"We can't keep this hidden forever, we need to tell the public something," Aizawa says bluntly. Normally Gran likes that kind of attitude but it's different when you're on the wrong end of grief. "The next time the League attacks, we can't have everyone expecting All Might to come save them."

"He hasn't been in the ground a week and you're already talking of replacing him," Nighteye growls but the effect is diminished by the wet streaks running down his face.

"We were always trying to replace him, that was the point of trying to get him to retire," Gran grumbles. "But Tall, Dark and Tired has a point. It's dangerous to keep people in the dark like this. At the same time, it's also probably not the best idea to admit to the world that we just lost our biggest hitter." His lower lip trembles slightly and he tells himself he's talking about All Might and not scrappy, cheeky Toshinori.

"I spoke with the Prime Minister and his associates this morning; they have declared that All Might's death a national secret of the highest priority," Nedzu says, says folding his paws together. "Only a few of our most trusted teachers know presently and, with a potential spy in our midst, I'd like to keep it that way."

"They can't really expect us to keep something like this hidden," Nighteye defends, "people are going to notice!"

"Given the villain uprising and the recent mistrust of heroes, they believe it's for the best that the public is not made aware of this troubling development." Nedzu says before shrugging, "besides, the government is the school's largest contributor so we can't risk losing their trust or support." Gran rolls his eyes behind his mask, most days he thinks politics was as bad as villainy.

"Nighteye's right, Might Tower is asking if he'll be back after the term ends plus forums and news sites are already commenting on his lack of activity," Aizawa mutters, looking somber. "The students are waiting for him to come back as well; they know that he wouldn't leave without saying goodbye."

"There are a few alumni heroes who have shape-shifting capabilities," Nedzu muses out loud. "We can contract them in the short-term for simple public appearances though they would obviously not be able to perform his duties. In the meantime, I believe we need to make Endeavor aware of the situation since he'll need to pick up a great deal of the slack. I'm sure the government would be willing to support his legal troubles regarding Hosu in exchange for his silence."

"That's probably for the best even if Todoroki is an egotistical hothead. I doubt even the government can save his reputation after what Midoriya did to him," Gran says. He'd feel almost proud if things weren't so dire. That kid has done good work so far but, damn, he wishes Toshinori had lived long enough to pass on his quirk. He hopes that he's just getting senile in his own age and that his speculation that All For One survived that last battle is wrong or God help them all.

"Ah, yes, Midoriya," Nighteye says distastefully. "If we really intend to keep this a secret then why is he involved? I know the boy was training with All Might but, frankly, he's already proven himself to be dangerous and reckless with his media statements," he continues bitterly.

"You take that back you slimy-" Gran yells, about ready to bolt from his chair and defend the kid on Toshinori's behalf when Chiyuu holds out her syringe cane and stops him.

"Stop it, both of you, we don't have time for petty squabbles," she chastises. Gran sinks back into his chair while Nighteye looks away but Gran's going to be having some words with the man later. In the short time they'd had, Toshinori had loved Midoriya and like hell would Gran let a pompous ass who hadn't bothered to stay dishonor that bond.

"So what do we do about All Might?" Aizawa intercedes. "The government has to know we can't keep this quiet forever. Besides, it's disrespectful to all his work as a hero to just pretend his death never happened." The atmosphere of the room grows cold with the reminder of the loss they still can't quite believe.

"As it stands, the gag order is set for a year," Nedzu says quietly after a few moments. "We can divert attention and keep up appearances for that long. It also gives our promising third years time to establish themselves and lay the foundation for a future beyond All Might. We'll need to reevaluate later but, for now, that is our only option."

"That's a long time to keep a secret," Gran says softly, "especially for a kid."

"Midoriya has proven himself to be resilient and dedicated, I believe he will be able to handle the strain," Nedzu waves dismissively. "And if he can't then perhaps he isn't suited for our program after all, we've never had a quirkless student in Heroics much less had one graduate."

