The general consensus was that no one was faster than a bullet.
Of course, there were speed quirks that could potentially disprove this, but Izuku had never had the opportunity of testing his quirk against that and now wasn't the time to find out.
However, if Izuku didn't know if he was faster than a bullet, he was aware that he was faster than the one holding the gun.
Every single one of them.
He ran at the shooter as he started to press the trigger, startled by his sudden movement, but Izuku's hand was already on his wrist, forcing him to put the gun up. Someone screamed behind him, ruining any chance he had of taking care of the situation quietly, but the gun went off because of the struggles or because Horns had panicked. Moron either way.
If Izuku hadn't put the barrel up, the bullet would have hit those behind him.
Strength. Izuku crushed his wrist and Horns screamed as he dropped the gun. The teenage boy kicked it away, and he noticed that he had grabbed the trafficker at the throat at some point. He could feel his pulse under his fingers. His quirk under his skin. Which flared up.
And suddenly, Izuku was looking at the wall, his eyes looking for Horns even though he was currently holding him. It was like he was incapable of paying attention to him.
Not invisibility but something else that allows him to be beyond notice. Uraraka mentioned she didn't see any of the other people until they were right next to her.
I can't let him sneak up on me again.
The quirk transferred from the quirk trafficker to Izuku, and as soon as he had it, he punched him in the face with one Strength. The guy dropped like a potato sack, and Izuku caught him by his jacket a second before he touched the floor.
The whole thing had lasted three seconds, maybe. A small eternity.
The gun was the priority. Izuku grabbed it and get rid of the magazine, checked for a bullet in the chamber, find one, and left the gun on the floor and the bullets in the pocket of his fancy sweat shirt, to the indignation of the woman that had almost fallen earlier.
''What are you doing ? You should use it ! Or give it to us !''
''Anyone here knows how to use it ?'' Izuku asked and he didn't wait for the answer. ''Then no one touches the gun.''
He knew three things about those. A gun is always loaded. If someone points the gun at you, it's with the intention to shoot. And don't touch it if you don't know how to use it. He wasn't letting anyone with a gun at his back.
He activated the quirk he had just stolen (it was better to admit it), and it didn't do anything. He was feeling it, but it wasn't working and there was no time to find out how to use it. Too bad.
People were coming up. He was too freaked out to look for them with his quirk, but he knew they were because someone had screamed and there was a gunshot.
How do I fix this ?
Everyone was looking at him, as if they were counting on him to save them. As if they thought he had any idea of what he was doing.
Right now, his only thoughts were that he wasn't supposed to hit someone in the head because there was no such a thing as a light tap on the head. Horns was still breathing, he didn't hear any sound from his neck, but there might be neurological damages, or worse if he didn't went to the hospital.
The woman raised her hand to touch him, startling him.
''What do we do ?'' she asked. ''You have a plan, right ?''
Izuku took a deep breath.
And he bluffed.
''You stay inside. Hold the door. Free the last ones. If you hear anyone who isn't me or the police, you do not let that door be opened under any circumstances. Is that clear ?''
''You're going to take them on your own ?'' another one asked, obviously not convinced.
Izuku looked at him. There was barely enough light for them to see Izuku but it didn't matter.
The boy was taller than Izuku. Larger too. And he seemed to shrink under his gaze.
''Yes, I will. But only if I have free range so you have to stay inside. Do you understand ?''
He nodded, and others followed.
Izuku rushed outside the room, and activated his Speed quirks once again as soon as the door was closed behind him. He ran in the hallway, a melange of fear and excitation spreading through him. He should have never entered this place. He should have waited for the police, for the heroes, for someone actually trained to do this.
But what had alarmed them was the state of the trucks when they had tried to drive away. People would have disappeared forever if he had waited.
He never should have entered but, as scared as he was, he didn't regret it.
A bunch of people had climbed the stairs, a woman holding another gun at the front, anger on her face.
Izuku tried to take the gun away, but he was too fast.
Her wrist made an awful cracking noise and she screamed a moment later but at least, she dropped it. He didn't have the time to stop, so he kicked the ground next her with Air Pressure, projecting her into the wall. She left the ground, and when she fell again, she must have landed on her wrist because he heard a piercing scream.
