Izuku had never been one to back down from something difficult.
When his Quirk manifested and it was discovered that all he could do was have more stamina than other kids, that didn’t stop him from dreaming of becoming a hero.
To him, his Quirk was a way that he could out-last any of his opponents! If he could be stronger and faster for longer than his opponent could, then it would be simple for him to win his fights!
But even his determination came with a downside. The other kids didn’t seem to agree with his reasoning, one boy especially. Bakugou Katsuki, Izuku’s oldest friend, didn’t seem to think that his Quirk was good enough to be a hero.
And he made sure to regularly remind Izuku of that, like what was happening right now. Izuku hit the ground roughly, grunting as his stomach flared up in pain. “How’s that stupid Quirk of your helping you now, Deku?”
Bakugou kicked Izuku again and laughed, his cronies following along. “Seems like the only thing it’s good for is letting me kick your ass for even longer!”
As the foot struck him, Izuku rolled along with the force of the kick, making it both hurt less, and pushing him out of Bakugou’s melee range. As he finished rolling, he jumped to his feet.
Bakugou growled at that, approaching slowly, his hands sparking. “You should really learn to stay down Deku! Getting up just makes me wanna kill you even more!”
Izuku took a deep breath and lowered himself to the ground. He didn’t know why he felt so calm right now, in the face of imminent pain by explosion, but he felt the clutter in his brain quiet down as he stared Bakugou in the eyes.
When he felt that Bakugou had gotten close enough, Izuku ducked down and kicked at the gravelly ground beneath him, sending up a cloud. Bakugou swore loudly as he dust got in his eyes, before the winged croney flapped and pushed the dust away.
Izuku had already sprinted off, and the trio of bullies knew from previous experience that while they could beat Deku in a fight, or more accurately, Bakugou could beat up Deku, Deku could outrun them all.
Growling, Bakugou waved at his cronies to follow him, before walking off the other way.
That was not an isolated incident.
Every couple of days, Izuku would find himself in a fight with Bakugou and his cronies, although, eventually it just ended up being Bakguou and. Izuku all the time as the cronies stopped joining in.
Izuku never won, but he wouldn’t say that he lost all the fights. By the time he was thirteen, he could safely say that fighting with Bakugou every few days had actually been a positive thing for him.
His combat instincts had been cultivated through the years of fighting the boy, and his ability to think outside of the box had grown into something Izuku was proud of. He knew that he wasn’t able to beat Bakugou with strength, but he was able to outsmart the boy.
There was the time that he tricked Bakugou into hitting a fire extinguisher while Izuku dodged behind a pillar, coating both Bakugou and the room in white foam. Because the teachers only saw that Bakugou was covered in it, they assumed that he set it off on purpose. He still wasn’t punished too harshly though. But Izuku was still really proud of himself for that one.
Unfortunately, even with his smarts, there was sometimes just nothing he could do but fight Bakugou head-on, like he was now. After Izuku had gotten a few points higher than him on a test, Bakugou had tracked him down after class and attacked him.
Bakugou had him backed into a corner, fist heading towards Izuku’s gut. Izuku turned to his side, lessening the impact slightly before sending his elbow out towards the boy’s face. Bakugou blasted himself back with a small explosion, which doubled as an attack, making Izuku wheeze.
But now that there was space between the two boys, Izuku could get free. He knew that Bakugou had to plant himself securely to effectively use his Quirk, which meant spread feet and a lowered body.
As he saw Bakugou swing at him again, his hand sparking, Izuku saw his escape route. He kicked off the wall behind him and dove towards Bakugou, rolling underneath his swipe and sliding under his legs, before pushing himself up and sprinting off.
He clutched his stomach as he ran, the sounds of explosions behind him getting quieter and quieter.
He needed to be better at fighting if he wanted to be a Hero, he knew that.
But while he had the quick mind and eagerness to learn, there weren’t many martial arts dojos in a reasonable distance to his house that were cheap enough for him to go to consistently.
Ever since his dad had abandoned them, He and his mother had been living on the checks his dad sent back, and the meager earnings that his mother made helping out their neighbors with cooking and cleaning.
Which meant that there would be no formal training for Izuku, not for now. At least, that's what izuku thought. As he made his way home, he spotted a traffic jam up ahead, with a police barrier holding back the civilians.
He looked around for a second and quickly ducked into a side alleyway to go around the fight (he wasn’t in the mood to watch any right now). It was fairly normal, up until he got to the halfway mark.
Just before he passed by it, a door on the left side of the alleyway was smashed into pieces by an unconscious body flying through it. Izuku let out a yelp and backed away, noticing the slight burn marks on the man.
Moving towards him, he tried his best to wake the man up, but he was interrupted by someone laughing loudly. “-old you I cou- oh, uh, hey there kiddo! Don’t mind him, we’re just practicing some of our drills! Gotta keep practicing if you wanna be a better fighter, am I right kid?”
Izuku looked up at the man confused before he put the pieces together, and his face lit up like a Christmas tree. He hopped up and down, allowing himself some hope. “Did you say drills? Is this a dojo?!”
The man looked back inside for a second and seemed to have a silent conversation with some of the people in the room, before shrugging. He turned back to Izuku. “Yea, this is a dojo kiddo. Why you wanna know?”
Izuku’s smile grew even wider, and his slow hopping morphed into excited vibrating. “I’ve been looking for a Dojo to learn at for years! All the ones near my house are really expensive, and we don’t have a lot of money!”
Izuku put his hands together in a praying motion and bowed to the man. “Would you mind if I came in and watched for a bit, and got some info on costs and stuff? Learning a martial art is a key step to me becoming a Hero!”
