Disclaimer: I do not own My Hero Academia or Fate/Stay Night
Shirou sat in the auditorium, his arms crossed over his chest. He was one of hundreds of potential applicants wishing to get into the hero course of U.A. Well, wishing was an overstatement. He had been a hero once before, saving people wherever and whenever he had gotten the chance. Years upon years of selfless acts. Some acts these kids sitting around him would never even dream of. The mental and physical scars he had suffered from helping others were burdens that he dared not share with anyone.
Yet he would continue to do so, to bare the burdens these children would not dare. For half the teenagers here it seemed like they were only trying to become a hero because it was cool.
He had nothing against the ideology of helping people. To only do so to be applauded by the public and expect monetary funding for doing what felt so natural to him was highly conflicting. If they were unable to focus completely on the job then it was very possible that they too would possibly need saving. But who saved those who spent their lives saving others?
"This is how the test will go my listeners!" shouted a person from the stage of the auditorium. "You'll be experiencing ten minute long mock cityscape maneuvers! Bring along whatever you want! After this presentation you'll all head to your assigned testing location! OK?"
Shirou watched as the screen behind the presenter changed as he continued. Shirou listened as the man, whom he assumed was a professional hero, explained how there were several different types of faux villains for them to take down in the test and how each would be scored. Shirou knew that it wouldn't be that simple however, otherwise it would simply be an issue of speed. Certain people wouldn't have any chance if that was the case. There had to be a secondary option for scoring that simply wasn't being mentioned.
Regardless, he needed to be top of this whole thing and if that meant he had to destroy every single robot posing as a villain then so be it.
Rin sat in a separate examination box on campus where she could overwatch the proceedings, already having been accepted into the school under the general studies course. It hadn't taken much in regards to convincing the school to accept her, especially with her practically guaranteeing them that Shirou would come out of this test on top.
She did wish that she wasn't isolated like this however, being monitored by the camera that clung to the roof watching her every moment. Didn't help that whoever was watching said cameras would immediately contact the number of heroes currently present creating a whole lot of chaos.
The door to her observing room opened up and she managed to only flinch slightly at the sight of the principal, the mouse with superior intellect having scared her almost witless the first time they had met. "Thank you for not running when the two of you had the chance," said Nezu as he leapt up, gripping the edge of the spare chair and pulling himself onto the surface that humans had no issue with.
"Don't pretend like you didn't have eyes on us during the week, if we made any sort of move you would have had heroes come down on us with full force," scoffed Rin. While she and Shirou had been able to perform a more than adequate feat in fighting off the ever increasing swarm of heroes she knew that both had once been able to do better. The bodies they were currently residing in, while familiar, were not fully grown. Having been adults for years, fighting at the age they were now was awkward, clumsy almost; their limbs only remotely responding like they should have. Their stamina had also suffered, something which she knew Shirou would be determined to get up to scratch and perhaps even become better than what he had been before they had found themselves in this world.
One on one, she was confident that they could go toe to toe with the greatest this world could offer. As the other week showed, a long drawn out fight against multiple opponents was something they could confidently confront at a later date.
"Is Emiya truly as bad a case as you said?" asked the principal, referring to the conversation they had previously had.
"It's a possibility," said Rin. "His ideals at the moment are distorted and I like to think I've done as good a job as I could keeping him in line." That was an understatement considering the number of times she had to comfort and console him ever since that first time she had told him that he was broken; it was amazing she still found reason to continue doing so. "If I could, I would like to talk to you in a purely hypothetical sense."
Nezu seemed momentarily perplexed before reaching forward and turning a switch off, a small red light blinking out of existence. Rin wasn't surprised that there had been an audio recording program running in the background, she still didn't have their full trust after all. She accurately assumed that this was the principal's way of showing that if she wished to divulge in something and keep it private that she could do so. "So what is this hypothetical topic you wish to speak of?"
"Hypothetically, will Shirou do well in your school?"
Nezu's eyebrow contorted slightly, wondering why this was under the guise of a hypothetical conversation. "I would see why not. From what we witnessed the other week he is a remarkable teenager."
"Not physically, but mentally," corrected Rin.
"We strive on our ability to help any student in any way we can to help them grow," recited Nezu as if reading a public address statement. "The heroes that come out of this academy will be sound of strength and mind."
"Then what would be the case were you to discover that he is a man trapped in a child's body?"
