Howdy, folks, how's it going?
I hope everybody had a great holiday season.
Man, another year come and gone. Time sure flies, uh? Hopefully, the next one goes better than the mess that were the last two.
As always, a shout out to Chaos Productions, always helping in making my stories what they are.
And as a sidenote, to whomever it was that put mentions of this story on several pages on Tvtropes, you rock! :D
Obviously, I own neither BNHA nor 40K. If I did, we'd actually have a name for the giant cute monster woman in the former and a lot more Primarch returns in the latter.
And now, enjoy!
The classroom was far quieter now than it had ever been before, Momo could not help but think, as she looked around from her seat. People were gathered in their own circles, talking about anything and everything that it was normal for teenagers to talk about, but the general mood of it all was… dimmed, nothing like the excitable rowdiness of previous days, and there was a noticeable edge to the mundane chatter, as if it was merely a way to avoid one specific topic. Honestly, she couldn't really blame the others for acting like this.
It was their first day back to classes, a few days after the attack on the USJ. After the villains had been beaten and the ring leaders had escaped, the place had been positively riddled with police officers and paramedics, but the screening for injuries and the statements that were given had passed by in a blur for Momo, and she suspected the same was true for everyone else.
They had been given a few days off to recover from the ordeal, days that she spent at home, just… letting it all sink in. Her parents had even cancelled several important meetings during that period just to be there and make sure she was alright. Nothing was more important than their little princess, her father said, and she loved him for that, she really did. She just kinda wished his default reaction hadn't been to try to reach out to the family lawyers to sue U.A. for the whole mess. Fortunately her mother, ever the more collected one, talked him out of it fairly quickly. It would have been awkward to deal with when Principal Nezu had come to their manor to personally apologize for the attack and to present the school's solution.
Dorms. They were going to be living in dorms within the campus of the school for the rest of their time there. A part of Momo, the one that was filled with wonder at all the mundane things her privileged upbringing never gave her opportunity to experience, had been positively giddy at the notion, and her parents had raised no issues (unbeknownst to the girl, she hadn't been nearly as good at masking it as she thought she had been, and the eager, hopeful, downright puppy like demeanour she'd shown then had killed off any protests or concerns). It was mildly confusing however, how the principal had said there'd be no need to pack any luggage for the move, but when probed further he had simply chuckled and said they'd get further instructions shortly, and the rest would be a surprise (Looking back, Momo had yet to learn then that laughter from the phylogenetically ambiguous animal was a cause of great concern…).
And now here they all were, waiting in class for whoever was going to substitute Aizawa-sensei while he was recovering. The pony-tailed girl suppressed a shudder at the memory of his broken body that briefly crossed her mind.
And then, not for the first time, her eyes roamed towards the only empty seat in the room, Midoriya's seat. The only one of them who had been significantly injured during the whole debacle…
…Well, no, that was not exactly true. While the paramedics were trying to figure out how to get the green-haired boy out of his mangled mega armor, he had somehow failed to notice Mineta and sat on him by accident. The diminutive boy was currently sporting quite some band-aids due to that, but his injuries were fairly negligible.
Still, Momo couldn't help but worry at the implications of his absence. While the class had kept in touch during those days off, no one had seen or heard from the class's oddest member since the attack, and the fact that they'd been informed during the faculty's visits to their homes about the follow up attack on the boy's mother, as part of the explanation why all of them were getting hero surveillance for a fairly long while, was not the slightest bit reassuring. Heck, she wasn't the only one glancing the way of his seat with concern, about the only one who didn't was Bakugou, and even she could agree that Bakugou was a jerk.
Could Midoriya's injuries truly be so severe? Had he gotten that hurt, trying to protect them…?
Her hands tightened in fists grasping at her skirt, the image of the Noumu looming over her briefly flashing before her eyes, before she shook her head to get rid of it.
Before her musings could continue however, the door to the classroom opened. Everyone turned to look… and honestly, it took a few moments for the image to sink in and everyone's eyes to widen in shock.
"For once, I will not get on your case for not being on your seats already." The veritable mummy that was actually their teacher commented in his usual exhausted tone. "But don't make a habit of it."
The erasure hero was promptly bombarded by concerned inquiries from the students, most of them variations of the question "Why the fuck are you here instead of a hospital bed where you belong?". None put quite so crassly, of course, even Bakugou wasn't that stupid.
"To idle away in a bed while there is still a lot of work to do would be illogical." The heavily bandaged man replied dismissively to their worries, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. "Your concern is noted, even appreciated, but it is unnecessary. We have wasted enough time as it is, and there are a few things that need to be addressed. To your seats, please."
While still apprehensive at that, the students nonetheless complied, quietly sliding into their seats, and waiting.
"Now, then, first things first, during the next few weeks, you will all be required to have sessions with Hound Dog during his appointed hours. These are mandatory, non-negotiable, and will last for as long as he deems it necessary to your mental health." The scruffier-than-usual looking hero stated, in a tone that brooked no arguments. "Secondly, despite the attack, I have been told to inform you that the Sports Festival is still going to happen next month, as intended. I understand this might concern some of you, and I would be inclined to agree, but unfortunately things are rarely one-dimensional. If it's true that a public event so soon after what you went through might seem unwise, not going through with the event would only send the message that what the villains did left a mark, and make them grow bolder as a result, which is simply something that cannot be allowed. But rest assured, security will the tightest that it's ever been since the festival's inception, we will not be caught off-guard a second time." His stern gaze swept across the room… and then seemed to soften just the tiniest bit. "And moreover, while the festival is a rare, massive opportunity for net-working and making a name for yourselves, it is ultimately still optional. It will be a lost opportunity, but nobody will begrudge you deciding not to take it."
There was still an apprehensive silence in the room when the man was done talking, but absolutely nobody made any indication of even considering the option. Whatever it was that he saw as he stared at the students, Aizawa nodded approvingly.
"On to the last thing, then," He continued. "While today is technically your return to classes, most of the day will actually be spent settling you lot into the new dorms. Now that we got the formalities out of the way, I am to take you there now."
