Type-2 Hero - Mad_Nimrod - 僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia (2024)

Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Quirkless and Broken Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 2: Broken and Helping Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 3: Helping and Chosen Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 4: Chosen and Discovering Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 5: Discovering and Danger Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 6: Danger and Rescue Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 7: Rescue and Resolution Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 8: Resolution and History Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 9: History and Progress Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 10: Progress and Presentation Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 11: Presentation and Competiton Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 12: Competition and Conversation Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 13: Conversation and Conflict Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 14: Conflict and Class Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 15: Class and Display Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 16: Display and Focus Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 17: Focus and Function Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 18: Function and Form Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 19: Form and Frost Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 20: Frost and Force Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 21: Force and Accolades Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 22: Accolades and Choices Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 23: Choices and Determination Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 24: Determination and Innocence Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 25: Innocence and Regret Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 26: Regret and Flames Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 27: Flames and Steel Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 28: Steel and Fame Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 29: Fame and Home Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 30: Home and Exchange Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 31: Exchange and Results Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 32: Results and Travel Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 33: Travel and Lights Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 34: Lights and Action Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 35: Action and Rest Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 36: Rest and Secrets Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 37: Secrets and Words Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 38: Words and Challenges Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 39: Challenges and Unwelcome Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 40: Unwelcome and Fear Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 41: Fear and Hardship Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 42: Hardship and Scars Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 43: Scars and Horror Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 44: Horror and Loss Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 45: Loss and Threat Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 46: Threat and Vision Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 47: Vision and Preparation Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 48: Preparation and Assault Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 49: Assault and Fervor Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 50: Fervor and Demise Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 51: Demise and Finality Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Chapter 52: Finality and Miracle Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 53: Miracle and Adjustment Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 54: Adjustment and Open Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 55: Open and Resolve Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 56: Resolve and Shock Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 57: Shock and Awe Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 58: Awe and Duty Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 59: Duty and Heroic Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 60: Heroic and Quirkless Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: Chapter 61: Quirkless and Whole Summary: Notes: Chapter Text Notes: References

Chapter 1: Quirkless and Broken

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

One voice spoke. Another voice growled. The first voice reprimanded. The second voice yelled. The first voice yelled back.

"You're more like a villain than a hero!"

Then there was fire. There was pain. And the first voice screamed.

---

Izuku woke up sweating and gasping for air. He lay in bed and regained his bearings. Judging from the fact his mom wasn't bursting into his room, he must not have screamed in his sleep. That was lucky. He didn't want to disturb her again over a stupid dream.

Not a dream.

After a moment he felt pain in his left shoulder. He winced and quietly cried as he gripped his left shoulder. His scarred, aching shoulder that was missing an arm.

"It hurts..."

Realizing the time, he quickly got up and got dressed. With almost a year's practice behind him, he managed to get dressed in the UA uniform with minimal hassle. Never did get the tie right, though. Looking himself over in the mirror, he quickly wiped his tears before heading down for breakfast. His mother, the sweet woman she was, greeted him with a hug before fixing his tie for him. Izuku gave a bit of a tired chuckle as she did.

Izuku and his mom ate breakfast in silence before he grabbed his satchel. It was a bit of a hassle using a shoulder bag, but it was impossible to wear a backpack with only one arm. As he stood up from the table, Inko noticed the pained look on his face.

"Are you sure you want to go today?" she asked. "I'm fine with you staying home another day or two if-"

"M-Mom, today's the first d-day of school," Izuku laughed through his stutter. "I c-can't miss the first day, especially the first d-day at UA. That'd just be em-embarrassing." Giving his mom a quick half-hug, Izuku dashed out the door. Inko gave a soft sigh as she cleaned up the dishes. Izuku was smiling, but she could tell it was mostly a mask. She teared up a bit.

"When was the last time you really smiled, Izuku?"

---

Izuku walked down the street, taking in the morning air and occasionally moving his satchel a bit. The morning was relatively quiet and devoid of villains, it seemed. No one payed any attention to him, and he was careful not to bump into anyone, either. He really didn't wanna deal with anyone this morning. He was nearing the train station before a red car stopped next to him. Izuku briefly wondered if this was another tourist who needed directions, but was surprised to recognize the driver as they rolled their window down.

"Yo," Kamui Woods greeted, still in uniform.

"K-K-Kamui!" Izuku exclaimed. "D-d-didn't, um, h-how are you doing?"

"The usual," the hero chuckled at Izuku's stuttering. "Heading to UA, right? Want a ride?" The thought of riding in a car with a pro hero, especially Kamui Woods, made Izuku turn red from nervousness and flail his arm while speaking complete gibberish.

"I-I couldn't!" he finally replied. "I mean, y-you're a pro and on d-d-duty and-"

"I'm off the clock," Kamui interrupted before gesturing to the empty passenger seat. "Come on, I been wanting to chat anyways." With no choice but to admit defeat, Izuku went around the car and nervously sat in the passenger seat. Kamui drove towards UA and, thankfully, waited a bit before talking. He mostly asked about how Izuku's daily life had been, how his physical therapy was going, casual things like that. Izuku was glad for that. Nothing about his old school, nothing about the...incident. In less time than the train, Kamui pulled up to the gates of UA. As Izuku thanked him and opened the door, the pro hero put his hand on Izuku's shoulder.

"Listen, kid. UA isn't like your old school. The teachers there WILL help you if anything happens. If anyone hassles you, tell one of them, okay?" Izuku just gave a quiet nod before exiting the car and heading inside.

---

Izuku looked up at UA. He had only been here once before for the entrance exam, so the sight of it was still amazing in his eyes. With a small smile, he dashed in to find his class. With the hustle & bustle of the first day, no one really noticed him. He was thankful for that. He didn't want to be judged for his disability on the first day. Giving a sigh of relief, he found his class quickly. Scooting in quietly, he sneaked past the other students to a desk close to the window, obscuring his left shoulder from sight. Pulling out his notebook, he wrote in it quietly while waiting for the teacher.

The wait wasn't long. There was a crack as their teacher smacked the podium to get everyone's attention. Izuku looked up in disbelief. He had heard UA's teachers were all pro heroes, but seeing it with his own eyes was something else. Though, he did wonder how this teacher got away with their current outfit.

"Good morning, class!" Midnight smiled as the students got to their seats. "Welcome to Class 1-C, General Education!"

Notes:

So? What do you think? ^^ I know it seems a bit down now, but trust me things will quickly start looking up for our lil protagonist. Sorry if the chapter seems short, I suck at making First-Chapters. ^^;

Also, if you're still looking for (hopefully) interesting things, I've also been posting another fic on a joint account called Cobalt Star.

https://archiveofourown.org/works/16748425/chapters/39291160

Me and a friend are working on that one, but Type-2 Hero is mah own baby. It might not be updated regularly, but I promise it will be finished. Till next time!

Chapter 2: Broken and Helping

Notes:

You want fluff? You get fluff.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

"...and that'll be your class schedule for the year!" Midnight finished as she closed the folder on the podium. "Now, today is technically a half-day, but we still got time before you kids can head home, so I'm giving you all permission to explore the school grounds. Stay out of trouble, stay out of the way, and if nothing elsestay out of the principal's office. Good? Good. Dismissed!"

With that closing word, the students of Class 1-C got up and shuffled for the door. Izuku lingered a bit longer to finish the current sentence in his notebook. Midnight's orientation to the class took a little more than an hour, but due to everyone paying attention he didn't get to see too many quirks in use by his classmates. Some were more obvious, such as the small boy with mouse ears and a tail, but overall the kids in his class looked normal enough. Izuku was eager to see what their quirks were, but too nervous to actually approach any of them to ask. He'd just have to wait for them to be used. Closing his notebook, Izuku slid it into his satchel before getting up and heading for the door.

"Wait a minute, kid," Midnight called out just before he stepped out. Izuku froze. Did he do something wrong? Was he in trouble? It was barely an hour into the first day, what could he-wait, what if she knew he was quirkless? Was she gonna get on him for that? Was this gonna be a repeat of-his thoughts were interrupted when he felt a pair of hands gently grab his shoulders and spin him around. He looked up into Midnight's scrutinizing gaze, frozen in fear. He watched as she looked him up and down...then smiled?

"You're Inko-san's kid, aren't you?" she asked.

"Y-you know m-m-my mom?" Izuku asked nervously.

"Recognize those eyes anywhere," Midnight smiled bigger. "And yep, I know your mom! We've been friends since she was a student here, though we haven't talked in forever, kinda my fault there..." She stopped talking when she saw Izuku's eyes widen.

"M-m-my Mom at-t-tended UA!?" Izuku gasped, giving a deeper one when Midnight nodded her affirmation. This was news to the stuttering young man. His mom might not have spoken a lot about her past, but why wouldn't she talk about attending UA, knowing her son wanted to go there too?

"You'll have to ask her the details," Midnight said as she quickly scribbled something onto a small notecard before kissing it and giving it to Izuku. Bewildered, he accepted the card and gasped when he saw it had her signature and a phone number along with the lipstick from the kiss. "My personal number, kid. Anyone messes with you at all, call me. If anything bigger happens and you can't contact your mom, call me. Ok?" She gently ruffled his hair as he nodded, tears in his eyes. Just like that, his first hour at UA was better than the whole three years at Aldera Junior High. Pocketing the note, he gave a deep bow before leaving the classroom. Midnight gave a smile as he left.

"Don't worry, Shimu-chan," Midnight whispered to herself, "I'll help keep him safe."

---

Izuku raced down the hall, his hand on his satchel. If he memorized the school map correctly, the Support Course Workshop shouldn't be much further. He had filled out a request form for a certain object not long after receiving his acceptance letter. Due to the non-violent nature of the object, his request was accepted, and he was told it would be ready by the first day of school. He just had to grab it from the workshop himself. He smiled as he saw the metal double-doors of the work-

BOOM!!

Both doors slammed open from a sudden explosion. The shockwave might have knocked Izuku off his feet had he not tensed up the instant he heard the noise. Only little smoke billowed out, but it was followed by a coughing girl with pink hair, soot-covered goggles and singed clothes.

"Ho-kay!" the girl laughed as she pushed her goggles up, revealing yellow eyes that seemed to have crosshairs in them, "maybe a li'l too much juice in that one! Better tone it down for the next test!" Then she turned and saw Izuku standing not too far from the door. He had not moved since the explosion occurred.

"Hey there, little guy!" she exclaimed as she hopped over to the shorter greenette. "Didn't see ya there! I didn't hit ya with any..." her words dropped as she noticed he didn't jerk or scoot back when she leaned her face close to his. Her smile dropped when she saw the look in his eyes. Those weren't the eyes of someone who was startled from a random noise. Those eyes, still focused on the doors, were the eyes of someone frozen inprimal terror."Hey," she said in a quieter, calmer tone as she gently tapped his shoulder. "Hey, are you alright?" The sudden contact on his left shoulder startled him from his stupor. He looked around a moment before his gaze settled on Hatsume. Wiping a few tears from his eyes, he looked up at her with a nervous smile.

"S-sorry," he stuttered, "I'm f-fine, really." She gave a frown, clearly not believing his words as her hand gently squeezed his left shoulder. She looked at his shoulder, clearly noticing it was missing something. Izuku winced as she did this, certain she was gonna say something about his arm. Instead, her eyes lit up and she looked at him with a bigger smile.

"You're Midoriya-kun, right?" she asked. "The one who requested that desk thing, right?" Surprised by the sudden cheerfulness, Izuku only nodded before the girl pulled him close and dragged him towards the workshop. "Awesome! I'm Hatsume Mei, and they had me work on it as an extra-credit thing after the entrance exam! True, a genius like me doesn't need extra credit, but it was fun to work on! Did you come up with the basic design yourself? Pretty smart, green bean!" The Support student kept jabbering on, not letting Izuku get a word in edgewise (which he was completely fine with), as she pulled him towards a large workbench that was already charred black and had a flaming...something on top. Hatsume casually grabbed the burning device and tossed it into a nearby can, eliciting another pop (which made Izuku jump) before grabbing a large metal case off the floor and setting it on the bench. She gave a chuckle before flipping the tabs and opening it.

Inside was what looked like a few metal bars connecting a polished wood plank to something that looked like a harness. Hatsume pulled it out with ease, gently pushing Izuku back a step before slowly lowering the apparatus onto his shoulders. There were a few curved-and-padded bars on his shoulders, with the rest of the device resting against his stomach. Despite all the metal, the object was fairly light, a fact the 150-cm tall boy was thankful for. After helping him buckle it into place, Hatsume stepped back and let Izuku try it out. At first the wooden plank was resting against his stomach, but Izuku grabbed the corner and spun it clockwise (from his perspective) until the corner was next to his chin. Then he slowly pushed the plank forward, hearing the gears click as it rotated forward before coming to a rest in front of his chest. He rest his right arm on it, noting it seemed a little high before Hatsume tweaked the bars on his shoulders a bit to lower the wooden plank until it was at a comfortable height.

"Have I mentioned how clever this design is, Mido-chan?" Hatsume asked as she stepped back to admire the device. "I was a bit curious why you wanted a carry-it-yourself desk, but after seeing you in person I get it. Now lemme show you some alterations I made myself." She gave a smile as Izuku watched her push a small button on the edge. There was a loud click as a small panel flipped up, revealing a small compartment close to his wrist.

"A spot to carry pencils and erasers. It's spring-loaded so you don't gotta worry about batteries. You will need batteries for the other side, though. That button flips up a small clock that gives the time, temperature, humidity, anything you'd need to know for outside writing. Now, I know the place you're actually gonna do the writing is slanted and all, but I also took the liberty of adding a little ridge around it so you won't get any books wet if you accidentally spill a drink outside it. It's also made from Mahogany and the bars are rust-resistant, so..." Hatsume stopped when she noticed Izuku was just staring with tears streaming from his eyes.

"Th-this is am-m-mazing," he cried. "M-m-more than I ever th-thought..." He quickly wiped his eyes and gave Hatsume a wide smile. "Th-thank you." Hatsume gave a big smile of her own before enthusiastically patting his shoulder.

"Don't thank me yet, Mido-chan. You can't take this thing off school grounds yet. Apparently the principal wants to see it used and possibly have a few more made for future disabled students, but once you can take it outside, be sure to tell folks it was made by the Great Hatsume Mei, got it?" Izuku gave a happy nod and Hatsume laughed before pushing him towards the door. "See ya later, runt! Don't be shy about coming here, I wanna know any more clever ideas you get! And bring that thing back here before you leave for the day!" She grinned as she watched Izuku almost skip out of the workshop. Yeah, he was gonna be a fun guy to hang with. However, she mentally noted she'd have to tone down any possible explosions when he was around.

She could recognize PTSD a mile away, even without her quirk.

---

The half-day was almost over, and Izuku had spent the entire time familiarizing himself with the school. He didn't really visit any of the places for the 2nd- and 3rd-year students, but even then the campus was large enough it took hours to really look at everything. Something that really surprised Izuku was how there weren't too many limitations on where students could go. Since UA was a hero school, Izuku assumed there would be places the other Courses weren't allowed to visit, but it really seemed like no one cared who went where, other than a few facilities for the Hero Course.

The biggest surprise, however, were the other students. At his old school, Izuku had seen other students get harassed or questioned for not having obvious quirks, and heknewthose students would bully someone missing a limb like he was. Instead, the other students he had seen here had let him pass without hassle, and it wasn't out of being ignored. Izuku knew what it was like being ignored. On top of that, a few older students had actually approached to ask if he needed help with anything. It was a stark contrast to his old school.

After a while, Izuku went outside, choosing to rest a bit on a small hill overlooking a PE field. God, even the grass here felt so comfy. Did one of the teachers have a landscaping quirk? He would not have been surprised if there was one. He leaned back and closed his eyes, enjoying the breeze.

Then something hit him in the chest.

He jerked up, heart racing as he looked around. Finding no one else in the vicinity, Izuku sighed and looked down at what hit him. It looked like a baseball, but had some weird stuff attached to it. Maybe the baseball club was doing tryouts? They'd probably want this back. Thinking about how the ball hit him, Izuku picked it up and walked in the direction he hoped it came from.

After a few minutes, he reached another part of the field and saw a large group of students about 100 meters away from the hill he walked on. Even from this distance he could see none of them had baseball bats. Maybe they weren't the baseball club? Izuku watched them for a few minutes as they all took turns throwing different balls (making Izuku feel a bit silly about bringing back the one that hit him) and noting they were all using their quirks as a shaggy-looking older man watched. Wait a minute. This was a quirk assessment. That meant...

"Hero Course!" Izuku gasped, dropping the ball. Quickly sitting down and folding his desk back down, Izuku pulled out a new notebook and started writing. He was too far away to get the finer details of some of the students, but they all had a huge variety of quirks that hecouldsee. He noted one purple-haired boy handed a huge guy with a lot of arms the ball to throw, while another girl threw her ball using her vine-like hair and HOLY CRAP THAT GIRL MADE A CANNON!? The noise of the cannon made Izuku flinch a bit, but it was thankfully far enough away that he didn't freeze up again.

Izuku watched them for around 30 minutes before the assessment came to an end. Izuku was a bit sad by this, as he hadn't been able to get all of their quirks down. He could guess for quite a few, but some of them (like that girl who might have had long earlobes?) were too indistinct to figure out. At the end, the man who had to be the teacher said something that made the shorter boy with grape-like hair cry out. Izuku didn't know what sorta horror that boy was told, but judging from how the boy had just latched onto the cannon-girl's leg and appeared to be trying to stuff his face into her butt while flailing around, he didn't feel too bad about it. Soon after that the teacher grabbed the purple midget and carried him away while the other students began the trek back to the main building. Izuku wondered which Hero class they were. From what quirks he had figured out, he was sure he could devise a way for some of them to improve themselves. Of course, that was assuming they'd listen to him. Everyone else he'd met today might have been nice to him, but for all Izuku knew the Hero Course students might be elitist and not listen to a disabled quirkless runt like him.

Suddenly the hairs on the back of his neck stood up and Izuku turned around. To his surprise, he saw the shaggy teacher from earlier behind him. Judging from how the man was crouched, he must have been sneaking up on Izuku. And judging from the tweak of his eyebrows, he must have been surprised Izuku noticed him. Izuku looked over his appearance once and gasped.

"Y-you're E-Eraserhead!" he exclaimed. Another twitch from the older gentleman.

"Yes," Eraserhead affirmed, "and who are you?" Izuku quickly scrambled through his pockets and pulled out his ID, handing it to the pro hero.

"M-M-Midoriya Izuku, sir. C-C-Class 1-C, General Education, sir." Eraserhead looked over the ID, making sure it was legitimate, before handing it back to Izuku.

"Alright, now what are you doing here?" The pro hero watched as Izuku slowly and shakily reached down to pick up the ball from earlier, holding it out.

"Th-this hit me while I was r-r-resting on a hill o-over thataway," Izuku explained. "I-I-I thought it m-might have b-b-belonged to a c-club so I c-came to return it, b-b-but saw you and your c-class instead. I-I saw y-you were doing a q-q-quirk assessment and d-d-decided to take notes."

"Notes?" Izuku quickly handed his notebook to Eraserhead, who took it and paged through it slowly. As he did, his eyes narrowed. Oh god, was he angry?

"I-it's a hobby of mine, Eraserh-head, s-s-sir," Izuku quickly clarified. "I-I l-like to take notes on heroes and their q-quirks. I-I originally d-did it to prep-p-pare to become a hero myself, but..." He subconsciously rubbed his left shoulder and teared up. "A-Am I in t-t-trouble, sir? I-I swear, I-I'm careful with my n-n-notes, a-a-and I never sh-show em to people, and-"

"Kid, breathe," Eraserhead finally stated. "I'm not mad. There is a lot in here, however. How long were you watching us?"

"Th-thirty minutes, s-sir!" the green-haired boy replied after checking the clock on his desk.

"And what's your quirk?" Izuku looked down and teared up more at this question.

"I-I'm quirkless." There was a short, awkward silence.

"You're telling me," Eraserhead asked, "that you're quirkless and managed to figure out this much in only a half hour?" A nod from Izuku as more tears fell. "Kid, cheer up. I'm not mad. If anything, I'm honestly impressed." Izuku looked back up at him as he flipped back through the pages. "To get so much from such a short observation time from this distance without a quirk, it's damn impressive." He closed the notebook and read the title. "Number 15? You have 14 more of these?"

"K-kinda," the greenette nervously chuckled. "N-number 14 d-d-doesn't have much in it yet b-because it's gonna be about my c-classmates, b-but I got 13 more f-filled out."

"I said you could calm down," Eraserhead looked at him. "No need to stutter."

"C-can't help it. I-I've been s-s-stuttering since..." Izuku rubbed his shoulder again. "D-d-doctors said it's l-linked to t-t-trauma. D-dunno how long it'll last..." There was a few more moments of silence before the pro hero held up the notebook.

"Mind if I borrow this tonight? And think you could bring the first 13 to school tomorrow?" Izuku's eyes widened before the teacher continued, "No, you're not in trouble, stop thinking you are. I just know a teacher here who might like to see these. He likes brainy kids like you, even if he honestly terrifies half the staff."

"Y-you think he'd wanna s-see my stuff?"

"If anything," Eraserhead chuckled, "he'd feel rather put out if hedidn'tsee this. We won't damage the books at all, and they'll be returned at the end of the day. Sound good?" Izuku quickly nodded in reply, and the hero gave a grin. "Good. Now, get going kid. Day's almost over. Also, for the record, you can call me Aizawa." Izuku's eyes widened more (just how wide could those things go?) before nodding and running for the main building. The pro hero watched him go before flipping through the notebook again.

---

Inko was busy setting the table for a late lunch. She knew Izuku would be home any minute, and would be needing either comfort food or celebration food. She was praying it was the latter. She didn't know how the staff would treat her son, since quirkless kids weren't allowed at UA when she was attending. She heard Kayama Nemuri was a teacher there, but still...

"I'm home!" Izuku called as he stepped into the apartment. Inko turned to greet him, but stopped when she actually saw him. This morning he was downcast and quiet. When he came home he had a shine in his eyes and a smile,a genuine smile, on his face. It was such a drastic difference Inko was almost brought to tears.

"How was your day, sweetie?" she asked. "It looks like you had a good one."

"I-it was amazing, mom!" he beamed as he gave her his trademark half-hug. "I-I didn't t-talk to too many p-p-people, b-but the people I d-did talk to were all s-so nice! N-no one harassed me f-for being quirkless! Th-the teacher f-for the Hero Course istheEraserhead!" Inko smiled as Izuku continued to chatter about his day, just enjoying the honest smile on his face. Just one day, and UA had changed his mood so much. Maybe it would help him, after all.

"...and my h-homeroom teacher is Midnight! A-also, she s-s-said she knows you?" Inko froze for a moment in surprise before laughing.

"Oh my, she is? Good for you both! And yes, I know her. I'll tell you all about it later. How is she as a teacher?"

"Sh-she's pretty good," Izuku nervously chuckled as he fished through his pockets. "Th-then again, i-it's only the first day. Sh-she also gave me her number f-f-for an emergency c-contact." He held out the card in question and Inko took it.

"That's good. So long as she didn't kiss it like she does for-" Inko stopped when she saw the lipstick on the card. Izuku was confused as Inko kept smiling while the air around her seemed to darken. Before long, she slowly looked toward the door.

"I'm gonna kill her."

"W-what?"

"I'm gonna use my quirk to rip her-"

"Mom, stahp!" Izuku comically exclaimed.

---

At the same time Izuku was trying to keep his mom from killing her old friend for reasons he still did not understand, Aizawa was sitting in a particular office. In front of him was the teacher he told Izuku about. Said teacher was carefully paging through Izuku's notebook, going over the notes he took on Class 1-A.

"And he took all this down in thirty minutes?" Nedzu asked.

"No quirk, either," Aizawa nodded. "That kid has one of the most analytical minds I have ever seen."

"I'm honestly looking forward to the other books," Nedzu chuckled while sipping tea. "Who is this student anyways?" Closing the notebook, the principal read the name on the front cover. His face scrunched up a bit the instant he read the name. "Midoriya? Small, green, missing an arm?"

"You're familiar with him?" Aizawa asked.

"His name has crossed my desk a few times in the past." The rat/bear/thing took another sip before handing the book back to Aizawa. "The real question, though, is what you plan on doing if his other notebooks are just as good as this?" Nedzu was certain of what Aizawa's decision was.

"If he's as good as we think," Aizawa stated, "I wanna put his name forward to receive Type-2 training."

Notes:

Ah? Ah? Whaddya think? Was it good? Please tell me it was good. XD Comments give me life, ya know?

For people wondering at the height discrepancy around Midoriya, I figure that his time training with All Might in canon might have resulted in a growth spurt, so I figured the lack of that combined with the trauma of losing his arm in the past woulda made him not really grow much.

For the desk harness, I tried to describe it best I could, I hope none of you got miffed about it. I tried to think of a college-style desk with braces on his shoulders so the weight is on those and not his neck or nothing like that.

Also, for the folks that ain't figured it out yet, I bet the quirk assessment in this chapter was a hint at a certain occurrence...or rather lack of occurrence. Can ya figure it out? XD

Dunno how soon I gonna get the next chapter up (wanna work on Cobalt Star), but I am gonna be moving forward with this too, so see ya later!

Chapter 3: Helping and Chosen

Notes:

I am on a roll. Will likely slow down soon, tho. XD

Also, apologies in advance, but there's gonna be a bit of a long segment going over the 1-C classmates and their quirks. Each student will have their moment to shine.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

It was Izuku's second day of high school. He had taken the train to school today, and got a few pitying looks from other passengers, but he didn't notice. He was both excited and nervous about the oncoming school day. It would technically be the first time he and his class would be together, giving him more time to learn their quirks...and more time for them to learn his quirklessness. He knew yesterday was actually rather nice, but what if that was a one-time deal? He didn't really get to know his classmates yesterday, so what if they were like his old classmates?

Izuku quickly shook his head. He knew his paranoia was well-founded, but he had to give them a chance. Besides, Midnight promised to help if things got dicey, and that made things immediately better than his old school. He just had to keep hoping things wouldstaybetter. Pushing past the nervousness of potential bullying, Izuku was now nervous over another matter. Inside the satchel that hung from his shoulder were his first 13 Hero Analysis books. This was the first time he had more than two on him at a given point, and he was gonna lend them all to Aizawa, akaERASERHEAD, to show to another teacher. What was gonna happen? He believed Aizawa when he said he wasn't mad, but what did he have planned for these books?

The train soon came to a stop, and Izuku quickly disembarked and continued to UA. Rushing down the road, the quirkless teen reached the gates fairly quickly. To his surprise, Aizawa was waiting at the gates. The teacher was looking at the students as they came in, looking absolutely bored. The moment he spotted Izuku, his gaze sharpened a bit and he gestured for the teen to come closer. Izuku nervously approached as he opened his bag. Aizawa watched as he carefully pulled out the notebooks and handed them over.

"P-please be c-careful with them," Izuku asked. "S-s-some have seen some action, i-if you know what I m-mean." Aizawa quirked an eyebrow as he saw the singed Number 13, but decided not to ask.

"I'll be careful," he nodded. "Head to class, kid. Depending on what the other teacher thinks about these, you might get called away during lunch. And before you think it, no matter what happens, you're not in trouble. Got it?" With a nod from Izuku, Aizawa stepped aside and let him dash inside.

---

"...and you got some free time before your next class," Midnight smiled from the podium, "so you can use this time to socialize for a bit. I need to grab something real quick, so don't burn the classroom down~." She gave a wink before stepping out. The instant the door closed, the students all turned to each other and began talking. Many students got up to walk around, but Izuku stayed at his desk, writing what he could see about his classmates. He was mostly working on finishing touches for some of the things he learned yesterday when he noticed a shadow overhead.

"Hey there," a boy said from above. "I noticed you're kinda quiet. You alright?" Izuku slowly looked up and saw the source of the voice was a normal-looking guy with short brown hair and blue eyes. He almost looked plain enough to be a slice-of-life anime protagonist.

"I-I'm ok," Izuku responded. "J-just writing."

"What'cha writing?" the boy asked, not a hint of hostility in his tone. Izuku was nervous, but slowly moved aside for the boy to see. He read a few lines before his eyes widened. "Holy crap, you're writing about us?" He might not have meant it, but the boy asked loud enough for some of the other students to hear. This made Izuku even more nervous.

"P-please don't g-g-get mad," Izuku curled up a bit. Seeing their mistake, the boy waved his hands and scooted back a bit.

"No no, we're not mad, I promise. I think it's actually pretty cool. Oh yeah, I forgot. My name is Tabata Shinichi. What's your name?"

"M-Midoriya Izuku," the greenette replied, still a bit curled up as other students came closer.

"Hey, I remember that name!" a girl with short black hair smiled. "You're the kid that threw a bag at that one slimy bastard a year ago! Hit him square in the eye! You were so cool!"

"No way!" Another boy exclaimed, this one covered in long hair like a wookiee. "What're you doing in Gen Ed? That was total hero material back then!" This question, while honestly motivational, made Izuku feel a bit sadder.

"B-b-because I'm...q-q-quirkless..." Izuku stuttered. The class fell silent at that. He knew it. They hated him now. They were gonna start bullying him and-

"YOU'RE AMAZING!" everyone yelled with glee. Izuku straightened up from the sudden shout, noticing everyone was looking at him with huge smiles.

"You fought that villain AND made it into UA quirkless?" Tabata asked. Before Midoriya could reply, he turned to another male student who had long blue hair and four eyes (with two pairs of glasses) and asked, "Yoshio, when was the last time a quirkless kid entered UA?"

"The last quirkless student of UA," glasses boy Yoshio explained in a robotic tone, "entered the Management Course 10 years ago, graduated top of their class, beating even the Hero students academically."

"You're really cool," the small mouse boy Izuku saw yesterday squeaked from nearby.

"Hey, you're writing about us, right?" the girl who first recognized Izuku asked. "You wanna know our quirks and stuff?" At this question, Izuku's eyes lit up and he nodded. The girl smiled and closed her eyes. The students closest to her gave shouts of surprise as she grew before their eyes, stopping at what Izuku guessed was around triple her previous size.

"I'm Asano Ryoko," she introduced. "I have a gigantism quirk like Mt Lady, but nowhere near as big."

"Least that means you won't break any buildings!" the wookiee from earlier laughed as he and several other students approached Izuku.

"Hey, slow down, everybody," Tabata said before anyone else could step forward. "Give the kid time to write, ok? We still got some time before class, after all."

Izuku was floored at this. They didn't hate him for his quirklessness at all. They were all so friendly toward him. If he weren't focused on writing he might have started crying. For the rest of homeroom (and in the following classes), Izuku wrote down everything he could about his classmates.

---

Asano Ryoko had a smaller-scale gigantism quirk, stopping at barely more than 3.5 meters. She had short black hair and violet eyes that glowed a bit whenever she used her quirk.

Choji Ryunosuke was basically a real-life version of a wookiee, standing around 180 cm tall and covered in long fur. Izuku noted that he loved water despite apparently having difficulty swimming.

Tabata Shinichi was the protag boy who first approached Izuku. His quirk just let him unspoil food, which was perfect for his dream of entering culinary school. This quirk also meant he was the perfect weapon against date-rape drugs, which impressed Izuku immensely.

The small blond mouse boy was Oscar Mousekewitz. Apparently his family moved to Japan along with the Draconis family, who were big-name businessmen from America. He had a tail and sharp hearing, but was almost as nervous as Izuku.

Yoshio Keiji had four brown eyes and was apparently Tabata's lifelong friend. His quirk let him read incredibly fast and retain that information with absolute clarity...which made it embarrassing to learn he sucked at math.

Sanada Kayano was a fairly tall girl with green hair and amber eyes. Her quirk let her shapeshift her head and neck to look like any other individual, real or fictional. She demonstrated this by turning her head into All Might's and singing California Girl.

Gakushuu Hifumi was a fat boy with red hair and a quirk that honestly spooked Izuku. He could turn his entire body two-dimensional, letting him slip through the tiniest of cracks despite his immense girth.

One of the more curious students was Sakai Hebi. He was a giant snake. Literally. No one knew if he was a human with a snake quirk or a snake with an intelligence quirk, but whatever he had still got him attend UA, even if he had to use his mouth to write. Izuku was most impressed at how he wore the upper half of the school uniform without having shoulders, looking a bit like an old feudal lord.

Hayashida Magoichi was a purple-haired womanizer. Apparently he had flirted with over twenty girls on the first day of high school, and they all rejected him despite his quirk of constantly smelling nice.

Moroboshi Ayame was a sweet yet snarky girl with long white hair kept in a ponytail. To Izuku's surprise, her quirk let her create and manipulate ice. When Izuku asked why she wasn't in Hero Course, she smiled (making Izuku blush a bit) and stated she had no desire to become a hero.

The unofficial Class Mom of 1-C was a fairly tall red-eyed girl named Kagaro Kiana. Like Moroboshi, she had long white hair, but kept it in two braids instead. She had huge white wings and could fly with ease.

The girl who sat behind Izuku was named Hojo Kimura. She had darker hair and green eyes, and her quirk was that her tongue could stretch out almost 3 meters. She couldn't shoot it out like a frog, but she could still control it like a tentacle.

Katsura Miki was a quiet brunette girl who went to the same Middle School as Izuku but never really met him. She wore a scarf over both eyes due to being blind, but her quirk let her "see" shapes and colors in place of people and animals. She also had slight empathic abilities, but only so far as someone's color would change depending on their mood.

Gorogoro Mamoru was a stocky boy with calcified outgrowths on his body, like small stony spikes. He was strong and fairly nimble, but failed the Practical Hero Exam by a few points. However, he did not let this get him down.

The last student in the class was Oyaneko Fujikuro. Tall and lanky with a mess of blue hair, Oyaneko's quirk let him erect an energy shield that could block almost anything. However, he could not move while using the shield.

Izuku made sure to talk to everyone at least once before lunch to get their basics recorded in his book. His prior trepidation had all but disappeared before second period, replaced with enthusiasm and light-hearted smiles. Tabata and Yoshio had apparently taken it upon themselves to become Izuku's new "bestest buddies" after seeing his nervousness earlier, but everyone in Class 1-C were friendly with each other. Between the students who failed the Hero Exam and those who chose not to take it altogether, a sense of camaraderie began to form. They might not have been heroes, but no one in class let that get them down.

---

"I-I just n-noticed something," Izuku stuttered Yoshio and Tabata at the end of Present Mic's English Class, just before lunch. "O-our class only has s-s-sixteen students. W-why do you think that is?"

"We're Gen Ed," Sakai replied as he slithered by, carrying a bookbag in his mouth. "Gen Ed classes have always been smaller than the rest."

"I'm fine with that, though," Yoshio shrugged. "Eighteen classmates is good for the other courses but too much for me."

"...Twenty," Tabata corrected.

"Twenty classmates." There was a short silence before Yoshio started chuckling, followed by the students around him. As they laughed, Present Mic checked his phone. What he read made him turn pale.

"Midoriya Izuku," he called out, silencing the classroom. "D-did you do something wrong?"

"W-what?" Izuku replied. "N-no, I-I've been s-s-staying good. Why?" Present Mic held up his phone, pointing at the message on it as though the students could read it from their seats.

"Cuz the principal himself just requested to speak to you during lunch. Personally."

Now Izuku turned pale. He remembered Midnight's warning the previous day, and how the Principal's office was thelastplace any student wanted to be. Turning to his classmates, Yoshio and Tabata both made prayer gestures and Moroboshi used her quirk to make icy prayer beads. Standing up and taking a breath, Izuku grabbed his bag and stepped out.

The walk to the office was quiet. He left before lunch period technically started, so the halls were thankfully empty. Of course, this also meant there was nothing to distract Izuku from his thoughts. Why did the principal want to see him? Was he gonna get kicked out? Why would he get kicked out? His thought were a chaos of paranoia and questions. Yes, everyone here had been nice to him so far, but one and a half days of niceness could not offset a decade of abuse and trauma. As it was, he considered himself lucky he wasn't having a panic attack. Speaking of which, he decided to take extra measures to make sure he wouldn't get one. He slowed his pace and took deep breaths all the way to the principal's office, stopping just outside.

Never before had a door been so intimidating.

Taking one more deep breath, he slowly reached up to knock on the door. To his shock, the door opened before he could even touch it. Not moving an inch due to the sudden opening, Izuku peered into the room without lowering his hand. The room in question was a pristine white, reminiscent of a hospital room. There were plants in each of the corners he could see, and the walls were bare save for a large mirror opposite the door. There was a large desk under the mirror with multiple chairs around it. Seated in one of the side chairs was Eraserhead, giving a side glance to Izuku. Seated at the desk was Principal Nedzu, the white mouse/bear/thing that ran the school. On the desk in front of Nedzu were a few trays of steaming katsudon and...Izuku's eyes widened when he saw his notebooks on the desk.

"Come in, come in!" Nedzu greeted, gesturing to a nearby chair. "I won't bite, young man!" This snapped him out of his stupor and he meekly entered the office, jumping a bit when the door closed behind him. Taking a few more deep breaths, he approached the desk and sat in the chair in front of Nedzu. "Before we begin, I bet you are wondering if I'm a bear, a dog or a mouse, right?"

"I-I'm actually more f-f-focused on the fact you're th-the principal," Izuku admitted as he fidgeted with his hand.

"Ah, a good observation to have!" Nedzu laughed as he poured tea for everyone. "Anyway, I called you here because of these," he gestured to the notebooks. "I have to say, young man, the observations in these are quite inspiring. There's even a few things I never noticed until you pointed them out. I'm certainly glad Aizawa convinced you to let me read them." Izuku did a spit-take at this.

"Y-you were the t-t-teacher he mentioned?" He turned to Aizawa. "He was th-the teacher?" Aizawa nodded and Midoriya turned back to Nedzu. "Y-you were the-"

"Yes, I believe we established this," Nedzu laughed. "I may be the principal, but I view myself as a teacher first. Now, back to the subject at hand, these notebooks." Resting his hand on the notebooks, Nedzu continued, "As I said before, the observations in these notebooks could only be described as stellar. I've seen licensed quirk analysts who aren't nearly as detailed and meticulous. It is quite clear that this a passion of the heart."

"Th-thank you," Izuku nodded as he rubbed his shoulder. "I-I admit, I started th-them as a way of p-p-preparing to become a h-hero, but..." He teared up a bit and squeezed his shoulder. "I-it didn't work out."

"I see..." Nedzu nodded. There was a few moments of silence before Nedzu leaned forward, resting his head on his paws. "Do you still want to be a hero?" Izuku jerked his head up to look at him.

"W-w-what?"

"Midoriya," Aizawa spoke up for possibly the first time since Izuku arrived, "do you know what a Type-2 Hero is?" Izuku looked at him confused before meekly shaking his head. After that, Aizawa reached into his pocket at the same time Nedzu reached into his vest. Izuku watched as the two heroes set their Hero Licenses on the desk in front of him. "Look at our licenses. Notice any differences, beyond the obvious?"

Izuku looked closely at both Licenses. He had seen pictures of Hero Licenses in the past, but this was the first time he'd seen them with his own eyes. He soaked in every detail he could. Nedzu's height. Aizawa's weight. Nedzu's date of-oh wait, that was unknown. After a minute or two of intense scrutiny, Izuku pointed at the name line on Nedzu's License.

"Th-there are t-t-two lines behind your n-name, P-Principal Nedzu. A-A-Aizawa-sensei's License only has one."

"Good eye," Nedzu smiled as he and Aizawa picked their Licenses back up. "That is the only visible indication showing the difference between Type-1's and Type-2's, and we've worked hard to keep it that way. Get cozy and start eating, this is gonna be a bit of a talk." Izuku took his tray and started eating as Nedzu sipped his tea a few times.

"You see, Midoriya, there are actually three different types of heroes out there, each with their own skillsets and privileges. Type-1's, aka 'Enforcers,' are the variety you and the majority of people are most familiar with. They work with law enforcement to apprehend criminals, are the most common seen for press releases, et cetera. Type-2's, or 'Strategists,' are heroes like me. We focus more on intelligence and analysis, taking in information and sorting it out before relaying the most pertinent intel to the Enforcers, though we do fight from time to time. Type-3's, otherwise known as 'Fortifiers,' are the heroes like Recovery Girl, who don't do any form of combat but still support and help from the side lines."

"F-fascinating," Izuku admitted, wishing he had an empty notebook right now. This was something he never even considered, and was definitely something he'd have to keep an eye open for.

"The reason we tell you this," Aizawa leaned forward, "is because we want to train you to be a Type-2 hero." Izuku almost fell out of his chair at this statement.

"W-w-WHAT!?" the stuttering boy exclaimed.

"Just what you heard!" Nedzu beamed. "We think you have the makings of a great Type-2 hero!"

"W-w-w-b-b-b-WHY!?" Izuku asked. "I-I-I'm q-q-quirkless and kinda m-missing a little s-something." He punctuated this last statement by grabbing his left sleeve and flipping it around.

"We are aware of both," Nedzu continued smiling, "and we wantyouto be aware that both of those can be worked around. While having an intelligence-based quirk is useful for a Type-2, you've demonstrated you don't need one to do what you do. As for the arm...well, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Now that you know your two biggest 'detriments' are nothing to be concerned about, I will ask you again." Nedzu leaned forward, smiling big as ever.

"Midoriya Izuku, do you still wish to be a hero?"

---

Class 1-C was back in their homeroom for their afternoon study period. Each student studied their own subject, but each student also had the same question in mind.

"Anyone seen Midoriya?" Midnight asked.

"Not since Mic-sensei's class," Gorogoro shrugged. "You don't think he was abducted, do you?"

"Who would abduct him?" Kagaro asked as she stretched her wings. "I mean, I could seewhyhe'd get abducted, but who in the school would?"

"I bet it was some girl from the Hero Course," Hayashida leaned back in his chair. "What do you think, Katsura-chan?" The blind girl turned her head toward the door for a minute before smiling.

"We have nothing to worry about." The moment she finished her sentence, the door opened and Izuku stepped back inside with a pile of folders under his arm. Some of the students tried standing up but were stopped by Midnight before she approached the shorter boy.

"Is everything alright, Midoriya?" she asked. Izuku smiled and handed her a late-note to read before turning to the class.

"E-e-everyone," he announced with a smile bright as the sun, "I-I'm still g-g-gonna be in this c-c-class, but I am also g-g-gonna be receiving p-p-personalized training from Principal Nedzu...b-b-because I am g-g-gonna be a hero." There was a brief, stunned silence before the entire class erupted in cheers.

"THAT'S AWESOME!" Tabata cheered.

"Good for you, Midoriya-kun!" Moroboshi laughed.

"Chu can do it!" Mouskewitz stood up on his chair to cheer. The class was filled with tumultuous cheering before Midnight smacked the podium with her whip.

"Simmer down, kids," she laughed. Turning and winking at Midoriya (and reveling at his blush), she continued, "Knew you had it in ya, kiddo. Get to your seat." With his huge smile, Izuku skipped back to his desk and set the folders down. Nedzu had requested to keep borrowing the notebooks for a few more days, but had given Izuku folders covering both Hero Course classes so he could analyze each student in detail. With these folders and two fresh notebooks, Izuku had a lot of work ahead of him and was eager to get started.

Oh hey, that one girl did have long earlobes. Go figure.

---

Aizawa was giddy. Class 1-A could see it. All Might could see it. He was helping supervise All Might's first class, and hardly derided the pro hero about his lack of teaching skills. As the students were paired off and going through their hero trials, All Might took the opportunity to approach the grizzled hero.

"You seem to be in good spirits," All Might stated. "Could you tell me what occurred?"

"The Principal and I found another hero student," he smirked. "He can't be transferred to the official Hero Course, but god I wish he could. He has more potential than half the class. I wish he had been here instead of Mineta."

"Yes, I saw you expelled him yesterday," All Might nodded. "May I ask who this particular student is?"

"You'll meet him later," Aizawa stated. "And when you do, be nice to him. He's had a rough past."

"A rough past? Does he have a difficult quirk?"

"No quirk at all."

"...No quirk? And he's going to get hero training?"

"You say that like it's a bad thing," Aizawa glared. All Might sweat a bit at his glare.

"W-well, in my experience, it's not possible for a quirkless to be-"

"Finish that sentence and I will break your nose," Aizawa growled. "This kid has potential, and that's all you should care about." All Might sweat even more, and simply nodded before stepping back. Now he really wanted to know who this student was, but was scared to ask.

---

This...this wasn't possible.

Izuku flipped through the folders of both Hero Course classes. He did so multiple times. There was something missing. Someone he knew, heknew, would have been accepted into the Hero Course. No matter what he did, Izuku knew nothing and no one would have stopped him from entering.

So why wasn't Bakugou Katsuki in these folders?

Notes:

I know you all saw that coming. You'll get more next chapter. XD

Also, a question for all you readers. I know the fic is currently marked Izuku x Melissa, but I had an epiphany while at work earlier and am stuck in a mental debate so I am asking you. Should I make this fic be a 3-person polyamory fic? I don't wanna tell you who the second girl would be yet, but I will tell you it's a canon girl. I'm kinda leaning towards making it polyamory later, but i wanna know your opinion on things.

Please leave comments with what you think, I love reading your comments! ^^ 'Til next time!

Chapter 4: Chosen and Discovering

Notes:

I'm gonna be honest, the last line of this chapter is what got me to finish this so quickly.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

It was the end of the school day. Most of the students had already left their classrooms, eager to head home. In the workshop, however, Hatsume Mei was hard at work on a new device. Despite being serious about getting it to work, at this point she was mostly just fiddling around as her guest observed the framework for the second iteration of the "walking desk" as she called it.

"It is an ingenious creation," Nedzu said as he paced on top of Hatsume's workbench. "It can certainly make things easier for any other students we get who are also missing an arm."

"You should be lauding Mido-chan," she grinned. "He's the one who designed it, I just added a few parts." The principal nodded and continued looking over the adjustments she had made. Hatsume felt giddy at having the principal look at something she crafted. She had a massive mental list of designs, but a lot of those babies were stuck behind a wall set by Powerloader. So if the principal himself liked what she made, maybe she could convince him to let her try some of the others. She smiled bigger as she took a soldering iron to her current project, and Nedzu's attention was diverted to the opening door.

"Ah, good afternoon, Midoriya!"

Oh, Midoriya must be here to drop off his desk. Wait a minute, he was here while she was-Mei instantly set the soldering iron down and pushed her project aside. If she kept working on it there might have been a chance of it exploding, and she did not need Midoriya around for that. She swiveled her stool around to greet the small greenette, missing the curious look Nedzu gave her. Izuku himself gave a smile as he unfastened the desk.

"C-could you h-h-help me get it off?" he nervously chuckled. "S-still having a bit of trouble."

'God, you're too adorable.' Mei thought as she laughed and got up to assist. Undoing the final few clips, she pulled the desk off his shoulders before giving said shoulders a gentle rub, eliciting a shy squeak from the boy.

"Too tense," she observed. "I'll have to see if I can make the next desk lighter for you."

"I-it's alright," he waved with his hand. "I-I think I need s-some toughening up a-anyways." Turning to Nedzu, the small boy gave a small bow. "G-good afternoon, sensei."

"Afternoon to you too!" the small mammal smiled. "How are you enjoying those files on the hero students? Think of any improvements yet?"

"A-a couple," Izuku nodded, "a-a-along with some outfit adjustments. A f-f-few of them are a b-b-bit...p-p-provocative right now." A few moments later, Hatsume stopped rubbing his shoulders and went back to her stool. "A-a-also, sensei, I-I have a b-bit of a question."

"Oh?" Hatsume could hear the interest in Nedzu's voice. This should be good.

"W-well," the shorter boy stuttered, "I-I was looking through the f-f-files and noticed something, or r-rather s-someone, was missing."

"If you're referring to a purple midget," Nedzu smiled, "Mineta Minoru was expelled yesterday. He failed the quirk assessment, and his behavior was deemed inadequate."

"I-I g-g-guessed s-s-something like that happened y-yesterday when I was watching th-them," Izuku rubbed his shoulder, "b-but my question w-was about someone else. S-someone I went to school with, w-who was gonna t-try for the Hero Course here, and-" Nedzu cut him off with a raised paw.

"You are referring to a Bakugou Katsuki, correct?"

Izuku nodded as Hatsume leaned forward. This might not have been her conversation, but she didn't wanna risk working on anything while Midoriya was in the room. Plus she was curious. Was this 'Bakugou' a friend of Midoriya's? What were they like? Did they-

"I'm sure it's obvious," Nedzu smiled, cutting off Mei's train of thought, "but I guess you would need verbal confirmation from me for it to sink in. I can say, with absolute honesty, that Bakugou Katsuki is not onlynota student in the Hero Course, but he is not even a student of UA."

...Oh. Hatsume couldn't help but think the principal was a bit blunt there and turned to comfort Izuku on his former classmate's failure, only to see his face wasn't sorrowful. If anything, there seemed to be a glimmer of...of something in his eyes. Disbelief? Joy? She couldn't tell, but she wanted to know.

"H-He isn't?" Izuku asked. "Really? B-b-but I know h-his goal was to c-c-come to the hero course a-and-"

"Midoriya," Nedzu interrupted, "do you know UA's policy on bullying?"

Bullying? Why would-wait. If either of the males in the room were looking at Mei, they would have seen the spark of realization in her eyes. This 'Bakugou" wasn't a friend, but a bully? Who would bully someone so small and sweet? Looking at Izuku, she saw him shake his head at Nedzu's question.

"Two words," Nedzu raised his paw. "Zero. Tolerance." He started pacing on the workbench again as he continued, "UA's goal is to train people to become either heroes or upstanding citizens of society. As such, anyone who has a significant history of bullying isn't permitted to join UA, and I think we can both agree thatthat," he pointed at Izuku's left shoulder, "goes well beyond bullying."

Hatsume's gasp of shock and horror went unnoticed by the other two.

"B-but it was a one-time occurrence," Izuku stated, "a-and with the other teachers not p-punishing him for everything else, h-his record was empty."

"Officially, yes," Nedzu nodded, "and his application was one of those I personally looked into. You see, while I was going through a number of applicants looking for...well, it's not important what exactly I was looking at them for, but while I was doing it I had a guest who was a mutual acquaintance. Kamui Woods." Izuku's eyes widened as Nedzu continued, still pacing on the workbench.

"We were chatting up, casual as can be, when he spotted Bakugou's application and asked why it was even there. I noticed he seemed a bit hostile about it, and asked him about it. Now, I would have figured it out eventually, but having Mr. Woods there sped up the process. He pulled up the crime report concerning your last incident with him while I contacted Edgeshot, whom Kamui claimed was a second witness. With his testimony combined with the old report covering the incident, I decided to look deeper into things, and hacked into the cameras of your old school. You can imagine how appalled I was to see what he did to you simply because you're quirkless. With everything I learned that day, I personally made sure Bakugou Katsuki was barred from taking the entrance exam."

Izuku stood there, slack-jawed and wide-eyed. From his expression and his prior question, it was clear he had expected to see Bakugou in the hero course no matter what happened. He was in such a stupor over what he heard he didn't notice Hatsume moving until she set her hands on his shoulders. He turned to her and was shocked to see tears in her eyes and an expression of rage.

"This Bakugou..." she hissed, not even bothering to grace him with an honorific, "...where is he?" Everything was explained now. His stutter. His nervous shaking. His missing arm and his PTSD, it was all because of some brat named Bakugou. All because this sweet little guy was quirkless. Hatsume wasn't a fighter, but hearing what he did to this poor meek boy made her blood boil.

"I-I dunno," Izuku stuttered. "I-I haven't had anything t-t-to do with him since th-that day..." Hatsume looked at Izuku for a few more seconds.

"I'm gonna kill him."

"I should remind you," Nedzu laughed as he hopped to the floor, "that if you are going to discuss murder, I would prefer you did it out of earshot so that I could claim deniability. Now, was there anything else, Midoriya?" Izuku was silent for a few seconds, still stunned from Mei's sudden fury before replying.

"I-I'll have th-the files r-ready by morning. I-I'll get here early, too."

"Excellent! Oh, allow me to walk you to the gates, Midoriya. Hatsume was working on something before you arrived, we should leave her to it." Nedzu gave Hatsume a casual wave while Midoriya's was a bit more heartfelt before they both walked out. The instant they were gone, Hatsume ran back to her bench. Pushing her prior project off the table completely, she got to work adjusting the second desk. The hero students could wait for their equipment. She had a cinnamon roll to protect.

---

The Next Day...

---

Type-2 Hero - Mad_Nimrod - 僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia (1)

"S-so you're a v-venomous snake?" Izuku asked Sakai as the two made their way to the classroom for morning announcements.

"Yup," Sakai nodded. "It's just paralytic, though. Docs tested it thoroughly."

"S-still cool. I mean, i-if you ever became a c-cop, you could just say 'f-freeze' and b-bite them to make them freeze."The two boys laughed at this last sentence before settling into a comfortable silence. At the start Izuku was afraid it would have been hard to get along with Sakai, but to his relief the snake was a rather jovial individual. Just had to be careful not to step on his tail...or the rest of him for that matter.

"By the way," Sakai stated as the two entered their class, being greeted by the rest of the present students. "I noticed you're not wearing your desk-thingy this morning. Did it break?"

"N-no, Hatsume-san i-is just making some a-adjustments I think. Sh-she said it'd be ready after lunch." After that, Midnight stepped into the room.

"Alright class," she declared from the podium, "only got one real announcement this morning. You've all had a couple days to get to know each other, so..." she smirked, and that worried the class.

"It's time to pick a class president."

The class was now less worried.

"You can use whatever method you want," she continued. "You can put your names forward, vote for someone, or..." Midnight's words petered off when she saw everyone in the class (excluding Sakai, who didn't have hands) pointing at Kagaro Kiana. The white-haired girl looked around in confusion, ruffling her wings.

"M-me?" she asked.

"Kagaro-san," Tabata smiled, "you're basically the class mom already. I bet you'll do fine."

"And if you need help," Hojo said from behind Izuku, "you can always choose a vice prez."

"Oh, that makes things so much easier." Kagaro turned to Izuku with a smile. "I elect Midoriya-kun as vice president."

"...w-wuh?"

"Oh, he'd be the perfect pick!" Gorogoro cheered from his seat next to Oyaneko. "He can use that awesome li'l brain of his to support the main prez, but not be in the main meetings so he wouldn't have to worry about being picked on!"

"You're right!" Moroboshi smiled. "It's perfect!"

"D-don't I get a s-say in this?" Izuku nervously asked.

"Sorry dude," Tabata smirked, "vote's been cast."

"B-but you didn't vote!"

"All for Midoriya-kun becoming vice president?" Yoshio bluntly asked as he raised his hand. His gesture was soon repeated by everyone else in class (except for Sakai, who still didn't have hands). "Vote's passed."

"I hate all of you," Izuku sighed as he facedesked. The class gave lighthearted chuckles at his reaction, and Midnight couldn't help but smile. Inko-san's little boy was gonna be fine.

---

"Th-this is not f-f-fine, and I-I still h-hate all of you," Izuku mumbled as he sat down for lunch. The rest of his class just laughed as they sat in their corner of the lunch room. Tabata and Yoshio sat to Izuku's left and promptly started fighting over shrimp while Sakai and Asano sat to his right, chattering calmly.

"No need to be nervous," Kagaro smiled from her seat across from him. "I think it'd be fine if you just helped the class with studying sometimes, and maybe helped me organize class outings. Nothing scary, I promise."

"Gotta ask, though" Tabata leaned forward, not noticing Yoshio stealing one of his shrimp, "do ya know what sorta training you'll be getting from the principal? " He looked back at his meal in time to stop Yoshio from committing another act of grant theft shrimp.

"N-not yet," Izuku shrugged. "A-apparently he's called in a-another hero t-t-to look over my n-notebooks, a-and the two of th-them will f-f-figure it out from there." That decision made Izuku a bit nervous. He didn't want his notebooks to be shown to everyone, and what if this other hero thought they were creepy? He wasn't scared, per se, but definitely nervous. His thoughts were derailed when he heard some giggling on the other end of the room. Turning, he saw several girls he recognized as Hero Course students. They were all looking through small folders, pointing at what was inside them and chattering up a storm. He couldn't near what they were saying, but their expressions were certainly happy.

"Those are Hero Course, right?" Asano asked, following Izuku's stare. "You met em, yet?"

"N-no," Izuku smiled, "b-but I did m-make those folders f-for them." The folders in question were notes and observations he had taken concerning their quirks, and ideas for improvement. Judging from their expressions, it looked like the students were taking the ideas to heart. He didn't leave his name on any of the notes, too afraid of how the students would react if they learned the notes were penned by a disabled quirkless. He wanted to help them improve, and-

"Excuse me," a voice spoke up, "which class are you in?" Izuku looked up at the voice, and saw a boy with short pale hair and a condescending look. He recognized the newcomer as Monoma Neito, a boy with a copycat quirk in class 1-B.

"We're 1-C," Sakai replied as he scooped up some rice with his tongue. "Why ya asking?" The Hero Course boy only sneered.

"I was just wondering what sorta class would allow a pet on the grounds, but knowing it's the class with a quirkless in it makes more sense." Looking over the stunned Gen Ed kids, Monoma continued, "Any of you the quirkless? If you are, I'd suggest dropping out now. UA is too good for a useless kid like that." He started laughing, not seeing Izuku curl up. In Izuku's mind, Monoma was slowly taking Bakugou's spot. He reached for his phone, ready to contact Midnight, before he heard Asano laughing.

"That's funny," she laughed. "You're funny. Wanna know something else that's funny?" She laughed for a few more moments, confusing Monoma. Suddenly, like a striking snake, Asano grew to her full height in under a second, grabbed Monoma by the head and hurled him across the room. The boy screamed as he flew past the other stunned students and right out the cafeteria doors. The lunch room was silent as everyone slowly turned to Asano, who stood up and propped her leg on the table.

"Anyone else feel like belittling quirkless people!?" she roared. "Come on up, I'll throw you out right behind him!" Silence reigned in the lunch room, no one even touching their trays after what just happened.

"Did you hear a squeaky noise as she grabbed his head?" Tabata whispered to Izuku. Before the disabled student could reply, alarms blared loud and clear, plunging the room into chaos.

---

"Oog, that wasn't fun," Midnight sighed as she lay her head on the podium. Izuku sat in a chair next to her, acting as her assistant while Kagaro had a meeting with the other class presidents.

"A-agreed," Izuku chuckled. "K-kinda crazy just how f-far the media's willing to go."

After the media broke into the campus, the staff declared that afternoon classes would be cancelled, giving the students a much-needed study period to calm down. Midnight was thankful her class had been among the more calm ones during the whole event, and regretting not getting a picture of Asano carrying some of the class to safety. It had been a comical sight, some students under each arm, Sakai coiled around her like a decoration and Izuku riding her shoulders.

"Didn't you see them this morning?" she asked. "They were crowding the gates and harassing any student they could."

"I-I came in early th-this morning," Izuku replied. "Th-there weren't any reporters when I arrived."

"Lucky you," she ruffled his hair. "Heard you were actually really calm through the entire thing. You know, being calm in a crisis is a good trait for a hero to have. That was something the judges were looking for during the Entrance Exam, which I'm sure you woulda passed even with your arm."

"I-I doubt it," Izuku leaned back in his chair. "B-back then, before I c-came to this class, I-I was in a b-bad spot. No one t-told me I could be a h-h-hero. E-even had a p-pro I really l-looked up to t-tell me th-that to my face."

"...What?" Midnight's face scrunched up in anger. "A Pro Hero told you that? What hero told you to give up on your dream?"

"I-it's nothing, really!" Izuku flailed his arm, grabbing the attention of some other students. "I-it was a while ago, a-a-and I'm much b-better now!"

"That's not important," Midnight poked his nose. "A Pro Hero told you you couldn't be a hero. That's a gross violation of the hero code. Hero's are supposed to be supportive and encouraging all the time. A Pro who says such discouraging things could get fined, lose status, any of a hundred things to show just why saying mean things like that is a bad idea."

"I-I d-don't think he m-meant it that way. I-I mean, All M-" Izuku covered his mouth, forcing himself silent.

"Alm?" Midnight asked. When Izuku refused to continue, she looked away in thought. "Alm..." After a few moments, she looked back at Izuku with a concerned face. "Alm...ight?" Izuku tensed up at the name, and Midnight's concern sharpened.

"Are you saying," she whispered, "thatAll Might himselfsaid that to you?" Izuku looked down and away, unwilling to reply yet knowing his silence was admittance enough. Midnight just stared for a few moments longer before standing up and turning to the class. "Kids, something's come up that I need to deal with. Just keep studying, relax, chat, whatever. I shouldn't be long." Not giving anyone a chance to ask, Midnight strolled out the room. She was a woman on a mission.

---

"As you can see," Nedzu explained to the Type-2 Hero seated across from him, "this young lad certainly knows his stuff."

"That is no understatement," Sir Nighteye agreed as he paged through one of Izuku's notebooks. "His notes are a bit messy, clearly a transcript of his own observations and thought process, and yet magnificently detailed. These books also do a good job showing just how his skills improved over the years. If he weren't a first year, this would be incentive enough to take him on as an intern. How good is he physically, though?"

"Not too good, I'm afraid," Nedzu chuckled. "Prior to our scouting him out it looked like most of his physical training came from figuring out how to run from his tormentors. That combined with his small frame make me think he'd be more of a precision fighter than an overpowering one, possibly reliant on tools."

"Which is why you requested me personally," Nighteye observed. "Alright, I'll help you train him. His missing arm might be a bit of an issue, but I'm sure you've got something planned for that." Before Nedzu could reply, his personal phone started ringing.

"One moment," Nedzu held up his paw before taking the phone. "Principal Nedzu speaking....I'm sorry, she's doing what?" Nedzu listened to the person on the other end for a few more seconds before sighing. "Be right down." Hanging up the phone, the mammal turned back to Nighteye. "Forgive me, but something has come up that I need to handle. I shouldn't be gone long."

"Take your time," Nighteye said, holding up the notebook in his hands. "I'll be reading these more. This Midoriya has around eight pages of notes on Pro Hero Slenderman, andno oneelse has notes like this." Nedzu nodded and exited his office while Nighteye read up on the cryptid of a hero. The trip to the Teacher's Lounge was a short one, and the principal opened the door and beheld a rather curious sight. He could barely keep from laughing, however, at the noise he was hearing, which was a series of "phong!" noises accentuated by someone saying "idiot!" over and over. The principal watched for several seconds before announcing his arrival by clearing his throat, silencing the room.

"Midnight," Nedzu smiled, "I am aware you are a rather passionate person, but I find myself at a loss. What has transpired that compelled you to beat All Might over the head with a cardboard poster tube?"

Notes:

Well, there was a bit of comedy, fluff and drama, aye? Things are gonna get more exciting soon enough.

Get dunked on, Bakugou. In this house, we actually suffer for our crimes.

I hope y'all liked the picture of Izuku chatting with Sakai. I'd love to make pics of all the students of Class C, but with the limited scope of the program I use (and my own lack of skill in editing), that might not occur. We'll see how things go.

I know a lot of folks are like me and dislike Monoma, so hopefully his impromptu flying lesson was enjoyable. For the speed and emotion behind it, just think of that one gif of Leonardo Dicaprio smashing a glass on the other guy's head.

And now I have a reason to throw Nighteye in here. I like him.

Next time on Type-2, we get a new desk, a pun battle, and the start of USJ...stay tuned.

Chapter 5: Discovering and Danger

Notes:

Apologies in advance if this chapter seems a bit lame. I hope it is still satisfactory.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

All Might stared through a small window into the classroom for 1-C. He could see Izuku, and could tell the boy had not noticed him. The pro hero saw the boy laughing with some of his classmates, but he saw their smile was smaller than it was when he first met the boy close to a year ago. He could hear the boy had a stutter that was absent in the past. He could also see Izuku's left sleeve hanging limp and empty. Seeing that sleeve hurt his heart more than Midnight's poster tube hurt his head.

"What you did," a familiar voice stated, "was rather hypocritical, Yagi-san." All Might turned his head in surprise.

"Nighteye? W-what are you doing here?" He had never expected to see his old sidekick again, let alone see him walking down a UA hallway. The hero stopped in front of All Might, regarding him coolly for a few seconds before holding up the charred Notebook 13.

"You signed this," Nighteye stated plainly. "You saw the meticulous notes he took, saw how utterlybrilliantthey were. You heard he was quirkless, just like you used to be." His eyes narrowed. "You told him no."

"I..." All Might started. "...I thought it was the right thing." He looked back into the classroom and continued, "I saw those notes, and was afraid that if villains learned about them, he and everyone close to him would be a target. I tried directing him to safer careers, anything to keep him and that innocence away from the trauma and horror of our profession. When I saw him charge that villain back then, I was scared for him but also in awe. In that moment, he reminded me what it meant to be a hero...but he also reminded me ofwhyI became a hero. To protect those who could not defend themselves...people like him."

"And yet he still ended up being maimed in defense of another," Nighteye admonished. All Might flinched at that, and after a few seconds Nighteye sighed. "I thought you were a fool to disregard my warning in the past, Yagi. I never thought just how foolish you could be." He walked past All Might, leaving the hero by the door. After going a short distance, he stopped and turned his head. "I will be training him as a Type-2. I know you already chose your successor after Togata turned you down, but try to imagine how great that boy would have been if he was given your quirk instead." Not even awaiting a response, Nighteye continued walking. All Might was truly alone in the hallway, alone in his thoughts, until the final bell rang to dismiss the students. He quickly ran away, not wanting to be seen by any of the students.

Especially the boy he failed.

---

School had ended, and Nedzu was taking one of his walks around the school. After the incident in the teacher's lounge, the principal needed a calm moment. Walking the empty halls after the day's ending would normally provide that.

Normally.

As he walked, Nedzu happened upon Power Loader. The Support Course teacher was sitting on a bench in one of the atriums, his helmet on the ground by his feet. Even with his bangs covering his eyes, Nedzu could see his fellow teacher had what could be described as an expression of depressed contemplation. It was quite unusual to see him like this. Nedzu plodded over and hopped onto the bench, though Power Loader didn't seem to notice he was there until Nedzu patted his leg.

"Forgive me, principal," Power Loader bowed his head. "I didn't see you there."

"I am a bit hard to spot sometimes," Nedzu chuckled. "However, it was easy for me to spot that you seem a bit distressed. May I ask the issue?"

"It's the transfer student," Power Loader replied. "The third year girl from America. I've been giving her the same assignments as everyone else, but..."

"Is she lagging behind?"

"No! If anything, she's shooting ahead!" Power Loader sighed and put his face in his hands. "She's completed every project and assignment in record time, earning top marks for each one. She told me she transferred here so she could get a feel for actually helping heroes, but I'm afraid she'll regret it if I don't figure out some way to actually challenge her." The teacher sat like that for a few moments, but looked up when he realized Nedzu had not responded. Looking at the mammal, he saw Nedzu had a contemplative look of his own. Then he smirked...and chuckled. Power Loader had long ago learned to fear the chuckling principal.

"Maijima-san," Nedzu referred to Power Loader by name, "your dilemma has given me an idea that could solve both your own dilemma as well as mine..."

Yeah, Power Loader was scared now.

---

As of this morning, Izuku had been a student of UA for four days. Four days into the school year, and Izukuhad actual friends, no one cared he was quirkless, andhe was gonna be a hero.He almost wept with joy these past few days because of this. If one had told him a year ago that this would happen, he wouldn't have believed it. His giddiness had reached the point he was practicallyskippingdown the hallway to Mei's workshop to grab the new desk she made. She promised it would be better than his first one, so he could only guess what she'd improved. Reaching the workshop, he gave a quick knock on the door. He knew he was the only one who bothered knocking, so Mei would know to put away any volatile projects before calling him in. Waiting for her response, he smiled and opened the door. As he stepped in, he opened his mouth to say something, only to stop. Mei was at her workbench with the new desk, and standing on the table next to her was Nedzu, that wasn't unexpected. What was unexpected was the other person in the room.

He was an incredibly tall man in a white suit standing to the side. His hair was dark green with yellow streaks, his eyes a brilliant yellow. Izuku immediately recognized him as Sir Nighteye, another pro hero he had idolized. His glower was a bit intimidating, but was nowhere near as hateful as Bakugou's had been. What was more intimidating was the notebook in his hand, which Izuku recognized as Analysis Book 11.

"Good morning, Midoriya!" Nedzu greeted. "You've arrived at a good time. Come, come! I'd like to introduce you to a fellow Type-2 Hero. I'm sure you recognize him? Notebook 3, I believe?" Izuku gave a silent nod as he stepped closer.

"I've read through your books, young man," Sir Nighteye held up the notebook in his hand. "I must admit, I am genuinely impressed. You seem to have a good head for analysis. Good enough to be a hero, certainly."

"Th-thank you," Izuku bowed his head. "I-I'm glad to have th-the privilege. M-most k-kids would g-gladly give an arm a-and a leg for th-this chance." He gave a weak chuckle and rubbed his left shoulder. "G-guess I got m-my chance at a d-discount." Nighteye gave a smirk at the joke.

"I see you have your finger on humor, too."

"I-I think th-that was a bit of a r-reach, sir."

"Really? I guess I'll have to shoulder that embarrassment."

"I thought he had a good grip on it," the Mei piped up.

"Oh my god," Nedzu laughed and buried his face in his paws, "you guys are gonna get along swimmingly, I can tell."

"Your fault for putting us all in the same room, sir," Mei smirked as she tightened something on her table.

"Continuing," Nighteye said with a smirk as he walked toward the stuttering youth, "I'm here to help Nedzu provide you with additional Type-2 training. Nedzu will focus primarily on your analytical skills, along with strategic training. I'll be helping in those fields as well, but with a bigger focus on your physical form." He set his hand on Izuku's head. "It's clear you're not a strong individual, so your training will help bolster that. I'll also be training you in the use of smaller weapons, primarily those usable with one hand, given your...condition. In any event, I do look forward to working with you, and watching your progress."

"Which begins this afternoon, for the record," Nedzu smiled. "You'll be busy all afternoon, Midnight will take the time to inform your class. I'll fill you in on the details during lunch."

"It's done!" Mei shouted as she hoisted the walking-desk into the air. "Mido-chan, come on over!" Before Izuku could even move, Mei shot over to him and slapped the desk on his shoulders. To his surprise, the desk seemed even lighter than the previous iteration.

"Made a few adjustments with your safety in mind," Mei proclaimed as she tapped the wooden part of the desk. "Changed the wood to a harder, specially-treated wood. The same sort that are used to construct desks for heroes with strength quirks. I bet this could stop one of All Might's fingers, so you can use it as a shield. The pipes for the frames are heat-resistant, so any jerks with heat quirks can't use em to burn you. Also comes with a quick-release strap right here. Tug it and it'll just fall off. The biggest addition, though..." She tapped a button on the side and a small slot opened up, dropping a tiny red vial into Mei's hand. The vial was red and had a small light glowing inside of it.

"Hatsume," Nedzu asked with a frown, "where did you get that?"

"Saw a sample in the lab yesterday," the inventor responded, "fabricated a copy myself. Anyway, Mido-chan, this is an experimental power source UA is devising. They use solar-powered plasma cells for the school buildings and stuff, but can't implement those in equipment cuz they release a massive electric shock if they get wet. This little vial can run for almost a decade without dying, and it's sole purpose is to send a signal to a few devices, which will be carried by myself, Midnight and your class president. It will send this signal every three seconds. If you ever get in trouble, break the vial. When it breaks..." Mei snapped the vial between her fingers, and a second later the tablet on her workbench started beeping loudly. "Basically, if we DON'T receive that signal, our devices will alert us."

"You are awfully protective of Midoriya," Nighteye observed. "You have only known him a few days, correct? Mind telling us why you're so adamant on keeping him safe?" Mei was silent for several seconds.

"...My cousin was a pro hero."

This stunned Izuku, and surprised Nighteye. Nedzu seemed unaffected, but very little could change him visually. Mei waited a few seconds, letting the news settle, before continuing her explanation while adjusting the desk to fit Izuku's small frame.

"My cousin used to be Pro Hero Scouter. He has a similar quirk to mine, only his was alotstronger. He could count the fingers of someone standing on a mountain 15 kilometers away. He felt his quirk was better suited for spying and watching. He rarely got into a fight himself, and his arrest record was almost nonexistent. Then, one day, villains captured him. They left in him a room for over two weeks, occasionally questioning him and testing their quirks on him. The worst part was they'd always begin the torture by flashing bright light into his room, disorienting him. That...that got to him." She finished working on Izuku's harness, but rested her hands on his shoulders, looking at the floor.

"When he was rescued, it seemed like he'd be fine. His time in the hospital was peaceful and quiet. When he was released, the media was waiting for him. Their cameras...all had flashing lights. Seeing those again, he forgot he was out. He just fell to the ground, begging for it to stop. After that, he's had to avoid anything with flashing lights. Any time he's gotten hit with them, he'd just freeze and his eyes..." She lifted her head and looked at Midoriya, tears in her eyes. "Your eyes were just like his when we first met. After that explosion, you weren't here. You were back where it happened." She gently rubbed his left shoulder. "My cousin was a pro hero, an adult. You? You're fifteen years old, Mido-chan. You shouldn't have suffered enough to get eyes like that. That's why I'm helping as much as I am. I want to help you get better...and make sure you don't get worse."

The instant she finished her sentence, Izuku pulled the quick-release strap for his desk and pulled her into a tight half-hug. Mei was surprised by the sudden gesture, and slowly hugged back, resting her head on top of his. Izuku himself was silently crying into her shoulder. The pro heroes, to their credit, remained silent through this exchange. Neither of them knew about Izuku's PTSD before this (though Nedzu thought it might have been a possibility), and now they both knew Izuku would need more than hero training to get through everything.

---

The majority of the school day was thankfully a calm one for Midoriya. His classmates were all as supportive as they had been, with a few geeking out over his new desk. Midnight was normal as ever, though everyone was curious about the abundance of cardboard poster tubes in her classroom. The only thing that could have gone sour that morning was when the class was heading to Cementoss' classroom, when they passed Class 1-B on their way to Midnight. The jerk from before, Monoma, looked like he was gonna try something before Asano gave a glare so icy even Moroboshi felt the chill. The Hero Course student quickly shut his mouth without saying a word.

Lunch arrived quickly enough, and Izuku was called to the principal's office soon after it began. Nighteye was there again, and the two older men (well, man and mammal) informed Izuku of what his afternoon would be like. Both Type-2 heroes knew that analyzing quirks on paper was vastly different from analyzing them with your own eyes, so it was decided Izuku would go with Class 1-A to the Unforeseen Simulation Joint to observe their quirks in action and up-close. He would do the same with Class 1-B the following day. Nedzu also pointed out that Izuku would be meeting with someone the following morning, but refused to explain further. Good thing Izuku was patient.

However, it was hard to see that patience as he rolled on his ankles in front of the bus that would take him and 1-A to the USJ. Standing with him was Aizawa, and the two waited for Class 1-A to arrive. The teacher looked down at him, at the small viridian boy, and couldn't help but think he should have belonged in Hero Course in the first place. That first day they met, the boy had sensed Aizawa sneaking up on him. Mostproscouldn't do that. Then he surprised Aizawa further by recognizing him on sight. That level of observation alone put Izuku above most of his current class. Unfortunately they couldn't do an official transfer due to his physical condition (and they'd need the school therapist to map out his mental condition), so the best he could do is work with Nedzu in teaching him to be a Type-2. After a few more minutes, the two could hear the approaching students. Izuku smiled and took a step before Aizawa stopped him.

"Wait here," Aizawa stated. "Something you need to hear before you reveal yourself." With that, Aizawa stepped around the corner and faced his class. Some students were excited, others were calm, and a few were antsy. He waited for them to quiet down before saying what he knew needed to be said.

"Before we continue, class, I want to hear your opinion on quirkless people."

This caught the class by surprise, some students looking at each other in confusion. Aizawa could see Izuku have a worried look around the corner of the bus. He knew that, despite his current smiles, Izuku was still worried about a lot of things. This would at least be one thing Aizawa could help with.

"With all due respect, sir," a tall girl with a black ponytail raised her hand, "I don't understand the reason for that question. I mean, why would any of us have a negative opinion of quirkless?"

"Quirkless people are people, dude," the excitable redhead declared. "And I'm not just saying that because that big girl from Gen Ed scares me."

"Yeah!" the tall brown-haired girl waved her arms. "People who think quirkless means worthless are absolute assholes!" A few of her classmates laughed at this announcement, but agreed with the sentiment. Aizawa noticed Izuku's face slowly soften, like he was about to cry.

"Good answers," Aizawa finally said before waving Izuku over. The one-armed kid walked over next to Aizawa, giving a shy smile and bowing his head. "This is Midoriya Izuku, from Class 1-C. He will be joining us for this trip. He is quirkless...and the one who wrote those pamphlets you received yesterday morning." That made the class explode with excitement, and made Izuku duck behind Aizawa. The teacher raised his hand before the class could mob the Gen Ed student.

"Try to keep calm around him," Aizawa defended Izuku. "In case you haven't noticed, he hasn't exactly had a good past. He is going to be receiving specialized hero training from the principal himself, which includes analysis. He's already come up with ideas from reading your folders, now he's coming to see your quirks in action. Everyone on the bus. Yaoyorozu, you sit next to Midoriya because you're the only student I trust not to try anything." Everyone nodded and clambered onto the bus, with Izuku and Momo sitting towards the back. It was a bit of a cute and funny sight seeing them sit side by side, with Izuku's head barely reaching the same level as Momo's shoulder. Soon the bus started going, Aizawa decided to nap, and the other students started talking among themselves. Izuku might have been excited before, but actually sitting with the Hero Course students made him nervous again.

"So, you wrote those notes on us, kero?" the frog girl in the seat in front of Izuku peeked over the top towards the boy.

"O-oh, yes, th-that was me," Izuku nodded. "D-did you like them?"

"They were awesome!" the brown-haired girl from earlier replied, her head appearing next to the frog girl's. "I never woulda thought that way before those notes! Oh, I'm Uraraka Ochako."

"I'm Tsuyu," the frog girl raised her hand. "I tend to speak my mind a lot. Gotta ask, did you lose your arm because-"

"That's a rude thing to ask," Momo interjected. "I'm sure however it happened was an unpleasant experience."

"I-it's alright," Izuku stuttered as he self-consciously rubbed his shoulder. "I-it happened around a y-year ago. I-I'll tell y-you the story l-later, promise." The rest of the bus ride was fairly quiet, with the surrounding girls making small talk with Izuku, bringing a blush to his face. Why was UA filled with pretty girls? After a fair bit of time, the bus came to a stop and Aizawa immediately stood up. Izuku was uncertain if he actually slept on the trip because of that. When the doors opened, Class 1-A+Izuku walked off and into the building. Both Izuku and Ochako geeked out upon seeing Hero Thirteen was there, too. Before anyone could really do anything else, however, the hairs on the back of Izuku's neck stood up as what looked like a black cloud appeared in the middle of the area just beneath the stairs. The other students noticed as well, wondering if this was part of their training. That line of thought was immediately stopped when a literal hoard of unpleasant-looking individuals came walking out of the cloud.

"Villains..." Izuku gasped.

Notes:

Here comes chaos.

That's...really all I can say right now. XD

Chapter 6: Danger and Rescue

Notes:

(See the end of the chapter for notes.)

Chapter Text

Izuku was frozen in fear. There were villains. A lot of villains. He knew the actual Hero Course students weren't ready for this, and he most certainly wasn't ready, either. He snapped out of it when he saw a couple Class A kids move in front of him.

"Stay behind us," the tall brunette, Uraraka Ochako, whispered.

"We'll keep you safe, kero," Asui croaked.

Having the two hero course students shielding him helped his nerves, keeping him getting a panic attack. He could overhear Aizawa and Thirteen whispering something, but he couldn't catch it. He turned and saw the doors behind them were still open, and had an idea. As the villains finished pouring from the gates, Izuku quietly shuffled towards one of the other students.

"I-Iida-san," he whispered, "g-go back t-to the school. G-Get the t-t-teachers. Y-you're the fastest, y-you should outrun a-a-anything that might be outside." Iida looked appaled at this.

"I can't just leave you all here," he hissed back.

"Y-you're not leaving us," Izuku said with determination. "Y-you are g-getting reinforcements. W-we can't handle th-that many on our own. Go." Iida's eyes narrowed, but even he could see the sense. Hunching down, he carefully walked back before dashing out the doors.

"Back to the buses!" Aizawa shouted. "Thirteen, keep them safe!" The rest of the students turned to rush the doors, but were stopped when a man composed of black mist with bright yellow eyes appeared before them.

"Sorry," he insincerely apologized, "but I can't let any of you leave." Everyone gave a shout of surprise when the floor beneath them disappeared, turning into the same black mist as earlier. Izuku himself screamed as he fell down...and down...and down...how far was he gonna-oh wait, there was water underneath him now. Thankfully he spotted it quickly enough to take a deep breath before crashing into the liquid. Thank goodness it was deep water, it woulda hurt to impact solid ground after a fall like that. Izuku was also glad his desk was lightweight, so it didn't pull him...wait. Izuku facepalmed. His desk had that thingy Mei made him! Even if Iida couldn't make it, he could contact help! The one-armed student started pulling himself up to get some air, but was stopped when he felt weight on his leg. Looking down in surprise, he saw a man had grabbed his foot. A man dressed in green, with blond hair that looked like like seaweed. He looked up at Izuku with empty black eyes and gave a reverberating laugh that Izuku could hear even underwater. The boy finally screamed in fear and kicked the man in the face, realizing too late he had just expended his air. Water rushed into his mouth and lungs, making him curl up as other aquatic villains gathered around him.

Suddenly the villains found themselves repelled by a speedy green blur. Izuku tried swimming up as the villains were pushed back, but another one managed to grab onto his desk. Before he could do anything, the villain unintentionally pulled the quick-release strap, freeing Izuku in time for the green blur to grab him and fly up to the surface. He flew through the air before landing on a solid wood floor. Izuku curled up and coughed as someone rubbed his back.

"Careful," said a female voice he didn't recognize. "Try to breathe slowly."

"They're not coming aboard," a second voice he recognized as Tsuyu stated. "I think we got some breathing room." Izuku coughed for another minute or two before taking a deep breath and looking around. He was on a boat, he could see that now. With him were Tsuyu and a girl with long green vines for hair. He recognized her as Shiozaki Ibara, a girl with a plant quirk.

"Are you alright?" Shiozaki asked, her face filled with worry.

"Y-you got a nice v-v-voice," Izuku coughed, making Asui sigh with relief.

"Sounds like you're alright, kero. Sorry about your desk, I didn't have time to grab it." Izuku froze at that, remembering what he had been doing before the villains attacked him. Holding his head, he gave a loud groan. Mei's vial was still in that desk. He had no idea how deep the water was, and didn't dare ask Asui to try retrieving it while surrounded by villains. He would have to think of something else.

"Does this boat work, Ibara?" Asui asked their classmate.

"No," she sighed. "There are no keys, and I couldn't hotwire it."

"If you're religious, how do you know how to hotwire a vehicle?"

"Asui-san," Izuku groaned as he stood up, "I-I think we sh-should focus on th-the task at h-hand." He looked around, over the edge of the boat. They were in the dead center of the lake he had seen from the entrance. It wasn't too wide, but he could see over two dozen villains floating around, including the freaky blond one that grabbed his foot. No way they could swim to safety.

"Any ideas, kero?" Asui asked.

"I-I'm thinking," he replied. "I-it's clear the villain's don't know our q-quirks, s-so they're not a-attacking yet. A-Asui-san, how f-far can you jump w-while carrying people?"

"If it's you two, I could carry us to the shore easily. You're not what I would call heavy, kero. But some of those villains could catch us in midair, and I'm the only one who can fight effectively in water."

"She's right," Shiozaki sighed. "My vines are good, but they're slow in the water." Izuku sighed and dropped his head. He knew the villains would get impatient soon, and he needed to think of something. Thinking was all he was good for, after all. Looking towards the front of the boat to see the shore on that side, he noticed the bow had solar panels on top. At least that meant the villains couldn't explode any gas...wait. Solar panels. His eyes widened as he remembered what Mei told him that morning.

"They use solar-powered plasma cells for the school buildings and stuff, but can't implement those in equipment cuz they release a massive electric shock if they get wet."

Izuku dashed past the girls and into the boat's engine room. Confused, the girls followed him. He saw it had a traditional-looking engine, but next to it was a big black box. He knelt down and worked on opening it, quietly thanking Asui as she helped him wrench the box open, revealing an array of fist-sized cubes that were shining with a green light and had plugs on top.

"K-kinda dumb to p-put these on a b-b-boat," Izuku laughed as he started pulling them out, "b-b-but we c-c-can let that oversight s-slide for now."

"What are those?" Shiozaki asked.

"P-plasma cells. L-look around for more. Asui-san, c-can you see if there's any t-tape down here?"

"What are you thinking, kero?" the frog girl asked as she rifled through the nearby boxes.

"A-a friend told me about th-these," Izuku stuttered as Shiozaki returned with an armful of cubes. "Th-they're good batteries, b-but if they g-get wet, th-they release a big shock. So..."

"If we throw those in," Shiozaki finished with wide eyes, "we can incapacitate the villains. Truly, we've been blessed to land here."

"D-dunno if I c-could be considered religious," Izuku laughed, "b-b-but right now I-I'll take w-w-what I can get. N-need to tape these t-together though." Thankfully, at that point Asui returned with a huge roll of duct tape, and the three students got to work arranging all the cells and taping them together into a single huge mass with all their plugs pointed out.

"Are we gonna throw this then jump?" Asui asked as she hoisted the pile.

"N-no," the one-armed boy replied. "I-If we do, we could elect-t-trocute the boat. I-it needs to be d-dropped when w-we're airborne. W-which means Sh-Shiozaki-san will need to c-carry it. I-I only got one arm, and I'll need to hold ont-t-to Asui-san, and she'll n-need to hold us both." The plant girl nodded and took the cells as the three ran up topside. Their timing was perfect, as the villains had grown impatient and began attacking the boat as they got on deck.

Tsuyu quickly grabbed the other two students and jumped for the shore. As they flew, a single big villain leaped from the water to catch them. Before he could grab them, Shiozaki gave a battlecry and threw the mass of batteries at him hard as she could. There was a satisfying *crunch!* as it impacted his face, and both he and the batteries fell into the water. Izuku watched as the batteries' light turned from green to red before they exploded, releasing a literal flood of electricity through the entire lake. Asui landed as the electricity died down. They looked back and saw all the villains floating, defeated by the power cells.

"H-hope we didn't kill anyone," Izuku grimaced.

"I doubt it," Tsuyu said as she released her passengers. "Come on, we should get back to Aizawa-sensei."

---

Todoroki was looking at the lake from his vantage point in the now-frozen Landslide Zone. He was too far away to have identified the students flying through the air, but he certainly saw the lake light up. It was quite a sight to behold, watching the electricity arc across the entire lake.

"I wonder if that was Kaminari..."

"COURSE NOT, I'M RIGHT HERE YOU DINGUS!"

Todoroki turned to the noise and saw Kaminari was indeed close by. He was sitting on a nearby rock, glaring at Todoroki as one half of his chest was stuck in ice. He seemed to have been caught in the glacial strike that Todoroki used to both stabilize the terrain and disable the villains. It was actually a kind of comedic sight.

"Apologies," Todoroki approached the half-frozen classmate. "I'll get you free in a-" His sentence was interrupted when a very big fist sent him flying back into a different mass of ice. The impact stunned him a brief moment, barely giving him time to dodge the huge fist aimed at his head. Sliding away, he looked up and saw the villain attacking him was a huge man with spikes jutting from his shoulders and head. The man almost looked like he was covered in stone, tho said stone was also glowing red like he was molten underneath. A rock man with a heat quirk. No wonder the ice didn't get him.

"Nice try," the man rumbled with a sneer, "but you can't freeze lava." The man swung his fist again, this time missing Todoroki by a large margin. The UA student threw ice at him, but it melted the moment it contacted the villain. He laughed and charged Todoroki again, ignoring all the ice the student threw at him. Dodging another fist, the icy student glanced at his trapped classmate, who was waving him over with electricity arcing between his fingers. Understanding what he meant, Todoroki sent out an even bigger wave of ice to push the man in Kaminari's direction, but the man just laughed more and smashed through the ice. Todoroki tried to dodge again, but took a solid hit to his shin before collapsing to the ground. He tried standing, but the pain in his leg flared up. Must be broken.

"Pathetic," the villain gloated. "This is why I hate heroes. You're all one-trick ponies. Normally I don't kill kids, but you ain't quite a kid anymore, so..." The man laughed as he raised his foot, intent on smashing Todoroki's skull. The student raised his hand to conjure an ice wall, but stopped when a pink-and-black blur slammed into the villain's face, sending him flying.

"STAY AWAY FROM MY CLASSMATE!" Uraraka Ochako screamed as she attacked the villain again. To everyone's surprise, Uraraka's fist sent him sprawling. The two boys knew Uraraka had some combat training, but to see her go all out against the villain was definitely and eye-opening experience. Giving a sidelong glance at Kaminari, the girl slammed her palm against the villain, negating his gravity and sending him flying at the electric kid. The villain gave a snarl when he impacted Kaminari, but that snarl turned into a scream when electricity coursed through his body. He fell to the ground unceremoniously as Uraraka deactivated her quirk.

"Is everyone ok?" Uraraka asked.

"I think my leg is broken," Todoroki replied. "I can't stand."

"I'm stuck in ice," Kaminari said with less anger than before. "Other than that I'm fine."

"Good." Uraraka pulled Todoroki up, letting him lean on her shoulder as they stumbled towards Kaminari. "Thank god I hit my growth spurt. Be kinda hard to do this if I was shorter than you."

"You used to be short?" Kaminari laughed as the other got close enough for Todoroki to melt the ice holding him in place. Once freed, he dashed to Todoroki's other side to help hold him up.

"We should get back to the main plaza," Uraraka stated. "Others might be heading there too."

---

Others were indeed heading to the plaza, as demonstrated by Izuku, Ibara and Tsuyu after their flight from the lake. They had encountered a couple other villains along the way, but they were quickly dispatched by the hero students. As they neared the plaza, they hid behind a nearby boulder to observe the area. There were a lot of villains lying unconscious in a heap, but there were quite a few more still up and active. They weren't doing anything, however. They were all quite a distance away, likely keeping an eye on the entrance. Closer to the group, though, a single, massive villain with black skin and a head like a brainy bird had pinned Aizawa to the ground. The hero wasn't moving. Not far from him were what Izuku assumed were the two ringleaders. One of them was the foggy guy who warped everyone in the first place, the other was a lanky man with pale blue hair who appeared to be covered in hands.

"And you're sure no one got out?" The hand-man asked.

"Yes," Fog guy replied. "This class's roster listed 19 students, and I warped 19 individuals." The Hand guy laughed maniacally about how things were working out as Izuku gave a quiet sigh of relief. He was one of the warped individuals. That meant they didn't spot Iida. Help would be coming. Now they just needed to figure out how to help Aizawa out from under that hulk-wannabe. Two Hero students and a Gen Ed student with one arm versus over two dozen villains, a hulk, fogman and a freaky guy with a hand fetish.

Not good odds.

Even worse odds when the boulder they were hiding behind suddenly crumbled and shattered.

"What do we have here?" Handsy asked as he peered over the rock. "Three little hero students, huh? A frog, a plant, and a...a bush! Like your hair!" The two girls took up fighting stances in front of Izuku. They knew he couldn't fight.Heknew he couldn't fight, but he couldn't just stand there. As the man gloated and laughed, his eyes fell on a sharp-looking rock nearby. It was just out of reach, and Izuku knew the man would attack the moment he moved, so he waited. For once his past trauma helped here, making him completely still.

"W-what are you doing here?" Izuku asked. "W-why'd you a-attack us?" The man looked at Izuku, head co*cked to one side.

"Hell's wrong with your mouth?" he asked back. "Talk normal, runt." It was at that point Izuku realized something else. The way he had been kneeling this whole time, Handsy probably didn't notice Izuku's lack of an arm. He remembered one time he escaped Bakugou's bullying by sacrificing his jacket to an explosion, maybe he could do the same thing here, if need be.

"Whatever," the man continued when Izuku didn't reply. "Anyway, we came to kill All Might with my nice pet over there, but the hero isn't here. Totally a waste, so we're getting our kicks killing your teacher. And maybe you too." With a speed one wouldn't have expected from a skinny frame, he lunged at Tsuyu, his open palm aimed right for her face. It was like she was frozen in place as he flew at her.

Open palm, fingers extended. He destroyed the boulder using his quirk. Must be like Uraraka's, requiring five-fingered contact.

Izuku couldn't remember the last time he did a fast mental-mutter like that, but with his thoughts lined up, he quickly grabbed the sharp rock before shoving Tsuyu out of the way with his left shoulder. Handsy's fingers clamped down on Izuku's sleeve, grabbing his shoulder in the process. Izuku screamed as pain flared up in that spot, retaliating by stabbing the sharp rock into the villain's hand. Said villain screamed and yanked his hand away, taking Izuku's sleeve with him. At the same time, Izuku jumped back, still holding the sharp rock and hissing as his shoulder bled through the torn jacket. The man sneered as the girls helped pull Izuku back further.

"At least I got your..." his sneer fell when he realized his hand was gripped tighter than it should have been. Looking at the crumbling sleeve in his hand, he finally noticed there wasn't an arm inside of it. Turning back to Izuku, he yelled, "WHAT THE f*ck HAPPENED TO YOUR ARM!?"

"L-long story," Izuku chuckled through his terror. Handsy yelled in frustration at being tricked before the fog guy from before stepped up.

"Shigaraki," Izuku heard him whisper, "that is not a Hero Course student. They wouldn't allow a one-armed child to be in Heroics, but he is clearly one of those I warped. I fear this means a student may have escaped."

Well, there went that surprise.

"Dammit!" the man now known as Shigaraki howled. "Damn brat ruined things! Nomu! Kill them!" The moment those words were uttered, the hulk that was pinning Aizawa disappeared and reappeared in front of Izuku. The beast roared as it swung it's fist down...and missed. The hulk, Nomu looked down at the vines wrapped around it's arm.

"RUN!" Shiozaki yelled as she and Tsuyu rushed the villain. Shigaraki screamed again and reached for the vines before Tsuyu dropkicked him in the head.

"Go get Aizawa-sensei!" Izuku yelled. Driven by something he'd never felt before, Izuku flipped around the rock in his hand, jumped at Nomu, and gave a roar of his own as he stabbed the rock into it's eye. Nomu roared and tried to bat Izuku away, but missed due to the loss of depth perception. That didn't last long, as Izuku watched with horror when the beast's eye regenerated right in front of him. More vines wrapped around both Nomu and Shigaraki (almost getting fog guy as well) before the three kids rushed for Aizawa. Tsuyu was fastest and reached Aizawa before the others. She started pulling him out before everyone heard snapping sounds behind them. Tsuyu's eyes widened and Izuku turned in time to see Shigaraki lunging at him, palm aimed right for his face. He couldn't dodge this one, Shiozaki was distracted with dodging the freed Nomu, he didn't even have his rock to defend himself. Shigaraki was mere meters from him. Centimeters.

Suddenly the sound of shattering glass filled the immediate area. Before anyone could turn toward the noise, three fist-sized spheres of ice slammed into Shigaraki. Almost simultaneously Izuku found himself lifted into the air as the area got very cold before he was pulled away from the villains. Before Shigaraki could recover from the ice that hit him, a very large foot kicked him into the fog guy, sending them both sprawling. What just happened?

"Don't worry, Midoriya-kun," a familiar voice spoke in his ear, "we got you." Gasping, Izuku looked over his shoulder and saw the person that grabbed him was none other than Kagaro Kiana, his winged class president. Looking next to her, he saw a massive ice floe like a giant slide forming from the ground with Moroboshi Ayane standing on top. Next to her were a confused Shiozaki and Tsuyu, the latter of whom was holding Aizawa. Unfortunately, all this noise caught the attention of the villains in the distance, who came rushing back eager to fight.

"Y-you two?" he asked. "H-how did-"

"Not just us," Moroboshi smirked. She pointed further down the slide, and Izuku looked to see more of his classmates. Asano was standing at full height with Sakai looped around her shoulders, at her feet were the spiked Gorogoro Mamoru, Choji Ryunosuke the wookiee and the rotund Gakushuu Hifumi. They all looked pissed.

"Who are you guys?" Tsuyu asked.

"We're from Class 1-C, like Izuku. We lost the signal from him around 12 minutes ago," Kagaro explained as she landed next to the Hero Course students, wincing at the blood on Izuku's jacket. "We alerted the teachers, and opted to come ahead to help best we could." Izuku was confused since he didn't destroy the vial, but he was more happy that help was here.

"HEY HEY HEY!" Shigaraki roared. "No fair bringing in extra bosses!"

"Shut it, finger-f*cker!" Choji yelled as he hoisted a boulder. "If anything, you're the boss fight here!"

"C-Careful!" Izuku warned from his spot as Kagaro took off her jacket and wrapped it around his shoulder. "Th-that guy c-c-can break things d-down if he touches them! B-big guy th-there has s-s-strength a-a-and regeneration! Th-they wanted to u-use him to kill All Might!"

"Did they now?" Asano sneered. "Well, they'll have to get through us, first!"

"We're Class 1-C, bitches!" Gorogoro flexed his arms. "And you're dead meat!" With that declaration, the students from General Education rushed forward to meet their foes.

Notes:

And thus we see the arrival of Class 1-C's Midoriya Protection Squad. You're about to see just how strong they are, including one who didn't apply for heroics.

Next chapter is gonna take some time to come out. I wanna make a very special picture for it, but I need some materials that are proving hard to find. Trust me, though, the picture will be worth it.

Also, I have no doubt some of you have spotted something in this fic that doesn't quite make sense. Allow me to simply say that it's occurrence is the opposite of something I stated in an earlier chapter. I love leaving riddles that make people scratch their heads until they see the answer. Then they go all "Oooh I get it!" Fills me with happy feels.

And with that, I bid you ta-ta for now! ^w^ Cobalt Star also got a recent update, so if u wanna see more stuff u can go over there too!

Chapter 7: Rescue and Resolution

Notes:

Students vs Villains. Warning you now, I decided to change one of the tags up above because...well, you'll see.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Uraraka and Kaminari hurried best they could, carrying the wounded Todoroki between them. With how many times they almost stumbled, Kaminari was tempted to ask Uraraka if she could just carry him piggyback, but decided against it. He would never know how wise this decision was. What weirded them all out, however, was that they hadn't encountered a single villain since they escaped the Landslide Zone. None of them knew if this was a good thing or a bad thing.

"Why is it so quiet?" Kaminari asked as the trio hustled through a forested area. "We were practically swamped back there, but now..."

"Just be grateful we're not being attacked right now," Todoroki sighed. "Not sure how well I could fight with one leg."

"Wonder how everyone else is doing," Uraraka voiced with worry. While they had not run into any villains, they had not run into any classmates either. She could only hope they were just busy with the villains in wherever they landed. She turned to say something else, but stopped when the trio was hit by a sudden cold wind. Before anyone could react, all three students saw a massive, intricately-carved fist made of ice shoot up from somewhere past the treeline. They watched as it sent of group of villains flying before crumbling into snow.

"...That wasn't me," Todoroki deadpanned.

"Let's go!" Ochako yelled as she swung Todoroki around to carry him bridal-style and ran ahead, leaving Kaminari. Said electrokinetic just watched her disappear between the trees.

"Damn her and her long legs."

As Kaminari struggled to catch up, Uraraka wove her way between the trees with Todoroki holding on tight. With the way she was bounding, he guessed she must have used her quirk to lighten her mass without negating it entirely. Didn't that quirkless boy come up with that idea? Todoroki had to admit, his ideas werebeyondclever, but too many relied on his fire. If they both survived, he'd have to ask for more ice-only ideas. Todoroki was shaken from his thoughts when he and Ochako heard a "GAH!" as another villain faceplanted the ground in front of them. Breaking through the treeline, the two students saw a bewildering sight.