The man looked stunned for a second before he raised his hand, motioning for Izuku to wait, while he picked up his unconscious friend. “Just give me a sec kiddo, gotta check with the owner of the dojo before I can let you do that, you feel me?”
Izuku nodded and placed his schoolbag on the ground, sitting down next to it to wait for the man. He only had to wait a few minutes before the man came back outside, but this time he was accompanied by a much older man.
The older man was wearing traditional Monk robes and an extremely tall green hat, in stark contrast to the first man’s modern workout gear. Izuku immediately got to his feet as the older man walked over to him.
The man looked him up and down and hummed. “You are the boy who wishes to watch us train to determine if we are a suitable choice for your education, correct?”
Izuku nodded his head, staying bowed. “Yes sir! My name is Izuku Midoriya, and I wish to observe your session! If I may be so bold, how much does this training usually cost? My family is not the most well-off.”
The man hummed, stroking the goatee on his chin slowly. He tapped Izuku on the top of his head to make look back up. “Do not keep your head towards the ground, young one. How will you watch us if your eyes are on the floor?”
Izuku quickly looked up at the man, stars in his eyes as his smile grew even bigger. He nodded super fast and followed the old man inside. “Thank you so much, Mr....” Izuku froze up in embarrassment as he realized he didn’t know the old man’s name.
The old man just laughed, patting Izuku on the shoulder. “Don’t worry boy, I didn’t tell you my name yet, so I’m not offended if that's what you’re so worried about. Now get that look off of your face. The names Messina, Jim Messina.”
He waved the boy inside as he moved back towards the doorway. ‘Now come on, you wanted to watch us, didn’t you?”
Izuku followed him inside and was surprised at what he saw.
As the people went through their drills, Izuku could swear that they were glowing.
The colors seemed different for each of the students as well. Was this all of their Quirks? Was everyone in this Dojo related? If that was the case, could Izuku even use this style of Martial Art?
Messina chuckled at his expression, before smacking the boy in the back of his shoulder blades. “Chill out kid, your gonna scare away all my students if you keep mumbling like that.”
Izuku looked up and let out an ‘eep’ when he saw a few of the students looking at him. He bowed and apologized loudly before Messina yelled at them to get back into their proper forms and continue.
He walked with the boy over to a set of chairs in the corner and sat down. He patted the chair to his left and leaned back. Izuku moved over and sat down on the offered chair. Messina than started talking.
“So, before we let you start watching, I should explain what exactly it is we are training here, just in case you don’t like the idea of it, so we can save time. We are training in the ways of Sendo and Hamon, a pair of intrinsically linked techniques that can allow for numerous potential use in combat. Here’s a basic idea of how it works-”
Izuku nodded and listened the whole way through Messina’s speech, but almost couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Using your breathing to circulate energy that was similar to the sun’s rays through your body to increase your combat potential sounded like something only a Quirk could do, but there were almost 20 people in front of him proving that wrong.
He listened as Messina recounted some of the ways that he had used this ‘Hamon’ before in the past, such as making a cup of water holds its shape even when out of the glass, to pull himself up out of a pit filled with oil with just his fingertips.
The longer that Izuku listened for, the more he knew deep down that this was what he wanted to do. An adaptable style that can affect the world around them without the use of a Quirk? Izuku was getting more excited by the minute.
Messina ended his explanation a few minutes later, and could see from the look in Izuku’s eyes that he wanted to join the Dojo. There was just a few more things he needed to ask first. “Alright, now that the explanation is out of the way, I need to ask you a few questions, is that ok with you?”
Izuku nodded, and Messina started asking his questions. They were pretty much what Izuku had guessed they were going to be. How old he was, what was his intended career path, etc. But when they got around to the questions about his Quirk, Messina stopped.
“How exactly does it increase your bodily functions? You already told me you had increased stamina, but you haven't revealed what exactly gives you that stamina.”
Izuku smiled. He knew this! He had done a lot of testing into exactly what his Quirk did, through various different trials, and had finally figured it out. “Well, Mr. Messina sir, my Quirk allows more oxygen to safely flow through my bloodstream.”
“My doctor said that my blood is capable of safely holding around double the amount of oxygen that everyone else does. This gives me more stamina, better reflexes, less anxiety, et cetera”
As Izuku looked up and saw Messina’s shocked face, he blushed. “I did a lot of research into my Quirk. I want to be a Hero and to be one you have to be able to use your Quirk to the best of your ability, right?”
Messina nodded, smiling. He had found exactly the kind of student he was looking for with this kid. “Hey Izuku, did I explain how exactly that Hamon travels from our lungs to our extremities to fuel our attacks?”
Izuku shook his head. “No sir, you didn’t.”
Messina let out a booming laugh. “It travels alongside the oxygen in our blood! Kid, if you started training in the ways of Hamon, I think you might end up being one of the strongest users to ever exist, and I’m counting our sponsor among that group!”
Izuku’s mouth dropped open, and some of the closer students stopped in shock at the statement. Izuku closed his jaw, turning his gaped mouth into a ginormous grin. “You really think so?!”
Messina nodded. “I do, Izuku. How about this, because of your monetary issues, I can teach you how to use Hamon for 1130 yen a fortnight (~$15). I would hate to lose a student with potential like yours just because they were a little short of cash.”
He leaned over to the table next to him and grabbed something, handing a sheet of paper to Izuku, which was a registration sheet with the updated pricing for him on it. Izuku thanked him profusely before hunkering down and watching the rest of the session.
And while he watched the students train their Hamon, he had a bizarre feeling of belonging, as if he was meant to find this Dojo. The feeling was with him all the way back home and stayed with him as he was falling asleep.
Closing his eyes, he smiled and dreamed of battles with villains, his body surrounded by green Hamon.