At that, the worried mood faded considerably, replaced by the normal teenage excitement as soft chattering begun. And it was at that point that Momo raised her hand.
"Excuse me, Aizawa-sensei." She said, waiting on the man's nod to continue. "But what happened with Midoriya-San? Is he well?"
Apparently, everyone else had been wondering the same thing, because they all perked up, glancing between the boy's empty seat and the teacher with curious concern. The man, for his part, blinked, then grumbled something that sounded suspiciously like 'that damn rodent and his surprises…'.
"Midoriya is just fine, Yaoyoruzu." He reassured, sounding rather annoyed. "He completely recovered and was out and about pretty much the day after the incident. Only reason he's not here now is because he needed to set something up in the dorms. Whatever that is, is what Nezu wants us to find out when we get there. So, best get to it."
With that, the heavily bandaged hero made for the door, grumbling under his breath all the while. The students couldn't help but blink at the man's words, sharing confused glances with each other as they got up and slowly began trickling out of the classroom after him.
And so they were led away from U.A's main building, and further into the more forested area of the campus, through a paved path that looked brand new. And at the end of the path…
"What the hell…?" Kaminari breathed out, voicing what everyone present was probably thinking as they looked at the positively massive building that stood before them. Massive not in height, mind you, or else they'd have probably seen it from the school's entrance, but it was an extremely wide, three-story complex. It looked pleasant enough, with white-painted walls, a properly tiled roof and windows on every floor, but something about the structure brought to mind something like a hangar or a storage facility more than a dorm. Something that was meant to house something big…
As they approached, the students were quick to realize that by the entrance of the complex stood the Principal, chatting cheerfully with someone. Suddenly, everyone's attention turned to Bakugou, who made a strangled wheeze of uncharacteristic, alarmed confusion, as he stared wide-eyed at the green-haired, somewhat chubby, somewhat familiar-looking woman…
"Ah, class 1-A, right on time! Come, come." Nezu called out as he saw them approach, turning to address the gathering children. "Welcome, to the 1-A dormitories, your place of residence for the rest of your stay at our school. We spared no expense in making sure you will be comfortable here."
"You barely made any expenses with this." Aizawa-sensei deadpanned.
"Now, I am sure you are all very eager to check out the place, but there's some things that need to be finished up first." The principal continued like he hadn't even noticed the erasure hero was there. "Would you care to step in, Midoriya-San?"
At that, the students all turned to the woman, who gave them all a warm, motherly smile.
"But of course," She said kindly as she gave a little, polite bow. "Hello, children. My name is Inko Midoriya. I am Izuku's mother, and starting today, I will be your dorm's manager and keeper. I am delighted to finally meet my son's classmates and friends."
For a long moment, nobody spoke, too surprised by this development, but fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on the situation), Iida was never one to disregard propriety.
"It is an honor to meet you, Midoriya-San!" The spectacled boy all but bellowed in his usual bombastically formal manner. "If I may be so bold, may I inquire as to why you are doing us this honor, and what will be expected of us under your stewardship?!"
"My, so formal, you must be Iida-San." Midoriya-San commented with an amused little chuckle. "Well, I am sure by now you are all aware that I was accosted by villains working for the ones that organized the attack on your class. Under these circumstances, the principal here offered me this job, and well, I figured I might as well."
"We did indeed hear about those scoundrels' deplorable attempts on your life. I cannot imagine how terrifying it must have been!" Iida commiserated, swinging his arm robotically as he spoke, only to blink in confusion as the woman chuckled again.
"So serious." She said, in that manner only an adult amused at a little kid's antics could pull off. "And not at all really, we had defensive measures for just that purpose. Honestly, that's more an excuse than anything else. I just like taking care of people, and now I am getting paid to do it, simple as that. And speaking of, Aizawa-San, why are you here instead of the infirmary where you should be?"
The erasure hero blanched at being unexpectedly addressed, but he recovered quickly.
"Your concern is appreciated, Midoriya-San, but I am well enough to do my job as a teacher at the least-"
"Nonsense." The woman cut him off before he could finish the dismissal. "Aizawa-San, you suffered grievous injuries while you were doing your best to keep these children safe, and you are nowhere near done recovering from them. Honestly, you're acting like a child yourself right now. Off you go, back to the infirmary."
"Ah, ah, ah. None of that, Aizawa-San." The woman refused to let him get a word in edgewise. "Surely you are not wishing to give the children the impression that they should ignore crippling, possibly career ending injuries for the sake of overexerting themselves even further, right? Surely not after how much you stressed "know your limits" to my son. And really, what makes it so necessary that you be here to give the kids the rundown? Surely, you are not trying to imply that I am not fully capable of taking care of this myself?"
"Of course not-"
"Then I am sure you will have no trouble getting yourself back into the infirmary right this instant. Don't worry, I've got this handled, now go on, shoo." The Midoriya matriarch finished, making a shooing motion for emphasis even as she regarded the man with an unfaltering motherly smile.
And Aizawa, now, Aizawa really wanted to protest, but all of his years of experience as a hero had a lot of alarm bells ringing on his head. Something that told him that that smile was one bad choice away from becoming something utterly terrifying…
"…As you say, Midoriya-San." The erasure hero folded, averting his gaze uncomfortably. "Children, you'll be in Midoriya-San's… capable hands for now. Tomorrow, classes resume as normal. Do not be late."
With that, the man about turned and walked away, grumbling grudgingly all the while.
Satisfied, Inko turned back towards the students. The very quiet, very confused, very shocked students. The only thing that threatened to break the silence of that moment was Nezu himself, who for all his attempts keep a dignified demeanour seemed perilously close to bursting out into maniacal laughter…
"Holy crap, she just brought Aizawa-sensei to heel…" Kaminari breathed out the awed thought that ran through all of them.
"Of course she did, dumbass." Bakugou grunted, apparently the only one thoroughly unsurprised. "This is the woman that has been putting up with Deku's craziness for years. The fuck were you expecting?"
It was the moment the words escaped his lips that the explosive blond immediately realized his mistake, as that motherly smile was now focused entirely on him.
