By the time Izuku reached UA, he almost had three heart attacks as people kept recognizing him from the Sport Festival. Except that Izuku was still on the edge because of his recent vigilantism, so when he heard ‘’It’s you’’, his heart dropped in his chest until the person added ‘’from the Sport Festival !’’ But to be honest, people recognizing him and congratulating him would still be mortifying on its own.
But pleasing. A little intimidating. He was blushing when he left the train, but there were some warm feelings involved. Definitely.
Managing to control his new quirk would have been useful but despite what Horns had showed, Izuku could only draw attention towards him, not away, and it took a lot of concentration. He had tried to draw the attention on something else than him, using Nagisa as a guinea pig, but it had failed miserably.
The advantage with obtaining quirks from willing donors, apart from the obvious, was that Izuku had all the information even before he tried the quirk for the first time.
Rain had greeted him as he was walking, only for Izuku to realize that his umbrella was still at home, and he was holding his yellow backpack above his head to have some measure of protection when he heard someone making too much noise running behind him, and turned to see Iida.
''This is no time for a iddle stroll ! We will be late !'' his friend warned him as he kept running.
In poncho. And rain boots.
He stopped next to Izuku, rummaged through his bag now half hidden by the poncho, and pulled out an umbrella - proving that he was crazy prepared – and opened it above Izuku so he would be protected from the rain. Then, he remembered to actually greet him. ''Good morning, Midoriya !''
''Late ? Don't we have five more minutes before the ring bells ?''
''The students of UA make it a point of arriving ten minutes early !'' Iida explained as if it was obvious.
Izuku was fairly certain that it wasn't the case because since the semester had started, he made it a point to be at his desk before Aizawa-Sensei arrived, and only that.
But that wasn't what was important here.
They were at the lockers when Izuku managed to ask what he wanted to know since he had learned about Ingenium.
''Iida, how are you do...''
''Midoriya,'' Iida cut him. He turned towards him, not smiling, but controlling his expression like everything was alright, but he wasn't as good with his body language. Izuku could see the sudden tension that had appeared as soon as he had talked. ''You don't need to worry about my brother. I apologize if he or I caused any undue concern.''
From Izuku's experience, no one liked people fussing about them. Actually, in a stressful situation, they liked to be left alone because they had no energy to spare in convincing others it would be alright and other social niceties.
But he also knew that when something happened to someone you love and admire so much, it was like their world was torn apart. Suddenly, they realized they weren't in security. Vulnerable. Alone.
Or maybe it had just been Izuku.
''It's not undue concern. And I won't push you on that. But if it ever becomes too much and you need to talk, remember you have friends.''
It's not hypocrisy because it has never been too much for me.
Iida nodded, and seemed relieved when Izuku dropped the subject.
They went into the classroom, everyone talking about how they were recognized in the streets and how exciting this was.
Uraraka was already here, for she had came in with Yaoyorozu. Izuku knew that the second class rep had invited Uraraka to sleep a couple of days at her place and Uraraka suspected Midnight to have told her, especially since the Yaorozus were extremely welcoming,.
The three of them hanged out together before the start of the class, at Iida's desk, and it was interesting.
Iida was down because of his brother but didn’t want people to worry. Uraraka was down because of the encounter of this week-end, but she didn’t want people to find out so Izuku had had to swear not to tell a word. As such, his two comrades were louder and more enthusiast than ever to hide their worries, and Izuku was right in the middle of it.
Uraraka kept punching his shoulder in what was trying to be a playful hit and Iida almost hit him several time in the face while talking with his hands, but a Speed quirk saved Izuku every time.
He wouldn’t have exchanged his place for anything in the world.
Aizawa-Sensei's eyes were so red it'd have looked like he was using his quirk if his hair wasn't down. He was standing in front of his desk with the specific look of scorn one addressed to everything standing between oneself and a much needed night of sleep, or at least, a first cup of coffee in the morning.
Izuku was incredibly thankful he didn't have to fight Aizawa-Sensei a few days ago because he would probably have drop-kicked him into the ground.
''You'll be coming up with your hero names,'' his teacher announced, unaware of the extremely nervous accidental vigilante sitting in his class.
If he knew, he would have dragged me out of class before the bell rang to throw me at the police. I'm safe.
