A New Partnership
A/N: While this can be taken on its own as a one-shot, I do think that I might post a few more chapters in the style of interconnected one-shots in the future. You may be wondering how that is any different from a regular multi-chapter story, but I think of it as having less of an overarching plot and be more slice of life snippets peeking into this My Hero Academia AU I'm creating. There will probably still be some action in the future, but at the moment I'm leaning towards slice of life/romance. We'll have to see.
This is actually my first post into this fandom. I only got into the show shortly before season 3 started airing. I also saw the new movie and loved it. Melissa Shield quickly became one of my favorite characters, and I couldn't help but start shipping her and Deku. I know we'll be lucky even to see her again one day, but the movie has been confirmed as canon, so I have hope.
This story will probably get updated infrequently, whenever I have both time and inspiration and inbetween updates on my more major stories. That being said, please enjoy and let me know what you think in the reviews. Thanks!
"Since we spent all of yesterday's lesson on your Hero Work Studies, I'll be brief on the topic today. While it may sometimes seem otherwise, we do actually have other things to cover in this class," their homeroom teacher, Shouta Aizawa, deadpanned.
He was in his usual dark clothes, with his capture gear wrapped around his neck like a loose scarf. His eyes were extremely bloodshot, and he looked even more irritable than usual. The class tittered at this, most of them thinking back to meeting UA's famous Big Three and the crazy display they'd been given by Mirio Togata the day before.
"As I'm sure you all remember, this past summer you worked on developing your ultimate moves. Many of you had to get adjustments made to your hero costume or support equipment during this time," Aizawa continued. "In order to try something new, and partially due to the fact that most of you have your Provisional Hero Licenses so early in your time here at UA, we are instigating a new program that pairs students up from the hero course with those in the support course."
Whispers broke out among his classmates. Izuku didn't know what to think about this revelation. His mind was already whirring through the different potential benefits and drawbacks this might have. It was only because everyone else was chatting with each other that no one noticed that he'd started his signature bad habit of muttering quietly under his breath.
"Enough!" The chattering ceased immediately. "As I said, we don't have time for this. You can talk it over amongst yourselves as much as you want later. After this class, you will all be heading to the auditorium where you can mingle among those from the support course to find a partner."
"No way!" Bakugo's voice called out. "I don't need some weakling who couldn't even make it into the hero course following me around. I'll do without a partner!"
"Seeing as how you don't yet have your Provisional Hero License, I would have to agree that you don't deserve to take part yet," their teacher shot back drily. "But Principal Nezu has made his wishes clear, so everyone in the hero course, from both classes 1-A and 1-B, will be taking part in this program."
Izuku could hear Bakugo's teeth grinding together from across the room, but surprisingly his childhood friend didn't say anything more in response, instead plopping back down in his seat to stew silently. He wasn't sure if the boy with the explosion quirk was actually starting to control his anger better or if their teacher's response had actually hit a sore spot.
"Now, this partnership is supposed to beneficial to all involved in it," Aizawa lectured on as if the interruption had never happened. "It will give both sides a taste of what the relationship between a Pro Hero and a support company is like in the real world. The support students are not your sidekicks nor do they work directly for you. I expect that you will treat them with respect and as equals. If I hear of anything happening otherwise, I will be the one to step in and let me tell you will not like the result. It is not unreasonable to expect that it could jeopardize your very place at this academy."
The room was absolutely silent after that declaration. Izuku was pretty sure that he and all his classmates had taken a collective gulp at the same time.
"Am I clear?"
Class 1-A begun nodding their heads frantically.
"Good," their teacher replied. "Now I can move onto today's topic…"
As the hero known as Eraser Head started his lesson, Izuku found that for once he couldn't entirely pay attention. Like many of the other aspiring heroes in his class, their minds were instead drifting towards the news they'd just received. A partnership with a member of the support class? Izuku was starting to conclude that this would be a good thing in the end. As their teacher had said, they had already gotten some support equipment done during the summer, and he knew he would have been in some trouble without it.
The main thing Izuku was wondering about was who he would partner with. Did he know any support students? Not really… well… other than Mei. Beads of perspiration broke out on the green haired boy's forehead. It wasn't that he disliked the pink haired girl per se, but she was a bit much to deal with. He would always be thankful for her help, especially seeing as how she was the one to make the support gear he'd mentioned from back in the summer. He just wasn't sure he wanted to partner up with her, especially since she seemed to have no concept of personal space whatsoever, and that always managed to send his anxiety spiking up into record high levels. He didn't really think the way she had used Iida during the sports festival had been very sportsmanlike either. No, it was decided, he would not be partnering up with her… if he could help it, that was.
