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Cursed Blood

Chapter 37

A sinister deal.

On this particular day, at this particular time, two high school-aged boys were being guided to their principal's office. The two of them both held rather infamous reputations, and as they walked by, other students and even a few staff members of the academy ended up whispering amongst themselves. It was a rather common scenario for the two boys to have experienced over their scholastic lives, although those observing them now had no way to know the true reasons behind this particular occurrence.

"Gggggggrrrrr…" Tae's near subvocal growl once again sent a wave of on looking and whispering students back into their own businesses.

"Lily agrees," the littlest zombie muttered while still looking around nervously, "This isn't right…"

"If they want to look at us so bad…" Saki's sharp features began to curl in a truly sadistic manner, "Then we should do something to truly deserve it. Maybe break some legs or split some heads?!"

At that loudly stated question, the remaining UA students still watching the group headed to the principal's office quickly lowered their eyes, their sudden fear plain to see.

While the students of UA with most renown belonged to the Hero and Support Courses, and said students were by and large exemplar by default, the majority of the academy's student body came from its General Studies students. These students lacked one or more of the qualities that made heroes what they were, and thus to attend the prestigious school made up for that deficiency by paying the full extent of the school's tuition in return for the doors UA would open for their futures; they weren't made to deal with real threats.

"Calm down Saki-chan," Izuku commanded weakly, sounding oddly… tempted… by the suggestion, "You know very well we can't do that."

Even as he said the words, Izuku felt the dark desire to follow his blonde partner's violent words. Sometimes it was hard to ignore the temptation, to resist showing the rest of the bigoted world why it was a bad idea to alienate him, and others like him. But, for now, the deep-seated desire to be a true hero, to protect others and keep them safe, won out against its inverse brother.

"Here in the school maybe…" Hitoshi Shinso threw out in a hushed voice, "If they act up outside campus…"

That earned a snort from the blonde delinquent… and a wry grin.

The staff member guiding the two boys and the undead trio shook his head at the overheard discussion, not in annoyance, but in silent acknowledgment of their situation. The two students hadn't done anything wrong or that deserved reprimand. In fact, they were being actually acknowledged with far greater accolades than their peers. It was frustrating that the other students immediately jumped to worse conclusions just because he was accompanying them on their way to Nezu's office.

"Neither of you are in trouble," Aizawa spoke up, unnecessarily loudly for one normally so quiet. Anyone who wasn't an idiot would immediately realize the underground hero was purposefully making sure those around them, those watching and listening to their every move, would hear him. "Don't change that fact because of a few wandering eyes and loose tongues."

Saki clicked her own tongue, knowing very well that while all five of them heard the warning, she was its specific target.

Before anyone could come up with anything else to say, the group reached UA's administration office, which contained the principal's office inside. Walking in, the six were waved on by Nezu's secretary, only stopping when they reached the door at the end of the second hallway.

It was a door that both boys knew very well by now.

There was little fanfare while the group entered. Aizawa didn't even bother with knocking on the door, it was obvious from the secretary's actions that they were expected.

"Principal Nezu…" Aizawa spoke as he opened the door to the office proper, eyes habitually scanning the location for threats, exits, the usual. His eyes hardened. "And Agent Smith."

He hadn't expected there to be another person waiting for them, someone he knew better than he might have wished.

"Hi there, Scruffy." The black-clad woman greeted while lifting a steaming mug to her lips, "Glad to see you still have some energy left after all this time."

Izuku noticed from the edge of his vision that his teacher's eye twitched at the comment, but he could hardly spare any thought to it due to the sense of dread, he normally felt when in the principal's office, seemingly being ratcheted up to the nth degree.

The verdant necromancer knew the feeling; the smothering sense of all consuming terror that only appeared when the INTERPOL agent was present. If he'd had to take a guess, it was the effect of her Quirk, although he still couldn't pinpoint if it was a purely mental stimulus or a pheromone-based emanation.

One side-eyed look at his new classmate though…

"You okay?" Izuku asked the violette in a low voice.

Hitoshi, normally monotone to the extreme, currently had his fists balled tightly for all he was worth. It was clear he was fighting his instincts of fight or flight. Although he managed to keep his poker face, the drops of sweat trailing down from his hairline gave away how affected he really was.

"Don't worry…" The sleep-deprived mentalist replied in a surprisingly almost neutral tone, "I've had it worse."

Behind the two boys, Aizawa blinked in exasperation. This particular Smith really was hard to deal with.

"Ara-ara! Really now little boy?" The agent purred as she lowered her shades slightly so her half-lidded gaze could peek out, "Tell me more. Is Harribel-chan still her same old merry self back home?"

For such an innocent question, it earned quite the reaction, Hitoshi instantly turning pale as he registered the words. For a split second, he almost gave in and took a step back.

Momentarily ignored, Izuku noticed the feeling of dread becoming weightier, almost roiling through air. Steeling his nerves, he managed to reach out and place a supportive, if somewhat shaky, hand on his classmate's shoulder. By the way Hitoshi almost instantly settled, it helped the younger insomniac a lot.

"Perhaps we should start this meeting?"

With Nezu's masterful interruption, the heavy sensation returned to a more manageable level. Agent Smith raised her shades back up, and leaned back, a smile curling across her lips.

"We do have to consider these young men's education after all," Nezu continued, huffing as, unseen by any of the humans in the room, his hackles slowly unruffled. "The longer we take, the more of their classes they'll miss. And I for one would hate to be the cause for them falling behind."

As the principal began to pull out a pile of documents, it didn't escape either teen's notice that the grin adorning the agent's face never wavered. The undead trio picked up on the unusual behavior as well, and suddenly none of the three liked what this meeting could mean for their master.

Meanwhile, UA Main Campus, 1-A's Classroom…

Tsuyu was not jealous, not at all.

While 1-A's two problem children were taken out of the classroom, so that they could meet with the liaison of the international agency that had taken an interest in them, the rest of the class was left to a period of self-study. It would have been utter chaos if not for the fact that Paper-sensei was going to enter the classroom rather soon.

"Can you imagine it? Being scouted by an international agency?"

Kirishima's awestruck wonder was well deserved. The Hardening user showcased his admiration at their classmates' feat in his usual way, loudly and with fists pumping. Neither he nor many of the others even tried to hide their curiosity at the possible details. Aizawa-sensei had omitted pretty much everything besides the existence of the agency, from its name to its location of origin.