''But first, concerning the internships I mentioned the other day... It's based on who the pros think will be ready to join the hero workforce after another two of three years of experience... So you could say it's a way for them to show interest in your futures.''
This was supposed to be a good thing but... Where they supposed to choose something so important for their future now ? No, probably not. And it was more about experience at this point.
And what tells you you will receive any offer ? You're at the eight place and you just threw your quirks around with no strategy.
Not now, anxiety.
''But there is more than enough time for their interest to wane before you graduate,'' Aizawa continued. ''And any and all offers can be arbitrarily revoked. It happens quite often.''
Izuku's anxiety decided that now was actually a good time to strive and he thought about quirks to calm down. Behind him, Mineta pestered about useless adults.
That's just a way to motivate us for keep working. Nothing more.
''Now, here is the complete draft pick number.''
And they saw the results.
''They are usually more spread out but the three of our own stole the spotlight.''
The third one was Kacchan with 3 456 offers.
The second one was Todoroki with 4 123 offers.
And the first one...
''Midoriya, you're the one who has the most offers !'' Mineta said behind him, so loud in the apprehensive silence, sealing Izuku's fate.
But still, Izuku hoped. He didn't make a move, didn't make a sound, and pretended he wasn't here, not even daring to look at the blond teen in front of him. He could feel the pressure cooking up and it would explode out of Kacchan in three...
''ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME ?'' Kacchan screamed, suddenly up and turned towards Izuku like he was the source of all the annoyance in the world. Like Izuku was personally responsible for the polls, and the Sport Festival, and life poking at Kacchan was something personally engineered by Izuku himself.
If they had been four years old, tiny explosions would already be bursting on Kacchan's palm.
''You lost ! I won the Festival ! Not you !''
''I know that,'' Izuku said.
He had been there when he had been ejected out-of-bounds, raging afterwards because with all the quirks he had, he was supposed to do better than that. There was a difference of training here.
But Izuku's calm answer seemed to anger him even more.
''Then why do you have so many fucking offers ? What are you playing...''
''Bakugou,'' Aizawa-Sensei called and this one word cut through the noise and Bakugou's wrath. ''Sit down.''
And he did, but not before sending one last glare at Izuku.
''Strength is important for a hero but so is advertising,'' Aizawa told him. ''If someone shows skills during the Sport Festival, their ranking becomes secondary.
Aizawa gave them their offers and despite all those names he knew, Izuku couldn't look at it yet when he could feel the burning anger building inside his childhood friend.
Izuku understood where it was coming from. Kacchan had won the Sport
''Go fuck yourself,'' Kacchan answered without looking up from his list of offers.
His knuckles were white, gripping at the paper.
''Lord Explosion Murder !'' Bakugou declared dramatically.
A heavy silence answered him, no one wanting to point out the obvious.
A tiny group of students absolutely unprepared to choose a name were cmustered in the back of the class, and Izuku was at the center of it. Around them, those who already had a hero name decided to help and a seance of brainstorming ensued.
Izuku had sent a text to Nagisa as soon as he had realized he didn't know what to choose, his poor phone was opened on seven ''Choose you hero name'' sites, and of course, he decided to focus on someone else because God forbid he took care of his own problems.
‘’You should choose Frost so if you use your flames, the villains will be very surprised,’’ he smiled just before realizing that if Todoroki had not used his flames against Kacchan, maybe he actually never wanted to do again and Izuku had just overstep.
‘’Do not do that !’’ Iida screamed, unaware of his turmoil. ‘’A hero name is important ! You can’t use one as a subterfuge !''
''No,'' Todoroki said, '' Let him talk, it's interesting...''
Izuku was about to explain a lot of idea to misdirect villains when Uraraka interrupted his thoughts :
‘’How can you not have any hero name ? I thought about mine when I was six !’’
Izuku suddenly had a vivid memory of three-years-old him jumping on the couch in an All Might onesie while he was chanting his potential hero names such as All Might II, Mighty Boy, Wonder Might, All Might Junior, Mini Might (this one courtesy of his mother), Ultra Might, and so on…
He looked at Uraraka in the eyes and said : ‘’I don’t remember any.’’
You know, like a liar.
''Baron Explosion Murder !'' Kacchan screamed at the other end of the class.
''I think you fail to see my point,'' Midnight sighed.
Taking advantage of the Kacchan's noisy troubles, Todoroki started to sneakily write something on his plate, so of course, Izuku himself, Uraraka, Yaozorozu, Ashido, and Asui who was passing near their table all look at it.
