Actions

Work Header

The Shadow Hero: Angel!

Chapter Text

A man and a woman walk down the bare hallway, their conversation echoing around the chamber. A round of wet coughs stops her in her tracks, and the man frets over her as she searches for a handkerchief.

 

"Your Highness, maybe you should take a break for a while. Just for your health-"

 

"I'm not giving up, Kage. And how many times have I asked you to call me by my name?" The woman stares at her advisor with a stern expression, her blue eyes seeming to pierce through his. After a moment the expression softens, and they continue walking. "There may soon come a day when I am unable to continue my work, but today is not that day." Kage clears his throat.

 

"Y-Yes, of course. But when that day comes, who will take over? You have no heir."

 

The woman hums, chewing her bottom lip absentmindedly. "I'll have to make one, then. I have always wanted children of my own, I suppose now is as good a time as any."

 

"Are you sure? That is a big responsibility,  especially in your current situation. Perhaps you should choose an heir from somewhere else..."

 

"Of course I'm sure. Why should I waste time being indecisive with a matter as important as this?" She pauses in the middle of the hallway, raising a hand up from where they were clasped at her waist. Black shadows jump to meet it, forming a small bundle that hovers above her hand by a few centimeters.

 

She plucks a hair from her head, dropping it into the darkness as her irises begin to glow. After a moment, two identical blue orbs glow from the shadows, which clear to reveal an infant with tufts of thick brown hair on her head. She wriggles slightly as the woman moves her into a more steady position, eyes squinted against the light.

 

"You will be called... Kasumi," the woman decides, as she shakily resumes walking. Kage hovers at her side, attempting to help steady her.

 

"A wonderful name, Your Grace, but are you alright?"

 

The woman smiles weakly. "It's Yūrei, Kage, I've told you that." She returns her gaze to her daughter. "I've given her half my power. She is the true heir to my domain. Once I have passed, she only needs to complete a task of her own choosing to take her rightful place."

 

"That seems a bit simple... Wait, half your power?!" Kage gapes at her, red eyes blown wide. "That's more than any of us combined!"

 

She chuckles. "I am well aware that I have never used more than the smallest fraction to create the Grim, and only slightly more for you. I am the one who did it, after all. But Kasumi needs more than that, to learn her future duties and to ensure the remainder goes to her once I do pass on."

 

"...I see. I suppose, if you think it is best... I will have to stand by your decision." He frowns. "Still, a task of her own choosing seems too simple."

 

Yūrei smiles softly. "I have no doubt she will choose wisely. I do not plan on raising her to take such things lightly."

 

Kage sighs, opening the door so Yūrei can return to her quarters. "If you're sure..." The door shuts behind her. "I only hope this doesn't backfire on all of us."

 

+ Four Years Later... +

 

"Class, this is Shikyo Kasumi," the preschool teacher announces, standing just behind the girl as they both face the rest of the students. "She will be joining us for the rest of the school year!"

 

"Hi, Shikyo," the other kids chorus, most sounding bored with this newest development.

 

Kasumi isn't even sure she wants to be here, with all these human kids. Mama said she had to go to school like a normal kid, and she knows what she's allowed to tell them all, but what if they don't like her? What if they hate her, and think she's weird and gross? What if-

 

"H-Hi," someone says quietly, as Kasumi walks to take a seat at the table in the back. As it turns out, there's someone else there, a boy with green hair and a face full of freckles.

 

"Oh, hi," she says back, unsure how to react. "I can... find somewhere else to sit..."

 

"N-No, you can sit here!" the boy tells her, eyes wide. They're the same color as his hair. "I'm Midoriya Izuku!"

 

"Thank you, Midoriya." She sits down a couple seats away, where she can still see the front of the room. "How come you're all by yourself?"

 

"The other kids don't like me that much," he says sadly. "I don't got my Quirk yet, but everyone else does." His eyes light up. "Do you got a Quirk?"

 

Kasumi thinks about what Mama said about that. She doesn't have a Quirk, but all the humans are supposed to think she can play with the shadows. What did Mama call it again...

 

"Shikyo?"

 

Kasumi's nose wrinkles. "Call me Kasumi, please. I don't like Shikyo that much." She starts coloring on one of the papers on the table, noticing the other kids doing arts and crafts. "I got the same powers as Mama. She said it's called Shadoweaver."

 

"Whoa..." Midoriya whispers, looking up from his own drawing. Kasumi recognizes the colors from one of the heroes Mama talks about sometimes. She doesn't remember their name. "What's it do?"

 

"I can make the shadows move around and stuff," Kasumi says distractedly, still staring at hus paper. Wasn't he called All-Bright, or something like that?

 

"That's so cool! My Mama can pull things toward her, and my dad can breathe fire! I can't wait to get my Quirk. I'm gonna be a hero when I grow up, and save lots of people! Just like All-Might!"

 

Kasumi blinks. She could be a hero too, right? Mama says she's supposed to have her job someday, but that's a long time away, right? And she wants to help people...

 

Wait, All-Might? Her eyes go back to Midoriya's paper. That's what that hero's called! And Mama talks about him with Kage all the time because of something called... One For All? All For One? She'd have to ask after school.

 

"I think I wanna be a hero, too," Kasumi says quietly, returning to her own drawing. "And save people."

 

Midoriya beams. "Yeah! We can be heroes together!"

 

"That sounds nice."

 

"You can't be a hero without a Quirk, Deku!" a blonde kid calls out. Midoriya had gotten a bit loud in his excitement.

 

"I-I'm gonna get a Quirk, Kacchan!" Midoriya protests. "Mama says I'm just late!"

 

'Kacchan' scoffs. "Yeah, right. Hey, new kid! What's your Quirk? Bet it's not as good as mine!"

 

"What's yours?" Kasumi asks curiously.

 

Kacchan smirks, holding up his hands as sparks fly from his palms. Some of the other kids stop to watch, awed by the show. "So what's your Quirk, huh? Or are you Quirkless, like Deku?"

 

Kasumi squirms under the spotlight she's been put under. "I can move shadows," she says, using all her courage to keep looking at Kacchan.

 

"That sounds dumb."

 

Another boy at Kacchan's table, with a set of bat wings on his back, looks interested. "Can I see?"

 

Kasumi hesitates, then nods. She holds a hand palm-up over the table, and all the shadows in the room rush towards her. The gather in a ball above her hand, much to the other kids' amazement. When she drops her hand, they all seem to snap back into place.

 

Kacchan rolls his eyes and goes back to his coloring, but Midoriya looks at her in awe. "That was so cool, Kasumi!"

 

She stares back, surprised, then smiles. "Thank you, Midoriya."

Chapter Text

A girl sits at her mother's bedside, their hands clasped together. "I'm not ready for this, Mom," the girl whispers, just barely holding back her tears.

 

The woman smiles weakly. "You'll do great, dear. I'm so proud of you."

 

The girl takes in a shaking breath, nodding. "I love you."

 

"I love you even more."

 

The woman disappears in a flicker of shadow, the girl left to grasp at air. Tears stream freely down her face. She will never hear her mother's voice again.

 

+

 

"Sumicchan!" Midoriya calls out to his friend when he spots her in the schoolyard. "I haven't seen you all week! Where've you been?"

 

Kasumi forces a smile on her face. "You know... around..."

