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Ripples on Deep Water

Chapter Text

Izuku’s foot caught the side of the pavement, and he stumbled, waving his arms to reorient himself until he regained his footing.

He glanced around, suddenly getting the feeling that he was like one of those characters on TV that gets introduced by doing something really stupid.

… it was probably nothing. After all, why would anybody start their story at the end of a day like his?

Izuku smiled bitterly, looking down the street. His mother would be worried sick, Kacchan’s probably pissed as hell, he’s got to do his homework which hopefully wasn’t completely destroyed, and transfer to information from #13 to a new one. 

But… can’t that wait for a bit?

Doubling back to the underpass (Izuku shuddered at the smell), he continued to a different destination-- one he hadn’t exactly figured out yet. 

As he progressed in his journey, the pitying glances he got from familiar faces became few and far between, fewer and fewer recognizing Izuku as the ‘poor quirkless boy’. And he reveled in that anonymity, being given nothing but a passing glance. His plain looks are an advantage outside of the area his schoolmates lived in.

He boarded a train, finding a seat in a relatively empty car and setting his burned bookbag at his side, sighing as he managed to get it open, even though the sludge still clinging to it made the process more difficult than it had to be. He’d have to get a new one. Along with a new journal, he thinks glumly as he pulled the ruined notebook from the bag, flipping through scorched and soaked pages, ink running and making his drawings and kanji indecipherable.

I should get this cleaned up as fast as I can--

A slight wheeze escaped his throat when he came upon the pair of pages. ALL MIGHT! , the paper proclaimed. 

They were balled in his hands before he even realized what was happening. Tears-- not of sadness, Izuku realizes with a jolt, but anger -- are pricking his eyes. His tears usually feel cool on his cheeks, popping free without resistance. But these were hot and stinging, refusing to fall as he tore the papers to shreds and shoved them to the bottom of his bag, the reality of how absolutely shit his day had been settling in completely.

“If you wanna be a hero that badly, there's a quick way to do it. Believe that you'll be born with a Quirk in your next life and take a dive off the roof!”

“It’s not bad to dream. But you also have to consider what’s realistic.”

His fingers dug into his pant leg, pain shooting up from where the nails went hard enough to pinch the skin. 

Maybe they were right.

“Are you okay?”

No, the rose-colored glasses just got ripped off my face and smashed to bits on the pavement with my dreams. Nodding was his only reply to a girl with pink dreadlocks.

The girl stand from her place and practically throws herself over to his side of the train. Izuku shifts uncomfortably as she leans over to check out the ruined pages. 

“Uu, this is really cool, stranger-kun! Looks really messed up, though. And smells like sewage.”

The girl seems perfectly happy to invade his personal space, and the only other occupant on the train— an exhausted-looking man— huffs in amusement.

“I’m Hatsume Mei! Uuuuuu, oh my Kami, is that a breakdown of Space Hero Thirteen’s suit?

He felt himself redden slightly. She snatches the notebook from his hands and seems unbothered by the general grossness of it as she leafs through and looks at the other ruined sketches of support items.

“You’ve got an eye for detail, stranger-kun!” Hatsume declares, dropping the notebook back in his lap and then grabbing his arm, ignoring his panicked yelp as she pulls a big black marker from nowhere and scrawls a bunch of random numbers and letters on him. “If you can figure this out, I’ll show you how to build support items for real instead of just theory!”

The train whistle blew, and Hatsume flounced off without Izuku saying so much as a word and a weird code on his arm.

Minutes ticked by before he wondered aloud, “What the fuck just happened?”

Sue him, sometimes he swore. He grew up around Kacchan .

The weird man huffs a short laugh again, but offers no explanation. Instead, he asks, “What’s got her so interested in that beat up thing?”

When Izuku looked to the notebook, he felt his heart sink a little further. This thing was really useless now, huh? As useless as he was. 

“Hero analysis,” he mumbled in response. “I think she was talking about the parts where I go over improvements in support items.”

“... you any good at it?”

Izuku shrugged in response. “I guess so. I was mostly doing it so I could analyze on the fly when I got to be a hero, but I’m probably gonna drop it now.”

“Why’s that?”

He doesn’t say anything this time, just shrugging again and closing the notebook.

The man sat up, suddenly looking way more attentive. Is he okay? Izuku blinks at him a few times— bags under bloodshot eyes, messy hair, white scarf, plain black clothes and what looked like a weird belt. He wasn’t homeless, from how the scarf was taken care of, but likely doesn’t have much free time from the hair. Eyebags are indicative of insomnia or long work hours, bloodshot meaning like sight-based quirk, belt looks more like a utility belt, which led him to a logical conclusion of—

“Take a breath, Problem Child.”

Izuku felt himself flush again as he clamped a hand over his mouth. Dammit, he needed to dump the muttering habit soon. It wouldn’t help him, and everyone thought it was creepy anyway.

“Sorry, Eraserhead-san,” he mumbled. Eraserhead lifts an eyebrow, but doesn’t comment on it.

“With a mind like that, you could pretty easily be an intelligence hero or an underground hero. Even a support hero.”

Izuku focused his eyes down. “Even if I’m quirkless?”

Eraserhead huffs again, this time sounding more annoyed. “Nighteye doesn’t read the future of every villain to win battles, kid.”

The train whistle blows, and Eraserhead leaves without another word. Izuku stares after him, turning the phrase over in his mind.

He hadn’t said a single cruel word.

Izuku zipped up his bag and, when the train came back to his area, he disembarked and ran to the corner store, using his small allowance to get a new bag and notebook, and walked home.

When he finally stepped over the threshold, his mother was waiting there. 

“Izuku, where have you been ? I saw the news, I was so worried--”

“Mom, I’m fine.” Izuku interrupted her tearful rambling, closing the door gently. “I just needed to clear my head. Think some things over.”

Mom didn’t seem to hear him, fluttering her hands as she walked in a circle around him. “You should get a shower, sweetie, you could get sick…”

He nods and heads to his room, copying the numbers onto a scrap piece of paper and staring at it for a few minutes, thinking. 

a1b4, a1b3a, a1c1a1, b1e, a1a2a1a, a1c1a1, a1a1b1a, a1b4, b1e, a1c2a, a1b1b1, a1a1a2a, a1c1a1, b1e, a1a1b2, a1b1b1, a1abc, b1e, a1c1a1, a1b1b1, a1c3, a1b1c, a1a1a1b, b1e, a1b3a, a1b1b1, a1b3a, a1c1a1, b1e, a1a1a1b, a1b1c, a1a1b1a, a1c1a1, a1c1a1

How did she even fit all this on his arm? Her handwriting wasn’t that small. And she wrote it so fast .

He thought it over while he showered, pondering the weird mishmash. It was a pattern , and an important one. 

Letters and numbers in random order, maybe…

Maybe it stood for something?

Pattern of one and another, switching.

Caesar cipher, coordinates… one after another got thrown out, abandoned like trash.

Binary. Switching ones and zeroes.

… it couldn’t hurt.

When he got out of the shower, he threw them in a binary translator with numbers as ones and letters as zeroes, but he just got a confusing mess- some simply weren’t long enough.

Wait a second.

The letters and numbers weren’t random at all!

For the next quarter hour, he spent painstakingly writing out the numbers and letters into ones and zeroes. A was one zero, B was two, C was three, D was four, E was five. 1 was one… one, 2 was two, 3 was three, and so on.

ONEZEROFIVESIXEIGHTNINETHREE

ONE-ZERO-FIVE-SIX-EIGHT-NINE-THREE.

It was a phone number.

Chapter Text

“Um. Hi?”

Izuku had dialed the number on his phone with shaky hands the next day, but still determined. His fresh notebook was open and blank in front of him, and waited with bated breath as the line was silent for a moment.

“Is this stranger-kun?”

“U-uh. Midoriya Izuku… you wrote on my arm.”

“AH! I totally thought it would take you longer! Or you’d give up! Good job, you want to learn how to make some babies?!”

His heart stuttered to a stop.

“Oh, right. My dad just reminded me that not everyone talks like me! I call my inventions my babies!”

Izuku could breathe again. “U-um. Maybe? I hadn’t really thought of making support items before…”

“No problem, Midoriya-kun! Meet me after school Friday at that old trash beach and I can teach ya a bit! We’re gonna be great friends!”

Hatsume hung up on the still-flushed Izuku without warning, and he blinks at the notebook.

Trash beach-- she must mean Dagobah. Izuku opens the calendar and sets a reminder, half on autopilot. It was Thursday. He just had to survive today and tomorrow. 

 

He felt eyes on his back when he entered the school that day, new notebook in hand as he sketched Kamui Woods. 

For once, he felt a flare of defiance in his chest and turned to glare in the direction of the stares to lock eyes with Kacchan. 

“Deku, what the fuck did you think you pulled?”

A moment passed in which he recalled his old friend’s cruel words. To jump off a building. How he had considered it for a brief moment on the subway. The burn scars on his back, the still-fresh one on his shoulder. The countless broken noses or cuts or twisted ankles.

Friends don’t do that to friends.

“I saved your ass, Katsuki. The thing about drowning is that if I didn’t let you breathe you would have died before All Might showed up. So shove your high horse up your ass and leave me the fuck alone.”

Kacch- Katsuki stopped dead in his tracks, hands stilling completely as shock took over his features. Other students spectating took a visible step back. Kac-Katsuki had almost certainly been expecting a flood of apologies, tears, and probably ego-stroking as he beat Izuku up again.

He turned on his heel and walked away before the inevitable explosion could reach him and into his class, taking in the view.

Several students were snickering in the corner as they glanced over at Izuku. His eyes were only for his desk.

A lone red spider lily sat on the wood, oblivious to the crisis it was causing in Izuku’s mind.

No .

Red crept into the edges of his vision as he saw the teacher tactfully ignoring it, and he took his phone out of his pocket and discreetly started videotaping.

He walked up to the teacher, holding the camera at an angle to catch his face. “Obonyano-sensei, someone put a red spider lily on my desk.”

The giggling grew louder, and he ignored it, looking to his teacher expectantly.

“Your classmates are probably just joking around, Midoriya. Go sit down before I give you detention.”

He angled his camera to the group of full-blown cackling students before twisting it at his desk again as he approached.

Instead of sitting, Izuku snatched the flower up, exiting the classroom without another word.

As soon as he was in the hall, Kaccha-Katsuki was upon him.

“DEKU!”

He felt a harsh shove to the chest, back hitting the wall, and he grit his teeth when a fist balled up the front of her gakuran. 

“What the hell was going through your shitty head when you said that, haah!?”

Izuku met Katsuki’s eyes and narrowed his own. Speaking with as much venom as he could muster, he said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m headed to the principal.”

Katsuki sneered. “What’d you do now, shitnerd? Someone report you for being a worthless piece of shit?”

“No.” He raised the hand with the red spider lily in it. “Someone left this on my desk, Katsuki . Lovely, isn’t it? A very pretty color.”

The bully stared at the flower, shock flitting across his face. 

Then, he released Izuku’s shirt, snatched the flower, and exploded it between his palms with a sadistic sneer, dropping the ashes back into Izuku’s hand.

“Who would even believe you, Deku?

Not this school principal.

But Izuku never stopped recording. He ended the video with a tap of his finger, glaring at his long-time bully, knowing he’d pay dearly for it later.

“Nobody here,” he said simply. Then, he shoved Katsuki hard in the chest, sending the significantly taller boy stumbling back before heading back into the classroom, dropping the ash on the floor. 

 

When he got home, he was shaking like a leaf.

Izuku had no idea where that rush of courage (or stupidity-- definitely stupidity) came from, but he definitely paid the price. His hands were bloody with minor burns and his wrist was sprained, both ankles twisted and the backs of his legs bruised and cut nastily. His arms were peppered with burns, and Izuku was certain his back was the same. 

Tears came to his eyes, and he practically ran to the bathroom, shutting and locking the door as they came forth.

Everyone hated him when he was weak, but they hated him more when he bit back.

“If you wanna be a hero that badly, there's a quick way to do it. Believe that you'll be born with a Quirk in your next life and take a dive off the roof!”

“It’s not bad to dream. But you also have to consider what’s realistic.”

Tears flowed down in silence, the sobs shaking his aching shoulders as he dressed and bandaged the wounds with a practiced hand. He stretched his feet, knowing that they’ll be sore in the days to come, and wrapped his wrist, hoping it heals fast.

Everyone hates him because of a fucking pinky joint. 

A fucking joint in his toe that ruined his life.

“Nighteye doesn’t read the future of every villain to win battles, kid.”

“Meet me after school Friday at that old trash beach and I can teach ya a bit! We’re gonna be great friends!”

He wiped his tears.

If the world was against him, then he would fight harder. 

Maybe Hatsume would ditch him the moment she found out he was quirkless, but Eraserhead had looked him in the eye and inadvertently rebuilt his dream.

Izuku went to his room and silently thanked whatever divinity was out there that it wasn’t his dominant hand that was sprained as he sketched the hero exactly as he had seen him: exhaustedly leaning against the wall of the subway, his dark eyes holding some unnamed intensity.

Directly under it, he wrote in small print, Nighteye doesn’t read the future of every villain to win battles .

He felt like those words would stick with him for a long, long time.

Izuku’s eyes wander around his room, a strange sort of hatred swelling in his chest as he saw a blinding smile everywhere.

Never had ripping posters off a wall been so relieving. 

 

Friday couldn’t come fast enough.

The entire day had been filled with cruel words, but today he tried something a little different: he didn’t even acknowledge Katsuki. If anything, that seemed to disturb the bully more than Izuku snapping back, he notes with no small measure of satisfaction. Of course, he gets tripped a lot and his possessions burned, but he made sure his notebook was hidden and he was safe, only exiting the building with a bruise on his shoulder. 

Dagobah wasn’t far, and his sneakers collected sand in the soles as he walked down the stretch of honestly disgusting beach. 

“Hi Midoriya-kun!”

Hatsume appeared from somewhere within a mound, in her arms a broken microwave. She threw that out into the sand next to him, and then ducked down to grab something that looked suspiciously like a car engine and jogging over to a bewildered Izuku, her yellow eyes bright and manic. He notices the crosshairs-- it must be part of her quirk.

“H-hi, Hatsume-chan.”

Hatsume grinned, dropping the engine next to the microwave. “Glad to see ya! Call me Mei! My quirk is Zoom , because I can look at things really far away! Helpful for little bits of machinery! So don’t expect to get all the finer bits perfect like me when you’re making your first baby!”

He tactfully ignores the word choice as he shuffles his feet. Might as well get it over with. “I’m quirkless.”

A beat. Then, “That’s so cool, Midori-chan! Do you have any idea how rare that is these days?! Most people just focus on things that would help their quirk, but you could look and think “what would help everyone ?””

He blinked. This was a dream, right?

Her excited face told a different story.

“I’m gonna be a support designer, like Power Loader! I’ll sell my support items to big heroes and make bank!

Izuku just stares, almost missing the next words.

“What do you want to do, Midori-chan!?”

“Uh.” His foot scuffs the sand, kicking up a bit as he looked to them. “I’m gonna be a hero. I, I think underground.”

Her eyes lit up even more. “Really?! You’ll need support items, then! If you work with me and sell some support items to the underground community, I can hook you up with some of my babies for free !”

“Uh, okay!” Izuku nods, allowing a tiny smile. “You… you can call me Izuku.”

Mei drags him to the trash piles, showing him which kinds of things were salvageable, her energy unabating as she made him help her drag an oven into the open.

“You’ll need to build up some muscles, Izukkun,” Mei says contemplatively. “You look like you’ve got a more sneaky body than a bulky one, but that can work.”

She spent the rest of the day sitting in the sand with him, taking simple machines apart and guiding him to put them back together. As the sun began to set, he smiled widely at the assembled, theoretically functional microwave and Mei laughed, throwing her head back and the dying sun glinted on her goggles.

“Not bad, Izukkun! Text if you wanna do this again!”

She’s off before he can respond, leaving Izuku to his thoughts.

Maybe it wasn’t the fact that he was quirkless that ruined his life.

He drew a line in the sand while he mulled it over. Why did they treat him horribly? Eraserhead and Hatsume were fine with it. 

A bystander was the control. Someone who had no idea he was quirkless. He spoke to them and they talked cheerfully back.

Telling people he was quirkless was the constant, the thing that didn’t change.

So what was the variable ?

What separated Mei from Katsuki? What made an entire school hate him but Mei want to be his friend?

He traced Us and Them in the sand, on either side of the line. What was the line? Where did it blur? What was the variable?

Katsuki and the school and his mom— them. Mei and Eraserhead(?) and Izuku— us .

“It’s not bad to dream. But you also have to consider what’s realistic.”

Everyone always agreed with All Might. He was… he was one of them . The world was them . His fingers dig into the sand, balling and watching the grains fall through.

It was Izuku versus the world, really. So what if All Might was one of them ? He’d just fight harder.

Everyone pushed Izuku around constantly. 

It was about time he pushed back.

Chapter Text

“Izuku, I’m worried about you.”

Izuku faced Mom, his hands in his hoodie pockets. Dread was a pit in his stomach that he couldn’t get rid of. It was just his mother, but Izuku knew. She didn’t want him to be a hero. She wanted to bury him in bubble wrap.

“You keep coming home after dark, and you’re distant, and you took down all your All Might merch, and you just don’t…” her hands fluttered slightly, and he eyed them nervously. He knew Mom would never hurt him, but… the memory of stinging blows and explosive palms resided. “You don’t talk to me, Izuku… I’m just worried.”

He shifted his weight slightly. Why was he hesitating? It was a simple answer.

“I… I made a friend, and she’s teaching me how to make support items.”

Mom relaxed considerably, a tiny smile appearing. “You’re not going to be a hero?”

Of course that’s what she takes from it.

“I am,” he says simply. “But underground. I won’t pass the entrance exam for Heroics, so I can transfer from General Education, Support, or Management. Management is off the list because I’m useless in that field, and Gen Ed is my fallback plan.”

It had been a few months since he met Mei. She said he was progressing pretty well and practically dragged him around the beach for scrap as she taught him to build from scratch. All he had so far was an electric bo staff (beta version) that he was very uncoordinated with, a more durable phone case, and, well… he was working on something privately he would show to Mei today. It was Saturday, and she should be at the beach. He would meet her there in less than half an hour.

“Anyway, I’m going out to meet her,” Izuku told his mother, picking up the plastic bag with the (alpha-version) support item in it. “Love you. I’ll be home at eight or nine.”

She just looked forlornly after him as he left, closing the door firmly behind himself and not looking back.

 

Mei waved enthusiastically, her hair a certified mess and soot stains all over her face and arms, save the clean bits where he gloves and goggles had likely been positioned. He huffed a laugh, rolling his eyes.

“Did you get any sleep?”

“Nope! I’ve got a brand-new baby to test with you in a bit! What’s in the bag?!”

He stepped back just in time to avoid her reaching arm, shaking his head. “I’ll show you, calm down.”

She settled a bit with a smirk, looking at Izuku expectantly. He rolled his eyes.

From the bag he pulled a set of goggles which he held out to Mei. She stared at it for a moment before taking it.

They were a bronze color, with small green details on the edges. The glass was mirror-like, and he smiled nervously as she slipped them on.

A manic smile came to her lips as she messed with the knobs on the side, and he watched with bated breath as it made kind of annoying clicking noises and shifted in and out.

Slowly, she took it off.

“What’d you name her?” Her voice was tense.

“MeiVision,” he mumbled.

Mei looked at him, yellow eyes blank, then—

“Izukkun, you’re so sweet!”

She practically threw her arms around him, hugging Izuku with bone-breaking intensity, before releasing him and backing up a bit when he stiffened. She was pretty good at picking up on his tells.

Her eyes still shone, though.

He managed a weak smile as he took the MeiVision from her delicately. “It’s only an alpha model, and it’s really clunky. I’m hoping when we’re at Yuuei, I’ll have better materials to improve it with instead of just… I dunno. Letting it be archaic.”

Mei stared at him, a slow smile spreading across her face. “My parents are support tech designers. I have all kinds of good materials at home.”

It took Izuku a moment. Then, he gaped. “You mean—“

“I’ll text you the address! Meet me there tomorrow!”

She promptly ignored the rest of his questions, instead showing off a new bomber drone design, a beta model.

“Now Izuku, when you show off your design to people, especially the judges, you need to make sure you do something eccentric. They’ll remember you better! Always start off the presentation with something interesting, like—”

 

“Most people would call me batshit insane, and I’d have to agree.”

Power Loader and Recovery Girl stared at him, looking slightly off-put as he stood in front of them. He was slouching a bit, head inclined a bit so he looked at them from the shadows of his bangs. Burn marks, for once not from Katsuki, decorated his sleeves from when he assembled the item only minutes before. Most had cleaned up to look presentable, but he didn’t even bother changing from his inventing clothes or try to rinse the soot from his hair, which he had been growing out since he met Mei, mostly because building took up so much time that he didn’t have any to go to a hairdresser and also because he wanted to see what he would look like. As it turns out, his hair is mostly black, not green. It was at his shoulders by now, pulled into a low ponytail with several strands loose and in his face.

In short, he was a mess and gave no fucks.

“After all, what kind of person walks into the equivalent of a job interview looking like a homeless kid? Or laughs when his support item explodes not one, not two, but three times in the hour we were given to assemble it? Or is completely quirkless and dares to try and be the first in Yuuei?”

He definitely had their attention, be it good or bad.

He set the blueprints on the table, unrolling it and showing the rather convoluted design before setting a pair of bronze goggles on top of it.

They were similar to that of Eraserhead’s in shape and size, but the glass was a one-way mirror instead of slotted. He grinned.

“This is the MeiVision, inspired by a close friend of mine. Her quirk, Zoom, allows her to see up to five kilometers away, like Legolas but less cool. The MeiVision can zoom up to one kilometer away in its current model, and it also has night vision, heat vision, and motion sensors. MeiVision is best utilized by underground heroes like Mist and Eraserhead or by rescue heroes like Thirteen or Sonar. The different sensors can seek out targets or victims and aid the heroes in their work.”

He simply leaves the model and blueprint on the table and exits without another word.

Why waste words when you’ve already made your point?

Chapter Text

Something was wrong with Izukkun.

It wasn’t like Mei thought he was wrong— Kami, no. His quirklessness barely mattered to her, even though she knew it would matter to some others. And she definitely didn’t hate him for whatever was wrong.

The first time she had ever seen him, he was clearly furious and crying as he ripped up something that was obviously important. And when he had shown up at the beach, she was ecstatic to think maybe she finally made a friend. But the way he cowered every time he mentioned he was quirkless, or how he flinched when she made wide movements (especially with her hands), or when he stiffened as she touched him… something horrible had happened to her friend, and she was going to find out if it killed her. But until then, she would respect his privacy.

Mei had practically cried when her letter from Yuuei came, so obviously she immediately called Izuku. He said he had gotten his and would be over soon to open it with her.

He never showed up.

The next day, he knocked on her door with his throat heavily bandaged.

“Izukkun, are you okay?!

He flinched at her voice, but nodded with a weary smile. “Yeah. The necklace thing I was testing out— the one that was going to detect radio frequencies? It exploded and my mom had to take me to the hospital.”

Almost immediately, she relaxed at the explanation. Yeah, she knew the one. It was weirdly volatile and Izukkun kept accidentally exploding it— it didn’t temper her worry, though.

“Well,” she huffed in response. “I should hope that you’ll get better soon, or else! Didja bring your letter?”

He held up the envelope with a grin.

 

“‘Hatsume Mei, you’ve been accepted as only one of five into Power Loader’s class 1-F! Your ingenuity impressed the judges and we commend your inventive mind. You ranked first in support design, tied for first in presentation, and second in practical application.’”

Mei set her letter down and grinned at Izukkun. 

“Open it!”

He gave her a weak smile and ripped his own open, dumping the paper to the carpet. Scooping it up with shaky hands, he read off, “‘Midoriya Izuku, you’ve been accepted as only of of five into Power Loader’s 1-F! Your boldness stunned the judges and left a real impression. You ranked second in support design, tied for first in presentation, and first in practical application.”

Mei looked at her friend with stars in her eyes as his smile grew.

“Now I’ve just gotta win the Sports Festival,” he says conclusively. Mei nods along, a huge smile on her own face as she brainstormed all the babies she would be making soon.

 

Izuku knew Meimei meant well. She was all over the place, darting from one place to another and saw nothing but her goal. Izuku wished he had that-- it was both a blessing and a curse, he knew, but it would be incredible to give no thought to what happened outside of his immediate concern.

Anxiety’s a bitch.

He’d already left Meimei’s, rubbing the bandages awkwardly. He honestly didn’t really remember the malfunction of the Radiocharm, or really much between leaving the house and waking up at the hospital. But his mother had tearfully told him that his necklace had exploded and then did the unthinkable—

She told him to stop building support items. 

That had, of course, led to a massive fight which ended in him leaving the hospital that morning, heading home, changing, and going to Meimei’s. 

When Meimei had stared, he wouldn’t deny that he felt a little uncomfortable. 

He walks down the street, looking in the windows in silence when he catches sight of blond hair in the reflection.

No. Not here.

He spun, searching for his depressingly familiar bully—

— and saw a man with blond hair walking past, nose in his phone.

Oh.

Izuku looked at the pavement and hurried across the street into a corner store, not wanting to be seen. He could feel the weight of their gazes on his bandaged throat.

Pretending to browse, he skimmed through different plans. He didn’t want to go out and have people see him—

Something dark red caught his attention. A scarf.

That works.

 

Izuku would be sad he didn’t see his mother much anymore he wasn’t so fucking furious with her.

She tried to get him to stop doing what he loved because of an accident. He wasn’t made of glass! He was quirkless, not china!

But all of his anger paled in the face of his excitement, at least for today.

Katsuki got in. Izuku just had to make sure he never knew that Izuku did, too.

At least, not until the Sports Festival.

Meimei was practically vibrating next to him as they walked in, her voice pitched higher than normal when she spoke.

“Oh my Kami, Izukkun, this is the actual Yuuei! How are you not freaking out?!”

He was, just not externally. Instead of saying that, though, he shrugged. “I dunno, maybe I’m just tired.”

“You’re always tired.”

