Aizawa appeared to be ready to die.
“Who the fuck is that,” he hissed abruptly at Yamada, stopping their walk to class after lunch and dragging him behind a corridor wall in a rare outburst of emotion and energy.
Yamada flailed slightly. “Who the fuck is who!?” he shouted, almost using his quirk if it wasn’t for Aizawa already glaring at him with the intensity of a cat who you’re trying to bathe and you’re the only thing blocking the bathroom door.
Aizawa whipped his head around the corner and yanked Yamada by his uniform lapel. “Who,” Aizawa pointed, “is that?”
Yamada re-adjusted his glasses and regarded the kid that his friend was pointing out. He was an incredibly tall, fairly muscular blond boy with a sharp jawline. He was throwing out the remnants of his lunch and turned around to leave only to be stopped by some friends (?). They must’ve said something embarrassing because now the kid was rubbing his neck which, from their angle, created a rather tight stretch across the boy’s shoulders. Aizawa sure could pick them.
He looked back at his friend. Where anyone else might’ve seen a kid, who was ready to actually and literally kill a man by instantly transporting him into the earth six feet under with one look, Yamada swore he saw a faint, just the slight hint, of red brushed across the top of his cheeks. Yamada grinned.
“Ooooooo, Aizawa-kun’s got a crush,” he sing-song whispered much to the furious embarrassment of the other boy.
“Shut up, Yamada.”
“Ah! It’s okay Aizawa-kun! You can trust me with a secret!” Yamada pantomimed zipping his lips and throwing away the key. Aizawa groaned with the air of a man who discovered the corner store was out of instant ramen and knew the nearest store was a twenty-minute walk at least at 3 in the morning
“You can’t keep secrets for shit, Yamada-kun,” Aizawa retorted and then craned his neck back to catch another look at the mystery boy. He chewed on the inside of his cheek and Yamada could almost see the gears turning in his head.
He looked back at Yamada with a determined glint. “You don’t know who that is.”
“Can you find out?”
“Oh, most definitely.”
It was a kind of a lazy, soft evening, the sun filtering through the teachers’ lounge where a few faculty members were doing various tasks for the next day while students relaxed before curfew. It was quiet and warm and thus the perfect place for Aizawa to take a nap.
At least until Present Mic came in.
“AaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY LISTENERS!” Present Mic kicked the door to the lounge open with a bang much to the irritation of Aizawa. All Might jumped and almost spilled his tea all over the essays he was grading and started coughing.
“Ah jeez,” Yamada said in English before hurrying over to All Might to rub his back despite the sick man’s attempt to wave him off. Mic stayed until the wet hacking died down and he backed off to sit on the couch next to Aizawa, swinging the legs of the sleeping bag onto his lap so he’d have room to sit.
The voice hero rubbed the back of his neck and gave a short awkward laugh, “So sorry about that All Might-san.”
All Might made a thumbs-up with the hand that wasn’t trying to keep blood from dripping onto his suit. The hero pulled out a white handkerchief stained a ruddy brown from his suit pocket and wiped his mouth and hand off. “It’s all good, Present Mic! No harm, no foul.”
Mic sighed in relief. “Well, alright then!” He then turned to Aizawa. “Eraser! What the hell’s up with your kids! They’re wild! I had to restrain Bakugō from exploding a few of the other students!”
Aizawa grunted. He needed to talk to Bakugō at some point or another.
Yamada turned to All Might and leaned back into the couch with his hand over his eyes dramatically. “Wow! I don’t know how you are able to teach that group of kids especially your first year of teaching, All Might-san! That’s really impressive!” He sat back up. “Your alma mater is Yuuei right? How would you say 1-A compares to your hero studies class?”
All Might coughed again. “Uh, well, I wasn’t in the hero course.”
Aizawa, who had only been half-listening at this point, blinked. “What the fuck do you mean you weren’t in the hero course?”
All Might looked away and rubbed the back of his neck, “Well, uh, exactly what I said Aizawa-san.”
Mic gaped and flailed his arms while making a rather loud incoherent sound of disbelief. He also fell off the couch, nearly taking Aizawa with him. Yamada sat back up and lowered his glasses to reveal the top of his eyes. “You weren’t in the hero course? Then how did you become a hero?” Mic questioned.
Both All Might and Aizawa raised their eyebrows at the accidental rudeness. Realizing his mistake, Yamada waved his hands nervously and in an almost too loud voice said, “Not that people that aren’t in hero courses can’t be heroes! Of course they can! It’s just, uh,” he moved his head slightly forward and tilted to the side and raised his shoulders, “more difficult?”
“Less stream-lined,” Aizawa added.
