Midoriya Izuku vs. Shinso Hitoshi
Ashido Mina vs. Todoroki Shouto
Tokage Setsuna vs. Yaoyorozu Momo
Iida Tenya vs. Bakugou Katsuki
"I give up, huh?" Hitoshi asked. If Midoriya heard him, he didn't show it. Hitoshi raised his voice a bit. "This is a fight to test the strength of your spirit. If you know what you want for your future, then you can't afford to care about appearances."
"That Monkey was going on about his pride…"
"But don't you think he was dumb for throwing away his chance?"
Silence reigned in the stadium. The two tall teens stared at each other for a long while.
"You're lucky that you've been blessed, Midoriya Izuku," Hitoshi continued. "You probably don't understand, but even with a Quirk like this, I have my own dream."
It was like talking to a brick wall.
This guy won't answer me… Did that Monkey bastard figure out the secret to my Quirk, and tell him?
"Say something," Hitoshi taunted, stretching that superior smug across his face. He hated the way his lips pulled up, but personal experience showed that it was one of his most effective tools for getting underneath someone's skin. "What? Too scared? Or are you so much of a muscle-head that you can't even talk? You know, your speech at the beginning of the Sports Festival was pretty shoddy. Was that the best thing your feeble mind could come up with? U.A's supposed to have pretty high standards in all fields, but I guess if you have the perfect Quirk, it's easy to get in. Or, did you do something else? Bribe a few people? Maybe get on your knees a couple times? Oh, I know! You probably let the staff take turns!"
He was going too far. Hitoshi knew it. Slandering the teachers of the school he'd wanted to attend since young was definitely not a good idea, especially since Midnight could hear everything he said (disturbingly enough, she looked more aroused than angry), but he was rapidly running out of ideas. His Quirk relied on people responding to his jabs. What the hell was he supposed to do if this bastard wouldn't say anything!? It was like…
Is he even seeing me right now?
Midoriya's eyes were dull, almost glazed. He didn't move at all, except for the expanding of his diaphragm and the occasional, languid blink. The green-haired boy looked dead on his feet.
Hitoshi took a few cautious steps forward. No reaction from his opponent. He tiptoed all the way across the cement arena, until he was basically face-to-face with Midoriya, but the Hero Course student didn't even twitch.
"Are you… Asleep?" Hitoshi asked. It was the most logical conclusion. Hitoshi waved a hand in front of Midoriya's face. Those blank green eyes stayed focused on whatever otherworldly scene they were watching.
This was probably really dangerous. He'd seen Midoriya blast ahead of the competition at the start of the Obstacle Race (barely. The kid's speed was insane), and his agility while dodging attacks from all sides during the Cavalry Race was unmatched. Then, in the first round of the Tournament, he showcased Herculean strength by knocking out that Kirishima kid with one punch, despite the redhead's Quirk literally being to prevent that exact thing from happening.
Still, if he's not gonna do anything, then I might as well go for the win…
Hitoshi grabbed Midoriya's arm, ready to drag the near-cataconic boy over to the boundary line-
Pressure on the throat
Legs dangling uselessly in the air, all Hitoshi could do was pull on the hand wrapped around his neck futilely. The vice-grip tightened, and strength left Hitoshi's frame, body going limp, left at the mercy of the boy he'd been so wary of, yet somehow underestimated. His vision blurred, then went black at the edges, until all he could see was darkness.
"-oriya Izuku will advance to the next round!"
Hitoshi shot up from the ground with a gasp, the sudden influx of air scraping against his abused esophagus, sending him into a harsh coughing fit. He glanced around wildly, looking for an explanation, for someone to tell him what happened. Instead, he found Midoriya standing in front of him, staring down at him apathetically. WIthout a word, the green-haired teen turned on his heel, and strolled out of the arena, leaving a dazed Hitoshi on the concrete.
What the hell…?
If you know what you want for your future, then you can't afford to worry about appearances.
...What do I want?
It was his turn again. Shouto hissed out an icy breath- he couldn't afford to lose control like he did against Sero. His reckless display of power could've caused collateral in the audience, and if he had miscalculated even the slightest bit, his classmate may have gotten stuck deeper in the glacier, resulting in acute hypothermia that may or may not have ended in severe ice burn. Shouto knew these things, because he'd experienced them while training his mother's Quirk. It was a pain he would rather not inflict on others; he wouldn't be like Endeavor and spread suffering.
