The bell rings signaling the start of class but the door remains closed.
Aizawa Sensei is nowhere to be seen.
The minutes tick by and the class begins to get restless when the door finally slides open.
Two people step inside walking almost in sync as they head to the front of the room.
It’s a man and a woman with long black hair in neat, long, identical high-pony braids, and their faces are made up tastefully.
The woman is dressed in a white collared shirt, a light pink cardigan and a pleated white skirt to her knees.
The man has on a plaid shirt in shades of yellow and green with the sleeves rolled up to the elbows, and a pair of skinny jeans hugging his hips.
The two stand there silently, leaving the class to stare in confusion until Iida finally holds up a hand. “Excuse me for asking but… is Aizawa Sensei not coming in today? Are you here to teach his class?”
The man turns to the woman with a smug look. He holds out a hand and speaks in a very familiar voice. “Pay up Nemuri.”
The class devolves into chaos.
It’s quite a few minutes before order is restored and the woman, -who it is now clear is just casual Midnight- takes the time to set up a long table with boxes on it.
The man, Aizawa Sensei with enough under-eye makeup to conceal his signature bags, shuffles some papers and clears his throat pointedly. “Heroes are often recognizable even out of costume so it is important to learn the art of blending in with civilian society.”
His eyes narrow as he looks across the room. “There is a fine line between being unrecognizable and being so heavily disguised as to be conspicuous. People often snap photos of strangers that look suspicious or ridiculous and then post said photos to their social media. When you are a pro hero, it’s only a matter of time before a megafan manages to connect those photos back to you leading to breaches of privacy at best and downright stalking behavior at worst.”
“Not to mention unflattering news articles.” Midnight adds.
Aizawa turns and begins taping photos to the board. “This class is usually reserved for after students have received their provisional licenses but it seems that some of you...”
Midoriya lets out a groan and covers his face as a picture of him with a goatee and dark shades is placed side by side with one of Iida sporting a mustache.
“...are in desperate need of this course right now.”
Tooru stares at the board and stifles a giggle with her hand. There are five pictures up in all and they are kind of ridiculous. More than the fact that each of her featured classmates are wearing obvious disguise is the fact that they… kind of clash with each other.
Momo looks older and sophisticated, but still like herself, if Tooru is being honest. Maybe like her own big sister? Or an older Aunt?
Kirishima is basically the same as always except in smarter clothes and with his hair down and Tooru moves on to
Iida? She stuffs her fist into her mouth to hold back laughter. He doesn’t look like himself but kind of like his own great uncle maybe? Those trademark eyebrows mark him as an Iida and Tooru can see what Aizawa meant about mega fans being able to figure it out. Still, who knew two tiny little mustache wings could age him up so well…
Midoriya is- Tooru loses the battle and full on cackles. Luckily she isn’t the only one to be losing it over that particular picture.
Midoriya is moaning into his desk, face bright red as Mina and Ochako fall out of their chairs and roll on the floor, howling with laughter.
He looks like… like a gangster! A high ranking member of the yakuza! It’s so ridiculous that it takes a good few minutes for the class to settle down and Tooru quickly scans the last picture.
It’s Todoroki, or at least, it has to be since he was the only other member of the Bakugou Retrieval Squad. It takes a minute to find the similarities though since his trademark hair is covered with a dark wig and only one eye is showing. He actually looks pretty good, if slightly overdressed for the area they are walking through. He probably would have blended in perfectly if he wasn’t a part of this group of weirdos.
Which is probably Aizawa Sensei’s point. They’re all wearing disguises and that might have been enough for the villains, but they still stood out enough that these pictures exist.
Tooru finds herself getting excited. This class sounds like it could be fun!
“Hagakure, you are excused from this class.”
Her smile stays fixed in place even though no one can see it. ‘What?’