It could be anything; from a famous private practice to the very UN's own INTERPOL!

"I certainly hadn't imagined them being picked," Sero added thoughtlessly as he chatted with Denki, "I mean, we know Midoriya isn't bad, but to any outsider you have to admit, he must look creepy as all hell…"

"Maybe that's why they were picked?" Mina chirped, literally jumping into the conversation, "Midori-kun may only look intimidating if you don't know him, but if you get on his bad side… Maybe they need him to take down some sort of supervillain?"

"Ooooooh! Maybe! And if that's the case, then that Shinso guy may be going along to keep that supervillain under control!" Toru threw in her two yen, "Come to think of it… those two working together sounds kinda overkill, don't you think?"

Tsuyu wasn't jealous, she was worried.

She and her mother had been given a hint as to who was going to meet her boyfriend. It had terrified her.

INTERPOL was known for recruiting good people with dangerous Quirks, it was a truth that most everyday citizens of the world actively ignored. And while the idea of her cinnamon roll of a boyfriend finding a place in the world of heroes was nice, Tsuyu couldn't even begin to imagine the sorts of dangers he would be subjected to if he followed that particular path.

"Or maybe someone finally came to keep the two of them on a tighter leash," Ojiro spat out suddenly, sounding more irritable than usual, "Like the BSAA, or more likely… the SCP Foundation."

The moment the second option was mentioned, the temperature in the 1-A classroom dropped dramatically.

Tsuyu and several others flinched.

Mentioning the BSAA would've been bad enough. That particular branch of the UN security force might've only been created due to a USA town being nuked as a result of a bioweapon escaping during the first emergence of Quirks, but even after the unscrupulous pharmaceutical enterprise at fault had been shut down, the international agency wielded a great deal of authority in matters that fell under its purview.

Most relevant of that authority was the agency's presence in the lives of those with Quirks that could potentially be used in some capacity as bioweapons. Those unfortunate souls were forced to obtain certification from the BSAA that allowed them to be accepted as active members of society. And even then, the agency was allowed to openly monitor said individuals for any potential slip ups.

Tsuyu and her mother knew that Izuku would have to meet the BSAA at some point due to Cursed Blood, but she deeply wished that said moment could be delayed until it had been extensively proven that Izu-kun's Quirk had no potential as a bioweapon. Then the encounter could hopefully be nothing more than a hi-bye.

Abruptly, Fumikage stood up, his chair screeching as it slid against the floor. If the avian teen had had a Quirk that killed with a look, Ojiro would've been dust in the wind.

Dark Shadow rising behind Fumikage like the living embodiment of darkness only added to the malevolent aura.

The second organization was… Taboo.

First created during the period of time where Quirks were becoming more common than not, the Foundation had started as an institution for those with Quirks that had gone out of control. The general consensus at the time had reportedly been that it would be a place to keep those with sentient Quirks that had gone rogue, or had been taken over by their Quirks in some fashion, until they'd gotten under control or recovered.

The truth was the Foundation was a nightmare from day one. Living up to its ancient and yet still infamous Internet namesake, the SCP was actually worse than a prison for anyone unlucky enough to be sent there. Purportedly, when a woman who managed to escape went public with her experience, her story was disturbing enough to have the facility investigated by the UN itself after only being active for three years.

While still in operation, after extensive and public restructuring, the SCP Foundation was still the boogeyman for anyone with highly mutative or sentient Quirks. Just mentioning it in the presence of such individuals had been known to trigger their most primitive and feral survival instincts.

Before Fumikage could do any more than stand, Kyouka reached out and placed a gentle hand on his shoulder. The raven-headed teen's stilled, but held his glare.

"Do you have something to say?" The punk rocker asked sharply, animosity for the tailed-teen just as clear as her avian friend's. Ojiro raised his hands in a silent, placating surrender. "That's what I thought Monkey-boy."

Ojiro's mumbled apologies, sincere or not, were inaudible under the collective sigh of relief from the rest of the watching Class 1-A.

As she sat at her seat, Tsuyu felt her masterful control of her emotions slipping more and more. She was so tempted to say something, just the right thing, that would pull her friends over the edge. Unfortunately, her rationality still managed to say its piece and reminded her that beating their bigoted classmate to a pulp would probably earn them all suspensions, if not worse.

She silently wondered what the punishment for Ojiro would be if they told Aizawa-sensei that he not only purposefully mentioned a social taboo, but clearly brought it up in regards to how he felt Izu-kun should be "handled."

Potential her shapely ass.

"Good morning students!"

And with a simple greeting, Yomiko-sensei diffused the volatile situation with a smile and a wave. Everyone hurried to their seats and prepared for the lesson.

There wouldn't be a reckoning in 1-A… for now.

An hour later…

Walking back to their classroom, Izuku, Hitoshi, and the three zombie girls pondered on what they'd discussed with the shadowy Agent Smith. Her speech had been a clear invitation, there was no doubt about that, but while the experience they'd gain if they took the offer would easily surpass almost anything else offered to them, unspoken possibilities seemed to hang over them like an armory of poised Damacles' daggers.

This all centered on one simple surprising detail, one that neither teen had expected; they hadn't been invited to learn under the Spooks… they'd been offered a spot amongst the Jaegers.

"Oi… Midoriya-san, is it normal? To still feel the goosebumps even afterwards?" Hitoshi asked, attempting to distract himself from the bubbling feelings of insecurity that threatened to choke him from the inside out. "You don't seem fazed at all. In fact, neither you or your partners seem bothered by what just happened at all! What the hell man?!"

"Well, we're already dead, Sleepyhead," Saki quipped, as if it were the most obvious answer in the world that explained everything. "Kinda hard to feel fear after dying ya know? Death is a pretty high bar."

The blonde's utter lack of vulgarity betrayed how unsettled she actually felt about what had just occurred.

Spooks were an official branch of INTERPOL. Everyone knew they existed, even if they didn't know exactly what they did while doing their jobs. They were shrouded in more mystery than what species the principal of UA actually was. Whether it be the fault of dodgy paperwork or conflicting gossip, their exact capabilities individually and as an agency were little known. They were literal figures of myth.

The Jaegers?

There was hardly a footnote's worth known about them.

"Izu-nii…" Lily murmured, tugging on her big brother's sleeve, "You don't have to go with them… do you?"

The littlest zombie's worry was evident in her quivering lips and large, watery eyes.

