What's up y'all? We back wit it. New Year, new chapter.
To be honest, I meant to finish this chapter way sooner, but I kinda got stuck in a rut, plus after being back at school for a semester I kinda took the winter break to unwind and be a bum.
But what's important is that I'm back. And I hopefully will continue to be back sooner or later.
Updates? Let's see...Culture Festival episode is about to be soon. Man is that gonna be fucking amazing.
America almost started WWIII and almost roped us into it.
Raptors are still going strong.
The news of the incident at USJ spread like wildfire, reaching every corner of UA's campus by the end of the day.
Despite their best efforts, the school's staff simply couldn't keep the inevitable from happening; Teenagers sharing gossip.
Of course, the other first-year hero course was no exception to this.
Class 1-B had been dismissed earlier in the day when Vlad King suddenly had to go to an important staff meeting, and almost as soon as they reached their dorm, news of the USJ incident explained why their Sensei cancelled class all of a sudden.
"Alright guys, make sure you finish those notes that Vlad King Sensei gave us to do for tomorrow. After that, we pretty much have the day off."
Itsuka had quickly embraced her role as 1-B's class rep, trying her best to help everyone stay focused on things while also not being too overbearing. She got along well with all of her new classmates and was happy with her situation.
"EVERYONE! YOU WON'T BELIEVE THIS! THOSE 1-A SCUM ARE ALREADY TRYING TO SWEEP US UNDER THE RUG!" One Monoma Neito yelled as he stormed into 1-B's common room with a deranged look on his face and his phone held out in front of him.
It was fair to say, as with basically everyone at UA, that all of her classmates had unique and somewhat eccentric personalities. And that was fine...mostly. But Monoma was a little...extreme when it came to the two first-year hero courses. For some reason, the blonde didn't like the other class and immediately tried to start a movement for the entirety of 1-B to be against them.
This was of course taken with a grain of salt by everyone else, as there was no real reason to hate class 1-A right off the bat. A rivalry was one thing but Monoma was sort of obsessed with it. And once Kendo's relationship with several of 1-A's students became known, the vendetta was shut down before it could really take off.
That didn't keep Monoma from taking it upon himself to hate on 1-A enough for everyone else.
"Look here! Not even a week into the first semester and they already pulled a stunt like this to capture the spotlight from right under our noses!" The phone was snatched out of his hand by Kendo, and she immediately went pale.
Her classmates looked at her with concern before everyone crowded around the small device and read the headline on the screen.
Not sure what to say to their grief-stricken class rep, a few other members of 1-B gave each other perturbed glances.
"Uhhh, Kendo? Maybe we should go see 1-A and check if they're alright. It would be a good chance to meet them anyway."
"Y-Yeah...Okay, Tokage..." The trio of Tokage, Tetsutetsu and Shiozaki pulled Kendo with them in the direction of 1-A's dorm, much to the chagrin of Monoma, who was being restrained by the rest of his peers.
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"Knock knock~! We're comin' in~!" The four 1-B students slowly stepped into 1-A's common room, looking around with slight confusion at how quiet it was.
"Where the hell is everyone?! HEY 1-A! GET DOWN HERE SO WE KNOW YOU'RE OKAY!" Tetsutetsu yelled through cupped hands at the ceiling.
"Tetsutetsu!" Kendo chided as she smacked him upside the head.
"Perhaps the class members are currently praying peacefully in their respective rooms. I believe that would be my course of action after experiencing such an ordeal."
Ignoring Shiozaki, the others turned to the elevator, where four 1-A students came to greet them.
"Salutations! Is there something that we can help you with? I am Tenya Iida, a member of Class 1-A! These are my classmates, Mineta-kun, Ojiro-kun, and Kirishima-kun!" Iida exclaimed. He peered past the strangers to see a familiar face, "Hello there, Kendo-kun!" Iida suddenly frowned, "I assume the fact that you're here means that you heard…"
"W-W-W-What if they're villains here to finish the job?! I don't care if there are hot girls here I can't take this twice in one day!" The short teen sobbed into Ojiro's tail.
"Take it easy, Mineta," Ojiro said with a sweatdrop, "They're from 1-B, the other hero-course."
"That's right! We came to check on you guys cause we heard what happened!" Tetsutetsu hollered.
"W-What happened, Iida?" The weak, troubled voice of Kendo from behind the commotion got everyone's immediate attention. Tetsutetsu dropped his shoulders and sighed heavily, sparing a glance at Shiozaki and Tokage, who wore frowns.
The boys of 1-A shared looks before all sighing themselves. "Come on guys, let's let Iida take care of this and go upstairs to check on the others." Kirishima led Ojiroand Mineta back to the elevator while Iida led the visitors to the couch area.
"Please have a seat." Sitting across from the 4 of them, Iida pushed his glasses up and sat with his eyes closed for several moments. "Now that everyone is calm and collected, I shall inform you of the events that have transpired earlier this day. From Mineta-kun's anxiety, I'm sure you can tell that there were several issues today. I would strongly suggest that you refrain from making any, *ahem*, unsavoury comments," He glanced at Tetsutetsu with a serious expression, "while I explain everything. So…"
Iida began detailing class 1-A's trip to the USJ, right from the time they reached the facility to the moment he had managed to escape and call for help. The rest of the details were told to him by his classmates, which he recounted to the best of his ability. All he personally observed after that was the trio of his classmates and pair of teachers being loaded into the ambulance and carried off towards the infirmary.
"So you can see why we are not particularly cheery at the moment. We haven't received any updates about Bakugo or Midoriya, but Todoroki should be back tomorrow."
The reactions from the other teens all varied slightly. From about halfway in, Shiozaki had been whispering prayers under her breath with her hands clasped together. Tokage had the lower half of her face buried in her shirt collar with scrunched eyebrows. Tetsutetsu sat with his arms crossed, a deep scowl on his face. And worst of all was Kendo. The orangette was as white as a sheet, hands trembling and breathing sharply.
"Kendo-kun? Are you alright? Would you like a glass of water? Perhaps a scone?"
Itsuka felt like vomiting. She could hear her heart pounding in her ears and spots began appearing in the corners of her vision. She was both shivering and burning up at the same time. Two of her best friends had gone through such a thing within the first week of their first year at UA. "I-I have to go."
"What?" No one else had the chance to comprehend what Kendo meant before she leapt up and ran out the door.
"Kendo!" Tokage immediately dashed after her, leaving Tetsutetsu and Shiozaki sitting on the couch with Iida.
