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Izuku Eats His Problems

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Not all humans are created equal. Izuku learned that at the age of four, when his mother finally told him what they were. See, he wasn’t human. Not entirely, at least. A Flerken, she whispered, as if fearing someone would hear. The terrible beasts of legend that could devour entire cities and escape under an animal disguise. Izuku thought they sounded cool. His mother and father thought otherwise. 

His mother had a good reason for wanting to stay hidden. Izuku’s father died when he was three. The sole casualty of a villain attack. All because he was believed to be a villain too when he tried to use his powers to defend himself. The hero didn’t bother saving him from the real attacker. Only focused on the bigger villain and arresting them.

So from ages four to twelve he never used his other powers. He never tried to, knowing it would make his mother panic. He wanted to. So, so badly he wanted to see what he was capable of. His mother never used her powers to do anything but transform. With his father dead, and knowing of no other creatures like him, he had no one to show him what they could do. 

Logically, he knew he could eat big things from what all the stories said, but not how. Not how much or how big or just how . Was his mouth like a shrink ray? Was it like a blackhole? Why didn’t it work when he ate normal food? Could he spit things back out if he used his powers? Every question and more swirled around his head, even as a small child. The number just grew as he got older. 

He learned how to transform into a cat when he was four and a half. A cute, little, green kitten with curly fur. His mom was excited that he figured out how to transform. Izuku’s new favorite thing was making cat noises and purring. 

Kacchan wasn’t as excited. He called Izuku useless, a Deku. A weak little kitty can’t become a hero, he sneered. His lackeys copied him, and the rest of the class soon followed. 

But they forgot that all cats have claws, even if it takes a while for them to learn how to use them.

~~~~~

See, in their world, nearly everyone has a type of magic or power, usually called a Quirk. There were different variants, all of which were interesting to Izuku. First were the normal people that had magic. They had a designated type and couldn’t perform it outside of that, but everyone was amazing and exceedingly cool. Second were the people who had mutations because of their magic, mostly to use it properly. Third, and final, were the creatures. Beings that held a resemblance to humans and were either full or part creature of some sort. Some of them had magic too, but that was rarer. 

Izuku was the third type.

~~~~~

Izuku was twelve now. Going into middle school, and registered as a simple cat morph like his mother. Kacchan had gone from a friend to a bully. Everyone followed his example, as they always had. Things hadn’t changed over the years. 

The two of them still wanted to be heroes. Izuku knew he could never be a normal one though. Not without using his other powers, which he still didn’t know what they were. Research hadn’t yielded many results other than the fact he apparently had pockets of universes in his mouth. He couldn’t find any when he looked in the mirror, maybe he was a defective Flerken. He was better suited for being an underground hero anyway. Like Eraserhead, one of his favorite heroes. Or Murkrow, another underground hero that could transform into a raven. They were cool.

Izuku still wanted to go to UA though. No matter what anyone else said, he knew he could do it if he tried. If people could handle it before Quirks, then he could while being a cat. Cats were stealthy and sneaky, and he was going to be a good hero whether he was flashy or not. It didn’t matter what Kacchan and Mom said. He would prove them wrong. He would prove them all wrong. 

So he worked towards his dreams. Improving his analysis and physical fitness so he could compete with everyone else. He was on analysis notebook number nine right now, and was almost done with it. He could run really far now without getting too winded. Izuku used the forest he had played in when he was small to work out. There were still scorch marks from a tiny Kacchan. 

The place wasn’t too far from his house, but he had to be careful going back when it got dark. They lived in a decently populated area, but everywhere was more dangerous once the sun went down. It was hardly sunset when he decided to go back that day. 

It was this that lead to what Izuku considered a catalyst in his life. Though at the time it definitely did not seem like that. 

Izuku stopped at a store on his way home. His mom and him just needed a few things for dinner that she had forgotten. A quick and easy stop, maybe ten minutes max. 

That flew out the window when a knife was held to his throat. One second he was walking to the checkout line, humming a song he had heard on Present Mic’s radio, and the next a robber was behind him with a knife on his neck. Izuku flat out froze where he was, his breathing shallow. 

“Don’t try anything funny, kid,” someone growled in his ear. 

Izuku felt his Quirk writhe under his skin, attempting to half-shift. For him, he could either full-shift or half-shift. Full was a cat, albeit a green curly one, with everything a cat could do. Half was claw-like nails, cat ears (improved hearing), paw pads, extra hair, and fangs. It depended on how much stress he was under for how obvious some of it was. That had been a surprise to his mother, since most Flerkens couldn’t do half-shifts apparently, minor as the changes were. He had only discovered he could do it a couple months ago. On top of everything else, he had naturally slitted cat-like eyes and vocal cords like one too.

Izuku’s brain was both blank and running in overdrive. Like static that was still speaking. He was pure panic and instincts at this point. Not really a stellar thing, seeing as the part of him that was a cat wanted to either bolt or claw the guy’s arm to shreds. 

“Now be a good little hostage and walk.”

Izuku numbly complied. What else was he supposed to do? He was a middle schooler being held at knifepoint in a store. And all he could do was turn into a cat . Actually…that might help for once. 

They were approaching the front of the store. Izuku noticed two others at the registers, holding the cashiers there at gunpoint. The other patrons (there were only two, he noted) saw Izuku, and promptly stopped any moves to resist. He wanted to yell, to scream at them to stop the villains even if he was being held with a knife. Nothing would come out. He was too paralyzed with fear to do much other than shuffle forward and try not to go home with another scar. 

Izuku took that moment to change into a cat. He could run out of the store and get a hero. Cats were too small to be hostages. Yeah, they would all be ok. No one would get hurt. It’d be ok, it’ll be ok. 

But nothing happened. No familiar changing. Not even claws or a bit of fur. Absolutely nothing. And that, that terrified him. 

“So you are a transformation type,” the villain sneered. Izuku felt a chill run down his spine. “Now you’re going to hold still until the police get here, and when we get what we want, I'll let my Null go. Got it?

He was panicking, not shifting an inch or making a sound. Nothing was working. His mind was just running in circles and repeating the same thing. The villain moved closer. The knife got closer. Sharp. Pointy. Bad, bad, bad

Izuku’s instincts were screeching in his mind for something, but he didn’t know what. It was deafening. The villain was getting closer. The nearer he and the knife were, the louder Izuku’s head was. 

He was scared. So, so scared. Everything tunneled and faded into the background. His heartbeat was too loud. The metal against his neck was too cold. Everything was too dull it was missing something what was missing? 

Izuku suddenly snapped away from himself, no longer in full control. Nothing transformed, but…something shifted in him. They were close to the other two criminals now. Izuku didn’t know what that meant, but he knew it was important right now. 

He didn’t really think, only moved. His slitted eyes zeroed in on the threats. Before he knew what he was doing, Izuku opened his mouth wide. 

And tentacles shot out, along with more mouths. All lined with jagged teeth. Quick as a viper, they lashed out. Growing in size and obscuring Izuku’s vision. He didn’t know what happened. 

Izuku was panicking for a whole new reason now. He couldn’t stop…whatever those things were. He took a step to the side, and the things reacted. A whole row of shelves were sent crashing down. He yelped at the noise, but that only made him bite whatever was coming out of his mouth. 

He swung himself around, trying to stop whatever he was doing. More shelves were knocked to the ground, some dented and bend. Izuku didn’t know what was happening. Where had the villains gone? What were those things? Why was no one doing anything?

A chunk of the wall was gone when he turned back around. And he tasted it . Plaster was disgusting, he decided. 

People were screaming. They were running out of the store now. Where had the villains gone? 

Izuku felt exhaustion start to pull at him. Like using a muscle he hadn’t before. He felt heavy. There was a tingling at the back of his head. He was still scared. 

A sound finally broke through the din. A voice. Izuku didn’t recognize it, but it calmed him. Enough to hear the words at least. 

“Kid! Kid, can you hear me!”

Izuku stopped moving around, listening. He couldn’t talk, so he nodded. The things followed his movement. 

“Ok. Ok, so you can hear me now. Kid, you need to stop these.”

Izuku let out a high-pitched whine. He wanted to listen. He wanted to stop and go home , but he didn’t know how .

“It’s ok, kid. Just…try breathing. Calm down a bit. Count with me, ok? 1, 2, 3…”

Izuku closed his eyes and counted along with the voice. His breathing evened out after a few minutes. The things coming out of his mouth didn’t lash out or destroy anything else. The pull of gravity seemed to increase and drag on his bones. 

“Ok kid, can you try…uh, sucking them back in?”

Izuku kept his eyes closed, but hummed to let the person know he heard. All he had to do was get the things to go away. Maybe…maybe it was like another tongue or something? Yeah, he’d just have to go with that for now. 

The jaws and tentacles retracted back into his mouth without much trouble. Izuku opened his eyes, though his eyelids felt heavy. The…the store was a wreck. Half the shelves were knocked over with their contents on the ground. There was a massive chunk taken out of a side wall, though it didn’t go all the way through. Plaster dust sprinkled the ground around it like snow. 

And the villains, the villains were gone. All three of them. One of their guns was one the ground. There was no blood, no scraps of clothing. Nothing left to even suggest they had been there. Everyone else had already evacuated the store. 

Had he done this? 

Something made a noise off to his left, where the store entrance was. He whipped around, a snarl already on his face with sharpened fangs. The Null, whatever that was, had worn off now. He felt his power, cat morph one this time, come out without him trying. Nails hardened into claws, green fur grew around his hands, and cat ears were flattened against his head. Sounds were louder now, but it let him hear whoever it was approach. 

The expression melted like wax when when he saw who it was. He recognized them, the pro hero Eraserhead. Capture weapon on his neck and goggles over his eyes. If he wasn’t so panicked and out of it he would be fanboying. As it was, he was more cat than human right now. Or…Flerken? Was that what that had been? 

“Hey kid, you alright now?” Eraserhead asked softly, edging closer. 

“Hurt. Tried to hurt me,” Izuku growled, eyeing the approaching man. It wasn’t him speaking, not really. 

“I saw what happened, was that your Quirk?”

“Don’t know. Never tried. Only turn into cat, not more. Mom said not more. Listen to Mom.”

“Ok then, questions for later. You sound out of it, kid. Do you need to calm down for a minute?”

Izuku closed his mouth and nodded. Eraserhead came closer, and his ear flicked to listen to the hero. But Izuku trusted him, Eraserhead was his second favorite hero for a reason. He was a good person. 

It took a few minutes, but Izuku eventually regained his bearings. The instincts screeching in his head stopped, and he turned back to full human. Eraserhead finally came within arms reach of him. Up close, Izuku could see just how cool his capture weapon was. Though it was funny the man wore it during the day. He was an underground hero, they worked at night, so why was he here?

“You good now kid?”

“I-I’m ok now.”

“Good. Now, can you tell me what that was?”

“I, I don’t know, Sir,” Izuku whispered, shrinking in on himself. “I didn’t mean to, to destroy the s-store.”

“I know you didn’t, kid. No one expects you to keep your head when a weapon’s pointed at you. Come on now, let’s get out of the rubble.”

Izuku nodded and followed Eraserhead out of the ruined store. Once out on the street he saw that there were police cars parked nearby. Oh nononono, they were going to arrest him. He too young to go to jail!

He stayed close behind Eraserhead as they neared the cluster of police. There were a few other heroes there too, Izuku noticed. If he didn’t think he was in danger of getting arrested he would ask for their autograph. 

Eraserhead seemed to relax when one of the cops came over. He was dressed in a tan trench-coat and a fedora, which Izuku found funny for someone in the police force. The man walked over, obviously familiar with Eraserhead. 

“Eraserhead, nice to see you,” the man greeted. “Do you know what happened here?”

“Three villains, two with guns, one with a knife. Took a hostage in a robbery. Come here, kid.” Izuku cautiously edged closer, coming to stand besides Eraserhead. “A new part of his Quirk emerged, causing the damage. He didn’t know it existed.”

“Ok then, and the villains?”

“That’s…where it gets complicated. His new powers…ate them.”

Tsukauchi blinked at the two of them. “He…ate them.”

“I didn’t mean to!” Izuku blurted. “He, he was h-holding a knife to, to my neck and, and I th-thought I was going to, going to die and I didn’t want to die . I don’t know what happened but then things came out of my mouth and the villains were gone and the store was a mess and I’m so sorry .”

“Hey, hey kid, it’s ok. We know you didn’t mean to,” Eraserhead said quietly, putting a hand on Izuku’s shoulder. 

“What’s your name?” Tsukauchi asked.

“I-Izuku Midoriya.”

“Ah, that explains it.” Izuku looked up, and saw the detective looking at him in understanding. “You’re a Flerken, aren’t you?”

Izuku reeled backwards and away from the detective. Hardly anyone knew what Flerkens were anymore. If they did they either knew one personally or they thought they were monsters. He had no way of telling which one this man was.  

“A what? Kid, it’s ok. Calm down.” Eraserhead sounded worried. Why was he worried? 

The detective put his hands up in surrender. Izuku was tense, ready to run. He couldn’t outrace police cars, but a man with no visible Quirk was feasible. Maybe not Eraserhead though. 

“It’s ok, Midoriya. I…I was familiar your father.” 

Izuku froze, staring at the man who had his hat in his hands. His…his dad. This man knew his dad. His dad who died before Izuku could even transform. His Flerken dad. 

“You, you knew him?”

“I knew him from where he worked, and the villain attack when he died. I was the one who dealt with the hero’s punishment.”

“Oh,” was all Izuku said. 

“Mind filling me in,” Eraserhead asked, looking a bit confused. 

“Sorry, Eraserhead. Midoriya’s father was a man I knew who died in a villain attack due to creature discrimination.” The man looked to Izuku for a moment, asking a silent question. Izuku nodded, staring at the floor. “They’re Flerkens.”

 

Chapter Text

“They’re Flerkens.”

Izuku flinched, but stayed where he was. Tensely waiting for what Eraserhead thought of him. There was a reason his mother insisted he acted as a cat morph and nothing more. 

“That…explains a lot.”

Izuku’s head shot up at the complete lack of malice in Eraserhead’s voice. Just understanding. 

“Don’t look so shocked kid, I deal with blackmarkets. I’m also a hero, it’s our duty to know about these things.” Eraserhead shrugged, like he hadn’t just splintered Izuku’s worldview. 

For most of his life, Izuku believed that telling anyone he was a Flerken was essentially a death sentence. That anyone who heard would chase him away, or at the very least pretend he didn’t exist. It had happened a few times when he was little, before he knew any better, and the memories weren’t pleasant. One woman had literally whacked him with a broom to make him leave her store. He had been seven, and that was the last time he told anyone what he was. 

Now Eraserhead, one of his favorite heroes, was telling him it was ok. That he wasn’t going to hurt him for being a Flerken. He had even seen others apparently. 

“Midoriya,” Detective Tsukauchi’s voice brought Izuku back to the present. “Eraserhead said you ate the criminals, correct?” Izuku nodded. “Do you think you can spit them back out?”

Izuku stared at the man blankly. Spit them out? How was he even supposed to do that? Didn’t he just say he ate them ?

“Ah, ok. You don’t know much about your powers, do you?”

“No. Mom…Mom said to never use th-them. I didn’t even know I could, I could do that.

“Alright then,” Tsukauchi sighed. “Do you have, I don’t know, a metaphor or something that could help you visualize it?”

Izuku blinked, his mind kicking back on. He dissolved into muttering, missing the curious looks the two adults sent him. Eventually, he looked back up at them with an idea, and a smile to match.

“It’s like a hairball!”

Izuku watched as Eraserhead choked on air and Detective Tsukauchi covered his mouth with a hand. He tilted his head curiously. 

“Sorry, sorry Midoriya. You were saying?” Tsukauchi said.

“Um, y-yeah. It’s sort of like a hairball. I can, can almost…feel what I ate, I guess. It’s there, but I don’t know where or how to get to it. So I kinda just have to, to cough it up?”

“Odd metaphor, but it’s worth a shot,” Eraserhead commented, shrugging. “Go ahead kid.”

Izuku nodded and took a few steps back. He had seen what the aftermath of the store looked like, and he really didn’t want to unleash that near people again. Ever. 

The less said about Izuku’s hairball memories the better. They weren’t pleasant when he was a kitten and they certainly weren’t pleasant now. 

After some coughing and hacking, Izuku was surprised when the things came out of his mouth again. Not explosively like last time either. They spat out the three soggy criminals out on the floor, and then disappeared just as fast. Izuku stood there coughing for another few minutes before he could properly breath again. When he looked up the three villains were in handcuffs and Eraserhead was standing nearby. 

“You good, kid?”

“I’m, I’m fine now,” he answered, eyes trailing back to the villains. The very much alive and in one piece villains. “They’re ok?”

“Right, you don’t know about your own powers,” Eraserhead sighed. “Flerkens can either eat things like normal, or hold them in pocket spaces. As long as you don’t bite things in half then they’ll be fine. Might come out covered in spit, but otherwise unharmed. Goes for humans too apparently.”

Izuku nodded along. He was learning more about his Flerken powers in these few minutes than he had in eight years. From one of his favorite heroes of all things. 

It was then that one of the villains, being locked in a police car, spotted Izuku. His two buddies were already in the vehicle. The police officer didn’t see what he was looking at.

“HEY!” He screamed, catching the attention of every person on the street. “Why isn’t he being arrested! He’s the one that destroyed the store!”

In an instant Izuku’s hope sunk to the crust of the earth. Dozens, if not hundreds, of eyes turned to him. Some more hostile than others. He felt so small. So exposed in the open street. He had to get away. Had to get to safety. 

Without really realizing it, Izuku had stumbled away from Eraserhead, who was trying to talk to him again. It didn’t reach his ears. There were so many people. So many glares.

Izuku shifted into a cat, and sprinted away. Weaving between the legs of people before they could even react. Shouts followed him, but he didn’t hear the words. He didn’t stop running until he was safely tucked in an alleyway where no one could see him. The noisy streets were muffled there. Izuku didn’t know how far he had run, but he was tired now. Maybe, maybe a small nap wouldn’t hurt. Then he could return home and pretend this never happened.

 

Except he couldn’t. Even after he got home and reassured his mom he was alright (he told her about the villains, of course he did, it just...might not of been the full truth), he couldn’t stop thinking about it. He hadn’t even been meaning to, but he had caused a lot of destruction. What if it happened again? He had no idea how to control his newfound powers. At least now he knew what they were.

Another part of him whispered about how good it could be for hero work. A hero who could transport criminals without anyone being even remotely in danger. A hero that could get rid of rubble easily, if only temporarily. A hero that could do both stealth and power. A hero that could save people with a smile and make them feel safe

It wouldn’t leave him alone, and he knew he couldn’t go and practice. Even Quirk based gyms wouldn’t allow him in. Not if he was trying to wrangle power that had destroyed a store and eaten people. Not if he was a Flerken

So all he could do was theorize or try to ignore it. The latter wasn’t working whatsoever , so the former it was. He filled half a notebook on theory and questions alone. That notebook was one he kept hidden from Mom. 

Maybe if he got into UA they could help him. It was still years away, but better late than never. His new powers could still be used to be a hero. All he had to do was pass the exam and…tell a teacher he was a Flerken. Oh. Problem. Big problem. Problem so big it could squish him. Just because two people, one of which was the Eraserhead , knew he was a Flerken didn’t mean everyone would be ok with it. 

The constant questions, theories, and trying to work around his problem battered his mind for a week. 

A week that ended with a knock on their door.



Chapter Text

Izuku paused what he was doing when he heard the knock on their door. He knew Mom wasn’t planning on having anyone over this weekend, and solicitors hardly ever went into apartment buildings. For a moment he panicked, thinking it was a police officer or someone finally coming to arrest him for what he did to the store. They never charged him for it or anything.

Then he heard the person speak, and immediately panicked for a whole new reason. Izuku tripped over his chair trying to get out of his room. He burst into the hall and stared out their open door. 

Because standing in the hall was Eraserhead . The Eraserhead . He didn’t have his yellow goggles on, but Izuku saw them tucked in his capture weapon. The hero looked past his mom to him. Izuku would later deny that he squeaked. 

“Izuku, do you know who this man is?” Mom asked politely. Izuku saw the underlying nervousness in her words.

“Y-yeah, it’s ok Mom. He’s, he’s Eraserhead.”

“Oh! Th-then come in. You said you had something to, to speak to us about?” 

Mom held open the door for their guest. Izuku lead the way to the living room, trying not to show how scared he was. That seemed to be happening a lot lately. Eraserhead followed him almost silently. 

The three of them sat around the coffee table. Two way more nervous than the other one. 

“First, I would like to tell you that the store is not pressing charges for the destruction caused,” Eraserhead started. Izuku felt himself relax a bit, but then tensed again when he realized Mom had no idea what he had done. “The damage was covered under their insurance for newly discovered Quirk, but that’s not why I’m here.”

“Izuku, what’s he talking about?”

Crap crap crap crap. Mission abort. Mission abort. Oh no oh no oh no. Why did he think this was going to turn out ok?! Oh maybe because he didn’t think Eraserhead would track down his house

“Um, I might not of, might not have told you… all of what happened last week. When I got caught in that robbery. You see, I um, when the villain h-had me hostage, I u-used my, my…IusedmyFlerkenpowersandmighthavedestroyedthestore.”

Mom sat there for a minute, not saying anything, just processing. Izuku locked his gaze on the ground and didn’t look up.

“Ma’am, your son had no control over his powers. No one got hurt, but that might not be true in the future if he doesn’t learn how to control it,” Eraserhead stated. Izuku still didn’t look up. “Which is why I came with an offer.”

Izuku’s head shot up at that. He saw his mother do the same. Eraserhead was carefully blank at their incredulous stares.

“Let me explain. Having someone with a powerful Quirk out of control is extremely dangerous, especially considering what his powers are. I mentioned it to my boss, and he,” Eraserhead sighed, looking at the ceiling for a moment, “He offered to train Izuku.”

Izuku glanced over at his mom. She was…blank. Just staring at her hands that rested in her lap. Suddenly, Izuku wanted to go and hide under something. 

“Izuku, we’ve talked about this.”

“I didn’t mean to use it, Mom. But…but I still want to be a hero, and that means I need to use my Quirk. All of my Quirk.”

Izuku was determined. He had worked towards his goal for years. Now that he actually knew what the other half of his Quirk did he wasn’t about to let this opportunity slip through the cracks. It didn’t matter who Eraserhead’s boss was, if they could train him then he wanted to do it. He needed to do it. So he set his jaw and prepared to tell his mom why.

“You know how dangerous it is,” Mom said quietly. “You know what happened to your father.”

“Exactly! Dad died from a hero that didn’t like Flerkens! If I become a hero I can change that !”

“And what happens when that doesn’t work? People aren’t kind, Izuku. They’ll never see you as a hero.”

“I don’t care!” He cried, flying out of his chair. “I don’t care what people say about us! I want to save people and doing this can help! I, I know people don’t like Flerkens. I know they see us as villains, but Mom I just want to save people . I don’t care if I’m underground or not. If I can save more people by using my full Quirk then I’ll do it.”

The room was quiet, Mom not saying a thing. Izuku knew he shouldn’t’ve yelled. What he said was the truth though. He didn’t care if he was in the hero rankings or not, he just wanted to save people. 

“You want to be an underground hero, kid?” Eraserhead asked, finally breaking the silence.

“If, if it’s what lets me be a hero. I don’t really care about the rankings as long as I can do something good.”

“Huh, that's the first time I’ve heard that from a kid your age.”

“It is?” Mom questioned, sounding a bit skeptical. 

“Yes, most children his age only care about being a popular hero. You’re in what, middle school?”

Izuku nodded, pointedly avoiding Mom’s stare. 

“With thinking like that, you have the potential to be a great hero, kid.”

Izuku beamed at the hero. It took him a second, but he realized this was the first time he had heard that. His hero believed in him. He actually believed he could be a good hero . That just left one person to convince. 

“Please Mom, at least listen to what he has to say?”

Mom held his gaze for a second, then sighed. “Fine.”

Izuku sat back down again, watching Eraserhead intently. The man shifted in his seat, but took the as his queue to talk again.

“As I said, my boss offered to train your son, Mrs. Midoriya. His Quirk is dangerous if left untouched, even if he didn’t intend to be a hero. If another situation like the one last week happened, then it’s very likely people would get injured.”

“And just who is your boss?”

“Nedzu.”

Izuku almost fell out of his chair. Nedzu. The Nedzu! The smartest creature on the planet! And he wanted to teach him! 

Wait, Nedzu was the principal of UA. He was Eraserhead’s boss. Did that mean…

“You teach at UA?!” Izuku exclaimed.

“Yes, I do,” Eraserhead sighed again. “While I would offer to teach you myself, my Quirk doesn’t work against mutations. When I tried to erase your tentacles nothing happened, so I can only assume they’re not transformation type magic.”

“And why does this Nedzu want to teach Izuku?” Mom asked. 

“I’m going to be honest Mrs. Midoriya, your son is a danger right now, both to himself and others. Flerkens powers have the potential for a lot of destruction if it can’t be controlled, but he also has a lot of potential to be a hero. Both Nedzu and I saw that, and we made the logical conclusion. Even if he gets into a hero school your son would have maybe two years compared to their ten. If Nedzu trains him then he would have a better chance.”

Izuku was too busy freaking out to see how his mom reacted. Nedzu wanted to teach him how to use his powers. Nedzu wanted to teach him . Not many people knew who Nedzu was, at least not specifically. Most people knew him as UA’s principal and maybe the hero that helped plan some raids. Izuku, however, knew a bit more. Nedzu was possibly the smartest being on Earth, was contacted for help whenever there was a major attack (villain or hero raid), acted as an international consultant for heroes, and had ties to at least a third of all heroes in Japan. He was powerful, and smart. And he wanted to teach Izuku.

He didn’t really know what to make of that. 

“Izuku,” Mom started, breaking him from his reverie. “You know I only want to keep you safe. Ever since you were a kit you wanted to be a hero, even after what happened to your father. You’ve kept that dream all these years, despite what everyone has said to you, me included.”

“Mom…”

“No, Izuku, I need to say this. When you were little and I made you hide your other powers, I said I was sorry. I felt like I was the reason you were in danger for being a Flerken.” She took a shaky breath, Izuku hardly breathed. “But I was wrong to say that. You shouldn't have to hide who you are. So…so if you think you can change how the world thinks by being a hero, then…then I’ll support you.”

Izuku didn’t really register he was crying until he tried to talk, and all that came out was a sob. That had been what he wanted Mom to say, all those years ago. Just that she would support him in what he did. It didn’t matter if she approved of him being a hero. He dove forward to give her a hug through the tears. 

The tears eventually stopped. Izuku backed up again. Only then did he remember Eraserhead was still there. The man looked extremely unsure of what to do. 

“S-sorry, Mr. Eraserhead sir,” Izuku stuttered. “You were, you were saying?”

“I was saying the decision to accept is up to you, but either way you need training, kid. Uncontrollable Quirks as powerful as yours are dangerous.”

“If I agree, then what exactly would he be doing?” Mom questioned. Izuku was mentally buzzing at the implication she would say yes.

“Nedzu will probably work on him getting control for both sides of his Quirk, among lessons on other subjects. To be honest I don’t know what he wants to do, but he’s a good teacher.”

“Was he your teacher?” Izuku asked excitedly. 

“No, he was already principal. He liked to pop in on classes and give advice, still does. Terrifies the teachers that aren’t used to it yet.”

Izuku stifled his giggling, though not very well. He saw Eraserhead crack a small smile too. Mom looked a bit confused, but smiled nonetheless. Honestly, Izuku was just happy no one was crying or yelling anymore.

“Thank you for your time.” Eraserhead stood up, bowing to his mother. “The principal’s number is on the UA website, so contact him with a decision. Try not to eat anyone else, kid.”

Izuku squawked, while Eraserhead chuckled. 

Izuku went to sleep that night with a few more questions added to his ever-growing list. Despite that, he slept well. Maybe his dream was finally coming true.

Chapter Text

Izuku might have only gotten four total hours of sleep last night, but that wasn’t about to stop him from being on time. Mom had agreed to at least let him go meet with Nedzu, which involved him going to UA. The school he had dreamed of going to since he was a kit. It was surreal in all honesty.

The train ride was easy. He had gotten to the station on time and snagged a good seat without anything going wrong. The whole situation still didn’t feel quite real yet. The journey passed in a flash. 

He stopped at the gates, just staring up at UA in awe. His dream school. The place he had only fantasized about going to, and now he was standing at the gates. The very, very big gates that he knew could chop him in half if he didn’t have permission to enter. 

Izuku took a deep breath, and rang the buzzer. He waited a few seconds before another buzz rang out. Taking it as a queue to enter, Izuku stepped onto the campus of UA. The gates didn’t try and eat him thankfully. 

The path was clearly marked, not that it was a massive problem seeing as the main building was at least ten stories tall. There were a ton of paths that splintered off the main one though. All of those had signs, which Izuku figured made it easier for students to not get lost. There were also a lot of trees. The school was even better than he had imagined it would be. 

There was a hero standing at the entrance to the building. More specifically, Eraserhead. Eraserhead was standing there and waiting for him. The whole situation suddenly became a bit more real for Izuku. 

“There you are, kid. Come on, Nedzu’s waiting.”

Izuku stiffly walked to Eraserhead’s side as they entered. He took in anything and everything he could see. The inside of the building was so cool! High ceilings, probably for things that were taller than a normal person, and there were s o many windows . It was the weekend, so there weren’t any students in the halls. It was eerily quiet for a school. 

“You can stop stressing, kid, all Nedzu’s going to do is talk.”

Izuku squeaked, but kept walking. “I- I know. It’s just, what if he can’t do anything? What if no one else will help train me? I can’t be a hero if I don’t have at least a bit of control over my Quirk. Especially since it eats people .”

“Kid, you’re fine. Nedzu wouldn’t have called you here if he didn’t think he could do anything. So take a deep breath and get through it, you’ll be fine.”

“Th-thank Mr. Eraserhead sir. You’re, you’re good at this.”

“I’m a teacher, I have to be.”

“No, you don’t,” Izuku whispered, mostly to himself. He didn’t look up from the floor to see if Eraserhead had heard. 

The rest of the walk to the principal's office was quiet. Izuku would say silent, if not for the screaming and banging they heard around the fifth floor. Eraserhead just sighed and rubbed his temples. Izuku was confused, but went with it. Probably better to not ask if that had indeed been Present Mic he had heard screeching “That’s my bagel, you overcooked piece of tofu.”

Eraserhead knocked on Nedzu’s door, and waited. A cheery voice told them to come in. The door was pushed open to reveal a relatively normal looking office. Izuku more or less hid behind the hero as they entered. 

Nedzu was sitting on one of the couches in his office, pouring a cup of tea. He looked up with a smile, one Izuku didn’t know if he should believe or not. 

“Hello! What am I? A mouse, a dog, a bear? Who knows! I’m the principal of UA! You must be Izuku Midoriya. Take a seat,” the principal said, beckoning them over. “I heard a bit about you, Mr. Midoriya. You are a Flerken, correct?”

Izuku gingerly sat on the couch opposite Nedzu. He nodded in response, accepting the offered tea. Eraserhead sat besides him. 

“Hm, and you have no control over your Quirk?”

“I can- I can shift easily. It’s the…tentacles, that I can’t control. When I, I used them it felt like, like I wasn’t the one controlling them.”

“Ah, I see. You did not know about the second part before then, yes?”

“Y-yes, sir.”

Nedzu hummed, and sipped his tea. Izuku followed his example, having nothing else to do. It was good tea. 

“I have been granted access to your school transcript and have looked it over, Mr. Midoriya. You have high grades in all classes, though you are registered as a cat morph. Care to explain that?”

“Um, m-my dad died when I was, I was really little, because he was a Flerken. My, my mom wanted to pro-protect me, so we were registered as cat morphs in-instead.”

“Ah, I see. That is also the reason she did not tell you about the second part of your Quirk, yes?”

“Ye-yeah.”

“And you have no family members to teach you?” Eraserhead asked.

“O-one, but she lives far away, and, and is really busy. I think her powers are, are weaker too. I never heard of, of her being able to wreck any-anything.”

Nedzu took another sip of his tea. Eraserhead nodded, looking like he was thinking about something. Izuku more-or-less just wanted to sink into the floor right now. 

“Midoriya, would you mind if I gave you a test?” Nedzu asked cheerfully. 

Izuku blinked. “Um, sure. On, on what subject?”

“All of them.”

Izuku blanched. A test on all subjects? Did Nedzu mean the ones in school or ones for adults too? Did it include physical fitness tests? He was so confused, and his stress spiked.

“Don’t terrify the child, Nedzu. He means school subjects with a bit more added in, kid, not every subject he knows.”

Izuku let out a sigh of relief, nodding. He could handle school subjects. Studying and notes were what he was good at. With no friends and bullies living nearby he didn’t exactly have many options. Hero forums only had so many posts and napping only worked if he was tired. The result was high grades and going on searching tangents when he had nothing else to do. On a related note, he now knows Tasmanian Devils scream when they find food and that bats fly through the power of jazz hands. 

Nedzu left to get something, probably the test. Izuku took the time to finish his tea and mentally go over what they had learned that year in class. He also recalled some of what he had learned in his own time, just in case. Honestly, he was a bit confused on why he was taking a test. It was written by Nedzu though, so it would undoubtedly have high standards. 

A thick stack of paper was dropped onto the table. Izuku managed to swallow his tea before he spit it out. Nedzu gleefully handed him a pencil.

“You have as long as you need to answer as many as you believe yourself capable. Eraser and myself will leave you to the test.”

With that the two heroes left. Izuku glanced between the packet and the door for a second. He steeled himself, and got to work.

Surprisingly, most of the questions were up for interpretation. A lot of them had him explain his answer or thought process. A good portion of them were actual multiple choice questions on subjects he knew though. Even if most of those were things Izuku only knew because he was curious and not from learning them in class. 

He finished the test, or at least most of it, in a little under two hours. Another ten minutes for skimming over his answers too. When he was done, Izuku cautiously stuck his head out the door. There was no one there. 

Oh well, at least he knew where the teachers’ lounge was. They had passed it on the way up. Izuku made his way down the hall and to the elevators, going down to the fifth floor. Once there he just followed the sounds of people. In an empty school, it wasn’t exactly hard. 

The door was propped open, so Izuku pushed it in. There were only a few people inside, none of which noticed him enter. He stood there for a second, just taking all the people. Eraserhead and Nedzu were there, he expected that. What he had not been expecting were Present Mic, Midnight, Cementoss, Snipe, and Vlad King to be somewhere around the room either sitting calmly or yelling. 

“If you think pancakes are better than waffles, you can fight me, Nemuri!” Present Mic screeched.

“Bring it on you oversized cockatoo!” Midnight fired back. 

“Can I please get a waffle?” Cementoss said, surprisingly calm despite the chaos surrounding him. Izuku was mildly impressed. 

No , you cannot- oh! Kitty boy!” Present Mic exclaimed.

Izuku jumped. All of the attention was suddenly on him. The heroes (teachers?) looked curious.

“Ah, Midoriya, did you have a question on your test?”

“No sir, I finished.”

Izuku walked over and handed the thick packet to Nedzu. The principal didn’t say anything, but eagerly took it and began reading it over. Izuku suddenly became aware the room was silent.

“Kid, how long did that test take you?” Eraserhead asked from one of the couches.

“Uh, around an hour and a half, maybe closer to two hours? Why?”

“Hold sh- crap!” Present Mic yelled, staring at Izuku. “You finished Nedzu’s Hell Test in nearly two hours?!”

“Um, yes?”

“Wait, as in the Hell Test we had to take?” Midnight asked. 

“Altered for a middle schooler, but in essence, yes,” Nedzu answered, not looking up from the papers.

Various astonished curses were echoed around the room. Present Mic apparently the only one not shocked enough to sensor his expletives. Izuku still had no idea what was going on. 

“Holy crap kid, what Quirk do you have?! Some sort of super-intelligence?” Present Mic asked, more like yelled but all the same. 

Aizawa and Nedzu had matching smiles. The rest of UA’s teachers felt a sudden wave of suffocating fear. Nedzu’s teeth were too sharp to be human, and Aizawa just reminded them of Totoro. 

“I, um, I don’t have s-super-intelligence,” Izuku stuttered out. “I have, have transformation magic and, and a mutation type.”

“So you’re sayin’ you’re just that smart by ya’self?” Snipe questioned. Izuku did his best to tamp down on his fanboying. 

“Y-yeah. I l-like to study?”

“Holy shit, he’s adorable too,” he heard Midnight whisper. Izuku’s face started to heat up.

“Wait,” Cementoss spoke up. “Isn’t this the kid you decided to teach how to use his Quirk?”

“Why yes, yes he is,” Nedzu answered.

“So then why did he have to take the Hell Test?”

“Oh, that’s simple. I needed a benchmark for his knowledge, and also to see if he was worth taking on as my personal student.”

Izuku blanched. Personal student?! Of Nedzu?! Was he, was he really worth that? All he wanted was to learn how to control his Quirk so he didn’t hurt anyone. Now Nedzu, the smartest being he knew of, was proposing Izuku be his student? There was no way. That was for people like Kacchan, not him.

When he spoke up, his voice was small, yet everyone in the room stopped to listen. “Why?”

“Why what, Midoriya?”

“Why, why would you choose me? I’m just someone with an, an out of control Quirk. There are, are plenty of people with, with intelligence Quirks out there, so why choose the, the one kid who can only turn into a cat . Just because I’m a, a Flerken doesn’t, doesn’t mean I’m the one you should, you should choose as a student.”

“And why do you believe that?’ Nedzu asked, tilting his head slightly. 

“Because, because there’s so many people with amazing Quirks. People that could, could do amazing things if you taught th-them. I, I’m just, just-“

“Kid, all of us had to take that test. You finished in less than two hours, right?”

“Y-yes?”

“You know how smart Mic is?” Izuku nodded, not knowing where Eraserhead was going with this. “He finished that test in two hours and fifteen minutes.”

Izuku stood there silently, processing what he had just heard. His first reaction was to deny it. The test had been altered anyway. But…Eraserhead had no reason to lie to him. Izuku turned to Present Mic. The hero nodded in confirmation, smiling brightly at him. 

“The decision is ultimately up to you, Midoriya,” Nedzu said, drawing his attention. “What I’ve seen is more than enough for me to agree to help you master your Quirk, in the very least. I will contact your mother with details. You may leave now, if you wish. Aizawa can guide you out.”

Eraserhead groaned, but got to his feet anyway. The rest of the teachers said goodbye or waved while Izuku backed out of the room. His mind was still reeling from…everything. 

The two walked back down the hall towards the entrance. Izuku zoned out most of the way. Eraserhead had his hands in his packets as they went. 

Then Izuku heard a thunk. He stopped in the middle of the hall, paying attention to his surroundings again. The sound went off again. Izuku whipped around, scanning the area for what could be making the sound. 

He zeroed in on the vent grate to his left. Whatever it was made the sound again, louder this time. Izuku felt himself subconsciously half-shift. His new cat ears pricked and pointed towards the movement he could see past the grate. 

Eraserhead had stopped too, he noticed vaguely. The man was watching him, but not doing much. Izuku didn’t look away to glance at the man, too worried about losing his prey. 

Izuku carefully stepped closer on silent feet. He stopped a bit away from the grate, pressed up against the wall. The metal creaked. Izuku crouched down, narrowed eyes never leaving the vent. 

Something purple poked out of the now open grate. A face followed it, then the body. The person didn’t notice Izuku. He shifted his stance as the human wiggled their way completely out of the vent. 

“Hey Dad,” they said. “Thought you were showing the new kid to the exit?”

“I am.”

“Then where is he?”

Eraserhead glanced at Izuku. The person, a teen like him, followed his gaze. That was when Izuku pounced on cat-powered legs. 

“FU-“

Izuku collided with the person, sending both tumbling to the ground. He rolled and came up crouched on the person’s back, claws pricking his prey’s shoulders. The person was surprisingly still with his face pressed into the hard floor. It was quiet for a minute. 

“Dad, what the fuck.”

“Hitoshi, meet Izuku Midoriya. Midoriya, that’s my kid you were hunting.”

Hunting?!

Eraserhead’s eyes flashed red, and Izuku came back to himself. The ears, claws, and everything else cat disappeared, along with his instincts. He almost immediately turned bright red and scrambled off of the person beneath him. 

“I am so sorry ! You were banging around in the vents and my cat instincts were telling me you were prey and I listened without thinking and that happens sometimes when I’m overwhelmed and I am right now and I’m so sorry !”

“Cat…instincts?” 

“Er,” Izuku turned to Eraserhead. 