Nezu paused, wondering just what Rin was talking about. A possibility did come to mind however. With the vast number of quirks in the world, it wasn't impossible for someone to have such a quirk. Why they would use it on the person sitting beside him and the one that she had such trust in left more questions than answers but there was one which needed to be asked now. "An age regression quirk?"
Rin hated that word, quirk. Having to put up with the idea that generations of family knowledge and experimentation was merely considered as some form of genetic mutation sickened her to the core. In this case however, it would work to her advantage. "Hypothetically, we were not found in the police's database due to the fact that we are indeed much older than what we seem, both having decades of experience behind us, both mental and physical. During those times, it is easily assumable that not all of those experiences were pleasant."
"No, we can assume not," said Nezu momentarily recalling his own past which had been full of difficulties.
"As far as he can remember, Shirou wished to be a hero and after certain events became someone who could save others. His method of saving others though never came with the idea of saving his own life. He would risk his entire being on a regular basis, just because someone else needed saving. At some point, he had seen a vision almost, of what his future could hold and he tried to steer as far away from that as he could but in turn it pushed him down another way."
Nezu motioned for Rin to continue, wishing now that he had bought some tea or coffee to share with the teenager sitting next to him. What she was saying, while farfetched, was not out of the question but he still had to believe that she wasn't telling him everything, that would be far too easy. Had things not panned out the way they had it was very likely that these two teenagers would have been labelled as villains by society.
"After one particularly bad time, he went about trying to save people another way. He was strong enough and if he could save everyone by himself he would but as you are aware there are certain times where there are casualties. For once though he didn't put the blame on himself like he did so many times before, but he blamed those he had been forced to work with. Blamed them for not being fast enough to save one more person, not strong enough to protect them and that they lacked the conviction to save people. He went back on it all, apologized profusely when it was all said and done but a seed had been planted in the back of his mind, an idea that continued to grow unnoticed until it had almost seemingly blended in with his ideals."
"That if you couldn't save everyone, you shouldn't try saving anyone," said Nezu, drawing his conclusions from what Rin had said. It was a conflicting notion and Nezu could understand why Rin had brought this up with him. Even with the incredible number of active heroes, this world was still rife with crime and villains. It was inevitable that lives would be lost.
"It's gotten bad," admitted Rin. "Shirou is, and forever will be, someone who will save people. Now though that also means that he prevents them from putting themselves into danger in the first place. Had we not been brought here, I feared that his ideals would have only continued to grow worse over time and I know what the worst outcome is. I tried my hardest and I have effectively stalled it temporarily but that's not enough. I want my Shirou back."
Nezu couldn't help but notice that Rin's final reasoning seemed almost selfish. "So you're hoping that by having him around students that are all pushing towards their own goals and dreams, it will help him, show him that there are other ways?" asked Nezu, only receiving a nod as an answer. "Without any funding though, you had to..."
Nezu's mind switched into overdrive. The person next to him, was it possible that she had planned it all? All for the sake of Shirou Emiya? Being discovered to have no adult supervision, being detained, breaking out of prison and showing their talents in front of the world. Nezu had seen their skill and knew that if they were to be accepted into U.A it would do well publicity wise in the long run, how children with unimaginable potential could become heroes with the right guidance.
Was that how it went though?
Nezu knew that he had gone to the police station having wanted to meet with both Rin and Shirou but he couldn't recall much of the conversation. Considering that Shirou was about to start the test and Rin had already been admitted to the general studies course, everything had fallen into place. But was it his terms that had been agreed to?
Knowing he had paused for perhaps a couple seconds too long, Nezu turned to face Rin before realizing that everything was a bit furry in the mind. "So you'll agree to the accommodation arrangements?" asked Rin.
Accommodation arrangements? Of course, that was what they had been discussing. "Yes, that's right, I'll have the appropriate arrangements made," stated Nezu. "If you'll excuse me."
Nezu left without another word, clutching lightly at the side of his head. It was probably nothing more than an oncoming migraine, inappropriate timing but it couldn't be helped. There was a test happening shortly after all that required his attention.
Mina Ashido was pumped, she was beyond excited. She stood here, outside of her designated block surrounded by her competition. Due to her pink complexion, she stood out amongst those around her and she had gotten more than one curious look, perhaps others trying to figure out what her quirk was due to her skin pigmentation. Regardless of whatever they guessed however, she was more than determined to blow them all out of the water.