Before Izuku knew it, the class was over, and everyone was gathering their things. Finally free from being scolded, his classmates were once more excitedly chattering about what they were about to do. Packing his books into his bag, he could easily overhear Kaminari and Mineta perverted giggles as they no doubt were already planning on only trying to partner up with a cute girl. He could see Bakugo out of the corner of his eye, and it was clear to him that the explosive team was just a ticking time bomb at this point. He just hoped that he didn't scare off any of the Support Students. Izuku knew the blonde wouldn't actually do anything to them, but most people were usually immediately turned off by his abrasive behaviour when first meeting him.
"So what do you think about all of this Midoriya?" Iida asked, now standing before Izuku's desk.
"Well support item maintenance and upgrades are an intrinsic part of a Pro Hero's life," he told his friend. "I guess it only makes sense that we would be partnered up. As Aizawa-sensei said, it will give us a good idea of what it will be like after we graduate."
"Hmm," Iida looked thoughtful. "That's true… I think you are right Midoriya! I'm sure it will be a good way to meet some more of our fellow students at the very least. I just wonder who we will be partnered up with."
"I was wondering about that too!" A new voice spoke up from beside them. "Do we even know anyone from the support course."
"Ah, Uraraka!" Iida greeted their other friend. "Yes, I was wondering the same thing. I don't think we do. The Hero, Support, Business, and General Studies courses don't seem to interact much here at UA on a regular basis."
"Well, we do know Mei Hatsume," Izuku offered somewhat timidly catching his two friends attention immediately.
Iida's eyes widened significantly behind his glasses and Uraraka had an uncomfortable look on her face that he couldn't quite place.
"I will not be partnering with her!" Iida stated bluntly. "I don't like to speak ill of my fellow classmates, but I still find it hard to believe that one person can be so selfish."
Despite his own thoughts on the matter earlier, Izuku couldn't help but try and come to her defense, "She's not that bad guys… she did help us all out with the equipment we needed. She's just a bit… single-minded when it comes to her inventions."
Iida scoffed, but seemed to relent, "Nevertheless, I still do not believe we would make a good match. I'm sure she will find a partner with whom she can work better. What do you think, Uraraka?"
The girl with the zero-gravity quirk shrugged. She hadn't said much on this topic, instead choosing to stand where she was, fidgeting with her hands, "I don't know. I'm sure we all find good partners."
"Yes, you're right," the class rep responded. "We just need to keep calm and have a positive attitude. We won't make a good impression on the other class if we are spending so much time stressing over what might happen. Are you all packed up Midoriya? Shall we head towards the auditorium?"
"Yeah! Sure!" He answered with a smile, slinging his backpack over his shoulder.
Moving along with the rest of his class, they neared the exit.
"Midoriya!" Still standing at the podium, Aizawa beckoned him over.
Sharing a quick glance with his friends, Izuku looked back at his teacher. Swallowing thickly, he approached. It wasn't that he was scared of his teacher by any means, but being pulled aside usually never meant good things.
"What can I do for you sensei?" He asked, trying to keep his voice level.
Eraser Head didn't even look up from the paperwork he had been flipping through, "We've had someone specifically request to partner up with you. Normally, we'd make them wait until the meet and greet in the auditorium, but this is a bit of a special case."
Izuku's mind was once more scrambling. A special case? Someone had requested him? Who could it be?
"If I may ask, who requested to partner up with me?"
His teacher finally stopped shuffling papers to look up at him. There was a moments pause before he answered, "They'll be here soon. Please stay put."
Then, just like that, he walked out of the room, only pausing to say something quickly to his friends who were still loitering by the door, before moving off down the hall. Izuku was too shocked to do anything for a moment.
"Are you alright Deku?" Uraraka looked concerned.
Iida chimed in as well, "I agree, you look a little out of it Midoriya."
"Yeah, I'm fine," he answered absently, slowly coming back to himself. "Aizawa-sensei just said someone has already specifically requested to work with me. I guess I'm supposed to wait and meet them here. Who could it be?"
