This class was really testing his patience. Not only did they continuously disobey rules and instructions and refuse to study for and take their classes seriously, but now they were disrespecting school policy and other students’ privacy.
Aizawa swears he’s going to strangle that little purple kid and whoever his accomplice is once he finds them. He told him multiple times to be respectful of the female students or there would be consequences. He thought he’d scared him enough to keep him in line, but another lesson is needed, clearly.
Because he’s just received an email from Nezu stating that two of his students have been caught in the girls’ bathroom, and that he is responsible for making sure they meet disciplinary measures. There is a video of the culprits caught just outside of the bathroom attached to the email, and while he feels he already has a good idea of who the offenders are (that Mineta kid and Kaminari, who seems to be involved in his gross schemes from time to time), he still clicks to watch, just to be sure.
And it’s a good thing he does, because as soon as the video buffers he sees… Midoriya?
He looks nervous, as seems to be his default setting, and he leans his back against the wall just outside the girl’s bathroom, quickly turning his head from one end of the hallway to the other. He’s a lookout.
While it comes as a shock to Aizawa to see that Midoriya, the most shy and least likely of his students to perpetrate such an act, is clearly the accomplice to the, quite frankly, creepiest of his students, it doesn’t change the fact that he still has to (and absolutely, without hesitation, will) do something about this behavior.
Midoriya has always been a sort of clueless pushover, so it’s entirely possible he was roped into the plan before he really had a chance to refuse it, or to even know what it was. Regardless, Aizawa now knows who to punish.
Believing he already knows who is in the bathroom that Midoriya is keeping watch for, Aizawa goes to exit his email and find the offending students. However, just as he is about to close the tab, something makes him pause.
Out of the girls bathroom walks Todoroki.
This comes as an even greater shock, because while he always tries never to form beliefs about his students based on things he doesn’t know, he always believed Todoroki liked boys. Aizawa thought he liked Midoriya, at the very least. He doesn’t concern himself with the love lives of his students, but he isn’t blind.
Aizawa squints at the blurry video, noting the odd way Todoroki holds himself. He’s stiff, more-so than usual, almost like he’s crooked and trying to hold himself straight. Todoroki wipes his hands awkwardly on his pants, like he hasn’t dried them completely.
UA isn’t low on funds, so there’s no way there weren’t enough paper towels. This and Todoroki’s discomfort make Aizawa think he knows what’s really going on. It has to be a dare.
It’s no secret to class 1-A’s teacher that said class never sleeps. They may try to whisper and keep noises to a minimum, but Aizawa knows what it’s like to have the things in your head stop you from dreaming. It’s entirely possible that on one such evening his students had decided, in typical teenager fashion, to dare each other to do ridiculous things.
His theory is confirmed when he watches Midoriya push himself off the wall and give the other boy a thumbs up accompanied by an encouraging smile.
Aizawa is at least relieved to know he doesn’t have to worry about more of his students harassing the others, but that doesn’t change the fact that these two still have to be reprimanded. He closes out of the email, shuts his laptop, and makes his way to Midoriya’s room on the second floor.
Aizawa expects to have to have conversations with them both separately or to at least have to gather them both and take them to a common place, as Midoriya is on the second floor while Todoroki is on the fifth, but when Midoriya opens his door at Aizawa’s knock, he finds they are both already in the same place.
Midoriya stares at him with wide eyes, blinks a few times, and then quickly rushes to spit out a greeting to the teacher. Todoroki nods a much calmer greeting, and Aizawa asks to speak with them both.
Midoriya steps aside to let him into the room, practically vibrating with nerves. Aizawa walks over to the boy’s desk and takes a seat in the chair, and Todoroki moves to sit on the edge of Midoriya’s bed, watching with a minute smile (which Aizawa isn’t even sure he thought was possible) as Midoriya robotically makes his way to sit beside him.
Once they are both sitting before him, he begins his reprimanding.
“I know you went into the girls’ bathroom.” It’s like with that one statement, Aizawa completely switches their personalities around.
Todoroki’s eyes widen, and suddenly he can’t take them away from his hands fidgeting in his lap. Midoriya stops his nervous shaking and looks almost defiantly at the teacher. There is still hesitance etched into the lines of his face, but now it seems less like nervousness and more like worry.
“Mr. Aizawa, there was no one in the bathroom. We made sure,” Midoriya says.
Aizawa blinks tiredly. “It doesn’t matter, Midoriya. Boys aren’t allowed into the girls bathroom. Even if you didn’t go in, you still kept watch for Todoroki while he did.”
Aizawa doesn’t miss the way Todoroki flinches, almost imperceptibly, at his words. Midoriya looks away from Aizawa to give the other boy a worried glance.
He feels like maybe he’s misunderstood the situation somehow. It doesn’t matter though, rules are rules. “Regardless of why you did it, I’m still required to punish you. Midoriya, since you didn’t actually go in, you get Saturday detention. Todoroki, I’m giving you two days house arrest-“
“You can’t do that!” Midoriya shouts in the middle of his sentencing.