''Shouto ?'' Izuku read out loud.
''It's actually a good idea. It has the kanji for both Heat and Cold,'' Yaoyorozu noticed.
''I can't always change for Frost later,'' Todoroki shrugged.
''Todoroki ! No'' Iida screeched, making them all laugh
''What about Izuku for your Hero name ?'' Yaoyorozu asked.
‘’No,’’ he declared and the tone was so final that an heavy silence fell around him. Uraraka was looking at him with wide eyes. Iida was slightly leaning back, not at ease, and Todoroki’s gaze was piercing.
Using his first name wouldn’t do because if he had calmed his mother witht the fact that after six years, he had changed enough not to be recognized by people who had barely seen him, and only when he was a toddler, using his not so usual name was a no-no.
‘’I would feel weird if people called me by my first name,’’ he explained away, probably helped by the warmth spreading on his face at the idea of strangers calling him Izuku. Only his mother called him that.
''So you're against first names as hero names ?'' Todoroki asked.
''I am perfectly fine with that. As long as it's not mine.''
Fortunately, his phone biped, distracting everyone from the cold Izuku had conjured without a frost quirk. Nagisa had answered.
Ashido almost warped behind his chair to read above his shoulder, and once he made sure that there was no quirk talk, he let her.
N: [Are you Fucking serious ?]
''That's one angry friend.''
N: [Do you think I only have that to do ?]
N: [Never mind, I have Ethics in the Utilization of Information
Systems, so any distraction is welcome. Let me think about it.]
''Ah, not anymore.''
''What about Midori or Green ?'' Uraraka proposed.
Simple, both were reminders of his suit. He had a preference for Green, if only to differentiate his hero name from the real one, but he wrote both of the suggestions down.
''Bunny !'' Ashido decided. ''Like the helmet you had on your first day !''
''Wasn't that a jackal ?'' Todoroki asked.
''It's inspired by All Might,'' Izuku explained, putting his index fingers in front of his forehead to imitate his idol's haircut.
There was a long second of silence and everyone more or less cooed at him. Even Iida spared a smile
''My vote is still on Bunny,'' Ashido reminded him before taping on the notebook with her index finger.
Izuku refused to write that but she grabbed a pen and did it herself.
That might be offensive for a number of people with mutations if he claimed a name like that.
It was added to the list.
But she wasn't done.
[Ariel would suit you.]
''Ariel is cute !'' Ashido said.
''That's a good one !'' Yaorozu agreed. ''It reminds me of the chaos Ariel unleashed in the Tempest.''
Everyone looked at her.
''From Shakespeare,'' she added as if it explained everything.
''He wrote a lot,'' Ashido reminded her.
''Ariel was the air spirit helping to the magician Prospero. Despite his aerial nature, his nature allows his power to express different abilities, a little like yours, Midoriya !''
Cooldown activated swiftly so Izuku wouldn't sweat because someone was mentioning how odd his quirk was.
''You said air and chaos, I am convinced for Midori's name,'' Ashido declared.
The name got added to the list because, with such recommendation, how could he ignore it ?
Tenya knew which name to choose. Which name to carry. He had his brother’s blessing and his mother’s approval.
But Ingenium was gentle and helped everyone. He inspired the trust of people around him and he was only stronger thanks to their help. He was the spirit of chivalry. He was this hero who put a smile on everyone’s face.
Ingenium was his older brother.
And carrying this name while he was alive felt like he was asked to replace the greatest man he had ever known.
Tenya would have to be enough for now.
Why did you never think of a hero name ?
Probably because if Izuku had wanted to follow All Might's path for a long time, he took the actual steps fairly recently. Going to the entrance exam was actually a last minute decision and he hadn't thought about it in the meantime because he didn't want to think about his eventual failure.
After that, there was the USJ, the Sport Festival, and what had happened to Uraraka. No time to think. Perfect distractions for someone trying to keep his brain from thinking too much about anything that could go wrong.
The last push he needed for his decision came from the advice of Lord Explosion Murder.
''You should call yourself Deku.''
Izuku laughed it off and wrote Ariel down on his plate.
Midnight accepted it.