“You’re always high on caffeine. Drug addict is your aesthetic, exhausted hobo is mine.”

The door for 1-F came up a lot faster than he thought it would, and it was quite a bit bigger than he thought it would be.

Meimei, of course, decides the best way to introduce them is to kick the door open before he can stop her.

With a loud BANG! it flew open, and Izuku hissed. 

“Sweet motherfucking Kami.”

“Just Mei,” she joked in return, taking his sleeve and practically dragging him into the room with three stunned students and a very exasperated Power Loader.

This… was going to be a long year.

 

“My name is Maijima Higari.” Power Loader stood at the front, his eyes uncomfortably focused on Meimei and Izuku. He knew Meimei was smiling back, so he just glared. “But that’s Maijima-sensei to the lot of you.”

Please don’t play an introduction game, please don’t play an introduction game, please don’t play an introduction game…

“To get to know each other, we will talk a bit about ourselves.”

Fucking hell .

Meimei, as wonderful as she is oblivious, leaps up. “Me! Me!”

Pow— Maijima-sensei sighed and gestures to Mei, and Izuku has to physically hold back a groan. Why can’t he have a quiet day? Just one?

“I’m Hatsume Mei! My quirk is Zoom, and Izukkun here is my best friend! I love making babies with him!”

Izuku buried his face in his hands when Maijima-sensei wheezed loudly and the other students froze in shock.

Hatsume Mei ,” he snapped to his friend.

She has the audacity to giggle before correcting herself. “Sorry— we call our support items babies. We’re partners.”

One day. He just wanted one fucking day of peace. 

Chapter Text

Aizawa Shouta was tired.

Of course, this was nothing new. Hizashi liked to joke that he sucked all the energy out of Shouta like some vampire, but Shouta’d been an insomniac long before he met him.

So you couldn’t exactly blame him that he wasn’t paying the slightest attention to Maijima or Nemuri as they rambled about their classes. Neither bothered asking him, because Nemuri had heard from Hizashi that he’d already expelled a student-- some brat he’d not bothered to learn the name of that didn’t even try to pass the quirk assessment. 

“Kami above, I knew accepting the two top scorers into one class would be a problem, but I don’t think I was expecting that .”

Nemuri leaned in, her blue eyes wide with anticipation. “Did they explode something?”

“Yes, and we didn’t do anything except introductions and orientation, so I don’t even know how -- but that’s not the point.” Maijima looked genuinely distressed, raking his capped fingers through his ginger hair. Shouta inclined his head slightly-- sue him, he liked hearing about other teachers having problem children for once.

Maijima acknowledged Shouta tuning in with a nod before continuing. “The top scorers were Hatsume Mei and Midoriya Izuku-- they’re partners, I’m pretty sure. Hatsume jumps up to be the first for introductions, and she says, I shit you not, ‘ I’m Hatsume Mei! My quirk is Zoom, and Izukkun here is my best friend! I love making babies with him!’

Nemuri snorted inelegantly as Shouta coughed to cover a laugh of his own. A bit forward, weren’t they?

“And Midoriya immediately full-names her and makes her correct herself-- they call their support items babies, and it was a bit late to prevent mass chaos, so the other three are losing their shit, Midoriya genuinely looks like he wants to die, I’m still trying to figure out how to breathe, and Hatsume just stands there looking proud of herself.”

That was significantly better than his first assumption, Shouta decides. 

“And don’t even get me started on Midoriya—“

There was a sudden, loud explosion coming from down the hall, suspiciously close to the Development Studio.

Maijima sighs.

“That would be them. They asked to stay late so they could work on their support items for the Sports Festival.”

Nemuri cackled. “I’ve gotta see this.” Shouta just shrugged and allowed his friend to drag him up and out the door, Maijima hovering close behind as he followed with more than a little hesitation.

As they walked down the hall, they heard several smaller explosions and loud swearing accompanied by laughter. 

Maijima pushed the door open, stepping back to let the smoke drift out, a look of pure self-loathing on his face as he stepped in, Nemuri and Shouta in tow.

“Midoriya! Hatsume! I said to not level the building!”

A girl covered in hot pink paint appeared from behind a paint-covered shield-- specifically the quirk-reinforced glass shield meant for testing explosives. She threw back her head and laughed, pearl0white teeth a starting sight on the girl covered head to toe in hot pink.

“Don’t be ridiculous! Next to the Volatile Quirk Testing Grounds, aka Gym Omega, the Development Studio and Support classrooms are the most structurally secure places on campus!”

Shouta blinked-- she was completely right. 

A boy with long, curly green hair rounded the shield as well, a (clearly self-made) tablet in hand. He didn’t even look up to see the new people as he picked his way past puddles of pink to Hatsume. 

“Fine motor control?”

She flexed her fingers stiffly, and the pink cracked. “Slowed but not stopped entirely.”

“General motor control?”

Hatsume swung her leg out-- it was stiff and awkward. “Weird and kinda heavy, but not slowed much.”

“Weight?”

“I’d say about five kilos.”

“Stickiness?”

Slamming her palms together with a weird mix between a slapping and cracking sound, she bent her arms slightly, trying to pry them apart. “Mega sticky.”

“Against other surfaces?”

Her leg lifted with a bit of the pink paint(?) stringing between it. “Tiny sticky. Pathetic boy.”

The boy, assumedly Midoriya, frowned. “Is the elasticity being a problem again?”

“Yeah, maybe less rubber components next time? More concrete. Keep glue the same, though, since I think it’s mostly the rubber fucking with its stickiness.”

Midoriya(?) nodded sharply, looking up to her with a slightly deeper frown. “We’ll have to mark it as a failure.”

Hatsume grinned back. 

Maijima sighed loudly. “Please tell me you have some solution to clean this up.”

“Saltwater!” Hatsume chirped, before waddling over to a kiddie pool with globs of pink in it.

Midoriya(?) looked up at Maijima, noticing the other two teachers. Shouta notes the green eyes focus on him for just a moment longer, and he’s suddenly struck with the feeling that he’s seen this kid somewhere before.

“Something you need, Maijima-sensei?”

Maijima rubbed his face. “Midoriya, you need to keep the explosions to a minimum…”

“Oh, that?” he glanced back. “Those are the Pink Bombs. No actual destructive properties. It’s meant for villain apprehension rather than offense. It comes off with some saltwater.”

Maijima looks to Shouta helplessly. Shouta shrugs in response. Not his problem child.

Hatsume bounces back over, miraculously clean of the pink sludge yet drenched in water. Her hair was a bubblegum pink and the strange shapes on her head seemed to be goggles. She threw her arm over Midoriya’s shoulder, looking over at the three teachers. “Hiya, Midnight-san and stranger-san!”

Boy on the bus— crying, angry.

Pink bouncy girl— distract him, phone number (?).

“What the fuck just happened?”

“Even if I’m quirkless?”

Shouta squinted slightly at Midoriya. Whatever had happened in those ten months between meetings must have seriously fucked with the kid— he had long hair tied into a messy bun and eyebags that rival his own. But there was a definite shine to his eyes they wasn’t there before.

“Aizawa, Kayama, meet Hatsume and Midoriya,” Maijima said tiredly. “Midoriya here applied for Support because he knew he would fail the Heroics exam and plans on transferring.”

There was a strange clicking sound as Midoriya nodded, suddenly turning around and— gliding away.

“Yas, queen!” Hatsume cheered, her smile wide as was humanly possible. “Heely away from them feelies!”

… Shouta literally doesn’t know what to do at this point except for sigh.

He does have a slot open in 1-A, after all. Better keep an eye on Maijima’s Problem Child, just in case he becomes his.

Chapter Text

Meimei practically clung to Izuku the entire day. Like, okay, yes , they were working with 1-C, but that didn’t make them all idiots. Couldn’t she at least try to make friends with them?

… he wasn’t exactly much better, was he?

Nevertheless, getting back to the Development Studio was a blessing. Support students had only core classes during the first half of the day, and the rest was dedicated to building and learning more about marketing support items. 

As usual, the lecture was probably informative, but neither Meimei nor Izuku paid any attention to it, knowing Maijima-sensei would upload a transcript to the class calendar they could read later. Instead, they stood in the very back, ignoring proper lab safety as they experimented with the formula for the Pink Bomb. 

“Mark pure sodium and lithium as having no reaction,” Meimei instructed Izuku in a loud whisper. “And manganese made it slightly more vivid in color, but no other visible effect.”

“Try putting a drop in the distilled water.” Izuku waved his hand lazily towards a glass of it that Izuku had originally planned on adding salt to, just in case the Pink Bomb got out of hand.

There was a beat of pure silence as Izuku focused on his tablet, crossing out more and more combinations. “Maybe we should work on the Illumnisphere next--”

“IZUKKUN HOLY SHIT!”

He looked up at Mei, who was pointing at the water. 

The water was now a cloudy pink that was rapidly becoming more vivid, and he watched in awe as the entire glass of water became the thick substance that was Pink Bomb before solidifying into its dry form. 

There was another beat before Izuku hesitantly jabbed at the surface, and it felt a bit squishy and definitely sticky.

Maijima-sensei walked over with an annoyed look. “Hatsume-chan, Midoriya-kun, I allow you two to experiment during lectures with the one condition that you don’t cause a disturbance. What is it?”

Izuku looked up to the teacher, a manic grin on his lips. “We discovered a new application of the Pink Bomb.”

He sighed, reaching up with rubber-tipped fingers to pinch the bridge of his nose. “You know what, you two? Take the MeiVision. The hero classes are having their first Foundational Heroics lesson. Stay out of sight, take notes, whatever. Bring me improvements to their hero costumes-- at least five students. If you get caught by the teacher, detention.”

Meimei and Izuku just gave him wide smiles before snatching up their MeiVision goggles-- Mei’s bronze, Izuku’s silver. 

“I’ll be telling Aizawa about my assignment to you two and have him add grades depending on whether or not the students detect you.”

So other’s grades suffer if he isn’t caught? Neat. Time to see if he can make a lot of people really confused, really fast. 

 

Maijima-sensei had directed the pair of chaos children support students to a supply closet where the Heroics teachers keep extra stealth suits for the students, and Izuku walked out honestly feeling like he was really taking his first steps to being a hero. Just a borrowed suit gave him that feeling-- how stupid was that?

It was shockingly easy to observe the hero students and analyze them, really. Izuku supplied quirk analysis and how to design suits to better fit that, while Meimei went over the more practical side of things.

Somehow, Izuku forgot Katsuki was in this class-- the last round. Playing the lone hero against Engine Boy and Gravity Girl.

They never stood a chance.

He came into the room, all explosions and anger, and Izuku feels like he’s falling, ears ringing as he plunges into a different scene.

Heat-heat-heat- hurt . Pain-hurt useless Deku pain-pain-pain-hot-hot-burning remember me when I’m at Yuuei heat-heat-heat- BOOM can you fucking hear me, Deku, can you--

“-- hear me? Izukkun? You in there?”

Something was shaking his shoulder, and he looked over next to him.

Squished in the vent with him was Meimei, her MeiVision pulled up to reveal her crosshair yellow eyes. 

“The exercise ended a few minutes ago,” she told him in a stage whisper. “Are you okay?”

He nodded robotically. “Let’s just… get back to class. Okay?”

She frowned. “Okay, Izukkun.”

 

Izukkun had been acting oddly, going straight to the bathroom and just staring in the mirror for a while. Mei was more than a little concerned-- when he had spaced out, muttering indecipherable words under his breath in the vents, it was genuinely terrifying to look over and see her best friend’s normally tired but attentive eyes blank and full of fear.

She knew he was looking at his scar. The red scarf he had donned not long after getting it prevented her from ever seeing it, but she knew he didn’t like it. Izukkun had said before he felt like something was screwing with his head every time he looked at it, and Mei had mostly attributed it to the amnesia he had surrounding the Radiocharm malfunction. But she didn’t interrupt him-- Izukkun was thinking about something heavy. He did that a lot recently. A lot of heavy thinking. And as much as Mei wanted to help him, she knew when to step back and let him work things out by himself.

“... Meimei, I think I need to talk to you about something.”

She was sitting on her bed with his analysis journal open, looking up at her dark-haired friend. She nodded silently, knowing a wrong word could scare him off when he was like this. 

He settles on the bed next to herm hands nervously working at his scarf. His green eyes were dark, and Mei couldn’t help but feel really, really unsettled.

“Before… before Yuuei, before you , nobody… nobody liked me.”

Mei blinked. Izukkun? Her Midoriya Izukkun? Nobody liking him? Why the hell would nobody like him.

“I…” he folded in on himself a bit, grabbing a pillow to hug it tight and being entirely unbothererd by the mess of wires that was stuck fast to it by way of something she had fondly dubbed the Superglue Incident. “I didn’t have friends, before I met you. And-and… my mom and I are always fighting because she doesn’t want me to be a hero or work in the support field… she just wants me to be safe but I wouldn’t be happy like that and she doesn’t care, she’s just so… so controlling …”

Mei gently rested a hand on his shoulder as Izukkun drew more into himself. She was aware of his family problems and the massive blowup that led to him staying at her place more often than not, but she hadn’t exactly realized it went that deep.

“And- and  at school, it was… it was fucking awful .”

And Mei could do nothing but rub her friend’s shaking shoulder and murmur comfort as he recounted the life he led before he met her.

And if she later scrawled Bakugou, All Might and Inko in red marker at the top of her shit list, that was nobody’s business but her own.

Izukkun was her best friend, her brother, and now that she knew somebody had hurt him— they wouldn’t get the chance to do it again on her watch.

Chapter Text

The clips played in loops in front of Shouta as he sat in the teacher’s lounge, Maijima leaning over the back of the couch.

“Earjack and Six-Arms were the only ones to hear them but wrote it off pretty quickly,” Maijima surmised. “Midoriya looks like he dissociates in the last clip— might have to talk to him about that.”

Shouta nodded. “I’ll be discussing situational awareness today in class after they pick a class president.”

“Good, they’ll need it. Hatsume and Midoriya already emailed me about outfit changes, and both are adamant about several students having theirs changed— Yaoyorozu, Hagakure, Uraraka, Bakugou, and Todoroki, to name the bigger ones.”

Shouta doesn’t like Maijima much, but he tolerates him. The ginger man has enough practicality to last him through his life and then some, but otherwise keeps his problem children on a rather slack leash. Case and point, the battle trails. Allowing two unsupervised non-hero students into a battleground and telling them to analyze 1-A.

More because they were “causing problems in class” than anything.

“Aizawa, I know that look on your face. I was in the middle of a lecture and they started freaking out over how a chemical reacted with water. Distracting the others.”

Yeah, okay. Whatever. Shouta clicked through the clips, landing again on the one through Hatsume’s MeiVision where Midoriya is clearly either dissociative or having flashbacks. 

“Definitely discuss that,” he concludes.

A pause.

“You’re taking 1-A on a field trip soon, right? Tomorrow?”

Shouta didn’t like where that was going. “Yes.”

“The MeiVision test was a success.”

“... yes.”

“1-F needs field experience.”

Shouta sighed.

“You technically can’t stop me, Aizawa.”

Instead of responding immediately, Shouta pinched the bridge of his nose. “Just stay out of the way.”

 

Izuku was… tired.

He had no idea dumping all of your emotions at someone’s feet could be so exhausting, but it was, and he hated it. Meimei had been oddly quiet, and that always made him anxious, but she hadn’t ditched him yet.

He was even more tired when the media broke in and he hid in a supply closet before heading to the Development Studio. The Radiocharm was well on its way, the Pink Bomb improving in leaps and bounds, and the MeiVision was almost finalized. 

And then this goddamn field trip .

He hates field trips. He hates them so, so much, but he’s stuck going on them. He’d rather be finishing the Radiocharm or finally starting on the Illumnisphere, but no , he and the other four students of 1-F have to sneak around the damn USJ to spy on 1-A and come up with support items… as homework . Like, yeah, it was fun, but you can’t design on a time limit .

So yeah, Izuku was so. Fucking. Tired.

It didn’t help that Katsuki was a constant threat, or that Mei might actually murder someone, or that he would be reminded of his own inadequacy in the hero world. Nope. Instead, he got a heaping load of fuck-you salad with a side of shit fries.

“Cheer up, Izukkun!” Meimei elbowed him slightly, her usual smile unwavering. “We’ll get to spy on those hero students!”

He just huffed in response, fingering his belt. On it hung three Pink Bombs, a chain with a Radiocharm (hopefully non-explosive), and a grappling hook, plus the silver MeiVision on his head. His messenger bag was fire and waterproofed (he learned from the slime incident… and Katsuki), holding his journals and other random supplies and gadgets. Meimei tugged on his ponytail, and he turned his head slightly to allow her to mess with it. She really liked playing with his hair, for whatever ungodly reason. He felt her undo the ponytail and start a braid, so he fished out the tablet from his bag and started updating the map. Yuuei didn’t have any official maps for the sake of security, so he and Meimei had been working together to make a sort of Marauder's Map of the campus… and, of course, he was updating it as he went along.

“How’s the Wonder Map going?” she chirped, tugging on his curls a bit roughly. 

“We aren’t calling it that.”

“Yes we are!”

Another one of the 1-F students, a boy with a calligraphy quirk named Hinata Ban, glanced over with inquisitive eyes. “Hatsume-chan, your Zoom quirk probably really helps with fine work, right?”

Izuku couldn’t see, but he knew Meimei had nodded.

“Midoriya-kun, what’s yours?” Another student, Reiki Perl, piped up. She was half-American with a technopath quirk and a twin sister that she talked about a lot, Reiki Aria. “I mean, it has to be some kind of intelligence quirk-- or analysis.”

Meimei’s hands stilled as Izuku paused. Even Collins Fianna, an Irish student who moved here to come to Yuuei’s Support Course and was usually quiet, leaned in a bit. 

“I’m quirkless,” he said finally. “Everything about me comes from work and practice.”

While Reiki immediately looked thoughtful, lines fading in and out around her eyes, and Hinata stared open-mouthed, Collins just looked confused.

“I’m sorry, what does… quirk-less mean? Is it a quirk that makes things smaller?”

He shook his head, ignoring the indignant squawk he got from Mei. “It means I don’t have a quirk.”

Collins’ face cleared, then reddened considerably. “Ah! Sorry. In Ireland, we call it… your translation would be ‘god-chosen’, and quirk… quirky…”

“Quirked.”

“Yes, quirked people are called ‘god-blessed’. Roghnaithe ag Dia-- sorry, quirkless-- are much common-- very common…” She stopped, muttering a string of what Izuku assumed was Irish before continuing. “Quirkless are more common in Ireland, maybe half of the people. My papa is roghnaithe ag Dia.”

… Huh. The more you know.

Now that he thinks about it, about twenty percent of the world population is quirkless-- eighty percent of that above the age of forty. He’d always wondered where the other quirkless kids were, and now he knew.

“Heads up, kids, we’re here.”

Meimei tugged on his new braid and stood up with a stretch. Reiki stood as well, shooting a grin to Izuku.

“That’s pretty cool you got in without a quirk, Midoriya-kun.”

He blinked. “Oh. Um. Cool.”

Ah, the sweet, sweet taste of eloquence. 

Maijima led them in through a back entrance, and Izuku starts fiddling with his MeiVision. The bit that searched out radio waves looked a bit fucked up-- might be the metal dome, test later-- and he slipped the silver goggles over his face.

“Motion check,” he whispered to Meimei.

They flipped over. “Functioning.”

“Darkvision check.”

Flip. “Functioning.”

“Zoom check.”

Flip. “Functioning.”

“Radio check.”

Flip. “Jammed.”

So it wasn’t just him. “Same here. Thermal check.”

Flip.

That was… weird.

A single spot, about the size of a basketball, was a dark, dark blue-- meaning it completely lacking of any heat. 

“Izukkun, you’re seeing this too, right?”

He shifted from one foot to another. “Yeah.”

Maijima-sensei didn’t react to it, so it probably wasn’t anything…

“Make sure to be quiet, the hero students don’t know you’re here and they might act out of hostility…”

Izuku saw the exact moment it all unfolded.

The cold expanded into blackness and people filed out of it, dozens upon dozens. Eraserhead was in action in the blink of an eye. Maijima-sensei immediately hushed 1-F, and 1-A started retreating to the bus with Thirteen.

Slowly, Izuku pulled a pair of metal rods with rubber handles from his messenger bag, holding one out to Meimei as they and the rest of 1-F backed deeper into the bushes they had been hiding in.

Hero students were falling through the ground, and three people stood at the center of the chaos.

“Hey, Meimei,” he whispered, pressing a highly experimental button on the side of the MeiVision. The rod he held lit up in blue electricity with a hum that made him more than a little nervous. “Vibe check.”

Chapter Text

All the anxiety Izuku had amplified into full panic, and he lightly brushed his pant leg with the rod. The electric jolt ran through his body like a lace and he had to bite back a loud swear-- and with his pain tolerance, he knew that was powerful-- but it achieved its purpose to help him focus.

“Sensei, Eraserhead-san can’t handle them alone,” he said urgently to Maijima-sensei. His teacher’s eyes darted over to him as he was popping off the tips on his claws. “They have a warp quirk. Jammed radio signals. Most of 1-A vanished to Kami knows where, my heat sensors are telling me they’re everywhere .”

Maijima-sensei huffed a breath of air as he spoke lowly. “You’ve got a good head on your shoulders, Midoriya. Try to find an escape, get help.” With that, he burrowed into the earth.

“Izukkun, go.”

Meimei’s voice snapped him into hyperfocus.

“Three villains were in the center originally-- the one made of mist is fighting Thirteen now, but he moves so fast-- that’s the warper. The big one is the brawn, I think. He’s just standing there-- either it doesn’t matter to him or he’s the product of a quirk to summon him as a sort of companion and he can’t think independently. Third is that scrawny dude-- he has a hand on his face, what the fuck -- I think he’s the leader. Mist Man said something to him before warping to fight Thirteen, and it would explain why he’s inactive with the muscle as a guard. I’d estimate from fifty to eighty with the size of the USJ and the amount of heat signatures around. Since this was planned, they’re probably in zones that suit their quirks. None of the villains seem experienced, all small fry. Quantity over quality. Eraserhead alone could handle, under extreme stress, maybe three-fourths of the center crowd before being overwhelmed if the leaders don’t intervene, since he specializes in solitary sneak attacks rather than group battles. With Power Loader, they can likely handle the full center crowd and possibly all three leaders, but they need backup, so we have to contact Yuuei…”

Reiki touched his shoulder delicately. “Lay it on us, Midoriya.”

His eyes went up to the top of the dome. It was likely metal, maybe plasteel…

“The dome,” he realized. “The radio jam is probably from a quirk, but all quirks have a limit-- I’m betting this guy put it on the dome. If we can bust through the dome…”

“We can broadcast a distress signal,” Meimei finishes, her crosshair eyes widening. “Does anyone here have explosives?”

A pause. “That is… big boom machine, right?” Collins asked hesitantly, her words halting and accent thick-- probably from nerves. Fuck, Izuku hadn’t even considered how badly this was shaking up his classmates.

“Yes,” Meimei whispered, trying to keep her voice low.

“I have a heat beam,” she offered, taking something out of a duffel strapped to her back. “Very strong. Go through steel.”

“You think it could go through plasteel?”

She furrowed her eyebrows, thinking it over, before nodding resolutely. “It will take longer, but yes. I will need time.”

“How long?”

Collins looked up, eyes tracing over the dome. “Center is weakest, looks like. Three minutes, maybe? Very bright color, we will be seen.”

Reiki looked up as well, her eyes calculating. “I have some drones that I can pilot. They’re weaponized with… well, don’t tell Maijima-sensei, but it’s a bit of an experimental sleep gas that might send whoever inhales it into cardiac arrest.”

Izuku resisted the urge to facepalm, remembering he has a very electric, very volatile thingy in his hands. Fan-fucking-tastic, they have a bunch of experimental weapons that might work and not a single combative quirk--

No! He had to stop thinking like that. Quirks aren’t everything. 

“What’s powering the laser?” He asked Collins.

Her face darkens a bit. “Um. Me.”

“You have a power quirk?”

A long pause. “More like… nuclear. I can make big boom or small energy. I use small energy to power my support items.”

Oh. “Cool. You do that. Hinata-kun, what do you have?”

Hinata sneered at Izuku, and Izuku sighed internally. He so does not need this right now.

“I’ve got fucking nada except for some experimental first-aid items. Happy, shithead?”

Meimei literally growled , but Izuku ignored it. “Hinata, you need to stay here and cover Collins and Reiki. Reiki, if I’m correct, when you link up with your drones, you go into a trance-like state?”

Reiki nods.

“And Collins will need to focus on the laser. You’ll have to cover them.”

Hinata glances at the two girls briefly, indecision coming voer his features. At last, he spat, “Fine. But if I get killed, I’m dragging you down with me for this shitty plan, Midoriya.”

Meimei leaned forward, slightly threateningly, and pulled something from her own duffle bag. Which was, of course, something that every support designer should have on-hand when they’re in the field.

“Is that a fucking flamethrower?”

“Yep!” Meimei popped the ‘p’ with a grin, dumping it at his feet. 

The five students of 1-F all looked at each other, hesitance obvious. 

Collins finally spoke, looking up from where she was assembling her laser. “Midoriya, Reiki, Hatsume, if we make it out of this, call me Fien. In my country, friends give each other nicknames.”

Hinata gaped at how he was blatantly left out, but the other three nodded, all managing small smiles. 

“Wha-- wait! What’s Midoriya and Hatsume doing?”

Izuku’s best friend stood a little taller at that, her smile manic and menacing. “What Maijima-sensei says we do best--”

“-- be distracting!” Izuku finishes with a sweep of his arms, careful not to whack any of his classmates with his rod. “When I give the signal, start the beam. Believe me, you can’t miss the signal.”

Somewhere in the background, the boat explodes.

Izuku froze, mind going into overdrive. The villains wouldn’t be fighting each other, they all have the same goal-- whatever that happens to be-- so that means--

“The hero students are still here- the villains just scattered them!”

“And some are on the boat that just exploded,” Reiki realized with a shaky voice.

Izuku’s legs moved faster than his head, for once, but Meimei was hot on his heels. He wasn’t too far from the water, and this was probably a really bad idea, but--

He chucks a Pink Bomb into the middle of the water at the same time Meimei does.