The one thing which had caught her attention during Present Mic's speech was how the faux villains didn't technically have to be destroyed, but merely disable. She was well aware of her own capabilities and while the acid she could create from the palms of her hands were powerful there was only so much she could do before it started doing damage not only to her targets but herself. So she wasn't seeking to destroy, disable. Whatever made them move, so long as she could hinder that and prevent them from progressing, she would be able to take far more robots out that way then trying to actively destroy them.
Those two words caused a wave of confusion to rush over the crowd, random murmurings between the individuals trying to figure out just what those two words meant.
"WHAT'S WRONG? THE TEST'S STARTED! RUN! RUN! THE DIE IS CAST!"
There was no hesitation this time as the crowd lunged forward, pushing at one another as if to get a better vantage point. Ashido was one of them, determined to get to the front of the pack and give herself an open path to start her task. She, along with everyone else however, were forced to come to a screeching halt as their path was blocked, dozens of swords plummeting into the ground in front of them and temporarily halting their movement.
"Who did this?"
Accusations started ringing out as fingers got pointed, yelling how each of them could have been hurt. It became abundantly clear who had done it as a single person walked forward, gripping the handle of one of the blades before he ripped it out of the ground and pointed it into the centre of the crowd. Ashido couldn't help but swallow a lump in her throat noting that the tip of the sword was only inches away from the closest individual.
"You think this is a game?" he shouted, his voice roaring with more authority than Present Mic's had. "You are here to become heroes! You are here because you believe yourself to be the best there is but everyone around you thinks the same. What makes you more deserving to be a hero then them? A true hero is one who puts others safety and wellbeing above their own, but if you are unable to save yourself how can you save anyone else?"
Ashido found herself releasing a breath she didn't know she had been holding. The teenager before them had lowered his sword before moving forward, far faster than any expected him to do. The wall of swords still blocked their path and it was a clear message. Those who had ulterior motives for becoming a hero, this was a warning. Don't get in the way of those who wanted to be true heroes. Was this actually part of the test? It also didn't help that he looked incredibly familiar but for the life of her she couldn't figure out where she had seen him before.
One of the other applicants allowed a roar to escape through their lips before he charged, leaping over the wall of swords on his march forward. A handful swiftly followed the initiative, Ashido one of them realizing that nearly their first minute, a whole ten percent of their test, had already passed. She ran forward as fast as her legs would take her but took a glance over her shoulder at those who had yet to move.
So many candidates, frozen in fear. Each one of them had been raring to go only moments earlier but now they were questioning themselves. Was this truly what they wanted to do with their life? There was a life of hardship and struggles ahead of them and the first step had already caused a huge hurdle. One person, a single person their age, had effectively told them that if they weren't prepared to risk everything that they shouldn't risk anything. Ashido knew that just those handful of moments that they had originally cost them a handful of points. Those who had yet to move, even if they did find their conviction would likely find it too late. Even now as she looked forward she could see that all of the opening robots had already been put out of commission.
Running past one on her left, she saw that it had been nearly cleaved square in half. It was clear that the person who had stopped at the beginning was worthy of backing up their words. Well Ashido found her determination seeping back in, she would not be shown up anymore!
The explosion of a nearby wall caused her to smile almost in a sadistic manner. Before the dust had even settled she swooped into action, the acid on her palm forming before she slid under the upper appendage, her hand gliding across the leg. Standing upright, she grabbed hold of the extended arm and pulled, putting extra force on the slowly melting leg. It took only a handful of seconds before it began to collapse. She allowed a small roar of approval to come forth as the robot crashed to the ground, securing her first points.
Her momentary lapse in concentration however almost cost her. A glimpse of steel in her peripheral vision warned her of danger. She moved to leap away, get some distance between him and certain injury. There was no need however, the machine being put out of commision as an arrow pierced straight through the metallic frame before becoming lodged in the ground.
Ashido swallowed a lump in her throat before slapping herself in the cheeks. This was no time to lose focus. Time was not on her side and she ran off determined to find a new source of points.
Shirou stood atop the building he had perched himself atop, another traced arrow loosing from the bow in his hand. The projectile rocketed through the air faster than anybody could imagine before striking the intended target, rendering the robot immobile. Despite the distance, the arrow was able to soar through the air and strike with unrealistic precision.
Before the arrow had even sunk into the ground however, a new arrow had already been traced. He remembered his training however, the steps of kyūdō forever burned into his mind. Were he to ignore these he knew that he would have been able to take out more targets but that was something he just couldn't do under the circumstance.