And that footnote? It started and ended with the word, "RUN," written in blood.

"Gaarrggguuu…"

All present winced at that, Hitoshi more because of the very sound itself than for the reasons why Izuku, Lily, and Saki did.

"I know, I know," Izuku sighed, a quiet lamentation. "But it's that or remain here on campus, stagnating while everyone else gets better and better. Not to mention being here when the rest of the student body is gone increases the chances of being cornered by the media, one way or another…"

While the Hero Course held its internships, the rest of UA opened their doors to the public. Historically there'd been tours, a small number of seminars put on by the Business Course, and almost unfettered media access to the academy's campus. Only rarely were these events cancelled, usually only when a large number of Hero Course students failed to secure internships and were thus stuck learning from their normal teachers.

And it just so happened that Izuku knew that the rest of 1-A, and all of 1-B, had already chosen their internships and would be able to leave. Even Tsu-chan, Kyouka, and Fumikage had decided on what offers they wanted to take.

"Do you guys really understand her?" Hitoshi asked, pure curiosity shining through the shiver that wracked his body. "Is that somehow actual speech? How can you decipher it?"

Izuku opened his mouth to answer, just as the secondary door to the classroom of 1-A swung open to greet them.

[How is it that you're still having trouble with this class?]" Yomiko-sensei's admonishment cut through the air sharp as a papercut, freezing the group of five before they could fully reach the open door. [The difference between…]"

"Should we book it?" Hitoshi asked in a hushed whisper. "I don't even know what language that was, but it scares me."

"It was German," Izuku supplied, already nodding at his friend's suggestion. "And I say we book it."

"Lily thinks some candy from the dispenser down the hall from the Support Studio sounds really good right now."

"Guh…"

Izuku took a step back, readying himself to sprint away from what sounded like a very cross Paper-sensei, when he bumped into a wall of muscle.

"Just who I was looking for!"

Voice booming, Takeo Go dropped a massive hand on Izuku and Hitoshi's shoulders, almost causing the teens' knees to buckle. "Come with me you two, we must speak about your internship! And what my precious little Masao will do while you're gone."

"CALL ME LILY!"

The scream came unbidden, Lily hadn't meant to be so loud. Unfortunately, her Pappy refusing to call her by her real name was a button that always striped away her self-control.

"What's going on out here?"

The collective gazes of those out in the hallway turned towards the door into 1-A. Standing in the entryway, bespectacled gaze cocked in false confusion, Yomiko-sensei took in the scene before her with a practiced glance.

"Oh! Midoriya-san, Shinso-san, you're back!" the woman said, smiling freely, "And just in time too. The class was just getting to the fun part!"

Hitoshi shivered. He knew the secret of that grin; it held only wicked intensions. He's seen it enough times back home to know.

"I'm sorry ma'am, but I will be taking Midoriya-san for a little while," Takeo apologized, frowning at the interruption, "We need to come to an agreement about—"

Takeo broke off as Yomiko-sensei silently raised a hand, some unnamed instinct telling the man to immediately silence himself.

For her part, Yomiko-sensei looked at the large man who'd come to steal one of her students before taking in said student and the littlest zombie beside him. Exhaling slowly, she realized that substitute teacher she may be, she could still understand the situation perfectly.

"I understand Go-san," she said, dropping her hand. "Midoriya-san, please ask one of your classmates about today's lesson. Remember, even a single day of missed practice can dull even an exceptional talent at languages like yours."

Such kind words clashed with the almost whip-like motion Yomiko-sensei's lowered hand shot out with as it snagged the back of Hitoshi's uniform, the violette having turned to leave with Izuku.

"You on the other hand Shinso-san, will be spending a little extra time with me after class to make up for your earlier absence," Yomiko-sensei said, chillingly gentle. "Your language grades aren't bad, per say, but your marks in communication are nothing short of disastrous! We must work on them, as soon as possible!"

With that, the friends were separated by the cruel hands of fate; one dragged into a world of letters and words that tortured his introversive nature, the other doomed to a no doubt painful, in one way or another, conversation with the father of one of his partners.

As he was led away, Izuku wondered if this was his karma for being instrumental in all of the recent drama that had befallen the most famous hero academy of Japan.

That evening, Aichi Prefecture, Asui Household…

After having to spend his afternoon far too close to an oversized, overzealous parent who raved uncontrollably about his precious child not stepping outside of UA into "the dangerous outside world," placating his beloved girlfriend with a heartfelt hug, and devoting an obnoxious amount of brainpower to ignore his classmates' looks that ranged from glares to curiosity, Izuku now found himself in the crosshairs of not one, but two worried mothers.

"Beru-chan…" Inko whimpered, distressed enough to be wringing her hands already. "Is there really nothing you can do about this?"

Said frog-woman massaged her aching temples in utter frustration.

Rather than explain how his day had been when he'd returned to her home, Izuku had silently presented official-looking documentation to his mother. As her daughter's slight tells that gave her otherwise hidden feelings of worry away didn't change upon the reveal, Beru deduced that he'd already revealed whatever the news was to her.

Inko's gasp had caused her to immediately tense.

How else would she have expected a mother to react though? Izuku had been hand selected to partake in a Jaeger operation of all things! It was incredibly shocking and concerning news to be sure.

It didn't even help that the paperwork he'd had been extremely sparse with actual information, what little there was appearing to be half-heartedly assuring there were safety precautions in place for the verdanette.

It left much to be desired.

The location of the operation was listed as "local." For an international organization such as the UN, that could mean anywhere in the country. Worse, Izuku's participation was only outlined as "non-combatant," and when it came to the UN, that pretty much meant nothing in the heat of the moment.

Unfortunately, the gleaming seal on the documents was undeniable. She's dealt with it enough to know, it was all authentic.

After years of gaining power and prestige, the Asui Matriarch knew she had enough political clout to influence even members of the Diet itself if dire enough circumstances arose. However, in the face of the UN, a voice such as hers hardly mattered more than an ant's. She had no weight in this level of fight.

Truth be told, Beru knew she wouldn't even have the clearance to request the information in the document currently in her hands if it hadn't been provided.

"I…" The frog-woman was at a loss for words. For the first time she could remember, she couldn't act to affect an outcome she desired. "I can't do… anything Inko-chan."