Before Tetsutetsu could make another outburst, Shiozaki's vines shot out to cover his mouth and she slowly opened her eyes, bowing to Iida. "Thank you very much for having us, Iida-san. We'll get out of your way. God bless you." Bowing once more, she pulled her classmate with her out the door.
"Tetsutetsu. Let us return to the dorm to inform the rest of our class of the tragic event Iida-san told us about."
"What about Kendo and Tokage? Aren't you worried that they just ran off?"
Ibara shook her head gently, "The Lord is watching over all of us, and Tokage is watching over Kendo. We should assuage our class's concerns and let Kendo find a way to ease her concerns that we all saw back there. Come now." She began walking away, and Tetsutetsu could've sworn he saw a halo above her head. He rubbed his eyes confusedly before shrugging and following after her.
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The door to UA's infirmary slammed open, revealing a panting Kendo Itsuka. Hair a mess and clothes dishevelled, she dragged herself into the room only to be struck over the head by a wooden cane.
"Don't go running in here like a hooligan! This is an infirmary, not a zoo!" Recovery Girl shook her head and hobbled over to her desk.
Tokage finally caught up to Kendo and was surprised to see her squatting on the floor and holding the top of her head. "Kendo? What happened?" All she heard from the orangette was whimpering and sniffling.
"If you're here to see the three stooges, they're all over there," She said, pointing over to a large white curtain on the far side of the room. "But don't expect to get much from them."
The girls tentatively approached the curtain and peered inside, only to gasp in shock. They had never seen anyone covered in so many bandages in their young lives. Kendo found herself standing frozen between Bakugo and Midoriya. She felt powerless. There was nothing that she could do right now to make either of them any better, and she couldn't have been there in the moment to try and stop any of this from happening. She knelt down and gently grasped their hands, trying and failing to hold back tears. These two were probably the strongest people she knew. From the moment she met them, they constantly astounded and infuriated her with the kind of stunts that they would pull. But by all accounts they were in this state because they wanted to be; because they had to be. Iida had explained just how far they had gone to protect everyone from the villains that attacked at the USJ. It was so like them that it was laughable. It really made her think, 'Is this what being a hero is really like?'. Would this be something that she and all of her friends would have to get used to seeing and experiencing?
"Hmm, maybe this is a bad time to mention it...But why are all 3 of these guys so hot? Like, look at them, girl." She leaned towards Todoroki and smirked, "Ugh, those 1-A girls really got all this to work with?"
"Tokage! Read the room!"
"No, it's alright." The masculine voice caused Tokage to jump in surprise, her quirk activating as her limbs popped off of her body.
"Jesus Christ!" She managed to pull herself together as she held her hand over her thumping chest, "Man you scared me."
"Who are you?"
"Whoever you want me to be, hot stuff~," Tokage said with a smirk, before she was yanked away by Kendo.
"Sorry, about her. I don't think we've actually met. I'm Kendo Itsuka, class 1-B's rep and the hot mess over there is Tokage Setsuna."
"Yeah, I'm the hot mess…" Setsuna muttered under her breath.
"Well, why are you here?"
'Wow, he's as blunt as Midoriya said he was…', "Well, I heard about what happened and I wanted to check on my friends to see if they were okay."
"...But we've never met."
Kendo blinked several times, "I-I meant Bakugo and Midoriya…"
Tokage found this exchange very amusing and was laughing uncontrollably behind a very taken aback Kendo, while Todoroki's expression had not once become anything that resembled any form of emotion.
"Oh. Well, they're still unconscious."
"I...can see that...Thank you?" Itsuka looked to her friend for any sort of help in navigating this excruciating conversation. Setsuna merely began laughing even harder and gave her a thumbs up.
The curtain suddenly slid open as Recovery Girl walked in. "Oh, you're awake now, sonny. Good, now I can give you some more treatment. You two, shoo!" She waved the girls away and pulled the curtain shut behind them. "You can come back tomorrow after school!"
Now out in the hall, Kendo leaned her head back onto the wall and breathed deeply. Tokage came up next to her and gave her a small grin, "Feelin' okay?"
"N-Yeah? I don't really know...The way Recovery Girl was acting made it seem like everything was gonna be fine, but...Is this the kinda stuff we are always gonna be dealing with? Doesn't it seem like a lot for first-years to handle?"
Tokage shrugged, "I guess it comes with the territory, right? Number one hero school in the world's gotta have some kinda slew of crazy stuff that sets us apart from everyone else, no?"
"I guess you're right. But still, I don't know if I'm ready for something like that. We've barely been here a week! You saw how on edge 1-A was after all this, reasonably so but you know what I mean. How long before we gotta go through something like this?"
Jokingly pondering it, Tokage tilted her head with her hand rubbing her chin, "I give it till summer break, tops."
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UA was temporarily closed the day following the USJ incident. It felt like too short of a time to process everything, but the students were back at school the day after that nonetheless.
"Alright, everyone, thank you for taking your seats. We haven't received a memo regarding who will be substituting for Aizawa-Sensei, so—"
"Morning." The class was stunned to see Aizawa shuffling through the door and into the classroom. He was so covered in bandages, they could've just as easily mistaken him for a mummy.
"Sensei, you're already back?! That's beyond 'pro'!"
Iida shot out of his seat and waved his arm up and down in front of him, "Sensei! It is wonderful to see that you're alright!"
"Can you really say that he's 'alright'? He looks like a walking roll of toilet paper!" Kaminari's observation received worried nods from his classmates.
"Don't worry about me, I'm fine. After all, you have more important things to concern yourselves with. The battle hasn't really ended for you yet..."
All 17 present students gulped. Things seemed to be resolved at the USJ after All Might and the other pros showed up...Were the villains already going to strike again?
"...The annual UA Sports Festival is fast approaching, students!"
Ah yes, the Sports Festival. As much as it seemed like they were trying to make people forget, UA was a high school. Like any other high school in Japan, the Sports Festival was an integral part of each and every school year.
"I would like to wait for the class to be full again before I go into detail, but you can pass the information along. Besides, repeating myself would be more than troublesome. Anyway, UA's Sports Festival isn't like any other sports festival that you've ever been in. Yes, in principle, it's the same. But what makes this different...Is publicity! This will be the first chance for the rest of Japan and the rest of the world to see you. From the Sports Festival follows public notoriety and most importantly, reasons for Hero Agencies to be interested in you. Play your cards right, and many agencies will be asking for you. Play them wrong…And you may find yourself hard-pressed to get any pros to even sniff in your general vicinity. So don't slack off now! Like I said, the battle isn't over for you kids."
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Bakugo wasn't sure exactly how long he'd been staring out of the infirmary window.