"He'll graduate all right and raise so much hell, the world won't even remember All Might in a few years time," Aizawa comments dryly. Nighteye looks offended at the thought but Gran chuckles warmly. One For All or not, Midoriya is Toshinori's true successor and he'll be out there changing the world soon enough. Damn, Toshinori would have loved to have seen it.

"Speaking of Midoriya, he's the only student who hasn't taken his final exam yet since he's been on leave," The scruffy man continues. "I have some thoughts but I'll need your approval."


"Team Midoriya, practical exam, ready go," is announced as the gates to the fake city swing open. Izuku holds his chin high and tightens his grip on his staff. It feels wrong to be in his uniform after everything that's happened but he needs to be on top of his game if he wants to pass this exam. No one said he'd lose his spot in Heroics if he didn't do well but now that the principal knows he won't ever receive a quirk, it feels like the stakes are higher.

Izuku has barely stepped through the gates when a trio of robots, not much taller than he is, are upon him. He jumps out of the way as one marked three attacks him. Now that he looks at it, they all have numbers painted on them. He pulls a knife out of his boot, a souvenir from the Hero Killer and buries it in the closest robot's chest. Izuku kicks it's legs out from underneath it which topples the now deactivated robot on top of another one.

The last one races forward and Izuku swings his staff with all his might and watches as the robot's head goes flying. He kicks the useless hunk of metal over and while retrieving his knife from the first robot, smashes the other squirming robot's head under his boot until it quiets. He raises an eyebrow, so these are the robots from the entrance exam. He totally could have made it into Heroics in the spring but that's in the past now, like a lot of things…

No, he growls to himself and shakes his head; he can't think about him now or else he'll lose his nerve and prove to everyone just how pathetic he really is. Izuku doesn't have any more time for negative thoughts when a resounding boom pulls him back to the present. Yuuei certainly doesn't do anything in half measures. He races towards the sound and grits his teeth in annoyance when he sees more robots blocking his path.

"I don't have time for you," he yells, jumping with his bō and kicking one of the robots in the head. He pulls two small bombs from his belt and throws them at the other robots, blowing sizable holes in them. He crushes the robot when he hits the ground and keeps running. Izuku skids to a halt in front of what was probably at time a small apartment complex, which now mostly a heap of rubble and dust. It's actively on fire and Izuku pulls his mouth guard up to protect him from the worst of the smoke. Really? Now they're just being excessive.

He quickly spots Present Mic in civilian clothes, half buried under some rubble in front of the building. "Please help hero," he screeches. "A villain came and attacked our home, my friends are trapped inside! Please save us!"

"It's okay because I am here," Izuku says before he can think as he tucks his bō away. He freezes for half a second, long enough for his teacher to give him a sympathetic look before he powers on. "How badly are you hurt? How many other people are inside? Is the villain still here?" Izuku asks quickly as he pulls the rubble off of his teacher.

"My fanny hurts something awful but I'm okay!" Present Mic exclaims as he pulls himself up. "A few other people live here and I'm sure they're hurt worse than me," he continues. "I didn't see him but I bet the fiend is still around somewhere." Great, one more thing to worry about.

"Ok, please stay back away from the smoke. Call emergency services and tell them to bring back up, preferably rescue heroes. I'm going to get the others, hide if you see the villain." Izuku says, quickly assessing his belt and taking note of all the new accessories at his disposal. He'd been horribly under-prepared against the Hero Killer and Hatsume had been all too eager to provide him with more gear. Her endless texts of suggestions and updates had been a welcome distraction from everything else wrong in his life.

"Got it!" Present Mic grins with a thumbs up as Izuku races into the building. He winces at the painful sting of smoke in his eyes; he really needs goggles. Maybe for his next costume upgrade, if he's allowed to the stay that long.

"Hello! I'm a hero and I'm here to help!" He coughs out, searching the room through watery eyes for any victims. The fire is raging and it feels like the building is going to collapse at any moment. Between the smoke and oppressive heat, he can't stay in here very long.