Standing on the stage, Shouto stared at his pink opponent, who smiled brightly and shot him a peace sign. Ashido's Acid might provide her a bit of protection from the cold, but she wouldn't be able to completely melt out of an ice prison using just her hands and feet. If she wanted to be free, she'd need to secrete Acid all over her body, which would disintegrate her tracksuit (and Shouto really hoped she didn't).
It was over in a matter of seconds, the localized iceberg enveloping Ashido before she could even splash her corrosive bodily fluids at him. Midnight called the match, and Shouto turned around and briskly walked back to the tunnel, pointedly not looking at his bastard father in the stands.
He ignored the chill seeping beneath his skin, the aching of his muscles, with practiced ease.
Momo inhaled. Exhaled. Breathed carefully, concentrating only on the movements of her diaphragm, and not the sounds of the stadium. She'd done a bit of asking around, and discovered that Tokage-san was one of the two recommended students in Class 1-B. There was a reason she'd managed to make it this far; her Quirk was incredibly versatile, but it also took a sharp mind to control all those body parts at the same time. Momo knew what it was like to work with a Quirk that was more complicated than it seemed.
She opened her eyes and locked gazes with Tokage-san, who looked perfectly at home on the other side of the arena, reveling in the attention. She definitely didn't have the same confidence issues as Momo.
That was okay, though. She just had to win.
A staff popped out of her palm, and Momo held it in her two hands, settling into a stance. She wouldn't be able to deal with attacks from multiple directions without exhausting her fat stores, but she'd practiced hitting smaller projectiles with her polearm. The same principle should apply here, and it would serve to keep her in the fight while she thought of something better.
"Hey, no hard feelings, right, Yaoyorozu-chan?" Tokage-san asked, holding up her… Severed wrists? Something- two somethings- latched onto her upper arms and began yanking her backwards viciously.
Momo's mind went blank.
Because of the grip on her arms, she couldn't properly use her weapon, and her shoes didn't have enough traction to keep her from moving. Panic welled up in her, pushing down any hint of rational thought that may have helped her out of this situation, and then-
"Yaoyorozu is out of bounds! Tokage advances to the next round!"
It was over.
Izuku was more than a little annoyed when Kyo tugged him out of the stands frantically- he'd wanted to watch Katsuki's match against Glasses, if for no reason other than that it had to be more fun than staring at memes on his phone. Still, she seemed pretty insistent that they go find Spiky Ponytail, so he didn't protest. Too much.
"I don't fuckin' get it," he grumbled. "So she lost. Why the fuck do we gotta go find her? What if she's in the bathroom or something? Maybe she just has to take a-"
Kyoka shot him a scathing glare. "Don't finish that sentence, I swear to God… Anyways, you'd be pissed if you lost so quickly, right?" Izuku nodded begrudgingly. "Right. It's the same thing here, but unlike you, Yaomomo's actually a semi-normal person, so has she an emotional range wider than a teaspoon."
Izuku's eyebrows wrinkled, and he ran a current up his arm. Kyoka yelped, snatching her fingers away and shaking them out. She scowled at him impotently. "What the hell, dude!? Since when could you do that, anyways?"
"I… Forgot about it," Izuku muttered, shoving his hands into his pockets and turning his head to stare at the wall. Kyoka blinked, but wisely didn't say anything.
They found her in the waiting room, like Kyoka predicted. Yaomomo sat at the table, sniffling quietly, hands covering her face. The click of the door caught her attention, and the girl's head shot up, staring at them in horror. Kyoka was quick to rush towards her friend's side, wrapping her arms around her shoulders.
"Hey, hey, you're fine," she murmured soothingly. "You did pretty good, you know. Making it to the third round ain't a joke. Not half bad, considering a lot of us didn't even get that far."
"It wasn't that difficult," Izuku muttered from the doorway, quietly enough that Momo couldn't hear him. Kyoka did, however, and she fixed him with a fierce glare.
"Get over here, Greenie," she snapped, gesturing with her chin. He stepped closer, a confused look on his face, until he was hovering at the edge of the table. Kyoka stared at him, unimpressed, while Momo sobbed into her shirt.
"What?" he asked impatiently.
She rolled her eyes. This guy was such an idiot. "Do I have to do everything?" she grumbled rhetorically. Then, Kyoka carefully peeled Momo off her midsection, and redirected her towards Izuku. The taller girl latched onto the green-haired teen, and he froze.