He didn't have the time to stop. To be honest, he didn't even care that much. Just don't kill anyone. They had made their choices when they had decided to sell people.
Another man tried to hit him, a punch, and dizziness fell on Izuku, because of a quirk. His head was spinning when he ducked down, using Balance to stay on his feet, and he grabbed him by his clothes.
And threw him in the stairs and on the people still on it.
The look on their faces when they realized they were about to be hit by a ninety kilos man AND gravity was almost comical, and then, Izuku had the opportunity to appreciate a snow ball effect. The man with the dizziness quirk hit a first row of people, then they hit a second, etc.
Mom is right. Stairs are out to get us.
He jumped down the stairs, ignoring the groans of pain, and kept running. Five seconds between the moment he had left the room and now. Keep the Speed. Don't let them the time to react.
If he hadn't been using Silencer at the same time, he would have missed the police alarms.
Now ? You're deciding to arrive now ?
Half an hour ago, he would have been overjoyed but now, he was a vigilante who just had used his quirks on multiple people. He had to get out of here or he would be trapped. The law had no tolerance for hero students who burned through steps and took the vigilante road.
Izuku barged in the first floor of the warehouse, where four trucks were, along with the remnants of one. People were inside, but they weren't moving. No, I can see them breath. Unconscious.
But another man was standing, older, dark hair, dark suit, dark shirt. He was also holding a girl by the shoulders, her eyes opened but not looking at anything, and not paying attention to the gun at a few centimeters away from his head.
Izuku usually took advantages of pauses. That's how he managed not to be hit, he had to move fast and always keep moving, and hit when people were distracted, even so slightly.
And when he saw the girl who was barely unconscious held by a man with a bored expression on his face, he did exactly what he wasn't supposed to do. He froze, just for a second, because at this moment, he was looking at what he had done and he realized how everything could go wrong.
Because of him. Because he didn't think things through.
Something clacked though the air, the sound horrible, and Izuku blocked it before he was hit in the face. Durability. Something transparent coiled around his arm, burning even through his sleeve.
On his left, the woman holding an almost invisible whip with both hands, smirked at him.
He didn't care about her. She was secondary. Nothing mattered next to the gun pointed at someone's head. Close range, so he wouldn't have any time to do anything. No Speed could allow him to get in reach fast enough. Breakdown needed a contact point.
''You move and she dies,'' the man warned him, as if Izuku had any attention to move any time soon.
He didn't fail to notice he hadn't been that afraid when the gun at been aimed at his own head.
''Do you feel better ?'' the man in black continued. ''Did you get everything out of your system ?''
He was talking to him like he was a disobedient child, and Izuku was wondering if it was just to be scornful or if he had guessed how young he was.
The whip was still around his arm, something trying to pierce through the armored fabric, and he wasn't sure of what to do if she pulled. Would that be considered a move ?
What would he do without putting the hostage in his hands and everyone around in danger ?
''Say something !'' the man in the suit ordered, pissed off by Izuku's lack of reaction. It was so sudden that even his colleague with the whip froze.
''You're hearing them,'' Izuku said. ''It's the police. Heroes will arrive too. What will happen to you if they see you killed someone ?''
Izuku was hoping for a hint of fear. At least some worry.
Instead, he got a warm smile, like this man was genuinely finding Izuku funny. It was absolutely terrifying.
''You're young, aren't you ? Raised watching heroes. Admiring them. That's why you're here. You must be smart if you managed to find us. Only armed with this quirk that destroyed my trucks and courage.''
Apart from being smart and having only one quirk, he is disturbingly right.
''You did a good job. If you continue like this, you will save all of them.''
Izuku took hold of his most recent acquisition.
Uraraka had told him she hadn't seen anything suspect, too focused on Horns. Earlier, Izuku had passed in front of this man without seeing him. But it wasn't invisibility.
''I only need one person with one strong quirk and I will leave. You understand what I am saying...''
Horns hadn't managed to threaten him and to use his quirk at the same time. There was one potential explanation Izuku could think about.
God, let me be right.