 

Midoriya doesn't seem to notice the deflection, going on to enthuse about them going to the same middle school. "I wonder if we're in the same class? What class are you in?"

 

"Um... 1-C. What class are you in, Izucchan?"

 

He sighs, bright smile fading. "1-B." After a moment he brightens up a bit. "We can still eat together, though!"

 

Kasumi hums. "Why don't we eat on the roof today? I don't feel like dealing with Bakugou on the first day of school."

 

Midoriya beams. "Yeah! Seeya there!" He goes into his classroom, right next door to hers. She hadn't even noticed that they made it inside. She turns to enter her own class, thankful the first day was only orientation.

Chapter Text

 

"Sumicchan?" Midoriya asks, concerned. They're on the roof, each with their own bento box. "You've been kinda... off. Are you okay?"

 

Kasumi blinks at him, then turns her gaze out over the schoolyard. "I..." She can trust him, right? He's her best, no, her only friend. Ever since that day at the preschool. When he found out he was Quirkless, in kindergarten, she fended off the bullies for him. When she needed somewhere to go, on the days Mom couldn't take care of her, Midoriya brought her to his house or the park. Whenever either of them needed it, they were there for each other. So... She should tell him, right? That's the logical decision. But if this was about logic, why is she sad in the first place? Mom's taken her on work trips, to learn how to complete her duties. She's seen people die.

 

Maybe it's because Mom's death was so different. Humans have Souls, tethered to their body by a silver string until it gets cut. Mom just disappeared. One moment she was there, and the next she wasn't. And now she's alone. Except she isn't, because Midoriya is here and Kage is taking over her work until she can do it herself.

 

"Sumicchan?" Midoriya asks again, worried at her lack of an answer.

 

She startles. "I, uh..." She sighs. "I'm not doing that great. My... My mom..." Her eyes start watering again.

 

Midoriya seems to get what she's saying, his eyes going wide and filling with their own tears. "Oh no..."

 

She nods. "Can I... Can I tell you something?"

 

+

 

"So... you're a god," Midoriya mumbles, once Kasumi has finished explaining her situation.

 

"Yes."

 

"And to finish getting your powers, or whatever, you just need too... pick something and do it?"

 

"I mean, that's technically right?" She sighs. "I don't want to pick something super easy, because then it just feels like cheating. And I have until I'm eighteen to do it, so I don't need to figure it out right away, but I kinda just want to get it over with as soon as possible? If that makes sense?"

 

"...Not really. None of this makes sense, actually. I've decided to actually process everything after school, so I don't have an existential crisis in the middle of class on the first day of school."

 

"I'm sorry, I just really needed to get all this off my chest. And it's not like I can go to the school therapist or something about this stuff. They'll probably just have me committed to one of your mental hospitals." She flops back onto the concrete roof, staring up at the sky. "I want to be over Mom. Not in a bad way, like, I still love her. But I want to be done with all the sad stuff. I've seen death before. I've reaped souls before. I just want to move forward, but... I can't. I mean, I'm doing better, and it's only been a week, but I want to take the next step. And the next step is still so far away I can barely see it."

 

Midoriya is silent for a few seconds. "You... You know you don't have to be okay right now, right? Your mom just died. Nobody expects you to be perfectly fine. Not even if you're apparently the Grim Reaper. You're allowed to be sad- You're supposed to be sad, when someone you care about dies. Or mad, or even numb. You don't have to have everything figured out and moving forward right away."

 

This time it's Kasumi who goes silent, thinking on his words. "You're right," she says quietly. Then she bolts up, as a thought hits her. "I know what my task is gonna be."

 

"R-Really? What?"

 

"Okay, so my mom only ever had one enemy. He's a human, called All For One. He has a real name, but I'll have to go through all our papers to find it, she never told me. But he's really bad. And he's kept himself from dying for over 200 years now."

 

"How?"

 

"Um... Tell you later. But anyway, he got really close a few years ago, but Mom was too sick to take care of him, and I was too little, so he got away."

 

"And that means...?"

 

She grins. "I'm gonna reap him."

 

"That's... a terrible idea."

 

"No it's not! He can't hurt me, so all I gotta do is wait for him to be weak enough to reap again! Which won't take long, he's not doing so hot already."

 

"Still a bad idea. I can't believe I'm being the voice of reason here."

 

"You're not. We can talk more later, lunch is almost over." She hops up and throws away her trash  "Thanks, Izucchan!"

 

Midoriya sighs, getting up to follow her. "No problem."

Chapter Text

"Sumicchan! Look!" Midoriya rushes towards the train station, to watch a villain attack.

 

"Wait up, Izucchan," Kasumi laughs, following him at a slower pace. She listens around the crowd for what happened as she passes through. Apparently the villain is just a purse thief that got cornered and panicked. She finds Midoriya at the front of the crowd. "Geez, you're excited about this one. Who's up there?"

 

"Kamui Woods, Death Arms, and Backdraft," he rattles off, not leaving the battle. "Backdraft is working on crowd control, and Death Arms is making sure debris doesn't hit any citizens... Kamui is the best option for capturing the villain, since his Quirk allows him to work from a far enough disrance not to be hit, while still surrounding the villain completely..."

 

"Are you a hero fanboy or something?" a man nearby asks teasingly, grinning at Midoriya.

 

Midoriya turns bright red. "Uh... Kinda, yeah..."

 

Kasumi laughs. "Relax, Izucchan. What's going on up there?"

 

Midoriya looks back at the fight, eyes lighting up. "Kamui Woods is about to use his signature move! Lacquered Binding..."

 

"Chain Prison!" the hero finishes at the same time as Midoriya, reaching out to capture the villain.

 

"Canyon Cannon!" an unfamiliar voice calls, and a giant woman flies through before Kamui can finish his move. She tackles the villain to the ground, and the press crowd around to grab pictures. She turns to them and waves, smiling. "Hello! I'm Mount Lady, and today's my debut!"

 

"...If she can't adjust her size, she'd probably work better in a more rural area, since there would be more space for her to move around, but the lack of media activity in those places could lrove detrimental to a new hero like this... Even so it's a plenty strong Quirk for hero work, and as long as she's careful about property damage she should be fine... Some places will be inaccessible to her in emergencies, so in the city she'd have to keep to incidents in larger areas..."

 

The man laughs, cutting off Midoriya's rambling. He looks at the cover of his notebook. "You want to be a hero, eh?"

 

Midoriya nods, smiling brightly. "More than anything!"

 

The man nods, giving him a thumbs up. "Well, I wish you the best of luck."

 

"Thank you!"

 

"Izucchan, we need to go before we're late," Kasumi tells him, tugging lightly on his backpack. 

 

"Oh!"

 

+

 

School was uneventful as always. They went over possible high schools, since it's their last year in middle school, and did some normal classwork. Kasumi packs up her things in a hurry, going into Midoriya's class next door.

 

"C'mon, Izucchan!" she chirps, breezing past Bakugou's lackies and pulling Midoriya's notebook out of his hands. "I saw a help wanted sign on a café near our house, and I want to see if they're still hiring!"

 

Midoriya laughs. "Sure, Sumicchan. Just let me finish packing up..."

 

"I'm not fucking done with you, Deku!" Bakugou rages, attempting to get around Kasumi. He fails, and soon Kasumi and Midoriya are headed out the door.