"Help," a voice calls and Izuku pushes himself further into the depths of the burning building. He comes across Ectoplasm, hiding in an area free of fire and holding one arm to his chest.

"My name is One, my comrade, Two, is trapped under this bookshelf. He is not answering me and I cannot free him since one of my arms is broken," Ectoplasm explains. Izuku notices another Ectoplasm, probably a clone, trapped beneath the bookshelf. Honestly, this whole exam is a health and safety nightmare. For a moment, he's incredibly jealous of his GE friend who only had to take a written exam.

"Of course, I'll lift the bookshelf and you pull out your friend with your good arm, take care not to jostle him too much in case he has a head injury." Izuku explains, dropping into a squat and using all of his strength to lift up the heavy wooden bookcase just enough so Ectoplasm One could pull out the unconscious clone. As soon as he's free, Izuku drops the shelf. He probably wouldn't have been able to even lift that kind of weight a few months ago, all of that training with All- stop.

Izuku choked as a section of the ceiling collapsed causing a flurry of sparks and smoke to rain down on them. The fire seems to be getting stronger and he most likely isn't going to get any backup. He needed to get the civilians out fast, not to mention fight the villain who's probably lurking around somewhere knowing Yuuei and their obsession with physical strength. Izuku leans down to check on the unresponsive Ectoplasm.

"I am unconscious, my heart rate is unusually fast and my breathing irregular," Ectoplasm Two says matter of factly before falling silent again. Shock it sounds like, maybe some internal damage but between him and the other Ectoplasm; they should be able to carry him out. That only leaves the villain that Murphy's Law says has to still be around.

As if summoned by his thoughts, a figure drops down from the new hole in ceiling. Izuku reacts in time and is able to maneuver to the side before they can strike. He turns to face the villain, obviously Aizawa-sensei, already formulating a pla- Izuku freezes.

His teacher is wearing a simple black tracksuit and an All Might mask, one you can find at just about any convenience store, pulled over his head. A wave of nausea hits him like a ton of bricks that has nothing to do with the fire or the test.

"You flinched," Sensei drolls, rushing forward. Izuku puts himself in front of the two Ectoplasms and keeps the villain back with his staff. He grits his teeth as his teacher doles out punches quicker than Izuku can block. He finds himself being pushed back towards a wall which is currently burning. Sweat is pouring down his face and it's difficult to look at his teacher, at the plastic, smiling face of his deceased mentor. "You can't save anyone if you let yourself get caught up in sentimentality."

Tears gather in his eyes and Izuku can't blame it entirely on the smoke. He knows he can't be an effective hero if he lets one death bring him down and he knows he's not going to be the next All Might without a quirk. There are a lot of things he does know but what he doesn't know is how this battle will end. That gives him room to work.

"One, I need you to get out of here!" Izuku shouts, reaching into his belt quickly while Aizawa-sensei backs off slightly at the noise, putting him approximately five steps away from Izuku. He pulls out a flashbomb and throws it down, squeezing his eyes shut. "Please take Two with you and take shelter outside. I'll take care of the villain and be right behind you!"

Sensei hisses at the light, an exploitable weakness Izuku had picked up from past training sessions. With his eyes still shut, Izuku closes the distance between them and rams the bō into his teacher gut who, predictably, grabs it and tries to pull it out of Izuku's grasp. Izuku lets it go and, as the light from the bomb fades, pulls two long knives from his gloves and pierces them through the tracksuit and into a section of the wall that isn't on fire. Sensei strains against the knives but is sufficiently trapped.

Izuku grabs his staff out of Sensei's hands before reattaching it to his back. That should hold him for a minute or two, that gives Izuku enough time to get the civilians out before the building collapses. Fighting villains is good but helping people will always be his priority. Maybe this time he can finally keep someone safe.

He rushes over to help Ectoplasm One carry the unconscious clone and he can't help but feel like things are going too well. You'd think the robots and the fire and the villain would be hard enough but this is Yuuei and it's known as the best and most challenging Heroics school in Japan for a reason.