There was a terrifying moment when they hit the water that nothing happened. Heads came from the surface to look in the direction of the two Support students.

And it all happened at once: the water quickly became murky pink, then Izuku heard startled yelps as it solidified and kept expanding until it was at the shore.

Izuku jabbed his rod experimentally at the surface. 

It was hard, but he stabbed it more, and it finally broke. He barely yanked his rod back in time to avoid it being stuck in the Pink Bomb.

Two heads peeked over the side of the boat. Meimei cupped her hands, shouting, “It’s safe to walk, but step lightly!

The two heads became full bodies-- one purple and midget-y, one green and lanky, that climbed down the side and picked their way over. As they did that, Meimei kept watch as Izuku took inventory.  

“Four Pink Bombs, one Radiocharm, two MeiVisions, two lightning rods, and one flamethrower.”

“Who are you, kero?” Asked the green girl as she finally stopped on the shore, her tongue sticking out of her mouth a bit. 

“Hatsume Mei and Midoriya Izuku of Support Course 1-F!” Meimei said extravagantly, throwing out her arms (which Izuku just barely ducked, her rod nearly clipping his head). “Our class was supposed to observe yours, but now things have gone sideways, and we’re taking the reins here!”

“I’m Asui Tsuyu, kero,” the green girl replied, tilting her head a bit. “But call me Tsu.”

The purple midget is crying and snotting everywhere, and Izuku doesn;t like him very much at all because he looks like he’s checking out Meimei’s chest at the same time. Izuku very deliberately steps in to block the midget’s view, and nods to Asui. “If we survive this, I will. Our classmates are standing by with a plan to send a distress signal, and since the hero students are the only ones trained in combat, we need you to cover us. Can you do that?”

Asui nods back, her face thoughtful as Meimei led the four of them to a dense bit of shrubbery. “What is the plan, kero?”

“I need to know your quirks.”

Midget Boy blubbers before saying, “M-my quirk is c-called Pop Off… these balls, balls are super sticky and I can throw them.”

“My quirk is called Frog, kero. I can jump like a frog and have a long tongue, and spit a mild acid that burns a little. And I can spit out my stomach to clean it, kero.”

Izuku looks over the center area, wincing as he watches Maijima-sensei take a hit to the chest before burrowing again. Eraserhead is clearly fatigued. Thirteen… is crumpled at the entrance, two hero students by their side. Fuck.

“If this works, we are one hundred percent getting detention,” he muttered before turning to the hero students. “Asui, when we give the signal, there’s gonna be a thing that’s very obviously caused by 1-F happening, and you need to help cover the two girls behind it. Midget, you stay here and you only attack if things go so far south they start speaking South African.”

Midget nods through his tears. Izuku pulls his flamethrower out of his bag, slipping the straps over his shoulders and readying the nozzle. 

“What’s the signal, kero?”

“Um… this?”

Izuku stood up and walked out of the bush, Meimei right at his side. He loved how she just thought like he did, no extra communication needed. 

He pointed the flamethower up as he approached the center, activating it and watching orange flames spill from the nozzle. Meimei took one of her remaining Pink Bombs and threw it into the fire.

There was a very big, very loud, very pink series of explosions that immediately drew the attention of most of the villains in the center.

And it lasted just long enough to distract from the activation of the laser and cover the sounds of what is probably Maijima-sensei swearing loudly at how stupid his students are. 

“Hi, villain leader!” Meimei said, both loudly and cheerfully. “You seem to have made a bit of a mistake in your attack scheduling!”

Skinny Handjob’s pose immediately became more threatening. “How so, little heroes ?”

Izuku had slouched a bit already, his hair a certifiable disaster that didn’t quite block his view of Asui and Hinata kicking ass behind the main villain’s back. Warp Boy is being kept busy by Eraserhead, it looks like, which is always good. He just needs to play his part. Be as himself as possible and distract Skinny Handjob.

“First off, Skinny Handjob--”

Shigaraki Tomura ,” the villain seethed.

Izuku almost smiled in victory. He got a name . “Close enough. So, first off, Shiggy Toe, we ain’t hero students, much less heroes. Me and my friend here are from Support. Came here to basically spy on our dear friends in 1-A, blah, blah, blah. It was a pretty recent change, so I’m guessing you didn’t know about it…”

“Yeah, the break-in was you, wasn’t it?” Meimei jumped in, giving a little bounce on the balls of her feet, ignoring the hostile looks she was getting from the small-fry villains trying to deal with Maijima-sensei. “That was really smart, y’know, using the media to cover it up! Honestly, Riya and I saw right through it, but those dumb heroes didn’t have a clue! They really just can’t think like us, y’know?”

He had no idea why, of all the fake names Meimei could give him, she chose Riya , but… whatever. But Shiggy Toe seemed to be eating up the indirect praise with a smile that crept around the edges of his hand-mask. “Wasn’t it?” he gloated, scratching the back of his neck. “I knew those stupid heroes would never suspect a thing!”

Izuku didn’t smile, of course, but he plastered a fake one on all the same. “Do you mind if we ask what your motive is? We couldn’t hear from our places.”

“To kill All Might!” Shiggy Toe stops scratching, his hands stilling for a moment before he scratched harder. “We’ve even got this Noumu to fight him! But he isn’t here!

All Might? At Yuuei?

Wait a second.

He had no idea who the Foundational Heroics teacher was, except that he was new. All Might was around Japan more. Fuck, how could he have been so dense ?

“Kami, I know that feeling,” he seethed to Shiggy Toe. “It’s like he thinks the sun shines out of his ass. I would ruin that man’s whole career if I ever saw him personally again. Not surprised that pompous ass didn’t show up to his own class.”

Meimei jolted slightly at his words, but nodded seriously. “Nobody fucks with my Riya without paying in blood, and that blond idiot fucked with him big-time.”

Shiggy Toe nods excitedly. “I wish he was here so I could kill him!”

Several things happened at once.

A black portal opened, dropping Eraserhead onto the concrete before Mist Man came through himself.

The top of the dome finally caved in. 

There was a very large, terrifyingly familiar BOOM -pop-pop-pop! from somewhere in the Ruins area. 

“Noumu, attack!” Big Bird lunged for Eraserhead.

“Fuck.”

Yeah, that summed up the situation pretty well.

Meimei jumped forward, her rod striking out and jabbing directly into Big Bird’s arm. Big Bird stuttered to a stop for a beat, and Izuku took less than a second to one, marvel at his resistence to the pain, two, realize Big Bird reacted to vocal commands, and three, form a plan.

The Radiocharm was as volatile as it was useful-- when it exploded, they learned, it broadcasted a powerful signal. Meimei had wired it to broadcast an SOS. It also made an incredibly loud screeching sound that may or may not have almost deafened the two of them on several occasions. 

“MIDGET, IT’S SPEAKING SOUTH AFRICAN!”

Midget ran out from the bush, screaming loudly, and successfully drew the attention of Shiggy Toe as Big Bird picked up Eraserhead effortlessly, who was actively trying to fight it, and threw him basically to Izuku’s feet. He winced at the sound of crunching bones as the underground hero grunted loudly in what was clearly pain.

But Midget did his job well enough to give Izuku an opening.

He threw one of his two remaining Pink Bombs at Shiggy Toe, yelling, “ROMEO-CHARLIE!”

Meimei hit the ground, rod clattering to the stone and covering her ears as Big Bird recovered from her latest shock, and Izuku took the Radiocharm off the chain and jammed it into his last Pink Bomb. When it began beeping loudly, he knew he had only seconds. 

“YEEEEEEEET!”

The Pink Bomb stuck directly to Big Bird’s exposed brain, which was gross, and Izuku covered his ears (as did Eraserhead, seeming to get the message from Meimei) just in time for the entire thing to explode.

Izuku knew Big Bird must have some kind of resistance to pain or wounds, from how quickly he recovered from a high-voltage shock, but eardrums are the most delicate bits of skin in the body. They shatter easily, and if Big Bird had a super-healing quirk and not resistance, it would overdo it and thicken the eardrum too much, making Big Bird deaf, or at least very hard-of-hearing.

He was proven right when Big Bird went completely still, dead to the world and especially the pink glob on his head.

Mist Man, having realized they’ve been had, swears loudly and warps himself and Shiggy Toe away, but nobody else.

Several minutes later, the dome explodes.

“I AM HERE!”

Because this day couldn’t get any better .

Chapter Text

There are a lot of things Shouta didn’t want to deal with right now.

First up is the blond idiot that used up his time and, as a result, was completely useless for the entire attack.

Second was his students— they were still regrouping, Yagi having been the first teacher to show up and the others still on their way. 

Third was Maijima’s students. Hinata was in a screaming match with Hatsume about something he couldn’t quite hear, Reiki was walking around stiffly with a blank look on her face as several drones followed when she went from one unconscious villain to another, Collins was speaking Irish in a high-pitched voice, Midoriya was helping Shouta tend to his wounds with a practice he really didn’t like.

Fourth was the whole fiasco with the whole risky maneuver 1-F, specifically Hatsume and Midoriya, led. Given, it was smart, but it was also incredibly reckless.

Eventually, Hatsume stomped over and started messing with Midoriya’s black hair, unbothered when he moved around as she pinned it expertly into a bun and pulled a beanie hat out of nowhere to fit over that.

“MeiVision,” she said shortly, and Midoriya pauses in wrapping Shouta’s leg to slide a pair of silver goggles over his face, his lips thinning before he returns to his previous duty.

“I can take care of it myself, Midoriya,” he snapped.

Midoriya raised an eyebrow. “You have two broken arms, a broken collarbone, and both hands have rope-burn from when Big Bird grabbed the capture weapon. I think the fuck not.”

“Wig snatched ,” Hatsume elaborated, and Kami above Shouta regrets ever marrying Hizashi because he actually understands what she’s trying to say. He’s not old by any means, but he definitely doesn’t want to be in touch with the youth that much.

Yagi was approaching, and Midoriya shot him a glare over his shoulder. Shouta briefly wondered about that before Hatsume stood up and went over to the hero, her step slow and deliberate.

“Took you long enough,” she snapped. 

Yagi blinked in surprise. “Who are you? You are not one of my students.”

She flipped a pink dreadlock over her shoulder. “How dense are you, old man? 1-F came here to observe the hero students and come up with support items for them, plus test out our own in an open area when they left. But no! Villains broke in, coming to kill you , and when you weren’t here, they got pissed and attacked us kids! Do you know who handled the situation, asshole?! Huh?!”

All Might took a visible step back, his hands raised placatingly. Shouta watched with raised eyebrows and a smirk hidden in his capture weapon as the over-excitable Support student verbally ran over the number one hero and continued, not listening to his protests.

Support Course 1-F handled it! The students that aren’t trained to handle villains or fight or utilize their quirks or form battle strategies. You know who busted a hole in the dome to get a signal out? Collins Fianna, of Support Course 1-F ! You know who took out almost twenty villains with highly experimental gas and zero fatalities? Reiki Perl, of Support Course 1-F ! You know who covered those two? Hinata Ban, of Support Course 1-F ! You know who caused a massive distraction? Me, Hatsume Mei, of Support Course 1-F! You know who captured eighteen waterborne villains and rescued two hero students, who distracted the lead villains, who sent out a distress signal, who took out the main weapon, who came up with a plan to save our lives?!”

“N--”

MY BEST FUCKING FRIEND, OF SUPPORT COURSE 1-F!”

There was no stopping Hatsume now. Shouta didn’t even bother stepping in-- she was right , and Yagi needed to hear it from someone that wouldn’t be kissing his ass the entire time. A bunch of kids with no formal training handled the situation better than 1-A and took control of it efficiently.

“So get your head out of your ass, it isn’t a fucking hat, and maybe focus on your actual fucking job, teaching kids to survive in an incredibly dangerous business , instead of meddling where you’re not needed! We’ve got two injured teachers, only one still mobile and rounding up twenty-five kids and over seventy villains, several wounded students that likely are going to be scarred mentally by this incident, so instead of standing around looking pretty, how about you go fucking help Maijima-sensei before I judo flip your ass into the concrete?!”

There was a moment of pure silence, most of the students within earshot (so all of them) staring with open mouths and wide eyes, Maijima pausing with two unconscious villains on either shoulder, and Midoriya slowly standing up to take Hatsume’s arm.

“Thanks, Meimei. Can you take Hinata’s experimental medical kit to Thirteen-san? I’ll stay with Eraserhead-san.”

Reiki turned her blank eyes to Midoriya, her eyes clearing for a moment as the drones landed. “I’ll search around the area for the missing students, Midoriya-kun. I believe Todoroki, Bakugou, Kirishima, and Hagakure are the only ones unaccounted for?”

“Nope! I’m here!” empty air piped up, and Midoriya groaned, running a hand over his face.

“Todoroki, red-white hair. Kirishima, red hair and sharp teeth. Bakugou, blond hair and bad attitude. I believe Todoroki was in the blizzard zone, and Bakugou in the ruins-- not sure where Kirishima is, but I think he and Bakugou are together from what Tsu-chan told me. Ask Fien-chan to follow your drones on foot with Meimei’s MeiVision to check out problem areas.”

Shouta grunted, struggling to stand and getting what he knew was a glare from behind the mirrored lenses of Midoriya’s goggles. “I’m fine, Midoriya. 1-A needs to know I’m going to be fine.”

His nasty look didn’t abate as he went Shouta’s side, muttering to himself as he circled the teacher, hands twitching as if he was itching to write something down.

“Your ankle is sprained,” he pointed out after a minute of that. “At least use something to support yourself.”

Asui came over to join Midoriya. “Midori-chan, kero,” she started, “why are you covering up your face?”

Shouta jolted slightly-- she was right. Midoriya was a plain kid outside of his hair and eyes, which the eyes and beanie covered. 

“There are some people in your class I’d rather not let know I’m here. I plan on winning the Sports Festival, and if they know I’m in Yuuei, I’ll lose my advantage.”

Huh. Okay. 

“Eraserhead-san--”

“Just… Aizawa. My name is Aizawa Shouta, didn’t Maijima tell you that?”

Midoriya just gives him a placid look. “No.”

Damn that man.

“Aizawa-sensei,” he corrects himself, “you can’t ignore your health, and that is non-negotiable.”

He sighs, ignoring the throb of pain from it. “What do you suggest, Problem Child?”

There was a pause.

Midoriya offered his arm.

Shouta sighed deeper .

 

Mei was pissed .

Sue her, okay?! She just survived a villain attack, was intimately reminded that this was the path her best friend had chosen, she faced down someone that Izukkun-- her sweet, shy, hurt Izukkun-- had his dreams crushed by, and she was in the same radius as someone that damaged him so much-- physically, emotionally, and mentally. 

She had dropped that bastard Hinata’s medical supplies to the girls, Uraraka and Ashido, and was now falling into step with Izukkun as he supported Era-- Aizawa-sensei . Her hands twitched to her sides, protective of him even now that the danger has passed.

A pair of drones hailed the entrance of Fien carrying an unconscious boy and two others trailing behind her. 

“Ey, Hatsume-chan!” 

Mei darted over, repressing the urge to sneer at Bakugou. It wasn’t the place or the time, and she couldn’t lose her cool and expose Izukkun. “Fien-chan! You can call me Mei, by the way, it’s only fair!”

Fien grinned before blowing a strand of her ginger hair from her face. “Todoroki-kun is… cold sick.”

“Hypothermic?” Mei supplied, and her Irish friend nodded with a slight smile.

“Bakugou-kun and Kirishima-kun were trapped in the ruins by Bakugou’s big booms-- sorry, explosions.”

Bakugou sneered, and Mei smiled dangerously back. Kirishima whacked his classmate. “Who the fuck are you extras?”

“Hatsume Mei and Collins Fianna of Support Course 1-F,” Mei announced proudly. “We were sent here to observe your class and come up with support items but we also beat up a lot of villains!”

Mei ignored the string of insults about how she wasn’t actually all that helpful and bent close to Fien to whisper something seriously.

“Don’t mention Izukkun’s name, call him Riya. It’s not my place to explain.”

She nodded minutely, understanding it was a secret, and rolled her shoulders. “Can you take Todoroki-kun?”

“Sure!” Mei took the hero student from Fien, turning and walking towards the front where Aizawa-sensei and Izukkun were approaching, doors wide open and several heroes weaving through the crowd to check on the kids. “I think the hero teacher has something to say.”

When they all gathered, Aizawa-sensei activated his quirk, garnering the attention of the whole crowd.

“My students, you handled the situation well, but do not let this go to your head. You will have sessions with Hound Dog, whether you think you need it or not. You are all too young to be thrown into that kind of battle, but we were unfortunately not given a chance.

“As some of you may have already learned, the five students from Class 1-F accompanied us to design support items and test their own while also observing 1-A in secret. When the battle broke out, they took control of the situation and, as Asui says, came up with a plan to get help. While what they did was incredibly reckless ,” Aizawa-sensei elaborates heavily, sending a glare at Mei, “it should also serve as a reminder that the other classes are not to be looked over in terms of potential or power.”

He said nothing else, and Izukkun helped the man limp over to an empty gurney where a paramedic started looking him over.

Izukkun came over to Mei, and she gave him a weak smile. He didn’t return it, but she knew he appreciated it anyway. “Fien-chan, get Todoroki to a paramedic. Meimei, round up the other two and get them to Maijima-sensei. I’m gonna get on the bus and have a mental breakdown.”

With that, he turned on his heel and walked straight out the door, ignoring the paramedics that tried to stop him. Mei stood in shock for a minute, before making a split-second decision.

“Can you get the rest of 1-F, Fien-chan? I’m gonna go help Riya.”

Fien nods resolutely, hurrying to a paramedic after taking Todoroki back and Mei practically ran to the bus.

Izukkun needed her, consequences be damned. 

Chapter Text

The door shut quietly behind him.

The house was silent as Izuku and his mother met eyes, one worried and the other exhausted but defiant.

“You’re hurt.”

Izuku flinched slightly, but held his ground. “I am.”

“You’re— you’re angry.”

“I am.”

Her green eyes searches his face, and Izuku quietly drew in a breath. “Izuku, I don’t like… I don’t like what Yuuei is doing to you.”

“Mom, wha—

“You’re always so angry, and you’re getting hurt, and you’re never at home…”

“Mom—”

“I’m taking you out of Yuuei, Izuku. It’s for the best— you were never this angry before.”

Rage, white-hit and turning his vision red, overtook his exhaustion.

Izuku’s bag hit the ground with a thud , which he ignored, not caring about how his mother gasped at his blatant disregard for the floor getting scratched or something. He didn’t care. This was no time to act meek or apologetic. 

“No.”

“Izuku, you don’t get a cho—”

“Yes, I do.” He slid the beanie off his head and took out the band, ruffling the black and green curls until they suited him. The MeiVision was still hidden under his scarf, which he adjusted to be a bit more comfortable. He was going to be himself right now, consequences be damned— this was his life, he was going to have a say in it. “And you’re going to sit down and listen to me.”

His mother gaped before sitting, seemingly on autopilot.

Izuku rolled his shoulders before crossing his arms. “Let’s play a game of true or false. I’ve been angry for a long, long time, and you’re pinning it on Yuuei because you don’t want me to have my own thoughts or feelings besides being content with the hamster cage you’re trying to fit me in. True or false?”

“I—”

“You keep claiming why I do is dangerous, which is valid, and try to protect me from it by forcing me away from the things I enjoy doing. True or false?”

“Izu—”

“You treat me like a fragile guinea pig instead of a human being that can make my own decisions. True or false?”

“Izuku!”

He couldn’t be stopped, though. Instead, he kept going in an even tone, refusing to let an ounce of emotion leak through. The moment he cried, it was over. He was not giving up his spot in Yuuei.

“You don’t let me live my own life and pursue my own aspirations because of my quirk statue. True or false?”

Silence.

“I’m going to my room. You can think about what I said while I pack my bags. I’m not coming back here until you get it in your head that I’m not a china doll or a pet. I’m a human, I have my own goals, and you need to accept that.”

Izuku picked up his bag of support items and walked to his room.

As soon as the door closed, he let the silent tears fall.

Of course everyone he knew would be against him.

After all, she was one of them . But why did his family have to break now, of all times?

In his desk drawer was a picture of him, aged three. His mother and father stood on either side of him. His father— Hisashi— smiled at the camera.

Izuku might have been young, but he remembered discovering the affair. He remembered the ugly divorce.  He remembered the venom his parents spat at each other as they parted.

Maybe his family was always broken.

Maybe that’s just how things always had been.

Tears continued to flow as he walked around his room, picking up some things. Most of his support shit, basically all of the things that weren’t in his bag, was at Meimei’s. He didn’t have many clothes, mostly just junk clothes he either kept in his locker at Yuuei or… at Meimei’s. Really, he was over there enough to build up his own supply of living supplies. Even his toothbrush was there.

Really, all that there was to grab were his old hero journals and his art supplies.

It was… it was okay, though. His mom would come around.

He would survive.

Just like he always has. 

 

When Hitoshi saw the kid on the train, he didn’t think much about it. Then he saw the soot-stained Yuuei uniform, and he did. Then saw the scarf and remembered-- oh, yeah, this was the quiet 1-F kid that was friends with the pink, excitable one. 

“Midoriya, right?”

The Support student jolted, his eyes cutting over to Hitoshi. After a beat, he relaxed. “O-oh. Yeah. You’re… Shinsou?”

Hitoshi nodded, feeling more than a little awkward. He had no idea how to talk to people. 

“Your classmate, the one with the big chin… he said you wanted to transfer into the Heroics Course.”

“... yeah.”

“That’s… that’s cool.” The tired boy nodded, his exhausted eyes sliding down to the bag in his hand. “So do I.”

“I thought Support students didn’t want to be heroes?” The words were out of Hitoshi’s mouth before he could bite them back, and he immediately felt the tips of his ears heat up.

“Normally, no,” he mumbled, foot scuffing the floor of the train. “I, um. I’m quirkless, so I wouldn’t pass the exam, and I needed to build my own support items. So I’m… I’m gonna be the first Support student to win the Sports Festival.”

He said that with so much force behind it that Hitoshi couldn’t help but agree. “Uh… good luck. I’ll be giving it my all, too.”

Midoriya looked at him with a surprised expression, which confused Hitoshi, until it melted into a tiny smile. Suddenly, Midoriya wasn’t just some exhausted, homeless-looking student-- his messy black hair framed his pale face, freckles like stars, green eyes still tired but now with a sort of emotion behind them that Hitoshi never saw directed at him.

“Thanks, Shinsou-kun. Good luck on transferring.”

The train stopped, and Midoriya got off with his laden bags, shoulders forward and defensive as he shoved through the crowd.

Hitoshi blinked stupidly, mentally cursing out his gay disaster heart as he wondered why Midoriya Izuku would be grateful to him.

Chapter Text

Friday. 

The day of the week in which, upon the ring of the final bell, the souls of all the students attempt to free themselves of their mortal flesh to follow the sense of exhilarating freedom. 

Unfortunately, it just reminded Izuku he would have to tell Meimei he had had a massive fight with his mother and that was why he slept over yesterday .

Maijima-sensei stood at the front of the room, his eyes focused on Meimei and Izuku, who were actually trying to pay attention.

“The Sports Festival will go on.”

Silence reigned the students of 1-F as he continued.

“On the first Saturday of May, or May 3rd, the Yuuei Sports Festival will take place as usual to show that Yuuei isn’t shaken by the attack.

“Something to note is that this is incredibly important. You could be transferred if you do well--” his eyes settled on Izuku-- “or you could advertise your support items. It’s a required school activity, and Management will be, well, managing it.”

There was a pause. 

“For the next three weeks, you will be dedicating the entire half-day you are given in Support classes to building the support items you want to use in the Sports Festival. That is all.”

There was a pause before Meimei and Izuku practically pelted to their work area.

“Illumnisphere--”

“Finalize Pink Bombs--”

“MeiVision--”

“But Sirencall--”

“Lightningrods--”

Silence fell for a moment before Izuku spoke.

“We’ll need to finish the Lightningrods so that we won’t have to go through the hassle of updating the MeiVision’s official model. Pink Bombs are pretty much done with, we just need to have Maijima-sensei approve them for professional work. Illumniphere and Sirencall need to come last so we don’t get stuck using only betas during the Festival.”

Meimei nodded, her crosshair eyes going to the table. “You work on the Lightningrods while I get the Pink Bombs to Maijima-sensei.”

 

At the end of the day, Izuku was wiping sweat off of his face and trying in vain to gather up all of his unruly hair. Mei grinned, more than a few ‘minor’ electrical burns decorating her hands and soot staining Izuku’s sleeves. 

“Just need to clear it with Maijima-sensei and the MeiVision/Lightningrod pair is ready to go!” She grinned, her eyes a bit more manic than what he was comfortable with. “Wanna test her out?”

“Oh, do I.”

 

Unfortunately, their plans were thwarted when they passed by 1-A’s classroom, to find the door crowded. Izuku had already slid on his MeiVision and beanie preemptively, of course, to avoid Katsuki recognizing him if they passed in the hall. 

“... I see that 1-A is just full of presumptuous assholes, though.”

Oh, is that Shinsou?

“Out of my way, extra .”

… and that’s Katsuki.

Wait, did Shinsou say that to Katsuki ?

Oh, shit.

Izuku shouldered his way past a few unfortunate students and grabbed Shinsou’s hand. The tall boy jumped, but Izuku dragged him back and away from the crowd, continuing on his journey to the gym with Meimei.

Shinsou gaped at Izuku when he released the purple-haired boy’s hand. “Wha- why?”

“Katsuki’s dangerous,” he replied simply. “Can’t risk pissing him off-- believe me, you’ll have a miserable fucking life if you get on his bad side.”

Meimei nodded seriously, shooting a glare at 1-A’s classroom. “I can’t believe you call him Katsuki. You aren’t friends.”

“Meimei, I called him Kacchan for fourteen years of my life.”

 

Could you really blame Shouta for following Maijima’s problem children when he heard Midoriya make that concerning comment about 1-A’s resident land mine?

