say you could pick the movie after all.”
This was nice. The attack at the USJ was scary, but Iida was sure something like that wouldn’t happen again. And everyone was fine in the end, and now he got to spend a nice evening with his brother.
Chapter 7: But I Don't Need Therapy
Bakugou's mom sucks. Therapy arc begins. Dabi and Hawks fight.
Thursday, April 9. 2246
Bakugou had never been more thankful for the fact that his parents were away on a business trip last night. He didn’t have to be confronted about the villain attack on his school or why he came back home with a few mild bruises when he should’ve been strong enough to beat the villains on his own.
Bakugou froze when he heard the front door unlock. His parents were home sooner than he expected. He had hoped since they were in Paris that meant they’d at least be gone a few days. But Bakugou could never get that lucky. He sighed and stood up from the kitchen table, ready for whatever would come.
“Oi, brat,” The hag said as soon as she entered the house. “I heard you were injured in the villain attack. I always knew you were weak, but that’s pathetic. A few bruises, really? How many did you manage to take down?”
“Kirishima and I–”
“I didn’t ask about your stupid classmate, Katsuki!” His mother yelled. “I asked about how many you defeated! I’m sure this Kirishima kid is more capable than you anyway!”
“Four,” Bakugou whispered, his eyes shut. He knew the blow was coming, but he still flinched when his mother’s fist connected to his cheek.
“That’s it?!” His mother shouted, surprised and disappointed by such low numbers. “How are you supposed to be a strong hero if you can’t even defeat more than four villains without help? I read the damn news reports. Most of the villains who attacked you are small-time thugs. God, I didn’t raise a weak ass child like you, Katsuki.”
“I’m sorry,” Bakugou said hoarsely, still not moving from his position in front of the kitchen table. He was worried that if he moved it would trigger her to do something worse. She hadn’t done anything that bad since the sludge villain incident and he wanted to keep it that way.
“Get out of my sight, brat,” His mother said dismissively, giving him another disapproving glare before she went down the hall to her bedroom. It was then that Bakugou realized that his father wasn’t home. He knew better than to ask the hag where he was. He was probably finishing up their Paris thing. The hag probably came back early just to hound on him. What a bitch.
Bakugou decided to go for a run. That always helped calm him down. The repetitive motion was grounding and it helped that he was also training his body.
Midoriya Inko was worried for her son. He broke his legs and his finger during the villain attack even though Inko knew that her son could control his quirk at a lower output. If it just happened during the villain attack, Inko would’ve written it off as Izuku being scared and having no other option. But he always broke his arm during his training match with Katsuki. Inko was concerned that Izuku felt the need to go all out at the expense of his body in a training match. What was UA teaching him?
But Inko knew that this wasn’t the fault of UA. Izuku had always been reckless, saving others at the expense of himself. It was why she was so worried for her son to become a hero. She knew that his self-sacrificing nature could get him killed one day and that thought terrified her. She should’ve done something about this sooner. She felt like she failed as a mother.
“Izuku, we need to talk about the attack that happened yesterday,” Inko said, gesturing for Izuku to sit next to her on the couch.
“I told you I’m fine, Mom,” Izuku said quickly, plastering a smile on his face. “Recovery Girl healed me right up! It’s like it never even happened.”
“But how are you feeling, you know, emotionally?” Inko asked, concern evident in her voice. “The villain attack was scary, Izuku. I think it would be a good idea for you to talk to someone about it. I wanted you to be able to talk to someone after the sludge villain incident but no one would take you as a client because you were…you didn’t have a quirk at the time.”
“I don’t need to talk to anyone, Mom,” Izuku said, maintaining his smile though his tone started to become strained. “I’m fine, really. There’s no need to worry.
“But I am worried, Izuku,” Inko sighed, placing her hand on his shoulder. “I think it would be good for you to start seeing a therapist. I think it would really help you.”
“I’m not…I don’t need anyone to help me,” Izuku said, standing up abruptly. “Sorry, but I’m not going to therapy. I’m going on a run. Bye.”
Inko let out a shaky breath. Well, that didn’t go as planned. She hoped that Izuku would at least think about it. She didn’t want to have to force her son into therapy. It would just make him resent the idea even more. She felt so lost and she didn’t know what to do.
Izuku doesn’t know why his mom wants him to go to therapy so badly. He’s doing just fine. Everyone survived the USJ attack so it’s not like he’s traumatized or anything. Therapy is for people with actual problems. He’d just be an inconvenience. There’s nothing wrong with his life. He has a strong quirk. He’s in UA’s hero course. He has friends now. There’s no reason for him to be going to therapy. He’d be wasting the therapist’s time.
Kacchan turned the corner, his shoulders stiffening when he and Izuku made eye contact. Izuku inwardly curses at the coincidence. Who would think both he and Kacchan would be going for a run at the same time?
Izuku’s eyes are drawn to the bruise on Kacchan’s cheek. Had he gotten that at the USJ attack? He hadn’t seen Kacchan since Izuku had jumped in front of All Might so it was possible he got hurt sometime after that. Though something deep in Izuku’s gut told him it was something else though he couldn’t quite figure out what.
“What happened to your cheek, Kacchan?” Izuku asked, running alongside him. He figured this could get him an explosion to the face, but he had to at least ask. It wouldn’t sit right with him if he didn’t.
“I don’t want to talk to a loser like you,” Bakugou growled as he ran faster to avoid Izuku. “Fuck off.”
Izuku’s eyes narrowed in determination. He powered up two percent of his quirk to catch up with Kacchan. “I’ll leave once you answer the question, Kacchan. Is that bruise from the USJ? I didn’t see any bruises on your face.”
Much to Izuku’s surprise, Kacchan punched him in the stomach, knocking the wind right out of him. Izuku had expected him to use his quirk, not resort to punching him. Is Kacchan getting into fist fights now? Is that where the bruise was from? Izuku had so many questions.
Bakugou’s eyes widened with horror when he realized what he just did. He just punched Deku. He could’ve just answered his question but now the nerd was definitely suspicious of him. He cursed his impulsivity.
Deku didn’t deserve that. Just like how he didn’t deserve to be told to take a swan dive off the roof.Bakugou ignored those thoughts.
“Fuck off, Deku,” Bakugou sneered, explosions popping off his hands. “Like I’d tell you anything. We’re not fucking friends so don’t you dare talk to me! Got it?”
“Yeah,” Deku said sadly. “I got it.”
Dabi didn’t like that Hawks was here, watching him spar with Shinso. It’s like the bird didn’t trust him to be a good teacher. He’s pissed that Hawks essentially blackmailed him to pretend to enjoy Hawk’s company.
“Good work brat,” Dabi said as he helped Shinso off the ground from their latest spar. “Your hand-to-hand combat skills are improving significantly. You’re on the right track, kid.”
Shinso just nodded as he reached for his water bottle. Dabi still worried for Shinso’s safety at home, but the kid was quiet and didn’t say much to him about his home life except for Dabi had overheard that first night. “You good to go home?” Dabi asked hesitantly.
“Yeah,” Shinso said with a shrug. Dabi hated how he still couldn’t get a decent read on this kid, even after the last month or so of training him. Damn, why he’d have to stumble upon another quiet, sarcastic type like himself?
“Hey, Purple,” Hawks said, flying down from his perch on the tree above. “Next time I think you should learn how to use a weapon, maybe a staff or something. We can practice with my feathers next time. Whaddaya say?”
“Sure, sounds good,” Shinso said noncommittally as he grabbed his duffel bag from the ground. “See you guys tomorrow.”
“He’s a good kid,” Hawks said as Shinso left. He turned to Dabi. “Do you know why he has a day off today?”
“Do you live under a fucking rock?” Dabi said, rolling his eyes at the dumb hero. “UA was fucking attacked yesterday. They probably have a day off so the stupid pros working there can get their heads out of their asses and figure shit out.”
“Ahh, so you do pay attention to the news.” Hawks smiled cheekily. “You really do care about Shinso, don’t you? Remind you of yourself, maybe?”
“Fuck off,” Dabi said roughly, shoving Hawks to the side. “I don’t have to be nice to you. I just said I’d fucking work with you so you don’t arrest me.”
“Damn, sorry,” Hawks muttered under his breath as he followed Dabi out of the forest. “I just thought we could be friends.”
“Friends don’t have to fucking blackmail people into being their friends!” Dabi shouted, turning sharply with his fists ignited with blue flames. “All of you hero types are all the same. You think that because you’re so great, you can get whatever you want. Well, newsflash, Hawks , blackmailing people is fucking shitty thing to do, especially if you’re a hero.”
“I’m sorry,” Hawks looked like a kicked puppy. He deserved it. It felt nice being able to call heroes out on their shitty actions. “I still want to help train Shinso with you, if that’s okay. I won’t arrest you if you say no. I just…you looked like you needed a friend, and I need a friend. I just thought that maybe…”
“Don’t make excuses for your shitty actions,” Dabi sneered, turning around so he didn’t have to look at Hawks anymore. “You sound exactly like my father, and believe me when I say that’s not a compliment.”
“Can we still work together?” Hawks pleaded. “I promise I won’t do something like that again. Please, give me a second chance, Dabi.”
Dabi sighed. He wanted to tell the hero to fuck off but he knew Shinso could really benefit from an actual pro hero’s training. “Fine, you can help me train Shinso. That’s all you can do. We aren’t friends and we never will be, not after the shit you pulled.”
“I won’t disappoint you again,” Hawks said brightly, seeming to forget that he was ever sad in the first place.
Dabi flipped him off over his shoulder. “I’m starting my vigilante shit. Don’t follow me.”
Dabi was pleasantly surprised when Hawks listened to him and flew away without another word. Maybe the birdie was actually somewhat sincere after all. It didn’t matter, though. Dabi had been all alone for years now, only talking to the woman who owned the rundown convenience store that he worked at. He didn’t do the whole friendship thing. He never has. Especially not with heroes.
Chapter 8: Declaration of War
The UA sports festival is announced. Deku meets with All Might. Shinso makes his declaration of war.
Friday, April 10, 2246
“I can’t believe we were on the news last night,” Mina said excitedly.
“We’re totally big shots,” Kaminari said, leaning back in his chair. “Those news channels love us. We’re basically celebrities.”
“Yeah, it’s kinda crazy, right?” Kirishima agreed.
“Get over yourselves,” Jirou scoffed. “The hero course that pumps out pros was attacked. That’s what they care about.”
“I’m just glad the main villain guy said he didn’t wanna kill us,” Sero said, leaning forward on his desk. “Those villains were scary. Imagine what they would’ve done if they were actually trying to kill us.”
“Why’d you say that?” Mineta cried. “I don’t wanna think about almost dying!”
“Oh, shut up!” Bakugou yelled at the coward. “Grow a pair, loser!”
Izuku liked listening to everyone’s conversations. He was glad that no one seemed particularly shaken from the USJ attack. But as he looked around the room, he noticed the way Kaminari’s smile reminded him of his own, fake so that no one would worry about him. Even Kacchan seemed quieter than normal, not even using curse words to yell at Mineta with.
“Attention!” Iida yelled at the front of the class. “Homeroom class is about to begin! Everyone, stop talking and take your seats!”
“We’re all sitting,” Kirishima commented. “You’re the only one standing, Iida.”
“Dang it,” Iida said, frustration showing on his face as he took his seat in front of Uraraka.
“Don’t sweat it,” Uraraka said, trying to reassure Iida.
Even Iida was affected by the USJ attack, Izuku noted. Everyone was doing their best to act normal, but Izuku could sense the tension in the air. He hoped that people would begin to feel better soon.
“Morning class,” Aizawa said as he entered the classroom, a bandage covering his right eye. “I’m glad to see you’re all okay after the villain attack on Wednesday. That in mind, I have a few announcements to make.”
“Announcements…” Izuku muttered to himself. He wondered if it had to do with the Sports Festival. Was UA going to postpone it due to the villain attack?
“Due to the traumatic nature of the villain attack, UA is requiring all of you to sign up for at least one therapy session with one of our many school-appointed therapists,” Aizawa continued. “We’re not gonna force you to actually talk about the attack, but I would strongly recommend that you do so. It’s only logical to seek help when you need it.”
“Guess our parents are on the same page,” Kirishima laughed awkwardly.
“So it’s not just my parents then?” Kaminari asked.
“Yeah, my mom’s a psychologist, so it’s only natural that she wants me to go to therapy,” Kirishima explained. “She really knows her stuff.”
“You may discuss this with your classmates after class,” Aizawa interrupted. “As you know, the UA sports festival is supposed to be in two weeks.”
“Hell yeah!” Kirishima shouted, raising his fist in the air. “I’m super pumped for the Sports Festival.”
“Wait a minute,” Kaminari said, pushing Kirishima’s head back away from his desk. “Is it okay to have the Sports Festival so soon after the villains attacked the USJ?”
“Yeah, what if the villains just decide to attack the Sports Festival?” Ojiro added.
Aizawa sighed. “Apparently they think of it as UA showing that our crisis management system is solid by holding this event. Security will also be strengthened to five times that of previous years. Additionally, only your first names will be announced for privacy reasons.”
“That’s a relief,” Ojiro said, exhaling softly.
“The Sports Festival is a huge chance to prove yourselves,” Aizawa continued. “The Commission decided it would be unwise to cancel the event because of a few villains.”
“But isn’t our lives more important than a stupid sports festival?” Mineta asked, raising his shaking arm. “They didn’t kill us last time but what if they attack again and decide to kill us this time?”
“Heroes will be watching us from all over the country,” Yaoyorozu said, a determined expression forming on her face. “It is a wonderful chance for us to be scouted.”
“I know that,” Mineta whined. “I didn’t mean that the Sports Festival wasn’t important, just that our lives should be more important!”