"Don't worry," Izuku reassures as he leads them towards the exit. "Your neighbor is outside waiting for you, help should be here soon."

"We don't have a neighbor," Ectoplasm One says above the roar of the fire. "We are the only two people who live here." Wait, he must have heard wrong, did he-

It all happens so fast, Izuku can barely keep track of it all. First, he hears Present Mic's trademark scream from outside (specifically,"Yeah, I'm a villain!") which causes the already incredibly tenuous foundation of the building to begin to crumble as thick clumps of ash cover them and the upper level threatens to come down on top of them.

At the same time, he sees Aizawa-sensei moving out of the corner of his eye but before Izuku can react, he has slipped out of his tracksuit top to a plain black shirt (stupid, it's the same trick Izuku used in the Sports Festival, he should have seen it) and rushes forward. Izuku doesn't have time to blink before the villain plunges a dagger into Ectoplasm One's neck; he can only watch in horror as the clone disintegrates in front of him.

"You can't save everyone, hero," Aizawa-says quietly. Izuku's heart hammers in his chest and he can barely breathe. This is just test and that was just a clone but grief and failure have been weighing him down recently and it makes his insides ache. He'd been so careful and yet bad things had still happened, just like with All Might. He's sick of being helpless while people die in front of him!

"How dare you!" Izuku shouts, as he rushes the villain. He throws some punches but most of them miss, he grits his teeth. There's no way he's going to beat Eraserhead in close combat, even if the man is only play acting. He pulls out another knife from his belt and slashes at his opponent's chest. Sensei dodges it, as Izuku knew he would but it puts some space between them. He takes a deep breath of the smoke and begins coughing violently, his vision starting to dim on the edges. Can't pass out now, he's got a civilian to save and a point to make.

"Stop, don't come any closer, the building is unstable and I have explosives," Izuku shouts as loud as he can, holding a few of Hatsume's small bombs high in the air. Sensei takes a step forward and then stops.

"You'll bring the building down on us, putting all of our lives at risk," Sensei says, tilting his head. "That's not very heroic; it's not what All Might would do." Izuku purses his lips and sniffles, hoping his expression will distract his teacher long enough to complete his plan.

"I'm not All Might," he says simply, smirking a little bit as he hears Present Mic's footsteps rapidly approaching. He throws down the pellets, really just some more flashbombs, as Present Mic enters the building. Sensei takes a step back before they hit the ground.

"You flinched," Izuku says as he throws the small bola attached at his hip at Aizawa-sensei. He hears his teacher curse and struggle within the bindings but Izuku trusts that Hatsume had made them well. He rushes towards Present Mic as the flash begins to fade, his other teacher opens his mouth to let loose another attack but instead begins to choke on the hot, smoky air just as Izuku predicted he would.

Izuku swipes at his legs, causing Present Mic to lose his balance and flail. Grabbing onto one of his arms, Izuku forces the two of them to the ground where he's able to manhandle the allotted pair of cuffs onto the voice hero. A makeshift gag from a nearby piece of ashy curtain ensures he'll be quiet until the end of the exam. He's powerless with his hands bound and his voice silenced and Aizawa-sensei is still wrapped up tightly. Unable to move, sensei is powerless since his quirk is useless against someone like Izuku. Not wanting to take any chances after last time, Izuku pulls a miniature taser from his belt and puts it to his teacher's chest.

"I shock you with 1500 volts," Izuku says without activating the device but Sensei acts out the shock and goes limp on the floor. Before he can think about it, he pulls the All Might mask off of Aizawa-sensei, to prevent him from suffocating, of course. Izuku looks at it for a long, painful second before dropping it on the burning floor where the plastic quickly sags and begins to melt. He looks back and forth between his teachers, experienced pro heroes, both thoroughly contained with little chance of escape. He'd almost feel proud if he wasn't so exhausted.