Izuku focused on the man in the suit. Not on the gun. Not on all those people around them who were treated as merchandises. On him, on how he could smile despite the countless lives he had destroyed, inflicted pure fear upon, and generally ruined. Emotions Izuku had been ignoring all his life and with which he was intimately familiar with.
Using them so pure will was pushing the new quirk.
Look at me.
And the man in a suit did, as if, right now, nothing existed except Izuku, because he was the only threat. His hand and the gun he was carrying moved almost on their own, away from the hostage, aiming at Izuku.
Durability and Shock Absorption would never stop any bullet, but Izuku still activated them by reflex, along with Speed.
But he didn't run.
Aim. Air Blast. Speed x3.
He managed to flick his fingers a moment before the man in a suit pressed the trigger. The Air Blast hit him in the shoulder and chest, throwing his aim off and the man himself backwards as he let his hostage go.
The bullet still went off.
Izuku heard it whistling right next to his ear.
The woman with the whip tried to keep him in place. And the smile disappeared as Izuku grabbed the whip and used it as leverage. He anchored himself to the floor, ignoring the pain in his hand, and he threw her using her own whip which she couldn't exactly drop. She crashed on the the side of one the remaining truck and dropped to the floor with a weak pained noise just as Izuku was getting rid of the whip around his arm.
It was like getting stung by a medusa, though a weak one. A really interesting quirk, made to neutralize people for a long time period. Exactly what Izuku would need. No time to go back.
The blue and red lights of police cars were already approaching.
Izuku managed to reach the roofs just before the first police car pulled in, fleeing. He barely had the time to make sure the girl who had been taken as a hostage was semi-alright and he had just used all his quirk to disappear into the night.
When he looked back, he saw something burning, and another glance with Zoom and Night Vision confirmed that Endeavor was on the scene.
It would be alright. Izuku didn't trust him but it would be alright.
He kept Jump. And as he threw himself in the air, the usual rebound that came with this specific quirk never happened.
As if it was erased.
Without the rebound, Izuku jumped came short, but right before he could fall, something snake-like wrapped itself around him, immobilizing his arms. He thought he would drop over the edge of the building, out of sight, but the scarf yanked him up as if he was a fly about to be eaten by a spider.
Izuku knew exactly who this scarf belonged to and pure fear washed over him, because if someone could identify him, it was this man.
He didn’t drop Jump. Time to test a theory.
He bent his arm and did his best to grab the scarf between his fingers.
And he activated Breakdown.
It might have been because adrenaline was rushing though his veins as he had just jumped into a warehouse full of criminals. It might also have been because Eraserhead, his teacher, was about to arrest him and this act of vigilantism would mean the abrupt end of his hero dreams. Or maybe he was simply scared of his mom’s reaction if he was caught at night in the middle of a dangerous situation.
But because of that, two things happened.
If Jump was still out of reach, Breakdown wasn’t, as if the first quirk was shielding it, and it confirmed his theory that Eraserhead could only erase one quirk at a time.
And for any reasons above, Breakdown didn’t as much dismantle than vaporize the scarf.
Shouta felt the ribbon as it stopped answering his commands before the shadow on the roof got free and started plunging into the darkness below. He stopped on his tracks, what was left of his support item wrapped around his arm, and when he looked at the streets, he already knew the faceless suspect was gone.
Did I blink ?
He had to or his weapon wouldn't be wrecked. Probably because of the medicine he had to take to function. Sleepiness was one of the side-effects and his mind wandered because of it.
But if he wasn't using a Enhancing quirk, why did he fell when I looked at him ?
A coincidence ? A support equipment ?
Shouta still checked, without following. He knew his limits, and as he was still slightly injured and exhausted for Recovery Girl’s quirk, running blindly after someone so at ease in the dark and who moved like that without a physical quirk, without his combat ribbon anymore, would be suicidal.
His fist was clenched at the idea of letting someone who had targeted his student escape, but this was the logical choice.
One hour after his first act of vigilantism, Izuku crawled inside his room by his window, his heart beating so loud he couldn’t hear anything else. He was shaking. His head wasn’t hurting, because he actually hadn’t used that many quirks, and not for long.
Comparatively, it would have been more difficult to fight his classmates.
This was a very stupid thing to do anyway.