There was an actual horde of villains in the main plaza, definitely more than half what came through the weird mist portal earlier. In their midst were a bunch of UA students fighting back. Uraraka and Todoroki recognized Tsuyu, Ojiro and Kirishima, but the majority of them were unknowns for the most part. They recognized the tall girl who was swinging a villain like a baseball bat from lunch the previous day. There was also a fat kid who seemed to be able to flatten himself, then inflate back to normal with enough force to knock back anyone around him. On the opposite end of the plaza they saw a giant snake and a boy with spikes fighting a big bird-headed villain with an exposed brain. With all of this going on, there was a white-haired girl shooting fist-shaped chunks of ice at villains as she circled the plaza on a small iceberg. It was a literal battlefield.

"What did we miss?" Uraraka asked.

"Uraraka-san! Todoroki-kun!" Both students turned and saw Shiozaki running up to meet them, only stopping to wrap another villain in her vines. "I am glad to see you are well."

"I don't think having a broken leg counts as being well," Todoroki replied. "What is all this?"

"A group of students from Midoriya's class came to render aid," the religious hero student explained. "Somehow he was able to get a signal out to alert UA." She ducked her head to avoid a villain sent flying by Asano before continuing, "Midoriya himself is on top of the tallest ice pillar over there, with Aizawa-sensei and another student from his class. Aizawa-sensei was wounded by the big brain villain and is incapacitated." As she finished, the group saw one villain was climbing the pillar in question and neared the top before a large white wing batted him off the side. "Initially it was only Asui-san and myself aiding them, but Ojiro-kun and Kirishima-kun arrived a few minutes ago."

"That's a lot to take in," Uraraka stated. She kind of wanted to join in and contribute to the fight, but with everything going on and the wounded classmate in her arms she was having trouble finding a place she could actually help. She got her answer when she heard a youthful scream of pain. The three students turned toward the noise and gasped at what they saw. The big villain had laid a heavy blow on the spike kid, smashing him into the ground. The snake bit the villains' shoulder hard before being torn off and hurled aside. Uraraka noticed the villain slowed down considerably after that, but was still moving in for the kill.

"Put me down," Todoroki tried to push his way out of Ochako's arms. "You two go help them, I can provide cover." The girl with the gravity quirk nodded and gently set her classmate down before she and Shiozaki began running towards the big villain. As they ran, Todoroki held his right hand to the ground. Working on one of the few ice-only tricks Midoriya had devised for him, Todoroki created a thin layer of ice a few centimeters under the soil and extended it out across the plaza. Using this layer, Shoto raised pillars of ice that slammed into any villain that got too close. There weren't too many villains that got close, though, as most of the villains were fighting the Gen Ed students. A couple villains tried going after Todoroki directly, but either met with more ice or were sent flying after getting bowled into by one of Asano's victims.

After a minute the girls reached their target, in time to see the snake bite him again, this time in the leg. The villain slowed down further, giving Shiozaki ample opportunity to wrap them in her vines. Simultaneously, Ochako reached down and pulled the spiky kid out of his hole in the ground. The boy was unsteady and bled from multiple injuries, but managed to stay upright with the help of Uraraka and his serpentine classmate.

"You doing okay?" Uraraka asked. "What's the big guy's quirk?"

"Quirks," Gorogoro said between breaths.

"Regeneration, Super Strength," Sakai listed, "and during our fight we noticed his muscles were tougher than most, so we think he may have shock absorption as well." The snake looked back at the villain that was wrapped in vines. "My venom slowed him down, but I think his Regeneration is letting him adapt to multiple doses. We need a more surefire way to incapacitate him."

"I have a way," Uraraka nodded. "Who here is the physically strongest?" Before either boy could answer, there was a scream as a villain was sent flying into the nearby wall. Ochako turned and saw Asano still standing tall and sending the remaining villains flying. "Okay, her. HEY, BIG GIRL!" Asano turned to Uraraka, holding an unconscious villain in her hand. "GONNA NEED YOU TO HIT THIS GUY HARD AS YOU CAN WHEN I GIVE THE SIGNAL!" Turning and dashing to the villain, she slapped his face hard before nodding to Shiozaki. The plant girl nodded back and released her vines. As she did this, Asano tossed aside the villain in her hand and turned to Moroboshi, who was still surfing around.

"MOROBOSHI," Asano called out over the remaining villains and the other hero students, "I NEED A HAMMER!" The ice girl nodded before sliding over to the ice pillar closest to Todoroki.

"This yours?" she asked. Confused, Todoroki only nodded. "Not bad. Borrowing it." She placed her hand against the pillar and closed her eyes. Todoroki watched in awe as his ice pillar slowly changed shape. It grew taller and more slender, gaining what looked like intricate carvings. He was so drawn in to watching this process he almost didn't see a small group of villains dashing right for them. Fortunately, Ojiro and Kirishima slammed into them.

"Whatever you're doing, go faster!" Ojiro hollered as he held one villain in a chokehold.

"It's harder using ice I didn't make!" Moroboshi yelled back as she kept changing the ice. "I'd make my own, but I'm iced out!" As she reshaped the ice, Todoroki saw a familiar black cloud appear behind her head. His eyes widened as a hand emerged from it, poised to grab Moroboshi's head. He moved to stop the hand and gave a shout of surprise, not wanting to know what would happen if that hand got her. Unfortunately, he wound up learning as Moroboshi created a wall of ice behind her to stop the hand, only for the ice to crumble around it. Moroboshi looked back with eyes of terror, literally frozen in place. Todoroki staggered upright and lunged for the hand, trying to create his own ice to knock it away while Ojiro and Kirishima finally noticed what was happening and moved to intervene. It was too close. He was too slow. The hand was centimeters from touching her.

Before he reached it, however, the gate suddenly closed and he could hear a distant scream as the arm fell to the ground at the ice girl's feet. The act of closing the portal had severed that arm. Both ice students stared at the fallen appendage in a mix of shock and disgust. Ojiro just stared with wide eyes while Kirishima straight up vomited.

Todoroki almost joined him.

He didn't know it, but Uraraka had also been watching the formation of the ice hammer while holding the zero-gravity hulk in place above the ground. She had seen the portal form and recognized it. Looking around quickly, she saw the two head villains from before, including the one who could create the portals. Narrowing her eyes, she leaned down and picked up a large rock. With the sort of precision that could only come from spending years skipping stones across lakes, she hurled the stone at the portal guy hard as she could. Her finger hurt after the throw, but she was rewarded with a direct hit to his head, knocking him down and out. She did not expect the act to result in a severed limb. The sight of the villain bleeding like that, and knowing it was her fault, was almost too much for her and she almost lost control of her quirk.

Fortunately, at that same moment Moroboshi finished reshaping Todoroki's ice. The three boys stared at her creation in awe. It wasn't just a hammer, it was covered in precise and intricate carvings. It was a piece of art. They kept staring as Moroboshi used her quirk to send the ice hammer flying to Asano before falling to her knees. At that point Todoroki noticed her hair was matted in ice and snowflakes. Perhaps she wasn't completely immune to her own cold, either? In a moment of compassion, Todoroki set his left hand on her head and used a little bit of his fire side to help warm her up. Looking at him in surprise, she quickly nodded her gratitude as he warmed her up.

Meanwhile, Asano caught the hammer and gave it a few spins before turning to the still-floating Nomu. With a smile more befitting the villains she had spent the last five minutes beating up, she rushed at the hulk and gave a battlecry as she swung with all her might. The resulting impact shattered the hammer, but also sent the beast speeding through the air. Uraraka negated her quirk after hearing it break through the glass of the dome. With her quirk released, Ochako fell to her knees and took deep breaths.

With the departure of the Nomu, the fighting finally died down. The hand villain managed to succeed in rousing his portal-making compatriot, but they were met by the angry and determined glares of the students. No other villain was on their feet.

"f*ck, I think we lost," the dismembered villain whined. "Stupid heroes and their-" His words were cut off as the doors to the USJ were slammed off their hinges and sent flying across the plaza. Everyone turned to the source of the noise, each side hoping it wasn't an enemy.

"EVERYTHING IS ALRIGHT NOW."

A massive form appeared at the top of the stairs. The students all gave smiles and sighs of relief as they saw who it was.

"BECAUSE I AM HERE."

All Might had arrived on the scene, and he was not smiling. If anything, he looked downrightpissed. He saw the students, both Hero Course and Gen Ed. He saw they were injured and exhausted. He saw the two remaining villains, and how one of them was bleeding profusely. Looking to his left, he could see the pillar that Midoriya, Kagaro and Aizawa were huddled on top of. No one said a word after his announcement, but the silence was broken by a massive amount of electricity erupted from the forested area behind Shigaraki and Kurogiri.

"We definitely cannot win now," Kurogiri muttered to Shigaraki. "I advise we retreat."

"No fair," Shigaraki hissed as he held his stump of a right arm. "Our Nomu was defeated before All Might even got here. Our troops were beaten by npcs. Fine!" He turned to All Might and roared, "You and your little brats win this time, All Might, but the League of Villains will kill you!" As he finished, a big portal appeared behind him and both villains retreated before All Might could reach them. With their retreat, the fighting had officially ended.

---

Iida had returned with other teachers not long after the fighting stopped, and with him came the medics. It took some time, but all the students were accounted for and were receiving treatment for their injuries. Everyone had also been questioned about what happened, and they all explained what they could. The students who explained the most were Asui, Shiozaki and Midoriya, who had been present for the majority of the villain's speech. Izuku was relieved to hear none of the villains he had incapacitated with the shock bomb had drowned, and was even more glad to hear none of the students had died either. Aizawa and Thirteen, however, had been gravely injured and would likely remain hospitalized for some time.

Once the medics cleared everyone, Izuku was rushed by his classmates. They were beyond worried for him, and wanted to make sure he was alright. Izuku assured them that he was alright and actually relatively unharmed. However, there was one more bit of unpleasantness that had to be sorted out. Something that filled the Gen Ed students with dread.

They broke a lot of rules, and had to answer for them.

Rather than be taken back to the main buildings, the present students of Class 1-C (including Izuku) were instructed to wait in the USJ until Nedzu arrived. There was a slight chuckle as the mammalian principal drove up in a scaled-down Cadillac, but no one laughed as he approached with Midnight in tow. He had his trademark grin, but Midnight looked less happy. All the Gen Ed students stood in a line in front of these two teachers, nervously fidgeting with whatever they could.

"You caused a bit of havoc," Nedzu finally spoke up after minutes of silence. "There is a literal bridge of ice connecting the 1-C Classroom to this facility, and ice scattered throughout the main plaza down below. That does not even cover the fact that the school went on lockdown the moment we received the distress signal, and you students chose to come fight."

"We understand your reasoning," Midnight added, "and we know you wanted to help protect Midoriya and the other students, but you kids haven't received any combat training while at UA. Your quirks might be powerful, but these were legitimate villains. You could have died. Midoriya is exempt since he was already here, but the rest of you should have known better."

The students stayed silent. There was nothing they could say to excuse their actions. Even Izuku was feeling particularly morose after that. He was worried what would happen to his classmates. He felt bad they came to rescue him, and now were going to be punished for it.

"None of you are being expelled," Nedzu continued, "but you will still need to be punished for this violation." Nedzu went silent, clearly thinking of a suitable punishment. The students were afraid of what he was thinking, dreading what he would decide. After a minute, he turned back to the students with a smile.

"I know! As punishment, you must clean up all the ice! Every piece from here to the main building must be gone, and you cannot go home until it is achieved."

That...that surprised them. On one hand, that was a lot of ice. On the other, they had Moroboshi. They knew that, when rested, she'd be able to clear the ice in no time at all using her quirk. The principal must have known that as well.

"I know you can clear it quickly," Nedzu said, confirming their belief. "The reason for such a...lenient punishment is because I'm truly not mad at all!" Taking in their widening eyes, the tiny principal continued, "While you may have broken at least a half-dozen rules, you did it with the intent to do good. Now, normally I am not an 'ends justify the means' sort of individual, but you are also students. You are in the process of learning how to do things, driven by emotion above all else. You heard your friend was in danger, and rushed to help. That is a very heroic mindset. Just be sure to reign it in next time, alright?" The students nodded. "Excellent! Midoriya, you will return to the main building with Midnight. I will remain here to supervise your classmates." With that, Class 1-C gave Midoriya one last hug before Midnight pulled him towards the doors. The two clambered into the remaining automated bus and sat side-by-side. When it started going, Midnight pulled Izuku into a tight hug.

"I am so sorry," she whispered. "I promised I'd keep you safe, and you got attacked your first week here. I'm so, so sorry, Izuku." Izuku could hear the remorse in her voice, and though flustered by how close his face was to her chest, he reciprocated the hug best he could.

"I-it's alright, M-Midnight," he replied after a moment. "You d-d-didn't know it would h-happen. P-plus, I-I was with Hero Students. Th-they helped save me, t-too." The two stayed in the hug, neither willing to move. After a few minutes, Izuku tightened his hug and gasped.

"Izuku?" Midnight asked with worry.

"M-Mei's gonna k-kill me," the student stated. "I lost her d-d-desk in the lake b-back there..."

Midnight stared at her student in surprise for a few moments before laughing and pulling him closer. If he was worried over something small like that, he was gonna be alright. Now she just had to figure out how to explain this to Inko.

---

At the same time Midoriya was being suffocated by Midnight's generous bust, there was a small bar a few towns over that was occupied by a misty barkeep, an annoyed doctor and a screaming villain. Against one wall was a television with a camera on top. Displayed on the TV was a man that, if you knew him, would qualify as living nightmare fuel.

"It's not fair!" Shigaraki yelled as his stub was being tended to. "We lost the fight before All Might even got there! They had more npcs then we thought, and they were way powerful! It's like they were keeping secret weapons or something!"

"An interesting twist," the man on the TV replied. "Did they happen to say who they were?"

"They identified themselves as Class 1-C," Kurogiri explained. "According to the records, 1-C is a General Education class. They should not have received combat training, and yet so many of them were quite proficient at it."

"I'm gonna kill them!" Shigaraki declared after his arm was finally wrapped in bandages. "I'm gonna hunt down those brats and kill them all!"

"Calm yourself," the man on the TV ordered, silencing Shigaraki immediately. "While losing the Nomu was a hard hit, we can still learn from this event. We've learned that the Hero Courses aren't the only ones with students prepped for battle, and we know that having a hundred minions does no good if they're all so weak. With this in mind, Shigaraki, I want you to focus on rebuilding the League's numbers. However, rather than focus on quantity, I want you to focus on quality. Bring in a few powerful members. They defeated us with a handful of strong individuals, let us show we can do the same to them."

"I will," Shigaraki sneered. "I'll get people better than those brats. More powerful. And they will kill them." Shigaraki gave a laugh, but winced and held his right shoulder. "But first...I'm gonna need a new arm..."

---

It was the morning of the following day. There was a public announcement stating that school was cancelled so the students could recuperate from the incident, so Izuku was exploiting this by sleeping in. True, he still woke up before 8 due to sudden phantom pains in his shoulder, but he lay in bed thinking about everything. He had been in UA less than a week. Less than a week, and already so much stuff had happened. He had actual friends, his teachers actually looked out for him, he was receiving hero training, and almost died from a large-scale villain attack. Even with that last part, he had to admit his first week of UA was so much better than the previous ten years of his life.

He also had to admit last night was pretty fun, too. Midnight had actually escorted him home, and then hung around a few hours while his mom hugged him half to death. Not long after that, Kamui Woods had dropped by to make sure he was alright, and the night turned into an impromptu game night between the Midoriyas and the heroes. Izuku gave a small laugh when he remembered the look on Kamui's face at multiple points during their game. The pro heroes had walked away with the knowledge to never play Tokaido with his mom and expect to win.

He was shaken from his thoughts when he heard someone knocking on the front door of the apartment. That was weird, they weren't expecting anyone. Figuring it might have been important, he got up and quickly got dressed. This turned out to be a good idea, as he threw on a tshirt just as there was knocking on his bedroom door.

"Izuku," Inko asked through the wood, "are you up?"

"Right here," Izuku replied as he opened the door. "W-what's going on?"

"Your principal is here to see you," his mom explained with a smile. "He brought someone with him, too. I'm gonna cook breakfast for everyone." Izuku nodded and quickly jogged to the living room. The minute he turned the corner, he saw Nedzu sitting on the couch between the pile of Izuku's notebooks (he was wondering if he'd ever get those back) and the other guest. Izuku froze in place the moment he saw the other person.

The new person was a girl he did not recognize. Despite her height she looked kind of young, like someone who was just on the edge of adulthood. She had long blonde hair, but in the light it shimmered like fine golden thread. Her eyes were like polished turquoise behind a pair of thin eyeglasses, and beheld him with a soft gaze. Her skin was of a fair complexion, unmarred by freckles or markings. She wore a white dress shirt with pink cuffs under a raspberry-red waist coat that accentuated her curves. She also wore grey capri pants, under which were plaid socks that matched colors with her shirt and waist coat, along with sturdy-looking brown boots. Never before had Izuku seen what he could only describe as a paragon of beauty. Her eyes widened a bit as her gaze fell on his shoulder, but he was too stunned to notice.

"Good morning, Midoriya!" Nedzu greeted, breaking Izuku from his stupor. "I'm sorry if this seems unexpected, but I did tell you that I would be introducing you to someone this morning, and I didn't think it would be a problem to keep my word despite this meeting not occurring in school."

"I-it's fine," the short green kid stated as he sat in the armchair across from the two. "M-may I ask who this is?"

"This," Nedzu gestured to the girl, "is Melissa Shield! Daughter of the famous David Shield, and transfer student for Class 3-H Support Course." Nedzu then turned to Melissa (good god, what a beautiful name) and said, "Melissa, this is Midoriya Izuku of Class 1-C General Education Course. He has been chosen to receive specialized hero training."

"A pleasure to meet you," Melissa greeted with a smile. If Midoriya had not already been sitting, he might have fallen to the floor. To his ears, her voice was like the chime of a glass bell, her smile as beautiful as freshly-fallen snow at night. Izuku could not remember feeling this flustered even around Midnight.

"Now, Melissa," Nedzu continued as he hopped off the couch and walked towards Izuku, "I've heard you've been acing literally every assignment Power Loader has thrown at you, correct?" This question caught both students by surprise, but Melissa nodded. "I heard you've been acing them in record time, too. Which is why I want you to help us with this."

"Us?" Izuku asked. Instead of a response, Nedzu stood next to Izuku and gestured to his left shoulder.

"As you can see, Melissa, young Midoriya is missing a little something. And I want you to fix that." Once again, both students were caught by surprise.

"Y-you mean..."

"Correct," Nedzu said with a glint in his eye. "I want you to make Midoriya a prosthetic arm that is fit for combat."

Notes:

I sure hope you guys enjoyed that battle. I wanted to make a picture for it, but things kinda fell through. Oh well, maybe next time.

And now we see the main girl! ^w^ I knew everyone was waiting for this.

Next time we'll have some bonding-er-dialogue between the two kids, we meet one or two new people, and next chapter will likely end on the sort of cliffhanger that folks who read Cobalt Star are used to seeing. In other words, the sort to make you all scream in anger. XD Until next time!

Chapter 8: Resolution and History

Notes:

You're gonna hate me at the end of this.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Izuku sat in a daze. He was gonna get a new arm. A new left arm. After everything that happened, he could barely remember what it felt like having one of those. What would it be like? Was it gonna look like something from an anime? Or maybe something like he'd seen in the Support Course workshops. He hoped it wouldn't be too bulky. It would be awkward if it were so heavy he walked lopsided. There were more questions bouncing around his skull, but they were all derailed when he noticed Melissa had picked up his right arm and was looking at it...very...closely...

"W-what are you..." Izuku meekly asked. His face felt very warm at just how close the tall american girl was. She looked up at him and gave a soft smile that made him more flustered.

"Just giving your arm a close look," she replied with her glass-bell voice. "I'll be taking more precise measurements back at school, where I actually have tools, but observations made here can give me an idea of what sort of arm to make you. Has to be combative, but not obtrusive." She gave his arm a slight squeeze (eliciting a shy squeak from Izuku) before continuing, "You're not too muscular right now, so I can't make it too heavy. What sort of fighting style do you think you'll be using?"

"Um," Izuku spoke through his blushing, "N-Nedzu and Sir N-Nighteye were t-talking about teaching m-me h-how t-to fight w-w-with weapons, and utilizing my s-s-speed..." This seemed to pique her interest, making her look him in the eyes.

"Weapons?" she asked. "Will they complement your quirk?"

"N-no..." Izuku turned away, looking down for a moment before looking back to Melissa. "W-wait, m-may I ask what your q-quirk is?" Melissa looked at him, then gave a smile as she started writing in her notebook.

"Take a guess," she challenged. Izuku looked at her best he could. Pushing past her beauty, he noted she lacked any form of physical alterations, so it was likely an emitter-type quirk. Since she was apparently acing her course...

"S-something along the l-lines of technopathy?" he asked after a minute. She smiled...and shook her head. "O-oh. Umm, high intelligence?"

Another headshake.

"G-good vision?"

Denied.

"Elemental c-command?"

A laugh and a denial. This continued for another minute or two, with Izuku going through his mental list of possible quirks and her denying it. Eventually he sighed and drooped his shoulders.

"W-what is your quirk?" he asked in defeat. Melissa simply smiled again, reached into her wallet and pulled out her ID card. Izuku looked at it, specifically the lower right corner. There was a small box in that corner that had one of two symbols in it. If someone had a quirk, this box would have a big green Q in it where the bottom line would turn sharply upward like a check mark. Next to the box would then say the quirk's name and a quick summary of it's effects. However, if the person was quirkless, the Q would be red, and instead of a check mark the bottom line would go down a bit further with another short line going perpendicular through it, turning the bottom line into an X. It was a symbol Izuku was all too familiar with. It was a symbol he hated, knowing that so many people would think he was less than human because of it.

It was the same symbol that was on Melissa's ID.

Izuku stared in shock a few seconds longer before Melissa took her ID back, calmly putting it away. Then he stared at her in amazement. An amazing person, a beautiful lady, and she was...

"Q-quirkless?"

"Yup," she smiled. "I'm among the few without powers. Admittedly, America has a higher percentage of quirkless, and indeed many of our heroes are the same. That's why we've got a bigger focus on support gear and technology."

"O-oh," Izuku vocalized. "I-I wish quirkless h-here in Japan were t-t-treated th-that nicely." He gave a weak chuckle and stopped, realizing he had subconsciously started rubbing his left shoulder. He quickly set his arm back down, but the look on Melissa's face said it all. With that sentence and gesture, she figured out he was quirkless, and lost his arm because of it.

"Oh my god," she whispered.

"I-it's in the past!" Izuku tried to explain it away. "R-really. Nothing t-to worry about..." Melissa stared a bit longer before flipping to another page in her notebook and writing something really fast. Izuku was worried about what she was writing, but noted her face was one of grim determination. Hopefully it was a good thing.

---

While Melissa and Izuku were in the living room going over things, Nedzu and Inko had moved into the kitchen. Inko prepared tea for them both and sat across the kitchen table from the principal.

"I have to thank you for doing this," Inko spoke as she sat down. "Honestly, after everything that happened over the past year, I'm glad to see Izuku genuinely smile again."

"Everything that happened over the past year is the failings of society," Nedzu admitted. "With Japan's discrimination against quirkless, I knew a case like your son's would happen eventually. I had been keeping an eye out, catching what I could before any lasting damage was done." He gave an ashamed sigh. "I am truly sorry for what happened to your son."

"You don't need to apologize," the mother smiled. "Izuku's dream has always been to be a hero, to help people. Just when he had given up on that dream, when he was at his lowest, you came and pulled him back up. I think you were the first supportive voice he had before now." She looked down in her own shame. "Even I wasn't as supportive as I should have been." There were a few seconds of silence as the two adults sipped their tea.

"I'd like your son to see the school therapist," Nedzu stated. "I know he had to undergo physical therapy after the incident, but I saw something yesterday morning that proved he needs more mental therapy as well. It's covered by the school, so you don't need to worry about payments."

"I am grateful," Inko set her cup down, "but I've been curious for the past week. Hero training, making him a prosthetic for free, now therapy. Does your school normally bend over backwards like this for students?" Nedzu stared a moment before giving a laugh.

"No," Nedzu admitted, "but like I said, your son has suffered a lot and the best I can do is help him out of it. Plus, I kind of see myself in him. Brilliant, noble, maybe a tad bit more modesty, and completely ostracized by society because of something outside of his control. It took me literally decades to get accepted by the Hero Union, and even nowadays some citizens refuse to accept the fact an animal like me can be a hero. So, if I can help someone who's also suffered get up faster, I most certainly will. Especially if they have the makings of a genuine hero." He took another sip, enjoying the flavor of his tea. "This is quite delicious. You must tell me the brand."

"Family recipe," Inko beamed. Nedzu chuckled and the two adults continued drinking in silence.

---

Todoroki lay on his futon, staring at the ceiling of his bedroom. His father was at work, and he was permitted to do only lighter drills today due to his healing leg. This is what gave him the free time he was currently enjoying. As he felt the ache in his leg, he thought back to the previous day. The USJ was his first actual experience fighting villains, and that one lava villain almost got him. He would have to train his ice side harder. He never wanted to feel so weak again.

While his thoughts were on his ice quirk, he remembered that ice girl from the General Education class. He recalled how she was almost gliding around the area. How she took his ice and reshaped it into a weapon for her friend. How she could make icefloat in the airwithout making it into snow. Her use of that quirk was beyond anything he imagined possible with his own. Seeing what she could do...seeing just how easily it came to her...even just seeing her...

"Beautiful..."

He shot to his feet, then staggered back onto his bed because his leg was still aching. After a minute, he got up a bit more calmly and walked to the computer in his room. He overheard that girl's name was Moroboshi. The school would keep her address secret, but the online phonebook would no doubt have her address listed. All he had to do was look through the list of "Moroboshi" names living in town and he could find her in no time. He knew Moroboshi could not be that common a name, so that list shouldn't be-one name. Todoroki stared at his computer screen, bewildered at what he saw. Musutafu was a large city, well over 100,000 people living there, and there was only one family with the last name Moroboshi. It reallywasn'ta common name, huh?

After making sure it was the right Moroboshi, Todoroki quickly grabbed his bag and a nondescript hat. Making sure all his hair was under his hat, he quickly jogged through the halls of his massive house and out the door. No one was home, so he didn't need to tell anyone where he was going. He also knew his dad would be furious if they learned where he was going, but he didn't care. He was a man on a mission.

---

ONE WEEKEND LATER

---

"...and after everything calmed down," Melissa told Izuku, "my classmate looks at the goat and says 'I won't tell anyone if you won't.' before just walking away!" Izuku almost stumbled from laughing so hard at the end of her story. The two of them were walking down the hall towards the Support Course workshops, with Principal Nedzu in front of them. Izuku was fully recovered from what happened in the USJ, though he wasn't able to get a replacement jacket yet, so he came wearing the one with some bloodstains and a disintegrated sleeve. Izuku was still laughing by the time they reached the workshops, and Nedzu raised his paw to knock on the door before the door opened on it's own.

"Good god, Mido-chan," Mei smiled as she stepped out, "I could hear you laughing from..." her gaze fell on Melissa and she stopped talking. She slowly looked the American girl up and down before turning to Izuku while gesturing to Melissa. "Mido-chan, who is this titan?"

"This," Nedzu stepped in to explain, "is Melissa Shield, a 3rd-year transfer student. Melissa, this is Mei, the girl I told you about over the weekend."

"Principal, why are you telling people about me?" Mei asked. "I don't even have any babies to demonstrate yet."

"Babies?" the tall American asked.

"Her inventions," the smol boy explained.

"Because," Nedzu clapped his paws together, "Melissa here will be spearheading a particular project that I want you to help her out with. She is going to be making a combat-capable prosthetic for Midoriya." At the conclusion of his words, Mei stared at Melissa for a few seconds before turning and staring at Izuku. After a few seconds of silence, Mei gave a happy scream (startling everyone) before pulling Izuku into a tight hug and spinning around.

"CONGRATS, MIDO-CHAN!" Mei cheered as she kept spinning Izuku around, his head held tight into her shoulder. "YOU'RE GETTING A NEW ARM, AND I'M GONNA HELP MAKE IT! IT'S GONNA BE SO AWESOME! I'LL ADD BLADES AND A TRIPWIRE AND MAYBE A HACK MODULE AND-"

"Mei, please!" Nedzu laughed as Melissa stared in total shock. "Let the boy down before you break something!" Mei gave a few more spins before setting Izuku down, chuckling as the small boy wobbled on his feet. Everyone took this opportunity to (finally) enter the workshop while Izuku staggered in behind them and collapsed in a stool. Nedzu and Mei helped Melissa unload the various papers and notes she was carrying in her bag. As Melissa got them arranged nice and neat, Izuku gasped and straightened up.

"M-Mei," he stuttered, "Th-there's something I need t-t-to tell you." The inventor turned as Izuku got to his feet and bowed. "I-I lost th-the desk you made me l-last week. I-I lost it in a l-l-lake area d-d-during the villain attack. I-I'm so sorry." He started tearing up a bit. "I-I know y-you worked so hard on it, a-a-and I lost it on the f-first day you gave it t-to me, and-" His apologies ceased when Mei hugged him tight. This wasn't the same sort of hug she gave earlier that ended with her spinning him around. This hug was a warm, comforting one.

"Don't worry," Mei whispered into his ear. "Your life is more important than any device in this lab. I'm sorry I couldn't be there for you."

Izuku teared up a bit more at her words and returned the hug best he could. They held the hug for a few more moments before Mei pulled away and gave a trademark smile. "Honestly, Mido-chan, I wanted to talk to you about that desk. Gimme a minute." She hopped off, past Melissa and Nedzu, and reached down behind her table. After a moment she straightened with a smile and exclaimed "TA-DA!" as she held up a certain contraption Izuku recognized instantly.

"Th-the desk!" he gasped. "H-how did you-"

"We're a hero school, Mido-chan!" Mei laughed as she walked over with the desk and started putting on the smaller boy. "I heard what happened, tracked the energy from the vial, hired a fish-kid from Management to retrieve it."

"You know," Nedzu turned from helping Melissa arranging notes, "you still need to tell me how you managed to duplicate the Red Matter after seeing itonce."

"Classified!" Mei giggled as she clipped the last strap for Izuku. "All done, Mido-chan! Now get to class. I don't wanna know what Midnight would do if you're late." Izuku nodded, gave Mei a quick half-hug and dashed out the door. Once he was gone, Mei clapped her hands and turned to Melissa and Nedzu. "Ho-kay, what are we dealing with?"

"I was thinking of something like this," Melissa pointed at one of the pages. "Not bulky, but definitely not the uncanny valley sort of limbs that America used to make before they reached the logical conclusion that they looked creepy. Plus, with this design, we can hide a few weapons for him, like-"

"Stopping you right there," Mei interrupted as she pointed at one page that detailed small flashbangs. "None of these. Nothing explosive around Mido-chan, he as PTSD involving explosions. THIS, on the other hand..."

---

It was almost lunch time, and Izuku had spent the last hour and a half with Class 1-A. Since they couldn't do the exercises in the USJ, it had been decided Izuku would work with them during the pre-lunch study period to see if there was any other way to improve their quirks. Aizawa looked like a mummy and was snoozing on the floor as Izuku was finishing up with Yaoyorozu.

"It l-l-looks like the amount of lipids u-used up is less d-d-dependent on the mass of the c-creation," Izuku stated, "but rather th-the materials the object is m-made from. Try creating things using c-c-ceramics instead of m-metals in the future and r-record the drain for those. I-if you ever need to c-c-create something particularly c-complicated but one-time-use, might be more f-feasible to use lighter m-materials to retain more energy."

"I see," Momo nodded in agreement. "I'll start small with like knives and stuff." She gave a smile. "You are definitely hero material, Midoriya-kun. Anyone who told you otherwise was gravely mistaken." Izuku chuckled and blushed at the compliment as everyone else gathered their belongings to head to lunch. Once they opened the door, however, Class 1-A found the way blocked.

"W-what's going on?" Izuku asked as he got up. He had to get on his tiptoes to look over everyone's shoulders, but he could see a literal horde of people was blocking the doorway. It took a moment, but he recognized a lot of them as students from Class 1-B. He also saw Monoma was at the front of the group, looking as snobby as ever.

"We came to see the famous Class 1-A," he sneered to Kirishima. "Honestly, I'm not that impressed. Bet you guys feel all high and mighty because you fought some villains, huh? Think you're all that?"

"E-E-EXCUSE ME!?"

Everyone in the hallway froze at the voice, while the students in the classroom turned with confused expressions as Izuku squeezed between everyone to address the Class B student directly. No one in Class 1-A had every really heard him shout like that, and they were kind of worried he might explode if he did it again.

"Y-you think we're happy w-w-we got attacked?" Izuku asked. "Y-you think we're glad w-we almost died? C-cuz that's what happened b-b-back there, and-"

"OH MY GOD!" one of the Class B students, whom Izuku recognized as Tetsutetsu Tetsutetsu, exclaimed. Everyone turned to him in confusion as he raised his hand and pointed at Izuku. "W-w-what happened!?" Izuku was initially confused until he noticed the student was pointing at his side, where the bloodstains from last week were still fairly prevalent on his jacket.

"O-oh," he explained, "a-a villain k-kinda disintegrated my sleeve, and I h-h-haven't been able to g-get a replacement coat y-yet."

"Dude," another student gasped, "you lost your freaking arm and you're more worried about your jacket!?"

"Wait, what?" Izuku snapped his gaze back to the students.

"To lose your arm and come back so quickly," Tetsutetsu started tearing up, "I've never seen anyone so manly!"

"N-no, th-that's not-"

"We were wrong!" Another Class B student, whom Izuku recognized from the folders as Yoarashi Inasa, yelled. "Truly he is what all us hero students aspire to be!" The other students loudly agreed, clearly moved by what they perceived to be Izuku's bravery and nobility. The only one who didn't share the sentiment was Monoma, who's eye twitched a bit as he tried to recover the situation.

"M-maybe so," Monoma started, "but it's not like they-"

"Monoma," Aizawa appeared from behind the Class A kids. "You may not have come to cause a physical altercation, but you are clearly trying to harass your fellow students. I'm pretty sure Principal Nedzu warned you about this after you were thrown from the cafeteria last week." Monoma paled as Aizawa continued. "I'm pretty sure today qualifies as strike two. You know enough about baseball to know what happens when you hit strike three, right?" Instead of answering, Monoma just turned and fled. A few seconds later, the rest of the students dispersed, finally clearing the door.

"...I-I lost my arm a y-year ago..." Izuku told empty air. He stood there as the other Class 1-A students exited the room, shaken from his confused stupor when he felt a hand pat his shoulder. Giving a jump of surprise, he turned and saw Uraraka leaning down to his level.

"Wanna come eat lunch with us?" she asked. "You're practically a classmate already."

"Um," Izuku replied, blushing a bit at how close Uraraka was, "I-I was gonna eat with m-my classmates, s-since I haven't actually sh-shared a lunch with them for a while." He fidgeted nervously for a second when he saw Uraraka pout before continuing, "B-but...I-I don't think they'd mind i-if you ate with us?" That brought a smile back to her face. Dang, looking at her she was almost as pretty as Melissa. With a nod from Uraraka, Izuku smiled and started walking back to Class 1-C with her. The minute they approached the door, however, it slid open with a bang.

Standing in the doorway was a female student neither of them recognized. Ochako stood tall at 182 centimeters, but this other girl was even taller. She had a pair of small horns jutting from the sides of her head just above the ears. Her skin was fair, but there were emerald scales up the sides of her face and disappearing into her dark blue hair. She looked down at the two students with deep red eyes full of disinterest before turning back to the class.

"Oscar," she called with a husky voice.

"C-coming!" the mousey student replied as he approached. With a nod from the new girl, the two exited the class and walked down the hall, away from the cafeteria. Once she was gone, Izuku and Ochako stepped into the classroom.

"Welcome back, Midoriya-kun," Hojo, the girl with the long tongue, greeted.

"W-who was that?" Izuku asked.

"Maria Draconis," Tabata replied as he stretched his arms. "Daughter of the CEO of Draconis Industries, Second-Year Management student."

"Oscar eats with her all the time," Yoshio cleaned his four-lensed glasses. "You must not have seen her yet because your lunches have been elsewhere."

"Who's the girl you're with?" Hayashida smirked as his purple hair flapped without a breeze. "She's pretty."

"Th-this is Uraraka Ochako, f-from 1-A," Izuku explained as Ochako gave a slight bow. "Sh-she was wondering if she could e-eat with us?"

"Of course!" Asano smiled. "We got no qualms with hero kids, and I recognize her from the USJ. She's fine by me." After hearing this, the rest of the students gave their agreement, and soon the class plus Ochako made the trek to the cafeteria. Grabbing their food, they picked a corner of the cafeteria for themselves and sat down chatting away. After a minute, Asui and Shiozaki joined them, followed quickly by Kaminari, who had apparently befriended Choji the wookiee during a part of the USJ incident that no one else had seen.

Izuku looked around as they ate. There he was, surrounded by friendly faces chattering away happily. He spied Asui had joined Yoshio in a game of "steal Tabata's shrimp unnoticed" while Kagaro was regaling Shiozaki and Uraraka with some of the stuff Class 1-C did. He may not have been talking to anyone, but he wasn't being ignored either. Sometimes someone would turn to ask him to affirm a statement, other times someone would ask him to pass a condiment. He was in a group. Hebelonged. The feeling he got from this was a happy feeling he would never take for granted.

Looking up from his lunch, he saw a flash of gold in the doorway of the cafeteria. Turning towards it, he saw it was Melissa peering into the room with Mei by her side. After a moment, Mei spotted Izuku and distinctly pointed at him before walking over, followed by Melissa. In Melissa's arms were a notebook and a few loose pages. Izuku cleared the seat next to him (Ochako had been sitting in the one on his other side), giving Melissa a place to sit as she arrived.

"Hey, Midoriya-kun," she greeted, "I just need to ask you a few things."

"Who are you?" Asui asked as Tabata stole one of her shrimps.

"Melissa Shield," Mei smiled as she sat in a chair across from Melissa. "I'm Hatsume Mei. We're both Support Course, and we're making Mido-chan's new arm."

"Oh he told us about that!" Hayashida smiled big, the air around him suddenly smelling of cinnamon. "Midoriya-kun, you didn't tell us you were on good terms with three beautiful ladies. Don't be so greedy." This got a laugh from the class as Izuku turned beet red and stammered a defense.

"Anyway," Melissa smiled as the laughing died down, "I wanted to show you what Mei and I have planned for your arm, but first I need to ask you a question."

"For the record," Mei raised her hand, "I tried to deter her, but the American is persistent."

"W-what do you n-need to know?" he asked nervously. If Mei had tried to stop her, this could only mean the question was gonna be awkward.

"I would like to know how you lost your arm," Melissa replied. "If you could tell me that, I could design the arm with better defenses to prevent it being lost in a similar fashion."

"Now, hold on," Sakai slithered from his chair to stand(?) next to Izuku, "that's a bit of a personal question. You can't just ask that out of the-"

"It's okay," Izuku interrupted. All of Class C fell silent at that, watching as Izuku took a few breaths. "I-I think it'd be s-safe for me t-t-to tell you all, b-but I'm o-only gonna s-say it once. I-I'm n-not gonna g-give names, b-but this is more for your s-safety th-than theirs. I-I don't w-want any of y-you to get arrested f-for attempted m-murder."

"What do you mean 'attempted?'" Mei's eyes narrowed. She already knew the name of the culprit, but it seemed like she was playing ignorant so that she could hear the full story. This got a slight chuckle out of Izuku before he took a deep breath.

"A-anyway, i-it happened a f-few days a-after the Slime Villain i-incident..."

Notes:

I did say you were gonna hate me. XD This, ladies, gentlemen and those of unspecified gender, is the sort of cliffhanger that Cobalt Star readers are familiar with and resent so much. XD I, meanwhile, take great delight in throwing em at you.

Also, reserve some brain cells to remember Maria and Oscar here. There's gonna be a subplot later involving these two.

A few things happen in the next chapter, but the part you guys really wanna see is the flashback showing what happened that resulted in Izuku losing his arm. Until next time!

Chapter 9: History and Progress

Notes:

MBLARG, IT'S ME!

I know, I released a chapter yesterday, but I was really motivated to get this one out to you. It's gonna be on the short side, but around half the chapter is the flashback you all been waiting to see. I think this might be the angstiest chapter of the entire fic. Maybe. Most likely. And speaking of the flashback...

TRIGGER WARNING!
THE FLASHBACK WILL HAVE BLOOD AND THINGS WILL GO FLYING. IT IS NOT TOO EXPLICIT, BUT IZUKU DOES NOTICE DETAILS ABOUT EVERYTHING.

Also, reading the comments from the previous chapter, I seriously wonder how all of you missed the BIG hint about the incident that Nighteye dropped back in Chapter 5. XD Well, read on!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Izuku walked down the street in a slump. It had been three days since the incident with the Slime Villain. Three days since he saved Kacchan, only to be reprimanded by the heroes, then berated by Kacchan for his deed. Three days since All Might himself told him he couldn't be a hero. Every since that day, Izuku felt...empty. Being a hero was the only thing he'd ever wanted to be. Now, after literally everyone told him no, he had no idea what to do with himself. He still carried his Hero Analysis book, but he hadn't opened it for days. It almost felt pointless to, now. He just wanted to help people, but how could he when no one would let him? How could he make some impact on this world, make people feel better, if even heroes yelled at him for helping?

Why did everyone think quirkless meant worthless?

He was shaken from his thoughts when he felt the familiar reverberation of an explosion, heard the familiar bang. He turned towards the source and saw a familiar sight. There was Kacchan, standing as haughty as ever with his friends. On the ground in front of him was a girl from their school. He recognized her as Aiko, a girl he shared an art class with. he remembered she had mentioned she wanted to enter UA, but only because of their art program. It looked like Kacchan didn't care, he wanted to be the only student from their school to enter. He was saying something to her, definitely something insulting, while popping his quirk in her face.

Izuku felt his chest heat up. The heroes all praised Kacchan. They were saying something likehimcould be a hero? Izuku was told to "be realistic" while someone likehimwas a shoe-in for heroics? Someone who used their quirk to hurt and demean innocent people? No, that was not right. It wasn't right at all.

He wasn't a hero.

Kacchan was never heroic.

Kacchan was a...

Once again, Izuku found himself moving without thinking, rushing towards the group of students. Bakugou sneered as he shot his right hand out, intent on burning Aiko's face, but caught Izuku by the arm instead. Izuku had thrown himself between the bullies and the girl. Said bullies were surprised and stopped moving for a few seconds, long enough for Aiko to get away.

"Deku," Bakugou growled, "What the hell-"

"Shut up," Izuku growled. That surprised Bakugou again, whose face twisted in anger.

"What did you say you little-"

"You heard me, Bakugou! I'm done letting you walk all over everyone just because you have a quirk! I'm done being afraid of you just because you think you're so awesome when you're not!"

"Deku..." Bakugou growled more. Izuku felt Bakugou burning his arm, but he didn't care anymore. For once in his life, Izuku was angry and he was gonna let it out.

"Heroes are supposed to be supportive! Uplifting! Heroes use their quirks to make people feel better!"

"Shut up, you-"

"You only use your quirk to hurt people! To destroy their possessions! To make yourself look powerful!" Izuku had tears in his eyes, feeling everything all at once. All his sorrow, all his anger, all his pain, but he didn't stop. Not even though Bakugou was glaring at him angrier than Izuku had ever seen him before. "You've never used your quirk for a single heroic thing in your entire life!"

"Deku-"

"Don't you get it, Bakugou!? Are you so egotistical that you can't see it!?"

"Shut the fu-"

"YOU'RE MORE LIKE A VILLAIN THAN A HERO!"

And then everything exploded.

The minute Izuku finished his sentence, there was a loud boom and his vision turned white. He felt searing pain in his left arm as the force of the explosion sent him flying. He felt himself bounce off a hard surface once or thrice before rolling to a stop. There was loud ringing in his ears, and he had trouble opening his left eye. What little bit he could see through his left eye was spotty and milky. His body ached all over, but curiously most of his left arm seemed...numb. Lying there for who knows how long, he finally realized he had landed on his chest, his face against the pavement. Groaning and crying in pain, he tried to push himself up only to stumble to his left. His stupid numb arm must have buckled. He needed to get up though. He must have landed in the street, he needed to get up before a car hit him. He slowly pushed himself to his knees with his right arm. Why wasn't his left arm cooperating? Come to think of it, sounds on his left side seemed a bit muted, too. He slowly lifted his head, trying to get his bearings, but froze.

Lying on the ground, mere meters away, was a severed arm.

Izuku gasped when it finally sunk in. There was a left arm. It was just lying there, blood pooling around the severed side. Where did it come from? Was someone else caught in Bakugou's explosion? Oh god, did he actually kill someone this time? As he kept staring, Izuku saw the buttons on the cuff of the sleeve around the arm. He recognized the design on them as belonging to Aldera, like him. Were there any other students nearby? Izuku remembered Bakugou's bully friends, but neither of them were wearing their coats. Was there someone else? He looked around best he could, still dazed and mostly deaf from the explosion, but he couldn't see anyone else. The next time he looked at the arm, he noticed something.

There was a watch on it's wrist. Though it was cracked, he recognized it as a special limited-edition All Might watch. There were only 500 ever made, with 100 distributed to five stores across Japan. Izuku remembered how he had gotten up before sunrise to get in line for one. He was one of 100 people in Mustafu to have gotten that watch.

And he knew for a fact he was the only one in Aldera to get it.

Izuku gave a pained gasp at the indication. Did that mean...no, it couldn't be. He turned his head to his left, not noticing the shouts from his right. He moved slowly, not wanting to see what may have been there. Or rather, what may not have been there. He felt someone grab his right shoulder and shake him softly, trying to get his attention, but Izuku was focused on what he saw when he finally looked at his left shoulder.

It was gone.

His arm was gone. There was a stump in it's place, slowly dripping blood from what veins hadn't been cauterized shut by the heat of the explosion. The flesh was uneven and looked like a burnt steak. Izuku gave a quiet gasp when he noticed he could see a bit of bone poking out from the middle. It was his bone. That was his blood.

It was gone.

He kept staring at his bloody stump, completely oblivious to any pain. Whoever came to check on him was now carrying him and his severed arm away from the scene. Said individual yelled something to someone else before whispering something to Izuku, trying to get the boy to respond. Izuku didn't respond except to slowly grab his stump with his right hand.

It was gone.

The person carried Izuku into a bright building, his right eye wincing from the sudden light while his still-kinda-blind left eye remained focused on his stump. The person set him down on something soft and he heard other voices. He couldn't catch what they said. He didn't even realize they were there until someone gently pulled his hand away from his stump.

It was gone.

His arm was gone.

HIS ARM WAS GONE.

Izuku gripped his stump again. The pain came flooding back, and Izuku screamed. It was a scream of complete agony. A scream of horror and loss.

The scream of a destroyed child.

---

Izuku stopped to take a few breaths. It had been a year, but it was still exhausting and painful to remember that day. As he breathed, he looked around to his audience, students of Class 1-C with a handful from 1-A along with Mei and Melissa. Every single one was dead silent. Even the students who weren't part of the audience seemed muted. He spotted a few people, such as Melissa and Uraraka, were outright crying. Mei had a look of absolute fury. She was the only one who knew the name of the culprit, and Izuku could only hope she wouldn't commit murder after lunch.

"C-continuing," he breathed as he rubbed his left shoulder, "I-I later learned th-that it was K-K-Kamui Woods who c-c-carried me to the clinic. Th-the doctor there w-was able to use his q-quirk to repair my eye and ears. H-he also lessened the burn s-scars around my head, n-now they're k-kinda hard to s-see under my hair."

"He couldn't fix your arm, though," Tabata stated.

"N-nope," Izuku sighed. "Th-the heat from the e-explosion c-cauterized the wound t-too much for him to reattach it. Th-the only quirk d-doctors w-who could would have n-needed to operate within a c-certain time limit, and th-they were too f-far away to help. In th-the end, it was d-decided that th-the stump would be a-amputated."

"What happened after that?" Sakai asked from his spot on the floor next to Izuku. "Did the douchebag get punished?"

After chuckling at how the snake used that word, Izuku continued, "H-He was s-sent to Juvenile Detention for a f-few months. S-since this was a f-first time offense on a 'spotless' r-record, he g-got off easy."

"Spotless?" Gakushuu scoffed. "He blew your frikkin' arm off!"

"Didn't your school do anything?" Choji asked from behind Melissa.

"...Th-they moved me to a d-different class. E-even after th-that, the principal and t-teachers were intent on g-getting him into UA, and d-didn't want me 'distracting him.'" Several students exclaimed their displeasure at this, getting loud before Izuku raised his hand. "I-it's alright, though! Th-the principal himself b-barred him from th-the entrance exam. O-on top of th-that, th-there was a huge investigation of the school at the end of th-the year th-that affected the entire s-school."

"What happened at the end of the year?" Yoshio asked. "Was the school shut down? Please tell me it was shut down." Izuku gave a nervous chuckle.

"I-it wasobliterated. Th-the Deathstar Agency investigated th-the school d-due to rumors of d-discrimination and corruption. I-I was c-called to testify about the q-quirkless discrimination going on th-there. A-as a result, m-more than half the teachers l-lost th-their teaching licenses, and most ofthemw-went to jail, too. Th-the remaining teachers resigned, a-and the school was sh-shut down. Th-though, after what P-Principal Nedzu's told me, I wonder if h-he had a hand in it..."

Meanwhile, up in the Principal's Office, Nedzu gave a sinister chuckle as he eavesdropped on the entire conversation through the cafeteria security cameras, remembering just how delightful it had been to destroy that prejudiced school.

Back in the cafeteria, Izuku took a breath and looked back at his friends. "A-anyway, th-that's how I lost my arm, a-and that's why I was so depressed a-at the start of the year. B-but things are better now." He smiled with tears in his eyes. "I'm in UA. I-I have all of you, now. I-I'm not alone, anymore."

The instant he said this sentence, his entire class cried out and tackled him, wrapping him in a group hug unlike any he had felt before. Izuku thought he could hear Iida from Class 1-A shout about being quiet from somewhere else in the room, but he couldn't quite hear him over everyone in his class talking all at once, all saying nice things to him. Melissa and the Class 1-A students only watched, not sure they would have been welcome to join in the hug but they cried all the same. Mei was crying profusely, a mixture of sorrow over what happened to Izuku, and unadulterated rage at what this "Bakugou Katsuki" did to him. She knew Izuku wouldn't like it if she went out hunting for him, but on the off-chance she happened to stumble into him somewhere...

Well, he was gonna learn the hard way just what happens during a Vasectomy.

---

It was the end of the school day. Vlad King was making his rounds to make sure the students had all gone home. As he did, he remembered this past afternoon. His class finally got to meet that quirk specialist Nedzu had told them about, and was shocked to see it was a one-armed quirkless kid from Gen Ed. Even more surprising was that his class had apparently run into him before lunch, assumed he was from Class 1-A,andthought he lost his arm during the USJ incident. He had to admit, it was pretty funny watching everyone's reactions to him explaining that part.

As he stepped outside, he heard a rumble from around the corner. Too loud to be a custodian. Vlad decided to investigate. Before he even turned the corner, though, a large foot stomped into the ground mere meters away. Looking up, he saw it belonged to a really tall UA student. She seemed to be trying to catch a particularly fat student who was somehow around three meters above the ground. Said student was also somehow flattening and expanding himself over and over to avoid her grip. Vlad was about to intervene, assuming this was a fight, until he noticed there were more students in the field. He saw one stocky boy with spikes on his back and arms dodging a large snake in a uniform as it seemed to fly at him from different directions. Towards the far end of the field was a really hairy student throwing boulders at the barriers erected by another student. What was going on?

Thankfully, he received his answer when he turned his head a bit more and saw a group of students huddled in the corner. He noticed they were talking to the quirk specialist from earlier, and Aizawa was leaning over him, looking at whatever was in the kid's hand. He began to walk towards the group, but stopped when he saw Aizawa had noticed him and started jogging his direction.

"What's going on here?" Vlad asked as Eraserhead approached.

"Class 1-C is using the field," Aizawa replied. "The Sports Festival is in two weeks, and Midoriya's class wants to do good in it. They're gonna be using the field to practice quirks and tactics." Vlad was initially gonna ask just how good they'd be, considering they weren't hero course, but then he remembered that it was Class 1-C who came to support the hero kids during the USJ incident. They had been strong enough to fight villains, even without any form of hero training. Maybe they could get pretty far. Especially that...wait...

"Didn't Class 1-C have a girl with an ice quirk?"

"She left earlier," Aizawa replied. "Said she had something that needed doing."

---

Moroboshi sat at the base of a tree, wearing a casual outfit. Said tree was in a secluded area just outside of town, away from any potential prying eyes. Normally she didn't come out here, but she was waiting for someone. As said individual approached, she got to her feet and regarded him coolly."

"I admit," she stated, "I was beginning to think this request was a joke."

"I do not make jokes," Todoroki Shouto said as he approached. "I asked you to meet me out here because I have a request...no, a plea, if you will." Moroboshi quirked an eyebrow as Todoroki took a breath. "Could you teach me to use ice like you do?" She stared at him silently for a while, long enough to make him feel uncomfy.

"The techniques I know are not things you can half-ass," she finally responded. "You would have to put everything you have into mastering them."

"I understand," Todoroki nodded.

"...That includes your fire side."

"What?" Todoroki's eyes widened. "Why would I need to practice my fire side, which I am sworn to never touch, if I wish to master ice techniques?"

"Because your fire side is linked to your ice," Moroboshi said as she walked closer to the hero student. "You know Midoriya-kun, right? You know how he's studied quirks for years? During his studies, he's learned that dual quirks like yours are a single quirk, rather than two separate quirks. You can practice your ice side all you want, but your inexperience with your fire side will weigh you down." Seeing the confusion on his face, Moroboshi sighed, trying to remember how Midoriya had described it to her earlier, before looking back up at Shouto.

"Your quirk," she explained, "is like twin swords. They're both powerful weapons, but only if you use them. If you reject one sword and never use it, not only are you hindering your own combat potential, but leaving that sword on your hip is making dead weight, leaving you off-balance at best. You're refusing to use your fire side because your sperm donor is Endeavor, right? While any anger you feel towards him is undoubtedly justified, not using your fire quirk because of him is like refusing to use a sword just because someone else has a sword just like it. You can't do that and expect to win many fights, because you can bet villains will use every weapon they have." She turned and started walking away, leaving Todoroki to contemplate her words, before stopping and turning back to him.

"Use your fire, Todoroki. Once you can do that, I'll teach you what's safe for you to learn." She took a few more steps.

"Wait," he called out. "What do you mean 'what's safe for me to learn?'"

"...You'll see in two weeks." She continued walking after this. She did want to teach him, to help him, but she couldn't do that before he learned to accept himself.

All of himself.

Notes:

There you have it. The day Izuku lost his arm. I really got nothing to finalize it with. Just hope it made a few of you feel sad, cuz if you can get your readers to really feel emotional, you done something right.

Next chapter will take some time to release. Now that it's August, I need to focus on Cobalt Star to get this month's chapter released. 'Till next time!

Chapter 10: Progress and Presentation

Notes:

You know how some manga have chapters that are entirely silent and dedicated to training montages? This is like that, but has some important stuff to pay attention to.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

---

Two weeks until the Festival

---

It was Saturday morning, and Class 1-C was out in the UA field. Most of them were practicing their quirks, working to make them stronger and more effective. A few students were off to the side. Oscar, Sanada, Hojo and a few others would work their bodies, but they knew their quirks wouldn't help in the long run so they elected to focus on helping the others in any way they could. This usually came down to helping Oscar prepare refreshments for everyone. Tabata and Yoshio had disappeared to "work on something" while Hayashida seemed busy flirting with some upperclassmen. One could guess how successful that was.

Amidst all this, Midoriya was sitting on a hill with Aizawa, observing the students who were practicing their quirks. Aizawa was still bandaged like a mummy from the USJ incident, but volunteered to supervise their practice.

"Is it just me," the pro hero asked, "or is the fat one getting faster?"

"Th-that's Gakushuu," Izuku clarified, "and don't let his g-girth fool you. He's always b-b-been fast." Izuku watched as the aforementioned student dodged Sakai repeatedly without even using his quirk. Left, right, left, up, to both student and teacher it was like watching a dancing water balloon. The almost-hypnotic routine was interrupted when everyone heard a loud "kya!" followed by Asano faceplanting the ground at her full height. She had been sparring with Moroboshi, who had dodged a kick and froze the bottom of Asano's shoe, making it very slippery. There was a brief silence before half the students collapsed in laughter.

"I need some coffee," Aizawa got to his feet. "Don't break anything vital while I'm gone." As the mummy instructor hobbled toward the school, Izuku turned his attention to his class. Asano had gotten back up and was doing post-exercise stretches before shrinking back down to her normal size.

"OOOOOIIII!" A voice shouted from the direction of the school. Turning to the newcomer, Izuku and the others saw Tabata and Yoshio running up.

"Hey guys!" Tabata hollered, waving a thick brown folder over his head. "We got it!"

---

12 days until the Festival

---

Izuku gave a pained grunt as he hit the padded floor of the school dojo for the seventeenth time that afternoon. Sir Nighteye had just demonstrated a masterful judo flip with the kid without breaking a sweat. After so many flips, Izuku was sore all over, but it wasn't the sort of soreness he was suffered in Middle School. This was the soreness of training, not the soreness of bullying, so it was marginally nicer.

"Too slow," the tall hero pointed out. "You're getting better, but you need to get better faster, young man."

"S-sorry," Izuku whined a bit as he got to his feet. He barely straightened up before having to duck under Nighteye's roundhouse kick. He shot forward and tried to kick the back of Nighteye's knee before he could regain his footing from the quirk, but narrowly missed as the hero simply jumped using that leg before bringing his other leg back down to knock Izuku back into the mats. There was another grunt of pain from Izuku, but a smile from Nighteye.

"There you go," he acknowledged as he helped Midoriya back up. "I remember a few days back you tried to counter that with a punch. You've learned to aim for a possible weak point, and that will be vital for you, young Midoriya. You're small so you can't overpower your foe, but every foe has an opening that can be exploited. You're good at analyzing, so work on using those skills to spot openings and weaknesses on the fly, got it?" With a determined nod from the smaller boy, Nighteye smiled again and ruffled his hair. Midoriya was determined, focused and a quick learner. All Might definitely made a mistake letting this kid go.

"A-hem!" Principal Nedzu called out as he entered the room. Izuku and Nighteye turned and saw he was dragging a tea cart into the room with his tail. "I believe it is time for a tea break? Need to replenish that sugar after eating mats all afternoon." Both humans laughed at the principal's joke as they took him up on the offer. Izuku accepted a cup and took a calm sip, giving a content sigh at the flavor. Nighteye took a sip and his eyes widened.

"Principal," he gasped, "this tea is amazing."

"Midoriya's mother gave it to me," the rat/bear/thing chuckled. "Family recipe. She won't tell me how to make it myself." This elicited a chuckle from all three as they took another sip of the divine tea.

---

10 days until the festival

---

On Wednesday afternoon, Izuku found himself in the Support Course workshop. Due to his close friendship with Mei, said workshop was a very familiar and comforting place for him. Unfortunately, he found himself in a very unfamiliar and uncomfortable position as he was sandwiched between Melissa and Mei at a nearby work table. He was happy the girls were focused on what was on the table, or else they'd see his face redder than Mei's hair.

"Here's what we got planned," Mei smiled as she unrolled a blueprint. Izuku looked down at the paper and gawked at what he saw. "This is gonna be your new arm, Mido-chan. It'll be powered by more Red Matter, crafted by yours truly, so there's no way it'll run out of power before we make an upgraded version."

"It's made of a heat-resistant alloy," Melissa explained, "and built with shock-absorbent struts, making it pretty durable against explosions. The implant on your shoulder will be made from the same material. With that implant, it'll plug into your shoulder directly and perfectly, leaving no room for anything to get wedged. The palm and fingers will have a special nerve-connected padding so you can actually feel when you're holding something. It'll also give some manner of temperature detection, but you won't actually feel burned or chilled."

"Before any of that, though," Mei continued as she pulled a big box over, "there's something you gotta do." She quickly opened the box and pulled out the contents. Izuku gasped as he saw it was another prosthetic arm, but it looked very little like what was on paper. It was skinnier, and looked like it was made of pewter. "This is a beta arm Mell and I made earlier. After you get surgery done this weekend, this'll help you get used to having two arms again. It has the same nerve-padding, and is made of similar materials, but is nowhere near as durable. Think of it as training wheels for your shoulder." Mei gave a chuckle. "You'll be able to put your desks on by yourself after this. Kinda gonna miss helping you with that."

"M-maybe I should a-ask you f-for help, anyways, i-i-if that's h-how you feel," Izuku joked. Both girls laughed at this remark. Mei put the beta arm back in it's box and dashed off to check something in the next room over, leaving Izuku and Melissa alone. Izuku turned to look at the 3rd-year girl, taking in the beauty that just permeated off her. He'd known her less than a week, but he felt it was now or never.

"Sh-Shield-san," he asked, "I-I was wondering i-if you were g-g-gonna be b-busy tonight?"

"I was actually about to ask you the same thing," Melissa smiled as she put the blueprints into a poster tube. "I'd like to talk to you more about your arm, see what sort of accessories you'd like us to install."

"O-oh!" Izuku vocalized his surprise. "N-not busy at all. W-we can talk t-tonight." He gave a nervous chuckle, feeling like he lost his chance.

"Excellent," the taller inventor patted his shoulder. "We can talk about it over dinner. Your mother recommended a good restaurant not too far from the school. Does 7 sound good?"

"...W-wah...?"

---

9 days until the Festival

---

"Wait," Oscar asked as he and Izuku exited the classroom for lunch, "are chu sayingsheaskedyouout to dinner last night?"

"I-I was surprised, too," Izuku nodded. "I-I mean, I was g-gonna ask her, b-but I d-didn't think sh-sh-she'd take charge like that."

"Was it a good dinner?"

"Absolutely. W-we talked about my n-new arm, and-"

"Midoriya-kun!"Both boys turned and saw Momo running up. Izuku was a bit surprised to see her in this part of the school before lunch, and Oscar had never seen her, so he didn't know what to expect. "Midoriya-kun, I was wondering if..." Her gaze fell on Oscar, who suddenly felt nervous. "...Who is..."

"Oh," Midoriya gestured with his hand, "th-this is my classmate, Oscar M-Mousekewitz. H-he's a nice g-guy, h-he can climb walls and...w-wait, off track. W-what was it you n-needed?" Momo stared at Oscar for a few more moments before shaking her head and looking back at Izuku.

"I wanted to ask if you knew where Ectoplasm-sensei was. He wasn't in his classroom."

"O-oh, he's d-down in the s-s-second gym with V-Vlad King." Izuku stuttered. Momo nodded her thanks and glanced at Oscar one more time before dashing off. The two boys watched her go.

"...Did I do something wrong?" Oscar asked. "She kept looking at me."

"Maybe sh-she thinks you're c-cute?" Oscar gave a chuckle at the inconceivable notion and the two boys started walking towards the cafeteria.

---

8 days until the Festival

---

Friday night.

It was time.

Izuku lay on a padded operating table in Recovery Girl's personal clinic on UA campus. His mother was there, as were Midnight, Nedzu, Melissa and Mei. Mei was carrying the black box that Izuku had seen a few days prior. Inside that box was the first step to regaining what he had lost.

No.

He could never regain what was lost.

His arm. His innocence. His 'best friend.' He couldn't get back any of those. What this was...

It was the next step to moving beyond his past.

"Are you comfy, child?" Recovery Girl asked as she lifted the table just a bit. "You're gonna be here a while, so I wanna make sure you won't be hurting when we're done."

"I-I'm fine, sensei," Izuku smiled. "I might f-fall asleep b-before we even begin." This got a chuckle out of everyone present.

"We're gonna put you under, now," Chiyo explained. "With how late it is and how long this could take, I wouldn't be surprised if you slept until morning. We're going to attach the nerves in your shoulder to the implant as it goes in. That'll let you move the arm like you used to, but don't feel bad if things don't work perfectly immediately. You've been without an arm over a year, after all. Ready?" Izuku didn't answer immediately. He looked at everyone present, gave a genuinely happy smile, and nodded.

"I'm ready."

---

6 days until the Festival

---

Class 1-C was abuzz with excitement. It was Monday morning, and the Sports Festival was that Saturday. It almost felt like a holiday was just around the corner, and these kids were eager for it's arrival.

"We're gonna nuke the Festival!" Gakushuu cheered. "I bet no one will expect us to get past the first event, but we're gonna take home the gold!"

"Maybe chu will," Oscar said as he munched on a cinnamon roll, "but the rest of us will be lucky to just squeak by."

"Dude," Sakai groaned, "youreallyneed to think of better mouse puns."

"Say, anyone seen Midoriya?" Kagaro asked as she preened her wings. "I tried to call him over the weekend, but his mom picked up and said he was busy."

"Wonder what he was busy with," Choji stated. When Choji finished, the doors opened and Midnight stepped into the room. Everyone turned to her expectantly, but were met with a silent glower from Midnight. After a few moments, her glower turned to a smile and she stepped aside. Midoriya stepped in behind her, his bag over his shoulder like normal. He took a single step inside before turning to the class. Without saying a word, he smiled and waved at his classmates with his hand.

Hislefthand.

The gears in the metal prosthetic whirred as he moved the elbow, and clicks were heard as he moved his fingers. It was slow and somewhat clunky, but Izuku now had a left arm. The class stared in shock for several seconds before they all screamed in excitement. A few even leaped from their seats to glomp the small boy, so happy they were to see him like this. Midnight giggled at the display of affection, deciding the class would be fine if she let them express it for a minute or two.

---

4 days until the Festival

---

"It's official," Yoshio stated Wednesday afternoon, "Asano's definitely gotten taller." Said student was standing at her full size next to a wall, with Hojo standing atop a ladder holding a tape measure.

"4.75 meters!" she called out.

"Over a full meter in under two weeks," Tabata said. "Wonder why it's going so fast."

"Quirks are like muscles," Gorogoro said as he did stretches next to his classmate. "Asano probably never stretched her 'tall time' to it's limit before coming here. This keeps up, she could become the next Mt. Lady before her third year."

"You could not pay me to wear a leotard like hers," Asano grimaced. There were a few moments silence before she glared at Tabata. "Stop thinking it."

At the same time Asano was getting measured, Moroboshi was working on her ice with Izuku. He observed as she made intricate pillars and small weapons. He watched as she conjured a shield of ice, then converted it to snow.

"Heard from a teacher you won't be participating in the Festival," Moroboshi asked as she made a helmet from ice. "That true, Mido-kun?"

"Unf-f-fortunately," Izuku nodded as he scratched his head with his right arm. "D-due to my disability, I-I'm ineligible for th-the competition. D-d-don't worry, though, I-I'm still gonna be d-doing something cool." Moroboshi shrugged and worked on more ice constructs. "H-hey, y-you can lift th-things with your ice while it's f-forming, right?"

"Gotta be careful when I do, though," Moroboshi admitted. "If I try something too heavy, the ice'll break once the construction is finished. Could only lift it while the ice is forming." As she continued, Izuku got a contemplative look. Suddenly his eyes widened and he turned towards the other group.

"Gorogoro-kun! O-over here, please!"

---

2 days until the Festival

---

Class 1-A was exhausted. They had spent the afternoon doing a rigorous series of exercises covering a myriad of situations. Izuku had been 'volunteered' to act the part of the rescued civilian. He wasn't required to do any analyzing during this exercise, so he actually got to relax a bit. Only a bit, though. In the end, he was just as sweaty as the rest of the class, and joined the boys in the changing room. However, he waited until the others had finished and left before changing on his own.

At least, he thought everyone had left.

Due to his current exhaustion he didn't notice Todoroki was still in the room, having a bit of trouble with his shoe. The dual-quirk student was also looking at Izuku. He was waiting for him to finish changing before asking about the possibility of figuring out more ice-based techniques. He remembered what Moroboshi told him over a week ago, but still wasn't sure he could ever use his fire. It still reminded him too much of his father, and he didn't want to be anything like Endeavor. His train of thought was derailed when Izuku removed his shirt, and Todoroki gaped at what he saw.

Izuku's body wascoveredin scars. He spotted a few scars made by cutting instruments, but most of them were rounder and more familiar. Shouto could recognize burn scars instantly. Even worse, though, were the multitude that were shaped like open palms. Seeing those scars, Todoroki put his hand on his waist, where one such scar from his father rested. He remembered getting that scar was one of the most painful things he'd ever experienced. Seeing Midoriya, a quirkless child, covered in scars like that almost made Todoroki sick to his stomach. Just how much abuse had Izuku suffered before coming here?

"Too much," Izuku stated. Todoroki realized too late he had said that last part out loud. The viridian kid looked at him with a sad smile. "I got a-all these scars from m-my classmates and p-peers throughout element-t-tary and middle schools. O-one person in p-particular. S-same kid who b-blew off my arm."

"Why?" Todoroki gasped as he got to his feet. "Why would they do such a thing?"

"B-because I'm quirkless," Izuku stated plainly while looking down. "Because I-I'm part of th-the twenty-percent who w-wasn't born with a power. B-because of th-that, a-a lot of people view me as l-less than human. Classmates, t-t-teachers, n-neighbors, t-too many people w-who'd let me s-suffer and not care." He turned his gaze back to Todoroki. "N-now you know w-why I just d-don't get why you w-won't use your f-fire side. Y-you were blessed w-with something amazing, b-b-but you're not using it for what? T-to spite th-the same sort of p-person who g-gave me all these? T-Todoroki-kun, t-take it from me. Th-things won't be better i-if you d-don't u-use everything you have." He pulled a new shirt on and walked out the door, leaving Todoroki alone in his thoughts. That...that certainly gave him more to think about.

---

One day until the Festival

---

It was Friday afternoon, now. Class 1-C was assembled on the training field, lined up in front of Midnight. She had supervised them for this last afternoon of practice. Taking a breath, she looked at her students with a smile.

"Everyone!" she hollered. "Tomorrow morning is the Festival! Tomorrow is what you've spent the last two weeks training for! I want to see you all do your best, and show the rest of the school, the rest of Japan, that you're not to be underestimated just because you're Gen Ed students! With that in mind, I have only one more thing to tell you!" She waited a few seconds, letting her words sink in, before giving her parting words.

"No matter how far you get, no matter if you lose, I have never been more proud of you! Now go home, eat something good, go to bed early, and be here by 7 AM tomorrow morning! Class 1-C...Dismissed!"

Notes:

Hopefully you guys think this was the best training montage ever.

Before I forget again, I wanna tell you guys something. I had a few scenes for this planned out but couldn't find a way to squeeze em into the fic, so I decided to pull a Mandalore5 and am gonna make a side-fic-thing to cover those scenes. Problem I got right now, tho, is if you guys wanna see the scenes chronologically or literary. Chronologically would mean we'd see events as they happened in time, whereas literary would mean we'd see the scenes in relation to how pertinent they'd become in the main fic. Which would you guys wanna see? Leave a comment and let me know.

Next time, the Sports Festival. Class 1-C has a plan and Izuku shows his stuff. 'Til next time!

Chapter 11: Presentation and Competiton

Notes:

The sports festival begins! Are you excited? I hope so, I stayed up til 2 AM to get this out to you. XD

Also, shoutout to davidelizabeth for predicting what Izuku does. Now read on!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

---

Friday Afternoon
Day before the Sports Festival

---

The various students of Class 1-C were in high spirits. They had finished their final set of exercises and were on their way home. Most of them had already left, but a few were still on UA grounds cleaning up and grabbing a few things. Among these students were Izuku, Gakushuu and Sakai.

"You s-sure you got everything th-th-this time?" Izuku laughed as they were finally making their way to the changing room.

"Positive," the rotund Gakushuu sighed. "Sorry for making you come back three times to help."

"Meh," Sakai would have shrugged if he had shoulders, "wasn't a problem. My excitement for tomorrow removed any exasperation I may have had over this."

"S-same," Izuku smiled. "T-true, I'm not g-gonna be working with you, b-but I've got a-another role."

"What will you be doing anyways?" Gakushuu asked, only to be met by Midoriya smiling and holding a finger over his mouth. "Oh, you butt." The three boys laughed as they walked, but stopped when they heard a grunting noise. After a few moments they figured out it was coming from the weight room.

"Someone still working out?" Sakai asked.

"Let's go see," Gakushuu said as he approached the door with Izuku. The smaller boy pulled the door open and the three students stepped inside. They didn't see anyone at first, but the grunting persisted.

"Hello?" Izuku called out.

"In here!" a familiar voice called from further in.

"T-Todoroki-san?" Izuku voiced as the three boys entered. "Still w-w-working out?"

"Not me," the dual-quirked boy replied. As they got closer, Izuku realized the grunting sounded feminine. The Gen Ed boys turned the corner to a side alcove and saw the source of the noise. All their jaws dropped (and Sakai's outright unhinged) when they saw it was Uraraka lifting weights with Todoroki spotting for her. What was surprising about this was just how much she was lifting. Reading the numbers he could see and counting the weights on the bars, combined with the weight of the bar itself...

"T-two hundred t-t-twenty-five k-k-kilograms..." Izuku stuttered.

"She's not even using her quirk," Todoroki pointed out.

At that point, all three Gen Ed students knew their classreallyhad their work cut out for them.

Type-2 Hero - Mad_Nimrod - 僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia (2)

---

Saturday Morning

---

The day of the Sports Festival dawned bright and clear. Class 1-C was waiting with the other General Education classes to be called out. They were more excited than nervous, all feeling eager to get started. This was partly due to the event itself and partly due to what Izuku told them before he left the class. Looking around, it became clear they were the only ones who seemed excited.

"Got a bit of a mopey crowd with us," Sakai whispered.

"Find more cheer in a morgue," Hojo chirped as she licked four lollipops at the same time.

"Why should we be cheerful?" One student whined. "We're just fodder for the Hero Courses to beat."

"Oh my god," Gorogoro groaned, "who the hell spat in your hot dog this morning?"

"Quiet," Kagaro pointed at the speakers. "It's getting started."

"GOOD MORNING, LISTENERS!" Present Mic's voice roared from the PA system. "CAN I GET A YEEEEAH!?" Even from the waiting room Class 1-C could hear the cheer from the crowds. "ROCK ON! WELCOME TO THE UA SPORTS FESTIVAL, THE BIGGEST EVENT IN ALL JAPAN! TODAY WE'LL SEE OUR YOUNGEST AND NEWEST STUDENTS, HERO AND OTHERWISE, STRUT THEIR STUFF AND MAKE THEIR MAMAS PROUD!" The crowd cheered even more, bringing a laugh out of Present Mic. "AWESOME CROWD TODAY! AND EVEN MORE AWESOME IS OUR SPECIAL GUEST FOR THE DAY'S EVENTS! NORMALLY WE HAVE A FELLOW TEACHER UP HERE WITH ME, BUT TODAY WE GOT A STUDENT WHOSE ANALYTICAL SKILLS ARE SO AWESOME THAT PRINCIPAL NEDZU HIMSELF TOOK THIS KID ON AS A PERSONAL STUDENT! SAY HELLO TO UA'S RESIDENT QUIRK SPECIALIST, MIDORIYA IZUKU OF CLASS 1-C!"

"H-Hello!" Izuku's meek voice called out from the speakers. His classmates gave a roaring cheer of their own when they heard this, getting a derisive glare from some of the other Gen Ed students.

"THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT! WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, LET'S BRING OUT THE CONTESTANTS! STARTING THINGS OFF WITH THE HERO CLASS THAT FOUGHT VILLAINS THEIR FIRST WEEK, CLASS 1-A HEROICS!"

"More like Class 1-A twats," the student from earlier muttered. Several other students groaned, but Moroboshi was the picture of calm as she quietly froze his feet to the floor. After a few moments Class 1-B was called out, then...

"FOLLOWING OUR HERO COURSE CLASSES IS OUR ESTEEMED GENERAL EDUCATION COURSE! LET'S START WITH THE CLASS THAT ACTUALLY CAME AND SUPPORTED CLASS 1-A DURING THE VILLAIN ATTACK! THE CLASS WHERE EACH STUDENT IS STRONG AS ANY HERO STUDENT, LET'S GIVE IT UP FOR CLASS 1-C!" The doors opened and Class 1-C marched out, followed by the other Gen Ed classes (except for the one kid Moroboshi froze to the floor). A few of the students winced as they stepped into the sunlight, and found themselves dumbstruck. It was one thing to see the Sports Festival stadium from a television, it was something entirely different actually standing in it. The stadium was large enough to hold thousands of people, and each seat was filled. They should have felt nervous, but Class 1-C was actually feeling excitement. They were here. They were standing where so many legends once stood, and they were gonna show off their stuff.

---

"There they are!" Kamui Woods roared as he pointed down at Class 1-C from the stands. "Oh wow, Midnight, you weren't joking when you said you had a fat kid in your class."

"I never said that!" Kayama Nemuri laughed as she reached over and smacked Kamui upside the head. "You hearing this guy, Inko-san? He called your son's friend fat!"

Inko just laughed from her seat between the two heroes. Watching them playfully mess around, Inko remembered the previous night when she heard these two had taken today off for the sole purpose of bringing her to the Festival. She would have been alright just watching it from home, but she couldn't refuse them after everything they did to get her VIP seats. Even if Izuku himself wasn't competing, his friends were, and she was happy to see them. Alongside Melissa, Izuku's classmates had occasionally visited their humble abode over the past few weeks, and Inko was glad to meet every one of them. As the last of the Management Course students arrived on the field, Inko had a thought.

"Kaya-chan," she addressed Midnight, "aren't you usually the announcer for these events? What are they going to do with you taking the day off?"

"Don't worry," the R-18 hero winked. "We got this covered, Inko-san." As Midnight relaxed in her chair, the heroine who was filling in for her took their spot in the field.

---

"Aaaaallright, everyone!" Mt. Lady raised her arm as she yelled. "It's time for player's pledge! Representing the first-years as a whole, please step forward Uraraka Ochako!" The brunette took a breath and marched forward to stand next to the pro hero as she took the microphone. Looking out over the entire first-year student body, she stood up straight.

"As the first years of UA," she announced, "we pledge do our best in this Festival! We pledge to go far as we can, knowing that wherever we fall is a step further than we stopped yesterday! We pledge to compete with our heads held high, knowing we've proven ourselves worthy to walk the same halls as legends past! We pledge to compete with respect and honor befitting UA! And to any villains who might be watching..." Ochako's face turned to a determined glower as she stared right at a camera.

"We pledge to face you and defeat you again and again until you are nothing but a whispered boogeyman." She shot her hand up. "PLUS ULTRA!"

"PLUS ULTRA!!" The crowd joined in at the end, along with most of the students. The crowd cheered as Ochako gave a relieved sigh and returned the microphone to Mt. Lady before rejoining her class.

"THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!" Present Mic cheered. "CLASS 1-A HAS QUITE THE FIREBRAND AMONG THEIR PEERS!"

"Y-you bet!" Izuku piped in. "A-and I think we're r-ready for the first event, r-right?"

"YOU GOT IT, LITTLE MAN! TAKE IT AWAY, MT. LADY!"

"With pleasure!" Mt. Lady smirked at the student body. "The first event we have lined up is, well, I guess you could call it a qualifier for later rounds! Let's see how many of you can beat...THE OBSTACLE RACE!" As she shouted this, the words 'OBSTACLE RACE' appeared on the large screens around the stadium. "All eleven classes across the four courses will participate! The course in question follows the outside wall of the stadium! All in all, a four-kilometer foot race! A meager distance for someone like me, but let's see how you kids fare!" To accentuate her point, Mt. Lady grew to her full size as she shouted "ONE OF UA'S BIGGEST SELLING POINTS IS IT'S FREEDOM OF OPPORTUNITY! STAY ON THE COURSE, DON'T GRAVELY INJURE YOUR FELLOW STUDENTS, BUT OTHERWISE ANYTHING GOES! EVERYONE READY!?" She asked this question with a wink, flustering many who witnessed it, before turning to the gateway to the outside. With a thunderous clap of her hands, Mt. Lady roared, "BEGIN!"

"AND THEY'RE OFF!" Present Mic shouted as the students rushed for the gate. "Ready to give your views, little man!?"

"Y-up!" Izuku meekly replied.

"Awesome! Let's get started! Anything we should take notice of at this point in the race? Anyone you think has an advantage this early on?"

"H-honestly," Izuku chuckled, "a-anyone who g-gets through the g-gate quickly h-has an advant-t-tage here." His statement was proven true as the mass of students got wedged in the narrow gate. Before Izuku could continue, there was a huge cloud of dust from the ground close to the Gen Ed students, followed by roaring laughter as a five-meter-tall Asano Ryoko emerged from the cloud and rushed the gate. She seemed a bit hunched over but was still moving pretty fast. Alongside her was Moroboshi Ayame sliding on a tall block of ice, and above them both Kagaro Kiana flew with her magnificent wings.

"Whoa, looks like Class 1-C has an idea!" Present Mic cheered. Everyone watched as Asano jumped over the students, and then jumped between the walls until emerging out the other side. Moroboshi abandoned her ice block upon reaching the gate, leaping up against the wall and creating a slide of ice above everyone's heads to move through unhindered. Kagaro simply flew over everyone, dodging one or two projectiles thrown in her direction. As they emerged out the other side, the Class 1-C students froze in shock at what awaited them.

"Time for the first obstacle!" Present Mic roared. "Robo Inferno!" Everyone present stared at the handful of robots blocking their path. Each robot was the size of a small skyscraper, and they were all staring right at the gate.

"P-Present Mic," Izuku stuttered, "w-what are those?"

"Zero-Pointers!" the hero laughed. "They were an obstacle during the practical portion of the hero exam! What do ya think, huh?"

"...Oh my god I would have died..."

As Present Mic laughed at his co-commentator's slow wording, Moroboshi got to work freezing one of the robots to the side. Todoroki emerged from the gate and unleashed an ice attack of his own, though his attempted to cover all the robots and narrowly missing Kagaro as she flew over the robots. Moroboshi deftly redirected his ice before using her quirk to tip her robot to the side, creating enough room for Asano to rush through before it fell back the other way and blocked a majority of the students.

"Hey hey, what's this?" the loud hero asked. "Did Moroboshi just help Asano down there?"

"Yup!" Izuku cheerfully replied. "Th-there's nothing in the r-rules that says the s-students can't h-help each other! My class w-w-worked hard to c-come up with ideas to s-support each other best they c-can for long as th-they can!" The crowd actually cheered at this, enjoying the surprise turn of events. Most of the students were in a solo mindset, so seeing Class 1-C working as a team at this point was nice to see. Asano kept running hunched forward as Moroboshi surfed on ice next to her. Kagaro was still above them, dodging ice from Todoroki before Moroboshi spun around and accosted him.

"Still not using your fire, huh?" the ice girl asked as she conjured multiple ice weapons.

"It's still up for debate!" Todoroki replied as he dodged her attacks.

"Better use it soon, or you'll lose fairly quickly!" As if to prove her point, Moroboshi quickly spawned in ice hammer and golf-swung it into Todoroki's stomach, sending him flying off course and earning a pained "Ooh!" from the crowd. Dropping the hammer, she rushed to catch up with the rest of her class.

"Looks like some of Class 1-C is just about at the second obstacle! Let's see how well they handle...THE FALL!"

At Present Mic's words, Kagaro Kiana (who was in front) learned what he meant with such a plain name. In the middle of the track was a MASSIVE pit. It was easily 20 meters deep with water at the bottom, and over 100 meters across . Jutting up from the bottom were stone pillars connected by ropes. It was clear the students were meant to cross the ropes to reach the other side. However, it was clear whomever designed this obstacle didn't know about the 1-C Class President. With an innocent laugh, she easily and quickly flew across the pit. She was quickly followed by, unexpectedly, Hatsume Mei from Support Course. Said student was cackling like a madman as she used what appeared to be rocket boots to soar over the pit.

"...Okay, we should have seen that one coming..." Present Mic deadpanned, the quietest he had spoken all morning. This time it was Izuku's turn to laugh.

As Asano drew near to the pit, she did something unexpected. Without slowing down, she quickly yet carefully removed the top to her gym uniform (thankfully wearing a black tanktop underneath) and just as carefully balled it up. Using her momentum and size-augmented strength, the five-meter student gave a roar and hurled her jacket far as she could. It flew across the pit, narrowly missing contact with the recovered Todoroki and the skirmishing Moroboshi, before falling just short of the other side. Everyone in the audience was confused as to what she was doing, and so were all caught by surprise when a long snake body shot out of the coat and bit down on a tree root on the edge of the pit. As the coat continued to unroll, the crowd gave a roar of surprise.

Sakai wasn't the only one hiding inside Asano's coat. Holding onto the snake like a rope were almost a half-dozen other Class 1-C students. The spiky Gorogoro and Choji the wookiee were the first to climb their serpentine friend to solid ground, Following them were Oyaneko and Gakushuu, the latter of whom had used his quirk to flatten himself and wrap his arm around the lanky classmate. As they climbed Sakai, Asano began the task of jumping from pillar to pillar. She narrowly made it to the other side and helped pull Sakai up before the other classes could catch up.

"WHAT A SURPRISE!" Present Mic roared. "IS THAT WHY SHE WAS HUNCHED FOR THE BEGINNING PORTIONS OF THE RACE!?"

"Again," Izuku replied, "n-no rules against h-helping your classm-m-mates." Everyone watched in awe as Class 1-C, a General Education class, had use clever tricks to keep ahead of everyone else. The only ones who came close were Todoroki and Hatsume. Uraraka and a few others had passed the pit a bit after Asano and were now doing all they could to catch up. Uraraka did her lessened-mass trick to speed up her bounds while Ashido slid on a trail of slick acid. It initially looked like it would be a straight shot to the end, but the students soon arrived at a stretch of track with a huge sign next to it. Said sign displayed an image of an explosion with an unfortunate stick figure flying away.

"Time for the last obstacle!" Present Mic exclaimed. "This one's called Danger Mines! Midoriya-chan, give us the rundown!"

"Um," Midoriya explained as he read from the program Mic had given him, "th-this one is a stretch of land with c-cleverly hidden mines. S-some are fairly obvious, b-but there are a lot hidden. Th-they're not strong enough t-to cause serious harm, b-but the explosion is still l-loud and s-strong enough to s-send you off course, so be careful!"

"Thank you, kiddo! So, we all know how Kagaro Kiana is gonna utterly bypass this obstacle, but how do you think the rest of your class will fare?"

"H-honestly," Izuku smiled as some of the students started hitting mines, "m-most of th-them might h-have been at a d-d-disadvantage i-if not for a c-certain classmate..."

Among the grounded students, Sakai had taken the lead. With his low-lying body and vision, he could discern where the mines were buried by seeing even the most minute bumps in the ground. He slithered quickly, weaving between the mines, and behind him ran the other lead members of Class 1-C. In the very back were Asano (who had shrunk down to move between the mines) and Moroboshi, who both had their hands full deterring other students. Todoroki himself had been proving himself quite the challenge to fend off, even if he was still only using his ice. As Moroboshi tried pushing him and some other students back, Asano got an idea. Though he didn't say anything, Izuku recognized the face she made denoting an evil idea.

As Moroboshi wrestled with other students, Asano got down and started digging. In no time, she pulled up one of the mines. Present Mic tried to ask what she had planned, but Izuku could only shrug. Turning back to the others, Asano gave a sinister smile and slowly grew to her full size. To the shock of the audience, the mine in her hands grew with her. Suddenly it became quite clear what she had planned. With roaring laughter, Asano threw the minehardat the ground behind her and Moroboshi. The resulting explosion was not only significantly larger than a normal mine, but the pressure detonated almost every other mine, stopping almost all the other students including Todoroki. With that job done, the two girls rushed for the finish line closely pursued by Uraraka and Hatsume, who had somehow avoided the explosions.

"WE HAVE OUR WINNER FOR THE OBSTACLE COURSE!" Present Mic cheered as Asano and Moroboshi approached the gate. "SURPRISING NO ONE DUE TO US NOT TAKING FLIGHT INTO ACCOUNT, OUR FIRST PLACE WINNER IS KAGARO KIANA OF CLASS 1-C!" The crowds cheered as Asano and Moroboshi entered the stadium. "HOLY CRAP, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN UA'S HISTORY, THE MAJORITY OF THE TOP TEN WINNERS OF THE OBSTACLE COURSE ARE FROM GENERAL EDUCATION! WHAT AN AMAZING RESULT!"

"D-don't underestimate m-my class," Izuku chuckled as Present Mic continued reading off the placements for everyone. Sakai scored second place, followed by Gorogoro, Oyaneko, Gakushuu, Choji, Asano and Moroboshi. Uraraka came in ninth, with Hatsume coming in tenth. Due to Asano's giant mine trick, it took another thirty seconds for the next competitor to come in. Winded, chilled and beaten up good, Todoroki narrowly took the 11th place slot before Shinsou Hitoshi. The other students to come in looked just as beaten up. Though Asano didn't know it, she had set a precedent and all future Sports Festivals would prohibit students with growth quirks from enlarging mines.

"Looks like we got a lot of injuries down there," Mic declared, "but nothing too big! We'll take a thirty minute break so all the students can see Recovery Girl for their injuries before we read off the full results! I gotta say, that was quite the interesting event!"

"I know!" Izuku laughed. "L-looks like my c-class just had th-the overall advantage! N-now to see if th-their luck holds!"

---

After a half hour, Todoroki was back on the field in the stadium. His wounds weren't too severe, so there was no problem in healing him up. That race had been...surprising. He hadn't even made it into the top ten, but that's not what had his concern. His ice quirk was powerful, and he was skilled with it. That was true. What was also true was just how muchbetterMoroboshi was with hers. He could still only use brute force tactics with his eyes, but Moroboshi was making ice weapons in the blink of an eye during that race. The awe he felt seeing her in action far outshone anything he had witnessed short of All Might himself. He still wanted to learn from her, but still wasn't sure if he could truly use his fire. Her words and Midoriya's words rang through his mind, but it felt like there was...something that was stopping him. That something that made him decide not to ignite, some mental barrier he had long since forgotten. Oh, he could focus on that later, Mt. Lady was announcing the next event.

"Time to choose the second event of the Festival!" the massive heroine yelled as a spinning wheel appeared on the screens. The wheels spun incredibly fast for a good ten seconds before Mt. Lady clapped her hands, scaring away any birds in a kilometer's radius and stopping the wheel, landing on...

"CAVALRY BATTLE!" Mt. lady roared. "Allow me to explain the rules! This is similar to a traditional cavalry battle you may have played or seen before! The forty-four winners of the Obstacle Race will form teams of four people, with three people carrying the rider! Each teammate will have a headband marked with a certain number of points! The goal of the battle is to score as many points as possible within the time limit by taking headbands from opposing teams! A team is disqualified if all players lose their headbands, or if the rider touches the ground! If even one player still has a headband, the entire team is still in it! Each headband is worth a number of points depending on your placement in the Obstacle race!"

Huh. That was interesting. That meant that even someone who came in dead last could win if they get enough headbands. Todoroki listened to Mt. Lady read off the point amounts per headband. Since he scored 11th, it was unlikely anyone would come after him, which meant he could focus on getting as many-

"...and so on all the way up! The only exception is the first place ribbon, which is worth a whopping ten million points!"

...Or he could focus on getting that one instead.

"That's right!" Mt. Lady continued. "Ten million points! Almost as much as my prize-winning smile!" She gave a wink, eliciting hundreds of camera flashes, before continuing, "You all have five minutes to choose your teams! Anyone else who's not on a team before the timer runs out will be thrown together, so choose quickly!" With that in mind, Todoroki looked around for Class 1-C. Perhaps he could convince them to let him join-

"Oh my!" Present Mic blared. "Looks like Class 1-C already made their decision!" Surprised, Todoroki continued looking around until he saw the students of Class 1-C. Sure enough, they had all made their teams already, two teams made from the eight students to pass the obstacle race.

Wait. Eight students. Enough to make two teams. That was way too convenient. Did they plan this? How could they have prepared for this? The second event is randomized, and Midoriya was stuck up in the commentator's booth the entire time. There was no way they could have known the second event would be a cavalry battle.

Right?

Notes:

Oh man, I was SO EXCITED to get this out to you. I've had the majority of the festival planned for weeks, I hope you all enjoy it so far. ^w^

Next time, we see what Class 1-C knows, and learn how they face hordes of students eager to get that headband.

Chapter 12: Competition and Conversation

Notes:

Howdy do dere, interwebby people! Got another late-night update for y'all nocturnals and insomniacs! In this one we see the Cavalry Battle and a few conversations. ^^ Hope you find this enjoyable!

Also, shoutout to Merlenyn for figuring out how Class 1-C seemed to know what the second event was.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

---

Two weeks before the Sports Festival

---

"OOOOOIIII!Hey guys!" Tabata hollered, waving a thick brown folder over his head as he and Yoshio rushed towards the rest of 1-C. "We got it!"

"W-what did you get?" Izuku asked as the rest of the class gathered. "I-it better n-not be a-another of those weird d-dounjinshi y-you showed me earlier, w-with the ogre girl and the-"

"Oh god, you showed him the doujins?" Yoshio groaned as Tabata waved the folder.

"NOT THOSE!" Tabata exclaimed. "It's the result of mine and Yoshio's hard work!" He gestured everyone to sit down, and waited for the class to do so before pacing in front of them with the folder in his hands.

"Now," Tabata explained, "our big objective with this Sports Festival is to make a big impression to everyone watching, aye? Well, in order to do that, we'd need to get at least a few of us to reach the third stage of the event."

"The first stage is usually something big," Yoshio stepped in, "designed to whittledown the masses to a more manageable number. Usually it's something like an obstacle course or a scavenger hunt, something that can accommodate a large number of participants. The third event is almost always a fighting tournament, consisting of one-on-one matches between students. Any of us who are skilled in combat should be able to handle whatever the first event might be, and we don't have to win the third event to make our impression on everyone." He pushed up his four-lensed glasses for dramatic before stating, "This means it is the second event which we would have to worry most about."

"How could we prepare for them, though?" Hojo asked as she raised her hand. "The second event is always randomized, isn't it?"

"Yes," Tabata took over. "However, Yoshio and I looked into the second events and noticed a few things. First and foremost, while the decision is overall random, the second event is almost always selected from a list of eight events, which in turn was taken from a list of around sixteen."

"Wait a minute," Hayashida piped up. "What about last year's event? That one had Kamui Woods and Pixie-Bob make a forest on a giant turtle!"

"That event honestly gave me nightmares," Sakai shuddered.

"About that," Yoshio replied, "Tabata and I deemed that sort of event as an "anomaly," just as any other event that required the aid of a hero from outside UA's employ."

"And they never use anomalous events two years in a row," Tabata pointed, "so we can ignore that sort of thing for this year. Continuing, Yoshio used his quirk to memorize and compile a list of every sort of second event used since UA's Sports Festival became publicized. A trend I figured out through careful use of math, which Yoshio still sucks at, was that it seemed like every year that went by where a certain event wasn't used, the following year seemed to have a higher chance of that event being chosen. Figured this out by seeing that some events that hadn't been done for several years straight would appear on the second event's spinning wheel more often, rather than being changed out like the rest. On top of that, the spinning arrow would stop moving faster some years than others."

"Using such information," Yoshio nodded, "Tabata has managed to calculate that, excluding anomalous events, this year's second event has a roughly 78.3% chance of being a Cavalry Battle." There was silence following his words as everyone processed what they had been told. Some students were nervous, some were excited at the prospect. After a few moments, Asano stood up.

"So that means we gotta practice formations and stuff, right?" she asked.

"Why, though?" Oyaneko asked back. "I mean, there's still more than a 1 in 5 chance of it not being that sort of event. What if we practice and it's not a Cavalry Battle?"

"Th-then we're still at no m-more a d-d-disadvantage than e-everyone else," Izuku smiled. "P-plus, s-several of the o-other events have mechanics s-similar to a C-Cavalry Battle, s-so tactics and stuff c-can still be utilized. Yoshio, Tabata, y-you two are geniuses!"

---

Kagaro was thankful the class had decided to practice for this event during their training the past few weeks. They had decided on the eight "champions" of Class 1-C who would focus the most on getting to the third event, who would be the riders for the Battle, and what each person's role would be. She watched as Sakai was a rider (his headband was technically wrapped around his neck) with Gorogoro serving as the right horse, Choji as the left, and Asano in front. She herself sat with Oyaneko on the right, Gakushuu on the left and Moroboshi in front. Class 1-C watched as everyone else gathered into their groups. The group they paid most attention to was the group with the biggest troublemaker from last round.

Todoroki was sitting as a rider, with Hatsume on his left, Tokoyami on his right, and Uraraka in front. His gaze was switching between Kagaro and Moroboshi. No doubt he was thinking of how to get the ten-million-point headband from Kagaro, just like everyone else. The rest of his team were no pushovers. Midoriya had given Class 1-C a detailed rundown of everyone in Class 1-A, and everyone was just as familiar with Hatsume Mei and her devastating yet non-explosive gear. This combined with Uraraka's gravity control and Tokoyami's Dark Shadow made for an offensively-minded group. Unfortunately for Todoroki, this meant that, unless he used his fire, he was the least-threatening member of his team.

"LOOKS LIKE EVERYONE'S GOTTEN TOGETHER!" Present Mic's voice shook her from her thoughts. "YOU STILL GOT THREE MINUTES BEFORE THE EVENT BEGINS, SO TALK TO YOUR TEAMMATES, BUT ONCE THAT TIMER HITS ZERO IT'S GAME ON!"

Kagaro and her team slowly moved towards the corner of the stadium while Sakai's team moved in front of hers. They were ready.

---

Izuku was glad for this extra five minutes before the event began. They may have gotten a half hour earlier, but he had spent that time talking with his mom, Midnight and Kamui. Which meant he didn't get to do any of the other things one would normally do during a break.

Such as refilling their water bottle.

As Mic announced the three-minute mark, Izuku was downstairs at a water fountain refilling his bottle. One would think they'd have a mini-fridge or something in the booth, but it was curiously devoid of such things. He wondered why as he twisted the cap into place on the bottle. Maybe he should grab a second bottle while he was down here. Deciding this was a good idea, he turned to a nearby vending machine, but saw something unexpected.

"M-Melissa!"

To his surprise, the Third-Year was using that same vending machine and didn't notice Izuku sooner. The minute he called out, she turned to him in surprise before giving a smile. She stayed by the machine as Izuku jogged up with his bottle.

"W-what are you doing h-here?" Izuku asked. "Th-the Third-years d-don't compete until t-tomorrow."

"And miss you strut your stuff?" the taller American said with a wink (and enjoying the blush she put on his face). "I know you're in the booth, technically, but I still wanted to be here for you. Plus, wanted to make sure the arm wasn't messing up."

"O-oh, my arm," Izuku held up the prosthetic. "W-working p-pretty girl-er-PRETTY GOOD! Yes! W-working good!" Melissa giggled at the statement (and not missing his "error" there).

"Glad to hear it. Hey, got anything planned tonight?"

"A-actually," Izuku raised his finger, "M-my mom wanted to know i-if you wanted t-to join us for dinner? Sh-she usually makes a l-lot of food during the f-festival."

"Oh, I'd love to!" Melissa gave another angelic smile. "Your mom makes the best food." Izuku blushed and opened his mouth to say something else before Present Mic's voice rang out from the speakers.

"ONE MINUTE, LITTLE COMPETITORS! GET READY TO RUMBLE!"

"I-I gotta get back to the b-booth," Izuku stuttered. Before Melissa could say anything else, Izuku took a breath and gave her a quick hug, careful not to put his head anywhere near her chest. "S-See you later!" He dashed off before she could respond, his face flushed red. He hugged a girl! He actually hugged a girl he liked! As he ran off, Melissa watched him go with a smile.