“Your concerns are valid, Mineta,” Aizawa relented. “I also was against having the Sports Festival so soon after the attack, however, it’s out of my hands. Use this as an opportunity to grow. Time is limited. If you expect to go pro as a daylight hero, your path will open up at this event. Train hard these next two weeks. It will be important for your future careers.”
“I guess that makes sense,” Mineta sighed, slinking down in his seat. “I still can’t help but be worried about it, though.”
“If there’s no more questions, then homeroom is dismissed,” Aizawa said.
12:30 PM, Lunchtime
“Even though all that villain stuff happened,” Kirishima said excitedly, “I’m getting really excited for the Sports Festival!”
“If we put on a good show and stand out, we’ll have taken the first step to becoming a pro,” Sero added, walking over to Kirishima in the back of the classroom.
The other students began chattering excitedly about the Sports Festival, despite some hesitancy still lingering in the air. “Everyone’s so into it,” Izuku commented, a bit intimidated by everyone’s enthusiasm. He wanted to do well in the Sports Festival too, but he doubted he would actually do that well considering he could barely use any of his quirk safely. It was kinda frustrating, if he was being honest.
“You’re not?” Iida asked, interrupting Izuku’s thoughts. “We have enrolled here to become heroes, so of course we would get fired up.” Iida began moving his body in a strange way. Izuku found it endearing.
“Iida, you have a unique way of getting fired up,” Tsuyu commented. “It’s weird, kero.”
“Midoriya, do you not feel the same about the Sports Festival?” Iida asked, chopping the air with his hands.
“Of course I do!” Izuku said quickly. “But something’s been…”
“Deku, Iida,” Uraraka said, a competitive grin stretched across her face. Izuku suddenly felt very intimidated. “Let’s do our best at the Sports Festival.”
“Uraraka, what are you...” Izuku said, wondering what caused Uraraka’s sudden change in demeanor.
“Everyone, I’m gonna do my best!” Uraraka shouted, pumping her fist in the air, which excited similar shouts of excitement from Iida, Mina, and Tsuyu, who were standing nearby.
“We should head to lunch now,” Iida said. “It is important that we arrive on time to the cafeteria. We mustn’t keep Lunch Rush waiting.”
As Iida, Izuku, and Uraraka walked together to the cafeteria, Izuku couldn’t help but wonder why Uraraka wanted to become a hero. He realized he never asked her, even though Iida gave them his reasoning for becoming one. Izuku wanted to know what caused Uraraka to get all fired up all of a sudden.
“Uraraka, why did you want to come to UA and be a hero?” Izuku asked as they walked.
“Huh, um…because…” Uraraka took a deep breath. She wouldn’t say that she’s ashamed of her reason for becoming a hero, but Deku and Iida’s reasons for becoming heroes were so noble. It was hard not to compare herself to them. “I want to be a hero for the money.” Uraraka shut her eyes, hoping that they wouldn’t think less of her for her reasoning.
“For the money?” Deku repeated. “You want to be a hero for the money?”
“To boil it down simply, yes,” Uraraka’s face flushed as she awkwardly rubbed the back of her neck. “Sorry it’s such an unwholesome reason.You two have such admirable motivations. It’s embarrassing.” She braced herself for criticism, like the kind her classmates gave her in middle school.
“Why?” Iida asked, shocking Uraraka. “How is having a goal to support your livelihood not admirable?”
“Right,” Deku agreed. “But it is unexpected.”
Despite their kind words, Uraraka still felt judged. “My family owns a construction company,” Uraraka began, “but we haven’t gotten any work at all, so we’re flat broke. This isn’t really something to tell other people though…”
“Construction…” Iida said, seeming to be deep in thought.
A lightbulb seemed to go off in Deku’s head. “With her quirk, if she gets her license, then it’d bring costs way down, right?”
“She could make any raw material float,” Iida agreed, seeming to catch on to Deku’s train of thought. “They wouldn’t need any heavy equipment.”
“Right? That’s what I told Dad when I was little,” Uraraka exclaimed enthusiastically. Suddenly, her enthusiasm sapped right out of her at the memory of her father. “But…”
“You want to work for us?” Her dad asked.
“Yeah,” A five year old Uraraka said determinedly as she ran to her father with tears in her eyes. “When I get big, I’ll help you and Mommy!”
Her father smiled, leaning down to ruffle her hair. “I appreciate the thought, Ochako. But as your dad, I’d be much happier if you could achieve your dream. When that happens, you can take us to Hawaii!”
“Daddy…” Uraraka cried.
Uraraka ignored the flashback, shaking her head as clenched onto the fabric of her skirt. “I’ll definitely become a hero and make money and let my parents take it easy.”
“Bravo!” Iida cheered, clapping his hands for his friend. “Uraraka, bravo!”
Izuku couldn’t help but look at Uraraka in a new light. She was so driven. She knew actually what she had to do to achieve her goal. He wanted to be more like her. He felt a blush rise to his cheeks.
All Might’s signature laugh broke Izuku out of his thoughts. “Young Midoriya is here!” All Might announced, pointing at Izuku. Uraraka and Iida looked on in shock.
“All Might, what’s the matter?” Izuku asked.
“Lunch!” All Might said, pointing at the lunch sack in his hand. “Wanna eat together?”
Izuku looked to Uraraka and Iida for permission. When Iida nodded for him to go ahead, he turned to All Might. “I’d love to.” He said, walking with All Might to his office.
“Why’d you want to eat together, All Might?” Izuku asked once they got to All Might’s office. “Is it about One For All?”
“I can now only use my quirk for about fifty minutes a day,” All Might confessed. “Even that’s pushing it, if I’m being honest.”
“Only fifty minutes?” Izuku echoed.
“Yeah,” All Might confirmed, pouring tea for the both of them. “That nomu was a tough opponent, and I was already at my limit that day from doing irresponsible hero work that morning. Nedzu chewed me out already for that, don’t worry.” All Might chuckled ruefully.
“How long can you maintain your hero form then? Is it enough to teach classes?”
“I can barely maintain my muscle form for an hour and half, give or take,” All Might sighed, handing Izuku a cup of tea. “Have some tea.”
“Now, about the Sports Festival,” All Might said, “I don’t want you to feel pressured to perform to a certain standard. I want you to do your best, that’s all that matters. But I wanted to talk to you about how you’re coming along with your quirk. I know you injured yourself during the USJ attack, but I know that you were in a really scary situation that I hope won’t happen again while you’re still a student. But have you thought about how to improve your quirk for the Sports Festival?”
“I need to up the amount of power I can use,” Izuku said, deep in thought. “I can only control about two percent right now. It’s so frustrating. I wish I could do more. Also, it takes a long time to switch my quirk between different body parts.”
“I see,” All Might said, rubbing his chin. “It seems like Young Kaminari is having similar issues when it comes to learning control and raising his limits. It might benefit you to train with him.”
“You think so?”
“I think it would be a good start, yeah,” All Might said, standing up from his spot on the couch. “Now, I have something else to talk to you about, if you don’t mind. I don’t want to scare you, but frankly I don’t have much time left as the Symbol of Peace, and some villains are starting to realize that.”
“No way,” Izuku breathed.
“I passed on my power to you so you could succeed me,” All Might said. “Of course, it’s important for you to become your own hero. It’s important that you use the Sports Festival to show the world what kind of hero you want to be, and announce to the world that you are here.”
“I am here,” Izuku repeated worriedly. “But how…I’m so far behind the others. I’ll never stand out.”
“Midoriya, give yourself some more credit,” All Might said, placing a reassuring hand on his shoulder. “You’ve come a long way with your quirk, and you still have two more weeks to train, not to mention your skills in analysis. I think you’ll do just fine in the Sports Festival.”
“It’s also kinda hard to get into the spirit of things after what just happened,” Izuku confessed. “I’m sorry I’m not more excited about it.”
“You don’t have to be sorry, my boy,” All Might said, sitting back down on the couch. “I just wanted to encourage you. It’s okay if you’re not ready to take up the mantle just yet. It’s only your first year. You’ll have time to become the hero you want to be and figure out exactly what that means for you. However, I hope you don’t forget how you felt on the beach that day.”
“I didn’t forget,” Izuku said, staring at his hand. “I want to be a hero who saves others with a smile, and I want to stand out at the sports festival. It’s just not my priority right now. I just want to get stronger for the future. I’ll take your advice on training with Kaminari.”
“That’s all I ask of you, Midoriya,” All Might said, walking Izuku to the door. “I just want you to do your best. This first festival is important for you to make connections with heroes who could employ you in the future. I want you to forge your own path, kid.”
“I’ll do my best,” Izuku said with a smile. “Thanks for encouraging me, All Might.”
“Anytime, kid,” All Might said. “Now, go catch the last bit of lunch with your friends.”
4:10 PM, After School
“Hey, Kaminari,” Izuku said nervously as he approached Kaminari’s desk. “Do you have any plans for training for the Sports Festival?”
“Nah, I was just planning on training by myself since my quirk kinda hurts people if they get too close,” Kaminari said, rubbing the back of his neck. “What’s up? Did ya need something?”
“I was talking to A–Yagi-sensei. He’s, uh, kinda my mentor? I think?” Izuku stuttered, nervous to be talking to someone besides Iida and Uraraka. “Um, anyway, he said that since we’re both working on controlling our power output and just, um, you know, being able to handle more of our quirks without the negative side effects, um, he said that it’d be smart for both of us to train together. Uh, obviously you don’t have to, though! Just, um, pretend I didn’t say anything. Sorry.” Izuku’s voice trailed off at the end.
“That sounds like a great idea, Mido,” Kaminari said, flashing Izuku a grin and a thumbs up. “You seem like you’re a pretty smart guy so working with you should be way better than figuring out stuff on my own.”
“Oh, um, thanks,” Izuku flushed in embarrassment, not being used to taking a compliment. “We could train together tomorrow during the open gym period.”
“Roger that!” Kaminari gave him another thumbs up. “You’re pretty cool, Mido. Looking forward to having a cute guy like you teaching me a thing or too.”
“Oh, I, um, I’m not…” Izuku didn’t know what to say to Kaminari’s comment. It didn’t make him feel uncomfortable or anything. He just wasn’t interested in Kaminari that way.
“Hey, man, don’t worry,” Kaminari chuckled awkwardly. “I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable. I kinda flirt with everyone so it’s okay. I’m chill with being friends, dude.”
Izuku breathed out a sigh of relief. He’s glad he didn’t hurt Kaminari’s feelings or anything. “Yeah, um, friends.”
“You ready to leave, Deku?” Uraraka bounded over to Izuku, Iida trailing just behind her. “We’re ready to head out if you are.”
“Um, yeah,” Izuku said with a nod. “I’ll talk to you later, Kaminari.”
“Bye, Mido,” Kaminari said, waving Izuku and his friends goodbye.
Uraraka let out an audible gasp as she opened the door to reveal a horde of UA students waiting outside their classroom door. “What’s going on?” She shrieked in surprise.
“What business do you have with Class 1A?” Iida asked, chopping his hands through the air.
“We can’t get out,” Mineta said angrily, pumping his fist in the air. “What’d you come here for anyway?”
“Scouting out the enemy, small fry. We’re the ones who made it through a villain attack. They probably wanna check us out before the Sports Festival.” Bakugou scoffed as he walked past Mineta towards the door. He glared at the students blocking his path. “There’s no point in doing shit like that. Out of my way, extras.”
“Stop calling people extras just because you don’t know them!” Iida scolded, chopping his arm through the air faster.
“I came here to see what the famous Class 1A was like,” said a purple haired general education student as he shoved his way through the crowd. “But you seem pretty arrogant.” The boy said, locking eyes with Bakugou, a stern expression etched onto his face.
“Who’s that?” Kaminari whispered to Jirou. She shrugged in response.
“Are all the students in the hero course like this?” The purple haired boy said, rubbing his neck tiredly. “Seeing something like this makes me disillusioned. There are quite a few people enrolled in general studies or other courses because they didn’t make it into the hero course. Did you know that?”
Bakugou glared at the purple haired general education student. Izuku swallowed thickly, wondering if he was gonna witness Bakugou getting into a fight. He sure hoped that this encounter would end peacefully.
“The school has left those of us a chance,” The purple haired student said, glaring right back at Bakugou. He removed the hand from his neck, squaring his shoulders back confidently. “Depending on the results from the Sports Festival, they’ll consider our transfer into the hero course. And it seems they may also transfer people out.”
Izuku’s breath hitched nervously. He wondered if it would be him to be transferred out. All his classmates are so much more amazing than him, so he wouldn’t be surprised. He knew All Might believed in him, and Uraraka, and Iida, and now Kaminari seemed to believe in him as well. He couldn’t let them down.
“Scouting on the enemy?” The purple haired boy’s eyes scanned over Izuku and his classmates. “I, at least, came to say that even if you’re in the hero course, if you get too carried away, I’ll sweep your feet out from under you. I came with a declaration of war.”
Bakugou and the purple haired boy continued to glare at each other for a few more seconds before another student interrupted their little feud. “Hey!” The silver haired student shouted. “I’m from Class 1B next door! I heard you fought some villains, so I came to hear ‘bout it. Don’t get so full of yourselves! If you bark too much, it’ll be embarrassing durin’ the real fight!”
Bakugou gave the student from Class 1B a rather unimpressed look before shoving past the horde of students blocking the door and continuing his way down the hallway.
“Hey, don’t ignore me, you bastard!” The silver haired student shouted angrily.
“Wait a minute, Bakugou!” Kirishima called out in frustration, running to the door. “What’re you gonna do about all this? It’s your fault that everyone is hating on us like this!”
“It doesn’t matter,” Bakugou stated coldly. “It doesn’t matter as long as you rise to the top.”