April had brought one of its signature showers at some point, the steady pitter-patter of water droplets hitting the sill had brought him out of his sleep. How long he had been sleeping for, his guess was as good as anyone's. He felt tired. Not in any usual way that he'd ever felt before. No, he felt...drained. Like all his energy had just been sapped away. When he woke up, he scanned his body and tested out various motions, the dots connecting in his mind. That old bat must've healed him as soon as they got back from the USJ. Katsuki remembered Deku telling him about her; how she used people's own stamina to heal them. It was useful but fucking nasty that he had to get kissed by an old-ass lady to heal his stupid injuries.
There was a myriad of emotions and questions flying around within Katsuki, all of them revolving around the bandaged boy laying in the bed next to his. Deku didn't look as bad as he thought he would, but that was because Recovery Girl had probably started treatment on him as well. He wasn't sure where to begin in his own head, let alone try and figure out where to start in questioning Deku about what had happened. Here's what he did know for sure:
Deku had somehow transformed into something completely new that he had never seen before. This form was crazy powerful and almost single-handedly beat that Nomu fucker. And most important of all, from what he could gather, Deku had no control or consciousness of what he was doing. He was going berserk; essentially a wild animal.
Katsuki wasn't as big of a nerd as Deku was, so maybe he wasn't as well versed in the nature of quirks and how they work. But there was no way in hell that that was normal. The problem now was how to go about getting to the bottom of it.
"Ah, young Bakugo! Glad to see you're awake!" All Might greeted as he entered the infirmary carrying two bento boxes. "Before you ask, this bento is from your mother." All Might placed Katsuki's meal at the foot of his bed.
"You talked to my old lady?"
"Yes! After what happened, it's only natural for a parent to be concerned! Bakugo-san is...ahem...quite the colourful character...But rest assured! We've cleared everything up and it's all good! She's more reasonable than I initially thought. She was honestly put at ease much quicker than Young Midoriya's mother!" All Might sweatdropped remembering his lengthy conversation with Inko that involved more crying than he'd ever witnessed in his entire life. The woman passed out from dehydration twice! Luckily, All Might was able to use his charisma and notoriety as the number 1 hero to calm her worries a tad, but he feared this would not be the last time that he would have to deal with her...Especially considering who her son was.
"All Might...What do you know about what happened to Deku at the USJ?"
'SHIIIIIIT!' All Might should have anticipated that Bakugo would be so straight to the point. His protege had detailed him and his abrasive friend's relationship, particularly about how he may have been growing suspicious regarding Izuku and One For All. Bakugo was a sharp-witted young man, so he had to be very cautious to not trip up in his explanation. Luckily, as a pro hero, he had a prepared story to cover for himself! "I'm glad you asked, young Bakugo! Developments such as these are actually not uncommon! You're familiar with the term 'Quirk Factor', yes?"
"Yeah, that's what they call the genes and shit that allow people to use their quirks. You're saying Deku's quirk factor fucked up and went outta control?"
All Might snapped his fingers and shot out a thumb's up. "T-T-That's right! That's exactly right. As I said, it's not as rare as you'd think! I've had many encounters where villains have had their emotions get the best of them and it affected their quirks. Think of it like how we get huge boosts in adrenaline when we are angry. We sort of lose any forms of self-preservation, right?" All Might finished, beads of sweat running down his forehead. He had lied plenty to members of the press or talk show hosts, but there was something about lying to his student's face that threw him off.
Katsuki narrowed his eyes for a moment, causing All Might to tense up. His story seemed pretty damn believable so why was he being looked at like he had just been caught with his hand in the cookie jar right before dinner?
"I guess...When I lose my shit too much my explosions get kinda out of control. But wasn't what happened to Deku too extreme?"
"W-Well the true nature of quirks is still highly researched to this day, Young Bakugo! I suppose there are still some mysteries that need to be uncovered! Now, Recovery Girl told me that you are free to return to the dorms, but make sure to take it easy! You're cleared for action tomorrow, so I'll see you in class!"
Katsuki collected his things and slowly made his way out of the infirmary, giving All Might one last look over his shoulder before he exited. As he made his way down the hall and back to his dorm, Katsuki kissed his teeth and shook his head in frustration. "Even All Might's not gonna tell the truth, huh?" He paused and took a moment to look out the window-wall beside him. The rain had picked up into a harsh downpour as students hurried along the brick paths to find shelter. "Just what are you hiding, Deku?" It looked like a storm was well on its way.
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"Young Midoriya! Wake up! I never thought I'd have to use this, but...Vermont Smash!"
Fed up with waiting for him to wake up, All Might began lightly slapping Izuku's cheek at blinding speeds until he began to stir.
"That's right, my boy! Gl—BLEUGHH!" All Might puffed back down and wiped the blood off chin, "Glad to see you're awake, kid. You gave everyone quite the scare if I'm honest. How much do you remember?"
Izuku stuck his lower lip out as he rubbed his chin in thought, "Umm...I remember going to fight that Nomu with Kacchan and Todoroki-kun...We were doing okay at first but then started getting overwhelmed. After that...I-uh...I'm not sure? I actually can't remember. What did happen?"
All Might sighed and pulled a chair next Izuku's bed. "I think you should have a seat for this."
"Uhh, I'm already sitting in this bed?"
"Yeah, I know. I was talking to myself. Anyway," All Might sat down and crossed his arms, "The first thing I'm gonna ask you is in regard to your quirk. What's the largest transformation that you can achieve?"
Izuku thought for a moment, "The largest I can think of is an elephant. African Bush Elephants can reach shoulder height of about 13 feet tall. Why?"
"I thought as much. So what do you think about this?" All Might pulled his phone out and swiped to a photo, holding the screen out in front of Izuku's face. The teen's eyes widened in shock as he held the phone and stared at the massive ape standing in the centre square of the USJ. Was he seriously supposed to believe that this monster was him? "I-I-I…"
"Young Ashido managed to take that photo at some point. Why she had her phone on her person is concerning but not important right now. Believe it or not, that's you. I saw it myself. From what I can tell, you were not in control of yourself in this state. And before you worry, you didn't accidentally hurt any of your classmates. You actually had a huge hand in helping defeat the Nomu. So I'll ask you again to try your best and remember anything about this form."
Izuku held his head in his hands, thoroughly shell-shocked. It was a lot to take in. Not being able to recount a significant amount of time is jarring enough as it is, but to think that he spent that blackout like that? He had no idea his quirk was capable of anything close to that. It didn't even look like an actual animal he'd seen before. It looked familiar, but he couldn't put his finger on it. 'Come on, Midoriya Izuku! Wrack that brain of yours, remember something! Anything!' He dug through every crevice of his memory for anything that could be useful information. "Damn it! I'm sorry, All Might. I can't remember."