“Your choice to tell him, kid. Both of you get off the floor first.”

Izuku leapt to his feet, offering a hand to Hitoshi, though he guessed that was his given name so he wasn’t about to call him that. The teen took it, rubbing at his shoulders for a second.

“Um, so, I’m a Flerken, and-“

“Holy crap, you’re a Flerken?!” Hitoshi exclaimed. Izuku flinched, expecting the usual reaction. Why did he think this was a good idea? “That’s so cool!”

Wait what? “C-cool?”

“Yeah! I went through a phase of liking any and everything cat, so figuring out there was something besides a cat morph was extremely cool to little kid me.”

“What phase?” Eraserhead deadpanned, getting a shove from his son. Izuku admitted that they did look like each other.

“Can it, you know what I mean,” Hitoshi grumbled good-naturedly. “Is that what he meant by hunting?”

“Y-yeah. I, I have these sorta instincts that, that make me act like a, a cat. They t-take over sometimes if I’m not paying, paying attention or when I’m, I’m overwhelmed. I thought you were, were a mouse or something in the vents.”

“Huh.” Was all Hitoshi said. 

“A-anyway, sorry about jumping at you.”

“Eh, it’s fine. Hey Dad, what were Aunt Nemuri and Pop shrieking about?”

“Midoriya finished Nedzu’s Hell test in under two hours.”

Hitoshi silently turned a wide-eyed look to Izuku. He shrunk back a bit under the gaze. Hitoshi very quietly said a few more curse words. 

“Now if you’ll excuse us Hitoshi, Midoriya has to get home,” Eraserhead said, guiding Izuku out of the building again. 

It was only when they were outside again that Izuku spoke. Eraserhead stopped at the entrance to UA. 

“Th-thank you, Mr. Eraserhead. Your son seems nice.”

He snorted, but smiled. “He’s a troublemaker, but he means well. Nedzu should get back to your mother about the test soon. And kid?”

“Yes sir?”

“You can call me Aizawa instead of Eraserhead when I’m out of uniform. Hope to see you back here, kid. Don’t eat any more people.”

Izuku squeaked, but nodded anyway. He turned away and went home. This time, he was smiling.

Chapter Text

Izuku’s lessons start today, right after normal school. He was practically buzzing in his seat the whole time. He was also pretty sure it was annoying Kacchan, but he wasn’t about to focus on that right now. Nothing was going to ruin this day for him. Not Kacchan nor another bully was going to dampen his spirits for this. 

He escaped the classroom as fast as his legs could take him. Kacchan couldn’t have time to threaten him if he was out the door right as the bell rang. Izuku didn’t care if he ran most of the way to the train station, there was absolutely no way he was going to be late for this. 

Izuku was almost sure he was bothering the whole train car with his fidgeting. He couldn’t help it.

No matter what anyone said, he did not sprint to the gates of UA. He also definitely did not nearly fling his entrance pass across the street trying to get it out of his backpack. Nope, absolutely not. 

There was no hero waiting at the doors of UA this time, but that was ok. Izuku was told to wait outside the doors for Nedzu, and maybe Aizawa, so they could go to one of the gyms. It was nerve wracking though, since there were still UA students hanging around. Most of them gave him an odd look, but none of them did anything. 

He was lead to a gym made of concrete once his teachers showed up. It was absolutely massive, and Cementoss was there too! Izuku didn’t care if he had already seen the hero before, he was still really cool. 

“Now Midoriya, I was told you successfully spit out the criminals you ate, but do you know how to summon the tentacles in the first place?” Nedzu questioned once they were at the gym. 

“No, sir. It was, it was easier spitting them out. I sort of…felt them, I guess. There’s nothing there n-now.” Izuku paused, thinking for a moment. “Actually, there is something, but I don’t, don’t know what it is. It’s like…I know one of my muscles is there, but I don’t, don’t know how to use it.”

“Good analysis, Midoriya,” Nedzu hummed. “Could you possibly think of anything that could help you use this ‘muscle?’”

Izuku started muttering, looking at the floor. Nedzu watched with interest. Aizawa, having heard Izuku on a muttering spree before, flopped against the gym wall in his sleeping bag. 

It took a few minutes, but Izuku eventually stopped muttering. He smiled brightly at his two teachers, before going to explain.

“If spitting things out of like a hairball, then maybe the tentacles by themselves is just like another tongue? Not my normal one, obviously, but sort of like a frog tongue?”

“And can you use that to harness your Quirk?”

“Um, c-can I test it?”

Nedzu nodded, retreating to the other end of the room. Aizawa relocated his napping spot, ready to intervene if he needed too. Cementoss joined him in diligently watching. Once everyone was a safe distance away, Izuku closed his eyes. He hoped his analogy could help him at least summon the tentacle things. 

It did. Except he didn’t account for the fact that he wouldn’t be able to control them. 

The tentacles and teeth came into existence like they had last time: explosively and out of control. Izuku’s eyes snapped open. Instinctively, he tried to move. That did not go well. 

Izuku recoiled as his…mouths(?) slammed full force into a wall of cement. Not a pleasant feeling. He flinched, retracting the things in the process. 

The wall now had a sizable hole in it.

“Ooooooow.”

“You ok, kid?” Aizawa said, coming closer now. 

“‘M fine.” Izuku rubbed at his jaw, wondering how his Quirk even worked. He could feel that the things hurt, but it felt like it was in his cheeks instead of his throat or something. 

“Do you want to try again, Midoriya?” Nedzu asked.

“Yeah. Yeah, I wanna try again.” 

Nedzu smiled at him. Aizawa moved back, and Izuku tried again. He wasn’t going to give up. He still had something to prove. 

 

Training went…well. It didn’t go bad, necessarily, Izuku was just hoping for more progress to be made. He could reliably summon the things, but not control them. His mouth was sore and probably bruised now. Cement hurt

He came back a few days later for lesson number two. It yielded the same results. He was getting better at making the tentacles go away, at the very least. 

As he got used to using the things, he realized something. It sort of acted like another limb, which was weird since it came from his mouth. But the more he used it the more familiar he becomes with how it worked. Maybe he could use that. 

 

It was two weeks later that he finally did it. When he summoned the things, they didn’t lash out. They stayed in place for a moment. Izuku…didn’t really know what to do. He wanted to jump around and celebrate and yell about his success, which was sort of impossible with his current predicament. 

Cementoss created a small, thin pillar a few yards in front of him. Izuku made a mental note to thank the hero, again, after this lesson. 

Izuku focused, and moved the tentacles and extra mouths towards the cement pillar. It felt like he was physically fighting for control. They moved slowly, but listened to him nonetheless.

The pillar was promptly pulled from the ground and eaten. Izuku coughed as the things disappeared again. Cement did not taste good, he decided. Like play-dough mixed with rocks. 

“Midoriya, are you alright?” Nedzu asked, coming up besides him.

Izuku looked at his teacher, and grinned. “Other than eating concrete, I’m ok. I finally did it, Nedzu-sensei.”

“That you did, Midoriya. Do you want to try spitting the cement out?”

Izuku nodded hastily. The cement felt weird wherever it was being held. Another thing to add to his ‘how does my Quirk even work’ list. 

It came back up relatively easily. Covered in spit, but otherwise unharmed. The things went away again, hurting more than ever this time. Looks like control won’t be painless, Izuku thought. 

The training and lessons continued. Slowly, Izuku gained more and more control over his Quirk. It was still tenuous at best, but it was progress. 

  His classmates seemed to notice too. Izuku never showed off anything in class. Ever. That was a rule of his that wasn’t going to change anytime soon. Especially in seventh grade, where gossip ran wild either way. It was better they believe he was just a cat morph. But his class seemed to notice that he was gaining more confidence. Not just because of getting better, but because he finally had people that believed in him. 

Kacchan wasn’t happy about that. Izuku felt his glare on the back of his head for nearly the whole day. It was a lesson day. All he had to do was get through middle school classes and then he could go to UA. He could keep improving without Kacchan breathing down his neck.

It didn’t go like that. Of course it didn’t. The school day ended, Izuku packed up quickly, just like he always did. 

He didn’t make it far. A sparking hand slammed itself onto his desk, making Izuku jump. He looked up and saw Kacchan standing there with a sneer on his face. He had Izuku’s analysis journal in his hand.

“Ka-Kacchan.”

Deku, ” he growled, reminding Izuku of a feral dog. “Want to explain where you’ve been disappearing to? Hope it’s not to fill your stupid fucking ‘analysis' books.”

Maybe Izuku had gained more confidence, or maybe knowing what he could possibly do was delaying his fear. Either way, what he did next was extremely stupid

“Give it back, Kacchan. It’s none of your business.”

Kacchan raised an eyebrow. Izuku realized that while he had stood up to Kacchan for other people, he had never done it for himself. Until now, that is. 

“Or what , Deku?”

A single spark lit Kacchan’s hand, and Izuku hesitated. Kacchan’s smirk returned. “Not so brave now, huh. You better not still be trying to be a hero with your weak ass Quirk, Cat .”

Izuku…Izuku felt something break. Not snap or shatter, no. More like something held together by tape finally giving way. All at once it was just…gone. 

“I’m not weak.”

“What was that, Cat ?”

“I’m. Not. Weak ,” Izuku hissed, standing to his full height, even if it wasn’t much. “And you can’t stop me.”

Kacchan did not like that. His smirk twisted into a snarl. Izuku took that as his cue to grab his notebook and leave. 

If only he was so lucky.

Izuku dove for his notebook, managing to grab it before Kacchan exploded it. His arm wasn’t so lucky. 

Izuku reeled backwards, one hand holding the notebook and the other covering his new burn. Another scar to the tapestry. Kacchan was smiling. 

“How could you ever think you’re strong when one little burn makes you cower!”

Izuku backed up a step, going over his options. Those were either fight Kacchan (nope nope nope nopeity nope) or try and run. Considering he already had a hurt arm, fighting was definitely not an option. Not unless Izuku wanted to risk eating Kacchan, which he wasn’t.

Escape then. He had to escape. The door was open, but Kacchan was blocking it. It looked like no one else was in the halls now, so no one to intervene. His backpack was still open too. If he could put his journal in there then he’d have a few less problems. 

There was no way Kacchan would let him get to the door though. Not without more burns. Izuku was already going to have to explain the one he had to Nedzu and Aizawa-sensei, he didn’t need more. 

Then he saw the open window, and his adrenaline addled mind gave him an idea. An idea that could very well fail extremely badly, but an idea nonetheless. All he had to do was put his notebook in the bag and dodge to the side before Kacchan could get him. Simple. Probably. Hopefully. 

God, this was going to go so bad. 

Izuku slowly edged backwards, towards his bag. His notebook was held behind him. Kacchan didn’t move, but watched him sharply, waiting for quick movement. Sort of like an animal. Ironic, considering he was the one with normal magic and Izuku was part cat. 

His notebook slipped into his bag with hardly a sound. Kacchan’s eyes didn’t leave Izuku’s. He hoped Kacchan didn’t noticed what he did. Now, the hard part. Izuku grabbed one strap of his bag, and tensed to run. 

In one motion he half-zipped his bag and darted to his left. Kacchan screamed something incomprehensible. Izuku didn’t dare look to see if Kacchan was aiming an explosion for him. He needed his eyes, thank you very much. 

Izuku half-shifted, focusing on his claws. Nedzu and him had been working on his shifting abilities a bit. It hadn’t been too long since he discovered he could half-shift, after all. His fingertips lengthened and hardened into sharp points. Heat hit Izuku’s back. 

Izuku dove over Kacchan’s outstretched hand, and out the window. 

His claws caught the wall once he twisted around, slowing his fall. His shoes helped slow it even more. It nearly pulled his arms out of their sockets, but it worked. Kacchan wasn’t following him. His bag was safe too. 

Izuku would have turned into a cat, since they almost always land on their feet. If not for the fact that his backpack would have either been left to fall with him or get left behind. Neither were an option. Kacchan would have destroyed anything in his bag if he left it, and falling with a bag in his teeth would have unbalanced him. Not to mention the koi pond was almost directly under the window. Sliding down the wall like the vigilante Crawler was by far the best option. 

It took all of a minute for Izuku to fully zip his bag and sprint off. Kacchan would be storming down the halls right now, and Izuku didn’t want to be there when the tempest exploded. 

He also didn’t want to be late.

Chapter Text

Nedzu was surprised, but very happy, with how his student was doing. He hadn’t originally intended to take Midoriya as a student, simply teach him to use his Quirk. It was dangerous if left untouched. And if Nedzu wanted to help out a fellow creature that was discriminated against, then no one was going to say anything anyway. 

Then Aizawa had told him about the boy’s conviction. Unusually strong and selfless for a middle schooler. The boy appeared smart too. Nedzu just had to test him, so he took the approval test for UA teachers and altered it slightly. Nothing big, just taking out some of the more mature questions and ones only a licensed pro would know. Overall, it was still an extremely hard test.

After Midoriya finished the test faster than Present Mic, Nedzu made a decision. He would offer to take on Midoriya as a personal student alongside helping him with his Quirk. Two to three times a week the boy would come to UA to practice and be taught lessons on various subjects. Nedzu knew the boy’s middle school would teach him the basic subjects, but Midoriya needed something more. Perhaps it would help him become a better hero too.

Midoriya’s analysis abilities were something Nedzu hadn’t seen in a while. This middle schooler with no formal training was already on par with a few professionals. It would need to be cultivated, Nedzu decided, otherwise it would be an opportunity wasted for the boy. 

His student kept surprising him too. He showed Nedzu he could half-shift, something he hadn’t know Flerkens could do. The boy had cat ears, claws, and paw pads while still looking mainly human. Possibly teeth and other things were there as well. His eyes were already that of a normal cat, minus being colorblind. Nedzu was curious, very curious. It had been a long time since he had seen such an interesting child. 

Nedzu admitted he was growing fond of the boy. Seeing him leap around in excitement after finally exhibiting a bit of control over his powers made him smile. Not like he didn’t see Aizawa and Yamada watching the boy fondly too. 

Then Midoriya came in with an injury. Not exactly something out of the ordinary, so Nedzu brushed it off. That was a mistake. 

They began as usual. Midoriya on one end of the gym and Nedzu at the other. Sometimes another hero joined them, but today it was just Nedzu and Cementoss. The others were still grading and answering students’ questions. Cementoss already finished his, and was there as a precaution. 

He set up the pillars they used in Midoriya’s practice. The boy in question standing in one spot. 

“Are you ready, Midoriya?”

“Y-yes, sir. Same thing as, as last time?”

Odd, Midoriya’s stutter had mostly gone away after the near three weeks of training at UA. Nedzu shrugged, maybe something had come up at his school. “Yes, same as last time.”

Midoriya nodded, getting into the stance Nedzu recognized as him bracing himself to use his Quirk. The telltale tentacles started to appear. 

Things went wrong almost immediately. The tentacles burst out into the open, waving wildly and hitting the cement posts. Nedzu could see Midoriya flinch. 

Then the tentacles turned around. They wrapped themselves around Midoriya, making him disappeared. Nedzu jolted forward, Cementoss already moving the ground to try and extract his student. 

Nedzu’s steps stuttered to a stop when Midoriya just…disappeared. Not a trace of his student nor his Quirk left. Nothing. The cement receded back into the floor, leaving two stunned pro heroes and a missing student. 

A thousand scenarios ran through Nedzu’s head. He cautiously walked closer, keeping his senses alert for any danger. There was nothing there . Where had his student gone

“Uh, Nedzu-sensei?”

Nedzu’s head whipped around. His ears swiveling to pinpoint where the sound had come from. 

There, another noise. But…it was above him?

Nedzu looked up to the ceiling. Lo and behold, there was his student. Midoriya was sitting in the rafters, clinging to one of the beams. He looked just as confused as Nedzu felt. 

“Nedzu-sensei, are you and Cementoss ok?” Midoriya called down.

“We’re fine, Midoriya. How did you get up there?”

“I have no idea! I was just trying to control my Quirk and then it tried to eat me ! I was thinking I just wanted to be away from it, and the next thing I knew I was up here!”

“Can you get down?” Cementoss yelled up.

“Yeah, just- just give me a minute.”

Nedzu hummed, and relaxed. His student was smart, and he was ok. Midoriya would probably get over to the wall and use his claws to slide down. They hadn’t practiced that yet, but Midoriya had been able to shift stronger claws already. 

Nedzu proceeded to nearly choke on air as his student shifted into a green cat, and leapt off the rafters into the open air. Cementoss was a bit too shocked to move and catch Midoriya. Not that it would have been extremely useful, since cement is in no way a soft landing. 

He was mildly surprised when Midoriya flipped midair, righting himself, and landed with hardly a sound. He shook out his fur before turning back into a human. There wasn’t a sign of trauma from a hard landing. 

“Midoriya, was that necessary?” Cementoss signed in exasperation, one hand over his heart. 

“What? I got down, and I really didn’t want to, to dislocate my shoulders sliding down the wall. It’s also metal, so I didn’t, didn’t want to hurt your ears.”

“Thoughtful,” Nedzu hummed, “but please give more warning the next time you jump from two stories up, Midoriya. Even if cats do land on their feet.”

“S-sorry, Sensei.”

“It’s alright, you didn’t get hurt. Now, do you have any idea as to why you did…whatever that was?”

“I, I think I teleported? I guess my Quirk activated since…”

Midoriya trailed off, not meeting either hero’s eyes. Well, that wasn’t good. 

“Since you’re what, Midoriya?”

“M-my arm. I, I hurt my, my arm earlier.”

“Ah, that explain it then. Your Quirk must have acted on the assumption that there was a danger that hurt you, thus getting you away from it.”

“P-probably.”

“However, you should not have attended training if you were injured, Midoriya. We’re going to visit Recovery Girl before we resume.”

“Th-that’s really not necessary!” 

Nedzu stopped, tilting his head. That was the voice of someone with something to hide. Children were not usually adept at lying, Midoriya seemed to be no exception. He wondered what he had to lie about though. An injury was an injury that needed to be healed, simple as that. 

“I don’t, I don’t want to bother her,” Midoriya said, quieter this time. “I’m not even a, a real student here. I can keep going, Nedzu-sensei, it’s ok.”

“I insist Midoriya, Recovery Girl has been wanting to meet you anyway. I wouldn’t be a very good teacher if I made you continue while injured, now would I.”

Midoriya hesitated, but nodded. He shuffled towards the doors alongside Nedzu without further protesting. The principal found it odd that he tried to cover himself with the lie, but brushed it off. His student hadn’t showed he was in any danger before. It would be fine. 

~~~~~

Izuku was resigned to the inevitable. Recovery Girl would see the burn and tell Nedzu. The principal would probably…actually, Izuku had no idea what the principal would do. He wouldn’t exactly bully him too, since he himself was a creature people discriminated against. Didn’t stop Izuku’s mind from spitting out reason after reason why he would refuse to keep teaching Izuku. 

The walk to Recovery Girl’s office was a relatively short one. It was on the first floor, since it was mostly hero students that got hurt and had to be carted to her. There were always the occasional support student that blew themselves up or business student that got into another fistfight over marketing, but hero students were the most common. For obvious reasons. 

They knocked before coming in. Izuku had to try really hard not to squeal and fanboy the instant he saw the heroine. She was just so cool . Healing Quirks were incredibly rare, though less so than warp Quirks. 

“Hello there, deary, you must be Midoriya.”

Izuku nodded feverishly. Recovery Girl chuckled, getting up from her desk to come closer to them. 

“And what’s the problem with this one, Nedzu?”

“He has an injured arm, ma’am. His Quirk acted out because of it.”

“Ah, yes, that would definitely be a problem. Let me see it, sonny.”

Izuku hesitated, but let Recovery Girl grab his arm. He bit back a yelp when her hand grazed the angry red burn. She mumbled something to herself, then kissed his wrist. The pain instantly faded, and his skin returned to normal. The imprint of a hand gone from his arm when he looked down at it. Of all the burns he had gotten, this one had been minor in comparison to begin with. 

The adults, however, didn’t see it that way. Recovery Girl looked worried as she shooed them out of her office. Nedzu hadn’t said anything, but Izuku knew he saw the burn. It wasn’t hard to miss when his arm was on display. Now it was just a matter of what the principal was going to do. 

Nedzu wordlessly lead Izuku back outside. He sat himself on the stairs, staring out at the UA grounds. Izuku followed his lead, pulling his knees to his chest. Why did it feel like his blood had turned to molasses? 

“Does the human bullying you know you’re a Flerken?”

Izuku jolted. Of everything, that hadn’t been the question he was expecting. 

“N-no, sir. He, he doesn’t.”

“Then I assume it is because of you being an alleged cat morph? They are not renowned for being the strongest.”

Izuku nodded silently. Kacchan had his reasons. Izuku was as good as a cat morph anyway. He wasn’t strong, couldn’t do more than walk quietly. It wasn’t even before a few months ago he learned he could half-shift. Kacchan was still insistent he couldn’t be a hero. Not while being a worthless, useless cat .

He was crying, Izuku realized belatedly. He scrubbed at his face, knowing it was too late to hide it from Nedzu. Maybe he really wasn’t meant to be a hero if he still cried so easily. 

“Which student was it.” 

Izuku looked up sharply. In the time he had known Nedzu, he had never had that much steel in his voice. His teacher had always been calm and collected. This was the first time Izuku was hearing him angry. 

“M-more than, than one,” Izuku said softly. After all this time, he still wasn’t willing to take any revenge on Kacchan and his other bullies. “They, they didn’t, they don’t deserve to, to-“

“Midoriya, they hurt you for being presumed weaker. If they wish to be heroes, then they must learn first.”

“That’s why, why they should be, be allowed to go, go where they want. Schools are for, for learning, right?”

“…Yes, they are, but that does not make it right. You are aware I could just look at the school security tapes, correct?”

“I know, but then you’d have to explain why you did it. I don’t think you’d want to go through the effort of doing that.”

He knew he guessed right when Nedzu started chuckling. It was nice, knowing he was actually good at something. Even if that thing was convincing his teacher not to “accidentally” get his bullies blacklisted from all hero schools. 

“Well then, would you like to continue practicing, Midoriya? I’m curious about that teleportation.”

Izuku got to his feet, grinning once again. He raced off back to the gym, his teacher following at a walking pace. He was still a kid, after all. He was excited to discover something new. And since that thing was being able to teleport ? Heck yeah!

~~~~~

Bzz Bzz

Inko picked up her phone with one hand, pulling a bag of flour closer with the other. Izuku was in his room doing homework, so the apartment was quiet. 

“Hello?”

Ah, good evening Mrs. Midoriya ,” Nedzu’s voice chirped through the phone. Inko set aside her cooking for a moment. 

“Good evening, Mr. Nedzu. May I ask why you’re calling?”

I will get straight to the point, Mrs. Midoriya. I wish to take young Izuku as my personal student.

Inko nearly dropped the phone. “You want to, what?”

Teach young Izuku. It’s come to my attention that he isn’t getting sufficient tutelage in his current school. If you would allow it, I would like to take over his studies instead.

“May I…may I ask why this is coming up now?”

He came to lessons with a burn, Mrs. Midoriya. One in the shape of a handprint. ” Inko felt like all the air had disappeared from her lungs. Only one person she knew could do that. But…but why? Why would little Katsuki do such a thing to Izuku? They had been such good friends, once upon a time. Inko herself was still friends with Mitsuki. “ Your son is exceedingly smart, Mrs. Midoriya. I want to assure that he has that encouraged.

“I, I know he’s intelligent. He never, he never told me anything past that he was having minor problems at school.”

“I t’s not my place to tell you everything, Mrs. Midoriya, but please consider what I have said.

“Y-yes, I will. Thank you, Nedzu.”

Have a good evening, Mrs. Midoriya.”

Inko set her phone on the counter. 

Izuku was bullied. By little Katsuki nonetheless. There were so many questions she had. Why hadn’t her son told her anything? Why was he bullied? He didn’t tell people he was a Flerken, she knew that. So why?

Either way, she had an offer to consider. But if it would help keep her son safe, then the decision was already made.

Chapter Text

Izuku learned he was being taught solely by Nedzu the morning after the principal called his mom. It was…a lot to take in. He wasn’t going to normal school anymore? No more bullies? No more Kacchan ?

It was a lot. Especially since that meant he was technically going to UA now. Nedzu would undoubtedly be an amazing teacher, he already was. That didn’t mean Izuku wasn’t nervous walking into UA on Monday. He looked really out of place, not having a uniform and all.

The halls weren’t especially crowded, not since Izuku got there after normal classes started. He was suddenly thankful Nedzu had insisted he start an hour later than the high schoolers. Of the three people he saw, none stopped him, just looked at him weird. That in itself still made him want to curl into a ball and hide. He didn’t, but he was close. On a related note, UA had some nice sunbeams that came through the windows. 

Nedzu’s office was on the top floor. It was a pretty big room, having its own sitting area and stove to make tea. Nedzu’s desk, and chairs opposite it, sitting towards the back of the room. The entire back wall was made of windows too. Knowing Nedzu, there were probably parachutes hidden somewhere. Being on the top floor made a good vantage point as well as an escape route. Along with another reason, but Izuku didn’t want to dive down that rabbit hole. 

The principal himself was sitting at his desk. Papers scattered with no obvious rhyme or reason. Izuku figured the principal would be the only one to know if there was a pattern or not. 

“Ah, there you are, Midoriya. Right on time. Are you ready for our first lesson?”

“Yes, Nedzu-sensei!”

 

“Have you read this book before, Midoriya?”

“No sir.”

“Alright then, reading it will be your homework for this week. We will discuss what you read next Monday.”

“I assume you’ve learned a bit of chemistry?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Good. Now, we’re going to learn how to make chlorine gas with cleaning products.”

 

“Is it really ok to set this on fire?”

“Of course. Just keep the gloves on.”

 

“And what happened in 2019?”

“The Area 51 rebellion in the US.”

“Correct. And remember, they did not in fact find aliens, but nuclear weaponry.”

 

“Is this how I solve it?”

“Yes, very well done, Midoriya. That math problem was giving even the second years trouble.”

~~~~~

Tsume liked UA. It was the best hero school in the country, how could they not? The teachers were all pros, they learned how to control their Quirks even better than before, and injuries were never a problem since Recovery Girl worked there. It helped that most of the people in their class, 1-B, were friendly. 

Heroics class was their favorite though, for obvious reasons. The teacher was an old hero who was going to retire soon. His hero name was Gengar, and he could become a shadow. Not like darkness, but he could literally become someone’s shadow to follow them. He was underground, so not a lot of people had heard of him. Tsume thought he was cool though. Good at teaching them to fight too. 

Gengar-sensei also liked to send kids on errands. Nothing big, usually just messages to Nedzu or something. Tsume was chosen for one such adventure today. All they had to do was deliver a note to Nedzu in his office. Meh, at least they weren’t getting tossed across the training yard again. 

The walk to Nedzu’s office was quiet. Everyone was in class, so of course it was. Tsume thanked whoever had designed UA that they there were elevators. Climbing ten flights of stairs did not sound pleasant. 

Tsume knocked on the door once they reached it. The talking from inside stopped, replaced with Nedzu saying they could come in. Tsume very carefully opened the door.

Inside was Nedzu and a little green-haired kid standing over a table. There were beakers of various colors in a neat line, and a Bunsen Burner. There was also a stack of empty cleaning supplies bottles? The two were wearing gloves and safety goggles at least.

“Uh, I have a note, Nedzu-sensei.”

“Ah, from Gengar I presume,” Nedzu hummed, stepping around the table. “I’ll go ahead and take that.”

Tsume nodded, handing over the note. One of the liquids started to spark. The green kid blinked down at it curiously. 

“Nedzu-sensei, is it supposed to do that?” The green kid asked. 

“Hm? Oh, that means it’s going to explode. Put the blast shield over it please.”

Nedzu said everything very calmly. Tsume stood there staring as the kid that was probably a middle schooler, put a thick glass dome over the sparking liquid. A moment later it exploded, but silently from inside the dome. 

“Huh, didn’t know that would happen. Can we try it again?”

“Of course, Midoriya. You may go back to class, Ms. Yubi.”

Tsume nodded numbly, and retreated from the room as fast as socially acceptable. Once down the hall they sprinted . The faster they got away from the kid and principal blowing things up the better. 

What was going on in this school?!

~~~~~

So far, Izuku liked being taught by Nedzu. He was learning a lot more than he had in his former middle school. Quite a bit of it was more useful for being a hero, and adult in general, than the other stuff he had been learning. Nedzu had even showed him how to hot-wire a car!

It was the end of Friday, right after he finished his last lesson of the week. Honestly, it had been one of the best weeks of his life. He got to learn from one of the smartest beings on Earth, and no one bullied him. Izuku also left late enough to avoid Kacchan. 

None of the UA students had confronted him either. Some gave him weird looks, but that was the extent of it. Maybe Nedzu had warned the classes or something, but either way Izuku was grateful. 

The hallways of the school were once again silent. The normal students had left already, and the teachers were doing whatever they needed to finish before going home. Izuku had seen Aizawa around the halls a few times, but hadn’t gotten to speak with him much. 

Izuku was actually smiling after the school-week for once. He never realized how often he went home with new bruises until they weren’t from bullies. Any bruises he had now were from trying to control his Quirk. There had been progress, but not much.

He stopped when he heard a noise. A weird scraping sound. In a very silent hall, it stuck out like teal on a gray background. Izuku looked up and down the hall, but didn’t see anything. 

Izuku shrugged, and kept walking. It was probably just something from the support department that echoed. At any rate, Izuku needed to get to the train station before it got too late. He pulled out his phone to make sure his mom didn’t text before he left.

“Hey Midoriya!”

Izuku looked up from his phone. There…wasn’t anyone in the hall.

He yelped as a heavy weight crashed onto him from above. Izuku was standing one second, and the next he was tasting the floor. He thrashed under whatever was sitting on him.

Something alive, apparently, since it laughed and rolled off of him. Izuku grumbled, but rolled over so he could see.

Hitoshi was sitting on the ground a few feet from Izuku. Aizawa’s son, Izuku remembered. Who had just jumped at him from…somewhere. 

“Ha! Finally got you.” Hitoshi smirked, getting back to his feet. He offered Izuku a hand. “You’re not hurt, right?”

Izuku took the hand and stood too. “I’m ok. Where did you even come from?”

“The ceiling.”

Izuku stopped, glancing up at Hitoshi. He was pointing above their heads with his smirk still in place. Sure enough, there was an open vent grate above their heads. Huh.

“And why did you jump me from the ceiling?”

“Payback.” Hitoshi shrugged, like it was the simplest thing in the world. “I haven’t been able to catch you before now anyway.”

“I said I was sorry,” Izuku whined, hiding his face in his hands. 

“Yeah, yeah, I know. You have to get to the station, right? Mind if I walk with you?”

Izuku’s brain more-or-less short-circuited. He had never had people offer that. Well, he did once upon a time, but that had ended with him getting blown up on multiple occasions. Hitoshi didn’t seem to have an ulterior motive, but that didn’t mean a thing. Not when he’d been hurt so much before. 

Hitoshi must have noticed, because he spoke up again. “Hey, I’m just offering. If you don’t want me to I’ll stay here.”

“N-no, it’s ok. I just, just don’t h-have very good experiences with, with being offered th-that.”

“Oh.” Hitoshi’s face twisted for a second, but smoothed out the next. “Well then you don’t have good friends.”

“Try none,” Izuku muttered. 

“Guess we have more in common than I thought. So, want to walk to the station?”

“S-sure, but won’t your dad w-worry?”

“Nah, he knows what I’m doing.”

Izuku nodded, leading the way out of UA. Hitoshi followed quietly, just looking around at everything. They reached the gates and began walking down the sidewalk.

“What did, did you mean, when you said we had more in common than, than you thought?” Izuku asked, not liking the silence between them. 

“I don’t have friends either. They’re too scared of what I might do to them.”

Izuku glanced at Hitoshi curiously. He sort of just looked like a tired purple panda, why would anyone be scared of him?

He became aware he said that out loud when Hitoshi barked a laugh. Whoops. Izuku buried his red face in his hands. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s ok.” Hitoshi fell quiet for a moment, looking like he was thinking over something. “I’m a Siren.”

Izuku lit up. Hitoshi almost stumbled when he turned to look at him. 

“Really?! That’s so cool! What type of Siren? Is that why your eyes are purple? What can you do? Do you want to be a hero too? You’d make a cool one. Are you related to Present Mic? Can you sing really good? Can-”

Hitoshi covered Izuku’s mouth with his hand, effectively stopping his rambling. Izuku glanced over, and his face was red. Good, they were even now. He uncovered Izuku’s mouth after a second. 

“You think…you think I could be a hero?”

“Yeah, why wouldn’t you be? Definitely a better one than me, anyway.”

“I will cover your mouth again, don’t tempt me. You’ll be an amazing hero and if you bad mouth yourself again I will drag my Pop over here to lecture you about self-worth.”

They held eye contact for a moment, before bursting into laughter on the sidewalk. Izuku was smiling so much more lately. It was nice. 

“Seriously though, what can you do? Siren’s have a big range of Quirks.”

“I can…I can control people if they respond to a question.”

Izuku clapped a hand over his mouth before he went on another muttering spree. There were so many questions he wanted to ask, but not enough time. He could already see the station up ahead. 

Hitoshi’s expression dropped. Izuku very quickly realized his mistake, and might have gone a bit overboard trying to fix it.

“I’m not scared of your Quirk, don’t worry! I just have so many questions and I don’t want to annoy you and there isn’t enough time and you’re Quirk just sounds so cool and oh no I’m rambling again.” Izuku took a deep breath, not missing the shocked expression on Hitoshi’s face. “Sorry. Y-you already know I’m a, a Flerken, so if anyone’s going to, to be scared of your Quirk it’s not me.”

“O-oh…ok.”

“Anyway, I have to go. Do you want to exchange numbers so we can talk?”

Hitoshi handed over his phone without saying anything. Izuku put in his number, before cheerfully waving goodbye. He watched his new friend (?) wave back, then turn back to UA. 

It wasn’t until halfway home that Izuku realized he just made a friend. And that he still didn’t know Hitoshi’s actual name.

Chapter Text

The end of the school year was approaching quickly, and Izuku had improved so much in that time. He still didn’t have as much control over his Quirk like normal kids his age, but it was a far cry from where he had started. 

They had…a few mishaps, in that time. Mostly when people had decided scaring Izuku was a good idea. That either ended in them having to hit the deck to avoid claws, or they got eaten. Izuku always spit them out quickly and apologized. 

The most memorable was when Midnight snuck up on him. She had apparently wanted to give him a hug, but Izuku hadn’t known that. The instant she touched him he spun around, and accidentally ate the hero. When he spit her back out a cloud of her Quirk came with her. It tasted weird. Not that he had very long to think that, since he was knocked out a second later. 

Hitoshi and him were good friends now too. He did in fact learn his name. It was Shinsou, and was Aizawa and Present Mic (Hizashi Yamada, he learned, and proceeded to freak out over knowing the hero’s real name) adopted son. 

Shinsou taught him how to hide in the vents. There were blankets and food stashes if you went far enough. It was no wonder he hid in there a lot. As long as he didn’t accidentally fall to the next floor, he was good. Izuku didn’t have that problem. He could turn into a cat and fall safely. It also meant space wasn’t a problem. Shinsou complained about it not being fair, since he had to crawl on his stomach to get around the vents. 

Nedzu had also been an amazing teacher. Izuku already knew everything he was required to, on top of skills he could use in the real world. Like how to make good tea and how to create acid from common cleaning supplies. The standardized tests were a breeze, especially compared to Nedzu’s Hell Test.

Izuku was excited for whatever the next year would bring. Mostly because Aizawa promised to start teaching him to fight. Izuku wasn’t scrawny, but he wasn’t exactly muscular either. Hopefully that could change soon. Shinsou was still going to a different school, but he would join them to spar sometimes. It sounded exciting in Izuku’s opinion. 

For now, he was still trying to get full control of his Quirk. It didn’t usually lash out anymore, which was really good. Sometimes it listened and other times Izuku’s Quirk seemed to have a mind of its own. Nedzu proposed that it was because of the circumstances it appeared and how long he repressed it. Both entirely plausible. Unfortunately, they couldn’t exactly ask the Quirk. 

His shifting has gotten even better too. Izuku could focus on certain aspects and improve them even further. He could hear even better than Nedzu if he enhanced his ears. That had resulted in him accidentally hunting Shinsou again, but they both laughed it off this time. Aizawa-sensei got yet another video of it. Izuku would be embarrassed if he didn’t know his mom had a dozen videos just like that. At least they hadn’t used a laser pointer like Mom did when he was a kit. 

Either way, in another week, he would be done with his first year of middle school. Over the break he would dedicate time to controlling his Quirk more. His goal was complete control, or at least close, by the time of UA’s entrance exam. Izuku was curious how that was even going to work. He knew it was robots, so would he just eat them? Would the points count if he just spat them out again once the exam was done? It sounded ridiculously easy for physical Quirks in his opinion. If he hadn’t learned the other half of his Quirk then he would’ve been going in there with only shifting. As good as his claws were, they couldn’t destroy metal robots. 

Nedzu had given him homework for the weekend. It wasn’t especially hard stuff, but Mom probably wouldn’t appreciate him hijacking their dish soap for an experiment. A stop to the store before going home then, he decided. Not the same one he had gotten held at knifepoint. It was in the opposite direction and one he’d been to a lot in elementary school. 

Izuku popped in his headphones along the way, turning on Present Mic’s radio. It was a bit weird knowing the man, and being friends with his son, but the station was still his favorite. He hummed along as he walked down the sidewalk. 

Call it honed senses, instincts, whatever you want, but Izuku knew something was coming. Something dangerous. It was like something was crawling up his back and setting all his hair on end. Izuku didn’t even know what was setting him off, but everything looked normal. All he was doing was walking towards the store that was hardly fifty feet away. There weren't even many other people on the street. 

He did his best to shake the feeling off. It might mean something, but he needed supplies. That was it. Nothing much could go wrong in the five minutes it would take in that store.

Izuku pushed through it and got what he needed. Nothing out of the ordinary happened inside. There was an old lady shopping and another teenager working the register. No villains, no knives, and certainly no destruction. It was…normal. 

So why did he feel like bolting home?

Izuku took his bags and headed towards home once he finished. There still weren’t many people on the streets, but that wasn’t unusual. Especially since it had been maybe ten minutes since he was last out. 

Bag in hand, he speed-walked down the street. Even if it really was nothing, that didn’t stop his adrenaline from thinking it was a threat. Izuku found himself unconsciously readying his Quirk. 

“Hey, Deku .”

Izuku froze, his slitted eyes widening in fear. The bag in his hand crinkled with how tight he was suddenly gripping it.  He hardly dared to breathe as footsteps echoed from the alley at his back, coming closer. 

“Thought you could hide from me, huh ?”

Izuku remembered the last time they had talked. He had thrown himself out a window, then never came back to school. Kacchan hadn’t been able to find him until now. Izuku had foolishly hoped he never would.

He finally figured out to make his mouth move again. “I, I wasn’t h-hiding.”

“Then where’ve you been, Cat ?” Kacchan spat.

“Th-that’s none of, of your b-business K-Kacchan.”

Izuku flinched as Kacchan’s palms crackled. He finally turned around, facing his…his bully. That’s what he was. He wasn’t a hero, not really. Not yet. 

“Do we need to have a talk , Deku?”

“Th-there’s other, other people here, K-Kacchan. They’ll call the, the police.”

Izuku met Kacchan’s eyes, seeing how they burned with hatred. It was so much like his Quirk, crackling and fiery. He didn’t flinch away though. Izuku stood his ground, hoping he wouldn’t get another burn scar today. 

“And what’ll they do? I’m just a concerned hero-to-be making sure a civilian stays safe,” Kacchan said, but it sounded more like a threat to Izuku. He didn’t believe it for a moment.

“L-leave me alone, Kacchan.”

“Then tell me where the fuck you’ve been, Cat, or I won’t hesitate to remind you where your place is.”

Izuku didn’t like this. He wanted to go home and talk with Shinsou and eat dinner with his mom. Not try and defuse the bomb that was Katsuki Bakugou. He just wanted to do his homework and wonder what Nedzu and Aizawa-sensei had planned for him next year. Why did he have to be stuck here?

He remembered that last day at his old school. It almost felt like something in him crumbled. Not shattered, not suddenly broken, just crumbled away. Something a longtime coming finally disappearing. Only now did he realize it was his respect for Kacchan. Well, no, he still respected him, to an extent. It was more his idolization of his former friend that was gone. 

Kacchan was a bully. Plain and simple. Izuku didn’t like bullies, but he had following Kacchan for so long. Too long. 

“Why do you want to be a hero?”