"Come on, let's get you out," Izuku coughs hoarsely before carefully dragging the still unconscious Ectoplasm outside before returning for the two villains. They've quieted down when he returns, either because they can't find a way to escape or because they decided they've tortured him enough is up for debate. Without another word, he grabs them by their bindings and pulls them out of the burning building.

"Midoriya has passed!" is announced over the speaker system. Izuku chokes a bit in the clean air as Ectoplasm sits up and congratulates him on his performance. Present Mic looks like he's trying to as well but Izuku had tied the gag on him quite well, garbling whatever he had to say. Izuku frowns and wipes the sweat and soot from his face, maybe it's the smoke inhalation but he feels despondent. He may have technically passed but he can't help but dwell on all his mistakes.

He'd let Aizawa-sensei throw him off with a cheap mask then allowed escape him from an easy trap, resulting in the death of a civilian. It's all fake now but it wouldn't be in the field, with real lives at stake. Izuku clenches his fist, he'd done well with his skills and his tools but would it be enough? Without All Might and One For All? Could he really put all that grief, that potential power, behind him and become a hero?

"Good work, Problem Child. He'd be real proud," Sensei says from the ground, awkwardly sitting himself up.

"I messed up, someone died," Izuku mutters, not sure if he's talking about the exam or All Might anymore.

"You did," Sensei nods, "but you're also still a student. This exam wasn't about being perfect, it was about testing your potential and your fortitude, neither of which you were lacking despite numerous stressors." He frowns and looks away, "death is part of the job, Midoriya, especially for people like us who don't have the luxury of powerful quirks. I know it's been tough but All Might's death isn't the end, it's your beginning. You will get past this and you will be a hero. Yagi was overly optimistic and naive, but he wasn't wrong in believing in you."

Izuku opens his mouth to say something, argue some more, maybe even say thank you but instead he finds himself crying. He tries to stop but the tears keep on coming. Izuku's knees give out from underneath him and he hits the ground as too many emotions overwhelm him and the stress of the past week finally catches up.

For the first time since he learned of All Might's death, he thinks of a happy memory with his mentor, one that isn't stained with grief. He thinks of how proud Yagi-san had been of his accomplishments as a quirkless hero. All Might had an incredibly powerful quirk but Yagi-san had once been quirkless and somehow that encouragement meant more than all the power in the world. He'd believed in Izuku before all of this started, before Izuku had fully believed in himself.

"Hey," Aizawa-sensei says gently as he scoots closer to Izuku. "I know it's hard, kid, but you're going to be fine." He brushes part of his shoulder against Izuku who is still sobbing uncontrollably. But it's a good kind of cry, the kind that's painful and exhausting but leads you to the path of healing.

For All Might's faith, for his longtime dream, for all the people's he's yet to save, he has to keep moving forward.

"You're right, you're not All Might and it's not because of your quirklessness or your tactics," Sensei continues quietly, his weight a steady, soothing presence next to him. "It's because you're going to be better than him." Present Mic rubs his shoulder and Ectoplasm claps his hands together, simple but effective shows of support. For the first time since Izuku woke up to a world without his hero, he feels like everything is going to be okay. Maybe not now, but eventually.


"Welcome back, Deku!" Katsuki turns at Uraraka's shout, announcing Deku's arrival. He'd initially turned down Kirishima's offer to go shopping for their upcoming training camp but he ended up agreeing once he heard Deku was going to be there. The nerd's been hiding away for an entire week, not communicating with anyone, acting like he's better than them or something.

"Good to have you back man, class wasn't the same without you," Kirishima adds, slapping Deku's shoulder. "And Aizawa-sensei said you passed the final exam, not that I'm surprised or anything. Congrats, a lot of us didn't but at least we all get to go to the camp anyway."

"Thanks, and sorry for uh," Deku says with an awkward smile as he trails off not giving any damn explanation for his disappearance. Katsuki's eye twitches in irritation.

"It's fine, Mido, you do what you need to. We're just happy to see you again," pink bitch says. "You probably know that All Might won't be teaching us anymore, its so sad. Tell him we miss him and he needs to come give us a proper goodbye one of these days."