"Looks like the little man's getting braver."

---

"EVERYBODY READY!?" Mic shouted. "WELL, TOO BAD IF YOU AREN'T CAUSE IT'S GO TIME! MOST POINTS IN TEN MINUTES WINS!" The starting alarms blared, and immediately most of the teams charged for Kagaro's team. "AND AS EXPECTED, ALMOST EVERYONE'S RUSHING KAGARO KIANA'S TEAM! HOW WILL SHE HANDLE THIS ONSLAUGHT!?"

"I-I think you'll find my class h-handles it p-pretty well," Izuku chuckled.

True to Izuku's words, none of the groups got within reach of her headband. Many in front were met by a wall of ice, and more on her right ran into Oyaneko's barrier. The few groups that charged from the left found themselves thrown back by the shockwave from Gakushuu's 3-D'ing quirk. Kagaro herself didn't move, instead wrapping herself in her wings.

As this happened, several of the groups who tried to charge Kagaro instead found themselves wrestling with Sakai's team. The large snake struck left and right, yanking the headbands of riders and horses alike, and he struckfast. The few who tried to take Sakai's headband were met with empty air, and usually lost their headbands in the process. A few teams actually lost their riders due to how hard Sakai was pulling their headbands.

"WHAT A MASS OF MAYHEM!" Present Mic announced. "IT'S LIKE NO ONE CAN EVEN GET CLOSE TO THE TEN-MILLION HEADBAND!"

"W-what do you mean 'like,' s-sensei?" Izuku stuttered. "N-no is g-getting close. Th-they might be b-better off g-going for different t-teams."

Todoroki, meanwhile, watched Class 1-C's team intensely. No one had gone after his team, but Hatsume and Tokoyami had exploited the chaos and snatched some headbands from people who got too close. One team who came from the other side were just sentflyingby Uraraka with a flick of her fingers. Shoto noticed this, and was curious how she did that, but figured he could ask after the battle ended. In the meantime...

"Avoid Class 1-C," Todoroki stated.

"You sure?" Uraraka asked as she knocked back another team.

"Look at their arrangement," the icy-hot boy pointed. "Kagaro's team has their backs to a wall. She's hiding inside her wings, and all her horses are on the defensive. They got an energy barrier, that flattening guy, and Moroboshi. Heck, Moroboshi could keep the headband safe by herself. Meanwhile, the snake's team is playing aggressively, intercepting teams and whittling down their numbers. They're on bodyguard duty, working together just like with the Obstacle Course. Still not sure how figured out their plan so quickly, but it would be best if we focused on the others." His team considered his words, and all gave their assent. Hatsume was a bit bummed out she couldn't test some her babies against Izuku's classmates. They turned to pursue other teams when a voice caught their attention.

"Giving up so quick?"

Todoroki ducked his head in time to avoid Monoma's grasping hand, preserving his headband. How did that Class 1-B mook get so close? The snide hero course student and his less-memorable teammates rushed Todoroki's team again. This time, Todoroki repelled them with his ice while Mei stole another headband with one of her devices.

"You got such a powerful quirk, and you're not even trying to get the goal!" Monoma laughed as he continued trying to steal Todoroki's headband. "To think theillustriousClass 1-A was full of-" His sentence was cut short when a blue blur grabbed the back of his headband and yanked, sending him flying and relieving him of his headband. Todoroki's team stared in surprise as Sakai slowly coiled back up on his riders.

"Alwayth haded dat guy," Sakai said with a mouth full of ribbons before his team ran off. Todoroki nodded his gratitude and rode off with his team, snatching more ribbons and avoiding Class 1-C entirely.

"FIVE MINUTES LEFT, AND ALMOST HALF THE TEAMS ARE ALREADY DISQUALIFIED!" Present Mic roared. "WHAT A SURPRISE!"

"I-I think it's c-clear who the w-winners of this round are g-g-gonna be," Izuku chuckled.

---

"This is one serious furball," Kamui stated with wide eyes. He remembered Cavalry Battles were chaotic, but this was something else.

"My class sure has things handled," Midnight giggled as she held Inko's hand. "They're making mama proud." Inko herself was smiling alongside Midnight. Just as it was fun watching her son's classmates practically dominate the field, it had also been fun to reconnect with Midnight. Before Izuku's attending UA, it had been years since they had spoken. Inko looked up at the pro heroine, honestly feeling happy at how far she'd come from the crying child she had first met back when she was a Management student.

Suddenly Inko's cell phone buzzed. Couldn't have been Izuku, he was busy stuttering the progress of the Calvary Battle. Curious, Inko pulled up her phone and checked the ID. She glowered at the name that was displayed before sending the caller to voice mail. This person had been calling since the Entrance Exams, and Inko didn't wanna hear any of it.

"Who was that?" Midnight asked, having noticed the buzzing phone and Inko's displeasure. "A telemarketer?"

Inko smiled up at Midnight as she responded, "Someone who's not worth thinking about." Midnight looked at her for a few more moments before turning back to the Cavalry Battle. Inko looked back at her now-silent phone before slipping it back into her pocket. She had no idea why she hadn't blocked that number yet. Maybe she'd do it after the festival. For now, she wanted to focus on her son's friends. The timer was about up.

---

"STOOOP!!" Present Mic shouted, bringing the entire stadium to a standstill with almost two minutes left on the timer. "I KNOW WE STILL HAVE TIME LEFT, BUT DUE TO EITHER FALLEN RIDERS OR LOSS OF HEADBANDS, WE ARE DOWN TO FOUR TEAMS ON THE FIELD!"

"A-and th-this event w-was gonna end with four w-winning teams," Izuku announced. "A-as such, it has been d-decided the event is d-done early! W-wanna call off the winners, s-sensei?"

"BUT OF COURSE!" Mic yelled. "IN FIRST PLACE, BEING THE ONLY TEAM TO REMAIN ON THE DEFENSIVE AND STILL VICTORIOUS, IS TEAM KAGARO AND HER TEAM OF CLASS 1-C STUDENTS!" Kagaro slowly unfurled her wings at this announcement, her 10-million-point headband still secure on her forehead. Her team was looking a bit winded, but were ecstatic at the call.

The audience roared as Mic continued, "AND IN SECOND PLACE, BY A NARROW MARGIN, IS TEAM TODOROKI!" Everyone who could see them noted Todoroki's entire team looked way exhausted. After many of the opposing teams had learned it was suicide to go after the Gen Ed kids, they had all ganged up on each other, and Todoroki's team fought tooth and nail to get where they were.

"AND IN THIRD PLACE, BEHIND BY ONLY 5 POINTS, IS TEAM SAKAI!" The serpentine student gave a cough as he spat out the dozen or two ribbons he had collected with his mouth. His team was just as exhausted as Todoroki's, but reveled in their victory. Asano had outright collapsed when the time was called, having literally carried her team for a good minute or two.

"AND PULLING UP THE LAST PLACE, HAVING SURVIVED MULTIPLE CLOSE CALLS, IS TEAM ASHIDO!" This one caught everyone by surprise, but sure enough, one more group of Class 1-A students had survived the mosh pit of headbands. Ashido Mina gave a tired thumbs up as she sat on Kaminari,Iida and Yaoyorozu. Their team had a few more headbands than they started with, but not too many. "MIDORIYA-KUN, WANNA ANNOUNCE WHAT'S COMING NEXT!?"

"H-hold on," Izuku muttered as he shuffled through some papers in front of him. "A-hem, a-after another short break, th-these sixteen students w-will f-face each other in a series of 1-on-1 m-matches! Th-the first round w-will be randomized, w-with the lineup b-being determined a-as we speak! T-this will be th-the last event of the Festival, a-and the winner of th-these fights will be th-the winner of the First Year F-Festival!"

"And if you didn't make it to the final event," Mt. Lady called as she stepped back onto the field in her enlarged state, "not to worry! While we take a half hour to ready the stadium for the fighting portion, there will be another series of recreational events you can participate in! As for those who did win the Battle, go drink something and rest up!" She winked down at the tired students. "Your time to really shine is almost here!"

The audience roared with excitement, and for good reason. Half of the remaining students were Class 1-C underdogs who had dominated the past two events through teamwork, but everyone knew this last event would throw that teamwork out the window. Not only that, but there was a question now plaguing the minds of several pro heroes in the audience. A question none had even considered before this year.

"Is it possible to ask for Gen Ed interns?"

Notes:

Das right, folks, they studied! XD

Hope I did this event justice, it was actually pretty hard to write effectively. Don't worry tho, the last event will be more detailed. I know you folks are gonna love what's coming. Might take a bit longer to get that one out, but das just cuz I might work on the next Side-Story.

Next time in Type-2 Hero, Ice meets Flaming Trash Can and we learn the matchups. Possibly even see the first match, depending on how things go. See ya later!

Chapter 13: Conversation and Conflict

Notes:

This chapter is a bit of a transitory chapter, showing a few events that happens prior to the last leg of the Festival, and ends with the first match of said stage. We'll also get some fluff, a smidgen of justice, and several someones begin feeling things.

Also, some readers will note that Sero is not listed in the final roster, instead having Iida in his place. His winning in the last chapter was an error on my part, and has since been updated. I had Iida's match planned first out of all of em, and needed to fix that.

Anyway, read on!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

---

Thirty Minutes Until the Third Event---

"Y-you guys did f-fantastic!" Izuku stuttered to his classmates as they staggered into the waiting room. "E-everything went perfectly!"

"Most of that was you," Moroboshi smiled while pointing at Izuku. "We just did what you planned, and it worked like a charm." The shorter boy chuckled at the praise and started handing out bottles of water to everyone.

"Also got to spite Mono-douche," Sakai grinned like only a snake could. "Really don't like that guy."

"Mono...douche..." Gakushuu deadpanned. "You need a better nickname for him."

"Like what?" Sakai asked his rotund classmate.

"Y-you talking about Hoe-noma?" Izuku asked. Everyone turned to look at him in shock. Izuku started feeling a bit nervous, but this was negated when everyone in the room started laughing.

"HOE-NOMA!" Kagaro laughed as she pulled Izuku into a sudden hug from the side. "Oh my god, I didnotexpect something like that to come out of your cinnamon roll mouth!"

"Where did that evencomefrom?" Asano asked with a chuckle.

"L-let's just say th-those therapy sessions h-have been helping," Izuku replied while looking down to hide his embarrassment. His classmates replied with more goodhearted chuckling and patting his back (though Kagaro had yet to stop hugging him). After a moment he looked back up at them. "A-anyway, we g-got a half hour before th-the tournament. Y-you're on your own th-there, b-but it's alright. Y-you've already made our c-class stand out with h-how many of us g-got this far. Th-there's no way the heroes are g-gonna forget Class 1-C this year." His classmates all gave determined smiles and nodded. They knew what they were up against, and were ready to meet it head-on.

---

Twenty-Five Minutes Until the Third Event---

Uraraka was hunched over, using a drinking fountain to both quench her thirst and wash away the sweat on her head. She knew the Cavalry Battle was gonna be intense with a ten-million-point headband on the line, but she was still caught off-guard by how crazy it was. Her entire body ached from the running and from flicking away the opposing teams. Despite that ache, however, she knew this next part was gonna be even harder. Todoroki, Iida, and Ashido were the scariest ones from her class. Meanwhile, Moroboshi, Kagaro, heck even that fat guy or the tall girl from Class 1-C could be trouble. Overall, she had quite the fight ahead of her if she wanted to win the Festival.

She might even really need to use-

"Excuse me," a voice spoke up behind her.

Snapping upright, she turned and saw the top of a blond head of hair. It took a moment for the tired Uraraka to realize she had to look down if she wanted to address the person in front of her. Doing so, she found herself dumbstruck at the blue-eyed beauty before her. She was so taken in by the woman before she she didn't even see the smaller mouse-like boy next to her holding a basket.

"Hello," Melissa greeted. "I was wondering if you knew where Class 1-C's waiting room is?" Stunned beyond speech, the taller hero student simply pointed down the hallway. The blond lady gave a smile that made Uraraka weak in the knees and thanked her before dashing down the hall alongside her smaller companion. Uraraka watched her go, her eyes falling a bit lower than eyes should, before giving a sigh and collapsing to her knees.

"Holy crap," she whispered, "where didthatangel come from?"

"Uraraka-san!" a familiar voice called from the other way. Uraraka gasped and quickly got to her feet before Yaoyorozu came into view. The creative student caught her breath a bit before looking up at her classmate. "Sato's got some cupcakes in the Class A waiting room to help us re-energize before the next event. Want one?"

"S-sure," Uraraka nodded. Giving one more glance in the direction the golden angel walked, Uraraka followed Yaoyorozu back to her class. She was determined to find out who that woman was.

"A-also," Yaoyorozu asked a bit more nervously, "did you happen to see a small mouse boy anywhere? I-I thought I saw him come this way earlier."

"I-I didn't see any," Uraraka replied. Then she realized what Momo just asked and looked down at her. "Wait, why are you-"

"No reason!" Momo waved her hands. "No reason at all!" Despite her denial, Uraraka could see Momo's face was a bit more red than earlier.

Now Uraraka was wondering if someone with a love quirk passed by recently, because this was just too weird.

---

Ten Minutes Until the Third Event

---

Moroboshi was making her way back to the waiting room for her class. While Oscar's biscuits were tasty and fresh, she needed something a bit more substantial after using as much ice as she did. As a result, she actually went to the concession stands outside the arena for a bit. She was still munching on a pork bun as she passed by a hallway with two figures in it.

"Why aren't you using any fire?" a massive man with a flaming head roared to Shoto below him. "You would have won everything earlier if you'd stop this petty grudge and use what I gave you."

"What you've given me?" Shoto glared. "Sorry, but I don't think I can transfer my pain and misery to another person, otherwise I'd have given it right back to you."

On one hand, Moroboshi was proud to see Shoto standing up for himself. On the other, she could tell this wasn't gonna end well. The look on Endeavor's face would curdle milk and then vaporize it, and it was being directed at his son at that immediate moment. Tossing her last pork bun in a nearby trash can, she dashed up to Shoto, ignoring his eternally-angry father.

"There you are!" she exclaimed while grabbing Shoto's hand. The boy looked down at their hands in shock as she continued, "Only got a bit of time left before the next event, and we gotta be in our rooms within the five-minute mark." Before she could pull him away, however, a very large and hot hand grabbed her shoulder.

"Keep your nose out of my affairs, girl," Endeavor growled. "I'm not done talking to-" Moroboshi glared at his arm as he spoke, and next thing Endeavor knew his entire arm was encased in ice. Shoto's eyes widened at this. She didn't even make any gestures! She just stared and froze! How did that even happen?

"I believe you are done," Moroboshi deadpanned before pulling Shoto away. Endeavor growled, melted the ice on his arm and tried to stop her, but found he couldn't move. Looking down, his eyes widened when he saw that, at some point during that conversation, Moroboshi had also quietly frozen his feet to the floor. His rage only increased, but he looked up to see Moroboshi disappear around the corner with his son.

"Good job standing up to him," Moroboshi told Shoto while Endeavor roared with rage behind them. "Does that mean you're gonna use your fire now?"

"...That...is still undecided," Shoto replied. Moroboshi would have gotten on him further had she not noticed his tone of voice. It was clear there was something else going on, and she wasn't sure she had time to help him through it. So instead, she gave a grunt and kept pulling him towards the waiting rooms. She was too focused on the path in front of her to notice Shoto had turned his attention to her hand. He had just realized how...nice it felt. It was really nice, to the point he felt somewhat depressed when she finally let go.

"Here's your class' room," the pale-haired girl gestured. "See you in the tournament." Then she dashed off to reunite with her own classmates, leaving Shoto at the door. He watched her go, his face a light shade of pink, before looking back at his hand.

"...What is this?"

---

Five Minutes Until the Third Event

---

While seven members of Class 1-A were preparing for the next event, the rest of the class was up in the stands. While the majority of the class had lost, they were not in low spirits. The reason for this?

"That was so much fun!" Kirishima cheered as he stretched.

"Certainly a big difference between watching the festival and actually participating," Shinsou sighed. "Thought I'd do better, though."

"You did plenty well," Ibara reassured the purple-haired classmate, gently rubbing his back. "We were simply caught by surprise."

"No kidding," Jirou groaned. "I know those Gen Ed kids helped out during the USJ, but I had no idea they were THAT good."

"Certainly better than any of you." The mass of Class 1-A turned to see Monoma hanging out at the edge of his class' seats, sneering at Class 1-A. "You're supposed to be Class A, the elites of the first years? The ones who defeated actual villains, and you lost to some General Education bumpkins? Pathetic."

"Good god," Sero groaned, "don't you have anything better to do?"

"Why?" Monoma continued. "Can't handle a bit of heckling? How do you think you can be heroes if you-"

"Young man..."

Everyone turned to the voice and watched as All Might's head appeared over the edge of the opposite side, from the walkway. None of them knew All Might was gonna be here, so everyone was caught by surprise. What gave them all the jitters, however, was that he wasn't smiling. If anything, All Might looked furiously at Monoma.

"A-All Might!" the Class 1-B student greeted while sweating. "W-what a surprise to-"

"Quiet,"All Might ordered, not a hint of cheer in his voice. Monoma shut his mouth as the Number One Hero spoke,"I heard you harassing your fellow Hero Course students. I also heard you insult the General Education class. I believe you were spoken to about such behavior, correct?"

"Uh," Monoma tried to defend himself, "i-it was just some lighthearted joking, I swear? Right?" He turned to the rest of his class for support, but they were staying out of it. None of them spoke up, and Monoma's face paled as he looked back at All Might.

"Such language is never funny,"All Might growled."I had been told by Aizawa that you were already on strike two concerning such abhorrent behavior. I do think this qualifies as strike three."Monoma turned sheet white as a small blue smart phone poked over the edge of the railing."I have Principal Nedzu on speed-dial. Shall I call him to tell him what you've done?"

"PLEASE NO!" Monoma got to his knees and begged. "PLEASE DON'T CALL HIM! I DON'T WANT TO BE EXPELLED!" The Class 1-B student sobbed and pleaded, the most humble anyone in school had ever seen him. All Might's expression did not change, angered and focused on Monoma. There was close to a minute of silence before All Might spoke again.

"Young man, this is not something that can be ignored. Time and again you have harassed your fellow students, making verbal attacks against them, for the sake of your own ego. A true hero is not focused on their own self-righteousness, and you have demonstrably failed in displaying that quality."Monoma was frozen in place, tears falling down his face as All Might continued,"However, the principal is a merciful...mammal to individuals who come forward of their own volition to confess to their crimes. So here is what must be done. You are to go to the principal directly, right now, and tell him what you have done. Do this and he may not expel you from UA. Go."Monoma didn't even wait for All Might to finish speaking; He was gone in an instant. The students of Class 1-A turned to the hero to thank him, only to see he had vanished as well. Jirou walked to and looked over the edge All Might was standing behind, but he was gone. She noticed a few students walking away, but All Might was nowhere to be seen. Confused, she just shrugged and went back to her seat.

Meanwhile, up in Nedzu's office, the principal was raucously laughing his head off. He had witnessed the entire event through the security cameras, and was both impressed and amused at the display. It appeared that Class 1-A did not know the existence of Sanada Kayano, a girl in Class 1-C who could change her head and voice to whomever she wished. While she could be in trouble for impersonating a hero, what she did was too good to punish. Monoma on the other hand...well, they would have quite the conversation when that frantic student finally arrived.

Oh look, it was time.

---

"HEY THERE, LISTENERS!" Present Mic's voice blared from the speakers. "HOPE Y'ALL HAD A GOOD REST, CAUSE IT'S TIME FOR THE LAST EVENT TO BEGIN!" The audience roared with excitement. "WE GOT A SPECIAL TREAT TODAY! FOR THOSE JUST JOINING US, HALF OF THE STUDENTS WHO'VE MADE IT THIS FAR ARE FROM OUR ESTEEMED GENERAL EDUCATION COURSE! NEVER BEFORE HAVE SO MANY MADE IT THIS FAR! MIDORIYA-KUN, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS DEVELOPMENT!?"

"I-it's not s-surprising," Izuku explained. "I mean, some of th-the students who've made it th-this far tried out f-for heroics and narrowly f-failed the exam. I-I'd say every single one o-of them is good as a-any hero student. Th-there are a few in p-particular who I feel will b-blow all expectations away."

"OOH, SOUNDS EXCITING!" Mic laughed. "ALRIGHT EVERYONE, IF YOU COULD DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION TO THE SCREENS ABOVE THE ARENA, WE'LL REVEAL WHO'S GONNA BE FIGHTING WHO IN THIS FIRST ROUND!" As he finished, Mt. Lady also gestured to the screens, which lit up and displayed eight pairs of names.

SAKAI HEBI(C) VS ASHIDO MINA(A)

TOKOYAMI FUMIKAGE(A) VS CHOJI RYUNOSUKE(C)

KAGARO KIANA(C) VS YAOYOROZU MOMO(A)

OYANEKO FUJIKURO(C) VS URARAKA OCHAKO(A)

MOROBOSHI AYAME(C) VS HATSUME MEI(H)

KAMINARI DENKI(A) VS ASANO RYOKO(C)

IIDA TENYA(A) VS GAKUSHUU HIFUMI(C)

TODOROKI SHOUTO(A) VS GOROGORO MAMORU(C)

"AND THERE'S OUR LINEUP!" Mic cheered. "THE FIRST MATCH FOR THE LAST EVENT OF THE UA FIRST-YEARS SPORTS FESTIVAL IS BETWEEN SAKAI HEBI, THE SERPENT OF CLASS C, AND ASHIDO MINA, THE ACID QUEEN OF CLASS A! IT'S SNAKE VERSUS DANCER, WHO DO YOU THINK WILL WIN!? BOTH FIGHTERS PLEASE APPROACH THE ARENA!" The two students clambered onto the large concrete arena from opposite sides. Mina smiled as she rolled her sleeves up as Sakai simply coiled up on his side. Mt. Lady was standing off to the side at her full height, smiling down at the competitors.

"Alright kiddies," she announced, "give us a good clean fight today! You lose if you fall out of the ring, become incapacitated, or forfeit! Ready?" Ashido nodded and held one arm back as Sakai shifted his body into a series of tight S-curves. "BEGIN!"

Ashido started by using a trick Izuku had devised for her, where she sprayed acid at high velocity from her entire forearm. Dubbing it "Acid Veil," she fired it at Sakai...or at least where he was. At the same time Mt. Lady called the match to begin, Sakai launched himself at Ashido, hitting the concrete with his tail hard enough to crack it. He flew just under Ashido's acid, and just barely missed impacting her. As Ashido recovered and turned to face him, Sakai landed and slithered to the side faster than some thought possible before launching himself at Ashido again. He missed again, but this time Ashido didn't have time to throw acid at him. The fight seemed to devolve into a series of Sakai flying at Ashido and missing while the acid girl tried hitting the snake with her quirk.

"WHAT'S GOING ON!?" Present Mic called as he watched the metaphorical ballet between the snake and hero student. "DESPITE THE INCESSANT ATTACKING, NEITHER STUDENT HAS ACTUALLY HIT THE OTHER!"

"I-it's because of th-their styles," Midoriya went on to explain. "A-Ashido-san has an a-amazing acid quirk, but sh-she's also taken dancing lessons, and has inc-c-corporated those moves into her f-fighting style. However, d-despite his length, S-Sakai-kun is a low and skinny t-target, s-s-so he's hard to hit accurately. S-simultaneously, S-Sakai's recently learned he c-can launch himself b-by coiling up a-and pushing back behind him. His 'Spring Launch' as he c-calls it is fast a-and will hurt i-if it hits, b-but he c-can't change direction midair. H-he can't constrict A-Ashido-san either b-because she can m-make acid from anywhere on her b-body. With such styles and t-techniques, they're both about equal."

"Meaning this match could take a while?" Mic asked as Sakai shot past Mina for the tenth time. "They gotta get tired eventually though."

"Th-the person t-to lose w-will be the first to m-make a mistake," Izuku affirmed, watching his classmate fight the hero student. After Izuku said this, Sakai shot at Ashido again, but closer to the ground. As a result, he flew between her legs, and she gave a shout of surprise as the end of Sakai's tail caught her ankle and yanked her along with him. As he landed, Sakai quickly formed into more S-curves and launched himself at the edge of the ring. Before he could fly off, though, Sakai bit down on the edge of the ring, his fangs sinking into concrete, as his whole body whipped forward. Ashido gave another scream as she fell out of the arena and impacted the grass. The instant she hit the grass, Mt. Lady raised her arms.

"ASHIDO MINA IS OUT OF BOUNDARIES!" the giant heroine announced. "SAKAI HEBI WINS!" The crowd cheered as Sakai slithered down to Ashido, who was sitting on the grass with her head bowed.

"Are you alright?" the Gen Ed student asked. When Ashido shrugged, Sakai leaned forward, almost touching her face with his tongue. "You did good, miss. Don't feel bad about losing here. After all, you got further than over half your class." These words seemed to cheer Mina up a little, and she got to her feet with a small smile. The two students left the field together, calmly chatting away about the fight. The crowd was roaring the entire time.

Class 1-C had made it to the final event, and already had a victory under their belt. Things could only get more exciting from here.

Notes:

Ah, ah? What do ya think? Please tell me what you think, I subsist on comments.

And with this chapter, I'm pretty sure you guys can guess at least one of the unlisted shippings this fic will have. Fluffy feels all around.

Gonna be honest, I mostly kept Monoma around this long for the sole purpose of using that gag on him. What do you think his eventual fate will be? Will he actually be expelled for incessant harassment, or will Nedzu give mercy? We will see his exact fate eventually, but I'm pretty sure this chapter had his last official speaking lines.

And now that you know the tournament lineup, who do u think will win? Who will lose? Feel free to place bets, I wanna see who you think will win. XD

Next time in Type-2 Hero, the tournament progresses, but how many Gen Ed students can really last against trained hero students? You'll see next time!

Chapter 14: Conflict and Class

Notes:

The next two fights of the Festival. Hope I did them justice.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

"WHAT AN EXCITING START TO THE TOURNAMENT!" Present Mic cheered as Sakai and Ashido left the arena. "ONCE AGAIN, CLASS 1-C AMAZES US! BUT WILL THIS AMAZEMENT CONTINUE?"

"W-we'll just have to wait and s-see!" Izuku laughed at his teachers antics. "Up next is g-gonna be Ch-Choji Ryunosuke of Class 1-C v-versus Tokoyami F-Fumikage of Class 1-A! W-would those two please come on s-stage?" There was another cheer from the audience as the next two contenders approached the stage. From one side, the dark and enigmatic Tokoyami walked in silence. Hovering over him was his quirk, the intelligent Dark Shadow. From the other side strode Choji, tall and strong. His long fur waved dramatically as he stepped up to the arena. As Mt. Lady made her opening statement of rules before beginning the fight, Choji thought back to the conversation he had with his classmates while Sakai was fighting Ashido.

---

"This is a bad matchup."

"Hm?" Moroboshi asked Choji as she and their classmates chatted in their waiting room.

"I'm fighting Tokoyami next," Choji explained. "It's basically gonna be a two-v-one fight, and one of them is a f*cking kaiju. I'm strong, but I gotta get close, and his quirk is very good at keeping things from getting close."

"Then find a way to get close," Moroboshi plainly stated as she formed a flower out of ice. "Think of what you're good at, and do it."

---

'Think of what I'm good at,' the wookiee thought as the match began. He watched with a flat expression as Tokoyami sent Dark Shadow forward, eager to finish the fight quickly.

'I can't counter that beast.'

He watched the quirk-beast get close, giving an avian roar as it raised its' claws high.

'I can't fight it.'

Dark Shadow swung down, aiming at the wookiee.

'So...'

Mere moments before impact, Choji leaped aside. Instead of striking the student, Dark Shadow's claws slammed into the ground, breaking the concrete and sending small chunks flying into the air.

'I'LL JUST GO AROUND IT!'

His face now hardened with a glare of determination, Choji grabbed one of the flying chunks of concrete and hurled it at Tokoyami. Flying faster than Dark Shadow could react, the concrete struck Tokoyami in the arm. The birdboy yelled in pain and surprise. Dark Shadow turned to his master, and Choji exploited their inattention to grab a couple more chunks of the arena. As Dark Shadow turned back to Choji, its' eyes widened in shock as the pieces in Choji's hands flew past at high speed. Tokoyami screamed in pain as the chunks hit him in the shoulder and leg, bringing him to his knee.

Ignoring the excited screams of Present Mic, Choji rushed the kneeling student. Dark Shadow flew between the two and swung his claws at the wookiee. Choji jumped over the claws and landed on Dark Shadow's head before jumping off, still aiming at Tokoyami. With a loud battlecry, Choji swung his arms down as he landed. The hero student rolled to the side in time to avoid the blow, watching in shock as Choji slammed down hard enough to crack the arena floor. Giving Tokoyami an angry stare, the wookiee dug his fingers into the cracks and yanked up a large chunk of concrete. He hurled it at Tokoyami, but this time Dark Shadow was fast enough to get in the way. The quirk laughed as it smashed the chunk into pieces before rushing at Choji.

Choji ran at Dark Shadow, ducking and sliding under the rampaging quirk-beast. Picking up some of the concrete Dark Shadow smashed, Choji shot them at Tokoyami. This time Tokoyami was attentive enough to dodge, but in doing so gave Choji the time needed to close the gap between the two. He just needed one hit. Choji was strong enough that one good hit would disable the hero student. He was meters away now. He could see Tokoyami's eyes widen in fear. Choji gave a roar and raised his fist. It was now or never.

It was never.

Mere seconds before Choji could deck Tokoyami, Dark Shadow had spun around and caught up with the wookie. The quirk-beast quickly caught Choji's arm before expanding to grab his entire body. The Gen Ed student roared and struggled, but failed to break free. Tokoyami was still in shock at what almost happened, actually falling backwards from where Choji almost hit him. The birdheaded student just stared for a few moments before taking a breath and getting back to his feet.

"You did well," Tokoyami told Choji. "Do not take shame in this defeat." With a gesture, Tokoyami sent Dark Shadow to the edge of the arena and tossed Choji. He tried to grab onto Dark Shadow as he fell, but Choji missed and hit the grass with a thud. The audience was actually silent for a good ten seconds before the cheering began again.

"AND THERE WE GO!" Present Mic yelled through the stadium. "THE WINNER OF THE SECOND MATCH IS TOKOYAMI FUMIKAGE! I gotta say, after the beating he took I was not expecting him to snatch victory like that!"

"M-me either!" Izuku agreed. "I-I'll admit, I was a b-bit worried about m-my classmate down there, b-but then he started dominating th-the fight, a-and then was caught at literally th-the last second! I-it was one twist a-after another, like a pretzel!"

"And speaking of pretzels," Mic spoke up, "it might be a good time to grab some refreshments! We gotta take a few minutes to repair the arena, so grab em while you can!" Some of the audience shuffled around to do just that while the two competitors exited the field. Tokoyami was staggering from all the injuries, and Choji was just looking down as he left. He was hoping he wouldn't be the first one out, but like he said before the match, this was a bad matchup. Still, he put up a good fight, at least. He was really looking forward to seeing how everyone else did.

---

Melissa hummed as she walked down the hall. It was fun hanging out with the Class 1-C kids, but since she wasn't even competing (let alone in their class) she couldn't stay in their room. She could have sat with the other 3-H kids who came to watch, but honestly she felt like stretching her legs. After all, even though this arena was on UA grounds, it wasn't usually open to exploration like it was today so she was interested in seeing as much of it as she could. She was so engrossed in taking in every detail she almost didn't hear two people talking around the corner.

"...so we'll need you to act the part if anyone asks."

"This is quite unusual, but I'll do my best."

She stopped. Acting a part? What was going on? She initially thought these might be villains or miscreants before realizing she recognized the first voice. That was Principal Nedzu! But who was he talking to? They sounded kind of familiar, but not enough to be recognizable. Moving against the wall, she quietly slid closer to the corner to listen in. Normally she wasn't one for eavesdropping, but if Nedzu was involved...

"Did you contact the other students to tell them about this?" the second voice asked.

"I will during the after-festival party," Nedzu replied. "It was quite hilarious seeing that student imitate your head like that, and I also want them to know they won't be in trouble for it."

"I am glad," the second voice sighed. "Whatever was your decision with young Monoma, anyway?"

"Demotion," Nedzu piped up. "He's been moved to Class 1-D General Education for the remainder of the year. If his behavior improves, hemaybe moved back up to 1-B next year. If he doesn't get better, though, he'll be there the remainder of his high school years. Speaking of remaining time, you sure you have enough time to hand out the medals?"

"Of course!" the other voice laughed. "I haven't buffed up all day. I have enough time to hand out the medals and even attend the party a bit."

"Glad to hear that, All Might."

Melissa froze. All Might? Uncle Might was the other person? He didn't sound anything like he should! Was he sick? Her father did mention something was wrong, but never went into detail. She was really tempted to look around the corner now.

"Also," Nedzu continued, "I must ask, have you spoken with Midoriya-kun yet? Last I heard you were still avoiding him."

"...Is it that obvious?"

"Oh definitely. Any time he's present for a Hero Class, you fail to appear. Wouldn't it be better to just come out and apologize for what you told him?"

Apologize? To Midoriya-kun? What could Uncle Might have-

"Would he even want to see me? I told him he couldn't be a hero just because he was quirkless."

...What?

"And that was a horrible mistake on your part," Nedzu affirmed, "but Midoriya-kun still idolizes you. The fact he tried to defend you fromMidnightis proof of that."

"But that's just it!" All Might exclaimed. "Mistakes are generally unintentional, but back then I said it with finality and belief that I wasright. For almost a year I thought I was right! It wasn't until I encountered Nighteye a few weeks ago, where he reminded me of what I used to be, that it ever occurred to me I was wrong! Nedzu, that day I left young Midoriya on a roof after breaking his heart! It would have been easy for him to have jumped off the side after what I said to him! Even if he wanted to forgive me, would I deserve it?"

There was a brief silence as everyone processed what was heard. Melissa had to outright cover her mouth after hearing all that. She had no idea that sort of thing happened between her uncle and her friend. She knew Izuku had it rough before, but for his favorite hero to tell him that, and then apparently leave him on a roof? No one had told her about that. Heck, she met Uncle Might a few times since her transfer and he never mentioned Midoriya at all!

"Whether or not you deserve forgiveness," Nedzu solemnly broke the silence and interrupted Melissa's thoughts, "is not up to me nor you, Yagi-san. Only the offended party can decide, but he can't decide unless you meet him. Give it some thought, alright?" Melissa heard a patting sound, presumably Nedzu patting All Might's side, before a series of heavy footsteps was heard heading away. She didn't move an inch. That was way too much to take in, and she didn't know how to take it all.

"And what do you think about this, Melissa?"

The quirkless girl stiffened. Nedzu knew she was there?

"You have a very distinct gait," the principal continued from around the corner, "and I am an animal with exceptional hearing. Now you've learned a few things you never thought you'd learn. What will you do with this knowledge, I wonder?" Melissa didn't answer, couldn't answer. After a few moments, she heard Nedzu give a hum and walk away. At least he wasn't expecting an immediate response.

After all, how was one supposed to handle the fact their 'perfect' uncle had discriminated against someone as quirkless as she was?

---

"AND WE'RE BACK!" Present Mic roared to the audience as Cementoss finished straightening up the arena. "DID EVERYONE GET WHAT THEY NEED? GOOD, CUZ HERE COMES THE NEXT MATCH! SOUND IT OFF, MIDO-KUN!"

"Y-you got it!" Izuku cheerfully replied. "Up next is a...Mic-sensei, d-do I have to read th-this part, too?"

"Come on, kid, it'll be funny."

Izuku gave a sigh as he continued, "Up next is a c-catfight between class p-presidents! From C-C-Class 1-C, we have Kagaro Kiana! From Class 1-A, Y-Yaoyorozu Momo s-steps up! K-Kagaro-san was the w-winner of the past t-two events, and Yaoyorozu-san is one of th-the star students of th-the Hero Course! I-I'd honestly say th-the winner of th-this next match is a-anyone's guess!"

The two students in question calmly and quietly strode onto the newly-refurbished arena. Momo had her top unzipped, revealing her black tanktop and ready to fabricate any large objects she might need. Her face bore a look of hardened determination.

Kagaro just took a few steps before flapping her wings hard, launching her onto the arena. She landed gracefully, giving a soft smile at her opponent. Her smile bore no hint of arrogance or pride. Once both girls were up, Mt. Lady stepped forward and looked down at the two competitors.

"You all remember the rules, right?" she asked. With an affirmation from both girls, she straightened up and stepped back. "You two ready?"

"One moment!" Kagaro called as she raised her hand.

"Oh?" Mic voiced. "What's this?"

"Yaoyorozu-san," the angelic student addressed her opponent, "you intend to make a weapon for this match, yes? In the spirit of fairness, I was wondering if perhaps you could make me one as well?"

"Appealing to her opponent for a weapon?" Mic laughed. "Never expected to see that!"

"You have wings," Momo pointed out. "Flying is an advantage, isn't it?"

"Only if I fly," Kagaro smiled. "However, in the same spirit of fairness, I have no intention of flying during this match. I might use my wings, but I will not be leaving the ground. Surely, such a vow is worth bequeathing a weapon, no?" The audience muttered to each other at this twist as Momo thought about it. After a moment, she shrugged.

"What sort of weapon?"

"A dull sword," Kagaro walked over to her peer. "Preferably a longsword, or a rapier-style weapon." Momo nodded and went to work crafting her sword. At the same time, Momo fabricated herself a sword with an accompanying shield. Kagaro reached Momo as the weapons were finished. Both swords had dull edges, but were otherwise well-built and sturdy. Kagaro took the offered sword and gave it a few experimental swings before smiling her satisfaction.

"Need a shield?" Momo offered, only for Kagaro to move her wings.

"I have my shields," the Gen Ed student nodded before returning to her spot. As she did, Kagaro faced Momo and took up a fighting stance. She was ready.

'I can't underestimate her,' Momo thought to herself. 'She didn't do much during the first two events, which means she hasn't shown what she can really do.'

"Okay," Mt. Lady spoke up again, "you both ready?" With a nod from both girls, the giant heroine smiled and waved her hand. "BEGIN!"

The instant the match began, Kagaro dashed at Momo, flapping her wings to increase her speed. The hero student barely raised her shield in time to block the angel's blade. Momo grunted with effort as she pushed Kiana back, swinging her sword at an opening. To the surprise of everyone, Kiana really did block Momo's sword with her wing. To Momo's surprise, hitting the wing felt nothing like she expected.

From what Momo had seen, people with wings were fairly lightweight people. In order to achieve flight, they usually had hollow bones and a light frame. This meant they were not the most durable people. However, hitting Kiana's wing gave Momo the impression that the winged girl was anything but fragile. If anything, her sword almost bounced from the impact. It was like hitting a brick wrapped in a blanket! Kiana knew this, and smiled as she used her wing to push Momo back before moving in close. Again, however, her blade met Momo's shield.

"WHAT A START!" Mic yelled. "I DID NOT EXPECT KAGARO TO USE HER WINGS LIKE THAT!"

"F-flight is not her o-only skill," Midoriya happily stated as the two girls fought. Everyone in the stands watched the fight best they could. Both girls were incredibly fast, their blades being little more than flashes of light interspersed with feathered wings.

"You are wonderful!" Kiana laughed as she parried another blow. "What style are you using, Eleventh Storm?"

"Actually it's Crimson Dervish!" Momo replied as she swung at Kiana again. "I've simply come up with a way to accommodate a shield into that style!"

"Which means it can't be countered by Sundering Weave!" Kagaro whistled. "Just as clever as I'd expect from the only daughter of the Yaoyorozu CEO!" The two girls continued fighting, though anyone who knew Momo could see her prior discomfort had all but vanished. She was still determined, but she wasn't out of her element anymore. Her confidence grew as she pressed the offensive, a smile forming on her face. Neither combatant seemed to notice how their fight took them dangerously close to the edge of the arena.

Suddenly, a lucky hit from Kiana sent Momo's shield out of her grip and out of the arena. Momo grit her teeth, knowing her opponent wouldn't give her time to make another, and kept fighting best she could. However, after a wide swing from Momo, Kiana ducked and spun, batting Yaoyorozu with her wing and sending the hero student flying from the arena. The minute she hit grass, the PA system blared and Momo was declared defeated. Neither she nor Kiana moved from their respective spots, catching their breath after the high-speed swordfight. After a minute, though, both girls just started laughing.

"That was awesome!" Kagaro said as she hopped down to help Momo to her feet. "We must spar again sometime! I promise not to use my wings next time."

"No, go right ahead!" Momo smirked. "It's clear I need to figure out how to counter those things." This elicited another laugh from Kagaro as the two girls made their way towards Recovery Girl's office. Kagaro Kiana may have won that fought, but it seemed like they both gained a new friend.

Notes:

...Did I forget to mention that little middle piece with Melissa? Clumsy me. X33

Up next is gonna be our resident tall-girl Ochako facing Oyaneko, followed by Moroboshi versus Hatsume. How can someone with gravity control beat a guy who essentially has an AT-Field for a quirk? Will the fight between Moroboshi and Hatsume be an actual fight? You'll just have to wait n see. ^^

Chapter 15: Class and Display

Notes:

In which Uraraka learns a few things, Mei shows off a few things, and we see a glimpse of what's to come.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Kiana and Momo had just got in from their match. While Oyaneko was making his way to arena, Moroboshi was doing stretches in her waiting room. To be honest, she was the least bit nervous. Her first opponent would be Hatsume Mei, the crazy inventor girl that Midoriya spoke highly of. She had seen the sort of gadgets the girl had pulled during both the Obstacle Race and the Cavalry Battle. Who knew what sort of gear she would use in their fight?

"HELLO!" A loud voice hollered as the door slammed open. Moroboshi actually gave a squawk of surprise and fell off her feet as the inventor in question burst into the room. "How ya doin, fight-buddy!?"

"H-Hatsume-san?" Moroboshi stuttered from her spot on the floor. "W-what are you doing in here?"

"Came to talk to you, duh!" the Support Course student giggled as she plopped herself down next to Moroboshi. "You're gonna be my opponent, and you're a friend of Mido-chan, so I figured I'd be honest with ya! I have no intention of winning this festival!"

"...What?" the ice-wielder asked after a brief silence.

"Yup!" Mei affirmed. "I never wanted to win this thing! Most students wanna do good in these festivals to show off to heroes, but I just wanted to get this far to show off my babies to the various support companies that watch these things!"

"...Unusual, but alright." Moroboshi sat up and turned to her opponent before continuing, "And why did you want to talk to me before our match?"

"Because I need your help!" Mei grinned. "I have a fair few babies I wanna show off, but the best way to do that is for someone to use them! So! If you're willing to help me show off my babies, I'll be willing to throw the match without any resistance! Just help for, oh, ten minutes! After that I'll just hop out of bounds by myself! So, will you help?"

***

Uraraka stepped onto the arena, barely heeding the excited screaming from Present Mic. Across from her was Oyaneko Fujikuro. He was tall (though not as tall as she was) and lanky, having what Izuku had once described as Marfan Syndrome. Along with this, he possessed a defensive quirk she would definitely have trouble with. She had seen him use it during the Cavalry Battle to absolutelystopanyone who got too close. How would she beat him?

"BEGIN!" Mt. Lady declared.

Uraraka rushed at Oyaneko, reducing her gravity after the first step. She was hoping she could get to him before he could raise his guard, but the lanky blue-haired boy simply stood in place. Less than three seconds after the fight began, the Hero student was barely two meters away before a shimmering orange barrier appeared in front of her. It was somewhat comical watching her bounce off the ward, almost falling on her butt from how fast she had been going. Thankfully, she caught herself and simply skid back a bit, eyeing the barrier as it slowly faded. Oyaneko had not moved, his hands still in his pockets.

"Whoa, looks like Uraraka was stopped in her tracks!" Present Mic called out.

"Oyaneko i-isn't much of a f-f-fighter," Izuku explained, "but his q-quirk is an almost-perfect d-defense. N-near as we know, it can s-stop anything. N-not even gases c-can pass through."

"Looks like this'll be a battle of wits, then!" Mic declared.

"He's right, you know," Oyaneko pointed out. "I can't really fight worth kidney beans, but unless you can get past my barrier you can't lay a hand on me. So, hero student, how will you solve this dilemma?" Uraraka noted his tone wasn't condescending or demeaning. Wasn't resigned, either. It was more like a...she gasped as it hit her. Teaching! Oyaneko knew he couldn't beat her, so he was treating this fight like a puzzle! She just needed to figure out how to get past his barrier!

She stepped back and paced in front of him, looking at him. He didn't move when he raised his barrier, and it went up pretty quick. She wasn't sure she could outpace that speed, not yet anyways. What about angles, though? She had only ever seen him use his barrier like a wall, so perhaps he could only erect them on ground level? And how big could he make them? Uraraka gave a chuckle. It looked like Midoriya's analysis skills rubbed off on her a bit. Well, may as well put it to good use.

Still with reduced gravity, she leaped into the air at Oyaneko. Releasing her quirk in midair, she fell at the Gen Ed student with her leg extended. Oyaneko watched her descent and shrugged. Again, two meters away she was met with a barrier. This one, however, was in the air and at an angle, perfect for blocking her kick. Clenching her teeth, she kicked off the barrier and landed on the ground. Now she knew his quirk could be used in midair. However, she also knew he watched her. That meant his quirk was controlled with his sight. He had to look at where his barrier went up. She also noted every time he used his barrier it had been within two meters. Was that a range limit, or a range preference?

"Come on," Oyaneko was now doing a small dance, "you gotta think faster than that! Villains won't give you time to think! Hurry up!" Uraraka gritted her teeth...and formed an idea. She had watched Cementoss repair the arena earlier. She knew the arena wasn't a single mass of stone, but rather a lot of smooth concrete blocks laid in place. They were snug enough that they didn't need mortar to be held in place. That also meant they weren't technically secured. The hero student smirked and rest her hands on the ground.

Oyaneko and the audience watched with curiosity, then shock as Uraraka stood up, lifting a pair of concrete blocks with her quirk. She had a knowing smirk as she moved one of the blocks above the other before pulling her hands back. With a grunt of effort, she punched both blocks at Oyaneko. One block flew right at him, the other flew at angle which, once gravity was restored, meant it would hit Oyaneko from above. This time, the Gen Ed student had a look of fear as he raised a barrier two meters in front of him to stop the first block, then quickly pulled that barrier down and pulled it back up less than half a meter above his head to stop the other block. He gave a nervous chuckle as Uraraka smirked. Now she knew he couldn't move while holding a barrier, could only create one barrier at a time, and only up to a certain size. Otherwise he could have simply raised one big barrier to stop both blocks or dodged either one. Now she knew what to do.

Pulling up one more block from the ground, she threw this one at an overhead angle at Oyaneko while rushing right at him. The blue-haired boy watched the student. With her speed and the angle of the concrete block, they would both hit him at the same time, and from too different angles for a single barrier to stop them both. For the first time the entire match, Oyaneko leaped to the side and raised a barrier in front of him, thus dodging the block and stopping Ochako.

Or so he thought.

The moment he dodged, Uraraka surprised everyone by leaping up at the block. At the exact moment Oyaneko raised his barrier, Uraraka used the side of the flying block to leap at Oyaneko from an upward angle. By the time he realized what she had done, she was already over the top of his barrier. The Gen Ed boy gasped as Uraraka's massive hand grabbed his face, negating his gravity, and dashed several meters before hurling him from the arena and restoring his gravity. The Gen Ed student glanced behind him and a barrier formed to stop his flight before cancelling it, then he quickly looked down to create another one underneath. He was know sitting on a barrier above the grass, still within jumping distance of the arena. Looking back at Uraraka, he saw her standing on the edge, smirking and popping her knuckles. He knew this meant that, if he tried to leap back into the ring, she would simply punch him back out again. Instead of frowning, Oyaneko laughed.

"Well done, hero student." With those words, he cancelled the barrier from underneath and softly landed on the grass below. The instant his feet touched the grass, the PA blared up and Mt. Lady declared Uraraka the winner. As the fight was declared ended, Uraraka leaped down from the ring and walked to Oyaneko.

"Didn't hurt ya too much, did I?" she asked with genuine concern.

"I'm fine," Oyaneko laughed. "You did good out there, thinking outside the box. I look forward to seeing how you handle Kagaro-san." He bowed and began walking back towards the 1-C area as Cementoss got to work making more concrete for the Arena. Uraraka smiled and walked back towards her own class, feeling giddy about how she was able to out-think her foe. Honestly, it was only because of hanging out with Izuku that she could even think like that. She definitely had to thank that adorable midget for the help later. She giggled as she thought about Izuku, wondering if he'd accept a dinner invitation later. When she entered the hallway leading to the 1-A area, she stopped in her tracks.

Not far away was that pretty girl from before, the one looking for 1-C. It looked like she was talking to some older students, maybe her classmates. Uraraka just stood in place and looked at the golden-haired beauty, blushing a bit when she laughed at something another student said. It was at this point she remembered this pretty lady was the same girl who first asked Izuku about his past a few weeks ago. How had she missed the girl back then? After a minute or two, the group turned away and walked down the hall, leaving Uraraka alone. She stayed rooted in place, her mind still on the pretty girl.

"...Holy crap," she whispered to herself, "I think I'm bi..."

***

"AND WE'RE BACK!" Mic shouted a few minutes after Uraraka's fight ended. "WITH THE ARENA REPAIRED, AGAIN, WE'RE READY TO GET STARTED! CALL IT OFF, MIDO-KUN!"

"You got it!" Izuku laughed. "Up next is...is...P-Present Mic, are you s-s-seeing this?"

To the confusion of everyone present, Hatsume Mei and Moroboshi Ayame both walked onto the arena at the same time from the same side. Only increasing the confusion, Moroboshi was wearing an ungodly amount of equipment and gear. Between the gauntlets, the greaves, the helmet and everything else, it was almost reminiscent of a certain speedy hero's outfit.

"Err, what's going on?" Mic asked. "W-why does Moroboshi have all that..."

"Uuuhh..." Izuku vocalized. "...W-well, the non-hero course students are a-allowed to use s-support gear, s-so..."

"Read to amaze the crowds, Moro-chan?" Mei asked her compatriot. With a nod from the smirking Gen Ed student, Mei tapped the headset in her ear and cleared her throat. "GOOD AFTERNOON, UA ACADEMY!" As Mei yelled this, her voice poured from the PA system.

"What the-how is she-did she just hack our audio systems?" Mic asked in shock.

"Just..." Izuku was covering his face to stifle a laugh, "j-just roll with it."

"I'M HATSUME MEI," the pink-haired inventor yelled, "SUPPORT COURSE STUDENT TODAY, SUPPORT GEAR GENIUS IN THE FUTURE! AND TODAY MY ASSISTANT AND I HAVE ONE HELL OF A PRESENTATION FOR YA, SO ANY SUPPORT GEAR COMPANIES BETTER PAY CLOSE ATTENTION! ARMS UP, MORO-CHAN!" The Gen Ed ice girl nodded and raised her covered hands high. Mei pulled out a remote control of some kind and hit a button on it. Mere seconds later, snow streamed from the gauntlets, slowly covering the arena. "TO START THINGS OFF, SPECIALIZED GAUNTLETS FOR ANYONE WITH ICE QUIRKS! GOT A QUIRK THAT'S HARD TO CONTROL? JUST WANNA HAVE A SNOWBALL FIGHT IN JULY? WITH THESE GAUNTLETS, ANY QUIRK-GENERATED ICE CAN BE GROUND INTO SNOW IN MERE SECONDS! THEY CAN ALSO FUNCTION AS FIRE EXTINGUISHERS!"

"Amazing!" Moroboshi exclaimed with insincere awe as she pirouetted around the arena, spraying snow left and right.

"...Should...Should we stop her?" Mic asked Midoriya. The quirkless student simply laughed and shook his head as Hatsume demonstrated the next piece of equipment. With the sole exception of Class 1-C (who were all laughing their heads off), the audience was silent as Hatsume and Moroboshi did their ten-minute demonstration of ice-reliant support gear. At the conclusion, Mei kept her word and simply stepped out of bounds, though it was another few moments before Mt. Lady called it.

"See, Moro-chan?" Mei smiled to her assistant. "Told you that wasn't so bad!"

"Yeah, you were right," the icy girl admitted, "now help me out of these, the belt's beginning to chafe." Mei laughed in reply and began the task of removing the gear, reminded of when she'd help Izuku remove his mobile desk.

Meanwhile, Todoroki was busy emailing the ten-minute video he had recorded on his phone to his own email to make sure it would be safe on his computer. Not only was that actually some pretty neat gear, but for some reason he thought Moroboshi looked...pleasing in armor like that.

***

Nedzu was in his office, chuckling from the display. He figured something like this would happen if Hatsume was involved. He knew her demonstration would make an impact, too. Now he could only wait and see just how many gear companies would compete for the privilege of working with the First-Year savant.

He was shaken from his thoughts by a heavy knocking on the door. Checking the camera, Nedzu quirked an eyebrow when he saw who was standing outside. Flipping a switch, Nedzu opened the door from his desk, and his guest calmly stepped in, not reacting to the door closing behind him. He didn't say anything as he gave a slight bow before sitting in the chair across from the principal.

"You're here a few days early," Nedzu started. "Midoriya won't be told until Monday."

"I am aware," the man said with a gravely voice. "There was a tropical storm brewing off the Hawaiian coast, so I had to take an early flight or else risk being several days late."

"I guess that's understandable," Nedzu shrugged. "So, at the moment, what do you think of young Midoriya?" The man only smiled, or at least what Nedzu assumed was a smile.

"I look forward to testing him."

Notes:

Clever Uraraka is best Uraraka.

So, who do you think this new man that knows Nedzu is? What sorta test do you think he's gonna give Izuku? It'll still be a bit before we learn, but hey. XD

And sorry if this chapter seems short, it felt like it was longer while I was writing it.

Next chapter is gonna have three matches in it, but only because the first two are kinda short. XD see ya next time!

Chapter 16: Display and Focus

Notes:

Warning you now, this chapter might be a bit on the short side, but it does cover the last three fights of the first round. Hope you still find them enjoyable.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

"ALRIIIIIGHT!" Mic shouted as Moroboshi and Hatsume exited the arena. "Now that the, erm, demonstration is over, it's time for the next match! Hopefully this one will be an actual fight!"

"A-at least the arena d-d-didn't need repairs this time!" Izuku laughed. "Th-the next contestants are Asano R-Ryoko of Class 1-C v-versus K-Kaminari Denki of Class 1-A! P-please come on up!"

Asano was a little nervous as she stepped out. Her quirk was a gigantism one, and her current maximum height was five meters. While it gave her increased strength, it was also a close-range quirk. No matter how big she got, she'd have to be up-close and personal to do any fighting.

Meanwhile, her opponent was Kaminari Denki. According to Izuku's report, the kid was essentially a lightning mage able to conjure electricity at will. Worse yet, he could either shoot it out like bolts or keep it close to his body. In other words, he was good at any range.

And she had to fight that.

The Gen Ed student focused on breathing as she walked up the steps onto the arena. Just a few meters in front of her was the blond electro-kid. He was looking away, waving at his class. When he turned back to look at her, he suddenly froze with a fearful expression. What was that about?

"Y-you're the girl from the cafeteria," he pointed. "Th-the big one who threw Monoma out the doors like a wet paper towel. Crap, I didn't know it was you." Asano quirked an eyebrow. He was afraid of her. She could work with that.

"Ok, kids," Mt. Lady smirked, "you know the rules, right? BEGIN!"

The very instant the heroine declared this, Asano grew to her full 5-meter height in under a second, looming over Kaminari and screaming while making a scary face. Kaminari's response was to scream and shoot electricity from his legs and feet, causing it to arc across the ground. None of it got above Asano's rubber-soled shoes. When the electricity stopped, Asano quickly grabbed Kaminari with both hands and lifted him off the ground.

"Now you're mine, little-"

"WHEEEEEEEEYYY!!"

Asano went silent. The electric kid in her hands didn't look scared anymore. In fact he looked kinda...goofy. His eyes were wide and cross-eyed, he was kind of drooling, and giving a thumbs-up with both hands. Instead of words, he just kept cheering like he was seeing a sports game. No one else made any noise, not even from the audience.

...And then Asano remembered Izuku's report saying Kaminari went braindead if he used too much power.

Any lingering impressions of a fight finally dropped completely. Asano's expression turned from scary to confused as she looked around. After a few moments, she slowly walked to the edge of the arena, knelt down, and dropped Kaminari on the grass like she was releasing a fish into water. The hero student just lay there, giving his thumbs-up and cheering to the sky.

"...Umm..." Mt. Lady cleared her throat after a few seconds and gestured to the now-normal-size Asano. "KAMINARI DENKI IS BOTH OUT OF BOUNDS AND UNABLE TO CONTINUE! THE WINNER IS ASANO RYOKO!"

Asano gave a nervous laugh as she exited the silent arena. That was...significantly less painful than she thought it would be. She turned and watched the medical bots carry Kaminari off the field. Electricity might be a good quirk, but he'd need to get better control of his emotions if he wanted to be a hero.

"...Crap, this means I'm gonna fight Moroboshi next round," Asano grimaced.

---

Meanwhile, up in the commentator's booth, Mic was facepalming while Izuku was giggling.

"That..." Mic sighed, "...was anticlimactic."

"C-can't all be awesome," Izuku shrugged.

---

Iida was doing some final stretches before his fight. He hadn't really watched the fight between Asano and Kaminari, knowing neither one could hold a candle to that Moroboshi girl. Technically, he doubtedhecould beat her either, but he would certainly give his best effort if he got that far. No,whenhe got that far. He was the younger brother of Ingenium. He would make it.

His name was called, and the speedy student briskly walked to the arena. His opponent was Gakushuu Hifumi...crap, which one was that one again? Iida was ashamed to admit he did not know Class 1-C nearly as well as Class 1-C seemed to know Class 1-A. Was it the boy with the spikes? Or was it...the large boy who was currently dancing on the other side of the arena?

As Iida stepped onto the arena, he saw Gakushuu dancing on his side, making quiet grunts every few movements. He wasn't stretching, he was legitimately dancing. Watching him twist and twirl, it was almost like watching a dancing water balloon with how his body undulated. Tenya could hear several people in the audience were laughing at the rotund boy's antics. How could his opponent do something so ridiculous in front of the audience, the entire nation? Even after Mic announced the student's names, after Mt. Lady declared the fight to begin, Gakushuu just danced to the beat of his own drum.

"Can't you take this seriously?" Iida asked his opponent. "All of Japan is watching us!"

"Which means this is the perfect time to show off my dance moves!" Gakushuu laughed as he spun in a circle. "Call this move the Darunia Spin! Followed by the Ethiopian Shim-Sham!" The large student proceeded to make weird noises as he shuffled left to right, gesturing at Iida. "Come at me, bro!"

Iida sighed and shook his head in resignation. It appeared he would have to show his opponent how serious he was. Normally a hero shouldn't just rush into a fight, but when you can rush as fast as Iida Tenya it wasn't necessarily a bad strategy. Revving his engines, Iida rushed at the rotund Gakushuu. When he was a few meters away, the fat student looked up and raised both arms.

"PRAISE THE SUN!"

And then he vanished.

Iida's eyes widened. Where did he go? Surely such a large person couldn't move faster than he, right? As Iida started slowing down, his gaze fell to the floor. To his surprise, he found his rotund foe. Gakushuu was literally flat against the floor, looking up at Iida with a determined smile and giggling menacingly. Tenya remembered too late that this was Gakushuu's quirk, and tried to come to a stop just after stepping over him.

"N-FAHN!" Gakushuu shouted as he turned 3-D, unleashing a shockwave that pushed Iida closer to the edge of the arena. Before he could regain his footing, Gakushuu turned to the hero student and flattened himself again, this time his back moving towards his stomach. With another "N-FAHN!" Gakushuu turned 3-D again, his gut shooting forward and directing his shockwave at Iida. This combined with his already-unsteady footing sent Iida flying the last couple meters off the edge. The instant Iida hit the grass, Mt. Lady raised her hand.

"IIDA TENYA IS OUT OF BOUNDS!" the giant heroine declared. "THE WINNER OF THIS FIGHT IS GAKUSHUU HIFUMI OF CLASS 1-C!" The crowd was mostly silent, with the limited cheering coming from the student body. The entire fight, from Mt. Lady's announcement to Iida's fall, lasted less than a minute. With how quick everything went, it almost looked like Iida jumped off the stage of his own accord.

Iida, meanwhile, just lay on the grass, his eyes wide with bewilderment. He lost. He lost in the first round. His brother saw. His school saw. All of Japan saw him lose in such an embarrassing fashion. He didn't even land a single blow on his opponent! In an attempt to hide his shame, he quickly sat up, got to his feet, and walked off the field without a word.

---

In the commentator's booth, Izuku was looking down at Mic, who had fallen from his seat out of sheer exasperation. Said hero's feet were straight up in the air, like someone had punched him.

"Um-" Izuku started.

"Quiet," Mic ordered.

---

Iida was standing in the gate, not willing to return to his classmates. He felt nothing but shame at such a defeat. Suddenly, his body began to shake. Someone was calling him. He almost didn't want to pick up, but knew things would be worse if he didn't. With a resigned sigh, he pulled his phone out and answered it. He didn't get the chance to say anything before hearing laughter from the other side.

"Oh my god, Tenya, that was hilarious!" the other side laughed.

"B-brother?" Iida blanched. His older brother, Tensei, had called. And he was laughing.

"You just kinda went 'zoom!' off the edge! Oh man, brother, that kinda made my day right there!" Tenya was confused.

"Y-you're not mad?" he asked his older brother.

"Why would I be mad?" Tensei's laughter diminished to a quiet chuckling. "You lost the Sports Festival. So what? I never won any of mine when I was in UA. Heck, in my third year I lost in the second event, remember? Don't let this weigh you down, brother." Tenya couldn't help but smile at that. His brother wasn't mad. He was right, as usual. He shouldn't have let it get to him. It wasn't an actual life-or-death situation. Suddenly he heard a ringing from Tensei's side. "Well, time to go on patrol. See you later, Tenya!" Iida gave his own farewell as the line went dead. He was smiling now. His brother always knew just want to say to fix things. Slipping the phone back into his pocket, Iida began walking back to his class' section of the stands.

---

"O-Okay, everyone!" Izuku announced. "P-Present Mic refuses t-to get off the floor, s-so I'll be c-c-calling the next fight! Would Gorogoro M-Mamoru and T-Todoroki Shouto please c-come to the stage?" The two students walked to the arena from their respective sides. "I-I'm pretty sure we'll have a fight th-this time! G-Gorogoro is s-someone who only narrowly f-failed the Hero Practical, and T-Todoroki is d-d-definitely no l-lightweight either!"

Todoroki walked onto the arena, giving his opponent a disinterested look. He had seen Gorogoro a few times before, remembering the spiky boy from the USJ. Todoroki didn't get too good a look at him back then, but now he could see the Gen Ed student wasthick. He kinda looked like a dwarf that had been stretched out with a rolling pin. At least his spikes were only on his arms and back. As Izuku spoke more about each student and Mt. Lady recited the rules, Shouto contemplated how to beat his opponent. If this fight occurred even a couple weeks prior, he probably would have just threw a glacier at him. Now, though, he felt like being...nicer? He still couldn't bring himself to use his fire, but he didn't feel the need to vent his frustrations by re-enacting the sinking of the titanic with his schoolmate.

"BEGIN!" Mt. Lady yelled. Todoroki raised his hand and shot a rod of ice at Gorogoro. The stocky student smiled and ducked under the rod. Then, to everyone's surprise, he curled up androlled at Todoroki. The icy student's eyes widened as he narrowly dodged the rolling student.Thatwas Gorogoro's quirk? Todoroki thought he just had spikes, but thinking about the spike's placement it kind of made sense now.

"OH HEY!" Present Mic roared through the speakers. "LOOKS LIKE THIS FIGHT WON'T END SO QUICKLY!"

"W-when did you get off the f-floor?" Izuku asked.

Todoroki ignored the commentators and shot a wall of ice at Gorogoro. The spiky student responded by uncurling and punching through the ice. Todoroki tried to hit him with more ice as he flew through the hole, but Gorogoro once again curled up and sped under the ice. Shouto tried to create a lot of ice to stop his rolling, but it shattered the instant he hit it. Again, Todoroki had to leap aside. This wasn't gonna be easy, but after that last pass Todoroki realized something.

His ice needed room to grow, making him better at mid-long rage combat. Gorogoro, however, had presented two flaws in his attack style. Two flaws that Todoroki could easily exploit. He utilized the first flaw by using a new trick he had devised after watching Moroboshi during these past couple weeks. Rather than shoot his ice out, he slowly covered his right arm with it while dodging Gorogoro's rolls and occasional punches. True, he had done similar things in the past, but this time was special. He closed his fist and focused on making more ice over it. It was crude and not nearly as beautiful as what Moroboshi could make, but he had effectively made an ice hammer on his hand. It was heavy, but he wasn't weak. Now he just had to lure Gorogoro in. Todoroki moved back, closer to the edge of the arena. He knew Gorogoro wouldn't try to roll directly towards the edge of the area (he was blunt, not stupid), but his idea would still work.

Now standing adjacent to the edge, Todoroki quickly raised a line of ice spikes to his right. To an untrained eye, it looked like a wild, easily-avoided strike. However, several of the heroes in the audience recognized it for what it was. Gorogoro rolled past the spikes, now coming at Shouto from next to the edge. Shouto raised his hammer-hand and leaped away as Gorogoro rolled past him. Just as the rolling guy shot past, Todoroki smashed his hammer against Gorogoro's back and exploited the second flaw. Similar to Asano hitting the Noumu those few weeks ago, Shouto's hammer shattered as the added momentum of the strike propelled Gorogoro further than he anticipated. The Gen Ed student unrolled at the last moment, but it was still a moment too late as he fell from the arena and into the soft grass.

"GOROGORO IS OUT OF BOUNDS!" Mt. Lady yelled. "TODOROKI WINS!" This time the entire audience was roaring with excitement.

"WHAT AN EXCITING FIRST ROUND!" Present Mic roared through the speakers as Todoroki left the arena. "If you would all turn your attention to the screens, you can see what the next fights will look like! Midoriya, hit the button!" The greenette nodded and pressed the button that updated the tournament brackets, showing who would be facing who in the next round.

SAKAI HEBI (C) VS. TOKOYAMI FUMIKAGE (A)

KAGARO KIANA (C) VS URARAKA OCHAKO (A)

MOROBOSHI AYAME (C) VS ASANO RYOKO (C)

GAKUSHUU HIFUMI (C) VS TODOROKI SHOUTO (A)

"Looks like Class C is still dominating the board!" Mic laughed.

"G-got some good m-matches c-coming up!" Izuku piped up. "Everyone take a f-fifteen minute breather, w-we're gonna roll th-these next matches out f-fast!" Todoroki was only half-listening to the announcement. As he walked down the hall towards his classmates, he ran into someone else.

"Moroboshi-san?" he vocalized as the white-haired ice queen leaned against the wall.

"Covering your arm in ice was a neat trick," she smiled. "You should be more careful, though. Even I could tell you were this close to getting frostbite before that last hit. Youneedto use your fire if you want to do any more than that."

"I...I know," Todoroki admitted. "Problem is there's...something. I don't know what it is, but any time I think about using my fire...I can't." Moroboshi regarded him coolly, seeing his inner turmoil, his desire to improve.

"I'm not a psychologist," she stated, "so I dunno how exactly to help you. If you can't use your fire because you still associate it with your father, try to associate it with something else, maybe? Give it some thought." Then she took his hand and started pulling him down the hall. "Before that, though, we're getting you something warm to eat."

Since Moroboshi was looking away from Todoroki, she had no idea that food wasn't the only thing getting warm in that moment.

Notes:

And thus ends the first round! So, which fight (or equivalent) has been your fave so far? Tell me what you think, I subsist on reader comments. ^^

Next time, we'll get some more conversations between people, and the match between snake boi and birb boi! Who do you think is gonna win? Take a guess. ^^

EDIT: It occurred to me I forgot to explain the two flaws in Gorogoro's style in the fic, so I shall explain them here. The two flaws were that Gorogoro needed time to reach his full speed while rolling, and he could not turn too sharp while rolling. Todoroki exploited this by a) using his "speed up time" to form the ice on his arm and b) use his lack of sharp turns to lure Gorogoro into a situation he could not dodge. I hope that answers any future questions about the flaws.

Chapter 17: Focus and Function

Summary:

In which words and fisticuffs are exchanged.

Notes:

Howdy do dere! Ready for the next segment of the Festival? Hope you are. XD Sorry if this chapter seems short and kinda lame, it's another slight transitory chapter that'll lay the groundwork for a fair few future plot events. Hope you like it.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

The first round had just ended. Izuku leaned back in his chair and took a few deep breaths. Present Mic had climbed back into his seat during Todoroki's fight, and was now drinking from a water bottle.

"Q-quite an exciting first r-round, huh?" Izuku smiled.

"Most of it," Mic chuckled. "Definitely interesting all-around, though. I'll admit, I really didn't expect so many of your classmates to make it this far. No way General Education's gonna be forgotten this year." Looking at the brackets for the next round, the pro hero smirked. "So, who do you think's gonna win the next round?" Izuku stared at the lists in silence for close to a minute before stating his verdict.

"N-not telling."

"What?" Mic laughed. "Come on, you gotta tell me something!"

"A-and spoil the fun?" Izuku smirked.

"Oh, you jerk."

---

While Present Mic and Izuku were discussing the odds of winners in the next round, Moroboshi had successfully dragged Todoroki to one of the outside food stalls. It was a large stall, with multiple dishes cooking all at once. Moroboshi sat on one of the stools, pulling the still-confused/flustered Todoroki down next to her.

"Pick something hot," the ice queen gestured, "my treat. We're the last ones, so we can take our time eating."

"You don't want to watch your classmate?" Todoroki asked, eliciting a laugh from Moroboshi (which made him feel even more warm).

"Sakai-kun's gonna kick birdboy's ass," Moroboshi stated like it was a historical fact. "Now come on, place your order." There was a few second's silence before Todoroki pointed.

"I'd like some chilled so-" His words were cut off when Moroboshi flicked his brow.

"Somethinghot,numbskull," she glared. "Since you refuse to use your fire, you'll need to find alternate means of warming yourself up. Take it from me, hot foods are actually a good option. Now try again." Moroboshi kept glaring at Todoroki until he finally relented and ordered some stir fry. Moroboshi gave a warm smile and ordered yakiniku. As the meals were being cooked, she looked back at the icyhot boy and said, "So, tell me about yourself."

"W-what?" the sudden question caught Todoroki off-guard.

"Tell me about yourself," she repeated as she leaned on the counter, her ponytail dangling behind her. "Do you got siblings? What's your mother like? Or even the big question, what is the exact reason you can't use your fire? I know part of it is because your sperm donor is Endeavor, but that can't be all, can it? I understand if it's personal, but in my experience talking about rough stuff, even just a little, can help so much."

Todoroki was about to reject the idea, but then he saw her face. While her wording was nonchalant and casual, her expression was one of pensive worry. Was she...was she genuinely worried about him? The only people he could ever remember being worried for him were Fuyumi and...his mother. Not only that, but the look of worry on her face was making his chest hurt. For reasons he was only beginning to understand, he never wanted to see her make that face. Todoroki took a breath as their meals arrived. It smelled delicious, but before he took a bite there was something he wanted to know.

"You first," Todoroki stated. "What is a girl with a beauti-er-strong quirk like yours doing in General Education?"

"Um, because I applied for it?" Moroboshi laughed as she started eating her yakiniku. "I don't want to be a hero, but I wanted to attend UA because any UA graduate is basically guaranteed a spot in any university."

"Y-youdon'twant to be a hero?" Todoroki asked with wide eyes. Pro Heroism was Japan's most sought-after occupation. He had never met someone who didn't want to be a hero at some point in their lives.

"Nope," the girl shook her head. "There's more to life than being a hero. There's more to heroics than being a hero. My goal is to work for the government or armed forces once i graduate. I don't wanna be a poster child for our current society." They took another few bites in silence before the ice girl poked him with her chopsticks. "Your turn. Why do you wanna be a hero?" Todoroki froze for a moment.

"...I don't know, really," he admitted. "This role was kind of forced on me, decided even before I was born."

"Before you were..." Moroboshi whispered.

"...What do you know about quirk marriages?"

---

Oscar was lost.

The mouse boy stepped outside to grab something sweet from the stalls to bring to Asano, but couldn't find his way back to the waiting rooms. He found his way back to the stands or the field multiple times, but just could not find the one room he needed to find. Why did the hallways have to be so confusing?

As he jogged past a vending machine for possibly the fifth time, he gave a squeak of surprise as his face bounced off something soft and he fell the ground. At least he didn't land on his tail again. Rubbing where he landed, he looked up to apologize when he saw just who he had bumped into. It was that tall girl from 1-A. What was her name? Yaoyorozu, that was it! Wait. She was tall, and he was short. That means the soft thing his face hit...Oscar immediately turned bright red and spun around to prostrate himself before the hero student.

"I-I'm sorry! I wasn't watching where I was going, and-"

"It's okay!" Yaoyorozu waved her hands, trying to calm the mouse boy. "I should have been watching where I was going as well!" Her eyes widened a bit as she realized who she was talking to. "Hey, um, you're from Class 1-C, right?"

"Y-yes," Oscar said as he looked up at her. "I was trying to find my way back to the Class C waiting rooms, but I...I got lost." Momo stared for a few more seconds before smiling and holding out her hand. Oscar looked at her hand nervously before taking it. Momo kept smiling as she helped the mouse boy to his feet.

"I know where the rooms are," the hero student stated. "I memorized the map earlier. I can take you to where you're headed."

"Really?" Oscar asked. "Th-thank you, Yaoyorozu-san."

"Oh, you already know my name?" Momo giggled as she pulled Oscar along. The two students continued chatting, unaware they were being watched by a certain girl with green scales.

---

"AAAAAAAAAAND WE'RE BACK!" Present Mic yelled as the fifteen-minute break ended. "EVERYONE READY FOR THE NEXT ROUND!? GIMME A YEEEEEEEAH!" The audience roared with excitement. "ROCK ON! MIDORIYA, CALL OUT THE FIGHTERS!"

"Y-you got it!" Izuku cheered. "F-from my own class of 1-C, c-come on out Sakai Hebi!" The crowd cheered as the blue serpent slithered onto the field. "And from Class 1-A, g-give it up f-for Tokoyami F-Fumikage!" There was another cheer as the bird-headed by stepped up. "S-so who will win? Th-the flying serpent, or the m-master of shadows? I-I'd say place your b-bets, but gambling isn't allowed on s-school g-g-grounds." This got a laugh from the crowd as Mt. Lady stepped forward to restate the rules.

Tokoyami watched Sakai as he curled into his tight s-curves. He would need to keep a close eye on Sakai. He had been caught by surprise when he fought Choji, and his body wasstillaching from the blows. Meanwhile, the snake in front of him had demonstrated masterful agility during his fight against Ashido. He would not underestimate this schoolmate...even if they didn't have arms.

"BEGIN!" Mt. Lady yelled.

Sakai did a Spring-Launch at the exact same moment Tokoyami conjured Dark Shadow. He knew that Sakai couldn't change direction midair, and his current trajectory would send him flying into Dark Shadow. What Tokoyami didn't expect, however, was for Dark Shadow to give a squawk of surprise and bend over backwards from the impact. Before Sakai could pull back, Dark Shadow grabbed him and threw him back across the arena.

The serpentine student plopped on the ground and curled into more s-curves before Dark Shadow rushed him. Tokoyami's quirk slammed their claws into the arena, barely missing Sakai as he flew to the side. For a brief second there was nothing between Tokoyami and Sakai, but that moment wasn't long enough for the snake to Spring-Launch. Dark Shadow screened as they swiped their claws through the arena floor, doing everything they could to keep the snake away.

"Looks like another deadlock!" Mic called out. "Dark Shadow's just too fast for Sakai to find an opening!"

"A-at the same time," Izuku piped up, "Sakai-kun is t-too nimble for D-Dark Shadow to c-catch! I have n-n-no idea who c-could win this one!"

"Liar, you totally have an idea!" Mic laughed.

As the two commentators spoke, Tokoyami was beginning to feel the least bit frustrated. Sakai had dodged literally every move (sans that prior throw) and didn't even seem tired from all his launching. True, he didn't really get exhausted from using Dark Shadow in sunlight, but he wanted to end this fight before the judges declared time running out. He needed to finish this now.

Dark Shadow clawed into the arena again, and again Sakai dodged. As the snake landed, however, he had to move again to avoid a chunk of concrete. Dark Shadow gave a menacing chuckle as he grabbed another chunk, ready to throw. The snake just laughed.

"Took a page out of Choji-kun's book, huh?" Sakai asked.

"I intend to finish this quick," Tokoyami replied before Dark Shadow threw more concrete.

"Same here!" Sakai shouted as he launched away from the concrete. To everyone's surprise, his launch sent him flying right at Dark Shadow. Rather than impacting it like he did before, Sakai looped around Dark Shadow's neck. Before the quirk could grab him, Sakai slithered down Dark Shadow's body like he were descending a tree. He moved faster than Dark Shadow could turn, and in mere seconds he was right in front of Tokoyami. The bird-headed boy was frozen in shock for a moment too long, and failed to dodge as Sakai shot out and bit into his shoulder. Tokoyami screamed in pain while Sakai coiled around him, pushing him to the floor from the added weight.

"Dark Shadow, get him!" Tokoyami yelled. Instead of extricating his host, Dark Shadow stayed in place, poised to strike yet not moving an inch. "Dark Shadow?"

"I-I can't move, boss!" the quirk hollered. Tokoyami's eyes widened from shock as Sakai stopped biting and slowly uncoiled from around him. The hero student tried to get up, but found he himself was also frozen.

"W-what's this?" Mic asked. "Sakai's let go, but Tokoyami isn't moving?"

"Th-that's Sakai's other trick," Izuku smiled. "Along with his s-size and speed, S-Sakai-kun also has a p-p-paralytic venom. One b-bite and you're down. He c-c-couldn't use it during his fight a-against Ashido-san due to her acid, b-but Tokoyami-kun lacks th-that defense." As Izuku explained this, Sakai slithered away from the prone birdboy.

"The venom's gonna hold him there for ten minutes," he addressed Mt. Lady. "Can you call the fight now, or do I have to pull him out of the arena?"

"I don't think that's necessary," the giant heroine smiled and raised her hand. "TOKOYAMI FUMIKAGE IS UNABLE TO CONTINUE! OUR FIRST SEMI-FINALIST IS SAKAI HEBI OF CLASS 1-C!" The crowd again cheered with excitement at the declaration. Sakai slithered back towards Tokoyami, who was looking at him with a tense glare.

"The venom's also a blood-clotter," Sakai explained. "You don't need to worry about bleeding out or nothing. You did good, dude. Might want to focus on beefing yourself up, though." With a bow of his head, Sakai left the arena just as the medical bots rolled up to carry Tokoyami away. Mic then announced that, once again, they would take a few-minute break so Cementoss could repair the arena.

---

Todoroki and Moroboshi were walking back to their respective waiting rooms in silence. He had told her everything. The quirk marriage, how his father treated him more like a weapon than a son, what his mother did...all of it. Moroboshi had listened the entire time, never speaking up. Her face was a mix of impassive and concerned, though her freezing her chopsticks, plate, and stool were signs she had been anything but calm. It felt...nice. Nice knowing she was just as enraged over his father as he was. When they reached the Class A waiting room, he nodded his farewell and turned to open the door. Before he even touched the handle, Moroboshi's hand shot out and grabbed his own.

"I get it," Moroboshi stated. he turned to her, and was shocked to see the faintest hint of tears in her eyes, glimmering like small flecks of ice. "I understand completely why you feel the way you do, now. Why you worked hard to shove that fire aside. But you must understand, that fire isyours. Not his, not anyone else's. Yours and yours alone."

"I...I know," Todoroki admitted. "I'll see what I can do...but...thank you." He gently pulled his hand away and stepped into the waiting room, leaving Moroboshi alone in the hallway. She stood in silence for a minute or two before wiping her eyes and reaching into her pocket. With a look of hardened determination, she pulled out a cell phone, hit a few buttons, and held it to her ear.

"...Uncle, it's me. I'm calling in abigfavor."

Notes:

Yeah...not sure I got anything to say after that...

Anyway, next time will be the fight between Kagaro and Uraraka! Winged Angel vs Gravity Angel! Who will win? Find out next time!

Chapter 18: Function and Form

Summary:

The last two and a half fights before the Semi-Finals.

Notes:

Howdy do dere interwebby people? Sorry this update took so long to get out, my personal life has been...crazy. Between stuff at work and wotking on Cobalt Star and Pokemon Shield, I been distracted. BUT! Here it is! I hope you all find this entertaining!

Also, to the folks who ain't seen it yet, I began posting the Boy Meets Eldritch Horror fic you guys voted for earlier! You can find it in my profile, and another chapter will be going up later tonight! Now read on!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

While Sakai was fighting Tokoyami, Uraraka sat in the 1-A waiting room. She had her match next, and she needed to clear her mind. It was hard, though, when every time she closed her eyes she just saw that pretty blonde lady. With her shining blue eyes, and her radiant smile, and her...no no! Bad Ochako! Focus on your next fight! Shutting her eyes tight, the hero student took a deep breath.

Her next opponent was Kagaro Kiana. She had watched the winged student's fight against Yaoyorozu earlier. She knew the girl's wings were tougher than they looked, and she could actually use them to hit people. Uraraka was uncertain how skilled she really was in hand-to-hand though, considering Kagaro had asked Yaoyorozu for a weapon before the match began. She couldn't rely solely on that hypothesis, sadly. With everything Class 1-C has done, she wouldn't be surprised if Kagaro could electrify her feathers or something equally out-there.

The PA called the end of the current match, and Ochako got to her feet. It was her turn. She gave a quick glance to Todoroki, the only other member of 1-A to get this far, before stepping out. As she walked down the hall to the field, she was passed by the medical bots carrying Tokoyami on a gurney. She gave him a worried glance, seeing he was stuck in what looked like an uncomfy position.

"Wait," Tokoyami said, causing Uraraka and the robots to stop. "Uraraka-san, a word of warning. I don't know how much you heard over the speakers, but don't let the snake bite you. He-"

"He can paralyze," Uraraka nodded. "I saw him use it during the USJ. I know, don't worry." Tokoyami gave a sigh of relief, and the robots continued their trek to Recovery Girl's office. Uraraka watched for a few seconds before continuing her own walk to the field. She squinted a bit as she stepped outside, taking in the roars of the crowd.

"HERE ARE OUR NEXT FIGHTERS!" Mic yelled. "ON ONE SIDE, THE QUEEN OF GRAVITY AND BEHEMOTH OF CLASS 1-A, LET'S GIVE IT UP FOR URARAKA OCHAKO!"

"F-from the other side," Izuku stuttered, "th-the w-winner of the first t-two events and c-class president for 1-C, g-give a shout for K-Kagaro Kiana!"

The two combatants stepped onto the arena. Uraraka stared at Kiana, taking every detail she could. Kiana just stood there smiling at Uraraka, her sleeves rolled up to her elbows. Kiana wasn't as tall as Ochako, nor as muscular it seemed, but she still gave off a very confident air.

"No weapon?" Ochako asked. "I thought you used a sword earlier."

"Do you have a weapon?" Kiana asked in reply. There were a few seconds of silence before Ochako shrugged, getting Kiana's point completely. Uraraka raised one arm while tapping it with her other hand, lessening her gravity. At the same time, Kiana stretched her wings forward and hunched down a bit. Both girls were ready.

Mt. Lady called the fight to commence, and both girls shot towards each other like bullets. Ochako utilized her lessened gravity while Kiana just flapped her huge wings to propel her forward. Both girls met in the middle of the arena, their fists bouncing off each other. Ochako followed up with a kick that was blocked by Kiana's wing before dodging the angel's own fist. Ochako jumped back to avoid Kagaro's swinging wing before shooting forward again with a left hook. To her surprise, Kiana saw through this, grabbed Ochako's arm and hurled her towards the edge of the arena. To avoid flying out, Ochako negated her quirk before reactivating it and charging Kiana again.

"WHOA, AND WE THOUGHT A FEW OF THE EARLIER FIGHTS WERE WILD!" Mic roared as the two girls fought down below.

"B-both girls definitely have combat t-training," Izuku pointed out. "A-and it looks l-like Ochako-san's h-height is kinda working ag-g-gainst her here, s-since it's harder to d-duck under K-Kagaro-san's wings." This was proven true when Ochako got a face full of feathers and was pushed back a bit. Kagaro followed up with a few punches to Ochako's gut and chest, trying to utilize the hero student's reduced gravity to push her closer to the edge. Uraraka swung her fist at Kiana's face, but missed at the last moment as the Gen Ed student flew up a few meters before crashing back down and narrowly missing Uraraka with a slam that cracked the concrete.

"Flying?" Ochako giggled. "I thought you were gonna play fair here."

"You can reduce your own gravity," Kiana pointed out with a smile. "I believe that qualifies." Kiana shot forward as Ochako prepared another punch. Just before impact, however, Kiana shot to the side, dodging the punch, then flew back and grappled Ochako. The two students spent a good minute or three fighting for dominance in that middle spot, neither giving an inch and the crowd loving every exchange. Both girls gave as good as they got, and sported bruises and bloody lips when they finally separated. They panted for air, their arms and legs sore from the exertion. Even Kiana's feathers were ruffled and uneven. After catching their breath, Kiana moved one wing into a shielding position and readied her right hand for another punch.

"Ready to go again?" Kagaro laughed, clearly enjoying the fight.

"Actually," Ochako smiled softly, "I need to apologize."

"...Apologize?" Kiana voiced. "For what?" Rather than a verbal reply, Kiana received the answer in the form of amuch fasterOchako appearing right in front of her. Before the angel could react, the gravity girl pushed her wing aside like it was a window curtain and delivered a single hard punch to Kagaro's stomach. The impact was strong enough to send Kiana flying backwards, surprising literally everyone in the stands.

Kiana spread her wings to halt her flight, but in doing so left herself open to another hard punch. How was Ochako moving so fast now? And hitting so hard? Before Kiana could finish her thought, her opponent delivered one hard kick to her sternum. The force of the blow was enough to both knock the wind out of Kiana's lungs and knock Kiana herself out of the arena. She bounced off the grass, and Mt. Lady immediately called the match.

"KAGARO KIANA IS OUT OF BOUNDS!" the giant heroine shouted. "THE WINNER IS URARAKA OCHAKO!" The crowd again went wild at the result, and Ochako quickly jumped from the arena to help Kiana to her feet.

"I'm sorry," Uraraka whispered as she carried the angel off the field. "I didn't hit you too hard, did I?" Kiana could only shake her head in reply, still too winded to speak as the two staggered towards Recover Girl.

---

"...Did that just happen?" Hayshida asked the rest of his class in the stands. "Seriously, did that just happen?"

"Where did that even come from?" Hojo asked, her tongue flailing wildly. "It's like she leveled up mid-battle or something!"

"She wasn't happy, though," Katsura asked, her head bowed. The blind girl had been "watching" the battle carefully, taking note of each emotion. She could feel Uraraka was full of regret in those last few seconds, like she didn't want to go that hard. That was confusing. Why wouldn't she want to do her best? She'd have to ask later. For now, she was feeling an incredible amount of fear from her right. Turning her head, she could feel that emotion absolutely flowing off Sakai. Anyone who did have vision that looked at Sakai could see him vibrating. Despite his lack of eyelids, his eyes looked wider than usual, as well.

"Sakai-kun?" Katsura asked.

"I gotta fight that next round," the snake whined. "I'm gonna get curb-stomped..."

---

Todoroki sat in the Class A waiting room. He didn't really pay attention to the fight. He was fairly certain Uraraka would win, anyways. He had encountered her a few times in the past and witnessed some...interesting things. Putting that aside, he kept focusing on what he was doing.

Trying to call his fire.

He could feel the heat. He could call on it to help melt ice easily. Any time he tried to conjure actual flame, however, the minute he felt it coming his vision would be filled with his father's face. He'd push the face away, but when he did he'd notice his arm was cold again. He sighed and tried again. And again. Every time ended in failure. Why couldn't he do it? He needed to do it, he knew that. So why...He was shaken from his thoughts as the next fight was announced.

"This is gonna be an interesting match!" Mic yelled over the PA system. "A face-off between two members of Class 1-C!"

"A-Asano Ryoko versus Moroboshi Ayame!" Izuku yelled with him. "Asano-san c-can make herself very t-tall, while Moroboshi-san can conjure and c-control ice!" Todoroki heard the crowd roar with excitement at such an unusual matchup. He heard Mt. Lady call the fight to start, but didn't need to watch the fight. He had no doubts who the winner was going to be.

"So, Midoriya," Mic asked, "got any ideas who's gonna win here?"

"W-well," Izuku stuttered, "I know th-these two sparred a lot d-during the past few weeks. A-A-Asano-san had one g-glaring weakness in th-the past, so if she's gotten th-that covered-" Izuku stopped as Todoroki heard a loud "KYAA!" followed by the sound of something heavy hitting the ground. "...A-and there it w-was."

"ASANO RYOKO IS UNABLE TO CONTINUE!" Mt. Lady declared. "THE WINNER IS MOROBOSHI AYAME!" The crowd sounded less enthusiastic as Todoroki got to his feet. It was his turn now. Stepping out of the room, he was careful to peer around the corners to make sure Endeavor wasn't waiting to ambush him again as he made his way to the arena. The crowd roared as he presented himself when Mic called his name, and he calmly walked up the steps to the arena. Across from him was Gakushuu Hifumi, who was not dancing this time.

Todoroki remembered his fight against Iida earlier, assuming one could call it that. He remembered this rotund schoolmate could flatten and inflate himself pretty quickly, and unleash a shockwave each time. He had no idea how hard those shockwaves could hit, though. Were they strong enough to shatter ice? How many times could he change in succession? The ice-user chuckled a bit, amused at how much he had changed since joining UA. Before he wouldn't have given this fat guy a second thought. He guessed all the times 1-C had surprised him combined with all the quirk lessons involving Midoriya were making him think more.

The instant Mt. Lady announced the fight to begin, Todoroki shot a panel of ice in Gakushuu's direction. This was less an attack and more a test to see how fast he could shoot his ice. The rotund student dodged the ice easily and rushed at Todoroki faster than most people assumed he could move. He closed in almost before Todoroki could react, and the icy student sent out an array of ice spikes to get some space. Instead of backing away, Gakushuu simply 2-D'd himself and slipped between the spikes before 3-D'ing and rushing forward again.

Caught by surprise, Todoroki shot a large rod of ice at Gakushuu...and realized too late it was too high. His eyes widened as he saw the pole shoot right for his schoolmate's head, their eyes wide with shock. Todoroki stopped the ice fast as he could, but not before the pole extended a few meters over Gakushuu's shoulders. His head was nowhere to be seen. The entire audience was silent, staring at Gakushuu's unmoving form. After a few seconds, though, something unexpected happened.

Gakushuu's headless body slowly took a few steps to the side, away from the ice. Todoroki watched with wide eyes as the silent body moved like a person after a near-miss. Oh wait, it was a near-miss...wasn't it? After a moment, Hifumi clenched his fists and there was a "pop!" as his head reappeared right where it belonged.

"Holy crap, that was close," Gakushuu sighed with relief.

"I am so sorry," Todoroki stated wide-eyed.

"WHAT WAS THAT!?" Mic yelled. "I THOUGHT WE WERE SEEING SOMETHING BAD! AND HIS FILE SAYS HE CAN ONLY FLATTEN HIS ENTIRE BODY!"

"Th-that's something he f-f-figured out during our t-training," Izuku quickly replied. "He recently f-figured out how to flatten d-d-different body parts. Wait til you s-see how else he u-uses it."

Todoroki had the feeling hedidn'twant to see that. Wincing in a premature apology, he raised his arm and threw a Glacial Strike at Gakushuu. It wasn't as big as it could have been, but it still covered over half the arena. The large student was nowhere to be seen. Todoroki looked around. He didn't seem to be encased in the ice, but Mt. Lady hadn't declared the fight over yet either. Where was he?

Suddenly he heard a loud gasp from the audience. Looking at them, he noticed they were looking up...above him. Confused, he turned his attention skyward. At first he didn't see anything. Then he noticed...something. It was hard to see, like it was super thin. He only spotted it when it flapped a bit, looking somewhat like a blue towel drifting down. As it got closer, he finally realized what it was.

Type-2 Hero - Mad_Nimrod - 僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia (3)

"N-FAHN!"Gakushuu shouted as he turned 3-D above Todoroki. The resulting shockwave was enough to send Todoroki spinning and flying away from the round Gen Ed. Todoroki actually bounced a few times before he caught himself, by which time Gakushuu was on the ground doing a pseudo-karate pose.

"You pulled out your ultimate technique, huh?" Gakushuu laughed. "Then allow me to show off my own!" He dashed forward as Todoroki was getting to his feet and decked him in the face. Before Todoroki could recover, Gakushuu 2-D'd his arm while punching with the other. This didn't bode well for the icy student.

"HOKUTO! HUNDRED PAPER FISTS! Nnnnnn-FAHN FAHN FAHN FAHN FAHN FAHN FAHN FAHN FAHN FAHN FAHN FAHN FAHN FAHN FAHN FAHN FAHN FAHN!"

Type-2 Hero - Mad_Nimrod - 僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia (4)


The entire audience watched, either cheering or dumbstruck. Of all the tricks Gakushuu could use, no one expected a series of high-speed punches. Todoroki was definitely caught off-guard, taking every punch the rotund student threw at him. The force of the punches was also slowly pushing him closer to the edge of the arena.

"W-what is this!?" Mic asked, just barely not-dumbstruck enough to voice his question.

"His quirk," Izuku bluntly replied. "Th-those aren't punches, he's holding his arms s-straight out. H-he's just using it to f-flatten and e-expand his arms at a ph-phenomenally high s-speed and in alternating order, m-making it look like p-p-punches."

"I think those qualify as punches, kiddo. But how will Todoroki counter them? He's completely at Gakushuu's mercy!" Todoroki was indeed in a tight spot. The punches themselves didn't hurt, but the shockwaves kept him addled and unable to form any ice. He just needed a brief second of respite, literally a second where Hifumi wasn't decking him. If he got that, he could retaliate.

Unexpectedly, he got it when Gakushuu slipped on a bit of loose ice and missed two punches. Those two misses gave Todoroki the opening he needed. Rather than form any ice, he ducked under Gakushuu's fist and gave a single strong punch of his own into the fat boy's gut. This hit pushed Gakushuu back a few feet, throwing him off-balance and letting Todoroki throw another punch, followed by another. It was clear Gakushuu was trying to go 2-D, but Todoroki wasn't giving him the opening. After a few seconds of rapid punching from the ice boy, he displayed his own strength by hoisting Gakushuu above his head and, with a very uncharacteristic roar, hurled him out of the arena. The large student was too dazed from the punches to even attempt to stay in the arena.

"GAKUSHUU HIFUMI IS OUT OF BOUNDS!" Mt. Lady yelled. "THE LAST SEMI-FINALIST IS TODOROKI SHOUTO!"

At that announcement and with the roars of the audience, Todoroki fell to the ground. He was panting heavily and aching from all the blows. That fight had been significantly more difficult than he expected. He sat there and let a pair of medical bots lift him onto a gurney and carry him away. With some help from Recovery Girl he would definitely be able to go into the next fight, but he was honestly dreading it.

"WHAT AN EXCITING END TO ROUND 2!" Present Mic screamed as maintenance teams got to work melting the glacier on one side of the arena. "Looks like we got some exciting fights ahead of us!"

"You bet!" Izuku smiled. Up next are th-the Semi-Final m-matches! Call it off, M-Mt. Lady!"

"SURE THING, GREEN BEAN!" the giant heroine winked at the commentator's box before turning back to the crowd. "THE FIRST SEMI-FINAL MATCH WILL BE BETWEEN SAKAI HEBI OF CLASS 1-C AND URARAKA OCHAKO OF CLASS 1-A! AFTER THAT WILL BE WHAT I BET'S GONNA BE THE SECOND-MOST EXCITING MATCH THIS ENTIRE FESTIVAL, WITH MOROBOSHI AYAME OF CLASS 1-C FACING TODOROKI SHOUTO OF CLASS 1-A! SNAKE VERSUS GRAVITY, AND A FIGHT BETWEEN THE ICE QUEEN AND THE ICE KING! WE'LL TAKE A FEW MINUTES BREAK BEFORE THE NEXT MATCH, SO GET YOUR DRINKS AND GRAB A COAT, CUZ YOU CAN BET THINGS WILL GET A BIT CHILLY BEFORE THE END!"

Notes:

How was that for exciting? Quite the fights between powerhouses, and things are only gonna get more explosive soon! Until next time!

Chapter 19: Form and Frost

Summary:

The Semi-Final matches.

Notes:

Howdy howdy. This chapter contains both the Semi-Finals. One fight will be funny, the other one will be...well, you gotta watch and see.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Sakai was nervous, that much was obvious as he slithered towards the arena. He knew he had luck when he took down Ashido. He knew he had skill when he beat Tokoyami. Luck and Skill. He had both in abundance.

Despite this, he knew he was screwed.

His next opponent was Uraraka Ochako. A kind, respectful student of Class 1-A who had literally beat Kiana out of the ring. No one outside of 1-C knew this, but Kagaro Kiana was one of the best-built students in their class. Seriously, she had beaten both Gorogoro and Choji in arm-wrestlingsimultaneouslya week ago. Punching her would be like punching a brick wall (not that Sakai knew how that felt, as he didn't have arms), and Uraraka had punched her like she was a pinata. How did she even do that? Her quirk was gravity control!

His thoughts were interrupted as he slithered out onto the grass, hearing the roar of the audience. Moving up onto the arena, he saw Uraraka Ochako on the other side. She had a look of sharp determination. Yeah...she wasn't gonna lose this one.

"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!" Mt. Lady yelled to the audience. "WELCOME TO UA FIRST-YEAR'S SPORTS FESTIVAL SEMI-FINALS! TRY SAYING THAT THREE TIMES FAST!" She gave the audience a few seconds to laugh before continuing, "OUR FIRST MATCH IS GONNA BE INTERESTING, THAT'S FOR SURE! ON ONE SIDE, REPRESENTING CLASS 1-C, GIVE A CHEER FOR SAKAI HEBI, THE SNAKE OF GENERAL EDUCATION!" The roaring cheers boosted Sakai's morale a bit. "AND ON THE OTHER SIDE, REPRESENTING CLASS 1-A, GIVE IT UP FOR URARAKA OCHAKO, THE MASS DRIVER OF THE HERO COURSE!" An equally-loud roar came up as Ochako blushed at the praise.

"Ad-d-dendum to the rules!" Izuku called out from the booth. "Y-you lose if you f-f-forfeit, fall out of th-the ring, or are incapacitated d-due to a q-quirk or injury! A-and due to all th-the breaks we've been t-taking to repair the arena, th-the rest of the matches will have a t-t-ten minute time limit! Everyone ready?" Sakai curled into his S-curves while Ochako took up a fighting stance.

"BEGIN!"

Sakai launched himself at Ochako, hoping his speed would catch her off-guard. Oddly enough, it did. For the first time since the Festival started Sakai's Spring Launch hit the intended target, getting a scream out of Ochako as the snake rammed into her. She stayed on her feet and swung her arms to grab Sakai, but only succeeded in grabbing his jacket. With a bit of a laugh, he wriggled and slid out of said piece of clothing, leaving the snake undressed and unhindered as he coiled around her.