Nobody else is excused from the class except Tokoyami who simply pulls out a chessboard for himself and Dark Shadow. He doesn’t seem to care, doesn’t seem to feel the exclusion that she does and so with nothing else to do and no one to commiserate with, Tooru simply watches.
“Today’s class will be focusing on disguising faces,” Midnight says, “we’ll be leaving clothing styles for a different day since as long as you’re not in a hero costume whatever you’re wearing should be inconspicuous enough.” She concludes her introduction with a sharp look at Midoriya who sheepishly agrees to ask for help before trying to walk outside incognito. The students are then given a crash course on basic makeup followed by tips for obscuring recognition.
“Depending on the base or foundation you use you can change your skin tone to make yourself less recognizable. Of course when using it in such a manner, proper blending becomes even more important to prevent splotches or the dreaded ‘cake’ look.”
Tooru’s eyes slide over her classmates. Mina looks to be only half listening as she looks through the different skin tones available. Midoriya and Iida are writing notes almost frantically to keep up and Todoroki is reading over Midoriya’s shoulder.
Her eyes fall on Aoyama and stop because he doesn’t look like he’s paying attention at all! His fingers slide over options, at times lifting and inspecting an item, at times knocking things over with a disgusted huff and a flick of his finger. She watches him as he continues to move things around, hiding certain things in the back, tucking certain things into his pocket and the minute Midnight claps her hands and says “Do your best to look the best!” Aoyama already has an armful of products and is halfway to the back of the class.
Tooru glances around at the swarm of students and the two teachers all crowded around the long table and when she is sure no one is paying her any attention, she slips to the back to continue watching him.
He starts by setting down the small mirror he’d grabbed and then laying out things Tooru doesn’t recognize. There’s some kind of pencil and a few brushes, what looks like a sponge and then a couple of bottles.
“Sacre bleu” he mumbles as he reads something on one of the powders he’s holding. “Do they want everyone to break out? There wasn't even a decent primer. Are they going to fund the acne creams… Mon dieu, no liquid concealer for the decent skin tones. Am I supposed to just use powder like an animal? Did they just buy whatever was cheapest?”
As he mumbles he gathers his hair into a tiny ponytail. Two short strands fall free to frame his face and he tucks them behind his ears.
He looks different like that. More focused. Like he’s taking this very seriously somehow.
He seems to notice her then and looks up.
He smiles widely and it's weird to see that overly bright expression on his face when his hair is pulled back. Not bad weird. Just… different.
He leans his head back, one hand flying to his forehead dramatically. “Ah! Has the Madamesoulle come to catch a glimpse of true beauty at work?” he wags a finger playfully and winks. “Tut tut, it’s rude to sneak a peak before the model has hit the stage.”
Because usually she would laugh at Aoyama’s antics but. She’d seen him when no one else was watching. He’d seemed… almost passionate about this class and so the dramatics now are almost… like he’s embarrassed to have been caught? So he’s trying to deflect?
Tooru purses her lips. “Um. Aizawa Sensei said I can’t participate. But you look like you know what you’re doing so… Do you mind if I watch you?”
He eyes her and she knows he can’t see her but he’s actually almost making eye contact which is impressive in and of itself.
“You are interested. Genuinely...” He says softly, tapping a finger against his chin. “Alright. But pay attention, a skilled artist like myself doesn’t like to waste time explaining things.”
Tooru beams and pulls up a seat.
Aoyama does end up explaining things but he doesn’t really seem to mind.
Aoyama and Todoroki tie for first place. Because apparently this was a graded assignment and people were able to fail and be set a makeup make-up exam. Midnight’s look of glee at announcing that had been terrifying to behold.
Todoroki had simply put on a dark wig for a similar effect of the picture on the board. Jiro and Ashido had attacked him with eyeliner though and he was not happy about it. The result of his brooding face coupled with the dark bangs obscuring his scar and leaving only one heavily penciled eye visible had left him looking like a different person.
Aoyama on the other hand had gone all out. He’d used a darker shade of foundation to give himself a false tan.