His teacher nodded in understanding, "Don't worry about it, kid. All that matters right now is that you helped save the day, and I'm proud of you." He gave his ward a warm grin before growing serious once more. "Now, we don't have a ton of information on what happened, but I theorize that it had something to do with One For All."
"Really? How come? I thought I got One For All and Animorph to coexist?"
"That's what I thought as well, but I don't really see any other possible explanation that makes sense. Dual quirk users are rare enough as it is, so there aren't many past examples to work with. I called in a favour, and as soon as you're back on your feet, we are going to go meet someone who should be able to help with One For All. In the meantime, take it easy, go back and see your classmates to let them know that you're alright. I'll come to see you soon."
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As soon as Izuku walked through the door, he caught sight of all his classmates before him. He hardly had a chance to greet them before he was essentially dog-piled by half his class and his dog.
"Everyone! Midoriya-san just got back from the infirmary!"
At Momo's scolding, everyone got up and allowed the poor boy some breathing room.
"Nice to see you guys. I'm really happy that everyone's alright after the USJ."
"We should be saying that to you, dude! You were like super messed up, man!" Kaminari's words earned him a pulse in the sternum from Jiro.
"We are all ecstatic about your recovery, Midoriya-san. From the bottom of our hearts." Izuku couldn't stop the grin from forming on his face and he shared another hug with the rest of his class.
Izuku took a seat on the couch, where Nozomi glomped him, licking his face all over. "Aw, I missed you too, girl!" Managing to pry the canine off of his face, he let her rest her head on his lap, "So, what'd I miss?"
"I'm glad you asked," Aizawa interjected as he shuffled into the room, still heavily bandaged.
"Your classmates were nice enough to take extra notes for you to catch up with. And these,"
Aizawa dropped a stack of papers as high as the couch was onto the seat next to Izuku, "Are the assignments that you missed. Plus Ultra." He said dryly as he walked away.
Izuku looked at the tower of pages and sighed, "Plus Ultra."
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"Ahhh~ something about being back in the dorms is so satisfying. I know it's only been a couple of days, but I feel like I haven't been here in like 10 months!"
"You got that right, girl! I bet you had a lot of fun with Uraraka-san and Yaoyorozu-san, huh? You relax while I get started on my homework. I have a lot of catching up to do, after all." Izuku sat down at his desk and got to work. Shortly into his quest, Todoroki walked in. He paid the half-and-half teen no mind and kept at his work. After several minutes of quiet, he looked up to see Todoroki standing right above him, staring at him with a blank expression. "Uhh...Yes?"
Todoroki merely locked eyes with him for a few more moments, before finally speaking. "I heard about what happened at the USJ."
"You seem to have some hidden strengths that I wasn't aware of."
"Believe me, Todoroki-kun. I have no idea what happened. I have no idea how or why it happened either. It's honestly bugging me a little bit, hehe."
"Whatever it is, it doesn't matter. I'm still going to win the Sports Festival."
"The Sports Festival?"
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"The Sports Festival, Young Midoriya!"
All Might and Izuku were in the teacher's lounge after the latter called for a midday meeting.
"I'm sure you know all the details about it, ya little nerd!"
"Of course, All Might! All of the school's departments mix into one big mishmash and organize various competitions as preliminary rounds for each grade. Then the winning students move on to compete in the main event, the fighting tournament."
"Correctomundo! In other words, it's your chance to show the world just what you're made of! I was going to talk to you about it before, but I figured you'd want to think of other things so soon after leaving the infirmary."
"Well, I mean...That makes sense, but...To be honest, in the wake of everything leading up to now with the USJ and those villains and everything I'm still sort of trying to take everything in. And I'm already sort of already under your wing, so there's no real personal motivation to make any kind of mark on the Sports Festival. Even more than that, I—"
"For the love of all that is good, STOP MUTTERING!"
"Huh? Oh, sorry!" Izuku rubbed his neck sheepishly.
"Listen here, Young Midoriya. There's a significant difference between those who are always aiming for the top and those who aren't. It may not seem like a big deal at this level, but once you go out there and become a pro, it will set you apart from the run-of-the-mill people who just so happened to make it out of amateurism. I want you to go into this year's Festival, and anything else for that matter, with this in it to win it attitude. You need to be able to constantly strive to be the best version of yourself. A constant quest to try and be better than you were yesterday. We don't quit, we don't cower, we don't run, we don't settle. We endure and conquer. That's the mindset I want from you, Young Midoriya. The Mamba Mentality!"
Izuku sat with his face scrunched up in thought at his mentor's words. All Might stood up and turned towards the window, overlooking UA's campus. "Look, I'm not gonna force you to do anything. I just ask that you take a good, strong look at yourself and see exactly what I see, and take it too those other kids in the Festival." The lanky man turned back to his protege, "Now, let us LUNCH."
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As the final bell rang for the day, 1-A's students began packing their things, ready to go back to the dorms after another gruelling day at school.
"Whoooa...What the heck?!"
Ochako's exclamation brought the class's attention to the large group of students standing right in front of their classroom's door.
"Those guys are crowding the exit! What are they here for?" Mineta said shortly.
"They're trying to scope out the competition, retard. They wanna see the kids who made it through a legitimate villain attack. They're scouting us before the big battle, dickhead."
"Sorry, he gets like that when he's in neutral mode," Izuku whispered to the emotionally battered Mineta.
"It's pointless, so why don't you just go fuck yourselves, ya bunch of pricks. Ya goddamn mob"
"Bakugo-kun, don't go calling people you don't know a 'mob' right off the bat!" Iida yelled.
"I came to see what you guys are made of, yeah, but I really didn't expect you to be such a pompous asshole. At least those other two from the student council weren't like this" A messy tuft of hair said, as it weaved through the crowd. Shinso emerged from the mob and stood before Bakugo. "Are there more kids in the hero department like this?"
"The fuck did you say to me, you Troll Doll reject?!" Behind Bakugo, Iida and Midoriya were motioning for Shinso to stop talking.
"You know, there's a whole bunch of kids who wind up in the Gen Ed department because they failed the entrance exam to the hero department. And based on the results of the Sports Festival, people can even be considered for transfer into heroics. That's to say the opposite is also true...Take it from me, a dumb old Gen Ed kid...Wouldn't it be great to pull the rug out from under those hero kids while they're up on their high horses? Consider this a declaration of war." He said before walking off. As soon as he did, a small girl with blonde hair came up and bowed repeatedly.