Learning about Young Midoriya's mountain of offers immediately cheered up Toshinori, because it meant that the boy choosing Gran Torino was even more unlikely. His former teacher wasn't in the hero ranking, wasn't known, and even though his quirk was great, Young Midoriya had no way to know about it.
Everything would be fine.
Toshinori lasted an hour before unease started to grip at him once again.
Gran Torino was wise and relentless, and he didn't seem worried at the idea of reaching Young Midoriya. Toshinori had thought it was because he would find him with another way, but what if he had a plan ? What if he had already reached out ?
As the number 1 hero and the Symbol of Peace, Toshinori hold out as much as he could, until stress threatened to devour him from the inside at the idea of Gran Torino holding Young Midoriya by his ankles above a balcony, yelling ''WHY DO YOU HAVE THE SAME QUIRK AND HOW ARE YOU RELATED TO HIM ?''
He had seen it happen with someone else.
When he couldn't take it anymore, he ran to the classroom, still bent in half because of a monstrous stomachache.
''I-I-I am here ! In a peculiar pose !'' he announced just as Midoriya was opening the door, his eyes wide even though he had to have seen him coming with this quirk of his. ''I need to talk to you !''
''… Okay ?'' Young Midoriya answered with an apprehensive look on his face but he still followed him without asking any question.
It wasn't the first time Toshinori noticed the blind trust the boy was showing to him. Almost since their first encounter.
But it was more about idolatry, and that was why he had to be extremely careful. He couldn't take advantage of it.
''First, I learned that you received many offers. Congratulations,'' he said as the boy was blushing. ''Has one of them picked your interest already ?''
The list of offers appeared in Midoriya's hand as fast as his notebook did, sometimes. And now that he was paying attention, Toshinori could see that the list of names was almost as thick as the notebooks. And it was already covered in writing.
‘’Actually,'' Young Midoriya said after flipping through pages to find a name underlined twice, ''I am curious about a hero named Gran Torino.''
''It’s so rare when I don’t know a hero so I am a little excited,'' Young Midoriya admitted, ''But there is no trace of him online. I will have to search more when I get home.’’
How ? How could Gran Torino predict the boy's curiosity ? Or was it just bad luck ?
Quick ! Change subject ! Maybe he won't notice it.
‘’But apart from him, is there another offer you’re interested in ?’’
The green-haired boy didn't even hesitate.
''Everyone of them,'' he answered and for a second, his eyes almost gleamed.
Toshinori couldn't help a laugh.
‘’That’s kind of the problem,'' Young Midoriya continued, a hand in his hair and half hiding his face. ''I want to go everywhere. So many heroes with so many quirk and so many different experiences. But right now, I am interested by someone who is good at investigating because this is a skill I really want to learn.''
''Endeavor is the hero who solved more cases for the past twelve years.''
But Endeavor was known for being a loner, so he wasn't sure that he was making offers.
''I did receive an offer,'' Young Midoriya surprised him, ''from his agency and I thought about it, especially since Todoroki decided to go there... But I don't know. Especially since I also received an offer from Gang Orca and he is known for making his interns do a lot of things to acquire different skills...'' He looked up at Toshinori and froze. ''Not that I am trying to be picky but...''
''It's good you have so many choices.'' Toshinori simply said with a fond smile. He couldn't help it. ''And don't worry yourself about making the perfect choice. You will learn wherever you go,'' he assured, and his hand moved on its own.
All those quirks but he is still at the beginning of the road, a multitude of choices waiting for him.
''Thank you,'' the boy said just as Toshinori patted the mop of green curls on the top of his head, and Young Midoriya just froze, his head tilted like a curious bird. Toshinori was about to take his hand back but he just accepted it.
Young Midoriya distracted him from his thoughts as he transferred his weight from one feet to another, clearly building up the courage to ask him something, and Toshinori took his hand back in case he had actually made him uncomfortable.
But it wasn't that.
''Can I ask you a question ? You don't have to answer if you don't want to.''
Despite a really bad feeling, Toshinori nodded.
''Do you know who Gran Torino is ? Because I really tried to find him and I didn't manage to. It's rare.''
Oh, Great spirit of America, don't fail me now.
''Why are you asking ?'' Toshinori asked as if he didn't care and didn't have a worry in the world.
''Your face became really white and your quirk flashed on its own.''
For the love of...
''I do know him,'' he admitted. ''He was once an instructor at UA. Just for one year. And he was my homeroom teacher.''