Uraraka held her chin in her hand, her nose scrunching up cutely, "I don't know. This is strange… who would have thought..."
Iida coughed into his hand.
"Not that I don't think someone would want to work with you or anything like that!" Uraraka added on hurriedly, her face going red. "I'm sure lots of people would love to work with you!"
"I agree. Many people would be lucky to work with you," Iida said. "Though Uraraka was not wrong in the fact that it is unusual."
"Thanks, guys," Izuku scratched the back of his head nervously. "I guess I'll just have to wait and see."
Iida nodded, "Unfortunately, Aizawa-sensei did tell us to get going to the auditorium right away so we should probably head out. Plus, as Class Rep, it would bring shame upon our class if I arrived late!"
"Yeah! Go ahead, guys. I'll be fine. You don't need to worry about me," he assured them both.
"Okay…" Uraraka said, not looking like she wanted to leave. "Let us know how it goes after, ok?"
"Will do!" He answered. "Good luck you two!"
Waving goodbye, his two friends departed, leaving Izuku alone once more with his thoughts. Despite knowing that he'd just have to wait and see, he still couldn't help but speculate on who this person might be. No matter which way he approached it though, he didn't come up with any plausible conclusions. Again, the only person he knew in the support course was Mei, but he couldn't see how her requesting him as a partner would be a 'special case.' It wasn't entirely out of the question that Mei would request him, they did know each other after all, and from what he could tell, she did seem to have strict standards about those who she would work with. It just didn't feel like that was it though. Who could it be?
"Hello Izuku," a voice said from the doorway making him jump.
What? Who was it? The only person who used his first name was his mother...
Spinning around, the green haired boy froze in shock.
"Melissa?" He asked. "I- how- what are you doing here?"
The daughter of the renowned scientist and support technician David Shield looked just the same as when he'd met her several months prior. Her blonde hair hung loosely down to her mid-back with a few strands framing either side of her face and rested on the front side of her shoulders. Her glasses weren't on currently, leaving her pretty blue eyes unobstructed from view. The different thing about her was her clothes. To his shock, she was wearing the UA High school uniform.
"I'm here to see you silly," she smiled, moving further into the room.
"ME?" He yelped in reply. Why were his palms suddenly getting so sweaty? "I don't understand."
Melissa looked confused, "I was under the impression that you had been told I requested to partner up with you?"
A light dusting of pink appeared on her cheeks as she said this, but expression didn't waver. This only confused Izuku more.
"It was you?" He said. "I was just told that someone had requested to partner up with me and that they would be meeting me here. I still don't understand though. I'm supposed to be partnering with a member of the support course in my year. You don't even go here…"
Izuku trailed off as his eyes were once again drawn to the familiar green skirt, grey jacket, and red tie she was wearing. Melissa's hand played absentmindedly with the hem of her jacket.
"I actually just transferred here to UA," she said. "It's not really a traditional situation, but the administration was willing to make it work because of who my father is."
This just opened up a whole bevy of new questions for the boy with the green hair, but the most prevalent of them was, "Why would you want to transfer here though? It's well known that UA has the best hero course in Japan, if not the world, but while it's support course is nothing to laughed at either, I don't think it could reasonably compare to the options available to you at the academy on I-Island."
"While that's mostly true, I guess you could say that there actually is something here that I couldn't get back home," she admitted.
"You could say it's the opportunity to do the most good," she said as their eyes met.
"I still don't think I understand," Izuku admitted.
Melissa seemed to take a moment to gather herself.
"After everything that happened this past summer, and seeing how you handled it all… there was no doubt in my mind that you will make an amazing hero Izuku."
The boy in question felt him flushed immediately at the compliment. Just earlier this year he could barely even talk to a girl, so having an older beautiful girl complimenting him didn't bode well for his composure.
"Please, just let me finish," she said. It was the first time he'd ever heard her cut someone off. "As I said, after everything, I just knew you would be an amazing hero one day. It was easy to tell that you are closer to Uncle Might than the rest of his students. The fact that you were invited to I-Expo with him didn't make it hard to see. It was clear that he is mentoring you, probably getting you ready to be his successor or something."
Izuku stilled. Could she know? No… All Might said he'd never told either of the Shields about One for All.