"I'm very sorry about Shinso, please excuse us!" Futaba waved shyly to Midoriya and Yaoyorozu before scurrying off.
"Hey, you!" Tetsutetsu popped out of the crowd. "We came to check up on you guys before, but I don't wanna hear from some snot-nosed punk! I take back 1-B's hospitality!"
Still standing in the doorway, Katsuki shot a glare at the remaining students, "Anyone else got somethin' to say?!"
The crowd immediately dispersed, leaving class 1-A in the wake of the brouhaha.
"Dude, what did you just do?!"
"Yeah, now we're gonna get haters up in our grill!"
"Listen, assholes. None of that matters once you're at the top. You all got a taste of fighting villains. Show those pricks what that means when the time comes."
"Wow, that was...oddly inspiring."
"Oh, man! That's so manly!"
"He does have a point. We are all here to be at the top."
"Don't listen to that dumbass, guys!" Kaminari pleaded, "All he did was make us targets for everyone else!"
Izuku nodded resolutely to himself, 'Kacchan is absolutely right! I never should have questioned All Might! This is what we're here for! To be the best!'
B ~ E ~ A ~ S ~ T M ~ O ~ D ~ E
For the next two weeks, everyone's training regimens would elevate to brand new heights. The Sports Festival would be a wonderful stage to make their debuts to the world, and no one wanted to squander this chance to impress the pros. Everyone put in their best efforts, all deciding to train individually in order to not give themselves any disadvantages against each other.
For Izuku, it was time for him to meet this person that All Might seemed so anxious for him to meet. Well...maybe just anxious in general.
"Come on, leg! Stop shaking!"
He'd been this way the entire train ride. Izuku was really starting to get worried about whoever he was going to meet if the thought of them turned All Might into a teenager going to the doctor's office alone for the first time. (It's scary, okay?)
It only got worse once they got off the train at their stop and were walking down the street to their destination. Izuku winced at the looks that people walking by were giving to his teacher. In all fairness, with his skinny frame and sunken in eyes, he probably looked like a junkie of some kind.
Rounding the last corner, Izuku stopped dead. Whatever he had been expecting to see was not remotely close to what his eyes were currently fixed upon.
"Uhh...All Might? Are you sure this is the right place?" It was a dump! Izuku had never seen a more run-down place in his life. It looked like someone had taken all the trash he had cleaned from the beach in the summer and tried to make a sculpture out of it.
"Unfortunately...yes I am," He let out a desolate sigh, "Let's get this over with."
The pair walked up the steps and stopped at the door. All Might pushed Izuku forward and pointed towards the doorbell.
"Seriously, All Might?! Jesus!" He turned around to see the supposed greatest hero in the world cowering on the edge of the stoop. Izuku shook his head and put his hero suit case under his arm so that he could press the doorbell. They waited for a few minutes, but there was no answer.
"Hello?" Izuku tried to call out through the wood. He put his ear to the door to try and hear for any signs of people and his weight caused it to slowly creak open.
"That's strange that the door would be unlocked…"
Shrugging in response, Izuku decided to just go for it and pushed the door all the way open. He stepped inside, struggling to see in the darkness.
"It's really dark, I can't really say anythi—OH MY GOD!"
Izuku's scream caused All Might to rush into the apartment as well. He frantically patted the wall in search of the light switch, finally finding and flipping it to reveal a small elderly man - in what looked to be some kind of hero costume - lying face down in a pool of thick red fluid.
Before his student could let out another terrified scream, All Might covered his mouth with his hand.
"After all these years, you'd think that he'd get a new bit…"
"Toshinori!" The old men yelled as he leapt to his feet and smacked All Might over the head with a wooden cane, "You're late!"
"Ouch! I-I'm sorry, Sensei!"
"Semphei?!" Izuku yelled through All Might's fingers.
"Oh, sorry." He released Izuku's mouth. "Yes, Young Midoriya...This is Gran Torino. He's an old pro...and used to be my teacher at UA." He said with a shiver.
"That's right! How come you never visit me until you need something, you little brat!"
Under other circumstances, Izuku would be more worried/amused with how All Might was getting sonned so hard, but he had other things in mind.
"Former...teacher?!" His eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. "I-I-I-It is an honour to meet you, sir!" Bowing up and down as fast as he could, he paid no mind to the looks he was getting from All Might, "Wait, how come I've never heard of any pro named Gran Torino?" He pulled a stack of notebooks out of his backpack and began combing through them at a blinding pace.
"This is the kid you picked?"
All Might pinched the bridge of his nose, "H-He has his moments. Believe me, he's got a ton of potential. Now, I believe we should not waste a moment and get right down the business!"
Gran Torino nodded, "Alright, kid." Izuku looked up from his books, "How well have you honed in One For All up until this point."
The green-haired teen hopped to his feet, "Well I can essentially control about 28 percent of One For All, spreading 7 percent to each of my limbs, and—What?" Izuku lost his train of thought when he noticed Gran Torino giving him a bewildered expression. Then, faster than he could react, he had been smacked over the head by the old man's cane.
"Are you some kind of idiot?! That's not how One For All works! What in the world made you think that it makes sense for you to be able to isolate increments of your quirk like that? That doesn't even make sense!" He struck Izuku over the head several more times, "If you have 7 percent in one part of your body you have 7 percent in ALL of your body! Toshinori!" He directed his malice at All Might, who also suddenly received a bonk over the head. "Why didn't you explain this?!"
"Y-Y-You know I'm not good with m-math, Sensei!"
Gran Torino rubbed his temples in frustration, "Look, brat. Quirks don't work like that! You can't turn them on and then segment them! You either turn them on in one area or everywhere!"
Izuku now sat slumped on the floor with a rain cloud over his head, "I didn't even know how my quirk worked all this time…"
"So basically, you can use 7 percent of One For All properly...Not bad, but still not great. Toshi could use almost all of it when he was your age!"
The rain cloud over Izuku's head only darkened and expanded.
"We're essentially gonna have to rebuild you from the ground up. Toshi! Since you are an idiot and can't even understand the basics, go to the supermarket and buy us dinner!" The skinny man obliged without complaint and vanished out the door. "Alright, kid. Let's get to work. First, explain to me exactly what you have been doing and are able to do with One For All. And stop moping! It's not your fault Toshinori is a blockhead!"
Izuku picked himself up and breathed deeply, "Okay, so I came up with a way to use One For All more easily by spreading out the amount I could handle throughout my body. I call it Full Cowl. I guess the amount is 7 percent as you said before...And from there I worked to incorporate my natural quirk, which allows me to transform into different animals."