Nagisa’s sweat-shirt was almost thrown on his bed but at the last moment, he remembered the substance on his sleeve. His hand was hurting where he had grabbed the whip, but the fabric had saved his arm by absorbing it and he didn’t want to put a corrosive substance on his bed.
Izuku sneaked into the bathroom, put the sweatshirt into the washing machine on its own, and then, took care of his hand. There was a red and itchy rash on his palm and lines of it on his fingers. Throwing alcohol at it hurt like hell.
If it didn’t hurt less in the morning, he would go to the hospital, but ultimately, he decided to leave it be.
Two days after the end of the Sport Festival, Toshinori woke up to an email in his inbox explaining that Young Uraraka had been targeted by criminals, had been rescued by Midnight and herself, and that the trafficking ring had been dismantled by Endeavor, Aizawa-kun, just after a vigilante had passed. It was an interesting way to wake up. The intense rage and fear, followed by relief, then confusion had to be good for the heart.
He sent several emails to thank the two heroes and to ask them to keep him informed concerning this case. Aizawa answered in a minute, telling him that Young Uraraka was with her parents, and that she was unhurt.
Now, sitting at his kitchen table, Toshinori was looking at his cellphone the same way cats looked at a bath. They didn't want to do this, hated the idea of doing this, but were conscious they wouldn't be able to escape their predicament.
He sighed and took a hold of himself. He was the Symbol of Peace. He was the number 1 hero. He was undefeated. He had to be able to keep Young Midoriya and Gran Torino from meeting.
How hard could it be anyway ?
He took his phone and called.
One ring. Two ring.
''Yes,'' Midoriya answered, his voice flat, almost brusque.
It made Toshinori pause. He wasn't used of Young Midoriya being anything but sweet.
''Young Midoriya. This is All Might,'' Toshinori explained as he realized the teenage boy couldn't know since the number came from his student file. ''I was wondering if you were free today ? I wanted to talk with you about your performance at the Sport Festival.''
And how you drew my teacher's attention...
There was a long silence at the other end of the line, and Toshinori started to fidget on his chair, uncomfortable.
They got along just fine, but maybe Toshinori had crossed a line. Maybe Young Midoriya was trying to find a polite way to tell him he didn't want to spend his day off worrying about school.
''Of course, I would understand if you won't. I'm calling at the last moment and outside of school...''
''With pleasure,'' Young Midoriya interrupted him, but despite what he said, his voice was devoid of any warmth. ''When and where ?''
Hizashi was going home from his radioshow and was greeted by the the spectacle of his roommate, sitting on the floor of the living room, surrounded by papers, and his tablet in his hand. His hair were tied into a messy bun, he had exchanged his hero suit for comfortable black clothes, and his eyes were injected with blood. He looked even more sleepless than usual.
The pro hero had to refrain himself from taking two steps back and fleeing, but being brave was one of the conditions of his job.
''I don’t even have the beginning of a positive ID !'' Aizawa growled.
Hizashi let himself in. Threw his coat on the couch and looked at the mess of papers on the floor.
''For the villains ?''
He knew it was about quirk trafficking. And he suspected that Aizawa didn't sleep much since when people were drugged and in a stressful situation tended to use their quirks as soon they were conscious again, with catastrophic consequences. Eraserhead's quirk was needed so Aizawa's recovery and sleep were secondary.
''For the vigilante,'' Aizawa sighed. ''The vigilante who called us. The vigilante who took down every quirk traffickers there by the time the police showed up. And who protected all the victims on his own.''
''The victims can't ID him ?'' Hizashi asked.
In his experience, the more they were, the more details could be obtained until there was a global image.
An ugly laugh followed.
''Twenty witnesses and everyone seems to have seen nothing. None of them remember a quirk. The only useful information I have is from the villains, and no one saw his face.''
Pure revulsion coursed through Hizashi. ''Are you telling me you're reduced to check the quirk register ?''
Aizawa's eyes looked up at him, something demented in them.
The quirk register was the last measure any hero was willing to take when they had to ID a person of interest. It meant going through pages and pages of people categorized by their sex, age and quirk, and it was the most bothersome thing that had ever existed.