"Now, now, Katsuki," She said chidingly. "What did I tell you last time about cursing?"
And a second wave of shock surged among the students when, rather than rant and rave, or just scoff and dismiss the woman, Bakugou all but meekly stared down at his feet.
"…Not to do it." He said. Clearly grudgingly, but he said it nonetheless. "I'm sorry, Midoriya-San."
"Good boy." The woman replied, all sunny smiles.
"…Bakugou too?" Mina whispered, now staring at the Midoriya matriarch with something akin to reverence. "She is everything I want to be…"
"Awww, you flatter me. Ashido-Chan, right?" Midoriya-San stated with an amused little chuckle. "But anyway, we've lost enough time here. I am sure, you're all very eager to get to your rooms, but as I said, we've still got a few things to-"
It was at that moment that the door of the dorm suddenly snapped open with a loud bam, and out of the building walked Midoriya himself, goggles over his eyes.
"Focus pointz are in place! We'z all ready fer- Oh, hya, guys." The green-haired boy commented as he finally noticed them. "I wuz wonderin' when you'd show."
"Midoriya!" Momo, Tsuyu, Mineta, Kirishima, Sato and the others exclaimed quite loudly as they gathered around their classmate, who blinked confusedly at the sudden development.
"Midoriya, you are alright." Momo breathed out in relief after a brief once over of the boy, who besides a few stains of black grease on his clothes and cheeks really didn't look any worse for wear. She had been told as much already, true, but seeing it for herself was another thing entirely.
"'Course." Midoriya replied, looking truly very confused about all this. "Why wuldn't I be?"
"Are you freakin' serious?!" Mineta said incredulously. "Last we saw you, you were being dragged off in an ambulance looking half dead, and we haven't heard from you since!"
"Pppssshh, takes a lot more than dat tah keep me down, grapey boy." The goggled boy snorted in amusement. "As fer dat second bit, I'z been busy gettin' thingz ready fer today. Makin' mah gizmos takes time."
"What do you mean?" Tsuyu inquired, voicing the general confusion, at which point Nezu finally saw fit to step in again.
"It's quite simple, really, Asui-San." The principal replied, drawing general attention back to him. "When I offered Midoriya-San a job as your dorm manager, she offered a solution to bypass a lot of the logistics that would go into settling you in. I was intrigued by the prospect, and after their demonstration, I was thoroughly convinced. The other dorms on campus will get the same treatment, soon as they're done."
"And what solution would that be?" Todoroki inquired, is demeanour as coldly passive as ever, but for once actually expressing some interest in the proceedings.
"Oh, why tell you, when you are about to see it for yourselves?" The mouse-like being replied cheerily. "I'd assume it's time for the surprise, yes, Midoriya-San?"
"Indeed, Nezu-San, indeed." Midoriya-San said, before a beeping noise made her reach for a cellphone and check the screen. "Ah, it seems like everything is in place. You see, children, a while back, packages arrived at your homes, sent by U.A with very specific instructions. I just got confirmations that all of your parents have done as they said. Izuku, honey, go right ahead."
"Aye, aye, Mah!" The boy replied with an eager glint in his eyes, before reaching deep into his pocket, and with a triumphant 'Ah!' pulling out-
"…Midoriya, is that a TNT detonator?!" Momo could not help but voice the general thought as the class took a collective step backwards in alarm.
"Dontcha worry, I'z re-repo-I'z changed it!" Midoriya reassured with a very wide grin. "Now, 'ere we go!"
And before anyone could get past their shock and stop him, the green-haired boy grabbed the plunger and pressed it down.
But instead of the explosion that everyone was expecting, there was only a slight humming sound, that seemed to come from all throughout the building before them. Ochaco glanced down at her hands, the pads on her fingers suddenly feeling very itchy for a brief second.
"There!" Midoriya junior said triumphantly. "All done!"
"Midoriya-San," Momo said slowly, after a quick inspection proved that no, nothing had violently exploded in the vicinity. "What did you just do…?"
"I finished dah dorm preps! It'z all gud tah go now." The green-haired boy replied with a million-watt grin, clearly happy at whatever had just happened.
"Indeed, everything's prepared now." Midoriya senior took over, her entire demeanour radiating a rather… expectant mirth, as she pulled from her pocket a stack of plastic cards. "Now children, these are the keys to your rooms. Be sure to keep them on your person or otherwise secure at all times, as these are the only way you're getting into the dorm or your own respective rooms. The rooms are in the two upper floors, girls on the first, boys on the second, up the stairs right past the living room, and I'd like it if you went to check them out first, then came back to the living room on the ground floor for the rest of the explanations. Go on, go on."
…Rather confused by all of this, Momo hesitantly decided to lead by example, and was the first to approach the woman and take her key, earning her an encouraging smile. The others swiftly followed, hesitantly stepping past mother, son, and principal and trickling into the building.
At first glance, there was nothing out of the ordinary in the living room. Just a rather spacious, homey looking lounge, with sofas, tables, TV, a kitchen area on the side, and two closed doors on the side wall, one of which had a plaque on it that read "Midoriya". As Midoriya-San had said, right across the room, there were stairs and an elevator. The whole class hesitated, things were looking… normal, too normal.
And apparently now they were expecting her to lead by example again, going by how they were all looking at her. Reluctantly, Momo caved to the unspoken peer pressure and moved first, slowly making her way up the stairs, the other slowly following.
She reached the first floor, and again, it seemed like an ordinary hallway… wait, no, something was weird. Rather than run the full length of the floor, the hall ended in a door immediately to her left, one which, upon closer inspection, had her name on the plaque.
Bracing herself, Momo, approached, introduced the key card into the slot, waited for the click of the unlocking door, and as the rest of the class looked on from around the corner anxiously, slowly opened the door and…
…She slammed it shut, and then after a few moments of heavy blinking, opened it again.
"…What in the world?" Momo breathed out, her mind failing to process what she was seeing.
"Yaomomo?" Kyoka ventured worriedly as the others began approaching. "Is everything ok?"