"Hmm, I see. Toshi told me about what happened at the USJ, and before you ask, no I am not sure about what could have happened. But what I CAN do is help you get better with OFA so hopefully, that doesn't happen again. Show me this Full Cowl with your other quirk."
Izuku nodded as he spread his feet and bent into an athletic stance. He closed his eyes and exhaled slowly, "Here we go. One For All: Full Cowl!"
"Are you gonna do it or what?"
"Huh?" Izuku opened his eyes in confusion, and much to his disbelief, his skin hadn't begun glowing green and there were no orange markings in sight. He screwed his eyes shut, visibly straining to call out his gifted quirk, only to feel it in small sputters, as if he were a car in the winter that wouldn't start. Small strands of green light shot off of him feebly before he grew tired and gave up. "W-What...Why can't I call out One For All?! I can feel it, but it won't go anywhere!" He was struck over the head before he could freak out any more.
"Calm down!" Gran Torino stroked his beard thoughtfully for a moment, "One For All is still within you, so you didn't lose it. How about your animal quirk?" Izuku easily transformed to and from a tiger with ease. "Hmm…" The old man crossed his arms and chewed his lip for a few moments. "Wait!" he exclaimed, "This reminds me of something that happened with Nana! Don't move!" Gran Torino suddenly rocketed out of the room using some sort of propulsion that expelled from the bottom of his feet. This stunned Izuku and before he even realized it, he had a notebook in his hands to write down what quirk he may have just seen.
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"Here is your change, sir! Have a wonderful day!"
All Might bowed to the clerk and left the grocery store, plenty of food in hand.
As he walked down the street, he let out a sigh. "I really dropped the ball, huh. It's not my fault, math is hard! Fractions are so confusing! I'm the Symbol of Peace not the Symbol of Pi! I may not know math very well but I'm not stupid!"
"Excuse me, sir!" He turned to see a young woman walk up to him, "Do you have change for a 5000 yen bill?"
"Ah, certainly! Just give me one moment, miss!" All Might fished his wallet out of his pocket and began digging through the coin compartment. "Alright, 5000 Yen…Uh...Uhhhhh…"
"Um...sir? Your head is smoking!"
"Hang on, gimme a minute! I CAN DO THIS!"
B ~ E ~ A ~ S ~ T M ~ O ~ D ~ E
After about 15 minutes of anxious waiting, Izuku finally saw Gran Torino return to the room carrying a large storage bin. He plopped the container on the floor and began digging through it.
"Let's see...Let's see...Aha!" Torino pulled himself out of the bin and held out a beaten-up book of some kind.
Wordlessly, he handed it to Izuku, who inspected it all over.
"What is this...a journal?" He flipped through the many pages of entries written down on the worn pages.
"That's right. That journal belonged to Toshinori's predecessor."
"You don't mean…!"
He nodded firmly, "That book belonged to Shimura Nana, the 7th wielder of One For All. I believe it will give you the answers you're looking for. Read through it and I'll check up on you later."
Torino left and Izuku took a seat on the couch. He spent a few moments merely admiring the object in his hands. "This journal belonged to All Might's mentor and the 7th holder of One For All…" The fact that he was holding such an insanely awesome relic was setting off his fanboyism, but he held back. He took a deep breath to calm his nerves and opened it to the first page.
Minutes turned to hours as Izuku read page after page. The journal recounted endless tales of Nana's heroic endeavours over her life leading from her receiving One For All, to her love life and family, to her time training All Might after passing it down to him. However, the pages end soon after All Might begins his second year at UA. Curious, Izuku backtracked and reread the journal over and over. After the fifth read, he found himself visibly frustrated as he failed to pick up on any answers to his problems with One For All. "What am I missing here?" Izuku went back to Nana's early days when she was training with One For All in search of any hints. "Let's see…Hey, wait a second…" Flipping one of the pages, he noticed that it seemed thicker than the others. He pushed the page down into the book and noticed a slight opening along the edge of it. "These pages are stuck together!" Izuku dug through his bag for his keys and used it to split the pages entirely. His eyes widened as the hidden contents of the journal were revealed to him. Or so he thought.
He had to read the pages several times to make sure he wasn't reading it wrong. "What does any of this mean?! It's nonsense!"
He had to be missing something! There's no way the hidden pages would have been just full of gibberish for no reason! "Okay, Midoriya Izuku! Focus! You can figure it out!"
J qnax jufjhb jwbfnab cqn ljuu
Bnaerwp cqn ynxyun, Xwn Oxa Juu
Cqn byrarc xo cqn lqxbnw rb ljaarnm frcqrw
Cx ljuu xw cqn yjbc hxd ljuu cqaxdpq hxda cfrw
Understandably, Izuku was confused. Every other page was written in Japanese, so it was highly unlikely that it was another language. It had to be some sort of code. But how was he supposed to figure out what kind of code it was?! "Think, man, think!" HIs bright young mind was chugging as hard as it could, and he felt like the answer was on the tip of his tongue. "I wish I knew how to decipher codes! There's gotta be a better way!"
Izuku facepalmed harder than he ever had in his entire life. How stupid could he be? He had the answer right in front of him the entire time and it took him this long to think of it!
Pulling out his phone, Izuku navigated to the app store. "Took 2 freakin' seconds…"
After downloading 1 of hundreds of available decoder apps, he snapped a photo of the code and waited for it to be processed.
"Alright, let's see here…" Apparently the code was something called the Caesar Cipher. It was one of the most popular codes that dated back centuries. The gist of it was letters were shifted by a certain number, in this case by 9. "So if every letter is shifted by 9, the code really says…"
A hero always answers the call
Serving the people, One For All
The spirit of the chosen is carried within
To call on the past, you call through your twin
"...Now what does this mean?!"
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"I have returned!" All Might closed the door behind him and brought the groceries to the kitchen.
"Toshinori!" All Might had no time to respond before Gran Torino came firing out of the hallway and headbutted him right in the face. As the Symbol of Peace lay on the ground in pain, his old teacher stood above him shaking his fist. "You've been gone for 3 hours! The grocery store is 5 blocks away! What were you doing?!"
"I'm sorry, Sensei!" He bowed his head to the floor, "I got uh...Held up!"
"Yeah yeah, just get to cookin'!"
All Might pulled the vegetables out of his grocery bag and began washing them, "How is Young Midoriya doing?"
Torino didn't look up from the grocery bags he was digging through, "He's been trying to crack some riddle from Nana's old journal this entire time. I thought he was supposed to be smart. Hey, where's the Taiyaki? You're useless, Toshinori! You listening?" He looked up to see a cloud of dust and an apron floating where All Might once stood. "Toshinori?"