"At first I thought it might be because you're quirks seem to be somewhat similar," she continued. "And then I realized, while that was true, Uncle Might wouldn't choose someone just for that reason. It's your determination, your drive to be a hero… to protect people. That's why he would choose to train someone to take his place one day personally."
"I don't know what to say," Izuku mumbled, trying to avoid outright confirming anything she said. "That still doesn't explain why you transferred here."
"No, it doesn't… not yet," she said. "Despite what happened… what my father did… I know his proudest achievement is the years he spent working with Uncle Might in the past. Everything he did was because of that. It doesn't make it right, but it is what it is. My father inspired me to become a support engineer and to save people in my own way, by helping heroes. After meeting you this summer, I started to think that maybe one day I could do the same thing for you that my father once did for Uncle Might."
There was a moment of silence between them. Izuku couldn't quite believe the fact that this girl seemed to think so highly of him. What had he done to deserve that trust that was placed in him? He was going to work as hard as he can to be the next Number One Hero… to not let All Might down, but Melissa didn't know any of that. She didn't know that he possessed One for All inside of him. How could she put so much faith into his abilities?
"You would really do all that for me?"
"Of course," Melissa responded. "There wasn't a doubt in my mind after everything we went through during I-Expo. You're going to be a great hero Izuku."
The ninth holder of One For All did his best to hold back the tears that threatened to escape his eyes. He didn't want to break down in front of Melissa. She didn't know how much this meant to him… to the boy who'd been seeking reassurance on his dream for so many years. If anyone, she was probably one of the only ones who could understand him though… not that he could tell her that he'd once been quirkless like her.
"I have to ask though, why come now?" He said. "Your father didn't start working with All Might until he was almost done at UA when he spent that one semester on exchange in America."
"Something like that was my intention initially," Melissa answered. "I thought I'd try to graduate from the Academy on I-Island first and be able to help you out then. Seeing the news lately about Uncle Might showed me that I would be forced to speed up my timetable. Its where I realized that where I graduated from didn't matter in the end. Things are changing in the world with Uncle Might's retirement, and if I wanted to help, it would have to be now, so I started to process to get myself transferred here to UA. Since I am a bit older, I don't think they would normally have let me partner up with you, but once I showed interest in attending here, they were eager to have me. I just made our partnership the condition of my enrollment, and well, here I am."
As happy as he was about all of this, Izuku had to resist the urge to groan. If Aizawa knew any of these details, which he was sure his homeroom teacher did, he would probably see this as some form of preferential treatment. He was probably going to be unbearable for the next little while, though once partnerships were formed, he didn't think the teachers would be very involved with it unless a problem of some kind arose.
"And your father was ok with this?" Izuku asked. He knew it was as somewhat personal question and that he was probably prying a little too much, but his curiosity got the better of him.
"I don't think he liked it much at first," she admitted. "Apart from the incident this past summer, I-Island is still considered one of the most secure places in the world. Even more security procedures have been put in place since you were there. Because of this, I think he always felt that I was relatively safe there, and was a bit worried about me coming to Japan without having a quirk and all, especially with everything that's happened recently. I explained myself though. I still don't know if he likes it, but he understands. How could he not?"
"How have things been… since everything that happened?" Izuku asked carefully.
Melissa shrugged, her lips turning down ever so slightly, "Things aren't the best for him right now. The board came down hard on him for his part in everything that happened. His reputation has taken a bit hit on the island. They've mostly covered it up outside of that though. They don't want what happened to get out to the rest of the world. As far as most people know, a criminal organization tried to break in during I-Expo and were stopped by a combination of our security measures and Uncle Might's timely intervention."
"Will your dad be ok?"
"He will," she said, and her voice sounded confident in this. "Dad's strong. He'll push through. He can handle this. I'm sure he will."
"I'm glad," Izuku said, and he meant it.
He still didn't think of David Shield as a criminal. He had been a desperate man who had gone to extreme measures to help his friend… to help All Might. His actions had been wrong, but his intent had been pure. He was sure the man regretted it all, and so Izuku didn't harbor any ill will towards him. He was sure the famous Support Engineer still had a lot to offer the world.
"Thanks, Izuku," Melissa said softly before her expression turned more serious. "So, what do you say then? Will you accept my offer? Shall we be partners and save the world together?"
Melissa held out her hand.
Izuku couldn't help the smile the broke out across his face, "Yes! We shall."
He took her hand.