"This…" The pony-tailed girl muttered, clearly struggling to understand what was going on. "This is my room…"
"Well… Yeah? I mean, it was your name on the door…"
"No, you don't understand, I mean, this is literally my room." Momo clarified frantically. Her very wide eyes darted from side to side, taking it all in. The walls filled with bookshelves, the door towards the side room where she stored her clothes, the matted training area where she practiced her hand-to-hand skills, the stairs leading up to the platform where her double king size canopy bed was, and the massive study desk beneath it…
Suddenly, the skewed size of the hall made a lot more sense. Her room alone probably took up a third of the entire floor…
"This is my room," She admitted, a faint tinge of pink on her cheeks. "The one I have at home…"
For a brief moment, everyone just stared at her in confusion, but then, as the words finally registered, slowly everyone's eyes widened in realization. Moments later, a stampede ensued, as everyone rushed to find their own doors, and loud exclamations echoed through the building, from Ashido and Hagakure's squeals of delight to Bakugou's loud and confused cursing, and everything in between.
Absolutely flabbergasted by all this, Momo almost robotically closed the door, and walked back down the stairs. As she did, she noticed a delicious smell in the air, and as she reached the lounge, she saw the Midoriyas and the Principal standing by a dinner table packed full of snacks.
"Ah, Yaoyoruzu-San, so, how did you find the surprise?" Nezu inquired politely, but clearly trembling from barely contained laughter.
"How…how did you manage such an accurate copy of my room?" The pony-tailed girl asked hesitantly, earning her a wide grin from Izuku and amused chuckles from the adults.
"Oh, it's not a copy, Yaoyoruzu-chan." Midoriya-San said, clearly very amused at the girl's confusion. "Let the others arrive and everything will be explained, dear, meanwhile, please, help yourself."
Realizing that trying to rationalize this was getting her nowhere, Momo decided to just do as suggested, approaching the table and reaching out for a cupcake. As soon as she took her first bite, her eyes widened once again.
"…This is the best cupcake I've ever tasted." She said, her confusion forgotten as sparkles flashed all around her face, the girl feeling overwhelmed by the sheer deliciousness. Seriously, she had eaten award-winning confections from world-renowned bakers that tasted like dirt compared to this…
"Aw, you flatter me, dear, I put a lot of effort into this little welcome gift for you all." The woman said with a pleased smile, as Momo continued eating the pastry with a bit more swiftness than was appropriately lady-like.
Slowly, the other students begun coming down as well, and just like Momo, their confusion and questions were quickly silenced by a delicious pastry of one sort or another. Sato in particular, after a tear-inducing taste of a slice of red velvet cake, made a mental note of asking Midoriya-San for pointers. He'd been proud of his baking skills before, but clearly, he still had a lot left to learn…
"Now then, children," The Midoriya matriarch addressed them as they were all voraciously chewing on some sweets, heck, even Nezu was savoring himself a slice of cheesecake. "I do hope you all enjoyed the surprise. To answer what I imagine is the most pressing question, these rooms are not copies, they are your rooms, down to the last fixture."
"But how is that possible…?" Hagakure asked for all of them, another dango vanishing from the stick in her hand.
"During your break, we secretly called your parents to inquire about the exact specifications of your rooms." The principal explained cheerily. "With that knowledge, Cementoss raised the base structure of the dorm, and Power Loader and his robots took care of the power grid and the rest. They'd be here for this, but alas, Loader said something about needing a drink or twenty and Cementoss went with to make sure he didn't suffer alcohol poisoning. From there, Midoriya-kun here took care of the rest."
"Dat'z roigt!" Midoriya junior confirmed smugly. "I'z had the idea on me head since we'z saw dat smokey git in dah USJ. I'z changed up some of me subspace access pointz, and den placed'em in the corners of the room. Den yer pahs and mahs did dah same back at yer cribs, and when I'z pressed dah trigger, I sent yer rooms intah subspace an' pulled'em back here!"
"…Midoriya," Momo started, after a moment of processing the boy's excited words. "Are you saying you teleported our rooms into this building?"
"Yep!" The green-haired boy confirmed the technological marvel he just pulled with all the cheer of an excited puppy dog. "Gotta say, seein' mah gizmos doin' their fing ain't quite as gud as a gud scrap, but it'z up dere."
"Now, now, Izuku," Midoriya-San, suddenly interjected, her tone as kind as always, but also mildly chiding. "Don't take this to mean you should try to take things further than they should be taken. We do not need a repeat of last time."
The boy's bright mood dropped quickly at that warning.
"No, mah…" He grumbled poutingly.
"Last time…?" Tsuyu inquired, placing a finger to her (crumb-filled) lips.
"Back when he was 11, Izuku read some comic books and got it into his head that he wanted to try to travel to other realities." The older Midoriya explained, as if she was just telling a funny childhood story. "He wanted to find out if other "hims" could give him a fun fight."
"…Did it work?" Kaminari inquired, for lack of anything else even remotely sensible to say to that.
"Yes n' no. Instead of anothah earth, mah portal went to a foggy dark place, and a couple'oh big, noisy, shady birdies popped out." The goggled boy replied with a shrug, immediately followed by a shiver. "T'was a fun fite tah send'em back, but it'z not worth tryin' again after dah groundin' Mah gave me fer wreckin' our home…"
"At any rate," Midoriya-San once again took over, when it became obvious nobody knew quite what to say. "I suggested that Izuku do this to help you children get more comfortably settled here. Our own apartment got the same treatment, it's behind that door right over there." The woman gestured towards the door with their name on it. "Besides the rooms, the lounge and the kitchen, there's also a room with washing machines and cleaning supplies, and both upper floors have bathrooms, for the girls on the first, for the boys on the second. You are free to explore, hang out and get comfortable for the rest of the day, and tomorrow your classes continue as normal as Aizawa-San said. Oh, and just as a bit of a heads up, should anyone be considering such things as peeping on the bathrooms or breaking curfew to sneak into another student's room, let me just tell you that my quirk is attraction of small objects, meaning I can pull objects under a certain mass to me. For the purposes of this warning, that includes organs and appendages."