“I hate that that was such a manly exit,” Kirishima said, clutching his fist to his chest.
“The top? There is some truth to that,” Tokoyami commented.
“Hang on, don’t be tricked!” Kaminari floundered. “He just made more pointless enemies!”
“That’s right!” Mineta agreed. “We’ll be at a disadvantage at the Sports Festival!”
Izuku admired how Kacchan was aiming for the top unwaveringly. Kacchan didn’t care who got in his way. Even with the bandage on his cheek from yesterday, Kacchan exuded confidence at every turn. Izuku wanted to be more like him. He vowed he would also do his best to aim for the top so he could make everyone who believed in him proud. He would prove that he deserved his spot in the hero course, not to everyone around him, but to himself.
Shinso was proud of himself for declaring war on Class 1A like that. It had been Dabi’s idea to let the hero brats know that he was gunning for their spot. Dabi said that the kinds of kids who got into UA’s hero course were all obnoxiously confident, always getting exactly what they wanted. They didn’t have to struggle like he and Shinso had growing up. Shinso was gonna prove everybody wrong. He would become a hero, a hero who helped kids like him and Dabi who were stuck in the shadows. The kinds of kids who didn’t get saved. Well, he would save them.
“Did ya make your little declaration of war, brat?” Dabi called to him as he entered their little clearing in the forest.
“Yeah, one of the dudes looked pissed as hell about it too,” Shinso chuckled. “You should’ve seen the look on his face. He kinda reminds me of you when you look at Hawks.”
“Oi, shut up,” Dabi scoffed, but he couldn’t help the smile that tugged on his lips. It had only been just over a month, but he was starting to see Shinso like a younger brother of sorts. He was proud of the kid’s spiteful nature, how he wouldn’t let anyone deny him of his dreams.
“Is Hawks gonna teach me sword fighting today?”
“Yeah, if the idiot isn’t late,” Dabi scoffed. “C’mon, let’s get started with some warm-ups while we wait.”
Shinso nodded. Even if the training was really grueling, it was worth it. He was gonna wipe the smirk off that blond loser’s face and show all of those who ever doubted him that he was fit to be in the hero course. He would prove to everyone that he wasn’t a villain.
Chapter 9: Of Building Quirks and Character
Training for the UA Sports Festival. Another DabiHawks argument. Mineta asks Midoriya for advice.
Saturday, April 11, 2246
Dabi had been crouched on top of a roof overlooking a dingy karaoke bar for the past half hour. He’s convinced that suspicious blue haired guy was the same guy suspected of orchestrating the attack on the USJ. He didn’t know what he’d do with the information if he was right. He hated Shoto so he didn’t really care if his brother was attacked by villains. It probably just made the old man angry that someone would dare attack his ‘masterpiece.’ What bothered him was that he didn’t know what the goals of the so-called League of Villains are. Is it an organization worth killing or should he watch it play out? He opted for the second option for now.
Dabi sent out a blast of blue fire towards the owner of the voice who snuck up on him. “Go away, Hawks.”
“Aww, c’mon, don’t be like that,” Hawks chuckled. “I just wanted to see what you were up to. Need any help investigating something?”
“No, fuck off,” Dabi growled, already on his way to the fire escape to get rid of the stupid hero who he thought he told to leave him alone . He didn’t have the patience for this and really didn’t want to attract media attention by killing the number three hero.
“C’mon, man, I just wanna help,” Hawks whined like a child. “I really think we could be a great team, you and me. Just think about it! It’s obvious you’re trying to investigate something and I have access to the Hero Database. I can help you!”
“I don’t need your help,” Dabi seethed, climbing down the ladder to the fire escape. “I was doing just fine before I met you.”
“Really?” Hawks arched an eyebrow skeptically. “Your only friend is a high school student. You don’t have a legal identity and you look like you don’t sleep enough. That’s not my definition of fine.”
“You don’t know jack shit,” Dabi snapped. “You can help me train Shinso because unfortunately it would help him to have an actual hero in his corner. But I never said I wanted anything to do with you outside of that.”
Hawks looked like a kicked puppy. Dabi almost felt bad. Almost. The man had no regard for his privacy. It was super creepy and it didn’t help that he didn’t like heroes in the first place. So what if the guy was good looking? That didn’t mean jack shit if the dude couldn’t take no for an answer.
“Okay, look, I’m sorry.” Hawks’s voice was barely audible. “I won’t try to pry anymore. I know I shouldn’t have been so pushy, it’s just that…you remind me of someone. And that’s not an excuse, obviously, but…I just want you to know that if you do ever need anything, I’ll help you, no questions asked. I know that this doesn’t exactly make up for anything but…I’m sorry.”
And without another word, Hawks flew away, leaving Dabi wondering what the hell just happened. Why did Hawks saying that he reminded him of someone hurt so much?
“You look out for me, and I look out for you,” A child's voice whispered into his ear. “Nothing bad can really happen if we have each other.”
“You promise?” A younger Dabi asked. He still felt the pain from the burns the Commission tried to fix.
Dabi had blocked out his brief time working with the Commission from his memory. At first, he was happy that his talent was finally being recognized. Now Endeavor would finally see that he was wrong about him. He was worthy enough to become a hero. But then they forced him to burn his skin beyond recognition, even though he already had red burn scars all over his body. But the burns never had the opportunity to heal properly, forced to burn already charred skin.
Keigo was the only one who was nice to him. Everyone else gave him a wide berth, knowing that he likely wouldn’t ever graduate from the program. No amount of pushing could get him on the same level as the other kids in the program.
Dabi cleared his head. There was no way that Hawks was Keigo. They had a very similar quirk, but Keigo could never fly. They could be brothers or something. But Hawks’ pushy and egotistical nature was nothing like the Keigo that Dabi had known. He refused to believe it.
There was a reason Dabi had blocked out the year he spent with the Commission. He’d be damned if he started remembering it now. He didn’t want any ties to that place, just like how he didn’t want any ties to the Todoroki family. He’d keep running from his past, even if it killed him.
Tenko paced around his bedroom, still feeling rather unnerved by his failure to kill All Might at the USJ. He knew that his second in command was right but he didn’t want to admit it. They should’ve started with going after the Hero Public Safety Commission and started dismantling hero society from there. All Might didn’t even necessarily have to die. He just had to show the world that he was too weak to be a hero anymore and retire. The public had to know that their beloved Number One Hero was a fraud. Then they’d know the whole of hero society as they knew it was also flawed and in need of a total overhaul.
A knock sounded on his door, interrupting Tenko from his thoughts. “I’m fucking busy, Hana.”
“You’re busy being an idiot,” Hana said, rolling her eyes. “You haven’t even attempted to come up with another plan. Sensei is concerned.”
“I don’t know what to do,” Tenko whined, flopping backwards onto his bed. “The HPSC is too big of a boss for us to defeat right now. We need to level up but I’m not sure how.”
“We need to recruit people who have been personally wronged by the Commission,” Hana said, leaning against Tenko’s door frame. “Seriously, Ten, I thought you’d be smart enough to figure that out. Then, we need to slowly destabilize hero society. Attacking UA again would be a good way to do that.”
“The Sports Festival,” Tenko’s eyes brightened, a plan beginning to form in his brain.
“No,” Hana shook her head. “That event is far too public. We’d be stopped. Besides, we want to avoid non-hero casualties, and that would be pretty hard to do in a venue like that. Sensei can ask our traitors to find some information for a future attack.”
“I hate having to rely on Sensei,” Tenko sighed, frustration creeping into his voice yet again. “He gives me the creeps and it’s obvious he doesn’t actually agree with our end goal. He’s humoring me and it pisses me off.” He dusts a pillow with his quirk in frustration.
“We wouldn’t be able to do anything important without his help,” Hana said, exhaling sharply. “Believe me, I don’t like that we’re essentially a social experiment to him, but it won’t be like this forever. We need to bide our time for now while we make moves towards our goal.”
“You think I don’t know that?” Tenko snapped, standing up abruptly. “I know what Sensei’s aim is. I’m not stupid. It doesn’t make me any less mad though.”
“Yeah, it pisses me off too,” Hana sighs as she turns around to exit the room. “Well, I’m gonna research people who’ve been wronged by the Commission.”
“How the hell are you gonna manage that?” Tenko snorted. “The HPSC can’t be hacked into by some amaetur hacker like you.”
“I’ll have you know I’m more than some amaetur hacker! Show a little respect for your older sister!” Hana snapped, whirling back around to face her brother. She then exhaled slowly, calming herself. She didn’t have time to get into a fight. “I don’t need to hack into their database. People like Lady Nagant are pretty obvious if you ask the right questions. Now, fuck off so I can do my job.”
“You’re the one who came into my room, you asshole!” Tenko shouted as Hana closed the door behind her.
Tenko huffed in annoyance. He hated how his sister was the real brains behind the League, well, minus Sensei. But Sensei didn’t count. He wouldn’t be around for that much longer. He just needed Sensei’s name and funding. Then he could finally kill him like he’s been itching to do for so long.
Tenko knew that he was being called a villain. That would’ve bothered him a few years ago but he’s embraced the title now. Society may view him as a villain but in reality, he was doing everyone a favor. He was going to be society’s hero, even if they don’t see it during his lifetime. Tenko smiled. Yes, even if there was a minor setback, the plan was still going well. Soon, hero society would be destroyed. And he loved destroying the things he hated.
“For today’s hero class, you will be training for the Sports Festival however you see fit,” Aizawa announced at the beginning of class. “Four teachers, including myself, will be observing your training in four different locations based on what you signed up for this morning during homeroom. You can opt to train by yourselves, but for this first session I recommend training with some of your classmates. If there’s no questions, you may change into your gym uniform.”
Ashido raised her hand. “Why can’t we use our hero costumes?”
“Because you won’t have access to them during the Sports Festival,” Aizawa sighed. “It’s so that the festival can be as fair as possible to the students in other courses. Any further questions?”
“No, sir,” Ashido lowered her hand, her face flushed in embarrassment.
“Heyya, Midoriya,” Kaminari said excitedly as he followed Midoriya to the locker room. “Are you excited to be training our quirks? I have a lot of cool ideas, you know? I kinda wanna make a lightning sword! Aww, man, that’d be so cool!”
“It would probably be best if you raised your wattage limit before you attempted something like that,” Midoriya said sheepishly. “Also, considering you can’t control the electricity you output, it wouldn’t be very feasible anyway, unless you had some support equipment that could give you some better control over your quirk…”
“Wow, Mido,” Kaminari whistled as he took off his tie. “You’re pretty good at this stuff! I sure did hit the jackpot, huh?”
“Oh, well, um, it’s nothing,” Midoriya flushed in embarrassment, not used to being praised by others. “I’m gonna go change in the stall and then we’ll head over to Ground Gamma.”
“Yeah, I’ve been meaning to ask you about that…why do you always change in the bathroom stall?”
Midoriya stiffened, instantly looking extremely uncomfortable. “I just…it’s better that I do.”
“Oh, yeah, sorry,” Kaminari said sheepishly. He was so stupid! He should’ve known that his question would make Midoriya feel uncomfortable. He should’ve just kept his mouth shut. Midoriya probably had a reason for wanting to change in private.
Kaminari quickly changed into his gym uniform and then waited a respectful distance away from Midoriya’s bathroom stall for him to get changed. Midoriya flashed him a shaky smile and the two boys made their way over to Ground Gamma.
“Okay, so both of us need to increase the limits of our quirks that we can use without the negative drawbacks,” Midoriya stated as they walked. “It might be possible for you to raise your limit by hooking yourself up to an electricity source and start releasing electricity slowly through a conductor so there’s less of a chance for you to overload your brain…”
Kaminari tried to keep up with Midoriya’s mutterings but the guy talked way too fast for Kaminari to keep up with. He did think the idea with the battery could work but where the hell was he gonna get a battery from?
“Yaoyorozu-san,” Midoriya exclaimed as he and Kaminari entered Ground Gamma. “Would it be too much trouble for you to make a battery with some wires for Kaminari-kun to train with? It’s totally fine if you aren’t able to! I just…”
“It would be no problem, Midoriya-san,” Yaoyorozu said politely, turning away so she could use her quirk in private. Midoriya flushed and turned away as well.
Yaoyorozu handed Midoriya a rather large battery connected to some wires. “I hope this is what you wanted, Midoriya-san. Your request was rather vague and I didn’t know exactly how big you wanted the battery to be. I assume this is to help Kaminari-kun with his quirk?”
“Yes, it’s perfect,” Midoriya said with a slight bow. “Thank you so much, Yaoyorozu-san.”
“I told you it’s not a problem,” Yaoyorozu chuckled awkwardly. “I'll go train on my own for now. Let me know if you need my quirk for anything else. It’s good practice for me.”
“Alright, Kaminari-kun,” Midoriya turned to the blond. “Let’s hook you up to the battery.”
Mineta steeled his nerves, each step seeming to echo in the empty hallway around him as he followed Midoriya out of the locker room. Ever since the USJ Attack, he couldn’t get Midoriya out of his head. He was scared just like him but he still formed a plan to defeat the villains. He wanted to be more like him! He just had to get Midoriya to tell him his secret.
“Midoriya,” Mineta called after him, picking up the pace a little bit so he wouldn't lose him. “Wait a sec. I gotta ask you something.”
“Yeah?” Midoriya cocked his head to the side, confusion written all over his face. “What is it, Mineta-san?”
“What’s your secret?” Mineta asked bluntly.
“I…what?” Midoriya choked, taking a step back. “Uh…what are you talking about Mineta-san?”
“During the USJ, you were scared just like I was.” Mineta clenched his hands into fists. “But you still were able to beat the villains despite that. Everyone in our class except Bakugou really likes for some reason, especially the girls. I just wanna know why so I can be liked by everyone too.”