An instant later, he'd ripped himself out of her grasp, backpedaling halfway to the door and lowering into a defensive stance. A guttural growl ripped from his throat.
Silence fell over the room like a heavy blanket, and nobody moved.
"What… The hell!?" Kyoka choked out. "She was just trying to hug you, Green!"
He straightened up, but still seemed wary. "What?" he asked, looking as confused as she felt.
"You know, a hug?" Kyoka said slowly, miming wrapping her arms around someone. "A common gesture of either giving or receiving comfort?" She could tell he was growing more and more perplexed with every word. She groaned in frustration. "Haven't your parents ever friggin' hugged you!?"
Another quiet spell, but this one was noticeably more awkward. Kyokya rubbed the back of her neck. "Alright, well, I don't think we have enough time to unpack all that…"
"Unpack what?" Izuku asked, and gosh, Kyoka didn't even know where to start.
"Um…" She strangled the air, because she was at least gonna try- they were friends, and this was the type of shit friends did for each other, right? "Isn't that, like, neglect? Yaomomo, back me up here!"
Momo wiped away the remnants of her tears, shocked out of her pity party. "Y-yes, it is a bit odd," the prim and proper girl said, voice wavering slightly. "My parents are very busy people, but they always set aside at least a few minutes for me. Perhaps Midoriya-kun's parents are simply the kind who are not very fond of physical affection?" she reasoned, hoping it was simply as something as innocent as that, and that they hadn't just stumbled across something much more sinister.
Kyoka nodded enthusiastically, praying to god the incredibly smart girl was right. "Yeah, yeah! Green, when you get home today, you're gonna go give your parents hugs, okay?" she said, smiling warmly at him. The subtle frown tugging at the corner of his mouth didn't reassure her much.
Kyoka pursed her lips. "It's pretty simple," she said, trying not to accidentally sound condescending. "You walk up to them, put your arms around them, and squeeze. Lightly, though, 'cause with your strength you might hurt someone," she joked. She stepped towards the green giant, arms spread with the intention of demonstrating. When she moved forwards, though, he took a step back, staring at her suspiciously.
Kyoka froze. Took another step. Watched him retreat again. "Oi, why're you backing up?" she asked, somewhat indignant. Talk about rude. Izuku didn't say anything, just looked at her with furrowed eyebrows. "What, you don't wanna hug me?" Kyoka asked, face twitching. She didn't know whether or not to be offended. Instead, she settled for a mischievous smirk, her mind coming up with an even better alternative. "Oh, I see how it is," she said dramatically, because drama was always fun, "You'd rather hug Yaomomo instead, is that it?" Kyoka hustled the surprised girl out of her chair, and shoved her to the boy. "Thank me later," Kyoka whispered, making Momo's face flare up.
Izuku heard her, of course- his hearing was almost as good as hers- but he focused more on the rich girl approaching him hesitantly. Slowly, Momo closed the distance between them, and this time, Izuku allowed her to approach. He still looked cautious, though, which really concerned Kyoka, but that was a problem for another time. They were making progress right now, and she didn't wanna mess that up.
"Is… Are you okay with this, Midoriya-kun? We don't have to, if it makes you uncomfortable," Momo said, trying to weasel her way out of it like a coward.
"Nope, vetoed!" Kyoka said loudly, crossing her arms in an x. "You're doin' it." Momo sent her a glare, but it wasn't really that effective when the purple-haired girl could see that her friend really wanted to hug her crush.
"Then, please excuse me," Momo said respectfully, raising her arms and wrapping them around Izuku's lower back, pressing herself against him. Kyoka swore she heard the other girl sigh contentedly, but didn't say anything. Well, not until she noticed Izuku's arms were just hanging limply by his side, as he stared at the top of Momo's head. Kyoka rolled her eyes. She walked to them, grabbed Izuku's arms, and loosely pulled them around Momo.
He completed the motion on his own, with a carefulness that hurt to watch. Then, he ruined the moment by opening his mouth.
"This doesn't answer my question."
"Hah? You asked how to hug someone, and this is how- what don't you get!?"
"I meant, how the fuck am I supposed hug someone if I don't know where they are?"
I'm becoming less and less motivated to write as the weeks go on, so I'm just gonna put this out there and say fuck it :/