Izuku’s voice was barely there. Small and quiet, but enough to be heard on the silent street. 

“What kinda stupid question is that.”

Izuku sighed, loosening his grip on the bag in his hand. “Why do you want to be a hero, if all you’ve ever done is act like a villain?”

Izuku saw Kacchan’s eyes blow wide, sparks dancing in his palms. He took a single step backwards. Sparks meant fire and fire meant pain, so Izuku got farther away from it. 

“I’M NO VILLAIN! THE FUCK ARE YOU BLABBERING ABOUT!”

“Heroes don’t beat others down. Heroes save people.” Izuku paused, mulling over the words bouncing around his head. “You’re no hero, Kacchan.”

“I AM A HERO! I’M GOING TO BE THE BEST DAMN HERO THE WORLD HAS SEEN! I’LL BEAT ALL MIGHT AND BE NUMBER ONE. YOU’RE JUST A STUPID CAT THAT DOESN’T KNOW ANYTHING!”

“Then why are you trying to hard to justify yourself?”

“I’M NOT! I SHOULD-“

“Should what, Kacchan? Blow me up? Make me bloody and bruised like you’ve done for years? Bully me like you have since we were five ?”

“I, I’m-“

“Before you’re a hero, try being a better person, Kacchan. What I do is none of your business, it never was.”

“Deku-“

Izuku turned away. He still had to get home, after all. 

Izuku paused. He was going to say ‘goodbye, Kacchan,’ but this wasn’t really his Kacchan anymore, not really. His Kacchan had been the little kid that played in the park with him before they got their Quirks. He was the hero that Izuku had idolized most of his life. 

This was the person that had bullied Izuku for almost ten years. The person who had given him starburst scars on his skin and more bruises than he could count. This wasn’t his friend.

When he spoke again, it was with a note of finality. 

“Goodbye, Katsuki.”

Izuku walked away, and didn’t look back.

Chapter Text

Izuku didn’t see Katsuki again after that day. Neither wanted to see the other anyway. Not even they knew what would happen if they crossed paths again. Probably a lot of explosions and possibly someone getting eaten. 

He dedicated himself to his training. Not that he hadn’t before, but now he wasn’t worried about what Kacchan Katsuki would do at school. Izuku was finally realizing how strong he was, and not just physically. 

True to his word, Aizawa-sensei began teaching him to fight in his second year of middle school. Shinsou joined them sometimes, and those sparring matches could go either way. Aizawa was a good teacher though. He told them what they did wrong and helped them do it correctly without sounding nit-picky or degrading. Izuku loved having him as a teacher.

Izuku was already pretty strong, but learning to fight improved his strength even farther. He watched as his friend bulked up too, though both of them could still fit in the vents. Shinsou and him found it fun to scare some of the normal students if they were both there during a school day. More than once, Izuku had been in the middle of a lesson with Nedzu when a student ran in to ask if the school was haunted. He thought he did a good job of hiding his giggling. 

Luckily, Nedzu found it funny too. He even gave them advice on what to do. Izuku and Shinsou just shrugged and went with it. Almost no one could tell why the principal did what he did anyway. 

It was during that year that he finally gained control over his Quirk. It had gotten easier and easier for him to make it not lash out, and he could move it where he wanted to now. There was still so much to work on, but he wasn’t a danger anymore. Izuku wasn’t going to hurt anyone now. Although tentacles still tried to escape when someone scared him. That usually just resulted in it looking like he ate an octopus though. 

Nedzu-sensei said he was proud of him. Izuku thought he might combust on the spot. 

Instead he ended up teleporting to the gym roof.

Over the rest of the day, every hero that worked there popped into Nedzu’s office to congratulate him. Izuku swore his face was never going to be it’s normal color again. Especially when Aizawa came in, patted him on the head, and told him he did a good job. He teleported to UA’s roof on accident, again , when he did that. 

Teleporting had to be worked on, evidently. Izuku still wanted to test his storing limits too. Could he carry a certain weight in his pocket dimension thing before he had to stop? Theoretically, could he eat an entire building if it was skinny enough? 

Also, what happened to people he ate? They were obviously still conscious, but was there air? Midnight said she had been a bit too freaked out to check last time, and Izuku wasn’t too keen on eating any more people on purpose.

They still had so much to work on, but Izuku was happy. He focused on honing his skills and adding new ones, hand to hand combat being one of those. Aizawa-sensei and Shinsou were more than happy to help him with it. 

Although Shinsou probably just liked tackling him onto the mats. 

“Last round of today,” Aizawa-sensei’s voice rang out over the gym. “3, 2, 1, begin!”

Izuku darted forward, using his small height as an advantage. Shinsou braced where he was, guard up. They mostly knew how the other worked by now.

Izuku feinted to the side, scoring a punch. Shinsou hissed, but swung his own arm out. Izuku ducked, trying for a kick at his friend’s legs. 

Shinsou didn’t bother to dodge. He jumped and dove for Izuku, who yelped in surprise as the two went tumbling. Neither saw much as they rolled over each other on the floor. It was more playful wrestling instead of sparring now. 

“Alright, that’s enough.”

Izuku and Shinsou flopped onto the floor at Aizawa’s words. Both had smiles on their faces. So far, it had been a good day. What’s more therapeutic than getting to wrestle with your friend inside a hero school?

“We’re done for today,” Aizawa said, leaning over them. 

“Hey Dad, can Midoriya and I go get ice cream?” Shinsou asked from the floor. 

Aizawa nodded, fishing for something in his many pockets. He pulled out string, buttons, and keys, with increasing annoyance, before he finally found his wallet. The two boys watched and tried not to laugh. 

“Here,” said Aizawa, handing money to Shinsou. “Just be back before the time we usually leave.”

“Cool. Thanks Dad.”

Shinsou hauled Izuku off the floor. Not exactly hard, considering how small he was. Something he was going to be bitter about until he got taller. 

They chattered away on their route into the city, UA growing smaller in the distance as they went. Izuku knew a good place for ice cream somewhere nearby, so he led the way. The topic turned to their favorite flavors as the door chimed their entrance. 

“I can’t believe you actually like that stuff.”

“Well excuse me for being cultured,” Shinsou scoffed, playfully shoving Izuku’s shoulder. 

“It’s not cultured if it’s disgusting.”

“Australians have something so disgusting that people eat it as a challenge. I think a little pistachio ice cream is fine.”

“But it’s green !”

“So is your hair, you dork. All Might themed ice cream isn’t much better.”

“I was right, you are uncultured.”

Shinsou squawked in fake indignation. Izuku just laughed, moving to the counter to grab their ice cream. His friend joined in on their way outside. There were tables, and it was nice out anyway. 

“I’m just saying, Present Mic would be a very effective dog whistle if he could change his frequency.”

“Oh believe me, Pop tried. He broke every window on the street. Pretty sure Dad was answering annoyed dog owners for a week after that.”

Izuku’s head hit the table as he cackled. The mental image of Present Mic, one of his favorite heroes, and a hero he knew personally now, acting as a very loud and high pitched car alarm was utterly hilarious to him.  

“I can’t- I can’t believe-

“Princess also scratched Pop when he tried it.”

Their ice cream was forgotten in favor of laughing at funny stories they knew. Izuku told one of when he had accidentally turned into a kitten in the middle of class. He had been in second grade, and the little girls had claimed him as the class pet. The boys were jealous, despite all of them being seven. 

Shinsou told Izuku about the time Aizawa strung Yamada up from the gym rafters when they were still students. Also how that was because his parents weren’t especially good at the whole feelings thing. 

It was fun. Izuku loved having a friend he could laugh and joke around with. He loved having an actual friend instead of a false idol he followed after. 

“Well, well, well, what do we have here?”

Izuku went rigid. No no no no no. He knew that voice. He knew it. He didn’t want to know it. 

“A villain, sitting amongst the sheep,” they drawled. 

Izuku heard them stepping closer, but he couldn’t see them. They were at his back. Bad, his mind screamed. Never turn your back. Never let them out of sight. Never never never. 

He glanced up, seeing Shinsou flinch. Anyone else might not have noticed it, but Izuku did. That was the moment he realized the bully wasn’t here for him, but Shinsou. They had never called Izuku a villain. Plenty of other insults, but never villain.

“You know, when my cousin told me he had a villain in his class, I wasn’t expecting to see them around town. Wonder if I should call a hero. Save us all the trouble.”

Shinsou didn’t move. He didn’t look up from the table either. Izuku saw him tense as the footsteps came closer. 

“So, ya gonna say something, villain ?”

Suddenly, Izuku’s fear disappeared. Because he could be bullied all day, but the minute his friend was threatened, he’d fight back. No one deserved what he had gone through. Especially Shinsou. 

“Leave him alone, Hidoi,” Izuku said quietly. 

“Wait wait wait, Deku ? Are you serious?!” Hidoi burst out laughing where he stood. 

Izuku got to his feet, and turned to face the bully. 

“Oh ya know what? You two are perfect for each other! One a villain and one useless and weak! A match made in heaven .”

“He’s n-“

“Ah ah ah. One word villain and I can call a hero here.” Hidoi smirked. Shinsou growled, but didn’t say anything more. “Seriously can’t believe my luck. After all this, I finally found our favorite punching bag.”

“Leave, Hidoi, before I make you.”

“And whatcha gonna do, cat boy? Meow me to death?”

Izuku wanted to show him. He wanted to let everything loose and show his bullies once and for all that he wasn’t weak. Even if it was technically illegal to use his Quirk on the street, he wanted to show that he wasn’t a punching bag or something to toy with. He was strong now. He had power and control. 

Mostly, he just wanted to protect his friend. Shinsou didn’t deserve any of this. He was strong and kind and liked to watch cat videos at midnight. Hidoi was annoying and knew how to play with words. His Quirk wasn’t especially powerful, and neither was he. All it would take is one punch. One swung and he’d run with his tail between his legs. 

“Midoriya, it’s not worth it,” Shinsou whispered sharply. Izuku didn’t look back at him.

“Yeah, run away, Cat . Just a scared little kitty.”

Izuku growled at Hidoi, the noise akin to a car engine. The boy obviously hadn’t been expecting it, judging by the way he took a step back. It wasn’t worth getting in trouble, Shinsou was right, but he couldn’t walk away unpunished. 

Izuku let himself half-shift. His ears immediately went back, his hands turned to claws, and he grew fangs. He made sure to show them when he smiled at Hidoi. 

“Maybe I am a cat, but you know what, Hidoi?” Izuku cooed, edging closer. He knew his green eyes were narrowed to slits. “Lions and tigers are cats too.”

Izuku hissed, and the bully yelped. Hidoi turned tail and ran right then and there. Izuku didn’t stop glaring until he was out of sight. As soon as he was, he let himself go back to normal and breathe a sigh of relief. 

“Midoriya, you ok?”

“I’m fine. I- he- I knew h-him. From my, my old school.”

“He called you Deku.”

“Nickname from my, my childhood…friend. It’s another way of, of reading my name.”

“It also means useless though, doesn’t it? What friend would call you that.”

“He’s not, he’s not my friend anymore. We’ve been avoiding each other for, for almost a, a year now. And Nedzu teaches me, so I, I don’t have to, to worry about bullies.”

“But you used to.”

“You do too.” Izuku stared unflinching at Shinsou. “Do they hurt you?”

Shinsou sighed, knowing Izuku wouldn’t drop it. “No. Everyone mostly just ignores me. They don’t know how my Quirk works, so better safe than sorry, I guess.”

Izuku paused for a moment, before walking around the table to the other side. He sat down and leaned against his friend without a word. A silent comfort. 

They left that place knowing not everything was better yet, but it would be one day. They had each other as friends, so they weren’t alone anymore. One day, they’d be heroes. They’d show people they were strong and trustworthy. 

And Izuku couldn’t wait for that day. 

Chapter Text

The second year of middle school went just as fast as the first. Before he knew it Izuku was turning in his final test and going home for the small break between years. He still hadn’t crossed paths with Katsuki, which was…good. Honestly, he didn’t know what he would do if they ever did have to interact again. 

Shinsou and him had only grown closer. It wasn’t uncommon for Aizawa to crawl into the vents and find them asleep with a movie still playing on one of their phones. A blanket was usually wrapped around them too.

(Aizawa had always been confused on why Nedzu insisted on such big vents, and vent junctions that looked like a mini room inside the ceiling. Still didn't,  if anything, but at least the boys were having fun) 

The teachers at UA had more or less adopted Izuku. Midnight gave him snacks between classes, Cementoss helped him with readings Nedzu assigned, and Present Mic gave him tips on English. If he ever looked sad he had at least half a dozen adopted aunts and uncles asking what was wrong. Izuku never would’ve thought this would be his life. Even now it was hard for him to believe. 

UA exams would be taking place this year. Izuku knew he’d do ok in it, but he was still worried. What if he got scared and hurt someone on accident? What if he teleported into a wall? There were so many variables that could make everything go wrong really quickly. Especially considering what he could do. 

The recommended and support exams would be held earlier though. Izuku was interested to see who would be taking them. One was supposed to be Endeavor’s son apparently. That would be cool to watch. 

He didn’t quite know what he was going to do himself, so he brought it up to Nedzu on his first lesson back. 

“Hm, I’m recommending you, of course.”

Izuku choked on his tea. Of all the responses, that was not one he was expecting. “You’re what ?”

“Recommending you. You are my student, Midoriya, and have been for almost three years. Not many can keep up with me, so that is a feat in and of itself.”

“Y-yeah, but me ? Go up against the other recommendation students? Sir, I don’t think I can do that.”

“Oh, but I never said you would take the recommendation exam . You are my personal student, Midoriya. That comes with certain advantages, such as taking a different exam to get into the school.”

“And, and you’re wasting it on me?”

“Wasting? No, I am giving my personal student a way into the school while still letting others in.” Nedzu’s black eyes gleamed for a second. “After all, none of the other examinees would stand a chance against you.”

“S-sir, I don’t-“

“Midoriya.” Nedzu set down his teacup. “You could very well win both categories of the exams. Academically, you are well above the average student. In the physical you could eat all the robots before another person can touch them, thus rendering the test useless. The normal recommendation exam would be easily won by eating the other competitors. Another test is the only way to truly test the skills you have.”

Izuku, thoroughly scolded and blushing at the praise, nodded. The principal had a point. It wasn’t like the thoughts had never crossed Izuku’s mind either. He knew how powerful he was, how dangerous he could be, and testing him with the normal exam would be too easy. Eating all the competition wasn’t a viable option, seeing as he still wanted other people to get into UA. His physical skills were nothing to scoff at either. 

“What exam will I have then?”

Nedzu smiled, and Izuku suddenly felt like he shouldn’t have asked. 

“Every teacher is allowed to choose a student they wish to give a different exam. Though only one per person, and they must have taught at UA for a certain amount of time. Just so happens I qualify for that. The test will be created by the UA teachers, so even I don’t know what it will look like. Perhaps something to do with rescue, as that is where you lack some skills.”

Izuku nodded again. It made sense, actually. Fighting, even Quirkless, was natural to him. Nedzu had called it part of his instincts as a Flerken, which was cool. 

“Ok. Thank you, Nedzu-sensei.”

“It’s no trouble, Midoriya. Now, back to our lesson. This month we will be focusing on crafting bombs from kitchen appliances.”

Izuku brought it up to Shinsou the next day. He was Aizawa and Yamada’s son, so he would probably be given the same offer since both of them were teachers. Or something similar at least. 

“Nah, I’m not taking a different exam.”

Izuku raised an eyebrow, looking away from the movie they were watching. The two of them were in the vents again, of course. “Why? Aizawa and Yamada are both teachers here, and heroes.”

“Only one person can take those special exams. Neither of my parents qualify for it anyway. And me against the other recommendation students? I don’t stand a chance.”

“Yeah you would,” Izuku insisted, nudging Shinsou’s shoulder with his own. 

“I want other people to pass, Mido.”

“So what’re you going to do then? Your voice doesn’t quite work on robots, and you might not get enough rescue points.”

“Students who do good in the Sports Festival can get transferred from General Education to the Hero Course. Dad said he and Pop can’t be the ones deciding if I did good enough or not, but that doesn’t matter. I’m going to make my own path, and prove to everyone that I can be a hero.”

Izuku smiled, bumping his head into Shinsou’s shoulder affectionately. “You’re gonna do awesome, Shin. The Gen Ed student who’s Quirk doesn’t work on robots, and was too nice to take the recommendation exam, fights his way to the top and into the Hero Course. Everyone loves an underdog story.”

“Hah, yeah. Makes it sound like a comic book origin story when you say it like that.”

“Well how do you know we aren’t characters and this is our origin story?”

Izuku and Shinsou held eye contact for a moment, before bursting into laughter. What a ridiculous notion. 

They finished watching their movie, the moment forgotten. Izuku felt a twinge of guilt for Shinsou not being able to take the exam with him, but there wasn’t really anything he could do. Not if Aizawa and Yamada didn’t qualify for it in the first place. All he could do was try his best and be in the Hero Course when Shinsou got there. Because he would get there. Not even the author of their story could stop that.

Chapter Text

Izuku didn’t like shopping trips. They never ever ever ended well. Well, finding out what the other half of his powers were was alright. The event itself sucked though. Then Katsuki happened, and now this

It went like this. 

Mom needed ingredients she had forgotten to buy for dinner. Izuku picked a different store, once again, from the two that he had been attacked at. Honestly, what were the chances that it would happen again? Probably close to nothing. Most people were hardly ever caught in more than two villain attacks in their lifetime, so he went about his day happily. 

Everything went smoothly, though Izuku only relaxed when he was a block from the store. The cashier had been kind, and Katsuki wasn’t around here. Even if he was they wouldn’t confront each other again. 

He pushed his senses to the max anyway. 

He was just passing beneath an empty bridge when he heard something odd. It sounded almost like sloshing water, but thicker. It also sounded like it was in the sewers below his feet. Izuku decided to go with what his anxiety was saying and book it out from under the bridge. 

Izuku wasn’t fast enough. Even when he pushed himself faster, he didn’t make it. 

A slimy substance snagged his foot, making him trip. Izuku lashed out with a clawed hand, but it didn’t do anything. The claws went right through it like it was water. His panic climbed up his throat as the thing wrapped itself around his body. 

“Well look at what we have here. A medium-sized bodysuit. Not especially powerful, but you’ll do,” the voice rasped. Izuku thrashed as it covered his face. “Hold still kid, this will only hurt for another minute!”

No. No no no no no no . He couldn’t die. He couldn’t die! He couldn’t leave Mom and Nedzu-sensei and Shinsou and Aizawa and Yamada. Maybe a few years ago he’d go limp, but not now. Not when he finally had something to live for. Not when he finally had people that believed in him. 

Izuku thrashed and struggled for all he was worth. It bought him a split second of air before the slime was back over his face. Turning into a cat here wouldn’t help. A small animal had smaller lungs. Besides, getting sludge in fur wasn’t fun to get out. If he lived, that is. Using his tentacles wouldn’t work on liquid. There was absolutely no way he was willingly putting that in his mouth either. 

The slime grumbled something about someone chasing him. Izuku didn’t listen. Too busy trying to claw the slime off of his face. 

Someone said something, though Izuku couldn’t hear it. The sludge covering his ears muffled everything that wasn’t his own heartbeat and lack of breathing. 

Wind tore down the tunnel. Blowing the sentient slime to smithereens, and leaving Izuku to cough up the rest of it. He managed to stay conscious, but it was a close thing. 

When he finally looked up from the ground, his eyes widened almost comically large. Because standing there was All Might, his favorite hero, gathering the slime into soda bottles.

Izuku thought he was going to faint. 

“Are you alright my boy?” All Might asked, suddenly standing over Izuku. 

And oh god he was even bigger than he looked on TV. 

Izuku only realized he said that out loud when All Might laughed. It was a sound that shook his chest like a bass drum. 

“I have been told I appear shorter on the television!” All Might boomed. Izuku had to crane his head back to see his face. “Now if you excuse me, I must me off!”

Wait, what? He was leaving? Just like that? 

“Wait! I need to ask you something!”

“All questions can be directed to my website! Good day, citizen!”

No, he couldn’t go. Izuku- Izuku had to know. He had to ask All Might something. He had to know. If anyone could know if he’d be a good hero, it was the Number One. 

So Izuku did something that, looking back, was extremely stupid. Like back-sassing Katsuki level bad idea. 

He leapt forward, and clung into All Might’s leg. Small claws dug into his suit, though they didn’t hit any skin. His suit was too strong for that. 

They rocketed off the ground at speeds that probably broke the sound barrier. It felt like it, at least. Izuku squeezed his eyes shut and clung on for all he was worth. 

They landed on a building halfway across town. Izuku detached himself and shifted back to normal, clutching his chest and trying to breathe normally again. All Might stood near the railing on the edge of the building. 

“That was very reckless young man. I must be off, but that door is likely unlocked.”

“Wait! I need to ask you something!”

“I really must-“

“CAN SOMEONE WITH A VOLATILE POWER BECOME A HERO?”

The roof was eerily silent. Izuku stared at his shoes, not willing to see the look on his hero’s face. 

At least, until he smelled steam. Izuku glanced up, and promptly stumbled back. That wasn’t his hero. 

“Where’d All Might go?!” He demanded, automatically moving into the defensive stance Aizawa-sensei had taught him. 

“I am All Might, kid,” the skeletal man said, sitting heavily on the roof. “You know how guys suck in their gut to impress people at the beach? My Quirk is like that.”

“But that would mean you have strength enhancing and also transformation type magic. It’s true that people had theorizes on your Quirk for years, and it’s never been confirmed, but this would mean that-“

“Geez kid, you’re a talker.” The man, All Might apparently, lifted his shirt. It revealed the most gruesome scar Izuku had ever seen. “I got this nearly five years ago. Even at my full power I could just barely defeat the villain.”

“But…but Toxic Chainsaw couldn’t have done that.”

“True,” the man chuckled. It held no mirth. “This was a fight kept away from the public. Now, I can’t have you go telling the media about this, understand?”

“Y-yes, All Might.”

All Might got up, moving to the door that was unlocked. He opened it, but didn’t walk down the stairs yet. 

“And as for your question. I’m one of the strongest heroes out there, kid. I need precision to make sure civilians don’t get hurt. So no, with a volatile Quirk you shouldn’t be a hero. There’s just too much danger in not having full control. Maybe look into being a doctor or police officer, they don’t need to use Quirks as much, but save people all the same.”

With that, All Might left, closing more than one door behind him. Izuku sunk to his knees. His dreams were crushed and laying on the floor in shards that cut his hands when he tried to pick them up. If All Might believed he couldn’t be a hero, then it must be true. 

He was dangerous, after all. He could hurt someone instead of save them. Flerkens weren’t meant to be heroes. Everyone already said that, whether they knew he was one or not. His powers could do more harm than good. 

Maybe he really was worthless, just like Kacchan always said. He would be better off just fading into the background, unseen and unheard. No one should have to waste time on him.  Not Nedzu, not Aizawa, nor Shinsou. He didn’t deserve them. They were all amazing, while he was just someone trying to not kill people. 

The roof suddenly felt like the perfect place for him to be. 

An explosion went off somewhere in the distance. Izuku’s mind was dragged forcibly from the fog it was in. He…he recognized that noise. It was like knowing the footsteps of a family member walking up the stairs, or knowing a friend’s mood by how they spoke. Not something specific he could pinpoint, but more an ingrained instinct.

Those explosions were Katsuki’s. Katsuki was in trouble. 

The door slammed behind Izuku as he raced back down to the ground on his own two feet. 

 

The street was chaos. People pushing and shoving to see or get farther away. Mt Lady was blocking one end of the alley, opposite Izuku thankfully. There were heroes here. They were here and they weren’t doing anything. Why weren’t they doing anything?

Katsuki was here. The sentient slime thing was too. It was trying to drown Katsuki like like he’d done to Izuku not an hour before. He was blowing things up left and right. He’d been in there for longer than Izuku had been. 

Why weren’t the heroes moving?

Izuku searched frantically for someone that could help. Someone, anyone, that could get his childhood friend to safety. Even if they hadn’t spoken in forever that didn’t mean Izuku wanted him to die

No one. No one was helping. Nothing was being done to help the drowning child because they “ weren’t a good matchup. ” Izuku growled out loud, pacing the border set by the heroes. No no no, he couldn’t just stand here! Not when Katsuki was dying !

Izuku caught a glimpse of Katsuki’s eyes. Red as they had always been, but filled with an emotion Izuku hadn’t seen on his face in years. Fear. Katsuki was scared . Katsuki was never scared

No one deserved this. Not even a bully.

Izuku’s feet were moving before he knew what was happening. 

The eyes, he realized. They were the only part that wasn’t a liquid in the blob. They were also hovering near Katsuki’s face. He didn’t have anything to throw, but he had something to stab with. 

Izuku half-shifted, focusing on his hands. He leapt over the flames, aiming for the villain’s eyes. 

His claws sunk into whatever the thing was made of. Eyeballs felt weird, he decided. They were disgusting and Izuku was pretty sure the only reason he wasn’t puking was his overpowering urge to save Katsuki. This was not an experience he wished to ever repeat. Never in his life or any ones that came next. 

The villain screeched, recoiling as far from Izuku as it could get. It allowed him to hook his claws into the fabric of Katsuki’s shirt. The boy hauled his former friend out of the slime, which was still shrieking. He didn’t bother to look at the damage he had done. He knew it was bad. 

Katsuki was dumped at the heroes feet, hacking up what slime had managed to get into his airways. Izuku was breathing heavy, was otherwise unharmed. The villain was still on the loose though. 

One punch from All Might was all it took to take him down. The villain was splattered against the walls and knocked out cold. He was quickly detained by the heroes (that did nothing , Izuku’s mind hissed) and taken away to the police station. 

Izuku was scolded for being reckless. It doubled when Katsuki yelled about not wanting help from a cat morph. His dream were already in ruins, why not stomp on the shreds?

Izuku just wanted to go home and sleep. 

He was dismissed (escaped) a while later. Katsuki had been carted off by his parents after the medics deemed him alright. If he caught any diseases from whatever that thing had been made of, then they were told to immediately go to the hospital. Izuku almost snorted out loud. Katsuki would rather die than admit he needed help with something like a cold. Literally. 

Izuku only remembered the groceries when he turned onto his street. The slime villain had been on the news, so Mom would already know. What she didn't know is that it targeted him first, and then he decided to be an idiot and cling to All Might’s leg for a free flight across the city. Rats had probably gotten to the bags by now anyway. 

He was in so much trouble. Good thing he was decent at lying. 

All thoughts screeched to a halt when a massive figure appeared in front of Izuku. He was staring at the sidewalk in front of his feet, so all he saw was a giant shadow suddenly materialize. A villain, his mind immediately told him. Despite how wrong said mind had been all day, Izuku listened to it. 

In an instant, the figure was gone in a flash of pink and red. Izuku got a split second to see who it was he was eating. 

Oh no. 

He just ate All Might. Not a problem Izuku thought he’d be having in the middle of Existential Crisis Day, as he had mentally dubbed it. But what’s one more cherry to the fruit salad of horribleness that is today. 

Oh God he was so dead. Or at least arrested. Very much arrested for eating the Number One Hero. 

Izuku realized he had been standing there for a solid thirty second, just staring into space with eyes the size of saucers. Right, he needed to split out All Might. The thought alone made him sick to his stomach anyway. 

All Might appeared again, thankfully not covered in spit. He was in his deflated form this time. Izuku shrunk in on himself, tensing to run. Not that it would do anything, but it was instinct at this point. The hero could easily catch him anyway. One move and he was dead dead deadity dead. 

“Ah, that was…interesting”

And just like that, the floodgates were opened. “All Might I’m so sorry you scared me and I thought you were a villain and I didn’t want to get hurt again so I acted without thinking and I’m sorry I didn’t meant to do that are you ok?”

“That was- a lot, my boy. I am alright though. What…was that?”

“M-my Quirk, s-sir. Or at, at least p-part of, of it.”

“Hm, quite powerful.”

Dangerous, Izuku’s mind once again supplied. How did he shut this thing off? 

“My boy, I have something to tell you.” Izuku looked up again, meeting his hero’s eyes. “On that roof I told you you couldn’t be a hero with a volatile Quirk, since it might hurt someone. I have come to change my answer.”

Izuku felt his eyes start to water, dripping over into tears. Was, was this a dream? 

“You can be a hero.”

Izuku was sobbing now, too many emotions running rampant in his mind. All Might was haloed by the sun. A true hero. One that admitted his mistakes.

“And I deem you worthy of inheriting my power!”

“…what.”

“I believe you are worthy of being the next inheritor of my Quirk!”

“All Might, do you even know my name?” 

Izuku was one part mentally screeching at saying that to his favorite hero and then one part exasperated. He saw this from students in UA on a weekly basis. Except with them it was romance and idiotic actions (For example, some support course student decided to test a flamethrower in UA’s front yard without telling his teacher. Midnight had knocked him out ‘cause she thought he was a villain). Izuku didn’t think he’d ever witness the Number One hero using the same four brain cells as a high-schooler. 

“Yes I do! Your name is Midoriya!”

“And my first name? All Might, you’re my favorite hero, but- but please think about this for more than, than five seconds.”

All Might blinked down at Izuku. For a second his mind supplied the image of him still being arrested. Could All Might charge someone for doubting him? Probably, in all honesty. 

“Ah, that is true, young Midoriya. Perhaps I have been hasty. However, the sentiment remains.”

“You still, still want me to…what? Inherent your power? How is, how is that even possible?”

Izuku devolved into muttering. All Might stood there staring, wondering how one kid could speak so many words in such a small period of time. And with so little air. 

“Kid, can I explain, please?”

“S-sorry All M-Might.”

“I have a power that can be passed down from person to person. It’s a stockpiler, so it retains the strength from each user. I am the eight holder.”

“So you have the strength of eight people because of your Quirk?”

“In essence, yes. My power is called One for All.” 

Izuku could almost hear the thunder and cymbals. A shiver went down his spine.

“And you- and you want to, to give it to me? Wh-why me? I didn’t- I didn’t do anything. I can’t do anything.”

“Young man, a lot of good heroes are heroic from a young age. One thing a lot of them say, is that their body moved on its own. That’s what happened to you, isn’t it?”

“Y-yes.” Izuku stifled another sob. Was he dreaming?

“I believe you can be a hero, young Midoriya, with or without One for All. You do not have to accept my power, it is ultimately your decision.”

“I, I need to, to think about this for a, a bit, All Might.”

“That’s understandable. Here kid.” All Might took a card out of his pocket. It had a number on it. “This is my phone number. Tell me your answer when you’re ready, alright?”

“I will. Th-thank you, All Might.”

“No kid, thank you . You reminded me what it meant to be a real hero.”

Izuku watched All Might blast off again. The tears were still streaming down his face, despite his attempts to wipe them away. Everything felt like it was a dream right now. So he walked home feeling like his mind was floating behind him.

Until he remembered the groceries. And his teachers. And Mom. 

He was in for a lot of scolding. 

Chapter Text

Izuku was asked to meet All Might at Dagobah beach. At six in the morning, to be specific. It sucked, but he did it anyway. Not because of the time, but because he had to go straight from there to UA. Trash wasn’t an easy smell to get out, and that meant Nedzu was going to ask questions. But that was a problem for future Izuku. 

The beach was less of a beach and more of a dump. Literal mountains of trash were piled as far as the sand stretched. At least Izuku assumed there was sand under there. He could see the smallest amount at the base of the stairs, where the trash had been moved, but that was it.

All Might was already standing on the beach. He was in his deflated form and sitting on a fridge. Izuku ran up, thinking better of yelling “All Might!” in a decently populated area. Even if it was way too early for normal humans to be out. 

Izuku, being part cat, was wide awake and acting like he’d just eaten a bag of sugar (At least he wasn’t dead on his feet, All Might thought bemusedly). 

“Have you made your decision, my boy?”

“Yes,” Izuku said confidently. He looked up into All Might’s eyes. “I accept. On one condition.”

“And that is?”

Izuku hesitated for a moment, but steeled himself again quickly. “I want to tell my mother and teachers.”

All Might poofed into his hero form out of surprise. He quickly reverted back, coughing harshly. Izuku quickly backtracked. 

“I don’t have normal teachers! They’re heroes and have been teaching me for years and I don’t want to leave them in the dark because they know what I am and I think one of them would figure it out anyway. It just doesn’t feel right to not tell them after all they’ve done for me, and Aizawa-sensei is training me to fight so him knowing about One for All would help me with it so please?”

All Might blinked, taking in the mess of words that had spilled from Izuku’s mouth. He deflated again (and boy was that weird to think, a person deflating like a balloon), looking contemplative. 

“Just who are your teachers, my boy? I believe I recognize that name.”

“Um, Aizawa-sensei is Eraserhead, he was there when I used my full Quirk for the first time. My main teacher is Nedzu though. I don’t go to normal school, so he teaches me everything. Sometimes other teachers come in to show me stuff.”

Izuku glanced up again, seeing All Might staring out at nothing. He looked vaguely terrified and like he regretted every choice in life. So, sort of like a college student. 

All Might cleared his throat, shaking off his daze. “Ah, yes, my boy. If Nedzu is your teacher I’m afraid he would figure it out anyway. You said you wanted to tell your mother too?”

“Yeah. I mean, I live with her, s-so I sort of need to tell her? She’s the same thing as me, and never got super-anything.”

“Yes, I suppose that’s correct. But, just what are you talking about, my boy? Are you a creature type?”

“Y-yes, I a-am. I guess you, you deserve to, to know.” Izuku took a deep breath, staring at the floor. “I’m a, a Flerken.”

“Well, that explains a lot.”

Izuku glanced up for a moment. All Might didn’t look disgusted or scared, but…curious. That wasn’t something Izuku thought he’d see. 

“I-it does?”

“Certainly makes more sense on how you ‘ate’ me. And why you’re so scared of your own power, my boy. And you still wish to take on One for All on top of this?”

“Absolutely.” It was the most sure answer Izuku had given today. 

“Alright then, my boy, all you have to do,” All Might poofed back into his hero form again, waving one arm grandly at the not-so-grand beach, “is clean this beach!”

“…I’m sorry, I have to what now?”

“Clean the beach! Or most of it, at least. You see, you need to build muscle mass in order to handle my power.”

“Oh. I…I guess that makes sense. How much muscle mass do I need, exactly?”

“Enough to not explode a limb!”

What.

 

After All Might explained things better, Izuku rushed off to UA. He was given permission to tell Mom, Nedzu, and Aizawa, but that was it. It was nerve wracking, but also exciting. If he could master One for All along with his other powers, then he just might be able to make a difference in the world. 

Underground heroes were great, amazing even, but daylight heroes were the ones that had media attention. Media attention meant they could get word out to civilians. For example, bullying for weak Quirk or having none at all. Practically nonexistent in children nowadays, but still something that needed to be addressed. 

Izuku wanted to save people. That was all he ever wanted. If One for All helped him do that better, then he’d take on its weight. He already had the whole ‘being a Flerken’ thing hovering over his shoulder, what’s one more thing?

He would tell them tonight, he decided. Maybe he could invite his teachers over for dinner. It was easier, and a lot less suspicious, than asking Mom to come to UA. For now, he just had to go about his day as normal.

Acting normal turned out to be harder than he thought. Aizawa called him out for it twice. Nedzu didn’t comment, but Izuku knew he noticed. Shinsou asked if it was something he wanted to tell him, and accepted the answer Izuku give him. Even if it was a stuttered mess of Izuku trying to say it was just something he couldn’t tell Shinsou and not something his friend had done. 

Mom ok’ed his teachers coming over for dinner, and asking them was the easy part. It wasn’t the first time they’d been invited over, and it probably wouldn’t be the last. By now Izuku wasn’t embarrassed by it. 

Aizawa probably figured out that Izuku wanted to tell his teachers something at dinner, because Yamada and Shinsou stayed behind this time. Izuku was thankful, even if his nerves were on edge. He went home while his teachers did whatever they needed to after school. It left just enough time for Izuku to convince himself not to panic. 

A single knock on the door sent that thought defenestrating itself. 

Dinner was good. Izuku was spaced out for most of it, but he knew it was delicious. Mom’s cooking always was. Well, besides that time she tried to make banana pudding, but the less said about that situation the better. 

It was only once they were done that he managed to work up the courage to speak. 

“I, I have some-something to tell you, you guys.”

All of the adults’ attention was immediately on him. Izuku grimaced, but kept going. 

“S-so you remember when I was, I was caught in that villain a-attack?” Three nods, all confused. A feat, considering Nedzu was one of them. “I g-got attacked by the, the villain…before…that. All Might saved me, don’t worry! But I, uh, I might’ve, I might’ve…grabbedontohislegandheflewmeacrossthecity.”

The adults blinked, taking in the tangle of words Izuku had spat out. They understood it, but didn’t quite know what it meant. Izuku took a deep breath to try and slow his jackrabbiting heartbeat. 

“I, uh, I grabbed onto his leg. He let me off on a, on a roof. I asked him…I asked him if someone could be a hero with a volatile Quirk.”

“What did he say,” Aizawa-sensei demanded, voice suddenly a growl. When Izuku didn’t say anything, he repeated it. “What did he say , Midoriya.”

“At first he said, he said no. I know- I know why he said it.”

“I’m going to kill the-“

“No!” Izuku yelped. “He didn’t know me or who I was or what I meant! He was well meaning in his answer, Aizawa-sensei. He didn’t, he didn’t mean harm by it.”

“You said ‘at first,’ Midoriya,” Nedzu interjected, before Aizawa could declare he wanted to murder the Symbol of Peace. Izuku recognized the barely restrained anger in his teacher’s voice. “Did you meet him again?”

“I did. After I- after I rescued Kacchan. He…he found me again, and, and he…he offered me his power.”

Nedzu blinked slowly, one ear flicking to the side. “I’m sorry, he what now, Midoriya?”

“He offered me his power, Nedzu-sensei. I told him I needed time to think about it, and that he should probably know someone a bit better before offering something like that.”

Aizawa snorted. He tried to cover it up with his hand, but it didn’t work. Izuku knew his teacher’s dislike for the man. Having his student scold the Number One hero would no doubt be priceless to him. 

“And then what?” Mom asked. 

“I met him at Dagobah beach this morning. I, I accepted.” He paused, but quickly added, “But only on the condition I got to tell you guys! I don’t think I’d be able to keep it a secret from you anyway. You deserve to know, too.”

The room was quiet. Izuku glanced at each person in turn, hoping they didn’t react too badly.

Aizawa-sensei looked like he wanted to march up to the Symbol of Peace and punch him. He had the glare that usually meant a lesson. A painful one. His hands were already gripping his capture weapon tightly. Izuku really hoped his teacher wouldn’t actually try to fight All Might. 

Nedzu-sensei looked contemplative. To a normal person, that is. Izuku saw the way his eyes moved over an equation only the principal could see. That either meant All Might was going to have some ‘bad luck’ sometime soon, or Nedzu was planning around the new obstacle. Knowing his teacher, it was probably both. 

Mom looked…Mom’s expression hadn’t really changed. She was the one who Izuku felt he needed approval from. If she said no, then he wouldn’t go through with it. She was his mom, his only family. Of all people, she would be the one to understand what having the weight of a legacy was like. They were both Flerkens, after all. 

But then-

“Alright,” she said. “When would you be getting this power, and how?”

“Uh…All Might said I’d be, be ready in a few months probably. He didn’t say, didn’t say how though.”

“Then you’ll have time before the entrance exam. That’s good.” She smiled warmly, and Izuku felt his eyes mist over. 

“So, it’s ok?”

Izuku walked forward, leaning down to hug his mother. When had be gotten that tall? He felt the first tears fall.

“Oh sweetie, I don’t think I could stop you if I tried,” she laughed, heavy with emotion. “You’ve always been that way. If you want to take on All Might’s power to be a better hero, then you can do it. No one will be able to stop you, Izuku. They never have.”