She managed to slap him and negate his gravity, but he tightened around her before she could slip away. She used one arm to keep him from coiling her completely, and her other arm to grab Sakai's jaw before he could bite her. Sakai was honestly amazed and scared how she wasn't toppling over from his weight.They stood there for a good minute or two, each trying to overpower the other and failing. In the midst of their deadlock, Sakai gave a groan of despair and did the unthinkable.

Type-2 Hero - Mad_Nimrod - 僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia (5)Type-2 Hero - Mad_Nimrod - 僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia (6)

In an attempt to get Ochako to loosen her grip, Sakai took his long snake tongue and shoved it up her nostril. Ochako's eyes widened and she gave a scream of disgust. Unfortunately for Sakai, this feeble trick had the opposite effect from what he desired, as she just squeezed his jaw tighter. Sakai screamed in pain and yanked his tongue from her nostril. The pain in his jaw (and the taste of her snot) caused Sakai to loosen his grip just a little bit. This little bit was all Ochako needed. With a grunt of effort, she uncoiled him from around her shoulders, grabbed his head with both hands and started spinning. With the direction she was spinning, centrifugal force slowly unwound Sakai the rest of the way.

The audience watched the snake get spun around by the Hero student, screaming with each pass. With a shout of her own, the frustrated Ochako gave one more spin and released Sakai. Still under the effects of her quirk, his flight was quick and straight into the wall underneath Class 1-C. Some people honestly heard the sound of a helicopter during said flight. Once he impacted the wall, Ochako released her quirk and let the dizzy snake fall to the grass below.

"SAKAI HEBI IS OUT OF BOUNDS!" Mt. Lady raised her hand as Uraraka wiped her nose with her sleeve, trying to remove any residual snake drool. "THE FIRST FINALIST OF THE SPORTS FESTIVAL IS URARAKA OCHAKO!" As Uraraka left the arena, Tabata and Yoshio hopped over the wall and landed next to the unmoving snake.

"Sakai-kun," Tabata knelt down, "are you alright?"

"Easy squeezy lemon peesy."

"We should get him to the nurse," Yoshio said as he hoisted one end of Sakai. Before Tabata could do the same, a giant pair of hands came down and lifted Sakai into the air. Neither of them had even noticed Asano's arrival, but there she was standing at close to three meters.

"I'll carry him," she stated before jogging out of the arena. The two boys watched her disappear into the hallway, both thankful the hallways were tall enough for her, before rushing back up to their seats. Since the arena wasn't damaged this time, they knew the next match would come fairly quickly.

---

Moroboshi watched the fight from the waiting room. She honestly hoped Sakai'd win that one. It was not gonna be fun fighting Uraraka. As Sakai was carried out, Moroboshi got to her feet and walked to the arena. As she did, she was joined by Todoroki. He gave a nod as he walked next to her, but otherwise kept his head down. Was he feeling ill? That's never fun before a big fight.

"AND THERE THEY ARE!" Present Mic screamed as they emerged into the daylight. "THE ICE ROYALTY OF THE FIRST YEARS, GIVE IT UP FOR TODOROKI SHOUTO OF HERO COURSE AND MOROBOSHI AYAME OF GENERAL EDUCATION!"

It seemed like the audience had endless excitement here. Both students had powerful quirks, and their fight promised to be anything but boring. They climbed the steps to the arena, giving each other a nod before moving to their respective sides. Mt. Lady waited for both students to face each other before stating the amended rules to them. As she did so, Moroboshi coated her arm in ice while frost formed on Shouto's right foot.

"BEGIN!"

The instant Mt. Lady announced this, Todoroki shot a line of ice spikes at Moroboshi. Rather than shoot ice of her own, Moroboshi glared and raised her hand. When Shouto's ice got within a few meters of her, it split and shot on either side of her. She sighed with boredom, figuring Todoroki didn't think of anything else, before suddenly getting punched in the cheek. Todoroki was right in front of her, swinging his other fist at her. She dodged this one and backflipped away a distance, shooting ice at him with each flip.

Todoroki dodged these ice shards and chased after her, coating his arm in another ice hammer in record time. He swung his arm as he got close, but missed the girl and instead got a heel in his chin. While he was still staggering from the blow, Moroboshi caught his leg and pulled it out from under him. He turned to brace himself before hitting the ground, but instead found himself kissing ice as Moroboshi formed a more intricate hammer and golf-swung him away. The resulting flight and roll broke most of the ice on his arm. Groaning, he used his left hand's warmth to melt the ice on his arm before jumping to his feet.

The announcements from the commentators box went unheard by the combatants, each too focused on the ice-wielder in front of them. Moroboshi slowly conjured ice weapons and made them float around her, stunning many people in the audience. The moment Todoroki dashed at her, Moroboshi sent each weapon at him one at a time. Todoroki leaped and ducked under them, ignoring how their points of impact grew spikes of ice, keeping focused on Moroboshi. Once he got within punching distance again, he raised his fist before swinging his leg in a roundhouse kick. The surprise kick made contact, and Moroboshi skidded away a few meters. Before even coming to a stop she crafted another ice hammer and rushed Todoroki. He sent another ice wave at Moroboshi, but she simply hopped around it and quickly got close to Todoroki.

"Why aren't you using your fire?" she asked as she swung at his chest.

"I've tried!" Todoroki responded as he narrowly dodged the hammer. "I just can't get it working! Every time I try, I just seehisface!" He failed to dodge another swing, sent flying from the impact.

"Endeavor?" Moroboshi asked, brandishing her hammer. "Then stop thinking about him! Easy!"

"Not easy!" Todoroki yelled as he threw another wall of ice at Moroboshi, who smashed through it easily. "I've tried everything, but it just feels like my fire is bound to him no matter what I try!"

"DAMMIT IT'S YOUR FIRE!" Moroboshi screamed as she knocked him back again. "YOURS AND YOURS ALONE! DON'T LET THAT BASTARD DETERMINE IF YOU USE IT! DON'T LET YOURSELF BE BOUND BY HIM!"

...

...

click

In that instant, with those words from his opponent, Todoroki's mind was pulled back to an earlier time. A happier time, one of the last ones he had with his mother. They were watching a video of All Might being interviewed, and Shouto had declared his desire to be like All Might. His mother then hugged him close and uttered words very similar to that.

"You don't need to be bound by your bloodline."

With those words, his left side heated up. In shock, he looked down and saw flames licking up his forearm. Then a large burst came from his shoulder. He looked at Moroboshi in awe. He caused his flames to grow bigger, but Endeavor was not in his sight. The flame "hero" wasn't even in his mind. She was the only thing he could see now. Moroboshi Ayame. The girl who pushed him to be better. The girl whose words unbound his flames.

The girl he liked.

Shouto gave a smile. Then a chuckle. To the surprise of everyone watching, Todoroki broke out laughing. Not a forced laugh, but an honest laugh, the sort he hadn't given in over a decade.

"SHOUTO!"

Everyone in the stands turned to the voice, seeing Endeavor walking down the steps to the edge of the arena. He was smiling intensely, his eyes focused on Shouto's flames.

"YOU DID IT! YOU'VE FINALLY-" His words were cut short when Moroboshi threw a chunk of ice at Endeavor, which wrapped around his head with enough force to tip him backwards.

"No interrupting the fighters!" Moroboshi yelled, glaring at the fallen hero.

"Um," Izuku said over the tumult, "I know th-that attacking the audience is p-p-prohibited, but w-we can let th-that one instance s-slide right?"

"Works for me," Mic announced, "but do that again and you're out!" Moroboshi responded with a thumbs up before turning back to Todoroki, who had stopped laughing and let his flames run over his left side completely.

"How does it feel?" she asked. "Feels good letting it all out, huh?"

"It does!" Shouto smiled. "I can't remember the last time I felt like this!" Moroboshi smirked and got into a fighting stance, summoning icy gauntlets on both hands.

"Ready to finish this?" Ayame smiled. Todoroki nodded in reply and intensified the flames. All the ice around him melted almost instantly, and Moroboshi conjured an ice pillar underneath her feet to propel her at Shouto. Todoroki slowly held out his left hand, directing all his heat at the ice queen before him. Neither student payed any heed to Cementoss attempting to raise barriers between the two to stop the fight before it got too far.

"Moroboshi...thank you."

There was a flash as the two sides collided, and the arena literally exploded. Blocks and shards were sent flying in every direction, with the distance between the arena and walls being the only thing keeping the projectiles from hitting the audience. The force of the explosion was enough that the full-size Mt. Lady was pushed back, her head narrowly missing the window to the commentator's booth (but still making a sizable dent and knocking Mic from his chair). Several audience members and students were pushed back by the force, and Endeavor (who had just gotten up) was pushed back down. Even after the shockwave stopped, the arena was covered in smoke and mist. The audience was in shocked silence at the display of power.

"...Wha..." Mic said from his spot on the floor. "What the hell was that? How did that even happen?"

"W-when everyone was using ice," Izuku quickly explained, "i-it cooled down th-the air in the arena. W-when Todoroki-kun started using his f-flames, it heated th-that air up, c-c-causing the air to e-expand at an e-e-explosive level."

"Thanks for the science lesson," Mic got back into his chair, "but what about the students? Mt. Lady, think you could-"

"On it," the giant heroine groaned as she rubbed her head. Taking a few steps, she quickly waved her massive arms, creating another wind that removed the cloud over the arena. What everyone saw made them even more surprised.

Todoroki was still standing. He was panting and hunched over, exhausted from the effort. Half his jacket was also gone, and his left pantleg was still on fire. He was looking forward, but was in shock at what he saw.

Moroboshi was still in the arena, also panting and on her knees. She was actually only a few meters away from him. Between the two students was a large shield made of ice. Moroboshi's hands were on the shield, indicating it was her creation. Judging from the condition of the shield and the scorch marks on the ground, Moroboshi had conjured this shield just before the last attack made contact, and somehow kept it up despite the immense heat.

Only Todoroki noticed Moroboshi's nose was bleeding.

Taking a breath, the ice girl twisted both hands and gave a shout. This resulted in two fist-sized chunks of ice shooting from the shield and colliding with Todoroki's chest. Even if he wasn't too tired to get back up from such a hit, the ice sent him flying from the arena, dropping him on his back on the grass. As he hit the ground, Moroboshi herself gave a sigh and fell backwards, landing on her rear and perching on her hands. The stadium was silent for several seconds before Mt. Lady cleared her throat and raised her hand.

"TODOROKI SHOUTO IS OUT OF BOUNDS! THE SECOND FINALIST IS MOROBOSHI AYAME!"

Notes:

How was that for a battle? I've had Moroboshi's fight there in mind since before I wrote the USJ. I am SO HAPPY to finally share it with you guys. Now, you're all probably wondering how her ice withstood his flames, right? That'll be explained next chapter.

Also hope you guys got a laugh from those pictures with Sakai and Ochako. Worked hard on those.

Coming up, one last rest before the Final Match. Ice Queen versus Gravity Queen. Who will win? Stay tuned!

Chapter 20: Frost and Force

Summary:

The Finals, and a big reveal.

Notes:

Holy fricklesticks, we're finally here, people. The final fight of the Sports Festival. At this point, one could argue half the fic is the Festival. XD It's been fun to write, but I am so ready to move on to the next arc.

For now, though, we got one last fight to go through, a promise to be kept, and a winner to be declared.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Moroboshi and Todoroki were sitting in the infirmary. Due to the damage they caused to the arena, there was gonna be another half-hour wait while the maintenance crews fixed the arena. The two kids sat on their beds in silence, nursing their wounds. Both were freezing and covered in cuts. Todoroki was mostly looking at Moroboshi, having (mentally) come to terms with his feelings for her. He didn't know the first thing about romance, so when he spoke he decided to bring up another question he had.

"Your ice..." he started. "...why didn't it melt in the end there?" She looked at him for a few seconds before sighing and leaning back.

"Something Midoriya-kun actually figured out," she explained. "You see, my ice is virtually indestructible while I'm forming it. Once I finishing manipulating it, however, it's no stronger than normal ice. So, a few days ago Izuku thought of something and had me try it out. I'd give you a visible demonstration, but I'm too tired. Anyway, what he figured out is that if I keep putting in the effort to manipulate my ice, but manipulate it intokeeping its' current shape, I can effectively keep it indestructible. But, like I said, we only figured it out a few days ago, so I don't have it anywhere near mastered. Really tuckered me out earlier."

"And almost gave you an aneurysm!" Recovery Girl emerged from nowhere and bopped Moroboshi softly on the forehead. "That might be an interesting evolution to your quirk, but you shouldn't have used it when you were already exhausted from an entire day's efforts! Honestly, between that and everything else you've done, I'd say you'd be better off-"

"FIGHT-BUDDY!" Hatsume screamed as she practically exploded into the room. Recovery Girl actually squawked in surprise as the pink-haired inventor rushed over to Moroboshi. "How are you feeling? Think you can continue? Do you want to continue?"

"I-I'd like to, but don't think I can?" Moroboshi responded, surprised and unsure of Mei's sudden arrival. Mei's eyes narrowed as she shuffled through her pockets and pulled out a small bottle. The bottle was filled with a dark brown fluid with a bit of foam on top. It honestly reminded Moroboshi of root beer.

"Drink this," Mei offered the bottle. Moroboshi, knowing what sort of things Mei created, was a bit hesitant at first. Looking back at Mei's face however, and seeing her worried and determined expression, convinced Moroboshi to accept the bottle. Moroboshi took the bottle and slowly imbibed the contents.

It legit tasted like root beer.

After finishing it, Moroboshi handed the bottle back to Mei. Before she could ask what exactly she just drank, she felt it. A slight buzz inside her. It started small, inside her stomach, but quickly expanded until it felt like her entire body was shaking. Oh wait, her entire body really was shaking.

"What on Earth did you give her!?" Recovery Girl asked.

"Heal her," Mei replied, looking down at Recovery Girl. "Use your quirk and heal her." When no one moved for several seconds, Mei glared. "Look sensei, unless you want Moro-chan to be wide awake for another eighteen hours, use your quirk on her! Please!" This surprised the nurse. She had never heard Mei say 'please' about anything before. Suddenly it became clear this was a big thing for Mei. With a sigh, Recovery Girl hobbled back over to Moroboshi and softly kissed her forehead. As she used her quirk, the buzzing and shaking from Moroboshi slowly ebbed away. After a minute, Moroboshi wasn't shaking at all and her injuries were all gone.

"What was that stuff?" Moroboshi asked with wide eyes, eliciting a big smile from Mei.

"A concoction of my own design," the Support student replied. "I don't have a name for it, but it's basically a super-energizing drink that gives the drinker stamina for days. I had to dilute yours with root beer (hence the flavor) because even that little bottle would have kept you awake for a good 36 hours otherwise! Can't heal any injuries though, but since it skyrockets your stamina I put two and sixteen together and figured out that drink combined with the nurse's quirk would let you heal back to full without making you drowsy at all!"

"...That's amazing," Recovery Girl whispered, noting Moroboshi's current condition.

"Can I have some?" Todoroki wearily raised his hand.

"Why?" Moroboshi asked. "Why help me out like this?"

"Well you helped me before," Mei chuckled like it was a no-brainer. "Plus, you're Mido-chan's friend. He blabs about you a lot, and after seeing what happened out there there was no way I was gonna just let you retire due to injuries if you wanted to keep going." She gave a wink. "Looking forward to the next fight, Moro-chan." There was silence after that as Moroboshi processed what she heard.

"...Seriously, can I have some of that stuff?"

---

At the same time Moroboshi was undergoing her miraculous healing in the infirmary, Nedzu was in his office working on some paperwork. His guest had long departed for their hotel room, leaving the mammal alone. Humming a small tune he learned from Midoriya, Nedzu pressed a button and activated the air conditioning. The vents quietly hummed to life as Nedzu pulled out a packet of papers. Straightening it out nice and neat, Nedzu didn't even look as he drew one of his custom knives and threw it into the corner behind him close to the A/C vent. Instead of a scream of pain or the 'thunk' of steel hitting drywall, the principal heard a slight cracking sound. At this he finally turned with a knowing smile.

In the corner next to the vent was a man. Both feet were against the walls, letting him stay a good two meters above the ground. He was garbed in a regal outfit reminiscent of how media portray ninjas, only it was a shimmering white like light reflecting off snow. His face was mostly covered, only his pale lavender eyes visible. He was holding a thick panel of ice with both hands, having blocked Nedzu's knife before it could impale his neck. The ninja chuckled.

"Sharp as always, sensei," the man said as he pulled his legs in and landed on the floor. "Here I thought I was silent when I came out that vent."

"That silence is how I knew you were there," Nedzu laughed as he spun his chair around to face his former student. "So, what brings you here, Moroboshi-kun?"

"You know my hero name, sensei," the ninja chuckled.

"And I absolutely refuse to call you that," Nedzu laughed back. "Like I asked, why are you here young man?" Rather than respond immediately, the man reached into his coat and pulled out a small black box and handed it to Nedzu.

"Portable hard drive," the man replied. "My sweet niece called in a big favor. This drive contains some data that you may find quite interesting." Nedzu eyed the drive before accepting it. Plugging it into his computer, the mammal browsed a small portion of what the drive contained. As he looked, piece by piece, a wicked smile grew on his face.

"This is indeed quite interesting," Nedzu nodded. "You have my thanks for this, Moro-"

"Ah!" the ninja pointed at Nedzu. "Remember your promise for whenever you thanked me?" Nedzu stared at Moroboshi for a bit before sighing.

"Thank you, Frosty the Snow Ninja."

The human in the room gave a fist bump and whooped. Nedzu turned to say something, only to see Moroboshi had vanished. The mouse/bear gave a chuckle and turned back to his computer, the prior paperwork forgotten.

---

Thirty Minutes Later...---

Uraraka took a drink from her water bottle before handing her bottle to the recently-recovered Tokoyami. The bird-headed student nodded as Uraraka walked past him. It was time. The final fight of the Festival.

"AND HERE SHE IS!" Present Mic roared as Uraraka stepped into the field. "THE QUEEN OF GRAVITY! BEAST OF THE HERO COURSE! GIANT AMONG FIRST-YEARS AND HURLER OF SNAKES ("Hey!" Sakai shouted indignantly.)! GIVE IT UP FOR URARAKA OCHAKO!" The audience roared in response.

"AND FROM THE OTHER SIDE!" Mic continued, knowing Izuku wouldn't be able to keep the hype, "THE FROZEN QUEEN! THE WHITE WITCH OF GENERAL EDUCATION! THE UNSTOPPABLE WINTER AND HIDDEN BEAST OF CLASS 1-C! GIVE A SHOUT FOR MOROBOSHI AYAME!" The audience gave just as loud a roar as with Uraraka.

"L-looks like they already g-g-got fans out there!" Izuku laughed. A bit confused, both girls looked out at the audience. To their surprise, some people apparently spent the last break making banners with the girls' names on them. On top of that, they could hear some of the crowd giving personalized cheers.

"GO GO O-CHA-KO! GO GO O-CHA-KO!"

"MOROBOSHI FOR THE WIN! CHILLY WINTER, FREEZE THEM IN!"

"How do they come up with these?" Mt. Lady was heard almost mumbling lightheartedly before clearing her throat. "AAAAAALL RIGHT! YOU GIRLS KNOW THE RULES RIGHT!? THIS IS THE LAST FIGHT OF THE SPORTS FESTIVAL, SO GIVE IT ALL YOU GOT! BEGIN!" Uraraka took up a fighting stance and-

"She's right," Moroboshi stated, leveling her eyes at the gravity student. "I want to fight you at your best."

"What do you mean?" Uraraka asked.

"You've been holding back the entire time," Moroboshi nonchalantly replied. "Todoroki told me earlier, while I was being healed. He's seen you do some things when you think no one's looking. I want to see it, too." She stood straight, slowly waving her arm. Ice grew from the floor behind her, amazing everyone when it formed into something like a Chinese dragon made of ice. Said statue growled at Uraraka. "Show me everything you got." Uraraka stared at the dragon in shock for a bit longer before shaking her head. Moroboshi wanted to see what she could do? Alright, she earned that.

Uraraka closed her eyes and took a few breaths before focusing on Moroboshi. At first it looked like nothing was happening. Then she felt the hum grow. It started in her chest and slowly spread through her body. Outwardly, people could see small lights emerge from her body. These lights spiraled around her, trailing small clouds of light. Blues and reds, pinks and yellows, the lights came in many colors. The clouds also had distinctive colors, but were transparent enough that any in front of her eyes did not hinder her vision. She clenched her fists, and the lights around her arms spiraled faster.

This was her secret weapon. The gift she was given in the name of peace and hope.

One For All: Nebula Shroud.

In an instant, Uraraka shot forward in a blur of light. Moroboshi sent her ice dragon to intercept the hero student, but was shattered with a single punch. Her momentum was not inhibited in the least, and Ochako readied her fist to strike Moroboshi. The icy girl ducked in time to avoid the fist, retaliating with a punch of her own using a pair of icy gauntlets. Uraraka was struck with enough force to be knocked back a few feet, but quickly recovered and moved back close with a kick. This blow did land and Moroboshi was sent flying across the arena. She would have been knocked out entirely if she hadn't shot a pole of ice from her arm into the floor of the arena. In another surprising act, she twisted the ice to catapult herself back into the arena. She landed and rolled out of the way before Uraraka could grab her.

"WHAT A START!" Mic screamed. "Both ladies are going full steam ahead now! What do you think, Midoriya-kun?" Mic turned to his co-commentator to see Izuku shuffling through some papers and one of his notebooks. After a few moments he looked back at Uraraka, his eyes wide with shock.

"I-I got nothing," he stuttered. "I've n-never seen her d-d-do anything like th-this before. D-did her quirk evolve r-r-recently? W-what do those l-lights mean? I-I don't know!"

"Kid, calm down," Mic said worriedly as he rubbed Izuku's back. "You don't gotta know everything. Just watch the fight and say what you think, alright?" Izuku looked at him for a few seconds and took deep breaths before calming down and looking back at the fight.

"I-it looks like Uraraka-san f-found a w-way to alter gravity o-outside of nullification," the small boy stated. "I-I don't know how, b-but it looks like sh-she's figured out h-how to increase the mass b-behind her attacks. Th-that could explain why e-each hit sends M-Moroboshi-san flying."

Uraraka gave a smile at Izuku's speculation. One could argue he was somewhat correct considering what One For All provided. Maybe she'd tell him someday. Maybe. For now, though, she was focused on fighting the ice queen before her. It was clear Moroboshi was using everything she could as well. She created moving statues, a myriad of weapons floating around her, even walls of spikes to hinder her.

After smashing through another wall, Moroboshi growled and clapped her hands together. This resulted in two large blocks of ice forming on either side and smashing into Uraraka. She was lucky to see this coming and elbowed both blocks into pieces. Moroboshi grit her teeth and threw some ice shards at Uraraka before pole-vaulting across the arena again. She didn't know Uraraka wasthisstrong. At this point, it seemed like fighting from a distance was her safest bet.

---

Up in the stands, back sitting with his classmates, Todoroki was watching the fight in awe. He thought Moroboshi used some interesting ice techniques during their fight. What she was using here? Those golems and floating weapons? They were above and beyond anything he thought possible with ice. Where did she learn such techniques?HOWdid she learn them? Suddenly he remembered the promise she made him two weeks prior.

"Use your fire, Todoroki. Once you can do that, I'll teach you what's safe for you to learn."He gasped at the memory. He did use his fire earlier today. That meant she'd teach him, right? How many of these techniques would he learn? He was really focused on the fight, but now he was zeroed-in on Moroboshi more than before and watching everything she did. For the first time in years, he was looking forward to the future.

---

Back in the arena, Uraraka was starting to get mildly frustrated. It seemed like every time she got close to Moroboshi, the girl would use some distracting attack and move across the arena, out of punching range. She needed to do something to get close before she can react, or find a way to attack from range.

Wait.

Uraraka groaned as Moroboshi flew away again. She just remembered something she did earlier. As Moroboshi landed, Uraraka knelt down and tapped her palms on some blocks that made the floor of the arena. Utilizing both quirks, she lifted the two blocks into the air, earning a cheer from the crowd. With a smirk, she threw the two blocks at Moroboshi. The Gen Ed student quickly raised a wall to stop the stone blocks. While the wall was strong enough to mitigate the blocks, it crumbled when Uraraka smashed through it mere moments later. Eyes widening with shock, Moroboshi quickly raised a shield in front of her. Uraraka's fist collided with the shield, but to her surprise did not break through. Moroboshi groaned in pain and fell to her knee. With a shout of determination, Moroboshi pushed the shield forward, carrying Uraraka away from the kneeling ice user.

When Ochako was a fair distance away, she finally broke through the shield as Moroboshi clapped her hands to the ground. There was a loud rumbling as the floor of the arena shook and cracked. Before Uraraka could take more than a few steps, the floor underneath her exploded as a massive ice dragon shot up. Uraraka was caught on its' snout as it ascended, one of her arms pinned. Gritting her teeth, Uraraka used her free hand to punch the ice dragon. Her arm was in mad amounts of pain, but she was rewarded when the dragon fractured and shattered. Grabbing a piece of it, she pulled herself back towards the arena, leaping and running along the fractured remains as they fell. To the cheering audience it looked like lightning bolt of colors zigzagging down the destroyed construct.

The moment Ochako landed on solid ground, she had to jump again to avoid being struck by more flying ice. Looking at Moroboshi, Uraraka saw she was starting to form ice in her hair. She was nearing her limit. The Ninth Bearer smirked. She was almost there. Shooting forward, Uraraka raised both fists and smashed through another wall of ice to reach Moroboshi. The ice user quickly reformed the gauntlets on her arms and swung her fist at the tall brunette. Ochako caught her fist and squeezed just enough to break the ice before kicking Moroboshi back.

The white-haired girl grunted as she landed on the ground. She was breathing deep and on her knees, looking up at the advancing Uraraka. Moroboshi was pretty much at the end of her rope, freezing from quirk overuse and bruising from the blows. The gravity girl had withstood almost everything Moroboshi could use. Only almost. She closed her eyes and slowly got to her feet. Moroboshi had enough juice left for one attack. If she hit Uraraka with this, she'd win. An all-or-nothing gambit. Moroboshi bowed her head and clapped her hands together. Uraraka immediately went on the defensive but kept advancing. After a few more steps, Moroboshi opened her eyes and smirked at Uraraka, who noticed the air suddenly felt alotcolder than it did mere moments ago.

"COLD SNAP!"

Uraraka attempted to move back when Moroboshi shouted this. In an instant, a large circle around Moroboshi became encased in large chunks of ice. Uraraka's foot was caught in the ice, and to her shock the ice grew up her leg, an attempt to trap her entirely. With a shout, Uraraka smashed her good hand against the ice, barely making a crack before it caught her waist. Giving another scream, she focused One For All into both her legs and tried to kick her way out. After a few moments, she broke free and jumped outside the area of effect. She moved into a fighting stance when she landed, but straightened up when she saw Moroboshi.

The icy Gen Ed girl wasn't in good shape. She was panting in the middle of the ice growth, her hair practically frozen in place. She looked at Uraraka and gave a resigned smile before falling back against her ice. No one moved for several moments. No shouts from the audience, no comments from Mic nor Izuku. Mt. Lady slowly moved towards the arena and leaned down, looking at Moroboshi. Seeing her condition, the giant heroine gently reached down and picked Moroboshi up. Holding her in her palm, Mt. Lady gently pressed her other palm down on Moroboshi, using her body heat to warm the student up.

"MOROBOSHI AYAME IS UNABLE TO CONTINUE!" she yelled. "THE WINNER OF THE SPORTS FESTIVAL IS URARAKA OCHAKO!"

Notes:

And there you have it, people! The Ninth Bearer is revealed, as I promised. I know a lot of you already figured out it was Ochako, but I hope it was still a satisfying reveal. I also hope you like how her Nebula Shroud (her version of Full Cowl) looked. After reading a very adorable IzuMina fic called "What's Mine Is Yours" by EvilMuffinLord, I subscribe to the headcanon that One For All looks different for every wielder.

Now we have a question, though. Should I add the "Ochako has One For All" tag, or should I leave it omitted to keep it a surprise? Tell me what you think.

Now we just got the wind-down from the Festival, and then we move on to the Stain arc. Trust me folks, that arc will be beyond exciting.

Until next time!

Chapter 21: Force and Accolades

Notes:

Hello people! Long time no see. Sorry about taking so long. Was trying to update Cobalt and do the IzuMomo week.

This is the final chapter for the Sports Festival arc. Up next is more excitement.

Read on!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

For hopefully the last time that day, the Festival Arena had been repaired. All the remaining ice had been removed, the students patched up, and the awards podium was assembled. The four winners of the Festival had been called to their positions, now they just waited for the podium to rise up to the field.

Uraraka was at her well-earned spot in first. Standing to her right was Moroboshi, smiling contently. Todoroki stood on the third-place pedestal alongside Sakai Hebi. The snake was feeling a lot better after his spinny flight, and Todoroki was also healed from his fight.

"It's weird," he voiced to the serpent. "When I came in I was mostly intent on winning this thing without using my fire. Now here I am, at third place despite using my fire, but I don't feel regretful at all."

"Because you finally opened up," Sakai stated. Todoroki turned to the Gen Ed student as they continued, "This entire time you've kept yourself closed off from everything but what you felt was your goal. Using your fire, and acting the way you did, you let your true self out. Probably felt like taking a breath of clean air for the first time in years. And now that you know what it feels like, you're not gonna go back are you?"

"...Is everyone in Class 1-C philosophical like this?" Todoroki asked with bewilderment.

"Nah," Sakai tilted his head like a shrug. Suddenly the podium began to rise, going up through a door and rising above the stadium field.

"AND HERE THEY ARE!" Mt. Lady called out as the podium stopped rising. "THE WINNERS OF THE FIRST YEAR SPORTS FESTIVAL! THE BEST OF THE BEST FOR THE CURRENT FIRST-YEAR CLASS! AND HERE TO GIVE OUT THE MEDALS..."

Roaring laughter boomed from overhead as a familiar silhouette appeared against the sky. To the surprise of the audience, All Might himself was descending from the roof of the stadium. Laughing the whole way, he landed just in front of the winner's podium.

"IS ALL MIGHT HIMSELF!"

"IS MYSELF, ALL MIGHT!"

There was a bit of an awkward silence as the two heroes spoke over each other. After a moment, All Might turned to the giant heroine, who simply giggled and shrugged before All Might turned to the students on the podium. Clearing his throat, he withdrew the medals from a nearby bag and approached the podium. The first to get his attention were Sakai and Todoroki.

"I am quite impressed with you,"All Might addressed Sakai."Despite not having a flashy quirk, nor indeed a traditional physiology, you still did well beyond what was expected."He stepped closer with the medal, but stopped."Erm, how can I hang this..."Sakai chuckled and opened his mouth. After staring for a moment, All Might got the cue and gently hung the ribbon from Sakai's teeth. The snake closed his mouth and straightened up proudly before All Might leaned close and hugged him."You made your class proud, I'm certain."Next to be addressed was Todoroki, who stood straight as the hero approached.

"As for you, Todoroki-shounen,"the Number-One Hero smiled,"you've surprised everyone here, including myself. You've used your fire, and to incredible effect."Hanging the medal from his shoulders, All Might leaned close and hugged Todoroki."You're on your way to becoming the best hero you can be."The hetero-chromatic boy nodded, knowing just how right the hero was.

"And now you, Moroboshi-shoujo,"All Might turned to the ice queen in second place."I'd say you've more than wowed the audience with your performance. You're definitely among the strongest students in our school."Placing the silver medal around her shoulders, he leaned close and gave her a light hug."The principal and I would like to speak with you after we're done here."Moroboshi nodded resolutely before All Might turned his attention to Uraraka.

"And finally the winner of this Festival,"All Might beamed."With your quirk you've demonstrated your power as a hero. With your deeds and words, you've shown the world your heart as a hero. You've more than earned this medal."Uraraka bowed as he put the medal on her shoulders and pulled her into a hug."You've done amazing, Uraraka-shoujo. I couldn't be more proud to have you as my successor."The gravity girl teared up at his words and nodded her gratitude. With the task done, All Might turned to the audience.

"THESE ARE THE WINNERS OF THE FESTIVAL! GIVE THEM A ROUND OF APPLAUSE AND JOIN ME IN GIVING THEM PRAISE!"All Might roared to the crowd. Uraraka was barely paying attention, though. She hardly noted when All Might and the audience said conflicting phrases in congratulations. Her mind was back to when she had first met All Might...

---

Uraraka Ochako was walking down the street after school. It was early in her final year of junior high, and she was excited. Her class had just turned in their high school request forms, and she was intent on getting into UA. She would study hard, exercise hard, make her parents proud. And eventually make them comfortable with all the money she'd earn as a hero.

As she walked she saw a small child going through the crosswalk dragging a toy. Suddenly the string on the toy snapped. Seeing this, the kid turned back to grab the toy, not noticing the light had changed. The truck driver in the intersection didn't seem to notice the-oh he was texting like an idiot. Seeing a disaster in the making, Uraraka rushed into the street. Dodging one car, she barely managed to grab the kid and negate his gravity in time to send him out of the street. She herself barely avoided getting hit by the truck. After making sure the kid was safe, she negated her quirk, letting the child drop into his crying mother's arms. The woman thanked Ochako profusely as the student finally got out of the street, but Ochako waved it off. She was just doing the right thing, after all.

"That was quite heroic."

The girl turned towards the voice as the mom and child from before left. The new arrival was a rather...skeletal man with frazzled gold hair and sunken eyes. He did not look healthy at all.

"Are you alright?" Ochako couldn't help but ask.

"As alright as I can be," the man chuckled. "But enough about me, young lady. As I said before, what you did before was quite heroic. You aiming to be a hero?"

"Yup!" Ochako smiled. "Gonna work hard and enter UA!"

"UA, huh?" the man kept smiling. "Lofty goals, child. Oh, where are my manners? I am Yagi Toshinori. What might your name be?"

As she gave her name, she had a feeling that was the start of a new friendship. And it most certainly was. Whether by accident or on purpose, she wound up meeting Yagi-san multiple times after that. She shared her dreams, her reasons for wanting a heroic career (which he thankfully did not frown upon), and her fears. She was afraid that a simply gravity quirk wouldn't be good enough in a school that was possibly full of kids with better powers. When she said this, Yagi-san simply chuckled and told her not to worry. She was curious why he said that.

It was another month or so before she learned why.

When Yagi-san revealed himself as All Might, she almost fainted. When she heard the story about his quirk, and how he wanted to give One For All toher, she really did faint. After a quick recovery, though, she accepted his offer with resolute determination. She would become the next Symbol of Peace, for her family and friends. The trials she had to face were far from easy, but she tackled them head-on. Working both her body and her quirk, she made sure her body was ready by the time of the entrance exams.

Simultaneously, just when she thought All Might couldn't be a better person, her family's company was hired to do some work on All Might's agency building. The money they earned from that more than covered the expenses of Uraraka's new diet and workout regimen...and for her new clothes. Who would have thought that working out and actually eating healthy would result in such a drastic growth spurt? By the time she was given One For All, she was taller than just about anyone else she knew, and could bench-press every weight in her junior high's gym class. With her newfound height, strength and confidence, she strode into UA's entrance exam feeling like a knight ready for battle.

---

Just as Uraraka was remembering those memories, All Might himself was recollecting those months as he and Nedzu waited in the principal's office. Nedzu was sipping tea while Yagi leaned back in his chair, relaxing in his real form up until the last moment. With a knock on the door, All Might bulked up as Nedzu pressed the button that opened the door. Moroboshi walked in, giving a bow to both heroes before taking the seat in front of the desk.

"What did you need me for?" the Gen Ed girl asked.

"You may not have heard this," Nedzu leaned forward, "but the Sports Festival does more than let the students show off their skills. You see, the school board, teachers and I all know that sometimes amazing heroes can...slip through the cracks when it comes to the hero course entrance exams. Indeed, several of the teachers here were initially in General Education before being moved up to Hero Course. They achieved that feat by performing well in the Sports Festival."

"And you used your quirk to perform better than 'well' today,"All Might smiled."Indeed, a quirk like yours is practically perfect for heroics! I feel it was a mistake to let-"

CRACK!!

All Might's words died the instant he heard a bone-jarring crack. In under three seconds, Moroboshi had conjured a globe of ice next to her shoulder and cracked it like a light stick (generating the noise) before crumbling it into snow that piled on the floor below. Her expression towards All Might was one of anger. Why was she mad? He was complimenting her!

"I'm sorry for the mess," she replied tersely, "but make no mistake, All Might. I have no intention ofeverbecoming a Pro Hero."

"W-Why?" All Might asked. "Your quirk is-"

"Andthat," the icy student pointed at the hero, "isexactlywhy. Think of what you've said since I entered. 'Your quirk, a quirk like yours, your quirk, your quirk,' this entire time you've been focused on my quirk, and not me as a person. Your entire viewpoint, andindeedmany heroes views,divides our society into three categories. If someone has a strong or flashy quirk, they're a hero. If someone has a creepy or unusual quirk, they're a villain. If someone has a weak quirk, or no quirk at all, you think they're worthless. Because of those viewpoints, you took one look at me and decided I should be a hero despite never wanting to be one." All Might blanched a bit at this.

"And because of those viewpoints," her eyes narrowed into a cold glare as she leaned forward, "you took one look at Midoriya-kun, a boy with the heart and spirit of a hero, and had no qualms with telling him he could never be a hero." All Might almost coughed up blood at this. How did she know about that conversation? Did he tell her? If he told her about that, did he even-

"Midoriya-kun didn't tell me," Moroboshi explained. "I just overheard a few things and managed to put the pieces together. So no, All Might. I decline the offer. I refuse to be a poster child for a society that says one of my closest friends is worthless just because he's not a f*ckingmutantlike the rest of us." She leaned back in her chair, her words complete. All Might was speechless. Was this truly how she felt about him? Truly how she thought he looked at things?

And was she right?

The silence was broken with a clap. Both All Might and Moroboshi were surprised to see Nedzu clapping with a big smile on his face.

"Wonderful! Wonderful!" Nedzu lauded the student before him. "Truer words have rarely been spoken, young lady! And with such fervor, no less. I would hate to get on your bad side. And worry not, you won't be transferred to Hero Course. I, for one, actually read your school file beforehand. I knew you didn't have 'Pro Hero' as a career choice, as did most of the school board, but sadly it is a...requirement that we extended the invitation to you due to your performance in the festival. As you declined, you need not worry about being bothered by it again in the future. If there is nothing else you like to have addressed, you are free to rejoin your class for the After-Festival Party."

Moroboshi, rather than verbalizing her response, simply got to her feet. She gave Nedzu a respectful bow, followed by giving All Might a derisive glare, before turning and exiting the room. Despite her apparent anger at the situation, she did not slam the door behind her. The instant the door closed, All Might sighed and returned to his normal form.

"Well," Nedzu smirked, "I'd say that could have gone better."

"You knew she'd react that way," All Might accused. "You knew she would decline the offer, and say all those things..."

"Partially," Nedzu nodded. "Some of what she said surprised even me, but all of it was something you most certainly needed to hear. None of what she said was wrong, after all. Certainly gives you more to think about from now on, huh?" All Might did not reply, just busy processing everything he had just heard, while Nedzu went back to sorting through files and papers.

---

It had been a couple hours since the Festival ended. Usually the different party venues would be divided by Course, but due to their overall performance Class 1-C was permitted to join the Hero Course classes in their party. The venue was thankfully big enough to accommodate all the students comfortably. It was an interesting sight to even the teachers, seeing the students mingling like everything was normal. Sakai was talking with Tokoyami and Ashido, laughing at a joke the latter had just told. Asano was standing next to Tabata and Yoshio, all of them making lighthearted jokes with Jirou and Kaminari about how Kaminari's discharge during his match almost looked like he was wetting his pants with lightning. In one corner, Sanada Kayano was explaining to Shinsou and Shiozaki howshewas the "All Might" who talked to Monoma earlier. Upon hearing this, several nearby 1-B students thanked her profusely. Oyaneko was performing funny tricks with his quirk, Momo was sitting in a chair to be eye-level with Oscar, and even the teachers were laughing at some of the student's cheerful antics.

Sitting pretty much by himself at one of the tables was Midoriya Izuku. He wasn't depressed, nor feeling left out. He was just enjoying the atmosphere while sipping some cider. Today had been an epic day, and would be a lifelong favorite. The only thing that had him curious, though, was the absence of All Might. He figured All Might would be here, being the Heroics Teacher and all, but he was strangely absent. Today had been the closest he'd gotten to All Might since the Slime Incident. He wasn't even there for the Hero lessons Izuku had attended. Was All Might avoiding him?

"Hey, Midoriya-kun," Uraraka suddenly appeared next to Izuku. "Enjoying the night?"

"O-oh, hey Uraraka-s-s-san," Izuku smiled. "A-and yeah. It's p-pretty fun."

"Why are you here by yourself?" the gravity girl asked with a worried face. "You can talk to everyone. Like I said, you're practically a classmate of ours already."

"Oh, it's not that," the small greenette smiled. "I'm j-just waiting for someone. O-once they show up, we're g-g-gonna be leaving for a small p-party my mom's set up." Uraraka opened her mouth, undoubtedly to ask who he was waiting for, but her gaze went past him and her mouth hung open a bit. Turning to see who it was, Izuku smiled. "Th-there they are." To Ochako's surprise, Melissa came walking up with Midnight.

"Ready to head out?" Midnight asked. "Your mom invited me too."

"S-sure thing!" Izuku got up while chugging the rest of his cider. After giving a cough from the fizziness, Izuku turned back to Uraraka, who was still staring at Melissa. "H-have a good evening, Uraraka-san!" The gravity girl only gave a weak wave as the trio walked away.

"So who was that?" Melissa smirked as she leaned close to Izuku. "Was that your girlfriend~?"

"W-wha!?" Izuku blushed and flailed. "N-no, U-Uraraka-san is a friend! W-wait, a minute, w-why d-did you ask who she was? Sh-she won the Festival!"

"Oh I wasn't paying attention to that part," Melissa giggled. "I was working on a few final things with Mei before we give you your new arm on Monday."

"But th-they've also been saying her name all day..." Izuku almost whispered, eliciting a laugh from both Midnight and Melissa.

"I'm just messing with you!" the American girl laughed as she patted Izuku's shoulder. "Though I wouldn't blame you, she is pretty cute. Has some nice legs, too."

"...Wuh..." Midoriya had officially blue-screened at Melissa's words, getting another laugh from both ladies as they exited the venue.

Midnight had brought her own vehicle, so she was able to give everyone a ride back to the Midoriya apartment. As they stepped in, Izuku could smell the huge amount of Katsudon both his mom and Kamui Woods had cooked together. In all honesty, his mom's katsudon was far better than any of the gourmet cuisine that was at the party. The dinner was full of stories from the pros along with some stories of his mom's years at UA. Even Melissa pitched in, talking about some funny things that happened at I-Island. Izuku was enraptured at every word, laughing with everyone.

At the same time, though, Izuku did his best to keep Melissa away from his room, and hiding his baby photos.

A couple hours later, as the adults washed the dishes, Izuku sat on the balcony of their apartment. Full of katsudon and full of cheer, he relaxed in the night air. Today had been one heck of an exciting day. He did kinda wish he could have participated as a contestant, but knew he did what he did best. He gave a stretch before looking at his left arm. He was getting a better one after the weekend. It still felt weird to think that.

"Hey there," Melissa said as she stepped onto the balcony and sat next to Izuku. "Enjoying the night?"

"Y-yeah," Izuku smiled. "After how exciting th-the day was, it's n-nice to just relax."

"Amen to that," the blond giggled.

"A-are you looking f-forward to the S-Second and Third-Year F-Festival tomorrow?"

"Not participating," Melissa stated. "I want to spend tomorrow doing a few things, so Nedzu's letting me sit it out."

"O-okay," Izuku nodded. The two teens sat in silence after that, enjoying the night and the companionship. After a few minutes, Melissa glanced down at Izuku, who had his eyes closed. He wasn't focused on her at all. Feeling a little bit daring, Melissa smiled as she scooted just a little closer. Making sure Izuku didn't notice, Melissa went on to surprise Izuku by looping her arm behind him to grab his shoulder. His eyes barely opened before she pulled him close, nestling his head against her shoulder as she rested her cheek on his. She could practically feel Izuku blushing underneath her.

"Relax," she softly whispered. "This is cozy." It took another few moments, but Izuku eventually relaxed and leaned more into her. Melissa smiled again and closed her eyes.

The two teens sat like that for a while, not noticing the adults watching and quietly taking pictures of the scene.

---

Uraraka was a bundle of stress. She was laying on her bed, thinking about that night. The party itself was amazing (and she had carried home enough food to sustain her for weeks), but there was one factor that was eating at her. That factor was Izuku and Melissa. Together. The way they acted, the way they talked. They were definitely together. Somehow the angel and the green bean were a pair and she couldn't think about anything else no matter what she tried. Her chest was actually hurting a bit at this revelation. She groaned and rolled over, laying face-down in her pillows.

She was jealous, that much was obvious. What wasn't so obvious, though, was which one was she jealous of?

Notes:

So...remember my question at the end of chapter 3? On whether this fic should have polyamory? Now u know what I settled on. Up next I'll work on the other IzuMomo prompts and the next chapter of Side Stories.

See you next year/decade!

Chapter 22: Accolades and Choices

Notes:

Howdy folks! Got another chapter here for ya fairly quickly! This chapter is the start of a new arc, away from the Festival Grind (felt more like an Elite Four Grind), and leading to more events. We'll learn the identity of Nedzu's guest, get a long segment involving Izuku gettting his combat-capable arm, and two girls start talking.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

With the excitement of the Sports Festival over and done with, the following Sunday passed all too quickly and before Class 1-C knew it they were back in school. The various students were either in their seats or hanging out in groups, all chatting away the morning.

"That was awesome!" Gakushuu cheered. "Got so far, too!"

"Was certainly entertaining to watch," Katsura smiled, earning a few giggles from the people surrounding the blind girl.

"W-was really long, th-tho," Izuku stuttered. "F-felt like it l-lasted months."

"But the entire thing only lasted a day," Hojo pointed out.

"I know right?"

Izuku's tirade was cut short when Midnight stepped in the room with the ringing bell. Everyone rushed to their seats as Midnight approached the podium. She had a bit of a serious face as she stood in silence, looking over her class. Thankfully, this seriousness soon dropped into a small smile.

"If you kids were trying to make an impression back there..." she stated, "...you sure did." Pulling up her remote and hitting a button, the digital blackboards came to life, listing several names from their class with numbers next to them. Some of these numbers were in the low thousands. The students looked on in confusion, before Izuku's eyes widened and he pointed with his left arm.

"Th-those are internship r-requests!"

"Right in one!" Midnight laughed. "You guys made such a big impression during the festival that Principal Nedzu decided that our class is going to participate in Hero Experience week! Everyone up here got offers from heroes across the country, while everyone who isn't on here can still choose from a smaller roster."

"But," Tabata raised his hand, "what if we don't want to be heroes? Or have quirks that are literally useless for hero work?"

"Th-there's still options," Izuku pointed out. "I-I mean, Uwabami w-works as a r-rescue hero, but sh-she also handles public r-relations, and is an official amb-b-bassador. Lunch Rush r-runs a restaurant, Arithmancer runs an accounting f-firm, th-there's a lot of heroes who d-do non-heroic jobs on the side."

"Why isn't Moroboshi up there?" Sakai asked. "She got further than any of us and-"

"I'm doing something else," the icy student interrupted. "Not with any of those heroes."

"And Midoriya's not up there because he's doing something concerning his hero training," Midnight explained, "so during lunch, kiddo, you go to Nedzu, ok? You'll be able to grab your new arm after you're done with him." Izuku nodded excitedly as Midnight started handing out the packets (or in some cases, books) of hero offers. "You're required to make your decisions by Friday, and you'll be leaving Saturday or Sunday depending on where you're going. Choose where you go carefully, alright?" With the packets (and books) handed out, Midnight ran through the normal morning announcements. So far the only student who was having trouble with his packet was Sakai, because...

"I'm sorry," the serpentine student asked, "but could someone turn these pages for me?"

---

The rest the time before lunch passed fairly calmly. His class had received congratulations from other classes as they walked by. They even received good words from upperclassmen, and that felt really nice. However, Izuku was curious why Monoma Neito seemed to be mixed in with another Gen Ed class, but figured he could ask Nedzu later. When time came for lunch, Izuku bade farewell to his classmates and jogged up to the principal's office. The door didn't look at all intimidating anymore, and he gave a gentle knock as he got close. He stepped in as the door opened, but stopped when he got inside.

There was a new person in the room with Nedzu. His black outfit, looking almost like military fatigues, was the only normal thing about him. He had a rather extensive mutation quirk, looking like a muddy-red dragon-man but lacking wings and a tail. His gold eyes seemed to pierce into Izuku's very being, watching his every movement. He wore distinctly-four-fingered gloves and leather sandals over his dinosauroid feet. As Izuku got closer, he noticed a small detail out the outfit.

"S-sir," Izuku asked, "w-w-why is there a m-member of the A-Atlantic Circle here?" The dragon-man's brows shot up.

"You know of the Circle?" he asked with a gravelly voice.

"A little," Izuku nodded. "N-not a whole lot, m-mostly that you're ident-t-tified by the small g-gold ring on your l-left shoulder." He then pointed at the small object, gleaming in the office lighting like a shoulder pin. This seemed to impress the man further as he turned to Nedzu.

"He is a smart one."

"Told you," Nedzu smiled. "Take a seat Midoriya." He waited for the student to sit down before continuing, "This is Nihlus, of the Atlantic Circle. He's here to facilitate the first part of your Provisional License Exam." Izuku almost fell out of his chair at this declaration.

"P-P-Provisional License Exam?" he gasped.

"Thefirst partof it," the dragon-man, Nihlus, clarified. "Some of the training required to become a Type-2 Hero includes helping on live cases, or studying previously-solved cases to try and determine the outcome. Both things normally require a Provisional License. As such, the Type-2 License is split into two parts. Completing the first part, which I will be supervising, will give you access to those records and cases, though you will not be officially allowed to do any hero work until you pass the second part. This first exam will be covering the experience week for the traditional hero courses. I'll go over it in greater detail on Saturday, but you should prep and pack for a week's departure. Until then, though, I'll be observing your training to see what you have covered."

"U-understood," Izuku nodded, suddenly very nervous. "B-but, if you d-d-don't mind my a-asking, why d-did you c-c-come in for th-this, and not have a l-local hero assigned?"

"To avoid bias," Nihlus calmly replied. "Before I stepped on Japanese soil, I only knew your name and your face. As such, when I grade your exam I won't risk going easy on you for parts that others know you're lacking in. For example, if Nedzu here was the facilitator, there is the chance he would alter your scores simply because he knows you'd struggle on one part."

"I wouldn't do that," Nedzu smiled, "but if the risk exists it must be addressed."

"I honestly look forward to seeing what you can do, young man," Nihlus seemed to smile as he stood up. "I've heard about these 'hero analysis notebooks' of yours, but haven't had the chance to browse them myself. Next we meet, I'll be taking you to your testing grounds." He gave a slight bow before exiting the office.

"And with that hanging over your head," Nedzu pulled out a clipboard, "let's move on to something a bit more chipper." Izuku took the clipboard and looked it over. The form on it had his school info, but it was the line at the very bottom that caught his attention.

"Hero Alias?"

"You are training to be a hero," Nedzu smirked. "Even Type-2's like us need to have registered Hero Aliases. So go ahead and put your own down." Izuku looked at the form...and looked...and was drawing a blank. When he was younger he had all sorts of hero names in mind, but then the incident with Bakugou hit and...Even after entering UA and getting hero training from Nedzu and Sir Nighteye, a hero name never even occurred to him. He didn't want to chicken out and just put his actual name, either. With a sigh, he set the clipboard down.

"M-may I have a few days to think about it?"

"Of course!" Nedzu smiled. "Just be sure to have it before Friday, alright? Good. Now hurry on down to your classmates for lunch, I have another task that needs tending to." Izuku nodded and dashed out the room as Nedzu fiddled around on his laptop. After a few minutes, there was another knock on the door. Nedzu opened the door, barely looking up as Todoroki Shouto stepped into the room.

"You wanted to see me, sir?" the hero student asked as he sat in the chair opposite the principal.

"Your class received your experience forms earlier, correct?" the mammal asked. Todoroki nodded, and he continued, "I get the feeling you're going to accept Endeavor's offer, yes? Well, I think it would wise if you didn't do so."

"What?" Todoroki asked incredulously. "I need to get a better hang of my fire side, and Endeavor is-" his words were cut off when Nedzu spun his laptop around, showing the student what was on the screen. Todoroki read a bit, and his eyes widened. "H-how-"

"A friend of yours called in a favor," Nedzu smiled. "In fact, said friend also had an offer for you..."

---

"This is upside down."

"Is it? Looks right to me."

"Blue goes up, remember?"

"Right right, my bad."

Melissa and Mei were hard at work in the support workshop that afternoon. They were both repairing and improving a pro's gear as another extra assignment to keep them both occupied (and hopefully not explode the lab). They had spent a significant part of the day working on this one piece of equipment, but they were satisfied knowing it would be vastly improved from the previous version.

Their work was interrupted by a soft knock on the door. The instant they heard it, they set their tools down before Melissa opened the door for Midoriya to slip in. The American girl had been working with Mei long enough to know her unwritten rule of "no fiddling with potentially explosive objects while Midoriya's in the room," and adjusted fairly quickly.

"Come on in, Mido-chan!" Mei smiled. "Ready for that new arm?"

"Y-yes!" Izuku smiled. "I-I wanna g-get used to it b-before experience week." Seeing the slightly confused looks on their faces, Izuku quickly explained what Nedzu had told him during lunch, earning excited squeals from both girls (and a hug from Melissa). Once they calmed down, Mei opened a shiny metal box on the table. "Sit down little man!"

Izuku sat down in a nearby chair and removed his jacket & shirt down to the tanktop he wore underneath, his own excitement rising as Melissa slowly went to work removing his left arm. At the same time, Mei pulled Izuku's new arm out of the box. Unlike his current arm, the new one was a polished white, with dark gray pads on the fingers and palm. The back of the hand had a small digital display on it, and the forearm had some bulkiness to it. Izuku was so filled with awe & anticipation, and the girls so focused on the task at hand, that no one said a word as Izuku's old arm was removed and replaced with the new one. Everyone was smiling, though.

Once it was firmly attached, Izuku went through the same exercises he ran every morning. First he flexed each finger one at a time. Then he flexed them all at once, slowly at first but speeding up bit by bit. Then he rolled his wrist, again starting slow but speeding up with each spin. Then came the elbow's turn, bending and unbending it a few times, followed by rolling his shoulder. As a last test, he did them all simultaneously, from closing his fist to rolling his shoulder, several times. He marveled at how light the entire ensemble felt, and was amazed at how quiet it was compared to his previous arm. There were no clicks or whirs the entire time.

"Excellent," Mei smiled. "Like we said before, this arm is made from a durable heat-resistant alloy. It's also got a shock-absorbent gel-layer with reinforcing struts between the other and inner plating. It would take quite the explosion to blow this baby off. We also upgraded the feeling pads on the palm. Here." She pushed a metal ball into his palm. Izuku looked at it in wonder. His old arm could feel pressure well enough, but this arm could actually feel the bumpy texture of the ball in his hand. He knew he had felt stuff with his left hand for the first fourteen years of his life, but who would have thought a whole year of feeling nothing would make such a huge difference? Melissa gently took the ball from him and rolled his arm over, gesturing to the display screen Izuku had noticed earlier.

"This part," she explained, "is a lot of things in one convenient screen. It serves as a clock and shows how much power your arm has-"

"Not like he'll run out!" Mei laughed.

"-along with a digital map linked to some gps satellites. We're still trying to get the verbal comms on it working, though. For now you'll have to rely on your cell phone. Next, put your hand here." Melissa tapped a small panel on the back of his forearm. Izuku did so, feeling the panel click down a bit. He gave a shout of surprise as a long white blade emerged from his forearm, extending over the back of his hand.

"Ta-da!" Melissa smiled. "We know Sir Nighteye has been training you in blade use, so Hatsume-san and I decided to give you this. It's made from ultrahard ceramic, and is beyond razor sharp. We tested it by cutting a metal workbench in half, it was quite entertaining to watch. We're working on a means to control the length that comes out, so be careful for now. Just tap that panel to sheathe it." Izuku did so, watching the blade quickly slip back into his forearm. After it clicked into place, Melissa pulled his arm up and gestured to a small button on his forefinger. "Hold these two fingers straight and hit this button with your thumb." Izuku held his forefinger and middle finger straight before tapping the small button, watching as two small prongs poked out from the fingertips and began arcing electricity.

"Mel and I figure these could be your main villain-disablers," Mei smiled. "The charge only holds for a few seconds and takes a couple minutes to recharge right now, but once we sort out the Red Matter batteries we figure we can make em recharge faster. You gotta hold the fingers still for it to work tho. We designed em so that bending those fingers retracts the prongs. helps keep from accidentally shocking yourself, ya know. The display on the back of your hand will also tell you when they're charged." Izuku smiled as he bent his fingers and retracted the prongs. His arm was definitely like something from a spy movie, he was loving every bit of it.

"One last thing," Mei snapped his thought from his reverie. He watched as she lifted his arm, straightening it out, and tapped the panel on his inner forearm. Just when he thought nothing else about his arm could surprise him, his widened as a shield seemed to unfold from a pair of slots on either side of his arm. The shield was fairly small and see-through, but this meant he could see the fibrous interior.

"Polymer shield," Melissa pointed. "Large enough to cover center mass, flexible enough to furl up inside your arm when not in use. We tested it earlier to ensure it's also bulletproof against pistol rounds and really resistant towards rifle bullets. Also effective against bladed weapons. Just be careful around puncture-based weapons, like arrows or pickaxes. Too strong a hit on a small spot will go through." Melissa tapped the panel and the shield curled back into Izuku's arm.

"That's all we got in there so far," Mei nodded and tapped his arm. "Mel and I are working on a few more ideas, but we need to test those before we try installing them. So, what'cha think?"

"A w-work of art," Izuku smiled as he stood up, looking over his arm again. "Th-thank you so much f-f-for this. Both of you." His expression and earnest gratitude was so adorable both girls pulled him into a group hug. This surprised the green bean, putting a deep blush on his face. In the end, he closed his eyes and reciprocated the hug.

He had the best friends...and crush.

---

"Are you sure about this decision?" All Might asked Uraraka as the two sat in the teacher's lounge.

"Yes sir," she nodded. "I appreciate the offer from Gran Torino, but I can't accept itbecausehe's the one who trained you. He'd probably focus on training me exactly like he trained you, but I'm not your clone, copy or 'illegitimate child' like Todoroki-kun thinks. I want to make this quirk my own, but I can't do that if I follow your exact footsteps." The hero and student stared at each other for a while before All Might sighed.

"Forging your own way," the hero smiled. "I look forward to seeing what exactly you make of it." Thankful he wasn't mad, Uraraka smiled, bowed and quickly left the lounge. School had ended earlier, and she had already decided which hero to go with (despite the literal tome of agency offers she got). As she hustled down to the gates, something gold caught her eye. Turning to get a good look, she froze when she saw it was Melissa. Said girl was walking down the hallway in her direction, reading from a book so she likely hadn't seen Ochako yet. The taller first-year looked at her for a bit, going over things in her mind, before taking a breath.

Melissa-san!" Ochako called out, grabbing the third-year's attention. The girl looked up as Ochako jogged towards her. "Hey, uh, fancy meeting you here. I was, um, hoping to ask you a question?"

"Oh, sure," Melissa closed her book. "What would you like to know?"

"I-it's about you and Midoriya-kun," Uraraka nervously kneaded her hands together. "I was wondering if you two were...um..."

"Dating?" Melissa finished. Ochako nodded, to nervous to verbalize her answer. Melissa looked away to think for a few seconds. "Hmm...I wouldn't say we're an official couple yet. Poor boy's still to nervous to do more than hug or even hold my hand, despite my best efforts." Uraraka...wasn't quite sure how to feel about that. On one hand, since they weren't officially together, she might have a chance at one or the other. But the way Melissa responded...

"Do you like him too?" Melissa asked. Uraraka looked back at her, still blushing. She tried to reply, but not even air came out her mouth. If she admitted she liked Midoriya, how would Melissa react? How would she react she learned Uraraka kinda had a crush onher, too? In that moment, arranging her thoughts to form a cohesive answer felt like she was trying to milk a rock. As she struggled with this, Melissa pulled a notebook from her pocket, wrote something on it, and held it out for Ochako to take. It took a few seconds for Ochako to register Melissa was giving her something, and she slowly reached out and took it. Looking at it, the paper held a phone number along with the name of a mall and a date & time a few nights away.

"Meet me at the front fountain of that mall at that date and time," Melissa replied. "We'll have a girltalk concerning our little green bean. Sound good?" Ochako was still in a bit of a daze, but managed to give a nod before rushing away, too flustered to even say goodbye. Melissa, meanwhile, watched her go with a calm expression.

"Hmm," the blonde girl said once she was alone. "I wonder how this will go..."

Notes:

Sorry if it felt like this chapter was more dialogue than action. Just laying down the groundwork for certain future events. I also know that a fair few of you are gonna get worried about who's going where, but don't worry it'll all work out. XD

Next chapter, I'm gonna try to get that girl talk between Melissa and Ochako down, but I humbly beg forgiveness if I mess it up. I'm a guy who literally can't take a hint, so I will definitely mess a few things, but hopefully I'll do it accurately enough. We'll also see Izuku get his hero uniform, choose his name, and possibly the start of a few Experience Weeks for our cast, both Hero and Gen Ed. See ya next time!

Chapter 23: Choices and Determination

Notes:

Howdy folks! We got another week-spanning chapter here, like the training montage back in chapter 10. It might be a bit shorter than I usually post, but there's a lot going on. Some of it laying the foundation for future events, and some of those are comedic in nature. Hope you enjoy things!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

"A whole week?" Inko asked her son with worry while they ate dinner. "You're gonna be gone a whole week?"

"Yes," Izuku affirmed. "P-p-part of my hero t-training. Gonna be g-gaining experience on how hero agencies actually f-f-function. It'll serve as a long exam of sorts."

"A week long exam," Inko sighed. "I had one or two of those when I went to UA, but they never had me leave town."

"Weren't you in M-M-Management, though?" Izuku asked with a slight chuckle. Inko just laughed and batted her son with a napkin. The two shared a good-natured napkin fight until they heard knocking at the door. Inko stood up to open it while Izuku straightened the table back up. As she opened the door, she was greeted with a surprising sight.

"Sir Nighteye?" Inko voiced, making Izuku choke on his drink. The pro hero nodded as Inko let him step in. Izuku quickly got up to greet the pro hero, noticing he was carrying a suitcase.

"I apologize for disturbing your evening," Nighteye said. "I meant to get this to you at school, young Midoriya, but I was stuck on some work." He held out the suitcase, and Izuku slowly took it, confusion clear on his face. "It's your hero uniform."

"M-my what?" Izuku stuttered. "B-but I didn't submit any d-d-designs."

"I am aware," Nighteye explained, "which is why you didn't get this before today. May I?" The group moved to the table and sat back down before Nighteye continued, "You're allowed to change the design in the future if you wish, but for now we'd like you to wear this during your trial this upcoming week. We had to get your measurements from the last time you got fitted for a school uniform, but I believe you will find that outfit a bit more...comfortable." Izuku took this moment to open the suitcase, and gasped at the contents.

It was an almost exact copy of Nighteye's own outfit. A formal-looking suit with a black shirt and dark green tie. The jacket and pants looked black at first, but when the light hit them they shimmered a dark green. Izuku slowly picked up the coat, and gasped at the weight of it. Feeling it between his fingers, he could also tell it was not regular cloth. It felt like silk, but seemed more...full, if that made any sense.

"It's made from the same durable material as many heroes' uniforms," Nighteye explained as Izuku and Inko admired the coat. "That by itself gives the suit some added durability, but the main defense is the coat lining. I'm sure you're feeling the weight of it. That's an American-made compound called Dragonweave. Flexible, undetectable, but also virtually bulletproof. Unlike your polymer shield it can even stop rifle rounds, but the impact from said rounds will still hurt. Speaking of your shield, the girls were kind enough to inform me of your arm's design before I placed the order for the suit, so if you look you will see your left sleeve has slits to accommodate it. The coat and pants also have a fair few hidden pockets to hold knives or small tools. Also, biggest detail...it's machine-washable." Izuku had been in a stupor throughout Nighteye's explanation, but laughed at that finishing joke. Between his arm and this suit, his day had been beyond amazing. Nodding his thanks to Nighteye, the pro hero smiled and stood up.

"One more thing," he said as he reached into his back pocket. After a moment, he pulled out a large straight knife (with a sheath) and set it on the table in front of Izuku. "Consider this a personal gift from me. Can never have too many blades after all." This time, Izuku shot from his seat and hugged Nighteye. The pro hero stumbled a bit, not from the impact but from surprise. After a moment, he smiled and returned the hug. He really was getting attached to this kid, huh?

---

"I'm going with Uwabami," Asano stated while Class 1-C was heading down for lunch on Tuesday.

"You sure?" Hayashida asked. "I heard she mostly does commercials and-"

"That's why," Asano interrupted. "I want to become a model someday, and who's better to learn the basics from?"

"A model?" Kagaro asked confusedly. "I thought you didn't like people gawking at you."

"...It's complicated," was Asano's answer.

"That's her way of saying she wants to get noticed by-" was all Oyaneko managed to say before being comically slapped out off his feet by said classmate.

"I'm not sure who I could go with," Hojo Kimura sighed. "All I got is a long tongue, and I'm not sure who would even want that."

"You'll find someone," Sakai patted her shoulder with his chin. "I'm going with Uwabami too. She has that whole snake motif, so I think I'll fit in."

"What about you, Oscar?" Gakushuu asked the small mouse boy in the very back. "You choose anyone yet?"

"N-not yet..." Oscar fidgeted. "Um, chu go on ahead without me, guys. I need to do something." With an affirmation from his classmates, he dashed away from the group. Once he was around the corner, he pulled out the letter that was hidden inside his desk this morning. Someone wanted to talk to him in private. He didn't know who nor why, but the letter made it seem like it was important.

The letter asked him to meet said individual by one of the restrooms in the back of the main building, so that's where he rushed. Weaving between the other students, he got to his destination fairly quickly. Still nervous, he stood by the fountain between the restroom doors, waiting for whomever wrote this letter. After a few minutes, the hallway was empty. Where were they? Was this a prank? It wouldn't be the-

"You're here," a familiar voice called. Oscar froze. He knew that voice. Looking over, he saw none other than Yaoyorozu Momo. The tall hero student was smiling as she approached Oscar.

"Y-you wrote this letter?' Oscar asked. "Did chu need help with something?"

"Not quite," Momo smiled as she stood in front of Oscar. "I've been keeping an eye on you, Oscar. I've been watching how you act, how you speak, and-"

"Th-that's kinda creepy," the mouse boy stated, earning a laugh from Momo.

"Sorry," she continued, "but the point I was getting to is, well, I like you Oscar. A lot. In the romantic sense." She smiled and watched as Oscar's ears turned a deep red, and she swore she saw some steam pouring from them. "Anyway, I was wondering if you would like to have dinner with me tomorrow night?"

"EX-CUSE YOU!"

Both students were startled by the sudden exclamation, and even more surprised when Maria Draconis just emerged from the girl's restroom like a dragon exiting their cave. Considering Maria's quirk, this might not be a bad comparison. The blue-scaled upperclassman was glaring daggers at Momo as she moved next to Oscar.

"I feel I should remind you," Maria hissed, "that Oscar ismymanservant."

"Oh I'm aware," Momo glared back, "but being your servant doesn't prohibit him from finding romance outside his job."

"It does when I've already claimed him."

"Um..." Oscar tried to speak, but was ignored by the angry girls above him.

"Claim him?" Momo growled. "I was unaware Americans still viewed people as property."

"You know very well what I mean, Yaoyorozu. Don't assume I'm a heartless shrew like you."

"That's rich coming from a greedy scaly like you."

"G-girls?" Oscar whimpered as the two girls were literally head-to-head. The tension in their glares was so intense Oscar was certain that, if he stuck a piece of paper between them, it would catch fire. Oh wait, there were small trails of smoke trickling from Maria's mouth. There actually could be fire.

"Obsidian harlot!"

"Horn head!"

"You're only in this school because you're an overendowed brat!"

"And you're so hideous that your company stock drops 15% every time you look out the window!"

After that string of vitriol, the two girls just glared at each other while baring their teeth. Oscar was legitimately fearing for his life now. He felt like he was caught between a dragon and a gryphon, and his minor presence was the only thing sparing his life. After several seconds of tense silence, Maria spoke with a level tone.

"I get him Mondays and Wednesdays, you get him Tuesdays and Thursdays."

"Fridays we share," Momo expanded, "and weekends he either rests or is with the girl of his choosing." The two girls shook hands, their eyes full of determination. As they shook on their business deal, Oscar stared between the girls in confusion.

"...What just happened?"

---

Uraraka was hustling through the mall as fast as safely possible. It was Wednesday evening. She had chosen which hero to spend the week with, she had gotten improvements done to her hero uniform, and today was the day Melissa wanted to meet her to talk about Izuku. She was understandably nervous. How was she supposed to act here? How would Melissa react if she learned just how big a crush she had on the green bean? Or even onher?Why couldn't stuff like this be easy? As she walked down a set of stairs, she gave a brief glance at the two boys walking past her, recognizing them as some of Midoriya's classmates.

"I'm serious, man!" Tabata waved his hands. "Just like that, disaster averted! No fussing, very little drama, and they just shook hands on it."

"Fascinating," Yoshio nodded. "If only actual harem anime could be resolved so peacefully."

Uraraka gave the two boys a confused look as she passed them. What on Earth were they talking about? Whatever, not important right now. Turning back, she saw the fountain Melissa had mentioned. She couldn't see the blonde anywhere. Hustling over, she sat down next to the fountain and waited. She still had a few minutes before the preset time, but that also meant she had a few minutes to get even more nervous about this. Thankfully it seemed like Melissa had the same idea, as Uraraka had been sitting less than two minutes before the upperclassman made her appearance.

"You're here early," Melissa smiled as Uraraka stood up. "Come on, we'll talk over some food." Ochako followed Melissa through the mall to the food court. After getting there and ordering food (with Melissa paying for it), the two sat at a nearby table. The food helped Uraraka's nervousness a bit, but soon came time for the talk.

"So," Melissa smiled over her slushie, "about Midoriya..."

"...I-I like him," Uraraka admitted. "I mean, who wouldn't? He's kind, caring, always wanting to help everyone around him..."

"And you like him more than justlikinghim, right?" Melissa asked, still smiling. This got a squeak from Uraraka and her face turned pink. If the table they were sitting at weren't bolted to the floor, it might have started floating. As is, Uraraka was simply gripping the edge hard enough to make a few cracks. The blonde bombshell sitting across from her saw this and giggled, her voice flustering Ochako even more.

"I see you do," Melissa stated. "And I guess seeing him walk away with me gave you some...negative feelings, huh?"

"M-more than that..." Uraraka looked down. This confused Melissa. It was another few moments before Ochako continued. "I...I have feelings for you, too..." This got a reaction from Melissa, whose eyes widened. Ochako took a breath. May as well get it all out there, right?"I-I've had feelings since the Festival, when I saw you at the fountain after the cavalry battle, and for Izuku even earlier. I-I've never felt this way for even one person before, so to get that feeling for two people, and see they're together..." There was another silence between the two girls. Even the usual chatter of the food court seemed muted after that open confession. Uraraka couldn't even look at Melissa, too afraid of how the older girl would react. She tensed up when she heard Melissa giving a soft giggle.

"That certainly makes things easier, possibly," Melissa piped up. Uraraka looked back up at her as the Support Course student grinned and rested her chin on her hands. "Uraraka-chan, didn't ever occur to you thatall three of uscould get together?" The brunette's eyes widened.

"W-w-wha-"

"Of course," Melissa continued, looking off to the side, "I'd have to bring this up with Midoriya-kun, see what he thinks. I mean, I might be more in-charge, but I don't want to pressure him or make him feel like he's unwanted. Hmm, this'll be something to discuss..."

"Y-you're not weirded out?" the hero student asked. "I-I mean, I did just confess that I liked both of you, and we're girls, and-"

"And that's not an issue with me," Melissa smiled back at Uraraka. "I thought you were cute too. Midoriya-kun knows that. I complimented your legs when we walked away Saturday night."

"...Y-you like me legs?" Uraraka was blushing even more now.

"You kidding?" Melissa laughed. "Those things look plush and goaaalllllthe way up. Almost makes me jealous. Anyway, I'll have to talk to Midoriya-kun about it, but I think I'm open to the three of us getting together if you are. Sound good?"

Uraraka was in a flustered haze at what she just heard. That...that wasn't how she expected this to go at all. She never evenconsideredwhat Melissa suggested as a possibility. And here she was, being offered just that. Before she answered, she remembered those two boys she passed on her way here, and what they were discussing.

She'd have to ask if anyone in Izuku's class had a precognitive quirk.

---

On Thursday morning, Izuku found himself back in Mei's workshop. His arm had glitched up a bit the previous night, and the semi-explosive girl was tinkering away with his detached arm while Izuku sat on a bench next to her. They were alone in the workshop, as Mei's usual tinkering had scared the rest of her class into moving to a different shop.

"-and with that in mind," Mei smirked, "I presented what I knew and won that game."

"W-wow, Hatsume-san," Izuku said with stars in his eyes, "I-I had no idea you w-were so good at d-d-detective work."

"One of my many talents, Mido-chan," the inventor smiled as she fiddled with his arm more. "So, figure out your hero name yet?"

"N-no," Izuku sighed. "I-I got a lot of ideas, b-but none of th-them feel right."

"Can always just throw the better ones into a hat and pick one," Mei waved her hand. "That's what my cousin did." After another minute, she scooted closer to Izuku and went to work reattaching the arm. Once it was locked, she had him go through his exercise again.

"S-so, what was wrong w-with it?" Izuku asked.

"Eh, one of the wires for an internal component was a cheap piece of junk," Mei shrugged. "Anything else ya needed, Mido-chan? I won't be available during lunch cuz my cousin's coming to visit." Izuku smiled and was about to say something, but stopped. Mei got curious when she saw the contemplative look on his face before he turned back to her.

"A-actually, th-there is one thing."

Later that afternoon, just before school ended, Izuku was in Nedzu's office, turning in his student form with his chosen Hero name. Nedzu looked over the form, and when his eyes fell on the alias, he looked back up at Izuku.

"You sure about this young man?" the mammal asked. "It'll be a hassle to change it later if you want to."

"I-I'm certain," Izuku nodded. "I-I spoke to the previous b-bearer of that name earlier, and he s-seemed happy at th-the idea. P-plus, I owe the Hatsumes for s-so much. D-doing this for them, c-c-carrying the name forward, is th-the least I could do for them." Nedzu smiled at Izuku's answer and nodded before giving the form his stamp of approval.

Name - Midoriya Izuku

Hero Alias - The Analysis Hero: Scouter

---

"Tomorrow's the big day, huh?" Melissa asked Izuku as they walked together Friday night. They had gotten into the habit of nighttime walks just as a way of chatting and relaxing, but always made sure Izuku got home before it got too late.

"I-I leave early in th-the morning," Izuku nodded.

"Sorry I can't be there to see you off," Melissa gave a sad smile. "There's something I need to do in the morning. Important stuff." She didn't want to talk to Izuku about the potential relationship between them and Ochako until after the week was over, either. She didn't want to potentially sabotage him with such a distraction.

"It's alright," Izuku beamed. "I'm g-glad we could hang out t-tonight." With that, the two walked in silence for a little while longer, both basking in the other's presence. As they neared Izuku's apartment, they were both wishing the walk could have lasted just a bit longer.

"I guess we part ways now," Melissa looked down at Izuku. "See you in a week, you adorable green bean." Izuku didn't say anything, but stared up at her with a blush on his face. She was about to leave before Izuku slowly gestured at her. It took a moment for her to realize he wanted her to lean down a bit. Curious, she did so and was surprised/rewarded with Izuku going on his tiptoes and giving her a quick peck on the cheek. Both teens stared at each other after that, blushing in their own ways before Izuku bowed his head and ran off, too flustered to speak after what he did.

Melissa watched him go...her face forming a big smile before she started laughing. Of all the things Izuku could have done this night, that was thelastthing she'd have ever expected. She was proud of him, in fact. Her little man was really getting confident in himself, and that was a very good thing. That little peck on the cheek was the highlight of her night. Sadly, such a thing was about to be dampened as she pulled out her cell phone. It was time to make sure she could actually do the thing she needed to do. Pressing a button, she waited as the line rang.

"...Hey, Uncle Might? I was wondering if we could talk about something tomorrow morning?"

Notes:

Some of you were told Izuku would be a bit daring in the future. X3 There ya go.

Sorry i couldn't squeeze in the scene of some of the students actually leaving for their Weeks. Figured such a scene would detract from the Peck scene, and from what Melissa's thing was.

The thing between Momo, Oscar and Maria won't be a big, upfront thing, just a lil something to keep an eye out for and laugh at later. I do got one big thing planned for it, but that'll be the grand finale of their lil arc.

Next time, we see what exactly Izuku's exam entails, we see where some students go, and chances are a lot of you will be screaming at the end of the next chapter. X3 See ya later!

Chapter 24: Determination and Innocence

Notes:

So, remember how I said I work fast when I get really hyped for upcoming scenes? Yeah, das why u get two chapters in two days. Also cuz I'mma try working on Cobalt Star after this so it might get slow for a while.

Anyway, sorry if this chapter feels janky. I wanted to show snippets of different viewpoints, along with a few big events. Also, if you forgot from last time, you will scream at the end of this chapter.

Also, when you get to the part where music is involved, listen to hhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiODxLhIW84 I woulda slipped the link inside the chapter, but felt that would ruin the feeling.

Enjoy!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

The sun had yet to rise that Saturday morning, and Midoriya Izuku was hustling to the train station. In one hand was the suitcase with his hero suit and gear, and strapped to his back was a large black backpack. Now that Izuku had two arms he could actually use one of those again, but it felt kind of weird doing so after a year without it. He wasn't really nervous, thankfully. He didn't know what his week-long exam would entail yet, but he was more excited and eager than nervous.

As he rushed into the train station, his cheerfulness dropped a bit when he saw his facilitator, Nihlus, was already waiting for him. The Type-2 Hero saw him and waved, getting Izuku to come up faster. Thankfully, the draconic hero didn't look like he was mad at all. He gave the nearby clock a glance as Izuku rushed to meet him.

"You're here early," he said. "Just that excited to get started, huh?"

"Y-yessir!" Izuku nodded. "I-I'm really looking f-forward to what th-this exam will entail."

"Yeah, let's see how long that lasts," Nihlus chuckled and gestured for him to follow. "You ate breakfast, right? We got a bit of a trip ahead of us." Izuku nodded, and Nihlus nodded back. The two walked in silence to the trains, purchasing their tickets and being among the first to get aboard. With their cases stowed away and having almost an entire car to themselves, they relaxed in the seats until the train got started. The moment it started moving, Nihlus reached into his vest and pulled out a packet of papers. Pulling down the tray in front of him, he set his phone up to play some music (obviously to set the mood) and set the papers in front of Izuku.

"Welcome to the first half of your Provisional License Exam," Nihlus stated. "It will last seven days, depending on your behavior and circ*mstance. You will be spending it with two different hero agencies, staying with each one for three days with Saturday as the closing day to go over a few more tests before receiving your final score that night. There are four main criteria you will be graded on, but each one will also overlap with each other to some degree.

"The first category," he continued, "is Analysis. This category is the broadest, and has some effect on the rest. Your grade here will depend on how good you are at spotting details, at reading any given situation. I've heard your 'journals' are super detailed, but I must warn you doing that sort of thing could lower your score here."

"I-I could suffer p-penalties f-for having a lot of information?" Izuku asked quizzically.

"Part of Analysis," Nihlus explained, "is figuring out how pertinent it is to a situation and focusing on that. For example, you might be able to figure out a villain ate pastrami with cheddar cheese for lunch earlier that day, but that information really isn't too important when they've got a gun shoved up your left nostril."

"W-why do I get the f-feeling th-that's from p-personal experience?"

"The next category," the hero continued while turning some papers over, "is Judgement. This is a big one as well. In whatever situations you face, you will have to judge how best to proceed. If a villain is holding a hostage, do you rush in to diffuse the situation faster at risk of escalating things? Or do you wait for help to arrive, which carries the risk of driving the villain to impatience? Neither answer by themselves is wrong, which is why you must use the information you have to decide which is the safer option. You will be graded on how fast you reach a conclusion, and the results of your decisions. With me so far?" Izuku nodded in reply, and Nihlus flipped a few more pages.

"Category three is Combat. Type-2's might have a bigger focus on intelligence-gathering, but even we have to fight on occasion. Combat and Analysis overlap the most due to their very nature. If you can keep things from escalating to combat that's good, but if combat is unavoidable, you'll need to have sharp reflexes to keep yourself and others from being harmed. You'll also need to watch your opponents, looking for weaknesses and openings to exploit. Sometimes you'll have no choice but to rush in to stop casualties, but if you can, try to figure out a few things about an opponent before moving to attack. If you don't get into any fights during this week, you'll be sparring with me on Saturday so I can gauge how you fight.

"The last category is Conduct. This one is the most simple, yet among the most important for any hero. Your Conduct is how you truly carry yourself. Everyone has a face and personality they show to the media, but who are you really? Are you a jerk obsessed with fame? Focused on fortune? Your Conduct is who you are when there's no one else around. This is the category most applicants flunk because of how fickle the grading process can be."

"I'll do m-my best," Izuku nodded.

"Good. You can earn 100 points from each category, for a maximum of 400. You will need a final score of at least 275 to pass. Warning you now, fewer than 30% of applicants actually pass this their first try, so don't feel bad if you don't. Most of the time, instructors use the first-year tests as a means of learning where their students are struggling so they can adjust their training accordingly. If you pass, you'll be taking the other half of the Provisional License Exam during that same year. You have three attempts before you graduate UA, and most applicants pass during their second try. Any questions?"

"Um," Izuku thought for a moment, "if i g-got sick during the week, is th-there any w-way to t-take a makeup exam?"

"...I honestly don't know, I'll have to ask. Also, one more thing." Nihlus reached into his vest and pulled out an object before handing it to Izuku. It looked like a battery station for a smart phone, but had a large round button on one side. "Carry this on you at all times. It's a GPS locator and a distress beacon. If you find yourself in a combat situation you don't think you can handle, hit the button here and I'll rush in. And before you even beginthinkingit, hitting this button isnotan automatic fail for the exam. There is no shame in calling for help when you feel outmatched. Understood?"

"Got it," Izuku nodded. He looked back down at his ticket for a moment. "S-so my exam is in Yabin City?"

"Oh, no," Nihlus replied. "We just need to stop in there so I can grab a few things for the commission representative that will be meeting us in our real destination. Once we get there, we'll take a day to get you squared away and you'll be starting tomorrow morning."

"I see. A-and where is the real destination?"

"Hosu."

---

The same morning Izuku and so many others were on trains to their Work Experience, Melissa was waiting in one of UA's teacher's lounges. Nedzu had graciously lent one to her for the upcoming conversation. It wasn't one she was looking forward to, but it was one she needed to have.

There was a knock on the door before it opened. She watched as All Might, in all his musclebound glory, walked into the room with his trademark smile. She looked over his form, noting it had not changed much since she was younger. Maybe he seemed a bit bigger, but overall what she saw had barely changed over the years.

She also knew she was looking at a lie.

"You can change, you know," Melissa deadpanned. All Might's eyebrow twitched and he opened his mouth to say something, but Melissa spoke up again. "I know that's not the real you, Uncle Might. I need to talk to you about something important, so I need to talk toyou, not the mask you wear." There was a short silence before All Might dejectedly sighed and seemed to explode into a mass of steam. Melissa hated needing glasses as her lenses fogged up. Pulling out a cloth, she wiped them down and waited for the steam to clear before putting them back on. Seeing All Might be so skinny was a real shock to her, but she did her best to keep a level expression.

"S-sorry for lying to you about this," All Might sighed. "I didn't want anyone to know I was...like this."

"It's alright," Melissa smiled. "I know what you mean, but this isn't the subject I want to discuss." Her expression hardened. "What is your view on quirkless people?" All Might coughed at the surprise, and Melissa saw a few drops of blood on the edge of his mouth. Worrisome. She'd ask later, after this conversation ended.

"W-well," All Might stuttered before answering, "quirkless people are people. They shouldn't be considered anything less just because they don't have something that the rest of us possess. I mean, look at you. You're the most brilliant inventor I know, and-"

"And what if I wanted to be a hero?" Melissa glared. "If I told you I wanted to be a hero when we first met, what would you have said? Would you have been just as supportive as you are now...or would you have told me to be realistic?" At this question, he really did cough up blood. Melissa was greatly worried about that, but she couldn't stop, couldn't show any softness.

"Y-you're talking about young Midoriya?" he asked.

"I'm talking aboutme," the quirkless girl tersely replied. "About all the quirkless people who look up to you, who idolize you, who use your words to get through their days in a society that demeans and belittles them simply because they exist. You say you work to make people happy, but how happy would they be if they learned you thought that quirkless meant worthless?"

"I-I never meant that!" All Might shouted fearfully.

"Then why did you imply it to Midoriya-kun?" Melissa's eyes narrowed. "Why did you make him think the world's greatest hero thought he was worthless? And why haven't you apologized to him yet?" There was silence after that. All Might clearly didn't know how to answer that, and it hurt Melissa to know that. With a sigh of her own, she got to her feet and walked toward the door. She turned back to him just before opening it.

"You'd better talk to him when he gets home," she glared. "Otherwise...I might only see you as All Might." With those parting words she exited the lounge, ignoring All Might calling out to her and leaving him reeling in shock and shame.

---

Sunday

---

Edgeshot looked over the file in his hands, then at the rotund student before him. Gakushuu Hifumi was standing straight and looking at the hero, looking calm and confident. However, he couldn't hide the sweat on the side of his neck, nor the slight shaking of his knees. He was scared, and trying to hide it. Good.

"You impressed me," Edgeshot finally spoke after almost ten minutes of silence. "Your performance in the Festival was quite interesting. Never thought I'd meet another person with a quirk similar to mine. You tried to enter the Hero Course, correct?"

"Yes," Gakushuu answered. "I wanted to be something like a sneaky hero, with how my quirk works. Though, with what Midoriya-kun helped me develop for the tournament, I think I would like to learn how to fight as well."

"Which is why I sent you the invitation," Edgeshot nodded. "I think I could help you out with that. It won't be easy by any means, but I think you can handle it." Gakushuu saluted at this, and Edgeshot laughed. "First, let's see your limits, shall we?"

---

When Todoroki heard about the experience week offer, he took it without hesitation. If he had known it would require him and his partner to walk almost two kilometers through a mountain forest, he would have brought better shoes. As is, the only nice thing about this trip so far was said partner.

"We're almost there," Moroboshi stated. "I've been here a few times, I recognize that tree."

"Why does your uncle work all the way out here?" Todoroki groaned as he stepped over a log. "Does he work on rescuing campers or something?"

"Oh, this isn't his usual work area," she replied. "He's just bringing us here because I asked him to."

"Why?"

"Did you think I forgot my promise?" Moroboshi warmly smiled. "I told you I'd teach you what's safe for you to learn, and my uncle taught me most of what I know. And-Watch it!" She grabbed his shoulder and pulled him back before a stone spike impaled the tree next to him.

"W-what the hell?" Todoroki gasped.

"The last test," his Gen Ed companion pointed out.

"GREETINGS!" A voice called out. Both students looked up to see a shimmering white ninja hanging upside down from a tree. "M'name's Moroboshi Ataru, though you can call me Uncle Frosty! You wanna learn ice techniques? You wanna practice with your fire in a safe environment? Prove to me you can keep up! The last half-kilometer between here and my compound is covered in traps! Get there before sundown with fewer than twenty cuts or injuries and you're golden! See ya there, kiddies!" And with that, the ninja leaped between trees and disappeared into the forest.

"...Are you from a family of ninjas?" Todoroki asked.

"Tell you later," Moroboshi patted his shoulder. "Race ya to the end. And word of advice, do not step on any logs." Todoroki nodded, and the two students rushed forward, leaping over the first log. Compared to what his father put him through this was nothing. He would do this and-oh hey a pit trap.

---

Uwabami looked at the three students close to the doorway as she applied makeup. Yaoyorozu Momo, Asano Ryoko and Sakai Hebi. She had initially invited Yaoyorozu because she was pretty, but seeing the fierce confidence and determination emanating off her was...interesting. However...

"Before we begin, why did you three accept my invitations?" Uwabami asked.

"Because you're a hero who specializes in media appearances," Asano piped up. "I myself would like to be a model someday, and you're one of the best."

"You're also an official ambassador," Momo pointed out, "making you one of the few heroes who has legitimate political capabilities. While I am uncertain you'd expose students to such a climate, I am certain I will learn something during this week." Uwabami nodded at their answers before turning to Sakai.

"I'm a snake," he stated, "and you're one of the few heroes that actually requested me. I presume you wanted me for a mascot for your commercials."

"Fair enough," the media hero stood up, straightening out her dress. "I will admit, I first requested you two girls because you were cute, and Sakai-kun for the reason he stated. However, looking at you now I can tell there's more to you than pretty faces." The students might have been offended at that statement before Uwabami smiled at them and continued, "We'll still be practicing for a commercial, though. Heroes give interviews all the time, and acting skills can make or break any career, from a hero to a model. I'll help you prepare for such things. Now sit down and let's see what makeup works for you." The girls nodded and sat in the makeup chairs, Momo glancing at her phone as she did so. She hadn't received any message from her...partner, and was worried how her little mouse was faring with his choice.

---

Mt. Lady was in shock. Her apartment was, for lack of a better term, a thing of beauty. The floors were mopped, the counters were polished, pretty much every surface had been cleaned to perfection. The trash had been emptied, her framed college degrees were straightened and dusted, and she had watched as any spoiled food had almost magically disappeared from her fridge. She looked at the clock on the wall before looking back down at the diminutive mouse-boy next to her. He had been here for less than an hour and her apartment was cleaner than it was when she moved in.

"H-how..." she voiced.

"I help clean an entire mansion every weekend!" Oscar chirped. "Getting an apartment squeaky-clean is nothing!" He sounded so cheerful at that. Looking at him, the heroine saw his innocence, saw just how earnest he was in his desire to serve and help. She had told him to clean her apartment because she assumed he was a pervert like almost every other boy who tried for her, but now she felt kind of bad forcing that task onto him. With a laugh, she gently ruffled his hair.

"Think you can handle doing a patrol with me?"

"Yes, ma'am!"

---

Ochako grit her teeth as she pressed her shoulder against the wide metal plate. With her on one side and close to seven sidekick-pros on the other, she was using One For All just to keep from being pushed over. Gunhead supervised the exercise as another two sidekicks joined in, forcing Ochako to go harder. She didn't feel the tell-tale pains of cracking bones, but she knew she was approaching her limit.

"Feeling a little tired, Uraraka-san?" Gunhead asked. "Need to stop? It is only your first day, after all."

"Not even close!" Ochako laughed. Using a bit more effort, she surprised everyone by actually pushing her opponents back a few feet. "Bring it on!"

"That determination is a good thing," Gunhead pointed, "but it's also just as good to recognize when you hit your limits. You might be here to push and broaden your limits, but do it too hard and you'll find yourself weaker than before. Got that?"

"Yessir!" the tall brunette acknowledged, gritting her teeth as more sidekicks joined in pushing her. A few of these newer one had to have strength quirks or something, because it suddenly got a lot harder for her to stay in place. With a scream of effort, Ochako pushed forward hard as she could. There was a loud groan before Gunhead called the exercise to stop. The metal plate was set down and everyone backed away. To their surprise, the groan was from the 2-inch think plate bending into a v-shape from the forces placed on it. There was some quiet muttering from the sidekicks as they switched between looking at the bent metal and at the cute tall girl who bent it.

"Um..." Gunhead said after a few moments, "maaaaaaaaaaaybe we should move on to martial techniques now."

---

The same afternoon as everyone else was going through their trials, Izuku was walking down the street in Hosu.

His first assignment was with Pro Hero Madam Foster, a heroine who specialized in locating missing children (and fostering quite a few in her agency building). She had him spend his morning looking through older missing children files to see if he could spot a pattern to them. For the afternoon she was having him run a few errands between her office and her partner's office, housing Pro Hero Redlight (who focused on human trafficking cases). The two buildings were less than a block apart, so it was decided he didn't need a sidekick following him for this errand. They knew Nihlus was watching him from somewhere, thankfully. The Type-2 had disappeared earlier that day, saying he would be supervising from a position Izuku couldn't see him. That way, Izuku wouldn't be stressed from constantly seeing his facilitator judging his every action.

He did wonder how everyone else was doing, though. Were they doing their best? Were they learning new things? Hopefully they-

His train of thought was derailed when a small girl with white hair shot from an alley and barreled into him.

Notes:

I said you would scream. X3

Not gonna spoil what comes next in any degree, so you'll just have to wait n see what happens with our little unicorn. Next chapter should be Izuku-centric, and oh boy it'll...it'll have stuff. XD See ya later!

Chapter 25: Innocence and Regret

Notes:

Hey folks! Mondays suck, so what's a better way to start the week than updating a fanfic you enjoy? Especially after the last chapter's cliffhanger? XDD In this one we see just how Izuku fights, and a little extra.

TRIGGER WARNING! THERE IS BLOOD AND A BIT MORE!

Other than that, enjoy!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Izuku staggered a bit after the impact, but the girl who barreled into him gave a scared squeak as she fell over. His training instantly took over, and he knelt in front of her to take in any and all details. After all, a child running out of an alleyway is not usually a good thing. As she slowly recovered from her tumble, Izuku took note of how her outfit resembled hospital attire. She was also barefoot (never a good thing outside), but her arms were covered in bandages. Her long white hair was a bit dirty and tangled, and one side of her forehead had a small horn poking out. When she looked up at him, her red eyes were filled with an emotion Izuku was all too familiar with.

Fear.

"I'm not g-gonna hurt you," Izuku said, raising both hands. "I-I'm a good guy." When the girl didn't move, Izuku slowly and gently took her hands (making the girl gasp in fear) and helped her to her feet before letting go. "Th-there we go. M-My name's Midoriya Izuku. W-what's your name?" The girl didn't respond at first, clearly skittish. She looked up at him fearfully and-

"Ah, there you are Eri."

The little girl went deathly still. Izuku also found himself intimidated by the voice. Slowly looking back up, he saw a man emerge from the alley that the girl, Eri, had previously run from. The man was pale with a thin build and average height. His hair was shaggy and brown, like a shorter version of Izuku's own hair. He wore a black shirt with matching pants and a pair of white shoes. He also wore a green jacket with purple fluff along the shoulders and collar. Overall, the most unusual things about his appearance were his white surgery gloves and a gold-embroidered plague mask. A somewhat unassuming appearance, yet his very presence filled Izuku with dread.

"You shouldn't just run away like that," the man continued, walking towards the pair of kids. Looking at Izuku, the man gave a curt nod and continued, "I thank you for catching my daughter. I'm sorry that she disturbed you like this."

"Sh-she didn't disturb me," Izuku knelt back down next to Eri, slowly reaching out and grabbing her shoulder. Pulling her close, Izuku quietly whispered one question to Eri.

"Is th-this man your father?"

"...No..."

That single word solidified Izuku's feelings on the situation. Looking at this weird man, he slowly stood up said, "I-I'm sorry, but c-could you c-come with me to th-the Hero Agency j-just up the street? Th-there's been a r-rash of child a-abductions lately, a-and i-if you could a-answer some q-questions j-just to make sure you're-"

"That won't be necessary," the man continued, stopping a couple meters away. "Come along, Eri." The little girl jerked at the sound of her name, and it looked like she was going to obey. Before she could take a step, however, Izuku swept her up, holding her close.

"A-apologies," Izuku stated, "b-but this girl is injured. I-if you could just follow us so we can-"

"Again, that won't be necessary," the man growled. "She's just a bit of a clumsy girl is all." His eyes narrowed. "I will not ask again." Izuku looked at the man more, his face a mix of fear and determination. He glanced past the man for a moment before looking back at him, then did a double-take to look at something behind him with a shocked expression.

"ALL MIGHT!"

The man turned around, his own eyes wide with shock, to look down the alley behind him. Izuku used this distraction to run away fast as he could. Directing Eri to hold him tight, he used his free hand to pull out his cell phone and dial a quick number.

"M-Madam Foster!" he yelled. "I-I am on my way t-to the office with an injured ch-child! Possibly a k-kidnap victim! I need-" The ground in front of him suddenly erupted upward, creating a wall taller than the buildings around him. Looking back, Izuku saw there were walls covering most of the street, trapping Izuku and Eri in a rectangular space...with the strange man. Said man, no villain, had his right hand on the ground and was glaring daggers in Izuku's direction.

"S-stay behind me," Izuku set Eri down and scoot her behind his back while analyzing what he could see. It was clear this man had an emitter quirk that could alter things, but the current limit was unknown, and it seemed he needed to make contact to use it. What was with all these super-strong "touch to use" quirks? He didn't encounter so many strong ones before entering UA. Focus.

"Eri," Izuku whispered. Looking back at her, he slipped his hand under his coat and drew the knife Sir Nighteye had given him earlier. He held it out to Eri, who looked at him confused before slowly taking it. "I-if that bad man t-tries to grab you, p-poke him with that, but stay here. I'll protect you." Eri held the knife close, her eyes still wide with fear. With a reassuring smile, Izuku turned to the weird villain. The man had stood back up and was clearly mad at Izuku.

"One last chance, you diseased rat," the man growled. "Give Eri to me and I won't reduce you to a bloody smear on the wall." Izuku responded by quickly grabbing a knife from his coat and throwing it at the man. He caught it with his left hand, and Izuku watched with horror as the knife crumbled. Perturbed but undaunted, Izuku continued his dash to the villian and punched him upside the chin with his prosthetic arm. Surprisingly, the villain was actually airborne for a few seconds. Was his arm that strong, or was the villain that weak? Maybe it was both.

The villain caught himself and landed on his feet. Growling, he held his right hand to his chin, and there was a faint light before he got into a fighting stance of his own. He had no idea what that light show was, but he didn't have time to theorize either. Izuku shot forward again, narrowly dodging a swipe from the man's hand and punched him again with his right arm. The man flew back, landing on his knees. Growling through his mask, the villain slammed his right hand to the ground. Izuku guessed what was coming, and narrowly dodged the stone spikes that shot up where he stood moments prior. As he jumped away, the villain caught up quickly and shot out his left hand at Midoriya's face. Knowing he had less than seconds to react and knowing he couldn't dodge, he raised his left arm to block. He didn't want to know what would happen if that hand touched his face. To both their surprise, his hand clamped down on Izuku's arm and nothing happened.

"W-what the-" was all the villain could say before Izuku drew another knife and stabbed his destructive arm. If he could disable that arm, he could disable the villain. The man screamed and punched Izuku in the face with his other arm, sending the small boy back a few steps. Then the man yanked the knife out of his arm and rubbed his would with his right hand, making another small light show. To Izuku's shock, when he lowered his hand the knife wound was completely gone. His right hand could heal? But he used it to manipulate the rock before, didn't he? While Izuku was shocked, the villain looked down at his now-bloody glove.

"Vermin like you really piss me off," he growled. "Everything you stand for is a-"

WHAM!!

If there was one thing that had been ground into Izuku's skull, it was the lesson of "if a villain starts talking, deck them." A soliloquizing villain is a distracted villain, and in a real hero fight one exploits any opening they can find. Izuku did this by punching the man square in the face, breaking his bird mask in the process. The man fell backwards to the ground. With an enraged roar, he slammed his left hand down and sent more stone spikes at Izuku. This caught the boy by surprise. He could do that with either hand!? That made things even more tricky.