And because Hizashi was a true hero and a really good friend, he said something incredibly stupid : ''I will help you. What quirk are we looking for ?''
Aizawa almost threw his tablet at him, probably fearing the possibility of Hizashi changing his mind.
''Some swear he had a physical quirk, but there is proofs of a quirk that dismantles things,'' Aizawa explained very quickly.
Hizashi yawned and sat on the couch, consulting the horribly familiar tab. ''The dismantling quirk, then. Every time someone fights a physically trained quirk user, they love to proclaim they had a All Might-worthy quirk. Unless you think there were several vigilante ? Potentially wearing the same thing ?''
What Hizashi didn't say was that it would be hell on hearth to find an organized team like that. Fortunately, Aizawa shared his headache.
''Let's say dismantling quirk so we don't have to look for three types of candidates.''
Amen to that.
''Age ?'' Hizashi asked without too much hope.
''Unidentified. More than ten, less than sixty. Maybe.''
''Man or woman ?''
''Yes,'' Aizawa answered without looking at him in the eyes.
Why did I open my big mouth ?
''This is going to be a long day,'' Hizashi whined shamelessly.
Still in his bed, Izuku put his phone away, blinked, and went back to sleep.
He woke up some time later because his brain had finally registered what had happened and he used a Speed quirk to be ready in time, stress devouring his insides, and not only because All Might had called him. Maybe it was because of the match with Todoroki where he had managed to break his opponent’s bones. Or maybe All Might knew about last night. After all, Izuku had used Strength, Speed, and Breakdown with leisure. He had tried not to be seen using two quirks at the same time, but when he had been held at gun point, he had to use Speed despite using Breakdown a moment earlier. And downstairs, even they didn't, somehow, recognize the quirk of one of their fellow traffickers, there was still Strength, Speed, then Air Blast.
I have been known to be more subtle.
Izuku arrived in front of the restaurant thirty minutes early and then, he just started to walk. No destination, no idea of what he was doing. He was just trying to get rid of the nervous energy that was buzzing through him.
But then, he realized that frantically walking into circles might clue All Might that something was wrong, so he parked himself back to a wall, kept using Cooldown so he wouldn't sweat, and read old hero articles on his phone to distract himself from his worries.
It worked surprisingly well and Izuku only looked up when he felt the familiar shining quirk somewhere on the roofs. He smiled and put his phone in his pocket.
''I AM... here,'' All Might finally whispered as he fell from the sky and into the alley next to which Izuku was waiting, in a semi-discreet way. Or maybe not discreet, but at least out fo sight. ''Have you been waiting for long ?''
''Not at all,'' Izuku said, because what was half an hour in a day of twenty-four ?
''Then, let's eat,'' All Might declared dramatically, but he didn't get out of the back alley, taking a long pause.
Izuku waited, not understanding what was wrong even after a quick look around. He didn't have the time to ask All Might what was the problem.
''Are you okay? You seemed odd when I called you earlier?''
Izuku frowned, trying to remember what he had said.
Then, he remembered at what time All Might had called.
''There was nothing wrong. ItsjustthatyoucalledmebeforeIhadcoffee.''
''Say that again ?''
Izuku gulped down : ''You kind of called me before I had my first cup of coffee... And I am not a nice person first thing in the morning.''
Izuku and his mother had never mastered the fine art of being nice before a caffeinated beverage.
All Might's chuckle and his 'I can relate to that.' were almost worth admitting it. Afterwards, he abandoned the regular All Might's form in a cloud of steam, his green cargo pants and his white shirt hanging on him, and they went to the American restaurant without a fuss.
A really enthusiastic waitress sat them at a table upstairs, near the window. She called All Might Yagi, so he ought to be a regular. Since heroes tended to hide their civilian identity and their private life, bringing Izuku into a place he liked was a mark of trust.
Izuku grabbed the menu handed down by the waitress. He had already seen an enormous hamburger full of bacon three tables away and he wanted it.
''What happened to you hand,'' All Might suddenly asked as he saw Izuku's bandage which was hiding the rash left by the invisible whip.
Lying didn't come easily to Izuku, despite having spent most of his life misdirecting people.
So he didn't say anything that wasn't the truth.