 

"Thanks, Sumicchan," Midoriya sighs, as they start towards the coffee shop.

 

"What set him off like that?" she asks, looking over her shoulder as if she can see Bakugou behind them.

 

"The teacher announced that I'm aiming for UA."

 

"Asshole. Why was he even talking about it? I mean, beyond going over nearby schools or different tracts or something."

 

There's a rattling sound behind them as they come up on a tunnel. They pause, turning around to look just as a man made of slime comes through the manhole cover.

 

"Two meatsuits for the taking? It must be my lucky day!" he says, darting towards the both of them. Kasumi dodges, but Midoriya isn't so lucky. The villain catches him, attempting to suffocate him.

 

Kasumi doesn't hesitate - she's more angry someone is trying to hurt her friend than she is scared for her own safety. With a flick of her wrist, the villain is ripped away from Midoriya and encased in shadows. Midoriya collapses on the ground, coughing and gasping for air, and she kneels to help.

 

The manhole cover rattles again, and she watches it warily. It flies off, landing a few meters away, and a hero jumps out.

 

"I AM HERE!" he announces, and Midoriya shoots up.

 

"All-Might?!"

 

Kasumi hums her confirmation. Her mom had mentioned All-Might plenty of times, along with One For All and All For One. She even told Kasumi the story, around her tenth birthday. What she had failed to mention was how loud the Quirk was, or the strange condition of his Soul String, or the fact there was a Grim assigned to him.

 

Midoriya, it seems, also noticed the Grim, as he not-so-subtly elbows Kasumi in an attemot to get her to deal with it. A successful attempt, because Kasumi does not want to deal with a dead number one hero at the moment. How would they explain All-Might suddenly dropping dead at their feet after seeming perfectly fine before? That's right, they couldn't. Whatever medical problems he had could be dealt with later.

 

Which is why, as Midoriya is helping All-Might put the villain into two soda bottles, and getting his notebook signed, Kasumi slips into the Spirit Plane. She walks up to the Grim with a frown, arms crossed. "Shouldn't you be at a hospital or something? We're already short staffed, there's better things for you to be doing than following the Symbol of Peace until his String finally thins out." The Grim seems ashamed, not that anyone can really tell. It's really just a vaguely humanoid shape in a black cloak with yellow glowing slits for eyes. "Honestly, we're lucky he's still kicking. Keeps villain activity down, so we aren't dealing with as many murders here. Go on, find a retirement home or something to slink around."

 

The shadow creature nods, drifting off in a random direction. Kasumi sighs, going back to the human plane of existence. All-Might doesn't even seem to have noticed her absence, but Midoriya gives her a thumbs up.

 

"Well, I really must be going!" All-Might tells them. "A hero battles not only villains, but time!"

 

Midoriya looks stricken. "W-Wait!"

 

"I'm sorry, I really must go! I look forward to your support!" He squats, and shoots into the sky...

 

With Midoriya on his leg. Kasumi groans, taking off to follow them.

+++PLUS ULTRA!+++

She finds them on a rooftop not too far from where they started. She lands on the edge, walking over and standing in front of Midoriya with an expectant look on her face.

 

"Oh, Sumicchan... I forgot you were there, haha..."

 

"I noticed," she says grumpily. "C'mon, leave the poor hero alone, we've got things to do." She grabs his sleeve and starts walking to the door.

 

"But-!"

 

"He had a Grim, Izucchan, let him recover a little bit," she whispers. "Besides, his Quirk is really loud. It's giving me a headache."

 

"What do you mean, his Quirk is loud?"

 

"Quirks affect your Soul String. Some more than others. And his more than pretty much any I've ever seen. It's loud."

 

"I don't see anything strange about it, and I don't hear anything."

 

"That's because you can barely see Strings at all! I didn't give you the power to see every detail of someone's Soul, that'd be stupid! You can see Grim, and you can see me when I go to the Spirit Plane, and that's about it. I thought we went over this already?"

 

"...Yeah, I think so, too. So, where's this coffee shop?"

Chapter Text

As they walk down the street, Kasumi's attention is grabbed by the sound of distant explosions. Midoriya also looks up, eyes widening at the column of smoke a few blocks away. They run towards it, stopping at the edge of the small crowd gathered.

 

Midoriya pushes his way to the front, but Kasumi is more concerned with the Grim floating in the chaos. The same Grim that was hanging around All-Might. With a groan, she goes out to send it away (again), moving through the people ahead of her as if they aren't there at all.

 

"Didn't I tell you to go to a hospital or old folk's home?" she asks it, arms crossed. "I have half a mind to put you on filing duty back in the Underworld." The Grim looks away, and she heaves a sigh. "Yeah, I don't like paperwork, either. Go on, then, to the ICU or something. Where people are actually dying."

 

It floats off, and it starts raining. What all did she miss, anyway? She looks down, spotting All-Might holding both Midoriya and Bakugou in one hand, the other raised in a triumphant fist. Ah, that explains the return of her headache. She glides down as Midoriya and Bakugou are talked to by the heroes, waiting for Midoriya to finally make his mistake. Her reappearance is delayed by Bakugou, who yells at Midoriya for saving him before stomping off.

 

She grumbles as she steps back into the physical world. "Egotistical asshole. Hope he steps on a lego."

 

"Sumicchan..." Midoriya sighs, as they turn to start walking.

 

"You're not off the hook either. I go off to dismiss that Grimm and what do you do? Run head-first into a villain attack! What were you thinking?!"

 

"Would it make you feel better if I said I... wasn't thinking?"

 

"No! Why would that make anything better?"

 

"It was worth a shot."

 

She opens her mouth to respond, but her headache makes yet another comeback. She closes it with a huff as All-Might comes speeding around the corner... And disappears in a puff of steam. At least her headache's disappeared, she thinks, until the steam clears to reveal a scarecrow wiping blood off  its face. She glances at his chest. That's All-Might, alright. Shhe and Midoriya both stare, Midoriya several degrees more shocked than she is.

 

"Are you okay?!" he asks, eyes wide.

 

All-Might raises a placating hand. "I'm fine."

 

Kasumi snorts, earning her an elbow in the ribs. "Why did you come to talk to us, All-Might?" Midoriya asks, taking a step back to avoid Kasumi's revenge kick in the shin.

 

"Er, actually, I meant to talk to you, young man." He rests a hand on the back of his neck. "During that villain attack, none of the heroes at the scene were doing anything to help! Including myself, I am ashamed to admit. But you! You rushed right in, without even using a Quirk! Even if you were only able to buy a bit of time, only you ran in to help! You inspired me to push past my limits and save you both!"

 

"I wasn't really thinking about it," Midoriya says, blushing a little at the praise. "It just kinda... happened."

 

"Exactly! Rushing in to help without having to think about it is the true mark of a hero! And for that, I'd like to offer you my Quirk."

 

Midoriya blinks. "What does that even mean?"

 

Kasumi laughs. "It means he wants to give you his Quirk!"

 

"No, I know that! Can he even do that?!"

 

"Yeah."

 

"Oh."

 

All-Might watches the exchange with a look of confusion. "Well, young man, it is up to you whether or not you accept my offer. I wiill not force it on you, and if you decline I will continue my search for a successor."

 

Midoriya thinks for a moment. "I accept! It'll make the whole becoming a hero thing a lot easier, right? And I could save a lot more people with that kinda power!"