"Yeah," Deku says softly. "I'll uh pass on the word next time I see him but uh he's been uh unavailable. In fact, I uh won't be able to train with him anymore. It's uh been hard and a bit of an adjustment but, well..." he awkwardly trails off.

"I'm sorry to hear that, I know you two had become close," tail brat says and a few other idiots nod in agreement while Deku just smiles and doesn't say anything else. A few others look like they want to ask more questions but probably are worried about hurting Deku's delicate feelings. That's what separates Katsuki from the rest of these weaklings.

"That's it? That's all we get? You think you can take a week long vacation and then strut back in just cause you're some kind of celebrity?" He demands, stomping forward but Private School and Uraraka block him from reaching Deku.

"Midoriya does not need to explain himself if he does not want to," Private School yells, acting like he's some sort of saint who isn't the least bit curious. Uraraka doesn't say anything but she looks like she did in the Sports Festival, like she'll launch him into space if he gets within striking range.

"Woah, let's calm down," Lightning Idiot interrupts, stepping between them with a dopey expression. "We're here to get gear, not fight. I don't know about you guys but I need outdoor shoes." The rest of the class is swept up in their stupid chatter but Katsuki can only glare at the blank look on Deku's face. He doesn't look as pathetic as he had after Hosu, instead he just looks sad. The fuck was that idiot doing this past week? Katsuki waits for the rest of the idiots to leave before he stomps forward.

"Alright Deku, the fuck is wrong with you now?" Katsuki demands, ignoring Deku's ever present guard dogs. "Your mood swings are getting real fucking tiresome."

"Hey, why don't you just-" Uraraka all but growls but Deku cuts her off with a wave and steps forward with steady eyes.

"Iida's right, I don't owe you damn thing," Deku says dully. "I went through some personal stuff but now I'm back. I don't have to answer any of your questions but you can answer one of mine."

"You-" Katsuki hisses before he's cut off.

"Why do you want to be Number One, Kacchan?" Deku asks plainly.

"The fuck does that have to do with anything?" He sneers but takes in Deku's passive, expectant face and continues. "Cause I want to be the best, I want to win, I want to be like All Might who's never lost." Deku twitches slightly at the mention of All Might's name. What's up with that, no one worships All Might more than stupid Deku. Did the hero give up on him? Is that why Deku's not training with him anymore?

"And I want to save lives," Deku answers with a little shrug. "I want to change the hero system and make it easier for people like me to exist. I want to be like All Might and make people feel safe, give them hope." His expression hardens. "I've always admired your drive, your indomitable presence but you're going to need more than that if you want to be a real hero. If you keep up that kind of attitude, I'm going to surpass you in no time, Kacchan."

"Look at you going on about All Might," Katsuki snaps, trying to gain control of the conversation. "He probably recognized what a coward you are but he dropped you, didn't he?" Deku goes rigid. "Finally realized a quirkless nobody like you couldn't possibly be a-"

"Bakugou, that is not appropriate!" Private School barks, Deku looks like he's trying not to cry but Katsuki knows him better than that.

"This isn't about All Might," Deku says slowly after a moment. "This is about me, giving everything I've got, using every resource I have to be a hero. Nothing has changed and if you think my resolve has wavered then you will live to regret it." He takes a step forward threateningly and looks him straight in the eye without wavering. Katsuki snorts, there he is.

"You better hope All Might taught you some good shit cause I'm not going easy on you," Katsuki scowls but he can feel it twisting into something of a grin.

"I wouldn't want you to," Deku says in what would be a sneer if it was anyone other than Deku. "I appreciate your concern, Kacchan but you don't need to worry about me."

"I wasn't worried you damn nerd!" Katsuki sputters indignantly while Uraraka and Private School look shocked.

"Of course not," Deku turns and looks at the others and the tension dissipates but whatever, Katsuki got what he wanted. "But just because I'm not training with All Might anymore doesn't mean I can't still learn from him. You could learn a thing or two from him as well, Kacchan, if you wanted."