‘Always be sure to get the neck. So many beginners forget and end up looking like they're wearing a mask.’
He’d drawn a thin line of eyeliner on his top lid only, ‘to draw attention away from my fabulous bottom lashes.’
Contour had been applied to lightly emphasize his cheek bones. ‘Always be sure to match contour type to the foundation, so liquid to liquid and- (a snort of disgust) -powder to powder.’
His lips had been coated in a tan shade only slightly darker than the rest of his face, making them seem thinner and less noticeable.
He’d left his hair in the little pony, removed his tie and opened the top button of his shirt collar. The uniform jacket had been tied around his waist to complete the ensemble.
Once the class had finally stopped murmuring, Aizawa had cleared his throat. “Most of you seem to have gotten the basic concepts down. Although if you are going to wear a wig, make sure your hair will fit under it.”
Yaoyarozu and Tsuyu nod their heads.
A list is posted of the kids who failed and the class is dismissed.
The bell rings for lunch but Tooru stays where she is.
The room empties out till only she and Aoyama are left.
“It is indeed a shame that you could not at least try. You my dear are what an artist refers to as a blank canvas.” He sits back down in the chair beside her. “And with the proper instruction that canvas could take on any form you wish… May I?”
She’s not sure exactly what he’s asking, still kind of stunned at the words he’s just said. She nods her head and then wonders if her collar is high enough for that to be visible to him.
He seems to understand though and reaches for her face with a delicate finger. “Hm, as I thought. You have a very nice face.” He smiles brightly at her and she flushes. His finger stills as her cheek warms beneath it and then he laughs. “Sorry if I made you uncomfortable…”
His hand moves to pat at her hair and then slides down the length. His eyes light up. “Your hair is so long!”
Tooru shrugs. It’s kind of hard to get haircuts when her hair and head aren’t visible. As a child she’d overheard an adult asking her parents if they were worried the scissor would slip and cut off her ear. That old fear still lingers.
She’d thought about trimming it herself sometimes but always chickened out. Just because she’s the only one that can see what it looks like doesn’t mean she shouldn’t make sure it looks nice.
She ducks in preparation for whatever Aoyama says next but-
His hands fall on her shoulders and she snaps her gaze up to meet indigo eyes practically sparkling with excitement.
“Come with me! We shall show them all the true diamond in our midst!”
Tooru only has time for a half-hearted protest before she is dragged from the room.
Tooru eyes her face in the mirror. “Uh. I look exactly the same…”
Aoyama beams. “Magnifique! That means we chose the correct skin tone! Come.”
He motions for her to stand and she does.
He steps back and snaps a picture with his phone and his eyes crinkle in a warm smile as he hands it to her.
It’s her. In the picture. 100% visible.
Her eyes are empty holes but besides for that… it’s her face! And her arms!
Even her hair is half visible, Aoyama having french braided it with pink ribbons woven through the braid!
The arm holding the phone lowers and she sniffles, hurriedly lifting a hand to grab a tissue.
Aoyama gently snags her wrist. “Do not worry ma cherie. It is waterproof.”
She sniffles again before lunging forward to throw her arms around him; mindful not to squeeze too hard and cover his shirt in makeup.
He hugs her back briefly before taking her hand. “There are 20 minutes left of lunch. Shall we go?”
Tooru couldn’t stop smiling if she tried.
When they walk into the lunchroom it feels like all sound ceases. Aoyama doesn’t slow, almost dragging her lagging form forward to the now empty line to get food. He orders for the both of them as she lets her eyes wander. The two of them are both receiving an equal amount of stares and she isn’t sure if it’s because of her or the way Aoyama is still dressed.
They take their trays from Lunch Rush and head towards the 1A tables. Aoyama plops down next to Ashido who immediately draws him into a conversation. Tooru makes her way to the empty seat beside Ojiro and after a tiny pause to steel herself, sits down beside him.