“Yes, I can,” Aizawa says sharply. He hates being interrupted. “I suggest you talk to whoever dared you to do it, or address whatever caused you to think it was okay to do it, instead of getting angry with me-
“Mr. Aizawa, you have to understand-“
“Midoriya!” He’s trying to have patience, really, he is. But being interrupted is something that has always set his temper off. “I understand that you think you had a good reason to do what you did, but there isn’t one! You need to understand that your actions have consequences and that you can’t just invade the girls’ privacy because you feel like it.”
“Izuku, it’s okay.” Todoroki interrupts this time.
“But it’s not! Why should you be punished for something that isn’t your fault! You don’t deserve that!” Midoriya shouts, an honest-to-god glare on his face.
The glare goes away, replaced by a smile with a soft sort of determination that Aizawa feels like he shouldn’t be seeing. “There’s nothing wrong with you, and I won’t let people treat you like there is.”
Midoriya grabs Todoroki’s hand and squeezes, Todoroki’s head raises to meet the boy’s eyes with a small smile, and Aizawa is happy to break the disgusting moment developing in front of him because he thinks he knows what’s going on.
“I see,” he says, bringing their attention to him.
The nervous look is back on Todoroki’s face again, and now that Aizawa knows why, he kind of hates it.
Aizawa sighs the kind of world-weary sigh that comes from dedicating your life to fighting evil and still finding it right at home. “I can talk to Principal Nezu about the bathroom thing, and to your teachers about pronouns. I’m assuming she/her, right? And do you have a name picked out?”
Both students look at him with uncomprehending surprise. He just sits in the shocked silence, giving them a moment to process, and finally Todoroki answers.
“She/her, yes. I’m… a girl.” Todoroki’s eyes widen, like she’s not quite used to saying it. “And… Reiko. I’m Reiko. If that’s… okay?”
“Are you asking me? Doesn’t matter what I think, it’s your name, kid.” Aizawa chuckles softly. “It suits you though. I’d say I’m a fan.”
“Th-thank you, sir.” Her voice wobbles, but a smile stretches across the girl’s face, much more contagious than the previously smaller ones.
“Of course, kid.” Aizawa finds himself giving her a small grin in return.
She falters after a moment, though, and looks down. The smile dims. “But… I don’t know about telling the other teachers. I don’t- my dad- I don’t know how my father would react but… I’m sure it wouldn’t be good.” She shrugs.
Midoriya squeezes her hand. “Well, you don’t have to tell your dad. You can be out at school but not at home, right?”
“No, it’s- You don’t know him personally, so I don’t blame you for not… understanding, but if he… if he found out somehow, I don’t… think my safety could be guaranteed,” Todoroki says quietly.
Midoriya’s breath hitches, and Aizawa can see the fear and worry on his face. Aizawa just feels anger.
“If you’re not safe, then it’s best to stay in the closet. As… shitty as that is.” Both students look surprised at their teachers use of a curse word. It makes him chuckle but only strengthens his anger. They’re just so young, and them having to deal with this is something he, and quite frankly any hero or decent human being, should be fighting against, not encouraging. “But the other teachers will be able to keep it a secret if you want them to. I know Present Mic and Midnight will, at least, and I doubt All Might wouldn’t.”
“If he has a problem, then I’ll tell him off myself,” Midoriya huffs, staring at his and Todoroki’s joined hands.
Aizawa smiles at the boy, noting the overwhelming amount of All Might merchandise in the room, and looks to Todoroki. She seems hesitant and unsure. His face softens. “If you’re gonna need help with any girl stuff, I know Midnight would be more than happy to help. But I won’t tell her if you’d rather keep this between us.”
Todoroki takes a deep breath and exhales it slowly. “No, I- If you’re sure they’ll take it okay, then I… I want you to tell them. Knowing you guys support me is… kind of a big relief, to be honest. I’ve never had an adult really… do that before.”
It’s not that Aizawa’s eyes are watering because he’s crying, he just hasn’t blinked in a while is all. “Of course, kid.” He stands up from Midoriya’s desk, pauses halfway to the door, thinking, and- “I’m proud of you, Reiko.”
Todoroki looks up from her lap, eyes meeting his and oh, she is definitely crying. She wipes her eyes and smiles, small again now but so happy Aizawa himself can actually feel the emotion. “Thank you,” she pushes out shakily.
Midoriya is immediately worrying over the girl, wiping at her face and mumbling frantically to himself. Aizawa makes it to the door and twists the doorknob. “Don’t sweat it, kid, it’s what I’m here for.”
And even though that isn’t really true - even though he, as a teacher, isn’t required by law to accept and comfort these kids, even though they have absolutely no protection in a place they live and exist in everyday, even though there are thousands of kids in thousands of schools that Aizawa can’t reach feeling just like this - Aizawa makes a point of ensuring that it is.
Because he’s a hero, and to him there’s nothing more evil than a kid being scared and alone in a place where they’re supposed to be safe and welcome. Not his kids, and not this place. Not when he has absolutely everything to say about it.
Some fights you don’t back down from. That’s what it means to be a hero.