He was weeping on his mother’s shoulder now. So much had changed. Izuku wasn’t the same person he was before, and neither was Mom. Izuku couldn’t help but be so, so grateful that it was for the better. 

~~~~~

Izuku raced down the sidewalk at probably-too-early o’clock. If he wanted to get there before Aizawa-sensei, then he had to be fast. His teacher had decided to join them on Dagobah Beach. All Izuku got was a text telling him that his teacher was on his way. Cue scrambling to get dressed and sprinting down the street while most people were still asleep since they were meeting at six again. 

He briefly wondered if Shinsou would be there, but the thought was gone pretty quickly. His friend already got too little sleep as it was. That wasn’t including the fact Shinsou didn’t, and couldn’t, know about All Might’s smaller form. Not yet, at least. Izuku wouldn’t put it past him to figure it out before the school year started. 

Izuku got there before either adult. He stood with his hands on his knees, trying to breathe normally again. At least Aizawa wasn’t already here trying to murder Izuku’s new mentor. 

“Midoriya! What are you doing here already, my boy?”

Izuku looked up, seeing All Might in skinny form walking towards him. He waved at his new teacher, lungs finally listening. 

“Just- wanted to be here- early.”

“That is admirable, my boy, though make sure you get enough rest, understood?”

“Yes All Might.”

“Ah, call me Toshinori Yagi when I look like this. No need to raise suspicions.”

Izuku nodded determinedly. Yagi-sensei it was then. (he was still All Might to him and always would be though)

“You’re both here. Good.”

Izuku felt his stomach sink, just a little. Yagi-sensei obviously didn’t feel the waves of dread from his student, as he turned towards Aizawa with a beaming smile. The man physically squinted. Izuku had a feeling he was trying not to hiss like a cat, or like Izuku when something startled him.

“You must be Aizawa! It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“Yeah, same. This the beach Midoriya has to clean?”

“Ah, yes, it is. He doesn’t need to clean the whole thing, since that would take far longer than we need or have time for.”

As soon as Izuku got the idea ‘hey, maybe I can go above and beyond by cleaning the entire beach,’ Aizawa-sensei turned towards him with a look

“If you overwork yourself then no more vent movies, Problem Child.”

And just like that, the idea was thrown away. Like all the trash he had to clean. Oh boy. 

“So do I just…start? Where do I put it?”

“I have a truck coming, my boy. We will start by putting some of the trash in bags, then you can bring those up here. We can start on the bigger things tomorrow after I gauge how strong you are currently.”

Izuku shrugged, grabbing the bags from All Might and descending the stairs. The trash piles were a bit smaller here, but they were still taller than him. Most of it was stuff like bottles and normal trash. There was what looked like a bike too? It was rusty and bent, but still a bike. 

He was reaching for it, just to see if it was too buried to be pulled out, when he instinctively recoiled. 

A white cloth flew past his arm. Izuku turned to look at the top of the stairs, seeing Aizawa-sensei staring at him with an annoyed expression. 

Gloves , Problem Child.”

“Pardon me, but why would he need those? It’s just a bike.”

“He needs gloves to not get cut by a rusty nail or something. The bike itself looks rusty from here. Did you not bring gloves?” Aizawa growled, glaring at the skinny man that still towered over him.

“Ah, no. It slipped my mind.”

“Of course it did. Midoriya, catch.”

Izuku automatically caught the thing being thrown at him. Well, two things. They were thick gloves, probably meant for gardening with roses at one point, judging by the thorn still stick in the wrist. He wondered if they were Mr. Yamada’s. 

“Now get to work, kid. There’s a lot of beach to clean.”

Izuku smiled up at his teachers, and began his months of strength training. 

~~~~~

It had been a week, and Izuku had made a path from the stairs all the way to the water. It wasn’t a very big path, but it worked. He could use it to branch off farther down the beach too. There was even an entire car he could see from the right angle. 

However, it did mean that things had been disturbed. Alive things. 

“RAT!”

Izuku stopped when he was doing when he heard All Might practically shriek. There was scuffling in the trash somewhere near him. His senses zeroed in on where it was, everything else becoming irrelevant. Distantly, he heard All Might asking what he was doing. Aizawa-sensei didn’t say anything, but was probably already recording. Izuku was too focused on whatever was in the trash to really notice. 

He tilted his head as he edged closer, partially aware he had green ears and claws. His thoughts were mostly, “ Thing thing thing! Rodent? Rodent rodent rodent. Small? Big? Big. Rat rat rat rat rat. Get it kill it good present, present for carers.

Izuku fully shifted into a cat. He crawled closer, finally spotting the rodent rifling around in the garbage. It was a decent sized rat, but an easy kill for him. (Izuku did not want to remember the times he had tried hunting birds from the balcony)

A yowl and loud squeak later, Izuku had a dead rat in his jaws. He turned, showing it off proudly. All Might was standing stock-still at the base of the stairs now. Aizawa was at the top, phone camera aimed at Izuku. The green cat strutted forward with his kill. 

“Wh-what do you have there, m-my boy?” All Might stuttered. 

Izuku trotted up and plopped the dead rat at All Might’s feet. He was very proud of his present. 

“A-ah, a, a rat. Th-that’s nice.”

“What, is the brave Number One hero afraid of a little dead rat?” Aizawa asked from the top of the stairs, still recording. “Midoriya giving you a dead thing is either a present or a threat. Given that he worships you, it’s a present.”

“Th-thats n-nice. What do, do I d-do with it?”

“Wait until he turns back into a human. He’ll understand if you throw it away then.”

“O-Ok.”

All Might squeaked as Izuku nudged the dead rat closer. Very, very hesitantly, he used a gloved hand to pick it up. 

“Th-thank you, my boy. Could y-you turn back n-now?”

Izuku complied happily. He was beaming, seemingly unaware of All Might’s hesitance in the face of his gift. 

“I’m gonna go keep cleaning!” He declared with a smile, racing off again.

That left Aizawa and All Might at the stairs. The latter chucking the dead rat up into their pile of trash in the parking lot faster than the eye could follow. Aizawa was chuckling, his phone finally off. 

“Something funny, Aizawa?”

“Oh no, it’s just hilarious to see a seven foot man terrified in the face of a dead rat his student gave him.”

“When he said he was part cat, I did not think he meant it literally,” All Might admitted, watching Izuku lift another broken bicycle he’d found. 

“That’s the fifth video I have of him doing that. Second one of him killing an actual animal, and the third of him shifting into an actual cat. They’re amusing to watch, to say the least. My son is usually the target too.”

“You have a son?”

“And that’s enough of that.”

Aizawa walked down the stairs to join Izuku in cleaning, leaving All Might to trail behind him. Hitoshi was going to get a kick out of this video, he thought. 

All Might just hoped there were no more rats today. 

Chapter Text

Five months passed extremely quickly in Izuku’s eyes. It felt like just last week he’d started cleaning the beach, and now he was strong enough to handle One for All. The beach was by no means clean yet, but it was getting there. Though Izuku wasn’t about to stop cleaning it just because he had enough muscle for All Might’s Quirk. This beach would be clean by the time school started or he would eat his left shoe. Maybe he could convince Shinsou to help out too.

But either way, he was ready now. He could hold One for All without his limbs exploding. All without overworking himself, due to Aizawa-sensei threatening a multitude of things if he did. That list included things such as watching movies in the vents, access to the vents, no katsudon, no Lunch Rush, no access to the chemistry lab, no access to the support department, and no seeing Shinsou.

In all honesty, it was only that last one that stopped him. Izuku could live without katsudon or the vents, but not seeing his friend was where he drew the line. Knowing the two of them though, they’d probably just sneak out and sit in trees or something. 

Izuku and his mentors were meeting at the beach again. This time, he would be receiving One for All. He would be taking on All Might’s legacy as his own. It was a lot, but Izuku was ready. 

He stood at the top of the stairs looking out at the sunrise. Neither of his teachers were here yet, he had come too early for that. 

Maybe he could find a high vantage point while he waited. It could be his cat instincts talking, but he liked being high up. Seeing everything from a tall place was amazing. It wasn’t just that things looked smaller, but you could see so far . Izuku wondered if that’s what it was like to fly. 

There was a stack of flattened cars off to the side. They would be perfect. 

Eyes narrowed in concentration, Izuku scaled the slightly rusty metal. It was tall, but decently easy to climb. He had thick shoes and claws to protect him.

Before he knew it Izuku was crouched at the top. He was right, the view was worth it. A rising orange sun greeted him. There was no trash until further down the coast, so the sun looked like it was rising out of the water. It was beautiful. 

“Midoriya my boy, what are you doing up there?” 

Izuku turned towards the noise quickly. Too quickly. It unbalanced him on his already unsteady footing. He had a single second to think “oh no,” before he was sent back to earth.  

He was caught before he hit the ground. All Might gently set him back on his feet, before deflating out of his hero mode. He had to save every minute, after all. 

Aizawa showed up not a minute later, perpetually dressed in his black jumpsuit. It was honestly better than some of his other choices. Izuku didn’t want to think of the time he showed up to one of his weekend fighting lessons in neon pink sweatpants and a cat-pun shirt. He thought he might internally melt at trying to comprehend his teacher having such an awful sense of fashion. Shinsou, on the other hand, found Izuku’s existential crisis hilarious. 

“Sooooo, how do we do this?” Izuku asked, standing in front of the two adults. “Do you just…give it to me or something?”

All Might poofed back up into his hero form. The rising sun haloed the hero in golden light, making All Might looked angelic. Truly a great man, a hero and pillar of their society in all his glory. Aizawa looked like an angel in an emo phase that had been dragged along. 

All Might plucked a hair from his head, and held it out with a flourish.

“Eat this!”

Izuku.exe had crashed, restart? Loading…loading…loading…

“What.” Oh would you look at that, Aizawa-sensei beat him to it. 

“He must ingest some of my DNA to inherit the Quirk.”

“Wouldn’t a drop of blood be better than hair ?”

“Well, I figured some of my hair would be better. It’s not exactly easy to draw my blood, Aizawa.”

“Then get a needle or something. I know for a fact you’ve been to a doctor because Shuzenji complains about you whenever I’m stuck in there for more than ten minutes. Speaking of, please go see the woman, she’s extremely close to hunting you down herself.”

“Ah, I will do that. Anyway, Midoriya, it’s your choice.”

Izuku blinked slowly, still processing this situation. He reached out and grabbed the hair, ignoring Aizawa-sensei’s grumbling. Much to All Might’s horror, he broke the hair into two pieces, one significantly smaller than the other.

“DNA is held in the root of the hair. If don’t have to eat a whole hair then I’m not going to. I’ve had enough hairballs, thank you very much.”

Aizawa snorted, while All Might relaxed slightly. Izuku stared at the piece in his hand, and put it in his mouth.

It tasted like…hair. Shampoo and conditioner, maybe with some hairspray, but still definitely hair. Izuku had tasted fur enough time to be knowledgeable on the subject. Somehow, he managed to not choke on it. 

“That…was not pleasant,” he declared. “When will it take effect?”

“In a few hours. You may do what you want until then, my boy.”

“Yeah, no. We’re going to UA to train, kid. Hitoshi’s been wanting to spar.”

Izuku brightened, racing to grab the things he’d left by the stairs. All Might looked baffled, and Aizawa-sensei seemed to be relishing in it. Even training Izuku alongside the man for months hadn’t fully mellowed his dislike for the hero. 

“Let’s go! I want to show Shinsou a new move I learned!”

A couple hours, and at least a dozen sparring rounds later, All Might came in. Not in hero form, since it wasn’t needed. Shinsou had already left to do something else. Aizawa said he needed to work on something with Izuku specifically, so he took that as his cue to go scare people from the vents or study. Maybe both. Terrifying people by whispering the quadratic equation from above their heads was hilarious. Izuku would know, since he did it first. 

Izuku hadn’t felt the power come in yet. Not consciously at least. His fights with Shinsou had been enough to distract him. He hadn’t accidentally punched his friend across the room, so it either wasn’t in yet, or he had to actually think about using it. Sort of like the second half of his Quirk. Shifting was ingrained by now, and he hoped the other two parts would be like that too someday. 

All Might, Aizawa-sensei, and Nedzu-sensei stood at one end of the room while Izuku was at the other. Sort of like it’d been when he trained his Quirk before. Now they were here to see if his new one had settled in. 

“Uh, how do I do this?” He called down the gym. 

“Clench your butt-cheeks and yell ‘Smash!’ as loud a you can!”

He was supposed to…what?

Izuku blinked at the significantly smaller figures of his mentors. Even from here he could see Aizawa looking at All Might like he was stupid. Nedzu’s gaze never left Izuku, but he just knew his teacher was wondering what he would make of that. 

“Guess I’ll have to do it my own way then,” he muttered under his breath. 

Izuku got into a fighting stance. Cementoss had set up pillars earlier, so he had some targets to aim at. Well, here goes nothing, he thought. Izuku closed his eyes for a moment, sifting through his mind to try and find the new power.

What he found was like a massive lake. Power stretching as far as he could…feel, since he couldn’t technically see it. All the same, it was a bit overwhelming. There was just so much of it.

Izuku opened his eyes, calling on the power he now knew was there. Red, glittering lines spread over his skin. He twisted the arm they were on to get a better look at it. Were they like literal veins of power? 

Only one way to find out. 

Izuku felt like his blood had turned to pure adrenaline. Like he could run and jump for miles but never break a sweat. It was amazing .

Maybe that’s why his next decision was a bit…stupid. 

Izuku reeled his fist back, and struck at the cement pillar. 

He realized his mistake a moment too late. His arm felt like it was on fire now, and the red lines were gone. 

The first pillar was also gone. As well as the other four Cementoss had set up. The pieces left were embedded in the wall as shrapnel. Even then, that might’ve only been the farthest two. The first was nothing but concrete dust. 

That…was a lot of power. 

“Midoriya!” Izuku turned at Aizawa-sensei’s call and footsteps. He was running over. “Are you ok, kid? What was that?”

“I think…that was One for All.”

“No sh- kidding, kid.”

“Young Midoriya!” All Might boomed, stopping next to Izuku. “Is your arm ok, my boy?”

“Oh.” Izuku glanced down at it, but quickly looked away. It was purple. Arms aren’t supposed to be purple nor bend that way. “I’m pretty sure it’s broken.”

“Kid, are you fu- kidding me.”

 

One trip to Recovery Girl later, and Izuku no longer had a broken arm. He did, however, have a bruise on his shin from her cane. All Might had a matching one. Multiple matching ones. Izuku never thought he’d see the Number One hero cowering in the face of a tiny doctor. Then again, Recovery Girl could be terrifying when she wanted to be. 

All Might was sulking in the corner while Aizawa and Nedzu went over how to, you know, make him not break his bones. Izuku sat there quietly, thinking a mile a minute to try and figure out his problem. It might’ve come out as muttering. It also might have mildly scared All Might (not as much as Recovery Girl though).

Then a thought struck him. Not how to fix his situation, but another question he had. 

“All Might,” he said, grabbing his attention. “You said One for All enhances a person’s abilities as well as Quirk, right?”

“Well, yes, that’s what my master told me.”

“So, theoretically, does that mean my shifting and the tentacles things are more powerful now?”

“I…suppose so. Please do not test it indoors, my boy.”

Izuku nodded, before racing outside. All Might’s squawk followed him, as well as Aizawa’s sigh. Nedzu was probably following him out at the very least.

Standing on the grassy lawn on UA, Izuku waited for his teachers before trying anything. Reckless as he was, he really didn’t want to get in trouble again. He was practically buzzing as Aizawa finally got there. 

“Ok, so I’m just going to try half-shifting for now.”

Izuku didn’t really have to concentrate for this. All he had to do was think of half-shifting, and he did it. This time was…a little different though. 

His senses were not usually this sharp. His eyesight wasn’t good enough to pick up the rustle of a leaf on the other side of the field. He couldn’t normally smell exactly what a person smelled like and whatever else was around him. Some of it smelled really far away, so how? Either way it burned like he’d put something directly under his nose.

And his hearing. It hurt . He could hear every breath his teachers were breathing and the sound of that mouse over there and a dog barking down the street and it hurt .

Izuku didn’t even realize he had fully changed into a cat. His brain was too muddled. It didn’t hurt anymore, but thinking was like moving through a pool of honey. He distantly registered that Aizawa was talking to him, and he heard it, but the words didn’t make sense.

“You ok, kid? What happened?”

Izuku, as a green cat, looked at his teacher. The kind man dressed in black. He smelled like other cats and coffee. Izuku meowed, sniffing at the man from where he was. 

“Kid, can you change back?”

Izuku tilted his head curiously. What did that mean?

“Midoriya?”

Another person. This one looked like a massive rat. No hunting that one. He wore human clothes. Izuku knew him, he was a friend, they all were, but why couldn’t he remember why?

“He…he can’t change back, can he?”

“I don’t think so,” the Rat-man said quietly. 

Dark Man extended a hand, letting Izuku sniff it. He meowed again, rubbing his head against the hand. It was gentle and kind. A good human. 

“What, what happened?” The tall man said. He sounded scared. “One for All has never done that before. Previous users has transformation magic, but nothing like this ever happened to them.”

“Perhaps it had something to do with Midoriya being a Flerken,” Rat-man proposed. Izuku trotted up and wound himself around his ankles. “Before he transformed, he appeared to be distressed.”

“He covered his ears,” Tall-man noted. “Do you think his senses were enhanced even further?”

Tall-man knelt down, extending a hand for Izuku. Izuku liked the man. He didn’t know why, but he did. He showed as much by purring and rubbing his cheek on the man’s hand. This human was warm and nice. 

“Sensory overload, then. Should we take the kid to Shuzenji?”

“No,” rat-man said, “He’ll be fine in a little while. For now I will call his mother. All Might, why don’t you take him to the teacher’s lounge.”

Tall-man nodded, picking Izuku up gently. He wiggled until he was comfortable, then settled. Maybe he could take a nap.

“Still doesn’t explain why he’s acting like an actual cat. Even full-shift he keep his wits,” Dark-man said, petting Izuku again. “I’m going to get Hitoshi. Maybe having his friend nearby will help.”

Izuku drifted off to sleep with the tall man taking him inside a building. 

~~~~~

“I’m sorry, he what now?”

Hitoshi liked to think he was prepared for a lot of things. His dad telling him his friend (his only friend) was stuck as a cat due to sensory overload was not on that list. He knew Midoriya could turn into a cat, he’d seen him as one multiple times, but being stuck as one? That was new. Also a bit scary given the circumstances of no one knowing quite why it happened. 

Hitoshi calmly walked to the teachers’ lounge alongside his dad. No matter how much he wanted to sprint, he didn’t. He had to control himself. Not like Midoriya was in any danger. Nope, he was just stuck as a cat. And acting like one.

He walked a bit faster. 

They got there within a few minutes. Upon opening the door Hitoshi saw All Might sitting on one of the couches, holding a green cat. He looked nervous, which was weird to see on the Number One hero.

“Ah, Shinsou, nice to see you, my boy. Aizawa believed it would be good for Midoriya to have a friend nearby.”

Hitoshi nodded numbly, making a B-line for Midoriya. He was asleep on All Might’s lap. It would’ve been adorable and great blackmail if his friend wasn’t stuck as a cat

“Can I, can I take him?”

“Of course, young Shinsou.” 

All Might handed Midoriya to him, who he could hold in one hand. Hitoshi took him gently. His fur was really soft. He’d pet Midoriya before, since he turned into a cat whenever he wanted to. More than once Hitoshi had found him asleep, as a cat, in a sunbeam that was shining through a window. 

Midoriya woke up as Hitoshi retreated to a corner of the room. Dad had a bunch of pillows back here for napping, so it was nice and comfy. He set his friend on his lap, who was looking up at him. 

The cat blinked at him slowly. A sign of trust. Hitoshi felt honored, and copied the blinking. 

That was how Pop walked into the teachers’ lounge to see his son having a slow blinking contest with a green cat. He walked right back out. 

Midoriya eventually started purring and curled into a ball on Hitoshi’s lap. He hesitated, but lost his mental battle. Gently, he ran his fingers through Midoriya’s fur. It was so soft

The cat started purring. It was soothing, and Hitoshi found himself struggling to stay awake. Maybe, maybe just a minute wouldn’t hurt.

~~~~~

Shouta walked into the teachers’ lounge, probably half an hour after leaving Hitoshi there with Midoriya. Honestly, today had been one unexpected thing after another. Problem Child lived up to his nickname. 

His son had looked even more distressed than Shouta felt. Of course he did, the kids’ only friends were each other. 

Anyway, he walked in and found them in his napping corner. More specifically, Hitoshi leaning against the wall with an asleep Midoriya in his lap. A very much human Midoriya who was using his son’s legs as a pillow. Hitoshi had one hand on Midoriya’s fluffy hair, like he’d been running a hand through it. Seeing as he’d been a cat not too long ago, he probably had been. 

It was sickeningly sweet. No matter what other people say, he did love his students. His son even more so. Midoriya alone had showed more promise than most of class 1-A this year.

So seeing his son and favorite student (And he wasn’t about to tell anyone but Hizashi that) peacefully asleep together was one of the cutest things he’d seen this week. Second only to his husband lying on the floor, hair down and reading a book, with Princess curled in a ball on his back. 

Shouta very quietly got out his phone and took a picture. He would probably tease Hitoshi about this at home. Hizashi would too. 

With his job done, Shouta retreated from the room to find said husband. And Nedzu, since the principal would undoubtedly want to know that Midoriya was human again. They had all been worried. 

He maybe also wanted to show Nemuri the picture. She’d find it cute, and he owed her for getting him coffee last week. 

He made a silent promise that he was going to show the picture at his kids’ wedding. 

Chapter Text

Izuku woke up feeling warm and content. His pillow was really soft, and his bed was comfy. A purr escaped his throat unbidden. 

Then his pillow moved. 

Izuku immediately froze stiff. Memories came back to him, memories that weren’t entirely his. Oh crap. 

His pillow was Shinsou. He had fallen asleep on his best friend. All Might had carried him. Izuku had essentially turned into a real cat for a while. 

Slowly, Izuku tried to get up. Shinsou’s hand was resting on his hair. He remembered he’d been petting him before he fell asleep again. Well, at least his friend was still asleep. Izuku couldn’t get teased for looking like a strawberry if no one could see him.

Izuku let out the breath he’d been holding when he finally stood up. Shinsou stayed asleep thankfully. Now all he had to do was find one of the teachers, maybe Nedzu had an explanation on why everything hurt when he half-shifted.

He didn’t even have to go looking, since All Might opened the door just as Izuku was moving towards it. He was in his small form.

“Young Midoriya!” He whispered, knowing Shinsou was still asleep. Even then it was still loud. “I’m glad to see you’re alright.”

“Yeah, sorry about…whatever that was, All Might.”

“No worries, my boy. We were just concerned over your wellbeing. May we sit?”

“Yeah, sure. Do you want me to explain what happened from my view?”

All Might sat on one of the couches while Izuku sat on the one opposite it. He could see Shinsou, still fast asleep, from where he was. 

“So I guess you saw me half-shift, but it was different this time. It…it hurt. I think there was too much information that my senses were trying to take in. One for All definitely made them stronger. Maybe it overloaded my brain into turning into a cat for a while?”

“It’s certainly possible, my boy. Did you notice anything else?”

“Um…I don’t know. I could see, hear, and smell a lot better, but everything hurt too much for me to notice much else.”

“Hm, I figured as much. Perhaps that was another instance of your Quirk trying to prevent damage to you.”

“By turning me into a cat?” Izuku raised an eyebrow. Then he thought about it some more. “Well, I guess it would work. Cats are built for filtering those sort of senses. Maybe One for All just gave me normal cat senses but in a human body? It was too much, obviously, so maybe it was trying to protect me?”

Izuku stopped his muttering, looking back up at All Might again.

“That’s certainly possible, my boy. One for All is a mysterious Quirk. It manifests in different ways for each user. My master had normal enhancement magic, and One for All made that more powerful instead of the strength both of us have.”

“Huh. I wonder why I have the super-strength too. Maybe the Quirk got so powerful it spilled into other facets?” 

Izuku started muttering again, too quiet for All Might to hear more than the general sound. The man stayed quiet though. Even in snippets, he could hear his student’s train of thought laying itself out. 

“My boy, as interesting as that is, we still have the problem of your sensory overload.”

“Oh, right, sorry All Might. Um, I guess I could just try and get used to it? I could try wearing earmuffs or something, since that would be the easiest to block out. Maybe sunglasses?”

“Whatever you believe would work, my boy. Now, I must be off. A hero’s job is never done, after all.”

Izuku nodded, watching as his mentor bulked up again. 

Which was also when he heard the strangled noise from behind All Might. In an instant his wide eyes were turned to his friend, who was now very much awake. 

“Mido,” he whispered loudly, “what the fuck .”

~~~~~

Hitoshi took it surprisingly well. For his brain wanting to implode, that is.

All Might was injured. Like, really badly should-not-be-working-as-much-as-he-is injured. His time was down to three hours. He was missing his stomach and a lung. His Quirk had given him two forms somehow. 

And his power could be passed down. It already has been. To his best friend. They suspected it was why he’d been stuck as a cat from sensory overload. Hitoshi wanted to ask so, so many questions. Although all his brain wanted to make into a coherent sentence was a mantra of “what the fuck what the fuck what the fuck .”

He didn’t say that though. Instead he listened as his only friend explained how all of this had happened. All Might had had to leave already, since he needed to go out and be a hero. Hitoshi swore he heard the man mutter something about paperwork before he left. 

He also couldn’t tell anyone besides the UA staff, who already knew. If the secret of One for All or All Might got out then there would be chaos. The Number One hero getting weaker? A power that could be passed down? It all would’ve sounded ridiculous if Hitoshi hadn’t seen it for himself. 

So yeah, that’s how he found himself asking Pop to borrow his soundproof headphones. Midoriya wanted to try half-shifting again, but didn’t want to get stuck as a cat. His mom was still at work, and couldn’t get off early, so she wasn’t there yet. Hitoshi personally thought this was a horrible idea, but at least Dad would be there. 

They were in one of UA’s indoor gyms. Less stimuli apparently. Thanks to it being UA, it didn’t smell like dirty feet and sweat. Hitoshi stood off to the side as Midoriya put the headphones on top of his head and tied a bandana around his nose. 

Midoriya couldn’t exactly wear the headphones on his normal ears, since those disappeared when the cat ones came out. They were really just guessing how this would go. The bandana was easier, at least. 

“Remember Midoriya, change back if you get overwhelmed. Don’t hurt yourself, kid.”

“I won’t!” 

Hitoshi very highly doubted that statement. If Midoriya felt he had a justifiable reason he very damn well would hurt himself. He literally stood up to a former bully because he threatened Hitoshi. 

He didn’t say any of that though. Instead he stood by his Dad and watched. Midoriya closed his eyes, and began to change. 

The ears looked bigger than before, but that could just be Hitoshi’s mind playing tricks on him. Midoriya reached up and tried to adjust the headphones before the ears were fully formed. His eyes were still closed as he stopped changing.

Hitoshi noticed a few key differences. First was that Midoriya’s claws, usually more like slightly longer and sharper fingernails, now looked like talons. The whole top first segment of his fingers turned into pointed claws. 

Second was harder to see, but Hitoshi almost squealed. Because his friend had finger beans. Soft little pads on his his fingers under the claws. He wondered if he had them on his feet too. Actually, did he have claws on his feet?

Lastly, he had a tail now. Like, a legitimate cat tail. It was green, fluffy, and looked really soft. He didn’t have a tail before. Was this new Quirk literally making him bones for that ?

He stayed still for a few seconds, not freaking out thankfully. So the headphones and bandana were probably working. The enhanced seeing problem was mostly fixed by Mido keeping his eyes closed. 

Hitoshi watched carefully as Midoriya cracked open his eyes. He didn’t immediately close them or turn into a cat, so he figured that was a good sign. 

After another few minutes, Midoriya was taking off the bandana, and then the headphones. Hitoshi and Dad waited patiently. The last thing they needed was for Midoriya to get startled. 

“Are you ok, kid?” Dad said very softy once Midoriya finished getting used to everything.

“Y-yeah, I think so. Do I, do I look different?”

Hitoshi eyes the new tail and claws. “Yeah, just a bit.”

“Oh. How do…”

Midoriya lifted one hand, marveling at the new claws he had. He squeaked when he noticed his finger pads. Hitoshi noticed Mido’s bigger-than-before fangs when he smiled. 

“These are so cool! I’m just more like a cat, I guess.”

Then his own tail brushed his leg, and Mido jumped almost comically high. Hitoshi stifled a laugh, but it came out as a snort. Midoriya was spinning in circles now, trying to see his own tail. Sort of like an over excited puppy, which described Mido perfectly despite him being a cat. 

Midoriya finally stopped, staring at Hitoshi and his dad with eyes blown wide. 

“I have a tail. Aizawa-sensei, Aizawa-sensei I have a tail. Why do I have a tail. I have a tail, Aizawa-sensei. Shin stop laughing I have a tail why do I have a tail!?

Hitoshi was on the floor cackling at this point. Even Dad was burying his face in his capture weapon, which meant he was trying not to laugh. Midoriya was still trying to look between them and his new appendage. 

“You really are a pff a cat now, huh?” Hitoshi giggled, trying to get control of his own lungs again. 

Midoriya froze, spine going rigid and tail stopping where it was. When he spoke, it was hardly above a whisper. At least, it was at first. “I’m not a Cat.”

“Um, Mido, you ok?” He asked. He didn’t like this. His friend didn’t usually act like this. It didn’t even sound like him, like he was sleep-talking. 

“I’m not a Cat,” he mumbled, tail lashing now. 

“But…you’re a Flerken? Aren’t they like, part cat?”

“I’m not. A Cat,” Midoriya growled. 

Hitoshi wracked his brain for why his friend could be reacting like this. He was literally a cat, that was all Hitoshi meant by it. The only other time he’d acted like this had been…had been with that bully. 

The bully that had called him Cat, with a capital C, as in a nickname. A nickname that obviously didn’t have a good meaning behind it. 

Hitoshi edged closer, hands out to show he meant no harm. “I mean a literal cat, Mido, not anything the bullied called you. You’re like a, um, a…kitty?”

The anger and fear on his friend’s face melted away as snapped back to himself. He changed back into a full human too. Only now did Hitoshi realize his pupils had been thin slits. That hadn’t been his friend, not fully at least. 

“Did you just call me…kitty?”

“Uh, maybe? I panicked, ok? I didn’t want to use kitten and cat set you off, so…”

“Yeah…sorry. The, the bullies. They used to, to call me Cat before they, they hurt me. I guess I fell back on- back on instinct.”

“Well I think it’s a good nickname. Also, you’re a literal cat, and kitty sounds too lovey-dovey.”

They both made faces like they’d smelled something bad. It didn’t matter how much Midnight “shipped them,” neither wanted to date. Not until they were both in the hero course anyway. (Hitoshi couldn’t deny the thought crossed his mind before, but hell would freeze before he told his Aunt Nemuri that)

“Wait, why didn’t you use kitten? Wouldn’t that have made more sense?”

Hitoshi felt his face turn bright red. He also heard Dad walk closer from the other end of the room. Well, if Hitoshi was going down then so was he

“Pop calls Dad Kitten,” he said louder than necessary. 

He didn’t even wait to see what Mido’s face was before sprinting out of the building as fast as his feet would carry him. Annoyed yelling followed him. It was worth it, he thought. (he had to do dishes by himself for a week, but still worth it)

~~~~~

Izuku walked into UA a week later to see someone new. Someone that was most definitely not a student. He had heard stories of this man from Nedzu. 

Gran Torino stood proudly in the middle of the gym. All Might was next to him, but looked like he was trying to inch away. Izuku had also heard stories of the old hero from his teacher. They were not pleasant. 

This is the kid you chose, Toshi? He doesn’t look like much.”

“Ah, he is q-quite strong, Gran Torino.”

“Eh, we’ll see. What’s yer name kid?”

“I-Izuku Midoriya, sir.”

Gran Torino scoffed, waiting for Izuku to get closer. His senses were on high alert. Of course they, since he knew what this man’s Quirk did. 

“How well can ya use One for All?”

“Uh, not well. My bones break.”

“Of course it does,” the man sighed. “What has this oaf been teaching you?”

“How to scream and lift things.”

“Wonderful. Kid, you know who I am, right?”

“Gran Torino. Part wind spirit, your Quirk allows you to channel air through your feet to propel yourself. You taught All Might and was a teacher at UA for a while,” Izuku listed off, glancing at his mentor. “And I’m guessing you’re here to try and teach me how to use One for All?”

“Got it in one, kid. Your Aizawa-sensei convinced the oaf to call me in. Now.” Gran Torino disappeared, reappearing behind Izuku. “Think you can keep up?”

Chapter Text

Spars against Gran Torino were utter hell. Izuku lost count of how many times he tasted the floor, but he eventually got the hang of it. That didn’t mean it was fun though. At least they figured out how to make him not break his bones. 

Well, a microwave did that, but same difference. Izuku was pretty sure he terrified Midnight and Cementoss when he screamed “ I’m the takoyaki! ” at the top of his lungs before sprinting out of the teachers lounge. And All Might when he burst into the room yelling the same thing. Aizawa-sensei dropped his coffee too. 

He wasn’t wrong though. Spreading out One for All actually stopped him from breaking bones. It was hard to maintain right now, but it worked. Fighting Gran Torino helped him with that too. 

Izuku might’ve gone into cat mode a few too many times during their spars. Gran Torino was a loud thing that moved fast, and his mind kept telling him to catch the fast thing . It helped his dodging, at least. Gran wasn’t very enthused when a half-shifted Izuku pounced on him after they’d stopped fighting. 

Aizawa and All Might, however, found it hilarious. There were pictures of it, Izuku knew that for a fact. 

The weeks were flying by, and Izuku experimented with both powers over that time. Shinsou seemed to find it funny that he now had pads on his fingers and toes when he half-shifted. There were also had claws on his feet now, which his socks didn’t like. Having to explain to Mom why he needed new ones was an interesting conversation. 

Izuku found he had even better night vision now, which was really cool. He also found out his eye-shine had gotten brighter when Shin had slept over, found him getting a midnight snack, and shrieked because he thought Izuku was either Mothman or a demon. 

Apparently his eyes literally glowed now too, which was cool and definitely not something normal cats could do. All Might told him they lit up brighter when he used One for All, but just passively glowed all the time. Probably from normal light, Aizawa-sensei said, just enhanced. It was interesting, to say the least. He was like a living flashlight. 

Izuku had fun using it to scare UA students from the vents. He heard whispers of the Vent Demon pop up again. Shin and him found it hilarious, especially since they’d been terrifying students from the vents for a while now. The glowing eyes are just what finally convinced a few people. Added to the fact that they came out bright red in photographs, it was suffice to say they two of them were becoming the second UA cryptid. 

The time for exams was getting closer though. Izuku knew the teachers were putting together something for him, but didn’t know what. None of them would spill a single word. Shinsou, however, was happy to tell him that Yamada was helping plan something that involved rescue. That was all he knew though. 

Izuku prepared in any way he could. He might’ve slightly worried Mom by muttering chemical formulas during dinner. Shinsou definitely looked concerned when he insisted on practicing for hours on end in the UA gyms. His friend dragged him out after a while and wouldn’t let him back in. The end result was a whining Izuku that fell asleep the instant his head touched a pillow.  

He was finally told the date and place he would be taking the test. A written one, not unlike the Hell Test he’d taken almost two years ago, and then a physical. That one was going to take place at the USJ. 

Izuku was ecstatic. He had heard about the USJ, which was ran by the rescue hero, Thirteen. They had an amazing Quirk, which turned them into a partial blackhole, so they had to wear special clothes to keep it contained. It would no doubt be a hard exam if they were going off campus for it though. 

Now all he had to do was wait, and prepare. 

 

The day came all too soon. Izuku could only hope he was ready for it. 

The written test was first. It wasn’t easy, but he managed to finish it. Judging by Nedzu’s impressed expression, he had done good. Time wise at the very least. 

From there they went to the USJ . The real life Unforeseen Simulation Joint! Izuku was buzzing in his seat the whole time, both from nerves and excitement. If any of the teachers noticed, none mentioned it. 

Izuku only realized how absolutely massive the place was once he was standing at the base of it. The dome towered over everything else in the area, which was mostly just trees. He could only imagine what the inside looked like. Hopefully he wouldn’t have to wait long to find out. 

And Thirteen was standing out front. Izuku caught the look Aizawa sent him, but promptly ignored it to ask the hero for an autograph. The notebook was stored safely back in the car before everyone else arrived. 

Izuku stood before most of the UA teachers. They had on serious faces, but waved happily to Izuku the moment Nedzu and Aizawa turned their backs. He grinned, paying close attention to what Nedzu was saying. 

“We are gathered here today to-“

“I thought this was an exam, not a wedding!”

Kayama ,” Aizawa-sensei hissed.  

Izuku put a hand over his mouth to hide his smile. Leave it to Midnight to take away some of his stress by saying something funny. 

Nedzu just picked up where he left off. “-test Izuku Midoriya. If he passes, he has a spot in UA, if he does not pass then he will still have the opportunity to take the hero exam or general education one. Any questions?”

There were none. Izuku knew better than to ask what he was doing for the exam, since Nedzu would be explaining it in a second. 

“Good. Now, the exam will consist of two portions. One, Midoriya will be tasked with various rescue situations. Shall he pass, he will move onto the second part, which is combat. That will take place tomorrow. Last long enough in a fight against Aizawa, Midoriya, and you will officially have a place in the hero course.”

Izuku swallowed his fears, and nodded. He could do this. He would do this. For all the people like him that needed a hero to look up to. To show those with “villainous” Quirk that they could be heroes too. 

The doors to the USJ were opened, and Izuku stepped through them. 

Izuku was told a few more ruled while he marveled at the inside of the USJ. No eating people, it scares them. No putting others in danger. And no leaving an area until all three “civilians” were rescued. All of them were understandable. 

The inside of the USJ was amazing. There were so many different zones, all packed under the same roof. A massive lake was even inside! Mountains, a city on fire, heavy rain, the lake and a sinking boat, a mudslide, and a crumbling city were all there. 

Izuku had to handle a rescue situation in each zone, by himself, before he could move on. There were three people in each zone that he needed to find. 

Nedzu told him that sometimes heroes have to handle a situation by themselves before backup arrives. It was what would make or break them. If he could handle that, then he’d do just fine in UA. Given that was still a kid, he was allowed a few mistakes. No one was in any real danger anyway, since the people he needed to rescue were all trained actors. 

The Shipwreck Zone was Izuku’s starting point. Once that was done, he had to make his own way to where he chose. But for now, all he focused on was the giant lake in front of him. 

Nedzu gave him permission to begin, watching from the observation booth. Izuku didn’t hesitate to run closer, getting stock of the situation. He stopped at the water’s edge, scanning for people. They weren’t real civilians, he reminded himself, just hired actors. 

All three were on the ship, thank goodness. Izuku wasn’t a strong swimmer. At all.

He had been practicing with his abilities though. While his teleporting was dubious at best, he could still get within the general area he wanted. The ship was a big target. Hard to miss really. 

In a flurry of red and pink, Izuku found himself on one of the lower floors of the ship. He quickly found the stairs. They proved to be a challenge to climb, since the ship was built listing to the side. 

He burst onto the deck, startling the actors. None looked injured though. 

“I’m here to help. Is anyone injured?”

“No,” one of them answered. “But the ship is sinking fast.”

“Alright.” Izuku wracked his brain for a solution. This was one of the hardest zones for him. He didn’t like water, and eating people to teleport them was generally frowned upon. Maybe…maybe he could use One for All? How far could he jump with that?

Well, he knew he could hold up a person with his tentacles. As much as he hated using them on people, maybe if he jumped while holding them he could make it. To the shallows at least. 

“Ok, can you all swim?”

“Yes,” all three answered. 

“Ok, ok good. I’m going to need you three to hold still, and stay calm, alright? Everything will be alright.”

None of them made a comment. They did, however, squeak loudly when the tentacles slithered out of his mouth and around their waists. Izuku really hated doing this, but at least it wasn’t worse. 

With the three people feeling like feathers, he half shifted. The tail helped him balance on the railing, and sharper eyesight would make aiming easier. 

Izuku activated One for All, the green light sparking off his skin. He knew his slitted eyes were glowing brightly now. With a moment taken to aim, Izuku pushed himself off the railing. 

It was barely enough power to get them to the shallows, but it worked. Izuku paddled the four of them, the three civilians held above the water, to the shore. All three saved, shipwreck passed. He directed them to the “medical station” since none were injured.

Now he had to make his own way to the next zone. Part of the test, Nedzu had said, is finding your way to the victims. 

So Izuku made his way to the rain dome. 

Once inside the dome, Izuku realized rain wasn’t an accurate term. It was more like he’d stepped into a hurricane. There was a lot of wind, only a few lights from buildings, rain pelting him from every direction, and he couldn’t see more than five feet in front of him. He kept One for All up, just to be safe. The rain near his face looked an almost radioactive green from his glowing eyes. 

He half-shifted, knowing it would hurt his ears, but also knowing it would help find more people. The wind was too strong for him to go full-shift here. 

The first civilian was easy to locate. Just a person huddled under an awning that needed to be escorted to the door. Izuku did just that, and asked if they’d seen any other people. When they told him yes, he immediately took off in the direction they pointed. 