The man swiped his hands around again, trying to grab Izuku and use his quirk. Izuku dodged these wild swings with ease. The villain seemed more used to fighting with his quirk than with his body. Whereas Izuku had been trained in a few fighting styles, this man was just flailing his arms like an amphetamine-soaked circus monkey. Huh. That was not a descriptor Izuku ever thought he'd use. After a few more swings, the villain slammed his hands down and sent more spikes at the hero student. Izuku managed to dodge the spikes, but slipped on a bit of loose debris. As he stumbled, the villain shot to his feet, quickly slapping his face to heal his broken nose, and rushed at Eri.

"No!" Izuku screamed as he spun around and charged at the villain again. His physical training was really paying off here, as he caught up to the villain in seconds. Unfortunately, said villain turned and swiped his hand at Izuku's face. Izuku's eyes widened at the sudden attack and he leaned his head to the side. He narrowly avoided the villain's fingers, but got a face full of angry fist. This hit stunned Izuku long enough for the villain get some distance. Shaking his head, Izuku rushed at the villain again, but knew he wouldn't make it in time. The villain was meters from Eri. Pulling out another throwing knife (he had a lot), Izuku pulled his arm back and-

"AAAAAAGH!"

The villain stumbled back, bleeding from a hole in his hand. Little Eri's arms were shaking as she held them out, her knife covered in blood. She listened to Izuku's words, and did indeed poke the villain in the hand. As the villain writhed in pain and shock from what Eri did to him, Izuku swapped his knife for some cuffs and moved in to apprehend him. As he grabbed one of the villains' hands, however, the man turned and grabbed the cuffs, destroying them in seconds. He followed up with a kick that sent Izuku to the ground, laying on his side. Then the villain knelt over Izuku, glaring at him in absolute rage.

"I've had enough of you!" the villain roared. Izuku knew what was coming next. With how he was laying, Izuku couldn't grab any of his throwing knives. However, his right hand was close to his left arm, specifically a certain button. Desperate and seeing no other option, Izuku slammed his hand on the button on his arm, extending his arm blade. As the villain reached down at Izuku with both hands, Izuku swung his arm upwards with a battle cry of his own.

Only Eri saw what had happened next.

---

"Midoriya," Nedzu gestured to the quirkless student, directing him to sit next to the mammal. They were having an outdoor hero lesson today, so the pair were sitting on one of the hills around UA. Izuku sat down, his empty left sleeve making something of a boundary between the hero and student. The boy was thankful, as he had just finished a rather tiring exercise with Nighteye.

"S-something wrong, sir?" Izuku asked.

"No no," Nedzu reassured. "I just want to talk is all. A bit of an important subject." Nedzu poured some tea into a pair of cups and offered one to Izuku. The two drank the tea in silence before Nedzu spoke up again.

"Midoriya, you have been training your body well enough, but sadly there is one lesson you must learn." Nedzu took another sip of tea. "Well, I say you must learn it, but it isn't really something I can teach. Best I can do is tell you of it."

"Sir?" Izuku asked, confused.

"Young man," Nedzu asked, "what is your opinion on grievously injuring villains? On killing them?" Izuku froze at the question. He...he never gave any thought to it. It was not his intention to do such a deed. He was a hero, after all.

"I ask this," Nedzu continued, "because any hero, even Type-2's like us, might have to face such a dilemma. Any number of villains out there could be planning to bomb a school, gas a business tower, any of a dozen things that could result in dozens of civilian deaths. And in many such cases, the only thing stopping such a terrible event is the willingness to shed the blood of the villain. Sometimes a simple injury would suffice, but sometimes..."

"...H-have you ever..."

"A few," Nedzu nodded, filling Izuku with a cold feeling. "I have killed a few villains, and I regret every one. That's one of the things that truly separates heroes from villains, Midoriya. We regret. And in such dreadful situations, the only thing you can do is choose which regret to feel. The regret of staining your hands with blood for the greater good, or the regret of potentially letting many die in an effort to keep clean yourself. In such circ*mstances, the final decision is yours and yours alone. Which...regret..."

---

There was silence in the walled-off arena. The little girl, Eri, was still frozen in place with the bloody knife in her hands. She was looking at the two men a few meters away. Izuku was laying on the ground, his arms spread wide and his eyes wide in horror. Kneeling above him was the villain, his own eyes also reflecting horror. It was a few moments before the villain looked away from Izuku and at his outstretched arms.

What was left of them.

Moments before the villain could grab Izuku, the hero student had swung his arm-sword in a wide arc. As a result, both the villain's arms ended at the elbow. His hands were gone. The villain looked at his bleeding stubs, then down at the ground where his disembodied pieces had landed on either side of Midoriya. The villain's eyes widened as it finally set in just what had happened.

"MY AAAARRRMS!"

At that point a portion of the wall exploded inward. Izuku turned to the spot, fearing what may come through. To his relief, the first person to step through (and likely the one who broke the wall) was one of Madam Foster's sidekicks, a red-haired, black-dressed woman known only as Dorothy. The heroine spotted Eri and walked over as other heroes flooded in from the hole. A few stopped to survey the area before spotting Izuku and the bleeding villain. The villain turned and looked at the heroes, still too shocked at what happened to resist as they pulled him away. The moment he was away from Izuku, Madam Foster knelt next to him. The gray-haired heroine gently pulled Izuku into a sitting position.

"Scouter," she said, addressing him by his hero alias. "What happened here?" Izuku slowly looked at her, looked at the villain, then looked at his bloody arm-blade. Looking at the blade, seeing blood drip from the point...it made him remember another bleeding blade and the tiny pair of hands that were holding it.

"Eri!" Izuku shouted, surprising Madam Foster. "Th-there's a little girl here! Where is-"

"She's fine," Dorothy said with an almost robotic tone as she appeared in Izuku's sight. The sidekick was currently holding Eri, who in turn was clutching the knife handle like it was a lifeline. "She is in shock, however. I recommend we move to more comfortable surroundings before we try anything else."

"Good idea," the senior heroine nodded. "Up, Scouter." She grabbed his right hand and gently pulled Izuku to his feet. Grabbing a cloth, she then carefully wiped the blood off his blade before pressing the button to retract it. She had been previously informed what his arm could do, and knew how to do that much. Izuku nodded his gratitude, slowly recovering from what happened.

The area was quickly emptied as the various heroes escorted Izuku and Eri back to the office. The villain in question was tended to by one of the medical sidekicks. The sidekick couldn't reattach the villain's arms (which Izuku said would have been a bad idea anyways), but did stop the bleeding. The villain was kept on the spot until police arrived.

---

It had been almost two hours since the fight ended. Izuku had shakily given his report on everything that happened, from bumping into the girl named Eri to chopping off the villain's arms. He had suffered minor injuries from the fight, and had those mended the same time other doctors inspected Eri. The little girl proved a bit difficult, as she recoiled from the doctors and would not let go of the knife. After a moment, Izuku had an idea. Removing the sheath from his belt, he gently slid it back onto the knife and carefully moved it so she was gripping it by said sheath and not the handle. This combined with multiple reassurances from Izuku seemed to calm the girl a bit, and the doctors moved in to remove the bandages from her arms.

Izuku and the doctors paled at the sight that waited under those bandages. Old scars and new injuries that looked distinctly like needlemarks dotted the inside of both arms. Someone had been putting a lot of stuff into this poor girl, or pulling a lot of blood out. It was clear this was why she was so scared of the doctors, and after checking her for infections and having Izuku wipe down her arms with alcohol wipes (she refused to let the other doctors touch her with them), they gave Izuku some bandages to cover her arms with and departed. The moment they were gone, Eri leaned against Izuku and quickly fell asleep. Izuku gave his own sigh as he gently picked Eri up and carried her to one of the side rooms that had a cozy couch. He gently set her down before sitting next to her, softly rubbing her hair as she slept. Even in her sleep she clutched his knife like a teddy bear. He couldn't even imagine what she went through, and was willing to let her sleep as long as she needed to.

After a few minutes, Madam Foster tiptoed into the room. She informed him that he could take the rest of the day off, as it was clear Eri would only be calm around him. They would figure out what to do with her later. As for the villain he dis...apprehended (Izuku knew what word she was about to use), he had been processed by the police. Izuku was told his name was Overhaul, and was apparently a pretty nasty villain even before they learned about Eri. Sadly, due to his student status he couldn't be told just what this villain did, but the circ*mstances around Eri did not paint a pretty picture. The pro heroine smiled and promised that Izuku's skill in taking him down would be taken into account when his final score for this exam was tallied. With that, she left a small box with food and juice boxes before leaving the room. Honestly, with all the excitement that happened earlier, he kind of forgot the exam. He was about to groan when he remembered he could have used his distress beacon to call Nihlus for help, but remembered the walls of his arena were taller than the buildings around him. His facilitator would have had no way of getting inside.

Suddenly his phone started ringing. This startled the poor boy a bit, and he quickly grabbed it from his jacket. Thankfully, Eri was so deep in slumber she didn't even move from all the ringing. Checking the ID, Izuku was very confused at who was calling as he held the phone to his ear.

"S-Sir Nighteye?"

"TWO DAYS, YOUNG MIDORIYA!"Sir Nighteye screamed through the phone (almost causing Izuku to drop it). "I leave you unsupervised fortwo days, and you not only bump into the villain my agency has spent twoyearstrying to find, but you also manage to apprehend this villainandrescue a girl from his vile clutches!? Dammit, if I were your facilitator I'd just give you your license right now and take you to Disneyland."

"I-I think that m-mindset is e-exactly why you're n-not my facilit-t-tator," Izuku chuckled. Despite the noise of his outburst, Nighteye's reaction was a very-much-needed tension breaker.

"Of course," Nighteye admitted. "Anyway, I also called to inform you that, due to the fact you don't have a provisional license yet, any information about your takedown will not be made public, so you can't receive any open credit for it until such time as you receive your license. But make no mistake, I will call the Hero Commission Board and inform them just how big a deal your capturing this villain is."

"I-I honestly don't care about the credit," Izuku sighed. "...Sir...I injured him. Badly. I didn't want to, but..." The event was still fresh in his mind. The fear he felt when he saw those hands coming for him...the wet cutting sound as his blade passed through Overhaul's arms like they were paper...

"I heard," Nighteye acknowledged. "I know how you're feeling right now, but understand you did the only thing you could do. If you didn't do what you did, you'd likely be dead and that little girl would still be suffering. I'm not saying you should be proud of what you did to that villain, but you had no other choice."

"I know," Izuku sighed again. "I just...I regret what I did."

"In time, you'll come to terms with what you did," Nighteye reassured him. "And when that time comes, the pain you feel right now won't even be a memory. And-ah crap, one of my sidekicks just lit the coffee table on fire. I have to go sort that out. In the meantime, relax and calm down, alright? You did good today, Midoriya. Even if you somehow fail this exam, you're already a hero to me. See you next week." The phone clicked off, and Izuku slowly set it down. He could only hope Sir Nighteye was right. In the meantime, he was feeling a little drowsy. Scooting Eri around softly and slowly, he made enough space on the couch for him to lay down behind her. He hugged her close very much like how she was hugging the knife. It took a few minutes, but eventually Izuku's eyes drooped and he fell asleep.

---

At the same time Izuku dozed with Eri, Shouto and Ayame finally reached their destination. Both had a few cuts and bruises, but they walked into the open compound in the middle of the forest like they owned the place. The structure really reminded Todoroki of an old temple, with a huge courtyard dominating most of the space. It didn't look the least-bit dilapidated either. He figured that someone must keep the place in food repair. And standing in the middle of the courtyard was the white-clothed ninja hero from earlier.

"You two made good time!" Frosty the Snow-Ninja laughed. "And fewer than twenty wounds between the two of you! Admittedly, I know for a fact Ayame-chan there was going slowly on purpose, but you did a good job for a first-timer!"

"I wasn't gonna leave my partner behind," Moroboshi laughed. "He wouldn't have made it if I weren't there with him."

"Maybe," the hero laughed. "Alright! Kids, allow me to welcome you to my secret training compound! The commission doesn't actually know this place exists, and I'd hope you'll help me keep it that way, right? Good! Now, what you just went through was the easy part of what you're gonna go through today, but you also got a good few years to catch up on concerning your fire side. I'll be teaching you how to use some ice techniques, but you'll also be working on your fire side. Any questions?"

"Good gods, brother," a woman's voice chimed in from behind the two students, "it's been years and you still talk too much." Moroboshi didn't react, but Todoroki turned around in shock. Standing less than a meter behind the pair was a tall-ish woman with long white hair. She was wearing a gold-and-white outfit that really reminded Todoroki of a Lord's outfit from the feudal period. Her eyes were a pale blue, and they were focused on Todoroki. For some reason, this made him feel uneasy.

"Oi oi," Frosty pointed, "don't go berating me in front of the new guy."

"I'm berating you," the woman deadpanned as she walked past Todoroki, giving a nod to Ayame as she did so.

"Todoroki," Frosty gestured to the woman who was moving to stand next to him, "this is my twin sister, Moroboshi Shinobu. She's technically working as a hero in Korea, but she agreed to come back for a week to help me train you. She'll be working on your fire side, mostly."

"Why was she behind us?" Todoroki asked.

"I was following you through the forest," Shinobu replied. "If either of you got badly wounded, I would come and carry you to the compound. Honestly, I was more worried for you than I was for my niece, but you still impressed me."

"And with that," Frosty moved away from his sister, "we need to see what all you can do. Go ahead and try to attack my sister here with your ice. Any attack."

This confused Todoroki further. Were they going to begin combat training immediately after that hellish hike? He gave a glance to his schoolmate, and she nodded back. With slight sigh, Todoroki stretched his arms. Looking at the white-haired heroine, he slid his right foot forward, sending a line of ice spikes in her direction. Shinobu watched and simply mimicked Shouto's action, sliding her right foot forward. To Todoroki's surprise, a line of white fire erupted from her foot, melting all the ice Todoroki had just conjured. She looked at where the ice was, possibly gauging something, before looking at the wide-eyed hero student.

"A straightforward attack reliant on brute force," Shinobu stated. "Definitely Endeavor's style, but not one suited for you. Let's see what we can do about that...after dinner."

Notes:

So, how was that fight? Hope I did it justice. I know Overhaul's got a powerful quirk, but from what I had seen he is more reliant on it than his actual body, leading him to be vulnerable to such an assault when he's by himself (and not in a place expecting a fight). I also decided to pull an FMA-Scar moment there, and make it so he couldn't break something unless he knew what it was (hence why he failed to destroy Izuku's arm, as it's a new alloy).

And how was that ending segment with Todoroki? We're probably gonna be seeing a bit more of him than the other hero students during this week, but we'll also be seeing more of Ochako too.

Also, who can spot the easter egg I hid in here? XD a plate of spaghetti to whomever spots who I am referring to.

Next time on Type-2, a certain hero thinks about certain events, certain students go through certain thought processes, and we will probably see the beginning of a certain big event. Until next time!

Chapter 26: Regret and Flames

Notes:

Another Monday, another chapter to help you folks get through your Mondays. After this one I'm gonna focus solely on updating Cobalt Star, though.

This chapter is also gonna be a bit jumpy with changing between character perspectives, but we learn a few things and this chapter ending will also make you scream.

...Well...enjoy!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Sunday evening in Musutafu was a fair bit stormy, with rain and wind battering the windows of the UA Teacher’s Lounge. Unfortunately for All Might, the storm outside was nothing compared to his own inner turmoil. The hero was sitting on the couch, rolling his phone in his hands. He had just finished having a conversation with Sir Nighteye, and during said conversation he had been told what Izuku accomplished earlier that day.

Ever since that day Midnight beat him over the head with a poster tube, All Might had heard nothing about Izuku except for how exemplary he’d been. This small, quirkless boy had analytical skills that impressed Nedzu of all people. He also helped keep Asui and Shiozaki alive during the USJ attack. His advice helped Class 1-C almost dominate the entire Sports Festival. And now he just got news the boy went 1-on-1 against an S-Class Villain and won.

“I really messed up, huh?” All Might asked himself.

“Absolutely,” Nedzu responded from his spot next to the hero.

“GAAAH!” All Might shrieked as he flew back from the mammal principal. “P-Principal Nedzu! What are you doing here?”

“I could hear your internal monologue from my office,” he smirked. “Decided to come and see what has you in such a...mood.”

“And now you know exactly why,” the pro hero sighed. Getting back into his seat, he voiced, “I messed up with that young man. I told him he couldn’t be a hero, and he’s spent the last few weeks proving me wrong.”

“And have you apologized yet?” the principal asked.

“I...not yet,” All Might admitted. “I’ve been meaning to, and yesterday Melissa told me she wants me to apologize to him, as well. But every time I try, I just...can’t think of anything to say. My mind goes blank. What can I say to a boy whose dreams I shattered?”

“Well,” Nedzu plainly stated, “admitting you were wrong might be a good start.”

“I know, Princ-”

“I’m serious,” the Type-2 Hero narrowed his eyes. “You’ve admitted to yourself you were wrong, you’ve no doubt admitted it to Melissa. But have you admitted it to him? To the boy who needs to hear it the most?” Before All Might could reply, Nedzu slid off the couch, gave a slight bow, and exited the room. Again, All Might was alone in his thoughts. However, he was not languishing in them. The Principal’s words held some truth to them.

All Might felt like he knew where to start.

---

“Gaah!” Uraraka exclaimed as she was flipped onto her back for the fifth time that afternoon.

As Gunhead clapped his hands and called for another go, the gravity girl rolled to her knees and shot toward the side-kick she was sparring with. After beating Gunhead’s larger sidekicks soundly earlier, the hero decided to have Ochako spar against trickier opponents. Her current partner was a fairly thin man with a quirk that let him move air around. Sounds harmless, but he utilized it by pulling the air under Ochako’s feet and tripping her time and again. She had caught on to his tells so he didn’t trip her that often, but he was still a tricky opponent. Also didn’t help that he was a lot smaller than Gunhead’s other sidekicks. Small and hard to catch, almost like Izu-

“KYAA!” Ochako screamed as the sidekick threw her into a wall. She bounced off pretty hard and was about to rush back in before Gunhead called for a break. Honestly, that call was very welcome. Staggering back to one of the benches, she sat down while guzzling water from the gallon she had brought with her. Her back was very achy, and her limbs felt like they were made of lead. She was very tired. So tired she didn’t notice Gunhead walk up and sit next to her until her softly patted her shoulder.

“I noticed you seemed a bit distracted earlier,” he stated. “Something eating at ya?”

“...Promise not to tell anyone?” she asked. With a nod from the hero, Uraraka leaned back. “...There’s a boy I like, and-”

“Eeeeeeeee!” Gunhead squealed. “A boy, huh? What’s he like? Gimme all the juicy details!” Taken aback by Gunhead’s random giddiness, it took Uraraka a moment to recover before continuing.

“He’s a small guy. Like, really small. He’s sweet, and soft-spoken, always smiling and always wanting to help. He’s been through a lot, and he tries hiding it, but I can tell he’s still hurting from everything that happened. I mean, a year ago he lost his arm in an attack. No way he’s recovered fully from that. Anyway, I really like him.”

“And you dunno if he feels the same way?” Gunhead asked.

“Oh, I’m not done yet,” Ochako gave an exasperated giggle. “On the side, I also have a crush on a girl in my school. An upperclassman who is legitimately the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. Didn’t really discover I had a crush on her until the Festival. And then, after the Festival I learn this upperclassman and the boy I like are seeing each other already.” This got a bit of a girly gasp from Gunhead.

“Oh my, what a twist.”

“Still a bit more, sir.” Ochako took a breath before continuing. “Last week I actually got into a conversation with the upperclassman where I admitted everything to her. Rather than get mad or weirded out, she actually offered for all of us to try a three-way relationship. I haven’t answered yes or no yet, because I don’t know how I feel about it. I mean, there’s entire series of anime where an angry love triangle is the driving force behind the plot. I don’t know if I want to try risking falling into one of those.” After that was silence borne from Uraraka’s nervousness at talking about it and Gunhead thinking about it all. The other sidekicks were all chatting in their own groups, so Gunhead was the only other person in the room who knew her dilemma.

“That is quite the predicament,” the pro hero stated. “I honestly dunno what the best option would be. Best you can do is maybe give it a shot? I mean, if it doesn’t work out at least you’d know for certain, right? Or if you feel just too uncomfy you can also just back away next time you talk to her. Better to get your answer down sooner, you know?”

“...Yeah,” Ochako admitted. “Yeah, you’re right.”

“That’s the spirit!” Gunhead patted her shoulder. “Now, rest for a few more minutes, then we get back to working your quirk!”

---

Monday and Tuesday were thankfully mostly-calm days for Midoriya Izuku. After his villain fight Sunday afternoon, it had been decided he would stay indoors for the rest of his days with Madam Foster on the off-chance that villain he fought, Overhaul, had subordinates who wanted revenge. Plus, he was the only person Eri would trust. He had to be present for anything medical done for her. On top of that, for the past couple days she had clung to Izuku’s knife like a lifeline. The doctors were initially nervous about this, but the fact she hadn’t even tried to draw it the entire time made them feel better.

On Tuesday Izuku had helped Eri keep calm enough to talk about everything that happened to her while Overhaul had her. Izuku blanched at her words, and one of the doctors actually vomited. Hearing she was treated like a tool, hearing what that villain did to her time and again...Izuku could only hug her tight.

“He w-was wrong,” Izuku cried as he hugged Eri. “You’re not c-c-cursed, you’re n-not a m-monster. You’re a s-sweet little girl who didn’t d-d-deserve any of that.” At those words, Eri herself began to cry and hugged Izuku tight.

It was at that point her horn suddenly grew and began to glow.

“No...” Eri gasped before pushing her way out of Izuku’s hug. “DON’T TOUCH ME!”

Before anyone could ask anything, Eri’s entire body began to glow and she cried louder than before. As she stepped back, she stumbled and accidentally touched an apple on a nearby table. Izuku watched as the apple shrank down and disappeared in a second. When she touched the metal table, however, nothing happened. That meant her quirk only affected organic matter.

Which meant...maybe...

“Eri!” Izuku shouted. She stared at him in abject terror as he reached out with his left hand. “T-Take my hand!”

“No!” the girl screamed, tears running down her face. “I don’t want to make you disappear!”

“You won’t!” Izuku shook his head. “I-I won’t disappear, I promise!” He held out his hand again. Eri, still scared beyond belief, looked at Izuku’s face. His face was one of worried determination, the same expression he wore when he rescued her from Chisaki. Eri, her quirk still going wild, closed her eyes. She didn’t want Izuku to disappear. After a few moments, her eyes shot open as Izuku gently rubbed her cheek with his prosthetic hand (which had a red aura around it).

“I-I won’t disappear,” Izuku smiled, tears in his eyes. “I’ll a-always be here f-for you. I promise.”

These words brought more tears flowing from Eri as she sobbed and hugged his arm the same way she had been hugging his knife. The two kids stayed that way until Eri’s quirk calmed down. Her horn shrank back down to it’s normal size, her glow dimmed down and she fell into Izuku’s arms, tired from the exertion. After a few moments her sobs quieted until she fell asleep completely. Izuku gently lifted her up and carried her to bed after that.

Madam Foster had witnessed the entire event, ready to have one of her sidekicks (one who had a calming quirk) step in. She was both amazed and impressed with how Izuku handled that, along with a fair amount of anger/worry at his recklessness. She’d have to give him a talking-to about that later. For now, she’d leave the boy be.

---

Shouto grit his teeth as he focused his flames. Over the past few days he had worked on streamlining both sides of his quirk. He still had a long way to go, but he was much better than before, now that he didn’t even think of Endeavor while using his quirk.

“Concentrate,” Shinobu instructed while Ataru and Ayame sat a safe distance away. “Fire is trickier to use than ice. Ice is sold, a firm foundation. Fire is wild and fluid, with no direction on it’s own. Become that direction. Don’t be a stone pushing through flames. Be the wind that eases it where you want it to go.”

Shouto clenched his arm more, trying to bend the flames to his will. He wasn’t trying to brute-force it like his “father” had taught him. He slowly eased the flames out from his arm, but not blasting it out. Instead, he worked to slowly shroud his hand with it. He was sweating from the heat, and gave a groan as he fell to his feet, the flames going out completely. As he knelt there, he felt a familiar layer of ice form up his back and down his arm. He turned and nodded his thanks to Ayame, who simply smiled and nodded.

“What were you trying there?” the female pro hero asked as she knelt in front of Todoroki. “You were clearly trying to do something with your flames there.”

“I...” the student took a breath. “I was trying to shape it like I shape ice. I mean, i-if we can shape our ice into hammers, I was wondering if I could do the same with my fire.”

“...Interesting idea,” Shinobu smiled as she stood up. “However, a flawed one. You tried to make a hammer, right? That would never work with fire.” She took a few steps back. “What can you do with fire?”

“...What?”

“You heard me, Todoroki. What can man do with fire? How does he use it as a tool?”

“...It’s used to cook,” Shouto replied. “Used to burn. Used to brand and burn. Used to...” He remembered something he saw in school. When he was getting his hero uniform adjusted, he saw one of the Support students using a particular tool.

“...Fire is used to cut.”

“Exactly!” Shinobu snapped her fingers. “Cutting torches! I know a few heroes in Korea and China who use their fire quirks like cutting torches because fire is a cutting power. You’d never be able to make a hammer from fire because hammers are hard and made for heavy impact. Try to think of a different tool instead.”

Shouto nodded and closed his eyes. Ayame had cooled him down enough it was safe to use his fire again, so he raised his arm and concentrated. He felt the flames grow from his arm as he thought of a tool. A weapon, really. After a minute of envisioning his idea, he heard a gasp from the two ice users and a chuckle from the fire hero in front of him.

“Well, isn’t that interesting.”

Shouto finally opened his eyes and looked down at his arm. True to his idea and hopes, his flames were concentrated around his arm. Emerging a bit past his closed fist were flames that curved out, forming the distinct shape of an ax-head. Even though he lost concentration and the weapon flickered away, Shouto couldn’t help but smile. He had made his fire truly his, and he knew for a fact his “father” could never do what he just did. With a chuckle, he had one thought in mind.

‘Take that, you bastard.’

---

Peerless. Brilliant. Evil. Merciless. There were many adjectives to describe many villains, but only one villain who fit so many of them. One man who was so feared and dreaded that any heroes who knew of him kept his existence secret from society or risk sending the populace into a mad panic.

To some people, he was known as ‘Sensei.’ To others, he was known as ‘All For One.’

To one particularly annoying vigilante fifty years back, he was known as “Whitey McTightyface,” but that was another story.

During the Tuesday night of UA’s experience week, this master of villains was contemplating what he had learned within the past month. He learned that UA’s hero course had some promising students. He learned that “Class 1-C” was something of a secret weapon, full of students just as strong as the hero course. What had his particular interest, however, was one Midoriya Izuku.

While Tomura was running around trying to find villains to recruit, he had Kurogiri look into the members of Class 1-C, and initially thought little of the quirkless boy. After some intel retrieved by his spies, however, All For One learned how foolish he had been to ignore the boy long as he did. During the weeks leading up to the Sports Festival, All For One had learned this young man was the personal student of Nedzu, one of the few heroes that truly made him uneasy. Not only that, but the boy had analytical skills above and beyond any quirk he had ever heard of. The villain had heard from his spies in different hero agencies about how this boy’s analysis of the heroes had greatly improved their skills and gave them ideas of how to further their quirk’s capabilities. Heroes he had considered non-threatening were now forces to be reckoned with, all because of this boy’s help.

It infuriated All For One. Yet at the same time, it intrigued him. He wanted to meet this boy. He wanted to poke around in his little head, and see all the boy knew.

And take it.

“Sir,” a voice broke him from his thoughts. Turning his head, he felt the Doctor approaching him. “I...I have some news on the group you were interested in.”

“From your tone,” the villain rasped, I assume it’s not good news?”

“Sadly no.” The Doctor waited a few moments before explaining, “The Shie Hassaikai are no more. Apparently their leader, Overhaul, was captured and wounded a few days ago. His closest subordinates attempted to break him out earlier today. However that attempt ended in failure, and several of their members, including Overhaul himself, were killed. The rest were captured.”

“Is that so?” All For One groaned. “Shame. I was hoping to learn how I could use them. Oh well. How comes the preparations for Tomura’s little game tomorrow night?”

---

Wednesday was a thankfully calm day. The most exciting thing was from the fact it would be Izuku’s first day with the second hero for his exam. There was a bit of hesitation due to Eri’s circ*mstances, but it was decided that Izuku would keep bunking with Madam Foster and leave to do work. Due to the second hero primarily working during the night (while Eri slept), this arrangement was quite convenient. He was thinking about this until the hero he was with began speaking.

“What I do,” Pro Hero Native explained, “is usually along the lines of tracking and information gathering. My quirk lets me track a person’s movements so long as I have a possession of theirs, so I can help with anything from finding missing persons to tracking escaped villains.”

“Y-you’re a pretty active T-Type-2, aren’t you?” Izuku asked. “I-I’ve read about you, a-and even after l-learning about Type-2’s n-never guessed you were one.”

We’re not all desk jockeys,” Native laughed. “I like being out there and spying on gangs and stuff. Come on, we can chat more while we walk.” Izuku nodded and took a couple steps before they both heard a deep boom. Turning toward the noise they noticed a smoke rising from a few blocks over.

“What the hell?” Native asked before both his and Izuku’s earpieces exploded with noise.

“RED ALERT!” the hero comms blared. “LARGE-SCALE VILLAIN ATTACK ON WAMPA STREET! ALL AVAILABLE HEROES MOVE TO ASSIST!”

“You heard the man!” Native yelled as he and Izuku ran down an alleyway. “I want you to focus on assisting civilians in evacuating the area! I’m giving you authority to fight, but do not initiate combat!” Izuku nodded and followed the pro hero. This week was getting to be too exciting. At least the fighting was away from Eri this time.

The two turned down another alley and kept running, Izuku keeping up easily. As he ran, the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. He knew this feeling. He started glancing around for what caused it, and was looking up when he saw a streak of red and light gleaming off metal. He gasped, knowing he didn’t have time to say anything, and used his left arm to push Native out of the way before a sword slashed across his chest.

Notes:

Yeah, another scream. XD I love throwing cliffhangers at you people.

But yeah, next chapter is gonna be the Stain fight. I hope you like how things go.

Also, the thing with Izuku's arm there concerning Eri's quirk...yeah, remember that.

Til next time!

Chapter 27: Flames and Steel

Notes:

Howdy folks! Are you ready for the Stain fight? You get a Stain fight!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

The city of Hosu was on fire. The violence had spread out from Wampa Street across several blocks. Heroes were doing their best to contain the devastation and evacuate civilians while water-based heroes and firefighters worked to contain the blaze, but it was an uphill battle. There had been countless injuries amidst the chaos, and even a few deaths when the attack began.

Shigaraki was ecstatic.

The villain watched the chaos from atop a water tank with Kurogiri. The villain was laughing at the chaos below, and his servant was thankful for it. Ever since the USJ fiasco, Shigaraki's demeanor had changed between enraged and depressed. After the "conversation" with Stain last week, he had leaned more towards enraged. Seeing him laugh like this brought relief to Kurogiri. Despite being an amoral, murderous psychopath with an addiction to video games, Kurogiri really cared about Shigaraki.

"This is wonderful!" Shigaraki laughed, his arm stretched out. "Watch all the little cowards run!"

"Yes yes," the bartender nodded. "Just remember not to exhaust yourself tonight. Sensei told us to make sure you don't stress that arm of yours so quickly."

"...Yeah," Shigaraki growled, his previous joy overshadowed by anger at remembering what happened to his original right arm. Raising his new monstrous limb, he hissed, "All the other arms were sh*t, but this one is perfect. Once I get that, I'll make all those brats pay..."

---

Native and Izuku both jumped back after the man with the sword landed in front of them. After he felt sword cut into his coat, Izuku ran his hand across his chest to make sure nothing was bleeding. He sighed with relief when his hand came back dry. He woulddefinitelythank Nighteye for the lining of his coat later. Turning his attention back to the man who attacked him, Izuku gasped when he finally realized who it was.

"H-Hero Killer S-S-Stain!" Izuku screamed as Native took up a fighting stance between the student and the serial killer.

"Scouter, retreat," the pro ordered. "I'll handle this."

"N-no," Izuku shook his head. "H-he'll kill you, th-then s-stab me in th-the back. H-he did that w-with the Rajah and J-Jasmine hero duo l-last year. W-we should-"

Suddenly Stain was right in front of the pair and swinging his sword again. He missed Izuku, but cut Native's arm open. In the three seconds it took Izuku to smack the front pocket on his jacket (hitting the button on his distress beacon), the pro hero fell limp to the ground. Izuku saw Stain move in for the kill and made the split-second decision to whip out is taser-fingers. Unfortunately, the crackling of electricity was heard by the murderer, who leaped away to avoid the prongs. Before Izuku could even try again, the electricity faded, signifying the power needed to recharge. Groaning, Izuku closed the taser in time to catch Stain's sword with his prosthetic. The Killer looked mildly impressed at this before Izuku got an idea.

"Gah! Bwah! Doi! Poit!" Stain verbalized as Izuku used his right hand to punch Stain's face repeatedly. Were the situation not life-threatening, Izuku might have laughed at the rather-comical expressions the serial killer made with each punch to his nose. While his physical strength wasn't enough to do anylastingharm, it stunned the Hero Killer long enough for Izuku to release his sword and use his stronger prosthetic arm to punch Stain into a nearby dumpster. With the murderer temporarily incapacitated, Izuku grabbed Native off the ground and hustled fast as he could. If he could get out to the street, a more open space, he could call for more help. He heard Stain scream in anger and chase after him.

Then a chrome blur ran past Izuku.

Izuku heard Stain give a grunt of pain behind him. Looking back, the greenette gasped when he saw someone had kicked Stain back. No...not just someone. Iida Tenya. What was he even-

"Stain!" Iida screamed. "I'm Ingenium! And I'm here to avenge my brother!"

Wait, revenge? That confused Izuku. He may not have interacted with Iida that often (especially over the week since the Festival), but Iida never struck him as someone driven by revenge. That...that wasn't good.

---

Heroes are not driven by revenge and power.

---

"Run away!" Izuku shouted. "H-he's a serial k-killer! Y-you can't-"

"I respectfully ask you be quiet, Midoriya!" Iida yelled back as Stain got to his feet. "This is my fight!" He kicked at Stain again, who blocked his foot with his sword. Iida shot back before Stain could retaliate, but shot forward again to deliver another kick. "I WILL STOP YOU, HERO KILLER!

---

Heroes are not driven by the desire for fame or glory.

---

Stain just laughed, dodged the kick and cut open Iida's leg. The student screamed in agony before Stain licked the blade. In an instant, Iida was limp on the ground.

"Another faker," the villain hissed. "They're coming out younger these days, huh?"

"IIDA!" Izuku screamed.

"Run away," Native said. "You're the only one who can move. Leave us and run, Scouter."

"Faker," Stain growled as he held his sword over Iida's head, "I will purge you from this world." Izuku's eyes teared up as he watched the sword raise...

---

A real hero...

---

Izuku grit his teeth. "I-I'm sorry."

---

...SAVES EVERYONE HE CAN!

---

The same instant Stain moved to impale Iida, there was a scream from down the alley. The villain turned to see Izuku screaming at him, his arm-sword extended. Stain turned to block Izuku's sword as Izuku swung it, his eyes widening when Izuku sliced through his steel katana like styrofoam. The villain jumped back before Izuku could slash again. However, instead of slashing at Stain, Izuku took the opportunity to sheathe his blade, grab Iida with his fake arm and drag him back down the alley. Laying him next to Native, Izuku rushed back at Stain before the serial killer could pursue him. Stain swung his sword, but was met by Izuku's polymer shield.

"You too, huh?" Stain glared. "You fighting me to avenge the fakers?"

"Fighting y-you to make sure you d-d-don't kill them!" Izuku shouted back. Moving his arm to knock Stain's sword away, Izuku pulled out his taser-fingers to attempt another shock. Again, Stain heard it coming and moved away. Growling in frustration, Izuku switched back to his sword and took up a stance between Stain and the paralyzed heroes. "I w-won't let you h-hurt any of th-them." Stain stared at Izuku for a few moments before laughing.

"Your eyes!" the murderer laughed. "Those aren't the eyes of a faker! You're a good one! Sorry for almost cutting you down! Just step aside and-" Stain raised his sword to deflect Izuku's blade. The villain watched in awe as the edge of Izuku's sword carved a line off his own blade. "...What is that made of?" Instead of answering, Izuku slashed at Stain's sword, cutting the blade off. The villain growled and drew his third sword while throwing one of his many knives at Izuku. The smaller boy dodged with ease and closed in again. He slashed, but this time Stain deflected it skillfully enough to avoid damaging his blade. Drawing another knife, Stain attempted to stab Izuku in the shoulder, not realizing how much of his arm was prosthetic until the knife bounced off. Izuku jumped back with a spin, slicing through the deflected knife. Izuku knew what to do.

---

Mere blocks from where Izuku was fighting Stain, the fight against Shigaraki's Nomu raged on. On one side, there were heroes trying to keep the battle contained. On the other side of the street, other heroes and their sidekicks were working to help evacuate the remaining civilians in the area.

"Any more civvies in this building?" One hero asked, pointing at a structure that Endeavor torched in an attempt to stop a Nomu.

"No it's clear!" another hero replied. "I need help over here, though! Got a woman under some debris!" The other hero rushed over to help lift the destroyed objects off the prone civilian. As they did this, however, a Nomu rushed past another hero to the distracted pair. They turned in time to see the monster raise it's arms to smash them both, only to see a spiky ball plow into it instead. The beast was thrown back from the impact, and the ball uncurled and landed on the ground.

"HAHA!" Gorogoro Mamoru laughed. "This thing ain't nearly as strong as the one from USJ! You two keep working, I'll keep you covered!" Before either of the heroes could reply, Gorogoro rushed the Nomu again, slamming his arm into the Nomu's chest. Even if he didn't hit it with the spiky side of his arm, Gorogoro struck the non-shock-absorbent beast with enough force to send it sprawling again. He was beaten by one of these once before, he wouldn't be beaten again, especially when there were more lives on the line. Looking across the street, he saw Oyaneko raising a shield to protect a line of civilians from flying rubble. Looking up, he saw Kagaro engaging a flying Nomu in midair combat, armed with what looked like a cavalry saber. He was quite curious where she got that, but knew he could ask later.Right now, it was time to be a hero.

---

The exchanges of blades and blows between Killer and student continued for a good minute or two, with Izuku focused on parrying Stain's attacks while trying to destroy as many blades as he could. From watching how Iida went down, Midoriya figured out Stain's quirk required he ingest a person's blood, which was why he carried so many cutting instruments. Any he destroyed limited his options further, though this also meant Izuku couldn't use his own assortment of knives. On top of that, Stain wasstrong. The 'Overhaul' guy Izuku fought before couldn't hold a candle against the Hero Killer, and said serial killer's quirk wasn't even directly-offensive. Speaking of which, how did Stain even discover his quirk? Did he bite someone? Did he-focus! Izuku could contemplate his quirkafterhe was at least bladeless.

"Midoriya!" Iida screamed. "Stay out of this and run! This is my fight!"

"K-kinda busy right now!" Izuku screamed back as he parried another knife. Stain was definitely faster than anyone else he had fought. Honestly, as much as Izuku hated to admit it, it seemed like his small frame was one of the biggest factors in him dodging Stain's attacks. He was used to fighting pro heroes, who were all bigger than the green kid in front of him. Izuku was starting to get a bit winded, though. He would welcome any form of help right now. Such as Nihlus. Where was Nihlus? Izuku hit the distress button!

Suddenly, Stain pressed an attack with his knife, causing Izuku to reflexively block the knife with his sword. Using this opportunity, Stain spun his katana around and stabbed Izuku through the thigh. The boy screamed in pain and shoved Stain's hand away before using his blade to cut the katana's blade off. On one hand, he prevented Stain from getting any of his blood. On the other, he now had a sword blade going through his leg. The adrenaline from the fighting stemmed the pain for now, but his leg was unsteady. Stain drew another blade and pressed the attack, forcing Izuku down. In a blur, the Hero Killer used a different knife to cut open Izuku's cheek. The student couldn't destroy the knife in time, and in a second Stain licked his blood off the knife.

"No!" Izuku screamed as his body fell limp.

"You're a good one," Stain affirmed. "Now lay there and be thankful you get to keep your life. As for the other two..." Stain turned and walked toward the other paralyzed men. Izuku screamed in frustration, clenching a fist and-

Wait a minute.

Stain moved above Iida again, his sword at the ready. Native yelled at him to stop, Iida just stared at the sword with tears in his eyes. With a bloodthirsty smile, he poised his sword to-

KONK!!

Both Iida and Native stared incredulously as a brick seemed to appear out of nowhere and impact the side of Stain's head with sufficient force to push him away. Time seemed to slow as the brick fell from his face (landing on Iida's leg, earning an "ow!" from the student) but sped back up as Stain turned to where the brick came from. Izuku had pushed himself into a sitting position against a wall and was gesturing with his prosthetic, which seemed unaffected by Stain's quirk.

"HA!" Izuku laughed. "I-In your face!"

This last comment had the intended effect of getting Stain mad enough to go after Izuku again, to which Izuku went "wuh-oh!" Digging his fingers into the asphalt, Izuku used his left arm to essentially catapult himself away before Stain could injure him again. The other two paralysis victims watched as Izuku soared through the air like a ragdoll before he grabbed onto a nearby fire escape with his left arm. He hung there as Stain growled, too annoyed to speak words, before rushing at Izuku. The Type-2 student glared and shook the ladder, causing it to slide down moments before Stain's blade struck where his head used to be.

Izuku flopped to the ground, grunting in pain from the sword blade that was still in his leg before grabbing some loose gravel and throwing it at Stain. The high-speed pebbles impacted Stain like shotgun pellets, though Stain was quick enough to cover his eyes. In that moment of temporary blindness, Izuku catapulted himself away again. Stain moved his hand in time to see Izuku land close to one of the small dumpsters that dotted the alleyway. The villain growled in frustration and took a step towards the kid, only to see said kid grab the dumpster with his hand and practicallythrow itat him with how fast it rolled. Stain gasped in shock and jumped aside, narrowly dodging the high-speed hunk of metal. He landed, turned back to Izuku and promptly got another brick to his face. He shook his head to send the brick away and gave a battlecry before another brick hit his chin. Behind that dumpster was a small pile of bricks, giving Izuku and his superpowered left arm plenty of projectiles to use.

The fight came to another standstill as Izuku threw brick after brick at the villain. Stain was making slow progress towards the floppy student, but had to keep focused on dodging or blocking the flying bricks. After a minute, Izuku ran out of bricks. Stain sneered and rushed at him, eager to finally and truly incapacitate the runt. When he was mere steps away, however, Izuku shot to his feet and grabbed Stain's sword hand. Stain's eyes widened in shock at just how soon Izuku was able to move again. He tried to pry himself free, but Izuku's prosthetic hand held him like a vice. He looked back at Izuku, who was giving a nervous chuckle. This confused the villain for a brief moment before he realized what was coming.

"No, yo-GAH! DOH! HEY! HEY! PWAH!"

Izuku was unleashing another barrage of punches with his right hand. Between the bricks and the punches, Stain's face was definitely gonna be an unhealthy color later. After delivering another hard punch, Izuku took a quick second to draw one of his own knives and stab it into Stain's arm. The villain screamed and punched Izuku back. The small boy was jarred from the blow, but his left hand held true as he twisted Stain's wrist to make him drop his sword. Now that his foe was disarmed again, Izuku pulled out his finger-tasers one more time. Grabbing Stain by the collar, Izuku gave a roar as he jabbed the prongs of his fingers into the Serial Killer's neck. Stain screamed in agony as electricity shot through his body...and out of it. Blue bolts arced out of Stain's body, coursing over Izuku's face and arms and causing light burns before the charge finally drained.

Once the electrocution ended, Izuku released the villain. Stain's unconscious body fell to the ground, beaten and incapacitated. Izuku himself fell backwards, landing against the wall. He...he did it. Izuku's gaze stayed on Stain's limp form, just to make sure he actually did it. He chuckled, which slowly grew to a pained laugh.He beat the Hero Killer.He beat Hero Killer Stain. He, a quirkless runt, beat someone who killed or maimed dozens of pros. Not even after his fight on Sunday did he really think he'd do something like this before graduation. As his adrenaline finally wore out, the pain of his injuries finally hit him, and his laughter turned to groans of pain. He thought he heard Native and Iida say something, and he could vaguely see their blurry forms fussing over him with a bright light above them before he finally lost consciousness.

Notes:

Game over for the Hero Killer. How did you all like that fight. Was it epic? Please tell me what you think. I worked super hard on it.

Also, how did you like the parts with Izuku punching Stain in the face repeatedly? I was inspired to do that by a certain animated short that involved a frozen viking. XD

Next time in Type-2 Hero, we see the aftermath of the Hosu battle. The rise of one star...and the fall of another...

'Til next time! XD

Chapter 28: Steel and Fame

Notes:

Technically still Thursday, but late enough that we can say this chapter's being released on Friday. Good way to start the weekend huh? We see how Izuku is after the Stain fight, and see a few other things.

Enjoy! ^^

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Izuku took a breath as he regained consciousness. He was no longer lying on the cold, hard ground of the alleyway. Instead he was somewhere soft, warm...and there was something on his chest. He opened his eyes slowly to adjust to the brightness of the room. Looking around slowly, he saw that he was in a hospital room. To his right, Iida was sitting on a hospital bed reading a book. He hadn't noticed the greenette had woken up yet. Then Izuku looked at what was on his chest and smiled.Eri was laying on him. She was sleeping peacefully. She also had his knife with her, and was still holding it with one hand while her other hand held Izuku's own. Smiling, he gently reached up with his right hand and pet her head.

"Oh, you're awake," Iida observed. Izuku turned to look at him and nodded. The hero student closed his book, spun around so he was facing Izuku and bowed his head. "I'm sorry for my behavior last night, Midoriya-kun. Native informed me of what you were trying, and my arrival forced you into harm's way. I was so blinded by anger I failed to see the bigger picture. In the end, you were greatly injured protecting both myself and Native. You are a greater hero than I could ever be."

"S-stop," Izuku stated. "N-no self-depreciation w-while I'm i-in the room. Y-you were mad, I get it. A-anger can make p-people do s-stupid stuff. But you're alive. L-learn from th-this. L-like...n-next time you s-see two p-people fleeing f-from a s-serial killer, d-don't yell at them."

"Yes," Iida admitted with shame. "Native gave me quite the tongue-lashing over my behavior last night." Izuku gave a hoarse chuckle.

"Th-there has g-got to be a better w-way to say th-that."

"If you find one, let me know." The two boys started laughing, but stopped when the little girl on Izuku's chest began to stir. Izuku gestured for Iida to stay quiet as Eri's eyes slowly fluttered open. She slowly turned her head toward Izuku's, and he smiled down at her.

"Hey, Eri. H-how are you?" Izuku asked. Eri responded with a surprised gasp before launching herself onto him, hugging his head tight. Izuku laughed and patted her back, trying to get her off his nose.

"Who is that girl, anyway?" Iida asked. "When some other heroes brought her in, I tried to protest but was swiftly told this was permitted. Is she your sister?" Izuku shook his head.

"I r-r-rescued her from a v-villain on Sunday," he explained. "Her circ*mstances h-h-had been...less than n-nice. Sh-she trusts me." Turning his attention to Eri, he whispered, "I'm sorry for worrying you, Eri. I'm s-safe now."

"Which is a very good thing."

Both students (and girl) stopped and turned to the doorway as two people stepped inside. The first was Nihlus, a very welcome sight for Midoriya. The other person, though, was someone he didn't recognize. They were a woman of average height and slender build, with long curly pink hair and deep blue eyes. She wore a black jacket over red shorts. On her hip was a rapier with a rose motif, and on her chest pocket was an embroidered ring composed of blue flame. Closer inspection revealed this ring was somewhat glowing. Izuku's eyes widened.

"Y-you're from the R-Ring of Fire," Izuku stated. "Th-the Pacific counterpart of th-the Atlantic C-Circle." The woman quirked an eyebrow at his observation, and Nihlus chuckled.

"Told you was observant."

"More observant than you," the woman scoffed before turning back to Izuku. "Yes, I'm from the Ring of Fire, and I'm just here to act as witness as Nihlus here gives you your final grade for your exam. Due to your injuries, it was decided your exam would conclude today."

"Exam?" Iida asked.

"And you," Nihlus pointed to Iida, "are not to utter awordof you hear today, got it?" Iida, startled by the sudden demand, only nodded before the draconic hero turned back to Izuku. "Before I give you your final grade, I apologize for not jumping in last night. I was unaware of just who that man was, and assumed you had it handled."

"What the moron here is saying," the woman spoke up, "is that he spent his time here working on other things rather than studying up on local villains, and thus didn't know you were fighting an S-Class Villain."

"A-about that," Izuku asked, hugging Eri close as the girl stared at the heroes, "I-I hit the d-d-distress button b-before the fight s-started. W-why didn't you come?" At this, Nihlus reached into his vest and pulled out what looked like a transparent evidence bag. Inside was the device Nihlus had given Izuku at the start of the exam. However, Izuku was fairly certain it didn't have that huge gash through the middle of it last time he saw it.

"That opening slash," Nihlus explained, "cut through the battery. I didn't receive the signal." Placing the device back in his vest, he pulled out a tablet, pressed a few buttons, and began reading aloud.

"Midoriya Izuku, your final assessment is as follows. Firstly, Analysis. Your skills in that field were truly never in question. Apparently your journals (which I still have yet to get a chance to peruse) gave enough insight to your skills. On top of those, you clearly analyzed the situations both times you faced villains this week. True, I could not supervise the first one due to the walls, but the fact you won is testament enough.

"Judgement next. Some of the judges were gonna give you some flak in this one until they saw your distress beacon had been destroyed, yet the button was clearly pressed. However, you reallydidlose some points when you were reckless while attempting to calm young Eri there when her quirk flared up. It could have rewound you out of existence if your arm didn't somehow block the emissions. Otherwise, you did excellently." Izuku was stunned at how...glowing his report had been so far. There was no way he'd do so good throughout the entire thing, right?

"Next is Combat," Nihlus continued. "I was only able to supervise your fight last night, but you performed remarkably. There was little to no wasted movement and you used every resource you had. On top of that you could have ended the fight in an instant with a fatal blow, but aimed to capture him, which worked in your favor here. You've definitely been trained well. I would hate to face you." This made Izuku nervously chuckle. He really didn't relish the idea of fighting a pro hero at all.

"Lastly is Conduct," the draconic hero smiled. "Before I go into detail on this one, there's one more thing I have to tell you now. Your distress beacon? It also has a microphone so we can record what you say. This way we get how you act even when I'm not around. And what I heard from you was...heartening. You've displayed honesty, an unrivaled desire to help, and a level of empathy almost unheard of outside of folks with quirks. You impressed quite a few people." Nihlus went silent to let everything sink in. Izuku was still in awe at how good he had done. Nihlus gave a smile.

"You needed a score of 275 to pass...and you got a score of 385. Congratulations, Midoriya Izuku. You're the first First-Year to pass this exam in close to a decade, and certainly the highest-scoring." Izuku gasped, his eyes wide. He passed. He actually passed on his first try. He didn't even realize he was tearing up until Eri tried to wipe his eyes with the blanket. Izuku smiled and wiped his eyes.

"Th-thank you," Izuku stuttered.

"Oh we're not done quite yet," Nihlus smirked. Izuku looked back up at him as the hero pulled a card from his vest and tossed it on Izuku's lap. "We had to use a candid shot for it. The photo on your actual school ID seemed a bit...morose." Confused, Izuku picked up the card and looked at it. It was a thick, plastic card that had a photo of him smiling on it, possibly taken during lunch. It listed his name, alias and-

A license.

Izuku had just been given an official Provisional Hero License.

"W-wait," Izuku gasped. "I-I was told I w-w-wouldn't g-get one o-of th-these until-"

"Young man," the woman giggled, "you fought againsttwoS-Class Villains over the course of four days. You fought them by yourself, andwon. Both times you successfully protected others. You've earned this."

"You'll still be participating in the Provisional Exam later this year," Nihlus stated, "but with this you can participate in actual heroic operations. It won't be easy, but I have no doubt you'll do well."

"Lastly," the woman stepped forward, handing Izuku a small black card with a phone number on it. "Keep this. The Ring of Fire is officially inviting you into their ranks. If you accept, call this number once you obtain your Professional License." She gave a wink as Eri slowly took the card, as Izuku was again too stunned to move. This was...this was too much all at once. He was about to suffer a mental blue-screen.

"As your exam is over," Nihlus explained, "you'll be heading home once you're discharged. Your bags are packed and being held by one of Madam Foster's sidekicks. The situation with Eri will be discussed with your principal, since she is only comfortable around you. The doctors patched up your leg and cheek, but want to make sure everything's working before letting you go." He picked up the remote and turned on the television. "My associate and I have some business to attend to, but trust me when I say you'll want to watch the news in thirty minutes. You were a fun student to watch, Midoriya. Take care." Both Nihlus and the Ring of Fire heroine bowed a bit before exiting the room. Izuku was still in stunned silence at what he had just been given.

"...Well," Iida spoke up, "that was something, Midoriya-kun."

"Y-you're telling me," Izuku croaked. Looking down at Eri, he smiled and hugged her softly again. He didn't know what would happen to her now, but he hoped he'd get to stay in her life. He'd only known her a few days, but seeing her made him feel better about things. He wondered how Melissa would react to her. Or Uraraka. Or the rest of his classmates.

"Midoriya-kun?"

Oh. There was one of them right now.

The room's occupants turned to the doorway, seeing Kagaro Kiana standing there. She was wearing an all-white outfit that looked a bit like leather armor. She even had a cavalry saber on her hip. However, said outfit was also cut and torn in a few places, and she had bandages covering her arms. What shocked Izuku the worst, though, was that it looked like one of her signature braids had been cut off.

"It is you!" Kagaro gasped as she dashed into the room, causing Eri to hug Izuku tight. "I had no idea you were even in town! Are you alright? Were you caught in the fighting? Who's the little girl?"

"S-slow down, please," Izuku stuttered while gently rubbing Eri's head. "Um, I-I'm doing b-better, I w-was f-fighting a v-villain, and th-this is Eri. I-I rescued her on S-Sunday." He turned to whisper to Eri, "Say hello. Sh-she's safe." The little girl slowly looked at Kagaro, who was wearing a big smile.

"H-hello," Eri quietly greeted. Now that she was getting a better look at Kagaro, Eri's eyes widened a bit. "Are you an angel?"

"Yeah, kinda!" Kiana laughed. "And look! We got the same hair, same eyes. I bet you're an angel too." Eri's eyes widened more at this. Izuku had been saying similar things any time she felt depressed, and now someone else said it. Maybe...maybe it was true? This made Eri feel good enough that she gave a small smile. Izuku gasped. He'd never seen Eri smile, no matter how small. Seeing her smile now just made him feel even more affection for her.

"So," Kiana asked, "you rescued her from a villain?"

"I myself and also curious about her circ*mstances," Iida stated. Their words snapped Izuku out of his stupor and he began regaling his friends with the tale of how he rescued the girl. When he started explaining what her quirk was, Eri got a little nervous but was placated with another hug from Izuku. After his story finished, Kiana and Iida began explaining themselves to Eri. Iida talked about how his older brother was a hero, Kiana talked about her own deeds the previous night. Their conversation was nice and casual until the TV began blaring the news. Izuku and Iida both remembered that Nihlus wanted them to watch the news, so they turned their attention to it.

---

HERO NEWS NETWORK, MORNING NEWS!

"Good morning," the gorilla-esque news anchor greeted. "This is Iwata Kemoto with the mid-morning news. Reports of wounded and deceased from last night's villain attack are still pouring into the news station, although we're still uncertain of the identity and goal of the villains responsible for the attack. However, of more immediate fervor are two reports that came in earlier. Firstly, at approximately 5:33 this morning, Pro Hero Endeavor was taken into police custody."

A picture of the Hero's mugshot appeared on the screen next to the newscaster as they continued, "Initially all information on the reasons for his arrest were kept from the public. However, just an hour ago we received the literal laundry list of crimes that the Hero had committed during his time. Joining us this morning is Norishige Taahkin, also known as Pro Hero Grand Moff, lead investigator of the Death Star Agency, the people who unveiled the discrimination scandal at Aldera Junior high."

"Glad to be here," The elderly Pro Hero said as his image appeared on the screen, above the name bar listing 'Norishige "Grand Moff" Taahkin' along with his Agency's name.

"Grand Moff," the anchor addressed, "it was your Agency that brought forward the evidence proving his guilt, correct?"

"Correct for the most part," the Hero nodded. "We received tidbits of info in the past from slighted citizens, but around two weeks prior we got a huge cache of information from an unnamed yet official source. We got details on everything from spousal and child abuse, destruction of property and the loss of civilian life just to name a few. With this in hand, we obtained a warrant to search his house, verifying more of his heinous crimes."

"The Pro Hero did more?" the gorilla-man asked.

"Quite a bit. We managed to force open a vault in his bedroom that detailed his constant bribes to officials to ignore his destruction of property and civilian life, along with something most abhorrent. We found a marriage contract. Aquirkmarriage contract. Todoroki Enji literally bought his wife from her family as a eugenics project."

"Ah yes, his wife," Iwata nodded. "We tried to find information on her, but came up with very little beyond her name, Todoroki Rei, and the fact she was admitted to a psych ward a decade ago."

"There was a bit of bribery there, too," Taahkin sighed. "Taking a look at his financial records and interrogating a few people, we discovered Endeavor had been bribing the doctors of that hospital to continuously declare his wife 'unfit' so that she would be forced to stay there."

"Why would he do such a thing with his own wife?"

"Beyond being a horrible human being?" the Hero asked. "It is likely he did so because he knew that she would likely file for divorce upon release and try to take the children with her. It pains me to admit it, but in the long run that might have been better for her in that, with Endeavor's arrest, she is now the head of the family and can legally take everything from him in the divorce. Especially with all the evidence of his crimes. We had two of our own mental specialists give her a go-over, and she is expected to be released in a few days. In a bit more good news, the parents that 'sold' her and the doctors that kept taking bribes are also facing jail time for their illicit acts."

"A rough thing to hear, especially after the battle last night. At least we do have some good news to counter that with."

"Indeed you do," Taahkin laughed as Endeavor's image was replaced with a video.

"For the citizens at home," Iwata explained, "the video you're seeing is taken from our news chopper last night. They were initially airborne to record the battle, but as you can see discovered a second fight going on in an alleyway literally blocks from the main battle. The faces of most of the people involved have been obscured to protect their identities, but you can clearly see a figure fighting the Hero Killer Stain. We've had to crop the video here for time, but we have the full fight on our website. As you can see, the unnamed individual fighting Stain actually won the battle, and the killer was taken into custody." At this, the video was replaced with Stain's mugshot for a bit, showing his bruised and beaten face before going back to a loop of the fight.

"Quite the exciting fight, huh?" Taahkin smiled. "I've actually been given clearance by Principal Nedzu of UA to talk about the brave lad there, but understand I cannot impart his real name as he is still a student of UA. An-"

"I'm sorry to interrupt," Iwata waved his hand, "but did you saystudent?The person who fought and beat a serial killer is a student?"

"That he is. As I said, I can't give his real name, but I can state that his current Hero Alias is 'Scouter.' He was in Hosu for something largely unrelated to Stain, but was pulled into battle to protect the two paralyzed individuals. One of the people is another student, and thus obscured, but the other is Pro Hero Native, who was admitted to Hosu General Hospital after the fight."

"Did the student get in trouble for fighting? Admittedly, I'm not sure how much I like people getting in trouble for acting in self-defense, but-"

"There is no worries there," the Hero shook his head. "In a statement he made to the police, Native explained that he gave Scouter authorization to fight in self-defense. They were actually on their way to assist in the battle that started on Wampa Street before they were jumped by Stain."

"Is it safe to ask what the student's quirk is?" the news anchor inquired. "I understand if we can't, but I am curious about what quirk enabled this student to beat an S-Class Villain."

"It's perfectly safe to ask," Taahkin laughed, "because he doesn't have a quirk to speak of. That student is a quirkless hero student."

"Quirkless!?"

"Is that so hard to believe? I mean, it should be obvious from the fight itself. He used no unusual abilities, relying solely on support gear."

"I-I am just stunned is all," Iwata recovered. "To think, a quirkless student succeeded where so many quirked heroes failed..."

"It's about time such a thing occurred, I'd say. I've had the privilege of knowing many quirkless people who were just as capable as quirked people. I mean, when I came on you mentioned how it was my Agency that also revealed the Aldera Scandal, remember? Well, the detective who spearheaded that investigation is a quirkless lady who had applied to other agencies but was rejected due to her quirkless status. Quirkless are no worse than anyone else on this planet."

"And Stain getting captured by one is one heck of a testament to that."

"Stainandone other," Taahkin grinned. "We've also received reports from Pro Heroine Madam Foster that this same young man fought and apprehended another S-Class Villain on Sunday. Names cannot be disclosed, but apparently this villain's capture will have quite the effect on the prevalence of Trigger in our society. The future looks bright for the future Pro Hero Scouter."

We're out of time, thank you for joining us. After the commercial break, we'll have an update on the aftermath of the battle last night, via an official police statement. This is Hero News Network."

Notes:

Well, that was a bit of a ride, huh? Izuku is just too awesome. XD And Eri gets more of the loving she deserves. And with how a few things didn't happen, how do you think it'll affect other things in the long run? Hope you like how things develop.

Next time, we see how everyone else's weeks wind down, and the ending of next chapter will make you cry happy tears.

Chapter 29: Fame and Home

Notes:

Howdy do dere! Managed to pump this chapter out fast for everyone. A bit of another calming chapter after the Hosu battle. You will cry happy tears in here, trust me.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Ochako stared at her phone in utter shock Thursday afternoon. For the entire day, HNN had been going on about the villain attack on Hosu, the downfall of Endeavor, and the hero student who took down Hero Killer Stain. There was alotto each of those stories, but Ochako was more focused on the last one. She might not have recognized the name, and the face had been pretty blurred out, but there was onlyonequirkless boy she knew who had a fake arm and a green mess of hair.

Midoriya Izuku, the shy quirkless boy who was barely taller than her shoulder, fought a serial killer andwon.

She knew he was getting hero training. She knew he was a genius. Despite both of those, this fact made her speechless. In her eyes, his coolness factor skyrocketed from this. She was sure everyone else felt the same way, right? Her class chat had been exploding since the news had aired, but she hadn't checked it yet. Looking over to see Gunhead and his sidekicks staring gobsmacked at the television report, now seemed as good a time as any. Sitting down on a bench, she pulled up the chat and read what she missed.

RockLobster:
Guys, have you seen the news yet?

DiscountPikachu:
Yeah! That's Midoriya, right?

Xenoqueen:
Totally! I recognize that bush anywhere!

HolyIvy:
Not just Midoriya-kun either. The other student on the ground was definitely Iida-kun.

TiredNChatty:
Well, damn. It really is.

HolyIvy:
LANGUAGE!

TiredNChatty:
Sorry.

DiscountPikachu:
Yeah, Shinsou, don't anger the missus.

TiredNChatty:
I will hypnotize you into a pink frilly tutu.

Heartrocker:
Anyone gotten word from Iida? He hasn't answered his phone all morning. Ya think he's alright?

KungFuFighting:
Nothing on my end. What about you, Hagakure? Weren't you in Hosu too?

NopeImInvisible:
I was, but the hero I was with took me out of town that afternoon. We didn't get back until after the fighting ended. I am helping with cleanup tho.

DaedricPrinceOfMadness:
Iida Tenya was wounded during the fight in Hosu. He is currently out of communications, and will be returning to Musutafu once he is discharged from the hospital. I do recommend against swarming him, though. He is not in good graces right now. -Principal Nedzu

DiscountPikachu:
???

RockLobster:
That doesn't sound good at all.

Heartrocker:
Doesn't explain his lack of contact, tho. Maybe he's still asleep?

DiscountPikachu:
Okay, but how does the Principal have access to our chat, and why is his username an Elder Scrolls reference?

Uraraka gave a giggle at that last part. The principal might be an intimidating being, but her chats with Midoriya had shown her that he really did care for his students. Chances are he chose that sort of name to break the tension. Opting not to add anything to the conversation, she closed her phone and went back to stretching. As she did, she thought about Midoriya a bit more. Midoriya...and Melissa. Once she got home, she swore to give Melissa her answer, but she was still nervous. How would things work between the three of them? Would Izuku even want them all together? She could only hope that things would end well, one way or another.

---

Friday morning dawned with overcast skies and chilly winds. Despite this, however, Izuku didn't feel gloomy at all. He was on a train heading back for Musutafu. In the car with him were Iida, Kagaro, Gorogoro and Oyaneko. They could have gone home sooner, but after seeing Izuku on the news they decided to head home together. They were spread out across the aisles around him, since the seat right next to him was taken by Eri. The small girl was looking out the window, clutching Izuku's knife close. She had never traveled by train before, so seeing the landscape go by so quickly was a marvel to her.

Izuku himself had recovered from what happened over the past few days. His leg was healed, his cheek now sported a notable scar, and his brain had finally un-frazzled after learning he received official credit for taking downtwoS-Rank Villains. He was glad his name hadn't been released. His mom would get a literal heart attack if the media stormed their apartment. She might have one anyways just because he knows she saw the news report with his fight against Stain. Unfortunately, he couldn't even head directly home yet. He needed to talk to Nedzu concerning Eri's circ*mstances. Honestly, he was hoping she could stay with him and his mom, but he didn't know if she could.

After another few minutes, the food trolley came rolling through. At this point everyone huddled together, bought what they wanted, and shared how their weeks went. Most everyone spoke about the highlights of their week, trying to focus more on what happened before the big battle. Oyaneko had apparently been helping with a hero whose agency was more like a for-hire security firm, while Gorogoro was with a more combative hero. Kagaro Kiana had been helping with another hero who was impressed with her sword skills, hence how she got a saber for the Hosu battle. And why she still had that saber. On the train. Izuku couldn't help but wonder how she was allowed to bring that onto the train. Then again, it was probably the same reason why Eri had been allowed to carry the knife on board. Oh well. Something to worry about later. For now, he and Eri were riding home with their friends.

---

At the same time Izuku and Eri were riding the train, Todoroki Shouto was packing his own bags alongside Moroboshi Ayame. The two were instructed to pack before meeting her aunt & uncle that morning, and Shouto was slightly worried. He was also a bit stressed over his lack of a phone. Tuesday morning he was practicing his fire with Shinobu, and she accidentally melted half of it. She agreed to cover him getting a new one, but this meant he had spent much of the week without any connection to the outside world. Endeavor was not gonna like that, but honestly at this point he didn't care. He got to spend a week with the girl he liked, and learned how to use his fire without brute-forcing it.

He never would have thought this before, but Endeavor could suck it.

As soon as he and Moroboshi were packed, the two students met up with the pro heroes in the courtyard. The two heroes looked at the students with wide smiles, proud at how far the two had progressed over the week. While Shouto had been practicing with his fire and learning asmallhandful of Moroboshi-style ice techniques, Ayame had been working on her "Invincible Ice" and other tricks she had devised with the help of Midoriya. Both Uncle Frosty and Anutie Shinobu were beyond impressed.

"You done good, kids!" Ataru smiled through his mask. "I'd say either one of you could handle any non-top-ten pro hero easily!"

"I kind of wish we had more time," Shinobu nodded as she handed each student a ticket, "but sadly we could only reserve you for the week. Here are your tickets to get home." Todoroki read his ticket and...that was wrong. He reread the words on the ticket twice before turning back to the older heroes.

"Um, these tickets aren't for the station we came from," he stated. "Nor are they for today."

"Course not!" Frosty smirked. Pointing over his shoulder to the gate behind him, he replied, "Your last test! The station those tickets are for town onthatside of the mountain! Those tickets are for tomorrow morning! You have that long to make it down! Take care kids!" With that, the pros both threw down gray balls that exploded into smoke. When it cleared, both the heroes were gone. There weren't even any footprints showing which way they could have gone. With some minor dread, the two students walked to the opened gate and looked out. There was a clear path that seemed to stretch to the town in the distance, but if their climb up was any indication...

"...This entire path is booby-trapped, isn't it?" Todoroki asked.

"Most likely," Moroboshi nodded.

"...Don't step on the logs?"

"Yup."

The two students sighed before moving their bags around to a comfortable position for the running they knew they were gonna be doing. Both then dropped into the stretches they had done every morning, making sure they were limber and ready. Moroboshi eyed her partner as they did so, a sly idea forming in her head. As the students straightened up, Ayame grabbed Shouto's collar and pulled down a little bit. This made him lean just far enough for her to kiss him on the cheek. This sudden display of affection caused Todoroki to freeze in place and steam flowed from his ears. Moroboshi gave a giggle.

"I'll give you a real one if you beat me to the bottom~." the girl seductively whispered. Knowing this made Todoroki even more flustered, Moroboshi took the opportunity to shoot ahead of the hero student.

"W-what the-" Todoroki quickly recovered, "HEY! NO FAIR!" The blushing hero student quickly ran out the gate to catch up with the laughing ice queen.

---

"And that's a wrap!" the director called. Asano and Momo both gave sighs of relief, having held their arms up for this commercial for close to half an hour. Sakai gave a "ptooi!" as he spat out the basket he'd been holding in his mouth.

"If never bite another wood basket for the rest of my life," he groaned, "it will still be too soon."

"Oh come on," Uwabami giggled as she patted his cheek, "you did good. All of you did good." She gave a genuine smile at the three students who assisted her with this. "I'd say you've had a very successful week, huh?"

"Yeah," Asano nodded. "Modeling is hard."

"Your political work is indeed quite a task," Momo acknowledged.

"I now know that elm tastes different than juniper," Sakai deadpanned. Everyone stared at the snake for a few moments before breaking out laughing.

"Anyways," Uwabami wiped her eyes after she finished laughing, "I know Yaoyorozu isn't really into modeling, but for you, Asano-chan." She handed the Gen Ed girl a card with a few numbers on it. "You were especially receptive to what we did this week. Once you graduate, call this number. I'll see if you still got it." The girl with the giant quirk smiled and nodded as she accepted the card. "The commercial should go up in a month. I'll make sure all three of you are credited." She gave a wink as the two girls and snake bowed their heads graciously.

---

Izuku gave a happy sigh as he heard the hard clacking of his shoes on UA's tiled floor. Before the train had stopped, Izuku had gotten a text from Nedzu requesting he bring Eri to him immediately. Apparently the principal wanted to get her living arrangements squared away soon as possible. No point in delaying the inevitable. Holding one of Eri's hands, Izuku gently led her through UA's silent halls. Holding Izuku's knife like a teddy bear, Eri looked around UA in complete awe. She had never been inside a building like this. It was clean like Overhaul's compound, but all the plants and noises made it feel so much more...alive. It wasn't cold and empty.

She liked it.

After some time, the pair of kids made it to the Principal's office. Izuku didn't even get the chance to knock before the door opened. As the two stepped inside, Izuku was surprised to see Midnight and his mother were already in the room. Midnight was clearly holding in a "squee" after seeing Eri, and Inko simply gave the girl a motherly smile. Nedzu nodded and gestured for the kids to sit on the chair between the two ladies.

"Hello, Midoriya," Nedzu greeted. "I assume this is the girl?" Izuku nodded and gently tugged on Eri's hand, giving her a nod.

"I-I'm Eri," she whispered.

"It is nice to meet you, Eri," Nedzu smiled. "Midoriya, I am afraid that I've only heard an abridged version of how you rescued her. Could you please tell us in greater detail?" Izuku nodded and explained it as he remembered it. Everything from Eri bumping into him, to his fight against Chisaki (earning a gasp from Inko), and how he managed to calm her down while her quirk went haywire. All the adults listened quietly until Izuku finished his tale.

"You've certainly had quite the time, huh?" Midnight smiled, gently petting Eri's head.

"Y-yeah," Izuku stuttered. "B-but what's g-gonna happen to E-Eri?"

"About that," Nedzu smiled. "It's certainly for the best that she be with someone she can trust. Someone who can protect her, but keep her in close proximity with you, as you are the only person she trusts. Problem is, though, I am not certain any of the teachers here are up to the task. Most of them have their own families or are too busy with their own lives to handle another kid. The few who aren't...well, Mic is too loud for her, Hound Dog might scare her, and I don't trust Aizawa's fashion sense in the least. So, the only option..."

"That's why I'm here," Inko smiled. "We were discussing the possibility of us taking her in ourselves, Izuku. I may have been alittlehesitant before, but seeing her now and hearing her story, I think it would be for the best. Plus, you took on those nasty villains. I can't think of anyone better suited to keeping her safe." Izuku was dumbstruck. Here he was, mentally preparing to give any argument and debate he needed to stay with Eri. Instead, things were just immediately solved for him. He smiled and gave a nod just before Eri tugged on his arm. He looked down at the small girl, her scarlet eyes wide with curiosity.

"Are you gonna be my papa?" she asked. The entire room fell silent for close to half a minute before Inko gave a squeal.

"I'm gonna be a grandmother!"

---

It was Saturday afternoon when Todoroki Shouto stepped off the train to Musutafu. It took almost half the day, but he and Moroboshi did make it to the town with minimal injury. As they still had time before the train, the two students had eaten a healthy lunch, explored the place, and gotten their feelings out in the open.

Though Shouto would never admit he got to town after she did. Besides, she still rewarded him later.

Moroboshi had gotten off the train before he did, so he was by himself as he walked the last few blocks to his house. He could have taken the bus, but after being on the train long as he was he wanted to stretch his legs. He knew his father would likely be mad at taking so long, but again, he really didn't care anymore. Plus, he knew it would only be a matter of time before Endeavor's past caught up with him. He hoped Fuyumi would be able to handle things after that. He walked in silent thought all the way to his house. Quietly opening the door and stepping inside, he immediately noticed several differences.

The air in the house didn't seem so...tense. Anytime his father was home the air felt suffocating, while his absence turned the air stale. Now, it felt warm and soft. And there wasmusic. Endeavor would never let music play through the house, saying it was distracting. Especially this particular song. It was one of his mom's favorite songs. She would always play it when Endeavor wasn't around, and she would hum along with it.

Like he was hearing right now.

He stopped. It...it was impossible. He tiptoed through the house, carrying his bags and following the sound of the music and the humming. It was coming from the kitchen. Just like back then. He kept quiet as he approached, almost scared of what he'd find. He turned the corner and stopped at what he saw.

She was there. His mom was there. She was there, wearing her old apron and cooking a late lunch. She hadn't noticed his arrival, humming to the music player she kept hidden behind the cupboards, only the device was openly sitting on the counter. It felt like a dream, an impossible hope that brought tears to his eyes. He stared for several minutes before his limp arms dropped his heavy bags. The noise startled his mother and she turned to him. She looked at him for a few seconds before giving a warm smile Shouto hadn't seen in years.

"Welcome home, Shouto."

Those three words broke the walls around Shouto's heart. Too overcome with emotion to articulate words, he just rushed forward and pulled his mother into a hug. She gave a gasp as he did so, feeling his warm tears soak into her shoulder. His arms were shaking, but he kept hugging her tight, too afraid she would disappear if she let go. After feeling this, Rei smiled and gently hugged her son.

"I'm not going anywhere," she whispered. "I'm here to stay." This got a sob out of Shouto, still not trusting his voice to make any words for how he felt.

She was home.

His mother was home.

They were both home.

Notes:

Yeah...happy tears. -w-

Next chapter is gonna be the start of a new arc. Decisions are made, people talk, and a certain battle takes place. Tune in next time!

Chapter 30: Home and Exchange

Notes:

For the first time in a week, Izuku gets a nice calm day...well, calm-ish. Stuff still happens, but nothing crazy...well, nothing too crazy.

Also, I got a piece of semi-fanart/meme of Type-2 Hero and I squeal. XD
https://sta.sh/015u774ilc1m
It was thrown together by WhiteTiger789, and I love it because it's so accurate. XD

Read on, folks!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Monday morning came too quick for Izuku's liking. After everything that happened the previous week, he wanted to spend another week sleeping. Stretching and groaning, he looked around his bedroom, resplendent in hero merchandise. The sun was just barely coming up, but he could smell his mother cooking breakfast in the kitchen. He tried sitting up, but felt a heavy weight on his right arm. He looked down, and smiled at the sight of sleeping Eri.

Eri had been adjusting slowly to living with the Midoriyas. Inko had fussed over her scars and lack of knowledge about many things and had spent almost the entire first day shopping for Eri. She almost bought an extra bed before Eri said she liked sleeping next to "Papa," a title that melted their hearts even more. Izuku was happy that Eri was getting to experience so many things, but was slightly nervous about what was coming next.

"Eri," he gently shook her shoulder, "t-t-time to w-wake up." The girl woke up almost instantly, a leftover trait from her time with Overhaul. It took her a moment to remember where she was before looking at Izuku and giving a small smile.

"Morning, Papa," she whispered.

"Good m-morning," Izuku gently pet her head. "R-ready for today?" It took Eri a moment to remember what he meant before nervously curling up.

"Th-they won't hurt me, will they?" she whispered.

"Of course not," Izuku reassured. "My c-c-classmates are going to l-love you. You've already m-met a few, remember? The angel, the s-spiky guy and th-the blue guy? Come on." He gently lifted Eri up into a sitting position. "Let's s-s-see what mom m-made for breakfast, huh?" Eri hugged Izuku as he stood up from the bed and stepped out. As he did, his phone buzzed with a text. Grabbing it and checking it, he suddenly felt a bit of dread.

---

Melissa was waiting in Mei's workshop, her phone in her hand. She was glaring at her screen, occasionally looking up at the door. Next to her, Mei was working on a piece of equipment that might have been easier to recognize before it was dropped in a vat of acid. After a bit, said inventor looked up at the clearly-unhappy Melissa.

"If you keep glaring like that," Mei joked, "you might develop laser eyes and melt your phone."

"I told him to meet me here before school," Melissa growled.

"And we still got, what, a quarter hour? Go easy on him, Mel. Dunno why you're so pissed, anyway..." Mei turned her attention back to the possibly-a-boot and left the quirkless girl to steam. After another few minutes, there was gentle knocking on the door. With a call from Mei, it opened up and revealed a sight that Melissa honestly found completely adorable.

Izuku was standing there in his uniform, and holding his hand was Eri wearing a miniature UA uniform (while also holding his knife). Melissa had been briefed on the girl earlier, so she held her tongue as the pair slowly entered the workshop. Izuku was (understandably) nervous and the little girl was looking around in wide-eyed wonder. When Eri looked at Melissa, the older girl gave a quick smile before scowling at Izuku.

"H-hello, Melissa," Izuku stuttered. Instead of greeting him, Melissa turned to Mei.

"Hatsume-san, could you show young Eri around the workshop?" she asked with an irritated tone. "I need to speak to Midoriya-kun in private."

"O-oh, sure," Mei replied as she stopped working on the maybe-a-helmet. Eri was nervous about leaving, but a quick word from Izuku and the little girl was holding Hatsume's hand as the inventor led her deeper into the workshop. After a moment Melissa and Izuku were alone, the taller girl glaring down at the shorter boy.

"I-is something wrong, M-Melissa?" Izuku nervously asked.

"Is something wrong..." Melissa repeated before groaning. "How about going toe-to-toe with a freakingserial killer!?" Melissa stomped forward and grabbed Izuku's shoulders before leaning down to eye-level. "What were you thinking, Midoriya!? You could havedied!I know you're training to be a hero, but you aren't one yet! He was an experienced killer, you're a student! I thought you were smarter than that, Midoriya! Why didn't you..." she stopped shouting at him when she saw Izuku was tearing up.

"I-I t-tried to r-run," Izuku cried, "b-b-but Iida-k-k-kun r-rushed in and...a-and..." Melissa's anger immediately evaporated and she pulled Izuku into a tight hug.

"I'm sorry," she whispered, tears in her own eyes. "I was justso worried, Midoriya-kun. There's much I still want to do with you, I just...I got scared. I saw the fight live, and each time he attacked you, I couldn't help but fear that would be the hit that killed you." She looked down at Izuku, speaking quietly. "Please tell me you'll be careful next time, okay?" Izuku nodded, his face down and still tearing up from Melissa's outburst. Then Melissa gave an apologetic smile, gently lifted his chin and-

chu

...

a kiss...

Melissa was kissing Izuku...

on the lips...

It took Izuku a good few seconds to realize what was happening, and he felt his knees turn to jelly. Melissa's hug was literally the only thing keeping him from falling to the ground as Melissa held the kiss. After a period of time that simultaneously felt like a few seconds and eternity, Melissa moved away, still giving a smile. She gave a giggle when she saw just how red Izuku had turned.

"I was wanting to do that one for a while," the blonde whispered.

"Seriously?" Mei deadpanned, startling both the other teens. Melissa straightened up and let go of Izuku, who nearly fell over before catching himself. Both of them turned to Mei, seeing her glowering at them while carrying Eri on her hip. Eri, meanwhile, was holding a random device and staring at the two older teens.

"H-how long were you standing there?" Melissa asked.

"Long enough to feel the need to tell you Power Loader doesn't like students making out in his workshops," Mei bluntly replied. "Especially in front of little girls holding experimental micro-particle accelerators." As she said this, the device in Eri's hands made a 'pew!' sound and fired a line of blue light through the nearby window, leaving a small hole in the glass.

"Wow," Eri whispered in awe of the device.

"Aaaaaaanyway, it's almost time for school, so Mido-chan had better take his kid back and rush to class. Drop by later today, though, Mido-chan. Wanna talk about some possible upgrades for your arm." Mei set Eri down, relieving her of the miniature device before the little girl ran back to Izuku. Her impacting his side in a hug shook him from his stupor. He quickly stuttered his apology and hustled out the door with Eri. Before the door fully closed, though, Melissa heard Eri ask one question.

"Was that pretty lady mommy?"

Now it was Melissa's turn to feel a bit flustered. The thought of having a child was...not unappealing, at least. Her train of thought was derailed when Hatsume roared with laughter. She must have heard the question, too. Oh boy, Melissa and Izuku were never gonna live that down. Thankfully, Melissa's phone started ringing, giving her a reason to exit the workshop. Checking the ID, the American girl answered.

"Hey, Uraraka-san. What's up?"

"...I want to try."

"Try what~?" Melissa teased, recovering from her fluster quickly.

"I-I want to try us...I mean, the three of us...th-that offer's still open, right?"

"Mmmaybe," Melissa hummed. "I still need to talk to Midoriya-kun about it, but I'm sure I can convince him. I'll tell you later today, okay?" With an affirmation from the nervous Ochako, Melissa hung up the phone and rushed to her own class. With all the emotions from earlier, she forgot to bring up a certain something to Izuku, and would strive to do so during lunch.

---

Uraraka sat in homeroom waiting for Aizawa to roll in. She was still nervous over Melissa's words, but this was overshadowed by the overall mood of the class. The vast majority were abuzz with Midoriya's accomplishments. Todoroki seemed unaware of what Izuku had accomplished, and was startled when he heard the news. When asked about how things were with his father in prison, Shouto just said he needed to thank someone later. Iida, however, was most subdued. Several people had asked him about the Stain fight, but he refrained from answering. His head stayed bowed, and he seemed ashamed for some reason. She could tell he was feeling especially bad because he hadn't done his "robot chop" the entire morning. Hopefully he would recover soon.

"Settle down," Aizawa announced as he stepped in. Before he reached the podium, everyone had gone silent and were in their chairs. The teacher looked the class over before saying, "I finished reading through your reports from your experience weeks. Formostof you, I'll admit I'm not disappointed." Uraraka noticed Iida bow his head even more at these words. "Don't think this means you can relax, however. Six weeks from now will be the midterm exams. There'll be both a written and practical portion, and neither will be easy. You'll receive more details during your heroics class today. The Principal requested I use this time to go over something else of importance." The class was paying rapt attention, curious what could derail the exams.

"Two weeks from now," Eraserhead explained, "is the I-Island Expo, and the Hero Course classes are allowed to attend."

The class exploded with excitement. They all knew about the Expo, and I-Island was nothing to laugh at either. Aizawa had to use his quirk to get everyone to calm down before continuing, "The expo will last two days, and the following Monday will be a day off to allow all attendees to recover from jet lag. Uraraka, Todoroki, both of you have received official invitations due to Placing during the Sports Festival. You will each be allowed to bring a single guest with you. Everyone else will have to pay a small fee for entry for yourselves, but UA will handle all other expenses. However, I will point out there will be a test this Thursday, and anyone who fails it won't be allowed to attend." A few of Uraraka's classmates winced at that.

"Also," their teacher continued, "due to reasons I don't feel like explaining and you shouldn't ask about, Iida will not be allowed to attend the Expo." There was a gasp from most of the class at this, and the mentioned student tensed up. Why was he being punished? Did it have to do with Stain? The tall brunettereallywanted to ask now, and she knew a lot of her class was the same.

"I can hear the gears in your heads grinding together," Aizawa groaned. "Like I said, I don't feel like explaining it, Iida is prohibited from talking about it, and if I hear about any of you asking about it I will make sure you get detention over that weekend." This shut the class up quickly, though a few of them still glanced in Iida's direction. "As a last announcement, you've all no doubt figured out who 'Scouter' is from the news last week. The principal himself requests you do not swarm Midoriya with questions. If you happen to see him today, try not to pry, and do not startle the little girl with him."

"Little girl?" Shiozaki whispered behind Uraraka.

"It's not my place to explain, you'll have to ask him. That is all." With that, Aizawa slipped into his sleeping bag and dozed for the rest of homeroom. None of the students said anything after that, too busy trying to process everything they had just heard. Uraraka felt even more distracted now. Why couldn't things be calm for more than a week?

---

Around the same time Aizawa was stepping into the 1-A classroom, Izuku and Eri rushed over to Class 1-C. He knew they were the last ones to arrive, but this was planned. He had arranged this with Midnight, who was standing outside the classroom as Izuku dashed up. The pro heroine had visited over the weekend, so Eri was thankfully growing used to her presence. This was displayed when Midnight smiled and gently ruffled Eri's hair.

"You ready?" she asked. Izuku nodded, and Eri mirrored his action. Smiling at Eri, Midnight turned and opened the door. "Settle down, class!" Izuku could hear his classmates shuffle to their seats. Midnight cleared her throat. "Before anyone says anything, yes Midoriya-kun is present, he's just not here yet due to reasons. Yes, I know you've figured out he's the 'Scouter' from the news, but you shouldn't pester him over what happened. Anyway, I've gone over your Experience Week reports. For those of you who did heroic acts this week, impressive! For those who chose more domestic acts, still a good job! No matter what you chose to do over the week, you made our school and society proud. As for morning announcements..." she turned to Izuku and nodded. The student slowly stepped into the room, his nervous daughter clinging to his arm and holding his knife like a teddy bear with her free arm. Most of the class was completely surprised by Izuku's little companion, but a few (such as Kiana) were less surprised.

After the initial shock wore off, Midnight continued, "This young lady is Eri-chan. Midoriya-kun rescued her from a villain on his first day of the Experience Week. She's suffered incredible trauma, and as such Midoriya-kun is pretty much the only person she really trusts right now. He's taken over as her official guardian until further notice. So I must ask you refrain from swarming either of them, as Eri-chan doesn't have full control over her quirk yet, and we don't want any accidents." She gestured for the two to take their seat. Izuku quickly hustled to his desk and pulled Eri onto his lap. Midnight smiled at the sight before continuing the morning announcements.

"In six weeks time is gonna be the midterm finals," the R-Rated Heroine stated. "It won't be easy by any standards, so study up. Also, the principal has requested to speak to a few of you during lunch today. He has a twist in mind concerning us and the Heroics classes. I'm not allowed to say what it is, but," she licked her lips, "I'm excited for it, and the participants will be, too. Also, the I-Island Expo is in a couple weeks. Normally only the hero classes receive school assistance in attending, but due to the fact you guys are all so awesome the Principal has decided to extend that courtesy to our class as well. You'll have to pay a small fee for single tickets, but the school will handle all other expenses."

This got the class excited. None of them had the opportunity to go to something like that before. Izuku himself was looking forward to it. Maybe he could try to get tickets for his Mom and Eri, too? Judging from how wide-eyed Eri was in Mei's shop, she'd probably go bonkers at all the inventions over there, and his Mom would likely enjoy the change of scenery. Yeah, sounded like a plan.

---

The rest of the class periods before lunch passed thankfully calm. No one in class pestered Izuku about his fight against Stain, and Eri slowly came out of her shell as the hours passed. Everyone in class took a short turn with her, either letting her sit on their laps or simply scooting next to Izuku's desk as she drew crayon pictures of everyone. To everyone's surprise, she seemed to enjoy Sakai's company the most, constantly petting the snake when he got close.

"Okay, but seriously," Hayashida asked towards the end of English Class, "what do you guys think the principal is?"

"Um, a mammal?" Choji laughed.

"I meanwhat kind, you furball," the purple-haired boy asked. "He looks like a rat, right?"

"I thought he was more like a mouse," Moroboshi replied.

"Maybe a ferret?" Asano shrugged.

"I always thought he was a koala," Hojo piped up. Everyone turned to her in confusion, and she shrugged at them. "I mean, he has two thumbs, right?"

Before anyone could answer, the lunch bell rang. Moroboshi grabbed her bag and dashed for the door. She was one of the 1-C kids the principal wanted to talk to, and she wanted to get it out of the way fast as possible. The moment she opened the door, however, she came face-to-face with Todoroki. Only her sharp reflexes prevented her from bumping into him. The rest of her class watched, wondering what was going on.

"Oh, hey, Todoroki-kun," she greeted the slightly-taller hero student. "Did you-ah!" As she was asking her question, Shouto pulled her into a tight hug, burying his face in her shoulder. There were a few gasps from her classmates, Midnight gave a fangirly squeal, and Sakai's jaw unhinged from shock. Moroboshi herself was unsure of what to do. Todoroki never seemed like the one for PDA, especially so brazenly like-

"You got her back," Shouto whispered as Moroboshi's shoulder felt a bit damp. "You brought my mother back. I can't thank you enough." Ah. That's what this was. Moroboshi slowly hugged back.

"We can continue this later, alright?" she whispered back. "The principal needs to see me about something." Todoroki nodded and let go, moving aside so she could leave the room. Before leaving completely, though, she turned back into the class. "I'd prefer if you told no one of what you saw." Thankfully, everyone in class gave their agreement. No need to talk about something that didn't concern them, after all. After that, Moroboshi and a handful of other students made the walk up to Nedzu's office.

---

"Extra tickets?" Nedzu asked with a chuckle.

"Y-yes," Izuku asked, "f-for my m-mom and Eri here." The two were in the office by themselves, close to the end of the day. Eri was sitting on Izuku's lap, still holding his knife. "I-I'm willing to do whatever I-I need t-to earn them. I-I don't have m-much money o-on hand, but-" At this last remark, Nedzu started laughing. Izuku got a bit worried. Why was he laughing?

"Midoriya," the mammal chuckled, "did you forget that you took down two villains last week?"

"W-what does th-that have to do with-"

"You might desire to be a hero for the purest of reasons," Nedzu continued, "but you must remember that what you're aiming for is indeed aprofession. Hence the title, 'Professional Hero.' Said individuals receive a government-paid salary along with small payments for every villain they capture. I opened an account for you a while ago with the intent of throwing some money in to help you get started, but you really don't need that boost now."

Izuku stared in shock as Nedzu typed away on his laptop, continuing his cheerful explanation. "After all, you took down two S-Class Villains by yourself, and Stain himself actually had a government-set bounty for his capture. Normally such earnings are taxed and divided among the hero & sidekicks, along with put forward to maintain the Agency, but none of that applies to you as you're still a minor and worked on your own. Your mother has access to this account, which is also why taking care of young Eri there hasn't been a problem financially." With that, he spun his laptop around so Izuku could see the exact balance in his Hero Account. Izuku stared...then blinked and leaned closer.

"Th...th-that's a lot of..." he stuttered, not believing what he was seeing. Eri stared in confusion, still too young to fully realize what this meant.

"You earned it," Nedzu smiled. "So you can see, getting extra tickets will not be an issue for you at all." The principal slid from his chair and walked around his desk. "Could Eri come with me for something real quick? There's someone who wishes to speak to you in private." Izuku jerked at the words before nodding. Eri gently slid off his lap and took the principal's paw before the two stepped out. Who wanted to talk to him? Was it one of the heroes from Hosu? Sir Nighteye? Someone else related to his training? He was so lost in thought he didn't hear the door open, but he certainly heard the person speak.

"Young Midoriya..."

Izuku froze. That...that voice. He slowly turned, not believing what he was hearing. When his eyes fell on the speaker, he could barely gasp two words.

"All Might..."

Notes:

It's finally happening folks. The long-overdue talk between Izuku and All Might. How do you think it'll go? Will Izuku forgive the man? Will izuku punch him in the face? You'll see next time.

Along with that, next chapter you'll see what Nedzu has planned for the Midterm Finals, and how it affects 1-C. Til next time!

Chapter 31: Exchange and Results

Notes:

Nothing says "Happy Single's Awareness Day" like getting a chapter of your favorite fanfic, right? XD It's time for the fated talk between the boy who could have been, and the hero who said no. How do you think it'll go? There's some more stuff going on too, but I know a lot of you were waiting for this.

Read on!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Things were a hustle-n-bustle in Hatsume's workshop. Mei was showing Eri how to assemble...something that was hopefully non-explosive while Nedzu and Melissa were talking casually. School had ended earlier, but no one in the room had anything better to do, so hanging in the workshop wasn't a detriment to anyone. Melissa was curious why Nedzu and Eri were here without Midoriya, though. She resolved to ask about it later.

Suddenly the doors burst open, surprising everyone when Izuku staggered in. He was uncomfortably pale, sweating a flood and breathing heavily. It was clear he was on the verge of a panic attack. The instant they saw Izuku like this everyone reacted. Eri gasped, worried about her papa, while Melissa ran up and pulled Izuku into a hug before gently pulling him towards a bench that Mei and Nedzu had hastily cleared off.

"What happened, Midoriya?" Nedzu asked worriedly. "Last I saw you were-"

"I-I-I-" Izuku tried to speak, but his stutter combined with his oncoming anxiety attack reduced his words to gibberish and rough coughing.

"Easy," Melissa said as she rubbed Izuku's back. "Go slowly and tell us-"

"I PUNCHED ALL MIGHT IN THE FACE!"

Silence.

"...What?"

---

There was an awkward silence in the principal's office. In one chair sat Midoriya Izuku. Across from him was All Might in his true, withered form. Neither of them had said a word since All Might sat down a few minutes ago. Izuku fidgeted in his seat, unsure what was even going on.

"...I..." the pro hero finally spoke up, "...Crap, this went a lot easier in my head..." Izuku just kept watching silently as All Might worked to gather himself before looking at Izuku with a regretful expression. "Young Midoriya...I'm sorry." This startled the student even more. He was sorry? Was he sorry for...back then?

"I was wrong," All Might continued. "When I saw you on the roof, I just saw a quirkless child and nothing more. I didn't even consider your intellect, any skills you may have possessed, and just focused on how you lacked any powers. Because of that, I was...blind to what you were truly capable of."

"W-well," Izuku started, "I-I really-" All Might raised his hand, politely asking Izuku to wait.

"There is more, young Midoriya. I watched you rush in to save that other boy, saw your heroic spirit, and stillwrote you off simply because you were quirkless. I had the opportunity to make you great, and threw it aside, too hooked on that one factor. When I first heard you made it into UA, even though it was General Education, I couldn't believe my ears. I think...I think that's when I began to realize I was wrong about you." He chuckled. "Also kind of helped that Midnight was literally beating me over the head when she explained what happened."

"...W-was that the day of th-the m-media break-in?" Izuku asked. All Might nodded before continuing.

"That was also the day I began taking efforts to avoid you."

Izuku coughed at that. All Might had been avoiding him? He guessed that explained why the hero had been absent any time he was with a Hero Course class. And why he never saw All Might once in the halls. Ever. Wow, the Number One Hero of Japan had really been avoiding him, huh?

That legit hurt.

"I was avoiding you," All Might sighed, "because I didn't want to face my shame. My shame in what happened to you, my shame in how I treated you. My shame...in how I used to be." Izuku gave a confused expression. "Young Midoriya...I was a late bloomer. A verylate bloomer. As in, I was 14 when my quirk first manifested. I had lived my entire life up to that point thinking I was quirkless. After I manifested it...I never looked back. Seeing you here in UA, and hearing how you were Nedzu's and Nighteye's student...made me realize that I was so ashamed of my prior quirklessness that I had done everything I could to ignore it. Somehow, that even extended to believing in the capabilities of quirkless people. People like you."

'People like Melissa...'Izuku thought, his chest feeling heavy and his fists clenching on his knees.

"After hearing what you did in the USJ," the hero continued, "I really began to think of my prior behavior towards you. You worked hard and managed to save some hero students. After the Sport's Festival, I had a conversation with one of your classmates, young Moroboshi, and she explained in explicit detail just how my perception of society was screwed up. Then the Saturday you went for your Experience Week, I had one more conversation that really opened my eyes to what was wrong with me. Through my actions, I had made you assume I thought 'quirkless' meant 'worthless.' And after that, hearing you skillfully apprehend twoS-Class Villains..." He buried his face in his hands, clearly trying to hide tears. "Ever since you saved that young man last year, you've been proving my words wrong. Quirkless people canbe heroes. I'm sorry I ever doubted you. I'm sorry I told you 'no' without even giving you the chance. I am so...so sorry..."

Izuku sat, silently processing what he just heard. All Might...really felt that way? He had done all this...out of shame? Rather than try to make things better for quirkless, he just pushed them aside? Ignored their plight because it wasn't his problem anymore? That...that made Izuku feel something he very rarely felt.

"A-All Might," Izuku asked as he got to his feet, "c-could you please s-stand up?" The hero looked at him confused before slowly standing up. "C-could you bulk up r-real quick?"

"O-okay," All Might replied as he turned to his Hero form. "May I ask why-"

BAM!

While All Might was asking his question, Izuku jumped into the air and decked All Might in the face with his prosthetic arm. It might not have been as strong as some of the attacks he had taken in the past, but it still had a fair amount of force behind it. This combined with just how sudden the attack came resulted in him deflating and falling back in his chair. He stared at Izuku in wide-eyed shock. Said student held up his fake arm and looked at All Might with tears in his eyes.

"Th-think about th-the repercussions of your w-words," Izuku stated before looking at the stricken hero. "Th-they might h-have irreversible r-results. Th-then again...i-if it w-weren't for you...I-I might not b-be here..." All Might had the decency to look sullen as Izuku finished with "I-I do f-forgive you...b-but only this time." After that, Izuku dashed from the office, leaving All Might alone.


---

Izuku was laying on the bench in Mei's workshop. Melissa had laid his head on her lap and she pet him gently as he regaled what happened between him and All Might. Eri was sitting on the floor holding his hand (a rare moment where she wasn't holding her knife) while Mei and Nedzu sat in nearby stools. Izuku had left out the parts involving his transformation, but even then the panic was too much for him.

"I-I punched h-him," the panicking boy whimpered. "I p-punched All M-Might. I-I just l-lost c-c-control a-after he t-t-told me h-he was a l-late bloomer and..." Izuku curled up a bit. "...H-he w-was like us, Melissa. H-He knew w-what we went through, w-whatIw-went through, b-but ch-chose n-not to d-do anything..."

Melissa was herself in a mental storm. Uncle Might...no,All Mighthad never told her he was a late bloomer. Hearing that, and hearing what he did after his quirk manifested, it filled her with rage. He was in a position to change things but didn't? Maybe she was in better conditions being American, but knowing he could have helped Izuku and didn't...What sort of person was he?