''Nothing much. During the Sport Festival, I grabbed Todoroki's headband even though he had already started to protect it with flames.''
Sorry, Todoroki. Especially since you have complicated feelings about your left side and that you iced this burn as soon as the cavalry battle was over. It hadn't left more than a red mark, not even painful, and it had been Izuku's fault anyway.
All Might might have insisted, but something down the road draw his attention, and when Izuku glanced by the window, he saw someone running with a handbag which didn't seem to belong to him.
The pro hero was already in his feet. ''I will be right back. I just have to... wash my hand. Tell her I want the usual.'' He fled before Izuku had the time to say anything.
Izuku ordered the food and his milkshake and All Might's coke arrived just as All Might was giving the thief to the police, and Izuku was shaking with excitement because he was assisting live to an All Might hero work.
He didn’t try to help. He didn’t have a license and he had done enough vigilantism for the week.
All Might came back to the table, looking disheveled. ''Sorry, I was... You actually know what I was doing. That's actually why I love this spot. You can see the whole street from here. Watch out for everything.''
''I am not surprised,'' Izuku smiled.
They promptly shut up as the waitress came back with their burgers and their fries.
''Any new quirk ?'' All Might asked as soon as she was gone, and coincidentally just as Izuku was taking a bite too big for his mouth.
The teenage boy bravely didn’t choke on his burger as he thought of the quirks taken from the noumu and Focus last night.
‘’I didn’t have the time since the school year started. Well, except at the USJ…’’ Izuku admitted. ‘’But I am trying to find a heat resistance quirk... And I may have an electrical one in sight...’’ Time to change the subject. ''What about this successor ?’’
The napkin almost warped in front of All Might's mouth but Izuku saw a spiteful of blood.
''It's... It's complicated,'' he admitted. ''I have several candidates lined up. I have more to look for. I need someone with strong abilities already on the path of becoming a great hero, in the best case scenario.''
‘’Is a strong quirk really needed if they are going to inherit something so powerful ?’’ Izuku wondered out loud.
‘’What do you mean ?’’
‘’What is the purpose of your quirk ? What will the next holder have to do ?’’
It was probably rude to ask. Too personal. Izuku had often weirded out people by asking about their quirks, but if it was hard to resist with the usual powers, it was worse with his idol's quirk.
Fortunately, All Might didn't seem to mind.
‘’The mission of One for All has changed since my time. Now, its role is to achieve and keep the peace. For people to smile without worrying. A beacon of light so no one gets lost.’’
When Izuku thought about All Might, he thought about his smile. How in control he was, how his mere presence
‘’Then, does the next holder needs to have a powerful quirk ? Don’t you only need someone who has the right…’’ He hesitated, looking for the word.
‘’inherent heroic quality ?’’ All Might proposed with a smile.
The hero's smile grew wider. It was different from his All Might grin, but just as warm. ''That's exactly that. But I never talked about strong quirks. Just about strong abilities.''
Izuku froze. Not because he didn't think about it, but because of course, he knew that. He knew quirks weren't everything, and the thought that All Might assumed he didn't know that was bothering him.
Before Izuku could explain what he meant, All Might excused himself again with a story about a stomach ache. Izuku barely had the time to turn in the direction of the window when All Might appeared in the street.
There was a cat up a tree, and its owner was also up there, two branches below. Ironically, the cat managed to come down before All Might finished climbing, under the disgusted look of its owner. But just as they both reached the ground, an explosion was heard in the whole neighborhood.
Since his absolutely delicious bacon burger was finished and the fries didn't last long, Izuku ordered a dessert called the Chocolate Menace.
When All Might came back, Izuku was facing a cake the size of a food tray, armed only with a little spoon : ''You can't possibly finish this.''
''I have many years of training,'' Izuku warned him.
All Might finally got to finish his burger while Izuku was attacking his cake. Even despite the difference of quantity, All Might was eating slowly and little bites by little bites.
Around them, customers were talking, laughing, and waiters were laughing with them. The great food and the view weren't the only reason why All Might liked this restaurant.
Izuku rarely ate out. His mother was a great cook, and they both like to eat at home, hidden in their own world. But this was good too. No one was paying attention to him, but he could enjoy this atmosphere.