 

All-Might grins. "Your training starts this Saturday. I'll text you the time and location." He and Midoriya exchange phone numbers, and the two teens are on their way.

 

Kasumi sighs, looking at the sunset. "And I didn't even make it to the café..."

 

Midoriya gasps. "Oh no, I'm so sorry! I completely forgot that's where we were going!"

 

She laughs, lightly punching him in the shoulder. "It's fine! The place'll still be open tomorrow. We can stop by then."

 

"If you're sure..."

 


+

 


Kasumi and Midoriya stop by the café on their way to school. It's a cozy little shop, run by an elderly woman with nothing better to do. There's a few part-time employees, but they're still a little understaffed. Even now, when there should be a morning rush as people head to work, only a few tables are filled. Kasumi walks right up to the counter, but stoops only halfway across the room.

 

"Is that...?" Midoriya whispers.

 

She nods with a sigh. The Grimm from yesterday, hanging around the old lady filling a cup behind the counter. It catches sight of Kasumi and freezes. She shakes her head, finishing her trip to the front.

 

"Hello, dears," the woman says kindly. "What can I do for you today?"

 

"Actually, I was hoping for an application?" Kasumi says cheerfully, expertly keeping her eyes from wandering to the Grimm.

 

"Oh, of course! Just one moment." She disappears into a back room, returning with a sheet of paper. "Just fill that out, and bring it back whenever you'd like!"

 

"Thank you." She smiles, heading out while putting the paper in her backpack. The smile falls as soon as they leave the building. "Give me just one moment, Izucchan," she sighs, slipping into the Spirit Plane. She goes back inside, floating in front of the Grimm. "What do you have to say for yourself?"

 

The Grimm doesn't answer, because Grimm can't speak. It does, however, stare at the floor like a little kid being scolded. She rubs her temples.

 

"Whatever. If you can't find an actual place to work, you can stick around me. But no Reaping anybody unless I say so, got it?"

 

The Grimm nods, following her out of the café and to the street. It can't exit the Spirit Plane, but it seems content anyway. Much to Midoriya's confusion.

 

"Uh... Sumicchan? What's with the Grimm?"

Chapter Text

Today marks Kasumi's first day of work. Technically it's training, and she starts her first real shift tomorrow, but still. Her Grimm, which she has decided to name Jun, is tagging along. Midoriya still seemed a bit unsure about Jun before they parted ways the day before, but Kasumi doesn't care. What can she say, he's grown on her.

 

"Usually you'll be working with two to three people, but depending on the shift you might be the only one at the counter," her guide, a university student named Keiji, tells her. "We're never that busy, usually our customers are just people working the graveyard shift, or university and high school students trying to do homework or kill time."

 

"Who else is going to be here, if I'm working the counter alone?" she asks, looking around the room.

 

"Well, Yamamoto-san is almost always around. You can usually find her in the kitchen, making sure the cakes and things are still stocked. She's a great cook. Unless you're working really late, of course. She leaves at about nine-thirty, and comes back at five."

 

"Oh. I actually volunteered to work later..."

 

"Really? What are you scheduled for?"

 

"Um..." She gets out her phone to check the message she got last night. "Seven to eleven. Can't be out after curfew."

 

"You sure you can handle it? Usually people want to work a bit earlier for a first job."

 

"I'll be fine." She smiles cheerfully at him. "I'm a night owl anyway."

 

The bell on the door jingles, and a tired-looking man in black clothes (and with a white scarf, which is kind of weird, considering it's springtime) walks in. Keiji waves at him. "Aizawa-san, you're not usually here this early! What can I do for you?"

 

The man doesn't even glance at the chalkboard menu above them. "The usual, thank you." He looks at Kasumi with an almost bored expression. "New employee?"

 

Keiji nods. "Yes, this is Kasumi. She'll be working evenings, but today's her training day." Kasumi smiles. "Kasumi, Aizawa-san's regular order is actually really simple, so I'll let you handle it. One medium black coffee, and one order of cat biscuits."

 

She nods. "Got it!" Keiji showed her how to work all the equipment earlier, and after a few minutes she has the cup and a small bag of cat-shaped shortbread cookies on the counter. "That'll be 1300 yen, sir! Aizawa pulls out his wallet, setting the money on the counter and putting a few extra notes in the tip jar. He takes his things with a muttered 'thank you' and walks back out of the shop. Kasumi cheerfully puts the money into the cash register. "I did it!"

 

Keiji huffs out a laugh. "Yeah. That's pretty much how your whole shift will go. If they don't leave right away, they're probably sticking around to do homework or something."

 

"Okay. Thanks for showing me around!"

 

"It's what I'm paid to do. You staying all day, or...?"

 

Kasumi hums. "Probably until lunch. I mean, unless you guys need me to stay longer?"

 

"Nah, that should be fine. If we need you, we'll let you know."

 

"Okay!" They don't get very many customers, and by lunch even the people who were there at the beginning of the day have packed up and left. Kasumi says her goodbyes and heads out, following the directions Midoriya texted her to an American restaurant on the other side of town.

 

Midoriya sighs when she gets to their table. "Is that thing really still following you?" he asks, staring at Jun looming behind her.

 

She pouts. "His name is Jun, not 'that thing.' Be nicer, Izucchan. And I'd sure hope he's still following me, I told him to stay nearby."

 

All-Might comes over to the table, looking like a scarecrow again. He's carrying two cups filled with drinks from the soda fountain. "Ah, Young Kasumi, isn't it? You're welcome to join us, if you'd like."

 

"Thanks." She doesn't get up to order anything, but she does steal a drink from Midoriya's cup before he can grab it. She immediately makes a face. "Izucchan, how could you betray me like this?"

 

"Don't blame me, I didn't give you my drink," he laughs, wiping the straw off with a napkin before taking a drink himself. "How'd work go?"

 

"Really well, actually! I mean, today was just training, but I like it. I start for real tomorrow night. How'd your trip to the beach go?"

 

Midoriya deflates. "I've got until the entrance exam to clear a section of Dagoba. Plus some other exercises and stuff, and a diet plan."

 

She snorts. "Yes, because fast food is definitely a part of your diet."

 

All-Might splutters around his - what is that, tea? - and sets his cup back down. "W-Well, there's nothing wrong with a cheat day, is there?"

 

"Mm-hmm. So, have you told your mom yet?"

 

Midoriya sinks even further into his seat. "...No."

 

"You need to tell her! You do not want to face her wrath."

 

"How would you know, she loves you!"

 

"But am I wrong?"

 

"...No."

 

"That's what I thought. Bring him over for dinner, explain everything and all that."

 

"Aren't you coming to dinner, too?"

 

Kasumi groans. "No. Kage says I need to 'Take my responsibilities more seriously as heir' and 'spend more time around my future workplace.' So I'm going there tonight to let him know I've got the job at Yamamoto-san's café."

 

"Ugh. Kage needs to relax."

 

"I mean, he is kind of running everything until I can take over. He's just a little uptight."

 

Their number  is called from the counter, prompting All-Might to stand back up. "Are you sure you don't want anything, Young Kasumi? I can order for you, if you'd like."