On the other hand, she really wanted to kiss Izuku for defending her honor the way he did. She felt no qualms over him punching All Might, but it did hurt knowing that he still idolized the man so much that doing the deed almost sent him into a panic attack. She would definitely have to comfort him more later. And dammit, with this most recent incident shestillcouldn't mention the situation with Uraraka yet. She wanted Izuku to be in a good state of mind. Maybe later this evening.

"Well," Nedzu spoke up, "I feel I must apologize, young Midoriya. Had I known a conversation with All Might would turn out like this, I would have remained in the room, or at least warned you ahead of time. I'll call your mom and let her know you'll be a bit late."

"Tell her I'll be coming over, too," Melissa piped up. "And there may be another guest." Nedzu nodded as Eri looked around the room.

"Where's Auntie Mei?"

---

All Might groaned as he walked down the hall in his withered state. His cheek still hurt from where Midoriya had punched him. Just how strong was that prosthetic? It would definitely leave a bruise. However, the pain on his face was nothing compared to the pain in his heart.

Midoriya Izuku was a changed lad. When he met All Might a year ago, the young man was wide-eyed with awe and wonder. The student he met in the principal's office...there was still some of that child in there, but it was buried under pain and regret andexperiencethat no child should have. He knew for a fact that the Midoriya of a year ago would never have done what happened today. All Might passed a window, checking his reflection, and sighed.

He really did screw up, huh?

"HEY BLONDIE!" a shrill voice roared from behind him. The skinny man froze for a few seconds before turning. Storming down the hall was a girl he recognized from the Support Course. Mei, was it? Whatever her name was, it didn't seem as immediately important as the furious expression on her face and the very large gun in her hands.

"C-can I help you?" the hero stuttered.

"You seen All Might anywhere?" the student glared. "He had a disagreement with a close friend of mine, and I just want to clear things up with him." All Might didn't really want to know what sort of 'clearing things up' required an anti-tank cannon, so he denied knowing anything and watched the student storm away before rushing in the opposite direction. Maybe he could hide in his apartment for a few days until it was safe to return.

---

Uraraka quietly hummed a song as she walked down the street that evening. She had gotten a call from Melissa earlier, asking her to meet Melissa and Izuku at the boy's apartment. She was a teensy bit nervous, but the hero student was eager to know what Izuku thought of Melissa's idea. She hoped the boy was willing to try with the three of them together. She knew she was.

Reaching the apartment complex, Ochako looked around to make sure she was alone before using her quirks to jump up to the third floor. Straightening up her clothes, she walked to the door Melissa described and gave a gentle knock. She waited a few moments before the door opened, revealing a short, somewhat plump woman with green hair and eyes. Definitely Midoriya's mother. The woman gave a bit of a gasp as she looked up at Uraraka, then gave a warm smile.

"You look shorter on the television," the woman giggled. "Come in, come in." Uraraka bowed her head as she stepped inside, immediately smelling something delicious from the kitchen. She heard some voices from the living room further in.

"Melissa told me what you're here for," Inko smiled. "I'm not sure how it would work, but I'm just glad Izuku is...well, sought-after." Uraraka blushed and tried to stammer a reply before Inko giggled and gently pushed her down the hall. As she got closer, she could identify Melissa's voice along with a younger girl. That must be the "little girl" Aizawa mentioned earlier. She didn't get the chance to talk to Izuku during the school day, so this was gonna be the first time seeing her. The hero student turned the corner and saw Melissa sitting on the couch, and next to her was Eri with her ever-present knife (which confused Uraraka). What got her concern was the fact Izuku was laying on the couch, his head on Melissa's lap as she gently pet his green locks. He appeared to be napping. Melissa saw her and gently waved her over.

"Is something wrong?" Uraraka whispered as she came over. Eri scooted closer to Melissa, nervous around the new girl.

"He had a rough afternoon," Melissa stated. "This is Eri. Be calm around her. Izuku rescued her from a villain during his Experience Week." Eri shyly waved, and Uraraka waved back as she sat on the floor in front of Izuku.

"Have you told him yet?"

"Nope," Melissa sighed. "That's why you're here, so we can see if it's doable." Izuku suddenly groaned, getting everyone's attention. He slowly opened his eyes, seeing Uraraka in front of him. He stared for a bit before his eyes widened and he shot straight up.

"U-Uraraka-s-s-san!" he exclaimed. "W-what are you-"

"Something we need to talk about," Melissa pet his head while pulling Eri onto her lap. "She's gonna be having dinner with us tonight, but first..." She gestured to Uraraka to say her piece.

"...Well..." the hero student nervously started. "Thing is...Midoriya-kun...I...I like you. A lot." The still-kinda-asleep Izuku stared in a bit of a daze as the tall girl continued, "It doesn't end there. I like you a lot...and I like Melissa a lot, too." That one woke Izuku up all the way, bringing a confused blush to his face.

"On top of that," Melissa spoke up with Eri on her lap, "I think we both agree she's a lovely girl, right?" Melissa smirked as Izuku blushed even more. "I know you think she's pretty, too. So, here's my suggestion. How about allthree of usget together? I'm willing to give it a shot if you are, and so is she." The two teen girls looked at Izuku expectantly as the flustered boy tried to get his brain working enough to get words.

"A-aren't there entire a-a-anime with th-this sorta th-thing as a plot?" the boy asked. "A-A plot d-d-driven by d-drama and-"

"No drama," Melissa smiled, gently taking Izuku's hand. After a few seconds, Uraraka gently took his other hand.

"Please?" the girl asked. Izuku was silent again, not quite sure how to answer, before Eri shuffled across Melissa's lap and tapped his shoulder. With his daughter nearby, Izuku broke from his stupor and looked into her wide red eyes.

"Does this mean I'm gonna have two mamas?"

All three of the teens stared at the little girl after hearing her question. Izuku was the first to recover (for once), giving a slight chuckle before looking between Melissa and Uraraka...and nodding.

"I-I'm w-willing to give it a t-t-try." Melissa gave a joyful sound as she pulled Izuku into a hug, swiftly joined by Uraraka, sandwiching Eri between the three of them. Form the kitchen, Inko was quietly giggling into her hand. Things were looking up now, Izuku's prior stress forgotten in all the affection.

---

And now Uraraka was nervous again. The afternoon after she had dinner with the Midoriyas (gods that was delicious), she and Class 1-A were assembled on the field they had their assessment tests. Standing in front of them were all the teachers (save All Might and Nedzu). No one in class had any idea why they were all out here, and the suspense was killing them.

"Sorry I'm late!" Nedzu shouted as he rushed up from behind the teachers. Climbing up Vlad King's shoulder, the principal got comfy and smiled at the students. "Sorry for the wait! We were going to tell you about this yesterday, but due to circ*mstances I was distracted, so we had to postpone this to today! Now, I believe you students all have an idea on what awaits you in the practical portion of the Midterm Finals?"

"I heard we were going to be fighting robots?" Kaminari asked.

"Close!" Nedzu laughed. "You see, due to the exemplary behavior of most of you, combined with a desire to help you get ready for real work sooner, we decided to change things up a bit. Your opponents for the Finals...will be us teachers!"Uraraka gasped as the rest of the class seemed to explode. They were gonna be fighting teachers? Students against pro heroes? What chance did they have? Uraraka knew she might have had a chance against a few of them, but the rest...

"Let me explain," Nedzu spoke up, quieting the students. "You will each go to a separate arena, where you will have thirty minutes to either disable and capture a teacher with quirk-suppressant cuffs, or escape the area via the appropriate gate. I'm sorry, but due to some of these arenas being indoors, using your quirk or athleticism to jump over a border wall will not qualify as escape. You will be paired off, two to a teacher, and your partners will be chosen at random."

"Sensei," Iida quietly raised his hand. "Our class has nineteen students. How will this uneven problem be resolved?" It was a good question, but the way it was asked worried Uraraka greatly. Back during the entrance exam, Iida had no qualms with practically yelling at Present Mic over a perceived error, yet here he was so subdued it almost felt like he was ashamed for speaking up. Did his encounter with Stain affect him that badly?

"Ah yes!" Nedzu clapped his paws. "I must admit, I did kind of lie earlier. It won't just be us teachers you'll be fighting!" Nedzu then snapped his...digits, and Class 1-A watched as five more individuals appeared from behind the teachers. Standing off to the side were Moroboshi Ayame, Gakushuu Hifumi, Kagaro Kiana, Sakai Hebi, and Midoriya Izuku. "I know you all remember the students from Class 1-C who made it to the tournament, correct? And I'm sure you all recognize young Midoriya, also known as Scouter? Well, five of you will be facing these students in 1-on-1 battles with the same conditions!" Most of the Gen Ed kids gave snarky smiles and laughs while Izuku gave his trademark innocent smile that seemed to be the scariest expression among them. As they said this, Pro Hero Thirteen walked up with a table that had a box on it.

"Each of you," the rescue hero explained, "will pull a ball from this box. Each ball has the face of a teacher or student on it. You will be facing the depicted individual. Two balls for each of the seven teachers, including the absent All Might, and one ball for each student. Good luck."

One by one, the Hero Course students stepped forward to take a ball from the box. Some people seemed happy with their results (such as Todoroki giving a legitimate smile when he drew Moroboshi's ball), while others fell into despair (such as Kaminari and Sero paired up against Nedzu). After a few minutes, it was Uraraka's turn. She was the second-to-last person. Looking at everyone else, she knew the only balls remaining were one of All Might's...and Izuku's. She was stressed now. Face her mentor, the greatest hero japan had ever seen? Or face her new boyfriend, the shy boy who beat a serial killer? She honestly didn't want to fight either one, but she had no choice. Looking behind her, she saw the quiet Iida looking at the All Might ball in his hand, while Ashido was sweating at the idea of fighting either one. She couldn't delay the inevitable any longer. Taking a breath, she shoved her hand through the hole and pulled out a ball. She looked at it, and gave a wince while Ashido turned absolutely pale.

No turning back now.

Notes:

So? How was that? All Might said his piece, and got a righteous decking for it.

And yes, the MeliDekuOcha ship is setting sail! All aboard!

I know we're mentioning the Midterms now, but reminder that there's a certain Island to visit before we see the matchups. I'm not gonna showcase all the fights, just the important ones.

Next time, we see a certain limb get some upgrades, and after our heroes get a few weeks of well-earned rest we see the beginning of the I-Island Expo. Hope you enjoy what I got planned!

til next time!

Chapter 32: Results and Travel

Notes:

Hello people! Here's a new chapter of Type-2 to help you through your Wednesday! This chapter is calm and full of fluff. Enjoy!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

"Oh that's what's going on," Inko sighed as she held a hand to her cheek. "That'll be quite the dilemma, huh?"

"No kidding," Ochako sighed. "I'm not looking forward to it."

Ochako was currently at the Midoriyas, eating dinner with them and Eri. Melissa had chosen to stay with Mei to work on something (and give Ochako some bonding time with Izuku). Eri was sitting on Izuku's lap across from Ochako, occasionally stealing something from Izuku's plate. Ochako giggled at her antics, enjoying the fact she wasn't eating alone.

"I-I could give you s-some pointers if y-you want," Izuku stuttered.

"No thanks," Ochako shook her head. "As nice as that would be, I think it'd be better if I tried with my own skills and observations."

"I-if you want," Izuku nodded and with a shy smile. The shorter boy was still adjusting to the fact he now hadtwogirlfriends. He hoped he wouldn't screw things up like he used to. He really did like them both, and so did Eri. He gave a quiet laugh as he remembered that Eri and Ochako had spent the afternoon together doing all sorts of things together. It was a cute sight that Izuku stealthily took several photos of. "S-so, a-are you excited for th-the I-Island Expo?"

"Super excited!" the hero student beamed. "I never thought I'd be able to go to a place like that inever!I can't wait to see what it's all like."

"M-Melissa's from th-th-there, you know," the green boy smiled. "S-she'll be able to g-guide us a-all around."

"All?" Inko asked quizzically. Rather than say anything, Izuku smiled and reached into his pocket, pulling out a pair of tickets. He handed one to his mom, who saw it had her name on it.

"All." Inko took the ticket, smiling with tears in her eyes before pulling Izuku into a hug. At that point, the house phone rang. Inko gave Izuku a kiss on the head before getting up to answer it. Ochako turned to watch Inko leave, and as she did she finally noticed something. She looked around the room as Izuku and Eri went back to eating. There was something missing.

"Hey, Midoriya-kun," Ochako asked quietly, "I've just noticed your walls are covered in photos, but there aren't any of your father. Did something happen?" Izuku froze at that. Rather than answer immediately, he looked down a bit forlornly. Did she say something wrong? Before she could retract her question, Izuku whispered something to Eri. The little girl nodded and slid off his lap. Izuku looked back at Ochako, but waited for Eri to disappear down the hall before speaking.

"H-he left us," Izuku whispered. "S-said he couldn't h-h-handle having a q-quirkless son. He s-still pays child s-support, b-but he divorced my m-mom and moved to A-America when I was f-five. W-we don't t-talk about him."

"I'm sorry," Ochako apologized immediately. She didn't think she could handle that, having a parent just up and leave. This was just more prroof at how strong Izuku really was.

"I-it's alright," Izuku smiled. "It's in th-the past. I-I have friends, now. We have E-Eri. W-we have you and M-Melissa now. My m-mom and I a-are not alone."

---

At the same time the Midoriyas+Ochako were eating dinner, Shouto was laying on his futon, chatting away with Moroboshi over the phone. Before Endeavor was arrested he never had the opportunity to do something like this, and now he never wanted to stop.

"Talk about absolute luck, huh?" Moroboshi giggled. "You and me, facing each other in the Midterms?"

"I'm actually looking forward to it," Shouto smiled, an expression that had been foreign to his face for too long. "When we fight, I want you to go all out."

"Don't need to tell me twice, peppermint. I'll be your perfect villain~." Hearing her speak like that actually gave Shouto the shivers. Whether it was a shiver of fear or anticipation he had no idea. "Anyways, I have an idea. We fight the hardest we can, and the loser has to buy dinner next time we go on a date."

"Agreed," Shouto nodded. "I like stir fry best."

"Thought you liked cold soba best?"

"You changed my mind."

"...Dammit, when did you get so smooth?"

"If you figure it out let me know." The two teens shared a good laugh before wishing each other a pleasant night and hanging up. Shouto sat up and stretched, getting a bit startled when he looked at the door to his room and seeing his mom leaning on the frame. He had no idea she was there.

"Was that her?" Rei smiled. Shouto nodded in reply before Rei entered his room and sat on the futon next to him. "You should bring her here for dinner sometime. I'd like to meet her."

"I think that can be arranged," her son smiled back before leaning against her. Rei smiled and wrapped an arm around Shouto. Ever since he got home and saw her, Shouto had been more physically affectionate than he had been in years. Without the fear of Endeavor, he was allowed to finally and truly open up and be his own person.

Everyone else had changed, as well. With Fuyumi being spend more time focusing on her studies instead of trying to find ways to make that 'better family' that she had wanted, her standing in her college had increased significantly. She had also elected to sleep in the same room as Rei, just to give some company in case Rei got a nightmare.

When Natsuo got the news of what happened to Endeavor, he moved back into the house. The first thing he did was hug Rei and not let go for a good ten minutes. As time went by, he slowly began to open up, and Shouto actually saw him smile earlier. His mood was no longer angsty and gloomy.

Shouto kept leaning against his mom as he thought about these changes. Thought about how he had a real family now. They weren't "failures" nor "masterpieces" to anyone anymore. They were just people. And that's what Shouto always wanted.

---

The following morning, the hallway to Mei's lab was filled with giggles. Melissa was pulling Izuku along while telling him, Ochako and Eri about some of her funnier exploits on I-Island. With each story she told, the kids were looking forward to the trip. As they approached the lab, they heard a "boom" of one of Mei's other inventions exploding. Izuku flinched a little bit, but nowhere near as bad as he would have a couple months ago. They waited for the rumbling to finish before Melissa gently knocked on the door. The taller girl heard a quiet "Oh sh*t!" followed by the sounds of scrambling and metal objects being thrown around. After a few moments, the door burst open and a singed Hatsume Mei leaned out.

"Call me next time!" Mei whined. "I was working on something volatile cuz I didn't think you'd be here this early!"

"Sorry," Melissa said without a hint of sincerity, "but I wanted to get Izuku his new arm soon as I could."

"Eh, fair point." Mei stepped aside and let the group enter the workshop. As they stepped in the room, Eri dashed over to a small workbench that Mei set up for her yesterday to tinker with some harmless devices. As she did this, Melissa directed Izuku to sit down next to Mei's bench. Ochako occupied herself looking around the workshop, having never been inside before.

"Don't touch anything, Hero student!" Mei shouted. "Some of this stuff is twitchy! Okay, Mido-chan, off with the shirt." Izuku nodded and started stripping down to his undershirt. Ochako gave a flustered squeak and looked away. Melissa giggled as she started detaching Izuku's arm.

"Mei's been working hard on your next arm," the American smiled. "I think you'll like what she came up with." The inventor in question smiled as she reached into a metal crate and pulled out another prosthetic arm. It looked almost exactly like his current one, but was the least bit bulkier. As Mei brought it close, he could see the pads on the palm & fingers had a metallic ring around the edges, and there were more buttons on the index finger. Three buttons, to be exact, all lined up by his knuckle. The wrist also had a few more panels on it.

"I watched your fight against Stain," Mei smiled as she and Melissa began attaching the arm. "Gave me loads of ideas. Firstly, we fixed the charging system for your tasers so they'll recharge a lot faster. Also, see these metal bits on the pads? We reworked the whole taser system so you can also use it through your palm! Still got the prongs if you want, but it's easier to grab things, ya know? Also, speaking of grabbing, we saw you catapulting yourself around and...Mel, wanna do the honors?" Melissa smiled and nodded as she held up Izuku's hand. She pressed the two outer buttons and Izuku watched as the panels on his wrist opened up. Melissa reached into his wrist and pulled out a mass of...something. It looked like a mass of small metal filaments connected to a thicker line.

"This is basically a hi-tech grappling hook," Melissa explained. "This bundle of filaments is soft and non-magnetic, but once an electrical charge is applied, the filaments will basically cling to whatever they come into contact with on the microscopic scale. Seriously, this stuff can cling to outdoor glass. The line it's connected to has a tensile strength of 680 kilograms, so it isn't gonna snap anytime soon. It has a maximum range of 55 meters, so keep that in mind. You can also use it to grab objects and pull them to you, but I wouldn't recommend trying it on people unless you're properly braced."

"I'm thinking of making boots to help with that," Mei grinned. "Until then, no imitating Scorpion."

"Who?" Izuku asked.

"...You wound me, Mido-chan."

"Continuing," Melissa laughed, "we also finally got the wrist-coms working, so you can actually call people through your arm. We also sharpened the sensory nodes in the palm, altered the contents of the gel layer, and reworked the wiring in all the internal components so it won't glitch up like it did that one time." As she said this, the two inventors finished tightening the last few bolts and let Izuku go through the exercises to make sure the arm was working. With a satisfied smile, Izuku went to work putting his shirt and jacket back on.

"Is it safe?" Ochako asked, still looking away. "Does he have his shirt on?"

"Oh come on!" Mei laughed. "If you like the shortie you're gonna see him shirtless sooner or later!"

"And what about you?" the gravity girl glowered. "Do you like seeing him like that?"

"Girl, I don't swing that way," Mei smirked. "Not sure I swing any way. Married to my work, ya know?" At this point, Eri decided to speak up with an innocent, yet not, question.

"But didn't you say the frog lady had a nice butt?"

...

"...Eri-chan, please don't repeat everything I say."

---

Thankfully for the entirety of UA, the following week was a relatively calm week for everyone. No major villain attacks on the news, no twists in their education, no major drama. For the students of both Class 1-A and Class 1-C, it was a welcome change. Almost too quickly, it was Monday of the following week. Aizawa had just finished handing out the graded tests from the previous week. Uraraka was a bit antsy as she received her test. She might have had an official invitation, but knowing Aizawa he would keep her home if she failed anyways. Taking the test, she squinted as she turned the paper over...and sighed with relief. She passed. The groans from around her class indicated that was not the universal outcome.

"Quiet," Aizawa droned. "Those who passed, you have the privilege of going to I-Island this Saturday if you paid the entry fee. Remember, you represent UA's Hero Course. Don't do anything crazy. Dismissed." The moment he said this, Uraraka grabbed her bag and dashed out. She was meeting Melissa and Izuku for lunch today. The tall student dashed between other students, sometimes jumping over them, on her way to the cafeteria. The minute she flew through the doors, she saw the gold-and-green duo and rushed up to them, pulling them both into a big hug.

"THANK YOU!" She cheered as she spun them both around. "I passed! I get to go to the Expo!" She laughed as she did this, ignoring the stares and laughs of any nearby students. These two had helped her study for the test, and she knew their help played a big part in her grade.

"Awesome!" Melissa hugged her back while Izuku was blue-screened from where his face was pressing. "If you want me to, I can get you a ticket for free, Uraraka."

"I've actually already got one," she smiled as she set the duo back down. "Since I won the Festival, I got a free invite and the chance to take a guest. I wanna use it to bring Izuku."

"O-oh," Izuku finally stuttered, "U-um, I actually a-already accepted M-Melissa's-"

"You can use hers," Melissa gave another angelic smile. "I don't mind. We're all gonna be on the same plane anyways, I'm making sure of that."

"You had a guest ticket too?" Uraraka asked, to which Melissa laughed.

"I grew up there! My dad is one of the top scientists! I can get anyone there if I wanted!" As she said this, Izuku got a contemplative look before looking back at Melissa.

"I-If that's th-the case," he asked, "Th-think you could..."

---

Saturday Morning

---

The plane was filled with Mei's excited screaming as she and Eri both looked out the window, their cheeks pressed against the glass. Inko was sitting next to them, giggling at their joint excitement. Sitting across from her were Melissa, Izuku and Ochako, also smiling at the other girl's antics.

"There it is!" Mei screamed. "I-Island! Oooh, this is so much better than a photograph!"

"Mommy told me the island moves around!" Eri exclaimed. "Like a giant boat!"

"Exactly! Oh, you're such a smart girl, Eri-chan!" The two girls kept watching as they approached the island, only sitting down when the pilot ordered it. Even then, Eri sat on Mei's lap as they both kept their eyes out the window. The two girls were squealing as the plane landed, and jumped to be the first ones off. The rest of their group just walked down, stretching and taking in the sun.

"Ah, it's good to be home," Melissa sighed. "Welcome to I-Island everybody!"

"It's so big!" Uraraka gasped. "This place is really man-made, huh?"

"Look at that!" Mei pointed at a...light pole. "Solar powered, but it doesn't look like it uses plasma cells! And oooh, is that a hoverboard!?"

"Some of the guys here use those," Melissa giggled before her eyes widened. "Oh! I wonder if they kept it here!" Melissa dashed off towards the gate, confusing the group as they followed. She approached what looked like a junction box by the gate and opened it, giving a squeal of joy as she pulled something out.

"...A p-pogo stick?" Izuku asked.

"One ofmypogo sticks!" the blonde beamed. "I built a lot of these and put em around the island. They got torsion motors so we can jump pretty high with them! Come on, Izuku, I'll give you a ride!" Before the greenette could say anything, Melissa grabbed him and slipped him between her and the stick, securing him in place. Izuku was immediately flustered by the pair ofvery soft thingssquishing against his back. "Come on, Ochako-chan, grab a stick!"

"I think I'm good," Uraraka smiled.

"You sure?" Melissa asked confusedly. "We don't want you to feel left out."

"I get motion sick on those," she giggled. "I wanna go at my own pace here, spend some time with Inko-san and Eri-chan. Plus...someone needs to keep an eye on Hatsume-san." As she said this, the trio turned to see Mei clinging to the leg of an unlucky scientist.

"Tell me your secrets~!"

"Would someone please get this strange girl off me!?"

The trio watched for a few seconds before silently agreeing that, yes, Mei needed supervision.

"Well, alright," Melissa conceded. "But wewillbe eating lunch together, alright? There's a restaurant on the main road called 'Ewok Bazaar.' We'll meet up there at noonish, alright?" Before Uraraka could reply, Melissa leaned close and kissed her cheek. "Have fun!" With that, she and the kinda-recovered Izuku bounced away, the pogo stick carrying them many meters through the air with each bounce. Inko, Eri and Ochako watched them go, ignoring the pleas from the beleaguered scientist behind them.

"...So," Inko smiled, "what shall we do, Uraraka-chan?"

---

Melissa and Izuku soared through the air on the overpowered pogo stick. Each bounce took them above the buildings, yet each time they landed wasn't the least bit jarring. Melissa would also point out any important building they passed and give a brief explanation of the sort of research they performed. Izuku was so amazed at what he was learning he practically forgot about thevery soft thingsagainst his back. Melissa herself took delight in Izuku's excitement. She remembered how sullen he was when they first met, so seeing the green bean smile so big was a treat.

As they bounced past another airport, the teens heard some excitement. Izuku turned to look and gasped at what he saw. Coming off a small Learjet was All Might himself. Izuku felt a pang in his chest. The last time he had evenseenAll Might was the day he punched him. Ever since then, Izuku's anger had simmered and he once again felt shame at his action.He knew he should apologize for it, but he didn't know when would be a good time. Before he could even say anything to Melissa, however, the girl redirected the pogo stick away from the airport. Izuku turned to look as the blond hero disappeared in the distance.

"M-Melissa," Izuku asked, "a-are you-"

"There's something I must admit," Melissa said with a somber tone. "Truth is...I've known All Might for a long time."

"...Y-you have?" Before continuing, Melissa bounced a few more times and landed on top of a small tower, giving the two privacy.

"You know how he went to America in the past, right? My father was a...helper of his. Any time All Might needed support, be it a new suit or a piece of equipment for a mission, my father provided it. All Might became such a common figure in my life I actually called him 'Uncle Might' for a long time." This...this was news to Izuku.

"Y-you were close?"

"When I told him I wanted to be an inventor like my dad, he gave me his full support," Melissa continued. "He was there for me...but after hearing everything that happened between you two, and why it happened...I wonder if he was only supportive because of who my father is. If I hadn't been the daughter of the amazing David Shield, or if I wanted to become a hero...would he have been anywhere near as nice? I honestly don't know." There was a bit of silence before Izuku hugged Melissa. After a few moments, Melissa teared up and hugged the smaller boy tight.

"I'm sorry, Izuku," she whispered. "I'm sorry."

"I-it's alright," Izuku replied. "I-it's n-not like you c-could have known a-any sooner." Then he stepped back and gave his trademark smile. "L-let's not think about it f-f-for now. W-wanna keep g-going?" Melissa smiled and nodded, giving Izuku another quick kiss on the lips before they went back to bouncing around. There were a few more places she wanted him to see before they stopped for lunch.

Notes:

Quite the ending there, huh? Our nice lil group is on I-Island for the Expo! Looks like a fun time where nothing goes wrong, right?

...Right?

Anyways, next chapter we'll see a few more classmates who've come to hang, and a few other things. Til next time!

Chapter 33: Travel and Lights

Notes:

Howdy folks! Here's something to make your Monday tolerable! This chapter is gonna be mostly fluff with some fun parts, a lil angst, and a few scenes with everyone's favorite snake.

Now read on!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

After a bit more jumping around, Melissa decided it was time for her and Izuku to do something important. Izuku was nervous as heck, even with Melissa giving him reassurance that nothing bad would happen. This was something that made even his fight against Stain seem tame and quiet. But this was something Melissa wanted him to do...

Meeting her father, David Shield.

"It'll befine!" Melissa laughed as she patted his shoulder. "He's been eager to meet you for a while! If it helps, just think of it like a performance interview for your arm."

"That doesn't h-help..."

Melissa just laughed again and led Izuku up the walkway to a large house. Izuku took in the sight, thinking about how Melissa grew up in a massive place like this, and spent so many years on this island. How it was her desire to get closer to working with heroes that led them to even meeting. He looked up at her face, bearing an angelic smile, and still thanked whatever deities smiled upon him enough for that one event to happen. His joy at that was almost enough to override his nervousness as they stepped inside the house.

Only almost.

"Daddy!" Melissa squealed as she ran forward (still holding Izuku's hand) and half-hugged an older gentleman. Izuku looked up at the (much) taller man, looking over his light brown hair and the blue eyes behind a pair of eyeglasses. He had a small goatee on his chin that honestly didn't look out of place. He wore a plain blue button-up shirt and blue jeans. As he hugged Melissa back, the man showed no arrogance nor haughtiness in his stance. To Izuku, he looked so...normal. That made him feel a bit better.

"It's been too long, sweetie!" David smiled as he let go. "I've heard you got into a bit of excitement over in Japan. And who's this little guy? Is this the Midoriya you've been gushing over in all our vidcalls?"

"Y-you gush over me?" Izuku blushed.

"The one and only!" the golden-haired girl beamed. She held up Izuku's left arm, fingers intertwined, and continued, "Little man's working to be a quirkless hero, dad, and he's doing great!"

"Really? Quirkless?" David smiled at the still-nervous Izuku. "You must tell me all about it! Come on!" David took the two teens to a side study, already prepped with some small refreshments. Now off his feet, Izuku was marginally less nervous, and that nervousness only diminished as he and the Shields went on talking about all the things that had occurred in Japan. Izuku only spoke about what happened after joining UA, with Melissa coming to his rescue when her father asked how Izuku lost his arm. He spoke about being scouted by a few heroes, the training he had undergone, and how Melissa & Mei had been helping him so immensely. David listened to everything with a small smile. It was interesting to meet the boy who'd stolen his daughter's heart, and he was glad to know they were a good person.

"...And speaking of time," Melissa smiled, "Izuku and I promised to meet back up with our group for lunch, and we should get going to be on time."

"Don't suppose you could wait a few more moments?" David smiled, checking his phone. "A special someone is on their way to meet us." Melissa's smile immediately dropped, and Izuku looked down. They had an idea who it was.

"No-can-do dad," Melissa shook her head. "I'm afraid that-"

"I AM SHAKING AT THE JOY OF OUR REUNION!"All Might roared as he burst through the doors. David laughed at the over-the-top entrance and glanced at the kids, but stopped smiling when he saw they weren't smiling. If anything, Izuku looked nervous as heck while Melissa's gaze was the very definition of 'derisive.' Was something wrong? Looking back at All Might, David noticed that the hero's trademark smile had dropped as he looked at the teens.

"...which will happen at a later time!"All Might attempted to recover."I can-"

"No need," Melissa gave a stern smile as she stood up, pulling Izuku to his feet as well. "Izuku and I were just leaving. I'm sure you and my dad have quite a bit to talk about,All Might." This change in naming got a gasp out of David, and a wince from All Might. Melissa only gave a sarcastic smile and wished them both a good day before leaving them, pulling Izuku with her.

"...Did I miss something?" David asked.

"...A lot,"All Might admitted.

---

I-Island was a marvel of engineering. A floating, mobile island inhabited by some of the world's brightest minds. Those minds worked almost year-round on technological achievements in the name of bettering the planet. Despite the world's focus on heroics, the Island also had a big focus on ecological efforts. From working on plant growth to the breeding of endangered species, the Island's greatness was just as much natural as artificial. Due to said efforts, it was common to see unusual animals moving around freely so long as they weren't a danger to humans.

This was why no one gave a second glance to the large snake lounging in a tree above one of the park benches.

Sakai yawned as he lay across a few branches, his tongue wrapped around a big lollipop. The morning had been quite the exciting one for the teenage snake, seeing all sort of devices and inventions, but he also felt a faint bit of disappointment. Not too many scientists here worked on things for non-humanoids. Maybe he should ask that Hatsume girl to make him some arms. What would it even feel like having fingers anyways? As he was thinking about this, he heard some giggling from the walkway beneath him. Turning his head just a bit to look down, he was a bit surprised at the sight.

Walking beneath him was his mousey classmate, Oscar. That wasn't the weird part. What was weird were the two girls hooking his arms with theirs. On one side was Maria Draconis, a snarky smile on her face, while the other side had a giggling Yaoyorozu Momo. Sakai watched the three walk by, talking about different things and occasionally petting Oscar's head. He had never seen his classmate blush so intensely before. Come to think of it, why were all three of them together? When did that happen?

As the unlikely trio walked by, Sakai was tempted to slither down the tree and follow them, but decided against it. No need to make Oscar even more uncomfortable. He would be keeping a closer eye on him, though. If either of those girls hurt him, he'd hurt them right back. For now, though, back to napping. He had a funny prank in mind for that big party he was invited to later this evening.

---

"...And he just barged in like he owned the place!" Melissa roared over her chicken wings, barely being quiet enough to avoid disturbing the other diners. "In the past he at least had the decency to knock, but now? Grr, It's like he forgot all forms of decency when he met Izuku!"

"...Is he still at your house?" Mei asked while munching on a stalk of broccoli.

"You are not sniping All Might."

The group had reunited at the restaurant Melissa recommended, and said quirkless girl had spent the last few minutes venting over her frustrations with All Might. Izuku looked down nervously at his beef skewers as she ranted, Mei looked positivelymurderous, Inko was just sighing in exasperation, and Eri was too busy trying to steal some food from Mei's plate. The only person feeling left out was...

"Um," Ochako raised her hand, "May I askwhyexactly you feel so mad at All Might?" The table went silent as everyone looked at Uraraka. "...Did I say something wrong?"

"Didn't you tell her, Mel?" Mei asked, setting her broccoli down. The blonde girl didn't get the chance to reply before Mei turned back to Uraraka and replied, "All Might actually met Mido-chan here close to a year before he entered UA, and told him he couldn't be a herojustbecause he was quirkless. Worse yet, All Might himself was a frikkin' late-bloomer. He knew what it was like to live quirkless, and chose not to do anything about it. He just let society continue to belittle and abuse people like Mido-chan just because it wasn't his problem anymore. All Might didn't even apologize for his hurtful words until a couple weeks ago,afterhe took down Stain. Just kinda feels like he waited for our sweet little Mido-chan to be 'worthy' of an apology, ya know?"

...That was unexpected. Uraraka looked to the side and took a drink of her milk as she processed what she just heard. She knew a bit more of the story (such as how All Might was actually completely quirkless without One For All), but she didn't know about the Midoriya-side of the story. He just told her he "had made a mistake" that needed correcting. On one hand, she was a bit peeved at what he did, but on the other hand...She looked back at Midoriya, wondering what would have happened had All Might chosen to give One For All to her small boyfriend the day they had met. Would he have been as good a wielder? A better one, considering his brilliance? Would she even be in UA without One For All? These questions plagued her mind so much she barely registered the waitress bringing Inko her fried rice, only noticing her due to Midoriya's reaction and the sheer amount of pink on her...wait...

"Ashido?" Uraraka asked. The pink girl looked down at the gravity girl and winked.

"Fancy meeting you here, Uraraka-chan!" Ashido Mina giggled. "Enjoying yourself?"

"Why are you..." Izuku asked.

"There was an offer extended to the Hero Course," Mina smirked. "If we spent some time working for one of the restaurants here, we could come to the island for free." As she said this, Uraraka noticed Kaminari smiling as he jogged by to deliver some food to a different table.

"Wait, why is Kaminari-kun here? I thought he failed the test."

"We had to fill out a contract for this," Mina replied, "and when he failed he presented his contract to Aizawa-sensei. Basically is said hehadto come to provide work, so Aizawa couldn't keep him home. He tried, but apparently the principal thought his use of the contract was a stroke of brilliance and let it slide. Aizawa-sensei wassopissed."

"H-how much longer d-do you need to work?" Izuku asked. "I-if it's not long, we c-c-could wait for you to g-get off and-"

"Sorry, Midoriya-chan," the acidic waitress sighed. "I gotta work another five hours. Don't let me hold you guys back. We'll do stuff later." She gave a wink and rushed back to the kitchens to grab another order. The table was silent after that, save for Eri munching on one of Mei's broccoli stalks.

"...Well," Melissa smiled, her previous anger forgotten, "once we're done here, I wanna keep showing everyone around. There's quite a bit I'd like to-" Her words were cut off by a sudden explosion from a nearby facility. Izuku and the others were worried, but Melissa just giggled. "Sounds like we got some rowdy people at the 'hero run' today."

"Hero run?" Izuku asked.

"Oh yeah," Melissa nodded, realizing she forgot to tell him during their bouncing earlier, "there's a few game-style things to do during the expo, and one of them is something like a mini-obstacle course to see how quickly you can take down 'villain' robots. Wanna check it out after lunch?"

"Please?" Eri asked with stars in her eyes. Izuku took one look at her and laughed, knowing there was no way he could refuse. As he said such, earning a laugh from the others, Uraraka's thoughts were on a different subject. She needed to talk to All Might later.

---

Sakai was still in his tree, and he was still working on his lollipop. Seriously, how much candy was in this thing? At least he wasn't getting tired of the flavor. He doubted he could crunch it anyways. Maybe he could try?

"Oh, there's a bench over here!"

Or not. Unwilling to disturb what could be a moment of entertainment, Sakai tilted his head to watch as Tabata and Asano sat down on the bench. That was weird, where's Yoshio? Normally Yoshio & Tabata were inseparable. That's how they got their joint moniker, after all.

"This place is too big," Tabata groaned as he rubbed his feet.

"I think it's nice enough," Asano shrugged.

"Only cuz you take very large steps!" Tabata punctuated this by jabbing Asano's side with his fingers, getting a laugh from the girl as she pushed him away. Sakai himself almost chuckled at their antics. He watched as they calmed down, eventually just taking in the scenic view as Asano leaned against Tabata, almost like a...

"You know," Asano smirked as she ran her finger down Tabata's cheek, "Yoshio showed me something quite interesting before we came here."

"Should I be worried?" the brown-haired boy asked, earning a giggle from the purple-eyed girl.

"He showed me your doujins." She leaned close and semi-whispered, "The ones with the ogre girl~." This declaration made Tabata pale. Dangit, now Sakai kinda wanted to see what was in those. He risked leaning down a bit for a better angle at the pair.

"A-and...you're not mad?' Tabata asked.

"Why would I be mad?" Asano smirked. "Sure, they were kinda weird, but the plot was pretty good. Plus..." Asano held her smirk as she used her quirk to slowly grow until she towered over him. "It helped me figure out what you liked~." Before Tabata could say anything else, the now-3-meter-tall girl grabbed his head and gave him a passionate kiss.

...Yeah...Sakai was not gonna leave this tree anytime soon.

---

"AND THAT WAS INASA YAORASHI, FROM UA'S HERO CLASS 1-B," the announcer at the 'Hero Run' exclaimed, "WITH A TIME OF 15 SECONDS!" Said Hero student cheered as he walked away from the six smoldering robots. His name appeared on the scoreboard as Izuku's group arrived. The Gen Ed student was surprised to see some of the names on the board.

"Gorogoro-kun's up th-there," Izuku smiled. "S-same with Gakushuu-kun and Choji-kun."

"Asano-san wanted to try," a familiar voice laughed, "but they don't allow gigantification quirks on this." Izuku and his group turned to the voice, and the small boy smiled.

"M-Moroboshi-san! Todoroki-kun!" The two ice-wielders smiled as they approached the group. Uraraka was honestly surprised at justhow bigTodoroki was smiling. It was almost like he was an actual person. She giggled as Moroboshi grabbed Izuku and gave him a playful noogie for a few moments. Melissa and Eri giggled at the sight while Inko and Mei were looking off to the side.

"Knew I'd see you here, you little twerp! Having fun?"

"You bet!" Izuku laughed as he extricated himself. He gestured to the Run before asking "Are you g-gonna try it?"

"I think I'll sit it out," Moroboshi shrugged. "I kinda went overboard on another thing, so my arms are sore."

"I already did it," Todoroki smiled, pointing up at his name, sitting cozy in first place with a ten-second time. "Could have gone faster but I slipped at one point."

"A-awesome," Izuku smiled. "I wonder if-"

"AND NOW FOR OUR NEXT ENTRY!" the announcer down below cheered. "COMING IN FROM CLASS 1-A OF UA, HERE'S URARAKA OCHAKO, THE WINNER OF THIS YEAR'S SPORTS FESTIVAL!" Everyone turned to watch as Uraraka walked out to the starting point.

"...W-when did she g-g-go down there?" Izuku asked.

"When you started talking to Moroboshi-san," Inko giggled. Uraraka looked up at the group and gave a smile with a thumbs-up, earning a similar gesture from Izuku, Melissa and Eri. Turning back to the small hill with six robots popping up, Uraraka knelt down a bit and waited for the timer to count down. The moment the alarm blared, she was off like a bullet. Everyone watching only saw a rainbow-blur shooting up the hill and smashing the robots. In under 5 seconds Uraraka stood on the top, a victorious grin as she pulled her foot out of the robot's eye. Izuku was staring with a wide-eyed blush while Melissa just had a knowing smile, but both had the exact same thought.

My girlfriend is hot.

"QUITE THE DISPLAY FROM THE WINNER OF THE SPORTS FESTIVAL!" the announcer cheered. "ANYONE ELSE FEEL LIKE FOLLOWING THAT DISPLAY!?" There was silence after that, almost no one wanting to even try.

Only Almost.

A little bit after that, Izuku stepped up to the line. He looked up at his group and waved. His group responded with waving and giving their own cheers.

"Show 'em what you can do, Mido-chan!"

"You got this, Izuku!"

"Do your best, Papa!" With such words of encouragement, there was no way he was backing out. He knew there was absolutely no way he could beat Uraraka's time, but he knew he'd still do good. The minute the alarm went off, Izuku fired his tether at the first robot, using it's weight to bring him up faster than he could jump. With his arm-sword at the ready, he sliced through the robot and immediately fired at the second one. His honed reflexes combined with the speed of his tether and the sharpness of his blade made quick work of the event. Catching his breath as he stood over the bisected remains of the last robot, he turned to the results board and gasped.

9.5 seconds.

He did the entire course in 9.5 seconds.

He did faster than Todoroki how was that even possible?

"Woohoo!" Uraraka cheered.

"Way to go, little man!" Melissa yelled. Eri broke free from the group and ran to hug Izuku as he walked across the catwalk to reunite with them.

"You were awesome, papa!" Eri cheered as she hopped into his arms. Izuku laughed and hugged her close as he walked. Yeah, this vacation was exactly what he needed.

---

The sun began to set as Sakai made his way towards the banquet hall. He got some help in putting on one of the coats he brought with him, so people wouldn't mistake him for a wild animal. Though he did admit he was hoping people would at first glance just so he could prank some of the party-goers. He wondered what sort of food they'd have there. Hopefully nothing sweet, that lollipop filled out his sugar quota for the day.

"Everything ready?" He heard a man whisper.

Sakai stopped. That man was whispering from behind a bush. That was never a good sign. Going down low like a common snake, Sakai slowly slithered towards the voice. Going underneath the nearby bush, he saw three men huddled together wearing dark outfits. Also never a good sign.

"Yeah," a second man whispered. "Got word that the others are prepped to kill the power, lock the elevators and disable the security systems. We just gotta lock the doors to make sure no one leaves the party, right?"

"Yes," the third man nodded. "We just have to wedge the doors shut is all. Keep everyone trapped inside."

Sakai would have narrowed his eyes if he had eyelids. Was this a hostage situation? A mass murder? Whatever it was it wasn't good. He was about to pull back when one of the guys looked right at him.

"Holy f*ck, that's a big snake!" he exclaimed, getting the attention of his companions.

"Yeah you see em around here," the first guy shrugged. "They're harmless though."

"...Umm...quick question," the third guy piped up. "...Do...Do the scientists of this island normally put their snakes in clothes?"

...Well, sh*t. With his cover blown, Sakai hissed loudly and lunged for the trio. Looks like he was skipping the party tonight.

Notes:

Hope you enjoyed this chapter! Spent all weekend working on it. XD

To the concerned reader, I'm sorry I couldn't fit in Todoroki explaining what happened with Endeavor's Agency in this one without making it too long, but I promise the next chapter will begin with that info being revealed, before giving us the party scene itself. And then we get more chaos.

See ya next time!

Chapter 34: Lights and Action

Notes:

Hey new chapter! Gonna admit I was hoping to wrap up the I-Island fight with this chapter, but it woulda been really long. XD So you get this one, and the main fight will happen next chapter. This chapter is mostly fluff with a few action sequences and a moment of Mei being awesome.

Sorry if things seem to be going faster than they did in the movie, I mostly wanna get to the end of this arc cuz of what's gonna happen.

Also, thanks to the illustrious Exotos, Type-2 Hero officially has a TvTropes page!
https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Fanfic/Type2Hero

And with that, I hope you enjoy this!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Around the same time Sakai was having his bush confrontation, Izuku and Shouto were doing some last-minute touches to their formal outfits. Shouto wore a maroon suit with a white shirt while Izuku was wearing his hero outfit, figuring it was fancy enough to work.

"I must admit," Shouto stated as he looped his necktie, "I was quite surprised when Uraraka-san told me that all three of you are...together."

"I-I'm still kinda surprised t-too," Izuku admitted as he tried and fail to loop his own. "A-also surprised you and Moroboshi g-got together. When d-did that happen?"

"I spent my Experience Week with her," the icyhot student replied. "She also put my father in jail, so that's a big plus in my book."

"About that," Izuku asked as he put his coat on, "w-what happened to h-his agency? Was it closed d-d-down?"

"For a bit," Todoroki replied as the two exited the changing room. "One of Father's sidekicks, Pro Hero Burnin', took it over. She's spent the last couple weeks renaming it and removing any traces of Endeavor."

"Oh? What'd sh-she rename it?" At this question, Todoroki gave a smirk.

"The Mad Burnish Agency."

"...I-is that referencing something?" Before Todoroki could make some remark about Izuku's question, the pair of teens froze at the sight of three ladies walking towards them.

The first they saw was Moroboshi. Her hair wasn't in the usual ponytail, but rather hanging loose in a cascade of icy white framed by a pair of dark blue hairpins. Her dress was sleeveless and icy lavender, with similar arm-length gloves. There was a thigh-high slit on one side, revealing dark blue leggings. She wasn't wearing any makeup, though Todoroki didn't she needed any.

Behind Moroboshi was Uraraka. Her deep red dress had a knee-length skirt and open shoulders. Around her waist was a dark blue ribbon tied in the back. Similar to her school attire, she wore black pantyhose on her legs. Her arms were also covered with long black gloves. She had a little bit of makeup and one pin in her hair. She was wearing comfortable flats rather than heels, knowing she was already tall enough.

Melissa was the last to walk up. Her dress was similar to Uraraka's, but with a blue top and a white skirt. On her hip was a black sash adorned with a pair of green-and-red roses. Her arms were covered in red elbow-length gloves with green patterns embroidered in. Her hair was up in a ponytail very reminiscent of Yaoyorozu with a fancy hairband. Her glasses were absent, indicating she was wearing contacts for this dance. She was wearing heels, making her closer to Uraraka's height. Her lips were as deep a red as Izuku's current blush at seeing how his two girlfriends were dressed.

The teens met up and spent a few moments admiring their partner's attire. Moroboshi was making some remark about Todoroki's choice in color, but this was little more than background noise to the other three. Izuku was flustered into silence as he looked over Melissa and Ochako. The girls were smiling, both hiding their own fluster at seeing Izuku as nicely dressed as he was. Though directed at different people, all three teens had roughly the same thought.

'My girlfriends are hot.'

'Our boyfriend is adorable.'

"You folks done staring?" Moroboshi joked as she patted the girl's shoulders. "Come on, the party's started." She then grabbed Todoroki's arm and hauled the icyhot boy down the hall. Taking another moment to compose themselves, the remaining three each held hands and followed Moroboshi. Melissa smiled as she saw her partner's stunned faces when they entered the party hall. It was packed with people, with food trays along the walls and windows. One half had tables for people to sit at, the other half was open for dancers. Moroboshi had immediately dragged Todoroki to the dance floor. The current music was set for a slow-dance, which Izuku (in a moment of bravery) resolved to do with the girls after they had eaten.As the trio walked to the tables, Izuku noticed his mom and Eri were with Mei by the food tables chatting up with a few of the scientists she had harassed earlier. His mom and daughter were both in nice dresses, and Mei was wearing something fairly nice as well, tho the faded grease stains were still somewhat visible on her vanilla dress. Izuku and Melissa also spotted All Might at one end of the room standing next to David Shield, but weren't about to say anything to him. Other than that, the presence of familiar faces was a bit on the low side.

"I-I thought there'd be m-more of us here," the boy stated.

"This party was invitation only," Melissa pointed out. "While a lot of UA students were allowed to attend the Expo, this party is for a smaller audience."

"In some cases literally," Ochako giggled as she pointed at the dance floor. The other two teens turned, beholding a cute and hilarious sight. At the edge of the open area, Momo was dancing with Oscar. Due to their height difference, however, Oscar's feet were literally off the ground and somewhat flopping around with each step and spin. Izuku and Ochako both quietly took a picture of their respective classmates. After that, the trio ate their dinner quietly. Partway through, Inko and Eri rejoined them (with Eri plopping herself onto Izuku's lap) while Mei seemed to be trying to sneak closer to All Might. The fact she was glowering was worrisome, but the inventor found herself thwarted by a pair of plain-clothes guards there to make sure no one got close to the pro. Said inventor was grumbling as she joined the rest of the group. After that funny scene, the music changed to something a bit more upbeat yet still fitting a ballroom.

"Oh I know this song!" Ochako smiled. "Hey, do you two know it?" Melissa and Izuku both nodded. The tall hero student smiled, chugged down what was left of her beverage, then grabbed her significant others and pulled them towards the dance floor. "I'll lead, alright? I know how I wanna do this." The other teens nodded, trusting their heroic girlfriend.

As they reached the edge of the dance floor, Uraraka released Melissa and pulled Izuku in with her. She moved one of his hands onto her waist (getting a blush from Izuku) and gently held his other one while resting her free hand on his shoulder. They took a step to the left, then a step to the right. A step forward, a step back, and the entire time Uraraka was whispering directions to Izuku so he wouldn't slip up. The gravity girl smiled bigger as she spun Izuku around, whispering something else as he was pulled back. They continued this a few more times, but Izuku surprised Melissa by reaching out and taking her hand after the last spin. At this, Izuku took lead as he and Melissa danced while Uraraka stepped away. Izuku looked up at Melissa with a resolute face, not wanting to mess this up. He could mess up a dozen and a half other things, but this was something he wanted to do right. He had to get on his tiptoes to spin Melissa, but it didn't look awkward. After a few spins, Izuku glanced at Ochako before looking back at Melissa and gesturing. The blonde girl got the cue and nodded.

After one more spin, Melissa reached out and took Ochako's hand, pulling her onto the dance floor while Izuku shuffled back. Some people gave weird looks to the two girls dancing together, but overall the reception was a warm one. Izuku laughed as he watched his beautiful girlfriends dance around. As the song neared it's end, both girls leaned towards the smaller boy and pulled him in. With the final notes playing, the two girls and boy hugged each other, with Ochako leaning down to touch her forehead to Melissa's. The blonde girl smiled as she ruffled Izuku's hair affectionately. She was caught completely by surprise when Ochako gently lifted her chin and gave a soft kiss on her lips. Melissa froze for a moment before closing her eyes and leaning into the kiss while Izuku just smiled. This was good.

Suddenly the lights died.

Everyone, both at the tables and dancing, stopped what they were doing and looked around. It was a clear night and this was I-Island, there was no reason for the power to die. Melissa reached into her dress and pulled out a flashlight as a bunch of armed men flooded into the room.

"NOBODY MOVE!" One of them shouted. All Might moved to intervene, but one of them shot him with what looked like a cord covered in quirk-suppressant cuffs. The pro hero was forced to his knees, though thankfully did not shrink down to his withered self. Most of the gunmen kept their sights on the crowd, slowly forcing people into a corner, but a couple of them grabbed David and pulled him away. Melissa gasped when she saw this, and moved to say something before Uraraka covered her mouth. Simultaneously, Izuku turned off Melissa's flashlight and quietly started pulling the group back towards the tables. He needed to make sure his family and Mei were safe. The gunmen were so distracted with everyone else that the group was able to sneak over to their table, where Izuku gave a scared Eri a reassuring hug before pulling everyone under the table.

"What do we do?" Inko asked.

"I spotted four different hero students in this room," Ochako whispered, "including Izuku. If we could get these crazies distracted we should be able to overpower them."

"I got a distraction," Mei raised her hand. "It's a big one, though, and really explosive."

"Don't w-worry about me," Izuku shook his head. "D-d-do what you g-gotta do."

"Alright," the inventor nodded with a wide yet soft smile. She peered out from under the table and used her exceptional eyesight to count the baddies, even in the dark. "There's a good twenty jerks out there. If I get them distracted you two can Hero Run them. Good?" Uraraka and Izuku nodded as Mei slipped out from under the table. Despite how large her dress was, she moved silently between the tables until she reached the windows. She waited until Izuku and Uraraka got closer before loudly clearing her throat. This grabbed the attention of the nearest ruffians.

"GET OVER THERE WITH THE REST!" One of them shouted as he leveled his gun at her.

"Gentlemen, gentlemen," Mei casually called as a few moved towards her, "no need to be so confrontational. I just wanna give you guys a little presentation. TA-DA!!" As she shouted this, she lifted her skirt and revealed three things to everyone in the room.

First, her skirt was slit in the front, allowing her to pull the sides apart like wings.

Second, she was wearing oil-stained khaki shorts and work boots under her dress.

Third, the inner lining of her skirt was covered in small rockets, like fireworks.

Which were igniting.

The gunmen gasped and stumbled back as the first rockets fired, loudly whistling as they shot towards the ceiling and exploded. Mei laughed maniacally as the room was filled with bright flashes of colored light. Mei might have calmed down her experiments due to Izuku's PTSD, but the girl had an unequivocal love of explosives. She fired the rockets two or three at a time to achieve maximum effect.

Using the flashing lights as the distraction they were intended to be, Izuku and Uraraka rushed forward. The hero student was a streak of colors as she sent six of them flying in seconds. Izuku fired his tether at the biggest one and used the man's own mass to pull him towards the group, using his finger-tasers to disable the big guy before drawing his arm sword and slicing through the other's firearms. These men stared in shock at their destroyed guns before Ochako and Izuku punched them down. Several more suddenly found themselves encased in ice from Todoroki and Moroboshi. The last gunman raised his rifle, but was stopped when Momo smacked him upside the head with a skillet she created. All the gunmen were down before Mei's last firework launched.

"REMARKABLE!" All Might laughed as Izuku rushed over to cut the cuffs off him. The pro hero stood back up, no longer inhibited by the cuffs' suppressing properties. "YOU CHILDREN DID GOOD! NOW, WE MUST ENSURE THE CIVILIANS MAKE IT TO SAFETY! I HEREBY AUTHORIZE ALL UA STUDENTS TO USE THEIR QUIRKS FOR HEROIC ACTION! I DOUBT THOSE WERE THE ONLY VILLAINS!"

"We need to find my dad!" Melissa exclaimed as she carried Eri out from under the table.

"WHICH I WILL DO!" All Might nodded. "BUT FIRST WE NEED TO GET EVERYONE TO THE SHELTERS! I WILL BE WORKING MY WAY UP THE TOWER TO APPREHEND ANY OTHER VILLAIN I MEET AND HOPEFULLY RESCUE DAVID SHIELD!" Momo, Izuku and Ochako got to work moving everyone out of the hall as All Might rushed up the stairs of the fire escape. To their surprise, the doors to the outside were unlocked. As they escorted the civilians out of the hall, the students were surprised to see a familiar snake moving their way.

"S-Sakai-kun!" Izuku waved him over.

"Glad to see you're alright!" the serpentine student yelled as he slithered to the group. "Me and a few others from the class met some unscrupulous folks and tied em up. We started moving who we could to the shelters after that."

"Good!" Ochako nodded. "Learn anything about these guys?"

"A lot of em say they're just paid actors, but I dunno, some of em looked kinda scary. Anyway, there's still a lot of guys moving around, and a lot of buildings are under lockdown. Heard some alarms go off about explosives and saying anyone caught outside would be detained or something."

"Th-they took M-Melissa's dad," Izuku replied. "I-if they did that, th-they must have access t-to the security room. Melissa, where is th-that room?"

"200th floor," the blonde replied, gesturing up the tower. "Right above us. If we can get up there I can disable the security. However, I checked the elevators before we came out here, and at least the ones that reach ground floor are locked down."

"Th-that'll be one heck of a climb," Izuku groaned.

"Maybe not," Ochako said, looking up. "Melissa, go get a pogo stick." The blonde, figuring out what she was thinking, nodded and ran to a nearby junction box. She did hide her pogo sticks all over the island after all.

"M-mom, Mei," Izuku asked, "p-please take Eri to safety." The two women nodded (though Mei seemed a bit down) before taking Eri and following Sakai to the nearest shelter. Melissa soon returned with a stick, and she pulled Izuku up like she did before, with Uraraka climbing up behind Melissa. She touched Izuku and herself, negating their gravity.

"Are w-we sure th-this is a good idea?" Izuku asked. "I-I'm not t-too good with h-high places l-like this."

"We'll be fine," Ochako growled, angry at how their fun night had been interrupted. Melissa jumped the pogo stick in place a few times to build up momentum before hitting the button to boost it. As the pogo stick slammed down, Uraraka negated Melissa's gravity along with the stick's. It shot up like a comet, faster than before. Uraraka and Melissa had glowers of determination, Izuku was just doing his best not to vomit.

As they neared the floor in question, Izuku readied his left arm. At the signal from Melissa, Izuku fired his tether at a window as both girls held onto him. The cord held true and the group's ascent came to a stop. The small boy slowly reeled them in, bringing Uraraka close enough to shatter the adjacent window. All three teens jumped through the hole before Uraraka negated her quirk. The tall girl took deep breaths to recover from holding her quirk as Izuku finished shaking from the fast ascent. After a moment, Uraraka patted their shoulders.

"I'm gonna fight my down to meet back up with All Might," she explained. "Melissa, you disable the security for the island. Izuku, keep her safe." Everyone nodded and gave each other one last hug before going about their tasks.

---

All Might was not in a good mood. He was here to have a fun time with old friends, spend some time relaxing, and try to reconnect with Melissa (although that last one seemed like a howling failure). Instead, here he was fighting his way up a tower full of villains and rogue security bots. Admittedly there were more bots than villains as he worked his way up making sure no one was trapped in an odd place, but still. Thank goodness he still had quite a bit of Bulk Time.

As he fought his way up, though, he couldn't help but wonder about the sight he saw in the party hall. He distinctly saw his successor dancing with Melissa and Izuku, and even saw her kiss Melissa! Were they all together? How did that even work? He wasn't mad at all, but he was incredibly curious. He would definitely be asking about that after this current situation was resolved.

He eventually found one villain by themselves, and decided this was a good opportunity to get some answers. Rather than knock him out, All Might disabled the security robots and grabbed the man.

"NOW TALK," he growled. "WHAT IS YOUR GOAL WITH DAVID SHIELD?"

"I dunno!" the man squirmed in All Might's grip. "I was just told to help Wolfram while the actors got rid of everyone else!"

"I'VE HEARD A LOT ABOUT YOU GUYS BEING PAID ACTORS ON MY WAY UP," the hero stated. "DO YOU REALLY EXPECT ME TO BELIEVE THOSE LIES?"

"Most of the guys down below are!" the man yelled. "Just cannon fodder to keep everyone distracted while my boss and David break into the vault and-" There was a crack and the man was suddenly unconscious. All Might looked past the man, his eyes narrowing as he saw a bigger man holding a pole.

"That idiot was always too talkative," the man laughed. "Let's see how you-" The man gave a squeak of surprise as he was suddenly slammed into a wall across the room. Standing behind where he used to be was All Might's successor, Uraraka.

"Hey, All Might!" Uraraka smiled. "I've cleared everything between here and the 200th floor! Bad guy's on the roof! Let's go!" All Might stared for a second as Uraraka turned and dashed out the room. Giving a laugh at just how efficient she had been, All Might gently set down the unconscious villain and followed after her.

Notes:

Yeah, they kissed. XD

Spent so long getting that entire fluff scene right. I hope you all enjoyed it. ^^ Also, free cookie to the first person to figure out what Mei was referencing here.

Next time, we see Mel & Izuku being awesome, we see All Might and Ochako being awesome, and then there'll be some more fluff and a...well, you'll see what happens. X33 til next time!

Chapter 35: Action and Rest

Notes:

Howdy folks! Long time no see! XD Welcome back to Type-2 Hero! This chapter is the last battle of I-Island. Gonna say it now, this time around the fight is veeeery different. Might even be considered finished faster just cuz other people are in other places. Either way, I hope you like it!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

He was waiting.

He had been waiting for several days. He did not like the cramped space he had been waiting in, but his Master told him to do so.

"Stay in here, my servant. When you get let out, destroy everything you see."

Once he got out, he would enforce his Master's will. He would do so dutifully.

For now, however, he waited in the cramped dark, listening to the sounds outside...

---

Izuku and Melissa rushed down the hall, pursued by a trio of villains. These guys were different from the actors downstairs. They were actually somewhat reminiscent of the villains from the USJ attack. Which meant they were total pansies compared to Izuku. The short boy quickly tethered a large urn and threw it behind him, nailing the lead villain and tripping the other two. Using the provided opening, Izuku tethered the matching urn from the other side of the hall and hurled it at the villains. This one seemed to knock them out, as they did not try getting up again. The quirkless teens didn't hear any other pursuers, and reached the door to the security room without injury. Melissa quickly typed in the entry code and the doors whooshed open. The room was empty. That was worrisome.

"Izuku, pull out your finger-tasers," Melissa requested as they entered the empty security room. Confused, Izuku did so with a quiet 'click!' To his surprise, Melissa grabbed his arm and pulled it towards the keypad, shoving the prongs through a couple of the buttons. The electricity arced from his fingers, and the doors slammed shut. Izuku also heard deeper rumbling from inside the doors.

"If someone tries to destroy the keypad," Melissa explained as she put his taser away, "the doors automatically shut, then seal themselves further and and can only be opened using an alternate keycode, which is only known by my father, the security chief, and myself. Come on." Izuku followed Melissa to the terminal in the middle of the room, watching her sit down and start working away. He looked around, seeing all the other empty computers.

"I-is there anything I c-can do?" the small teen asked.

"In a minute," Melissa replied. "Looks like someone tricked almost all of the island's security teams into different saferooms before locking them in. Must be how they pulled this off. I'll have to cycle the system, but I can get them unlocked." Izuku watched as the blonde beauty went to work, her hands a blur over the keyboard. After a moment she gave a smirk. "Looks like the intruders missed something. Izuku! When I give the signal, hit the big red button on that terminal!" Izuku nodded and rushed over to the computer she was pointing at. He looked back at her with his hand hovering over the button in the middle. Melissa's typing got more frantic, sweat dripping down her brow, before turning to Izuku.

"NOW!"

Izuku hit the button, and every terminal in the room lit up. To his surprise, rods shot out from each terminal, next to the keyboards. They looked very similar to the centre sticks from jet fighters. Melissa gave a toothy smile before they heard something bang on the doors. Listening closely, they could hear angered yelling from outside.

"L-looks like the j-jig is up," Izuku said as he drew his arm-blade. "I-I'll hold them off." The diminutive boy moved to stand between Melissa and the door. Narrowing his eyes, he got into a fighting stance as the door began to dent. At that point, Melissa's terminal started beeping. Looking over the new details, she grit her teeth and typed a bit more before grabbing the centre stick with her right hand.

It would still take several minutes for the I-Island Security teams to get free, but there was something else she could do.

---

At the same time Melissa was typing away in the security room, Uraraka and All Might finally made it to the roof. As they burst through the doors, they saw they had arrived just in the nick of time. A villain in a white coat and a metal mask (undoubtedly the leader) was approaching an active helicopter with a large briefcase in his hand. On the floor of the chopper was David Shield, bound with metal pipes. Clearly this man had a metal-based quirk.

"What the-" the man growled. "I thought everyone was dealt with."

"YOU THOUGHT WRONG!" All Might yelled. "I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOUR PLAN IS, BUT IT ENDS HERE, VILLAIN!"

"Does it?" he jeered. "I don't think so, All Might." The man reached into his coat and pulled out a small device with a button on it. "You might have handled my actors, and the cannon fodder that All For One lent me, but this is a bit more of a problem for you."

"ALL FOR ONE!?" All Might roared while Uraraka gasped. Her mentor had told her about that villain after the USJ battle, explaining who they were and what they could do. This man was with them? Before All Might could question further, everyone heard explosions down by the beach. It was too far away to see the actual perpetrator, but they could all see the fire from their vantage point.

"W-what is-" Ochako gasped.

"All For One calls it 'Gigantomachia,' or something like that," the man sneered as he kept walking towards the helicopter. "He's a monster in every sense of the word. Far too much of a threat for anyone on this island but you. So what will you do? Come after me, but let the island burn?" The man laughed harder as All Might grit his teeth. Even Uraraka was getting really mad over this, and was about to say something before they heard a loud 'BANG!' from behind them.

Everyone, even the villain, stopped and looked at the source of the noise. Next to the door was what they had all assumed was an A/C unit, but it had opened up. The five sides of it fell away as a black box rose up. To their further surprise, the box itself opened up and unfolded, turning into what was distinctly a black, single-barreled turret. The barrel of the turret was long and open, almost resembling a fanged snout as electricity arced between the points. It was facing the chopper at first, but slowly turned towards the beach. There was a loud crackle as the electricity intensified, followed by a louder 'FWOOM!" sound when it fired towards the beach.

It wasn't the only one either.

Looking out over the island, it seemed like every tower above a certain height had one or two of these turrets. Some of them fired the same sort of projectile, but the turrets on the smaller buildings seemed to fire red bullets in bursts. They could all hear a roar as the shots made contact. After a moment, All Might smiled and clenched his fist.

"LOOKS LIKE THE ISLAND ISN'T AS DEFENSELESS AS YOU THOUGHT!" The Pro Hero and his successor rushed at the chopper again, only to be stopped when a massive metal beam burst from the floor and slammed into them. Uraraka barely had time to raise her Nebula Shroud before getting hit. This surprise attack succeeded in pushing them back into the wall by the door they came from, but their combined strength broke it quickly after. When the got free, however, they saw the chopper was already off the building and quickly rising. Uraraka, her anger reaching a boiling point, screamed and reached out her hand.

---

Maybe just this once.

---

To the surprise of everyone present, Uraraka's hand transformed into a black mass and fired a long cord at the helicopter. The tendril wrapped around the helicopter's tail and Ochako, too mad to fully realize what was going on, screamed and yanked her arm down. This resulted in the chopper slamming into the roof. The villain was sent flying from the wreckage, but David Shield was still in the chopper. All Might leaped over, tore the chopper apart and removed the scientist and the pilot. He jumped back with them just before the wreck exploded. Said explosion dislodged the tendril and it shrunk back into Ochako's hand. Ochako was still furious at everything and All Might was too busy tending to David to really care about what his successor just did.

"DAVID, ARE YOU-"

"Later," the scientist groaned. "Get Wolfram. The device he has...it enhances quirks...I made for you, but..." he coughed up a bit of blood as Uraraka began stomping towards where she had seem the villain, apparently Wolfram, fall.

"VILLAINS LIKE YOU ARE THE ABSOLUTE WORST!" Uraraka Ochako roared, her Shroud spiraling around her like a pinwheel. "I WAS GOING TO SPEND THIS WEEKEND RELAXING WITH MY GIRLFRIEND AND OUR BOYFRIEND-"

"That sounds weird," All Might muttered as he gently set David inside the door.

"-ONLY FOR A METAL-FACED ASSHAT LIKE YOU TO WALTZ RIGHT IN AND DECIDE TO SCREW EVERYTHING UP! WHY CAN'T YOU GUYS JUST SIT DOWN AND LET US RELAX FOR ONCE!?" Her tirade was likely to continue, but she was stopped when the entire roof began to shake. Another metal beam shot out to slam her back, but the enraged student simply backhanded it away. As she did so, a massive hunk of twisted metal rose from the skyscraper. The two super-strong individuals watched it twist and write, hearing the insane laughter from within. It might have been somewhat intimidating if Uraraka were not pissed off. All Might went to her side, watching as the metal hulk grew larger and larger.

"YOU THINK YOU CAN STOP ME!?" Wolfram laughed. "DON'T EVEN TRY IT!"

---

Back down in the security room, Melissa was still cycling the systems to lift the lockdown. Behind her, Izuku was bouncing between terminals while fighting the villains that broke through the door. He took down the biggest one first with a taser to his face, and was now just focused on keeping the rest away from his girlfriend as she worked. None of these guys were on the same level as Stain, but their numbers certainly made a dent in making up the difference. By far, though, the toughest one here was a villain who was as short as Izuku. He couldn't (begrudgingly) use his stature to his advantage against that one.

"H-How much l-longer, Melissa!?" the greenette yelled as he ducked under another fist.

"Almost there!" Melissa shrilled, going through code after code to get everything back up. The turrets were doing a good job at stopping that big...thing at the beach, but they lacked the firepower needed to bring them down. She knew of two, possibly three, people who could. She also knew one or two of them were occupied on the roof, and the last one was trapped. They could break out from the lockdown easily, but their quirk usage would injure if not kill everyone around them, which was what Melissa guessed was why they hadn't broken out. She had to hurry to get them-

ding~!

Melissa stopped typing, and watched with a growing smile as the lockdown across the island was finally shutting down. All of a sudden, several wall panels around the room dropped, and security bots rushed out. Izuku jumped back from a villain in time to see these robots tackle the entire group, using tasers and nets to apprehend them. As he caught his breath, his eyes fell on the nearest terminal, which started beeping loudly.

"I did it!" Melissa cheered as she sprinted back up to Izuku. "Are you alright?"

"I-I'm fine," Izuku nodded before pointing, "b-but why does th-this terminal s-say th-there's a radiation s-spike down by the b-beach?" Melissa only smiled.

---

Down in the streets, Sakai, Gorogoro and Choji were on rescue duty. One of the safehouses they had been directing civilians to was down by the beach, and now they were rushing to get the peopleawayfrom the beach. Even some of the villains they had been fighting before (all of whom kept saying they were just actors) were running from Gigantomachia. Of all the other ways the night could have gotten worse, none of the three boys expected "giant man yelling about his master" to be one of those ways.

"Hurry!" Choji waved his arm, making sure the civilians saw him. "Away from the beach!"

"Where the hell did that thing even come from!?" Sakai yelled as he slithered between people to make sure no one was being trampled.

"Screw where it came from," Gorogoro screamed, "how do we stop it!? All those random turrets look like they're barely holding him in place!" As if to answer his question, there was a loud alarm from the building next to them as the entire wall slid into the floor. The room inside was mostly dark, save for a bright blue outline of something big glowing from inside. The students watched as men and women in security uniforms came pouring out from the dark and rushed past them. A few stopped to look at the colossus on the beach as the rest tried to push the boys to follow the civilians.

"You go with the rest, we got this!" one of them ordered. "We managed to see what was going on while we were trapped, and we can take it from here!"

"How!?" Sakai hissed. "It looks like it's taking shots from frikkin' railguns and it's not even bleeding yet!"

"We have something a lot stronger than a railgun, now go!" The three students were still a bit hesitant, but nodded and followed the crowd after making sure the last civilian was off the beach. The security guard smiled at their courage before turning back to the room he came from. "You're up." He watched as the glowing figure stepped out from the dark room, the air around them hissing.

The figure was an incredibly tall woman, almost three meters high. She wore the same sort of security uniform as the man next to her, but the back was open to accommodate the large spikes running down her neck and back, with a tail that stretched behind her. Her legs were mostly normal, but her feet were large and scaly, ending in three-toed feet. Her arms were somewhat similar, covered in scales yet still mostly humanoid. Her eyes were shimmering white as they glared at the monstrosity on the beach.

"Get to safety," the woman ordered, her face deep and rumbling. The man nodded and waved his hand, gesturing for the rest of the security team to leave. The woman in question, American Pro Hero Pacific Queen, glared at the giant as she released another burst of light, one she knew the island sensors would recognize. After the burst finished, the turrets across the islands ceased firing. Smirking at this, the woman glared back at the staggered Gigantomachia and exhaled. More light poured from her body as it began to expand, growing rapidly.

In under a minute, the light dimmed again. Pacific Queen now towered over the structures around her, and above the beast on the beach. The light her body was giving off before was almost nonexistent, save for her eyes. Gigantomachia had recovered from the shots and now looked at the looming heroine, who only smirked before roaring and charging at him. Her saurian feet cracked the pavement with each step, practically bursting when she took a running leap onto the massive villain. Her claws dug into his body and pushed him down. She jumped off and back, ripping what she could before landing on the sand. Gigantomachia groaned, declaring he would please his master, failing to notice the light forming on Pacific Queen's tail. The light started at the tip and slowly expanded up her back as she wrestled with Gigantomachia.

---

Back on the roof of the central tower, Ochako and All Might glared at the mass of metal Wolfram was controlling. They had noticed the turret had stopped firing, but they knew they had to focus on the cackling villain in front of them. Both had their fists clenched, mentally preparing for the fight before them. Looking at each other, they nodded and rushed at Wolfram. The villain continued laughing and sending metal beams at them. All Might punched through any that were directed at him, while Ochako would destroy those she could not dodge.

As they ran forward, Wolfram through a literal wall at them, only for said wall to flash-freeze in front of them. Ochako glanced to the side, seeing Moroboshi and Todoroki coming up over the side of the building, riding a dragon statue made from ice. Moroboshi's flash-freezing the metal made it brittle enough for the two to smash through it with ease. When Wolfram sent more beams at them, Todoroki jumped from the dragon. His right arm shot a rod of ice at the roof to pull him in while his left arm burned with an axe of scorching flames. With a battlecry, Todoroki pulled himself across the metal beams, slicing through them all like a plasma cutter. The residual heat was enough to soften the entire beams, letting All Might and Ochako bend them out of the way. Wolfram roared and tried one more time to stop All Might and Uraraka, but he barely raised more beams before they all exploded. Looking past them, the villain saw Momo and Oscar in the doorway, the former glaring, standing next to a howitzer. Oscar quickly reloaded it before she fired again, aiming right for Wolfram. He tried to control the shell, only to see it wasn't a metal projectile flying at him. The ultrahard ceramic shell tore through his metal easily, and any metal left were melted by Todoroki's flames. Wolfram tried to move back, but Moroboshi and her ice dragon came into view. The dragon roared and shot ice at him, freezing him in place. He sneered, knowing his metal could break the ice, but stopped when he saw he couldn't. Moroboshi hovered above the mass, pushing her influence into keeping the ice in place. Now there was literally nothing stopping All Might and Ochako as they leaped towards the mass.

"ARE YOU READY, YOUNG URARAKA!?" All Might yelled.

"LET'S DO THIS!" the student roared, her quirk empowering her above anything she had reached before. In unison, both people shot out their fists at Wolfram and his metal shell.

"DETROIT SMASH!"

"METEOR IMPACT!"

At the same instant as the beach exploded with blue light, their fists collided with Wolfram's shell. Moroboshi pulled back, letting them obliterate the ice with the metal. The hero and his successor roared as the force carried them through until both their fists collided with Wolfram. The villain didn't even have time to yell his disbelief before he was out cold and sent flying. His body fell onto an adjacent skyscraper, burned and frostbitten and beaten, yet alive.

The pair of super-powerful people landed on the wreckage poking out the roof, winded and tired but victorious. All Might was hidden by debris, and had the chance to thin out. On the roof behind them, Moroboshi landed her dragon to reunite with Todoroki while Momo, feeling a bit of a high, pulled Oscar into a tight hug and a passionate kiss. A few moments later, Izuku and Melissa came up the stairs, stopping when they saw the unconscious David Shield. Checking to make sure he was still alive, they both sighed with relief when they found a pulse. Peering out the door, the two saw Ochako sitting on the edge of the roof. She turned back after hearing them, gave a tired smile and a thumbs up.

They had won.

---

The following morning dawned clear. Cleanup crews were hard at work cleaning up the mess. They were filling in cracks, fixing doors, gathering up all the unconscious actors and villains. No one wanted to go near the giant, irradiated skeleton on the beach, but thankfully there were robots to handle that one.

In a hotel suite above all that, however, Inko was making her way towards one of the bedrooms. She was preparing to make breakfast, and was wondering if any of the kids wanted to help. When she opened the door to the bedroom, however, she stopped. All of her children (she considered them all that) were still asleep in bed, exhausted from the previous night's work. They were all in the same bed, with Melissa and Ochako on either side of Izuku. The three teens were under the covers, and sprawled on top of them, still in the dress she wore to the party, was a slumbering Eri (whose knife had fallen to the floor). It made for a cute scene Inko could not bring herself to interrupt. With a soft smile, she took a quiet picture and closed the door again. They earned their break.

Type-2 Hero - Mad_Nimrod - 僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia (7)

Notes:

Reading it, it feels like the battle ended faster, huh? Hope you guys enjoyed the "little" twist I threw in with Gigantomachia. Mostly threw him in there to show off how I imagined I-Island's defenses would work. Also, cuz I'm crazy, I couldn't resist throwing in a reference to another fanfic. I think you all can spot it. XD

Next chapter is gonna be a mostly-fluffy, dialogue-heavy chapter to wrap up I-Island. And if you see this fic update again throughout the day, that's just me going through and fixing some errors, such as the most glaring error of me misspelling "Wookiee" this entire time.

See ya next time!

Chapter 36: Rest and Secrets

Notes:

A chapter of fluff and relaxation. The kids deserve it after what happened last time.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

The early morning news across the Pacific Ocean exploded with the I-Island attack. Some stations focused on how the Expo was crashed by a man leading a group of actors. Others focused on David Shield's involvement with the villains. One occult show was focused on the giant skeleton on the beach, and how it had to be proof of ancient giants. One thing that every actual news show covered, however, was how the Island had been saved by All Might and a handful of UA students, including the quirkless Scouter.

As the news spread, everyone had their own reactions. Many people cheered, lauding Scouter's continual success. Some scoffed at the quirkless boy, saying he was just lucky. One supervillain, hidden in Japan, screamed in fury at the loss of one of his strongest subordinates. At the same time, a pair of scarlet eyes stared at a television screen in shock, recognizing Scouter's green hair.

Between this and his still-high fame from taking down Stain, it was clear that Scouter was not gonna fade away anytime soon.

---

Izuku woke up with a groan, his body aching from the previous night's battle. He barely remembered even flopping into the bed before passing out, so the fact he was now under the covers meant one of the girls must have brought him in. Looking around, he noticed he was alone in the room, the clock on the wall indicating it was mid-morning. Stretching and groaning, he got to his feet and shuffled out of the bedroom. To his relief, he saw Inko and Eri sitting on the couch eating shaved ice. The minute Eri saw him, her eyes got big and she shouted his name before almost teleporting to his side with how fast she ran.

"I'm here, I'm h-here," Izuku tiredly laughed as he hugged his daughter. "Where's everyone e-else?"

"Mommy went to talk to her dad," Eri replied, "and Mama said she had to do something on her own."

"How are you feeling?" Inko asked as she shuffled over with Eri's bowl of ice.

"Sore," Izuku smiled. "But it's a g-g-good sore. We did good l-last night."

"Indeed you did," his mom beamed. "Hopefully you're not too sore to have some fun later. Once the girls are done with their errands, they wanted to go swimming. They wanted you to join them." Izuku smiled at the invitation...then blushed.

"S-swimming?" he asked. "Like...i-in the water?" Inko nodded, curious about his reaction...then smiled once she made the realization.

"This would be your first time seeing those girls in swimsuits, isn't it?" Izuku just nodded, his face bright red. Eri looked up at him, then turned to Inko.

"Grandma, what's a swimsuit?"

---

"That's a swimsuit," Asano pointed at a window display, Tabata standing next to her.

---

At the same time Melissa was checking on her dad's condition in the hospital, All Might was finishing telling Uraraka the full story about his interactions with Izuku. He was in his withered form, sitting in a chair across from Ochako in his hotel room.

"I remembered him being such a kind, wide-eyed child," the skeletal hero rubbed his hands together in shame. "I was hoping he'd forgive me for what I'd done. Instead, I got a punch to the face. And the words he said after that... *sigh* it felt like he was blaming me for the loss of his arm. I dunno the full details of how that happened, but...if he's right, and it is my fault...He has every right to hate me." He gave another sigh and fell silent. Uraraka just stared at her mentor. Her face was devoid of emotion, thinking over everything she had heard concerning him and Izuku. After another few moments of silence, Uraraka gave her own sigh.

"He doesn't hate you," she stated as she leaned back in her chair. "I think it's impossible for him to hate you. I mean, after he punched you and left, he had a full-fledged panic attack over it. That doesn't happen to someone out of hatred." She stood up from her chair and looked out the window, towards the ocean. "As for Melissa...well, I think she's angry more out of respect for Izuku than out of hate for you."

"And yet they both keep avoiding me," All Might stated. "What if they-"

"Stopping you right there, sensei," Ochako turned. "They don't hate you. I think...I think it's just your turn to be patient."

"Patient?"

"Hmm. Think about it. You made Izuku wait over a year before apologizing for your words to him. Now it's your turn to wait for them to be comfy again. They aren't gonna apologize since they technically didn't do anything wrong, but they will stop being mad at you. Melissa might hold the grudge a bit longer, but knowing Izuku, he's too much of a cinnamon roll to be angry forever. Things won't be as hunky-dory as they were before, but they'll get better. Trust me."

"...Alright," All Might nodded. "Another thing, though. Last night you...did something. Your hand changed into a black tentacle and pulled down the helicopter. What was that?"

"...I don't know," Uraraka hugged her arms. "Seeing that villain getting away, I just got angry and...it came out. I tried to pull it out again on my way here, but I can't feel it. Can't feel the same thing I felt last night."

"This is definitely something to figure out," the pro hero nodded. "I'll ask Torino, see if he knows anything." Ochako nodded before the two heard a beeping noise from her wrist. She checked her watch, giving a quiet gasp.

"Sorry to cut things short, sir, but I promised Melissa I'd be back before noon. We're gonna go swimming in the ocean together."

"You really like them, don't you?" All Might smiled. "Melissa and Midoriya." Uraraka looked back at him with a big smile of her own.

"More than anything."

---

Izuku was lounging on the beach. He was wearing green swim trunks and a blue shirt that had the words "bare chest" printed on the front. Even if he had more confidence in himself, he still wasn't comfy showing off the scars on his chest. The fact one of the hand-shaped scars on his arm was barely visible underneath his sleeve was bad enough. Looking off to the side, he smiled as he saw Eri and Mei building a sand castle together...even if Mei was using a bunch of small robots to do it for her. Making things even funnier, said castle was being built on top of a comfy, coiled Sakai Hebi. Inko was supervising, giggling at the girls' antics. Izuku laughed and looked back out at the ocean. They'd be heading back to Japan this evening, and Izuku hoped today would be a calm one.

"There you are!" he heard Melissa shout from behind him. Smiling, he turned to look at his girlfriend, but froze in a flustered shock when he saw her. She was wearing a modest one-piece swimsuit. It was white with a red stripe going down the side, andveryform-fitting. Her hair was up in a ponytail, her eyes covered by sunglasses. It made for a very pretty sight.

"H-hello, Melissa," Izuku stuttered from both his past trauma and his bashfulness at the paragon of beauty before him.

"You were surprisingly hard to find!" Melissa giggled as she plopped herself down next to Izuku. "I mean, you'd think with green hair like yours you'd be easy to spot!"

"Especially a-against the blue ocean," Izuku smiled as he leaned against Melissa. The taller girl smiled and wrapped her arm around Izuku, gently rubbing his shoulder. The two sat in a comfy silence for a while, just enjoying each other's presence. After a bit, Melissa pulled his head close and kissed his brow.

"Want to go swimming? Your arm's waterproof."

"S-sure," Izuku smiled as he got up. Helping Melissa to her feet, the two jogged into the water. Izuku dove in once it got deep enough, showing off just how good a swimmer he actually was. Melissa laughed as he circled her, swimming faster than she expected. It was quite the adorable sight.

"CANNONBALL!"

Both teens barely registered the shout before someone huge plowed into the water next to them, sending out a wave that pushed Izuku back and almost tipped over Melissa. They both laughed aloud as Uraraka got to her feet, but Izuku turned bright red when he saw her. Unlike Melissa, Ochako was wearing a pink bikini that seemed just a bit tight around her...assets. Ochako saw him staring, gave a giggle and spun around.

"Like what you see, Izuku~?" This question snapped Izuku from his stupor and he sputtered his apologies. The two girls just laughed at this before splashing the boy, getting one or two good ones in before Izuku laughed and began splashing back. The three played like this for several minutes before they all got hit with a huge splash of water.

"HAHA, GOT YOU GOOD!" A jolly familiar voice shouted. They turned with smiles to retaliate, but stopped when they saw who said it. Standing not too far from them was a tall, muscular boy with dark brown hair. His brown eyes had a mirthful glint, and his mouth was in a wide smile. The trio of teens stared a bit before Izuku gasped.

"CHOJI-KUN!?"

"Aww, you recognized me!" the teen laughed the way he always had. "That was pretty quick, too!"

"What happened to you?" Melissa asked, her eyes wide. "Where's all your fur?"

"Oh, well," the former-wookiee explained as Asano, Tabata and Gorogoro came wading up, "last night I was helping get civvies out of the way of security, ya know? Well, one villain that attacked us had a quirk like that pink girl from the hero course, but his goop only worked on hair and clothes and it was super sticky. Anyway, he got a lot on me, so with how uneven my hair melted I decided to just get it all shaved off and stuff. Plus, with it all gone I can go swimming!"

"You are g-g-gonna surprise everyone a-at school," Izuku stated.

"Nah, don't worry!" Choji laughed as he slapped his chest. "My hair regrows pretty quickly. If you look close, I actually got a layer of peach fuzz already. By Tuesday morning I'll be covered in a decent layer of fuzz that'll hide my ugly mug easily!"

"What planet are you from where your face would be considered ugly?" Uraraka asked with a flat expression.

"I know, right?" Gorogoro laughed. "I took some pictures earlier, gonna have some fun when we get back to school."

"And speaking of fun..." Asano smirked. Before anyone could react, she used her quirk to grow a bit taller than Ochako before pulling Tabata up and onto her shoulders. "Pick up your man, Uraraka-san! Let's play a little game. First to fall loses!"

"Oh, you're on!" Uraraka immediately replied as she used her own quirk to hoist Izuku onto her shoulders. The boy was surprised at the sudden challenge, but after what he faced last night he quickly prepped himself. With a nod from their respective boyfriends, the two girls waded pushing, pushing against each other while the boys on their shoulders wrestled for dominance. Melissa cheered for her pair while Gorogoro cheered for Asano and Tabata. Choji stayed silent, just watching the playful scuffle with a wide smile. After a few minutes, Izuku got in a lucky push and Tabata gave a shout as he fell from Asano's shoulders. Ochako and Izuku cheered at their victory, then promptly fell over when Melissa tackled them into the water. All three came back up quickly, and all three playfully squirted water out of their mouths before laughing again.

"Having fun, I see," a familiar voice muttered from behind the teens. Ochako quickly turned to the voice, being the only one of the trio to not recognize them. Izuku and Melissa, however, smiled and looked at the new arrival.

"Hey there!" the diminutive greenette smiled. "H-have you h-had lunch yet?"

---

While the rest of their friends were playing in the ocean, Todoroki and Moroboshi were walking through one of the island's parks with their bags. There were few words exchanged between them, the two of them simply enjoying the other's presence as they walked hand in hand. After some time, the two teens sat on a convenient bench under a tree. They still stayed silent, even as Ayame leaned her head on Shouto's shoulder. Their friends might want to work past last night's fear and pain through loud playfulness, but these two required only each other and calm silence.

Unfortunately, that silence was broken by a grumbling stomach.

Moroboshi jerked up, looking at her boyfriend in surprise. Shouto himself looked to the side, embarrassed by the occurrence. She would undoubtedly tease him for that. Instead of scoff or tease, however, Ayame simply smiled and reached into her bag. Shouto turned and watched as she pulled out a tupperware filled with warm stir fry.

"We didn't exactly get to eat last night," she replied as she opened the dish and pulled out two pairs of chopsticks. "Here. We'll eat it together."

"...Th-thanks," Shouto nodded his gratitude. The two teens ate the meal quietly, again basking in the pleasant atmosphere. At one point, Moroboshi grabbed Shouto's attention and slipped a bit of pork into his mouth. She gave a teasing smile as he looked away, his face red as his hair. After they finished, Moroboshi capped the tupperware and slipped it back in her bag. Then she gave a stretch before laying down on the bench, resting her head on Shouto's lap.

"Quite the vacation, huh?" she smiled. "The expo, then a villain fight, and now a quiet day."

"I just hope it stays quiet when we head home later," Moroboshi's boyfriend replied. "I rather like the quiet."

"Same."

The two stayed like that for close to an hour, enjoying the peace as Shouto slowly and softly ran his fingers through Ayame's hair. They were so engrossed in each other's company they didn't even notice Momo and Oscar run by, laughing their heads off. A few moments later, they were passed by a smirking yet angry Maria Draconis with what looked like the remains of a cherry pie sticking to her face.

---

All Might walked down the sidewalk in his withered form. He was by himself, looking around the various structures one last time before packing up for the trip home. He was glad that things were resolved so quickly. Villains these days were getting a bit too crazy, even for him. He was glad to see young Uraraka and her classmates could pick up the slack. He was looking forward to seeing just how much better she could get.

"Well, look at you," a voice uttered from his right. "You sure it's safe for you to walk around in the open like this?" All Might froze. That voice...he hadn't heard that voice since the day before the USJ battle. Turning his head, he was met with the sight of Sir Nighteye walking towards him. The hero had his trademark glower and gait, but the beeping hat with the little dish on top was a new addition.

"S-Sir Nighteye," All Might stifled a laugh. "Didn't know you were on the island."

"I came this morning," the precognitive hero replied. "I was sent by Nedzu to personally check on everyone. I just came back from lunch with the Midoriyas and their group. Eri insisted I wear this. And now I'm here to make sure you don't do any more bulky time until you return to Japan."

"Hey, I'm being careful," the skinnier hero groaned. "But enough about me. How have you been? Haven't seen you since-"

"I know," Nighteye admitted. "It's kind of funny, we've both been in the same school for months and have only spoken once since we arrived there. I vote we both blame how focused we were on our individual students and move on."

"You're not gonna yell at me for I did to young Midoriya?" There were a few moments of silence, but to Yagi's relief his former sidekick shook his head.

"I think you've had enough people yell at you already." Moving next to his former boss, Nighteye gestured. "We'll talk while we walk. Tell me what you've been up to, and please tell me you've lightened up on the bullheadedness." All Might gave a chuckle at the unintentional rhyme as they both walked leisurely. Maybe this was the start of their reconciliation? He honestly hoped so. All Might truly did miss his old friend.

---

The sun was setting, and it came time to return to Japan. Melissa gave her farewell to her fellow inventors (after peeling a few off Izuku and his arm) and climbed aboard the jet. Just like the trip to the Island, the Midoriya group had a small jet to themselves. Inko, tired from everything, fell asleep almost as soon as she sat down. Mei and Eri pressed their faces against the window, watching the plane leave the island.

"Bye bye island," Eri waved.

"Other than the villain fight you were fun as heck," Mei nodded before sitting down across from Inko. Eri joined her, and the two poked around the bag of goodies Mei was bringing home with her. Among the various doodads and devices they got was one of Melissa's pogo sticks, which they were both eager to mess with. Sitting across the aisle were Izuku and the girls.

"Well, that was fun," Izuku admitted with a smile.

"Was nice visiting my old haunts," Melissa nodded. "Could have done without the villain attack, though."

"They always ruin everything," Ochako grumbled. "At least we got to spend today relaxing. Bit bummed I couldn't meet your dad, though."

"Security reasons," Melissa replied with a sigh. "Since part of what happened was because of him, he's gonna be under close observation for a while."

"Still c-can't believe he did th-th-that," Izuku stuttered. "I mean, I-I know th-that...w-well, I know why he d-did it, b-but still, t-to go so far is unbelievable."

"Why did he?" Ochako asked. "I wasn't told." The other two teens looked at each other, clearly hesitant over sharing that bit of info. After a moment, Melissa cleared her throat.

"Let's just say it involves All Might's quirk. Don't know how much is safe to explain, even to you."

"...Oh, it's because his quirk is weakening, isn't it?" Ochako asked, earning a surprised look from the other two.

"Y-you know?" Izuku asked. "D-did he t-tell the Hero Course?"

"I thought I was the only one he told," Ochako stated.

"Wait, he told you?" Melissa leaned towards Ochako. "When? Where?"

"He told me a year ago," the brunette replied. Part of her was screaming to stop, that what she was going to say was a secret, but she trusted these two. Shelovedthese two. And after what she was told earlier, she was resolved to tell them this. Looking over to make sure Eri and Mei were occupied, she turned back to her lovers and whispered, "What I'm about to tell you must remain secret, alright? No one can be told what I'm gonna say." In a mix of confusion, shock and curiosity, Izuku and Melissa nodded their agreement. Ochako nodded and leaned back in her chair.

"To start with, let me tell you a story about two brothers..."

Notes:

And thus ends the I-Island Arc! Hope you guys like how it went! I know some of you were a bit unhappy at the kaiju hero I used, but hey I wanted to give an homage to "Titan of Dagobah Beach" by axioriot. It's a pretty creative fic, I recommend it.

And now the entire love trio knows about One For All! How will this affect their views on All Might? Will it change anything, considering everything else that's happened? Who knows? XD

Up next is gonna be one or two chapters of fluff, relaxation and preparation for the Finals! We'll also encounter a villain from Izuku's past during one of these chapters, but they'll be treated like a 'villain of the week' so nothing too big and it'll get resolved in the same chapter. Until next time!

Chapter 37: Secrets and Words

Notes:

Most people: It sucks I'm stuck in quarantine, but being cooped like this really lets me focus on my writing so I can get more updates done!

Me, an "essential" employee who's now working twice as hard: What are writing?

Sorry it took so long to update this. The plague is really making the world crazy, and I was having trouble figuring out how to start this chapter. Anyway, this chapter will essentially have a "villain of the week" sorta thing with one or two clues about things if u look right. Enjoy!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Izuku woke up with a groan. In his opinion, getting an extra day off was not enough to recover from what happened on the island. His entire body still felt heavy, and it was hard to move. Oh wait. He opened his eyes and his vision was filled with golden hair. It took him a moment to fully realize this was because Melissa was lying on top of him, using the smaller boy like a body pillow.

Rather than go back to her apartment, Melissa had decided to bunk with the Midoriyas for a few days. The stress over the fact her father colluded with villains was a bit much, and she needed company. As their apartment didn't have a guest room, Melissa opted to bunk with Izuku and Eri. Neither of them complained. They enjoyed Melissa's company, even if Izuku's small bed was a bit cramped for the three of them. Even if Izuku still got flustered seeing Melissa in her pajamas, no matter how modest they were.

"Melissa," Izuku mumbled as he poked her back (the only safe place he could reach from his current position), "we gotta get up for school." Thankfully, Melissa was not too deep a sleeper, and woke up fairly quickly. She sat up and stretched while Izuku scooted back, noticing Eri wasn't on the bed. Before his mind even began to feel the concept of worry, the smell of breakfast calmed his nerves. Getting to his feet, he grabbed his clothes and hobbled into the bathroom to change, giving Melissa some privacy as she changed into her uniform. After he changed, he walked into the kitchen to ask if his mom needed a hand, but was greeted by a different sight.

"Morning, kid!" Kayama Nemuri greeted as she scrambled some eggs together. The pro heroine didn't look the part, wearing modest lavender pajamas with an apron that had "Kiss The Queen" printed on the front over a picture of a man Izuku recognized as Freddie Mercury in a chef hat. Izuku just stared in a quarter-sleep daze before turning to the table, where Inko and Eri were sitting and talking. Still just a little too sleepy to articulate words at this development, the boy just shuffled over to the table and sat down. A few minutes later, Melissa stepped out and was equally confused at the cooking Midnight.

"...What are you..."

"Cooking breakfast!" Midnight smiled. "After what I heard from I-Island I figured Inko could use a break this morning."

"But weren't you here last night, too?" Melissa asked. Before Midnight could answer, the teen's eyes widened. "Wait, did you-"

"Breakfast's ready!" Midnight hollered before Melissa could finish her question. The heroine opted not to look at Melissa as she served everyone an American-style breakfast, which was successful in distracting Melissa from her prior question. The family group ate the breakfast quietly, simply enjoying the taste.

"Remember, Izuku," Melissa stated as they rinsed their dishes, "you and Ochako have a date tonight that's just the two of you. Think you can handle it?"

"I-I'll be fine," the green boy smiled. "We're j-just gonna go t-to an ice cream parlor."

After they finished, Midnight drove the three kids to UA. They arrived a bit before school started, but since they didn't need to visit Mei for anything they decided to just head to class. They reached Melissa's class first, and the tall third-year gave Izuku and Eri a kiss on the forehead before heading in. Izuku still got flustered over such displays of affection, but he recovered quickly and rushed to his class.

---

Ochako was a bit antsy as she waited for class to start. She hadn't really had a chance to see Izuku since the plane trip, and their date was planned over the phone through Melissa. Izuku had sounded eager according to Melissa, but she had been worried ever since revealing One For All to him and Melissa. After hearing about it, the two had kind of shut down for several minutes, and it took her tapping their shoulders to snap them out of it. Ochako was worried how their relationship would develop now that they knew everything.

She turned her attention to Aizawa as he stepped into the classroom. The teacher looked over the students with his usual bored expression before sighing and speaking up.

"Alright," he droned, "I will admit, those of you who attended the Expo didn't make as big fools of yourselves as you could have."

"Dude just cannot give a compliment, can he?" Uraraka heard Shinsou mutter to Shiozaki, who gave a quiet giggle.

"You acted accordingly when under villain attack, and didn't screw anything up. Try to keep doing that in emergencies. In other news, we got nothing big planned until the Exams in a few weeks. In case you haven't heard before, those who pass the exams will get the chance to attend a summer training camp. Those who fail will instead attend remedial classes. Any questions so far?"

Ochako kept listening, but part of her brain was curious. What would be going on at the camp? Would Melissa and Izuku be allowed to attend? It was over a vacation, so maybe she could finagle something? Would be a nice group thing for them all. After a few more minutes of morning announcements, Class 1-A grabbed their bags and started walking to their first class. As they did, however, Ochako noticed something.

The hallway was a lot more crowded than usual. It wasn't like before the Sports Festival, though. There were groups of students, mostly female, huddled around posters that had been stuck to the walls. Ochako leaned over one such group to look at whatever was displayed. To her surprise, it was a flyer with a picture of Choji on it from after his hair got shaved off. He was posing for the photo, looking handsome and dramatic. Looking further, she saw there was some bold writing under the photo.

MOST HANDSOME FIRST-YEAR OF UA! FIND HIM, AND YOU GET TO TAKE HIM ON A DATE TO ANY LOCATION OF YOUR CHOICE!

...THATwas what Gorogoro meant? Uraraka literally laughed out loud as she walked away. That was a prank of epic proportions. No one would ever find him. She saw him earlier, and he did indeed have enough hair to be unrecognizable. No way anyone could find him. With lingering giggles, she caught up with her classmates.

---

The school day thankfully passed smoothly and quietly for everyone involved. Time seemed to pass in a blur, and before he knew it Izuku was waiting at the fountain in the nearby mall for Ochako. He had never been to the parlor Ochako had mentioned before, and was eager to try it out. He was humming while browsing the news on his phone when he heard a familiar voice.

"Holy crap! Look guys, it's deku!"

Izuku jerked a bit. That was name he hadn't heard in a long time. Looking up, he saw an old familiar group of kids he never wanted to see again. A group of boys that used to bully him back in middle school, led by Yubi Nobasu, aka "Fingers," whose hair was a lot more neon blue than Izuku remembered it being. Curiously, Bakugou was not among the group. Maybe they stopped following him after they graduated middle school? Well, judging from their sneers he assumed that was the only difference they made since they last met. Which also meant he had no reason to fear them. He dealt with Stain, thugs like Yubi were nothing.