He glances over and flushes. “Uh hello. Are you new? I noticed you walked in with Aoyama. Was he showing you around?”
Tooru stares into his black eyes and realizes he’s being sincere.
The breath catches in her throat as she stutters out. “You have no idea who I am, do you?”
His eyes widen and he rears back. “Hagakure???”
The table falls silent for a split second before her friends surge forward sweeping her up into excited conversations.
Tooru basks happily in the feeling of being seen.
All Might frowns. “Uh. Hello young Hagakure. I was not expecting you to be so…” he trails off but with a sinking feeling she can tell what he means.
Like it’s a bad thing.
He flusters. “Not that you don’t look very nice of course! It’s just that for hero training, even just in our gym uniforms I don’t know how effective the lesson will be if you can’t use your quirk.”
There’s a sharp sinking feeling in her chest. Her teacher is meeting her eyes for the first time but in this situation that just seems to make it worse.
She tries to say something, force words out past the lump lodged in her throat.
But someone gets there first.
Tooru’s eyes widen at her classmate’s quiet voice.
The green haired boy steps forward with a downright devastated look on his face and All Might takes a step back at the sight. “Are you serious? Are you saying she can only be a hero when she has a quirk? That she can’t even practice while quirkless?”
The teacher flusters and stammers and Tooru stares in a shock that matches the rest of the class.
But Midoriya isn’t done.
“You think she can’t learn anything from a combat class just because we can see her?” His voice cracks before surging forward with characteristic determination. “If anything that makes today more important! She’s never had practice sparring against an opponent that can read her, never fought someone who can predict her moves! You think there aren’t ever going to be villains with X-ray vision or reflex quirks? Is she supposed to rely solely on her quirk and pray she never meets them? She should be paired off with Ojiro so she can get some actual fighting experience!”
All Might swallows twice and clears his throat awkwardly before smiling widely at them.
Somehow it seems a bit forced.
“An excellent idea young Midoriya!”
All Might proceeds to assign the rest of the pairings but Tooru is focused on the classmate beside her.
He’d seemed. Oddly passionate for her, and while she can’t think right now about why that would be, she can’t deny that having him immediately jump to her defense was touching.
The class begins to break off into pairs and she hurriedly taps Midoriya’s hand to draw his attention to her before remembering that she doesn’t really need to do that today.
Their eyes meet and she smiles. “Thanks Midoriya. It really sucks being defined by your quirk, doesn’t it?”
His mouth twists oddly for a second before he beams at her. “Quirks aren’t everything right?”
The tightness in her chest finally vanishes and she beams right back at him. “Yeah!”
The day is over and Tooru has spent as long as she can just hanging out in the common room. No one forgot she was there today and she was actually able to participate in all the conversations without feeling like an intruder.
It’s a heady feeling this sense of belonging and she almost can’t get enough of it.
But all too soon the room begins to empty and she knows she has to get up too.
Go wash everything off and take a shower.
She doesn’t want this day to end.
After the way All Might reacted she knows she won’t be able to do this again.
Not without taking the chance of being banned from hero training.
She doesn’t even have a costume and getting naked while her face and arms are visible would be too weird.
She’s always claimed not to care about that but.
The truth is…
How could she not?
She’s obviously just putting on a brave face.
How does nobody see that?
She hears somebody coming and hurriedly wipes at her eyes.
She looks up to see Aoyama and she’s somewhat surprised to see him looking completely back to normal. A part of her is kind of sad that now he can’t really be seen either.
Tooru gets to her feet and forces a smile. “Hey! I was just gonna head up and uh.” She gestures to her face. “Clean this off.”
“Ah yes. I figured.” He lifts a full bath caddy in his hand and holds it out.
She eyes the contents and steps back. He’s done so much for her. And it kind of feels like it was all for nothing. She can’t possibly take anything else.
“It’s ok.” She waves her hands and then remembers that he can already see her.
His eyes narrow. “You have your own products?”