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"YOUNG MIDORIYA!" All Might had buffed up in order to reach the teen as fast as possible. He skidded to a stop behind the couch Izuku had situated himself on and leaned over the back of it. "Is it true that you have Master's Journal?!"
"Busy." Izuku dismissed his teacher with a flick of the wrist, causing him to instantly deflate.
Izuku suddenly spun around and grabbed All Might by the collar, their faces inches away from each other. The green-haired teen looked absolutely deranged. His eyes were bloodshot and he was blinking rapidly.
"I...have spent...the last 3 hours...staring at this riddle...and I have NOTHING! It's killing me, All Might! I can feel my brain cells melting as we speak!"
*SMACK* "Get ahold of yourself Young Midoriya!"
Izuku shuddered and blinked several times, "Thanks, All Might. I needed that."
"Don't mention it, kid. Now go clean yourself up, you look terrible." All Might gently pried the journal out of Izuku's hand and pushed him towards the washroom.
Izuku entered the washroom and leaned on the countertop. He splashed cold water on his face a few times and took a look in the mirror.
"I need to figure out what that riddle means! The spirit of the chosen is carried within...To call on the past, you call through your twin...twin...twin...I don't have a twin! To call on your past...call through your twin…" He stared at his reflection, emerald eyes twinkling in the light of the room, "Wait! My reflection in the mirror is like my twi—AHHH!"
"What just happened?!" Izuku opened his eyes after a blinding light emanating from the mirror had essentially flashbanged him, scared and shocked to realize that he couldn't move. He found himself in some sort of grayish-white expanse of nothingness. For some reason, it felt incredibly familiar to him. He had seen something like this before...But where?
"Finally!" Izuku heard a voice call from behind him, but he still couldn't move to turn around and see who it was. "You finally figured it out!" The distinctly female voice didn't sound familiar. He saw movement out of the corner of his eye and before him revealed a dark-haired woman wearing a dark sleeveless bodysuit under a large white cape.
"W-Who are you?" He couldn't help but gawk at the incredibly beautiful woman. "W-Where am I?"
The woman let out a chuckle, putting her hands on her hips as she leaned closer to Izuku. "I guess I can't blame you for being so on edge." She leaned back and crossed her arms under her large bust, causing Izuku to blush profusely and avert his gaze. "Ha, good to know you're in working order, kid! Alright, enough jokes. I'll get down to brass tacks. It's nice to officially meet you, Midoriya Izuku, 9th wielder of One For All! I'm Shimura Nana, 7th wielder of One For All!"
"...I'm sorry I must have heard you incorrectly. I could've sworn you just said you were the 7th wielder of One For All, Shimura Nana. Like All Might's Master, Shimura Nana."
"Nope, you heard right. That's exactly what I said and that's exactly who I am!" Nana finished with a victory sign.
"Hmm, I thought so...WHAT?!"
"I like you, kid! You're funny!" Nana managed to squeak out amidst a fit of laughter. She wiped a tear from the corner of her eye. "So! You figured out the riddle! Good on ya! So that must mean One For All is giving you some trouble?"
Still sort of shell-shocked, Izuku merely nodded dumbly.
"Well, you know, don't get discouraged. I've been watching, well...we've been watching and you're doing a great job!"
"Wait, we?" For a moment, 6 faint figures became visible behind Nana, all with glowing eyes, "Oh my gosh...Are those…?"
"On the money, kid. All of the past wielders of One For All live within you. We've been watching over you ever since Toshi passed it down. There's a whole bunch of stuff about One For All that you have no idea about, but it will all come in due time. But I'm pretty surprised...You don't remember anything about the doors?"
"The...doors?" Izuku wondered aloud, "What doors?"
Nana pursed her lips, "Hmm, well then it's not my place to say right now. Don't worry about it."
"Alright, I guess. Wait, so if you're actually the spirit of a past wielder of One For All...does that mean we're like in my head?"
"So were you in All Might like this too?"
"Well, yes and no. We never really had to come out and talk to Toshi. He figured out all this stuff on his own." She sweatdropped at Izuku's sudden depressed aura, "No no no! Don't get it twisted. Well...Toshi was a natural. A real freak of nature when it came to fighting and honing in One For All and all that...But what I meant was that he never had the problem that you have or that any of us have had. You see...Toshinori was quirkless."
Izuku's eyes widened in shock. All Might used to be quirkless? The world's greatest hero...The strongest man in the world...before One For All...He had no powers…
"Toshinori was special in that way. But more than that, he was special because I saw in him what he saw in you and what my master saw in me. The heart of a true hero. The will of a champion. The fire within that drives us to be the best there can be for the good of the world. So chin up and keep working hard. Speaking of which...we need to talk about your little issue."
"You know how to help?"
Nana scoffed and playfully waved Izuku off, "Of course! I went through the exact same thing when I was learning how to use it. As you know, One For All isn't like other quirks. It's not naturally within you like your actual quirk. Think of it sort of like a virus. It's a foreign entity that enters your system. So your body is trying to fight it. Of course, it's not exactly as scientific as that. The thing that makes One For All so special as a quirk is that, as it has been passed down, it's sort of gained something like a mind of its own. I'm not sure if us being here is the reason or us being here is a byproduct of it, but you get the idea. All Might may have accepted you as his successor, but One For All may not have just yet."
"B-But...What else can I do? I trained so hard! I've been training with All Might all this time!"
"Let me ask you something...What kind of hero do you want to be?"
Izuku thought for a moment if there was any trick to the question. Why else would she be asking it, though? "I...want to be like All Might! I want to be a hero that everyone can depend on! I want to save everyone with a smile, just like him!"
He waited for Nana's reaction, but her expression was unreasonable. After a few moments, she smiled tenderly at him. "That's not a bad answer, kid. I think if you keep working hard and make sure your ideals are right for someone who bears the burdens that come with One For All, then you'll be okay. One For All will know when it's right to fully accept you as the true next wielder."
Izuku beamed at the dark-haired woman before quirking an eyebrow, "Wait...that's it?"
"That's it. You are gonna have some catching up to do with One For All, but with Sorahiko and Toshi there to help you, I think you're in good hands for the moment."
Izuku's vision started to grow blurry and he felt himself being lifted up into the air.
"Good luck, kid. Maybe we'll talk again soon!"
As Izuku's body fully faded away, Nana let out a deep sigh. The 6 shadowy figures returned and surrounded her.