"Funny meeting you here, deku," Yubi sneered as he and the three boys behind him sauntered up. "What're you doing here? Busy moping about being a waste of space?"

"W-waiting for my-"

"W-W-W-W-WAITING!" one of the other boys mocked Izuku's stutter before the group laughed. "Waiting for what? Your mommy?"

"My girlfriend," Izuku smirked back. Izuku had to admit he got some satisfaction out of their shocked expressions, before the group laughed again.

"You? A girlfriend?" Yubi snickered. "Good one, deku. As if anyone would go for a quirkless freak like you. Who is she? Your cousin?"

"None of your b-business," Izuku said as he looked back down at his phone. After a second, his instincts flared up and Izuku deftly jumped aside to avoid Yubi's fist. Then he flipped back to avoid one of his thugs' fists. "Unless you w-wanna eat tile, I suggest you l-leave."

"Not until we remind you of your place, you quirkless f*ck!" Yubi yelled as his fingers stretched out. Izuku sighed and was about to prep his arm for combat when he heard another familiar voice.

"Izuku!"

The small greenette sighed with relief as Ochako ran up, scooting past the bullies, and took Izuku's hand. She smiled down at him with a bit of sweat on her brow. She must have run here. Even with the sweat, she looked absolutely dreamy in her flowery skirt with a dark red shirt and cozy-looking tennis shoes.

"Sorry I'm late!" the taller brunette apologized. "I missed the bus and had to get here on foot." She turned to the flabbergasted group of boys, all of whom no doubt recognized her from the Sports Festival. "Izuku, who are these boys?"

"Oh, hey there," Yubi snapped out of his stupor and immediately tried to put the moves on Ochako. "Name's Yubi. I saw you in th-"

"I w-went to middle school with th-them," Izuku interrupted.

"Oh yeah," the finger-boy smirked as he shuffled closer to Ochako. "We were...good friends."

"Not remotely," Izuku glared.

"...Oh really?" Ochako asked, her eyes narrowing as she grinned down at Yubi. The bully nodded, only to start screaming in pain as Ochako grabbed his hair and lifted him to eye-level. Her grin was gone, replaced with a cold scowl.

"Listen here, prick," Ochako hissed at the whimpering boy. "I've heardallabout what goons like you did to my Izuku back in middle school, and quite frankly the only reason I haven't smashed your ridiculously-blue head into the floor is because I'm wearing new shoes and I don't wanna get blood on them. So listen to me, and stay away from my boyfriend, otherwise what I did during the Sports Festival will look like a love tap compared to what I'll do to you."

"W-why are you even dating him?" Yubi managed to groan through the pain. "He's a quirkless, usele-AAAAAGH!" The scream was from Ochako using her free hand to grab his extended fingers and almost bend them backwards.

"I don't give a flip that he's quirkless," the tall hero student growled. "He's already proven to me that he's ten times the hero you could ever hope to be." She let go of Yubi, letting him drop to the floor like a sack of flour. Ignoring his pained whines and the gawks from his crew, Ochako gave a warm smile to Izuku and pulled him to his feet. "Let's go, Izuku! The parlor's over this way!" Not even giving the bullies a second glance, she led Izuku away from the fountain, ignoring Yubi's pained and jealous glare as he took some pictures of the pair.

"...Th-that was awesome," Izuku finally managed to say after they were out of sight of the fountain.

"I was serious back there, too," Ochako pulled Izuku close as they neared the parlor. "If I was wearing older shoes that shrimp would be bleeding."

"...Wait, if h-he's a shrimp when he's taller than me-"

"Hush."

Ochako pushed open the parlor door and led her boyfriend inside. It was a small and cozy place, reminiscent of American diners from the 1950's. The seats were cushy, the atmosphere was cheerful, and the two teens were doing their best not to pay too much attention to the Momo-Oscar-Maria trio that appeared to be having an eating contest in the corner. Placing an order for a Couple's Bowl, the pair settled down to enjoy the setting.

"We haven't gotten to see each other since the Island," Ochako smiled. "It's nice to have this chance tonight."

"I-indeed," Izuku nodded his agreement. "W-was just so tired after everything my f-family decided to s-spend yesterday just r-resting. A-actually slept most of it."

"Oh, you were sleeping?" Ochako asked. "I was afraid that...no, no, not important."

"What? S-something wrong?" Ochako was about to deny it, but seeing the look of genuine concern on Izuku's face made her lie die on her lips. She looked around to make sure no one was listening, and was glad (yet perturbed) the trio from earlier were the only ones present and they seemed...preoccupied. Taking a breath, she let a sigh before looking to the side.

"After what I told you on the plane, I got worried. I mean, now you know one of the biggest secrets on the planet, and that Yagi-sensei was quirkless like you. Not a late bloomer, but actually quirkless. I was afraid you'd...get mad at me. I mean, we both basically did the same thing in front of him, saving someone from danger, but he chose me because I had a quirk. And..." She started fidgeting with her fingers. "...Is it wrong I'm kind of glad he chose me? I mean, I don't know what would have happened if he didn't. Would we be together? Would I be in the Hero Course? Would we have even met? So much good stuff has happened, but it happened because he treated you so cruelly. I'm scared that-"

"No," Izuku put his hand over hers. "I-I'm not mad at you. I c-could never get mad a-at you. I'll admit, I-I kinda wanted to p-punch him again for l-lying, b-but not you. As f-for what would have h-happened if he ch-chose me...th-that doesn't matter. We're here now, and I w-wouldn't give up what th-the three of us h-have for anything." He finished with giving her one of his brilliant smiles, and Ochako responded with her own smile. A few moments later their ice cream arrived and the two dug in at a casual pace.

---

A Few Days Later...

---

It was close to noon when a sleek black car pulled up to a building on the outskirts of Musutafu. The doors opened up, and anyone observing would immediately be filled with confusion and worry as they saw both Pro Hero MidnightandPrincipal Nedzu clamber out. Even more worrisome was just how angry to pair looked. The two stopped outside the building and looked up at the business' sign with contempt.

Heroic Enquirer

After a few moments, Midnight slammed the door open, letting Nedzu go inside before her. The handful of employees in the building all turned and looked at them in shock. Nedzu walked up to the nearest one, his face twisted into a small scowl.

"Excuse me," he growled politely, "could you tell me where I might find Yubi Shizuku?" The employee, worried about his could happen, slowly and jerkily pointed to the office in the corner. Nedzu followed his finger, then gave a slightly-more-polite smile. "Thank you." The two heroes walked to the office, but only Nedzu stormed through the door. Midnight stayed outside, closing the door for the principal and making sure no one else tried to go inside.

The office wasn't very big. In the middle of the floor was a large, overly-fancy desk with a computer and too many decorations. Against the wall behind the desk were a few filing cabinets. Seated at the desk was a skinny woman that could have been considered pretty, but Nedzu was never a good judge of human aesthetics. She was so focused on typing at her computer she didn't even realize who had stepped into her office.

"If you're here with a scoop," the woman, Yubi Shizuku, stated, "wait outside the office."

"You would wish I was here for a scoop, wouldn't you?" Nedzu replied. His voice caught Shizuku's attention, and her gaze snapped to the diminutive principal. Said Mammal hopped onto the seat in front of the desk, his eyes holding an unhappy glint.

"Principal Nedzu!" Shizuku voiced after a few seconds of shock. "To what do I owe this pleasure? Are you here for a-"

"I am here for this!" Nedzu exclaimed as he pulled a magazine from his vest and slammed it down on her desk. The woman's gaze fell on the magazine, and she recognized it instantly. It was that morning's issue of theHeroic Enquirer, showing a few photos her son had taken of the Sports Festival winner on a date with her boyfriend. Underneath the photo was the article title in big bold letters.

URARAKA OCHAKO: SPORTS FESTIVAL WINNER, DEGRADING HERSELF BY DATING QUIRKLESS"...What about it?"

"You should know I am a patient mammal," Nedzu grinned. "I'm not usually so quick to anger, to flare up like you humans are so well known for. However, seeing a company like yours committing libel against two of my students? Thatreallyruffles my fur." True to his statement, the fur around his collar was bristling. The woman didn't seem to care, though.

"How exactly is what I said libel? It's the truth. There are so many better people for that girl to be with, it's insulting for-"

"The only insulting thing about this is you," Nedzu interjected. "You wrote this article acting like you were doing those kids a favor by displaying their relationship to the world and acting like she made a mistake choosing him. I demand a retraction, and for you to write a formal apology for attempting to denigrate them just because your bully of a son didn't like what happened a few days ago. You should be happy my students haven't seen this yet. If they had, a simple retraction and apology wouldn't be enough."

"I refuse," the woman hissed. "I refuse, because it's the truth. It's insulting for such a promising future heroine to date a quirkless. A boy like him is worthless to the world, just like the rest of their kind."

"The rest of their kind?" Nedzu bristled more. "Quirkless are just as human as anyone else. Well, I guess more human than you, all things considered. And did your statement include Mara Jade, the detective who revealed the Aldera discrimination scandal? Or Scouter, the quirkless boy who defeated two S-Class villains in under a week?"

"Those two are the exception," Shizuku scoffed.

"And who are you to decide who is the exception?" Nedzu growled. "I will give you one more chance. Retract the article and apologize, or I will sue your company for libel."

"And I will say one more time, no." The woman leaned back in her chair. "You should leave before I decide to write an article about how the esteemed principal of UA resorts to intimidation in the face of unhappy truths."

"Your funeral." With that, Nedzu hopped off his chair and stormed from the office. Midnight was thankfully off to the side when the door slammed open. She had heard every word, and didn't say anything as she followed Nedzu out of the building. Once they were outside again, she looked down at Nedzu. The mammal gave a predatory smirk as he pulled a small device from his vest and hit a button on it.

"It's insulting for such a promising future heroine to date a quirkless. A boy like him is worthless to the world, just like the rest of their kind."

"Thank you, Single-Party-Consent laws," Nedzu chuckled as he pocketed the device again before climbing back into Midnight's car. Libel was a bad enough, but LibelandQuirkless Discrimination? Yubi Shizuku just signed her own death warrant, basically.

He may have been a hero, but Nedzu really did enjoy ripping people down like this.

Notes:

And there we go folks! Gonna try to update Cobalt Star soon (hopefully over the weekend), and next chapter will be all fluff. Next chapter will also answer one question all of you have had since, like, chapter three. See ya next time!

Chapter 38: Words and Challenges

Notes:

It's a Monday!

Here's a chapter of Type-2 Hero to help you get through the monday! It is mostly fluff with a serious moment towards the end. It's also arranged similar to the training montage of chapter 10 cuz I really wanna get to the exams for everyone.

Read on!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Monday, 11 days remaining

---

Despite the excitement of I-Island, the exams were still a good two weeks away. Two long, arduous weeks where literally anything could go wrong. All of UA could only hope nothing would go wrong. Even the teachers were on the lookout for any abnormal activity, eager to cut off any bad events before they could happen.

"CRAP WE'RE GONNA BE LATE!"

They failed.

Izuku was running up the road to UA, carrying Eri on his back. Behind him were Yoshio and Tabeta, running like they were being chased. Oh wait, they were. Behind them in hot pursuit were Asano and Sanada, both of whom were beyond furious.

"WE WOULDN'T BE LATE IF YOU BOYS ACTUALLY WOKE UP ON TIME!" Asano screamed.

"WE WOKE UP FINE!" Tabeta screamed back at his girlfriend. "YOU GIRLS WERE THE ONES WHO SPENT TOO MUCH TIME WITH YOUR MAKEUP!"

"I knew we should have stopped the marathon after the third season," Yoshio sighed as he straightened his glasses.

Izuku and Eri just laughed at the comedic chase going on behind them. The whole group had a sleepover at Tabeta's house, where they spent the night playing games and watching bad anime. Eri had a wonderful time, and the group of teens found themselves blessed to hear her laughing almost all night. However, them staying up late resulted in them all waking up a bit late, hence the current predicament.

"There's th-the gate!" Izuku shouted as the campus came into view. "Almost th-there!"

"Go fast, papa!" Eri declared like a determined horse jockey. At her words, all bickering ceased and the group of kids made it on the school grounds just as Vlad was coming out to close the gates. Said teacher was about to say something to the students, but didn't even get to open his mouth before they all disappeared into the door behind him.

"...I wonder if any of them are in Track..." Vlad chuckled to himself as he continued to close the gate.

---

Uraraka tapped her pencil against her desk while glancing at the clock. It was almost lunch time, and she was eager to get going. She had ordered some adjustments for her hero outfit after her experience week, and Mei had called earlier to say it was just about ready. Apparently there was just one final thing that she needed to be present for. As the bell rang and Cementoss assigned their required study, Ochako packed her stuff and was out the door the instant he dismissed the class.

The hero student sped through the halls, weaving between other students, sometimes doing graceful spins to avoid crashing into anyone. There were a few times she actually jumped over a student on her run to Mei's workshop. She knew she was getting close when she felt the reverberations of explosions. Smiling wide, she turned the corner in time for one more explosion to slam the doors open. Thankfully, the hinges had been reinforced so the doors didn't fly off. Slowing to a calm walk, she leaned her head around the doorway.

"Hello?" She giggled as she met a quickly-dissipating wall of smoke.

"In here, Ura-chan!" Mei called out as her arm emerged from the smoke. Uraraka followed it through and emerged on the other side safely, greeted by the pink-haired inventor. Said student gave a wide, soot-stained smile as she gestured Uraraka over to a metal rack covered in parts of her new hero suit. She could see the pauldrons, greaves and gauntlets, but there was something missing.

"Where's the actual suit?" Ochako asked.

"That's what you're here for," Mei replied. "I could make the armored components you wanted, but I need to get accurate measurements to make the actual jumpsuit. Can't use your current one cuz you told me it started feeling a little tight, which means you've definitely grown a bit since the start of the year. Now, normally I'd ask you to strip down so I can get your measurements by hand but Mel actually came up with something to help that." The inventor then dragged Ochako over to a clothes rack with a blue jumpsuit that looked a few sizes too big. "This puppy is like those blood pressure gauges. You put it on and it slowly tightens around your body until it's nice and snug. Then the little display on the wrist here lists off your measurements."

"Any chance we can give me something a bit on the loose side?" Ochako asked. "I mean, if I'm still growing, then-"

"No can do," Mei deadpanned as she pulled the jumpsuit up. "Any loose fabric is something a villain could grab. Why do you think so few heroes wear capes these days? Trust me, it's easier to replace a suit than it is to replace a limb." Ochako sighed, seeing the point to her statement. She took the jumpsuit and stepped into a side-stall Mei had installed to change. Stepping back out a minute later, Ochako was directed to stand on a platform before Mei pressed a button on her wrist. The suit buzzed as it slowly constricted around her. It wasn't painful, but definitely a bit on the snug side. At the same time, Mei moved a tall bar with a small piece sticking out from the side behind her and lowered the sticky-out part until it touched the top of her head. As she did so, the inventor gave a smirk.

"186 centimeters," Mei stated. "That's a 3-centimeter increase since the start of the year. You're definitely a growing girl."

"I was honestly kind of afraid of that," Uraraka nervously chuckled as her jumpsuit dinged and Mei moved to read the display of her measurements. "I'm less worried about hitting my head on doorframes, and more worried about making Izuku nervous by-"

"Girl, stop," Mei interrupted again with a giggle. "Trust me, if Izuku really really likes you, height won't matter to him. Heck, he might come to like using you as a bed or something." This made Uraraka blush as she folded her arms across her bosom. Looking to the side, she noticed what looked like four metal skeleton-like frames hidden behind everything else in the shop. They were surrounded by a few crates, one of which had the Shield logo emblazoned on it.

"What are those for?" the gravity girl asked, gesturing with her chin. Mei followed her gaze and shook her head.

"Don't ask," Mei replied. "Secret project between myself and Melissa. Don't ask her, either. Okay, you can go get changed again."

---

Tuesday, 10 days remaining

---

"I'm toast," Kaminari whined as his face dropped into the lunch table. "No way I'm gonna pass the written exam."

"I don't wanna repeat the year," Ashido groaned.

"You're not gonna repeat the year by flunking one exam," Momo stated as she finished her lunch.

"Easy for you to say," Ashido grumbled as she got to her feet with her empty tray. "I bet you got some big study thing you do for stuff like this."

"Actually I do," Momo smiled as she followed Ashido to return her lunch tray. "I have a whole study regimen I use for exams." She stopped and her eyes widened. "Wait, that's it! I could invite the class over for a big study session! That way we can all pitch in on subjects we're all good at!" Ashido's eyes widened like dinner plates.

"Really?" she gasped. "Yaomomo, that would be awesome!" The pink girl laughed as she jumped and hugged Momo tight. The taller brunette laughed at her antics, and she noticed Izuku and Ochako walking by behind Ashido. Seeing Izuku gave Momo an idea.

"Midoriya-kun!" she called out, grabbing the smaller greenette's attention. "I'm thinking of organizing a class study group at my home in a couple days. Do you think there's anyone in your class who might want to join?"

"I-I could ask," Izuku replied. "I th-th-think Kagaro-san w-was planning something s-similar, so it might w-work if we did it t-together." At this remark, Ashido let go of Momo and stepped back, grinning and laughing at the awesomeness of the idea...while Momo suddenly leaned to the side with a sinister smile.

Type-2 Hero - Mad_Nimrod - 僕のヒーローアカデミア | Boku no Hero Academia (8)

'This is perfect!'Momo thought to herself.'If Izuku's class comes there's no doubt Oscar will be joining them! And since it's gonna be Thursday I'll have the little mouse all to myself! With any luck I'll get him to sit on my lap while we study, and we can cuddle and nuzzle! Oooh, it's gonna be so epic!'

As Momo had her internal monologue, Izuku and Ochako stared at her with worry and a smidgen of dread.

---

Thursday, 8 days remaining---

It was a warm day as members from both Class 1-A and 1-C gathered for what would likely be a late-into-the-night study session. Thursday was a half-day, so the students were able to gather at a reasonable time. Izuku and Ochako walked side by side, with Eri between them carrying her knife and a backpack full of supplies to keep her occupied. Melissa had also been invited, but she said she was "busy with something" so Izuku and Ochako decided to leave her be. Around half of Class 1-A was there, with about the same number of students from 1-C. Some 1-A students wanted to study on their own, while Todoroki and Moroboshi chose to study together. The students chatted amicably as they approached the gates to the Yaoyorozu Estate.

"Wait," Gakushuu asked Choji and Gorogoro, "you guys got wrangled into fighting Hero Course, too?"

"We're up against Class 1-B," Choji replied. "Since one of their students was 'demoted' during the Sports Festival, they got 19 kids too. Only three of us were grabbed, though." Gakushuu nodded his acknowledgement as they approached the gate, then helooked around.

"Where's Sakai-kun?" he asked. "I thought he was joining us."

"I-I got a text saying he'd be a b-b-bit late," Izuku replied. "He'll b-be here." Izuku then reached up and hit the call button on the gates. After a minute, the gate dinged and began opening.

"Wait!" a familiar voice called. "Sorry I'm late!" Everyone smiled at the arrival of Sakai, but when they turned to greet him everyone went silent.

Sakai was slithering up pretty quickly, and he had a guest. Perched on his neck, clinging to his head, was a young girl. She had dark blue hair with green eyes and tanned skin. She wore an orange dress, and had a scaly blue tail poking out from under it. She looked around the same age as Eri.

"...Sakai-kun..." Kiana asked, "who's that?"

"This is my younger sister, Tomoe," the snake replied. "My mom's working late tonight and dad's sick, so I gotta babysit her."

And just like that, a question everyone had the entire year had been answered.

Before anyone could voice this, however, the gate finished opening and everyone went inside. As they walked, Eri smiled and waved up at Tomoe, who shyly waved back. After reaching the mansion, everyone gathered together in one of Momo's side study's to figure out the tutoring list while Eri played around at a nearby table with some gadgets Mei had given her. After a moment, Tomoe quietly joined her and the two began to hit it off.

And yes, Momo did manage to get Oscar onto her lap.

After the study session, as a means of winding down, everyone gathered in a larger room to watch a few movies. There wasn't enough couch space for everyone, so a lot of the students sat on the floor. As something akin to a Matryoshka Doll, Eri sat in Izuku's lap while Izuku sat in Uraraka's lap. They managed to watch a few movies, and decided to end the night watching one of Eri's favorites.

---

The heroic Chimp McClain stepped into the room, unarmed with both hands behind his head. Standing across from him was the villainous orangutan Hands Gruber, holding a gun to his beloved wife's head.

"So, Mr. McClain," Hands jeered, "it's the end of the world. I'll miss your tough talk and cheap heroics."

"Not as much as I'll miss your cheesy German accent!" Chimp McClain fired back.

"Burn," Kaminari snorted as he munched on popcorn.

"Honey, please," Chimp's wife, a wig-wearing chimpanzee, whined, "don't make a scene."

"That wig is making a scene," Choji waved his hand, getting a chortle from Jirou.

"Don't worry, Mrs. McClain," Hands stated, "Soon this will all be over. How do you say it, Mr. McClain? Yippee-kay-yay, MotherSomething?"

"I think what I said," Chimp replied, "was MotherJugs and Speed!" This got a laugh out of both Hands and Chimp's wife. Chimp soon joined in, and all three apes were laughing dramatically. As they laughed, the camera shot behind Chimp and slowly panned down, showing the pistol taped to his back.

"Oh god, please don't tell me that's directly on his back," Momo gasped, wincing at the thought.

The laughter continued for a few more seconds, during which time Chimp slowly reached for the pistol's grip.

"HONEY, DOWN!" Chimp yelled as he ripped the gun off his back. The tape came up with the gun, making a painful tearing sound they pulled up a lot of hair. There were a few seconds of silence before Chimp began screaming. The camera cut to showing two raw spots on his back from where the tape had ripped up the hair. Chimp then dropped the gun and fell to the floor, rolling around and screaming in agony. Hands chortled a bit, losing his grip on Chimp's wife, who rushed over to check on her husband.

"Ooh," Hands sneered, "that's got to smart!"

"No kidding!" Ochako exclaimed as every girl in the room (and Choji) winced at what they saw.

After checking on her husband, Chimp's wife reached over and picked up one of the strips of tape that held her husband's hair. She turned to Hands and held the strip out for him to see.

"Look what you made him do, Hands!" she yelled as she walked towards the villain, brandishing the strip of tape like a knife.

"Stop!" Hands yelled as he backed up. "You are grossing me out!"

"Look at it you big jerk!" Chimp's wife waved the strip of tape at the orangutan, who started screaming comically as the camera zoomed in dramatically on the strip.

"Put it away!" Hands shouted before raising his hands and falling backwards out the randomly-broken window behind him. Then the camera cut to a cheesy shot of Hands 'falling' to the ground far below. "I wanted to be in the sequeeeeeeeel!" After disappearing from view, Chimp recovered from the pain enough to get to his feet.

"Look ma, no Hands!" Chimp joked.

"Oh Chimp," his wife giggled, "you always have something funny to say when someone dies!" Then the two laughed more until the credits started rolling.

The credits rolled for a good minute before Momo turned the TV off.

"...Pre-Quirk Era movies were weird," she stated.

"I'm just wondering how much those monkeys earned," Sero asked.

"Probably earned peanuts," Ashido joked. Everyone groaned at the pun and started pelting the pink acid girl with popcorn. After she was sufficiently punished, the teens went to work cleaning up the mess and gathering their study supplies. Momo graciously offered to have the family drivers transport everyone to their respective homes, though everyone noticed her quietly inviting Oscar to spend the night in the Estate. No one heard his answer.

---

Tuesday, 3 days remaining

---

It had been close to three years since the last time Norishige Taahkin walked UA's halls, and literally decades since he had graduated. Despite the fact he was an invited guest, he instinctively tread the halls like he was on an investigation for the Death Star Agency. With padded shoes and agility that had not dulled despite his 53 years of age, the older hero swept through the halls like a wraith. He still had some time before the appointed meeting, so he decided to make a small detour.

Taahkin dropped by Class 1-C and slowly peered through the window. It was around 15 minutes prior to lunch, so the class was still in their desks working away. He spotted his person of interest quickly. Izuku was the only one in the class with green hair, after all. He watched Izuku for a few minutes to soak in every detail he could. He could hear Izuku's stutter, likely caused by the trauma of dismemberment. He noted how Izuku would rub his left shoulder from time to time, a sign of lingering phantom pains. Despite those, Taahkin also saw the unmistakable glint of brilliance behind his eyes and the determination in his countenance. It was honestly like looking in a greener reflection of his own youth.

No wonder Nedzu chose him.

After those few minutes of observation, Taakin continued towards what he really came for. He smirked as he reached Nedzu's office without being spotted by any hall monitors. It was very likely he was only caught on a few cameras as well. Yeah, he still had it. With a smirk, he knocked on Nedzu's door. The door opened automatically, and the detective hero stepped into the room, taking a seat across from Nedzu, who was on the phone with someone.

"No no, you don't need to bring me back anything," Nedzu cheerfully chirped. "...Well, if you insist, bring back a jar of Kim Chi or something. I might not get around to eating it, anyways...Alright, have a safe trip." The mammal hung up the phone and smiled at the human before him. "Howdy, Nori-kun! You have something that required my attention?"

"Indeed I do, sensei," Taahkin deferred to his old mentor as he shuffled around in his pocket. "The trial against Yubi Shizuku will occur later this month, but my investigations turned up something a bit scarier than mere libel." He handed a jump drive to Nedzu, who plugged it into his computer and browsed the contents. Nedzu's face was as impassive as ever, but the shine in his eyes seemed to quiver a bit.

"...Well," Nedzu stated after a few minutes of uncomfortable silence, "that is certainly scarier than what we expected."

"It's also bigger than the Death Star can handle," Taahkin admitted. "A lot bigger."

"Good thing I have a few contacts that are bigger than your Agency!" Nedzu smirked as he dialed a series of numbers on his phone again while putting it on Speaker Phone. "It certainly helps to have thumbs in more than a few kitchens, if you catch my meaning!"

"...Is that your way of indirectly confirming you're part koala?"

"What?" Nedzu asked incredulously. Before Nedzu could press his query, the phone beeped a few times before they both heard the clicking of a receiver.

"You've reached the Pentastar," a bored-sounding woman answered. "Since you know this number, you must know who we are, so state your business."

"Hello!" Nedzu cheerfully greeted. "I'm looking for your Grand Admiral! Please inform him "The Old Emperor" requires his attention!"

"O-oh!" the woman now sounded considerably less bored. "Right away sir! Please hold!" There was another click as calm elevator music started playing. After a few moments, Nedzu turned back to Taahkin.

"A koala? Really?"

"I've heard that rumor," the detective hero replied. "And since you refuse to confirm nor deny any theories I may have, I can only consider it a possibility."

"But a koala?"

"Well, how many thumbs do you have?" Nedzu was about to respond to this, but stopped. He slowly looked down at his paws. Each paw had four digits, and each digit was identical to the others.

"...Huh...How many thumbsdoI have?" The phone beeped again and there was another click.

"Instructor Nedzu," a regal male voice greeted.

"Good evening, Thrawn!" Nedzu greeted in turn. "Good to hear you!"

"As much as I'd like this to be a social call," Thrawn stated, "I assume you have business that requires my expertise?"

"Indeed!" Nedzu gave a sinister chuckle. "How would you and your boys like to come over and stamp out an insurrection before it gets too big?"

"...Go on." Thrawn replied, his smirk almost audible across the line.

---

Thursday, 1 day remaining

---

"Pencils down," Aizawa ordered. Class 1-A obeyed eagerly, some students groaning and rubbing their wrists. Ochako was confident she passed, but only time (and a teacher) would tell. Aizawa looked across the class, waiting for everyone to recover before speaking up again.

"Tomorrow will be your practical exam," he restated. "You've had six weeks to study up on your opponents. However, in casesome of youforgot," he glanced at a few students, "I'll leave a list on the board for who you're up against tomorrow. Remember, if you pass you'll get to attend a two-week summer boot camp. Failures will remain here and take two weeks of remedial classes which will be less pleasant than the camp. That is all, don't linger too long." With that closing remark, he tapped the board to bring up the list before stepping out of class. All of 1-A read the list, noting their foes one last time before the big event.

1: Sero & Kaminari v Nedzu

2: Todoroki v Moroboshi

3: Aoyama & Tokoyami v Thirteen

4: Yaoyorozu v Kagaro

5: Hagakure & Sato v Aizawa

6: Asui v Sakai

7: Shinsou & Shiozaki v Ectoplasm

8: Kirishima v Gakushuu

9: Jirou & Shouji v Midnight

10: Kouda & Ojiro v Present Mic

11: Iida & Ashido v All Might

12: Uraraka v Midoriya

Notes:

Now, you might be wondering. "Is he gonna write down stuff for all the fights?"

Frick no! I don't want another Sports Festival here! In fact, we'll be seeing at most 7 of those fights, and as the exam occurs concurrently, this means there'll likely be a big chapter showing snippets from the interesting fights before ending with the finales for each one, though odds are there's one fight that'll get at least a half-chapter all to itself. You get three guess which fight that is, and the first two guesses don't count. XD

And yes, now you all know. Sakai is a human with an extensive Snake quirk. XD

And a lot of you were wondering last chapter about the Meta Liberation Army and a few factors. Well, lemme put it this way. Nope. XD I wasn't particularly fond of that arc of the manga. Got something like Sports Festival Fatigue combined with the angst of "No, you're the bad guys, don't get tougher!"

Anyway, you'll see just how the MLA gets handled a bit later. Also, if you see another update later today, that's just me going back to the USj and fixing a numerical error I should have fixed some time ago.

Until next time!

Chapter 39: Challenges and Unwelcome

Notes:

Tuesday!

Today you all get the Exam fights. I know I said I'd show off the finales for the fights, but I got bored and really wanted to get to Izuku and Ochako's fight, so you just get tiny snippets of the few fights of interest before seeing the two lovers duke it out. XD Enjoy!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Izuku and Nighteye walked down the hall to Mei's workshop. It was about time for the Midterm Exams. Izuku had been wearing his hero outfit all day, Eri was with Midnight while the rest of his class was in study hall, and Izuku needed his arm back. He had given it to Mei this morning to make some necessary adjustments for this exam, and had been stuck using the older model. He didn't really mind this older arm (it was the one he used to beat Stain after all), but the fingers always twitched a bit since that fight. As he flexed his fingers, Nighteye was giving some last-minute advice.

"I don't know how much of her fighting you've witnessed," Nighteye amped his student up, "but I've noticed Uraraka tends to slip just a tiny bit on her right ankle when she lands after doing a drop-kick. A well-placed blow to her right knee on landing should cause a stumble. As always, your best weapon is your speed, Midoriya. Don't aim for heavy hits, go for light, fast and numerous hits. Stay mobile, think quick. I know this is just a spar, but what you learn here could be used for future fights against similar opponents."

"G-got it," Izuku nodded as they reached the workshop. Stepping in, they were greeted by Mei, who just dragged Izuku over to his usual chair as he removed his shirt.

"I just finished the final few adjustments," Mei smirked as she went to work removing Izuku's left arm. "Ura-chan's in for quite the surprise."

"What kind of surprises?" Uraraka's voice called out from further in, behind some shelves.

"Oh my, she's here too?" Nighteye asked.

"Getting my suit on, sir!" Uraraka called out. She had met Nighteye several times in the past, and recognized the man who was both Izuku's mentor and her mentor's former sidekick. After another minute, she stepped out alongside Melissa, and Izuku's eyes widened at the sight.

Uraraka's hero outfit had undergone a drastic transformation. It was still a jumpsuit like before, but it was now dark blue with lighter spiral patterns, like small galaxies. Her boots were no longer bulky, looking closer to a medieval knight's greaves, but still had that astronaut feel. On her hips were the weighted gyroscopes that Izuku had suggested at the start of the year to help her maintain balance while in zero-g. Gone were the round bracers from before, replaced by gauntlets that covered her entire forearm. Closer inspection showed her palms and insides of her fingers were still exposed, granting her use of her quirk. She also wore a breastplate similar to Iida's own, with connected pauldrons protecting her shoulders. Her helmet had also undergone some changes, keeping the clear dome over her head but covering her cheeks.

Izuku wasn't flustered, however. He thought she looked awesome.

"Like what you see?" Melissa teased, earning a nod from Izuku. Nighteye, meanwhile, walked up to Uraraka and looked her over curiously. The hero student was a bit nervous under the pro's gaze, and gave a slight squeak when he poked her stomach.

"...Is this suit lined with Dragonweave, Hatsume?"

"Yuppers!" Mei laughed as she finished tightening Izuku's arm onto his shoulder. "The non-flexible parts of her suit have Dragonweave lining, her armor's made from the same alloy that Mido-chan's arm is. That suit ain't breaking anytime soon."

"This could not have been an inexpensive build," the pro stated.

"Actually," Melissa giggled, "my family's company had a surplus of the stuff. And with who I am, it was easy getting some of that excess for this." At that point, Izuku had gone through his exercises to make sure his arm was working and stood up and put his shirt on. Uraraka watched with a blush and a smile. She never got tired of seeing Izuku in his hero suit. After seeing him button up, Uraraka watched as Mei slipped a helmet similar to a certain supersoldier's helmet over his bushy hair.

"Head protection," Mei explained as she tapped a button on the side. "Also has those things you wanted installed. Admittedly, I think it ruins the aesthetic of your current outfit, but considering your opponent I think it'll work."

"Ready to get your butt kicked, Izuku?" Uraraka joked.

"O-only if you're r-ready to lose," Izuku laughed back.

"Glad to see you two are so ready," Melissa smiled, "because I got some extra incentive for the two of you." The two First-Years turned their attention to Melissa as she pulled something from her pocket. "What I have here are a couple of free-meal coupons for that new American-style steakhouse over on Biwan Avenue. One of them is for me..." Melissa smirked. "...and the other is for whoever wins the fight today~." Both teens stiffened at that. Uraraka was almost drooling at the idea. While her family wasn't in dire straits anymore (being hired by All Might would do that), she could never turn down a free meal, especially for something like that. Any hesitation they might have had at fighting each other disintegrated at the offer.

"W-we'd better catch up w-with your class!" Izuku shouted as he grabbed Uraraka's hand and pulled her out the door, eliciting a chuckle from Nighteye.

"This should be entertaining," the pro stated as he walked out more calmly. Once the guests were out, Melissa turned to her fellow inventor.

"How's the progress?"

"Half of em are ready to go," Mei replied, " but Nene's still a bit twitchy and Priss isn't cooperating at all."

"I'll handle Priss personally," Melissa replied as she grabbed a nearby tablet and typed. "How soon do you think you can get the other three sorted out?"

---

The two first-years burst into the observation room, being just a minute or two late. Thankfully, they escaped a scolding as Aizawa knew why they were late. The two students looked around, surprised to see the room full of students and teachers. Izuku saw his classmates leaning against one wall, and to his surprise they were all wearing unique outfits of their own. Moroboshi was dressed like a ninja, Gakushuu's outfit looked like a gym outfit with Edgeshot's color motif, Kiana was dressed in white armor and Sakai was...well, he was a snake. Looking around more, Izuku realized something.

"Where are Sero-kun and Kaminari-kun?" Uraraka asked.

"They're getting theirs done first," Iida replied. "The principal wished to use them as an exhibition match of sorts so we could see what we are all up against."

Izuku nodded in acknowledgement as he and Uraraka turned their attention to the largest screen in front of them. The camera was focused on the two students slowly working their way through a city alleyway. They were both lying low, moving quietly and avoiding windows. Unfortunately, their attempts at stealth were proven fruitless as a wrecking ball smashed through the wall behind them. Before the ball could swing back through the hole, Sero grabbed Kaminari and shot some tape to pull them both away. As the two were swinging through the air, a piece of debris from the smashed wall fell onto Sero's tape, yanking them both down. As they hit the ground, the wrecking ball swung overhead, knocking down another wall and covering the two. Both boys were unharmed, but they were pinned.

"Sero and Kaminari fail," Aizawa bluntly stated before turning to the rest of the class. "The rest of you are lucky you don't have to fight the principal, but don't think that means your tests will be any easier. Remember, you win if you capture your opponent with the cuffs, or if either of you makes it out of the area. That goes for the solo fights, as well. If you don't think you can defeat your opponent, head for the exits."

"You will be graded," Nedzu chirped as he suddenly appeared in the room behind Midoriya alongside Nighteye, "on your actions during the exam. How well you fight, utilize your quirk, many factors go into play! This means that, even if you fail to capture your opponent and fail to escape, you could still effectively pass. However," his eyes took a sad*stic glint, "that also means that even if you beat your opponent or escape, you and/or your partner could still fail the exam. So do your best, everyone. To your stations." Everyone nodded and proceeded to walk out the door, but Nedzu stopped Ochako and Izuku.

"Something wrong, sensei?" Uraraka asked. Nedzu didn't answer immediately, instead waiting for the room to empty before speaking up.

"Uraraka-san, for the duration of the fight, I would like you to refer to young Midoriya by his hero name. Midoriya, please keep your helmet on throughout the whole thing. I am considering posting a recording of this fight online to showcase the combat prowess of a quirkless hero, but still wish to protect Midoriya's identity. That is all." With that, the mammal principal released the two students, letting them head out to their position. Then he went to the monitors and made sure the biggest one would be watching the fight between Uraraka and Midoriya.

---

Kirishima v Gakushuu

---

Kirishima walked through his area carefully. It looked like he was dropped inside an Egyptian temple, the walls covered in writing and pictures. According to the convenient map at the start of the area, the exit was under a hundred meters away, just past a wide-open area. Chances were his opponent would be waiting there, but he could never be too careful.

He sneaked around corners, peeking out before taking any steps. So far the trip had been uncomfortably quiet, and he didn't like it. Didn't help the drawings on the walls were super creepy. Instead of traditional Egyptian pictures, there were things like spooky cryptids, eyes that seemed to follow you down the hall, and that one weird pic of a fat guy that-wait-

"N-FHAN!" Gakushuu screamed as he expanded from the wall, slamming into Kirishima. The hero student barely hardened in time to avoid serious injury. He jumped back in time to avoid another shockwave from the rotund student, who giggled menacingly.

"Bet you expected me to face you in the big room just before the exit," Gakushuu stated. "Too bad, hero. Things aren't always so convenient." With that, Gakushuu flattened down into the floor and sped at Kirishima fairly quickly. This sight honestly perturbed Kirishima, who again narrowly avoided a shockwave. This time, however, he was met with a series of punches that knocked him into the wall. He bounced back quickly and gave Gakushuu a solid punch, sendinghimbouncing down the hall like a rubber ball and around the corner.

The hero student chased after him, knowing this was the only way to the exit either way. As he turned the corner, however, he was met with an empty hallway. It was a long and narrow hall with no side alcoves. Looking ahead, Kirishima didn't see Gakushuu flattened to the floor, nor hiding among the pictures of the walls. Where could he have gotten to so quickly? The redhead proceeded with caution, keeping his eyes open for any chance of an ambush.

Unfortunately for him, he did not look up. If he did, he would have seen Gakushuu flattened against the ceiling like a round, smirking spider. He waited until Kirishima was right underneath him before giving another explosive 3-D'ing. The shockwave combined with Gakushuu's enormous weight slammed Kirishima into the floor.

---

Yaoyorozu v Kagaro

---

Momo was barely holding her own in the flower field. Kiana was flying over and around Momo, swinging her saber any time she got close. Momo barely had time to craft her own weapons at the start of the melee, and was essentially pinned by her flying opponent. She thought back to the Sports Festival, and just how quickly she would have lost that fight if Kiana had flown in the first place. Kiana was super fast in the air, and she gave a villainous laugh any time Momobarelyparried a blow.

"What's wrong, hero?" Kiana chided. "I thought you were better than this!"

She was. Momo was better than this. Her reaction time was above average, and her creation time was a fraction of what it was before thanks to her own training combined with Izuku's advice. Those two factors were the only reason she hadn't lost yet. She just needed to think. What could she make that could ground her flying foe? Something quick, usable with one hand, easy to use...there. Momo smirked. She had it. Now she just needed the opportunity...

---

Asui v Sakai

---

The sewer chamber was filled with green and blue blurs as the two students shot around each other. Asui leaped around, going from wall to wall as Sakai did the same thing, both students avoiding the ladder to the exit in the middle of the room.

On one hand, this arena was perfect for Asui and her amphibious quirk. Plenty of surfaces to bounce off, water she could swim in, and plenty of room for jumping. On the other hand, none of these factors seemed to matter when faced with an equally-flighty snake. Sakai might not have been able to cling to anything like her, but it seemed like he could use his Spring-Launch from any angle and surface. On top of that, both students knew they'd win if they just got in one good hit. Sakai just needed to land one bite, Tsuyu needed one punch.

Or one good jump.

---

Todoroki v Moroboshi

---

While the rest of his class was passing or failing, Todoroki was literally having the time of his life.

His fight against Moroboshi was less a fight and more like a display of technique and agility. The two teens spiraled around the canyon-esque area, shooting fire and ice at each other. Moroboshi still hadn't fully mastered her Unmeltable Ice trick, but she was still nimble and always moving. There were no words exchanged between them, as none were necessary. Just the brilliance of their quirks. Neither side showed any signs of tiring either. Even Moroboshi, who would eventually frost over from overusing her quirk was being kept warm by the ambient temperature and Shouto's own flames.

It was anyone's guess who would win.

---

Uraraka v Midoriya

---

The exam was just about to start. Uraraka stood on one side of what looked like the arena for an underground fighting ring, like a smaller version of the Sports Festival stadium but with random objects laying around. On the other side, standing between her and the door out, was Izuku. He had his hands in his pockets, standing without a care in the world.

"B-behind me is the exit," Izuku pointed over his shoulder. "Nothing s-s-stopping you from lessening your g-gravity and just speeding p-p-past me. However, I get the f-feeling that's not what you w-wanna do."

"Not remotely, Scouter," Uraraka smirked as she got into a fighting stance. "You've already done so much good, there's no doubt you're an amazing hero already. However, I still want to see how well I fare against you."

"You do have a f-few advantages," Izuku pulled his left arm back, "but don't th-th-think that means you're g-gonna win."

The two teens stared at each other in silence for a good minute or two until the bell rang, signaling the start of the practical exam. Uraraka activated a lower tier of Nebula Shroud and took a single step towards Izuku before feeling something impact her shoulder. Turning her head, she saw Izuku's wire-grapple was adhered to her pauldron. She gave a slight scoff, wondering if Izuku forgot he couldn't yank her over. Then she felt the line get taut and heard Izuku shout. She looked back at him and realized he wasn't trying to pull her over, but rather was using her as an anchor to pullhimselfover to her. And he was coming pretty fast.

Gritting her teeth, she quickly tapped the top of her pauldron, hitting the hidden button that popped it off her shoulder. Izuku lost his anchor, but he was still coming at her pretty fast. He flew forward another few meters before landing on his feet and running at Uraraka. He retracted his wire and drew his arm-sword while pulling a large knife from inside his coat. In an instant, he had closed the distance between the two and slashed with both blades. Ochako was narrowly dodging his swings when she saw the blade on his arm was different. It wasn't the super-sharp ceramic blade, but rather a dull steel blade. It looked like she'd be able to just snap it easily, but as she was thinking this Izuku managed to land a grazing blow across her arm. She hissed when the blade made snapping noises and jumped back as her arm went numb for a few seconds. His arm-sword was electrified! That made things even harder, and she could only assume his knife had a similar gimmick.

The fight continued at blinding speed, Izuku nimbly dodging Uraraka's fists while Uraraka would narrowly avoid Izuku's own attacks. Be it his blades or him throwing the objects laying around, Izuku pressed the attack with the same ferocity he wielded against Stain. Any time she tried blocking either blade, Uraraka was met with the sting of electricity. A few times she managed to knock away the knife in his right hand, only for Izuku to quickly reach into his jacket and draw another one. How many of those things did he have?

A quick glance at a nearby wall clock showed Uraraka more than half her time had been used already. Izuku showed almost no signs of slowing down. She could go higher with One For All, but how high would be too high for him? She wanted to beat him, not accidentally crush his rib cage. As she was thinking this, she was forced back by Izuku and her foot hit something heavy. She glanced down, seeing she had hit a small propane tank.

Wait.

Idea.

She winced at the idea, but it was the only thing she could of that wouldn't cause grievous harm to her boyfriend. Ochako let Izuku get close again and watched as he swung his knife at her. Rather than dodge or deflect, she deftly yanked the knife from his hand and threw it into the propane tank. The electricity arced as the knife went through the metal tank, resulting in a sizable explosion. Ochako was unaffected, but Izuku gasped and tensed up, freezing for the few seconds Uraraka needed to grab his arms and flip him onto the floor. He bounced from the force he was thrown, but was pinned by the much taller hero student before he could recover.

"Yield?" Uraraka asked.

"Th-that was a dirty trick," Izuku whined. "I-I mean, I guess i-it worked, but-"

"Yield?" Uraraka asked again, holding Izuku down with one hand while waving the capture cuffs in the air. She couldn't see his face through that helmet, but she definitely heard his sigh of resignation.

"I yield."

---

Uraraka and Izuku hobbled into the observation a little while later, their wounds tended to but still aching. Neither of them were surprised to see they were the last ones to finish their exam, considering how long they had been fighting. Aizawa was standing in front of the class while the 1-C kids were off to the side, along with Melissa and Nighteye.

"Alright, kids," Aizawa spoke up as Uraraka and Izuku stepped in, "your results will be posted next week. Go home, rest up. Remember, those who passed will be attending that summer camp in a couple weeks. Dismissed." Most of the students shuffled out after that, but Ochako and Izuku walked over to Melissa and Nighteye.

"I won," Uraraka smiled.

"Sh-she gets the coupon," Izuku chuckled.

"Maaaaaaaaaybe," Melissa smirked. Both the younger teens were a bit worried as Melissa held up the coupons...then slid one over just a bit to show there were in factthreeof them. "Turns out I miscounted, and there were actually enough for all of us to eat tonight~."

"...That's the sort of logical ruse I can get behind," Ochako smiled.

"S-same," Izuku beamed.

"At least you two got something out of this," Nighteye growled. The teens looked at the pro worriedly, while the pro glared back. "Because of you, Midoriya, I lost 5000 yen to All Might." There was a brief pause before all three kids started laughing.

"Stop laughing, this isn't funny."

---

A few hours after school ended, Inko was humming as she was cooking dinner for herself and her current guest. The kids had already cleared their date with her, so she wasn't worried about eating without them. They earned their date night.

As she was chopping veggies, the door handle rattled before someone knocked on the door. Odd, she wasn't expecting anyone else. That's why she locked the door to begin with. Curious, she wiped her hands off and walked to the door. She opened it a little bit, her eyes widening at who she saw on the front step.

"Hello, honey!"

Notes:

Weren't expecting that, were ya? Well, neither was she. XD

Next chapter is gonna have a fair bit of angst, warning you now. There'll be some fluff, but also angst.

See ya later!

Chapter 40: Unwelcome and Fear

Notes:

Howdy do dere, people! Here's the next chapter of Type-2 Hero! Sorry it took so long, I been busy on other projects. What other projects? You'll just have to look around XDD Anyway, this chapter is almost 4000 words long, so i hope you're ready for a long one.

Also...

WARNING!! In one of the angsty moment of this chapter is a pretty rough sight! Be careful!

Now read on!

EDIT: Almost forgot! This chapter is dedicated to @BroadwayFangirl for the awesome bit of fanart they drew!
www.pinterest.com/pin/706783735261141412/ behold, Ochako's Type-2 Hero outfit!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Inko stared at the man standing on her front step. He was a bit on the tall side with curly black hair. His piercing blue eyes held a casual mirth to them. His cheeks held a smattering of freckles, and his mouth was curled in a wide smile. In the past, that smile sent flutters through Inko’s heart, but for a long time such a face could only be met with contempt.

“Why are you here, Hisashi?” Inko narrowed her eyes.

“What,” the man Hisashi laughed, “can’t a man visit his family?”

“And when did you start considering us family again?” Inko hissed.

“Come on, honey, don’t be like that,” the man in the nice suit smiled as he tried pushing his way inside. “Where’s Izuku? I wanna see my son.” Inko’s expression turned from sour discontentment to outright fury as she pressed her weight against the door to keep him out.

“HE’S NOT YOUR SON!” she screamed. “He stopped being your son the day you walked out! He stopped being your son when you cut off financial support because you ‘didn’t wanna support a double-cripple’ after his arm got blown off! Do you know how many side-jobs I had to take to cover his therapy!? How hard I had to work to make sure Izuku never learned that you cut the aid!? What makes you think you can just come back and act like nothing happened!?”

“Because I’m his father!” Hisashi yelled back as he pushed on the door again. “Now let me in before-”

“Before what?”

Hisashi froze as a second woman appeared in the doorway. She towered over them both, her cerulean eyes glaring at the man on the step.

“W-who are you?” Hisashi asked. The woman responded by first holding up a card.

“Pro Hero Midnight,” she glowered, “and I just heard yelling, followed by seeing you attempt to force your way in. As the name on the apartment’s lease is Midoriya Inko, you just attempted trespassing. I could have you arrested right now, you know.”

“I did nothing wrong!” Hisashi screamed. “I just wanna see my son! He’s gonna be a pro hero, you know!” Midnight’s eyebrow twitched at that remark.

“So that’s it,” Inko growled, her fingers gripping the door tight enough to turn her knuckles white. “You leave me and our son because he’s quirkless, and now that he’s done one or two good things you decide you want back in? Well, too bad, Hisashi, you lost your chance when you walked away!”

“I recommend you leave,” Midnight ordered. “And keep Scouter’s identity to yourself. If you speak of it in public, you’ll be charged with Endangering A Minor.”

“I’m not leaving!” Hisashi roared. “I’m gonna-” Midnight pressed her hand against his face and unleashed a cloud of gas. Hisashi was unconscious before he hit the floor.

“Thank goodness the kids took Eri with them,” Nemuri sighed as she nudged Hisashi away from the door. “I’ll call them, let them know to take their time.” When the pro heroine closed the door, Inko finally sighed and slid to the floor.

“Just when things were going good,” the single mother quietly sobbed. “We had finally moved on from him. He was finally out of our minds, and now he’s come back.”

“Shimu-chan,” Midnight said as she knelt down. “It’s alright. He might have come back, but you don’t have to let him back in. I promise you, that man will never step foot in here.” She set her hand on Inko’s shoulder. “Your son has friends now, and so do you.” Inko looked up at Midnight, wiping her eyes before nodding and giving a weak smile. Midnight smiled back before pulling out her phone.

“...Kamui, it’s me. I need you to come on over to Inko’s and help with moving a body...No, they’re still alive, stop being stupid. Also, I need you to make some adjustments to yours and Mt. Lady’s patrol routes.”

---

The weekend sped by faster than most of the Iida family could run. Uraraka was still feeling full from her last date with Izuku and Melissa. She’d have to recommend that place to her parents if they got the chance to visit her later. For now, she was in her seat in UA waiting for Aizawa to come in and-

“Morning,” said teacher droned as he morphed into the room. Everyone quieted down as he approached the podium. “You’ve all had the weekend to recover from your exams. Said exams have been graded and processed.” He pressed a button on the podium and the students read through the newly-shown list of exam results.

1: Sero & Kaminari v Nedzu - FAIL

2: Todoroki v Moroboshi - PASS

3: Aoyama & Tokoyami v Thirteen - PASS

4: Yaoyorozu v Kagaro - PASS

5: Hagakure & Sato v Aizawa - SATO FAIL, HAGAKURE PASS

6: Asui v Sakai - PASS

7: Shinsou & Shiozaki v Ectoplasm - PASS

8: Kirishima v Gakushuu - FAIL

9: Jirou & Shouji v Midnight - PASS

10: Kouda & Ojiro v Present Mic - PASS

11: Iida & Ashido v All Might - PASS

12: Uraraka v Midoriya - PASS

The students stared at the results in disbelief. Only four of them failed the exams. FOUR. Everyone was certain more would fail. After a few moments, Aizawa addressed each of the failing students.

“Sero, Kaminari. You might have had the worst disadvantage by facing Nedzu, but you still could have passed had you thought things quicker. Especially you Kaminari. If you had electrocuted the wrecking ball as it passed the first time, you could have short-circuited the crane. Gotta think outside the box. Sato, don’t just bull rush into things, and don’t think super strength is all you need to win a fight. Kirishima...I’m sorry, not much I can say about your exam other than, well, remember to look up.” While all the students looked down in shame, only Kirishima voiced his regret.

“I lost by having a fat guy sit on me. So unmanly.”

“Tough luck, kero,” Tsuyu shrugged.

“You fought the snake, huh?” Kirishima asked. “How’d you beat him?”

“Oh,” Tsuyu replied, “I didn’t.”

---

Tsuyu hopped around the room as Sakai leaped after her. She couldn’t hit him, but at the same time he couldn’t hit her. It was an aerial ballet of green and blue. To the untrained eye, they were jumping at random.

To Tsuyu, everything was calculated.

Most people wouldn’t know just by looking at her or listening to her blunt comments, but Tsuyu was amazing at math. She had to be, to calculate how much force to put into each jump. She watched how Sakai was leaping around, focused on how she jumped around, waiting for the right…

WHAP!

In an instant, Tsuyu redirected her aim so her jump would cause her to impact Sakai in midair. Their opposing momentum cancelled each other’s flight, and Tsuyu used this opportunity to use Sakai as a launchpad to jump up the ladder in the middle of the room. By the time Sakai landed and recovered, the frog girl was up the ladder and out the hole in the ceiling.

---

“...There is no way I’d be able to think like that,” Kirishima admitted.

“You don’t jump good,” Tsuyu smirked, “so you wouldn’t need to.”

“Should still think outside the box, like sensei said,” Momo pointed out. “I know that’s kind of the only way I beat my opponent.”

---

Momo parried Kiana’s blade time and again. The angel was fast, no doubt about that. She was also strong, and savage in her attacks. Kiana gave a sinister laugh each time Momo was pushed by one of her strikes. To the outside observer, it would look like Kiana had Momo pinned and was simply toying with her.

The outside observer would be wrong.

Momo watched every blow, every flyby, with absolute focus. The reason she was reeling from every parry was because she was only using one hand. She kept her other hand free and open while watching and memorizing Kiana’s movements. Watching her hand move at a specific angle. Watching her head swivel at a specific speed. Watching her ankle fill a particular point in space at a specific moment.

Momo threw out her hand seconds before this specific moment and put her quirk to work. From her wrist came a long thin chain with a bundle of magnetic hooks on the end. One of the other tricks she had been practicing with her quirk was having objects shoot out at high velocity, which is exactly what this thin chain did. Momo smirked as the bundle at the end ensnared Kiana’s foot. With a yell of effort, she gripped the chain with her free hand and yanked on it hard as she could. It wasn’t enough to pull Kiana back, but it was enough to stop her moving forward. The angelic student gave a girly “kyaa!” as she fell straight down. She had barely impacted the ground before Momo was on top of her, slapping the quirk cuffs on her wrist.

---

“You beat your opponent by pulling a Midoriya,” Ashido giggled. “Oh my god, he’s gonna love hearing about that.”

“I’m surprised you have the arm strength to pull that off,” Ochako stated before turning to Ashido. “Speaking of strength, though, how did you and Iida beat All Might?”

“Oh, we didn’t,” Mina replied before gesturing to Iida to continue.

“A while back,” Iida explained with a hint of shame, “I learned that sometimes it is better to flee from an overwhelming opponent than it is to face them head-on. I grabbed Ashido-san and ran for the exit fast as I could. All Might caught up with us quickly, but she was able to spray his face with acid to distract him. By the time he recovered, we had escaped. It was nothing as dramatic as the rest of you.”

“Still pretty crazy,” Ashido smiled before turning to Todoroki. “Though I bet your fight with your girlfriend was the most dramatic and crazy out of all of us. Well, except for Uraraka-san’s fight with Midoriya-kun. How did you beat her, anyways?” Rather than answer his classmate, Todoroki stared off to the side. His face was the usual impassive stare for a few seconds before he made a dreamy smile.

“...Not telling.”

“Oh, you monkey.”

---

Nighteye was sitting in Nedzu’s office, working on a side case while the principal was putting Izuku through some mental exercises while Eri fiddled with some device. Since the Eight Precepts of Death had been dealt with months prior, he could put his personal focus on some of the other cases that had popped up recently. The case he was currently working on covered a string of murders in abandoned parking garages. They each apparently involved an “owl” according to survivors. It did not paint a pretty picture.

“...Also, young Midoriya,” Nedzu after a point, “you’re gonna be going to the summer camp with the hero classes this summer.”

“...What?” the green student asked.

“Yup,” Nedzu smiled. “In your time here you’ve learned how to fight and have sharpened your investigative skills, but there’s one more branch you need to work on. Survival training.”

“Type-2’s n-n-need to learn th-that?”

“Might not seem like it would be necessary,” Nighteye said without looking up from his reports, “but I can attest the skills you learn there will be invaluable. Plus, there will be a lot of times where your investigations won’t have the luxury of being in an urban environment. One time, back when I worked with All Might, the two of us had to locate a villain that had been working out of a cabin in the forest. Figured out his quirk by observing the damage to surrounding trees, his weight by the depth of his bootprints, several factors before we faced him because of what I learned at a survivalist camp.”

“Precisely!” nedzu chirped. “You’ll be working with a Type-2 Hero who specializes in such things. It won’t be as grueling as what the hero courses will be going through, either. Plus, I think Eri would have fun there, too.” Izuku nodded in understanding.

“M-mister Nighteye?” The hero looked away from his reports to see Eri looking up at him with her wide red eyes. “Um, you can see the future, right?”

“Yes?”

“...C-could you look into my future?” she asked nervously. “I-I wanna know how much fun the camp will be.”

Under normal circ*mstances, Nighteye would reject such a request. However, ever since he met Izuku and then Eri, he found himself lightening up quite a bit. Plus, the day was almost over and he didn’t use his quirk that often in his cases. And no, his decision had nothing to do with how wide her eyes were.

“I don’t see why not,” Nighteye smiled as he set his hand on her head. “Let’s just take a quick peek and-”

Nighteye was staring out at a battlefield. The ground was torn apart, littered with wounded students and heroes. The surrounding buildings were on fire and falling apart. It took him a moment, but he realized where he was. This was the compound Nedzu had suggested for the year’s summer camp! What the hell happened!? Looking forward, he saw a traumatizing sight.

Eri was kneeling on the ground, her red eyes flooded with tears as she looked up at Midoriya, who was hugging her with his left arm. His right arm looked like it had been torn off. His body was covered in bleeding gashes and fresh burns, with a couple knives outright stabbed into his back. The ground around him was littered with the bodies of people Nighteye didn’t recognize, and Izuku’s arm sword was coated in blood.

“I-I told you,” Izuku stuttered and coughed, “I would a-always keep you s-s-safe. I...promised…” Then his body fell limp, and Eri screamed.

Nighteye gasped as he came out of the vision, coughing at what he had seen. Never before had he been so thankful the person he scanned didn’t see what he saw. His coughing fit caught the attention of Izuku and Nedzu, and he turned to face them before either of them could say anything.

“Principal, we have a problem.”

---

Class 1-C was heading back to their class after lunch. They had been in high spirits the entire day. Turned out that, in gratitude for helping the Hero Course, Nedzu had given them all coupons for free ice cream from the best parlor in town. The sort of parlor that usually had a month-long waiting list.

“We should all go there this weekend!” Tabata cheered.

“As a group?” Yoshio asked as he cleaned his four-lensed glasses. “Would that parlor handle all eighteen of us?”

“...Sixteen,” Katsura Miki pointed out as she picked some lint out of her eye-scarf.

“Sixteen,” Yoshio accepted the connection.

“And yes it would,” Sanada Kayano nodded. “Especially since it’d be only fifteen of us. Midoriya-kun would likely go in private with his girlfriends.”

“Still wondering how that viridian midget got two girls before I got one…” Hayashida moaned, his purple hair flapping dramatically.

“Maybe because he can do more than just smell nice?” Hojo Kimura shrugged. Oscar looked like he was gonna pipe up with something, but the group conversation came to a halt when Yoshio hissed and gestured for everyone to stop. All fifteen students crowded by a corner as Yoshio and Tabata peered around it, listening to a somewhat snooty voice.

“It’s that Monoma guy,” Tabata whispered. “Looks like he’s talking to one of the other Gen Ed kids.”

“Know that voice anywhere,” Sanada Kayano replied, remembering his harsh words during the Festival. “What’s he saying?”

“I’m just saying,” Monoma sneered, “that if we work together, then next time we can trounce the 1-C brats and become the best Gen Ed class.”

“And I’m saying you’re crazy and delusional,” his companion groaned. “I dunno why you think everything’s a competition, nor why you’re a total asshat about it, but I don’t want any part of what you’re thinking.”

“I’m just saying if we actually get the class together for a group study session we can-”

“YOU!”

Everyone in the hallway, even the 1-C kids, were startled at the sudden shout. Monoma turned toward the voice (giving the other kid the chance to flee) while Tabata risked a peek himself. Standing at the other end of the hallway was a fairly tall girl with frazzled blue hair and thick round glasses. The stripes on her uniform indicated she was from one of the Management classes.

“...Can I...help you?” Monoma asked. Instead of responding, the girl just shot at him like a bullet and grabbed his head with both hands.

“You!” she declared again. “You have just what I need!”

“What are you even talking about!?” the former-hero student hollered.

“You’re gonna help me with my project!” the girl continued. “You have a voice for radio!”

“Are you calling me ugly!?”

“No, that would be saying you have a face for radio, but your VOICE! You’re coming with me!” Monoma could barely vocalize his confusion before the girl dragged him away.

There was an awkward silence from Class 1-C.

...

“...DId that just happen?” Hayashida asked.

---

It was the Friday before the camping trip. Izuku and Melissa had to gone to the mall with Class 1-A for some last-minute shopping. Melissa wasn’t going on the trip, but she wanted to hang out with everyone anyways. At the moment, she had gone in one of the shops with Ochako for some...feminine necessities. He opted to wait outside, looking over his arm. Mei had put the ceramic blade back in, but also slipped in one or two adjustments. He chuckled as he slowly fidgeted with the little dial on the back of his hand that now controlled the voltage of his taser. He also thought about another thing he had been told about his arm, which kinda weirded him out, but-

“Hey kid!”

Izuku jumped a bit as he felt a hand slap his shoulder. He turned and saw the appendage was attached to a man wearing a baggy hoodie. Seeing the man’s face honestly perturbed Izuku a bit with how dry the skin looked. This combined with his ratty blue hair and red eyes made-

Wait.

Blue hair.

Red eyes.

Izuku’s own eyes widened as he instantly recognized this man. It was the-

“Now now,” Shigaraki sneered as he tapped Izuku’s cheek with his right hand and-wait a minute, didn’t he lose that hand? “Let’s go find someplace to chat. Unless you want me to cause a scene with all these npcs around?” Izuku immediately understood what he meant and nodded his assent. As they got up, Izuku glanced down at the villain’s right arm. He gave a squeak at what he saw.

His arm wasn’t human. It was black with four long fingers, and went down past his knee. It was not proportional to the rest of his body at all. In fact, it looked like a skinnier version of-

“Like it?” the villain sneered. “Had to get a replacement after losing my other one last time.” The man continued his tirade about how he had to go through at least five different arms before one of them worked right. As he did this, Izuku carefully led the villain away from the crowds, towards a part of the mall that had no open shops. After a bit more silence, the two sat down on a convenient bench, surrounded by silence.

“A-alright,” Izuku stuttered, “w-w-what did you w-want to talk about?”

“God your stutter is annoying,” Shigaraki groaned. “You went and got a new arm but didn’t fix your mouth? Maybe you shoulda fixed that first instead of this.” He reached for Izuku’s left arm with his own, and Izuku instantly remembered his quirk.

“DON’T DO THAT!” Izuku exclaimed.

“And why not?” the villain sneered.

“I-if you use your q-quirk on my arm, e-e-everything in f-fifteen meters w-will be destroyed. Including us.”

Shigaraki stared at Izuku’s face as he said this. Izuku had the look of determination in his eyes, like he had confidently stated a plain fact. Shigaraki looked a bit longer before scoffing and pulling his hand away.

“Whatever,” the villain stated. “Anyway, back to what I wanted to talk about. I hate everything.”

“Th-that obvious,” Izuku retorted.

“No, you don’t get it,” Shigaraki continued. “I hate society, and how they think a hero will always come save them. I want to destroy this society and rebuild it, but it’s kinda hard when no one’s paying attention! The USJ attack was treated more like a publicity stunt for your class than an attack. What I did in Hosu? My League of Villains wasn’t even mentioned! Hell, my Noumu did so much carnage, but the news was only focused on that fight involving Stain! Why were they so fixated on that instead of me?”

“...S-seriously?” Izuku asked. “Th-the Hosu attack was you?”

“Yes it was!” Shigaraki roared.

“W-well, no one knew that,” Izuku continued. “I mean, t-to everyone else, it j-j-just looked like a r-random villain attack. Y-you had a g-goal in the USJ, b-but Hosu? Th-that was more l-like a temper tantrum th-than an attack. No focus, n-no purpose, just mindless d-destruction. S-Stain, on th-the other hand, h-he was a menace with focus, specific t-targets.” Seeing the confused look in Shigaraki’s eyes, Izuku tried a different angle. “In video games, w-which enemy gives more e-experience, a random b-bandit gang, or a m-major storyline b-boss? Stain w-was a boss, b-but your guys w-were just low-level b-bandits. S-so, to earn more experience, th-the news d-decided to show th-the boss fight.”

“...Oh I get it,” Shigaraki smirked. “It’s because of All Might!”

“H-how the heck d-did you get th-that from what I said?” Izuku asked, honestly confused.

“This talk was quite enlightening!” the villain laughed. “I just need to destroy their faith in All Might!”

“Seriously, w-what the heck?” the poor student asked.

Izuku didn’t know this, but Shigaraki was obsessed with killing All Might, and thus could try to twist any problem he had to make the hero to blame. He did this because he was insane, but back to the story.

“Thank you for talking!” Shigaraki laughed. “I know just what to do! See you around, little bush!” The villain released Izuku and disappeared into a bank of black mist that formed behind him. Izuku just sat there for another moment before sighing and rubbing his nose.

“What th-the heck is my life...”

---

Back at the League base, All For One sat in his chair, listening to various reports from his informants. It was quite boring. He was mostly waiting for one tidbit of intel, one piece of news.

Which was just coming thru one of Kurogiri’s gates.

The supervillain turned his head and listened as Ghiran and a couple of his goons walked through. Said goons were carrying a big bundle, like a painting. Ghiran himself had his trademark smirk.

“Ah,” the supervillain greeted, “welcome welcome. I trust my request was successful?” Ghiran simply smiled and gestured to his henchmen. They removed the cover from the bundle, showing a large panel of concrete inside a reinforced glass frame. Anyone with ears could hear growling coming from the case.

“Perfect…”

Notes:

How was that, huh? We get a bit more insight into a few things, see Monoma again, and learn just how insane Shiggy is.

Next time, we begin the summer camp. So, how crazy do you think things'll be? I hope you like what's coming. XD

Chapter 41: Fear and Hardship

Notes:

Howdy folks! Welcome back to Type-2 Hero! Been a while since I updated, huh? Well, I had a reason for that. Ya see, I knew I HAD to get a chapter uploaded today and didn't think I'd have enough juice to make it so if I updated earlier. Why is today so important?

Today is the first anniversary of Type-2 Hero.

That's right, one year ago today this fic was published. It's kinda funny, this fic actually started as a dare from a good and dear friend who challenged me to "write something with angst." And now here we are, one year later with over 2000 kudos and almost 600 bookmarks. I'm still wondering what I did to earn that. XD For those of you who've stuck around this long, you have my thanks and I hope you stick around til the end.

Things are gonna get dicey.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

The remaining few days before the camping trip were tense for Midoriya and his friends. Ever since his run-in with Shigaraki at the mall, Izuku and Inko (and by extension Eri) had a hero escort any time they needed to go anywhere. His classmates were equally worried, especially after learning Izuku would indeed be going with the Hero Course to the summer camp. Izuku made more than a few promises to be careful and never go anywhere alone. Even then, his class was so worried more than half of them showed up to bid Class 1-A goodbye as they climbed onto the bus. Among the group was also Melissa, holding Eri’s free hand. She stood in front of Izuku and Ochako, who stood side by side.

“You stay safe,” Melissa ordered as she poked Izuku’s chest. “I’ll take care of Eri and your mom, okay?” Izuku nodded before receiving a kiss from Melissa. The boy blushed a bit as Melissa turned her attention to Ochako. “You too, hun. You both stay safe, you hear me?” Ochako nodded and pulled Melissa into a hug.

“I’ll keep our green bean safe,” the gravity girl whispered to her girlfriend. Then she leaned down and gently ruffled Eri’s hair. “You be good for Melissa, alright? And work on your quirk more.” Eri nodded, wiping her eyes a bit. This would be the first time since she was rescued that she was away from Izuku, and she didn’t like what she heard from the adults. After wiping her tears, she gave Ochako a tight hug, and the taller girl reciprocated.

As Izuku’s little group were saying their goodbyes, Moroboshi was giving Todoroki a goodbye of her own. She had pulled the boy into a tight hug, resting her chin on his shoulder. Todoroki was hugging her back, taking in the scent of her shampoo.

“You stay safe too,” Moroboshi whispered. “Those villains are up to something.”

“I’ll be careful,” Todoroki nodded. The two shared a heartfelt smile before touching their foreheads.

“Enough with the lovey-dovey stuff,” Aizawa droned from the bus. “Get on board before we leave.” The students each gave one more goodbye before clambering on the bus. Izuku and Ochako sat together towards the back of the bus, with Izuku stealing the window seat. Since it was still early in the morning, Izuku closed his eyes and slowly drifted to sleep.

---

Nedzu watched the bus from his office. His eyes narrowed a bit as it left the campus, then he turned to the guests in his office. Sir Nighteye sat to his right, and across from him sat Taahkin.

“The bus has left the campus,” the mammal principal announced. “It was originally bound for the Endor summer camp, but after Nighteye’s vision, we’ve had it redirected to Site B. Taahkin?”

“I’ve had some people investigate the camp,” the hero explained. “They didn’t find anything out of the ordinary at the camp. Everything checked out, which means the villains that attacked in Sir Nighteye’s vision were either unrelated to the League, or they discovered the students were there through alternative means.”

“Like a spy?” Nedzu asked.

“Unlikely,” Taahkin sighed with relief. “Over the past couple weeks since the vision, I’ve investigated your Hero Course students quite thoroughly. None of them displayed any indications of treachery.”

“That’s good,” Nedzu nodded. “At this point, we can only hope the sudden change in destination will prevent that vision.”

“I think the fact Eri will not be present will also change it significantly,” Nighteye pointed out. He was about to say something else before Nedzu’s phone rang. The principal picked it up instantly.

“Principal Nedzu of UA.”

“It’s me,” the caller replied.

“Thrawn!” Nedzu smiled. “Been a bit. I hope you have good news?”

---

The bus sped down the road, driven by a pre-programmed robot. Aizawa dozed in the front seat while the rest of the class either slept or chatted amongst themselves. Those who failed the exam were excited they were still allowed to attend, but nervous at what sort of remedial classes awaited them. They were so focused on their conversations they didn’t really look out the windows.

Even if they did, though, they might not have seen the bank of black mist with glowing eyes peering at the bus from behind a dumpster when it came to a red light. No one noticed the fuel gauge on the bus slowly swivel down to almost-empty as a warp gate funneled the gasoline into said dumpster. By the time the bus got moving again, it had only a fraction of fuel left. The glowing eyes narrowed with glee as they disappeared into the alleyway.

After almost a half hour, the bus started dinging. This got everyone’s attention and snapped Aizawa awake. The teacher grumbled as he got to his feet and staggered to the robot driver.

“What’s wrong?”

“Bus is almost out of fuel,” the robot replied. “Heading to the nearest preset gas station to refuel.”

“That’s weird,” Aizawa muttered. “The mechanics usually gas up the buses every morning. Weren’t you refueled?”

“This bus was scheduled for refueling at 9:50 AM this morning. No changes had been reported.”

“Great,” Aizawa groaned before turning to the class. “We’re gonna stop to refuel the bus. Our buses are programmed to refuel at Serviced gas stations, so no one gets off the bus. Just sit tight.” The students all gave their acknowledgements before returning to their conversations. Aizawa sat back down and closed his eyes again. He’d report this logistics error to Nedzu once they reached the camp.

The bus drove a bit further before pulling into a small station. This station had an arrangement with UA, and so three employees were already waiting by the time the bus came to a stop. The two male employees went to work cleaning the windows while the female employee moved to refuel the bus. Said employee moved under the window Kaminari was at, and the boy looked at her.

She looked a bit young, but with how quirks worked she coulda been older than she looked. She wore the light blue uniform of the gas station employees with a matching cap. There were a few strands of blond hair poking out from under the cap, and her narrow, cat-like eyes were the same color. She was focused on her job at first, but soon looked up at the student in the window. Ever the attempted womanizer, Kaminari quickly held up a piece of paper with his phone number while mouthing ‘call me.’ The woman laughed, showing off a nice set of fangs before pulling the fuel pump out. As she flipped the door closed, she pressed a tiny disc against the inside of the door.

With a wave, the three employees watched the bus pull out to continue its journey. After it was out of sight, the female employee yanked her hat off and gave a sigh of relief as she loosed her hair. The two men ran back inside the building while the girl walked behind them casually. Inside the actual station were the rest of the employees.

Five of the remaining employees were huddled in a circle on the ground, tied together and watched over by a burly woman in sunglasses and a scarred man who waved blue fire in front of them. One of the other employees was fussing over the last one, who was lying on the ground with a bandage over the stump that used to be his left leg. The one watching over him occasionally looked over his shoulder at the wall, his fearful eyes glancing at the beast that had removed his friend’s appendage.

“You all did your parts wonderfully,” a man dressed as a magician said as he stepped into view. “I do apologize about your wounded friend there, but we had to show we meant business.” The blonde girl stepped into the station while putting her hair up into a pair of messy buns.

“Tracker’s in place,” she smirked. “They don’t even suspect a thing.”

“Good,” the magician acknowledged before turning back to the gas station employees. “We’ll linger here another hour or so just to make sure you can’t call any heroes before we learn what we want to know. Try to behave, though. Our friend there,” he gestured to the wall behind the wounded employee, “has a bit of an appetite, and we don’t want to make him act on that again.” The gas station employees nodded with terror, each one praying they’d survive the morning.

---

The trip continued calmly with no more hassle. Izuku had woken up earlier, but pretended to stay asleep. When he woke up, he saw he had gotten a text from Aizawa instructing him to play asleep and stay on the bus. He had no idea why he was told so, but knowing Aizawa it wasn’t gonna be fun to find out.

It was midmorning when the bus came to a stop, Aizawa announcing they reached a rest stop so everyone could stretch their legs. Uraraka attempted to rouse Izuku, but was stopped by the teacher. She looked at her boyfriend softly and stealthily gave him a peck on the cheek before stepping off the bus. Once the last student was off, Izuku opened his eyes and looked outside.

Izuku had to stop himself from squealing when he saw the Wild Wild puss*cats outside the bus. He had been a big fan of theirs for a long time. He kept watching as they did their opening performance, but couldn’t hear everything that was being said. He noticed some of the hero students get anxious before the ground under them suddenly exploded and sent them flying off the nearby cliff. The heroes all shouted something else to the plummeting students before they climbed into the bus.

“Take us to the camp,” Aizawa ordered. The bus started moving and Aizawa took his seat. Izuku started to stand up so he could ask Aizawa just what happened, but was stopped when Pixie-Bob plopped down next to him.

“So you’re Midoriya, huh?” she smiled.

“Y-you’ve heard of m-me?” Izuku asked nervously.

“Of course!” the blonde heroine laughed. “Nishiya talks about you all the time! You’re like an unofficial nephew of his or something.”

“N-Nishiya?” the boy asked quizzically. He thought for a few moments before his eyes lit up. “K-Kamui Woods?”

“Right in one!” Pixie-Bob cheered as she ruffled his hair. “Though I guess this means he hasn’t spoken about me at all?”

“H-how do you know him?”

“He’s my boyfriend.”

“WHAT!?”

Before anything else could be said, there was a loud boom from outside. Everyone on the bus turned to see a huge plume of dirt stretch over a portion of the forest. They all watched as trees, boulders, and things that looked like stone animals flew out of the plume like something was going on a massive rampage.

“...What the hell is going on down there?”

---

A few minutes prior

---

“You should be able to make it to the lodge in three hours or so,” Mandalay smiled. “Any kittens who are late don’t get lunch!”

“This whole forest is ours, so quirk use is permitted!” Pixie-Bob smirked as she set her palms against the ground. “Good luck!” Then the ground exploded, sending Class 1-A careening over the cliff. The students screamed as they fell through the trees, landing on (and in) the soft soil below. The air was filled with the groans of students as they all extricated themselves from the dirt.

“Is Aizawa-sensei really just incapable of telling the truth?” Kaminari whined as Tokoyami helped him to his feet.

“I feel inclined to agree,” the birdheaded student nodded.

“I’m more surprised that Kaminari-kun knows the word ‘incapable.’” Jirou muttered as she staggered into the clearing.

“Hey!”

“Is anyone wounded?” Iida called out. “Did anyone suffer a sprain after that fall?”

“I’m fine!” Hagakure replied from her spot in a tree.

“I’m good, kero!” Tsuyu hopped into the group. “How about you, Uraraka-chan?”

“...”

The girl was on her hands and knees in the middle of the group. She didn’t look injured, but she wasn’t making any indication of getting up.

“...Uraraka-chan?”

“I’m getting tired of this,” the brunette finally spoke up.

“Yeah, us too, but-”

“I am really tired of our teacher,” Uraraka growled, “the man who’s supposed to support and help us, constantly lying and tricking us in the name of ‘training’ and acting like nothing’s wrong.”

“...Uraraka-chan?” Momo asked.

Suddenly they all heard a bellowing sound.

“I promised Melissa, my girlfriend, that I’d keep an eye on our boyfriend and keep him safe.”

“That sounds weird,” Kaminari pointed out, “but not as worrisome as that roar just now.”

The students heard the crashing of wood and stone as a large mammoth-like creature appeared. All the students gasped at the sight. Uraraka, her eyes filled with rage, got to her feet and glared at the construct before her.

“And now we’re separated because our jackass of a teacher can’t be honest for more than five minutes! AND I’M f*ckING TIRED OF IT!”

---

Yeah, she’s pissed.

---

Suddenly, Uraraka’s left hand morphed into a black mass, like back on I-Island. Her eyes locked on the mammoth, the mass shot tendrils out and wrapped around a nearby boulder. With a scream of frustration, she swung her arm around, smashing the mammoth to pieces with said boulder. After it fell apart, more beasts appeared, and Uraraka just screamed as she swung the tendrils at them.

“WHEN I GET OUT OF HERE, I’M GONNA PUNCH AIZAWA IN HIS TIRED PRICK FACE!” the brunette screamed as her tendrils ripped the beasts apart. After that, she took off running in the direction of the lodge, her tendrils ripping at beasts, rocks and trees left and right. The rest of Class 1-A watched her rampage for a few moments before chasing after her.

“I know this isn’t appropriate language,” Iida yelled over the storm that was Uraraka, “but what the f*ck is going on!?”

“LIKE WE HAVE ANY IDEA!?” Ashido screamed back. After that, Class 1-A could only follow the enraged Uraraka as she literally tore a line through the forest.

---

Trying to ignore the sound of mayhem coming from the forest, the bus carried the heroes and one student to the puss*cat’s lodge. Izuku had spent the trip asking Pixie-Bob (who demanded she call him Auntie Pix) about her hero career, how she met Kamui Woods, anything his fanboy mind could think of.

They arrived about at the lodge an hour after the class was launched from the cliff. Izuku was glad to finally stretch his feet (after escaping Pixie-Bob’s hug) as he stepped off the bus. The puss*cats and Aizawa immediately sauntered over to the lodge to speak with the other two puss*cats when Izuku noticed there was a small boy with them. Curious, he walked over to the glaring kid and held out his hand.

“H-hello,” Izuku greeted. “My n-name is-”

The reflexes he had developed through his hero training were the only thing that saved him from getting a fist to the scrotum. The small boy moved pretty fast, but his fist met Izuku’s left hand. The boy glared at Izuku, but his eyes widened when he saw Izuku’s left hand wasn’t meaty.

“G-good speed,” Izuku chuckled. “I-I know someone who’d g-g-get a kick out of you.”

“My my,” a female voice giggled from behind Izuku. “Small, green, missing an arm. You must be the kid Nedzu called me about.” Izuku turned around and saw the teal-haired puss*cat, Ragdoll, looking down at him.

“H-hello, Ragdoll,” Izuku bowed his head as he released the tiny boy’s hand.

“And you already know me!” Ragdoll laughed. “Very good. I’m looking forward to seeing just how much I can cram into that noggin of yours in these upcoming weeks.” Izuku stared for a moment, blocking another punch from the smaller boy, before gasping.

“Y-you’re the Type-2 that’s g-g-gonna teach me?”

“That’s right!” Ragdoll smiled before turning to the tiny boy. “Kota, stop punching him. Also, I think Mandalay has something for you.” At this, the small boy finally stopped trying to punch Izuku, but gave a scoff as he walked away. “Please forgive him, Kota’s had a rough past. Now, would you like a late breakfast while we discuss your lesson plan?”

---

As Izuku was treated to a tour of the grounds and helped bring in everyone’s luggage, the booms from the forest steadily got closer. Thanks to Ragdoll’s quirk they knew it was the students, and so weren’t especially worried but rather curious. When Ragdoll felt them get within a kilometer, the heroes and Izuku stepped outside to meet them.

The thunderous booms got louder as they got closer. Izuku could honestly feel the tremors through his feet. He thought he heard Uraraka screaming, but that might have been his imagination. Then, a bit more than two and a half hours since the cliff, there was one more boom as the upper half of something that looked like a two-story gorilla flew out of the woods and crashed at Pixie-Bob’s feet. Moments later, Class 1-A exited the forest. They were all scuffed up, proof that some of Pixie-Bob’s constructs got past Uraraka. The gravity girl herself stormed out of the woods, bleeding from multiple injuries and her left hand still a black mass. Her eyes were locked on Aizawa as she stomped in his direction.

“Impressive,” Aizawa acknowledged with his baritone voice. “You made it out-”

Uraraka ran the last few meters, faster than Aizawa could react, and punched the teacher right in his cheek. Aizawa fell over from the force of the blow, looking up at Uraraka with a look of genuine surprise. She glared down at him as her left hand slowly turned back to normal. Once it finished, she pointed at Aizawa with her left hand.

“IS IT TOO HARD FOR YOU TO BE TRUTHFUL FOR ONCE IN YOUR MISERABLE LIFE!?” she screamed.

And then she passed out.

Notes:

If any of you thought Black Whip was gonna be a one time thing...hehehehehehehe. XD

But yeah, this arc is gonna be dicey, but next chapter will have some...well, I guess it would qualify as "sad fluff" between Izuku and Ochako. XD Til next time!

Chapter 42: Hardship and Scars

Summary:

The camp before the storm

Notes:

Sunday chapter for everyone today! ^^ Nice way to start the new week, huh? Warning you now, this chapter has a fair chunk of angst with a smidgen of fluff, but it's buildup for what comes next.

Read on, dear readers.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Ochako groaned before opening her eyes. She felt like she was lying on her back, but she was in an empty black expanse. It wasn’t cold, thankfully, but it was completely dark. She pushed herself to sit, rubbing her head.

“What happened?’ she asked herself.

“You got mad for like 2 hours, punched your teacher, then passed out.”

The hero student gave a squeak of surprise as she spun around to the source of that voice. Squatting on the invisible ground behind her was a bald, muscular man in dark leather. He honestly reminded Ochako of a biker, complete with the goggles. He had a wide, friendly smile on his face.

“Gotta admit,” he continued, “that was kinda fun to watch, but you gotta pace yourself when using my quirk.”

“Y-your quirk?” she asked.

“Blackwhip!” the man laughed. “You know, the funky, top-grade black tentacles you used earlier?” Ochako thought back, remembering those unusual tendrils she did indeed use in the forest. And back during the I-Island attack. But wait a minute…

“What do you mean by your quirk?” Ochako asked. “I thought-”

“Long story short,” the bald man continued, “when you got One For All, you didn’t just get One For All. Remember how that strength quirk merged with the stockpiling quirk and eventually they became One For All? Well, that same thing happened with the quirks of all us previous Users. A portion of each of our quirk factors merged with the core of One For All, lying quiet and dormant. What you did is access a portion of that core, and gain another quirk.”

“Another quirk?” Ochako gasped. “Why did it activate, though? And why couldn’t I activate it after that first time until now?”

“You activated it that first time because you wanted to capture that one villain,” the bald predecessor explained. “For this last time, you wanted to get to the lodge and punch your teacher. That desire is what fuels Blackwhip. Gotta be careful, though. Use too much in one go and it’ll hurt. You’ll get used to it, though.” Ochako sat for a few seconds to let the information sink in. Then she gasped and looked back at the man.

“Wait, does that mean I’ll get 7 more quirks after I open that core thing the rest of the way?”

“Technically 5 more,” the man replied, “including mine. Remember, One For All is technically already open, and your predecessor is quirkless, so he didn’t really add another quirk.” Suddenly the man started getting covered in black vapor. “Oops, looks like you’re waking up. Hey, girl, remember, you got this, You’re an amazing heroine, and all us previous Users are cheering for ya. But, um, do a favor?” Ochako gave a jerky nod. “When you get back, Nana wants you to punch All Might. She won’t say why, but-”

Suddenly Ochako gave a gasp as she shot up. Looking around with deep breaths, she saw she wasn’t in that black expanse anymore. She was laying on a cozy couch in a living room, covered by a pink blanket. Looking out the windows, it looked like the sun was setting. She had been out a while, huh? She couldn’t hear anyone at first, but heard Iida’s telltale shouting from outside. Maybe they were all exercising? Slipping out from under the blanket, Ochako groaned and stretched as she walked toward what she hoped was the front door. Opening it, she was glad it did indeed lead outside and was also glad to see her class doing exercises. She smiled and ran out in their direction. As she got close, Iida noticed her and called her over.

“Uraraka-san!” the tall boy waved his hand. “It is good to see you awake!” Everyone else in her class stopped exercising and crowded around her.

“Are you feeling okay?”

“You were unconscious for hours!”

“We were so worried!”

“What were those tentacle things?”

“Enough!” Iida declared. “She just woke up, give her space!”

“I’m alright,” Ochako smiled. “I’m feeling better. Sorry for worrying everyone.” She looked around a bit before asking, “Where’s Izuku?”

“Midoriya-kun is working with Class 1-B,” Tsuyu replied, pointing at the other side of the lodge. Ochako saw their partner class was doing outdoor exercises as well. “They got here about an hour ago, kero.”

“They didn’t have to go through the forest,” Mina puffed her cheeks. “Soooooo jealous!”

“It was nice seeing Aizawa-sensei get chewed out like he did, though,” Kaminari smiled.

“Oh he did?” Ochako turned back to her classmates. “How did that go?”

“Well…”

---

Aizawa groaned as he got back to his feet. He did not see that punch coming at all. He knew she was strong (he, like the rest of the staff, knew All Might’s secret), but she had also been so mellow throughout the year. She didn’t seem the type to have done what she just did. He watched as some of her classmates carefully lifted her unconscious form and carried her towards the lodge while Mandalay came walking up.

“What was that about?” she asked the underground hero.

“I have no idea,” Aizawa admitted.

“Ochako-chan punched our teacher because she got tired of his lies.” Tsuyu bluntly replied.

“Lies?” Mandalay asked.

“You mean my logical ruses?” Aizawa asked.

“I mean your lies,” Tsuyu replied, emboldened by Ochako’s previous action. “Sensei, any time we have a hero lesson where you’re involved, kero, you’ve withheld information concerning the lesson, or told us one thing while meaning another.”

“One must admit, sensei,” Iida walked up, “it is somewhat hard to figure out how to be a proper hero when you don’t tell us everything.”

“That’s stuff you need to figure out on your own,” Aizawa glowered. “If you can’t, then-”

“Sensei,” Tsuyu’s voice cut him off. “We’re students. Kids. We don’t know everything, kero. That’s why we’re in school, so we can learn what we need to. But it’s hard to learn when you, an authority figure, continue to flat-out lie to us like you have. There’s a difference between ‘pushing us to do our best’ and ‘withhold information, then scold us for not knowing it.’”

“Is this a constant thing?” Mandalay asked the kids, giving a sidelong glare to Aizawa. For some reason, the underground hero felt like he was in danger.

“Yes,” Iida replied. “For example, three weeks ago we were doing a group exercise involving an escort mission. He said that the group who did the worst on the exercise would be forced to do it again until they passed. Then he made the entire class redo it, saying how we were all technically one big group.”

“Before that,” Tsuyu spoke before Aizawa could, “was a pretty rough lesson where he threatened to expel the student who scored the lowest. Since he did just that at the start of the year, we all assumed he was being serious again.”

“Don’t forget that exercise with the rocks!” Hagakure exclaimed as she walked by. “I almost got hit by a boulder after the avalanche ended, and all he said was ‘well, I never said there wouldn’t be more!’ when he did in fact say that!”

Aizawa opened his mouth to defend himself, but it seemed like every student had a contribution, talking about some event where his logical ruses caused discomfort to his class. Hearing them all talk about it, it did kind of seem like he might have gone overkill, but his students needed to be prepared for every possible situation.

“Oh god,” Mandalay groaned after hearing Sato’s unpleasant tale involving a trash compactor. “I think I can see where you’re coming from. Well, you can rest assured us puss*cats won’t try anything like that.” The students just frowned in her direction. “...What?”

“The cliff back there?” Mina gestured to the forest.

“What about…” Mandalay asked before it clicked. “...Wait, you weren’t told it was gonna be a hike?”

“He told us it was a rest stop to stretch our legs,” Mina finished.

At that point, Aizawa could literally feel the fury coming off Mandalay. And he was afraid.

---

Uraraka listened to the tale in silent awe. Of all the things that could have happened to her teacher, she did not expect any of what she had been told. Looking around, she noticed he wasn’t in the area.

“Where is sensei, anyway?”

“Still suffering from Mandalay’s punishment,” Sero replied. “Apparently it’s something that only he would get troubled by.”

“Won’t she get in trouble though?” Uraraka worriedly asked.

“That’s what we thought, too,” Jirou asked as she held up her phone, “but then we all got a text from the principal saying she had free reign to mess with him.” Ochako nodded, but shuddered a bit. She couldn’t imagine what sort of punishment Aizawa was suffering right now.

None of the students saw Aizawa for the rest of the night. Ochako was saddened that she didn’t see Izuku that night, either. According to the puss*cats, Ragdoll had taken Izuku out for a nighttime lesson. Despite spending most of the afternoon sleeping, Ochako fell asleep pretty quickly that night.

---

The first actual day of the boot camp came too quick for the hero students. Woken up at the crack of dawn, the students were put to work strengthening their quirks. Izuku had volunteered to work with Class 1-B this first day to both help them develop their quirks and to apologize for snorting when Kota punched Inasa in the balls. It had been a few hours since they all started, and Izuku was currently helping Setsuna Tokage, a girl with a quirk that let her body split apart.

“A f-fascinating quirk,” Izuku admitted. “I can th-think of so many w-ways it could be used.”

“I know, right?” Setsuna smirked as her body parts flew around Izuku. “Still got a bit of trouble with range, but I’m getting better.”

“I a-also noticed your control w-weakened a bit as th-the parts got f-further out,” Izuku stated as he wrote in his notebook. “M-maybe you could do s-some exercises focusing on m-m-minute control at longer range?”

“Sounds good to me.” The hero student’s head floated close to Izuku’s ear. “Mind if you help me with that later?”

“S-sure! I could l-like hold eggs o-or something for you to practice motor control and-”

“I was thinking something else~.” Setsuna giggled as her hand gently rubbed against his thigh. The small boy squeaked and cartwheeled away from the hand, eliciting a laugh from the floating head. “A bit shy, ain’t’cha?”

“Shy and t-taken,” Izuku stated as he pointed across the field to 1-A. Setsuna followed his finger to see Uraraka practicing her strength and precision by swinging a baseball bat. Except said baseball bat was the length and thickness of a telephone pole. And she was using it to smash boulders that one of her classmates was throwing.

“...Ok, I can’t compete with that,” Setsuna admitted. “...Although...think she’d be okay with sharing?”

“A-already are,” Izuku quickly stated, “and we d-don’t feel like adding any more. If you’ll excuse me…” Izuku quickly closed his notebook and dashed off to help another 1-B student, leaving Setsuna alone as she reassembled her parts.

“...Wait, sharing with who!?”

---

Far from the puss*cat lodge, deep in Kamino Ward, a supervillain gave a disgruntled groan.

“They’re in the middle of the woods?” he asked his misty servant.

“Indeed,” Kurogiri nodded. “I followed the tracking beacon that Toga planted on the bus. I found myself not in the sort of rural compound like previous camps, but literally in the middle of a forest. I believe it is the lodge the Wild Wild puss*cats work from.”

“And there’s no cement in the area…” All For One growled as clenched his fists. “I paid good money to have Giran acquire my new pet, and I can’t even let him play with those hero runts now.” As the supervillain had no eyes, he didn’t see Kurogiri give a quick glance to the framed piece of concrete on the wall. He gave a wince as it growled at him.

“Well, no matter,” All For One waved his hand. “I’ll simply keep it here while the rest of the squad moves in. Give them the news.” Kurogiri nodded and warped back to his bar. The moment he entered he caught the attention of almost everyone present.

Sitting at the bar was Shigaraki. His monstrous right hand was gripping a glass of liquid. Kurogiri knew that, despite his destructive and manic tendencies, the young man did really enjoy being able to hold stuff without outright destroying it.

Sitting next to Shigaraki was a slightly younger man who went by Dabi. Dark hair, covered in burn scars and with a powerful fire quirk, he would have made an amazing hero. Instead, Dabi had a grudge against Endeavor for reasons unknown, but even with the former hero imprisoned his grudge held out. When questioned about it, he simply said “Too little, too late.”

Standing at the far end of the bar was a fine-dressed man known as Compress. A former street magician, he joined the league because he felt bored with his life. His quirk was quite insidious, and Kurogiri was thankful he’d never have to suffer it.

Next to Compress was Magne. Magne was...a character. Kurogiri wasn’t sure what to make of her.

Between Shigaraki and Compress, his face down on the bar, was Muscular. A bloodthirsty escaped convict whose favorite hobby was murdering people. Of all the people in this room, he was the man Kurogiri liked the least. Sadly, his master wanted the man for this mission.

Sitting a few seats over from Muscular was a twitchy masked man known as Twice. His quirk was integral to the mission.

The sound of laughter drew Kurogiri’s attention away from the people at the bar. Seated at a booth away from the bar were the two youngest members of the League. Sitting with his hands to his side was the small boy known as Mustard. Wearing a middle school gakuran and a heavy mask, he remained silent and tried his best not to seem uncomfy with his current situation.

Sitting on Mustard’s lap was the energetic, blonde girl Toga Himiko. Said girl was kicking her legs in the air and gently tapping Mustard’s mask with one of her (many) knives while talking about Mustard needed more red on his outfit if he wanted to look cute. She kept this up until Kurogiri cleared his throat.

“Everyone,” he announced, “we have our orders…”

---

The second night of the boot camp brought great relief for the hero students. Even though they had to cook their own dinner, Izuku came to the rescue with his incredible cooking skills. Both classes were eager to just sit down and eat, but Izuku had another idea. Whispering something real quick to Ochako, he grabbed another plate of curry and walked into the woods.

Even with the dim lighting, Izuku could see the faint trail through the woods. It must not have been used very often, or for very long. His exercise the previous night had focused on quiet movement, and now was as good a time as any to practice that. With nary a sound, Izuku walked along the trail, slowly climbing up a hill, before breaking from the trees. Before him was a wide cliff, bare of any foliage. Sitting on a rock, looking down at the lodge, was Kota. Following his gaze, Izuku could see he was glowering at the hero students down below.

“Brought you some f-f-food,” Izuku announced as he walked up. Kota almost instinctively spun around to punch Izuku, but the teen easily shuffled aside. Kota just glared as Izuku held out the plate of curry. “Th-thought you might be h-hungry.”

“I’m not,” Kota sat back down on his rock, looking away from Izuku. “Just piss off.”

“Hey,” Izuku laughed. “If you’re n-not hungry, that’s fine. S-still leaving the plate f-for you though.” He set the plate of curry down next to Kota before sitting on the rock next to his. “So, a-any reason why you’re glaring at m-my schoolmates l-like they s-spat in your hat?”

“They’re all stupid,” Kota growled. “Why do they wanna be heroes if they’re just gonna get killed?” Izuku looked at Kota. Ragdoll had told him Kota’s backstory last night, how his parents were killed by a villain. Izuku could see where he was coming from, and knew how to answer his question. He gestured to Kota, grabbing his attention, before pulling up his sleeve. Kota’s eyes widened when he saw just how much of Izuku’s arm was mechanical.

“I lost my arm p-protecting someone from a v-villain,” Izuku explained. “If I d-didn’t step in, a g-girl would have been seriously hurt, p-possibly more than I was. I stepped in, t-took the hit, because I want t-to help people. Everyone down th-there is the same. We’re w-willing to g-get hurt so th-that other people, innocent people, don’t get hurt. Sometimes we’ll g-get hurt only a b-bit, and sometimes we’ll g-get hurt a lot. Point is, w-we don’t c-care how m-much we get hurt, if it means th-that someone else won’t get hurt. Th-that’s what it means t-to be a hero. Your p-parents knew this. I’m not s-saying you should be h-happy they died. Heck, I know I’d b-b-be hurt if my m-mom died. What I’m saying is, th-they went out knowing th-they could get hurt, but kept g-going because they wanted to help people. We aren’t f-focusing on how w-we could get hurt. We’re focusing on h-how we can make sure no one e-else gets hurt.” He gently rubbed Kota’s head. “Th-think on that, ok?” With a smile, he stood up and walked back down the hill to the lodge.

---

Ochako walked down the hall towards the hot springs. She had volunteered to help clean up after dinner, which meant she’d get to bathe after everyone else. She was alright with this. After everything else that happened, she wanted some alone time. Well, bathing with Izuku would have been better, but she doubted the teachers would have allowed that.

As she neared the baths, she saw Mandalay standing outside the girl’s bath. That was somewhat worrisome. Even more worrisome was the red tape stretching across the doorway.

“What happened?” Ochako asked as she got close.

“Oh,” Mandalay turned, “your friend Ashido kinda got passionate about something and spilled some acid. Pixie-Bob and Tiger are patching up the hole. You can use the boy’s bath, they already did their bathing.” Ochako hesitantly looked towards the doorway for a few moments before a reassuring smile from Mandalay soothed her. She bowed her head a bit before stepping inside.

The hot spring was nice and warm. Just walking inside seemed to soothe her aching muscles. She gave a sigh of relief as she stripped down and started washing herself. Since everyone else was gone, maybe she could linger just a bit longer in here. After she rinsed herself off, she slipped into the hot spring. Another content sigh escaped her lips as she sank down to her shoulders. Between the refreshingly warm water, the cozy silence and just how hard she worked, she was tempted to just fall asleep just like Izuku over there.

Wait.

She snapped back to full attention as she looked to her right and saw Izuku was in the spring as well. It was clear he was asleep, much to Ochako’s relief. She might have loved the boy, but she wasn’t really ready to show him her...assets just yet. She couldn’t just leave him there, though. Standing back up, she grabbed a towel and covered herself with it before wading over to the sleeping boy. This was the first time she had really seen him shirtless, meaning it was the first time she’d seen just how muscular he really was. Her first time seeing just how far his prosthetics reached.