 

She waves a hand. "Nah, I can't stick around too long. Just thought I'd drop in and say hi." She gets up to leave, messing up Midoriya's hair on her way past him. "Maybe I'll join you at the beach tomorrow, or something."

 

"Okay. Bye, Sumicchan!"

 

"See ya, Izucchan."

 

Once she's outside, she goes home. Not to the Midoriyas' apartment, which is where she crashes when she wants to stay in the living world for a little bit, but to her actual home in the Underworld. She's immediately greeted by Kage. "Your Grace, I'm afraid there is an important matter to discuss regarding your application to that high school you want to go to soo much," he says, holding up the application.

 

"What?" She takes it, reading over it.

 

"It would appear you need a legal guardian to attend. Unfortunately, not only do you not have a legal guardian, you are technically not a citizen of Japan or any other country in the living world."

 

She stares at the words on the application. "Shit. Can we get any of it done here?"

 

"Citizenship papers should be fairly simple, but you will most likely need a real person to agree to be your legal guardian."

 

"Inko-obasan would agree no-problem, I already spend half my time at their house. How soon can we have the citizenship papers done?"

 

"By the end of the week, at the latest."

 

"Perfect. Now, I just need Inko-obasan to sign some adoption papers. We have those already printed, don't we?"

 

"Yes, I will retrieve them at once. And, one last thing, what is with this Grimm you have with you?"

 

Kasumi glances behind her, just remembering she has Jun with her. "Oh, um... Special assignment. From me. Yeah. He is to, uh, accompany me and alert me to possible Reaping situations when I am unable to... properly assess the situation due to... living matters. Yep." She nods.

 

Kage sighs, obviously not buying it. "If you're going to keep a Grimm as a pet, I won't stop you. Just be responsible about it, and don't let him go off Reaping everyone he comes across." He starts walking away. "I'll have the adoption papers you requested in just a moment."

 

True to his word, Kage is back in a few minutes, papers in hand. Kasumi takes them with a quick thank-you, then steps back out of the Underworld and directly into the Midoriyas' living room.

 

"Inko-obasan, I have a favor to-" She stops mid sentence, face-to-face with a slack-jawed Skeleton-Might. Midoriya facepalms from his spot on the couch.

 

"Oh my," his mom says, coming in from the kitchen with tea. "Kasumi, dear, I'm afraid we're a little busy at the moment. I suppose you've met Yagi-san, Izuku's new mentor?"

 

Kasumi nods. "Yeah. But, um, this is actually probably just as important, and kinda sorta involves the same thing, and I have to be back home by dinner or Kage's gonna give me the disappointed dad look. He's not even my dad!"

 

The older woman chuckles. "I'm sure this won't take until dinnertime." She sets the tea on the table, sitting on the opposite side of it from All-Might. Or, Yagi, Kasumi guesses, when he's not being all hero-y. "Now, what were you saying, Yagi-san?"

 

Yagi clears his throat. "Er, right. I have put together a schedule to build up Young Midoriya's strength and endurance, but that's not quite what I came to talk about. You see, my Quirk allows me to pass it on to another person of my choosing, and Young Midoriya has agreed to become my successor. However, my Quirk is very powerful, and he will need to reach a base level of strength before the Yuuei entrance exams to minimze physical injury to himself and others."

 

Inko just hums, seemingly unsurprised. "What exactly is your Quirk, then? I wouldn't want to come home to see him setting things on fire with a Quirk he can't control."

 

Yagi chuckles nervously. "Well, you understand that none of this information can be spread around, yes?"

 

"Of course."

 

He nods, standing up out of his chair. He puffs up to his hero form, seeming surprised at her lack of reaction. "I received my Quirk from somebody else, as well. That is the nature of my Quirk, called One For All. It gets stronger with every holder, so Young Midoriya's version of it will be more powerful than even my own." He deflates, sitting back down. "You seem very... calm, about this. Come to think of it, Young Midoriya and Young Kasumi both did, too."

 

Inko nods. "Yes, spending time wiith Kasumi tends to do that. I'd doubt anything could surprise me, at this point."

 

Kasumi laughs. "Yeah, you'd have to pretty much be a god to surprise them, at this point. Maybe not even then. Anyway, Inko-obasan, about that favor..."

 

"Yes, dear?"

 

"Okay, so Yuuei needs you to have a legal guardian to attend. But I don't have one of those."

 

"Oh my. You don't even have citizenship papers, do you?"

 

"Not yet, but I will at the end of the week. We're taking care of that on our end. But, unless we do double the paperwork to register Kage as my legal guardian, I am still very guardian-less. Because putting myself in foster care sounds like a really dumb idea when I'm trying to stay as invisible as possible. So. I kinda sorta need you to sign these adoption papers." She smacks the papers onto the table.

 

"Alright. While I take care of this, Yagi-san looks like he's very much in need of an explanation. You haven't been keeping him in the dark, have you?"

 

Kasumi sighs. "Yeah. Come on, Yagi-san, me and Izucchan will explain everything."

 

He follows her to the couch, completely baffled. "What, exactly, is going on here?" he asks, looking between the two of them.

 

Kasumi holds out a hand for a handshake. "I haven't actually introduced myself. I'm Shikyo Kasumi, but you should call me Kasumi. I'm Death."

 

He chuckles uneasily. "That's... impossible, isn't it?"

 

"Nope. You're looking at the Heir to the Underworld herself. The Grim Reaper, basically, but it's actually pretty complicated. But whatever, if it works it works."

 

"But how? You- You're not even out of middle school yet!"

 

Kasumi hums. "Mom was Death before me. She got sick a while before I came around, and never got better. She was pretty much bedridden by the time I was nine, and right before our first year of middle school, she disappeared. Literally. We aren't humans, so we don't have Souls. And I guess, technically, I'm not even Death yet? For me to take over, I have to Reap a Very Important Person by the time I'm eighteen."

 

"You sound like you already have someone in mind..."

 

"Yep. Good old Potato-Face. Emphasis on the old. I would have done it already, but he's just barely too healthy. Most of it's machines, don't get me wrong, but they're still keeping him going strong enough that I can't take care of him."

 

Yagi is silent for a few moments. "Why do you want to be a hero, of all things?"

 

She shrugs. "I don't actually want people dying left and right. Everyone dies eventually, so why not let them live as long as they can? And, if there happens to be a disaster, and some people can't be saved, I'll already be right there." She pauses, glaring at the coffee table. "Unless they're murderers, or something like that. I would gladly end them as soon as I see them. Humans do not have a say over who lives and dies, and deliberately harming someone so that they cannot survive is unforgivable."

 

Midoriya pokes her shoulder. "I think you're scaring him, Sumicchan."

 

"Oops." She pats Yagi's shoulder. "Sorry. Oh, um, if you start seeing weird shadowy figures or silver threads, talk to Izucchan. It's perfectly normal, now that you know my secret, but it'll probably surprise you. Especially if you live near a hospital or retirement home."

 

"Why are you telling him to ask me?!" Midoriya protests.

 

"'Cause you're gonna be hanging around him all the time! I've got things to do, like making sure my citizenship and Quirk Registration papers make it where they need to go so I can actually get to the entrance exam. And going to work."

 

"Ugh, I hate that you have a point. Fine."

 

"Hah. Sucker."

 

"Hey!"

Chapter Text

Buzz buzz. Buzz buzz. Kasumi looks up from her math work. Midoriya's calling her. She grins and takes the call.