All Might didn't start talking again until he finished his burger.
''I forgot to tell you : you were great during the Sport Festival. I didn't see any sign of stress !'' Argh. ''Why are you suddenly so gloomy ?''
Stuffing his mouth full of chocolate probably wouldn't make him drop the subject.
''I was supposed to do better than that.'' By that, he meant that with all the risks he took and all the worries his mother had to face, he should have done better. He had more quirks than his whole class, he was supposed to be better than this. ''And Aizawa-Sensei told us that the Sport Festival would be an important step to have an internship.''
At this last word, All Might's face dropped. It was really quick, but disturbing on the face of the Symbol of Peace.
''I wouldn't worry too much about that,'' he said, but Izuku wasn't sure if he was just trying to reassure him or if he was honest. ''Anyone arriving to the tournament will receive offers of internship.''
''That's good,'' Izuku answered instead.
''And about those offers... Can I give you an unsolicited advice ?''
''Always,'' Izuku smiled because it should be obvious.
All Might leaned forwards, his blue gaze suddenly incredibly intense. Izuku braced himself.
''Choose someone you know and who can bring you the experience you seek.''
Does he think I was going to close my eyes and pick one out, hoping the Fates are on my side ?
''Okay ?'' Izuku said instead.
This seemed to greatly relieve All Might, which meant that there was something Izuku wasn't realizing about this whole situation, but as long as they weren't talking about vigilantism, he was fine with that.
They talked about All Might's hero work, Izuku freaking All Might out with his knowledge, and All Might delighting Izuku with anecdotes. They also talked about their respective experience at UA, and what had changed since All Might's youth. Half of those anecdotes made Izuku look fondly at the security on the training grounds.
At some point, Izuku put his spoon away and All Might looked down to see the empty plate.
His eyes were wide but he didn't say anything about it.
He didn't need to talk either when they started to leave and Izuku started pulling out his money. All Might just sent him a 'Don't even think about it' look.
''Heroes are so cool, aren't they ?'' a cheerful voice behind Minoru as he was watching the footage of the fight between Midoriya and Todoroki, when they had decided to try to murder each other on live television.
Minoru turned to see that a gorgeous girl watching the heros over his shoulder. She looked like an idol, with long pink hair and hazel eyes, and wearing an oversized All Might sweat-shirt, the hoodie up.
There was a beautiful girl right in front of him, and who was interested in heroes. Minoru knew exactly what to say in such a situation.
''I know,'' he said with fake modesty. ''I am a hero student myself.''
Her eyes widened in admiration and she gasped : ''Seriously ? Where ?''
Only the best hero school in the country.
''Wow. This is like the elite. But I don't remember you from the festival...'' Minoru immediately deflated at that one. ''Oh, of course, the grape boy !''
Well, if she recognized him from the race and the cavalry battle, it meant it must have done something right.
''I hope you hang on,'' she said with such a warm smile, as if she was really concerned for him. On his side. ''Heroes school are so insane, with all those students with powerful quirks and the teaches who only care about culling the herd rather than actually teaching... But UA probably isn't like that, is it ?
Minoru was about to agree, but he remembered the first day at school, when Aizawa-Sensei was about to expel Midoriya. And how he had been thinking : What are my chances of staying in this class if this teacher is ready to get rid of someone with such a strong quirk ?
The more he talked with her and the more his doubts were difficult to ignore.
Was his quirk enough ? Would his grades be enough ? Was the villains attacks, the monstrously powerful fellow students, and the constant risk of expulsion worth it ? Would he fail ? What would happen if he failed ?
Minoru had the answer to this last question. He would join the ranks of the losers who thought they could be heroes and who had crashed into reality.
''Some people are born with the perfect quirk,'' he tried to laugh it off, ''and some have to obtain it.''
''Working is good,'' she admitted. ''But actual help is better...''
In Minoru's experience, no one helped. Ever. You had to prove you were up to the task.
Minoru realized that he had stopped following the conversation, and listened again. Chicks didn't like when men didn't pay attention to them.
''… I do too, because my quirk got so much easier to use. Here, look.'' She rummaged through her bag and pulled out a green inhaler. ''I have another one at home, do you want to try ?''