When the UN drafted someone in a member nation for something, the call was a mandatory obligation. Such a rule had been written into the organization's constitution after it had consolidated the power that came with being a driving force behind stabilizing the world after the Quirk Wars. In the rubble of the pre-Quirk world, it had kept many countries from unraveling in a time of chaos, but to do so those same countries had had to accept the idea of being guided by an outside power that ostensibly held no biased interest that would corrupt its purpose in protecting them.

What really added insult to injury though, was how the desk-jockeys of the UN wrote their missives. Reading the document again, Beru scowled at how the wording gave every indication that Izuku was free to refuse the offer from the Jaegers. In reality, the unspoken truth was very much the opposite.

Just looking at the six other options the UN were ready to send Izuku's way in case he said "no" was enough to chill her blood.

Two hospitals, Rishi and Central were listed. Two titans of the pharmaceutical industry, Parasol and Gentek, were below them. Second to last was the JSDF, a red herring if Beru had ever seen one. And last, and certainly least, came the Wardens of Tartarus.

The first four were obviously ploys; the chances any of one them would take the chance to experiment on Izuku's Quirk if he stepped foot on their properties were one hundred percent. Not to be outdone, the last two were openly known for never letting go of any students who interned with them… one way or another.

All six options were career killers.

"What about just staying on campus?" Inko asked, trying to find any way for her little boy to avoid unnecessary danger. "It might be boring sure, but it'd be safer than anything else right?"

Izuku could only let out a sigh, shaking his head.

"Not an option, kero," Tsuyu answered for her boyfriend, clearly hating the situation as well. "After losing so many sponsors, Aizawa-sensei said all available faculty were being directed to up their patrols for the week so UA could start to recover its reputation. Their schedules are so packed none of them would have time to actually teach him. And the only member of the staff that would be left is… Recovery Girl."

If the prospect of interning with the elderly nurse wasn't bad enough, the fact that doing so would put Izuku in close proximity to Doctor Go absolutely killed the option. The man made his dislike for Izuku clear, and no one would accept them being around each other for longer than necessary.

"This wouldn't be a problem if the sleepy hobo could do it," Saki spat, snarling. "Why the fuck isn't he an option again? Isn't he like, one of the only ones in your corner Boss?"

"Aammgrraaahhh…"

At Tae's interjection, Saki snapped her fingers, huffing as the answer was thrown in her face.

"Oh right, blood healed," the blonde groused. "Kinda forgot the whole 'mind-control' thing the suits fear so much."

Aizawa-sensei had been forbidden from taking Izuku under his care beyond the semi-structured instruction of UA's homeroom system. That meant among other things, no internship offer. The official reason, which held some weight of being true, was that those in the higher echelons were uneasy about allowing the wielder of a Quirk that could control others to be taught by an individual they'd controlled in the past.

They had no 'reliable' reassurance that all of Cursed Blood had been purged from Aizawa-sensei's system or not. For all they knew, and feared, the mysterious Quirk had left some miniscule piece of itself behind to nefariously influence the underground hero later on down the line.

And he wasn't the only one more closely examined post run in with Cursed Blood.

Even Tsuyu was questioned from time to time by psychologists for traces of behavior or beliefs that could be traces of the 'dark' Quirk.

"The UN wouldn't risk an international incident from this, Izuku-kun's notoriety is too great at this point, so I do believe they'll keep to the letter of the invitation, kero," Beru explained, voice heavy. "It's his darn luck that I don't trust…"

The letter had been pretty clear, to be sure. Izuku and Hitoshi would partake in a local Jaeger mission tilted more toward tracking and interrogation than anything else. There were numerous assurances that any occurrences of combat would be handled by the trained agents on duty, which was also reassuring. Unfortunately, nothing could assure that the mission's targets wouldn't happen to target the two boys.

But really, it wasn't Izuku's health that worried Beru, it was what this would do to his reputation. If people feared him before, after a stint with the Jaegers…

"Izu-kun…" Tsuyu called, "Can you promise to keep a low profile? I can even settle for a simple promise not to do something too outrageous, kero."

"Does sticking to my guns count?" Izuku asked with an honest smile.

Everyone grimaced.

"I'll take to the melee in the Boss' stead," Saki offered with a savage grin, "That should ease things up, right?"

Everyone hummed in contemplation.

If Beru's suspicions were correct, and she had a career built partially on such feelings of intuition, this operation was going to revolve on the Trigger problem. The damned substance had seen a sudden uptick in production and traffic in Japan in the last month, and local police were having a lot of trouble keeping things under control.

If that were the case, then Izuku and the Shinso kid would be tackling either those with weaker quirks, if they went after buyers, or wild cards, if they went after sellers. She'd like to say those with strong Quirks would have no reason to deal in Trigger, but greed was a cardinal sin for a reason and made people do terrible things for meaningless reasons.

If luck held, any potential combat would be limited to small arms fire and improvised melee weapons. In that case, at worst, the media would only see a repeat of Izuku's bullet eating capabilities. At best, Shinso-san's quirk would steal more attention.

She didn't want to think about what would happen if the buyers or sellers the Jaegers were going after already had strong Quirks that were then boosted by Trigger.

"Beru-chan?" Inko's worried voice brought back the frog-woman from her inner thoughts.

"I guess this is better than the alternatives, kero," Beru replied with a sigh, "Still, make sure to communicate to us whenever you change locations. Even a single text will do. And never separate from the agents you're assigned to. Let them handle all the dangers; you're supposed to be there to learn the basics of tracking and interrogation anyway, not fight."

"I can do that," Izuku replied, happy to find some level of support. He almost thought he'd have to pass on this opportunity.

"I don't like it…" Tsuyu mumbled, still against the idea.

"What? Don't like that the Boss is getting the chance to play with world renowned pros while you went and picked the Sealman?" Saki cracked, suddenly on the offensive, "Or is it that he's going to play with people who are arguably more dangerous than him for once?"

Tsuyu pouted, really hard. Normally hiding feelings like jealousy wasn't difficult for her after all. But when it came to Izuku, she felt like she was an open book. Inko, however, whimpered in distress; her baby boy was too keen in getting into dangerous situations, she just knew something was going to happen.

Then again, Mister Go was probably still worse.

"This isn't fair…" Lily lamented in a corner, "Lily wants to stay by her big-bro's side…"

Seeing the littlest zombie sob erased all of the previous tension. Giving her reassuring and loving hugs and headpats quickly became the priority of the moment, a welcome distraction.