Her kind, motherly smile widened cheerily as she tilted her head encouragingly.
"Welcome to your home for the next three years, children. I hope we'll all get along nicely during that time."
"Well," Kyoka muttered. "Guess she really is her son's mother…"
On the one hand, as promised by both Midoriya-San and Aizawa-sensei, their school schedule had returned to normal the very next day.
On the other, the current situation was anything but normal.
"Uh…" Momo hesitated, as she beheld the positively massive crowd of students that had assembled in the hall right outside their classroom as they had been about to leave for lunch, before deciding to take her role as class president. "Is there something we can help you with?"
"The fuck do you think they want, Ponytail? We're the class that survived a villain attack." Bakugou scoffed as he pushed past her out the door. "They're here to scout the competition, for what good that'll do. Out of the way, you damn extras-!"
… The anger and outrage that had been building up in the crowd as the ashen blond spoke were quickly replaced by confusion and surprise as another student stepped behind him and knocked him right in the noggin. Bakugou himself, stood there, completely still, processing what had just happened, before slowly turning back.
"…Did you JUST FUCKING HIT ME?! YOU WANNA DIE, FUCKING DEKU?!" He bellowed in disbelieving anger, sparks beginning to pop in his hands.
"Ah, shaddap, Katsu." Midoriya replied, sounding completely undisturbed at the apoplectic rage thrown his way even as he leveled a disapproving stare at the explosive teen. "Ain't no call fer insultin' all dese gits when dey'z came lookin' fer a fite. Dat'z just rude, dat iz. Ya can't know if there ain't sum gud scraps tah be had in dis'ere lot."
"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't destroy you right now." Bakugou ground out, looking like he was genuinely considering the prospect.
"Ya could try, and I sure culd go fer a scrap roigt now." The green-haired boy conceded evenly… right before flashing a downright bloodthirsty grin that had the first row of the crowd taking a frightened step back. "But wuldn't you'ze rathah wait fer dah festival where we'z can go all out without bein' intahrrupted?"
Bakugou made to retort… and suddenly stopped, as he ran the words through his mind. Far too prideful to admit to his face that Deku had a point for once in his life, the ashen blond just growled and turned to walk away, the crowd parting before him after this sneak peek into the boy's temper.
Momo, and the rest of class 1-A, let out the breath they hadn't realized they'd been holding as the confrontation was averted.
Midoriya for his part, turned his attention to the crowd, with an equally wide, but considerably friendlier, grin on his face.
"Sorry'bout Ol'Katsu, folks, bit'of a temper on dat one." He called out with his usual, boisterous demeanour. "Wot I said tah him kinda goes fer y'all too, tho. If yer lookin' fer a fite, and we'z gun be happy tah oblige, you'ze gun have tah wait fer dah festival."
"…Well, at least he's calling everyone out with a decent degree of politeness." Tsuyu commented bemusedly, as people all over the crowd glanced at one another uncertainly, unsure of what to make from the boy's declaration.
"So, this is class 1-A, uh?" A drawling, bored sounding voice suddenly rang out. "At least not all of you seem to be arrogant glory hogs, but I can't say that condescending friendliness is much better."
A student stepped up to the front of the crowd, a boy, with a hair almost as wildly unkept as Midoriya's, though his was a uniform purple, and noticeable bags under his eyes, marring a bored looking face.
"You got one thing right, though, I suppose. Everyone here is looking to fight." The boy continued, a certain taunting quality to his entire demeanour. "You are probably not aware, but during the Sports Festival, students outside the Hero Course can be reassigned into it, if they impress the teachers enough. And by that same coin, any of you could be transferred out if you fall short. Which is to say, that leaves all of us very motivated to- to…"
The boy stopped his tirade, when he realized that the one he was addressing, Midoriya, did not seem to be paying attention. Rather, the green-haired boy seemed to be surveying the crowd with a rather confused expression.
"…Hey," The boy called out, his taunting demeanour quickly caving into annoyance. "I am talking to you."
At that, Midoriya's stare finally fell on him, and the goggled teen blinked a couple of times, then… squinted?
"…Where dah zog did you'ze come from?" He asked, the genuine, curious confusion in his voice impossible to misinterpret as anything else, completely taking the wind off the boy's sails as he stared, looking completely flabbergasted.
And just like that, purple hair, who had claimed for himself the role of spokesperson for the crowd, saw that very same crowd turn on him, chuckling and pointing and "Ooooooooh!"-ing at the shutdown. Going by the deepening frown, he wasn't very amused by the sudden reversal, but also not very surprised.
"I'm not important enough to be heard then, uh? Guess I was wrong about the arrogance." He tsk-ed, once again taking on a taunting demeanour, which was frankly less effective now that he'd been unwittingly humiliated… "We'll see how well that holds when you're knocked off your high horse at the festival."
With that clear last attempt at saving some face, the boy turned and disappeared into the crowd. Midoriya just watched him go, looking thoroughly confused, before turning to glance back towards his classmates.
"Wuz it sumthin' I sed?"
Before anyone could think of a way to reply, a new challenger stepped forth.
"Well, well, well, basking in the fame and glory, are we?"
Another boy stepped through the crowd, with blond hair and blue eyes, an infuriatingly smug smirk on his face. In fact, everything about him just screamed smug, like if you looked the word up in the dictionary, it'd be his picture you'd find.
"Truly, your conceit beggars belief. A single encounter with villains and suddenly you think yourselves kings of the world!" The guy said, making everyone blink as his smugness went from calm to bombastic in a heartbeat, his arms swinging wide. "But rest assured, Class 1-B will not be found lacking. When all is said and done, it will be us who will be standing at the top!"
Then he very dramatically pointed towards Midoriya, his smug, now borderline manic expression suddenly growing coldly angry.
"…Me?" Midoriya said, blinking owlishly at the sudden aggression.
"Yes, you! You will pay for the indignity you've heaped upon me!" The boy declared, as if he was some story book character declaring a blood feud.
"Wot did I evah do tah you'ze?" The green-haired boy inquired, sounding less affronted at the accusation and more curious as to what particular grievance this might be. This seemed to briefly take the wind out of this guy's sails, going by the way he deflated momentarily at not being remembered.