 

"I hate you."

 

She laughs. "Good afternoon to you, too, Izucchan. Has Jun been behaving himself? I figured he could use some seaside air today."

 

Midoriya groans. "You're the one that gets to explain to All-Might how you like keeping death omens as pets. Jun nearly gave him a heart attack."

 

"He would've been fine. Not like he would've died, or anything."

 

"Sumicchan!"

 

She laughs again. "I'll be right over." Abandoning her homework, she goes to the beach Midoriya's training at. All-Might - Yagi, she should really get Midoriya to start calling him that, too - is staring at Jun, who is floating silently behind Midoriya. "What's wrong?" she asks innocently.

 

"Debughhh..." Yagi says eloquently, gesturing vaguely in Jun's direction.

 

"Oh, that's just Jun, Yagi-san. He won't hurt you." She smiles cheerfully. "He's a Grimm. They help lighten my workload, but Jun's under direct orders to stick around me. Like a dog!"

 

Midoriya carries a trash bag full of cans and small pieces of trash towards the pickup truck at the edge of the parking lot. "Hurry up and fix him, Sumicchan, he can't drive this stuff to the dump when he's like this."

 

She nods. "Really, Yagi-san, you should get used to seeing them now. I can't be everywhere at once Reaping people, you know. Hospitals, retirement homes, natural disasters, villian attacks - chances are, if there's people dying, there's Grimm. And you're a hero, so you'll be seeing them a lot now."

 

"...Why?" he asks finally, squinting at Jun. 

 

Kasumi shrugs. "I'm not in charge of this stuff. Mom made them, same as me. If anything, they're like a bunch of little brothers and sisters." She pauses. "Kind of. It's complicated."

 

"I'm not even going to ask."

 

"That's probably for the best."

 

They watch Midoriya make his way back from the parking lot. He looks at Yagi. "You good now?"

 

"I.. suppose so. Are you really used to these Grimm things?" he asks.

 

Midoriya shrugs. "Pretty much. Jun's new, though."

 

Kasumi nods. "I had him start following me around a few days ago. He has a little bit of trouble staying focused."

 

"What do you mean?" Yagi asks curiously, as Midoriya goes back to hauling garbage.

 

"Well, normally a Grimm will start following someone when they're close to dying. That's why there's so many in hospitals and stuff. We first saw him when you were chasing the slime villain, when it attacked us. So while Izucchan asked for autographs, I told him to go to a retirement home or something."

 

"That's horrible."

 

"Not really. They're going to die eventually, better a painless death in their sleep than waiting for hours unable to breathe because nobody's nearby to Reap them. But anyway, he was following you, and after I told him to go away, he left. And then got sidetracked and stayed at the second slime attack, the one Izucchan ran into. So I sent him away again. And he got distracted again, by my new boss. So at that point, I just told him to stick by me."

 

"Am I really that close to dying?"

 

She stares at his String for a moment. Without him actually using his Quirk, it's not loud at all. It still looks weird - there's seven other partial strings attached to it with fraying knots, probably from the previous One For All users - but it's not ready to Reap yet. He's got at least a decade left, if she were to guess, unless he were to get hurt bad enough. She shakes her head.

 

"Nah, you've got a while. He probably latched onto you by passing you on the street or something, or at one of your doctor's appointments."

 

He follows her gaze to his own chest. "What's this? I noticed Young Midoriya has one, as well."

 

"That's your String. Your Soul, basically, but like pretty much everything else, it's complicated. When you die, we Reap you by cutting your string, and then you go off to the Underworld with everyone else."

 

"Ah. I see."

 

"Hey, no need to be so gloomy about it. The Underworld's a pretty fun place. And when I say everyone's there, I mean everyone. Well, almost everyone. But those are really rare cases."

 

"What happens to people who don't go there?"

 

"They get stuck in Purgatory. Not moving on, not staying here, just an eternity of boredom and nothingness."

 

"That sounds... strange."

 

"Well, I don't really think anything I've told you so far is normal." She checks the time. "I should go finish my homework, since I didn't do it yesterday. And I have work tonight."

 

"Yes, of course. Young Midoriya and I will be wrapping things up here soon, anyway."

 

"Okay. See ya. C'mon, Jun."

 

+

 

The months flash by in a blur. Aizawa turns out to be a regular evening customer at the café, picking up coffee before his shift at... whatever he does. He tips well, at least. She talks Midoriya out of changing his workout schedule three times, pointing out that he won't make any progress by overworking himself.

 

On the bright side, all her paperwork went through less than a week after it was started, safely hiding where only an actual genius could hope to find it. A quick check would show her as Shikyo Kasumi, born in Musutafu, Japan and legal ward of Midoriya Inko. As far as the Quirk registry goes, her Quirk is Shadoweaver, which gives her full control of any shadows within a ten-meter radius of her, including turning them into solid objects. She should ask Kage who handled all of that, maybe treat them to a nice dinner.

 

Whatever. The important thing, right now, is that Midoriya finished cleaning the beach a couple days earlier than expected. Instead of lazing around until the entrance exam, they plan on using this time to give him at least a little experience with One For All.

 

Kasumi gets to the beach later than the other two. Jun follows behind her, as always. Yagi's gotten used to his presence over the last ten months, even if he's still uncomfortable in crowds of them. They don't notice her right away.

 

Yagi buffs up into All-Might, pulling a hair from his head and holding it out to Midoriya. "Eat this."

 

"What?" Midoriya stares at the hair in confusion.

 

Kasumi cackles, startling the other two. "If you wanted to adopt him, you could've just asked Midoriya-san to sign some papers."

 

That just confuses them both even more. "I'm not sure I understand what you're talking about, Young Kasumi. This is to pass One For All to Young Midoriya." All-Might moves the hair vaguely towards Midoriya, who takes a step back.

 

Now everyone's confused. "But you're passing your DNA to him, right?"

 

He sighs. "Yes, that is correct."

 

"Which means you'll share DNA."

 

"That is a very simplified explanation, but yes."

 

"And you'll be his dad."

 

"No, I won't be- Where did you get that idea?"

 

She hums. "Well, when Mom made me, she just pulled up some shadows and used a strand of her hair to transfer her power over. And then it was me."

 

Midoriya groans. "That's not how this works, Sumicchan. Besides, I already have a dad."

 

"Really? I've never met him."

 

Midoriya mumbles something suspiciously close to 'well that makes two of us' before turning back to look at the hair in All-Might's hand. "So, I eat this. And then I have One For All?"

 

All-Might clears his throat. "You'll have to wait a little while for it to digest, but that's the gist of it, yes."

 

Midoriya takes the hair and gathers his courage, choking it down. He spits into the sand afterwards, face screwed up in disgust. "That was terrible."

 

All-Might sighs. "Believe me, my boy, I know." He checks the time, de-buffing back to Yagi. "I'll pay for lunch. I've heard there's a nice place not far from here."

 

Kasumi keeps a careful eye on Midoriya's String while they eat. Nothing changes for a while, but as they head back to the beach she sees it. Seven Strings... twisted around Midoriya's? That's not right. They should be tied onto his, and even then there's one missing. She squints at it, as if that will make anything clearer.

 

Midoriya notices her stare. "What? Something wrong with my String?" His eyes go wide. "Do I have the Quirk now?"