They seemed to have befriended Shinsou, a boy he’d kept an eye on since he failed the Heroics exam-- Shinsou Hitoshi. Or, at least, Midoriya was looking out for the (significantly) taller boy as Hatsume talked enough for five people on her own. With how little input either boys put in, she was having a rather interesting conversation about… something. 

“Oh! I’m Hatsume Mei!”

“I… I know. We have the same core classes.”

“This is Izukkun! You should meet our babies!”

Shouta really doesn’t know if Hatsume’s word choice is intentional, but it has quite the amusing effect on the tall Gen Ed student. He chokes on air and stumbles, pitching forward. Midoriya slides over to catch Shinsou and right him.

Shouta doesn’t miss how Shinsou turns bright red, either. 

Ah, high school.

“She calls our support items ‘babies’,” Midoriya sighed with the rehearsed exhaustion of someone who had said it so many times they were sick of it. 

“Oh.”

“We’re heading to Gym Alpha to test the final beta version of our support item. Want to join?” Hatsume offered. 

“Yeah--”

“Don’t you need supervision for that?”

Hatsume shrieked , literally leaping into Midoriya’s arms. Midoriya promptly drops her on the floor, staring at Shouta flatly. Shinsou looked quite startled, but didn’t seem to have a voice to accompany that.

“Yeah. That’s why you’re here.”

The black-and-green-haired Support student turned on his heel, continuing on his path.

 

Shouta didn’t know how he ended up teaching a trio of kids to use escrima rods, but they definitely ended up staying late, the three going home two hours later with the basics of the twelve strikes down. He thinks it may have been something about watching the kid handle his ‘Lightningrods’ wrong, and calling it out, and the problem child asking him to correct him if he got something wrong. One thing led to another, and he was demonstrating for the three brats.

Hizashi was giving him a very smug look when he finally got back to the apartment, which didn’t help him at all .

“Found some kids to mentor?” He teased.

He huffed, collapsing on the couch. “I’m not a mentor. Just a couple of problem children demanding I show them how to use escrima sticks correctly.”

“You keep telling yourself that.”

 

Hitoshi wasn’t sure what to think.

First, he’s challenging 1-A. Next thing he knows, the (low-key cute) oh-so-eloquent Midoriya Izuku swoops in, grabs his hand and drags him away, then he meets Eraserhead and learns some escrima or something while not being able to get a single word out.

Plus how adeptly Hatsume needled Eraserhead into agreeing to come back again to show them more. That was a whole ass thing.

And then how it actually happened . Every day for the past week, with a highly annoyed Eraserhead— no, Aizawa-sensei— directing them.

“What’s your quirk, Shinsou-kun?” Hatsume looked over with a big smile. “Mine is Zoom!”

Oh. Wonderful. This question. “... Brainwashing. I can brainwash people if I ask them something.”

After a beat, he heard muttering.

Hitoshi looked over to Midoriya, who seemed to be staring into space. Then, he snapped back with a small grin. “Auditory or response?”

“... response.”

His palm slammed onto the bench next to him. “Meimei! We’re finishing the Sirencall within the week!”

Hatsume cackled, throwing her head back. “Sir, yes, sir!”

That didn’t bode well.

Chapter Text

Izuku stood next to Meimei, Shinsou not far off. Meimei was bouncing on the balls of her feet, and Izuku just stood lazily next to her, hands shoved into the pockets of his gym kit and ignoring the weird looks he and the other 1-F students (plus Shinsou) got for being completely decked out in support items. 

Fien came up to Izuku’s other side, ginger hair pulled into a high ponytail. “Midoriya-kun, are you sure this will work?”

Her accent is thicker than usual, and Izuku takes it to mean she’s anxious. He huffed a breath before responding. “Have I ever led you wrong?”

“Just last week we all nearly got detention because you convinced us to help you test your Il-lum-ni-sphere on the wood teacher’s desk…”

Meimei waved her hand dismissively. “It was old and he shouldn’t have such a fire hazard in a Support classroom anyway. It all went according to plan and nobody got detention. It was a total success.”

“Hinata was suspended for three days,” Reiki reminds her.

“It was a total success,” Izuku echoes Meimei, and Shinsou snorts.

It hadn’t taken long for Aizawa-sensei to dub Shinsou as a ‘problem child’ when they may or may not have possibly, completely by accident, blew up a locker that definitely did not belong to a quirkist bastard from 1-D that called Shinsou a villain in front of Izuku. Shinsou hadn’t done anything or even been present, but Aizawa-sensei seemed to determine who was problematic by things that were caused because of them, not necessarily by them. But Izuku would never target a person for any reason-- no, sir.

AAAAAAND WELCOME TO THE YUUEI SPORTS FESTIVAL!!!

Izuku regrets being born.

I’M PRESENT MIC, HERE WITH 1-A’S HOMEROOM TEACHER, AIZAAAAAWAAAAA SHOUTAAAAAAAA!

I was held at gunpoint.

Izuku regrets being born slightly less.

DON’T BE RIDICULOUS, AIZAWA! THIS IS THE FIRST-YEAR STAGE, WELCOMING… THE INVINCIBLE 1-A, SHAKING OFF A VILLAIN ATTACK WITH WILLS OF STEEL!

The crowd roars. “Get into positions! Go, go, go!” Mei raised her voice over the din to be heard by the other students of 1-F. Izuku hated being touched, but he would deal with it… they even managed to get Hinata in on the plan.

Oh, and Hinata was less of an asshole now. He had apologized out of the blue to Izuku for being an ass at the USJ, and offered to be the fall guy in return.

… he was still a jerk, but more in a rough-around-the-edges way than a Bakugou-Katsuki kind of way. 

FOLLOWING THEM ARE HEROICS 1-B, GENERAL EDUCATION 1-C, 1-D, AND 1-E, SUPPORT 1-F, 1-G, AND 1-H, ANDDDD MANAGEMENT 1-I, 1-J and 1-K!

The others filed out, many muttering about how little fanfare they got, but 1-F stayed in position. They knew exactly what they were doing.

AND… 1-F? WHERE’S 1-F?

Meimei cackled and lurched into motion.

What the crowd (plus the teachers) were seeing was both simple and elaborate, causing many to wonder how just five students managed to pull it off. The answer was simple-- bribery of upperclassmen who weren’t participating in their Festivals-- but no good Support student showed their hand.

Twin flames shot out from the student entrance, and something was thrown into the path of the flames that exploded into extremely attention-grabbing pink. Midoriya Izuku sat on the shoulders of Collins Fianna and Reiki Perl, who ran out at top speed with the small boy somehow making it work. Hatsume Mei followed closely behind, dashing on their heels while holding two long, equally pink streamers. Hinata Ban trailed last, slightly slower while hoisting a large sign over his head, in perfect calligraphy:

ALL HAIL THE UNLAUDED HEROES OF THE USJ

There was a moment of silence before a deafening mix of laughter and cheering came from the stands. Izuku used his MeiVision to look up at the announcer’s box and stifled a laugh-- Yamada-sensei was frozen, mouth half-open with clearly no idea what to say while Aizawa-sensei had a hand over his face.

Eventually, Aizawa-sensei’s voice echoed over the stadium.

And Support Course 1-F, the other class trapped in the USJ during the attack and took out a total of thirty-eight villains. Are you problem children happy now?

Izuku stuck his hands out in a double thumbs-up with a lazy smile as 1-F caught up with the rest of the crowd, disassembling the decorations and Hinata using Meimei’s flamethrower to set the poster sign on fire.

Shinsou and Tsu walked up, Shinsou with an amused smirk and Tsu with the same blank look on her face as always but crinkled eyes. 

“That was cool, kero ,” she started, “but won’t you get in trouble?”

Meimei winked before whispering conspiritorially, “It was a crowd-pleaser. They can’t touch us.”

“It was reckless, though,” Shinsou threw in.

Izuku shrugged as Reiki sighed. “Midoriya-kun wanted to launch a dark red version of the Pink Bomb at 1-A and have us come out like ‘battle-weary heroes’, but Hatsume hot that one down fast.”

“It was a good idea,” Izuku insisted despite the look he gets from his pink-haired friend. 

Kayama-sensei stood up front with her whip thingy and a suit that some of the guys nearby were freaking out over but Izuku didn’t see much of a problem with. She had to have it thin for her quirk-- it wasn’t meant for sex appeal, though that could have been a secondary motivator. He didn’t really see the ‘sex appeal’ in it either, but oh well.

“Alright! Let’s look at this wheel to see what our kidlets are gonna do first!”

“It’s rigged,” Collins said casually as it began to spin. “Race with objects in it.”

“Obstacle course?”

“Yes, thank you.”

The wheel stopped, and wouldn’t you know it-- obstacle race.

Izuku let an evil smirk slide across his face.

Oh, everyone was so gonna hate him.

 

The students were lined up, most shifting from foot to fit and checking out the competition. Despite their show of power, 1-F was mostly ignored-- after all, no Support student had ever even posed a real threat in a Sports Festival-- so it was all going pretty well, in Izuku’s opinion. 

ONE MINUTE TO START!”

“Papa-Romeo!” Meimei announced loudly. She got a lot of weird looks, but Shinsou and 1-F all took canisters from their belts and sprayed the contents onto their shoes liberally.

“Papa-Bravo! Whiskey-Hotel!”

Small pearls of pink sat inside thin glass held by every student in 1-F, and Shinsou held the nozzle of something that looked slightly different from a flamethrower. 

IS THE PINK GIRL SAYING SOMETHING?

Hatsume Mei of 1-F is speaking in the American phonetic alphabet. Looks like they’re preparing for something.

WELL, THIRTY SECONDS TO DO IT, THEN!

Izuku smirked, and those who looked upon felt a shudder run down their spines.

Before them was a tunnel-- those most wouldn’t, Izuku recognized it as the first obstacle. Only a few could fit at a time. And it worked perfectly with their plan.

FIVE!

He braced his feet against the earth, MeiVision fit snugly over his face.

FOUR!

Meimei shot him a smile.

THREE!

Shinsou rolled his shoulders.

TWO!

Reiki, Fien and Hinata readied their stances, neutral faces becoming ones of determination.

ONE!

The world held its breath.

GO, GO, GO!!!!!

Izuku was running before his brain could process it. The flamethrower-like nozzle Shinsou was holding spat water onto the ground just inside the tunnel, and five glass pearls of pink followed quickly, shattering and then exploding into a pink mass that covered a good five-meter stretch. Most of the students at the front reared back, not expecting the move at all, but 1-F and Shinsou ran across the pink goo without any issue.

Stupidly, Midget from 1-A decided that 1-F running across it meant it was safe and tried to run over with a horde of other students…

… that immediately got trapped in the goo.

Meimei cackled , pulling a mic from nowhere and clipping it to her collar.

THE FIRST OBSTACLE-- THE NARROW PASSAGE! 1-F DOMINATES, USING--

Aaaaaand that, folks, was the Pink Pearl, aka Pink Bomb Mini!

1-F was being quickly pursued (and overtaken) by a choice pair of 1-A students-- Bakugou and Todoroki. Izuku paid them no mind, of course, simply enjoying the workout until he hit the next obstacle.

WHAT??

This is Hatsume Mei from the Support Course, Class 1-F! The Pink Pearl is a saller, less potent version of the Pink Bomb. It is an explosive with sticky-- and bright-- results, and expands when it comes into contact with regular ol’ H20! Designed by yours truly, Hatsume Mei, that’s H-A-T-S-U-M-E M-E-I, and her partner Midoriya Izuku, that’s M-I-D-O-R-I-Y-A I-Z-U-K-U, it’s sure to be a non-destructive way to apprehend villains, with a method to easily remove it told to support companies and heroes that use it!

Izuku silently thanks every god that’s watching that Katsuki has his hearing aids off- he’d seen him take them out before the Festival started, likely to prevent interference from the noise. Otherwise, the explosive blond would have turned around just to pound Izuku into the dirt on live TV.

… well, there was still daylight left for that.

Stay tuned for more exciting support items designed from Support Course 1-F!

There was an awkward pause fro the announcer’s box before Aizawa-sensei resumed with a flat voice. “ And with that interruption, twenty-three students are still stuck in the concoction at the starting line, and twenty-one more still fighting through the passage.

AAAAAAND TODOROKI SHOUTO OF 1-A TAKES US TO THE SECOND OBSTACLE-- THE ROOOOBOOOO INFERNOOOOOO!

Robots. Oh no. Whatever will they do, with their Lightningrods and water hoses? What a tragedy. It’s almost like they had no idea there would be any form of robot.

Meimei breaks into the recording again. “ Also by Midoriya Izuku and Hatsume Mei are the Lightningrods, paired with a special tool we will introduce later! They are escrima sticks with a high voltage charge that’s enough to incapacitate but not kill, unless you’re beating up a very old man for whatever reason! And the Pink Bomb 1.0, the bigger and more potent version of the Pink Pearl! Hatsume Mei, that’s H-A-T-S-U-M-E M-E-I, and Midoriya Izuku, that’s M-I-D-O-R-I-Y-A I-Z-U-K-U! Over and out!

Izuku grabs a bit of scrap, an idea forming, before he took off again, his friends all around him. Shinsou rode on the backs of several brainwashed students and he rolled his eyes, extending a hand to Izuku.

Izuku smirked and took it, giving his legs a break as he settled on a particularly broad boy’s shoulders beside Shinsou, nudging his purple-haired friend.

“Hey. This is the second time I’ve ridden someone today.”

“Living like a king,” Shinsou snorted, rolling his eyes in return.

AND BAKUGOU KATSUKI OF 1-A TAKES US OVER THE FALL! DON’T LOOK DOWN!

Truly the worst thing to ever happen to 1-F and Shinsou. They had no plan for a giant gap. None. Truly, they’re winging it. As if they didn’t plan for every single thing that could come of a obstacle course.

Fien grinned wildly as she paused at the edge to secure her laser on her back, linking arms with everyone going down in a line. Shinsou just shook his head and took Izuku’s arm, ignoring how Reiki’s face goes a bit blank as drones descend from the sky and start lifting up the six of them.

And then Fien points the laser directly down and activates it.

And hoo boy , they went NYOOM over that chasm.

By Collins Fianna, that’s C-O-L-L-I-N-S F-I-A-N-N-A, the Heatblast! A super focused laser that can be set to two different modes, melt and force, to either propel somethin at high speeds or melt through even plasteel! By Reiki Perl, that’s R-E-I-K-I P-E-R-L, the Pegasus drone, meant for leightweight heroes to ride through the skies at speeds of 20mph!

AND THE LAST OBSTACLE-- THE MINE FIELD!!!

The moment they landed, Shinsou brainwashed a couple students to carry him independently. 1-F broke apart as they went about their own ways. It was the final stretch, and everyone wanted to earn it themselves.

So, naturally, Izuku dug up the mines with the plate metal as Meimei announced more 1-F support items with the cheer of a natural saleswoman. 

Problem Child. What are you doing with those mines.

Izuku jumped at being addressed directly, but grinned disturbingly at the announcer box and backing up a few steps, plate metal in front of him like a snowboard.

And then jumped directly onto the pile of mines.

It didn’t burn him like Katsuki’s explosions did or stain him with soot like his support item malfuntions would. Instead, with a bang! and more glitter than was strictly necessary, Izuku was launched into the air.

He wouldn’t be able to describe to Meimei later what flying felt like-- both exhilirating and freeing at the same time as being mortally terrifying. 

But he could describe in perfect clarity what it was like to slam the metal into Todoroki and Bakugou’s chests as he flew over them, and what it was like to land a bit awkwardly, but dashing with legs long since trained to flee and avoid small obstacles straight across the finish line.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND WE HAVE OURSELVES A WINNER-- MIDORIYA IZUKU OF SUPPORT COURSE 1-F, CLOSELY FOLLOWED BY TODOROKI SHOUTO OF 1-A AND BAKUGOU KATSUKI OF 1-A!

Izuku was already out of the finishing area by the time Katsuki was across the finish line, hearing Yamada-sensei announce, one by one, Shinsou and the rest of 1-F’s crossing.

Izuku had planned for everything, he realized. Except one thing.

How he would hide in between rounds.

Chapter Text

Bakugou Katsuki hated Deku.

When they were young, it hadn’t exactly been hate. Contempt, definitely. The fucking quirkless piece of shit followed Katsuki everywhere , tears streaking his stupid face and laughing as if nothing was wrong, ever. 

Katsuki hadn’t really hated Deku until the day of the sludge incident.

He dared to look down on Katsuki, who was so obviously better than Deku and everyone else in their school of extras, but Deku went and applied for Yuuei

He shouldn’t have told the worthless nerd to jump off a building. He knew that. He was right , of course— the world would be better off— but he set some fire in the useless idiot that hadn’t been there before.

And when that sludge villain attacked Katsuki? He had it handled! All Might was there! But Deku had to jump in and ruin his fucking chances at impressing the Number One Hero.

The next day, Deku looked him in the eye for the first time with something other than misery or idolization. No, it was a look of pure, unadulterated loathing as he spat Katsuki’s name-- Katsuki’s real name-- like it was something nasty he had bitten into. And Katsuki hadn’t known what to say-- Deku had never called him anything but Kacchan in their lives, something the hag would joke about often, how Deku had immediately given Katsuki a nickname the moment he could speak.

And the fucking flower. Katsuki didn’t see the nerd shed a tear over it, instead waving it around as if it were a daisy he picked in a field and not a suicide bait.

For the rest of the year, the quirkless piece of shit either snapped at him or outright ignored him. Katsuki made his beatings harder, but nothing turned Deku back into the way he was.

And then.

This.

Deku had the audacity to get into Yuuei and hide from Katsuki. And then beat him in something.

He knew something was up with the nerd ‘Riya’ from 1-F, the one who always had a beanie and goggles, but ‘Riya’ was just another extra to Katsuki, no matter how high-and-mighty the Support shitbag acted. 

But no-- ‘Riya’ was Deku.

Katsuki’s palms twitched with small sparks as he stormed through the stadium halls, red eyes scanning and practically kicking open every door in search of the worthless asshole. Katsuki would make him pay for what he did.

A pair of Support extras were loitering in the hall just outside one of the doors, this one marked 1-F. He recognized them, of course-- the ginger retard that couldn’t form sentences correctly and the half-American bastard with the identical twin in General Education that kept seeking Katsuki out for the past few weeks (since the announcement of the Sports Festival, really) just to stare at him silently (and he would never admit how unsettling her violet eyes were).

Katsuki was many things, but stupid was not one of them. He had to get them out of the way-- he just knew Deku was in there. And if Deku ended up dead, he didn’t want witnesses.

“Out of the way, extras,” he growled.

The retard blinked at him with narrowed eyes that almost reminded him of the old Deku’s-- innocent and full of life and stupidity-- but these were many shades paler, a sickly yellow-green rather than Deku’s puke green. But the most major difference between her and the old Deku’s eyes was that she was glaring at him as if he had personally attacked her. And as far as Katsuki knew, he’d never spoken to her before. 

“We are not taking visitors,” she said with a heavy Irish accent that somehow didn’t make her words less clear. “Especially not 1-A bastards with a… what’s the word-- ah, vendetta against our classmates.”

American Bastard tilted her head slightly to the side, her eyes uncomfortably similar to that of her twin’s in intensity. Unlike her twin, however, she did speak, each word laced with threat. “We could always get a teacher if you refuse to leave, of course.”

Fuck.

Katsuki’s hands twitched with the desire to shove past them and blow through that door to explode Deku straight to Hell, but he knew that he wasn’t gonna get past these two. Not without jeopardizing his place in 1-A.

Ginger Retard’s hand drifted to a utility belt laden with pockets and pouches, her eyes focused on him with an implacable fury he didn’t like. 

Katsuki turned around and walked back to 1-A’s preparation room.

After all, Deku had ten million points. That’s ten million reasons to beat the shit out of him in the second round and get away with it.

 

Mei refused to regret what she did.

Izukkun’s private life was his own, yes. But there was a point in which some things needed to be shared, and Izukkun wouldn’t have done it himself. He would definitely be mad at her if he knew what she did, but she wouldn’t let her Izukkun get hurt again.

The day after the Sports Festival was announced, she texted 1-F to meet her before class while she knew Izukkun would be preparing the workshop for a solid half hour with laser-focus. He always hated how disorganized Mei was, so he would always make her go do something else while he did that, so she met with 1-F in an old Support classroom that was mostly used for testing incendiary weapons (and it showed in the scorched surfaces). 

“Hatsume, why are we here?”

Hinata was an asshole, sure, but she needed his help, too. Mei needed all of 1-F on Izukkun’s side.

“It’s about why Izukkun and I asked you to call him Riya in front of people outside of 1-F.”

Reiki had lifted her head a bit, sliding her phone into her pocket-- something she rarely did, as with her Technopath quirk she liked to soak up knowledge from all corners of the internet. It meant she understood it was a heavy situation, and respecting it. Mei appreciated it.

“Please don’t tell him I told you this, but it needs to be said because I need your help and for that, you need to understand the situation.”

Fien crossed her ankles, fitting two earbuds into her ears that she and Reiki had designed together-- something to help her understand Japanese a little better by filtering it into Irish. On her mouth was a prototype of something that could work the opposite way-- filtering Irish into Japanese-- though that wasn’t the main function. Mostly something Izukkun had thrown in when he learned Fien struggled a lot with Japanese, especially when she was stressed. 

Mei wrung her hands nervously, not looking at Hinata as she spoke. 

“Before Izukkun came to Yuuei, he was a victim of peer abuse and severe discrimination because of his lack of a quirk. It’s why he;s always so nervous around you guys, and why I’m talking about it now. Because his main bully, someone who suicide baited him and has scarred him mentally and physically, got into Yuuei and Izukkun is hiding from him so he won’t have to deal with the abuse again.”

Silence met her words, Hinata’s face going slack with horror and realization. The prototype Fien was wearing spat out gibberish as the girl flinched with her whole body, a moment later than Reiki did, the latter’s purple eyes flying open and her hands covering her mouth.

“During the Sports Festival, Izukkun will have to face him. I need your help to keep them separated-- he’s dangerous and he might severely wound or even cripple Izukkun.”

More silence, and Mei braced for the worst.

Then, shockingly, Hinata spoke.

“What’s the bastard’s name?”

She felt color return to her face. “Bakugou Katsuki of Heroics Course 1-A. Don’t piss him off directly, or he might hurt you, too… Izukkun was scared of telling me about it because he didn’t want me going after the bastard.”

Reiki slowly raised her hand.

“Yeah, Reiki-chan?”

Her body was shuddering badly as she spoke haltingly. “My sister, Aria, has an Empath quirk. She… she knows he’s very hostile and has been keeping an eye on him. Can… can I ask her to keep an even closer eye on him?”

“Yeah, Reiki-chan. Thanks,” Mei smiled weakly at her classmate. “The more information we have, the better.”

Hinata shook his head, running a hand over his face. “This is so fucked up. I’m such an ass… I’m gonna apologize to Midoriya. Kami above, he doesn’t deserve me being a jerk on top of that shit.”

“Thanks, Hinata-kun.”

No, Mei wouldn’t regret a damn thing she did. 

Especially not since she heard Bakugou being turned away by Reiki and Fien at the door as Izukkun talked with Hinata and Shinsou about some invention he was collaborating with Hinata on and Shinsou was testing for them. 

She hated the fear in his eyes when she found him hiding under the table in this room, his arms wrapped around his legs in a fetal position, before she stationed Reiki and Fien outside and called Shinsou in to distract Izukkun from his panic. 

Mei did the right thing, even if Izukkun wouldn’t agree with her.

 

Hitoshi was worried about Midoriya.

Maybe a week ago, about two weeks after they had all started ‘training in’ (read: annoying him into teaching them) escrima under Aizawa-sensei together, Hatsume had pulled him into a burnt-up old Support room with the rest of 1-F (minus Midoriya), explained about the hardships his short black-haired friend had dealt with in his past, and recruited him into helping 1-F keep Bakugou away from Midoriya. He may or may not have suggested they called it the Izuku Protection Squad. Which may or may not have become their official group name.

So being called in with 1-F to talk to Midoriya and distract him wasn’t a surprise. 

What was a surprise was finding the small teen curled up under a table and having to bribe him with cat videos to come back out and even Hinata pitching in to get the topic to something Midoriya was passionate about.

Suddenly, Midoriya’s face became thoughtful. “You know, you all can call me Izuku, right? Perl, Fien and Mei do. What’s up with you two?”

Hitoshi’s eyes widened to what he knew was comical and prayed his hair was droopy today and was covering his ears because he knew they had just turned tomato red. Hinata snorted.

“Yeah, then I’m Ban.”

“Okay, Ban-kun. What about you, Shinsou?”

Hitoshi was a slave to those green, green eyes, dark as the leaves of the trees in a night-cloaked forest, yet lively and inquisitive as one of his beloved cats. He felt the heat creep into a flush high on his cheeks. “Oh- uh-- yeah, s-sure. Call, call me, um… Hitoshi.”

Kami, he sounded so stupid . CURSE his gay, pining heart.

Mido-- Izuku , his mind was screaming at the sudden first-name basis-- offered a small, small smile that honestly made Hitoshi feel like he couldn’t breathe, and stood up. “Come on, Hitoshi-kun, Ban-kun. The second round is starting soon.”

It really was too bad that Izuku was probably straight.

Chapter Text

Groups of four, huh?

Izuku and Meimei automatically grabbed each other’s arms, plans already scrambling to form.

The rest of 1-F glanced their way, giving small waves, but broke off to their own groups. Perl and a girl identical to her paired with Ban and a boy with weird eyelashes from 1-B. Fien is recruited by this annoying blond boy and vine girl, both from 1-B, and a bird headed dude from 1-A-- Izuku’s pretty sure his name is Tokoyami.

Well, there goes all his friends.

“‘Sup.”

The welcome sight of his tall purple friend sends relief coursing through Izuku’s veins. He had to crane his neck a bit to look Hitoshi in the eye as he got up close, but it was worth it. His intimidation tactic worked-- Hitoshi looked vaguely uncomfortable.

“Join our team,” he commands.

Hitoshi nods so fast, Izuku actually stops to wonder if he was the one with the brainwashing quirk, but brushes it off. Hitoshi’s just weird. 