“I don’t know,” Midoriya answered, blinking slowly as he processed what Mineta had just said to him. “I don’t think I’m anything special, really. I just did what I had to do to keep us safe, that’s all. And I really don’t know why everyone seems to like me so much. Nobody liked me before so it’s a lot to take in, honestly.”
Mineta kicked at the ground. “Gee, thanks for nothing, I guess.”
“I do have some advice though for the girls?” Midoriya offered, reaching out his hand before retracting it, rubbing his neck. “It’s just that you don’t seem to respect them, like, at all? You kinda just treat them like…um, you know, um, like their bodies are the only thing that matter about them? I mean, I’m not trying to insult you or anything like that!” Midoriya raised his hands in a placating gesture.
“But don’t the ladies like it when I compliment their bodies?” Mineta asked, tilting his head in confusion. “That’s what my dad always told me. He said that’s how I can be a man, you know?”
Midoriya let out a sigh. “You’re making the girls really uncomfortable with your comments, Mineta. I don’t think you meant to, but…well, um, you did. And I’m really honestly not sure how well they’d take an apology right now, but…”
“Then what am I supposed to do?” Mineta whined. “I just want all the ladies to love me and think I’m cool! That’s why I wanted to be a hero in the first place!”
“Look, um, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings, Mineta-san,” Midoriya stuttered, averting his eyes to the floor. He took a deep breath, steeling himself before making eye contact with Mineta once more. “But it would be a good start if you stopped making inappropriate comments towards women. I didn’t mean to overhear but it’s not just the girls in our class who you make gross comments towards. It makes me uncomfortable how you talk about Mt. Lady and Midnight-sensei so I’m sure you’re probably also making other people uncomfortable as well.”
“Will it make me cool?”
“That shouldn’t be why you do it, Mineta,” Midoriya said coldly. Midoriya shrank back, realizing what tone he used. “I, um, I didn’t mean it like that! It’s just that, if you only want to be decent to people so they’ll think you’re cool, it’s not real. You know what makes All Might cool, Mineta?”
Mineta shook his head.
“All Might saves people because he wants people to feel safe,” Midoriya said. “He’s not doing it for fame, or money, or anything like that. He’s doing it because it’s the right thing to do. His quirk doesn’t make him cool and neither does his hero work. He’s cool because of why he’s hero, not because he’s a hero.”
Mineta’s mouth drops open at Midoriya’s speech before he quickly snaps it shut again. Knitting his brow in concentration, he robotically turns away from Midoriya, deep in thought. He had to look some things up later.
Later that evening, Midoriya received several notifications from Uraraka, Iida, and Tsu. Apparently Uraraka had formed a smaller group chat than the one they were already in as a class. He felt his face flush. He'd never had so many friends before!
Chapter 10: Dekusquad's Day Out
Dekusquad hangs out. Denki's parents fight in front of him. Mina hosts a party. The traitor is angsty and sad.
Sunday, April 12, 2246
Izuku picked at his nails, glancing down at his phone every few seconds, trying to look busy. He arrived at the movie theater fifteen minutes early. Izuku’s palms started to sweat. He knew exactly what he looked like: a friendless loser, just like what he was in middle school.
“Midoriya-kun!” Iida shouted from across the street, a broad smile across his face as he waved enthusiastically. He waited until he crossed the street to continue the conversation so he could talk at a normal volume. “I am pleased to see that you arrived here early. That is very becoming of a hero in training! Punctuality is a very important characteristic to have.”
Izuku breathed a sigh of relief. He knew his friends wouldn’t actually stand him up, but it was still nice to have the reassurance. It’s happened before. “Yeah, I just wanted to make sure we didn’t miss the movie.”
“In that case, I will buy us tickets,” Iida says, walking over to the ticket booth.
“You…you don’t have to!” Izuku said quickly, rushing to catch up with Iida. “Four movie tickets is kinda expensive and I can afford my own.”
“It’s quite alright, Midoriya-kun,” Iida said with a smile. “I have more than enough money to cover it. And I don’t want to put any undue financial strain on Uraraka-san and it also wouldn't be very considerate to draw attention to it either, so I’m buying tickets for all of us. I hope that’s alright.”
“Oh, yeah,” Izuku said slowly. “But Uraraka was the one who suggested we see a movie together. I don’t think she would have suggested it if she couldn’t afford it.” He felt his chest constrict at the thought of Iida paying for Uraraka’s ticket. He knew it was just Iida being a good friend and using his financial privilege for his friend’s benefit, but something about the gesture made him feel weird. He didn’t like it.
Iida handed his debit card to the cashier just as Uraraka and Tsu appeared behind them in line. “Hey, Deku-kun, Iida-kun!”
“Iida’s paying for all our tickets,” Izuku said, his voice strained. “It’s really nice of him, huh?”
“Oh,” Uraraka’s face flushed. “Thanks, Iida-kun.”
Izuku’s stomach churned. He still didn’t know why he was reacting this way. Iida was just being a good friend! Why was it making him so frustrated? Was he frustrated? It didn’t seem like the right word to describe how he was feeling.
“Shall we go inside?” Iida asked cheerfully. “The movie starts in five minutes.”
Izuku, Uraraka, and Tsu followed Iida into the building. The concession line was packed tightly and tantalizing smells of popcorn and nachos filled the air. Izuku followed Uraraka’s gaze to the tall glass popcorn machine behind the counter. He stepped forward towards the line.
“Midoriya, we’ll be late for the film if you get snacks,” Iida said, chopping his hand through the air.
“It’s fine,” Izuku said with a smile. “I’ll probably only miss the opening credits. I just really wanna get popcorn and drinks for all of us.”
Iida noticed the way Uraraka’s eyes widened in surprise and the way Midoriya was watching her. He smiled faintly, realizing what Midoriya was up to. “Very well. Try not to be too late.”
“Deku-kun,” Uraraka breathed, her face flushing as she turned to follow Iida and Tsu into the theater.
The line for concessions moved quicker than Izuku had anticipated. He managed to slip into the theater right when the movie started, albeit slightly out of breath from running with two large buckets of popcorn and four medium drinks. “I didn’t know what you all wanted so I got everyone lemonade. I hope that’s okay,” Izuku said breathlessly. He slid into the seat next to Uraraka.
Uraraka delicately took the drink from Izuku’s hand, blushing furiously as their hands touched for a moment. Izuku’s face also heated up slightly. He quickly shook his head and opted to continue passing the popcorn and drinks to his other two friends.
Uraraka couldn’t focus the whole movie because of Deku’s presence beside her. She didn’t know why he was occupying so much of her mind and why he kept distracting her. She felt a weird lightness in her chest that felt both freeing and suffocating at the same time, like she was choking on flavored air. It created this awkward tension between her and Deku that she wasn’t sure if Deku noticed or not.
She let out a breath of relief when the movie ended. She enjoyed spending time with Deku but being around him just felt so weird right now. She simultaneously wanted to be near him and run far away. It was frustrating.
A text from the Class 1A group chat pulled her out of her thoughts.
“Ah yes, Ashido-san’s ice cream gettogether is this evening,” Iida said looking up from his phone. “As much as I think preparing for the Sports Festival is important, it is just as important for us to bond as a class. Shall we head over to Ashido-san’s residence now?”
“Oh, yeah,” Deku said cheerfully. “I completely forgot about that! Thanks for reminding us, Iida.”
“I must admit it was Ashido-san’s text that reminded me,” Iida said sheepishly. “But not to worry! I would never miss such an important class bonding activity. It does start soon so we must head there at once so we won’t be late.”
“I wonder what ice cream Mina-chan will be serving, kero.”
Uraraka knew that she should go to Mina’s party but she wasn’t sure if she could be around Deku for much longer with all these weird feelings cropping up. But she also didn’t want to let her friends down and she didn’t want to be away from Deku either. “Looks like we’ve got a party to go to,” Uraraka said with a forced smile. “I hope she has mochi!”
“Oh, right,” Deku smiled, opting to walk by Uraraka’s side. “That’s your favorite, right?”
Uraraka flushed. How had he remembered that? She only mentioned it once when Kaminari had attempted to ask her out after the battle trial on the second day. Deku was paying that close attention to her? “Oh, um, yeah, it is.”
“We must walk quickly so we catch the train on time,” Iida called a few feet ahead of them. “We mustn't be late!”
“I know, Iida,” Uraraka chuckled as she picked up the pace. “Don’t worry. I’m sure we’ll make it there on time. Besides, being fashionably late is normal for things like this.”
“Fashionably late?” Iida choked. “Why would one ever consider being late fashionable? It’s quite rude to be late! It shows that you don’t value the host’s time!”
“You’re quite uptight, aren’t you, Iida-chan?” Tsu noted, putting a finger to her chin. “Have you ever been to a party before, kero?”
“I’ve been to social gatherings, yes,” Iida said stiffly. “Although I went to those while accompanied by my parents. I have never been invited to a party hosted by one of my peers.”
“That’s kinda sad,” Uraraka lamented. “I’m not trying to be rude, but did you have friends in middle school, Iida?”
“I had acquaintances, yes,” Iida admitted, a faint blush adorning his cheeks. “But I never indulged in the luxury of friendship. I focused on…other things.”
“Well, we’re your friends now,” Uraraka said, trying to brighten the mood. “You don’t have to be alone anymore. You can focus on school stuff and friend stuff at the same time!”
“I..thank you, Uraraka-san,” Iida said, a faint smile tugging at his lips. “I appreciate the gesture. I had always hoped I would find like-minded friends at UA and I suppose I have found them.” He spared at glance at Deku and Tsu as well. They swiped their metro passes and waited for the next train.
“I didn’t have any friends before UA either,” Deku admitted, averting his gaze to the ground. “I didn’t get my quirk until slightly before the entrance exam. I don’t want to talk about what triggered it to manifest so late but, um, well…everyone around me assumed I was quirkless. Nobody wanted to be friends with a quirkless loser.”
Uraraka bristled at the thought. “Why wouldn’t they want to be friends with someone as amazing as you? Just because they thought you were quirkless? They’re the biggest fucking idiots on the planet.”
Deku’s eyes widened as he met Uraraka’s gaze. “Uraraka-san…”
“Language,” Iida said absently, though most of his attention was now on Deku. “Midoriya-san, forgive me for my choice of words, but the people in your middle school are foolish jerks for not seeing what a great friend you are. Even if you didn’t have a quirk, you are incredibly kind and smart. I would be honored to call myself your friend, quirk or no quirk. Understand?”
Deku’s eyes welled up with tears. “Thank you, Iida-san.”
“Midoriya-chan, I’m sorry that your classmates in middle school treated you like that,” Tsu said, taking a step closer to Deku. “I faced similar social isolation in middle school, but not because of the status of my quirk. My parents worked a lot so I had to hurry home to take care of my younger siblings. I didn’t have any friends until my last year of middle school when I met Habuko-chan. If we had been at the same school, I’m sure we would’ve been friends in middle school as well, kero.”
“As–Tsu-chan,” Deku’s voice shook as he wiped the tears from his eyes with his sleeve. “Thank you all so much. I…I needed to hear that. Thank you.”
“There was a quirkless girl in my class in fourth grade,” Uraraka said, her hands molding into fists. “These girls would pick on her a lot but I never did anything because I didn’t know her. Then one day, a fifth grader came over and used his quirk on her. I wanted to help but it’s like my feet were frozen to the ground. I couldn’t move. She got really hurt and never came back to school. The teachers said she transferred somewhere else but…I don’t know. I always regretted not stepping in and doing something.”
“It’s not your fault, Uraraka-san,” Deku said softly. “You were a kid. The fifth grader was probably scary right? With a powerful quirk?”
Uraraka nodded, tugging at the hem of her skirt.
“It might’ve put you in danger if you had stepped in,” Deku said, placing a tentative hand on her shoulder. “You can’t blame yourself for that. I’m sure if something like that happened today, you would save her. Because you’re a hero now.”
“I still should’ve done something,” Uraraka muttered dejectedly. “I mean, that could’ve been you, Deku-kun! I’m not blind. I saw how Bakugou acted during the battle trial. He was that fifth grader to you, right?”
“I…yeah.” Deku’s shoulders sank. “But Kacchan wasn’t that bad. He stopped hurting me physically after the third grade for the most part. He mostly just said some mean things. But I think there was something else going on with him.”
“You shouldn’t make excuses for Bakugou’s behavior,” Tsu said, narrowing her eyes, looking off into the distance. “Regardless if he had something personal going on that made him act that way towards you, it doesn’t excuse his behavior. It’s just an explanation, kero.”
“I agree with Asu–Tsu on this one,” Iida said, pushing up his glasses. “Bakugou’s behavior is inexcusable. I sincerely apologize for not seeing his actions for what they were until now. I promise I will be a better friend from here on out!”
“I have a lot to think about,” Deku sighed. He turned his head to watch the train stop in front of them. “I guess we better head to Ashido’s party now. The train is here.”
Uraraka grabbed his arm. “Deku-kun, wait. Is Bakugou coming to the party?”
“I doubt it,” Deku chuckled, rubbing his neck. “Kacchan never really comes to events like these. He says it’s a waste of time. He’s probably training for the Sports Festival right now, actually.”
“Good.” Uraraka pulled Deku on the train, Iida and Tsu followed close behind them. “Now we can enjoy the party properly. I won’t let that Bakugou asshole hurt you anymore. That’s a promise.” A dark look came across Uraraka’s face as the train doors shut.
“You have no idea what I go through to put a roof over your heads,” Denki’s dad screamed at his mom. He slammed his beer bottle against the table. His dad usually didn’t drink that often. He must really be upset.