"What did you-How arrogant do you have to be to forget something like this?!" He very quickly recovered however, his cold anger turning into outrage. "You attacked me out of the blue for no reason!"
"You'ze gun have tah narrow dat down fer me." Midoriya replied evenly, a pondering expression on his face as he seemed to think back on any such possible occasions…
"You kneed me in the groin!" The boy cried out in clearly rising frustration.
"…You'ze gun have tah narrow dat down fer me." The green-haired boy repeated after a moment of thinking, sounding vaguely apologetic.
"THE OTHER DAY! IN THE CAFETERIA, DURING THE MEDIA BREAK IN!" The other boy bellowed, spittle all but flying from his mouth at this point in his indignant rage.
"Oh yah…" Midoriya replied, face lighting up in sudden realization. "I remembah now, you dah git wot wuz so scared stiff in dah crowd'o otha gits ya weren't movin' even when I tried tah push ya out of dah way."
The casual way in which this was said, so completely lacking in malice or insult, once again had the whole crowd pointing and laughing at the blond guy, which had him all but grinding his teeth in anger.
Before the blond could launch into another tirade, he was suddenly smacked upside the head by an inordinately large hand, belonging to a red-haired, pony-tailed girl.
"Really, Momona? What did I say about excessively antagonizing others?" She chided disapprovingly, before looking at Midoriya and Momo apologetically. "Sorry about him, he takes this whole "class rivalry" thing way too seriously. I'll get him off your hair."
With that, her enlarged hand grabbed the boy and unceremoniously dragged him off.
"THIS IS NOT OVER, CLASS 1-A! AND YOU, REST ASSURED, VENGEANCE WILL BE MINE-"
"…Wot a weirdo." Midoriya concluded, as he saw Momona being knocked unconscious and dragged away, earning him several deadpan stares without his noticing, before shrugging and parting the crowd as he walked away.
Fortunately, by that point, between being unable to keep up with the events and the hunger that was beginning to settle in as lunch time went on, the crowd finally began to disperse, giving class 1-A the chance to finally leave the classroom, unanimously coming to the unspoken agreement to just not acknowledge what had just happened for the sake of their collective sanity.
As they all begun heading for the cafeteria, chatting in their own little groups, Momo finally saw a chance for something she had been meaning to do, hastening her pace to catch up to Midoriya.
"Say, Midoriya-San." She addressed him once she confirmed they had some privacy, earning her a curious stare from the green-haired boy.
"I…" She hesitated, not really happy to reminisce about the experience, but this needed to be said. "I never did thank you for saving my life, back at the USJ. I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for you… and I truly cannot thank you enough for that."
"Oh, that? Dontcha fret none, it wuz no problem." The boy reassured with a dismissive wave of his hand.
"It most certainly was a problem!" The pony-tailed girl retorted indignantly, a frustration she hadn't realized she'd been carrying suddenly boiling inside her. "Do you have any idea how worried we all were to see you take that blow for me? You could have died!"
She'd been having enough nightmares about that whole debacle to see it happen in graphic detail…
"But I didn't, tho." The boy pointed out plainly. "And neithah did you, so it'z a win-win. I'd do it all ovah again too, cuz helpin' others is wot heroes do, roigt?"
…Try as she might, Momo couldn't really find a retort to that. It was a… surprisingly noble attitude that Midoriya was showing, but how could anyone be this calm, about going through what he did?
"You, you…" Momo stopped for a moment, letting out a frustrated breath as she tried to compose herself. Starting an argument would serve no purpose. "I suppose you do have a point there. And thank you, Midoriya-San, truly, for saving my life. It's just… please, don't be so quick to throw yourself in harm's way like that going forward?"
At that earnest request, the boy stopped, catching the girl completely off-guard when he leveled a calm, serious look at her.
"I'z afraid I can't promise sumthin' like dat, Boss Lady," He said, sternly, but with the decency to sound apologetic. "Not in dis line'o work."
Momo had no reply to give to that.
The next few weeks of classes, training and counseling sessions (fortunately, they had all been ok-ed to participate by Hound Dog) had gone by in a flash, and now, the U.A. Sports Festival was upon them at last, and class 1-A found themselves anxiously waiting in their assigned locker room for their turn to be called out onto the field. Well, most of them were anxious, at least. Todoroki was as passive as ever, Bakugou looked somewhere between angry and constipated like always, and Midoriya was practically buzzing with giddiness.
"Midoriya." The silence was suddenly broken, and it surprised everyone that it was Todoroki out of all of them that did it.
"Yah?" The green-haired boy replied, blinking owlishly.
"You are the wild card of this class." Todoroki stated out of nowhere, fixing the other teen with a piercing stare. "With your quirk, and the gadgets it provides, you are the most unpredictable person in this class, which makes you also the most dangerous to deal with."
"Zog yeah, I am!" Midoriya replied, pleased with what he clearly saw as a compliment.
"But that will not matter." The red-and-white colored teen continued. "Because I am telling you now, I am going to defeat you-"
He didn't get to finish his declaration before the other boy was right up in his face.
"Dat a challenge, Frosty boy?" Midoriya asked gravely, a dead serious frown on his face.
"No." The other boy declared with his usual, dispassionate tone. "It's a guarantee."
Midoriya's scowl deepened at that. A few of the others became worried that this was gonna escalate, and prepared to intervene…
…When suddenly the green-haired boy burst out laughing in apparent delight, making everyone, especially Todoroki, blink at the sudden shift in mood.
"Finally, now you'ze talkin' mah language, Frosty!" Midoriya said approvingly, with the kind of eager grin of a kid at Christmas, if the kid was a feral child raised in the wild, as he completely threw off Todoroki's passive demeanour, along with his balance, by giving him a hearty pat on the bag. "It'z on, ya git."
"Well, that's one disaster averted…" Ojiro commented drily.
"You know, suddenly I don't know why we were worried, ribbit." Tsuyu replied with her usual bluntness. "There had to be a reason why he puts up with Bakugou."