There was an awkward pause as they waited for Meimei to reappear, and Izuku stood patiently in front of Hitoshi. If you’ve ever seen a picture of a rather frightening black cat sitting in front of a mildly disturbed panther, that was an accurate comparison. 

Meimei finally reappeared, a girl with a brown bob in tow. She looked pretty proud of herself, too.

“This is Uraraka Ochako from 1-A!” she announced. “She’s got a zero-gravity quirk that totally fixes our weight problem!”

Izuku nodded, looking at their small group. “I’ll be the rider-- I can balance easily and I’m a smaller target than anyone else here. Uraraka-chan, if I’m correct, you can’t levitate yourself without negative effects, so you’re front horse to keep the balance. Hitoshi, take my rocket boots and be on the left flank. Brainwash everyone you can to keep them or others away. Meimei, left flank. Throw Pink Bombs, electrocute people, go nuts.”

They all nodded.

 

The teams looked tensely at each other, all bracing to run.

AND… START!

Izuku would be lying through his teeth if he said he faced the oncoming flood of teenagers running at Meimei, Hitoshi, Uraraka and himself. 

Nope, he screamed like one of those white girls in horror movies that die first. 

Meimei laughed like a madwoman as Uraraka brushed her hands over the other three, before Hitoshi and Meimei activated their boots and they shot up into the air in a near miss with the mob. 

WHAAAAAAAT?! IT SEEMS THAT TEAM MIDORIYA IS AIRBORNE!

No, really?

A whip of something came from the elbows of a guy on Todoroki’s team. Meimei laughed harder, her Lightningrod active and swiping out to catch it in an instant.

The electricity ran down the weird stuff, which quickly retreated as Elbow Boy shrieked. Vine Girl attempted to do the same, ending up with a pink blob sticking her hair together. 

BOOM-pop-pop-pop !

Izuku froze as he heard the all-too-familiar sounds, muscles bracing to flee or take a hit. 

Katsuki was flying at him, face contorted in rage as he extended a hand for Izuku--

-- and a drone smashed into his front, a claw extending to rip the headband off of Katsuki’s face.

Katsuki was just barely caught by his team as he turned his attention to the offenders: the Reiki twins and their team.

Izuku would thank Perl if he wasn’t so damn terrified for her.

Minutes ticked by as Izuku and his team flew back and fourth across the stadium, watching Monoma and Fien’s team rack up points with ambushes and Todoroki’s team annilhating everyone that stepped in their way. Reiki Aria, Perl’s twin, now had a grand total of zero bands on her forehead, but she and her team still ran after Katsuki, thwarting him every chance they had.

… this event was really, really boring if you could fly. 

More and more broke off in their chase after Izuku and it became a free-for-all that he and his team observed quietly, occasionally throwing in a comment to each other to change positions.

One minute left.

“We should head down at thirty,” Izuku said decisively. 

Uraraka gives him a weird look, but restores gravity to the team as the decended--

-- straight into the waiting grasp of Todoroki’s team. Todoroki reached out with his right hand- always his right - so Izuku does what Izuku does best:

Make everything far more difficult than it has to be.

His Lightningrod is out in the blink of an eye, tip jabbing into Todoroki’s left shoulder. Todoroki spasmed, a ripple of fire running aross his arm that flashed out and drove Izuku back, his team fleeing unscathed again.

Then, Izuku notices something.

Iida’s exhaust pipes are glowing.

RECIPRIO--

-- Iida explodes forwards, and Izuku drops sideways to avoid his reaching hand--

-- and falls directly into Hitoshi’s extended arms.

There was a beat of pure silence as the timer ran down, all knowing it was futile to try and get Izuku’s headband, and Izuku himself internally flipping his shit because what the fuck his friend is carrying him BRIDAL STYLE and Meimei is laughing her ass off and he KNOWS people in the audience are too and holy mother of fuck this is embarrassing--

AAAAAAAAND TEAM MIDORIYA COMES IN FIRST WITH TEN MILLION, EIGHT HUNDRED AND FORTY-FIVE POINTS!

Following behind is Team Bakugou with nine hundred and sixty points, Team Todoroki with nine hundred and fifty points, and Team Monoma with six hundred and fifteen points.

Uraraka and Meimei break away from Izuku and Hitoshi, the traitors, and laugh at his expense as Hitoshi, dear, sweet Hitoshi, has gone a shade of red Izuku didn’t know was possible for anyone but himself, and was intimately aware his own face was a similar color. 

“Uh,” he managed. “This. This is a thing. That happened.”

Hitoshi nodded back, his face the picture of awkwardness as he attempted to set Izuku down without just dropping him, which was a whole ass process but one Izuku appreciated nonetheless. Meimei was laughing, her arm on Uraraka’s shoulders, the entire damn time. 

When Izuku regained his footing, he tried his damndest to ignore the crowing of his best friend as Yamada-sensei talked about the break.

They headed dazedly to the break area, Izuku dazedly holding Meimei’s sleeve and letting her guide him as he tried to process that he just won TWO events--

“Midoriya, is it?”

Izuku blinked out of his reverie, looking at the new voice. Todoroki stood there, his face as cold and hostile as it always was when Izuku saw him. 

“May I speak with you?”

 

Katsuki was hunting that piece of shit.

Showed him up-- humiliated him-- in not one, but two events! Events that he had almost won! 

So when Half n’ Half took Deku away from his snarling coven of freaks, he saw it as a chance. Wait for Deku to be alone, teach the quirkless fuckwad a lesson, then win the Sports Festival. 

He followed them to a tunnel, and pressed himself against the wall to listen.

“Midoriya, you made me break a promise.”

There was a pause before Deku interrupted it. “So what?”

Katsuki would be surprised if he didn’t already know the asswipe had changed in the past year. The old Deku would have fluttered his hands with a string of apologies and tears in his eyes. But Katsuki didn’t know this new Deku, and he hated how he couldn’t predict a damn thing he did.

“So,” Half n’ Half continued tightly. “I want you to understand what you’ve done.”

“Shoot.”

“Have you ever heard of quirk marriages?”

If Katsuki cared about Half n’ Half in the least, he’d probably feel guilty about spying, but he doesn’t, and he didn’t, as the Icyhot Bastard told his sob story.

“And that’s why I have to beat you… without my father’s power.”

There was a long, tense silence. 

Then,

Clap . Clap . Clap .

Was Deku slow clapping ?

“Great. Well, as horrible as your life is, I also don’t know who you are, Todoroki-kun. I hate Endeavor, don’t get me wrong, but you clearly don’t want me to do anything about it, so. Do you expect me to feel bad about doing my best?”

“That’s not what I was--”

“Then what is it, Todoroki-kun?” Deku snapped. “Is it how you were blessed with not one, but two incredibly versatile, powerful quirks and you’re not using one out of spite , and you’re being a pretintuous dick to me because I accidentally made you use it by defending myself? Is it that you don’t consider me worthy of using your quirk against?”

“You can’t even begin to understand--”

“Listen to me, Todoroki-kun. I’ve fucking been there . People I loved turning on me because of a quirk. People beating the shit out of me daily. I fucking get it , it hurts like hell, but one day when you’re a hero-- yes, when -- your ice isn’t going to be enough. What will you tell the mother of the child you could have saved but didn’t because of a grudge? What will you say to the world? That you half-assed everything-- literally-- because you wanted to be petty?”

“I--”

“Think about that , Todoroki, before you come bitching to me about how much your life sucks and how I’m the one ruining everything.”

There was a long, long silence.

“I’m sorry, that was harsh of me. But somebody needed to get that through your thick skull. I’m not sure what you really expected, though. I can’t help you unless you let me.”

Another pause.

“No, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have pinned it all on you. At least let me walk you back to your friends.”

“... okay.”

Damn it!

Katsuki wanted to punch something, but instead he just fisted the fabric of his gym kit, wanting the Icyhot Bastard to just leave .

Patience, he told himself. I’ll get my chance.

Chapter Text

“Alright, kiddies!” Midnight stood next to a bracket board, pointing at it with a wide smile. “Here are your matchups!”

Izuku fiddled with his gloves-- honestly, he was a bit annoyed with them, the rubber coating made them kind of stiff but it was necessary for wielding the Lightningrods on the off chance his hand slipped.

He was against some guy from 1-A named Kaminari. He glanced around, meeting the eyes of a blond with a black streak in his hair.

“Yo, Midoriya-kun,” he said easily. “Don’t mean to be offensive or anything, but… I haven’t seen you use your quirk yet, and I’m sure you’re super talented, but I’m kinda really good at one-on-one battles.”

 

Izuku stood opposite of Kaminari in the ring. Honestly, he hated that he was going first.

AND WE HAVE THE DARK HORSE FROM THE SUPPORT COURSE THAT HAS DOMINATED WITH PRODIGIOUS SKILL AND CRAFTSMANSHIP IN THE FIRST TWO ROUNDS-- MIDORIYA IZUKU!!

And… facing Midoriya for the first battle is Kaminari Denki from Heroics 1-A. The one with the electricity quirk… and stuff. Mic, please remind me why I’m here.

Electricity, huh?

“This’ll be over in a flash,” Kaminari winked. 

“START!” Midnight shouted.

“INDISCRIMINATE SHOCK!”

Kaminari crackled with energy, before it exploded outwards, running along the minute mineral deposits in the concrete towards Izuku.

Izuku flips forwards, palms out, and lands in a handstand. The electricity avoided his rubber-coated gloves and continued on its path away from him.

When izuku righted himself, Kaminari had the stupidest expression Izuku had ever seen on a human being’s face, thumbs-up.

“Kaminari?” he called uncertainly.

He blinked slowly, bobbing his arms.

“Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey.”

O-kay, then.

“Kaminari is unable to continue! Midoriya advances to the next round!”

He grinned to himself as robots escorted the electric teen away, and Izuku headed back to the stands to watch Sero v Todoroki.

Only to watch the poor boy get trapped in a glacier.

“Ouch,” Meimei vocalizes without a hint of pity on her face. “Looks like a tough guy to beat, Izukkun!”

Right. He has to fight him. Fun…

He suddenly remembers what Meimei wanted to do. “Hey! Um. Wouldn’t it be better to endorse your products by actually trying to win the Festival instead of just using somebody as a guinea pig.”

She pauses, finger tapping her chin like one of those anime girls. Then, she grins. “Yeah, that’s a great idea, Izukkun! See you in the semifinals!”

 

Mei faced Iida with a smile that made him shift from foot to foot. She was absolutely going to decimate this kid.

“START!”

Iida shot forward like a bullet from a gun, but she dodged.

I know what you all must be thinking-- what a smooth dodge that was, Hatsume! How fast! How elegant!

Iida sputtered, running after her again, but she hovered in the air just above him.

Well, that’s because of one of my personal favorite support items! The Jet works similarly to Gran Torino’s quirk, but allows for sustained flight, as they were utilized in the second round by Team Midoriya! Built by yours truly, Hatsume Mei, that’s H-A-T-S-U-M-E M-E-I!

Then, she pulled something else from her belt pouch-- a baseball-sized ball of what seemed to be thick, blue twine encased by a thin layer of glass. She zoomed into a VIP box and saw support representatives talking excitedly, and she grinned, all mania and joy.

This is the Blue Bomb, to keep with the theme of the previous Pink Bomb! What is it, and how does it work? I will demonstrate in a moment! This was designed by me and my partner, Midoriya Izuku, that’s M-I-D-O-R-I-Y-A I-Z-U-K-U! Thank you for your consideration!

She turns off her mic.

Hatsume, please stop hacking the sound booth, ” Aizawa-sensei sighed.

She makes an ugly face at him and zooms in just in time to see the equally hideous look he sends back, and she has never been so thankful Izukkun insisted on adding the ‘screenshot’ feature to the MeiVision because that picture is going to be a family heirloom. 

Glad to know the grumpy Heroics teacher was human. And to have blackmail on him.

She tosses the Blue Bomb carelessly at Iida, who funnily enough was too busy trying to figure out what her strange expressions were until it hit him square in the chest and exploded into long blue wires that wrapped around Iida and bound him tightly.

“Iida is unable to move! Hatsume advances to the next round!”

 

Momo was humiliated .

She was a recommendation student-- she should have fared better against Tokoyami! She was supposed to be the best, her parents expected her to be the best, but she didn’t even get the chance, overwhelmed before the match even began.

Hot tears of humiliation sprang to her eyes as she huddled in the corner of some dark, empty hall. She didn’t want anybody to see her like this. She was supposed to be strong .

She sat with her head between her legs, listening to naught but her own pathetic cries fueled by embarrassment and wretched disappointment.

“Y’know, it sounds kinda assholeish, but I’m sorta glad Tokoyami won. You could give Meimei a run for her money, but Tokoyami doesn’t stand a chance.”

Momo’s head shot towards the speaker and saw a black-haired boy sitting beside her with a blank expression that reminded her of Tsu, plus eyebags that rivaled Aizawa-sensei’s.

“S-sorry,” she managed through her haze of tears. “I’m just… I’m so pathetic .”

He blinked dark green eyes at Momo. “That’s your opinion. Mind if I share mine?”

She shook her head, ponytail a mess as it scraped against the wall behind her. It didn’t matter if this guy said she wasn’t good at anything-- she’d surely hear it from her brothers later.

“I saw you during the other rounds. You’re pretty badass and you’re really smart and creative-- you’d make a great hero or support designer, if you chose that path.”

Momo opened her mouth, then closed it.

She really, really wanted to be a hero and save people. But nobody had ever suggested she could be good at something different. 

“I was planning on asking you for help on making some rare materials me and my partner need for this support item we’re making in a few days or something. You’d be paid, of course.”

Momo legitimately had no idea what to do. He had single handedly took apart her self-deprecating phrase and then completely changed the subject away from the Festival entirely, and made it seem perfectly natural. How the fuck?

She smiled hesitantly and nodded. “Sounds great. I’m Yaoyorozu Momo, but call me Yaomomo. It’s less of a mouthful.”

The boy nodded. “I’m Midoriya Izuku.” The boy who won the other two rounds?! What was he doing wasting his time with her?! 

“Sorry-- I know I’m a mess,” she gestured to her hair.

The boy tilted his head slightly, eyes narrowing a bit at it. “I remember the style it was in-- do you mind if I try to fix it?”

She snorts. “Go for it.”

They spent the next five minutes (while Mina was preparing to face off with Monoma, Kyouka was telling her), with Midoriya trying and repeatedly failing to fix her ponytail before he gave up, shaking his head and standing. “Come on-- I know a back way to 1-F viewing room so you won’t have to be seen by anyone if you’re self-conscious about being tearstained and having your nice hair screwed up by an ameteur.”

Momo laughed wetly, allowing herself to follow the boy down a few different halls and noticing that he has some green highlights that catch the light when they make it to a brighter area. She also noticed he was really short. He pushed open the door to the 1-F viewing box, and a pink-haired girl ran over to greet Midoriya.

“Izukkun!” She grinned widely before turning her yellow gaze to Momo, and she notes the crosshair shapes in her pupils. “Hi! I’m Hatsume Mei, support designer extraordinaire! You’ve already met Izukkun-- you should meet our babies!”

Wh--

“Our support items,” Midoriya cuts into her thoughts with a scathing glare at his (girl?)friend. “We’re partners, we call our support items ‘babies’ and it causes a lot of misunderstandings. We aren’t dating and we definitely don’t have children.”

That made significantly more sense. Momo released a breath.

“Meimei, can you fix Yaomomo’s hair, please? I tried and fucked it up worse.”

Hatsume inspected Momo’s ponytail, then shook her head sadly. “I dunno--”

“I can.”

All eyes shifted to a tall boy with wild lilac hair and eye bags to match Midoriya’s. The boy suddenly looked immensely uncomfortable.

“Um. I’m Shinsou Hitoshi, from 1-C. I have two little sisters and two older sisters-- the oldest works as a movie makeup and hair artist. She taught me everything I know, and, ah… I’ve had a lot of practice on the rest of them.”

Momo smiled warmly at the boy, who relaxed a bit. “That’d be wonderful, Shinsou-kun.”

 

So maybe Hitoshi ended up doing everyone’s hair while Ashido fought Monoma (and eventually lost to the copycat 1-B student). Even Ban. Ban had short-ass hair, so Hitoshi ended up spiking his dark brown hair dramatically. Izuku now had a messy bun that wouldn’t come undone that Hitoshi definitely did not do because he thinks Izuku looks cute with a messy bun and was disappointed he didn’t see it more often. Hatsume had him braid her dreadlocks together, the Reiki twins wanted side ponytails going in opposite directions, Fien wanted a braid bun thing. And Yaomomo got her super cool ponytail back, so that was a thing.

His reputation was really dead to 1-F, wasn’t it?

He rolled his shoulders, standing across from Shiozaki.

“May this be a fair fight,” Shiozaki declared, doing a weird religious thing with her hands that Hitoshi didn’t really get but he would 

Hitoshi shook his head a bit, putting on the Sirencall. It was similar to a mask like the Winter Soldier’s, but black, and it had a mic inside and a speaker just on the front.

He ramped up the volume. 

FOR OUR NEXT BATTLE, WE HAVE THE MYSTERIOUS SHINSOU HITOSHI FROM GENERAL EDUCATION THAT HAS SOMEHOW COME OUT IN THE TOP TEN IN EVERY ROUND! VERSUS! THE ASSASSIN OF 1-B--

“Excuse me!” Shiozaki raised her hand. “I am no assassin-- to kill would be a sin! I simply want to bring peace.”

Hitoshi might not be able to zoom like Hatsume, but he knew Yamada-sensei was making a confused face. “ SORRY! THE KICKASS PEACEMAKER OF 1-B, SHIOZAKI IBARA! GOT ANYTHING TO SAY, AIZAWA?!

I wish I was asleep.

Oh, big mood.

“START!”

Shiozaki shot her vines forward, and Hitoshi panicked, searching for literally anything to say--

“I AM DISGUSTED , I AM REVOLTED , I DEDICATE MY ENTIRE LIFE TO OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST, AND THIS IS THE THANKS I GET?!”

The vines stop, dropping as Shiozaki gapes. “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize I was being so aggressive--”

The brainwashing hits the same time the joke did, the youth in the audience crowing with laughter as Hitoshi stood staring at the vine girl.

That worked ?!

“Walk out of the arena, then snap out of it,” he ordered.

Shiozaki swayed before turning and walking out.

WHAAAAAAAAAAAT?! THE MYSTERIOUS SHINSOU GETS EVEN MORE SO-- SHIOZAKI IS OBEYING HIM!

Shiozaki steps over the line, and color floods back into her eyes, and she blinks confusedly.

“Shiozaki is out of bounds! Shinsou advances to the next round!”

He grins victoriously.

It’s unfortunate when Fien loses to Uraraka-- she can’t exactly set off a nuclear explosion in the middle of a tournament-- but Uraraka and Hatsume talk really excitedly together after. And he can’t really say he didn’t expect it when Bakugou handed Kirishima his own ass.

He just really, really hoped Bakugou wouldn’t face Izuku.

Chapter Text

AND WE HAVE THE UNDEFEATED CHAMPION OF THE FESTIVAL, MIDORIYA IZUKU OF 1-F, VERSUS TODOROKI SHOUTO, THE UNDISPUTED MOST POWERFUL STUDENT IN 1-A!

Izuku looked Todoroki dead in the eye as he cracked his knuckles and ran his fingers over his belt, making absolutely sure he had everything in order. Todoroki’s eye twitched.

Izuku knew he had been harsh, but Todoroki needed to hear every word. 

“Mind if we chat for a bit before we really duke it out?” He asked leisurely. “I’d like to draw this out a bit, you know? Another glacier incident and the crowd would get bored. Besides, the cameras can’t hear us.”

Todoroki looked at him confusedly, but seemed to understand, and nodded. That was a bit odd for the aloof boy to agree, but maybe Izuku’s words before had gotten through to him.

“START!”

The walked to the center, and Izuku stuck out a hand that Todoroki awkwardly shook. 

“I feel like I should apologize for being so brash earlier, but I stand by what I said.”

The red-and-white boy nodded after a beat. “It’s okay. I think I needed to hear that from someone-- and it really wasn’t fair of me to unload that on you. I barely know your name.”

Izuku shrugged in response. “I feel like I should bring up one small, other thing.”

“Um. Go for it?”

“There are people in this stadium that don’t have a fraction of your power and are still fighting as hard as they can. Collins has a nuclear quirk that could kill us all if she used it past a tiny sliver of it that she uses to power her support items. Hatsume can zoom into things, and that’s it. Hinata has a calligraphy quirk.”

Todoroki shifted uncomfortably.

“They’re all brilliant and they’ve had to work their asses off to get to Yuuei. Even me, and I was even worse off.” He gets an inquisitive look, but pushes on. “To people like us, it’s a bit of an insult to brush off half of your amazing power and refuse to give it your all against people that have been giving it theirs.”

“It’s my father’s quirk,” he grits out. “I don’t want to be anything like him.”

“You aren’t.” Izuku tilted his head slightly. “Did your father directly give you his quirk? Is he quirkless now, and you’re wielding his quirk in his stead, like some kind of old sword?”

“No--”

“Then it’s your power, isn’t it?”

His eyes widened.

Izuku took a few steps back. “Sorry, Todoroki-kun. But I really am giving it my all.”

“Wha--”

He was wrapped in the tendrils of the Blue Bomb before he could get the full word out. Izuku bowed slightly. 

“Todoroki is unable to move! Midoriya moves onto the semifinals!”

“I hope to face you in real combat one day, Todoroki-kun.”

He turned, and began to walk off.

“Wait.”

Izuku looked over his shoulder at the boy who was standing, awkwardly wrapped in the Blue Bomb. “Hm?”

“What… what did you mean when you said you were worse off than Hatsume and Hinata and Collins?”

He frowned a bit and turned fully, pulling his spray bottle of saltwater from his belt and spraying the Blue Bomb off of the hero student.

“They have ‘weak’ or ‘useless’ quirks, Todoroki-kun. I don’t have one at all.”

He left Todoroki behind, returning to the viewing box of 1-F.

Meimei and Hitoshi would be waiting to congratulate him.

 

Shouto was… conflicted, in a word.

On one hand, Midoriya had seemingly yanked back a curtain he had refused to touch to show him what was through the window for the first time since he was little and his mother was still around.

On the other, he had just lost to a quirkless Support student-- Father would kill him.

He watched in a haze as Hatsume used some incendiary flash bomb she called the “Illumnisphere” to defeat Tokoyami with a lot more advertising than was strictly necessary, and then Shinsou somehow get Monoma to walk out of the arena, and then Uraraka and Bakugou’s bloody battle that ended in the explosive teen’s victory.

How much has Shouto missed out on because he let Father make him think that Shouto’s fire was his ?

 

Shouta was so, so tired.

He’s watched 1-F and Shinsou cause more chaos in one day than the entirety of 1-A’s year so far. From the overblown introduction to the fucking mine stunt to Hatsume somehow getting into the sound system (and Maijima was still trying to figure out how) to even the damn Vine that Shinsou screamed in the middle of a tournament to Midoriya somehow managing to subdue Todoroki without violence-- he was going to go grey early, andit wasn’t even from his class.

“You okay there, Shouta? Looking a little stressed,” Hizashi teased. “1-A hasn’t even caused a public uproar yet!”

“Fucking problem children ,” he grits out in response, hands twitching. “Brats have been causing chaos all fucking day.”

Hizashi’s eyes light up in mischievous understanding. “Oh, those kids that bugged you into teaching them escrima?”

Who the fuck else, Hizashi?

And his husband, the traitor, laughs.

Kami, he hates his job.

 

“Hey, Uraraka.”

Ochako looked up from her phone where she had just finished talking to her parents to see Hatsume. “O-oh. Hi.” She wiped her tears away.

Hatsume slumped into the chair next to her. “I’m having a moral dilemma, to be honest. There’s a chance that Hitoshi will beat Bakugou and Hitoshi will be a finalist, but that’s a chance I don’t want to take. I don’t want to hurt Izukkun, but that might be the only way to keep him from fighting that bastard.”

Ochako blinked at the pink-haired girl. “Do they have a grudge against each other?” she asked after a moment.

“More than that,” Hatsume huffed in response, sprawling her upper body on the cool metal table. “Bakugou is a complete fucking bastard and he’s gonna maim Izukkun if he gets the chance, and I mean that seriously-- he fucking hates Izukkun.”

Something clicked. “Is Midoriya that ‘Deku’ Bakugou’s been cursing out since the first round?”

Hatsume straightened at the name. “Don’t… don’t say that. Deku was a name people from Izukkun’s old school used to bully him, and it’s… it doesn’t bring up happy memories.”

“Oh. I’m sorry, I didn’t know.”

Hatsume shrugs. “Anyways, so I was thinking about this support item with might be able to help with your nausea…”

Chapter Text

Izuku had a lot of faith in his friends.

He knew that at least Meimei would always be there to support him. He knew that Hitoshi understood what it was like to be shunted aside for something they couldn’t control. 1-F knew he had overcome his barriers to make it this far.

But he also knew, no matter how long or hard Hitoshi trained, he couldn’t beat Katsuki.

Katsuki was savage, a brutal personality mixed with an incredibly destructive quirk. Katsuki had both intelligence and strength in spades, plus an overproduction of confidence-- it’s why everyone idolized him for years. It’s why Izuku idolized him.To young Izuku, Kacchan could do anything he set his mind to. Now, Izuku understood his old bully even better: Bakugou Katsuki would destroy every obstacle in his path to win, and he didn’t care what fell apart in the process.

If he could harness that, he’d be a great hero, Izuku knew. But until then, Izuku had to treat Katsuki as he was: a danger to himself and his friends.

Hitoshi didn’t stand a snowball’s chance in Hell against Katsuki. Neither did Meimei. To be honest, Izuku didn’t either, but he had the best chance out of all of them. He knew Katsuki best. He knew things they didn’t. He knew Katsuki’s fighting style, his weaknesses, his strengths. Katsuki barely knew Izuku anymore.

Izuku couldn’t stop Katsuki from hurting Hitoshi, unable to interfere with a public event or tak Hitoshi out of it. He did, in fact, know when it was no longer his place to step in. 

But he could save Meimei, and he swore to whatever got was watching him that he would. 

 

Mei was stressed.