Young Midoriya looked at him the same way he had look at him the day they met. When he thought he was incognito and this young man had seen through his quirk as if it was staring at something wonderful.
He had to make him understand this was a horrible idea. Now.
''He is the one who trained me after my mentor passed away. But he was brutal and he retired so long ago I almost forgot about him,'' he added really quickly and his leg started quivering. He looked away from Young Midoriya to get it under control. ''He isn't interested by rankings, he just wants to use his quirks and to navigate into the crime fighting world without being slowed down...''
And Gran Torino was also good at investigating but Young Midoriya couldn't know that.
He looked back at the boy and froze when he saw Young Midoriya's face, like it was Christmas and his birthday at the same time.
Toshinori had a sneaking suspicion he didn't hear anything after ''He is the one who trained me.''
He had made a horrible mistake.
Aizawa-Sensei asked for a moment of Katsuki's time after the class and Kirishima asked if he wanted them to wait for him for their stupid lunch outside. As if Katsuki wanted to mingle with them, and he told him in no uncertain terms what he thought of their friendship moments.
He went back to his teacher, who looked like shit. He must have went back to his hero activities as soon as the bandages and casts had been removed because his face looked twenty years older than usual, his eyes were red without his quirk, and he radiated a ''Don't fuck with me'' aura. Katsuki could respect the latter.
''Why do you think you aren't the most sought out despite winning the Sport Festival ?'' his teacher asked.
''Because I couldn't show what I could do. All my fights were short and disappointing, except with Uraraka.''
But even when he had fought with Uraraka, people had booed at him. Worse, he hadn't be able to prove himself with the following fights.
It was Deku's fault. He had messed with Half and Half so he didn't fight back when faced with Katsuki. Worse, he didn't even have the decency of winning his fight so Katsuki couldn't throw makeshift grenade at his stupid face, and prove he could win because he was actually working for it.
''You're wrong,'' Aizawa-Sensei said. ''Flashy moves are appreciated but neutralizing quickly someone proves you have control over your quirk and any pro will be able to notice that.'' For a moment, his eyes flashed red. ''Frankly, the problem is your attitude.''
That pissed him off. More than it should have.
Aizawa-Sensei had been the one to defend him against all those dumb motherfuckers during his match with Round Face.
''You didn't get as many offers because people don't trust you. The pros are looking at you and they are thinking 'I don't want someone so volatile representing my agency.' And if you keep blowing off, you will be ignored by the hero world despite your strength.''
There was a lot of things Katsuki could have said. Screamed. But he didn't. Instead, he listened.
''Think about it,'' Aizawa-Sensei asked him.
Izuku was walking down the hallway when something exploded, the reinforced metal door flying from its hinges and crashing into a wall with a loud noise that almost made his heart stop.
There was no quirk. I would have noticed that.
He rushed inside, ready to put down any fire. Instead, he found the system that drastically lowered the oxygen in a room to smother the flames and Hatsume who was taking the matter in her own hands by smothering something definitely in more fire than the rest of the room with one fire-absorbent fabric in one hand, and tinkering with something high tech with the other.
But that wasn't the weirdest part in this picture.
Shinsou was also here, sitting at a desk behind what looked like a Plexiglas shield and he kept writing something on his notebook without a care in the world.
''It's a common occurrence here,'' Shinsou explained without looking up. ''Don't worry.''
''Is that the Mister number 1 I'm hearing ?''
''I only won the race.''
The girl dropped what she was doing, start of a fire included, and almost materialized in front of Izuku, a Cheshire grin on her face.
''You're the one who sent me Shinsou Hitoshi ! That's a good start ! But now, I need more. More people wearing my cute babies and exposing them to the world and to sponsors ! Feel free to send more to me !'' she declared and there was a crazy glint in her eyes.
''What about finishing my ribbon first ?'' Shinsou called out and Izuku used the distraction to take two steps back.
''I finished it ! I even perfected it ! You're the one who nag me into making a sub par version !''
''No, you made a version of Eraserhead's combat ribbon that will electrocute me if I blink at it too hard.''
Izuku actually shuddered as he thought of what would have happened if Aizawa-Sensei had been able to taser him two nights ago. There wasn't much to do if the electrical shock didn't kill you, so he would have had to wait, then escaped after he wasn't immobilized anymore.