Bakugou, for his part, just looked even angrier and/or more constipated at this whole exchange.
Well, it had certainly been a long while, but U.A. really hadn't changed their flair for the dramatic, or the kind of expenses that should have made anyone question if it was really just the government providing all their budget. Case in point, this big-ass stadium right in the school's campus, which wasn't even the largest building available here, now absolutely packed with people, civilians and heroes and media vultures alike, that wanted nothing more than to see teens beating the crap out of each other for their own entertainment like this was ancient Rome.
Woah, ok, that might have been a bit too cynical. Honestly, while she herself had never actually attended the school (and often she wondered if things would have been different if she had…), she did remember fondly the other times she had come to spectate this event, so it wasn't like she had much room to talk.
Honestly, she had even briefly considered coming with her gear for old times' sake, but that might lead to trouble, trouble that she really did not want to cause Toshinori nor the school's faculty. On the plus side, she did get a laugh out of how nobody seemed to recognize her when all she'd done was show up in a t-shirt, jeans, cap, and sunglasses. Staying away from the spotlight was really agreeing with her.
With a pleased groan, she stretched the confy, deluxe seat, basking the in privacy of a VIP room all to herself, at least for the time being. Fancy place too, with its own open bar and screens for showing the segments of the upcoming events the massive, windowed one-way glass panel did not cover. Toshinori had really delivered on that front, but then she hadn't really expected anything less.
The whole shebang seemed to finally be getting ready to start, when suddenly, to her surprise, and mild alarm if she was being honest, the door to her little hideout opened.
"Oh dear," The newcomer stated as she came in and noticed the room was already occupied, showing her an inordinately kind smile. "Hello, I am Inko Midoriya. My apologies, I did not realize Toshinori had invited more people to watch from his booth. Are we expecting anyone else?"
…She didn't seem to recognize her either, which immediately made her relax. She did recognize the new arrival though, remembering that Toshinori did say she'd be showing up, with clear instructions not to reveal anything too important. So, this was the mother of the kid All Might had his eyes on, uh?
"Uh, no, not really, far as I know it's just us here." She replied, gathering herself, and smiling politely in return. "And I'm Kaina Tsutsumi. Nice to meet you, Midoriya-San. Please, do come in."
"Likewise, Tsutsumi-San." The woman said, sound oddly indulging, as she walked in and took the seat next to Kaina.
"So," The pink-and-dark-purplish-blue-haired woman begun conversationally, tapping into old habits to look friendly and cheery. "Toshinori invited you up here too, uh?"
"Indeed," Inko replied genially. "I could have been watching from my apartment, but when an opportunity to cheer my son on up close, and with company, came up, well, I just couldn't refuse now, could I?"
"Got a point there." Kaina conceded, before giving the woman an inquisitive, honestly curious stare. "So, if it's not to forward for me to ask, Midoriya-San, you and Toshinori… you know?"
"Oh goodness me, no." Far from offended, the woman instead reacted with a genuinely amused bout of laughter. "I am a married woman, Tsutsumi-San. Toshinori is just a close family friend."
"Ah, I see, sorry for assuming." Kaina apologized, rubbing the back of her head embarrassedly. "I just asked because I've never known Toshinori to have much of a social life, so for him to invite people, well, I suppose that's the first reason that popped to mind. It's good to hear he has other friends outside of work though, he needs it."
"He always does seem like he's working too hard, true," The woman replied, once more smiling indulgently. "And what of you, Tsutsumi-San?"
"Oh, me, I'm in the friend category too." Kaina replied sincerely with a fond smile. "I woe that man more than I can ever repay, and, well, when he asked me the favor of attending, I couldn't really say no, now could I?"
"Indeed, not." The green-haired woman replied serenely. "And I am sure that whatever debt you believe you have, Toshinori thinks nothing of it. After all, you needed saving, didn't you?"
"…Excuse me?" Kaina asked hesitantly, alarms once again blaring in her mind. Inko's smile widened, as her whole expression seemed to radiate the kind of amusement of a parent seeing a kid badly trying to cover something up.
"Oh, come now, Tsutsumi-San, my son is, quite possibly, your number one fan. Did you think I would not recognize you, or know the true name of Lady Nagant?"
Well, now she just felt stupid.
"I suppose it was too much to ask for nobody to recognize me." Kaina mumbled with a self-deprecating sigh. "Must be losing my touch."
"Oh, none of that, dear." Inko said, to the heroine's surprise, with exactly the same amount of friendliness as before. "Didn't I just say my son's your greatest fan? You will get no judgment from me, I assure you. How could I, I admire you for much the same reasons he does."
For a long, long moment, Kaina did not reply, staring wide-eyed at the woman, who she could tell from experience was not lying in the slightest. As if a button had been pushed, the cheery façade she'd fallen back on deflated into something more tired, but also more genuine.
"Sorry, Midoriya-San, I know I have people on my corner and all, but it's just…" The heroine said with a smile, an actual smile, which was at once both grateful and apologetic. "Always a pleasant surprise to hear it personally."
Before anything else could be said, the door to the booth once again opened, and in walked none other than Toshinori. The emaciated man stopped, glanced at the two other occupants of the room, and then chuckled.
"Apologies for the tardiness, there were a few final arrangements that needed to be taken care of." He apologized, as he approached to take his own seat. "I see that you've already introduced yourselves."
"Oh, indeed we have." Inko replied cheerily. "I must say, I am very surprised, Yagi-San, you never did tell me that you knew Lady Nagant, nor that you played a significant role in helping her out."
Toshinori startled at that, staring at the other woman, who flashed him an embarrassed grin.
"Sorry, Toshinori, she figured me out the moment she saw me."
…Yeah, the hero incognito really should have known better than to underestimate the woman's observation skill at this point.
"…Ah, I see, yeah, well, my apologies, Midoriya-San," The man replied, recovering quickly as he rubbed at the back of his head nervously. "I was… a part of All Might's legal team assigned to take care of Tsutsumi-kun's case. I just didn't mention it before because, well, it's not really a comfortable subject for her, you know…?"