It had been decided that, while not actually a student, Lily would spend the duration of the internship with her father. The request from the man had been sensible enough, and everyone had agreed that the littlest zombie shouldn't partake in such an operation if at all possible. Go had been made to swear to not entering any laboratory during said period of time though; his tendency to allow himself to be absorbed by his work recalled while he'd been making demands. He'd had to choose between his job and his undead daughter and, surprising for some, he had chosen Lily.

Izuku kept it to himself, but he was dreading returning from his internship to find a Lily who had been experimented on.

Back in the kitchen, Ganma Asui was on the phone. He massaged his forehead with his free hand.

"I know you're babysitting a pair of idiots, kero," The frog-man groused lightly, trying to sound casual through his over-stressed nerves, "But if you could keep track of… yes... yes, I know. Not an official assignment."

The family man knew very well that he was asking too much. Tailing a group of Jaegers was nothing short of suicidal. Being found doing so? They'd be lucky to find a trace of the body.

"R-Really? You will?" Ganma stuttered, surprised. He hadn't even had to resort to blackmail, "Thank you. Yes, of course. You'll have those reservations without delay, kero."

Ending the call, the frog-man contemplated just how much more complicated his life had become thanks to the verdanatte that had won his daughter's heart. He supposed it was better than the perpetual boredom of being the Director of Accounting at his wife's firm. It almost made him feel like he did back in his younger days, working for INTERPOL to keep the world safe!

Meanwhile…, Tokyo Prefecture, Iida Household…

"Aniki, are you sure of this?"

Tenya's question, asked with genuine sadness tinged with caution, was waved away by his older brother. Before the second son of the Iida Family sat Tensei, the firstborn, filling out paperwork at his work desk. To the younger of the brothers, it was just another reminder that the Turbo Hero Ingenium wouldn't be returning even if Tensei could once again walk thanks to his darkly inclined classmate.

Cursed Blood might've been able to heal any wound, but a limit had been discovered when Midoriya had used it on his brother. The bio-metal that comprised the physical attribute of the Iida Family's Engine Quirk was apparently outside the dark Quirk's ability to reconstitute. According to the verdanette, it felt similar to a numb area where one couldn't feel any sensation. So in the end, while Tensei could walk again, his Engines remained damaged beyond repair.

"Of course Tenya, this is some of the most important parts of hero work," Tensei replied, taking a moment to stop and lock eyes with his little brother. "And I need to prepare you to take on the family mantle anyway. While Father and I agreed you would one day become Ingenium, you still have much to learn and understand before then, especially when it comes to leading an agency."

Tenya breathed deeply, holding the air inside as a surge of blind rage flared through him.

He'd been planning to seek out the Hero Killer during his internship.

He'd been planning on finding the bastard who'd ended his brother's career and setting a dozen pros on the rabid animal.

He'd been planning on getting revenge for their family, even if second hand due to Midoriya's interference.

Alas, his brother had decided for him where he'd be spending his internship week. And he, ever the dutiful brother, had had no choice but to accept his idol's decision.

Chained to a desk. His fate was to be locked away, far from any sort of conflict, a prisoner to the eternal enemy of all that was known as paperwork.

Even Ochaco would probably see more action during her internship with Gunhead.

The Week of Internships, Musutafu Station, Tokyo Prefecture…

So it was that on the day the UA internships officially began, the class of 1-A found themselves gathered at the city metro station closest to their school. Each of them carried a single bag of luggage and their special cases containing their hero suits. To a one, a feeling of restlessness presided, their excitement of the coming week on the cusp of bursting. They all knew what this week symbolized.

It was their unofficial unleashing into the world of heroes.

Shouta could already feel a migraine forming just taking in the sight of his jittery class.

"Starting today, you'll be interning with real pros. You have your suits, but even so, you're only to use them when instructed to by your mentors," the underground hero said, going over the same script he always did prior to the start of internships. "This isn't your hero debut, you're still heroes-in-training, so remember that your actions reflect on not only those you're interning with, but UA as well. Make sure you act like it."

As the gruff teacher spoke, a number of his students had already tuned him out. In particular, a certain tailed teen found himself lost in his own thoughts.

'Finally! We'll be together again!' Ojiro cheered within his mind, pleased beyond belief that in no time at all, only a few stations all told, he would be reuniting with Lady Wu once more. 'Hosu may not be the safest place, but together we're sure to be invincible!'

He knew that the Hero Killer was said to still be stalking the city's streets. With over two dozen casualties to his name, such a villain's presence had made Hosu a hot spot, a juxtaposed mix of fearful citizens and determined pro heroes.

Ojiro also knew that many of those same pros were only there to hunt Stain down for the glory. With the graft had come actually useful heroes, like members of the top twenty who'd promised to join the manhunt efforts soon.

For the tailed teen, all of it mattered very little.

His Lady Wu, a mostly unrecognized heroine, hadn't been assigned to hunt down the Hero Killer, nor did she wish to do so on her own time. Instead, she'd been tasked with preforming her patrols like normal and partake in martial arts showcases around the district. It might not have been the most glamorous work, but it paid the bills and, more importantly, kept her relatively safe.

And for once, he'd really be able to help as well. Being a UA hero student, his very presence would surely boost his Lady's popularity, even if just a little. It wasn't every pro that was chosen by the esteemed academy's students after all.

Before his mind could wander onto other such enticing thoughts, such as spending extra time with his Lady for private training, the tailed teen felt a shiver shoot down his spine to the tip of his tail. Freezing, he slid his gaze to the left, inevitably finding what he'd expected; the pair with the evil Quirks.

Tsuyu Asui, woefully deluded and indoctrinated, played a dangerous game by pinching the cheeks of her captor, Izuku Midoriya. To the side, the puppeteer Hitoshi Shinso rolled his eyes as he watched the two acting lovey-dovey, no doubt exasperated at how well his brainwashing of the frog-girl had gone.

His Lady Wu had often times reminded him that people with dark Quirks weren't necessarily evil, that it was their actions they were to be judged by. Even so, he couldn't ignore the feeling in his gut. Midoriya's corpse desecrating and mind controlling Quirk was bad enough, but now Shinso, another mindbender, was in 1-A as well. Worse, the two had quickly become close friends!

Did no one see how dangerous such a thing was?

"Now go…" Aizawa-sensei's command snapped the tailed teen from his musings. Returning his gaze to his compromised teacher, Ojiro listened to his parting words. "And remember, above all else, stay safe out there."