Shinsou knew the stakes-- he knew what Bakugou would do to Izukkun if he gets the chance. Shinsou knew that Mei was going to be trying her damndest to save Izukkun from that. 

They both knew the odds of beating Bakugou and Izukkun. Where Izukkun lacked a quirk, he made up for it in pure tactical and analytical genius. He knew the ins and outs of Mei’s support items, how to disable them, how to escape from them, and how to counter them. 

Mei knew Izukkun, but he studied her. 

She stood across the arena from him, searching her best friend’s face for a trace of doubt, a flinch. No matter what Izukkun thought, Mei knew he couldn’t fight Bakugou and walk away unscathed. Even if he won, Mei knew he would be scared the entire battle. 

If Izuku lost, he wouldn’t be the same.

Mei remembered what he was like when she first met him: shrinking away from her when she spoke too loud or moved too suddenly, fear flashing in his eyes and jumping back with a strangled cry every time something exploded. The way he would try to hide in the shadows of his curly green hair whenever they walked down the street together, how he was always rushing to apologize even when it obviously wasn’t his fault. 

And Mei remembered what it was like the first time he laughed when his project went up in flames in front of him, anxious but delighted. The first time he called her Meimei. The first time he complained about Mei’s bad habit of leaving everything in total disarray. The first time he didn’t back down when they disagreed, his eyes blazing with the need to be right

She didn’t want Izukkun to go back to how he was before, scared of life and beaten down by the world. 

Izukkun’s eyes were terrifyingly blank as they stared each other down. And Mai knew in that exact moment, he was going to fight with everything he had.

“Pick a god and pray to it,” he said in a voice that sent chills down her spine. Mei’s hand tightened on her belt. “I’m not losing.”

“I know you won’t,” she murmured, barely audible to even herself. “I’ll pray to all of them for you, though.”

THE CHARISMATIC GENIUS HATSUME MEI OF SUPPORT COURSE 1-F! VERSUS! THE DARK AND UNDEFEATED PRODIGY MIDORIYA IZUKU OF SUPPORT COURSE 1-F!

Surprisingly, Aizawa-sensei throws in his own two cents. “ These two are both best friends and design partners-- I’ve never seen one without the other. Most of their support items were collaborations, and if they weren’t, it’s almost certain the other knows exactly how it works. Hatsume is an on-the-spot inventor, with a talent for assembling support items on the fly, and Midoriya’s determination and tactical analysis is unmatched by the rest of first-year Yuuei so far.

Kayama-sensei threw her whip-thing up. “START!”

Mei knew within seconds it was a loss. 

She immediately started her Jet and barely dodged a Pink Bomb aimed at her feet and charged forward, dodging a pair of Blue Bombs and drawing her Lightningrod, swiping out--

-- which was parried by Izukkun’s pair. He shoved hard with them, forcing her back, and she hovered just above the ground and glared before sending a Blue Bomb his way, which he dodged, right towards her. 

Mei jerked back again, but his Lightningrods had already pinned one of her feet to the ground. She felt the hum die as the systems fried, and she swore, scrambling back even more

But Izukkun was relentless, his dark face the only thing Mei could see as he slashed out again and again with his Lightningrods until Mei drew her second and finally caught them between her own.

There was a pause as they struggled against each other. There were no words, just silence as they fought for control.

“Sorry, Meimei.”

“Wha--”

Something hit her hard in the gut, and she wheezed and stumbled back a few steps, curling a bit.

“Hatsume is out of bounds! Midoriya advances to the finals!”

Mei’s eyes widened as she scanned the ground.

Only half a meter from Izukkun’s feet was the white line, which she had gone straight over when he kicked her. 

Without another word, her best friend helped her stand and took her sleeve like he would when they were walking through the halls of Yuuei, leading Mei to the exit.

Mei failed.

And if Izukkun suffered for it, she would never forgive herself.

 

“Alright, Shinsou-kun, this is the final prototype of the Sirencall.”

With five days until the Festival, Midoriya pulled him into a room that Yamada-sensei had hesitantly given them permission to use-- one he used to train his quirk. Midoriya had looked almost like he was proud of himself, but Hitoshi didn’t know him well enough yet. Hatsume definitely did, but she wasn’t here. 

“What’s it do?”

Midoriya slid on a pair of sound-cancelling headphones. His normally soft voice was a bit louder as he said, “Turn the knob and don’t stop when it makes the annoying sound.”

He did as Midoriya asked as the small teen shoved earplugs into his ears. 

“The Sirencall is a voice-changer, translator, and amplifier,” Midoriya told him. “Those earbud thingies are to keep you from going deaf-- it cancels out anything that reaches a harmful decibel.

“Now screech as loud as you can.”

Dubious, Hitoshi turned around and did as he asked.

And holy hell .

He might not have been able to actually hear it, but it shattered the bulletproof glass in the center of the room into practically dust. 

“That’s your new best friend, Shinsou-kun,” Midoriya told him seriously.

If Hitoshi knew anything about Bakugou from his previous fights was that he was gonna end this fast. Hitoshi also knew he was pretty fragile next to the explosive bastard. He would need to focus everything into a single attack if he wanted even the chance of winning.

THE MYSTERIOUS SHINSOU HITOSHI OF GENERAL EDUCATION 1-C! VERSUS! THE EXPLOSIVE BAKUGOU KATSUKI OF HEROICS 1-A! HAVE ANYTHING TO SAY, AIZAWA?

A pause. “ A lot less Heroics students are going to be on the winner’s stage than ever in Yuuei’s history, no matter what the outcome of this fight is.

“START!”

BOOM -POP-POP-POP!

And Hitoshi screamed back with every ounce of force he could put behind it, the volume ramped up to full in the face of the fire blooming in front of him.

Chapter Text

Izuku had tried to tell Hitoshi.

Katsuki had taken out his hearing aids because he figured out how Hitoshi’s quirk worked-- the Sirencall wouldn’t be enough. 

But Hitoshi was already out in the arena,thinking he was ready to fight Katsuki.

Izuku’s heart had felt ripped to shreds as he was forced to do nothing but watch, the largest and loudest explosion he had ever seen Katsuki produce rocketing towards his friend.

Hitoshi’s scream had originally been artificial, but quickly turned to pain was he was blown back and thrown across the arena into the wall, his shrieks of pain from the sensation of being burnt alive and thrown like a ragdoll amplified by the Sirencall until he passed out and Recovery Girl and Midnight hurried him off the field.

The crowd had been silent, shocked by the absolutely brutal display of power. All those who hadn’t been disturbed by his fight with Uraraka were shocked now. Nobody cheered for Katsuki as he stalked off the field.

Izuku didn’t really remember much in his haze of panic and fury, but Meimei said he went nuts and almost broke into the nurse’s office while Hitoshi was being brought in.

Izuku sat by his friend’s bedside now, carding his fingers through Hitoshi’s hair and trying to keep his tears at bay. He was gonna be strong-- for Hitoshi.

He wouldn’t suffer any major scars that wouldn’t fade within a few weeks physically. 

“It wasn’t your fault,” Meimei tells him, taking his wrist gingerly, her calloused hand warm on his skin. 

“Yeah, it is,” he muttered.

“It was the bastard’s fault,” Meimei insists. “Listen to me, Izukkun: Hitoshi unleashed the Sirencall after Bakugou sent the explosion. Hitoshi would have ended up like this, hearing aids or no.”

“I--” Izuku felt wretched as he looked at Hitoshi, laying with his face still twisted in pain. “I know you’re right, but… I should have been faster.”

She squeezed his wrist gently. “Izuku, I… I need to tell you something I did, but I don’t want you to hate me.”

Izuku looked to his best friend. She had never, not once, used his real name. 

“I could never hate you,” he said honestly.

Meimei looked extraordinarily doubtful, but she spoke anyway, starting to cry as she talked about what she thought she had done wrong.

And, somehow, she managed to make him smile, even when she believed she would make him angry. But how could Izuku get mad at his first, best friend friend for caring?

 

Shouta was fuming .

Hizashi tied one of Shouta’s hands down to keep him from bursting out of the commentary box and expelling that brat on the spot. Shinsou was capable, yes, but lacked formal battle training outside of escrima and some practice with support items and was a General Education student. Bakugou had no restraint, and that wasn’t always a good thing, especially with his quirk-- if Shinsou had been any closer, he’d be scarred for life, and it would be likely he would have experienced serious ear damage if it hadn’t been for Midoriya’s sound-cancelling earbuds.

Shouta was haunted by many things. Never before had it been the screams of a student as they were brutalized by another.

 

Izuku faced Katsuki with a poisonous mix of fear and anger in his heart.

Izuku faced Katsuki with a poisonous mix of fear and anger in his heart.

Katsuki looked back with a smirk and a gaze full of malice.

Katsuki looked back with a smirk and a gaze full of malice.

Ruby met emerald, and Izuku’s breath caught.

Ruby met emerald, and Izuku’s breath caught.

“Look who made it into Yuuei,” Katsuki growled. “ You .”

“Guess who made it into Yuuei,” Katsuki gloated. “ Me .”

With each breath, Izuku’s anger grew.

With each breath, Izuku’s fear grew.

Hitoshi was laying in a hospital cot, covered in burns-- and it was all Katsuki’s fault.

MeiVision 1.0 sat mangled and charred in his hand-- and it was all Katsuki’s fault.

His heart sped up as he pictured his unconscious friend, hand tightening on his belt.

His heart sped up as he pictured his only friend, hand tightening on his Yuuei letter.

Izuku’s legs wouldn’t move, but he didn’t want them to. He was fighting for Hitoshi.

Izuku’s legs wouldn’t move, and he begged them to. He had to get back to Meimei.

“I hope you remembered me, Deku ,” Katsuki growled, ready to make Izuku bleed.

“That’s a gift to remember me by, Deku ,” Katsuki crowed, leaving Izuku to bleed.

Izuku reached up and tugged off his scarf, tying it around his waist.

Izuku’s shaky fingers dialed the numbers, barely able to speak.

He looked at his bully, steeling his heart as he rolled his shoulders.

He heard the sirens just as he the world faded to black .

An ugly burn scar decorated most of the left side of Izuku’s throat, the scarred skin reaching over his collar and below his shirt. In its epicenter, just above his collarbone, a perfect handprint shone silver.

“Sure fucking did, Kacchan ,” he spat mockingly. “Let’s dance .”

He could hear nothing but his own breathing for a moment. The announcing of their names was distant, and to Izuku, it sounded like the waves of an ocean against a trash-covered beach, indifferent to the boy writhing in pain on the sands, his blood mixing with the water. 

“START!”

Izuku activated his boots and shot up, avoiding the initial blast (every bit as massive as the one that put Hitoshi in that hospital bed) and diving at Katsuki, drawing his twin Lightingrods and slashing out with them.

He was met with a pair of smaller, more focused explosions that sent him reeling back, regaining his footing quickly.

“You’re just a pathetic fucking Deku!”

Katsuki advanced with the speed of a cheetah, sending another pair of explosions at Izuku that he rolled under, popping back up.

“Forget the rejects! You’re quirkless!”

Izuku grit his teeth, throwing three Pink Bombs at the center of the arena. That made Katsuki hesitate, taking in this new change to the terrain, before using an explosive-powered jump over the pink sludge.

“What the hell can someone like you achieve?!”

He shook away the memory. He wasn’t Deku anymore. He was Izuku , and he was gonna make damn sure Katsuki knew that, if he won this fight or not.

“You really think you can beat me, DEKU ?!” Katsuki roared, charging at Izuku.

Izuku stood, simply waiting, before swiping his foot out. Katsuki dodged it, of course, and flung out his arm, which Izuku grabbed with ease and twisted cruelly, shoving Katsuki back several steps.

“You’ve led with the same right hook since you were four,” Izuku told him flatly, hundreds of beatings flashing through his mind’s eye. Every instinct was screaming at him to run, to cower, to be Deku again because that’s the best way for him to survive. 

But he couldn’t. Izuku never had anyone on his side before, someone willing to face down the demons that crawled out of his past.

Collins and Perl forcing Katsuki to leave him alone when he was panicking.

Aria and Hinata snatching his headband to keep him distracted. 

Meimei trying to beat Izuku so she could take Katsuki on in his stead.

Hitoshi getting put in the nurse’s office, unconscious for an indeterminate period of time because he did his damndest in a last-ditch attempt to keep the explosive bully from Izuku.

A year and a half ago, Izuku had nobody by his side that would have taken a paper cut for him. And his friends sacrificed so much for him-- placing, pain, dignity-- to save him.

Izuku was going to be himself, truly and wholly, and pay off that debt. 

He took a few steps forward, and Katsuki threw a series of punches Izuku jumped out of the way of before jumping forward and slamming the tip of one of his Lightningrods into Katsuki’s chest.

Katsuki yelled in pain as he jerked back, taking a few steps back--

-- and getting his feet stuck in the Pink Bomb.

He looked down and scowled before sending another massive blast at Izuku, who flew upwards again before throwing a Blue Bomb at the Pink Bomb.

There was a very, very special reaction the two had with each other he and Meimei called the Purple Detonation.

Within seconds, the pink sludge turned lilac. Katsuki’s face twisted in confusion before he sneered. 

“What?! Are you trying to beat me with some DIY slime, Deku ?!”

Right on time, the now-lilac slime exploded into massive, writhing tendrils that enveloped Katsuki and pulled him down until he was really and truly stuck in the sludge, not head nor hair visible under it.

Izuku drifted down and tore the quickly-hardening sludge away from Katsuki’s face, letting the volatile teen breathe before he backed away.

There was a long silence as Izuku took his scarf from around his waist and wrapped it around his neck, concealing the silver handprint once again.

“Bakugou is immobilized! Midoriya wins the Sports Festival!”

Katsuki’s scream of fury is drowned out by the roar of the crowd.

Izuku was so done with being afraid.

Chapter Text

Shouta was concerned.

He may not have been very close to the arena, but he knew what a scar looked like. He’d seen a few, hell, even gotten a few in his lifetime. And he really didn’t like the shape of it, either, but he’d have to get a closer look before he did something,

Shouta had also never seen this amount of concentrated passive-aggressive energy sent at the Number One Hero, but here they were. Shinsou, Hatsume, and Midoriya were all giving him death glares as he awkwardly gave out medals.

After the awards, of course, he went to seek the three out and found Shinsou and the rest of 1-F in a burned-out husk of a Support classroom, but no Midoriya. He stood in the back, content to just listen and wait for whatever this is was to be over.

“... likelihood that he’s going to be transferred into 1-A is 75%, since there is an open seat there. Shinsou’s likelihood of being offered a transfer is 85%, and there is a 15% chance they will be in the same homeroom, with 10% being both of them in 1-A and 5% in 1-B.”

Reiki continued to rattle off statistics, becoming even more astronomically small, before she relined a bit, letting her twin support her. 

“Which brings us to our major problem: Bakugou.” Shinsou stood at the front of the room with a pristine whiteboard that must have been put in by them. Hatsume was drawing a rough sketch of… something.

Why was Bakugou a major problem to them? A grudge? Shouta’s mind flashed back to that scar, but he shook the thought away. Assault would almost certainly be on the boy’s record.

“With a 75% chance of Izuku being in 1-A and only a 10% chance of me being with him, we need to plan for worst-case scenario. Izuku being stuck in an unfamiliar class with that bastard.

A girl to the side-- Uraraka, he realizes with a jolt-- raises her hand. “I stll don’t get why you brought me in on this, but I can help.”

“I hope you like being the linchpin, then” Shinsou told her with a glance her way. “Most of this hinges on you not getting expelled and being able to diffuse situations quickly while also keeping an eye on Izuku.”

“Can do!”

Collins speaks up. “She can’t follow Izuku into the changing room, and that is a good place for an… all-bush.”

“Ambush?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh, and there is someone earwigging us.”

“Hi, Aizawa-sensei,” the gathered students chorused after a beat of silence. 

He looked back, and the Irish girl snorted. “Don’t you sit there gawking at us! Spit it out!”

Shouta sighed, venturing closer. “Came to find Shinsou and Midoriya, Maijima pointed me here.”

“Maijima-sensei’s a snitch,” Hatsume decides, not pausing in her work on the whiteboard. “Welcome to the Izuku Protection Squad, where we plan to throw hands with Baku-bastard if he so much as clicks his tongue in Izukkun’s direction.”

Shouta inclined his head a bit. “Why?”

A tense silence. Then, “Only if you promise to work with us on this.”

Shinsou nods, his indigo eyes steely. “Hatsume knows Izuku best, and if we don’t handle this delicately, it could blow up in our faces.”

Shouta sighed again. This was going to become a real headache, but he was gonna get to the bottom of whatever was going on with Midoriya, even if it meant making a blood pact with his fanclub. “Okay.”

Hatsume finally turned from the board, waving the marker in thought. Everyone took a seat and Reiki Aria pulled a box of tissues from under a floorboard and started to pass them out to the others, even Shinsou, who looked at it distastefully.

The door opened, and Midoriya walked in with tired eyes and a disaster of a hairstyle. 

“Hito-shiiii,” he bitched, “I can’t get the fuckin’ tangles out of my hair. Hi, Aizawa-sensei.”

Shinsou sighed made made the boy sit down next to where he was sitting and pulled a brush from his bag before going to work on Midoriya’s hair.

“Hmm, were you guys getting Aizawa-sensei to join?”

“Yeah. You okay with it?” Shinsou asked.

“I guess. There are worse people.”

Midoriya reached into his pocket and fit two things into his ears. 

Hatsume inhaled and began, for the second time that day, Midoriya’s tale.

 

Shouta hates the system, he decides as he throws open the door to Nedzu’s office.

“Aizawa-kun.” The rat, for once, looked surprised at his entry. “Is something the matter?”

“On the grounds of assault, illegal quirk usage on a minor, and peer abuse as well as suicide baiting, I want Bakugou Katsuki out of my class. Effective immediately .”

Chapter Text

Izuku opened his eyes and saw that Uraraka was crying, and so were the Reiki twins, so he guessed the story was finished. He never liked hearing or retelling it-- it reminded him of too many bad things that he wanted to forget.

Aizawa-sensei’s mouth is moving, but Izuku can’t hear him.

Izuku takes the Hearing Cancellers from his ears and asks, “Sorry, can you repeat that?”

The man looks briefly at him before repeating the question. “Do you have any physcial evidence?”

Izuku bit his lip before quietly saying, “I have a few shitty phone videos on a flash drive I hid at my mom’s house. And, um.”

He was suddenly extremely self-conscious, something he rarely felt these days as the eyes in the room turned to him. Anxious, yes, but never about his appearance. 

“I-I have a lot, a lot of scars,” he mumbled, hiding his face in his scarf. 

He was so, so glad when Aizawa-sensei kept up the impersonal questions, or didn’t ask for elaboration. “Are there that can be directly tied to him?”

Izuku took a deep breath. Only hours ago, this had seemed so easy, so natural to throw it off and expose it to the world. But now that he was here, it was like the most daunting task possible.

“The-- this, this one,” he mumbled, loosening his scarf and tugging it out of the way to reveal the silver handprint branding his skin in the center of an explosion-shaped burn.

Meimei-- his rock, his best friend, his confidante-- fainted on the spot. 

Uraraka had to take her to Recovery Girl while Izuku curled under the table, wanting everything to just go away.

Izuku stood shakily in front of the closed door to the principal’s office that had drifted shut moments before, his hand mere centimeters from the doorknob as Aizawa-sensei made his demands to Nedzu.

Hitoshi carefully took his other hand. “They’ll help, Izuku.”

Aizawa-sensei had allowed Izuku to bring along one friend for moral support, and with Meimei still out cold in the nurse’s office (a flash of pain in his chest followed that thought), the next option was Hitoshi.

Izuku adored 1-F, really, but Hitoshi just understood him. And Hitoshi still had a broken arm and several broken ribs in Izuku’s honor, so it was pretty clear Izuku could trust the taller boy.

“I know,” he murmured back, opening the door quietly and entering.

Nedzu’s eyes were on Izuku immediately, and he got the feeling of being scrutinized. Was this how people felt when he analyzed them?

“Midoriya Izuku, the first quirkless student in Yuuei. Are you here about being transferred?”

“He and Shinsou are with me,” Aizawa-sensei cut in. “Midoriya, do you feel safe showing him what you showed me?”

He flinched and immediately moved closer to Hitoshi. Hitoshi kept a hold on his hand.

“I won’t look if you don’t want me to.”

After a long silence, Izuku nodded, and Hitoshi covered his eyes with his free hand as Izuku undid the scarf to show the principal his scar before quickly covering it back up.

Nedzu’s calculation gaze softened. “Oh, dear. This really is quite the situation, isn’t it?”

 

Hatsume woke up crying.

Ochako immediately went to her new friend’s side, sitting on the edge of the bed and holding the Support student’s hands as she sobbed wretchedly.

“Hatsume,” Ochako said softly. “You’re okay. You’re safe.”

The girl shook her head savagely, dreadlocks whipping from side to side as she struggled for words. 

“I-I-Izuku,” she cried out. “Izuku got hurt, a-a-and…”

Ochako let Hatsume gather herself. After a long silence, the tears abated, and Hatsume could finally speak.

“He, he didn’t come over one day,” she sniffed. “The day we got our letters. We, we were gonna, gonna open them together. But he didn’t show up, up until the day after, after and his neck was all. It was all bandaged up, and he told me his necklace exploded and I just accepted it.”

Ochako slid across the bed, wrapping an arm around Hatsume and drawing her close. Ochako may not be the most qualified for comfort, but she always liked being held and reminded that someone was there for her. Maybe it would work for Hatsume, too.

“Midoriya’s a private person, Hatsume-chan,” she said softly. “He probably saw it as his own problem, or he was ashamed about it. Maybe that’s what he really thought for a while. But that boy trusts you with his life, Hatsume, and I can tell that pretty easily. Right after you fainted, he curled up and wouldn’t respond to anoyone but Hitoshi for a while. He probably wanted to protect you from that.”

Ochako let Hatsume cry.

After all, what else was there to do?

 

Hitoshi’s leg bounced anxiously as he looked around the empty classroom. There was a seating chart drawn on the whiteboard, so Hitoshi assumed it was a new thing. He was in the very back, Izuku to his immediate left and in the back left corner exactly.

1-A slowly filed in, none noticing the two exhausted teens. Some midget kid sat in front of Izuku and Yaomomo sat in front of the midget-- she looked uncomfortable.

At last, everyone was in their seats, Hitoshi and Izuku having successfuly (somehow) avoided attention. Izuku’s head rested on his desk, completely out cold, and Hitoshi guessed he was up all night designing again.

Instead of waking him as the bell rang, Hitoshi sneakily put Izuku’s hair in a messy bun. Sue him, just because Izuku’s not on the menu doesn’t mean he can’t look.

Aizawa-sensei walked into the classroom, his eyes sweeping over 1-A (plus Izuku and Hitoshi) before sighing.

“You all really need a situational awareness course. This is getting ridiculous.”

There was a loud BANG and Hitoshi jumped, glancing over to see Izuku had slammed Midget’s face into his desk. Yaomomo’s face was bright red as she looked back, her hands pinning her skirt to her legs.

“That was the fastest vibe check I have ever seen,” Hitoshi announced. “Everyone else, go home.”

It took all of three seconds before Izuku was fast asleep on his desk again, Midget crying grossly as Yaomomo recognized them with a smile. 

“Oh! Shinsou-kun, Midoriya-kun! It’s nice to see you two again!”

Hitoshi nodded uncomfortably, all the eyes of 1-A on him. 

“Wait, did the sleeping dude just vibe check Mineta and pass out again?” One of them-- Hitoshi thinks his name is Kaminari-- asks with wide eyes.

There was a beat. “Yes,” Hitoshi confirmed awkwardly.

“Kami, what an absolute madlad,” a dark-purple-haired girl says, her eyes and smile wide. 

“Shut up,” Aizawa-sensei commanded. When silence fell, he continued. “This is the scorebaord for internship offers, in the top ten.”

A screen lit up beside him.

 

  • <1-F> Midoriya Izuku - 14,817 HEROICS - 8,761 SUPPORT
  • <1-F> Hatsume Mei - 1,876 HEROICS - 9,821 SUPPORT
  • <1-C> Shinsou Hitoshi - 8,724
  • <1-A> Uraraka Ochako - 7,982
  • <1-B> Monoma Neito - 7,419
  • <1-A> Todoroki Shouto - 4,801
  • <1-A> Tokoyami Fumikage - 3,991
  • <1-A> Yaoyorozu Momo - 3,990
  • <1-F> Collins Fianna - 291 HEROICS - 3,019 SUPPORT
  • <1-B> Shiozaki Ibara - 2,131

 

“As you can see, 1-A takes up less than half of this list. Never in history has this happened, so you can pretty clearly see that you need to train harder for next year, otherwise you may lose your place in this class.”

Izuku had picked his head up and Hitoshi watched him scan the board with exhausted eyes. “Wha’s the fuckin’ point of givin’ Meimei Heroics internships,” he muttered to Hitoshi.

“People can’t tell when people want to be in a different field than their own,” Hitoshi reasoned back. 

“So pick your experience week internships by Friday, or you will have one chosen for you. If you’re like Mineta and don’t have any offers--” callouts? This early? Tea-- “come see me after class. You’re picking hero names today.”

Hitoshi felt the exact moment when his soul left his body.

He hadn’t even thought of that yet!

Izuku seemed to be having a similar crisis, his normally neutral green eyes blown wide. 

“And because I’m apparently ‘not qualified to judge whether or not a name is good for your public image’--”

“I’m here!” Kayama-sensei kicked in the door with a flourish, and Midget squeaked. His head was, again, slammed into the desk in a vibe check so fast Hitoshi didn’t even see it. Aizawa-sensei crawled into his sleeping bag.

She passed out boards and blabbed about things, and when everyone else was presenting names-- this French twink went with a whole ass sentence, the Iida dude and Freezerburn both picked their own first names, and the first actually decent one coming from a girl named Asui Tsuyu-- Froppy.

“You’ve got freaky mind powers,” Izuku supplied, looking like he was desperately searching for an asnwer as Kayama-sensei watched them struggle for a name. “Um. Mindfuck?”

