"The Protector of All, Izuku," the green haired kid mumbled to himself. He blinked at his desk as he replayed the lesson from yesterday: the list of heroes who offered to take him on in his peripheral vision under the arm which was propping up his head. He sighed to himself before pressing his forehead against the cold wood.
"Izuku?" he heard Ochako say with a lilt to her voice. "What's wrong?"
Izuku hummed before turning his head to look at her. "It's nothing much, I have too many choices with no definitive direction, so I don't know where to begin."
He heard Ojiro laugh to himself upon that statement. "That's a bit of a humble brag there, hey Izuku?"
Izuku rubbed the back of his neck uncomfortably, his lips already forming a whispered series of apologies for his actions before Ochako cut him off. Her hand rested by his face. He blinked at it before sitting up.
"Who are you thinking about interning for, Ochako?"
"Oh! I'm going to be inturning under the agency The Battle Hero Gunhead runs!"
Izuku tilted his head as she spoke, much like a confused puppy. "I thought you were more interested in being a search and rescue type hero like Mx. Thirteen."
"That's the plan!" she said with a swish of her hips as she punched the air in front of her. "However, ever since the Sports Festival I've been thinking. I want to get stronger and better at fighting, I might not be able to take Bakugo head on, but I'd at least like to have more of a shot in hand to hand combat. You know?"
Izuku nodded enthusiastically upon seeing her reasoning. "That's a good idea! What about you, Tenya?"
Izuku glanced over at his taller friend who seemed to be staring a hole through the paper he was holding. His eyes were elsewhere, a dark blue swirling mass rather than an organ used for sight. He repeated his name twice more before he actually looked up.
"I'm sorry, Izuku. I don't know yet."
"That's okay!" Izuku said cheerfully, pulling out his phone and quickly texting the man he was talking to.
"Are you alright? I'm here if you need to talk, Tenya."
He slipped his phone and the folded sheet of paper back in his pocket before standing up and stretching, his spine popping with the movement and he made his way to the exit.
"Well, I'm going to go get lunch. You guys should too."
"Yeah, we will in a bit," Mina said with a sigh. "I need to decide before I can eat."
Izuku started to open the door only to be greeted with the face of his mentor about to enter the room he was leaving, a large grin spread from ear to ear.
"Young Izuku!" he said with a bounce to his walk. "Come with me for a second!"
Izuku ignored the jeers of Mina, the implication that he might be in trouble weighing heavy on his shoulders. He nodded silently before following him, closing the door. His heart thrummed wildly, he felt ready to book it.
"Relax, you're not in trouble," he said as soon as the door closed. They started walking the nearly abandonded hallways into a conversational room.
"I'll get straight to the point, you've received a lot of offers from heroes who would like to take you on. One of them is an old friend of mine."
"Really, who?" Izuku asked, his anxiety switching from the fear of having been in trouble to the excitement and implication that All Might was bringing to him. His eyes flickered up from the floor and to All Might's face, a thin layer of sweat covering his eyes and a quite distant look making his irises fade into their sockets. He was in his muscle form, but he retained the same feeling he did upon his true one. It made Izuku worry.
He hardly managed to zone back in as All Might continued to speak.
"His name is Gran Torino. He taught at this school back in my day but only for one year, in fact he was my homeroom teacher. He knows about One for All as well."
Izuku started back an inch and his head spun. He tried to figure out who such a person could be, such a person trusted with the largest secret in the country of Japan, if not the entire world. He knew it could not be All Might's immediate predecessor, he knew that she was no longer around, and when talking about who knew about his secret it was limited to the higher staff of UA as well as Naomasa.
"Easy, you're mumbling to yourself. I need you to focus."
"Oh, sorry. Would you like to sit down? You're pacing."
All Might paused, one of his feet mid air before he quickly sat on the couch nearest to him. Izuku took the invitation to sit across from him, setting his bag at his feet after double checking to make sure the door was locked. With an exhale and a brief puff of smoke All Might faded back into his true form, the suit he was wearing properly fitted moments ago now incredibly loose on his frail body.
"Please don't waste your time in muscle form when you don't need to, All Might. You're shortening your lifespan and the world still needs you," he mumbled sadly, his voice fading out at the end.
He felt All Might exhale. "Toshinori," he said, correcting Izuku gently.
Izuku snapped his fingers and looked away, cussing internally at his mistake. He was about to spiral but felt Toshinori inhale deeply, the way he does before he begins to speak.
"Gran Torino was the sworn friend of my predecessor, but he retired years ago, so I often accidentally forget to count him when talking about how many people know of One for All."
Izuku nodded, eyes scanning over Toshinori carefully. He forced himself to remain silent as his mentor's hands shook rapidly, more so than the limb usually did. He pulled out a piece of paper from his pocket and put it on the table in front of them. Izuku took it gently.
"If you don't have somewhere else you would prefer to intern, such as with either of your parents, with Midnight, or whoever else, please consider working with him."
Izuku looked at the paper in his hand, unfolding it slowly. He skimmed the slightly shaky but fluent Kanji which praised All Might's job training and offering to intern him. He knew the power and could subsequently provide a more understanding environment specifically in reference to quirks.
"Do you think he could handle me, Toshinori?"
"I'm not sure," he answered truthfully. "Your psychiatric issues are not something he's informed about. I left the option of informing him to you."
"Don't tell him," Izuku said quickly, his voice soft but confident. Toshinori raised an eyebrow in question. "I want to test something."
Toshinori laughed quietly, a grin pulling at the corner of his lips.