All Might nodded in agreement. “Well, yes. It is harder, incredibly so. I, fortunately, had a mentor who doubled as a hero to help, uh....... guide me, yes that’s the word,” All Might muttered the last bit to himself, so the two teachers ignored the rather suspicious tone.
“Alright,” Aizawa pressed forward, now curious, “Who was your mentor?”
“Oh,” All Might fiddled with his pen and tapped it against the essays a few times, smearing blue ink against it. “Probably not anyone you’ve heard of, he was rather low-key.”
Present Mic raised an eyebrow in a silent gesture to continue.
The thin man chewed his lip before offering, “Gran Torino.”
Aizawa’s eyes widened slightly as Yamada’s bugged out. Gran Torino was an infamous homeroom teacher for general studies when they attended Yuuei as students, only teaching exactly three years and refusing to be parted from his homeroom class until they graduated. Kayama herself had made a comparison between Aizawa and Torino the other day, marking how similarly attached they were to their homeroom class. The difference between them was that Aizawa
loved cared for all his students equally whereas Torino had been specifically, not cruel per say, but more of a hard-ass towards one student in particular.
Aizawa suddenly remembered that kid in a vivid flash memory of dazzling, untamed hair and fiery, kind eyes. He blinked hard, twice, as if to wipe that clear image away. And then he blinked again, almost as if in a double-take.
All Might had turned back to his grading, believing the silence that followed the name-drop signaled the end of the conversation. His hair, like the shining gold of a crown, almost glinted in the afternoon setting sun. The flex of whipcord muscles shifting under the bulky suit as he stretched, his back popping and crunching as it reset itself. Aizawa narrowed his eyes and tried to mentally project his high school crush’s face onto All Might’s, attempting to see if he could warp the healthy, full face of an eighteen-year-old onto the gaunt sharpness of All Might’s civilian form. He couldn’t see it.
Yamada, though, apparently could.
The English teacher scrambled back onto the couch and leaned in so close he was nearly sitting on top of Aizawa. “Yo, did Yagi-senpai become fucking All Might or am I seeing things?” Yamada whispered in an actual whisper rather than his usual whisper that sounds like a speaker on full volume covered by someone’s hand in a shitty attempt to turn down the volume without actually turning it down. Aizawa frowned.
“It can’t be.”
Present Mic raised a carefully shaped eyebrow incredulously. “And why not?”
“Well,” Aizawa mulled it over for a moment more, “He doesn’t recognize us.”
Mic raised the other eyebrow and peered over the top of his glasses, “Aizawa-kun. I know you are a man married to logic, but you are really failing right now.”
Aizawa almost felt offended, but couldn’t muster up the energy to be.
Mic continued, “You do realize that neither of us actually introduced ourselves by our hero names during high school and we both looked rather different during second year than we do now?”
Aizawa grimaced at the reminder. He had just begun transitioning and Yamada hadn’t had his signature hair back then nor the money for good glasses, thus wearing bulky, grey tinted shades that obscured most of his face. It wasn’t the best year for either of them appearance wise.
“Plus, none of us really go by our actual names while working here,” Yamada added on thoughtfully. “We only know each other’s and a few of the other teachers because we’ve become friends outside of work or it was a necessity.”
Aizawa’s face was deadpan, but internally, he was intensely raking over everything he’d ever known about Yagi and All Might, trying to make connections. He guessed, in a slanted almost way, it worked. But still.
He rubbed his eyes. “It doesn’t even matter anyway, it was just a high school infatuation, I didn’t even know the kid.”
Yamada rolled his eyes and awkwardly slung his arm across Aizawa's shoulders. “Pffft, you say that like you didn’t try to find him after high school to ask him out since there was no longer the strange imbalance that comes from dating across grades only to slip into a funk when you couldn’t find him.”
Aizawa’s lips twisted down, but he didn’t deny it.
Mic straightened suddenly and got a glint in his eyes that had only ever spelled trouble for Aizawa in the past. "You know, Eraser, we could always just ask All Might what his name is?"
Aizawa's eyes widened and he started to reach towards Mic in a desperate attempt to stop him. He failed.
"Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey All Might!" Yamada called as he leaned backward, hands pushing Aizawa away via face. "Do you have an actual name we could call you besides All Might? Hero names are such a mouthful," he wagged his eyebrows. Aizawa tried to chop at his elbows.
All Might didn't turn around, fortunately, but he did reply, "Ah, uh, yes I do. It'd be rather silly if I didn't, wouldn't it!" He barked a short laugh. "Uh, please, you can call me Yagi, Mic-san."
Aizawa ceased movement.
Mic's face froze but he easily concluded the conversation, "Cool! You can call me Yamada!"
Aizawa and Yamada met eyes.