''Improvise. Adapt. Overcome,'' Hatsume told Shinsou, without any mercy.
Shinsou grabbed his pile of History books and showed them to her, silently threatening her though Izuku wasn't sure of how. Hatsume raised her hands and went back to her table and what she was working on.
''I am doing her homework so I she can keep working and destroy her health,'' Shinsou explained.
''And I thank you for it, Test model 1,'' Hatsume said without paying attention while smothering what was left of the flames for good.
Since Hatsume's items had an unfortunate tendency to explode, Izuku went to Shinsou's side of the room. He needed this Heat Resistance quirk as soon as possible if he wanted to keep studying at UA.
''What are you working on ?''
''The Great Riots of six years ago in California.''
Durability. Resistance. Shock Absorption. Shock Absorption.
''A bunch of heroes and villains fought like crazy and everyone panicked,'' Shinsou continued. ''Now, I just have to write ten pages about it, and I don't think I can go beyond five.''
Izuku went through all his quirks slowly. He wasn't activating anyone of them, but he was just making sure they were here. Golden lights in a sea of darkness. Usually, he just like to know they were here and was swooning over them, but now, he needed the ritual.
''When you're talking about the heroes and the villains,'' Izuku explained, ''Mention the fact that they were several of them and that might be an example of a league like we've seen at the USJ but we don't know because almost no one was recognized. And what happened after the actual fight.''
His voice didn't change and his face didn't betray anything.
He was still mentally checking on his quirks.
''It was chaos. The villains stopped but there was so much collateral damages that people just lost their minds. For a moment, there was no lights in the whole city. Those weren't just riots but people using their quirks in the streets and destroying everything in their path. There were fights of groups with similar quirks, the police was overwhelmed, and urgency services actually stopped answering during those three days. The US army had to be mobilized to control the crowds.''
Shinsou finished taking notes and when he looked up, Izuku had everything under control once again.
''How do you even know all that ?''
''I did research for a paper in my middle school,'' Izuku lied, still disturbed. ''We are eating outside with the class. Do you want to join in ?''
''With a bunch of hero students ? I will wait until I am actually in your course.''
''I have to build more things to get filthy rich,'' Hatsume explained as if it was obvious.
Izuku nodded and left as fast as he could.
More than half of 1-A had decided to take advantage of the half a day of class and to eat together outside. After getting burgers and other unhealthy and delicious snacks, they all decided to picnic and found a decent spot near a pond. At least until they saw a sign with the drawing of a goose.
''This explains why there is no one around,'' Jirou understood.
''A few geese won't be too much trouble. I mean, we survived the USJ,'' Kaminari reminded them.
And somehow, they all decided to trust him.
They had a good time. Almost everyone had decided on where to go and they were all excited at the idea of working in an agency, even if it was only for a week. As for Izuku, he just listened to them, enjoying their presence.
He felt at peace.
But some things never lasted.
''Honk ?'' someone asked behind Izuku.
Izuku turned, expecting to see one curious bird drawn in by the food and ready to hide behind Kaminari because he was messing with no murder bird. Heroism had its limits.
Instead, he saw twenty of them, a whole flock having managed to sneak behind the students. But Izuku didn't even focus on all of them. He was aware of them, an instinct usually reserved for life-of-death situation screaming at him that the students were outnumbered, but what was drawing 90% of his attention was one of the geese.
One of them was looking at Izuku like he owed it money. There was something in its beady eyes, something predatory which shouldn't have belonged in the eyes of a bird but which was still here because once upon a time, those things were dinosaurs.
And they obviously had never received the memo that they weren't raptors anymore.
No one moved. No one dared.
Except for one man. Maybe because he knew no fear. Or maybe because he knew it so intimately that he had mastered it. Whatever the answer was, Tokoyami just looked at the abyss, unafraid of it looking back, and drank the remaining of his cherry milk-shake without showing any fear.
Tokoyami finished his drink without a care in the world.
And then, he screamed one word.
In a formidable crowd movement, everyone did just that. They got up to their feet, and they ran in every direction, no one looking back, no one slowing down. Crowd instinct had taken over, because this was one of those situations were he didn't matter to be the fastest, just to be faster than the one behind you.
Izuku grabbed Uraraka and Todoroki by the back of their shirts, taking speed while half-dragging the both of them, and letting Iida on his own since he had the quirk to save himself, and he couldn't help a laugh.