"Yeah, whatever," Katsuki rolls his eyes as they disappear into the crowd.

Deku is still Deku, still acting like he can tell Katsuki what to do. But he's right about one thing, this isn't about All Might. This is about him and Deku and that Number One spot that's going to be up for grabs sooner rather than later. It's a race to the finish and Katsuki is determined to win, he hopes Deku makes it worth his while.


"Densetsu Keiko reporting from Hosu, where riots continue following the news of a police cover-up last month regarding the Hero Killer's capture. Many people are coming from all across Japan to protest censorship laws and quirk regulations, flocking to Hosu in attempt to effect policy change. The quirkless hero student who initially revealed the scandal, Midoriya Izuku, has not been available to comment if he agrees with the protesters' actions but-"

Tomura flips off the television in Kurogiri's bar in disgust, barely stopping himself from destroying yet another remote. Change, what do the worthless masses who worship one costumed fake after another know of change?

"Hey, I was watching that!" The lizard Spinner shouts across the room. "Midoriya Izuku is the future, man! He saw how crummy the system was treating people like us and he put his foot down. He's what a real hero should be!" He continues on passionately. Tomura taps his finger anxiously at the bar.

"I don't know about all that," the scarred moron Dabi drawls, lounging against a back wall. "I just think it's hilarious what he did to Endeavor. Prick deserves to get taken down by a 12 year old." Tomura bounces his leg in agitation.

"I love Izu-kun, I want to kiss him, I want to stab him, I want to be him," crazy girl Toga squeals, spinning in a little circle. "I saw what he did on the TV and it makes me want to go and stab everyone and pull out all their entrails." Tomura brings a hand up to scratch but the familiar pain only makes him angrier. He buries his fingers in his hair and ducks his head, trying to calm the rage that's coursing through him.

"Too loud, too loud," Tomura hisses as he kicks a chair at his latest recruits. "Why don't you just shut up about that quirkless nobody!" He growls, hunching his shoulders and curling his hands into claws. The motion pulls on the healing burns on his hands which only upsets him more. "He didn't do anything! I was the one who set the Hero Killer on Hosu and unleashed the Noumu but no cares because of that stupid brat!" He rages, hunches his shoulders, looking for something or someone to disintegrate.

"I'm telling you, Midoriya Izuku is one of us, he-" Spinner shouts but Tomura has had enough.

"I don't want to hear about that little shit! Get out before I make you!" He yells, picking up and throwing the remote at his supposed teammates. Wrong, wrong, wrong everything is all wrong and its all that brat's fault.

"Fine, heard ya loud and clear," Spinner mutters, turning to the others. "There's another TV in the back den, maybe we can watch the news in peace," he says before stomping out followed by the other two.

"Jeez, and we're expected to follow this idiot?" He hears the scarred moron sneer sarcastically as he leaves. Tomura has half a mind to go after him, after all of them, and show them just why Sensei put him in charge but they need more manpower if they're going to take on All Might. It's just so frustrating being responsible sometimes. He picks up the remote from where he'd thrown it and switches it back to the blank, output screen.

"Sensei," he mumbles, settling back down at the bar.

"Tomura, I'm busy, what do you need?" Sensei asks gently and some of the prickling tension leaves him. Sensei will know what to do; Sensei always knows what to do.

"I hate these new recruits, all they talk about is that quirkless brat, Midori something or other. It pisses me off. If they worship the kid so much they should be hanging around Yuuei, licking the heroes' boots." He growls and even the thought of that cheeky little wannabe hero raises his hackles. All he needs it one touch to finish him off for good, of course, Tomura isn't anxious to get close again after their last encounter.

"Hmm, Midoriya Izuku has started something, something not even he can understand," Sensei explains patiently. "He has opened up Pandora's Box and revealed just how rotted this society has become and people have noticed. Many of those people, who have been called criminals and outcasts, will gather with us and lead to the rise of the League of Villains."

"It sounds like you like the brat too," Tomura snaps moodily.