 

She nods. "Yeah, it just looks kind of weird. But I guess it looked weird for Yagi-san, too, so it's probably fine." She pulls him down the steps and to the sand. "C'mon, try it out!"

 

Yagi follows, catching up with a small cough. Midoriya concentrates, then looks up at him. "How do I use it, anyway?"

 

Yagi thinks for a moment. "It came pretty naturally to me. Just... reach for the Quirk, clench your butt, and SMASH!" He throws a demonstration punch, parting the waves in front of them.

 

Kasumi narrows her eyes. "That doesn't sound right, but I don't know enough about using One For All to dispute it."

 

Midoriya shrugs. Red lines appear on his arm as he gets ready to throw the punch. He takes a big breath, and-

 

"Stop!"

 

-Loses his concentration, dropping the Quirk and his arm in the process. Not that Kasumi cares much. He turns towards her, confused. "What?"

 

 

She rubs her temples. "You're using it wrong. I don't know how, exactly, but it's wrong. Ugh, that sound was terrible."

 

When All-Might uses One For All, it's about the equivalent of a dog whistle. Annoying, might give you a headache, but you'll get used to it eventually. Now strangle the dog whistle. That's what it sounded like when Midoriya attempted to use One For All.

 

Of course, Midoriya and Yagi don't know this. Only Kasumi and... Jun, who is trying his best to burrow into the sand, completely ignoring the fact that he can phase through it anyway. Kasumi sighs, pulling him up by his hood. "Look, you even scared Jun."

 

Midoriya looks at his hand. "I guess it did feel kind of off. Got any ideas?"

 

"Not a clue."

 

They try a few more times, but they all end the same way. Kasumi finally decides to leave them to it, tired of the sound. Her phone rings not even twenty minutes later.

 

"What's up, Yagi-san?"

 

Yagi sounds slightly panicked. "Do you happen to know anyone with a healing Quirk?"

 

She stops mid-step. "Why? What happened? Don't you already know people with healing Quirks?"

 

"Well, yes, but they'll ask questions none of us can afford to answer at the moment."

 

She groans. "You're still at the beach, right? I'll be there in a minute." She hangs up before he can answer, making a quick detour to the Underworld, as you do. She gets to the beach with a former doctor in tow. "So, what did you do?"

 

"Uh..." Midoriya grins sheepishly, holding up his very broken arm with a wince. Kasumi stares at it.

 

The doctor's spirit taps her on the shoulder. "I can't fix him unless we're both in the same place."

 

Kasumi sighs, nodding and grabbing Midoriya's shoulder. She pulls him over into the Spirit World with her, Jun, and the doctor, bringing him back once his arm's fixed up. They give their thanks before the doctor takes her leave.

 

"Maybe that's enough Quirk practice for the day," she tells him, poking at his arm.

 

"Yeah, that's probably for the best," he agrees nervously, rubbing the back of his head.

 

Yagi's called into work, anyway, and after a few hours, Kasumi is too. She does enjoy the call she gets after her shift ends, when Midoriya finally realizes she brought him into the Spirit World ("You can do that?! Is it the same as when I visit the Underworld, or is it different? Does it take more effort than it does for just you? Have you always been able to do that?! Can you bring spirits into the living world? What about Grimm? I need answers, Sumicchan!").

 

She answers them, obviously. He needs sleep if he's going to do even remotely well in the entrance exam, and he won't even touch his bed if she ignores them.

Chapter Text

It's finally the day of the entrance exam. Yagi wished them both luck before they left, and now they're walking up to the main building. Kasumi fiddles with her scarf as Midoriya launches into a mumble-rant.

 

"I can't afford to break my arms right at the beginning, but I still have no idea how to control it! I'm going to have to rely on my base strength for almost the whole thing! Maybe this is a bad idea. You should just put me out of my misery now, Sumicchan-"

 

"Hey, Deku! Outta the way!" Kasumi rolls her eyes as Bakugou stomps up behind them. "What, are you fucking deaf? I said move!"

 

He finally goes around them, the crowd ahead parting as he makes his way to the doors. Kasumi huffs. "Asshole."

 

Midoriya opens his mouth to talk, but then he trips. Kasumi reaches out to grab him at the same time as another girl, but the other girl's a little quicker. Midoriya stops mid-drop, and Kasumi hauls him to his feet.

 

"Sorry for using my Quirk on you without asking!" the girl says cheerfully. "It's bad luck to fall before a test!"

 

Kasumi grins as Midoriya stutters over his words. "Thanks! Good luck!"

 

"You too!" She goes back inside.

 

"I talked to a girl!" Midoriya says triumphantly.

 

Kasumi snorts. "You didn't even say anything."

 

Inside the auditorium, they end up being seated by school. Midoroya is sandwiched between Bakugou and Kasumi, who spend the first five minutes before the introduction glaring at each other over Midoriya's head.

 

"Everybody say HEYYYY!" Kasumi grins and turns to the stage. The room remains silent, other than Midoriya's excited muttering.

 

"That's Present Mic! I listen to his radio show every Friday! He's so inspiring! All the staff at Yuuei are pros, aren't they?"

 

"Shut up, Deku," Bakugou grumbles.

 

Present Mic seems undettered by the lack of reaction. "Alright! I'm here to present the guidelines for the Hero Course practical exam! Are you ready?!"

 

Once again, no response. The screen behind him changes from the Yuuei logo to a map of the testing areas.

 

"This is how the test will go, listeners! You'll be doing ten-minute 'Mock Cityscape Maneuvers'! After this presentation, you'll be going to your assigned test area, along with whatever equipment you want to bring with you!"

 

As if on cue, everyone checks their testing assignments. Kasumi compares hers to Midoriya's, who compares his to Bakugou's. They're all different. "It's probably to keep kids from the same schools from helping each other," Bakugou points out.

 

"Y-Yeah," Midoriya agrees. "That's probably also why consecutive IDs are assigned different locations..."

 

"Guess we'll both have to just try our best, Izucchan," Kasumi hums. "I know you'll do great!"

 

Midoriya rubs the back of his head nervously. "I'm not so sure about that, but I'll try. You'll have no problem with anything they throw at us, though!"

 

"I'll crush them all," Bakugou mutters darkly, "but you losers will live to see another day."

 

"You won't kill anyone, Bakugou-kun," Kasumi replies, rolling her eyes. Before he can respond, Present Mic starts talking again.

 

"You'll be fighting three different kinds of fake villains! Depending on the respective difficulty of each bot, you will be rewarded 1-3 points for each one you defeat! Your goal is to collect as many points as possible, my dear listeners! And, obviously, attacking other examinees is against the rules!"

 

A boy a few rows up stands, raising his hand. "May I ask a question?" He holds up the handout they were given before Present Mic can answer. "On this sheet, there are no fewer than four faux villains! Such an error, if it is one, is highly unbecoming of Japan's top academy! We are all here today in hopes of being molded into proper heroes!" He turns, glaring at Midoriya. "And you, with the curly hair!"

 

Midoriya jumps. "Me?"

 

"You've been muttering this whole time! If this is some sort of joke to you, then I suggest you leave immediately!" He turns back towards the stage as Midoriya gives a mumbled apology.

 

"Screw him," Kasumi mutters. "You're fine, Izucchan, don't let him get under your skin."