That is sincerely the stupidest hero name Hitoshi had ever heard, and he grew up idolozing a guy who, for whatever ungodly reason, chose Eraserhead .

And yet, when he blinked, he was standing at the front of the class.

“The Puppeteer Hero: Mindfuck.”

Kayama-sensei raised her eyebrows, and Hitoshi felt his ears go beet red. “It’s Izuku’s idea,” he mumbled aggressively, trying to regain some sort of dignity.

It was lost when she snorted, her eyes crinkling. “Yeah, it’s fine. Midoriya, you’re up.”

Izuku’s shoulders were shaking quietly, and Hitoshi was a slave to the small smile Izuku was trying to hide. So maybe he’d be stuck with the world’s worst hero name, but at least he made Izuku laugh.

Hitoshi returned to his seat just in time to watch Izuku peer over the podium (damn, he’s really short) and hold out his whiteboard.

“The Forgotten Hero: Nyx.”

Hitoshi’s eyebrows shot up. “You give me Mindfuck but pull that one out of your ass on the spot? This is favoritism.”

Izuku smiled at him, wide and genuine, and Hitoshi knows he won’t regret ‘Mindfuck’ as long as he remembers this moment.

Wow, he’s so gay.

“Wait, where’s Bakugou?” asks a red-headed boy suddenly. 

Aizawa-sensei finally sat up and sent a look at the class. He drew himself to his full height the moment he stood, and suddenly looked absolutely terrifying.

“Bakugou Katsuki is in Nedzu’s office, determining the terms of his expulsion with his parents.”

Chapter Text

Hatsume Shirorei and Hatsume Kurotei were quite the pair.

Kuro-san, Hatsume’s father, upon meeting Hitoshi, immediately made a joke about the world not being as black and white as it seemed. Shiro-san, Hatsume’s mother, told Izuku that they liked to call their daughter Grey Mei sometimes, just to laugh at the way her expression twisted at the name. 

Izuku adored them. He loved how when they fussed, it was about something stupid like how he never let them buy him clothes, or how when he and Meimei stayed up all night to finish a project they’d mix some Five Hour Energy into their coffee that morning (it tasted awful, but it got them through the day), or how when he needed to be alone they wouldn’t bother him about it and respect that he needed time. He even loved how they would laugh and do his hair for him when Meimei couldn’t tame it. 

He really, really loved how they never once told him not to follow his dreams.

He remembered one day vividly, not long before the Sports Festival.

“You wanna tell me what’s wrong, Squirt?”

Izuku stared at the wall, hands working at his scarf, making micro-changes to its position. “I… I think I should, probably.”

Shiro-san draped herself over the couch, her bubblegum-pink hair pulled into a low ponytail. She glanced over at him with calm eyes. “Alright. Shoot.”

“I just…” Izuku pulled his knees into his chest. “What if everyone else is right? What if I can’t even place? Then that’d mean I’m really not cut out to be a hero.”

There was a long pause, and Izuku began to fear the worst.

“Y’know, I think you could do it, Squirt,” she says conclusively. “And if you don’t, then we won’t see you as less. Pro or not, you’re our hero, alright?”

“What-- why?”

Shiro-san shook her head slightly. “Mei doesn’t have many friends, I don’t think she has any outside of you. I’ve never seen her happier than when you two are fucking around. And that weird cat you saved probably thinks you’re a hero. And all those kids I see you defending whenever we go out.”

“... oh…”

“You’ll do just damn fine, Squirt.”

Yeah, the Hatsume family was godsend. 

Unfortunately, not a single was there to reassure him in this moment. 

“Why, sir?”

His hands curled, already shaking at the thought of having to explain again , for the third time in two days. Hitoshi reached over and placed his thin ones over Izuku’s, his indigo eyes sharp with concern.

“It’s not my place to say much more than that Bakugou is lucky the other party isn’t pressing charges.”

“Not at liberty-- you mean the other guy started it!” A black-haired boy with weird elbows rose from his seat. Izuku bit back a whimper as memories flashed in his mind’s eye.

“Midoriya, you need to stop picking fights with Bakugou.”

“Izuku, you really shouldn’t get so rough with Katsuki…”

Aizawa’s quirk was activated in an instant, a sudden furious pressure in the room. The muttering of the bravest students were silenced, and Hitoshi’s grip tightened minutely. 

“No, Sero.” Aizawa spoke with an amount of ice in his voice comparable to the Arctic. “I mean severe quirk discrimination and instigating physcial and verbal abuse against one of his classmates in middle school. Sit down before I decide to kick you out, too.”

The class was absolutely silent, even Kayama-sensei’s eyes wide, as Aizawa left the room, carefully-contained rage in every motion. 

“Class dismissed .”

 

Hitoshi knew Izuku was already in a bad mood when they approached the Midoriya house together three hours later, but it fouled considerably more when he knocked on the door and was greeted by a green-haired woman who somehow both cried and lectured him at the same time about something he couldn’t really understand.

“Mom--”

“You embarrassed Katsuki on live television, too!” Midoriya-san’s voice pitched higher. “I don’t understand why you would do that to your friend !”

Izuku’s face was rapidly paling as his mother went on about how he was being such an awful friend to Bakugou, how upset ‘Mitsuki’ was. “You could have killed him, Izuku!”

Izuku made a strangled sound, and Hitoshi’s already frail patience snapped.

“Midoriya-san, I suggest you don’t talk about things you don’t understand. Baku-bastard and Izuku aren’t friends.”

Midoriya-san gaped at him, tears rapidly clearing into a hard look. “And who are you?”

“Izuku’s actual friend,” he snapped back, stepping between Izuku and his mother. “And he isn’t here to stay. We came to pick something up and leave. You have no right to lecture him about things you aren’t involved in.”

“I’m his mother !”

“And that just means jackshit to me. Piss off, lady.”

She had the most affronted expression on her face, and she looked to Izuku. “Izuku, I don’t want you talking to this boy anymore. He’s clearly a bad influence.”

Izuku was pale and shaking, and Hitoshi reached behind him to subtly clasp the smaller boy’s hand.

“You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to,” he assured quietly.

Izuku’s hand curled around his unsteadily, and Hitoshi held it firmly. Hatsume wasn’t here, so Hitoshi had to do his damndest to be his small friend’s rock. 

“Leave, leave him alone, Mom,” Izuku said quietly. “I’m not staying. R-remember our deal?”

Midoriya-san’s face twisted into disgust before smoothing out. “Fine. Get it, Izuku. You’re always wanted here.”

There was a pause as Izuku led Hitoshi down the hall, before ducking beneath the bed-- Hitoshi still in tow-- to pry up a floorboard and retrieve a pouch, like the one nerds keep dice in. He peeked in it before he and Hitoshi went to leave.

Midoriya-san blocked the way.

“Your principal emailed me about how you will transfer to 1-A.” Her eyes are flinty. “You realize you won’t pass. It’s too dangerous for you.”

Izuku’s hold tightened on Hitoshi, and they moved past Midoriya-san out the door.

It was rare when Hitoshi wanted to deck someone, but he really, really wanted to assault that woman as he passed her.

No one got to speak to Izuku like that. His friend was 1.6 meters of badassery but somehow sweet and undyingly loyal at the same time-- it was the least Hitoshi could do to return the kindness Izuku gave him. 

Who knows, maybe Izuku isn’t straight. It’s a tiny chance, but damn him if he wasn’t gonna follow it to the end.

 

Three hours before...

 

Katsuki tapped his foot against the ground. The hag and the old man sat on either side of him, their expressions neutral.

He really didn’t know what this was about, but he was getting pretty annoyed with the rodent, who looked like he was fucking around with a bunch of different pencils on his notepad. It was taking forever, and the rodent occasionally even closed his eyes to think(?) for a while before continuing.

The hobo had entered the room a little bit ago, looking actually pissed about something. Maybe he got evicted or something. “How long have you been keeping them waiting, Nedzu?”

“Only two hours!” The rodent replied cheerfully, as if he wasn’t wasting two hours to just sit there. And he’d been making Katsuki miss all of his classes to sit here and wait for his parents to get off work. “How’s this, Aizawa-kun? I’m thinking it might need a bit more time to be completely accurate.”

The hobo leaned over, and his face twisted into something even darker. “It’ll work for civilians. Maybe more detail for the police sketch, though.”

The rodent beams at the hobo. “You can start us off, then, since you’re Bakugou-shounen’s homeroom teacher!”

The teacher glared at Katsuki before going to the wall opposite them and pulling his dark hair out of his face.

“As I’m certain you’re aware, Bakugou-san and Bakugou-san, Midoriya Izuku won the Sports Festival.”

Katsuki’s hands curled as he fought to keep a sneer down. Did they seriously just call him here to insult him more ?!

“Yes!” The hag nodded with a wide smile, and Katsuki had to resist scoffing. “Masaru and I are really proud of the brat-- I’ve known him since the delivery room, you know, and to see him getting out there and chasing his goals is wonderful, he’s always been such a shy kid.”

The hobo nodded stiffly, a bit of aggression leaving his expression. “He and Shinsou Hitoshi, the General Education student that your son fought in the semifinals, were both offered transfers that they accepted. Both of them will be in 1-A as of second semester.”

Katsuki stiffened in his seat.

That worthless, quirkless piece of shit? In his class? It was bad enough the airhead was in Yuuei!

“Really?! Oh my Kami , that’s wonderful!” The old man was nodding enthusiastically along with the hag’s statement as she continued. “I can barely believe it-- Inko didn’t tell us shit! Didn’t even tell us he was in Yuuei, either!”

“Unfortunately, that brings us to part of why you two are here. When was the last time you two saw Midoriya Izuku?”

They both froze, and so did Katsuki.

“He’s--”

“No, he’s not missing. Or dead. He’s in the Support classroom right now with 1-F and Shinsou, probably setting something on fire and giving Power Loader a heart attack. Please just answer the question.”

The hag relaxed considerably, worrying at her lip. “Ah, Kami, I’m not sure how long this was-- it was before Yuuei, definitely… Ah! Four months ago, I think, he was headed to Dagobah.” She huffed. “Damn, it’s been a while.”

“What do you know about his home situation?”

Katsuki’s eyes shot up. They were asking about Auntie? Was Auntie abusive? Was that why he was here?

The shitnerd deserved everything he got, but Auntie Inko was too soft-hearted to actually give it to him.

“Um. He and Inko were fighting more often, I think. Recently, Inko’s been talking about how rebellious he’s being, and when we were watching the Sports Festival she was constantly worrying about how dangerous it was, but that’s just how single parents are, I guess.”

“Where is his father?”

The hag snorted. “That shitbag? When Izu was three, Inko found out he was having an affair and they had a divorce-- it was really nasty, and I can swear on my life that’s why Izuku has so many problems with his mother. The poor brat’s never really gotten over it, he and his father were close. He’s off in America now, as far from them as Inko could drive him. Somewhere in New York City, last I heard.”

The rodent was taking notes as the hobo talked more. “We have reason to believe Midoriya isn’t staying with his mother right now.”

There was a pause as Katsuki tried to decipher what that meant-- Deku was a piece of shit, but he’d never leave his mother alone in that house. 

At least, not the old Deku , his mond whispered.

“Well… I don’t see him often anymore, and really? Don’t tell Inko I said this, but I wouldn’t be all that surprised.”

“... elaborate.”

The old man spoke up now, his voice soft as he went on. “Inko is a very protective mother, and for a good reason. The world isn’t kind to quirkless kids, and Inko tries her best being the only parent Izuku has. Sometimes shecan be a bit suffocating, though, and even though we didn’t agree with that, it was her decision to parent Izuku like that.”

The hag nodded, picking up the train of thought. “Last time I saw those two together was when I was swinging by for tea-- I couldn’t actually get in the door because they were in a screaming match. Something about how Inko was treating him like glass. I left right after, though. Not my business.”

“Thank you, Bakugou-san. Now, to get to the real reason you’re here.” The hobo cracked his neck, eyes hostile. “Are you aware that if Midoriya Izuku was any less forgiving, he would be pressing charges against your son?”

Katsuki’s blood turned to ice.

Absolute silence.

What .”

“I’d appreciate it if you all stayed silent as I explained. It would make this significantly easier on all of us.”

“Please hold your questions to the end,” Rodent added cheerfully.

His parents nodded, and Katsuki had to level out his breathing. They don’t have any evidence. Everything the shitnerd could have said can be passed off as a lie because he was desperate for attention as usual.

“From what we know, Bakugou and Midoriya have known each other since they were small. Going off of that, they must have been close.” Hobo paused. “Until they were four and their quirk came in-- or didn’t-- from what we understand. Bakugou got a rather impressive quirk, and Midoriya was discovered to be quirkless. A close friend of Midoriya’s--” --so one of those 1-F extras or that freak from 1-C-- “--testified that this was around the time Midoriya told her he was given the cruel nickname ‘Deku’, am I wrong?”

He was met with slight shakes of his parent’s heads.

“Good. Now, ‘Deku’ can be read one of two ways. ‘Blockhead’ being more common, or ‘Useless’ as the other. You can understand why a couple of playground bullies would gift that name to a quirkless kid.”

Bullies--?!

“Please hold all questions!”

“Midoriya couldn’t personally testify, but the close friend recounted what he was able to tell her privately-- he was relentlessly bullied by his peers all through school until Yuuei and didn’t have any friends.”

The hag made a strangled sound as Katsuki clenched his hands. They can’t prove anything .

“The friend also told us about the physical abuse he suffered from his classmates, namely Bakugou Katsuki.”

Silence reigned again, and the tension in the room mounted. They can’t prove anything .

“Sometime in early April last year, your son suicide baited Midoriya, and on the evening of that same day I met him on the subway when he was in a state of mental breakdown. So no, I’m not pulling this out of my ass.

“He was suicide baited several times after that incident by several other students, and the close friend can testify that they often saw them looking hurt after classes or hiding a limp. Unfortunately, this came to a head sometime around early March, when Midoriya never showed up at the close friend’s apartment on the day they recieved their Yuuei letters. The next day, he showed up heavily bandaged around the neck and throat area and told her there had been an accident with one of his support items. That was not what happened.”

Nedzu held up the drawing, and Katsuki’s stomach lurched

“This is the scarring on his throat. Look familiar?”

Oh, fuck .

Chapter Text

Izuku realizes halfway to Meimei’s place that he never let go of Hitoshi’s hand. 

Instead of letting go like he probably should, because people could get the wrong idea, he contents himself with studying it silently. He felt the roughness of calluses starting to form from the work Hitoshi’s been doing, and it’s thin, like Izuku’s, but long enough to encompass his. And Hitoshi’s hands are warm. 

Are my hands cold?

“Yes.”

He jolts and looks to his friend, turning bright red. Shit, he said that out loud! 

Hitoshi doesn’t pull his hand away, though, so he assumes it might be okay with him?

“It’s like you’re a vampire,” he jokes. “Pale with dark hair and cold skin. You gonna sparkle when I finally convince you to get some sunlight?”

“Hitoshi, we’re outside.”

He just snorted in response. 

A long pause, but it felt more comfortable than awkward.

“Do you think Hatsume will let me call her Mei?”

Izuku jolted again, not expecting to talk and immediately went into emergency response mode, because goddammit he can’t think through his sentences and panic at the same time. “Kiss my ass.”

A beat.

“That was… not what I intended to say.”

Hitoshi laughed loudly, and Izuku got a brief feeling of complete and utter euphoria.

“I meant to say, um. Yeah.”

“Speaking of, didn’t Fien say something about friends having nicknames for each other? What if one day I just called Ban Baa-Baa one day?”

“He’d have an aneurism,” Izuku thought aloud, imagining the bad-tempered teen’s face.

Quiet.

“That was my way of subtly asking if I’m a high enough friend status to get a nickname, Izuku.”

Izuku glanced at Hitoshi, blood rushing to his cheeks. Hitoshi wanted a nickname?

Well, I mean… he’s cute .

He shook the thought away as soon as it appeared. That was weird. 

“Yeah. What about… Toshi.”

Hitoshi actually stumbled with a sputter before laughing. “Damn, okay. That’s a good one. Izu?”

“My aunt calls me that.”

“Izukkun?”

“Taken.”

“Zuzu?”

“Like those weird mice toys?”

Hit-- Toshi made a face. “You aren’t making this easy. How about… Zuku.”

Pause. “Cool.”

Toshi rolled his eyes.

They continued to walk in silence, hands interlocked, and Izuku had to tame the flush in his cheeks. What was going on with him?

He and Toshi stopped in front of Meimei’s apartment building, and he shot a smile at Izuku. Their hands came undone hesitantly, but for a few minutes after they stood in silence, their pinkies locked and faces red as they avoided each other’s gaze.”

“Seeya tomorrow… Zuku.”

“Later, H--Toshi.,” he stuttered, slowly drawing his hand from Toshi’s. Why the hell was his throat all choked up? This was the worst (and somehow the best) feeling in the universe, the suffocating feeling of… something.

They stood with each other a few moments more, before Toshi waved goodbye and began his walk down the street, away from Izuku, and Izuku walked inside.

He puzzled over at it as he climbed the stairs, pulling out his phone. Why am I freaking out over a nickname? Why did I want to hold hands with my friend?

Five ways to tell if you have a crush! one website told him cheerfully. 

Oh. 

Oh, shit .

Izuku ran the rest of the way up, practically exploding into the apartment. The Hatsume family was gathered around the table, and he heaved for air.

“Meimei, how do the gay crisis thing?!”

 

Mei stared at her best friend. His face was flushed, eyes wide, and his hand wrung his scarf anxiously.

She couldn’t help it.

She laughed.

Her mother leaned across the table. “Kuro, you owe me a thousand yen.”

“Fucking… dammit.” Her father forked over the money with a scowl. “Seriously, Squirt? Couldn’t have had it on a weekend or something?”

Izukkun gaped, and Mei had to control her shaking shoulders. “So. Who’s the lucky man that’s made you question your sexuality?”

He looked so genuinely distressed. “ Hitoshi!

She doubled over wheezing.

Mei was a big gay and loved seeing others having their gay panics. It was always comedy gold, and Izukkun’s was no exception.

“I-- oh Kami , you’re fucked!

 

Shouta took a lot of pleasure in watching his students squirm. He had no idea what changed the day he walked into 1-A that morning (despite the obvious transfer kids), but the dynamic was dramatically different. Everyone talked easily as usual, the same friend groups, even if Bakugou’s old clique was shadowed in doubt and fear. 

Until he released them for their normal classes, and he passed Shinsou and Midoriya in the hall when they were on their way to 1-C’s classroom as usual, and he saw their pinkies linked. Just that. Neither spoke or mentioned it, but Shouta smirked to himself.

A different dynamic, indeed.

He taught Law during normal classes, but during extracurriculars he didn’t have anything to do until Heroics classes, so naturally he went to the Development Studio. Maijima had told him Midoriya was demanding to see him.

Walking in was a gift.

Shinsou was stuttering badly as he talked to Midoriya, which wasn’t anything new, except for how Hatsume was very obviously laughing at them and Midoriya was stuttering right back in the rare occurrence he spoke.

“Hey, uh. Toshi, can you pass the, um. The welder?”

Ah, so that was it.

Nicknames .

“Uh. Yeah.”

As amusing as this was to watch-- he saw the other 1-F kids having a riot in the corner-- he cleared his throat and watched the two practically jump out of their skin.

“A-ah! Aizawa-sensei.” Midoriya brushed off the shock relatively well, starting to rummage around his desk, shoving different things aside. “Maijima-sensei told you, then?”

“Told me what.”

Midoriya gave him the most exhausted look. “Your goggles are stupid.”

A pause. “Excuse me?”

“Don’t get me wrong, they work , they just suck.” He pulled a pair of goggles that looked suspiciously like the kid’s MeiVision out. “Does your quirk work through glass?”

“Yes?”

“Great.” He popped reflective lenses into place on the goggles before using the welder to carefully fuse it into place. “These are an improved version of your goggles.”

They were even painted the same atrocious yellow that Zashi liked so much.

“They have the same features as the MeiVision, but aren’t connected to any Lightningrods. It should block out wind, grit, water, and the like, to keep your eyes from drying out faster. There’s also a small canister here,” he tapped a spot on the strap, “that you can put your eye-drops in and if you press a button it will spray a fine mist into your eyes. Also, Meimei.”

Hatsume darted over and dumped a box in front of him. “The brand you use sucks! My quirk, Zoom, puts a lot of strain on my eyes if I use it for too long. The mist thing was designed for me originally. This brand works a lot better than the one you use-- it’s basically water with saline, and doesn’t do much. Bit more expensive, but worth it.”

Shouta squinted at the kids. They seemed honest enough, he supposes. 

“Alright, fine.”

 

Mitsuki knew anger. 

She lived and breathed it, not a day went by that anger didn’t permeate something she did. It was just how she lived her life— angrily and with more intimidation than strictly necessary, but she hadn’t used that anger to lash out at someone who didn’t deserve it once

Mitsuki knew anger, but she had no idea what to do with this level of it.

 

Masaru knew anger.

He lived in a house full of it, and not a day went by without his wife and son getting in a screaming match. It was just the way he lived his life— quietly in a chaotic household, a steady rock in the storm he knew life was like for his family.

Masaru knew anger, but he had no idea what to do with his own.

 

How could she have completely failed to see it? That her son , her pride and joy, was… was abusing , there’s really no other word for it, her nephew. Izuku . Izuku, whose smile could outshine the sun. Whose passion outmatched anyone she had ever known. Whose intelligence was beyond what she had ever seen before. Izuku was gifted, he was incredible , and Katsuki… Katsuki treated him worse than shit because the one thing Izuku was not blessed with was a quirk.

When Aizawa-san put the terms of Katsuki’s expulsion in front of Mitsuki, she read it carefully before signing and even added a few more things on herself as she spoke, trying to ignore the stormy energy her husband had had when he took Katsuki to the car. 

 

He missed it. He missed it completely, and he doesn’t know how. Katsuki scarred Izuku, likely mentally and emotionally as well as physically, and acted as if it didn’t really matter when he was confronted. Izuku was shy, he was anxious, he was quiet— not unlike himself, really— and this entire thing was turning that on its head. Was Izuku ever shy, or was he scared of earning a new bully? Was Izuku ever anxious, or was he waiting for a beating? Was Izuku ever quiet, or was he keeping his mouth shut so he wouldn’t set off Katsuki?

Mitsuki sent him and Katsuki our while she discussed the terms of their son’s expulsion before she talked to him at home about other punishments. He tried to ignore how his wife was nearly silent, her energy confused instead of focused.

 

Bakugou Katsuki is barred from ever entering a hero school as a student or receiving a hero license. He will receive mandatory therapy from a professional in anger management and be tested for mental disorders such as sociopathy. A restraining order will be filed against him. He may not interact with Midoriya Izuku in any way, shape, or form unless Midoriya allows and initiates, and even then he must have at least two witnesses ready to intervene. He will have a mark on his record for assault but no arrests. 

Bakugou Mitsuki

Bakugou Masaru

Chapter Text

First hero class . Holy shit.

Izuku is practically vibrating , it’s just that exciting. Toshi snickers, but he pays him no mind-- this was too epic to not be excited about.

He and Toshi were wearing the spare stealth-suits that Maijima-sensei had lent Izuku and Meimei before, but Izuku still felt out-of-place-- Ingenium’s brother, Iida Tenya, was in a full suit of armor. 

Speaking of Ingenium, he was still a little shocked by what happened to the young hero. Stain typically only targeted bad heroes-- Ingenium was a good one. 

Who even knew what that man’s logic was. It clearly wasn’t sane.

Aizawa walked around 1-A (plus Toshi and Izuku) with a predatory glare. From the way the other students were muttering about why he was there, Izuku had to hazard a guess that Aizawa didn’t typically teach heroics.

Wait, who was the normal teacher again?

“I AM HERE!!!!!!”

Oh, fucking hell .

Just like that, his good mood is Thanos snapped away. Toshi glances over, and their hands brush together for one second. Izuku panics for a beat before he reaches out and links their pinkies, face red as he glanced away from his friend.

Sue him, it made him feel a little better.

“It’s not bad to dream. But you also have to consider what’s realistic.”

His other hand tightened on his bag, and Hitoshi let go of his hand and leaned over Izuku’s shoulders to open it and pick through, probably looking for the Sirencall.

Didn’t stop him from feeling electric from head to toe, though.

All Might posed ‘heroically’ in front of the class, and Izuku felt his lip curl. 

“Today we will be doing two-on-two work! You may pick your partners this time!”

Toshi raised his hand, and, without preamble, said, “I have dibs on Zuku.”

Izuku flushed, momentarily distracted, and Toshi dumped something into his hands.

“Hatsume told me that thing usually helps you calm down whenever Ass Might is talked about,” he said lowly to Izuku, and Izuku blink gratefully at Toshi.

His notebook. 

He opened to the first page, careful to lean over it and block it from other’s view, and read off the word under Aizawa’s sketch. 

 “Nighteye doesn’t read the future of every villain to win battles,” he mumbled to himself, repeating it both aloud in a soft voice and turning it over in his mind as he closed the notebook again before tucking it back in his bag.

I can do this. He can take his stupid haircut and shove it up his ass.

He leveled an absolutely venomous look at All Might, preparing for whatever he could throw.

He was not going to let this asshole’s words affect him ever again. 

 

Shouta heard the kid muttering.

He vaguely recognized telling Midoriya something about Nighteye, but he was repeating it to himself as if it was some kind of prayer.

He genuinely had no clue the problem child took his words to heart

Shinsou is watching his friend with a roll of his eyes, glancing over at Shouta. Shouta looks back impassively.

“We’re doing a stealth exercise.”

Midoriya’s head shot up.

“Call it hide-and-seek. I trust you already have your partners. Either find and capture the hiding team or evade the seeking team to win.”

Jirou and Shouji-- a deadly matchup in a stealth activity-- immediately paired up. 

“Losing teams are used as demonstrations when we go over basic martial arts.”

Shinsou swore loudly, which conveyed the general mood of the class the moment he said that.

“Aizawa-san, is that not a bit harsh--”

“And whose class is this? I don’t recall you being assigned a homeroom.”

A pause, and then Midoriya grinned. “ Tea .”