As most of his students boarded the trains to their internships, the underground hero watched on in silence. They were acting like children about to receive gifts, far too excited for what should be a serious milestone in their efforts to becoming professional heroes. Only a few carried themselves with any seriousness. He'd have to keep an eye on them all when they returned, see who matured from the experience and who still needed a wake up call.

A part of the gruff man felt a familiar numb emptiness rear its head as he watched them go. His class was incomplete.

Bakugo and Mineta aside, their expulsions more than well deserved in his opinion, he'd wanted to give one last lecture to Iida before the boy had left. More likely than not, the idiotic child still carried some foolhardy wish to confront Stain if given half a chance.

And then there was Todoroki's absence. He'd been the student in the original Class 1-A with the most potential. He'd also been the one who'd been in the most need of dire help, the one he'd honestly failed as a teacher.

Just that morning, he'd received official word that the dual-colored teen would be sent to spend 'quality' time with his mother for the duration of the internships. Pending a psych eval, that internship had sounded like it had the potential to be lengthened…

"And now, for you two…" Shouta groused, recomposing himself before turning to examine his remaining students. "You're sure you don't want to drop this? Staying on campus would be much sa—"

"No!"

The perfect synchronicity of the two teens in front of him was slightly off putting.

"I'm sorry Aizawa-sensei, but I'm not letting Mr. Go experiment on me," Izuku said, shaking his head. An overprotective Tae immediately embraced the verdanette from behind while Saki crossed her arms, stepping in front of her Boss with a growl.

Shouta silently thanked whatever heavens watched over their messed up world that they'd unanimously decided to leave Lily behind.

"And I'm sorry sir, but there's no way I'm staying anywhere near Midnight unsupervised," Shinso deadpanned, paling at the very thought. "Hell, even supervised couldn't get me to agree."

Hitoshi loved her, he really did, but his aunt was way too forward with her teasing when it came to him than the rest of his family. Just the other day, she'd pushed him and Sarada into a broom closet, locked them in, and then left them there for three hours with only the instruction that the ravenette "teach him to loosen up."

But it wasn't like he could just reveal his familial ties to his new sensei, now was it?

There was a moment of silence as Shouta weighted the words of his new violette student. Finding his fear of his coworker completely understandable, he nodded once before sighing.

"Very well then," he replied, "Let's go."

Half an hour later, at A Certain Café…

The two UA students, as well as the zombie girls with them, hadn't been expecting to meet agents of the notorious Jaegers in such a… casual location.

They'd known they wouldn't be setting foot in the UN's embassy, but they'd at least thought that the meeting place would be a police station or something equal in status. Instead, they were quickly led to the second floor of the quaint establishment and to a private room.

Before stepping inside, both teens slowed to stop and blinked as the details of the room were made clear on a placard on the door.

"Sound-proofed" Hitoshi asked, well knowing the signs of such an upgrade without even needing to have it spelled out.

"Structurally reinforced… magnetic insulation…?" Izuku added, struck dumb at the level of precautions a simple café could have for a simple meeting room.

It was almost like the café wasn't a normal… place…

Shit.

Aizawa-sensei placed his hand on the doorknob, but didn't move to open the last barrier between his students and what was awaiting them.

"Seriously. This is your last chance to back out," the underground hero said, tone grave.

Nodding their clear understanding, both students still motioned for their teacher to open the door. With a sigh, the pro hero did so, greeting the three with a sight that was anything but what the two youngsters had been expecting.

"Hello boys!" Agent Smith cheered as the group walked in, her pep sending shivers through the newcomers, both living and undead. "Ready to get a taste of playing with the adults?"

At that, from shadows neither teen had noticed until that moment stepped three individuals like living nightmares.

The shortest of the three, though still taller than Aizawa-sensei, wore a mantle of what appeared to be feathers, if there really was a bird in the world that could make such wicked looking things. Along with the bulk of the coat, the beak-like mask the individual wore, and the pointy hat that covered their head, it was impossible for either teen to discern if the presumed Jaeger was a man or woman.

Not that it really mattered.

Next to the shorter member of the new trio stood a slightly taller man, face half covered in dark bandages. To be fair, Izuku only guessed that the second individual was a man due to the masculine facial features he COULD see, although if said features were correct indicators or not, he couldn't say. Regardless, the agent was clearly old judging by the wrinkles that were visible. The bulky floor-length coat this Jaeger sported was colored a dirty mustard-like hue, while the tricorn hat resting on his head appeared old, battered, and worn.

The third and tallest presumed Jaeger…

Was dark. And Izuku didn't think that in a negative manner, sort of. The man was just dressed in all black, except for the honest to God censer hanging from his neck, from his pitch-black trenchcoat to the undershirt beneath and the tactical pants that led to thick, combat boots of black leather. His wide-brimmed hat was also dyed black, and it did little to cover the man's long, dirty grey hair. In fact, the hat was useless in hiding the man's face at all, clearing revealing the blood soaked bandages covering his eyes… and the perpetual snarl his face was set in.

"B-Boss…" Saki stuttered, for once all bravado extinguished. "I think… I think that guy killed recently… Like, in the last twenty minutes…"

"This is as far as I can take you," Aizawa-sensei stated, Izuku and Hitoshi only now realizing their teacher had never actually stepped foot in the room. "Good luck. And please… don't die."

It was at that moment that Izuku finally realized… he might've, perhaps, possibly, just fucked up and made a bad decision.


Magnus: Due to the amount of complaints about the special chapters, I've decided to set a poll. Now you can decide if you want to keep reading the specials here, or leave them behind a paywall on the site that shall not be named.


Omake – Tsuyu's woes.

Tsuyu Asui, freshman student of the Hero Course at UA, was known for many things. Her calm and collected demeanor was an attribute recognized by everyone who had met her. Also widely recognized were her smarts and ability to adapt. In all she was referred to as a great example for others follow.

If only those same people knew how she felt on the inside…

'I'M GOING TO KILL HIM!'

Tsuyu screamed inside the vastness of her mind as she fast-walked through the tunnels of UA's stadium. After the near heart attack she'd suffered when her boyfriend had gotten impaled by an ice spike, she'd had to deal with her mother on the phone while leaving said boyfriend in the infirmary. Even with a gaping hole in his chest, he'd still reassured her he would be fine, that he only needed to lay down and eat something to give his Quirk a little fuel.