The arrow he had notched soared through the air once more as Present Mic's voice broke forth, informing them that there was a touch over six minutes remaining. Shirou shifted his gaze to the starting gate, where a good portion of the attendees were either only just starting to move or would remained locked in place. He knew he had been harsh, shattered more than a handful of dreams in the process but it was for the best. He knew he was forcing his distorted views outwards but it was for the best. Heroes were those who would not hesitate to save others. The fact that there were those who had taken this long to muster up the courage to continue told him enough. From preventing them from starting, he had saved them from a life of pain and suffering.
He was forcing his ideals on teenagers, ideals which he had tried his best to hold onto after decades of saving people. The good, the bad, the young and old, it mattered not, he had saved them time and time again. Those times where he had been too late had dug at him deeply. Nights were plagued with simple questions, how small things that he could have done potentially changed the outcome. Rin had continuously told him that he was overthinking it, that there was nothing more that he could have done. No matter how many times she said this though he paid it no mind, always knowing that there had to have been some way to save at least one more person.
Gripping the bow tightly, Shirou ran to the edge of the building and leapt across the gap. This happened thrice more, the scope of the area in which they were conducting their test was vast to the point where very little of the area would actually be covered in the ten minutes they were being assessed in. Lifting up his bow, another arrow formed before being released moments later.
It was then that the ground began to rumble, the building Shirou was standing on top of shaking ever so slightly. Natural occurrence? When the behemoth of a machine appeared out of the middle of the tallest building, bulldozing it's way through other constructs on the way through Shirou knew the test wasn't over yet. Debris rained down onto the ground and Shirou sprang into action.
Ashido didn't know at first why she had stopped, the colossal machine only a couple hundred feet behind her. She had heard a plea, a cry for help and she had paused almost instinctively. Amongst the sound of screaming and destruction she had heard it.
Turning her head to the left, Ashido spotted one of the other hero candidates, the one who had been first to leap over the wall of swords trapped. She forced back the urge to vomit, it looked as if a part of the carnage had landed on him and his leg was now trapped beneath a huge chunk of debris.
She reacted, running towards her fellow applicant, narrowly avoiding a steel beam that landed near where she was. It only took a handful of seconds to reach the boy and she grabbed hold of the outstretched arm and began to pull. He groaned in pain but seemingly was willing to put his body through some more suffering if it meant getting out of this predicament. Even with Ashido's strength however, it wasn't enough to pull him clear.
Quickly thinking, Ashido released her hands from his grip and put them close to where his leg was trapped. "This is going to sting a bit," she declared before using her quirk, her acid seeping from the pores in her hands and sliding through the cracks and coating the teenager's leg. It would sting and so long as they got the acid off quick enough there wouldn't be any greater damage made but it would serve as a lubricant.
The man winced in pain but knew that she was doing her best to help him. Once more his hand was held onto tightly, her grip sound as she pulled with all of her weight. Now though there was movement, only a small amount but it was progress nonetheless.
Time however was not on their side.
Ashido tried not to panic as the monstrous machine lumbered closer, the steps it taking causing the ground to shake beneath her feet. Closing her eyes, she did her best to get her breathing under control. She was trying to be a hero! Heroes don't panic in situations like this!
A crunching sound made her eyes snap open and she saw that a steel rod had been jammed at the base of the debris trapping the person she was trying to save. Shifting her focus slightly she saw that it was the person who had hindered them at the entrance, wedging the bar in deeply. "When I say now, pull," he instructed, his words far calmer than they had been when he had first spoke. Ashido nodded and her grip firmed ever so slightly as she waited for his command.
Ashido once more closed her eyes as she pulled with all her might, this time though without the extra weight bearing down on the person she was trying to save, he slid free far easier than she had anticipated. Groaning in pain, the man tried to push himself up to his one good leg, Ashido quickly looping his arm around her shoulders for support.
"Get him to safety."
"What are you going to do?" asked Ashido, as the teenager turned his back on her.
His words were calm, almost too much. Ashido wondered if the person her age even felt fear at the sight of the construction before him. As he slowly made his way towards the machine, Ashido turned around, helping the person she had saved towards where the starting gate was. It was slow going, the man could only move so far with every step but it was a step away from danger every time.
Behind her she could hear the sound of metal on metal scraping against one another but she dared not look back. What sounded like a huge piece of something crashed to the ground but again she dared not look back.
The teenager had trusted her to get the injured to safety. So she had to trust that he would do what he said and do something unthinkable.
Hope you enjoyed.