Fortunately, Inko was too focused on him to notice the unimpressed stare Kaina was giving him at being thrown under the bus.
Before the conversation could continue, however, suddenly the speakers of the stadium began blaring out
"WHAT'S UP, DEAR SPECTATORS?! EVERYBODY SAY HEY!"
"Do you actually like setting yourself up for disappointment like this…?"
"HUSH YOU, I DIDN'T BRING YOU HERE TO BE A PARTY POOPER!"
"I don't even know why you thought bringing me here was a good idea…"
"Uh, seems like it's about to start." Inko commented, turning her attention towards the field as Present Mic begun giving the rundown of the day's schedule, next to his fellow and much less enthusiastic commentator Aizawa. The three of them went quiet as they watched. Credit where credit was due, the Voice Hero was very good at hyping up the crowds, as the cheering kept going up in intensity with his every word.
"AND NOW, THE MOMENT YOU HAVE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR, IT IS TIME TO INTRODUCE OUR CONTESTANTS, THE FIRST YEAR STUDENTS!" The bombastic man yelled. "FIRST UP, THE GREATEST SURPRISE OF THE YEAR. THEY HAVE FACED OVERWHELMING ODDS IN A COWARDLY SNEAK ATTACK, LOOKED AT DANGER IN THE FACE, AND CAME OUT VICTORIOUS! ENTERING THE STAGE, IT IS CLASS. 1. A!"
And as the crowds went wild, out into the field came the kids. Kaina couldn't help but chuckle at how nervous most of them seemed to be, so obvious that it was visible even from this distance, especially for someone with her particular set of skills.
"I guess U.A. leaves public appearances training for later on in the curriculum, uh?" She commented, as the other classes were introduced, the vast majority of which looked equally as nervous, when they weren't glaring jealously at how 1-A was getting the lion's share of the applause, and Midnight then stepped up as the proctor for the games, immediately becoming the focus of most everyone's attention.
"From what I gather, it's mostly a thing they start teaching the second year. First year is more about the basics." Toshinori explained. "These children have proved that they can go above and beyond when placed under pressure, but they do still have a lot to learn about some areas of hero work, I'll give you that."
"Oh, I am sure that they will rise to the occasion in here as well." Inko stated simply, sounding amusedly expectant. "Case in point…"
"And now!" Midnight was saying, cracking her whip towards the crowd of students. "To give the student's pledge, we have the first place of the entrance exam, Izuku Midoriya!"
Kaina blinked in confusion as Toshinori suddenly startled, going into a bloody coughing fit, as a familiar figure broke off from the crowd and began waking to the stage. Heck, she could see even from here how the other 1-A students seemed equally on edge.
"Nezu didn't tell me about this…" The emaciated man muttered, clearly worried.
"There a problem?" The heroine inquired, clearly not understanding why there could be one.
"Oh, no, not all, Tsutsumi-San." Inko replied, clearly very amused by whatever was about to happen. "It's just that my son can be… exuberant, in a way that people might not quite understand. You'll see."
By that point, Izuku had reached the stage, looking out at the crowd and the stands, taking it all in with an owlish blink.
"All yours, sweetie." Midnight told him with an encouraging, if sultry, smile, gesturing towards the mic.
"Aight." The boy replied with a shrug, stepping around the heroine (and without realizing it annoying her immensely with his utter lack of reaction), and standing there, with the eyes of the Japan and the world upon him.
"Ya know, I dun really get all dis."
…Murmurs immediately broke across the spectators, confusion running rampant at the unexpected beginning to the speech.
"I mean, wot'z with all dah makin' dis such a big deal?" The boy continued, and honestly, he sounded less like he was addressing the crowd and more like he was just wondering to himself. "Like, dun get me wrong, I luv me a gud scrap as much as dah next git, and it'z always gud fun wot goes down in dese festivals, but all anyone othah than us does during dese fings is talk and watch and speak 'bout it like dey'z got any idea wot it'z like tah be here, wot we fink and why we'z do it. And so many of'uz fite only so dey'z can talk'about dem in a gud way. To which I gotta ask, why shuld we care?"
More murmurs, growing more confused in the student crowd and more displeased in the stands at the apparent dismissal.
"Each an' erryone a you'ze in dis'ere stadium haz come fer one thing and one thing only, or so I gathered, anywayz. Tah show wot ya got. And so, to all a you'ze, I got dis tah say." Izuku continued without a care, grabbing the mic and popping it off its support as he spoke louder, more agressively. "We of class 1-A, we iz made tah fite and tah win. WE IZ GUNNA STOMP DAH FESTIVAL FLAT AND BEAT EVERRYFINK DAT TRY TAH FOIGT BACK! We'z gun do dis not tah get people talkin', but cuz we'z made tah be heroes. And if ye want tah tag along fer dah fun, gud. If ye want tah take us on, den I say, BRING IT'ON! But if yer just here tah get people talkin' bout you'ze, den yer just wastin' yer time and ourz, far as I care."
The boy shrugged then, completely apathetic to the rising voices of the crowd, or whether they were supporting or condemning his words, which was happening in equal measure.
"Anywayz, dat'z me pledge. An' fer all dah gits out dere dat dun fink we'z can't do it? Fer all who watch and do nothin'? WELL, YA JUST KEEP ON WATCHIN', CUZ 'ERE. WE. GO! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!"
Then he unceremoniously dropped the mic, a brief static following as he began casually walking back towards his class.
"Well," Kaina said, bemusedly, probably the first one to break the silence that followed. "Kid's not lacking for confidence, that's for sure."
The madness begins…
In all honesty, I do apologize for ending this on a cliffhanger of sorts. My original goal was to get the first event done, but well, the chapter was starting to get a bit big, and I was beginning to run out of time (so much so that those translations still haven't been done. My bad…), so that seemed as good a cut off point as any. Hope you still enjoyed it!
If you understand the reference made during the dorm scene, you are a true 40k lore enthusiast.
Next time, the festival begins in full.
But before that, we start the next year with the next update to Through the Eternities, so look forward to that.
Cya all on the next one folks, and to everyone, Happy New Year! :D