“And you act like I do nothing all day but sit around looking pretty, don’t you?” Denki’s mom sneered, though the tears welling up in her eyes betrayed her tone. “ I’m the one that keeps this house running, Daisuke. I’m the one who does everything around here. You get to clock out at 5pm and come home to a nice clean house and relax and watch TV! I don’t ever get a fucking break, you hear me? So don’t you dare suggest that you’re the only one who does anything!”
“That’s not what I fuckin’ said!” His dad roared, almost knocking his chair over as he stood up. “You’re always twistin’ my damn words, Akemi. I’m fuckin’ sick of you.”
“You don’t mean that,” His mom’s voice shook, from anger or hurt, he couldn’t tell. “Dai, don’t be like that. You just had one too many beers, that’s all.”
“I can hold my liquor just fine,” His dad snapped. “I’ve only had three. This ain’t the beers, Akemi.”
“Then just sit back down and we can talk about this, okay?” His mom took a step closer to his dad, reaching out her hand as if to touch his hand. His dad jerked away sloppily, but his gaze softened slightly.
“We’ve been doing this for far too long,” Denki’s dad sighed. “Aren’t you tired of this, Akemi? I sure am. We’ve been fightin’ like dogs for years now. This just ain’t gonna work.”
“You don’t know that,” His mother whispered, holding her arm against her chest like she might break if she removed it. “The counseling has really helped us. Please, Daisuke, I love you. It doesn’t have to be like this.”
“You say this shit every time,” His father snapped, turning away to walk out of the kitchen. His eyes widened when he saw that Denki had overheard the whole exchange.
“Denki,” His father exhaled, blinking in surprise. “I thought you were heading off to your friend’s party. Doesn’t it start soon?”
“I…sorry.” Denki hung his head. “I didn’t mean to listen to your…conversation. I just…I’m…it’s nothing. Sorry. I’ll be going now!” He turned to leave.
“Denki, wait,” His father tugged lightly on Denki’s arm. “I’m sorry you have to overhear me and your mom fightin’ like that. We didn’t mean to worry you.”
“I’m not worried! Honest!”
His father’s eyes softened. “Regardless, you shouldn’t have had to hear all that. I promise that no matter what happens, we’ll always be here for you, Denks.”
“I know, Dad,” Denki smiled shakily. “I’m really all good. Just got a bit distracted, that’s all! But I really gotta get going. Ashido will kill me if I’m late.”
“Have fun, Denki,” His mother called from the kitchen. He knew her smile was fake but he returned it anyway.
He dropped his smile as soon as the door closed behind him. He had about twenty minutes before the party started. He could be himself until then. For these twenty minutes, he didn’t have to pretend to be happy. He didn’t have to be strong. He could be broken, even if he didn’t understand why. There was nothing really wrong, besides his parents’ fighting. And that’s been going on forever so why isn’t he over it by now? He should be over it by now.
He knew his parents worried about him. His mask wasn’t nearly as strong at home as it was at school. He supposed he couldn’t wear a mask all the time. It was exhausting, playing a mere shadow of who you used to be all the time. Sometime between sixth and seventh grade, he lost who he used to be, replaced by the sad Denki that he now was. But he couldn’t let anyone see that side of him. He didn’t want anyone’s pity.
He just wished he could go back to who he used to be. He didn’t quite understand what happened. It’s like a switch flipped in his brain but it wasn’t quite as sudden as that. There were days where he was genuinely happy, sure, but it’s like a cloud hung over him, gently reminding him that even when he’s happy, he’s not normal. Not anymore. Something changed and he didn’t know why.
At least he’ll have fun at the party, even if he’ll be acting the whole. Kaminari Denki was a performer and the world was his stage. He just hoped he gave a convincing performance.
Tenya didn’t know what to expect when he arrived at Ashido’s house for the party. Truthfully, he has never been to a party hosted by one of his peers before so he was a little on edge. He kept sparing concerned glances to Midoriya and Uraraka. The latter looked rather angry and he understood why. His knuckles tapped on the door lightly, hoping that would be enough to alert Ashido to their presence. He didn’t want to put Midoriya on edge.
“Oh, cool, you guys are the first ones here,” Ashido grinned as she opened the door. “There’s pizza on the counter. Cheese, pepperoni, vegetarian, you name it! We got like five different kinds so take your pick! Oh, and there’s ice cream in the freezer for later.”
“Thank you for hosting this event, Ashido-san,” Tenya said with a bow. “I am honored to be invited into your home.”
“Don’t sweat it,” Ashido moved aside to let Tenya and his friends inside. “And you can call me Mina. I don’t mind!”
“Err, thank you, Mina-san,” Tenya stumbled over Ashido’s first name. It felt wrong to call someone he hadn’t known for that long by their first name, especially a girl! But he supposed he accepted Tsu’s request to go by her first name easily enough so he relented.
“Deku-kun, what are you eating?” Uraraka’s voice came from the kitchen. She was pointing at Midoriya’s plate.
“Pineapple on pizza is good,” Midoriya defended, though his red face betrayed his uncertainty. “You should try some, Uraraka-san! I promise it’s better than it looks.”
“So Midori doesn’t have pizza sense or fashion sense,” Ashido teased lightly. “We need to give him a makeover, don’t you think, Uraraka?”
“Make…makeover?” Midoriya stuttered out. “What makes you think I need a makeover? My clothes…my clothes are fine!” He gestured to his white shirt that spelled out ‘t-shirt’ and his khaki shorts and signature bright red sneakers.
“You have to admit you’re not very fashion forward, Deku,” Uraraka giggled. “Don’t sweat it, though. It’s kinda cute.”
Midoriya’s face went even redder somehow. “I…uh…thanks?”
A knock sounded at the door, diverting Ashido’s attention away from Midoriya for now. “Are you feeling uncomfortable, Midoriya?” Tenya asked as he approached the two. “Your choice of clothing and pizza are yours to make. You should not feel forced to change something about yourself.”
“No, um, I’m fine,” Midoriya’s face lost its redness, going back to its natural color. “Thanks for asking though, Iida.”
“Ayyy, let’s get this party started, am I right?” Kaminari announced from the doorway, Sero, Kirishima and Mineta trailing in behind him.
“Ashido has a nice…” Mineta started to say before locking eyes with Midoriya. “Home. She has a nice home.”
Kirishima made a beeline for the pizza. “Thanks for getting the Meat Lover’s, Mina!”
“I couldn’t forget your favorite pizza, Kiri,” Mina said, slapping him on the shoulder. “Did you manage to convince Bakugou to come?”
“Nah, Bakugou doesn’t listen to anyone,” Kirishima said, rubbing the back of his neck. “That doesn’t mean I’m not gonna try though! He was super manly during the USJ and he’s super driven. I think he just needs some help coming out of his shell, that’s all.”
At the mention of Bakugou, Uraraka stiffened. “I think he’s just an asshole,” Uraraka muttered to herself.
“What did you say?” Kirishima cocked his head to the side like a puppy. “Sorry, Uraraka, you’re kinda quiet, dude.”
“Nothing,” Uraraka said quickly. She pulled Midoriya and Tenya into the living room where Tsu sat on the couch, striking up a conversation with Sero and Kaminari.
“Yeah, and then my sister rage quit the game,” Kaminari laughed, apparently finishing up a story. “She couldn’t believe that I had gotten that good that quickly so she kinda chucked the Wii remote at the TV.”
“That sounds like something Bakugou would do, kero.”
“Yeah, I can definitely see that happening,” Sero chuckled good-naturedly.
“Maybe your sister should date Bakugou or something,” Mineta said when he walked in, most likely catching the tail end of the conversation. “Sounds like a match made in heaven to me.”
“Dude, don’t be weird,” Kaminari bristled. “She’s thirteen, dude. She’s still in middle school for fuck’s sake.”
“I’m pretty sure Kacchan would turn her down anyway,” Midoriya said, rolling his eyes. “He always turned down all the girls brave enough to ask him out in middle school. I don’t see that changing any time soon.”
“Ha, is Bakugou gay or something?” Mineta joked, only to be met with a death stare by Midoriya.”Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course! It’s just a bit weird to reject all those girls, that’s all.”
“Kacchan has always been very focused on school and being a hero,” Midoriya said carefully. “He always said he didn’t have time for ‘all that sappy romance shit.’”
“Hello, everyone,” Yaoyorozu announced as she entered the living room, Jirou, Hagakure, and Ojiro trailing behind her. “I brought some tea from home so let me know if you like me to make you some. I thought it would pair well with the pizza and ice cream.”
“I would like some, if that’s alright,” Tenya said, giving Yaoyorozu a grateful smile. “I appreciate you bringing it, Yaoyorozu-san. That’s very thoughtful of you.”
“It was no trouble at all. I’ll go brew some right away.”
None of their other classmates decided to show up, which seemed to have bummed Ashido out. “I thought Todoroki would show up, at least! I mean, I got the idea to host this because he said he hadn’t had ice cream before! Did that boy have no childhood?”
“Todoroki-kun has always been very focused on his studies,” Yaoyorozu commented as she set the tea down on the coffee table. “He is probably more focused on training for the Sports Festival. Even I had some reservations about attending, but I am glad I decided to come.”
“I’m glad you decided to come, too,” Mineta said, his eyes drawn to Yaoyorozu’s breasts. “Everything’s better when you’re here.”
Midoriya gave Mineta another sideways look, prompting Mineta to avert his gaze from Yaoyorozu entirely. Tenya wondered what was going on between the two of them.
“Umm, thank you, Mineta-san,” Yaoyorozu said with a strained smile, crossing her arms across her chest. Tenya wondered if he should pull Mineta aside, but Midoriya seemed to have it handled.
“Alright, now it’s the time you all have been waiting for,” Ashido said cheerfully, bringing out a cart filled with tubs of ice cream. “Ice cream and karaoke!”
The traitor sat amongst the group of students, feeling a longing in their heart. They wanted to be a part of simple times such as this but it isn’t possible for people like them. They are different. They have been since Sensei preyed upon their weakness in middle school. Now they have no option but to obey him. They’ve made their choice and now they must live with it.
Even if it kills them.
They remained unfocused during the remainder of the evening, vaguely remembering Ashido goading them into doing a duet with her. They complied enthusiastically, if only to keep up appearances. Privately, they admit they had a good time. They hadn’t remembered the last time they had felt like that.
But of course, the night had to come to an end. Alone, in their barely furnished apartment near UA. They looked out at the night sky and wondered why the world was so cruel. Why they could have everything they ever wanted handed to them on a silver platter, friends who saw them as they truly were, and know that in less than a year, it would all be taken from them yet again.
TW: Suicide mention
They were really starting to resent Sensei more than they already did. If only they didn’t survive their pathetic suicide attempt in middle school, if only Sensei hadn’t found them and groomed them to be a pawn in his sick plan, if only they hadn’t seen value in Senei’s goal, if they only stayed inside the little box they were meant to fit inside of, maybe everything would be different. Or maybe nothing would be different at all.
They really did feel like they were on the outside always looking in, just waving through a window. They really were a real life Evan Hansen, if Evan Hansen was a double-crossing villain like themself. They certainly lied enough to fit the role.
Another day of school was tomorrow. They had to go to therapy. What a load of crap that was. A therapist wasn’t going to do jack shit for their problems. What were they supposed to say? Oh, hey, I’m working for the villains but I don’t really want to anymore and frankly I never did? Yeah. Like hell UA was gonna believe that. That was a one way ticket to Tartarus and they really didn’t feel like going there.
Maybe they could attempt again. Yeah, maybe that would fix everything. But they were scared of the consequences, scared that it would make everything worse somehow. But they weren’t sure how much longer they could live with the pain.
Less than ten months. That’s all they could hold onto.
Chapter 11: Everybody Needs Therapy
Midoriya goes to therapy. Bakugou goes to therapy. Shinso has to deal with his dysfunctional adoptive gay uncles who can't get along. Hawks is a sad gay.
Monday, April 13, 2246
Izuku’s hand hovered above the handle to Dr. Katayama’s door. He privately resented the fact that Mr. Aizawa forced him to attend two therapy sessions after the USJ attack. Most of his class was only mandated to go once but Izuku, Kacchan, Todoroki, Mineta, and Kaminari were mandated to attend two. He didn’t understand why he was lumped in with the rest of them.
Taking a deep breath to settle his nerves, Izuku finally turned the handle. He hadn’t known what to expect when he walked into Dr. Katayama’s office, maybe a couch and a chair and maybe a desk. But the wall lined with overfilled bookshelves and various bean bag chairs scattered over the floor in an organized chaotic sort of way, a large mahogany desk neatly tucked into a corner and the myriad of plants hanging from the ceiling was certainly not it.
“Hello, Midoriya,” Dr. Katayama said from her spot on the pink bean bag in the corner. “Take a seat wherever you feel comfortable. I’m Dr. Katayama Kazue. You can call me whatever you feel most comfortable with.”
Izuku nodded stiffly, opting to sit on the beanbag furthest away from her. If she was fazed by his attempt at creating distance, she didn’t show it. “What brings you here today?” She asked with a warm smile.
“I was forced to come here by Mr. Aizawa,” Izuku said, shuffling in his seat. “Because of the USJ attack. But I’m fine so I really just feel like I’m wasting your time.”
“What makes you think you’re wasting my time, Midoriya?”
Izuku opened his mouth but then immediately closed it. He pondered the question for a few moments, unsure of his answer. “I don’t know. Probably because other people have it worse than me, probably. I mean, no one died or really got all that hurt so I’m okay.”
“Would you say the same thing about your other classmates? Are they just wasting their therapists’ time as well?”
“Of course not!” Izuku said quickly, offended that Dr. Katayama would suggest such a thing.