When she'd returned, she'd found Izu-kun's bed empty, along with a newfound urge to pinch the cheeks of her boyfriend until he begged her for mercy.

'Why are you like this Izu-kun?!'

It hadn't taken a lot of brainpower to deduce where Izu-kun had gone. Even with all the overflowing kindness he had, his heart was still able to contain an impressive amount of resentment. He had confessed to her earlier that should he make it to any of the podiums, he was going to throw a rant during the awards ceremony. That vindictiveness of her boyfriend was no joke.

As she power-walked through the tunnels, the screens lining the walls showed her the exact moment her favorite necromancer entered the field of vision of the cameras. She heard the collective gasping sounds, the murmurs and whispers. She witnessed the ridiculous scene of Tae, Saki, and Lily attempting to make Izuku look stronger than he was at the moment.

Tae and Lily were outside her authority to deal with, both because Tae was truly a monster in strength and stubbornness combined, and Lily was too pure and steadfast to be angry with. But Tsuyu didn't miss for a second how Saki was doing her best to grab Izuku's butt with each step. Another dose of poison spit to the eyes was in order for the blonde, to be sure.

Turning one last corner, the entrance to the arena became visible, just as All Might placed the medal on her boyfriend's neck. Interrupting now would've still been possible, but would've caused a greater faux pas than Izu-kun's plan. Being her mother's daughter, she knew such a break in protocol would've led to dire consequences for her. Begrudgingly, Tsuyu gave her boyfriend the victory.

She'd just have to make sure he knew he'd be paying for it.

BBBBZZZZZZZZTTTTT!

The massive screens populated around the stadium suddenly snapped to static-filled life, the sound of audio-snow capturing everyone's attention whether they wished for it to or not. Less than a handful of seconds later, the chaotic screens flickered and turned dark, only a large Arabic numeral one at their center.

"A medal…"

The lightly synthesized voice that purred from the speakers was glaringly feminine, and equally laden with contempt.

"This can't be good…" Tsuyu muttered to herself.

While the unexpected interruption was many things, to Tsuyu it was at the moment above highly illegal. She'd kind of wanted to hear her boyfriend's rant against the system, but this obvious hack into UA's network was breaking so many laws it wasn't funny.

She wished she could disagree with the words of the hacker's message though.

"This lady isn't worng, kero." Tsuyu conceded, failing to suppress the shiver that ran down her spine as she remembered what could've happened to her if she hadn't forfeited against Todoroki. "Still… this is definitely crossing into criminal territory."

Izu-kun using his time being awarded to expose the truth to the world might've been more than a little rude, but at least he would've been doing so legally. Why was this hacker risking so much?

"But perhaps this yearly atrocity shouldn't really be surprising hmm? After all, this is the venerable UA we're talking about here. A world-class Hero School that allowed and promoted horrors like this…!"

The screens began to play a familiar scene, one that allowed the frog-girl to realize something. This hacker had committed far larger crimes than just breaking into the UA network to broadcast their message… She suddenly felt sick.

She knew what was coming.

"I'm sure I don't need to tell any of you what a Quirk Marriage is right?" No matter how distorted it sounded by the recording, Todoroki's voice sounded just as hateful and hurt as it had sounded back then. "Whatever you think you know, the truth is hundreds, no—thousands of times worse."

As the nightmarish recounting of Todoroki's childhood played out, Tsuyu felt the stirrings of guilt in her heart. She would always defend her stance, Todoroki had struck first and so retaliation was justified in her eyes, but she and everyone else should've been able to word things a little differently. Listening to their words from an observer's perspective allowed the frog-girl to see just how cruel and selfish both sides' words had been.

Maybe if they hadn't been so focused on being right, they might've been able to warn the teachers before the match, before everything had escalated out of control?

So deep in her thoughts did Tsuyu go that she almost missed the moment the recordings cut off. She blinked as her stomach dropped. This hacker was manipulating the whole event! Without the next piece of the conversation, the conflict was without context…

"This is the deal, boy. You will marry my daughter, and conceive with her at least one female that develops your quirk or an improved variant…"

Endeavor's voice sent shivers through the spine of the necromancer's girlfriend, both due to its tone and the demand being given.

"He'd just said… intimidation…" Tsuyu's broken voice came out a mere whisper.

Izu-kun had told her about Endeavor intruding into his prep-room, and he'd admitted that the Number Two hero had tried to buy him out. But there had been no mention to this… atrocity.

"I need… I…" Tsuyu's world was spiraling; this was even worse than even her worst nightmare!

Weakly reaching for her phone, Tsuyu tried to come up with some plan, some idea, anything that would solve this suddenly revealed situation. But… she didn't even know WHO to call, much less what to say.

"Are you insane?"

Izuku's sharp reply returned Tsuyu's attention to the nearest screen.

The exchange that followed melted away all her worries. In the face of mortal danger and promises of wealth and power, her precious cinnamon roll had chosen her in the most valiant way possible.

Her fears of having her boyfriend stolen by the demands of prettier girl's twisted pro hero father were banished as he spoke of her as the most beautiful maiden in the world. It was fair to say that she fell in love all over again with the emerald necromancer.

"Fine… I won't kill him," Tsuyu said with a loving sigh, her heart slowing back to its normal rhythm even when the screen showed Endeavor starting to heat up, "I'm still beating him up though, kero."


Omake – The peace of home.

A woman, dressed in a solid black suit that outclassed the darkness of the night, walked toward a rather large house in one of the numerous suburbs of Japan. It was a rather surprising sight, considering that this particular residential zone was considered middle-class and the woman appeared to be at least lower high-class if not mid-high. Of course, said zone's tiering was almost entirely the fault of said large residence the suited woman was approaching.

Many a well-meaning cop had called at its door to investigate all sorts of rumors. Loud wailing well into the night, complains about unruly mutants causing mischief in the streets, there'd even been a report of the house collapsing at one point, only for authorities arriving to find it perfectly fine.

It was chaos half of the time, and misunderstandings every day it seemed, but for one Agent Smith, this was a place she wouldn't trade for the whole world.

"I'm home!" Smith called as she entered the house.

"MEEEERRROOO!"

The shout came from a woman with the lower body of a snake, belting her grievance for the world to hear at the top of her lungs. The snake-woman, or lamia as some would think to call her, was pulling the hair of a woman with the lower body of a fish, a mermaid if you would, that was sitting in a wheelchair.