Her first time seeing the burn scars.

She gasped when she finally noticed them. There were a lot of blotches of various sizes, but the ones that hit her hardest were the hand-shaped ones. The worst one by far, though, was one pressed into his sternum. With how clear it was compared to the rest, it was obvious whoever did it wanted to literally brand Midoriya. Just seeing it filled Ochako with both sorrow and fury. She had no doubt whoever did it was the same person who blew off his arm. She really wished she knew the bastard’s name. For right now, though, she slipped close and pulled Izuku into a hug.

Izuku slowly woke up in the hug. He yawned before looking around. When his gaze fell on Ochako, he stared for a few moments until his brain caught up. Then he gasped and stiffened in the embrace.

“O-O-OCHAKO!” Izuku squeaked. “W-w-what are you-”

“Girl’s bath was closed,” Ochako replied as she rest her head on his shoulder. “You fell asleep.”

“...O-oh…” Izuku voiced.

“...I’ve also seen the scars,” Ochako whispered. This made Izuku tense up more, and in turn Ochako hugged him tighter. “I understand why you didn’t tell me you had them, but I want you to know you didn’t need to keep them secret. I love you Izuku. That means I’m here for you, and want to help you with anything that troubles you.” She gave him a soft squeeze, and Izuku turned a bit to hug her back.

“I know, Ochako,” he whispered back. “I know.”

Notes:

Got nothing to really say here. XD Take what you will, and see if you see what I hope you see.

Next time on Type-2 Hero...

"Great googly moogly, it's all gone to sh*t."

Chapter 43: Scars and Horror

Notes:

Hey there! Sorry for missing a month like that! I honestly did not mean to. Just had a lot of things happen on my end.

This chapter details a few things, and ends with a meaty confrontation. Also, I need to update the previous chapter because it occurred to me I forgot to add Twice to the bar. I feel bad for forgetting him.

Enjoy!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

The second full day of summer camp was just as crazy as the previous. This time, though, Izuku spent some time with Class 1-A to see how their quirks had progressed since the last time he actually sat with them. That morning, while hectic and busy, was also really fun for Izuku and the class. At the same time, Kota had refrained from attacking Izuku. The greenette hoped he got through to the younger boy.

After a quick lunch, he was whisked away by Ragdoll for another lesson. The green heroine led Izuku into the forest, a smile adorning her face. Izuku followed her, wearing comfy clothes rather than his hero outfit.

“Today’s lesson,” Ragdoll explained, “will be a lesson in evasion and stealth. Pixie-Bob and Mandalay are out here, doing a few tasks that I asked them to. They don’t know you’re out here, too. What I want you to do is locate them, report what they’re doing, and report back within one hour.”

“This k-k-kinda feels l-like I’m playing a n-ninja,” Izuku stuttered.

“Pretty much,” the teal-haired heroine giggled. “Usually Type-1’s with stealth training would do something like this, but sometimes Type-2’s like us are called up to handle it. Sometimes we just stumble upon said occurrences by chance, and have to act quickly. Most of the time, you’ll encounter situations like this in urban environments, but getting it down here in the woods will make that part of training much easier.” She stopped walking at the edge of a large clearing and pointed across the grass. “Mandalay and Pixie-Bob are in there. Find them, use your headset to report what they’re doing, then get back here.”

“Got it,” Izuku nodded and took a step.

“Don’t get seen,” Shiretoko gave a mischievous smirk. “Where they are is technically out of bounds for campers like you. If they see you, they’ll go after you and administer...punishment.” Izuku blanched at that. “If they spot you, you’ll have to evade them until you get back to me. After all, they can’t punish you if you’re within camping boundaries. One hour. Go.”

Izuku surprised Ragdoll by running out a few meters into the grass before firing his tether at some trees to his left. The heroine watched as he disappeared into the trees. Little guy was pretty good with that tether cord. In fact, over the past couple days she had learned Izuku was an overall “pretty good” student. He was receptive to her teachings, was limber and agile, and had one hell of a brain in that tiny skull of his. She was almost wishing she had found him before Nedzu.

She especially wished she could have found him before the incident that took his arm off. She could remember that day she heard about it...

---

Tomoko was talking to Ryuko in the kitchen while their cake was in the oven. They had been discussing something unimportant when Pixie’s phone started ringing. She checked the idea and gave a confused look.

“It’s Kamui,” she stated.

“Go ahead,” Ragdoll sipped her mug of coffee. Pixie answered the phone, setting it on Speaker. Ragdoll enjoyed these conversations just as much as Pixie did.

“Hey, Kamui!” Ryuko cheerfully greeted. “What’s up?”

“...Pix…” Kamui answered, his voice somber.

“Shinji?” Ryuko worriedly asked, referring to the hero by name.

“Pix…” Kamui voiced again, trying to hold back a sob. “...I f*cked up, Pix.”

“...About what?” Ryuko asked, Ragdoll dead silent in front of her. Kamui sobbed for another moment before explaining what had happened. How he had berated a quirkless kid a few days ago, only to see him lose his arm a few hours ago to the person the kid had saved. Then he learned about the sheer amount of abuse the kid had suffered. It had been a few hours since Kamui left the clinic where the kid was resting, and he still couldn’t stop thinking about those hand-shaped burn scars on his body.

“I failed that kid, Pix,” Kamui finished. “That kid went through so much pain, and I only made it worse by yelling at him...What the hell kind of hero am I?” Both heroines sat in silence, processing what they had heard. It had been a lot to take in. Thankfully, Tomoko had been trained in handling situations like this, and she stepped forward.

“You’re a pro hero,” the teal-haired heroine declared, “and you’re human. No better, no worse. You messed up, you admitted that. So, be there for the kid. You can’t make amends without being there for him.” There was a short silence before Kamui gave his assent.

After that, Kamui would occasionally call Pixie and Ragdoll with updates about the boy. The more he spoke about him, the more they wished they could have met the boy.

---

Izuku jumped and flew from tree to tree. From the outside it looked easy, but Izuku was internally screaming the entire time. He had never done anything quite like this, and was worried he’d mess up and George his way into a tree. He didn’t want to embarrass himself that way. As he kept going, he heard...a noise he didn’t expect to hear in the forest. He quickly turned toward the noise and bound closer, staying in a tree as he looked out at what was causing the noise.

“...Ragdoll…” Izuku whispered into his comms, “I...I f-found an unknown.”

“Elaborate.”

“Th-th-there’s a big g-guy out here. He looks a l-lot like one of my c-c-classmates. Kinda like th-that American “Bigfoot” cryptid. Huge sh-shoulders. Striped, multicolored b-bandana covering the t-top of his head. His eyes are obscured b-by UV-reflecting sunglasses. At th-th-the moment, he’s s-sitting on a log and...playing a saxophone.”

“Oh don’t mind him. He’s a hermit that lives in these woods. We dunno his story or his name. He just kinda does his own thing. Continue looking for Mandy and Pix.”

“Roger,” Izuku nodded, leaping away from the Sax-playing sasquatch. He continued swinging through the trees, listening for any unusual noise. After a couple minutes, he could hear Pixie-Bob chattering away.

Her voice was very distinctive.

After swinging a bit longer, he saw her blue uniform against the green foliage. He stopped moving once her hair came into view. He could see she was hunched down, and either hadn’t noticed him or was pretending he hadn’t.

“Ragdoll,” Izuku whispered into his headset, “I have P-P-Pixie-Bob in view.”

“Good. Now, what is she doing?”

“She’s crouching d-down. It looks like she’s m-m-messing around with th-the soil. She’s also communicating with Mandalay. C-C-Can’t catch everything from my current spot, but I did hear her say s-something about ‘having fun with 1-B.’ I do b-b-believe she is planning something involving her quirk.”

“Excellent, Midoriya-kun. I just got word that Mandalay is east of your position. Go see what she’s doing. Remember, do not get caught.”

“Roger,” Izuku nodded before slowly scooting away from Pixie-Bob and her sudden maniacal giggling. Once he felt he was a comfortable distance away, he tethered to the next tree and continued to his next destination. As he swung around, he contemplated asking Melissa to make a gauntlet for his right arm with another tether cable so he could swing around faster. Though he might need to toughen up before he tried that. He knew the only reason he could swing around this good was because his prosthetic was a lot tougher than his meaty arm. Maybe something for the future. He could hear Mandalay now.

He swung a few trees closer before quietly lowering himself down into a bush. He could see Mandalay looking at some trees, her back to him. Since he was able to get closer to her, he could really catch what she was saying.

“Ragdoll,” Izuku whispered, “I found Mandalay. Sh-she’s looking at trees, making remarks ab-b-bout their size...now she’s t-talking about how Class 1-B won’t be able to uproot th-these like Ochako did on her way in.”

“Excellent, Midoriya-kun. Now, between what you saw with Pix and what you’ve heard from Mandalay, what do you think they’re planning?”

“...Honestly,” Izuku said after a moment of thought, “it sounds like th-they’re planning to put 1-B through the s-s-same gauntlet that 1-A went through the first day.”

“Exactly. We decided it was unfair that 1-B didn’t go through that gauntlet, so we’ll be making that class do it in a couple days. Now return to base, kid.”

“Roger.”

“Hello, kitty~”

Izuku froze. Those last couple words didn’t come through his headset. They came from behind his shoulder. He slowly turned his head, and came face-to-face with Pixie-Bob. The heroine was giving the sort of warm, soft smile that filled Izuku with unshakable dread.

“What are you doing this far from camp~?” Pixie-Bob purred. Instead of responding, Izuku fired his tether and shot away from the heroine. “Oh, I love a good chase. Mandalay!” The brunette heroine turned to the blonde as she ran after Izuku. “We got a student out of bounds!”

“Let’s go!” Mandalay smirked and joined Pixie-Bob in pursuit. The two heroines laughed as they bounded after Izuku. They were surprised just how fast the kid was going. Pixie-Bob couldn’t use her quirk, however, due to what they were running towards. Mandalay, however…

“Why are you running, Midoriya-kun~?” Mandalay projected into Izuku’s mind. “Surely you know that when we catch you we’ll just hold you close and snuggle your face into our-”

They heard Izuku squeak out of bashfulness, but rather than slow down he just went faster. That part was not expected. In a matter of seconds, the greenette vanished from their sight. The heroines laughed at their difficult prey and kept pursuit. After a few minutes of leaping and dashing between trees, the heroines found themselves outside the forest. In front of them was a vast farmland, covered in waist-high corn stalks and dotted with scarecrows.

“Well, these have grown nicely,” Pixie-Bob poked one of the corn stalks.

“He can’t have gone too far,” Mandalay walked forward. “Ragdoll told me his tether cord wasn’t effective on plain dirt. He’s probably hiding in the corn somewhere.”

“Too bad we didn’t bring our heartbeat sensors,” Ryuko shrugged. “Means we gotta do this the hard way.” She followed Mandalay into the corn, jogging and glancing between the corn rows. They were so focused on their search they didn’t hear or even see one of the scarecrows hop off their post and rush back into the forest.

---

At the same time Izuku was reuniting with Ragdoll, Ochako was practicing her hand-to-hand with Tiger. She found the hero was surprisingly limber for his size. Was that his quirk? She’d have to ask later. On the other hand, he was also surprisingly tough. Ochako actually had to use One For All to stay upright after each punch from the pro hero.

“You’re doing good, kid!” Tiger laughed as he punched Ochako again. “Most people go down after one or two hits, but you’ve taken what? A dozen?”

“This is nothing,” the student smirked as she raised her arms to block another punch. She swiped her hand in response but again hit empty air. She wished this guy would just hold still. After dodging another punch she used a bit more of One For All to increase her speed. After a few more misses, she managed to swipe her hand across Tiger’s arm. However, he didn’t go floating.

“WHOA!” the hero yelled as he unexpectedly found himself kissing the dirt. “WHAT JUST HAPPENED!? I CAN HARDLY MOVE!” Tiger pressed their hands against the ground to lift themselves up, but could only groan as they moved barely an inch off the dirt. Ochako stared in surprise for several moments. She was trying to negate his gravity, so what happened? It was almost like she…Ochako gasped and released her quirk. In an instant, Tiger was on his feet, breathing heavily.

“I-I think I increased your gravity,” Ochako sheepishly admitted. “Are you alright?”

“Could you always do that?” Tiger asked, to which Ochako shook her head.

“Never thought about it,” the brunette admitted. “Right now, though, I just wanted you to stop moving, so…”

“...You’re a weird kid,” Tiger smiled. “Negating gravity, super strength, those weird tentacles and now gravity increasing? Just how many quirks you got in you?”

“J-just my own!” Ochako waved her arms. “I swear, just mine! The one I was born with!” Before the hero student could try deflecting any harder, the pro hero just laughed and (roughly) pat her shoulder.

“Simmer down, kitten!” Tiger beamed. “You just discovered something new about yourself. That’s what this camp is all about. You’re improving, and getting stronger. Now you just gotta learn how to-WHOA!”

During his last sentence there, Ochako decided to try increasing Tiger’s gravity on purpose. She brought all five fingers to his arm and watched as he faceplanted the dirt again. She gave a giggle and apologized before releasing her quirk again. As Tiger got to his feet again, Ochako noticed movement to the side. She turned and smiled as she saw Izuku and Ragdoll emerging from the forest. They were both laughing over something, and Izuku was randomly wearing a straw hat. She rushed over and surprised Izuku with a tight hug.

“Izuku, guess what!?” Ochako cheered. “I can increase gravity, too!”

“W-wait, what?”

---

That evening…

---

“All right, kittens!” Pixie-Bob announced to the assembled Class 1-A-plus-Izuku (and randomly Kendou from Class 1-B) after dinner that night. Behind Pixie-Bob were Mandalay and Aizawa (who twitched when Mandalay gave him a smirk). “It’s technically your second night here after you really began your training, so you all get to play a game tonight! And tonight’s game is...TRIAL OF COURAGE!”

“At this moment,” Mandalay smiled, “Class 1-B and Ragdoll are waiting in the forest! You’ll be going out in pairs, down this path until you reach Ragdoll. Along the trail, Class 1-B will be doing everything they can to scare you without making physical contact. Ragdoll will give you a token showing you reached her before coming back down this path over here back to the lodge. Once everyone comes back, you’ll switch places and your class will be doing the scaring. The class with the most tokens wins a nice big pan of brownies we baked this afternoon.” At the mention of brownies, most of the class started drooling.

“Sensei!” Iida raised his hand. “May I ask why Kendou-san of Class 1-B is here as well?”

“To make things even,” Aizawa replied. “Class B had 17 participating students while our class had 15. Midoriya requested to sit out from tonight’s game, so he wouldn’t be able to fill in the slot.”

“...Sensei…” Kirishima asked, “...there’s 19 of us, excluding Kendou-san.”

“I know,” Aizawa nodded before giving his trademark horror smile. “Unfortunately, the four of you who failed the Practical Exam last week will be attending your remedial class tonight instead of participating.” Before anyone could even move, Aizawa’s capture scarf wrapped around Kirishima, Satou, Kaminari and Sero. “You four, with me. Kan’s failed students are already waiting.” There was some protesting, but the students couldn’t do much as they were dragged away. Most of the students watched them go, but Ochako turned to Izuku.

“Why’d you wanna sit this out?” she asked her short boyfriend.

“Just a b-bit tired from th-this afternoon,” Izuku nervously chuckled. “T-Trust me, it’s n-not fun to r-run from Mandalay and Pixie-B-Bob at the same t-time.” Ochako was tempted to ask about that, but decided it probably wasn’t a good time. Instead, she leaned down and gently kissed his forehead before walking to join her class. Izuku blushed, but he didn’t go dial-tone this time, which was a good thing as Mandalay walked up to him mere moments later.

“Sorry for tiring you out so much earlier, Midoriya-kun,” Mandalay stated, “but I’m also kind of glad you chose to sit this out. I think Kota went up to his secret spot again. Think you could keep an eye on him tonight? I’ll give you a few brownies from the teacher’s pan.”

“S-Sure thing,” Izuku smiled before grabbing his bag and jogging off to Kota’s spot. It took a few minutes, but Izuku reached the clifftop and was greeted by Kota sitting on his usual boulder and looking out over the forest. The child had been fairly silent today, and had not tried to punch anyone in the scrotum. Izuku didn’t say anything to announce his arrival, choosing to simply sit on the ground next to the younger boy. They sat in silence for a good few minutes, listening to the shrieks of scared students from the forest below.

“Didn’t you wanna play with them?” Kota asked.

“Not after being ch-chased by your aunt a-a-all afternoon,” Izuku chuckled.

“Guess that means you’ll be fine playing with me?”

Both boys tensed up and turned toward the voice that asked that. To their surprise, there was a very large man standing behind them. He had short, spiky blond hair that really reminded Izuku of someone he didn’t wanna think about, and what Izuku could only describe as an insane smile. His left eye was clearly a prosthetic. Kota’s eyes widened as Izuku recognized who this man was. He had heard about this guy a couple years ago on the news, and again from Mandalay during his first day here.

“M-Muscular…” Izuku grit his teeth. The student quickly grabbed Kota with his right arm and fired his tether at a boulder several meters away, barely pulling away in time to dodge the big man’s fist.

“Recognize me, huh?” the villain sneered. “Don’t suppose this means you know some brat named Toko...Toko-something. Bird head boy, I think. It’s fine even if you don’t, my other buddies might find him.”

“Other buddies,” Izuku whispered to himself. That meant this guy wasn’t working alone. That wasn’t good. He needed to contact the teachers, but he doubted this guy would give him the chance. And with Kota here, he couldn’t just up and run either. With a growl, he moved Kota behind the boulder. “Stay here.” Kota didn’t respond, but didn’t move from where Izuku put him. With a nod, Izuku rushed out to face Muscular.

“Oh, you’re not gonna try running?” the villain laughed.

“N-not from you,” Izuku growled as he drew his sword. Muscular saw this and laughed again as the muscles in his arm expanded to a grotesque proportion.

“Good! Let’s do this!” He swung his arm at Izuku, smirking as the student ducked under it. Before Izuku could move away, Muscular’s other arm expanded and slammed Izuku against the nearby wall. The boy groaned in pain as Muscular moved to press his arm against Izuku, intending to use the wall to reduce Izuku to pulp. Muscular had no reason to doubt his success. While expanded like this, his muscles were dense as steel.

Dense.

Not hard.

Muscular sneered as he pressed forward, but stopped when he didn’t hear the screams and crunch of a dying child. Instead, he heard a wet cutting sound and began feeling pain in his arm. When was the last time he felt pain? He looked down and gasped as he noticed there were pieces flying away from where Izuku was supposed to be. It took a moment for him to realize those were pieces of his own arm that were flying away. Izuku was slashing away at high speed. Angered, Muscular expanded his arm further, but Izuku was cutting faster than Muscular could expand.

“JUST DIE, YOU BRAT!” Muscular yelled. In response, Izuku jumped away after cutting away a larger portion. Muscular roared in anger and lunged for Izuku. Izuku withdrew his sword and readied his palm. Muscular punched at him with his enlarged arm, but screamed and pulled back when it came into contact with Izuku’s electrified palm. Then, to both their surprise, Muscular’s arm muscles contracted back to their normal size. The villain growled and tried to expand his arm, but it just hung limp at his side.

“L-look at that,” Izuku laughed. “It worked.”

“I still have one arm, you little-” Muscular yelled before being pelted by a strong jet of water to the back of his head. It knocked him off balance enough for Izuku to jump over his heavy arm and slap his left palm over Muscular’s face. The villain screamed as red electricity arced across his body, contracting his other arm muscles and dropping him to his knees. After several seconds, the electricity ceased and Izuku hopped off the villain. Muscular stayed on his knees, rendered unconscious from the voltage. Izuku looked over to Kota, whose arms were extended.

“W-water quirk?” he asked. When Kota nodded, Izuku gave a huge smile. “A-awesome! Can you h-hand me my b-bag?” Kota gave a nervous nod as he tossed Izuku’s bag over. He was in shock at just how quickly the man who killed his parents was dispatched. Izuku reached into his bag, pulled out a pair of quirk-cuffs and (using the impressive strength of his prosthetic) essentially hung Muscular from a nearby tree using the cuffs.

“He w-won’t be going a-anywhere for a while. We n-need to get back to c-camp.” Kota nodded and followed Izuku, the two of them running down the path. As they did, Izuku tapped at the buttons on his hand, activating the communicator and hoping Mandalay was still wearing her headset.

“M-Mandalay!” Izuku yelled. “V-Villains are coming! Warn everyone!”

He could only hope the night wouldn’t get any worse.

Notes:

Sorry if this chapter seemed lackluster. Hopefully next one will be sufficiently exciting.

Chapter 44: Horror and Loss

Notes:

Hey guys. A lot goes on in this chapter. Don't really got much to say beforehand. Enjoy.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

The summer camp was a mess. The lodge itself was thankfully undamaged, but the area nearby looked like a battlefield. The ground was scarred up, there were some burn patches, and a horde of EMT’s were treating the large number of wounded students. A lot of students appeared unharmed, but were unconscious.

Several meters away were the villains that had been captured during the attack. One was unconscious with a hand-shaped burn on his face. Another was awake, and glaring at everyone. The last one looked like a bleeding, unconscious body bag. A bit further in the clearing was a large body covered in a bloody blanket. So many injured heroes and students, and only three villains had been captured, with one deceased. It was not a good night.

Tsukauchi walked through the group, the heavy feeling in his gut. He almost felt like a first-responder after a typhoon. He was just glad no one was actually dead. After a couple minutes, he approached the wounded Mandalay. The heroine’s arm was all bandaged up. Her nephew, Kota, was clinging to her leg and quietly crying.

“Mandalay!” the detective called out as he approached. The heroine looked up at him, her expression weary and sorrowful. She wiped her eyes and stood up.

“Hey, detective,” she almost whispered. “Guess you need to know what happened…”

---

A few hours ago…

---

Not long after the “Trial of Courage” began, Mandalay was with Eraserhead. She was supervising the failed student’s remedial class. From Class 1-A were Kirishima, Sato, Sero and Kaminari. From Class 1-B were Shishida Jurota (who lost his brawl against Choji) and Tsuburaba Kosei (who succumbed to Midnight’s gas). All students were bummed they couldn’t participate in the game, but were handling it with dignity. That was good.

What did worry her, though, was she was having trouble contacting Ragdoll. She knew her unofficial sister was trying to keep quiet in case any kids were close, but she was still worried. At least she still had contact with Pix and Tiger. As Aizawa regaled the failed students about where they went wrong during their exams, Vlad King stepped inside with a worried face.

“Hey guys,” he spoke as he held up his hand. “I was fueling up the buses for tomorrow’s exercises and I found this attached to the gas cap for 1-A’s bus.” In his hand was a small round device. Before Mandalay could say anything, her helmet phone started ringing. The ID came up as Midoriya. She gave a hum as she clicked the answer button.

“Hey, Mido-”

“M-Mandalay!” Izuku yelled, his voice full of worry. “V-Villains are coming! Warn everyone!”

“W-wha-villains!?” Mandalay screamed, getting the other heroes’ attention. “What do you-”

“K-Kota and I just b-b-beat Muscular! He s-said th-there were more in th-the forest! They’re l-looking for Tokoyami-kun! We’re h-heading back to th-the lodge! You g-gotta warn everyone!”

“Will do! Get back here fast as you can!” She clicked her phone off before turning to the remedial students. “Villains are attacking! You kids stay here! I’m gonna alert everyone and head out!”

“Mandalay!” Aizawa grabbed her shoulder. “I need you to add something to your message.”

---

Around the same time...

---

“Momo, we’re weird, aren’t we?” Ochako asked as she and her classmate walked through the forest.

“Why do you say that?” Momo asked.

“I mean,” the gravity girl continued, “I’ve only read a handful of romance novels and manga, but in those the protagonist is usually some tall, muscly guy that gets the shorter girl. In our case, though, we’re both taller than our boyfriends. Like, a lot taller. Would that be considered weird to most people?” There was a silence as Momo thought about Uraraka’s words.

“A fair point,” Momo conceded. “But think of it this way. If our life was a manga, what if we’re the protagonists?” This gave Ochako pause. The two girls stopped walking and leaned against a tree to contemplate this before they noticed the air began to smell funny.

“Do any of the 1-B students have a scent quirk?” Uraraka asked.

“No,” Momo’s eyes narrowed. As she said this, both girls saw a bank of purple gas flowing in their direction. The instant they saw it, Momo yanked her shirt up and spat out a pair of gas masks. The girls got the masks on mere moments before they heard Mandalay’s telepathic scream.

“ATTENTION ALL STUDENTS! THERE ARE VILLAINS IN THE FOREST! THEY ARE AFTER TOKOYAMI-KUN! RETURN TO THE LODGE AT ONCE! IF YOU ENCOUNTER VILLAINS, AVOID CONFLICT IF POSSIBLE, BUT AIZAWA HAS GRANTED ALL UA STUDENTS AUTHORIZATION TO USE THEIR QUIRKS IN HEROIC ACTION!”

“You heard the lady!” Uraraka yelled as she picked up Momo and ran back down the path. Unfortunately, she was only able to take a few steps before the path in front of her exploded into blue flames. Before Ochako could really process what happened, she just leaped over the flames and rushed back down the path, avoiding any blue fireballs hurled in her direction. During the run, Momo generated a fire extinguisher and used that to put out any flames coming at them.

They emerged from the forest a few minutes later, stepping into the clearing not far from the lodge. In doing so, they stepped into a battlefield.

---

At the same time Ochako and Momo arrived at the clearing, Izuku fired his tether one last time, carrying himself and Kota to the lodge door. Aizawa was standing in the doorway. He took Kota from Izuku’s arm as the two landed.

“Th-there are more villains in th-the forest!” Izuku exclaimed as he reeled in his tether. “I c-couldn’t contact Ragdoll on m-my way in! I’m g-gonna go look for her!”

“Midoriya, no,” Aizawa grabbed his shoulder. “It’s too dangerous. Wait here.”

“Sir!” Izuku resolutely replied. “F-for the duration of th-this camp, Ragdoll is m-my teacher! I h-have an obligation t-to find and s-support her!”

“You’re a student.”

“I-I have a Provisional License!” Izuku continued. “I’m f-fast and agile! I d-do believe scouting f-for Ragdoll will b-be less dangerous, c-considering I do not i-intend to fight the m-main group!”

Aizawa didn’t like that. He didn’t like sending a kid into a dark forest with who knows how many villains. A kid who was so selfless he’d likely have no qualms about sacrificing himself to save someone else.

A kid who already had a provisional license. A kid who fought 2 S-Class villains by himself and won. A small, green-haired kid who had spent the last couple days learning how to quickly navigate these very woods.

He hated, hated, making these decisions. The villains were after the kids this time, not the heroes, and he knows that he can’t go looking himself with the sounds of battle less than two hundred meters away. He and Vlad needed to stay to protect the lodge and any student who made it back. Aizawa may have been more agile and mobile, but this kid wasn’t far behind.

“Alright,” Aizawa groaned in consternation. “Go fast, and return faster.”

“D-don’t worry!” Izuku smiled his big smile. “I-I’ll see you when everyone’s s-safe!” With that, Izuku fired his tether back into the forest, launching himself back into the fray. Aizawa and Kota remained in the doorway.

“I’ll hold you to that, Scouter.”

---

Izuku launched himself between the trees, completely focused on his mission. He needed to find Ragdoll. She was by herself before the attack started. She could be in trouble. He would help her. It was not arrogance that carried him, but determination. That determination, however, froze when he arrived at the clearing.

It was a literal battlefield between the trees. Most of the students had made it to the clearing, but they were far from safe. There were a lot of villains in the clearing, though Izuku noticed a lot of them looked the same. To his further confusion, he witnessed Kendou punch a scarred man with a fire quirk and watched him melt into a blob. A duplication quirk, perhaps? Any chances of a quick analysis was shot when he realized there were almost a half dozen creatures like the Nomu he had seen in the past.

Tiger and Mandalay were the only heroes engaged in combat. A handful of students were tending to a wounded, possibly unconscious, Pixie-Bob. The others were trying to fight best they could. It was an uphill battle, and they were barely holding their ground. It was like the USJ all over again, only this time there weren’t any 1-C students who could miraculously show up and help.

None except him.

He was facing a quandary. Izuku promised Aizawa he wouldn’t try to fight the main group of villains, but he couldn’t leave his friends hanging like this. Narrowing his eyes, he came up with a plan in a handful of seconds. He knew how he could help while mostly avoiding the group. Kind of. Well, the fastest way to the end of the trial’s path was straight across the clearing, so…

He fired his tether at the nearest Nomu. It didn’t even notice him as he flew right at it in a dark blur. No one really noticed him until he sliced off the Nomu’s leg. It almost felt like everyone had slowed down as he fired his tether again, this time punching several villains along the way. He didn’t pay attention to a few of them melting (and one falling unconscious, apparently not a clone) before going after the biggest Nomu. Gritting his teeth in determination, he hacked off an arm and spun around it to cut the other before seeing a brunette blur slam her fist down on the Nomu’s head. As it collapsed, he saw a very pissed off Ochako run by and go after another Nomu. Man, was he glad Ochako was alright.

“Midoriya-kun!” Momo shouted as she ran up to him. He turned to her, confusion plain on his face as he saw she was wearing a gas mask and was armed with what looked like an...M60 Machine Gun? If she made that, she must have been angry.

“Momo, h-have you s-seen Ragdoll anywhere?” he asked.

“No, none of us have!” Momo replied as she lifted her shirt a bit and spat out two gas masks. “I can guess what you’re gonna do, but be careful! There’s some sort of gas flowing through those woods! This one’s yours, the other’s Ragdoll’s! Stay safe, Midoriya-kun!” Izuku simply nodded his response and quickly donned his gas mask before rushing into the woods, hopefully towards Ragdoll. It looked like a few ‘villains’ were about to give pursuit before being reduced to mush after having their legs shot by Momo.

Thanks to Izuku’s assistance, and Ochako & Momo’s timely arrival, the battle had finally begun to turn in the hero’s favor. Unfortunately, one other villain, the real fire user, had been watching from the treeline. He tapped his headset a few times to make sure the others were listening.

“He’s heading your way.”

---

Meat.

He wanted meat.

It had been so long since Moonfish had good meat, and he was hungry. He could smell them, smell the good meat. There was a lot, but it was far away. Too far away. He wanted meat now. Utilizing his quirk, he rushed towards the distant smell fast as he could.

Wait.

There was something closer.

He could get the horde of meat later, he would eat this one now. Turning towards the smell, he yelled and literally sliced through trees with his teeth to reach the sweet meat. He wanted it now.

Moonfish was so focused on getting the meat he failed to notice the sinister saxophone noises it was making.

---

Izuku continued his flight through the woods. He encountered the gas Momo had warned him about a few minutes after leaving the clearing. Thankfully, his mask worked like a charm, and he was completely unaffected. He kept his eyes open for any villains, but curiously didn’t encounter any. Were they all focused on the lodge? If they were, hopefully that would make his mission easier.

Ragdoll had told him the layout of the path for the trial of courage this afternoon, so he knew where she was supposed to be. There was a smaller clearing about half a kilometer into the woods, with a pond. Ragdoll would be sitting on a stump by the water’s edge. It was nice, quiet-

Nothing.

Izuku reached the clearing. Izuku reached the pond with the stump by the water’s edge. And it was empty. Lying on the ground next to the stump was a metal box, spilling a bunch of small medals. The tokens she was supposed to give the students. She had been here. But she wasn’t anymore.

He failed. She was gone. The villains got her. She might very well be dead. In a mixture of dread, rage and agony, Izuku gave a pained scream that echoed through the forest.

His scream was so intense he almost didn’t notice someone drop from the trees and swing a knife at him.

Almost.

He jumped aside in time to avoid the knife that went through where his arm used to be. Drawing his arm blade, he saw the knife in question was held by a somewhat-taller girl with gold hair in a pair of messy buns. Her yellow eyes looked at him gleefully, and while he couldn’t see her mouth through her mask he could guess she was grinning.

“Aw, you really are cute!” she laughed as she casually spun her knife in her hand. “You’ll be cuter once you get some red on you!” She lunged for him again, faster than he expected. Rather than try to tether away, he opened his arm shield to block the knife. He was thankful Mei had upgraded his shield, too. Instead of a tiny buckler, his arm shield was more like a small tower shield now. It easily blocked the crazy girl’s knife, giving Izuku the chance to draw one of the only knives he had on him to counter.

“W-why are you after T-T-Tokoyami-kun!?” Izuku yelled as he swung his knife at the girl.

“Who knows?” the girl giggled. “We were just told to grab him! Though you’re so cute I might wanna ask if we can grab you instead!”

“You didn’t need to ask.”

Izuku gasped and barely turned toward the second voice before his world went black.

---

After Izuku’s departure, the battle in the clearing turned towards the hero’s favor. Without so many clones to worry about, and the timely arrival of an almost-berserk Tokoyami, the heroes were able to fight down the rest fairly quickly. As they turned their attention to the remaining Noumu, however, the hulking beasts slowly retreated into the forest. Everyone was confused when they just walked away, though Momo (aided by one of the kids from 1-B) managed to get a tracker on one of them. The heroes needed to learn where these things were going.

As the last beast disappeared into the woods, everyone heard a howl. It wasn’t a wolf howl. Still tense from the battle, everyone got ready for another fight when they saw something literally come flying from the treeline. To everyone’s shock, it landed not far from the corpse of the Noumu Ochako had smashed. Looking closer, Mandalay was able to identify the new arrival as the serial killer Moonfish, but he did not look good. He was covered in wounds, and it looked like all his teeth had been ripped out. As she relayed this to everyone else, everyone heard something like a saxophone play a few notes before fading away.

After that last addition, everyone settled down. Aizawa came down from the lodge once he was certain the fighting was over to inform everyone that other heroes and medics would be arriving shortly. He had called for them the instant after Mandalay relayed her message. Everyone who was still conscious scoured the woods for any remaining students. They felt relief as more and more students were accounted for. In fact, all the Hero Course students were alive and safe.

But Izuku had not returned.

Once the battle ended, Ochako had helped scour the woods for students, using her lessened gravity trick to move around at high speed. Despite her efforts, she returned to the clearing empty-handed with eyes full of tears. It took a few minutes, but everyone slowly realized the significance of this.

Izuku and Ragdoll had been taken by the League of Villains.

---

Principal Nedzu rubbed his head after receiving the news from Tsukauchi. While they had managed to evade the massacre that Nighteye saw in his vision, it really didn’t make him feel better knowing a Pro Heroine and a student were still captured. How did the villains find them? If they were after Tokoyami, why take Izuku? As he thought these, his phone started ringing. Not even checking the ID, he slapped the Speaker Phone button.

“Principal Nedzu speaking,” he wearily groaned, “and unless you have good news I ask that you don’t say anything at all.”

“Nedzu,” Thrawn’s voice spoke through the line. “Did something happen?”

“A very bad thing, yes,” the mammal groaned. “Don’t suppose you have good news, Thrawn?”

“Not quite,” the man on the other end admitted, “but if you wait a half hour I most certainly will.”

---

Re-Destro was in a tizzy. Something had been happening to his Meta Liberation Army. It had started a few weeks ago, with small cells dropping contact. He was in contact with a few of them, and heard their perimeter alarms had triggered before going silent. Worse yet, any men he sent to check on these safehouses and cells never reported back.

And now here he was, in a secret compound with a scant three thousand “soldiers” of his army. Before everything started happening, his army was over ten thousand big. This group was possibly all that was left. They needed to lay low until he could recruit more. He needed to recruit more, if he was to liberate Japan, and eventually the world.

“Sir!” one of his people, a blue-skinned reporter, looked up from a console she had been working at. “Our perimeter alarms just triggered!” Just like everywhere else. Meaning whatever happened to rest of his people had found them and was coming here. He would not let this last vestige of the Army fall without a fight.

“Which ones?” he asked. The woman seemed to pale a bit.

“All of them.”

Re-Destro barely processed her words before the wall behind him exploded.

Notes:

So, how was that? Got some good stuff mixed in with the heaps of bad.

Next time, we see how Izuku and Ragdoll react to being captured by the League, and we see the final moments of the Meta Liberation Army, courtest of Thrawn.

Chapter 45: Loss and Threat

Notes:

Howdy folks! Bet you didn't expect another update so soon! Me either, for the most part. XD

We are swiftly approaching what I hope will be considered the "master stroke" of this fanfic, so you might be getting some faster updates for a while. Might. Depends on how things go.

Now, go forth and read!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Re-Destro groaned as he felt something slap his face. What happened? Last thing he remembered was being in front of an exploding wall. As he slowly woke up, he could feel he was in a sitting position, with something wrapped tightly around his arms. When he finally opened his eyes, he was met with a horrifying sight.

His compound had been taken. The place was swarming with soldiers, actual soldiers , armed with heavy rifles. Along with the soldiers, there were a fair few intimidating giant robots. Not like the ‘mecha’ Japan had been talking about in the past, but more like mobile weapon platforms. Alongside those were a few soldiers with gigantism quirks, each holding a rifle the size of a bus. They were all bearing an emblem of a ten-pointed star inside a decagon. They looked more professional than his own army.

Speaking of his own army, he could see the vast majority of his forces had been captured. A lot of them had clearly been shot down, and the rest had surrendered to the overwhelming power that had attacked them. There was no doubt these were the people who had been taking out their cells across Japan, and now they had conquered the Meta Liberation Army’s last bastion.

“On your feet,” one of the enemy soldiers ordered as he pulled Re-Destro up. “Boss wants to talk to you.” The soldier pulled, almost dragged, Re-Destro towards one of the giant robots. Standing at the feet of the robot was a group of soldiers, and among them was a tall man with blue skin and vibrant red eyes. He was dressed in a white uniform, and was holding a large lizard much the same way a man would hold a pet cat. As Re-Destro got closer, he could see and hear the man seemed to be scolding the blue-skinned lady from his army, Chitose Kizuki. Re-Destro could clearly hear him say “Imagine what my dear sister would think.” before directing some soldiers to take her away.

“And here he is,” the blue man smirked at Re-Destro. “The man behind this army. I’m sorry, did I say army? I apologize, but I find myself more intimidated by the local girl scout troop, Rikiya Yotsubashi.”

“I am Re-Destro,” the bound villain glared.

“Honestly, Admiral Thrawn” a random soldier spoke up from the crowd, “that sounds like a type of microwave.”

“New from Ronco!” another soldier yelled. “The Re-Destro microwave! Re-heats your meals re-markably!” These two remarks got a laugh from the surrounding soldiers, and even a chuckle from the blue man before him. Re-Destro was getting angry. He tensed up, making his bindings groan.

“Simmer down, Carmine,” Thrawn shook his head before looking back at Re-Destro. “You have two options, Rikiya. You can either come in quietly, or you can come in a body bag. Your choice.”

“You think I’ve truly lost?” the villain growled. “This is just a setback! So long as our society pushes people into specific niches because of their quirks, the Meta Liberation Army will always come back!”

“I didn’t ask for a speech,” the blue man deadpanned. “I gave you a choice between two outcomes. Make your decision before my boys make it for you.”

“HERE’S MY DECISION!” Re-Destro screamed as he activated his quirk. The soldiers holding him quickly leaped away as the villain’s body expanded and hardened. Thrawn watched with disinterest as Re-Destro towered above him, his mouth twisted in a condescending sneer as he waved his hand.

“STRESS OUTPUT BURDEN!”

From Re-Destro’s hand, a wave of black energy shot out on a collision course with Thrawn. The blue officer didn’t even move as it approached. Then, to Re-Destro’s shock, the wave just dissipated a few meters from Thrawn, like water hitting rocks. He was so focused on the wave, he didn’t notice Thrawn’s pet lizard suddenly had glowing eyes.

“You have chosen poorly,” Thrawn sighed in feigned resignation. Turning to his soldiers, he shouted, “Boys, would you care to show Re-Destro the might of American ingenuity?”

The last thing Re-Destro would ever hear was the sound of dozens of American energy rifles.

---

The world came back slowly for Midoriya Izuku. He sat up before groaning in pain and holding the back of his head. Whatever hit him back there got him good. Finally opening his eyes, he saw he was in a small, mostly unfurnished room. He was on a cot, and across from was another cot...with Ragdoll laying on it.

“RAGDOLL!” Izuku shouted as he practically leaped off his cot and knelt next to the heroine. He gently shook her shoulder. “R-Ragdoll! Please w-w-wake up!” To his relief, the heroine stirred with only a few shakes. She opened her eyes slowly, looking at Izuku in confusion.

“Midoriya…” she whispered.

“We were c-captured by villains,” Izuku explained as he looked at the display on his prosthetic. “We’ve b-been here f-for a few hours. Are you f-feeling okay? How d-d-did they capture y-you?”

“...I was sitting on that stump,” Ragdoll remembered as she sat up. “I smelled something, and noticed some weird mist in the area. I tried to call for help, but I don’t think I managed before passing out.”

“Sounds l-like they w-went after you f-first,” Izuku sighed in dismay. He fiddled with his prosthetic a bit more before sighing again. “C-can’t call anyone. M-must have a quirk th-that blocks communication somewhere.” As he finished, Ragdoll closed her eyes.

“...I can feel seven people close by, with two approaching,” the heroine replied as she opened her eyes, “but not really many other people in the immediate area. I think we’re in an isolated part of a city.”

“N-need more info before w-we can plan an escape attempt,” Izuku muttered before the two prisoners heard the click of a lock. Turning to the door, it swung open and revealed the girl who attacked Izuku the previous night and some shorter boy in a middle school gakuran and a weird helmet/mask. The girl was smiling and brandishing a knife...wait, that was one of Izuku’s knives.

“Boss wants to talk~,” the girl giggled.

“Don’t try anything,” the boy tried and failed to sound menacing while brandishing a small revolver. The two prisoners just glowered, but got up and followed the villains out. As they walked, Izuku took the time to pat himself down, sighing when he learned all his knives were gone. During the walk, the two villains chatted to each other, giving the names Toga and Mustard in the process. What kind of villain name was “Mustard?” Izuku suddenly felt like he needed to keep an eye out for people named Ketchup and Relish. And he was praying there wasn’t a villain named Mayonnaise.

He hated mayonnaise.

After spending a couple minutes walking down dark hallways, they found themselves in a tidy bar. The villains that attacked the camp were present, all looking at the new arrivals. Izuku spotted Shigaraki along with Kurogiri sitting at the bar, and around the booths he saw a man dressed like a magician, someone covered in burn scars, and a man in a tight suit with a full face mask. The hairs on the back of Izuku’s neck were ramrod straight. Each one of these people was bad news. Especially Shigaraki, who was sneering at them.

“Nice to see you could join us, runt.”

“N-Nice to see you f-finally invested in skin c-c-care products,” Izuku replied, trying to hide his fear behind a witty remark. Fortunately, it seemed to work as half the villains laughed at the comment while Shigaraki just stared in stunned offense.

“I like this one,” a villain dressed as a magician snorted.

“You shouldn’t,” the hand villain growled. “Damn runt is the reason no one paid attention to us until now.”

“Calm yourself, Shigaraki,” a new voice called out from a nearby doorway, catching the villain’s attention. “Wouldn’t want to make our guest feel unwelcome.”

“Too late,” Ragdoll whispered. Izuku, meanwhile, was frozen in place. The instant that new voice spoke, Izuku was filled with a sense of unfathomable dread. He slowly turned his head towards the doorway and saw another man. The man looked tall, but it was hard to tell as he was in a fancy-looking wheelchair. He wore a nice suit, with a weird metal mask. There were hoses connected to that mask that ran to a few tanks on the back of the wheelchair. If Izuku thought his voice was scary, seeing him made that dread even worse. He had never seen him before, never heard him, but he knew exactly who this was.

This was the man Ochako had told him about. The villain that crippled All Might. The monster who had been terrorizing Japan since quirks manifested.

“All For One…”

---

Yabin General Hospital was full and in a tizzy. Being the closest to the summer camp, all the wounded from the camp were taken to that hospital. Even with how big it was, almost the entire ground floor was filled up with wounded heroes and unconscious students.

Most of the unconscious students were from Class 1-B, and most of the wounded students were 1-A. On the plus side, almost all the 1-A students were still conscious, and the gas that affected the 1-B kids was similar enough to Midnight’s own that the doctors were able to administer the appropriate medicine. None of this good news helped to lighten the overall mood, though. Despite the fact no one died, despite the fact they had captured a handful of villains, they still lost Izuku and Ragdoll to the League. The conscious members of 1-B were just as distraught as 1-A...but none were more distraught than Ochako.

The tall student just sat in the waiting room close to the doors. In her hands was her phone. She had stayed there for the past four hours, not moving an inch since making that terrible phone call to Inko and Melissa. She had been crying so hard she was barely able to tell them Izuku was gone. After that, Tsuyu had to take the phone to tell them where they all were. She heard Inko say they were coming, and after that was painful silence.

An hour and a half after the call, the doors opened and Ochako watched Inko, Midnight, Melissa and Eri step in. All four had looks of worry as Ochako got to her feet. Her eyes were still red and puffy from all the crying she did. She walked over to the group as they ran over to her.

“Ochako…” Melissa said with a worried tone.

“...Mel…” Ochako almost whispered. “...I...I lost him, Mel. I promised I’d p-protect him, and-” She was cut off by Melissa pulling her into a tight hug.

“It’s alright, Ochako,” Melissa whispered. “I know you tried your best.” At those words, it was proven that Ochako did indeed have more tears to shed. Her crying came back with a vengeance, and she just sunk to her knees from how hard the tears came. Melissa knelt with her, maintaining her hug.

“I LOST HIM!” Ochako sobbed into Melissa’s shoulder.

“And I’m not mad at you,” Melissa reassured as she gently kissed Ochako’s forehead. “I could never be mad at you, and I know Izuku wouldn’t be mad either.” After another minute, Melissa gently released Ochako. “Talk to Inko, Kayama and Eri. They’ll help you feel better, I need to make a call.” Ochako nodded and got to her feet, turning towards Izuku’s family and Midnight. As the hero student talked to the three girls, Melissa took a few steps away and pulled out her cell phone. Hitting a few buttons, she looked to make sure none of the others were listening as she held the phone to her ear.

“Yo?” Mei asked from the other end. “It’s not like you to call this time of night, Mel.”

“The League of Villains abducted Izuku,” Melissa whispered with a venomous tone. “Grab that locator...and prep the Sabers.”

---

Izuku felt like he committed a grave error when he whispered those three words.

The minute he uttered the name of the man before him, every villain in the bar was looking at him. Some in confusion, as though they had never heard the name before. One or two in shock, clearly not expecting Izuku to know that moniker. Shigaraki had a furious glare, but when didn’t he? Most terrifying, though, was the pervasive cold feeling that emanated from the villain and seeped into Izuku’s bones.

“Young man,” the monstrosity in a wheelchair asked with a calm tone, “where did you learn that name?”

“...A-All Might t-t-told me about y-you,” Izuku stuttered after a few seconds. Ragdoll looked as confused as most of the villains, but All For One himself recoiled like someone held stinky cheese under his nose.

“Is that right?” he asked.

“Y-yes,” Izuku affirmed, trying to push his lie home. He didn’t want this monster to get any hint of Ochako being the Ninth Holder. “M-my turn. W-why were you after T-T-Tokoyami-kun at th-the camp? What w-was your p-plan with him?” There was a brief silence before All For One and the older villains just started laughing. Why were they laughing? Izuku, Ragdoll, and the two villains who escorted them were very confused.

“Did we…” Toga started.

“...miss something?” Mustard finished.

“What a noble child,” the villain dressed like a magician snickered.

“Young man,” All For One leaned forward in his chair, his mirth clear in his voice. “The truth is, we didn’t want young Tokoyami. I mean, we would have grabbed him if given the chance, but he wasn’t our actual target.”

Izuku’s eyes widened as All For One continued, “No, our actual target was someone else. Someone with a noble and compassionate heart. Someone with a brilliant intellect, and skill enough to face a serial killer. We wanted to grab someone who was so heroic that he would do everything he could to protect a fellow student...including rushing into a forest full of villains.”

Izuku froze. With that final sentence, everything clicked. From the quiet gasp Ragdoll gave, she realized it as well. Tokoyami wasn’t the target. Tokoyami was the bait . And the target they were really after…

...was Midoriya himself.

“W-why me?” he asked, his voice full of shock. “A-and why abduct R-Ragdoll too?”

“Because of your brilliance,” the supervillain lauded, spreading his arms out. “You have quite the head on your shoulders, young man, and I would love to poke around in there. As for Ragdoll, well, I am quite infatuated with her quirk. Thank you for reminding me of what else I came here for.” He stretched out his hand. In under a second his fingers turned into black zig-zag lines and shot at Ragdoll. The heroine gasped and turned to-

THUNK!

Everyone in the room was frozen in place. No one moved, no one seemed to breathe. In the under-three-seconds it took for All For One to extend his talons to steal Ragdoll’s quirk, Izuku moved between the two and let his arm’s shield catch the spines. His previous fear was gone, and his eyes shone with the same determination as when he was protecting Iida and Native from Stain.

“Good reflexes, boy,” All For One admitted as he retracted his spines. “I advise you move, though.”

“I advise you l-listen,” Izuku growled, “while I p-present the t-terms for our imprisonm-m-ment.”

“You think you get to-” Shigaraki hissed as he stood up before Izuku gave an angry wordless shout. No one else tried saying anything. After a few seconds of silence, Izuku retracted his shield. Everyone watched as he slowly reached up to his prosthetic’s upper arm. They watched in silence as he grabbed it and gave it a twist, resulting in a quiet click before he pulled the plating down towards the elbow. Everyone stared in wonder and curiosity at the tubes and cells of glowing red energy.

“...What is that, young man?” All For One asked. He couldn’t see what everyone else was feeling, but he sure could feel it.

“Red Matter,” Izuku stated. “Experimental energy s-s-source invented at UA. Th-they’re thinking of u-using it t-to replace traditional p-plasma cells. H-however it has a r-rather volatile problem I was informed of a w-while ago.”

“Volatile?” the scarred villain asked.

“If exposed to C-C-Class A or C quirk emissions, i-it detonates,” Izuku stated, causing several members of the League to back away.

“...Wait, that’s why you didn’t want me to disintegrate your arm at the mall!” Shigaraki gasped. “Before your little camping trip!”

“C-correct,” Izuku nodded. “W-with the amount of Red M-Matter in my arm, detonation would v-vaporize everything in f-fifteen meters, and engulf everything in fifty in a h-huge fireball.” Izuku glared at All For One. “It’ll d-detonate if exposed to th-those kinds of emissions...o-or if I do this.” Izuku twisted the metal sleeve he had pulled down, and everyone stared in shock as the Red Matter shone brighter and made a high whine. Some villains actually fell over to get away from Izuku.

“Young man,” All For One gasped, “are you saying you would willingly kill everyone, including Ragdoll, to-”

“Yes,” Izuku growled, his voice full of determination. “B-but I don’t want to. So here’s h-how it’ll go. Ragdoll and I w-will not attempt escape, we w-will not attempt to harm anyone. Y-you will not harm us, t-try to remove her q-quirk, or try t-to remove my arm. Y-you break th-the terms…” Izuku twisted the metal sleeve, powering down the Matter, before pulling it back up. “You know w-what will happen.” No one said anything for a good minute, everyone having their own feeling about the small green kid willing to kill an entire room of people with an exploding arm.

“...Fine,” All For One conceded. “Lock them back up in their room. I would like to see Izuku in private later. Kurogiri, send me back.”

As Toga and Mustard (hesitantly) grabbed their prisoners and took them away, Kurogiri opened a portal for All For One to wheel himself back to his own room. The villain was quite unhappy with this turn of events, but he could work with it. He just needed to be patient.

He had been alive for over 200 years. What’s a few more hours to get what he wanted?

Notes:

Yeah...bet you didn't expect too much of what happened. XD

Also, Thrawn has Battletech Mechs. Wanted to make a pic, but it flopped.

Next chapter will be a bit of a tension breaker to help y'all lighten up after these past few chapters. Seriously, you will laugh. Next chapter is one I have brainstormed for EVER because what all goes on in it. See ya next time!

Chapter 46: Threat and Vision

Notes:

Hello again! Remember how in the past I'd say I work fast when motivated? Well, I was super motivated to get this chapter out to you. Seriously, I have had this chapter envisioned and revised in my head for months. This chapter also serves as a tension breaker, cuz you will hopefully be laughing as it goes on.

Now read forth.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

It was the morning after the Summer Camp attack. The sky was mostly cloudy, the air cool with a light breeze. The hallmarks of a coming rain.

Not that All For One could tell, since he was lacking eyes and currently underground.

The supervillain was awake and thinking back to the previous night while ignoring the growls of his latest pet behind him. When he had the younger subordinates bring him the heroine and Midoriya, he had been expecting to leave that night with a new quirk and a frightened student. Instead, Ragdoll kept her quirk and the student had the balls to threaten to atomize everyone in the room. That honestly startled him a little bit. Not just because of the lengths the boy was willing to go…

But also because his quirk didn’t function.

No one, not even Shigaraki and Kurogiri, knew that All For One possessed a true/false quirk. He could listen to someone speak, and his quirk would go over their sentence like a scanner to decipher if it was a truth or a falsehood. No need to track someone’s heartbeat (which could be beat with something as simple as a pacemaker), no need to read someone’s brainwaves (which could be defended against). He could just listen to someone speak and call their lies on the spot. And that was why All For One recoiled in his chair that night. Not because of the threat of explosion, but because his quirk couldn’t read Midoriya!

The villain growled as he remembered that feeling. The child’s damn stutter was preventing his quirk from scanning the child’s words properly, like trying to listen to a scratched CD. The fact he could actually use that analogy showed how old he was. And for the first time in centuries, All For One had no idea if his victim was telling the truth. Could his arm really explode, or was he simply bluffing? Midoriya didn’t seem like the sort of child who’d risk killing a pro heroine like Ragdoll just to stop some villains, and yet apparently the child had mentioned a fraction of that information when Shigaraki cornered him at the mall about almost a week ago. Either he was playing a long con, or Midoriya really did have what amounted to a miniature nuke for an arm. With what he knew, he decided to err on the side of caution. Let the boy keep his arm and the heroine keep her quirk. He would learn the truth anyway, and with any luck it would be fairly quick.

He could feel Kurogiri’s quirk before the black warp gate appeared in his room. He heard a grunt as Midoriya was pushed through, the gate closing behind him. While he couldn’t technically see the boy, he did possess a psychic quirk that let him perceive the area around him. He could effectively see in detail and in color, but only out to a few hundred meters. It was good enough for what he usually did anyways. With this quirk, he could see Midoriya Izuku looking at him and his bound pet with a slightly nervous expression. Boy was trying to act calm.

“Good morning, Izuku,” the villain greeted. “I trust you slept well?”

“N-not really,” Izuku admitted, wincing when the beast behind the villain growled louder. “Kinda h-hard to sleep when s-surrounded by p-people who w-want you dead.”

“Unfortunate,” All For One shrugged, wincing as his true/false quirk buzzed with indecision. He gestured for Izuku to sit in the nearby chair, which Izuku cautiously did. At the same time, All For One activated the handful of mental quirks needed to suppress his truth quirk. No point using it when it doesn’t work. “Anyway, young man, to business. I want what you know about heroes. Every twitch, quirk, and facet.”

“Not telling,” Izuku deadpanned.

“Oh, you don’t need to tell me,” the villain smirked as he rest his hand on Izuku’s head. That simple contact was all the villain needed to activate a minor paralysis quirk that froze Midoriya in place. “I have a simple mind-reading quirk. One that lets me view your memories like a library of books and videos. True to my word, it is completely harmless. Once I get what I want to know, I’ll let you and Ragdoll go.”

“And i-if I resist?” Izuku glowered. He knew that, if All For One got what he knew, so many heroes would die.

“I’ll just keep you here until I get what I want,” the villain sneered. “Now, to business.” Before Izuku could say anything else, All For One dove into his mind.

It was a bumpy ride into his psyche, indicating Midoriya was resisting. Such a strong mind on such a young man. He would have to take care not to shatter it like he usually does with his victims. After a minute, he emerged in Izuku’s personal mindspace.

With how All For One’s quirk worked, it looked like a room filled with decorations that represented what Izuku considered important. There were sculptures of buildings where important events occurred. He saw one sculpture of a skyscraper with Midoriya and All Might on top. Judging from how the image of Midoriya was crying, it must not have been a pleasant memory. There were also photos of people important in his life. Most interesting, and curious, among these was a photo lying on the ground. It depicted Midoriya and some blond-haired boy, but the picture was bent and the frame was cracked and burning. Looking up, he could see the spot this photo had previously sat was filled with a photo of two older girls (one of whom he recognized as the girl who won the sports festival) with a younger white-haired girl between them. He was curious about that. Maybe he’d encounter that information with the heroes.

Walking past the photos and the sculptures and the random plushie of a blue imp thing with bells and too many teeth, All For One found his destination. In the very back of the mind room was an actual door. Behind here would be a hallway with doors to his individual memory rooms. All the villain would have to do is think of Izuku’s memories of heroes, and he would find that library instantly. He smirked as he opened the door, beheld the hallway lined with doors, and walked to the first door, which was conveniently marked “1.” Now he would learn every hero fact this brilliant young man possessed. He grabbed the handle and pulled the door open.

There was not a library on the other side. Instead he beheld a large, opulent and rather pointy bedroom. At the far end of the room was the bed in question. Laying upon it was some blue lizardman who looked rather withered. The creature’s breath was quite ragged. It turned to look at All For One and managed to rasp a single “...I…” before the villain closed the door.

“...This young man has received training,” All For One admitted. He knew his mental quirk wasn’t completely unstoppable, but it was still surprising to see Izuku could resist. Oh well. It was unlikely this boy could resist for very long. Humming to himself, All For One simply walked to the next door, marked “2,” and pulled it open.

All For One gazed through the door and found himself looking over a vast limestone cliff. At the base of the cliff, in an oval-shaped hole, was a massive whirlpool. Standing at the edge of the cliff were two men All For One did not recognize. One looked fairly plain, with a mustache and wearing scuba gear. The other man, however, looked like he was made of melted plastic. After a moment, the scuba man looked at the villain and held something out to him.

“I gotta go in there, man!” the scuba man shouted. “Here, hold my wallet!”

All For One just shook his head and closed the door. Maybe this would take a bit longer than he thought.

---

At Yabin General Hospital, students were being discharged with the sunrise. A lot of the 1-B students were being kept a bit longer to make sure the toxins from the gas were fully gone, but 1-A was fully released.

Ochako exited with the Midoriyas, Midnight and Melissa. She had stopped crying last night, but was still depressed. She hadn’t said anything since the previous night, choosing to simply stay in Melissa’s embrace. She followed the group to a nearby outdoor diner so they could eat a decent breakfast before heading back to Musutafu. Ochako ate her meal slowly, eyes down. Eri, sitting on Ochako’s lap, wasn’t much better. She missed her papa. As the group ate, there was a sudden commotion as a red blur appeared in front of Ochako.

“There you are!” Kirishima shouted as he leaned on the table, startling everyone. “Listen, Ochako, we-” He stopped when he realized Midnight was at the table as well. “...Um, Uraraka-san, can we talk in private?”

“Not in the mood, Kirishima-kun,” Ochako sighed. Kirishima sighed before looking at the heroine.

“Can you plug your ears, sensei?” Kirishima asked. “I need to tell her something...secret.”

“Just pretend I’m not here,” Midnight shrugged. “I promise not to spill the beans about anything.” Her student sighed and turned back to Ochako.

“Uraraka-san, some of us are gonna try to get Midoriya-kun back.”

“WHAT!?” Ochako and Midnight shouted at the same time, startling the others again.

“What do you mean?” Ochako asked, expressing more emotion than she had for the past 24 hours.

“Yaomomo managed to place a tracking device on one of those Nomu things,” the redhead explained. “She made a tracker for the heroes. She’s agreed to make another one. A few of us are gonna get together outside the hospital in a few hours to go over things. We even got some 1-B kids to help, too.”

“Kirishima-kun,” Midnight said with an authoritative tone as she gripped his shoulder, “what you’re suggesting is crazy, dangerous, and definitely against the law.” After a few tense moments, she gave a sinister smile. “You’ll need more help.”

“...Sensei are you-” Melissa started.

“I’m not technically in the hero group that’s planning the rescue,” Midnight stated as she leaned back, “but I am gonna be told when everything’s ready. Grab your buddies, and let’s head back to Musutafu. I got a few more kids in mind to help.” She internally smiled at the shocked expressions on her student’s faces. She knew they expected her to shoot them down, but she wanted Izuku back just as much as they did. Who knew what those bastards were doing to Inko’s son?

---

All For One stood in front of the open Door 21 with a face of utter confusion. Behind that door was an open expanse that went further than the eye could see. He couldn’t see the ground, however, due to the sheer amount of walnuts covering it. To add to his confusion, the villain also saw more walnuts were raining from the empty sky. The level of nuts on the ground never increased, and the none of the nuts exited the door. Uncertain what to make of it, he just closed the door and moved to Door 22.

Behind that one was a simple living room with what looked like half a dozen stuffed felt animals mingling about. A couple were watching Tv, one was reading a book, and one that looked like a green frog was at the counter chopping vegetables. Suddenly, All For One noticed a large pair of eyes peering in through the window. The frog saw these eyes and gasped, pointing at them dramatically.

“Look, everyone! Gonzo’s coming through the window!”

The villain closed the door as the felt animals turned their attention to the newcomer. This had already taken longer than he expected. Far longer than even most heroes he had used this quirk on. Midoriya truly was a mountain of mental fortitude. The villain knew he would win, though. He always did. With that, he continued down the hall, to the next door.

-

Door 26

This door contained a movie theater. All For One was impressed to see there was a centuries-old movie playing on the screen. To his amusem*nt, there were two robots and a human sitting in the front row making jokes at the movie’s cheesiness. If he weren’t on a mission he might have tried to join them. Even with his task ahead of him, the villain was tempted to take a break to join them. Sadly, duty called, and he shut the door.

-

Door 31

All For One opened this door and found himself looking out at an empty street at night. The lampposts were flickering, there were boxes and litter everywhere, and standing in the middle of the street was one man. Well, saying he was standing would be inaccurate. Rather, the man was dancing frantically to unheard music, his eyes shut with concentration.

“...Hello?” All For One called out.

“Can’t stop now!” the man shouted. “The weasels are closing in!”

All For One blinked at this announcement and looked around the road again, noting that there was literally no one else outside. Admitting this door held no clue to the library he was looking for, the villain shut it and moved on.

-

Door 36

This door looked like it held promise. Opening it revealed a factory line. Perhaps it was a factory for the notebooks holding his knowledge? All For One leaned in the door to follow the line with his eyes. Unfortunately, looking at the end revealed this factory was dedicated to the creation of chocolate monkeys.

“...Drat,” All For One stated before closing the door.

-

Door 42

All For One pulled this door open, only to be met with another door. The second door, however, was made of tarnished metal. He reached out to open this one too, only for it to suddenly open from the inside. The person who opened it was a tall man with tanned skin, wearing light-colored clothes with a cape and a turban. Behind the man, All For One could see a stone labyrinth that would make M. C. Escher proud. The villain and the man looked at each other in surprise for several moments.

“...You poking around a mindscape, too?” the man asked. All For One nodded in reply. “...Good luck with that.” The man closed the metal door again. All For One stood in place for several more moments before closing his door.

-

Door 45

Opening this door, All For One saw a large stone chamber, like something out of a video game. There were two figures standing in it. One was a somewhat short blond man in green clothes with pointed ears. Standing a few meters away was a huge man with dark skin and vibrant red hair. The tall man was holding some sort of gold triangle charm and said something about it before the blond man gave a shout and pulled a shotgun from out of nowhere.

“Whoa!” the taller man shouted and flailed at the blond man. “Holy sh*t, you got a gun!? Oh, oh I didn’t know you had a gun! Here take the Triforce!” The man dropped the gold charm (which sounded like a coin) before walking away. “f*ck this! Guns are dangerous.”

The blond man watched the redhead walk away, keeping the shotgun pointed at him. Once the man left the room, the blond elf turned to All For One with a wide smile. The villain found himself greatly unsettled and closed the door.

-

Door 49

“...NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU-”

SLAM!

---

Back in Musutafu, Principal Nedzu was sitting in his office with a chess set on his desk. In the office with him were Aizawa, All Might, Sir Nighteye, Grand Moff Taahkin and their most recent guest, Thrawn. They had just finished hearing Thrawn explain what his group had been doing.

To think the Meta Liberation Army was still around…” All Might stated.

“They are not a problem anymore,” the blue-skinned man pointed out. “And with them gone, you can focus on your current dilemma.”

“The League of Villains,” Nedzu nodded. “I admit, I had been caught off-guard by them.” He started moving different chess pieces around the board. “I had increased security after Midoriya’s encounter in the mall. Then I changed the location of the summer camp after Nighteye’s vision. The only way they could have figured out where the camp was is if they attached that tracker after the bus left the school.”

“I think it happened when we fueled up,” Aizawa pointed out. “The bus had to refuel partway on the trip. Kaminari explained the woman who handled the gassing had blond hair and blond eyes with fangs, similar to some of the villain clones we dealt with at the camp.”

“I looked up the fuel schedule,” Nedzu added. “The AI wasn’t updated, but our staff told me they did refuel the bus early in the morning. The League has a villain with a warp gate quirk. He could have somehow used his quirk to siphon the gas from the tank. Yes, that makes sense.”

“In other news,” Nighteye stepped forward, “the tracking device created by Yaoyorozu Momo indicates the beast it’s attached to is inside a warehouse in Kamino Ward. We’re having a bit of trouble getting undercover cops to investigate the area, though.”

“Could always hire a few vigilantes to do that for you,” Thrawn pointed out. Upon seeing everyone’s stiff expressions, the blue American sighed. “Right, I keep forgetting Japanese heroes despise vigilantes.”

“It is a good idea, though,” Taahkin admitted. “I could see if I can spare a few investigators to find a vigilante or two willing to help. I think I remember hearing about some ‘Spinning’ individual working in that area.”

“Have them look for a few blocks around, as well,” Thrawn suggested. “If this villain is indeed half as smart as you tell me he is, he won’t have everything under the same roof.”

You think so?” the Number One Hero asked.

“Think of it this way,” Thrawn explained. “In any military compound, the soldiers will sleep in one building while the heavy weapons, in this case the ‘Nomu’ creatures, are kept in a separate place that’s close enough for quick retrieval but far enough away that hitting one structure won’t affect the other. If we hit the warehouse and they only have the creatures there, the villains would escape.”

“A smart idea,” Nedzu said as he moved a knight to tip over a rook. “Go along with that Taahkin.” The older detective nodded resolutely. “As for everyone else, we have a press conference to rehearse for.”

“When are we doing it?” Aizawa groaned.

“We’ll do it after we figure out where the villains are all located.” Nedzu smirked. Yeah, he was forming a plan.

---

All For One stood frozen in front of the current door. His hand hovered over the handle, almost touching it. His eyes lingered on the handle for a few seconds before moving up to look at the number on the door.

69.

He knew Midoriya was a pure soul. He knew Midoriya was a kind, compassionate, and modest young man. But that didn’t change the fact Midoriya was indeed a man. One who had spent his entire schooling in public schools, where jokes involving that particular number were somewhat commonplace. Part of All For One was dreading opening that door and seeing something...raunchy.

On the other hand, chances were Midoriya knew he would hesitate at that number. He might allow the library to be behind that door. If that was the case and All For One skipped it, he wouldn’t encounter it until his second attempt. With how his quirk worked, he could not backtrack to a previous door. He could only go forward. With that fact in place, All For One took a breath and yanked the door open.

Woooooooooooow~!

The room beyond was bright pink, and hazy. In the middle of the room was a single, large bed. Sitting on that bed were two ladies that All For One recognized from the photos in the main room. Melissa and Ochako. They were both staring at him with hearts in their eyes. They were also both wearing revealing negligee, but thankfully the villain didn’t see anything thanks to the existence of Conveniently-Placed Objects. In this case, said objects were floating bowls of Katsudon. As All For One was frozen in shock, the girl he recognized as Melissa gave him a wide smile.

“Ara ara, Midoriya-kyuuun~...”

All For One slammed the door shut before anything else could occur. Honestly, he didn’t know why he expected anything else. The villain took a breath to compose himself before moving to the next door.

-

Door 72

Still reeling from three doors prior, All For One slowly pulled this door open. Beyond the threshold was a dark expanse, like a cave. Around ten meters in he saw something glowing, but he was too far away to see what it was. With the placement of the light, however, he could see there was something else in there. Knowing he technically had access to all his quirks in this space, All For One summoned a globe of brilliant light to illuminate the chamber.

He froze when he discovered the other thing inside that chamber was a massive skeleton monster. It wasn’t moving at him, but rather slowly nodded it’s skull up and down. The lit object was resting right underneath it’s jaw. The object had to be a trap. Feeling said object had nothing to do with Izuku’s mental library, the villain decided to Nope right out of there and closed the door.

-

All For One stood in front of the open Door 77 chuckling. Inside the room was a dancing fat man with a bad toupe and tiny hands. The villain laughed at both the person and the song. Not only was the song comprised of the same two words shouted over and over, but he had encountered that same song almost a dozen doors back, though that time it was set to a fat 2D rabbit plodding around a dark expanse. The fact the song was repeating meant Izuku’s resolve was finally weakening. Good thing, too. The villain had been in here for hours. If All For One encountered any sort of mental shock at this point, he would be ejected from Izuku’s mind.

Shutting this door, he moved to open Door 78, and grinned wide. He found not a library, but a space like a warehouse. There were books and boxes and folders, all arranged alphabetically, and he saw the nearest shelf was labeled “ALL MIGHT.” He found it.

Stepping inside that space, All For One could smell the knowledge in there. Oh yes, he would have fun browsing all these shelves. All these books and boxes containing details about every hero Izuku had ever analyzed. More than enough information for All For One to conceive ways to exploit or kill them.

As he stepped inside, he came to a screeching halt. There, laying by itself just before the All Might shelf, was a small binder. A binder with his title on it. Did Izuku already attempt an analysis on him? He knew All Might told the boy about him (he didn’t know why though, since the boy clearly wasn’t his successor), but he was curious what the boy thought about him. Deciding to indulge his curiosity, the villain grabbed the binder and opened it. To his surprise, it didn’t list any fact or theories. It held a single piece of paper with a single sentence written on it.

I guess you’ve never seen this movie.

After reading this sentence, the villain realized he wasn’t alone in this mindspace. Something else was running in his direction. He turned in time to see something large with a lot of teeth come barreling at him. Before he could even try to repel it, the creature slammed into him, giving him a mental shock.

-

All For One screamed as he was knocked out of Izuku’s mindspace. The greenette boy just fell to the ground, taking deep breaths to recover from the mental exertion. All For One himself was also taking deep breaths and coughing. His coughs were loud enough that he didn’t even notice his new pet positively screaming from the frame it was trapped inside. He did not expect that at all. Who would have thought a quirkless kid would have the mental fortitude needed to hold back his probing until he could be expelled? He looked around the room, seeing Kurogiri was present along with the flamethrower Dabi, like he had arranged for earlier. Looking down at the coughing boy, the villain grit his teeth.

“Send him back to his cell,” the supervillain ordered. “It’ll be a few days before I can try again.” The misty barkeep nodded and created a gate right under the boy, letting him fall back into his room. With him gone, All For One looked at Dabi. “Restrict that brat and his heroine to one meal a day. Let’s see how resistant he is with an empty stomach.”

“I thought you said you wouldn’t hurt him,” Dabi pointed out.

“I did,” All For One sneered, “but limiting their food intake isn’t directly harming them, now is it? Go inform the others of the prisoner’s new meal schedule.”

Dabi narrowed his eyes, but nodded and departed through another gate. After he left, All For One groaned and wiped his face. That could have gone better.

---

At the same time All For One was recovering from his mental expedition, two different groups of heroes were planning a rescue operation.

Notes:

Told you you'd laugh. XD

Telling you now, each one of those doors was referencing something. Doors 21 and 22 were family in-jokes for my sisters, and I think we all know what Doors 49 and 69 represented. But how many other doors did you recognize? XD I'll leave a list at the end of next chapter explaining what each door was referencing.

Next chapter will take a bit longer to get out, and will be a transitory chapter of sorts. We are swiftly approaching the master stroke of this fic. See ya later!

Chapter 47: Vision and Preparation

Notes:

Hey everyone! Sorry for missing a month like that. I just got burned out. Don't want that to happen so I'mma take this moment to announce that, after the Kamino fight (aka end of season), this fic will be taking a short hiatus. Still got a few chapters before that point, so don't worry. XD

Now read on and see what goes on during the second day of Izuku's and Ragdoll's imprisonment.

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Izuku nervously stood in front of Aldera Junior High. It was his first year here, and he hoped it would be better than his earlier school years. He took one step through the doors and suddenly found himself surrounded by other students. They were all glaring at him venomously, and right in front of him was Bakugou Katsuki with his ever-present sneer.

“H-hello?” Izuku nervously greeted. Bakugou walked up to the shorter greenette and gently set his hand on Izuku’s shoulder.

“Pay attention, everyone!” he yelled. “This is what I call the Quirkless Handshake!” Izuku’s eyes barely widened before Bakugou tightened his grip on his shoulder and used his free hand to punch Izuku in the gut. The smaller boy coughed and fell to his knees. “If any of you meet a quirkless, that’s the only way to greet them!” Everyone in the crowd laughed like Bakugou had told the funniest joke in the world before walking away from the two. Izuku stayed on his knees while Bakugou towered over him.

“You’ll never be a hero,” Bakugou sneered. “You’re just a quirkless bug. And bugs get SQUISHED!” Izuku felt intense pain as Bakugou’s foot came down on his head.

Izuku gave a loud gasp as his eyes shot open. He had to spend a few moments looking around his surroundings to remember where he was. He wasn’t back in Aldera getting another ‘Quirkless Handshake’ from Bakugou. No, he was still a prisoner of the League of Villains. He wasn’t the only one, either.

Looking in front of him, laying between him and the wall, was a slumbering Ragdoll. Even though the room had two beds, she had requested they sleep on the same bed in case the villains tried to take either one during the night. It was a smart idea, and Izuku agreed immediately. It looked like Ragdoll was having a nicer dream than Izuku had. This thought was followed by Izuku’s rumbling stomach. He groaned as he remembered the only thing he and Ragdoll had eaten yesterday was a small lunch. Their room had a small sink, so water wasn’t an issue, but nowhere to hold food. He was certain Ragdoll would also feel the hunger pangs when she woke up.

They needed to get out of here. He might not know where exactly they were, but if he could disable Kurogiri, he and Ragdoll could escape and evade capture long enough to find help. Until then, the only thing they could do was wait for the right moment to strike.

---

Morning. The camp attack had been the night before last. Today would mark the second day of Izuku and Ragdoll’s abduction.

A few of the students were still bedridden, but most of them (including the 1-B kids that were hit by the gas) were being released. Only the wounded heroines and a few students were being kept for longer.

As the sun rose, shining between the towers of Musutafu, a group of students sat outside a diner. Ochako and Melissa sat with Kirishima, Yaoyorozu, Todoroki, Ashido and Iida. To the surprise of everyone, they were even joined by Tokage, Tsunotori and Itsuka from Class 1-B. They were waiting for the arrival of Midnight with the other group of students she mentioned.

“This is the right address, right?” Ochako asked.

“Absolutely,” Melissa nodded. “I confirmed it last night.”

“We still got a few minutes,” Momo said as she checked her phone before turning to Iida. “Though I am surprised you’re here, Iida-kun. I assumed you’d be yelling at us for conspiring to break a lot of rules.”

“Under any other circ*mstance I would,” Iida admitted, “but since Midnight-sensei is working with you one could argue you have some form of authorization. Plus…” the glasses-wearing teen tensed a bit, “I owe Midoriya-kun my life.”

As everyone else took in the weight of Iida’s words, remembering what happened in Hosu, Tokage looked between Melissa and Ochako. She noted how they were both tall, both had astounding assets, and she had seen them kiss the previous night. Watching them sit together, the splitting girl sighed and rest her head in her arms.

“I really had no chance, huh?” she muttered.

“Pardon?” Pony asked politely.

“Hey there!” the voice of Midnight called out. “Sorry we’re late!” Everyone turned and saw their teacher coming their direction dressed in casual clothes. With her were Kagaro Kiana and Gakushuu Hifumi of Izuku’s class.

“You’re not late,” Kirishima waved as the newcomers sat down.

“Ok,” Kiana asked as she pulled her wings in, “what is this about? Sensei wouldn’t tell us-”

“Midoriya-kun’s been captured by the League of Villains,” Ochako bluntly stated. Kiana and Hifumi stared at her in shock as she continued, “We’re gonna try to help getting him back.”

“Help getting him back?” the rotund Gen Ed student asked.

“The heroes are planning a rescue,” Midnight explained as she sat down.

“We don’t wanna get in their way, really,” Ochako stated, “but we want to be there to help. We know it’s kinda crazy, but your classmate has done so much for everyone here we can’t just sit and do nothing.”

“You’re talking to two students who charged into the USJ to protect Izuku,” Kiana responded with a smirk. “What sort of help are we talking about?”

“First,” Melissa said as she laid out a map for everyone to see, “Yaoyorozu-san managed to slap a tracking device onto one of those ‘Noumu’ things that attacked the summer camp. She’s getting a signal from here.” She gestured to a warehouse compound in Kamino Ward. “However, Mei-chan and I are getting signals from Izuku’s arm over here.” She moved her finger to point to a place close to five kilometers from the warehouses. “She’s talking to the principal about this to make sure the heroes know about both locations.”

“We’re thinking of splitting into two groups to look at both places,” Ochako continued. “We know they have an annoying portal guy, so one team’s gonna head to these warehouses in case they warp Izuku over there. If the heroes manage to rescue him and Ragdoll, fine. But if they got their hands full, we can swoop in and help pull Izuku and Ragdoll away to safety.”

Swooping is bad,” Pony snickered in English.

“Not now, Pony,” Tokage hissed.

“A sound strategy,” Midnight nodded. She turned to Kiana and asked, “I can think of a few more students who could help with this. Think you could contact them later?”

“Absolutely,” Kiana nodded.

“In fact,” Gakushuu spoke up while rubbing his chin, “you say they have that portal guy, right? Maybe we can actually use that to our advantage…”

---

Nedzu watched as Hatsume left his office with the rest of the heroes. She had just informed them of where Izuku was located (or at least his arm), and they were leaving to get things arranged. The mammal let out a breath as he leaned back in his chair. His anger had been at Stage one - Bristling the entire meeting, and having some time to himself would help calm him down. Despite the extra work, that was just the break they needed. Tomorrow night would be the press conference. Tomorrow night would be the rescue. They would get back Ragdoll. They would get back his-

A knock on the door shook him from his thoughts. Hitting the button on his desk to open the door, he was surprised to see Eri walk in. Even more surprising, she was by herself.

“Eri?” the principal asked as he slid off his chair and approached the silent child. “Is something wrong? Where’s Inko-san?”

“Grandma’s waiting outside,” Eri whispered. This was progress. According to Melissa and Inko, Eri hadn’t said a word since she heard Izuku was kidnapped. As Nedzu got closer, he could see her eyes were watering a bit.

“What is it, Eri?” Nedzu whispered, feeling a hint of worry. Eri didn’t respond at first. After a moment, though, she rushed forward and hugged Nedzu tight, burying her face in his shoulder. The mammal was surprised at the sudden contact, but that surprise was shoved aside when he felt his shoulder getting wet.

“Eri?”

“Please…” Eri whispered. “Please save my papa...I...I don’t want to lose my papa again…”

At those words, Nedzu hugged Eri tight. With her face in his shoulder, she didn’t see the look in his eyes. The furious, determined glint that was usually only seen by villains before they found their insides falling through their outsides.

“Eri,” Nedzu whispered back, “as principal of UA High School, as a pro hero, and as founder of both the Death Star Investigations Agency and Pentastar Securities...I swear we will get your papa back from those vile beasts, and make them suffer for taking him.”

Stage three.

Threatening.

---

After delivering the meager lunch to the imprisoned heroes, Dabi groaned and stretched his arms while walking back into the bar. Shigaraki was in his personal room playing some game, Compress was taking a nap in a nearby booth. Kurogiri was the only conscious and present villain. Dabi didn’t feel too bad over their losing Moonfish and Muscular during the attack, but he felt some negativity at Magne’s capture. She seemed like a smart one. He found himself wondering what she would be thinking right now. Oh well. He walked towards the front door before Kurogiri looked up.

“Where are you going?” the misty barkeep asked.

“Just taking a walk,” the pyromancer answered.

“Don’t you think it’s a little dangerous for you?” Kurogiri deadpanned.

“Seriously?” Dabi growled. “You let gas boy and blood girl go out together whenever they want, and you’re getting mad at me for going by myself? I just need some fresh air, won’t be gone long.” Dabi stepped out before Kurogiri could reply.

Dabi walked down the street at a brisk pace. The temperature wasn’t too bad, though the humidity left a bit to be desired. There weren’t too many people around, which thankfully reduced his chances of being recognized. True, he didn’t really get seen during the camp attack, but the risk did exist and he couldn’t afford to get attacked or anything.

About two blocks from the bar, Murphy’s Law kicked in, and Dabi found himself being yanked into an alleyway. After being slammed and pinned to a wall, he was about to retaliate with his flames before a small blade dug into the concrete next to his head. Dabi froze for a few seconds before turning his head to see who had attacked him. He was met with the angry gaze of some scaly man with long green hair that had some pinkish spots in it. Either this man had weird hair or he was using a cheap dye. His outfit was comprised of leather and denim, and the blade next to Dabi’s head was tied to the man’s wrist.

“The f*ck are you?” Dabi asked.

“Name’s Spinner,” the lizardman growled while pushing Dabi’s head back into the wall. “And you just came out of a very interesting establishment. I know a few people who would like to say a few things. Gonna come in quietly?”

“What are you, a cop?”

“I’m working for ‘em right now,” Spinner growled. “Now answer my question.”

“What luck,” Dabi chuckled. “Are there any nearby? I want to talk to them, but I gotta be quick.”

“What do you mean?” Spinner asked as his blade moved closer to Dabi’s cheek.

“I wanna sell out the League of Villains,” the burned man bluntly replied.

“...Wut?”

“You want to help save Scouter and Ragdoll, right?” Dabi asked. “So do I. I got information on all the members, and I wanna spill.”

“You’re awfully forward with that,” Spinner’s eyes narrowed.

“I joined the League to help bring down the sort of society that let a man like Endeavor stay in power for long as he did,” Dabi admitted. “I didn’t join to let some potato-headed psychopath torture a kid.” Dabi especially didn’t like how All For One was basically starving Izuku and Ragdoll. Reminded him of his own time back home with-his thoughts were interrupted by Spinner pushing his knife into Dabi’s face.

“You’re torturing Scouter!?” Spinner yelled.

“I’m not, but the boss is. Look, just take me to the cops and I’ll say what I know.” Spinner glared for a bit longer before removing his blade from the wall.

“No tricks,” Spinner said as he moved his blade to Dabi’s side. “You try anything, I’ll kill you.” Dabi just nodded and let Spinner haul him down the alley towards a random waiting officer.

---

It was evening, now. Izuku and Ragdoll were sitting on their bed. They had spent the entire day in their cell. The only person who had come to do anything was Dabi, who was dropping off the meagre scraps that passed for a meal. They had passed the time whispering to each other. They could see there were no cameras, but were unsure if their room was bugged. Every once in a while, Izuku would attempt to make a call with his arm, only for the call to fail.

As they were about to lay down for the night, they heard activity from outside. Izuku moved between Ragdoll and the door. He might have been the younger of the two, but he was the only one who still had his weapons. He didn’t draw his sword, but he positioned his hand for a quickdraw if he needed to. His expression remained cold when he saw Mustard and Toga enter the room. They stayed close to the door as Mustard, his hands in his coat, pushed it closed behind them. The hero and student watched as Mustard peered back through the hole in the door, presumably to make sure no one else was there. What were they planning?

“All clear,” Mustard whispered. In an instant, Toga was lifting her cardigan. There was a half second of worry that morphed to confusion when they saw Toga had hidden a couple bags of fast food under her cardigan. Mustard, meanwhile, pulled his hands from his coat to reveal he was holding a pair of large sodas. Izuku stayed on guard as the two teens approached them.

“We didn’t know what you liked,” Toga whispered as she held out a bag to each of them, “so we just got you baconburgers and fries.”

“And sprites,” Mustard added as he set the cups on the nearby table.

“What are you planning?” Ragdoll asked.

“We’re planning on helping you outta here,” Toga replied.

“Toga-san and I don’t really like how things are going here,” the masked boy explained. “The older villains lied to us about who to target at the camp, ignored us when we asked why, and are basically starving you for information. None of that sits well with us.”

“And I suck people dry, so that means something,” the female villain finished as she handed Ragdoll and Izuku their burgers. “Eat quick, we can’t leave any evidence here.” The non-villains were hesitant, thinking this could be another trick, but their hunger won, and they accepted the meals.

“How exactly do you plan to help us out?” Ragdoll asked as she and Izuku bit into the burgers, each tasting like manna from heaven.

“Our fire buddy, Dabi,” Mustard explained, “turned himself in to the cops this afternoon. He’s probably spilled everything he knows by now. It’ll only be a matter of time before heroes and cops raid the place. When that happens, we’ll try to sneak you both away from the action.”

“I can’t give your knives back just yet,” Toga looked at Izuku, “but when things go down I’ll try to get them to you.”

“We’re thankful for the food,” Izuku whispered, “but how can we be sure we can really trust you?”

“You can’t,” the girl replied. “Not yet, anyways. Just trust us when the raid happens. Now eat.” The two villains sat against the door, waiting for the heroine and student to finish their meals.

---

“I appreciate you taking the time to let me meet you,” Nedzu bowed politely to his hosts as he stepped into the Moroboshi household. It was an old-fashioned house, but nowhere near as dry and empty as the Todoroki household had been the one time he visited prior to Endeavor’s arrest. He sat on the couch across from the Moroboshi matriarch and her husband. Looking between the platinum blonde woman and her dark-haired husband, it was clear which parent Ayame took after more. Said daughter was also across from Nedzu, sitting on the opposite side of the couch from her dad.

“I assume your reason for visiting is important?” Mama Moroboshi asked.

“And very dire,” Nedzu replied with none of his usual cheer. “You’ve heard about the summer camp attack, no doubt.”

“And how one of the puss*cats and a hero student were abducted,” Papa Moroboshi nodded.

“Not quite a hero student,” Nedzu admitted. “The one who was abducted was your daughter’s classmate, Midoriya Izuku.”

“WHAT!?” Ayame shrieked, her voice full of worry. She was close to standing up before her mother gently grabbed her shoulder. The two shared a silent look before Ayame slowly sat back down.

“We’re going to launch a raid to get them both back tomorrow night,” Nedzu explained, “and based on what we’ve heard about the opposition, we’re going to need every advantage we can get.” He focused on the woman in front of him. “As Moroboshi Ataru, your younger brother, was a student of mine, he informed me of a certain...talent your family possesses.”

“I thought you already knew we’re a ninja clan working for the government,” the matriarch stated.

“I knew that already,” the principal nodded, “and you have my word I will not spread that information. No, he informed me of a different talent. Something your family only developed within the past 200 years.” There was a brief silence before the woman’s eyes widened. She knew what he was referring to.

“Moroboshi Chihiro...we need the Howl of Winter.”

Notes:

Yeah...things are gonna go down.

It honestly wounds me how literally no one noticed the absence of Spinner among the League of Villains. Since Stain never gave his speech, and Spinner didn't have a reputation in the underground, he never got scouted for the League. Instead, he was inspired by Scouter and became a vigilante. Though would he could as a vigilante if he doesn't use a quirk? XD

And as I promised, a list explaining ALL the references behind Izuku's mental doors from last chapter:

1 - The Skeksis Emperor from the original Dark Crystal movie

2 - "Action League Now!" from the old Nickelodeon show "KABLAM!" The two in question were Meltman and Stinky Diver, and the cliff was emulating the toilets Diver always jumps into, assuming someone is there to hold his wallet.

21 - A family in-joke. Years ago i was playing a christmas trivia game with my family but wasn't paying attention at one point so I answered a question with "walnuts?"

22 - While referencing the Muppets, this is also another family in-joke. This time we were watching an old cheesy movie involving a guy who got hypnotized by aliens that had big eyes. Any time they pressed their control over the guy, we'd see a huge pair of eyes flying towards the camera. The first time it occurred in the movie, the eyes came in thru an open window. I said "Gonzo's coming through the window," and it got a laugh out of everyone.

26 - Mystery Science Theater 3000. If you guys ain't seen that, they got full episodes on youtube. Go edumacate yoselves.

31 - This door was referencing a random NPC from the Shadowrun video game for the Super Nintendo. That's how old I am.

36 - Project Geeker. A cartoon from the early-mid 90's, the most popular candy in that show were chocolate monkeys. And "Drat" was the catchphrase of the mammoth scientist who first created the title character.

42 - Yu-Gi-Oh! Specifically Shadi poking around in the Pharaoh's mind maze. In hindsight, I SO should have used Door 42 for a Hitchhiker's Guide joke.

45 - A funny Legend of Zelda animation involving Link with a gun. Can be found https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rm0R_D2WIPo

49 - https://youtu.be/dQw4w9WgXcQ?t=42

69 - ...I think this one is fairly obvious

72 - referencing High Lord Wolnir from Dark Souls 3

77 - This one is referencing an animation involving Donald Trump dancing to Big Chungus. I mostly put this one in cuz I needed to give the impression Izuku's mental strength was faltering.

78 - While it MAY have had what AfO was looking for, this door was technically referencing Steven King's "Dreamcatcher."

And that's all the doors. Might make a side story later showing more doors, but unlikely. XD

Next time in Type-2 Hero, the press conference, and the raid.

Chapter 48: Preparation and Assault

Notes:

Howdy folks! Welcome to a Monday update of Type-2 Hero! Just the way to start your week, aye? XD This chapter is mostly the press conference and everyone getting into position, but I hope you still find it enjoyable!

(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)

Chapter Text

Three days.

Izuku and Ragdoll had been in villain hands for three days.

It was time to get them back.

As the sun began to set on that third day, a large group of students assembled close to the UA gates. They were Uraraka, Iida, Todoroki, Yaoyorozu, Kirishima, Ashido, Tokage, Pony and Itsuka. Standing inside the grounds were several members from both Hero Course classes and Melissa.

“Gakushuu, Kagaro, Gorogoro, Asano, Choji, Katsura, Oyaneko and Sanada will meet you all at the station,” Melissa explained. “Inko and Midnight are gonna keep Eri distracted. You all remember the plan, right?”

“I still think you guys are crazy, kero,” Tsuyu stated, “but I guess with enough of you, there’s a chance.”

“Midoriya’s done so much for both our classes,” Itsuka said. “He could have just stayed with his own class and helped them, but he did everything he could to help us develop our quirks, and he fought alongside us multiple times. We owe it to him to at least try to get him out of there.”

“We have our plans,” Momo replied. “With any luck, we won’t even meet any villains. With the best luck, we’ll just be there to watch as the heroes save the day.”

“But if there’s any chance they’ll need help,” Iida declared, “we’ll be there.”

Ochako nodded her agreement at Iida’s words, and was about to add her own piece before Melissa walked up to her. The older girl stared at the taller hero student for a few moments before grabbing her and pulling her down into a tight hug. There was another moment before Ochako hugged her back.

“You both come back, you hear me?” Melissa whispered. “Both of you, alive.”

“I promise,” Ochako whispered back. “This time, I’ll bring him home with me.” The two parted and shared a soft kiss. The two held the kiss for several moments before Tokage cleared her throat.

“Stop rubbing it in,” she deadpanned, “and let’s go rescue the green bean.” Ochako nodded and gave Melissa a wave and rushed off with the rest of the Rescue Team. The rest of the students went their separate ways and Melissa walked towards Mei’s workshop.

As the hero students neared the train station, they spotted the 1-C kids, but stopped when they actually saw them. The 1-C students were all dressed in disguises. Most of them were fairly tame, but one of them (they assumed Sanada due to her quirk) looked like a bearded lady while Gakushuu was wearing a floral pink dress and a matching bonnet. The most surprising part, though, was Choji was again clean-shaven. Tokage actually gasped and pointed at him, undoubtedly recognizing him from the flyers earlier that year.

“...Dare we ask?” Ashido asked in absolute confusion.

“If people see a dozen or so UA students going somewhere,” Choji explained, “they get suspicious. But if they see around half a dozen UA students going with a group of regular people, no one cares.”

“We can’t let anyone get an idea of where we’re going,” Kiana explained from under her “Team Three Star” hoodie. “Just in case we get spotted by any villains.”

“...But why’s the large kid in a dress?” Pony couldn’t help asking.

“It worked for my grandpa when he was active,” Gakushuu shrugged. “I’ll take it off when we get there.”

“Come on,” Katsura Miki held up the tickets. “We need to get aboard. The trip will still take a fair bit of time.” Everyone took their tickets from the blind empath and clambered aboard.

As the train sped away, none of the riders paid any heed to the black armored truck speeding down the road next to them, out of Musutafu.

---

Aizawa groaned and tugged at his collar. He hated dressing formally like this. How on Earth did Nedzu handle wearing stuff like this every day? Unfortunately, he had to bear it. The press conference was starting any minute, and he was seated at the mic table between Vlad King and Nedzu. His blue associate, Thrawn, was on the opposite side of the mammal. Behind them all was a large projection screen.

“Well,” Thrawn spoke up, “at least we can rest assured there won’t be any MLA reporters in this crowd.”

“That’s about the only good thing we got going for us,” Aizawa groaned.

“Oh it won’t be too bad,” Nedzu sipped his tea before turning to Thrawn. “Is everything ready for after the conference?”

“Ready when you are,” the blue man smiled. Moments after he said this, the lights turned on and reporters started filing into the room. Aizawa sighed and straightened up. Time to feed the vultures.

“Greetings, everyone!” Nedzu chipperly addressed the crowd. “I am sure you all have many questions, but please let us explain a few things before you ask them! Sekijirou-san?” The blood hero nodded and stood up. Oh, Nedzu was having him explain things instead of Aizawa. The negating hero had to stifle a sigh of relief at that.

Vlad King informed the press of the events of the summer camp, including what occurred during the attack and how Ragdoll and Izuku were taken. As he sat back down, the reporters all started shouting their questions amidst the flashing of cameras. Thankfully none of them seemed angry at the school, but were still thirsting for a good story to print. After letting them shout for a few minutes, Nedzu gestured to one of them, permitting him to ask his question.

“A question I’m sure we all have,” he put forward, “is how could this occur? We were under the belief that UA spared no expense in the safety of their students since the USJ attack. How could these villains have planned and figured out how to do this attack?”

“I can answer that!” Thrawn smirked as he got to his feet.

---

As the conference began, the students got off the train in Kamino. After taking a moment to shed their disguises in the restrooms, the students exited the station and huddled around Momo with a map.

“The bar is here,” Momo gestured, “and the warehouse is there. We’re square in the middle between them. If anyone’s got cold feet and needs to back out, now’s your last chance.” No one moved. No one said anything. They were determined to save their friend. Momo smiled and closed the map. “We know what we gotta do, but remember. No acting until we get the signal.” Everyone nodded and split off.

Ochako, Momo, Todoroki, Pony, Gakushuu, Gorogoro, Kagaro, Asano and Oyaneko went to the warehouse. Iida, Tokage, Choji, Katsura, Kirishima, Itsuka, Sanada, and Ashido went to the bar. Both teams hustled best they could. They had less than an hour to get two and a half kilometers to their destination.

---

“Before I do, though, allow me to introduce myself. I am Thrawn Urudo. I hold the rank of ‘Admiral’ in the American-based Pentastar Securities.” He let the crowd murmur to themselves before continuing, “Now, if you look out amongst yourselves, you might notice there are a few reporters and news agencies absent from tonight’s events. Heroic Enquirer, Quirky Monthly, and Sunday Press , to name a few. The reason for their absence is because we managed to identify them as supporters and members of an insurgency group you might know as The Meta-Liberation Army.” This got a clamor out of the crowd.

“The MLA?” one reporter asked. “Weren’t they defeated decades ago?”

“Initially yes,” Thrawn nodded while pulling out a remote. He clicked a button on it, and the projection screen behind him displayed an image of a building bearing the MLA crest. “This photo should be proof enough they were still around until recently. Anyway, about a month back, Principal Nedzu and his associates at the Death Star Investigations Agency discovered the Heroic Enquirer was staffed by MLA members, using the media to spread their quirk elitist dialogue. Once the discovery was made, Principal Nedzu contacted me and my people, requesting our help in dealing with the Army before they were ready to act.” He gave a pause and gestured to a reporter, permitting them to ask their question.

“Sorry if I sound ungrateful,” the reporter calmly asked, “but why did he need to call you in? Does Principal Nedzu not trust Japan’s heroes?”

“Oh no, I do!” Nedzu replied. “The problem, however, was that the Meta-Liberation Army was simply too big. According to intelligence reports Thrawn graciously provided, the Army numbered close to 10,000 before his arrival. That’s 10,000 people with all sorts of powerful, usually combat-worthy, quirks. I felt that we simply didn’t have the manpower necessary to handle both the Army and the usual cases of villainous activity throughout Japan. If I did try to get our own heroes to handle it, and was successful, a lot of cities would find themselves understaffed to handle their daily workload.”

“On top of that,” Thrawn pressed a button on his remote, changing the projected image to a list of people with accompanying photos, “according to the archives we sifted through and the fights my group experienced, close to 200 pro heroes were actually members of the Army. We had no prior knowledge of this, meaning if we did things wrong the Army would have had spies within the task forces assembled to bring them down. I don’t think you need me to tell you how bad an idea that would have been.” This got a chuckle from the crowd as another reporter was recognized.

“You have our thanks for dealing with them,” the reporter nodded, “but what does you fighting the MLA have to do with the League of Villains attacking a bunch of UA students?”

“Everything!” Nedzu laughed.

---

Ochako’s team arrived at the warehouse first. The team was hiding behind an adjacent wall. Ochako slowly floated up while Asano grew just enough to look over the wall. With the night-vision goggles they had purchased (with Kagaro’s help), the two girls saw the warehouse was indeed full of Noumu. Most of them were in tubes, but a few were free-roaming. Most of them looked bigger and nastier than the ones that attacked Hosu. Kiana was glad she was able to sneak her saber aboard the train. From their position, they could also see the team of heroes and police assembling in front of the warehouse. Mt. Lady was also present, wearing a pair of trucks like they were designer heels. Seeing this, Ochako pulled out her phone and sent a text to Iida.

A minute later and five kilometers away, Iida’s team arrived at the bar. They snuck towards it from the back alleys, evading any camera they could find. Just before turning the final corner, they stopped and waited. Tokage floated her head high up and peered around the corner. Sure enough, right above the back door was a security camera. It didn’t see her since her head was higher up, so she pulled it back and re-attached. Iida took out his phone and sent a reply-text to Ochako.

At the same time, a black armored truck pulled up to an office tower a kilometer and a half away from the warehouse. A single person disembarked before the truck drove off. This person wore a thick cloak, the same sort one would wear in cold weather. The hood was pulled up, and the lower half of their face was covered in a black mask. Under the cloak, their clothes resembled military fatigues with metal knee-high boots. In their hands was a large black case.

The person walked around the office building until they were in an alley, mostly hidden from the street. Looking around the make sure no one was seeing them, the figure leaned down and hit a few buttons on the side of their boots. A quiet hum started as they stood back up and jumped. The boots propelled them several stories off the ground. Just when their jump began to peak, they pressed their foot against the wall of the building and jumped up again. After a half dozen jumps like this, they reached the roof of the tower.

After turning the jumping components of their boots off, the person walked to the edge of the roof. Off in the distance was the warehouse district. They had a clear view of the ware