"I must admit I do," Sensei says with a nostalgic sigh. "He reminds me a bit of myself back in my younger days. I can understand your frustration but do not let it blind you to someone who would be an incredible asset to our organization."

"He's a hero, he can't help us," Tomura pouts, "I still want to kill him."

"Patience," Sensei says smoothly. "All Might has been curiously absent from both Yuuei and the public this past week, not even my informant within the school knows what's become of him. If what I believe happened is true, then All Might's time is nearing an end and our little revolutionary has become the Ninth. Honestly, it's a waste of potential; the boy is far too talented to become just another brute."

"What?" Tomura scoffs, feeling lost and annoyed by it. He begins to scratch at himself again and lets Sensei's words wash over him. It doesn't matter if he understands it or not, Sensei would make things work.

"Oh nothing, just musing out loud," Sensei dismisses. "Either way, the stage has been set and it is time for us to make our move. You may hate Midoriya Izuku at your leisure but at least thank him for giving us an opportunity to act. The first crack has been laid in hero society and by one of their own. This is where your story begins, Shigaraki Tomura."

"Yeah," Tomura grins behind his father's hand, "this is only the beginning."


"Good morning, Yagi-san," Izuku whispers as he replaces the slightly wilted flowers with fresh ones. It had been hard to acquire sunflowers this early in the season but the flowers brightened up the cold grave significantly. No other flower seemed to capture his teacher so well. "Everyone in class misses you, they asked me to tell you that they uh, hope to see you soon which uh..."

He trails off and sets himself before the grave, watching the early morning rays begin to slowly color the sky. "It looks like it's going to be a nice day today." The wind whistling through a nearby tree is the only answer he receives, the only one he'll ever receive but he continues on anyway.

"We start our training at the forest lodge tomorrow," Izuku says conversationally. "Aizawa-sensei says to rest up so I thought it'd be nice to come visit you before I left." He closes his eyes and tries to imagine what All Might would say.

"I've been thinking about you, me and One For All," he says quietly as he watches the new dawn. "You know, I was a bit angry with you at first for offering me the quirk," He smiles to himself. "Everything that went down in Hosu had made me bitter but I think, uh I think your guidance helped to remind me what kind of hero I want to be. Even without your power, I've decided to use what you taught me and maybe, if I work hard and I'm very lucky, I can be a symbol, like you were."

"I won't be Number One or anything but you asked me to be your successor and I'm going to try. I'm going to spread my message and be the best hero I can be." Izuku turns his head back to the grave. The grief is still there, probably always will be, but he doesn't feel so hopeless anymore. Not when he has so much he has to work towards.

"I'll never know what could have been, with One For All, with you and me," he whispers. "All I can do is move forward and hope that it's enough, that I'm enough." He falls into a comfortable silence, not unlike the lapses in conversation he and Yagi-san used to have in the time preceding his death.

Izuku tries not to dwell on the grave before him, on what he lost, and tries to focus instead on the future. A future where he's earned his place among the top heroes, working towards his goal of fighting quirk discrimination and saving as many people as he can along the way. He thinks of making Yagi-san proud from where he's watching and maybe finding some pride in himself. Izuku smiles as he gets up to leave a little while later when the sun has finally risen above the horizon.

"Watch me, All Might, I'm going to change the world," he says quietly but resolutely as he walks back down the hill. He'd taken the long way around only to end back right at the start, lacking a quirk but harboring a dream. But in a way that's okay, maybe in a faraway universe he had another story to tell, a different life to live. But there's something new going on here and he's going to embrace it.

This is his origin.

You guys thought I would end right there!? Nah, but this is the last chapter. I'm happy for all your messages but this alternate version is just that, another version. I leave it up to you which ending you prefer, the one where he gets OFA and realigns mostly with canon except with new experiences or the one where he's left without a mentor and quirk still trying to forge his own path. I hope you enjoyed this, I wanted to give you the opportunity to see both versions since I don't think anyone made the trek to AO3. Thank you again for all your support!