People numbers two and three were near each other, thankfully. One was a kid stranded in a mini-lake too deep for them to walk through. The other was stuck in a building with broken down automatic doors. One for All took care of the second problem easily, and Izuku just waded to the kid. 

Soon enough, he’d conquered the second zone. This was going faster than he had expected, in all honesty. Then again, it was only two zones with three people each. Maybe he was just lucky so far. 

Either way, there were four more to go, and then he’d be done with the first half of his exam. 

 

Turns out, Izuku’s very good at finding people buried in rubble. It was extremely useful in the earthquake zone, where all three civilians were buried or stuck in something. Not anywhere near each other, but he still found them. 

He was also good at moving chunks of rock. All he had to do was eat it, or move it with One for All, and help the person out. They were all injured in some capacity, so he helped them to the designated safe zone. One made a comment on him saying things similar to All Might. Izuku just shrugged, saying he liked the hero a lot, and that it was a good line. 

 

Running to the mudslide zone wasn’t fun. Then again, what test was? Izuku had to first make it out of the destroyed city, and then climb a slippery mountain. At least Aizawa-sensei’s training came in handy. 

Izuku hadn’t shifted back since entering the earthquake zone. A good thing too, since his enhanced hearing immediately picked up on at least two of the people. The closest he could already see, and they were stuck in a tree hanging over a ledge. Izuku briefly wondered if they did that on purpose or not. The irony of him rescuing a human from a tree wasn’t lost on him. 

The second one was under a rock, which he ate. The person looked extremely confused when the thing keeping them there suddenly disappeared. Izuku asked if they were hurt before lifting them out. 

With one person left, Izuku pushed his senses to the limit. He had two more zones after this, and then he’d have to fight Aizawa-sensei tomorrow. So far, he was doing alright. 

He finally heard the person yelling. It wasn’t too far from him, so he sprinted over, making sure to watch his footing. The person was laying on the ground, thankfully not buried under anything. 

Izuku knelt by them quickly. “Are you injured?”

“Y-yes. My leg, I think it’s broken.”

Izuku nodded, carefully lifting the person. “It’ll be ok. I’m going to take you to the medical center now, ok?”

He got down the mountain without slipped. All three actors were safe now, so he moved on to the next zone. A literal mountain this time. 

The mountain zone wasn’t as bad as he thought it was going to be. He had to rescue one person from under more rocks, and another who had gotten lost apparently.

Izuku took a second to scan the USJ below him when he reached the top. He could see everything from up here, even the observation booth where Nedzu was. 

He turned when he caught moment from the corner of his eye. Just a flash of black and what he thought was light blue. Maybe the third person was “lost” too. 

There wasn’t anyone there though. Probably just a falling rock then. Izuku shrugged, moving on swiftly. He had to find the last person and then complete the fire zone, then he was done. 

They turned out to be stuck on a ledge. Izuku used One for All to get up there, then carried them down. With that, he picked his way down the mountain. He was ready to throw himself into the fire. Literally. 

 

Izuku noted the sprinklers running along the ceiling of the dome, as well as the teacher posted outside the door. He nodded to them, then dove in. Three people and limited time because of the fire. He had seen the actors only go inside once they saw him running down the mountain. They weren’t in as much danger, but fire was nothing to mess with. For all he knew, this could become real very, very quickly. 

The first things he saw were the ash covered streets and soot soaked buildings. Second were the actual flames, consuming everything they could reach. Nearly every building was on fire. The streets weren’t, but that could change. Especially if this simulation had realistic oil spills or something. 

Izuku pushed his sight as far as it would go. Smell would overload him with all the smoke, and all he could hear were the roaring flames. Sight would be better for this. It was times like these where Izuku wished he could figure out how to increase a sense without half-shifting. As it was, he couldn’t yet, so he had cat ears and a tail while sprinting through flames. 

He took off down the streets, stamping out what small fires he could. The streets had to stay open. He had to get back to the doors to get the civilians to safety. 

Izuku finally spotted someone. They were crouched behind a car, standing outside a building and looking panicked. 

Izuku ran up, careful not to scare the person. Quirks tended to go off in high stress situations, even if a person didn’t mean to. He knew that better than anyone. 

“Sir, are you ok?”

“My wife! She’s still inside! The doors got stuck and- and please save her !”

Suddenly, Izuku wasn’t so sure this was a simulation. Someone stuck in a building, trained to deal with disasters or otherwise, wasn’t safe. Especially if it was on fire. He grit his teeth and nodded. 

“I’ll get her out. Stay here, I’ll be out in a minute.”

Izuku took a deep breath, steadying himself, and ran up to the building the man had pointed at. The doors were covered in rubble, but luckily the building seemed relatively stable. Enough that he could remove the debris at least. 

Izuku didn’t eat the rocks this time, mostly because he didn’t want to inhale ash and soot. They were placed off to the side using One for All instead. The light sparking off his clothes looked eerily like jade fire. 

The door was clear soon enough, leaving Izuku to enter. 

It was smoky inside. He fell to his belly, army crawling on the floor. He shuffled to the next room over, hearing the person in there. 

“Ma’am, are you ok?” He called, careful to not let any of the pulsing fear into his voice. 

“Y-you’re h-here. Th-thank goodn-ness. The door was, was bl-blocked.”

“I know. Come on, we have to get out of here. Are you injured?”

“N-no.”

Izuku guided the woman to the door and out of the building. The man was waiting there anxiously. 

“Thank you, hero.”

“It’s no problem sir, do you happen to know if there’s anyone else near here?”

“R-right. I saw someone a bit f-farther, they were l-limping.”

“Thank you, can you make it to the medical center?”

“Yes, we’ll b-be alright now.”

Izuku nodded to them, taking off at a One for All powered sprint again. One more person. One more and then he’d be done and everyone would be safe. One more, and he had probably passed. 

It didn’t take long to find the person. Izuku skidded to a stop beside them, kneeling down. It was a kid, well, an actor that looked like a kid, that had an injury.

“Hey there, it’s ok now. Is your leg hurt?”

“Y-yeah,” they sniffled. 

“Ok then. I’m going to pick you up, alright? We’re going to go to the med center.”

The kid nodded, letting Izuku pick him up. Once secure, Izuku fired up One for All and ran. The fires hadn't spread to the streets thankfully. He had to be careful where he put his feet, but other than that he was as good as home free.

They reached the exit without problem. Izuku noticed the couple from before resting not too far away. He set the kid down when his teacher walked over. It was Cementoss.

“Are you alright, Midoriya?” His teacher asked, concerned.

“I’m alright, Cementoss-sensei. That was everyone, right?”

“Yes. I was almost surprised with how well you handled that.”

“Almost?”

“You’re Nedzu’s student.” Cementoss smiled. “If I were surprised at every advanced level thing you did, I think that would become my default emotion.”

Izuku laughed, brushing off a bit of dust that had landed on his shoulder. “Thank you, Cementoss-sensei.”

“No problem, kiddo. Nedzu should be down here in a second. No injuries, right?”

“I’m all good!” Izuku chirped. 

And for once, Izuku truly meant it. 

Chapter Text

Izuku slept for twelve hours. Sleeping for a long time wasn’t unusual for him, but it wasn’t usually all at the same time. Literal cat naps. 

He woke up feeling sore, but not especially tired, from his exam yesterday. Later today he would have to go and fight Aizawa-sensei. That will be…interesting. Izuku had been explicitly told he couldn’t eat his teacher, but he would be allowed to use One for All. Though only in small amounts. Not that he could go any higher, since he didn’t want to break his bones. 

Mom made him a delicious breakfast, telling him good luck before he was racing out the door. Izuku made sure to not waste energy sprinting to the station, so he walked. Well, skipped, since he physically couldn’t handle moving slow right now. 

The train ride to UA was a lot like it first was. Which meant he was fidgeting and probably annoying anyone else that was in the car with him. Izuku was happy though. He had completed the first half of the exam, something only a few people could say about an exam given by Nedzu. 

Turns out, there had only been a few other instances of the special exam being given by UA. Of those, only ten had passed the first half, and three had gotten into the school. Izuku felt proud of being in that small number. If he could just last long enough against Aizawa-sensei, then he’d be the first person in almost forty years to get in by the test. 

It was nerve-wracking, but also exciting. Izuku’s status as a recommendation student would come out with the other ones, but not how he’d gotten in. Not unless he wanted to reveal it himself, which he did not. 

The UA gates looked the same as they always did. Shiny nameplate, metal shutters, Shinsou leaning against the wall, massive size-

Wait, what?

“Shinsou?” He said out loud, wandering closer. Yep, that was his friend.

“Hey Mido.” Shinsou waved, waiting for Izuku to run closer. “You ready to fight Dad?”

“Uh, I think so? Shin, isn’t it a school day? You know, school, where you should be?”

“Took the tests early. Wouldn’t want to miss you and Dad fighting for anything.”

Izuku snorted, dodging a hand trying to ruffle his already messy hair. “I’ll try not to disappoint.”

“Like you’d ever,” Shin laughed, pulling his hands back to his sides. “Come on, they’re waiting in Gym Gamma.” 

“Oh so you’re my welcoming committee.”

Izuku laughed as he dodged another swipe, taking off towards the gym. Shinsou cursed, giving chase. The two played keep away the whole run there. It was mainly Izuku trying to keep Shinsou from tackling him into the dirt. 

The game ended when Izuku calmly stepped in through the gym doors, closing them behind him. The teachers were there already, quietly talking. A makeshift fighting ring had been set up in the center. 

Shinsou threw open the doors, looking around wildly. The teachers stared at him like he was a bit crazy, while Izuku shot him a victorious smirk. Izuku heard Aizawa-sensei mutter something like “not again.” Which…would be accurate. This isn’t the first time the two of them have done this. 

“Hitoshi, if you want to watch, please behave,” Aizawa-sensei grumbled. “Midoriya, are you ready?”

“Yes.”

“Then come on, into the ring. Nedzu will tell you the rules.”

Izuku nodded, hastily climbing into the ring that had been set up in the gym’s center. He stood in one corner, Aizawa-sensei in the other. Shinsou and the other teachers took seats in bleachers Cementoss set up. Nedzu stood just outside the ropes on a small platform. 

“The rules of this match are the following,” he said with an excited grin. “No weapons, no leaving the ring, no hiding or hanging in the rafters, no claws, and finally, no eating people.”

Izuku blushed a bit, knowing half of those were specifically for him. Even without his capture weapon, Aizawa-sensei was a force to be reckoned with. He would need every trick just to have a chance at not losing immediately.

“Last long enough in this fight, Midoriya, and you will have passed the exam. Are you both ready?”

Izuku nodded, sliding into a defensive stance. Aizawa-sensei did too. They locked eyes, not willing to look away. Both knew how fast the other could move. 

“Begin!”

Neither budged an inch for a moment, Izuku’s keen eyes scanning for even the slightest movement. Aizawa’s foot shifted. Just the tiniest movement, but it sent Izuku diving to his left.

Not a second after he rolled back to his feet did he see Aizawa standing where he’d been. They both stopped moving once again. 

Izuku took a deep breath. He had to put extra care into not telegraphing his moves for this fight. Not exactly easy, but he had to try nonetheless. 

Izuku leapt forward, lashing out with a One for All powered fist. Aizawa-sensei dodged, doing a flip to get out of range quicker. It also put more distance between them. Aizawa had taught Izuku, and Izuku had learned almost everything from him. They knew how powerful the other could be.

Their spectators could almost see when the two decided to really start. Almost, because from that moment on they were blurs. It was a dance Izuku knew well, though maybe not this fast, or with so much riding on it. 

He knew he would lose, that was just a fact. It was only a matter of how long it took. And right now, Izuku knew he didn’t have room to make mistakes. A single slip up could lose him everything he’d been working towards. 

Izuku dove under Aizawa-sensei’s swinging arms, leaving the man unbalanced. He spun around and kicked at the back of his teacher’s knee. The leg gave out, and Izuku leapt away. Anyone on Izuku’s skill level wouldn’t been down in an instant, but he knew Aizawa. The teacher was already twisting to land on his back when he started going down. Izuku had fallen victim to that move more than once when they sparred.

The two were at opposite ends of the ring again. Izuku was catching his breath, fists still held up in a guard. Aizawa was hardly sweating. 

Kick his ass, Mido! ” 

Izuku laughed, smiling to himself. He was sure Shinsou saw it, even from the stands. It really helped, knowing he had someone cheering for him.

“Who’s side are you on?!” Aizawa yelled back in mock annoyance. Though Izuku could see him smiling too.  

“Betrayed! Betrayed by our own son!” Yamada cried. Izuku saw him dramatically flop himself over Midnight, who shoved him off. They were laughing. 

Even if this was an exam, Izuku couldn’t help but feel more at ease. His friend was cheering for him. Mr. Yamada and Ms. Midnight were being their dramatic selves. This was just like a normal sparring match with Aizawa-sensei, only with a bigger audience. 

He could do this. 

Izuku lunged for his teacher, no warning given. The man’s eyes widened slightly before he leapt out of the way. 

Izuku let out his tentacles, lashing out at his teacher. He knew better than to eat Aizawa-sensei, it would mean he forfeited the whole recommendation test. Nedzu hadn’t said anything about using that side of his powers though. 

Aizawa dodged the tentacles, leaping and flipping with the grace expected of an underground hero. Izuku knew it was a risk to block some of his vision, but he was willing to take the chance. He could still see his teacher jumping around, so it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been.

They dissolved into more dodging and punching, Izuku occasionally trying to trip Aizawa with his tentacles. Had he had time to think, he would have compared it to his teacher’s capture weapon, but with teeth. And, you know, able to eat people. 

It could’ve gone on for hours, but Izuku wouldn’t have known. Time became irrelevant. Staying in the ring was the only thing that mattered. The cheers of his friend were there, along with the teachers, but he didn’t hear what they said. Only the noise and what vaguely sounded like swears from some of them. 

Then he made a mistake. One single misstep. 

Izuku was pinned down on the mats before he knew it. Aizawa-sensei’s knee was on his back, making sure he couldn’t get up. He lost, and could only hope it was enough. 

He was let up when Nedzu called his loss. Izuku shook out his arm, avoiding the gazes of his teachers. 

“You lasted exactly five minutes and twenty eight seconds, Midoriya,” Nedzu said, walking closer to the two. “That’s longer than most can stay in a fight with Aizawa.”

Izuku wanted to argue that was because AIzawa-sensei didn’t have his capture weapon, or any weapons really. He had used his Quirk the few times Izuku had tried to shift, but that didn’t happen often. More out of instinct to try dodge if anything. But he didn’t say anything. 

“And I believe the mark for passing was at three minutes,” Nedzu hummed, seemingly oblivious to the shock his student was going through.

He…passed? By two whole minutes ? Was he dreaming? Ow, no, not a dream. 

Izuku was pulled from his thoughts by his best friend crashing into him. His feet left the ground as Shinsou spun him around happily.

“You did it, Mido! Wooooooo!”

“Shin! Put me down!”

Shinsou stopped spinning, instead holding Izuku off the ground like a misbehaving cat. His feet weren’t touching the floor. “Nope.”

Izuku resigned himself to his fate. The teachers were either openly giggling or trying to hide it. Even Nedzu cracked a smile. 

“So…I’m in the hero course?”

“Yes, Midoriya. You will be in class 1-A.”

Izuku heard more than saw Aizawa choke on air. Oh yeah, that was his class, wasn’t it. This next school year was definitely going to be fun. He pushed a smile away at the thought of trying to see how many times they could sneak Shinsou into class without his dad noticing. The vent system was a wonderful thing. 

“Welcome to your Hero Academia, Midoriya.”

~~~~~

Midoriya was allowed to come and watch the normal hero exams. Shouta would have wondered why if he didn’t know his favorite the student could pick apart Quirks in less than a minute. It was interesting to hear him mutter about different ones he saw. His habit of speaking too quietly had long since been broken, as well as the proper place to actually say it out loud. 

His words stuttered when he saw a particular examinee. Shouta didn’t get to see who it was, since the camera switched shortly after, but now he was curious. It could either be an old classmate, or someone Midoriya met once. One glance and Shouta could tell Midoriya wasn’t going to answer any questions about who it was. 

Shouta shrugged. As long as they weren’t dangerous then the boy didn’t have to tell them. They would trust Midoriya’s judgement on this one. 

It was, however, extremely amusing to watch Hitoshi pay close attention to the ramblings of said green-haired boy. He almost had stars in his eyes. Shouta shook his head fondly, trying very hard not to remember that that’s how he looked at Hizashi. Still does, if anything. 

“Time to release the zero pointer!” Nedzu said gleefully. It was terrifying. 

The massive robots rumbled out of the ground and onto the different fields. Shouta had watched this for years now. There weren’t many examinees that surprised him during this part anymore. 

In one area, a girl was stuck under rubble. Shouta saw Midoriya jolt from the corner of his vision. Right, he hadn’t been told about the safeguards on the zero pointer. 

“She, she’s trapped!” Midoriya exclaimed, flailing his hands. “Isn’t someone going to save her?!”

“Don’t worry kid, the zero pointer can’t actually hurt her.”

“Well, I figure that, but the students don’t, they don’t know she’s not in- in danger. Shouldn’t they try and save her?”

“Not all people are as reckless as you, Mido,” Hitoshi pointed out, earning a squawk from his friend. “Besides, they don’t know about the rescue points. It helps weed out some of the selfish ones, even if the exam is rigged.”

“Yeah…I guess so.”

“Midoriya,” Shouta called in a warning tone, knowing that look on his student’s face. 

“I’ll just be a minute, Aizawa-sensei!”

And with that, the Problem Child was gone. Blipped out of existence in the room. Shouta sighed. Loudly. The kid couldn’t teleport somewhere unless he knew the place, which he very much did in this case. 

Back on the screens, Shouta wanted to bang his head on the desk when Midoriya appeared beside the trapped girl. He shoved the rubble off of her, telltale green light flickering over his limbs. He got the girl out and away from the zero pointer in almost record time. Hitoshi looked like he wanted to smack his friend over the head.  

At least none of them could say Midoriya wasn’t heroic. 

Time was called, and Recovery Girl was sent in. As soon as the girl was in safe hands, Midoriya disappeared from the screens. He reappeared in a flurry and red standing next to Nemuri. They were still working on his accuracy. 

“Midoriya, care to explain what that was?”

“I, uh…wanted to help?”

“Problem Child, I swear.”

~~~~~

“Hey Mom!”

“What honey!”

“Do you think I’ll need the flash-bombs?”

“Izuku, why on earth would you need those at school?”

“Because Nedzu’s there and All Might’s teaching us? Anyway, can I leave the tie at home?”

“Sweetie, just let me tie it. How you managed this is beyond me.”

“Mom, even I don’t know.”

Inko smiled sadly. Maybe if Hisashi was still alive…

No, she shook her head. Thinking things like that never go to good places. Her son was here, and safe, and going to hero school. She never would’ve thought the day would come where she allowed something like this. Yet here they were.

“Mom, you ok?”

“Yes, I’m fine. You’re just getting so big, my kit.” Inko wiped away a tear, reaching up to try and tame her son’s wild hair. 

“Mom, I’ll be alright,” he said softly. “I’ve been going to UA for years now, so it’s not like I’ll get lost.”

Inko laughed, wiping another tear. “Go on then. Show the world you are here, my kit.”

“I will Mom, I promise.”

And just like that, he was out the door. Inko’s one and only child off to become a hero. She knew he’d be ok though. If any person could save people and make change for the better, it was her son. 

He was going to be amazing. 

Chapter Text

Izuku walked down the halls of UA, humming happily to himself. He was sure as ever of the way to his new classroom. He could probably walk it with his eyes closed if anything. 

This whole thing was terrifying, but at least Izuku knew he wouldn’t get lost. Worst case scenario was that he took the vents instead. Who knows, maybe he’d find Shin hiding in there too.

It was exciting being an actual student here now though, especially in 1-A. He had watched the classed plenty of times from the vents and security cameras, but Izuku had never actually been taught in one of the classrooms. It was a bit nerve wracking, but he knew it would be fine. Aizawa-sensei was his teacher after all. 

Sooner than he felt was possible, Izuku found himself standing in front of the 1-A door, which was much bigger than he was. Meant for creatures bigger than average humans, he knew. There had been quite a few students in the past that had needed the big doors.

Well, here goes nothing, he thought. Izuku took a deep breath, and slid open the door. 

Only to be greeted by two people yelling at each other. The door was promptly slammed shut. Nope. Too early to deal with explosions, screaming, and seeing Katsuki again. 

He recognized the other one too. Tenya Iida, younger brother to Ingenium, who had super-speed. Izuku had seen him during the exam. He was the type of kid that was a stickler for rules and was overly loud without knowing it. 

Izuku knew he’d have to go in at some point. But…maybe he could delay it a bit. Perhaps Shinsou was in the vents and they could hide from people together. 

“Hello!” A voice chirped from down the hall. Izuku turned, and saw the girl he’d saved during the exam. “I never got to say thank you for before, so thank you! Did you get into 1-A too?”

Izuku brightened and smiled. At least he knew one person in the class. Maybe it wouldn’t be as bad as he thought “Yeah! My name’s Izuku Midoriya, what’s yours?”

“Ochako Uraraka, it’s nice to meet you! So…why didn’t you go in?”

“Uh…Th-there are people arguing. I didn’t, didn’t want to try and get past them.”

“Oh, ok! I can make them stop if you want? You saved me in the exam, so it’s the least I can do!”

“You…can try, I guess?”

Uraraka nodded determinedly, sliding the door open again. Izuku trailed in after her, if only to make sure Katsuki didn’t blow her up. She looked nice, and he was usually right about that type of thing. He really didn’t want to see her get hurt. 

“Hey! Knock it off! You’re scaring my friend!”

Izuku’s thoughts stuttered a bit at being called her friend, but ultimately moved past it.

He entered just in time for Katsuki to see him. The blonde froze, explosions falling silent. Iida was still talking loudly, but neither heard him. 

“Deku.”

“Hello again, Katsuki.” The blonde winced minutely, like he expected Izuku to still call him Kacchan. Yeah, not happening. 

The two didn’t move from where they were having a staring contest. Uraraka looked concerned, and Iida still hadn’t noticed. Izuku heard someone open the door again. 

“If you’re here to socialize, you can leave,” Aizawa-sensei droned, appearing in his sleeping bag, which Izuku (and the rest of the staff) had been calling the caterpillar cocoon for years now. Even All Might had started calling it that, nervous around Aizawa as he was. 

Most of the class squeaked or yelped in some way. All of them were taken aback at the man on the floor. Izuku blinked impassively, having seen this sight countless times. It was almost funny how he was the only one that wasn’t phased by caterpillar-man. 

Aizawa-sensei rolled to the front of the classroom and stepped out of his sleeping bag. Izuku took his seat, wondering if anyone was going to get expelled this year. The answer was most likely yes. It was a little selfish, but Izuku was sorta hoping Shinsou could get moved up sooner rather than later. 

The first thing their teacher did was pull a box out from behind his desk, and set it where they could all see. “I am your teacher. You lot can call me Aizawa-sensei. Put these on, we’re having a test.”

With that elaborate explanation, Aizawa walked back out of the room. 

No one moved for a couple seconds. Izuku eventually sighed, walking up to grab his new PE uniform since no one else was moving. The rest of the class scrambled to follow as he left the room. None of them knew the school, so if they didn’t hurry then they’d get lost. Izuku just hoped they got the memo. 

His new classmates trailed after him like ducklings as he lead the way to the lockers. Thankfully no one got lost, so Izuku considered it a victory. 

He slipped in and changed as fast as he could, ignoring the loud chatter around him. Katsuki being around was putting him on edge. Honestly, he wouldn’t be surprised if his hair was puffed up more than normal. 

Once outside, they all lined up near Aizawa-sensei. He looked mildly impressed, but Izuku was probably the only one to see that. The others were all shifting nervously. 

Aizawa-sensei explained that they were doing fitness tests, but with Quirks. Izuku was confident he’d do alright. He watched the tests last year, so he already knew that they were doing. It was essentially just stretching, running, and throwing. 

Then someone had the bright idea to say it sounded fun. Izuku knew the look that crossed their teacher’s face. Oh boy. Of all the ways for him to say this, it was after someone said that

“Well since it sounds so fun, the person in last place gets expelled.”

Well…at least Izuku knew how to not break his limbs anymore. He might get a good place. 

Then he watched Katsuki launch the ball over 700 meters, and he suddenly really wanted to go home. 

They started with the 50 meter dash. Izuku just teleported to the other side, the machine chirping a happy one second. All his classmates saw was a flurry of red and pink, since he had been practicing to teleport faster. Katsuki looked ready to explode after that stunt though, so Izuku avoided him like the plague. 

Grip strength was decently easy. One for All helped him get a good score, but it was by no means the highest. That went to Shoji, a literal giant with multiple arms. Izuku was tempted to go on a ramble about his Quirk, but stopped himself. He had enough memories of Kacchan telling him it was creepy and weird. No matter what Nedzu and Aizawa-sensei said about his rambling, that didn’t change what Katsuki thought. 

The standing long jump was also easy. It wouldn’t have been if he still broke limbs with One for All, but since he didn’t, he cleared the sand entirely. He also almost landed in a tree, but that was irrelevant. 

Side steps weren’t fun. Izuku saw Mineta (a kid with purple ball things on his head) get first in that one. Something about him seemed…off, though. But with no evidence, Izuku couldn’t do anything. 

Next was the ball throw which…didn’t go as planned. Izuku knew he wouldn’t break bones using One for All as long as he stuck to his limit. Nedzu and Aizawa had been adamant about him staying in one piece, especially at school. No, it wasn’t that that went wrong. 

Izuku wound up the ball, firing up his Quirk. The green sparks danced in the air, drawing surprised exclamations from the classmates who hadn’t seen it yet. 

With as much force as he could use, Izuku threw the ball. It landed a minute later, showing a score below Katsuki’s. With the low percentage he could use, it wasn’t a big surprise. Izuku was happy with it anyway.

Katsuki, however, was not. 

“HOW THE FUCK DID YOUR USELESS ASS DO THAT, HUH DEKU?” Katsuki screeched, launching himself into the air on his explosions. 

So he hadn’t changed much after all. 

Gray scarves wrapped around Katsuki, just like Izuku knew they would. His explosions fizzled into nothing as gray eyes turned red. Aizawa-sensei had a very strong opinion about bullying. Hopefully Katsuki wouldn’t be expelled, Izuku didn’t want to ruin his career because his old friend and bully didn’t know how to let go of a grudge. 

“Stand down, Bakugou,” Aizawa-sensei said, just a tad bit of anger showing through. “I will not have you attacking your classmates.”

“BUT HE CHEATED! HE’S A USELESS FUCKING CAT MORPH THAT-“

Stand down , Bakugou. I assure you, Midoriya did not cheat. If he did, then he would already be expelled. Now stop using your Quirk, it’s giving me dry-eye.”

Aizawa-sensei sent a glanced at Izuku, who nodded to say he was ok. Katsuki screamed  something incoherently, but was cautiously set on the ground once he stopped. He didn’t make a move towards Izuku, so Aizawa let him walk away. 

Izuku couldn’t help but think that Shinsou was going to get a kick out today’s story.

They continued on with the tests. The seated toe-touch, sit-ups, and a distance run were all that was left. Izuku had always found stretching easy, being part cat and all. Although he might have scared a few people when he decided to show off and do and backbend that touched his heels instead of the normal stretch. Aizawa-sensei had already marked him down for passing it anyway. 

Sit-Ups and the distance run would be alright for him, thanks to his training. He didn’t have anything Quirk-wise that could help with that anyway. Nothing he wanted to show off, at least. 

That is, until he noticed someone. Specifically, a short, purple someone sneaking closer to the group of girls. Uraraka, who had talked to Izuku between some of the tests, was excitedly saying something to the girl that was bright pink. Probably part daemon, if Izuku was guessing right. 

Izuku recognized the boy after a moment. It was Mineta, who was suddenly very high on Izuku’s “people to keep a very close eye on” list. He watched with increasing malice as the short rat person edged closer to the girls. He hadn’t noticed Izuku was there yet.

Having enough of that, Izuku walked on silent feet to stand directly behind his classmate. “What are you doing, Mineta?”

The boy jumped, spinning around to face Izuku. He relaxed when he saw who it was, but Izuku just added another tally to his mental checklist. The fact that he was nervous at all meant he knew he was doing something wrong. 

“Oh, it’s just you, Midoriya,” Mineta sighed, then got a creepy look Izuku didn’t like one bit. “Hey, you wanna help me?”

Izuku did not like the sound of that. At all . “With what?”

“Getting a look at the girls.”

Izuku scowled down at his classmate (who hopefully wouldn’t be that for long). The look on Mineta’s face was absolutely revolting. And he was smiling, as if Izuku was would actually agree with the disgusting rat. 

“So, you want to distract them?”

Izuku growled, and opened his mouth. 

Mineta disappeared in a flash of tentacles and teeth. Izuku didn’t like eating people, but he hated people like Mineta a lot more. He grumbled, shaking his head but keeping his mouth shut. Mineta tasted like overripe grapes and rat fur. 

The noise attracted attention though. From the girls and Aizawa-sensei at least. Their teacher came over while Izuku was pretending to act normal. Quite easy, considering Nedzu’s lessons. Helped by the fact that Izuku didn’t feel guilty by what he did. 

One look at his firmly shut mouth and Aizawa sighed heavily, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Midoriya, spit him out.”

“Buf he ‘as ‘eing g’oss!” Izuku cried, his mouth staying mostly shut. 

“Nedzu didn’t teach you to do that so you could eat your classmates. Now spit him out .”

Izuku huffed, but spat Mineta out on the ground. The boy was covered in spit and small cuts from his teeth. He came out crying about how gross and disgusting it was. Izuku still didn’t regret it. 

Aizawa-sensei lifted the small boy up by the back of his uniform. Everyone was watching by now, curious as to what just happened. None of them had seen more than Mineta appearing in a flash of red. 

“Mineta, what were you doing that made Midoriya do that?”

“I don’t know!” He wailed. “I was just trying to get a look at the girls! And then he did- did that !”

Unlike normal people, Aizawa-sensei’s gaze didn’t darken. No, it lit up red. His black hair floating like a twisted halo around his head. And that was when Izuku knew Mineta was, for lack of a better term, absolutely screwed. 

“Mineta, principal's office. Midoriya, no more eating people. We will finish the tests with no more interruptions, understood ?”

They all nodded hastily. No one wanted to mess with an angry teacher, especially one that had threatened to expel them. Mineta was sent to Nedzu and the rest of the tests were completed. 

The scores were displayed not long after they finished. Izuku was in the top ten, which he was really happy with. Mineta, however, was at the very bottom, his score showing N/A. Aizawa stood in front of the board, watching as most of them breathed sighs of relief. 

“Mineta has been expelled.” There were a few cries of surprise, none coming from the girls. “Take this as a lesson, I will not tolerate inappropriate behavior or assault to another student in any form. Go back to the classroom to grab a syllabus. Dismissed.”

Izuku hummed as he walked back, the rest of his class trailing behind him again. They weren’t wandering off to get lost in the halls, so he was fine with it. 

They were whispering though. Nothing he wasn’t used to, but the topic had changed since middle school. Before it was how weak he was or how it was only a matter of time before Katsuki beat him up again. At UA, it was how a “simple cat morph” could teleport and make people disappear. It was a welcome change. 

Back in the classroom was when everyone really started chattering away. Izuku stayed far away from Katsuki. Instead, he talked with Uraraka and Iida. They were nice, and both liked heroes. The topic of Quirks came up somehow.

“Oh yeah, how did you do that this morning, Midoriya? I thought Bakugou said you were a cat morph?” Uraraka asked, not unkindly. 

“Yes! I too would like to know how you did that!” Iida said a bit too loudly. Oh yay, the whole class was listening now. Izuku wanted to disappear, but knew that would just create more questions. 

“Uh, my powers are, are a bit…complicated.”

“COMPLICATED MY ASS!” Katsuki yelled, stalking closer. Izuku stared at him, unblinking, until he stopped walking a few feet away. “YOU’RE A CAT MORHPH, DEKU, SO HOW THE FUCK DID YOU MANAGE THAT BULLSHIT!”

“B-because I’m not, I’m not just a-“

The door opened, drawing everyone’s attention away again. Izuku turned, visibly slumping in relief when he saw it was Shinsou. His friend was glancing around the classroom with an almost bored expression. Izuku recognized it as him surveying the competition.  

“Hey Mido, Pop made us bentos.” 

Now that got Izuku’s attention. He shot to his feet, buzzing with excitement. Yamada’s food was the best . Next to Mom, of course. 

Then Shinsou’s eyes landed on Katsuki, and Izuku got the distinct feeling of impending doom for his friend. “Ah, the Angry Pomeranian is here.”

Aaaaand, Izuku was ready to flee from the following explosion. “Race you to the cafeteria!”

Izuku sprinted out of the classroom, Shinsou following with a cry of “No teleporting!” He laughed, looking over his shoulder for a moment.

The two left behind a classroom of very, very confused teenagers. It was quiet for a few seconds, before someone said something. A single phrase they were all thinking.

“What the heck just happened?”

Chapter Text

Izuku was very proud of his hero costume. Shinsou helped design it, and so did Yamada. His input was highly valued since Izuku liked his costume a lot.  Though Aizawa had been barred from helping by his husband. He claimed it was for Izuku’s benefit, since Eraserhead’s uniform was literally a jumpsuit with a souped up, half-metal scarf. 

His costume ended up being based on a green suit that Mom gave him. It was slightly altered by the support company, but that was only because normal fabric was far too easy to destroy for a hero. There were also arm braces, with gloves, in case he needed to use more power than usual. All of the fabric was also self-healing, gloves included, which would let him half-shift without destroying his clothes every time. 

The hood originally had green tufts like All Might’s hair, but that had quickly been replaced. Izuku mourned the loss of it, but he did like the new support gear that replaced it. Now it was a headband like thing with cat ears that acted as sense enhancers. They wouldn’t interfere with his actual ears thankfully, cat or otherwise. Once he half-shifted they would act more like headphones that could amplify or decrease sound too. In short, they were really cool. Especially since they actually worked with his cat ears. 

Izuku kept his normal red shoes too, albeit with reinforcement in the toes so they wouldn’t get ripped up every time he half-shifted. If he needed his claws he’d just take them off. That would eventually need to change, but for now it worked. Adjustments were always made to costumes after they were first used. 

He loved his costume, and very proudly wore it while All Might explained their exercise. Everyone else’s were so cool too! Although whoever was designing the girls’ apparently needed to be reminded they were fifteen. Yaoyorozu and Uraraka had already mentioned changing theirs. 

Izuku did find Hagakure’s funny though. Despite what everyone else seemed to think, she was not in fact naked. He only knew because Nedzu had had to deal with the company complaining about making the DNA infused material for a first year. His teacher really needed to choose a new supplier already if they were going to complain about something that protected the student. 

Their first ever exercise with All Might was a heroes vs villains fight, and Izuku was really excited for it. He got to use One for All and show All Might what he could do! So maybe he was a tad bit nervous of what his new classmates would think, but he wasn’t going to dwell on that. Nope, not thinking about it. 

Izuku drew a number, and got paired with Uraraka. He was really relieved he was with a friend. Heaven knows what would have happened if him and Katsuki had gotten paired together. 

“And the first round will be team I as the heroes!” Oh that was them. Izuku paid attention, wanting to see who he’d be up against. “With team B as the villains.”

That was Katsuki’s team. 

Welp, time to go hide in the vents then. 

Uraraka grabbed the back of his costume before he could walk away. She looked concerned, but mostly amused. Izuku grumbled mentally, but followed her to the building. They had a few minutes to plan now.

“Ok, s-so Katsuki is going to come after me.”

“Are…you sure?”

“Positive.” Izuku decidedly ignored the shaking in his voice. “He thinks- he thinks I tricked him or, or something. He’ll go after me, so- so if you can find the bomb then we might win. I don’t think you should- should float yourself from here, since you don’t have a way to get down. I’ll- I’ll distract Katsuki.”

“I don’t like this plan.”

“Not my f-favorite either, but it’s one that might work. When he comes after me, run and get the bomb as quickly as- as possible. I don’t know how far he’s, he’s willing to go.”

“Alright, but if he starts to get too aggressive I’m coming back for you.”

Izuku smiled at the ground. That morning all of the girls had thanked him for getting rid of Mineta. Uraraka and Ashido had declared that they would be his bodyguards, despite his protests. He had no idea how that was going to go, especially once Shinsou found out, but it was nice to know he’d already done something good. 

Izuku took off his shoes and socks. Silent walking would be essential here. Uraraka looked on in confusion, until he half-shifted, growing ears, a tail, claws, and most importantly, paw pads. She still looked slightly confused though, so Izuku showed her his foot.

You have toe beans! ” She squealed excitedly. “And cat ears!”

“Y-yeah, it’s part of how my- my Quirk works. This is my half-shift. Full-shift is when- is when I turn into an actual cat.”

“Do you have finger pads now?!”

“Y-yes.” Izuku took off his glove, showing her his now clawed hand and finger pads. 

“We match now! Here, look!” 

Uraraka gave her hand to Izuku, who looked at it. Sure enough, she had finger pads. They were probably how she activated her Quirk, actually. 

Cool ,” he whispered in awe. He had never met someone that had pads like him, even if he himself had only had them for a little while.  

The buzzer went off, reminding them of the exercise they were doing. Izuku gave Uraraka a reassuring smile, and led the way in. 

His ears swiveled around, listening. Izuku heard the sound of Iida’s loud “villainous” speech, and Katsuki’s heavy footsteps. Both were above them. 

“Iida’s in a room on the other side of the building, maybe two floors up. Katsuki is coming after us already, but he’s on the same floor as Iida for now. If we go up one then you’ll be closer to the bomb.”

Uraraka hummed in affirmation. Izuku walked on his tiptoes silently, happy with how everything was going so far. Katsuki was still above them, though he would probably get to the stairs soon. 

The two of them found their own stairs relatively quickly. The climb wasn’t too hard, not after Aizawa-sensei and All Might’s training at least. 

“Hey, Bakugou said you were a cat morph. But you’re not, are you?”

Izuku was honestly expecting the question, so he just sighed quietly. “Yeah. But…”

“It’s ok! You don’t have to tell me.”

“…Thank you,” he whispered. 

They reached the second floor, finding it was more twisting hallways and rooms. Not the most realistic building, but it worked for their exercise. 

Izuku’s ears suddenly focused in on one point. Katsuki. He was on their floor now, and moving fast. Uraraka didn’t react, so he was still being quiet enough that human ears couldn’t hear him.

“He’s on our floor,” Izuku whispered lowly. “Follow my lead, then run and find the bomb.”

Uraraka nodded, determination lighting up her gaze. Izuku sent her another hopefully reassuring smile. With both of them listening now, they kept moving. Izuku could already smell the sickly sweet scent of nitroglycerin. 

Katsuki was here. 

“He’s around the corner,” Izuku whispered. “Go past us and get to the stairs. I’ll hold him off for as long as I can.”

Uraraka hesitated, but nodded with a set jaw and fire in her eyes. She readied herself behind Izuku, who stalked forward on padded feet. If Katsuki didn’t know they were there, then he couldn’t surprise them. 

Izuku crouched, before leaping in a straight line down the hallway. He flew past the opening to another hall, and Katsuki’s glowing hand missed him by a few inches. Izuku skidded to a stop, getting back to his feet. His old bully screamed, blasting himself forward. Uraraka darted down the way he’d came.

Now the real fight could begin. 

“YOU CAN’T RUN, DEKU!”

Yes, yes he could, Izuku found himself thinking. He was much faster than Katsuki on foot. Using Quirks, it was terrain that mattered, and they were on an even playing field in these sharp halls. His tail and claws helped with turning, but explosions did too, surprisingly. 

So he took off down the hallways, steps still close to silent. Katsuki’s screeching followed him, as well as the sound of explosions. Good, he was acting just as Izuku predicted he would.

Uraraka was relaying where she was through the coms they’d been given. She’d found Iida, but there was no ammo for her to use. Smart. Izuku could hear Iida monologuing about it through his earpiece. 

Izuku was distracted with that. Iida was loud, and it threw him off. Having enhanced hearing definitely had drawbacks. At least Uraraka had been kind enough to whisper, but Iida and Katsuki had no such qualms. 

Which was why he didn’t notice Katsuki was beside him until he was being body-slammed into a wall. 

Izuku slumped onto the floor, trying to regain his bearings. He was decently certain that would leave a nasty bruise. Katsuki was aiming another explosion for him, so he scrambled to his feet. Worrying over injuries was for later. 