She swallows at his sudden mood shift. “Uh no? But there’s wipes in the girls bathroom-“
Aoyama lets out a muted shriek. “Wipes? Wipes?!? Mon Dieu!!! What blasphemy!!! You need an actual skincare routine!!” He waves the caddy wildly and she grabs it from him to stop everything from flying out. “Cleansers! Moisturizing wash! For the love of god at least use actual soap!!!”
She cuts him off with a hug and he stiffens at the sudden move. “Thanks Aoyama. I probably won’t do this again but I’m really grateful that I tried it once.” She sniffles and squeezes him tighter to try and keep the tears back. “It was nice to feel pretty so thanks for helping me.”
His arms slowly come up and hug her back. “My friends can call me Yuuga, ma chere. And you are always pretty, whether we can see it or not.”
It’s only after she’s taken the caddy upstairs that she finds the bottle of pink nail polish. It’s tied with a matching ribbon with the words ‘For Tooru’ on it and she can’t help the soft smile as she hugs it to her chest.
She takes her time with the cleansing routine, carefully following the instructions that Yuuga had written out for her.
And all the while her mind races.
When Tooru steps inside, Hatsume’s face seems to fall a bit. That seems weird for the always excitable genius but this is the first time Tooru’s actually meeting her so maybe the others were just exaggerating a bit?
Before Tooru can get a word out the pink haired girl bows low. “I’m really sorry. I don’t have anything for you. I was experimenting with suitable materials but” The girl’s fists clench tightly. “The board said it was too expensive to make you anything. I thought it would be fairly easy to use your hair but they said that since it can’t be seen we’d lose too many samples and bringing in specialists would be too costly. I tried to tell them that with my hyperfocus I’d only need to dirty the ends a little and I’d be able to work with them just fine but-“
“Ah. It’s ok!” Tooru cuts her off and waves her arms wildly even though she knows only her short sleeves are visible.
She feels kind of warm.
Hatsume can’t see her but she still noticed her, still noticed what she might need and for now that’s enough. “An actual costume would be amazing but. That’s not really what I’m here for.”
“Oh?” Hatsume straightens upward so fast Tooru has to rear back to not get hit.
The girl's smile widens as she leans into Tooru’s personal space excitedly and-
This must be what the others were talking about.
She clears her throat. “I would like. A skin suit.”
The inventor’s grin turns crazed and she lets out a cackle as she practically runs to her work table.
Tooru cringes. “Uh wait. I think you need some context. I don’t mean like. A literal skin suit I just…”
She can’t help the defeated slump her shoulders take and Hatsume pauses from where she’d been scribbling away on a notepad.
“I get you. You need a substitute for makeup since removing it takes too long right?”
“What? How did you-?”
Hatsume’s eyes zoom and swirl. “You’ve got a bit of makeup over there.” She points at a tiny spot under Tooru’s ear. “It wouldn’t be a problem for most people to miss a spot, especially over there, but on you it’s the difference between being seen and unseen! So you want a flesh colored mask that can handle makeup and be removed in a flash, right? Something breathable with different skin tone options. Interactive with contacts without impairing depth perception and peripheral vision!”
That warm feeling from before comes back with a vengeance. “Y-yeah! Exactly! Compatible with wigs, scarves and face masks please!”
Hatsume twirls her pen before resuming her scribbling. “Ooh that’s a good one! Wouldn’t want the makeup coming off on clothing! You got it! Anything else?”
Tooru doesn’t want to ask for much.
Even without Hatsume succeeding, Tooru has never felt so… seen.
So seen while still having her quirk.
But there is one more thing.
“I. I want. Gloves. The long kind from princess movies for when I wear sleeveless shirts… and I…” The words catch in her throat for a second but she thinks of the sparkly pink bottle that Yuuga had left for her yesterday and how currently it’s sitting unused on her dresser. “I want… to be able to paint the nails.”
Hatsume’s replying grin is blinding.