He had no doubt that anyone not having a Speed quirk would laugh latter about how ridiculous this situation was.
But first, they had to make sure that the last sound they hear before their death wasn't ''Honk ! Honk !''
Five days later
Am I really going to do this ? Jin wondered.
‘’Are you sure ?’’ the seventy-two-year-old man asked the teen who was patiently waiting to be attacked.
So Jin hit him in the chest, his palm meeting hard muscles. He didn’t hit hard, because he didn’t actually want to hurt him and because at seventy-two, he has passed the age to fistfight with youngsters.
And it wasn’t like he needed strength anyway.
Electricity awaken within him and coursed through him, Jin now a conduct who couldn’t be hurt by the lightning. The electrical energy was drawn to the other body, surging though it and the young man froze and fell on the chair strategically placed behind him without making any movements to catch his fall.
For a moment, Jin was worried. Maybe he had underestimated the current ? Maybe he had been contaminated by the boy’s enthusiasm ?
Jin had spent all his life not using his quirk. He didn’t have the experience to know if something went wrong.
But Akatani moved again without any complaint. At first, it was slow, like a squid out of water testing its limbs, then he sat up instead of being slouched out and he started to stretch. He wasn’t looking at him, lost in thoughts.
Analyzing the sensations, Jin realized.
‘’Yes, it really is like a taser.’’
That was exactly what Jin had told him but he still had asked him to test the quirk because if he ‘’had to use it on someone, I want to know exactly what it’s like first.’’
Akatani Mikumo stretched like a cat then went back to his feet with ease.
It wasn't his real name. He had apologized for that, but when he had revealed what his quirk could do and what he was offering, Jin understood why. His first thought had been 'villain' and he was supposed to be old enough to be over his prejudice.
Akatani had also explained to him that he wanted to be a hero. And why he was interested in his predicament. They had talked for a long time. Akatani had left him a phone number.
And today, Jin had called him so he could take away the quirk that refused to obey him.
‘’Is there something special to do ? A ritual ? A chant ?’’ he joked, trying to get rid of the sudden surge of stress.
All it took was actually a handshake, which was frankly anticlimactic for such a frighteningly powerful quirk.
But nothing happened.
Akatani took his hand back, not commenting on the misfire, and Jin wondered if he was embarrassed. It was actually cute that such a funny mistake could happen to someone so intense, appearing to solve his problem like a fairy tale character. Kids will stay kids.
‘’The taser ability is incredible but the resistance to electricity is just as great,’’ Akatani noticed and Jin was about to ask him if he wanted to try again when he saw the sparks on his fingers. Weak, of course, but Akatani was looking at it like it was the most beautiful thing in the world.
Jin just stared.
And he activated his quirk.
But nothing happened. No familiar surge of electricity to hold back. His quirk was gone and he didn’t notice. Akatani had told him that it wouldn’t hurt, but he wasn’t expecting this.
Akatani noticed. Of course he did. This child had been incredibly attuned to Jin’s reactions since they have met.
‘’Are you okay ?’’ he asked, worry and doubt in his voice, and at this very moment, Jin knew that if he asked for his quirk back, he would have it in a heartbeat.
Jin tried to use his quirk again, and nothing happened.
It was so strange. He was expecting something to change. Anything. An almost physical void he would have to live with. But instead, there was no change, just his quirk not working anymore.
‘’There is no problem,’’ he forced himself to smile. ‘’At all.’’
Giving his quirk away meant he wouldn’t have to keep being afraid of lightly electrocuting someone every time he touched them. It meant his daughter wouldn’t have this half-moment of hesitation every time she hugged him, bracing herself for a potential electric shock. That meant he could hold his grand kids again.
And that if the teenage boy had wanted, he could have any quirk he wanted. Jin had realized that when he had explained what his quirk was, because overpowering old people shouldn’t be too difficult, but that was beyond. He just had to bump shoulders with someone and he would never get caught.
This was a very frightening quirk. If Jin hadn’t spent his life ignoring his ingrained prejudices, he would have been afraid and lashed out.
Akatani told him once again that he only have to call to have his quirk back. He made sure Jin was okay, dutiful child that he was, and when he left, he couldn’t hide his smile. Neither did Jin, because this awkward kid was endearing and his quirk couldn’t hurt the people he loved anymore.
But still, it felt strange.