 

Present Mic calls their attention back to him. "Nice catch, Examinee 7111! But the fourth villain is more like an obstacle than a target! It's worth zero points! There's only one at each site, a 'gimmick' that'll rampage in close quarters!"

 

The kid bows. "I see, it's a gimmick to be avoided. Thank you, sir. I apologize for the interruption!" He sits back down.

 

"That's all from me! I'll leave you all with the school's motto. The great Napoleon Bonaparte once said, 'True heroism consists in being superior to the ills of life.' PLUS ULTRA! Break a leg, everyone!"

 

She boards the bus to Test Area C, mentally preparing herself. It feels a little strange not having Jun with her, but she's sticking with her decision to leave him at the Midoriyas' apartment. He gets distracted too easily, and she needs to focus on sticking within the limits of her registered Quirk while she fights.

 

She joins the group of examinees outside the gates. They're given a moment to prepare themselves, and then the gates open.

 

"And... Begin!"

 

The voice gives her pause. She looks up, and... yep, that's Present Mic, shouting the announcements from the top of a building. She shakes her head and starts running, past the others still looking around.

 

"What's wrong? The test has started! Run!"

 

The first robot she encounters is a two-pointer. With a pulling motion, similar to how Midoriya-san uses her Quirk, she turns its own shadow against it. It rips through the metal, cleaving it clear in half. She does the same for any other bots she encounters, even taking out small packs of them at the same time. Everything has a shadow, after all, and if she can get close enough to them she doesn't have to worry about the 10-meter limit.

 

The ground rumbles when her points are somewhere in the forties. She turns to look, eyes widening. The zero-pointer is taller than pretty much all of the buildings in the arena, and it's lumbering down the main street. She runs towards it, having to stop when a wave of examinees runs to the gates and blocks her path. She goes in the opposite direction, helping people stuck in the rubble or collapsed from Quirk exhaustion as the thing looms over them.

 

Another girl with vines for hair has the same idea, and between the two of them they can help the examinees caught under rubble to safety.

 

"Time's up!" Present Mic yells, the zero-pointer coming to a stop. Kasumi sighs in relief, bringing the other kids to a nearby building and helping them sit down. After a few moments, an old woman comes in, handing out candies and checking for injuries. She doesn't even have a Grimm following her. Once she makes sure everyone's okay, using her Quirk on those with injuries, they're all sent back to the main building.

 

She meets back up with Midoriya in front of Yuuei. He seems really disappointed. She slings an arm around his shoulder. "Did you see that zero-pointer, Izucchan? It was huge!"

 

He laughs nervously. "Yeah, I, um, kinda defeated it?"

 

"What?! How?" She bounces excitedly, shaking him side-to-side in the process.

 

"Well, there was a girl trapped under a big pieve of rubble, and I just sort of... moved without thinking?"

 

She stops mid-bounce, letting go of his shoulder. "Oh no. What did you do?"

 

"That's not really important... Honestly, I'm fine... Recovery Girl healed me, anyway, and that nice girl saved me from falling..."

 

"Izucchan."

 

He sighs. "I broke both my legs. And my right arm," he admits.

 

"Izucchan!"

 

"I brought the power level down a little bit when I punched! It could've been worse!"

 

Kasumi groans. "That doesn't make me feel any better. How did you bring it down"

 

He thinks for a moment. "Well, All-Might said something about paying attention to how it feels. So, I made it... feel less? I'm not really sure how to explain it."

 

"It's something to work on, at least. When are acceptance letters going out?"

 

"In a week or two. But I'm not getting one."

 

"Why do you think that?"

 

Midoriya looks at the sidewalk. "I couldn't take down any robots before the zero-pointer. I failed."

 

Kasumi sighs. "It's alright, Izucchan. Let's go home."

 

+

 

"Izuku! Kasumi! Your letters are here!"

 

"Coming, Inko-obasan!"

 

"Coming, Okaasan!" 

 

Midoriya and Kasumi race down the hall, Inko handing each of them the envelope with their name on it. They go to the coffee table, sitting on the floor right next to each other.

 

"Who's opening theirs first?" Midoriya asks, staring at them.

 

Kasumi grabs hers and starts to rip it open. "I will!" A small disk flies out, landing on the table and projecting a video into the air.

 

"I AM HERE! As a projection!" All-Might yells. It startles Jun, who is just now coming out from Midoriya's bedroom. "I came to this city to start teaching at Yuuei! And I'm here to give you my congratulations! Not only did you pass the written portion, you received 43 Villain Points in the physical exam! But that's not all!"

 

The video changes to show her and the vine-haired girl (she really should have asked her name) taking the other kids away from the zero-pointer. The other girl is blocking debris woth her vines, so they aren't hit.

 

"Though you did not fight the zero-pointer, you still ran in to help your fellow examinees! We were not just watching for Villain Points in this exam, but also the heroic actions of the examinees themselves! Rescue points are also a factor here!"

 

The video changes again, to show a scoreboard. She's in fourth, behind Uraraka Ochaco and in front of Shiozaki Ibara. "27 Rescue Points to Kasumi Shikyo, for a total of 70 points! And 32 Rescue Points to Ibara Shiozaki! Welcome, Young Shikyo, to your hero academia!" It freezes there.

 

"Congratulations, Sumicchan," Midoriya says, smiling. He wipes a few tears from his eyes.

 

She laughs. "You too, Izucchan!"

 

"What? I haven't even opened mine yet..."

 

"Rescue Points! Look at the leaderboard!" She points at the frozen projection.

 

He takes a second look eyes widening. He's in eighth place, with 60 Rescue Points. He rips his own envelope open, an identical disk landing on the table. Kasumi turns her projection off as his starts.

 

The introduction is basically the same. But Midoriya's is different after All-Might announces his new job. "Now, despite having passed the written test, you earned zero Villain Points in the physical exam. Normally, that would result in a failure. But wait! Watch this clip!"

 

The video changes to show the girl they talked to before the assembly, talking to Present Mic. "Excuse me, but... That curly-haired boy, with the freckles? He's kind of plain-looking... Can I give him some of my points? I heard him say something like, 'Just one point!' He didn't have any, right? So, give him at least as many as he gave up to save me!"

 

"She came to us right after the exams," All-Might says. "You've gotten your Quirk, and inspired others with your actions!"

 

"That boy saved my life!" the girl continues. Present Mic reassures her that it'll be fine. Then the video changes to the leaderboard, with All-Might in front of it.

 

"60 Rescue Points to Izuku Midoriya! And 45 to Ochaco Uraraka! Congratulations, Young Midoriya, and welcome to your hero academia!"

 

Midoriya's few tears have been replaced by waterfalls as he stares wide-eyed at the projection. "I made it..."

 

"We made it!" Kasumi cheers, tackling him into a hug.

 

Inko joins the hug, crying just as hard as Midoriya. "I'm so proud of you both! You worked so hard!"

 

After a certified Midoriya Cryfest, Kasumi gets ready for work. Tonight she's scheduled with Keiji again, but he's already there when she arrives.

 

"What's up, Kasumi?" he asks, as she finishes tying her apron. "You seem excited."

 

"Me and Izucchan got into Yuuei!" she announces, beaming.

 

"Really? No way! Congrats!"

 

"Thanks, Keiji!" Nothing can bring down her mood tonight.