“Then why do you think you don’t deserve help but your classmates do?” Dr. Katayama maintained the same even tone, the same slight smile pulling at her lips, her brown eyes open and kind. “What makes you different from them?”
“I…” Izuku didn’t know how to continue that sentence. It’s not something he thought of before. He always just accepted it as fact that he wasn’t as deserving as other people. “Nobody, um, well, nobody ever told me that I mattered, not until recently. I mean, except my mom. But my mom has to do that because she’s my mom, you know? I’m not special or important or anything like that. Everyone else has always been so much better than me so…”
“Nobody is any more important than anyone else.” Dr. Katayama’s voice was gentle. “Usually this kind of thinking is a product of being put down a lot while growing up. Did that ever happen to you, Midoriya?”
Izuku shrank down in his seat. “Maybe,” He mumbled. “But it really wasn’t that bad though! I mean, I was just a useless Deku after all. I probably deserved it.”
“You didn’t deserve to be treated that way,” Dr. Katayama said, shaking her head sadly. “Nobody does. I read your file. It says your quirk didn’t manifest until recently.”
“Yeah, but I…” Izuku’s voice trailed off, unsure where that sentence would take him.
“Just because you were quirkless doesn’t mean you didn’t have the same worth as kids with quirks,” Dr. Katayama said softly. “Don’t you agree? Your value isn’t tied to what you can or can’t do. You have value because you’re a person and that should be enough.”
“But without a quirk I couldn’t be a hero,” Izuku protested, flashbacking to All Might’s words to him on the rooftop, what he would’ve done if he hadn’t heard Kacchan’s explosions in the distance. “I wouldn’t be able to help anyone. I would just be a liability. I would make everything worse.”
“You’re worth more than what you can give to others,” was Dr. Katayama’s final statement for the day. “We’ll meet again after the Sports Festival. Email me a time that will work best for you.”
Izuku was not fully present during his walk back to class. He couldn’t stop thinking about what Dr. Katayama said. You’re worth more than what you can give to others . He shook his head. That couldn’t be true. He would become a hero and save everyone with a smile. He didn’t need to be anything else.
He was so lost in his thoughts that he didn’t notice he ran into the boy with purple hair that had given that declaration of war the other day. Izuku quickly apologized and scurried off, not wanting to be around the intimidating boy any longer than necessary. He secretly feared that the boy was right, that he would steal one of the spots in the hero course, that spot being Izuku’s. After all, he hadn’t gotten any villain points during the entrance exam. He was sure the purple haired boy had scored at least more than that.
It was a fluke that Izuku had gotten into UA. He had just had to make up for it by winning the Sports Festival. His face hardened as he pushed open the door to his classroom, ready to train to win.
Katsuki was seething as he plopped down on the couch of Hound Dog’s office. He refused to say anything to the bastard. He didn’t fucking need therapy. He wasn’t some crybaby loser like Deku. Katsuki was strong. Strong people didn’t need therapy.
“Hello, Bakugou,” Hound Dog said with a nod. “I understand you’re here on Aizawa’s recommendation because of the events of the USJ and your problems with controlling your anger. Is that right?”
“Fuck off,” Bakugou seethed through clenched teeth. “Aizawa doesn’t know shit about me. I don’t fucking need to see a shrink. I kicked those villains’ asses, you hear me?!”
“I’m aware that you won against the villains you fought.” Hound Dog almost seemed bored. “Just because you won doesn’t necessarily mean you weren’t impacted by the event. Pro heroes need therapy much more often than you think. They win fights and still need to talk to someone about it.”
Katsuki huffed in annoyance. “They’re obviously too damn weak to be pros then.”
“Is that really what you think?” Hound Dog said blankly.
“Fuckin’ obviously! I don’t say shit I don’t mean, old man!”
“Do you consider All Might weak, Bakugou?”
“Fuck no! He’s the Number One Hero for a fucking reason!” Katsuki’s hands began to spark before he clenched them into fists, a firm grimace on his face.
“Even All Might sees a therapist on occasion,” Hound Dog said, picking at his nails. “Does that make All Might weak?”
Katsuki’s mouth fell open as the words he was about to say got caught in his throat. He promptly shut his mouth, scowling. He stood up abruptly, his hands shoved deep in his pockets. With his shoulders up to his ears, he stormed towards the door.
“We have another forty-five minutes, Bakugou,” Hound Dog’s irritatingly calm voice cuts through Katsuki’s skin. “Please sit back down. Aizawa told me that you had to stay the whole time for this session to count.”
Katsuki bristled but ultimately complied, sinking back onto the couch with a huff. “This is a fucking waste of time,” he grumbled. “You do realize I won’t be saying shit, right?”
“I never said you had to say anything.” A ghost of a smile appeared on Hound Dog’s face. “Feel free to do a puzzle or play on your phone while you wait for time to be up.”
Katsuki gritted his teeth in frustration. If he did what Hound Dog recommended, he’d be playing right into his hands. But he also didn’t want to be bored out of his fucking mind for the next forty or so minutes. He sighed, reaching for his phone inside his pocket.
Absently, he opened Twitter to see Deku’s post about therapy being a waste of time. Tch, the shitty nerd has one thing right at least. Although Deku probably really did need therapy. The nerd was such a damn crybaby all the time and he was as weak as they came. It would be do the mushy bastard to whine about his feelings or whatever the fuck they did in therapy. And Deku did try to…he didn’t want to fucking think about that right now.
“Something you want to share?” Hound Dog’s voice jolted him out of his thoughts.
“I didn’t fucking say anything!” Katsuki snapped.
“You didn’t have to,” Hound Dog shook his head. “You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to but I think it would do you some good.”
“You don’t even know what I was thinking about, you damn canine!”
“You’re right. I don’t.” Hound Dog crossed his arms. “However, it’s clear that whatever you were thinking about bothered you.”
“So what if it did?” Katsuki snarled. He forced his face to relax somewhat, not wanting to give Hound Dog the satisfaction of being right. “I’m not some crybaby loser like Deku who wants to talk about his pathetic fucking feelings all the time. I know how to deal with shit that bothers me.”
“How do you deal with shit that bothers you?”
Katsuki didn’t have an immediate answer. “I guess I work out and shit. But I certainly don’t go whine about my problems like the stupid nerd. I do things on my own like how you’re fuckin’ supposed to.”
“You certainly seem to think about this ‘Deku’ a lot, don’t you?” Hound Dog chuckled. Katsuki sneered at the man. It was obvious he was mocking him.
“I’m not fucking obsessed with Deku!” Katsuki roared, his quirk firing off in hands as he threw himself to his feet. “He just gets fucking annoys me! I hate him!”
“What?” Katsuki spluttered, not expecting the question. “Because he’s weak and he thinks he’s fucking better than me! He’s always chasing after me no matter how much I push him away! He’s so goddamn stupid. I wish he’d just…”
He was going to say that he wished Deku would just drop dead but that wasn’t what he wanted, not really. He didn’t know what he wanted Deku to do anymore. “I wish he’d leave me the fuck alone.” Katsuki’s voice came out hoarse from all the yelling. He fell back into his seat, unsure why his mind keeps coming back to Deku.
Deku was the only person who ever cared about you and you pushed him away. You drove him to suicide.
“It was his fault for doing that shit.”
Katsuki hadn’t meant to say that part out loud. He didn’t even know if he meant it. He didn’t know anything anymore. Ever since coming to UA, everything he thought he knew got turned on its head. He hated not knowing things, especially things about himself.
“What makes you say that?”
Katsuki debated answering but his eyes locked on the clock above him. Two minutes. He could wait the stupd session out now. He leaned back on the couch, a smirk tugging on his lips. He won.
Hound Dog’s face remained impassive as Katsuki stared at the clock as the seconds ticked down. One minute. He scratched an itch on his neck. Forty seconds. He tapped his foot impatiently on the carpet. Ten seconds. Five seconds. One second.
Katsuki casually got up from his spot on the couch, not even bothering to say anything announcing his departure. He only had to meet one more time and then he didn’t have to meet with Hound Dog ever again.
“You’re doing it wrong,” Hawks moved to correct Shinso’s stance. “It’d be painfully easy for an enemy to knock you off your feet like that. Yeah, stay on the balls of your feet; you have better mobility that way.”
Hawks tried not to think about his own brutal training from the Commission but he couldn’t help it at times like this. His trainer didn’t gently correct him when he made a mistake. He vowed Shinso would get a much better experience. He claimed he didn’t care about training the next generation but he wanted to do right by Dabi. Dabi wasn’t just some guy he was attracted to. He reminded him so much of Touya that it was painful.
Shinso shifted his stance, looking to Hawks for approval. “Like this?”
Hawks nodded. “Yeah, that’s it.” He motioned for Shinso to attack him with the blunt staff. He deftly dodged out of the way, not even bothering to use one of his feathers. This particular exercise was more suited to give Shinso experience with the footwork and less with the technique.
A few more rounds of that left Shinso panting and hunched over the ground, his hands on his knees for support. Hawks wordlessly handed him a water bottle, to which Shinso guzzles gratefully. He throws his head back as he hands the now empty water bottle back to Hawks. He wipes the sweat from his forehead.
“I think we should be done for today,” Dabi said, stepping out from his spot against the tree. “If you go any longer, you won’t be able to function tomorrow.”
“But we didn’t even do anything,” Shinso grumbled, pointing his finger at Hawks. “You went easy on me, didn’t you? Those hero brats aren’t going to go easy on me in the Sports Festival. What’s your problem? Think I can’t handle it?”
“If I didn’t go easy on you, you wouldn’t learn anything,” Hawks said cheerfully, lightly slapping Shinso on the back. “I would’ve knocked you out in two seconds tops. I’m the number three hero for a reason, you know. All it would’ve done was frustrate you.”
“I guess.” Shinso rubbed the back of his neck. “See you tomorrow.”
“See ya, kid,” Dabi said, walking back into the forest.
“Wait, Dabi,” Hawks called out, though he wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to say.
“Fuck off,” Dabi growled, not even glancing back at Hawks. “I don’t want to put up with your shit today.” “Yeah, sorry,” Hawks deflated. He didn’t know why he was trying so hard with Dabi. There was something there. He just couldn’t quite place what drew him into the vigilante like a moth to a flame. He knew Dabi reminded him of Touya but Touya was dead. And besides, even if Dabi was Touya, he would’ve recognized Hawks by now.
Chapter 12: On the Roof
Bakugou eats lunch on the roof. Dabi talks with Hana about Hawks.
Tuesday, April 14, 2246
“Hey, Bakugou!” Shitty Hair called to Katsuki as soon as the teacher dismissed them for lunch. “Come to lunch with us!”
“I don’t want to sit with you stupid extras,” Katsuki huffed in annoyance. He slung his backpack over his shoulder and walked in the opposite direction of the lunchroom. For once, this didn’t seem to dissuade Shitty Hair. His footsteps echoed down the hall as he raced to catch up with Katsuki.
“C’mon, man,” Shitty Hair flashed him a stupid sharp-toothed grin. “Where do you even go to eat lunch anyway?”
“None of your business,” Katsuki scoffed, shoving past him. He didn’t have time to deal with his stupid antics today.
Shitty Hair opened his mouth but quickly closed it after Katsuki shot him another glare. Shitty Hair walked away, finally leaving Katsuki alone.
He finally made it up to the roof without interruption. He took his bento box he made the night before out of his backpack as he sat down, leaning his back against the wall. It was peaceful on the roof. Nobody would bother him on the roof. He didn’t have to be anything but Bakugou Katsuki on the roof. He was safe on the roof.
He’s made it a habit to sit on the roof to eat lunch ever since middle school. His stupid followers wouldn’t ever fucking leave him alone. He didn’t even know why he put up with him. Maybe because they made him feel like he really was better than everyone else.
But still, they never let him be alone. So he started making it a habit to brush them off during lunch and retreat to the roof to eat, the only place at school he felt at peace. Because even though all the fawning was nice, he knew that he really was weak. All his strength was mere postering because he couldn’t even stand up to his mother.
The first time he came up on the roof in middle school, Deku was there. Because of course he was. Deku was always in the way of Katsuki’s goals. Even his mother loved Deku more than him. She always compared Deku to him. She wished Deku was her son. Maybe he should’ve been.
Katsuki had threatened Deku with an explosion that he never actually would’ve set off. Deku didn’t know that and scurried away, his eyes wide with fear, his body shaking as his hands fumbled with the door handle. Katsuki almost felt bad at how pathetic Deku looked. Almost. Deku was in his way and needed to be put in his place. Katsuki was better than Deku.
Katsuki is taken out of the memory by someone else opening the door to the roof. Hunched shoulders, hair obscuring his eyes, body trembling pathetically. Katsuki’s eyes narrowed at the intruder. This was his private space. He was supposed to be alone on the roof.
The boy’s eyes widened when he noticed that he wasn’t alone on the roof. He looked at Katsuki like a deer caught in the glare of headlights, doomed if he didn’t move but too scared to do anything but freeze up. “What the hell are you doing up here, extra?”
The boy opened his mouth and let it hang open for a moment too long before promptly closing it. It’s as if the idiot forgot to speak. Katsuki’s eyes fell to the singular circle on the shoulder of his UA jacket. Heroic student. Katsuki scoffed. He certainly didn’t act like one. He kinda reminded him of Deku.
“I…I can, um, lea-leave if…if you want,” The hero course student stuttered out. “Sor-sorry, um, didn’t mean to intrude. I, um, usually eat up here when Mirio and Hado are busy with their work studies so…yeah, I’ll, um, go.” He turned to walk out the door he just came from.
“Damn, you really are pathetic,”Katsuki scoffed. “I didn’t even threaten you and you’re just gonna give up your usual spot to an underclassman without a fight? Talk about being weak.”