Izuku dove out of the way as fire consumed where he’d been a second before. 

“Stand still you damned cat!” Katsuki snarled. 

Izuku’s answer was skittering to the side of another flash. 

“I’ll show you what you get for looking down on me! Who’s weak now you bastard!”

Izuku’s steps stuttered. Looking down on him? Where on earth had Katsuki gotten that idea? He was the one that had hurt Izuku. The one to encourage everyone else to bully him for being weak . Katsuki was strong, he knew that, but…but Izuku was now too.

He was done running away. 

Katsuki reached a hand out, light popping in his palm. Izuku stayed where he was. He reached out, almost like everything was in slow motion, and flipped his old friend over his shoulder. 

Izuku stumbled back a step, surprised in himself. Did he really just judo flip Katsuki? Did that really just happen?

Katsuki wheezed for breath as he rolled to his feet. He wasn’t saying anything, so Izuku did.

“I’m, I’m not weak anymore. I’m not a punching bag or the weak little cat you can pick on, Katsuki. I won’t let you do that to me anymore.”

Deku-

I’m not useless! ” Izuku screamed, stunning Katsuki into staying silent once more. He had waited so long to finally say that. “I’m not weak and I’m not a Deku! You know how long it took for me to learn that? Years , Katsuki. Years to undo what you did to me.”

“What I did? The fuck are you on about?!”

“Who started bullying me,” Izuku said lowly, his green eyes flashing as he activated One for All. “Who started the trend of calling me Cat. Of calling me Deku .”

Izuku stalked forward, fists at his sides and eyes never leaving a paralyzed Katsuki. Green lightning crackled over him.

“Who left burns on my arms? Who turned every single person in school against me for years ? Who made my life a living hell? Who, Katsuki.”

“I didn’t- that’s not-“

“Then who did, Katsuki?” Izuku whispered, hardly more than a few feet away now. “Tell me, who do you believe did it? Because you know what I think? I think that you know you’re in the wrong, but you don’t want to admit that. No one ever told you just how flawed you are.”

Izuku was so close he could reach out and touch Katsuki. His old bully was obviously shaken by his words. He could only hope the meaning was getting through his thick skull.

“I’m not- I’m not weak ,” Katsuki said. “I’m not you. I’m the strongest. I’LL BE NUMBER ONE AND NO ONE CAN STOP ME, ESPECIALLY A CAT!”

Time seemed to slow as Katsuki, in a panic, reached for the pin in his grenade. Izuku knew how they worked. Nitroglycerin was filled in tanks and then detonated in a massive explosion. And with Izuku at point-blank? 

He didn’t want to find out what would happen. 

But Katsuki was still pulling the pin. Izuku could hear All Might yelling for him to stop, but he wasn’t listening. Uraraka was asking what was wrong. If Izuku didn’t move then he’d be fried, but he wasn’t fast enough. He knew he wasn’t fast enough, teleporting or otherwise. Not for an explosion of that size. 

So he did the thing his instincts were screaming at him to do. Izuku opened his mouth, and consumed

It burned. The fire burned his mouth and tentacles, but they just went farther, expanding to cover the explosion and Katsuki himself. Izuku felt the weight, felt the heat. 

What felt like an hour was really about two seconds. Izuku squeezed his eyes shut tight against the light and heat and pain. Katsuki’s yelling cut off abruptly. 

The tentacles retracted, leaving Izuku in an empty hallway. His com was silent, though he couldn't tell if it was broken or not. Izuku stood stock still. He had acted on instinct. He hadn’t meant to that. Especially when the class was watching. He hadn’t meant to do that

Izuku…something inside of him burned . Like he’d eaten a ghost pepper whole. He wasn’t meant to hold fire. No one knew how he worked. Even he didn’t know how he worked. For all he knew Katsuki was burning up in his own explosion right now. 

That thought alone made Izuku’s fear double. He stumbled backwards on shaking legs, his mind a mantra of I have to save him I can’t let him burn I can’tIcan’tIcan’tIcan’t. Save him

No matter how much Katsuki had done to him, he would never let him get hurt. Not if Izuku could stop it. 

Izuku doubled over, gagging as the burning got more intense. It felt like he was coughing a lung out. But…no, that wasn’t right. It was like the first time he’d tried to spit something out again, except this time it was a burning coal lodged in his throat. 

In an explosion (the irony wasn’t quite lost on his hazy mind) of tentacles, Katsuki was spat out onto the floor. The fire followed. Izuku hissed and reeled back from the flames that burst to life from his own mouth. He fell to his knees, looking towards the ceiling. All he could see was yellow and orange.

The explosion took place just as it should have, but this time, it was aimed at the ceiling above Izuku’s head.

It hurt, a lot, but Izuku eventually coughed out the rest of it. With nothing to burn, the flames fizzled out quickly. He was left with a burnt mouth, a shell shocked Katsuki, and more questions than answers. Oh yeah, and a hole in the ceiling. 

An announcement sounded a second later. The heroes won. They won . Katsuki still hadn’t spoken a word. Izuku was just happy in the knowledge he was alive, even if he was staring at Izuku like he’d grown a second head. 

All Might’s voice crackled over his earpiece, but Izuku hardly heard it. Was the ringing always so loud? Where was it coming from? When had every noise turned to static?

Izuku got one last glance at Katsuki’s wide crimson eyes, before everything faded away. 

Chapter Text

Ochako considered herself resilient. Growing up poor, and on construction sites, tended to do that to a person. She wanted to be a hero, so it was a valuable skill. 

At first, she hadn’t known what to make of Midoriya. He had appeared in a flash at the entrance exam, saved her from a Godzilla robot, and then disappeared just as fast. They met again on the first day of school, where he protected all the girls from a creep. Said creep was expelled now. Ochako had dubbed herself his bodyguard if he needed it, and just like that she’d found her first friend in UA. 

She had been excited to be paired with him for their hero exercise. She got to work with a friend! He was nervous and stuttery at first, but that was ok. Ochako had dealt with people like that before. Her only worry was going against Bakugou, who seemed to hold a grudge against Midoriya for whatever reason.

Then she heard his plan, and didn’t like it one bit. He was essentially throwing himself at Bakugou to keep him away from her. Ochako was partly in awe at his heroic instinct, but mostly she just didn’t want to see him get hurt. 

Although it didn’t sound like he was going to budge, so she figured getting to the bomb as quickly as possible was the next best thing. 

She had been near the target room when the yelling started. Ochako couldn’t hear what Bakugou was yelling, but what Midoriya was saying was extremely concerning. Something about bullying and calling Midoriya weak? Yeah, not good. 

Ochako hurried even faster towards the bomb. The sooner she finished this, the quicker Midoriya could get away from Bakugou. The only problem was that Iida had moved any projectiles she could’ve used. 

Bakugou was screaming again, loud enough for Ochako to make out a few words. 

“Midoriya, I’m at the bomb, are you ok? Do you need me to come take care of Bakugou?”

Utter silence. Not good. Definitely not good . Especially when the next thing she heard sounded suspiciously like a roaring explosion. 

“Midoriya? Midoriya?!”

Ochako didn’t care if she was giving herself away to Iida. Midoriya might be in actual danger! She couldn’t just stay here if he was!

She felt it, a few seconds before everything went to hell. Almost literally. The room suddenly got really hot, and the next second fire tore through the flooring. Iida was thankfully out of the blast zone. Ochako was too. Honestly a miracle, all things considered.

The fire disappeared a moment later, leaving a gaping hole in the floor. Ochako wondered what had happened to cause a delay in the sound and Bakugou setting it off, but she didn’t have time to focus on that right now. All that mattered was ending this. 

She launched herself, gravity-free, to the bomb. One tap and they’d won. All Might called their victory, and to return immediately. 

Ochako smiled. They’d won, Midoriya could get away from Bakugou now. Everything would be alright.

Then she walked out of the building and saw him lying on a stretcher, unconscious and being wheeled to Recovery Girl. A hand came up to cover her mouth in shock. His own mouth looked…well, burnt felt too small of a word in all honesty. It looked like the skin had peeled itself from him, and turned an angry shade of red and purple. If she didn’t already have a strong stomach, she would’ve lost her breakfast. 

She didn’t know what had happened, not fully. Ochako had suspicions, but they didn’t take into account what Midoriya could do or what he was. She also had guesses about that, but she wasn't about to pry. That was his secret to tell. 

Honestly, Ochako didn’t care . As long as her friend ok then it would be alright. Besides, she already knew who to blame for this. 

Only her and Iida were there to see. All Might zipped by, coming to a stop in front of them. Bakugou trudged out of the building a second later. 

Ochako marched up to him, grabbing his collar and making the bastard float off the floor. He yelped, flailing midair. She twisted, sending him to the ground once again. A foot on his chest stopped him from getting up. 

“What the hell did you do?!” She snarled, tempted to just send him into the stratosphere right now. 

“The fuck do you mean! Deku just-“

“From the sound of it you’ve been bullying Midoriya since you were kids!”

“He’s weak! Always saying how he can be a hero, like he’s on the same level as me! Then he pulled some shit saying I couldn’t be a hero! Fucker deserved what he got!”

Give me one good reason not to send you to the moon ,” Ochako growled. Oh dear, she had already adopted Midoriya into her pack, hadn’t she. 

“LET ME UP AND I’LL SHOW YOU WHY!”

“Fine. As you wish , fucker.”

Ochako took a step back, allowing Bakugou to get up. However, her Quirk was still active. He took a single step and floated up and off the ground. Oh no, there he goes. Up and up. How sad that she couldn’t reach him. Oh no

All Might grabbed the floating boy before he got too far off the ground. “Young Uraraka, we do not abuse our Quirks like that.”

Well now she felt bad. Mostly. Sort of. Not especially much. 

“Please release your Quirk, young Uraraka. I assure you, he will be dealt with accordingly.”

Ochako grumbled, but released Bakugou. He hung from All Might’s hand like a naughty puppy from their scruff. The image helped her to relax just a small bit. Enough to finally hear Iida’s indignant sputtering at least.

“Return to the viewing room, you two. I must run back inside for a moment!”

And off All Might ran, Bakugou held under his arm not unlike toddlers Ochako had seen throwing fits in grocery stores. She dragged her feet going back to the viewing room. Maybe if she waited long enough All Might would come back and say Midoriya was alright. 

Ochako begrudgingly took a seat near the door and waited. She would wait until she knew her friend was ok.  

 

All Might returned, coming with no news on Midoriya. Ochako still waited. 

Bakugou came in a while later. She glared at him until he sat on the other side of the room. He was, for once, quiet. They hadn’t even been in school a week and Ochako already knew that was a rarity. 

They went on with the exercises. Ochako paid attention, mentally marking mistakes and how to not make them. She was still here to be a hero, after all. Watching other people had already given her some ideas on what to do herself too. 

Then Midoriya poked his head in through the door. Ochako was almost instantly on her feet, asking if he was ok and what in the actual hell had happened??

“I-I’m ok, Uraraka. Recovery Girl healed me. Look, hardly even a scar since I got there quick enough. Did, did you get hurt at all?”

“No, I’m fine!” She chirped, happy now that she knew her friend was ok. “Come on, they’re just starting the last round.”

Midoriya nodded, letting her pull him over to a free seat. It was right before he sat down that someone else noticed he was back. 

“Midoriya! Dude, you’re back!”

Ochako looked up, and saw their redheaded classmate bounce up. Kirishima, that was his name. He had already gone. His Quirk was a cool one too: being able to harden his skin to stone. 

“Y-yeah. I’m ok n-now.”

“Man, that was so manly! You took that explosion and literally ate it!

“He what,” Ochako said blankly. She had not been told this. 

“He ate the explosion! Then he spit it out again! Still don’t know how you did that, dude, but it was awesome.”

Deku! ” 

Oh well, guess Ochako was floating someone off the planet today after all.

Bakugou was flying across the room on his explosions. Ochako tensed, ready to slap him back to the ceiling. Turns out, she didn’t have to. 

Midoriya calmly stepped in front of her and Kirishima. He opened his mouth…

And Bakugou disappeared in a flurry of red and pink. Just, gone. Ochako blinked, and he was back. Standing shockingly still where he was. 

Most of the class was watching now. Midoriya stared down Bakugou, braver than Ochako had seen him all day. She didn’t know whether to be extremely impressed or mildly terrified. The former, most likely. 

“Ah, young Midoriya!” All Might boomed from the front of the room. Bakugou still didn’t move, but Midoriya looked up to their teacher. “Are you feeling better?”

“Y-yes, sir.”

“That is good! Your team won, young Midoriya! We already went over your battle, and young Iida won MVP for masterfully playing the part of the villain. However, your distraction was what allowed our teammate to assure your victory. A good plan, though try to not hurt yourself next time, alright?”

Ochako glanced over at Midoriya, only to see him hiding his very red face in his hands. Incoherent sounds were all that he seemed to make. All Might’s smile never budged, but Ochako felt it was more amused now. 

“You did wonderful, young Midoriya, as expected of Nedzu’s student! Now come! We must pay attention to the final match!”

Ochako found it funny how Midoriya reacted to All Might’s praise. She smiled, nudging his shoulder with hers. 

“Is All Might your favorite hero?”

“Y-yeah.”

“So you just got told by your favorite hero that you did amazing,” she smiled sharply. Teasing him was a bit fun, as long as it didn’t hurt anyone. 

He squeaked again. And suddenly, he was gone. Ochako blinked in shock, spinning in a slow circle. Nope, he wasn’t in the room. Oh no. 

“All Might! Midoriya disappeared!”

“Oh my, he must have been truly flustered,” All Might laughed. The sound echoed like a drum in the small room. “Do not fear, young Uraraka. He is likely on the UA roof, and will return once he can teleport again. In the meantime, onto the next match!”

That solved only one of Ochako’s many questions. She shrugged, paying attention like All Might had asked. Maybe those questions were supposed to be answered another day. In the meantime, she would wait for her friend. Again. 

~~~~~

Katsuki’s steps echoed down the empty hallway. His mind was filled with the mantra of what he’d heard. Static filled his ears, making his thoughts hazy. 

Step. Step. Step.

He wasn’t expelled. Katsuki had almost done something he would regret for every day of his life, and he wasn’t expelled. For all of his bravado screams of “DIE!”, he never wanted to kill anyone. And he almost did. 

Step. Step. Step.

Deku was the reason he was still here. The nerd was somehow awake after being healed, and the first thing he’d done was demand Nedzu not expel Katsuki. He could still learn, is what Midoriya had said. That UA was the best place for him to do that. 

 

“Schools are for learning, aren’t they Nedzu-sensei?”

 

There were conditions, but they were nothing compared to being expelled from UA. Hardly a slap on the wrist as far as Katsuki was concerned. 

 

“You will be watched closely, Bakugou. You understand this, yes?”

 

He had to take anger management along with normal therapy. Mom and Dad had to too. Deku wasn’t an idiot, no matter how many times Katsuki repeated it (trying to convince himself he was better than the weak cat morph that couldn’t possibly be better than him).

He was going to be under supervision in all school activities. Quirk training was mandatory anyway, but he had to actually show effort now. Anything less and he’d be expelled on the spot. 

Katsuki didn’t doubt that Aizawa-sensei meant it this time. 

 

“If Katsuki can still be a hero, who am I to take that from him?”

Step. Step. Step.

 

How had his life lead to this? To being beaten by a cat morph that probably wasn’t a cat morph? To owing Deku?

How had someone as strong as him fallen down the ladder so far?

Katsuki was…angry. He always was, in some way. Deku had beaten him, and he couldn’t deny that. No one could. It wasn’t fair . Since when had he gotten so strong? Since when had Deku the Cat turned into someone that scared could stand up to people? To Katsuki?

 

“Why do you want to be a hero, if all you’ve ever done is act like a villain?”

 

When had Deku’s words, the ones he’d said more than a year ago, done anything but anger him? When had Katsuki stopped stewing on them and instead listened to what they meant?

 

“Before you’re a hero, try being a better person, Kacchan.”

 

When had Deku become confident? When had he stopped being the coward that didn’t stand up for himself?

 

“You’re no hero, Kacchan.”

 

When had he stopped being Deku and Cat and turned into someone Katsuki didn’t know?


 

“Goodbye, Katsuki.”

Chapter Text

Izuku was really excited for today. Anyone else might’ve figured it was more hero training or English with Present Mic, but they would be wrong. Well, sort of. Hero training was still had a big part in it, but he was also excited for an entirely different reason. 

They were finally having lunch on campus. One that lined up with Shinsou’s. Not that they hadn’t seen each other in the past two days, but that had only been after school (and before the whole eating fire thing). Izuku hadn’t gotten to introduce his new friends to him yet either!

Aizawa-sensei sent him a knowing look right before he dismissed them. Izuku rolled his eyes playfully, then shot out the door. Uraraka and Iida were trailing behind him, looking a bit confused but otherwise amused. Izuku was too excited to explain properly right now. It would just come out as words too fast for a normal person to understand. 

Izuku burst into the lunchroom, drawing a few stares but really not caring. His two friends walked in like normal people to stand beside him. Izuku scanned the room with his sharp eyes, looking for a familiar head of lilac.

There! There he is!

“Shin!”

Izuku jumped up and down while waving his arms, effectively drawing the attention of literally everyone. At least Shinsou was included in that number. He cracked a grin, shaking his head fondly as he finished getting his food. Izuku darted across the room towards him, Uraraka and Iida followed with matching confused squawks. 

Izuku nearly tackled him, but instead stopped himself and settled for affectionately head-butting his friend. 

“It’s like you didn’t see me yesterday morning. What, is hero class really that boring?” Shinsou drawled, eyeing the other two trailing after Izuku. 

“Nope! Hero class was…well, it was good. I missed you anyway.”

Izuku plonked himself in the nearest free seat that had three others. Shinsou set his tray down beside him, obviously not wanting to sit next to two people he didn’t know. Uraraka glanced between the two with a bright smile. She and Iida took the two chairs across from Izuku and Shin. 

“Shin, this is Uraraka and that’s Iida, they’re in the hero course with me. Guys, this is Shinsou.”

“Aww, you made friends all on your own, Mido,” Shinsou cooed, earning himself a smack on the arm from said person. 

“Just eat your rice, Shin.”

“If I may ask,” Iida piped up, drawing their attention. “How long have you two been dating?”

Both of them immediately choked on the food they’d just started to eat. Uraraka was giggling. Izuku recovered first, staring at Iida incredulously. 

We’re not dating!

“You’re not? But you called him ‘Shin,’ which means heart. I have heard classmates call their significant other that before as a pet-name.”

“No, nope, not dating!” Shinsou sputtered, finally breathing again. “My name is Shinsou . It’s a nickname. I call him Mido, he calls me Shin.”

“Ah, I see.”

“You two would make a cute couple though!” Uraraka giggled.

Izuku was pretty sure his face was red as a tomato now. He buried his head in his arms, food forgotten. At least Uraraka didn’t sound malicious in her teasing. He could only hope that was correct. 

“Uraraka, please refrain from teasing Midoriya!” Iida said, probably waving his arms around, though Izuku refused to look up. “He was injured yesterday! We do not want to make it worse!”

“I’m sorry, he what now?”

Could Izuku teleport out of here? Maybe he could leave before Shinsou notices… 

“Yeah, he was fighting Bakugou and apparently ate his explosion? I wasn’t there to see it, but Recovery Girl healed him.”

Bakugou? ” Shinsou growled, and oh boy , now Izuku had to prevent a murder. 

“I’m ok! I’m ok now! You don’t need to do anything!”

Why shouldn’t I? That- that motherfucker shouldn’t be anywhere near you! Dad knows that!”

“All Might’s teaching the heroics class.”

“Right. Right . Forgot it’s not an underground hero this year. I swear I’ll-“

“Shinsou, sit down or I’ll tell Princess to lay on your face at three am again.”

Shinsou froze from where he was already starting to stand up. His eyes were wide. “You wouldn’t.”

“We both know I would, now sit down . Katsuki was dealt with.”

“Yeah. Yeah, Nedzu probably expelled him, right?”

Izuku was silent. He looked everywhere but his best friend. 

Right , Mido?”

“I, uh, might’ve asked Nedzu to… not …expel him.”

“Izuku Midoriya, are you kidding me.”

“If I may interrupt again,” Iida said. “Why do you not want Bakugou expelled, Midoriya? Did he not intend to harm you?”

“I mean, probably? But he- he needs to- to learn. Ex-expelling him wouldn’t help any-anything. School is for, for learning, right?”

“Yes I…suppose. You have shown much more mercy than most would, Midoriya.”

“I’ve known Katsuki since we- since we were kids.” Izuku shrugged. “I know he can be an amazing hero, if he just tried to- to be nice. Besides, what do you think he’d do if he got expelled? Peacefully go back to being a civilian?”

“I…suppose you do have a point, Midoriya.”

“Ok, yes, how heartwarming and slightly destructive of you, but can we go back to the part about you eating an explosion?” Shinsou said.

“Uh, it comes as said on the tin?” Izuku said, eating his food to prevent more words from coming out. 

“Dad is going to scold you so much.”

“Heck.”

“Wait wait wait, who’s your dad, Shinsou?” Uraraka asked curiously.

“Hm, not someone who would want me to share that information.”

“Awwww, come on! I want to know now! How about if I give you my pudding.”

“Nope.”

Izuku smiled at his friends. He was just happy they were all getting along. Even if it was over him getting injured. Uraraka was still trying to bribe Shin with pudding and mochi, while he refused. Izuku knew that smirk well. It meant he wasn’t going to say anything, or at least nothing true. 

“Oh yeah! Midoriya, when you turned into a half-cat, do you always have cat ears?” Uraraka said, grabbing his attention once again. 

“Uh, yeah. With half-shifting I always have the same features. Some can be more pronounced if I focus on them though.”

“Oh, did you see his finger beans?” Shinsou asked, ignoring the halfhearted glare Izuku sent his way. 

“I did! I have them too, see!”

Uraraka showed them her hands, which had pads on them for her Quirk. Izuku was still curious about them, but resisted the urge to snatch her hand and look at them closer. 

Izuku half-shifted, putting his hand next to hers. She squealed, looking at his claws like they were the most interesting thing in the world. Iida was watching curiously, since he hadn’t seen Izuku half-shift last time. 

“Your Quirk is very curious, Midoriya. I thought Bakugou very loudly said you were a cat morph?”

“I can, um, I can turn into a cat, but that not, not all I can do.”

“Ooooh, can I touch your ears?”

Izuku froze, feeling his ears fall flat. “I, uh, I’d prefer if you- if you didn’t.”

“Oh, ok.”

“S-sorry. It’s just- it’s a sign of trust for my- my kind to let someone touch their- their ears or tail. And I’ve only known you for- for three days now, so…B-but you can touch my hair if you want. My mom says it’s soft.”

Izuku turned back to normal, the ears and claws going away once more. He leaned down, letting Uraraka reach out to touch his curly hair. He was fine with his normal hair being touched, but his ears, tail, and underbelly were entirely different stories. They were vulnerable places, and a Flerken letting a person pet them there was a major show of trust. 

It wasn’t painful or anything, just uncomfortable. Izuku got the feeling of danger if someone he didn’t fully trust touched his ears. He learned it also affected him when he half-shifted, as he found out when one of Aizawa-sensei’s previous students went to try and touch him and he nearly clawed their hand. 

“Holy shit.”

“Language, Uraraka!”

“But it’s so fluffy and soft! It’s like an actual kitten!”

“…well now I am curious.”

Izuku couldn’t help purring as Uraraka ran her hand through his hair. It felt really nice. 

“Woah! You can purr!”

“Oh, yeah I guess you haven’t heard me do that,” Izuku said, the purring stopping so he could speak. “I can most sounds a cat can make actually.”

Uraraka back away, sitting down in her seat again. Izuku did the same. He kept eating his food, not wanting it to get too cold. 

“That’s so cool! Thanks for letting me touch your hair, Midoriya. It’s like a curly little sheep cat thing.”

“You’re welcome, Uraraka. Thank you for not trying to touch my cat ears.”

“You said it was a sign of trust, so it isn’t like I’m going to immediately do the thing that you said made you uncomfortable. I’ll just have to be the best friend in the world so you can trust me!”

“Wait wait,” Shinsou said, drawing everyone’s attention. “Mido, you let me touch your cat ears, like, a month after we met.”

Izuku blinked. “Yeah, and?”

Izuku went back to eating his food, oblivious to his purple-haired friend turning bright pink. Uraraka, however, was not, and very much saw it happen. She wasn’t going to say anything though. No, it would be better for teasing later. 

Izuku was about to say something else, but it was drowned out by an ear piercing screeching. An alarm. The UA alarm. A level three. Izuku knew what it meant. 

Someone had broken into UA. 

In an instant people were scrambling for the door, his table included. It was so loud. There were too many people in too little space and everything was too loud . Izuku’s ears hurt and his heart was beating too fast and it was all too much, too much, too much. 

A second later Izuku found himself on UA’s roof. Again. He really needed to stop doing that, but at least he was away from the noise and chaos now. 

Even out here he could hear the shrill alarm blaring throughout the building. Izuku wasn’t going back in there until it turned off, so the roof it was. He moved to the fenced off edge to look over the UA grounds. Maybe he could see who, or what, broke in. 

Izuku looked down, and saw that the gates were gone. Not retracted, just gone. Not there anymore. The press had taken the opportunity to swarm UA’s front lawn. Aizawa and Yamada-sensei were down there trying to make them go away. Izuku was pretty sure they were a few seconds away from bodily flinging them back outside the walls. 

He idly wondered what kind of Quirk could destroy the gate meant to resist brunt damage. 

Izuku shrugged, listening to see if the alarm had stopped yet. It was probably just some overzealous newscaster that didn’t know limits. Anyone with any Quirk could work anywhere if they wanted to. One of Mom’s coworkers could make shockwaves if she jumped, but instead of a hero or something she was a nurse. Izuku liked her too, she was nice.

The alarm had stopped shrieking now, so Izuku walked back into the building. All the halls had been deserted by now, though they smelled a bit odd. Like a bunch of dust had been shaken off a cloth. Probably kicked up by the stampede that undoubtedly took place in the hall he was walking through. They might be at UA, but that didn’t mean people were exempt from panicking. 

Walking down the hall, Izuku listened for the sound of any other people. Everyone should be leaving the security bunkers soon, since it was just the press that broke in. It was probably a good idea to let the teachers know he was ok though. No need to set off a manhunt for someone not lost. 

Izuku didn’t notice the trail of dust he stepped in along the way. 

 

Chapter Text

Izuku already knew where they were going, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t excited! If anything, he was even more hyped than he’d be if he didn’t know. The USJ was amazing! How could he not be excited for it?

His classmates asked why he was essentially buzzing in his chair, and he just smiled and made an excuse. He wasn’t about to spoil the surprise for them. Even if Aizawa-sensei was not-so-subtly glaring at him as a warning not to. 

It was still a bus full of energetic teenagers though. Izuku stuck to his seat, watching as Iida tried to corral everyone. He was a good class president, way better than Izuku would’ve been. 

Uraraka and Shinsou had told him about what Iida did while everyone was panicking during the press break-in. It was noble, and Iida had the qualities of a leader. Not to say Yaoyorozu didn’t, Izuku just knew Iida better. It was working out so far. 

He flung himself off the bus as soon as they parked. Everyone else followed him, staring up in awe at the building that housed the USJ. Izuku had been here before, but he was still amazed by the sheer size of it. 

“That’s the Space Hero: Thirteen!” Uraraka quietly squealed beside him. 

“Are they your favorite hero?” He whispered back, smiling at her enthusiasm. 

“Yeah! They’re an amazing rescue hero, and their Quirk is so cool!”

“I know, right?”

Izuku and Uraraka quieted down when Thirteen stepped forward. The rest of the class stopped their chatter too, paying close attention to the new hero.

“Welcome, to the USJ!” Izuku heard Kaminari mutter something about Universal Studios Japan, but decided to ignore it. Iida was already quietly reprimanding him anyway. “Before we begin, I have a few things to go over. As you may know, my Quirk’s name is Blackhole. I use it to disintegrate rubble and help rescue civilians.”

Izuku really wanted to shout out some more things he had analyzed about Thirteen’s Quirk, but now was not the time. Uraraka was listening intently next to him. Aizawa-sensei was quiet as well. 

“But it can also kill.” Izuku almost felt the shiver go down everyone’s spines. Some of them froze, some just looked accepting, like they already knew this too. “I could just as easily injure as I do save. A lot of Quirks are that way.”

Izuku didn’t need to be told this. He already knew it, and had since he was a kit. His Quirk could hurt so, so many people. Without even trying. If anyone in this class were to kill someone, it was him, and he knew it. That’s why he was here, after all. It’s the reason Nedzu and Aizawa-sensei had even noticed him in the first place. 

“But that’s why you’re here! In the USJ you will begin to learn how to use your powers to rescue people. Now, in we go!”

Izuku smiled, and moved with everyone else in through the doors. 

The USJ hadn’t changed much since he was here last time. Every zone was there, looking just as massive as they had before. The only difference is that Izuku knew just how big they were now. 

His classmates were gaping at just how gigantic everything was. From the top of the stairs they could see everything, and it was beautiful. Izuku smiled at their awe, knowing he had looking like that a few months ago. He still did, in all honesty. 

He wondered where Aizawa-sensei and Thirteen would assign him first. Izuku had been in every one of them before, so maybe the fire zone? It was the hardest one, and he could help coordinate the rescues. Or perhaps the earthquake zone, since he was good at lifting rubble.

Then Izuku felt all his hair stand on end. It felt like ice was dropped down his back, but there was nothing there. Todoroki wasn’t standing near him either. Something was wrong. There was something there that wasn’t there and they were in danger

“Aizawa-sensei.” His voice was small, and shook with the fear he felt. “Something’s wrong.”

Danger , his mind hissed. Something is here. They weren’t alone. 

A spot of black appeared in front of the fountain, which was near the base of the stairs. Izuku’s eyes locked onto it, pupils blown wide with fear. It grew, and grew, big enough for people to get through.

A pale hand emerged from the black, and Izuku spun on his heel. 

“Out out out, everybody outside right now,” he commanded, pushing whoever was close to him towards the doors.

“Is the training starting already?”

Izuku whipped around to face Kirishima. “Those are real villains, ” he hissed. “We need to leave now .”

The class finally started moving. Izuku caught a glimpse of more villains pouring out of the portal, and Aizawa-sensei standing at the top of the stairs. He felt another trill of fear seeing that. His teacher was a hero, a great one, but even he couldn’t deal with that many villains. Not by himself. 

“Aizawa-sensei!”

He looked back, catching Izuku’s gaze. “Go, Midoriya. I can handle this.”

Izuku hesitated, about to protest, but he closed his mouth. He couldn’t change Aizawa-sensei’s mind. Nothing could, not when he was set on something. It was often the topic of Midnight’s grumbling. 

So Izuku turned back to his class, and ran. 

They didn’t get very far. The blackness Izuku had seen suddenly appeared in front of everyone. He jumped in surprise, but stood his ground. Izuku pushed himself to the front of the group, and put himself between the threat and his class. His friends

“Hello there, children,” the blob of darkness said, bright yellow eyes staring directly at Izuku. If this man had been anything other than a villain, then Izuku would want to question him about his Quirk and how he was essentially a shadow because of it. But seeing as he was three steps from death, now was not the time. “We are the League of Villains, and we are here to kill All Might. Though it seems he is not here.”

Izuku jolted at that news. They were after his mentor. He wasn’t there today, having ran out of time this morning. Izuku had seen Aizawa tell Thirteen, but he already knew. Teachers were supposed to be with them on the bus, and the only reason All Might wouldn’t be there is if he ran out of time. 

That didn’t change the fact that they were facing villains. Real life villains whose goal was to kill. Izuku could only hope he was enough to protect his class. 

He nearly threw caution to the wind when Katsuki and Kirishima leapt at the villain. The two went through the villain, and didn’t come out the other side. Just, gone. Probably teleported. Izuku really hoped they were still inside the USJ.

“That was close,” he heard the villain mutter. Izuku narrowed his eyes, and saw a glint of metal. Louder, the dark villains said, “No matter, my job, is to scatter you to the wind!”

The darkness expanded before Izuku could react. It was cold. A biting, freezing cold that ate its way into his bones. 

He found himself falling. Izuku yelped, righting himself midair. Another perk of being a Flerken, he got the cat's ability to land on his feet. Most of the time, at least. 

Izuku looked down, and saw nothing but water beneath him. His stomach sank with him as he fell. He did know how to swim, but he wasn’t good at it. He despised the water with a burning passion like an actual cat morph. 

He hit the water hard. Bubbles created a white veil around him, masking both Izuku and whatever was outside of it. Izuku thrashed and paddled towards the surface. He did not like the water, especially when he could see a shark villain swimming right at him

Something wrapped itself around his torso, and Izuku suddenly found himself airborne. He flew over the water, landing gentle on the boat. Not a villain, then. 

Izuku turned, seeing Asu- Tsuyu on the deck next to him. Knowing it was safe safer now, he took the time to vigorously shake off each limb, ridding it of any water. His hair would dry eventually, but he shook it out anyway. 

“Are you ok, Midoriya?” 

“Y-yeah, I’m ok A- Tsuyu. How ab-about you?”

“I’m alright, ribbit.” Tsuyu moved to the railing to look at the water below. “But there’s no way off this ship.”

Izuku stopped, then moved beside her. In the water were dozens of villains. Most of them broke into yelling when they saw the two. Howls and cries for blood . Like they were deer for hunting instead of children. 

It made his stomach churn. These were real villains, ones that were putting his classmates in danger. Ones that wouldn’t hesitate to kill. 

They needed to get off this boat. Panicking could wait. 

“How far- how far can you jump?” 

“Not far enough,” Tsuyu said solemnly. 

Izuku’s mind was running in overdrive. Maybe if he used One for All to boost Tsuyu? He really didn’t want to use any part of his Flerken powers. He had gone so long without using them, and heard so much about how inherently evil they were, that it made him hesitate. 

That hesitation cost them. 

A blade of water rose up from the lake, slicing the boat clean in half. It really was a sinking ship now. No more make-believe. Izuku’s mind quieted down, resolute in what he was going to do. What he had to do. 

“How good are you at dealing with gross things?” He asked, voice surprisingly level. 

Tsuyu tilted her head curiously, the only indication that she was scared being her wider than usual eyes. “Alright, I think, ribbit. Why?”

“Because I can get us off this ship, but I have to, er…I essentially have to, to…eat…you.”

“Like you did with Mineta?”

“S-sort of. I can- I’m going to try and- and teleport us to land.”

“Ok.”

“Ok?”

“If it can get us away from the villains, then do it.”

“Ok. Ok, just- just don’t freak out.”

Izuku took a deep breath, focusing for all he was worth. He had never teleported with a person before, but they had little choice. Not unless they wanted to be fish food. They say the best way to learn is under stress, right?

Tsuyu disappeared in a flurry of red, and Izuku followed a second later. 

He landed on the concrete near the center of the USJ. The flood zone was behind him now, and the stairs just past the courtyard. 

Tsuyu was spit out again once Izuku knew it was safe. She appeared and stood there for a few seconds, probably trying to process what had just happened. Thankfully she wasn’t covered in spit, at the very least. Izuku was almost worried she had gone into shock though, with how silent she was being. 

“You…you weren’t kidding.”

“Um, n-no. S-sorry about that, are you- you ok?”

“I’m alright, ribbit. Are-“

Tsuyu cut herself off, hearing something. Izuku heard it too. Voices, ones belonging to villains. 

The two of them ducked behind a nearby bush, peeking out over it. It was the best cover they had right now. 

Aizawa-sensei was still fighting the villains. They were falling left and right, but Izuku could tell he was getting slower. Their teacher was meant for quick fights, not drawn out ones against dozens of opponents. 

The villain with blue hair lunged forward. His hand touched Aizawa-sensei’s elbow, and it fell apart

Izuku heard Tsuyu’s breathing hitch the same time his did. Aizawa-sensei stumbled away from the man, clutching his arm. 

“You’re getting slower, Eraserhead,” the villain said, almost gleeful. “It took a while, but you have a tell .”

“So? It doesn’t matter,” Aizawa-sensei growled. “Defeat the boss and the small fry flee.”

“Oh, but I’m not the boss. Nomu here, he’s the real boss of this level.”

Izuku finally saw the thing that stood near the villain. He stiffened at the sight of it. That thing was wrong . It was human but not and creature and magic stitched together in one monstrosity that would make Frankenstein proud. 

“Nomu, immobilize Eraserhead.”

The thing rushed forward in a blur. One moment it was standing like a guard dog, the next it was over Aizawa-sensei. Their teacher’s arm snapped like a twig under the Nomu’s hand.

Aizawa screamed. Izuku had never heard his teacher scream. He had never heard him sound so scared

Izuku didn’t know when he had half-shifted. 

The mist villain suddenly teleported over. Izuku crouched down lower, but could hear everything now. 

“Kurogiri, is Thirteen taken care of?”

“They have been incapacitated, Tomura Shigaraki. Though a student managed to escape.”

The villain, Shigaraki, growled. He scratched at his neck, muttering to himself. Just as suddenly, he stopped. His real hands lowered to his sides once more. 

“The boss isn’t even here. This level is corrupted, let’s go.”

Izuku hardly dared to breathe. They were…leaving? Just like that? He hoped and prayed they were and that his class could stop being terrified for their lives. 

“But before we go, let’s leave All Might a little message. Nomu, kill Eraserhead.”

Izuku…he didn’t really know what happened. Aizawa-sensei’s head was smashed into the concrete once, and Izuku moved. He felt wind, and power. He felt his hands stretch out to catch something in his claws. He felt his fangs sharpen and sink into blue skin that tasted extremely weird. 

Izuku latched onto the Nomu, claws and teeth digging into the creature to stop it. Anything to protect his teacher. Anything to protect his friends. His family. His clan

The Nomu shrieked, the sound piercing his ears and echoing around the dome, before throwing him off. Izuku rolled to a stop on the concrete, and leapt to his feet. He threw himself at the thing already rushing towards him. Thank goodness he was sturdier than an average human. 

Izuku got backhanded into a tree. He slid to the ground, groaning as he pushed himself to his feet again. Last he remembered, trees weren’t nearby. They were off to the side of the dome, a good thirty feet away. 

He didn’t have time to contemplate that. The Nomu was already on him. 

Something in his head was screaming to be let out. Shrieking in his mind so loud he couldn’t ignore it. 

So he didn’t, and let it out. Call it instinct or panic or adrenaline. Anything you will, but now out of sight, he let himself loose. 

Things came out of his mouth. Jagged teeth and tentacles that logically should not fit where they did. Jaws that expanded and multiplied and grew. All of it descended on the Nomu.

And swallow it whole. 

Izuku stumbled forward as the tentacles retracted once more. He could hear Shigaraki screeching for the Nomu to come back and kill Eraserhead. Seeing as it had just been eaten, the thing decidedly could not do that. 

He shook himself, walking out of the trees, still in a weird trance. Izuku’s slitted eyes zeroed in on Shigaraki, who was staring at him. Kurogiri was off to the side, watching. 

“You! Where’s my Nomu!”

Izuku cocked his head, eyes too wide for something human. “You hurt mine’s father. You hurt carer. It hurt carer.”

“Where’s Nomu, you brat! Nomu, get over here right now!

“Won’t come back. Hurt clan, so I defend clan. One danger is gone now.”

“Shigaraki, the Nomu does not appear to be returning. Perhaps it is in our best interest to retreat.”

“Yes, listen to own carer. Leave, before it is too late.”

It was at that moment that Izuku heard All Might outside. He smiled with teeth too sharp and canines too long, right before the door blew in. 

The villains, realizing the Nomu wasn’t going to come back anytime soon, left not a minute later. All Might zipped around the USJ, retrieving students and knocking out villains. Izuku found himself stumbling outside, mind foggy and limbs feeling heavy. 

There were pros inside the USJ, arresting the villains that had been brought. Squads of police and paramedics were all outside, some questioning students and others tending to them. Izuku was decently sure something of his was broken. Adrenaline made sure he didn’t know where though.  

A paramedic ended up snagging him before he could find who he was looking for. He did indeed have fractures in both legs, though he didn’t feel it. They were set and wrapped before Recovery Girl could arrive. He unshifted when a paramedic mentioned he still had cat ears. 

Izuku was also given a shock blanket. Definitely needed, since he was still having trouble thinking straight and maybe not staring into space. 

He snapped out of it when he saw an officer walking towards him. They stood in front of where he was sitting, waiting for him to look up at them. 

“Are you here to ask me some questions?” Izuku asked quietly.

“If you’re up for that,” the officer said kindly. Izuku nodded, mind definitely less fuzzy then it had been before. “Alright then, first: do you know anything about the two villains that escaped?”

“Um, I- I heard their names. One was Shigaraki, he had, um, blue hair and red eyes. He, he had a b-bunch of hands as a costume too. I…I don’t think they were- were fake. There was- the other one was called Kurogiri. He was tall and made of black mist that could t-teleport things.”

“Ok. Second, what happened after this Kurogiri separated your class?”

“I was dropped into- into the shipwreck z-zone with Tsuyu Asui. I used m-my...powers to teleport us o-out. Then we…we saw Aizawa-sensei get hurt by the- by the Nomu.”

“We’ve heard about the Nomu, but no one knows where it went. Did you see what happened to it?”

“I think I, um, I think- I think I ate it.”

The officer blinked, looking up at his from their notes. “You… ate it.”

“Y-yes?”

“Give me one second, kid. Stay right here.”

Izuku waited while they ran off, probably to get another officer if he was being honest. In the meantime, he tried to pick apart his splintered memories. 

He looked up again, spotting the officer and a certain trench-coat clad man walking towards him. Izuku gave them a small grin as they got closer. 

Detective Tsukauchi stopped, and sighed heavily. “You ate it, didn’t you.”

“It attacked Aizawa-sensei,” he said as an explanation. “I can- I can spit it out if you want it back?”

“If you can, then please do, Midoriya.”

Izuku nodded, moving to where there was more room. More officers were called over to surround the area, just incase. 

The Nomu was spat back onto the ground. It didn’t move an inch. Izuku stepped back, letting the police do their job. Tsukauchi was beside him a moment later. 

“Go back to your friends, Midoriya, we have it from here.”

Izuku yawned, tired and drained from today, and nodded again. “Thanks, Detective.”

“It’s our job, Midoriya.” Detective Tsukauchi chuckled, ruffling Izuku’s hair. “Go on, your class is probably going back to UA, and you need to see Recovery Girl.”

Izuku hummed, waving goodbye. He tottered onto the bus with his splints, still not feeling the pain. They drove back to UA, the atmosphere somber. 

Mom picked him up, and they went home. Izuku promptly crashed, dead to the world after being healed. He was finally home, and the villains were gone. Everything was going to be ok. All of his friends were safe now, and that’s the only thing that mattered. 

Chapter Text

When Izuku woke up again, he was instantly assaulted by the buzzing of his phone. Not a call type of buzzing, but an I’m-getting-so-many-messages-my-phone-is-vibrating-off-the-table type of buzzing. 

Groggily, he slapped his nightstand until he found the offending object. It really was someone calling this time, so Izuku, not quite able functionally think yet, answered it. 

“”Ello?”

“IZUKU MIDORIYA YOU GET YOUR ASS TO UA OR SO HELP ME I WILL SPRINT TO YOUR HOUSE MYSELF !”

“Good morning to you too, Shin. I’m doing well, Shin, thanks for asking. How are you?”

“I’d be better if you cut the snark and came to UA so I can see for myself that you didn’t lose a leg or something.”

“I didn’t lose it, only broke it a little bit.”

“Mido, I swear on the name of every holy thing if you flung yourself into danger again I will strap you to Dad’s hospital bed and make Pop give you a lecture on self preservation.

Izuku almost instantly snapped more awake. “Is Aizawa-sensei ok? I- I tried- I-“

He felt the tears start to prick at his eyes again. His lungs suddenly felt too big and his room too small. 

“Hey. Hey Mido, it’s ok. I don’t- I don’t know what happened with Dad, but he’s ok, alright?”

“I’m, I’m s-sorry.”

“It’s…it’s ok now. Just…just come down to UA, please.” Shinsou’s voice sounded so small. It made Izuku’s chest hurt

“Y-yeah, I’ll…I’ll be there in a bit, ok?”

“Ok. See you then, Mido.”

Izuku broke his record for how quick he could get ready that morning. He was out the door, yelling a goodbye to his mom on the way, within five minutes. His friend needed him, and he would sooner listen to Katsuki’s bullying than not be there for him.

 

Izuku skidded into the infirmary of UA, wheezing for air, but there. He had almost lost his shoes, phone, and house key on the way over, but he made it. The train ride had been an utter nightmare. He knew, logically, that the train was faster than he was, but Izuku couldn’t help thinking he might have ran faster. Even if he could use five percent of One for All right now, it probably wouldn’t have been faster. Maybe. Teleporting was too inaccurate still.

But seeing as public Quirk use was illegal anyway, he settled for sprinting from the station to school. He only use enough of One for All that it didn’t show in the green energy it usually did. 

“Midoriya?”

Izuku’s head whipped upwards, seeing Yamada sitting in one of the chairs. His long hair was up in a messy bun, and he had on sweatpants and a jacket. Shinsou wasn’t there, but Aizawa-sensei was. He was laying on the bed, thankfully asleep. 

His teacher looked like a mummy with how many bandages were wrapped around him. 

Izuku stumbled forward, his hands gripping the bed’s bar to steady himself. “Is he- is he ok?”

“He’ll be fine, little listener,” Mr. Yamada said softly. “His arm got the worst of it, though his face came a close second. If…if you hadn’t intervened…he would- he would be dead.”

“Will his- will his eyes be ok? For his Quirk?”

“They should be alright, as long as he doesn’t strain them for a while.”

“I’m…I’m so sorry , Mr. Yamada. If I-”

“None of that now, little listener. You saved him. Don’t dwell on what you could have done, but on what you did do. He’s not dead, and his injuries could be worse. I won’t have you wallowing in guilt; not while Shouta isn’t awake to scold you properly.”

Izuku croaked a laugh, knowing that Aizawa-sensei was going to reprimand him anyway once he woke up. He wasn’t about to get away with what he did, whatever it was. The memories were still fractured like stained glass.

“Mido?”

Izuku turned, seeing Shinsou in the doorway. He had a can of coffee in each hand, which were gently set on the table besides Mr. Yamada. 

“I’ll give you two a minute. Call me if you need anything,” Yamada said, before retreating from the room. 

Shinsou stepped forward, looking Izuku over critically. 

“See, I still have my legs,” Izuku joked, smiling weakly. 

Shinsou sighed, closing the distance between the two of them. He wrapped his arms around Izuku, burying his face in Izuku’s hair. Izuku let his friend cling to him. They both needed it right now. 

“I thought I was going to lose my dad and my only friend,” he croaked. “When our teacher ran out, I thought I’d never see either of you again.”

“Hey, it’ll take more than a super-powered monstrosity to get rid of me.”

“I heard what you did, you absolute walnut. Why did- why did you do that ?”

“Um, can we sit? So I can explain?”

Shinsou reluctantly detached himself from Izuku to sit in one of the chairs. Izuku took the one next to him, dragging it around so they could face each other. It was quiet for a few seconds. The beeping of medical equipment and their breathing the only sounds in the infirmary. It would be almost eerie, if the noise didn’t mean they were all alive. 

“The villains showed up when we first got into the USJ,” Izuku said, voice quiet and heavy. “We tried to get out, but we weren’t fast enough. One teleported everyone around the USJ. I ended up in the flood zone with Tsuyu. A…a villain tried- he tried to…he tried to kill me. Tsuyu got me out of the- the water, just in time.”

“So they put the frog and the cat in the water zone?” Shinsou raised an eyebrow, making Izuku smile, even if it was a tiny one. 

“Yeah. We were on the ship, out of the water. I had to teleport us off before a villain sank the ship.” Izuku heard Hitoshi breath in sharply, but he kept talking. “We ended up in the plaza. The main villains were there and…and your dad. They had this- this thing, they called it a- a Nomu. It was…it was terrible, Shin.”

Izuku pulled his feet up onto the chair, legs like a shield between the bad memories and him. “It was like someone had taken magic and creatures and stuffed them all into something not alive but not entirely dead. It was…it was meant to kill All Might. One word and it- and it a-attacked Aizawa-s-sensei. He didn’t have a chance to- to fight b-back.”

“What…happened to it?” Shin asked carefully. 

“They told it to kill Eraserhead,” Izuku said, no emotion in his voice. “And I lost control.”

It was quiet in Recovery Girl’s office for a minute. Izuku refused to look up at his best friend, head buried in his arms. Maybe if he had moved faster, or before the Nomu had smashed Aizawa-sensei’s head into the floor, then maybe they wouldn’t be here. His teacher wouldn’t be unconscious in a hospital bed with Izuku’s best friend not saying anything. Why wasn’t he saying anything?

Izuku jolted when he felt a hand touch his arm. He looked up, seeing Shinsou leaning as far off his chair as he dared to. 

“You saved him, Mido, and no one else got hurt. You said Tsuyu was with you, right? And you didn’t hurt her, so don’t blame yourself like I know you are. It was life or death. No one is going to blame you for losing control like that, especially me.”

Izuku nodded smally. Right. Of course Shin wouldn’t blame him. They were friends, and fellow bullied creatures, if anyone was going to understand then it was Shinsou. He could trust him, no matter what. 

A tear broke Izuku from his mental fog. Not his own tears, but his friend’s. His eyes locked onto Shinsou’s face, hidden by a curtain of hair. He was staring at the floor, one hand still on Izuku’s arm. 

Izuku didn’t say a word. He silently shifted into a cat, leaping from his chair over to Shinsou’s. The boy startled for a moment, but let Izuku crawl onto his legs. More tears dropped onto his fur, but Izuku couldn’t care less. 

He meowed, head-butting Shinsou’s chest. His friend croaked a laugh, running a hand through Izuku’s green fur. 

“I’m fine, Mido,” Shinsou said softly. 

Izuku, if he had human vocal cords, which have said “No, you’re not.” He settled for meowing indignantly instead and curling into a ball on Shinsou’s lap. He also knew Shinsou would never move a cat if they were sitting on him, so he won this time. 

“You’re a little gremlin, you know that?”

Izuku meowed again, loudly. 

“Yeah yeah, you’re still growing, I know.” 

Shinsou’s crying had almost stopped now. Izuku was purring, leaning into the hand stroking his head. They were both calmer now, and he was thankful for that. 

“Thank you,” Shin whispered. 

Izuku knew what he meant, and just purred louder. 