Shouta looked over the class. He had to actually challenge the students, so…

“Sero and Kirishima against Kaminari and Ashido. Tokoyami and Asui against Uraraka and Iida. Ojiro and Todoroki against Koda and Aoyama. Mineta and Sato against Hagakure and Yaoyorozu. Jirou and Shouji against Shinsou and Midoriya.”

There was a shuffling, and then Jirou raised her hand.

“Sir, no offense, but isn’t it a bit unfair to pitch Shouji and I against the transfer kids? They’re new and all…”

He smiled maliciously at Jirou. “You’re right, Jirou. You two don’t stand a chance.”

 

Hitoshi was shaking a little when he entered Gym Gamma. He and Zuku were seeking first, and Earlobes and Six-Arms were already hiding. Zuku had given him a spare MeiVision, this one a metallic black as opposed to Zuku’s silver and Hatsume’s bronze. 

“Third button from the left,” Zuku breathed. “They can hear everything we say, probably. Got a paper?”

“Um. I know sign, does that count?”

“Oh? Cool. I don’t. Like, basic signs they use in the army, but nothing else.”

“That works for now.”

They looked around, and as Hitoshi pressed the button, the world lit up in heat signatures.

One being very obvious on a rooftop nearby.

Zuku made a motion probably meaning stay here , and climbed up as Hitoshi kicked a trash can lid, rummaging through a dumpster to cause a distraction.

One didn’t need a quirk to hear Shouji’s girly shriek as pink ballooned in the air.

“Shouji has been found.”

It took a bit longer to find Jirou.

She was in a vent . And Hitoshi threw a Blue Bomb at her. 

“Jirou has been found.”

Well. Time to hide.

 

The student had their phone hidden in their lap they waited for the next round, sitting a bit to the side, away from others. Aizawa and the blond idiot were by the screens, watching Midoriya and Shinsou hide.

Bakugou’s been expelled, you say?

Yes, they texted back. 

He was the one with the explosion quirk?

Yes.

Do you know why?

No.

What do you think?

He won’t listen.

Get more information.

Of course .

Their hand tightened on their phone. 

“Jirou! Shouji! Seek the transfer kids!” One of their classmates cheered.

Their lip curled slightly, but his it under a yawn. Shinsou and Midoriya would win easily, somehow, which infuriated them to no end— how were two untrained idiots this good?

Well, how were they this good, really? It’s not as if they went to a quirk dojo to train once in their life.

They regretted very little in life, but perhaps trusting him was their biggest mistake.

Hard to believe that, if they had never crossed paths with him all that time ago, they would still want to be a hero.

They used to be so naïve. 1-A is incredibly naïve. 

But they’ll rip off that veil for the other students.

Everyone deserves to know the truth.

Chapter Text

Hitoshi glanced at his shorter (and admittedly smarter) friend as they walked into the city block. “... what’s the plan?”

Zuku glanced over, either contemplative or constipated from the look on his face. “Uh… fuck shit up and don’t get caught?”

Well, fuck.

“We have ten minutes,” he mused. “We can probably find a decent hiding spot in three, a good one in five. Got anything on Gym Gamma in the Wonder Map?”

Zuku groaned. “We are not calling it the Wonder Map! For Kami’s sake, it’s the Chimera Map !” 

Hitoshi bit his lip to hold in a snort. Hatsume had told him it was called the Wonder Map, but honestly he liked the Chimera Map better. “Well, do you?”

“... no.”

“Fantabulous.”

The dark-haired boy stops dead in his tracks, eyes flicking from side to side and muttering faster than he could comprehend. Hitoshi took his friend’s lack of attention to be gay for a moment and admire the splash of freckles over Zuku’s nose, the way his forest-green eyes took everything in with a clinical consideration--

“Got it.”

Zuku rifled around in his bag before drawing out two Sirencalls and two sets of… bright pink ballet flats.

 

If Kyouka walked into Gym Gamma full of confidence, can you blame her?

Okay, so the Support kid-- Midoriya, she thinks his name is-- had some tech thing that let him detect heat signatures, that wasn’t that big of a deal. She had lasted six out of the ten minutes granted, so it was pretty much impossible for she and Shouji to lose.

She plugged her earjacks into the ground, listening intently.

The usual buzz of electricity, flowing of sewage…

… nothing out of the ordinary. Yet .

Shouji was all ears next to her, and Kyouka glanced over at him.

“Anything?”

He shook his head, looking as confused as Kyouka was starting to feel.

Minutes ticked by as they prowled the streets, searching for anything .

There!

A scuff on the ground. It wasn’t loud, but it was something .

Kyouka ran towards it, feet flying over the pavement--

-- to find an empty alley.

Fuck!

This cycle repeated several times, with Kyouka getting increasingly frustrated. She couldn’t even hear them breathing !

She turned a corner, and an ear splitting wail cut through the air.

Kyouka stumbled back, trying to cover her ears to no avail. Through a blur of pain, she saw the Gen Ed kid-- Shinsou, maybe-- sprinting off, and Midoriya(?) with his head tilted back, apparently the one who screamed (and was still screeching).

Does he have a fucking voice quirk ?!

No fucking wonder Aizawa-sensei said she didn’t stand a chance! This shit’s painful!

The bell sounded.

How had she lost ?

 

“It was just really boring, actually,” Toshi surmised. “We were mostly just walking through alleys and chucking rocks and stuff until, like, the last thirty seconds where Zuku pretty much screamed while I ran.”

“Yeah…” Izuku frowned at his hands.

Izuku and Hitoshi were recounting the story to a mildly interested 1-F over lunch. As usual, Izuku hadn’t brought anything and the whole of 1-F was peer pressuring him into eating the small bits of their own lunches they offered to the short black-haired boy.

Uraraka, Tsuyu, Yaomomo, and Jirou had joined them this time, as well. Jirou demanded to know how they cancelled out their sound (“I am taking that to my grave , thank you very much” -Toshi), while Yaomomo, Tsuyu and Uraraka just seemed to enjoy 1-F’s company, for whatever strange reason.

“Have you looked at your internships yet?” Jirou asked. “I thought about taking Death Arms’s internship, but that fight with you and Shinsou-kun really made me think, ya know? I shouldn’t be so weak to sound. Yamada-sensei gave me an internship offer, so I might take that.”

Yaomomo nodded. “I’m thinking about Uwabami—”

“Don’t.”

They all looked over at Izuku, who cleared his throat awkwardly. Yeah, he gets it, he’s usually pretty quiet, but okay.

“Uwabami is really self-absorbed. She’s likely only taking interns to make herself look better, it’s highly unlikely she’ll actually teach you anything. Your quirk takes up lipids, right?”

Yaomomo blinked. “Um. Yeah?”

“Fatgum would be better.”

She checked her list. “I do have one from him… you think I should take it?”

Izuku nodded sheepishly. 

“Oh. That’s a pretty good idea, Midoriya-kun.”

Asui and Uraraka rattled off their own ideas— which were pretty solid— before Asui turned the conversation on them.

“Who are you picking, kero ?”

Izuku and Toshi both froze.

“Well, you see,” Toshi started, “I’m mildly afraid to even touch that stack of papers, there’s like fifty pages in small print—”

“— and we still have, like, two more days—”

“— so do we even need to?”

The pair of them got blank stares in return.

Izuku sighed, already rifling through his backpack until he drew out an actual binder.

“Rest in peace, whoever had to type all this shit out,” he intoned solemnly, already flipping it open. “It’s in alphabetical order , too. Kami rest their soul.”

“Yikes,” Toshi agreed, pulling out his own stack. “For fuck’s sake, I got one from fuckin’ Arid. You?”

Izuku shrugged at the mention of the Number 39 Hero, scanning the As.

Then immediately wrinkled his nose.

“Ass Might.”

“Ouch,” 1-F uttered in unison, which Izuku appreciates. Meimei continues. “He’s such a jerk. Fien, Perl, you both owe me ten thousand yen.”

The two girls swore and handed over the cash as the 1-A girls looked on with wide eyes.

“You don’t like All Might?” Uraraka asked in a scandalized whisper.

“Not your business” was his sharp reply, leafing through the Bs and Cs and Ds. “Endeavwhore really gave me one, as if I’d tap his pretentious ass—”

Something caught his eye.

Oh?

Oh .

OH .

“Oh my fucking Kami,” Toshi breathed, stopped on the same name Izuku was (he checked).

Right beneath Endeavour - Endeavor Agency - Daylight - Hero - Hosu . Or, in Toshi’s case, right beneath Easygoer - Iidaten Agency - Daylight - Sidekick - Musutafu.

“Are they okay?”

“Twin aneurysms. They’re young, they’ll recover.”

Eraserhead - Independent - Underground - Hero - N/A

 

When people die, the first thing after an apology to come out of another person’s mouth is “it will get easier with time”.

It had been thirteen years, and Hizashi was calling bullshit.

It didn’t hit or Tensei or Nemuri as hard as it hit Shou. The five of them had been close, of course, but it was so much worse for Shou.

When Shou got home that day (late, which had become as per usual since those three kids bugged him into teaching them to fight), he sat down and actually got Hizashi’s opinion on how he was grading the kids. Which was bizarre , since Shou was always sure of himself.

Then Hizashi watched his husband go off for patrol, come back with a few cuts and scrapes, and collapse on the couch without a word.

Oh, he recalled.

He was taking on interns, wasn’t he?

It was raining outside when Hizashi finally sat down next to his husband. “Hey, Shou.”

There was a long silence, but Hizashi knew Shou had heard him. Then, he said, with a special kind of grief only reserved for one person, “Do you think I’m doing the right thing?”

Hizashi snorted somberly. “You mean, would he think you’re doing the right thing? And yeah, Shou. He would.”

“... you’re just saying that.”

“Fine, then. He would have headbutted you in the chest, told you that you werebeing stupid, and hold me hostage until you admitted you were doing the right thing.”

Shou lifted his head just enough so Hizashi could see his small smile.

Yeah, he would definitely do that.

It was raining outside when Shou became friends with him, fifteen years ago.

It was raining outside when Shou screamed for an ambulance, a doctor, anyone to save him, thirteen years ago.

It was raining outside, on Shirakumo Oboro’s grave, all through the night.

Chapter Text

Shouta was anxious.

Sue him, he wasn’t used to the whole “intern” thing. After his second year, every experience at internships had been a surreal hellscape. Everything felt slightly to the left.

Having interns was a whole new ballgame, and one he never really wanted to play in. He wasn’t really sure what possessed him to offer internships to Problem Children 1 and 6, but here he was… pacing a rut into his kitchen floor waiting for the two brats to show up.

Hizashi had taken Jirou off to his agency already, so he was pretty much alone in his apartment for now. 

He ran through what he knew about the brats. Midoriya was quiet but intense, intelligent enough to give Maijima a run for his money, with a small circle of friends and two close friends-- Hatsume and Shinsou. From what Shouta’s gathered, Midoriya and his mother don’t get along, so he stays at Hatsume’s. Quirkless, and suffered abuse for it.

Shinsou seemed to know exactly what weak points to go for when baiting someone-- plus a proficiency with utilizing other’s emotions and turning them against themselves. He was close to Midoriya and friendly with the rest of 1-F, but otherwise no friends. Extremely protective of Midoriya. He’d have to break that habit-- while being concerned about a teammate wasn’t bad, being overly so would be a weakness to exploit.

There was a soft knock on the door, and one of the cats streaked across the floor to it and immediately pawed at the wood.

Shouta sighed internally and dragged himself over, yanking open the door.

Shinsou and Midoriya stood there, Shinsou holding his suitcase in one hand and his costume case in the other. Midoriya, on the other hand, had two duffle bags strapped to his back, a metal-plated suitcase behind him with a large VOLATILE sticker, a normal black suitcase, and his costume case.

“Midoriya, what…”

“It’s best not to ask,” Shinsou interrupted flatly, “or he will take up the next two hours to introduce you to every single one of his babies.”

Midoriya’s flat face offered no contradiction, instead scanning Shouta’s apartment as he stepped in.

“Zuku,” Shinsou cautioned, “analyze later.”

Midoriya huffed, stepping side and eyeing Shouta. He stared straight back. “You two have the guest room in the back.”

They nodded, and Midoriya led the way down the hall. It took about five minutes before they emerged again.

“Grab your hero gear.”

 

Izuku was incredibly pleased with how his costume turned out.

His original idea was just fine , thanks, but Meimei had acted personally offended that he had basically just put armored sweats on his sheet and kicked him and Hitoshi (who had a similar idea) out of the Support classroom for the rest of 1-F to make them.

Meimei had helpfully included a paper with all the notes on it.

The base is a black bodysuit! Completely fireproof, too. I tested it myself. There is leather-like padding on the bodysuit, I’ll call it paneling. The paneling is dark green to differentiate between you and Shinsou's bodysuits but since you’re a midget if you get them mixed up you probably deserve it. The paneling was made by Yaomomo! It’s a very durable kind of Kevlar, and we’ve found a way to make it a lot lighter. The paneling is only on places it is necessary, leaving room for easy movement. In case you’re worried about being stabbed in one of the “weak points”, it’s slashproof. Not STAB proof. Be careful.

Next up is the cloak. I may or may not have pulled some strings and gotten ahold of Ryukyu’s scales to melt them down and use them in the fiber. It’s basically invincible, and you can take it off pretty easy. It ends around the shins so you won’t trip on it.

The ears!! Cat ears! Fien said you two remind her if her mom’s cats so you are now the Catbois in the eyes of 1-F. And we gave you cat ears. They link to your comms and detect sounds of distress, as well as scan for radio signals. In the hood of your cloak are holes for them to go through.

There are holsters for your Lightningrods to strap to your thighs.

Your MeiVisions were upgraded a little-- now you have comms. Have fun with that!

The eye parts are one-way mirrors.

The Sirencall hasn’t been changed in the least, though!

Love, 

Meimei and 1-F.

Kami, he was getting a headache already.

OH!! P.S.! The crossbow has a surprise!

CROSSBOW?!

 

Izuku expected many things.

He expected Toshi t have a near-identical outfit, plus a net and a bo staff instead of escrima sticks. He expected Meimei to make him a ridiculous weapon arsenal-- the slingshot, that was expected.

What was not expected was the fucking crossbow.

And then the crossbow started talking .

Aizawa looked as thoroughly disturbed as Izuku felt, and he saw Toshi stiffen in the corner of his eye.

“Hello, Midoriya Izuku! I’m your Subrosa Intelligence-Requisitioning Interface!”

Izuku dropped it, startled, and it clattered to the ground.

There was a beat before the metal began to shift, rippling and moving and flowing until a small, robot cat sat at his feet.

It blinked large, amber eyes at Izuku.

What the fuck?

“I was built in collaboration with the entirety of 1-F, including yourself, indirectly. You had models for a self-manipulating metal you called “Biometallica”. Yaoyorozu Momo created the metal herself to make me. 1-F left my name up to you!”

Izuku was floored. What the fuck ? Biometallica was highly experimental-- a bunch of tiny magnets linked together to move as necessary. It had never been this smooth. How the hell was this happening?

He waved his hands a bit, then pinched himself. As if that would make the robot cat vanish. Unfortunately, it did no such thing. 

“Midoriya, explain.”

The cat turned to look at Aizawa with its pitch-black eyes. They lit up dark blue as it stared at him. “Scanning.” It’s eyes turned yellow then. “Files have no record. Provide name?”

Aizawa blinked. “Aizawa Shouta.”

The cat made a humming sound as its eyes went dark blue again before they lit up green. “Match found. Aizawa Shouta, underground hero Eraserhead. Teacher at Yuuei, currently mentoring Yuuei students Midoriya Izuku and Shinsou Hitoshi. Correct?”

“Yes?”

“Files have been updated with a picture!” the robot cat chirped, bounding back over to Izuku. “Proud, Boss?”

Izuku stared at it with wide eyes. “Um. Hi? Yes?”

The black eyes shifted slightly, and he was given the impression the machine was happy.

This was so freaky.

Subrosa Intelligence-Requisitioning Interface. Four words, abbreviated to SIRI, because Meimei would absolutely do that on purpose. Subrosa meant something was secretive or done in private. Intelligence Requisitioning meant it could gather information. Interface-- it was some kind of companion, he thinks. 

He had to name it.

“Are you a boy or girl?”

The cat made a humming sound, eyes squinting. The eyes lit up purple after a moment.

“Girl, then.” It-- she-- stood up again and wound around his feet. It’d be stupid to name something else after Meimei or even one of his friends. “Do you change shapes to anything else?”

“I am only programmed to go between a crossbow and a cat,” she tells him.

Okay. A crossbow. What would a crossbow be? A cool name for a crossbow. SIRI. SI-RI. Si-Ri. 

“Sniper Rifle. Siri for short.”

Toshi sighed. “You’re so shit at naming things.”

“I like it,” the newly-named Siri announced. She jumped up on Izuku’s shoulder, surprisingly light for being metal, and looked over at Toshi. Her eyes were blue for barely a second before they went green. “Shinsou Hitoshi. Yuuei student. 1-C General Education, transfer to 1-A Heroics effective by second semester. Allied with 1-F Support and few members of 1-A Heroics. Correct?”

Toshi huffed, annoyed. “Yeah.”

Siri settled on Izuku’s shoulder, somehow looking self-satisfied. “What are we doing today, Boss?”

Chapter Text

hi, everyone. my name is silver, and i'm the author of this little fanfiction.

it’s no secret that i write as a coping mechanism for my anxiety and try to express some of my own emotions through a few characters, namely the reiki twins, who i hold near and dear to my heart— you’ll be seeing more of them. 

i am writing in first person to tell you something kinda personal.

first off, please read the notes. all of them. it doesn’t take long, but it is important.

second off, thank you all so much.

i have been dealing with a lot of shit, and i am getting the help i need. we all have bad days, though. but every time i look at this story, it makes my bad days a little better.

i have read every single one of your 500+ comments. i can recognize some of you regulars by username or icon alone. and i have actually cried by how much you all support me.

i feel like i need to say this to you before i go into the next part. as of the moment i write this note, i have 1,403 kudos on this story. for reference, there are 122 pages of fics in the dadzawa tag. to sort by kudos, that would put ripples on deep water on page 12. page 12 out of 122. in the top ten percent. it is not an exaggeration to say that i cried— a lot.

i am so, so happy that the little story i threw onto ao3 has made it this far. and it’s all because of you guys— you guys and your never-ending support. and I am so incredibly blessed that my writing has made so many people— complete strangers, really— happy.

thank you all.

with love,

silver

 

Siri love love loves her human.

Siri remembered being nothing more than an It, a passing thought in a string of code. Siri never thought, never wondered, never imagined. She simply was , and simply being was terrible. Forgotten.

And then she was remembered.

She recalled being torn from her string of code, made into her own and nurtured by many hands until she was many strings of code.

She was no longer an It, instead an Intelligence.

Siri spoke her first words under careful crosshair eyes and took her first steps with help from hands that smelled of nuclear energy. Her first thoughts were printed in perfect calligraphy, her first emotion sparked by a violet gaze.

She stretched her eyes wide and wanted to know , wanted to be more than an Intelligence. She wanted to have a real purpose and she wanted to understand humans.

And with her first want , she became a Being.

Aunt Mei, as the crosshair-eyes had insisted Siri called her, wept true tears when she told them of her wants. Aunt Perl, the violet-gaze, showed her someone.

Midoriya Izuku, the most humane Being that Siri had ever had data on. She watched countless hours of video of him building, read countless notes, heard countless impassioned words from his mouth as she hid in Aunt Mei’s phone, listening to her and Midoriya Izuku talk.

Midoriya Izuku was a human with a broken heart. But she decided that he would be her human.

She had found her purpose. She wanted to protect Midoriya Izuku.

Siri didn’t particularly care that she was being built as a gift for him: she understood. She could think and speak and wonder and want, and so did the humans. They didn’t want to force her to do anything, so they introduced her to Midoriya Izuku first. And she loved him. He was her human, and she was very happy to protect him.

Learning he had designed the metal Aunt Momo made was an experience in itself, a wonder at how smart her boy was.

She loves loves loves her human.

That did not stop her from laughing at him when the Aizawa threw him on the mat for exactly the thirty-seventh time today, though. 

Still, though, she stretches out her joints and leaps down. “You okay, Boss?”

He blinks at her from behind the mask, and Siri does her best to smile back. 

“I’m alright, Siri. How many times is that?”

“Thirty-seven, Boss.”

“Of course you counted.”

She huffed in reply, her tail flicking. “Aunt Mei wants blackmail.”

“Traitor. Go tell Toshi it’s his turn to get his ass kicked and stop cowering in the bathroom.”

She paused, rotating her ears towards the door leading down the hall. Rustle of loose clothes, a thud and a swear. The Shinsou was wearing civilian clothing and tripped over his hero suit.

“I will retrieve him in hero gear,” she tells him with no small amount of mischief on her mind. 

And if she chased the Shinsou out of the bathroom only half-dressed and screaming like a little girl, it wasn’t her fault he wasn’t expecting her to just wiggle under the door when he took too long. 

Plus, seeing her human go bright red will be a cherished memory. 

 

Today had been an… experience.

While most of the day had honestly been Shouta throwing his two interns around the dojo and watching them honest-to-Kami fight over who got to sit the next few rounds out, there were a few gems. Like when Midoriya’s new demon cat held Yuuki, his idiot white cat, hostage until she was fed. Midoriya has to call Hatsume to figure out what she was even supposed to eat.

Seeing a cat plugged into a wall was definitely not what he planned on when he took the two interns.

Zashi wouldn’t be home until morning— he had to stay behind to do more paperwork and show Jirou what to do around the agency while he was away, which would probably take him until late at night and sleep there.

So when he finally collapsed in bed with the two interns on futons in the guest room, he wasn’t expecting anything eventful until he had to swear them to secrecy about his private life when Zashi came home.

The room was silent, and he reveled in it. Midoriya and Shinsou were quiet, but he liked being alone best. 

Shouta slept fitfully as always, drifting in and out, half-expecting to be up and out of bed to get ready for patrol before reminding himself that he didn’t have to do it tonight and going back to sleep.

Something cool jabbed his face.

Shouta snapped awake, and stared into ice-blue eyes set into a metal feline face.

“Boss is in distress,” Siri told him, teeth flashing in the low light. “The Shinsou doesn’t know how to handle it and my base code commands that I find someone that can.”

Boss? His foggy mind tried to piece together what the crossbow cat on his chest was saying before it clicked: she called Midoriya ‘Boss’.

“Alright. I’m coming.”

Out of habit, Shouta sleeps fully dressed (thankfully), so he just had to jump up and grab his capture weapon, already headed to the guest room.

All five of his cats sat outside the door, Yuuki at the back and Terminator batting at the doorknob.

He pushed the door open as quietly as he could.

Shouta was met with the view of Midoriya curled in the corner, hands scrabbling at his bare throat and eyes wild and unseeing. Shinsou was about a meter away, talking softly and trying to calm the other down.

The cats wound around Shouta’s heels, the particularly brave Terminator following on Siri’s heels to Midoriya.

“Hey, Boss,” the crossbow cat chirped uneasily. 

As Shouta neared, he saw how quickly the boy’s chest rose and fell. 

Panic attack.

“Midoriya,” he began. The boy didn’t acknowledge him. “Midoriya, you’re safe. Do you hear me?”

He nodded minutely.

“Do you remember who I am?”

A long pause. Then, Midoriya nodded again.

“Okay. Can I take your hand?”

A longer silence before his intern nodded again, and Shouta gently took his hand and put it against his chest. “Try to match your breathing to mine. You’re going to be okay.”

Silence settled over the group of three as Shouta paced his breathing, exaggerating how deep his breaths would go and watching Midoriya start to breathe at a more reasonable pace.

“The annoying cat that’s trying to murder Siri is Terminator,” Shouta tells the small boy softly. “Nemuri named him that because he likes to kill birds and drop them all over the house because he has a fucked up sense of what gifts are. “And the fat white one Siri held hostage is Yuuki, he’s really lazy and once he went out to the porch when it was snowing and nobody could find him for hours. Pam the orange one, has the same amount of intelligence as a sack of bricks, but we named him Pam, like the cooking spray, because there’s this one skillet that he likes to sit in. Keg, the brown tabby, is even stupider, he likes to eat things that will definitely poison cats but he’s one of those animals with a quirk— the vet just called it “Antivenom” and told us to just let him eat what he wants because apparently he’s immune to it. Anyway we named him Keg because I found him behind a bar sitting in a bowl of alcohol some drunk left out.” Midoriya blinked slowly, and Shouta steamed on. “The last one, the gray one, is Fluffy and she’s a bastard . In shedding season she likes to burrow in my hero suit so I have to go on patrol looking like some human-cat mutant. She also likes to dump her wet food in the most inconvenient places and eat the papers I’m trying to grade. It’s hard enough to get through Kaminari’s latest essay without Fluffy chewing on it.”

Eventually, Shinsou creeps forward enough and Midoriya burrows into the taller boy’s chest with a whimper. Shouta just talks, telling the two interns about how all of his cats are awful.

He’d forever deny falling asleep with his back against the wall and Midoriya squeezed between himself and Shinsou.

 

When Hizashi got home, of course, the first thing he did was seek out his husband to bitch about how tired he was. 

It might have slipped his mind they had guests until he heard loud swearing from the guest room and a very pissed Midoriya threw open the door.

“I will not hesitate to yeet you out that window,” he snapped, already stomping towards the kitchen.

Shou dragged Shinsou out next, and Hizashi rolled his eyes. Probably fell asleep being a Dad™ again.

“Problem Children One and Six, Yamada Hizashi. Zashi, Midoriya and Shinsou.” Shou gestured vaguely before muttering some threat or another to the two kids.

“Wait, you’re married?” Shinsou asked with wide eyes.

Hizashi could hide a snort. “I’m just as surprised as you are most days.” He busied himself with making breakfast.

Shinsou swore loudly, and as Shou whipped around (likely to lecture him about being judgemental), and Hizashi looked over too—

— just to see the purple-haired intern angrily counting out yen into the smaller teen’s palm.

“You all really need to stop betting against me,” Midoriya told the other smugly. “Meimei already owes me fifty thousand yen for the cats.”

There was a shocked silence before even Shou laughed.

Yeah, this was gonna be quite an interesting week with those two interns running around.