The boy seemed to freeze up at Katsuki’s words. “I know I’m weak. You didn’t have to point it out.”
The hero course student spoke so quietly that Katsuki could barely hear him. The students’ words made him pause. He recognized his own weakness. He knew Katsuki was better than him. That was sometimes to make Katsuki feel good. But all he felt was a hole creeping into his stomach. He didn’t know what the feeling was.
“You can stick around if you want,” Katsuki said, turning his back on the hero course student. “As long as you don’t talk to me. I came up here to be alone so just don’t get in the way of that, you got it?”
The heroic student mumbled an almost inaudible ‘thank you’ under his breath before shuffling over to the opposite side of the roof. They both came up here to avoid the extras in the cafeteria. Katsuki still thinks the heroic student is pathetic but at least he acknowledges that fact. He supposed he could tolerate his quiet presence.
Dabi took a deep breath, knocking six times in quick succession before pausing before two more knocks. He waited, his breath caught in his throat. The door creaked open cautiously. Dabi exhaled steadily, stepping inside the dimly lit apartment.
“How long has it been since you cleaned this place?” Dabi made a face of disgust as he slid his finger along the dusty table in the entryway.
“Since the last time I found it necessary to come here,” A feminine voice replied. “You ask too many questions, Touya.”
“And you’re annoying as ever,” Dabi huffed. “I told you not to call me that. I go by Dabi now and you know that, Hana.”
“Yeah, whatever,” Hana rolled her eyes. “You know, pretending to be dead sure isn’t doing you any favors.”
“And what do you expect me to do?” Dabi rolled his eyes. “If I told people I was Todoroki Touya, the Commission would have my head and you know it. I’m just doing what I can with the shitty lot I got.” The two of them had somehow wandered into the living room.
“Don’t make excuses,” Hana scoffed. “The Commission is smart as hell. A vigilante shows up with a plethora of burn scars and burns people alive with their quirk. It doesn’t take a genius to put together that Todoroki Touya and Dabi are one and the same.”
“Where are you going with this?” Dabi’s eyes narrowed. “You obviously didn’t invite me here to catch up.”
“You got me,” Hana chuckled, grabbing her cup of tea from the coffee table. “My brother and I are looking for people who were harmed by the Commission. Our next goal is to take them down.”
“You know that I’m not doing this large scale shit,” Dabi sighed, sinking into Hana’s couch. “I don’t care much for the grander picture, at least not anymore. I want to help this kid become a hero to spite everyone who told him he can’t. I want to make Endeavor suffer. I want to burn people who deserve it. That’s all I want. Like hell I’m about to be involved in something else.”
“Do you think you could get Hawks to warm up to our cause then?” Hana didn’t seem surprised by his answer. “The Commission still has him under their wing. He’s obviously not happy. And having a hero on our side would be pretty handy.”
“Hawks works for the Commission?” Dabi blanched. “Was he in the Program too?”
“Damn, is your memory really that bad?” Hana laughed, flicking him in the head. “He was only the only real friend you ever had. Your memory seemed fine when I patched you up.”
Dabi’s breath hitched. “You’re telling me that Hawks…is Keigo?”
“How fucking dense are you? He looks the same, just older and has the same quirk!” Hana smacked her hand against her forehead. “I swear to God for someone so smart, you sure are stupid. At least Hawks has the excuse that Touya is legally dead.”
“You didn’t think to maybe tell me that the hero who won’t fucking leave me alone is my best friend ?” Dabi seethed, standing up from the couch roughly, his face inches from Hana’s. “What the hell is wrong with you? Did you find it funny, hearing me rant about how much I hated Keigo’s guts?” A small flame flickered in Dabi’s fist.
“I just thought you knew,” Hana shrugged, not even a flicker of fear on her face. “I mean, forgive me for not taking you as a blind idiot. I thought the famed vigilante Dabi was better than that.” She then turned her back on him, walking into the kitchen. Dabi didn’t have a great record of controlling his quirk when he got like this.
“I wouldn’t have referred to him by that stupid moniker the Commission gave him if I had known, that’s for damn sure!” Dabi roared, spreading flames across the apartment, setting fire to the couch he had just been sitting on.
Hana sighed, filling a nearby bucket with water and quickly tossing it onto the charred couch. She placed her hands on it, restoring it to its former glory. She rolled her eyes at Dabi. “I’d really appreciate it if you didn’t make me use my quirk any more than I have to.”
“Well, I would’ve appreciated it if you had told me that Keigo was Hawks,” Dabi huffed, though his anger had simmered down somewhat. He crossed his arms. “I mean, I might’ve been more willing to do your bidding that way.”
“Don’t be such a child,” Hana rolled her eyes again, scoffing. “You and I both know you’ll end up talking to Hawks about taking down the Commission anyway. We all benefit from it. You’re not a stupid guy despite your idiocy regarding Hawks.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Dabi said indignantly.
“Nothing,” Hana said quickly as she began herding Dabi towards the door. “Just promise me you’ll plant the seeds in Hawk’s brain? About taking down the Commission?”
“I’ll think about it,” Dabi muttered noncommittally before slamming the door in Hana’s face. As soon as the door shut behind him, he slid down the hall beside it, not caring if she was still watching him through the peephole.
Keigo was Hawks. Hawks was Keigo. It didn’t make sense. Keigo never would’ve been that pushy. Keigo never would’ve blackmailed him to get what he wanted. Dabi slammed his fist against the wall. He winced at the pain despite knowing he needed it.
He ended up walking around the apartment complex numbly until he wound up on the roof overlooking the night sky. He could barely see any of the stars. Keigo used to dream about being able to fly once his quirk got stronger and carry him so they could see the stars together. A drop of blood dripped down Dabi’s cheek.
He placed his hands shakily on the railing. Hana knew better than to follow him up here. She knew that he needed some time alone to process all of this. It’s not like he was gonna jump. He had too much he had to do before he died.
He originally planned on killing Endeavor after making the bastard suffer for a while. He figured he’d end up killing himself along with Endeavor. There really wasn’t any way he’d survive the firepower he needed to kill his father after all. If he’d somehow survive that, well, he didn’t have any plans after that.
But then that stupid kid has reminded him too much of himself. And he made a promise to help the kid become a hero to spite everyone who told him he couldn’t. He was gonna get that kid away from his abusive father, one way or another. Maybe he’d kill him. He hasn’t thought that far ahead. But he knew that he couldn’t abandon the kid to kill Endeavor, so that threw a wrench in his plans.
He vowed he would stay alive for Shinso. Shinso didn’t have anyone else in his corner. Hawks didn’t count. Despite being Keigo, Dabi still didn’t think he could trust Hawks. The Commission had too strong a hold on him now. Hawks and Keigo might share an identity but they aren’t the same person anymore. Dabi realized that now in a moment of clarity.
Much like how Dabi and Touya are not the same person, not anymore. He no longer craves the approval of his father. Becoming a hero is the last thing he’d ever want to do.
He still hates Shoto. But not the same way he hated him before. If it weren’t for Shoto, he never would’ve met Keigo. He never would’ve learned what it meant to truly care about another person again. He wouldn’t have been able to save Shinso’s life. Shinso wouldn’t have anyone who believed in him.
But if it weren’t for Shoto, he wouldn’t have had to burn himself alive just to escape the pain. He would’ve had a purpose. His dad would be proud of him. His skin wouldn’t have been decorated in ugly scars and staples. He would be able to cry right now, instead of the half-assed mimicry of tears, those trickles of blood leaking out of his skin.
“You keep blaming Shoto,” Keigo said, his head tilted to the side in confusion. “But isn’t it your dad that replaced you with him? It’s not like Shoto had a choice, did he?”
Dabi shook his head. He refused to think about Keigo right now. The steel railing glowed red hot, making Dabi gasp and back away reflexively. He hadn’t realized he’d been activating his quirk. No longer Enji declared him a failure. He couldn’t even handle his emotions.
Things would’ve been so much easier if Hana had left him alone after she saved him. Sometimes he still wished she would’ve turned a blind eye and just left him to die. Anyone else would’ve. But the stupid girl wanted to play at being hero.
Sighing, he turned away from the edge of the roof, making his back down the stairwell. He had a lot to think about. He wished he never had to think ever again.
Chapter 13: Side Character
Class 1B goes to the USJ
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Wednesday, April 15, 2246
“Those 1A bastards,” Neito mumbled under his breath as he passed their class on the way to the locker room. “Look at them. Thinking they’re hot shit just because they beat up a bunch of villains.”
“A villain attack is traumatic, Monoma,” Kendo chided him. “They’re probably just doing the best they can to cope with what happened.”
“But Kendo, you saw that Bakugou guy, didn’t you?” Tetsutetsu said, pumping his fists together angrily. “He was a total asshole! Their win is totally getting to their heads if he’s anything to go by!”
“I’m sure not everyone in 1A is like Bakugou,” Kendo sighed, opening the door to the women’s locker room. “Now hurry up and get dressed. We don’t want to keep Vlad-sensei waiting.”
Despite all of Neito’s exaggerated resentment of Class 1A for stealing their spotlight, he couldn’t help but feel nervous as he boarded the bus to the USJ. Realistically he knew that the villains wouldn’t attack the same place twice but he still felt uneasy about the whole thing. The last time a class went in there, they had to fight a bunch of villains. Neito wasn’t sure if he could handle that yet, especially if he didn’t have the opportunity to touch a few of his classmates first. He was powerless on his own.
Vlad led him and the rest of his class into the USJ, where Thirteen and a frail, skinny blond man stood waiting for them at the entrance.
“Today you will be participating in rescue training,” Thirteen announced. Despite the bandages that covered their back, they seemed relatively unfazed from the USJ attack the week prior. “Now as you all know, when Class 1A was here last week, they were attacked by villains. We have taken every precaution for you to be safe here today.”
“Who’s the other dude?” Tetsutetsu interrupted. “I haven’t seen him before.”
“I am Yagi Toshinori,” The blond man said, raising his hand awkwardly. “I work with All Might to teach you first years heroics.”
Murmurs floated around the class. Was this Yagi a hero? He didn’t look like any of the heroes they knew. Neito supposed he could be an underground hero he hadn’t heard of before, like Eraserhead.
“Now then, we’re going to split you up into groups to do a rescue exercise in the different zones of the USJ,” Thirteen continued. “Your teams will be decided by drawing lots because when rescuing people, you usually don’t get to choose which heroes you will be working with.”
Neito was placed with Kendo, Tetsutetsu, and honenuki, a pretty solid group.They get sent to the flood zone, having to rescue civilian dummies from the water within three minutes before they all drowned. They efficiently completed the exercise in just under the allotted time frame. Neito was proud of himself.
But then a voice over the loudspeaker echoed around them, announcing that he would destroy all of the students inside of the USJ. Neito froze in fear. Were the villains after Class 1B as well? But he couldn’t let his classmates see him afraid. He would save them! He would be a hero.
“Alright, it sounds like the villain came from the control room up there,” Neito said, pointing to the booth above the USJ. “We need to get up there and–”
Neito’s speech was cut off as the flood zone suddenly sprang to life, pulling the students inside the whirlpool. Neito managed to leap out of the water just in time but the rest of his team wasn’t quite so lucky. He screamed as Tetsutetsu’s head was pulled under water. Honenuki dove in after him.
Neito shook his head. He could save them. He had copied all three of their quirks. He enlarged his hands and screamed for Kendo to reach out to him. Kendo also enlarged her hands with her quirk. Their fingers brushed for a brief moment before they drifted apart again. Neito screamed in frustration, leaning forward again, this time latching onto Kendo’s right hand. He pulled with all his might, flinging Kendo back onto the shore.
Honenuki’s head breached the surface of the water, dragging over an unconscious Tetsutetsu. “He activated his quirk,” Honenuki spluttered as he tossed Tetsutetsu’s body onto the shore before heaving himself up as well. “I would’ve been faster if he hadn’t but we’re all safe now.”
“You said you had a plan, Monoma?” Kendo asked him.
“We need to get to the control room,” Neito said, his jaw clenched in determination. “That’s where the villain is controlling the zones. I haven’t seen any other villains here so he might be the only one or there could be others there with him. It’s hard to say, really.”
“You should do it,” Honenuki said. “You can use all of our quirks, right? You can use Kendo’s quirk to climb the wall, then use mine to soften it, and use Tetsutetsu’s to break through. It’s a pretty solid plan.”
“Right,” Neito nodded. “While I do that, you should check in on our classmates. Make sure that they’re doing okay. And the teachers.”
“You can count on us, Monoma,” Kendo said, flashy a reassuring smile.
Neito nodded again before climbing the wall to the control room. This was his chance to be more than just a side character. Today, he would be a hero. Honenuki said so himself, only Neito could do this.
He reached the top, and softened the wall before using Tetsutetsu’s quirk to break through the rest of the way. He turned to face the villain, anger brimming in his eyes. But then his eyes widened and a gasp escaped his lips. The villain was…Yagi-sensei?
Neito was about to enlarge his hands but he realized he ran out of time. He forgot to touch his classmates before coming up here. He was useless by himself, no better than somebody quirkless, somebody without any powers. He couldn’t protect anybody like this, let alone take on a villain. But he didn’t have to win. He just had to get to the control panel. Who cared what happened to him after that?
But then again, Yagi likely had a quirk he could copy. If he was here by himself, he was likely pretty confident in his abilities, so it meant he most likely had a good quirk. Neito was pretty good at getting a read on people, knowing their strengths and weaknesses, what made them tick. He had to with a quirk like his. He would stop Yagi with the bastard’s own quirk.
Neito charged, fully expecting Yagi to deck him in the face. Neito smiled as Yagi’s fist collided with his cheek, ready to use Yagi’s power against him but..nothing. A quirk was there, yes, one brimming with power and energy but not one Neito could copy. Damn it. Out of all the times he could draw a blank, why did it have to be now? Stupid stockpiling quirks.