~~~~~

Hizashi was…alright. Not good, but not a depressed mess, so, decent. Shouta would be ok, and that’s what mattered. 

He really wanted to scold Midoriya for being reckless, but…it had saved his husband’s life. How could he do that when the kid had only wanted to keep Shouta safe? 

Besides, the kid had only acted when someone’s life was in danger. Hizashi wasn’t about to tell him off for acting like a hero. Not when he himself would’ve done the same thing, albeit louder and with less broken bones. Probably.  

Hizashi left the room to give Hitoshi and Midoriya some space. He knew his son, and what he needed right now was his best friend. Especially since that best friend could turn into a fluffy cat, and was completely willing to if it made Hitoshi feel better. Purring was scientifically shown to heal and improve people’s moods too. 

So Hizashi took his can of coffee and walked to the teacher’s lounge. No one else was inside UA right now, barring maybe Nedzu up in his office strengthening security, so it was a quiet trip. Shouta’s sleeping bag was still in the lounge, he would want it when he woke up. 

He returned to the room with the bright yellow cocoon slung over his shoulder. Hizashi nearly yelled his entrance, but stopped himself. That turned out to be a good idea, because both his son and Midoriya were sleeping. Hitoshi was leaning back against the wall, a dozing green cat in his lap. 

Hizashi smiled softly, pulling out his phone to take a picture. Maybe a couple pictures. They had a bet of how many they could get before the two admitted they had feelings for each other. And they did, Hizashi knew. He’d listened to Hitoshi rant about it to Princess one night when both of them were supposed to be asleep but weren’t. 

Well, there was no reason to wake them up. Hizashi took the chair on the other side of Shouta’s bed, pulling it up as close as it could go. He ran a hand through his husband’s perpetually messy hair, which was so much like their son’s that they looked related by blood. It was ironic, how they weren’t Hitoshi’s biological parents and yet he looked so much like them.

Hizashi took his phone out again. He sent a quick message to Mrs. Midoriya, asking if Izuku could stay over for a sleepover tonight. One of the boys was bound to ask, and Hitoshi looked like he needed it. Having a friend close would help him. Until Shouta woke up, it would be one of the best things Hizashi could do for their son. 

An answer came back almost immediately. He smiled, reassuring Mrs. Midoriya it was no trouble and that Izuku already had a place in their home. Hitoshi had a place in theirs too, he knew. 

Mrs. Midoriya wasn’t a part of the betting pool, mainly because she’d probably monopolize it the instant she was. For such a sweet lady, Hizashi was surprised with how gleeful she was with showing off embarrassing pictures of her son. It had taken all of twenty minutes the first time he’d been over for her to pull out an album of tiny Izuku. 

It was one of the cutest things Hizashi’s ever seen, especially since the kid dressed up in a homemade Eraserhead costume for a few years straight. Call him bias, but seeing a teeny fluffy green kid dressed as his husband, while smiling like it was Christmas day, made his heart melt from how adorable it was. 

Hizashi put his phone down once again, intent on getting at least a bit of sleep before Shuzenji kicked them out. He took Shouta’s limp hand in his own, squeezing it three times. It was how they said “I love you” without actually saying it out loud, since Shouta was a quiet man by nature. Hizashi was willing to scream how much he loved his husband from the rooftops (and had. Multiple times on multiple buildings), and Shouta showed it in tapping three times when he didn’t want to speak. 

Hizashi hoped he woke up soon. Until then, he’d have to settle for naps in a chair with his son and possible son-in-law passed out across from him. 

It would be ok. It would be ok. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but eventually. 

Yeah, eventually.

 

Chapter Text

Izuku woke up and glanced around, not remembering when he had fallen asleep. He saw Mr. Yamada in a chair across from them. The man looked up, smiling kindly when he saw Izuku was awake.

“Hey there, little listener. I know you just woke up, but would you like to have a sleepover at our apartment tonight?”

Izuku said yes, then realized he was still a cat. Seeing as Mr. Yamada couldn’t understand meowing, Izuku had to turn back into a person. Shinsou stirred a bit when Izuku leapt onto the floor, but stayed asleep. 

He changed back into a human, saying yes in actual words this time. 

“Alright then. Your mom already approved it.” Mr. Yamada’s smile slipped some, and he looked down at the hospital bed he was stationed in front of. “I think Hitoshi will need a friend tonight, after everything that’s happened.”

Izuku nodded, curling back up in a chair. As a person this time. Mr. Yamada went back to doing whatever he had before. 

Shin woke up a while later. Izuku was playing on his phone when he felt a weight land on his shoulder. He jumped a bit, but turned and saw it was just his half-asleep friend, who was staring at the screen now too. Izuku went back to his game, Shinsou watching this time. 

(More for the collection, Yamada thought as he snapped a few pictures of the two)

“Hey Pop,” Shinsou called across the room, head still on Izuku’s shoulder. “Can Mido sleep over?”

Izuku stifled his laughter. Mr. Yamada had no doubt guessed his son was going to ask this. The man was smarter than he wanted people to think. 

“Sure, Hitoshi. Do you want to grab some clothes before we leave, Midoriya?”

“Left some at our house if you wanna use those,” Shinsou mumbled. Izuku saw through the thinly veiling motive to keep him from leaving. 

“Oh yeah, I was wondering where those went. I’ll just use the ones I left there, Mr. Yamada, thank you.”

“No problem, little listener. Recovery Girl will probably kick us out in a few minutes, so don’t forget anything you brought here.”

Izuku nodded, humming. Hopefully they could avoid getting bruised shins this time. 

 

The three of them were asked to leave by Recovery Girl soon after (read: chased out by an elderly hero wielding a cane). Izuku and Shinsou trailed behind Mr. Yamada, Izuku rambling about a new hero that had just debuted. He picked apart their powers and described how it could possibly be used. It did its job of distracting Shinsou as they walked.  

The Aizawa-Yamada-Shinsou apartment wasn’t too far from UA. A ten minute walk into the city, actually. They lived on the top floor of their building too. Aizawa claimed it was so no one freaked out when he came in and out of the windows. Izuku had a hunch that it was also because Yamada liked the view and Aizawa couldn’t say no to him. 

Contrary to what anyone in that lobby would say, he walked calmly to elevator. He certainly didn’t sprint inside while Shinsou was racing him. Of course not. 

Izuku waited for Mr. Yamada to unlock the door before he ran in. He hurriedly took off his shoes, Shinsou setting his own down with an amused smile. 

“Princess!” He crowed, seeing the black cat dart around the corner. 

The cat meowed loudly in what Izuku guessed was her shouting “Cat-boy!” which was her nickname for him. Izuku knelt on the floor, scooping up the fluffy mass of fur. She purred as he cradled her and stood back up. 

“Heeeeeello my Princess. How are you doing today?”

Princess yowled, probably saying something about watching birds or getting a new toy. The whole family spoiled her. Izuku did too, to be fair. 

“I swear you like the cat more than me sometimes,” Shinsou joked. 

“Well how can I not love Princess? She like a fluffy little void that blinks back at you.”

“The void screams at 3 am because she wants chicken.”

Izuku laughed, moving farther into the apartment. He had been here enough times to know his way around. Shinsou trailed in after him, Mr. Yamada going to the kitchen. He was probably going to get started on dinner. 

“So are going to play Battleship first or does Princess demand her royal therapist become a cat?”

Izuku snorted at the phrasing. “Games first. I can gossip with Princess while you and your Pop clean up, since you both still insist I can’t help with that.”

“Damn right you aren’t, you’re our guest.”

“A guest that’s over here constantly.”

“Mido, you aren’t going to win this argument.”

“Yeah, but I can still try.”

“Ha. Ha . Come on, I still have to beat you at Battleship.”

“And that’s something you aren’t going to win, Shin.”

“Shut it.”

“And then the dumb kit tried to get coffee. Coffee , Cat-Boy. I’ve seen what it does to him at night. I stopped him, of course, since my kit doesn’t understand yet. He will one day.”

Izuku loved spending time at Shinsou’s house, but getting to talk with Princess was honestly a highlight of his week. She adored having someone to talk to that could understand her. It was also hilarious, since most of their time talking consisted of gossiping about the three that lived in the apartment. 

“And then Dark-Human found him, but you know what he did? He put me on the floor!”

“He didn’t!” Izuku gasped scandalously. 

“He did! I swear my humans would die without me, Cat-Boy. Loud-Human didn’t go to sleep until I took away his fake-ears and hid them. I gave them back in the morning, but he needs sleep. None of them sleep enough.”

“Oh, don’t I know it. Shinsou fell asleep on the floor last week. I was so close to just taking him home and sitting on him until he fell asleep.”

Princess tilted her head, which was adorable. Izuku was also very grateful that she understood which person was which when he used actual names. “Do you want me to do that? I can sit on my humans until they fall asleep. They don’t dare move me.”

“You know what, sure. If they don’t go to sleep on time, sit on them. Especially Shinsou.”

“Alright. Will you be sitting on him until he falls asleep tonight?”

“Uh…no?”

“That sounds like you’re asking permission, Cat-Boy.”

“Um, n-no, Princess. I will not be doing that.”

“Hm, shame. My kit is comfy and warm. And unobservant. Are all humans unobservant?”

“No, not all of them, but-“

“Oh, who am I kidding. Most humans are, but my kit needs to work on it.” Princess started pacing across the room. She was ranting, so Izuku listened and let her. “He doesn’t even realize! Neither do, and if they don’t soon I’m going to scratch them. How can humans be so tall and not notice it! Especially my kit. He’s almost as tall as Dark-Human now. I swear he’ll be as tall as a tree one day.”

Izuku listened patiently as Princess ranted for another few minutes. He honestly had no idea what she was going on about, but she sounded frustrated. Maybe he could help. 

“Princess, is there something I can do?”

She stopped her pacing, watching Izuku carefully. Princess sighed, “No, there’s not much you can do with this problem, Cat-Boy. Sleep-Human and Loud-Human are helping already.”

Oh dear. Mr. Yamada and Ms. Kayama working on a problem together? That either meant it was a villain case or something related to school gossip. Most likely the latter, considering what little of the tirade Izuku had understood. That didn’t usually mean good things for whatever poor students had their attention. 

“Loud-Human is sad, Cat-Boy,” Princess meowed quietly, drawing his attention back to her. “And Dark-Human hasn’t come home yet. Will he be away for a while again?”

Izuku felt his ears flatten. He didn’t liked this part. “Aizawa got hurt, Princess. He’ll be back soon, but not tonight.”

“Oh. Then perhaps I will sleep with Loud-Human tonight. I do not like when my humans are sad.”

“I know, Princess,” Izuku said softly. “I don’t either.”

 

Izuku changed into pajamas before helping set up his bed. It was always in the same place, so it was easy to find. Princess was trotted after him, knowing what he was doing. Shinsou was already in his room, and Mr. Yamada was cleaning some of the apartment. More out of habit if anything, since the three of them didn’t generate a lot of mess. 

It was quiet, usually was, but it felt different without Aizawa-sensei there. Even if the man didn’t talk a lot, they all knew something was missing. 

The lights were off, even if the two didn’t go to sleep yet. They played on their phones and shoved them in each others faces to make the other look at memes. Shinsou’s were mostly vines or cats. Every single time he asked “are you related?” and every time Izuku laughed and showed a picture of a raccoon or opossum in retaliation. 

They did eventually go to sleep though. Izuku was mentally exhausted, and so was Shinsou, so it wasn’t a huge surprise they weren’t being entirely nocturnal tonight. 



“You’re too late”

“Too slow!”

Hands and burning and dust so much dust what had made it?

There was a scream somewhere. Loud and familiar why was it familiar?

Faces and images and places flash in no order with no color or focus yet he knew what they were. A massive beast of shadows and stitches that he can’t stop he can’t stop it why can’t he move faster?

“Game over, hero.”



Izuku sprang out of bed. Images of hands and Nomus and Aizawa still burned into his eyelids. He was breathing fast and his heart was too loud too loud too loud

He had had another nightmare. One of him being too slow and Aizawa getting killed. Of the Nomu slipping away from him and hurting All Might. Once he had even had a dream where he wasn’t a Flerken, and All Might’s time was shortened. 

“Mido? You ‘k?” 

Shinsou’s slurred words dragged him from inside his head. Izuku looked up, seeing his friend sit up groggily. Sometimes he was really thankful for his night vision, which had only gotten better with One for All. 

“You look like Mothman, with glowing eyes.”

Izuku snorted, not able to laugh fully yet. He allowed himself to relax, just a little bit. 

“Or a flashlight. Flashlight eyes, or s’mthin’.”

Shinsou, still very much not awake, rolled out of his bed. Izuku watched with a raised eyebrow as he shuffled over, and then flopped himself over Izuku’s legs. He literally crawled onto the bed and used Izuku as a pillow. 

“Shin, what’re you doing?”

“You had a nightmare,” he stated with confidence only a tired person can have. “Not leavin’ you like that. Nightmares suck.”

“They do, but you can sleep in your own bed, Shin.”

“Don’t wanna. Go to sleep, Mido. Protect ya from monsters. Can’t out monster a Siren.”

“You’re not a monster, Shin.”

“I know, ‘nd you ain’t either. We can be the non-monster club.”

“Sure Shin. You sleep too.”

Izuku was pretty sure it had fallen on deaf ears. Shinsou was already fast asleep on his legs. He wasn’t exactly easy to move either. Izuku resigned himself to sleeping with his best friend as a blanket. 

~~~~~

Hizashi added more pictures to his list of “things to show Shouta when he wakes up.” Midoriya had turned into a cat at some point during the night, and curled into a green ball on top of Hitoshi’s back. Hitoshi had also somehow fallen asleep on Midoriya’s bed, but sideways.

Hizashi was a tad bit confused about the whole situation, but he wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth. His son was sleeping and being affectionate to someone that wasn’t Hizashi or Shouta. It was a victory.

 

Chapter Text

Aizawa woke up the next day. Izuku was already back home when he did. He only knew because Shinsou texted him, and then didn’t respond to anything for another hour. 

Izuku was happy to patiently wait and get a bit more sleep. It was currently Saturday, and they would have school again on Monday, so that would be interesting. Knowing Aizawa-sensei, he would try and teach again by then.

Since Izuku also knew Mr. Yamada and Shinsou, he figured they would do something to stop him. Whether that meant keeping him in the infirmary or making sure he didn’t aggravate his injuries remained to be seen. 

Izuku would probably be roped into whatever it was. He’s been told his puppy eyes (kitten eyes?) could be weaponized against his teacher, but Izuku didn’t quite believe that. His calm and collected teacher falling for a trick he used as a little kid? Not likely. 

Izuku shrugged, and went back to his catnap. 

 

Monday came quicker than Izuku thought it would. He left with hugs and assurances to Mom that he’d be ok, and took off for UA once again. It felt a bit weird this time. Had it really been less than a week since the USJ? Less than a week since they had been forced to be brave in the face of real villains?

Izuku felt older now. Being attacked by a villain strong enough to kill All Might was probably why. 

He walked into his classroom, and instantly knew his classmates felt the same. 

Izuku set his things down, looking up when Uraraka’s shadow fell across his desk. She was smiling, but Izuku could tell it wasn’t entirely real. He tried to smile back anyway. 

“Hey, are you doing ok?” She asked quietly. 

“Yeah, I’m alright. You weren’t hurt, were you?”

“No, no I’m good too. Tsuyu told me about the…about the Nomu. And Aizawa-sensei. Do you know if he’s ok?”

“Yeah, Shin-“

“Get to your seats.”

Izuku sighed, knowing who was in the doorway. He turned around, and jolted at the sheer amount of bandages still covering Aizawa-sensei. Their teacher looked more mummy than alive human. Judging from the surrounding gasps, everyone else was just as surprised. 

“Aizawa-sensei? Are you ok to be…well, standing?” Someone in the class asked. Izuku guessed it was Ashido. 

“Recovery Girl said I was fine to teach. Now get to your seats, we have important matters to discuss.”

Everyone quickly scurried to their seats and waited silently. A new record for them, Izuku thought. 

“The sports festival is coming up.” Aizawa-sensei sounded like he very much wished it wasn’t. 

There were cheers, and Izuku managed another small smile. The sports festival was something everyone looked forward to. A place to show their skills and prove they belonged here. Or, for others to show they deserved to be moved up. Shinsou would be fighting his hardest against everyone. All to try and win a place in the hero course. 

“Sensei, is that really a good idea?” Yaoyorozu piped up from the back of the room. 

“The security will be double what it has been in previous years. Villains would have to be stupid to try and attack then.” Aizawa-sensei sighed, rubbing at his bandages. “You will have time to train during hero class. But right now we will be learning about ways to tell if someone has a touch-based Quirk. To start with-“

Izuku was listening, he really was, but that got increasingly hard as he heard something moving in the ceiling. It wasn’t a rodent, since it didn’t sound like scampering, but it did sound like something big. Something that was definitely not a rat. 

He didn’t move as the thing got closer. It was pretty easy to figure out what it was. For him, at least. Izuku didn’t react as Jirou and Shoji both looked around in confusion. 

He did a very good job of not looking up as the vent grate quietly popped off the ceiling. Nor when a purple head of hair peeked down into the classroom. No one else had noticed Shinsou quite yet, the two people with hearing Quirks not thinking to look up. 

Shinsou dropped from the vent down to the floor in a well-practiced move, landing quietly in the space between Izuku and the desk behind him. Said desk was empty, since it was where Mineta had sat. 

Half the class looked over at Shinsou, his landing still making a small bit of noise. The other half hadn’t noticed. Shinsou stayed crouched, not drawing any more attention to himself.  

Izuku grinned as he looked behind him. Shinsou shot him a smirk, sitting at the empty desk before everyone else could notice the out-of-place student. Izuku turned around to face the front again. He knew why Shinsou was here, of course he did, and the entrance had honestly been expected. 

In the end, it took fifteen minutes for Aizawa-sensei to notice the new addition to the class. It would’ve taken longer if Iida hadn’t (very loudly) asked why Shinsou was there. Izuku maintained his innocent face as their teacher whipped around to face them. 

“Mind explaining yourself?” 

“Present Mic-sensei sent me. He said something about making sure Eraserhead didn’t push himself too much?”

“Well you can go back and tell Present Mic I’m just fine.”

“Aizawa-sensei! Who is that?” 

Their teacher turned a dead-eyed stare on Kaminari, who was the one to ask. The rest of the class instantly turned to the new person. All of them looked very confused as to how he got there. 

“This is Shinsou, a Gen Ed student who Present Mic apparently sent to babysit me. You can leave now.”

“But Present Mic said to stay here for the rest of class,” Shinsou said, putting up the I’m-innocent-and-don’t-know-any-better act. Izuku had to tamp down a smile. “And I like learning about heroics anyway.”

“Awww, is Mic your best friend Sensei?” 

Izuku subtly put a hand to his mouth to hide his smile. He heard Shinsou snort behind him, likely doing the same thing. “Best Friends” was one way to put it. 

“Unfortunately.” Izuku wanted to point out that Aizawa and Yamada said ‘I love you’ in front of him and Shinsou multiple times a day. That would probably get him detention for the rest of the school year though. “Fine. Shinsou, you can stay, but if you cause any trouble I’m sending you back to Mic with a note for him.”

Izuku turned slightly, catching his friend’s wild grin. He returned it for a second, making sure no one could see or suspect anything, and then paid attention once again. Today was going to be interesting

 

They ended that class with Aizawa only having to shoot the two of them three Dad Glares™ and being involved in two things no one could prove Izuku or Shinsou had anything to do with. Suffice to say Aizawa-sensei was done with them by the time lunch rolled around. 

Shinsou stuck by Izuku’s side as they left to go get food. Uraraka, Iida, and Tsuyu joked and laughed with the two of them like Shinsou had always been a part of their group. 

Shinsou joked that Izuku and Tsuyu were long-lost cousins. His reasoning being that they were both green and an animal type creature. Izuku was pretty sure his friends were confused about that part, but he wasn’t about to tell them quite yet. Maybe after the sports festival. 

They all sat at the same table that they usually did. Shinsou went to go get food with Iida, since the other three had packed something. It left Izuku with the two girls. 

“So, Midoriya,” Uraraka started, and Izuku instantly knew he would regret staying behind. “Tsuyu told me something…interesting.”

“In the USJ you said something about ‘mine’s father,’ I was curious who you were talking about,” Tsuyu croaked.  

Izuku froze, both mentally and physically. He…at the USJ he hadn’t entirely been there. Not mentally. And he had…he had said ‘mine’s father?’ Oh no. No no no no no NO.

“Yeah!” Uraraka chirped, oblivious to his inner turmoil. “It’s mostly creatures that call people theirs, so I was wondering what it meant to you? Like for my kind it means they’re close friends or family.”

Izuku stayed silent, the words running on a loop in his head. 

“…Midoriya?”

“It uh, it- it means a lot…to my kind.”

“I knew it! So who were you talking about? Have you met those villains before? Did they hurt your family or something? Do you need Ashido and I to be your bodyguards again?”

“N-no, I haven’t- I haven’t met them before.”

“Then who were you talking about, ribbit?”

“Um…n-no one.”

“Nope, no lying, Midoriya. Is Aizawa-sensei-”

“What do want me to say?” Izuku snapped, and something in him shattered into fractals. “That my kind only call things theirs when they love them? That I was calling my best friend ‘mine’ and my cat side has apparently realized feelings before my human side could? That I’m now freaking out because even I don’t know what I’m feeling ?”

The table was silent. Izuku slowly realized he was breaking heavy, on the verge of crying and panicking. He was just thankful his voice hadn’t risen, or else the whole school might hear his new realization. 

“Midoriya, are you ok?” Tsuyu asked quietly. 

“No. I’ll be b-back, don’t wait for m-me.”

With that, Izuku turned and fled at a speed-walk. He escaped the lunchroom in a few seconds and was in the quiet halls. People hardly glanced at him as he retreated to the emptier halls. He just needed somewhere where no one could see him break. 

Once he reached a deserted hall, Izuku crawled into the nearest vent. He shifted into a cat and ran deeper into the walls on silent feet. His emotions were running wild in his mind, a mantra of “mine mine mine I called him mine ” on repeat in his head. 

Flerkens call people they love as family theirs, like normal cats. Problem is, he doesn’t see Shinsou as a brother. Only now is he realizing that his feelings probably go beyond friendship. Only now that he’s hearing what he said in the USJ. 

He didn’t blame the two girls though. There was no way they could have known what it meant to him. Everyone was stressed and Uraraka probably thought it would be something to make them all smile and laugh. So Izuku couldn’t blame her or Tsuyu for what happened.

But he couldn’t face it. Not when calling a significant other “mine” is like giving someone a ring to Flerkens. Not when it’s the equivalent of saying “I am yours, and you are mine.” 

He had asked if it was bad when he was little, since it sounded like calling someone property. Mom had assured him with the long version, saying they were just shortening it. Izuku hadn’t thought twice about it until today. 

What was he going to do? He couldn’t avoid Shinsou forever. It would hurt too much to be away from his best friend, even if his mind was currently screeching at him. Could he act normal? Make the feelings go away somehow? 

Why did feelings have to be so confusing anyway?

Izuku curled into a ball in the vents. He guessed he was probably around Aizawa’s classroom by now. He could jump down just before class started, that way no one worried about him. Acting was easy. Izuku had been acting most of his life. 

“Mido?”

Oh, Shin was looking for him. He sounded a ways away yet. Izuku didn’t move. 

“Mido? You here?”

He was closer now. The static in Izuku’s mind began to calm slightly. 

“Mido? Mi - oh, there you are.”

Izuku felt the vents rattle a bit with Shinsou’s weigh, slowly crawling closer to him. He finally lifted his head, green eyes connecting with purple. Shinsou scooted forward enough to be within arms reach of Izuku, on his belly with how small the vents were. 

“Hey, Floaty Girl and Froggy said you ran off after they mentioned last week,” Shinsou said softly. Izuku realized he was purposefully not mentioning the USJ or touching him without permission. 

Izuku threw his panicked thoughts out the window and got up. He walked over to Shinsou, and curled into a ball between his arms. Screw his confusing feelings. This was where he wanted to be, with his best friend. He could ignore it for a while. There was no way he was going to risk what he had right now. Not when it was already so much better than before. 

He didn’t realize he’d been purring until Shinsou hummed along. His friend pulled his arms around Izuku like a protective wall. Right here, right now, Izuku swore he’d never felt safer. 

“You ok now?”

Izuku went to answer, and all that came out was a gravelly meow. He mentally grumbled, before shifting back into a person. Shinsou retracted his arms so they wouldn’t get squished on the metal above them. That didn’t prevent Izuku’s head from now being snuggled into Shinsou’s shoulder.

He felt Shinsou tense, but he didn’t move. Izuku didn’t stop purring and stayed where he was. His friend relaxed after a second. 

“Thank you,” Izuku whispered in the silence. 

“So you’re ok now?”

“Yeah, sorry I ran off. They asked me something I didn’t know how to answer, so I left.”

“Guessing it wasn’t about math then, maybe a question on how not to break bones.”

Shiiiiiiin that was months ago!”

“And yet you still break limbs every time you go over your limit. Come on, class’ll start soon.”

“Class is below us, just need our bags. Think your dad’ll notice if we don’t have them?”

“Not if I keep distracting him by imitating other students.”

“I still can’t believe Yamada taught you that Siren trick.”

“He enjoys chaos. Why else would he have three jobs?”

“True.”

Izuku backed up, shimmying backwards to get to the vent. It was the same one Shinsou had used that morning to invade class. Honestly, Izuku was a bit surprised Shinsou didn’t keep track of where he’d been going. Meh, he’d probably just lost track or something.

The grate popped off, and Izuku poked his head in. No one else was there yet. Well, student wise. Aizawa-sensei was asleep in his cocoon under his desk. Iida would probably be here in a few minutes though. 

The two of them dropped into the classroom quietly. With nothing to do for a few minutes, and not enough time to go get their backpacks, they sat and talked. Nothing too important. Mostly it was just Izuku rambling about some new hero while Shinsou listened. It was nice though. It was normal. 

It let Izuku almost forget what had happened earlier. 

 

Bonus:

There was something skittering- no, buzzing. It was annoying, whatever it was. Hitoshi was trying to focus on how to make his voice sound like Ashido’s, and some random animal or whatever that was, was making that hard. 

It looked like it was bothering Jirou too. Shoji was better off, since he could essentially turn off his super-hearing. Jirou couldn’t though.

Good thing he was currently sitting behind a bug-hunter then. 

Hitoshi leaned forward and tapped Mido’s shoulder. He didn’t jump, instead tilting his head to let him know he was listening.

“Bug or something. It’s bothering Jirou and I can’t focus, think you can hear where it is so I can get rid of it?”

Midoriya nodded, only slightly, and shifted his cat ears. Almost instantly they were swiveling around, taking in all the noises around them. A few classmates took notice, but mostly just shrugged and went about their business. 

Hitoshi could tell Mido found the bug when his ears stopped moving. His friend glanced around, and upon seeing no one watching, shifted into a full cat. Oh dear. 

The now green cat gracefully leaped off the chair and onto the floor. He stalked towards the back corner of the room, but stopped almost next to Hitoshi. Well, that explained why he could hear it. 

Mido did the recalibrating butt-wiggle thing cats do, and pounced on some bug Hitoshi didn’t notice. It was tucked in the corner of the wall. Cat-doriya turned back to Hitoshi with what looked like a beetle in his mouth. He knew what his friend was going to do a second before he actually did it. 

Midoriya leapt onto his desk, drawing the attention of a few curious people. He proudly dropped the dead bug on the desk before going back to his own. 

Hitoshi mentally sighed. At least Mido hadn’t tried to give it to Pop. That was an absolute disaster the first time it happened. Pop had broken every window on their floor and wouldn’t get down from on top of the fridge until Dad dragged him down. That bug had been put outside near the rosebush they had on the balcony, since it was still alive. 

This bug, however, was decidedly dead. Midoriya turned back into a person at his desk, paying attention to whatever Dad was saying once again. Hitoshi very quietly took a tissue from his bag and hid away the beetle. 

He’d throw it away after school, where he couldn’t hurt Izuku’s feelings about his present. Cats took that thing very seriously, apparently. Midoriya got all pouty if he immediately threw away whatever dead thing he’d brought. At least he’d started bringing things like cool leaves and rocks instead of dead rodents. That made his parents jump a lot less. 

They went about their day, most of the class none the wiser to Hitoshi having a dead beetle in his backpack. Jirou gave him a nod after classes were over, so Hitoshi counted that as a win. 

Tomorrow it’d be back to normal, with him in 1-C. Just until the sports festival, he reminded himself. Just until then, and then he’d be a hero. 

He was going to prove all the bullies wrong. He was going to be a hero, and he’d do it with his best friend by his side.

Chapter Text

The sports festival was one week away, and everyone was getting hyped for it. Izuku knew most of his class was excited, at least. Uraraka somehow gave off an aura that was the embodiment of “I’m going to win, and I will crush anyone that tries to stop me.” It was just a tad bit intimidating. 

Then there was Shinsou. Who refused to leave the UA gym some days until it was dark out. Izuku very kindly dragged him from doing more push-ups and forced his friend to take a nap more than once. He may have also asked Princess to make sure he actually slept at home. If Shin suspected anything, then he didn’t bring it up. 

Izuku did try and call him out for it, but Shin just called him a hypocrite. He huffed, since he didn’t think he had been that bad when he was preparing for his entrance exam. Shinsou begged to differ apparently. 

One of the best parts about this week though, was that they were finally getting more sparring lessons. Izuku was already quite good at hand-to-hand, but there was still a lot he could improve on. His classmates would prove a new, but probably fun, challenge. Especially today. 

Aizawa-sensei and All Might waited for everyone to quiet down before giving instructions. It didn’t take too long, which was a miracle in itself since they were teenagers. 

“Today, we will be fighting with Quirks!” All Might announced with a flourish. Anything else he said was drowned out by the cheering. 

Aizawa used his own Quirk, eyes flashing red, which made them all quiet again. “This will still be a sparring lesson, but you will be using your Quirks to try and win. No intentionally injuring, maiming, or otherwise purposefully hurting someone so bad they have to go see Recovery Girl. Am I understood?”

Nineteen heads nodded, and they got split into pairs. One v one in specific fields, with the odd student taking turns with some of the others. All Might and Aizawa-sensei would be supervising all of it and stepping in if they needed to. 

Izuku waited patiently to learn who he’d be paired with. Fighting with Quirks was something he was a bit behind in, considering how late he got everything. Even his half-shifting had only been discovered in middle school. 

“Midoriya, you’re fighting Ojiro.”

Izuku smiled brightly, and quickly found his fighting partner. Ojiro was a good person, and he had a tail! Albeit one much more powerful than Izuku’s, but it was still really cool! 

“Choose one of the fields to spar in and begin. You know the rules.”

Everyone nodded, and went to find their own space to fight. After taking off his shoes, Izuku went ahead and half-shifted. He would make sure to not use his claws though, since Aizawa said no sending people to Recovery Girl. It just made it easier to not have shoes on when he shifted.

The two of them were momentarily distracted by Ashido’s loud and dramatic gasp. Both Izuku and Ojiro turned to look at her, sharing confused looks. She was bouncing up to them, Kirishima trailing behind her. They were probably partners for sparring, Izuku guessed. 

“You two are tail buddies!” She squealed. “Kiri and I are the horn buddies, and you guys are the tail buddies!”

The four of them broke out into laughter before Aizawa-sensei called for them to get a move on. Izuku was beaming as he and Ojiro took opposite sides of a field. 

Without much warning, the two shot towards each other. Izuku was light on his toes, the claws on his feet functioning more like a cheetah’s than a house cat’s right now. Ojiro used his powerful tail to propel himself forward. If they weren’t currently fighting, Izuku would’ve asked how he learned to do that. 

They didn’t collide so much as feint around each other. Izuku skidded to the side, tail giving him more balance than he had ever had before getting One for All, and swung a punch at Ojiro’s shoulder.

Ojiro dodged by falling back on his tail and using it as another limb. It reminded Izuku of a kangaroo. He flung himself backwards, and away from Izuku. Which was awesome . How could he do that? Was his tail stronger than his other limbs? Could he use it to climb too?

Izuku train of thought was cut off by a kick flying at his stomach. He stifled a yelp, and caught it. Ojiro’s movement stuttered, like he was surprised, but it was gone a moment later. His other leg came up to try and kick Izuku’s jaw. 

See, he could’ve just dropped Ojiro. He could’ve even flung him away using One for All. But what did he do instead? The smart thing? No, of course not. He listened to what his instincts were telling him to do. (He honestly doesn’t know why he listened to it anymore. They don’t help a whole lot)

(He may also still be bitter and freaking out over the whole romantic feelings thing)

Izuku, knowing they were technically fighting using Quirks, opened his mouth wide. He had time to see Ojiro’s eyes widen almost comically large before he was gone. 

Izuku stood there for a moment, wondering what he was supposed to do next. He …technically won? Why had he even done that? 

Well, at least he was getting over his fear of using his Flerken powers. 

“Midoriya!” Aizawa-sensei called, grabbing his attention. The man looked and sounded exasperated. 

“You said we could use our Quirks!” Izuku defended, feeling his tail bristle. Huh, that was a new and very weird feeling. In all honesty, he was more afraid of disappointing his teachers than whatever Ojiro thought of being eaten. 

“Ok, yes, we did say that,” Aizawa sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. “In that case, Midoriya, no eating people during Quirk exercises unless told otherwise or you think it’s absolutely necessary. Understand?”

“Yes Aizawa-sensei.”

“Good. Spit Ojiro out and continue.”

Aizawa-sensei walked off to deal with another group, leaving Izuku to do as he was told. He pretended not to hear all the confused, and worried, conversations around him. 

Izuku set Ojiro back on the ground. The boy looked a bit shell shocked, but otherwise unharmed. He blinked, shaking himself off even though he was dry. 

“That…was weird.”

“S-sorry. I di-didn’t mean to- to do that. Are you ok?”

“Yeah, I’m alright. That’s not something a normal cat morph can do though, is it?”

“Probably ‘cause I’m not a da- I’m not a cat morph. Ready to go again?”

“Uh, yeah, I’m ready.”

Izuku, done with talking about being a Flerken, spun and whacked Ojiro with his tail. It didn’t hurt him much, but it did an amazing job of distracting him from Izuku’s haymaker. 

