During the first week of school, after the revelation of All Might’s true form, classes felt… weird. Something about All Might felt off, besides the fact that he looked completely different. All the kids noticed it, but no one could pin point what it was.
Uraraka figured it out first.
“He doesn’t smile as often!!” She stood up and shouted in the middle of class one day, the epiphany hitting her like a strike of lightning. Aizawa glared at her from the front of the class, and she quickly apologized for interrupting his lesson. But the second she pointed it out, everyone understood.
All Might, before, was always smiling. But now, he constantly has this sullen, not quite a frown, but not a smile, look on his face. That’s what was off.
So the students hatched a plan.
They kept Izuku out of it, because they were afraid he might slip up and accidentally tell All Might what they were planning.
And so, during the next few weeks, they all (even Bakugou. Seeing All Might not be his boisterous, smiling self is just as unsettling to him, as it was for everyone else) surprised All Might with little gifts. A piece of candy here, a CD, there, and even a big fluffy sweater from at least two people. Uraraka gave him an adorable, hand stitched, tiny, pink plush bunny, with the words ‘All M’ on the front. Some send him cards, telling him how awesome they think he is. Others cut out the middle man and compliment him straight to his face (”You have really pretty eyes, All Might, sir!! I could never see them before!!” This comes from, ironically, Tooru).
With each gift, Toshinori gets more and more baffled. His class was never so affectionate towards him before. At some points, he starts to suspect that it’s out pity. But he knows certain people would never act in such a way simply out of pity (like Todoroki and Bakugou), but that leaves him even more baffled than he was before.
He asks Izuku about it, but he’s just as confused as Toshinori.
The kids, meanwhile, begin to redouble their efforts. Because, while All Might does smile sometimes when he’s given one of their gifts, he just seems confused more than anything. They need a new strategy. Sadly, no one in the class could come up with something new. And so, reluctantly, they have to break and ask Izuku for help.
Once Izuku knew exactly what they’re doing, he began to cry. And not sweet, little tears, oh no. He starts sobbing big, goofy ghibli tears. The class started freaking out, but he assured them he’s alright. He’s just really, really happy.
He suggested thanking All Might. Thanking him for little things, like “Thanks for the great lesson today, sir!!” and “Thanks for helping me today!!”
All Might does notice the change in behavior, but doesn’t comment on it. However, he does start smiling more with every bit of thanks.
He does, however, question Izuku about it when they’re alone. “Did you notice how often the kids are saying thank you to me?” he asked his young successor, during lunch. “It’s quite kind of them, but strange. Even young Bakugou said thank you to me this morning…” He mused to himself.
Besides him, Izuku froze. “I-I-I don’t know what you’re talking about!!” He stuttered, laughing awkwardly and looking in any direction away from his mentor. Toshinori noticed the sweat running down the teen’s face and squinted at him, playfully suspicious. “You know something, don’t you?”
“N-N-N-NO!!” Izuku denied, shaking his head rapidly from side to side, a nervous smile on his face. His lie was completely transparent to both of them.
“My boy…” Toshinori gave him a long, teasing look.
“I-I swear!! I don’t know anything about the class’ plan to get you to smile more because they noticed you don’t smile as often anymore!! MPH!!” Izuku slapped his hands over his mouth, horrified. Clearly, what he’d said had slipped out by accident. But the damage was already done.
Toshnori froze, the words cutting right through him, like one of his own punches. His jaw dropped. The students… their strange behavior for the past few weeks suddenly made sense. They showered him with gifts, and compliments, and thanks. Even young Todoroki and Bakugou joined in on the plan, and all out of concern for him.
He knew his smile was important–it gave people hope in their darkest moments. His teacher, Nana, instilled that into him (fight to save their bodies, smile to save their hearts). But he hadn’t realized just how important it was even when he wasn’t in his powered form. He didn’t realize that his smile, his smile as just Toshinori, would have just as much importance to those around him as his smile as All Might was.
He had caused his students so much worry, because of his missing smile… and they tried so hard to bring it back. Truly, he still had a lot to learn about being a teacher.
Next to him, Izuku nervously sat, waiting for All Might’s reaction. His hands were still clamped over his mouth, Toshinori absently noticed, amused. But when Toshinori threw his head back and started laughing his heart out (perhaps a little too literally, given all the blood he spewed afterwards), Izuku’s hands unclamped from his mouth and stared at his mentor, eyes wide and his jaw dropped.
Long fingers found their way into Izuku’s hair, ruffling the dark strands to and fro. Izuku started, but soon relaxed, the gesture calming him. However, he was still just as confused as before. He looked up at All Might’s face for answers. All Might smiled down back at him, his grin beaming.
“I must be truly blessed to have a class as wonderful as this, to be so worried about their teacher’s smile.” He patted Izuku’s head once more. “Don’t worry, my boy, I won’t say anything.“
Izuku returned the smile and relaxed.
The next day, the students noticed that All Might smiled a lot more. Every time someone gave him a gift, or a compliment, or even a simple ‘thank you,’ he responded by giving them all wide, happy grins. No one asked Izuku about the sudden change, tho a few knowing glances may have been thrown his way.
It didn’t matter, tho. All Might was smiling again, and that’s all that mattered.