“Fuck,” Neito muttered, stumbling back. His eyes narrowed as he charged again, this time dodging Yagi’s attacks. Why wasn’t he using his flashy quirk? Neito knew it was something powerful. He felt it. He supposed it didn’t matter. He just had to get to the control panel and turn off the zones so his classmates would be safe.
He wasn’t the protagonist. He knew that. Neito made peace with that fact a long time ago when his quirk came in. “You’ll never be able to be a hero. You’re useless by yourself.” “Give it up, Monoma. You’re wasting your time.” “C’mon, Neito. You’d be better off as a lawyer like me, you know? Stop chasing that foolish dream. It’s time to grow up.”
Neito clenched his teeth. “I’m going to be a hero!” He screamed as he punched Yagi in the face with enough force to slam him into the control panel. Neito rushed forward, flipping the switch with a victorious grin as blood rushed down his face. Damn it. Had Yagi broken his nose?
“You did good, kid,” Yagi said, beaming at him.
Neito looked at him with anger that morphed into confusion. What the hell was happening? Why did Yagi look proud that Neito had beaten him? He just foiled his villainous scheme!
“Sorry for not telling you kids about this part of the exercise,” Vlad King said, stepping into the control room. “We wanted to give you the experience Class 1A did to put you guys on more even footing without really putting you in danger. Thirteen and I were closely monitoring the footage to make sure all of you brats were doing alright.”
“So Yagi wasn’t really a villain?”
“I’m sorry if I scared you kids.” Yagi had the decency to look sheepish. “But you all did such a good job and you managed to get some real hands-on rescue experience!”
“Yeah, whatever,” Neito scoffed, turning away from the adults. He was annoyed that his teachers had tricked his class into believing they were in genuine danger but he understood why it would be necessary.
Neito was quiet when he went home that evening. Maybe his father had been right all along. Maybe he should become a lawyer instead. If Yagi had been a genuine villain, Neito is pretty sure he wouldn’t be alive anymore. He felt how much power was swarming underneath Yagi’s skin and Neito didn’t have any real way to defend himself. Sure, he was adept at hand-to-hand combat, but what good was that when he didn’t have any quirks to back him up?
Neito felt useless. That’s why he had to prove himself at the Sports Festival. Maybe he couldn’t be a hero by himself. Maybe he needed the help of his classmates to succeed. So what? He would still win. And he would make sure to crush Class 1A in the process. Those assholes didn’t know what was coming.
I hope I got Neito's character right! I'll probably go back and edit this later.
Chapter 14: Dabi's Conflict
Dabi and Tenko meet. It doesn't go well
Thursday, April 16, 2246
Dabi felt Hana’s eyes on him during his entire shift at the convenience store. It made his skin crawl. He knew that she was judging her for not talking to Hawks about the Commission. He needed time, damn it! Hana had dropped the bomb of Hawk’s idenity on him two days ago for fuck’s sake! What was he supposed to do?
Then just when his day couldn’t get any more annoying, that stupid blue-haired guy walked in. Dabi groaned under his breath. Of course the guy he was secretly investigating decided to walk into the convenience store he worked at during his shift. Of course. Because that’s how weird his life has been lately. It was almost as if some higher power was orchestrating the events of his life for their own enjoyment. Sick bastard.
“Hana, I located someone who might help our cause,” The man said to Hana, making Dabi’s heart speed up. Did the suspect know Hana? How?
“Dude, I’m at work,” Hana hissed, her eyes darting over to Dabi in the back before looking back at the man. “Can’t this wait til we’re back home?”
“Well, yes, but I was excited,” The man said, blowing his hair out of his face. “Anyway, I was thinking we should recruit the Hero Killer. His goals seem to align with ours. If we can convince him that the real problem with fake heroes stems from the Commission, he may game. If not, we can form a temporary alliance. After all, the fake heroes still need to be wiped out one way or another.”
“Tenko, what part of I’m at fucking work do you not understand?” Hana hissed, glaring daggers at the now named Tenko. “My coworker can hear everything.”
“So? Isn’t that your little vigilante friend?” Tenko raised an eyebrow. “You didn’t help him fast enough, you know? That patchwork face of his really is a piece of work.”
“You little shit,” Dabi growled, stepping out of the staff room to show that punk a piece of his mind. “I’m going to show you a fucking patchwork face, Hana’s friend or not.”
“Don’t you dare hurt my brother, Dabi,” Hana seethed, turning to face Dabi. “Tenko’s an asshole but that doesn’t give you the right to beat his ass. Unless you’d like me to alert the authorities of your identity, Touya .”
Dabi stopped in his tracks. Tenko was Hana’s brother. Hana and her brother were the League of Villains. And Dabi had just agreed to help them two days ago. Fuck. He did not want to deal with this shit.
“Hana, why didn’t you tell me you ran the League of fucking Villains?” Dabi hissed angrily. “Don’t you think that would have been nice to know before I decided to get involved?”
“So?” Hana crossed her arms, her eyebrows knitted together in frustration. “You said it yourself. You agree with our cause. Who gives a damn what we call ourselves?”
“It’s not about that stupid fucking name,” Dabi shouted, waving his hands in the air. “It’s about the publicity your name brings! You just attacked fucking U.A. of all places! If it gets around that I’m associating with you then I’m bumped higher on the priority list! Don’t you get it? It’s not just about me anymore. I’m training a kid to be a hero. If they find out a someone labeled as a villain is training him, that’s it for him!”
“You’ve really changed a lot, Dabi.” Hana rolled her eyes. “Your shift is over. Go home. We’re done here.”
“I’ll still talk to Hawks about helping you guys,” Dabi said as he shoved past her. “Just count me out after that. I can’t associate with you anymore.”
“What an asshole,” Tenko muttered as Dabi stormed past him. “Why are you even friends with him?”
“Because he’s just like us,” Hana said with a sigh, watching Dabi with an unreadable expression. “We misfits have to stick together after all.”
“We misfits have got to stick together after all,” Keigo said with a cheeky smile. “We’re both different from the other kids in the program, you know? That means we’re destined to be friends.”
“Destiny isn’t a thing, birdbrain,” Touya scoffed. “But whatever. I don’t mind you following me around or whatever.”
“We’re gonna be best friends!”
“We’re not friends.”
“But we will be!”
“In your dreams, birdbrain.”
Dabi’s heart clenched at the memory. He shouldn’t be thinking about Keigo right now. Why was everything reminding him of Keigo lately? It was annoying as hell.
Dabi arrived home to a dark apartment. Sometimes he wished he didn’t have to come home to an empty apartment. He was alone most of the time now. Sure, he trained Shinso and saw Hana sometimes at work, but he didn’t have anything deeper than a surface level connection. Hana knew his Tragic Backstory because he balled his eyes out to her when she saved him but they never talked about it again. And that’s not even what Dabi really wanted. He just wanted someone who he knew had his back no matter what. Hana and his friendship was a carefully treaded alliance. She would turn on him if she thought he crossed her or her brother. Today proved that.
Dabi collapsed on his bed, thoughts racing around his head. He could tell tonight would be a night he’d go out into the city and burn some stupid criminals to a crisp. It wouldn’t help him sleep at night, but it would provide some temporary relief.
Chapter 15: Ready Player Three
The Traitor talks to Shigaraki
Friday, April 17, 2246
The traitor didn’t know what to expect when Shigaraki requested their presence at the bar. He wasn’t even there when they arrived. They shuffled uncomfortably in their seat, Kurogiri’s yellow eyes watching over them with cautious amusement.
“Why am I here?” They finally asked, their voice coming out much meeker than they intended. While they were just following All For One’s orders to ensure their own safety, they preferred All For One to the blue haired guy in front of them. All For One was predictable. They knew they were only a disposable chess piece in All For One’s grand plan, but at least they knew where they stood. Shigaraki, on the other hand, was a total wild card.
“The young master wishes to speak with you,” came Kurogiri’s curt reply. The warp villain was hard to get a read on. He was always polite but there was always something off about him that creeped the traitor out. It was almost as if he didn’t have any independent thoughts. They briefly wondered how young Kurogiri was when All For One brainwashed him.
“I gathered that much,” The traitor said with a scoff. They didn’t like waiting, especially not after a long day at school. “But why? Any requests for information can be made through the phone. I don’t need to be here physically.”
“The young master often acts on a whim,” Kurogiri hummed noncommittally while wiping a glass. “I couldn’t tell you why he summoned you any more than you can. Shigaraki Tenko certainly is an interesting boy.”
The side door slammed open, causing the traitor to jolt out of their seat in alarm, their heart pounding in their throat. When they saw it was just Shigaraki, they breathed a sigh of relief and sat back down in their chair. They were glad he wasn’t a hero coming to arrest them.
“You,” Shigaraki said, pointing his finger lazily at the traitor. “Come take a walk with me.”
“Yes, sir,” The traitor said quickly, bowing slightly as they chased after Shigaraki.
Shigaraki scoffed and rolled his eyes at the traitor’s behavior. “Stop acting like I’m Sensei. There’s no need for honorifics. I’m not even that much older than you.” He held the door open for the traitor as they walked into the alleyway outside of the bar.
“I mean, Sensei said that you’re his successor, so I just thought…” The traitor’s voice trailed off, unsure where they were going with that train of thought.
Shigaraki stuffed his hands into the pockets of his hoodie, sighing at the mention of him being Sensei’s successor. “Tell me honestly,” He said, his raspy voice unusually flat. “What do you think of All For One, Glitch?”
Glitch paused, not expecting Shigaraki to ask a question like that. Should they be honest or say something that they think Shigaraki would want to hear? Either way, they’d be taking a gamble. But they supposed everything they did was a gamble anyway.
“He’s a means to an end,” Glitch said after a moment of silence. “Of course I’m grateful to him for saving my life, but I also never asked him to do that. I’m in his debt now and don’t really have a choice but to follow him if I want to live. Honestly, if your group had seriously hurt anyone in my class, I might’ve just let him end me because my life isn’t more important than the lives of my classmates, you know? They’re just kids.”
“You’re just a kid, too,” Shigaraki said, turning right at the corner, stopping in front of a cat cafe. His voice retained that almost apathetic drawl that he started out the conversation with. “Your life is just as important as any other brat’s. But you do have a point. Once you cross the line into true villainy, you can’t say that your life is worth the same as someone innocent’s.”
“You don’t view yourself as a true villain.”
“Of course not,” Shigaraki snapped, the apathetic facade finally cracking. “I haven’t hurt or killed anyone that didn’t deserve it. But everyone will see me as a villain, even if I’m the one who ends up saving society from all this damn corruption. And I’m fine with that. You have to be a true devil to save the world.”
“Didn’t peg you as an Attack on Titan fan,” The traitor let out a giggle. He seemed less threatening now that they had a common interest.
“Not a fan necessarily,” Shigaraki shrugged, tugging on his hoodie strings to hide the embarrassed blush creeping onto his cheeks. “Just think the show has some good points. Everything isn’t black and white. Most things aren’t. I fall somewhere in the middle. Most people do, especially most of those so-called heroes.”
“Where are you going with this?”
Shigaraki cursed under his breath. “Damn it. Didn’t mean to get so off track.” He sighed, shoving his hands deeper into his pockets. “Anyway, my point was Sensei’s plan isn’t our real goal. I’m going to get rid of him when the time is right. But for now, I need his resources to get what I want. You’re one of them. I’m taking a gamble here, telling you this. You’re Sensei’s plant, not mine. I need to know if I can trust you.” He let Glitch to one of the booths in the back where no one would be paying attention to them.
Glitch thought about Shigaraki’s plan. It certainly seemed better than Sensei’s. Would this make her a triple agent? No, that would be if she joined the heroes’ side for real, right? Whatever. It didn’t matter. Shigaraki was handing them an opportunity on a silver platter, a chance to finally do something that actually mattered for once. So what if it means that they ended up dying? They’ve finally made peace that they didn’t have anything else to lose.
“I can’t guarantee that you can trust me,” Glitch began with an exhausted sigh. “You can’t take a traitor at their word, after all. But if it means anything, I’d rather work for you than Sensei. I’m tired of being a villain in my story.”
“Even if that means you’ll be a villain in someone else’s?”
“Their mind will already be made up about me the second they learn I was ever on Sensei’s side to begin with. I might as well do what’s right by me, even if I’m not quite sure what that is yet.”
A ghost of a smile traced Shigaraki’s lips. “All I want is a society that allows people to do just that. You passed my sister’s test. Well done, Glitch. Perhaps you’ll be a worthy Player Three yet.”
“I’m Player One, if that wasn’t clear,” A dark haired woman sharing similar features to Shigaraki slid into the booth next to Shigaraki. Glitch assumed that was the sister Shigaraki had mentioned.
“I thought I told you that I was Player One,” Shigaraki grumbled childishly. “I’m the Leader of the League of Villains. I’m the face of the organization. I should be Player One.” He crossed his arms and sank into his seat, the bottom of his lip jutting out in an ugly pout.
“Dude, I’m the one that caused you to see Sensei’s bullshit and I came up with the majority of the plan,” Hana rolled her eyes. “I’m obviously Player One. But that doesn’t matter. We need to fill in Glitch on our little secret now, hmm?”
“Bitch,” Shigaraki muttered under his breath but he allowed Hana to take over the plan’s explanation. Hana was the brains of the operation. Not to say that Shigaraki wasn’t smart, but Hana was more suited to this kind of thing. Shigaraki was better at causing a ruckus.
“So, we’re going to take down the Commission.” A wide smile spread across Hana’s face. “That’s Phase One. And you’re gonna love Phase Two.”