~~~~~

Lunch was buzzing with conversations. A lot of them, in 1-A at least, centered around Izuku being able to eat people and have them come out alive. Everyone was confused about him. 

And he was reveling in it. There was a reason most of the teachers (other than Aizawa-sensei) called him Chaos Child, after all. 

Logically, Izuku knew he’d have to tell them he was a Flerken one day. They would be classmates for three years, so it was bound to happen eventually. Not to mention they would probably all stay friends even after graduation. Someday he’d have to deal with them finding out. 

That day was not today though. For now, he was content to eat lunch and roam the halls. Shin was napping in the teachers lounge after Yamada forced him to eat. Izuku only left once his friend was out cold on the couch they had in there. 

It was quiet in the abandoned halls of UA. Izuku trotted along as a green cat. There were no students to try and pick him up or throw him outside. Just the quiet pitter-patter of his own heart and near-silent footsteps. 

There weren’t any critters in the building. He checked. All the teachers were in the lounge or doing paperwork in their classrooms. It was peaceful, something that wouldn’t last long. Not once the sports festival arrived. 

Then his ears caught something. Quiet, stuttering breathing. Crying. Izuku immediately veered towards the noise. 

It took a minute, but he eventually found a person in the halls. It was Kouda, hunched in a ball on the floor with his back pressed against the wall. Yeah, he was definitely the one crying, albeit quietly. Izuku very cautiously made his way over to his sobbing classmate. 

Kouda didn’t look up until Izuku nudged the boy’s arm with his small nose. His head shot up then, though he calmed down when he saw it was a cat instead of a person. 

“H-hello, little cat,” Kouda whispered. He put out a hand for Izuku to sniff, like he was a real cat. Izuku went with it anyway. “What are you doing in the halls of UA? You can answer, I can understand animals.”

Ooh that was a cool power, Izuku thought silently. The last thing he needed was Kouda asking how a cat knew so much about heroics. But there were so many things that could be done with something like that! Especially for an underground hero. 

Instead of answering, Izuku rubbed his head against Kouda’s hand. The boy laughed, rubbing his head just like Izuku wanted him to. He had been told it was calming to do that. 

“Do you live here on campus? I know one of my classmates is a cat morph, maybe you could be friends.”

Izuku wanted to laugh, but he didn’t. Instead he flopped on the floor to let Kouda pet him more. 

“We were doing battle training today, you know. The sports festival is next week. I don’t…I’m not good at it. I can’t fight. I need to know how to- to be a hero, but I- I don’t want to hurt people that- that didn’t do anything wrong.”

Kouda sighed heavily, wiping away the tears still dripping down his face. Izuku got back up and put his front paws on Kouda’s leg. 

No cry ,” Izuku meowed, head-butting Kouda’s leg. “ Person no cry. Fighting hard, take time.”

Kouda froze, going stiff while staring at Izuku with wide eyes. Izuku tilted his head curiously. 

“You’re not…you don’t- you’re not a cat.”

Izuku did his best smile in cat form. “Not cat, he agreed. 

“What are…what are you?”

No tell. Find out eventually. Feel better?”

“Yeah, yeah I’m feeling better now. Thank you, Not-Cat.”

Izuku laughed, which came out more like a halting meow. He backed up, all four paws on the ground again. 

“Goodbye, Friend of Creatures.”

With that, Izuku turned and walked back down the hallway. He shifted back to human when he got closer to the cafeteria, a smile on his face and a warm feeling in his chest. 

~~~~~

Today’s classes were a tad bit boring. Izuku understood why, of course, but that didn’t mean he was any less jittery. The sports festival was tomorrow, so they weren’t doing any physically taxing activities today. Just classes and schoolwork, like a normal high school. What an odd concept. 

All Might and Aizawa-sensei’s two class periods were being combined for today. They were covering the topic of vigilantism. It was a major subject, one that needed to be understood well, so Izuku understood why they needed an extra long class on it. Aizawa-sensei would probably give them more lessons on it later too, just to make sure they got it.

Vigilantism was a serious topic. Izuku had seen the statistics for people who failed hero exams and new vigilantes appearing, after all. Hopefully everyone else in the class understood it well by the end of this too. 

Right now, Aizawa-sensei and All Might were giving a presentation on it. The lights were off, Aizawa-sensei standing in front of the board with All Might standing in the back. It was calm compared to what the classroom was usually like. 

“The current Quirk Laws state that using one’s Quirk outside of a manner of defense is considered vigilantism. Quirk use is only authorized under a licensed pro’s permission or for someone with a provisional license. It may be excused under a life threatening situation, however-“

Izuku was paying attention, he really was. But then something zoomed across the board. It disappeared a second later, and he dismissed it as him seeing things. Maybe he was just nervous for the festival tomorrow. 

Then it reappeared, seemingly moving under the words on the screen as Aizawa-sensei talked about them. It was a bright dot. A fast moving, bright red, dot. Izuku’s eyes zeroed in on it.

He hardly noticed when he half-shifted, ears pricked forward and tail waving behind him.

The red dot moved again, and Izuku tracked it with his eyes. His thoughts were chatters of broken sentences, a telltale sign that his instincts were taking over. 

Fastfastfast thing. Catch fast thing. Bright. Red. Bugbugbugbug. Gift? Must catch, must catch, must catch. Pounce thing catch thing eat it? Eat bug, bug taste good. 

Izuku got his feet under him (and on top of the chair) while his tail steadied him as he leaned forward. His clawed hands were braced against the desk. Ears were angled forward to act as a radar while the dot kept moving. 

He vaguely saw people looking over at him from the corner of his vision, but Izuku ignored them. He has to try and catch the dot

It stopped moving, hovering under a word on the glowing board. This was his chance. Izuku slowly crawled onto his desk, watching the red thing with laser focus. He shifted his feet slightly, and pounced .

Izuku launched himself from his desk to the front of the room. He might’ve been using One for All; just enough to clear the heads of his classmates. Closer he flew, poised to land on the dot. 

The dot disappeared. Izuku hit the board and rebounded onto the floor. He landed in a crouch, scanning the room with slitted eyes. The confused gazes of the humans meant nothing to him. 

“Midoriya,” came Aizawa-sensei’s long suffering sigh, “What are you doing?” 

“Bug. Catch bug, but bug gone.”

The man blinked slowly, and took his phone out. Izuku, not entirely sure what was going on without being full human, cocked his head to the side. 

“All Might, turn the laser pointer back on.”

“Are…you sure?”

“Turn it on, but shine it on the floor. Everyone else stay at their desks.”

Izuku still didn’t know what was going on, but then the dot reappeared! It blinked into existence near his feet, and he immediately dropped into it. 

He lifted one hand, but it wasn’t there. Izuku looked around for a second, and found it on the floor near a desk. He leapt at it. 

Yet again, the red dot-bug-thing evaded his capture. Even when he dug his claws in! (Aizawa would have to explain to Nedzu why there were now scratch marks on the floor of 1-A’s classroom)

Then he looked up, and saw a thing in All Might’s hand. It looked weird, like a short metal stick. And it was glowing red. 

“Uh, young Midoriya? Why are you looking at me like that?”

Izuku didn’t hear him, too focused on the red thing. He crouched down again, wiggling to readjust his aim again. 

“Young Midoriya?”

Izuku moved so fast everyone had trouble keeping track of him. He turned into a green blur as he darted across the entire room. Aizawa moved his phone to track his student. 

“My boy whAT IN GODS NAME!”

The class looked to the back of the room to see…something. They weren’t entirely sure what was happening. Izuku was hanging upside-down off of All Might’s arm, fluffy green tail wrapped around the hero’s shoulder and arm like a monkey. He was hanging on with one arm, claws latched onto All Might’s suit. 

Izuku was also reaching for the laser pointer in All Might’s hand like a little kid with cookies. All Might was moving his hand, and Izuku with it, in an attempt to keep it out of his reach. It wasn’t working very well. 

“My boy! Get down from there!”

“Catch it! Catch red bug!”

Young Midoriya!

The class erupted into giggles, and unseen to them, Aizawa smiled behind his phone. This was a new one. 

Izuku did eventually detach from All Might’s arm. Albeit with the laser pointer in his mouth. When he finally came to his senses Aizawa had a new video to show his family and his class had more questions than answers. 

Inko now had more embarrassing material of her kit too.

Chapter Text

Izuku just wanted lunch. He wanted to eat his food, talk to his friends, and maybe take a nap. Definitely take a nap. 

But noooooo. Half the school had to be blocking their door! Izuku felt a growl rumble in his throat as he stared at all the students blocking the doorway. There was 1-B, the gen ed courses, even some people from the support and business courses. Why. Of all the days, why were they here on the one that Izuku was more tired than usual?

And Katsuki was yelling at them. Lovely. Absolutely wonderful. Can you hear the sarcasm in his thoughts?

Then he heard a familiar voice. 

“Well I came to officially meet the rest of 1-A, but all I’m seeing are a bunch of arrogant asses. Guess it won’t be hard to beat you.”

Oh no. Why was Shinsou here? And why was he provoking Katsuki? 

“THE FUCK DID YOU JUST SAY?!”

“Oh, could you not hear me over the sound of your ego ? I said I’m going to win, no matter what it takes. Maybe it’ll be easier than I thought if everyone in the hero course is like…you.”

“Shin?”

Shinsou jolted, the aggressive sneer melting off his face like candle wax. “Oh, Mido. Uh…hi?”

“Shin,” Izuku sighed, “Why are you trying to make Katsuki explode? You’ve met some of us.”

He shrugged nonchalantly, like he wasn’t slowly shifting away from Izuku. “It’s fun, and I really only know you. You’re one of the only challenges in the hero course.”

“Hey!” Yelled a slightly metallic looking kid. “Don’t discount us in 1-B!”

“Sorry, but I’m pretty sure Mido can kick your ass.”

“W-well, maybe, but we’re still strong!”

“Can we please just go to lunch?” Izuku groaned, glaring at the people surrounding their doorway. 

“Hmph, yeah, I’ve seen enough. I meant what I said, heroes. I’m going to win, and none of you can stop me. See you later.”

With that, Shinsou walked away. His words echoed like a promise inside their ears. Izuku sighed again as the crowd finally started to dissipate. 

The sports festival was going to be interesting this year. There was no doubt about that. 

~~~~~

Everything was loud . Even Izuku’s normal ears hurt. Well, not so much now, since they were inside one of the waiting rooms. All the screaming and chatter of thousands of people was muffled by the walls, thank goodness. Hopefully the crowds wouldn’t make half-shifting impossible.

Iida was trying to organize them all. He was a good class rep, but right now Izuku was just trying not to panic. He was sitting in one of the chairs and tapping a rhythm onto the table. Everyone was milling about until they were called. Izuku wished Shin was here. 

And then Todoroki decided to talk to him. More specifically, challenge him.

“Midoriya, you are arguably one of the strongest in the class. But you lack control. I’m going to beat you.”

There was an instant uproar from his classmates, mostly telling Todoroki to chill. Izuku got to his feet silently, and the room fell quiet once again. He looked Todoroki in the eyes, something he’d been told was intimidating since his, you know, glowed

“Fine. I accept your challenge, Todoroki. But know that I won’t give it my all unless you do too.”

“Guys,” Kirishima said, putting himself between the two, “Aren’t we all just give it our all in the festival? Why do we need to challenge each other?”

“Because he’s not giving it his all,” Izuku growled quietly. “But I guess I’d be a hypocrite if I lectured you on that, huh Todoroki. Well, good luck today. We’re all going to need it.”

Izuku was the first one out the door when the warning bell rang, leaving the rest of the class behind with gaping mouths. He did wait in the hall for them though. Iida would probably go on a rant that likely would involve Izuku getting hit over the head on accident if he didn’t. Well, hopefully it would be an accident. 

They walked out into the stadium when Present Mic, who had Aizawa-sensei as his co-host, called them up. Izuku wondered if Mic would slip up and call Aizawa either his “first listener” or “kitten.” It was what Mic called him on his radio show to keep Aizawa’s identity secret. Not that anyone besides their class could really connect the dots, since Aizawa was both hidden in the booth and wrapped up like a mummy still. That wouldn’t stop people from theorizing though. 

The stadium became deafeningly loud once more as they all stepped into the sun. Izuku squinted and covered his ears. It was way too loud. All the noise was disorienting.

The other classes came in after them. There was a bit less cheering for them, which Izuku found unfair. He had seen what the support students could do (could blow up) and just how good some of the business students were this year. That wasn’t even mentioning gen ed, but Izuku was a tad bit bias for them. 

He still hadn’t figured out the whole “I love my best friend and I’m starting to realize how much I want to hold his hand and maybe kiss him” thing. For the time being, he was ignoring it. Maybe it would go away. 

(It would not)

He listened as Midnight called up the highest exam scorer to give their speech. It was Katsuki, because of course it was. He was strong and blowing up robots was like heaven for him. Izuku wondered if it would have been him walking up there if he had taken the normal exam. Suddenly he was very grateful Nedzu had recommended him. 

Katsuki stood on the stage, and scanned the crowd. His eyes fell on Izuku, and didn’t move. 

“I’m going to win, and prove that I'm the best hero. So bring it on.”

Students and the crowds alike roared in outrage at Katsuki’s “speech.” He calmly walked back down the stairs and into the mass of students. Izuku watched, processing the words he’d said. 

He hadn’t said “I’m better” or “Quit because you have no chance against me.” No, Katsuki had said he was going to win, and prove he was a good hero. It was a promise. An arrogant sounding one, but a promise nonetheless. 

And Izuku still remembered what he’d said on that street more than a year ago. Evidently, so did Katsuki. 

“With that, er, speech, we move on to the first event!” Midnight’s words sent cheers through the stadium again. “And this year it will be…”

Izuku already knew what it was. No one had told him, but there was a certain pattern to the sports festival events. He hadn’t taken lessons with Nedzu for nothing.

“An obstacle course!”

Yep, just as he’d predicted. They’d probably use the robots from the exam somewhere, and something explosive if the receipts he’d seen on Nedzu’s desk last week were any indicator. The other one would be a mystery for now. 

That mostly just left how Izuku was going to deal with it. He was fast and strong, but so were his classmates. Todoroki would likely try to get ahead right out of the gate too. Oh yeah, gate. How were they supposed to get out? There was a tunnel, but it was far too narrow. Maybe-

“Midoriya? You ok?”

Izuku’s head snapped up, seeing Uraraka and Iida looking at him worriedly. Huh, he’d been mumbling again. He hadn’t done that out loud on accident for a while now. 

“Oh, I’m fine. Just trying to predict the events.”

“Really? That is truly impressive, Midoriya!” Iida said a bit too loudly. 

Anything the two were about to say got cut off by Midnight counting down. Izuku tensed, ready to go. He needed enough room first, but if it worked then he’d be ahead of whatever Todoroki was planning. 

“Go!”

Izuku stayed planted where he was. People rushed around him, in a hurry to get out of the stadium. Most of them didn’t realize the bottleneck the tunnel had. Just a while more. Then he could act. 

A few seconds later and almost everyone was crammed inside the tunnel. Izuku took a deep breath. Here goes nothing, he thought to himself. 

Izuku folded in on himself, and the familiar feeling of teleporting washing over him. He took a second to revel in the quiet of nowhere. There were no screaming crowds, no cold classmates, and no people to watch him. It was peaceful.

But it couldn’t last. Izuku snapped back into reality a second later as he came out of teleporting. The sun hit his face, and there was solid ground beneath his feet again. 

Then he heard the distinct shrieking of metal. Izuku’s eyes shot open just in time for him to dive to his left. A robot claw slammed into the dirt where he had been a second before. 

Izuku narrowed his eyes at the two pointer. It’s red laser was locked onto him, but Izuku hardly blinked at that. The question was whether it was worth it to just run. 

A blast of cold hit Izuku’s back. He didn’t dare turn around, not with a two pointer in front of him, but he did glance over. 

The tunnel was frozen. Frost coated the walls and an actual sheet of ice rooted people to the ground. It would take a while to get out of. 

Unless, of course, you were in 1-A. In which case Izuku could already see some of his classmates sprinting out of the tunnel. Todoroki was leading them. 

Huh, he’d teleported farther than he’d originally thought. 

Izuku heard more screeching metal, and broke out into a sprint. If he wanted to make his mark, if he wanted to show the world he was here like All Might said, then he had to stay ahead. 

Then he saw the zero pointers. They towered over everything like titans. He’d rescued Uraraka from one of these back in the entrance exam, but even then he’d just pulled her from the rubble. Izuku didn’t know if he could destroy them without breaking something. Specifically his bones. Seeing as there were still two events after this, it wasn’t really worth it to try. 

So Izuku ran through them. Todoroki was catching up, but that was only because Izuku took his time running through the robots. If he hid and dodged then he wouldn’t be noticed by any bots. The bigger ones at least. Taking his time hopefully meant not getting stepped on. 

If he’d known where the end of the course was he could’ve just teleported, but he didn’t actually knew where it was. That and Aizawa-sensei would give him a disappointed look. Izuku shivered just thinking about it. 

So he dodged around the zero pointers. Looking away for even a second could mean getting stepped on, so he decidedly did not do that. 

Then Todoroki froze two of them. They were unstable, ready to crash down in a few seconds. Izuku stuttered to a stop, hissing as Todoroki sprinted past him. Those robots were going to crash onto people. People that would get hurt by the metal behemoths. 

Izuku spun on his heel and ran back. The ice was creaking. 

Some of the students were realizing what Todoroki did. The smart ones stopped and stayed back for now. Most were still running forward though. 

Izuku couldn’t just let them get hurt. 

So he ran in front of the robots before anyone reached them. They had started to fall now. Izuku took a deep breath, and planted his feet. 

He opened his mouth wide, and let his tentacles out. He didn’t like showing off his power, but people were going to get hurt if he didn’t. Their safety meant more than his comfort zone. 

Izuku couldn’t catch both robots, he knew that. They were too heavy. He also couldn’t eat it since it was so big. Tearing off chunks of metal wasn’t fun. It was the Flerken equivalent of biting down on a jawbreaker. Feasible, but it would definitely hurt, and maybe break his jaw.

So instead, Izuku diverted its course. There weren’t any students off to the side, so he threw one of the robots there. It crashed to the ground with shrieks of twisting metal and the thud of steel. Izuku caught his breath, retracting his tentacles. The other robot landed safely on clear ground. 

He turned back, and saw no one had moved much. Izuku sent them all a smile and mock salute, then took off again. There was still ground to cover after all. Besides, he had to catch up to Todoroki. 

Izuku ran faster when he heard people gaining. 

He slowed down, and stopped altogether, when he reached the edge of a pit. A literal hole in the ground that most likely had a net at the bottom. Ropes stretched between pillars of rock, all leading to a solid path on the other side. 

Todoroki was already sliding along one of them, ice crystalizing the rope as he went. A few other people were running ahead of Izuku to attempt it. Even out here he could hear Present Mic yelling about it. 

It…was an exaggerated game of tightrope. Izuku almost wanted to laugh at how easy this would be for him. Who gives a cat a test of balance ?

Izuku full-shifted, drawing a few stares. He ignored them, instead sizing up the ropes. Almost all of them would work. Just as long as no one intentionally shook the rope, that is. 

With no time to lose, Izuku jumped onto the tightrope. It swayed slightly, but nothing more. They were taunt, and easy for him to walk on since he was so small. Izuku smiled to himself. 

He happily walked across the chasm beneath him. Other people were crawling upside-down. Some, like Tsu, were crossing the ropes like he was, albeit bigger. Then there was Iida, who was propelling himself across with his engines. He looked…sort of ridiculous in all honesty. 

Izuku reached the end just ahead of the pack. He shifted back, drawing more stares. He still ignored them, and sprinted forward. 

Todoroki and Katsuki were already at the last obstacle. It was a minefield. Not big enough explosions to maim, but enough to hurt and send someone flying. He needed a plan. Izuku couldn’t just race through it and not get blown up. 

Actually…

~~~~~

Shouto hadn’t seen Midoriya since the beginning of the race. The boy had stupidly ran back. Shouto still didn’t know why he did. The robots had been frozen and were going to fall, so why didn’t he take the chance to get even farther ahead?

Either way, Shouto was winning. Bakugou was the only one nearby, everyone else being still stuck on other obstacles. The two of them were fighting over the landmines. Shouto was trying to freeze them and not step on them at the same time. Bakugou was trying to blow him up while not blowing himself up. 

They were shoving each other like toddlers, but Shouto wasn’t about to stop. There was some twisted satisfaction he got by acting like a child instead of freezing Bakugou. Maybe the old man would get mad over it. That’d be something. 

The two of them were so close to the home stretch. Somehow neither had gotten blown back yet. So close. Almost there. 

Something small and green flashed between their feet. Both Shouto and Bakugou froze where they were. The small green thing was a cat. A green, curly furred cat that Shouto guessed was probably his cat morph classmate. 

A cat that also wasn’t setting off any of the mines as it ran. 

Shouto and Bakugou glanced at each other, then at the cat, then back to each other.

The two promptly broke into a dead sprint after the cat. 

Shouto put less care into what Bakugou was doing, only focused on getting farther even faster. He iced over the mines as he ran. Only a few went off, but by then he had already moved past them. Bakugou was blasting himself forward like a human-rocket-thing. 

They reached the end of the minefield. Shouto stopped using his ice, just outright sprinting after the green cat. Bakugou was flying a good two feet off the ground. 

The cat turned back into Midoriya right before the tunnel. His footsteps hardly even paused as he shifted back, the boy still running as fast as he could. It wasn’t as fast as his cat form, but he was still quick on his feet. Beside Shouto, Bakugou let out unintelligible screams. 

Midoriya crossed the finish line. He crossed it first. He won. There was no margin for Shouto to say it was close, because it wasn’t. By the time he was back inside the stadium Midoriya was already off to the side catching his breath. 

Shouto was second though, with Bakugou third. He didn’t look happy about it. At all. 

In fact, Bakugou was storming up to Midoriya with a look that promised hurt. Shouto isn’t react outwardly, but inside he was already planning how to get away. Because that was a look his father had right before Shouto had a particularly hard “training session.”

Bakugou grabbed Midoriya’s shirt collar while he was distracted. The blonde lifted Midoriya clear off the ground. 

“HOW THE FUCK DID YOU DO THAT, CAT! DID YOU CHEAT SO THE BOMBS DIDN’T SO OFF, HUH?!”

“I didn’t- I didn’t cheat! I was too light to set them off!” Midoriya yelped, struggling against the grip on his shirt. “I figure the- the support department didn’t want- didn’t want wild animals to set- set them off!”

“BULLSHIT!”

Shouto watched from a distance. He idly wondered why Midoriya didn’t fight back like Shouto knew he could. The green-haired boy was powerful, so why didn’t he use it to defend himself?

Shouto tuned back in to what was happening when Bakugou’s screeching suddenly got cut off. He looked over, and saw him walking away from Midoriya, whose purple-haired (and apparently antagonistic) friend was standing beside him. The two of them were talking, but Shouto couldn’t hear what they were saying. 

He didn’t really care, in all honesty. 

Shouto waited for the next event silently. He didn’t need to care. He didn’t need to get invested in his classmate’s quarrels. He just needed to win.

He just needed to prove that he could win without using his father’s damn power. And if that meant beating every one of his classmates, including the supposedly weak cat morph? 

Then so be it.

 

Chapter Text

The next event was a cavalry battle. And first place had ten million points.

Izuku had ten million points. 

“Well,” he said to himself. “Guess I’ll die.”

“You’re not going to die, Mido, stop being so dramatic.”

“Says the person that called out every hero course student the day before the festival.”

“Uh, Midoriya?” 

Izuku turned, seeing Uraraka standing behind them. She looked a bit confused, but was smiling anyway. 

“Can I be on your team?”

Izuku wasn’t ashamed to admit he almost started crying. Shinsou hardly batted an eye, even as Uraraka tried to calm down his frantic “thank you”s. He finally stopped blubbering after a minute, a thought striking him. 

“Shin…do you…”

“Who else would I team up with?”

“…anyone?”

“Who else would I reasonably want to team up with, you idiot. You know I don’t like most people.”

“You could still have any team you want though.”

“Nope. Teaming up with you. Can’t convince me otherwise.”

“…ok. We just need one more person then.”

“What about Iida?” Uraraka suggested. 

“Perfect, now where is- there he is! Iida! Hey Iida!”

His friend turned towards Izuku at his yelling. It wasn’t too hard to spot him, since he was taller than a majority of their year. Izuku went to run over, but stopped. He…maybe had a plan. One that required him to be in two places at one. 

“You guys go get Iida, and if he doesn’t want to be on our team then please find someone else, I trust you guys. I’ll be back in a minute.”

With his friends’ confused stares following him, Izuku sprinted into the stadium hallways. He just had to find someone. If anything, Midnight might delay it if she saw him gone. Not that she was supposed to, but since when had that ever stopped his psuedo-aunt?

Izuku nearly barreled into someone when he was darting around a corner. He was stuttering apologies before he could even look up. 

His anxious mumbling was cut off by a smile when he saw who it was he’d almost ran into. It was just the person he’d been looking for. 

“Aizawa-sensei!”

“Problem Child, why are you running through the halls when you should be preparing for the second event?”

“I needed to ask you something! Can I-“

“No.”

“But you didn’t even know what I was going to ask!”

“You were going to ask if you were allowed to temporarily eat the other teams. No, Midoriya, you cannot eat the other teams.”

“But-“

“No buts, kid. You don’t have to win, you know.”

“I know that, but I want my friends to get a chance at it.”

“Then fight hard, but don’t do something you’ll regret. I know you kid, and if you use your Quirk like that then you’d beat yourself up over it. Hitoshi knows that too. Don’t let the competitiveness blind you into doing something you don’t want to.”

“I- I won’t, Aizawa-sensei. See you after the event!”

Izuku took off for the field again. He ran back over to his team, a new plan already forming in his mind. Hopefully it was enough. 

He understood why Aizawa had said no. As much as he wanted to give his friends the best chance of winning that he could, eating the other teams probably wasn’t a good idea. If he looked back at it tomorrow he might regret it. The event was televised too, so everyone would see it. 

It didn’t stop him from thinking it would’ve been a good plan. That his friends deserved to win. And maybe…maybe him too. 

Izuku was so tired of hiding that he was a Flerken. Especially from his classmates. Even if he knew it was for the best until he was older and stronger. 

He shook his head, and ran back to his friends inside the arena. He found Shin and Uraraka standing not with Iida, but with a person that had crosshair eyes and pink dreadlocks. Izuku approached cautiously. She smelled like metal and soot. 

“Ten million!” was the first thing she yelled. 

Izuku jumped, stumbling back a step as the girl very quickly invited herself into his person space. She was rambling just as fast as he could. Something about robots and children? Izuku didn’t understand half of it. 

“Hatsume, give him some space.”

The girl, Hatsume apparently, backed off. She was still rattling on about someone’s baby? Shinsou looked tired, and Uraraka was staring at the girl with obvious confusion and amusement, but both were excited nonetheless. 

“Mido, Hatsume. Hatsume, you already know Mido. Iida teamed up with Todoroki, and she volunteered herself. She has…gadgets, apparently.”

“She calls them her babies,” Uraraka said bluntly. Izuku stifled a snort. “And we can use them since she’s a support student and made them herself.”

“Huh, cool.”

“And they only have a thirty percent chance of blowing up!”

“Yeah, anyway,” Shin interrupted quickly. “What's the plan cat-man?”

“Ok, so I’ll be the rider. Shin, you can be the front person. Uraraka, Hatsume, can you two be the sides?”

“Yep!”

“Sure thing, Ten Million!”

“Cool. Uraraka, how long can hold your Quirk on four people while moving around?”

“Longer than this event.”

“Perfect. Hatsume, do you have any gadgets that help with moving in zero gravity?”

“Of course I do,” she scoffed. “What type of inventor would I be if I didn’t?”

Shinsou’s mutter of “a normal one” was ignored.

Izuku’s smile was sharp and focused, the smile of a predator. He had a plan, a great team, and the determination to back it up. 

They were going to win, and nothing could stop them. 

~~~~~

Shouto was going to get the ten million points, and nothing was going to stop him. He had a powerful team at his disposal, after all. Iida had speed, Yaoyorozu could defend, and Kaminari would repel the other teams just by virtue of them knowing he was a human taser. Shouto himself was good for both defense and offense. They would be unstoppable. 

The beginning was called, and everyone immediately surged towards Midoriya’s team. Shouto told his team to hang back and wait. They needed to see who they were playing against before casting their dice. 

Good thing they did, because in the single blink of an eye, something red flashed out across the stadium. It was like one second they didn’t exist, and the next they were everywhere. The things snaked through the air like blurry floating ribbons.

Shouto had no idea what they were, but he knew one thing. Whatever it was, it was dangerous. They had a distinct feeling of wrong . Like those things shouldn’t even exist.

Just as fast as they had come, the red things receded. One blink they were there, and in another they were gone again. Everyone was looking around in confusion, a few teams started yelling in outrage. Their headbands were missing. 

Midoriya happened to be securing more bands around his neck. 

With whatever those things had been now gone, Shouto could finally see Midoriya and his team. He was the rider, with his purple-haired friend in front. Uraraka and some pink-haired girl were at his sides. They looked like they were wearing support gear, which was allowed for support students, so the pink girl must be one. It looked decent for a first year. 

Some of the other teams had backed off of Midoriya now. No one had seen where the things had come from, Shouto included. All that anyone knew was that one second there was a reddish-pink thing flashing across the arena, and the next second it was gone, and Midoriya had a few extra headbands than he had had a moment before.

The field was still being consumed by chaos, though in a less literal sense this time. Shouto was tired of it, so he froze the ground around them. 

A few headbands richer, and Shouto’s team moved on. There were other people scattered around, all trying to snatch points from one another. Bakugou was screeching at some team sprinting away from him. Midoriya’s team was…flying. They were gliding high above the ground, and just beginning to come back down. 

Time was slowly ticking down. Midnight yelled the two minutes mark. It was now or never. 

Shouto ordered his team closer. Midoriya’s team hadn’t noticed their approach, too focused on securing a new headband around Midoriya’s neck. 

Shouto froze them into their own mini-arena. Only then did Midoriya’s team turn to face Shouto. He couldn’t hear them very well from the distance they were at, but he could see them whispering. The sounds of the stadium faded in the face of his enemy. 

“Hand over the ten million, Midoriya.”

Shinsou and Uraraka glanced at each other, then started laughing. The support girl smiled crazily, but did nothing. Midoriya sat on their shoulders, grinning serenely. Like nothing was wrong. Like this is exactly where they wanted to be. 

Shouto suddenly had the bone-deep feeling that he’d made a mistake

“So kind of you to finally join us, Shouto Todoroki,” Midoriya purred. “But I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

“Then I will take it.”

Midoriya- Midoriya smiled . He smiled with teeth too sharp and eyes wide but pupils only slits. The glowing, radioactive green was a stark contrast to the tiny sliver of black. He looked eager. Hungry

It was the look of a predator.

And Shouto had never felt more like prey. 

“Oh I’d like to see you try. Come on now, why don’t you see what happens when you do.”

Midoriya had never seemed like the type to be scary. He was the quiet kid that seemed to very easily anger Bakugou and was too close with their teacher for it to be normal. He was friends with a gen ed student and had cat ears and a tail sometimes. 

He was also the student that had eaten an explosion and spit it out like it was bad tasting food. The student that always seemed to disappear if you looked away for a few seconds. That had claws and sharp teeth that looked razor sharp. Somehow, Shouto had forgotten that part. He regretted it now. 

But he had to try anyway. He needed to show the old man that he could win this thing using only his mother’s ice. 

“We need to get that headband. Get closer and-“

“Todoroki, Yaoyorozu, Kaminari, can you all hold on tight?” 

Shouto glanced down at Iida. He probably had some sort of plan. 

“Of course.”

“Then please do so. Tightly.”

Shouto listened, but it didn’t do much to prepare him for the sheer speed they were suddenly going. 

In a blink, Shouto was grabbing the ten million points. Midoriya’s wide eyes followed him as they sped away again. 

Shouto reoriented himself when they finally stopped. Iida’s engines are stalled, but they had the points. Midoriya’s team had a few extra bands, but it wasn’t quite enough to pass, short by a few hundred. Shouto’s team had been in second place, but only by a small margin above Bakugou’s team. As it was, they were in first place now.

They’d done it. 

So why did Shouto feel like he’d just swam out into the open ocean, nothing to protect him and the deep hiding what was hunting him?

“Oooooh,” echoed Shinsou’s voice from across their frozen mini-arena. “You shouldn’t have done that.”

Midoriya’s team spun to face them again. They all looked determined, but Shouto didn’t pay it much mind. There was little chance of them getting the headband back. Even so, they were whispering to one another, planning. 

Shouto watched them closely. Midoriya’s gaze was zeroed in on them, his mouth barely moving as he presumably talked to his team. They appeared to either be trying to talk him out of something or planning how to best get the points back. 

Shouto ordered his team to walk away. Midoriya’s team wasn’t fast enough to catch them, but they’d be safer away from the desperate team anyway. 

It was only Shouto’s mind screeching to not turn his back on an enemy that made him turn around again. His eyes instantly widened, because Midoriya’s team was closing in fast. Almost as fast as Iida had. 

They were floating, and a gale of wind had kicked up dust behind them. Was Midoriya powerful enough to create wind with his strength?

“Brace yourself!” He yelled. It was all he could do. 

Midoriya was on them in an instant. His hand reached out, lighting up with the green sparks he had. The presence he had was…it was familiar. Powerful

“Don’t you know it’s rude to take what isn’t yours?” Midoriya hissed, eyes glowing like toxic beacons. Shouto felt like if he looked too long, he would be sucked into a blackhole. 

On instinct, Shouto raised an arm to deflect Midoriya’s hand. It was his left one. 

The flames had already coated his skin. Midoriya hardly batted an eye. He swept his own arm in an arch, the wind from it putting out the fire that had hardly existed for a few seconds. Shouto felt a trill of panic jolt down his spine. He was powerless in the face of this hunter

Shouto felt the headband rip from his neck, but it wasn’t the ten million one. He still flinched as the fabric tore free. 

He found himself hoping it wasn’t enough for Midoriya to move on. A selfish and ridiculous thought. Why wouldn’t he want to face Midoriya? He was small, and probably didn’t have much combat training. Given, Shouto had never actually seen him fight, but his classmate was so tiny that it had to be true. 

But…that power, the presence Shouto felt. It was something that made the primal part of him want to run. To hide and avoid the predator at all costs. Because in this game of cat and mouse, Shouto was not the cat. 

Midoriya’s team retreated with their band. From a distance, Shouto could tell they’d just found out it wasn’t the ten million. 

Then the support course girl pulled out what looked like a grabber hand. Clutched in it was another band.

Shouto reached up, and found the band on his head was gone. She had taken it when he was busy with Midoriya. Not one of them had noticed. 

Time was called. Midoriya’s team was moving on, and so was Shouto’s. They had time before the one on ones started. 

Shouto had used his fire, something he had sworn never to do again, all because a cat morph had scared him. Father had told him tales of how weak they were, so why? Why did Midoriya scare him so badly? How did he have so much power? 

He had to find out, or at least ask. Midoriya’s power had reminded him of someone. Well, his strength, but his mannerisms also reminded Shouto of someone else. It would explain a lot if he was right. 

They had a break for lunch now, so it was the perfect time to ask. Maybe explain why he refused to use his fire, since Midoriya was so adamant about him using it. 

“Midoriya,” he said, catching the boy’s attention. He jumped at Shouto’s voice, back to the anxious person he had grown used to seeing. “I need to speak with you.”

Midoriya was surrounded by three of his friends. Uraraka, Iida, and the gen ed student, Shinsou. Shinsou looked about ready to say something, but Midoriya stopped him with a look. They had a silent conversation, confusing Shouto. How they could do that was beyond him, but he stayed silent as it happened anyway. 

“Alright,” Midoriya finally said. “I’ll be back in a few minutes guys, don’t wait for me.”

“See you at lunch Midoriya!” Uraraka chirped, already dragging Iida down the hallway by his arm. 

Shinsou lingered for a moment, having another silent conversation with Midoriya. Shouto raised an eyebrow, but still said nothing. Midoriya eventually waved his friend off. 

“You wanted to talk to me?”

“Not here. Follow me.”

Shouto brought Midoriya to one of the abandoned hallways. It was out of the way, someplace hardly anyone would be in. Neither spoke for a minute.

“So…you wanted to tell me something?”

“In the cavalry battle, you made me break a promise I made to myself.”

“A…promise?”

“I vowed never to use my father’s fire. And yet the instant you got too close, I used it. I felt the power you have, and there’s only one person I can think of that has a similar Quirk.”

Midoriya started fidgeting, a telltale sign of nervousness. Good, Shouto was probably right then. 

“The only person I’ve felt that kind of power from is All Might. So tell me Midoriya-“ Shouto looked Midoriya in the eyes, which was a bit unnerving. The glowing was very obvious in the dark tunnel “-are you All Might’s secret lovechild?”