"You saw it yourself, Seventh. He is not yet ready to accept One For All. You cannot act on your own volition against the will of the rest of us! The boy is fortunate he can pull out any of it out at all!" One of the ominous figures spoke out.
"Oh come on, Fourth! He has the potential to be better than all of us put together!" Nana argued, "He just needs some time to figure things out! It's not his fault that his principles are built that way, he's still a kid! How could he not idolize Toshi and want to be just like him!"
"Time is something that we can ill afford to waste! If the boy doesn't smarten up soon, then everything we've all worked for will have been for nothing! One For All will never accept a punk like that!" Another voice shouted.
"I think you are being too hard on him, Fourth, Sixth. He is still young, younger than any of us who received One For All as a second quirk."
"See! Madam Third agrees with me!"
"We have made our decision already, so I see no reason for this argument. The fairest course of action was to regress his control over One For All in order to help him hone it in more effectively and motivate him to work harder. Besides, there is still the issue with the young man's other quirk. That is a situation that could not have been foreseen by any of us. Our agreement still stands, however. Whenever you choose to offer him your aid is completely up to you, and if you're still on the fence about it then you can let him prove his worth in whatever way you wish. All we shall do for now is continue to watch over him and hope for the best."
"Yes, Lord First."
B ~ E ~ A ~ S ~ T M ~ O ~ D ~ E
Izuku found himself back in the bathroom. He looked around and pinched himself to make sure what he was seeing was right. "Keep working hard…" He took one last look at himself in the mirror. "You can do this. The past wielders are counting on you now too." Nodding resolutely, he exited the bathroom and returned to his teacher and teacher's teacher. He had a lot of work to do.
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To most people, UA stands out as the premier hero school in all of Japan for aspiring heroes to attend. But in fact, there are many schools across the country that form the backbone of the hero society and produce all of the biggest heroes that protect and serve the people.
With all of the attention and praise UA receives, it is reasonable that there would be some resentment or disdain for the institution from the other hero schools in the country.
Most notably, Ketsubutsu Academy High School has a famous rivalry with UA that dates back to when some of the current staff members were students.
No slouch themselves, Ketsubutsu has its own list of impressive Alumni who have become pro heroes. Some have even gone back to teach, like at UA.
"Hey, class! What do you call an alligator detective? An investi-gator!"
Perhaps not the most prominent pro-hero that had graduated from Ketsubetsu, but definitely one of the most loved by the students, was one Fukukado Emi. An outgoing, fun-loving, cheerful ball of sunshine, Ms. Joke lives up to her hero name on a regular basis when she does all she can to make people smile.
"Quick, extra credit if you can tell a good joke! Makabe!"
The blue teen was quick on the draw. "How do billboards talk? Sign language!"
"Love it! A+! Shindo!"
"When's a door not a door? When it's ajar!"
"Whoa, sweet wordplay! A+! Nakagame!"
"Uhhh!" The blonde stalled while she quickly tried to come up with something funny, "Uhh! What's brown and sticky?"
"What?" Emi asked obligatorily, leaning forward over her desk in anticipation.
The room went completely silent. Tatami's stomach lurched as her classmates and teacher stared at her blankly. To her relief, they all suddenly broke out in intense laughter.
"Good one, Nakagame! A+! Alright, that's all the time we have today. Remember to review for your quizzes tomorrow!"
"Yes, Joke-Sensei~!" They all saluted before beginning to pack their things.
"So, Nakagame~" Shindo called as he stood in front of her desk, "What are you up to this weekend? If you're free I was wondering if you wanted to do something or something or whatever...Haha, you know I don't know it's chill whatever if you're down for it…"
Tatami stopped packing her books and grimaced. Shindo was a nice guy, and they had been friends since their first year...But he had developed a crush on her...and she hadn't told anyone outside of her close female friends about Izuku. She wasn't sure if she was ready to yet either given how Ketsubutsu students usually feel about UA students. Especially Shindo.
"Uhhh, well actually I…" She could see him start to get his hopes up and desperately tried to think of a way out of it.
"Hey, Tatami-chan! Remember this weekend we're having a slumber party at my place!"
"O-Oh yeah! Thanks, Rin-chan!" That's what best friends were for. She gave Shindo an apologetic smile, "S-Sorry, I have plans already…"
"O-Oh! Nah, don't worry about it!" He smiled at her and rubbed his neck sheepishly, "S-Some other time then!" He said before rushing back to his desk where he seemed to be scolding himself under his breath.
As Tatami sighed and slumped in her chair, her friend Rin leaned over to her. "Dude! When are you gonna just tell him you like someone else already! I can't keep bailing you out!"
"I know, I know! It's just hard okay! I already turned him down once last year and he took it as a challenge to try and win me over! You saw that look on his face! I feel bad!" Her cheeks took on a pink hue, "And...Izuku and I haven't made anything official yet...You really he likes me?"
Rin rolled her eyes, "Please. You've asked me this dumb question so many times. You guys talk to each other like every other day and it's so obvious. Even when he didn't message you back for a couple of days he contacted you as soon as he could, right? He's crazy about you, for sure!"
Tatami smiled, twirling her hair in her slender fingers as her thoughts once again wandered towards the green-haired teen.
"You're gonna confess to him the next time you see him, right?"
"R-Rin-chan! It's not that easy, okay! I have to emotionally prepare myself to even think of that. Besides, I don't even know if I'm gonna see him soon. I was planning to go surprise him over summer break, but that's so far away!"
"Nakagame! Can I talk to you for a second?"
"Huh? Yes, sensei!" Tatami bid farewell to her friend and hurried up to the front of the now mostly empty room. She saw Shindo also standing before their teacher's desk, who gave her a beaming smile.
"Alright, so as you know...It's that time of year again. Usually, the class rep and vice rep are the ones that come with me, but something came up and Toteki can't go." The green-haired pro turned to her student with a grin, "So, what do you say? You wanna come scouting with Shindo and I, Nakagame?"
Tatami was stunned.
This was not happening right now. This was not happening! Was she hearing what she thought she was hearing?! Her heart began to beat like crazy, and she felt butterflies fluttering all throughout her body. Some divine power was giving her some next level good luck! She somehow accidentally spoke it into existence!
She dumbly nodded, eyes wide and unblinking,
But wait! Was she ready for that? It was so much sooner than expected! What if she did something dumb and embarrassed herself completely? She could never live that down! She'd have to live inside her own torso for the rest of her life!
As Tatami began to overload, she felt the room spinning and everything got fuzzy. The last thing she heard before she fainted was the jubilant declaration from her teacher.
"Great! Get ready, you two...in 2 weeks, we are headed to the UA Sports Festival!"