"I. TOLD. YOU. IT. WASN'T. YOUR. TURN!"

Smith looked at the outrageous scene and couldn't help but pinch the bridge of her nose. This was not what she wanted to come home to.

"PAPPI DID NOTHING WRONG!"

An incredibly loud and childish scream was all the warning the Smith had before a short woman with wings instead of arms darted through the hallway on the left and sped by her. It was a thoughtless thing to dodge the apparent harpy-quirked woman for the trained agent, though the individual who followed after her required a bit more effort to evade.

"COME BACK HERE YOU LITTLE UNDERWEAR THIEF! THOSE WON'T EVEN FIT YOU!"

Charging after the harpy came a tall, busty blonde, galloping at full speed through the house thanks to her equine lower body. The Smith had to actually hit the wall to avoid a collision.

"You okay?"

The nearly run over woman looked down, shaded gaze meeting that of a small woman whose body was entirely blue… and somewhat transparent.

Big solid green eyes stared back at Agent Smith while a singular stalk of green twitched above the shorter woman's head. There was no malice in the gaze, but for the Spook, who spent her days intimidating some of the worst of the worst, it was one of the most unsettling looks in the world.

"I'm fine Suu, thanks for asking," the Smith replied, offering no resistance when the shorter woman nodded and wordlessly took her bag from her shoulders.

"Alright you two, youv'e had more than enough fun today!" Snapping back to the scene that she had first walked in on upon returning home, the Smith was greeted by a sight that most people would've found straight out of a nightmare.

A pale woman with multiple insectoid-like eyes, and a lower body that was comprised of the entirety of a spider minus the head, had captured the mermaid and lamia in a net. Both girls were trembling while looking up at the Arachne, but the Smith wasn't sure if it was in fear of what the older woman had in store for them or something… else.

"Thank you for settling them down Rach-nee, I appreciate it," said a young man, the first and only male the Smith knew she would find in this house. Smiling, the man stood up and dusted himself off, revealing that while not particularly bad looking, he didn't look to be anything special to talk about either. "I was having trouble breathing down there after Mero's chair ran me over."

The Smith was instantly reminded of a certain kid she'd just left not too long ago.

"Oh! You're back already!" The man said suddenly, breaking the Smith from her thoughts with a heart melting smile. "Welcome home, Kuroko-chan."

This was home. Her home. It was a place where broken girls with mutation Quirks tended to find themselves for a variety of reasons. The man of the house, Kimihito Kuruso, accepted any and all that asked asylum, treating them like the people they were, not the monsters the outside world believed them to be. He tended to these girls' mental health, taking all the time necessary to build them back into functioning individuals who could stand on their own once more. And after that, he'd even go so far as to help his patients find jobs, start new lives.

Kuroko couldn't count the number of children, young girls, and women that had passed through this house. But she could count the number that hadn't been able to leave.

When Kuruso had discovered he'd been gifted with a Quirk that gave him a terrifyingly deep level of empathy with whoever he directed it to, he'd almost immediately dedicated his life to helping people. He could reach the hearts of the broken, help heal their pain, in his own words, how could he not reach out to them, offer them the safety and support they'd never been given?

A rare variety of hero, Kuruso had had to fight overwhelming odds, even snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, to graduate from UA with a license. Of course, he'd then immediately retired and used his large inheritance to build this house and open his practice.

He was the only man to date that was able to ignore Kuroko's Quirk. He was the only one able to love her under any circumstance.

"Did you have a hard day at work?" Kimihito asked, closing the front door behind her, "Do you want dinner? Or maybe a bath to relax?"

"It's Mrs. Kuruso," the Smith replied with a seductive smile, "And I'd rather have you…"

This man, this true hero, was her Kimihito, her husband.

And the husband of the few girls who'd never been able to leave.

While polygamy was illegal in Japan, her husband's case was special. No one would ever take the other women in the house, no one would ever call them family besides her husband and herself. And when one knew which strings to pull on which governmental puppets… well…

Pappi, the one with the harpy Quirk, had been taken from a group of thieves. They'd had the genius idea of using her abilities to fly to give their operations a leg up on the competition and authorities. The animals had mauled her and left her for dead in an alley when she'd made one mistake, forgotten one step in a convoluted plan Kuroko had been able to stop before her morning coffee.

The apply named Centorea, the woman with the lower body of a horse like a centaur, had been abandoned by the family she'd been sent to when her mother had passed away due to a villain attack. The scum had left her to rot on their farm, chained in the stables as they'd packed up and moved to the city.

When Kuroko had found Miia in a laboratory, discovered during one of her more clandestine missions, she'd known the lamia-Quirked woman would probably never be leaving her and her husband. Suffering the aftereffects of no doubt countless inhumane experiments, Miia still experienced night terrors and was highly suspicious of most people.

Rachnera and Mero were special cases, even for her home. Both women, girls when they'd first arrived, had been the unwilling victims of Trigger dosing. Forced into mutated forms at the hands of unstable strains of the street drug, neither had been welcomed home after the law had rescued them.

To this day, the two were still hesitant to even leave the house, afraid of facing the stigma they carried because of how they became mutants.

It might've been a very broken family, but it was hers. It was the family she shared a husband with.

"Well, today is special, so we were planning on spending tonight all together," Kimihito answered, giving her a quick and chaste kiss on the lips. "You still need to eat dinner though."

The agent known as Smith, Kuroko Kurusu, couldn't help the smile that spread across her face at the love she could feel being poured into her. The whole world could rail and criticize and denounce her for her status as part of a harem for all eternity, she would never leave this place.

It was where a monster like her had found she belonged.

"Suu, could you help me set the table?" Kimihito called out, walking towards the massive room that served as their kitchen and dining room. The semi-transparent girl nodded and followed.

Leaning against the wall to watch her husband and sister-wife at work, Kuroko really tried not to stare as Suu worked. Unfortunately, the utterly inhuman grace of her sister-wife was hard to ignore, almost as much as her otherworldly level of understanding.

Without missing a beat, or even looking away from placing the silverware in the correct positions, Suu turned her head to lock eyes with Kuroko. A simple tilt of the head and an unsettling smile were the only response the agent received for being caught staring.

It was almost like the slime-girl could read her thoughts.

"Heh, there really is no place like home," Kuroko said, preparing herself for the no doubt huge dinner about to happen. Tonight was her wedding anniversary after all, she could already tell it was going to be wild!